Friday, April 16, 2010

Frank Luntz Goes VIRAL as GOP Lemmings Follow Him Over the Cliff

Don't you just love it when a plan comes together! For teetering Republicans who promised to stand with Mitch McConnell in lockstep opposition to financial reform, that tall grass, those hills . . . look pretty inviting. Their timing is impeccable, too, promising to shore up the Wall Street bankers on the very day Goldman Sachs is charged by the SEC with defrauding investors, including Main Street pension funds. The Democrats, for once, were quick to produce an ad connecting the dots between Mitch McConnell, propagandist Frank Luntz, and Wall Street banks that are fiercely opposing financial regulation. And the taxpayers have yet to be made whole for the TARP bailout. These people are shameless.

How long did the lying punk with the bad complexion think he’d get a free pass for his self-promotion for corporate dollars, doing GOP business on the side? The Frank Luntz memos from his group, the (lyin') “Word Doctors,” have finally come back to bite him in the ass. Keep in mind, this little punk with rosacea makes a living telling politicians how to LIE on a grand scale. First it was the LIES about healthcare (hundreds of them), next Luntz is at it again with financial regulatory reform. And the punk is arrogant enough in his perceived ability to manipulate public opinion with lies that he outlines it all in informative memos (look them up -- they're in PDF format.)

This time, the Democrats pushed back against the punk’s toxic games. Republicans are nothing if not robotic. When it comes to repeating the Luntz talking points they march in lockstep. By putting words/LIES in Mitch McConnell’s mouth, Luntz incensed not only Democrats who have been working all year toward regulating derivatives and establishing a financial consumer protection agency, but also Mitch McConnell’s hometown newspaper. It exposed the Republican leader’s dalliances with Wall Street bankers with (for a red state paper) unusual but welcome ferocity:
“McConnell's statements are perfectly calibrated to inflame the public. He insists the bill would “allow endless taxpayer-funded bailouts for big Wall Street banks.” Their resemblance to the truth is another matter.

We have read that the Republicans have a plan for financial reform, but McConnell isn't talking up any solutions, just trashing the other side's ideas with no respect for the truth.

The provision to which McConnell particularly objects creates an orderly process for letting “too big to fail” banks fail, at the industry's expense, without taking down the entire economy.

The losers would be the management and shareholders, not the taxpayers. So onerous would this process be for failing financial institutions, says (Va. Sen.) Warner, that it would serve as a deterrent to reckless decision-making.

The high-stakes gamblers on Wall Street, luxuriating again in big bonuses, don't want any new oversight or regulation. Why would they, knowing that the government would have to bail them out again if their trading of worthless financial instruments goes bust and threatens to bring on the next Great Depression?

McConnell, unabashedly courting Wall Street bankers for political money, is happy to scratch their backs if they'll scratch his.”
You’ve gone to that well once too often, punk. Despite the Luntzes of this world, eventually, yes eventually . . . the truth will out.

Bill-O The CLOWN Head’s Up His Ass -- Again!

It comes as no surprise that Bill-O “the Clown” O’Really is a consistent LIAR. Lying is an essential prerequisite for hosting ANY program at Fox. The problem Boss Murdoch has with Bill-O is YA GOTTA BE GOOD AT IT! Murdoch has been after O’Really’s ass for some time –- it’s one thing to have too many pea brains with oversized egos bouncing off the padded walls at Fox; but when one tries going rogue . . . Aarghh!

It got so that Keith Olbermann had to come to Bill-O’s defense –- where else could he mine so much clownish material?! (See below.) But first, Bill-O’s caught with his head way up his ass and he’s too skeert to accept the video evidence and admit he’s full of shit. Let’s face it, Bill-O, when Neil Cavuto starts putting on “objective journalist” airs to knock you down a peg or two or three or more, you’ve got to be scraping the humiliation bottom of the barrel.

Hmm . . . I smell a catfight brewing at Fox-y. Look out for the Pigman’s pussy cat, Clown-boy. Meeow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Teabaggers Rally Today: A Gathering of Bullies and A-Holes

The Teabaggers claim millions will be in attendance. The correct number is thousands. Most mainstream media, including MSNBC, either colluded with the Teabaggers yesterday to inflate their Boston Common Palin rally numbers or were too lazy to check. (Tebaggers claimed 10,000 -– the number was 5,000 at best, even to the untrained eye looking at the overhead crowd shot.) When Bill Maher told Chris Matthews he should stop paying so much attention to an idiot like Sarah Palin, Matthews used the false inflated figure to justify the coverage. Only Keith Olbermann cared enough to correct his colleagues’ sloppy reporting.

There is an interesting New York Times article that says Teabaggers are about 18% of the population and predominantly right wing Republicans. That sounds about right. We all know the type: white, obnoxious, selfish, right wing, schoolyard bully, with a sense of privileged entitlement to their Medicare and Social Security. Education?! Perhaps the Institute for Advanced Eugenics, or home schooling. This finding is particularly hilarious, given the Times’ past reporting of the Teabaggers’ major sources of information, e.g., Fox “News,” and conspiracist demagogues Glenn Beck and Alex Jones. Educated people do not get their news from such sources. Entertainment, perhaps; news and hard information, never.

Teabaggers claim to be against high taxation; “Taxed Enoung Already” -- that’s just a slogan in search of meaning within a gaggle of disorganized groups whose members do not believe they’re overly taxed. Teabaggers are hypocrites. You won’t hear this enough. It’s a truth that needs to be said and repeated over and over again.

Teabaggers are uncomfortable around people of different cultures, lifestyles, and race. They HATE the party that gave them their entitlements, and HATE President Obama for trying to extend it to other Americans who were left out. They don’t seem to care that the Democratic Party has fought tooth and nail over the decades to preserve their benefits from Republican attempts to dismantle them. They’re confident they can buy enough Republican votes to preserve their entitlements while shafting the rest of the country and future generations. Teabaggers are in no mood to share.

Teabaggers cling to a misplaced sense of white upper- to upper-middle-class entitlement –- the poor, African Americans and Latinos, citizens all, do not deserve what they have because, for Teabaggers, being poor is being indigent and lazy in their eyes. Teabaggers brush off the internal contradiction that they get back from the government much more than they paid into the system. Critical thinking is not their forte. Destruction, obstruction, hatred, mindless opposition, is. They are PROUD hypocrites or, as one T-shirt proclaimed, “PROUD RIGHT WING EXTREMIST(s).”

Teabaggers do not care that those who are younger and pay into the system as they did, are just as entitled to future benefits as they are to their benefits NOW. If they profess to care, it’s an abstract rationalization having to do with spiraling deficits. Tough grits for the younger generations, as long as the Teabaggers get to keep theirs untouched by government reform. If anything, the fact that younger generations will get shafted in the Teabaggers’ egocentric paradigm, only validates their back-to-high schoolyard bully rallies.

Teabaggers are selfish, brainwashed by decades of right wing propaganda, brutish, angry and racist by nature. If they believe in God, it must be the evangelical capitalist and avenging variety. Or they must not take religion very seriously. Teabaggers do not believe in climate change. Their role models likely include Massey mine company CEO Don Blankenship, whose rabid anti-government, anti-union right wing Republican views fits right in with the Teabagger profile. Most of all, Teabaggers cannot grasp the concept that Social Security and Medicare are social contracts between American citizens and their government that should be collectively honored and constructively remedied.

Teabaggers are LOATHSOME excuses for carbon-based life forms.

President Cracks Down on Mine Disaster Criminals

President Obama ordered a sweeping review of coal mine safety directing Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and her team to “work with the Justice Department to ensure that every tool in the federal government is available in this investigation” so that such disasters never happen again. “Owners responsible for conditions in the Upper Big Branch mine should be held accountable for decisions they made and preventive measures they failed to take.”

The President emphasized that while the investigation is ongoing, “we do know that this tragedy was triggered by a failure at the Upper Big Branch mine -- a failure first and foremost of management, but also a failure of oversight and a failure of laws so riddled with loopholes that they allow unsafe conditions to continue.” He pledged to hold accountable “safety violators LIKE MASSEY [that] have still been able to find ways to put their bottom line before the safety of their workers -- filing endless appeals instead of paying fines and fixing safety problems.” Noting that for a long time the mine safety agency was stacked with former mine executives and industry players, i.e. cronies of Republican Party donor and Massey CEO Don Blankenship, President Obama added, the agency “is now run, I’m proud to say, by former miners and health safety experts like Joe Main and Kevin Stricklin.”

The President concluded: “we all understand that underground coal mining is, by its very nature, dangerous. Every miner and every mining family understands this. But we know what can cause mine explosions, and we know how to prevent them. I REFUSE TO ACCEPT ANY NUMBER OF MINER DEATHS AS SIMPLY A COST OF BUSINESS.

YES! Thank you, Mr. President, for listening to the voices clamoring for JUSTICE for coal miners from predator criminal mining CEOs like Don Blankenship. HIS cost of staying employed, let alone staying out of jail, has just gone up exponentially.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Quotable: Bill Maher on Palin and Bachmann

“I’d like to see Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann on Jeopardy. It would be the all-time low score.”

Gramps McCain Is Embarassing Himself

McCain deserves to lose his easy primary race the way he’s been acting. The once respected war hero is running scared from a challenge by right wing talk radio host nonentity JD Hayworth. Despite being ahead in the polls, having a money advantage, and counting on the Republican star power of Sarah Palin and Scott Brown, Gramps insists, amazingly, he never considered himself a “maverick.” He must think his voters don’t watch Jon Stewart:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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What’s puzzling is, why would he run away from “maverick”? Isn’t his former independent image an asset with the Teabaggers? One can only speculate that some political consultant trying to earn his or her keep convinced Gramps that “maverick” must be code for “alien” or the “other” as in “not one of us.”

This series of uplifting Hayworth ads must have really messed with McCain’s head:

Notes From the Fringe

Mother Superior Jump the Gun. Forty years after the Beatles’ breakup, the Vatican says “never mind” to its decades-old condemnation of the group. Said the Vatican’s official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano:
“It's true they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives. [You must mean pederast priests?] They even said they were more famous than Jesus. But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless. Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still gives us emotions, live on like precious jewels.”
Ringo Starr was not impressed:

Waiting for Benedict. The Vatican has issued a directive that requires bishops to report sexual abuse to the police. Wow. There’s a novel concept. Here we are, well into the 21st century, and the Vatican must be dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th.

Teabaggers and Oklahoma Legislators Plot Sedition. They want to “create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.” State senator Randy Brogodon, who is running for governor, said the Teabaggers spoke to him and he believes the Second Amendment authorizes such a militia. I must have missed the part where the Constitution gives citizens the right to take arms against the government.

What are the crazies afraid of? Is it the healthcare law? Is it the President’s birthright? Perhaps they need a refresher in civics –- the Constitution provides for three branches of government, elections, the right to keep and bear arms, etc, etc. To hear Gerhardt describe it, they’re just a law abiding gathering of armed citizens. His idea is to start 20 or 30 such state militias so that there will be no need for action against the feds. In other words, they plan to intimidate the federal government and citizens who do not agree with this lunacy with the threat of armed violence in order to make the feds bend to their demands. In a word: SEDITION.

There is historic precedent for this. A similar thing occurred on the eve of the Civil War when the party in power was accused of diverting improperly obtained federal funds to Southern states “to arm militias for an insurrection against the government over the slavery issue.” (Lincoln for President – Bruce Chadwick) Somehow, healthcare reform, majority vote rule, the stimulus bill, and the financial bailout do not rise to the level of unconstitutional secession. Not for most reasonable people.

The rise of right wing extremism in this country is real. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks these things, says there has been a 240% increase in anti-government groups, militias, and organizations this year alone. To the extent Republicans, at the state and national level, right wing hate radio and Fox “News” encourage the militias and Teabaggers, they should be held responsible for any violence that results.

Can the Teabaggers Be Any More Ignorant? They follow an idiot carney crier who profited off their dwindling funds by $12 million this year. If that’s not an obscene transfer of wealth from the needy to the slothful I don’t know what is. Sister Sarah incites, inflames, and laughs all the way to the bank. They fall prey to cynical Republicans whose hubris and arrogance knows no bounds. Frank “Goebbels” Luntz, the bad-complexioned propagandist who does all the thinking for Republicans is back at it, putting talking points in Mitch McConnell’s mouth. Time Magazine did a great job deconstructing McConnell’s words side-by-side with the Luntz propaganda memo to defeat financial reform on behalf of their corporate puppet masters. Can’t McConnell think for himself? Does he need a little punk of a self-important political consultant with rosacea to tell him what to say? After all, he is the Senate Republican leader.

Mitch McConnell is shameless. After soliciting contributions from Wall Street bankers, McConnell took to the Senate floor to oppose any and all Democratic attempts to impose strict regulatory reforms on financial institutions so that the Bush financial meltdown will not happen again. Paul Krugman called “Orwellian” McConnell’s charge that re-regulation would lead to another “too big to fail” bailout, as the regulation explicitly forbids future bailouts. McConnell was cynically playing to ignorant Teabaggers for support in propping up the Wall Street status quo with the slogan “too big to fail.” The Luntz-McConnell-Wall Street calculation is the Teabaggers are really REALLY stupid corporate tools. They might be right. Cynical, as always -- but right. Polls show that most Teabaggers watch Fox “News.”

Fire and Indict. If corporations are considered “persons” for purposes of buying elections and literally getting away with murder, why can’t CEOs be criminally charged for the corporation’s crimes? Or can he? It seems nervous shareholders are calling for Massey CEO Don Blankenship to be fired. They see bad things (for them) coming in the wake of the worst mining disaster in decades, which claimed 29 deaths and could have been avoided. Those of us who believe in calling a spade a spade call Don Blankenship a murderer. Period.

Not With OUR Tax Dollars! Students at California State University, Stanislaus found a speaker’s contract in a school dumpster detailing Sister Sarah’s demands for speaking at the university: First-class Lear jet; deluxe hotel suite; pre-screened questions; and, of course, bendable straws. The students and a state legislator want full disclosure from the university on who is paying the right wing Diva’s hefty $100,000 speaking fee -- they charge documents have been shredded -- at a time college students are struggling to pay ever-rising tuition costs with draconian state cutbacks in education. Attorney General Jerry Brown (like old wine, he gets better with age) has pledged to investigate.

Monday, April 12, 2010

GOP: Confederate, Secessionist, Racist, Anti-Science [Insert Boehner Rebel Yell Here]

The old Republican slogan “Party of Lincoln” has been a laugher for decades but is so ludicrous today that it’s been retired for all intents and purposes. When Lincoln ran for president, his anti-slavery views were so strong that his handlers urged him to keep quiet about it so he could pick up support in states bordering the South. He was vilified by the Southern press and savaged as a monkey by Southern cartoonists for being a friend to African Americans, much as President Obama is portrayed in racist Teabagger signs and that infamous NY Post (Rupert “Fox” Murdoch) editorial cartoon.

Last week, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell deliberately manufactured a controversy by declaring “Confederate History Month” without mentioning the evils of slavery or the minor detail that Virginia held captive some 500,000 slaves who, former governor Doug Wilder (an African American) noted, were not “happy” campers in McDonnell’s Confederate utopia. McDonnell called on Virginians to “understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War.” This understanding, in his revisionist mind is to portray the Civil War as a war for “independence” that “should not be forgotten” but “understood and remembered, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live.” [Emphasis mine.]

This sentence is the piéce de résistance in the governor’s declaration. The word “context” is cited twice in the sentence to underscore its paramount importance. First, is the “context” of “independence” for the Confederate states, which is to suggest that secession is constitutional despite an 1868 Supreme Court ruling outlawing it in the strongest terms: We have “an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.” It also flipped on its head the horrors of slavery for millions of African Americans (free slaves were few and far between) by floating the absurdity that somehow the Southern states were captives of the Union.

Unreconstructed Southerners (that is, white wingnuts who are not moderate to liberal Northern transplants or descendants of slaves) are constantly relitigating the constitutionality of what they call the “War of Northern Aggression” –- historians properly refer to it as the “Civil War” or the “War Between the States.” Governor McDonnell’s “context” gives amateur Southern revisionist historians a blank check and more, Virginia’s official blessing to relitigate their Confederate past.

The first official salvo came from Texas in which Governor Rick Perry openly called for secession and used the anti-government lingo of the Teabaggers (tyranny, takeover) to incite the crazies. Then the right wing revisionists took control of the social studies curriculum in Texas, placing Jefferson Davis on a par with Abraham Lincoln, which is prima facie offensive and an outrageous absurdity. This is one of many outrages committed by the Texas Board of Education and right wing members not trained in history or education.

Second, is the glaring omission of slavery from the governor’s initial declaration, a slap in the face to every African American and a clear signal to regional nativists, for whom the Confederacy symbolizes a principled stand against the Northern industrial elites, that the governor “gets it.” These right wing Southerners have voted for Republicans from the moment Goldwater conservatives purged the party of most moderates allowing for the few remaining Rockefeller liberals to wither on the vine, while the Voting Rights and Civil Rights Acts drove Dixiecrats from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in a mass migration and major realignment of the parties.

“There goes the South,” declared President Lyndon Johnson prophetically. Tricky Dick Nixon banked on his “Southern Strategy” to win the presidency for Republicans four years later. Ronald Reagan consolidated the party’s bond with the unreconstructed South by kicking off his campaign from Philadelphia, Mississippi, site of the murder of three civil rights workers, then welcoming the rise of the Religious (Southern Baptist) Right.

Governor McDonnell’s Reaganesque “wink and a nod” to the new Confederates with his declaration was no innocent mistake. He wanted to highlight what was “most significant” to Virginia and “promote tourism in the state.” Obviously, slavery was not “most significant” to McDonnell and those of his ilk (because he knows full well that a majority of Virginians do not share his sentiment), and promoting tourism for a war that took 600,000 lives and ripped this country apart means no regrets, no excuses. Most important, there is in all of this a cold political calculation on McDonnell’s part. Virginia has no second terms for governor, so the ambitious McDonnell is unfettered by the restraint of actually having to serve his constituents. McDonnell has presidential (or, initially, vice presidential) aspirations and he is speaking to a wider constituency outside Virginia to the south and west of its borders. McDonnell’s fellow wingnut attorney general Kenneth Cuccinelli is angling for the governorship by joining in a frivolous lawsuit of Republican state AGs against the healthcare law. Virginia’s headlong plunge back to our ugly segregationist past continues apace with McDonnell’s requirement to have the state’s estimated 300,000 disenfranchised non-violent convicted felons write an essay in order to get their Constitutionally guaranteed voting rights back.

Unreconstructed Southerners understand this -- on a basic level, at least. Some, such as the Sons of the Confederacy, are old enough to remember separate but equal, perhaps even a lynching or two. They sneer at the “political correctness” of the Northern elites, and resent objections to flying the Confederate flag or celebrating Confederate history as they would have it, in its proper “context,” which omits slavery as insignificant while embracing “independence” from “Northern aggression.” They understand Governor McDonnell’s drippy, insincere apology was a necessity in the current state of the nation. That is, according to their bizarre worldview, an African American non-citizen president from Illinois -- the “Land of Lincoln” -- illegitimately occupies the White House. Significantly, despite the governor’s calculated apology, the original text with the words “independence” and “context” remains unchanged. These are code words for racism and sectionalism. Neo-Confederates understand this.

As the Little Don John Gotti Jr. said on 60 Minutes when asked how he could justify murder: “I can’t justify murder, but I can make a good case for it. Wanna hear it?”

Thanks to Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, the Republican Party leadership, Southern state AGs (especially those running for governor), and the Teabaggers, we’re hearing their best case for a new Confederacy. Incidentally, to hear some of these people is to live day in and day out with a cornucopia of hideous accents. Some, like Sarah Palin’s, are truly hideous. Others, but for the hideous people uttering the words, would have been charming in another context. That may not be fair to the idea of a genteel South, but that too is mostly myth, considering its history.

The Southern drawl is the predominant Republican accent. It pours from the mouths of Mitch McConnell, Bob McDonnell, Rick Perry, Eric Cantor, Bill McCollum, George W. Bush (worse because it’s faux), Jim DeMint, and weepy Tom Coburn. It’s enough to drive retiring GOP Senator George Voinovich to exasperation. It has become the soundtrack of reaction, racism, hatred, obstruction, right wing extremism, and sectionalism.

Worst of all, is Sarah Palin’s twang. It grates like nails on a blackboard. Does anybody know what the hell that is? Other Alaskans don’t sound anywhere as grotesque as Palin. (New Rule, Bill Maher: Anyone who pronounces “nuclear” phonetically, NOO-KEE-LAR, should be automatically barred from public speaking.) Couple that with the vomiting nasality, the hard Rs, the mispronunciation of all names foreign – EYE-RAN, EYE-RACK – and we have linguistic genocide. Headlining the GOP’s shindig in Louisiana, Palin used a bunch of meaningless slogans as an excuse to butcher the English language, carrying the GOP’s anti-Science banner. She said America does not need “this snake-oil science stuff” and dismissed climate change as “Gore-Gate.”

Putting it all in context, former RNC Chairman and current governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, who calls himself “an overweight redneck with a funny accent” made it perfectly clear that Neo-Confederates and GOP Teabagger storm troopers understood McDonnell’s message. In a stunning display of retrograde Old South thinking and insensitivity, Barbour reinforced the Bob McDonnell non-apology by dismissing the notion McDonnell was “insensitive” as “just a nit” that is “trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't matter for diddly” because “it goes without saying” that slavery is a bad thing. No, Mr. Barbour. It does not go withouth saying in any declaration celebrating Confederate history, official or not, when this, the greatest abomination in American history was the cause for the Civil War, our bloodiest conflict. There’s revisionism and then there’s obscenity. What you and McDonnell said and did falls within the latter category.

The time has come for a rebranding of the Republican Party. I have a couple of suggestions. Instead of GOP, why not rename the Republicans’ call letters the NCP (New Confederate Party). Better still, there may yet be purpose to Michael Steele’s castrated reign as RNC Chairman. He should pass a resolution officially changing the name of the Republican Party to the Tea Party.