Morning Bunker Report: Tuesday 6.12.2012


The Bush Recession dramatically shrunk Americans’ net worth — The Great Recession shrank Americans’ wealth so much that in 2010 median family net worth was no more than it had been in 1992 after adjusting for inflation, the AP reports. Median net worth declined from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010, a Fed survey of family finances found. — Political Wire 

If you want to know why the recovery has been so sluggish, you don’t need to look much further than the chart above — The poorest families (far left) showed a slight gain in income since 2001 but a 35% loss in wealth. The richest families (far right) showed flat incomes and a 16% increase in wealth. The families in the middle — the vast majority of the country — showed substantial losses in both income and wealth. Overall, median net worth dropped 27% between 2001 and 2010. For middle class families this overwhelmingly represents housing wealth: the housing bust since 2007 more than wiped out all the gains they saw during the housing boom. — Kevin Drum 

Like recurring hemorrhoids, Tea Party grassroots gather In Washington — “Welcome to the hostile takeover,” said Matt Kibbe, president and CEO of the Tea Party group. “We, as shareholders of the American enterprise, feel like it’s far past time that we beat the Washington establishment. In case you’ve read otherwise, we have not gone away.” — HuffPo

Did Republicans deliberately crash the US economy? (i.e. sabotage, treason) — “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  Such words lead some to the conclusion that Republicans will do anything, including short-circuiting the economy, in order to hurt Obama politically… it’s a hard accusation to prove: after all, one person’s economic sabotage is another person’s principled anti-government conservatism. Beyond McConnell’s words, though, there is circumstantial evidence to make the case… — Michael Cohen

Stand Your Ground laws and remembering who Jeb Bush really is — Justifiable homicides nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, according to the most recent data available, when 326 were reported. [...] The bill passed in Florida, and was immediately signed by Gov. Jeb Bush. Yes- that would be the same Jeb Bush who is running around today bemoaning radical Republicans. You know, the same “moderate” Jeb Bush who signed the laws giving him permission to insert himself into Terri Schiavo’s marriage. They are all radicals. — John Cole

You know Romney’s lies are reaching critical mass when even his online PR firm ‘Buzzfeed’ complains: Romney Campaign Video Takes Obama Wildly Out-Of-Context — A new web video from the Romney campaign claims the President flip-flopped on hiring more government workers. But, in context, he was talking about the decline in public sector employment during the last recession, compared to an increase under Ronald Reagan. — Buzzfeed video

Is Limbaugh REALLY this stupid or does he just rely on the ignorance of his audience? “Nobody’s opposed to cops or firefighters or teachers — but they aren’t private sector jobs. They do not contribute to economic growth. Their purpose is otherwise. They have an entirely different purpose: public safety, public education, this kind of thing. But there’s no growth in the economy. If you add those jobs — and if there aren’t other types of private sector jobs added while at the same time we’re adding to the fire rolls and the cop rolls and teachers — we are reducing the size of the private sector. This is Marxism 101. It’s also Ignorance and Sophistry 101.” [...] if Romney and Limbaugh actually, sincerely believe what they’re saying, I’d just ask them to consider one question: do they believe teachers, police officers, and firefighters spend money? [...] In other words, there are hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, but they never buy things and they never invest, so when they get laid off en masse, there are no economic consequences whatsoever. — Steve Benen 

“We are not a household. We are an economy. Your spending is my income, and my spending is your income.” – Paul Krugman


Obama And The Future — This election is about empowering him to finish what he began. And to have voted for him in 2008 and not vote for him now makes no sense at all. We all knew there would be brutal resistance to real change. So are we really going to bail when resistance makes its strongest counter-attack? Or will we push the president to keep his promises while mobilizing to ensure he can recapitalize in this election and finish the job? I know where I am on this. Do you? — Andrew Sullivan

The story, in a nutshell, is this: we inherited a total disaster, things are getting better, and Romney will bring us back to disaster.Michael Tomasky 

Obama For America TV Ad: “Number One” — When Mitt Romney was governor, Massachusetts was number one. Number one in state debt: $18 billion dollars in debt, more debt per person than any other state in the country. At the same time Massachusetts fell to 47th in job creation; one of the worst economic records in the country. First in debt, 47th in job creation. That’s Romney Economics. — YouTube

“If Barack Obama could just do half the kind of job that Mitt Romney did [as governor of] Massachusetts, this country would be thriving.”a little ‘wisdom’ from Bay “At the Moon” Buchanan 

FBI: Violent crime down for fifth straight year — Last year marked the fifth straight year of year-to-year improvement for the number of violent crimes reported to authorities. It was the ninth consecutive year of declines for property crimes, according to preliminary FBI data for 2011 released Monday. [...] The FBI says murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault all went down in 2011. [...] The preliminary data is based on information the FBI gathered from 14,009 law enforcement agencies around the United States. —

BREAKING: Department Of Justice Sues Florida Over Voter Purge — The U.S. Justice Department is suing Florida after the state disregarded the federal government’s request to suspend its voter purge campaign. In a letter to the Florida Secretary of State, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez argues that Florida is violating the National Voter Registration Act and the Voting Rights Act. “Please immediately cease this unlawful conduct,” Perez writes. The full text of the letter is available HERE. –Think Progress

14 Million seniors are already benefiting from Obamacare (and a large majority of them are probably watching Fox News 24/7, cursing the Kenyan-born socialist in the White House) — Medicare reports that 14.3 million seniors in America have already received important preventive benefits under President Obama’s health care law. In the first few months of 2012, seniors were able to take advantage of a number of preventative health services, including an annual checkup, without paying any deductibles or co-pays. “Thanks to the health care law, millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms, and other preventive services for free,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “These preventive services are helping people in Medicare stay healthy and lower their health care costs.” — Think Progress

Morning Bunker Report: Monday 6.11.2012


John McCain will be stuck in 2008 forever, his concession speech on an endless mental loop, with Princess Braindead by his side — [In 2005] as the Plame case unfolded, many Republicans now calling for administration heads accused Democrats of playing politics and conducting an unwarranted witch hunt. They urged at the time that Bush administration officials be given the benefit of doubt. “I do believe that every American has the right of presumption of innocence until proven guilty,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in 2005, when suspicions were focused on top Bush adviser Karl Rove. “Karl Rove has stated that he did not do anything wrong and break any law. I take him at his word.” [...] Now that a Democrat sits in the Oval Office, the GOP complainers are unwilling to hold off on predeterminations. The administration is “intentionally leaking information to enhance President Obama’s image as a tough guy for the elections,” McCain recently said. “That is unconscionable.” — HuffPo

Republicans vote to block transparency on political ads (you don’t need to know who wants to buy government) — The Republican opponents “of a new rule to post political ad information online have opened up another front in a long-running fight, inserting language into an appropriations bill that would bar the Federal Communications Commission from implementing the transparency measure,” ProPublica reports. — Political Wire

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels called for the elimination of public sector unions — Wallace… asked whether Daniels would like to see public-sector unions disappear entirely. ‘I think government works better without them, I really do,’ Daniels replied.” In 2005, Daniels signed an executive order that “eliminated collective bargaining rights for government workers.” As a result, workers in the state “receive lowers salaries and must pay higher health care costs.”  — HuffPo | NoteAnd there’s the common theme to every GOP argument about employment: lower salaries and less benefits for workers (ALL workers).  Lay people off so they’ll accept less just to be employed again. The job ‘creators’ take in more profit, bank more bonuses, continue killing the middle class.

image: WWJD

“This was a booming place. And Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard” – The ad features Donnie Box, who lost his job of 32 years at Kansas City’s GST Steel after Romney’s firm took it over. “Romney and Bain Capital shut this place down,” Box says in the commercial, standing outside a shuttered factory where he used to work. “They shut down entire livelihoods. They promised us healthcare package, they promised us [they'd] maintain our retirement program, and those were the first two things to disappear. This was a booming place. And Mitt Romney and Bain Capital turned it into a junkyard. Just making money and leaving.” — Maddow Blog

Dear Mr. Romney, please explain why America will be better off when more teachers, cops, and firefighters are unemployed — As a rule, gaffes tend to capture the political world’s attention, but in this case, we have something more significant than a soundbite — we have a policy position. Indeed, the Republican nominee for president seriously believes we can “help the American people” by laying off, not just public-sector workers in general, but specifically cops, firefighters, and teachers — and his background as a one-term governor makes clear he means it. This is so far from the mainstream that even Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) wouldn’t endorse Romney’s line… the Republican governor said, “I know in my state our reforms allowed us to protect firefighters, police officers and teachers. That’s not what I think of when I think of big government.”  [...] The differences between Obama and Romney on this have the potential to drive the presidential campaign: does it help or hurt America when hundreds of thousands of school teachers and first responders lose their jobs? For the first time in generations, the two major-party presidential candidates answer that question differently. — Steve Benen

Tea party activists say they’ll abstain from voting on Election Day — “I have heard from various folks in the tea party that they would rather stay home,” said Ana Puig, the state director of FreedomWorks, a conservative activist training group. “I’m hearing that from people all over the country and on Facebook.” The Romney rejection stems from the deeply held belief by many conservatives that the former Massachusetts governor is really a moderate wolf in conservative sheep’s clothing.  [...] “The same things were said about [2008 GOP nominee] John McCain,” Burkholder said. “When McCain won the nomination, we were for Romney because he was more conservative than McCain. You can see how far the conservative movement has come now that Romney isn’t conservative enough.” —


Obama to focus on Michigan recovery — Instead of just focusing on the turnaround of General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC, which rebounded since the $85 billion federal auto bailout, the Obama campaign intends to shine a weeklong spotlight on other manufacturers, restaurants, tourist spots and firms that benefitted from the auto recovery… Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, will kick off the Michigan Road to Recovery Tour on Monday with a press call. — Political Wire

Wake up and smell the coffee: What’s wrong with a third of union members and a third of government employees? A strong majority of union members support President Barack Obama, but about one-third back Mitt Romney, a new survey on Monday reveals. Indeed, 57 percent of union workers would vote for Obama, while 35 percent support Romney, according to a Gallup Poll. [...] Meanwhile, government workers — whether union members or not, continue to support Obama over Romney: the former 59 percent to 34 percent; the latter 48 percent to 44 percent. — POLITICO | Note: what exactly do you not understand about what Romney / the GOP would like to do with you if you belong to a union or have a job in the public sector? HINT: they don’t consider YOU a member of ‘the American people’ who deserve ‘help.’ 

What to expect from a Romney presidency, by his own actions in Massachusetts, in his own words today: less police, firefighters, and teachers — less employment, economic recovery, education, security, and services:

David Axelrod: Mitt Romney ‘Living On A Different Planet’ — “We’re not going to win, and our kids aren’t going to win, unless we invest in education,” Axelrod told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” [...] “So I would suggest he’s living on a different planet if he thinks that’s a prescription for a stronger economy.” “What was most interesting is how he reacted to the spirit of the thing, because his statement was, ‘We don’t need any more teachers, we don’t need any more firefighters or police,'” Axelrod said. [...] “I think the American people are smarter than that,” he said. “They understand the president called the press conference to say that because of the storm clouds that are rolling in from Europe and elsewhere, we need to undergird our economy.” — HuffPo

Van Jones slams Mike Huckabee: The average teacher doesn’t make $100,000 — “Look, first of all, maybe I [was] raised wrong, I never heard of this threat to American called ‘public employee,’” Jones said. “In my neighborhood, we called them teachers, we called them firefighters, we called them cops, we called them nurses. And we were told to look up at them and respect them. And to now be a punching bag, people like my father and my mother, who were public school teachers who did not make $100,000 and whatever you just said and nothing near it, for them to become a punching bag is wrong.” “Furthermore, I think we to need to take a big step back here. When you have the amount of pain in this country, the Republican Party has not only been missing in action, they won’t pass their own bills to help Americans right now. They won’t pass their own ideas to help small businesses right now. Why? Because their gain will come when America has more pain.” Jones added: “It’s like Obama is a lifeguard, trying to help people from drowning, and these guys are sitting back hoping more people will drown. That’s wrong, that’s morally wrong.” In Chicago, the average salary for a teacher is currently $50,577, including all benefits. — Raw Story | Note: what kind of an out of touch idiot (or bald-faced liar) would claim the average salary for a teacher is $100,000 a year? 

Krugman: Obama ‘screwed up’ the ‘private sector is fine’ line — The Nobel prized-winning economist explained how the president was technically correct in comparing the private sector numbers to its anemic public sector counterpart, but further added how Obama was clumsy with his words. “By this point in Obama’s presidency, if we had normal sector job growth, we’d have 800,000 more people: firefighters, schoolteachers, police officers. Instead, we’ve got 600,000 fewer,” Krugman said. “So right there, it’s like 1.4 million jobs that we should have had in the public sector. That’s what he was trying to get at and of course, he screwed up the line.” — Raw Story

Morning Bunker Report: Saturday 5.5.2012


images: sandandglass

MICHELE BACHMANN and a Christian Broadcasting Network reporter think she ran an ‘impeccable’ and ‘mistake-free’ campaign — Christian Broadcasting Network reporter David Brody: You ran pretty much an impeccable campaign, in terms of a mistake-free campaign. Michele Bachmann: Thank you, it really was. Brody: It pretty much was. Bachmann: It really was, we were extremely careful, and we were almost mistake free, but for those two points, Elvis Presley’s birthday and John Wayne’s birthplace. I’ve apologized, and we moved beyond. Brody: Interesting. — A conversation that really happened

MITT ROMNEY spent a total of 219 days outside of Massachusetts in 2006, during his first campaign for president, an average of four days each week. Romney visited over 35 states in the efforts to build his Presidential network, with state taxpayers picking up the tab for his security detail. [...] Romney also took vacations that year, including trips to Utah, Michigan, California, and Alaska. The trips combined his Presidential ambitions with downtime with his family. Many of the trips were funded by Romney’s political action committees, the Commonwealth PACs, with some trips being funded by the Republican Governors Associations, of which he was the Chair. Romney has been on the campaign trail, more or less, ever since. — Buzzfeed

TED NUGENT is but a loving and passionate man who will fellate and rape CBS reporters and producers to prove it!  CBS interview, yesterday, 5.4.2012:
ACCORDING TO FOX NEWS host Laura Ingraham, Ted Nugent was “winning” when he started yelling at a CBS News reporter and made sexually explicit threats during an interview that aired on May 4. The National Rifle Association board member and Washington Times columnist blew up at CBS’ Jeff Glor when he raised the suggestion that Nugent will have a hard time attracting moderate voters for presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Nugent responded by citing his charity work with children, then exploded: NUGENT: “Call me, when you meet someone who does that more than I do. Because that’s really moderate. In fact, you know what that is? That’s extreme. I’m an extremely loving, passionate man, and people who investigate me honestly, without the baggage of political correctness, ascertain the conclusion that I’m a damned nice guy. And if you can find a screening process more powerful than that, I’ll suck your d–k.” Turning to a female producer off-camera, he shouted: “Or I’ll f–k you. How’s that sound?” — Fox’s Laura Ingraham On Ted Nugent’s Profanity-Laced Tirade: “Winning”  [images: Buzzfeed]

GOP WAR ON WOMEN: The GOP-led House’s version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) would not only strip away Senate-passed protections for undocumented, LGBT, and Native American victims, it also contains a dangerous provision that violates an undocumented victim’s confidentiality by allowing immigration officials to speak with, and ask for evidence from, his or her abuser. — Think Progress

IN OHIO, Romney referred to the Bush/Cheney era as “before the recession.” The recession began in late 2007, more than a year before President Obama’s inauguration. The economy crashed in September 2008, four months before Obama took office. Someone who claims an expertise in economic policy probably ought to know that. — Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XVI [You must read these posts -- Romney lies chronically, all the time!]

MITT ROMNEY set the entirely unrealistic goal of creating 500,000 jobs per month [yesterday] on Fox News, then added another unreasonable metric of 4 percent unemployment at a campaign event in Pennsylvania this afternoon… the unemployment rate hasn’t been that low since December 2000, at the end of President Clinton’s second term. Meanwhile, there have only been 16 months since 1939 — and only four in the last 50 years — in which the economy added 500,000 jobs or more. — Romney Sets Second Ridiculous Standard For Jobs Growth

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

IN CASE YOU’RE INTERESTED, here’s the basic Obama jobs record. His first full month in office was February 2009, and employment bottomed out a year later. Since then, employment has increased steadily and is now above the February 2009 level. That’s a pretty slow and disappointing level of employment growth, but it is what it is. Employment is now officially higher than it was when Obama took office. — Kevin Drum

OBAMA’S WEEKLY ADDRESS: Time to focus on nation building here at home — Turning to domestic politics, Obama asked what kind of country will greet U.S. troops as they return from war. “Will it be a country where a shrinking number of Americans do really well while a growing number barely get by? Or will it be a country where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules — a country with opportunity worthy of the troops who protect us?” he asked. Taking a veiled stab at Republicans, the president said the country should not “prioritize things like more tax cuts for millionaires while cutting the kinds of investments that built a strong middle class.” “That’s why I’ve called on Congress to take the money we’re no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the other half to rebuild America,” he said. — ABC News

USED TO BE KNOWN AS UNPATRIOTIC: “There is no need to butt into a fast moving story when the secretary of state is in Beijing with delicate negotiations and say it’s a day of shame for the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton is waking up right now. Let’s see if she can pull this off in the next 12 hours or so,” – Bill Kristol, on Romney’s approach to Chen Guangcheng. — Andrew Sullivan

BACK TO THE OBL AD. The argument is that Obama, having ordered the OBL operation, does not have the right to brag about it. Only the SEALs do. And they would never brag. It’s a kind of “stolen valor” theory. Except… the commander-in-chief isn’t stealing valor when he talks about a mission he ordered. That’s what “commander-in-chief” means. The average American who fist-pumped at the OBL news had much less to do with the operation than Obama. I’d doubt he/she feels guilty and wants to take back the “USA!” or the “wooooo!” into the TV camera. — The New Swift Boaters? Really?

THE TRUTH IS that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines. But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them. Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt. — How to End This Depression by Paul Krugman

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 4.12.2012


At a campaign town hall event on Tuesday West declared that he’s “heard” that up to 80 House Democrats are members of the Communist Party. However, he would not name any specific people. West also got in a verbal shot against President Obama, declaring that Obama is too scared to debate him: “I really wish that, standing here before you, was Allen West and President Obama,” West said. “We could have a simple discussion. But that ain’t ever gonna happen.” “Why not?” an audience member asked. “Cuz he was too scared!” West responded in a mocking voice. This is just the latest in a long line of provocative statements that West has made, which have helped to build up his notoriety — and his campaign coffers. In addition, Sarah Palin and Herman Cain have each suggested in recent days that West should be the Vice Presidential nominee on the 2012 Republican ticket. [TPM]

Mitt Romney stumbles over ‘war on women’ – Romney, this week, came up with a counterpoint: 92 percent of the jobs lost in the recession belonged to women. It’s Obama who has waged the true anti-women war, by taking away their livelihoods with his misguided economic policies. [...] Asked to expand on how the president’s policies hurt women in particular, his staff couldn’t answer. Asked if Romney supported the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which makes it easier for workers’ to sue over gender-based pay disparities, they again were unsure. Two hours later, a spokeswoman clarified that Romney “supports pay equity and is not looking to change current law” — after Ledbetter herself sent out a statement attacking the Republican candidate. Democrats, meanwhile, appear gleeful that Romney has not only engaged on the issue but adopted the “war on women” phrase. “So, can we keep this back and forth over whose policies are better for women going please,” tweeted Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse.

  • Romney’s claim is so misleading, in fact, that even the rabidly conservative and factually-challenged Daily Caller debunked it.
  • On Wednesday, the [Romney] campaign sent out statements from Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack of California and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, blaming women’s jobs losses on Obama’s policies. But both women voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Act as well as the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act. [HuffPo]

Why is this recovery different from all other recoveries? Because American workers have lost all their bargaining power… There have been two fundamental alterations in the U.S. economy since Ronald Reagan was president, however. First, American multinational corporations now locate much of their production abroad. Second, with the rate of private-sector unionization down to a microscopic 6.9 percent, workers have no power to bargain for higher pay. Employers can serenely blow them off — and judging by the data, that’s exactly what employers are doing. This recovery differs from its predecessors because it is concentrated among the affluent, and almost entirely among the very rich. Until we address the imbalance of power in the U.S. economy, and until Americans regain the clout that their parents and grandparents had to compel employers to share their revenue more equitably, the difference between our recoveries and our recessions will grow harder to discern. [Washington Post]

Bush: Don’t call them ‘rich’ – Bush spoke Tuesday at a tax-policy conference in New York hosted by his presidential institute. “If you raise taxes on the so-called rich you’re really raising taxes on the job creators,” he explained. So if you want “private-sector growth” then the best thing to do “is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job creators,” Bush said. We thought those folks were called “rich” because, well, they are. But that, apparently, is not the proper term. They are the “job creators.”So President Obama’s deplorable class warfare rhetoric pits the so-called poor and middle classes against the job creator class. And don’t try to sneak around that by calling them wealthy, big-wigs, plutocrats, oligarchs, fat-cats, tycoons or robber barons. They are the true working class, working 24-7 to create jobs for you and other ingrates.

George Zimmerman’s Mugshot — Zimmerman was taken into custody last night at the Seminole County jail in Sanford. Zimmerman’s attorney Mark O’Mara said his client will plead not guilty and asked that people not jump to conclusions about his guilt. [...] Rev Al Sharpton, the civil rights leader who appeared at several rallies around the country with Martin’s parents, said it was not a time to celebrate. “There’s no victory here, there’s no winners here, they’ve lost their son,” he said at a press conference in Washington after Corey had spoken. “This is not about gloating, it’s about pursuing justice. We have not won anything. All we’ve done is establish we must have the right to justice and redress in this country.” [The Guardian]

———————————————————–——PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS

Obama calls Ronald Reagan a ‘wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior’ – He described for the audience the actions of one of his predecessors in the Oval Office, a president who “gave a speech where he talked about a letter he had received from a wealthy executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary, and wanted to come to Washington and tell Congress why that was wrong. So this president gave another speech where he said it was ‘crazy’—that’s a quote—that certain tax loopholes make it possible for multimillionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary.” “That wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior,” he said, “was Ronald Reagan.” Reagan, said the president, believed that everyone in the U.S. should pay their fair share, a position that would “disqualify him from the Republican primaries these days.” He even suggested changing the name from the “Buffet Rule” to the “Reagan Rule” if that would make it a little easier for Republicans to bear.

Memories from the GOP campaign trail: from TV:

Top 50 Things Accomplished by President Barack Obama — 1. Passed Health Care Reform: After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010). It will cover 32 million uninsured Americans beginning in 2014 and mandates a suite of experimental measures to cut health care cost growth, the number one cause of America’s long-term fiscal problems. 2. Passed the Stimulus: Signed $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009 to spur economic growth amid greatest recession since the Great Depression. Weeks after stimulus went into effect, unemployment claims began to subside. Twelve months later, the private sector began producing more jobs than it was losing, and it has continued to do so for twenty-three straight months, creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs….

8.3% Unemployment: the very best jobs report since the recession began FOUR years ago

“Do not slow down the recovery that we’re on. Don’t muck it up.” — President Obama, speaking directly to Congress during a speech centered on jobs and the economy on Friday in Arlington, Virginia. The economy added 243,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%, much better than analysts expected. (tpmmedia)

8.3% Unemployment In Context — or how can the GOP turn this around to make it worse before November? (Source:

Steve Benen: “After years of jobs reports that were only considered encouraging when compared to where we’ve been, January’s totals is objectively good news. Indeed, this is one of the best — if not the very best — jobs reports since the recession began four years ago.”

Ezra Klein: “The bottom line is that this isn’t just a good jobs report. It’s a recovery jobs report. It’s showing the sort of numbers that win elections.”

More Steve Benen: And with that, here’s the homemade chart I run on the first Friday of every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction — red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.

Meanwhile in Sirte

Devastating street view in Sirte after clashes between Libyan interim government forces and Gaddafi loyalists on October 18th. (via: motherjones)

Let’s hope this is the end of tyranny and the beginning of recovery for Libya. (via: kateoplis)

VIDEOS: If you care to see — (linked only because they’re gruesome, click at your own risk):

Show me on the doll where the Benevolent Hand touched you

Matthew Yglesias notes that some Americans, like CEOs and hedge-fund managers, are winning the future while everyone else…  not so much:

The real lucky duckies: The highest-paid U.S. hedge fund managers at some of the biggest and best-performing funds got slightly over $22 billion in pay last year, the New York Times reported, citing an annual ranking by AR Magazine.

Trickle down! Less regulation! Guns, gays, and God! Union THUGS! Tax cuts for the wealthy = so many jobs we’ll be ROLLING in jobs!

Teabaggers who fight for the priorities of the GOP-Koch-funded-Teaparty must be CEOs and hedge fund managers. That, or they’re complete idiots.