Saturday, February 28, 2009

The "War" At Home

As the New York Times points out, the Obama budget for fiscal 2010 is a stark departure from the right wing philosophy of government begun by St. Ronnie of Hollywood starting in 1981. That philosophy emphasized tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, slashing Federal regulations and oversight, breaking the power of unions, and leaving such things as health care and education up to the market.

The Times article also points to the tremendous transfer of wealth from middle class families to the top 1 percent of income over the past few years. Income inequality grew under Rethuglican governments. The example used by Obama economics advisor, and former Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers is this:

"The increase in inequality. . . meant that each family in the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution was effectively sending a $10,000 check, every year, to the top 1 percent of earners."

So, when you hear Rethuglicans talking about Obama waging "class warfare", remember that they represent the interests of those top 1 percent who have been waging economic class warfare against the middle class for decades, and who have been winning until now.

(h/t, Rising Hegemon)

Friday, February 27, 2009

. . . .Pants On Fire

We hate to beat a dead horse -- the "horse" being Bobby "Bo Jingles" Jindal -- but there are now reports that the story that he told about being present when Sheriff Harry Lee objected to Federal red-tape in his awful response to President Obama was false; he wasn't even there. Bo Jingles continues in the grand Rethuglican tradition of making things up.

A spokesman for Bo Jingles now says that Bo Jingles heard about the story days after it happened and wasn't present when Lee ordered boats into the water to save New Orleans residents from Bushit Assministration incompetence.

Quote of the Day

"You be da man. You be da man!" -- wingnut extraordinaire Rep. Michelle "I See Commies Everywhere" Bachmann, referencing Rethuglican National Committee chairman Michael "Tin Man" Steele at the CPAC wing ding yesterday. We haven't determined whether the wingnut Representative proceeded to offer Tin Man some watermelon and fried chicken in exchange for doing a tap dance.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Down To The Last Few Minutes Of Fame

As we noted below, Joe (not his real name) the (not really a) Plumber is in Washington for the annual plague of wingnuts known as CPAC. As reported in today's WaPo, Joe was having trouble drawing a crowd at a downtown Borders, where he "spoke" and attempted to sell his "book." The WaPo reports that 11 people showed up to hear his wisdom, and he was only able to sell 5 of his books. At this rate, Joe might have to go back to work, rather than living off of wingnut welfare.

Quote Of The Day

"Taxpayers in New York send way more to Washington than they get back so more can go to places like Alaska and Louisiana. Which is fine, as long as we don't have to hear their governors bragging about how the folks who elected them want to keep their tax money to themselves. Of course they do! That's becuase they're living off ours." -- Gail Collins in the New York Times. A perfect summation of the right-wing "I got mine, now you get yours" philosophy that forgets that "mine" was given to them by "you."

Wingnut Weenies in Washington

Today marks the start of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC. Notable guests began to arrive yesterday (photo) with the prospect of hearing conservative intellectuals such as Joe (not his real name) the (not really a) Plumber give his thoughts on the economic recession and "socialism." That should be a hoot.

Certainly, many wingnuts will be crying in their milkshakes over the disastrous performance Tuesday night of their one-time hero, Gov. Bobby "Bo Jingles" Jindal. Bo Jingles is reportedly vacationing in Disney World and will be lucky if Mickey Mouse wants to be photographed with him. On a brighter note, the wingnuts are looking forward to their leader, Rush "Pills" Limpballs, to share his wisdom during the conference. Limpballs is planning his own conference to explore why only 37 percent of women view him favorably, far less than men (suggestion: Limpballs should have asked his 3 former wives first).

These aren't happy times for these earnest wingnuts. Their one-time leaders are either disgraced, defeated, or forced to make a living on the small town lecture circuit. But for the rest of us, their difficulties provide endless amusement and gratification. Carry on, boys and girls!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"The Jindal Adulation Watch" Begins

Borrowing a term from Howie "Get That Job? Kurtz, we're going to start what we think may be a short-lived adulation boomlet for Gov. Jingles. Entry number 1: Michael "Mushroom Cloud" Gerson's thrill up the leg paean in today's WaPo. In it, please note MC has the howler "Some have compared Jindal to Obama, but the new president has always been more attracted to platitudes than to policy." Yeah, you nailed it, MC!! I would never think of Obama as a policy wonk in the same league as your boys Ronnie "3x5 Card" Reagan, George "Dumbya" Bush, and now Bobby "Don't Show Me the Money." What planet is this guy living on? To have seen Jindal last night (see below) is to have seen all the shop-worn, failed policies and platitudes the Rethugs have been living on for more than 30 years*. If Jingles is Gerson's and Pills' Great Brown Hope, then you know he's really bad news.

Once again, the WaPo is allowing itself to be the platform for the worst elements of the Republican "Party" and its water carriers.

*Update: On the other hand, the usually reliably Rethuglican David Brooks thought what Jingles said was insane. Well, shut my mouf!

(Photo: Mushroom Cloud getting a bit of fresh air

A Nice Moment

President Obama and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg embrace at last night's Presidential address. Ginsberg just recently underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer, and is back on the job at the Supreme Court.

(photo: Stephen Crowley, New York Times)

"We're Not Quitters"

Last night's Presidential address to a joint session of Congress is being widely praised for its blunt assessment of our problems and for its confident proposals that will bring us out of the economic slide. Speaking for nearly an hour, President Obama's address combined progressive proposals on health care, energy and education with a populist message that the days of corporate executive excessess were over. He rightly pointed out that he inherited an economic mess, after an era of greed and short-term profit seeking. The overall impression the President left: confidence, competence, and leadership. The public agreed, according to polls.

In perhaps the most memorable line of his address, the President said,

"While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: we will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."

The Rethuglicans had a hard act to follow, and the response by Louisiana Gov. Bobby "Bo Jingles" Jindal was an uninspired, pathetic rehash of every Rethug bromide over the last 30 years: cut taxes on the wealthy, reduce Government regulation, and every man for himself. Most Americans will recognize those "solutions" as the reason we're in this mess. This is the guy that Rush Limpballs called "the next Ronald Reagan." Maybe Bo Jingles (who looked a bit like Gilligan with heavy dark makeup) can get a role in a sequel to Slumdog Millionaire, because if last night was his moment in the national spotlight, he blew it.

(photo: Doug Mills, New York Times)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quote of the Day

"I have not met them. I don't listen or read whatever it is they say because it is inconsequential -- completely." -- Rethug Utah Gov. John "Tally Ho" Huntsman, about the Rethuglican House and Senate leadership, reflecting growing American opinion (but not that of the Beltway media Village).

Shot Down Again

There was an interesting exchange between President Obama and his 2008 rival, Sen. John McBitter, at yesterday's question and answer session following the White House's fiscal responsibility summit. Obama graciously allowed McBitter to pose the first question, and he proceeded to needle Obama on the cost of new helicopters for the White House (ordered, incidentally, by Dumbya). Obama neatly parried by saying that he had already asked his Defense Secretary to look into it, and, to the laughter of the assembled legislators, business and labor leaders, joked that the current helicopters "seem perfectly adequate" since he had never had a helicopter before. "Maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it," Obama teased as everyone laughed.

An outflanked McBitter could only manage a sheepish look, knowing that, as on November 4 of last year, Obama had his number.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Putting Dick Cheney to Good Use

The Onion has a story on how Deadeye Dick Cheney has helped with the economic recovery. (h/t to Tokyo bureau chief Brian)

That Darn Liberal Media!

Comes word that CBS News has a new Senior Vice President of Communications: Jeff Ballabon, a "New York Republican activist." Hmmm. CBS? Are you sure you didn't mean Fux News? CBS?! I thought they were the Liberal Media. Wow. This changes my whole view of the world and my place in it. Imagine a corporation like CBS hiring a Republican! Who'd-a-thunk-it?!

PS - we're crushed and disillusioned.

(Photo: New member of the liberal media elite, Rethug water carrier Jeff Ballabon - full size.)

I Have Found The Enemy, And It Was Me!

In another segment just released from wingnut John Zeigler's schlock-u-mentary about how "the media" targeted Gov. Winky You Betcha, the Gov. claims the media was on a "search and destroy mission" to sink her candidacy. Well, that would explain Winky's failure to know what newspapers she reads, that trotting around with a $180,000 wardrobe wasn't cool, that she lied about saying "thanks, but no thanks" to the Bridge to Nowhere, and that she had no clue what the Bush Doctrine was, after being secluded from the press and briefed on issues for two weeks after the Rethug convention. Of course, during that time, the media gushed about her convention speech and her "personal story."

In truth, Winky wasn't so much the victim of a "search and destroy mission" against her as she was the leader of it.

An Ad Waiting to Happen

We hope the DNC is going to be putting ads up in States whose Rethug governors are posturing about declining their States' stimulus money. You know, the "true believers" like Bobby "Jingle" Jindal (LA), Haley "No Bail-y" Barbour (MS), and Mark "It's the Big One Lamont" Sanford (SC), all jockeying for the furthest right position for 2012.

Here's what we would say:

"Gov. [insert wingnut's name here] is declining recovery money meant for the people of [insert wingnut's State here]. This is federal money - your tax dollars - meant to help the people of [wingnut's State]. So what happens to your money? [Insert clips of Govs. Schwarzenegger, Crist, Granholm, et al, saying "I'll take their money!"].

"Gov. [insert wingnut's name here]: not doing what's right for the people of [wingnut's State]!"

Please note all come from Deep South, deep red states, many of whose population thinks the Civil War is still on. Even so, maybe a message like this might register.

(Photo: Gov. [insert Rethug governor's name here])

Sunday, February 22, 2009

In Her Cupps

In its ongoing mania to provide valuable column space to unknown wingnuts, today's WaPo has a column by "S.E. Cupps", who's identified as the co-author of "Why You're Wrong About the Right." (Heh, a pun!) Cupps reports on the "stars" of this year's CPAC conference in Washington (CPAC stands for "Crooks, Poltroons, Assholes and Crackpots", btw). She's awed by the awesomeness of Newtie Gingrich, Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, and (be still my heart) Tin Man Steele! Of course the column has a big color photo of (M)Ann Coulter looking particularly vulturine, and mention is also made of fellow "conservative rock stars" Michelle Malkin and Rush "Pills" Limbaugh.

Let all those names circle around your skull for a moment and you almost feel a sense of sadness that this collection of clowns and misfits is what can be called the elite of the conservative movement today.

Joke of the Night

"I think everybody should just calm down. Give Obama four years. See what he can do. Then if he's a miserable failure, we'll do what we did with George Bush and elect him to a second term." Craig Ferguson, Feb. 20 Late Late Show.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Slumming The Oscars

On the eve of the Oscars, Slumdog Millionaire is expected to walk away with the lion's share of awards, including best picture and best director. We'll see what happens. The movie's soundtrack is also up for an award, and includes some great mixes of music from the Indian culture and others. One track includes "Paper Planes" by Indian/Tamil singer M.I.A. ("Maya" Arulpragasam).

Indian actress Freida Pinto almost stole the movie with her presence. She's not up for an Oscar, although she won a 2009 Screen Actor's Guild award as part of the cast, and should be popping up in future films.

Finally, if you see the movie, wait for the closing credits for the classic Bollywood dance number in the train station.

An Endorsement Worth Its Weight in Manatee

Fux News/ABC Radio hot gas vent Sean "Manatee" Hannity had some great investment advice for all his loyal sheep listeners: invest in Stanford gold! Yes (as we first heard on Olbermann), Manatee has flogged for Madoff wannabe Allen "It's Gold, Allen, Gold!" Stanford's coins and bullion group, throwing his, um, weight behind the con man's venture. We hope Manatee put his money where his big mouth is and invested heavily in Stanford's various get- rich- quick schemes. "Oh, Manatee, there's already a queue forming in front of Stanford's off-shore bank, so you'd better hurry and get in line so you, too, can get pennies back on your dollar!"

(Photo: Manatee Hannity telling prospective investors how high a pile of money they'll make by trusting his financial advice.)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Quote Of The Day

"I would encourage him to read the President's plan. . .I'd be more than happy to have him come here and read it. I'd be happy to buy him a cup of coffee. Decaf." -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today, referring to CNBC's resident wingnut Rick "Call Me A Dick" Santelli, who went on an on-air rant against Obama's housing rescue proposal on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, and who clearly hadn't read Obama's plan.

Santelli's shriek-fest was a classic in social Darwinist, every man for himself thought, the kind that motivated the greed on Wall Street and among Call Me A Dick's derivative trader associates. Later, when asked who he voted for on Tweety's Hardball show, Call Me A Dick" replied, "I voted for Mr. McCain." So he would have voted to stay with the Rethuglican economic programs and philosophy that got us into this mess. Quite an expert.

Turn For The Worst In The Middle East

Right-wing Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu has been asked by Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres to form the next Israeli government, based on the outcome of their recent elections. Netanyahu heads the rightist Likud party, which favors expanded settlements on the West Bank and no further territorial concessions. Likud and American neoconservatives share the same policy goals and approaches to politics in the Middle East (war with Iraq, war with Iran, belligerent military philosophy)

In short, it's the perfect outcome for Hamas and Hezbollah, one which they can hold up as an emblem of an expansionist Israel seeking the elimination of any Palestinian state. It undercuts the influence of the more moderate Palestinian Authority, and could set the stage for another intifada.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sho' 'Nuff

While we're on the "party of stupid," it's worth noting that the party's new chairman, Michael "Tin Man" Steele, says the party is ready to appeal to everyone, including "one armed midgets." How, you ask? The Tin Man wants the party to play that little groove that sho' 'nuff gonna make you move. You know, get down with hip hop 'n' midgets [snaps fingers]. (Then maybe they won't notice our political positions are toxic for them).

Via Tbogg, a look at America's whitest black guy.

The Party Of Stupid

While some Rethuglican members of Congress are taking credit in their States for federal money that they voted against in the stimulus package, reports are circulating that some Rethuglican Governors might refuse Federal economic recovery funds. That should go down well with independent and middle class voters in states like Texas, Louisiana, and South Carolina, where Rethug governors Perry, Jindal and Sanford rule. No tax cuts, no infrastructure projects, no upgrades to schools, no aid for unemployment insurance, etc. The Grand Obstructionist Party has been called the "party of no", but the "party of stupid" seems apt in these instances.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out Of The Saddle

House Rethug Whip Eric "The Cancer" Cantor posted a silly video on YouTube actually bragging about the unanimous Rethug opposition to President Obama's economic stimulus package. You know, the package that's gotten 60+ percent approval rating from the public. Unfortunately for them, they failed to get an OK from the publishers to use Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle" as the video's theme song. Also, Aerosmith "wanted to have it taken down." Boo-yah!!

Copyright infringement ain't good, The Cancer. But then again, your party's been violating much higher laws over the past 8 years, so what's the big deal?

An Em-Burrisment To Illinois

Illinois Sen. Roland "Look Everybody, I'm A Senator!" Burris apparently wasn't truthful in his sworn statement that he had no discussions with anyone in former Gov. Rod "Let's Make A Deal" Blagojevich's camp concerning the vacant Senate seat. Burris has had no fewer than 5 different versions of his contacts with associates of the former Governor and future jailbird. Now, he's admitting that he tried to raise campaign funds for the former Governor at the same time that he was asking the Rodmeister to appoint him to the Senate. Uh, sort of like "pay to play?"

Burris was an embarrassment to begin with, someone looking for a fast track to "glory" that he hadn't achieved in previous elections. Today, calls for his resignation are growing, with the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune being the latest. The Senate Ethics committee will be looking into this latest twist, with the potential for Burris to be expelled for giving false testimony. It's unlikely that this goof will leave quietly or quickly. This was his big chance at fame, but he couldn't keep his story straight or, apparently, honest.

(photo: Burris giving version #12 of his contacts with Blagojevich's office)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Beg Your Pardon

Former (Vice) President Dead Eye Dick Cheney is making it known that he repeatedly ordered Dumbya to grant a pardon to former aide and fellow felon Scooter Libby. Since Dumbya didn't follow Dead Eye's orders, Dead Eye is reportedly "furious" at his former subordinate.

It looks like Dead Eye and Dumbya weren't seeing eye-to-eye for a while; maybe it was Dead Eye's botched role in cooking the intelligence leading up to the Iraq War that chilled their formerly cozy relationship. Who knows?

However, in a sign that things might be improving, Dead Eye has invited Dumbya to go hunting with him, and Dumbya is reportedly considering the invitation. . . .

Follow the Leader

House Rethug Minority Whip Eric "The Cancer" Cantor, ever the weasel, is committed to the failure of the new President's economic recovery package, and the Rethugs are hoping that they can run on a still-sour economy in 2010. They obviously think Americans will forget who cooked up the economic mess in the first place, and that Obama included a number of tax cuts in the stimulus package that the Rethugs had wanted (and that are less effective in creating jobs than direct spending).

Just the other day, The Cancer revealed his mentor to be one Newt "Poot" Gingrich, the egomaniacal former House speaker who thinks his every word should be chiseled in granite. "I talk to Newt on a regular basis because he was in the position that we are in: in the extreme minority." [ed. note: "extreme" is the right word, but not as The Cancer meant it]. We strongly encourage House Rethugs to follow Poot and his new protege, since that's seemed to work so well for them in the past 12 years.

(photo: "Hey Cantor, bring me a coffee, with cream and sugar")

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dayum! Foiled by Reality Again!

It didn't take long for George "Quill Pen" Will's Sunday column to be debunked by. . .HIS OWN SOURCE!!

Quill Pen declared "what, me worry" regarding climate change data based on "data" he cited allegedly from the University of Illinois' Artic Climate Research Center. Oops, not so fast, Quill Pen. Problem is, the Arctic Climate Research Center is saying, "we do not know where George Will is getting his information. . ."

From where the sun don't shine maybe?

(photo: ["And that crap was so painful to extract. . ."])

The Good Old Days

It's become the norm to consider the Bushit years as an overall disaster for middle class Americans, and it was. Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, writing in today's New York Times, has another piece of evidence to present: the net worth of the average American household is lower than it was in 2001. Debt rose as consumers assumed that their assets -- principally their houses and stocks -- would continue to increase. Not so, and Americans saved less of their incomes in the past 8 years that in preceding years, exacerbating an economy based on credit and inflated assets.

Small wonder that Dumbya's rating among Presidential historians places him just above Millard Fillmore, and such luminaries as Warren G. Harding and James Buchanan, at a comfy #36 of 42 previous presidents (Grover Cleveland having served before and after President Benjamin Harrison).

Sunday, February 15, 2009


With apologies to Prince's "1999", we have a new Republican Party song. So...hit-tit!

"(We'll Run the Party Like It's) 1929"

We was sleepin' when we wrote this
So "F___ off" as Dead Eye Dick'd say

But on eleven-four-o-eight
Coulda sworn it was judgment day

The sky was all blue
There were bailouts flyin' everywhere

Tryin' 2 hold off the destruction
U know we didn't even care

Cuz they say two thousand zero eight party over
Oops out of time
So now we'll run the party like it's 1929!

We wuz sleepin' in the Congress
So sue us if we don't go 2 fast

But obstruction is our tactic
And depressions weren't meant to last

Collapse is all around us
Leader Rush says we have to fight

So if we gotta die
We're dyin' with Rush all right

Cuz they say two thousand zero eight party over
Oops out of time
So now we'll run the party like it's 1929!

(Photo: Rethug free market avatar Hoobert Heever)

Quote of the Day

"You know, I'm an eternal optimist. That doesn't mean I'm a sap." -- President Obama today in a interview on Air Force One, when asked if he would be willing to reach out to Republicans in the future. No, Mr. President, we know who the saps are (see "Republicans," below). (h/t Huffington Post)

"Out of Ideas..."

John Cole at Balloon Juice gives us SNL and Frank Rich on the Rethugs "strategery" to counteract the Dems and Obama. When SNL gets your stupid into the conventional wisdom, you're going down fast. Nice summation.

Sully also weighs in.

The Villagers? [crickets chirping]

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Quotes of the Day

"There have been a number of different surveys that have shown that Americans perceive that Obama is extending a hand of cooperation, a hand that the Republican leadership is not reciprocating." -- Mark Blumenthal,

"I don't think (Obama) lost anything in terms of job approval or favorability. That's just the perception inside the Beltway. . ." -- Andy Smith, University of New Hampshire pollster.

There's growing consensus that the Beltway media Villagers are totally out of tune with the real "who's up and who's down" aspect of the effort to get the stimulus bill passed. With Obama's approval rating up around 70 percent (and higher in some polls), the Villagers seem to be the last ones noticing that the Rethugs never had any intention of taking that extended hand.

(hat tip: Rising Hegemon)

Friday, February 13, 2009

"Abandon Aggressive Bipartisanship"

In today's WaPo, Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, provides his thoughts on "Judd-head" Gregg's withdrawal in a larger context, saying the time has come for the Obama Administration to "abandon aggressive bipartisanship." Agreed! Sabato goes on to say:

"...[P]leasantries should never be exchanged at the cost of an electoral mandate. Obama secured a higher percentage of the vote than any Democratic presidential nominee since 1860, save for Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. Splitting the difference on issues of principle waters down his mandate and dilutes the changes his supporters expect him to deliver...Leave "national unity" governments to parliamentary nations, and let the American two-party system work."

This echoes what many in the Democratic party have been saying, particularly since the Rethugs have made it clear they have no intention of giving up partisanship. E.J. Dionne also made the same point in a WaPo op/ed "Lost in the Middle." Would that the Obama Administration would recognize there are times for bipartisanship, and times to fight back hard for your agenda. Now is the time for the latter.

Fairness Doctrine Returning?

Congressional Democrats may be ready to take on right wing talk radio by reinstating the "Fairness Doctrine," which would require radio stations using public airwaves to provide balance in their on-air content. During St. Ronnie of Hollywood's regime, the Fairness Doctrine was dumped by St. Ronnie's Federal Communications Commission during the right wing's resurgence. Far-right bloviators such as Rush "Pills" Limpballs were given significant airtime to spread disinformation to angry and receptive "ditto heads." Wingnut-owned radio network conglomerates such as Salem Communications and Bonneville International then blossomed, with no balance of views presented in their programming.

We'll sit back and watch the wingnutosphere go ballistic over this possibility. Talk radio is their wholly-owned propaganda machine, and they won't give it up easily.

(photo: Mr. Ditto, still spreading his shitto)

Judd-head Returns To His Tribe

The sudden withdrawal of Rethug Sen. Judd "Judd-head" Gregg from the Commerce Secretary post was strange in its timing. One wonders why Judd-head didn't size up his philosophical differences with the Obama Administration before offering himself for the position (and he came to the Administration looking for the job, not the other way around).

It's likely that he was under pressure from his fellow Rethugs, who are engaged in a Taliban-style insurgency four weeks into the Obama Administration: unanimous "no" votes on the stimulus, even after the package contained tax cuts favored by the Rethugs, for example. The D.C. media "Villagers" are looking the other way, since they remain wired for Rethuglican rule in Washington, DC. For the majority of the Villagers, bipartisanship is a one-way street, running the Rethuglican's direction, and Judd-head's sudden embarrassing withdrawal will cause him little or no grief. They want to make it into an Obama misstep.

UPDATE: No sooner does Judd-head return to his tribe than the Rethugs are high-fiving, claiming an "Obama insider" has left and that it's a repudiation of Obama's outreach to them. What a surprise.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Picture of the Day

President Obama speaks to the audience at last night's gala at Ford's Theatre, where actor Sidney Poitier and filmmaker George Lukas received the Lincoln medal in the newly-renovated historical landmark. The flag bunting in the background marks where Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865.

A truly choke-up moment on today's 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birthday.

(photo: Associated Press)

The Poisoner Clams Up

Yesterday, a subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee hauled Stewart "The Poisoner" Parnell in to testify about the salmonella outbreak that's killed 9 people and made some 550 sick. Parnell is the head of the Peanut Corporation of America, the suppliers of the tainted peanut products. The Poisoner, a poster child for "e-coli conservatism", took the fifth amendment and refused to testify, even when one Congressman asked him if he would consume one of his own tainted products.

The Food and Drug Administration says his company knowingly shipped their tainted food out at least 12 times since 2006, to schools, nursing homes, and to large food companies. The Poisoner saw the problem not as a health and safety issue, but as a threat to his bottom line. The positive salmonella tests were "costing us huge $$$" he said in an internal e-mail, and then wrote about his peanut products "let's turn them loose." The greed culture wasn't limited to Wall Street, and it flourished under a government that for eight years cut oversight funding and gutted health and safety regulations as "burdensome" to "bidness."

A long-term jail sentence for The Poisoner wouldn't be sufficient for the people he allowed to die and the hundreds more he allowed to get sick with salmonella poisoning. A forced diet of his products in prison might provide equal justice to the people that suffered as a result of his greed and inhumanity.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mr. Lincoln

Tomorrow is the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Arguably our greatest President, Lincoln was, of course, also the first Republican president. Think about that for a moment, and then think about the contrast between Lincoln's great soul and the small-bore hacks (see below) that comprise the modern Republican Party. The party of Lincoln is now the party of Limbaugh and Palin; of Coulter and Bush; of Boehner and McConnell;, hell, you get the picture. We'd like to think Lincoln would be not only proud of, but also be in the same political mainstream as President Obama, a Lincolnphile himself (as most Americans are). For modern Rethugs to in any way associate themselves with the memory of this great American would be downright blasphemous.

GOP Goons Gone Wild

Just when you thought the Congressional Rethuglicans couldn't get more out of touch with average Americans, along comes House Rethug Whip Eric "The Cancer" Cantor pushing a profanity-laden video depicting state and local government workers as goons. All a joke, we're told by his office. Riiiiight! Kind of like the "Barack the Magic Negro" CD that Rethuglican National Committee chairman wannabee Chip "As In Cow" Saltsman distributed a few weeks ago for chuckles among his big tent Rethug friends.

Carry on, The Cancer, and keep the "jokes" coming. You're a laugh riot. And Americans are slowly but surely learning what despicable jerks you are.

A Clown Show Begins

Eight of the nation's top banking companies are testifying before Congress today, to try to explain why the massive amounts of taxpayer dollars have yet to produce results from last fall's bailout. Another major concern is the lack of accountability for the money already loaned to these clowns, and the ease with which they are spending our money as if lavish junkets, huge bonuses and other perks were justified by their woeful mismanagement of their banks' assets.

Confiscation and sale of their personal assets -- second and third homes, yachts, and other signs of their previous theft -- and return of the proceeds to the investor/taxpayer would be a delicious move, even limits on their compensation, but who has the gonads to push for that? Geithner apparently lacks them.

(photo: Finally, their appearance matches their performance)

Picture of the Day

An Australian firefighter pauses to give water to an injured koala after fires raged through its forest. The little paw resting on the firefighter's hand is priceless.

(photo: Associated Press)

Is Winky Going Rogue. . .Again?

Alaska Gov. Winky You Betcha has surprised the wingnut community by turning down an invitation to be the prime attraction at their upcoming poo festival. The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) was expecting Winky at their annual crap throwing contest, along with such prominent wingnuts as Newt "Poot" Gingrich and (M)Ann Coulter.

Last month, Winky blew off House Rethuglicans who wanted her to give them a pep talk during their tantrum over the economic stimulus bill. Winky indicated she had pressing duties back in Alaska, but showed up in Washington to attend some high profile events, including the Alfalfa dinner. Does this mean that Winky would prefer palling around with "terrists" rather than associating with Real Americans? We know one Real American who would be happy to stand in for Winky: America's favorite jackass-of-all-trades, Joe (actually Samuel) the Plumber (actually a non-licensed supply contractor). Can't get more "real" than him.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Quote of the Day

The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson, speaking about allegations of (M)Ann Coulter's voter fraud:

"Why would you live in one place and vote in another? But, if you think about it, it kind of makes sense for her: her mouth is on her face but she talks out of her ass."

Obama's First Presser

Some impressions from President Obama's strong first press conference last night:

First impression: Wow, what a contrast with Dumbya, who couldn't manage a coherent sentence, much less explain and defend complex policies. Obama, on the other hand, is certainly in command of the facts of the economic stimulus package, and demonstrated it in his detailed answers. He was wise to travel to Elkhart, IN yesterday before the press conference so that he could establish his connection to the real people outside of the Beltway Bubble. Today, he's in Florida, to be welcomed by Florida Rethug Governor Charlie "Jesus" Crist. Crist apparently won't go along with the Congressional Rethuglican "nothing is better than something" approach.

Obama deftly punctured some the the Beltway conventional wisdom about "bipartisanship" and pointed out that he offered tax cuts in the package early on, and the Rethugs were happy about it. . .before they turned against it. He also asked why, in the name of bipartisanship, we should accept the failed philosophies of the last 8 years (tax cuts for the wealthy and opening up corporate tax loopholes) that the Rethugs are still pushing.

An interesting sidelight is the way the Beltway media and cable TV punditocracy are misreading the public mood. Their perception is that the Rethugs are winning in the public opinion war, when in fact, aside from Rush Limpballs' "ditto heads" calling their Congressmen, public opinion is siding with Obama. You wouldn't know that if you only listed to the Beltway Villagers. Last night's powerful performance by Obama should solidify his approval numbers.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Diapers Vs. DD-Cup?

Louisiana Rethuglican Senator David "Diapers" Vitter, he of the DC Madam's client list, may be facing a tough competitor in 2010: porn star Stormy Daniels (gratuitous juvenile comment: Yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about! Wooo!)

Diapers, who was famously described as receiving the "services" of prostitutes while wearing diapers, had his teary, smarmy "please-forgive-me" moment a couple of years ago with his wife, looking rather tacky herself in a leopard print top. Diapers has been one of the stalwart "conservatives" trying to pull his party even further right, and trying to make voters forget about his, um, non-conservative behavior.

Good luck, Diapers, but we'll be rooting for the true professional in the race: Stormy!

A Musical Interlude

Last night's Grammy awards were a gold mine for Alison Krause and Robert Plant, who won 5 Grammys including best album ("Raising Sand") and best record. Bluegrass star Krause has been a favorite of ours for many years, going back to when she was the front singer and fiddler for the contemporary bluegrass group Union Station. She has a beautiful, pure voice. (Gratuitous hillbilly comment: An' she's purdy, too!) This also happens to be her 26th Grammy, more than any other female vocalist, and the third most ever.

Quote of the Week -- 1929 Edition

"We're standing on our core principles, and the core principle [sic] that suffered the most in recent years was fiscal conservatism and economic liberty." - Rep. Paul "I Can't Count, But I'm Tryin'" Ryan (Rethug-WI), exhibiting a characteristic lack of empathy (is that "economic liberty" from a job, Paul?) and bad timing (er, those tax cuts for the wealthy in Dumbya's first term was the time to talk fiscal conservatism, not now when the economy is in meltdown). Just say "no" to economic stimulus! Yeah, that's the ticket! Asshole.

UPDATE: As if to confirm "I Can't Count's" removal from reality, check out the latest Gallup Poll on Americans' view of the Rethugs vs. Obama and the Democrats.

(Photo: Rep. Ryan, finding his tiny little conservative voice a bit too late)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bankers Who Can't Buy a Clue

Today's WaPo features 3 (count 'em!) full-page ads from banks assuring customers, in varying degrees of umbrage, that they really can be trusted with your money. Wells Fargo ($25 billion in bailout money) attempts to defend its just-canceled 12- nights- in- Vegas bonus/ boondoggle for select employees; Citibank ($45 billion) and Bank of America ($45 billion) just want you to know they're workin' hard for you. The cost of a full-page ad in the WaPo? Easily 5 figures. Your confidence in these boobs to eke out a clue that this might not be the best way to assure customers that they're careful stewards of customer savings? Not so much.

Quote of the Week

"There is no free market in talk radio today, only an exclusive, tightly held, conservative media conspiracy. The few holders of broadcast licenses have made it clear they will not, on their own, serve the general public. Maybe it's time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine--and bring competition back to talk radio in Washington and elsewhere." - Progressive talk radio host Bill Press in a letter in today's WaPo. Press points out that progressive radio hosts are outnumbered 15 to 1 on the local right-wing blowhard outlet WTNT-AM(not a dynamite station). Press has a personal reason to complain, too. Redskin and Red Zebra Broadcasting Co. owner Li'l Danny Snyder has pulled the plug on the only progressive format in deep blue DC - 1260 AM - which employed Press and several other progressives in the talk radio wilderness.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Steal With Steele

The WaPo has a story in this morning's edition about newly elected Rethuglican National Committee chairman Michael "Tin Man" Steele engaging in some fraudulent billing during his 2006 Maryland Senate campaign. According to his former finance chairman for that campaign, Tin Man billed thousands of dollars to his sister's defunct company, which never performed any services for the campaign. It's also alleged that Tin Man paid $75,000 to a law firm which did no work, and that he transferred $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank account to another without proper authorization. The U.S. Attorney's office is looking into the allegations, and has interviewed Tin Man's sister, the former wife of boxer Mike "I Love Ears" Tyson.

Who knows, Tin Man might be joining the 100 RNC staffers who were just asked to submit their resignations.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Remember this table the next time you hear a cable talking head, Rethug pundit hack or Rethug politician talk about how tax cuts are the way out of the mess they created. Tax cuts don't result in economic stimulus in nearly the way direct spending would.

Btw, the source for the analysis isn't some "librul" outfit. It's Moody's Investor Service, an old and respected risk analysis and research firm.

(note: they might want to hire a proofreader for their text; it's "Bang" for the buck, not "Bank.')

. . . .And Don't Let The Door Hit You Where The Good Lord Split You

We see where the new Rethuglican National Committee chairman Michael "Tin Man" Steele has asked for the entire 100 person staff of the RNC to resign effective February 15. Now they can return to their former jobs marketing Confederate flags, or back to the RNC after the smoke clears -- same difference.

(photo: "Observe the exits at the rear of the room, and use them please," Steele says to startled RNC staffers, who then broke out in a defiant chorus of "Dixie.")

Rethug Obstructionists Ask, "What's The Rush?"

How about 600,000 jobs lost in January, the most since 1974. That brings the total job loss since the Bushit recession began in December 2007 to 3.6 million. Meanwhile, the Rethugs are content to drag their feet and propose inane substitute measures (i.e., the DeMint bill which contained zero spending, but tax cuts for corporations and the top income brackets). We hope the public has a long memory on this one.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


THIS is more like it.

Obama speaking on the stimulus package, and rejecting the failed economic policies that got us into the mess we're in. . . and ones that the Rethugs want to perpetuate.

Why Elections Matter

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg underwent surgery today to remove a cancerous tumor from her pancreas. The prospects for complete recovery are against her, so she is in our thoughts. Ginsberg was appointed by former President Clinton.

On a practical note, another reason why the election of President Obama was so important: moderate to progressive justices are aging (Ginsberg, Breyer, Stevens, Souter). Ginsberg is 75.

The Rethug's Alternate "Plan"

Talking Points Memo tells us that the Senate Rethug "stimulus" plan offered by far-right Sen. Jim "Breath" DeMint contains no Federal spending. . .zip, nada! It's all tax cuts. It's a return to the Bushonomics plan of cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, and hoping it trickles down to the middle class. Yeah, that's worked well, hasn't it? In fact, economists from right to left have agreed that Federal spending on infrastructure and other job-creating projects is vital to reversing the economic slide.

Every Dem worth his or her salt should be addressing Breath DeMint's stupidity at every opportunity. It exposes the fact that the Rethug political base has absolutely nothing in the way of solutions to the economic disaster that their policies created except more of the same.

Get Back In The Game

A number of progressive blogs today are citing the column by Michael Hirsh in Newsweek entitled "Losing Control, Obama needs to reassert command of the agenda in Washington." It's a good read, and underlines the fact that the Rethugs have been steadily undermining the stimulus package while President Obama has been trying to craft a compromise bill with them in good faith. The proliferation of Rethug politicians and hacks on news programs and cable TV spinning their story has contributed to the shift in public opinion, and the Dems have been AWOL from the dialogue.

The Rethugs are not interested in the success of President Obama, or they'd be calling Pills Limpballs what he is: a buffoon and a hack. As long as Obama's approval ratings remain over 50%, they'll earnestly proclaim their bipartisan support while working to sabotage him. If his ratings fall below 50%, they'll drop any pretense of bipartisan support.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It's My Party, And I'll Cry If I Want To

The Colbert Report has a nice summary of why Rush "Pills" Limpballs is now the de facto leader of the Rethuglican Party. All of the party's luminaries are bowing and kissing Pills' ring, and declaring him "the voice of millions" of . . . .
ditto heads? angry white guys? wingnuts? YES! The shrinking Rethuglican Party has it's leader! More power to him!!

(photo: Limpballs, right, as a member of the John Wayne Gacy fan club)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


It's reported that Tom "100 Yard" Daschle has withdrawn as the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services over concerns about his failure to pay past-due taxes and his connections with health insurance and health lobbying interests. President Obama has accepted his withdrawal "with regret."

Let's see: there's Bill Richardson (out), Tim Geithner (in, but soiled), and now Daschle. Do you get the feeling that there were flaws in the vetting process? What is it about these people that they won't keep their names out of contention for senior positions, despite legal or financial problems? E-G-O.

Send In The Clowns

Samuel "Joe (not his name) the Plumber (not a plumber)" Wurzelbacher, the Rethuglicans' bogus prop will be the star attraction at a House Rethuglican meeting to discuss the economic stimulus package, according to Think Progress. Guess they lack the expertise that Wurzelbacher can bring to the table, and that Alaska Gov. Winky You Betcha was busy with "state business."

How much more ridiculous can the Rethugs get? Wurzelbacher couldn't even figure out that Obama's tax policy would have been far better for him than McSame's. This dumbass is extending his 15 minutes of fame for all it's worth. Who would be surprised if the Rethugs ran him for Congress in 2010? The Rethugs are that clownish.

(photo: The Rethuglican basement is flooded, but it doesn't stop the clowns from their daily activities)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Quote Of The Week

"The party's sole consistent ambition is to play petty politics to gum up the works. . . .the party has zero leaders and zero ideas. It is as AWOL in this disaster as the Bush Administration was during Katrina." -- NY Times columnist Frank Rich, describing the actions of Congressional Rethuglicans over President Obama's efforts to craft a bipartisan economic stimulus package. Read his whole column.

First, Obama travelled to Capitol Hill to meet with Rethug leaders, then he met with them at the White House, then he then stripped out some of the more clueless Democratic proposals from the package and included corporate tax cuts and other gifts for the Rethugs.

Then the President got the back of their hand when House Rethugs voted unanimously to reject the bill. And then the Rethugs proceeded to lie about the reasons for their vote.

What's Right With the Post - Part 153

Well, after telling you yesterday what's wrong with the Post, today we have E.J. Dionne giving us a reason to like the Post. In league with the easily-led "mainstream media," the Rethugs are working feverishly to cast any economic recovery package that doesn't include major concessions to failed Rethug orthodoxy as a defeat for Obama's goal of bipartisanship. Dionne does a nice job of deconstructing that transparent (to all but the Einsteins in the press corpse) ploy. Nice to have an occasional antidote to the Kraphammer/ Quill Will/ Mushroom Cloud/ Broderella claptrap that makes the Post op/ed a swamp of noxious gases.

Pittsburgh Wins 6th Super Bowl

Congrats to fans of the Pittsburgh "Stillers" whose team prevailed 27-23 in an exciting game against the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals staged one of the greatest Super Bowl comebacks and led late in the fourth quarter, but the Stillers marched down the field and scored a TD in the last minute. President Obama got support during his primary and Presidential campaigns from Stillers owner Dan Rooney and the players, and was rooting for them at a White House Super Bowl party.

Bruce Springsteen's performance at half time was one of his all-time great performances, and we're surprised he didn't start singing soprano after sliding crotch-first into a TV camera near the middle of his performance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

What's Wrong With the Post -- Part 3,456

Balloon Juice had the same reaction we did upon viewing another Amity Shlaes piece in the Washington Post's "Outlook" section today. Shlaes, who's been quoted favorably by an expert no less self-assured than Quill Will, is to the field of economics what Dumbya was to the field of electro-magnetics.

We, too, suspect the hand of "Mr. Dinky," a.k.a. Fred Hiatt (pictured here contemplating how much more perfect a world this would be had Herbert Hoover beaten that Commie FDR), our poster boy for "What's Wrong With the Post."

Stood Up

Rethugs in the House of Representatives are bitter that Alaska Gov. Winky You Betcha avoided them at their poo fest last week in Hot Springs, VA. "She lied to us," said one Rethug, according to ABC News, saying that her office told the House Rethugs that she was tied up on State business through the weekend and couldn't attend. Instead, Winky showed up Saturday in DC at the annual, high-profile Alfalfa Dinner.

House Rethuglican leader John "Man Tan" Boehner's had this reaction to the snub: "Whatever." (Is Man Tan going Valley Girl on us?)

Never fear, though. Next time, they'll know better and invite their true hero and philosophical leader, Joe the Plumber.