Friday, September 30, 2011

The Mainstream Media Muffs It

The Great Muffin Scandal of 2011 seems to have been, uh, half-baked. You'll remember the Village media outcry when the story of the $16 muffins served by a hotel at a Justice Department skull-spin was uncovered. Zounds!! Another case of Gummint waste! Every reason to cut spending!!

Well, it turns out that the mainstream media's Great Muffin Scandal was a case of the media taking some numbers and, in their inimitable fashion, misunderstanding them. While we understand that journalism isn't the preferred major of mathematicians or scientists, at least they could do some simple checking with the hotel before running with a "story." As it turns out, the "$16 muffins" included the price of a full continental breakfast plus tax, and actually came to a slightly more modest $14 and change. But the "$16 muffin" is a much sexier story than "$14 continental breakfast," so our heroes in the media ran with it.

(photo: "Get me re-write! And a muffin!")

Weekend Twofer

This is going to be a beach (Atlantic) weekend, so the first musical offering is from Beach House, a "dream rock" duo that formed in Maryland. They call to mind, IMHO, the Velvet Underground with Nico. Then we have the Lovin' Spoonful with a lesser-known gem. Have a wonderful weekend!

al Qaeda Leader Killed in Yemen

One of al Qaeda's most significant leaders was killed today in a drone strike in Yemen, according to Administration officials. U.S.-born Anwar al Awlaki has been hunted for years, and was a key player in numerous terrorist actions, including the Ft. Hood shootings and the attempt to place bombs in printer cartridges on air freight carriers. The Yemeni branch of al Qaeda is regarded as the most dangerous of the various franchises, and al Awlaki was the leader in that organization. Kudos again to the Obama Administration, which has followed through on its promise to root out al Qaeda.

Rethuglican pooh-poohing to begin in 3, 2, 1. . .

UPDATE: That didn't take long. Bushite neocon and wingnut flamethrower John "Snowy Stache" Bolton said "I would not read cosmic consequences into it." Right, it didn't kill over 4,000 American servicemen and women, like the concocted rationale for invading Iraq, so it's not "cosmic." Next!

UPDATE II: Randian kook Ron Paul calls it an "assassination" of a U.S. citizen without benefit of a trial. Yes, we should have served an arrest warrant instead. Next!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Debt Presidents

Class Warfare Poll of the Day

The Kaplan Daily/Pew Research has a new poll out showing that Americans, to the extent they see "class warfare" going on, think Rethugs are favoring the "haves" while Obama is favoring the "have nots" by significant margins. Polls have also shown that even self-identified Rethugs favor taxing the rich more equitably. So, the answer to the question for the average American "Who is on your side?" seems like a no-brainer. For the Rethugs, who have long used the "us versus them" style of campaigning and governing, this can't be the way they want to see the 2012 election framed.

All the more reason to frame it that way.

Jon Stewart Takes Krispycreme At His Word; Media Won't

As was noted yesterday, the punditocracy continues to pretend that New Jersey Gov. Chris "Kris Krispycreme" Christie is thinking about running, mainly to prolong the "will he or won't he" game to boost ratings and keep the manufactured drama alive. Here's Jon Stewart's take down of the media nitwits who won't take Krispycreme's three dozen "no's" for an answer. "YOU hear what you want to hear; everyone else hears 'I'm not running.'" How true.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quote of the Day

"The only people more desperate for Chris Christie to enter the GOP race than Republican bigwigs are national political reporters. Much easier to cover the candidates jockeying for position than, say, the assorted economic and budget issues that should define the race." -- David Kurtz, Talking Points Memo blog.

For example, watching the ninnies on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" gush for no less than 20 minutes this morning about Governor Krispycreme as the Nation's savior confirms that view. For national political "reporters," it's the horse race, the game score, the "who's hot, who's not" gossipy angle to politics. Heaven forbid they take their jobs seriously and probe his positions on issues.

Mid-Week Song

As radio DJs used to say when introducing a song from the past, we're going to the "back of the rack" for Donovan's melancholy love song from 1964, his first hit record. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Far Right's Demons

In a disturbing display of "American Taliban" fanaticism, a deranged man started shouting at President Obama from the audience at an appearance last night in Los Angeles. Before Secret Service agents could hustle him away, he shouted that "Jesus Christ is God," and "Barack Obama is the Antichrist."

With right-wing fundamentalist organizations attacking the President, it's not surprising that a Talibangelist would eventually show up at a Presidential event and disrupt it. What's especially disturbing, however, is the "Antichrist" label, which seems to be an end of times/rapture theme on the far right. For them, it constitutes a call to arms, with all the ominous implications for the President's security.

Today's Class Warfare Cartoon

(Matt Wuerker via

Vive Le Mitt!

With renewed clamor from the Rethuglican establishment to get New Jersey Gov. Chris "Kris Krispycreme" Christie into the Rethug race for President, it's worth remembering that Krispycreme may not pass muster with the Muslim-hating core of the radical right that makes up the Rethug base. Let's remember that Krispycreme appointed a Muslim to the New Jersey court, and defended his decision by saying that those people that talk about "Sharia law" being imposed are "crazy." Those "people", of course, being the teatard Rethug base.

Now we learn that erstwhile frontrunner Willard "Mittens" Romney spent a number of years in France, and is fluent in French. Sacre bleu!! How can a nomination for the party of the know-nothing, nativist, belligerent far-right possibly go to a cheese-eating, surrender monkey-speaking rich boy? Have fun with that situation, Rethugs!

(photo: Ask him something in French!)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

From the Kaplan Daily obituary of Doritos chip inventor Arch West, who died last week at age 97:
"Mr. West’s cremated remains will be placed in an urn and buried in a vault, his daughter said. At a memorial service, family members will dust his grave with a layer of Doritos. Ashes to ashes, crunch to crunch."
You were there for us when the chips were down. Adoritos, Mr. West. Vaya con doritos to that couch in the sky. (OK, we'll stop).


Monday, September 26, 2011

Breitbart's Racist Rethug Followers

Angry right-wing turd-squeezer Andrew "White And Not So" Breitbart is always among the first to yell "You lie!" when someone accuses any of his minions in the tea bagger movement (a.k.a., Rethug/ New Confederate Party base) of racism (when he's not editing video to trump up phony controversies with his protege James "G. Gordon Diddy" O'Keefe). Well, Little Green Footballs took on the onerous but helpful task of plumbing the comments of Breitbart's web site-cum-sewer to cull the sinkers and floaters commenting on President Obama's recent appearance before the Congressional Black Caucus. Anyone still wondering if progressives are fighting the good fight need only take a look at this to see who's on the other side. (Warning: you might want to put on your mental Hazmat suit before reading some of this s**t.)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quote of the Weekend - From 75 Years Ago

The more things change, the more Rethugs remain the same:

"As for the Republicans -- how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical 'American heritage'...) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead."

-- H.P. Lovecraft to C.L. Moore, August 1936!!

(h/t Driftglass)

Sunday Morning Reading

We've been focusing recently on the cries of "class warfare" from Rethugs who are determined to protect the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals from increased taxes. Seventy-five percent of the public supports tax increases on the wealthy, so it should be a cause the Dems can win. Should be. Sally Kohn's article in today's Kaplan Daily lays out a case for joining the battle with the plutocrats and their Rethug hired hands. A sample:
"...'class warfare' accurately describes a situation in which 400 people control more wealth than the poorest 150 million Americans combined. If 'class warfare' isn’t the richest of the rich fighting tooth and nail against unions and any tax increases while record numbers of people lose their homes, what is?"
President Obama shouldn't fear casting it in terms of an economic war that's been waged on the middle class for at least 30 years by the plutocracy. He should know that if he fights for them in this economic war, the middle class will respond.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
Executions? Yeah!
Dying Patient Without Insurance? Let Him Die!
Gay Soldier in Iraq? BOOOOO!

The bloodthirsty, radical, anger trolls of the teahadist right are showing themselves before a national audience, and that audience is recoiling.

Walker's Troubles Continue

The ongoing investigation involving Wisconsin's Rethuglican Gov. Scott "Too Much Johnnie" Walker (R-Koch Industries) is taking an ominous turn for the union-busting wingnut Governor. His spokesman, Cullen "Where" Werwie has been given immunity, along with two supporters of the Governor, as the investigation into whether Walker had public employees engaged in political activities on the public payroll while he was Milwaukee County executive. And Where Werwie? Only time will tell.

Too Much Johnnie's already "lawyered up," so this investigation promises good times.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Wingnut Pundits No Likee "Hair" Perry

Well you can be sure we missed the Rethuglican candidates debate/crackpot festival from Florida the other night. Apparently, a number of wingnut pundits weren't so lucky and chose to sit through the spectacle. Sad.

They didn't much care for Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry's performance. Here are a few brief reviews:

-- Wee Willie Kristol ("Weakly" Standard): "Yikes."

-- Eric ("Son of Eric") Erickson (Red State): "...train wreck."

-- (M)Ann Coulter: Perry was "losing debate with his own tongue."

Um, what took you so long to figure him out, numbnuts?!

Krugman on the Social Contract and "Class Warfare"

Another interesting article by Paul Krugman on the notion of the social contract (with props to Elizabeth Warren!), and Rethuglican whining about "class warfare." Here's a portion of the article:

"Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. [Paul "Rand"] Ryan has called the deficit an 'existential threat' to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.

Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like."

Weekend Going and Coming

In honor of R.E.M.'s calling it quits after a great, influential 30-year career, here's one of my favorites of theirs.

Now, compare and contrast this by the rather obscure (but still around) Generationals:

Have a wonderful weekend!

Picture of the Day

Hair stylist Isis Brantley was stopped by TSA officials in Atlanta's airport when she refused to submit to a search of her hair, which has not been cut for 41 years (!!!).

While that's some major, major 'fro, it seems a bit much to conduct a full cranial search.

The Few. The Proud. The Silent But Deadly.

Had it not been for The Colbert Report, this story would have wafted by us: "Marine Corps Bans Audible Farting In Afghanistan."

Apparently, a number of Afghans were offended by the Marines' um...openness. But not offended by whipping women who fail to wear a burka or who go to school.

On the positive side, we think this opens a new chapter in stealth warfare. Semper Fttt!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rethug Crime Blotter - Fugitive From Justice Edition

Attention all cars! Attention all cars! Be on the lookout for a dumpling-faced, pig-eyed man named Daniel Gordon... make that Rhode Island Rethuglican State Rep. Daniel Gordon, Jr.! Suspect is wanted in Massachusetts for failing to appear in court on charges of evading a police officer. Suspect has a rap sheet for attempted murder, assault and drug charges. Suspect also has a reputation as a cyber-bully. 10/4.

(BTW, what kind of lame opposition research operation do those RI Dems have that this guy got elected with his history? Just wonderin'.)

(Photo: Suspect is considered oily and extremely loathsome.)

Mid-Week Song

Seattle's progressive folk band Fleet Foxes initially enjoyed greater success in Europe than in the U.S. in years past. That's been changing: their 2008 album, Fleet Foxes, was named Album of the Year by Billboard's Critic's Choice. Here's a track off of their latest album, Helplessness Blues.

Up To Their Usual Tricks

While the Beltway Village media continues to pretend that the Rethugs have serious differences over policy with the Obama Administration on the economy, clearly it's all about sabotaging any Federal measures to create jobs. Case in point: the letter the Rethug Congressional leadership sent to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, asking the Federal Reserve not to assist in further economic stimulus by increasing the money supply and easing unemployment.

As the 2012 election nears, expect the Rethugs to pull out all stops in desperately trying to undermine economic recovery. Combined with the Rethugs' protection of the wealthiest Americans and multi-national corporations on tax policy, this should give Dems a powerful populist advantage -- if they use it well and often.

Warren Gains in Polls

With almost 14 months left to go before the 2012 elections, it's premature to draw conclusions from current polling. That's certainly true in terms of the Presidential campaign. However, the poll that's showing Massachusetts Dem Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren jumping to a 3-point lead lead against Rethug Sen. Scott "Centerfold" Brown is exciting. Just a month ago, Warren was behind Centerfold in some polls as much as 19 points.

Warren will face a field of fellow Dems for the Dem nomination, and we hope that Massachusetts Dems will have the wisdom to avoid nominating some old ward healer instead of Warren.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Boehner To Be Primaried

Davis Lewis, a 26-year-old tea bagger, has announced he will run in the Rethuglican primary against House Speaker John "Orange Boner" Boehner (Obstructionist-OH). [Let us pause for a moment of schadenfreude.] Among the reasons Lewis is running against Orange Boner is that Lewis wants to phase out Social Security, and because Orange Boner won't do that, Lewis says he's a "socialist". [Pausing for more schadenfreude.]

Brings to mind that saying, "When you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas."

(Photo: Orange Boner, him have a sad.)

The A's Have It

Every so often a commercial appears that's so absurdly funny, it sticks with you. Take it away, AAAAAAA....

Obama's New Hardline Approach

It's a good thing that President Obama has realized that the GOP (Great Obstructionist Party) won't deal in good faith with him on any measures to boost the economy. The Rethuglicans have calculated that if the economy remains weak, they win in 2012, and they're counting on low-information voters to blame the White House, rather than to look a little deeper at who was obstructing recovery efforts. Hopefully in a sign of things to come, Obama hit the Rethug millionaire tax "class warfare" nonsense head-on yesterday in a Rose Garden speech. As the Kaplan Daily's Dana Milbank noted:
"Let us begin by stipulating that President Obama’s new budget plan is unrealistic, highly partisan and a non-starter on Capitol Hill. That’s what’s so good about it. At last, the president hasn’t conceded the race before the starter’s gun, hasn’t opened the bidding with his bottom line, hasn’t begun a game of strip poker in his boxer shorts. Whichever metaphor you choose, it was refreshing to see the president in the Rose Garden on Monday morning delivering a speech that, for once, appealed to the heart rather than the cerebrum."
Indeed. The Dems will find that the majority of the public wants tax reform and the wealthiest to pay their fair share of taxes, particularly if programs for the middle class are going to suffer more cuts. Regardless of the legislative outcome, this is a losing philosophical fight for the Rethugs, who have been exposed as the party for the economic elites at the expense of the middle class.

Monday, September 19, 2011

More "Class Warfare"

Paul Ryan's "Class Warfare" ... on the Middle Class

Even as President Obama is stating his intention of getting the wealthy and corporations to pay their fair share in taxes, Randian Rethug and Eddie Munster look-alike Rep. Paul Ryan (Galt-WI) is whining "class warfare!" Class warfare, indeed! It seems Munster... I mean Ryan and his Rethug oligarch patrons* are all too happy to engage in a little class warfare themselves, as long as it's the middle class continuing to get screwed.

* If you're a Rethuglican office holder in Wisconsin, you're by definition a "Koch-sucker."

(Photo: Munster/Ryan or Ryan/Munster?)

Quote of the Day

"For a generation, Republican policymakers have rigged national tax policy to reward the wealthy, and then reward them some more. We’ve seen the class gap reach Gilded Era levels, only to hear GOP officials again demand that working families 'sacrifice' while lavishing more breaks on the very wealthy. Remind me, who’s engaged in 'class warfare' and 'dividing people'”? -- Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, skewering the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party's "coddling of millionaires and billionaires," as Warren Buffett put it recently.

Despite polls showing an overwhelming majority of Americans want taxes raised on the highest incomes, the Rethugs continue to side with their wealthy benefactors against the middle class. As billionaire Buffett has also said, there's an economic class war underway, and the rich are winning it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Divorced From Reality

It's no secret that Rethug Rep. Michele "The Minnesota Loon" Bachmann makes up her own "facts," except when she's listening to the rubes that attend teahadist events and whisper conspiracy talk to her. Now, she's claiming that Wall Street regulation is "killing the banks," only three years after the minimally regulated investment banking industry brought the economy to collapse. Even among many teahadists, it's a widely unpopular view that, gosh durn it, we're stifling Wall Street's ability to risk the economy again in credit default swaps and worthless derivatives, but that won't stop the Minnesota Loon from espousing it.

Her claim that the Dodd-Frank banking regulation law is killing the banks is nonsense when you look at the double digit profits that these same banks are reporting. That simple fact won't stop the Minnesota Loon from spinning her own reality-free wingnut mythology.

A New Weekend Habit

Unlike days of yore, this Hackwhacker watches little in the way of Sunday talk shows these days. Shows like Press the Meat are dominated by Rethug politicians (Sen. John McNasty always pops up) and right wing spin meisters, and feature panelists who talk over one another and filibuster so that opposing, progressive views don't receive an airing. Same with the weak fare on the regularly lame CNN, also known as "Fox Lite."

I found a refreshing change this weekend on MSNBC watching the new "Up With Chris Hayes." It airs Saturday at 7 a.m. Eastern, and on Sunday at 8 a.m. Eastern. Hayes has a good mix of guests, but the difference is that he brings an intelligence and wit to the discussion, and each guest has an opportunity to speak without annoying talk overs by other guests. A progressive, Hayes also has facts to back his opinions, and will challenge right wing myth-makers without hesitation. When was the last time Dancin' Dave Gregory did that?

They are shows worth watching.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Three notable deaths reported today:

-- Kara Kennedy, 51, Sen. Ted Kennedy's oldest daughter, of a possible heart attack; she had been battling cancer for some time.

-- Eleanor Mondale, 51, daughter of former VP Walter Mondale, of brain cancer.

-- Charles "Chuck" Percy, 91, Former Illinois Republican Senator back when the Republican Party actually had reasonable, moderate people in its leadership.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Big Impression

"I had dinner last night with Jim Perry. I was impressed with him," said Donald "Rump" Trump the day after having dinner with Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry.

We're sure that Rump made an equally deep impression on "Jim." Bwahahaha!

(photo: "I really like Rick Poopy, er, Jim Dandy, uh. . .well you know")

Weekend Song

From 2010, here's Scotland's Belle and Sebastian. Enjoy the weekend.

(Video remix by Richard X [no relation]; directed by Lesley Barnes)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gov. Walker Aide Under Investigation

Randian Koch-sucker and Wisconsin Gov. Scott "Too Much Johnnie" Walker may have a corruption scandal on his hands. Cynthia Archer, a top aide to Walker until her recent abrupt resignation, had her home in Madison raided by law enforcement agents, including the F.B.I. Archer is under scrutiny as part of a wider investigation into allegations that public monies were used for partisan political gain while Walker was Milwaukee County executive prior to his unfortunate election as Governor.

Oh, yes - Walker has now retained legal counsel. Bwahahaha!

(Photo: "Open for Business", indeed!)

Rethug Family Values, Cont'd.

Far-right wingnut Rep. Joe "Deadbeat" Walsh, one of the most extreme critics of President Obama, has been ducking child support payments, and now a court in Illinois is ordering him to explain why he's $100,000 in arrears in payments. Walsh, who refused to attend President Obama's jobs speech, was also a no-show at the court hearing.

The right-wing teahadist Congressman has also been loaning his re-election campaign thousands of dollars, but can't seem to find the money to pay support for his own children. Teahadists love to enforce ethical standards on everyone else, but are the first to violate those standards themselves, and their lip-service to personal responsibility runs counter to their refusal to accept responsibility.

(photo: Stiffing the process-server again)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

White on Rice? Book Alleges Palin Sexytime With B-Baller

The National Enquirer (o.k., not the world's most reputable source) is reporting that the forthcoming Sarah Palin book by Joe McGinniss, "The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin," contains the allegation that Palin had a premarital one-night stand with former pro basketballer (and, sad to say, U. of Michigan great) Glen Rice in 1987. Rice reportedly confirms the account in McGinniss' book. Now, this shouldn't matter to anyone, except that, c'mon, she's a plaster saint in the whitest church in America -- the Rethuglican Party. We suspect his won't go down well with her Afro-phobic base.

Bachmann Blasted by Pediatricians

The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with a statement trying to counter the ignorant comments of Rep. Michele "I See Commies" Bachmann (Loon-MN) at the recent CNN/Tea Bagger race-to-the-bottom debate. (Bachmann asserted that the HPV vaccine caused mental retardation; she was clumsily trying to make points at Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry's (Secessionist-TX) expense over a one-time Perry decision to have girls vaccinated in Texas for the HP virus). Here's what the AAP had to say:
“The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made in the Republican presidential campaign that HPV vaccine is dangerous and can cause mental retardation. There is absolutely no scientific validity to this statement. Since the vaccine has been introduced, more than 35 million doses have been administered, and it has an excellent safety record..."

Regardless, we expect the Rethug's war on science to continue unabated.

Pennsylvania Rethugs Want to Rig Electoral Voting

Pennsylvania Rethugs are hard at work trying to move the goal posts in time for the 2012 elections. We've become familiar with the panoply of Rethuglican voter suppression tools, ranging from the ridiculous (putting out information telling voters to vote on the wrong day, or at the wrong polling place, etc.) to the sublimely ridiculous (mandating voter photo ID cards, trying to disenfranchise student voters, etc.). Now, in Pennsylvania (and to come in other blue states with a Rethug governor like Michigan or Wisconsin?) the Rethugs want to change the method for apportioning Electoral College votes from the winner-take-all system to one that gives votes to whoever wins a Congressional district. Of course, they'll only be proposing this change in Democratic-leaning states; Rethug-leaning states will stay winner-take--ll. The goal, of course, is the "permanent Republican majority" (a.k.a., one-party rule) that Rove/ Limpballs/ and the Koch Brothers long for in their little authoritarian hearts.

Just another reason to defeat these increasingly evil SOBs at every opportunity.

(Image: an excellent book, but not linked in any way to this latest power grab)

Department of Understatement

"I raised about $30 million," [Rick "Hair" Perry] said. "And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended." -- Hair, in the Rethug poo-fest the other night, responding to Minnesota Loon Michele Bachmann's charge that he supported giving young girls the HPV vaccine in return for campaign contributions from drug maker Merck.

Well, he should be offended. After all, his sale price is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, not a mere $5,000.

Elizabeth Warren Running For Senate

Elizabeth Warren's announcement today that she will run against Massachusetts Rethug Sen. Scott "Centerfold" Brown is good news for progressives. She's on a listening tour of the state to introduce herself politically to Massachusetts voters, but is well known nationally as a champion for the middle class against predatory financial institutions. While the Democratic field is currently crowded, we're hoping Bay State Dems have the wisdom to pick Warren to unseat Centerfold and reclaim Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate.

Mid-Week Song

The British group Florence + The Machine is singer Florence Welch, keyboardist Isabella "The Machine" Summers, and other musicians. They are a rising act in the music world, appearing recently on Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and Colbert Report. Nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy last year, Florence + The Machine also placed 51st in the 2011 Time 100 poll of the 100 most influential people in the world (Hmmmm). Here's their 2010 song "Cosmic Love."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
Texas Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry (Secessionist-TX) prayed for rain for his drought-stricken Texas, but got wildfires instead. Any wingnut talk of how this is God's punishment? No. Because "The Ponz" can say whatever, and the fact-denying wingers don't care.

The Angry Right-Wing Mob On Display

While we didn't watch the teabagger / Rethug poofest last night, we saw this report about a moment when Wolf "The Situation. . .Room" Blitzer posed a hypothetical situation about an uninsured man dying in a hospital. When the Wolf Man asked, "are you saying society should just let him die?" several in the teahadist audience shouted "yeah!" before nutty Ron Paul could respond.

This is the angry, greedy, radical right in full view of the public, stripped of the mainstream media's overly polite and timid coverage of them. No doubt that the ones shouting "yeah!" would describe themselves as "Christian," too. Then there's this related study on the racial resentment that motivates teahadists, whose hatred of President Obama has at least as much to do with his race as his policies.

Here's the magic moment when the teabagger crowd yells "Let him die!":

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Tee Vee Event We Won't Be Watching

CNN, the news network that's always several months behind the times, is having its tea bagger sponsored Rethuglican candidates debate tonight. Wolf "The Situation...Room" Blitzer will be asking his "probing" questions, as will mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging teatards in the audience ("How soon after you're elected will you arrest Hussein Obama for treason?"). Everyone will pile on Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry (Secessionist-TX) for his 1935-era "Social Security is a Ponzi scheme" campaign slogan, in a desperate attempt to curry favor with the "get your government hands off my Medicare" low-information teatard voter. There. That's all you need to know. Now you and I can choose among alternate 8 p.m. cable fare, such as A & E's "Hoarders" (going inside a teatard's home?), Bravo's "The Real Wives of Beverly Hills" (a look at the Rethug "job creator" class?), Family's "The Lying Game" (Rethuglican political strategy?), or TruTV's "World's Dumbest" (self-explanatory).

You're welcome!

(Image: content courtesy of Sen. John "Tea Party Hobbits!" McCain)

Stick A Fork In Her?

(click to enlarge)

While she may have another scam left in her, when your latest book has been discounted by 90%, and isn't moving even at $2.59 a copy, you may want to consider that the public is wise to you.


From the Sports Desk

The Hackwhacker brothers had a very rewarding week of football, beginning with the Packers' victory on Thursday over the Saints, followed on Saturday by Wisconsin handily beating Oregon State, Michigan (sporting retro uniforms) winning a thriller over Notre Dame, and yesterday, the Redskins downing the Giants. Then, to make our joy complete, the Dallas Cowpies lost to the Jets on Sunday night (ed. note -- when will sports media jackasses stop calling the Cowpies "America's Team?")

Now, put down those brats and beer, and back away slowly. . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9-11-2001

(Photos: victims of 9/11/01 - click to enlarge slightly)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Ten years ago, ordinary Americans showed us the true meaning of courage when they rushed up those stairwells, into those flames, into that cockpit. In the decade since, a new generation has stepped forward to serve and keep us safe. In their memory, in their name, we will never waver. We will protect the country we love and pass it safer, stronger and more prosperous to the next generation." -- President Obama, making a moving tribute to the heroes among us in his Weekly Radio Address today.

More Rethuglican Hypocrisy

New Mexico's Rethuglican Governor Susana "Gusano" Martinez has been an outspoken critic of undocumented workers, favoring crackdowns and opposing the Dream Act. So when it was revealed that her own grandparents were undocumented immigrants from Mexico, the Governor ended up with huevos on her face.

What was her response? To go on the attack against people that were pointing out her hypocrisy. It won't work, Gov. Gusano. And by the way, you wouldn't be governor if your grandparents had to abide by your rules.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Hey Hey My My, It's the Weekend

"Once you're gone,
You can't come back.
When you're out of the blue
And into the black."

A beautiful (IMHO) acoustic version with typically fierce harmonica.

I Didn't Say What I Said!

Small wonder that secessionist Confederate cowboy Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry's staff is denying that Hair said the things that he wrote in his book, "Fed Up!" The book, published only 10 months ago, is a treatise that could have been written in 1930 by a right-wing crank, and will likely provide the fuel for Hair's implosion. Among Hair's targets in the book? Roosevelt's New Deal. Yes, you read that right. The more that is learned about Hair's bizarre philosophy, the more country club Rethugs are recoiling at the thought of his nomination. While he may be a winner in the far right Rethug primaries, his views are toxic (to borrow an adjective from Turdblossom Rove) in a general election.

(photo: "I didn't say that; some guy named Rick Perry said that.")

Obama Presents Jobs Initiative

The Washington Monthly has a good summary of President Obama's American Jobs Act, which he outlined to a joint session of Congress last night. Whether it will be enough to spur a recovery remains to be seen, but he did score points by pushing back against various Rethug myths (the rich -- "job creators" in Rethug theology -- can and should sacrifice as the middle class has, and wiping out safety and environmental regulations is a "race to the bottom" economically).

The most striking visual image was the Rethug half of the room sitting quietly while Obama proposed measures that they've called for in the past, including tax cuts on small business. Regarding the teabagger Rethugs, it should be clear that this has never been about what's best for the economy, but what's best for their political chances in 2012. They've made the calculation that any economic win for the country is a loss for them politically. Obama's promised to take the fight for the jobs bill to "every corner of the country," and we hope that the message he delivers paints a stark contrast with the reactionary Rethuglican position.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Quote of the Day

Driftglass' take on the horror that enablers in the Rethug "establishment" must be feeling at the ignorance and yahoo-ism on display at last night's candidates debate, on stage and in the audience:
"For 30 years we on the Left have watched facts bounce off of the Republican Base voters ever-thickening yahoo carapace like spitballs off of a Rhino Runner... From what previously invisible treasure cave will physicians suddenly emerge carrying the healing medicines that will break the wingnuts' fever and cure them of the fatal Limbaugh-Hannity Syndrome with which they are so gleefully afflicted?" (My emphasis)

He has a wonderful way with words, doesn't he?!

Virginia's "Obamacare" Suit Rejected

Rethug crackpot Virginia Attorney General Ken "Chooch" Cuccinelli (Secessionist-VA) had his suit challenging the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") tossed out on its sorry ass today by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that Chooch didn't have standing to sue (we suspect Chooch hasn't had anything "standing" in some time now). Nice waste of taxpayers money to satisfy the monomania of this teahadist nitwit.

(Photo: The Chooch sez, "Ayyyyyy!")

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
The 2012 Presidential election will be the first to allow unlimited corporate contributions. The nation's wealthiest plutocrats and biggest corporations already own a major political party, and employ thousands of lobbyists and lawyers to ensure their continued prosperity. Not satisfied with this advantage, they're also going after labor unions nationwide, trying to limit or destroy their political power and organizing. We live in a different country than even a decade ago, and until the middle class realizes that economic war is being waged against it by the plutocrats, it won't change.

Did "Hair" Rip His Knickers?

Secessionist Texas Gov. Rick "Hair" Perry doubled down on his radical right wing views at last night's Rethuglican Presidential debate. The Confederate cowboy repeatedly referred to Social Security as a "Ponzi scheme," which allowed man-of-all-views Willard "Mittens" Romney to score points. Hair's refusal to tone down the crazy talk will get the low-information Rethug mouthbreathers' approval, but it's poison to the general public. The two suits also jabbed back and forth on who was the better job creator. Mittens may want to be careful about talking up his record at Bain Capital, where he presided over acquisitions of companies only to break them up and sell the pieces off, while firing thousands of workers. And Hair's been a career State government official: we didn't know Hair believes 'gummint' creates jobs.

Mostly silent and fading fast was Minnesota Loon Michele Bachmann. Her support has mostly swung to Hair's campaign, and gone was her previous domination of the stage. The other hopefuls looked like they showed up at the wrong house for a party.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mid-Week Letting Go

Some unsolicited advice from the great Ginger Rogers (and Irving Berlin) for President Obama for his Thursday night address on jobs and the economy: "Let yourself go."

What Would St. Ronnie Do?

With the Rethuglican Presidential debate being held at St. Ronnie of Hollywood's Presidential Library, expect each of the winger candidates to pay homage to the late President ad nauseum. But would St. Ronnie pass muster in today's radical far right Rethug Party? The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen thinks not:
"The GOP agenda of 2011 — most notably the 'Cut, Cap, and Balance' plan — would have made Reagan’s entire agenda impossible, including the military buildup that conservatives credit with winning the Cold War. The disconnect between Republicans’ principles and their understanding of history seems important. On the one hand, Republicans have a religious-like reverence for 'Ronaldus Magnus'; on the other, they have no use for his approach to governance. It is, in other words, time for the mainstream to realize that this is no longer the Party of Reagan."
Would St. Ronnie have advocated the State of California secede if they didn't agree with Federal regulations, as Hair Perry has done vis-a-vis Texas? No, he was more careful than that. Hopefully, the Rethug candidates at tonight's debate will try to outdo each other in more and more radical, out of the mainstream jabber. Bring the popcorn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Help Wanted: Guardians for a Lunatic

Minnesota Loon Michele Bachmann's top two campaign staff are being shuffled out of their positions. Ed Rollins and David Polyansky, the campaign chief and deputy chief respectively, are being reassigned to less prominent positions in Lady Cuckoo's campaign. The shuffle reflects her plummeting poll numbers among her dwindling base, who seem to have flocked to cowboy clown Rick "Hair" Perry's campaign.

The Minnesota Loon is infamous on Capitol Hill for the number of Congressional staffers that have resigned in frustration over her goofiness and unprofessionalism. Here it's more a case of abandoning a ship taking on water.

Quick, The Smelling Salts!

The Beltway media and teatard movement are clutching their pearls and rushing to the fainting couch over remarks made by Teamsters President James Hoffa in Detroit yesterday. Hoffa was warming up a crowd of some 13,000 for President Obama, when he got on the subject of the so-called Tea Party:
“Everybody here’s got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let’s take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!”
When you consider the "take these son of a bitches out" in the context of voting, it's rough speech, but it's not the call to violence that the usual "centrist" media suspects are claiming. Yes, it would have been better to have used "vote" instead of "take," but the whole Beltway media approach once again is that it's acceptable to speak this way if you're an angry teabagger, but not if you oppose them.

Quote of the Day

"In a courtroom, justice requires that both sides be equally well represented. If one doesn’t do its job properly, the jury cannot be blamed for a wrong result. If Democrats are going to accept Republican premises, they shouldn’t be surprised if a majority of people eventually conclude that Republicans ought to be in charge of government policy." -- former St. Ronnie of Hollywood advisor, economist Bruce Bartlett writing in the New York Times. There been far too much conceding the Rethug's flawed economic theories in the past 30 years by the Dems. It's so damaging that now, in a jobless recession, we're focused on spending reduction and deficits, the worst course of action.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A Labor Day Thought

“Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Any guesses about who this quote is from? A right winger would assume it came from President Obama, Sen. Bernie Sanders, or some socialist/communist/Muslim free loader, correct? It's a quote from Abraham Lincoln in 1861, and as E.J. Dionne writes in today's Kaplan Daily, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone in public office expressing those sentiments. Today, the cult of the super wealthy plutocrat trumps (pun intended) the working people who are the foundation of wealth in this country. Their condition and issues have virtually disappeared from discussion and view, except for Labor Day. The other days are devoted to lionizing the "entrepreneurs" and young millionaires.

Hopefully, we'll turn the corner soon, and regain the respect we once had for working Americans.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Sunday Prayer


Confessions of a Former Senior Republican Aide

If you read nothing else today, read this fascinating broadside on the "quasi-totalitarian cult" that is the Rethuglican party today by someone who was on the inside: Mike Lofgren. Lofgren, until his recent retirement, was a senior aide and operative on the Rethuglican side on both the House and Senate Budget committees. Read what he has to say about his own (former) party, as well as the clueless, adrift Democrats.

This is just a limited sampling of Lofgren's broad-ranging analysis:
"To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachmann (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy...[snip]

A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption. Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress's generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner...[snip]

It was not always thus. It would have been hard to find an uneducated farmer during the depression of the 1890s who did not have a very accurate idea about exactly which economic interests were shafting him. An unemployed worker in a breadline in 1932 would have felt little gratitude to the Rockefellers or the Mellons. But that is not the case in the present economic crisis. After a riot of unbridled greed such as the world has not seen since the conquistadors' looting expeditions and after an unprecedented broad and rapid transfer of wealth upward by Wall Street and its corporate satellites, where is the popular anger directed, at least as depicted in the media? At "Washington spending" - which has increased primarily to provide unemployment compensation, food stamps and Medicaid to those economically damaged by the previous decade's corporate saturnalia. Or the popular rage is harmlessly diverted against pseudo-issues: death panels, birtherism, gay marriage, abortion, and so on, none of which stands to dent the corporate bottom line in the slightest."
And the kicker:
"If Republicans have perfected a new form of politics that is successful electorally at the same time that it unleashes major policy disasters, it means twilight both for the democratic process and America's status as the world's leading power."
That's precisely why we need Democrats, and especially Barack Obama, to gather themselves, grow some balls, stand up and fight.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Saturday Reading

Michael Tomasky on a possibly pivotal week in the fortunes of the Obama Administration:
"This week has the feel of one that might become retrospectively pivotal. If indeed we are standing there watching as President Perry is sworn in two Januarys from now, and we’re forced to ponder the what ifs, space will be reserved on that list for a week in which the administration made a boneheaded political mistake, presided over a jobs announcement with zero growth, and turned on a key constituency group.

Believe me, I’d rather be writing positive columns. But if I were a sports columnist at The Washington Post and the Redskins had lost five in a row, I could hardly write, 'Hey, gang, everything’s going according to plan.' It ain’t. I have little expectation that they’ll listen to me. I can only hope someone they will listen to breaks through soon, before it becomes too late to turn things around."
So, who the hell is Obama getting his sterling advice from these days? Must be people who have his -- and the nation's -- best interests in mind, like the Club for Growth, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and American Petroleum Institute. Well done, sir!

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

As former (Vice) President Dick "The Dick" Cheney makes the rounds peddling his autobiographical novel, he's reminding us of the unmitigated disaster that was his Administration's domestic and foreign policy, especially in the area of military and national security. What rankles most is his cheap attacks on his betters -- Colin Powell being the most prominent. As chickenhawks like five deferment The Dick come home to roost, let's not forget the ultimate sacrifice that thousands of our soldiers paid for his deceit and blundering.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Suck on This: Obama Caves on Smog Regulations

The Caver-in-Chief is at it again (and you wonder why we have no hope for his upcoming jobs/ economic recovery plan!). The White House today ordered EPA to halt its proposed rule to limit smog, overruling the agency and the unanimous opinion of its independent scientific advisers. In caving on this critical rulemaking, Obama chose to side with Big Business and against the environment only days after his Administration gave its approval to the Canadian tar sands oil pipeline project.

We're certain this will finally ensure what he's been after for the past two years: the Koch Brothers stamp of approval!

(Photo: Future de rigueur beach -- and everywhere -- wear!)

Weekend Fanfare

Monday is Labor Day in America, a holiday established in 1894 by President Cleveland following the end of the bloody Pullman strike. It's worth noting that, over the years, this holiday has morphed from a celebration of labor (i.e., organized labor) into a "last weekend the pool is open"/ "summer's over!" kind of celebration. In these days of Rethuglican/ oligarch-funded assaults on organized labor, let's remember a few of the things we owe organized labor:
-- the 8-hour workday/ 40-hour workweek (a.k.a., your weekend);
-- minimum wage;
-- workplace health and safety standards;
-- child labor prohibition;
-- civil rights (the UAW under Walter Reuther shone); and
-- what's left of the American middle class.
So we think it fitting to offer Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" as our weekend starter. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Why No One Should Expect Much

Ezra Klein writes today about why no one - himself included - should expect much to happen as a result of Obama's address to Congress on jobs and the economy (oh, yes, and we mustn't forget "the deficit" and Obama's validation of that debilitating Rethuglican boogeyman). This Hackwhacker plans to find some alternative programming on the night of the speech (is "American Pickers" or "Holmes on Homes" on?). Why? I believe in my mother's maxim that it's better to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised than to expect rainbows and sparkling ponies and be sorely disappointed.

(Image: The Rethugs always seem to get Obama in the end.)


"Obama Moves Jobs Speech After Skirmish With Boehner"

Sometimes, it's the little impressions that add up to the bigger picture. The President's decision to back down on the date for his all-important address on his jobs plan is a one-day news story. But it does highlight a continuing perception that the President avoids a fight and backs down at the first sign of it. This is what drives his base nuts. Also, either his staff was incompetent in announcing a date that wasn't properly vetted, or they got snookered by the Tan Man again -- or both.

What Obama plans to do on the jobs front is more important to the public than one of a dozen or more Rethug debates (if that was the schedule conflict). He should have made that clear and challenged Orange Boner to disagree.