Saturday, December 31, 2011

Look! An INSANE Republican Candidate!

No, not all of them... just lil' ol' Newt Gingrich for this:

"[Sarah Palin] is certainly one of the people you would look at [as a running mate.] I am a great admirer of hers, and she was a remarkable reform governor of Alaska. She's somebody who I think brings a great deal to the possibility of helping in government and that would be one of the possibilities. There are also some very important cabinet positions that she could fill very, very well. I can't imagine anybody that would do a better job of driving us to an energy solution than Gov. Palin, for example. Tell her that she would certainly be on the list of one of the people we would consider."
If ever there was a wingnut pander in the face of free falling poll numbers, this is the mother of all panders. Sarah Fucking Palin, Newt? Seriously?

The only other thought that comes to mind is that Gingrich is purposely sabotaging his campaign because he never really wanted to be President in the first place. This was all a ruse to increase his exposure for the latest book sale. It's all about money for Newt, and since his child labor law schtick didn't implode his candidacy, you know because the current GOP voting public has gone bats hit crazy, why not throw Palin into the mix?

(H/T Chez Pazienza)

Look! A Sane Republican Candidate!

If he had any shot of gaining in the polls, speaking the truth blew it.

Jon Huntsman made one thing abundantly clear after a campaign stop in Portsmouth on Friday – he has no doubt that Barack Obama was born in America.
"The president was born in the United States – end of conversation," Huntsman said.
It's a shame he's polling at 11% in the state in which he's been putting all his eggs.

Must Reads

E.J. Dionne: Obama: The conservative in 2012

Greg Sargent: Mitt Romney’s Casual, Effortless Falsehoods

Charles P. Pierce: "Appearing to Be a Racist" — a Strategy Still

Bob Cesca: What Does Ron Paul Stand For?

Andrew Roberts: You’re No Thatcher!

Emily S. Rueb: Violet the Red-Tailed Hawk Is Dead

JM Ashby: He Didn’t Write The Newsletters? And His Book?

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 31, 2011

Working Together in the New Year

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quote of the Day

Here's another Ted Sorensen quote to stick in your back pocket the next time someone uses the right wing "class warfare" jab, from "Why I Am A Democrat."

"Democrats have no wish to turn millionaires into paupers. Indeed, they do not object to the rich getting richer, particularly when their creative talents, energetic efforts, and sound investments enlarge the national pie for everyone to share... What Democrats dislike is the rich getting richer at the expense of everyone else, particularly those whose labor in helping to enlarge the pie but who receive a smaller piece in return."
Read this book!

Romney Son A Birther?

They just won't let it go.

Appearing in New Hampshire as a surrogate for his father, Matt Romney suggested to a group of voters that Mitt Romney would not release his tax returns until Barack Obama released “his grades and his birth certificate."
[Responding to the question of whether Mitt Romney will release his tax returns, Matt Romney said,] "He has not said that he will not do it. He has also not said that he will. It’s a matter of time until that issue comes up because I think everyone has to get a chance to do that. So I don’t know the answer to that. I’m not sure he knows the answer to that. But he will do everything that he needs to do. He’s certainly not afraid of anything. Hiding anything. I heard someone suggest the other day that as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things then maybe he’d do it."
Where do I begin?

1- President Obama has released his birth certificate.

2- If he's going to represent his father, Matt Romney should know what his father said regarding the release of his tax returns just last week.
“I will provide all the financial info, which is an extraordinary pile of documents which show investments and so forth.”
“But you won’t do the tax returns?” asked Chuck Todd, host of “The Daily Rundown.”
“I don’t intend to release the tax returns. I don’t,” Mr. Romney responded.

3- Nothing will sink a national campaign faster than giving any credence to Birtherism. Even your dad thinks it's silly, Matt.

And now, as I write this post that I haven't had time to publish yet, Matt Romney has already apologized for his comment, albeit via Twitter:
One of Mitt Romney's sons is expressing regret for a joke about President Obama's birth certificate.
"I repeated a dumb joke," Matt Romney tweeted today. "My bad."
I suppose the Romney campaign has no tolerance for idiotic talk... just your average flip-flopping.

Dumbass Quote of the Day

“If you graduate from high school, you get married before you have children, and of course you work — that’s sort of a given, you have to work — you do those three things, there’s a 2 percent chance you’ll be in poverty."
~Rick Santorum, campaigning in Iowa.
Someone should let Rick Santorum know that poor people get married too. And oh, yeah, screw same sex marriages, those people deserve to be in poverty, right, Rick?

My Pet Peeves of 2011


The media breaking that OBL was killed before Obama had a chance to tell us.

The GOP cutting government jobs then uses those job losses as proof that unemployment is Obama's fault.

People who have STILL not read the NDAA bill and STILL think Obama is going to personally lock them up in concentration camps indefinitely. The biggest part of the pet peeve: I'm not talking about Michele Bachmann and Victoria Jackson. I am talking about people who think Glenn Greenwald, Cenk Uygur, et al, have told them everything they need to know.

The 9-9-9 Plan.

I'd say Rick Perry, but as my governor, he's my pet peeve every year.

The fact that Glenn Beck lives near me now and I fear I may see him at my favorite chicken fried steak restaurant some day.

The Supreme Court Justices who think it's OK to hob-nob with players in extremely significant and controversial cases they will hear just in time for an extremely significant election.

Not being able to trust journalists/pundits I used to be able to count on for fair perspectives. Reporting on Obama is increasingly lacking in the full perspective by many people I USED to think presented better information. Makes me wonder if they tell the whole story on other issues. That doubt is why I stopped watching them for the most part.

The words: caved, grow a pair, grow a spine, get tough, etc.

Hyperbole, in general. Even when I use it.

Historical low public opinion of Congress makes a blanket statement of members who are actually very good and doing their jobs. It bothers me that people like Sherrod Brown, Debbie W-S and others, are graded in the same clump as Louie Gohmert and Eric Cantor.

Americans who blame Obama for the GOP's obstinacy. Because he said he'd try to change the tone, he was apparently the only one expected to work toward that.

Newt and Calista Gingrich using the Presidency as cover for their money-raising scheme.

Mitt Romney for being a dud. He could at least bring some fun to his campaign so disliking him would be more like disliking an opposing football team and less like disliking a plain, gray rock that tripped you.

Speaking of football, and this is really not a pet peeve because it's far more than that: football coaches who allow violence towards kids. Whether they personally committed the violence or didn't do anything to help prevent more.

I just realized, it's hard to distinguish pet peeves from really bad shit this year. So on that note, I think I'll end my pet peeves list and start preparing my "Hopes for 2012" list. Better energy.

Happy New Year, Y'all!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brain Dump


It's been a while since I posted and I have a million thoughts swimming in my head. So, since Broadway Carl is nice enough to give me the key, I thought I'd let myself in and dump all these thoughts and be done with it. So, here goes:

Rick Perry says that when he's the President, he'll "shut down" the border (with Mexico) within 100 days. I love how the anti-Big Government guy says that when he's Big Government he'll do what he couldn't do as Medium Government. And if he were President and if his replacement as Governor didn't want Big Government coming into the state, then what? See, there's a problem when you always say Big Government is bad and that states are the shiznit. And then you, as the Big Gun of The Big Shiznit State, can't shut the shiznit down without begging the Big Government to do it for you. And all the while you've been wanting Federal employees to get a freeze/cut in pay or lose their jobs altogether and or lose some of their benefits. Oh, wait, those same people you want to lose their jobs or pay are the very people the Big Government needs to send into your big shiznit state. So, how's that gonna work for ya? Good thing we'll never find out.


Speaking of Rick "Keep Big Government Out -- Until I am Big Government" Perry, he wants to force rape and incest victims to be blocked from accessing abortions. Now, in some ways, at least this is consistent. I never understood how someone who said the SANCTITY OF LIFE was so damn precious that a piece of tissue was the essence of life, could then throw in a moral exception for rape or incest. Either you think that baby is more sacred than its mommy or you don't. So in that regard, his revelation (a week before a really important campaign trip) at least is consistent with his SANCTITY OF LIFE ideas. But here's the problem. Rick Perry hasn't been raped and impregnated. Yes, there are women who are raped who give birth and give their babies to loving families. Or there are women who are raped and choose to make something good of something horrible. And those women raise their children with love and respect and no angst whatsoever over the conception trauma. If I met a woman like that, I would bow to her in awe. A woman like that would have to be kind and loving and selfless in her love for her child. That, as a mom myself, is commendable. But what about the women who are held at gunpoint, and cut with knives and left for dead after being raped by more than one man? The women who lock themselves away from the outside and jump at the sound of the mail truck outside. What about the women who can barely move on with life, let alone nurture a growing child inside. A child she may not consider a child because she doesn't think life begins at conception. What about that woman? Those women? Let's honor the children of rape as survivors. Let's be glad they had a chance at life despite the first step in getting them here. But let's not ask every woman to be strong enough to get through nine months if she can't even get through the first nine days.


Riding on his tour bus with his wife and Wolf Blitzer, Mitt Romney was saying that Obama has been so bad for the economy, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then he did something that makes me scream. You see, one of my biggest pet peeves about politicians is when they make definitive statements (like "Obama has been bad for the economy") yet, when CBO data is presented to them to show the opposite (like Wolf did to Romney) they say, "I'll take a look at that, but...". NO! If you've formed an opinion about Obama's policies, you should ALREADY have read the CBO data. The CBO data is one of the most trusted, accurately processed data in the country. PERIOD.


My last thought of the evening is about Rachel Maddow screaming for days about us needing a ticker-tape parade. I had to stop listening because it bothered me so much. Do I want to show our appreciation for the troops? YES. But before we spend a lot of money on confetti and road closures, can we make sure each man or woman coming home has a job? Or a home? Can we make sure their medical needs are met? And before we have a big celebration, can we wait until every troop comes home from that OTHER war? That other war that many who have come from Iraq may very well be shipped off to soon. Can we show we respect the men and women who have fought these long wars by DOING MORE than a parade? Please?

And considering Rachel is the only major media person I have heard saying this for days, you can imagine who popped into my head today when I heard all these damn GOP candidates complaining that Obama hasn't thrown the returning troops a parade. Thanks Rachel. Thanks a frickin' lot. This is why I get frustrated with Rachel. As much as I adore her, she drives me crazy. Why can't some of that "we want a parade" energy be directed toward giving us phone numbers and websites of resources where we can help returning troops and their families. I am sure many troops would LOVE a parade. Let's just wait until we can have it for all of them, and until we've done everything else for them that we can. Okie doke?


Disclaimer: this was a quickly-typed brain dump so screw it if there are typos. You get my points or you don't.

Our Voting Reality

I just came across a Facebook post linking to a Glenn Greenwald article titled, "Vote Obama – if you want a centrist Republican for US president." Knowing Greenwald's work, I declined to read the Guardian article. But I did rebut my Facebook friend who'd commented on his post with, "I've been saying this all along."

My response:  "Sure, you can say that. But if you DON'T vote Obama, you'll have an extreme right wing conservative Republican to take his place. And you'll have no one to thank but yourself."

The reality is that, whether we like it or not, we participate in a two party system.

I picked up a book that everyone should read, but unfortunately it's out of print. Still, look for it on Amazon or a used book store... maybe even the public library. It's called "Why I Am A Democrat" written by Ted Sorensen. The same Ted Sorensen who was President John F. Kennedy’s special counsel, adviser and speechwriter. And the main reason why I responded to my friend the way I did, was eloquently written by Sorensen just 11 pages into his book, published in 1996, at the height of the Newt Gingrich controlled House of Representatives. Substitute a name here and there, and it could have been written yesterday. I'm including it here because no amount of paraphrasing can do it justice. (Emphasis mine.)

...I have always deemed it an obligation of citizenship to cast a vote for that better major party candidate, however deeply disappointed I may have been for some of his positions or actions and however skeptical I may have been about any likely improvement.
I understand why many people find voting the lesser of two evils objectionable. But it is necessary to remind ourselves that voting for a third-ticket candidate with no reasonable prospects of victory can only help the "more evil" of the two major candidates become President.
Nor are the two presidential candidates ever equally "evil" - or equally "good." Any voter who reads or listens with care can discern important differences in how they would behave in moments of crisis and in whom each would appoint to high office, important differences in how each would lead and would react to the failures and frustrations of leadership. In some election years, these differences may seem small and the choice unappealing. But a choice must be made.
Moreover, Independent candidates - with or without temporary tailor-made third parties - who say they are "above" politics or who substitute personal piety and pleasing platitudes for hard decisions on controversial political issues are usually either naive or hypocritical and would almost certainly be doomed to failure in the Oval Office. Deadlocks and delays in Washington and the inadequate response to knotty problems like the decline in family economic security are not simply the result of failed personalities, waiting to be reminded by personal strength and charm. I do not want to be "rescued" from politics by a white knight unable or unwilling to balance a ticket, make a deal, form a coalition, compromise a policy, trade a favor, and displease a lot of people. Politics, with all its need for reform, is still the fiber with which democracy is woven, the grease that enables the wheels of government to turn, the cement that binds a diverse and disparate country. Most members of Congress will not long listen to a President who constitutionally lacks the legal authority to lead without them and politically lacks the practical tools to lead with them.
If an independent or third party candidate - or, worse yet, several of them - did in fact win enough states to block an electoral vote majority, for either major party nominee, the President would be chosen by the House of Representatives on a one state, one vote basis, a surefire route o an undemocratic, bitterly divided process that would leave the winner with a faint mandate and a fragmented nation.
There is still another option for disaffected voters: stay home on election day in order to send a message of protest. But that "message" is not distinguishable from those sent by 100 million others, most of whom are not protesting or disgusted or disillusioned, but simply too busy or lazy, too ill informed or unconcerned, too tired or far from home, to go to the polls. Disappointed protesters failing to vote, only help the candidate whom they would most protest, while increasing within their own party the proportionate influence of those who disappointed them.
So with respect to all the Greenwalds and the Hamshers, et al, the choices are not the same. Listen and read what President Obama is talking about. Listen and read what the prospective Republican nominees are currently talking about. How can you say they're both the same?

Can we please stop with that "both sides are the same" meme? Look at any of the Republican candidates and ask yourself if any of them would have repealed DADT, passed health care legislation, ended the Iraq War, passed consumer finance reform, and the myriad of other things that have been accomplished under President Obama's watch. It's a no-brainer, folks.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Crazy Lady

Just read and shake your head in amazement.

Former "Saturday Night Live" actress Victoria Jackson, working on confidential information she as a web talk show host has special clearance to obtain, has claimed that the United States is being overtaken by radical Muslims bent on bringing the nation under Sharia law.

Yes, Virginia. There IS a Santa Claus!

Nebraska "Democratic" Senator Ben Nelson is retiring.
The 70-year-old conservative Democrat, whose seat is being heavily targeted by Republicans in 2012, said in a statement that "while I relish the opportunity to undertake the work that lies ahead, I also feel it’s time for me to step away from elective office, spend more time with my family, and look for new ways to serve our state and nation."
"Therefore, I am announcing today that I will not seek re-election," he said. "Simply put: It is time to move on."
This story is being spun as a blow to Democrats, with Republicans needing to net four seats to regain control of the Senate in 2012. But really, if you look at Nelson's voting record, is this other than good news for Democrats? Nelson may have a "D" after his name, but on the big votes he could not be counted on.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gingrich View on Confederate Flag

Does Gingrich think South Carolina should fly the Confederate flag on its capitol? I'll give you one guess.

“I have a very strong opinion. It’s up to the people of South Carolina.”
Why would anyone be surprised with his answer? After all, this is an "historian" who wrote a trilogy of alternate history novels in which the Confederacy won the Civil War. But hey, at least he's against slavery.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Must Reads

Benjamin Wittes: NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed

Chris Chase: Braylon Edwards Gave 79 Students $10,000 for College

The Rude Pundit: Politifact and The Lie of The Lie

Justin Rosario: A Very Merry Fox Christmas: Obama’s Christmas Card Just Isn’t American Enough

Tom McMahon: Merry Christmas, Middle Class! House Republicans Just Voted To Raise Your Taxes By $1,000

Dana Milbank: Braveheart Republicans? Or false-hearted?

Eugene Robinson: Which Candidate Should Answer That 3 a.m. Phone Call?

BooMan: Wanker of the Day: Charles Krauthammer

Dino Grandoni: Perry's Latest Oops Moment: 'Kim Jong the Second'

Jonathan Chait: When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? - If every Democratic president disappoints, maybe there’s something wrong with our expectations. Tough love from a fellow traveler.

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 24, 2011

The President and First Lady Thank our Troops for their Service this Holiday

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dumbass Quote of the Day

“I’ve talked to enough members over the last 24 hours who believe that, ‘Hey, we don’t like this two month extension [but] if you can get this fixed, why not do the right thing for the American people, even though it’s not exactly what we want.”
~John Boehner, Speaker of the House, explaining why House Republicans decided to cave on the temporary extension of the payroll tax cut after painting themselves into a corner.
As one of my readers posited regarding the bold text above, "Let's mull that over for a minute."

"...Why not do the RIGHT THING for the American people, even though it's NOT EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT?" For someone who's fond of using the phrase, "We're here to do the people's work," he sure has a tendency to disregard what the people actually want.

Fair and Balanced (The Brent Bozell Is a Racist Edition)

Judge for yourself:

Bozell appeared on Hannity as part of the show's weekly "Media Mash" segment to talk about purported mainstream media failings. After listening to a clip of MSNBC host Chris Matthews saying that Newt Gingrich "looks like a car bomber," Bozell responded:
BOZELL: How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does. Everybody on the left would come forward and demand he be fired within five minutes for being so insulting towards a leader of the United States.
Really? Well, that skinny, ghetto crackhead took out Bin Laden, something the previous dry drunk, coke head couldn't do. ...See how easy that is? And disgusting?

I Can't Believe This Is Still Going On

What a waste of time and money.

The so-called birther movement was dealt another legal blow Thursday when a federal appeals court tossed out a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship and his eligibility to serve as commander in chief...
...The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by 40 plaintiffs, including conservative activists Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake, who ran for president and vice president respectively as members of the American Independent Party against Obama in 2008.
Alan Fucking Keyes. This is just disgraceful. What was that thing about frivolous lawsuits they constantly harp about?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Say "Oops" and Get Out (The House GOP Payroll Tax Cut Fiasco Edition)

What the hell happened? How is it that the Republican "We'll-Slit-Our-Wrists-Before-We-Raise-Taxes-All-Hail-Grover-Norquist" Party found themselves on the wrong side of a tax cut issue?
House Republicans have privately offered up the terms of their surrender on the payroll tax cut, pending sign off from their notoriously unwieldy caucus...
...After conceding for weeks, the Dems finally said this far and no further — and actually meant it. You read that right.
And there is the crux of the issue. For the last year, Republicans decided that to defeat President Obama in 2012, they were going to be the Party of No, even on issues with which they agreed. They would grind the gears of government to a halt, economy and the American people be damned, just to regain control of the White House with whatever clown du jour would rise to the top of the GOP primary elections.

And for a while it worked. The President, whether you agreed with him or not, would make compromises with the intransigent Republicans because unlike them, he wasn't prepared to throw his fellow Americans under the bus. Some called it "pragmatism," some called it "caving." Either way, President Obama never stopped trying to make it work. He never walked away from the table, unlike others.

But there's a problem when you go all-in on every hand. Eventually, your bluff is going to be called. You can't have the winning hand every single time. And the pot the House Republicans eventually lost is any possible credibility with the voting public. What they could possibly have been thinking in their push to kill the payroll tax cut is anyone's guess. Perhaps it's Obama Derangement Syndrome kicking in at such a high level, they believed their own bullshit that anything the President says or does must be a bad thing, therefore it must be opposed. Even if it means rejecting issues and policies that the GOP has historically been in favor of.

So today they thought better of it and they've finally decided to fold a hand, but wagered too much in the process. Time will tell how much this will harm their chances in 2012, but judging by Congressional Republican approval ratings, my guess is that they're in for a rude awakening come November.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let The Feeding Frenzy Begin

When the Wall Street Journal... the Rupert Murdoch owned, conservative Wall Street Journal is shaking its head at the John Boehner "led" House of Representatives (AKA Lord of the Flies), you know you're in trouble.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play...
...At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation.
Now I don't really agree with this op-ed's point of view as to why the House GOP should cut their losses, but they certainly got it right in that Boehner and Co. have painted themselves into a corner, and should retreat and live to fight another day. Sometimes you have to know when to fold your hand. But for some reason, they think seem to think the best strategy is to go all-in every time. The problem with that strategy is that eventually, someone is going to call your bluff.

Cartoon of the Day

Just Say "Oops" and Get Out (The Romney/Osama Bin Laden Edition)

Via Political Wire:

"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort."
-- Mitt Romney, quoted by Reuters in 2008, on the United States entering Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.
"I think other presidents and other candidates like myself would do exactly the same thing."
-- Romney, in an interview on MSNBC earlier today, downplaying credit for Obama for ordering the raid in Pakistan that finally killed Osama bin Laden.

Another Example of Boehner Leadership (Kill C-SPAN Edition)

How cowardly can the House Republicans and House Weeper John Boehner get? Cowardly enough to prevent as vote on the Senate payroll tax holiday that passed with huge bipartisan support, adjourn for the day completely ignoring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer at the podium... and then cutting off the C-SPAN feed.

“We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing this issue of critical importance to this country,” Hoyer added.
Moments later, the mic appeared to cut out. A few seconds after that, the video feed switched away from the House floor to a still image of the Capitol Dome. It appears someone in House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) office cut the feed, as C-SPAN tweeted afterwards: “C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras – the Speaker of the House does.”
Transparency, indeed.

Go To

You'll like what you'll see.

Gingrich owns, but is controlled by someone with very different motives.
The website alternately redirects to a slew of websites with negative association to Newt: from the homepage of Tiffany, to the Freddie Mac homepage, to negative news articles about his campaign.

Try it:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So, hey, come up with a Plan B


Within hours of Secretary Sebelius denying an application to make a morning after pill available, over the counter, to girls under 17, women's rights groups went ape shit on their fellow woman's rights advocate. Ignoring their own previous appreciation of Secretary Sebelius' years of advocacy and ardent support of reproductive rights, she was enemy number one and she was playing "politics".

I called bullshit right away.

My take has always been that the ball was dropped by the FDA and the pharmaceutical company, NOT Secretary Sebelius. It's easy to blame her because she did the hard thing. But the anger should be directed toward the folks who rushed the data and the application.

The same people who acted as if the FDA was infallible should be SCREAMING about Yaz. We can't say the FDA is perfect on this issue and condemn them for allowing women, like my friend, Heather, to suffer a stroke because of her reproductive choices.

I also found the cries of her playing politics extremely hollow when just days prior to her being accused of playing politics, she denied a grant to Catholic Bishops because they didn't provide access to family planning centers in their human trafficking resource program. As someone who cares a great deal for programs to combat and aid victims of human trafficking, this hurt my heart. But I completely understand that women victims of trafficking need full access to full health care. How does the Secretary who was willing to make that Solomon choice, suddenly become the enemy playing politics?

The issues the Seretary faces aren't easy. They are going to piss someone off. To accuse her of playing politics because you don't like the choice she made is lame and ignorant of complexities.

I think the real politics were being played by women's rights groups who focused so much on one aspect, that may have inadvertantly caused harm to the very girls they are trying to help.

This issue can be resolved if the women's groups put the politics aside and make every decision thoroughly and with great care and foresight. I commend Secretary Sebelius for keeping the bigger picture in mind despite being accused of playing politics. No women should play any part of a political game at the sake of the girls.

And if I lose my feminist card for this, so be it. I'll go with my plan B and join a group of logical people who care that the girls are spoken up for in more ways than one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Small Price To Pay

So once again, Weeper of the House John Boehner shows his toothless bite when it comes to bringing his side of the aisle in line for a vote not to raise taxes. Yes, you read that correctly, NOT TO RAISE TAXES.

The Senate came together to pass a two month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance by a bipartisan vote of 89-10, and while that may not be an ideal situation, it staves off an automatic increase on taxes for 160 million Americans when the current payroll tax cut expires, hardly something to sneeze at in the current economic state of affairs. But that wasn't good enough for Tea Party Republicans who rejected the bill.
“When we met last week, Speaker Boehner requested that Senator McConnell and I work out a compromise,” [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid said, referring to the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “Neither side got everything they wanted, but we forged a middle ground that passed the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.”
Well, that was last week, Senator Reid. This week Boehner's got new marching orders from the extreme right.

This may be easy for me to say, but if having taxes raised (yes, Republicans are sitting idly by and breaking the Norquist code of raising taxes at any cost) is what needs to happen to make the general public aware of how intransigent the current Republican Party has become, and the result is a mass termination of House GOP jobs via the 2012 election, then it's a small price to pay for progress.

The House is currently in session to have another vote by 6:30pm which Boehner expects to fail. The system isn't broken. The Republican Party is broken.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Must Reads

Michael Gerson: The Problem with Gingrich’s Simplistic Attack on Sharia

Robert Reich: Wall St's Latest Shameless Ploy to Fleece You

Spike Dolomite Ward: 'Obamacare' to the Rescue and A Message to 'Obamacare' Haters [The Reply]

Steve Benen: The Competition to Reward the Wealthy

Benjy Sarlin: Meet The 22-Year-Old Who’s Driving Romney Crazy

Paul Krugman: Depression and Democracy

Christina Wilkie: Mitt Romney's Slogan Used By Ku Klux Klan, Anti-Immigrant 'Know Nothing' Party

Michael Tomasky: Could Obama Be Headed for a Landslide?

Renee Dudley: SC Gov. Haley Dictated Health Panel Finding - Outcome ordered before committee met

Andy Brownfield and Julie Carr Smyth: Speaker John Boehner's Staff Influenced Ohio Redistricting, Documents Show

Linda Greenhouse: Rock Bottom

Matt Miller: What Wyden-Ryan Hath Wrought

Al Franken: Why I Voted Against the National Defense Authorization Act

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 17, 2011

Honoring Those Who Served in Iraq

Friday, December 16, 2011

Joe Arpaio Under Investigation for Racial Profiling

From the "No Shit Sherlock" news desk, here comes a shocker!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's boundary-pushing foray into Arizona's immigration enforcement over the last six years met its most bruising criticism when the U.S. Justice Department said the lawman's office carried out a blatant pattern of discrimination against Latinos and held a "systematic disregard" for the Constitution...
"We found discriminatory policing that was deeply rooted in the culture of the department, a culture that breeds a systematic disregard for basic constitutional protections," said Thomas Perez, who heads the Justice Department's civil rights division.
My only question: What the fuck took you so long to figure that one out?

Christopher Hitchens Dies at 62

NY Times: Christopher Hitchens, a slashing polemicist in the tradition of Thomas Paine and George Orwell who trained his sights on targets as various as Henry Kissinger, the British monarchy and Mother Teresa, wrote a best-seller attacking religious belief, and dismayed his former comrades on the left by enthusiastically supporting the American-led war in Iraq, died on Thursday in Houston. He was 62.
The cause was pneumonia, a complication of esophageal cancer, Vanity Fair magazine said in announcing the death...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Say "Oops" and Get Out.

Mark Meckler, the founder of a major tea party organization, was arrested Thursday at LaGuardia Airport for gun possession, law enforcement officials said.
The Queens District Attorney said Meckler was carrying a pistol and had a California permit, but not one for New York, authorities said.
Meckler allegedly told authorities he carries the pistol "because he gets threats."
...Yeah. Because everyone knows who Mark Meckler is. This isn't an Obama rally, Mr. Meckler, it's New York City, you shithead.

Job Creators!

Kim Kardashian just dropped $65k to outbid a gang of serious jewelry nuts for 3 unbelievable jade and diamond bracelets that used to belong to Elizabeth Taylor ... TMZ has learned.
Taylor's entire collection of rare and expensive jewelry was auctioned off in NYC this week for a whopping $116 MILLION ... and Kim was one of the bidders.
Can anyone tell me how many jobs Kim Kardashian creates? Or anyone else who decided to drop millions on a dead actress's jewelry? But a 1.9% tax increase to those making over $1 million a year in order to continue a payroll tax cut for 160 MILLION people is unacceptable. Got it.

(H/T JHW22)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nothing Says "Presidential" Like a Twitter Fight

[Donald] Trump took to YouTube on Wednesday to criticize [Rosie] O'Donnell's new show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Trump called O'Donnell's show a "complete and total disaster." He also attacked MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell and said that his show was "failing." Trump then tweeted the video, with the message "#trumpvlog Same last name, same bad ratings- @lawrence and @rosie....."
O'Donnell tweeted back and attacked Trump's self-proclaimed wealth. "How many billionaires sell ties and have crappy non reality shows - none - go back to selling snake oil - #bankruptmuch?" O'Donnell tweeted.
How many presidents or presidential contenders do you suppose would tweet something like this?

And to think this schmuck was actually leading the Republican field in the polls at one point. Oh, and here's why Trump lashed out at Lawrence O'Donnell:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Trump Pulls Out of Debate

Badgerhead Donald Trump has decided that he's not going to moderate the Newsmax debate. His excuse? He doesn't want to "give up his right to run as an independent candidate" which we all know is bullshit otherwise he wouldn't have agreed to it in the first place.

Face it, Republicans: this thing was a joke from the beginning and why have a debate when no one is showing up? The only Trump whores were front runners Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum (who really has nothing to lose) and The Donald didn't want to be in a position of not being able to fire anyone. You can't use your tag line if there's no one in the room.

Fair and Balanced, My Ass

Okay, Fox newsies. What's wrong with this picture?

Yes, that's right! It seems that in Fox World, 8.6% unemployment in November 2011, is visually equal to 9% in October 2011, and actually higher than 8.9% and 8.8% in February and March 2011. Sure, I suppose you could just read the numbers, but why do that when Fox can show you a handy-dandy chart showing unemployment under the Obama administration hasn't improved? Me like pretty colors.

(Via Bob Cesca)

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Country of Solynda

I've been searching high and low in my atlas and can't seem to find Solynda.

CNN Political Ticker reports that Perry campaigned in the Hawkeye State, stopping in Ames. He focused on energy, taking shots at the Obama administration's handling of government spending.
"No greater example of it than this administration sending millions of dollars into the solar industry, and we lost that money," Perry said. "I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda."
Did he mean the "company" named SolynDRA instead of "country"? No matter. He even got the name wrong. The man is an idiot.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photo of the Day

What is this? A "terrorist fist jab"? Boy, that Obama is some elitist, huh?

Thanks to JHW22 for the heads up.

Must Reads

John Converse Townsend: An Army of Giant Rats Unearths Peace in Africa

Eugene Robinson: Republicans’ Reality TV Politics

Capital Times Editorial: A Year Later, Walker Rail Blunder Looks Even Worse

Bob Cesca: Occupy The Internet

Pat Garofalo: Perry Admits His Tax Plan Slams Low-Income People And Lets The Wealthy Pay Nothing

Digby: Guess What? Stephen Colbert Isn't Really Conservative

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 10, 2011

Ensuring a Fair Shot for the Middle Class

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Best "Fuck You" Ever

Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania on Wednesday said Obama's policy toward radical Islamists "has been nothing but appeasement."
When asked about the accusations that his foreign policy is timid and amounts to a policy of "appeasement," The President responded:
"Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaida leaders who have been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement. Or whoever is left out there, ask them about that."
BOOM! goes the dynamite.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

President Obama Speaks on the Economy

December 6th, 2011 - Osawatomie, Kansas

Trump to Obama: Call Me

You can file this one in the "Who The Fuck Do You Think You Are?!" folder.

Harry Morgan Dies at 96

NY Times: Harry Morgan, the prolific character actor best known for playing the acerbic but kindly Colonel Potter in the long-running television series “M*A*S*H,” died Wednesday morning at his home in Los Angeles. He was 96. His son Charles confirmed his death, saying Mr. Morgan had been treated for pneumonia recently.

Here We Go Again

It's the holiday season, so that must mean it's time for Fox News to cry about the fictional War on Christmas. Jon Stewart brilliantly deconstructs.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Some Days It's Hard To Be a Mets Fan... Today More Than Usual

I received a solicitation email from the New York Mets today to purchase season tickets. I had previously been a season ticket holder until last season. Now they want me back and decided to ask me after letting Jose Reyes go to the Florida Marlins less than two days earlier.

My first thought was, "Are you fucking kidding me?!"

Here's my response:

Date: December 6, 2011
To: Christopher Leuth, Account Executive, NY Mets
From: Broadway Carl
Re: "We Want You Back" Email

Thank you for your email introduction and your information video for the upcoming 2012 New York Mets season. And as a lifelong Mets fan, I must say I'm impressed by your presentation. It's probably not very easy for you to be an account executive for the Mets these days. I know it's certainly not easy being a fan.
I am frankly a bit surprised, shocked really, at the timing of this email with the wounds so freshly open less than 48 hours after the news that the Mets organization didn't think twice about letting Jose Reyes, it's best player last season and arguably the best leadoff hitter in the league, go to a division rival without a fight. The fan base is at best, not happy, and at worst, in a rabid rage over this most recent example of insouciance.
That Mets management would think it's a good idea to release this email soliciting prospective season tickets buyers while they recover from its latest collective bloody nose shows the ineptness with which this organization has been run over these past few years and just proves how out of touch it is to its fans, regardless of how many surveys and online forms are filled out.
And what's really galling, what hurts the most as a fan of the New York Mets for the last four decades, is the dishonesty with which the organization treats its fans.
We're not stupid. We know that financially, things have been tough on the ownership. We know the Wilpons took a hit with the Madoff ponzi scheme and that they're not out of the woods yet. We know the new stadium was a big expense. We know that the organization was extended a loan from MLB to meet payroll. And we know that all these factors were going to hurt the team competitively. And yet, we were continued to be sold a bill of goods.
Instead of being honest with a loyal following, what were we told? We were told that we'd stay competitive just as soon as the contracts of certain players were shed. We were told that the contracts of Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez were a drag on the payroll. So Perez and Castillo were released. Beltran and Rodriguez were traded. And overall, the fans understood the trades because they thought your organization was looking to the future in the upcoming Reyes free agency eligibility. The fans thought that although your bosses were shedding on one side, it was all in preparation for a resigning of Reyes, the 2011 NL Batting Champion, the first batting champ in the history of the New York Mets.
But no. We couldn't even match the Florida Marlins' offer. The Marlins! The second worst team in 2011 attendance didn't even struggle to outbid a franchise in one of the biggest markets on the planet. Yet you want me to financially commit to season tickets, when your own management won't commit to a legitimate attempt to put a competitive team on the field.
Now we are hearing stories that the new drags on the payroll are David Wright, Jason Bay and Johan Santana. Well, where does it end? This isn't the Pittsburgh Pirates. This isn't the Kansas City Royals. This is the New York Mets. NEW YORK.
Still, I don't envy your position. And I hope you don't work on commission. But please convey this message to your supervisors, their supervisors, even the ownership: My love for the Mets will never waver. I live and die with every pitch. And I'll consider purchasing tickets on a regular basis when the team is sold to a viable owner.

Give Romney Credit/Dismiss Huntsman

Mitt Romney has decided to skip the Donald Trump debate on December 27th. Regardless of his reasons, you have to give Romney credit for not falling into the trap of kissing the Trump ring. According to reports, the only candidates committed to attend the Trump debate are Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich... although there is plenty of time for Mitt to flip-flop on his decision.

In other news however, what seemed like the only other "reasonable" Republican nominee decided to give a little reach-aroud of the right wing nutjobs by casting doubt on the science of global warming. No, really.
"The scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this," [Jon Huntsman said], "but there's not enough information right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing [global warming] overall -- primarily because it's a global issue. We can enact policies here, but I wouldn't want to unilaterally disarm as a country. I wouldn't want to hinder job creators during a time when our economy is flat."
Not enough information? So much for the "reasonable" one.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Down Goes Cain! Down Goes Cain!

Seriously, Republican voters? Is this what it took?

Yesterday, Herman Cain announced that he was suspending his campaign.

“As of today, with a lot of prayer and soul-searching, I am suspending my presidential campaign,” Mr. Cain said at a rally in Atlanta, surrounded by supporters chanting his name. “Because of the continued distractions, the continued hurt caused on me and my family, not because we are not fighters. Not because I’m not a fighter.”
...With his wife, Gloria, at his side at the Atlanta rally, Mr. Cain said the accusations of sexual harassment and of a 13-year affair were untrue. “I’m at peace with my God,” he said. “I’m at peace with my wife, and she is at peace with me.”
In yet another example of the death of the Republican Party, the Sociopath Who Would Be President fell to earth not because of his stellar foreign policy, not because he jokes/doesn't joke about electrocuting illegal immigrants crossing the border, not because of his video game economic plan, not due to his lack of knowledge on China's 47 year old nuclear program, not even because he didn't have the first clue on what the hell was going on in Libya. No, it would seem that the only thing that took down Herman Cain was Herman Cain.

The wingnuts can forgive stupidity when it comes to running the country, but not when it comes to various cases of sexual harassment claims and an alleged 13-year extramarital affair. That is of course, unless you're Newt Gingrich.

The difference between Cain and the thrice married, serial adulterer Gingrich, is that if you admit you're wrong, even if your explanation is complete bullshit, all is forgiven. But every indicator suggests Cain has never and will never admit to doing anything wrong.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Must Reads

Tommy Christopher: Michael Moore Still Flogging Tinfoil Smear That President Obama Is Behind Occupy Evictions

Charles P. Pierce: The Carterization of Barack Obama

Gawker: Here’s Herman Cain’s Hilariously Stupid Facebook Foreign Policy Map

Jamelle Bouie: Ignoring the Obama Presidency

Rick Ungar: The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today-Hallelujah!

Justin Elliott: Obama Cracks Down on Abuses by Big-City Police Departments

Alexandra Petri: Donald Trump Moderates the Newsmax GOP Debate We Deserve

Steve Benen: ACA Shrinks "Doughnut Hole" For Seniors

Elliot Spitzer: A Secret Scandal

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 3, 2011

Extending and Expanding the Payroll Tax Cut

Friday, December 2, 2011

Republican Party: YOU'RE FIRED!

There is no possible chance that Saturday Night Live can continue to satirize Republican politics anymore. They may as well just show footage of actual Republican politics. Why do I posit this?

[Donald] Trump confirmed to MSNBC’s Tamron Hall a New York Times report that he'd helm a GOP debate on Dec. 27.
“I was asked to do it by a number of people, including some of my friends that are Republicans, strong Republicans,” Trump told MSNBC. He has signed on to be a moderator at the debate, which will be held in Iowa and is hosted by Newsmax, a conservative website and magazine. It will be broadcast on Ion Television, a cable network.
Parody is dead. Satire is dead. The Republican Party of yore no longer exists. These debating monkeys need not extol the name of Ronald Reagan or Abraham Lincoln anymore. Reagan couldn't get elected in this generation of what passes for the Republican Party. He'd most likely get booed off the debate stage for his stances on immigration (amnesty) and taxation.

The idea of The Donald moderating something that is supposed to be at least semi-serious like a GOP presidential debate is beyond all hope of rational thinking. But I must admit, I don't know if I can miss this one. I hope my cable provider carries Ion Television, whatever the fuck that is.

Donald Trump? Seriously?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A "Government Takeover" It Is NOT

A few days ago, a couple of my colleagues asked me what I thought about the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). Both of these colleagues are what I consider to be liberal to progressive Democrats and what they ultimately were questioning was where I stood in the government mandating that everyone buy health insurance from a private entity.

I believe they had no problem adding some coin to the coffers for a health care plan we could all enjoy, but I had the sense that they were kinda pissed about the fact that we'd still be purchasing said health insurance from private corporations. Wasn't this some kind of ethical breech of liberal conduct? Don't we hate corporations and why are we lining their pockets?

After explaining my position (it's a good first step in the right direction), we all nodded and went our separate ways. So imagine my surprise when about 10 days later I was perusing through my Twitter feed and found someone mentioning PolitiFact's "Lie of the Year" for 2010 was this:

PolitiFact editors and reporters have chosen "government takeover of health care" as the 2010 Lie of the Year. Uttered by dozens of politicians and pundits, it played an important role in shaping public opinion about the health care plan and was a significant factor in the Democrats' shellacking in the November elections.
Now, the person tweeting this probably wasn't aware they were tweeting last year's Lie of the Year, but it's worth a second look and it goes to show you how this discussion hasn't faded away. Everyone, both on the left and the right, especially with the clown car full of GOP presidential nominees who are vowing to "repeal Obamacare on Day One," are still discussing this issue.

Now, Mitt Romney may want to repeal a health care law that is based on his own Massachusetts health care law (including the mandate to purchase insurance), but if he were ever to be in that position, and for the good of the country I hope not, he'd have to have a complicit Congress to revote and reject ACA. You can't just declare a law null and void because you don't like it - and the fact that ACA has helped millions of people who weren't eligible for insurance previously due to preexisting conditions will make it difficult for members of Congress to deny that new privilege to their constituents.

So sure, this first step towards a country where health care can be available to all Americans may not be exactly what progressives wanted, but know that it's not a final step. Just as Social Security's first round excluded farmers for example, ACA will need to be tweaked over the coming years to make it fairer and more affordable. It will happen, but it will take time. Rome wasn't built in a day. But no, thank you Frank Luntz. A "government takeover" it's not. If only that were true, we actually might be better off.

Patrice O'Neal Dies at 41

We lost a very funny man this week.

"The comedian, known for his sharp and often shocking social commentary, died following complications from a stroke at the age of 41."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bachmann's Back!

After what seemed like an eternity of Herman Cain coverage and the Newt Gingrich resurgence, I started to feel the lack of Michele Bachmann ignorance stories in the forefront. But now I finally I feel like a kid who's awakened and pulled up his pillow to see a thick stack of hundred dollar bills where his tooth once sat.
In light of the British Foreign Ministry pulling all U.K. nationals out of the British embassy in Tehran after students stormed the building in protest, GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann told a crowd in Waverly, Iowa, today that she would close the U.S. embassy in Iran.
...Bachmann applauded the U.K.’s move, adding, “That’s exactly what I would do [if I were president]. We wouldn’t have an embassy in Iran. I wouldn’t allow that to be there.
Good thing Bachmann wouldn't allow it since the U.S. hasn't had an Embassy in Iran since NINETEEN-FUCKING-EIGHTY and the Iranian hostage crisis. And this GOP presidential dimwit nominee is on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. ...INTELLIGENCE!

Oh Michele, how I've missed you so.

Quote of the Day

"I think there's a lot to be said for keeping your own counsel. You can't buy it back. You can't buy your privacy back. 'Ooh, I want to be alone. 'Fuck you. We've been in your living room. We were at your birth. You filmed it for us and showed us the placenta, and now you want some privacy?'
It is a career; I'm not being cynical. And why wouldn't you? Look at the Kardashians, they're worth millions. Millions! I don't think they were that badly off to begin with, but now look at them. You see that and you think, 'What, you mean all I have to do is behave like a fucking idiot on television and then you'll pay me millions?'"

~Actor Daniel Craig

Fa, La, La, La Ratatat


Because nothing puts the Christ back in Christmas like a semi-automatic. Or a fully automatic, for that matter.