Monday, April 30, 2012

GM Is Alive, and bin Laden Is Dead

You know the Rethuglicans feel vulnerable when they try to take an issue off the table (see, war on women, etc.). With the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Rethugs are hypersensitive to the Obama Administration taking any credit for the achievement. Their presumed candidate, and well-lubricated weather vane Willard "Sketchy" Romney, is on record as having said in 2007 that he wouldn't have expended the resources in hunting bin Laden down.

Faced with that problem, the Rethugs are trying to take Obama's achievement off the table by criticizing the President for "politicizing" the removal of bin Laden, as if the Rethugs didn't politicize 9-11 and the Iraq misadventure (remember Dumbya's flight suit photo op on the carrier deck early in the Iraq war?). So during this election season, when you see Rethugs trying to flip the issue of the President taking credit for bin Laden's killing, remember two words: Mission Accomplished.

"Forward" / "One Chance"

As opposed to the Rethuglican's/ Willard "Mendacious Mitt" Romney's "Backward!"

BONUS: And here's the spot that has Willard's Wingnut World in a tizzy:

Please rub it in their faces some more, please, please, please.

"Sad, Appalling But Not Terribly Surprising"

The Guardian's Ewen MacAskill gives us a nugget on Rethuglican obstructionism from Robert Draper's new book (if more proof is needed, see also this and this):
"During a lengthy discussion, the senior GOP members worked out a plan to repeatedly block Obama over the coming four years to try to ensure he
not be re-elected.

"The disclosures – described as 'appalling and sad' by Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod – undermine Republican claims that the president alone is to blame for the partisan deadlock in Washington.

"A detailed account of who was present at the dinner on that January 20 night and the plan they worked out to bring down Obama is provided by Robert Draper in 'Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives', published this week. [snip]

"Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions. From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, John Ensign and Jon Kyl. Others present were former House Speaker and future – and failed – presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the Republican strategist Frank Luntz, who organised the dinner and sent out the invitations.

"The dinner table was set in a square at Luntz's request so everyone could see one another and talk freely. The session lasted four hours and by the end the sombre mood had lifted: they had conceived a plan. They would take back the House in November 2010, which they did, and use it as a spear to mortally wound Obama in 2011 and take back the Senate and White House in 2012, Draper writes.

"'If you act like you're the minority, you're going to stay in the minority," said Keven McCarthy, quoted by Draper. "We've gotta challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.'"

"The Republicans have done that, bringing Washington to a near standstill several times during Obama's first term over debt and other issues. [snip]

"Axelrod, who is based at Obama's re-election campaign headquarters in Chicago, condemned the revelation as 'sad, appalling but not terribly surprising.'"

Now we await the onslaught of a predictably mendacious campaign in which the Rethugs will try to attain their goals of taking back the Senate and White House by any means necessary. That's an outcome that should chill the soul of every sentient American.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Our Milestone

It probably amounts to the traffic Huffington Post or Daily Kos get in an hour, but we'd like to stop for a moment and say "thank you" to all of you who've stopped in to read our humble blog over the months and years, for today we reached our first 100,000 page views. We truly appreciate our readers and hope you'll be with us for a long time to come.

Let Them Eat Beans

The Fux Channel's Sean "Heil" Hannity isn't known for his moderation or rationality. He's pure wingnut. Here's his latest "wisdom" on why we need not worry about poor people starving:
"You can get things—for example, I have friends of mine that eat rice and beans all the time. Beans—protein; rice—inexpensive. You can make a big pot of this for a week for relatively negligible amounts of money for your whole family and feed your family..."
So, see? No problem, poor people, you don't need to eat like Sean Hannity does (and, dammit, you don't need to raise his taxes!). And, if the saying "you are what you eat" applies to Heil Hannity, then you wouldn't want to eat pig poop anyway.

Cartoon of the Day -- Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, via

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Both Sides Don't Do It

Political scientists Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann have studied the American political scene for many years, and they're debunking the lazy, cynical, Village media-promoted theme that, in politics, both Democrats and Rethuglicans are equally to blame for gridlock, rancor, and the corruption of money in politics. Some choice excerpts:
"The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition...'Both sides do it' or 'There is plenty of blame to go around' are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias...Today, thanks to the GOP, compromise has gone out the window in Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, nearly every presidential initiative met with vehement, rancorous and unanimous Republican opposition in the House and the Senate, followed by efforts to delegitimize the results and repeal the policies."
As the title of the article says, "let's just say it: the Republicans are the problem."

BONUS: Along the same lines, read David Atkins' piece, which expands on the Ornstein/Mann analysis. Here's a taste:
"It would seem that the last three years should be all the political evidence one needs that the forbearance approach of the center-left doesn't work. Forget whether the policies are good or not for a moment: politically speaking, if forbearance and reasonableness were virtues in politics, President Obama would be a saint. He's bent farther over backwards to compromise with these people than Gumbi. The result was an even more extremist right wing, an historic devastation for his party in the 2010 midterms, an intransigently conservative Supreme Court, and an apoplectic 2012 campaign. Forbearance hasn't worked--and that's just the politics of it."

Friday, April 27, 2012

Rupert Murdoch - "Citizen Shame"

Jon Stewart on Fox "News"/News Corp.'s Rupert "Aargh!" Murdoch, with a nice bank off the sculpted, empty noggin of Donald "Rump" Trump:

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Rethuglican Family Values, Cont'd.

New Mexico Rethuglican County Commissioner Michael "Wiener" Wiener was visiting the Philippines recently -- or more accurately, visiting a notorious red light district there -- when he asked a passer by to snap his photo with some bar girls. Sadly for the appropriately named Wiener, the passer by -- a photographer -- was there documenting the sex tourism industry. When Wiener gave the photographer his e-mail address to forward the pictures, the photographer noticed that Wiener was a public official and later that he had posted the pics on his Facebook page (!).

This isn't the first time for Wiener to get his wiener in a wringer, according to the linked story in Talking Points Memo. Allegations of sexual harassment, and racist e-mails are part of Wiener's resume, too. Looks like a rising star in the misogynist Rethuglican party.

Buh Bye Bruins

One of the pleasures of watching our Washington Capitals beat the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs was seeing Boston goalie Tim "What the Puck" Thomas lose. Thomas, you may recall, is the full-blown wingnut who refused to accompany the rest of the Bruins to the White House last January to celebrate the team's 2011 Stanley Cup victory. His rationale was that the Kenyan Socialist was going all Big Government on the U.S. of A. and he wanted no part of that treason! No telling how many pucks to the head it took for Thomas to end up as he has, but nonetheless it was a moment to be savored when Washington Capital Joel Ward (who happens to be black, just like the blackity-black-black Kenyan in the White House!) put the winning puck in the net past "What the Puck" Thomas. (As an aside, Ward was the target of a number of racist tweets by racist twits presumed to be Bruins fans after his winning goal; no doubt members of Thomas' fan club.)

(Photo: Tim Thomas won't have to worry about whether to decline any more White House invitations.)

Weekend Song

Tennis is an indie pop trio from Denver. "Young and Old," the album "Origins" is taken from was produced by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. (BTW, the song starts "mid-note" - quirky.) Enjoy your weekend!

Oink, Oink, Cont'd.

Oxycontin-popping porky Rush "Limpballs" Limbaugh is at it again. Not content with losing a ton of advertisers last month after his ugly slurs aimed at Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, Limpballs attacked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying "all she is is a secretary," and implying that she should wear Spanx, the slimming, compression undergarment (Limpballs apparently doesn't own a mirror). What gives this sick buffoon, who truly looks like there were actual swine in his ancestry, the license to criticize anyone over their appearance? It's also laughable that Limpballs, who has spent his life as nothing more than a radio rage merchant, would talk down to a former elite attorney, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State as "a secretary." His anger toward women is well-documented, probably born out of a lifetime of rejection, and sexual insecurity, not to mention three failed marriages (and counting). Let's hope that this latest slur will cause more advertisers to drop him.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Obamacare Generating Rebates for Consumers

Beyond the money Obamacare will save Medicare, the Kaiser Family Foundation is reporting that Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) will result in $1.3 billion in rebates to consumers from insurers by August, thanks to a provision in the act requiring that insurers spend 80 or 85 percent of earnings from premiums on health care and rebate earnings over and above that percentage to consumers.

As the advantages of Obamacare to average Americans begin to be felt, it would be "nice" if they were touted by the Administration and every Democrat at every opportunity. The "mainstream media?" That would be too much to hope for; facts aren't as exciting as conflict.

Bumper Sticker We'd Like To See

(Daily Kos)

Cool Cover

This week, the President focused on energizing young voters in 2012, who voted for him by a 2 to 1 margin in 2008. Appearing at the University of North Carolina, University of Colorado, and University of Iowa, he focused on maintaining low student loan interest rates, which Congressional Rethugs have been opposing (unless they can make cuts in health care?). It's a winning issue for the President, and the students treated him like a rock star. The formal kick-off of the campaign will begin on May 5, with rallies at Ohio State University and Virginia Commonwealth University. See a pattern? Let's hope they turn out again in November with the same passion.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Landslide Willard

Willard "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney: the candidate even Rethuglicans still don't like:
"Mitt Romney set a record with at least two of Tuesday's primary wins, but it's an achievement the presumptive Republican nominee probably won't be bragging about.

"The former Massachusetts governor won Delaware with 56 percent of the vote and Pennsylvania with 58 percent. According to University of Minnesota political scientist Eric Ostermeier, that marks the first time that a presumptive GOP nominee has failed to reach the 60 percent mark in a contest conducted after his last major challenger exited the race."

You're going down, Willard.

Ryan's Rethug Budget Spanked By Catholics (Again)

Yep, Rethug Rep. Paul Ryan's going to Hell. Following Catholic bishops' denunciation of Ryan's Rethuglican "budget," we have more evidence that all is not lost in the Catholic Church:
“Our problem with Representative Ryan is that he claims his budget is based on Catholic social teaching,” said Jesuit Father Thomas J. Reese, one of the organizers of the letter. “This is nonsense. As scholars, we want to join the Catholic bishops in pointing out that his budget has a devastating impact on programs for the poor.” [...]

I am afraid that Chairman Ryan’s budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Father Reese. “Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.” (emphasis added)

Ninety Georgetown faculty and administrators signed the letter. Good for them and for the Church.

(Photo: "Rep. Ryan, report to Sister Mary Celeste for your punishment!")

Tally-Ho Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
With several primary wins yesterday, weird and sketchy Willard "Crown Me Already" Romney's march to his coronation nomination continues. One can't help noticing that weird Willard seemed to feel entitled to the Rethug nomination from the start, acting like his opponents were bothersome little people standing in the way. It doesn't help when Mrs. Willard keeps saying "it's our time," as though they've waited long enough for the prize, dammit, so let's dispense with the voting.

Mid-Week Shoegazing Song

M83 had this hit late last year, and it continues to make the rounds on alternative/indie radio. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Plutocrat Quote of the Day

Mrs. Willard "Who Needs Daycare?" Romney weighs in on working moms:
"“I love the fact that there are women out there who don’t have a choice and they must go to work and they still have to raise the kids."
After all, we can't all be multi-millionaires.

Headline of the Week

Tampa strip clubs preparing for bonanza from Republican National Convention -- From the April 21 Tampa Bay Times. Men's bathroom stalls, bus stations and the Y are also being prepared for the Rethugs.

Better Late Than Never

Former Rethuglican Governor of Utah and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has been blasting his party in recent appearances. He had some choice words for his party's lack of ideas beyond "cut taxes for the wealthy":
"Gone are the days when the Republican Party used to put forward big, bold, visionary stuff. I think we're going to have problems politically until we get some sort of third-party movement or some alternative voice out there that can put forward new ideas."
As a result of that statement, Huntsman was disinvited to a Rethuglican National Committee event. His response to that? "This is what they do in China on party matters if you talk off script." Exactly.

A Sharp Takedown of a Fuxer

Steven Colbert, possibly the greatest political/social satirist of our time, always delivers on puncturing right-wing nonsense. Last night, he outdid himself when he took down the Fux Channel's detestable Steve "Doucheman" Doocy for misquoting President Obama's statement that "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." Doucheman dishonestly added the words "unlike some people" to Obama's statement, giving multi-millionaire human replica Willard "Sketchy" Romney a convenient opening to play the target/victim of the remark. Here's Colbert's brilliantly cutting piece:

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(photo: A "smug, self-satisfied brown-noser toadying to the Republican establishment.")

Monday, April 23, 2012

Obamacare Will Save Medicare $200 Billion By 2016...

...assuming the five Rethugs on the Supreme Court don't gut the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The inconvenient truth for Rethugs is that Obamacare will save Medicare billions of dollars in just the next four years, according to the actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (click on table to enlarge):

Uh, er... Kenyan Socialism!!!

Media Favoring Etch-a-Sketch Romney

Ladies and gentlemen, let me present our "liberal media" at work:
"Overall, it was no contest. From Jan. 2 through April 15, Romney’s coverage was 39 percent positive, 32 percent negative, and 29 percent neutral, the researchers found. Obama’s coverage was 18 percent positive, 34 percent negative, and 34 percent neutral. That means Romney’s depiction by the media was more than twice as positive as the president’s. So much for liberal bias."

This is Howie "Get That Job?" Kurtz' (!) analysis of a study done by the Pew Research Center's non-profit Project for Excellence in Journalism on media coverage of the presidential campaign from January through mid-April 2012. Fifty-two media outlets were surveyed, including newspapers, television, radio and web.

This also comports with the study showing Sunday talk shows heavily favor Rethug and right-wing politicians and pundits as guests. So, please, whenever you hear the phrase "liberal media bias" try to suppress a laugh -- and keep your hand on your wallet.

(Image: "What can I do to help Millionaire Mitt today?")

Like White On Rice

The Rethuglican vice presidential sweepstakes are underway among the Village media and lesser pundits. Most are predicting a "safe," bland VP choice, someone that won't overshadow their Presidential candidate like in 2008 ("You betcha!"). That would probably leave out the likes of blowhard New Jersey Gov. Chris "Krispycreme" Christy and media magnet Florida Sen. Marco "Polo!" Rubio. The most hilarious line has to come from tBogg on Ohio Sen. Rob "White Bread" Portman:
"To recap: boiled-potato-on-white-bread-with-Miracle-Whip-sandwich Rob Portman makes Mitt Romney look like Louis Farrakhan on a Red Bull & meth bender."

A Budget For Lockheed and Northrup

Some of the sharpest contrasts between President Obama's budget priorities and those of the hard right and likely Rethuglican nominee, the weird Willard "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney are the Rethugs' devastating cuts proposed in domestic spending for education, health care and research, while showering the Pentagon with increased spending that has not been requested and is not necessary (except for defense contractors, of course). While Willard's budget details are, er, sketchy, he's endorsed Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan's reverse Robin Hood scheme that would plunder 15% of the domestic budget to pay for new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

Especially disturbing is the signal that the inflated military budget sends. Rethugs love to spend major money on expensive hardware (defense contractors, again) but not on body armor or veteran care. They also promote an aggressive, interventionist "bomb now, negotiate later" foreign policy, especially in the Middle East, so missiles, bombs and weapons systems are needed, despite America's waning taste for endless wars in that region. But the Rethugs need to pay off their most loyal contributors, no matter how many lives it costs.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Calling Out the "Extreme, Twisted" Republican Party

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog wonders if the Democrats will have the sense to nationalize the presidential election by tying the albatross of Rethuglican extremism around every Rethuglican running for office:

"Republicans have a radio/TV/Internet noise machine that works round the clock finding people to demonize -- and linking every one of them to all Democrats. Everyone from Rosie O'Donnell to Frances Fox Piven, everyone from Common to Saul Alinsky, is a demonization target, and then every one of them is linked to your local Democratic officeholder or office-seeker. And so your Fox-loving neighbor thinks there really isn't an inch of ideological daylight between your Democratic congressman and some New Black Panther uttering empty threats on a local radio show no one listens to except right-wingers. Your low-info swing-voting neighbor may believe this, too. In any case, the evil-party narrative is already in place.

"Democrats haven't even begun the process of arguing that the entire right, or even a substantial part of it, is scary and extreme and beyond the pale, and there's no reason to believe that Democrats will ever do this. They may be prepared to portray Romney as a right-wing extremist, and that may be an effective strategy, but they'll never portray the entire GOP (accurately) as rotten to the core.

"Or maybe I'm wrong. I hope I am. Otherwise, Romney may be defeated but fail to drag the party down with him, because the defeat will be of him personally, not of his entire extreme, twisted party."

Earth Day, 2012

It's Earth Day (as every day should be). Reuse. Recycle. Reduce. Replenish. Restore.

Your Sunday Church Sign

Saturday, April 21, 2012

War on Women Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
From Rethug-majority state legislatures passing legislation on everything from defining a zygote as a "person" and requiring transvaginal probes prior to legal abortions, to voting against fair pay legislation and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Rethug extremists are trying to turn the clock back to the 1920s on almost every issue of importance to women. They'll try their damndest to fool women voters in November by some clever Etch-A-Sketching, but they've played their hand for all to see.

Quote of the Day

Colbert King in today's Kaplan Daily (no link), citing historian Harvey Jackson to trace the philosophical thread from the post-Civil War Southern conservative Bourbon Democrats to today's (spoiler alert!) Rethuglicans:

“'Among their many goals was to keep Bourbon money in Bourbon pockets. They limited the state’s taxing power, abolished boards and offices (including the board of education), allowed the state debt to be settled in ways not fully understood today, and prohibited state support for projects such as river improvement and railroad construction.' Any of that sound familiar?

"Continuing: 'The Bourbon [Democratic-written] constitution of 1875 was a victory for prosperous . . . Alabamians who did not want to pay taxes to improve the lives of those less fortunate than themselves and who did not want to finance commercial development that did not benefit them directly.' What contemporary political party comes to mind?"

Or, to summarize, "I got mine; you're on your own, buddy!"

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Cowardly Sen. Manchin

When asked if he'll support President Obama for President, the erstwhile "Democrat" Sen. Joe Manchin (?-WV) lets everyone know what he's made of:

“I am just waiting for it to play out. I am not jumping in one way or another,” Manchin said. “I’m worried about me. I’ve said it’s not a team sport. You need to go out and work for yourself.”

Thanks for the character portrait, asshole. We hope our team feels the same way about Manchin and supports more worthy candidates.

(Photo: The cowardly Sen. Manchin.)

Weekend Goodbye Song

R.I.P. Levon Helm, who passed away yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 71. Helm was the drummer and one of the singers for The Band, an influential rock group of the 1960's. Here he is doing the lead vocal on "The Weight," judged one of the greatest songs in rock history:

The Vatican's Problem With Women Continues

We've been noticing the more aggressively conservative positions of the Catholic Church hierarchy, especially since Joseph Ratzinger was installed as Pope Benedict XVI. While the Vatican's opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage have been long standing, the recent dust-up over the access to contraceptives by workers in Catholic institutions (who may be Protestant, Jewish or another faith) under the Affordable Care Act exposed a more political thrust.

In her column today, the Kaplan Daily's Melinda Henneberger -- a Catholic herself -- notes the timing of a Vatican report obviously approved by the Pope:
"There were two Santa Maria! stories out of the Vatican this week. First, the bad news: The ultra-traditionalists of Marcel Lefebvre’s Society of St. Pius X are another step closer to being welcomed back into the fold — though church fathers have yet to sort out the problem of the dissident group’s Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson, whose excommunication Pope Benedict XVI lifted two years ago. Then there was the even worse news, by my votive lights, that the Vatican is cracking down on American nuns – who as one of my fellow Catholics noted over a cup of unconsecrated wine last night, 'Only do what Jesus told us to do,' in their hospitals, schools and orphanages, 'so no wonder they’re in trouble.'"
She's referring to the Papal criticism leveled at the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which represents 80% of America's Catholic nuns, for focusing on social welfare and poverty issues, rather than speaking out against gay marriage and abortion. The Vatican has deemed this as a "source of scandal," to which Henneberger provides the appropriate response:
"The Vatican, of course, knows a lot about scandal — to the point that the nuns are the only morally uncompromised leaders poor Holy Mother Church has left. Keep right on like this, your excellencies, and before you know it even more Catholics will be 'moving beyond the church.'"
Well said.

BONUS: What have we here? Catholic Bishop of Peoria, IL, Daniel "Junky" Jenky has some hitherto unknown historical Obama-Hitler connections for you. Must be a graduate of Glenn Beck University.

Fenway Park, Happy 100th Birthday

The iconic home of the Boston Red Sox turns 100 years old today. Along with Chicago's Wrigley Field (a mere 98 years old), Fenway Park is "sacred ground" for baseball, and one of the true treasures of Americana. Its "Green Monster" wall in left field may be the best known structure in sports. Sadly, many old historic ballparks are gone -- Ebbets Field, Comiskey Park, Forbes Field, the list goes on -- but Fenway will stand for a very long time to come.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Searching for Mr. Right

With many of the Beltway Kool Kids practically wetting themselves speculating about who will go down in flames with Etch-a-Sketch in November, we need only look again to Stephen Colbert for his wisdom:

Sunday Talk Shows: Fairly Unbalanced

Think there's no bias in the Sunday morning talk shows (Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, etc.)? Or if there is, it's liberal bias? From a study on Sunday talk shows by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting:

"# Of one-on-one interviews, 70 percent of partisan-affiliated guests were Republican. Those guests were overwhelmingly male (86 percent) and white (92 percent).

# The broader roundtable segments weren't much more diverse: 62 percent of partisan-affiliated guests were Republican. More broadly, guests classified as either Republican or conservative far outnumbered Democrats or progressives, 282 to 164. The roundtables were 71 percent male and 85 percent white."

To those of us who've followed the news for more than half a century, the notion of liberal bias in the media is laughable. Laughable. These "mainstream" programs and the purveyors of Beltway conventional wisdom are now, and have long been, wired Rethuglican.

Cartoon of the Day -- Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Edition

(click to enlarge)

He'll have to do a lot of shaking to get rid of those pictures...

(Mike Luckovich, via

World's Oldest Teenager Dies

When we heard of Dick Clark's death yesterday at age 82, we felt a nostalgic sadness. Our recollections of American Bandstand go back to when the telecast originated from Philadelphia in the late '50s and early '60s. Clark hosted the show for 30 years, became a successful producer of other shows, and had a late-career revival as host of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve. The cultural impact of American Bandstand was huge; it showcased almost every contemporary artist, from Bill Haley to Run DMC and everyone in between. Even the teenage dancers had their own fan base among the viewers. RIP.

Brave Talk From A Chickenhawk

Jon Stewart had a new segment on his The Daily Show last night called "Hey, That Guy Lives There." It concerned Fux News' flamboyant fake journalist and explorer of Al Capone's vault Geraldo "Mega 'Stache" Rivera trying to taunt a leader of the Taliban through a hapless Afghan translator, whom Mega 'Stache helpfully names so that the Taliban can check in with him later. Well done, dickhead. A remedy for this kind of false bravado would be to equip Mega 'Stache with a rifle, helmet and boots, and drop him in Taliban territory and let him take out his playground aggression on the real thing.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Catholic Bishops: Ryan's Rethug Budget Fails Moral Criteria

On Tuesday, the U.S. Conference of Bishops sent letters to Congressional committees saying that the recently-passed House budget crafted by soulless Randian Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan (Social Darwinist-WI) failed to meet its moral criteria, including protecting the poor and shared sacrifice. Significantly, Ryan earlier had said his Rethuglican budget was informed by his "Catholic social teaching" (he must have been surreptitiously reading his condensed comic book version of "Atlas Shrugged" when the nuns were teaching social justice).

The letters were signed by Bishop Stephen Blaire, Chairman of the Conference's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Just last week, 60 Catholic theologians, clergy and social justice leaders had condemned the Ryan Rethuglican budget as "morally indefensible," saying it "betrays Catholic principles of solidarity, just taxation and a commitment to the common good."

This is the same regressive budget that Willard "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney called "marvelous" and said that he would run on it. Start shaking that Etch-a-Sketch, Willard!

(Photo: Sister Mary Theresa would like to see you in her office, Lyin' Ryan)

The Pink Pantser

Infamous Arizona Sheriff Joe "Joey Oops" Arpaio appears to be in serious legal trouble after a panel convened by the State Supreme Court found that Joey Oops and several of his partners in crime conspired to interfere in a judicial process, a Federal crime. Joey Oops and his co-conspirators were apparently using their investigative power to intimidate Maricopa County officials with whom they disagreed. When a judge intervened, they decided to have him arrested on phony charges.

You'll recall that Joey Oops was recently in the spotlight, pushing an absurd "investigation" into President Obama's birth certificate, which made him even more of a laughing stock. He's also been the face of reactionary resistance to common sense immigration laws. He first gained national notoriety years ago when he required Maricopa County jail inmates to wear pink underwear.

Let's hope that this conspiracy leads to jail for Joey Oops, where he can model his own pink underwear for his fellow prisoners.

(photo: Put them on, Joey)

Mid-Week Spanish Guitar Interlude

We've chosen a song from Spanish guitar master Xavier Coll, thanks to a tip from our dearest friend and reader P.E.C., who saw Coll perform live in Barcelona on a recent trip. Listen, and be amazed at the beautiful, dramatic sound.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Class Warfare Cartoon of the Day - Buffett Rule Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Signe Wilkinson, via

Wanker of the Decade

Congratulations (?) to the New York effing Times' Mustache of Understanding, Tom Friedman. Well deserved. (The 1st runner up winner -- someone I put up with every day as a reader -- was also well-deserved.)

Our Obligation

Our man, Charles P. Pierce, on why "[t]he Democratic party has an obligation to beat the Republican party so badly, over and over again, that rationality once again becomes a quality to be desired:"
"Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republican party, root and branch, from its deepest grass roots to its highest levels, has become completely demented. This does not mean that it is incapable of winning elections; on the contrary, the 2010 midterms, as well as the statewide elections around the country, ushered in a class of politicians so thoroughly dedicated to turning nonsense into public policy that future historians are going to marvel at our ability to survive what we wrought upon ourselves. It is now impossible to become an elected Republican politician in this country if, for example, you believe in the overwhelming scientific consensus that exists behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Just recently, birth control, an issue most people thought pretty well had been settled in the 1960s, became yet another litmus test for Republican candidates, as did the Keystone XL pipeline, to which every Republican presidential candidate pledged unyielding fealty despite the fact that several prairie Republicans and an army of conservative farmers and ranchers are scared to death of the thing.

"In Washington, there is no leadership anymore, no 'Republican establishment' to which anyone can appeal. The ferocious strength of faith-based know-nothingism in the party's base has resulted in a stubborn refusal to adopt even those ideas — like an individual mandate for health care, or cap-and-trade as an energy policy — that began as Republican ideas.

"In the states, we have seen a staggering overreach on the part of Republican governors in the Midwest regarding labor rights, wildly restrictive voter-ID laws aimed at solving a problem that doesn't exist, immigration statutes that are leaving lettuce to rot in the fields because nobody's left to pick it, and a welter of preposterous antiabortion statutes. And behind all of that, a party base that has constructed its own private history, its own private language, its own private logic, and its own wholly rounded private universe." (excerpt from May 2012 issue of Esquire)

Tenacity, courage of one's convictions, the willingness to fight hard and, of course, resources. That's what Democrats need to bring to the table election after election after election.

Quote of the Day

"I admire a smooth liar, and Romney is among the best. His technique is to explain — that bit about not knowing what was in the ads — and then counterattack. He maintains the bulletproof demeanor of a man who is barely suffering fools, in this case Gingrich. His message is not so much what he says, but what he is: You cannot touch me. I have the organization and the money. Especially the money. (Even the hair.) You’re a loser." -- Richard Cohen, writing in today's Kaplan Daily. Read the whole column, which is one of the more blunt pieces on Willard "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney's effortless dishonesty. From accusing the President of "apologizing for America" to his claim that the President "made the economy worse," Willard's growing habit of lying is finally getting more attention.

Teabagger Favorite Headed for Defeat?

Illinois teabagger favorite Rep. Joe "Deadbeat" Walsh is somewhat infamous for his outrageous comments on the President, his nasty outbursts when confronted by constituents, and his failure to pay child support to his ex-spouse. He's no longer in a safe Rethuglican seat, after redistricting, and he's facing former Congresswoman and Iraq War combat vet Tammy Duckworth for the seat in Congress. Duckworth also served as Assistant Secretary in the Veterans Administration, and is a double amputee. Walsh never served in the Armed Forces, and has all of his limbs, but is lacking decency. His latest stunt was to invite Ms. Duckworth to a town hall meeting when she was fulfilling her obligations as an Army National Guard officer. Hopefully, the good voters of Illinois district 8 will see Deadbeat Walsh for the pathetic sneak that he is. We need the Tammy Duckworths to represent us, not this miserable Deadbeat.

(photo: Not fit to clean Tammy Duckworth's combat boots)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quote of the Day

"It was my early birthday present for someone to be critical of me as a mother, and that was really a defining moment, and I loved it." -- Mrs. Willard Romney, speaking to a crowd of mega-donors in Florida, exposing the Romney campaign's manufactured "outrage" over a Democratic pundit's comment that Mrs. Willard "never worked a day in her life." What the pundit was referring to is the fact that Mrs. Willard never worked outside the home, as many women without her wealth have to, so she wasn't the best choice to be giving Willard advice on women's economic issues.

Of course, as we noted yesterday, say-anything-Willard said in January that women with 2 year old kids should go back to work so that they could experience the "dignity of work." So much for Mrs. Willard's stay-at-home mom schtick.

Is Team Willard Measuring the Drapes in the Oval Office Already?

Deep-pocketed suckers, take note:
"The [Romney] campaign is asking people who are able to make a $50,000 contribution to do so today and become a “Founding Member” of Romney Victory. These donors will be invited to a special retreat with Governor Romney in late June in California and will have preferred status at the first Presidential Inaugural retreat as well as yet to be determined access at the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August." (emphasis mine)

More likely, this is what will be happening on Inauguration Day:

(Tom Toles, via
(click to enlarge)

Rethugs To Block "Buffett Rule"

When the so-called "Buffett Rule" comes up for a vote in the Senate today, the Rethuglicans are expected to kill the loophole-closing measure with a filibuster threat. In the meantime, count on the Rethuglicans to trot out the usual defense of maintaining the tax loophole for the wealthiest Americans whose income derives from investment interest, not salaries and wages. You'll hear the phrases "job creators" (so where are the jobs created by the Bush tax cuts?), "class warfare" (a war which the wealthy have been winning for decades), and "income redistribution" (so how did "trickle down" work for you?) spouted in defending what 60% of Americans support.

The vote will put one party on record as saying it's more important for hedge fund managers and the Willard Romneys of America to pay a 15% tax rate than to ask that they pay at the same rate as a middle class family earning far less.

BONUS: And, as might be expected, the Rethug talking points have been handed out to their media water-carriers (both Jennifer Rubin in WaPo and Mona Charen are using the Rethug's "top 10 percent pay 70 percent of the taxes" red herring argument today.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Etch-a-Sketch Willard on the "Dignity of Work"

During the recent kerfuffle over Hilary Rosen's poorly framed remarks about Ann Romney not having worked outside of the home, Rethuglicans and their media water-carriers had a great time trying to turn the situation into a "Democrats hate women who stay at home" meme, which of course wasn't Rosen's thrust at all. Shockingly, we have video evidence that one Willard "Etch-a-Sketch" Romney had a different view of the value of stay-at-home mothers -- at least when it came to low-income women -- waaay back in, um... January:
“I wanted to increase the work requirement," Romney said. "I said, for instance, that even if you have a child 2 years of age, you need to go to work. And people said, ‘Well that’s heartless.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I’m willing to spend more giving day care to allow those parents to go back to work. It’ll cost the state more providing that daycare, but I want the individuals to have the dignity of work.” (via "Up With Chris Hayes" and Think Progress)

To sum up for Willard, the "dignity of work" is a concept that, when applied to low-income women with children means "get out and get a job," but when applied to well-to-do women means "stay home and raise the kids." Hmmm.

100 Years Ago

Today is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic. The sinking of this "unsinkable" ship on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, was one of the most shocking tragedies of the 20th century. The Titanic was carrying 2,223 passengers when it went down after hitting an iceberg; 1,514 people died. It had lifeboat capacity for 1,178 people.

Here's a short clip about the very lucky Father Frank Browne's experience with the Titanic:

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The "Private" Mittens

We've been hearing that right-wingers are going to hold presumed Rethug nominee and well-lubricated weather vane Willard "Etch-A-Sketch" Romney to the hard-right views that he's been expressing during the primary season. That means it will be more difficult for Willard to slide to more moderate positions in the fall without alienating his extremist followers.

It's with that in mind that we noted E.J. Dionne's posting, which deals with a statement made by a "Romney advisor" that his private and public views on immigration aren't necessarily the same. This is why the Rethug base is so wary of Etch-A-Sketch, and why we will be gratified to see it blow up in his face.

Recap of Last Week's Skirmish in the War on Women

Stephen Colbert looks back on a week that provided a useful distraction for Rethuglicans, their media water-carriers, and Willard "My Wife Reports To Me About What Women Are Thinking" Romney:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Musical Selection

Sit back, relax, maybe close your eyes, and enjoy.

Willard's Tax Dodge

President and Mrs. Obama released their 2011 tax returns today, showing they paid over $160,000 in taxes and gave away more than $170,000 in charitable donations. The release can't help but highlight the presumed Rethuglican nominee and one-percenter Willard "Millionaire Mittens" Romney's refusal to release his tax returns for the past 10 years. Although everyone knows weird Willard pays around 14 percent in taxes on investment income that's in the millions of dollars, he refused to disclose tax returns from earlier years. Ironically, he had no problem giving the McCain campaign tax returns from 10 years when he was being vetted for VP on the 2008 Rethug ticket, but he won't let the American people in on his secrets.

Vice President Biden had some fun at a rally yesterday in New Hampshire, when he asked the audience "who's got a Swiss bank account?", referring to one of Willard's off-shore income sheltering havens. This is the right week for reminding the middle class, as they submit their tax returns, just who is out of touch with them.

UPDATE: One-percent Willard has filed for an extension of up to six months for his tax returns. If the Dems let go of this obvious attempt to hide something, they're crazy.

(illustration by DonkeyHotey, via

Quote of the Day

"[New Jersey Governor Chris Christie] poses as a man willing to make hard choices for the future, but what he actually did was sacrifice the future for the sake of personal political advantage. He catered to national Republican prejudices that are completely at odds with New Jersey’s needs; he cared more about avoiding embarrassment over a misguided campaign pledge than about serving an urgent public need." -- today's blast by New York Times columnist and Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman at loudmouth bully Gov. Chris "Kris Krispycreme" Christie for diverting needed funds from a rail tunnel connecting New Jersey and New York City, and then lying about it according to a GAO report, so that the funds could be used to keep gasoline taxes from being raised.

Read the column
; it tells you all you need to know about the Rethuglican / One Percenter Party's latest savior.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Failure To Launch

After the big buildup that North Korea had for its rocket launch, it looks like the rocket failed moments into its flight. Some rocket scientists are pooping themselves today in North Korea, if they're still alive.

The new Glorious and Enlightened Leader and Father to His People, Kim Jung-un, had orchestrated the launch to honor the 100th birthday of his grandfather, the original Glorious and Enlightened Leader and Father to His People, Kim Il-sung. Since the ruling family is infallible in its judgement, a search for the traitors/incompetents/foreign agents will no doubt proceed quickly.

(photo: They got the crane out of the way before the launch, right?)

"Soulless Make-Believe Twee Bullshit" in Two Parts

Part Un (John Cole at Balloon Juice):

"Everything that comes out of this man’s [the "Catholic" League's hateful shitsack Bill Donohue] mouth is pure bile:

'This morning, the Catholic League, headed by the virulently homophobic Bill Donohue (right), said via Twitter, “Lesbian Dem Hilary Rosen tells Ann Romney she never worked a day in her life. Unlike Rosen, who had to adopt kids, Ann raised 5 of her own.'

"Get that one-two-three punch? Gotta give Donohue credit: He belittled lesbians, Democrats, and adoption all in less than 140 characters.

"He’s like Rush Limbaugh without the wit and charm and good looks. Why is he still accepted in polite company? Just a few weeks ago, he was coordinating attacks on the victims of molestation. Now this?"

Part Deux (Wonkette):

"The simplest way to capture the zeitgeist on any particularly thick day of soulless make-believe twee bullshit is to visit the blog of Jennifer Rubin, conservative commentator for the Washington Post and breathtakingly unsubtle hack for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign. Her interview with Ann Romney today is a masterwork of synthetically engineered sympathy.

'Despite the public tweets from President Obama’s advisers and Rosen, no one has called her to apologize — not the campaign, not the White House and not Rosen. She resists playing the victim. “I am okay,” she said. “I have a thick skin.” She even jokes that raising five boys was “a lot tougher” than anything Rosen is going to dish out.'

"Ann Romney joined Twitter last night for the sole purpose of playing the victim as fast as possible. She then spoke to Jennifer Rubin on her way to the airport, to play the victim. The Mitt Romney campaign strategy today and indefinitely going forward is for Ann Romney to play the victim, as much as possible, in all media platforms."

And, as with the pig who is the only happy participant in a mud wrestling contest, the ones most happy about this "twee bullshit" are the twee "mainstream media" running this faux story non-stop.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
With "Stand Your Ground" laws in effect in a number of states, it's not difficult to imagine more and more shootings of unarmed people out of fear, anger or ignorance. The laws are a product of aggressive NRA legislative action, usually via the discredited right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council.

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Happy Anniversary, Mittens

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the signing of Romneycare into law in Massachusetts. To commemorate that anniversary -- and to remind people of Willard "Weathervane" Romney's slippery nature -- the Obama campaign released this video. It's well done and worth watching.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Willard's Women Woes

It's apparent from polls that the Rethuglican Party has a real problem with a large majority of women. With ultra-right wing Rethugs pushing everything from "personhood" legislation aimed at undermining Roe v. Wade and severely restricting contraceptives, to transvaginal exams aimed at humiliating and intimidating women seeking a legal abortion, the Rethugs have shown that they don't get it.

Their eventual nominee and 3-dollar bill Willard "Weird Willard" Romney keeps stepping in the anti-women poop that his party keeps dropping. He's even hesitant to support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that gives women the tools to fight against pay discrimination. Weird Willard is so tin-eared that he actually said this:
"My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me. And she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy and getting good jobs for their kids and for themselves."
"She reports to me regularly...?" What does he see her as, a staff member of his? Does he need a female translator or emissary to understand issues of concern to women? Apparently so.

(photo: Weird Willard reacts to the latest "report" from his wife)

Mid-Week Foo Fight Song

The Foo Fighters' most recent hit, "These Days," is our mid-week song. "Foo Fighters" was the term WWII pilots used for UFOs. (Shout out to our Wisconsin roots: Madison, WI native son Butch Vig co-produced the recording, as he has in the past for such groups as Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Quote of the Day II

Our former "misunderestimated" Preznit Dumbya, running away from his "legacy," such as it is:
"I wish they weren’t called the Bush tax cuts. If they were called some other body's tax cuts, they're probably less likely to be raised."
Yes, Dumbya, you really sucked. Really.

BREAKING: Santorum Drops Out of Race

No, this one is not an April Fools Day posting. Buh bye, Frothy Mix!

Time for Newtmentum again? C'mon, let's keep this baby going!

Quote of the Day

From the excellent Charles P. Pierce at
"Ever since Wall Street trashed the world economy and stole what was left, the inchoate public rage always has had as its source a vaguely defined conviction that somebody, somewhere has cheated the rest of us out of our country. The political fight has been over who to blame for it. First, the Tea Party decided to blame Government, with a strong and familiar old counter-melody about lazy poor people. That's a spent force right now. [Rep. Paul Ryan] is yammering so desperately about 'class warfare.' The people who've paid for his political career are afraid that they just might lose one.

So, go ahead, Willard. Pick him. Let him go out, day after day, and sell his bulked-up version of all the policies that threw the country into a ditch in the first place. Make him the economic face of your ticket. Let the country look into his zombie eyes and see all the grannies starving therein."

Good Poll Numbers for Obama

A new Washington Post / ABC News poll shows President Obama with double-digit leads over presumed Rethuglican nominee and humanoid replica Willard "Marvelous Mittens" Romney on several key issues: who would protect the interests of the middle class, who is stronger on womens' issues, who would handle international relations better, and who is right on health care. The President also beats Marvelous Mittens by 19 points among women voters, which, if the number holds firm, could doom him in November. The poll shows much closer numbers on questions of jobs and the economy, as expected.

Then there's the likeability factor, the "who would you rather have a beer with?" question. On that, the President wallops Marvelous Mittens by a 2 to 1 margin. The more Mittens tries to be someone that he's not, the more the public sees his lack of a core, and sees his phoniness.

Ronnie Reagan, Socialist

President Obama travels to Florida today to rally support for the so-called "Buffett Rule," a proposal that millionaires should pay a minimum of 30% of their income in taxes. It's part of a campaign theme of fairness and shared sacrifice. The Rethuglicans, of course, are pushing back with their tired "class warfare" charge, despite polling that shows Americans favor higher taxes on the wealthy by a large majority.

To appreciate just how extreme the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party has become, here's a video of none other than President St. Ronnie of Hollywood addressing the issue of taxing the wealthy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Just As We Suspected

"... [P]olitical conservatism may be a process consequence of low-effort thought; when effortful, deliberate thought is disengaged, endorsement of conservative ideology increases." -- from the abstract for "Low-Effort Thought Promotes Political Conservatism," a paper published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin by Scott Eidelman, Christian Crandall, Jeffrey Goodman, and John Blanchar, University of Arkansas. (h/t HuffPo)

Of course, there was this, also.