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The Chevy Nova Act Of 2009

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imageI’m not entirely sure why Congressional Democrats govern like Newt Gingrich is going to come bursting through the door at any moment and start breaking their fingers with a ball-peen hammer if they go too far left, but they are. And it’s terrible.

Last week, Congress passed the “Cash for Clunkers” bill. It’s a simple enough premise – trade in an inefficient old car (in this case, 18 MPG or less, made in 1984 or later) and get either $3500 or $4500 towards a brand new car, depending on the mileage upgrades. Except that, well, it’s shitastic. The major problems are these: first, the definition of “clunker” excludes a lot of cars (pre-1984, 19 MPG or higher) that could easily be traded in for more fuel-efficient cars; second, by only subsidizing new car purchases, this bill effectively shuts out the vast swath of poor people driving inefficient old cars who could afford a much more efficient recent used car (such as, say, an early-decade Camry or Civic), but have neither the money nor the credit to purchase a new car; third, there’s a clause that allows you to trade in an SUV and get a $3500 credit towards a new SUV with a 2 MPG improvement, which seems, I don’t know, fucking useless; fourth, the voucher replaces instead of supplements all other trade-in deals, meaning that you need to have a largely worthless car, truck or van in order for this to make any financial sense whatsoever.

The optimal person this works for is an upper-middle class suburban empty-nester couple who bought an SUV in the mid to late 90s to cart their kids around to various practices and sleepovers and pagan rituals (because that’s what we did back then), and are now stuck with an old, inefficient second vehicle with minimal trade-in value…and really, really want a new Prius.

It’s the story of progressive legislation in this new Democratic wonderland – any even remotely good idea is Liebermanized, tempered with “moderated” language so that the least popular major political party in modern American history gets an effective preemptive veto on anything more radical than declaring puppies soft and adorable.

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Pandagon

Ch-ch-changes…..

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After many years and many server changes and finally landing here at Raw Story, which has taken very good care of us, it's time to say goodbye to Pandagon. I've been blogging under this banner for ten years, after Jesse Taylor asked me to join. He, in turn, had been running this joint since he was in college. A lot has changed since then. I became a journalist, moved from Austin to New York and learned to play Dungeons & Dragons. Jesse became a lawyer and, just this past weekend, a married man.

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Pandagon

Carly Fiorina defends her lie with a whole bunch of lies

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I do like it when Republican candidates sport a resume full of corporate executive work, because it really shows the public how many fools and idiots coast into that position not on merit but on their bullshitting abilities. Donald Trump, Herman Cain, and now we have Carly Fiorina, who just can't understand why her perceived underlings (voters, journalists) won't scurry away, pretending to accept her bullshit like former employees of hers had to do, lest they lost their jobs.

And so it goes that Fiorina, who could make this entire Planned Parenthood controversy go away by saying something like, "I may have misremembered the video, but I still think abortion is wrong," instead is doubling and tripling down. And every time she does, she lies more and more. She was on Meet the Press and, so enamored of the idea that she is perfect and could never do anything wrong, just went to town with the defensive posturing.

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Pandagon

Marco Rubio has an astoundingly low opinion of women’s intelligence

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At RH Reality Check, I covered this story that I wish was getting more press, about how Marco Rubio goes back and forth between suggesting that women who get abortions are greedy monsters who get pregnant for cash:

I just think you’ve created an industry now … a situation where very much, you’ve created an incentive for people not just to look forward to having more abortions, but being able to sell that fetal tissue for purposes—these centers—for purposes of making a profit off it, as you’ve seen in some of these Planned Parenthood affiliates.

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