Saturday, March 31, 2012

The "O" Is Out

Current TV and Keith Olbermann have parted company, and not amicably. Yesterday, the cable channel announced that Olbermann had been fired, and Olbermann responded that he would see them in court. While the details are emerging, it appears that Olbermann thought that Current TV didn't devote the proper resources to his nightly broadcast. Current TV has its own version, so it will all come out in the courtroom wash. Nonetheless, we're sad to see this squabble occurring in progressive broadcasting.

Friday, March 30, 2012

What "GOP" Really Stands For

You would think that with oil companies posting record profits and gasoline prices as high as they are, the Senate would shy away from continuing their $24 billion in subsidies to oil and gas interests. You would be wrong. Yesterday, nearly all Senate Rethuglicans and four "Democrats" voted to retain the publicly unpopular oil subsidies by a 51 - 47 vote, thus unable to reach filibuster-proof 60 votes.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that oil money influenced the vote: the 47 Senators who voted to continue the costly subsidies have received $23,582,500 in contributions over their careers from oil and gas interests, compared to $5,873,600 received by those voting to end the subsidies. Once again, the Rethugs have protected the powerful at the expense of the middle class. Sadly, too many Rethuglican low-information voters won't sniff out this connection, and will continue to harangue Democrats about "wasteful spending," failing to acknowledge the hand in their back pocket belongs to big oil.

Weekend Tribute Song

Earl Scruggs, one of the legendary figures in bluegrass music, died Wednesday at age 88. Teaming with guitarist Lester Flatt, they were one of the most popular acts in bluegrass/country music in the '50s and '60s. His three-finger picking was his signature style, later emulated -- but never equaled -- by other banjo players. Scruggs was also one of the few bluegrass musicians to perform at anti-war rallies in the late 1960s at a time when that could have cost him his career. When his instrumental, "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," was featured in the wildly popular 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, he became nationally known. RIP to a good man.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good Numbers for the President

The latest CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll has President Obama leading his two most likely Rethuglican opponents by double digits. Obama leads Transvaginal Traveler Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum by 13 points (55 - 42), and leads plutocrat prevaricator Willard "Sketchy" Romney by 11 points (54 - 43).

Polls fluctuate from day to day, and we're months away from November. There'll be massive negative ads against the President by the corporate right, so the spread will surely narrow. But for now, the majority of voters are giving the President their vote of confidence.

The Killing of Trayvon Martin, Cont'd.

New video tapes disclosed by ABC News show George Zimmerman, the killer of Trayvon Martin, in police custody minutes after the shooting. Zimmerman's lawyer has maintained that 17-year old Martin was the aggressor, and that Zimmerman shot him in self defense, after being severely beaten by Martin and having his nose broken. The video shows a different story. Zimmerman appears unmarked, except for a scab on the crown of his head. There is no visible bruising or swelling that would indicate a broken nose, or the aftermath of a "severe beating." It's worth noting that Zimmerman out-weighed Martin by about 100 pounds. Watch the video at the above link, and who do you believe: Zimmerman and Co. or your lying eyes?

The more details emerge about this case, the more it reeks of either police incompetence or coverup, not to mention some apparent lying from the Zimmerman camp. That's why a thorough investigation needs to be conducted by state and Federal authorities, and why prosecution of the guilty needs to proceed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

News Item

Savior of the Civilized World and Moon Colony Visionary Newt "Beam Me Up" Gingrich is running low on cash and has been forced to reduce his staff by one-third. With his "campaign" slowly circling the drain, the Great One is now charging $50 for photos taken with him. (Pause)


(image: "Somebody gave me $100 if I wore clown makeup for the picture.")

Mid-Week Local Guy Song

Singer/songwriter Eric Hutchinson hails from the D.C. area, having grown up in Tacoma Park, MD. He's appeared on all of the late night shows from Leno to Letterman, and has toured with Kelly Clarkson and Joe Jackson, among many others. His latest single, "Watching You Watch Him," is a catchy tune, almost a throwback to early rock and roll. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

"Why are people trying to turn these comments into something craven? He’s just saying that a candidate will say anything to get the nomination, then say anything to get elected, then say anything to get a second term, then stand on principle … for six months, until he’s a lame duck. You know, courage." -- Steven Colbert, commenting on last week's gaffe by Willard "Sketchy" Romney communications director Eric Fehrnstrom comparing his candidate's post-nomination positions to his current ones as like an "Etch-a-Sketch" process.

Willard's Personal Lobbyist

Every time we turn around, we see a story that confirms how out of touch and elitist Rethuglican plutocrat Willard "Sketchy" Romney is. The latest howler is that Sketchy has retained a registered lobbyist to navigate permits and to facilitate construction of his planned 11,000 square foot oceanfront mansion in La Jolla, CA. The lobbyist has been paid over $21,000 since 2008 for his services. We're wondering if weird Willard also has a royal food taster on staff, or if he's hired someone to "clean him up" after using the toilet.

(UPATE: Low and behold, weird Willard's mansion also included plans for -- get this -- a car elevator. That's not "1 percent," that's "one tenth of one percent."

(photo: "My good man, you are of a brown hue. Are you available to do light gardening at my estate in California?")

Developments In Syria

Amid ongoing skirmishes in Syria, it's being reported that the Assad regime has accepted a 6-point peace plan offered by U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan. In addition to calling for daily cease-fires to allow evacuation of the wounded, the plan also calls for the beginning of discussions between the Assad regime and opposition representatives.

The question is whether this is a stalling tactic of the Syrian government, as many suspect it is. Exiled opposition groups meeting this week in Istanbul will clearly have to weigh in on the plan. The conflict has already claimed an estimated 8,000 lives.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lieberliar's Up To No Good....Again

Soon to be ex-Senator Joe "Lieberliar" Lieberman (Likud - CT) is the co-sponsor of a bill that would strip thousands of jobs from the U.S. Postal Service in the coming years. What's especially galling about the piously smarmy Senator's role in this bill is the fact that many returning veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for which he was a main cheerleader are employed by the USPS. Here's the basic idea:
"If approved, the Lieberman-Carper-Collins-Brown plan would reduce the amount of money USPS pays annually to prefund the future health-care costs of postal workers, currently set at $5.4 billion annually through 2016....Many of the proposed changes would lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of postal jobs and future postal workers would enjoy less-generous benefits packages."
So Lieberliar is all for our men and women sacrificing themselves to protect us (and, let's be honest, Lieberliar's main concern Israel), but when they come home, Lieberliar's all "thanks for your service, but you're on your own." Sadly, nothing this weasel does surprises us anymore.

(photo: One of a kind love affair)

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The radical right-wing farce that Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan's budget represents won't be going anywhere. But as Center on Budget and Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein says,
"The new Ryan budget is a remarkable document — one that, for most of the past half-century, would have been outside the bounds of mainstream discussion due to its extreme nature. In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids. It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation’s history)."
The income tax cut windfall to the wealthiest Americans -- who have already benefited greatly from Rethuglican tax policies -- from 35% down to 25% would be an enormous loss of revenue, with programs for the middle class being cut to pay for it. The 2012 elections should be a forum for exposing this proposed transfer of wealth to upper income Americans at the expense of the vast majority of the country.

Supreme Court Takes Up Affordable Care Act

Today the Supreme Court begins three days of argument over the Affordable Care Act. Today, the time will be devoted to hearing arguments as to whether the Act can be reviewed at this point, before it is fully implemented in 2014. Tomorrow's agenda will be devoted to the core of the Act: the individual mandate.

There's been speculation about how the Justices will ultimately break. We suspect three certain opponents of the Act would be Justices Clarence "Uncle" Thomas, "Anti" Antonin Scalia, and Samuel "The Whisperer" Alito. Four Justices seem likely to support the Act: Justices Breyer, Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan. The other two? Justice "Don't Call Me Jack" Kennedy and Chief Justice John "Repeat After Me" Roberts are not quite as predictable. Of the nine Justices, Uncle Thomas should recuse himself, since his drunk-caller wife, Ginni Gin Gin, has been active on the wingnut circuit opposing the Act. However, since he lacks judicial integrity, Uncle Thomas won't recuse himself, and is just itching to strike the Act down.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bored On The Bayou

To no one's surprise, Rethug presidential candidate and female purity monitor Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum easily won the Louisiana primary, collecting almost 50% of the mouthbreather vote. Three dollar bill Willard "Sketchy" Romney finished a distant second, and savior of Western Civilization Poot Gingrich picked up the rear (and that's quite a rear to have to pick up -- ba dum dum).

That makes it four Southern states won by Frothy, and keeps his slim chances alive until the next primaries in Wisconsin, Maryland and D.C., on April 3. If Frothy can squeeze out a win in Wisconsin, he can make the claim that he's still competitive in an industrial Midwestern state that's been trending blue for 20 years. The best part, of course, is that this win prolongs the Rethug selection process, and allows the public to see just how far right the Rethug/New Confederate Party and its candidates have moved.

A Wish Fulfilled

Yesterday's heart-transplant surgery on former (Vice) President Dick "The Dick" Cheney was apparently successful. The heart donor is not known, but wouldn't it be ironic if it was from a American Muslim woman?

UPDATE: Ironic indeed. We saw this story about an Iraqi American woman's beating death after this posting.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rethug Crime Blotter, Cont'd.

Former Wisconsin State Senator "Randy" Randy Hopper, you may remember, lost his state Senate seat in a recall last year, after supporting Gov. Scott "Koch-sniffer" Walker's unpopular public employee union-busting gambit and after the married State Senator was caught putting his mistress on the state payroll.

Yesterday, Randy Randy beat drunk driving charges brought against him by Fond du Lac, WI police last year using the novel defense that the police were out to get him because of his anti-union activities. This defense, of course, appeals to every conspiracy nut on the right who sees black helicopters in his dreams, and thinks your local PD is controlled by the black Muslim Kenyan from the White House. It wouldn't surprise us to see Randy Randy engaging in all manner of illegal shenanigans in the future, now that he has a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card, courtesy of the fine burghers of Fond du Lac County.

Empty Suit

Here's Dana Milbank's interesting catch on Willard "Sketchy" Romney's response to the Etch-a-Sketch mega-gaffe:
"Consider Romney’s response when asked about his aide’s claim that the general election would be like an Etch a Sketch, erasing conservative positions he took in the primaries. 'I’m running as a conservative Republican,' the candidate told a group of reporters Wednesday after his town-hall event in suburban Baltimore. He didn’t say he is a conservative Republican; he said he’s running as one. As if this is a persona for this particular campaign."
So many times, Sketchy's spontaneous comments have betrayed his true thoughts ("Corporations are people," "I'm not concerned about the very poor," and the comment that $374,000 in speaking fees isn't a lot of money). Once again, he's exhibiting his persona as opportunistic, tactical, dishonest, and untrustworthy.

(photo: "Ask Mitt Anything" and he'll tell you what he thinks you want to hear...for now)

Friday, March 23, 2012

"If I Had A Son, He'd Look Like Trayvon"

President Obama spoke movingly today about the slaying of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin by a self-appointed vigilante last month, who has still not been arrested by local authorities. The Martin case has mushroomed into a national examination of how our nation has not moved beyond race, and how gun laws in a number of states encourage "shoot first, ask questions later" insanity. The Federal government is investigating the shooting, as are state and local agencies. The President said:
"If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon. I think [Trayvon's parents] are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves, and we are going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."
He went on:
"I think all of us have to do some soul searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident."

Weekend Ex-Couple Song

Belgian-born Australian singer Gotye (GOAT yay) has been getting more and more attention in the U.S., with a voice that is said to resemble Sting or Peter Gabriel. His single, "Somebody That I Used To Know," is in heavy rotation on the radio, as he tours the U.S. (tonight appearing at D.C.'s 9:30 Club). Featured on the single is Kimbra, a lovely singer from New Zealand who has a big following in her own right. (Btw, this video, with its artsy effects and body paint, has well over 120 million views).

Picture of the Day

The Smithsonian's pill-box shaped Hirshhorn Museum took on a dramatic look beginning last night. Artist Doug Aitken's exhibit, SONG 1, is a projection of images covering the entire exterior of the museum. You have to circle around the building to see the entire piece, which is only projected from sunset to midnight. The exhibit runs through May 13.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Bill Maher Said

Writing in an op-ed piece in the New York Times, comedian Bill Maher opined:
"This week, Robert De Niro made a joke about first ladies, and Newt Gingrich said it was 'inexcusable and the president should apologize for him.' Of course, if something is 'inexcusable,' an apology doesn’t make any difference, but then again, neither does Newt Gingrich."
Exactly. Never play the third party apology game with right-wingers; they're not serious about it and they only see it as a political cudgel.

Severely Sketchy

Even the most delusional wingnut has the sense that weird plutocrat and habitual liar Willard "Weathervane" Romney isn't what he claims to be. He won't discuss his record as Governor in Massachusetts because....well, it was a moderate record, comparatively. He doesn't have a good answer to why he claimed he wasn't a "Reagan-Bush Republican" and that he considered himself a pro-choice, pro-gun control independent in the late '80s and early '90s. Instead, he falls back on his corporate record of predatory takeovers, which has its own major problems regarding job creation and profits, but ones which the broken media can't or won't analyze.

We're glad that, once again, a good metaphor has been created to illustrate what an empty, cynical opportunist weird Willard is. He will say anything -- lies included -- to get a vote or two, because he has no core principles that he will stand by.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The more people know about the Rethug plan, the more they'll oppose it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The "Real" Willard

We saw this hilarious mash-up of clips that make the point that well-lubricated weather vane and tree height expert Willard "Flip Flop Mitt" Romney doesn't believe in much beyond his own ambition. They save the best riff for the end ("the other Mitt Romneys...."), just don't play it loudly at your workplace.

BONUS: Willard's communications director said today that Willard can reset his campaign in the fall to appeal to moderates: "Everything changes. It's almost like an Etch-a-Sketch." That should help him with a Rethug base that thinks he's as real as a 3 dollar bill.

Quote of the Day

"...Ryan warned that a generous safety net 'lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency, which drains them of their very will and incentive to make the most of their lives. It’s demeaning.' How very kind: To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut." -- Dana Milbank, commenting on the Rethugs' budget plan for 2013 proposed by Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan. Read his whole breakdown of the proposal to understand how deeply misguided, devious and selfish the proposal is, and how it places all of the sacrifice on those who can least afford it. Hopefully, once the Rethug presidential candidates embrace it, this will be a heavy anchor that sinks them in November.

Mid-Week Song

Indie band The Shins originated in Albuquerque over a decade ago, but now call Portland, Oregon their base. Their music has been featured in movies like Garden State. They're touring to promote their album "Port of Morrow", and appeared last night on David Lettermen. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From The Sports Desk....

It looks as though former Indianapolis Colts superstar quarterback Peyton Manning has chosen the Denver Broncos as his new team. Manning will have to hope that his much-operated on neck will not suffer the blows of oncoming defensive linemen and linebackers next season.

That leaves the Bronco's God-bothering, Jesus-is-my-quarterback Tim "The Chosen" Tebow out in the cold for now. His overly ostentatious kneeling and praying during games has drawn attention in recent seasons, although it hasn't helped his quarterbacking skills. His passing style is reminiscent of a high school JV quarterback throwing a fluttering ball up for grabs. In any event, we wish The Chosen well and, with God on his side, we're certain he'll have a stellar future.

(photo: A second career awaits The Chosen if football doesn't pan out)

Twitter of the Day

No doubt, there are more nice dinners for Poot and his third wife on casino boss Sheldon "Sugar Daddy" Adelson's tab. Better than campaigning in Illinois, right? Bon appetit!

Quote of the Day

"Just get the government out of the way and wait for 'freedom' to solve all of our problems. Once we get pesky safeguards and regulations out of the way, we'll be free to breathe dirty air and drink dirty water; we'll be free of the burdens of affordable medical care; we'll be free to watch Wall Street excesses rob the country blind; we'll be free to slip into poverty into an inadequate safety net full of holes; we'll be free of the homework assigned to college students; and we'll be free to remain dependent on oil indefinitely." -- MaddowBlog's Steve Benen, summing up weird plutocrat Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney's speech in Chicago yesterday. And as we noted in yesterday's post about voter suppression, we'll also be free to be denied our voting rights, except for Rethuglican candidates.

A Ghoulish Budget from the Rethugs

The Rethuglican/Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives Budget Committee, led by goggle-eyed wingnut Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan, has rolled out its proposed budget for fiscal 2013, and it reflects the standard far-right view that programs for the middle class and poor should be the first to be cut, and cut very deeply. It would slash Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants for college, and other programs, while cutting the top income tax rate to 25% (where the top rate is now 35%). Defense spending -- by far the largest part of discretionary spending -- remains intact. Lyin' Ryan also re-introduces his unpopular Medicare "reform" plan, which would convert Medicare into a voucher-based premium support program, ending Medicare for people now 55 and under.

While the Rethug-proposed budget is dead on arrival, it does present the voters with a stark view of the social Darwinist philosophy of the Rethuglicans: spare the top income earners ("job creators") who contribute large sums of money to their campaigns, and sock it to the middle and lower income people, who the Rethuglicans believe only deserve a few crumbs from their table.

(image: Eddie Munster grew up to be a major Rethuglican politician....scary, right?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cartoon of the Day - Inevitable Disasters Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

"Hurray for Health Reform"

On the eve of the Supreme Court hearing arguments for and against the Affordable Care Act, Paul Krugman reminds us why, even with its flaws, the act is something to cheer for, and why the wingnut/teatard opposition (a.k.a., the Rethuglican base) has had to resort to making things up:
"It’s said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies. If the same principle applies to legislation, the Affordable Care Act — which was signed into law two years ago, but for the most part has yet to take effect — sits in a place of high honor.

"Now, the act — known to its foes as Obamacare, and to the cognoscenti as ObamaRomneycare — isn’t easy to love, since it’s very much a compromise, dictated by the perceived political need to change existing coverage and challenge entrenched interests as little as possible. But the perfect is the enemy of the good; for all its imperfections, this reform would do an enormous amount of good. And one indicator of just how good it is comes from the apparent inability of its opponents to make an honest case against it."

Rethugs Push for Voter Disenfranchisement

Attempts by Rethuglican politicians to restrict access to the ballot box by likely Democratic constituencies are longstanding, but have accelerated since the 2010 takeover of numerous state legislatures and Governorships by the Rethugs. The bogus "voter fraud" claim by Rethugs is a solution in search of a non-existent problem: one 2007 study demonstrated that someone is as likely to be struck by lightning as they are to impersonate someone else at the polls.

It's good to see that civil rights organizations and the Justice Department are intervening to prevent Rethuglican politicians from stacking the deck, with the Justice Department blocking the implementation of new voter ID laws in South Carolina, Florida, and Texas. The voter ID laws are specifically intended to suppress low income, minority, and student voting. More suits are pending in several other Rethuglican-controlled states.

The next time you hear a Rethuglican candidate waxing eloquent about "freedom" and "liberty," remember that their party is doing everything it can to deny the right to vote to other American citizens simply on the basis of party preference.

The Killing of Trayvon Martin

The killing of Sanford, Florida teenager Trayvon Martin has sparked widespread media coverage over the past few days. Martin, a 17 year-old African American, was shot three weeks ago by an overzealous self-appointed neighborhood watch gunman as he was walking to a friend's house in a gated community. His apparent crime? Wearing a hoodie while black.

The shooter, George Zimmerman, had an arrest in 2005 for violently resisting arrest and battery on an officer, and is known in his neighborhood for his aggressive tactics and attitude. He was told by a 911 operator not to follow Martin, who was unarmed. Zimmerman ignored the police and confronted Martin. The Sanford police are also being accused of not following procedure in investigating the killing and in not placing Zimmerman under arrest. At the request of the Martin family, the FBI is said to be monitoring the developments.

When armed paranoids like Zimmerman take the law into their hands and start shooting innocent people, it's time the justice system comes down hard on them.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

From the Sports Desk....

The NCAA Men's Basketball tournament almost always has at least one major upset and a Cinderella story or two. Our favorite upset so far was the defeat of Duke University at the hands of Lehigh University. Duke, ranked #2, was upended by #15 Lehigh by a score of 75 - 70.

Those of us familiar with Duke, its fans and its coach, Mike "Ratso" Krzyzewski, couldn't be happier with their early exit and humiliation. Their students/fans are known throughout the ACC as the most obnoxious, arrogant twits. Their coach, who claims renowned anger bear Coach Bobby Knight as a mentor, is an arrogant, wingnut foul mouth, who thinks he is Duke, everything else is second. Good for Lehigh.

(photo: Some have compared the coach's appearance to a rat; you decide.)

Your Too-Cold Beer Warning of the Day

As a public service, Hackwhackers wants you to know the next time you see a beer commercial telling you your beer should be ice cold, remember this:
"Big, corporate breweries -- the Buds, Millers and Coorses of the world -- have long emphasized the requisite iciness at which their beers should be served, going so far as to now peddle temperature-controlled bottles that tell you when your beer is cold enough. The problem with such gimmicks is that too-cold temperatures actually dull the taste of beer. At least, it's a problem if you happen to be drinking a finely crafted microbrew. If you are, indeed, knocking back an ice-cold Coors, the deep freeze will serve to mask its lack of flavor and keep the tingly carbonation intact, further distracting your taste buds." (emphasis added)

(Full disclosure: a Hackwhacker offspring is in the microbrew bidness, not that that would change our opinion of Coors, etc.)

Let The Clown Show Continue

Today's New York Times has an interesting report on the Rethuglican Party's preparations for a floor fight at their convention in August. With human replica and tree height expert Willard "Mr. Inevitable" Romney having major problems closing the deal with the far-right of his party, Rethuglican elites are becoming more resigned to a convention where no one candidate has the required 1,144 delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot. Egomaniac Poot Gingrich and religious inquisitor Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum may deny Mr. Inevitable the majority, and may cut a deal on a joint ticket. Now that would be something we'd love to see...along with the landslide victory in November that it would bring for the President. Let the clown show continue!

It's Why We Call Them Rethugs - Tea Party War on Women Edition

Dispatches from the patches:

Lemon Grove resident Michael John Kobulnicky, 50, a leader in the San Diego Tea Party and former regional director of the Southern California Conservative Party, is under arrest for allegedly kidnapping and raping a local woman on Fiesta Island.

“He dragged her out of the car and sexually assaulted her pretty brutally,” San Diego Police Lt. Andra Brown told ECM news partner 10 News in late February, shortly after the February 25 assault occurred.

On his website,, Kobulnicky lists his leadership roles as “currently the co-organizer and public relations representative for the San Diego Tea Party.” (emphasis added)

Lemon Grove - an apt residence for the politically- and public-relations-savvy (not to belabor criminal) Mr. Kobulnicky.

(h/t/ Rising Hegemon)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day, President O'Bama!

Erin go bragh!
President O'Bama pounds a Guinness at the Dubliner in downtown D.C. today. P.S. - that's his eighth cousin Henry Healy from Moneygall, Ireland (center), and Ollie Hayes, pub owner in Moneygall, both of whom came over for St. Patrick's Day. (Top: AP Photo; Bottom: Getty Photo)

Friday, March 16, 2012

More Bitin' Biden

Since we said "let's have more of this" in the posting earlier today, we're going to oblige with another Biden quote from yesterday. Vice President Biden had a "hammer, meet nail head" moment when he said this about the difference between Democrats and Rethuglicans:
"Simply stated, we’re about promoting the private sector, they’re about protecting the privileged sector. We are for a fair shot and a fair shake. They’re about no rules, no risks, and no accountability."

That's the kind of distillation and contrast-drawing we need, day in and day out.

Real March Madness

We've seen the story of the Kansas State basketball player Angel Rodriguez being taunted by some morons in the Southern Mississippi band who chanted "where's your green card" when Rodriguez would step to the free throw line during yesterday's game (which Kansas State won). A couple of observations: first, Angel Rodriguez is from Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth whose residents have been American citizens since 1917 (the Jones- Shafroth Act). Second, perhaps this bit of stupidity shouldn't surprise us, coming as it did from a school in Mississippi, where the majority of Rethugs still believe the President is Muslim and they don't believe in evolution. As a comedian once said, "you can't fix stupid."

It's clear that not only has the education system in Mississippi failed, but so has the parental upbringing of these young college dimwits, who lack the grace, poise and sportsmanship that Angel Rodriguez showed yesterday. By the way, he scored 13 points in Kansas State's victory, so suck on it, Southern Mississippi.

Weekend Twofer

British folk rock group Mumford and Sons recently performed at the White House during Prime Minister Cameron's visit. They won Billboard's Alternative Artist award in 2011 as well as Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album for "Sigh No More." Here's a cut from that album.

American indie pop due Joy Zipper released "1" in 2005 (fyi, rejected names for the group included Happy Hasp and Beaming Buttons -- you can take it to the bank!). American teevee viewers may have heard the song in a Cigna commercial recently, but don't hold that against them.

Let's Have More of This

Speaking to a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Vice President Biden tore into the Rethuglican presidential hopefuls, leaving the best lines for weird plutocrat and dog abuser Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney:
"Governor Romney said the market, Wall Street, would help lift them out. Wrong. Any honest expert will tell you in 2009 no one was lining up to lend General Motors or Chrysler any money, or for that matter to lend money to anybody. That includes Bain Capital. They weren't lining up to lend any money."
The White House is wise not to waste any more time in defining their opponents, and making the case for their successes: the stimulus package and auto loan bailout, the Affordable Care Act, and severely diminishing al Qaeda.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

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

Here's a gem:
"Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) offered up some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy: Don’t look at it....'I don’t know how you make anybody watch,' Corbett said. 'You just have to close your eyes.'
Does anyone still wonder why right-wing Rethugs have a major problem with women? Exhibit A.

(image: "Just lie back, relax, and close your eyes, Gov. Corbett....")

Cartoon of the Day

(click on image to enlarge)

Clueless plutocrat Willard "Millionaire Mittens" Romney
is trotting around proclaiming "the math" ordains his inevitable get with it, little people, and crown me already! To understand how insulting this is to Rethug voters who have yet to cast their ballots, Millionaire Mittens is saying their votes really don't count since he has it in the bag. Better still, he gets very testy when questioned about his gaffes and his losses in primaries / caucuses, even on a friendly network (Fux, of course).

Oh Mittens, if only the little people accepted your greatness, all would be well.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Li'l Danny Snyder's Shortcut

Washington Redskins owner and "Hi Y'all" Romney contributor Li'l Danny Snyder has caught shite to the tune of a $36 million penalty from the National Football League and his fellow owners, having maneuvered improperly to gain an advantage over other teams during last year's free agency period. Kaplan Daily's Sally Jenkins has a few choice words (no link) about the little turd's shortcut (oops, better not use a word with "short" in it; Li'l Danny might be sensitive about being vertically challenged):
"Underneath the numbers, there is the sense of something personal in what the NFL did to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. Strip away the legalese and salary cap terms, and what we are left with is the fact that 28 other owners were so furious with Snyder that they decided to kneecap him. Call it a lifetime achievement award for how he does business. [snip]

Snyder is like a huge costly lien against the team that prevents it from getting ahead. Call it the Snyder tax."

Given Li'l Danny's knack for getting his man-boobs in a ringer while unerringly doing the wrong thing, we can only hope he continues his support for "Hi Y'all" Romney and fellow Rethugs, and that the luck o' Li'l Danny rubs off on them.

Hate The Sin, Love The Subpoenas

When we think about our society's failing to hold people accountable for their wrongdoing, Wall Street greedheads almost always come to mind. However, we're reading that Catholic bishops are getting more aggressive in fighting a group representing the victims of abuse by Catholic clergy. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has been subpoenaed repeatedly by lawyers representing the Catholic Church in a Missouri abuse case, as part of an ongoing effort by the Church hierarchy to silence the victim advocacy group. The bishops have been joined in their drive to shut down sex abuse claims against the Church by a Rethuglican front group, the so-called "Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights," whose leader "Sweaty Bill" Donohue uttered this statement:
“The bishops have come together collectively. I can’t give you the names, but there’s a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don’t need altar boys.”
Sweaty Bill better get the bishops to approve that last sentence: they may have to shell out some settlement money, but damned if these bishops want to give up their recreational sexytime.

Mid-Week International Spice Song

This isn't our normal musical fare, but we do so few songs from other countries. The international popularity of Bollywood films has grown so much that some Hollywood producers are joining forces with them on new projects. This performance, "Maahi Ve," from the 2003 film "Kal Ho Na Ho" (Tomorrow Might Never Come) is a great example of the elaborate, exhuberant musical dance numbers that are typical of Bollywood films. [Cute bellybutton alert]. This one stars "Mr. Bollywood" Shahrukh Khan (he's wearing the wine-colored kurta), and Preity Zinta. The dubbed-in, high-pitched female vocals may sound helium-induced, but it's the classic range for female Indian singers. Phir milen-gay!*

*that's "see you later."

Rick Rolled

Rethug holy roller and uterus cop Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum unexpectedly swept primaries in Alabama and Mississippi yesterday. Open marriage advocate and legend-in-his-own-mind Poot Gingrich placed second in both states, while 3 dollar bill and human replica Willard "Hi Y'all" Romney placed a weak third. Polls had been showing Poot in the lead in Alabama, and weird Willard pulling ahead in Mississippi, but the results turned those polls on their heads. It also severely embarrassed Hi Y'all, who had predicted on Monday that he would win the contests.

With Frothy Mix and Poot splitting the far right secessionist vote, there will be calls for Poot to suspend his campaign having only won South Carolina and Georgia. The most telling statistic of the night was that 70% of the voters voted against weird Willard, despite his "cheesy grits" and "y'all" phoniness and his "inevitability." As we've said before, let the clown show continue.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carpetbagging in the South: The Great Grits Debate

Last night, Stephen Colbert looked at today's Alabama and Mississippi (a.k.a., Doltistan) Rethuglican primaries. Let the pandering begin... y'all!

Plutocrat Quote of the Day

"I got a lot of good friends – the owner of the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets, both owners are friends of mine." -- clueless plutocrat Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney, on a syndicated radio program hosted by Paul Finebaum. This follows on the heels of his comments at the Daytona 500, when he said he was good friends with the team owners, but didn't follow NASCAR that much. Look, Weird Willard is who he is, an extremely wealthy, privileged opportunist, who will never relate to middle class families or situations. He also lies big time and expects to get away with it.

140 And Counting....

To date, porcine pill-popping prince of hate radio Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh has lost a total of 140 advertisers from his noxious radio program, as the fallout continues from his disgusting 3-day attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. The best news is that these advertisers have also asked that their ads be pulled from other hate radio programs, such as Glenn "Dreck" Beck, Sean "Heil" Hannity, and Michael "Savage Weiner."

These are national advertisers, big companies like Honda, Sam's Club, Lowe's, State Farm, Exxon, etc. The proof of their sincerity will be whether or not they slip back to the programs in a few weeks or not. We'll see, but it's a great blow to the hard-right bigots and misogynists that populate hate radio.

(image: Our apologies to pigs everywhere.)

Monday, March 12, 2012

We Can Dream, Can't We?

We've wished for a long time now that President Obama would thank Vice President Joe "Say It Ain't So" Biden for his distinguished service, gently nudge him from the ticket in 2012, and ask Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be his running mate. It won't happen, of course, and Biden should be OK as a ticket mate to the President. However.....

Check out Secretary Clinton's comments at the "Women in the World" summit nailing the problem with the current right-wing overreach to control womens' reproductive rights and health care options. Here's a sample:
"They want to control women. They want to control how we dress, they want to control how we act, they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies."
Is she talking about Rethug politicians or the Taliban? Hmmmm.

More than any recent election, this one will be about the freedom of women, and families, to control their destinies. The Rethugs are scared silly that their reactionary base has screwed them up by injecting reproductive rights and contraceptives into the political debate. They're right to be petrified, and the Dems have an opportunity to contrast their vision with that of a dark, misogynist ideology adhered to by the Rethug / Uterus Police Party. It's just a shame that Secretary Clinton can't be the tip of the spear this year that drives the point home; she'd make a unbeatable running mate for Obama, and a very worthy champion for the Democratic Party going in to 2016.

Poll Shows Alabama and Mississippi Rethugs Are Dolts

Poll -- and comment -- courtesy of Daily Kos:

"Alabama Republican Primary voters:

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Christian: 14
Muslim: 45
Not sure: 41

Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 26
Do not: 60
Not sure: 13

Mississippi Republican Primary voters:

Do you think Barack Obama is a Christian or a Muslim, or are you not sure?
Christian: 12
Muslim: 52
Not sure: 36

Do you believe in evolution, or not?
Believe in evolution: 22
Do not: 66
Not sure: 11

Ironically, these are the same assholes who think there should be a literacy requirement to vote."

Texas' Voter Suppression Law Blocked

Rethuglican state legislatures across the country have been passing voter suppression laws, in order to tilt the field in their favor by making it much harder for traditional Democratic constituencies to vote. In the old South, racists passed poll tax and literacy laws that discouraged African American voters. Now, it's more subtle. For example, do you suppose that low income people and minorities are less likely to own cars than white voters, and therefore would lack drivers licenses for identification to vote? You got it.

Finally, the tide seems to be turning. The Justice Department refused to preclear Texas' photo ID law, which would have discriminated against Hispanic voters. Texas has sued to have the law accepted under the Federal Voting Rights Act, but if the Justice Department remains firm, this little piece of nasty business on the part of Texas Rethuglicans will fail.

No, No, No

We generally love HBO's Bill Maher. We count on him to skewer right-wing idiocy in his hilarious takes on "Real Time." But unfortunately Maher is, among other things, a misogynist, a serious failing he shares with Oxycontin Rush Limbaugh. He also seems to have a learning disability that keeps him from comprehending the meaning of certain spoken words, to wit his recent remarks on the Oxycontin Rush "slut" controversy:
"A guy made a bad joke."
No. No. No. Limbaugh didn't make a "bad joke." Any sensible person who saw the lengthy attack on Sandra Fluke by Oxycontin Rush would quickly discern there was no humor, no set-up, no punch line in any of the slurs that issued from Oxycontin's mouth over the course of 3 brutal days. A "bad joke?" You have to have not just tin ears but glass eyeballs -- and no judgment -- to say Limbaugh made a bad joke, Bill. Maher's friends need to have an intervention with the guy and make him watch and listen to the entirety of Limbaugh's tirade, and then see if he still thinks it was just a "bad joke."

Murders in Afghanistan

The shocking murder of 16 Afghan civilians, 9 of them children, by a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant this weekend is just the latest setback for American efforts to show the Muslim world we're not its enemy and to extricate itself from Afghanistan in such a way that it doesn't revert to being a safe haven for a resurgent Taliban. Following the recent unintentional desecration of the Quran by U.S. military personnel, this latest horror illustrates how challenging those efforts will be.

It's still unknown why the killer did what he did. Following the killing spree, the shooter returned to the base and turned himself in. Whatever the motivation, it was a sick and immoral act, and justice needs to be as swift and merciless as the crime.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

One Year Ago

A year ago, on March 11, 2011, a 9.0 earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Japan, sending a tsunami smashing into cities and towns, and destroying the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The tsunami killed nearly 16,000 people and left 3,300 unaccounted for but presumed dead. Over 325,000 were left homeless or had to be evacuated from the area.

Japan is still suffering the effects of the disaster, but through the will and determination of the Japanese people, the rebuilding and restoration has moved forward. TPM has an interesting slide show of then and now images of the affected quake and tsunami areas. The images remind us of the horror of that time, as well as of the triumph of the human spirit in responding to such a great tragedy.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Dog Diggin' It

We couldn't pass up this musical hound's appreciation of some jazzy guitar, licks.

(H/t to Brian & Chi)

Vid of the Day: Chris Christie Calls Ex-Navy Seal "Idiot"

Here's human toadstool and anger bear Rethug Gov. Chris "Krispy Kreme" Christie (Load-NJ) at a recent town hall meeting of mostly white geriatrics (eg., the Rethug base) reacting to persistent questioning by former Navy Seal William Brown by having him ejected and then calling him an "idiot" behind his back. "Damn, man, I'm Governor! Could you just shut up for a second?" Brave bully who never served a second in the military! Also, notice how he takes credit for job creation in New Jersey -- yeah, it wasn't the work of that Kenyan socialist in the White House!

(via Crooks and Liars)

Advertisers Flee Right-Wing Hate Radio

The Limpballs Effect (i.e., shedding advertisers like a snake sheds its skin) seems to be spreading to all of Limpballs' frothing imitators in far-right hate radio:
"Premiere Networks, which distributes Limbaugh as well as a host of other right-wing talkers, sent an email out to its affiliates early Friday listing 98 large corporations that have requested their ads appear only on 'programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).'”

And by "large corporations" we mean Ford, Geico, McDonald's, GM, etc. This is not to say Limpballs and the other sociopathic buffoons won't continue to be aired (there's always the Koch brothers' industries* and others of that ilk to underwrite the frothers). But it shows that responsible companies are no longer going to be associated with the hateful, divisive, misogynist sewage that comes out of these programs.

* FYI, Koch Industries is a huge conglomerate which includes such avoidable consumer brands as (via its ownership of Georgia-Pacific Co.) Brawny paper towels, Dixie Cups, Vanity Fair napkins, and Quilted Northern and Angel Soft bathroom tissue; also, Stainmaster carpets. Just sayin'.

(Image: A.k.a., left to right, Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh)

"Your Daily Dose of Spin"

Economics Prof. Andrew Samwick of Dartmouth gives us the short version of the Rethuglican response to the improving economy:
"... You are making inadequate progress getting us out of the hole we dug for you despite our opposition to every program you propose."

Tweet Home Alabama

Wow, 3 dollar bill Willard "Hey Y'All" Romney is really flopping in trying to fit in with the Southern culture. We're waiting for him to drop in on a bar in Alabama or Mississippi wearing his mom jeans and loafers, order a non-alcoholic beer, and complain about his private jet's high fuel cost.

(h/t to Daily Kos)

Friday, March 9, 2012

Quote of the Day - Inauthentic Mittens Edition

Weird phony Willard "Millionaire Mittens" Romney was in Jackson, Mississippi, today campaigning, trying on his best Southern good ol' boy act:

"Morning, y'all! I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. Delicious!"

Boy howdy! You fer damn sure a Yankee Wall Street millionaire peckerwood we'uns can git behind...y'all!

Wingnut Women In The News

Wonkette has all the distaff dimbulb crazy train news today. In the war on women, let's hope these catch some friendly fire:

-- Simpleton cat's paw of the Rethuglican front group National Federation of Independent Business Mary "Deadbeat" Brown is a plaintiff in the NFIB (yes, we said "fib") suit to overturn the health care reform act. Trouble is, the crusty Ms. Brown filed for bankruptcy owing over $4,500 in medical bills -- a significant problem health care reform is expecting to ameliorate (i.e., saving people like Deadbeat from themselves).

-- Simpleton Missouri Rethuglican State Rep. Wanda "Happiness is a Warm Gun" Brown (Hmm, another Brown. Must be the only two "brown" women in the Rethuglican Party -- bada-bing!) sponsored a bill which has passed the Missouri House putting gun ownership on a par with religion and race as a protected class. While you're on the page, check out some of the other bills she's sponsored, too, just for laughs.

-- Simpleton Monica "Ol' Queen" Cole (maybe her maiden name was Brown) has decided to "move on" now that her One Million Moms boycott of JC Penney spokesperson Ellen Degeneres has been an EPIC FAIL. Sometimes those culture wars don't turn out the way you planned.

Weekend Twofer - Blossoms Everywhere

While we're in the '90's groove this week, here's two beautiful songs by the talented but ill-starred Gin Blossoms. Enjoy the weekend.

Employment Situation Continues to Improve

(click to enlarge)

When you hear Rethuglican politicians talk about how they know how to improve the economy, remember this chart. The red bars show the employment situation in the last year of Dumbya's reign, and the blue bars pick up from when President Obama took office. We went from losing roughly 800,000 jobs per month, to last month's adding of 227,000 new private sector jobs. The Rethugs want the voters to hand them the keys to the car that they wrecked 3 years ago. Incredible.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Loose Talk of War

Significantly, we've seen in the past week current and former directors of Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, weighing in on the issue of a nuclear Iran, and their remarks aren't particularly supportive of either Rethuglican neocons here or Likudnik Israelis. Reacting to an op-ed piece in the Kaplan Daily by Supreme Chickenhawk Willard "Field Marshal Mittens" Romney, Efraim Halevy said that Field Marshal Mittens was "making the situation worse" by signaling to Iran that he would attack if elected President. Another former Mossad director, Meir Dagan, warned that an Israeli attack on Iran would be devastating to Israel, and that the U.S. should continue to lead efforts to deny Iran a nuclear weapon. To top it off, the current head of Mossad, Tamir Pardo, said as recently as December that a nuclear weapon in the hands of Iran didn't necessarily pose an "existential threat" to Israel.

Such positions seem to be at odds with the Rethuglican neocons here at home and their Likudnik counterparts in Israel. But then, why trust the opinions of one of the world's elite intelligence services when you can gin up another war in the Middle East that someone else's kids will have to fight and die in?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"The Road We've Traveled"

This is the Obama campaign's trailer for an upcoming film/ argument for reelection, "The Road We've Traveled." The full 17-minute film is out March 15. That's Tom Hanks narrating.

Hate Groups On Rise

The Southern Poverty Law Center has published a report on the rise of hate organizations and extremist groups, and the statistics for 2011 are sobering. The report counts 1,018 hate groups -- for example, neo-Nazi, skinhead, neo-Confederate, and white nationalist groups -- in the U.S. in 2011. Anti-gay and anti-Muslim groups comprised the largest increases.

Even more shocking are the statistics for right-wing militia/"patriot" groups: there were 149 such groups in 2008, and 1,274 in 2011. The huge increase is attributed to the election of the first African-American President and widespread conspiracy theories about Government seizure of guns, mass internment of citizens, etc. pushed by fringe radicals (and implicitly accepted by far-right Rethuglican politicians like Reps. Crazy Eyes Bachmann and Steve "Man Who Would Be" King). With the rhetoric and positions of the Rethug Presidential candidates moving farther to the right each week, it's only a matter of time when their views overlap those of the most delusional in our society.

Picture of the Day

A bit of a Freudian slip by Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney, wouldn't you say?

(thanks to Midwest Bureau Chief Eric for the tip)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

38 And Counting

After the vile and despicable remarks made over three days last week by hate radio buffoon and Rethuglican Party leader Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh, the advertisers for his 3-hour radio rage fest have been fleeing for their commercial lives: 38 have dropped their ads on the Pig Man's program to date. Some heavyweights like J.C. Penney, Sears, AOL, Netflix and Capital One have left (ed. note: what the hell were they doing advertising on that show in the first place??).

The more advertisers take their business elsewhere, the better. The ones that stay with him need to be spotlighted and boycotted by decent people, whether they are right, left or center. Sadly, though, it's likely his program will lumber along with a loyal "shittohead" following who will always buy the creepy sewage he sells them.

(image: Welcome to the pig roast.)

Mid-Week Song To Run On

Collective Soul had seven number one hits in the '90s, including Shine, December, Heavy, and The World I Know. Although our song for today, Run, didn't reach number one, it's still a beauty, with the strings and vocals enhancing the melody.
Are these times contagious?
I've never been this bored before
Is this the prize I've waited for?
Now with the hours passing
There's nothing left here to ensure
I long to find a messenger
Have I got a long way to run?
Have I got a long way to run?
Yea, I run
(The Rethuglican Party might be singing that verse today)

Rethugs Move On From "Super Tuesday"

The Rethugs had their "Super Tuesday" yesterday, but it left a very un-super result for them. Yes, man-of-many-faces and Pinocchio poster boy Willard "Mendacious Mittens" Romney apparently narrowly won the night's prize, Ohio, although a recount is likely due to the margin. Uterus cop and religious busybody Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum pulled off a surprise win in Tennessee, and also picked up Oklahoma and North Dakota. Churchill-in-his-own-mind Poot "The Swinger" Gingrich only carried the inbred vote in his home state of Georgia.

The best news is that the race for the Rethug nomination will continue. Next week looks good for Frothy Mix, when the fight moves to Alabama and Mississippi, where them good Bible folk don't like them sum Mormon Yankee.It was also noteworthy how well Frothy Mix did despite a huge disadvantage in funds vs. Willard: 3 to 1 in Tennessee (won) and 4 to 1 in Ohio (extremely close). That can't be a good sign for free-spending Willard.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Understatement of the Day

"Personally, I don’t get too worked up about the things Rush Limbaugh says. He is and has been for many years been a terrible person." -- The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, who did a segment on last night's show, complete with hazmat suit.

Holy Wet Dream!

Over the past year, we've noticed wingnut attempts to define a fertilized egg as a "person," so as to further restrict family planning and womens' reproductive rights. It's so extreme that even the voters in ultra-conservative Mississippi rejected such an attempt as too intrusive into the personal lives of its citizens.

We had to laugh, then, when we saw the story about the Wilmington, Delaware city council pass a tongue-in-cheek resolution that calls for state legislatures and Congress to enact laws to prevent men from "destroying their semen." The resolution reads:
"[E]ach ‘egg person’ and each ‘sperm person’ should be deemed equal in the eyes of the government and be subject to the same laws and regulations as any other dependent minor and be protected against abuse, neglect or abandonment by the parent or guardian."
The sponsor of the resolution, Councilwoman Loretta Walsh said, "What's good for the gander is good for the goose." To which we would add only our apologies to all of the trillions of little sperm people that we have abused, neglected and abandoned in our pasts.

(image: "I can't wait to get my driver's license!")