To all the seniors who voted Republican to protect Medicare: YOU’VE BEEN HAD!

Joe Conason: “Consider their treatment of Medicare, the popular social insurance program for seniors that Republicans have always despised. They have just emerged from a long national campaign in which they repeatedly and falsely claimed to “protect” Medicare from the president — whom they accused of wanting to slash $716 billion from the program — but now they complain that he won’t cut it enough. The Obama cuts were mythical, but the Boehner budget proposal includes at least $600 billion in Medicare and Medicaid reductions.

“Worse still, the Republicans propose to perform this crude surgery on Medicare without the slightest explanation of where they would cut.”

JM Ashby: But Obama is coming for your Medicare! Ooga booga!

Paul Krugman: “What I haven’t seen pointed out here is the longer arc of GOP strategy. Does anyone recall how the Bush tax cuts were passed? The 2001 cut was passed based on the claim that the government was running an excessive surplus; the 2003 cut on the claim that it would provide an economic boost. Then the surplus went away, and the economy did not, to say the least, perform very well.

“So now we face a substantial long-run deficit largely created by those tax cuts:

“And the GOP says that because of that deficit we must raise the Medicare age and cut Social Security!

“Oh, and for all the seniors or near-seniors who voted Republican because you thought they would protect Medicare from that bad guy Obama: you’ve been had.”

2012 exit polls


charts: Maddow Blog

Posted in Uncategorized

Midmorning break: warm bath


thedoctorplusonePiggy Gets Warm Bath [x]

Love feels warm.

Virginia Foxx as a metaphor for the GOP’s attitude towards diversity

Political Wire: Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) yelled at a House staffer after catching her riding on a “members only” elevator, The Hill reports.

Said Foxx: “This is a ‘members-only’ elevator; can you read?. Get out here. What does this sign say? It says, ‘Members of Congress only.'”

The staffer attempted to point out that the sign next to it stated, “during votes,” which is when Foxx started yelling, “Members only!” as she pointed to signs.


black-and-white-gifs: Chicago (Dominic) via ollebosse

Darden Restaurants takes a stock hit, announces it won’t reduce workers’ hours

Think Progress reports that Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Red Lobster) has reconsidered its decision to reduce the hours of their full-time workers to avoid having to provide them with health insurance:

AP is reporting that, in an effort to stem the negative attention, Darden will announce Thursday that they will not be moving any workers to a part-time schedule because of Obamacare. The company is, however, keeping the option open of relying more heavily on part-time employees in the future. Ultimately, reports a Darden spokesman, they tested a shift to part-time staff and found a decline in satisfaction all around:

After Darden’s tests were reported in October, the company received a flood of feedback from customers through its website, on Facebook and in restaurants, said Bob McAdam, who heads government affairs and community relations for Darden. Additionally, he said that internal surveys showed both employee and customer satisfaction declined at restaurants where the tests were in place.

“What that taught us is that our restaurants perform better when we have full-time hourly employees involved,” he said… McAdam declined to give specifics on the internal surveys but said the decline was “enough to make a decision.”

This is, of course, after all the negative press they’ve attracted since their announcement in October — and a subsequent drop in stock value

The only way to get their attention is to punch these companies in the pocketbook.

“It’s official: Republicans hate the UN more than they like helping people in wheelchairs.”


gifs: sandandglass

More from Anne Laurie / Balloon Juice:

Lawrence Downes, in the NYTImes, on “A Parting Slap Against Bob Dole & Disabled Americans“:

Former Senator Bob Dole, 89 years old and in a wheelchair, went onto to the floor of the Senate today to urge his former colleagues to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. Mr. Dole, a disabled veteran, has been one of the leading voices urging ratification of the treaty, which seeks to bring the world closer to the high standard set by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark civil-rights law enacted under President George H.W. Bush.

One by one, according to Roll Call, the senators approached Mr. Dole to pat his shoulder or clasp his hand, making gestures of respect for the man who was for many years the Republican majority leader.

Then he was wheeled away, and all but a handful of the Republicans bailed out on him. The treaty failed. It needed a two-thirds vote to pass, or 67 votes, and fell six short…

In other words, these cowards didn’t have the guts to disagree with a crippled octogenarian to his face. [...] Senator Kerry:

.. Senator John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a statement after the vote: “This is one of the saddest days I’ve seen in almost 28 years in the Senate, and it needs to be a wake-up call about a broken institution that’s letting down the American people.”

He added: “Today the dysfunction hurt veterans and the disabled, and that’s unacceptable. This treaty was supported by every veterans group in America and Bob Dole made an inspiring and courageous personal journey back to the Senate to fight for it. It had bipartisan support, and it had the facts on its side, and yet for one ugly vote, none of that seemed to matter. We won’t give up on this and the Disabilities Treaty will pass because it’s the right thing to do, but today I understand better than ever before why Americans have such disdain for Congress and just how much must happen to fix the Senate so we can act on the real interests of our country.”

Also too:

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said the measure would return to the Senate floor in the 113th Congress.

“It is a sad day when we cannot pass a treaty that simply brings the world up to the American standard for protecting people with disabilities because the Republican Party is in thrall to extremists and ideologues,” he said in a statement.