Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Bibi And Boehner Show (Cont.)


Rick Ungar writes in Forbes.com about the political miscalculation "screw-up" that neither Bibi "Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu nor Weeper of the House John "Mr. Tangerine Man" Boehner saw coming with their "Don't tell Obama you're making a speech to Congress" scheme:
Boehner’s hubris, in conjunction with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s desire to interfere with American policy while seeking to bolster his re-election campaign, may turn out to be the very political screw-up that will allow the joint ticket forged by the Labor-Hatnuah political parties to bring an end to Netanyahu’s long reign atop the Israeli government. 
According to a Channel 10 poll out this past Thursday in Israel, the joint ticket offered by the Labor-Hatnuah coalition currently stands to grab 24 seats in the Israeli Knesset in the coming election—up one seat from the previous poll—while Netanyahu’s Likud Party is holding steady with just 20 seats.  [snip]
It turns out that there are no shortage of Israeli voters who don’t care for the idea of their Prime Minister jumping into the middle of America’s internal disagreements over foreign policy and further understand that, at the end of the day, Israel remains deeply dependent upon the United States for critical assistance in the never-ending battle to preserve and protect their nation. 
Ungar also discusses the role of current Israeli ambassador to the United States and former Republican operative (and therefore ethically challenged) Ron Dermer played in the burgeoning fiasco for his boss:
It turns out, the plan to have the Israeli Prime Minister speak to Congress, without first discussing with the White House, was the brainchild of Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer who has, for weeks now, been endorsing the re-election of Bibi Netanyahu on American television programs despite explicit Israeli Civil Service regulations prohibiting him from doing so.
And "Mr. Tangerine Man?"
Considering that Speaker Boehner has failed to accomplish anything of note during his Speakership, I can only wonder how it must feel to have his legacy be his effort to disgrace the American President in the effort to bolster the political chances of a foreign leader.
Ungar has a lot more to say, so please read the entire post.  (h/t to dear P.E.C.)

(Photo: "After you, Alphonse." "No, you first, my dear Gaston.")

"Jeb" Bush: "Vindictive, Untrustworthy Coward"*


(click on image to enlarge)


(Darrin Bell, via gocomics.com)

Now that serial flip-flopping plutocrat Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney has (for now) taken his name out of consideration for the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ White Supremacist Party's presidential nomination, John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush has one less competitor for the role of "establishment" favorite.  We hope that will engender a re-discovery by those with short-term memories of the former Florida governor's most egregious pander to the ultra-right: the Terry Schiavo case.

We'll let Terry's husband Michael Schiavo sum things up:
Sitting recently on his brick back patio here, Michael Schiavo called Jeb Bush a vindictive, untrustworthy coward. 
For years, the self-described “average Joe” felt harassed, targeted and tormented by the most important person in the state. 
It was a living hell,” he said, “and I blame him.”  (our emphasis)
The linked article by Karoli at "Crooks and Liars" brings out five facts embedded in the underlying Politico piece that more accurately describe Bush not as a "moderate" but as a hypocrite and a hard-core right-winger who should never be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.  Worth a read.

*BONUS:  Also, privileged stoner and bully.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Weekend Song Grandpa Twofer


This is a more personal music posting this week, as I've been a bit remiss in recognizing a certain someone very close to me who's going to be a grandfather three times over later this spring.  We have a little inside joke going on about this song from Buffalo Springfield, "Mr. Soul," so in brief recognition of his upcoming grandpappy-hood, this one's for you, Mr. Soul (enjoy the brief raga rock at the end of the guitar bridge):



I can never play a Buffalo Springfield song without doubling down with this joyous Neil Young composition, "On The Way Home."  Enjoy your weekend!

Gov. Krispykreme's Tumble


When New Jersey Governor and man-with-his-own-gravitational-field Chris "Krispykreme" Christie went full, flailing Dallas Cowboys fan at a game earlier this month -- where his juvenile high-ten went unnoticed by owner Jerry Jones -- his New Jersey constituents weren't happy.  Northern New Jersey has both die hard New York Giants and New York Jets fans, while southern New Jersey is Philadelphia Eagles country.  Krispykreme went so far as to call his state's Eagles fans "the worst in the country." (No comment)

Some sweet revenge was served up yesterday when Philadelphia sports channel 94 WIP broke out a previously unreleased clip of Gov. Krispykreme falling on his well-padded rear during a visit to the station, toppling over in a chair that apparently tried to avoid him.  Watch:



That's not the only thing about the Governor that's taken a tumble:  Krispykreme's job approval numbers are underwater with the citizens of New Jersey.

Lord Mittens Bows Out


Former 2012 Rethuglican candidate for President and defender of the one percent Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney has notified his closest supporters (i.e., hedge fund managers and other tycoons) in a phone call that he won't be running for President in 2016.  Lord Mittens has been flirting with allowing the peons people of America another chance to vote for him for the past month or so, despite having rejected the idea earlier last year.  Of course, Lady Ann Mittens will have to set aside her plans for redoing the White House, installing a car elevator and building servants' quarters on the South Lawn.  Lord Mittens' announcement opens the way for fellow plutocrat and House of Bush heir John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush to claim the deep pockets crowd that Lord Mittens had courted.

Lord Mittens passed up deranged Rep. Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King's wingnut Hate-a-palooza last week, where most of the nutzoid wannabes disparaged Lord Mittens to some degree, the most pointed being orange-faced toupee stand Donald "Rump" Trump's calling Lord Mittens "a loser" who "choked" in the election.  Yes, he was a loser who choked, but he provided endless amusement as he tried to "Etch-A-Sketch" his way into the White House, despite being caught dismissing "47%" of the people as moochers.  Ironically, Lord Mittens lost the election, garnering only 47.2% of the popular vote.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Winky's Tumble Cartoons of the Day

(click to enlarge)



(cartoons:  top, Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, bottom, friend of blog Clay Jones at claytoonz.com)

Of Stars and Starbursts


With snowbilly grifter and backwoods brawler Sarah "Winky" Palin's precipitous decline among right-wing opinion makers, it was inevitable that a new right-wing "star" among Rethuglican wimmenfolk had to be anointed.  Enter eccentric footwear promoter Joni "Bread Bag Shoes" Ernst.

After spouting such off the charts lunacy as nullification of U.S. laws and a bizarre wingnut conspiracy theory involving the U.N. called "Agenda 21" to win the nomination, she settled into a mostly bland conservative general election campaign, hoping the press would develop selective amnesia about her extremism, which they of course did.  As Charles P. Pierce notes, the purveyors of Beltway conventional wisdom are latching on to the "authentic" narrative that the Rethugs are spinning about Ernst, who wants to cut spending while her family benefitted from farm subsidies.  As Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog notes,
"It doesn't matter at this point that she'll never castrate a pig again, never go out in the rain again without proper footwear, never again serve in or near a war zone, and probably never get on a Harley again except as a photo op. Unless she screws up Palin-style, she's going to be a star. The GOP needs that to happen. And the press wants it to."
Six years ago, Nazionale Review pundit Rich "Starbursts" Lowry infamously described Winky Palin's debut at the Republican National Convention by saying that she "sent little starbursts through the screen." Now, almost desperate to win a national election when women voters have abandoned them, the Rethuglicans are hoping their new "star" will emit starbursts, too.  They'll certainly get a helping hand job hand from the Beltway Villagers.

BONUS:  Oh, and check out that laugh of hers….strangely appropriate.

Bucks For Bucks, But Not Education



Fresh from his appearance at deranged Rep. Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King's Iowa Crackpot-palooza, Wisconsin Gov. and Koch Industries' Employee of the Year Scott "Koch Head" Walker is rolling out his proposed budget for the upcoming year, and it's bad news for the State's university system.  Koch Head's proposing a drastic $300 million cut over two years in the university system's budget, believing that it will force the faculties to do "more work" as they juggle research and teaching responsibilities.  As the linked article notes, this is the same budget that contains some $220 million in public funds to build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team, whose billionaire owners are all too happy to receive the corporate welfare.

This is what happens when Dems stay home on election day, and when out-of-control corporate money buys politicians that are hostile to public institutions, while at the same time shoveling tax breaks, regulatory cuts, and subsidies to their big-money benefactors.

Look Who's Got His Priebus In A Wringer



Last month, Rethuglican National Committee chairman and successful human-weasel crossbreeding experiment Reince "Prepuce" Priebus thought it might be a good idea to accept a trip to Israel for himself and dozens upon dozens of RNC apparatchiks, sponsored by the far-right American Family Association.  How far-right is the AFA?  Until yesterday, it employed rabid hate monger Bryan Fischer as its "Director of Issues Analysis" and spokesman, who among other gems over the years, has called religions other than Christianity "counterfeit" -- including Judaism -- and claimed they are not covered by the First Amendment.  His notoriously vile comments on minorities and the LGBT community have been part of his AFA-sponsored radio show for years.  The AFA has also sponsored so-called "prayer rallies" for right-wing Rethugs like Rick "Oops" Perry and Piyush "Bobby" Jindal that are nothing more than political events masked as religious events.

Prepuce was trying to keep the sponsorship of this trip under the radar until the story of the AFA and its classification as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center emerged in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.  Now with his flock about to board the plane for Israel on Saturday, Prepuce might want to ponder the wisdom of traveling to a country courtesy of a hate group whose spokesman has called that country's religion "counterfeit."

(photo:  Ow! How could something so small hurt so much?)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

We Bet Trump Will Be Yooge On Palin's Next Reality Show


Some of the most detached- from- reality Republican "stars" are already in a snit after their performances at Rep. Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King's Iowa Crackpotfest last week. Let's first hear from snowbilly grifter and half-assed half-term Governor Sarah "Winky" Palin, who appeared on the Sean "Heil" Hannity rage parade:
Sarah Palin complained that “quasi-right” media figures weren’t uniting behind conservative potential presidential candidates like herself after Bill O’Reilly joked about her during a promo. 
The Fox News host suggested Tuesday that Palin, Donald Trump, and Chris Christie were not serious candidates in the 2016 White House race. 
“Wow, talk about a reality show,” a smirking O’Reilly said.
And it's not just O'Reilly who's over her.

Speaking of orange hair wig stand Donald "Rump" Trump, we don't know if he's been made aware of O'Reilly's dis*, but it seems he was none too happy with Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch's New York Post  for not fawning accurately reflecting the greatness that is The Rump.


One of our greatest pleasures over the next 18 months will be to see all these under-inflated minds and over-inflated egos (including many blown up by the Fox "News" media hot air machine) squabble with each other, all for naught.  The entertainment value of having these assorted lightweights, plutocrats, cranks, talibangelists, nativists and racists strutting their stuff in front of the yokels of the Republican base is not to be underestimated, though by nature it's more of an "un"-reality show.

*UPDATE:  Looks like news of O'Reilly's dis finally penetrated Rump's orange hair helmet.

Mid-Week Song


British singer-songwriter George Ezra has a single, "Budapest," that charted in Europe and Australia last year, and has recently been getting much more airplay here….deservedly.  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Rethug Messaging, Moochers and Penicillin


Every time they lose a national election, the Rethugs go into post-mortem rebranding mode, trying to decide on a winning "formula" for the next go 'round.  They lost badly among minorities and young voters in 2008, so their short-termed rebranding involved hiring an African-American party chairman and recruiting people that looked more like a cross section of America.  Sadly for them, the message veered off even more into right-wing nuttery during the 2012 Presidential campaign, where the candidates vied to appeal to the most extreme members of the party's base.  Lord Mittens Romney may have been the worst, railing about taxes on the "job creators" / top one percent, regulations protecting the environment and workers, and the infamous "47%" of people supposedly dependent on the Government.

Last night, Jon Stewart had a nice summary of how their rebranding simply involves trying to sell the same discredited nonsense that they've been pushing for years and years by twisting the truth and hoping people don't notice.  Stewart's summary at the end is priceless.  Watch:

New England Strong



A major blizzard is working its way up the New England coast, with areas of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts getting hit hard with heavy snow and gale force winds.  Coastal New England is being battered by storm surge, causing widespread flooding.  Power outages are being reported in the hardest hit areas.  While New York City was spared the brunt, receiving some 8", Long Island and points east were directly in the path.

(photo:  Copley Square in Boston this morning. Suzanne Kreiter, Boston Globe)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Today's Cartoon - The Bibi And Boehner Show


(click on image to enlarge)

(Jeff Danziger, via gocomics.com)

Note "Merlot Industrial Strength" on the box.  Not kosher!

But, reckless.

Rand And Ron Paul: The Acorn And The Nut


It's long been known that uber-libertarian Ron "Uncle Crazy" Paul, the tree from which Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul (Dudebro-KY) fell (landing on his head) has some fringe ideas and associates, especially when it comes to "states rights", views that he's still more than happy to share with us:
“A lot of times people think secession, they paint it as an absolute negative,” said former representative Ron Paul (R-Tex.). After all, Paul said, the American Revolution was a kind of secession. “You mean we should have been obedient to the king forever? So it’s all in the way you look at it.” 
That's the old coot speaking this past weekend at a "one-day seminar" on secession in Houston, TX.  It's also part of his worldview that, well,
“Sanity will not return to U.S. leaders until our financial system collapses..."
Yay, financial collapse!  Also, since when does Uncle Crazy get to talk about "sanity?"

All of which (and much more in Uncle Crazy's career) might be somewhat problematic for political scion and likely Republican presidential candidate "Ayn" Rand.  That's because "Ayn" Rand needs to broaden his support from his father's crackpot shock troops to a larger, though equally loony, Republican "mainstream:"
Rand, 52, is contemplating a presidential run — at its heart, an act of optimism. He is moderating some hard-line positions and introducing himself to donors and voters. [snip] 
Rand Paul will need to broaden his appeal far beyond his father’s hard-core supporters if he hopes to win the GOP nomination his father never could. But some members of that core said he was losing them by adopting policies closer to the GOP mainstream.
If by "mainstream" you mean anti-science, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-same sex marriage, anti-Obamacare, anti-choice, anti- etc., etc.

That's why "Ayn" Rand was in Rancho Mirage (!!), California, this weekend at a cattle call luxe retreat sponsored by the paleo-right billionaire Koch brothers, hoping to pick up support from plutocrats who are hoping that they won't be flushing their ill-gotten wealth down the crapper like they did in 2012. We are assuming that having your dangerously eccentric daddy talking about secession and financial system collapse on the same weekend doesn't play well with the big money boys.  It has to make them wonder if the acorn is as much of a nut as its progenitor.

(Photo: Ron "Uncle Crazy" Paul - "Get them cannons aimed at Ft. Sumter, boys!")

Company Man Quote of the Day


"I think that looking ahead as Republicans, we need to make the case that we are going to promote policies that promote and support and defend hard work in this company - er, in this country once again." -- (emphasis added) Wisconsin Governor and full time manager of Koch Industries' Wisconsin operations Scott "Koch Head" Walker saying what's really on his mind at the teahadist tribal meeting in Iowa over the weekend.  Scotty doesn't belief in such socialist things like a living wage, and thinks employees, er, voters should feel the same way…and get back to work, you moochers!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Belichick Uses "Shrinkage" Defense


New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a new theory about how 11 out of 12 footballs used by his team became deflated during the AFC championship game last week:  it was the wet, chilly weather that caused the "deflation" of the footballs.  This may be the most creative use of The Costanza Defense that we've seen, and Bill Nye, "The Science Guy" isn't buying it.  Well, boner bonus points for creativity.

Clown Car In Corn Country


When nutzoid, immigrant-bashing Rep. Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King announced a wingnut fest in his home state of Iowa, the 2016 Rethuglican hopefuls and hangers-on couldn't wait to get there and let their bible-totin', gun fondlin', immigrant-hatin' freak flag fly.  Even increasingly unpopular New Jersey Governor and man with his own gravitational field Chris "Krispykreme" Christie was there to make conservative noises in his best bully voice.  While plutocrats Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney and John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush declined to mix with the angry rabble, the dozen or so potential candidates from theocratic hacks Sen. Ted "Tailgunner" Cruz who imitated an itinerant preacher, Mike Hucksterbee, and Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum to ethically-challenged Governors Scott "Koch Head" Walker and Rick "Oops" Perry were there to spout varying degrees of nonsense and outright falsehoods to the low-information / high motivation crowd, who ate it up like corn dogs.

Not to be outdone, and since grifters gotta grift, snowbilly airhead Sarah "Winky" Palin plugged in her word salad shooter and put on her snarling face to attack everyone from the President to Hollywood.  Her subscription-only internet "show" must be floundering.  And speaking of floundering, legacy millionaire and today's P.T. Barnum Donald "Rump" Trump was there to assure the audience, as only he could, that he would have won in 2012 and that Lord Mittens and "J.E.B." were losers.  Finally, speaking of losers, the never-gonna-be-President crowd had failed former HP CEO Carly "Snarly" Fiorina and goofy former neurosurgeon Dr. Ben "Ben Operating On Himself" Carson there for additional comedic value.

To paraphrase the line in "Jaws," there're going to need a bigger clown car.

BONUS:  Palin's word salad shooting was kicked up a notch when her teleprompter froze (remember when numbnut Palin implied President Obama couldn't function without his teleprompter? LOL):
Republican firebrand Sarah Palin is rarely at a loss for words but became unmoored on Saturday in Iowa after her teleprompter froze and left her without portions of her prepared speech.  
The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flipped through a binder of notes and strung together a series of one-liners – and some of them made little sense.
Grift, Sarah, Grift!  Run, Sarah, Run!

Fox "News": A No-Go Zone For Facts, Honesty, Decency


In the wake of the "no-go zones" fabrication perpetrated by Fox "News" in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo violence, Leonard Pitts notes that the strong response of the French and British to Fox's outrageous lies could reveal something about ourselves (our emphasis):
Last week, Fox did something Fox almost never does. It apologized. Indeed, it apologized profusely, multiple times, on air. 
The most important takeaway here is not the admittedly startling news that Fox, contrary to all indications, is capable of shame. Rather, it is what the European response tells us about ourselves and our waning capacity for moral indignation with this sort of garbage.
Indeed, it seems the American capacity for tolerating the sewage that spews from evil toad Rupert "Aargh" Murdoch's Fox "News" on a daily basis is unlimited. As Pitts further notes,
It’s amazing, the things you can get used to, that can come to seem normal. In America, it has come to seem normal that a major news organization functions as the propaganda arm of an extremist political ideology, that it spews a constant stream of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, paranoia and manufactured outrage, and that it does so with brazen disregard for what is factual, what is right, what is fair, what is balanced — virtues that are supposed to be the sine qua non of anything calling itself a newsroom.
Fox does it because they're part of the vile, cynical, Social Darwinist, sociopathic right wing in America that believes the (extremist) ends justify the (extremist) means.  They get away with it, and will continue to, because of what Pitt calls "our waning capacity for moral indignation" (imagine Americans being more jaded than Europeans!) -- and with, we might add, a large helping of lazy cowardice from politicians and the "mainstream media" in ignoring, minimizing or cynically playing along =cough= Piyush "Bobby" Jindal =cough= with Fox's poisonous lies.

Sic transit gloria America.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

A Frothy Mix Quote of the Day


“I know his heart, and yet he will say things that I know he means innocently and I know they’re innocent.  But it can be taken by those, let’s just say not so innocent, to try to twist what his meanings really is.” -- Uber wingnut Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum, presuming to speak for what Pope Francis really means when he says things that displease the Catholic right wing.  Perhaps Frothy Mix believes he's even more infallible than the Pope in terms of stating Catholic doctrine.  It wouldn't surprise us.

As a Jesuit intellectual long before he became Pope, Francis doesn't need a patronizing, theocratic hack like Frothy Mix to "interpret" what he means when he speaks of climate change, or reconciliation with the LGBT community, or of the moral dangers of unbridled capitalism.  He says what he means, whether or not Frothy Mix, Sweaty Bill Donohue, or anyone else likes it.

Today's Cartoon - The Rich Getting Richer


(click on image to enlarge)


(Stuart Carlson, via gocomics.com)

Here are some salient data from the Oxfam report (our emphasis):
A new report released on Monday by Oxfam warns that this deepening global inequality is unlike anything seen in recent years. 
Using research from Credit Suisse and Forbes' annual billionaires list, the anti-poverty charity was able to determine that the richest 1 percent of the world's population currently controls 48 percent of the world's total wealth. 
If trends continue, Oxfam predicts that the most-affluent will possess more wealth than the remaining 99 percent by 2016, The New York Times reported. 
Drill down the numbers even more and you'll learn that the 80 wealthiest people in the world possess $1.9 trillion, which is almost the same amount shared by some 3.5 billion people at the bottom half of the world's income scale. 
Thirty-five of the lucky 80 were Americans with a combined wealth of $941 billion
Nearly half of the richest 80 wealth hoarders in the world are Americans.  We're so proud.

Rand Paul Thinks Most People On Disability Are Faking It


Prospective Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid Party presidential candidate and self-certified ophthalmologist Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul (Dudebro-KY) recently had what some are calling his "47 percent" moment (referring to the comments Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney made in 2012 to well-heeled contributors about the "takers" in the population that he wasn't concerned about). Speaking to a New Hampshire "legislative leaders" breakfast on January 14, Paul delivered this assessment of people receiving Federal disability benefits to an audience of fellow Republican mouth-breathers:
The thing is that all of these programs, there's always someone who's deserving, but everybody in this room knows somebody who's gaming the system. What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of a truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check. You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts. Join the club. (Laughter.) Who doesn't get up a little anxious for work every day or their back hurts. Everybody over 40 has a back pain.  (our emphasis)
Hahahaha.  Spoken like a true objectivist reactionary!  Of course, Paul is simply following what has been the script from Day One for the newly empowered congressional Republicans:  pit people with disabilities against seniors in a race to cut Social Security benefits.  This is every bit as disqualifying a sentiment as was Lord Mittens Romney's "47 percent" remark.  It reveals a person who is happy to extrapolate anecdotal cases of fraud (shades of St. Ronnie of Rodeo Drive's "welfare queens") into belittling and minimizing the suffering of millions of fellow Americans, all in the service of advancing a Republican goal of the last 80 years -- gutting Social Security.

Once again, we would like to pause to thank all the Democrats out there who sat on their asses last November.  This is your reward.

UPDATE:  Even the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle's Republican-wired "Fact Checker" says Paul's "facts" are b.s.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Quote Of The Day - Bibi's Blunder?


 "We thought we've seen everything. But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don't do. He spat in our face publicly and that's no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price."  -- A "Senior American Official," quoted in Haaretz (via TPM).  It looks more and more like this purely political gambit will blow up in Bibi "Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu's and John "Mr. Tangerine Man" Boehner's faces before it's all over, as even Israel's most ardent supporters are finding it hard to justify Bibi's gauche intrusion into American politics... again.  We hope the "price" Bibi pays is the fall of his right-wing government in Israel's upcoming elections.

Weekend Song


San Francisco-based Train released it's most recent album "Bulletproof Picasso" in 2014.  Here's the first single from from that album,  a live version of "Angel in Blue Jeans," complete with inattentive, rude "music lovers." (Love the sideways glances singer Pat Monahan gives them, especially at about 2:52, though.) Enjoy your weekend!

Our Daily Bread


The Republican responses to the State of the Union in the past six years have been, to say the least, botched attempts to spotlight a "rising star" in the Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid Party.  This year, freshman Senator and hog castrator to the world Joni "Bread Bag Shoes" Ernst was the hapless victim. She appears to have made the mistake of depicting her youth as something out of the Grapes of Wrath:  hard working, but poor farm family trying to get by with bread bags serving as boots to cover her shoes in the Iowa winters.  When you tell a hard luck tale like that, you know there's going to be some fact checking. It turns out that BBS' family, the Culvers, did quite well in crop support payments from the bad ol' Federal Gubmint: over $460,000 in farm subsidies over the years.

So while the Culver family was "living within its means" with the help of Federal crop subsidies, taxpayers were shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to her family.  That's a lot of bread.

(hat tip to blog friend P.E.C. for the story)

A Kiss Goodbye



Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, pictured here sharing a kiss with Dumbya, died yesterday at the age of 90.  Bush family ties to the Saudis go way back.

Saudi Arabia remains a breeding ground for radicals adhering to the extremist Wahabi sect, which is tolerated by the Saudi royal family.  Abdullah's predecessor, King Fahd, was instrumental in whisking members of the bin Laden family out of the U.S. following the 9-11 attacks, which were carried out in large part by Saudi nationals.  Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who served as ambassador to the U.S. during Dumbya's Presidency, was given the nickname "Bandar Bush" by Dumbya because of their unusually close relationship.

But President Obama's middle name is Hussein, so that makes it even….

Our Broken Media, Cont'd.


As the U.S. economy continues its robust recovery and unemployment drops, President Obama is enjoying increasingly good job approval numbers.  But for Republican hack "journalists" like Ron "Fourniercate"Fournier, the President hasn't "delivered."  Appearing on Fuxlite, Fourniercate didn't seem to recall years of Rethuglican obstruction of nearly every piece of legislation proposed by the President, for the 2009 stimulus package (which received exactly 0 Republican votes) to the landmark Affordable Care Act which was aggressively fought (and is to this day) by Rethugs who are fine with denying affordable health insurance to millions of working Americans.

Fourniercate was the hack that sent admiring notes to Turdblossom Rove, urging him to "keep up the fight," and who disparaged each of the Democratic candidates for the Presidency in 2008 while providing positive coverage to Republican candidate Sen. John McNasty.  Indeed, his loyalty to McNasty was rewarded by a job offer from his campaign, which Fourniercate declined.  So, keep in mind that when you read Fourniercate's deep thoughts about Obama's "leadership" failings, or that the President hasn't "delivered" in the face of Rethug obstruction, you're reading the work of a Republican hack.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Republican Responses To The State Of The Union


As is often the case, Jon Stewart has the best summary of the many, many, many Republican responses to President Obama's State of the Union Address, and his "Implody Award" (after the ad, of course):



BONUS: Then there's Andy Borowitz's hilarious take on hog castrator Sen. Joni "Make Them Squeal" Ernst (Teabag-IA).

Today's Quote


From E.J. Dionne, Jr.:
There is something odd in the notion that Obama is supposed to abandon his convictions because the Republicans won a low-turnout midterm election whose Senate races were fought mostly in territory hostile to Democrats.  
Ronald Reagan was never asked to stop being a conservative after Democrats took the Senate in the 1986 elections and emerged in control of both houses of Congress. Republicans praised George W. Bush for his courage in upping his commitment in Iraq through the troop surge, even though the Democratic sweep of 2006 was in large part a repudiation of the war on which he doubled down. Are only progressive presidents expected to trim their sails?
If you ask the Republican-wired "mainstream media" and the No Labels twerps, the answer would be "Yes, of course!"

The Republican War On Women: The Culture Wars Are Back, Bay-bee!


Now that the new Congress is getting down to business, it didn't take very long for the uterus-obsessed Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ White Supremacist party to get into a woman's, um, business:
After a botched effort to pass legislation imposing a 20-week ban on abortions, House Republicans are moving forward Thursday with what's being dubbed a less controversial bill that codifies a ban on federal funding for abortions. 
The bill would do a number of things -- including block federal funds for abortion for women who are in the military, who live in Washington, D.C., and who are poor -- but one aspect of the legislation that hasn't received much attention is the fact that it would raise taxes on the vast majority of small businesses.
The bill, which passed 249-179 (with, shamefully, 3 Democratic votes) on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade,  has little or no chance of getting through the Senate, but the White House wanted to make sure it's position was clear (our emphasis):
"The legislation would intrude on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increase the financial burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restrict the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restrict the District of Columbia's use of local funds, which undermines home rule," reads a Statement of Administration Policy from the White House. "If the president were presented with H.R. 7, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill."
Republicans, having successfully lulled low-information voters into thinking that its unpopular culture war policies like abortion restrictions were off the radar screen during the 2014 midterm elections, now feel they have at least two years to chip away at women's reproductive rights.  As long as the President has his veto pen, they won't get very far.  But the whole point of the exercise, just like the 50-plus votes to repeal Obamacare, is not serious policymaking -- it's pandering to the frothing base and having issues that you can use to raise money from said frothing base.

Ready to govern, our asses.

Bibi Bomb Bomb's End Run



When Congressional Rethuglicans, led by Weeper of the House John "Mr. Tangerine Man" Boehner, invited right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu to address the Congress concerning Iran on March 3 -- two weeks before Israel's elections -- it was not only a breach of diplomatic protocol, it was a clear sign of the Israeli Prime Minister's intention to embarrass President Obama and put pressure on his negotiations with Iran.  In the past, Bibi Bomb Bomb has tried to throw a monkey wrench in the delicate negotiations with Iran over their nuclear weapons program, and has shown a strong, open preference for electing Rethuglican politicians, including failed Presidential candidate and narcissistic plutocrat Willard "Mittens" Romney.

With that background, the White House has decided that President Obama won't meet with Bibi Bomb Bomb while he's here, indicating that to do so would send a signal that the U.S. was endorsing him and, by extension, his right-wing Likudnik coalition so close to the Israeli elections.  While this won't stop the meddling Prime Minister from speaking - - or Mr. Tangerine Man from undermining the President's foreign policy -- it's hoped that Israeli voters will see their Prime Minister's cynical hand in American politics and reject him for it.

BONUS:  Steve Benen's piece on the situation with Bibi Bomb Bomb and the Rethugs is well worth a read.

(photo:  Bibi Bomb Bomb on his road show last year, with graphics provided by Wile E. Coyote)

"Bobby's" Alternate Reality


As we noted last Tuesday, the Fux-propagated myth that there are so-called "no-go zones" in major cities in England and France blew up in their faces when none other than Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron denounced the Fux "expert" responsible as a "complete idiot."  The City of Paris is considering a lawsuit against Fux for the nonsensical claim.  Fearing further backlash, Fux proceeded to issue multiple apologies for the bogus claim.

However, future Fux contributor and current Louisiana Gov. Piyush "Bobby" Jindal continues to defend his claim that "no-go zones" exist, citing mustachioed Wilford Brimley lookalike John "Bomb Thrower" Bolton as a source for the false information, even after a Fux anchor stressed that the "no-go zone" story is false.  Way to stick with the "experts,"  Piyush,  especially if it's coming from an "expert" like Bomb Thrower, who still claims Saddam Hussein was linked directly to 9-11.  Still not ready for prime time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What Republicans Didn't Want Their Anti-Immigrant Base To Hear


While teahadist pig castrator Sen. Joni "Make Them Squeal" Ernst (Tea Party-IA) was giving the official Republican response to the President's State of the Union Address last night, Hispanic Republican Congressman Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Little Havana) was tapped to give essentially Ernst's rebuttal in Spanish.  See if you spot the difference between Cubelo's speech and Ernst's English version.

Cubelo:
 "We should also work through the appropriate channels to create permanent solutions for our immigration system, modernize legal immigration, and strengthen our economy. In the past, the president has expressed support for ideas like these. Now we ask him to collaborate with us to get it done."

Ernst:
= crickets = 
That was pretty easy, wasn't it?! Well, to be completely accurate, Ernst did say that "We'll work to correct executive overreach," presumably including the President's Executive Order on immigration. So, the Republican/ New Confederate/Stupid/ White Supremacist Party plan remains to try to undo the President's modest immigration reform executive action.  Certainly that's the message they want their white nativist base to hear, while Curbelos' Hispanic audience got a more conciliatory (albeit dishonest) tone.

We're counting on the Republican-wired "mainstream media" to make sure no one will notice the discrepancy.

BONUS:  Here's racist crackpot Rep. Steve "Cantaloupe Calves" King (R-Deport 'em) representing the true id of the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ White Supremacist Party, demonstratingwhy Rep. Curbelo's wan and dishonest attempt to sell his Hispanic audience on Republican "permanent solutions" won't fly.

State of Disunion Cartoon


(click to enlarge)


From the day he took office in January 2009, when the Rethuglicans launched their "Caucus Room Conspiracy" to block every single action proposed by Obama, their party has stayed unified in their absolute rejection and loathing of the President.  There's absolutely no reason to believe that they will develop any interest in "governing" a Government that they despise.

UPDATE:  A nice overview of the SOTU is provided by Paul Lewis of the Guardian.

UPDATE II:  Looks like the President hit a home run (click on image to enlarge):
Attribution: CNN/ORC

UPDATE III:  Charlatan Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Calgary), not ready for prime time.

(cartoon:  Tom Toles, via Gocomics.com)

Mid-Week Fusion Song


We like to mix it up now and then with our musical selections, and today we're featuring "A Whiter Shade of Pale," a classic baroque rock anthem from 1967 by the British group Procol Harum done in a classic, symphonic style.  Here, the group's pianist Gary Brooker teams with the Danish National Concert Orchestra and chorus at Denmark's Ledreborg Castle for a wonderful, extended version of the classic tune.  Classical and rock together.  Enjoy.



(h/t to Little Green Footballs)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Here's The State Of The Union Address We'd Like To Hear Tonight



We would like to see President Obama use Charles Pierce's stripped-down State of the Union address tonight.  It gets right to the point:
"Mr. Speaker, Mr. Majority Leader, thank you for inviting me here tonight to discuss the state of our union. The state of our union is strong, and it's all because of me, motherfkers, and no thanks to your sorry, wrinkled white asses. I did everything I could do to pull the economy out of the shallow grave your deregulatory frenzy and the two-term nitwit who preceded me dug for it. You stood there like squeaking eunuchs and blocked everything you could, and a narrow slice of the electorate gave you virtually unprecedented control over the entire national legislature. I don't care. Your party has sold its soul and lost its mind. I'm not going anywhere. So I'm'a gonna do what I goddamn well please, because the state of our union is strong, motherfkers, and it's all because of me. Nice to see you all again, though."
(Photo:  Looks like VP Biden has the right 'tude also.)

Paris To Fux: See You In Court


The Mayor of Paris has announced that the city plans to sue the Fux Network for its false claims that Paris has "no-go zones" where majority Muslims deny access to non-Muslims and police.  Mayor Anne Hildago said this morning that,
"The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced. And I think in the great discussion of truth everyone is to play its role. And we’re going to have to be realistic and put things as they are."
A few days ago, a Fux Network "terrorism expert"/ Islamophobe stated falsely that the British city of Birmingham was "totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don't go in," a claim that drew British Prime Minister David Cameron's scorn, who labeled the so-called expert as "clearly a complete idiot."

We wish our French allies success in teaching the Fuxers that made-up slanders broadcast as "news" will not go unchallenged in court.

BONUS:  It seems as though Louisiana Governor and future Fux Network employee Piyush "Bobby" Jindal didn't get the memo that the "no-go zones" tale was a fabrication from the fever swamps of Fuxland. He told CNN (and doubled down) that, yes, there were "no-go zones" where radical Muslims ruled by "Sharia law," using that dreaded dog whistle phrase popular among wingnuts. This clown will never be ready for prime time.

BONUS DEUX:  You've got to see this French satire, courtesy of "Le Petit Journal," of Fux's "no-go zone" slander.  Exactement, bon travail!

Mittens, The Shape Shifter



When narcissistic plutocrat Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney speaks these days, he wants you to believe he's now reborn as Willard 3.0, Champion of the Poor.  Just two years ago, he was caught on video disparaging "47%" of Americans that he views as moochers and "dependent on the Government." He claimed that minority and young voters wanted to reelect President Obama because he gave them "gifts," in the form of Government programs and tax breaks.  His 2012 running mate that he chose and embraced, Rep. Paul "Lyin'" Ryan, was responsible for proposing a budget that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops denounced as failing the "moral test" of protecting the poor.

As we saw in 2012, Mittens was willing to dump on his record as a moderately conservative governor, and proclaim himself "severely conservative," running to the right of such reactionaries as Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum and Newt "Poot" Gingrich.  An advisor of his compared Mittens' strategy to an Etch-A-Sketch toy, where he would win the nomination by appealing to the far-right mouth breathers in the base, and once he was nominated, reboot as an electable, moderate conservative.  In other words, Mittens would be whatever it took to win the nomination and the election, because as we know, it's all about Mittens and his messianic belief that he's entitled (dammit!) to be President, regardless of what the moochers voters keep telling him.

Monday, January 19, 2015

And The Tea-vangelicals Wept...


News item from NPR:
"Nearly five years after it hit best-seller lists, a book that purported to be a 6-year-old boy's story of visiting angels and heaven after being injured in a bad car crash is being pulled from shelves. The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story was all made up."
So, it was all a bunch of …. malarkey.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 2015


(click to enlarge)


Celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

(cartoon:  Steve Breen, via Gocomics.com)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Did You Know ...?


The name of Great Britain's shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer is (wait for it) Ed Balls?

Bollocks, you say!?  No, Balls.

SOTU Preview: Obama To Propose Working Families Relief


In Tuesday's State of the Union address, President Obama is expected to propose raising taxes on the wealthy and big banks to support programs to help working families.  Specifically,
... Obama will propose raising the capital gains and dividend tax rates to 28 percent for high earners; imposing a fee on the liabilities of about 100 big financial institutions; and greatly broadening the amount of inherited money subject to taxes. 
Obama will also seek to boost private retirement savings by requiring employers without 401(k) plans to make it easier for full-time and part-time workers to save in individual retirement accounts, which could assist as many as 30 million people. The administration would provide small employers tax credits to cover costs.
The administration estimates that the tax rate proposals would raise $320 billion over the next 10 years.  Ninety-nine percent of the impact of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent (i.e., the "establishment Republican" base). The funds would be used for supporting such programs as the President's free community college tuition initiative and child care tax credits for working families. Boosting private retirement savings might help partially restore a social safety net that Republicans (and conservaDems) have been working to weaken for three decades by union-busting and Wall Street's gambling with other peoples' money (i.e., middle class savings) -- another reason why the Wall Street reforms, as imperfect as they were, must not be allowed to be rolled back by Republicans eager to please their plutocrat backers.

It should be noted that this has to be considered an ideological marker for the administration to clarify which party's on the side of working families, since it's not a proposal that the Wall Street plutocrat/ reactionary Republicans in Congress would enact in whole or in part.  It should also be noted that raising the capital gains tax rate to 28 percent would put it at the same rate as it was when Republican St. Ronnie of Rodeo Drive left office in 1988, so big gummint socialism!

Once again, Democrats must keep aggressively pushing a "Share the Growth" agenda that includes these proposals, as well as raising the minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave, etc., to help America's working families take part in the benefits of the growing economy. It's no time to cower;  it's time to be staying on offense.

Sports Desk Police Blotter


From the Hackwhackers sports desk, a news item of interest:
CBS sports commentator Greg Anthony, a former NBA player, was arrested Friday and charged with soliciting a prostitute during an undercover sting operation, D.C. police said. 
Anthony, 47, a father of four, was arrested in a room at the Doubletree Hotel on Rhode Island Avenue NW, not far from the White House, about 5:46 p.m., according to Officer Hugh Carew, a police spokesman.
Among the many questions arising from this incident is, what character flaw could have led Anthony, a married father of four, to this unfortunate state?  Let's read on:
A Republican,
Aha!
... he aspired to be the first black U.S. senator from Nevada but chose a post-NBA career as a sports analyst specializing in college basketball. He is vice chair for the Young Republicans in Nevada, according to his biography on CBS Sports’s web page. Anthony supported Barack Obama for president in 2008, but publicly endorsed GOP challenger Mitt Romney in a 2012 campaign ad.
Proving, once again, that you don't have to be a Republican to be a hypocrite, but it sure helps. (Also, that at age 47, you can still be considered a "Young Republican!")

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Me Want Banana..." And Other Prospective Republican Candidates' Working Book Titles


Here's Bill Maher on the working titles of prospective Republican presidential candidates' books:

Picture of the Day



"Corporations do not equal people":  an image projected on the side of a building across the street from where the delusional Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney spoke in San Diego last night.  As he stumbles into the 2016 Rethuglican nomination clown car, Lord Mittens should expect more disrespect from the "little people" that don't buy his elitist blather.

Well done.

(h/t Kasie Hunt, NBC News)

The Nut Didn't Fall Far From The Tree


Radical reactionary Sen. Ted "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Calgary) is well known for his legislative obstruction, his outrageous accusations, and his extreme views on every major issue, which have strong echoes of his doppelgänger, the late Sen. Joe "Tailgunner Joe" McCarthy.  Well, it appears that Tailgunner Ted is also following in his nut bag dad's footsteps.

His father, Rafael, is a right-wing pastor who has taken up the cause of denying equal rights to LGBT citizens in Plano, Texas.   Last year, the Plano city council adopted an anti-discrimination ordinance that would essentially bring it up to date with Federal laws.  That vote touched off an orgy of "Christian" ministers and assorted bigots who are vowing to repeal the ordinance in the city's elections in May.  Cruz the Elder has been appearing in Plano to stir up the Talibangelists, calling the anti-discrimination ordinance an "attack on Judeo-Christian beliefs in America."  Yet another example of theocrats who hate Gubmint, except when it comes to forcing their twisted interpretation of the Bible on everyone else through….the Gubmint.

Today's Cartoon: Who Will Be Taking The 1%'s Order?


John Ellis "J.E.B." Bush and Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney know who they'd be serving.

(click on image to enlarge)


(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Liam Neeson States Facts, Gun Dolts Enraged



Here's what it's come to in today's Ammo-America.  Irish actor Liam Neeson, star of the "Taken" movies, recently offered his opinion on the fact that there's a gun for nearly every man, woman and child in America:
“There’s too many f—ing guns out there. Especially in America,” he remarked. “I think the population is like, 320 million? There’s over 300 million guns. Privately owned, in America. I think it’s a f—ing disgrace. Every week now we’re picking up a newspaper and seeing, ‘Yet another few kids have been killed in schools.’”
Of course, this sparked self-righteous outrage by the death merchants who provided some of Neeson's weapons in the latest "Taken" film.  Here's the Facebook reaction of the small-bore brains at PARA USA, a North Carolina firearms company:
“While the film itself is entertaining, comments made by its Irish-born star during press junkets reflect a cultural and factual ignorance that undermines support of the Second Amendment and American liberties,” the company said.

“We will no longer provide firearms for use in films starring Liam Neeson and ask that our friends and partners in Hollywood refrain from associating our brand and products with his projects. Further, we encourage our partners and friends in the firearms industry to do the same.”
Ooooh, someone's fee-fees were hurt!  So sad.

"Second Amendment and American liberties" to this over-compensating demographic of gun-fondlers are totemic words that trump the right of a child to live a full life.  They trump the right of Americans to feel safe from random gun violence in their communities and their homes. They trump everything because to them there's nothing that makes them happier than their blood money -- oh, and a warm gun.  Bang bang, shoot shoot.

(h/t Raw Story)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weekend Song For "Yesterday's News"


As Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul (Dudebro-KY) noted the other day, another Presidential run by Willard "Lord Mittens" Romney would be like "yesterday's news."  After (mostly) getting over the pleasure that sentiment provided us, we couldn't help but think of the Rolling Stones song from their "Between the Buttons" album, "Yesterday's Papers."  While the Stones song is about a discarded girlfriend (as those misogynists would have it), it could also apply to the deluded Lord Mittens, who senses history (that has passed him by) is suddenly calling... again (funny how he was also one of the last to realize that he lost the 2012 election, believing until the end the over-skewed  Republican polling).  Anyway, take this song into the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday weekend and enjoy.

Research Paper: Earth Could Cease To Be Safe For Humans In The Coming Decades


A paper published yesterday in the journal "Science" by 18 researchers comes to a startling conclusion:
At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world. 
The paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries.” They are the extinction rate; deforestation; the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous (used on land as fertilizer) into the ocean.  (our emphasis)
Here's the direct link to the "Science" paper.

Going forward, it's comforting to know knuckledraggers like Sen. James "Head-In-Hole"Inhofe (Chair, Committee on Environment & Public Works), Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (Chair, Subcommittee on NASA), and Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (Chair, Subcommittee on Oceans and Atmosphere) are only the tip of the (fast-melting) iceberg of climate- change- denying loons now in charge in Congress, isn't it?

(Thanks again to Democrats who couldn't be bothered to get up off their asses and vote in November.)

UPDATE:  The hottest year since records have been kept?  2014.

Lynching His Own



Polls are showing that the de facto work slowdown by the NYPD and open disrespect of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has called for reforms and better police-community relations, are backfiring with the public on the thuggish leader of the Policemen's Benevolent Association, Patrick "The Mouth" Lynch, and the union.  Lynch became infamous when, after two NYPD officers were murdered, he said Mayor de Blasio had "blood on his hands" and demanded an "apology" from the mayor for telling his mixed-race son how to behave when interacting with police.

Lynch's own members are starting to realize that his extremism and demagoguery are having a negative effect on the police force.  Earlier this week, a union meeting in Queens with Lynch turned into a shouting, shoving melee as roughly 100 police shouted at Lynch to pay attention to their working conditions and protective gear, rather than demagoguing City Hall.  But who knows?  Lynch could have other career plans in mind:  would it surprise anyone if he ran as a Rethuglican for office some day?  Loudmouth belligerence didn't seem to do any harm to Rudy Noun Verb 9-11.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Number Of Americans Struggling To Pay Medical Bills Down Sharply


You can file this under "It's all Obama's fault":
The number of Americans struggling to pay medical bills fell last year for the first time in nearly a decade -- the latest sign that Obamacare is making health care more affordable. 
Sixty-four million people, or approximately 35 percent of the U.S. population, said they had trouble paying bills or were stuck paying off medical debt in the past year, according to a new survey by the Commonwealth Fund released on Thursday. That was down from 75 million people, or 41 percent of the population, in 2012. This marks the first time that figure has fallen since 2005, when Commonwealth started keeping track.
So, for the first time instead of the problem of paying off medical debt getting worse, it's getting better. We wonder what happened after 2012 to cause this anomaly (not really).  Here's a chart showing the change:

(click on image to enlarge)

(Source:  Commonwealth Fund)

"Top Ten" Reactions to Romney Running in 2016


Last night's "Top Ten" on David Letterman listed the top reactions to plutocrat narcissist Willard "Corporations Are People" Romney's decision to run (for the third time) for President in 2016.  He apparently feels a messianic calling to be President, despite repeated rejections by the moochers voters.  He's going to provide a rich source of mockery as long as he's in the running, as we see here.



BONUS: Even the Bible of the One Percent gave Lord Mittens the thumbs down in an editorial yesterday:
"If Mitt Romney is the answer, what is the question? We can think of a few worthy possibilities, though one that doesn’t come immediately to mind is who would be the best Republican presidential nominee in 2016."
It goes downhill from there.

Papal Quote of the Day


"I don't know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face.  We have in a sense taken over nature. I think we have exploited nature too much." -- (emphasis added)  Pope Francis responding to questions about climate change while traveling to the Philippines.

The pontiff has called on Catholics to take action against climate change, and will issue a papal encyclical later this year to focus the Church's effort on that issue.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Today's Cartoon - "...And Bring The Rolls Up In The Car Elevator"


(click on image to enlarge)


(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Or, as Charles P. Pierce sees it:
The problem remains, of course, that Willard continues to believe that the fact that he wants to be president is the reason why he should be president, just as the fact that he wants to buy your company, gut it, and throw your pension money to his wolverine pals means he should buy your company, gut it, and throw your pension to his wolverine pals. The other problem that remains is that he continues to have the soul of a project they gave up on 20 years ago at Madame Tussaud's. In combination, of course, this means he's still convinced that he can talk America into buying whatever new aluminum siding he hangs on his political career. He remains the single most maladroit national politician I ever have seen.
"[T]he single most maladroit national politician..." and the most transparent fraud, to boot.  Nevertheless, run Willard, run!

House Passes Anti-Immigration Bill


House Rethuglicans demonstrated today why there won't be much "moderation" in their far-right positions on immigration.  The Rethug-majority House voted to undo President Obama's executive actions from last year that would shield roughly 4 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, including "dreamers," undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children by their parents.

The legislation would the added effect of shutting down parts of the Department of Homeland Security -- ironically, the parts responsible for border security and deportation -- when current funding expires at the end of February.  Senate Rethugs are pessimistic about the bill passing over a Democratic filibuster threat, and acknowledge the President won't sign a bill undoing his actions.  So, partial shutdown of the Government, here we come.

BONUS:  Going to Charles Pierce again, who would like the "mainstream media" to stop looking for its narrative-confirming elusive unicorn that is "the responsible Republican centrist."

Mid-Week Thinking Song


British singer-songwriter (and apparently a good dancer) Ed Sheeran released his latest album, "X", last summer, and already has three singles from that album that have gone platinum, one of which is the lovely "Thinking Out Loud."  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How's That Republican Rebranding Coming Along, Texass Edition


Rethuglican wingnuts are in a manufactured tizzy over President Obama's self-acknowledged misstep at not having high-level representation at Sunday's march in Paris, where other heads of state (some with significant freedom problems of their own) gathered against intolerance.  One such wingnut roams the halls of Congress: Texass Rep. Randy Weber, who Twitter-twiddled

Weber was forced to apologize by his leaders (who don't want the  raging Rethuglican id to be on such obvious display when they're trying to portray themselves as a responsible, governing Party). Hitler analogies, against the backdrop of anti-Semitic attacks and jihadist violence in Europe, will always fall flat and receive condemnation from those who either survived the Holocaust or have family that didn't, and understand the magnitude of Hitler's obscenity, even if charlatans like Weber don't.

Kamala Harris Running For Senate


When California Sen. Barbara Boxer announced that she would not run for reelection in 2016, several prominent California Democrats stated their interest in potential runs, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (UPDATE: Newsom is not going to make the run for the Senate seat, most likely to run for Governor).  But perhaps the brightest political star in California, Attorney General Kamala Harris, changed the calculus by announcing her candidacy for the Senate slot.  National Dems are praising Harris' decision to enter the race, and are signaling to other Dems that she would be their prohibitive favorite.  Harris, a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, was one of a few candidates under serious consideration for the U.S. Attorney General position after Eric Holder announced his resignation, but declined to be considered for the Federal post.

Harris was born in Oakland, CA to a Jamaican-American father who is an economics professor at Stanford, and an Indian mother who is a medical doctor and breast cancer specialist.

Watashi Wa Megumidesu*


It's a week for defending freedom of expression, from Charlie Hebdo to, um, kayaks.  As The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling would have said, "Submitted for your consideration" (and without judgement).

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi paddles in a kayak shaped as a vagina to open a dialogue about misogyny and obscenity in Japan.  She is facing charges of obscenity.


Whatever floats your boat, artistically speaking.
________
* "I am Megumi"

Monday, January 12, 2015

May We Have Your Attention, Please: The Circular Firing Squad Is Now Forming On The Right


En garde:
“Do we really want someone with this little experience?” Mr. [Rick "Frothy Mix"*] Santorum asked, referring to Mr. Paul, Mr. Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who is also in his first term. “And the only experience they have basically — not Rubio, but Cruz and Paul because I don’t think Rubio is going to go — is bomb throwing? Do we really want somebody who’s a bomb thrower, with no track record of any accomplishments?” (*our edit)
Touche:
“Senator Santorum lost re-election in his home state by 18 points nearly a decade ago, and has spent the time since then trying to convince people to elect him to an even higher office than the one he was booted out of,” said Doug Stafford, senior adviser to Mr. Paul. “We will pass on responding to his alleged wisdom.”
Paging Reince Priebus, paging Reince Priebus.

BONUS:  As we noted earlier, the circus' main event promises to be the Clash of the Plutocrats, Willard "Mittens" Romney and to-the-manor-born John Ellis ("J.E.B.") Bush.  Nothing like relating to the struggling middle class.

BONUS II:  Millionaire Mitt's "yesterday's news," according to Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul (Dudebro-KY).