Monday, June 30, 2014

Do-Something Cartoon of the Day

So little action, so much time.  The latest absurd diversion of the Rethuglican political class is suing the President -- twice elected by a healthy majority -- for fulfilling his promises to the American people.  In the face of their continual obstruction, Obama is no longer under the illusion that Congressional Rethugs will work with him on anything, including measures that they once showed interest in (cap-and-trade, immigration reform, etc.).

(cartoon: Clay Jones, via  Be sure to visit him at

Court Rulings Handed Down

The Supreme Court handed down two decisions today, splitting along partisan lines.  One ruling allows some companies claiming religious beliefs to disregard the provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring contraceptive care be included in a company's health insurance plan, and the second ruling declared that in-home health workers can't be forced to pay union dues if they disagree with their union's collective bargaining positions.  In the first ruling, the companies involved -- Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood -- are family-owned,  but other companies are expected to challenge the provision. In the second ruling, the Court didn't go as far as some anti-labor advocates wanted by applying the ruling more broadly to public employees.

These rulings reaffirm the Roberts Court's clear corporate bias and social conservatism, if anyone still needed any evidence.  (By the way, remember when pundits were describing Justice Anthony Kennedy as a "swing vote?"  Has he ever been anything other than a staunch member of the reactionary majority?).  All the more reason that Dems have to control the White House now and in the future, so that appointments to the Court don't result in the kinds of rulings we saw today.

Survival of the Unfittest

Nobel laureate Paul Krugman has an article in this morning's New York Times that focuses on the discredited supply-side economic philosophy and why it continues to survive.  The basic theory is that by reducing tax rates on the wealthy and on corporations, a surge of economic activity benefitting everyone will be unleashed, when in fact nothing of the sort happens.  Meanwhile, social services and infrastructure are cut.  So why has the theory survived?  The short answer is it rewards corporate interests and the very wealthy, who push the theory using such front organizations as the American Legislative Exchange Council which promotes anti-labor, anti-environment and other reactionary legislation around the country.

St. Ronnie of Hollywood let the "charlatans and cranks" of supply-side theory into the halls of government during his administration, and Federal deficits skyrocketed.  As Krugman notes, you have to follow the money to understand:
"But how can you justify enriching the already wealthy while making life harder for those struggling to get by? The answer is, you need an economic theory claiming that such a policy is the key to prosperity for all. So supply-side economics fills a need backed by lots of money, and the fact that it keeps failing doesn’t matter."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Colbert and the Eagle: Best Buds

This commercial for pistachios, starring the wonderful Stephen Colbert and his patriotic eagle, has to be one of the funnier ones in the series that we've seen.  It's unexpected in the way it references Colorado's legalized weed culture.  Hard to miss the tune that plays as the eagle exhales and the commercial ends (be sure to play full screen).

Report Calls for Overhaul of VA

The White House's report on the situation in the Department of Veterans Affairs has some scathing words for the culture that's caused severe hardship for veterans' care: "lack of responsiveness," "corrosive culture," and "arbitrary, ill-defined, and misunderstood" standards.  In the world of right-wing manufactured "scandals," this is an actual scandal that has lasted for decades, and has been made worse by a huge influx of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans.

Added to the internal dysfunction and failure to deliver for the vets is the pernicious effect of Rethuglican political obstruction on everything from veterans' jobs programs to programs providing health care and education for vets, all in a cynical effort to make the Obama Administration "fail" on every front and hope voters aren't paying attention.  We expect Congressional Rethuglicans to form the same "hell no" bloc when it comes to implementing the recommendations for improvement that are coming out of this report.

UPDATE:  Obama intends to nominate Robert McDonald, former CEO of Proctor and Gamble, as the next VA Secretary.

Ammosexuals Parade With Weapons, Get Arrested

Four cases of arrested development thought it would be a good idea to march through a racially-mixed suburb of Cinncinnati carrying AR-15s and shouting racial epithets.  Their "leader," Jesse "Lil Krayzie" Deboard, wanted to get a reaction from police when they paraded in front of a police station, while he videoed his companions' idiocy.   “This is going on YouTube, n*gga, world star,” Deboard is heard saying on the video.  Two, including Deboard, have been arrested on menacing while stalking charges, while the other two are being sought by police.

Deboard, who fancies himself both a Second Amendment champion and an aspiring rap artist who goes by the name "Lil Krayzie" (if the shoe fits…), is being held on $25,000 bond.  Moreover, on an earlier Facebook posting, he announced he was going to buy 2 AR-15s and 1,000 rounds of ammunition.  We have a feeling that this won't be the last time Lil Krayzie does something that reflects on his nickname.

(photo:  Krayzie is as crazy does.)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

100 Years Ago: The Spark That Started WWI

One hundred years ago today, Austria-Hungary's Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his consort Sophie, were assassinated on the streets of Sarajevo, Bosnia, providing the spark that ignited the First World War.  A Serb nationalist named Gavrilo Princip shot the two as their open car navigated a narrow side street, having made a wrong turn.  Austria-Hungary and its ally Germany along with the Ottoman Empire lined up against Britain, France, Italy and Russia -- Serbia's patron -- and later the U.S. in a war that would claim the lives of millions, set the stage for the Second World War, and sow bitter antagonisms in the Balkans that remain to this day.

(photo:  Franz Ferdinand and Sophie leave Sarajevo's Town Hall minutes before their assassination. Karl Trostl)

Bottom of the Barrel

The story of a 73 year-old veteran who was fired from his job at a Cracker Barrel store once again illustrates the minimum value a right-wing business places on not only elderly veterans, but on common decency.  Vietnam vet Joe Koblenzer was fired after giving a corn muffin and some packets of condiments to a person that appeared to be homeless outside the store in Venice, FL.  Cracker Barrel defended the firing by alleging that Koblenzer had given small items of food to others in the past.

One would think that a highly profitable business could spare an occasional corn muffin.  In the case of Cracker Barrel, one would be wrong.  Moreover, Cracker Barrel is very active in right-wing causes, most prominently as a major supporter of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  ALEC has been vigorously pushing right-wing legislation in state legislatures for years, including anti-labor, anti-environment and voter suppression laws.

The next time you see companies like Cracker Barrel posing as "patriotic," remember that their patriotism doesn't extend beyond their cash registers to veterans whose past service they value less than a damn corn muffin.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekend Sunny Day Song

We've featured Scottish indie pop group Belle and Sebastian several times on Hackwhackers.  Today, we're featuring a tune from their 2006 album, "The Life Pursuit," titled "Another Sunny Day."  The video was drawn and directed by Nicole Benz, with animation by Benz and Calen Henry, as a McMaster Multimedia thesis project (we trust they passed).  Enjoy your weekend, sunny or not!

But How Is His Poll Standing?

Wonkette, er, beats us to the punch with this, uh, "head" line and story:

Michigan Republican Confesses ‘Public Masturbation Fetish,’ Hopes To Beat Off Competition

(We hope to be finished with our sophomore year any time now.)

Ukraine Signs Pact With European Union

In a pact signed today, Ukraine strengthened ties with the European Union, a move that Russia had strongly opposed as a threat to its economic and political influence over the former Soviet republic.  Ukrainian President Poroshenko signed the agreement to establish closer economic and trade ties to Europe, saying, “The signature of this agreement signifies new investment, new rules without corruption and new markets, the biggest market in the world."

The economic and trade pact doesn't make Ukraine (or Moldova or Georgia, which also signed similar pacts with the EU) part of the European Union, but it does signify that these nations see their future with an economically-integrated Europe, and not with the Russian Federation.

Warfare Queens Video of the Day

Last night, Jon Stewart skewered the Rethuglican war hawks who write blank checks for military adventures everywhere in the world, but who refuse to fix problems at home.  In particular, he singles out bitter loser Sen. John "McNasty" McCain, who seems to relish the "Party of No" label, and Alabama's lop-eared redneck Sen. Jeff "Secession" Sessions, who thinks the world needs more U.S. military action but refuses to pay for better veterans care when the wounded come home.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Today's Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

It always bears repeating:  the Tea Party is the Republican Party and the Republican Party is the Tea Party.

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Empty Suit

The announcement by Weeper of the House and Congressional circus ringmaster John "Mr. Tangerine Man" Boehner that he would sue the President for misuse of Executive Orders was as hypocritical as it was inevitable.  Hypocritical because under Dumbya, hundreds of Executive Orders were issued without any objection from Congressional Rethugs.  (In fact, Obama has signed fewer Executive Orders than any President since Grover Cleveland in the latter part of the 19th Century.)  Inevitable because, given the Rethugs' failure to obstruct the President's signature achievement (Affordable Care Act) or extort damaging concessions (Government shutdown), a sure-to-flop suit in Federal court against the President also helps rally the demoralized base, after teabagger losses in Senate primaries in Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Even the Fux Bidness Channel's lockstep support of Rethug tactics is showing cracks:  host Neil Cavuto ridiculed retiring Congresswoman and certifiable loon Michele "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann for pushing a "silly" lawsuit instead of trying to chip away at the President legislatively.  The way they talk past each other in this video captures the division in the Rethuglican Party perfectly:

Quote of the Day

"In Congress, folks will tell you climate change is a hoax, or a fad, or a plot. It’s a liberal plot.  And then most recently, because many who say that actually know better and they’re just embarrassed, they duck the question. They say, 'Hey, I’m not a scientist,' which really translates into, 'I accept that manmade climate change is real, but if I say so out loud, I will be run out of town by a bunch of fringe elements that thinks climate science is a liberal plot so I’m going to just pretend like, I don’t know, I can't read.'" -- President Obama, speaking to the League of Conservation Voters last night.

The President's been very active this past month in tackling greenhouse gas emission regulations and other important environmental needs, knowing that an obstructionist Congress, one half of which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the fossil fuel industry, will never do what's right by the environment or the people living within it.

Readin' Writin' and Racism

Not long ago, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal was revealed to be an anonymous internet "sock puppet" on blogs, who used racial slurs toward blacks and Hispanics ("No Spanish newspapers...Speak English"), demeaning the poor ("lazy pigs"), and other behavior one wouldn't associate with a state school superintendent.  Yesterday, he apologized for his misbehavior in a teary press conference.  However, sources say that he will not step down as superintendent.

We have career advice for the Hupper:  get out of the education field entirely because you can't educate if you're angry at the people you serve.  Try a gig on talk radio, where you can rant freely, and leave the blog snark and heated commentary to professionals, or, in our case, amateurs.  You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Words From The Sage of Wasilla

There's nothing like a sore loser, except for a sore loser who campaigned for the sore loser:
“Well, if Republicans are gonna act like Democrats, then what’s the use in getting all gung ho about getting Republicans in there? So yeah, if Republicans aren’t going to stand strong on the planks in our platform, then it does no good to get all enthused about them anymore.”
That's the Sage of Wasilla, Sarah "Winky" Palin shootin' some word salad at Fux's brownshirt-in-residence Sean "Heil" Hannity.  It seems that Winky doesn't have the endorsement power she used to have, and losing's contagious in politics.

UPDATE:  The Sage is 0 for 2:  her teabagger choice in Oklahoma's Rethug primary, T.W. Shannon, lost to Rep. James Lankford.

(photo:  Now close the other eye.)

"Establishment" Rethug Wins In MS

When the votes from the very nasty Mississippi Rethuglican primary were counted last night, ancient incumbent Sen. Thad "Thaddeus the Aged" Cochran, had narrowly defeated upstart teabagger candidate Chris "Paparazzi" McDaniel thanks in part to crossover votes from Dems, who had been courted by Cochran.  The elderly Cochran was also supported by a nervous Rethug "establishment" including former Rethug National Committee chairman Haley Barbour and Arizona Sen. John "Bomb Bomb Bomb" McCain.  McDaniel won notoriety when one of his ardent supporters secretly photographed Cochran's bedridden wife in a nursing home.

To no one's surprise, McDaniel is refusing to concede, vowing to fight on and alleging "irregularities" (<cough  black voters cough>) at the polling stations (Pause with us to savor the delicious irony of a Rethug complaining about a fellow Rethug's shenanigans at the polls).  Some angry teatards are vowing to sit out the November elections in protest of Cochran's victory (Please, please, please!).   The saga continues.

BONUS:  The tea baggers are having an epic pants-wetting.   Infamy!  Treachery!  Comedy!

(Photo:  Cochran roaming the corridors of Congress.  "Now, where was the men's room?")

Wingnut Figure Caught With Gun in Airport

Joseph "Freaky" Farah, founder of the conspiracy-minded, extreme right-wing birther website "World Net Daily" -- better known as World Nut Daily -- was charged this past weekend for carrying a loaded .38 handgun into Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, VA.  He was charged with a misdemeanor (a misdemeanor?) for carrying a loaded weapon in his carry-on bag into an airport.  Perhaps Freaky, who is of Lebanese-Syrian descent, was profiled by TSA officials;  let's hope so in this case.

Freaky, who should also be charged with sporting a prominent 1970s porn 'stache, continues to be a notorious birther.  He pledged to donate $15,000 to the hospital where the President was born if he would produce his long-form birth certificate.  When it was produced in April, 2011, Freaky, of course, reneged and called the document forged.  Another deadbeat winger whose mouth is bigger than his checking account.

Mid-Week Chase Song

Indie-pop singer Ingrid Michaelson has a catchy confection of a song that's climbed into the top 10.  Feel free to chase someone today.
All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Lets not make it harder than it has to be
Aaaaah it's all the same thing
Girls chase boys chase girls

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Bridge Too Far?

New Jersey Gov. and head of the state's Rethuglican crime family Chris "Krispykreme" Christie has yet another bridge to worry about.  This time, Federal prosecutors are looking into the illegal diversion of over $1 billion from Port Authority (PA) funds to pay for repairs to the state-owned Pulaski Skyway, which links Jersey City and Newark. The PA had planned to use the money for the Hudson River rail tunnel project, which Krispykreme cancelled.

The core of the investigation involves the misleading description of the project to PA bond holders, a felony under state securities law.  Over the strong objections of PA lawyers, the Krispykreme regime pushed aggressively for the shift in funds, and misleadingly tried to link the Pulaski Skyway project -- which is clearly out of the PA's scope -- to "access to the Lincoln Tunnel".  It appears to fit the patten of diverting or withholding funds (PA funds, Hurricane Sandy relief funds, etc.) to reward or punish opponents of the porcine Governor, and could lead to criminal indictments.

Broken Media Quote of the Day

"People might be forgetting the deep bond that ran between the compliant Beltway media in 2003 and the very same failed Iraq War architects and partisan boosters the press is now turning to for advice. In other words, the Beltway press was part of the Iraq problem then. (They sold us a disastrous war.) So it's not that surprising the press is part of the problem now." -- Eric Boehlert, reminding us why the Beltway media is so eager to have the bunglers from Dumbya's Administration on their shows to give their "advice" on the situation in Iraq (emphasis added), something we've commented on, too.

The Dancin' Dave Gregorys, the George Steponaflagopoulos, the Tom Brokealls, every one of them -- and so many, many more --  shirked their responsiblilties after 9-11 by acting as stenographers and cheerleaders for a deceitful Administration bent on concocting a rationale for invading Iraq, when those that had attacked the U.S. slipped away into the mountains of Afghanistan.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(Click to enlarge)

If only we could snap our fingers and make these shameless neocons disappear from our airwaves….

(cartoon: Tom Tomorrow, via DailyKos)

Neocon Job Quote of the Day

When we see the likes of Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bolton and Kristol on gabfests, we'll remember this:
"...thousands of our fellow citizens would be alive and well today had we never listened to the neoconservatives’ fantasies, and Americans would be more popular abroad and more prosperous at home if their prescriptions from 1993 forward had been ritually ignored. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis would be alive too, and the Middle East would probably be in somewhat better condition (it could hardly be worse).

What, if anything, might reduce the neoconservative influence to its proper dimension (that is to say, almost nil)? I wish I knew, for if the past ten years haven’t discredited them, it’s not obvious what would. No doubt leaders in Moscow and Beijing derive great comfort from that fact: For what better way to ensure that the United States continues to lurch from crisis to crisis, and from quagmire to quagmire? Until our society gets better at listening to those who are consistently right instead of those who are reliably wrong, we will repeat the same mistakes and achieve the same dismal results. Not that the neoconservatives will care."  -- Stephen Walt, in Foreign Policy, via Balloon Juice (emphasis added).
One would have to start with a sense of self-awareness (the neocons have none) and shame (none of that either), with a good amount of decency (are you kidding?) to care about the ruinous situation they created, or about the lives destroyed in their path.

You Say You Want A Revolution

Rick Perlstein on a recent watershed moment when legitimate authority was challenged and chose to back down:
Here is a truth so fundamental that it should be self-evident: When legitimately constituted state authority stands down in the face of armed threats, the very foundation of the republic is in danger. And yet that is exactly what happened at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch this spring: An alleged criminal defeated the cops, because the forces of lawlessness came at them with guns — then Bureau of Land Management officials further surrendered by removing the government markings from their vehicles to prevent violence against them. 
What should be judged a watershed in American history instead became a story about one man’s racist rants. Even as two more Nevada lunatics, inspired by their stint at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, allegedly ambushed and mowed down two police officers and killed a bystander after crying, “This is the start of a revolution.” And now, an antigovernment conspiracy theorist named Douglas Cole recently shot at two police officers in Nevada County, California (though you may not have heard about that, because the New York Times hasn’t found the news yet fit to print).
Perlstein goes on to discuss how the lack of a strong push-back by the Democratic Party since 2000 has allowed a vacuum to form, which far-right gun nuts and Campfire Commandos have easily filled.  It's a story of political cowardice and missed opportunities.

Speaking of nuts, here's Stupid Party poster boy Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal speaking Saturday at convicted bag man Ralph Reed's (My) Faith and (My) Freedom annual conference:
"I can sense right now a rebellion brewing amongst these United States," Jindal said, "where people are ready for a hostile takeover of Washington, D.C., to preserve the American Dream for our children and grandchildren."
"Rebellion?"  "Hostile takeover?"  Those are more than loaded words.  That's walks right up to the border of sedition.  He's talking about a coup against the legitimately elected government of the United States!  We haven't heard any responsible elected officials of either party denounce Jindal's incitement to violence.  From past experience, we don't expect we will.

Sic transit gloria, America.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday Funnies

(click to enlarge)

Unindicted war criminal Dick "The Dick" Cheney continues in his attempt to avoid blame for the conflagration in Iraq due to his sinister machinations a decade ago.  Even Fux's Megyn Kelly was having none of it last week.  When the Wingnut Wurlitzer starts disowning you, it's time to go hunting with your dwindling supporters.

BONUS:  Andy Borowitz has some typically trenchant posts with these amusing headlines:

In rare consensus, Sunnis and Shiites tell Cheney to shut up


Dick Cheney: My thoughts and prayers are with the Iraqi oil wells

(cartoon:  Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via

Today's Dispatches From The Stupid Party - Platform Edition

'Tis  the season for crafting party platforms, with an eye toward local, State and Federal elections coming up this fall.  Two such platforms, by the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid Party in Texas and South Dakota, have some provisions worth noting.

What's Texas, home of creepy Open Carry gun fondlers and "do- these-glasses- make- me- look- smart?" Gov. Rick "Oops" Perry, thinkin'?
The latest platform calls for securing the border with Mexico, offering no amnesty for anyone in the country illegally and ending in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants.  [snip] 
The Texas Republican Party, which says "homosexuality tears at the fabric of society," also approved a policy of "reparative therapy" for gays that seek to change sexual orientation through counseling.  (our emphasis)
They seem nice.  If only there was "reparative therapy" for Republicans to restore their humanity.

How about South Dakota Republicans?  What are you resolvin' out there?
"Therefore, be it resolved that the South Dakota Republican Party calls on our U.S. Representatives to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president of the United States," the resolution reads, according to the Argus Leader. 
Allen Unruh, the delegate who sponsored the resolution, said he had a "thick book on impeachable offenses of the president." He called on South Dakota to "send a symbolic message that liberty shall be the law of the land."  (our emphasis)
Wethinks that "thick book" may have landed on Mr. Unruh's head at least a couple of times.  We have a message for the heretofore unheralded Constitutional scholar Unruh and his fellow dimbulbs:  Please proceed!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Price That's Paid For Believing Lies

From yesterday's once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle comes a story of how the Republican scare machine - with Fox "News" and hate radio as its biggest megaphones - has done its job with low-information folks who would benefit enormously from more affordable health care:
Carolyn Underwood remembers her dad coming home covered in black coal dust from the mines. “Momma would have his water ready. He’d wash his face and she would wash his neck,” she said. 
In old age, he suffered from black lung disease and wore an oxygen supply constantly. But unlike his daughter, he never worried about how he would pay his medical bills. The union took care of it. 
That doesn’t make Carolyn Underwood, 63, a supporter of expanded government health coverage, even though she would benefit from it. In a region where the decline of the coal industry has sent poverty and health-care needs soaring, another force has grown at least by equal measures: antipathy to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 
I am scared of Obamacare,” Underwood said. “We’ve been hearing too many tales about it. We heard there’s doctors who get to decide . . . ” Before she could put her finger on the term “death panels,” her sister Nancy Taylor, 62, made a gun gesture with her hand and said, “Pow!”  (our emphasis)
Union family.  Appalachia.  Low-income.  And they're "scared of Obamacare."  People for whom government social safety nets were designed in order to make their lives less awful, shunning the help that's there for the taking.  "Death panels," our asses.  "Tales" is the right word, Ms. Underwood. Heckuva job, Republicans!

Roll Out The Barrel

 We noticed this nice overview of the awesome food and drink of our home away from home:  Wisconsin.  Interesting, but unsurprising, factoid:  Wisconsin has three times more bars / taverns than grocery stores.  It's not just the exceptional cheeses, and the long history of brewing beer. It's the pastries, sausages, and other delights.  The Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison on the Capitol Square is the U.S.'s largest producer-only farmers' market (if you stop by tomorrow, you'll see the World Naked Bike Ride starting at 11 a.m.  -- it's Madison, after all).

(photo:  A plate of one of Wisconsin's signature state dishes, deep fried cheese curds, as served at Madison's Old Fashioned restaurant.  Jeanne Carpenter,

Confidence Men

We're sure that Wisconsin's skeevy Koch-head Governor Scott "Beam Me Up Scotty" Walker took comfort in the testimonial offered yesterday by that sterling judge of character and the head of New Jersey's Rethug crime family Gov. Chris "Krispykreme" Christie, who said he had "complete faith and confidence" in Walker's integrity.  (Momentary pause to savor the irony, and to laugh out loud).

These two would make an interesting Rethuglican ticket in 2016, assuming they don't wind up in the slammer before then.  Walker, accused of heading a "criminal  scheme" in violating campaign laws with Koch-backed groups and others, and Christie, facing mounting interest from Federal prosecutors looking into diversion of Hurricane Sandy funds and potential Hobbs Act violations,  would be a ticket made in Federal Court.

(photo:  The Tacky Ticket)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekend Summer Birthday Song

Here in the northern hemisphere, tomorrow is the first day of summer.  Today happens to be the 72nd birthday of Beach Boy genius Brian Wilson (btw, who would have guessed 30 years ago that Brian would be the surviving Wilson brother!?).  In honor of him, and to usher in the summer season, what better song to play than one of the earliest Beach Boys hits, lyrics by Wilson (with the tune creatively borrowed from Chuck Berry), "Surfin' USA."  We especially like the name checks of the great surfing beaches - "Haggerty's and Swami's, Pacific Palisades, San Onofre and Sunset, Redondo Beach, LA..."  Enjoy your weekend.

Why We Love Elizabeth Warren, Cont'd.

"I grew up in a America that said, we collectively, all of us, are going to make those investments in education so that any kid, who works hard, who plays the rules, who tries to get out there and make something of herself, is going to have a fighting chance to make that happen...It changed in the 1980′s when the Republicans came up with a different vision.  They said, ‘Eh, that’s not how you build an economy. The way you build an economy is you let those at the very top, the richest and the most powerful, keep more of their money and more of their power, and somehow it’s going to trickle down for everybody else.  Well we tried that, for more than thirty years and it really hasn’t worked. It has cut the legs out from under America’s middle class.” -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on MSNBC's "Hardball" last night.

There aren't many progressive voices out there that can capture the contrast in visions between the Democratic Party and the Rethuglican / Teabagger Party in a clearer and more compelling way than Sen. Warren.  The Rethugs continue to be in denial about the failure of "supply side" economics to produce economic growth (except in the net worth of plutocrats), much like they're in denial about the Iraq fiasco that they set in motion.

Station Pulls Plug On Racist Host

After losing his Congressional seat to wounded Iraq veteran Tammy Duckworth, teatard favorite and clueless blowhard Joe "Deadbeat Dad" Walsh landed a gig on WIND-AM radio in the Chicago area.  That was WIND's first mistake.

Letting his teabagger freak flag fly, Walsh got into an on-air rant about the Patent and Trademark Office canceling the "Redskins" trademark.  Putting on his best "oppressed white man" schtick, Walsh went off the rails when he started to use the slurs "n*gg*r" and "sp*ck" to demonstrate his oppressed status as a white racist.  The station then pulled the plug on him, and sent him home.  He apparently finds out later today (5:00 Central time) whether he's suspended or fired (note to clueless Deadbeat Dad:  management likes to wait until close-of-business Fridays to fire people).

Now he'll have another excuse for ducking his child support payments.

BONUS:  Check out Grung E Gene's posting on this sh*tbag's history.  It shouldn't have caught anyone by surprise that Deadbeat did what he did.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today's Dispatch From The Stupid Party - Going Full Circle Stupid

Today, we present for your amusement the sight of one Piyush "Bobby" Jindal (a.k.a., "Kenneth") -- the quixotic weathervane of Republican politics, a man- who- will- never- be- President -- in a 180 degree pirouette so strained that we got pulled groin muscles just reading about it.  Jindal, once a "strong supporter" of the Common Core education initiative, has suddenly evolved decided it's not for the Tea Party Louisiana any more, coincidentally at about the same time he realized the Iowa caucuses were only about 18 months away.  In a related bit of irony, you may recall Jindal was the one who first said the Republican Party "must stop being the stupid party."  To quote another intellect of the right, "How's that workin' out for ya'?"  Take it away, Piyush:
On the heels of saying he would not be "bullied by the federal government" any longer, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) announced Wednesday that he plans to pull his state out of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  [snip] 
But Jindal's own state education superintendent, John White, is incensed. "It is outside the bounds of both our state's laws and our state's aspirations for its children to think that we would turn back now," White said in a statement.  [snip] 
A lack of cooperation from White, who is in charge of implementing the state's education policies, could complicate Jindal's plan. Reached by phone Wednesday, White said that Louisiana will move forward with Common Core for the time being. 
"We're just going to continue implementing the plan we've been implementing for four years," White said. "We've been saying since January of 2010 this is where we're headed. There's two outs and it's the ninth inning. He's bringing in the pinch hitter. This is a serious last-minute proposal."  [snip] 
Jindal previously described himself as a "strong supporter" of the Common Core. He was part of a group of governors who helped develop the standards, which lay out what students should know by the end of each grade. Federal funding encouraged states to adopt the standards.  [snip] 
On "CBS This Morning" on Tuesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan described Jindal's opposition to the Common Core as "about politics -- it is not about education. And frankly that is part of the problem." 
Firing back in a statement Tuesday afternoon, Jindal said he "will not be bullied by the federal government."  [snip]  [Ed. note: We didn't know Piyush was such a delicate flower!] 
Jindal's Wednesday announcement goes against the wishes of the Louisiana legislature and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, both of which continue to support the Common Core. White, the education superintendent, earlier said that Jindal lacks the authority to unilaterally reject the standards. "The laws of our state ... give the statutory authority for approving tests and standards to the state Board [of Education], not to the governor," White told HuffPost on Wednesday.  [Ed.note: Dictator!! Tyrant!!] (our emphasis)
So, rather than heed his own warning about the Republicans becoming the stupid party (we think that bridge was crossed looong before the 2012 elections), Piyush has decided to go over to the party's dark side - well, at least the dimbulb side, where he's got lot's of company.  His transparent ambition without the moorings of any principles reminds us of someone else.  What was that fellow's name =cough= Eric Cantor = cough=?

A "Democrat" We Can Live Without

First, he's courting Millionaire Mitt Romney's donors.  Now this.  This is a "Democrat" we can live without.

Thursday's Tacky Twofer: The Scott Walker - Chris Christie Ticket

Prosecutors are still hot on the trail of two Republican governors who harbor national aspirations.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott "Beam Me Up Scotty" Walker:
Newly released documents show prosecutors are alleging Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of a nationwide "criminal scheme" to illegally coordinate with outside conservative groups. 
The documents were filed as part of an ongoing lawsuit challenging the probe by the conservative group Wisconsin Club for Growth. They were ordered publicly released Thursday by a federal appeals court judge after prosecutors and the Wisconsin Club for Growth did not object. 
One of the filings from prosecutors outlines previously unknown details about the investigation that began in 2012 as Walker was facing a recall election. 
Prosecutors say Walker, his chief of staff and others who worked for him were discussing illegal coordination with a number of national groups and prominent figures, including GOP strategist Karl Rove.  (our emphasis)
That's not aged Wisconsin brick cheese you're smelling, folks! (hat tip to P.E.C.)

New Jersey Gov. Chris "Krispycreme" Christie:
... Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, wades through the sewage of Christie’s stewardship. Two sources with intimate knowledge of the case say Fishman’s pace is quickening -- he has empaneled a second grand jury, and the U.S. Justice Department has sent assistant prosecutors and FBI agents to work the case.   
“What’s taking the most time,” according to one source, “is separating what's viable from all the bad stuff they’re finding that may not be viable.” 
Fishman’s challenge is to nail down specific criminal charges on several fronts -- the diversion of Port Authority money to fund New Jersey road and bridge projects; the four-day rush-hour closures of George Washington Bridge lanes in Ft. Lee; and a web of real-estate deals spun by David Samson, long a Christie crony, when he chaired the PA’s Board of Commissioners as Christie’s appointee. (One such deal, a stalled office-tower development in Hoboken, New Jersey, is central to a claim that Christie’s lieutenant governor told the town’s mayor that the state would withhold Hurricane Sandy relief aid from Hoboken if the mayor didn’t sign off on the development project.)  [snip] 
... Christie’s Port appointees -- not only Samson, but former PA Deputy Executive Director Bill Baroni and his oddball sidekick David Wildstein -- all face near-certain indictment and are being pressed to hand up Christie, as is the governor’s former chief counsel, Charlie McKenna.  (our emphasis)
There's a lot of air still coming out of that large balloon, folks!

The list of potential Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid party howling monkeys candidates for the 2016 presidential election would be culled by two if prosecutions of Walker and Christie go forward, regardless of the outcome of those prosecutions.  That should warm the hearts of anyone with a heart.

(Image:  The Tacky Ticket!)

Misogynist Will Dropped from Paper

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, winner of four Pulitzer Prizes for Public Service, might be nominated for a fifth after announcing that pompous misogynist George "Ill' Will has been dropped as a recurring columnist from its paper.  In his syndicated column of June 5, Ill wrote that college campus rape victims enjoyed a "coveted status" by virtue of the crime committed against them.  Unfortunately, Ill is being replaced by Dumbya speechwriter / hack Michael "Mushroom Cloud" Gerson.

It's an outrage that Ill hasn't been cancelled by more papers, including the increasingly despicable op-ed page of the formerly great Washington Post Bezos Bugle, which syndicates him.  Perhaps to keep pace with the rage monkeys in his end of the political spectrum, Ill has been writing increasingly unhinged, morally bankrupt columns, and at least one great newspaper is having no more of it.

We Break It, You Pay For It Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)

(cartoon:  Matt Wuerker, via

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's A Day Ending in "Y": Cop Shooter Is A Right-Wing Sovereign Citizen Conspiracy Nut

Another week, another "sovereign citizen" Campfire Commando shooting police officers:
A self-described “sovereign citizen” camping out in the woods of northern California was arrested following an armed confrontation with two law enforcement officers this weekend. All three men were wounded in the ensuing shootout.
Fortunately, neither of the officers was seriously wounded.  The crackpot, 60-year-old Brent Douglas Cole, has a history with right-wing conspiracy theories, as the Southern Poverty Law Center link above details.

You can't beat Charles P. Pierce's take on this, so we quote now at length :
Are you happy now, Wayne LaPierre? Are you happy now, Glenn Beck, and Alex Jones, and Dana Loesch, and everyone else who gins up thoughts of armed insurrection for the purposes of profits and ratings and their personal dreams of vicarious revolution? Are you happy now, all you Open Carry nitwits and weekend Robespierres and suburban Minuteman idiots who believe in the FEMA camps and the New World Order and all the other paranoid delights that have made those radio people into wealthy parasites and the rest of you into the most laughable suckers on the planet? 
Are you all happy now? 
People working for the Bureau Of Land Management are getting shot. It has cascaded, as most forms of madness do, from the weaponized performance art of the Bundy Ranch to threats along the highways of Utah that were so severe that the BLM people took the insignia off their uniforms, to this guy, Brent Douglas Cole, who shot a BLM agent and a Nevada highway patrolman, and who apparently is something of a lifer at the gun-crazy crackpot business.  [snip] 
It is time for the political elite in the country to force the choice, once and for all. It is time for the people who care about this country to shun these people, and the politicians who empower them, and the media superstars who pander to their worst instincts, and to the political ideas that have proven themselves to be, over and over again, the most dangerous in the country's history. It's time for Boehner, and Priebus, and entire Republican political apparatus publicly to renounce secessionism, and nullification, and the idea that we are now -- or are dangerously on the brink of—tyranny, if the word has any meaning at all. That means reading the people who promote this stuff out of your party, whether they are members of Congress or state legislators, or members of the state and national committees. That means depriving of your presence any media member who trafficks in this perilous foolishness, and punishing those Republicans who decline to do the same. 
Or you can be the party of sedition and cop-killing.
Our guess is that the despicable Republican political apparatus, all the Boehners and Priebuses of the right, will continue to stand for being the party of sedition and cop-killing -- as long as there's a Democrat in the White House, and as long as it benefits them in holding onto their jobs.  They'll merely pass it off as a deranged person committing an isolated, heinous act.  Pattern?  What pattern?!  Now move along, nothing to see here.

The only remaining puzzlement is when and how those same right-wing "media superstars" will try to make Cole into a "leftist."

Tweet of the Week

BONUS:  Here's Sen. Harry Reid on the Senate floor today:
"Just to remind everyone, former vice president of the United States, who was clearly the chief architect of the war.  If there's one thing this country does not need, it's that we should be taking advice from Dick Cheney on wars.  Being on the wrong side of Dick Cheney is being on the right side of history."

From The Sports Desk...

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark and Appeal Board has cancelled the trademark for the Washington professional football team, declaring in its ruling this morning that it's an offensive racial slur and stating further that the trademark should never have been issued in the first place:
“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”
The ruling would ultimately hit team owner L'il Danny Snyder in the wallet, since much of his revenue comes from marketing team jerseys and paraphernalia, which would, pending an inevitable appeal from L'il Danny's lawyers in U.S. District Court, be able to be reproduced and sold by others without fear of trademark infringement.  It's clearly a turning point for Native Americans wanting to remove the offensive name from a major sports franchise after decades of trying.

Mid-Week Run Song

A happy birthday to Sir Paul McCartney, who turns 72 today.  As half of the songwriting powerhouse of Lennon & McCartney -- and one quarter of the most famous band in history -- McCartney went on from the disbanded Beatles to form Paul McCartney and Wings, enjoying years more of success.  This is the original video for their 1974 number one hit, "Band on the Run." The video has a series of photo montages -- some animated in Monty Python style -- from the Beatles' start in Liverpool to their breakup.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Department of Deep End Jumping

"So America is the child molester in this scenario? Just trying to follow, Dinesh. I think we may have jumped off the deep end." -- Fux Channel's blonde anchor model Megyn Kelly, laughing at wingnut felon Dinesh "D'opey" D'Souza's tortured, irrational case that President Obama's trying to diminish America, and America's to blame….or whatever something something.   Which goes to show that D'opey should stay out of the deep end and stay in the kiddie pool.

Benghazi Attack Ringleader Apprehended; Fox "News" Has Another Conspiracy For You

From the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle:
U.S. Special Operations forces captured one of the suspected ringleaders of the terrorist attacks in Benghazi in a secret raid in Libya over the weekend, the first time one of the accused perpetrators of the 2012 assaults has been apprehended, according to U.S. officials. 
The officials said Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured Sunday near Benghazi by American troops, working alongside the FBI, following months of planning, and was now in U.S. custody “in a secure location outside Libya.” The officials said there were no casualties in the operation and that all U.S. personnel involved have safely left Libya.
Countdown until the right-wing noise machine finds some way to undercut this good news... in 5...4...3...2...1 --  take it away, Fox "News"!

UPDATE:  More from the right-wing peanut gallery.

The Return of the Bunglers

With the ISIS-fomented sectarian violence in Iraq threatening to topple the al-Maliki regime, the architects / arsonists who created the web of lies that led us into Iraq 10 years ago are coming out of the woodwork to opine on what went wrong and next steps.  Of course, they won't acknowledge their miserable failure and deceit that led to this point, and their enablers in the Beltway media won't bother pressing them on it.  The clowns that were wrong consistently keep getting invited back to the talkfests.  Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY), who voted against the initial invasion, was asked last night on "All In With Chris Hayes" if he'd been invited by the Sunday shows to talk about the current situation.  He hadn't been asked, adding:
"Which amazes me why each and every time they go right to John McCain.  I don't know when John McCain has had it right. Thank God the American people were smart enough not to elect him President of the United States. Why does the news media go to John McCain to ask him any time there's anything happening because you know he's going to be, 'go to war, send troops.  It just doesn't make sense."
 In addition to Sen. McBitter, we're seeing failed nation-builder Paul "Bummer" Bremer, Paul "What Sectarian Problems?" Wolfowitz, McNasty sidekick Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Closetcase" Graham, and the usual chickenhawks like Wee Willie Kristol pop up to blame the President for the fiasco they created and justify to this day.  Amazingly, they're treated as sage observers who have had a successful record in foreign affairs and national security, when they're anything but.

The best explanation of why the Beltway media continues to listen to them -- aside from the "both sides" disease -- is that they were complicit in selling the war and engaging in boosterism for years.  Continuing to treat these bunglers as wise men is the Beltway media's way of absolving itself from that original sin.

BONUS:  Here's Jon Stewart's masterful take on the "experts," including "Johnny 'Johnny Rotten Judgment' McCain."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

They were against it before they were against it.  Or something.

(cartoon, Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

An OB/GYN Responds to Will

The despicable right-wing pedant George "Ill" Will set off a storm of outrage over his recent column mocking the rise campus sexual assaults, saying they confer a "coveted status" on the victims.  Four U.S. Senators wrote an open letter to him, blasting him for his misinformed misogyny.  Now a physician, Dr. Jennifer Gunter OB/GYN, herself a rape victim, has responded to Ill Will's trash.  Read the whole letter, via Crooks and Liars, from which the following is excerpted:
"I am a 47 year-old financially and professionally secure woman in a stable, loving relationship and it took 25 years and your jackass column to get me to speak up about my rape. How easy do you think it is for a scared 20 year-old to call 911 or walk into a police station and say, 'I was just raped?'”
We'd love to toss Ill Will into a predatory prison environment, with only a Thesaurus and his Fruit Of The Looms.  That way, he'll quickly learn about the "coveted status" of rape victims.

Cause And Effect Cartoons of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Never let the neocons escape their responsibility for the crisis in Iraq.  Their fabricated stories about WMD and yellow cake, and visions of "mushroom clouds" were exposed as lies, after the war went sour and we found ourselves in a sectarian war that had been rekindled by a clumsy and deceitful Bush/Cheney Administration.

BONUS:  Michael Tomasky has a related article worth the read.

(cartoons:  top, Mike Luckovich, bottom, Jeff Danziger, via

He's Lying When His Lips Are Moving

Rethuglican National Committee chair and human / weasel hybrid Reince "Prepuce" Priebus has a way of lying and snarling at the same time.  In that respect -- and many others -- he is the perfect face of his party.  On CBS' "Face The Schieffer" yesterday, Prepuce looked the host in the eye and claimed there was no rift in his dysfunctional party:
"BOB SCHIEFFER: Thank you very much. Eric Cantor got beat. Lindsey Graham won. How divided is the Republican Party right now?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Yeah, I don't think it's divided at all ..."
This certainly won't inspire confidence in Prepuce's or his party's grip on reality with, say, either the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other Big Bidness supporters of immigration reform (cough minimum wage workers) or the teatards opposing any reform at all.   And look at the petty infighting that was going on as Prepuce dissembled.  Teatard hate radio hack and Coulter knock-off Laura Ingraham exchanged jabs with Eric Cantor, with Ingraham suggesting that Cantor should have been traded to the Taliban for Sgt. Bergdahl.  Then there was Idaho's Rep. Raul "The Retriever" Labrador abruptly adjourning the Idaho Rethug Party convention amid acrimony between right-wing factions.  Every day brings more evidence of turmoil in the Rethug / New Confederate / Stupid Party, which just means that Prepuce will have to turn up the dial on his lying from "red hot" to "white hot."

(photo:  "I always tell the truth.")

The Washington Media Narrative - High Broderism At Work

Paul Krugman ponders why President Obama, despite consequential progress in health care reform, and major steps in financial system reform and climate policy, fails to get the love from the public he most likely deserves.  Hmmm... could it be the media narrative?
Part of the answer may be Mr. Obama’s relatively low approval rating. But this mainly reflects political polarization — strong approval from Democrats but universal opposition from Republicans — which is more a sign of the times than a problem with the president. Anyway, you’re supposed to judge presidents by what they do, not by fickle public opinion.

A larger answer, I’d guess, is Simpson-Bowles syndrome — the belief that good things must come in bipartisan packages, and that fiscal probity is the overriding issue of our times. This syndrome persists among many self-proclaimed centrists even though it’s overwhelmingly clear to anyone who has been paying attention that (a) today’s Republicans simply will not compromise with a Democratic president, and (b) the alleged fiscal crisis was vastly overblown. 
The result of the syndrome’s continuing grip is that Mr. Obama’s big achievements don’t register with much of the Washington establishment: he was supposed to save the budget, not the planet, and somehow he was supposed to bring Republicans along.
A perfect example of this syndrome was on display on the editorial page of the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle, a once-reviled bastion of the "liberal media" that is now a disagreeable repository of neo-conservative former Bush Assministration speechwriters, rape trivialists, and assorted right-wing nuts, all mixed with "centrists" like Ruth Marcus.  (This syndrome has been dubbed "Broderism", in recognition of the lifelong work of bipartisanship- for- bipartisanship- sake guru, the late Bezos Bugle writer David "Meh" Broder, who never met a position that couldn't be compromised.)  Here's a paragraph from Marcus' op/ed Saturday, referring to a recent Pew report on the increasing polarization of American politics:
To read the report is to be struck by the pragmatic attitude of the majority of Americans and by their simultaneous abdication of responsibility to the extremes — and, with it, power. This sensible center is willing to compromise; half said they’d be willing to split the difference 50/50 between Republicans and Democrats. 
But the centrist majority isn’t inclined to translate this attitude into action. “On measure after measure — whether primary voting . . . volunteering for or donating to a campaign — the most politically polarized are more actively involved in politics, amplifying the voices that are the least willing to see the parties meet each other halfway,” Pew reported.  (our emphasis)
"This sensible center..."?!?!?  Holy myopia, Batman!  There is a sensible center in American politics today, Ms. Marcus, and it's occupied by... the Democratic Party.  You know, the party that passed the Heritage Foundation's idea of health care reform;  the party that represents the mainstream view on climate change, same-sex marriage, gun violence, minimum wage, equal pay, and so many other issues. The Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid Party has moved so far to the right that splitting "the difference 50/50" would entail essentially enacting a right-wing agenda after two elections in which that agenda was soundly defeated!  (Some of us would say, if only Democrats had been less centrist and more true to progressive values, we might have had public option health care,  a more robust stimulus, and some banksters serving time behind bars.)  The "sensible center" folks that pollsters are finding may not know it, but they support policies of the Democratic Party far more than those of the Republicans.  They might not like splitting the difference 50/50 if someone (gosh, the media?) were to explain to them exactly what that would mean, or if it was even possible.

This is exactly the Washington establishment syndrome that Krugman was pointing to in his op/ed, and why President Obama gets little credit for big achievements and lots of soulless nitpicking from the likes of the Bezos Bugle and Ms. Marcus.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

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

Saturday, June 14, 2014

The President Gets An Earful At Native American Celebration

The President and First Lady greet young dancers at a Flag Day celebration yesterday at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannon Ball, ND.  The Tiny Tot dancer below decided he wanted to have a word with the President.  (click to enlarge)

(AP Photo/Bismarck Tribune/Tom Stromme)
(AP Photo/Bismarck Tribune/Tom Stromme)

Rolling Back Renewable Energy In Ohio

Spurred on by the Chamber of Horrors Commerce, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the planet-raping Koch brothers' Americans for Plutocrat Prosperity, and other right-wing troglodytes, Ohio Republican Gov. John "Head" Kasich signed a law freezing renewable energy standards in the state (privately, cravenly, in the Friday evening news dead zone).

The bill, SB310, rolls back requirements passed in 2008 that would have mandated the state "to acquire up to 12.5 percent of its energy portfolio from renewables and to reduce energy consumption by 22 percent by 2025."  It was hoped Kasich, who in the past has praised the fact that 25,000 jobs had been created in Ohio by the renewable energy industry and through energy conservation, would veto the bill. To their credit, over 51 companies -- including Whirlpool, Honda, and Owens-Corning -- had urged a Kasich veto.

But Kasich's overriding concern?
Kasich is running for reelection this year.
Wouldn't want to get the sugar daddy oligarchs and the frothing, know-nothing base up in arms, would we?

(h/t P.E.C.)

(Photo:  "This my head;  me use it maybe someday.")

Animal Husbandry Quote of the Day

“It was fun, it was an adventure to be out there in the country and to see what goes on.  Picking up pecans, from that to all kinds of indecent things with animals. And I know some of you know what that is.”  -- endangered Rethuglican Senator and animal "enthusiast" Thad "Deliverance" Cochran, reminiscing about his boyhood visits to family in rural Mississippi.  Cochran is in the political fight of his life against teatard radical Chris "Hidden Camera" McDaniel for his Senate seat.

We're happy to see that Cochran correctly presumes that the Rethug good ol' boys in his audience are knowledgable about dating customs in rural Mississip'.

Wonder Why Right-Wing Nuts Are Shooting People?

We offer Exhibits A and B.

Here's grifting crackpot Glenn "Boo Hoo" Beck, further descending into madness and stoking the gun-fondlers:
On his radio broadcast today [Friday], Glenn Beck warned that too many crises are piling up all at the same time which will cause the press to finally turn on President Obama. That, in turn, will cause Obama to finally snap and start rounding up conservatives and putting them into camps.  (our emphasis)
 Then there's fellow madman Alex "A Ton of Bricks Short of a Load" Jones on his hate-radio show:
Conspiracy nut Alex Jones has been opining that the Obama administration has been hot on the heels of the Tea Party movement and will use tanks, drones and everything else to mount an attack on them. After the Las Vegas shooting, Jones said he was convinced that Harry Reid and others planted a false flag operation against him and other gun nuts because - freedom.  (our emphasis)
You can guess where we'd like to plant a flag - false or otherwise - in both Beck and Jones, right? We sense both Beck and Jones are engaging in a little paranoid would-be self-inoculation from the prospect of their being shut down by the Obama Administration (ah, we can only dream) for their seditionist rantings.

These are only two of the most prominent lunatics spouting crackpot conspiracies that feed the paranoia contributing to the acts of violence we've been experiencing.  (The Las Vegas domestic terrorists "liked" Alex Jones, among other cretins, on their Facebook page.)  Unfortunately, for every Beck or Jones, there are dozens of others broadcasting toxic messages to their low-information, paranoid audiences.

In these instances, there's a clinical level of paranoia.  If they were only expressing their delusions to the voices in their heads, it would be of no consequence to the rest of us.  But, they're not, and that is of consequence to the rest of us.

Friday, June 13, 2014

On Obamacare, The Truth Is Catching Up To The Lies

Kudos to Steve Benen for wrapping up all this week's good news on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  Some of the highlights:

-  the number of insurance companies wanting to get in on the Obamacare exchanges is growing, with the potential for more competition in -- and therefore lower -- premium rates;

-  ACA guru Charles Gaba is predicting that, contrary to wingnut declamations, "at least 90% of the original 8.2 million exchange QHP enrollees have paid their first premiums";

-  the rate of uninsured has dropped by 38% in New Jersey, by 40% in Minnesota, and by 50% in Kentucky;

-  Medicare is growing slower as a percent of the economy and on a per person basis, a trend that could mean billions in savings for the Federal Government.

As Jon Chait points out in a linked article, information surrounding Obamacare is "asymmetrical," in that you'll get a discussion of the good and the bad news from the left, but
Conservatives, even the most wonkish ones, have engaged in a one-sided propaganda effort. If you get your news about Obamacare from conservative sources, you have heard an endless succession of horror predictions that, when not borne out, have gone uncorrected. 
And if the "mainstream" media reports it at all, they apply the "Chuck Todd maxim:" it's "not my job to sort out the facts."

Weekend Time After Song

Pop / punk pioneer Cyndi Lauper had this #1 hit 30 years ago this week, and received multiple Grammys during her musical career.  She also celebrates her 61st (!) birthday next week.  Cheers!

Going South

Eventually this had to happen in the failed state of Iraq.  Several thousand radical fighters belonging to ISIS, a violent offshoot of al-Qaeda, have seized Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, and are driving south toward Baghdad.  Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Sistani, has called for all who are able to shoulder a weapon to join the disintegrating Iraqi Army, which has fled in the face of inferior forces.
Neocons, who wanted perpetual occupation if not war in Iraq, are cynically calling for a reintroduction of American military power, conveniently forgetting their central role in creating the false pretenses for invading Iraq years ago.  This is the broken pottery that they refuse to own.

Bitter loser Sen. John "McNasty" McCain stepped out of a national security briefing after only two minutes to rush to the microphones to blame the turn of events on the person that kicked his wrinkled ass in 2008.  How predictable, and how ill-informed.  McNasty said we should have kept a residual American force behind, something the government of Nouri al-Maliki refused to allow.  Now that al-Maliki is fighting for his life, the U.S. may decide to launch limited airstrikes or drone attacks to slow the advance of ISIS.  There are also reports that Iran has sent units of its elite Revolutionary Guard to join Maliki's forces against ISIS.  "The enemy of my enemy is my friend";  ironic that Iran would be allied with us, if we intervene.

The New York Times cuts through the Rethuglican posturing and says Maliki has to go:
"Why would the United States want to bail out a dangerous leader like Mr. Maliki, who is attempting to remain in power for a third term as prime minister? It is up to Iraq’s leaders to show leadership and name a new prime minister who will share power, make needed reforms and include all sectarian and ethnic groups, especially disenfranchised Sunnis, in the country’s political and economic life — if, indeed, it is not too late."
With the Iraqi Army refusing to fight for its own government, it's hard to see how any U.S. military action would have a long-term impact, despite what McNasty claims.  It would also be refreshing, albeit rare, for hacks like McNasty to show some remorse and humility over their responsibility for the original mess.  Don't hold your breath.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Just Being Helpful Quote of the Day

“I believe the Republicans should follow the lead of Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham was part of the Gang of Eight to come up with immigration reform. He never backed down, backed up. He kept going forward on this issue.  We need more Republicans who are Lindsey Grahams.  Lindsey Graham is a very conservative man, but I’ve worked with him on a number of issues, some of which we don’t even talk about publicly.” (our emphasis) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, "congratulating" South Carolina Rethuglican Lindsey "Huckleberry Closetcase" Graham on his primary election victory Tuesday (h/t to Daily Kos).

We're sure Huckleberry appreciates the "endorsement" of Sen. Reid, one of the Rethuglican / Stupid Party's archenemies.  Here's hoping Sen. Reid continues to commend his endangered Rethuglican colleagues frequently and lavishly.

The Cantor Loss, Cont'd.: Frankenstein's Monster

Combined with Jon Stewart's knockdown below, last night's piece by Stephen Colbert concludes our Eric Cantor schadenfreude spectacular -- at least for today.  Key moment:
"No one saw it coming, least of all Eric Cantor, who helped create the Tea Party by stitching together dead ideas, and then filling it with rage and giving it a jolt of power and letting it loose on the countryside terrified of fire and science."

The Cantor Loss: Too Liberal (By Pre-Enlightenment Standards)

Jon Stewart offers his perspective on the primary loss by steakhouse supporter Rep. Eric "Too Liberal (Pre-Enlightenment)" Cantor on Tuesday (parts I and II):

Part II:

Then there's TBogg's analysis, captured in this headline:  "All things considered, Eric Cantor probably lost because he's a dick."  Can't argue with that.

Tea Time Cartoons of the Day

 (click to enlarge)

"Message received," as Dumbya's daddy used to awkwardly say.  If any Rethug up for reelection strays from the hard-right teabagger orthodoxy, they're in a primary fight.  One exception was South Carolina Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Closetcase" Graham, who had the good fortune of running in his Rethug primary against a platoon of teabagger morons, effectively splitting the anti-Huckleberry vote.  It also didn't hurt Huckleberry with the teatards when he ran around threatening to impeach Obama in the last few days of his campaign.

(cartoons:  top, Jim Morin, Miami Herald, bottom, Tom Toles, Bezos Bugle, via