Sunday, July 31, 2011

Headlines - Sunday July 31

h/t Dick:
The reward for being a total douchenozzle in the Newscorp organization.
Today's history lesson.
Question of the day: Is Lady Gaga Orly Taitz in drag?
Andy Borowitz: "Bin Laden died before he could destroy the US economy. But fortunately for him, the Tea Party lives on."
Fox News Reports: Obama Starting to Wonder Why He Moved to U.S.
President Nostalgic for Land of Birth, Fox Says

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – According to the Fox News Channel, President Barack Obama is so weary of the debt ceiling stalemate in Congress that he is beginning to wonder why he moved to the United States in the first place.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith broke the story today, reporting that "sources close to the President say he's increasingly nostalgic for the land of his birth."

"To someone like President Obama, this wrangling in Congress must seem very foreign," said Mr. Smith.  "In Kenya, debt ceilings are raised automatically by the village elders, who then celebrate with a ceremonial feast of cabbage, mangoes and goat."

While Mr. Smith stopped short of saying that Mr. Obama planed to leave Washington and return to his native Kenya, "his birth certificate does allow him to return at any time he sees fit."

"As he sees Congress push the United States ever closer to default, who can blame Mr. Obama for longing for simpler times, roaming free on the savanna?" Mr. Smith reported.

In other debt ceiling news, by unanimous vote the House of Representatives passed a bill raising Speaker of the House John Boehner's medication.

As for the debt ceiling negotiations, they are "right on schedule," according to the ancient Mayans.

I sent the above to the only wingnut I know. This is her exact reply:

"Well, I sure have no idea about that ... but I do know that Shepard Smith is the most liberal person on FOX who has his own program.  I understand he is "tight" with a lot of lefties.  It is rumored that he is GAY, along with CNN's Anderson Cooper.  I think Anderson might be ... but I'm not so sure about Smith .... but it really doesn't matter one way or another.  They are both liberal is all I know."

Is it any wonder this country is f***ed?


Andrew Sullivan: Aiming for impeachment?
They did the last Democratic president; and they feel even more strongly that this one is illegitimate, despite his thumping majority in the last election. Here's the scenario. The House GOP pushes for  completely unserious Boehner plan (including a balanced budget amendment) that they know will be vetoed; they then filibuster the Reid plan in the Senate, forcing Obama to invoke a 14th Amendment executive prerogative, which they will then turn around and impeach him for.
Far-fetched? I hope so. But every time you think you have reached the end of Republican extremism, they manage to move further out of the solar system. But it will take a huge effort by the propaganda machine on the right to make Obama's decision not to default his fault, rather than the GOP's. At this point, if the Reid plan cannot make it through the Senate on time or through the House at all, I'm beginning to believe that Obama should invoke this controversial power, given the extreme danger the stalemate is creating for both the US and the global economy, and challenge the courts to reverse it.
I suspect it would be popular among Independents. And allow Obama to regain the initiative over events dictated by a single faction in one party in one chamber whose fanaticism is only matched by their irresponsibility.
Pamela Geller's edits: Instructive, I'd say.
I think something we need to work on in the next election cycle is figuring out to make it clear to the American electorate that the Republican Party isn't just in denial about climate change, they actually oppose anything that would reduce our consumption of fossil fuel products. That's why, for example, Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is going to investigate the negotiations between automakers and the administration that resulted in new strict fuel economy standards.

Issa sent out letters to executives of the country's major automakers Friday alerting them to the investigation and requesting that they keep all documents related to meetings with administration officials on the standards.

In the letters, which were obtained by The Hill, Issa says the administration's efforts to negotiate the fuel economy standards "raise serious concerns." The new rules, which were announced Friday by President Obama, will also limit consumer choice, Issa says.

"I am concerned about the agreements lack of transparency, the failure to conduct an open rulemaking process, as well as the potential for vehicle cost increases on consumers, and negative impact on American jobs," the letters say.

Mind you, this is an agreement the automakers signed off on. It would require vehicles to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. That would save consumers almost 2 trillion dollars in gasoline costs, preserve 12 billion barrels of oil, and reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 6 billion metric tons. The average consumer would save over $8,000 on a new car bought in 2025 compared to a car bought today.

But, for Republicans, this means less profit for oil companies and so we must have investigations.

While nice, it's a little too little and a little too late. Several years ago, IPCC scientists urged that we should make very serious changes before 2012 or else the climate crisis would be unavoidable. Yet several months out from that deadline, we're not even close.

More death threats from religious folks
Mullen: Surge in Afghan violence expected
Iraq 'Less Safe Than a Year Ago': US Watchdog
4,474 soldiers killed in Iraq - 104 since our antiwar president took over
1,680 soldiers killed in Afghanistan - 733 since we voted for hope.

Income tax rates for the top brackets from 1913 to 2008. As you can see, the rich are being soaked.


Time to Reset Our Moral Compass


We Got Numbers - Well, nobody doesn't like SaraLee, and it seems few people like President Carebear. His poll numbers have dropped to the lowest point of his career and are hovering around 40%. Maybe if he, oh, I dunno, promised to NOT CUT THE SAFETY NET?! (Gallup)


Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless schizophrenic, is shown on the left, after his confrontation with Fullerton California police officers, and on the right before his brutalization. He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange County in critical condition on life-support and died five days later. Kelly was unarmed, had a slight build, and of medium height. Continue reading 'Five Fullerton Cops Beat Homeless Man To Death'


Jon Stewart at his best.


It's a common claim from the Right, but it's not true. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas), in a Senate floor speech,  claimed "Fifty-one percent — that is, a majority of American households — paid no income tax in 2009. Zero. Zip. Nada." At least he used the often omitted "income" adjective. However, those individuals still pay payroll taxes, like Social Security and Medicare, sales taxes, and often property taxes. Continue reading 'Half Of Americans Don't Pay Any Taxes'


As predicted, the House rejects Reid plan

They decided to take it up as a "suspension vote" to prove it won't pass.

WASHINGTON — With just three days left until the country is set to begin defaulting on its debt, the House rejected a debt proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday — a move Republicans designed purely for theatrics to show the bill lacked the votes to pass.

The bill was rejected by a vote of 173 to 246. Eleven Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in opposing Reid's bill. The defecting Democrats included Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), David Loebsack (Iowa), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Peter Visclosky (Ind.) and David Wu (Ore.).

What the hell kind of deal will pass both the House, the Senate and the White House at this point? None shall pass.


Trickle-Down Economics, Rich Uncle Pennybags, the Debt Ceiling Debate, and You…in 15 minutes


Budget stalemate gives airlines huge tax bonus, so they increased fares


Mitch McConnell went to the WH to discuss a deal - which resembled the bill that Mr. Boehner won approval for in the House on Friday more than it did the one that Mr. Reid had proposed.


ProPublica has a good comprehensive piece on why parts of the FAA are shut down:

Thousands of public sector workers on furlough, thousands of private-sector construction workers laid off, and this congressional campaign to destroy labor unions is costing us all 30 million dollars a day.


Dana Milbank had a solid column up Friday about the slow political death spiral of Orange John and his surrender to the nutter nihilists. This framing of his political future seems spot on:

"Get your ass in line," Speaker John Boehner had told House Republicans who resisted his plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

But really, it was Boehner's butt that was on the line — and late Thursday night, he had it handed to him.

For his six-month-old speakership, it was a grievous if not mortal wound. The legislation under consideration was fairly pointless — a solution to a self-inflicted crisis that faced certain defeat in the Senate — but Boehner made it into a test of his leadership. And rank-and-file Republicans returned a vote of no confidence.

Mostly Dead seems like a generous description of the weakest Speaker of the House in the Modern Era.


Jill: Politico uses the "T" word


Michele Bachmann is even more craven and evil than she is stupid -- and that's a high bar to clear. "During an appearance this afternoon at the National Press Club, Bachmann gave a highly ironic defense of her use of federal home loans: MODERATOR: I got a lot of questions from people asking is it fair for you to call for dismantling federal programs you ultimately have been a beneficiary of? So in terms of guaranteeing home mortgages, do you think the federal government has a role in that...? ... BACHMANN: Now unlike all of you, who I'm sure pay cash for your homes, there are people out there like myself who actually have to go to a bank and get a mortgage. And this is the problem. It's almost impossible to buy a home in this country today without the federal government being involved. Whether it is with the FHA, whether it's with Fannie, whether it's with Freddie, it's almost impossible to buy a home...What's important is that we do dismantle a number of these federal programs that everyone agrees are clearly out of control." (So only Gods Chosen Wingnuts deserve to own homes, Michele?)


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Headlines - Saturday July 30


Bill Nye-the-Science-Guy explains to some dimwit wingnut on Fox News that moon volcanoes are not part of global climate change. But the priceless moment is the look and pause that Bill Nye gives this low-watt bulb right after he is asked about global warming from moon volcanoes.


They Eat Their Own-- Hey guys, remember when that NSC guy (U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan) betrayed the GOP and send out emails to the base telling them to not support Weepy's DOA debt-ceiling bill? Me Neither! But anyway, Weepy and the rest of the Ohio GOP is literally plotting to take away his district for being disloyal. (Columbus Dispatch)
Whackdoodle televangelist Cindy Jacobs, whom you probably best know for claiming that God killed millions of birds to show his displeasure with the repeal of DADT, relates her first biblical vision:
Jacobs says that God frequently speaks to her personally. That's when he reveals the various reasons that he routinely kills millions of people with earthquakes and tsunamis. Usually, it has to do with the gays. Gay marriage in Mexico City? Kill 50,000 Japanese! So sayeth Cindy.
Hi Andy! Just checking to see if you really do read this every day. :)
Mario: Crazy Teahadist Republicans
Senior US Arctic scientist under investigation
Is he guilty of something real or was he an obstacle to the oil drilling plans in the Arctic? If the Obama administration approves drilling there, we might have a clue. The administration has been accommodating enough with Big Oil, so it's not an outrageous thought that they might be (again) siding with the oil industry. The Guardian.
A fascinating chart via Wikipedia. In addition to showing how much debt was added during each presidency, all the way back to Truman, the chart also shows debt relative to GDP. The reason for that is that $1 trillion in debt in 1950 was a heck of a lot more than $1 trillion in debt today. So the ratio gives you a sense of how big the figure really is in the dollars of the time.

What do we see? That during Democratic presidencies, all the way back to Truman, there was a decrease in the ratio of total debt to GDP. But during Republican presidencies, all the way back to Nixon, there was an increase in the ratio of total debt to GDP. And it doesn't seem to matter much who is in congress, per the data. What does seem relevant is who was in the Oval Office, an R or a D. Ds always showed an decrease in debt/GDP, while Rs almost always showed an increase.  Even Obama, who had to deal with the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression (and one he inherited from George W Bush), "only" increased debt/GDP by 9%.  Bush increased it by 20%.

And if you prefer to add up the raw numbers, from Truman to Obama, Democratic presidents added $3.43 trillion to the debt, while the Republicans added $9.83 trillion.
No, Mr. President: it's capitulation on behalf of Wall Street and the austerity hysterics. Stop whining and just shove the 14th Amendment up their ass.
Ben Affleck is pissed about the teabaggers using his clip to motivate their caucus to "hurt people." "On Wednesday, Affleck -- who wrote and directed "The Town" -- said that he too found the whole scenario a touch bizarre. And in a statement his spokesperson provided to The Huffington Post, he suggested that Republicans use a different one of his movies next time they need to whip votes. ... "I don't know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation," said the actor, who is currently in Turkey directing and starring in "Argo," an adaptation of the Tehran hostage crisis. "But if they're going to be watching movies, I think "The Company Men" is more appropriate." ... That latter Affleck flick focuses on the plight of middle age men who have been laid off during the recession. (One of them, depressed about being unemployed, later kills himself.) Whether that message would resonate in the GOP caucus is anyone's guess."
El Puerco goes totally bug f**k, takes Fox news with him
I keep reminding myself that Rush Limbaugh has  never met an example of bad science he didn't like as long as he could spin it into some kind of expose of some dark cabalistic liberal conspiracy.  Otherwise, I'd be sitting here shaking my head at the lengths this pathetic drug addled Viagra popping excuse for a hairless primate will go to in order to prop up his shrinking ratings and hang on to as many of his dimwit ditto heads as he possibly can.  Today's example:

Did you know that it wasn't nearly as hot as the lying liberal weather bureaus said it was during the  massive heat wave that had recently gripped middle America?    Well, it must be true because no matter what the... also lying and liberal...  thermometers said, Pigboy  has decided that the purported heat wave didn't happen and reports to the contrary are nothing but another liberal plot to take away our freedoms.  Or something.  I'll let you sort it out.

From Joe Romm @ Think Progress: 

Now They're Even Denying The Weather | On his radio show Monday, Rush Limbaugh declared that "almost no temperature records were broken" during the recent heat wave and that media outlets who reported on "record-breaking" heat were telling "a bunch of lies" to "advance a political agenda of liberalism." Fox News repeated Limbaugh's insane claim:

In reality, thousands of records were broken, and U.S. temperature extremes this summer continue to overwhelmingly favor hot records vs. cold records. (HT: Joe Romm)

Limbaugh's remarks echo a Newsbusters post  in which Noel Sheppard claims that "almost no temperature records were  actually broken." He came to this conclusion by ignoring most of the  temperature records. Nevertheless, Sheppard's claim was picked up not  only by Limbaugh but also Fox Nation:

You'd think after 20 years of this kind of garbage even the halfwits among us would realize that Rush isn't even trying anymore.  No matter what happens he just pukes out the same, tired old "It's all a vast liberal conspiracy" bullcrap.  He no longer even pretends try to connect the dots, just opens his mouth and spews.

But, what the hell... when you're nothing but a hate peddler who gets paid for inflaming morons I suppose you don't need to worry about quality.  Just keep said morons raging against anyone and everyone with the intelligence to know better and laugh your fat ass off all the way to the bank.


Even after proposed hike, Reagan increased debt ceiling twice as fast as Obama.


What's happening in the exciting/awful dullsville of dismantling America? Well, jaundiced boozebag John Boehner did just what his bosses told him — he even coordinated the extremist-corporate bill's passage with the publication of some jackass propaganda posted under his byline at the National Review Online. But it didn't matter, because the Senate immediately tabled the House bill on a 59-41 vote. And now … eh, who knows? Mud wrestling? In any case, America is doomed. READ MORE »


He's just following the Jesus priority list

Rick Perry Discusses Awfulness of Gay Rights While Texas Burns

burn baby burn!

Rick Perry recently skipped Texas, where there is an epic drought engulfing 90% of the state, so that he could tell social conservatives at a GOP donor sleepover party in Aspen (ahem) that the recent passage of a gay marriage bill in New York was its own business, states rights, etc. Then, here's a little quiz, massive outrage ensued about which of these two things, the fact that he a) skipped out on drought management or b) does not hate gays enough? READ MORE »


We're not impressed, either.

Mr. Spock unimpressed with U.S. politics


Just in time for US default, US recession gets much worse

Uhh ...

While the Republicans try to force a default of the American Nation with such tactics as "scholarship grants are for communists," the Democrats are engaged in an exciting game of catch-up. "Oh," Obama might say, looking thoughtfully at his hands, "Pell Grants are communist? Well then, I offer a compromise of shutting down Medicare and turning our National Parks into private endangered-species hunting camps run by Ted Nugent. What else can we do?" Meanwhile, the U.S. Economy is rolling along — rolling down, fast. Turns out the 2008-2009 recession was far worse than economists could comprehend at the time, even though it was very clear to actual working people that we had plunged into a long and perhaps permanent downturn. And while economists are still pretending the "recovery" is something real and not just more double-your-money fun for America's millionaires and billionaires, they're finally admitting that once they fudge their numbers another percent, we're actually already in a second recession. READ MORE »

Friday, July 29, 2011

Headlines - Friday July 29

Tough night for Boehner: The House vote on Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) debt limit plan has been postponed. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) office suggests they will try for a vote this evening, possibly around 7 p.m. ET. This is a developing story…
Nancy Pelosi is probably laughing her San Francisco values ass off at Boehner's utter incompetence.

Boehner moved to tears by anecdotes, not specific incidences, during caucus meeting. Do you want to tell him to grow a pair as bad as we do? "By all accounts, House Speaker John A. Boehner has been a relentless, cold-eyed negotiator in the debt ceiling face-off with President Obama. ... But sentimental stories tend to get Mr. Boehner misty-eyed. And we now have the first official indication of what is enough to make the speaker cry when it comes to the debt ceiling issue. ... At a meeting of the House Republican freshmen and their leaders on Wednesday, there wasn't a dry eye in the room -- including the speaker's. ... Representative Martha Roby of Alabama had just finished reading an e-mail of support from a one-time Tea Party opponent, recognizing the tough choices that the new Republicans faced in the vote to raise the debt ceiling. ... Mr. Boehner, who has become well known for his occasional displays of emotion, joined others in the room by crying a bit during the closed-door session. ... "He wasn't sobbing, but he definitely teared up," said Michael Steel, the speaker's spokesman."

Andy Borowitz: "Tomorrow's John Boehner forecast: Partly angry with a 90% chance of crying."

The Republicans keep breaking their own record for awfulness and destruction.

Last month, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar cheered environmentalists and fans of the great outdoors with his extension of a moratorium on uranium mining near the Grand Canyon for another six months. But now House Republicans are aiming to use the Interior Department appropriations bill to try to reopen the areas around the park to mining interests.

Salazar announced in June that he was extending the prohibition on mining on roughly 1 million acres of land near the canyon through the end of the year, a moratorium he put in place in 2009. [...]

The appropriations measure, from Arizona Republican Jeff Flake, would reverse Salazar's decision and again make it possible to mine near the park. It's one of dozens of anti-environmental riders tacked onto the Environment and Interior appropriations bill that the House is debating this week.


Is there a better poster child for all that's wrong with teahadism than this clown? Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.


I'm pretty sure we're #1 when it comes to supplying guns around the world, so we've got that going for us. And in a related story: Norway shooter: Ammo clips were from U.S.

Kneeling for salvation expert Marcus Bachmann is in the news again, but not for praying away the gay. It seems that Marcus turned in a campaign reimbursement expense report that is, um, questionable:

According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (see page 16 of this PDF), covering the period between November 28 and December 31 of 2006, Marcus was reimbursed $6,230 for mileage.

OK, so what's the big deal?

Granted, $6,230 hardly seems like a shockingly large amount of money for a spouse to be reimbursed for campaign expenses. But considering that the IRS's standard mileage rate was 44.5 cents per mile, and that the farthest opposing corners of Minnesota's sixth district stretch about 120 miles, Marcus Bachmann would have had to have driven 14,000 miles (58 round trips) in the span of 1 month to warrant the money. This, of course, seems physically impossible and highly unlikely (especially considering the mileage was accrued after Bachmann had already won).

Whoopsie! That's a lot of trips to the Minneapolis Mineshaft, Marcus!


Krugman is getting in touch with his inner Keith Olbermann and taking a swipe at an absent colleague.

Under cover of debt crisis, Senate looks to extend telco spying immunity
Yesterday, the farthest-right congressional Republicans decided it was time to call in the troops. Facing criticism from all sides that they've been too extreme, too irresponsible, too unyielding, and too crazy in the debt limit fight, they decided that a show of force was necessary. What they got instead was a sad little metaphor for their own delusions of popularity:

GOP Presidents     Dem Presidents
$9.5 trillion            $3.8 trillion

Total debt is $14.3 trillion.
$1 trillion of debt comes from before Reagan (NYT doesn't make clear who created that debt).
$13.3 trillion accumulated from Reagan to Obama.

71% of the $13.3 trillion was under GOP presidents.
28% of the $13.3 trillion was under Dem presidents.


This is the return on our $1 trillion investment. "Insurgents have carried out a gun and bomb attack in the south Afghan town of Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan province, leaving at least 22 dead, officials say. They said the violence included three suicide bombings followed by fighting in a market, adding that all eight attackers had now been killed. The dead include Ahmed Omed Khpulwak, a local BBC reporter. The Taliban say they carried out the attack, which comes amid renewed violence in Afghanistan. Nato says it is providing air support to Afghan forces in Tarin Kowt." 

Rep. Paul Broun urges debt-addicted America to 'give up its country club membership'

It is more or less redundant for us to type about "debt ceiling negotiation updates," because in plain English this just means "members of the Tea Party continue to be intransigent dicks." But the news media is still bravely trying to figure out why national financial collapse is somebody's actual political platform, so here is Andrea Mitchell incredulously asking Tea Party member Rep. Paul Broun why he refuses to vote for any of the debt bills. "When someone is overextended and broke," Broun says, "they don't continue paying for country club dues, they drop out of the country club." THAT IS A TRAGIC STORY if you are an old rich white man. And so what about the hundreds of millions of Americans who've never even seen a country club from the outside? Can those people have their economy back?  READ MORE »



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Headlines - Thursday July 28

Limbaugh: People Believe In Global Warming Because Air Conditioners Make Their Homes Cool
Fun fact: 3,000 new records were set for high temperature in US cities last week

Despite what the GOP keeps telling us, Bruce Bartlett has compiled a list of 19 different polls taken since January that demonstrate that Americans support increasing taxes in order to reduce the deficit and inequality. Americans may not love tax increases, but they understand their necessity for deficit reduction.


Hypocrite: Like many members of Congress, Rep. Michele Bachmann has been a fierce critic of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blaming the government-backed loan programs for excesses that helped create the financial meltdown in 2008.

And like millions of other home purchasers, Bachmann took out a home loan in 2008 that offered lower costs to the borrower through one of the federally subsidized programs, according to mortgage experts who reviewed her loan documents.

Just a few weeks before Bachmann called for dismantling the programs during a House Financial Services Committee hearing, she and her husband signed for a $417,000 home loan to help finance their move to a 5,200-square-foot golf-course home, public records show. Experts who examined the loan documents for The Washington Post say that they are confident the loan was backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Bartcop sees three problems with this:

1. Teabaggers don't care. Bachmann could claim Havana was the true capital of the US and her fans would love her even more.  She could get caught strangling puppies on the White House lawn and her contributors would send even more money.

2. America's whore press won't write about GOP abuses or their crimes. Bush & Cheney lied 5,000 soldiers into their graves, but who cares? Did you see those Anthony Weiner photos?

3. The Democrats refuse to list the facts so the voters remain ignorant.


This is What Hope Looks Like...A must read!

Tim DeChristopher's sentencing statement


The biggest election scandal of the season is blazing away behind the Zion Curtain. Jon Huntsman's salty language--or more specifically, his use of the "bull manure" word--is causing a media firestorm in the Beehive State:

I'd much rather hear politician say the word bullshit than to hear one say he wants America's 'house to come down'


A Wisconsin woman recorded the process of getting her son an ID to vote. She discovered that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could refuse to issue the constitutionally-mandated ID card if the voter's bank account did not show enough "activity."


Apple has pulled their iTunes store from a Christianist site that funds anti-gay hate groups like the Family Research Council. This move comes after pressure from petition site convinced other major companies such as the BBC to end their affiliations as well.


Right-wing extremism continues.

Officials with Planned Parenthood confirmed that their McKinney clinic was the target of violence sometime last night.

Holly Morgan, director of media relations and communications for Planned Parenthood in Dallas, said their McKinney health center located on Eldorado Parkway was "attacked" between 10 and 11 p.m. Tuesday with an incendiary device.

The person or persons involved in the attack threw a Molotov cocktail, consisting of diesel fuel in a glass bottle with a lit rag, at the building. Morgan said the device did not penetrate the front of the clinic but did cause some serious damage.

Remember when the far-right shamed Homeland Security about its report on Right-Wing Extremism, and then it became a wingnut punchline? Maybe the government should have told them all to piss off. That would've been nice for a change.


Economic terrorists

While speaking to conservative radio host Laura Ingraham today, House Speaker John Boehner finally admitted what many of us have already come to realize — that some members of his own party are hell-bent on causing serious harm to the nation in an effort to achieve their goals.

BOEHNER: Well, first they want more. And my goodness, I want more too. And secondly, a lot of them believe that if we get passed August the second and we have enough chaos, we could force the Senate and the White House to accept a balanced budget amendment. I'm not sure that that — I don't think that that strategy works. Because I think the closer we get to August the second, frankly, the less leverage we have vis a vis our colleagues in the Senate and the White House.

From the mouth of the Speaker himself — they want to cause chaos to achieve their political goals. That sounds a lot like terrorism to me.

1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

The Tea Party and some establishment Republicans may be under the belief that because President Obama has been gracious and reasonable, that means they can intimidate him, but I think you would be a fool to agree with them.

Meanwhile, as ThinkProgress notes, some Democrats are warming up to the idea of President Obama invoking the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling himself should the Tea Party get their way in successfully throwing the nation off a cliff.

LARSON: If a small group is really that intent on destroying government, and is intent on saying they don't believe there are any ramifications for their irresponsibility then we have to have a fail-safe mechanism, we believe that fail safe mechanism is the 14th amendment and the president of the United States.

CLYBURN: So I would say to the president, if that's what lands on his desk, a short-term listing of the debt ceiling — he should put it on his desk next to an executive order he will have drawn up. And with the same pen that he vetoes that short term debt ceiling extension, he should sign an executive order invoking the 14th Amendment to this issue. I am convinced that whatever discussions about the legality of this issue can continue.

The Whitehouse continues to downplay the idea of using the 14th amendment to avert disaster, but you would have a hard time convincing me that it is not something they are considering and keeping in their back pocket just in case.

I highly doubt the administration would admit to such until the absolute last moment, but hopefully it won't come to that.


"The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."~Winston Churchill


Mario: Right-Wing Paranoia and Insanity Reaches New Levels


Mario: The One Chart Which Best Explains the Debt Ceiling Crisis


Like it or not, we're going to be seeing a lot of Marco Rubio the next six years as Republicans try to appeal to Latino voters. Here's what Jeb Bush said about him in his "Fifty Sexiest People in Washington" profile:

"He's the only guy I know on the scene today who can make grown men cry."

What could that possibly mean?


We can sum up the teabaggers "so be it" attitude in one tidy analogy: They don't care if they end up living under an overpass, roasting roadkill on a curtain rod over an oil drum fire -- so long as that guy over there doesn't even have a curtain rod.

This is how utterly fucked up the housing market is in this country. "Bank of America Corp. (BAC), faced with a glut of foreclosed and abandoned houses it can't sell, has a new tool to get rid of the most decrepit ones: a bulldozer. ... The biggest U.S. mortgage servicer will donate 100 foreclosed houses in the Cleveland area and in some cases contribute to their demolition in partnership with a local agency that manages blighted property. The bank has similar plans in Detroit and Chicago, with more cities to come, and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), Citigroup Inc. (C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Fannie Mae are conducting or considering their own programs. ... Disposing of repossessed homes is one of the biggest headaches for lenders in the U.S., where 1,679,125 houses, or one in every 77, were in some stage of foreclosure as of June, according to research firm RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, California. The prospect of those properties flooding the market has depressed prices and driven off buyers concerned that housing values will keep dropping. "
2009 FBI Training Manual: 'Muslims Are Weird and Not Like Us'
also on the recommended reading list!
As recently as 2009, the FBI skkkool trained its new recruits about Islam with a little presentation titled "Things to use/consider for successful interviews/interrogations with individuals from the M.E. (Middle East)." Here's a little pop quiz with the answers from the presentation. Q: What is "Muslim 101″ information about Muslims? A: Islam "transforms a country's culture into 7th century Arabian ways." They love Renaissance Fairs too? Q: "Is Iran an Arab country?" A: "Iran is a Muslim country." Confusing! Q: Where are all the Muslims located? A: "They're standing right behind you." HAHA CREEPY okay not that last one, but the first two answers are verbatim from the training presentation. The third answer is implied if you do your reading carefully. READ MORE »
"redact" means something different in dentistry
Famous birther drag queen Orly Taitz is so frustrated right now, because no one will listen to her important ideas about Barack Obama's fake social security number. She can't even get justice in the court, probably because everyone there is a secret Kenyan with a fake social security number, too. Oh and also because she keeps "displaying her own stupidity," by not knowing how to redact information. Maybe they don't teach that sort of thing in Lunatic Dentist Lawyer College. But really, how can Orly Taitz be expected to properly redact a social security number when someone in the court is clearly sabotaging her case? READ MORE »

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Headlines - Wednesday July 27

Fun fact: The judge that sentenced Tim served as a staffer for Hatch, and was appointed to the bench by Bush Sr. Mike "I want America's house to come down" Lee served as a law clerk to the same judge. Tim didn't stand a chance.
The 400 richest Americans used to pay 30% of their income on the average to Uncle Sam. Today, they pay 18% on the average
Probably True RUMOR: Eric Cantor has bought into a cat food company to profit off all the new business from the elederly after Teabagging Rethugs kill Social Security
The three branches of Wisconsin government.
Voter ID law passed, Scott Walker moves to close DMVs in Dem districts.
"The heat index was 123 degrees in Minnesota. How far is Al Gore going to take this global warming hoax? 123 degrees in Minnesota? Michele Bachmann's husband went in the closet just for the shade."- Bill Maher
The Atlantic: Washington Isn't Broken, the Republican Party Is
Wisco: Right redefines "christian" to distance themselves from Anders Breivik

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the podium today and laid out, in no uncertain terms, the Republican's true motives for playing chicken with the debt ceiling. Motives which most of the American people are unable to connect the dots to because they do not have the time or the information necessary to do so.

I would just expand on Pelosi's comments and add that this latest round of Republican brinkmanship and hostage taking has very little to do with the deficit, the national debt, or even finance in general. It has everything to do with the social agenda of the radical Right.

The debt-ceiling, and thus the full faith and credit of the United States, is simply the vehicle which they are currently using as a scorched-earth bargaining chip to accomplish their long-standing goal of eliminating what remains of The New Deal. President Obama hinted at this last night during his speech, and Nancy Pelosi is stating it fairly clearly today.

President Obama and our thin majority in the Senate are the only things preventing the Republicans from achieving their goals, so you had better damn well show them some support and a little solidarity.

We must remove from office as many Republicans as we possibly can next year.


Obama Inauguration Pastor Reminds Us the Poor Do Not Pay Enough Taxes

Rick Warren Hates Taxes, poor people.

Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren, whom you may remember as the official evangelical homophobe schlub selected to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, thought fit to weigh in on the debt ceiling debate. How does Jesus feel about taxes, Rick?

Half of America isn't paying taxes! Which half, the corporations? General Electric? Exxon Mobil? Citigroup? No, probably he means "the poors," the full half of America that doesn't earn enough income to pay federal income taxes, but who do pay myriad other taxes for things like eating, wearing clothes and driving vehicles. Let them be, Rick Warren, they aren't getting into heaven anyway. Jesus doesn't love them, or they'd have millions of dollars from book sales, like Rick Warren.

(Warren removed the Tweet from his account already, and the screen capture is also archived here.) [Twitter/Yfrog via Wonkette operative "Joyce"]


Don't Let Them Lie to You About the Deficit

FACT: the Republicans are responsible for the deficit. Proof:

Boehner and Cantor, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) have all voted for some of the biggest contributors to the debt — the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush tax cuts, and President Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan — which helped to double the debt over the past decade

The chart:

Businessweek adds

Together, a Bloomberg News analysis shows, these initiatives added $3.4 trillion to the nation's accumulated debt and to its current annual budget deficit of $1.5 trillion. [...]

"There's plenty of blame to go around," for the debt, said Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, an Arlington, Virginia-based group that advocates for balanced budgets. "If there had been no Barack Obama, we would still be bumping up against the debt limit.'"

Anyone who says this is "Obama's spending" and "Obama's debt" is lying. Plain and simple. They're lying to you.


Republican Hostage Taking – or 'I Thought We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists'


Genius: Mike Lee: I Want America's 'House To Come Down' Unless Congress Votes To Rewrite Constitution

He admitted to using the threat of a catastrophic default to extort the nation into rewriting the Constitution to force a permanent era of conservative governance. 


Staggering: US debt clock.


"If the GOP wants to ensure that President Obama isn't reelected, all it has to do is not make any deals with Democrats and default on August 2. My companies have defaulted four times---in 1991, 1992, 2004, and 2009 --- and look what it's done for me!"


Clowns to the right of me .....

This does say it all, doesn't it:

Exempting war spending—which goes untouched in Boehner's plan—the legislation would reduce spending by only $5 billion next fiscal year. And its impact on the deficit is even less—a paltry $1 billion.

This provides occasion for yet another penetrating glimpse of the obvious:  the debt ceiling battle is not about the debt.  It's about the Republican attempt to rob the middle class and the poor to feed the rich.

That the collateral damage will be the long term erosion of America's capacity to create wealth and wield power is…acceptable, it seems.

Per Doug J and Krugman (and David Kurtz), you do have to ask:  what would it take to get the VSPs on cable to, you know, look at the actual numbers and who's proposing what?

Meanwhile, back at the headquarters of the Party That Hates America™, Boehner's claque of merry pranksters are trying to rewrite the bill to grab back a fig-leaf of deficit cutting respectability.


The feeding frenzy at the top has to stop.


Paul Krugman in a short, succinct comment:

At this point, we just have to accept it as a fact of life: Obama doesn't, and maybe can't, do outrage — no matter how much the situation calls for it. The purpose of last night's speech, if there was one, was to rally the nation against crazy Republicans. But there were no memorable lines, no forceful statements of the very stark reality. "Now, now, that's not reasonable" isn't going to move multitudes.

It turns out, I'm sorry to say, that he wasn't the one we were waiting for.

Krugman is referring to Obama's lack of outrage in his most recent speech. But he might as well be referring to his lack of fight for progressive (or even Democratic) values.

There is no party in American politics, and no presidential candidate, who represents Progressive policy and values. That's a problem.

There's no place to vote your dissatisfaction, which means there's no way to measure your dissatisfaction.
Obama needs a primary as a gift, the way a blind man need eyesight. How will he see what's out there waiting for him if there's no way to show him.

Without a primary, 2012 will be a battle between the Koch-financed and the Bank-financed for control of the country. Dueling billionaires, like choosing between the third son of Caesar and the fourth son to wear the crown


Reminder: Republicans held both chambers of Congress from 2003 to 2006, and had a Republican in the White House. They not only didn't approve a balanced budget amendment, they never even held a vote on it. In fact, the last vote on a BBA was in 1997, when Bill Clinton was president; the Senate defeated it by a single vote.


GOP Tries To Build United Debt Front By Watching Violent Movie Together

we'll start with the old ladies.

What is still the best way in 2011 to convince a room full of intransigent Republican males to join your team? You promise them a little violence and a little mayhem. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy sat down a group of GOP lawmakers to show them a scene from a Ben Affleck movie called The Town as a way to boost "togetherness" in the caucus during these eternal debt fights. The movie is about bank robbery, Ben Affleck is the bank robber, and the line McCarthy played for lawmakers goes like this: "I need your help. I can't tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. And we're going to hurt some people." HURT! They know that word. Sweaty, excited faces all around! Where do they sign up for whatever John Boehner is asking them to vote for? How soon does the hurting start? Oh, and can we guess which Florida military nut congressman immediately changed his position on the debt ceiling after watching the clip? READ MORE »


"Since 2009, Senate Republicans have forced virtually every bill to pass the 60-vote cloture threshold before it could come to the floor for actual debate. This unprecedented obstruction forced Senate Democrats to find 60 supporting votes -- as opposed to a simple majority of 51 -- to pass health care reform, financial regulatory reform, the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the economic stimulus package, and nearly every other bill they considered, and killed critical legislation like a climate change bill, immigration reform, and the DREAM Act. In addition, Republicans have successfully filibustered an unheard-of number of judicial and cabinet-level nominees, hindering the efficacy of both branches. ... But after they failed to get 60 votes for their Cut, Cap, and Balance plan last week, a group of Senate Republicans is urging Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bring it to the floor for debate, thus allowing it to pass with only 51 votes."


The Rude One: The View From Across Oceans on Our Debt Ceiling Idiocy


Attendance @ tea bagger events is down by 50%


Since she announced her candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination a little over a month ago, Michele Bachmann has spent $4,700 on hair and makeup.  Even John Edwards was shocked when he heard this.




Michele Bachmann Bravely Collects Salary For Not Doing Her Job

Give us a kiss???

Why is Michele Bachmann trying to hypnotize this llama? Llamas are not television cameras, Michele. The llama looks a lot more calm than we would feel with Michele Bachmann right in front of our face like that. Here is a fun fact: Michele is more engaged in creeping out this llama than she is with her elected, salaried job of representing her constituents in Washington. Bachmann has missed nearly 40% of House votes since she began her campaign!