Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tweet Of The Day - The Agony Of Evangelicals

Is there any way to prolong the agony?  Just askin'.

If At First You Quit....

When last seen,  Liz "Lizard" Cheney, the loathsome daughter of unindicted war criminal Dick "The Dick" Cheney, was quitting on her 2014 race against incumbent Republican Mike Enzi for his Senate seat in Wyoming.  Cheney, who had only established residence in the state in 2012, was widely disliked in the state for challenging the popular Enzi.  She also created a rift in her family by openly opposing her lesbian sister Mary's right to marry, which was only one of several hiccups in her failed candidacy (it didn't help that she was running at least 28 points behind Enzi at any given time).

Sadly for Wyoming and for good government in general, Cheney has decided to give the voters of Wyoming another chance to reject her by embarking on another run for elected office in Wyoming.  This time, she's filed papers to run for the state's one Congressional seat, which is being vacated by retiring wingnut Rep. Cynthia Lummis.  She may have better odds this time, not facing a popular incumbent, nor having an opponent with her name recognition.  Then again, the "name" may not serve her any more than it did the last time.

(photo: The faces of entitlement: five-deferment daddy, and daddy's little deferment)

Sunday Reflection - Life Imitating Art

"Lonesome Rhodes" (the huckster demagogue from 1957's "A Face In The Crowd"):
"Those morons out there? Shucks, I could take chicken fertilizer and sell it to them as caviar. I could make them eat dog food and think it was steak. Sure, I got 'em like this... You know what the public's like? A cage of Guinea Pigs. Good Night you stupid idiots. Good Night, you miserable slobs. They're a lot of trained seals. I toss them a dead fish and they'll flap their flippers."
 Donald "Rump" Trump (to The New York Times editorial writers):
“You know, if it gets a little boring, if I see people starting to sort of, maybe thinking about leaving, I can sort of tell the audience, I just say, ‘We will build the wall!’ and they go nuts.” 
'Nuff said.

BONUS:  Well, here's the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle with a little more to be said:
It may indeed be the case that most Republicans or, someday, most Americans will take Mr. Trump’s offer to be a bully on their behalf. But Mr. Trump’s supposed mind-meld with the electorate, though documented in polls, has yet to be tested in actual voting. Citizens have not confirmed, in a binding way, their desire to be led by a man who so manifestly does not respect them. There is still time to prove otherwise; the GOP caucuses open in Iowa on Monday at 7 p.m.  (our emphasis)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New York Times Endorses Hillary Clinton

Someone pass the smelling salts to MoDo!
For the past painful year, the Republican presidential contenders have been bombarding Americans with empty propaganda slogans and competing, bizarrely, to present themselves as the least experienced person for the most important elected job in the world. Democratic primary voters, on the other hand, after a substantive debate over real issues, have the chance to nominate one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history.

Hillary Clinton would be the first woman nominated by a major party. She served as a senator from a major state (New York) and as secretary of state — not to mention her experience on the national stage as first lady with her brilliant and flawed husband, President Bill Clinton. The Times editorial board has endorsed her three times for federal office — twice for Senate and once in the 2008 Democratic presidential primary — and is doing so again with confidence and enthusiasm.
Again, in the interest of fair play, here's the closer of The Nation's endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders (via the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle):
Clinton’s closing ad before Iowa makes her central argument clear: Trust her. She’s experienced and committed. She’ll keep Republicans from taking away the progress we’ve made. Sanders’s ad makes his argument clear: Trust yourself. Come together, take back the country and make this nation better. The first appeals to the head; the latter to the heart. But even the most hard-headed pragmatist might think the latter has as good a chance at getting elected and a better chance of forcing change than the former.
Iowa caucuses are on Monday, February 1;  New Hampshire's primary is on February 9.  Then we'll see how accurate the polls and how effective the campaigns have been.  Don't expect this to be over soon.

BONUS:  Wonkette reminds us how many times the Times "news" staff has tried to screw over Clinton just in the past 6 months or so: 
Oh, and congratulations on picking up the big New York Times endorsement! Maybe they feel bad about all the times they screwed up the email story over the summer?
No cognitive dissonance here folks, move along, move along!

Quote Of The Day

"An attack on any faith is an attack on all of our faiths. It is an attack on that Golden Rule at the heart of so many faiths -- that we ought to do unto others as we would have done to us. For Americans, in particular, we should understand that it’s an attack on our diversity, on the very idea that people of different backgrounds can live together and thrive together. Which is why -- your father was right -- we are all Jews. Because anti-Semitism is a distillation, an expression of an evil that runs through so much of human history, and if we do not answer that, we do not answer any other form of evil. When any Jew anywhere is targeted just for being Jewish, we all have to respond as Roddie Edmonds did -- 'We are all Jews.'”  --  President Obama, speaking Wednesday at the Embassy of Israel, at the Righteous Among Nations Award Ceremony.  The ceremony honored non-Jews whose acts of courage saved the lives of Jews in World War II.  The four honored posthumously were Poles Walery and Maryla Zbijewski, and Americans Lois Gunden and M/Sgt. Roddy Edmonds.

(The remarks came less than a week after once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle op/ ed Likudnik Republican Jennifer Rubin called the Obama administration "the most anti- Israel in history."  What a schmuck.)

Friday, January 29, 2016

Today's Cartoon Twofer - Unplanned Indictments

(click on images to enlarge)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Jim Morin, The Miami Herald)

Still blissing in the schadenfreude from the indictment of the extremist auteurs of the doctored "baby parts" anti- Planned Parenthood video!

Rump vs. Rump

As it turns out, there was a debate of sorts with neo-fascist demagogue Donald "Rump" Trump last night after all.  Leave it to "moderator" Stephen Colbert to land the exclusive. Wait for Colbert's line near the end about "a family man."  Take it away:

Bim Bomb Bay*: Benghazi Fic Flick A Certified Stinkeroo (UPDATED)

As we noted after its opening weekend, the Michael Bay Benghazi fic flick, "13 Hours," was on its way to stinker- dom, finishing 4th and grossing a paltry $16 million.  This after ubiquitous advertising and 24/ 7 flogging by Fox "News."

Well, in its second week in release, it looks like it's headed for the world of on- demand.

For the weekend January 20-24, "13 Hours" fell from 4th to 7th;  it's gross fell by 44.2%.  In two weeks, it's grossed $32.7 million (the movie's budget was $50 million, making the potential for breaking even quite iffy).  That's after 528 screens were added after the first weekend!  By contrast, a comparably- budgeted film released at the same time, the buddy comedy "Ride Along 2," has already grossed $58.6 million.

Sorry, Paramount right- wing asswit.  Sorry, Fox "News."  Your expensive, but ultimately rather feeble FAIL to turn the tragedy of Benghazi into a political hit on Hillary Clinton requires you replace the flick's typically bombastic Michael Bay soundtrack with something like this (our go- to sound effect!).

UPDATE:  The bomb continues to drop - in its third week in release, as of February 1, it's down to number 10, with a total gross of $42.6 million.

* Apologies to the late Jimmie Rodgers and other artists.

Rump Hides Behind Veterans, Avoiding Fux "Debate" (UPDATED)

Rethuglican frontrunner and narcissistic, neo-fascist bag-o'-farts Donald "Rump" Trump's cynical ducking of the Fux Network's Rethuglican debate poo-fling was made more repulsive by his attempts to use military veterans as a diversionary prop.  Knowing that he had the Fux Network in a box and reportedly begging for him not to boycott the debate, Rump proceeded to stage an event ostensibly to raise money for veterans organizations. The problem is that potential contributors' money will wind up in his "Donald J. Trump Foundation" 501[c][3] account, and none of the major national or Iowa veterans organizations had any involvement in the event, nor were they contacted for it. Key veterans groups are also condemning the use of veterans as a political shield by Rump for not appearing at the Fux debate.

UPDATEWhat a generous, CLASSY guy that Rump is toward veterans!

Weekend Tribute Song - R.I.P. Paul Kantner

Sad news today that Paul Kantner, founding member of the iconic San Francisco band Jefferson Airplane passed away yesterday at the too- young age of 74 following a heart attack days earlier.  Kantner, along with Grace Slick, Marty Balin, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady and Spencer Dryden, formed the most popular lineup of the band in the mid- to late-60's.*  Here's a song he co-wrote with Balin, and one of our favorites, "Today."  Everlasting soft breezes and incense. R.I.P.

* In a strange twist, the original singer for the Airplane, Signe Toly Anderson, passed away yesterday also.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tweet Of The Day - Trump's Angry White Voters

The photo montage is from a Gabriel Sherman piece in New York Magazine profiling 100 Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans, most of whom are looking for a "strongman."  Scary.

See also, below.

Trump And Re-Learning Lessons Of The Holocaust

Yesterday, many countries held Holocaust Memorial Days, commemorating the victims of Nazi genocide in World War II.  Dana Milbank spoke with some Holocaust survivors and writes about lessons of the Holocaust that need to be re- learned today in light of a certain neo- fascist bag o' farts and his imitators:
This year’s Holocaust remembrance comes at a time when Donald Trump, the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, retweets to his nearly 6 million followers a message from @WhiteGenocideTM based in “Jewmerica,” and a time when his nearest challenger, Ted Cruz, brandishes the endorsement of a minister who says Hitler was a “hunter” sent after the Jews by God. There has never been a more important time for Americans to heed the moral authority of the Holocaust survivors still among us.
“It’s really frightening,” said Al Munzer, hidden as an infant in the Netherlands with a Dutch family and their Muslim nanny. “When you see these mass rallies that Trump is able to attract, you really wonder: How are they buying into this message of hate?”  [snip]
Now an American presidential candidate has made scapegoats of immigrants, Muslims, Latinos, African Americans, the disabled, women. And for the first time, Martin Weiss hears echoes of his youth. “The guy scares me,” he said after listening to the ambassador’s tribute. “I don’t want to make any comparison to Hitler, but believe it or not his delivery and the way he conducts himself is very similar to Hitler’s way of doing things. He discredits everybody who disagrees with him. He’s insulting. He discriminates against everybody.”  (our emphasis)
Despite the media's soft- focus on the person many of them continue to call "The Donald," and attempts to patronize him as just a buffoon who eventually will be exposed, the truth is Donald "Rump" Trump is a dangerous man with dangerous motivations appealing to the lizard brain of an authoritarian- loving base.  He enthralls the clueless, supine media (today's print edition of the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle has a full page and a half just about Rump and his "falling out" with Fox "News"!) and looks increasingly likely to be the Presidential candidate of one of our two major parties.  More and more "establishment" Republicans are seemingly resigning themselves to him as their nominee, or as Milbank put it in an earlier op/ ed, "That soft flapping sound you hear is the Grand Old Party waving the flag of surrender to Trump."

When we look at the Stormtrumpers at Rump rallies, we see the mindless hate, the scapegoating, the mis- directed anger, the latent (and real) violence -- and an authoritarian demagogue stoking and leading the mob, animated by his narcissistic ego and a sense of victimhood (see Kelly, Megyn).  It sounds familiar to us, too, Mr. Weiss.

Three More Pathetic Oregon Jamokes Arrested

From the Associated Press:
"The FBI and Oregon State Police said in a statement that 45-year-old Duane Leo Ehmer of Irrigon, Oregon, and 34-year-old Dylan Wade Anderson of Provo, Utah, turned themselves in around 3:30 p.m. And 43-year-old Jason S. Patrick of Bonaire, Georgia, did the same a few hours later."
Following the arrest of Ammon Bundy and several other ringleaders of the illegal, armed occupation, and the shooting of one in a "suicide by cop" scenario, you may recall that Patrick said the little lost boys armed wingnuts would stay until the "redress of their grievances," whatever that means.  The AP story continues:
"After Bundy made his first court appearance in Portland on Wednesday, his attorney, Mike Arnold, read this statement from his client: 'Please stand down. Go home and hug your families. This fight is now in the courts.'

It was unclear whether the rest of Bundy's followers still holed up at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns were ready to heed his advice. It was believed perhaps a half-dozen remained late Wednesday, apparently sitting around a campfire."
(emphasis added)
Despite the continuing seriousness of the situation for law enforcement, if not the armed crazies, we simply cannot resist this:

"We're out of French vanilla creamer. I'm leaving."

UPDATE:  They came for the freedumb, but they're staying for the beer and weed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Kochs Said To Be Behind Smear Of Reporter (UPDATED)

New Yorker writer Jane Mayer has a new book, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Right," which examines several right-wing tycoons' funding of reactionary causes, among them the notorious Charles and David Koch.  However, it's reporting that Mayer did several years ago about the shadowy Kochs that, as the New York Times reports, had her investigated and smeared as a plagiarist by agents of the billionaire brothers. One of the entities allegedly involved in the investigation of Mayer is a firm headed by former New York City police commissioner, and Rudy "Noun, Verb, 9-11" Giuliani associate, Howard Safir.

Even given the Kochs' heavy-handed involvement in right wing and teabagger politics in the past several years, the story is breathtaking in the lengths to which the right-winger brothers apparently went to discredit straightforward reporting on their hidden political activities. The attempted suppression of a critical reporter and the arrogance of extreme wealth is on full display in this story, and it's yet another reason why they have to be exposed and reined in.

UPDATE:  Charles P. Pierce has his take on the attempt to smear Ms. Mayer.

Today's Cartoon - Republicans Continuing Dishonest Assault On Planned Parenthood

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Republicans are determined to push on with their investigation of Planned Parenthood, even after a Texas grand jury cleared the organization of wrongdoing on Monday and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists who targeted the family planning provider in a series of undercover videos.  [snip]
The grand jury’s decision hasn’t affected Republicans' plans to continue investigating Planned Parenthood, however. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who is chairing a select investigative committee that purports to be investigating “big abortion providers" -- but for all intents and purposes is only scrutinizing Planned Parenthood -- said in a statement Tuesday that “the mission of our investigation has not changed.”
Republicans on the Presidential campaign clown car bus are also lamenting the turn of events and continuing to pursue the false case against Planned Parenthood, because, well, assholes.

Tweets Of The Day - Trump, Fox, And The Republican Party

Neo- fascist Republican bag o' farts Donald "Rump" Trump, a person who would presume to present a tough face to the world as President, has come down with a case of the willies, brought on by the prospect of dealing with Fox "News'" moderator Megyn Kelly in Thursday's Republican "debate," and by a Fox "News" statement questioning his, um balls.
Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed to the Washington Post on Tuesday that the GOP front-runner is "definitely not participating in the Fox News debate."   [snip]

Earlier in the day, Trump had teased that he "most likely" would not participate in Thursday's main debate, stemming from his ongoing feud with Kelly.
Jeet Heer captures the essence of the Rump/ Fox standoff:
He also encapsulates the seminal problem:
Will Fox cave and dump Kelly?  Don't bet against Rump;  they haven't found a vaccine for him yet.

Oregon Refuge Still Occupied; Feds Have New Ground Rules, Though

It's important to know that, even though the leaders and most prominent jamokes have been arrested (one killed), the occupation of the Malheur national wildlife refuge in Oregon isn't over.  State and Federal officials have new "ground rules", though, governing the remaining deluded jamokes occupying the refuge and any other far- right extremists that would try to join them:
Law enforcement agents have moved in to establish checkpoints at the still-occupied Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County Oregon, escalating this standoff further after a deadly night in Oregon's high dessert [sic].

After a shootout several miles from the refuge that resulted in one standoff leader dead and several other leaders arrested, the FBI has established a new perimeter to keep outsiders from joining the militiamen still holed up at the refuge, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The FBI will be searching vehicles moving through the area and will arrest those who do not cooperate.

OPB reported that inside the wildlife preserve, tensions have also been rising as the remaining militiamen held a vote on whether to stay or go and decided to stay put.

OPB reporter John Sepulvado tweeted "they will not leave, 'we’re not cowards like the rest,' say they’re prepared to die."
During an interview with NPR, Sepulvado described the scene at the 187,000-acre refuge, which had transformed substantially over night. He said there are "convoys of federal trucks, armored trucks, and a lot of police cars behind them, zooming to the refuge on different roads." 
They're not innocent, they're not unarmed, their hands aren't up.  If they threaten the lives of police or FBI enforcing the law, they should suffer the consequences.  

BONUS: Memo to our broken media: let's stop calling these armed, lawless thugs "protesters."

Mid-Week Unbeliever Song

Vampire Weekend is a alternative rock trio from New York City, whose third album, "Modern Vampires of the City," won the 2014 Grammy award for Best Alternative Music Album.  A tip of the Hackwhackers' hat to our Midwest Bureau Chief Eric (Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays / Happy Festivus!) for gifting the band's album and thus the featured song, "Unbelievers."  Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Bundy Brothers, Other Oregon Refuge Takeover Jamokes Arrested; One Killed (UPDATED)

The Associated Press is reporting that unhinged sagebrush moochers Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan (who was wounded), and three other half-witted jamokes who were occupying the Malheur wildlife reserve were arrested earlier today in a traffic stop by Federal agents and the Oregon state police, which reportedly involved gunfire and the death of one of Bundy's associates. Another associate was arrested separately in nearby Burns, OR.

The occupation of the Federal facility began earlier this month, and has drawn would-be militia types and anti-government malcontents from other areas of the country.  The Bundy klan became notorious when they and their followers confronted Bureau of Land Management officials in 2014 at their Nevada ranch after refusing to pay long-standing fees for grazing on public land. 

Here are the booking photos mug shots:

Arrested (some in separate actions) were:  Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Brian Cavalier, Shawna Cox, Ryan Payne, Joseph O'Shaughnessy and Pete SantilliJon Ritzheimer (the Constitution- waving martyr wannabe) turned himself in to police.  Robert Finicum was reportedly the jamoke who was killed in the gunfire.

UPDATE(S)Go here.

(photo: Ammon, left, and Ryan Bundy playing cowboy)

Travel Advisory: Expect Lane Closures In North Wildwood, NJ (UPDATED)

Man- who- will- never- be- President Gov. Chris "Krispykreme" Christie (R-NJ) is getting record low approval numbers in his home state.  It's no wonder why:

North Wildwood Mayor Patrick Rosenello, a Republican, said he was disappointed after Christie called him "crazy" for saying Winter Storm Jonas was worse than Superstorm Sandy.  [snip]
"It's just disappointing that a man, who is the governor of New Jersey, a man who wants to be president of the United States, would lower the discourse in a situation such as this," he added.  [snip]
Rosenello accused Christie of disrespecting first responders and the residents of his community, who saw major damage to their homes and businesses amid swells of water up to 10 feet tall.

"My biggest concern is the complete and utter disrespect that he has shown to the first responders, the fireman and police," the mayor said. "For him to just completely disrespect the efforts they've put forth this past weekend is unconscionable. And lastly, the residents, the business owners, who today are tearing walls out of their houses, tearing up carpets; their lives have been completely disrupted. And his lack of compassion is unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it, quite frankly, from an elected official.
(our emphasis)
Some city's disaster relief might be slow in coming, if you know what we mean and we think you do. "Compassion" is not a trait we would ever associate with Krispykreme.  Arrogance, bullying, hypocrisy, dishonesty, vindictiveness, yes;  never "compassion."

UPDATE:  If you've been affected by the flooding in New Jersey, you'd better have your own mop.

(Photo:  Covering first and second base and showing disrespect to the police (NYPD), too.  But, if you don't play ball with Chris Christie, well, he'll just take the ball home.)

Today's Cartoon - "My God, How Could Trump And Cruz Have Happened?"

(click on image to enlarge)

(Jack Ohman, The Sacramento Bee)

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a good accompanying read.

Beyond 2016: Midterms Matter

The current issue of Washington Monthly magazine has a timely article by Phil Keisling (summarized here by Paul Glastris) on the challenge facing Democrats in regaining control of Congress:  mustering your voters to turn out to vote in mid-term elections.  With the Rethuglican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooter's party actively rigging voting laws and re-shaping Congressional districts in a number of states, coupled with low turnout among traditionally Democratic-voting minorities and young voters in mid-term elections, the Rethuglicans -- who consistently lose the popular vote in Presidential elections -- have been able to gain and maintain majorities in Congress. That simply means when we elect a President Clinton or a President Sanders, they would face the same relentless obstruction and sabotage of their agenda, not to mention the chaos that would ensue over the nomination of a new Supreme Court justice or two.

Keisling, who served as Oregon's Secretary of State, proposes Universal Vote By Mail (UVBM) as a big step forward in expanding the franchise, and ensuring that voters pick the politicians and not the other way around as the Rethuglicans would like.  UVBM is law in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado, so it's not "experimental" or untested. Keisling estimates that, if adopted, registered voter turnout could be boosted by up to 15 percent, with double-digit increases among Democratic-leaning 18 to 34 year olds.

It's a strategy that the currently lackadaisical Democratic National Committee needs to put at the top of their must-do list if Dems have any chance of enacting a progressive agenda, and of shifting the direction of the Supreme Court from right to left.

They Said It! (Cont.)

Here's the latest in our continuing series cataloging the back- and- forth between the occupants of the Republican clown car bus.  Take it away (far away, please!):

Sen. "Ayn" Rand Paul (R-Dudebro) on neo- fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump: 
"Donald Trump is a delusional narcissist and an orange-faced windbag. A speck of dirt is way more qualified to be president.”
(Apparently, Paul's polling so low he's off Rump's radar, because =crickets= from Rump so far.)

On the other hand, we get this from the twitter slough of the "delusional narcissist" and "orange-faced windbag:"

We are simultaneously smiling and feeling we need a hot shower.

Monday, January 25, 2016

In A Surprise Switch, Auteurs Of Bogus Fetal Tissue Video Indicted, Not Planned Parenthood

A Harris County grand jury investigating allegations that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston illegally sold the tissue of aborted fetuses has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover videos that sparked the probe.
Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony that carries a punishment of up to 20 years in prison. Daleiden received an additional misdemeanor indictment under the law prohibiting the purchase and sale of human organs.
The investigation was requested by uber- nut Gov. Greg "Abbadabba" Abbott (R- Texass), who was clearly hoping a kangaroo jury would throw some indictments, or at least more mud, at Planned Parenthood.  Making it even more remarkable, the District Attorney leading the grand jury is a Republican appointed by former Gov. Rick "Oops" Perry.  So, Planned Parenthood is cleared and the ratf*ckers are indicted. To quote Abbott's Republican predecessor, "Oops."  Funny how that turned out.

The deceptively edited video, widely flogged by Republican candidates clowns to discredit Planned Parenthood, was of course debunked as yet another fraudulent attempt by a radical wingnut ratf*cking outfit to take down an organization supported by Democrats or anyone not subscribing to their crackpot agenda =cough= James "G. Gordon Diddy" O'Keefe = cough=.  But not after it had done damage to Planned Parenthood and caused a chorus of despicable Republican officeholders like Abbott to take political potshots at it. 

Oh, the schadenfreude, it is sweet!

UPDATE:  Making the schadenfreude even sweeter, Fox "News" spittle- flingers are having the predictable meltdown.


Picture = 1,000 Words

Presidential reactions to neo-fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump's Presidential ass-pirations. Classic cover art by Barry Blitt.

Republican Crime Blotter - Sexual Harassment Dept. (UPDATED)

The most recent member of the "family values" party succumbing to temptations of the flesh:
Tennessee state Rep. Jeremy Durham (R) resigned from his position as majority whip on Sunday hours after a report in The Tennessean revealed that he had sent "inappropriate" text messages to numerous women who worked in the statehouse.
Three women, at least two of whom were in their 20s, said that the 32-year-old married lawmaker had sent them text messages asking for photos and asking to meet up at bars.
One woman said he sent her repeated Facebook and text messages late at night. In one text he told her he missed her. In another late-night message he asked for photos, according to The Tennessean.
Another woman received numerous text messages from Durham, one of which asked her for pictures.  (our emphasis)
We're quite sure he's just been misunderstood, just like the time he was nearly indicted for prescription fraud and forgery, oh, and also that time he went to bat for a convicted pedophile. Just your everyday Republican.

UPDATE:  This was not Durham's first rodeo, it appears;  the plot thickens.

(Photo:  "Some might call it, quote unquote, sexual harassment; I was just bein' friendly.")

Rick Perry Endorses Ted Cruz; We Trust The Jokes Will Write Themselves

Ours is kind of obvious:

Former Texass Gov. and everlasting dimbulb Rick "Oops" Perry has endorsed Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Calgary) for President, saying "One, he's got courage;  two, he's the best listener in D.C.;  and three, um...  er ... oops!"

Feel free to add yours in the comments.

(Gif:  "Mmmm, is that Canadian bacon I smell?")

Today's Cartoon - Strange Bedfellows?

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

As if further explanation were needed, Bob Cesca does anyway.

BONUS: Rethuglican hack Alex Castellanos stumbles on the truth: we have met the enemy and it is us.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oregon Jamokes Have Been Using 8, 9 Year Old Girls As Human Shields

Just when you thought the seditionist, felonious, heavily armed jamokes occupying the Alamo Malheur wildlife refuge in Oregon couldn't be any more cowardly or depraved, there's this:
Two school-aged girls have been staying with militants at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon Public Broadcasting confirmed.
Members of the militia group lead by the Bundy clan have long stated they have women and children at the refuge, even implying their use as human shields against federal action. The group has also been free to come and go at will. But OPB has confirmed that two sisters, aged 8 and 9, have been continuously at the refuge as part of the occupation.
What responsible parents and manly men, willing to put innocent children into a situation where a killer and assorted brawling paranoid sociopaths with martyr complexes are holed up!

When this nest of rats is finally cleared out, those children need to be removed from that family and put into foster homes while their "parents" are serving long, well- deserved stretches in a Federal penitentiary.

(Photo:  Just the sort of hare- brained, hair- trigger cretins you'd want your pre- teen daughters to be having a month- long sleepover with!  - AP photo by Rick Brown)

"How Change Happens"

Paul Krugman has a much-discussed op- ed directed toward Democrats and progressives addressing "how change happens."  Here's a snippet, but please read the entire piece:
The point is that while idealism is fine and essential — you have to dream of a better world — it’s not a virtue unless it goes along with hardheaded realism about the means that might achieve your ends. That’s true even when, like F.D.R., you ride a political tidal wave into office. It’s even more true for a modern Democrat, who will be lucky if his or her party controls even one house of Congress at any point this decade.

Sorry, but there’s nothing noble about seeing your values defeated because you preferred happy dreams to hard thinking about means and ends. Don’t let idealism veer into destructive self-indulgence.
Your turn, Iowa.  Then New Hampshire.

She's Baaack! Fey Skewers Palin

On last night's Saturday Night Live, Tina Fey and Darrell Hammond did their take on the incoherently bizarre endorsement of neo-fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump by full-time snowbilly grifter Sarah "Winky" Palin.  Fey's impersonation in particular is dead on, complete with her shrieking, sing-song nasal voice, rhyming non-sequiturs, and spotlight hogging. "Trump's" asides are priceless, too.

Sunday Reflection - Snow

Tian Tian, the National Zoo's male giant panda, is enjoying the snow from yesterday's blizzard ("Tian Tian," which means "more and more," got his wish:  26 inches in nearby Hackwhacker land).  We're sure he would agree with the Zen saying, “No snow flake ever falls in the wrong place.”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

A Low-Energy Endorsement…From Mommy

House of Bush scion and failed "low energy" candidate John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush has gotten a endorsement from a member of the Rethuglican establishment….his mommy!  And it contains this ringing statement of his qualifications:
"Of all the people running, he seems to be the one who can solve the problems."
Wow, easy on the superlatives, Babs!  We think J.E.B.! seems to be toast, and your low energy "endorsement" probably won't help with people that already think he's a captive of his family's legacy. His mommy's half-hearted "endorsement" won't help his image that he's his "own man", either.

Quote Of The Day - The Shootist

"I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue, shoot somebody, and I wouldn't lose any voters."  - Neo- fascist fartbag and "maybe we can live with him" candidate of "establishment" Republicans Donald "Rump" Trump speaking (fantasizing?) in Iowa today.  Not to mention, he could say something this psychopathic and not lose any voters.  Sic transit gloria, America.

Tailgunner Ted's Health Insurance Lie

Speaking to a New Hampshire crowd Thursday, smarmy wingnut Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Canada) claimed that "Obamacare" had left him and his family without health insurance. Today, his spokesperson admitted that Tailgunner Ted was lying through his teeth mistaken, and that his coverage was never dropped.  Also, in a case of making his family pay for his desire to make a (false) political point,  while Tailgunner Ted is eligible (as a Federal employee under the Federal Employees Health Benefit program) to have roughly 75% of his health care costs subsidized by the Government, he chose not to participate.  So he's a liar, and a craven demagogue who has no shame about using his family as political props.

But we already knew that, didn't we?

Michael Bloomberg May Run As An Independent

Billionaire former Republican mayor of New York City, and man no one is clamoring for, Michael Bloomberg has reportedly told aides to draw up plans for a presidential run as an independent, and he has $1 billion to spend.  The decision point would be early March and is dependent in large part whether Sen. Bernie Sanders looks like he has an inside track to the Democratic nomination.  This, of course, would likely throw the election to the Republican candidate =cough= Rump =cough=.  We're already spoken for:

As Heer noted in another tweet, Bloomberg is essentially putting a gun to the head of American democracy.   That sounds about right.

BONUS:  Here's a good read on why a Bloomberg run would spell trouble and why he'd be an awful President.

BONUS II:  Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a lot more on the various implications.

Corrupt, Deluded "Establishment" Republicans Learning To Love Trump

As we noted the other day, there's a recent phenomenon of so- called "establishment" Republicans who are apparently in the Fifth Stage of Grief ("acceptance") over the increasingly likely prospect of neo- fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump being their standard bearer in November.  Needless to say others have taken note also.  Prepare for some extended excerpts!

The once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle editorial board sees corrupt Republican insiders caving to Rump:
JUST WHEN you thought the presidential campaign couldn’t get any more bizarre — just when you thought American politics might finally have exhausted the possibilities for cynicism and irresponsibility — certain Republican Party insiders have begun developing strange new respect for the candidate whose meteoric rise only yesterday made him the bane of “the establishment”: Donald Trump.  [snip]
To be sure, we do not envy Republicans the Hobson’s choice they seem to face between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cruz. No doubt the latter could do lasting damage to the party brand, as the establishment fears. But Mr. Trump wouldn’t? “Concerns” about him do not stem from conventional political controversy — say, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s handling of “Bridgegate.” Rather, the erstwhile casino magnate owes his rise in U.S. politics to a demagogic assault on ethnic and religious minorities, of the sort that, like previous such demagoguery in our history, has won him support — but also disqualifies him to lead a decent republic. [snip] 
... Not only is Mr. Trump manifestly temperamentally unfit, but also he has not remotely fulfilled the first duty of an aspirant to the White House, which is to offer a plausible, specific set of policy proposals. Rather, he has issued platitudes — “make America great again” — and threats — “bomb the sh-- out of them” — that please crowds but offer no sense of what he might do with power, except, possibly, abuse it.  [snip]
Some in the GOP establishment now spin Mr. Trump’s policy emptiness as a feature, not a bug. When they describe him as someone who will “cut deals,” or turn to D.C. elder statesmen for advice, they sound like people who imagine themselves filling the void in Mr. Trump’s head with the agendas of their own lobbying clients.
In other words, the insiders’ upbeat new take on Mr. Trump is a bet on his corruptibility — and a confession of their own.  (our emphasis)
Frequent blind squirrel Dana Milbank voices similar opinions:
That soft flapping sound you hear is the Grand Old Party waving the flag of surrender to Trump. Party elites — what’s left of the now-derided “establishment” — are acquiescing to the once inconceivable: that a xenophobic and bigoted showman is now the face of the Republican Party and of American conservatism.
In recent days, influential Republicans including Bob Dole, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Rupert Murdoch and, as my Post colleagues reported, Rudy Giuliani and Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) have made noises about being able to stomach Trump. Republican donors are trying to insinuate themselves in the billionaire’s orbit. Trump himself said Thursday: “I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call ‘establishment,’ from people — generally speaking, conservatives, Republicans — that want to come onto our team.”  (our emphasis)
Even- blinder squirrel Kathleen Parker chimes in, in the belief the problem started in 2008 (!) with the ascension of snowbilly grifter Sarah "Winky" Palin to the Republican ticket:
... Meanwhile, it looks as though Republicans may get what they deserve — a bombastic, bellicose, self-aggrandizing, mean-streaked, golf-cheating, bullying narcissist without plans or policies beyond his own, no doubt fickle, fantasies.
Once Republicans forced the party to take the governor of Alaska seriously as a vice presidential candidate, they opened a populist door that they’ll not easily shut. But the GOP really owes its thanks for current circumstances to John McCain, who, you’ll recall, spent a little over an hour with an otherwise unvetted candidate and, over coffee under a sycamore tree, decided to make her second-in-command should he win the election.
And now we have Trump, who has Palin, who has cemented the anti-intellectual, anti-“elitist” fervor of the Republican base. William F. Buckley’s conservatism seems headed for the door, and National Review deserves plenty of blame. There is, alas, no one left to stand athwart history and yell, stop! (our emphasis)
Ms. Parker, the time to have stood "athwart history" and yelled "stop!" was at least 40 years ago, and as the party was relentlessly taken over by professional nihilists and grifters like Lyn Nofziger, Lee "Southern Strategy" Atwater, St. Ronnie of Hollywood, Newt Gingrich, Karl "Turdblossom" Rove, and the entire swamp of right- wing "bombastic, bellicose, self- aggrandizing, mean- streaked, golf- cheating, bullying narcissist" media whose only aim was to empty the pockets of rubes who were looking for someone to hate. Now it's time to pay for those choices.

Today's Cartoon - Cognitive Dissonance

(click on image to enlarge)

(Matt Wuerker, Politic-ho)

Friday, January 22, 2016

Weekend Going On Song

"Velvet Underground," the third album from the iconic band The Velvet Underground, released in early 1969, was a musically "gentler" effort than the harder- edged experimental sound of their previous two albums.  This song, "What Goes On" is from that album and, to our ears, bears a bit of a resemblance to folk- space music from another great band of the era, The Grateful Dead. It was written by Lou Reed and features Sterling Morrison's jangly lead guitar and Doug Yule (replacing John Cale) on keyboards.  Interesting extended instrumental coda. (h/t Silver Spring Bureau Chief Brian - TCIITM)

Tweet Of The Day - Trump Retweets Neo- Nazi Website

Here's neo- fascist Republican fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump re- tweeting a message from a white supremacist/ neo- Nazi site, @WhiteGenocideTM:

Rump's been laying down with dogs for so long he no longer notices when he gets fleas.

"Winterstorm Jonas" Socking Eastern U.S.

Winterstorm Jonas is expected to bring record snow, damaging wind and strong storm surges to much of the east coast of the United States from the Carolinas to New York.  Since we're right in the bulls eye of the storm, we've been advised of the probability of widespread power outages over the next 48- 72 hours.

As long as we have power, we'll be posting!

Today's Cartoon - A Lead Pipe Cinch

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

Dave Dayen has a great article about how the water crisis in Flint, MI, brought on by a bridge collapsin', plant explodin' right- wing Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, illustrates a larger problem. He launches from a comment by Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (R-MIAmi), whose affinity for water is well known, saying he (Glug Glug) hadn't focused on or been briefed about the crisis.  It's worth an extended excerpt:
Let me give Senator Rubio a refresher course. Michigan officials, who commandeered control of Flint’s local government through a disenfranchising emergency-manager process that suspiciously lines up with the main concentrations of African-Americans in the state, decided to temporarily use water from the Flint River for residential consumption while awaiting a new pipeline to Lake Huron. This was done to save money—to balance Flint’s budget, much like the persistent calls from Rubio and his Republican allies with respect to the federal budget.

The water from the Flint River was dirty, unfit for drinking or washing, and it corroded the lead-based service lines distributing water to 99,000 citizens. Residents immediately complained about the foul-smelling, bad-tasting water. It turned out the entire city suffered lead poisoning, as research demonstrated, for well over a year, with toxicity levels 13,000 times above a safe reading. The emergency manager in Flint, state environmental officials (who failed to properly treat the water), and Governor Snyder ignored this as long as they could, even withholding information from the public.
None of this is worth knowing about, according to Marco Rubio. He can’t be bothered with the mass contamination of an American city—not when the public is potentially, hypothetically unsafe from ISIS! Never mind the fact that you’re more likely to be hit by lightning or crushed by furniture than killed in a terrorist attack.  [snip]

Indeed, as the Flint crisis shows, you are far more likely to be killed as a result of conservative austerity and deregulatory policies. Not only are they self-defeating when it comes to infrastructure—Michigan has already paid far more for the Flint disaster than it ever saved from temporarily re-routing the city’s water supply—but basing policy priorities on cost-cutting rather than human need inevitably leads to choosing winners and losers, and not in a benign way. 
(our emphasis)
Of course, as Dayen points out, Glug Glug is right in the mainstream of his party's attachment to laissez faire (except when it comes to deregulation and tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats, and control over ladyparts) government.  It's in the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party DNA.

"Establishment" Republicans Continue Piling On Ted Cruz (UPDATED)

The phenomenon we noted the other day of "establishment" Republicans beginning to enter the Fifth Stage of Grief ("acceptance") over the potential of neo- fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump gaining the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party nomination is currently manifesting itself in an effort to take down the universally loathed Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz.  Here's what some of those "establishment" Republicans are saying about Cruz (h/t TPM):

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
"I think we'll lose if he's our nominee."
Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA):
"He’s heavily financed by Big Oil. So we think once Iowans realize that fact, they might find other things attractive, but he could be very damaging to our state. I think it would be a big mistake for Iowa to support him."
Rep. Peter King (R-NY):
"He would definitely be a negative," said GOP Rep. Pete King of New York, who represents an evenly divided Long Island district. King dismissed Cruz as a "fraud" and said, "I don't know of anyone else in Washington, certainly, who gets this opposition from his own people. ... I'm talking about people as conservative as he is who just can't stand him." 
From the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle --

Rudy "Noun, Verb, 9/11" Giuliani:
“If it came down to Trump or Cruz, there is no question I’d vote for Trump,” said former New York mayor and 2008 presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has not endorsed a candidate.
What might be the "thinking" behind the mini-surge of some "establishment" Republicans toward Rump?  Try this:  if the "establishment" candidates are going nowhere, and the nomination is destined to go to an "outsider" this year, their preferred outsider is Rump, because the party power brokers think they can make deals with him, whereas Cruz is an uncontrollable destructive force.  (It also helps that narcissist Rump has no particular ideology except promoting Rump.)  If that's the case, you might have to agree with some the hair- on- fire ideologues on the right (think Glenn "Boo Hoo" Beck and Rush Limpballs) that these "establishment" Republicans have no allegiance to their concept of take- no- prisoners "conservatism."

For our money, the reaction of Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup*" Graham (R-SC) sums up our analysis:
"If you nominate Trump and Cruz, I think you get the same outcome," Graham told reporters, according to the New York Times. "Whether it’s death by being shot or poisoning doesn’t really matter. I don’t think the outcome will be substantially different."  (our emphasis)
The "establishment's" growing acceptance of Rump as the likely Republican standard bearer serves as a measure for how awful this election is going to be for them, and for their future prospects.  If that holds true, what a wonderfully deserved outcome that would be.

BONUSNot all are giving up the fight to stop Rump:
Thursday night, the National Review unveiled a special issue: "Against Trump," featuring essays by 22 prominent conservative thinkers from various ideological factions opposing Trump's candidacy.

In a press conference, Trump brushed off the National Review's criticisms, calling the magazine a failing, irrelevant publication.
"Conservative thinkers."  Isn't that an oxymoron?  We prefer the more accurate "Douchebag Who's Who."

BONUS II:  Here's Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog exposing the hypocrisy of the National Review's critique of Rump.  Laura Clawson, too.  And, most definitely, Jeet Heer.

* h/t Charles Pierce

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Loathsome Carly Fiorina

Since her drop in the polls has relegated her to the single-digits, serial liar and she-with-the-cold-smile "Snarly" Carly Fiorina has resorted to any tactic or statement that she believes will peel off rabidly angry base Rethuglican voters from the frontrunners.  Lies about a non-existent Planned Parenthood video, vicious innuendo about the Clintons' family life, puffing up an encounter years ago in a green room with Russian authoritarian Vladimir Putin as a serious "meeting":  all intended to shift attention away from her ugly business record and failing campaign.

However, yesterday Snarly may have topped herself in a nasty, cynical move involving small children.  A group of pre-schoolers were on a field trip to the Greater Des Moines Botanical Gardens to learn about plants and nature when Snarly diverted them to act as props for a "rally" that prominently featured a photo of a fetus, while she delivered her false, toxic speech about Planned Parenthood "harvesting organs." Here's a pic of Snarly using the innocent children as props in her sad "event" that bordered on child abuse:

AP photo/Charlie Neibergall

Is there a more loathsome person than Snarly, who thinks nothing of involving someone else's children as unwitting props in her ongoing smears?  Can't think of one.

Bernie Sanders' "America"

Since we've been in the habit of posting ads by the Clinton campaign, it's fair play to post this brand new one from Sen. Bernie Sanders.  It's an un-narrated montage of scenes, mostly from daily life and campaign events, with Simon and Garfunkel's "America" playing throughout.  Inspirational. Nice. (h/t Crooks & Liars)

Meanwhile, the polling in Iowa continues to fluctuate, with Clinton 9 points ahead according to a recent poll.

Also, if we may be so bold, Planned Parenthood is not the "establishment," and it's not the enemy.

Bad Karma Cartoons of the Day

(click to enlarge)

Laws of the Grifter: Grifters are loyal to themselves only. When it's time to pack up and move on to fleece another audience, they'll drop a partner if they think it benefits them.

BONUS:  Grifters have no problem using their family as props in their scam, and when a family member is caught committing a crime, the grifter  naturally blames someone else. (h/t to SSBC)

(cartoons: top, Steve Benson, bottom,  Tom Toles, via

The Gathering Doom: Republican Poo-Bahs Resigned To Trump?

The narrative of the week is shaping up to be, "The Republican establishment is resigning itself to Trump."  With neo-fascist fartbag Donald "Rump" Trump pulling in nearly 40 percent of Republican primary voters, several writers are seeing unmistakable signs that the Republican hierarchy and donor class, that recently was said to be planning an all- out effort to take down Trump, has meekly come to the conclusion that he very well may be their party's nominee.  Here's a sampling of that opinion:

Steve Benen
...[T]here’s no denying the fact that the tenor and direction of the Republican conversation is fundamentally different than it was just a couple of months ago. It’s tempting to think, at this stage, the GOP donor class and its allies would be scrambling, in hair-on-fire desperation, to bolster a rival like Ted Cruz in order to prevent Trump’s success.
There’s nothing to suggest anything close to this is actually happening.
Jonathan Chait
The party may actually be deciding that Trump is a man it can do business with. The Republican nomination has resembled Heath Ledger’s Joker meeting with the Gotham underworld, moving from revulsion and anger to fear and then resignation and even intrigue.
E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Today’s Republican crisis was thus engineered by the party leadership’s step-by-step capitulation to a politics of unreason, a policy of silence toward the most extreme and wild charges against Obama, and a lifting up of resentment and anger over policy and ideas as the party’s lodestars.
Many Republicans are now alarmed that their choice may come down to Trump, the candidate of a reality-show populism that tries to look like the real thing, and Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), an ideologue whom they fear would lead their cause to a devastating defeat. 
While we're still seven months from the conventions and and 10 from the election, and a vote has yet to be cast, the idea that a narcissistic authoritarian buffoon like Rump has a very legitimate chance to lead the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party in November is, shall we say, intriguing.   Progressives and Democrats need to be careful, as always, not to assume an easy path to victory ahead.  So many variables -- the world and national economy ("are you better off now") terrorism, and the usual plutocrat/ Republican voter suppression and mega- spending -- could make this a much closer election than it has any right to be.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"I'm With Stupid!", The Remix

(h/t Balloon Juice)

Mama Grizzly arglebargle word salad with a beat you can dance to. These two deserve each other, don't they?!

"I'm With Stupid!"

The New York Daily News nails it again:

Also, as we noted yesterday, that line at the bottom of the page refers to Palin's son Trek Tribe Transit Turd Track, who was arrested on assault (domestic violence) and weapons charges hours before America's Mom made her endorsement.

BONUS:  Andy Borowitz has more on the impact of Palin's endorsement.

Mid-Week Tribute Songs

The Eagles' lead vocalist, guitarist and composer Glenn Frey left behind a legacy of iconic country rock/country pop songs when he passed away at age 67 on Monday. As a founding member of The Eagles, Frey saw his band sell over 120 million albums over a 30-plus year time span, making them the most successful American band of their era. The song that kicked off their success, "Take It Easy," was released in 1972, co-written by Frey and Jackson Browne, sung by Frey, and containing these memorable lyrics:
Well, I'm a-standin' on a corner in Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flat-bed Ford
Slowin' down to take a look at me

"Peaceful Easy Feeling" was another hit of theirs released in 1972, again with Frey on vocals, and with a more laid back tune and very lovely lyrics, like:
I like the way your sparkling earrings lay,
Against your skin, it's so brown.
And I wanna sleep with you in the desert tonight
With a billion stars all around.

'Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling,
And I know you won't let me down
'cause I'm already standing on the ground.