Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hypocrisy (Lamar vs. the Stimulus, Pt. 3)

“As I listened to the president I thought he wanted to change the way Washington works,” he says. “[We should] talk to one another and come up with something that both Republicans and Democrats agree on, not just, ‘we won the election, we will write the bill, and see if we can pick off two or three senators.’”

The hypocrisy of a Republican saying “hey, he promised he wasn’t going to do things the way we did things” aside, no, wait, let’s take a second to focus on the hypocrisy of a Republican saying, “hey, he promised he wasn’t going to do things the way we did things.”

Besides which, it’s total bull.

Every Republican that wanted a seat at the table got one. Democrats were cutting things out of the stimulus bill right and left every day, just to accommodate Republicans. The bill is 40% tax cuts to start with, just to accommodate Republicans. That $15,000 incentive to buy a new house? Just to accommodate Republicans.

It’s your fault if you didn’t join in on the fun. But you decided to play the obstructionist. And at the end of the day, no matter what the Democrats did, the Republican refuse to acknowledge that Democrats were doing any compromising at all.

Was it because there’s no political advantage for Republicans to sign onto a bill the American people would associate 100% with President Obama anyway? Especially when it’s not a silver bullet anyway?

You could have put your fingerprints all over it if you wanted to, Senator. The changes were coming fasts and furious. But you didn’t want to.

But the deficit! (Lamar vs. the Stimulus, Pt. 2)

“There is no doubt about the fact that it increases our national debt,” he says. “The debt is not some abstract thing. Our national debt is $10.7 trillion.”

Okay, deficit spending is bad. I’m with you there, Senator. I consider myself a huge national debt hawk.

But raising that argument right now is kind of like arguing for water conservation when the house is on fire. You’ve been in the Senate for six years now supporting George W. Bush; you’re one of the ones who was playing with the matches.

Short-Term Thinking (Lamar vs. the Stimulus, Pt. 1)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) raises some good points about the Stimulus Bill but comes up with the wrong answers.

“It borrows an unprecedented amount of money – $1.2 trillion – spent mostly on projects that don’t create jobs in the near term,” he says. And he defines the near term as “in the next few months.”

Okay, the sooner the better on job creation, sure. I’m with you there, Senator.

But we’re going to need those new jobs in six months or a year, too, unless you’ve got a magic wand to wave. This economic catastrophe isn’t going away any time soon. Long-term thinking is a good thing.

If you’ve got a stimulus idea that’ll generate jobs in a matter of weeks, I’m sure the Democrats would love to throw it in there! At least they would have last week, but you let that train leave the station – not them. You’ve got a phone, Senator. You get yourself involved.

Listen, I know you can’t wait for 12 months to pass so you can turn around and pretend the 2009 economy was all Obama’s fault. We all know it’s coming. Whatever, that’s politics. But in the meantime, stop whining and get to work!

If it takes several months to stimulate job growth (and it does), then we better get cracking now! It’s not like the Democrats deliberately left out projects that cause immediate job growth. They just didn’t limit themselves purely to short-term goals.

And thank goodness! There’s no way to dig our way out of George W. Bush’s mess(es) in just a few months. You know it, I know it.

But I’ll make you a deal… We’ll still let you blame Obama a year from now even if you don’t act totally worthless now.

I promise!

Almost Worth the Money

Are you a card-carrying member of the Tennessee Republican Party? Well then you’re not a real Republican, dammit! Real Republicans who love America give $25 to the state party in exchange for one of these nifty cards you can keep in your wallet:

Membership cards. Just another way the TNGOP creeps out moderates.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Give the Order, Mr. President

No Executive Order on stem cells yet, but this is encouraging.

27 Days Too Many

The Tennessee Republican Party held the majority of both houses of the state legislature for 27 days until they voluntarily abandoned their one-seat majority and their claim on the Speaker's chair this morning.

Some would argue that the Speaker, one Rep. Kent Williams (I-Carter County), actually abandoned the party first in everything but name only. Well, okay, kind of.

Either way, it's nice to see 49-49-1 rather than 50-49.

There's a lesson to be learned here, and the TNGOP won't, which is why I don't mind spelling it out to them. If the moderates don't feel comfortable in your party, your days in power are numbered. (I never would have guessed that number was 27, but so much the better.) Driving out Williams for his impurity is more symbolic than the TNGOP will ever realize.

Good thing for the Democrats that Republicans think it's a moral failing to honestly wonder, "How did it come to this?"

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Still Don't Get It

Maybe, maybe, if I understood how you could think an $600 million tax cut to the auto industry would stimulate the industry, the economy, job creation, and apple pie, but spending $600 million on American cars wouldn’t stimulate anything or create any jobs, then maybe I could understand how Republicans view the economy.

But I’m pretty doggone happy I can’t.

Here’s the deal, guys – selling products is good. It’s important to the economy. It’s helps people keep their jobs. There’s nothing better that can happen, economically speaking. Even tax cuts.

And, heck, it’s good for the federal government, too. They actually get some nice cars out of it. It’s not just a handout. Pretty cool, huh?

Too bad Rep. Marsha Blackburn doesn’t get it.

Chip In - Victory!

Via R. Neal at

At close of business Eastern time (and the unofficial offical end of the blogathon), here are the totals:

Page views: 1,671
Donors: 92
Total: $3,640.40

And it's still #1 on the ActBlue front page Hot Pages list.


Secretary Bredesen

Is Gov. Phil Bredesen a good choice for HHS? Eh, I’ve never thought of Bredesen as a big change/bold thinking kind of guy. He’s an excellent steward of government, I think, but not much of a visionary. If Obama really wants dramatic reform of the American healthcare system (and hope he does!), Bredesen is not the guy.

I heard Bredesen speak at a medical convention a couple of years ago, and he was fine. Solid but not inspiring. The one speaker at that conference who really impressed me was Colin Powell. I know healthcare isn’t his field, but if Powell is on board with Obama’s healthcare plan, then the President should give the general a good, long look. Just think how much pull Powell has with independents and moderate Republicans. The PR value of putting him in charge of the reform effort would be huge. Plus, the guy is brilliant and capable.

So, Mr. President, if you’re reading this, and you know you are, think about it.

Nice to Hear from You!

Wow – the new guy already has more news announcements up on the revamped TNDP website than the old crew had in the past three months.

The most prominent message they’ve pitching right now is that they want your ideas. They’ve set up an email address just for that purpose ( and you’ll find it everywhere on the new website.

Keep up the great work, guys.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

About That Stimulus Bill

“As it stands, there are no new jobs in this bill, no new ideas, just new spending.”

So says my U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

Let’s compare that to reality:

The White House released figures Wednesday saying the package would boost employment in every state, including saving or creating 75,000 jobs in Tennessee over two years.

But you don’t trust the government, do you? Bunch of liberals.

David Penn, a Middle Tennessee State University economist, said the Obama administration's projection seems achievable.

But you don’t trust economists, do you? Bunch of liberals.

Gregory Brown, who teaches economics at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn., considers the White House estimate of jobs a conservative one. He expects the stimulus to save at least 100,000 jobs over the two-year period and create another 25,000 to 30,000 positions.

But you don’t trust academics, do you? Bunch of liberals.

Still, a number of business and industry leaders in Tennessee laud Obama's stimulus concept as a way to create jobs and head off an even deeper economic crisis, reports the Tennessean.

But you don’t trust the media, do you? Bunch of liberals.

Well, damn, I guess the only people left to trust is Marsha Blackburn herself. So lets see what she says just two sentences later in the same press release:

Included in the new spending; is $600 million to buy new cars for government workers, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, and $335 million for STD education and prevention.

Um, Congressman? Who’s gonna make those cars? Who’s gonna sell those cars? Who’s gonna ship them to Washington? What about the artists and art supply stores and art supply manufacturers and museum owners, etc.? What about the doctors and the pharmaceutical companies and printing companies that get to print out all those clymedia brochures?

Yeah, that money doesn’t just vanish, Congressman -- IT GOES INTO THE ECONOMY!! And even if your whining made any sense, which it doesn’t, you’re only talking about 0.118% of the bill. Is that really the best you’ve got?

(Why the heck is there a semi-colon in that last Marsha Blackburn snippet? But who cares what grammar teachers say anyway. Bunch of liberals.)

If There's a Problem, Yo, I'll Solve It

Check out the Tennessee Democratic Party's homepage today!

Yeah, that's the Chipster's signature! These new guys see a problem and they actually fix it! I like this new approach!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

How lucky you are is closely tied to how observant you are, according to a scientific study. Two groups of people were given a newspaper and told to tell the researcher how many photos were in it. One group was full of people who claim they’re generally pretty lucky, and the other group said they were generally unlucky. Neither group knew that the newspaper contained a message in large print saying, “Tell the experimenter you have seen this and win $50.”

The people who considered themselves lucky were much more likely to notice the secret message and collect the $50. Luck has a lot to do with spotting unexpected opportunities.

Trivia: Dirty Harry never actually said, “Do you feel luck, Punk?”


$16 away.

And it's the #2 hottest page on ActBlue today!

Don't Give Me No Sass(er)

Okay, I’m lovin’ the lovefest over Chip Forrester and everything, but I’ve just gotta laugh at this.

On the front page of the Tennessee Democratic Party website is the speech given by the Chipster after his election to party chair. And it’s signed “Gray Sasser, Chairman.”

Dudes!! Get your shit together!

Chipster: TNGOP "Racist" and "Liars"

Damn. The new guy doesn't hold back.

Finally, I want to put the Republican Party on notice. The Democratic Party will no longer sit quietly by while the Republican Party runs racist, demagogic falsehoods against our values, our principles, and our candidates as they did this year against President Barack Obama, Nathan Vaughn, and other legislative candidates. When you lie about our candidates, our office holders, we are going to call you out as liars. There is no place in politics for such conduct. Robin Smith, Jason Mumpower, Bill Hobbs, and Chip Saltsman I tell you now: You are put on notice. As Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party I will not stand by and see this happen without a full frontal attack on the racist, smear tactics that you have used in these past campaign. Decent men and women in Tennessee are demeaned by your racist bigoted attacks and I will not stand for it and neither will the Tennessee Democratic Party.

Does he mean it? Here's hoping!

Blame Obama

The company I work for has just about 100 employees. Or it did until last week, when just over one-in-ten of them were shown the door.

Fortunately I survived the layoff. Two people on my hall didn’t. Two more people I worked with pretty much every day are gone as well.

Marketing agencies often grow and shrink with the economy, but this time I didn’t see the layoffs coming. Neither did most of the people that got the axe. Work had been slowing down, but we hadn’t experienced the sudden, major downturn that usually precedes a layoff. It’s just that things kept slowing and slowing until it all added up.

Apparently the bosses had been holding off on things until after Christmas… both to spare people until after the holidays and hoping against hope that things might suddenly turn around in time. No such luck.

The layoff happened on Obama’s watch, so it’s Obama’s fault. Or at least statistically speaking it counts against him.

Oddly enough, I’m not sure I’ve ever been so busy at work. It’s not because I’m picking up work from the people who are gone, but just because my clients happen to be particularly active right now. That’s the main reason I’ve been unable to post anything on the Planet lately. Never a spare second when I’m at my desk.

Just when I finally build up a regular audience larger than the number of people I can guess the names of, that’s when I suddenly go a week and a half without an update. I hope all those would-be readers find their way back here.


Wow – $1,000 in just over four hours?

Almost $2,000 in eight?

The progressive blogosphere has more power (and credit cards) than I thought. A big congratulations to R. Neal at for pulling this together! He’s the brains behind the big “Chip In” effort that all the local lefty blogs are getting in on.

It’s all to show support for new Tennessee Democratic Party chair Chip Forrester. Okay, it’s mostly for that, but also a little bit about getting his attention. Bloggers are chopping at the bit around here. Chipster needs to harness that enthusiasm.

We’re ready to cheer on the TNDP if the TNDP is ready to do something worth cheering about. So how ‘bout it, Chip? Let’s start kicking some ass!

This is the first time I’ve ever donated directly to the state party. Chip, you can thank R. Neal for that.