Saturday, June 30, 2012

One Hellacious Storm

Record heat continues to move eastward from the midwest. Yesterday's record-setting heat in the mid-Atlantic states (104 in DC, heat index 110) was followed by extreme thunderstorms packing 70+ mile-per-hour winds, which knocked out power to some 1.2 million people. We watched the strobe-like lightening and intense rain/wind for 45 minutes from inside darkened homes last night. There are reports of 2 fatalities locally, but that will likely increase as the day progresses. Bethesda's Congressional Country Club, which is hosting the AT&T National, lost power last night and suspended public access this morning.

And today? More of the same sweltering heat and late day storms.

Friday, June 29, 2012

More Mittens Mendacity

Another week, another pack of lies.

Steve Benen's reporting on the tedious recycling of lies burbling from the privileged quiche-hole of Willard "Mendacious Mitt" Romney is the kind of journalism that is non-existent in the "mainstream media" and its "fact checkers," who need to balance one of the scores of Mittens whoppers with a false equivalence here or mis-analyzed "transgression" there by the Obama campaign or Democrats. It's always, heads the Rethuglicans win, tails the Democrats lose. With this kind of non-scrutiny, what's the advantage in truth-telling?

No favorite this week -- they're all equally loathsome.

Health Care Reform Cartoons of the Day

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(Top to bottom: Mike Luckovich, Pat Oliphant, Clay Bennett, via

Health Care Reform Quotes of the Day

"The only health care mandate they [Republicans] can embrace are transvaginal probes for women." -- our Governor, Martin O'Malley (D-MD), today. Bada-bing!

"There's only one candidate -- Gov. Romney -- who's committed that he will repeal the Obamney -- the Obamacare tax increase." -- our not-Governor (whew) Bobby "Kenneth" Jindal (Rethug-LA), in a Freudian slip (?) today. "Obamney"-care. Hee-hee.

Sunny Weekend Song

The sun will be blazing here with record temperatures over the weekend, but "it's alright" because health insurance reform is more of a reality than ever. So, enjoy this bright, sunny George Harrison/ Beatles song -- and your weekend.

Don't Blow It Again

When President Obama spoke after the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act yesterday, he explained in concise terms how the ACA, once implemented, will make a positive impact on nearly every American. It's a shame that message wasn't driven home two years ago, when the White House and Dems failed to defend and explain the reforms. Public opinion polls reflect the confusion caused by a $250 million media campaign by the far right to distort and defeat the ACA: while most Americans support the main elements of the law, many are concerned about a loss of choice in health care providers, increased costs, etc.

Think Progress summarizes the four main reasons why the ACA will benefit the nation's economy, in addition to providing affordable health insurance. Every Dem with a spine should memorize those benefits, and be out in public forums actively promoting them, rather than wait for the Rethug lie factory to shape the message once again, as they did two years ago with disastrous political consequences. As someone said, it's their second chance to make a first impression.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Right-Wing Frothers in Full Froth

The frothers are out in full froth following the End of America, uh, End of Freedom, uh, Supreme Court decision upholding the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Some is simple denial, some is false bravado, some is borderline psychotic, and some is just plain treasonous. Wonkette has a helpful compilation of some of the fever breaking in Wingnuttia (be sure to mine the links in the story).

(Note to dumbass wingnuts everywhere: when the Supreme Court rules a law Constitutional, it's Constitutional unless and until it's overturned by the Supreme Court. Otherwise, we can ignore Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, right?)

Obama on Supreme Court Upholding Affordable Care Act

Quick, Scrub That Romney Website!

Willard Romney campaign web site Fail, via Daily Kos:

"Ha ha! From Mitt Romney's Courts & The Constitution campaign website page:

'As president, Mitt will nominate judges in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito,' reads the ‘Courts & The Constitution’ section of Romney’s campaign website.'

"So to recap, Republicans nominated the Father of Obamacare, and has pledged to nominate justices in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts, who upheld Obamacare."

Obama's Supreme Victory

The Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision today, upholding the core of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)-- the individual mandate provision -- by a 5 to 4 vote, with Chief Justice John Roberts joining the progressive Justices. The Court majority made it clear that while the individual mandate could not be enforced on the basis of the commerce clause in the Constitution, it could be enforced on the Government's taxing authority, i.e., those that decline to purchase health insurance may pay a penalty tax. Interestingly, presumed swing voter Justice Anthony Kennedy lined up with the right wingers on the Court (didn't he line up with them on Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, etc., too? So why is he considered a "swing vote"?).

While this is a huge setback for the teabaggers and their corporate string-pullers (Americans for [Koch Bros.'] Prosperity, Club for [One Percenter] Growth, etc.), expect more outrageous disinformation during the 2012 campaign from the Rethugs, who will rally their far right base with ever increasing falsehoods (remember "socialism," "death panels," etc. from 2010?). This means that the White House and Dems need to recover from their non-existent promotion of the ACA, when they let the Rethugs define and distort the provisions of the law. It's hard to recall an equivalent case of utter incompetence as the White House's and Dems' failure to explain, defend, and promote the ACA two years ago. They now have a second chance; will they blow it again?

(We should note that CNN, the "most trusted name in news," rushed out and declared the Court had struck down the individual mandate, and minutes later had to reverse themselves -- as did the Fux nuts. As Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Jon Ralston tweeted, "CNN's motto: 'Better to be first than right'")

UPDATE: Leave it to the wags at Wonkette to give us the classic "Dewey Defeats Truman" blunder photoshopped (by Gary He) to mock CNN's huge goof:
(click to enlarge)
And the original version:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Supreme Cartoon of the Day

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(Pat Oliphant, via

Supreme Quote of the Day

"Justice Antonin Scalia needs to resign from the Supreme Court. He’d have a lot of things to do. He’s a fine public speaker and teacher. He’d be a heck of a columnist and blogger. But he really seems to aspire to being a politician — and that’s the problem." -- E.J. Dionne, in a hard-hitting piece that notes Scalia's frequent ventures into partisan politics and events. While Clarence "Long Dong Silver" Thomas prefers to keep his political profile somewhat lower (even with his wife's aggressive Rethuglican advocacy), Scalia flaunts his political views. He's one bad character.

Mid-Week Ho Hey Song

Compelling, acoustic-based "roots rock" artists have had much success lately, with musicians like the Avett Brothers, Eric Hutchinson, and Mumford and Sons as examples. The Lumineers have that upbeat, insistent sound, and the trio's song "Ho Hey" is rising on the charts. After watching this video, the Hackwhackers might get some hipster fedoras, too.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Corporations Aren't People Quote of the Day

From a Philadelphia Daily News editorial, commenting on the Supreme Court's upholding of the vile Citizens United decision permitting unlimited corporate money in politics:
"We'll believe a corporation is a person when:

Arizona deports one.

Texas executes one.

Massachusetts marries two of them.

The U.S. government issues one a Social Security number.

The CIA extradites one to Guantanamo.

One sacrifices its life in military service."
It looks like they're channeling our favorite Senate candidate, Elizabeth Warren.

Gas Prices and the Election

Steve Benen has an interesting post about the effect of steadily dropping gasoline prices might have on the 2012 elections. Worries about skyrocketing gas prices this summer have disappeared, with the drop in worldwide demand driving prices lower. While the job outlook remains the key economic concern, the single most important cost impacting consumers is the price of gas, which affects not only individual drivers, but the cost of transporting goods around the country.

No President has control over gasoline prices in a world economy, but if we see average gas prices at or below $3 by the fall, it will put more money in voters' pockets and persuade many undecideds to go with the President.

Cartoon of the Day

Penn State officials will be punished at some point for covering up Jerry Sandusky's child rape crimes. Sad that the same can't be said for many in the Catholic hierarchy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Most Of "Papers Please" Law Struck Down

Today, the Supreme Court struck down three-fourths of the controversial "papers please" Arizona state law, but retained the provision that permits law enforcement to check the immigration status of individuals stopped for traffic violations, etc...for now. It's expected that once that provision is actually implemented, it will be challenged and found to be discriminatory.

Arizona's finger-wagging wingnut Gov. Jan "Witches" Brewer tried to put the best spin on the part of the law that remains -- until challenged -- but it's a clear rebuke to the far right white nativists that populate the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party. So where does weathervane weirdo Willard "Self-Deportation" Romney stand on the decision? Willard won't say, and irony of ironies, he's in Arizona today at a fundraiser.

(photo: Witches Brewer puts on her happy face)

The Supreme Court and Obamacare, Cont.

A little more suggested reading coming your way on the anticipated Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"):

-- 19 of 21 constitutional law scholars surveyed by Bloomberg say Obamacare is constitutional, but most of them think the reactionary Rethuglican Supreme Court will strike part or all of it anyway;

-- James Fallows asks:
"How would you characterize a legal system that knowledgeable observers assume will not follow the law and instead will advance a particular party-faction agenda? That's how we used to talk about the Chinese courts when I was living there. Now it's how law professors are describing the Supreme Court of the John Roberts era."

-- Jonathan Cohn looks at the damage that could be done by five partisan "jurists"; and

-- E.J. Dionne wonders if we'll miss Obamacare if it's gone, and offers this:
"If the court does strike down the law, those concerned that criticisms of its ruling might undermine the 'legitimacy' of the judiciary should put their worries aside. Conservative justices long ago shattered the court’s standing as a nonpartisan, non-ideological actor in our governing system. That’s why recent surveys have found its approval rating on the decline."

See: Bush v. Gore, Citizens United, for starters. We'll have to see if Obamacare is added to that notorious list.

UPDATE: SCOTUS' mixed decision on Arizona immigration law. Is it too hopeful to note the reactionaries didn't vote in lockstep?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Supreme Court and Obamacare

Most observers expect the Supreme Court to render its opinion this week on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). Adam B. at Daily Kos lays out the various issues the Court will be deciding.

What is almost a certainty is that the one man most responsible for giving us 8 years of Dumbya, slithering Justice Antonin Scalia is willing to reverse himself in order to deal a blow to Democrats and President Obama, with fellow reactionaries "Long Dong Silver" Thomas, Sam "That's Not True" Alito, and John "I'm the Leader, Where'd They Go?" Roberts likely to join in opposing the individual mandate provision. Anthony Kennedy? The justice who wrote the execrable opinion opening the floodgates to unlimited corporate money in campaigns? Don't expect him to do anything other than support the reactionaries whenever possible.

As usual, whatever the outcome, the role of the "mainstream media" will be to assess political "winners and losers" rather than explain the ramifications of the decision.

(Image: Human meatball Antonin Scalia, via

Sunday Cartoon

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(Garry Trudeau, via gocomics)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Even More "Willard Romney, Job Creator"

If you liked this ad, please consider a donation to Priorities USA Action PAC.

More "Willard Romney, Job Creator"

Nice read in the NY Times, which serves as a good bookend to the Kaplan Daily's piece the other day on Willard "Outsourcer-in-Chief" Romney's "job creating" career at Bain Capital:
"Mr. Romney’s experience at Bain is at the heart of his case for the presidency. He has repeatedly promoted his years working in the 'real economy,' arguing that his success turning around troubled companies and helping to start new ones, producing jobs in the process, has prepared him to revive the country’s economy. He has fended off attacks about job losses at companies Bain owned, saying, 'Sometimes investments don’t work and you’re not successful.' But an examination of what happened when companies Bain controlled wound up in bankruptcy highlights just how different Bain and other private equity firms are from typical denizens of the real economy, from mom-and-pop stores to bootstrapping entrepreneurial ventures.

"Bain structured deals so that it was difficult for the firm and its executives to ever really lose, even if practically everyone else involved with the company that Bain owned did, including its employees, creditors and even, at times, investors in Bain’s funds."

The whole piece is worth a read. This is the point the Democrats need to make as often as they can, especially with Willard touting his bidness experience as his main qualification for the presidency: Willard's Bain Capital experience was all about making handsome profits for the partners, not about saving or creating jobs.

From the Film Critic's Desk

Director Wes Anderson's offbeat films aren't everybody's cup of tea (The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic), but if you have a chance to see his new work, Moonrise Kingdom, we think it's worth it. With a quirky ensemble cast ranging from Bill Murray and Bruce Willis, to Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel, the film is a whimsical story about two pre-teens finding innocent love in their escapist world circa 1965. The cinematography and fanciful sets distinguish Moonrise Kingdom, as do the two newcomers playing the charming, angst-ridden adolescents, Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman. Don't expect realism or high drama in the storyline or characters, just a humorous and touching 97 minutes of entertainment. Here's a sampling.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rethug Scott Brown, Hobnobbing With "Kings and Queens"

Looks like Sen. Scott "Cosmo McDreamy" Brown (Pinup-MA) has been dreaming a lot lately:

Please consider donating to Elizabeth Warren, so "Cosmo" Brown can "meet privately with kings and queens" full time as a private citizen.

More Mittens Mendacity

Our weekly feature (courtesy of Steve Benen) chronicling the lies pouring forth from the lie-hole of Willard "I Lie Therefore I Am" Romney. Our favorite this week is #19: "I'm not looking for a tax cut for the very wealthiest." Willard, that's not only exactly what you're looking for, it's what forms the core of your privileged being!

We also would like to highlight this from The Guardian's Michael Cohen, who Benen quotes in the linked piece:
"Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it's pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney."

Well said.

Willard Romney: Outsourcer-in-Chief

This is a front-page piece in today's Kaplan Daily that's causing quite a stir in the political world today. It's a fairly extensive discussion of the extent to which Willard "I Like to Fire People If I Can't Outsource Them" Romney's Bain Capital experience was investing in outsourcing jobs overseas. As the lying, trust fund hypocrite that he is, Willard has been running around the country talking about how he's the man to stop job losses from, among other things, outsourcing to cheap labor markets overseas.

Look for more of this based on more media exposure of this kind.

"Fast and Furious" Parsed

The most recent nit on a gnat's nut, the "Fast and Furious" faux scandal, is viewed by key Democrats as the Rethugs' payback for the Justice Department's halting the Rethugs' voter suppression efforts in a number of states. It's also just pure Grade A election year b.s. Here's Stephen Colbert's helpful exposure of the Rethug smoke machine at work:

Weekend Song Twofer

And now, for something completely different...

Chart of the Week

(click to enlarge)

This chart, which was shown the other evening on the Rachel Maddow Show, speaks volumes about the distribution of wealth -- and therefore opportunity -- in the American economy. Most Americans underestimate the percentage of wealth held by the top 20%, and desire a more even spread of wealth. Given the "middle class" is the 60% represented by the orange, red and light blue bars, it's easy to see why there's a sense of anger and frustration over the rigged political/economic game.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cartoon of the Day

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There will a lot of Etch-A-Sketching in the months ahead by Rethugs on immigration. But Hispanic voters have seen the true face of the radical Rethuglican right, and they're not going to buy the Rethugs' transparent lies.

Thursday Reads

On Willard's dodging;

On Rethuglicans drowning; and

On good news downplaying.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Picture of the Day

Jim "Jimmy Boob" Wilson, a rabid fan of weird humanoid replica Willard "One Percenter" Romney, was driving his GM pickup festooned with Romney signs on the Pennsylvania Turnpike when his truck caught on fire. No one was hurt (Jimmy Boob took the photo above) and there was no immediate explanation for the fire (was Jimmy Boob drinking grain alcohol and chain smoking, or just lighting his wind?). Low information rubes like Jimmy Boob have no clue that the elitist Rethugs and their tycoon backers aren't his friends, and would ship his job (if he has one) overseas if it profited them, and foreclose on his house (if he has one) in a nanosecond.

Willard Romney, Man of the People Headline

"Romney plans posh weekend donor retreat featuring Rove and V.P. hopefuls" -- today's Kaplan Daily. Among the invitees is Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, Crossroads GPS Super Pac head, who of course won't be coordinating with the Romney campaign at the event because that would be against campaign finance laws (riiiiight!).

What Political Purity Could Cost Us in November

Garry Wills looks at political purity and the stakes in the 2012 election:

"To vote for a Republican means, now, to vote for a plutocracy that depends for its support on anti-government forces like the tea party, Southern racists, religious fanatics, and war investors in the military-industrial complex. It does no good to say that 'Romney is a good man, not a racist.' That may be true, but he needs a racist South as part of his essential support. And the price they will demand of him comes down to things like Supreme Court appointments. (The Republicans have been more realistic than the Democrats in seeing that presidential elections are really for control of the courts.) [snip]

"Those who think there is no difference between the parties should look at the state that no longer elects any Democrats, the Texas described so well by Gail Collins, with its schools attacking evolution, its religious leaders denying there was ever any separation of church and state, and its cowboy code of justice."

The Firebaggers, the Naderites, the Greens, and all the assorted purists of the Left should ask themselves how turning America into Texas would help those about whom they purport to be most concerned.

Rethug Tax "Reform:" Reverse Robin Hood

A study by Senate Democrats and reviewed by non-partisan tax experts, shows that the effect of the Rethuglican's tax "reform" plan would be raising much larger taxes on the middle class while sharply cutting taxes for the wealthy. It would also reduce federal tax revenues by $4.5 trillion over the next decade, exacerbating the deficit issue that the Rethuglicans and other squirrels claim is so important to address ("Austerity!"). (To see the best graphic of the impact of the tax "reform" plan, be sure to click on the chart in the linked article.) You couldn't find a starker example of the "reverse Robin Hood" Rethuglican/ Ayn Rand philosophy that the "productive" (a.k.a., the "wealthy," the "job creators") are to be rewarded with more wealth at the expense of a shrinking and declining middle class. You also couldn't find a starker contrast with what the Democrats believe and fight for.

Willard Romney, "Job Creator" -- in India

The Man With The Car Elevator Doesn't Feel Your Pain

Despite his efforts to the contrary, plutocratic Conehead Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney can't shake the public's image of him as a hyper-wealthy, entitled corporate prince, completely out of touch with the middle class. A new poll by Bloomberg News shows that Prince Willard is viewed by 55% of likely voters as being out of touch with average Americans (vs. 36% for President Obama). Despite receiving low marks on his handling of the economy, President Obama leads Prince Willard 53% to 40% among likely voters, according to the same poll.

The more the public focuses on what Prince Willard and the Rethugs are offering -- a return to Dumbya's economic policies on steroids, plus reactionary social policies for women, etc. -- the better it is for Obama and the Dems. By resembling the boss that fired them, they sense that Prince Willard's not on their side, and that his Presidency would reverse whatever progress has been made for the middle class. They'd be right.

Mid-Week Amazing Birthday Song

Sir Paul McCartney turned 70 years young on Monday, which is another of those "I can't believe time has passed so quickly" realizations in life. The impact that he and his bandmates had on music and popular culture is enormous, and he still continues to make music. Here's a montage of Paul, his late wife Linda and their family from years ago. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quote of the Day - Sports Desk

"If I ever lie to Congress about having a low-life drug mule puncture my buttocks with performance-enhancing drugs, I hope I have enough money to be represented by a homespun slick lawyer named Rusty, who cross-examines that lowlife whom I employed, and puts enough doubt into the people impressed they get to sit within a few feet of me." -- Mike Wise in the Kaplan Daily, on the acquittal of former pitching great Roger Clemens of perjury charges. Celebrity + venue + money + expensive lawyer = Acquittal.

Bipartisanship? DREAM On!

We've noted for some time how it's part of Rethuglican DNA to oppose any measures on the economy, energy, immigration, etc., that would redound positively to President Obama. Basically, they're in it to sabotage the government's ability to serve the people in the hopes (somewhat successful to date) of convincing low-information voters that "it's all Obama's fault," and it's time to give the keys back to the social and economic Darwinists who got us into the mess we're in.

Ezra Klein has an article in today's Kaplan Daily demonstrating how the Rethuglican/ New Confederate Party won't take "yes" for an answer, if it involves partnering with the Obama Administration or Democrats.
"As Democrats learned during the DREAM Act’s first decade in existence, proposing policies that Republicans have previously proposed doesn’t work. Since 2009, Democrats have sought to find middle ground with a health-care plan based around an individual mandate (which Republican Sen. John Chafee first introduced into the Senate in the 1990s), a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions (which Republican Senator John McCain introduced into the Senate in 2003), and tax-cut based stimulus plans (which President George W. Bush signed in 2008). No go.

"Backing policies that Republicans currently support hasn’t proven much more effective. When Obama put his weight behind legislation to create a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission, a number of the Republicans who supported that bill, including Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, flipped to oppose it.

"Obama then created the Simpson-Bowles commission through an executive order. After it finished, Republicans lashed Obama for being cool in his initial reaction to the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan (which Republicans also didn’t support). So, when the Senate’s bipartisan Gang of Six proposed their version of the Simpson-Bowles plan, Obama gave an enthusiastic press conference calling the plan “good news” and signaling that he would sign it. A 'Senate Republican leadership aide' promptly e-mailed Politico’s Mike Allen to say, 'Background guidance: The president killed any chance of its success by 1) Embracing it. 2) Hailing the fact that it increases taxes. 3) Saying it mirrors his own plan.'

"As for simply acting on his own, that’s what the president tried to do with Rubio’s DREAM-lite, and Republicans quickly attacked him for making bipartisan cooperation on the issue harder, and now Rubio might not release his legislation at all.

"To recap: When Democrats endorse ideas Republican pioneered, that doesn’t lead to bipartisanship. When they endorse ideas Republicans currently support, that doesn’t lead to bipartisanship. And when they act on their own, that’s too partisan."

It's easy to explain if you put it all in the context of Rethuglican Senate Minority Leader and turtle-impersonator Mitch "Missy" McConnell, who said long ago the Rethugs number one priority was to defeat President Obama. We think that's called "Party Over Country."

Mario Mortificado

Reports are circulating that Rethuglican golden boy Sen. Marco "Polo!" Rubio (R-Cuba Libre!) isn't being vetted for the Vice President slot by the Romney campaign. At this point, potential candidates have been asked to fill out extensive questionnaires and to submit tax returns, etc. so that their backgrounds can be checked for potentially embarrassing problems. Not Marco.

With the President's decision not to deport children of illegal immigrants, a position favored by 64% of the public, the Rethugs know their chances of winning over Hispanic voters have virtually disappeared. Conehead-fluent Willard "Self-Deportation" Romney lagged behind President Obama among Hispanic voters by a whopping 45% even before the President's policy change.

(photo: Como se dice "thrown under the bus?" {we apologize for the lack of proper accent marks})

Nuns Take The Fight To The Rethuglicans

A group of Catholic nuns have launched a bus tour to highlight the disastrous budget cuts proposed by right-wing Rethuglican Representatives that would shred the social safety net. Calling the tour "Nuns On The Bus," they're visiting ten Rethug Congressional offices representing the worst offenders, such as Iowa's Steve "Idiot" King and Wisconsin's Paul "Lyin'" Ryan, to publicize the Social Darwinist / Ayn Rand-style approach that the Rethug House has taken toward the budget. It's also fitting that the tour visits these two nominal Catholic Rethugs, whose philosophy is more akin to Ayn Rand's than to Jesus Christ's.

In a day when the Catholic Church seems more focused on limiting women's reproductive rights and protecting their pedophile priests, it's uplifting to see Catholic nuns practicing what their religion actually teaches concerning the poor and sick.

Monday, June 18, 2012

No, We Didn't Make This Headline Up

"Getting real in California: Birther Kreep leads prosecutor Peed"

Check out the story at Rachel Maddow's blog.

So does this mean that Sheriff Poop has dropped out of the race?

National Waffler Service Watch

Daily Kos' Bill in Portland Maine gives us the National Waffler Service and its Mitt Romney Base Abandonment WATCH for Willard's waffling on the new non-deportation of undocumented youth policy:


The National Waffler Service has issued a Mitt Romney Base Abandonment WATCH effective immediately in the following area: Immigration.

[Yesterday] morning on CBS, Mitt Romney was asked five times whether he would continue Obama’s new policy on immigration, ending deportations for DREAM-eligible youth. Romney flatly refused to take a position.

A Mitt Romney Base Abandonment Watch means that conditions are favorable for Mitt Romney to back away from his "severely conservative" GOP base-friendly positions---including the mandatory and immediate "self-deportation" of all undocumented immigrants---by increasingly desperate leaps and bounds.

Should an actual base abandonment occur, the appropriate warning will be issued. Please note that these conditions may be accompanied by additional damaging flip flops, flop flips, gaffes, blunders, "hot mic moments," bewilderment at the sight of everyday objects (including doughnuts and rain ponchos), and attempts at humor followed by condescending "HehHehHehs" that come uncomfortably close to sounding like George W. Bush.

Republicans who feel a sense of despair, disappointment, heartburn and/or outrage that Mitt Romney, who never met a position he didn’t change, is the GOP nominee, should understand that these feelings are normal and will never, ever go away.

Republicans are urged to stay tuned to the National Waffler Service for updates, instructions, and links to the nearest online "Chris Christie in 2016" support shelter.

Now back to your regularly-scheduled blogging…

Profile in Cowardice, Cont'd.

Well-lubricated weather vane and Etch-A-Sketch master Willard "Self Deportation" Romney was quizzed by CBS' Bob Schieffer yesterday on the President's order not to deport immigrants who were brought here illegally by their parents. To no one's surprise, when asked if he would repeal the executive order, Willard weaseled out and refused to give a yes or no answer on five occasions.

Clearly, this issue has the Rethuglicans on the defensive, as well it should, considering their abject extremism during the Rethug primaries. When Willard said he thought the "papers please" policies of Arizona's Gov. Jan "Witches Brew" Brewer should be adopted nationally, and that illegal immigrants should "self deport," he locked in his, and his party's, position going into November. No amount of Etch-A-Sketching on his part, or ducking questions, will erase that.

Monday Reading

The indispensable Frank Rich on why the Obama campaign needs to take a lesson from the LBJ-era anti-Goldwater "Daisy" ad (and other successful "negative" political campaigns) and drop the bomb on weird Willard "I Like to Fire People" Romney:
"The serious questions raised by the early Obama ads are not whether they were too much but too little: Was waiting until May behind the curve? Are the ads vicious enough to inflict lasting damage? Is there a nuclear option in Obama’s advertising arsenal that can blow Romney out of the water as LBJ’s immortal mushroom-cloud 'Daisy' ad did Barry Goldwater on Labor Day in 1964? Given the anemic employment numbers and the pack of billionaire GOP sugar daddies smelling blood after their Wisconsin victory, a reboot of hope and change would truly be the reelection campaign’s most self-destructive option. Obama is embarking on one of the roughest political races in memory, not a nostalgia tour. He is facing an opponent with a proven record of successful carpet-bombing attacks, as Gingrich and Rick Santorum can attest. Just because that proposed super-PAC stink bomb branding Obama as a 'metrosexual' disciple of a frothing-at-the-mouth Reverend Jeremiah Wright was aborted doesn’t mean that more of the same and uglier aren’t on the way. The premise of Romney’s entire campaign amounts to one long complaint against Obama, and shadowy donors whose names you’ll never learn can do the dirty work under PAC cover while Romney claims his hands are clean."

It's a richly (pun-intended) detailed article that's worth reading in its entirety (pay attention Axelrod and Plouffe!). Being on the receiving end of the equivalent of a political H-bomb is one thing to which the smug Willard is entitled.

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

From the Party that brought us Watergate, Iran Contra, the 2000 Presidential election hijacking, and lying us into the Iraq war.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

To all our fellow fathers out there, have a wonderful Father's Day. Enjoy and appreciate your children and, if you're lucky to have your father still, give him a Hackwhacker hug!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Willard Romney Attempts Human Interaction; Awkwardness Ensues

On the bus tour in Pennsylvania with Willard "My Horsey's Going to the Olympics!" Romney, wherein he mingles with other average Joes, jovially banters about where to score the best hoagie, and this:
"But Romney said his visit there [to a Wawa store] had been 'instructive' because it personified the difference between innovation in the private sector and the ability of the government to do its job.

"What inspired him: A computer at Wawa that allows customers to type in what they want on a sandwich, as opposed to ordering it through a human cashier. [snip]

"'You press a little touchtone key pad… You touch this, touch this, touch this, go pay the cashier, and there's your sandwich,' Romney said. 'It's amazing!'"

Someday, in Willard's perfect world, there won't be a need for any human interaction. Yay, private sector innovation!! Huzzah, job creators!!

(Photo: "And you, my good man, where do you purchase your hoagies, and do they have an ordering computer?")

Catholic Association Reverses on Contraception Coverage

(click to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, via

In a case of curious timing, the Catholic Health Association, which had previously accepted the Obama Administration compromise on including contraception in health care policies offered through Catholic institutions, is now backing off its support. The association still "supports the president’s overall health care overhaul, but believes he should broaden the exemption for religious groups who say facilitating the use of contraception in any way goes against their religious belief."

Seems to us and others that the Vatican and right-wing American bishops are strong-arming their wayward flock into line. All the more reason the Leadership Conference of Women Religious needs to stand its ground against these hypocritical goons and their march to return to the 18th century.

An Infamous 40th Anniversary

Forty years ago this weekend, several burglars employed by the Committee to Reelect the President broke into the Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate complex in an attempt to gather information on the Democrats. The burglary and the ensuing cover up orchestrated by Richard "Tricky Dick" Nixon and his merry gang resulted in jail terms for many and the resignation of Tricky Dick in August, 1974. These days, "gate" is appended to every gaffe, scandal and dirty trick imaginable. It also made a name for the once-great Washington Post. Charles Pierce in Esquire has a memorable piece on the legacy and meaning of Watergate.

Tricky Dick was found to have been in on the attempts to cover up and otherwise obstruct the investigation at a very early stage, along with former Attorney General John Mitchell, and top White House aides. His paranoia and lust for power eventually did him in, but it didn't stop the Rethugs from seeking revenge for the next 40 years. You might say President Clinton's sham impeachment was the Rethuglican book- end to the revenge but their hatred continues. Much to their chagrin, Clinton has fared far better in public opinion than either Tricky Dick or the latter day Rethugs.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rethug Sex Blotter: Peter Pan Edition

This is a non-photoshopped picture of Oregon Rethuglican State Rep. Matt "Wingnut" Wingard who apparently (possibly with the help of a roofie), got his young female staffer into a "compromising situation," and followed up with a nice dose of sexual harassment. Wingard was Deputy House Leader for the Rethuglicans until his recent resignation.

Wingard is clearly innocent. Just look at this fine example of white, conservative manhood. What woman would need to be drugged to end up in bed with him?

(Photo: Rethug Oregon State Rep. Wingard (R-Neverland))

McNasty Goes Off Rethug Message

In an interview with Judy Woodruff, Arizona Sen. John McNasty (R-Sour Grapes) broke with his party's expected nominee over super PAC involvement in politics.

Specifically pointing to gambling tycoon and Likudnik putz Sheldon "Smelly Shelly" Adelson, who derives much of his billions from casinos in Macau, McNasty contradicted fellow plutocrat and humanoid replica Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney by stating,
"...we need to go back to the realization that Teddy Roosevelt had that we have to have a limit on the flow of money and that corporations are not people. That’s why we have different laws that govern corporations than govern individual citizens."
Give credit where it's due: while McNasty bitterly takes every possible opportunity to bash the President, even on things he used to support (e.g., immigration policy), he's on the right side here.

More Mittens Mendacity

Courtesy of Steve Benen, here's this week's compilation of the bald-faced lies coming from that smarmy trust fund brat Willard "I Like to Fire People" Romney. Our favorite this week is number 19:

"That stimulus didn't work. That stimulus didn't put more private-sector people to work."

Of course, demonstrably false, as Benen shows. But as Willard knows, Mark Twain was right when he said, "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes."

Obama Gives "Dreamers" a Big Break

President Obama announced today he's issuing a policy directive granting children of illegal immigrants the right to stay in the U.S. and work, as long as they've been law-abiding. The action, which halts deportations of this population, bypasses the Rethuglican Congress and puts in place a key feature of the Rethug-stymied "DREAM" Act. It's likely to effect about 800,000 young people, be warmly received in the Hispanic community, and cause major consternation in Wingnuttia, and an outbreak of rude assholery.

Well done, Mr. President!

BONUS: Here's Rethuglican saint Ronald Reagan in 1984: "I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." Yep, the Rethugs wouldn't elect him dogcatcher these days.

Weekend Lazy Song

This is a pure nostalgic offering. Back when we were growing up, the radio was on most of the day in our house, and the popular Mills Brothers could often be heard crooning "Glow Worm," "Satin Doll," or this song, "Lazy River." We'll always associate it with lazy days after school was over, where every memory is warm and painted with a soft golden glow. Hope your weekend is the same.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Victim of Voter Suppression

We've noted in previous posts that the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party is pulling out the stops in a number of states to make it hard, if not impossible, for Democratic-leaning voters to vote. Think Progress has a story today about a 95 year-old Wisconsin woman who was impacted by Wisconsin's Rethug-engineered voter ID law. Florence Hessing stopped driving when she reached 90, and was delivered by midwife so she had no birth certificate. Although lawyers were able to win an exemption for her, she's an example of the attempts by Rethugs to suppress the votes of likely Democratic voters by placing hurdles in their way.

Along with the infusion of enormous amounts of money from hyper-wealthy tycoons and large multinational corporations on the Rethug side, voter suppression is the ultimate attack on democracy. That's why this election is so important.

Today's Cartoon: Rethuglicans Sabotaging Economy

(click to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, via

Dog Days

A lovely Hackwhacker daughter sent this adorable picture of her little white female Samoyed, Madison, enjoying a Southern California day, and embracing a new friend with all four paws. Awww. A nice break from our usual fare.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

More Man of the People - Horsey Set Edition

Stephen Colbert takes a riding crop to Willard "Millionaire Mitt" Romney, Common Man.

Today's Read: Rethuglicans Sabotaging Economy

From Dick Polman in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"The Republicans' 2012 election strategy is perversely brilliant: Sabotage President Barack Obama's job-creation efforts, then blame him for the wreckage. This strategy was in action the other day, when Mitt Romney assailed Mr. Obama on the stump. Mr. Romney said that 'with America in crisis, with 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work, he hasn't put forth a plan to get us working again.'

"Mr. Romney conveniently omitted the fact that Mr. Obama put forth such a jobs plan last autumn. The American Jobs Act would have put as many as 2 million construction workers, cops, teachers and firefighters back to work -- so said economic forecasters -- if only congressional Republicans hadn't dynamited it.

"Yes, sabotage was required. Republicans knew their prospects for beating Mr. Obama would be damaged if they signed on to a plan that got more Americans working again. They're far too invested in economic misery to let that happen. As Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell candidly remarked in 2010, 'The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.'"

Attention all low-information voters! Attention all low-information voters!

Man of the People, cont'd.

News item: one of the horses owned by plutocrat Willard "I Like to Fire People" Romney's wife will will almost certainly compete in the summer Olympics, in the dressage competition.


Mid-Week Song

Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Silversun Pickups have had much success since they formed in 2002, charting five songs in the top 10, including their current single "Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)." Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Report: Russian Attack Copters Heading For Syria

In what could foreshadow a major escalation of violence, Secretary of State Clinton said today that Russian attack helicopters were on their way to Syria. The reported action follows recent massacres of civilians by the Assad regime, as well as a strengthening of anti-Assad forces. Russia has refused to cooperate with Western and Arab efforts through the United Nations to bring the violence and the Assad regime to an end, but this report would indicate a significant ramping up of Russian military aid in an effort to save Assad.

Plurality Thinks Rethuglicans Sabotaging Economy

From Public Policy Polling:

Q: Do you think the Republicans are intentionally stalling efforts to jumpstart the economy to ensure that Barack Obama is not reelected or not?

Yes: 49 (47)
No: 40 (41)
Unsure: 11 (12)

It's good to know you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Time for the Democrats to come out and say what nearly a majority is thinking anyway: the Rethugs are sabotaging the recovery for political gain.

Photo of the Day

Obama supporter Betty White visits the White House on Monday.

Man Of The People Quote of the Day

"It's finally time to have a president who's in touch with what's happening in America, and I am." -- One percenter and multi-mansion owner Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney, speaking earlier in Orlando, FL.

Maybe Weird Willard thinks wearing mom jeans and loafers to rallies will fool a lot of rubes, and he's probably right. However, most Americans see this guy as a born-to-the-manor plutocrat, who thinks $375,000 isn't a lot of money, who has a car elevator in his California estate, whose wife drives two Cadillacs, who is worth some $240 million, and who likes to fire people. It doesn't help his campaign when his lying is so obvious either.

There's The Truth, And Then There's Fux

Saying that the Fux "News" operation is in the tank for Rethuglicans is like saying the Sun's surface is warm. Frequently, in their zeal to smear the Obama presidency, they get tripped up by their own ineptitude, as witness "Fux and Friends" master bungler Steve "Doucheman" Doocy in this morning's softball interview of Willard "Pinocchio" Romney:
"If you watched Fox & Friends interview Mitt Romney on Tuesday morning, you heard from the inestimably chipper Steve Doocy that the Federal Reserve announced on Monday that forty percent of Americans’ wealth had been wiped out in “the last three years.” One problem. It’s not true. No doubt the Fed report made for sober reading, showing that median household net worth was in 2010 at its lowest level since 1992 when adjusted for inflation. But the years studied — the height of the recession with a cratering housing market — were 2007 to 2010. Not (for the time-challenged) the last three years." -- Paul Werdel, Talking Points Memo (our boldface)
Maybe if Texas Gov. Rick "One, Two...I Forgot Three" Perry runs in 2016 (after Pinocchio loses this November), the Doucheman can be his "numbers" guy on the campaign.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Beltway Media Wrong About Ad Impacts

Not surprisingly, the Beltway village media tut-tutted the Obama campaign's ads pointing out that clueless plutocrat Willard "I Like Firing People" Romney's mission at Bain Capital wasn't to create jobs, as Willard has repeatedly claimed. They acted as stenographers when Willard's nervous campaign accused the Obama campaign of attacking "private equity," etc., rather than Willard's claims of being a "job creator."

Well, according to several focus group studies, the Obama message is hitting home and resonating with the voters. Seeing ads with real people -- not elitist "centrist" pundits and talking heads -- relating their experiences on the receiving end of Willard's brand of smash-and-grab capitalism is potent. As one of the focus groups found,
"In the aisles of Wal-Mart, Bain is a four-letter word."

Headline/ Story of the Day

"Raymond Dolin, Hitchhiker Writing 'The Kindness Of America,' Allegedly Shot By Charles Danielson"

"Did I say 'kindness?' I meant 'random psychopaths.'"

UPDATE: Turns out the random psychopath was Mr. Dolin himself.

Obama Campaign Responds to Nit on Gnat's Nut

The recent Romney-aided media microscopy on a certain gnat's nut has received an indirect, but appropriate, response from the Obama campaign:

Also, seems like Koch-sniffer and Rethug weasel Gov. Scott "Divide and Conquer" Walker doesn't agree with Willard "I Like Firing People" Romney that teachers, police and firefighters are "big government," and what was the "message of Wisconsin."

Meanwhile, as expected, the politics-as-horse race Beltway whiz-bangs are determined to keep that microscope trained on the gnat's nut. Run with that narrative, Cillizard, run!

Jeb Bush Goes Off-Message: Reagan Would Have "Hard Time" in Today's GOP

Former Florida Rethuglican Governor and Willard surrogate Jeb Bush is continuing to observe the obvious: that the "modern" Rethuglican/ New Confederate party would have a hard time accommodating someone like St. Ronnie of Hollywood or Bush pere:
"Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad — they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party — and I don’t — as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground," Bush said, adding that he views the hyper-partisan moment as "temporary."

"Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they got a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support," he said. Reagan "would be criticized for doing the things that he did."

Though still in denial about the true nature of his party, and willing to blame President Obama for much of the hyper-partisanship, it's interesting that this one-time Rethug fair-haired boy is even making these rather mild and forgiving criticisms. Time to send him back to the Norquist/ Limbaugh re-education camp!

(UPDATE: The rocks-for-brains, white robed one has begun the scolding!)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Cartoons

(click to enlarge)

(Top - Mike Luckovich; lower - Pat Oliphant; via

Party of One

Just for laughs, and for an insight into the incestuous culture of the Washington Village elites, please read blogger tBogg's takedown of Village doyenne Sally "Party Girl" Quinn's latest musings on the passing of the Washington social scene as she knew it. It's been a while since we've noted Party Girl's extravagant cluelessness, but the wife and ex-mistress of former WaPo editor Ben "Out Of It" Bradlee has uncorked a doozy in the Washington Post Magazine. Sample howlers (our parentheticals):
"The Obamas have been roundly criticized for not being part of the Washington social scene. (Oh? Who besides you?) The question is, does it matter? Could Obama win or lose the presidency because he has dissed the Washington community? I suspect the answer is no.(You suspect right) It doesn’t matter anymore."(Yes, dammit, he should have spent more time at your parties and less time...presidenting)

"Washington has become a community of small groups of people, mostly staying within their circles, occasionally making a foray out into the bigger world to large events, only to be turned off by the endless corporate 'fundraiserness' of it all. How special can you feel when you know you have to pay to go to an event and then get a bad seat on top of that?" (Ben Out Of It and Party Girl liked the free food and booze, good seats and abundant nasty gossip in the old days -- made them feel "special")
Party Girl went after the Clintons after they declined her social invitations, and she's not too pleased with the Obamas for similar slights. After all, it's all about Party Girl and Ben Out Of It and their lost influence.

(photo: "Ben" partying hard, have we?)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

This Week's Nit on a Gnat's Nut Story

We try to catch as many of the "mainstream media's" attempts, first fed and then cheered on lustily by the right-wing noise machine, to take a detrimental-to-Democrats "story" the size of a nit on a gnat's nut* and make it seem like the Extinction Asteroid is about to hit. This week's example is the orchestrated pandemonium caused at last week's press conference when the President said, "The private sector is doing fine" as he was trying to explain the need to pass legislation to stop the hemorrhaging of public sector jobs (e.g., police, firemen and teachers), where much of the losses in the past 3 years have been occurring (thanks to Rethug governors). The context, of course, was lost in the "mainstream media" reporting, because context is, well, you know, practicing journalism, and they just want to get more hits, viewers, readers. It's business, right?

So now President Obama is being portrayed as "out of touch," without any sense of irony, by Willard "I Like to Fire People" Romney, his herd of platinum-plated plutocrats and their media stenographers. Once again we must say, sic transit gloria, America.

* Yes, it's a Dan Rather-ism!

Impolitic Bishops and Uppity Sisters

The Kaplan Daily's Melinda Henneberger and Lisa Miller take on right-wing bishops eager to politic against President Obama, and the Vatican boyz and their 18th century view of the place of women in religion and society. Henneberger ponders whether certain American bishops are close to crossing the line into partisan Rethuglican politics (A: Yes), and Miller, who writes for the "On Faith" section of the Kaplan Daily, takes on the boyz' view of what constitutes "feminism," or more precisely, "radical feminism" among American nuns (A: when "...the sisters aren't behaving as girls should").

Miller gives us our favorite quote, from the late Mary Daly, who taught at Boston College, and who was appalled by
“... the contrast between the arrogant bearing and colorful attire of the ‘princes of the church," [snip] "and the humble, self-deprecating manner and somber clothing of the very few women... Watching the veiled nuns shuffle to the altar rail to receive Holy Communion from the hands of a priest was like observing a string of lowly ants at some bizarre picnic.”

We Don't Need No Education

"[President Obama] wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people." -- weird human replica Willard "Mall Cop" Romney yesterday, responding to the President's call for investments in education and infrastructure. That should go over with people who view police, firemen and teachers as heroes.

Of course, we could simply ask people like Willard to impersonate police, etc. and solve the problem that way.