Sunday, May 24, 2015

Courting The Molester Vote

They had fourth-rate former headbanger and confessed pedophile Ted "Crap My Pants" Nugent in their camp, among others, but leading Republicans also sought the approval of Christian Talibangelist and sister molester Josh Diddler Duggar.

And a sweet pic with the chairman of the Rethug crime family, Reince "Prepuce" Preibus:

Hypocritical, Bible-banging pedophile molesters (and parents who covered up for them) have found a place in the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid Party.

Adelson To Face U.S. Trial

A judge has ruled that Sheldon "Smelly Shelly" Adelson, gambling tycoon and financial sugar daddy of both right-wing Republicans here and Likudniks in Israel, will have to face charges in the U.S. over allegations that he engaged in corrupt practices with Chinese officials and members of Chinese triad gangs regarding his casino holdings in Macau.  The allegations stem from the former chief executive of Smelly Shelly's Macau casinos, Steven Jacobs, who claims that he tried to block Adelson's connections with Chinese gangs and was terminated for his efforts. During the jurisdiction phase of the proceedings, Smelly Shelly took the witness stand and at one point declared that Jacobs "squealed like a pig to the Government," not exactly a dignified rebuttal to the charges (imagine 1940s film noir dialogue from a crime boss).  Also, "squealed" -- in the vernacular -- is a concession of sorts that the information provided was a betrayal of an, at best, questionable enterprise.

Smelly Shelly has deep pockets, so his legion of lawyers will do everything to either dismiss the charges, or delay the proceedings ad infinitum.  In the absence of a conviction, it's unlikely that right-wing Republicans will stop kissing his wrinked tuchas in exchange for campaign contributions.  That big money derived from shady overseas gambling is just too tempting for the morally upright Rethugs.

(photo:  Smelly Shelly doesn't like squealers, but is fine with Rethugs.)

Sunday Funnies

(click to enlarge)

The various weasely spins on the answer to "knowing what we know now…" by the Republican 2016 hopefuls gives you an insight into how justifiably terrified they are about the issue of the Iraq war and its present day consequences, and not just the obvious case of House of Bush princeling John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush.  They can't acknowledge the obvious lies told by the last Administration, so they're blaming faulty "intelligence" in one breath and saying "well, Saddam Hussein's gone and that's good, right?" in the next.

The Dems need to hang this anchor around their necks each day until election day.

(cartoon:  Stuart Carlson via

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Birds Of A Feather Pic

In 2010, Michelle Duggar accepted a "Mother of the Year" award from disgraced pastor Doug Phillips (right with beard), who resigned his ministry in 2013 after an adulterous affair. When she accepted that award, she and her husband already had been covering up for their son Josh Diddler Duggar's sexual abuse of several younger girls, including his sisters.  Great "Christian" holier-than-thou hypocrisy all around.

Trickled On

For the better part of 35 years, one of the myths that Rethuglicans cling to is that tax cuts on corporations and upper income people ("supply side" or "trickle down" economics) produce prosperity through greater economic activity. In reality, what they produce are wealthier plutocrats who donate to the Rethugs, and budget shortfalls requiring government to either borrow money (with interest) or, more typically with Rethug politicians, to slash government services.

Four Rethuglican governors with their eyes on the Presidency in 2016 are now facing crises of their own making:  Chris "Krispykreme" Christie in New Jersey, Scott "Koch Head" Walker in Wisconsin, John "Itchy" Kasich in Ohio, and Pyush "Bobby" Jindal in Louisiana have been merrily cutting taxes, only to find that the cuts didn't produce new revenues through economic growth.  All four states have significant shortfalls in their state budgets which will force confrontations with their state legislatures, which are very reluctant to cut funds for education, public works and public safety.  What makes this situation dangerous for the four is that they have pledged -- three in writing and one (Krispykreme) verbally -- not to raise taxes, a violation that could produce a Teabagger challenge in their next primary or election.  If everyday people weren't going to be the victims of their idiocy, we'd cheer the fix they've put themselves in, once again drinking the "trickle down" Kool Aid.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Weekend Overload Song

Our Memorial Day long weekend song is "Overload," by Life of Dillon, a new London-based UK band with an international music style that incorporates some influences of British pop and of Brazil, where two of the three band members were born, and rhythms of Nigeria, where their mother hails from.  "Dillon" happens to refer to a free-spirit, world-traveling beachcomber that they befriended while on a visit to Brazil in 2014.  Enjoy.

Biting The Hand That Heals You

A key pathology of the far right, as embodied by the Republican / New Confederate/ Stupid Party, is the intentional disconnection from facts and data, unless they happen to support their world view.  A prime example is the role that human activity plays in climate change, which is accepted by 97% of the scientific community.  Yet another is the cause of the current situation in Iraq, which hardcore Rethugs want to blame on President Obama, who has been cleaning up Dubya's magnificent mess for 8 years.  Yet another example is the Rethuglican voter's view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The Affordable Care Act suffered from a botched roll-out in 2011, but in the intervening years, has succeeded despite Rethug attempts to block or undermine aspects of the law, including an ill-fated shutdown of the Federal Government.   The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that 74% of all new enrollees in the ACA marketplace rated their health insurance coverage as either "excellent," or "good," a slight uptick from last year's numbers.  Yet, when they surveyed on the basis of party identification, only 25% of Republicans gave an "excellent," or "good" rating to the ACA.  As Kevin Drum says:
"You can buy an ACA plan on the marketplace, get a subsidy, and be happy with your plan—but if you're a Republican you still overwhelmingly hate Obamacare by 74-25 percent."
Hating something that's helped you, just because it's Obama's program. That's pathological, with no connection to what they've actually experienced.

Picture of the Day

This intricate design in the sand on the sea floor was made by a small puffer fish, barely visible in the center of the "wheel" as a dark sliver.

Here's a video of this amazing little artist in action. Truly a natural wonder.

Republican Family Values - Diddling Duggar Edition

Let us say at the outset that it's a real tragedy any time a person -- especially a minor -- is the victim of sexual predation and assault.  That this happened in a family that holds itself up as a paragon of  "pro-family," Christian evangelical, Republican values makes this appalling (but not altogether surprising):
In the wake of a tabloid report alleging that he molested several underage girls while he was a teenager, reality-television star Josh Duggar said Thursday that he “acted inexcusably” and was “deeply sorry” for what he called “my wrongdoing.”

The 27-year-old Duggar, a high-profile member of the evangelical Christian family that stars on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” also resigned his post with the Family Research Council, a conservative lobbying organization.
 But wait, there's more:
Hours before Duggar’s statement, In Touch Weekly had published a partially redacted police report from the Springdale Police Department in Arkansas that, the tabloid said, contained details of the allegations against Duggar. The report redacted the name of the suspect and the alleged victims, all juveniles, but listed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as relatives. The incidents occurred in 2002 and 2003(our emphasis)
Translation:  several of the victims were his younger sisters.

In case you're not familiar with the Family Research Council's "values":
The FRC, a conservative Christian organization led by Tony Perkins, is known for its advocacy against same-sex marriage, “with the mission to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.” [snip]
The FRC is known in Washington for hosting a Values Voters Summit, which regularly gathers Republican politicians trying to run for president. The organization’s budget in 2013 was about $13 million, according to its financial statements.

“Family Research Council is one of the major players among the pro-family social conservatives and has a major D.C. presence,” said Tobin Grant, a political scientist at Southern Illinois University, who compared the FRC to the Heritage Foundation or the American Family Association. “It still represents an old guard of people who are pushing the culture wars and traditional family values.”
Not mentioned: the FRC is classified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Perhaps parents Michelle and Jim Bob (!) were too busy "quiverfilling" their family (19? 20? 21? 22? children - we lost count) to pay enough attention to what Josh was up to:
The Duggars, who endorsed Mike Huckabee for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, have been likened to the “Quiverfull” movement, which urges its followers to have as many children as God will give them.

Many Quiverfull-style families opt to homeschool their children, who are raised in the belief system of their parents.
Or perhaps something else was rotten at the core:
The Duggars have previously promoted the teachings of Bill Gothard and the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a conservative organization that was once popular among the Christian homeschooling movement. Gothard resigned from the institute he founded in 2014, after allegations of sexual harassment, molestation and failing to report child abuse.
Be sure to go to the article for bonus pics of Duggar with pals Mike "Huckster" Huckabee, Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker, and Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz."

UPDATE:  Huckster comes to the defense of confessed abuser Josh Diddler Duggar.

BONUS:  Is there a connection between home schooling and home sexing?  The indicted members of this North Carolina family seem to raise the question.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Carly Fiorina, Deadbeat Candidate

Toxic former Hewlett-Packard job destroyer (30,000!) and failed Senatorial candidate (in a Republican year!) Carly "Snarly" Fiorina is likely to get a spot on what will be a crowded stage of all-male, mostly white Republicans when the presidential primary debates begin.  After all, it's important for the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid Party to look inclusive and to have someone who can bash Hillary Clinton without coming across as a sexist bully.  As we've noted before, Snarly's chances of getting elected are the same as ours -- and we're at a disadvantage because we're not running.

It's not for nothing that, as a candidate at any level, she's a toxic hot mess:
Twelve of about 30 people who worked on Fiorina’s failed 2010 California Senate campaign, most speaking out for the first time, told Reuters they would not work for her again. Fiorina, once one of America's most powerful businesswomen, is now campaigning for the Republican nomination in 2016.
 The reason: for more than four years, Fiorina - who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million - didn’t pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.  (our emphasis)
So, not only a job destroyer, but a golden parachute multi-millionaire deadbeat employer to boot.  She must think the "little people" survive on the sunbeams that jet out of her kazoo.

How bad is she?
I’d rather go to Iraq than work for Carly Fiorina again,” said one high-level former campaign staffer, who asked not to be identified, citing disclosure restrictions in his contract.  (our emphasis)
It's always just about let- them- eat- cake Snarly and what's good for her, and let the "little people" sort the rest out amongst themselves.  That's why (Costco) ham-handed stunts designed to portray the multi-millionaire Fiorinas as jus' folk are doomed to failure, just like her stints at H-P and running for the Senate were.

When does she stop being considered a Serious Candidate?

(h/t Washington Monthly)

Neocon Republicans And The "Who Lost Iraq?" Fast Shuffle

Several perceptive folks have noticed, particularly in the aftermath of John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush's week-long floundering on brother Dumbya's Iraq catastrophe, that Republicans are cowardly trying to turn the issue of ISIL's recent gains (after a series of setbacks) in Iraq into an indictment of President Obama (and, of course, Hillary Clinton) to divert attention from the Republican originator of the mess (and his "smarter" brother):
After more than a decade bearing the political burden of Iraq, Republicans are making a dogged effort to shed it by arguing that the Islamic State’s gruesome ascent is a symptom of Obama’s foreign policy, rather than a byproduct of the 2003 invasion they once championed.
Chaos in the city of Ramadi, which this week fell under the control of Islamic State militants, has only intensified the Republican outcry.
Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog noticed the corporate "mainstream media" is already engaged in tying the recent loss of Ramadi to ISIL into a narrative about the pain veterans of the Iraq War feel over seeing the city fall.  Mind you, not that the whole bloody mess originated in the first place because of the lies of Likudnik chickenhawk neocons.  More evidence, if any were needed, that the "mainstream media" is the perfect foil for Republican revisionists because it has the perspective of Mr. Magoo and the attention span of a mayfly.

Charles P. Pierce noted Steve's catch and had this to say:
...The only way for the people who shook their moneymakers for the war in 2002 to justify their continued place in our politics is to use ISIL to replace the aluminum tubes and hope that enough people don't notice what a grotesque fast shuffle this is. That will clear the way for the candidates on the Republican side -- Rubio, Graham, Jeb (!), and, most recently, Chris Christie -- who want to revive the old neocon hoo-rah while distancing themselves from its savage consequences. It looks very much like "Who lost Iraq?" may replace the disastrous decisions of the Avignon Presidency in this campaign, and that a good chunk of the Republican field will be perfectly happy to allow that to happen. For all the talk of the president's fecklessness from the chickenhawk choir, what those candidates are about right now is the worst kind of cowardice.
That Republicans are trying to turn recent events in the Middle East into a "Who lost Iraq?" narrative is beyond obscene, especially, as Pierce notes, with the same Republican neocons (Sen. "Huckleberry Butchmeup" Graham, Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio and "J.E.B." Bush adviser Paul Wolfowitz) ready and willing to repeat the same disastrous mistakes all over again, with a new generation of someone elses children. That whirring sound must be George Santayana spinning in his grave.

UPDATE:  Ruben Bolling sums it up also (click on image to enlarge):

(Attribution: Ruben Bolling)

Bumped From The Clown Car?

GOP TV Fux News has announced that it will limit the number of clowns for the August 6 Republican 2016 candidate debate to ten.  Of course, when Fux speaks, the Rethug apparatus listens. The top ten will be determined by averaging the five most recent national polls.  Rethuglican National Committee chairman and human/weasel hybrid Reince "Prepuce" Priebus indicated his support of the decision, which gives him an out, as the list of candidates for the Rethug nomination is getting longer than the Manhattan phone directory (how many already are running or plan to run, 21, 33…?).

It could mean an early demise for such never-gonna-be-nominated-anyway candidates like gay-bashing Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, job-killer Carly "Snarly" Fiorina, theocrat Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum, and bomb-throwing Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup" Graham.  There would still be plenty of craziness in the field of ten, which could include untethered birther Donald "Rump" Trump, and flaming poo-flinger Dr. Ben "Off His Meds" Carson. Here's hoping the other 10 15 247 candidates raise a monumental stink and crash the party.  Popcorn anyone?

(photo:  Huckleberry, is that you?)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Lie That Cost Thousands Of Lives

Within days of 9-11, the Bush-Cheney Assministration was seeking ways to tie the regime of Saddam Hussein to the attack, despite no evidence of it.  Then, for the next year and a half, there were constant claims by Dumbya and The Dick that Saddam Hussein's secular Baathist Iraq regime had ties to the religiously fanatic al Qaeda, which Dumbya eventually had to disavow.  Then, in 2003, with the deadly lie that sealed the false case for invasion, and the fate of many, many thousands, The Dick claimed on national TV: 
"We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." (emphasis added)
Rethuglicans have long asserted that it was "faulty intelligence" that led Dumbya and The Dick astray, but former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell said yesterday on MSNBC that The Dick's claim that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons wasn't supported by any intelligence from the CIA.  The Dick lied, and Dumbya didn't have the curiosity or candlepower to question it (and anyway, he was happy to grasp any excuse because, as he memorably put it, Saddam "tried to kill my dad.")  Another question begs an answer: not that The Dick and the neocons needed help, but were other self-serving governments /intelligence services (Israel's, Saudi Arabia's, even Iran's?) involved in feeding the false claims?

David Letterman Says Goodbye

The great late night host/ comedian David Letterman says goodbye tonight after 33 years on the air.  "The Late Show With David Letterman" has undoubtedly been the gold standard for the genre;  fortunately Stephen Colbert will be taking over the show and promises to be a worthy successor.  HuffPo has a good collection of Lettermania here, but one of the long-running features of the show was the "Top 10 List."  Here's Letterman's compilation of the "Top 10 Special Top 10 Lists", from April 27, 2015 (number 1 is priceless):

Mid-Week Song Twofer

Happy 57th (!) Birthday today to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, native Jane Wiedlin who co-founded the popular all-female New Wave band The Go-Go's in 1978 with vocalist Belinda Carlisle.  Wiedlin, the rhythm guitarist, also wrote or co-wrote most of The Go-Go's songs, including this infectious hit from 1981, "Our Lips Are Sealed" (she's the one with the dark hair in a pixie cut):

We also want to note a belated Happy Birthday to founder of The Who, Pete Townshend, who turned 70 (!) yesterday.  Here's one of The Who's early hits, "The Kids Are Alright," with Pete doing his patented "windmill" guitar strokes toward the end: