Friday, August 06, 2010

Great Scott! NOT ...

Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts is a lightweight and a jerk. The former COSMO playmate played a role that no doubt comes naturally, that of escort, to “uphold a long-standing tradition by introducing Elena Kagan of Massachusetts to the [Judiciary] Committee.” The moussed-hair Senator –- a style favored by that other ladies man, John Ensign -- made full use of his face-time on national TV. Scottie rambled that it was an “honor” to introduce a nominee with such an “impressive legal resume.” He was “very proud that our nation’s first female Solicitor General has such deep roots in Massachusetts,” adding “If confirmed, Ms. Kagan would be the third woman on the Supreme Court and only the fourth in the history of the court.”

Quite an endorsement. Except when it came time to confirm Elena Kagan, Scott Brown voted NO. (Kagan’s confirmation was never imperiled and moved quickly through the Senate, as these things go, so Brown’s vote other than a courtesy to Ms. Kagan was meaningless. After all, it was Ms. Kagan who gave him the opportunity to get his face out there.)

Brown’s lame reason: Elena Kagan lacks courtroom experience. As Rachel Maddow likes to say, “bullpuckey!” (Ed: shit, for the uninitiated.) Here’s Media Matters:
“Media figures have advanced the myth that judicial experience is a pre-requisite for a Supreme Court justice. In fact, two of the last four previous chief justices -- William Rehnquist and Earl Warren -- had no judicial experience when first nominated to the Court by Republican presidents. Neither did other famous justices, including Felix Frankfurter, Louis Brandeis, and John Marshall, known as the "Great Chief Justice.
Scott Brown came to the Senate unprepared, with little grasp of the issues, a total 360 compared to his predecessor. He gets his cues from corporate lobbyists and contributors as to what stands to take. Brown underwhelmed observers with lazy work habits, inarticulate comments and a shallow, narcissistic public posture. In short, the guy’s an idiot, a happenstance who landed through Democratic incompetence and complacency on the vacated seat of the late, lamented Lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy. Hopefully if not Ed Markey then Ted Kennedy Jr. will take back the seat for the Democrats from this arriviste.

But that’s the least of it. To top things off, the guy has some kind of problem with women. First, he did a truly snarky, underhanded thing to Rachel Maddow, using her name in a fundraising pitch by fueling the outlandish rumor the Massachusetts Democratic Party had approached her to challenge him for the Senate. Then, after saying “I’m sure she’s a nice person” (Kagan is “pleasant”) Brown proceeded to trash his fictitious opponent, calling her a “rubberstamp” of Democratic Party bosses in Massachusetts with a “a nightly platform to push her far-left agenda.” Raising the specter of Maddow, Brown made his pitch for citizens to join “in rallies and petitions that challenge President Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s healthcare legislation, supporting campaigns against the tax-and-spenders or by donating time and money” TO ME. Rachel tried in vain to get him to stop sliming her.

That’s three prominent women –- Maddow, Pelosi, and Kagan -– Scott Brown has trashed gratuitously since sauntering about the Senate halls with his bow legs like a modern-day Stan Laurel, yucking it up about his SNL skit, in which he was portrayed (realistically) as a mysoginistic dud/stud.



The Republicans are shameless, despicable, and un-American. They just keep throwing outrageous numbers around about the economic impact on the top 2% of American earners of letting the Bush tax cuts for them expire, hoping some of it will stick. Mitch McConnell said it’s 50% of small businesses. Paul Ryan, the “objectivist” Ayn Rand cult worshipper who keeps stacks of Atlas Shrugged in his office for staffers (required reading) and select visitors, claims it’s 75%. Lies, all LIES.

Only 2.5% of people declaring small business income (24% of all filers) would pay higher tax rates if the Bush tax cuts expire. TWO-POINT-FIVE PERCENT. Capisce?

It’s amazing to watch old white people standing around Mitch McConnell, millionaires many times over, as he LIES on their behalf. John Kyl, an utterly detestable human being and a political expediency racist right along with John McCain, has that arrogant, lopsided grin of the plutocrat’s agent putting one over on the electorate who don’t march in lockstep and refuse to bow before the ruling oligarchs. Lamar Alexander has a stupid smirk on his face of one who’s playing an 800-plus billion deficit-exploding practical joke on the American people -– and cannot hide that he knows it. And Lisa Murkowski has that perpetually haunted, deer-in-the-headlights look, like she’s one step ahead of the law and about to be cuffed and Mirandized at any moment for violating her sacred constitutional trust to the American people.

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And worse, they are incredibly irresponsible and selfish, as if intent on destroying this country for succeeding generations by, in their words, “starving the beast” of big government, no matter how much destruction of people’s lives it causes along the way. These Republicans care more about transnational corporations than they do about 20 million unemployed Americans. By borrowing money from the Chinese to line their pockets and seed their Swiss bank accounts with more and more millionaire tax cuts, they have effectively ceded our national sovereignty to the Chinese. There is a word for such people: traitors.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

What’s the Matter With the TEA PARTY?

For starters, tossing overboard good public servants like Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) and Senator Bob Bennett of Utah. Their sin? Not being conservative (to use an inadequate Tea parlor term) enough, and refusing to lie and pander to the extremist elements to the right of the Republican Party (which is as fringe as fringe can be). Inglis happens to be a fairly normal, mainstream, honest conservative. The type of lawmaker who could disagree with his adversaries without being disagreeable, who knows how to build bridges across the aisle, and gets things done for his constituents.

So what do they do? They toss him. At least those extremists who often hold sway in Republican primaries, because Mr. Inglis would most likely win easy reelection in the general. And why did they toss him? Well, he called on Joe Wilson to apologize for yelling “You lie!” then told people to stop watching Glenn Beck: “They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.’”

What would you do in Mr. Inglis’s place, listening to such ignorant tirades? I’d tell these Teabagger jackasses to stop watching Beck, too, read some history suggested by reputable sources such as the Smithsonian or any number of universities … then if they have health insurance, or are recipients of hugely popular socialist government programs Medicare and Social Security, to consult a psychiatrist. (But I’m not running for anything.) Mr. Inglis clammed up. But he also refused to describe the President as a socialist. “It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...This guy is no socialist.”

He REFUSED TO LIE because he is a man of integrity. Are there Republicans of integrity? Not so many in office. Or, like Bob Inglis and Bob Bennett, they’re being excised from government by the extremist elements that control their party. Most Republicans pander shamelessly to the extremists. Those who take up the Tea Party banner and run with it are being defeated. Most voters, even Republicans, aren’t stupid. They’re slow on the uptake, many are fooled by the propaganda, but many take the time to scratch below the surface platitudes. And the more they look, the less they like. They may be for smaller government conceptually, and for tackling deficits, but they’re not for privatizing Social Security, defunding Medicare, or abolishing the EPA and the Department of Education, among many issues. And most Americans are decent people who abhor racism.

The extremism on the right that has defined the Tea Party movement is not where the American people are. Recent election results demonstrate this, as the Tea Party candidates have been shellacked by the voters –- Republican voters. It’s too bad they weren’t around or didn’t turn out to give Bob Inglis a vote of confidence. Democrats and progressives may not agree on a single issue with Mr. Inglis. But no one can ever question his honesty and integrity.
Each time ideology –- a sick and ignorant one at that –- trumps honesty and integrity in politics, we are diminished, no matter what side of the fence we happen to be on. This is why turnout and voting are so important. The lunatics may rule the asylum, but they can only take over town hall if we stay home and let them.

Adventures in TEA PARTY Campaigns: The Great International BICYCLE CONSPIRACY!

Jeez … Ain’t nothing sacred! Now the Teabaggers have dragged America’s cyclists, minding their own business, pedaling along the nation’s bike trails, into a SINISTER UN SOCIALIST CONSPIRACY. KO Explains:

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Adventures in TEA PARTY Campaigns: TEA PARTY Books Next “Uni-TEA” Venue

When free water bottles on ice go untouched in mid-Summer, Oh Tea Party, YA GOTCHA problem … Latest word on the crowd count was 300 – yep, 300 … And they weren’t dressed as Spartans, either … I don’t think Leonidas had a beer belly.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Happy 49th Birthday, Mr. President

For once the Republicans were good-natured with vestigial signs of humor as they pulled back their claws for one day. Here’s my favorite mock Republican birthday card for our President:

Sadly, most political attacks on our President the other 364 days of the year are vicious racist datribes that question his patriotism, manhood, and birthright.

I added my heartfelt birthday wishes for our President:

All Americans want President Obama to succeed, don’t they?

This Just In: Same Sex Marriage Ban (Prop 8) in California Overturned

This is good news for common sense, decency, and basic human rights, the pursuit of happiness, and a blow to bigots and religious fundamentalists everywhere. This fight -- things we should not even be arguing about -- is never over, but it is one more small step on the path toward a more tolerant and just society. As with racism, the young people demographics are genuinely puzzled, if not baffled, by such social kerfuffles. More and more, bigotry of all kinds seems to be an older population disease. Another notable fact, is that the distinguished lawyers arguing for overturning the gay marriage ban -- liberal David Boies and conservative Ted Olson -- were once adversaries in Bush v. Gore.

Palin’s Wailin’ Wassila Wall

Not all is guns ‘n roses in the Sarah Palin online shrine known as her Facebook page. As SNL’s fake Rahm Emanuel said:
“You come after me on facebook? What, are your fourteen? Here's a status update: Grow the fuck up! Poke me again, and I will write shit on your wall so obsene your computer will cry. Go back to the tundra, you fucking gimmick!”
Indeed, the censored (recovered) comments on Palin’s Facebook wall present a picture closer to the fake Emanuel’s threat of making it a Palin Wailin’ Wassila Wall than the carefully choreographed and screened vehicle designed to massage her image with the public while bypassing that pesky “lamestream media.” What do commenters really think of Sister Sarah? Here’s a look behind the curtain of her Facebook wall. Not so saintly Sister Sarah.

They're Really Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel ...

… Trying to find evidence of that elusive vast left wing media conspiracy. I’m no big fan of Katie Couric (I stopped watching after she brought Rush Limbaugh on as a commentator), but this vapid attack on Couric by right wing blogger Jim Treacher is quite hilarious:
“It’s interesting to watch Katie Couric drop her pretense of impartiality
| Published: 8:50 AM 08/04/2010 | Updated: 9:00 AM 08/04/2010

August 29, 2008:

Pretty mild, compared to some of the stuff that’s been said about Sarah Palin and her kids. But, as with JournoList, it’s nice to have solid confirmation of what we’ve long suspected. These gatekeepers, these guardians of the truth, consider most of us unworthy of anything but casual contempt. And their ratings plummet, and their companies are sold off for pocket change, and they learn nothing from it.”
… Because it only serves to remind us of this:

Parenthetically, it’s interesting to watch the right wing’s vain and pathetic attempts to reach for some kind of equivalency. First it was the NAACP resolution calling on the Tea Party to drop its racist elements, answered by Andrew Breitbart’s smear of a USDA official with false allegations of racism. Now Treacher digs up a 2008 Couric outtake so insipid even he has to admit it is “pretty mild.” And Jim, as to your familiar victim whine –- “these guardians of the truth” who “consider most of us unworthy of anything but casual contempt” –- after reading the contemptible comments on the YouTube clip you posted, would you care to revise your remark?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

GOP Supply-Side Voodoo Economics For DUMMIES

A Big YES From the ...


Adventures in TEA PARTY Campaigns: FOX IS PRAVDA And Sharron Angle RUNS For SOVIET POLITBURO

Ah, this is RICH! The Hits just keep on coming for Sharron Angle, Tea Party darling opposing Harry Reid for Senate in Nevada. Back in the days of Soviet Russia, PRAVDA was the OFFICIAL PARTY ORGAN (media organization) and Communist Party Politburo members would have their pre-screened interviews and campaign pressers sanitized, censored, and approved for printing by (substitute Communist for TEA) Party apparatchiks.

It’s not that “the fix is (SUDDENLY) in” with Fox “News” playing Party propagandist and mouthpiece for Tea Party and GOP (they’re largely –- but not entirely –- one and the same) candidates; it’s that even the MOST OBTUSE Teabaggers in on the game are expected to understand the ‘wink-and-a-nod’ aspect of it!

Along comes Sharon Angle, extremist par excellence, to throw a bag of tea in the works and leave her Fox News HANDLER RED-FACED and blathering. Wouldn’t you like to be a fly-in-the-wall of this particular post-production debrief:


Sister Sarah’s Missing Brain FOUND: Pair of Caribou Cojones

Sister Sarah claims the President lacks the cojones (balls) Gov. Jan Brewer does (?) to enforce immigration. It makes good copy in RightWingVille, but the question must be asked: How much cojones (political courage) did it take Jan Brewer to sign SB 1070, Arizona’s racist and unconstitutional anti-immigration law? (1) It’s popular not only in Arizona, but in national polls generally; and (2) it’s an incompetent bureaucrat’s ticket to election (Brewer occupied the office vacated by current Homeland Security Sec. Janet Napolitano).

And how much cojones does it really take to beat up on Latino immigrants? A bullet was fired through the office window of Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva. He’s still waiting for the Governor, Senators Kyl and McCain, each of them demagogues and LIARS, to condemn this act of violence.

Take away SB 1070 and Jan Brewer is a big fat ZERO; a nothing, a nobody, what she is in reality. The President has actually enforced the immigration laws more stringently than his predecessor. That is a fact. That it has become a Republican political football to spread fear of foreigners and dark people among whites is nothing new. It’s part of the Republican playbook. Why don’t you come out and play, Caribou Barbie, give some interviews to the MSM outside the Fox propaganda echo chamber. Then we’ll see whose 'virtual' cojones you can match, missy.

Paul Predicts End of Mullah Rule, Iran President Ahmedinejad Goes Berserk

If he did, he’s not telling the world, it’s classified until Wiki Leaks releases the “Paul Files.” But Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad sure got the message as he launched into an anti-Paul rant. It looks like the aquatic Nostradamus has gotten himself into the dictator’s head, and under his skin. Paul, screeched the dictator, is a symbol of decadent “Western propaganda and superstition.” Look out, Mahmoud, Paul’s gonna getcha, he’s gaining on you, disguised as a mullah!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Madness, Republican-Style

The nearly unhindered, deranged, and un-American Republican push to extend the Bush tax cuts for the super rich is the very definition of madness: a return to the runaway deficit train and one step from the precipice of total economic collapse that eight years of George W. Bush wrought. Why haven’t they encountered more resistance?

Three corporate conservative Democrats in the House of multi-millionaire Lords known as “the Senate” are peddling this voodoo economics. North Dakota’s useless Democratic Senator, Kent Conrad, is on board while his colleague, good guy Byron Dorgan is not. Dorgan predicted the Republican economic depression earlier than anyone else in the Senate, voting against gutting Glass-Steagall and deregulation of the banks pushed by former Texas Senator Phil Gramm and his wife, Wendy, then Chair of the CFTC. Byron Dorgan is retiring from the Senate in no small measure, perhaps, because people like the three Democratic defectors, Senators Conrad, Ben Nelson, and Evan Bayh are such goddamned selfish weasels.

I have little faith the media will cover this story as it should, for one simple reason. Most of them, especially in television news are in the affected tax bracket. Think about it. If you earn $200,000 or more ($250,000 as a couple), placing you in the top 2% of earners, your tax liability will increase by about 4%. Even if intellectually you agree this is the right thing to do for the country and the middle class, personally you may not be happy about experiencing even the tiniest squeeze in your lavish lifestyle, where before you were completely insulated from the economic downturn. This isn’t about ideology, it’s about class -- a stratified oligarchy that rules and owns this country -- and the other 98% of us. Oh, there will be outliers in the media coverage, to be sure. The media has a class (caste?) system, too. Bloggers and netroots keep self-described “bourgeois” media types honest.

As Uncle Joe Biden said:

To show just how bankrupt the Republicans are, two icons of conservative laissez-faire economics, former Ayn Rand groupie Alan Greenspan and David Stockman, architect of the original Reagan voodoo economics, came out in vehement opposition to extending the Bush tax cuts. David Stockman was Reagan’s wunderkin who started cutting taxes for the rich and implementing the Laffer napkin “supply-side” economics. Stockman was as responsible as any person for 20 years of disastrous Republican economic policies, which gutted our manufacturing base and shipped millions of good-paying jobs overseas, never to return.

Stockman later recanted “trickle-down” and admitted it was a fraud. Alan Greenspan has a similar story. After decades pimping laissez-faire, deregulation, exotic financial instruments, downplaying deficits and singing the praises of “self-regulating” markets, he appeared shell-shocked as he tried to account for the economic collapse during a Congressional hearing. Stockman and Greenspan are atoning for their sins, which is little comfort to the millions of lives they helped destroy. It’s a process reminiscent of McNamara’s mea culpa on Vietnam; at least they have an important perspective to contribute to the historical record.

In truth, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire isn’t really that much at all to ask the gilded class -- America’s oligarchy -- to give up in order to save the middle class and maintain our economic recovery, that we may prosper as a nation. Actually, it’s the patriotic thing to do. Shameless, selfish, greedy Republicans keep playing the same damn broken record after throwing the country into the ditch by voting for the original tax cuts using reconciliation. Remember how they were screaming last year that reconciliation to pass healthcare was undemocratic, an abuse of power, the end of the Republic, etc.? Well, that’s how they passed the tax cuts for their rich friends 10 years ago, and because they used reconciliation, the tax cuts had a ten-year expiration date. Well, the results are in: The Clinton surplus turned into a trillion-plus dollar deficit, close to zero job growth after 23 million jobs created under Clinton, and a near-economic collapse which shrank 6% in Bush’s last year and was bleeding 170,000 jobs a month when President Obama took office.

If Teddy Roosevelt were around to see what these Republicans are doing, and attempting to do, he’d call them malefactors of political power and traitors to the public good and the Constitution. He would be enraged. And with good reason.