Maybe Obama Isn't Like Carter Afterall

You should click on this link, just to see the other covers of Obama on The Weekly Standard.  Here's the key quote from Jonathan Chait:

Now that Obama has won his biggest legislative priority and is closing in on at least one other important win, the tone is change. The hapless patsy has become the snarling bully. The lack of Republican support for Obama's agenda, once a credit to Republican tough-mindedness, is now blamed upon Obama's stubbornness. Here is a recent cover of Obama--the nefarious, but powerful, overseer:

The Standard is a reliable reflection of Republican propaganda tropes. The shift in tone from gloating at Obama's weakness to complaining at the unfairness of his strength is the clearest signal Obama seems to be escaping the worst fate -- to be a Jimmy Carter or a Bill Clinton circa 1994 or 1995.

"It's Your Piece of S--- Now"

Stewart goes where the press dare not go...

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Sometimes Playing The Outside Game Is All You Need For The Win

Here's part of a nice post from Nate Silver at (An absolute must-read site; especially as we get closer to the mid-terms).

In addition, obviously, there is significant anti-incumbent sentiment within the country which seems to cross all political boundaries. While Mollohan lost to a challenge from his right -- not incredibly shocking in a state where just 34 percent of the Democratic primary electorate describes itself as liberal -- incumbents of all kinds are having problems:
-- Republican Senator Bob Bennett was eliminated at Utah's nominating convention last week by Tea Party-supported candidates.

-- Also in Utah, Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson was forced into a primary after delegates gave 45 percent of their votes to Claudia Wright, a retired schoolteacher who ran sharply to his left.

-- Arlen Specter appears more likely than not to lose to Joe Sestak in Pennsylvania next week. Sestak has made a point of running to Specter's left, although polling indicates ambiguous patterns of preferences according to voter ideology. (In Rasmussen's cross-tabs [gated], Sestak leads 56-39 among liberal primary voters but also 51-38 among conservatives; Specter leads 46-37 among self-described moderates.)

-- Recent polling shows Democratic challengers closing on incumbent Senators Richard Burr in North Carolina and Chuck Grassley in Iowa.

-- John McCain, having released this strange ad, seems to be nervous about his position in Arizona, where J.D. Hayworth is challenging him and has been close in some polls.
We scarcely need to mention, of course, how many Democratic incumbents are liable to lose their general election bids.

I don't look forward to the possibility of a 'Tea Party' controlled House.  But, they are definitely playing the 'outside game'.

Rock, Paper, Scissors (Lizard, Spock)

(Link to more)

Spin This

Hat Tip

Untrustworthy Scumbags

The owners of Facebook are building a huge, searchable, database of all the important aspects of their user population. And they’re not shy about finding new ways to exploit it. Plus, it’s a bait and switch. “Here’s a great way to connect with family and friends that YOU can control. I mean WE can control. And we change the rules about WE and YOU any time it suits us. Have fun!”. And the beauty of the bait and switch is that it gets the user base comfortable with sharing information with each other. Why not, it’s fun to share. But then Facebook can change the default on that privately shared information from private to public as soon as it finds a market for the data. Then sell the information to highest bidder. And so long as they make the effort to hide previously private information difficult, but possible, they can still sell most of the data.  Enough of it to make some bucks on their (Not yours) valuable data.

I’m beginning to think the “private to public - bait and switch” IS their business model.

Frankly, they do create value for the users. I haven’t found a tool that works as well as theirs.  The network effect is amazing. You put a profile on and within a few months, you’ll reconnect with dozens of people you never thought you’d ever have contact with again.  It’s pretty amazing.

It’s too bad the owners are untrustworthy scumbags.

The Problem Is That You're Reading USA Today

Yesterday, I thought I found a brilliant factoid here.  Then I read this from Kevin Drum:

Not quite. According to the BEA, personal income in 2009 totalled $12 trillion and personal current taxes totalled $1.1 trillion. Sure enough, that's 9.2%. But, ahem, there's also $967 billion in "contributions for government social insurance." That's taxes to you and me. So that's $2.1 trillion in taxes, or about 17% of personal income.

But according to the OMB, federal tax receipts in 2009 totalled $2.1 trillion. And according to the Census Bureau, state and local tax receipts in 2009 totalled $1.2 trillion. That's $3.3 trillion, not $2.1 trillion. Do we really have $1.2 trillion in taxes not being paid by individuals? State and federal corporate taxes only amounted to about $200 billion. Are they not counting the employer portion of payroll taxes?

In any case, our total tax bite, which is eventually paid by individuals no matter what channel it goes through, was $3.3 trillion in 2009. That's 27.5% of personal income, not 9.2%. Caveat emptor.

Umm.  27.5% is much higher than 9.2%.  And frankly, what was I thinking that the number could even be 9.2%?  I mean payroll taxes alone are close to 14% (Split between employer and employee).  9.2% on its face should have looked wrong to me.  My bad.