Friday, November 30, 2012

Class Warfare -- Twinkies Edition

Kind of makes you want to organize a firing squad:
"On Thursday, as part of a plan to liquidate the company and lay off 18,000 workers, a federal judge in White Plains, N.Y., approved paying 19 Hostess executives bonuses totaling $1.8 million. Hostess has said it has interest from at least 110 firms who want to buy pieces of the operation.

"The decision comes as the company, known for its iconic snack cakes like Ho Hos and Ding Dongs, says it doesn't have enough cash on hand to pay retirement benefits to some former employees." (our emphasis)
Hostess is currently owned by private investment firms =cough=jobcreators=cough=.

Vulture capitalism -- awesome!

Weekend Twofer

Now for something completely different (as they say). The Chieftains are the premier interpreters (IMHO) of traditional Irish music. Here they are playing two songs which were used as marches for the religious factions fighting over control of England and Ireland in the 1600's. "Lillibullero" is the march favored by the Protestants (supporters of King William), while "The White Cockade" is the song favored by the Jacobites (supporters of Catholic King James). You aren't required to march while playing this, though. Enjoy the weekend.

Barking Up The Right Tree Pic of the Day

First Dog Bo inspects the Christmas Tree in the White House. We're assuming he's not mistaking it for a fire hydrant.


A New Campaign Begins

President Obama was in Hatfield, PA this morning at a toy manufacturer, the first in a series of trips he'll be making to put pressure on the Rethuglican House of Representatives to pass a continuation of middle class tax cuts before they expire on December 31. The Rethug House is holding these tax cuts -- our tax cuts -- hostage to tax rates for the top two percent income earners (i.e., their donors). The Democratic-controlled Senate has already passed a bill to move ahead with extending the middle class tax cuts, but the Rethuglican-controlled House won't budge.

Here's a good summary of the argument the President made for "decoupling" the middle class tax cuts from the so-called "fiscal cliff" kerfuffle. Here's hoping that the message resonates with voters and that he keeps hitting the Rethug House members hard on the issue in the next couple of weeks.

Class War Quote of the Day

"The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election." -- Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman, in today's New York Times. In his column, he explains why we have to be suspicious of "shared sacrifice" proposals from the plutocrats that bet on Willard "Not-President" Romney: it's shared sacrifice for us, but not for them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Legends of the Fault"

Watching Rethuglican amigos Sens. John "Grumpypants" McCain and Lindsay "Huckleberry Closetcase" Graham continue their bitter partisan attacks on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice makes a person want to punch the teevee screen. Watching Jon Stewart puncture the lying hypocrisy of these two jackasses on his show is a perfect antidote. At roughly the 3:10 mark, Stewart starts focusing on the record of these two spouting misinformation, which led to an unnecessary war with Iraq and thousands of casualties. Stewart saves the best slap for the end of the video.

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Legends of the Fault
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Third Quarter Economic Numbers Better

The economy grew by 2.7% in the third quarter of 2012, an encouraging direction and, along with jobless claims dropping, shows a slowly improving economy (damn the Chicago mob, continuing to manipulate the numbers even after the election is over!).

If a "fiscal cliff" deal favorable to the middle class can be negotiated (lower tax rates on 98%, minimal cuts to programs investing in research/education/job creation, etc.), we could see a significant expansion of the economy in 2013 - 2014.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Here are the photos of the Rethuglican House Committee Chairmen for the next Congress. Notice anything, um, similar?

Right you are. Maybe some wigs and/or dark makeup would help the situation for the clueless white men's club Rethugs....

White House On Filibuster Reform: Get It Done

"The President has said many times that the American people are demanding action. They want to see progress, not partisan delay games. That hasn't changed, and the President supports Majority Leader Reid's efforts to reform the filibuster process.

"Over the past few years important pieces of legislation like the DREAM Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and the American Jobs Act weren't even allowed to be debated, and judicial nominations and key members of the administration are routinely forced to wait months for an up-or-down vote. The American people deserve a United States Senate that puts them first, instead of partisan delay.
" -- statement today to the Huffington Post by Dan Pfeiffer, White House Communications Director. It's long past time to do something about this parliamentary anachronism that has been so egregiously abused by the Rethuglicans in the past 4 years.

Fiscal Cliff Poll

Here's what Americans want out of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations (spoiler alert -- they're the same as Democratic Party positions):

(click to enlarge)

(Source: Langer Research for ABC News/WaPo)

It's Over Grover Cartoons of the Day

It's hard to find editorial cartoons that don't address the Rethuglican's problem with Grover "It's Over" Norquist. Here's a sampling for your enjoyment.

(click to enlarge)

(credits, from top: Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Tom Toles, Washington Post; Matt Wuerker, Politico)

UPDATE: Washington Bureau Chief Brian takes time out from his tight deadline assignments to point us to this Onion article on the difficult choice Rethuglican Congresscritters have in deciding between Grover and The Fiscal Cliff. (Note to Chinese People's Daily on-line: The Onion is a satire site.)

Fiscal Cliff Notes

Last night, Stephen Colbert dissected the chatter over the so-called "fiscal cliff" issue. He noted the Rethugs are nervous about breaking from wing nut Grover "It's Over" Norquist's pledge not to raise any taxes, saying the only thing they feared hearing more than the words "Grover Norquist" were "buenos dias." BWHAHAHA!

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Mid-Week Burden Song

From the heavenly Alison Krauss, a live version of "Lay My Burden Down." Enjoy.
When I was young my momma would say
Well life is hard, but that's OK
If you can make it through the day
It's not that far
No, it's not that far

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Excuses, ExCooches

We've seen this movie before: the Rethugs try to delegitimatize the President by claiming he's a Socialist Muslim, he wasn't born in the U.S., etc. etc. Now, there's a fraudster movement underway among the delusional far right, who are claiming that the lack of voter suppression laws enabled President Obama to "steal" the election. Virginia's notorious Rethuglican Attorney General Ken "Cooch" Cuccinelli implied on a wing nut radio program that implementing voter ID laws in key states would have given Willard "One Percent" Romney the election (overlooking a number of states that went for Willard which don't have restrictive voter ID laws). Cooch is infamous for supporting the transvaginal probe indignity with Virginia's Rethug state legislators (small government, you say?), and is running for the Rethug nomination for Governor. But with a state trending more and more blue, it may be a rough slog in the general election for Cooch and his "probing" mind.

(photo: A female constituent offers to give Cooch a transpenile probe.)

Do You See Any Boehners In This Photo?

Seven nude AIDS activists briefly* occupied Rethuglican Speaker of the House John Boehner's office today to protest possible sequestration of HIV/AIDS funding as part of a "fiscal cliff" deal.

*Ed. note: Their briefs were also briefly occupied.

Positive Economic Signs

The Conference Board reports that consumer confidence in November reached its highest point in over four years, indicating consumers are feeling better about the economy and their own economic situations. Home prices also continue to rise, a further sign of a strengthening economy. Finally, the Thanksgiving shopping season was very healthy, with Cyber Monday alone posting a 30% boost in sales. If Christmas sales are robust, and a good deal is struck for the middle class in the so-called Fiscal Cliff negotiations, expect a real economic boom to begin in 2013.

No Need To Kiss His Ring

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is scheduled to meet with a number of Senators today to discuss the Benghazi attack. We wonder why, when her only involvement was reading off of talking points prepared by the Director of National Intelligence on several Sunday gab fests.

Most aggravating is her scheduled meeting with bitter old clown Sen. John "McNasty" McCain, which he says she requested. This would have been a good time for the Administration to shun McNasty and let him twist in the wind of his reckless and borderline racist remarks about Rice, which he's trying to walk back. Here's the way McNasty put it:
"She asked to see me and I agreed to see her."
How nice of him to agree, and how obsequious of the Administration to offer her up again to a jerk like McNasty.

The Administration doesn't need McNasty's vote if Rice were to be the nominee for Secretary of State, so why not send him a message by denying him a "visit" from Rice? If this is a harbinger of more "negotiating with yourself" by the Obama Administration, maybe they, more than the Rethuglicans, need to remember who won the last election convincingly.

UPDATE: And now that she's met with McNasty and his amigos, they've renewed their criticism. Well played.

UPDATE DEUX: As usual, Charles P. Pierce um... pierces the ego bubbles involved in the charade:
"Rice, and acting CIA director Michael Morell, took time out of their busy schedules to go up to Capitol Hill and soothe the wounded fee-fees of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and the inexplicable Kelly Ayotte, who has decided that the foreign-policy credentials she burnished keeping New Hampshire safe from General Burgoyne have made her a serious player, and who apparently has been adopted by Grumpypants and Huckleberry Closetcase because they can convince her that Susan Rice went to prom with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
Hee-hee. Love the "Grumpypants" and "Huckleberry Closetcase," henceforth our new monikers for McCain and Graham.

Monday, November 26, 2012

We're Shocked, Shocked At This Disclosure!

Florida's Rethuglican State officials trying to suppress voting by minorities! Really? No one would have guessed, but Florida's Rethuglican Gov. and alien impersonator Rick "Voldemort" Scott and his Rethug allies did everything they could to pre-determine the outcome of the vote through suppression tactics and a law restricting early voting from 14 days to eight, according to no less an authority than ex-Florida Rethuglican Party chairman Jim Greer:
“The sad thing about that is yes, there is prejudice and racism in the party but the real prevailing thought is that they don’t think minorities will ever vote Republican.”
With his clumsy attempts to disenfranchise voters, Voldemort Scott will find that public anger at this deeply un-American assault on a basic right of citizenship will more than overcome the suppression tactics. With the changing demographics in Florida, his days as Governor are running out.

(photo: Gotcha.)

They Can't Handle The Truth

Let's see how long this interview continues after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tom Ricks calls out Fox "News" over its handling politicizing of the Benghazi tragedy:

Rethuglican Makeover Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

"Clearly we weren't conservative enough." BWAHAHAHA!

We're hearing a lot these days about Rethugs focusing on "messaging" and "outreach" and other tactical concerns. They don't want to recognize the cancer at the heart of their party -- the intolerant, ignorant, loony tea bagger base -- and the fact that the tea bagger base needs to be fed its diet of delusion, paranoia and hatred by the "conservative entertainment complex" to remain part of the Rethug / New Confederate Party.

BONUS: That base we're talking about has been expressing itself on an almost daily basis in the Kaplan Daily's Letters to the Editor. If anyone thought Willard's "47%" yammer to his plutocrat friends was an anomaly, think again. Here's today's dose of "class warfare - wingnut style."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Giving Thanks Photo

Democratic Sens.-elect Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) on Capitol Hill, Nov. 13. (The six most feared words on Wall Street? "Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senate Banking Committee.") Thank you again, Massachusetts and Wisconsin! We'll have these great progressive Senators for, we hope, a long time to come.

(Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Sunday Secession Cartoon

Hopefully, this nonsense will die out quickly, but in the meantime (click to enlarge):

(Ben Sargent, via

McNasty's Personal War

Arizona's poster boy for Obama Derangement Syndrome Sen. John "McNasty" McCain's vendetta against President Obama is nothing new, and continually manifests itself in his mindless opposition to everything the President proposes. John Heilemann's piece in New York Magazine gives several reasons why U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice will be nominated and confirmed as the new Secretary of State, despite McNasty's hostile and objectively racist opposition. Here's number 4:
"4. Because McCain is being a jackass—and Obama is sick of it. Arguably more than any other national figure, the senior senator from Arizona is driven in every aspect of his public behavior by personal pique.... In the wake of the 2008 election, when he was soundly thumped by a Democratic challenger whom he regarded as a neophyte and a pretender whose experience and valor were no match for his own, McCain immediately shed all traces of mavericky independence and became one of Obama’s fiercest critics from the right."
He notes that the White House has long seen McNasty in this light, and wants the fight with him -- one that they rightly believe they'll win. Despite his constant appearances on Sunday talk shows, no one should take McNasty seriously, especially after his reckless and idiotic pick of snowbilly Sarah Palin for his running mate, and his very clear derangement over the man that beat him out of the Presidency.

BONUS: Newsweek/Daily Beast's Michael Tomasky adds his perspective on McNasty's growing irrelevance.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cartoon and Commentary - The Real First Americans

Absorb this (click to enlarge)...

... then read this about a permanent resident of the Obama Derangement Syndrome ward.

Saturday's Paul Krugman Read

Paul Krugman opines on the missing link between the world of science and rationality and the dinosaur-riding-Jeebus party (in the shape of Sen. Marco "Polo!" Rubio (Not A Scientist, Man - FL)):
"Earlier this week, GQ magazine published an interview with Senator Marco Rubio, whom many consider a contender for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, in which Mr. Rubio was asked how old the earth is. After declaring 'I’m not a scientist, man,' the senator went into desperate evasive action, ending with the declaration that 'it’s one of the great mysteries.'

"It’s funny stuff, and conservatives would like us to forget about it as soon as possible. Hey, they say, he was just pandering to likely voters in the 2016 Republican primaries — a claim that for some reason is supposed to comfort us.

"But we shouldn’t let go that easily. Reading Mr. Rubio’s interview is like driving through a deeply eroded canyon; all at once, you can clearly see what lies below the superficial landscape. Like striated rock beds that speak of deep time, his inability to acknowledge scientific evidence speaks of the anti-rational mind-set that has taken over his political party."
With a base in denial about global climate change, evolution and, um, simple math, it's no wonder comers like Rubio are desperate to gloss over the fact that his party for the most part exists in a 19th Century time-warp.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekend Song Twofer

Two beauties from the mid-60's from The Four Tops and The Beau Brummels:

Gaza Cease Fire Tenuous, But Holding

A tenuous cease fire is still holding between Israel and Hamas, despite a shooting incident where a Palestinian was shot and killed at the border earlier today. Key to the cease fire was the constructive influence of Egypt's government under Mohammed Morsi, and the active engagement of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. In particular, Clinton is garnering praise for helping to broker the cease fire agreement just as Israeli military action against Hamas was imminent.

Secretary Clinton will be leaving the Obama Administration after four years of exceptional service with this cease fire as another achievement to point to. Whether she runs for President in 2016 (run Hillary!) or not, she's earned a well-deserved rest and the respect of her country.

God Says You're A Jackass

American Talibangelist leader Pat "Ayatollah Assahola" Robertson has what he thinks is a "conversation with God" every New Years. His prediction last January made it sound like God was planning a Rethuglican win. What a surprise that long-time Rethuglican party hack Robertson would "hear" that.

Well, God was pulling a fast one on the old reactionary when he gave President Obama and Democrats the decisive win in November. Here's the way Ayatollah Assahola explained it:
“So many of us miss God, I won’t get into great detail about elections but I sure did miss it, I thought I heard from God, I thought I had heard clearly from God, what happened?”
What happened was your brand of "Christianity" isn't Christianity at all, so God isn't speaking to you. Your "Christianity" is a narrow-minded, uncharitable, selfish and intolerant front set up to fleece the gullible who send their $5 in to your network so that you'll "pray" for them. You're part of the "Conservative Entertainment Complex" as David Frum so accurately described it, and this time you got caught listening to yourself, not God.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Here's wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. Here's hoping that someday soon big retailers will either close their stores on Thanksgiving or give their employees more time to spend with their families.

: "5 Things to Tell Your Republican Relatives at Thanksgiving Dinner."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nitwits in the News

Here's a quick rundown of what passes for brain activity on the far-right:

-- Let's look in to see who "History Professor" and conservative deep thinker Newt "Poot" Gingrich thinks were the "Very First Americans" (hint: on the color palette, they would be classified as "semi-gloss Romney voter").

-- Prominent Rethug pols who somehow passed high school science; and

-- The Constitutional experts inhabiting the Tea Party Nation (please secede, oh please please please) think they have a fool-proof plan to keep Obama from his second term (did we say "fool"?).

Will Macy's Dump Rump?

Megalomaniac Donald "Rump" Trump has become more of a buffoonish joke in the four years since President Obama was first elected. After he was publicly mocked and humiliated at the 2011 White House Correspondent's Dinner, he refused to give up his nasty birther routine. Shortly before the election, Rump pulled another stunt by offering $5 million to charity if the President would release his college transcripts (something Rump refused to do for his transcripts when asked). Worse, after the President was elected, Rump tweeted that people should rise up in revolt against their government.

Given this, why would a national brand like Macy's want to associate with someone so clearly unhinged by the President, and who has advocated rebellion against the U.S.? Over 660,000 have signed a petition for Macy's to dump Rump's crappy brand (a brand which carries clothes made in China, a country Rump hypocritically loves to trash). That's why Macy's will continue to feel the heat until they tell Rump, "you're fired!"

(photo: Same to you, fool.)

UPDATE: You won't want to eat at Rump's DJT Steakhouse either:
"...inspectors at DJT reported finding the old caviar and yogurt, duck that dated back to June, veal stock and tomato sauce that was almost two weeks old, and expired peanut dressing and black bean chili. Inspectors found no measures to destroy parasites in undercooked halibut and salmon, and noted that raw tuna was being improperly thawed. Icicles were found in a faulty freezer."

Mid-Week Wide Awake Song

So many stars came out in support of President Obama's reelection that we could feature one per week, and still be going strong well into next year. One of his biggest supporters who appeared in concerts for him in key states was superstar Katy Perry. Perry has sold over 75 million digital tracks worldwide, been nominated for eight Grammys, and was MTV's 2011 Artist of the Year. Here's the video of her hit from earlier this year.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

From The Sports Desk...

The news that the University of Maryland and Rutgers University would be joining the Big 10 conference was a surprise, to say the least. Apparently, negotiations between the schools and the Big 10 picked up steam in just the last two weeks. Of great benefit to Maryland and Rutgers is membership in the Big 10's Committee on Institutional Cooperation, an intra-collegiate consortium which will boost their research efforts and lend more credibility to each school's academics. When will they change the name of the conference to the Big 14, or are they shooting for 20?

Interesting as this seems, we're still confident that our Badgers and Wolverines will set the standard for play in the Conference, be it 12, 14, or 20 teams.

Mascot Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

A fat cat, an ostrich, Yosemite Sam and Oscar the Grouch are all good suggestions for a new GOP mascot, but how about this one?

Demoted But Still Delusional

Two weeks after the voters of Florida's 18th district kicked him out, tea bagger hero Rep. Allen "Commies in Congress" West has finally conceded defeat. When it became clear that continued recounts of the ballots was producing even bigger margins of victory for Rep.-elect Patrick Murphy, West, a disgraced Iraq War veteran who barely escaped court martial, decided that further challenges were fruitless.

The defeat of nut cases like West and Joe Walsh was one of the encouraging by-products of the 2012 election. While they won't be the last of the crazies to emerge, thanks to Congressional redistricting, their numbers are in decline as more and more voters reject their extremism.

(photo: Buh bye)

Freedom Quote of the Day

"I’m loath to give the Republicans advice, but I’d humbly suggest that rather than giving their organization an uncomfortable exam just to change their tone, technology and turnout, they consider changing their ideas. And I’d suggest they start by looking at their position on freedom. The Republican Party has a major credibility gap on that issue. Why? The Republicans are for free enterprise, but not free people. And that is their fundamental problem." -- former two-term Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, explaining that a cosmetic makeover for the New Confederate / Rethuglican Party won't deliver elections for them. Read her whole column.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Take That!

(h/t P.E.C.)

Monday Morning Reading

-- Leonard Pitts Jr. in the Baltimore Sun on some of the consequences of the unhinged blather on the right:
"Unfortunately, for every [blind squirrel Kathleen] Parker or [Bobby "Kenneth"] Jindal, there is a Donald Trump urging revolution or a petition drive advocating secession from the Union. And just when you think you've heard it all, just when you think you could not possibly be more astonished at how panic-stricken and estranged from reality much of the political right now is, there comes word of Henry Hamilton's suicide. [snip]

"Sometimes, they act -- the Hannitys, the O'Reillys, the Trumps, the Limbaughs, the whole conservative political infotainment complex -- as if this were all a game, as if their nonstop litany of half truths, untruths and fear mongering, their echo chamber of studied outrage, practiced panic and intellectual incoherence had no human consequences. Sometimes, they behave as if it were morally permissible -- indeed, morally required -- to say whatever asinine, indefensible, coarse or outrageous thing comes to mind in the name of defeating or diminishing the dreaded left. And never mind that vulnerable people might hear this and shape their beliefs accordingly."
-- E.J Dionne Jr. in the Kaplan Daily on what a second term might mean for President Obama and the nation:
"Speeding the general economic recovery will solve some of these problems, but Obama needs an unapologetically large and unified program of economic uplift, including policies on taxes, education, training and infrastructure investment. He should also look to how new approaches to innovation, unionization, immigration, trade, research and science can contribute to both growth and justice.

"Obama has already talked about elements of such a program but he needs to go bigger, pull the pieces together and make the New Prosperity the central objective of his second term."
-- Paul Krugman in the New York Times on Twinkie nostalgia, the "fiscal cliff," and the Rethuglican maker/ moocher id:
"Today, of course, the mansions, armies of servants and yachts are back, bigger than ever — and any hint of policies that might crimp plutocrats’ style is met with cries of 'socialism.' Indeed, the whole Romney campaign was based on the premise that President Obama’s threat to modestly raise taxes on top incomes, plus his temerity in suggesting that some bankers had behaved badly, were crippling the economy. Surely, then, the far less plutocrat-friendly environment of the 1950s must have been an economic disaster, right?

"Actually, some people thought so at the time. Paul Ryan and many other modern conservatives are devotees of Ayn Rand. Well, the collapsing, moocher-infested nation she portrayed in 'Atlas Shrugged,' published in 1957, was basically Dwight Eisenhower’s America."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cartoon of the Day -- Off the Cliff Edition

Per the "Still Not Getting It" posting below (click to enlarge):

(Stuart Carlson, via

Still Not Getting It

Rethuglican hack Ed "Ben Rogering" Rogers praises Gov. Bobby "Kenneth" Jindal's call for "no more dumb messages" from the GOP, then guess what he proceeds to do?
"...Unfortunately, in most political debates in Washington over the past 25 years, whoever is for spending the most money wins.

"How Republicans deal with that reality and try to avoid being called the 'party of no' will be difficult — perhaps more difficult than ever as a majority of voters just made plain they have rising, not diminishing, expectations of largess from Washington."
(our emphasis)
"Largess?" Again with the "makers and moochers?" Somehow, we don't think he's referring to defense contracts, tax breaks for plutocrats, energy and agribusiness subsidies, etc. Guess it's not so easy decoupling "dumb messages" from the Rethuglican id.

(Photo: Ed Rogers, with that "semi-gloss Romney voter" skin tone)

Tweets of a Turd

Right-wing propagandist mogul and phone hacker Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch tweets a question right out of the Aryan Nation code book:

Banks, Hollywood, academia....what else does Aargh think is "Jewish owned" we wonder? Isn't he confusing "anti-Likud" with "anti-Israel?" Is he just a nasty crank?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"The Lonely Walk"

While our broken media is busy wanking, bug-eyed over a new sex "scandal" in government, it's worth remembering that there are selfless, heroic members of our armed services dying daily:
"Just as the details were emerging of a sex scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus that the media was calling 'explosive,' Staff Sgt. Kenneth Wade Bennett took what bomb disposal experts call 'the lonely walk' toward an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. Bennett was on his third combat tour there and this time he had left behind a pregnant wife and a 2-year-old daughter. A snapshot taken of him and his daughter, Lila, just before he deployed in September showed the two of them walking hand in hand away from the camera.

'No bye bye, Daddy,' the girl said. 'Don’t go away.'

'One more time, honey,' he told her."
The full article is here, along with the last snapshot taken of Sgt. Bennett and his daughter. Is it possible to read the story without choking up?

Not-Impressed Photo of the Day

Olympic Gold Medal gymnast McKayla Maroney at the White House with President Obama, showing the President how to do her "not impressed" face. Might come in handy when the Rethugs come to the table with their tax and budget proposals.

(Photo: Pete Souza, White House)

Don't Let The Door Hit You Cartoon, Cont.

(click to enlarge)

For giggles (and to make a point), please go over to the "We the People" site and sign the "let 'em go" petition.

(Mike Luckovich, via

Quote of the Day -- "Man-Crayon" Edition

“I’m honored to be standing here next to my Man-Crayon. I learned this from the Madame Tussauds people just a minute ago — that on the color wheel, my skin tone is Semi-Gloss Romney Voter.” -- Comedy Central's faux newsman and Hackwhackers favorite Stephen Colbert, at the unveiling of his wax "Man-Crayon" Colbert at Madame Tussauds in Washington, D.C., yesterday.

(Photo: Colbert and his Man-Crayon - Emily Yahr, WaPo)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Cartoon of the Day - Free Gifts Edition

(click to enlarge)

(Jim Morin, via

How'd The Meeting With Obama Go, Mr. Speaker?

Just kidding, this was a photo from another Orange Boner breakdown.

(photo: Reuters)

Editorial of the Day: More on Makers and Takers

From today's Kaplan Daily, on the "contemptuous, contemptible" worldview of certain Rethuglicans:
[Quoting Fox "News" dick Bill O'Reilly:] “There are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want things, and who is going to give them things? President Obama. He knows it, and he ran on it.... You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming for President Obama, and women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things, and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

In a phone call with supporters Wednesday, Mr. Romney echoed some of the O’Reilly analysis. He attributed his defeat to the incumbent’s “gifts” to some of the same demographic groups whose rise troubles Mr. O’Reilly.

We believe, of course, that it's not just O'Reilly and Romney who have this worldview. It's millions more Rand-worshiping creeps, corporate and Wall Street "makers," inbred yokels and other plankton who form the broad base of the New Confederate/ Rethuglican Party. That a few Rethuglican office holders are pushing back on this viewpoint is encouraging, to the extent that they're coming to grips with reality and hoping to drag at least some of their mouth-breathing brethren back from the brink.

Weekend Song

For some reason, Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief Brian thinks this would be an appropriate song for this week, so we'll go along:

The Turd(blossom) In The Punchbowl

These days, it's hard being Rethuglican bag man Karl "Turdblossom" Rove. He went through enormous sums of money in the failed effort to elect plutocrat Willard "Not-President" Romney and other Rethuglicans candidates. His wealthy donors are furious at Turdblossom that their loot failed to purchase the government they wanted.

Now, Turdblossom's "Crossroads GPS" is the subject of a complaint filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleging that he violated election laws and engaged in a criminal conspiracy in not disclosing secret donors to his organization. CREW's complaint was filed with both the Federal Election Commission and the FBI. Turdblossom was already watching his back with his angry donors; now he has the Feds to worry about. We can only add....bwahahahaha!

(image: Will we see this scene before long? One can hope.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

McNasty's Bitter Road

It seems that Arizona Sen. and anger management candidate John "McNasty" McCain has never gotten over his thrashing in 2008 by then-Sen. Barack Obama. Almost from the start of President Obama's term, he positioned himself as one of the most bitter and partisan voices on the Rethuglican right. He even abandoned previously held positions on immigration and other issues in order to oppose the man that beat him out of the Presidency.

Lately, McNasty has been angrily denouncing the Administration over the handling of the Benghazi attack. But, when he had an opportunity to attend a top secret briefing yesterday on the attack, he was AWOL. When asked by a CNN reporter why he missed the briefing that could have answered the questions he'd been raising, McNasty blew his top.

For someone so reckless as to select nincompoop grifter Sarah Palin as his running mate, and so deeply bitter four years after his rejection by the voters, we are fortunate that we're not dealing with a President McNasty these days.

Don't Let The Door Hit You Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

(cartoon: Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News)

The Gifts That Keep On Giving

If you thought that plutocrat Willard "Not-President" Romney would retire quietly to one of his several mansions after his decisive loss, you'd be wrong. Willard was caught on a telephone conversation with his major donors, explaining why he bungled the election and lost their millions. Much like his infamous "47%" comments, which he later claimed were wrong, a clueless Willard blamed his loss on "gifts" that President Obama gave to his core constituencies (the young, the dark, and the non-male presumably):
"The president's campaign, if you will, focused on giving targeted groups a big gift. He made a big effort on small things."
Some of the "gifts" that Willard mentioned were allowing young people to remain on their parents' health insurance to age 26, and support of the Dream Act. So off the mark was Willard that a couple of Rethug Governors with an eye toward 2016 -- Bobby "Kenneth" Jindal and Scott "Koch Machine" Walker -- criticized his comments as wrong. They weren't the only ones, either.

In truth, Willard lost because he was proposing social policies that were out of the mainstream of American life, and Americans didn't want to go back to the same economic policies that crashed the economy. Also, he simply stank as a candidate and a person.

(image: Still clowning around.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Political Cliff For Rethugs Awaits

Rethuglican Congresscritters, take heed of this Washington Post/Pew Research poll:

Q: If an agreement is not reached, who do you think would be more to blame: (the Republicans in Congress) or (President Obama)?
Republicans in Congress 53%
President Obama 29
Both equally 10
Neither 2
No opinion 7

"The Confederacy of Takers"

As we've noted today and earlier, one of the theraputic outlets for wingnut angst over the re-election of the Kenyan Socialist Usurper is the secession petition bowel "movement." Dana Milbank would like to point out to these simpletons that theirs would be a "Confederacy of Takers," i.e., that the States they would like to see secede are mostly the ones that get back more in Federal taxes than they pay into the system:
"Red states receive, on average, far more from the federal government in expenditures than they pay in taxes. The balance is the opposite in blue states. The secession petitions, therefore, give the opportunity to create what would be, in a fiscal sense, a far more perfect union. [snip]

"...[W]ould-be rebels from the red states should keep in mind during the coming budget battle that those who are most ardent about cutting government spending tend to come from parts of the country that most rely on it."
Not only that, but the surviving Union would have a much higher average I.Q. without these clueless humps bringing down the average. In that sense, you might call the secessionists' new nation the "Confederacy of Dunces" (w/ apologies to John Kennedy Toole).

UPDATE: We'd support and sign this petition: "[A]t least one petition filed on the ["We the People"] site asks that the president sign an executive order to strip U.S. citizenship from anyone who signed a petition to secede and requests that they are "peacefully deported." Bwahahahaha!

BONUS: We'll let Jon Stewart chime in, too:

Wingnuttery In Wisconsin

We saw this story about nine teabagger-connected state legislators in Wisconsin who signed a pledge to support a state law that would arrest Federal officials for implementing the Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare. Although the ACA is the law of the land, some wing nuts think that they can pick and choose which Federal laws they can obey. This is the so-called "tenther" movement, which holds that the tenth Amendment to the Constitution gives states powers not reserved to the Federal Government. It's also the basis for the loony secession movement that's been revived (save your Confederate money boys!) since the reelection of President Obama.

Thankfully, this radical crowd is becoming a political minority, as it dawns on most Rethugs that it's past time to deal with reality and with the President. Sadly, the people that elected the nine clowns that signed on to that pledge are still living on another planet.

Mid-Week Cheerleader Song

St. Vincent (the stage name of Annie Clark) is a well-regarded singer/songwriter/guitarist, who has recently teamed up and is touring with R&R Hall of Famer David Byrne (Talking Heads), promoting their new CD, "Love This Giant." Here she is on an earlier solo effort, with lyrics that could fit a lot of Rethug operatives these days.
"I've played dumb
When I knew better
Tried so hard
Just to be clever
I know honest thieves
I call family
I've seen America
With no clothes on
But I don't wanna be a cheerleader no more"

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

American Talibangelist: Latinos Are "Socialist By Nature"

Ladies and gentlemen, we present the unchastened id of the New Confederate/ Rethuglican Party, Bryan Fischer of the "American Family Association" in a rant about why we need to keep immigrants out of America (hint: it has something to do with voting):

Notice a pattern emerging here? Moochers and makers anyone? 47 percenters? It seems one of the lessons some on the Rethuglican right have taken from the election results is that "too many of the wrong people voted." You know who "they" are: African Americans (a.k.a., "urban voters"), youth, single women, poor people and, of course, Latinos -- i.e., the people who "want stuff." Look for more of this horseshit racist and misogynist analysis coming from the right as a palliative for their sense that white people they've "lost America."

Of course, this wouldn't be the first time Fischer has proven himself to be a racist, xenophobic moron. Oh, no.

Jolly Good Show of the Day

At last night's Lord Mayor's Banquet, Conservative British Prime Minister David Cameron is blissfully unaware that the buttons on his tuxedo shirt have popped open, creating an instant metaphor for the conservative movement in the UK. (Click to enlarge photo, if you must).

(photo: Getty Images, via the HuffPo)

Another Boot Drops

The unfolding story about former CIA Director David Petraeus' affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell seems to be enmeshing additional people, including Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. In their investigation of harassing e-mails sent from Broadwell to Jill Kelley, a Tampa socialite who has acted as a liaison to military families, the FBI uncovered "inappropriate" e-mails between Gen. Allen and Ms. Kelley. There are also questions about the appropriateness of the FBI's initial involvement targeting Broadwell's e-mails, which was requested by Ms. Kelley. It's very sad for those involved, especially given the pressures and personal sacrifice of military service on them and their families.

On a related note, the spectacle of hyperventilating media hungry for a new sex scandal to put under a microscope contrasts with their superficial, "horse race" coverage of big issues that actually impact Americans. But, sadly, covering "sex scandals" is what our journalists do best these days.

Wee Willie's Moment of Sanity

Count neocon bloviator William "Wee Willie" Kristol among the late arriving converts to fair tax rates. Speaking on Fux "News" Sunday, Wee Willie said,
"It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won't, I don't think. I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer....Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood and are hostile?"
Admittedly, we like the idea of Rethugs falling on their swords, so we hope they don't follow Wee Willie's uncharacteristically sage advice.

In any event, President Obama holds the upper hand, not only by virtue of his emphatic win, but Rethugs realize that if all of the Bush tax cuts expire on December 31, they will be blamed for holding them hostage to defending the wealthiest Americans. Let the games begin.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quote of the Day

Garry Wills on Not-President Romney:
"Many losing candidates became elder statesmen of their parties. What lessons will Romney have to teach his party? The art of crawling uselessly? How to contemn 47 percent of Americans less privileged and beautiful than his family? How to repudiate the past while damaging the future? It is said that he will write a book. Really? Does he want to relive a five-year-long experience of degradation? What can be worse than to sell your soul and find it not valuable enough to get anything for it?" (our emphasis)
Ouch! We, too, predict a quick-dissolve into well-deserved obscurity for the Not-President.

Life in the Bubble

We may be a little cartoon-happy today, but why not?!

(click to enlarge)

UPDATE: Meanwhile, a subset of right-wing crackpots is filing petitions to secede from the Union. We believe we fought a Civil War over this and our side won. Amirite? Anyway, does anyone still think the "New Confederate/ Rethuglican Party" moniker was hyperbole? Someone get these deluded pea brains some stronger meds!

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Message Delivered Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The problem is that the Fux "News" brand is toxic to the majority of Americans, so Fux has decided to stay with the right wing niche audience that keeps it afloat. That means that their propagandists Hannity, O'Reilly, Ingraham, and yes, Turdblossom Rove will stay in place. Here's what conservative David Frum had to say yesterday on Morning Joe-ker:
"Republicans have been fleeced, exploited and lied to by a conservative entertainment complex...there are too many to name. Because the followers, the donors and the activists are so mistaken about the nature of the problems the country faces...just a simple question, and I went to Tea Party rallies and asked this question, have taxes gone up or down in recent years? They can't answer this question."

BONUS: But wait, there's more -- Amanda Marcotte on whether the lies are finally backfiring.

(cartoon: Jeff Danziger)

Go West....Seriously, GO

After a painstaking count of ballots in Florida's 18th Congressional District, the Florida Secretary of State declared Democrat Patrick Murphy the victor over radical wing nut incumbent Allen "Commies in Congress" West. However, after failing in court to get an injunction and after the State of Florida has officially certified Murphy the winner, crackpot West won't concede. In a sign of his deep delusion, he wants the State to reexamine the early voting ballots for "double counting."

It's worth remembering that West was drummed out of the Army after narrowly avoiding court marshall for mistreatment of Iraqi detainees. His wild statements are a matter of record, and he's positioned himself at the far, far right fringes of American politics. Congress is well rid of this loon.

(photo: West has his finger on his problem.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day 2012

To all our veterans who served in our armed forces, we wish you a happy Veterans Day 2012 and thank you for your service.

On November 11, 1918 at ll o'clock in the morning, the armistice between the Allies and Germany was signed, ending hostilities on Europe's Western Front in World War I. The time was significant: the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month was meant to signal, after fighting the most horrific war up to that time, that humanity was literally in its 11th hour in confronting the threat of war to its survival. Called Armistice Day at first, in 1954 President Eisenhower proclaimed that the holiday should be a commemoration of all veterans and from then on, we've known it as Veterans Day.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Final Electoral Map

With the State of Florida's vote count now official, here's the final presidential electoral map:

Republican "Fantasyland"

Take a few minutes to read Frank Rich's analysis of Rethuglican "Fantasyland" in the New York Magazine. Rich looks under most of the rocks in the hermetically-sealed right-wing biosphere and names many of the lizard-brained life-forms he discovers there. Here's a sampling of the piece:

"The good news for Democrats this year was that the right’s brand of magical thinking (or non-thinking) bit the GOP in the ass, persuading it to disregard all the red flags and assume even a figure as hollow as Romney could triumph. (Retaking the Senate was once thought to be a lock, too.) The books chronicling what happened in 2012 will devote much attention to the failings of Romney’s campaign and to the ruthless and surgical rigor of Obama’s. But an equally important part of this history is the extraordinary lengths to which the grandees of the GOP—not just basket cases like Dick (“Landslide!”) Morris, Glenn Beck, and Andrew Breitbart, but the supposed adults regarded by the Beltway Establishment and mainstream media as serious figures—enabled their party’s self-immolating denial of political reality. This was the election in which even George Will (who predicted a 321 Electoral College win for Romney) surrendered to the cult of the talk-radio base and drank the Kool-Aid without realizing it had been laced with political cyanide. If a tea-party voter in Texas was shocked that Obama won, he was no less thunderstruck than the Romney campaign, or Karl Rove. Rove’s remarkably graphic public meltdown on Fox News—babbling gibberish about how his Ohio numbers showed a path for Romney even after the election was lost—marked not just the end of his careers as a self-styled political brainiac and as a custodian of hundreds of millions in dollars of super-PAC money. It was an on-camera dramatization of his entire cohort’s utter estrangement from reality. [snip]

"Daniel Patrick Moynihan might be surprised to learn that he is now remembered most for his oft-repeated maxim that 'everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.' Yet today most Americans do see themselves as entitled to their own facts, with one of our two major political parties setting a powerful example. For all the hand-wringing about Washington’s chronic dysfunction and lack of bipartisanship, it may be the wholesale denial of reality by the opposition and its fellow travelers that is the biggest obstacle to our country moving forward under a much-empowered Barack Obama in his second term. If truth can’t command a mandate, no one can."
We believe there will be no change in the estrangement from reality as long as the Rethuglican base is being fed lies, crackpot conspiracy theories, racist dog-whistles, and visions of Armageddon by the right-wing Rethuglican media and "establishment." That's good for Democrats, who can expect to have a "sanity" advantage for the forseeable future, but it's bad for the political health of the country, as Rich ably points out.

Balanced Quote of the Day

"I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans." -- President Obama, laying down his marker for negotiations over the so-called "fiscal cliff." Over and over again, we heard this message from him during the campaign, so it can't be said that he's sneaking up on the voters -- they voted for his balanced approach, and rejected Willard "Not-President" Romney's doubling down on trickle down.

It's About The Dough, Cont'd.

Wingnut anger at President Obama's decisive win is manifesting itself in various ways, retaliation against employees being the most sinister. Coal company executives who backed Willard "Not-President" Romney are all of a sudden finding excuses to fire workers, of course blaming it on something Obama hasn't done or contemplated.

Now, we see cardboard pizza man John "I Shat" Schnatter of Papa John's saying that he will be reducing the hours of employees to avoid health insurance costs under the Affordable Care Act. Romney supporter I Shat caused a "shat" storm last summer when he said that Obamacare would cause him to raise the price on his inedible pizzas by a few cents. The shark-eyed pizza mogul's estimated worth is $240 million, but he likely pays no more than 15 percent capital gains/ carried interest tax on his income. Here's a view of his 40,000 square foot palace.

So when you have an urge for pizza, as we've said before, send this greed head a message by checking out a local independent pizza shop.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Affair Forces Petraeus Out at C.I.A.

Gen. David Petraeus has resigned as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency after revealing he engaged in an extramarital affair:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Guess the Rethuglicans won't be drafting him for President in 2016.

Obama At His Finest

Which Way Forward for Rethuglicans?

Dear Rethuglicans:

Which way forward? Please follow the advice of Charles "Kraphammer" Krauthammer in today's Kaplan Daily.

Whatever you do, don't follow the advice of Michael Gerson, also in today's Kaplan Daily.

Always trying to help!

A Concerned Citizen

Weekend Song

The song and the sentiment speak for themselves.

Faint Praise Quote of the Day

"Asked if Ryan, the Wisconsin congressman who was plucked from the House Budget Committee chairmanship to be Mitt Romney’s running mate is now the party’s leader, Boehner said no. 'Oh, I wouldn't think so. Paul Ryan's a policy wonk.'” -- Speaker John "Orange Boner" Boehner in an interview yesterday with ABC News.

The Rethug civil war is just beginning.

Emergency Management Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The AfterMath

A lot has been made of the supposedly skewed poll numbers that most major polling organizations showed during the last month of the campaign. Rethug-friendly pollsters convinced Willard "Not-President" Romney and his campaign that the election was in the bag for them. Their allies smeared New York Times' brilliant Nate Silver's projections which showed a small, steady Obama lead for weeks and were ultimately right on target, despite the punditry to the contrary. In so many ways, the math of the election -- from bogus budget claims to their poll numbers -- never worked for Not-President Romney's campaign.

Perhaps the biggest loser last Tuesday was political hack Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, who blew through hundreds of millions of dollars contributed by right wing fat cats hoping to purchase the Federal Government. As we noted yesterday, there's some serious anger among those fat cats this week, who want to know why their vast sums of payola didn't produce the results that Turdblossom clearly promised. His meltdown on Fux News on election night is a political classic -- waving numbers around, initially hubristic, then skeptical, then defensive, then defeated. He's full of excuses now, and Talking Points Memo has them catalogued. None of them hold much water at all, and his statement that the Obama campaign "suppressed the vote" by painting Willard as an out-of-touch plutocrat is an example of projection, given the Rethugs' failed attempt to actually suppress Democratic constituencies in several states.

As they say, "denial" isn't just a river in Egypt. It's a stage of grief that Turdblossom has entered, and he -- and his party -- may not emerge from it anytime soon.

(photo: The meltdown begins.)