Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday. Krugman. Read It.

The Very Serious People, the "centrists" who bet wrong on linking deficit reduction to the debt ceiling vote, and what they don't understand about the "modern" Rethuglican party, all courtesy of Paul Krugman. Be sure to read the Jonathan Chait piece that PK links to in his blog, too. As Krugman has said before, they're "the cult that's destroying America."

BONUS: Even if our own lazy, cowardly, "both sides do it" media can't or won't call it honestly, the furrin (gasp!) press will.

Even A Blind Squirrel, Cont'd.

The fracture within the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party widened last week over their self-inflicted debt ceiling crisis. On the one hand, you have the traditional big money, big business elite who have funded the Rethug Party for years. They want the debt ceiling lifted. On the other, you have the loony teabagger true believers, far-right extremists who see bringing down the Government as a good thing, and to hell with the economy.

Right wing pundits have been forced to choose sides in the internal war. Blind squirrel and country club Rethug Kathleen Parker finds a nut in today's Kaplan Daily:
"Take names. Remember them. The behavior of certain Republicans who call themselves Tea Party conservatives makes them the most destructive posse of misguided “patriots” we’ve seen in recent memory. If the nation defaults on its financial obligations, the blame belongs to the Tea Party Republicans who fragged their own leader, John Boehner."

Better late than never, but you have to remember that the right wing media was stoking the fires of obstruction from the minute Obama was elected. Any lie and distortion was acceptable in whipping up the low-information teatards, who are clueless that the far right groups that pay for their rallies, buses and signs are actually working against their economic and social interests.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

"Snooki Kabuki"

Well, the Senate did it's job last night, killing Orange Boner's tea party manifesto... er debt limit bill... in a bipartisan 59-41 vote. D.L. MacKenzie at Politicus has a nice piece about the "Snooki kabuki" theater the nutters in Orange Boner's House Rethuglican caucus have been performing. (One feels an apology is due to Snooki for this reference, as she can't begin to plumb the House Rethugs' depths of stupidity and venality.)

Quote of the Day

"Produce a package that staves off default, lifts the debt ceiling high enough to cover federal obligations into 2013, reins in the budget by cutting $4.5 trillion over the next decade through spending reductions and the elimination of tax loopholes and tax breaks benefiting the rich, and guess what? A solid phalanx of congressional right-wingers, egged on by Limbaugh, says no. And, hell no, if it means Barack Obama might share the credit. Getting Obama isn’t just an important conservative Republican goal; it seems to be their only goal." -- Colbert King in today's Kaplan Daily.

When you give one side almost everything they ask for, and they still refuse the deal and ask for more, it's not about the deal; it's about destroying something.

Friday, July 29, 2011

More Austerity Will Cure This!

John Q. Public and the main street economy are eating their peas while the corporations have their best profits as a percent of GDP in 60 years.

Weekend S.O.S.

S.O.S. -- from the heat, from the right-wing nutters, from cosmic ennui! Here come The Police:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Problem With "Centrism"

(click to enlarge slightly)

The topic du jour: "centrists."

-- E.J. Dionne says moderation oui, centrism non!

-- Driftglass says "under what rock have you been?"

-- our hero Paul Krugman says they're a cult that's destroying America.

(Cartoon: Simpson)

Rethug Family Values, Cont'd.

It's being reported that nasty Rethuglican teabagger Rep. Joe "Deadbeat" Walsh owes over $117,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children. Deadbeat, who is one of the most radical and loudmouthed freshmen Congressmen opposing any deal on the debt limit, has been stiffing his ex and their kids for some time, court documents allege. Rather than pay what he owes in support, Deadbeat loaned his campaign $35,000 while claiming he had no money. No surprise that this teatard's priorities are himself first.

(photo: Deadbeat Walsh stiffs the bill collector)

Poor Wingnuts Play Victims Again

On his show last night, Jon Stewart clobbered the clowns at Fux for their phony victimization act regarding coverage of the Norwegian wingnut who killed dozens of people earlier this week. According to our right wingers, Christianity is under attack because the media reported that Anders Breivik identified himself as a "Christian crusader" and wrote endlessly on stopping the Islamic takeover of Europe. Here's Stewart's brilliant response.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rethug Anti-Nutter Caucus Forming?

Slight glimmers today that some Rethug politicians are starting to stand up to the tea bagging nutters that have taken over the party:

-- Sen. John "Walnuts" McCain (Rethug-Sunset City), quoting a Wall Street Urinal editorial today on the Senate floor, calls the nutters "tea-party Hobbits." (Hee-hee) Of course, some of this is payback for tea party opposition to Walnuts' reelection in 2010. But sweet and righteous nonetheless.

-- Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is letting it be known that the Reid/ Obama/ Democratic plan on raising the debt ceiling warms his cockles (corkles?) more than Orange Boner's plan. Good for him. (There are a few more anti-nutter Rethuglican Senators, among them Sens. Coburn (OK) and Chambliss (GA) that deserve some credit for not wanting their country to go over the cliff to satisfy some morons on the far right.)

Quote of the Day

"Apparently, House Republicans are holding out for a formal surrender ceremony. Speaker John Boehner has come up with a counterproposal to Reid’s — a plan that isn’t all that different substantively but that Boehner titled “The Two-Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.” For many Republicans, even this doesn’t go far enough. Republicans apparently won’t be satisfied until Obama takes responsibility for all of the national debt, the Bush tax cuts and the Oklahoma heat wave, admits he’s not a citizen and goes back to Kenya." -- Harold Meyerson in today's Kaplan Daily.

Having eaten the Dems' lunch, the wingnut Rethugs want to eat their breakfast and supper, too. The Dems and Obama now find themselves playing from their own 5 yard line. Dealing with a reckless, radical and delusional group that doesn't care about hurting people will almost always produce bad outcomes, as Obama and the Dems are finding out.

Mid-Week Song

Yesterday was Mick Jagger's 68th birthday, so happy birthday Sir Mick. He's had a musical career for nearly 50 years, and is still going. This song was featured in the soundtrack of "Alfie." The video features Dave Stewart (of the Eurythmics) and scenes from the movie starring Jude Law. As the lyrics say, "old habits die hard, old soldiers just fade away." With the exception of Sir Mick.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Revolt of the Nutters

Weeper of the House John "Orange Boner" Boehner apparently has a revolt on his hands, courtesy of the infantile far right "nutters" that populate his caucus (you reap what you sow, eh?). What an embarrassment if Orange Boner can't even get his own caucus behind him to pass his "irresponsible" (Kaplan Daily) plan to raise the debt limit -- because it isn't irresponsible enough for the nutters! I'd be laughing except for the fact that innocent Americans may be paying for this loathsome posturing.

Aargh! My Reputation!!

The Onion explains how the phone hacking scandal may have damaged right-wing media pirate Rupert "Aargh!" Murdoch's pristine reputation.

What's left for a man that had nothing to begin with?

Islamophobia's Threat

As we've been noting in recent days, the Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik was a fan of U.S. right-wing bloggers. Think Progress catalogs the citations that the terrorist made to these far-right U.S. sites:
If we don't deal with the vile hatred being spewed by the far right, we will continue to deal with the consequences.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Wingnuts Furiously Sidestepping and Backpedaling on Norway Terrorist

Two of the intellectual giants of right-wing media, Pamela "Pammy Jugs" Geller ("Atlas Shrugs" -- and we don't give much of a damn for it either) and Glenn "Boo Hoo the Hoot" Beck (dean of crackpot radio and Glenn Beck U.), have issued their analyses of the right wing Norway terrorist. And the fault lies not in a Muslim-hating right-winger who often linked approvingly to Pammy Jugs' blog, but in... anybody who is NOT a Muslim hating right-winger who often linked approvingly to Pammy Jugs' blog and ...libruls!

These are some sick mfers.

Getting to No

There's an excellent article by Elizabeth Drew in the New York Review of Books, "What Were They Thinking?" Please take time to read it, because it provides the most cogent summary of how we got from the December 2010 extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy, through this spring's continuing resolution, to the current hostage situation with the debt ceiling. The takeaway for me was how much Obama has allowed the Rethugs to set the terms of the debate since the 2010 elections, how they've consistently rolled him, and how positioning himself as the "fiscal centrist" is precisely the wrong place to be at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Obama asks if the Rethugs can say "yes," while we wonder if he can say "no."

Good read, but depressing.

"The Biggest Threat to the World Financial System"

According to British Business Secretary Vince Cable:
"The biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right wing nutters in the American congress..."

By George, I think he's got it! (Extra points for "nutters".)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Headlines We Wish We'd Written

"New Jersey's Christie casts shadow over Iowa, 2012"

-- Associated Press on-line, July 24. Yeah, we bet it covered the entire state!

Quotes of the Weekend

"Obama's efforts at reasonable, conciliatory rhetoric have been a failure in this political climate, and he has not yet persuaded me that he has it in him to take on his opponents with the same ferocity that they attack him." -- Alan Brinkley, professor of history at Columbia University.

"FDR recognized that the presidency was an adversarial endeavor. Obama and today's Democrats suffer from a shortage of testosterone." -- Jean Edward Smith, FDR biographer.

Quotes from "Turns out he's not FDR. At all." (article by Alexander Heffner in today's Kaplan Daily).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Amy Winehouse Found Dead

Troubled British singer Amy Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her London flat this afternoon. Police say the death is as yet "unexplained," though anyone who didn't see this coming wasn't paying attention. What a waste.

What Democrats Aren't Offering

David Atkins has an interesting piece over at Hullabaloo, "The Souls of White Folk," about why younger and poor white voters are disaffected with the Democratic Party brand (spoiler alert: some of it has to do with not having a strong economic program and a message that you hammer every day, day in and day out).

Boner Bugs Out

Speaker of the House John "Orange Boner" Boehner walked out on last-ditch negotiations on a long-term debt reduction deal that would accompany a raising of the debt ceiling. Orange Boner was apparently unable to muster the votes needed from his teatard House members, who are oblivious to the fire that they're playing with. Business and the financial markets are increasingly worried that the "our way or the highway" teatard nabobs will torpedo an extension to the debt ceiling, causing chaos in the economy of the U.S. and internationally.

With the public supporting a spending cut / revenue raising compromise overwhelmingly, the Rethugs are going to end up being blamed for the impasse, and the fact that they passed up a golden opportunity for deficit reduction.

(photo: "If I didn't walk out, my peeps were going to throw me out as Speaker. sniff sniff ")

Norway's Timothy McVeigh

Norwegian police have a suspect in the bombing and shootings yesterday which killed 94 people, mostly children at a summer camp. The suspect, Anders Behring Breivik, is a self-described "nationalist" and "conservative" whom police say has connections to right wing groups in Norway*.

The huge explosion caused extensive damage to government buildings in Oslo and 7 deaths. Earlier, Breivik was seen at the site of the explosion, and later traveled to an island near Oslo, where he is accused of shooting and killing 84 young people at a youth camp for the governing party in Norway.

*UPDATE: ... and is an apparent fan of right-wing American lunatic and Muslimphobe Pam "Pammy Jugs" Geller.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Betting Against America

"And I'm telling you that the business community is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the president of the United States. And until he's gone, everybody's going to be sitting on their thumbs." -- Wynn Resorts billionaire Steve Wynn, speaking recently on a conference call with investors. A few points:

-- Wynn Resorts has seen record profits since Obama came into office.

-- The American "business community" is sitting on over $1.5 trillion in profits rather than re-investing it in jobs, etc., and Wynn's statement simply confirms what many have long suspected about cranks like him - that it's to do political harm to Obama.

-- Wynn, in addition to being a sufferer of Obama Derangement Syndrome, also has retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease characterized by increasing "tunnel vision" (irony intended).

"Sitting on their thumbs", indeed! As long as that's where Wynn's thumb is, he should just go ahead and rotate on it.

(Photo: That thumb kinda hurts up there, huh?!)

Weekend Song

It's (definitely) Late... the clock is ticking on the debt ceiling crisis while the playahs see how far they can go to accommodate the lunatic teabagging right. Rather than think about that too much, enjoy Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Ricky Nelson (with fellow Hall of Famer James Burton on guitar) in this rockabilly hit from 1959.

Bomb, Shootings Rock Oslo

One or more powerful bombs rocked a government complex in downtown Oslo today, killing at least 7 and injuring many more. No claim of responsibility as yet. The target of the bombing was the Prime Minister's office; the Prime Minister was reportedly unhurt.

There were also reports of a shooting at a Norwegian Labor Party youth camp event just outside Oslo, where more fatalities and injuries were sustained. One can presume the shooting and bombing are related, although police are not confirming that at this point.

We, of course, express our deepest sympathies to the Norwegian people for these cowardly terrorist acts.

UPDATE: The Norwegian Justice Minister is reporting the person apprehended at the shooting site is a "Nordic appearing" Norwegian. He was also spotted in Oslo earlier.
(Photo: via

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The Rethuglicans want the economic recovery to fail, it's as simple as that. They've made the calculation that if the economy is struggling in 2012, they will benefit politically, so why help the Dems and the President fix things?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Like Father, Like Son

Following Tuesday's testimony to a committee of Parliament (not sworn unfortunately) by James "Little Arrgh!" Murdoch, it's being alleged that a key part of Little Arrgh!'s testimony may have been less than truthful. Former associates are now claiming Murdoch was lying when he claimed not to know why payments were made to footballer Gordon Taylor. The reason, of course, was that it would have exposed phone hacking by Murdoch's thugs working for demised rag "News of the World."

Not surprising that the turd didn't fall far from the poop-chute.

(Photo: Poop-chute and turd)

Deal or No Deal

We've been ignoring the kabuki theater going on in Washington the last few days, with Gang of Six, Grand Bargain revised, cut- cap- and balance ("duck- dodge- and dismantle"?) plans in play (or not). Why waste electrons? We're breaking radio silence today because signs seem to be pointing more firmly in the direction of a final end game (with few details emerging, of course), less than two weeks before "BOOM goes the economy."

Odds are now that there will be a short-term lifting of the debt ceiling to provide some breathing room for the final debt/deficit package to be run through the sausage-making machine. But that's process. What's more important is what principles are being upheld or abandoned. Let's see.

Conservative Family Values

Sarah "Mama Fizzly" Palin's eldest son, Track, and his wife were married in May, and are expecting a baby. Photos of the bride show she is a bit more preggers than 2 months, however. For this family, as for so many right-wing moralizers, it's "do as I say, not as I do" when it comes to the "values" they preach.

Perhaps they can find work on the wingnut lecture circuit giving talks on pre-marital sex. Hey, it worked for Bristol.

(photo: Granny giving her come-hither wink)

Quote of the Day

"Republicans need to decide whether they want to be responsible conservatives or whether they will let the Tea Party destroy the House That Lincoln Built in a glorious explosion. Such pyrotechnics may look great to some people on the pages of a novel or in a movie, but they’re rather unpleasant when experienced in real life."-- E.J. Dionne, calling out the destructive "Tea Party" wingnuts in Congress.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rethugs Losers in Debt Ceiling Fight

Numerous polls are finding the Rethuglicans are losing the public relations battle with the President over their radical, obstructionist position on raising the debt ceiling. One from CBS News shows 71 percent disapprove of the Rethug's hostage taking. Most Americans also want a balanced approach, that includes revenue increases from closing fat cat loopholes and asking the wealthy to share in the sacrifice. Here's hoping the Rethugs take this extremism into 2012 and show the voters what living in a right-wing police state would look like.

Mid-Week Song

The dog days of summer are here, with three-fourths of the nation in sweltering heat. Many areas of the U.S. will be in triple digits over the next 4 days. Enjoy this 1966 hit from the Lovin' Spoonful that captures that warm feeling.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Inquiry

We've been watching the Murdoch hacking scandal hearings today, and some impressions emerge:
1. James "Matey" Murdoch is clearly on the hot seat. His father, pirate ship captain Rupert "Aargh!" Murdoch, looks feeble and reticent, and James often breaks into the elder's answers to modify or correct them.

2. James is a deceptive, arrogant and glib knock-off of the old man. He interrupts his interrogators and filibusters often. He often claims that he doesn't have direct knowledge of a key issue.

3. Rebekah "Babbling" Brooks is doing her best to protect the pirate ship's captain, her mentor. Aargh's wife Wendy is reportedly envious of Babbling, who looks like a hippie chick with her red-haired mountain range; MEOWWW!
All in all, predictable -- except for the near-pieing of Aargh toward the end.

St. Ronnie's Voice from the Past

This video should be run in every Rethug district from now until election day. It demonstrates how far right the Regthuglican / New Confederate Party has drifted recently even from the orthodoxy of St. Ronnie of Hollywood on the basic question of paying your debts.

Monday, July 18, 2011

More Than (Gum)Shoes Dropping in Murdoch Scandal

Since we last checked in, the Murdoch phone hacking and police bribery scandal has taken two more casualties: Sir John Stephenson, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) and his assistant commissioner, John Yates, both of whom were considered very cozy with the Murdoch crew.

Oh, yes, and original News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare was found dead today (the death is said to be "unexplained, but not thought to be suspicious"-- we're confident Scotland Yard is on the case...Arrgh!). Or, as the NY Times reports Murdoch saying, "Bury your mistakes."

Summing It Up Nicely

Tom Tomorrow sums up the past 6 or so months very nicely, and what we should expect in the future (click to enlarge slightly):

(Tom Tomorrow, Daily Kos)

The Cain Lunacy

Former pizza peddler and the Rethuglican's Nominal Crazy Negro* Herman "Raisin" Cain said on the Fux News Sunday poo-fling that communities have a right to ban mosques. Apparently unaware of our tradition of freedom of religion (not to mention Constitutional separation of church and state), Raisin thinks that the Islamic faith "combines church and state," so that mosques should not have the same protection as other houses of worship. The irony of that belief, coming from a far-right political world that holds we don't have enough Christianity in schools/gummint, is immense. As is Raisin Cain's ignorance.
* Barely edging out Alan Keyes

Two Winners

Yesterday's Women's World Cup soccer match between Japan and the U.S. was a timeless classic. Scoreless in the first period, then tied through the rest of regular time, both teams played hard to win. An underdog Japanese team was the emotional favorite of many, representing a country that has undergone so much tragedy this past year. In a penalty kick shootout, the Japanese women prevailed: final score 3-2 Japan. They've given much-welcomed joy to their country, and to soccer fans around the world.

The U.S. women can hold their heads up; they played all-in. As one of the U.S. players commented after the game, if the U.S. had to lose, it was best that they lost to this courageous and skilled team from Japan.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Not-So-Funnies

(M. Wuerker via Daily Kos)

Murdoch Protege Arrested

Rebekah "Babbling" Brooks, former chief of bilge rat Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch's News International and Murdoch protege, was arrested this morning in London, charged with suspicion of corruption and phone hacking. She is the tenth (10th!) person arrested in connection with the (pardon the Aussie pun) bloomin' scandal. (Note to James Murdoch: the Bobbies are comin' fer you next, Jimmy!)

UPDATE: There's buzz that the NY Times will be publishing a story Monday on 9/11 victim phone hacking by Murdoch henchmen. Stay tuned.

(Photo: Brooks and...done?)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

"Has The GOP Gone Insane?"

What they said:

-- Paul Krugman asks and answers the topic question; and

-- D.L MacKenzie on the Rethug pols caught between the pitchforkers and the power brokers.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
Cantor's just the most visible member of a Rethug Party gone off the deep end; virtually all of them are there with him.

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

From a Kaplan Daily article about the fundraising totals of President Obama and his Rethug rivals:
"Gingrich, whose presidential bid imploded earlier this summer amid mass resignations and financial problems, reported $1 million in debt — about half of which is owed to Moby Dick Airways, a charter jet service."
Stick a harpoon in him, he's done.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Feeling the Heat?

We had to laugh at Stephen Colbert's take on Fux News' virtual silence on the hacking scandal enveloping Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch's endangered media empire. The Fuxers have been largely "nothing to see here, move along" in their reaction to the problems of their pirate ship's captain. Colbert suggests an appropriate new slogan for the Fuxers:
"we don't touch it, you decide."

Hinton, Brooks Walk Plank for Murdoch

Two of Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch's long-time crew members walked the plank for the shriveled bilge rat, who hopes no doubt that their departure from the Sinking Ship Murdoch will take pressure off his badly shaken media empire. Rebekah "Babbling" Brooks, News International chief, and Les "Much Less" Hinton, publisher of the Wall Street Urinal and Dow Jones CEO, resigned today, a one-two blow leaving only Murdoch's son James in the inner circle of those in charge when the phone hacking scandal was taking place. (Note to James: get your snorkel mask on - you're next!)

Arrgh! Batten down the hatches, matey!

Weekend Song

Thanks to my bro' Hackwhacker for taking up the slack while my "corn-pooter" was sick. Here's a hit by the Denver-based group The Fray from a few years ago that still gets significant airplay.

"The Kinds of People Who Get Eaten By Bears"

Steve Benen reports about the "reality gap" in the debt ceiling discussions, and in the larger political arena. Benen writes about some of the Rethug/teatard Congressmen who haven't the slightest clue, apparently, about the consequences of failing to raise the debt ceiling, even at this critical stage. Some are in the crop of Rethug freshmen that the tea baggers elected, some are more established crackpots like Rep. Steve "Boom Goes the Economy!" King (Lunatic-IA). I personally think it's giving them too much credit to say they know better, and that they're simply posturing to the tea baggers knowing the grown-ups will raise the debt ceiling. No, I think the guy had it right when he said, "These are the kinds of people who get eaten by bears."

One could only hope.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

FBI Investigating News Corp.

There are reports today that the FBI is investigating whether Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch's News Corporation hacked the phones of any victims of 9/11, much as they had done with victims of terror bombings in London. In addition, it's quite possible the Securities and Exchange Commission could open an investigation of those bribes paid to British police and how they were reported in News Corporation's filings. If and when any of these or other allegations of illegal activity are proven, the tipping point for Murdoch's trashy empire will have been reached, with as yet unforeseen consequences for the right-wing mogul and his band of cutthroats.

(Image: "Arrgh! My timbers are shivering!")

A Day Late and a Hackwhacker Short

My esteemed brother Hackwhacker is having computer problems today (wah!), hence the drop-off in quantity (and quality?) of blogging. He hopes to be back up soon, but in the meantime, we'll carry on (and, oh, eat your peas!).

(Image: Hmmm. Wonder what he's shoveling?)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Letters We Wish We'd Written Dept.

A while ago, the Sultan of Smug, George "Quill" Will, wrote an op/ed in the Kaplan Daily using a baseball analogy to whine that President Obama (as "Alibi Ike") was blaming the economy's woes on Dumbya's Rethuglican administration (as do most Americans, by the way). Here's a letter to the editor in response to the shitstick that we wish we'd written:
"I don't know what baseball game George F. Will was watching ['The race to take on Alibi Ike,' op-ed, July 7], but to make his analogy of challenging President Obama's record a bit more realistic, imagine relief pitcher Obama's team is down by a historic 13-0 in the fourth inning, the bases are loaded, and there are no outs. Mr. Obama comes in, picks a runner off first base and proceeds to strike out the next two batters.

As Mr. Obama trots off the field, Mr. Will is in the stands booing loudly, calling Mr. Obama a bum and berating him because his team is 'still losing.' If Mr. Obama bothers to explain that he just pitched out of a very difficult jam and that it could take a few more innings to come back from a 13-run deficit, Mr. Will rolls his eyes and refers to him as another 'Alibi Ike.' -- Bob Hirshon, Takoma Park"

Midweek Truck Drivin' Song

Just for the hell of it. If I weren't blogging at the moment, I'd be playing this song rolling down the highway! The great (and almost late) Steve Earle (sorry about the reference to the "Jap guitar"!):

Quote of the Day

"Republicans, to be sure, have long waged a war on government, but only now has it become an apocalyptic and total war. At its root, I suspect, is the fear and loathing that rank-and-file right-wingers feel toward what their government, and their nation, is inexorably becoming: multiracial, multicultural, cosmopolitan and now headed by a president who personifies those qualities. That America is also downwardly mobile is a challenge for us all, but for the right, the anxiety our economy understandably evokes is augmented by the politics of racial resentment and the fury that the country is no longer only theirs. That’s not a country whose government they want to pay for — and if the apocalypse befalls us, they seem to have concluded, so much the better." -- Harold Meyerson, nailing it in today's Kaplan Daily.

Wisconsin Fakes Fail

As we noted yesterday, Wisconsin Rethuglicans tried to disrupt the recall challenges to six of their State senators by running fake Dems against real ones in the Democratic primaries which were held yesterday. Happily, the voters in Wisconsin saw through the dirty trick, and all of the fakes lost.

Now, it's on to the August 9 recall vote. Expect the Rethugs to pull out all the stops to suppress votes for the Democratic side, because they can't win on the merits, or in a fair fight.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

McConnell Blinks

No more "fear the turtle?" Senate Rethug leader Mitch "Blinky" McConnell is proposing a way out for Rethugs who've climbed out on the no- raising- the- debt- ceiling- if- you- tax- the- wealthy limb. Apparently, the Wall Street money boys part of the Rethug base was starting to get their panties in a bunch over the prospect of an August default and let Blinky know it was time to introduce the teatard part of the Rethug base to reality. Now let's see how Blinky and his craven colleagues handle the blowback from the teatardists. This could be the Best. Train. Wreck. Ever!

(Image: Sen. Blinky the Turtle)

Photo Scan of the Wingnut "Brain"

(Click to enlarge slightly and read all the "revelations"))

(via Wonkette)

Rethug Robocalls In Wisconsin: "Don't Need to Vote"

Today is Recall Tuesday in Wisconsin, where a primary is being held to determine which Democrats will face the 6 Rethuglican State senators being recalled. And, as one has come to expect, the dirty tricks are continuing (you may recall Rethugs are running fake Democrats in order to keep anyone from getting a majority of votes, thus requiring a costly runoff). Registered Democrats report getting calls from an out-of-state outfit presenting themselves as a "right to life" group, telling them that they needn't go out to vote because an absentee ballot is on its way to them!

We're used to Rethug dirty tricks in Maryland. Last gubernatorial election, the Rethugs were robocalling to keep Democrats away from the polls ("the election's already decided; you don't need to go vote!"). Those assfarts are being prosecuted, as we hope the ones trying to pull these tricks in Wisconsin will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law as well.

Betty Ford

A memorial is being held today in Palm Desert, California, for former First Lady Betty Ford, who passed away Friday at age 93. Her husband, President Gerald Ford, passed away in 2007. A most admirable woman, Mrs. Ford was best known for her down-to-earth honesty and candor, and for establishing the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and alcohol treatment. She freely and courageously spoke of her own problems with alcoholism and of the everyday problems associated with parenting three sons and a daughter. Pro-choice and a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment, Mrs. Ford would find it hard to be accepted in today's Republican Party.

At her memorial today, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter was asked to be one of the eulogists, the Ford and Carter families having grown to be good friends over the past 30-plus years.

Unfortunately, they don't make them like Betty Ford anymore.

We Don't Need No Education

It's a fact that most teabaggers "don't know much about history," and they want to make sure American kids don't either. One teabagger group calling themselves "Independence Hall Tea Party Association" actually wants to eliminate public schools, and replace them with private schools funded through vouchers that would come from tax funds. The right wing has been pushing school voucher programs for many years, and now their tea party troops want to take it to the extreme. Is it about the fact that public teachers' unions are overwhelmingly Democratic? It's a likely explanation, but whatever the reason, the teatards need to be stopped cold on this issue. The public education system was a major factor in America's development, and it continues to educate those of limited economic means. Sadly, though, it looks as though our schools failed the teatards.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The scandal enveloping right-wing media pirate Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch continues to spread. Now we learn that former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cellphone was hacked and information about his newborn's cystic fibrosis condition revealed by Arrgh! Murdoch's despicable papers. We wonder when the U.S. version of these British scandals will erupt and implicate his media propaganda machine's tactics here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wining Ryan

House Rethuglican Budget Chair and teatard favorite Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan is fond of saying that the government needs to live within its means. His idea of "saving" Medicare was to turn it into a voucher system, where seniors would be at the tender mercies of a profit-driven health insurance industry. He advocates austerity for working and middle class America, but doesn't want the wealthy to share in the sacrifice.

What better image of a self-promoting flim-flam artist than Lyin' Ryan dining with two fat cats over two $350 bottles of wine to show that austerity doesn't involve him? One of his dining partners was the appropriately named Cliff Asness, who manages a major hedge fund, and who told a diner who approached their table and questioned Lyin' Ryan's expensive tastes to eff off. Having money doesn't mean having class.

(photo: Indigestion?)

Minnesota (Not) Nice

Flailing Rethug candidate Tim "Pawlenty of Nothin'" Pawlenty is watching his bid for the Rethug nomination slowly evaporate, and his new strategy seems to be poking fingers in the eyes of other Rethug candidates. First, it was his "Obamneycare" crack against Mittens Romney, but he backed down from the comment at a Rethug debate. Now, he's fired his pea-shooter at fellow Minnesotan Michele "American Loon" Bachmann. Yesterday, he said that the American Loon's record in Congress was "non-existent." Bwahahaha. Actually, it exists, but it consists of backing only the most lunatic far-right policies.

Now, we'll see if Pawlenty of Nothin' will be wearing his man pants and defend his comment at the next Rethug debate, or whether he'll back off. We're betting the latter.

Quote of the Day

From The Rude Pundit's live blogging of Obama's news conference on debt ceiling talks this morning:

"11:52: The takeaway: Is that a Boehner in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us?"

Winning Ways

Who isn't thrilled by the U.S. Women's performance in the Women's World Cup, after their dramatic 5-3 shootout win over the Brazilian team? The stars of the game, goalie Hope Solo (as pretty as J-Lo, but with more grit), forward Amy Wambach and defender Ali Krieger, never gave up, despite falling behind Brazil. Now they're in the semi-finals.

What a team, and one that, whatever happens from here on out, is one we can be proud of.

Beating a Dead Hobby Horse

Only because you have demanded it, we offer you 2 (two!) pieces today in the Great Non-Debate over government benefits and recessionary spending:

-- this, on the prospect of the recovery fading as government benefits start to run out; and

-- our go-to guy, Paul Krugman, on popular (but wrong-headed) right-wing hobby horses that wingnuts use as excuses for government non-intervention, and that too many others passively accept.

UPDATE: The hobby horses are running wild today! Here's Peter Beinart on false fiscal narratives.

A Brief Note to Readers

In light of a few back-and-forths with a drop-in True Believer, I want to share a policy about conducting "debates" in the comments portion of this blog.

We believe healthy debates are exchanges of views where each side brings facts and arguments exhibiting reasoning to the table. Non-debate means going back-and-forth with an antagonist who is not using reasoning at all, but simply cherry-picked talking points that have come from an alternate reality. We won't waste precious brain cells "debating" people who insist, for example, Obama's a socialist, man-made global climate change is a hoax, restraining public spending in an economic downturn is good policy, or that the earth is really flat -- or that Canada and the United States are comparable economic and political systems with parallel recent histories.

So that, readers, is that.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

More Sunday Reading: Economics 101

Here's more reading to follow up on the post below, regarding the dumbassery of austerity in a recessionary period (and, yes, it's by another "faculty lounge product", but not one graduated by Glenn Beck University like "Stultis"). He's actually a Nobel laureate.
(Image: Am that u, Stultis?)

Sunday Reading: Cutting Our Way Back to the Depression

This Sunday's must-read is an article in the Kaplan Daily by historian Robert S. McElvaine, "Want to Avoid Another Depression? Try Understanding the First One" (sorry, no link). His point is that recovery from the Great Depression was stalled and nearly torpedoed in 1937 by the same policies Rethugs are pushing in today's economic environment - "slashing spending, concentrating ever more wealth and income at the top, and blocking effective regulation." McElvaine writes:
"The 2009 stimulus staved off a second Great Depression, but it should have been much larger to produce a genuine recovery. Subsequently, even with majorities in both houses, the Democrats let the GOP define the argument and failed to force through needed programs to get the economy back on its feet... The goal of Republicans today, though, is to use the claim that we cannot afford social programs as an excuse to go back to the halcyon days of Calvin Coolidge."

It's somewhat understandable why the facts-averse, low-information, history-on-its-head numbnuts on the right want to pursue the same ideologically rigid policies that led to disaster nearly 75 years ago. They can't help themselves. But why otherwise intelligent, rational people who are nominally Democrats feel they have to go along with this remains one of the great political mysteries of the decade.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Murdoch's Watergate?

This morning, Carl Bernstein wonders if the unfolding phone hacking scandal involving henchmen of the despicable right-wing mogul Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch is his Watergate. (Bernstein should be a good judge of the parallels, right?) As far as the rotting fish (the now-defunct "News of the World") stinking from the head ("Arrgh!"), Bernstein notes (our emphasis):
"As anyone in the business will tell you, the standards and culture of a journalistic institution are set from the top down, by its owner, publisher, and top editors. Reporters and editors do not routinely break the law, bribe policemen, wiretap, and generally conduct themselves like thugs unless it is a matter of recognized and understood policy."

We live in hope that someday soon the exposure and unraveling of Murdoch's ugly brand of "journalism" in the States will occur as it is in the UK.

(Image: Short Dong Slither (a.k.a. "Arrgh!"))

Spine in the Senate

"They're (the Obama White House) making a grievous mistake if they think they can just present anything to us and assume that because we're Democrats, we'll go along with what the president has capitulated to." -- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

"If they bring to the Senate a piece of crap that really comes down heavy on working families and children and the elderly and they expect me to matter-of-factly vote for it, they'll have another think coming." Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

The House Progressive Caucus is also backing Minority Leader Pelosi's line in the sand on Social Security and Medicaid/Medicare. Illegitimi non carborundum!

Working To Make America Fail

Rep. Michele "American Loon" Bachmann pretty much summed up the Rethuglican strategy going into the 2012 elections: bad economic news is good news for us, so let's make some bad news happen. And whatever the Rethugs can do to generate bad news -- from obstructing recovery legislation to holding an increase in the debt ceiling hostage -- they'll do it gladly. When asked yesterday on CNBC if higher unemployment would increase her chances of being elected, ol' crazy eyes said, "Well, that could be. Again, I hope so."

We need to keep reminding people of Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell's response when asked last January what Rethug priorities were. He didn't mention jobs, the economy, or the debt. Missy said,
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Friday, July 8, 2011

Obama "Transformational"? Not So Much

Michael Tomasky, writing in the Daily Beast, doesn't see much hope now or in the future for Obama to hold the line -- any line -- against the Rethugs. Thus, rather than being a transformational President as Obama had said he wanted to be, he's turning out to be a transactional President. Tomasky posits that Obama would rather be the most reasonable, unflappable man in the room than fight for a principle.

His analysis seems to be bearing out time after time.

Weekend Stand Up Song

We're going back to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers again (no, Michele "American Loon" Bachmann, you can't play this one at your rallies either!). Let's hope the President and Democrats in Congress show some hitherto unseen spine and conviction in dealing with the Rethug hostage-takers over the coming weeks (riiiight!).

Quote of the Day

"Democrats are still offering recalcitrant Republicans the deal of the century rather than taking to the ramparts. What's wrong with them?" -- Ezra Klein in today's Kaplan Daily (from Klein's blog - no link). What, indeed.

Badass Badger

This has to be a Wisconsin badger, with narration by Marcus "Mr. Michele" Bachmann (according to Silver Spring bureau chief and unimpeachable source Brian):

(h/t Brian)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

E Coli Conservatism On The Rise

The headlong drive for far-right Rethug legislators to gut health, safety and environmental regulations in order to benefit the bottom lines of their corporate donors is underway. Georgia Rethug Rep. Jack "Jackass" Kingston wants Feds to lay off the private sector, who "self police" themselves, according to Jackass Kingston. Riiiiiight! When the bottom line trumps every other consideration (see, BP oil spill, Massey Coal Co., etc.), why not trust the corporate biggies to do the right thing?

Another reason why we need to take Congress back from these amoral SOBs.

Murdoch's Hacking Scandal, Cont'd.

According to James Murdoch, Chief Executive Officer of NewsCorp, the United Kingdom's rag "News of the World" will cease publication on Sunday, July 10, following a growing firestorm of revelations about the paper's hacking of private cellphones. It looks like the beginning of the unraveling of media pirate Rupert "Arrgh" Murdoch's control of the British press.

It's a good start, but the U.S. needs to investigate whether the right-wing media mogul has invaded the privacy of U.S. citizens through hacking and other devious means. Fux, the Wall Street Urinal, the New York Pus and other right-wing propaganda outlets should be under the microscope, and nailed hard if they engaged in the same despicable actions.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Murdoch's Hacking Scandal

News Corp.'s unspeakably despicable mogul Rupert "Arrgh!" Murdoch possibly has both of his wrinkly tits in a ringer as a result of a burgeoning phone hacking scandal in Great Britain. The tabloid involved in the scandal, "News of the World," is part of Murdoch's News Corp. (as is Fox "News", the NY Post, and Wall Street Urinal in this country). The tabloid is the target of calls in Parliament for an inquiry into how cell phones of a murdered 13-year-old girl and victims of the 2005 terrorist bombing in London were hacked by a News of the World investigator. Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of News of the World at the time and is now head of Murdoch's News International, is the most senior Murdoch employee coming under fire at this time. Since the Murdoch empire is a family business closely controlled by Murdoch and his son James, one can easily imagine that the trail of soulless behavior leads right to their doorstep.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
The Rethugs will cause an economic calamity, and still the broken media will blame both parties.

Mid-Week Song

On this day in 1957, at the Woolton Church Parish Fete in England, Paul McCartney and John Lennon met for the first time. Lennon was in a skiffle band, The Quarry Men, and McCartney wanted to be included, showing Lennon and other band members how to tune a guitar. To coin a phrase, the rest is history, and one of the great songwriting duos in history was created.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Is He Or Isn't He?

The internet tubes are abuzz with cross-chat about Marcus "Mr. Michele" Bachmann's sexual orientation.* Our favorite take from this collection by Gawker is by James Urbaniak:
"He's a cure-the-gay therapist out of a John Waters movie. I haven't seen flames this high since the last California wildfire."

The linked-to page includes a link to a short clip of Mr. Michele. We urge you to check it out and then begin to form your own opinion.

* We at Hackwhackers don't give a rat's ass what anyone's sexual orientation is (nor should anyone else) -- except in cases of self-loathing hypocrites, be they heterosexual or homosexual.

Quote of the Day

"What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers. Nor have there been meaningful reforms that might prevent a repeat catastrophe. Time may heal most wounds, but not these. Chronic unemployment remains a constant, painful reminder of the havoc inflicted on the bust’s innocent victims." - the incomparable Frank Rich, writing in New York Magazine about our new gilded age elites, who escaped accountability from the financial collapse, and the President's failure to address it. It's worth reading, as always.

Gov. Krispycreme's Bait and Switch

This past spring, when New Jersey Democratic lawmakers were pressured by New Jersey's obese blowhard Gov. Chris "Kris Krispycreme" Christie to cut budgets for public employee pensions and health reform, they thought Krispycreme would be satisfied if they voted for his budget. (ed.- six dozen doughnuts wouldn't satisfy him) They were wrong, as New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney found out the hard way.

Gov. Blowhard not only made further cuts in programs that affect the poor and working families, he redirected $150 million in education funds to wealthy New Jersey suburban schools. On top of that, Krispycreme refused to talk to Sweeney about the bait-and-switch, and now Sweeney's furious.

While Krispycreme's gravitational pull may equal that of the moon, it's no reason to get sucked in by him on state budget matters. He thinks he's on a roll, with the Beltway Village media smooching his immense ass, so he'll continue to deal in bad faith as long as the Dems let him.

(photo: "Gotcha!")

Even A Blind Squirrel. . .

. . .finds a nut once in a while. This is even true for right-wing blind squirrel and New York Times op-ed bloviator David "Bobo" Brooks, who discovers a nut about the fanatical intransigence of Rethugs on the debt ceiling, ending with this:
"If the debt ceiling talks fail, independents voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. And they will be right."
Congrats, Bobo, on your discovery. But where have you been the past 30-odd years when the Rethug right was waging all-out war on gummint, protecting the super-rich and demonizing the working poor? This is nothing new.

(Image: Bobo the Squirrel)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

"This country now possesses the strongest credit in the world. The full consequence of a default--or even the serious prospect of default--by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate….The risks, the costs, the disruptions, and the incalculable damage lead me to but one conclusion: the Senate must pass this legislation before the Congress adjourns." -- Rethug icon St. Ronnie of Hollywood, in a letter to the Senate in November, 1983.

Amazing how far to the right the current nihilist Rethugs have moved, even past St. Ronnie. They'd probably write him out of the party if he were alive today.

Atlas Bombed

We had to laugh when we saw this item:
"'Atlas Shrugged: Part 1,' the low-budget adaptation of the first third of (Ayn) Rand’s dystopian novel, grossed $4.6 million during its five-week theatrical run this spring. After the film drew scathing reviews, producer John Aglialoro said he was reconsidering whether to move forward with two sequels. Now Aglialoro has resumed those efforts, according to producer Harmon Kaslow, and will devote all revenue from the release of “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” to financing 'Atlas Shrugged: Part 2.'"
Since sequels are often less profitable than the original movie, we're hoping the producer has six or more sequels planned.

(h/t to Balloon-Juice)

Happy Fourth Of July

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Barack Herbert Hoover Obama"

That's the title of a pithy blog today by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, commenting on President Obama's weekly radio address, in which no mention was made of ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. Looks like the ransom will be paid to the Rethugs.

Rethug Family Values, Cont'd.

Ohio State Representative Robert "Ick" Mecklenborg (R-Hornytown) has been a staunch legislator for restricting the rights of voters in Ohio, specifically for requiring a state-issued photo ID to vote. Many minority and young voters rely on public transportation (or their feet) and don't have a driver's license. Not coincidentally, these same voters tend to vote overwhelmingly for Democrats. How convenient!

Well, it appears that Ick was arrested in April for DUI, with a 20-something girl in his car and Viagra in his system. But it's OK, Ick is a Rethuglican, so he gets to stay in office. Rethug family values: never having to say you're sorry.

Rick Perry - The Perfect Rethug Combination

"(Texas Rethug Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry) talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." -- Democratic attack dog James Carville on CNN Tuesday (via We like that all-too-common combination, too, except when it comes to voting in the national, as opposed to partisan, interest.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Weekend Anti-Bachmann Song

This is the song the Michele "American Ghoul" Bachmann campaign tried to cop from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers until they told the Bachmann douchenozzles to cease and desist. Hee-Hee. Enjoy.