RNC Elects Michael Steele. First African American Chairman

After the 6th round of “overtime” voting, the Republican National Convention has elected its first African American chairman, Michael Steele.

And while I can’t profess to be a Michael Steele fan, a view shared by many African Americans, it is nice to see that the Republican party is at least trying to branch out and shed its label as, the “white supremacist party”, as one RNC member called it.

So what does the Steele election mean for the RNC? That of course is the million dollar question.

Steele ran on a platform of expanding the party from the isolated Southerners only party its become. Hard to argue with that logic. But expanding your party is easier said than done, particularly when leaders of the party refuse to admit that their political ideology has some serious flaws in it.

Issues I plan on examining in later posts.

Gregg to Commerce? 60 Seats Within Our Reach? Wait for it…

According to the Huffington Post, there’s a good chance the Obama adminstration will try to convince Judd Gregg to become the next Commerce Secretary.

Why is this important?

Well, because Gregg is a senator from New Hampshire. A REPUBLICAN senator from New Hampshire, a state that happens to have a very democratic Governor. Meaning that if Gregg were to leave his seat, the Govenor of New Hampshire would be free to appoint the 60th Democrat to the senate.

What a brilliant idea! Gosh gee Willis, I’m surprised no one suggested that idea earlier.

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November 19th bitches!

Cognitive Dissonance is…wait for it…required White House reading, what up?

This Movie Brought to You By Child Exploitation: Slumdog Millionaire Child Actors Still Live in Poverty

This is just
sad
:

Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, two of the child actors in “Slumdog Millionaire,” are still living in the slums of Mumbai, despite the film’s $14 million budget and worldwide success. Ali earned 500 British pounds ($710) for one year’s work and Ismail earned 1700 pounds ($2414), “less than many Indian domestic servants“

Ismail is in fact “worse off” now, as his “family’s illegal hut was demolished by the local authorities and he now sleeps under a sheet of plastic tarpaulin.” Ali lives nearby — in a “hut.”

Spare me the “that’s a relatively good wage” excuse, because its not, or the “at least they’re enrolled in school now” bs, hungry kids can’t eat books. All of that misses the point.

Fox Searchlight and/or Danny Boyle could have taken care of these kids, I mean really taken care of these kids, with little to no effort.

A passport to the US/UK with a sponsor of citizenship , $10,000 and a non glamarous but respectable job wouldve taken a simple phone call. Hell, they didn’t even have to make the phone call, they have assistants for that type of stuff.

Its particularly pathetic considering that this movie is about Indian children growing up in poverty.

But its not just poverty that endangers children in India. Every year, thousands of children are kidnapped, crippled, and forced to work as slaves by the mafia:

Within minutes, a couple emerged from the crowd and approached him. They gave him cakes and said they’d take him away to start a better life. ‘I thought they were maybe social workers or religious people,’ he told me.
But Aamir’s food was drugged and when he became drowsy, the couple put him in a rickshaw and took him to the city’s municipal hospital, which is where the real nightmare began

For at the hospital, a doctor was paid to amputate one of his healthy legs. Now speaking in the third person, as if to pretend it didn’t happen to him, Aamir tells me ‘the child’ was in ‘great pain’ after the operation. ‘The leg is removed here,’ he says, pointing to his own stump and grimacing. His limb had been severed mid-calf, leaving him without a foot.

Now in hiding after being rescued from the hospital by a charity, Aamir is one of hundreds of Indian children deliberately crippled by gangs so they can earn extra money begging. He still struggles to talk about his experience.

Danny Boyle, what a cunt

Spending vs Tax Cuts: Which Provides the Best Stimulus?

This is amusing :

The key to a successful stimulus is one that puts money directly into the hands of the people, not borderline bankrupt states and the bureaucrats who run them to pay off debt.

So giving money to cash strapped states is a bad thing? What happened to states rights and decentralizing federal power? I guess at the end of the day Republicans aren’t for state government, they’re for no government.

After all, its hard to argue that a $1,000 tax credit to a poor family, is a better idea than giving money to a state like Nevada which is laying off thousands of state employees, cutting 36% of their higher education budget, slashing the salaries of teachers, and cutting back or eliminating social services that many people rely on. The bus prices in Las Vegas just went from $2.50 to $4.00.

Not only will stimulus enduced federal and state spending create much needed jobs across the country, while saving hundreds of thousands of jobs, each dollar in government spending produces $1.50 in value to the economy. At least according to Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman and Mark Zandi, chief economist of economy.com and an
economic advisor to John McCain:

Mr. Zandi, who advised the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, said in testimony last month before the Senate Budget Committee that nearly every dollar spent in this fashion generates $1.50 or more in economic activity. Repairing a road, for example, means hiring workers who spend their new salaries at supermarkets, which in turn hire more store clerks and stock more groceries to handle the extra spending.

This “multiplier effect” is missing, however, when the stimulus comes as a tax break…

By the way, does anyone else think its funny that John “I know nothing about the economy” McCain is voting against the Stimulus bill but his economic adviser supports it?

Anyways, a lot of conservatives are being forced to eat crow right now since most evidence shows that not only is spending necessary, but the programs that provide the economic advisor to John McCain:most bang for their buck are those republicans typically find distasteful:

Based on Zandi’s study, some of the most efficient ways to spend government money are temporarily increasing food stamps (a $1.73 GDP increase per dollar), extending unemployment benefits ($1.63), increasing infrastructure spending ($1.59) and upping direct aid to financially strapped states ($1.38)

Ouch. Hoisted by their own petard!

CBO Analysis Refutes House GOP Talking Point

Another day, another talking point proven to be false. From the NYT:

Two weeks ago, a Congressional committee posted a table of numbers on its Web site that gave an early answer. The numbers came from the Congressional Budget Office and seemed to show that only 38 percent of the money in the bill would be spent by September 2010. That didn’t sound very stimulating, and the numbers soon caused a minor media sensation.

But anyone who looked closely would have seen something strange about the table. It suggested that the bill would cost only $355 billion in all, rather than its actual cost of about $800 billion.

Why? It turns out that the table was analyzing only certain parts of the bill, like new spending on highways, education and energy. It ignored the tax cuts, jobless benefits and Medicaid payments – the very money that will be spent the fastest.

On Monday evening, the Congressional Budget Office put out its analysis of the full bill, and it gave a very different picture. It estimated that about 64 percent of the money, or $526 billion, would be spent by next September