Friday Political Sausage

Today, we are all gay married.

“JPMorgan Chase admits big losses on “egregious” credit trades” – Mark Gongloff (Huffington Post)

For those of you just tuning in, or without a background in finance, the losses in question occurred in the bank’s chief investment office, which exists as a tool to counterbalance risky trades elsewhere, ensuring the bank’s continued viability. It’s notable that people were raising the alarm about the positions this desk had taken as recently as a few weeks ago, which JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon dismissed as a “tempest in a tea pot”. Dimon, of course, is a noted whiner about federal regulation of the banks.

As long as crooks, swindlers, and frauds like Dimon are allowed to run the big banks and as long as those banks are allowed to exist in a form in which their failure would pose a systemic risk to the entire global financial network, these kinds of things will continue to happen. “Too-Big-To-Fail” should also mean “Too-Big-To-Exist”.

And now, a comic.

“Bill Donohue: “I want the law to discriminate” against same-sex couples” – Zack Ford (ThinkProgress)

“Top Romney Advisor: We’ll campaign on Constitutional marriage ban.” – Josh Israel (ThinkProgress)

“Rush Limbaugh attacks Shep Smith over gay marriage comments.” – (Huffington Post)

But I thought this election was going to be a referendum on the economy? Where are the jobs?


“Rand Paul is in on the con, belongs in his underwear” – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire)

I think Pierce has it right. I don’t think Crazy Uncle Liberty(!) is subverting the GOP’s delegate process for the purpose of just causing some ruckus over fiat money. No, he wants his spawn on the ticket, or at the very least setup for a run in 2016 with a prime speaking spot. For as nutty as Ron Paul may be, he’s nutty like a fox. Rand Paul, on the other hand, is nutty like a bag of walnuts.


“On Defense cuts, both parties are far out of step with voters.” – R. Jeffrey Smith (The Atlantic)

The average level of cuts a majority of those surveyed believed we should make in the defense budget is $103 billion, of a $562 billion budget. The “punitive” cuts that were put in place as part of the debt limit deal are only $55 billion, and as we all know the GOP is doing everything they can to weasel out of those. In fact, Mitt Romney wants to give the Pentagon an additional $2.1 TRILLION over the next ten years.

The GOP should consider themselves lucky Dwight D. Eisenhower hasn’t risen from the grave to smite them.


“Newly-released video shows Walker’s “Divide and Conquer” strategy against labor” – Eric Kleefeld (TPM)

Right-to-work got passed in Indiana because the majority of this state’s representatives come from crimson red counties that haven’t seen a union job in thirty years. Considering the economic beating Wisconsin has been taking, and the fact that Scott Walker has become such a polarizing figure, it’s a reasonable bet to say that this may cost him quite a bit as he fights off a recall challenge.

By the way, if you were wondering why the GOP has spent thirty years dismantling unions, it’s because economic mobility is stronger in union states.


“In 2011, NYPD made more stops of young black men than the total number of young black men in New York.” – Ali Gharib (ThinkProgress)

To call the statistics presented here damning would be an understatement. The NYPD is practicing straight up racial profiling, and what makes it almost comical is that they find MORE weapons when they frisk white people than they do black or Latino. I mean really, if you’re going to unfairly stereotype an entire group of people, at least figure out some way to goose the numbers so it’s not immediately apparent to anyone with more than a handful of brain cells you’re just targeting minorities.


“Richard Mourdock wins, or why Senate Democrats no longer have a choice on Filibuster Reform.” – Ian Millhiser (ThinkProgress)

The fundamental problem with Filibuster Reform is that whatever reforms are made now will remain in place in the event the GOP takes over the Senate. If you prevent the GOP from filibustering everything, then when they win the Senate the Democrats can’t filibuster anything either.

As Jonathan Chait has noted, we’ve moved on to a full-blown Constitutional crisis.

And while we’re talking about Richard Mourdock, let’s talk about this bit of fuckery:

“Indiana GOP Senate Candidate says his concerns about poor not paying taxes akin to Lincoln’s fears about slavery.” – Travis Waldron (ThinkProgress)

Every year since I graduated from college, I have had to pay Federal income tax. While most of the people I know my own age were getting money back every year, I always owed the Feds a couple of bucks. The reason for this is that my family set aside investments for me many, many years ago, so that one day I could get married, buy a house, send my hypothetical kids to college, etc., and provide for them a better life than was provided for me (which was already a pretty good life, comparatively speaking).

I am part of the 47% to which Mr. Mourdock refers. For as much as it annoys me that I have missed out on potentially thousands of dollars in additional personal income via tax returns over the past several years, it is counterbalanced by the fact that I know that a lot of the bigger financial questions most people have to ask themselves will not be as much of an issue for me. Moreover, I recognize the fact that I have to pay taxes is because I have this additional investment income, which far exceeds the money I would have received in the form of a tax return otherwise.

Taxes are fundamental to a functioning democracy. They ensure hospitals and schools are built, fires are put out, streets are paved, and men go to the moon. As citizens of great nations, taxes are the membership fees we owe for enjoying the services provided to us by our governments.

Now, Mourdock’s point is that there are individuals that pay no Federal income tax, and he’s right to be upset about that. Unfortunately, he’s upset for the wrong reasons. See, those individuals that do not pay Federal income tax do not make enough money to pay Federal income tax. Richard Mourdock is angry at the poor for being too poor to pay more in taxes. Nevermind that state taxes, sales taxes, etc. all disproportionately affect lower income brackets more than higher ones; they “don’t support” the Federal government via taxes, so they should not be allowed to enjoy it’s services.

Whenever I hear a Republican yammer on about taxes and the 47% and all that bullshit, I am reminded of the famous Lee Atwater quote:

Atwater: You start out in 1954 by saying, “N****r, n****r, n****r.” By 1968 you can’t say “n****r” — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N****r, n****r.”

Honestly, I’d respect the GOP a lot more if they’d just come out and say “n****r”, thus causing the Wingularity and kick-starting the National Conversation On Race we’ve been postponing since 1865.

Extra Chuckle:

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