Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Catch a Hypocrite

Peek-a-boo! NBC's Chris Hansen takes time off from his "To Catch a Predator" ambush series to have a sexytime dinner and spend the night with someone other than his wife.

Now Who's The Dick?

Good to see that MSNBC has indefinitely suspended Village "journalist" Mark "Drudge Rules Our World" Halperin after he called President Obama a "dick" on the "Morning Joe" poo-fling this morning, much to the giggling surprise of "Joe Scar" and his TV wife, Mika the Model. Halperin, sweating shit balls, soon abjectly apologized, perhaps seeing a career-ending screw up in the making.

Sadly, the Beltway media clowns talk this way off camera and off the record; they believe that Washington is wired for Rethuglican rule, and temper their remarks accordingly. Their "news" sources are the corrupted, right-wing propagandists who engage in smearing and disinformation. Halperin let his guard down momentarily, and let us know what the royalty of our broken media think.

(photo: Feeling the pinch)

Quote of the Day

"The United States Supreme Court now sees its central task as comforting the already comfortable and afflicting those already afflicted. If you are a large corporation or a political candidate backed by lots of private money, be assured that the court’s conservative majority will be there for you, solicitous of your needs and ready to swat away those pesky little people who dare to contest your power." -- E. J. Dionne, who dismantles the right-wing majority's defense of the economic elites over the middle class.

About Time

President Obama's press conference yesterday was refreshing. For the first time in a long time, he directly and forcefully confronted the Rethuglican lie machine's position on the debt ceiling and budget. He repeatedly contrasted the Dem position of a balance of budget cuts and revenue increases / closing tax loopholes with the Rethug position of budget cuts only, using some vivid images of corporate jet loopholes and CEOs rolling in money. Referring to Rethugs having to speak to their constituents, Obama said:
“I think it would be hard for the Republicans to stand there and say that, 'The tax break for corporate jets is sufficiently important that we’re not willing to come to the table.'”
We say let's make them justify protecting the wealthiest Americans, who are paying the lowest tax rate in decades, and big corporations, which are sitting on $2 trillion in cash while exporting jobs and collecting tax breaks. Enough with the kid gloves.

It's good to see Obama more in campaign mode than the above-the-fray peacemaker, simply because the Rethugs aren't looking for "peace" or "compromise" or "solutions." They're looking to defeat Obama in 2012, and if it takes bringing the economy to its knees, then they'll do it.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tax Facts

The Rethuglicans have had tax reduction as their major mantra since the days of St. Ronnie of Hollywood. Their refusal to consider closing tax loopholes for corporations that are paying little or no taxes -- and still sending jobs overseas -- and raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans is blocking an agreement on the debt ceiling and budget.

Now, researchers at the Center for American Progress have shown that lower tax rates on the wealthy don't produce jobs at all. Indeed, job growth has been greater in the last 60 years when tax rates are higher than they are now (the lowest in 60 years), as this chart shows:

What lower taxes on the wealthy do lead to are bigger campaign contributions to the Rethugs (see Koch brothers, Harlan Crow, etc., etc.), which is what this is all about.

Mid-Week Song

Maybe it was the visit earlier this month to our old stomping grounds (ahh, Madison, Wisconsin, circa 1967), but we can't shake this sense that things aren't just quite... normal. Ready with the feedback... on one, two, three, four:

"The Michele Bachmann History Channel"

Rethugs Fought the Law - And the Law Won?

Two items today that bring hope that Rethuglican efforts to derail health care reform and the economic recovery may fail legal tests:

-- The Sixth Court has upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, saying it was within Congress' power under the Commerce Clause to regulate health care, including the individual mandate. Once again, we fully expect the "mainstream media" to give this all the play it always reserves for right-wing legal victories...

-- Some Democratic senators are questioning whether a debt ceiling limit is even constitutional under the 14th Amendment. This could effectively take the gun out of the hands of the Rethuglican hostage-takers who are desperate to sabotage the Obama administration and the economic recovery.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Quote & Cartoon of the Day

"[Rethug Senate Minority Leader] McConnell’s first brush with radical truth-telling came in October 2010, when he told National Journal that 'the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.' McConnell quickly qualified his remarks, although he never quite apologized for them. Nor should he have. McConnell wasn’t articulating a radical new theory of politics. He was telling us how he and his party were already voting. Consider the dozens of elected Republicans who, at one time or another, supported an individual mandate for health-care reform, cap-and-trade for carbon emissions and tax cuts for stimulative purposes. Over the past three years, almost all of them have renounced their former views. Unless you understand McConnell’s argument, you can’t understand their actions." Ezra Klein, reaffirming the fact that the Rethugs will wreck the economy so that Obama gets the blame. Tom Toles' editorial cartoon in the Kaplan Daily strikes a similar note:

(BONUS: Check out Steve Benen's piece on how Rethugs define "compromise." Benen's description of Rethugs: "reckless thugs pretending to be a political party.")

Screen Shot of the Day -- Wide Angle Edition


(NJ Rethug Gov. Chris "Twinkies Are Our Friends" Christie on the "Fox and Fiends" nitwit show - via "Bill D.", Wonkette)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Blagojevich Off To The Slammer

No big surprise that former Illinois Gov. Rod "Let's Make a Deal" Blagojevich was convicted by a jury on multiple counts of corruption stemming from his scheme to literally sell the U.S. Senate vacancy left by Barack Obama in 2008. The jury found him guilty on 17 of 20 counts, which could mean a long, long time in jail.

Now that bushy Blago is heading off to the slammer, we have to admit a certain melancholy at his imminent jailing. We'll miss his constant but obviously phony claims of innocence, and his loopy appearances on late night TV where he never seemed to mind being the butt of jokes. But who knows? Maybe there's a book or hair products endorsement in Blago's future.

The Bachmanns: Pigs Feeding at the Government Trough

Newly minted Rethug candidate for Preznut Rep. Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann (Loon-MN) has long been an opponent of government spending, including federal farm subsidies. Now that she's a candidate for Preznut (how low the bar has dropped!), the Minnesota Loon's finances have come under scrutiny. This article in the LA Times lays out the ... um ... inconsistencies between her rhetoric and reality. It seems she and her family have been all too willing to take gummint subsidies -- $30,000 for the hubby's "Christian counseling clinic"; $260,000 for a family farm in which she's a partner -- while she's busily decrying the same gummint subsidies to her tea bagging base. She even wrote a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack praising him for providing subsidies for pig and dairy products for her Minnesota district.

We'll see if her opponents make hay (not gummint subsidized, of course!) out of her "do as I say, not as I do" way of doing business.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wisconsin's Violent Judge

There are reports that Wisconsin Rethuglican State Supreme Court Justice David "Prossertute" Prosser was guilty of grabbing a fellow Justice around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week. Justice Ann Walsh Bradley asked Prossertute to leave her office when he became angry and grabbed her around the neck, during discussions about whether to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

This isn't the first time that the right-wing Justice has threatened a female jurist: last year during an argument, he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" and threatened to destroy her. A long time Rethuglican political hack, Prossertute served as the speaker of the State Assembly, and has voted in lockstep with corporate interests and right-wing causes. He won a very close, controversial election last year, after a Rethuglican county clerk "discovered" votes for him missing from an earlier tally, which put him ahead by 7,000 out of 1.5 million cast. Very convenient.

An anger management class won't help this out-of-control hack, but a voter recall of him would help Wisconsin.

(photo: Prossertute unloads his anger; Wisconsin should unload him)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Marriage Equality Bill Passes in New York

By a vote of 33-29 (with all Democrats and 4 Republicans voting in favor), the New York state senate passed a marriage equality bill last night, making that state the sixth and most populous state to pass such a law. The four principled Republican votes came as the Conservative Party in New York had threatened to run primary opponents against any Republican who voted for the bill. Here's what Greg Sargent has to say about those "conservatives":

"This is another major defeat for those self-described 'conservatives' who hate government except when it's enforcing a form of legalized discrimination that comports with their prejudices."

And who are, once again, on the wrong side of history.

Weekend Birthday Song

The Yardbirds' Jeff Beck turned 67 yesterday, so in belated tribute, here's Jeff playing lead (that's Jimmy Page on rhythm) on "Heart Full of Soul." Have a soulful weekend!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The right wing majority on the Supreme Court voted earlier to deny female employees of Walmart the right to sue in a class action suit that showed Walmart's gender discrimination in promotion and wages. Yet another reason to elect Dems in the future, so that appointments to the Court tip the balance back.

Johnson Caught In A Wringer?

Good to see that the Wisconsin press is looking into the potentially illegal campaign financing arrangement of Rethuglican Sen. Ron "Small" Johnson. Apparently Johnson spent $9 million on his unfortunately successful bid to defeat Sen. Russ Feingold in 2010, and now, VOILA!, his company is giving him $10 million in "deferred compensation." Federal law still prohibits private corporations from giving campaign contributions directly to a candidate for Federal office. Small Johnson was apparently the decisionmaker on the amount of compensation, too. Convenient.

When a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal reporter tried to get Small Johnson to comment on the apparent illegality, the Senator contemptuously replied, "I don't have to explain it any further to someone like you." Well, here's hoping Small will be giving an explanation soon -- hopefully in court.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mr. Monkey Wrench

As if to prove our recent point that Rethugs are out to undermine economic recovery in the hope that it will benefit them in 2012, House Majority Leader Eric "Can't" Cantor has pulled out of bipartisan talks to resolve the deficit impasse. While indicating that he would not go along with proposals to close loopholes and raise taxes on the very wealthy, his real agenda seems to be obstruction for political gain.

Let's hope the Dems pound his weaselly, smarmy ass from now to Kingdom come on his cynical "elections first" betrayal.

(photo: The circus is in town to stay)

Better Late Than Never

From their moniker as the "Party of No" starting from the day President Obama was inaugurated through their solid wall of opposition to every Obama initiative to spur the economy, the Rethugs have largely been given a free pass by the Dems (and, of course, the Beltway media) on exposing their obvious motive: to deny the Dems any success in fixing the mess the Rethugs created. Now, it looks like the Dems have located part of their spine:
"Today Senate Dems went there: They accused Republicans of deliberately sabotaging the economy in order to further their own political interests. And a senior Dem Senate aide tells me that Dems will not shy away from making that case in the weeks to come, if the Republicans keep blocking their efforts to spur job creation."
Why they didn't do this prior to the 2010 mid-term elections is beyond us, but fighting back against the lie factory that constitutes the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party hasn't been a Dem strength. We hope they do "go there," because the case is compelling and the evidence overwhelming that the Rethugs have been trying to sabotage the recovery in order to blame the Dems for a bad economy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

S.O.S! The SS Poot Is Sinking!

With the departure yesterday of Rethuglican Presidential candidate Poot Gingrich of his two top fundraisers, it appears that Poot's campaign ship is sinking fast. Barely a week after most of his campaign staff quit, Poot is without the key element of a political campaign -- its fundraising / financing arm, which allows the candidate to travel, prepare media ads, etc., anything that requires money.

With his "campaign" imploding, Poot may be the first Rethug candidate to drop out of the race. . .after little more than a month! Great job, Poot! It's an indicator of how (God forbid) your Presidency would have gone.

(photo: "Did someone turn off the air conditioning?")

Olbermann's New Gig

It's gratifying to see that Keith Olbermann is back and doing very well on Current TV. His "Countdown" program -- airing weeknights at 8 p.m. -- debuted on Monday, and beat the competition on CNN by a wide margin. Previously, Current TV averaged a modest 30,000 viewers; Olbermann had 179,000 viewers in the key 25 - 54 age demographic. His program features what we came to love on his old MSNBC program: Special comment, World's Worst, and strange news items that he covers under his "Time Marches On" segment.

Hopefully, you have Current TV, or can order it. Show Big O some love.

Mid-Week Song

Indie rock group Bon Iver (pronounced bone eeVAIR, after the French bon hiver/"good winter") formed several years ago in Wisconsin (bonus points). In a recent appearance on The Colbert Report, they played "Calgary" off of their just-released album, "Bon Iver."

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

No Justice

Think Progress has a good article on the ethics problems of Justice Clarence "Long Dong Silver"* Thomas, which include some unseemly acceptance of favors from right-wing sugar daddies. In the latest revelation, the Justice's flaky wingnut wife, Ginnie, received $500,000 from Dallas real estate mogul Harlan Crow (of the Trammel Crow fortune) for her tea party organization, in addition to a bible once belonging to civil rights pioneer Frederick Douglass valued at $19,000.

Think Long Dong will recuse himself from matters involving the teatards or Harlan Crow? Riiiiight. You would be wrong, because hizzoner will always see himself the victim of a left-wing "lynch mob" because he chose to cash in with the Strom Thurmonds and Trent Lotts of the Rethuglican movement. And perish the thought that he would resign. He's a bitter ender if there ever was one.
* Lest we forget, here's the context for his nickname.

When Self-Parody Becomes Hackery

One of the many criticisms of the Rethuglican propaganda network, Fux News, is that it often uses misleading, edited video to spin a story for the consumption of its wingnut viewers. On Fux News Sunday, Jon Stewart was interviewed by "newsman" Chris Wallace, and, to no one's great surprise, what aired was selectively edited to put Fux in a better light:
"If you tuned in to 'Fox News Sunday' over the weekend, you saw an interesting interview with Jon Stewart, host of 'The Daily Show.' What you didn’t see was Stewart’s reference to Fox News vice president and DC managing editor Bill Sammon.. . .[Stewart speaking]'You know, in ideological regimes, they can’t understand that there is free media other places. Because they receive marching orders. And if you want me to go through Bill Sammon’s emails and…'”
Wallace cut him off, realizing that Stewart about to prove his point that Fux's "news" staff did get political marching orders from Fux's DC Bureau Chief Sammon. (One example that might have been cited was a Sammon e-mail telling his reporters to use the phrase "Government-run health care" instead of "public option" when discussing the 2010 the Affordable Care Act).

It was also interesting that Wallace defended Fux as telling "the other side" of the news presented by NBC, CBS, etc. Who knew that there were other sides to factual news reporting? Unless, of course, you're propagandizing and not reporting "news" at all.

Huntsman Joins Mob of Rethuglican Candidates

Former Utah Gov. and Ambassador to China Jon "Tally Ho" Huntsman has announced his candidacy for the 2012 Rethuglican Presidential nomination. (ed. - what does that make, 14 or 15 Rethugs in the race?) He selected the park in New Jersey across from the Statue of Liberty to make his announcement, as did St. Ronnie of Hollywood in 1980. While Tally Ho is trying to seize the mantle of St. Ronnie, the far-right base of the Rethuglican Party is unlikely to buy it. Tally Ho, after all, served as the Mooslim usurper's Ambassador to China, once advocated for universal health care while Utah's governor, called for energy legislation that would curb greenhouse gases, and has been relatively moderate on immigration issues.

In other words, with the rabid right, this dog won't Hunt-sman.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote of the Day

"An attack on the right to vote is underway across the country through laws designed to make it more difficult to cast a ballot. . .These statutes are not neutral. Their greatest impact will be to reduce turnout among African Americans, Latinos and the young. It is no accident that these groups were key to Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 — or that the laws in question are being enacted in states where Republicans control state governments. Again, think of what this would look like to a dispassionate observer. A party wins an election, as the GOP did in 2010. Then it changes the election laws in ways that benefit itself. In a democracy, the electorate is supposed to pick the politicians. With these laws, politicians are shaping their electorates." -- E.J. Dionne, writing about vote suppression laws being enacted by Rethuglican-controlled state legislatures. Thanks to our broken media, this may be the most important under-reported political story of the year.

Middle Class Losing The Class War

A huge gap in income between the middle class and corporate executives is the most extreme since the Great Depression. As this article in the Kaplan Daily notes, pay for executives since the 1970s has increased four-fold, while the average wages for all employees has remained nearly flat.

The article points out that in 2008, the top one percent took in more than 20 percent of the personal income in the U.S. Case in point is the executive compensation at Dean Foods:
"Over the period from the ’70s until today, while pay for Dean Foods chief executives was rising 10 times over, wages for the unionized workers actually declined slightly. The hourly wage rate for the people who process, pasteurize and package the milk at the company’s dairies declined by 9 percent in real terms, according to union contract records. It is now about $23 an hour."
Sadly, until shareholders and the public at large demand that executive compensation be brought down from the stratosphere, these plutocrats will continue on their merry way -- and the American middle class will continue to decline.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

There's nothing better than being a father.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

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

We've noted in the past that Rethuglicans are known for their attempts to suppress minority votes. From fake leaflets telling voters they can vote after election day, spreading false information about documentation needed, to actual physical intimidation at the polling sites, this has been a Rethug stock in trade for many years. Suppression of Democratic-leaning minority and youth votes is clearly behind Rethug efforts nationally to require State (not student) IDs or to limit early voting. Many minority citizens rely on public transportation and do not have driver's licenses.

In Maryland, the State Prosecutor has won indictments from a grand jury that charge two Rethug officials working for "Beatle Bob" Erlich's unsuccessful campaign for Governor in 2010 with attempting to suppress the black vote. The two are charged with authorizing a robocall to thousands of black voters on election day saying, in essence, "don't worry, stay home, the election's over, we're way ahead" long before polls closed.

This is the essence of Rethuglican political strategy, from Murray Chotiner to Lee Atwater to Karl Rove. Deny citizens their right to vote to ensure your hold on power.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Weekend Song

(h/t Ya-Ya)

Letter of the Week

"In his June 13 op-ed column ["Waiting for 2013"], Fred Hiatt struggled to find both political parties at equal fault for the debt stalemate. After the release of Republican Paul Ryan's long-term budget plan, Mr. Hiatt wrote, 'the president has stuck to the position, belied by his own budget numbers, that his vision of government is affordable without raising taxes on anyone but the rich.'

"In fact, as The Post reported, the president, in an April 13 speech on the national debt, released a deficit plan that targeted $3 in spending cuts for every dollar in new revenue.

"President Obama can be accused of many things, but failure to meet the other party halfway on the budget is not among them. The vast majority of Republicans, meanwhile, have sworn an oath to raise no additional revenue, a position wholly at odds with any serious attempt to fix the deficit.

"So why the equal treatment? Time-honored journalistic convention lets a writer assume a position of neutrality by sharing blame equally between disputing sides. But at moments of deepening political asymmetry -- as in this country today, with a rising radical wing on the political right -- that approach misses the mark."

-- Letter to the editor, WaPo, June 17, from Richard N. Mott of Arlington, VA. My only quibble with this spot-on analysis is that I suspect it's journalistic cowardice rather than convention that motivates Hiatt and his fellow Villagers. They're ignoring the biggest political story of the last 25 years: the radicalization of the Republican Party.

"My Civility for a Doughnut!"

Just saw a TV clip showing New Jersey's Rethuglican Gov. Chris "Kris Krispycreme" Christie on a radio show yesterday getting nasty with a woman who wondered why the extremely rotund Gov was cutting back on public education in New Jersey while sending his kids to private school. "None of your business," Krispycreme snapped. We're hoping to get the video of the exchange today to post.

Perhaps Gov. Krispycreme was churlish because of doughnut deprivation during his visit to the radio studio. We can only hope he continues with his "f**k you" attitude toward his constituents, and further drive down his already sagging poll numbers in New Jersey.

(photo: "I'll have 3 dozen doughnuts, and a skim milk)

Picture of the Day

We're happy to see some hockey fans in Vancouver weren't all that upset about their team's loss to Boston on Wednesday. Or maybe they were Boston fans.

Get a room!

(photo: Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mittens The Clueless

At a Florida campaign event, Mittens/ Muff/ Willard Romney, godfather of Obamacare (hee-hee), had a photo op with unemployed workers to talk about economic tough times. After a no doubt awkward interaction with real people, Mannequin Mittens said, "I'm also unemployed." Mmmm...oh, that was supposed to be funny! Ha-ha! What a sensitive multi-millionaire you are!

Of course, a man of the people, salt-of-the-earth type Mannequin Mittens ain't. Who would expect him to be, given the fact much of his $200 million wealth was made when he was the head of Bain Capital, whose main purpose was to take over companies and then fire workers in order to make the company profitable, or ready for liquidation. Yes, Mannequin Mittens, you're "unemployed," but you can always retreat with your millions to your Utah ski mansion and laugh or cry into your champagne.

(Photo: Mannequin Mitt's modest Utah digs)

Weiner To Resign

Rep. Anthony Weiner has told friends and Dem leaders that he will resign from Congress at 2 p.m. today in Brooklyn, presumably ending the breathless 24-hour media voyeurism that has gone on for the past 2 weeks (especially for Political Penis Reporter Little Luke Russert -- what will he do now?). Weiner's Twitter tawdriness ruined his ability to serve, and demonstrated his need to seek help for his "issues."

Now, we can expect Rethuglicans to righteously call for the resignation of their prostitute-soliciting Sen. David "Diapers" Vitter, right?

(**crickets chirping**)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wingnut Wurlitzer: For Sale to the Highest Bidder

"Payola n. Slang 1. Bribery, especially the bribing of disc jockeys to promote records."

An interesting, but not shocking, article in Politico about some of the most popular hate-mongerers in the media and how they're getting paid for a plug here, an endorsement there by crackpot groups like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity. Millions of dollars a year. We're talking the likes of Pills Limpballs, Sean "Heil" Hannity, Boo Hoo the Hoot Beck, and Crazy Ass Mark Levin. All men of the highest moral standards money can buy, of course. Not that any of this would matter to their loyal sheeple ("They're just workin' the free market!"). How perfect.

(Photo: The Three Stooges, c. 2011)


Our pop culture desk reports that Crystal Harris has broken off her engagement with human Play-prune Hugh Hefner. Harris, 25, and Hef, 85 going on 12, were to be married in a few days (assuming Hef's ticker holds up that long). Bleached blonde Harris is reportedly starting a "singing" career -- no doubt with some of Hef's "booty duty" pay. We can only wish each of the forlorn lovebirds well in parting, and hope that Hef stops payment on that last check he wrote to her.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

More violent weather, more extremes in climate conditions, more carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. And still the shameless hacks on the right deny the influence man has had on climate change.

Mid-Week Song

The Coasters were a hit-making group of the '50s and early '60s, and were led by singer Carl Gardner, who died earlier this week at age 83. Some of their hits included "Charlie Brown," "Poison Ivy," "Searchin'," and "Along Came Jones." Perhaps their best known was this hit, "Yakety Yak."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Right Wing Nutbaggery, Cont'd.

There seem to be almost weekly occurrences of an anti-government wingnut acting out his violent fantasies. Now, we see that a former right wing militia leader in Montana is being hunted by law enforcement for firing on sheriff's deputies in Missoula County. The militia group that the fugitive, David Burgert, formerly headed had "allegedly plotted to assassinate local officials, go to war with the National Guard and overthrow the federal government." Burgert has served time in prison for weapons violations, and is considered heavily armed and extremely dangerous. He's vowed that he "wasn't going to be taken down."

These paranoid domestic terrorists need to be treated at least as seriously as we treat foreign terrorists.

Quote of the Day

“I needed that shift, I don’t make $160,000 a year, so missing a shift means a lot to me.” [...] “It’s not a Republican issue, it’s not a Democrat issue. Our economy is suffering, everybody is suffering, work is hard to find, money doesn’t go as far as it used to. He pulls down a lot of money for his position, and in the state that our country is in right now, I don’t think it’s the time for grandstanding. I’d rather him do his job than mine.” -- Chattanooga, TN gas station employee Justin Lewis, speaking about the stunt by Rethuglican Rep. Chuck "Chucklehead" Fleischmann where he pumped gas at Lewis' station all day, apparently to call for more domestic drilling. The stunt cost Mr. Lewis a day's pay.

Well done, Chucklehead.

Obama In Puerto Rico

President Obama pays an official visit to Puerto Rico today, the first by a sitting U.S. President in years. He'll see beautiful, historic Old San Juan and meet with the Governor at his 16th century residence, La Fortaleza, before attending a fundraiser. The visit is being seen as evidence of the growing political influence of Puerto Ricans in U.S. elections, particularly in Florida, where over 800,000 make their homes. They are natural Democratic voters, unlike Cubans who tend to vote Rethuglican. There are now more Puerto Ricans living on the mainland than on the island for the first time.

While we hope the President enjoys his visit to Puerto Rico (or "Poco Eeko" as some toddlers used to say), he should stay longer next time and enjoy what the beautiful island offers.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Night of the Dull Knives

The Seven Dwarfs (a.k.a. Romney, Pawlenty, Cain, Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, and Paul) square off tonight in what is sure to be a snoozefest... er, debate at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Will Pawlenty-o-nothin' drop the "ObamneyCare" bomb on Mittens' moussed head? Will Perfesser Bachmann school us on the Hoot-Smalley tariff and the brave colonials who fought the Brits at Lexington, New Hampshire? Will Herman "Raisin" Cain bring the pizza and keep his remarks to under 3 pages? Will Poot Gingrich say that anything that he's quoted as saying tonight is a falsehood? Will Mittens Romney let us in on how his job-creating bidness magic actually cost hundreds, if not thousands of people their jobs? Will Rick Santorum (giggle) remind us to go to his website, or just Google "Santorum." Will Ron Paul propose we do away with paper money and use only muskrat pelts? Most importantly, will this Hackwhacker be asleep before 5 minutes have elapsed?

Department of Directions

The leader of al Qaeda in East Africa and the mastermind of the bombings of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, was shot and killed this weekend when he took a wrong turn and tried to avoid a Somali government checkpoint.
“This was lucky,” a Somali security official said Saturday night. “It wasn’t like Fazul was killed during an operation to get him. He was essentially driving around Mogadishu and got lost.”
Just another guy who won't ask for directions. . .

More Nutbaggery On The Far Right

This article in Talking Points Memo is chilling. It concerns the views of so-called "sovereign citizens," who believe that they are exempt from the laws of government as "sovereign" entities. Among their followers are nutbags who shoot up government offices, or engage in gun battles with police or Federal agents.

As we noted on June 8, the Department of Homeland Security seems shy about cracking down on these dangerous characters. There's been a proliferation of far-right militia-type groups with a seething anger toward the Administration in the past two years, following President Obama's election. We need to take the violent threat posed by these pathetic clowns seriously.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Rethug Candidate Update

Sorry we're just getting around to our Sunday reading... assembling a shed takes time! Today, we have for your perusal:

-- Rethuglicans living in a fantasy world (of most recent note, voo-doo economist Tim Pawlenty-o-nothin'); and

-- Willard/ Muff/ Mittens Romney: he's got the bidness experience and know-how for... uh... increasing unemployment?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Calls Continue for Weiner to Resign

The Beltway media has been attempting for several days to see what kind of influence it wields by amplifying the calls for Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign. The incessant noise has now caused House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to ask Weiner to resign.

It's hard to calculate how many hours have been spent by our moral superiors in the Village media examining every lurid detail of Weinergate. It's certainly far more than any national or international news story, and so far there's no evidence of criminality on Weiner's part, just horrendous judgement and hubris (which is the condition of most members of Congress, and truth be told, the Village media). It's a pity that they were far less interested in questioning the lies that led us into Iraq.

Friday, June 10, 2011

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

"The last year has established that the whole premise of manmade global warming is a hoax, and we still have presidential candidates who want to buy into it!" -- Perfesser Rush "Pills" Limpballs on his June 7 radio hate fest, blasting Mittens/ Muff/ Willard Romney for acknowledging the reality of manmade climate change. Pills should know better about manmade global warming, since his daily fact-free hot air blasts make a significant contribution to it.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Willard "Mittens" Romney's
former company, Bain Capital, was involved in buying businesses (using money borrowed against their assets), laying off workers to slash costs, and then selling off the businesses for huge profits. When voters realize that Mittens wasn't in the business of "creating jobs" but just the opposite, maybe they'll decide to send this empty suit to the cleaners.

Weekend Twofer

We must cap off "Weiner week" with this classic from The Kinks. (How disappointing when you find out that all is not what it appears to be in a public figure.) But, once again, we couldn't choose between two favorites, so we're offering up our second selection in recognition of the record-breaking heat we've been enduring (not the tongue-in-cheek "heat" in which The Kinks find themselves in snowy London!). Enjoy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Abandon Ship!

Sound the alarm! Man the lifeboats! The SS Poot is going down.

Rethuglican Presidential candidate Poot Gingrich's campaign manager and six senior advisers resigned en masse today. After a catastrophic campaign roll out, in which Poot accidentally uttered the truth about the "kill Medicare" budget plan of Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan, he's lost the support of most of the far-right base.

To make matters even stranger, Poot was on a two-week Mediterranean cruise when the mutiny broke out, and had to return home. In this case, it appears that Captain Poot should have stayed cruising on the other ship.

(photo: As they left, Poot's staff was heard singing "Yo ho ho, and a bottle of . . .RUN!")

More Rethug Hypocrisy

Rethug politicians can be expected to circle the wagons when one of their own get caught doing something nasty, and to flail the Dems when the shoe is on the other foot. Latest case in point: Rethuglican National Committee Chair Reince "Prepuce" Priebus is demanding Dems call for Rep. Anthony Weiner's resignation following the disclosure of his raunchy correspondence with various women (and lying about it). But when it comes to Rethug politicians going astray, Prepuce is all humna humna humna, let's get back to the Dems, shall we? Think Progress notes that Prepuce wouldn't call for the resignation of disgraced prostitute-soliciting Sen. David "Diapers" Vitter (Change Me- LA), who actually committed the crime of solicitation.

That cynical Rethug opportunists are attempting to turn the spotlight away from their disastrous "kill Medicare" budget bill is to be expected. So too is their embrace of a double standard for their own wayward politicians, and it's important to keep confronting them with it.

(photo: "Send in the clowns, don't bother they're here")

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Quote of the Day

"I'd really like to know how many journalists, pundits and activist types clucking with righteous condemnation of Weiner would be comfortable having that standard applied to them. I strongly suspect the number is very small. . . Millions upon millions of people at some point do what Weiner did. I know that's a shocking revelation that will cause many Good People to clutch their pearls in fragile Victorian horror, but it's nonetheless true." -- Glenn Greenwald in Salon, teeing off on the repressed, superficial journalists/voyeurs who would never allow the scrutiny of their lives that they demand of others.

DHS Giving Right-Wing Terrorists A Pass?

There's a disturbing story in today's Kaplan Daily that indicates the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is shying away from analyzing the threat of homegrown right-wing terrorists due to Rethuglican pressure. In the spring of 2009, the DHS issued a report (commissioned during Dumbya's Presidency) entitled "Rightwing Extremism" that detailed the growing threat from far right militias, secessionists, Sovereign Nation kooks, and assorted racist groups. Apparently, the report struck too close to home for the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party, which denounced the report as an attack on "conservative ideology" (ed. -- if the shoe fits. . .).

Since the inauguration of the first black President, we've seen decline in the rhetoric of the right-wing: birtherism, disinformation about the President's policies, using crosshairs in political ads, outright racism, etc.. The militant, gun-toting rhetoric from the likes of snowbilly grifter Sarah "Mama Fizzly" Palin and the right-wing media are stoking the imaginations of the unstable and violent elements on the far right. It's time for the DHS to get out of its fetal crouch and deal with the problem before it escalates into violence.

Mid-Week Song

After Mama Fizzly's gaffe-ridden "Magical History Tour" up the east coast last week, this vintage song from the Rolling Stones kept running through our minds. Her grasp of American history is equal to her grasp of reality. As the Stones put it:
"I'm not talking about the way she digs for gold
Look at that stupid girl
Well, I'm talking about the way she grabs and holds
Look at that stupid girl

The way she talks about someone else
That she don't even know herself
She's the sickest thing in this world
Well, look at that stupid girl"

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hitting the Rethugs' Philosophical Underpinnings

The American Values Network has this spot out drawing attention to the Ayn Rand - New Confederate/Rethuglican Party philosophical bloodlines, hitting the immorality of their "right-wing social engineering" (P. Gingrich). The Democratic Party would be wise to follow this line of attack to illustrate just how far out of the moral mainstream Rethugs and their reactionary proposals are.

Japan's Radiation Leak Underestimated

News that radiation from Japan's tsunami-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was worse than originally estimated has raised questions about the government's early handling of the crisis. Government officials now estimate the amount of radiation released by the plant in the first week was roughly double the original estimate, and was between 20% and 40% of the amount released by the Chernobyl disaster. Three of the plant's nuclear reactors suffered a core meltdown in the days following the tsunami and earthquake on March 11.

Again, the people of Japan need assistance and help in overcoming this tragedy. Dealing with both the tsunami's impact and that of the damaged nuclear plant are tremendous burdens for the people. We should give what we can to relief organizations involved in recovery efforts.

Paul Revere's Bell Ringin', Musket Shootin' Ride

On last night's The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert did a number on acclaimed historian Sarah "Mama Fizzly" Palin's ass-backwards version of Paul Revere's ride. It's one of the most hilarious comedic bits he's done. Stick around to the end of the video where Colbert demonstrates how Revere rode a horse while ringing a bell and firing a front-loading musket, per Palin. Golden.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Weiner Wasn't Kosher

Well, it looks like Dem Congressman Anthony Weiner was lying all along about sending inappropriate texts to women. In a press conference this afternoon, Weiner admitted that he lied last week about Twitter postings that showed him in underwear, and that he had been guilty of "sexting" several females in the past months. While he didn't indicate that he was resigning, he can expect to lose his prominent spokesman position within the Dem House caucus. His "scandal" last week preempted the Dems' successful attack on the "kill Medicare" policy of the Rethuglicans. Worst of all, this has to humiliate his lovely new wife, Huma, a top aide to Sec. Hillary Clinton, and who apparently married beneath her. Sad all around.

(photo: "My integrity went that-a-way.")

Rethug Mischief In Wisconsin

True to form, the Wisconsin Rethuglican Party is trying to disrupt the recall elections of a couple of their endangered state senators by running fake Dems to force a Democratic primary. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, their objective is to slow down the recall process on the Dem side to allow themselves more time to prepare for the recall elections.

In past elections, Rethuglicans have used various tactics to suppress voter turnout, to question voters at the polls, and to generally try to limit the number of voters. That's especially true where Dems have the majority of registered voters or are a significant minority. Here, they've become so unpopular in Wisconsin that they have to use deception to hope to avoid recall. Let's hope that this news convinces Wisconsinites that the Rethugs are unworthy to have the public's trust.

Ladies and Gentlement, Presenting Your Liberal Media

If you want yet another example of inside-the-Beltway, Rethuglican-wired media, look no further than today's Kaplan Daily front page Sparkle pony puff-piece on Rethuglican wingnuts Michele "Hoot-Smalley" Bachmann and Mama Fizzly. One wonders how writer Sandhya Somashekhar was able to get through the entire love note without ever mentioning any of their dimbulb pronouncements, or their un-electability. Oh, wait... just Google her name and up pops all sorts of (Rethug) love note articles and (Dem/Obama) screeds! (Damn that hippiesocialistobamaloving media!)

(Image: We apologize to any chimpanzees offended by this association with a certain Kaplan Daily "journalist.")

Smelly Business

Alabama Rethuglican Sen. Richard "Smelly" Shelby has blocked the nomination of M.I.T. professor and Nobel laureate in economics Peter Diamond for a seat on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. Sen. Smelly's reason? He insisted that Dr. Diamond lacked the qualifications for the job. That's what he said. Seriously.

We suppose Sen. Smelly's career as a political hack, lawyer, and small-bore magistrate qualifies him to pass judgement on an economist that could run circles around the Senator when it comes to understanding the Fed and monetary policy. But we're certain this wasn't about "qualifications" at all, just another cynical monkey-wrench thrown into the gears of Government by Rethuglican dead-enders.

Frothy Mix Is In!

Former Rethug Sen. Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum is announcing he's running for the Rethuglican nomination for President. There. That's the last you'll ever hear about him.

(Photo: "Waah! I don't want to be a frothy mix!")

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Take The Money And Run (From Your Past Position)

Highly unpopular Rethuglican Florida Gov. Rick "Slimeball" Scott liked to denounce Federal stimulus money at every turn during his campaign for Governor last year. Now, with a 29% approval rating (the lowest in the nation), Slimeball has decided to accept $370 million in Federal stimulus funds to keep the state budget solvent:
"Florida Gov. Rick Scott campaigned against President Obama’s “failed stimulus” program — yet the freshman politician kept nearly $370 million of the federal cash in the Florida budget he signed last week. […] The stimulus money Scott and Republican legislators approved touch every corner of the state: $290 million to improve electronic medical records, $4.2 million to aid disadvantaged children, $3.2 million for fighting wildfires, $12.5 million for drug courts, $8.6 million for county health departments, $1 million to fight infectious diseases, and $4.4 million to help public defenders and prosecutors."
Slimeball was once the head of Columbia/HCA, a hospital company, and had to pay $1.7 billion in fines for defrauding customers. Not surprisingly, Slimeball now stands to profit from a newly-signed Florida law which would throw more Medicaid business to his chain of "clinics". This guy makes Rod Blagojevich look like an altar boy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wanker of the Month

In case you missed it, Rethug House Majority Leader Eric "Twister" Cantor (Shyster-VA) recently stated that relief funds for tornado victims in Joplin and elsewhere wouldn't be made available unless spending could be cut elsewhere. Really. Even Donald "Rump" Trump, a man not known for his sensitivity or understanding of the world beyond his estates, understood what a vile position that is and fired a salvo at Cantor, as did "Boss Hogg" Barbour. When even Rethug humps like that are criticizing you, you've done something truly despicable, and you've more than earned your "Wanker of the Week." You've earned a free ticket back to the private sector.

Quote of the Day

"[The poor] don’t bear the brunt of our fiscal irresponsibility because they didn’t cause it. We did not get into fiscal trouble because of poor people. … The poor didn’t cause this. Let’s not make them pay for it. What we’re saying in the faith community, across the spectrum, is that a nation is judged — our Bible says — by how we treat the poorest and most vulnerable. Period. That’s what God says to us. That’s God’s instruction to us. To be faithful to God, we have to protect poor people." -- clergy at the Faith in Public Life press conference, which was held across the street from the right-wing Faith and Freedom Conference in DC. In denouncing Rethug budget priorities, the clergy reminded the press that right-wing (and Paul "Lyin'" Ryan) icon Ayn Rand said "choose me or Jesus" concerning her Social Darwinist / nihilist philosophy, so much in vogue among the radical right today.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Clip of the Week

Wherein half-term half-wit Mama Fizzly gives her version of Paul Revere's ride (in her usual word salad). And the media treats her like a credible political figure. Enjoy the dimbulbery!

Weekend Energy Song

We seem to be in a bit of an Irish rut, musically speaking. We'll try to expand our horizons in the future, but today's offering is the great Anglo-Irish band, The Pogues. Get your jig on!

Failing to Learn From the Past

With the dismal jobs report from May, Rethugs demand more spending cuts. Whether their motivation is strictly partisan sabotage or a basic lack of understanding economics, Rethugs and the cowardly Dems who allow the far-right to set the terms of debate would have us do precisely the opposite of what is needed to promote a healthy economy. Nobel winner Paul Krugman tells us why 2011 is looking like a repeat of 1937, despite ample warnings.

Edwards Indicted

A Federal grand jury today indicted former Dem Sen. John "Johnnie Be Bad" Edwards on six counts of violating Federal campaign finance laws during his run for President in 2008. Johnnie Be Bad is accused of using campaign funds to cover up his affair with his campaign's videographer, while his wife Elizabeth's cancer was in temporary remission. His mistress later bore a baby girl.

We doubt that there is anyone who feels sorry for a wealthy, political star who betrayed and humiliated his cancer-stricken wife, who is now getting his day in court. May it serve as a lesson for those in public life who think they above scrutiny and the standards they expect of others.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

This Cloud Doesn't Have a Silver Lining for Rethugs

Here are the results of a Washington Post/ Pew Reseach Center poll, where people were asked to provide one single word that described their impression of the field of Rethuglican presidential candidates. The results were then put into this word cloud (the larger the word, the more frequent the mentions):

Our own response would have been and is: "Bwahahaha!"

Mittens Announces Candidacy

Rethuglican chameleon Willard "Mittens" Romney today announced his candidacy for President. With his moussed hair remaining in place in a breeze, Mittens spoke to an all-white crowd on the New Hampshire farm of a contributor, and stayed on the Rethug message: Obama's to blame for our economic problems. This is the "business genius" who said two years ago that we shouldn't offer loans to GM and Chrysler to save them from bankruptcy, who now says loans were his idea. He's written a book, "No Apologies," but spends his days apologizing to his right wing base about Romneycare. He apparently has no shame, and hopes you have no memory.

We think plastic Mittens will continue having trouble connecting with people with bullshit detectors.

(photo: Mittens getting ready to "connect" with you)

Quote of the Day

“The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.” -- President St. Ronnie of Hollywood in 1983, on the raising of the debt ceiling. Goes to show how very far to the right the modern Rethuglican / New Confederate Party has drifted. Washington Monthly has a good article on the latest Rethuglican hostage taking.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mr. Small Gummint

New Jersey Rethug Gov. Chris "Slim" Christie likes to play the tough, bullying conservative who wants to put government on a diet, something he might consider someday. Now, there are reports that Slim took a NJ State Police helicopter to see his son's baseball game. When he landed, he hopped in a car to take him the remaining 100 yards to the game, which he left in the 5th inning.

This large pile of hypocrisy is slipping in New Jersey polls, despite the Beltway media's infatuation with him. It seems his zeal to cut state education and infrastructure budgets doesn't carry over to his personal perks as Governor.

(photo: My 'copter awaits me.)

Mid-Week Song

Dublin, Ireland's indie rock band The Script had a platinum-certified hit "Breakeven (Falling to Pieces)" last year, and it's still in constant rotation on radio playlists. Enjoy.

Cartoon of the Day

Mama Fizzley says her current bus tour "is not about me." C'mon, everything she does is about her and her bank account. And the dopes in the media are her willing accomplices. Happily, though, the greater her exposure, the lower her poll numbers seem to go.