Money, Money, Money

I’ve been thinking about how the Supreme Court made it possible for rich donors to give millions and millions to political causes, which typically turn out to be candidates in some shape or form, who turn out to be mostly Republicans.  This led me to start thinking about how money could help my blog.  However, giving money away to people who visit UP@NIGHT wouldn’t work because it could get too expensive.  But a couple of years back I noticed that if I put pictures of money on a post, it would often get tons of hits.  It seems that people were coming to see or use images of money.  So why not have a post of images of different denominations in order to lure people to my blog.  It’s a lot less shameful and expensive than what is going on in the political arena.  And so here it is, my ad, the money post.


The Economic Fire


When the Normans conquered a region of present day Italy in the eleventh century they engaged in extortion.   They would start to burn the crops of the natives and then demand payment for putting the fire out.

This form of extortion parallels what the citizens of the U.S. face today from the GOP, with one noteworthy exception.  You see, they helped create the economic mess that we have been in, that is, they set the fire.  They did so through deregulating Wall Street and the banks, along with lax enforcement of existing regulations, which led the economy to tank at the end of the Bush years.  (Yes, the Democrats did go along with some of these measures but the initiative to deregulate Wall Street and the banks has been based on Republican dogma.)  But unlike the Normans, they can’t put the fire out.  For the tools they would use to extinguish the fire are the same ones that helped start it in the first place.

Now you say this is unfair.  The Normans intended to extort by setting the fires.  The Republicans believed that what they were doing was good for the economy.  They did not plan to extort.  Fair enough.  But we have now reached a point in which it doesn’t really matter what the Republicans’ intentions were or are.  The fact is that they set the fire and they want to use the same flame thrower to put it out.

What does this actually amount to for us non-wealthy folk?  We will have less protections against various kinds of fires, for example, illness, unemployment, lack of resources for retirement, etc.  And we will be asked to pay more for any protections that are left.  We will be told that this isn’t so by the GOP.   They will tell us that by lowering taxes and deregulating we will unleash the as yet unleashed forces of the market.  Well, fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  There are no free lunches.  As the vast majority of experts on the economy will tell you, we can’t get out of our current fiscal situation without prudent entitlement policies and new taxes.  This was the recommendation of the Simpson Bowles Commission,  a recommendation which free market fanatics like Ryan helped tank because it suggested new taxes (although Ryan dishonestly has tried to blame Obama).

If the GOP wins this election and manages to push through more deregulation and tax cuts, especially for corporations and the rich, we and our children will end up having to pay more to cover the enormous debt and suffering that will be created by these policies.  We will have to pay for the fire that they have started, once again.

Eastwood’s Empty Chair for Romney

An UP@NIGHT exclusive.    UP@NIGHT has learned that Clint Eastwood originally intended to have two or possibly even three empty chairs during his address to the Republican convention.  We have all seen the chair that he used for the imaginary Obama.   Eastwood thought that he might also have an imaginary Romney sitting next to Obama.  Here is the very chair that was selected for the imaginary Romney by his associates at Bain Capital.

In addition, UP@NIGHT has also learned that Eastwood not only toyed with the idea of a third seat, he had selected one for an imaginary Ryan, although he was persuaded not to use it because the GOP thought it might be taken as a statement about his budget.

Ryan Responds to Romney on Abortion

In a post yesterday I posed a question about how Ryan is going to respond to the differences between his position on abortion and Romney’s.  We now have the answer, or an answer.  Here is an excerpt from a current NY Times article, “Ryan Pressed to Explain Position on Rape and Abortion.”

. . . Mr. Ryan made his first visit with the traveling press corps at the back of his campaign plane Wednesday, where he was asked about his previous support of anti-abortion laws that did not include an exception in an instance of rape. Mitt Romney supports such exceptions, as well as for incest and to save a pregnant woman’s life.

“I’m proud of my record,’’ Mr. Ryan said. “Mitt Romney is going to be the president. The president sets policy. His policy is ‘except for rape, incest and the life of the mother.’ I’m comfortable with it because it’s a step in the right direction. I’m going to leave it at that.’’

So, here is where we are with the Republican ticket.  We have a candidate at the top of the ticket who “in 2002, as a candidate for governor … claimed to support “the substance” of Roe v. Wade,” but who now holds to a very restrictive position on abortion, outlawing it except in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.  (To be clear: this position would mean that one’s 17 year old daughter, who made a mistake and became pregnant, must by law give birth to a child, even if she finds out about the pregnancy early in the first trimester.)  And a VP candidate who thinks that Romney’s position is “a step in the right direction.”

As noted yesterday, although I am pro choice, I do not dismiss the views of those who are anti-abortion.  There are understandable religious and moral reasons to oppose abortion.   But I certainly cannot agree with people who want to legislate in this fashion.

Paul Ryan Joke of the Week

(Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images. Photo-illustaration by Jesse Lenz.)

How many Ryans does it take to change a light bulb?  Two.  The son, Paul, to change it and his mommy, Elizabeth, to hold his hand.