Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Disappointing Outcome From A Promising Scenario

When Michelle Bachmann started making all that noise last year about refusing to turn in census forms, I started looking forward to delicious schadenfreude. Red states would be under-represented! Tea baggers would be hauled in by the revenuers! Well, according to Nate Silver, it's not happening that way. Ah well, one should be encouraged when people reject a stupid idea. Even Bachmann has.

And Ye Shall Know Them By They're Speling

Teabonics, h/t Wonkette

I Had A Feeling This Was Going On

Why oh why would Obama allow offshore drilling? An email published in The Washington Monthly reinforces the unstated theme of this blog.

Obama preempts the other side's most resonant arguments, which forces them to come up with more and more extreme claims in order to differentiate themselves. In the end, he occupies the reasonable middle ground and his opponents are Palinized. ...(I understand that the term "middle ground" is very slippery and dangerous here, but I basically use it to mean policies that, before the great crazy of 2009 had broad consensus support from large portions of both parties and the Broder/Friedman/Brooks axis.)

At the same time, the policy is a tailored, measured version of what the Republicans have urged -- so, yes, the headline is, 'Obama Allows New Offshore Drilling/Presses For Energy Independence,' but at the same time, California/Oregon/Washington where opposition is strongest isn't included, and there are environmentally-friendly changes to Alaska leasing policy announced at the same time. And again, as we've seen before, Republicans are sort of forced to twist and parse, and even to oppose things they have long supported, just because the Administration hasn't gone far enough.

Finally, by announcing the drilling policy without seeking to extract concessions, the Administration makes clear that it is their policy and they are the centrist/flexible/pragmatic ones -- making it harder for Republicans to argue that they accomplished this or that they forced Obama to do it. [...]

[O]f course, if there was any reason to believe that Republicans would engage in normal negotiation/compromise, then I see why holding this back and trading it for support of a broader package would make sense. But does anyone really think there are Republicans to negotiate with on this stuff? And if Republicans do come to the table, Obama still has plenty of room to give, including by simply agreeing to sign a law that makes proposals like this a matter of statute, not executive discretion.
I have been documenting this crazy "opposition no matter what" strategy for years now, and I'm starting to see how it's going to play out. Look for ads this fall saying, "Republican candidate X voted against tax cuts and jobs, and he said (positive sympathetic statement) in support of insurance companies and bank fat cats. This fall, vote for Democrat candidate X." Of course, Republican candidate X doesn't stand a chance because he's fighting off Tea Party candidate X-1.

Haha! You guys should have listened to Frum!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Left Is Just As Violent as the Right!

Look, here it is... footage of the entire left throwin' bricks and shootin' at Karl Rove, then calling him "honkey".

And it sure didn't help that Obama went on TV right afterwards to say that it was Rove's fault for riling them up. These Code Pink people are dangerous! They're hyperviolent, and their rallys are swarmed by the millions! The left is TOTALLY WORSE THAN THE RIGHT!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You Know What? I Can't Blame 'Em

I've been registered as independent myself since the nineties. I usually vote Democratic because there are seldom any credible independent candidates, but maybe that will be changing soon.

Update: My friend WAMK is of the opinion that only the likely voters matter, so here's THAT graph.

I guess the revolution will have to wait!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Week In Political Violence Roundup

Though I have a political viewpoint, when I'm not on the internet I don't wear it on my sleeve. I don't put bumper stickers on my car, for example. And now and then, I'm reminded of why.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Nashville man says he and his 10-year-old daughter were victims of road rage Thursday afternoon, all because of a political bumper sticker on his car.

Mark Duren told News 2 the incident happened around 4:30p.m., while he was driving on Blair Boulevard, not far from Belmont University.

He said Harry Weisiger gave him the bird and rammed into his vehicle, after noticing an Obama-Biden sticker on his car bumper.

Duren had just picked up his 10-year-old daughter from school and had her in the car with him.

"He pointed at the back of my car," Duren said, "the bumper, flipped me off, one finger salute."

But it didn't end there.

Duren told News 2 that Weisiger honked his horn at him for awhile, as Duren stopped at a stop sign.

Once he started driving again, down Blair Boulevard, towards his home, he said, "I looked in the rear view mirror again, and this same SUV was speeding, flying up behind me, bumped me."

Duren said he applied his brake and the SUV smashed into the back of his car.

He then put his car in park to take care of the accident, but Weisiger started pushing the car using his SUV.

Duren said, "He pushed my car up towards the sidewalk, almost onto the sidewalk."

Police say Harry Weisiger is charged with felony reckless endangerment in the incident.
Full disclosure here: we don't have Weisiger's side of the story. We don't know if he pointed at the bumper sticker, we don't know if he is anti-Obama at all. Maybe he just hates 10-year-olds. Who doesn't?

Meanwhile, Eric Cantor has been positively victimized by people shooting at him! Okay, not at him, his office. And okay, not exactly at his office.

A Richmond Police detective was assigned to the case. A preliminary investigation shows that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds. There was no other damage to the room, which is used occasionally for meetings by the congressman.
And okay, not exactly his office. But there is no way anyone could consider this bullet falling from the sky through a window in an unmarked office building anything but a targeted attack on Cantor. It's way more an act of terrorism than the completely random propane line slashing that happened at the address those Tea Party members published.

As a matter of fact, considering that there is no proof that the Tea Party motivated or is behind any violent incidents, one thing is clear now at the end of the week: Fox News is lying to us again. The American people really aren't all that worked up about Obama and the health care bill at all! That's kind of a relief, because it means smooth sailing again. It means those congressmen who are stoppping the sessions are just being, well, lazy dicks. Message: we don't care.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Glenn Beck Saves America After All

(Reuters) - A new poll had good news and bad news for Republicans on Wednesday -- they lead Democrats in November congressional elections but would lose if a Tea Party candidate is included on the ballot.

The poll by Quinnipiac University said voters by 44 percent to 39 percent said they planned to vote for a Republican over a Democratic candidate in November, the latest sign of a rebirth of the Republican Party.

However, if there is a Tea Party candidate on the ballot, the Democrat would get 36 percent to 25 percent for the Republican and 15 percent to the Tea Party representative.
Go Go Go! I think the threat is exaggerated, because everybody knows the Tea Partiers are not exclusively Republican. I mean at least half of them are disenfranchised Democrats.

The poll was further evidence that the Tea Party movement largely draws from the Republican Party. It said only 13 percent of American voters say they are part of the movement.

...the poll found that 74 percent of Tea Party supporters are Republican or independents who lean Republican, while 16 percent are Democrats or independents who lean Democratic.
...And 10% have emerged from the bowels of the Earth to reclaim their rightful place as the masters of the outer shell.

There IS NO RIVER In Egypt!

Sure, it's easy to point fingers at Republicans, but whom would you expect to be more angry, the stated "enemy" of the Democrat Party, or the very people from within the Party itself? 
I've also seen this talking point in comments by by good friend Publius (the commenter who hasn't joked about hiring someone to beat me) about the wave of threats and vandalism and violence in the wake of the HCR bill. And as near as I can tell, the point summarizes as follows.

We are furious, FURIOUS about the passage of the bill! But we're not angry about it.

What the hell kind of terrorism is this?! It's like Osama Bin Laden shrugging comically and saying, "hey, don't look at me!" All right, then, as you wish. Nobody is really all that worked up about health care reform. Nothing to see here. Let's stop talking about it and move on.

A Little Historical Perspective

Lotsa 'Splainin' 2 Do: Making heroes out of cowards.

Read it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Debate Techniques

As the Kansas City Star reports (h/t Ben Smith), Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita were vandalized over the weekend; assailants allegedly hurled a brick inscribed with anti-Obama rhetoric through a plate-glass window. A former militia leader took responsibility for the attack, which mirrored another, on a Democratic committee headquarters in Rochester. Democratic Reps. Louise Slaughter (an obvious target because of the controvery over the so-called Slaughter Solution) and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona also had their offices vandalized.

...Williams and Odom (of the Tea Party and Liberty First organizations) both dismissed the argument that incidents of racism, homophobia and vandalism threaten to tarnish the movement. Williams said charges that Tea Party protesters hurled epithets at Democrats like John Lewis and Barney Frank were unproven, then suggested it wasn't beyond the realm of possibility that lefty infiltrator seeking to sully the Tea Partyers had been the real culprit. “There's a fringe element in every movement and every group in history,” Odom says.
If people buy this "lefty infiltrator" story, expect Tea Party fundraising to drop way way down. Still, that's Roberts Rules of Order - if rational debate doesn't get your point across, then the next allowable step is always deny the things you said before and vandalize the opposing debate team. And cut their propane gas lines! I mean after all, passing laws with a majority of votes is terrorism.

Pulling a Boehner Out of Context

Turns out we can! Who knew.

Condi, Sending

It's not fashionable to admit this, but of all the Bush cabinet, I did admire a handful of people. Colin Powell is one, obviously, because he got the hell out when it was clear that he couldn't keep the train on the rails; Ashcroft similarly. But then there is Condi Rice.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has endorsed former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina in the Republican Senate primary, Fiorina’s campaign will announce today.

“California needs a representative in the U.S. Senate who is prepared to make the tough decisions necessary to address our most pressing challenges, including job creation and national security. Based on my personal experience, I know Carly is the best person to send to Washington to advocate for the people of our great state in the Senate,” Rice said in a written statement. “Carly is an experienced and respected leader who has delivered results for those she has served in the midst of immense challenges. I am proud to endorse her today.”
It's nice to see Rice emerging from the wreckage, even if only to make an endorsement that I don't buy. Thing is, Condoleezza Rice was one of the few people in the Bush administration who seemed to be intelligent, well-spoken, and not lying. This poses an interesting problem for a guy like me who so disagreed with the Bush agenda. Still, look at it this way: now that Bush isn't running things, Condi is free to pursue her own agenda. I can seriously say that I'd consider voting for her if she ran for something. It would depend on her stated positions, but at least I'd be willing to listen to them.

Of course, she hasn't got a chance of winning a Republican Primary because the Teabaggists would never allow it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Now THAT'S Contructive!

If you elect me, I promise prevent the work of the DHS and stop it dead in its tracks. This fall, watch for a few senators to run on the "I promise to leave a child behind" campaign.

Just kidding. It's a brilliant tactic and it worked wonders when Newt Gingrich did it.

Mixed Message

...several Democratic offices around the nation had been vandalized in the days surrounding the House health care vote. Vandals have struck the Tuscon office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in upstate New York, Rep. Louise Slaughter’s (D-NY) Niagara Falls office, the Knox County Democratic headquarters in Ohio, and the Sedgwick County Democratic Party headquarters in Wichita, KS. The local Rochester ABC affiliate now has more information on the upstate NY vandalism, including an assassination threat against the children of lawmakers who voted for health reform:

No one was inside when the brick was hurled through the Democratic Patry Headquarters on University Avenue. Attached was a note quoting conservative Barry Goldwater: “Exremism [sic] in defense of liberty is no vice”. [...]

[Rep. Louise] Slaughter has been at the center of the push for reform. Last Thursday she received a chilling recorded message at her campaign office. “Assassinate is the word they used…toward the children of lawmakers who voted yes.”
The FBI is now investigating.
Well duh... who pays for all that repair work and secret service protection, and probably funerals and emergency medical treatment... the TAXPAYERS, jocko! You want to tax cuts AND violence against the government? You're paying for bricks AND the glass those bricks break! You're double-dipping yourself! If you guys can't get it together to steal an election, you should sit on your hands until next time. Let's be adult, shall we?

Go Sarah Go!

HANNITY: If it’s a strong conservative that gets the Republican nomination and then a tea party member runs as a third party candidate, do you have any worry about that?

PALIN: I do have a little bit of worry about that but at the same time that can be part of a healthy process, though. A third party candidate can really shore-up a Republican candidate in terms of that Republican candidate having to be very strong and sharp and debate aggressively, regarding the positions that they have taken.

A third party candidate, I think, Sean, can actually help in this process. And if nothing else a third party candidate is going to help keep the Republican Party being held accountable, too."
I'd like to see tea-party candidates spring up everywhere... not just in 2012 for president, but this November! Strike while the iron is hot! Let's throw socialist baby-killers like Eric Cantor out of office!

Momentum Is On Their Side

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers holding a Capitol Hill news conference today on health care legislation.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Republicans Give Up Their Only Negotiation Chip

Democrats shouldn't expect much cooperation from Republicans the rest of this year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Monday.

McCain and another Republican senator decried the effect health reform legislation has had on the Senate, a day after the House passed the upper chamber's bill.

GOP senators emerged Monday to caution that the health debate had taken a toll on the institution, warning of little work between parties the rest of this year.

"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."
"Give us this amendment."

"What if we don't?"

"We won't vote for the your bills."

"You said that in March. What else?"

"We'll say bad things about you on the news."

"And if we give you the amendment?"

"It's an election year... we GOTTA say bad things about you."

"Okay thanks for the heads up."

WonderBread Has A Free Republic Account

A simple gesture in protest to get the message across
Posted on Monday, March 22, 2010 6:06:01 AM by nesnah

As a gesture to all of the traitors that screwed over the United States of America last night, I propose the following:

Place a piece of bread in your toaster. "Cook" it until it is charred black. Place charred toast in a suitable envelope. Mail said envelope to your representative in DC.

They'll get the message.....
Fire Pelosi! STONE FIRE her!

After you send the toast, put rice in an envelope! To symbolize the marriage of America and Tyranny! And then, throw playing cards at your congressmen, for sorrow and hate.

Michael Steele Needs Jet Fuel and Junket Money

Check out!

You might think from the counter that the plan is to raise enough money to buy out Pelosi's contract. Or that the speaker of the house has morphed into FIRE PELOSI, an evil supervillain who must be defeated. But what's actually going on is the RNC is having a 40 hour fundraising drive which they are claiming they will apply towards beating Nancy Pelosi in November. In point of fact, the money will go towards profligate spending by Michael Steele, or buying up copies of Sarah Palin's book or some such, and will be completely spent by Friday afternoon.

Believe Them On Everything Else Though

– Dick Morris, Fox News commentator, November 4: “A deathblow to ObamaCare.”

– Fred Barnes, Fox News commentator, January 20: “The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection.”

– Robert A. Levy, chairman of the Cato Institute, January 26: “That’s why Obamacare is dead.”

– Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), Minority Whip, February 24: “Speaker Pelosi doesn’t have the votes in the House. . . . It is futile for for them to continue to try and push something on the American people that frankly won’t result in better health care.”

– Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK), March 3: “I think the votes are not there and I don’t see where we get them.”

– Cantor, March 5: “Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi doesn’t have the votes needed to pass a health-care bill in the House of Representatives.”

– Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), Minority Leader, March 14: “If she had 216 votes, this bill would be long gone. They tried to pass it in September, October, November, December, January, February. Guess what? They don’t have the votes.”

– Boehner, March 17: Health care reform will pass “over my dead body.”

– Cantor, March 19: “[T]here’s no way they can pass this bill.”

-h/t ThinkProgress

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Uh Oh.

Looks like health care reform passed.

Look, I was talking this thing up because I blindly support everything Obama does, but I never dreamed it would actually make it! Now OMFG are we screwed! For one thing, as of tomorrow there are no more private doctors! I can't pick my physician any more! And all the insurance companies will go out of business! You know what that means - no car insurance, no homeowners insurance.

What's more, Obama is going to decide that my mom is too expensive to take care of, so she's dead by 2011. I like my mom! What's more, since I'm middle class, I won't have access to any health care. So I'm dead too. As a matter of fact, we can expect the lifespan of the average American to drop down to age 40, just like it is in Europe.

And of course, since health care is going to be free for all the poor people and illegal immigrants,  (it says so right in the bill!) we'll have a flood of Mexicans coming over the border to have their abortions paid for.

Maybe it's better that I'll be dead, because America is, as of tomorrow, a socialist state run by a ruthless dictator whose name is Pelosi.

Man, I just hope I'm right. Otherwise I'm going to look pretty stupid when election time comes around. Not that we're going to have elections any more. It says so right in the bill!

Speaking Of the Tea Party And Racism

The incident occurred Saturday after thousands of Tea Partiers descended upon Capitol Hill to rally against Sunday's major vote on health care reform.

Some of the protesters targeted a handful of black members of Congress and one gay lawmaker as they walked from the House office buildings to the Capitol to make a procedural vote.

Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga, and Andre Carson, D-Ind., both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, said that a group of protesters hollered at them and called them the N-word.

"They were just shouting. Harassing," Lewis told Fox News. "People being downright mean."

Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn, said a protester spit on Rep. Emanuel Cleaver who is black and said police escorted the lawmakers into the Capitol. Cleaver's office said he would decline to press charges, but Sgt. Kimberly Schneider of the U.S. Capitol Police said in an e-mail later: "We did not make any arrests today."
To their credit, Michael Steele went on the Sunday Talk Shows to throw the Teabaggists under the bus, as did Amy Kremer, who organized the rally.
Republican National Chairman Michael Steele and one of the organizers of Saturday's Tea Party rally strongly condemned the racial slurs that some black lawmakers alleged were yelled at them by some health care protesters as they headed for a procedural vote at Capitol Hill.

"I absolutely think it's isolated," Amy Kremer, the grassroots coordinator of the Tea Party Express, told Fox News on Sunday. "It's disgraceful and the people in this movement won't tolerate it because that's not what we're about."

Steele rejected the notion that the incident may make any association with the Tea Party Movement a danger.

"It's not a danger," Steele told NBC's "Meet the Press on Sunday." "It's certainly not a reflection of the movement or the Republican Party when you have idiots out there saying stupid things."
Considering the high regard in which Michael Steele is held by the Tea Party movement, this oughtta stop nonsense like that once and for all. I wonder if Amy Kremer will show up on Monday only to find her office supplies in a box?

Sadly I'm unable to find any coverage which will offer a better estimate of how many of the crowd were behaving this way. The best anyone seems able to offer is "some protesters." More than one, less than all of them. Guess you had to be there. Bet you're glad you weren't!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hindsight-Related Whiplash

Moderator Grover Norquist then asked Rohrabacher to provide a “guesstimate percentage of Republicans in Congress who would share that view — not that they opposed the President at the time, but today looking back.” Rohrabacher replied that “everybody I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now”:

ROHRABACHER: Well, now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars and all of these years and all of these lives and all of this blood, uh, I don’t know many…

NORQUIST: Looking for a number. Two-thirds? One-third?

ROHRABACHER: I, I can’t. All I can say is the people, everybody I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.

NORQUIST: That’s 100 percent.

Norquist then turned to McClintock, asking “what percentage”:

NORQUIST: Of Republicans in Congress, who would agree with the general analysis here that it was a mistake and/or we should go in.

MCCLINTOCK: I think everyone would agree Iraq was a mistake.

NORQUIST: Two hundred percents. Ok, we’re going to average these.

Then again, perhaps its nice to know that just because you're a member of EITHER political party doesn't mean you're stupid. So probably EVERYBODY who voted to give the President power to send troops thought he was nuts, just like I did at the time. Only difference is, I haven't spent the last seven years defending the decision.

Gee, It's So Hard To Pick Sides Sometimes

Gee, whom to support...

WASHINGTON — Conservative talk show hosts and columnists have ridiculed an 11-year-old Washington state boy's account of his mother's death as a "sob story" exploited by the White House and congressional Democrats like a "kiddie shield" to defend their health care legislation.

Marcelas Owens, whose mother got sick, lost her job, lost her health insurance and died, said Thursday he's taking the attacks from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin in stride.

"My mother always taught me they can have their own opinion but that doesn't mean they are right," Owens, who lives in Seattle, said in an interview.

...Limbaugh, Beck and Malkin are skeptical about the story, saying there were other forms of medical help available after Owens' mother, Tifanny, lost her health insurance. They lambasted Democrats for using the story.

"Now this is unseemly, exploitative, an 11-year-old boy being forced to tell his story all over just to benefit the Democrat Party and Barack Obama," Limbaugh said on March 12, according to a transcript his show. "And, I would say this to Marcelas Owens: 'Well, your mom would still have died, because Obamacare doesn't kick in until 2014.'"

Beck, according to a transcript of his March 15 show, pointed out that Owens' recent trip to Washington was paid for by Healthcare of America, a group that has been lobbying for a health care overhaul.

"That's the George Soros-funded Obama-approved group fighting for health care," Beck said. "Since all of the groups are so concerned and involved now, may I ask where were you when Marcelas' mother was vomiting blood?"

Beck, who's from Mount Vernon, Wash., said there were plenty of programs in Washington state that could have helped Tifanny Owens.

Malkin dismissed Marcelas Owens as "one of Obama's youngest lobbyists" who has been "goaded by a left-wing activist grandmother," promoted by Murray and has become a regular on the "pro-Obamacare circuit."

Malkin also suggested there were other programs that could have helped Tifanny Owens, adding, "It's not clear that additional doctors' visits in the subsequent months would have prevented her death."

Tifanny Owens died in June 2007 of pulmonary hypertension, which is described as high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs that can lead to heart failure. The disease is considered rare. While there's no cure, it can be treated.

The treatments can cost as much as $100,000 a year and must be "consistent and constant," said Katie Kroner, the director of advocacy and awareness for the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.
Plus, Beck and Malkin somehow failed to add, if that kid loved his mother so much, why didn't he go out and get a job, mmm? I'll tell you why - because government interference makes it illegal to offer jobs to kids! THAT'S what killed this child's mother, not the insurance industry!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Republicans DEMAND We Waste More Money

Item #1: The CBO estimates the reconciled health care bill will cost $940 billion over 10 years, and reduce the deficit by $138 billion over 10 years and by $1.2 trillion over 20 years. Republicans insist that we need to spend 1.2 trillion more than we need to, and that spending less would be socialism. What the heck, that's our kid's problem, right? Interestingly, saving $1.2 trillion is also "an affront to God" in the eyes of some Republicans, though they can't produce God's direct quote on the matter.

Item #2: Republicans are furious that the administration is selling off those formaldehyde-laced FEMA trailers instead of destroying them. The rationale they use is that the buyers could then resell them to ignorant poor people; but I think what's really bothering them is this:

FEMA officials defended the sale, noting that Congress has complained that the government has spent $220 million over three years to store vacant units.
See? That's $73 mil a year we could be throwing away!

And what is the one thing Republicans agree with Obama on? We need to send troops into Afghanistan.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Staged, Like the ACORN Video

This looks pretty weighted to me, so take it with a grain of salt. I mean, I assume that the guy teasing the man with Parkinson's doesn't think he has Parkinson's. On the other hand, maybe we should shut down the Teabaggers teabaggists, just to be on the safe side. We can investigate later.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The False Equivalence: Coffee Party Edition

William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection attempts to make something out of the fact that the attendance for some recent "coffee parties" was predominantly white males. This does not mean the Coffee Parties were racist, he says, any more than the same ratios meant that the Tea Parties are racist.


What indicates the Tea Parties are racist can be found here.

Tea partiers should have at least flinched when Mr. Tancredo attacked President Barack Obama by invoking his middle name of Hussein -- that shopworn technique of not-so-subtly suggesting some nefarious Iraqi connection. Or perhaps when he blustered that "people who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House."

But when the Republican bomb-thrower suggested that Mr. Obama won because the nation lacks a civics and literacy test for voters, the crowd should have been stunned and alarmed. Surely, anyone familiar with this country's civil rights history should have been. For decades, such tests had one purpose -- to prevent blacks from voting. And to make reference to them in context of the country's first African-American president? That's not some slip of the tongue or moment of political incorrectness. That's the stuff of Klan rallies.
Anyway, no matter what the coffee parties' racial mix (or shall we call it blend) it hardly matters - they were tiny, ill-attended quiet affairs where instead of blaming the government, people blamed the corporations. Why can't OUR nutty extremists get organized?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quote of the Day

This one comes from frequent pseudoanonymous commenter GWK who is the first person to weigh in on this post at Where Are My Keys, re the Democrats:


How do these droid's even look themselves in the eye before they go to sleep at night?
It reminds me of one of my favorite bits of dialog, from Larry Gelbart's brilliant parody Movie Movie.  In it, young boxer Joey Popchik tells Red Buttons: "When a man says what's right, what's good, what's real, and what's true, then his mouth is ten feet tall."

Enough Already!

You may think I'm pretending to be disgusted by this story, as a means to giving it more exposure, but I'm sincere. I don't care about the personal lives of politicians as long as they're not selling off a part of the country to maintain it.

Utah's House majority leader said late Thursday he paid a woman $150,000 to keep silent about going nude "hot-tubbing" with her when she was minor a quarter century ago.

In a shocking statement on the House floor, Kevin Garn, 55... said he paid her to keep quiet about the incident during his unsuccessful U.S. congressional bid in 2002, but did not have sexual contact with her.

Garn said the woman, who he didn't identify on the floor, has been calling news outlets and that he wanted to be open about the incident that occurred when he was 28 years old, before any stories appeared.

A woman identifying herself as Cheryl Maher told The Salt Lake Tribune that she and Garn were in a hot tub nude when she was 15 years old.

"This has just been a nightmare for me," Maher said in a telephone interview with the newspaper from New Hampshire. "I just want to tell the truth because it's part of the healing process for me."

Garn told The Associated Press early Friday that Maher was the woman and that they were nude during a "spur of the moment" skinny dip. He said she worked for him in a warehouse.

"We sat there and that was it," Garn said.
First of all I believe him. Second, personal lives etc etc. Third of all, it was a quarter of a century ago, when Garn was a private citizen. There are plenty of legitmate reasons to hound our elected officials - can't we focus on them?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

As If Polls Mattered


Well it's trending good anyway.

Unfortunate Messaging, Canadian Style

Just to show that it's not always American Republicans:

Props to Martensville for honoring Piccatto, but maybe there is some way to get people out to a "pig roast" without a photo of this most horrific terrorist act.

(h/t Wonkette, who are ten times snarkier about it)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Comfort For Rasmussen Poll Readers

Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval

According to Rasmussen, Obama is at a -21 points today. According to Gallup, he's a +6. Rasmussen doesn't poll moderates for its approval numbers, for those of you who are out of the polling loop.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

The People Who Decry Reconciliation

Pretty easy pickins, but what the hell. Guy gets hungry sometimes.

Maybe the Fundamentals of the Economy ARE Strong, After All

The millionaires’ club in the U.S. grew by 16 percent in 2009, following a 27 percent decline in 2008.

Families with a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding primary residences, rose to 7.8 million in 2009, an increase from 6.7 million a year earlier, according to a survey of high- net-worth U.S. households conducted by Spectrem Group.

“With the markets trending upwards, we expected an increase,” George H. Walper Jr., president of Spectrem Group, said in a telephone interview.
What are you doing with your million? Me, I'm upgrading from those Budget Gourmet frozen dinners to the Stouffers. They're just tastier, you know? Oh and new socks! And the rest I'm investing in any insurance or oil company that turned a profit last year... why look, it's all of 'em!


While the number of American multimillionaires rose last year, Americans continued to suffer from the Great Recession. The unemployment rate reached double digits, millions of Americans lost their homes, and wages for most workers stagnated. The United States is unique among industrialized countries in its enormous income inequality. Data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows that if income inequality continues to rise at the current rate, the income gap in the United States “will resemble that of Mexico by year 2043.”
At which point the illegal immigration problem will finally be solved.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Finally, a Democrat Gay Sex Scandal

Massa said he had just gotten up to sing Auld Lang Syne and had finished dancing with the bride and bridesmaid -- in full view of cameras -- when he sat back down at a table with male staff members.

That's when he made the "inappropriate" remark.

"One of them looked at me and, as they would do after, I don't know, 15 gin and tonics, and goodness only knows how many bottles of champagne, a staff member made an intonation to me that maybe I should be chasing after the bridesmaid, and his points were clear and his words were far more colorful than that.

"And I grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, 'Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you,'" he said.

"And then [I] tousled the guy's hair and left, went to my room, because I knew the party was getting to a point where it wasn't right for me to be there. Now was that inappropriate of me? Absolutely. Am I guilty? Yes."

But Massa said the staff member "never said to me that he felt uncomfortable" and "never went to anybody."

Rather, he said "somebody went to another staff member who was uncomfortable for him. It was a third-party political correctness statement."
Hey he's retiring for unelated health reasons anyway. Also, mitigating factor:

"I'm sitting there showering, naked as a jaybird, and here comes Rahm Emanuel, not even with a towel wrapped around his tush, poking his finger in my chest, yelling at me because I wasn't gonna vote for the president's budget," Massa said. "Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man? ... It's ridiculous."

He continued, "By the way, what the heck is he doing in the congressional gym? He goes there to intimidate members of Congress."
There, THAT'S the Rahm Emanuel that we were promised. That's the bad cop to Obama's good cop. Go get 'em, Jaws!

More On The RNC Fundraising Strategy Debacle

I didn't notice this detail in the bombshell about that embarassing powerpoint memo leaked to Politco last week. Turns out it wasn't exactly leaked.

The 72-page document was provided to POLITICO by a Democrat, who said a hard copy had been left in the hotel hosting the $2,500-a-head retreat, the Gasparilla Inn and Club. Sources at the event said the presentation was delivered by (RNC Finance Director Rob) Bickhart and by the RNC Finance Chairman, Peter Terpeluk, a former ambassador to Luxembourg under President George W. Bush.
Hehe! The Bush Administration, a gift that keeps on giving. Sadly for them, in this case I mean "giving out hard copies instead of trusting people to take notes." I wonder if they were just assuming no one will be interested in Republicans for a few more years? Easy assumption to make.

Best Liveblog Ever!

I'm not ashamed to admit that Wonkette's liveblog of the Oscar ceremony last night works on levels I couldn't even have imagined.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

These Guys Really Know How To Tell A Story

Someone has leaked an RNC power point presentation to Politico. And while the guide to upcoming fundraising strategies is doing some damage to Republicans for its dismissive attitude toward potential donors, it looks to me like it's a shame that they'll have to go back to the drawing board because I can't imagine worse messaging. Look at this, will ya?

First of all, there's that stupid Joker/Socialist thing. They tried to whip it up last year and it mostly resulted in head scratching. It's like they're so conservative they'll even go back to things that didn't work, just because they're not new.

Pelosi as Cruella De Vil (correct spelling) is potentially effective messaging to 5 year olds, the same way that attacking Rush Limbaugh 'cause he's really fat would be. But what the hell are we trying to say with Reid and Scooby Doo? Reid is a bumbling simple-minded dog whose efforts result in success every time. Doesn't this automatically paint the Republicans as old man Wiggins, who was going to scare off voters with phony ghosts and phantom threats, and he would have succeeded if it wasn't for those Democrats and their stupid dog?

Incredibly, the RNC is claiming that Michael Steele had no knowlege of this misguided campaign; how are we supposed to think these guys can fix the country if they can't even get rid of their most prominent incompetent? Its just like when they stood behind George Bush even as his approval ratings went gracefully swan-diving into oblivion. They still stand behind him now, for the most part.

Free advice for the next draft, boys: Try Droopy.

PS: From Wonkette's comments, re the American Gothic gag:
“Hey middle america! Would you rather vote for us, or a bunch of ignorant farmers?”

Another Next President Of the United States Out Of Action

This guy had potential - virulently anti-gay and representing the meat-and-potatoes county of Kern (petroleum and fast food are the chief economic engines), I give you Roy Ashburn!

Sources tell CBS13 a state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk after leaving Faces, a gay nightclub in midtown Sacramento, early Wednesday morning.

The California Highway Patrol pulled over Senator Roy Ashburn at 2:00 a.m. Wednesday after an officer noticed a black Chevy Tahoe swerving at 13th and L Streets.

Ashburn, a father of four, is a Republican Senator representing parts of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino Counties with a history of opposing gay rights

When the officer stopped the state-issued vehicle, the driver identified himself as Senator Ashburn. He was arrested without incident and charged with two misdemeanors: driving under the influence and driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .08% or higher.

A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained.

Ashburn was booked into the Sacramento County Jail and released on $1,400 bond.
Voters in Kern County clearly have mighty bad gaydar. Look at the man! I mean, just look at him. Note to Republican voters everywhere - take a close look at any of your candidates who publicly speak out against any gay rights. Really. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter

Sarah Palin last night on Jay Leno's show:

I think the mainstream media is quite broken and I think there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there — that’s why I joined Fox. Fair and balanced, yes. You know because, Jay, those years a go that I studied journalism it was all about the who, what, when, where, and why, it was not so much the opinion interjected in hard news stories. … As long as there is not the opinion under the guise of hard news stories — I think there needs to be clear differentiation.
Clearly we were all wrong about the nature of Palin's gig... she's not going to be a pundit or commentator, but an old-fashioned shoe-leather journalist! Just the facts! Like Fox News' intrepid Griff Jenkins! I look forward to seeing her out there, keeping her opinions to herself, just delivering the hard facts, dressed in a trenchcoat and shouting above the gale-force winds.

Unless she's just lyin' again about everything.