Friday, August 31, 2012

Headlines - Friday August 31

So absolutely disgusting. And sadly typical. They should all be in jail.

Via Andrew Sullivan's blog we hear from Father Benedict Groeschel, the director of the Office for Spiritual Development for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York:
People have this picture in their minds of a person planning to — a psychopath. But that's not the case. Suppose you have a man having a nervous breakdown, and a youngster comes after him. A lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer ... It's not so hard to see — a kid looking for a father and didn't have his own — and they won't be planning to get into heavy-duty sex, but almost romantic, embracing, kissing, perhaps sleeping but not having intercourse or anything like that.

It's an understandable thing ... there are the relatively rare cases where a priest is involved in a homosexual way with a minor. I think the statistic I read recently in a secular psychology review was about 2%. Would that be true of other clergy? Would it be true of doctors, lawyers, coaches?

Here's this poor guy — [Penn State football coach Jerry] Sandusky — it went on for years. Interesting: Why didn't anyone say anything? Apparently, a number of kids knew about it and didn't break the ice. Well, you know, until recent years, people did not register in their minds that it was a crime. It was a moral failure, scandalous; but they didn't think of it in terms of legal things.
Most of us don't find child rape "interesting." But then again, most of us don't run the Catholic church.

And they're still making excuses for child rapists, while telling the rest of us how to live. Newsflash: I don't take moral advice from men who rape, and aid and abet, the rape of small children.

Absolutely disgusting.

Even better:
The National Catholic Register is now apologizing for publishing the accurate comments of the church leader. They're suggesting he may have lost his mind. Right, because no Catholic leader has ever tried to blame the victim or excuse the rape of children.
Tim Dickinson gets the cover for "The Federal Bailout That Saved Mitt Romney"
Good. Lock his ass up, strip him of his bennies and burn every copy of the book. The SEAL who wrote the book about the bin Laden raid is facing the wrath of the Pentagon and possible legal action against not just him but "everyone who acted in concert with him."
The president tweeted this photo last night.

Caption: "This seat's taken."



Apparently exploring new levels of gross incompetence, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer accidentally endorses Barack Obama.
Disgusting. The Mormons have once again posthumously baptized Anne Frank. For the ninth time.

I agree with Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo who says this is the "stupidest thing I ever heard."

Democrats wish they had the diversity of speakers and deep bench [of the GOP] to show America -Chuck Todd on the RNC

Democrats wish they had the diversity of the GOP? I think you may have it backwards, Chuck.

This is what passes for wisdom inside the beltway and perhaps the Dick Morris School of Non-Observation. Todd is clearly following the bullshit-artist model pioneered by Mark Halperin. It's a golden ticket into the Hall of the Very Serious.

simmering rage behind a soft jaw

After a convention in which literally every minority in the Republican Party gets to take the stage and chant about the things that "they" (read: the white people watching them) built, it's time to reflect on how awesome it's going to be when America is majority-minority and the GOP is ascendant. After all, Chuck Todd says that Democrats are super totes jeals over all the diversity at the GOP convention!

Or not, because Lindsey Graham had to go open his stupid turdface mouth.

"The demographics race we're losing badly," said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). "We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."

Whaaaa? READ MORE »

The NYT confirms it. Mormons gave half of the total $40m donations that the bigots at Yes on 8 received. (Hat tip, Rex.)

First off, we learn that the Mormon involvement in Prop 8 was unusually large, even for them:
"We've spoken out on other issues, we've spoken out on abortion, we've spoken out on those other kinds of things," said Michael R. Otterson, the managing director of public affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as the Mormons are formally called, in Salt Lake City. "But we don't get involved to the degree we did on this."

The California measure, Proposition 8, was to many Mormons a kind of firewall to be held at all costs.
Then we find out that Mormons were 80% to 90% of early volunteers:
Shortly after receiving the invitation from the San Francisco Archdiocese, the Mormon leadership in Salt Lake City issued a four-paragraph decree to be read to congregations, saying "the formation of families is central to the Creator's plan," and urging members to become involved with the cause.

"And they sure did," Mr. Schubert said.

Jeff Flint, another strategist with Protect Marriage, estimated that Mormons made up 80 percent to 90 percent of the early volunteers who walked door-to-door in election precincts.
One lead Mormon gave $1m:
On Oct. 28, Mr. Ashton, the grandson of the former Mormon president David O. McKay, donated $1 million. Mr. Ashton, who made his fortune as co-founder of the WordPerfect Corporation, said he was following his personal beliefs and the direction of the church....

In the end, Protect Marriage estimates, as much as half of the nearly $40 million raised on behalf of the measure was contributed by Mormons.
And then to finally throw in a slur, the top Mormon donor, and son of a former Mormon leader, refers to us as "fruit":
[T]he extent of the protests has taken many Mormons by surprise. On Friday, the church's leadership took the unusual step of issuing a statement calling for "respect" and "civility" in the aftermath of the vote.

"Attacks on churches and intimidation of people of faith have no place in civil discourse over controversial issues," the statement said. "People of faith have a democratic right to express their views in the public square without fear of reprisal."

Mr. Ashton described the protests by same-sex marriage advocates as off-putting. "I think that shows colors," Mr. Ashton said. "By their fruit, ye shall know them."

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Headlines - Thursday August 30

Matt Taibbi: 'Mitt Romney Is One Of The Greatest And Most Irresponsible Debt Creators Of All Time'
From ABC:
"It really is a message that would resonate well if they could just get past some of their biases that have been there from the Democratic machines that have made us look like we don't care about this community," [Mrs.] Romney said. "And that is not true. We very much care about you and your families and the opportunities that are there for you and your families."
I especially loved this little ending to the ABC article:
She was introduced by her youngest son, Craig. He's fluent in Spanish and often campaigns for his father in this state and has even starred in Spanish language radio and television ads for the campaign.
Know why Craig speaks Spanish? Because he went on a Mormon mission to Chile in an effort to convert those heathen Catholics to the one true religion, Mormonism. That's why he speaks Spanish. That's how much the Romneys respect Latinos.
Now who's the foreigner?

For a campaign and party that likes to race-bait President Obama as some kind of "foreign" entity (
RNC chair Reinhold Reince Priebus got smacked down for doing it again earlier this week), Mitt Romney sure seems to have a problem with America.

Mitt's family self-deported to Mexico in order to evade those pesky US anti-polygamy laws.

Mitt chose the Burmese dictatorship to make our 2002 Olympic uniforms, rather than good ole Americans.

And now, Romney is caught holding a campaign event, during the GOP convention, on a ship flying a foreign flag, because apparently being proud of America costs Mitt too much in taxes, and when it's a choice between being proud of America and evading his taxes, Mitt always goes with the money.

Speaking of Mitt Romney's dearth of national pride, it's interesting to note that Romney also wasn't proud of the fact that America caught Osama bin Laden.
He even chastised President Obama for saying that he was proud that we caught OBL. Why does Mitt Romney have such a problem with pride of (this) country?

And finally, just imagine what the Republicans would do if our candidate - Barack HUSSEIN Obama, as they like to note - were flying a foreign flag instead of the stars and stripes at a campaign event DURING the convention? It would be THE central theme of the entire convention.

From ABC News, and they've got a photo of the ship not flying the American flag:
Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

The exclusive event, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid.

"I think it's ironic they do this aboard a yacht that doesn't even pay its taxes," said a woman who lives aboard a much smaller boat moored at the St. Petersburg Municipal Marina.
No more ironic than the Republicans nominating a candidate who doesn't even pay his taxes.

"On the other hand, to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan's speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech. On this measure, while it was Romney who ran the Olympics, Ryan earned the gold.

The good news is that the Romney-Ryan campaign has likely created dozens of new jobs among the legions of additional fact checkers that media outlets are rushing to hire to sift through the mountain of cow dung that flowed from Ryan's mouth. Said fact checkers have already condemned certain arguments that Ryan still irresponsibly repeated." Sally Kohn,

Yes, that's Fox News. Or at least it is until Sally Kohn is fired.


During a commercial break on Yahoo's live-stream of the RNC today, Yahoo News' Washington bureau chief David Chalian quipped to colleagues that the Romneys are "happy to have a party when black people drown," and that "they're not concerned at all" about Louisiana residents as Hurricane Isaac made landfall.

After audio of the remark surfaced, Yahoo fired Chalian almost immediately.

Of course we now know that Chalian's comment was more accurate that he was probably aware of, because ABC had not yet published their story on Romney's donor retreat aboard the Cracker Bay where the masters of the universe wined and dined under a waving Cayman Islands flag.

After firing Chalian, Yahoo issued an apology to the Romneys!

"David Chalian's statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended."

Yahoo would like to apologize for this shakedown wherein someone was accidentally caught telling the uncomfortable truth that everyone already knows.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the apology for saying the NAACP wants more free stuff, for referring to President Obama as a welfare, affirmative action president, and for endorsing a budget that would obliterate the social contract.

If President Obama, or members his campaign team, had been caught partying on a super yacht under a foreign flag as Hurricane Isaac made landfall, would anyone apologize to him for the inevitable freak-out?

I don't think so.


The Obama White House just doubled fuel efficiency requirements for new cars.

The White House on Tuesday announced it had finalized new fuel-efficiency standards for American-made passenger cars and light trucks, requiring that new models for 2025 achieve an average fuel efficiency of 54.5 miles-per-gallon.

That amount would more than double the current average fuel economy, 25.2 miles-per-gallon as of 2012, according to the Department of Transportation, which enforces the standards and worked on the new fuel economy requirements with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the major U.S. automakers.

Progress! We need to do more, though.


If you missed the two main speeches at last night's GOP Lie-fest (aka The Republican National Convention), here are the two best summaries I've come across.

Steve Benen on the Chris Christie speech:

Christie decided to use this opportunity to celebrate … himself.

Even Christie's theme seemed bizarre. The keynote was ostensibly about "hard truths" — he used the word "truth" 21 times — and the need for bold political "courage," but all of this only reinforced the degree to which Mitt Romney disagrees.

Romney's afraid to offend conservatives; he's afraid to push back against extremist rhetoric; he's afraid of the religious right; and he's afraid of Limbaugh. He's afraid to release his tax returns because he thinks Democrats might be mean to him; he's afraid to disclose his bundlers because he worries sunlight may scare his wealthy benefactors away; and he's afraid to take a firm position on key issues because he thinks he'd lose. His campaign said last week presenting specifics to voters would be "suicidal."

Romney's campaign isn't about courageous "hard truths"; it's about hiding the truth and hoping voters don't notice.

Juan Williams (Fox News) on the Ann Romney speech:

Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, on the other hand, looked to me like a corporate wife. And, you know, the stories she told about struggle, it's hard for me to believe. She's a very rich woman. I know that, and America knows that.

It looks like a woman whose husband takes care of her, and she's been very lucky and blessed in this life. She's not speaking, I think, for the tremendous number of single women in this country, or married women, or separated. She did not convince me that, 'You know what, I understand the struggles of American women in general.'

There you have it. Christie's speech was little more than a set up for his 2016 run for the White House. If he has any respect for Romney as a leader, it didn't come across in his speech. Rachel Maddow noted that Christie did not mention Romney's name until he got through two thirds of his speech. Oh yeah, Christie's really into Romney.

As for Ann Romney's speech, Williams could not have stated it better. Ann came across as a loyal wife who would say whatever it took to help her man get elected. None of her words rang true. Trying to convince America that she understands the plight of middle class women because she and her privileged hubby started their marriage in a basement apartment was as phony as she stating yesterday that she buys Mitt's shirts at Costco and he ironed his own shirt that very morning. Get real. These people treat the electorate as complete morons.

If this is the best Republicans have to offer in terms of convincing America that Romney is anything other than an out-of-touch modern day Gordon Gekko, they're in deep, deep trouble.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Headlines - Tuesday August 28

Watch this video please. And vote!
GOP's biggest stars missing in Tampa- Link

Some of the biggest names in Repugnant politics will be missing from the stage during NaziCon 2012
and that's no accident. The Romney bastards are aiming to focus squarely on Obama's skin color and
the GOP future rather than on polarizing figures and controversies from the past.

The idea is to tell a BIG, FAT LIE and oretend the GOP is a competent, forward-looking party—and that
has translated into leaving out as many nutjobs as possible and still have enough people to put on a convention.

Banned for being themselves are Der Monkey Fuhrer, Satan, Bat-shit Bachmann and her fabulous not-gay husband, Herman Cain, the serial sexual assaulter, Rick I-hate-America Perry and the insane Publicity Whore from Wassila.

Democrats will be missing some of their stars, as well.

John F Kennedy won't be there and neither will Bobby Kennedy.
Dr. Martin Luther King won't be there and neither will John Lennon.

They won't be there because they were all fucking murdered by Republicans.

When are anti-gay activists just going to own up to their own sexuality?

A longtime anti-gay activist, California Prop 8 donor, and elementary school teacher was taken into custody on August 17th after admitting inappropriate contact with young boys. Caleb Douglas Hesse, a teacher for the Morongo Unified School District since 1987 (most recently, he was teaching first grade at Friendly Hills Elementary School in Joshua Tree) and a longtime youth volunteer with the virulently homophobic Evangelical Free Church of Yucca Valley, has confessed to sexually abusing "numerous underage boys," with authorities believe the crimes occurred between the early 1980's and as recently as a week ago."

I have nothing to add to this, except, man look at those ears!


And they call themselves a "news" organization: A big bucket of hilarious FAIL


Tweety rips obvious anagram Reince Priebus a new one over GOP playing the race card.

They've taken the GOP's old southern strategy and amped everything up to eleven, hoping that maybe the white racist vote is enough to put them over the top this one last time. The welfare lies, the birtherism, the attacks on Latinos, the voter ID laws that disenfranchise minority voters — it's all right there, out in the open. These people shouldn't be allowed to run a merry-go-round, let alone a nation.


The brand new Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has been arrested for drunk driving. Cordileone is widely considered the "father of Proposition 8."

Police in San Diego say Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was arrested over the weekend for driving under the influence. Police say it happened in San Diego's College District just before 12:30 Saturday morning. Bishop Cordileone is currently bishop of Oakland -- a post he's held since 2009. Last month Pope Benedict chose Bishop Cordileone to become archbishop of San Francisco -- replacing retiring Archbishop George Niederaur. He's scheduled to assume the new post in October.


A just publicized new directive from the Air Force bans commanders from proselytizing to troops. The wingnuts are totally going to lose their shit. Via NBC News:


Again we see (probably) the hand of Tony Perkins in the GOP party platform, this time in its foreign policy section. Think Progress quotes from a leaked copy:

The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups — the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development — have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration's social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.

Lest we forget, Perkins denounced Obama for expressing opposition to Uganda's plan to start executing homosexuals. That's the real "homosexual agenda" of the Republican party


It's a miracle: CBN: Prayer Moved Storm Away From RNC


One of the hazards of campaigning against policy that your presidential nominee created is that you may occasionally remind your constituents that he created it. If only by accident.

TAMPA — All credentialed media checking into the Republican National Convention are being given a swag bag featuring brochures and items from various sponsors such as sunglasses and a pocket fan. But the bag also contains a copy of the original hardcover version of Mitt Romney's book No Apology, in which he suggested his approach to health care in Massachusetts could be accomplished in the rest of the country.

The allusion was later altered for the paperback version of the book, a change that became a contentious issue during the Republican primary.

Whoops? They received a copy of the book documenting Mitt Romney's original position, not the etch-a-sketched version.


A routine murder trial in Georgia took an unexpected turn today after it was revealed that the men on trial for murdering a fellow servicemember and his girlfriend murdered them to cover up their plot to assume control of Fort Stewart and assassinate President Obama.

LUDOWICI, Ga. (AP) — Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday.

Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group composed of active duty and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components and was serious enough to kill two people — former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York — by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret. [...]

The prosecutor said the militia group had big plans. It plotted to take over Fort Stewart by seizing its ammunition control point and talked of bombing the Forsyth Park fountain in nearby Savannah, she said. In Washington state, she added, the group plotted to bomb a dam and poison the state's apple crop. Ultimately, prosecutors said, the militia's goal was to overthrow the government and assassinate the president.

The Republicans, including Mitt Romney just recently, have spent the last four years courting the idea that President Obama is an illegitimate president. And the notion, propagated by Fox News and talk radio, that voter fraud is rampant serves to reinforce the idea that a second term would not only be illegitimate but also stolen.

If he wins re-election, this kind of incident will become more frequent.

Update: Leader of Army Plot to Assassinate Obama Apparently Attended the 2008 Republican Convention as a Page


Remember the DHS Right Wing Extremist Report?


Smart piece from Jonathan Bernstein: "Why Do Republicans Bash Obama for Being 'Divisive'?"


Fox News Analyst Reminds Us What Neil Armstrong's Death Is Really About: Obama Spreading Islam 


Pay no attention to the melting icecaps, global warming is a hoax! The National Snow and Ice Data Center reports that over the weekend that this year the melt of arctic sea ice has exceeded the previous record set in 2007, and with several more weeks of summer to go, this years melt will undoubtedly continue, so the winter freeze will start from a larger deficit of ice than it ever has in any previous year.


Dateline, Tampa Hyatt Lobby Bar — David S. Bernstein, of the Boston Phoenix, just sat his ass down and made his FIRST mistake: telling your Wonkette he had found an exclusive. Then he made his second mistake, which was … something else, whatever. Did you know David S. Bernstein does not know how to embed youtube videos? Good job, old media! Anyhoo, here is David S. Bernstein's EXCLUSIVE video, which we fucking helped him put on the Internet, because frankly we are lovely. It is about Special Ops dudes who are SO MAD that Barack Obama bows to everyone, all the time, forever, because he is a huge pussy who wants to sell America to Sharia law and Osamabinladensayswhat? Oh right nothing, the fish ate his mouth! See the anger and the glory, where it says "read more"! READ MORE »



This marks the week of Reclaiming Mitt Romney, in which he gives out lots and lots of interviews to show how beneath the cold, awkward, moderately inhuman exterior, he is a cold, awkward, moderately inhuman person who is competent enough to run the most powerful nation in the world despite having no idea what 98.7% of Americans do day to day besides get sunburned at his rallies and wash his cars. To that end, Mitt Romney has decided to give the Washington Times a deep insight into how he eats muffins. Hint: he does it like a weirdo. READ MORE »


Another failed attempt to make Mitt likeable



Another creation science attraction plans N. Ky. home


Maureen Dowd really, really hates Paul Ryan.


Mitt's dog whistles are reaching his target audience


And the hits just keep on coming! This time from the Pennsylvania Republican challenging pro-life Bob Casey

Clearly, Smith is a cretinous throwback of the worst kind. I'm guessing that if the argument in Pennsylvania shifts to whether unwed motherhood equals rape or whether there should be an exception for rape and incest, Casey's going to win it. Unfortunately, women in Pennsylvania won't because he's still anti-abortion.

Still, it's very interesting how so many of these important Republicans are blurting out these opinions. Maybe someone should ask them questions like this more often.


Digby:Meet the Aristocrats!


Headlines - Wednesday August 29

RNC Chairman Wants to PROSECUTE the President

The chairman of the Republican Party said Monday that the GOP needs to "prosecute the president," arguing that Barack Obama's offenses are a long list of promises unfulfilled.

Promises that couldn't be kept because of Republican obstructionism. And I don't recall this guy calling for the prosecution of George Bush for war crimes, torture, starting an illegal war, etc.
Screen shot 2012-08-28 at 8.36.26 PM
Now THAT'S quality family time!
No matter how hard they try to make Mitt "human", the Romney family just can't do it:
CHRIS WALLACE: So, Tagg, what are family meals like?
TAGG ROMNEY: A little bit of craziness. Dad always goes in line first because he doesn't want to wait for all the grand children because it takes forever. Parents are cutting their meat and he's usually finished by the time the rest of us sit down.
Bottom line? He's a selfish dick.
Did you catch all those "hard-working American coal miners" crowding Mitt Romney's rally in Ohio a couple of weeks ago? It turns out they were forced to attend. FREEDOM!

Good news — a three-judge panel in Texas ruled today that Texas' new redistricting plan was designed to intentionally discriminate against minorities, meaning the law is toast.

A redistricting plan signed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) intentionally discriminated against Hispanic voters, a three-judge panel unanimously ruled Tuesday. The judges found that seats belonging to white incumbent members of Congress were protected under the plan while districts belonging to incumbent minorities were targeted for changes.

The court was "persuaded by the totality of the evidence that the plan was enacted with discriminatory intent," according to the ruling. There was "sufficient evidence to conclude that the Congressional Plan was motivated, at least in part, by discriminatory intent," the court found. [...]

The panel of three judges found that "surgery" had been performed on congressional districts belonging to minority members of Congress while no such alterations were made to districts belonging to incumbent white members of Congress.

"Anglo district boundaries were redrawn to include particular country clubs and, in one case, the school belonging to the incumbent's grandchildren," the judges wrote.

The efforts of Texas Republicans to suppress minority representation is clearly aimed at blunting the influence of a rising Hispanic population that could turn the state blue in the not-too-distant future.

This should not be confused with Texas' voter ID law which is still being challenged by the Department of Justice.


Conservative NYT columnist David Brooks wrote a scathing piece about Mitt Romney that reiterated every criticism ever made of Romney, but in a fresh and particularly bitter light.

Thing is, it was a joke.
Brooks was poking fun at liberal criticism of Romney. But he did it so well, that no one got the joke. Instead, we got a cringe-worthy, withering attack on Romney that liberals have been sending around the Internet for a good 24 hours and counting.


John H. Richardson, at Esquire, points out the scenery at the Tampa convention that you won't see on tv:

The Tea Party is holding its event in Liberty Plaza, which is surrounded now by a twenty-foot fence and black plastic eight feet high so nobody can even see into the lot. First time I came, I didn't have a badge, so they made me walk back to the convention center and apply for admission online, then walk back — except that the massive security fences that surround and divide the entire downtown area force you to walk eight blocks to get across the two blocks to the convention center. In the August humidity and rain. Past many police officers in brown khaki with ominous black devices strapped to their legs. And if you dare to step off the curb while a car is in any portion of the road, the officer barks at you: Sidewalk! On style points, especially an hour after Maine's Ron Paul delegates walk off the RNC floor all in a huff at being stifled by the Romney machine, especially after all the talk about nanny states and the supposedly crippling embrace of the liberal safety-first mentality, they lose the argument on style points alone — this is the most totalitarian celebration of freedom you could imagine. It reminds you, however bad security has been at these things in years past, that Republicans alternate their love of liberty with a love of imprisoning their fellow citizens so passionate it puts our prison system in the company of Iran and Russia…


Talk about an opportunity squandered. Andrea Mitchell has Rick Santorum on her camera and in her sights. Santorum repeats the lie yet again about the welfare work waivers granted to Republican governors at their request, dismissing those requests as what you'd expect from governors.

This is, of course, not true, as the LA Times managed to report accurately:

"This summer he showed us once again he believes in government handouts and dependency by waiving the work requirement for welfare," Santorum said, referring to Obama.

"I helped write the welfare reform bill; we made the law crystal-clear: No president can waive the work requirement. But as with his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, President Obama rules like he is above the law."

In fact, Obama did not waive the work requirement.

His administration in July issued a letter to state governments saying that the Department of Health and Human Services would consider requests from states to experiment with new ways to fulfill the work requirements. The letter said that in order to receive waivers to carry out the experiments, states would have to show that their plans would move more welfare recipients into jobs than existing policies.

See how easy that was, Andrea? All you had to do was ask Rick Santorum why he was intentionally misstating what the administration did, and point out that he was being inaccurate. But instead, you go to weird places, like asking "what up wit 'dat?" like you're trying to be some kind of hipster.

Is it too much to ask for our political reporters to actually call out the lies? Is this something that's a privilege instead of the norm? I get so tired of reporters like Andrea just allowing these things to pass as though they're fact. It takes three seconds to actually get a fact in there somewhere.

Do it.


@MittRomney whines like a little bitch. He is practically in tears and pissing himself because that uppity black fella who should just let him have the office he was so obviously born to hold is campaigning during HIS CONVENTION -- totally omitting the fact that he flew to Denver and stumped for McCain in 2008 -- during the Democratic National Convention, which was, as you may recall, held in Denver.


Now THAT is what I call "damning with faint praise." Huckabee made the case for Mittens in the weakest possible terms at the convention on Tuesday, saying that "If you've just been diagnosed with a brain tumor you honestly don't care if your neurosurgeon is a jerk."


About time his probation officer put a stop to his gallivanting around the country. James O'Keefe, the republican propagandist and provocateur who is on probation for trying to tamper with the phones in Mary Landrieu's Senate offices in New Orleans won't be joining the festivities in Tampa, his PO said "no" to his travel request.


If there's still a line, Limbaugh crossed it long ago. He floated the idea of shoring up the levees in New Orleans with bags of money so poor people would go get the money, collapse the levees and drown, thereby getting rid of Democratic voters. Seriously. Pig.


Everyone knows Republicans hate Hollywood, until they find a Hollywood Actor who doesn't find them to be terrifying pieces of shit. And they have found one such, and she is going to be speaking at them during "We Built It Day," sometime today! It is Janine Turner, and she is amazing, and we are going to re-run a post from April of this year so you too can learn how terrific and cogent and right-thinking and not at all scrambled-egg-brained she is!

Famous 1990s actress Janine Turner ("Northern Exposure," "The Night of the White Pants") has joined the other most famous lady GOPer, Victoria Jackson, in going full wingnut, as you could probably tell by this terrifying picture of her going as Nancy Reagan for Halloween except that that is always how she looks now aiyeeeee!

Anyway, Ol' Janine over there is a "writer" now for Pajamas Media, and this is very exciting, and her first column is a holy shit of a tl;dr wherein she takes apart the word "girlfriends" with each letter forming a different way to convert your idiot liberal Hollywood bitch "girlfriends" to reasonableness by explaining that they are stupid traitors. What fun! Let's take apart some of it (it is literally a list of 63 bullet points) until we are bored! OK, it starts with an introduction where Turner explains that it is hard being a conservative Lady at a table full of blah commie Whoopie Goldbergs, and old feminist battleaxe Baba Wawas, and the talky one, you know, the Jewish one, because conservative women are too sweet and nice to stand up to them. But Turner will show you how!

G: Get Reasonable. Want to teach your children that laws don't matter? Be a Democrat.
Knowledge is power and reason is a civic responsibility.
Our United States Constitution is the law of the land.
Democrat think the Constitution is irrelevant because it restricts them.


We know what you are,
Comrade Jindal, we're simply
haggling over the price.
We wrote earlier about "conservative" Governor Bobby Jindal of the People's Republic of Louisiana complaining that he wanted the Obama administration to give him more federal disaster aid than he was already getting.

We noted that it was, well, odd that proud red-stater Jindal, who famously turned down stimulus funds for unemployed Louisianans and for a high-speed rail, is now such a fan of all that tainted socialist "welfare" from Washington.

But now we learn that Jinda is even a bigger hypocrite than we thought.

You see, Comrade Jindal is now demanding more from the federal teet than states normally get during these "disasters."

He wants the federal government to reimburse him for state money spent on preparing for the hurricane. That's not something FEMA normally covers because, you know, this is America, not the Soviet Union, and states like Louisiana, and governors like Jindal, are supposed to prepare for things like bad storms on their own.

Oh but it gets even better: Jindal had no such complaint when George Bush didn't offer to pay state preparations for a hurricane in 2008. So either Jindal is playing politics with his state's impending hurricane, or he blew off the welfare of his own state in 2008 so as not to embarrass a Republican president.

Which one is it, tovarisch?

From Brian Beutler:
Asked today to respond to Jindal's push for further assistance, FEMA administrator Craig Fugate explained, "primary responsibility for evacuations really [falls to] state and local governments and when it's extraordinary the federal government can support that with financial assistance. What the President said yesterday was if you have a request for specific federal assistance, we're ready to provide that life safety issues. We're not going to hold anything up. But we'll look at the impacts and determine, does this really exceed the state's capability that require federal tax dollars to support that response and particularly if they start having damages. So, early on the request was direct federal assistance. If the financial impacts are greater than the state of Louisiana can manage, we assess that and we'll make recommendations again looking at what the governor has requested."

That's the same approach the Bush administration took when Gustav was bearing down on Louisiana in 2008.

According to the Louisiana Times-Picayune, "Though Jindal called on the federal government to shoulder the full cost of the federal, state and local efforts, he did not publicly make the same criticisms when former President George W. Bush issued a similar declaration that included a cost ceiling as Hurricane Gustav approached the state…though as the storm was trailing off, the state and the Bush administration fought over exactly who would pay for what portion of the federal response." 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Headlines - Monday August 27

Ryan Chittum of The Columbia Journalism Review does a great take down of the barely-coded racist and nativist piece, including the fact that the nativist author of the piece is a foreign-born immigrant who only visited America for the first time when he was 17 - but that let that stop him from accusing Obama of spending time outside of America before he was - what age? - 17!

But hey, he's a Republican, and they don't let facts get in the way of some good hate.

The wingnuts and the Romney campaign plan to base their fall campaign on the falsehood that President Obama is ending the work requirement of welfare. It is a complete lie, but it does gin up racist feelings about the President among low-information white voters, so they're going for it. This morning comes the news that Mitt is releasing his fifth ad in his Welfare Lie series and planning an event in New Hampshire to push the attack.

All of this presents a big problem for the media. How can you report the horse race and your ever-so-predictable process stories without mentioning that Romney's entire effort is based on telling lies. So far, all signs point to a major media FAIL. The AP story cited above treats it as a he said/he said story.

Yesterday I wrote about how the NY Times decided to deal with the issue. To their credit they called out Mitt's Welfare Lie as a lie:

The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement falsely charging that Mr. Obama has "quietly announced" plans to eliminate work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries, a message Mr. Romney's aides said resonates with working-class voters who see government as doing nothing for them.
And give the NYTs credit for linking the lie to an effort to gin up the white vote. That's progress, but it would be better if they called out the effort as the race baiting that it is. Still, in a media environment where a false sense "balance" requires outright lies to be treated as possibly true, this is progress. And there is even more hope with this new story, Making the Election About Race, by Thomas Edsall.

The Wall Street Journal has also published their process story about the Welfare Lie. Not surprisingly, the WSJ fails to mention anything about the truthfulness of the Welfare Lie and instead writes it up as a statement of fact. Then they use it as evidence of how brilliant Rove, Romney and company are to use it: More »


The LATImes has an excellent article dissecting Ryan's "humble small-town working-class guy" bullshit:

... "I don't know about you, but when I was growing up, when I was flipping burgers at McDonald's, when I was standing in front of that big Hobart machine washing dishes, or waiting tables, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life," Ryan recently told a crowd at a high school in suburban Denver. "I thought to myself, I'm the American dream on the path or journey so that I can find happiness however I define it myself."...

And yet Ryan, 42, was born into one of the most prominent families in Janesville, Wis., the son of a successful attorney and the grandson of the top federal prosecutor for the western region of the state. Ryan grew up in a big Colonial house on a wooded lot, and his extended clan includes investment managers, corporate executives and owners of major construction companies.

The seeming contradiction appears to have its roots in a family crisis in 1986, when at the age of 16, Ryan discovered his father dead of a heart attack.

The death of Paul Murray Ryan forced the family to make adjustments. Ryan's mother went back to work. And Ryan took up jobs, as well….

But there was also more to it than work. Ryan's rise to political power and financial stability was boosted by family connections and wealth. The larger Ryan family has repeatedly helped the candidate along in his career, giving him a job when he needed one and piling up tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions…

By the time Ryan had entered Congress in 1999 at the age of 28 and filed his first disclosure statement, he reported assets between $167,000 and $1.3 million, owned a home and had three rental units.

The next year, Ryan married Janna Little, a tax attorney, and his income skyrocketed. (Ryan reported gross income of $323,416 in 2011.)

Of the Ryans' maximum estimated assets of $7.6 million, Janna's holdings account for about $6.5 million. She is the daughter of Dan and Prudence Little, two lawyers in Madill, Okla., who over the years have overseen a vast network of land and oil and gas mineral rights in the Red River area straddling southern Oklahoma and northern Texas…

There's a long tradition of American presidents "marrying up", starting with another widow's son, a big good-looking hustler who settled for a rich widow with important connections after years of failing to impress the local aristocracy of Virginia's "First Families" with his suitability for their daughters. Ryan is the offspring of modern small-town aristocracy, whose success with the daughter of state-wide aristocracy (albeit from a low-profile, underpopulated flyover state) has given him a shot at national power and attention. It's only in comparison to quarter-billionaire Willard Romney, son of a former almost-president, that Ryan can pretend to be a Jacksonian exemplar of hard-working virtue overcoming terrible odds to reach his current spot in the limelight.


So the President of the United States is an ungratefull wog who doesn't know his place, then? That seems to be Karl Rove's position. He told his minions at Fox that when the other GOP candidates were making "birther" allusions during the primary, Mitt Romney never stooped to that level, but did that uppity ingrate in the White House bother to say "thank you" to Magnanimous Mitt? No! He did not! So screw him and the Democrats who are indignant about Mitt's "joke."


Governor Bob McDonnell (R-VA) today claimed the issue of a rape exception to abortion was a "detail" to be left up to states and Congress. On ABC's This Week, George Stephanopoulos confronted the Governor and Party Platform Chair with the absolutist anti-abortion language in the platform he led the development of. This was his response:

McDonnell: We're affirming that we're a pro-life party.The details certainly are left to Congress and, ultimately, to the states and the people on how they ratify such an amendment. More importantly, what they do at the state level.

Stephanapoulous: So is the party for a rape exception or not?

McDonnell: The party didn't make any judgment on that. It's a general proposition to say we support human life. The rest of the details are up to the states and the people respectively, George. That's simply not covered.


Wonkette's Guide to Gawker's Bain Super Scooper, Pt. II


Mittens screws up and says what he really thinks again

Business Insider:

[In an interview with Fox's Chris Wallace,] Romney cited his health care law as an example of how he has protected health care for women.

"First of all, with regards to women's health care, look, I'm the guy that was about to get health care for all of the women — and men — in my state," Romney said. "They're talking about it on the federal level, we actually did something. And we did it without cutting Medicare and raising taxes."

"So you're saying, 'Look at Romneycare?'" Wallace interjected.

"Absolutely. I am very proud of what we did, and the fact that we helped women and men and children in our state. And we did it without cutting Medicare. … And then with regard to contraceptives, of course Republicans, myself in particular, recognize that women have a right to use contraceptives. There is absolutely no validity whatsoever to the Obama effort to try and bring that up."

"Conservatives got rather upset the last time the Romney campaign brought up Romneycare to defend something," the report goes on. "One even said it could have been the moment Romney lost the election. They generally don't like the law in general, considering it to be an implementation of Obamacare on a state level."

One of the games you can play with the Romney campaign is "Guess What Mittens Really Believes." With all the constant reversals, it's really very, very difficult to get a bead on what Romney actually believes. Romney says he'd repeal Obamacare and replace it with something. But if Romneycare is so wonderful and it's exactly like Obamacare, then replace it with what? Are you just going to change the name?


God Sent Isaac Because Of Israel

World Net Daily of course.

"This is the second straight Republican convention postponed due to a major hurricane," points out Koenig. "And this is the third straight Republican convention that became secondary news due to a hurricane. Bush was pressuring Israel during the times of the 2004 and 2008 conventions." Koenig links all three convention disruptions to platform committee decisions to support further division of the land of Israel to pave the way for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Blaming the gays is one, maybe two days away. Count on that.


Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a petition with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking the agency to deny renewal of three broadcast licenses held by Fox television stations. Because their licenses are set to expire in October, two Fox stations in Washington, D.C. and one in Baltimore – which are wholly owned subsidiaries of News Corp. – filed to renew the licenses this past June.

CREW is objecting to the renewals because under U.S. law, broadcast frequencies may be used only by people of good "character," who will serve "the public interest," and speak with "candor." Significant character deficiencies may warrant disqualification from holding a license.

Read CREW's petition to the FCC

"It is well-established that News Corp. has been involved in one of the biggest media scandals of all time. Its reporters hacked voicemails and bribed public officials while top executives – including Rupert Murdoch – either approved the conduct or turned a blind eye," said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. "To say those responsible are not of good character is a colossal understatement – 'despicable' and 'loathsome' are more apt. Retaining U.S. broadcast licenses is a privilege, not a right. Based on its egregious actions, News Corp. should lose that privilege."

Last May, CREW asked FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to revoke News Corp.'s 27 broadcast licenses, but the FCC has taken no action to date. Under federal law, however, broadcast licenses must be renewed every eight years. Once renewal is sought, opposition may be filed within three months.

An investigation by Great Britain's House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee condemned Rupert Murdoch as "not a fit person to exercise stewardship of a major international company," and concluded that both Rupert and James Murdoch turned a blind eye to News Corp.'s illicit activities. The Committee described parts of Rupert Murdoch's testimony as "barely credible," and said the notion he had no inkling about the widespread illegal conduct was "simply not credible." The Committee described James Murdoch as "betray[ing] an astonishing lack of curiosity on the part of a Chief Executive."

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There are also indications illegal hacking may have taken place on U.S. soil. Further, as an American company, any bribes News Corp.'s employees paid to foreign officials may violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The Department of Justice is investigating.

Sloan continued, "It's clear that both Rupert and James Murdoch were complicit in New Corp.'s illegal activities. If the Murdochs don't meet British standards of character, they can't meet American standards. The Atlantic Ocean has no character-cleansing properties."


Catholics: No Dinner For Obama

The American Life League is furious that Archbishop Timothy Dolan has invited the president to dinner. So furious, in fact, that their complaint is rendered in all caps.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Headlines - Sunday August 26

Slow news day....
They may be cheapskates when it comes to granny, but the GOP appears to love spending cash on strippers. Maybe they view it as young voter outreach?

RIP Neil Armstrong, 82


I really have to get on with my day job, so I'm going to try to avoid the blogging itch as much as possible over the next while. But I just can't stop myself over the latest GOP flirtation with goldbuggery.

As you probably have heard, the Serious, Bold, Sober Party of Fiscal Discipline™ has at least in draft platform language asserted that it is the policy of the Republican party to explore the idea of restoring the US currency to the gold standard.

Y'all can stop laughing—or crying—now.

Paul Ryan, that intellectual powerhouse, the brilliant force that so-kicks-liberal-ass-in-the-gym-and-in-the-head-so-there is on board. He might try to defend himself by saying that he supports basing US currency not on gold per se, but on a basket of commodities.

But as Yglesias points out, that's a distinction without a difference. And it's not even really true. Dave Weigel notes that Ryan himself locates the root of his thoughts on currency to yet one more bit of Ayn Rand undigestible prose, the Francisco d'Anconia speech in which Rand's "character"* declares

"It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears nor all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor – your claim upon the energy of the men who produce."

Yup. Not just a gold standard, but, as Krugman marvels, a gold coinage. More »


Here's a sad story about sad status of dairy farmers in drought ridden Missouri. They're praying for help from God, and begging for help from the government, which can do very little because Repulicans like Todd Akin in the house are blocking the farm bill.

I feel bad for these folks, but you know what they say about making your bed.


An NBC-affiliate in Utah will not air The New Normal, a sitcom about a committed gay couple who hire a surrogate to carry a child. The show is set to premere on September 11, but after watching the pilot episode, KSL-TV has decided the program was inappropriate to show "during family viewing time":

"After viewing the pilot episode of The New Normal, we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule," Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL parent company Bonneville International, told Deseret News. "For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time…. NBC is a valued partner — and as the Summer Olympic Games prove, they are committed to great news, sports and entertainment programming," he said. "KSL is confident that with the proliferation of digital media, those who wish to view the program can easily do so."

The decision comes just one month after the anti-gay One Million Moms protested the program as "hateful," and this time some of its stars are speaking out. Co-star Ellen Barkin — "who plays an often racist and homophobic character on the comedy" — tweeted to condemn KSL-TV's decision: Ellen BarkinAnyone in Utah interested in @NBCTheNewNormal please clog up @KSL5TV feed 4 their blatantly homophic decision 2 not air the show

Ellen Barkin: Shame on u @kslcom not airing @NBCTheNewNormal So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?

Aksarbent notes that KSL-TV "is owned by Bonneville International Corporation, which is in turn owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). KSL-TV has a large network of rebroadcast transmitters which extends its coverage throughout Utah, as well as portions of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, and Wyoming."

Glad to see their tax exempt status allows them to purchase tv stations and then dictate what is appropriate family viewing. Fucking bigoted assholes.