Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Republican War On Women - Distaff Edition, Cont.

Fox "News" Republican host/ spokesmodel Kimberly Guilfoyle would like young Democrat  ladies to please stay away from the polls this November.  Why?  Let Guilfoyle's searing logic burn a hole in your brain (to match hers):
It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don’t get it! They’re not in that same, like, life experience of paying the bills, doing the mortgage, kids, community, crime, education, health care! They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world … They can go back on Tinder or
Guilfoyle's admonition does not apply, of course, to any of the young Republican Duggar or Palin wimmen, who clearly "get it!"

Oh, by the way, Kimberly, don't forget to vote on Election Day, November 11!  Got it?

Today's Cartoon - Scary Fox "News"

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(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Elizabeth Warren Cuts Through The B.S., As Usual

Our favorite candidate for wherever, whenever and whatever she's running for, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has been hitting the campaign trail for fellow Senate Democrats in the past week.  Here are some of her most-quoted remarks:

Republicans believe this country should work for those who are rich, those who are powerful, those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers.  I will tell you we can whimper about it, we can whine about it or we can fight back.  I’m here with Mark Udall so we can fight back.”  -- Friday in Englewood, CO.

"The game is rigged. The Republicans rigged it." -- Saturday in Minnesota.

The Democrats have a powerful one-two punch that can cut through the Republican b.s. machine (ably abetted by the "mainstream media" who are sticking faithfully to their "the Democrats are going down" narrative):  Elizabeth Warren and Bill Clinton.  They should use them unsparingly all the way to election day.

BONUS:  Frequent blind squirrel Dana Milbank tells us about another female running for office who, together with Sen. Warren, seems to have all the balls in the Democratic Party (ironic, isn't it?).

The Case for Taxing The Plutocrats

The super-rich should be taxed at the 90% marginal rate that they were during the Eisenhower years, according to a paper by two economists who have studied the impact of high taxes on the extremely wealthy.  The current top tax rate is 39.6%.  The economists, from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Bonn (Germany), say that despite the distortions that are created by tax loopholes,
"...a top marginal tax rate in the range of 90 percent would decrease both income and wealth inequality, bring in more money for the government and increase everyone’s well-being -- even those subject to the new, much higher income tax rate."
As the linked article notes, the economists' paper looks only at income, and not wealth.  Most super-rich derive their living from interest on investments which is taxed at a much lower rate.

It's been an article of faith among conservatives certainly since the time of St. Ronnie of Hollywood that reducing taxes on the wealthy increases economic growth -- i.e. supply side, or more accurately, trickle-down economics -- a "theory" that has proven only to increase income inequality between the very wealthy and the remainder of the population.

Clueless Quote of the Day

"I gotta tell you the truth, I'm tired of hearing about the minimum wage, I really am."-- Angry buffoon and pay-to-play politician New Jersey Gov. Chris "Krispykreme" Christie, speaking to the Chamber of Commerce (naturally) yesterday in Washington, D.C.  His remark, along with that of Koch employee of the year, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker who doesn't think that the minimum wage "serves a purpose," is the clearest evidence that Rethuglican politicians couldn't care less about the working poor trying to stay afloat on $7.25 an hour.  However when their wealthy contributors (including the Chamber) come demanding favors, the door's always open to them.

Krispykreme had lap band surgery a while ago to rein in his voracious appetite, when what he really needed was yap band surgery to rein in his loud, mean mouth.

BONUS:  Florida Republican Gov. Rick "Voldemort" Scott also tripped on his lizard tail in last night's gubernatorial debates over minimum wage.  The cluelessness is showing.

Mid-Week Song

Afro-Norwegian duo Nico and Vinz had a big hit earlier this year with "Am I Wrong."  Their just-released second studio album "Black Star Elephant" has another nice tune, "In Your Arms," which is our Mid-Week Song.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Today's Cartoon Twofer - Voter Suppression Edition

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(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

(Ben Sargent, Austin American-Statesman)

Two weeks until the midterm elections, and reactionary right-wing Republicans are pulling out all the stops to keep you from voting.  Don't let them take away the most precious franchise you have in a democracy.

Mr. Noble

In his statements, Pope Francis has indicated that the Church needs to embrace gay and lesbian Catholics, along with the remarried divorced and single mothers.  The recent synod of 183 Catholic bishops and Cardinals in Rome heard the Pope's message of inclusion, but the conservatives among them managed to water down a final report from the synod, effectively neutering the Pope's message.

One of the participating conservative Cardinals was New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who earlier in his career presided over a protection racket for pedophile priests in the Milwaukee diocese.  A frustrated pretender to the Papacy, Dolan projects the avuncular demeanor of a simple Irish priest, but is one of the most masterful, media-savvy BSers in the Church's hierarchy.  Appearing  on ABC this past weekend, Dolan, while discussing how benevolent the bishops were, managed to slur gay and lesbian parents when he suggested they were less noble than heterosexual parents:
"...on the definition of marriage given us by God and faithfully handed on by the church, one man, one woman, lifelong, life-giving, faithful, bringing about new life and children. All right, their enthusiastic response to that. And then the other side, George, was how can we, though, embrace and never alienate those who are unable to live up to that noble ideal(emphasis added)
How about this, Cardinal Dolan:  in whatever time you have left, try living up to the ideal of protecting the Church's children, before you lecture others.  It's too late to ask you to repair the damage.

The Empire Strikes Back

ITEM 1: After stiff sanctions were imposed on the Russian Federation after their seizure of Crimea and their continuing interference in Ukraine, the Russians retaliated against the West, including playing games with their huge natural gas resources and conducting threatening military exercises near the borders of NATO allies.  Now, however, they're playing hardball:  they're threatening to shut some 200 McDonalds over "health" violations.  Damnski!  They're wise to the fillers and secret sauce!  Or maybe the restaurants don't slip enough vodka in the soft drinks.

ITEM 2: On a serious note, Christophe de Margerie, CEO of the French oil company TOTAL, was killed last night when his private plane crashed into a snowplow on the runway of Moscow's Vnukovo airport.  Preliminary reports indicate that the snowplow's driver, who escaped injury, was drunk.  De Margerie was a vigorous opponent of sanctions against the Russian Federation.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Republican Police Blotter: Alabama Crimson Face Edition

They just can't help themselves;  then they help themselves:
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) was arrested on Monday and charged with 23 felony ethics charges, the Associated Press reported. 
Hubbard, who is also the chair of the Alabama Republican Party, faces charges that include using his office for personal gain and voting for legislation with a conflict of interest, reported.
They only see government as an open till for them to pilfer.  Will there be any repercussions for Republicans in Alabama (other than Hubbard)?  Don't be silly.

Ernst Captures The Goldmacher Vote

There's a piece in the National Journal by Beltway narrative plumper Shane Goldmacher giving Iowa tea party Republican Senate candidate and pig castrater Joni Ernst an admiring, loving tongue-bath. Several of our blogging betters have jumped in with their reviews of Goldmacher's journamalism:

Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly talks about the glossing-over of Ernst's crackpot positions (see, "Agenda 21", nullifying Federal laws):
Now I freely admit I have my own biases here: it infuriates me to see the label “the better candidate” attached to anyone running for high office who has ever, ever promoted the insane John Birch Society conspiracy theory of Agenda 21, as Ernst has—much less to suggest that her “toothy grin” and her cute but substantively idiotic “hog castration” ads offset her extremist record. And I don’t know that what national media types say about this race really matters much at all. But it’s part of an atmosphere whereby there are “no Todd Akins or Sharron Angles” to get in the way of the presumed outcome of a GOP takeover of the Senate in part because candidates with extremist positions and records are being cut an awful lot of slack by the supposedly neutral media. Joni Ernst pretty much is Sharron Angle with a better bio and a greater willingness to weasel out of her prior statements; she pretty much is Todd Akin with a superior ability to avoid a dangerous line of questioning by changing the subject. It’s alarming to think such superficial talents are enough to turn champions of the mad fringe into “breakout stars.” (our emphasis)
Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog takes on Goldmacher's strawman of the "Democratic machine" (i.e., get out the vote efforts) thwarting the will of the plutocrats people:
This line of argument dovetails nicely with Republican vote trutherism (Democrats win because of massive voter fraud!) and its lite, polite variants (Democrats win because they give so much free stuff to moochers! Republicans lose some elections in the overall vote count, but win the votes of the right people, so, really, the GOP wins!). Either way, America -- or "real Americans," at least -- prefer the GOP no matter what the vote totals say. Democrats don't have a mandate to govern even when they win (because they don't really win), and Republicans have a mandate even when they lose.  (our emphasis)
Charles Pierce also has a short piece highlighting the contribution of pundit-for-hire and former Obama guru David Axelrod in building the myth of "brave woman versus the Machine:"
Axelrod's latest contribution is to join the chorus summoned up for an almost incomprehensibly hagiographic profile of Joni Ernst, the outright nut whom the voters of Iowa may bestow upon the nation as their next senator.

"She's got momentum. She's got charisma. But Democrats have great organization there," former top Obama strategist David Axelrod said of the race on MSNBC earlier this month. "It's really organization versus momentum and charisma, and we'll see."
The fact that her politics are not just retrograde, but completely insane, ought to figure into every assessment of Joni Ernst. At least that's the way I see it.  (our emphasis)
But to Goldmacher, this "Sharron Angle with a better bio" is "the better candidate" and "a rising star!

Sic transit gloria, America.

BONUS:  The Des Moines Register, to their credit, blasts Ernst's paleolithic views on government safety net programs.

Crossing The Aisle

Former Virginia Sen. John Warner (R) has appeared in an ad endorsing Dem Sen. Mark Warner (no relation) for re-election in Virginia over former Rethuglican National Committee chairman and lobbyist for Enron Ed Gillespie.  John Warner had announced his endorsement of Sen. Mark Warner back in January 2014.  This is the first time former Sen. Warner endorsed any Democrat in Virginia.  It demonstrates just how far right the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid Party has veered that a former moderate conservative Senator of theirs (5 terms, no less) has jumped ship.

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

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Resentment, fear, hatred (see Quote of the Day, below) -- the three-legged Republican message, um, stool.  Here's more on the "fear" leg. And more.

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Quote Of The Day - The "Resentment Vote"

"They want you to cast resentment votes.  Resentment against the president.  Resentment against the Affordable Care Act.  Resentment against the last bad thing that happened."  -- former President Bill Clinton on the Republican message, last Thursday in New Hampshire, quoted by E.J. Dionne, Jr., today.  Resentment, fear, hatred.  Those are great motivators in politics, and Republicans have been playing those cards for decades now because they have nothing else to offer their dwindling base -- and they've been largely getting away with it =cough= "mainstream media" =cough=.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Funnies

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With the Citizens United decision clearing the way for dark money in political campaigns, wealthy individuals and corporations will spend to the limit to buy the government that will protect their interests and privilege.

(cartoon:  Tom Toles, via