From this afternoon:
A progressive perspective on politics, culture and the media since 2006
From this afternoon:
The Republican bad faith evergreen endgame --
One dynamic very easy to foresee is that the GOP Caucus will unanimously (or nearly) oppose every significant Biden legislative initiative, as they did under Obama, no matter its merits. Negotiations are important but the GOP endgame is clear. /1 https://t.co/eeJDtUOF8G— Lawrence Glickman (@LarryGlickman) April 14, 2021
Lightweight Nikki Haley, Presidential timber in her own mind --
“I’m the right person for the job. Unless the guy who was impeached twice, failed to get reelected, never read his intelligence briefings, tried to overthrow our democracy, and now faces multiple criminal and civil lawsuits runs again, in which case I’m totally behind him.” https://t.co/jIjQ1PNiq9— Windsor Mann (@WindsorMann) April 13, 2021
Now walk the walk --
Ads in NYT & WaPo, while commendable, will not stop voter suppression in TX AZ MI etc. Opposing specific bills & cutting off funding for Rs sponsoring them might https://t.co/1NnlSACN8p— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) April 14, 2021
Shouldn't speak ill of the dead; making an exception here --
Dude stole Elie Wiesel's life savings. Elie Wiesel. https://t.co/9UzHqI5LYR— Jane Coaston (@janecoaston) April 14, 2021
Kindness towards a child --
Kindness towards a child would seem to be a baseline indicator of civility and grace but, nonetheless, there it was, in front of god and the world. https://t.co/zF02fN5eHG— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 13, 2021
Hi-yo, Tippy Toes, away! --
Not the horse to ride for a quick getaway. 😳😏😂 pic.twitter.com/P4TQiilW5u— Fred Schultz (@fred035schultz) April 14, 2021
(click on images to enlarge)
(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)
(Jeff Stahler, gocomics.com)
(Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer)
(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
(Chris Britt, Counterpoint)
(Ted Rall, gocomics.com)
(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)
(Peter Steiner, @plsteiner)
(Kevin Necessary, The Cincinnati Enquirer)
(Martyn Turner, Irish Times, Dublin)
(Bruce Plante, planteink.com)
Continuing with our occasional retrospective of instrumentals from the '60s, Memphis-based rhythm and blues band Booker T. & The MG's were once the studio band for Stax Records, often playing backup on recordings for stars like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Albert King. The 4-member band included such legendary musicians as guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist "Duck" Dunn. Their gifted leader, keyboardist, Booker T. Jones, was only 17 when he composed the group's 1962 hit single, "Green Onions." Through the years since, the evergreen song's been featured on movie soundtracks and in other media. Enjoy.
Our Republican crime blotter today has Missouri (the "Show Me" state!) on its radar today, with some allegations that low- IQAnon sleuths should definitely look into (even though the accused isn't Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden, or any Democrat for that matter):
On Tuesday, KSHB reported that Missouri state Rep. Rick Roeber has submitted his resignation, effective Friday.
Roeber, who ran to replace his deceased wife in the state House in 2020, was embroiled in controversy when his adult children came forward during the election with graphic details of physical and sexual assault at his hands. He was elected anyway, but his children made a plea to now-GOP state House Speaker Rob Vescovo to prevent him from being seated. Roeber was banned from the GOP House caucus pending an ethics investigation.
According to the report, Roeber did not cite the assault and molestation allegations as the reason for his departure.
"He said he needs to move out of state to be closer to family and cited that as the reason for his departure from the Legislature," reported Summer Ballentine. "He also said he has accomplished his only legislative goals: voting on education bills and memorializing his late wife, former Republican Rep. Rebecca Roeber." (our emphasis)
"He was elected anyway... " Those Republicans in Missouri are certainly a tolerant bunch, as long as the candidate has an "R" by his/her name on the ballot. (Note to Matt Gaetz: you may have a future in Missouri Republican politics!) We're also reminded of this:
This controversy comes as former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, forced to resign over allegations of sexual assault and blackmailing a mistress, is mounting an attempted political comeback with a run for Senate.
Show us some more, Missouri Republicans!
(Photo: Former State Rep. Rick Roeber official photograph)
(click to enlarge)
With the U. S. Capitol in the distance, vases of 40,000 white silk flowers stand on the National Mall honoring those who have died from gun violence. The event was organized by "Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence" in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 and will continue for a few days.
A portion of the letter sent to Fox Corporation's CEO Lachlan Murdoch from Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of the Anti-Defamation League on April 12, reiterating that action needs to be taken regarding trust fund troll Tucker Carlson's bald- faced white supremacist "replacement theory" rants:
When Mr. Carlson says, "No country can import large numbers of people who hate it and expect to survive," he paints the plight of the white race as existential to his audience, telling them to view their neighbors as enemies and to fight against them for survival.
When Mr. Carlson attacked the media for highlighting the replacement tweets of disgraced Representative Steve King, Fox didn’t act. When 23 people were killed in El Paso, shot by an avowedly white supremacist gunman trying to prevent "a Hispanic invasion" of the state, Mr. Carlson acted as an apologist, claiming that white supremacy in America was "not a real problem" and that the accusations against it were a "hoax." Fox still didn’t act.
On Thursday Mr. Carlson lifted the already thin veil and embraced a foundational theory of white supremacy. At a time of intense polarization, this kind of rhetoric galvanizes extremists and lights the fire of violence. As a news organization with a responsibility to the public and as a corporation with a responsibility to its shareholders, it is time for you to act.
Make no mistake -- Carlson's fellow white supremacists are gleeful that he's broadcasting their odious beliefs:
The white nationalist site VDare called Tucker Carlson's monologue last night "one of the best things Fox News has ever aired" and praised it for being filled with "ideas and talking points" that VDare "pioneered many years ago." pic.twitter.com/7Jmx1Dr7gI— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) April 13, 2021
Carlson is the top- rated hatemonger in the racist, nativist Fox "News" lineup. Besides bringing in the rubes, he clearly represents the corporate culture at Fox. Our replacement theory is that he won't be replaced.
(Image: Asked and answered.)
Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have spiked during the pandemic, with random assaults against them leading to the massacre of six Asian-Americans in Georgia just weeks ago. The scapegoating racist Donald "Mango Mussolini" Trump repeatedly used such derogatory terms as "China virus" and "Kung Flu" to shift blame from his deadly and incompetent handling of the COVID-19 pandemic here in the U.S.
In an effort to combat the surge, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act was introduced on March 11 by Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono and New York Rep. Grace Meng. According to its sponsors, the bill would:
"....address the rise of hate crimes and violence targeted at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) by assigning a point person at the Department of Justice (DOJ) to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes, providing support for state and local law enforcement agencies to respond to these hate crimes, and coordinating with local and federal partners to mitigate racially discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic."
One would think this would attract overwhelming bipartisan support from Republicans. One would be mistaken. Indeed, a month after the bill was introduced, not a single Republican has signed on as a co-sponsor, with Republican comments ranging from "it goes too far" (Rob Portman) to odd "that a hate crime bill has to be linked to COVID" (Susan Collins) to the ubiquitous "I haven't read the bill" (John Cornyn).
The hundreds of thousands dead as a result of Trump's mishandling of the response to the virus, and the dead and injured as a result of his bigoted finger-pointing that endangers all Asian-Americans (not just Chinese-Americans) are on their Dear Leader, and on them for enabling him. This cowardly refusal to act is just another step down for them into the muck of racism.
Lethal force unspooled by an expired tag and air freshener --
The "warrant" on #DaunteWright was over unpaid fines for 2 minor misdemeanors — one a marijuana case — totaling $346. He pled guilty, filed for deferred payment and they were sent to collections DURING A PANDEMIC. Then he was pulled over for car air fresheners and killed over it. pic.twitter.com/M387CvQlz9— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) April 12, 2021
Abundantly overreacting? --
pausing bc of 6 blood clot cases out of 7M shots? https://t.co/JhRV9pwzMk— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) April 13, 2021
If you are shocked about 6 women getting blood clots from the 7 million people who took the J & J vaccine, wait till I tell you about how many people died who didn’t get a vaccine at all.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) April 13, 2021
No vaccine for this --
If only there was a vaccine to prevent stupidity. https://t.co/0rTttCRwvS— ReallyAmerican.com 🇺🇸 (@ReallyAmerican1) April 13, 2021
More tide turning --
Big Law is joining the fight against voter suppression.— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 13, 2021
A coalition of 60 major law firms has come together "to challenge voter suppression legislation and to support national legislation to protect voting rights and increase voter participation." https://t.co/mYuYmrsVP4
Disregard all future intoxicated burblings --
Nothing else to say. pic.twitter.com/Vyvqy6CBXx— Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) April 13, 2021
Wait for it 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/pmLonIUnue— CCTV_IDIOTS (@cctv_idiots) April 13, 2021
(click on images to enlarge)
(Matt Davies, Newsday)
(Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal)
(Kevin Kallaugher, Baltimore Sun)
(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)
(Dave Granlund, politicalcartoons.com)
(Jeff Koterba, caglecartoons.com)
(Nick Anderson, gocomics.com)
(John Darkow, Columbia Missourian)
(Pat Byrnes, caglecartoons.com)
At about the same time the former guy was attacking Senate Republican Minority Leader Sen. "Moscow Mitch" McConnell and his Chinese American wife, the person who led the company convicted of the largest Medicare fraud in history was presenting him with a tiny bowl in commemoration of... WTF:
This weekend I was proud to recognize President Donald Trump with the inaugural @NRSC Champion for Freedom Award.— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) April 12, 2021
President Trump fought for American workers, secured the border, and protected our constitutional rights. https://t.co/4jjy88FRVr pic.twitter.com/A9I2sATdkn
"Champion of Freedom." R.I.P., irony.
But... Champion of Impeachments (2), Champion of Failed Insurrections, Champion of Election Fraud, Champion of Tax and Bank Fraud, Champion of Sexual Assaults, Champion of Lies (30,573 in 4 years), Champion of Grifters, Champion of Vladimir Putin, yes.
As the expansionist Russian Federation transfers its troops to the border with Ukraine, and within occupied, annexed Crimea, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned them not continue their troop buildup, promising Ukraine that it had NATO's support. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but is seeking membership in the alliance to counter Russia's aggression. From the linked article:
"The comments came amid a rise in cease-fire violations in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces have been locked in a conflict since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula. More than 14,000 people have died in fighting in eastern Ukraine since 2014, and efforts to negotiate a political settlement have stalled.
Stoltenberg called Moscow’s recent troop deployment the biggest military buildup since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began."
Stoltenberg indicated that NATO representatives would be meeting today to discuss and coordinate on the situation in Ukraine.
Russian thug and crime organization head Vladimir Putin is testing not only NATO, but the Biden Administration, which slapped new sanctions on Moscow after their devastating "SolarWinds" hack of U.S. computer systems. Putin would like to incorporate Ukraine into what he conceives of as "Greater Russia," which would generally have the footprint of the old Soviet Union, whose loss Putin mourns.
With thousands of Russian "military advisors" / irregular troops fighting in eastern Ukraine, infiltrating more troops and weapons into that region is a serious and ominous threat to the stability of the region. A way must be found to check Putin's ambitions, short of all out war. Stoltenberg's warning may give Putin pause, despite the fact that Putin needs the confrontation to distract from Russia's failing economic performance and crackdown on pro-democracy forces.
BONUS: Russia responds as expected: nyet to slowing build up of forces.
Ahead of a meeting today at the White House with House and Senate Republicans to discuss the Biden Administration's infrastructure plan, a show of continuing, malicious Republican bad faith:
Senate Republicans have reportedly sent around a memo calling President Biden’s ambitious infrastructure package a “slush fund,” ahead of a bipartisan meeting with the president at the White House on Monday.
Politico reports that the memo sent by the Senate Republican Conference to all GOP communications staffs blasts the White House for referring to the infrastructure proposal as a “jobs plan” and instead called it a “partisan plan to kill jobs and create slush funds on the taxpayer dime.”
“Biden’s Partisan, Job-Crushing Slush Fund spends just 5% of the total $2.7 trillion on roads and bridges,” the lawmakers said in their memo, according to Politico.
“The rest is: a wish list of non-infrastructure spending on failed Obama policies; a dog’s breakfast of slush funds for Democrats’ pet projects without any accountability or transparency; expensive green energy mandates on Americans; a ban on the right to work; and a flurry of tax hikes that will to drive companies out of the U.S. and give China and Russia a say in the United States’ tax laws. As a result, the plan will eliminate at least 1 million jobs," they added.
(Spoiler alert) Bullshit! Not (shockingly!) the wished- for Golden Muffin of bipartisanship! sought after by certain posturing Dems and cynical Republicans.
The phony narrative that only roads and bridges are "infrastructure," plus the absurd notion that a $2 trillion plan is a job- killer, plus addressing climate change for the first time in 4 years is an "expensive green energy mandate," plus the notion that raising the top corporate tax rate to less than where it was before the incompetent former guy came in and tanked the economy -- it's all just more of the same lying, gaslighting Republican talking points, endlessly recycled. If it weren't for bad faith, Republicans would have no faith at all.
On the last point, for some perspective, here's what happened when President Clinton pegged the top corporate rate to 35% -- not the 28% Biden's proposing (our emphasis):
On Aug. 10, 1993, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which created four new corporate tax brackets with increased rates for businesses with incomes over $335,000.  Vice President Al Gore, in a statement hailing the bill’s passage, said “[This bill] means jobs, growth, tax fairness… It’s a message of hope to the small business owner and 96% of all small businesses who will get a tax cut under this plan.”  The bill was attacked by United States Chamber of Commerce President Richard Lesher, who said that the corporate tax increases would “slow economic growth and fuel inflation…” and that “foreign competitors would gain an economic advantage over American goods here and abroad.”  A group of 300 major corporations and trade associations known as the Tax Reform Action Coalition said it “strongly opposed Mr. Clinton’s move to increase the top rates for… corporate taxes.”  From the passage of the bill until the end of Clinton’s term, the US economy gained more than 21.4 million jobs, the unemployment rate fell from 6.8% to 3.9%, industrial production rose by 5.6% per year, and the Dow Jones Industrial average rose 26.7% per year.
So, raising the top corporate tax rate to a much higher level in 1993 led to... eight years of job growth, rising industrial production and a booming Dow Jones. Sounds awful!
(Image: Jeff Stahler, gocomics.com)
Fixed it --
Alternate, non-hack phrasing: Biden is passing & implementing the programs he ran on, which are supported by large majorities of Americans.— David Roberts (@drvolts) April 11, 2021
He is doing this despite kneejerk opposition from the historically unpopular GOP, fresh off an insurrection. https://t.co/a1TX72QinC
"Ram through" is literally GOP language. This little tweet is a GOP press release. God save us from f'ing hacks.— David Roberts (@drvolts) April 11, 2021
Copying and sharing their bad- faith narratives --
People are dunking on this @JohnCornyn tweet and while yes it’s typical bad-faith bullshit, it’s *word for word* copy-pasted from a Politico story trying to make Biden look bad for having a press “strategy” that reporters don’t like because he’s not Trump https://t.co/j6ZNCUxwUq pic.twitter.com/DMqrBGpOnj— Matt Negrin, HOST OF HARDBALL AT 7PM ON MSNBC (@MattNegrin) April 12, 2021
They can't quit him, cont. --
Trump: Mitch McConnell is a dumb son of a bitch, and his wife sucks, too.— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) April 12, 2021
Senate Republicans: https://t.co/utWlT4KRIB
One down, one to go --
Cool. Now what about the other one? https://t.co/0n0JQZ5mdQ— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) April 12, 2021
It's a big f*cking deal --
Hideki Matsuyama of Japan just won the 85th Masters. He is the tournament's first Asian-born champion and the first Japanese man to win a major golf championship. https://t.co/ouk1fzDwlC— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 11, 2021
Gaetz motivator? --
If Matt Gaetz takes a plea deal, he could be out in time for Prom.— Tengrain ✂️ 6-feet-away-or-6-feet-under (@Tengrain) April 11, 2021
To get some awws, we're willing to panda --
Cleaning the house with a toddler around.. pic.twitter.com/2qdy400H7S— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) April 11, 2021
Former Speaker of the House and man always on the verge of weeping John "It's Not Pronounced Boner" Boehner has a new book out, "On The House," in which he settles some old scores that he should have settled when he was in power. Here's his take on accused sex trafficker Matt Gaetz's wingman and sexual abuse cover up guy Rep. "Gym" Jordan (Seditionist-OH), from CBS Sunday Morning:
"CBS Correspondent John Dickerson: 'You call some of these members political terrorists.'
Boehner: 'Oh, yeah, Jim Jordan especially, my colleague from Ohio. I just never saw a guy who spent more time tearing things apart and never building anything, never putting anything together.'” (our emphasis)
While he has Jordan pegged, it's a little rich for Boehner to talk about never building anything. We recall him yelling "Hell no you can't" on the House floor, an epic example of bad faith regarding the Affordable Care Act that he tried mightily to block from passage for two years, while offering no alternative and complaining about lack of cooperation from Dems. He presided over the 2010 right-wing Tea Party takeover of Congress, and was happy to ride the wave that eventually brought a malignant narcissist and lying con man from New York City to the White House in 2016. But thanks for the memories.
(photo: Cover of Boehner's score-settling book. He loves his wine and cigarettes.)