Spending Has Fallen Under President Obama

found online by Raymond

From Jon Perr at PERRspectives:

It is an article of conservative faith that federal spending under President Obama is “out of control.” As the 2016 GOP Platform states in an amazing revision of recent history:

The Administration’s policies systematically crippled economic growth and job creation, driving up government costs and driving down revenues. When Congressional Republicans tried to reverse course, the Administration manufactured fiscal crises — phony government shutdowns — to demand excessive spending.

As the data and history show, every claim in those two sentences is flat-out wrong. (As an aside, don’t overlook the 800-pound donkey in the room: the economy almost always performs better under Democratic presidents.) And just last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office once again demolished the last one. Taking inflation into account, federal spending has actually declined under Barack Obama.

Of course, that truth is not apparent from the recent headlines. While the Wall Street Journal predictably warned “U.S. budget deficit rose in fiscal year 2016, first time in five years,” the Associated Press led with this cautionary note:

The government ran a $587 billion budget deficit for the just-completed fiscal year, a 34 percent spike over last year after significant improvement from the record deficits of President Barack Obama’s first years in office.

Friday’s deficit news, while sobering, does not appear bad enough to jolt a gridlocked Washington into action to stem the flow of red ink.

But there’s good reason that action isn’t called for now.

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Registered Voters CAN Vote In Texas Without Photo ID

found online by Raymond

From Ted McLaughlin at jobsanger:

There has been a lot of confusion about whether a photo ID is required to vote in the state of Texas. Let me try to explain the situation.

Previously, no one could vote in Texas without presenting a valid photo ID. But a federal judge ruled that was unconstitutional, since it discriminated against minorities, and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that judges decision. This did not mean the Voter ID law was completely invalid, and that no voter needed to show an ID. But it did mean that those who do not have, or could not get a photo ID, can still vote.

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A Trumpian Fairy Tale

found online by Raymond

From The Big Empty:

Peter Dreier via The American Prospect:

When this election is over, he will seek to reconstruct the remnants of his campaign, which he has increasingly referred to as “our movement,” into a political force that will make the Tea Party and Fox News look tame, leveraging the media savvy of Ailes and Bannon, and the financial support of right-wing billionaires like hedge-fund manager Robert Mercer. Whether they can motivate and mobilize Trump’s hard-core supporters into an effective political movement is an open question. But surely they will utilize their new media empire to provide Trump with a public stage on which to act out his ego-driven fantasies. He will seek to settle scores with his many enemies, including Republicans who refused to support him, withdrew their support for him, or (like Paul Ryan) failed to fall on their swords for him.

I don’t think so. Donald Trump hasn’t the attention-span necessary to sustain a movement. He’s repeatedly demonstrated that he cannot resist getting bogged down in petty squabbles with his detractors, keeping the focus sharply on him and not on issues that may affect his followers.

In the absence of any kind of impending victory, such as a presidential win, his followers will slowly but surely tire of his self-absorbed behavior and recognize that he picks fights not for their benefit but only to feed his own insatiable ego. Trump needs to win arguments, and he does so not by reasoning, not by presenting detailed facts, but by trashing his opponents with personal insults and shaming.

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President Obama Fights GOP Lies on Obamacare

found online by Raymond

From Tommy Christopher at Shareblue:

Health care is a personal issue for every American. For me, it has always been doubly so because I came to journalism after a career as a health insurance consultant.

So I was thrilled with President Obama’s speech on the Affordable Care Act on Thursday, in which he acknowledged some of the flaws in the law, but then brilliantly and simply laid out four ways to improve it. He also knocked down Republican critics who relentlessly try to repeal it without offering any ideas of their own to replace it, and whose dire predictions of doom for American health care never materialized.

Most urgently, though, President Obama described the ways in which every single American is better off under Obamacare, and that eighty percent of them enjoy those benefits without any trade-off at all:

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Let’s Pretend I Worry About Wikileaks

found online by Raymond

From Vixen Strangely at Strangely Blogged:

Goddamn it. As the Cubs enter the World Series, is it somehow possible that Secretary Clinton’s lack of actually following the sport could set her back in the polls? You know, among die-hard Cubs fans? Has this bit of surreptitiously-gained intel suddenly made her a candidate less-favorable than Donald Trump, who undoubtedly is conversant with the names of sporting figures on account of his being a dude? Unless no one actually expects politicians to shout out sports except as a form of pandering because no duh.

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I am Sadly Lacking in
Atlantean or Alien Ancestors

found online by Raymond

From PZ Myers at Pharyngula:

Did you know that “PEOPLE WITH RH NEGATIVE BLOOD MAY BE DESCENDENTS OF EXTRATERRESTRIALS OR ATLANTEANS”? I learned it on a site called Spirit Science, so it must be true. And their logic is impeccable: the Rh- phenotype is rarer than the Rh+ phenotype, therefore it must be specialer, therefore it must have been inserted into the genome by aliens, and implicitly those aliens love sticking things in people, so QED.

There are also some curious assertions.

So, if all mankind evolved from the same ancestor, their blood should be compatible. Do you get what I’m saying? If we had all evolved from the same ancestor, we would all have the same blood.

Continuing with that logic, if we had all evolved from the same ancestor, we would all have the same hair.

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Trump’s Revenge!

found online by Raymond

From Iron Knee at Political Irony:

Donald Trump is completely obsessed with revenge. How do we know that? Because he has talked about revenge and retribution repeatedly himself.

In 2013 he tweeted “Always get even. When you are in business, you need to get even with people who screw you.’ – Think Big.” In 2014 he tweeted this quote: “‘Revenge is sweet and not fattening.’ – Alfred Hitchcock.”

In 2011, he gave a talk with a list of things they don’t teach in business school. The first thing on his list was this:

Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe it.

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Why I Hate The Cubs!

found online by Raymond

From Max’s Dad:

The Chicago Cubs are going to the World Series. Now we have to hear about goats, and curses, and professional weirdo Bill Murray, and more curses and 1908 and 1945 and endless shots of old people in the stands for the next week or so. I am already sick of it and the Cubs havent even blown it yet.

Look, the first game I ever went to was at Wrigley Field in 1964 and the Giants beat the shit out of the Cubs that day. But it hooked me on baseball. It hooked me on the green field and the atmosphere and it even hooked me on Wrigley Field. Ah, you never forget your first love. It hooked me on Willie Mays, who hit a home run that day. I became a junkie. And the only teams I could pick up on the radio back home were the Minnesota Twins, The Kansas City A’s and when the wind was blowing right, the St Louis Cardinals.

Now for some reason over the years, it has been assumed I am a Cubs fan. Well, I was a cable TV Cubs fan because it was baseball on my TV. Harry Carey was fun as hell. Drunk and uncensored, Harry once exclaimed after yet another Cubs loss on a Phillies walk off home run, “Jeeeeeeeeesus Christ its a home run!!!”

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If Trump Had Been at Gettysburg in 1863

found online by Raymond

From Michael Winship at The Moderate Voice:

Unbelievable. On Saturday, there was Donald Trump desperately trying to jump on the coattails of Abraham Lincoln by delivering a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the site of the sixteenth president’s memorable address, one of the finest, most concise and genuine pieces of rhetoric in American history.

(Given how things are going for them, if the campaign wanted a more appropriate American battlefield they probably should have booked the speech at the Little Big Horn.)

The speech was billed as a preview of a President Trump’s first 100 days in office, a major policy address designed to “heal the divisions” in the country, but mostly it turned into one of Trump’s now familiar rants, including attacks on the media and the electoral process and his insistence that each of the women who have accused him of sexual harassment “lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign — total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Hard to imagine The Great Emancipator making wild charges and slurs as Trump does. In fact, can there be anything more ludicrous? Sure, and we’ll probably witness it in the next two weeks before Election Day. But for now, in search of the ridiculous, imagine if you will that in November 1863, Donald Trump had delivered the original Gettysburg Address:

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Abortion: One Issue Voters

found online by Raymond

From The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser:

Many people who are outside of the Evangelical/Mormon/Conservative Catholic bubble, are perplexed by continued Christian support of Donald Trump. Trump is a vulgar man who makes jokes about sexually assaulting women. Trump is a narcissistic, misogynistic psychopath whose life is barren of anything normally associated with people of faith. Yet, millions of Christians plan on voting for him come election day. Why is that? One word, abortion! It’s not that Trump is prof-life. He’s not, and I suspect if investigative reporters dig far enough into Trump’s life they will likely find a trail of abortions. But, Christians are c-o-n-v-i-n-c-e-d that Trump will make it harder for women to have abortions, and maybe, just maybe, he will appoint conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices who will vote to overturn Row v. Wade.

The following photographs were shot a few miles from my home. I do not know who these people are, but based on the signs in their yard, they are one issue voters.

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