Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve Song

U 2 and We 2 hope all is quiet tomorrow on New Year's Day... except for Michigan and Wisconsin loudly crushing their bowl opponents!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Days of Whine and Bonuses

If there is a group more clueless and self-entitled than the Wall Street Masters of the Universe, we'd like to know. Recently, several anonymous (i.e., cowardly) Wall Streeters whined to Politico about how mean the Obama administration has been to them, for no reason at all! Who remembers the Troubled Agency Recovery Program, the Bush-passed/Obama administered bailout that saved their fat asses? Who remembers the record high bonuses of the past 2 years that they were allowed to rake in? Not these clowns.

When blame is rightly laid at their marble doorstep by the President, and most others, they get upset. But we're certain their hurt feelings will be soothed once they have a little more time to depressurize from the demands of the current bull market at their ski chalet, executive spa, or home in the Hamptons.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hackwhacker Awards for 2010

The time has come to look back at 2010 and bestow our coveted annual Hackwhacker Awards. There was so much good material this past year that it was difficult to choose, but here we go:

Flat Earth Science Award: To the right wing, which is growing more medieval by the day in its approach to modern science. Any day now we expect them to declare the Earth is flat because. . . well, because one of their deranged leaders said so on the fancy talking box. Hey, it's snowing in winter, so climate change is a hoax!

Bent Putter Trophy: To Tiger "Putz" Woods, who should have kept his putter in his pants. Although his scandal erupted at the end of 2009, name after name spurted forth (we gave up at 20) of Tiger's hoes. Sadly, the climax was that he lost a gorgeous wife who made the mistake of trusting him.

Big Boys Don't Cry Award: To (who else?) incoming House Speaker John of the Orange Boner. It's no shame for a man to cry, but Boner bawls at the drop of a cliche, no matter how banal. Too bad he doesn't care about real people that are hurting. The tanning oil must be triggering his blubbering.

Hanging Chad Prize for Clueless Voting: To "independents", who went from voting for Dems in 2008 to Rethugs in 2010, and who apparently suffer from amnesia or attention deficit disorder. Nothing like rewarding the people who got us into our economic mess and refused to act to get us out. That'll teach them!

Sweating Hog Look Alike Winner: To porcine propagandist Pills Limpballs. We may have to make this award to Pills permanent; he has no equal. Or Splenda, or Sweet and Low. Oink!

Worst Use of Social Media: To former half-term Alaska Gov. and snowbilly grifter Sarah Palin, who uses Facebook and Twitter to expound on public policy (actually, it's written for her, she just presses the "send" key). Does anyone really think she's got a thought in her head? Oh yeah, and how's your lousy poll numbers workin' out for ya?

"Against It Before They Were For It" Brass Waffle Award: To Senate Rethugs for their lock-step opposition to the 9/11 responders medical care bill -- until Jon Stewart (not the "mainstream media" you should note) exposed the Rethugs' hypocrisy and small-bore thinking. But, penurious to the end, they succeeded in scaling back the funding for the bill before voting for it.

Pinocchio Was A Piker Award:
To Fox "News", whose cable spin cycles have been duly noted as providing more intentional distortions and misinformation per viewer minute than all the other cable news organizations combined. Some get their fiction from SyFy, some from Fox.

Dumbass, Crazy, Dangerous Wingnut of the Year:
Who else but reigning champion Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck, whose megalomania drove him to stage a billion... er million... er 80,000 sheeple demonstration in Washington on the anniversary of the Martin Luther King March on Washington. Professor Beck has been given a big megaphone by his handlers at Fox, the better to rile the crackpots who tune in to hear the latest conspiracy, faux outrage, and hyperventilated call to revolution coming from Boo Hoo.

Delusions of Majority Award: To Congressional Rethugs who claim to have heard and responded to the "voice of the American people" in the 2010 elections, but who somehow failed to hear that same voice in the 2008 elections, opting instead to do everything to obstruct, delay and deny the will of the people expressed in Obama's landslide.

Lie of the Year:
This has already been awarded by Politifact to Rethuglicans who successfully snookered enough people into thinking the health reform act was a "Government takeover of health care." We couldn't improve on that one.


That's it for 2010. We're certain there'll be much more of the same (and worse) in 2011, so hang in there with us!

Mid-Week Song

Cyndi Lauper's 1984 hit, "Time After Time," with lyrics thoughtfully provided.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Big Snowfail

We see that extremely rotund New Jersey Rethuglican Gov. Chris "Can't Miss" Christie and his Rethuglican Lt. Governor were missing during the snowstorm that buried his state. He was "on vacation." Nice. So who was left in charge? Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney. At least Can't Miss knows which party can best deal with the emergency.

Can't Miss Christie is becoming the favorite Rethug in the Washington media circus, given his accessibility and his phony self-deprecation act. Maybe they've been snowed, but the voters of New Jersey might not be next time.

(photo: You can't miss this bloated buffoon, except during snowstorms in his state)

Not Ivory Soap Pure

"A surprising number of Virginia's Tea Party zealots have convinced themselves that former Sen. George Allen (R), who's likely to try a comeback in 2012, just isn't right-wing enough anymore. Allen's lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union is 92.3%." -- Steve Benen, in today's Washington Monthly blog.

It figures that those liberals at the American Conservative Union would like Allen.

Corporate America's Gift

Who says corporate America isn't creating jobs? According to the Economic Policy Institute, they've created 1.4 million jobs this year... OVERSEAS. That's compared with less than 1 million here in the U.S.

Despite record profits, two trillion dollars in cash, and a growing stock market, corporations are investing their money -- and sending our jobs -- overseas:
"The additional 1.4 million jobs would have lowered the U.S. unemployment rate to 8.9 percent, says Robert Scott, the institute's senior international economist. 'There's a huge difference between what is good for American companies versus what is good for the American economy,' says Scott."
We don't know the details of President Obama's discussion with corporate CEOs at the White House recently, but if he didn't raise hell with them about this situation, he needs to spend a few months living with families whose jobs have been outsourced.

Oh yes, and more tax cuts for the wealthy, anyone?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Coming Attractions

As we do this time every year, we will be posting our annual Hackwhackers awards: the best, the worst, and everything in between that's caught our attention.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Cartoon of the Year

Politically, 2010 was the year of "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished." Voters with short memories, or whose fears had been stoked, or who'd been simply but relentlessly misinformed about what was going on around them came to the polls and voted the rascals, "morans", liars, hypocrites, bigots, incompetents, crackpots and crooks back into power, in the House at least. We therefore think this Mike Luckovich cartoon beautifully captures the essence of the year in politics.

Proof That Irony Is Not Dead

"Assange Assails Leaks By Swedish Prosecutors" - headline in Kaplan Daily.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Looking Back at the 111th Congress

The recently adjourned 111th Congress was responsible for more landmark legislation than any since the days of the Great Society in the 1960's. As much as any two leaders, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid deserve enormous credit for getting so much done in the face of Rethuglican obstruction and an often feckless White House. We have serious qualms about the means and results of some of the legislative process, but in the final analysis, the American people have come out a lot better. Here's a brief rundown of the 111th's achievements:

-- health care reform
-- Wall Street reform
-- economic stimulus
-- Lily Ledbetter equal pay law
-- New START treaty
-- tax cut extension (ugh) and additional stimulus
-- Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal
-- food safety legislation
-- expansion (first in 40 years) of the school lunch program
-- 9/11 responders medical care law

Having a Congress pass half of this list of laws would be significant. Having a Congress pass all in two years is just a remarkable achievement that will benefit the American people for years to come. Hats off to Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid.

Sari About That

With more invasive screening at U.S. airports now in place, it was only a matter of time when issues of cultural modesty were raised by some diplomatic travelers. For example, this Kaplan Daily story notes that sari-wearing Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Meera Shankar was searched and patted down twice recently. Saris, using yards of fabric, cover most of the body and legs, requiring more attention by screeners. India's U.N. Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri was nearly forced to remove his dastar (turban) during a recent TSA screening in Austin, TX. As a member of the Sikh religious group, Puri's dastar is an integral part of his cultural and religious identity.

The State Department says that it is working with the TSA to avoid incidents involving diplomatic travelers.

(photo: Indian movie star Aishwarya Rai wearing a high-fashion sari -- and wearing it well)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mid-Week Pre-Christmas Warm-Up Song

Was that enough hyphens for ya? In our continuing effort to get you in a holiday mood we offer up this classic by Nat King Cole.

START Celebrating

The Senate today ratified the New START treaty with Russia by a vote of 71-26. It deserves to be noted that, in voting for the treaty and against the wishes of the scurrilous Missy McConnell and Jon Kyl, the following Republicans voted for country rather than party: Lamar Alexander, Bob Bennett, Scott Brown, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Judd Gregg, Johnny Isakson, Mike Johanns, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, and George Voinovich. We'd like to hope this is a trend that will continue in the next Congress, but we're not holding our breath.

Try Shaming Them

Rethuglican Senators who have been stalling action on the 9-11 first responders aid bill are under increasing pressure -- even from the ranks of fellow wingnuts -- to stop obstructing the assistance. It's good to see the New York City firemen, policemen and emergency workers descend on the offices of Sens. John McNasty and Tom Coburn in particular. You can always count on a Rethuglican politician to wave the flag of 9-11 (see "America's Mayor" Rudy!) to try to gain political advantage. But in a choice between tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and 9-11 first responder assistance, New York's finest need to wait their turn. . .and wait. . .and wait. . .

UPDATE: A deal was reached with blockading Rethugs and the Senate passed the bill this afternoon; it now goes to the House, where quick passage is expected.

Profile in Bigotry

In recent days, we've noted the upsurge in celebrations of the anniversary of the treasonous secession of Southern states in the lead up to the Civil War. Combined with talk among far right wingnuts since President Obama's inauguration about "secession" and "nullification," it smacks of a resurgence of racism.

Particularly revealing of prevailing right-wing Rethug prejudices was a quote in today's New York Times editorial referring to a National Review profile of Mississippi Gov. Haley "Boss Hog" Barbour:
In the magazine’s profile of the second-term governor, Mr. Barbour suggests that the 1960s — when people lost life and limb battling for equal rights for black citizens — were not a terribly big deal in Yazoo City. "I just don’t remember it as being that bad,” he said. He heard Dr. King speak at the county fairgrounds in 1962 but can’t remember the speech. “We just sat on our cars, watching the girls, talking, doing what boys do,” he said. “We paid more attention to the girls than to King.”
Watching what girls? We only recall old black and white news photos in those days of young white men jeering on the periphery at civil rights rallies, waving Confederate flags, and generally trying to intimidate (at the least) black citizens exercising their rights. They certainly weren't events to "watch girls" at.

We look forward to more revelations of the Rethug Governor's attitudes towards his fellow citizens who happen to be African American.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowbilly Saturation?

With former Alaska half-term Gov. Sarah "Winky" Palin's second novel appparently heading for bookstores' discount bins, we have to ask, "Is America experiencing snowbilly saturation?" Her reality show / infomercial isn't drawing the audience of the first week, Snowbilly Snooki's appearance on Dancing with the Stars was an embarrassment, and more snarky comments are issuing from the ranks of Rethuglican establishment figures. Most important, the polls are showing Winky at a decided disadvantage when up against President Obama, as we noted last Saturday. While we had our fill of her from her first appearance at the 2008 Rethuglican convention, many Americans have been slow to acknowledge the ignorant pettiness at Winky's core. She'd be a dream come true for Obama to run against in 2012, but, sadly, it looks like the glow is fading.

Payback's A Beotch

The re-election of Alaska Rethug Sen. Lisa "Murky" Murkowski achieved the twin goals of turning back the teahadist tide in Alaska, represented by Joe "Brawny Man" Miller, and of sending former half-term Alaska Gov. Sarah "Winky" Palin, who supported Miller, a stinging rebuke. Now, as Steve Benen points out, Murky has been an ally of the Obama Administration on some key votes: DADT, the tax deal, the DREAM Act, and the new START treaty.

We say "good for Murky," who was abandoned by the Rethug Senatorial leadership in her write-in campaign in favor of Brawny Man. May she be the Rethug version of Joe Lieberliar, or better still former Sen. Arlen Specter, who saw the rightward lurch of the Rethuglican Party and said "no thanks." Winky must be "wee wee'd up," as she would put it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Secession Day

150 years ago today, South Carolina issued its Secession Ordinance, thus starting the procession of slave states out of the Union. Whether through a failure of genes or education, or both, things haven't changed much between then and now. I think about what our response should be today to the Haircut Perrys and Zach Wamps of the nation (and Lincoln's party!!) who casually throw out the notion of "secession": I say, let 'em go, we're better off without 'em!

(Image: No, it is hate, not heritage)

"When Zombies Win"

Paul Krugman tries to make sense of the phenomenon of the "triumph of failed ideas," i.e., those of the free market fundamentalists who led us into the economic collapse from which we've been struggling to emerge. The claptrap that more tax cuts and cutting government spending will lead us out of the recession has now been enshrined in the mainstream media as well. A "60 Minutes" segment broadcast last night demonstrates that the anti-Keynesian notion that this should be a time of government austerity is alive and well in current American mythology.

Can you say, "We're doomed"?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

You Can't Run, You Can't Hide

Budding spine-challenged Dem Sen. Joe "Manly" Manchin (D?-WV) was the only Senator to miss the vote on DADT repeal yesterday. Even Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) managed to show up, even though he had to cancel a doctor's visit (he'll be undergoing surgery for prostate cancer next week). Manly Joe's excuse? Why he had to go to a family Christmas party in West Virginny! Manly Joe, who's brand new to the Senate, is apparently trying to avoid casting controversial votes in the hopes the mean ol' Rethugs will lay off him when he runs again in 2012. Ha ha! In fact, they wasted no time in unloading on him for his lack of a spine. Moral of the story: The Rethugs aren't going to show you any love even if you roll over and play dead for them, so you might as well act like a man and stand up for your country and your party.

(Photo: Is it a coincidence Manchin's shirt is yellow?)

A Well-Deserved Award

"Instead we settled on the man who was put in office to serve as the Republicans' answer to Obama but wound up, more often than not, serving as the punch line of a joke: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele." -- Kaplan Daily pundit Chris "ZZZZ" Cilizza on why the Rethug Party chairclown had the "Worst Year In Washington." Again, we would be delighted if the Rethugs re-elected "The Shizzle" to another 2-year term; we can use some comic relief in these tough times.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DADT Repealed, DREAM Act Blocked

In an historic action this afternoon, the Senate voted 65-31 to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy for gays and lesbians in the military. Fifty-five Democrats, independents Lieberman and Sanders, and eight Republicans voted for the repeal, which now goes to President Obama to sign into law. We honestly didn't think this had more than a slim chance at the beginning of the lame duck session, but pressure and skillful legislating carried the hour. Here's the victory lap:

Meanwhile, the DREAM Act, which would offer a path to citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants was blocked by Senate Rethugs in a 55-41 vote, effectively killing the legislation for the forseeable future. It must be noted that five "Democrats" (Max Baucus, Jon Tester, Kay Hagen, Ben "Dover" Nelson*, and Mark Pryor) joined 36 Rethugs in voting against the bill. Republicans Bob Bennett, Lisa Murkowski and Richard Lugar voted with 50 Democrats and two independents in favor of the bill.

*Why this ass-wad is allowed to call himself a Democrat when he votes with Rethugs 90% of the time is a mystery to us.

Run, Winky, Run!

Here's hoping professional grifter and former half-term Alaska Governor Sarah "Winky" Palin gets the Rethuglican Party's nomination for President in 2012. Among the lineup of potential candidates, Winky polls worst: if the election were held today, Winky would lose to President Obama by 22 points, an historic landslide in the making. Even worse for Winky, 67 percent of Americans don't even think she's qualified to be President.

Nevertheless, Winky keeps sending out signals that she's running. Whenever she appears in interviews, she bashes Obama in one breath, and in the next breath bravely volunteers for his job "if America needs me." Well, America may not need you, Winky, but the Dems sure do.

(photo: You bitc. . . er, you betcha!)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Politifact's "Lie of the Year"

The votes have been cast, the chads have been inspected, and the winner of political truth scorekeeper Politifact's "Lie of the Year" is: "The Government's takeover of health care." The "Republican talking point" was judged "the most pervasive falsehood of the year" by the St. Petersburg Times' Pulitzer prize winning site feature.

Our nominees for fools of the year: (tie) the "mainstream media" and Democratic political leadership for letting the Rethugs get away with this whopper.

Weekend Uplift

This has been a horrible, bad, not so good day for this Hackwhacker (flooded downstairs floor, jury summons, dentist office files security breach), so a little uplifting, seasonal music is in order. God bless us everyone!

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Yesterday, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid withdrew the Omnibus Appropriations for 2011, he did so because the Rethug minority had declined to allow it to proceed under threat of filibuster. Why? The bill contained millions in earmarks. . . that they had requested. Apparently the Rethuglicans were nervous that their teatard base would catch on to the earmarks and stage a hissy fit. In other words, the Rethugs were for their earmarks before they were against them.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blake Edwards, RIP

Famed movie director Blake Edwards has died of pneumonia at the age of 88. Academy Award winner Edwards directed such classics as "The Days of Wine and Roses," "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "10," and the Pink Panther series. He also created the iconic "Peter Gunn" series on TV. He was married to Julie Andrews for 41 years.

His obituary in the New York Times illustrates the breadth of his impact on film. RIP.

Just The Facts, Cont.

According to polling by World Public Opinion, people who watch news programs are better informed about public policy issues than people who don't watch, with one exception...[wait for it]..viewers of Fox News (a.k.a. Faux, Fux, etc.). The polling shows that regular Fox viewers are significantly more inclined to be misinformed about current public policy issues than are non-Fox news program viewers. Shocking, we know. "Fairly Unbalanced" and "We Distort, You Obey" aren't sarcastic twists on the Fox brand; they are the Fox brand.

Just The Facts

After the Minneapolis Metrodome roof collapsed (again) under 17 inches of snow, there was the usual clueless cackling among the global warming deniers, with hate radio buffoon Boo Hoo the Hoot Beck in the lead. Strange that you never hear a peep out of them when we have record high temperatures, as we did last summer. Here's an excerpt from the October 2010 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration:
"The combined global average land and ocean surface temperature for the January–October period tied with 1998 as the warmest such period on record. This value is 0.63°C (1.13°F) above the 20th century average. Separately, the average worldwide land surface temperature ranked as the second warmest January–October on record, behind 2007. The worldwide average ocean surface temperature tied with 2003 also as the second warmest such period on record, behind 1998."
While they may not be exposed for their ignorance and dishonesty during their lifetimes, history will surely look upon the wingnut deniers as environmental criminals.

The Rethugs' Phony Piety

Rethuglican Senators Jon Kyl and Jim "Demented" DeMint have accused Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of "disrespecting" Christmas and sacrilege, respectively, for threatening to keep the Senate in session to vote on bills that the Rethugs have blocked. Reid fired back, saying:
"As a Christian, no one has to remind me of the importance of Christmas for all of the Christian faith, for all their families, all across America. I don't need to hear the sanctimonious lectures of Sen. Kyl and [Sen. Jim] DeMint to remind me of what Christmas means."
Clearly, these two simply want the Senate to adjourn without voting on the START treaty, Don't Ask Don't Tell, and other bills that they have stalled through their relentless obstruction. They want a more Rethug-friendly Congress to act come January, and they're not ashamed to stall and demagogue using religion.

Reid needs to stay with an aggressive legislative agenda, and force these malevolent hypocrites to stick around and do their job.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DADT Progress?

The House today passed a stand-alone Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal. It now goes to the Senate, where we don't pretend to understand the maneuvering that's going on. But it's possible the Dems (with minimal Rethug votes) can pull this one out.

Mid-Week Song

The lovely Kentucky-born Jackie DeShannon has written a number of hits over her long career, among them "What The World Needs Now," "Put A Little Love In Your Heart," "Bette Davis Eyes," and our mid-week song "When You Walk In The Room" from the '60s. Her songs have been covered by everyone from the Byrds to Bruce Springsteen. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this past June. In this video, she begins to lip-synch before the lyrics start, then smiles at herself and continues. Extra bonus points for some eye-catching hip movement.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quote of the Day

"In Washington, the view is that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks." -- Alabama Rethuglican Rep. "B. Estes" Spencer Bachus, revealing in The Birmingham News what he and his fellow Rethugs think their role is vis-a-vis the "bidness" community (see also Texas Rethug Joe "Apologies" Barton and BP, etc.). A Golden Gaffe is hereby awarded to B. Estes Spencer.

Mugged by the Thugs

One of the most despicable, hypocritical actions of the Rethug minority in the Senate has been to block funding for aid to 9-11 first responders. It was more important for these thugs to get the tax cuts for their wealthy benefactors than helping the firefighters and emergency workers who became sick in the aftermath of 9-11. As Jon Stewart notes, this should mark the end of the Rethugs' cynical use of 9-11 as a political tool.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Lame-as-F@#k Congress
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Department of D'Oh!

Often the liberty-lovin', Gummint-hatin' ideologues of the far right exercise their second amendment rights on one of their feet. Case in point: teatard Rethuglican Governor-elect Scott "Take A" Walker of Wisconsin. Teahadist Take A Walker is planning to refuse $810 million in Federal economic recovery funding for a high speed rail line between Milwaukee and Madison. The consequences of that loopy decision are the closing of the rail car plant in Milwaukee and the ultimate loss of 13,000 jobs that would have been created for the company which planned to manufacture high speed rail cars for other customers. Nothing like wanting to grow jobs.

While the decision might give a right-wing teatard like Take a Walker a warm feeling in his pants, it's a cold decision for those Wisconsinites wanting to find work. Although it's too late now, maybe by the next election he'll find himself out of work.

(photo: We were going for a Homer Simpson cartoon, but Walker's actual picture is much better)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Activist Judge Rules HCR Unconstitutional

As expected, Federal district judge Henry Hudson, appointed to the bench by Dumbya, has declared the individual mandate in the health care reform law unconstitutional. (Rejoice, wingnuts!) Two previous attempts by right wingers to stop HCR in its tracks were shot down by Federal judges. The ruling, in a case brought by Virginia's ultra-right wing Attorney General Ken "The Kook" Cuccinelli, will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. As Steve Benen thoughtfully points out, the individual mandate was a Rethug idea before the inmates took over the asylum. But these days, when it's far more important to destroy the Obama presidency than be philosophically consistent, hey, what's the prob?!

Also, if Hudson were a liberal, wouldn't he be excoriated as an "activist judge?"

UPDATE: If Hudson had a major conflict of interest, wouldn't he be excoriated as a "corrupt judge?"

The Shizzle To Bow Out?

Tonight Rethuglican National Committee Chairclown Michael "The Shizzle" Steele is expected to announce he won't seek a second term as chairclown, to the great disappointment of Democrats and stand-up comedians everywhere. The Shizzle not only has been a one-clown gaffe machine for the past two years, he's also succeeded in driving the RNC deep into the hole financially (those bondage strip club junkets can be expensive!). We await the inevitable retrospective on all things The Shizzle from Colbert/ Stewart/ Maher!

UPDATE: The Shizzle announced he's running!! Yay!!

(Image: Don't go Shizzle!!!)

People Are Being Mean to Orange Boner

In case you missed soon-to-be Speaker of the House (gag) John "Orange Boner" Boehner's interview on "60 Minutes" last night, as we made a point of doing, TPM has memorialized it. The best part: wherein Lesley Stahl induces Orange Boner's waterworks. See Orange Boner un-persuasively (to us) claim he don't use no stinkin' tanning products, he's always been that shade of burnt sienna! Also, the "no compromise" Orange Boner thinks Obama was mean to him by calling him a hostage-taker. Well, just for that, we're going to have to start referring to him as Osama Bin Boehner! How do you like, don't cry, please!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Metrodome Roof Collapses

First Obama, then the Minneapolis Metrodome! Click on the little > icon, bottom left. (P.S., it's not my Fox!)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Nobel Quote of the Year

"This fact alone shows that the award was necessary and appropriate." -- Norwegian Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland on China's refusal to allow Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Liu Xiaobo or his family to attend the Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo. Well said.

(Photo: Jagland placing the Nobel Peace Prize for 2010 on the chair Liu Xiaobo would have occupied - Heiko Junge/AP Photo)

The Rethugs' Most Important Product

While much of the spotlight has been on the Bushit tax cut extension fight, it's useful to remember what actions the Rethuglicans in Congress are obstructing, or have already defeated:

1) The DREAM Act
2) A cost of living adjustment for Social Security recipients
3) Aid for 9-11 first responders
4) Ratification of the new START Treaty
5) Don't Ask Don't Tell

This is just a taste of where the Rethugs are headed over the next two years. Add to that bogus "investigations" of the White House, etc., blocking of Executive Branch and judicial nominees, and generally trying to wreck the Obama Administration regardless of any damage to America.

Country First!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Weekend Lowe-down Song

Listening to this song raises the question, is it possible Obama is being cruel to be kind?... nah!

These Taxing Times

Eugene Robinson reluctantly supports the passage of the tax deal worked out between the White House and Congressional Rethuglicans in his column today. There may still be opportunities to remove some of the most offensive give-aways, like the estate tax break for multi-millionaires (which even the Rethugs never made much of an issue of). Votes will probably occur by the middle of next week, and most people are predicting extension of all of the Bushit tax cuts.

In the meantime, the anger of House Dems at the White House's bypassing of them is real. So too is the President's progressive base, which perceives him as always throwing in the towel after the first round of a fight that the other side usually picks. He also might want to steer clear of gratuitous insults to his base in the future, as Robinson says:
"I believe the White House continues to underestimate the anger and disillusionment among the party's loyal base - and the need for some victories, or at least some heroic battles, to lift the spirits of the faithful. Obama needs to train his newfound passion and outrage on his foes in the GOP, not on the friends and supporters that his press secretary once derisively called the 'professional left.'"
Yes, "his newfound passion and outrage." Getting slapped around by Rethugs and other righties for two years, and then lashing out at your supporters when they want you to fight back, isn't going to help you at the polls in 2012.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

C'mon, C'mon, C'mon Now (Don't) Touch Me Babe

Doors singer Jim Morrison was posthumously pardoned today for his 1970 conviction for indecent exposure during a 1969 concert in Miami, Florida. Morrison, who died in Paris in 1971, would have turned 67 yesterday. Florida Governor Charlie Crist had asked the Clemency Board for the pardon, which was granted by unanimous vote. As for the indecent exposure charge? Morrison (and millions of others) always felt he was being made a scapegoat by the anti-counterculturalists (today, think "teahadists"). Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek said, "It never actually happened." Shocking.

How You Can Be Certain Obama Blew It

Kaplan Daily's dean of Washington Beltway gasbags David "Bipartisan" Broder got so excited about the Obama/ Rethug deal on tax cuts that he tinkled in his Depends.

Quote of the Day

"'Sorry guys, I know you said take it or leave it, and I know you cut the deal while I was out of the room -- or while I was in a different room -- but it's unacceptable to my caucus.'" Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio, describing what the Democratic caucus was saying when they voted to reject President Obama's deal with Rethug leaders. The vote is symbolic and not binding on the Representatives, but is an indication of how angry they are that they were left out of "negotiations" by the White House.

Department of Big Surprises

We were shocked, shocked! to learn that Fux News' Washington Managing Editor ordered his subordinates to echo Rethuglican terminology regarding the health insurance reform legislation.

Specifically, the Fux editor/propagandist wanted his "reporters" to use the phrase "Government option" when discussing the "public" option, a direct copy of Rethug talking points circulated by Rethug pollster/operative Frank "Dunce" Luntz. Knowing that the "public" option had significant public support, the Rethug obfuscation machine decided to push the term "Government" option, so as to build resistance among their mouth-breathing teatard audience (who are all for freedom, except when it comes to freedom in health insurance choices, since they don't understand the meaning of the word "option").

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Very Sad Anniversary

On this day 30 years ago, former Beatle John Lennon was killed by a deranged shooter in New York City. It's hard to believe it's been that long. You can't overstate the influence that Lennon had on music and culture in the 20th century. With Sir Paul McCartney, he created a body of work unparalleled in modern music. His composing range ran from simple catchy pop tunes to complex rock symphonies. Many people remember hearing of his death for the first time when watching ABC's Monday Night Football, when Howard Cosell broke into the game to announce it.

Here are two of Lennon's memorable songs. First, his wistful tribute to Julia, his late mother, and the second, a live recording of his anthem to what we might imagine as human beings. RIP.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

Mr. and Mrs. Poot Gingrich, at the Kennedy Center Honors on December 5, 2010. YIKES!! Guess you have to be over-medicated to stay with the Pootster. That, or hypnosis.

(photo: K. Connor, Getty Images)

Empty, Laughable Threat of the Week

"If the Republicans abdicate that responsibility to govern for political purposes, they will pay a price. And we will make sure they pay a price." -- A "Senior Administration Official," quoted in today's Kaplan Daily, on the White House's "trust but verify" approach to dealing with Rethugs, following the capitulation on tax cuts. Surely, the Rethugs are quaking in their Guccis at this threat -- after all, the Obama White House has been so adept at playing hardball with the wingnuts (e.g., see "Quote of the Day," below). Also, whose "responsibility to govern"?? We thought the Democrats still controlled the White House and Senate.

Perhaps the "price" that will be extracted by the White House boobs will be to leave nasty notes in their desks in 2012 when they clean out of the White House for the incoming Rethugs.

(Image: We are finally able to identify the individual being rogered -- it's one "B. Obama.")

Quote of the Day

"Mr. Obama said on Monday night that he still believed extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy was a bad idea. He predicted that it would be undone in two years when it becomes apparent to everyone that the country can’t afford it. The president needs to ask himself why he couldn’t make that case now — and how he plans to change his approach to governing so he doesn’t get trapped this way again.

Mr. Obama also said that 'we cannot play politics at a time when the American people are looking for us to solve problems.' Unfortunately, the Republicans felt no such compunction. He should have fought harder."
-- from today's New York Times editorial. [Emphasis ours]

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chart of the Week

If this chart doesn't clarify who gets the windfall from extending Bushit tax cuts, then nothing will. (Click to enlarge)

(h/t to Ezra Klein, WaPo)

Department of Understatement

"It was probably a mistake on my part." Teahadist kook Ginni "The Ninny" Thomas, wife of accused sexual harasser and far-right Justice Clarence "Long Dong" Thomas, in an interview, referring to the strange message left on law professor Anita Hill's phone a few weeks ago.

Rather than asking Prof. Hill for an apology, the Ninny should be asking her husband why he declined to take a lie detector test to clear himself, when Hill passed her lie detector test. And why a former girlfriend of Long Dong's said his behavior with Hill fit a familiar pattern. We'll be waiting for the results of her inquiries.

(photo: Lady Jibberty herself)

We Need More Bill Maher

Too bad we can't pass a law requiring the public to watch Bill Maher a couple of hours a day. Bill's take on weak Dems, craven Rethugs and loopy teabaggers shows why he's one of the most incisive, witty and intelligent commentators out there. He has a line in here about the latest phony, flag-waving Rethug distraction -- American "exceptionalism" -- being "their room full of balls at Chuck E. Cheese." BWAHAHAHAHA!

Let's (Not) Make A Deal

As the New York Times reports, the White House and Congressional Rethugs are close to a deal on the Bushit era tax cuts that would extend tax cuts for the very wealthy for several years, in exchange for some extention of unemployment benefits. As described by the Times article:
"Rather than extending the tax rates only on income described by Democrats as middle class — up to $250,000 a year for couples and $200,000 for individuals — the deal would also keep the rates for higher earners, probably for two years. In return, Republicans said they would probably agree to extend jobless aid for the long-term unemployed." [emphasis added]
The word "probably" adds a lovely irony to the scenario. Americans by a wide margin favor extension of the tax cuts for the middle class, but not for the very wealthy. So, the Dems had the wind at their back on this issue in terms of public opinion (like the public option in health insurance), and are proceeding to screw it up. . .again. And the Rethugs are still playing coy over extension of unemployment benefits.

We'll be waiting for the Rethugs to cynically but successfully campaign in 2012 against the growing deficit, one to which they're willing add $700 billion over the next 10 years. Marvelous!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Morning With Frank Rich

This morning, Frank Rich discusses Obama held hostage by the terrorists (Rethugs). Sadly, Obama doesn't seem to want the progressive S.W.A.T. team to rescue him.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Grayson on Tax Cuts for the Millionaires

We're going to miss Alan Grayson in Congress. Hopefully, he'll be back in 2012.

Cartoon of the Week

Sadly for the country, he's probably not finished bending.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Quote of the Week

"[Republicans in Congress] are not concerned about the people in the tea party. They're worried about people who can't decide which home to go to [for the holidays]." -- Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), today.

(Photo: Speaker-elect John "Orange Boner" Boehner (Chicken crap-OH), at the country club.)

Are You Ready to Rumble?

In 1958, radio stations banned this cult classic by Link Wray because, well, it sounded badass -- oh, and it was titled "Rumble," referring of course to gang street fighting. Wray, who lived in Maryland for much of his early career, is widely credited with inventing the "power chord" you hear throughout "Rumble," which formed the basis of much of rock music from The Kinks, The Who and Led Zeppelin to 80's punk rock. This Hackwhacker is also the proud owner of a 45 of "Rumble," quite scratched, making it all the more...badass.

Colbert Gold

Who but Steven Colbert can deliver the most devastating satires of right-wing bigots? This time, he focuses on wild-eyed Rethug crazy Rep. Steve "The Stare" King, who adopts the mantle of the persecuted white man at the drop of a white hood.

Catch the great poke in the gut at 3:15 into this segment, where Colbert refers to hate radio buffoon Rush Limpballs as "Chief Sweats Like a Hog." Pure gold.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - The Great White Wail
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionMarch to Keep Fear Alive

From One Who Knows

House Rethug Minority Leader John "Orange Boner" Boehner attacked the House Dems' plan to have a straight up-or-down vote on the extension of tax cuts only for the middle class as "chicken crap." Orange Boner, who became infamous for passing out checks from a grateful tobacco industry to fellow Rethugs on the House floor in the '90s, knows where his campaign contributions come from, and he'll support the $700 billion gift to the wealthiest 2% any time, any place. Just don't ask him to be honest about it.

He also knows "chicken crap," having spread it profusely for his entire Congressional career.

(photo: Feeling the Koch brothers' pain)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Hannukah

We're remiss in neglecting to wish everyone a Happy Hannukah, which started at sundown on December 1. It came a little early this year and caught us off guard -- that's our story and we're sticking to it!

On What Could Have Been

Barring unforeseen backbone stiffening by Dems (our offer of spinal implants still stands), it's becoming increasing clear that the "compromise" on tax cuts being engineered is a two- or three-year extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts. It didn't have to be that way, of course, had Obama and the Democrats played their cards smarter and tougher.

Also, the deficit commission's report is now out, and again it seems Obama and the Democrats are preparing to cede ground to the Rethugs without a whimper. Here are two takes on why better outcomes for Democrats and the nation could have -- but aren't -- going to happen, from Ezra Klein and E.J. Dionne.

(Image: The new Democratic Party symbol?)

The Dick, Fugitive from Justice

This put a grin on our faces this morning: the Government of Nigeria has charged former (Vice) President "The Dick" Cheney with bribery, stemming from his position as CEO of Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. The charges involve the payment of a $180 million bribe by Halliburton to secure a multi-billion dollar liquid natural gas contract with Nigeria during that period.

The Nigerians say that they will issue an arrest warrant to be served by Interpol (good luck getting past The Dick's Secret Service guards). Sadly, it will almost certainly come to nothing. Hopefully, however, we'll learn more details of The Dick's role in the bribery case before the Grim Reaper harvests him.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

McNasty's "Finest Hour"

Washington Monthly's Steve Benen has a useful summary of Arizona Rethug Sen. John McNasty's ever-changing positions on "don't ask, don't tell":
"The anti-gay senator started by saying we can't repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' until the Secretary of Defense says it's a good idea. When the Pentagon chief did just that, McCain shifted gears and said repeal should wait for the go-ahead from the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff. When the chairman did just that, McCain said he'd take his cues from Colin Powell. When Powell endorsed repeal, McCain said he'd honor the opinions of servicemen and women. And now that service members are on board with repeal, McCain told NBC News yesterday, 'I'm paying attention to the commandant of the Marine Corps.'

It's bordering on amusing."
What's next for McNasty? "I'm waiting to hear what Gen. Eisenhower says" or maybe "I'll go along with whatever God tells me."

Country First!


Less than a day after meeting with President Obama, the entire Senate Rethug contingent has signed a letter vowing to filibuster any Democratic legislation unless Bush tax cut extensions for the wealthy are voted first. At midnight last night, unemployment benefits lapsed for two million Americans, thanks to Rethuglican obstruction. The new START treaty, which has been supported by former Dem and Rethug Secretaries of State, is being held up by Rethug refusal to give Obama a "victory" of any kind -- even if it adversely impacts national security.

Sadly, if you think their obstruction is intolerable now, wait until the next Congress is seated in January.

Mid-Week Song

A hit song from John Mayer, featuring Taylor Swift. Enjoy.