Wednesday, March 24, 2010

No You Can't (Feat. John Boehner)

The Party of No strikes again!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Wingnut Dream

Via Slowpoke Comics, with a H/T to Jules:

Monday, March 22, 2010

Now You Know

Newt Gingrich apparently thinks that the Civil Rights Act was a bad idea for Democrats and the country as a whole:

Washington Post:
But former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich said Obama and the Democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive reform. Calling the bill "the most radical social experiment . . . in modern times," Gingrich said: "They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years" with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s. 
"Shattered the Democratic Party"? The Democrats lost the South, true, but also they became identified as the party of compassion, inclusion, and liberalism--all good things, in my estimation. Yes, Democrats lost the presidency (to Richard Nixon), and eventually, control of Congress too, nineteen years later; but we also got rid of the last of the Dixiecrats.

More curiously, what is Newt really saying with this comparison? Is he advising that Democrats should always do the expedient thing, rather than the right thing? Kos had something to say about that:
[...]this is certainly a bizarre comparison. Apparently, for Gingrich, Democrats should regret their decision to push for civil rights legislation, because such legislation cost Democrats electorally (and it did, thanks to Nixon, the GOP, and their Southern Strategy). The merits of the legislation (in this case, desegregation) take a back seat to the political implications.

In other words, Gingrich believes that political pandering and cowardice is always preferred, even when dealing with unambiguous evils like segregation.
Newt obviously thinks that ending segregation should have taken a back seat to retaining political power. An interesting perspective for a man who's considered a potential presidential candidate, and a leader of the Republican party. Profiles in cowardice, indeed.

H/T, as always, to DailyKos.

Adios, Rush!

Today's email reminds that Rush Limbaugh vowed to move to Costa Rica if health care reform passed. (Obviously, that's just an excuse for him to get closer to brown-skinned young boys and girls, but I digress.) Well, the DCCC has put up an online farewell card for poor ol' Rush. You can find it here.

Nancy Pelosi: The Best Speaker In The Last 100 Years

Tonight, Nancy Pelosi eclipsed the legendary Tip O'Neill by doing what even he could not accomplish: passing health care reform legislation. Man, she's got the biggest balls in the House! John Boehner must be envious. Pelosi did what was heretofore impossible, and for my money, she's the best Speaker of the House in the last 100 years.

The passage of healthcare reform is not just a triumph of Pelosi’s liberal idealism, though it is partly that. It’s just as much a triumph of her underappreciated legislative savvy – mastery, really. In the ’01 leadership race, Hoyer was supposed to be the skilled tactician. Pelosi was supposed to be the clueless ideologue. But as speaker, she’s adeptly she’s mixed her idealism with the deft touch of a seasoned congressional insider.

You need look no further than the healthcare saga for confirmation of this. Who else could have pulled off what Pelosi just did? For more than a year, she carefully balanced the wildly disparate interests of her caucus’ various coalitions – the progressives who demanded a “robust” public option, the Blue Dogs who cared mainly about deficits, the pro-lifers who made abortion their make-or-break issue, and on and on. She gave away just enough to each group to keep reform alive – without sacrificing her own bottom-line of near-universal coverage.

She also went to war with the Senate after the Massachusetts special election – and won, forcing that chamber’s leaders to embrace the reconciliation process they’d been shunning.

Since Obama’s inauguration, Pelosi has racked up an impressive list of achievements. She pushed the stimulus bill through, then cap-and-trade, and now healthcare. And those are just the headline items. For a woman who supposedly hails from her party’s left-wing fringe, she sure has a knack for winning over moderates when it matters.
And what's wrong with her "San Francisco liberal values," anyway? Seems to me we could use a few more of them in Congress, and across the country. Damn certain we don't need the tea party's idea of "values".

Three years into her tenure as Speaker of the House, legislating the snot out of the Democratic agenda, Pelosi has quietly cleared the docket for her aggressive to-do list. Certainly 2008 was Obama's. He earned it. But 2009? Not so much. Pelosi wrestled that one for her own simply by executing her duties — two escalating briar-patch wars, one caterwauling economy, and all those thick and meaty state-by-state unemployment numbers aside. With the midterm elections ten months away, you can mark it down: Nancy Pelosi is winning. Not hearts and minds — those she leaves to Obama; they are his to lose. The Speaker wins alliances and coalitions. The Speaker wins votes in the House. They are the only relevant measure of her success. She doesn't particularly need anyone to love her. She doesn't work for that. She simply wants to win.
Well, for what it's worth, I think she's the best! And tonight, win she did, and big. Nancy Pelosi is simply the best Speaker in the last 100 years.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Waiting On The World To Change *

Sitting here watching the Repugs try desperately to forestall the health care reform vote, and I'm struck by how tired their arguments seem. It's not like we haven't heard all this bullshit from them before, it's just that now it seems kind of sad. It reminds me of nothing more than a parent reluctantly telling an adult child not to so something that the parent doesn't like, but really doesn't understand, and maybe secretly wish that they had themselves tried: "Only hoodlums get tattoos!" "Why don't you study accounting instead of that creative writing stuff? The world is full of broke poets!"

Let's be honest here: the main reason the Republicans don't want this bill passed is that they foresee two generations of democratic hegemony as the main (to them) effect of health care reform. They're afraid that health care reform will be the Twenty-First Century equivalent of Social Security, which kept the Democrats in power for most of the fifty years following passage. They fear that despite their threats, November might turn out to be a good month for Democrats, and that they'll have to shore up their right glanks against the Tea Party morons.

Speaking of which, here's something I saw today on the Rude Pundit's Facebook page regarding the teabaggers and their anger, that I'd like to repeat (also courtesy of Democratic Underground):

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate energy policy.

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

You didn't get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you saw the Abu Grahib photos.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city drown.

You didn't get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.

You finally got mad when.. when... wait for it... when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all ok with you but helping other Americans... well f*ck that. That about right? You know it is.

Yeah, they know what's going on.

* Yes, I know John Mayer has turned out to be an asshole,  but it's still a good line.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Face of the Tea Party

Teabaggers mock and scorn a man with Parkinson's at a rally in Columbus, OH. What, you're surprised?

Progress Ohio:
Video shot by the Columbus Dispatch from today's Honk and Wave in Support of Health Care at Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy's district office contains a segment wherein the teabaggers mock and scorn an apparent Parkinsen's victim telling him "he's in the wrong end of town to ask for handouts", calling him a communist and throwing money at him to "pay for his health care".

Wow, what compassionate Christians, every one of 'em. And they demonstrate such an understanding of the health care reform bill! These people should be subject to the very same judgment that they assault that unfortunate man with. Scumbags.

H/T to DailyKos and AlterNet.

From the Department of Conspicuous Consumption....

Fisher-Price introduces iPhone apps for the two-to-five-year-old set:

How many 2-year-olds do you know with an iPhone? Fisher Price seems to think there’s a fair few out there, as it’s released three new iPhone apps aimed at kids aged between two and five.
Perfect for keeping tots happy for five minutes or so on the go, there’s See’n Say [iTunes link], which lets little ones spin a virtual arrow to identify animals; Little People Farm [iTunes link], based on the original toy with three mini-games and two themed songs; and Chatter Telephone [iTunes link], an iPhone version of the familiar plastic Fisher Price phone.

OK, this even tops sixteen-year-olds with Porsches. Is it the Eighties again?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You Keep Singing That Song. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means.

Glenn Beck actually listened to the lyrics of Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." the other day--for the first time, apparently--and guess what? He didn't like what he (finally) heard:
Twenty-six years after the release of Bruce Springsteen's hit song, "Born in The USA," conservative talk show host/performance artist Glenn Beck finally got around to listening to the lyrics.
Beck was shocked, shocked to discover that for all these years he'd been rocking out to a song about a bitter down-and-out Vietnam vet who has been kicked to the curb by the aforementioned USA.
This is just too funny! Poor Glenn Beck. He complained on his radio show that " get filled with patriotic pride, and then you find out that Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born In The U.S.A.’ is anti-American," and then suddenly Beck's finding elements of the international communist conspiracy in Springsteen's music, similar to what Beck "discovered" in the Rivera murals in Rockefeller Center. Yikes! Commies under every bed! But at least Beck's more astute that Ronald Reagan was.

Hey Glenn, for the past twenty-six years, I've been wondering when wingnut idiots like you would discover what that Springsteen song is really all about. And you know what else, Glenn? That's not "patriotic pride" that you're full of. Moron.

R.I.P., Theodore Olbermann

Keith Olbermann lost his father today:
My father died, in the city of his birth, New York, at 3:50 EST this afternoon.
My Dad was predeceased last year by my mother, Marie, his wife of nearly 60 years. He died peacefully after a long fight against the complications that ensued after successful colon surgery last September at the New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. My sister Jenna and I were at his side, and I was reading him his favorite James Thurber short stories, as he left us.
He was my inspiration, and will always remain so. His bravery these last six months cannot be measured. He is as much my hero now, as he was when I was five years old.
We send our prayers, sympathy, and goodwill to Keith and his family.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lies and the Lying Republicans Who Tell Them

Thanks to mcjoan at DailyKos, I've found a chart from the Sunlight Foundation that shows how reconciliation has been used for the past twenty years. Suffice it to say, the Rethugs are lying through their teeth with their "outrage" that Senate Democrats would use reconciliation to "stuff this bill down our throats." Personally, I'd like to stuff something else down Rethug throats--preferably something 12-gauge or better--but I digress. Take a look:

As they say, figures (and facts) don't lie, but liars sure can figure.

Tea Bags Required, Hoods Optional

Bob Cesca in HuffPost elaborates on a point that I've advanced before--simply, that the basis of the tea parties is racism:

Huffington Post:
This isn't an epiphany by any stretch. From the beginning, with their witch doctor imagery, watermelon agitprop and Curious George effigies, the wingnut right has been dying to blurt out, as Lee Atwater famously said, "nigger, nigger, nigger!"
But they can't.

Strike that. Correction. founder Dale Robertson brandished a sign with the (misspelled) word "niggar." So they're not even as restrained as the generally unstrung Atwater anymore.

The tea party is an extension of talk radio. It's an extension of Fox News Channel. It's an extension of the southern faction of the Republican Party -- the faction that gave us the Southern Strategy, the Willie Horton ad, the White Hands ad and the racially divisive politics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. It's an extension of the race-baiting and, often, the outright racism evident in all of those conservative spheres.
From the outset, the tea party was based on a contradictory premise (the original tea party was a protest against a corporate tax cut). And when you throw out all of the nonsense and contradictions, there's nothing left except race. There's no other way to explain why these people were silent and compliant for so long, and only decided to collectively freak out when this "foreign" and "exotic" president came along and, right out of the chute, passed the largest middle class tax cut in American history -- something they would otherwise support, for goodness sake, it was $288 billion in tax cuts! -- we're left to deduce no other motive but the ugly one that lurks just beneath the pale flesh, the tri-corner hats and the dangly tea bag ornamentation.

Irrespective of whether the president passed a huge tax cut or went out of his way to bring Republicans into the health care process, the seeds of racial animosity from the far-right were sown during the campaign. In those lines waiting for then-vice presidential candidate and current tea party heroine Sarah Palin, their loud noises spread the pre-scripted lies, lies that entirely hinged on the president's African heritage. A white candidate would never be accused of being a secret Muslim. A white candidate would never be accused of being a foreign usurper. Only a black candidate with a foreign name would be accused of "palling around with domestic terrorists."
In the final analysis, when you boil away all of the weirdness, it becomes clear that the teabaggers are pissed because there isn't yet another doddering old white guy in the White House -- like they're used to. That's what this is all about.
 I recently abandoned a back-and-forth with an anonymous reader down below, because when you ignore shit like this, there's just no arguing with that kind of unreality. But I want to emphasize again the racist, ignorant heart of the tea party movement. Cesca correctly states, and Obama himself said during the campaign, that they wouldn't be protesting if he was just "another doddering old white guy."  Damn right.

The comparison with progressive-led protests again George W. Bush and other conservative presidents is ludicrous. When did the left ever call for secession? And just where are all the people of color at these tea party rallies?--I've counted less than ten total, in all the news footage I've seen. When did progressives ever bring firearms to a townhall meeting or anti-Bush rally, or carry signs portraying W in a klansman's hood? When did we on the left claim that Bush was a secret, foreign-born terrorist? A fake Texan, maybe, but a covert spy of a different faith, friendly to domestic terrorists and dedicated to destroying America? No, such ludicrous, seditious, and patently false claims are the calling cards of the tea parties.

There's a 24/7/365 drumbeat of hate, fear, and misinformation aimed at the Obama presidency, led by Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, something unprecidented in American politics. It's hateful, racist, deceitful, ignorant, disrespectful, and just plain wrong. And as long as I draw breath, I'll fight it with everything I have.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sarah, Quit Your Day Job--Please!

Sarah Palin debuts in her new career as a (deliberate) standup comedian....on the Tonight Show??

The former Republican vice presidential nominee turned into a standup comic on Jay Leno's "Tonight Show" Tuesday, dropping one-liners about the White House, Congress and Fey -- the "Saturday Night Live" star known for her impression of the former Alaska governor.
But before Palin hit the stage alone, she sat down with Leno and talked about her role at Fox News and about the Tea Party movement.
Leno asked Palin what she thinks about joining the media by becoming a Fox News analyst. Palin told Leno that she's there to build trust in the media. "I think that the mainstream media is quite broken and I think that there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there. That's why I joined Fox." Leno laughed.
When asked about the "beautiful" Tea Party movement, Palin described it as a group of "many, many independent people, not excessively partisan, not one side or another." Palin acknowledged that if the movement were to become a political party that it would probably hurt Republicans.
As part of her standup routine, Palin told Leno's audience she planned to speak at a gun-rights convention: "Be there or else," she warned them. 
"Be there or else?" Bitch, you'd better hope that I'm not there! I was already pissed at Jay Leno for elbowing Conan O'Brien aside--Jay, you screwed up in prime time, and you should take the hit for it, not Conan. But now Leno is kissing Sarah Palin's ass, too? GTFOH!!

For all the comics who've had to work sleazy dives across the country while getting themselves established, had to simultaneously work two or three day jobs while pursuing their dream of stardom, gotten the 1 AM slot at the comedy club and had to be happy that they got any stage time at all, and who've spent years learning their craft, this has to be an outrage. Her first gig is the Tonight Show?! Why is it that Palin once again gets a opportunity for which she's unqualified, untrained, inexperienced, and in the pursuit of which can only spew out snarky remarks?

On the plus side, maybe this will make Palin quit her day job of screwing up American politics. But in the meantime, Jay Leno can go fuck himself...and take Sarah Palin with him.

OK, I"ll Say It First...

How can a blind man be so.......blind? (There, I beat SNL to the punch!)

Authorities are investigating the winning bid of a politically connected group of investors -- including a prominent rapper and a former congressman -- to transform a Queens horse track into a "racino" amid suspicions that the contract, doled out by Gov. David Paterson, was awarded improperly.
In the long-awaited deal made by the state, a consortium of companies called Aqueduct Entertainment Group will develop the 50-year-old Aqueduct Race Track in Queens into a "racino" with over 4,000 video slot machines, restaurants, a large "entertainment center," and a hotel.
On Jan. 29, Gov. David Paterson announced he and other officials had selected AEG for the project, promising "real jobs" for the region, money for the cash-strapped state, and economic development for Queens.
For the consortium of companies, the prospect of running what would be the only casino in New York City -- one with its own subway stop -- promises untold profits.
But an investigation into the deal by the state inspector general -- and possibly the U.S. Attorney -- is yet another ethics headache for Paterson. The probes could also dash hopes that the project will get off the ground anytime soon.
But an investigation into the deal by the state inspector general -- and possibly the U.S. Attorney -- is yet another ethics headache for Paterson. The probes could also dash hopes that the project will get off the ground anytime soon.
In the latest twist, the New York Post reported Tuesday that AEG investor Jay-Z, and hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons -- who was an adviser to one of the losing bidders -- were being subpoenaed to talk to the IG. 
After adding this to the business with his aide and the free World Series tickets, it's obvious that Paterson should resign. Dammit, why is it that New York and Illinois governors seem to believe their offices include free, publicly-financed personal ATMs and hookers? And why can't we catch Tim Pawlenty doing something similar?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thank God For Rachel Maddow

I have to applaud Rachel Maddow for telling it like it is. Her continuing series, "They're Not Embarrassed," on Republican lies about health care reform is a breath of fresh air. No one else in the mainstream media has the courage to call out the Rethugs on their lies but her. You don't hear John King on CNN saying that Mitch McConnell lied again today (and you never will, because he's a tool and a pussy). Time and again Rachel shows how Republicans totally reverse themselves on issues, how they oppose things they once supported when their party was in power (like reconciliation), how these fools forget there's such a thing as videotape.

Check out how Rachel blows open Republican hypocrisy, below:

Where are the rest of the media  on this? I don't expect anything but lies from Fox Noise, but dammit, I expect better from the New York Times and the Washington Post! A lie is a lie is a lie. Especially on a major issue like health care, you'd think that adherence to the truth, or the lack thereof, would be newsworthy. I guess the MSM thinks we won't notice the hypocrisy if they don't point it out. (Why, I can't say for sure, but I have some ideas--but that's another post.) Well, we're not all that dumb, and we've got broadband. The old media isn't doing its vital job of supporting democracy, the Republicans are acting like spoiled brats, and too many people are either asleep or not paying attention. Thank all the gods for the new media, and people like Rachel Maddow.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Will Someone Please Kick Jim Bunning's Ass?

This old fool has now now screwed seniors, doctors and federal workers, as well as the unemployed:

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) is already infamous for blocking a temporary extension of unemployment and COBRA benefits for out of work Americans. But included in that package is legislation to prevent a mandatory pay cut for doctors--and by standing in it's way, he's triggered a 21 percent fee reduction to doctors seeing Medicare patients starting today. 
 The American Medical Association warned of this last week: "A Medicare meltdown now seems certain, as the U.S. Senate has left early for the weekend, abandoning seniors, military families and baby boomers," reads an AMA statement from Friday. "The Senate failed to repeal the Medicare physician payment formula that will cause a drastic 21 percent payment cut to physicians who care for Medicare and TRICARE patients. On Monday, the 21 percent cut goes into effect, forcing many physicians to limit the number of Medicare and TRICARE patients they see in order to keep their practice doors open."
On a conference call with reporters this afternoon Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) put it this way: "By his actions, Bunning has prevented people from receiving Unemployment, health care access, transportation projects from going forward, and Doctors who provide Medicare services from getting paid."
Bunning's obstinacy has also put 2,000 federal transportation employees out of work, because, ya know, we don't need no stinkin' bridges or roads. This cranky old man is screwing up the entire government singlehandedly, and since he's not running for reelection, even the GOP leadership has no control over him. This, by the way, is the same senator who said "tough shit" when he was earlier asked to drop his objection

I haven't seen anyone screw this many people at once since Richard Nixon was president. Will someone please catch Bunning in the Senate cloakroom and kick his ass for me, so we can get back to work in Washington? Please?