Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Celebrations Begin in Sydney

We might be jumping the gun a bit here on the East Coast of the U.S., but here's how the Aussies are ringing in the New Year:

The Cavemen?

As the media-hyped "fiscal cliff" approaches within hours, there are signs that a partial deal on tax rates might be near. Unfortunately, even though the Dems and White House have the advantage, there's word that President Obama and Senate Dems are caving to Rethug resistance on the threshold for tax increases. While he campaigned -- and was elected -- on a promise to let the tax rates rise on people making over $250,000, the newest threshold being tossed around is $450,000 for couples, which would be music to Rethuglican ears and a reward for their obstruction. The $600 billion in revenues that it would produce is a far cry from the $1.2 trillion originally offered by the White House when negotiations began. The New Republic's Noam Scheiber isn't mincing words:
"I think the president made a huge mistake by negotiating over what he’d previously said was non-negotiable (namely, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on income over $250,000). Then the White House compounded that mistake by sending Biden to “close” the deal when Harry Reid appeared to give up on it. As a practical matter, this signaled to Republicans that the White House wouldn’t walk away from the bargaining table, allowing the GOP to keep extracting concessions into the absolute final hours before the deadline."
It remains to be seen what the White House will get in return for this concession, as the horse trading continues today. But this is a time of maximum leverage for the White House; it can't afford to let the Rethugs gain the upper hand early next year when they will use the debt ceiling to extort more concessions.

Get Well Soon

Here's hoping that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a speedy and complete recovery from a blood clot that resulted from the concussion she suffered more than two weeks ago after fainting. She's being treated at a New York City hospital, and will likely remain there for a couple more days.

You'll recall the scurrilous cackling that erupted in the wing nut media that the Secretary's fainting spell and concussion were the "Benghazi flu," as a cover for not wanting to testify to Congress. Truth be told, she would have embarrassed the little tots on the Rethuglican side of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had she testified. And don't expect any apologies from the nitwits that doubted her original illness -- they're incapable of shame.

(photo: Associated Press)

From The Sports Desk...

We enjoyed yesterday's Washington Redskins / Dallas Cowpies game, with the Redskins winning 28 - 18. Quarterback Robert Griffin III and running back Alfred Morris (200 yards) were super, and the team seems to be (finally) gelling at the right time. Anytime the Cowpies go down to defeat is a good day. The Redskins face the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday, and we'll be rooting for their quarterback and former Badger Russell Wilson to do well...but not too well. We wish we could give the Redskins our unqualified support, but Redskins owner and massive turd Lil' Danny Snyder makes that impossible.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Wanker of the Year - 2012

Press the Meat's Dancin' David Gregory. He put it over the top with this exchange with President Obama on today's show:
"DAVID GREGORY: You said that Republicans have a hard time saying yes. Particularly to you.


DAVID GREGORY: What is it about you, Mr. President, that you think is so hard to say yes to?" (our emphasis)
Not "what is it about them..." of course (see Klein, Ezra, below). It's asswhistling wankers like Gregory that break the system and then complain that it's broken.

BONUS: Additional support for this award comes from Mr. Pierce.

(Photo: That's Dancin' David Gregory doing the Beltway cha-cha with Turdblossom Rove.)

Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

The National Rampage Association's vision is for every man, woman and child to be armed to the teeth, in order to generate profits for the gun manufacturers it represents. While they will claim the slippery slope regarding the Second Amendment is once you start restricting guns you never stop, the slippery slope the NRA proposes is more guns in more hands.

Firefighters being shot in Webster, NY? They should carry guns, too. Shootings in churches? Arm the ministers and church goers. That's the "slippery slope" the nut jobs at the NRA are pushing.

(cartoon: Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Come Together, Right Now, Over Me

Many of us in the Washington, D.C., area have heard or read of the Starbucks PR stunt campaign using the message "Come Together" written by its employees on coffee cups to urge a fiscal cliff deal. The stunt campaign contains an implicit sentiment: all that's missing in today's political climate is the spirit of compromise and accommodation ("Can't we all just get along?"). Ezra Klein has an analysis and a better idea:
I don’t think you can look at the last three years and say the White House hasn’t tried to come together with the Republicans.

I also don’t think you can look at the last three years and say the Republicans have tried to come together with the White House.

The check on that sort of behavior is blame. If Republicans are being intransigent and the American people want compromise, then, in theory, the Republicans will get blamed. And that does seem to be happening: The GOP polls terribly, and they lost the 2012 election.

But at the elite level — which encompasses everyone from CEOs to media professionals — there’s a desire to keep up good relations on both sides of the aisle. And so it’s safer, when things are going wrong, to offer an anodyne criticism that offends nobody — “both sides should come together!” — then to actually blame one side or the other. It’s a way to be angry about Washington’s failure without alienating anyone powerful. That goes doubly for commercial actors, like Starbucks, that need to sell coffee to both Republicans and Democrats.

That breaks the system. It hurts the basic mechanism of accountability, which is the public’s ability to apportion blame. If one side’s intransigence will lead to both sides getting blamed, then it makes perfect sense to be intransigent: You’ll get all the benefits and only half the blame.

The two parties are not equivalent right now. The two sides are not the same. If you want Washington to come together, you need to make it painful for those who are breaking it apart. Telling both sides to come together when it’s predominantly one side breaking the negotiations apart actually makes it easier on those who’re refusing to compromise.

Maybe if Starbucks were truly interested in "solving the mess in Washington," it could get its employees to write a different message on its over-priced coffees: "It's The Republicans, Stupid."

UPDATE: President Obama appeared on Sunday talk shows today to emphasize that he's met the Rethugs more than half way, and that the press needs to stop playing the "both sides are to blame" card when it's clear that the Rethugs haven't absorbed the message from the election.

UPDATE II: As Paul Krugman points out, Starbucks compounds the problem by directing people to a web site with a well-known austerity agenda.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Moron + Gun = Hole in Leg

As Wonkette notes, this is the caliber type of person the National Rampage Ass-ociation would like to have guarding your children at school. Fortunately, there were no children nearby when this unidentified Second Amendment patriot decided to ventilate his leg.

(Image: Not the shooter - we think.)

Vladimir the Small

On Friday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the "Dima Yakovlev" law banning Americans from adopting Russian orphans. The law was in retaliation for the "Magnitsky Act," signed into law by President Obama on December 14, which imposed sanctions on Russian human rights violators.

This um... infantile response by Putin was not only criticized in America (where families that had adoptions in the pipeline saw the process stopped), but also in Russia by advocates of adoption:
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister for Social Affairs Olga Golodets says that putting the ban into effect would not only violate Russian federal law, but also international law and a 2011 agreement that the U.S. and Russia put into place regarding adoption. At present, Americans adopt more orphans from Russian than they do any other country.
Putin tried to throw a bone to his Russian critics by ordering reforms of the woeful Russian orphanage system. But, what of those families who only wanted a new, better life for these children? For Putin, obviously, it's more important to respond to a perceived insult than it is to act in a humane, civilized manner.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Weekend Song - Fiscal Cliff Edition

The Aussie group Tame Impala gives us (the fiscal cliff themed?) "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards." Hope you're moving forward this weekend.

(h/t San Francisco Bureau Chief)

Gen. Schwarzkopf Dies

R.I.P. Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who died Thursday at age 78. The general, known as "Stormin' Norman" or the "Grizzly Bear," led American and allied troops during Operation Desert Storm in February 1991, driving Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Somebody sign him (Norway's Havard Rugland) up!

Austerity and a Nation of Casual Cruelty

At the risk of turning this blog into "What Charles P. Pierce Said," we look again to the sage of Boston for his thoughts on the "austerity agenda" being mercilessly flogged by the likes of Pete Peterson, "Fix the Debt," and the once great Washington Post Kaplan Daily:
Not all that long ago, we had a national election in which the idea that we are all equal partners in the ongoing creative act self-government out of which comes a political commonwealth suited to the needs of the majority of the country was extensively litigated and, at the end of it, the question was decisively settled in the affirmative. Willard Romney's gaffe about the "47 percent" blew out two of the tires on the bandwagon, and then his selection of zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan blew out the other two, and that extravaganza of I-Got-Mine-Jack conservatism that went galumphing through Tampa finally cracked both axles. Then, of course, the whole show moved back to Washington, and became subject to the gentle ministration of the political elites and the courtier press that serves them, and the definitive decision of the election quickly was forgotten in favor of the notion that some deal, any deal, was better than what lay beyond a completely artificial deadline that had been produced a year ago in response to a completely created crisis. There is no question that some people will get hurt if we roll all the way down the GFI, but, if the president and the Senate do their jobs, the pain will be temporary. The imposition of an austerity agenda as part of some bipartisan "deal" would be infinitely worse.

The crazy-ass Rethuglicans have no real interest in "deficit reduction" other than as a stalking horse for shrinking the non-military part of the Federal Government down to a bathtub-drownable size (G. Norquist); some Democrats, it seems, are too enthralled with making a deal at almost any cost (B. Obama), and the Beltway Bubble dwellers are, well, Bubble dwelling (R. Marcus). As Pierce says, we're being fashioned into a nation of casual cruelty.

(Image: Cat food-- it's what's for dinner.)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's A Slow Week Headline

"Formal Reprimand Issued To Flatulent Federal Worker" -- from "The Smoking Gun" (heh). Although the olfactory offenses were meticulously cataloged in the reprimand, it's likely the accused will use the "he who smelt it dealt it" defense. We must confess this all um... smells a little fishy to us but, as they say, we report, you decide!

An Armey of One

The recent meltdown at millionaire-funded, tea bagger astroturf organization "Freedom Works," wherein a veritable armed coup d'etat was attempted by former Rethug House Majority Leader Dick "Dick" Armey, has been captured best by this, from the inimitable Charles P. Pierce:
Dick Armey walks into the Wingnut Welfare equivalent of NORAD, and he brings along an "aide" who's packing, and he walks out with eight million bucks? You do that at a Gas 'n Sip and walk out with $50 in quarters and you do 10 years. The rich are different from you and me. Many of them are morons.

Regardless of the schadenfreude one can get from watching these truly awful people engaging in their petty power struggles, it's sobering to note that the plutocrat keeping this "grassroots" organization afloat, Richard J. Stephenson, has $8 million to throw at Dick Armey just to keep his stank out of the "Freedom Works" suite.

(Photo: "Here's your pretend cowboy hat - and $8 million - what's your hurry?")

Mid-Week Instrumentals

It's a cold and rainy/ sleety winter day here, so we've decided to go with a couple of instrumentals that always reminded us of days like this, and helped warm us up a little. First, from Horst Jankowski:

From Bert Kaempfert and his orchestra:

Monday, December 24, 2012

Let's Be Thankful

On Christmas Eve, and on the verge of another year, these are some of the things the Hackwhackers are thankful for:

That the country chose sanity and progress over insanity and regression;

That we have Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Tim Kaine joining a Senate that has more Democrats than anyone dreamed would be possible a year ago;

That we don't have Alan West, Joe Walsh, Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin in office;

That ultra-right plutocrats like the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, "Papa John" Schnatter and others spent upwards of $500 million of their fortunes to win the Senate and Presidency for Rethuglicans and got... nothing;

That we may be seeing the possibilities for Rethug obstruction in the Senate altered by filibuster reform;

That the economy is on the rebound and is expected to pick up more steam in the next 18 months;

That we may (may) have reached a tipping point in America's obsession with guns, and with assault weapons in particular, at a cost that was too high and so unnecessary;

That the notions of a woman's right to privacy and a person's right to marry whomever they love, while under continuing assault by the intolerant and ignorant, are taking hold more and more in the American mainstream;

That we have dedicated, outstanding men and women in our military and special services who risk their lives every day all over the world to protect us;

And, most important of all by far, that we can share the love of family and friends at this time and all year 'round.

Christmas Fruitcake Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

(Jeff Danziger, via

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Salon's Hack List

Salon's Alex Pareene posts his "Hack List" for 2012. Our hometown newspaper, the once-great Washington Post Kaplan Daily, is scored among the top ten by Pareene for, among other things, having the "worst op/ed page in the country", with the likes of the discredited hack, George "Quill" Will (who was recently seen supporting voter suppression!), polluting its pages:
When George Will isn’t being dishonest, he’s usually being wrong. He lies about climate change. He claims that anti-voter suppression efforts are actually about mandatory voting, something few liberals and no elected Democratic leaders support. George Will decided that college football is “liberal” because he doesn’t like football and he doesn’t like liberal things, so things he doesn’t like must be liberal. George Will said that if Obama won it would be because he was lucky enough to be black, and Americans didn’t want to look racist by voting against him. That was another entry in his long history of worrying that America was being too nice to black people. Will also predicted Romney would win 321 electoral votes and that Minnesota’s marriage amendment would swing the state Republican.
Check out the whole list (there are a few surprising entries and one glaring =cough=Fox "News"=cough= omission).

Sunday Reading

From Michael Tomasky, more on the saboteurs of democracy (a.k.a., the Rethuglican Party):
Really, what is to be done about this Republican Party? What force can change it—can stop Republicans from being ideological saboteurs and convert at least a workable minority of them into people interested in governing rather than sabotage? With the failed Plan B vote, we have reached the undeniable crisis point. Actually we’ve been at a crisis point for years, but this is really the all-upper-case Undeniable Crisis Point. They are a direct threat to the economy, which could slip back into recession next year if the government doesn’t, well, govern. They are an ongoing, at this point almost mundane, threat to democracy, subverting and preventing progress the American people clearly desire across a number of fronts. They have to be stopped, and the only people who can really stop them are corporate titans and Wall Streeters, who surely now are finally beginning to see that America’s problem is not Barack Obama and his alleged “socialism,” but a political party that has become psychologically incapable of operating within the American political system.
And, from the guru of Beltway bipartisan centrism, Tom Friedman:
Republican politicians today have a choice: either change your base by educating and leading G.O.P. voters back to the center-right from the far right, or start a new party that is more inclusive, focused on smaller but smarter government and market-based, fact-based solutions to our biggest problems.

But if Republicans continue to be led around by, and live in fear of, a base that denies global warming after Hurricane Sandy and refuses to ban assault weapons after Sandy Hook — a base that would rather see every American’s taxes rise rather than increase taxes on millionaires — the party has no future. It can’t win with a base that is at war with math, physics, human biology, economics and common-sense gun laws all at the same time.
The Rethugs might want to get the memo out to Fox "News" and the ranting dimbulbs of the far-right infotainment complex/ Angersphere, too. But, whether it's the Wall Street money boys who cynically fund this on-going pathology, or the propagandists who fill the otherwise empty heads of the base with misinformation and lies, the Rethugs have been living off this unstable witches brew for at least two decades. It's going to be difficult, if not impossible, for them to survive this crisis of politics intact.

Front Pages of the Week - NRA Loon Edition

That's "vile NRA nut" Wayne "Happiness is a Warm Gun" LaPierre of the National Rampage Association. (BTW, when Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch's New York Post calls you a "loon," it's time to hoist the white flag.)

Here's Think Progress' "10 Craziest Quotes" from LaPierre's Friday news conference.

(Source: Newseum, via Daily Kos)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Republicans Are Not Capable of Governing"

A sampling of conservative reaction to the radical Rethuglicans now holding sway in Congress, their "fiscal cliff" nihilism, and their out-of-the-mainstream positions in general:

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH):
It's the same 40 chuckleheads that screwed this place up. (Boehner's) done everything to make nice to them. [snip]

It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority. It’s the continuing dumbing-down of the Republican Party and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of extremists that can’t even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we’re putting forward.

Jennifer Rubin:
This sort of display suggests Republicans are not capable of governing. What was an argument by Democrats (They are unreasonable! They only care for the rich!) is now a political reality.

When I posed the question “What next?” to several senior Republicans, the answer came back, ” I really don’t know” or “Good question.” What we do know is that House Republicans may have confirmed the good judgment of the American people in keeping divided government. Goodness knows none of these people can be trusted.

Andrew Sullivan:
Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner's already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre's deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no conservative party in the West - except for minor anti-immigrant neo-fascist ones in Europe - anywhere close to this level of far right extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their own country - was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them? - but to the entire world.
Now, Sullivan has been supporting Obama since 2008, but when you've lost a sitting Congressman and a card-carrying member of the wingnut blogosphere, you're in deep kimchi.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekend Song

NRA: The Answer Is More Guns

We just witnessed the most cynical, disgusting and dishonest "press conference" in memory. We probably shouldn't have been surprised that the National Rampage Association sent their top officials out to read speeches, with suitably mournful faces plastered on, refusing to take any questions. The most depraved of them, worthless sack of crap Executive Vice President Wayne "Bullets for Babies" LaPierre, spent the entire time saying that the media, video games and lack of armed guards in schools were the problem. Not a single word on ammo clips, background checks, assault weapons availability, nothing. His defiant speech was interrupted twice by demonstrators who shouted that blood was on the NRA's hands, and that they're "killing our kids."

Since the NRA's "answer" is to put armed guards in every school, one wonders what about shopping malls (where guards already do patrol) or churches or movie theaters where people congregate and have been shot recently? Is arming every last American the answer? It's the answer for the NRA. The cruel irony is that Columbine High School had an armed sheriff's deputy when the shooting there occurred. We think even the most dedicated gun owner would have found Bullets for Babies' performance disturbing in its absolute refusal to consider even the most mild forms of gun safety/control.

BONUS: If you're not of a mind to read every deceitful, dishonest, immoral word uttered by LaPierre, here's Charles P. Pierce's summary:
You have to give Wayne credit. He didn't cut the whiskey with water. We need more guns in schools. Gun laws don't work, not even registration, but we should register all the mentally ill, because the mentally ill don't have a few million dollars and a lobbyist like Wayne LaPierre dedicated to gutting the law that would register them. The media should stop lying and being ignorant and engaging in a massive cover-up of the existence of Kindergarten Killers. Congress should immediately empower retired cops and firemen and put armed guards in every American school, although Wayne doesn't know fk-all how we'll pay for it, but, boy, those guys are really brave. Guns don't kill people. Deranged people kill people. "Bad guys" kill people. Grand Theft Auto kills people. American Psycho kills people. (Lock up Christian Bale, especially now that the Dark Knight cycle is over.) "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun."

Obama To Nominate Kerry Secretary of State

Ever since Ambassador Susan Rice was smeared and denied a chance at nomination for Secretary of State, the name of Sen. John Kerry (MA) has been circulating. Today, it's been confirmed that President Obama will nominate (oh, crap) Kerry in the near future. His nomination should sail through the Senate (maybe he should hug bitter old man Sen. Grumpypants McCain for his cynical support).

This, of course, will have Rethugs gleeful over the prospect of winning Kerry's Senate seat by running Scott "Centerfold" Brown, who just lost to Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren. Off-cycle elections don't favor Dems. The Rethug base is highly motivated and turns out in greater numbers than Dems. That's how Centerfold won the Senate seat in the first place, when Sen. Ted Kennedy passed away and a special election was held.

When the White House is not negotiating with themselves over the "fiscal cliff," they're handing the Rethuglicans a potential Senate seat. But why stop there? Perhaps they should nominate a dozen or so Dem Senators to vacant Administration positions and just hand the Senate back to the Rethugs.

Rethugs Sink Their Own Plan

It's now clear that Speaker of the House John "Orange Boner" Boehner can't control his own caucus. He proposed a gimmick he called "Plan B," which would have given radical right wing Rethugs in the House a way out of the "fiscal cliff" dilemma. It would have raised taxes only on people earning $1 million and up. The plan was an attempt to show the Rethugs were willing to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires" despite what the President has said.

But after meeting with his caucus and not receiving their support, Boehner threw in the towel, sending them home for the holidays. In effect, the radical tea bagger majority in the House Rethug caucus took an issue that could have put the President on the defensive and flushed it. Now, as the "fiscal cliff" approaches, the President and Dems can point to the radical, uncompromising House Rethuglicans as the defenders of the super rich at the expense of the middle class, whose taxes will go up on January 1. Retiring Rethug Rep. Steve LaTourette (OH), who has been bitterly critical of the Tea Party loons' takeover of his party, commented after the meeting,
"It's unbelievable, this is horrible. I'm angry, I'm sad for my friend the Speaker, and I'm sorry for the country. We deserve better."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Today's Profiles in Nuttery

First, Charles P. Pierce, who provides a sketch of the increasingly sketchy George "Quill" Will (whose latest scratchings attempt to justify voter suppression):
"In his heart, George Effing Will now is one of those cats who dresses up in camo, runs around upper Michigan with their Bushmaster .223s, pops off a few dozen rounds at an unfortunate oak tree, and then goes home and broadcasts on their shortwaves about how they will be the last redoubt against the tyranny of the UN when it descends on the U.P. to shut down all the deer camps. The guy who spent most of his career fashioning a phony image of erudition is dead set on spending his declining years fashioning a phony image as a wingnut know-nothing, Glenn Beck in a bowtie..." (our emphasis)
Pierce goes on to flay Will's "analysis" of low-versus-high turnout elections (spoiler alert: the elitist Will prefers that only people who agree with him should vote). Will is truly what a stupid person thinks a smart person sounds like (also: see Newt Gingrich).

Second, courtesy of Crooks and Liars, here's what believing what you hear on Fox "News" will get you (spoiler alert: 20 years):
An Indiana man convicted of setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told a judge on Wednesday that he committed the crimes because Fox News and conservative talk radio had convinced him that "most Muslims are terrorists."

Randolph Linn, 52, accepted a plea deal in which he pled guilty to all charges in connection to setting a fire in the prayer room at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sept. 30. Under the deal, Linn is expected to serve 20 years in prison instead of 40.

Linn explained to the court that he had gotten "riled up" after watching Fox News.

"And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, 'Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?'" one mosque member who attended the hearing recalled to WNWO. "And he said, 'No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.'"
(our emphasis)

(Image: "Glenn Beck in a bowtie," standing in front of a - you guessed it - Fox "News" banner.)

Majority: Rethugs "Too Extreme"

For the first time, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll, Americans view the Rethuglican Party as "too extreme" and out of the political mainstream.

Fifty-three percent of Americans say the Rethuglican Party is too extreme, while 57% say the Democratic Party is "generally mainstream." This doesn't bode well for the Rethugs, who are also on the losing end of the fiscal "cliff" debate. As we move into 2013, with gun control, immigration reform, and economic recovery on the legislative agenda, the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party will be increasingly challenged to show that it's anything other than a fringe movement.

Fux Enlists "Santa Claus" To Discuss "War on Christmas"

Who but the nincompoops on "Fux and Friends" would bring on "Santa Claus" to discuss the phony right wing issue of the "war on Christmas?" The "war on Christmas" is the paranoid Talibangelist right's response to what they imagine as anti-religious secularization -- everything from people saying "happy holidays" to an imagined Muslim takeover of our institutions. So who better to take up the cause of remembering what Christmas is truly about than that noted Christian theologian....Santa Claus. Well, we suppose it's appropriate: an imaginary person talking about an imaginary problem. Bwahahaha!

The moronic trio of Steve "The Douche" Doocy, Wretched Gretchen Carlson, and Brian "Kill Me Now" Kilmeade is always good for laughs, unless you're recovering from having stuck your tongue in an electrical outlet, in which case they might sound pretty smart.

(photo: The Douche and Wretched Gretchen ask Santa to give them minds for Christmas)

Who Would Have Thought?

For the longest time, the refrain among Beltway Village "serious people" has been to fix the debt. Indeed, there's a group that calls itself "Fix The Debt." So you would think that in order to fix it, they'd propose a balanced approach of revenues and spending cuts, including cuts to the largest part of discretionary spending: defense. You'd be wrong.

Here's some interesting information about the makeup of "Fix The Debt." It appears that the majority of its leadership are defense contractor CEOs. Maybe that's why there's been nary a peep about cuts in defense spending, while there's incessant talk about Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid cuts (keep in mind, too, that Social Security and Medicare are self-funded insurance programs, not drawing from general revenues). Putting these people in charge of fixing the debt would be like putting the NRA in charge of the government's gun control policy....oh wait, they already are.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Let The Blame Games Begin!

1) It was those violent video games!

2) It was feminism!

3) It was the devil's work!

At the NRA's news conference Friday, look for these and more mis-directions on the cause of the Newtown massacre. But don't EVER blame the gun manufacturers and their NRA stooges! Always remember, guns don't kill people; people kill people!

As Hunter at Daily Kos said:

"Prediction: We're going to limit the number of rounds people can shoot off in video games long before we think about limiting the number of rounds they can fire in real life. Not joking on that one."

I Am The Walrus Picture of the Day

A walrus covers his eyes, "Nooo, not fish for dinner again!"

Photo via Balloon Juice blog (it's been on the internet toobs for a while).

Blind Squirrel* Quote Of The Day

"Weapons designed expressly to kill human beings, and then modified (wink wink) to meet the federal machine-gun ban, have no legitimate place in American society. Time to get rid of them." -- the right-wing, Murdoch-owned New York Post's editorial on assault weapons. When a reactionary like Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch tweets his approval of more gun control in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, something is different this time.
*"Even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut."

Memorial Mid-Week Song

Eric Clapton wrote "Tears In Heaven" after the accidental death of his 4 year old son. Funerals of the children and teachers killed last Friday are continuing in Newtown, Connecticut, each one a heartbreaking thing.

To contribute to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, click here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cliff Diving

August 14, 2012:
"Number one, I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security," Biden said, per a pool report. "I flat guarantee you." (our emphasis) -
"First Read," NBC News.
"The White House says the president’s plan would cut spending by $1.22 trillion over 10 years, compared with $1.2 trillion in cuts from the Republicans’ initial offer. Of that, $800 billion is cuts to programs, and $122 billion comes from adopting a new measure of inflation that slows the growth of government benefits, especially Social Security. The White House is also counting on $290 billion in savings from lower interest costs on a reduced national debt." (our emphasis) - the New York Times, 12/17/12.
Negotiating with yourself again, eh, Mr. President? We thought you and the Democrats won in November on a platform to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Elections are supposed to have consequences, but not in a perverse way.

Reactions Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Many have noted the conspicuous silence of the National Rampage Association in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. It's the NRA's standard mode following a mass killing with guns: duck and cover, strategize, wait for the outrage to subside, send a few of your coin-operated Rethug and ConservaDem politicians out to talk about mental health/Hollywood movies/videogames, and so on. Then, when the time is right, barrage Congress with money and threats of retaliation if any restrictions on guns -- especially assault weapons -- are proposed.

An American Hero Passes Away

Long time Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii died yesterday at the age of 88. Sen. Inouye represented the State of Hawaii, first as a Representative and then as a Senator, since Hawaii was admitted to the Union in 1959. As the longest serving member of the Senate (pro tem), he was third in line of Presidential succession.

The Senator's ancestors emigrated to Hawaii from Japan in the 1880s. As a Nisei during World War II, Sen. Inouye was barred from serving in the military until the ban was lifted in 1943. He joined the famous all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most highly decorated unit in U.S. history. Inouye lost an arm fighting against the Nazis in Italy, and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery. While recovering from his war wounds, Sen. Inouye met Robert Dole, later Senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican Presidential candidate, and began a life-long friendship that bridged parties.

The scene in the Senate yesterday was somber:
"Less than an hour after Inouye’s passing, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Inouye’s death to a stunned chamber. 'Our friend Daniel Inouye has died,' Reid said somberly. Shocked members of the Senate stood in the aisles or slumped in their chairs."
The Senate is diminished by the passing of another member of the greatest generation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Of Course, Their Fingerprints Are All Over This Tragedy

From Bloomberg News:

"Magazines that fed bullets into the primary firearm used to kill 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school would have been banned under state legislation that the National Rifle Association and gunmakers successfully fought [in March 2011].

"The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds as his main weapon, said Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance at a news conference yesterday."
(our emphasis)

We look forward to a rationalization from these evil cowards.

(Logo: The National Rampage Association, merchants of death)

Today's Headlines, Cont'd.

Perhaps we'll be able to turn to another topic in time, but here's the Huffington Post's collection of gun-related headlines today:

Another Day, More Deaths: Two Police Officers Shot And Killed In Kansas... 3-Year-Old Accidentally Shoots Himself, Dies... Gunman At Large After Shooting Victim 4 Times... Man Shoots Wife, Keeps Cops In Standoff For Hours... One Person Shot In San Antonio, Gunman Later Shot By Cops... Woman Shot At Campground... Woman Shot To Death, Son 'Thought She Was Sleeping'

Again, here is the link to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Donate in memory of one (or more) of the kids that were murdered.

From The Mouths Of Children

A simple, moving tribute to the Newtown, Connecticut victims from "Saturday Night Live" and The New York City Children's Chorus:

(via Crooks & Liars)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Today's Headlines

Assembled by the Huffington Post this afternoon:

GUNS IN AMERICA: Indiana Man Arrested With 47 Guns After Threatening Local School... Gunman Kills 3 In Alabama... Shooter Opens Fire In California Mall Parking Lot... HOTEL HORROR: Murder-Suicide On Vegas Strip... Man Accidentally Shoots Himself While Playing With Gun... Chicago Man Shot Dead... North Carolina Man Fatally Shoots Wife, Elderly Mother-In-Law...

A Start

Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said today that she would introduce legislation on the first day the Senate convenes to ban assault weapons. She indicated an identical bill would be introduced in the House. The bill would also deal with high capacity clips and magazines, and would deal with the importation, sale and possession of assault weapons. The original assault weapons ban that was enacted in 1994 expired in 2004.

Good for Sen. Feinstein, but we need legislators who will step forward to support the legislation. We need a continuing, well-funded campaign -- tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars -- that can counter the campaign of lies and paranoia spread by the leadership of the NRA that's sure to come. It would be wonderful if sympathetic billionaires like Mayor Michael Bloomberg and wealthy supporters of President Obama could help fund such an effort, because the NRA will be out in force now twisting the truth and threatening politicians with defeat over this reasonable legislation.

UPDATE: Here's the link to make contributions to the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

Time To Talk And Act

As many have pointed out, when we have mass slaughters involving guns, the first thing we're told is it's "too soon to talk about gun control laws". Often it's the Beltway media that enforces the "too soon" rule, enabled by professional gun proliferation advocates. Here are two takes on the situation written on Friday, one from progressive political operative Robert Shrum, and the other from conservative writer David Frum:
"We as a society are hostage to the thugs of the NRA—which actually stands for the National Rampage Association....Republicans who claim to defend the 'right to life' profit politically by defending the moral wrong of a wholesale arsenal of death inflicted on the already living.... And on the other side, politicians who know better, including most Democrats, cower before the threat of electoral retaliation—and invoke the rationalization that it is too hard to pass anything in Congress, even a ban on assault weapons or closing the gun-show loophole that lets criminals and the deranged shop for firearms without any background check....Let us resolve that half a century and more of this country as a killing field is more than enough. Let us refuse to let this day of dying fade into memory and the malaise of resignation to things as they are. Let us stand against the odds so that countless others who otherwise would never even know the cause of their slaying or the name of their executioner may instead live, laugh, and find love and not hate." -- Robert Shrum

"And I'll say: I'll accept no lectures about 'sensitivity' on days of tragedy like today from people who work the other 364 days of the year against any attempt to prevent such tragedies.

It's bad enough to have a gun lobby. It's the last straw when that lobby also sets up itself as the civility police. It may not be politically possible to do anything about the prevalence of weapons of mass murder. But it damn well ought to be possible to complain about them - and about the people who condone them."-- David Frum
If the duo of (yes) Shrum and Frum can agree that it's time not only to talk but to act, will it ever be a better time?

Saturday, December 15, 2012


"We worry about the hormones in their milk, the violence in 'Spongebob Squarepants,' and yet this country tolerates the existence of a military-style assault weapon built for no other purpose than killing lots of people on a battlefield -- fast... But nothing will change when it comes to guns in America. That is something rotten and infected in our culture. And it breaks my heart, at least 27 different ways." Paula Dvorak, Kaplan Daily.

"This latest terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is not fluke. It is a result of the senseless, immoral neglect of all of us as a nation to fail to protect children instead of guns and to speak out against the pervasive culture of violence. It is up to us to stop these preventable tragedies." Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, quoted by Dvorak.

In this country, the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" takes a back seat to the "right" to carry a piece of child-killing hardware. That's our greatest sickness as a people and a nation.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Obama's Statement on Elementary School Killings

President Obama choked up while delivering a statement on today's mass murders in Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, which claimed the lives of 20 children and 7 adults (including someone at the shooter's home). It's clear that this tragedy has affected him very deeply, and he promised "meaningful action" to prevent this type of horror from happening again, "regardless of the politics."

Horror In Connecticut

We can't believe what we're watching: a shooter at an elementary school in Newtown, CT this morning has apparently shot and killed at least 27 people, the majority of whom were children. Several news organizations are updating the toll, as the chaotic scene develops, but we're told that the gunman, who was shot and killed, was 20 year old Adam Lanza*, and armed with two 9mm handguns and an assault weapon. How could anyone commit such a deeply sick and evil act?

What makes this especially horrifying is the location of the murders: an elementary school. The young age and sheer number of casualties will rank this as perhaps the most devastating mass shooting in U.S. history, along with Columbine High School and Virginia Tech. This is so hard to absorb, we're at a loss for words.
*initial media reports identified the shooter as "24 year old Ryan Lanza" who is actually the brother of the alleged shooter.

(photo: Children are led away from the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Newtown Bee photo)

Kerry For State Department?

As we observed yesterday, Ambassador Susan Rice's withdrawal from consideration as Secretary of State again opens up the speculation that oh, crap Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) will be offered the position. Boosters of Kerry are pointing out that he has relevant experience as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and would face little or no opposition for Senate confirmation. However, there are reasons to pass on Sen. Kerry.

One, he's the choice of the Rethuglican clique whose smear campaign torpedoed Ambassador Rice's candidacy -- Arizona's Sen. Grumpypants, and South Carolina's Sen. Huckleberry Closetcase. They'd love to crow about how they forced President Obama to kneel before them, especially over a politically-manufactured "scandal" that the Ambassador wasn't involved in. In particular, Grumpypants is still in a white rage about his defeat in 2008, and this will only embolden his continuing efforts to sabotage the President.

Two, if Kerry would become Secretary of State, it would open up his Senate seat for a special election, which Rethuglicans believe former Sen. Scott "Centerfold" Brown would win. The name of Victoria Kennedy, Ted Kennedy's widow, has been mentioned as an interim appointee until the special election this summer. Special interests (banking and pharmaceuticals in particular) would throw big money behind Centerfold in an effort to reduce the Democrats' margin in the Senate, putting any Dem contender at a disadvantage. Why the White House would want to hand such an opening to the Rethugs would be a mystery, but stranger things have happened.

UPDATE: How about this for a nominee: Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, our top career Foreign Service officer, who has served in Republican and Democratic administrations, and was Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs and Ambassador to Russia, among other assignments. Qualified and bipartisan.

Union Label Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Any non-union worker that believes that he or she is better off outside of a union will learn the hard way as their wages stagnate and their benefits diminish.

(cartoon: Stuart Carlson, via

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rice Cooked

U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has withdrawn her name from consideration for Secretary of State. The President accepted her decision today. In her letter withdrawing, Rice said:
"If nominated, I am now convinced that the confirmation process would be lengthy, disruptive and costly -- to you and to our most pressing national and international priorities. That trade-off is simply not worth it to our country ... Therefore, I respectfully request that you no longer consider my candidacy at this time."
If the next shoe to drop is the nomination of oh, crap Sen. John Kerry, the Rethuglican plan to return Scott "Cosmo" Brown to the Senate will have entered its next phase. Shame on the Rethuglicans (especially Sen. Grampypants McCain and Sen. Huckleberry Closetcase Graham) for their cynical -- and successful -- effort to smear Rice and deny the President (who should have stood firm) his choice.

Poll Contains Bad News For Rethug Party

A new NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll indicates that the Rethuglican / New Confederate Party has some major problems with its public image. A meager 30% had a positive view of party, while 45% had a negative view. In contrast, the Democratic Party had an overall positive rating of 44%, vs. 35% negative. The so-called "fiscal cliff" battle clearly isn't working in the Rethugs' favor.

Interestingly, when asked to provide a word or phrase best describing the Rethug Party, 65% came back with negative descriptions, such as "bad," "weak," "uncompromising," and "broken." We could add "extreme," "anti-women," "anti-science," "intolerant," and so many more to that list.

Blowing In The Wind

The Department of Energy has announced a major effort to increase the amount of energy generated by wind power, providing $28 million to support 7 offshore wind farms. The Federal money will be supplemented by industry and other funding, and will allow the farms to be up and running no later than 2017.

The funding is part of a $200 million drive by the Obama Administration over 2 years to increase the share of electricity generated by wind power. The DOE press release states that fully developing U.S. offshore wind power technology could produce approximately 4,000 gigawatts of power, four times our current electricity generation capacity.

Senate Gives Lieberman Appropriate Sendoff

We had to smile when we read this passage in the New York Times' coverage of the farewell address of Democratic Party turncoat and Droopy Dog lookalike Sen. Joe Lieberliar (Party of Joe-CT):
"Mr. Lieberman arrived in the Senate chamber to deliver what he declared would be his farewell speech.... With only a few of his Senate colleagues in attendance and the gallery sparsely filled, Mr. Lieberman, 70, expressed gratitude for the opportunity he had to serve, and then vividly recalled how much the world had changed since he was sworn in on Jan. 3, 1989."
In other words, he got the sendoff he deserved. After embracing Dumbya's reckless invasion of Iraq and supporting the McCain/Palin ticket in 2008, Lieberliar was unwelcome in the party that made him its Vice Presidential candidate in 2000. Despite this record, President Obama prevailed upon Senate Democrats not to boot his butt out of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee after the 2008 elections. His fickle loyalties didn't appeal to the voters of Connecticut, and rather than lose in this year's election, he decided to retire.

Surely, there will be life after the Senate for this self-righteous gasbag: we expect to see him bloviating on the cable news (cough cough Fux) circuit, as a booster for certain (cough cough bomb Iran) causes, and as a false "centrist" who fixes the ultimate blame for all bad things on the Democrats because they won't meet the Rethuglicans 99% of the way.

Buh-bye and don't let the door hit you....

BONUS: Charles P. Pierce wasn't a fan of Lieberliar either.

(image: Apologies to Droopy Dog for the comparison)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Congratulations are in order for the failed campaign of plutocrat one-percenter Willard "Not President" Romney: they won the award for the most dishonest campaign ad of 2012, namely, that Jeep planned to move its production out of Ohio to China.

Lying liars and the lies they tell, to paraphrase Sen. Al Franken.

Good News From The Fed

This, if combined with the modest stimulus the Obama Administration is proposing with its "fiscal cliff" deal, will significantly boost the economy:

"The Federal Reserve took a genuinely unexpected step Wednesday afternoon when it announced it would significantly enhance its current monetary easing program. The Fed, for the first time, committed to keeping monetary policy loose until the economy crosses precise thresholds — specifically, an unemployment rate below 6.5 percent or a inflation above 2.5 percent."

Underwater Mid-Week Song

Metric is a Canadian indie music group with a nice tune, "Breathing Underwater", that has worked its way up U.S. and Canadian music charts. Here's a live version of the song, performed at New York's WFUV radio. Enjoy.

Chart of the Day

This chart has popped up on a couple of cable programs, and it illustrates what the attempts by Rethugs to undermine unions mean for the middle class at large. The blue and red lines represent the middle class share of the national income and union membership, respectively, since 1967, and they track downward closely together. That's what is so significant about the recent events in Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan by corporate interests to turn back gains made by organized labor: the fight to maintain a middle class coincides with the fight to preserve union rights and membership.

(chart: K. Waters & D. Madland, Center for American Progress)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rethug Fold 'Em Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

If President Obama can hold firm and not start negotiating with himself, the Rethugs are going to cave on raising the tax rate for the top 2% without a major concession in return. If a bill is passed and signed in the next couple of weeks holding the middle class tax rate where it is, while allowing top rate to return to 39.6% as it was under President Clinton, then a discussion on further revenue sources and adjustments to spending can be started in January, with a more Democratic Congress. It's that simple.

Showdown in Michigan

Today is the day that the reactionary, Koch-backed anti-labor legislation will go to Michigan's Rethuglican Gov. Rick "On the Schneid" Snyder for signature. Thousands are now demonstrating against the legislation at the state capital in Lansing.

Passed by a lame-duck Michigan legislature containing several defeated Rethugs, the so-called "right-to-work" legislation would undermine generations of gains made by Michigan families. The attempt by the coin-operated Rethugs, doing the bidding of greedy corporate tycoons, is to not only upset whatever balance there is left in the workplace between employees and their employer, but to undermine a major source of financial and organizing power for the Democrats. As we noted Sunday, this is a pattern for Rethug Governors from Wisconsin's Scott "Koch Machine" Walker and Ohio's John "Johnny On The Spot" Kasich that is backed by the Koch front organization "Americans for (Plutocrat) Prosperity" and the shadowy right wing American Legislative Exchange Council, which provides State legislatures with cookie-cutter legislation friendly to large corporate interests and the one percenters.

In truth, "right-to-work" is a race to the bottom for middle class working families, where corporations bid down labor costs without fearing unionized resistance. It's true name should be "right-to-work-for-less," because that's exactly what will happen.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Willard's Magic Touch

From a news story:
"Defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a guest ringside Saturday night at the fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.

Romney also visited with Pacquiao in his dressing room before the fight, wishing him well in the bout.

"Hello Manny. I ran for president. I lost," Romney told the fighter, according to Pacquiao publicist Fred Sternburg."
Pacquaio proceeded to get knocked out in the 6th round. We're hoping Willard campaigns for Rethugs in coming years.

: Here's a picture of Willard at the precise moment Pacquaio went lights-out (same face Willard had when Ohio was called for Obama, BTW):

Media: Still Looking For A Clue And A Spine

Dan Froomkin at HuffPo discusses how your elite political media have yet to report on The Big Political Story of 2012 (actually, we think it's The Big Political Story of the Past 20 Years):
"Post-mortems of contemporary election coverage typically include regrets about horserace journalism, he-said-she-said stenography, and the lack of enlightening stories about the issues.

"But according to longtime political observers Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, campaign coverage in 2012 was a particularly calamitous failure, almost entirely missing the single biggest story of the race: Namely, the radical right-wing, off-the-rails lurch of the Republican Party, both in terms of its agenda and its relationship to the truth."
In addition to the insights of Mann and Ornstein, readers of Charles P. Pierce's sublime blog see an example of media craven cluelessness every Monday. As he often does, Pierce focuses a light on serial obfuscator of truth, "Press the Meat" host "Dancin' Dave" Gregory who, week in and week out, aids and abets the continuing decline of political discourse in America:
"But, of course, the topic of the weekend, the topic of all our weekends these days, was pain. Who would bring it? How much would there have to be? And, of course, how to explain to the country that granny-starving is a patriotic act that will keep us from becoming Greece. There's no better place for that kind of talk that Dancin' Dave's Disco Dance Party. Surprisingly, some actual Democrats wandered into the studio this week — OK, Dick Durbin, but any old port etc., and god, did I need some old port by the end of this. — and there was some tepid push-back against starving all the grannies all together. The Dancin' Master never got rolling because his show turned quickly into Camp Runamuck. First, though, there was some prevaricatin' to be done from Rep. Kevin McCarthy, noted for taking his marching orders from mediocre Ben Affleck movies, although Allen West, his partner in comedy gold, will not be returning to Congress, which is why people have been seen removing padding from the walls."
Favorite line? "Let us begin with the Dancin' Master, who hosted Rick Santorum on the overtime part of the program, and sat there like a pile of leaves while Santorum... accused the president of being soft on Sharia law." (our emphasis) As long as the Dancin' Daves of the media are more concerned with staying on the Georgetown cocktail circuit than staying on The Big Political Story of the Past 20 Years, we're in for more of the same.

BONUS: Here's more, on the "winning the morning" Internet side.

Colbert For Senate!

A new poll in South Carolina by PPP shows that Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert leads all other potential candidates to replace tea bagger hero Sen. Jim "Demented" DeMint (R-Klanland), who's retiring in January. Colbert has the support of 20% of South Carolina voters, while tea bagger favorite Rep. Tim "Not Great" Scott gets 15%. Jenny Sanford, former SC first lady and ex-wife of Rethug Gov. Mark "'Hiking' in Argentina" Sanford, draws a respectable 11%.

So we suggest a new campaign slogan: "Colbert for South Carolina -- We're used to electing funny people!"

Cartoon of the Day -- Fiscal Cliff Edition

Starsky and Hutch Simpson and Bowles to the rescue!

(click to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Grover Norquist: Racketeer

Bill Moyers lays the wood to "It's Over" Grover Norquist:

A nice lead-in for Moyers' piece, "Capitol Crimes," which can be viewed at

Quote of the Day

"How is the president supposed to negotiate with people who say, 'Here's my demands. By the way, I can't give you any specifics. Just make me happy'"? -- Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman on ABC's This Week.

Rethuglican War on Workers: Michigan Edition

Think Progress has a good summary of the Rethuglican push in Michigan to follow in Wisconsin's union-busting Gov. Scott "@%#&*@!" Walker's footsteps. Rethugs in the Michigan state legislature are using the lame-duck session there to press so-called "right-to-work" legislation that would cripple the ability of unions to support pro-worker policies. Thus continues a pattern of anti-union activity undertaken by Rethuglicans in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio directed at undercutting workers' rights and standard of living, as well as attacking a foundational support of the Democratic Party and progressive causes.

This is why it's increasingly important that progressives now focus their energies on recapturing statehouses and legislatures in the coming two years, a task made more challenging by the gerrymandering of many state legislative districts to ensure Rethuglican majorities in otherwise majority-Democratic states.

Sunday Cartoon and Read

Frequent blind squirrel Dana Milbank has a piece on retiring teatard hero Sen. Jim "Demented" DeMint (New Confederate Party- Secessionland) and his move to the Heritage Foundation. After ticking off some of DeMint's more deranged views, Milbank offers this:
"But it’s difficult to see how these views, and DeMint’s crude expression of them, fit with Heritage’s mission as 'a research and educational institution' dedicated to finding 'solutions to contemporary problems from the ideas, principles and traditions that make America great.'

"Such as: keeping gay men and unmarried women from being teachers; throwing around words such as "tyranny' and 'socialism'; attempting to 'break' an American president and accusing the other party of a Nazi-style 'power grab.'

"If DeMint is the right man to be running this prestigious policy shop, perhaps the resident scholars at Heritage should be researching this question: Is thought dead?"

Then there's this more direct commentary (click to enlarge):

(Cartoon: Jim Morin, via

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Is We Larnin' Frum Fux?

A study by the Intelligence Institute, a conservative organization, has found that viewers of Fux News have average IQs of 80 (AVERAGE!), some 20 points below the U.S. average IQ of 100. Of course, we're shocked, shocked! at this news.

Fux is not only dividing and damaging the nation, as the quote below notes, they're rotting what's left of the wing nut mind.

BONUS QUOTE: Here's what the lead researcher had to say:
"Less intelligent animals rely on instinct when confronted by something which they do not understand. This is an ancient survival reaction all animals, including humans, exhibit. It's a very simple phenomenon, really; think about a dog being afraid of a vacuum cleaner. He doesn't know what a vacuum is or if it may harm him, so he becomes agitated and barks at it. Less intelligent humans do the same thing. Concepts that are too complex for them to understand, may frighten or anger them."
Yep. That's the Fox "News" viewer (a.k.a., Rethuglican base) in a =cough= nut shell.

: Our source, Rising Hegemon (who picked this up from Under the Mountain Bunker) a bit on whether this is a bona fide study. We must admit there are some possible "tells" that this is a spoof. But, interestingly enough, it conforms closely enough to other studies of the Fox "News" viewership that one could easily take it at face value. Caveat emptor.

Quote of the Day

"Twenty-two percent of Americans say their primary news source is Fox News. It's divided our country in a way that we haven't been divided probably since the Civil War, and its empowered large corporations to get certain kinds of politicians and ideologues who are in the United State Congress elected -- the Tea Party ideologues who control the Republican Party." -- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to HuffPost Live. Fox "News" is not a "sister organization" to mainstream media (contrary to ABC's Jake "Tippy" Tapper's naive/ cynical pronouncement). It's an arm of the Rethuglican Party, or more specifically, the billionaires that fund the right-wing propaganda machine in this country. The scabrous head of Fox, Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch needs to have his amoral operations in the U.S. looked into just as has been done in Great Britain, where they found him to be "not fit" to run a major corporation. Not fit, indeed.