Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Barry, Drill?

Word comes that President Obama will announce the opening of major offshore expanses of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Alaska to oil and gas drilling for the first time. While the West Coast is exempt, Obama would lift a longstanding moratorium on drilling on the Atlantic coast from New Jersey to the central coast of Florida, parts of the Gulf of Mexico, and Alaska's entire northern coast.

Environmentalists are pointing out that the President campaigned against such offshore drilling, since the U.S.'s oil reserves account for only 3% of the world's proven reserves, and our usage counts for nearly 30% of the world's consumption. Many young voters who went for Obama in 2008, in part because of his environmental positions, will find this "change" hard to swallow. And just when he had his base energized.

Worth 1,000 Words

Diagram by New York writer/artist Trish Wend. (click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Dude, Where's My Car?"

While attending a Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck "show" in Orlando Saturday, 53 wingnuts' cars were towed out of a parking lot they believed they could park in, but in fact was prohibited. [Let us pause for a second...heeheehee...there that's better.] Some are speculating it was a prank by a fraternity at the University of Central Florida. I'm ready to pledge that bad house!

(Image: Boo Hoo has a sad because his followers' heaps were towed)

"Party of No-No"

As we noted yesterday, Rethuglican National Committee Chairclown Michael "The Shizzle" Steele has some 'splainin' to do, and is drawing some serious fire from big Rethug donors for the lavish expenditures by the Committee, including the now infamous evening at LA's "Voyeur" club, featuring topless dancers simulating bondage and lesbian sex acts.

This story has prompted some wags to come up with some memorable tags, including:
-- "Leather and Steele"
-- "RNC Cracking the Whip"
-- "Risque National Committee"
-- "Off the Hook Schnook"
-- "Grand Old Par-tay"
We're having loads of fun watching the Rethug apparatus deal with this latest pratfall, at a time when the President is celebrating a major legislative victory. The best part is that The Shizzle will be the gift that keeps on giving to the Dems for the foreseeable future.

(photo: The Shizzle gettin' down with the bad sound; all together now, "whip it, whip it good")

Monday, March 29, 2010

Glutton for Punishment?

It would seem Rethug National Chairclown Michael "The Shizzle" Steele and his Rethuglican entourage have some expensive and kinky tastes. Not only did The Shizzle want to buy a private jet, but on a February trip to California, an RNC contractor charged (in round numbers) $9,000 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,600 at the Four Seasons, and $1,600 at... uh... "a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex" ("not that there's anything wrong with it"). It's good to see at least some of us are doing well in this economy.

Chairclown Steele has some 'splainin' to do.

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

Have you ever wondered how so many tea baggers can afford the time to travel around the country marching against health insurance reform and a government that lowered their income taxes last year? As the New York Times reports, that's because a large number are unemployed and receiving unemployment benefits, or are retired and living on Social Security and Medicare. Despite the fact that they're on the Government teat, tea baggers want smaller government, and apparently, a return to abusive practices by health insurance companies (among them, dropping coverage for the unemployed).

Well, in the words of the President, we say "go for it." And remember, tea baggers, that it's Rethuglicans like "Jim Beaned" Bunning and Tom "Dr. No" Coburn who are holding up your unemployment benefits which allow you the resources to display your ignorance and hypocrisy at these rallies.

Department of Bloomin' Idiocy

"We need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern." -- Half-term Governor and snowbilly grifter Winky You Betcha, speaking to a tea bagger crowd after telling them how important it is to adhere to the Constitution. Of course, Winky and 99% of her fans have no idea what's in the Constitution, and would likely think the Bill of Rights is a socialist document.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Frank Rich Hits It On The Head - Again

It wouldn't be Sunday without a superb analysis by the NY Times' Frank Rich. This week, he sums up the past 2-plus years of right wing hysteria, its antecedents and its prospects. Must read.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Song

". . .will time make man more wise?" Jeff Beck's guitar riff is classic.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Apologists for Right-Wing Extremists

Today's lead editorial in the Kaplan Daily is a prime example of the "mainstream" media's compulsion to find a false equivalence between left and right, no matter how much twisting and stretching they have to do. Does anyone in their right mind view the extremist, violent language and threats being thrown around in the past year as the responsibility of anyone but the right and the Rethug political class? Anyone except the numbnuts at the Kaplan Daily editorial board, that is?

When the history of this time is written, it will note the failure of so-called journalists to report facts and not try to balance the acts of violent nuts with... what? A stray bullet purportedly fired at Rethug Rep. Eric "No We" Cantor's Richmond not-office? As more facts on this particular side-show come out, it's guaranteed Cantor um... stretched the truth about this "incident" in order to portray a false equivalence between the hundreds of threats, windows broken, gas lines cut, and other outrages perpetrated by right-wing nut balls and... a "stray bullet." And the Kaplan Daily? Fell for it as you might expect.

(Image: The Kaplan Daily editorial board)

Another Rethuglican Attack on the Middle Class

Only weeks after nutty Kentucky Rethug Sen. Jim "Jim Beaned" Bunning single-handedly blocked an extension of unemployment benefits to millions of people, now it's Oklahoma Rethug Sen. Tom "Dr. No" Coburn who's standing in the way. As Jim Beaned found out, acts of nuttiness like this show the country once again that Rethugs really don't give a damn about middle class people who have lost their jobs, homes, or health care. All voted against the 2009 stimulus package, and most voted against the recent jobs bill. No one should be surprised any longer at where the Rethugs come out on issues affecting the broad middle class.

Picture of the Day

President Obama visited the Prairie Lights bookstore in Iowa City, Iowa yesterday, and happened upon two works of fiction: "Courage and Consequence" by Turdblossom Rove, and "No Apology" by Mittens/Mousse/Flip Romney. Love the big grin on the President's face, as if to say, "you can't be serious!"

(photo: New York Times)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Now that we passed it, they're already promising to repeal it. They're actually going to run on a platform of repeal in November.... And my attitude is, Go for it."- - President Obama, speaking today to a rally in Iowa and boosting the newly signed health insurance reform law's benefits.

Indeed. Here's hoping the Rethugs stake their campaigns on telling the voters that we need to go back to the good old days of health insurance company abuses.

Wingnut Purity Purge

You've got to watch what you say in Wingnuttia, especially if you hope to keep your wingnut welfare. Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, who compellingly wrote about the capture of the Rethug Party by extremists after passage of health insurance reform legislation (calling it the Rethugs' Waterloo), has parted ways with the American Enterprise Institute. Calling it "unexpected", Frum's resignation/ termination may mean yet another right-wing light has decided not to follow the Rethugs over the cliff (others of note being Charles Johnson, Christopher Buckley and Andrew Sullivan).

Welcome to reality, Mr. Frum!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Orange Boner: "Hell No You Can't" Remix

"So, hit-tit!"

Tea Baggin' Mamas

An interesting Quinnipiac poll shows that the majority of tea baggers appear to be angry white women, 55% to 45%. An overwhelming number are Rethuglican and are big supporters of half-term former Alaska Gov. Winky You Betcha and Minnesota loon Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann. Only 5% identify themselves as independents. These aren't the "PUMAs" that were die-hards for Hillary; these tea baggers supported McNasty in 2008 all the way.

That's why we strongly support Tea Party candidates running against fellow Rethugs in 2010 and beyond. That worked so well in the New York 23rd district race last fall, when the right wing vote split between the Tea Party idiot Doug Hoffman and the Rethug establishment choice.

(And There's More: Check out Courtland Milloy's article in the Kaplan Daily about the teabaggers' racist true colors.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Worth 1,000 Words, Part II

Rethug Rep. Mike "Half" Pence holds a "press conference" today, discussing health insurance reform. (Is the guy with the laptop in front checking his e-mails?)

*crickets chirping*

(photo: AP)

A Turning Tide?

A new Gallup poll out says public opinion is starting to shift to supporting the new law on health insurance reform. Hopefully, it's just the beginning, as the components of the legislation are made known. Let the Rethugs campaign on repeal and fabrications: you can't fool all the people all the time.

Quote of the Day

"This battle was never entirely about health care. The fury of the opposition -- not a single Republican vote -- is as historically significant as the passage of the legislation itself. There is something cleaving this country, something represented by the election of Barack Obama -- the change he either promised or threatened, take your pick -- and the hyper-exaggeration of the ideological threat the man represented. Caricatured as a socialist, a radical, a hard-left liberal and even an alien, he is actually the very soul of center-left moderation, cautious to a fault." -- blind squirrel Richard Cohen, finding a nut in today's Kaplan Daily.


As President Obama and Vice President Biden stood together this morning in the East Room, the crowd of Senators, Congressmen and special guest broke into a chant of "fired up, ready to go!" from the 2008 campaign. And yes, they are. The momentum is back, despite months and months of right-wing resistance and disinformation.

Moments later, the President signed into law the landmark health insurance reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, immediately changing the face of health care in America and assisting more than 30 million Americans and small business owners afford health insurance. Some of the insurance industry's worst practices will end this year: denying coverage for preexisting conditions, canceling insurance coverage when you get sick, and other games to maximize profits. Delusional Rethugs in Congress are making noise about repealing the law. Even George "Quill Pen" Will thinks that's a pipe dream for at least another generation. What Rethug will campaign on taking affordable insurance away from 30+ million Americans, or on going back to health insurance industry worst practices? On going back to an unsustainable situation? Here's hoping many of them drink the wingnut Kool Aid, and try to sell that to independent voters in November.

(photo: Associated Press)

Worth 1,000 Words

Click on image for full size.

(Image courtesy of

Monday, March 22, 2010

We Hear The Weather Is Nice In Costa Rica

So when is Pills Limpballs going to go there to live, as he promised on March 8 if the health insurance reform legislation passed? Finding a door large enough to hit him in the ass on the way out might be a problem, though . . . .

(photo: The Drugster, making sure his stash of Oxycontin isn't showing)


Think Progress and HuffPo have the quotes from the pundits and pols who prematurely declared "Obamacare" dead. Reps. Eric "No We" Cantor and Man-Tan abuser John "Boner" Boehner ("The Orange Boner") have more than their share of nonsensical dire predictions preserved in perpetuity. The credulous Villagers will no doubt be dutifully reporting the equally nonsensical dire predictions that "we will repeal this bill" that are already coming from many of the same dimbulbs.

(Image: "They what? They passed health care reform? Nevermind!")

34 Dems No More

Here's the list of the 34 Democrats- in- name- only who sided with the lying Rethugs and voted against health insurance reform: Adler, Altmire, Arcuri, Barrow, Berry, Boren, Boucher, Bright, Chandler, Childers, A. Davis, L. Davis, Edwards, Herseth-Sandlin, Holden, Kissell, Kratovil, Lipinski, Lynch, Marshall, Matheson, McIntyre, McMahon, Melancon, Minnick, Nye, Peterson, Ross, Shuler, Skelton, Space, Tanner, Taylor, Teague.

Until such time as they can be voted out of office, no self-respecting Democrat should allow them to hold any chairmanship or position of authority, nor should they receive any campaign support - financial or otherwise. Why so harsh? On the defining issue for Democrats this year (or any other year), on the issue that was make- or- break for their Democratic president, on the issue that has been in the party's platform for 50-plus years, on the issue whose lines were drawn between what was right for the American people and what was right for the Rethugs and their insurance industry allies, these 34 dwarfs were on the wrong side of history. May they be the first to pay for their betrayal.

Historic Victory Achieved

With the House of Representatives' historic vote last night, passing S. 1 by 219 - 212, and reconciliation fixes to the same act by 220-211, landmark health insurance reform legislation will be law with the President's signature, while the reconciliation fixes move to the Senate, where Rethugs are committed to using parliamentary games to derail reform. We'll see how that works.

The spectacle this weekend of the tea baggers hurling racist and homophobic slurs at Congressmen was seen by America, and points up the far right extremist element behind the "populist" tea bagger movement. Anyone who has seen the signs at tea bagger rallies over the past year couldn't help but notice the undercurrent of raw racism . . . anyone but the mainstream media, of course, who continue to portray them merely as "angry Americans."

On the floor of the House, Rethugs used every minute of their allotted time to lie about the legislation. One has to wonder what payoff they expect, when in the weeks and months to follow, Americans notice that the Government hasn't taken over their health care, and they're not having their benefits denied, or having their kids denied coverage due to a preexisting condition. In other words, they'll realize that one side in the debate lied; they lied openly, egregiously, and shamelessly to protect the status quo, which benefits their patrons in the insurance industry.

On to the Senate, where we say, again: Pass. The. Damn. Reconciliation. Bill.

UPDATE: In an interesting turn, conservative David "Where You" Frum thinks that this legislation is the Rethuglicans' Waterloo. As Frum says, "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broder Doesn't Disappoint

Gasbag Villager emeritus David "Bipartisan" Broder has yet another installment in his 4,696-part series, "Bipartisanship Good, Partisanship Bad - Except When Republicans Are In Charge." A summation of his "analysis" follows:

1) It might not be so bad if the Dems lose the House and/or Senate; why?
2) Things were pretty bipartisan good when my friend Newt Gingrich was Speaker and counterbalanced Bill "Monica" Clinton; they done some good things together!
3) Missy McConnell and John Boner, if they were in charge, would be better than Pelosi and Reid because, well, they're Republicans!
4) As far as I can recall, things are always better when Republicans are in charge; then no one has to worry about bipartisanship because they always do what's best!
5) Send my check ASAP.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quote of the Weekend

"This is the largest tax bill in history," the Republican leader fumed. The reform "is unjust, unworkable, stupidly drafted and wastefully financed."

And that wasn't all. This "cruel hoax," he said, this "folly" of "bungling and waste," compared poorly to the "much less expensive" and "practical measures" favored by the Republican Party.

"We must repeal," the GOP leader argued. "The Republican Party is pledged to do this."

-- Alf Landon, in a September 1936 campaign speech talking about Social Security (quoted in the Dickwhisperer's Kaplan Daily column appearing on Sunday). Alf went on to lose to socialistdemocommiefascist FDR in an historic landslide, carrying only Maine and Vermont.

On the eve of the historic health care reform vote, may this hearten Democrat jellyfish and be a foretelling of the Rethug future.

Rethug Hoaxes and Our Broken Media

In a last ditch effort to stop health insurance reform legislation, the Rethugs are throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. After more than a year of spreading lies and misinformation about reform ("death panels," "Government takeover," etc.), the Rethugs are resorting to hoaxes to try to derail the bill. A fake memo from Dem leadership made available to sympathetic "media" purports to claim the Dems plan to make big changes in Medicare next year. Of course, the stenographers at picked up the memo and ran with it without checking with Dems to determine its authenticity.

This has become a classic Rethug route for getting bogus information into the mainstream media: hand it to Politico or Drudge (not much difference), who peddle it to the cable TV nitwits, who flog it day and night until the Village media takes note. It's just what President Obama was referring to when he said yesterday at George Mason University that watching the media was like watching ESPN's Sports Center. Except on Sports Center, they don't make up the scores.

Saturday Pure Music Joy

"High quality," indeed!

Friday, March 19, 2010

King of the Wild Frontier

For guys of a certain age, the story of Davy Crockett came alive during the mid-1950s when Walt Disney presented a three-part series on TV, starring Fess Parker as Davy Crockett (and Buddy Ebsen as his sidekick). The show set off a tremendous wave of interest and triggered a marketing frenzy for coonskin caps, buckskin shirts, etc. Fess Parker died yesterday at age 85. He had become a real estate tycoon and wine maker near Santa Barbara after his acting career faded in the 1970s, but will always be remembered from his role as Davy Crockett -- which he gladly and graciously embraced. RIP.

Sticky Fingers Hannity

Media Matters has the rundown of an alleged scam that Sean "Heil" Hannity has been running with his Freedom Alliance "charity." According to a right-wing (!) blogger, Heil Hannity's "charity" has been skimming off anywhere from 80 to 96 percent of the proceeds collected to pay for college tuition for fallen military and to assist wounded vets. The skim has been paying for private planes, luxury SUVs and other expensive perks for Heil and his wingnut posse and family.

Will the lazy mainstream media investigate the story? Don't be surprised if they take a pass: they rarely criticize powerful wingnut media stars lest they get tons of angry threats from the "morans" who follow them.

It's Friday, So. . . . .

It's Friday, so it must be time for Rethuglican Party Chairclown Michael "Tin Man" Steele to say something demonstrably false and idiotic. Ah, yes, here it is:

"The CBO: their estimates were for Rethugs before they were against us." Thank you Tin Man for being, well, you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"Dear Congressional Jellyfish"

For those remaining Dems that require a backbone implant to vote for health insurance reform vs. their careers, former Rep. Marjorie Margolies writes an op-ed in today's Kaplan Daily that tells the wavering pols:
"You will be assailed no matter how you vote this week. And this job isn't supposed to be easy. So cast the vote that you won't regret in 18 years."
She was defeated in a largely Repub district in Pennsylvania after voting for the Clinton Administration's budget balancing legislation, which helped to erase the Ronnie Raygun-Poppy Bush deficits, leading to budget surpluses and a booming economy. Her constituents proved to be wrong and short-sighted; Ms. Margolies' words should be heeded by the pols with their fingers in the wind.

CBO: Health Care Reform Will Reduce Deficit

The long-awaited Congressional Budget Office report on the impact of the health insurance reform legislation about to be voted on was released this morning. It's very good news for Dems and the Obama Administration. The CBO reports that the reform will reduce the Federal deficit by $130 billion over the next 10 years, while providing health insurance coverage for an additional 32 million Americans.

Watch the momemtum start to shift. A number of conserva-Dems have been waiting for the CBO numbers to be released before deciding on their vote, and this should give them the cover that they thought they needed. In addition, Rethuglican lies about a budget-busting health care bill have now been exposed, not that they won't continue to use them with the low-information voters that make up a significant part of their base.

Expect to see an increasing number of Dem holdouts shifting to "yes" on the bill's passage. Now would also be a good time for the Dems to loudly and repeatedly ask the Rethugs in Congress (and tea baggers), "you mean you're not interested in deficit reduction?"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! As I wished for Brian and Chi:

"May you always have walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire."

The Manure Spreader

As we approach the final vote on health insurance reform, the industry opponents and their wholly-owned Rethuglican Party apparatchiks are upping the ante on outright lies. Yesterday we noted the poorly-attended tea bagging "demonstration" yesterday at the Capitol, with the nonsensical signs, nutty accusations of treason, and demands for impeachment. Many of the speakers dwelled on the "deem and pass" majority vote process that Speaker Pelosi will use in order to defeat relentless Rethuglican obstructionism on behalf of their industry patrons. And who best to spread the manure over the mushrooms than Rethug loon Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann?

Claiming that former Rethug Speaker Dennis Hastert "never would have gotten away" with "deem and pass," Think Progress notes that the crazy Congresswoman was 180 degrees wrong:
"Bachmann’s outrage is ridiculous. As AEI congressional scholar Norman Ornstein pointed out yesterday, former Rep. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) did get 'away with this' when he was Speaker. 'In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of deem and pass,' wrote Ornstein."
Will passage of the health insurance reform bill stop the crazies and the industry shills from continuing to lie? They can't: it's in their DNA.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wingnut Rage on Display

As the vote nears to pass health insurance reform legislation, tea bagging wingnuts are out this week in one last display of uninformed, incoherent rage. Here are some of the signs displayed at the wingnut rally at the Capitol.

Wingnut Stupidity on Display, Too: Erstwhile teabag leader Dick "Dick" Armey, former Rethug congressman and fat cat lobbyist, demonstrated that wingnuts can also display Teh Stoopid without any problem.

(photo: And standing next to him, a person with a tee shirt reading "I'm With Stupid")

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Familiar Tactic

Something vaguely familiar is going on in international politics, specifically regarding the Israeli-Palestinian problem: obstructionism. As with their right-wing Rethug/neocon friends in Washington on domestic policy, Israel's ruling right-wing Likud coalition government is determined to obstruct any efforts by the Obama Administration to get talks restarted between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Last week, during Vice President Biden's visit, the Israeli government announced the creation of 1600 new housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, despite strong, longstanding U.S. opposition. Secretary of State Clinton blasted Likudnik Prime Minister Netanyahu for the "insulting move." It's also being reported that no less a hero of the Rethugs than Gen. Petraeus is warning about the increasingly toxic effect that actions by Israel's right-wing government are having on our relations throughout the region.

As the Obama Administration reacted negatively to the intentional slap from Israel, the Likud's American auxiliary swung into action, as noted at Think Progress. Joe Lieberliar, Wee Willie Kristol and their fellow neocons can always be counted on to blame America first, when it comes to problems in relations with Israel.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has an extensive run-down on the issue of neocon loyalty to Israel first.

Morning Reading

On the cusp of passing (we fervently hope) the health care reform bill this week with zero Rethug support, Robert Kuttner has today's perspective on the end (again we fervently hope) of the illusion that bipartisanship is possible, or is even an end to be desired.

Peter Beinart also chimes in on "the decision that changed the Democratic Party" - i.e., Obama's decision to ditch bipartisanship in favor of passing health care reform.

(Oh, yeah, and beware the Ides of March!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

History Upside Down

Again, Frank Rich delivers a must-read column in this morning's New York Times, this time on the deceitful attempts to rewrite history by Karl "Turdblossom" Rove and Liz "Lizard" Cheney. Sadly, the revisionism is not getting sufficient pushback from either the Obama Administration or the "librul" media, which mostly was swallowing the propaganda whole during the selling of the war with Iraq by the Bushit crew. As Rich notes:
"If we are really to keep America safe, it’s essential we remember exactly which American politicians empowered Iran, Al Qaeda and the Taliban from 2001 to 2008, and why. History will be repeated not only if we forget it, but also if we let it be rewritten by those whose ideological zealotry and boneheaded decisions have made America less safe to this day."

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Headline of the Week

Ahh, we knew there was something more to the Rethuglicans' opposition to everything President Obama proposes.

Now if the wavering Dems would grow a pair and pass comprehensive health care reform, that would be another thing for the Rethugs to be envious of.

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

(hat tip to Daily Kos)

Saturday Morning Reading

First, the good news. Two of our favorite fringe-right punching-bags, teabaggers and the American Taliban, are now starting to go after each other. Seems as though the American Taliban (led by the likes of Tony "Psycho" Perkins) can't abide the fact that most teabaggers are far-right libertarians who couldn't care less about American Taliban issues like abortion and gay marriage, but rather are deranged about Big Gummint, taxes and health insurance reform. Some on the right hope the cracks are superficial and temporary. We say any cracks in the crackpot right are to be welcomed -- and exploited!

Second, the better news. As we've thought and said, the Rethug tide may have crested sometime last quarter (not to say the Dems won't lose seats in Congress this fall - just maybe it won't be the calamity the brain-dead Villagers have been yakking about for months). Bob Shrum has an article worth reading about Obama's coming resurgence.

Time Has Come

To set your clocks forward. . . tonight. OK, that's a lame excuse to spotlight a '60s classic from the Chambers Brothers. Enjoy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Waterboard Him

Now that former Bushit "brain" Karl "Turdblossom" Rove is on the loose with a fictional book about Dumbya's Presidency, he's being interviewed here and there, mostly by actors-playing-journalists who can't seem to ask tough questions. But, thanks to the BBC, Turdblossom was asked uncomfortable questions about the use of waterboarding. Turdblossom's response:
"I'm proud that we used techniques that broke the will of these terrorists and gave us valuable information that allowed us to foil plots. . ."
Except, of course, that the Pentagon and CIA say that very little was accomplished by torturing suspected terrorists, and indeed a number of false leads obtained under torture caused wasted time and resources. Worse still, the Bushit Assministration acknowledged in an official memo in 2005 that waterboarding was a form of torture, a violation of the Geneva Convention.

But, since Turdblossom doesn't have a problem with torture, we should waterboard him at each of his appearances to prove to the rest of us that waterboarding ain't no big deal.

UPDATE: Of course, Stephen Colbert has a brilliant take here.

Compare and Contrast

The Kaplan Daily has two pieces worthy of note today, one in its print edition, one online. Former NY Times executive editor Howell Raines appears in a good online piece wherein he takes mainstream journalists to task for not exposing Fux "News" as a 24/7 propaganda machine, particularly in its undisguised battle to defeat the Democrats health care reform. It's an incisive inside- the- pressroom look at why the silence. File it under "Librul Media."

By contrast, the Kaplan Daily chose to publish in its more widely-read print edition a POS (that we refuse to link to) by concern trolls, Fux News Democrats and corporate shills Patrick Caddell and Doug Schoen. Jumping into the fray at the last minute to try to frighten easily frightened Dems not to pass the health care bill, the dynamic duo pull out every point in the Boehner/ McConnell playbook, as Media Matters demonstrates. We have two questions: (1) what insurance company group or Rethug-front outfit is paying them to write this drivel, and (2) why would the Kaplan Daily chose to publish this when the article by Howell Raines has more insight on the machinations and interdependence of Big Media and the Rethug noise machine, and is therefore more relevant to what's going on today? We report, you decide.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Remember Rethug Golden Boy Rep. Paul Ryan (Rethug-'Sconsin) and his budget roadmap, which was touted as the Rethug alternative to the Obama budget? Well seems like the budget whiz kid's numbers add up to... ballooning deficits, higher taxes on the middle class, and slashing entitlements. Well done, whiz! Now, we'll patiently wait to see the story on the evening news casts and Kaplan Daily.

(Photo: Little Paulie Ryan -- math just wasn't his specialty)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Quote of the Day

"America, I've got to shoot straight with you. I think I've wasted your time. I think this is the first time I have wasted an hour of your time, and I apologize for that." -- Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck, after yesterday's fiasco interview with former Congressman Eric "Mess O'" Massa failed to smear either the Obama Administration or Congress.

Actually, every show that Boo Hoo the Hoot puts on is a waste of time.

UPDATE: Media Matters has the audio of a little spat between Boo Hoo and fellow rabid wingnut Michelle Malkin on his radio show concerning the Mess O' Massa affair. Chuckle chuckle.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

When Lizards Attack

When you call yourself a conservative and legal icons of the right -- including former Judge Kenneth Starr and former Solicitor General Ted Olson -- say you're "out of bounds" and "unwise," you have descended into the depths of fringe-right hackery. That's where The Dick's evil spawn Liz "Lizard" Cheney finds herself after her organization ran ads this past weekend smearing 7 lawyers now working for the Justice Department for providing defense counsel for Guantanamo detainees in the past -- as requested by the Pentagon. Starr and other luminaries of the right -- to their credit -- published a rebuke of Lizard's Joe McCarthy-like smear. More of that kind of push-back would be welcome.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald notes that Bushit Assministration speechwriter Marc "The Weasel" Thiessen defends Lizard's smear on, what else, the op-ed page of Fred Hiatt's Kaplan Daily. This is the same standards-free paper that prints Chuck Kraphammer, Wee Willie Kristol, the Kagans, and every other neocon fabricator that they can find to rewrite history.

(photo: The poop didn't fall far from the butt)

Um. . . .Not Quite

It's kind of like missing a probing of our nether regions with a red-hot sword. (UPDATE: In fact, a recent poll shows Obama beating Dumbya 48%-38%. Hee-hee.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Expert

Not that anyone should be surprised at this, but Fux "News" Sunday's Chris "Mr. Smarm" Wallace was hosting a discussion about Iraq with neocon/Likudnik buffoon Wee Willie Kristol when he said, "Bill, you certainly are an expert in this area." And he said that with a straight face! Here's a convenient rundown of how many things Wee Willie has gotten wrong on Iraq.

Just listen to what Wee Willie says, and believe the opposite to be correct -- like the Fux Network in general.

Rethuglican Hypocrisy, Cont'd.

In yet another example of Rethuglican hypocrisy, former part-time Alaska Gov. Winky You Betcha was the recipient of single-payer, public health care in Canada when she lived across the border in Alaska in her youth. The Wasilla Wingnut now denounces health care systems like those in Canada, despite having received public care in Whitehorse, Canada near her childhood home.

Too bad that Winky didn't benefit from Canada's excellent public education system at the same time.

California Rethuglican State Senator Roy Ashburn (I almost typed "Assburn"), who was arrested on drunk driving charges, has acknowledged he is gay. Ashburn has a very conservative "family values" (cough, cough) record in the State Senate, voting against gay rights numerous times.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

More on Media Malfeasance

As Hackwhackers fans (you know who you are!), you know one of the most consistent themes we follow is that of the broken mainstream media. The offenses include serving as stenographers for Rethug talking points, creating false equivalencies (the need to "balance") between the radicalism on the right with that on the left, and generally letting "Drudge rule our world." Matthew Yglesias writes in today's "Daily Beast" about the right-wing lies the media is allowing to permeate public discourse, ranging from the "controversy" over reconciliation to the phony memes concerning health care reform. It's worth a read.

(Image: "I'm typing as fast as I can, Mr. Steele!")

Saturday Morning Song

Straight outta junior high! Love the Delbert McClinton harmonica...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quote of the Day

"With all due respect, the Daily Mail's hyperbole about 'imposing government control,' acts of 'disrespect to the American people' and 'corruption' of Senate procedures resembles more the barkings from the nether regions of Glennbeckistan than the 'sober and second thought' of one of West Virginia's oldest and most respected daily newspapers." -- West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, in a letter written to the Charleston, WV Daily Mail, after an editorial critical of reconciliation of the health care legislation. Reconciliation is a process that was worked out some two decades ago by Byrd, who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, and who doesn't tolerate fools like the Daily Mail's editorialists.

Bonus points to the Senator for the "nether regions of Glennbeckistan" crack. Bwhahaha!

(h/t: Huffington Post)

Shocking News! Rethugs Using Fear to Fundraise!

The "revelation" (via Politico!) that a PowerPoint presentation to Rethug donors in Florida by the Rethug National Committee's Finance Director advising that "fear" and a strong dislike of President Obama were great fund-raising techniques to be directed toward "reactionary" small donors should have come as no surprise to anyone awake during the last, oh, thirty years. Apparently, from the wide-eyed coverage, Villagers are shocked! shocked! at the disdain the RNC held for its base, as well as the shameless, tea-bagging use of offensive caricatures, naked fear-mongering, and simple-minded sloganeering to paint Democrats as the "Evil Empire." They had no idea there was gambling going on in this establishment! (As an aside, as more information becomes available on the right-wing Pentagon shooter, notice how the "mainstream media" refuse to characterize his politics, other than to say "He was anti-government." Yeah, just like Boo Hoo the Hoot Beck.)

Kevin Huffman has a piece in today's Kaplan Daily suggesting how the Rethugs might "retool" their fund-raising technique. Starting with just one positive idea would be helpful.

(Image: Mainstream media looking for a clue)

More Wingnut Rage

News reports are circulating that the lone gunman who shot two police officers last night near the Pentagon had strong anti-Government views. The shooter was said to have libertarian leanings with frustration at the "Government's reach into the private lives of Americans." With last month's suicide airplane attack by an anti-Government type on the IRS facility in Austin, TX, we're seeing an upsurge in violence by right-wing loners with a grudge against the Government.

Coincidentally, the Southern Poverty Law Center has just issued a report saying that "patriot" groups and militias on the right have experienced an increase of 244 percent in the past year. With loons like Reps. Michelle "I See Commies" Bachmann and Steve "Lyin'" King, and media cheerleaders like "Heil" Hannity and Boo Hoo the Hoot Beck egging on those not-so-tightly-wrapped followers of theirs, sadly we're very likely to see more bloodshed.

Friday Funnies

We may never see a better takedown of Fux News Gauleiter Sean "Heil" Hannity than this one performed by Stephen Colbert. Now that the wingnut punks that pulled the video-edited ACORN stunt and attempted bugging of Sen. Landrieu's office have been exposed for the weasels that they are, Heil has been rather silent. Luckily, Colbert has some work in mind for Heil that won't be much of a change from what he's been doing.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Tip/Wag - James O'Keefe & Sean Hannity
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorSkate Expectations

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Sad Loss

The progressive blogosphere is mourning the death of blogger/satirist Al Weisel, who blogged under the name of "Jon Swift." He was brilliant and always managed to pop the balloon of right wing blather in a humorous, satirical way. Vanity Fair's James Wolcott has his tribute here; Sadly, No weighs in here. Here's one of "Jon Swift's" classic pieces, "Journalism 101."

Al Weisel was a worthy successor to the original.

John Boehner's Message to Constituents

House Minority "Leader" and Man-Tan abuser John "Boner" Boehner has a message for his constituents, courtesy of The Onion. Every word laid on with a trowel. Don't miss his special thanks to Democrats at the end!

(h/t to Germantown Bureau Chief and undrafted free agent Brian)

Cage Match at The Kaplan Daily?

Washington's "Dean" of Washington gasbag pundits David Broder takes aim at fellow Kaplan Daily snark meister Dana Milbank in his column today. The subject: is Rahmbo playing the blame game inside the White House to the detriment of the President? Key quotes from the Dean:
"None of this would rise above the level of petty Washington gossip except that some of Emanuel's friends are so eager to exonerate him that they are threatening to undermine the president. Milbank, presumably reflecting what he hears, calls Obama 'airy and idealistic' and says he readily succumbs to 'bullying' from Republicans and Democrats alike. I hope the mullahs in Iran don't believe this.

From too many years of covering politics, I have come to believe as Axiom One that the absolute worst advice politicians ever receive comes from journalists who fancy themselves great campaign strategists."
Oh snap, Dean! Right in the upstart's groin from the crotchety old Dean. We'll see whether his "friend" -- as the Dean calls Milbank -- fires back.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Road Ahead on Health Insurance Reform

Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly has a good summary of the President's announcement today on the road forward on health insurance reform. Might the Rethugs be looking in the rear-view mirror at their high-water mark in the polls? Only if the Democrats - say it together now - Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Texas Rethuglicans have chosen secessionist Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry to represent their party in November's race for Texas Governor. Hair beat Rethuglican Sen. Kay Bailey "No Fourth Name" Hutchinson and another teabagging wingnut for the nod. Hair is remembered for his early embrace of Tea Party nonsense last spring, when he suggested that Texas might secede from the Union now that a dark-skinned Kenyan/socialist/fascist/commie/monarchist was in the White House. Hair also apparently believes that Jesus rode dinosaurs.

In November, Hair will face popular three-term Houston Mayor Bill White, who also served as Deputy Secretary of Energy under President Clinton.

(photo: Hair indicating where he keeps his secret stash of M&Ms. Mayor White should consider "Grass Doesn't Grow on a Busy Street" as a campaign slogan)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What Ails the Democrats

Today's Kaplan Daily should be put into a vacuum-sealed container and saved for future generations in order for them to better understand the "old politics" playing out among Democrats these days.

Exhibit A is Jason Horowitz' wet kiss to Rahmbo (Obama's "voice of reason"!). In it, Horowitz quotes numerous anonymous Democratic "leaders" in Congress who throw Obama under the bus, saying essentially "He shoulda listened to Rahm!" Well, Rahmbo isn't a big picture guy; he comes from the Clinton school of triangulation, where you get elected to pass dinky, boutique pieces of legislation that don't rock the boat. To coin a phrase, that's not change we can believe in! (UPDATE: Dan Froomkin has a good rogering of the Rahmbo effect.) One specific whine from a senior Democratic congressman caught our attention:
"There is this growing sense in the House that this White House is tone-deaf and doesn't care about 2010, that it is sacrificing members for 2012 and that the president thinks he doesn't need to get engaged, or that he thinks politics don't matter and that he could care less about what is happening on the streets of our districts. That's not Rahm."

Translation: Saving my precious career is more important that the Nation's welfare!

Juxtaposed in the same edition is Exhibit B, a letter to the editor from a person in Monterey, California, who cites a Democratic congressman, quoted in Ruth Marcus' Feb. 24 op/ed, as saying (regarding his health care vote last year), "This is a career-ending vote." The letter writer then marvels:
"'Career-ending vote?'" Perhaps thinking of their elected office as a 'career' is a significant problem with far too many senators and House members."

Indeed. Those Democrats (or Rethugs for that matter) who think in those terms deserve to be "retired," since they appear to have long ago forgotten what public service is supposed to be about, not to mention what every Democratic platform since 1948 has supported.

The Screwball

Rethuglican Sen. Jim "Jim Beaned" Bunning, a former pro baseball pitcher, is gaining more and more attention for holding up a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to some 400,000 laid-off Americans, and fund Federal highway projects. His latest outburst was caught on camera by ABC News, when he flipped the bird to a producer for the network.

We haven't determined whether Jim Beaned was beaned by a pitch during his baseball career, but he's had a history of odd behavior. Even some equally rabid winger Rethugs are getting impatient with the erratic Senator from Kentucky. Last year, fellow Kentuckian and Rethug leader Mitch "Missy" McConnell was doing everything in his power to discourage Jim Beaned from running for another term this year. After many months of pouting and strange behavior, Beaned finally gave in and decided to retire after this year. But not before he throws some public tantrums to get the attention he never got during his sub-par tenure in the Senate.

(image: Years ago, Jim Beaned was known for, not known as, a screwball)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our Mainstream Media Middle Schoolers

Watching Nobel Prize economist Paul Krugman yesterday on ABC's "This Week" was refreshing, particularly when he interrrupted a silly, "inside Washington" discussion about the departure of White House social secretary Desiree Rogers. While the other panelists gossiped about Rogers, Krugman noted:
"Can I say that 20 million Americans unemployed, the fact that we’re worrying about the status of the White House social secretary. . ."

Krugman was cut off by the moderator and by Sam "Hair Club" Donaldson, who sarcastically said, "Paul, welcome to Washington." After all, one of Washington's main industries, aside from the Federal Government, is gossip, which leads us to a related story.

One of Washington's most infamous gossips is Sally "Party Girl" Quinn, wife and former mistress of the WaPo's former Executive Editor Ben Bradlee. It was inevitable that Party Girl, the enforcer of Washington's cocktail circuit's rules, would be the first cheerleader for Desiree Rogers' removal. Time Magazine's Michael Shearer explains why:

"The Washington Post's Sally Quinn, who has long exemplified the worst of the city's sick aristocratic tribal culture, led the charge by calling for Rogers resignation. The rationale? 'From the start, Rogers was an unlikely choice for social secretary,' Quinn wrote. 'She was not of Washington, considered by many too high-powered for the job and more interested in being a public figure (and thus upstaging the first lady) than in doing the gritty, behind-the-scenes work inherent in that position.' In other words, Rogers had committed two crimes: Not only was she not part of Quinn's tea party set, but she had also--gasp!--introduced herself to D.C. as her own person, on her own terms, not as just another member of the hired help."

Now Party Girl herself has lost her WaPo column (which she called -- seriously -- "The Party") after writing a trivial but nasty piece about conflicting wedding dates in her family. But that won't keep the mainstream media from gabbing endlessly about who's up and who's down, who's in and who's out on their Washington social scene while middle class Americans struggle to make it.