Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Latest Political VERB of The 2012 Campaign

Q: What is the verb for a political candidate who is leading by five points or more in a state's polls but fails to qualify to be on its ballot for lack of organization?

A: 'To Newt', 'to Newter', 'to Newterize' or 'to pull a Newt'.

Sweet Melissa, Supersub!

Melissa, I LOVED this segment. Just one thing, though: That's a pretty rad "do" you have for 1940 ... Your British counterpart, on the other hand, was perfectly done with his hair for the period. They're good at it. But Americans ... all that blow-dried hair and fast food girth kind of put a crimp on "The Blue And The Gray" and its portrait of the starving Army of Northern Virginia.

Thumbs up, professor. Totally riveting.

Here's a fascinating look at trailblazing women correspondents in World War II:

A Lump Of Coal To FOX and THEIR Friends

Did anyone see the 20/20 Barbara Walters interview with the Obamas last night? Not only does the White House look beautiful with all its Christmas decorations and 37 Xmas trees all over the place, but the theme of this year's Christmas is military families with military family volunteers decorating the trees with their own personal touches.

To most of us normal folks, President Obama is decent and likable. His wife, Michelle, even more. Rarely do we get a chance to see how sweet and nice they are together. The contrast between this typical American family and the gutter attacks on them about a fictitious "war on Christmas" and all the vile lies that are thrown at them daily, with the pretend religiosity of the FOX guttersnipes compounding the cruelty, is stark. There is, I believe, a special place in HELL reserved for those who are not decent souls. The evangelicals know all about it, and they know (you know who you are) where they're headed; it's not the UP escalator. For the mostly non-believers, starting with that foreigner Rupert Murdoch and his henchman Roger Ailes, it's called Bad Karma. It'll be coming around for them, for each and every cruel lie the've uttered in their miserable lives against innocent people.

While the wingnuts seized upon the President's "laziness" comment out of context to bash him once again, his most revealing moment I felt was what he said next: "The thing that I most dislike is cruelty in people." These are human beings. If FOX and its family of liars don't think the ugly things they say about the President and his family don't sting, think again. FOX and "Friends" — you've got your passports stamped to HELL. And your Bad Karma is so trenchant that even your families won't be spared that lump of coal in your stockings. Merry Christmas.

Fake 'Progressive' Channel Watch: Guess What A Little Bird Said ...

I was floored. I did not know this. And I'm reasonably informed of inside Beltway politics, of conflicts of interest and their incestuous nature. This was of FOX-like proportions, and surprising, still, because it's MSNBC. Somehow I thought despite my criticism of corporate cable news, innocently, I'm loathe to admit, that there is a standards and integrity baseline at MSNBC that is higher than Murdoch's. I've often tempered my worst critiques by noting that MSNBC was not FOX; that it was still a news organization. I'm not so sure anymore.

Regarding that atrociously unbalanced MSNBC segment between anchor Richard Lui and his best buddy Grover Norquist, sole guest doing color commentary of competing House Republican/Democratic pressers on the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extensions — It's hard to imagine that it could get any worse; but it did. According to an inside Beltway source, Grover Norquist, the multi-millionaire right wing activist, best known to the public as promoter of the so-called "Taxpayer (Millionaires and Corporations) Protection Pledge (Racket)" signed by 95% of House Republicans, never to raise taxes, is also chief Washington lobbyist for the controversial Keystone Pipeline project from Canada through the American heartland to Texas. The project was the principal Republican poison pill opposed by Democrats and President Obama in the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance extension fight.

The Senate compromise includes a provision for the President to fast-track its approval within two months. That is not enough time for environmental impact assessment to be done by the State Department, and President Obama is expected to deny approval based on that criteria. But nothing is certain. At the very least, Republicans will turn it into a 2012 campaign issue. As for Grover Norquist, each and every time he makes an appearance on MSNBC or any news oulet under the guise of commenting on this issue, he will in effect be acting as a lobbyist for the Keystone Pipeline project. (Very likely, a paid lobbyist — I wonder what Grover's billable rate is for his love fest with Richard Lui?) And the viewing public will never be the wiser for it.

MEMO To NBC News President Steve Capus: What are MSNBC's standards and practices on this? From where I'm sitting, trotting out a high-priced lobbyist to do "color commentary" on an issue in which he has a clear conflict of interest is unethical. It's dishonest and it's misleading. It's just plain wrong. Where are your standards? Do you have any? It's rather pathetic that such disclosure is seemingly done on an ad hoc basis, such that a guest may preface his or her remarks by saying, "in the interest of full disclosure, I work or lobby for company X or Y." But "full disclosure" is a misnomer. Disclosure of any kind is not a requirement absent a conflict of interest. And if one exists, it shouldn't be optional; it should be compulsory.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Postcript: Ron Paul's RECENT Racist Past

When I wrote in an earlier post that Ron Paul's "recent racist past" wasn't mentioned, this was not in error. I did not specify here Paul's racist newsletter writings of some 22 years ago, but rather, was referencing his 2008 keynote address at the ultra-right wing racist and anti-Semitic (also kooky conspiracist) John Birch Society, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. (Not surprisingly, Paul has close ties to the Koch brothers.) Moreover, in 2007 Ron Paul refused to return a campaign donation from white supremacist Don Black, or prevent Black's neo-Nazi group, "Stormfront," to link to his donations page.This pattern of racism by Ron Paul has continued well into his last campaign, long after the newsletters' racist speech controversies of the 80s and 90s. Regarding Black, the Paul campaign had this response:
"If a small number individuals who hold racist beliefs want to waste their money by giving to Dr. Paul, a man who stands firmly against their small minded ideologies, then the campaign will simply use those funds to protect freedom, peace and civil liberties across our Nation."
The arrogance of this statement denotes a HUGE political tone-deafness that seems to be a cornerstone of the Paul campaign's defiant reaction to his racism and bigotry "problem" ever since it emerged as a perennial issue of his presidential campaigns. Ron Paul supporters who condone this attitude don't see it as something that is wrong or morally reprehensible. As Josh Harkinson wrote in Mother Jones, "frankly, I find the glibness of this response appalling, and I could not disagree more with its reasoning. Accepting Black's dirty money creates an implied obligation to these nut jobs and their priorities, which, even if rejected by Paul, is hard to deny."

When it comes to his racism and bigotry, it appears Ron Paul has never had a "teaching moment" and probably never will.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This is how our favorite wingnut rag, The Daily Caller, headlined today's mother of all cave-ins by John Boehner and the House Republicans, most particularly those extremist Teabaggers. Seriously:

ABATES?!? ABATES?! DUDES, WTF is this supposed to mean? Here's the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of "ABATE":
Definition of ABATE
transitive verb
1 a : to put an end to <abate a nuisance>
b : nullify 1 <abate a writ>
2 a : to reduce in degree or intensity : moderate <may abate their rancor to win peace>
b : to reduce in value or amount : make less especially by way of relief <abate a tax>
3 : deduct, omit <abate part of the price>
4 a : to beat down or cut away so as to leave a figure in relief
b obsolete : blunt
5 : deprive 2
intransitive verb
1 : to decrease in force or intensity
2 a : to become defeated or become null or void
b : to decrease in amount or value
OK, let's take these one at a time:
transitive verb:
1a:GOP [Abates Puts An End To (Itself?)] In Payroll Tax Debate
bb:GOP [Abates Nullifies (Itself?)] In Payroll Tax Debate
2a:GOP [Abates Moderates (?! The Teabaggers would be furious!)] In Payroll Tax Debate
bb:GOP [Abates Relieves (Itself? — I like this accurate piss-in-their-pants descriptor)] In Payroll Tax Debate
3: GOP [Abates Deducts/Omits (Itself? — I like this low self-esteem/we're irrelevant, too)] In Payroll Tax Debate
4a:GOP [Abates Beats Down/Cuts Itself Away (good self-flagellation one; a favorite of the wingnut media)] In Payroll Tax Debate
bb:GOP [Abates Blunts Itself To Obsolescence (Oh, Yeah! Subtle, sophisticated)] In Payroll Tax Debate
5: GOP [Abates Deprives Itself (Of Mass suicide? — Ouch.)] In Payroll Tax Debate
Intransitive verb:
1: GOP [Abates Decreases In Force/Intensity (Buh-bye re-election ...)] In Payroll Tax Debate
2a:GOP [Abates Becomes Defeated And Null And Void (Ouch. Accurate!)] In Payroll Tax Debate
bb:GOP [Abates Decreases In Amount/Value Of Supporters (Ouch. Doubly accurate!)] In Payroll Tax Debate.

Sounds pretty bad, eh. See, the more you try to mask your monumental Republican cave-in, the more ridiculous you look. Dudes, wingnuts, trust me: "ABATES" is a COMPLETE FAIL. Here's the thing; I'm only trying to help; seriously — it gets much worse when you look up "ABATE" in the Urban Dictionary:

So, better to cut your losses, take your bitter medicine, and accept defeat with the last vestige of grace and dignity you can muster by using the most appropriate word to define the occasion: "CAVES". And be glad of it, and grateful to me, for the Urban Dictionary defines "CAVE" (see above) more beningly than all of those awful "ABATE" definitions: "CAVE v. To give up all opposition, usually in an argument." Here's your headline, wingnuts — (you're WELCOME!):

One last thing, before I forget. Know that henceforth, House Republicans (wingnuts and Republicans in general, too) — PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS OWN YOU.

Viciously Attacked By FOX and Sister Sarah, BO, White House Pooch, Fires Back

As seasonably predictable as accusing the Obamas of waging a “war on Christmas,” this holiday season FOX “News” and its top bitch, Sarah Palin, set upon adorable First Pooch Bo like a pack of ravenous vampires. Mama Grizzly attacked lovable BO (official photo below), featured in this year’s White House Christmas card peacefully snoozing by the White House fireplace, characterizing the card as "odd":
"It's odd," she said, wondering why the president's Christmas card highlights his dog instead of traditions like 'family, faith and freedom.'"

Palin said a majority of Americans prefer "American foundational values illustrated and displayed on Christmas cards and on a Christmas tree." With regard to the card, she added, "It's just a different way of thinking coming out of the White House."
White House First Pooch, BO: Official Portrait, left, and featured on this year's White House Christmas card.
 Hmm … Like this 1981 Ronald Reagan White House Christmas card? In the Reagans’ printed card greeting is written, “With Special holiday wishes. The President and Mrs. Reagan.” OH MY. Were you ever aware of this ATROCIOUS assault on "American foundational values illustrated and displayed on Christmas cards," FOX and Sarah? NO … really?!

BO would not take this lying down. Through his press office, the White House First Pooch sent this pair of musical messages to House Republicans, courtesy of John Lennon:

Meanwhile, after shopping with BO for his presents and treats, President Obama sharpened his reply to these outrageous attacks by seeking inspiration from one of his predecessors: “The Republicans have not been content on attacks on me and on my wife. They now include my little dog, BO. Well, of course, I don’t resent attacks, and my family don’t resent attacks, but BO does resent attacks. As soon as he learned that the Republican fiction writers, in Congress and out, had concocted a story that I’d left him behind, his Portuguese soul was furious. He has not been the same dog since.”

To My Family, Friends and ALL, especially my extended family readers of this little blog that could, Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal, and a Prosperous New Year. Peace, Everybody.

Fake 'Progressive' Channel Watch: LUI, LUI ... Oh Now, GOTTA GO

Whenever a scheduled event such as a presser draws me in I'm immediately reminded why I do not watch daytime cable "news" such as it is. My BP took another spike as I happened to tune into the fake progressive channel's coverage of competing House Republican/Democratic pressers on extending the payroll tax cut and saw, to my dismay, that the guest lineup of ONE for the fake progressive channel was none other than the snake oil multi-millionaire puppeteer of House Republicans Grover Norquist who got them to sign his no-new-taxes pledge, with no competing color commentary voices of reason. It's not as if they didn't have enough time to provide some balance, since John Boehner's presser had been announced the day before. Once again, the anchor was ex-CNN GOP stooge Richard Lui who greeted Norquist effusively: "Hey Grover, how ya doin!" Even CNN, whose anchor reverted to the GOP smear of using the adjectival "Democrat" for "Democratic," had a balanced panel.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ron Paul Unleashed, Circa 1988

What's hilariously illuminating about Ron Paul's appearance more than 22 years ago on the Morton Downey Show — Downey literally smoked himself to death after removing one diseased lung — is that (1) Paul was having a screaming argument with a bunch of wingnuts like Lisa Sliwa of the "Guardian Angels," (2) his manic, smoldering libertarian passions show why establishment Republicans are terrified of him, and (3) he was running for president in 1988! This guy's been running for president practically his entire adult life. It's also amazing to see, and more than a little disheartening, how little such lowbrow TV screamfests have "evolved" over the decades. This one's totally worthy of Jerry Springer. But where were the fisticuffs? I'll bet Ron Paul has a pretty good right hook. Ah well ...

House Republicans Follow Boehner's Trail of Tears ...

REACT hysterically to President Obama's refusal to play "marriage counselor" (good one! Jay Carney) between them and Senate Republicans ... 
Oops, wrong video. Please Stand by.

WINGNUT WATCH: Daily Caller "Truthtelling"

Isn't it GREAT when one of those zany Daily Caller bloggers accidentally stumbles on the truth?! Now Treach is still my favorite, but Matt Lewis has his moments of accidental irony. Here he comments on a video tease of President Clinton's appearance with Bill-O The Clown: "This is a preview of what to expect when Clinton goes on “The O’Reilly Factor” Tuesday night. (Gotta give him credit for telling the truth here.)" I'll say. And Bill-O The Clown too, Matt, for excluding the leading cable "news" channel in ratings and audience, FOX "News" from "the American press." Perhaps Bill-O The Clown thinks Rupert Murdoch's American media empire is foreign like, say, British or Australian because, well, Rupie's birth certificate says so?

Thanks to Bill-O The Clown for properly excluding, too, from "the American press" the vast right wing propaganda machine, including (forgive me, wingnuts, if I've left anyone out; this is admittedly an incomplete list): The Daily Caller, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, The Chicago Tribune, The NH Union Leader, Daily Oklahoman, The National Review, The Weekly Standard, The American Spectator, Commentary, Drudge Report, NewsMax, TownHall, Free Republic, Red State, Big Government, Christian Broadcasting Network and radio, Rush Limbaugh Inc. and imitators on hate radio, Instapundit, MediaIte, Clear Channel, Radio America, PowerLine, American Conservative, News Busters, Right Wing News, World Net Daily ... etc., etc. — etc.

Now, some in this list may hold a more tenuous grasp on being considered "American press" than others; but once you start kissing Rupert's ass, you're ALL in the FOX spin zone. Thanks to Bill-O The Clown and Matt 'the whiner' Lewis, our intrepid accidental truthtellers:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

BIG EDDIE Sets The Record Straight: Can You Hear Me Now, Suits?

Hopefully this report by Big Eddie on racism in the Republican Party will give MSNBC's news division the necessary backbone to report racism on the stump no matter how "connected" the candidate(s) may be, and to call them out on it. Thomas Roberts did the right thing and, if anything, news anchors and reporters need to be more diligent, not less, about reporting racism and bigotry, whether it's a racial slur, or gender or religious discrimination. Molly-coddling Republican bigotry for the sake of access or future considerations may be popular in the corporate boardroom, but it isn't news. Truth is the only news standard that matters. Thumbs up, Big Eddie!

Awww ...

The Beltway Media's Appalling Lack of Clarity In Reporting Intrasigence of Republican Zealots

Is it just me, or is the network coverage of the latest House Republican-bred crisis to gum up the works on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits extension for one year just adding to the viewer’s confusion with its circular cop-out non-explanation that “both sides” are playing the “blame game?” Please. That may be good enough for sophists like Dylan Ratigan and his generic ‘they’re-all-the-same-politicians from Tea Partiers to Progressives’, but a news division has the overarching responsibility to report THE NEWS.

So why is it that, moments after President Obama comes out and reiterates that both sides reached agreement on the payroll tax cut and unemployment extensions, but the Republicans have added riders which have nothing to do with extending the payroll tax cut, this fact isn’t reported clearly and specifically, and the blame placed squarely on the Republicans, where it belongs? Tamron Hall was inexplicably looping the same confusing garbage with her Republican interviewees, instead of asking them why they haven’t set aside these poison pill riders and agreed to pass a clean bill without them:
  1. Blocks Environmental Review of Keystone Pipeline — The bill would prevent the State Department from finishing its review of the Canada-to-Texas Keystone pipeline, and mandate its construction before environmental concerns are fully addressed.
  2. Requires Mandatory Drug Testing — The Republican plan would let states bar people from collecting unemployment benefits unless they submit to drug testing, although there has been no concrete evidence linking unemployment with increased drug abuse.
  3. Requires GED/Training Programs for Unemployed — The bill would require the unemployed to be enrolled in GED or training programs.
  4. Deregulates Incinerators and Boilers — The bill would strip the EPA of authority to regulate incinerators and boilers, with the EPA warns could lead to an estimated 20,000 premature deaths.
  5. Strips Preventive Health Care Fund — The plan stops the federal government from encouraging preventive health care, stripping $8 billion from the Affordable Care Act's prevention and public health fund.
  6. Closes The 'Strip Club Loophole — The plan assumes that people are using food stamps for liquor, gambling and strip clubs, and therefore closes the "strip club loophole" that supposedly lets welfare recipients use their electronic benefits cards in such establishments.
  7. Slashes Unemployment Benefits — The hardest hit states would lose 40 weeks of unemployment under the proposed bill. All other states would lose between 14 and 34 weeks.
  8. Requires Children's Social Security Numbers — Requires undocumented immigrants and others to submit their children's Social Security numbers before they could receive refunds under the children's tax credit.
The bipartisan Senate compromise, which passed with an unheard-of 89 votes compelled Democrats to drop their surtax on millionaires to pay for it as well as concessions to Republicans on relaxing environmental regulations that would endanger people’s health, notably fast-tracking the Keystone pipeline approval (or disapproval process), and locking down cuts previously agreed to. So, there’s no question but that the majority Democrats in the Senate gave up more than they received, and certainly showed a spirit of serious compromise, to their detriment as usual — so much so that two conservative Republican scions of the Senate, Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, were pictured high-fiving each other following their agreement with Democrats.

So why isn’t this dynamic within the Republican Party in Congress properly and objectively portrayed by the cable networks and Beltway Media, instead of this constant “pox-on-both-their-houses" by Tamron Hall, et al? This lack of basic preparation and understanding of the issues, of the legislative maneuvers of Republicans against Democrats from the President on down, who have repeatedly sought real compromise, is what is “appalling” about MSNBC’s coverage of Congress. It doesn’t help when the sole Congressional “correspondent” spends most of his time making outrageous excuses for the Republicans, which simply further clouds the issues.

Ron Paul's Racist Past

Considered “anti-Israel or anti-Semitic” and shunned from the Republican Jewish Council’s candidates forum for his charitably described “isolationist” stance toward Israel and the Middle East, Dr. Ron Paul, the new Republican frontrunner in Iowa, is now being scrutinized by the conservative magazine Weekly Standard for “lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories.” The Standard disingenuously reports such is actually the RJC’s concern and not part of a wider effort to slow Paul's momentum:
“While Paul’s views on Israel certainly place him outside the American, never mind Republican, mainstream, there is an even more elementary reason the RJC was right to exclude him from its event. It is Paul’s lucrative and decades-long promotion of bigotry and conspiracy theories, for which he has yet to account fully, and his continuing espousal of extremist views, that should make him unwelcome at any respectable forum, not only those hosted by Jewish organizations.”
The right’s new-found concern for the racist views of Republican candidates might be considered enlightened anti-bigotry sentiment or, as Michael Steele dismissively intoned in a rare contribution to the topic of racism in the Republican Party, simply hardball “politics.” Racism is so pervasive in the Republican Party, owing largely to its history laying roots in the Deep South and becoming the de facto “big tent” confederate, secessionist, and yes, KKK-white supremacist party, that the bigotry of candidates was hardly a matter of concern in past elections. Until now.

Interestingly, the Weekly Standard article is an update, or rehash, of a 2008 article dating to Paul’s previous presidential campaign, by the same author, James Kirchick. It's hard to speculate what the Weekly Standard’s “agenda” may be, or if there is one, given that racism has been a tried and true arrow in the Republican Party’s quiver against Democrats. Speaking strictly Republican primary politics, both the GOP "establishment" and the Romney campaign have an interest in Ron Paul finishing well in Iowa, which means a 1-2 finish ahead of Gingrich, if Romney cannot outright win or place ahead of Gingrich. Still, the WS article should be required reading for all of  Ron Paul’s acolytes, supporters, and admirers including Dylan Ratigan and, of course Rachel, whose flirtation with Paul is like a flight-of-fancy fling by one taking temporary leave of one's senses to ‘heart’ the Paulie:

Rachel’s sympathetic report doesn’t mention Paul’s recent racist past and glosses over the abortion issue, or looks past it, as Dave Weigel said of Paul’s supporters overlooking his schizoid policy inconsistencies. On Paul’s strong anti-abortion stance — he’s running as the “obstetrician,” Rachel notes, which is a weird way to put it since obstetricians aren’t all anti-abortion — Weigel indicates some anti-abortion social conservatives are wary of Paul because they “don't want somebody who just believes it but will enforce it.” Rachel adds: “Will impose it through big government, which he doesn't believe in.”

Yes Rachel, but are you forgetting all of those singular TRMS reports of Republican states criminalizing, limiting access to, and defunding abortion legislatively so that the availability of abortions will in effect wither on the vine, even if they are legal? And if the Senate turns Republican a President Paul won’t have any problem signing federal legislation re-criminalizing abortions. Some issues are simply too hard to “look past” when it comes to Ron Paul. Bottom line is, the racist language of Paul’s newsletters as described in the Weekly Standard and the New York Times is so vile as to defy easy dismissal or rational — a big word in the Paul followers’ vocabulary — explanation beyond the obvious and self-evident: Ron Paul is a racist and an anti-Semite.
His response to the revelations was nothing short of unbelievable. “The quotations in the New Republic article are not mine and do not represent what I believe or have ever believed,” he said. “When I was out of Congress and practicing medicine full-time, a newsletter was published under my name that I did not edit. Several writers contributed to the product. For over a decade, I have publicly taken moral responsibility for not paying closer attention to what went out under my name.” In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer two days after the article appeared, Paul waved away accusations of racism by saying that he was “gaining ground with the blacks” and “getting more votes right now and more support from the blacks.”
James Kirchick of the Weekly Standard continues, “This sordid history would not bear repeating but for the fact that the media love to portray Paul as a truth-telling, antiwar Republican standing up to the “hawkish” conservative establishment.” (Emphasis mine.) Memo To secret Paulie piners, Cenk and Rachel: Quit trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Just saying.

The New York Times takes a more understanding view of Paul’s standard denial that he didn’t know who wrote those articles. As for Paul’s claim he was unaware of the content of his newsletters — this is where his denials strain credulity. Kirchick notes in the Weekly Standard the damning lucrative aspect of Paul's newsletters, which was omitted from the Times piece:
"[A] subsequent report by Reason found that Ron Paul & Associates, the defunct company that published the newsletters and which counted Paul and his wife as officers, reported an income of nearly $1 million in 1993 alone. If this figure is reliable, Paul must have earned multiple millions of dollars over the two decades plus of the newsletters’ existence. It is incredible that he had less than an active interest in what was being printed as part of a subscription newsletter enterprise that earned him and his family millions of dollars. Ed Crane, the president of the Cato Institute, said Paul told him that “his best source of congressional campaign donations was the mailing list for the Spotlight, the conspiracy-mongering, anti-Semitic tabloid run by the Holocaust denier Willis Carto.”"

Here's What A DEMOCRAT One-Percenter Sounds Like

No offense, George. But there are 16 million unemployed in this country (20 to 25 million, if you count those who stopped looking for work in this Depression of 2011, as Paul Krugman describes it), 45 million with no health insurance, hundreds of thousands living on the brink of homelessness, 1-in-4 children who don't have enough to eat, and you give us this Hollywood smack about what a great REPUBLICAN president Mr. Obama is?

That's precisely the point. Mr. Obama is the BEST REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT they could have had if only they could look past his skin tone. He has given away deep cuts in every one of our most treasured social safety net programs, the Big Three — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — wrapped in a nice little bow for John Boehner, who was incapable of budging the extremist Tea Party zealots in his caucus to sign on and understand they had won, that this was further than all previous REPUBLICAN presidents had dared go before. President Obama is still willing to sell the Big Three down the river so he can get his "Grand, nay, Craven Bargain" for posterity's sake.

The President's favorite TV program is "Homeland." That worries Maureen Dowd. It should also worry Democrats of all stripes. I know for a fact that Homeland is also the preferred program of a card-carrying, Obama-LOATHING wingnut. So Mr. Clooney, stick to movies from now on.

Monday, December 19, 2011

IDIOT PUNDITOCRACY "Wisdom": Jonathan Capehart

"The FAR LEFT (?) is the life's blood of the Democratic Party, the FAR RIGHT (Tea Party) is the life's blood of the Republican Party."

~ JONATHAN CAPEHART, Beltway Media bon vivant and now, NATURALLY, MSNBC "political analyst."


Stick a fork in me, I am so fucking done with MSNBC.

Never Underestimate The Power of The GOP Establishment

Liberals and progressives can no longer rejoice at the prospect of Newt Gingrich gaining the Republican nomination. It it is fading fast and looks more unlikely by the day. When I replied to Chris Matthews's panic attack warning progressives to "be careful what (we) wish for," I also cautioned that Gingrich becoming the GOP nominee is "still uncertain — never underestimate the power of the GOP establishment."

Sure enough, Gingrich's meteoric rise is sputtering in the face of withering fire from establishmentarians, including the Beltway Media, and his opponents in the race. Last week Rachel Maddow held up the WaPo Op-Ed page which was plastered top to bottom with anti-Gingrich testimonials, from libertarian types like Dana Milbank to establishment conservative Kathleen Parker. They're all resting easier today, together with fake progressive channel/Beltway Media avatar, Chris Matthews. Why he believed Gingrich could win remains a mystery: "Relax, Chris," I wrote. "Newt Gingrich is unelectable. If nominated, he will be defeated in a landslide by President Obama."

The right wing National Review slammed the panic button most vehemently on the same point, from the right: "We fear that to nominate former Speaker Newt Gingrich, the front-runner in the polls, would be to blow this opportunity" to defeat President Obama. Rich Lowry's rag diagnosed Newt with a bit of amusing Lowry-Mama Grizzly projection: "Gingrich has always said he wants to transform the country. He appears unable to transform, or even govern, himself." However self-serving, the point is well taken. There is a difference between Lowry fingering his zipper and Newt fingering the nuclear button.

The ground and air attacks are sticking to Newt big time and his unconventional approach to campaigning is apparently failing, as we hear a collective sigh of relief from political strategists everywhere: "The conventional rules of politics still apply," one said defiantly. Two weeks out, Gingrich has spent little time or money in Iowa, has no ground game to speak of, and is dragging around his heavy "baggage"— the one word Iowans recall when Newt's name comes up — in the vain hope his opponents will refrain from saying bad things about him because, well, he's promised to be good.

The candidate himself is ultimately responsible for his slo-mo self-destruction. Making his wife Callista de facto campaign manager, holding book signings rather than campaign rallies, failing to build organization in primary states, bespeaks of a campaign that isn't serious or committed, except to the fool's notion that Newt's massive ego and misestimation of his political powers are enough to overcome the traditional rules of politics and campaigning. It's one thing to say the candidate can live off the land. But it's a different thing when the land is scorched and barren as his opposition recreate the political equivalent of General Sherman's scorched earth march of destruction through Georgia which, ironically enough, is the state that Newt represented in Congress.

One poll has Newt's "positives" at negative ONE. Ouch.  Here's a pictorial of the state of the Iowa caucus as it stands today ... It's really all you need to know:

Bang The Gong!

Can anyone get Dylan Ratigan to STFU already?! Martin, Alex? Pleaaase ...

Here's a guy who encouraged the rise of the Tea Party, which was catastrophic for our country, idolizes two nutball doctors like Ron Paul and Tom Coburn, but thankfully was SCHOOLED by Eliot Spitzer, who said, 'forget it Dylan, allow me to be partisan; the Democrats have the good government ideas, and there's NOTHING on the other side.' MSNBC should send Dylan packing to CNN or FOX and hand his show over to Eliot. He'd get it on better with Martin, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

SNL Burst Tebow Holy Christ! Bubble, Predict Patriots Win Today

JESUS: "This doesn't leave this room, OK. But if I'm the Son of God, Tom Brady's got to be the guy's nephew." ... And coach Belichick, well, he's the DEVIL. "So they're coming at you both ways," Jesus says. And Mormonism: "All true."

Hmm ... According to Jesus Christ, Tebow and the Broncos lose today and Mitt Romney gets a vote of confidence. We Shall See.

Reward The Good Corporate Citizens: Where To Spend Your Xmas Dollars

The racist Florida American Family Association, widely condemned by a coalition that includes prominent Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and civil rights groups for its campaign to compel companies like LOWE's to pull their advertising from a non-controversial Learning Channel reality show portraying the lives of all-American Muslim families has helpfully released a list of companies that stood firm and continue advertising with the show. BUY THEIR PRODUCTS!
"The Florida Family Association has managed to do a lot of damage with its All-American Muslim boycott over the last week and a half, whether by convincing companies like Lowe’s and Kayak to absolutely humiliate themselves, or by stirring up anti-Muslim sentiment against the cast of a touching and totally uncontroversial reality show. But fortunately one thing sanctimonious moralizers do well is make lists, and they’ve kept track of advertisers who stuck to their guns and either continued to advertise on the show after the FFA started its campaign.

So if you’re withdrawing your business from Lowe’s and Kayak and, during the holiday season, looking for new places to spend some money, you can use their list against them. Those advertisers include:

– Big Lots
– Conagra’s Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes
– Discover Card
– Disney for The Muppets
– GeicoHonda North America, for the Accord and Odyssey
– HTC Phones
– Mucinex
– Delsym
– Resolve Clean
– Drano
– Glade
– Scrubbing Bubbles
– Kay Jewelers"
AGAIN: Buy these companies' products — and BOYCOTT LOWE's!


Regarding MSNBC's astonishing apology to the Romney campaign for the network's report of Mitt's use of a KKK slogan on the stump in Iowa, let's get down to brass tacks and recapitulate (no pun intended): The verbatim slogan —"keep America American" — wasn't an extemporaneous Mitt Romney statement, but written into a stump-style speech and repeated in a campaign ad. It's the kind of language that is typically poll-tested by GOP consultants to appeal to certain segments of the electorate, e.g., ultra-right wing GOP Iowa caucus voters that have been falsely labeled in a blanket benign description, as "evangelicals" by network personalities like Chuck Todd (his is the most hilarious of the promos) and other whitewash Beltway propagandists. There was no apparent due diligence by the network, not at the initial truthful reporting of Romney's use of a KKK slogan (except for a valid editorial concern that such reporting requires more background review of the kind I did), but at the highest suits level, when the Romney campaign's complaint to "alert them [MSNBC] of the misreporting" was taken at face value with a totally spineless cave-in apology.

The New York Times reported that the Romney campaign “did not specify what it believed to have been misreported.” Back in the day, a real news organization would have said something like this: "We stand by the facts of our report, which was corroborated by other news organizations, but regret we did not give the Romney campaign an opportunity to explain why the candidate has used a Ku Klux Klan slogan on at least two occasions." Indeed, the real misreporting was MSNBC's apology, in which it ignored not only the salient history of GOP candidates electioneering and pandering to the extreme right with use of code language, but the parallel and contextual explosive growth of racist hate groups, including in Iowa which leads the nation in KKK groups per capita:

"Mississippi is second only to Iowa in the number of Ku Klux Klan groups per capita, according to a report released [March, 2010] by the Southern Poverty Law Center."
"The rise in Klan membership in Mississippi coincides with what the center describes as an explosive growth over the past year in extremist organizations across the U.S. Anti-government groups saw a 244 percent increase.

Iowa, with a population of 3 million, has a dozen Klan groups. Mississippi, with a population of 2.9 million, has nine Klan groups, tied with Louisiana, which has 4.4 million.

Texas has the most with 26 groups, but it has a population more than eight times larger than Mississippi’s. Tennessee has 15 groups with a population of 6.2 million."
Note in particular what Mark Potok, Director of the Intelligence Project for the Southern Poverty Law Center, says about the Tea Party movement which comprises the base, and core, of Republican primary voters:

Meanwhile, MSNBC's consistent misreporting of racism by GOP candidates continues with its practice of unquestioned reporting of what the candidates say, seldom correcting the record or checking for accuracy and veracity. Ron Paul made a wry observation during the last debate that if the media "would do its job" he wouldn't have to run such negative ads against Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. A typical example is Newt Gingrich recently calling President Obama "America's food stamp president." Once again, Newt was pandering to the racist vote. And while David Gregory deserves credit at least for raising the issue with Gingrich, the network's lack of spine when the right pushes back is ultimately what's truly appalling about its bogus apology to the Romney campaign. In a broader context, if MSNBC decides it will play both sides of the fence rather than be a news organization, we will be reduced to reading newspapers and blogs to get the objective facts and context.

Memo to David Gregory and his cohorts: There is something known as a followup question; and another followup, when the subject is unresponsive. Newt Gingrich has established a pattern of r-a-c-i-s-m, from his attacks on Muslims to President Obama. They all use racist code language that isn't even that sophisticated, because they can get away with it. Mitt Romney may not be a serial campaign racist, but he's joined the club in Iowa. Ron Paul, darling of brain-addled libertarian cultists and some temporarily insane progressives, denies he was responsible for, or knew anything about, the virulently racist statements written under his name in his newsletter (wink-wink). But he has close ties to Tea Party funders, the Koch brothers and would decimate all the programs that help minorities and the poor. Michele Bachmann and her prissy husband are known policy homophobes; they all are. And so it goes. I've grown tired of saying to no one in particular at MSNBC: "do your fucking jobs!" But I'll say it again, for old times sake.