Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Class Today at NoBullU on WEBY

Listen to the voice of wisdom and reason in a wilderness of partisan rhetoric -- no political insanity, no conservative hypocrisy, no liberal foolishness -- Just straight talk, straight at you, and that’s no bull!!

NoBullU will broadcast today from 4:05 to 6:00 p.m. at 1330 AM WEBY and on line.


Local Business/Event Shout-Out: TBD;

Follow-up: Don't be duped by the Birthers, including our very own Pastor Dred Scott (you may remember the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which asserted that African Americans were "beings of an inferior order" who "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." That ruling declared that African Americans could never be U.S. citizens and therefore could never be President), and The spin of Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4

See The Fogbow, "your best resource for debunking the lies of the 'birther' movement and discussing the birther antics" and WhatsYourEvidence.com, there is even a Birther Case Scorecard, 0-80 for the birthers;

Fact-free fantasies of the shrieking hatemongers of right-wing rhetoric and partisan hackery: all part of the fundamentalist subculture of ignorance that embraces 'discredited, ridiculous and even dangerous ideas'

And America's preference for rhetorical fairy tales to unpleasant realities

Local and regional: To toll or not to toll and be a hypocrite, major economic expansion and 100s of jobs at risk because of some snotty-nosed kids only in in Podunk-cola, and Public defenders or criminals?;

National and international: I'm waiting, where's the balanced budget, don't hold you breath because the Republi-CONs Con the Tea Party, there'll be no $100 billion budget cut, and let's admit the obvious, the Republi-CONs are not serious about deficits, and who's responsible for the debt

Still no sign of those 'invisible [Republi-CON] bond vigilantes'

Did Obama save the economy?

Republi-CONs in their delusion-land

Republi-CON budget drama, much to do about nothing

All that talk about the federal deficit and debt is just a Republi-CON CON game

Good news for the economy, bad news for Republi-CONs

The myth of expansionary austerity

Still unemployed, it's the economy stupid!

Pity the 1%, they control only 43% of the country's wealth

And the Republi-CON race cont., to find America’s Not-Mitt

Obama's New BFF

FL here were the Republi-CONs

What next for the Republi-CONs

Still searching for the ideal Republican candidate: conservative, interested, electable

CONservatism is a CON game, and the Republi-CON candidates are the result

Romney: 'I’m not concerned about the very poor, because 'I like being able to fire people'

Open Mouth, Insert Golden Spoon

Pity poor Obamney, McCain's Obamney playbook

Obama in 2012?, Lookin better for Obama all the time


Déjà vu all over again, what to expect if it is Obama v. Romney

Save Us, Sarah, Save Us!

The Republi-CON Tea Party

Health Care Lawsuit Update

After reading two of the appellate opinions, it doesn't look good for the Republi-CONs

It's Not Who You Are, It's Who You Know

Once upon a time, a story of fairy tale President

The myth of voter fraud

The good ol' days , dying in car crashes

For those who favor the Republi-con 'Every Man For Himself" myth

The Republi-CON 'We Are Better Than Europe' myth

The Republi-CON 'Less Government, More Personal Freedom' myth

Fun stuff: Now why didn't we think of this: urine-controlled video games


Donate to a good cause: TBD.

I'll discuss anything, but expect a no mercy take-down if you are a shrieking hatemonger of right-wing rhetoric and partisan hackery, pandering to fear, anger and hatred, because the truth sure makes it hard out there for the party pimps.

So tune-in, call-in, but only if you can handle the truth and some ass kickin' discussion of politics and current events.

Open Mouth, Insert Golden Spoon

Some of his best friends are NASCAR owners:

"Mitt Romney went to the Daytona 500 NASCAR race Sunday for what should have been a chance to show he's one of the guys. Instead, in casual conversation with an Associated Press reporter at the Florida track, he reminded people once again that he is not exactly a regular Joe.

Asked by the AP reporter if he follows NASCAR, Romney responded, 'Not as closely as some of the most ardent fans. But I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.'"

Read CBS News, Romney: I have friends who own NASCAR teams.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Republi-CON 'We Have the Consistent Philosophy & Ideology' Myth

"Consider the partywide flips and flops of just the past few years:

— Supporting a temporary, deficit-financed payroll-tax cut as a stimulus measure in 2009, as Republican Sen. John McCain and every one of his colleagues did, put you on the right. Supporting a temporary, deficit-financed payroll tax-cut in late 2011 put you on the left. Supporting it in early 2012 could have put you on either side.

— Supporting an individual mandate as a way to solve the health-care system’s free-rider problem between 1991 and 2007 put you on the right. Doing so after 2010 put you on the left.

— Supporting a system in which total carbon emissions would be capped and permits traded as a way of moving toward clean energy using the power of market pricing could have put you on either the left or right between 2000 and 2008. After 2009, it put you squarely on the left.

— Caring about short-term deficits between 2001 and 2008 put you on the left. Caring about them between 2008 and 2012 put you on the right.

— Favoring an expansive view of executive authority between 2001 and 2008 put you on the right. Doing so since 2009 has, in most cases, put you on the left.

— Supporting large cuts to Medicare in the context of universal health-care reform puts you on the left, as every Democrat who voted for the Affordable Care Act found out during the 2010 election. Supporting large cuts to Medicare in the context of deficit reduction puts you on the right, as Republicans found out in the 1990s, and then again after voting for Representative Paul Ryan’s proposed budget in 2011.

— Decrying the filibuster and considering drastic changes to the Senate rulebook to curb it between 2001 and 2008 put you on the right, particularly if you were exercised over judicial nominations. Since 2009, decrying the filibuster and considering reforms to curb it has put you on the left.

— Favoring a negative tax rate for the poorest Americans between 2001 and 2008 could have put you on the right or the left. In recent years, it has put you on the left.

I don’t particularly mind flip-flops. Consistency is an overrated virtue. But honesty isn’t. In many of these cases, the parties changed policy when it was politically convenient to do so, not when conditions changed and new information came to light. . .

In many of these cases, the parties changed policy when it was politically convenient to do so, not when conditions changed and new information came to light."

Read the Washington Post, What 'left' and 'right' really mean.

Friday, February 24, 2012

CONservatism is a CON Game, And the Republi-CON Candidates Are the Result

UPDATE II: Who said: "I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are."

Read Politico, Jeb Bush says 2012ers are 'appealing to people's fears'.

UPDATE: It is said that "a gaffe is when a politician accidently tells the truth. That’s certainly what happened to Mitt Romney on Tuesday, when in a rare moment of candor — and, in his case, such moments are really, really rare — he gave away the game.

Speaking in Michigan, Mr. Romney was asked about deficit reduction, and he absent-mindedly said something completely reasonable: 'If you just cut, if all you’re thinking about doing is cutting spending, as you cut spending you’ll slow down the economy.' A-ha. So he believes that cutting government spending hurts growth, other things equal."

Read The New York Times, Romney’s Economic Closet.

I've said it for years, now the man won the 2008 Nobel Prize for Economics last year agrees, the Republi-CONs are caught up in their own con:

"Romney is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and whatever his personal beliefs may really be — if, indeed, he believes anything other than that he should be president — he needs to win over primary voters who really are severely conservative in both his intended and unintended senses.

So he can’t run on his record in office. Nor was he trying very hard to run on his business career even before people began asking hard (and appropriate) questions about the nature of that career.

Instead, his stump speeches rely almost entirely on fantasies and fabrications designed to appeal to the delusions of the conservative base. No, President Obama isn’t someone who 'began his presidency by apologizing for America,' as Mr. Romney declared, yet again, a week ago. But this 'Four-Pinocchio Falsehood,' as the Washington Post Fact Checker [link added] puts it, is at the heart of the Romney campaign.

How did American conservatism end up so detached from, indeed at odds with, facts and rationality? For it was not always thus. After all, that health reform Mr. Romney wants us to forget followed a blueprint originally laid out at the Heritage Foundation!

My short answer is that the long-running con game of economic conservatives and the wealthy supporters they serve finally went bad. For decades the G.O.P. has won elections by appealing to social and racial divisions, only to turn after each victory to deregulation and tax cuts for the wealthy — a process that reached its epitome when George W. Bush won re-election by posing as America’s defender against gay married terrorists, then announced that he had a mandate to privatize Social Security.

Over time, however, this strategy created a base that really believed in all the hokum — and now the party elite has lost control.

The point is that today’s dismal G.O.P. field — is there anyone who doesn’t consider it dismal? — is no accident. Economic conservatives played a cynical game, and now they’re facing the blowback, a party that suffers from "severe" conservatism in the worst way. And the malady may take many years to cure."

Read The New York Times, Severe Conservative Syndrome.

The Republi-CON 'America is a Christian Nation' Myth

UPDATE: For those who pine for the good ol' days, when for "those who didn’t follow rules handed down by God through man, these New World authorities could cut out your tongue, slice off your ears or execute you," read The New York Times, Theocracy and Its Discontents.

Did you know that "the conflict over the proper relationship between church and state is the oldest in American history. The 1st Amendment now defines this relationship, but understanding the full meaning of the amendment requires understanding its history, for the amendment was a specific response to specific historical events and was written with the recognition that freedom of religion was inextricably linked to freedom itself. . .

Eight years after the Constitution's adoption, the Senate confirmed this view in unanimously approving a treaty. It stated: '[T]he government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.'"

Read the Los Angeles Times, A Puritan's 'war against religion'.

The Republi-CON 'Less Government, More Personal Freedom' Myth

"A Virginia bill states that any woman seeking an abortion must first lie back in a chair with her feet in stirrups and a 10-inch ultrasound wand in her vagina." Watch The Daily Show, Punanny State - Virginia's Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill:

Also, only Republi-CON approved men may testified before Congress about birth control insurance coverage.

Republi-CONs In Their Delusion-land

UPDATE III: There is a "surprising amount of criticism being directed at Bush by the GOP candidates 'reflects how much more conservative the Republican Party has become.'

Indeed, nowhere is this truer than in the case of the auto-bailout. The perceived imperatives of the GOP primary require that this obvious success story — this clear-cut example of government intervention staving off a massive economic disaster and saving thousands of American jobs — must be explained away by any means necessary.

The last Republican president — one who was in office less than four years ago — says that if government had failed to bail out the auto-makers, it would have led to '21 percent unemployment' and a 'depression.' But today’s GOP candidates just don’t want to hear it."

Read the Washington Post, George Bush, crony capitalist.

UPDATE II: The title says it all. Read the Washington Post, Gingrich pledges moon colony during presidency, which notes he "proclaimed that the 'weirdest thing' he ever did in Congress was to introduce a 'Northwest Ordinance for space' that would allow a moon colony to become a state once 13,000 lived there."

UPDATE: "It’s not at all clear why we should care if our presidents are idea-obsessed. Just as having a lot of pens doesn’t make you a great writer, having a lot of ideas doesn’t make you a great thinker. And getting distracted by every new idea you hear can distract from the focus and discipline the presidency requires. The idea that cancer is triggered, at least in part, by common viruses is very interesting, but I wouldn’t want the leader of the free world to spend too much time worrying about it. Same with the idea that William Shakespeare was a pen name for Sir Francis Bacon. It is the quality, not quantity, of Gingrich’s ideas that should concern us. And the quality of Gingrich’s ideas is often concerning."

Read the Washington Post, Newt Gingrich’s big, bad ideas, which notes that his ideas "led to one of the more amusing Web sites of the campaign — “Supervillain or Newt?” — which asks you to guess whether a given idea came from Gingrich or a fictional supervillain."

[See Supervillain or Newt, "where you have to decide whether an idea comes from an indestructible megalomaniac hell-bent on ruling the world, or from a fictional supervillain."]

If you think about it, The Great Lecherer, aka Newtenstein, is really just a symptom of the delusion gripping the Republi-CON party.

From the 2008 winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics:

"Reading the transcript of Tuesday’s Republican debate on the economy is, for anyone who has actually been following economic events these past few years, like falling down a rabbit hole. Suddenly, you find yourself in a fantasy world where nothing looks or behaves the way it does in real life.

And since economic policy has to deal with the world we live in, not the fantasy world of the G.O.P.’s imagination, the prospect that one of these people may well be our next president is, frankly, terrifying.

In the real world, recent events were a devastating refutation of the free-market orthodoxy that has ruled American politics these past three decades. Above all, the long crusade against financial regulation, the successful effort to unravel the prudential rules established after the Great Depression on the grounds that they were unnecessary, ended up demonstrating — at immense cost to the nation — that those rules were necessary, after all.

But down the rabbit hole, none of that happened. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because of runaway private lenders like Countrywide Financial. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because Wall Street pretended that slicing, dicing and rearranging bad loans could somehow create AAA assets — and private rating agencies played along. We didn’t find ourselves in a crisis because “shadow banks” like Lehman Brothers exploited gaps in financial regulation to create bank-type threats to the financial system without being subject to bank-type limits on risk-taking.

No, in the universe of the Republican Party we found ourselves in a crisis because Representative Barney Frank forced helpless bankers to lend money to the undeserving poor."

Read The New York Times, Rabbit-Hole Economics. He noted that:

"But that’s history. What do the Republicans want to do now? In particular, what do they want to do about unemployment?

Well, they want to fire Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve — not for doing too little, which is a case one can make, but for doing too much. So they’re obviously not proposing any job-creation action via monetary policy.

Incidentally, during Tuesday’s debate, Mitt Romney named Harvard’s N. Gregory Mankiw as one of his advisers. How many Republicans know that Mr. Mankiw at least used to advocate — correctly, in my view — deliberate inflation by the Fed to solve our economic woes?

So, no monetary relief. What else? Well, the Cheshire Cat-like Rick Perry — he seems to be fading out, bit by bit, until only the hair remains — claimed, implausibly, that he could create 1.2 million jobs in the energy sector. Mr. Romney, meanwhile, called for permanent tax cuts — basically, let’s replay the Bush years! And Herman Cain? Oh, never mind.

By the way, has anyone else noticed the disappearance of budget deficits as a major concern for Republicans once they start talking about tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy?

It’s all pretty funny. But it’s also, as I said, terrifying.

The Great Recession should have been a huge wake-up call. Nothing like this was supposed to be possible in the modern world. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be engaged in serious soul-searching, asking how much of what he or she thought was true actually isn’t.

But the G.O.P. has responded to the crisis not by rethinking its dogma but by adopting an even cruder version of that dogma, becoming a caricature of itself. During the debate, the hosts played a clip of Ronald Reagan calling for increased revenue; today, no politician hoping to get anywhere in Reagan’s party would dare say such a thing.

It’s a terrible thing when an individual loses his or her grip on reality. But it’s much worse when the same thing happens to a whole political party, one that already has the power to block anything the president proposes — and which may soon control the whole government."

Saturday, February 18, 2012

When Did Slavery End?

Did you consider the forced labor practices that helped extend slavery long after the end of the Civil War? Watch PBS Newhour, 'Slavery by Another Name' Relays the Forgotten Stories of Post-Civil War Slaves, which discusses a new PBS documentary that "tells the story of how American citizens freed by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution remained under lock and key for decades afterward. 'Slavery by Another Name,' based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, tells the story of the thousands of African-Americans who were arrested on trumped-up charges and forced to work as convict labor."

The news report notes that "through most of the period of time that this was happening, these forced labor camps tended to be 80 or 90 percent African-Americans. And the mortality rates in them were often as high as 30 or 40 percent. . . [It wasn't until] "the truly modern time, to 1970, and this really - that's really the first point in time that we can really say African-Americans on a large scale begin to have real access to the mechanisms of achievement in America. "

Call the Republi-CON Bluff

UPDATE VII: "There is a strange redness to America’s safety net. Why do the regions that need the helping hand elect politicians who want to tear it down?" Read The New York Times, Moochers Against Welfare, which notes that "the vast bulk of entitlement spending goes to the elderly, the disabled, and working families, so any significant cuts would have to fall largely on people who believe that they don’t use any government program. . . . [and so-called conservative] voters would be both shocked and angry if such politicians actually imposed their small-government agenda."

UPDATE VI: The number of bills paid by the federal government each month was misunderestimated. It is not 80 million, it is around 200 million!! Read the Washington Post, The government sends out more than 80 million checks a month - a lot more.

UPDATE V: "You choose: who gets paid (and who doesn't)

On August 2, the federal government will not have enough cash to pay for all of its programs and obligations. The U.S. will take in a total of $172.4 billion in revenue during the month, but its total payments exceed $306 billion, resulting in a $134 billion shortfall. If a debt-limit increase is not approved, the U.S. Treasury will have to choose among 80 million monthly payments and prioritize which programs are funded and which ones are not.

Which programs would you choose to pay? Make your choices" here.

UPDATE IV: What if the debt ceiling is not raised? Who would be paid, and who would not? Ask your favorite Republi-CON. From the Washington Post, With no debt deal, Obama would face tough choices Aug. 3 about what bills to pay:

"On Wednesday night, several Republican leaders were briefed on the Bipartisan Policy Center report as concern grew in the party about the potential impact of not raising the debt ceiling.

According to the center’s analysis, the government would have to cut 44 percent of spending immediately. Through August, the government could afford Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense contracts, unemployment insurance and payments to bondholders.

But then it would have to eliminate all other federal spending, including pay for veterans, members of the armed services and civil servants, as well as funding for Pell grants, special-education programs, the federal courts, law enforcement, national nuclear programs and housing assistance.

After the debt ceiling was breached, there would be no delay in the tough decisions.

On Aug. 3, the Treasury is set to receive about $12 billion in tax revenue — mainly from people paying their taxes late — and is slated to spend $32 billion, including sending out more than 25 million Social Security and disability checks at a cost of $23 billion, according to Powell’s analysis.

Obama could decide to pay half of the Social Security checks and ignore other bills coming due that day, which include $500 million in federal salaries and $1.4 billion in payments to defense contractors.

Or he could decide not to make any Social Security payments and instead hoard tax revenues to pay investors in U.S. bonds. A failure to pay those investors would severely destabilize the financial system, analysts say. (Some also argue that the Treasury could engage in a never-before-tried swap of government bonds that would allow it to pay for Social Security. But Treasury officials say it is highly unlikely to work and may not be legal.)

Aug. 4 could prove even more difficult. The government is slated to spend $10 billion and raise only $4 billion in revenue.

More worrisome for government officials is the $100 billion in Treasury bonds that come due on Aug. 4 and must be paid off. Ordinarily, Treasury would pay off those bonds and issue new bonds.

But if the debt ceiling isn’t increased, Treasury could run into trouble “rolling over” this debt. Ratings agencies are threatening to downgrade U.S. bonds if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. If the bonds are downgraded, many investors — such as retirement funds — can’t buy them.

As a result, there could be far fewer buyers of Treasury bonds and the U.S. government would have to pay much higher interest rates.

Government officials and analysts say a spike in rates would dramatically increase the cost of funding the government and lead to far higher interest rates on mortgages, credit cards and other types of debt."

UPDATE III: Republi-CONs ready to fold, but rae trying to shift the blame for any debt-limit increase to the Naive-ocrats. The question is, will the Naive-ocrats play the chumps again?

"Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell moved Tuesday to head off a potentially disastrous U.S. default by offering President Obama new authority to raise the federal debt limit without cutting government spending...The proposal would transform the political dynamics of the debate, placing the entire burden for raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit on Obama. Republican lawmakers would be spared from voting to raise the limit and could shift their campaign for unprecedented spending cuts to the congressional appropriations process, where the risk of stalemate is shutting down the government instead of capsizing the U.S. economy."

But some have taken to calling it the "Pontius Pilate Pass the Buck Act of 2011".

UPDATE II: "Is the Republican Party so blinded by its tax-rate fixation that it misses the chance to exchange a few revenue increases for huge spending cuts?" Read The New York Times, The Mother of All No-Brainers.

UPDATE: What if the debt ceiling is not increase? Eighty million bills are paid by the federal government each month!! Who will not get their federal check?

"Since the Treasury has never had to make these decisions before, no one quite knows how they’ll be made. The BPC estimates a 44 percent drop in federal spending, but can’t precisely estimate where that drop will happen. "

Read the Washington Post, What failure to raise the debt ceiling will look like.

"Bear in mind that G.O.P. leaders don’t actually care about the level of debt. Instead, they’re using the threat of a debt crisis to impose an ideological agenda. If you had any doubt about that, last week’s tantrum should have convinced you. Democrats engaged in debt negotiations argued that since we’re supposedly in dire fiscal straits, we should talk about limiting tax breaks for corporate jets and hedge-fund managers as well as slashing aid to the poor and unlucky. And Republicans, in response, walked out of the talks.

So what’s really going on is extortion pure and simple. As Mike Konczal of the Roosevelt Institute puts it, the G.O.P. has, in effect, come around with baseball bats and declared, 'Nice economy you have here. A real shame if something happened to it.' . . .

And the reason Republicans are doing this is because they must believe that it will work: Mr. Obama caved in over tax cuts, and they expect him to cave again. They believe that they have the upper hand, because the public will blame the president for the economic crisis they’re threatening to create. In fact, it’s hard to avoid the suspicion that G.O.P. leaders actually want the economy to perform badly.

Republicans believe, in short, that they’ve got Mr. Obama’s number, that he may still live in the White House but that for practical purposes his presidency is already over. It’s time — indeed, long past time — for him to prove them wrong."

Read The New York Times, To the Limit.

As I stated before, the Naive-ocrats have been too stupid to call the bluff -- give the public what it claims it wants until they don't want it anymore.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Once Upon a Time, A Story of Fairy Tale President

The story of a 19-year old young lady who "was mysteriously offered [a White House] internship out of the blue — she never applied — a year after she briefly met the president while visiting the White House for a story for her prep-school newspaper. He seduced her over daiquiris her fourth day on the job." Read the Washington Post, JFK mistress Mimi Alford: Secret trips, Ted Kennedy, Cuban Missile Crisis — and why she did it.

Also read The New York Times, Sure, Mr. President, if You Really Want Me To, which notes that the book includes "a couple of truly vile episodes in which the president humiliated Mimi by telling her to service other men sexually."

Hardly the 'Camelot' image perpetuated by the Kennedy family.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Good Ol' Days , Dying in Car Crashes

For those who pine for the good ol' days, and those rock solid cars. Wouldn't it be great to see one of the old tanks collided with a new car. The new car would be demolished, right? Well, someone in the insurance industry put that theory to the test. Watch Crash Test Wars: 1959 Chevy Bel Air VS 2009 Chevy Malibu:

Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't Be Duped by the Birthers

UPDATE XVII: Well, the Birthers finally got a hearing, and no one appeared for Obama, and no evidence or argument was entered into the record on behalf of Obama. Nevertheless, "a state law judge flatly rejected legal challenges that contend he can not be a candidate." Read The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Judge: Obama eligible to be Georgia candidate.

Can't wait to hear our very own Pastor Dred Scott (you may remember the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, which asserted that African Americans were "beings of an inferior order" who "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." That ruling declared that African Americans could never be U.S. citizens and therefore could never be President) (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins) spin this one.

Expect a missile sighting somewhere over the U.S. to distract you from the news.

UPDATE XVI: Our Resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins)) is now plagiarizing lies to salvage his malicious fantasy campaign to brand Obama as an outsider, as un-American, as non-American.

First it was false claims of document layering.

Now it is a false claim of kerning.

Lest he could do would be to give credit to the Birther who first made the claim.

UPDATE XV: Our Resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins)) continues with his malicious fantasy campaign to brand Obama as an outsider, as un-American, as non-American.

One specific lie, the shameful pastor claimed that after Obama released his long-form birth certificate, Wikipedia removed references to Vattel.

False! The reference was there yesterday, and remains there today. See Wikipedia, Natural born citizen clause of the U.S. Constitution, about 3/10th of the way down.

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.

UPDATE XIV: The anti-Obama conspiracy du jour, Michele Obama needs three hands for all of her jewelry.

From the The Hartford Courant via Reddit and Rick's Blog:

UPDATE XIII: Our Resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins)) continues his despicable sideshow over Obama's birth certificate.

It is a shameful episode with nothing “to do with reality and everything to do with the strangeness of Obama's background - especially his race. Many Republicans refuse to accept that Obama could come from such an exotic stew and still be ‘American.’ They have to delegitimize him. So, even though the certificate of live birth first made public in 2008 is a legal document that any court would have to recognize, they demanded more.

No American president has ever been so humiliated, and those who think it has nothing to do with race are deluding themselves.”

Pastor Truthiness owes Obama an apology for continuing to stoke these coded fears about the president's origins.

UPDATE XII: After proving once again his citizenship, Trump and the birthers now try to "undermine the acceptance of [Obama's] academic credential."

"[Y]ou can work hard, play by the rules, achieve great things academically and professionally and still have people look at you as less-than, look at you as not deserving of the things you worked hard to achieve, look at you as unqualified despite plenty of evidence to the contrary because you are black." Read the Washington Post, Trump insults 'the blacks,' again.

And watch MSNBC, The Last Word, with Lawrence O’Donnell:

UPDATE XI: Case closed? Don't be so naive.

Republi-cons will continue to create and exploit absurd non-issues "with sideshow and carnival barkers and silliness," "make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts," and vilify their political opponents.

As for the "birther" issue, why were there persistent demands never before made of any prior president? Read USA Today, Study: racial prejudice plays role in Obama citizenship views.

UPDATE X: What drives the false political belief of the birther myth, and why is it so hard to dispel? Read The New York Times, The Psychology of the 'Birther' Myth, which discusses "motivated reasoning," racial resentment, belief in silly things, a dysfunctional system, and echoes of McCarthy-type conspiracy theories.

UPDATE IX: More "GOP politicians are recognizing that . . . the birther issue . . . paints the conservative base as loony." Read the Washington Post, Have Republicans figured out Obama’s birth certificate is a political loser?

UPDATE VIII: Even the Republi-con establishment wants nothing to do with those birthers on the "nutty right" (Rove's words, not mine). Read the Washington Post, Top Republicans try to scotch birther theories.

UPDATE VII: Even Bill O'Reilly thinks it is time to refudiate the Republi-cons:

UPDATE VI: Why do Republi-cons spread rumors instead of getting to the facts? Let us ask The Great Palin what she thinks:

UPDATE V: One bad birther conspiracy deserves another:

Did you know that Palin faked "her pregnancy with Trig, not only to cover for her daughter Bristol, but also to gain pro-life street cred with the far right." The press then "helped "to cover up the hoax, intentionally or not, by never investigating it thoroughly enough. Had journalists dug deeper, the answers were easy enough to find."
This has to be true, because it is on the internet. Laughing Smiley

UPDATE IV: Read the Washington Post, More 'birther' nonsense from Donald Trump and Sarah Palin, which "refudiates" their claims that Obama has "spent $2 million to not show his birth certificate."

The claims are "whoopers" and earn Four Pinocchios:

The article also 'debunks' other claims by Trump, which are common birther myths:

“His grandmother from Kenya stated, on tape, that he was born in Kenya and she was there to watch the birth.” False: On the tape, there was initial misunderstanding but then she said he was born in Hawaii.

“His family in Honolulu is fighting over which hospital in Hawaii he was born in — they just don’t know.” Another myth with no basis in fact.

“He has not been able to produce a ‘birth certificate’ but merely a totally unsigned ‘certificate of live birth’ — which is totally different and of very little significance.” Wrong: It is signed and has full legal significance.

“There are no records in Hawaii that a Barack Hussein Obama was born there.” Wrong again, there is plenty of evidence.

“As far as the two notices placed in newspapers, many things could have happened, but some feel the grandparents put an ad in order to show that he was a citizen of the U.S.” Oops, the information was provided by the State Department of Health — not the grandparents.

So many lies, so little time to refudiate.

UPDATE III: Maybe Obama wasn't born in the United States and maybe Palin didn't give birth to Trig,

You say cogito ergo sum, but maybe life is an illusion, and reality is a simulation.

"[W]e don't really KNOW anything, do we?" Read Business Insider, THE TRUTH REVEALED: Sarah Palin May Not Have Been Born In The USA.

UPDATE II: Some Republi-cons continue to embarrass themselves ranting about a birth certificate and clinging to a delusion that the Supreme Court might put their man in office (again). Sorry, it ain't gonna happen.

Locally we have our Resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins)).

Nationally, it's the Republi-con's latest celebrity candidate, a birther. It is clear that he hasn't even read the Congressional Research Service that would agree that Obama is a "natural born citizen," (the Congressional Research Service is a part of the Library of Congress, providing professional, objective and non-partisan public policy research to members of Congress and their staffers. The writer of the memorandum is a qualified constitutional attorney who has summarized the historical and legal material with references, showing, by contrast, how shoddy the birther arguments are) (this memorandum explains why even Republi-CON Congressmen/women refuse to join the Birthers). And he hasn't talked to Barbara Nelson, who "specifically remembers his birth" because she spoke with the obstetrician who delivered him shortly after his birth.

Unfortunately, Mike tells me he's going to replay a show full of birther nonsense. He must be promoting Trump for President.

Fortunately, Trump is doing his best to discredit himself. (Read the Washington Post, Trump’s disgusting, dangerous dance with birthers.)

Don't be duped by the birthers. See PolitiFact.com, Obama's birth certificate: Final chapter.

UPDATE: His own attorney admitted that he was a "victim of an obsession." And his reward for his obsession, prison and dismissal. Read the Washington Post, Military jury: Prison, dismissal for Army birther.

"So much for the Birthers bringing down a presidency in dramatic fashion during a court-martial." Read The New York Times, Usurper in Chief?

Maybe Colonel Larkin realizes he was duped by the Birthers:

"Sobered by the prospect of a dishonorable dismissal, losing his pension and serving hard time, as well as facing a panel of military superiors in dress uniforms, Colonel Lakin said the winter had been “a confusing time, a very emotional time for me.” His shoulders slumped, he offered excuses about how he had gotten conflicting advice from lawyers — his defense was underwritten by Birthers. . .

[I]n the end, the court-martial offers one big truth: President Obama doesn’t have to show Terry Lakin anything. The colonel should have followed orders. "

Our Communist Military

UPDATE: The military "builds solidarity by taking care of its own, relying on a far more egalitarian structure of pay and benefits than the civilian economy." Read The New York Times, Saluting Teamwork.

FYI, egalitarian philosophies include are socialism, communism, anarchism, left-libertarianism, social liberalism and progressivism.

Racial and gender desegregation, equal opportunity for working-class families, single-payer universal health care, excellent child care and educational opportunity, and salaries that limit income inequality. Name that belove American socialist organization. And read The New York Times, Our Lefty Military.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good News for the Economy, Bad News for Republi-CONs

UPDATE III: Of course, Obamney claims that Obama made the economy worse. But even reporters are realizing that the Republi-con "level of dishonesty is almost disarming to reporters and news orgs; it’s so brazen and ubiquitous that it’s hard to know how to attack it. " Read the Washington Post, Probing the depths of Romney’s dishonesty and Faced with good news about economy, Romney dissolves into incoherence.

Republi-cons will have to "pick up their game" and tank the economy soon, or TGWLTTGWLLT (The Guy Who Lost To The Guy Who Lost Last Time) (<-- NoBullU.com copyright claim) will lose the election this time.

UPDATE II: And bad news for Republi-cons. Read the Washington Post, U.S. adds 243K jobs in January; unemployment rate drops to 8.3%, which includes this graph:

Some argue the news has been even better, "[b]ecause for the past year, the initial jobs reports have consistently been way too pessimistic. Read the Washington Post, Earlier reports prove too pessimistic, which noted that "[i]f you paid attention only to the initial monthly estimates, the economy added just 1.38 million jobs last year. But if you paid attention to the final revisions, the economy actually added 1.82 million jobs last year — twice as much as 2010, and a difference of 440,000 jobs."

UPDATE: More bad news for Republi-cons.

"The nation’s on-and-off economic recovery has picked up its pace again, the Commerce Department reported Friday, with the U.S. economy growing at an annualized rate of 2.8 percent for the end of 2011.

That rate is the fastest recorded in a year and a half, and follows three quarters of growth below 2 percent."

Read the Washington Post, U.S. economy in fourth quarter 2011 grew at fastest pace in 1.5 years.

As I said in February 2009, tax cuts are not the answer, and again in October 2010, this downturn won't be over 'til the fat lady gets a job.

But despite the best efforts of the Republi-cons to tank the economy, "[t]he December jobs report is good news. Very good news. Payrolls increased by 200,000 -- and the growth was spread relatively evenly across the economy. Retail added 28,000 jobs. Manufacturing added 23,000 jobs. Transportation and warehousing added 50,000 jobs -- 43,000 of them in the 'couriers and messenging' subcategory, which suggests some of those gains are temporary holiday hires. Health care added 23,000 jobs. Food services added 24,000. Mining added 7,000 jobs. The only payrolls that shrunk in December were government payrolls: we lost another 12,000 public-sector jobs."

Read the Washington Post, A good jobs report — and a good year, which includes this graph for the year:

Expect a lot of panic and denial today from Republi-cons, because it is lookin like it will be Obama in 2012.

Romney: 'I’m not concerned about the very poor . . . I like being able to fire people'

UPDATE VII: More context: "just a few days ago, Mr. Romney was denying that the very programs he now says take care of the poor actually provide any significant help. On Jan. 22, he asserted that safety-net programs — yes, he specifically used that term — have 'massive overhead,' and that because of the cost of a huge bureaucracy 'very little of the money that’s actually needed by those that really need help, those that can’t care for themselves, actually reaches them.'

This claim, like much of what Mr. Romney says, was completely false: U.S. poverty programs have nothing like as much bureaucracy and overhead as, say, private health insurance companies. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has documented, between 90 percent and 99 percent of the dollars allocated to safety-net programs do, in fact, reach the beneficiaries. But the dishonesty of his initial claim aside, how could a candidate declare that safety-net programs do no good and declare only 10 days later that those programs take such good care of the poor that he feels no concern for their welfare? . . .

Romney’s position seems to be that we need not worry about the poor thanks to programs that he insists, falsely, don’t actually help the needy, and which he intends, in any case, to destroy."

Read The New York Times, Romney Isn’t Concerned.

UPDATE VI: Again, after you get over the irony of Republi-CON complaining of taking statements out of context, consider the statement in context. What Romney actually said, in context, was worse. Read the Washington Post, Romney’s problem isn’t his gaffes. It’s his policies., which notes that:

"Mitt Romney's problem isn't his gaffes. It's probably better to refrain from saying you're 'not concerned by the very poor' and that you 'like being able to fire people,' but campaigns are long, and all candidates make comments that can be taken out of context to make them look bad. Nor is Romney's problem his tax rate, or his wealth, or his time at Bain Capital. Romney's problem is the interaction all of this has with his policies. In particular, the interaction it has with his tax and fiscal policies.

Romney's tax policy, described simply, is to extend the Bush tax cuts and, then on top of that, sharply cut taxes on corporations, the wealthy, and upper-middle class investors, while letting a set of tax breaks that help the poor expire. The result, according to the Tax Policy Center, would be a $69 tax cut for the average individual in the bottom 20 percent and a $164,000 tax cut for the average individual in the top one percent. And Romney would pay for this through unspecified cuts to domestic programs. Since domestic programs mostly go to the poor and seniors, the regressive tax cuts would be regressively financed.

That's a tough political sell for any candidate. But Romney is a very rich guy who already pays surprisingly little in taxes and has made some oddly callous comments about the poor. And now he wants to lower the tax burden on people like himself, and pay for it by cutting programs for the poor and seniors? That's a much tougher sell."

UPDATE V: Expect Obamney to stop talking soon. Read the Washington Post, The too-quotable Mitt Romney and the very poor.

UPDATE IV: The morning after the FL primary, and appearing on CNN Obamney says:

"I’m not concerned about the very poor . . ."

Read Politico, Mitt: 'I'm not concerned about the very poor'.

Sounds like a campaign sound bite to me.

UPDATE III: After you get over the irony of Republi-CON complaining of taking statements out of context, consider the statement in context. "What Romney actually said, in context, was worse." Read The New York Times, Who Fires Whom?, which notes that:

"Romney doesn’t understand his own health reform, which was in large part about ensuring not that you can fire your insurance company, but rather about ensuring that your insurance company can’t fire YOU. . .

He evidently has no sense of what it’s like NOT to be the very wealthy son of an already wealthy father; no idea how the fear of unemployment or medical bills afflicts ordinary Americans."

The statement shows a candidate without empathy, who does "not understanding what life is like for most Americans." Read The New York Times, Uncompassionate Conservatism, which cites "David Atkins, over at Digby’s blog," who notes the statement shows

"Romney’s sense of privilege, and a relationship to the world around him that is alien to most Americans and reinforces everything that is wrong with the 1% in America. . .

When it comes to basic services like healthcare, almost no one in America sees the relationship that way. Most of us wouldn't speak of 'firing' our health insurance company. No matter how much we might detest our insurance company, we probably wouldn't describe the experience of removing ourselves from their rolls an enjoyable one.

But most of all, we don't see the health insurance company as providing us a service. We see ourselves, rather, as indentured supplicants forced to pay exorbitant monthly rates for a basic need that responsible people with means can't get out of paying for if we can help it. We don't see ourselves as in control of the relationship with them. They are in control of us-and no more so than when we get sick and need the insurance most. If the company decides to restrict our coverage or tell us we have a pre-existing condition after all, we're in the position of begging a capricious and heartless corporation to cover costs we assumed we were entitled to based on a contractual obligation. It's precisely when we need insurance most that we're least able to 'fire' the insurance company."

UPDATE II: Even Nation Review, founded by that scion of conservative wealth and influence, which "describes itself as 'America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion,'" knows that, quoting the Weekly Standard, an American neoconservative opinion magazine published by News Corporation, which also owns Hedgehog News:

"As a private equity firm, Bain’s goal was to maximize return on investment (ROI) for a small group of high net worth investors. . .

Any jobs Romney or Bain 'created' were thus incidental to their real function, which was (as Last points out) to maximize shareholder value and goldmine the remaining value of the company so that it might more profitably be used elsewhere. Nothing wrong with that, but don’t try to sell it as 'job creation' . . .

A 'job creator' [give] employment to . . . people through the force of his own creative imagination.

But to call corporate restructuring 'jobs creation' won’t fly."

Read National Review, The Battle of Bain Capital.

Even the founder and editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on the aforementioned Hedgehog News noted that:

Romney’s claim throughout his campaign that his private sector experience almost uniquely qualifies him to be president is also silly. Does he really think that having done well in private equity, venture capital, and business consulting—or even in the private sector more broadly—is a self-evident qualification for public office? . . .

Post 2008, capitalism needs its strong defenders—but its defenders need also to be its constructive critics. The Tea Party was right. What's needed is a critique of Big Government above all, but also of Big Business and Big Finance and Big Labor (and Big Education and Big Media and all the rest)—and especially a critique of all those occasions when one or more of these institutions conspire against the common good. What's needed is a willingness to put Main Street (at least slightly) ahead of Wall Street, and a reform agenda for capitalism that strengthens it, alongside an even more dramatic reform agenda for government that limits it.

Bain Capital shouldn’t be demonized. It may not even deserve to be criticized. But in laying out a way forward, conservatives might remember that Bain Capital isn’t capitalism, that capitalism by itself isn’t freedom, and that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in the Gospel of Wealth."

Read the Weekly Standard, From Bain to Main.

UPDATE: The Republi-CON establishment is starting to recognized "the perils [they] face if their nominee — and the GOP in general — are identified with the brand of unrestrained [unfettered, everyman-for-himself, screw-the-working-guy] capitalism Romney’s Bain years embody. Read the Washington Post, Calling for a truce in the Bain wars.

"Remember all the 'pants on fire' finger-wagging outrage directed at Mitt Romney and his campaign’s blatant misuse of a quote by then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008? It’s the one where Obama is heard saying, 'If we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.'

The outrage was justifiable since the line was taken completely out of context. The full line reads: 'Senator McCain’s campaign actually said, and I quote, if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.'

I bring this up because Romney should not be surprised if — no, when — he gets the same treatment after what he said this morning in Nashua, N.H. It’s a line that could be easily ripped out of context and would be equally outrageous."

Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney’s unforced error: 'I like being able to fire people'.

Get ready Romney, because what goes around comes around.

The Republi-CON 'Obama's Responsible for a $15.2 Trillion National Debt' Myth

UPDATE: Republi-CONs believe that "Obama deserves the blame for every dollar of debt that was amassed under his presidency, as once you become president, the federal government is yours to run. That’s a fair argument, though it seems a little self-serving: Obama entered office immediately after the [Bush] administration . . . pushed revenues far beneath spending and failed to effectively regulate the financial sector or the housing sector. In the quarter before Obama entered office, the economy shrank at an annualized rate of nine percent. Two weeks before he was inaugurated — but before Bush had left office — the Congressional Budget Office released a report forecasting a $1.2 trillion deficit for 2009. That was all due to policies and conditions predating Obama.

It has been convenient for the Republican Party to blame the resulting deficits on the Obama administration. But this is a bit peculiar: If a house catches fire and damage is done in the time it takes time to put out the blaze, should the blame go to the people fighting the fire or the people who allowed the fire to begin in the first place? The latter, I think. Which is why, in my column, I was trying to isolate the fires Obama’s administration had started.

But perhaps the more generous way to phrase [the Republican] point is that Obama should have turned immediately to reduce the 2010 deficit. But that would have been an economic disaster, as [Republicans] knows. So perhaps the argument is that he should have turned more quickly to long-term deficit reduction. The Obama administration could have spent, say, 2010 pursuing a long-term deficit-reduction package rather than financial regulation.

One answer is that the White House has, through 2011, tried to come to some sort of deficit-reduction deal with the Republicans, but has been unable to get them to accept higher taxes as part of a package."

Read the Washington Post, Doing the math on Obama’s deficits, cont’d.

How much did Obama add to the national debt? First you must know which of Obama’s policies added to the debt?

"The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities . . . [came] up with a comprehensive estimate of Obama’s effect on the deficit. . .

In total, the policies Obama has signed into law can be expected to add almost a trillion dollars to deficits. But behind that total are policies that point in very different directions. The stimulus, for instance, cost more than $800 billion. So did the 2010 tax deal, which included more than $600 billion to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years, and hundreds of billions more in unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut. Obama’s first budget increased domestic discretionary spending by quite a bit, but more recent legislation has cut it substantially. On the other hand, the Budget Control Act — the legislation that resolved August’s debt-ceiling standoff — saves more than $1 trillion. And the health-care reform law saves more than $100 billion.

For comparison’s sake, using the same method, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2009, George W. Bush added more than $5 trillion to the deficit."

Read the Washington Post, Doing the math on Obama's deficits, which includes this graph, Adding to the deficit: Bush vs. Obama:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pity Poor Obamney

UPDATE III: "Mitt Romney insisted in his victory speech Tuesday in Florida that a prolonged Republican presidential race wouldn’t hurt his party.

But the longer the former Massachusetts governor has to campaign, the more ammunition he’s giving Democrats, at least when it comes to potential footage that could be used to paint him as an out-of-touch rich guy in the general election.

Romney’s assertion Wednesday morning on CNN that he’s “not concerned about the very poor” because they have a social safety net is the latest quote that Democrats can — and likely will — put to good use during the fall campaign, should Romney emerge as the GOP nominee.

But it’s not the first time Romney has served them a quote or a clip on a silver platter."

Read the Washington Post, Mitt Romney plays into Democrats’ looming rich-guy attacks.

UPDATE II: "I’m not sure the Obama campaign could have scripted this more perfectly. In a remarkable bit of good timing, President Obama is set to deliver a State of the Union speech focused on income [inequality] and tax unfairness on exactly the same day that Mitt Romney will reveal that he made over $40 million in the last two years — all of it taxed at a lower rate than that paid by middle class taxpayers. . .

[T]his comes as Obama is set to deliver a speech focused on extreme disparities of wealth, and on precisely the element of the tax code that enables his likely rival to pay a far lower rate than many middle class taxpayers — at a time of rising public preoccupation with inequality. As Chuck Todd put it this morning: 'If Team Obama could have picked any day to have Romney release his tax return, today might have been the day they’d pick.'

Romney doesn’t just disagree with Obama on these fundamental issues; he personally symbolizes virtually the entire 2012 Democratic message. He is the walking embodiment of everything Dems allege is wrong with our system and the ways it’s rigged in favor of the wealthy and against the middle class. Yet this is the standard bearer the GOP seems set to pick."

Read the Washington Post, What timing: On day of Obama’s big inequality speech, Romney reveals massive income, low tax rates.

UPDATE: "Under his plan, Romney in 2013 would see his taxes cut by nearly half of what they would be if you use current law as a baseline." Read the Washington Post, Romney’s tax plan would cut his own taxes by nearly half, new analysis finds.

In one recent year, he made only $374,327.62 giving speeches. A sum he described as "not very much." Read The New York Times, Romney Shares Some Tax Data; Critics Pounce.

OMG, Republi-CON Are Ready to Endorse Obama's Millionaire Tax Hikes

Obama keeps winning them over. First health care, not tax hikes for millionaires. Read the Washington Post, Obama and the GOP agree: Eliminate tax breaks for millionaires.

Next thing ya know, he'll have them tamed just like Bill did.

Still Unemployed, It's the Economy Stupid!

As I said in February 2009, tax cuts are not the answer, and again in October 2010, this downturn won't be over 'til the fat lady gets a job.

And "the primary cause of the increase in duration [of unemployment] is not extended unemployment benefits or changes in demographics, but weak aggregate demand." Read Calculated Risk, Weak labor demand explains increase in unemployment duration, which references the Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco Economic Letter, Why Is Unemployment Duration So Long?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

FL Here Come the Republi-CONs

UPDATE XI: "With his resounding victory over Newt Gingrich in Florida on Tuesday, Mitt Romney showed a worried Republican base a side of himself that it has both longed for and feared that he lacked: the agile political street fighter, willing to mock, scold and ultimately eviscerate his opponent.

But if he has quelled doubts about his toughness, he also emerges from the Florida free-for-all and the three contests that preceded it carrying heavy new baggage.

Mr. Romney was savaged by Mr. Gingrich over his record at Bain Capital, softening him up for the coming Democratic effort to portray him as a heartless capitalist happy to fire people to enrich himself. His release of his tax returns, complete with details about a Swiss bank account, provided new facts for opponents seeking to cast him as out of touch with ordinary Americans.

And the very trait that propelled him in Florida — a willingness to descend into the muck and run a relentlessly negative campaign — distracted from his economic-themed argument against Mr. Obama while deepening his rift with some populist conservatives. Should Mr. Gingrich remain a viable enough candidate to stay in the race through the summer, as he vowed on Tuesday, Mr. Romney could be forced to maintain an angry edge that could undermine his appeal among moderate and independent voters — groups whose views of him, polls suggest, appear to have been harmed by the Florida melee."

Read The New York Times, The Political Costs of a Nasty Fight.

UPDATE X: "After sorting through the exit polling, listening to the candidates’ speeches and sifting through the county-by-county results, we came up with five major lessons learned":

"1. Negative ads work . . .

2. Romney can win Republicans . . .

3. Newt is unbound (really) . . .

4. Romney pivots to November . . .

5. Electability matters . . ."

Read the Washington Post, 5 lessons the Florida primary taught us.

UPDATE IX: The results of the FL primary:

Romney 46.4%
Gingrich 31.9%
Santorum 13.4%
Paul 7.0%

UPDATE VIII: And for last projection before the primary, see The New York Times, Florida Primary Projections:

Romney 44.0%
Vote range: 33 - 51

Gingrich 29.3%
Vote range: 20 - 38

Santorum 13.9%
Vote range: 8 - 21

Paul 11.2%
Vote range: 5 - 18

UPDATE VII: Obamney "may be winning votes again, but is he winning hearts?" Read The New York Times, Money Can’t Buy Him Love.

UPDATE VI: The day before the primary The New York Times FiveThirtyEight forecast shows "a wide diversity of results, even among polls that were in the field at the exact same time" but nevertheless "projects a 15-point win for" Obamney.

UPDATE V: The Great Lecherer seems to be giving up. Maybe the establishment pressure is getting to him.

At the debate last night, "Gingrich seemed to be playing for a draw. He passed upon several opportunities to push back at Mr. Romney, despite being expressly presented with opportunities to do so — on health care, on Ronald Reagan’s legacy, on immigration, and on Mr. Romney’s personal finances among other issues."

Read The New York Times, In Florida Debate, Gingrich Ignores Lessons of Recent History.

UPDATE IV: "It’s no secret that the Florida primary is a must-win for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. But, it’s also a victory that former House speaker Newt Gingrich needs to have too." Read the Washington Post, Why Newt Gingrich needs to win Florida.

But the Republi-con establish is closing ranks around Obamney.

And "[p]olling released within the past 24 hours suggests that Mitt Romney may have stopped and possibly reversed Newt Gingrich’s momentum before the Florida primary on Tuesday." Read The New York Times, Polls Suggest Gingrich’s Support May Have Peaked.

The latest FL primary projection shows:

Romney 40.0%
Gingrich 36.4%
Santorum 11.4%
Paul 9.6%

UPDATE III: My last predictions didn't go so well, but try, try again. Here is another, as discussed on the show yesterday:

If Obamney loses big in FL, he stays in the race, but only to collect delegates so that he can (after being hounded by party establishment) graciously reconsider at the nominating convention and set aside for a late entry to the presidential race before The Great Lecherer 'cripples the Republican brand.' (See What Happened in SC?)

UPDATE II: "Is Mitt Romney suffering a reversal of fortune in the Florida polls? It sure looks that way at the moment. There’s a passel of new poll info out and most of it doesn’t look good for the former Massachusetts governor." Read the Christian Science Monitor, Is Mitt Romney's Florida support collapsing.

So what if Obamney loses badly in FL? Would he finally understand that the base wants anybody but Mitt? "Polls have told a consistent story: Between 20 percent and 30 percent of Republican voters support Romney, and the rest support somebody else. Actually, not somebody, anybody."

Would he drop out and endorse anybody but Gingrich?

"No serious person thinks Newt Gingrich will or wants Newt Gingrich to be president. I’d bet a significant percentage of the people who vote for him don’t want him to be president. Voting for Newt Gingrich is just an act of pure petulance. . .

The idea, still apparently existent, that what this electorate — having previously paid close attention to statesmen like Donald Trump and Herman Cain before turning to Newt Gingrich — is clamoring for is the respectable conservativism . . .

[Maybe] Haley Barbour(!), Mitch Daniels, Bobby Jindal, Jon Kyl, Marco Rubio, Jim DeMint, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Mike Pence to either run themselves or hurry up and close ranks behind either Santorum or Romney — Jim DeMint’s late entry to the presidential race would be good February entertainment, it’s true — which seems to miss the fact that those people have about as much control over the party electorate now as John Boehner has over the Republican House majority. . .

There is a great deal of point-missing going on. Each of these savior non-Romney Gingrich-killing dream candidates completely lack the quality that led Gingrich to suddenly take the lead: No one likes him and he’s embarrassing. The voters respond to his breezy shamelessness, and Bobby Jindal is not going to fire this crowd up. (Chris Christie, a loud bullying caricature, might do the trick, but he’s too smart to enter now.)

I am also not sure how essentially begging for a brokered convention helps alleviate the 'chaos' everyone is currently worrying over, but, again, I welcome the entertainment.

Sadly, they’re probably still stuck with Mitt."

Read Salon, Conservatives demand new candidate to throw race into further disarray.

UPDATE: "As the Republican presidential nominating contest moves to Florida, it’s important to remember one simple fact: Florida is a very different political animal than the three states that have preceded it. . .

And speaking of political ideology, Florida’s is best understood, according to longtime Sunshine State politicos, through a geographic prism. The state starts off conservative — fiscally and socially — in its northern reaches (think the Panhandle) and moves toward more straight fiscal conservatism through its central region (I-4 corridor) and to something close to centrist moderation in the south (Miami).

Expect Gingrich to clean up in northern Florida, Romney to win the southern part of the state and for the central part to be where the fight is decided. Just like always."

Read the Washington Post, Florida presents a different challenge for GOP presidential candidates.

"For Mitt Romney, the South Carolina primary was not just a defeat, though it was most emphatically that. It was also where his campaign confronted the prospect it had most hoped to avoid: a dominant, surging and energized rival.

The rebirth of Newt Gingrich, a notion that seemed far-fetched only weeks ago, has upended a litany of assumptions about this turbulent race. It wounds Mr. Romney, particularly given his stinging double-digit defeat here on Saturday, and raises the likelihood that the Republican contest could stretch into the springtime.

For now the race goes on, with Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney joined by Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. But Mr. Gingrich’s showing here suggests that Mr. Romney may no longer be able to count on his rivals splitting the opposing vote into harmless parcels, or on the support he is getting from the party establishment to carry him past a volatile conservative grass-roots movement.

At a minimum, it is clear that Republican voters, after delivering three different winners in the first three stops in the nominating contest, are in no rush to settle on their nominee."

Read The New York Times, Fresh Doubts About Republican Contest.

BTW, just a week ago, Obamney was leading The Great Lecherer approximately 40-25%. But the first FL primary projection since SC shows:

Gingrich 37.6%
Romney 30.0%