Saturday, January 02, 2010

House of Horrors

I’ve been remiss in overlooking 2009’s most outrageous members of Congress:
  1. Topping the list of psycho House members is Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.
    She gave Glenn Beck a run for Lunatic of the Year honors, if only she hadn’t confined her lunacy mostly to the House. Some of Michelle’s greatest hits:
    • Called for an investigation of Democratic members of Congress with “anti-American views,” which she accused President Obama of harboring;
    • Linked Democrats to the Swine Flu (she did not say H1N1 was a laboratory virus, but let the conspiracy hang out there to curry favor with Glenn Beck loons);
    • Vowed not to participate in the Census –- “Why does the government need our phone numbers?” –- Um, Michelle, you are “the government” . . . not only that, but when you complete your tax returns, or sign up for Medicare, or the VA, or apply for a government loan or grant, you typically include your phone number;
    • Joined Sarah Palin in making the “death panels” allegation viral;
    • Called school-based health clinics “sex clinics” and treated the public to an X-rated teen confessional of alleged promiscuity on the hallowed well of Congress. Goes down as “One of the Great Moments in Congressional History”;
    • Said global warming was “all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax”;
    • Argued for the teaching of “Intelligent Design,” aka Creationism, in schools, and I don’t mean in religion class;
    • Promised to “slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this [healthcare] doesn’t pass.”
    Too bad Michelle didn’t follow through with her promise.
  2. Joe (I LIE!) Wilson. No member of Congress, not one, not during the Civil War, the Great Depression, the world wars, the “Red Scare,” the Cold War, not one has ever disrespected a sitting President addressing Congress the way Joe Wilson did. Is it just a coincidence that it was our first African American president and Wilson is from a Southern state? ‘Nuff said.
  3. John (“the Preamble to the Constitution said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .”) Boehner. Known for holding irrelevant press conferences, for his dour expression, like he just drank a garlic milkshake, and for a perpetual tan that is said to have inspired a provision in the Senate healthcare bill taxing tanning salons. The problem is, as President Obama joked, Boehner’s is a fake spray-on tan.
  4. Bart (the Crusader) Stupak. DINO par excellence, the C Street cult “brother” is using healthcare reform to try to repeal the law of the land and drive women back to the days of back-alley abortions. Grilled by constituents at a town hall, the stealth Michigan Congressman had a hard time explaining why he consorts with right wing Republicans at the C street flophouse for discreet encounters, and contributed money to the gubernatorial campaign of fellow “Family brother” Zack Wamp, a Tennessee Republican. Not that it fazes Stupak. One thing all “Family” members, the chosen ones, have in common is utter contempt for their constituents. That’s why you’ll never see them resigning in the wake of the most egregious ethical and sexual scandals.
  5. Virginia (“We [the Republicans] were the people who passed the civil rights bills back in the 60s.”) Foxx. Then she had the audacity to add: “They [the Democrats] love to engage in revisionist history.” Hahaha . . . For pure jaw-dropping chutzpah, this lying reactionary Congresswoman takes the prize. Only in America, THE STOOPID where the vast majority of the population are totally clueless about their country’s recent history could such an outrageous pack of lies go by unnoticed. Or noticed, but not understood for what it is: A LIE. I call it the Sarah Palin syndrome. (It could easily be called the Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh symdromes, too.) Joseph Goebbels would be proud and amazed.
  6. John (global warming is good for the world’s plants) Shimkus. Claiming Al Gore and “enviro extremists” are alarming people with inconvenient truths, the Illinois Congressman reduces his energy policy to one illogical phrase: “If drilling is good, drilling and mining is better.” His bat-shit crazy argument for increased carbon emissions is that because plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, limiting our man-made carbon dioxide emissions would actually kill the world's plants. “It's plant food ... So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? ... So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.”
  7. Charlie (fuggeabouit) Rangel. Charlie’s a great and colorful member of Congress, but he’s also from one of the safest districts in New York (re-elected with 88% of the vote) and a product of the rough-and-tumble world of backroom deals in Noo Yawk politics. He’s a throwback. Charlie’s troubles stem from failure to disclose rental property, campaign law violations, and ownership of a beachfront villa in the Dominican Republic whose rental income he has failed to disclose over a number of years. Might be politics as usual for local political bosses, but a definite no-no for the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Even if he has a different definition of “ways and means” than the rest of us. (Note: the list of corrupt and ethically-challenged House members [mostly Republican] is long and tawdry, but this is about those members who “distinguished” themselves for truly outrageous headline-grabbing. Charlie qualifies as the most colorful of the ethically-challenged.)
  8. Anh Joseph (“Louisianans need real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children.”) Cao. You got it. The only Republican to vote for the House healthcare bill, the first Vietnamese American elected to Congress, whose election was hailed as “a major blow against the reputation of Louisiana as a corrupt state,” Cao replaced convicted Democratic politico William Jefferson who was caught with a load of dough stuffed in his refrigerator. Cao also voted for the stimulus bill. As the only member of the Party of “NO” to vote “AYE” for President Obama’s major initiatives, Cao deserves a place of honor in the list of most outrageous members of the House. Sometimes things have a way of working out for the best in a bipartisan way.
  9. Alan (“Captain Cojones”) Grayson. When the Florida Democrat took to the House floor to denounce the Republicans’ healthcare non-plan as “1. Don’t Get Sick” and “2. If you get sick, DIE QUICKLY,” he ignited a firestorm that still rages through the Internet and right wing media. For the first time the wingnuts were at a loss for words, never expecting a Democrat -- who usually plays fair, gets the facts right and naively expects same from Republicans, believes in the better angels of people’s nature, and turns both cheeks when Republicans attack below the belt –- to strike back so hard at them. Progressives all over the Internet stood up and applauded Captain Cojones –- At last, a Democrat with balls! -– and reveled in the knowledge that the wingnuts can dish it out, but they can’t take it. In fact, they’re cowards, wimps, weak-kneed and jelly-chinned. Some old Democrats huffed about the new Democratic members not observing the niceties of Congress. They just don’t get it. Democrats from coast-to-coast stood up and cheered when Alan Grayson exposed the Republican fraud on healthcare –- they have no plan -– Senator Al Franken told Joe Lieberman to sit down and shut up, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse slammed the wingnuts to kingdom come. Hail the fighting Dems (the Three Musketeers, new members ALL): A rarity in Congress and therefore worthy of most outrageous member honors . . . in the BEST way.
  10. Peter (Who said politics, much less fundraising, stops at the water’s edge?) Hoekstra. The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, responsible for leaking classified briefings to embarrass Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is now using the foiled terrorist attack on a flight bound for Detroit to raise money for his Ohio gubernatorial campaign: “If you agree that we need a Governor who will stand up the Obama/Pelosi efforts to weaken our security please make a most generous contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to my campaign,” he wrote in a fundraising letter. Nice. Stay classy, Republicans.
Edit: This is a partial list.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Recycled Racist Image Nabs Senior Citizen

This disgusting image has rightfully landed a 73-year-old Colorado state worker in deep shit.

First, if no other explanation surfaces, I hope the maximum punishment is applied to this jackass: immediate termination and, if possible, curtailment of her (no doubt) generous Colorado state retirement benefits, thanks to the taxpayers who pay her salary.

Second, the question needs to be asked: Why is this senior still working at 73, 13 years past the age she could be collecting Social Security benefits, once again, thanks to the taxpayers? It's unseemly that someone well past the age of retirement should be taking a younger person's job, when unemployment is at 10% or more, particularly in light of this incident. Many seniors need to work past retirement, that's understood. But not those who abuse the taxpayers' trust and standards of nondiscrimination that every worker, especially older workers, should know.

Third, this particular image surfaced on the Internet more than one year ago, in August of 2008. That it should still be making the rounds in the white racist underworld of chain emails is indicative at the very least of how sick, obsessive-compulsive, and unimaginative these pathetic racists are.

Latino News Anchor Gives Anglos a Clinic on Journalism

For those of us bemoaning the decline of pure, tough, truth-seeking journalism in our increasingly puff-piece, rumor & gossip, celebritycentric, corporate, lazy & unprepared media wasteland: Cuban-born, Latino American CNN news anchor Rick Sanchez gives us some cause to celebrate. Here Sanchez, the first-generation son of Cuban immigrants, gives his wimpy (especially Anglo/European) colleagues -- as well as aspiring journalists everywhere -- a clinic on what it means to be a journalist serving as the watchdog and eyes and ears of the public:

This exchange is symbolic of how CNN stumbled upon the right thing by firing (euphemistically called an “amicable” parting) anti-immigrant racist demagogue Lou Dobbs in favor of anchors like Soledad O'Brien and Rick Sanchez, who not only reflect the cultural diversity of America -- which is our great strength -- but also are (quick, pass the smelling salts!) real journalists.

By the end of his grilling Sanchez had Ensign babble the proverbial Freudian slip: “I have done nothing ethically or illegal in this matter.”

Good riddance, Lou. Bravo, Rick!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Joys and Perils of Living in THE STOOPID Country

As 2009 winds down, it’s time to reflect on the perils of the enemy within –- THE STOOPID. THE STOOPID so outnumber the rational that they pose a greater threat to the people’s welfare, healthcare, and pocketbooks, than any realistic threat of terrorism; a threat, incidentally, which THE STOOPID enabled then politicized with fear and loathing and hypocrisy.


Only in America, THE STOOPID can a lying hypocrite and coward who took seven deferments to stay out of serving his country in Vietnam pound his chest and criticize the Obama administration for the national security train wreck Bush/Cheney created.


Only in America, THE STOOPID can a truth-challenged MORON like Sarah Palin perpetuate the biggest lie of the year about nonexistent “death panels” in the healthcare reform bills, then parlay her lies into a best selling book that she didn’t write for THE STOOPID white people who don’t care that it’s filled with more STOOPID LIES.

Runners-Up: Liz (like father/like daughter) Cheney, Joe (I LIE!!!) Wilson, Jim (I WISH I’D LIED TOO) DeMint, (also nominated in other categories) GOP, Teabaggers, “Truthers,” Dick Armey, Joe Lieberman, lobbyists, Rush Limbaugh, FOX “News” (collectively), Glenn Beck . . . really, too many to mention.

GRAMPS OF THE YEAR: Chuck Grassley and John McCain

When these doddering old fools keep repeating Sarah Palin's lies about “pulling the plug on Grandma” to incite their STOOPID constituencies, it makes one wish we could pull the metaphorical plug on them.


It doesn’t take a licensed psychiatrist to realize this dude’s seriously delusional, clinically insane bordering on psychotic. And the scariest thing is he has a loyal following of THE STOOPID who actually believe Beck is a well person. THE STOOPID are in dire need of mental health services. Can we build some insane asylum gulags in Alaska to warehouse them? (Kidding!)

CULT OF THE YEAR: The C Street “Family”

The revisionist “Christian brotherhood” in the heart of D.C. spawned anti-abortion DINO crusader Bart Stupak, hosted and encouraged adulterous GOP politicos (because, as the chosen, the rules don't apply to them), sponsored parallel track renegade foreign policy, promoted a Ugandan law to criminalize and kill gays, and saw its tax-exempt status as a “church” revoked by the IRS after decades of sinister freeloading. What would Jesus do? Hmm.


These Caucasian tools are the very embodiment of THE STOOPID. They can’t read (always finding what’s not there in the health bills), they can’t spell (those signs are enough to make kindergarten teachers question their vocation), they don’t know their own history, the difference between the (“U.S.S.”) Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (neither do Republican party leaders, for that matter), let alone that socialist and fascist are not one and the same, and President Obama is neither.

Oh, and they can't count either, unable to distinguish between 20,000 (the average size of their D.C. protests) and one million (their slightly inflated claims of their numbers). In short, the Teabaggers get a failing grade in the three Rs -- reading, writing, and arithmetic -- the minimum necessary education to function in society.

(Arne Duncan, Sec. of Education: can you spare any stimulus funds to give these people remedial courses in the three Rs? Their protest rallies would be a good place to sign them up. And they could start by correcting the typos in their hate signs!)


Only in America, THE STOOPID would such a sleazy, repulsive pig make millions broadcasting his daily vomit of lies, sophistry, demagoguery, and racist hate speech, attaining such power and notoriety that he is hailed the BOSS of the GOP.


The party of “NO” has no ideas, no policies, no plans, except to defeat President Obama and prevent the Democrats from governing by resorting to the filibuster more than at any time in the history of the republic. Shameful.


If New York’s 23rd District is any indication, the new party of THE STOOPID could well prove to be THE STOOPID/GOP/Beckista “Waterloo.” After all, wouldn’t the short, rotund, wild-eyed Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh look just perfect in a Napoleon get-up?

Debunking the “liberal media” myth: MSNBC’s Identity Crisis

“Newt Gingrich, despite not having held any position in government for over a decade, was the single most frequent guest on "Meet the Press" in 2009 of any political figure in the United States. Literally.

From March to December, Gingrich appeared on “MTP,” on average, every other month. No one else in American politics was on the show this often.

MTP didn't have the actual Speaker of the House on at all this year. It also featured zero appearances from all of the other living former House Speakers (Hastert, Wright, Foley) combined.”

- Steve Benen, Political Animal
Why should this be? For one thing, David Gregory, the host of MTP, was anointed by legend-in-his-own-mind Tom Brokaw, the guy from the Charlie Rose school of corporate media, the stiff who presumed to write a book about the 60s and made snarky comments about the advocacy journalism of Keith Olbermann, who not only happens to be speaking truth to power, but is carrying NBC’s cable outlet MSNBC in the ratings with his fellow advocates.

David Gregory who is adept at corporate ass-kissing -- which KO is not (one of his finer qualities) -- seems to have the same fascination with Newt Gingrich’s bullshit as Tom Brokaw had with Henry Kissinger’s.

CNN, which despite its Orwellian claims to the contrary, truly has the worst political team in television, is an utter irrelevancy in political reporting. John King and David Gergen can’t save a network fronted by a pallid corpse in suspenders, a narcissistic pseudo-journalist who cackles like Larry, and stupid touch-screen tricks. Pathetic.

Ratings-wise, MSNBC is a tale of two networks: Its middle-of-the-roadkill shows and news programs are faring poorly, while the liberal advocacy opinion journalism of Olbermann-Schultz-Maddow-Matthews is ultra-competitive, posting first and second in the ratings depending on how the demographics break down. Ed Schultz, MSNBC's ballsy populist liberal is riding high because he brings the issues into sharp relief and isn't afraid to take a stand. On the other side, the nebulous Dr. Nancy show, that failed to take a firm position on healthcare reform, let alone educate the viewers on these issues and hold politicians’ feet to the fire, got axed.

MSNBC, cable’s allegedly “liberal” network, is nothing if not schizophrenic. (Where’s Carlos Watson been hiding? They could use him.) Once MSNBC stops the pretense, sends Tom Brokaw back out to pasture, tells Charlie Rose to STFU, and truly becomes the anti-FOX, then we can talk about one cable media outlet that is progressive.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Memo to the DNC: Ad Campaign Against DINO Parker Griffith Set to Roll thanks to the RNCC

Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith's party switch from Democrat to Republican went over like a lead balloon. Who cares. The guy voted against the stimulus, funding our troops, and healthcare reform. Paul Krugman calls him a “dinosaur” who is the “last of the Dixiecrats.”

Good riddance.

The Republicans welcomed him with open arms, but this is what they really think about him:

Listen up, DNC. You've not only rid the party of another Southern scumbucket, but if you're smart you don't need to fund a new ad campaign opposing Griffith. Just use the GOP ads above with the following voice-over: “Er . . . the Democratic National Committee is responsible for the contents of this ad (SMIRK).”