Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Paging Mark Foley, Paging Mark Foley

Disgraced former Rethuglican Rep. Mark "Unholy" Foley is considering a run for mayor of West Palm Beach, FL, according to the Huffington Post. Unholy Foley was forced to resign his position in 2006 after lewd e-mails from him to underage House pages were revealed. There were also allegations by former House pages that they had sexual relations with Unholy once they turned 18, and allegations of frequent inappropriate contact with male pages. Not surprisingly, Unholy was a frequent supporter of anti-gay legislation, or in his case, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do" legislation.

(photo: "Who took my leather chaps?")

Flunking Negotiating 101

With word that the upshot of today's White House meeting on tax cuts between President Obama and the Rethug Congressional leadership will be a followup session at Camp David, T.Bogg offers a preview of what is likely going to be the Administration's negotiating tactics. Another recent clue as to how the White House plans to approach this defining issue was the President's decision to freeze Federal civilian pay for the next two years, a Rethug wish that was granted without a give-back (see "Quote of the Day," below).

Between the White House and the independent operator Dems in the Senate (Chuckie Schumer, Bob Menendez, etc.) plumping for a variety of options other than the one the President said he was firm on about a month ago, we're headed for "Tax cuts for everyone -- thank you, GOP!"

Joe Scar's Salvo

MSNBC host Joe "Joe Scar" Scarborough is angry, ANGRY at former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah "Wasilla Quitta" Palin for trash-talking two of his heroes: St. Ronnie of Hollywood and George H.W.H.M.S.Pinafore Bush. In an unusually testy article, Joe Scar mocks the Wasilla Quitta's "thin resume" and chastises her for referring dismissively to St. Ronnie's acting career ("Bedtime for Bonzo" seems to have set Joe Scar off). Some of the choicer snarks include:
"Republicans have a problem. The most-talked-about figure in the GOP is a reality show star who cannot be elected. . .

Who wouldn’t agree that finishing third in the Miss Alaska beauty contest is every bit as treacherous as risking your life in military combat? Maybe the beauty contestant who would one day be a reality star and former governor didn’t win the Distinguished Flying Cross, but the half-termer was selected as Miss Congeniality by her fellow contestants."
What fun! Let's watch the Rethugs try to derail the publicity-seeking idiot monster they've created, but are too afraid to confront head on -- Joe Scar notwithstanding -- for fear of angry letters and e-mails from the Quitta's nut-base.

(photo: Joe Scar's laughing now, but . . .)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Well as long as we preemptively do what they are planning to do then we won't have to negotiate..."-- Blogger Atrios (Eschaton) reacting to President Obama's decision to freeze Federal salaries for two years, a stated goal of the incoming Rethug Congress.

Burn, Baby, Burn

The Kaplan Daily reported the other day that the Rethuglican National Committee's chairclown Michael "The Shizzle" Steele is "burning through money" for the Rethug's 2012 convention in Tampa. The report notes that The Shizzle has spent 18 times the amount spent in the comparable period before the 2008 convention, a pace which has "alarmed" some Rethug leaders. Hey, give The Shizzle a break: strippers cost more these days!

The Shizzle will have a tough fight on his hands for the RNC chairclown position in January. His financial recklessness, frequent gaffes and general buffoonery have made enemies among Rethug elected officials and many RNC committee members. For The Shizzle, however, there's always a spot on the Fux Channel.

BONUS BONER: To help Rethugs combat the libruls' War on Christmas, be sure you shop at the RNC store for your Christmas...huh, whazzat? Happy Holidays gifts?!? Why do they hate Christmas?

That's Entertainment!

Celebrities say goodbye to Twitter

In support of the Keep a Child Alive Foundation, a number of celebrities will forgo Twitter and other social networking sites this Wednesday, to mark World AIDS Day. Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys, Usher and many more will give up their tweeting until the Foundation has raised $1 million. (Actually, if I had the money, I would pay them to stop indefinitely.) Good cause, though.

Leslie Nielsen Dies

Leslie Nielsen, 84, who starred in a number of comedies in his later years ("Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" series), started his career as a dramatic actor, playing the lead in the movies "Forbidden Planet" and "Poseidon Adventure" and in the "Swamp Fox" Disney TV series. One of my favorite Nielsen lines is from "Airplane" where Nielsen, playing Dr. Rumack, is asked "Surely, you can't be serious?", to which he responds "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." (rimshot -- That's comedy gold, Jerry, gold!) Oh, and he was one of our favorite Canadians (of many). Rest in peace.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday START Reading

Are Rethugs really more interested in scoring political points against Obama than in safeguarding U.S. national security by ratifying the START treaty? Will the Washington punditocracy call them on it?

On the first question, read Joseph Picard's take in the International Business Times.

On the second question, read Doug J's post in Balloon Juice on how David Broder -- the personification of the Washington old-boy "insider" (very old boy)-- sees the START treaty as an opportunity for President Obama to proffer his posterior on the altar of Sen. Jon Kyl (Rethug-crAZy), for the sake of proving his seriousness about "bipartisanship." (Broder chooses to ignore the fact that a substantial bipartisan consensus already exists to move ahead with START: Sen. Lugar, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, George Schultz, Brent Scowcroft, Robert Gates, Adm. Mullen, etc., and the majority of the national security establishment, for example.)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Rose Bowl Bound?

Following today's crushing 70-23 victory over Northwestern, Hackwhackers alma mater and #7 Wisconsin (11-1) has earned a share of the Big Ten title. Barring any butterfly ballots with hanging chads, the Badgers should get the bid to play in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2000. Go Badgers!! Go Big Red!!

"Fox Nation": A Nation of Idiots

Would you believe a story about President Obama sending a 75,000 word e-mail to the entire population of the United States? Well, the dimbulbs at "Fox Nation," the Fox "News" website, thought it was true. So they ran with the item which had appeared in...um...The Onion! Yes, that one, the satirical on-line mag. Like all wingnuts, the gullible twits at "Fox Nation" live in their own reality, one which would allow for the President composing and sending a rambling, 75,000 word e-mail to every American! It is also a reality that apparently doesn't include the awareness that The Onion is a satirical site. And these are the idiots to whom the Democrats are losing the governance argument?!?

(Image: Fox Nation's editor-in-chief.)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Weekend Song

Artsy. Moody. Banana-y. Velvet-y. (Disclaimer: Hackwhackers accepts no responsibility should you be unable to get this song out of your head for a few days.)

Turkey Leftovers

To our American audience, we hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your family, with lots of turkey and all the trimmings. [Pardon the obvious segue here -->] Hey, speaking of turkeys...

-- In today's Kaplan Daily, asshat Michael "Mushroom Cloud" Gerson, former Dumbya speechwriter, makes another laughable attempt at polemical ju-jitsu, claiming progressive policies have failed in the past 2 years. To the limited extent progressive policies have been enacted by the fearful marginalists in Congress, is he referring to the stimulus that kept us from Great Depression II, or the GM/Chrysler bailout that appears to have re-energized the auto industry -- all with little or no Rethug support? Or perhaps he's referring to TARP (enacted under Dumbya) that stabilized the financial sector, or to health reform, which will insure 30 million uninsured Americans and drive down the deficit over the next decade? Yes, you make a solid, sane argument, Mushroom Cloud.

-- In a radio interview with Professor Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck, noted historian and geopolitical scholar Sarah "Wasilla Quitta" Palin boldly recommends that the U.S. stand with its "North Korean allies." By all means! And we need to keep our troops in Iran and Albertastan, Mr. Obama! UPDATE: The thin-skinned half-wit fires back!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rethug Crime Blotter, Cont'd.

Former House Rethuglican Majority Leader Tom "The Cleaner" Delay was convicted today of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money by a Texas jury. He was convicted of channeling nearly $200,000 in corporate money illegally into Rethug legislative races in 2002. The Cleaner could face up to life in prison.

A complimentary Hackwhackers soap-on-a-rope is on the way to The Cleaner for those dicey prison showers. His appearances on Dancing With The Stars in 2009 probably won't help his image in the slammer. We wonder who will be the first prisoner to ask The Cleaner to cha-cha?

(photo: You the man, beotch!)

Mid-Week Song

And a happy 142nd birthday to Scott Joplin, father of ragtime. Here's an actual recording of him playing his classic "Maple Leaf Rag." We really went to the "back of the rack" for this song -- 1899 in fact.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reality Bites

News item: "'Sarah Palin's Alaska' Ratings Plummet in Week 2"

Down 40% from the first week. It seems that the Wasilla Quitta is starting to wear out her welcome. Also, the median age for her viewers: 57. Not exactly the demographic that the Rethugs will need in the future.

Quote of the Day

"Nearly all of America's international allies have offered their enthusiastic support the pending arms control treaty with Russia, New START. There are, however, some foreign leaders siding with congressional Republicans. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for example, is hoping the GOP succeeds."-- Steve Benen, posting in the Washington Monthly.

Russia suspended sales of an advanced surface-to-air missile to Iran, in expectation that the U.S. would ratify the New START treaty. Iran would like nothing better than for the treaty to fail, so that it can resume arming. Of course, it's more important for Rethugs to sabatoge everything Obama proposes, even if it harms U.S. national security and helps Iran (and North Korea).

Country First

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chevy Volt: Motor Trend Hits Back at Limpballs, Will

The hybrid Chevy Volt has been a favorite target of far-right polemicists like Oxycontin Rush Limpballs and George "Quill" Will, primarily because 1) it's a GM product and therefore is tainted by the (successful) gummint bailout, and 2) the Obama administration is providing a $7,500 tax credit for purchasing the Volt, and therefore is tainted by any association with Obama. Sadly for Limpballs and Will, Motor Trend magazine recently named it its 2011 Car of the Year. So that necessitated a characteristically nasty, silly rejoinder from Limpballs on his radio shew.

Well, Motor Trend didn't exactly take the partisan hackery from the right laying down. Check out Todd Lassa's blog on the kerfuffle with Limpballs. Here's a few quotes from the blog to pique your interest:

From Jonny Lieberman on Quill Will: "A bit of flag waving is in order -- but instead, [George] Will chooses to be a partisan clown and gets everything wrong." (Ed. -It certainly isn't the first time, nor will it be the last.)

From Lassa on Limpballs: "If you can stop shilling for your favorite political party long enough to go for a drive, you might really enjoy the Chevy Volt... Just remember: driving and Oxycontin don't mix." (Ed. - Hee-hee)

It's Why We Call Them "Rethugs," Cont.

"The Left is angry whenever I teach conservatives the tricks the Left consistently employs against Republicans...The media and the Left are engraged [sic] right now because 'Bristol's Pistols,' as they are calling us, have been creatively and energetically voting for her on a reality TV show. It's what I call 'Voting like a
Democrat'...voting early...voting often...voting as cartoon characters...voting under aliases..."
-- Kevin "The Douche" DeJan, wingnut blogger at Hillbuzz.org, on the ballot-box stuffing campaign (via multiple voting thru fake e-mail addresses) to advance Bristol "Baby Momma" Palin and her partner in "Dancing With the Stars." In one powerful, "the rules only apply to other people" confessional, The Douche touches all the Rethug bases: puerility, entitlement, paranoia, moral relativism, ignorance, selfishness and hypocrisy. Congratulations, The Douche!

Unhealthy Alliance

Think Progress notes a report by Bloomberg News that the health insurance industry funneled over $86 million to the "U.S." Chamber of Commerce to run ad campaigns against health insurance reform. Clearly, the health insurance industry wanted a third party to be the face of opposition to reform, since its own image has been badly damaged after years of abuses and fraud. Imagine the good that $86 million would have done if it had been, say, donated to charity or to helping military families.

The upcoming fight by the industry's paid-for Rethuglican legislators to "repeal and replace" will be well financed by the greedheads who want to return to the days of gouging the public while denying them coverage. "Repeal and replace?" No, "repeal and retreat."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Asked and Answered

Q.: "Does the GOP remember Sept. 11?" -- Dana Milbank in the Kaplan Daily.

A.: Only when they can benefit politically from it.

Sunday Morning Reading

Lots of good stuff this morning, starting with...

-- Frank Rich on half-term half-wit Sarah Palin's remarkable resiliency in the face of multiple self-engineered train-wrecks;

-- Conservative John Batchelor on the "whiny" Rethug/teahadist House freshmen, and how their "revolution" was over on Day 1: teahadists, meet the new boss, same as the old boss;

-- Steve Benen (and Yglesias) ask the question, "Could the Rethugs be consciously trying to sabotage the economy?" With all due respect, under what rocks have you been living the past 2 years?


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Say It's So, Joe

It is! Joe "Joe Scar" Scarborough of MSNBC has been suspended for two days for violating MSNBC's policy regarding campaign contributions. Keith Olbermann must be smiling somewhere. Mika will be lost without her TV husband talking over her.

Saturday Song

From 1988, the hit song from Tracy Chapman about life's struggles, despair, and hope for a better future.

Friday, November 19, 2010

START Stopped & Obama in Portugal

-- The Russians are mystified why the START treaty has apparently been stalled by the likes of Sen. Jon Kyl (Rethug-crAZy). What they need to know is that it's not about the treaty, it's about giving Obama anything that could be construed as a victory.

-- Meanwhile, Obama is attending the NATO summit in Lisbon, Portugal, where it's expected the alliance will set a goal of ending its combat role in Afghanistan by 2014 or sooner. A partial NATO troop drawdown will begin in July 2011.

Putting Their Country First

The Daily Kos reports that 47 millionaires have joined together in calling for the expiration of Bushit tax cuts for people making over $1 million per year. Calling themselves "Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength," the group has opened a website and sent a letter to President Obama, stating in part:
"We have done very well over the last several years. Now, during our nation's moment of need, we are eager to do our fair share. We don't need more tax cuts, and we understand that cutting our taxes will increase the deficit and the debt burden carried by other taxpayers. The country needs to meet its financial obligations in a just and responsible way."
Included in the group are Ben Cohen (Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream), and George Zimmer (Men's Wearhouse). Forty-seven is a tiny number of the millionaires in America, but it's a start. Imagine if the 261 Senators and Representative who are millionaires would join the cause "greater than their own self interest" (like eight home and counting former "maverick" Sen. John McNasty).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The GM Bailout Success

With the close of the NYSE this afternoon, it was clear that the Obama Administration's tough decision to "bail out" General Motors is turning out to be a success on several fronts: over 1 million jobs saved, a major manufacturing company (and perhaps an entire industry) saved, and the taxpayers poised to receive more than their $50 billion investment back. GM stock was offered at $33 a share, and closed at $34.19. The NYSE was also up sharply (173 + points) on the GM offering, as well as on increasing confidence that Ireland will resolve its debt crisis.

The only thing down? Rethugs/teahadists who've been railing against this "gummint takeover" and would've been happy to see GM - and a large part of the American manufacturing sector -- collapse on Obama's watch.

It's Why We Call Them "Rethugs," Cont.

A bill to extend unemployment benefits was blocked today in the House by... you guessed it! The Rethugs. The benefits are set to expire December 1, just in time for the holidays. Robert Gibbs had the pithy observation "I don't think we want to leave here having fought for tax cuts for millionaires and against unemployment insurance for those that have lost their jobs."

Remember, the vote was taken with the Rethug caucus that's currently in the minority. When the 60 or so freshmen teahadist Rethugs that were just elected join these Randians in January to form the majority in the House, watch out.

Rachel's Lesson In Reporting

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is an all-too-rare commodity these days. Fearless, progressive, and articulate, she cuts to the core of the hypocrisy in today's Rethug-wired major media world. Her deconstruction of the Rethug argument, pushed by the media, that they're the fiscally responsible party is brilliant. Crooks and Liars has the video here (the "game show" opening bit is grating but instructive).

We can expect the talking heads on TV and the Ted Koppels of the media to tut-tut Rachel's point. They no longer see their roles as reporters of fact, but as scorekeepers and stenographers. They've been intimidated over the years by continuous Rethug accusations of "bias" when their reports run counter to Rethug myths.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He'll Have The Humble Pie

"Guess I should pick out some office furniture. . .while in DC" "Think I'll do some house hunting while in DC" -- From September 29 Twitter tweets from tweeting twat Joe "Brawny Man" Miller of Alaska, who was defeated by incumbent Sen. Lisa "Murky" Murkowski's successful write-in bid (according to the Associated Press), but who's refused to concede defeat. It also represents a rebuke to a certain former half-term Alaska Governor and full-time snowbilly cable star, who strongly backed Brawny Man.

One of the many ballots for Murkowski that Brawny Man challenged had "Lisa" with a script "L" rather than a block "L." Classy move, er, "BM."

Pelosi Elected Minority Leader

150-43. The insurrection led by doofus Blue Dog Rep. Heath Shuler (DINO-NC) was a failure, just like Shuler's football career. Good.

Fairly Unbalanced

Porcine Fox "News" CEO Roger Ailes has a lot of bizarre, but not out of character, comments on President Obama in his interview with Howie "Get Another Job?" Kurtz in the Daily Beast. We like Think Progress' take (with links) on the fat f**k's Obama Derangement Syndrome symptoms (Obama's a "socialist," with a "different belief system" than most Americans, and "got kicked from Mumbai to South Korea" - Q. Why does Ailes hate America?). He also had a few choice words for Press Secretary Robert Gibbs (and former Bush Press Sec. Scott McClellan) to which Gibbs provided a brief rejoinder (spoiler alert: he wasn't surprised by Ailes' "thoughts").

(Photo: Roger Ailes' belief system includes a belief in the all-you-can-eat buffet.)

Obama to Rethugs: Anyway You Want It?

Let's hope not. Poor video quality, but pure power pop (heavy on the reverb), and it's our mid-week song. "It's alright..."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Let's Pretend It's A Mandate Anyway"

Rethug leaders in Congress have been claiming arrogantly that the Dems need to heed the message "sent" by the voters in the midterm elections. As it turns out, a CNN/Opinion Research poll reveals that the voters didn't give the Rethugs a mandate at all. Only 17 percent say that the elections were a mandate for the Rethugs, with only one in three thinking the Rethugs will do a better job than the Dems.

So put away the big foam #1 hand you've been waving, Rethugs. It appears that you need to absorb a message, too.

(photo: While the claim of an electoral "mandate" was premature, don't expect Missy and Boner to stop calling it one)

Rangel's Bad Move

It's too bad Dem poobah Rep. Charlie "Workin' the Angle" Rangel chose yesterday's ethics hearing to throw an untimely tantrum. The ethically-challenged Congressman strode out of the hearing after claiming that he lacked legal representation -- after all, the poor guy's only had two years to arrange his defense. Just weeks before the election, he was demanding that the process be speeded up. The move forced Dems and Rethugs to continue with the hearing without Workin' the Angle Rangel present.

Workin' the Angle has only been charged with avoiding taxes on property he owns, among 13 alleged ethics violations. But his actions speak badly not only of him, as the NY Times notes, but also of his respect for the institution he serves in.

UPDATE: A House Ethics Subommittee investigating the ethics charges has found Workin' the Angle Rangel guilty of ethics violations; on to the full Committee. At least he saved money on a lawyer. . .

Monday, November 15, 2010

They Watch So We Don't Have To

As you may have heard, snowbilly grifter and teahadist queen Sarah "Pioneerin'" Palin just debuted her "reality" tee-vee shew on TLC, garnering 5 million viewers (we don't need no stinkin' market research to know who her audience was -- just see posting below). Fortunately, Gawker has the "5 Most Ridiculous Moments" from the premiere episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" so we don't have to lose a precious moment watching the exploits of this dimbulb and her spawn. We're confident there will be "5 Most Ridiculous Moments" from each future episode, so we'll keep you informed.

(Photo: Pioneerin' Palin casts her line -- to catch a grizzly bear? Unfortunately, she's already reproduced, so the damage to the gene pool has been done.)

A New Teatard Sweetheart?

It seems that a high percentage of the conservative white male, over-50 political demographic have serious crushes on younger, cerebrally-challenged Barbies with no recognizable qualifications for political office except, um . . .well, you know what the boys like. Most notable example: the Wasilla Wonder Woman, who never met a newspaper she read, but they loved her fitted black leather outfit! Her imitator, Delaware's Christine "No Dildos" O'Donnell didn't fare as well overall, but she nailed down that dirty old man vote.

Coming soon to Washington, D.C. is another up-and-coming teatard star: Representative-elect Kristi "Oh" Noem, who was elected to the at-large Congressional seat in South Dakota. Notable among Oh Noem's achievements are scooping up about $3 million in Federal farm subsidies for a ranch she partially owns, while campaigning loudly for cuts in Federal spending (therefore supporting the "do as I say, not as I do" ethic of teabaggers everywhere). Then there's this from her Wikipedia entry:
"Noem has received more than 20 speeding tickets over the past 21 years. Noem had incurred three stop sign violations, two seat belt violations, no driver's license, six notices for failure to appear in court and two arrest warrants."
Whoa, Ma Barker's got nothing on you, Kristi! But for a teatard, it just shows how silly Gummint rules are meant to be broken, except of course those that benefit you.

(photo: "Damn, if that's the sheriff I see comin', I'm outa here!")

Will Obama Take a Stand?

The evidence so far, as summarized nicely by Paul Krugman, is "Outlook not so good." Should he continue to be unable to take a stand for progressive principles and stick with it, we see reelection in 2012 as "Very doubtful."

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Funnies

Recently, the Kaplan Daily has been giving a lot of column space and credibility to two Fox "News" in-house "Democratic" pollsters, Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen. Four op/eds in eight months -- not bad for a couple of hacks with no influence whatsoever except perhaps in the wingnut bubble that is the Fox "News" universe. Invariably they produce screeds that provide a laughably dishonest view of what's going on in the country and in the Democratic Party.

Today is no exception. Steve Benen has some commentary and a link to their latest dropping. Wait 'til you see what their high concept is...

(Photo: Caddell and Schoen, hacks extraordinaire)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Eric Cantor (R-Israel)

There are disturbing reports of House Minority Whip Eric Cantor meeting in private with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and assuring the Israeli leader that he and the Rethugs would "serve as a check" on the Administration if Israel's interests were affected. This could be interpreted as a violation of the Logan Act -- a felony -- which prohibits unauthorized Federal officials from communicating with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States.

As Glenn Greenwald notes, the Rethugs and the right wing have gone to battle stations in the past when they perceive -- always falsely -- that a Dem official is too friendly with a foreign government. Now let's see what they say about Cantor's willingness to undermine U.S. policies toward Israel. < crickets chirping >

The Lady is Freed

So little good news these days that it was uplifting to see that Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has been released from house arrest by the Myanmar dictators after 15 long years. What will happen now is uncertain, and Suu Kyi said "we have a lot of things to do" to the thousands of supporters who greeted her. We hope for the best, but the military dictators running Myanmar are brutal, and this may only be temporary freedom for Suu Kyi. The international community has to make it clear to the dictators that her freedom is an absolute precondition to any further dealings, trade, etc. with the Myanmar government.

(photo: Associated Press)

Saturday Potpourri

Quoted from "On Faith" (Kaplan online):

"[Obama's] even-handedness led him to call for bipartisan cooperation since his first day in office...As much as I admire his adult behavior, it would be understandable if he stood up to the bullies on the right. It gets better, not by waiting and wishing but by making it clear that you demand the right to hold your head up high." -- author Deepak Chopra

"Jesus broke down barriers between people. But he did not do so at the expense of his identity, or the identity of his followers." -- Father Frank Pavone, Catholic priest and activist


Teabaggers, now that you've voted, get ready for your rogering from the Rethugs!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Birthday Song

It's a birthday weekend, and along with Prince Charles, Claude Monet, and Jawaharlal Nehru, the Hackwhackers share a birthday on the 14th with Aaron Copland. Here's the beautiful "Simple Gifts" from his Appalachian Spring, photos by Ansel Adams. (Note: "old timers" may also recognize the portion starting at about 2:25 as the theme for "CBS Reports" -- you know, Edward R. Murrow... "Harvest of Shame"?...when network news divisions had a soul...) Happy Birthday to us all!

"Is We Writin' Yet?"

This is shocking, SHOCKING! We would never have guessed it. It appears that Dumbya plagiarized his White House aides' books in writing his memoir, "Decision Points," published by Crown:
"Crown also got a mash-up of worn-out anecdotes from previously published memoirs written by his subordinates, from which Bush lifts quotes word for word, passing them off as his own recollections. He took equal license in lifting from nonfiction books about his presidency or newspaper or magazine articles from the time. Far from shedding light on how the president approached the crucial 'decision points' of his presidency, the clip jobs illuminate something shallower and less surprising about Bush's character: He's too lazy to write his own memoir."
Now we have a better idea of how he got through college.

A Party In Search Of A Spine

Since last week's midterm elections, the conventional wisdom among the Beltway village media is that the Dems need to compromise on their policies to win Rethuglican support. One wonders where the voices were for compromise by the Rethugs when Dems won sweeping victories in 2008 when record numbers of voters came to the polls. And we don't recall the Rethugs bowing to "the will of the people" in the face of the Dem landslide, we recall continuous obstruction during the nation's worst economic crisis in 70 years.

Small wonder that the Dem's progressive base is growing increasingly angry at White House staffers' hints of caving to Rethug demands on extending the tax cuts for the wealthy, among other issues. Eugene Robinson has been touring the country, and writes that progressive voters are asking "why don't they fight back?" As Robinson notes, the tax cuts for the wealthy / increase the deficit should be a made-to-order issue for Dems, who seem to be giving up before the fight even starts. Although they're corrupt and cynical, the Rethugs are something else, too: tough, vocal and singleminded. The Dems? Not so much.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Today we leave the sometimes heated rhetoric aside to honor our veterans who served their country and sacrificed, some giving their lives, for our freedom. We especially want to remember our father and two uncles who served in World War II, and our cousin who lost his life in Vietnam.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Why We Call Them "Rethugs," Cont.

Fox "News" gasbag and house "moderate" Bill O'Reilly recently used some violent imagery to describe what he'd like to do - or have done - to the Kaplan Daily's Dana Milbank ("Just kidding!" says O'Reilly, which of course makes it all ok!). All because Milbank wrote a column after the election pointing out the obvious: the Fox "News" personalities were gloating all election night about the Rethug victory. And why shouldn't they, since they were so helpful in getting out the Rethug talking points?

If medals were given out for smug assholery, O'Reilly would have a chest full of them.

(Photo: Bill O'Reilly - him sad 'cause Dana Milbank say bad things about Fox!)

Childish Things

When Keith Olbermann was suspended by MSNBC last week, Philadelphia News columnist Stu Bykofsky wrote a column about it and e-mailed who he thought was Keith Olbermann for comment. What Bykofsky thought was Olbermann's e-mail address -- "keitholbermann.com" -- was actually a site owned by our favorite preppy douche, Tucker "Mothertucker" Carlson. Since Mothertucker's social development stopped at the age of 13, he wrote back to the columnist with insults and more, pretending to be Olbermann. This continued until Yahoo News (!) discovered the deception, and Mothertucker fessed up.

When President Obama called on his countrymen to "set aside childish things" in his inauguration address, clearly Mothertucker was playing with his toys, or perhaps himself. While he professes to be some sort of "journalist," this episode demonstrates that Mothertucker's just another silly product of right-wing nepotism, slipping whoopee cushions under the adults in the room to get a laugh.

(photo: Mothertucker addresses his fan club)

Mid-Week Song

A few years ago, John Ondrasik/Five for Fighting had this hit about the passing of time and what we do with it.
"I'm 99 for a moment
Dying for just another moment
And I'm just dreaming
Counting the ways to where you are"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Oh my God, Fox has been outsourcing even their bullshit-manufacturing jobs." - Jon Stewart on yesterday's Daily Show referring to reports that Fox "News" relied on an Indian provincial official for its phony story, widely reported on multiple Fox programs, that Obama's trip to Asia is costing $200 million a day(!). One thing Fox does get right: it relies on its audience to be gullible fools, and for the most part they are.

Miss Him Yet?

No. Now that Dumbya is making the rounds promoting his silly book, "Decision Point," the wingnut right is reminiscing about the good old days. Forgotten by the wingers is a war in Iraq with no relation to fighting terrorism, a huge deficit, Constitution-shredding actions by the Dumbya/The Dick tandem, etc., etc. There's still the same stupid, false-macho attitude from Dumbya, the same smirk and superficiality, which the wingers absolutely love. As Hullabaloo's Digby notes:
"What they loved about him was his crudeness and cruelty and --- more than anything --- that he inspired such loathing from liberals. It's the in-your-face defiance that they admire, the eagerness to be politically incorrect, the exclusion from the process of those whom they see as not fully 'American.' It's a defining characteristic of the right. Domination, exclusion, and eliminationism are what animates their thinking, not deficits, taxes or the constitution."
Miss the Chimpster? Like a bout of dysentery.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winky Wants Fed to Stop Buying T-Bills

Noted monetary policy expert and reality show star Winky You Betcha has some unsolicited advice for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke: stop trying to stimulate the economy! Celebrity nincompoop Sarah Palin's actual message was for the Fed to "cease and desist" from its purchase of $900 billion in treasury bills, which is intended to ...um, stimulate the economy. Winky wouldn't want that to happen, particularly with a Democrat in the White House! We wonder where Palin got her monetary policy smarts: was it from one of the six colleges she attended, or did she get a degree in economics this weekend from Beck U.?

In her quest to stop the recovery in its tracks, she has the support of one powerful ally: China. Why does Winky hate America?

(Photo: Prof. Winky You Betcha can see China with one eye closed)

Circular Firing Squads

There will always be a certain amount of second-guessing after an election defeat, and we certainly aren't immune from that impulse. Kevin Drum vents his frustration at statements by Dems offering their take on the Dems' recent losses. One might also look at what's going on on the Rethug side, with newly-elected teahadists making noise about not playing with the Rethug establishment. Teahadist fave Rep. Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann (Loon-MN) has already been snubbed by the House Rethug leadership in favor of nearly-as-mad (but more presentable) Rep. Jeb "Snarlin'" Hensarling (Rethug-Texas Republic) to transition incoming freshmen. Other Rethugs are blaming Winky You Betcha for the Rethugs' missed opportunity to take the Senate. So, it seems circular firing squads come in all political shades, though you won't be hearing this in the "liberal" mainstream media.

Not A Bad Sports Weekend

Both #6 Wisconsin and Michigan won their games, and the Packers trounced the lowly Dallas Cowpies 45-7. The Redskins avoided embarrassment and didn't play. Not a bad weekend in sports for the Hackwhackers.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Reading

Jon Meacham in the Kaplan Daily says about Obama:
"He's had his share of bad luck, and his notable inability to convince the country that he is leading a comprehensive economic turnaround is one of the most significant leadership failures in the modern history of the presidency. Still, the White House's tactical mistakes do not excuse the rest of us for ignoring our own history, a history that helps us gain perspective on the president's problems...Obama is not surprised that the kingdom of heaven has failed to arrive in his first two years. A more historically minded country would not be, either."

Having a media that was responsibly, actively debunking the false, destructive memes of the right might've helped in that regard, Jon.

Obama In India

The importance of President Obama's trip to Asia can't be overstated. His first stop is India, an emerging economic powerhouse and key ally in combating terrorism. The trip's goal is to promote greater trade opportunities and to make U. S. product inroads with India's growing middle class. India's $60 billion Information Technology industry and its science and R&D sectors are also booming, and creating partnerships with them will be a major focus. The President was warmly received in Mumbai, where he announced $10 billion in trade deals that would boost American jobs. As regards terrorism, Obama made it a point of staying at Mumbai's famous Taj Mahal Hotel, which was one of the prime targets in the 2008 attack, to send a message of resolve and common cause with India.

Coincidentally, the Hackwhackers team and their companions had a truly authentic Indian dinner out last night, complete with 5-course meal served over 3 hours, eating by hand, Bollywood dance videos projected on a screen, and lounging on low couches covered with pillows and cushions. It's Diwali, the Indian festival of lights, and friends and families were out celebrating.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quote of the Day

"The point is not 'He was a great man and you are a nincompoop, though that is true." -- Peggy "Nooners" Noonan, diehard fan of St. Ronnie of Hollywood, contrasting her hero with Alaska grifter Winky You Betcha in the Wall St. Journal. Winky appeared to "dis" St. Ronnie by saying "he was an actor" in the movie "Bedtime for Bonzo, Bozo, or something," prompting Nooners' retort.

Love it.

Cartoon of the Week

Mike Luckovich in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Addendum: And here's why economists agree, their plan ain't a plan.

Late Returns

The vote counting continues in Alaska, where teabaggin' favorite Joe "Brawny Man" Miller is trailing incumbent Senator, and Winky's nemesis, Lisa "Murky" Murkowski (ed. note, wouldn't it be a hoot, as Winky would say, if a victorious Murky decided to caucus with the Dems? Not going to happen, but fun to speculate). Instead we have some consolation in the late-breaking victories of Dems in these races:
-Sen. Patty Murray won reelection in Washington
-Sen. Michael Bennet won reelection in Colorado
-Gov. Pat Quinn won the Governor's race in Illinois
-Dan Malloy won the Governor's race in Connecticut
-John Kitzhaber won the Governor's race in Oregon

Friday, November 5, 2010

Weekend Post-Election Incoming Clown Song

We go back to Judy Collins again for the song which we noted on Wednesday can serve as a musical salute (?) to the incoming Rethuglicans. ("Where are the clowns? Send in the clowns... Don't bother, they're here.") Have an otherwise happy weekend!

They Can't Stop Lying

You may have caught Rachel Maddow's show last night, when she opened her program with this story about a non-story. The right wing media and political echo chamber has been peddling a blatantly false story about how the President's upcoming trip to India and the far east will cost $200 million per day, and require 34 U.S. Navy vessels in support. The Pentagon and Secret Service have both debunked the figure as wildly inaccurate, but as Rachel points out, the wingnuts only listen to and believe themselves.

Wingnut Rep. Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann tried to spread the false tale on CNN's 360 with Anderson Cooper, who later did a "fact check" segment and exposed the figures as false.

No one should be at all surprised at this. The right wing is a continual lie factory, whether using chain e-mails, Fux News, or hate radio as their vehicle. The 2010 elections showed that they will lie about anything because they get away with it so often. Maybe now, that will change.

Meg-a Numbers

Here are some fun facts gleaned from this morning's Kaplan Daily regarding the obscene amount of money California Rethug Meg "Mega Bucks" Whitman spent on her run for governor. The $175 million she spent could have bought each of the 3 million people that voted for her:
- A pair of Old Navy jeans and a Gap t-shirt, or
-12 double-double cheeseburgers from In-N-Out, or
-two shares of e-Bay stock, or
-two Jerry Brown bobblehead dolls.
Unfortunately, the $57 per person couldn't buy them a clue.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

# 3,000

This is our 3,000th blog post since we started Hackwhackers in December 2006. The number isn't really more significant than 2,000, or 1,358 for that matter. But it does give us an occasion to stop and thank our loyal readers here in the U.S. and around the world (Mexico, Canada, Netherlands, Russia, Brazil, U.K., Germany, Norway, Puerto Rico in the last week, for example). We're running an average of about 700 page views per day, which is about 698 more than when we first started. It's humbling to know so many are dropping by to see what the Hacks are laughing about, irate about, or just simply appalled about. Thank you and keep hanging in there with us.

(Photo: Fireworks display in the Hackwhackers' back yard on the occasion of the 3,000th blog post.)

Post-Election Kumbaya Quote

"[I]f our primary legislative goals are to repeal and replace the health spending bill; to end the bailouts; cut spending; and shrink the size and scope of government, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things." - Senate Minority Leader Mitch "Missy" McConnell (Turtle-KY), today at the Heritage Foundation. So much for bipartisanship and the spirit of cooperation. Did you expect something different?

UPDATE: We mustn't forget to check for conciliatory notes coming from wingnuttia: here, here, and here. Hmm, someone put too much Metamucil in their creamed corn today!

(Image: Don't fear the turtle; run over it)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On The Elections

Some observations on yesterday's elections:

We'll Miss You: Sad to see Sen. Russ Feingold depart; he's one of the cleanest, most honorable Senators and a good progressive. Same goes for Reps. Alan Grayson of Florida (who was never afraid to call the Rethugs out), Virginia's Tom Perriello, and Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania.

Hope for Old Guys: Governor-elect Jerry Brown of California. He beat a billionaire who financed her own election, and returns to the job he served in decades ago.

Congress Is Open For Bidness: While teabagger candidates railed against big Government, you heard nary a peep on reining in corporate predators. That's because they were running as Rethugs (see Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio). Think those billions spent by corporations and front groups were out of civic duty?

Porn Takes A Hit: Carl "Porno" Paladino lost big time to Dem. Andrew Cuomo in the NY Governor's race. Can't wait to see Porno's next e-mail barrage.

Keep The Change: Extremely wealthy Rethugs "Mega Bucks" Whitman, "Snarly" Fiorina, Linda "Down for the Count" McMahon, and John "Silver Spoon" Raese blew part of their fortunes in trying to buy a position. Boo effing hoo.

Why Am I Bleeding?: Lots of criticism for the Dems and White House not selling their achievements and not countering Rethug spin and smears immediately. You can't play by the Marquess of Queensbury rules when the other side brings knives to the fight.

And then there's this snippet from Milbank's column in this morning's WaPo:
"John Boehner, Haley Barbour and other Republican leaders held a 'results watch' at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington. For a true victory party, you had to go to Fox News.

At Rupert Murdoch's cable network, the entity that birthed and nurtured the Tea Party movement, Election Day was the culmination of two years of hard work to bring down Barack Obama - and it was time for an on-air celebration of a job well done."
We hope that the Fuxers will overreach in their zeal, and poison their brand even further with a demographic to be reckoned with in the future: young, diverse, largely free of bias, and supporting progressive public policies.

Post-Election Relevant Song

"Send In The Clowns" works for us, too.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Why We Call Them "Rethugs," Cont.

Think Progress has another example why we refer to some (most?) Republicans as "Rethugs". Be sure to check out the response from the Rethug spokesman.

Funny, we thought this was a felony called "breaking and entering."

(Image: A Rethug doing what Rethugs do best)

Looking for the Blue...Er...Silver Lining

In his election predictions, Kos has 26 of the so-called "Blue Dog Democrats" (read "conservaDems") losing their House seats today. I would call that the silver lining in the potential dark cloud of Democratic prospects today. Losing those Rethug-lite congressmen can only be an improvement to the Democratic caucus. We're especially rooting for Rep. Gene Taylor (Rethug lite-MS) to go down (he's the one who recently admitted he voted for Walnuts McCain over Obama in 2008). If you can't pull the lever for the nominee of your party, who's representing the policy goals in the party's platform, you shouldn't be in that party, much less representing that party in office. We're hoping the voters take care of that problem for as many Blue Dogs as possible.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I'd run this on every station in the U.S. over and over again before and after tomorrow's election.

Messages From The Voters

From all "mainstream media" accounts, tomorrow is shaping up to be a horrible day for Democrats. If it turns out to be so, here's the message voters are sending:

To the Rethuglicans:

We approve of your cynical obstructionism, based on political point-scoring, not on reason or what's good for the country. Keep it up!

We approve of your lies, distortions and lack of new ideas, whether it's concerning restoring the economy and jobs, health care reform, immigration reform, or take your pick of topics. Keep it up!

We approve of your bollixing-up of the economy from 2001-2009, and we want to reward you for it!

To the Democrats:

We disapprove of your taking tough measures to keep America out of the second Great Depression and back on the road to recovery, including the much-maligned stimulus (see Sir Harold Evans' piece on how this critical action has been lied about). Don't ever do it again!

We disapprove of your looking out for the middle class with tax cuts 90% of us don't even know we got and with financial reform to keep the robbers on Wall Street from looting our future. Don't ever do it again!

We disapprove of your taking more than 18 whole months to turn around the economy after the Rethuglicans drove it into a ditch over 8 years. We like the high risk, low reward style of Rethuglican economic policies!

We will grant you the Dems and White House have been guilty of message meltdown and political malpractice over the past 18 months, and that many seem to lack the courage of their convictions. But is it too much to hope that, in 21st Century America, the voting public (all 40% of you) will discern who the raging, flaming, certified bums are in this election?

Pontiac, 1926-2010

Yesterday, the 84-year-old Pontiac brand officially ceased to exist, with General Motors letting its agreements with Pontiac dealerships expire on October 31. GM had made the decision last year to cease Pontiac production.

Pontiac has a special place in our hearts. Our grandfather owned a garage and Pontiac dealership in Minnesota starting in 1912 (the brand was called "Oakland" then). It was the "family" car brand since the 1947 Pontiac our father managed to keep running (with some help) for 20 years. Then there was the '57 two-tone green Star Chief, and the '67 champagne Bonneville, and a blue Catalina in there somewhere. Not to mention the '70 Firebird Esprit that one Hackwhacker scraped around in during his bachelor years. Body by Fisher. And who will ever forget the classic Pontiac lines: Silver Streak, Chieftan, Star Chief, Bonneville, LeMans, Tempest, Catalina, Firebird, GTO, and on. And engineering breakthroughs like Pontiac's Hydramatic transmission, one-piece windshields, and Wide-Track suspension.

Gone... but never forgotten.