Friday, July 18, 2014

Two Fools

Rush Limbaugh says the breaking coverage of the shooting down of the Malaysian jet is just a distraction from the immigration crisis.  Don’t be fooled!  (And all along, I thought the immigration crisis was just to distract us from Benghazi!  Silly me.)

Meanwhile, the wreckage is still smoldering and John McCain is wondering why President Obama hasn’t sent troops into Ukraine already to avenge the shoot-down of another country’s plane over another country’s airspace.

It’s kind of comforting to know that in times of turmoil, there are always useful idiots to remind us of how some things never change.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Keep It Up

The best fund raisers for Democrats are the Republicans.

The DCCC sent at least two emails in 24 hours about Palin’s remarks to supporters — one unsigned under the subject line “BREAKING: Impeachment” and another under House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s name.

In a third email to supporters with the subject line “Palin HUMILIATED,” the DCCC claimed it received nearly 10,000 donations in just 24 hours — double the committee’s typical donation rate.

The committee said as a result of the flood of grass-roots donations, it was just short of a $3 million fundraising goal it set after House Speaker John Boehner threatened to sue Obama late last month — although it’s unclear how much of the money raised was in direct response to the impeachment-related emails.

Maybe they could use some of that money to pay Sarah Palin to keep talking.

Oh, and speaking of unintended consequences, the plan by Speaker Boehner to sue the president over implementation of Obamacare is being met with shrugs by other Republicans.

Far from unanimously embracing the speaker’s plan, some prominent Republicans have been tepid in their support. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, said this week that while he believed in the lawsuit, he recognized that “in the end, it’s a symbolic gesture.”

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, was indifferent when asked whether he thought the House lawsuit was the best approach. He said that when Senate Republicans had wanted to challenge Mr. Obama’s recess appointments, they had done so not on their own but by signing on to a suit brought against the administration by a third party.

Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University whom Republicans called to testify, described an “uber presidency” that had evolved to become something far more powerful than the founders had envisioned. “It is always tempting when one person steps forward and says they can get the job done alone,” he said. “That’s the siren’s call that our founders warned us to resist.”

Democrats and their constitutional experts pointed out that the lawsuit could have consequences Republicans probably do not intend. If it is successful in challenging the administration’s move to delay parts of the health care law, for example, the result will be that the law is put into effect more quickly.

I’m still gigglesnorting over them suing the president for not implementing a law they voted to repeal fifty times.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Wicked and Those Who Follow Them

Charlie Pierce has an epic rant about the Cheneys and the toadies who lap up their blather.

Close it down.

Its puerilty has finally crossed over into indecency. Its triviality has finally crossed over into obscenity. The comical political starfcking that is its primary raison d’erp has finally crossed over into $10 meth-whoring on the Singapore docks. Once a mere surface irritation, Tiger Beat On The Potomac has finally crossed over into being a thickly pustulating chancre on the craft of journalism. It has demonstrated its essential worthlessness. It has demonstrated that it has the moral character of a sea-slug and the professional conscience of the Treponema pallidum spirochete. Trust me. Stephen Glass never sunk this low. Mike (Payola) Allen has accomplished the impossible. He’s made Jayson Blair look like Ernie Pyle.

It’s not just that TBOTP invited the Manson Family of American geopolitics to come together for an exercise in ensemble prevarication. It’s not just that the account of said exercise is written in the kind of cacophonous cutesy-poo necessary to drown out the screams of the innocent dead, and to distract the assembled crowd from the blood that has dripped from the wallet of the celebrity war-criminal leading the public display. And it’s not as though this was a mere interview—a “get” that could help you “win the morning (!).” In that, it might have been marginally excusable. No, this was one of Mike Allen’s little grift-o-rama special events—a “Playbook lunch,” sponsored by that noted mortgage fraud concern Bank Of America. There’s an upcoming TBOTP “event” in L.A. that is sponsored by J.P. Morgan. I know what Mike Allen is, but I am so goddamn tired of haggling about the price.

In a perverse way, I hope the Cheneys take their act on the road, pop up on every local TV news show, and remind us of how much we love to loath Dick, Lynne, and Liz.

The Kids On The Bus

TPM has a video that encapsulates the racism and idiocy of some folks’ reaction to the refugees arriving in America:

Doofus congressional candidate tells how he saw the fear in the eyes of the migrant child being bused to a nearby shelter in on-going border crisis. Then confronted with the fact that they were local kids going to the YMCA.

If it wasn’t so tragic, it would be hilarious that all of these big tough right-wingers who sneer in the face of imagined evil-doers bringing their terror babies with calves the size of cantaloupes into the country are freaked out by the sight of a busload of ten-year-olds on their way to summer camp.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Out of Uniform

Two Florida cops are out of work for being members of the KKK.

Fruitland Park police Chief Terry Isaacs said his department has been shaken by troubling but unproven allegations that a deputy chief and a former police corporal were associated with the Ku Klux Klan.

The allegations, contained in a confidential FBI report provided to Isaacs by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, led to the sudden resignation of Deputy Chief David Borst and Isaacs’ decision Friday to dismiss Officer George Hunnewell.

Isaacs would not confirm that the report linked the two officers to the KKK, instead describing the group as a “subversive organization.” He said he couldn’t be more exact in his description because he thought he was not authorized to release details of the report. Issacs said the document was given to him as chief to consider how the allegations might affect the officers’ credibility and the perception of the department in the community.

Chief Deputy State Attorney Ric Ridgway, from whom Isaacs sought advice, identified the KKK as the hate group.

“It’s not a crime to be a member of the KKK, even if you are the deputy chief. It’s not a crime to be stupid,” Ridgway said, in a previous interview. “It’s not a crime to hate people. It may be despicable, it may be immoral, but it’s not a crime.”

I suppose it’s a sign of progress.  It wasn’t that long ago that membership in the Klan was a requirement in some places to get a job in law enforcement.

Your Moment of D’oh

Republicans never fail to entertain.

They voted overwhelmingly Thursday to bar the Energy Department from blocking approval of offshore-drilling permits. But there’s just one thing: The Energy Department doesn’t regulate drilling. The Interior Department does.

The prohibition on the Energy Department regulating something that it doesn’t regulate came came via Republican Rep. Steve Stockman’s amendment to a wider department spending bill, which also passed Thursday.

Maybe we’re better off with Congress doing nothing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

No Passing Zone

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict that Congress will not pass the president’s request for almost $4 billion to help the immigration situation.

We’re going to see a lot of bobbleheads on TV and hear a lot of noise from the Republicans about how all of this is Obama’s fault and why should hard-working Americans bear the burden of taking care of refugees from other countries when we have our own problems, etc. something something.  Next thing you know it’s Labor Day and some other shiny object will have popped up to distract our attention.

Could this be a problem for the Republicans?  I doubt it.  The Republicans see this as a winner for them if they don’t do anything but blame the president.  They can campaign on that because there’s no Republican who ever lost a race by finding a problem, pointing it out, and blaming it on someone else.

It’s not like they’re worried about losing votes from the Hispanics to whom immigration reform is important.  The GOP already knows that it’s a lost cause and they risk provoking the raging ire from the hard-core Tea Party base if they are seen as being too nice to brown people.  So they’re not risking anything by letting this effort — like so many other things that could actually help people like minimum wage and unemployment assistance — wither away.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

And All This Science I Don’t Understand

According to Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R), climate change is not caused by humans because it’s just as warm on Mars as it is here.

“I don’t want get into the debate about climate change,” state Sen. Brandon Smith said, according to Louisville NPR affiliate WFPL. “But I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.”

However, Smith’s claim is definitely disputable.

The average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, while the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA.

Elton John knows that.

Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids
In fact it’s cold as hell
And there’s no one there to raise them if you did
And all this science I don’t understand

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Getting Out The Vote

Steve Benen on you-know-who’s call for Congress to impeach President Obama:

First, for a prominent Republican figure to use immigration as a rationale for presidential impeachment – just four months before the midterm elections – is pretty much the opposite the message the party establishment wants to convey. GOP lawmakers have already killed a popular, bipartisan immigration bill, alienating Latino voters nationwide, and now Sarah Palin is making matters worse, largely because her contempt for the president is unrelated to any kind of sensible electoral strategy.

Second, the more the party’s highest-profile personalities raise the volume on impeachment talk, the more it motivates the Democratic base to actually get in the game this fall (look up “1998, midterm elections”). Put it this way: who do you think is more excited about talking up Palin’s harangue this afternoon, the RNC or the DNC? I’m guessing the latter.

[...]

And so, with 118 days to go before the midterms, Republicans are increasingly positioning themselves as the anti-immigrant, anti-contraception, pro-impeachment party that shut down the government last year for no reason. The GOP, in other words, is practically begging the Democratic base to wake up, show up, and get engaged.

There must be some kind of psychosis in the G.O.P. that compels them to do everything they can to poison their own water and yet think they can get away with it at the ballot box.  Maybe it’s because they’ve rigged the system through gerrymandering congressional districts so that no matter how crappy Congress comes off to the electorate — right now a 10% approval score would be an upgrade — so many individual districts are in the hands of the hard-core base that a competitive election would be as rare as one in North Korea.  It gives them the feeling of invincibility, and all too often the Democrats have accommodated them by barely trying.

But now that the screaming reminder of G.O.P. incompetence (thank you, John McCain) is holding forth, perhaps the Democrats will seize the chance to exploit the fact that the threat of impeachment is no longer the mutterings of talk radio and the birthers.  She has laid this turd smack in the middle of the Republican salad bar.  Enjoy your lunch, Speaker Boehner.

Sorry, Cleveland

When I was a kid growing up near Toledo in the 1960′s, there would be times when the city was the butt of jokes and even a song or two that made fun of it.  My friends and I would console ourselves by saying, “Hey, at least we’re not in Cleveland.”

Back then it was “The Mistake on the Lake,” known for its crumbling industries, the river that caught fire, and a lousy baseball team.  But in the last few decades the city has bounced back.  It landed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and even though the football team had some ups and downs, they’re not the losers they once were.  The city is looking good.

But now they’ve gone and landed the 2016 Republican convention.  The whackos and shouters will descend on them and emerge with some soul-crushing ticket that will flail and wail about whatever bats have gotten into their belfry at the time — the imagination reels — and Cleveland will have to smile bravely and welcome them and the rest of the clown cars.

Tucker Carlson Gets Pawned

In October 2012 Tucker Carlson, the cheap version of George F. Will, ran with a story in his faux Fox site Daily Caller accusing Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) of consorting with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.  That would have been really bad news just before an election if it was true.

Well, guess what.

Citing former U.S. officials and people with close ties to Menendez, The Washington Post reported Monday that the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including IP addresses, linking Cuban agents to efforts to disseminate the prostitution allegations. Menendez’s attorney sent a letter to the Justice Department in April requesting that it pursue that evidence, further alleging that the Cuban government sought to derail the senator’s political career as he was poised to head up the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The Daily Caller’s editor-in-chief, Tucker Carlson, told the Post it would be difficult to verify whether a story written by one of his reporters actually originated with the Castro regime.

Heh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Around The Big Bend

Texas is a very big state and the Republican party is very strong in that state, so when they come up with a party platform that basically calls for America to be come Somalia with Stetsons, perhaps we should pay attention to them.  Or just gape in gob-smacked incredulity.  Charlie Pierce:

This isn’t four guys in camo in Idaho. This isn’t a guy broadcasting on a short-wave from upper Michigan, or receiving the truth about chemtrails and the Illuminati through his teeth. This is the Republican party representing the state from which he got our last Republican president, and one of the biggest states in the Union. This is what it believes, as summed up with realit-based parentheticals by Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker:

Let’s proceed to policy. In the next of its forty pages, the platform demands, among other things: That the Texas Legislature should nullify-indeed, “ignore, oppose, refuse, and nullify”-federal laws it doesn’t like. (Unmentioned is the fact that, beginning in 1809, the Supreme Court has steadfastedly rejected state nullification of federal laws.); That when it comes to “unelected bureaucrats”-i.e., pretty much the entire federal work force above the janitorial level-Congress should “defund and abolish these positions.”; That the Seventeenth Amendment, which was adopted in 1913, be repealed, so that “the appointment of United States Senators” can again be made by state legislators, not by voters. (Admittedly, the Texas Legislature could hardly do worse.), That all federal “enforcement activities” within the borders of Texas-including, presumably, the activities of F.B.I. agents, Justice Department prosecutors, air marshals, immigration officers, agricultural inspectors, and tax auditors-”must be conducted under the auspices of the county sheriff with jurisdiction in that county.”

Point and laugh all you want, but ignore them at your peril.  Even if Wendy Davis somehow is elected governor, these folks will not go gently.

Smokeout

The latest fad among the neener-neener crowd is to rig a diesel truck so that it pours black smoke when you step on the gas, thus annoying liberals and other people who have to breathe.

“Rolling coal” as it’s called is in response to environmentalists looking to lower carbon emissions in cars.

Truckers essentially trick their vehicles into thinking they need to use more gas than it actually needs. The more fuel that’s used up, the more exhaust comes out thus the big plumes of dark emissions from a “rolling coal truck.”

According to Daily Digest News, turning a truck into a rolling coal truck can cost as much as $5,000.

Not only that, it reduces the mileage on the vehicle to that of a Sherman tank, makes it run like shit, voids the warranty and will eventually ruin the engine.  But hey, when you have the mental foresight of your average ten-year-old brat, who cares?

Monday, July 7, 2014

One Born Every Minute

The GOP is selling an “I Miss W” t-shirt for $27.

By sporting this comfortable, classic, American-made tee, you can share our message and help us elect principled conservative leaders to office.

Only the Republicans could get away with selling a $2 piece of clothing with a message that harkens back to the good old days of financial disaster and being lied into a war.

Not even the most stoned teeny-bopper at a Grand Funk Railroad concert would cough up that kind of dough for such a souvenir.  But a right-wing white guy with a gun fetish and a tiny dick would, so they’ll probably sell a ton of them.

Chutzpah

The only reason I can discern from Speaker John Boehner’s piece explaining his reasons for suing President Obama is that the president has violated the strict code that heretofore no president has ever done in such a way before.

It’s not that he’s issued an inordinate number of executive orders as compared to his predecessors; it’s not that he’s issued signing statements stating his objections to various laws passed by Congress as opposed to his immediate predecessor; it’s not that he’s gone to the full extent of the law allowable to put in place; it’s not that he’s speaking out while Congress has done nothing about anything such as pass immigration reform, addressed climate change, consider raising the minimum wage, or done anything of a nature that reflects serious dedication to their job.

It’s that the president has taken all these actions while being black, and the Republicans and their base of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing Jesus-shouters cannot allow that.

If you can think of any other plausible reason, we’d all love to hear it.

It takes a hell of a lot of chutzpah for Speaker Boehner to blame President Obama for his party and his House majority for not doing their job and taking him to court over it, firm in the confidence that he will win and relying on the institutions that were once considered journalistic outlets to get away with it.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Hey, It Worked For Mitt Romney

TPM has the video of Colorado GOP nominee for governor Bob Beauprez doing the 47% bit.

It’s not precisely the same as the original Mitt version. But it’s close. And in some ways goes in still new directions. The video appears to be from 2010. He generally describes the fat and happy poors among us who are “perfectly happy that somebody else is paying the bill and most of that half is you all.” “I submit to you that there is a political strategy to get slightly over half and have a permanent ruling majority by keeping over half of the population dependent on the largess of government that somebody else is paying for.”

Since it’s from 2010, it could be argued that Mr. Romney got the idea from Mr. Beauprez.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Welcome to America

Tea Partiers put out the welcome wagon.

Three buses carrying 140 undocumented immigrants are heading back to San Diego County after being met by angry protesters at the Murrieta Border Patrol facility Tuesday afternoon.

The group was flown from Texas to San Diego Tuesday morning and quickly boarded buses bound for the facility. They arrived in Murrieta shortly after 2 p.m.

News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 were in Murrieta for their arrival.

A group of protesters waving American Flags actually blocked the buses from entering the Border Patrol facility. Residents were lining the street early Tuesday morning with signs, one of which read, ‘Return to Sender’.

After the protesters intervened, the buses turned around and drove away from the facility. Our crew at the scene confirmed the buses are on their way back to San Diego County.

Unless that mob was made up of Native Americans, the only chant they should have been shouting was “We got here first!”

HT to LGM.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Far Right of the Maine Stream

TPM has a fascinating — meaning scary as hell — story about Maine Gov. Paul LePage taking a long meeting with “sovereign citizens.”

At 8 a.m. on February 4, 2013, a signal crackled to life from the WXME radio tower in Aroostook County, about a mile and a half from the Canadian border. The broadcast went out locally on the AM band as well as the station’s online stream. The signal was picked up from the Internet and rebroadcast through a network of low-power FM repeaters maintained by volunteers willing to skirt the edges of FCC regulations in towns across Maine. Listeners tuning in that morning were greeted first with a medley of patriotic and religious songs and then by the voices of Jack McCarthy and Steve Martin, hosts of the Aroostook Watchmen radio show.

McCarthy and Martin are two men with a cause. They believe they have access to truths that few others know or want to hear, primarily that the American government is illegitimate and that the shadowy cabal of elites who control it are preparing for a war on the American people. The 9/11 attacks, the Boston bombing, most mass shootings, and a wide range of other events generally attributed to terrorists and criminals are actually false-flag operations perpetrated by the American government against its own people as part of a ramp-up to a final reckoning, according to the hosts. The Watchmen, who consider themselves “Sovereign Citizens” outside government control, feel it’s their responsibility to reveal these conspiracies and to help wrest back control of the country from the usurpers. Their program is broadcast six days a week.

The sovereign citizens are the same folks who are holed up with Cliven Bundy out in Nevada and aiming their rifles at BLM agents and can be heard in the various dog-whistles in the Tea Party: “take my country back!” and “Second Amendment solutions.”  And the governor didn’t just shake hands, nod, and walk away.  He sat down with them for 90 minutes.

Why would a governor value the support of such a group when an association with their violent, antigovernment, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories could damage him politically? How could he think that discussing how best to arrest and execute his political opponents with a group of Sovereign Citizen extremists was a good idea?

Two answers seem most likely: The first is that he may have bought into many of the Sovereign Citizens’ claims, at least until his legal staff set him straight. This is certainly what the Watchmen believe and is reinforced by his willingness to repeat some of their rhetoric in public. The other possibility may be that LePage simply wished to flatter this group with his time and attention because, despite their extremism, they are a crucial part of the electoral coalition that helped him to gain his office and may be useful to his reelection in 2014.

Read the whole piece.  It’s some scary stuff.

Monday, June 30, 2014