Friday, July 30, 2010

Dems Get Their Mojo Back As President Obama And World’s Scrappiest Congressman Lead the Way

I. President Obama closed the week on a high note. His appearance on The View was terrific, followed by a real barnburner at a Detroit Chrysler plant, where he rolled up his sleeves and came out swinging against “the party of NO.” Watching the President, I kept thinking, “there’s a Democrat in the Kennedy-Truman-FDR mold.” I’m sure FDR was looking down on the 44th President and tossing his head back in that characteristic gesture of infectious joy at being the people’s president. Let Democrats be Democrats and good things will come the party’s way in November.

This guy from the Detroit Free Press writes that the auto industry’s recovery looks like a “flat-out miracle.” It’s no miracle, sir. It’s a direct result of Democratic Keynesian economics stimulating a key and vital American industrial sector that resulted in the Big 3 posting profits for the first time since 2004.

II. Gotta love Anthony Weiner.

This guy is a ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ every day of the week. He was enraged over Republican obstructionism blocking a bill to provide health care for 9/11 first responders. Rep. Weiner in interviews later said, “this is not a game, this is about people’s lives; people are sick and dying, over 900 of them have died since 9/11.” Mr. Weiner represents many, many of these people; they’re police officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, who risked their lives on that fateful day, and kept digging in the days that followed until the bodies of the victims were recovered. They were sickened by toxic pollutants in the air, that Christie Whitman’s EPA had deemed safe to breathe.

The Republicans and President Bush were all over the rubble, with the cameras on. Once the cameras were turned off they turned their backs on the sick and dying 9/11 first responders. Gotta love Anthony Weiner; his constituents are really lucky to have him as their representative. Mr. Weiner just demonstrated the blueprint for Democratic success this November. No more Mr. Nice Guy, call the Republicans’ bluff, and force them to take responsibility, own up to their obstructionism. In a memorable phrase, Anthony Wiener said, “Sometimes as Democrats we come to knife fights carrying library books.”

With their latest ad, President Obama’s great couple of days on The View and hitting the campaign trail, the Democrats are fighting back, and the people are wising up to the Republicans. They may not like Nancy Pelosi, which is stupid –- she’s one of the greatest Speakers in the nation’s history –- until considering the alternative: John Boehner, the Tan Man about town, barfly extraordinaire, dumb, lazy and dour. It always comes down to a choice, and Democrats have the best programs and a story of accomplishments to tell.

Despite the smugness of the punditocracy –- “things have gelled” and “the cake may be baked” regarding voter trends –- I see a reversal as people pay attention, the more alarmed they become with Republican voodoo economics of exploding the debt by extending the Bush tax cuts for the top 2%, the more they’re willing to give the Democrats a chance. Just as they did for Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Lincoln had his finger on the people’s pulse when he famously said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”

Republicans last obstructed unemployment extension, heartlessly kicking millions of Americans like political footballs in their partisan games. Their hypocrisy is hiding in plain sight in their orgasmic defense of extending billionaire tax cuts and the Paris Hilton estate tax that would explode the debt by trillions. Yet they called 2.5 million unemployed Americans “deadbeats” and “drug addicts” and “spoiled” while lining their multi-millionaire pockets with unmitigated greed. Fondly recalling the people’s senator, Ted Kennedy, berating Republicans in defense of working Americans: “How much more greed is enough!”

Not nearly, as Republicans this week blocked:
Democrats, you need to follow Anthony’s lead and become Ninja Dems. Then you’ll be just fine in November. Fuggeaboutit.

Chuck Todd's OK, And a Quick Study

Nice to see the current generation of news dudes tell it ‘the way it is.’ All’s I have to say.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Shirley Sues, Chris Matthews Takes Temporary Leave of His Senses … Recovers In ‘Hardball, The Director’s Cut’

Ha. If I were sitting in one of those “dinner table conversations” that Chris advertises as helping us know where the American people stand, he’d be right about one thing: “It’s not a calm” event. In fact Chris practically guarantees that a food fight ensues. Despite Chris’s inchoate rant that Andrew Breitbart had the entire tape on his website (NO, HE DIDN’T CHRIS!) the Big Story is Shirley Sherrod striking back for every person maligned by the right wing, defiantly refusing an apology from Fox and Breitbart.

She’s determined to sue. YES!

After Andrew Breitbart blogged a misleading excerpt of a 43-minute speech by Ms. Sherrod, Fox News intoned it’s “what racism looks like.” Really. Frank Rich of the New York Times said, “her talk was an uplifting parable about how she had risen above her own trials in the Jim Crow South to aid poor people of every race during her long career in rural development.” Fox would have known that had they had the journalistic integrity to check. But they are not journalists.

As for Breitbart, his history as right wing slime merchant and destroyer of honest people’s careers will be revealed in all of its disgusting cravenness, including, in addition to the sliming of Ms. Sherrod, the smear of ACORN, and the accusation that civil rights giant John Lewis lied about being called “nigger” at a Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. Breitbart produced a video purporting to catch Lewis in a lie that was “so bogus” even Fox wouldn’t touch it.

If Shirley Sherrod goes forward with her lawsuit she has a good chance of prevailing, in my non-lawyer’s opinion. Ms. Sherrod was terribly wronged and damaged by Andrew Breitbart and Fox News, which collaborated with Breitbart in disseminating his sliming of her as well as of ACORN, with trumped-up video clips. No wonder a Fox executive admitted there was “a breakdown in the system” when his “advice” was not followed: “Let's take our time and get the facts straight on this story. Can we get confirmation and comments from Sherrod before going on-air. Let's make sure we do this right.”

Hmm … has anyone of you Fox hounds out there ever heard of Michael Clemente, Senior Vice President of News? No; well, right now he’s the only mitigating factor standing in the way of Fox getting slammed along with Breitbart for sliming Ms. Sherrod. It seems the big egos over there didn’t pay much attention to Clemente’s word of caution. Or maybe he said it with a ‘wink and a nod’ after hitting the audio record button. Making sure “we do this right” would be more believable if this was an isolated case rather than business-as-usual at Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Ministry of Truth.’

We sincerely wish Ms. Sherrod well in forcing Andrew Breitbart to pay steeply for wronging her and his despicable sliming of ordinary, hard-working people who lack the means or intestinal fortitude to take on such a scum-sucking bottom-feeder. This time it might be different: The moment Ms. Sherrod produces all the poor white farm families she helped stay in their homes throughout her honorable career, culminating with the family she mentioned in her speech, it will be all over for Breitbart and Fox. As Frank Rich said, “The smear might well have stuck if the white octogenarian farmer saved by Sherrod 24 years ago was no longer alive and if he didn’t look like a Norman Rockwell archetype.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Michele Bachmann's Tea Party Caucus (And Friends) Hold Their First "Be-In"

... And they have their anthem, too:


by Eric Clapton, Gail Collins and Felix Pappalardi

Strange brew -- kill what's inside of you.

She's a witch of trouble in electric blue,
In her own mad mind she's in love with you.
With you.
Now what you gonna do?
Strange brew -- kill what's inside of you.

She's some kind of demon messing in the glue.
If you don't watch out it'll stick to you.
To you.
What kind of fool are you?
Strange brew -- kill what's inside of you.

On a boat in the middle of a raging sea,
She would make a scene for it all to be
And wouldn't you be bored?
Strange brew -- kill what's inside of you.

Strange brew, strange brew, strange brew, strange brew.
Strange brew -- kill what's inside of you.

DAY 100, Ambiguous News Alert: Where Has All the Oil Gone?

It’s good news, of sorts: The oil on the surface is disappearing, and seems to be dissipating. After 12 days of a capped oil gusher, Mother Nature has finally caught a break, has had a chance to take a breath and fight back. Some scientists speculate that part of the oil has evaporated, and all those oil-feeding bacteria bred by the constant gusher are now going after the remnants of the spill. But out of sight is not out of mind. In this NYT interactive map, you can follow the expansion and eventual contraction of the spill. Click the play button.

The Best Defense Is Offense: Could Democrats Be Learning, At Last?

Gotta love this ad by the DNC, if only because as the party in power they are finally going on the attack, rather than try to simply defend their majorities. VOTERS RESPECT A PARTY THAT FIGHTS FOR ITS PRINCIPLES AND COMES OUT SWINGING AGAINST THE BAD GUYS (GOP, WINGNUTS, TEABAGGERS)!

Also, gotta LOVE the ponderous, slightly sinister 'Nightmare On Elm Street' meets 'Jaws' soundtrack:

Judge Blocks 'Show Me Your Papers' Arizona Law

Anyone who labored under the delusion that it would be otherwise, and that Arizona SB 1070 would become law today as scheduled, is a fool. The law is now caught up in the courts and facing stiff legal challenges after a preliminary injunction issued by a federal district judge. In the judge’s reasoned opinion, “preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely pre-empted by federal law to be enforced.”

“There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens,” she wrote. “By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.”

In other words, immigration law is a federal jurisdiction, and no state can suddenly decide to go rogue and pass its own laws running afoul of the Constitution. The judge blocked the most controversial parts of the law that required police to check a person’s immigration status and persons, immigrants or not, illegal or not, to carry their “papers” at all times.

And for those who wrongly believe illegal aliens pay no taxes, they pay their taxes across the board: In sales taxes, in property taxes deducted from their rent payments, and by filing income taxes with taxpayer ID numbers. A recent NYT study estimates that illegals are carrying the rest of us in Social Security taxes, which they will never be able to benefit from, to the tune of $7 billion.

Council of Conservative Citizens, Descendants of the KKK, Urge Tea Party to Flaunt Its Racism

What tangled webs the right wing weaves. The NAACP issued a resolution urging the Tea Party to reject its racist elements. Ben Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, explained its position on Hardball with Chris Matthews, noting that the infamous Council of Conservative Citizens, a white supremacist group that traces its lineage to the KKK, boasted of its influence within the Tea Party.
JEALOUS: — you know, and you see those old themes and then you go to the Web site of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which is a — which is (INAUDIBLE) —
MATTHEWS: Well, that is an old — that‘s an Dixie crowd, obviously. Yes.
JEALOUS: I mean straight up. They say that black people are not genetically equipped to participate in democracy.
MATTHEWS: But that — but that group isn‘t associated with the Tea Party. That‘s the old like —
JEALOUS: Yes, they are. No, no. Yes they are.
MATTHEWS: I thought that was the old White Citizens Council with a new name.
JEALOUS: Exactly. And you go online and — and they celebrate their participation in the Tea Party.
MATTHEWS: Let‘s get to some elected officials here.
Here is a typical CCC-Tea Party entry:
Leftist Florida state attorney fires prosecutor for speaking at TEA Party rallies.
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Skip Jarvis ordered a prosecutor to stop speaking at TEA Party rallies and then fired her when she refused. Skip Jarvis issued a textbook Soviet style statement declaring that state employees “can’t take a position against the state!” Soviet Commissar, I mean Florida State Attorney, Skip Jarvis Phone: ———
Matthews treated mention of the CCC like a hot potato. If anyone doubts Jealous, simply research the issue, you know, journalistic due diligence, that sort of thing. In response to the NAACP resolution, wingnut smear merchant Andrew Breitbart released a phony, heavily edited videotape purporting to show “reverse racism” by Shirley Sherrod, a USDA official.

This is but one example of how Andrew Breitbart, the wingnut blogger who ambushed Shirley Sherrod, influences the debate on race against the truth and a cowed MSM. Breitbart fed Fox News the phony video, and Fox being Fox ran it unquestioningly. Breitbart refused to apologize for nearly destroying an honorable woman’s career. He even had the audacity to claim innocence of the practice. To date, the only Fox News host to man up and apologize for running the phony story is Bill O’Reilly.

This is part of a pattern of fabricated Fox “news” sowing fear in its lily-white audience (fewer than 2% of Fox viewers are black) against African Americans. Only Rachel Maddow has given this practice, blowing the lid off the faux toxic “journalism” of the right, the coverage it deserves. The Tea Party racism and its associations with extremist fringe racist groups is not a matter of speculation. Yet Breitbart’s aggressive smoke-and-mirrors right wing pushback has succeeded in neutralizing one of the most disturbing aspects of the Tea Party from objective and thorough coverage in the MSM. What Breitbart does isn’t journalism; it’s right wing advocacy propaganda. By injecting a false equivalence into issues of vulnerability to the right, its propagandists (Breitbart, Fox, Limbaugh, et al) obfuscate the issue sufficiently that truth is the ultimate casualty.

And it’s not the first time Breitbart has done this. Dumping ‘Fox Lies and Videotape’ on a jittery MSM cowering in the corner is part of his MO. He loves bullying and browbeating liberals into submission. After his yelling match with David Schuster, in which David was screwed by MSNBC management, some MSNBCers (except their primetime trio of Ed Schulz, Keith Olbermann, and Rachel Maddow) seem skittish around the Breitbart story, echoing their MSM colleagues.

Big Eddie fears no one, and that’s what progressives admire most about the combative, take-no-prisoners populist fighter for the middle class. Eddie said he cornered Breitbart out in the hall and invited — challenged — him to go on ‘The Ed Show.’ Breitbart weaseled out claiming to be “tired” or busy or … whatever. This is typical of how bullies behave. If you show them any weakness a la Tamron Hall rolling over for a racist Son of the Confederacy (“I really press them for an answer” –- yeah, right), the Breitbarts of this world with their keen smell for fear, will pounce. The minute you look bullies in the eye the way Big Ed did, and say “put up or shut up, asshole,” they wilt. Because that’s what bullies are: They’re cowards who prey on the weak. I challenge every one of MSNBC’s hosts to do as Big Eddie: Issue an open invitation to Andrew Breitbart to come on and explain himself, no holds barred — not only about Shirley Sherrod, but about the ACORN tapes and his role in other likely illegal ventures.

Your move.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Adventures in TEA PARTY Campaigns: BALKANS TEA

Republicans don’t quite know what to do about the TEA PARTY. The extremist gaggle of KNOW-NOTHING groups, most of them ASTRO-TURF, corporate-funded but hardly corporate-controlled and coordinated, most of them harboring, or led by, racist elements is leading the GOP straight down the path to self-destruction in November.

Florida is already lost, unless mainstream Republican Charlie Crist, forced by the Tea Party to run as an independent, totally implodes. In Pennsylvania the Tea Party knocked off Arlen Specter from the GOP primary forcing him to run as a Democrat. Specter lost a relatively safe Republican seat. Problem is, the Teabagger candidate, Pat Toomey, is too far right to win statewide in Pennsylvania. Democrat Joe Sestak stands an excellent chance to turn the Specter seat Democratic. And in Nevada, Teabagger Sharron Angle is so extreme that she is running away from her stated positions and the local media just as fast as she can, but steadily losing ground in the polls to Harry Reid, who has savaged her for wanting to abolish Social Security and Medicare, the Department of Education, the EPA, and worst of all, criminalize alcohol consumption in the state where “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

Now the Colorado Tea Party is about to help another Democrat get elected governor by Balkanizing the center-right political fringe. TEA PARTY anti-immigrant nutcase Tom Tancredo has decided to enter the race as an independent. His argument seems to be that the other Teabaggers are nuttier than he is. It’s hard to argue with that logic, even though Tancredo is the phobic anti-immigrant flamer who recently advocated a “literacy test” for voters at the TEA PARTY Convention -– a measure that if adopted would ironically erode much of his support among the sizable contingent of spelling-challenged Teabaggers.

Just call it BALKANS TEA: A Democratic beverage that drives Teabaggers to cannibalism.


Ken Buck, darling of the Tea Party set in Colorado, IS CAUGHT ON TAPE (AGAIN!) TRASHING THE BIRTHERS by calling them “dumbasses.” Listen here.

Ken Buck ‘STOPS SOMEWHERE ELSE’ is suffering from a new illness recently identified, which afflicts only TEA PARTY candidates: OVERBREWED LATENT EXPOSURE SYNDROME (OLÉS). The TEA PARTY DISEASE can result in fatal political TEASTROKE.

According to experts at the CWDC (Centers for Wingnut Disease Control) this malady infects Tea Party candidates who venture outside the friendly confines of Fox News and heavily media-sanitized Teabagger events. However, CWDC experts note, the advent of alternative Tea Party media infectious agents –- YouTube, Twitter, cellular recording devices -– makes the suppression of EXTREMIST TEABAGGER POSITIONS virtually impossible, even from gullible low-information voters.

As of this writing, the Republican Party national leadership is feverishly working on a vaccine to innoculate TEA PARTY candidates throughout the nation. So far, all efforts at containing the disease, including the scrubbing and sanitizing of ENTIRE WEBSITES, as well as the refusal to take questions from non-FOX/Breitbart media have failed miserably.

In this classic sketch, Ken Buck (Tea Party candidate for Colorado governor) competes for how many “The View” fans and women voters he can turn off in one sitting. Apparently Buck had confused the Teabaggers’ aspiration for Constitutional authenticity –- you know, repeal of those extraneous post-Constitutional Convention amendments, such as the 19th Amendment which gave women the right to vote, ratified only 90 years ago –- AS REALITY! Watch:


BP-Dee and BP-Dum

Tony Hayward, the British invasion re-enactor is about to be yanked as BP CEO in favor of an American-born Benedict Arnold re-enactor. Clearly, U.S. nationality is accidental in the globalized corporatist world. On the other hand, a U.S.-based BP CEO won’t require a “Green Card” to direct the next phase of BP’s litigious screwing of its victims in Big Oil-friendly Louisiana and Texas courts.

Hayward gets his “life back,” lots more sailing forays around the Isle of Wight in his yatch, and a golden parachute which includes a year’s salary (he made $6 million last year). Shifty-eyed Texas-based Bob Dudley succeeds the imperious Hayward as disinformation point man in all BP oil catastrophe matters. Dudley, whose body language screams evasiveness, was apparently viewed favorably by BP’s Board and Chairman Karl-Henric Svanberg as a perfect Hayward successor to fool all those dear devastated “little people” in the Gulf states. He’ll have to work on his Southern drawl, though, which should improve once he holds closed-door meetings with Joe Barton, David Vitter, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, et al to dish out BP campaign contributions. Doubtless, Dudley’s outrageous on-camera dissimulations, particularly in the safe corporate-underwritten environment of the PBS NewsHour, fielding “viewers questions” in which he managed to say absolutely nothing in the presence of a host-facilitator who never challenged him, impressed the BP Board, its shareholders, and its largely Republican Party clients.

Here’s Dudley pretending he doesn’t know how much oil was actually spilled, carefully parsing his words so they don’t come back to bite him in the ass. They do, but still they’re not necessarily actionable in court. This guy’s outrageous disinformation is a howl -– “exaggeration and scaremongering … 5,000 barrels a day is the best estimate of the industry experts.” The best estimate from the U.S. government Flow Rate Technical Group is between 35,000 and 60,000 barrels per day. Watch:

This dude is a good politician. Here is Dudley in full campaign mode, shedding crocodile tears as he plays the “people at BP” are “deeply affected” victims role. Was Dudley already campaigning for Hayward’s job? Hmm …