Monday, February 29, 2016

Tweet Of The Day--Getting The Boot

Too bad it took you so long to figure that out.

The Trump (Drumpf) Takedown Of All Takedowns

There's no better use of 20 minutes than watching this extraordinary clip from John Oliver on the "brand" of Donald "Rump" Trump (Drumpf).  May Democratic campaigns take note:

China Takes On Coal

We're familiar with the photos of Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities engulfed in dense smog from severe air pollution.  The rapid development of the Chinese economy and heavy industry over the past 20 years has in large part been from the use of coal in major industries like steel, cement and electric power production. But as ex-Department of Energy official Joe Romm writes in Think Progress, China appears to have turned the corner on coal as a major fuel source, cutting the use of coal: 3% in 2014, 5% in 2015, and a projected 3% in this year.  Last fall's bilateral agreement between the U.S. and China on climate change will also result in China's adoption of a cap-and-trade system that will discourage coal usage.

Now, the U.S. needs to keep up its end of the agreement. Once again, the importance of electing a Congress in 2016 that understands the challenge of climate change, is willing to act on it,  and refuses to serve as employees of the fossil fuel industry can't be overstated.

(photo:  Air pollution in Tienamen Square, Beijing in January 2013.  Ng Han Guan, Associated Press)


As we've noted before, nearly as important as electing a Democrat to the White House is electing a Democratic Senate in 2016. In the balance are not only preserving the gains of Democratic administrations over the past 55 years, but moving ahead on minimum wage, immigration reform, equal pay and other stalled initiatives.  And then, of course, there's the current, all-important vacancy on the Supreme Court (and potential vacancies over the next 4 to 8 years).

There are a handful of vulnerable Republican Senators in states that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, among them Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois (who was one of the 47 Rethug seditionists who signed the letter to the mullahs in Iran last year).  Running against him is the courageous and effective Iraq War veteran Rep. Tammy Duckworth (whom we'd love to see in the White House some day, but first things first).  Duckworth lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was shot down, and she's been attacked in a nasty ad by Kirk as someone you can't trust.  That prompted this hard-hitting response by the group:

Kirk might also want to avoid any comparison of his questionable military record with that of decorated (Purple Heart, Air Medal and more) Rep. Duckworth.  So, "trust" her? As the Marine at the end of the ad says, it's not even close: Duckworth.

(Here's Rep. Duckworth's campaign site, if you'd like to contribute)

You Built This!

Tory Republican "establishment" hack and thesaurus humper George "Quill" Will has taken space on the op/ ed page of the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle to go into full blown meltdown over the prospect of vulgarian neo- fascist Donald "Rump" Trump appearing out of nowhere (!) to win the nomination of his party of Burkean conservatives right-wing howling monkeys:
We are about to learn much about Republican officeholders who are now deciding whether to come to terms with Trump, and with the shattering of their party as a vessel of conservatism. Trump’s collaborators, like the remarkably plastic Chris Christie (“I don’t think [Trump’s] temperament is suited for [the presidency]”), will find that nothing will redeem the reputations they will ruin by placing their opportunism in the service of his demagogic cynicism and anticonstitutional authoritarianism
Yes, as we all know, the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party, that "vessel of conservatism," has never been associated with "demagogic cynicism and anticonstitutional authoritarianism!"  Much less racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and jingoism!  We do have to give Will credit for coining the phrase "the Republican Party's coalition of the timid" in describing the rather late, impotent efforts of empty suit gusano Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio (leader!) and fellow candidates crackpots to step up to Rump earlier in the campaign. 

Clearly, Will is currently stuck in the second stage of grief (anger), although we predict that he'll quickly move through the bargaining, depression and acceptance stages (as "plastic" Chris "Krispykreme" Christie has) and will end up finding a way to see Rump as a "lesser of two evils" in the general election.  Put your bets down, ladies and gentlemen!

As a right- wing columnist and regular contributor to Fox "News," Will has been wholly complicit over the decades in stoking the misinformed anger of right wingers, suffering both Clinton and Obama Derangement Syndrome, and polishing the halo on St. Ronnie of Hollywood, who successfully implemented the "Southern Strategy" that's led to so much of what Rump represents today. 

Will's got a lot of dirt on his hands -- because he helped build it.

BONUS:  Charles Pierce has a good read on the Republican evolution of Rump.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Picture Of The Day - Hubble Bubble

(click on image to enlarge)

NASA's description: Sparkling at the center of this beautiful image is a star located about 30,000 light-years away. The distinctive blue bubble appearing to encircle the star is a nebula — an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other gases. The bubble — estimated to have formed around 20,000 years ago — is expanding at a rate of around 220,000 kilometers (136,700 miles) per hour! Details:

They Said It! Sixth Grade Playground Edition

Following the Lincoln- Douglas  Republican debate sh*t show last week, front- runner neo-fascist Donald "Rump" Trump and his closest rival Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio have been going at each other with ever more puerile taunts.  It boggles some minds that these two and universally despised lying crackpot Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz are getting a combined 70% of the vote in the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party.  Not us.

Anyway, here's a sampling of some of the latest deep thinking and high minded discourse from these top Republicans (our emphasis throughout):
"Thank God he has really large ears, the biggest ears I've ever seen," Trump added, "because they were protecting him."

He also said of Rubio: "I have never seen any human being sweat like this guy."

Trump continued to rail against Rubio at length in his speech. Trump, who vowed Friday to "open up" libel laws to make it easier for public figures to sue the media for besmirching their records, expanded the idea to politicians like Rubio.

"I listen to this light, little nothing say, 'Trump's a con man,'" he said of Rubio. "Isn't it a disgrace? I mean, seriously. It really is — maybe we'll make the libel laws also so we can sue lying politicians."
Rump was responding to "light, little nothing" Rubio saying this about his debate appearance:
"First, he had this little makeup thing, applying makeup around his mustache, because he had one of those sweat mustaches," Rubio said.
Rubio also went after Trump at campaign stops on Saturday, wondering why "a guy with the worst spray tan in America" was attacking him for putting on makeup at debates.
The senator continued mocking Trump's appearance.
"Trump likes to sue people," Rubio said. "He should sue whoever did that to his face."
A day earlier Roboto said Rump "wet his pants" during the "debate" sh*t show. 

"Oh, yeah!  Well so's your momma!"  "I'm rubber, you're glue; your words bounce off me and stick to you!"  Fight behind the auditorium after school!

Again, imagine in your worst nightmare any of these chumps sitting in the Oval Office, once occupied by the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Meanwhile, the civilized world can only watch and wonder what the hell happened to America.

Oh, and entertaining as this is to a point, these developmentally delayed thugs should leave the insults to bloggers like us -- we're not running for President of the United States, after all.

Sunday Reflection - "A Tale Of Two Corinthians*"

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." -- I Corinthians 13:7, quoted by Hillary Clinton in her victory speech in South Carolina last night, arguing that we need more love and respect for each other in this country.  Had she expanded her quote, the verse before would have been meaningful as well:

"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." I Corinthians 13:4.

What impatient, unkind, boastful, arrogant, rude, irritable, resentful, etc., Republican candidate does that last verse bring to mind?

* A reference to this.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Decided You Won't Vote? Here's Who Will Thank You (UPDATED)

Memo to any self- proclaimed "liberal" or "progressive" or "Democrat" or just any sentient human being who claims they won't be voting in November if (pick one) Hillary/ Bernie is the nominee, here's who'll be voting instead of you:
David Duke, a white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, is urging the listeners of his radio program to volunteer and vote for Donald Trump.

“Voting for these people, voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage,” Duke said on the David Duke Radio Program Wednesday, referring to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. “I’m not saying I endorse everything about Trump, in fact I haven’t formally endorsed him. But I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do.”

Duke then urged his followers to call Trump’s campaign headquarters to volunteer.

“And I am telling you that it is your job now to get active. Get off your duff. Get off your rear end that’s getting fatter and fatter for many of you everyday on your chairs. When this show’s over, go out, call the Republican Party, but call Donald Trump’s headquarters, volunteer. They’re screaming for volunteers. Go in there, you’re gonna meet people who are going to have the same kind of mindset that you have.”
While the Boys in the Hoods and their like are out casting ballots this fall, anyone to the left of Willard Romney who decides to sit this one out in a fit of misguided pique or blinkered sense of ideological purity is a childish, privileged ass.  You'll be committing an act of unforgivable indecency, abandoning your birthright as a citizen and thereby empowering the David Dukes, the Sarah Palins, the Jerry Falwell, Jrs., the Phyllis Schlaflys, the Ted Nugents and all those knuckle- dragging thugs Stormtrumpers who beat up protesters at Trump rallies to determine the future course of America.

This isn't going to be a Tweedledee/ Tweedledum election.  It's going to be the most clearly defined, significant election in modern American history.  The outcome's going to affect millions of Americans and people around the world who aren't as privileged as you, who would suffer the consequences of a Rump presidency.  Declining to participate when the stakes are so high is an act of intellectual bankruptcy and moral cowardice.

And David Duke will thank you.

UPDATED:  Of course, Rump won't disavow DuKKKe's endorsement.

(Photo:  David Duke, "Wizard," former Republican candidate for Louisiana Governor, Senator and House of Representatives - and current Stormtrumper.)

Tweet Of The Day

BONUS:   Now they're in full panic mode

Friday, February 26, 2016

"Is This Great!?!"

Cubano gusano and empty suit Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio and neo-fascist vulgarian Donald "Rump" Trump traded personal insults today campaigning in Texas, following last night's sh*tstorm "debate."  Roboto suggested that Rump asked for a full-length mirror backstage at the debate to check if he had wet his pants, while Rump mocked Roboto's hydration problem, reminding the audience of his water-gulping response to President Obama's State of the Union speech in 2013. They both accused each other of overindulging in makeup backstage.  It was quite a spectacle for two clowns wanting to lead the world's greatest power indulging in schoolyard taunts.

We find ourselves relishing the demeaning mudslinging among the Rethugs, and have a reaction similar to this young man from Faber College's Delta Tau Chi fraternity as we anticipate the days, weeks, and months ahead:

Weekend Call For Help Song

The title of this song, "Help," by the New Jersey- based indie quartet The Front Bottoms, could be the theme of the day, as it applies to the desperation we've been detecting around the Trump- led Republican Party.  This is from their September 2015 album "Back on Top."  Enjoy your weekend.

Quote Of The Day - The Republican Frankenstein Monster

"... The Republicans’ creation will soon be let loose on the land, leaving to others the job the party failed to carry out. For this former Republican, and perhaps for others, the only choice will be to vote for Hillary Clinton. The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."  Neocon Robert Kagan in a rather detailed indictment of the Republican Party in the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle.  Worth a read.

"The party cannot be saved, but the country still can be."  We'd say that's a pretty good statement on the current condition.

Bully Chris "Krispykreme" Christie Endorses ... Bully Trump

“Donald's a great guy and a good person. But I just don't think that he's suited to be president of the United States [...] I don't think his temperament is suited for that and I don't think his experience is.”  (our emphasis)
This is now:
Mr. Christie, noting he has been friends with Mr. Trump for a decade, said that he was “proud to be here to endorse Donald Trump.”

Mr. Trump “will do exactly what needs to be done to make America a leader around the world again,” he said.  
(our emphasis)
What was Christie's price -- a bag o' donuts?

Makes you wonder if they didn't have a deal before the last New Hampshire debate when Krispykreme eviscerated Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio as Trump largely watched from the sidelines.  Exposing Roboto for the empty suit he is, in exchange for ... Attorney General (in the never- gonna- happen Trump assministration)?  Then he'll be able to do a lot more than close a few lanes on a bridge to screw his enemies!

The Republican "establishment" is having a hard time keeping its own in line, isn't it?

BONUS:  And finally,

BONUS II:  Not surprisingly, Krispykreme lied to supporters about endorsing Rump.

(Photo:  Christie, getting rid of the evidence)

Today's Empty Cartoon

(click on image to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(h/t for the high heels on Rubio!)

Blind Squirrel* Award of the Month

Over the years, we haven't given failed former Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup**" Graham much credit for perception or wisdom, since he's one of his deranged Party's biggest cheerleaders for bombing the daylights out of any Middle Eastern country that looks at us crosseyed. Nevertheless, perhaps bitter that his anointed candidate, House of Bush scion John Ellis "J.E.B. : ( " Bush failed miserably in Huckleberry's home state, he's noticing what tens of millions of others have known for years: "My party has gone batshit crazy." (Yes, Huckleberry, and thanks for your contribution in that regard!)

Huckleberry was speaking at the annual Washington Press Club Foundation's dinner yesterday, taking shots at Hillary Clinton along the way, but reserved his most telling jabs at his fellow Rethugs.  For example:
On "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz: "A good Republican would defend Ted Cruz after tonight. That ain't happening. If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody could convict you." 
On Marco Roboto: "Then there is Marco, the boy wonder. I'm not saying he would change his position -- but he changes his position. The Secret Service's main job when he's president is to keep him hydrated."
For frontrunner and neo-fascist vulgarian Donald "Rump" Trump, Huckleberry noted that he failed in his own quest for the nomination, and then backed loser J.E.B. : (  making him the Dr. Kevorkian of the 2016 Rethuglican race.  Then he put Rump's signature "Make America Great Again" cap on.
* "Even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut." Or in this case, a whole party full of them.
** H/t to's Charles P. Pierce for the excellent moniker.

All You Need To Know About Last Night's Republican Sh*t Show

Last night's Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party debate  dumpster fire sh*t show in Houston has been boiled down to this 30-second clip (h/t Crooks & Liars):

Keep in mind, these are candidates for the office once held by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

For more lowlights and analysis, including lessons for Democrats, see here, here, and here.

Meanwhile, Catherine Rampell asks, "Is Donald Trump really so much crazier or more extreme than the other Republican presidential candidates?"  [Spoiler alert:  No.]

BONUS:  The closed captioner for CNN also boiled things down thusly:

BONUS II: Someone take the pipe away from Republican National Committee Chairstain Reince "Prepuce" Priebus! (The responses to this tweet are hilarious, btw)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quote Of The Day: Republican "Panic Masquerading As Strength"

From The New York Times editorial board on Republican obstruction on the SCOTUS vacancy:
Unfortunately, for too many Republicans moderation now equals apostasy. These Republicans have stubbornly parked themselves so far to the right for so many years that it is hard to tell whether they can hear how deranged they sound.

The truth is they are afraid — and they should be. They know Mr. Obama has a large pool of extremely smart and thoroughly mainstream candidates from which to choose a nominee. They know that if the American people were allowed to hear such a person answer questions in a Senate hearing, they would wonder what all the fuss was about.

So Mr. McConnell and his colleagues plan to shut their doors, plug their ears and hope the public doesn’t notice. The Republican spin machine is working overtime to rationalize this behavior. Don’t be fooled. It is panic masquerading as strength.
As Americans, we need to do whatever we can to clean out this nest of rats that's been plaguing the U.S. Senate for too long.  Once again, here are four Democrats running against vulnerable incumbent Republicans that deserve your support:

Russ Feingold (WI)

Maggie Hassan (NH)

Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Ted Strickland (OH)

BONUS:  Here are two more (in addition to Maggie Hassan) to consider.

Romney Dings Trump On Releasing "Bombshell" Tax Returns; Trump Returns Fire

Former Republican presidential nominee and quintessence of the Republican "establishment" Willard "Mittens" Romney seems to have hit a nerve with the Republican front- runner:
Former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney on Wednesday called on real estate mogul Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner in the 2016 race, to release his tax returns.

"I think in Donald Trump's case it's likely to be a bombshell," Romney said in an interview with Fox News, speculating the reason the businessman had not made his returns available to the public is because he "may not have as much income" as advertised or, even worse, that he didn't pay any taxes.
Romney's decision to speculate openly about the details of Trump's taxes is ironically similar to that of then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), who infamously claimed in 2012 that Romney "didn't pay any taxes for 10 years." The tactic incensed the Romney campaign, which charged that Reid was floating nonsense without a shred of evidence. (our emphasis)
"Bombshell!"  Plutocrat on plutocrat action!  Let's play "Which billionaire avoided paying the most in taxes?"! (Mittens paid an effective rate of less than 15%.)  Do we think any revelation in Rump's taxes, if he ever releases them, will cause his "poorly educated" Stormtrumpers to abandon him?  Nein!

Needless to say, Donald "Rump" Trump took to his ever- present Twitter machine to respond:

We don't know how this could get any better, but we're sure it will.

"Marco Rubio: Oh, You're Such A Catch?"

Stephen Colbert unloads on the state of the Republican's festering carbuncle, a.k.a., presidential primary campaign post- Nevada:

Participation Award Cartoon of the Day

(click to enlarge)
Steve Benson, via

With Super Tuesday approaching and 595 Republican delegates at stake, time is getting very short for Republican establishment and Beltway media candidate Marco "Roboto" Rubio.  Polling in the 12 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday suggests Roboto has an uphill climb with all of the states having a "winner take all" delegate prize. He's never higher than second place and more frequently drops to third or below. Oh, and if a gent by the name of Willard Romney wants to endorse you, Roboto, you may not want to catch that anvil.

UPDATE:  Today's Quinnipiac poll shows neo-fascist bloviator Donald "Rump" Trump with a 16 point lead (44 - 28) over Roboto in his home state of Florida (!).  Guess they know Roboto best. "We're #2, we're #2!!"

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Are You Sh*tting Us? (UPDATED)

(Ed. note 2/25):  Well, so much for that.  Looks like Sandoval has taken himself out of the mix.)

There are reports that one of the candidates being vetted by the Obama Administration to replace Supreme Court "Justice" Antonin Scalia is Republican (!!) Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada, who endorsed secessionist dope Rick "Oops" Perry in 2012, before settling for Willard "Mittens" Romney.  Also, soon-to be-former (thankfully) Senate Minority Leader Harry "Thin" Reid has met with Sandoval and given the White House his nod to the Republican. Hard to believe the utter cynicism and spinelessness on display, even from this crew.

Whether this is just a trial balloon to excite the obstructionist Rethugs in the Senate or whether the Obama Administration has lost its collective mind remains to be seen. But the fact that any Republican politician would even be whispered as a potential replacement for Scalia is showing the white flag to Republican obstructionists in the Senate. For shame, if this is in any way a serious trial balloon.

UPDATE:  Apparently, the Rethugs are not treating it seriously, saying that a rejection of any Obama nominee is pro forma. Once again, the Rethugs are shown to be obstructionists for the sake of obstruction (which was likely the point of this trial balloon exercise).

UPDATE II:  Anne Laurie assembles evidence that this is multi- dimensional election year pranking of Republicans.

UPDATE IIIDavid Bernstein, too.

UPDATE IVCharles Pierce makes it a consensus.

Wanker Of The Day - Ruth Marcus

Both- siderist "centrist" "Democrat" and fire hose opponent Ruth "Magic" Marcus has a suggestion for filling the SCOTUS vacancy (while rewarding the strict obstructionist Republican Senate, so win-win!):
Speaking of the president, there’s a way — albeit even less likely — for Barack Obama to reduce the political temperature. He could take the advice proffered by a lawyer who would later become his White House counsel, Robert F. Bauer, and ask that his nominee pledge to serve a limited term. [snip]
Crazy times call for crazy suggestions(our emphasis)
Indeed.  We'll file that suggestion in the proper receptacle!

Marcus has never seen a loaf she's not willing to split with radical Republicans;  or fail to discern a "sensible center" she imagines herself to be a part of;  nor does she miss an opportunity to undercut a key Democratic foreign policy victory.  Because if we continue to give Republicans what they want, their un- democratic obstruction temper tantrums will stop!  The end!

All in all, a faithful inheritor of the mantle of high Broderism.

Marco "Roboto" Rubio Foregoes "Victory" Speech To Catch Some Z's

Fox News reported Wednesday that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) had gone to bed as the results of the Tuesday Nevada caucuses were still rolling in.

Fox hosts cut to reporter John Roberts for an update on the Rubio campaign, which had announced Tuesday that it would not stay in Nevada.

"Nothing else tonight," Roberts said. "The senator has gone to bed and has a lot of work to do between now and super Tuesday." 
(our emphasis)
 "... gone to bed"!?   And forego his "victory" speech!?  Was it past his bedtime?  Was it to recharge his batteries?

BONUS:  For a state that was supposed to be Roboto's "firewall,"  he performed disastrously.


(Photo:  0-for-4 Roboto)

Quote of the Day

From last night's victory speech after his decisive win in Nevada, here's neo-facist slime ball Donald "Rump" Trump:
"So we won with evangelicals. We won the young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated." (emphasis added)
And there're a lot of them to love in the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooter's Party.

BONUSCharles Pierce looks at polls reflecting the disturbing views of Stormtrumpers and notes
... I would argue that most of these distressing results derive from people who are proud of their ignorance and anxious to display it as a statement of purpose against "political correctness," whatever the hell that means anymore. Look at me, I'm telling a pollster that I'm for slavery. I am a courageous person. No wonder that He, Trump loves him some poorly educated people; he's gotten very good at pretending to be one of them himself. They are his latest mirror in which he can study endlessly the glories of He, Trump. 

Mid-Week Birthday Song

Former Beatle George Harrison would have celebrated his 73rd birthday tomorrow.  As the legendary group's lead guitarist, Harrison, who passed away in 2001, later became a successful solo artist in his own right.  His experimentation with Indian raga themes and instruments introduced new audiences that musical culture. His first composition for the Beatles appeared on the first album they released in the U.S. in 1964, "Don't Bother Me." Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why We Desperately Need A Democratic Senate In 2017

It just gets worse and worse.

Not only is the Senate Republican "leadership" saying they wouldn't bother to meet with a Supreme Court nominee of President Obama's, much less give them a hearing or an up or down vote, Sen. Mitch "Missy McConnell now says the same might be true if a Democrat is elected President in November and the Senate stays in Republican hands!  Tom Levenson expresses our thoughts:
I didn’t think that anything the GOP could do — especially an act as predictable as this — would do more than deepen my weary sense of “they are who we thought they were.” But this feels like a last straw. I’m just done with allowing any framing of this as “just politics” or what have you. I and a majority of my fellow citizens voted President Obama into office twice. The disrespect to him is something he can handle (better than I ever would). But it’s the delegitimizing of my vote, my choice, my place in American democracy that has just gotta stop. The current Republican Party has to be destroyed, root and branch. They are blight on policy, and a boil on the body politic. Time for them to go.
We all know what we need to do by electing a Democratic President.  But that won't do us much good in the face of unprecedented, un- democratic Republican rule in the Senate.  We need to flip that dysfunctional chamber in order to restore some semblance of a working democracy in America. 

Let's start here:  among the most vulnerable Republican Senators hacks up for reelection in November are Ron Johnson (WI), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Ron Kirk (IL), Patrick Toomey (PA) and Rob Portman (OH).  If you're in a position to work for the Democrats opposing them, please do so with all your energy.  If you can donate to any or all of their opponents, please do so, because it will increase the chances of a Democratic Senate in 2017.  Even if you have a Republican Senator who isn't on this list but is running for reelection this year, do whatever you can to retire him/her.  As Levenson says, they're a "boil on the body politic," each and every one of them.

Here are links to Democrats' campaign pages (where there's a leading Democratic challenger):

Russ Feingold (WI)

Maggie Hassan (NH)

Tammy Duckworth (IL)

Ted Strickland (OH)

BONUS:  Nancy LeTourneau has the list of the Republicans' unprecedented abuse of the President and the Constitution.

Los Latinos, Ted Cruz No Es Su Amigo

Here are weasel/ human hybrid Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz's (R-Calgary) plans for 12 million undocumented immigrants in the United States (discussion begins at 2:37):

Send in the Federal agents to round 'em up and deport 'em! Somewhat of a flip flop from a position he took just a month ago.  Call it the "Trump effect."

There Are No "Moderates:" Case In Point, John Kasich

Recently Ohio Gov. John "Who?" Kasich, who's said "women left their kitchens" to support him, won another battle in the Republican war on women:
Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill Sunday prohibiting the state from contracting for health services with any organization that performs or promotes abortions, blocking government funds to Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood isn't explicitly named in the legislation, but the law will prevent more than $1 million in funding from the state health department from going to the nonprofit to fund programs such as HIV testing, health screenings and prevention of violence against women(our emphasis)
This follows a long history of Kasich's hostility to women's reproductive rights.  Let's watch Samantha Bee show us what a "moderate" passes for in the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party these days:

Where Guns, Sedition and Stupidity Meet

The 12 year-old daughter of a radical militia group member in Idaho was shot and wounded in the abdomen during a gathering of her father's group. She's reported to be in stable condition, and is expected to make a full recovery.

The group, III%, was conducting target practice (!) when one of the militia member's guns discharged while being cleaned.  The militia group was actively involved in the Bundy Ranch standoff in 2014, and provided materiel support to last month's Malheur Wildlife Refuge siege that ended with the arrests of several right-wing domestic terrorists. Here's a description of the group's founder from the linked article that tells you all you need to know:
"The III% movement was co-founded by pro-gun, anti-government activist Mike Vanderboegh, who promotes the idea that the Second Amendment allows unsatisfactory election results to be overturned by armed revolt." (emphasis added)
(photo: A militia member about to demonstrate some shootin' underwater in the nearby pond.)

Nuremberg Comes To Las Vegas

Neo- fascist bag o' slime Donald "Rump" Trump was at a rally in Nuremberg Las Vegas speaking to a crowd of Stormtrumpers, showing that (as the old saying goes) "it takes one to know one:"
At his rally in Las Vegas, Trump said of the Texan senator: “This guy Cruz has lied more than any human being. He holds up the Bible, and he lies.”

Trump went on to complain about a “phony” Cruz ad airing in Nevada that accuses Trump of wanting to leave the state’s federal lands in the hands of the government. “This guy is sick, there’s something wrong with this guy,” Trump said.
We wouldn't argue with you so far, Rump.

Then, feeling empowered by the collective anger and hate from his knuckle- dragging audience, this happened:
When one of two hecklers interrupted the businessman, the property magnate openly talked of violence. “You know what they used to do with guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks,” he said.

Noting the protester was smiling as he was escorted out, Trump quipped: “I’d like to punch him in the face, I tell you that.”
  [crowd erupting in cheers]
There's your Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party front- runner, folks!  Is that not Presidential material!?  Lincolnesque!

In related news, the editorial board of the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle weighed in on Republican National Chairstain Reince "Prepuce" Priebus' answer to a question concerning the Party's support should Rump win the nomination:
ON SUNDAY, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos asked Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus whether the party would back Donald Trump should he win the GOP nomination. “Yes, we will support the nominee,” the Republican chairman replied. “To me, it’s a no-brainer.” Mr. Stephanopoulos asked if a Trump nomination would split the party. “Winning is the antidote to a lot of things,” Mr. Priebus responded.
Winning can quiet many complaints, it is true. But it cannot and will not be an antidote to the moral poison of Mr. Trump’s campaign. Party leaders who support and celebrate his victory will be accomplices to an attack on the fundamental values of American democracy. Winning will not wash away the stain.
Judging from the legions of flotsam showing up at Rump rallies, not to mention the followers of the "sick" extremist "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz and empty suit crank Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio, the "moral poison" about in the land is broad and deep and endangers us all.   Rump is the main symptom and channeling agent, but he's by no means the only one.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trump Meets "The Honeymooners"

(H/t Crooks & Liars - go check out the hilarious Trump/ Game of Thrones parody, too)

Marco "Roboto" Rubio's Crank Economics

Interesting ideas, indeed.  Paul Krugman writes today about the "crank economics" of easily- rattled lightweight gusano Sen. Marco "Roboto"* Rubio (R-Mattel), and who the real audience is for his ignorant economic proposals, starting with tax "reform":
What you may not know is that Mr. Rubio’s tax cuts would be almost twice as big as George W. Bush’s as a percentage of gross domestic product — despite the fact that federal debt is much higher than it was 15 years ago, and Republicans have spent the Obama years warning incessantly that budget deficits will destroy America, any day now.
But not to worry: Mr. Rubio insists that his tax cuts would pay for themselves, by unleashing incredible economic growth. Never mind the complete absence of any evidence for this claim — in fact, the last two Democratic presidents, both of whom raised taxes on the rich, both presided over better private-sector job growth than Mr. Bush did (and that’s even if you leave out the catastrophe of Mr. Bush’s last year in office).  [snip]
In short, Mr. Rubio is peddling crank economics. What’s interesting, however, is why. You see, he’s not pandering to ignorant voters; he’s pandering to an ignorant elite.  [snip]

So when Mr. Rubio genuflects at the altars of supply-side economics and hard money, he isn’t telling ordinary Republicans what they want to hear — by and large the party’s base couldn’t care less. He is, instead, pandering to the party’s elite, consisting mainly of big donors and the network of apparatchiks at think tanks, media organizations, and so on.
In the G.O.P., crank doctrines in economics and elsewhere aren’t bubbling up from below, they’re being imposed from the top down(our emphasis)
Please read Krugman's entire piece at the link.

One of the challenges in dealing with the gusano, as we and others have noted, is that he's the favorite pony of the Republican "establishment" (the "elite" noted above) and their cheerleading Beltway corporate media.  That's why every day you see descriptions like this (in the "liberal" once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle) that conflate a descriptor like "mainstream" to the very radical Roboto:
Rubio is hoping to run up his score with suburban and upwardly mobile, mainstream voters in metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Boston, Minneapolis and Nashville.  (our emphasis)
They're really, really dying to run with their narrative "21st Century Marco vs. old news Hillary/ Bernie," aren't they?!  Meanwhile, let's see if he ever wins a primary, shall we?
*  Until something better comes along, we're changing Rubio's nickname from "Glug Glug" to "Roboto," even though we acknowledge his on- going need for hydration!

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon

(click to enlarge)

"Emperor Trump":  a dystopian alternative timeline indeed.

(cartoon: Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Scalia Post Mortem Quote of the Day

"Antonin Scalia, who died this month, after nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, devoted his professional life to making the United States a less fair, less tolerant, and less admirable democracy. Fortunately, he mostly failed. Belligerent with his colleagues, dismissive of his critics, nostalgic for a world where outsiders knew their place and stayed there, Scalia represents a perfect model for everything that President Obama should avoid in a successor." -- (emphasis added) Jeffrey Toobin, writing in the latest issue of The New Yorker, saying what needs to be said about the "legacy" of Antonin Scalia. Perhaps now, post funeral, the puffery and misty, sugar-coated memories of the late Justice and his "wit" will give way to an honest assessment of the damage that he did (or tried to do) to the lives of so many Americans.

Letters We Wish We'd Written Dept. - Who Gets To Choose?

In today's once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Charles E. Grassley showed that congressional Republicans live in a bubble. They argued for a delay in appointing a Supreme Court justice, justifying their stance by referencing the 2014 election: “It is today the American people, rather than a lame-duck president whose priorities and policies they just rejected in the most-recent national election, who should be afforded the opportunity to replace Justice Scalia.”

I don’t recall any candidate running for a national office in 2014. The most consequential elections in 2014 were for senators, representatives and governors. The most recent election in which someone was running for a national office was in 2012, an election in which President Obama trounced his competition. The people spoke, and they spoke loudly. While people can make national statements with their votes in statewide elections, Mr. McConnell and Mr. Grassley neglected to mention that voter turnout in 2014 was the lowest in 70 years, at 36 percent, whereas turnout in the 2012 election was 58 percent. Which election gets closer to a national endorsement or rejection of Mr. Obama’s policies?

The question of whether Americans should get a chance to weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee was already answered, and overwhelmingly so, in 2012.
Doug Parsons, Takoma Park
Such are the b.s. "arguments" being mustered by Republicans like Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell to justify delaying President Obama a Supreme Court appointment.  It's time to change course for a Court that's had a conservative Republican majority since 1971 and, given Republican obstructionism, the 2016 election (Presidential and Senate) may be the last, best opportunity for a long time for progressives to get that done.

UPDATE:  One Fly directs us in his comment to a blog post containing a rather ironic quote from the writings of one Mitch McConnell circa 1970.  Seems he's on the same page as St. Ronnie of Hollywood.  LOL.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Night Dose Of Stupid

It's late, we're tired, so we'll let Little Green Footballs tell the sad tale of derp:
The fabled Stupidest Man on the Internet, Jim “Gateway Pundit” Hoft, has performed another glorious face plant for his knuckle-dragging right wing followers today, identifying the suspect in last night’s terrible random shootings in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as a “progressive leftist:” “Progressive” Jason Brian Dalton Arrested for Random Kalamazoo Shootings After Killing 6 - Was Uber Driver - The Gateway Pundit.

If you’ve followed the hopelessly dumb career of Jim Hoft for any time, you’re probably aware that he does this with every shooting incident or mass murder; tries to pin it on a “leftist.” And I do mean every incident, without fail. He’ll Google for voting records that show the perpetrator once registered as a Democrat, or find a Twitter post where they said something not entirely negative about President Obama, etc. etc.

But this one is destined to go down as a classic in the annals of ridiculous Hoftian stupidity.

Police arrested Jason Brian Dalton last night after killing six people in random shootings. Dalton described himself as a “Progressive” leftist on Facebook.

Do you think that will get any headlines?
Well, Jim, I’m pretty sure that won’t be getting any headlines. Because in fact, the guy you’re claiming is a “progressive leftist” actually was once … an employee of Progressive Insurance(our emphasis)
We understand Hoft has heard the shooter might have had an accomplice named "Flo."

What.  An.  Idiot.

BONUS:  Lawyers, Guns and Money covers the derp as well.

(Photo: SMOTI himself, with penis compensator.)

Marco Roboto Declared A Winner! (By Beltway Media)

As widely predicted, the Republican "establishment" wired Beltway media were quick to declare lightweight, easily panicked gusano Sen. Marco "Roboto" Rubio (R-Mattel) a "winner" for his second- place showing in the South Carolina Republican primary yesterday. A few examples.

Here's purveyor of Beltway nostrums Chris "Lizard" Cillizza, who practices in the school of politics- is- a- horse- race (and he's the horse's ass - rimshot!), on his favorite pony in the once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle today:
Marco Rubio: The Florida senator got what he needed tonight: a clear signal that he is the establishment candidate who can win. Bush getting out of the race opens up a massive amount of major donor money for Rubio. Beating Ted Cruz was likely just icing on the cake. Rubio should be well positioned to do well in Nevada in three days' time — a showing that will solidify him as the clear alternative to Trump. This was, without question, Rubio's best night of the race — and the one that makes clear that he is in the race to stay and, maybe, to win(our emphasis)
Well, he had a great night if by "great" you mean finishing 73,970 votes behind Donald "Rump" Trump and ending up with 0 (nada) delegates compared with Rump winning all 50 at stake!  Keep pumping air into that balloon, Lizzard!  Hey, he beat one of Lizzard's "losers" "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz by a little over 1,000 votes!  Landslide!

Example two is in the form of a Freudian slip uttered by Chuck "Not My Job" Todd (h/t Crooks & Liars):

Look, we get it.  The CW is that eventually the race will boil down to a face off between Rump and either young Marco or "Tailgunner Ted."  At least that's the CW until people realize Rump has gathered a large plurality of the delegates in the Rump- favorable primaries coming up, while the other two divide up the not- Rump vote (with Kasich maybe winning some in the Midwest).

Unfortunately, the corporate media's desire to have its long- cherished narrative of young Marco Roboto, man of the 21st Century, facing either "yesterday's news" Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders is so unshakable that, regardless of facts (Marco Roboto has a grand total of 10 delegates after 3 contests;  Rump has 67), he will be deemed a "winner" just by showing up and competing, as Bob Schooley amply illustrates here:

Sunday Reflection - "Reading the World"

For those of you interested in a truly global adventure, British freelance writer Ann Morgan set out in 2012 to spend "a year of reading the world," sampling literature from 196 countries.  As a result of that challenge, Morgan has written an intriguing book, "The World Between Two Covers: Reading the Globe" (U.S. and Canada title) or "Reading the World: Confessions of a Literary Explorer" (U.K. and the Commonwealth title).   As she explains,
The book examines the big questions I encountered during my adventure, such as how translation, censorship, cultural identity and technology affect the way we share and understand stories. It brings in some of the personal histories of the people I met on my quest, as well as my own reading experiences throughout my life, a whole lot more research and many other books. Ultimately, it explores how reading can change and shape us, and reveals the extraordinary power that stories have to connect us across cultural, geographical, political and religious divides.
As a companion to the book, Morgan kept a blog that provided her account of the books she read.  One description of a book, "Girls of Riyadh" by Saudi Arabian writer Rajaa Alsanea, illustrates the essence of the "extraordinary power that stories have to connect us" Morgan explores in her literary travels:
Faced with a world in which they are often not permitted so much as to sign their names or have coffee with a male friend without being arrested and interrogated, and yet are able to access all luxuries and comforts, as well as Western cult classics such as Clueless and, yes, Sex and the City, these girls of Riyadh lead schizophrenic lives. They conduct their love affairs in secret and remotely, they create fake personas online and they wear low-cut designer pieces under their abayas, which they queue up to change back into in the toilets on flights back from London, Paris and the States.

All this feels minor, however, when set against Alsanea’s achievement of exploding the single biggest weapon in the armoury of repressive regimes: that of making the oppressed group faceless and voiceless. Here, we are presented with four (five if you count the narrator herself) vivacious, witty, intelligent individuals, who despite the restrictions placed upon them attack life with energy and verve. We see educated girls testing the barriers that hem them in and brokering their own peace, or otherwise, with the codes with which they have been raised. And we see a marginalised group beginning to flex its muscles in the virtual sphere and discover the potential of the internet to help people visualize and effect changes such as those seen across much of the Arab world in 2011.
Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea (translated from the Arabic by Rajaa Alsanea and Marilyn Booth). Publisher (Kindle edition): Penguin (2008)
A special thanks to friend of the blog (and good friend period) P.E.C. for alerting us to Ms. Morgan's illuminating project!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

J.E.B.! Bows Out. Please Clap.

Moments ago, Republican presidential candidate and House of Bush scion John Ellis "J.E.B.!" Bush stood before his supporters and announced that he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination, after finishing in the bottom half of the 6 person field of candidates in the South Carolina primary. Bush's low finish in South Carolina was his third defeat, after losing in Iowa and New Hampshire. Notably, J.E.B.! spent more than any of his Rethuglican rivals, some $84 million, having raised (campaign and Super PAC combined) some $150 million. That's millions in big donor money that's up the chimney in smoke. So sad.....bwahahaha.

He had his brother, Dumbya, and mother campaigning with him in the final days of the campaign, but Rethuglican voters clearly have turned the page on the Bush Dynasty. So, as a parting salute to hapless J.E.B.!, please clap.

UPDATE:  Former Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings had this snark at J.E.B.!'s own unplugging:

Rump Gets SC Bump

Republican front-runner and neo-fascist poo-flinger Donald "Rump" Trump has won the South Carolina primary, according to the Associated Press. Rump's numbers have been hovering from 32 to 34 percent of the vote, with theocratic demagogue "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz and young cyborg Marco "Roboto" Rubio jockeying back and forth for second place in the low 20s.  Rump is apparently doing well in parts of the state where evangelicals are prominent, a demographic that Tailgunner Ted had hoped to dominate.

(photo:  The face of the Republican / New Confederate / Stupid / Shooter's Party.  You're welcome.)

Clinton Wins Nevada Caucus

With 81% of precincts reporting, the Nevada caucus race has been called for Hillary Clinton, who edged Sen. Bernie Sanders 52- 48% (rounded).  The next contest for Democrats is South Carolina's primary next Saturday.

Later today, we should know who won the Republican/ New Confederate/ Stupid/ Shooter's Party primary clown car South Carolina primary (media:  "Rubio finishes third;  he wins!!!).

Nos Vemos Quote of the Day

"When Michelle and I go to Havana next month, it will be the first visit of a U.S. president to Cuba in nearly 90 years.  And it builds on the decision I made more than a year ago to begin a new chapter in our relationship with the people of Cuba. You see, I believe that the best way to advance American interests and values, and the best way to help the Cuban people improve their lives, is through engagement—by normalizing relations between our governments and increasing the contacts between our peoples." -- today's message from President Obama on his upcoming historic trip to Cuba. The U.S. and Cuba have begun the process of normalizing relations, which began last year with the opening of embassies in Washington, D.C. and Havana.  We can expect the Republican Cubano gusanos "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz and Marco Roboto to stamp their feet in protest, since their preferred approach of isolation has been working so well for the people of Cuba over the past 55 years.

Today's Cartoon And Vid - Mitch McConnell Clogs The Works

(click on image to enlarge)

(Jeff Danziger, via

... which somehow brings to mind this scene (sorry!):

Who does "number two" (Mitch McConnell) work for?  Not the American people!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tweet Of The Day - They're Called The Republican Base

A propos our post this morning:

Weekend Music Twofer - Aliens

We're going with a bit of an "alien" theme today.  First, we have another Portland, OR, indie rock group, Radiation City, with a 2013 release, "Foreign Bodies."  Next up is Calexico, a Latin- influenced indie band from Tucson, AZ, with their 2015 release, "Falling From The Sky."  Hope you enjoy.

Silence Is Golden, Joe

When Vice President Joe Biden announced his decision not to run for President in 2016, he stated that while he wouldn't be running, he wouldn't be silent. We're beginning to wish he'd shut up, too.  Yesterday on Minnesota Public Radio, Biden threw cold water on the idea of the President nominating a progressive Justice to replace Antonin Scalia:
“The Senate gets to have a say. In order to get this done, the president is not going to be able to go out, nor would it be his instinct anyway, to pick the most liberal jurist in the nation and put them on the court...There are plenty of judges who are on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans. This should be someone who, in fact, is a consensus and whereby we can generate enough support to get a person passed.”
So Biden has already decided that the obstructionism by the Republicans should be rewarded with the nomination of a "consensus" candidate, who no doubt would be well to the right of the four progressive Justices already on the Court (and who the Rethugs would block anyway).  Thanks for the help, Joe. It's no wonder that he's beloved by the likes of Republicans like Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry Butchmeup" Graham and former (Vice) President Dick "The Dick" Cheney, who received this accolade from Biden recently:
“I can say without fear of contradiction there’s not one single time there’s been a harsh word in our relationship.  And that’s what I think is most desperately missing today in Washington, D.C.  I don’t remember, Dick, you questioning anybody’s motive... You have been a great asset to this country and the way you have conducted yourself is a model to anyone in high public office.” (emphasis added)
What utter nonsense, after almost seven years of The Dick taking every opportunity to harshly slam Biden's boss, President Obama, on everything from Iraq and terrorism to domestic policy. Once again, ol' backslapping Joe reverted to his harrumphing Senate gentleman's club speechifying ("My dear friend, the distinguished Senator, who has just vigorously applied a hot poker to my backside...."), reality be damned.

If you can't say something that reflects the views of the overwhelming majority of the party you imagine you represent, just shut up.

No-Show Marco Roboto

Well, we already know young media dazzler Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (R-MIAmi) has been -- shall we say -- lax in performing his Senate duties while running for President.  It seems, however, young Glug Glug has a long history of not doing the job he was elected to do:
In the anxious weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Florida House hurriedly assembled an elite group of lawmakers to develop plans to keep the state safe.
A spot on the Select Committee on Security was a mark of prominence in Tallahassee. Some of the airplane hijackers had acquired Florida driver’s licenses and trained at flight schools in the state, and legislators lobbied furiously behind the scenes in hopes of being named to the 12-member panel tasked with addressing the state’s newly exposed vulnerabilities.
It came as little surprise that Marco Rubio, a promising and charismatic young lawmaker from Miami, secured a coveted position on the committee.
Rubio did not give the job the attention that legislative leaders expected. He skipped nearly half of the meetings over the first five months of the panel’s existence, more than any of his colleagues, according to Florida legislature records. He missed hours of expert testimony and was absent for more than 20 votes — prompting the state House speaker who had given him the assignment to express concern, the committee’s chairman said.  (our emphasis)
Tell us if this doesn't also sound like the ambitious, superficial little gusano he is:
At times, Rubio befuddled his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans. After apologizing for arriving late to a debate in February 2002 about a proposed system to track foreign students, Rubio argued passionately that the proposal would unfairly target law-abiding immigrants, such as those who had entered the country as refugees or to seek political asylum. But he quickly backed down in the face of opposition and, then, despite his publicly stated misgivings, went ahead and voted for the proposal.
That's your serious "establishment" Republican and "mainstream" media darling and last hope, folks.  

The Pope And Trump, Cont.

The nativist wall- building mania of  the Republican Party and its front running neo- fascist snake oil salesman Donald "Rump" Trump were denounced by Pope Francis as un- Christian the other day, setting off a reaction from the usual right wing mouths, but also from Rump's "religious" supporters on the right.  Their reaction to the Pope's comments about Rump reveal the intellectual and moral dissonance of right wingers who like to think of themselves as Christian.

For example, here's the reaction from a few of Rump's talibangelist hucksters:
Liberty University president Jerry Falwell Jr., who is the son of the late televangelist Jerry Falwell, told CNN that "the pope is mistaken ... I do believe Trump is a Christian." He added that "JFK would be rolling over in his grave right now."

Rev. Franklin Graham, the son of Evangelist minister Billy Graham, also defended Trump.

"My advice to the pontiff: Reach out and build a bridge to Donald Trump," he said on Facebook. "Who knows where he may be this time next year!"
Not to be outdone, "Sweaty Bill" Donohue, President of the right- wing Republican- front Catholic League has his Rump- friendly rationalization:
"The pope was set up by the reporter," he said. "He's been lied to about what Trump has said."   [snip]

Donohue didn't disagree with the pope's comments, but said that they didn't apply to Trump because his plans extend far beyond a wall.  [Ed. note: Yes, like deporting 11 million people - very Christian, "Sweaty Bill!"]
Lawrence Downes of The New York Times has the same questions we do about the apparent lack of Christianity in the hearts and minds of right- wing Republicans and their theocratic supporters.  Here's an extended quote:
I have little expectation that today’s episode will lead to any enlightening discussion. But I can at least pray that it might lead to more challenging, probing questioning of the candidates — the Republicans, I mean, who are so quick to lead with their Christian faith, and to summon the blessings of God upon their political endeavors.

Because there is so much dissonance when the G.O.P. does its holy-rolling thing. There are so many questions.
How can Ted Cruz begin a rally by invoking the Lord, and then speak as though he is running for war criminal? What do his Christian audiences think when he calls for the indiscriminate bombing of Muslim civilians, and laughs about making sand “glow in the dark” — basically a joke about mass murder?

Why does someone like Marco Rubio tell heart-warming stories about his immigrant roots, and then, with equal conviction, insist that he will pull up the ladder for more recent, non-qualified immigrant families, the ones his primary voters hate and fear?

Why has the entire Republican field treated immigrants and refugees, even dead Syrian children washed ashore on a beach, not as victims deserving welcome, but as threats to be shunned?

Why are immigrants who cross burning deserts to provide for their children, who stand on street corners to take any available job, but not handouts, who embody Republican ideals of faith and family, so hated by the God-and-country crowd?

Why, with their strong faith and the full might of America to protect them, do the Republican candidates sound so frightened and angry?

A Christian, by definition, believes Jesus is God, who dwelled among us, who was born poor, who preached a Gospel of love, and — though he surely could have annihilated the Romans and blasted his persecutors and made the sands of Galilee glow in the dark — allowed himself to be put to death by the authorities.

Why is that peaceful Christ never present in Republican speeches? 
(our emphasis)
We suspect the "Christianity" practiced by these folks is a very selective faith, one that is molded to the contours of a socio- political belief system, and a very cynical and nasty one at that.

BONUSNancy LeTourneau has more.

BONUS II:  Here's more from talibangelist Jerry Falwell, Jr. (h/t Mock Paper Scissors):
“Jesus never intended to give instructions to political leaders on how to run a country,” Mr. Falwell told CNN. 
Falwell, Franklin Graham and all of the other talibangelist Republicans then took a solemn vow to never, ever have their hands in politics again!  And we all lived happily ever after. The end.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hypocritical Wanker Of The Week: Sen. Mitch McConnell

Human/ turtle hybrid and full- blooded hypocrite Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell (R- KY) has yet to understand the concept of videotape.  Here's the chinless doofus in 2008 during the last months of Dumbya's assministration on the so- called "Thurmond Rule," which he has recently invoked in obstructing the as- yet- unnamed nominee of President Obama to the Supreme Court (h/t Crooks & Liars):

Seems this non- existent rule only comes into effect when there's a black Democrat in the White House.

Today's Cartoon - Pants On Fire (UPDATED)

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, once great Washington Post Bezos Bugle)

While we futilely wait for the media to grow some nuts and call them out on a regular basis... tick... tick... tick...

UPDATE:  Let's look at the spectacle of these would- be Presidents get down in the mud in South Carolina.  

Walls vs. Bridges Quote of the Day

A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." -- Pope Francis, speaking to reporters in reference to Republican front runner and neo-fascist gasbag Donald "Rump" Trump (and, let's not forget, his weaselly imitators Sen. Marco "Glug Glug" Rubio (R-Mattel) and Sen. "Tailgunner Ted" Cruz (R-Calgary)).

John Fuglesang sums it up in this visual:

Bundys And Other Seditionists Indicted On Multiple Felony Counts

Indictments have been announced for the April 2014 armed standoff at the Cliven "Hoof" Bundy ranch in Nevada:
A federal grand jury in Nevada indicted Cliven Bundy and four others on 16 charges related to an armed standoff near his ranch in 2014 over unpaid grazing fees.

The 69-year-old Nevada rancher was arrested Feb. 10 in Portland, Oregon, where his sons, Ammon and RyanBundy, are jailed and accused of organizing the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. In the takeover, which lasted nearly six weeks, they had demanded that public lands be turned over to locals and that two area ranchers serving sentences for arson be freed.

Ammon Bundy, of Idaho, Ryan Bundy, of Nevada, Ryan Payne, of Montana, and Peter Santilli of Ohio, were also indicted by the Nevada grand jury Wednesday.

The charges against them and Cliven Bundy include: conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States, conspiracy to impede or injure a federal officer, weapon use and possession, assault on a federal officer, threatening a federal law enforcement officer, obstruction, extortion to interfere with commerce, and interstate travel in aid of extortion.
If convicted, the jamokes could spend a very long time in prison and be subject to millions of dollars in fines.  Excuse us while we enjoy the schadenfreude.

"What We've Got Here Is Failure To Communicate" (UPDATED)

We were reminded of a continuing problem for Democrats when we read this:
Americans think the GOP would do a better job than Democrats handling the terrorist threat (46 percent to 34 percent) and the economy (42 percent to 37 percent). [December 2015 Pew Research Center poll]
Gulp.  Wow.

When you're dealing with a population whose memory apparently spans weeks rather than years, the tendency to forget that such apocalyptic events as 9/ 11 and the market crash and Great Recession occurred on a Republican's watch might be expected.   Or that Bin Laden and 30,000- 33,000 terrorists have been killed since Obama took office.  Or that since Obama took office, unemployment is down to 4.9%, 9.265 million jobs have been created, the stock market is up 139% and weekly earnings are up 3.4%.  Could we have done better?  Perhaps with a Congress that wasn't hamstrung by reactionary obstructionist Republicans.  So, while there's still a mixed bag on the economy, the notion that the trickle- down, tax- cuts- for- the- rich Republicans would produce better results is risible.

But that just highlights the fact that, compared to laser- focused Republican messaging, the Democrats are shockingly poor at message focus and repetition.   That focus and repetition is critical when you've got dedicated right wing media outlets as well as corporate "mainstream" media shilling for Republicans day in and day out.  One of the "narratives" the media is apparently eager to play out in this election is that of surging "populist anger" at "the establishment," and at grievances real or imagined.  When you're an incumbent (White House) party, that's a potentially self- fulfilling narrative you need to push back against -- hard.  E.J. Dionne, Jr., echoes that concern, a problem we think goes back far beyond the Obama administration:
Democrats need to insist that while much work remains to be done, the United States is in far better shape economically than most other countries in the world. The nation is better off for the reforms in health care, financial regulation and environmental protection enacted during Obama’s term and should be proud of its energetic, entrepreneurial and diverse citizenry.
If Clinton, Sanders and their party don’t provide a forceful response to the wildly inaccurate and ridiculously bleak characterization of Obama’s presidency that the Republicans are offering, nobody will. And if this parody is allowed to stand as reality, the Democrats will lose. (our emphasis)
Not only will lose, but will deserve to lose.  It's political malpractice to have accomplished what the Obama administration has accomplished and still have nearly half of the general public believe the do- nothing party is the better option on terrorism and the economy.   Democrats have to get into the same 24/ 7 campaign mode the Republicans operate in (they don't know how to govern, only campaign).  Otherwise, a failure to communicate for Democrats can have disastrous effects in 2016.

UPDATE:  What we've also got are some in the entertainment industry that view "The Donald" as some kind of mischievous rascal to be humored and humanized.