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Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Yesterday, I mentioned that last year was the second warmest year on record. Australia is simply baking this year.

I would like to spend a little time talking about an idea that was floated over at Pragmatic Capitalism over a year ago. As you recall, about a year ago we had the showdown at the OK Corral (well, it was really Congress) over the debt ceiling. The Republicans were determined to cut spending at all costs. If it meant taking the economy, so be it. If it meant taking the world economy, that was a price that many Republicans thought was worth paying. So, another debt ceiling is looming on the horizon. We have the treasury secretary telling us when we’re going to run out of money (basically within weeks if Congress does not act). Now, comes this idea, which has been talked about on several blogs (here and here). Why doesn’t the treasury print a $1 trillion coin and then march that coin over to the Federal Reserve and deposit the coin? The treasury doesn’t need Congress’s permission to print the coin. Since our money is not tethered to something tangible like gold, there’s no reason we can’t do this. The idea sounded half-baked until Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman said it wasn’t a bad idea. In my opinion, we need to avoid the constant threat of government shutdown and default. We need for all members of Congress to begin to act like adults instead of spoiled brats. Governing is about compromise. Governing is not about jumping up and down and stomping your feet like a four-year-old in the middle of a massive tantrum. I am for any solution that avoids economic uncertainty and promotes job growth here in the United States. If that solution means we need to print a $1 trillion coin then I’m all for it. (Oh, don’t get distracted by some of the craziness that I’ve heard from conservatives over the last 24 hours. Someone has decided to confuse the American public by saying we have to print a coin that is actually worth $1 trillion and would therefore have to be the size of an ocean liner. The logic is stupid. Currently we print coins and money that are clearly not worth their face value. A $100 bill is not made up of a hundred dollars’ worth of paper. A $1000 bill is clearly not made up worth of a thousand dollars’ worth of paper and ink. Ignore this bit of stupidity.) (more…)

By |2013-11-03T18:18:47-04:00January 9th, 2013|Budget, Environment, Foreign Affairs|Comments Off on Wednesday Evening News Roundup

Crazy, hateful Rick Santorum

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has received a lot of attention over the last week or so because of his surprise surge in Iowa. Personally, I haven’t taken Rick Santorum seriously in many, many years. Remember that Mr. Santorum was a senator from Pennsylvania during the early years of the Bush administration and was an avid cheerleader for the war. He believed in weapons of mass destruction. In June 2006, long after we knew there were no weapons of mass destruction, Rick Santorum called a press conference. He said he knew where the weapons of mass destruction were. The stupidity of this single move cannot be overestimated. There’s a difference between being a thoughtful senator and someone who calls a press conference in 2006 based on a document from 1991.

In my opinion, Rick Santorum is no different than Rick Perry, except his hair just isn’t as nice. He says things that are half-baked and poorly thought out. Here are just a few of the things that have emanated from Rick Santorum:

1) ANNUL ALL SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Arguing that gay relationships “destabilize” society, Santorum wouldn’t offer any legal protections to gay relationships and has pledged to annul all same-sex marriages if elected president. During his 99-county tour of Iowa, Santorum frequently compared same-sex relationships to inanimate objects like trees, basketballs, beer, and paper towels and even tried to blame the economic crisis on gay people. As Santorum explained back in August, religious people have a constitutional right to discriminate against gays: “We have a right the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.”
2) ‘I’M FOR INCOME INEQUALITY’: “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality,” Santorum said during an event in Pella, Iowa in December. “I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.”
3) CONTRACEPTION IS ‘A LICENSE TO DO THINGS’: Santorum has pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception and allow the states to outlaw birth control, insisting that “it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”
4) GAY SOLDIERS ‘CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS’: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday in October, Santorum defended his support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by arguing that gay soldiers would disrupt the military because “they’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.” He also suggested that “there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore.”
5) OBAMA SHOULD OPPOSE ABORTION BECAUSE HE’S BLACK: During an appearance on Christian television in January, Santorum said he was surprised that President Obama didn’t know when life began — given his skin color. “I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people,” he explained.
6) WE DON’T NEED FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE OBESITY RATES ARE SO HIGH: Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa in December, Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary.
7) ABORTION EXCEPTIONS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH ARE ‘PHONY’: While discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban in June, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony.” “They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective,” he said.
8 ) HEALTH REFORM WILL KILL MY CHILD: Santorum, who claims that Obamacare motivated him to run for president, told reporters in April that his daughter Bella — who was born with a genetic abnormality — wouldn’t survive in a country with “socialized medicine.” “Children like Bella are not given the treatment that other children are given.”
9) UNINSURED AMERICANS SHOULD SPEND LESS ON CELL-PHONE BILLS: During a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register in August, Santorum said that people who can’t afford health care should stop whining about the high costs of medical treatments and medications and spend less on nonessentials. Answering a question about the uninsured, Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource that is rationed by society and recalled the story of a woman who said she was spending $200 a month on life-saving prescriptions. Santorum told her to stop complaining and instead lower her cable and cell phone bills.
10) INSURERS SHOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Santorum sounded like a representative from the health insurance industry when he addressed a small group of high school students in Merrimack, New Hampshire in December. The former Pennsylvania senator not only defended insurers for denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, he also argued that individuals who are sick should pay higher premiums because they cost more money to insure.

By |2012-01-06T07:57:23-04:00January 6th, 2012|Elections|Comments Off on Crazy, hateful Rick Santorum
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