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Soros is no Koch brother

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Soros is no Koch brother, close up

Those on the right love to compare the Kochtopus to George Soros. Yes, both the Koch brothers (scroll) and George Soros are wealthy individuals who donate to the party and candidates of their choice. They're allowed to by law, even more so under the most recent (and terrible) Supreme Court decision.  But that's where the comparison should end.

Which brings us to today's Los Angeles Times letter to the editor about the difference between these "big spenders":

Re "Big spenders," Letters, April 8

One letter writer asserts that exposing the Koch brothers' financial involvement in various conservative causes is mudslinging. He claims their political spending is no different than that of major Democratic donors such as George Soros and unions.

What the writer fails to acknowledge is that the Kochs fund a web of foundations and organizations created by and for themselves to promote their own views. Their political groups are given populist-sounding names — such as Americans for Prosperity — that distract from their real purpose, which is to protect the Kochs' extraordinary personal fortune.

And, but for their wealth, many of these organizations would either cease to exist or lack real political clout.

In comparison, when Soros and unions make political donations, they do not take extraordinary lengths to hide their involvement. We know to whom they gave and how much. The same cannot be said for the Kochs.

That is the difference.

Robert J. Switzer

West Hollywood

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Young voters now much more solidly Democratic than prior generations

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young voters Democrats

The more important question is, how do we get young voters to the polls to actually, you know, vote?

gallup young voters Democrats

Gallup:

Young adults -- those between the ages of 18 and 29 -- have typically aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, but they have become substantially more likely to do so since 2006. [...]

Recent decades have brought significant shifts in Americans' political allegiances, in the short term and the long term. While young adults have generally been more likely to align themselves with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, they are now much more solidly Democratic than prior generations of young adults.

To a large extent, this reflects the increasing racial and ethnic diversity of the U.S. population, particularly among the youngest generations of Americans. And that growing diversity creates challenges for the Republican Party, given nonwhites' consistent and strong support for the Democratic Party.

Here's an idea, Republicans: If you want to attract the youth vote, try kicking bigots, racists, misogynists, birthers, and other loons out of your party. Then support immigration, public education, Obamacare, women's rights, voting rights, and civil rights. And instead of redistricting in order to win votes, earn them.

In other words, begin to open what's left of your minds and turn that fake outreach effort into reality.

What am I nuts? Look who I'm talking to here.

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Bikini Graph time! Job creation beat economists' predictions. #BlameObama

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bikini itsy bitsy bikini graph job creation

It’s job creation time, which means it's time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph Feb 2014 overall

bikini graph Feb 2014 private sectorSteve Benen:

Today’s announcement was a more pleasant reversal – job creation exceeded modest expectations.

The new report from Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February, beating economists’ predictions. The unemployment rate inched higher to 6.7%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not the metric to watch.

This time around, the unemployment rate ticked up because more people were out there looking for work, a healthy sign. Another nugget of good economic news: The public sector added an unusually high 13,000 jobs.

You may recall that the GOP have been doing all they can to eliminate public sector jobs (aka *gasp!* government jobs held by teachers, postal workers, firefighters, police officers, public transit workers, etc.). Why? Well, for one thing, a lot of those jobs are held by union members, and union members tend to vote for Democrats. For another thing, they want to minimize those jobs because, well... government. Duh.

But there's one thing they can't eliminate, no matter how hard they try: Facts.

[O]ver the last 12 months, the U.S. economy has added over 2.15 million jobs overall and 2.19 million in the private sector. What’s more, February was the 48th consecutive month in which we’ve seen private-sector job growth.

And we all know what that means, right?

blame Obama 2For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

Our own David Garber's take on the jobs report can be found here.

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Who's leaving the US Senate, in one handy chart

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US Senate letterheadbuh bye by Kelly Kincaid

The US Senate will be missing a few overpaid members in the near future. Recently, I posted Who's leaving the US House of Representatives, in one handy chart. Now it's time to fill you in on who's spending more time with their family running away from leaving the upper chamber.

So here you go, a sequel to Chart One. Meet Congressional Exodus, Version 2.0. This time you're getting a handy dandy at-a-glance opportunity to see which members of the US Senate are waving bye-bye.

members leaving the US Senate(Sorry, no link, subscription only, but attribution is on the image)

As annoying and frustrating as some of the departing Dems have been, at least they were Dems. Sort of. The next big challenge will be getting enough people to the polls (thanks for nothing, voter-suppressing Republicans) to maintain our majority.

This is where all of you come in. All kidding aside, this is of ultimate importance: Come November, your biggest priority should be to Get Out the Vote, and of course, getting yourselves to the ballot box. Let's avoid a 2010 redux, mmkay?

I'm repeating myself here, but for once I agree with every one of those who are exiting, even the ones I never see eye to eye with on anything ever. After all, who in their right mind would want to be a part of such a combative, obstructionist-filled, filibustery, when-the-hell-will-the-United-States-House-of-Representatives-pass-one-of-our-bills group of Citizens United progeny?

I don't want to belong to club Groucho Marx

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Who's leaving the US House of Representatives, in one handy chart

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U.S. House of Representatives terrible no good day

buh bye by Kelly Kincaid

For your consideration, a handy dandy at-a-glance chart that allows you to see which members of the US House of Representatives are waving bye-bye.

Or as I like to call it, Get Out the Freakin' Vote in 2014, Dems, because the last thing we need is another Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Do-Nothing, Obstructionist, GOP-led Congress.

America, the Congressional Exodus is now in progress (Or is that "regress"? I retort, you deride.):

members leaving the US House of Representatives 2014(Sorry, no link, subscription only, but attribution is on the image)

They're leaving in droves. Gee, can't imagine why.

rats_leaving_ship1For once I agree with every one of these people, even the ones I never see eye to eye with on anything ever. After all, who in their right mind would want to be a part of that impotent, petty, self-destructive, imploding group of Citizens United progeny?

I don't want to belong to club Groucho Marx

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Do-nothingest House GOP ever decides to top themselves

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GOP fail jon stewart House GOP

chart do-nothing congress via Maddow Blog Steve BenenChart via The Maddow Blog's Steve Benen

How many ways can we say "worst, do-nothingest House of Representatives ever"? Probably about 232, and they all have an (R) attached to their name. The House GOP has made it a second career to obstruct in between recess breaks.  Their first career is fundraising. Their tied-for-second career is lying and smearing President Obama.

To their credit, they're really, really good at taking time off.

What a legacy.

Now, in an obvious effort to maintain their stellar record of doing absolutely nothing, blocking all things Obama, and creating the terrible government that they're dying for American voters to hate, this is their next Big Plan, per WaPo:

After a tumultuous week of party infighting and leadership stumbles, congressional Republicans are focused on calming their divided ranks in the months ahead, mostly by touting proposals that have wide backing within the GOP and shelving any big-ticket legislation for the rest of the year.

Comprehensive immigration reform, tax reform, tweaks to the federal health-care law — bipartisan deals on each are probably dead in the water for the rest of this Congress.

Yes indeedy, boys and girls, they've successfully divided the government-- as well as their own party-- and now they're blaming that divided government, the one that they created, for their very own failures.

*Fanfare* Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Frank Luntz (mainly because I don't want him):

“It is an acknowledgment of where they stand, where nothing can happen in divided government so we may essentially have the status quo."

Of course, there are plenty of things they can do. For example, why give up so soon on repealing Obamacare after only eleventy thousand tries? And when in doubt, pass more doomed forced-birth bills, hold more hearings on settled non-controversies, and by all means, keep on pursuing Benghazi!!!!

worst congress ever gop fail

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Bikini Graph time! 203,000 jobs added in Nov., unemployment falls to 7%, a 5-year low #BlameObama

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bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph private sector Dec 2013 bikini graph Dec 2013 overall economy

The unemployment rate dropped from 7.3% to 7%. Oh my. Whatever will the GOP do now? I mean other than smear, attack, and lie relentlessly.

Benen:

[T]he totals from the Bureau of Labor Statistics were even better than expected.

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 203,000 jobs in November, ahead of economists’ predictions. In a pleasant change of pace, the public sector did not drag down the overall figures – the private sector added 196,000 jobs, while the public sector, which has hemorrhaged jobs in recent years, added 7,000. [...]

[S]o far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 2.07 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash. Indeed, this year is on track to the best for jobs since 2005, and the second best since 1999.

bamNow let's take a look at the Fox Biz news alert headline that was very visible in my very full inbox:

Consumer Sentiment Blows Past Estimates in December

What?!

Oh, do go on....

According to a gauge from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, consumer sentiment rose to 82.5 in December from 75.1 in November, handily beating Wall Street’s estimate of a reading of 76. December’s reading was the highest since July.

Fox has always been notable for its accuracy in reporting, so who are we to challenge those numbers?

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

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