Tuesday, May 31, 2011

News Item

"Palin Visits Trump in New York"

Bumpit and Rump. Reality stars collide and a black hole of stupidity and arrogance is formed.

"Weinergate" Exposed

It seems crackpot film editor, James O'Keefe mentor, and Muslin scourge Andrew "Not So" Breitbart spent his Memorial Day weekend trying to gin up another faux scandal, this time involving Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). There's a good summary of the events wherein Breitbart inevitably gets his man-tits in a wringer, over here. In addition to Shirley Sherrod's pending suit over the edited tape Breitbart peddled in an attempt to make her look racist, we hope Rep. Weiner goes forward with a suit that will put Breitbart out of bidness for good.

(Photo: perpetually mad - and we mean that in both senses of the word - Andrew "Not So" Breitbart)

Rethug Governors Sinking In The Polls

As we note below, some of Wisconsin's Rethuglican State Senators are on the receiving end of buyers remorse from Wisconsin's voters. But they're not the only Rethug pols floundering: Rethug Governors in several important swing states have become very unpopular only a few months after being elected.

Among the sorry crew seeing their polls plummet are rotund bully NJ Gov. Chris Christie (45 percent approval), crooked wingnut FL Gov. Rick Scott (32 percent approval), and union-busting OH Gov. John Kasich (33 percent approval). None would survive a do-over if their elections were held today. What's particularly ominous for the Rethugs is that their unpopularity could help deliver their states to the Dems and Obama in 2012. Unfortunately, the damage they are doing to their states is ongoing.

Wisconsin Recalls Move Forward

Recall elections for 6 Wisconsin Rethuglican State senators could be held as early as July 12, following the State accountability board's finding that the recall petitions submitted were sufficient. The board has delayed ruling on recall petitions against three Democratic State senators. The Rethugs were targeted because of their votes on stripping Wisconsin state employees of their collective bargaining rights, rights teachers, police, firefighters and state workers had enjoyed for over 50 years. The 6 represent swing or lean-Democratic districts in Wisconsin and, assuming the recall efforts against the Democrats fail, it would take only 3 of the Rethugs to be recalled to switch control of the State Senate to the Democrats and stop the reactionary tide in Wisconsin dead in its tracks. Here's where to contribute to this effort (Act Blue).

(Photo: Wisconsin teatard Gov. Scott "Too Much Johnnie" Walker - Mama gonna knock you out!)

Who Says Vaudeville Is Dead?

When the "Tea Party" movement appeared a few weeks after President Obama was sworn in, it was clear that this phony astroturf operation was being supported and funded behind the scenes by corporate front groups such as FreedomWorks. FreedomWorks is headed by far right former Rethug Rep. "Major" Dick Armey, and derives much of its funding from big corporations, including health insurance companies. In today's Think Progress, we learn that this front group has been preparing talking points for freshmen Rethuglican Congressmen when trying to defend Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan's plan to kill Medicare. The "talking points" avoid the point that Medicare will no longer exist for people 55 and under, despite having paid into the successful program all of their working lives. They'll get vouchers that would go part of the way to paying private health insurers for insurance. One can imagine how successful people 65 and up will be in dealing one-on-one with private health insurance companies who see them as a liability.

There you have it: the best Rethug Congressmen money can buy!

: A FreedomWorks official, right, giving a Rethug freshman his instructions)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Reading

As a service to our readers on this Memorial Day, we have culled through thousands of news and opinion articles to find the pithiest political punditry.

-- Michael Hirsh writes about a party that's lost it's way, and one particular dimbulb who loves playing a role more than anything else.

-- Do the powerful here and and around the world care about joblessness? Or are they determined to convince themselves that nothing can be done, and it's okay? Paul Krugman answers.

-- If you're looking for a perfect example of the Rethuglican-wired media inside the Beltway, look no further than yesterday's "Press the Meat" with Dancin' David Gregory (a.k.a., the "establishmentarian testicle cozy" -- check out this amplifying piece by Driftglass).

Keep saying to yourselves, "All is not lost, all is not lost..."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

"If Perry were elected president, perhaps he would do for the entire United States what he’s done for Texas, which ranks first in the nation in the percentage of the population without health insurance, and 45th in high school completion. We could return to grass-roots, state-driven environmental regulations, the kind that have made Texas the nation’s leader in clean-water permit violations, hazardous waste spills and toxic emissions from manufacturing facilities." -- Gail Collins, writing in today's New York Times about Texas Rethuglican Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry. Perry's not that popular in his State (Texas Rethugs favor Palin and Gingrich over him), and he's notorious for his suggestion that if Texas doesn't like Federal policies, they might consider secession from the Union, an act of treason.

This is today's New Confederate/Rethuglican Party in all of its lunacy.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Song

We honor the memory of American servicemen and servicewomen who died in all wars this weekend, especially on Memorial Day Monday. One of the best documentaries of World War II was the pioneering "Victory at Sea," which first aired in the early 1950's, with music by composer Richard Rodgers. Here's perhaps the best known piece from that program, "Beneath the Southern Cross" (when you add lyrics, it's "No Other Love Have I"). Enjoy a safe and happy weekend.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weak Tea

Kaplan Daily columnist E.J. Dionne takes a look at the upset victory by Democrat Kathy Hochul in the deeply Rethuglican NY 26th Congressional District today. He also smacks those that wanted to believe the Tea Party was the wave of the future:
"From the beginning, too many Republicans (and too many in the media) saw the Tea Party as a broadly based movement whose extreme anti-government views reflected the popular will. This was never true. The Tea Party consisted of citizens on the right end of politics who were always there but got angrier and better organized after Obama was elected. They crowded the polling places on Nov. 2 while progressives found other things to do."
We can recall the crowing by Rethug leaders after the 2010 elections, claiming to have "heard the voice of the people." (Odd they didn't hear it in 2008, isn't it?) No, they are only listening to their hard core right wing activists who stormed the polls. Now, as the teahadist agenda is biting them in the buttocks, Rethugs are looking at the broader electorate and beginning to realize the public's not drinking the tea.

Behind the Public Mask

A former aide to half-term Alaskan Gov. Sarah "Mama Fizzly" Palin has a book out that demolishes Fizzly's carefully managed image. Frank Bailey's "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years," is based on thousands of e-mails and personal knowledge of Snowbilly Snooki and is scathing in its portrayal of her as a shallow, vindictive, thin-skinned climber with little interest in public service. One of the typical quotes:
"Getting Sarah to meetings and events was like nailing Jell-O to a tree. On the campaign trail and as governor, Sarah went through at least ten schedulers, with few lasting more than months. Nobody wanted the job because Sarah might fail to honor, at the last minute, the smallest commitments, and making excuses for her became a painful burden."
She had her staff go after people that had given her just the slightest criticism, used her power as Governor to punish personal enemies, and ignored Alaska state business after the national political spotlight was turned on her.

Now, there's speculation that Fizzly will announce she's running for the Presidency. With 58% of Americans saying they would never vote for her, we fervently hope she does, and that the Rethugs continue their run off the cliff with her.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Run, Russ, Run!

One of the most respected progressive Dems in the Senate was former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold. Feingold lost his bid for a fourth term last November when the teatard tide swept off-year elections for the Rethuglicans. Now, according to a Public Policy Polling poll, Feingold has a great shot at returning to the Senate, to fill the seat of Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl, who is retiring in 2012. He beats all likely Rethuglican contenders -- including former Gov. Tommy "Gun" Thompson -- by margins of at least 10%.

Wisconsin voters have considerable buyers remorse after electing the far-right slate of candidates in November, most prominent of which was reactionary union-buster Gov. Scott "Too Much Johnnie" Walker. Poll after poll show Rethuglican attempts to turn back the clock to the 1920s wasn't what the voters thought they were sold, and now they're getting ready to send a different message in November 2012. We need to get Russ back in the Senate.

Rethug Suicide Pact Claims First Victim

Democrat Kathy Hochul won the special election in the heavily Rethuglican 26th Congressional District of New York. The voters gave Hochul 47% of the vote, while her Rethug opponent, Jane Corwin, got 43%, and a teatard candidate picked up the remaining votes. What's significant about the election, of course, is that Hochul sucessfully hung the albatross of supporting Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan's plan to end Medicare around the Rethug candidate's neck. To provide cover for their plan, Rethugs are saying it's about "saving Medicare." It's actually about turning health care for seniors over to private insurers. Some Rethugs are now trying to distance themselves from the suicidal plan.

Today, Rethugs are furiously spinning that the election wasn't about their plans to kill Medicare, it was about the teatard candidate taking votes from Corwin. Not surprisingly, they're lying. Polls taken over the last 3 weeks show the teatard candidate steadily losing ground, but Corwin's numbers barely moving up. Dem candidate Hochul's poll numbers steadily climbed during that period.

Dems need to pick up 24 seats to win control of the House in 2012. They've found an issue they can run on and contrast their vision with that of the Rethugs. One down, 24 to go.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Happy Birthdays!

Most know that legendary singer/songwriter Bob Dylan turns 70 today (!). His collection of ballads, folk tunes and rock songs are almost too voluminous to list; after all, he's been recording since 1960. "Blowing in the Wind," "The Times They Are A Changin'","Mr. Tambourine Man," "Lay,Lady Lay," and on and on. His impact on music in the 20th century is profound. Happy birthday to the great Bob Dylan. Here are two of his most popular songs.

Now for the true star of the day: Hackwhackers' beloved Shih Tzu, Bump, who turns an amazing 18 today. He's the best companion ever, and even in his twilight years he's given us much joy.

(photo: The star)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Missouri and Minnesota Tornado Aftermath

It's almost beyond belief, the destruction in Joplin, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. That building in the first 30 seconds is St. John's Regional Medical Center in Joplin; the Joplin death toll is up to 116. The last portion (sound) is from the Minneapolis area (1 death).

(via Russia TV (!) and The Weather Channel)

Your "Liberal" Media

Who's been rewarded with a "news analyst" gig at MSNBC? A great progressive like Ezra Klein? No. Harold Meyerson? No. Russ Feingold? No.

Yay, "liberal media!" It's The Shizzle himself!

(Image: "I'm ready for my close-up!")

Monday Reading: Charlatans and Cranks Edition

Amplifying the observation that the inmates are running the Rethuglican asylum, Paul Krugman has a blog post, "Charlatans and Cranks." Yep. That just about says it all.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

What Ailes Hath Wrought

New York Magazine's Gabe Sherman takes an extensive look at Roger Ailes's GOP-TV operation over at Faux News, and comes up with so many pithy observations, it's hard to pick one that stands out. But we've picked one anyway:
"Ailes's [Rethuglican presidential] candidates-in-waiting were coming up small. And, for all his programming genius, he was more interested in a real narrative than a television narrative -- he wanted to elect a president. And all he had to do was watch Fox's May 5 debate in South Carolina to see what a mess the field was -- a mess created by the loudmouths he's given airtime to and a tea party he'd nurtured."

The irony Sherman nails ("nAiles"?) is, of course, that Ailes and his minions have been major players in dragging the Rethuglican Party farther and farther right, creating phony and divisive narratives and unnecessary fear, to the point that Rethugs are now beholden to and to a great extent paralyzed by the monster Faux, Limpballs and hate radio have spoon-fed: the know-nothing, crackpot Far Right. (Oh, and Ailes thinks Sarah Palin is stupid... No shit, Sherlock!)

"Welfare-Queen" States

Harold Meyerson has an interesting op/ed about states that take in more federal government largess than their citizens pay in taxes. Why interesting? Well, check out which states are the "spongers" and which states are the "subsidizers." Hint: most of the sponger/ welfare queen states typically support the political party whose name starts with an "R" and whose pols would like to shrink the gummint so much you could "drown it in the bathtub" (G. Norquist). Wonder how that news would go over with their teabagging constituents (if those constituents had two brain cells to rub together, that is)?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

According to Family Radio's holy roller-in-chief, Harold Camping, the world will end at 6 p.m. Eastern time today. His followers have been out and about spreading the word that you need to get to prayin' so that the rapture will vacuum you upstairs. Camping miscalculated in 1994 when he issued his previous "end of the world" prophesy, so we're guessing his arithmetic is performed on his fingers.

See you tomorrow.

: Make sure you follow these top ten rapture tips!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two for the Weekend

We recently heard a few songs by Irish singer/songwriter Lisa Hannigan from several years ago (this Hackwhacker finds it hard to keep up with the "new" stuff!). She has a quirky presence and bell-clear voice that enhances the charm of her folk songs. We couldn't choose among several beauties, so here are two to hopefully whet your interest in further exploration. (As always, apologies for the annoying ads.)

Quote of the Day

"It doesn’t matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside -- the outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren’t blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families’ interests, working people will not support them. This is where our focus will be -- now, in 2012 and beyond." -- remarks by AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka at the National Press Club today. Many Dems -- Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow come to mind -- are strong union supporters. But too many Dems would rather hide, or worse, pander to "big bidness," than stand up against attacks by far right oligarchs on workers. Now they're on notice.

A Pawlenty Bad Record

Among the Rethuglican candidates for President, former Minnesota Gov. Tim "Bad and" Pawlenty always seems to get a pass on his record, compared with Willard "Mittens" Romney and Poot Gingrich. That may be changing, as Pawlenty is getting hammered from an unexpected source: former Minnestoa Rethuglican Gov. Arne Carlson. Carlson has been quoted as saying,
"I don't think any Governor has left behind a worse financial mess than he has."
Carlson blames Pawlenty for undoing important State fiscal reforms, and leaving Minnesota with a $6 billion deficit, one of the worst in the nation. Ironically, the fiscal year before he left office, he was only able to balance the State's budget by accepting Federal stimulus money, which he then proceeded to mismanage. So when "Bad and" Pawlenty talks about Federal deficits, remember that he has great experience in creating them at the State level.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Report on West Virginia Mine Disaster

The State of West Virginia has now issued its report on the April 2010 mine disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine which killed 29 miners (NY Times summary here). The report accuses the operators of the mine, Massey Energy, of maintaining "a culture in which wrongdoing became acceptable." This culture, personified by CEO Don "Big Shit" Blankenship, manifested itself in safety short-cuts and what the report calls "profoundly reckless" behavior that ultimately led directly to the deaths of the miners. Big Shit and his fellow laissez-faire, eColi conservatives tried to shift the blame to others and are still disputing the report's findings. Seventeen Massey Energy executives refused to be interviewed for the report.

It's sociopaths like this, populating the ranks of so many corporations as well as their Rethuglican party, who go on living comfortably while others are left to fill the voids in their lives caused by the sociopaths' greed and wanton disregard for human life. Now we want to see those bastards pay.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Praise The Lord, And Pass The Buck

In a classic example of denial, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released a report five years in the making that blames social and sexual turmoil of the '60s and '70s for rampant sexual abuse by priests. Dubbed the "blame Woodstock" defense, the report also rejects the "pedophile priest" label, claiming that only 5% of the victims were "prepubescent" -- which they conveniently define as age 10 and under. Making the report even more suspect, the preparers relied heavily on data from the Church's dioceses and religious orders. The report does state the obvious, that the problem of abuse intensified when the Church protected priests over their victims.

The Catholic Church has a long way to go to repair the damages caused by pedophile priests. For years, it simply shuffled them off to other parishes where they continued their abuse. In recent years, as victims have spoken out, the Church has been forced to acknowledge crimes by its priests and bishops, but only grudgingly and partially. This report does little to make amends.

(photo: "Nothing to see here, move along!")

Mid-Week Song

Boston-based alternative rock band The Lemonheads had this #1 hit in November 1993. Simple, sweet lyrics:
"I know a place where I can go when I'm alone
Into your arms I go, into your arms I can go
I know a place that's safe and warm from the crowd
Into your arms I go, into your arms I can go
And if I should fall
I know I won't be alone
Be alone anymore"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Gingrich is not a thinker; he's an enthusiast and narcissist who uses the rubric of ideas to advance his own ambition. He's a fraud." -- Andrew Sullivan today. Of course, the same could be said of half the pols in Washington, but Gingrich has managed to delude most of the dimbulbs in the media into thinking he's a modern day Rousseau or Burke.

* BONUS DIMBULBERY: Poot tells us not to take seriously what he said Sunday about Lyin' Ryan's "radical" Medicare plan. Hee-hee. "Look at the fat man exploding, Mommy!"

Ahnuld, Ahnuld, Ahnuld

Former "Gullivornia" Governor Arnold "Pumping Semen" Schwarzenegger has admitted to fathering a child with a former member of his household staff over 10 years ago, prior to becoming Governor. After disclosing the affair to his wife, Maria Shriver, they separated after some 25 years of marriage and four children. Amazing that he was so reckless in playing "hide the knockwurst" with someone on his household staff. Let's also remember that "PS" was accused years ago by multiple women of incidents of sexual harassment and groping, and that Maria vigorously defended him.

Why is there such an epidemic of cheating among pols? (John "Breck Girl" Edwards, Gaucho Mark Sanford, Poot Gingrich, Don Juan Ensign, etc., etc.) Are their egos so fragile that they have to bolster them with affairs that end up damaging or destroying families? Better for "PS" to have concentrated on just pumping iron.

(photo: How the mighty muscles have fallen!)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Tortured Argument

Further debunking the argument by right wingers that torture was the "key" to finding bin Laden, CIA Director Leon Panetta has written a letter to Sen. John McNasty in which he indicates that torture made little contribution to the gathering of intelligence that led to bin Laden. Instead, Panetta indicates that detainees subjected to torture gave false and misleading information to their interrogators, and that the courier's name was obtained in 2002 from someone not detained by the CIA.

Right wingers continue to try to rewrite history, but as the facts come out, history will show that the righties were on the wrong side of it.

Rump Trump Dumps "Campaign"

Egomaniac plutocrat and birth certificate expert Donald "Rump" Trump announced today he's abandoning his "campaign" for the Rethug presidential nomination -- even though he hadn't officially entered the race . After making himself a laughing stock by playing the birfer game, then getting humiliated at the White House Correspondents Dinner, then cratering in the polls, it seems the final straw to pulling the plug was NBC's letting him know they'd be doing his reality tee-vee show, "Celebrity Apprentice," without him if he ran.

Pity. Having Trump's massive ego in the race would have made a nice statement about what the Rethuglican Party was all about: selfishness, racism, stupidity and a blustering lack of awareness.

(Photo: "The asshole, my friend, is blowin' in the wind...")

Debt Limit Monday

Today's the day the United States officially reaches its $14 trillion-plus debt limit, providing yet another opportunity for Rethugs to hold the government hostage in exchange for caving on its far-right agenda. As the linked article points out, the critical date for default will actually come up in August since the Treasury Department can juggle the books for about 11 weeks to avoid default.

Playing chicken with American economic health and prosperity is what the Rethugs, cowed by their teatard/ Randian base, are doing. Regrettably, as usual, the "mainstream media" is failing to call out their tactics. One example, heard the other day on a radio promo for last Sunday's "Press the Meat", host Dancin' David Gregory presented the dilemma as a battle involving entitlement reform and further cuts in domestic spending. That's right: no mention of the revenue side of the ledger. With "honest brokers" like that, who needs Fox News? (Hell, who needs CNN for that matter?)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Immigration Stat of the Week

"...[T]he six largest southwestern border cities have lower crime rates -- and, specifically, lower rates of murder, rape, robbery and burglary -- than the six largest cities in Ohio, home state of Republican House Speaker John A. Boehner, whose spokesman said last week that immigration reform was dead until violence at the border was checked." -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX), via today's Kaplan Daily editorial excoriating Rethugs for their fear-mongering distortions on immigration.

Huck Ducks

Fux personality and former Rethuglican Gov. Mike "The Huckster" Huckabee announced on his program last night that he won't run for the Rethug nomination for President in 2012. Although he said, "all the factors say go, but my heart says no," The Huckster decided that entering the race would mean forfeiting his TV / radio cash cow. He's also not a truly nasty person (as are Poot Gingrich, Rick "Frothy" Santorum, and Rump Trump), so his campaigning style might have been out of synch with his party's essence.

(photo: The Huckster's attacked by the brother of a squirrel that he had for dinner recently)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Crapski. . .Car Won't Start!"

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin thought he'd give the Russian car industry a boost by appearing at the unveiling of the new Lada. Unfortunately for the car and the folks at Lada, the car wouldn't start. Maybe they accidentally put vodka in the tank instead of gas, but they're not laughing at Lada.

"You start car in Siberia now, Alexei."

Giant Among the Media; Among the Voters, Not So Much

If you only listened to the Beltway media, you'd think that their Golden Boy, bombastic bully New Jersey Gov. Chris "Slim" Christie was a god in his own state. Far from it, according to the latest Survey USA/WABC-NY poll: only 38% of the state's adults approve of the job he's doing, while 56% disapprove. Further, by a 2-to-1 margin, they think that Slim would make a worse President than President Obama.

But again, if you only got your information through the filter of Slim's adoring fans in the Beltway media, you'd think he was worth his weight in jelly doughnuts to New Jersey voters.

(photo: "Before I continue, can somebody get me a super-size burger and fries?")

Civil Rights and the Right

When you peel the veneer off of a right winger, you normally find someone who believes that their rights are more important than yours, especially when they're white and the other person isn't. Case in point: Rethug "libertarian" and Presidential candidate Ron Paul. In an interview yesterday with Chris "Tweety" Matthews, Paul said we'd be "better off" without the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That Act guaranteed non-discrimination in voter registration, and places that serve the public (hotels, restaurants, etc.), among other provisions. Not surprisingly, Paul based his opinion on the issue of "property rights," which is the holy standard of libertarians / Randians. Seems it was also the issue that started the Civil War, if by "property" you meant black slaves.

To illustrate how far Paul and the right wing fringe has moved the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party since 1964, 80% of House Rethugs and 82% of Senate Rethugs voted for the Act. How times have changed.

Rethug Sex Blotter - Ensign Affair Edition

The case of disgraced former right-wing Rethug Sen. John "Don Juan" Ensign has now been referred by the Senate Ethics Committee to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. The potential charges? Making false statements, obstruction of justice, and violation of campaign finance laws. As you certainly recall, Ensign, a purported "born-again Christian" (shouldn't that be "bone-again"?), was playing "stuff-the-ballot-box" with former aide Cynthia Hampton when Hampton's hubby (also an Ensign staffer) discovered the affair, followed by the coverup, yada, yada, yada. Rather than continue the sordid narrative here, The Daily Beast has a summary of the "12 juiciest bits" from the l'affaire Ensign Senate committee report.

Bonus: check out Juicy Bit #9. It covers the role played by Rethug presidential hopeless hopeful and sleaze bucket Rick Santorum (and for frothy fun, don't forget to Google "Santorum").

Friday, May 13, 2011

Weekend Song

Keeping Up With the McCains

While we were "out," Sen. John "Walnuts" McCain weighed in on the value of torture in extracting information. He should know, having been a POW in Vietnam about 40 years ago. Speaking on the Senate floor, McCain explicitly said it was not torture or "enhanced interrogation techniques" that led us to Bin Laden. In an op/ed in the Kaplan Daily (linked to in the above) he took a special shot at former Attorney General Mukasey's declaration (among other Bushie apologists and history revisionists) that torture led us to Bin Laden, quoting Mukasey's revisionism and labeling it "false."

On another McCain family front, daughter Meghan was ridiculed by Captain Asshat himself, Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck for a PSA she'd done about skin cancer(!) Mom Cindy also got into the free-for-all with the dimbulb. It's summed up here.

Blogspot Issues

Sorry, friends, we and many others have been having issues with Blogspot for the past 24 hours or so. It seems as though we lost a couple of posts from yesterday. Now it looks like things are back, at least for the time being.

-- The Hackwhackers

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Quote of the Day

"It is sometimes difficult to know what some Republican candidates stand for, as they pander to the far right without alienating the center. It is not difficult to know what Newt Gingrich stands for, and to find it repellent." -- editorial in today's New York Times. The blistering editorial covers some of the slurs Poot has leveled at Dems, minorities, etc. His syrupy, reasonable-sounding announcement as a candidate for President is in direct contrast to his nasty, divisive, and demogogic record.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why Japan Will Succeed

If one is looking for proof that the Japanese people will overcome the devastating effects of the earthquake/ tsunami and nuclear meltdown, look no further than this piece in today's Kaplan Daily. Read about one official in the obliterated town of Minamisanriku by the name of Jinichi Sasaki. Read about what he's endured and about his determination to see his job through to the end. Remember that this is just one man among thousands -- millions -- who are giving of themselves to make certain Japan heals and prospers in the face of one of the most terrible tragedies any nation has ever faced. What a fortunate country to have such people.

(Photo: Jinichi Sasaki)

Obama Gaining Public Support

The latest Associated Press poll may give the President more comfort about 2012. Fifty-three percent of the public believe President Obama deserves re-election, and 60% approve of the job he's doing. The question about whether the country is on the right track / wrong track is also trending in Obama's favor: 45% now say the country's headed in the right direction, compared to 35% saying that five weeks ago. Those are the best numbers in two years.

Mid-Week Song

The Minneapolis rock band Soul Asylum had a Grammy-winning hit in 1994 that focused attention on missing and runaway children. The trenchant, emotional video for "Runaway Train" featured the faces of actual missing children, and was made in 3 versions with 36 children shown in total. In addition to the song's message, it's a great tune, with nice acoustic guitar work. Trivia: Soul Asylum's lead singer, wild-haired Dave Pirner, once dated actress Winona Ryder.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

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

Earlier this week, Weeper of the House John "Orange Boner" Boehner spoke to the true Rethuglican base: Wall Street. His speech was meant to reassure the assembled money men that they were still masters of the universe and would remain so as long as Rethugs could do anything about it. Needless to say, facts never got in the way of Orange Boner's presentation. Here's a slam dunk rebuttal of Orange Boner's outright lies (and another reason why we call them "Rethugs").

(Photo: Look, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings... jeez, man up!)

Wanker of the Week

Remember "Mission Accomplished"? Remember this picture?

Now, let's hear from our Wanker of the Week, former Bush Chief of Staff and presidential codpiece-stuffer, Andrew "What A" Card, on President Obama in the aftermath of the killing of Osama Bin Laden:
"I think he [Obama] has pounded his chest a little too much."

You, "sir", are not only Wanker of the Week, you are Rethuglican Hypocrite of the Month, and something of a joke to boot.

(photo: Captain Codpiece beat the Iraqis single handedly, we're told)

Rump In A Slump

How the vulgarian has fallen (if that's possible). Carnival barker and would-be Rethug Presidential candidate Donald "Rump" Trump's fallen dramatically in the polls just 10 days after his public humiliation at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, where he sat stonefaced as he was ridiculed and laughed at by the entire crowd. With birtherism consigned to the same graveyard as "the Clintons killed Vince Foster," Rump's numbers have imploded: he's now the favorite of only 8% of Rethuglican voters, down from 26% just 2 weeks ago. In other words, all but the craziest Rethugs are telling Rump, "yuh fired!"

Monday, May 9, 2011

Give Me Homophobia, Or Give Me Debt!

In the past, the Beltway media has tended to portray teabaggers as fiscal conservatives, separate from the American Taliban, i.e., religious right-wingers. In remarks today at a press conference, teatard leader "Rev." William "Unholy" Temple proved otherwise. Dressed in his colonial get-up, Unholy Temple proclaimed that his Tea Party Founding Fathers organization would accept an increase to the debt ceiling in exchange for bringing back Don't Ask Don't Tell. So much for libertarian, fiscal conservative small gummint that stays out of your personal life. But then, we knew these dressed-up morons were always the far right fringe on every issue.

(photo: "One if by land and two if by sea, ever seen anyone as idiotic as me?")

Poot To Twitter His Candidacy

Disgraced former House Speaker and Internet tubes hipster Newt "Poot" Gingrich will be announcing he's a candidate for the Rethuglican nomination for President via Facebook and Twitter (=crickets chirping=). Poot, whose third wife Callista is also his former aide, consistently registers in the single digits in Rethug voter preference polls and, significantly, has had problems raising funds for his putative ("poot-ative"?) campaign. He is bound to get some buzz, however, from the Very Serious People we've been talking about recently, since his rep is as a Rethuglican Deep Thinker (an oxymoron if we ever heard one).

Good luck, Poot! Spend as much money in a doomed cause as you possibly can! And let's have some of those Deep Tweets in 140 characters or less!

(Photo: Poot measures the size of his following in the Rethuglican ranks.)

Pakistani Media Try To Out CIA Chief

Amid calls for an investigation of who in Pakistan's government might have abetted Osama Bin Laden's long stay within their borders, Pakistani media are now trying to out the CIA station chief in Islamabad. (There is some dispute over whether they have the correct name, however.) Coming on the heels of Pakistani government officials' denunciation of the raid that killed Bin Laden rather than the fact that he had to have had protectors at the highest levels of the Pakistani military and intelligence services for years, this latest sign that those protectors are still determined to do harm to Americans should strengthen our resolve to reassess our relationship with Pakistan.

(Photo: The Pakistani "street" protests the killing of Bin Laden - via Euronews)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Krugman Educates the Kaplan Daily

In his blog, New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman mocks the editorial position of the Kaplan Daily / WaPo, which seems to say we need more action to reduce unemployment, but then rejects the action that will get us that result:
"Policy wisdom, as the WaPo describes it, is entirely dictated by fear of things that aren’t happening: fiscal expansion will invite an attack by the invisible bond vigilantes, if you try monetary expansion the inflation monster hiding under your bed will come out and eat you. The problem we actually have — the problem the Post says we dare not let happen — doesn’t seem to matter at all."
The "Very Serious Person" cult at the Kaplan Daily -- publishing writers like Charles Kraphammer and Marc Thiessen, who have been wrong almost every time about almost everything-- is a plague on the institution of journalism. No one is ever sanctioned in Very Serious Person-land for screwing up things like Iraq and the economy, they just get a writing gig at the Kaplan Daily.

UPDATE: But some pupils remain dumb as a rock. Calling Lyin' Ryan's Medicare plan "honest" bears the unmistakable hands of Very Serious Persons and Kaplan Daily editorial boarders Fred Hiatt and Ruth Marcus. FAIL.

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In The Months To Come

The New York Times' Charles Blow has a good column on President Obama's temporary bump in the polls after the killing of Osama bin Laden, America's short attention span, and the coming flood of right wing corporate money to diminish and deny Obama's accomplishments. A key quote:
"According to a report issued last week by the Center for Responsive Politics, the Republican Governors Association received more than $60 million — nearly half of all the money it raised — from businesses, lawyers and lobbyists. That was nearly twice as much as the Democratic association received from those sources. And the biggest corporate contributor to the Republicans was, you guessed it: News America, a subsidiary of the News Corporation, which owns Fox News."
Nothing President Obama does will ever win over the right wing tycoons, much less the befuddled teatard sheeple that they've manipulated with a mixture of "socialist/Marxist/Kenyan/Muslim" lies about Obama, and a strong seasoning of racism thrown in.

Cartoon of the Day

Clay Jones, Fredricksburg Free Lance-Star

The Rethug right will never give President Obama credit for his achievements, nor will they accept responsibility for their mismanagement of foreign and economic policy.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Charles Barkley Swings a Mean Golf Club

One of our favorite homespun wits, former basketball star "Sir" Charles Barkley has a notoriously unique... er, bad golf swing, but this may be the first time his club head went further than the ball. The back- and- forth with his tv buddies is hilarious, too.

Mother's Day Music

Always remember to remember what Mama said! Happy Mother's Day!

The Feckless Five

We don't think many people bothered to tune in to the Fux Channel last night to watch a debate among five Rethug losers who have combined poll numbers in the single digits.

Perhaps the best known among them -- Tim "No Good 'N'" Pawlenty -- didn't distinguish himself, and declined to take shots at potential rivals Willard "Mittens" Romney and Mike Hucksterbee, who were absent from the debate. Daily Kos' Jed Lewison has an account of the sad affair.

According to a focus group convened by the Fuxers, Herman "Raise" Cain, former head of Godfathers Pizza and extreme nutbag, was the winner. As an African-American, Raise Cain is the 2.0 version of equally nutty Alan "Give Me The" Keyes, and represents the 0.2 percent of African-Americans who would actually consider voting for a right wing bro.

(photo: The Rethug debaters dressed to blend in with their audience)

Bouncing Back

A strong jobs report for April is further indication that the economy continues to recover. Some 244,000 private sector jobs were added last month, making it the third month in a row with significant job gains, and the biggest monthly gain in 5 years.

Economists were quick to point out that other indicators were still weak, and that gas prices were causing a drag on the overall economy. However, the decline in oil prices below $100/barrel caused some to predict that oil prices may have peaked in reaction to a drop off in demand. May the good economic news continue.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Campaign Posters We Like

Hair today, gone tomorrow?

At Ground Zero

Days after the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama visited Ground Zero in New York City today to proclaim, "When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say." One of the President's campaign promises was to hunt down and bring Bin Laden to justice.

The President laid a wreath at the National Sept. 11 Memorial at Ground Zero and met privately with family members of some 9/11 victims. Earlier, he visited Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9 (photo above), which lost 15 members on 9/11, and NYPD's First Precinct, whose members were first on the scene. To the firemen, Obama thanked them for their work and said they had a president who has "got your back."

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

The Rethugs' War on Women

While America's far-right pays lip service to the denial of womens' rights in conservative Islamic countries, here at home they wage war on womens' reproductive choice. One of the more despicable pieces of legislation, H.R. 3, the so called "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act," passed the Rethug-controlled House yesterday. The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen notes in an article this morning:
"Indeed, the closer one looks at the bill, the more odious it becomes. The final version included a provision to ensure that only victims of 'forcible rape' are eligible for federal funding if they seek abortions. It also raises taxes. It also effectively calls on the IRS to conduct rape audits. And how many House Republicans voted for this offensive bill? All of them."
Clearly, the bill is nothing more than a gesture to the religious radical base of the Rethug Party (a.k.a., the American Taliban), since the bill has no chance of passing the Senate or being signed into law by President Obama. This country already prohibits public funds from being used for abortions except in the case of rape or incest (the Hyde Amendment), out of appropriate deference to those taxpayers with religious objections. This is simply a cynical grandstand gesture to further polarize Americans for perceived political gain.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

On the Hat Fashion Front, Cont'd.

YIKES!! Call animal control! There's a raccoon running around with a bow on its head!

(Photo: Princess Beatrice at last week's royal wedding; even our Anglophilia can't overcome this one!)

Mid-Week Song

The daring operation that took out Osama bin Laden was executed brilliantly by a brave group of Navy SEALS. Hats off to the U.S. Navy.

Lest We Forget

After shifting priorities away from pursuing al Qaeda to start an unnecessary war against a country that wasn't involved in 9-11, Rethugs now want to, again, rewrite history to put themselves back in the picture of Obama's victory. After 2005, when the Bushit Assministration dismantled the bin Laden task force, the terrorist leader likely felt secure in his cushy safe haven in Pakistan.

For those with selective memories, here's an idea of where we'd be if Arizona Sen. John McNasty had been elected, courtesy Daily Kos:
In July 2008, CNN's Larry King interviewed then-presidential candidate John McCain. The host asked the Republican senator, "If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?" McCain said he would not.

"Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why: because Pakistan is a sovereign nation."
Lest we forget.

(photo: "Iraq and Libya are sovereign nations, too? Didn't know that")

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No, Numbnuts, It Wasn't The Waterboarding

Contrary to what evil- spawn- of- The- Dick, Liz(ard) Cheney and others have been saying, the available facts show that waterboarding of terror detainees did not contribute information leading to the killing of Osama bin Laden (see also the Senate Intelligence Committee Chair's confirmation). Not that that would stop these and other far-right Bushies and their apologists who typically want to alter history to give their bad decisions an un-earned validity. Fortunately, history is written by historians, and reality has a well-known liberal bias.

But, will the he-said, she-said "mainstream media" keep the wingnuts from getting away with this falsity? =crickets chirping=

(Image: Hey, isn't that...)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Your Moment of Zen

BONUS: Here's why it's ok to gloat for a while, and why we call them "Rethugs."

BONUS II: Rethugs are cynically trying to shift the credit from Obama to Dumbya; here's a recap of how Dumbya walked away from hunting bin Laden.

Sully comments:
"In my view, the president who found and killed Osama bin Laden will be very hard not to re-elect. Now the association between his name and his enemy's [ed. note: a favorite and continuing Limpballs ploy] will be an asset: Obama killed Osama. A few tea-party fanatics will have their heads explode. And the Big Lie that Obama is somehow not a strong president is debunked - because strength doesn't actually mean being inflammatory on Fox News, it mean exercising patience, quiet and resolve to get what you want. That Obama also helped prevent a Great Depression - with zero Republican votes - and brought universal health insurance to America? All we need now is a debt deal. And the only way that's possible before the election is if Obama looks highly likely to win it. That likelihood just increased today."

President Obama on Death of Bin Laden

Here's the White House video of President Obama's announcement of the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Death of a Monster

Was watching normal programming at 10:15 EST when a breaking news report came across saying that President Obama would be making a major announcement at 10:30. . .waiting. ...10:45, word on each network and cable nets that Obama would be announcing the death of Osama bin Laden. . .waiting for Obama's announcement at 11:00. . .more confirmations and some details that bin Laden had been killed by U.S. forces and that his body was in U.S. custody. . .finally, after 11:30 Eastern time, Obama appears in the East Room to provide details of the killing of bin Laden. Special operations and military ground forces stormed bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and shot him. Great speech by Obama, touching all the right notes about 9-11, sacrifice and courage of those serving. Looking very confident and Presidential in perhaps his finest hour. Large, spontaneous crowds are forming outside the White House, chanting, cheering and singing. This will be quite a Sunday night.

So almost ten years after 9-11 the monster has been killed. Whether it's the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning for the al Qaeda network, it's a huge victory for the U.S., and a defeat for the killers of innocents.

Discovering Journalism

A small glimmer of hope appears on the front page of today's Kaplan Daily in an article describing how the federal budget deficit ballooned into the trillions of dollars over the past decade. The hope is that the Kaplan Daily (once the respected Washington Post) will return to its tradition of informing the public, rather than its recent habit of regurgitating talking points in a he-said-she-said attempt to provide an inoffensive "balance" of opinion at a time when one side is clearly (ahem) unbalanced. Here's one of reporter Lori Montgomery's aha! revelations:
"...All told, Obama-era choices account for about $1.7 trillion in new debt... Bush-era policies, meanwhile, account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits dominating the political debate."

And what has been the "biggest culprit, by far" in this Bush-era inherited debt? "...[a]n erosion of tax revenue triggered largely by two recessions and multiple rounds of tax cuts."

Teatards! Where were you when the country needed you?! Oh, now I remember -- it was a white Rethuglican president and Congress running things, so all must've been well.