Saturday, September 25, 2010

SICKO Teabagger Sharron Angle Comes Out Against Children With Autism

Whenever I see one of this callous, heartless woman's tirades, it's like a mind-melt — I draw a blank. Sharron Angle is so utterly despicable, so loathsome, so frigid, that I have a hard time imagining such people actually existing in civilized society.

Here's what you can do with your IN-surance, Sharron: Take advantage (for your sake and ours) of your policy's mental health coverage; you could be in urgent need of anti-psychotic meds. THEN, you can fold up your IN-surance and put it where the sun don't shine.

Now I'll share what some others had to say about this:

“Nevada US Senate candidate Sharron Angle has used some exceedingly crass and callous rhetoric while articulating her extreme and dangerous agenda, but none is as malevolent and compassionless as the newly-unearthed comments of her mocking and scapegoating health coverage for those suffering with autism.”

-Talking Points Memo
 “Like most ideologically rigid self-centered people, Angle views her life as completely under her control. She may credit God as the one doing the driving, but she smugly believes that God likes her better than those people who have been dealt shitty hands. Why should she share – even fractionally – in the cost of covering an unplanned pregnancy or autism when God has afflicted other people with these punishments and not her? Rather than thinking “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” Sharron Angle goes through life with an attitude that challenges she hasn’t had to face are other people’s problem.”

- Leanne, Blue Wave News
“Angle might do well to remember that one of her heroes — Jesus of Nazareth — didn’t have leprosy, wasn’t blind and had full use of his limbs, yet was concerned about people who did have those ailments. In fact, he felt it was part of his mission in life to heal them. Yes, it’s a far different situation from the government mandating health-insurance requirements. But there’s a common thread running through both: Human compassion. And there sure as hell shouldn’t be air quotes around that.”

- Nevada blogger Steve Sebelius 

Bill Maher Whacks The Rich: "GREEDY ASSHOLES"

New Rule: The next rich person who publicly complains about being vilified by the Obama administration must be publicly vilified by the Obama administration. It's so hard for one person to tell another person what constitutes being “rich,” or what tax rate is “too much.” But I've done some math that indicates that, considering the hole this country is in, if you are earning more than a million dollars a year and are complaining about a 3.6% tax increase, then you are by definition a greedy asshole.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Democracy or Plutarchy: Your Choice, People

Do you ever feel like we should have some form of appropriate punishment to shame the rich for destroying our country, destroying the middle class, shipping our jobs overseas, waging a war of money, influence, privilege, and misplaced entitlement on the people — because they can — then bitching that their taxes are too high and buying themselves a compliantly corrupt government with their deep pockets? Maybe we can’t bring back the guillotine, but an updated form of public humiliation in the town square, e.g., dunk-a-millionaire or a pie in the face, could at least give us some measure of satisfaction.

I realize they’re not all the same, but the filthy rich with a social conscience can be counted on one hand. Most of them are self-made entrepreneur types, and you know who they are. The most outrageous Paris Hilton types are the parasites who inherited their wealth. They’re so craven they even brag about it, buying political office, a Senate seat just so they can become government agents to steal even more from the people. Like John Raese from West Virginia, who isn’t the least embarrassed to openly advocate for the privileged few:
“I made my money the old-fashioned way, I inherited it. I think that’s a great thing to do. I hope more people in this country have that opportunity as soon as we abolish inheritance tax in this country, which is a key part of my program.
West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the union, with an average household income of $38,000 and an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent. And this bastard is arrogantly boasting of a campaign plank to enrich himself. Then we learn today that 91 percent of the $52 million contributed to Karl Rove’s political operation to elect Republicans nationwide is being funded by three billionaires. Three.

Can anyone spell plutocracy; or is it an oligarchy we’re headed for? Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. Oligarchy is government by the few. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy. Okay, that makes sense, don’t you think, teabaggers (tools)? After all, your leader, Glenn Beck, is himself a plutocrat.

This theme has been coursing through our political conversation lately, with two excellent columns by Paul Krugman of the New York Times, my favorite columnist, speaking of a new phenomenon, the angry rich. He nailed it, but I remember first noticing it with Mort Zuckerman, once considered a moderate billionaire, owner of the New York Daily News. His TV appearances on the McLaughlin Group and the business channels are usually sedate affairs. But when he went on the Ed Show on MSNBC, with progressive pro-labor host Ed Schultz, Zuckerman launched into an anti-Obama tirade that was completely out of character for him and totally out of the blue. He said his friends and associates in the business community were feeling put-upon by President Obama, that this was the most anti-business administration in history, a major rant. When Schultz noted that the President had been soft on Wall Street, setting few conditions on the bailouts and caving on extravagant bonuses, Zuckerman brushed it all aside without a counter-argument except a prolonged whine that business felt as if they were being singled out and scapegoated by the Obama Administration.

All of which was nonsense. At that moment, it seemed pretty clear that Zuckerman was putting on an act. The question was — why? Parallel events clarified the bigger picture: First, there was the Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, which now permits unlimited funding of political campaigns by corporations. Second, Wall Street contributions to Democrats ahead of the midterm elections completely dried up, while secretive meetings with GOP House and Senate leaders were taking place. Third, the banks and corporations colluded in sitting on vast amounts of cash, which could have been used to further spur the economy with job creation and investments in plant and equipment. Ed mentioned this, rightly calling it un-American for corporations to prolong the economic pain for short-term political gain. Zuckerman uttered the same line echoed by all Republican candidates in justifying tax cuts for the rich: There’s too much “uncertainty” out there for corporations to loosen the purse-strings and start investing in jobs and business expansion. Riiiight. Fourth, the super-rich, represented by their able spokesman, wanted at all costs to preserve their Bush tax cuts. It was pure greed and a twisted sense of entitlement; nothing else. They lost the argument with the people, because the President still had a bigger bully pulpit than Mort, but managed to make Democrats in the Senate flinch, such is their power of intimidation, backed by unlimited money.

Lasty, the corporations were gearing up for an unprecedented takeover of the House and Senate, and they needed political cover for their schemes in the form of a vigorous pushback. Who better than Mort Zuckerman to deliver the message to the enemy camp, which had always given him a good reception. Zuckerman’s theatrical whine, with much gesticulation and faux outrage, took Schultz by surprise. He didn’t quite know what to make of such a ridiculous argument against an administration whose economic top dogs, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner, were Wall Street insiders of the Rubin school and architects of the deregulatory financial mess we were in. If anything, they acted as a backstop against the more reform-minded progressives who wanted to nail Wall Street and who saw the financial crisis as an opportunity to institute wide-ranging reforms. Summers and Geithner put the brakes on, which should have pleased Zuckerman, and probably did, although he acted as if they were Marxists. (Glenn Beck is a useful tool for his fellow multi-millionaires.)

Paul Krugman nailed the phony Republican “pledge” to the rich and corporate interests, by the numbers that just won’t add up. Arianna Huffington spoke of a third world America. Krugman calls it a banana republic, if the GOP comes to power and succeeds in blocking the President's agenda and the ability of Democrats to continue making steady progress on the economy and health care. They are both right. The rich don’t care; this globalized world without borders is their oyster.

The die was cast. Intense corporate lobbying served to dilute some of the strongest measures in the financial reform bill, including derivatives regulation, stronger oversight, and curbing CEO salaries and bonuses. The consumer protection agency survived by a whisker as the corporations committed millions and hundreds of lobbyists to the breach. Another reason for Zuckerman's rant was the clear and present danger of a revived SEC enforcement arm after eight years of neglect under George W. Bush, setting its sights on Wall Street malefactors of great wealth. The great irony in this, is that for all of the Democratic Party's faults, and they are legion, the American people are poised to vote the fox into the henhouse at a critical time in our history, when the country is most vulnerable to de facto rule by a plutarchy.

The choice in this election is not between the Democratic Party and a Republican Party invaded by Tea Party snatchers; it is between democracy and plutarchy. It is between government of, for, and by the people, or government by the wealthy few.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More MSNBC Cutting Edge Journalism

Our erstwhile media buddies, Norah O’Donnell and Luke Russert, were at it again, contributing to the delivery of distorted news by whitewashing the Republican campaign of misinformation. I think Norah got the message; she actually behaved more like a journalist, rather than secret cheerleader for a Republican freak show in Congress that overpriced media newsreaders privately hope for. Keeps ‘em in the ratings and Norah’s  colleagues in the money. Contessa gets a pass; she’s got good instincts, a good BS radar, and talks back more assertively than some others.  I say again: Farm Dylan Ratigan and his show back to C-razyNBC and give Contessa his slot. Your ratings will improve. Believe.

(Plus she’s a lot easier on the eyes than that boffo Ratigan, with that ridiculous mop of curls on his head to match his ridiculous views.)

Credit Norah, she was zipping along, nailing Republican “pledge”-master on the specifics of what parts of the Affordable Health Care Act provisions taking effect today Repuplicans would repeal:
  • Prohibiting denial of coverage for children with preexisting conditions – yes or no?
  • Free preventive care – yes or no?
  • Keeping kids on parents’ coverage until age 26 – yes or no?
And so on. Thumbs-up, Norah.

But then, as Norah brought up Bertha Coombs from (suspected wingnut infestation site) CNBC, she did not correct Coombs for repeating the pejorative term used by wingnuts for the healthcare bill: “Obamacare.” There is no such thing. It is either the healthcare bill or the Affordable Health Act.

For the piéce de résistance, naturally, Norah called on our favorite MSNBC media tool, Luke Russert, to serve up another gem. Asked why so many Americans still believe outrageous myths about the healthcare bill, e.g., it will add to the deficit and includes death panels, Luke replied: “both Republicans and Democrats” blame it on “third party” groups for running an effective campaign of misinformation.

Indeed? That’s like serving up a half-loaf as the whole truth. Yes, powerful corporate Astroturf groups have been blanketing the airwaves with lies and misinformation designed to defeat healthcare reform on behalf of insurance companies and corporate interests. But Republicans have then used these lies as their talking points to reinforce the misinformation. Um Luke, I know you’re busy cultivating GOP sources … but here’s your patrón promoting the “death panels” lie.

There’s still time to wean yourself of bad pseudo-journalism. Repeat after me, Luke. Republicans are L.I.A.R.S. Can you say that? Or have you forgotten it was Mama Grizzly, Michele Bachmann, Chuck Grassley, and your patron saint, John Boehner, who were promoting these lies. And please. Stop insulting our intelligence.

The media’s true patriotism is shown by being a fierce watchdog on behalf of the public over powerful government, specious and corporate interests; not by wearing American flag lapel pins. symbolism is only important for politicians concerned with optics; not for real journalists. The watchdog thing is practically nonexistent. The Luke lapel thing might start a trend in this age of pseudo-journalism.

Norah … better. But still not out of the doghouse. Luke … pffttt.  Be well, indeed.

LASTLY, note to Chris Jansing at MSNBC: (Note to self: Zenlike to avoid getting upset.)

When Republican Congressman Cassidy says tort reform was scored by the nonpartisan CBO as saving $54 billion, the only specific thing he uttered in the entire interview, it's your job to tell him that the CBO scored the healthcare bill as saving $130 billion the first ten years and $1.3 trillion over 20 years while covering 95 percent of  the legal population.

How can you not know this (or not have these facts on hand) and nail these bastards when they start using CBO numbers? it's your job to know the facts and ask the right questions! Remember, when Republicans start using the CBO, “what's good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Do your fucking jobs, dammit!

The Year of The Political IDIOT: The Day After

The day after President Obama met with Americans at a suburban Virginia family’s backyard to share stories of how the Affordable Health Care Act provisions effective today help real people immediately, Republicans unveiled their “pledge” to repeal healthcare reform, extend tax cuts for the richest 2 percent, and a host of not-so-secret provisions. Republicans said they came up with their “pledge” by listening to the American people — as if we’re an amorphous mass not represented by a Democratic Congress and a President we elected with 53 percent of the vote.

Actually, the GOP “pledge” was written by Brian Wild, a Boehner aide who was a lobbyist for AIG ($740,000), Andarko Petroleum ($800,000), Comcast ($1.1 million), Exxon ($1.3 million), Pfizer ($625,000) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as part of its $34 million lobbying package. Ironically, while Tea Party morons were foaming at the mouth over possible Romanoff Czars in the Obama Administration, John Boehner is not in the least constrained by Obama’s self-imposed bar on hiring lobbyists. You know, teabaggers, it’s that whiff that you’re beholden to the corporate special interests that fund your racist anti-American activities.

Cutting through the “haze of war” bullshit (per our favorite witch), Republicans are pledging to slash taxes for millionaires and billionaires, explode our deficit, privatize Social Security and Medicare, repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, roll back financial reforms, increase defense spending without specifying any offsets and, if they do not get their way, shut down government and investigate the Obama Administration, provoking frivolous Constitutional crises. This is the Republican/Tea Party’s real and largely unspecified (in its for-public consumption propaganda document) agenda. These hypocrites and traitors (defined as deliberately working to undermine the public good and the national interest while waging all-out war on the American people and the middle class) talk a good game but refuse even to pass pay-go legislation.

So now it’s the day after, and the Republican wannabe-Speaker John Boehner and his bumbling lieutenants, no doubt reacting to the President’s forays outside Washington, decided to unveil their “pledge” to Americans at a hardware and lumber store in Virginia, too. If the President goes to Virginia to talk about healthcare, well, that’s where the Republicans need to go. That’s fine except, as the New York Times pointed out:
“Republican members of Congress decided to announce their pledge at a hardware and lumber store in Sterling, Va., just outside Washington’s Beltway, to try to symbolize their anti-Washington themes.

But that decision has also provided another line of attack for the critics, who gleefully pointed out that the small business chosen for the announcement would almost certainly benefit from many of the economic programs Mr. Obama proposed and Republicans fought.

The store probably qualifies for tax credits to provide health care to employees and to hire unemployed workers. It can take advantage of special expensing rules and additional depreciation.

The small business bill just passed in the Congress — over the objections of most Republicans — would allow the company to write off $500,000 in equipment investments and its owner would receive a tax cut worth about $6,000 on the first $250,000 in profits.”
The Tea Party constituency wasn’t impressed either. Blogger Erick Ericksson wrote in the right wing site Red State that “this is perhaps the most ridiculous thing to come out of Washington since George McClellan.” Oh, I don’t know. McClellan built up the Army of the Potomac into a professional fighting force that went on to defeat Robert E. Lee. He was just a bad fighting general who was hyper-reluctant to commit his finely drilled troops to battle. My pick is Newt Gingrich; it’s self-evident. Here’s Ericksson:
“These 21 pages tell you lots of things, some contradictory things, but mostly this: it is a serious [sic] of compromises and milquetoast rhetorical flourishes in search of unanimity among House Republicans because the House GOP does not have the fortitude to lead boldly in opposition to Barack Obama.

This document proves the GOP is more focused on the acquisition of power than the advocacy of long term sound public policy. All the good stuff in it is stuff we expect them to do. What is not in it is more than a little telling that the House GOP has not learned much of anything from 2006.”

Meanwhile, (for Glenn Beck) as Republicans unveiled their pledge to save us from communist bedbugs, shocking Video has emerged of SOCIALIST Obama Meeting With a MARXIST Cell of healthcare-challenged Americans:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

‘Senator Pothole’ Goes NY Postal With Fox Racist — And It’s a Thing of Beauty

Even if you disagreed with Alfonse D’Amato on the issues and found him a pain in the ass more often than not, those familiar with the three-term senator from New York had a grudging admiration for his pluck and outrageous combativeness. Al D’Amato was the quintessential working class ethnic Italian from Brooklyn. And he clung to office in what today we call a “Blue State” as a fierce infighter.

It’s not easy for a Republican to be elected senator from New York, let alone three times. Al had to work extra hard to stay on top, hence the nickname Senator Pothole, for his delivery of constituent services. D’Amato wore the nickname with pride. New York Magazine once ran a cover story entitled “Senator Pothole” with, you guessed it, a close-up of a New York City street pothole.

D’Amato haters used the nickname as a pejorative, like the unsubtle Al ‘Put It In the Back Seat’ D’Amato. There were persistent rumors of mob ties, especially with Al’s brother Armand, but nothing ever stuck. D’Amato’s constituents didn’t much care anyway, as long as he kept those services coming. In this sense he was like the Dapper Don, John Gotti, a local working class hero sticking it to establishment Manhattanites and The Man.

New Yorkers love a scrapper, and Al fit the bill. They loved his abrasive manner, his speech impediment and whaddya-whaddya in-your-face Brooklyn accent. There was an element of high political theater to his attacks. During the O.J. Simpson trial he once used a mock Japanese accent to impersonate Lance Ito, the presiding Japanese American judge. He had to apologize on the Senate floor. He also referred to the portly Democratic Congressman from New York, Jerry Nadler, as “Congressman Waddler” and did a duck walk to embellish the slur. He apologized for this, too.

Back when filibusters were of the old-fashioned “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” talk till you drop variety, Al D’Amato once filibustered a bill by reading the District of Columbia phone book. He filibustered a bill that would have cost upstate New York 750 jobs by singing “South of the Border (Down Mexico Way).” D’Amato holds the record for the second and seventh longest filibusters ever recorded in the United States Senate.

But for all his quirks and often outrageous conduct, Al D’Amato was a conservative Republican who could break the mold and work across the aisle in surprising ways. In 1993, he was one of only three Republicans to vote to allow gays to serve openly in the military. That’s three more Republicans than voted today, 17 years later, in the failed effort to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. In 1996, he sided with Democrats to extend federal protections in ending hiring discrimination against gays. Reflecting his working class — albeit Archie Bunker working class — roots, D’Amato was strongly pro-labor. When one of his opponents called him a fascist, D’Amato made the most of his faux personal injury and offense, suggesting it was an attack on his Italian heritage. Naturally ‘Il Duce’ won re-election in a tight race. It took Chuck Schumer to finally end Al D’Amato’s run by giving him a taste of his own medicine: In the heat of the campaign Al called Chuck a “putz-head,” which means “fool” or “penis-head” in Yiddish. Chuck turned the tables of personal outrage on Al, consolidating the Jewish vote. Almost certainly, D’Amato appreciated Schumer’s right-back-atcha political stab.

So it comes as no surprise that when Al D’Amato turned up on a Fox political show he tore into a scummy racist of the dime-a-dozen type they host day-in and day-out. It was like the Al D’Amato of old, and yes, it was a thing of beauty:

Postcript: Alfonse D’Amato may not be a progressive’s cup of tea, but he done good here in his inimitable style. D’Amato has four children from a prior marriage and two children, a boy and a girl, born in 2008 and 2009 from his current marriage. He is 73. (Shrugs) Hey. What else is there to say?

Another Luke Russert Gem

Intrepid MSNBC Congressional Correspondent Luke ‘The Force Is Not With Me’ Russert came up with another pseudo-journalistic gem on the upcoming cloture vote to begin the process of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Ending DADT, he said, is an issue that “excites Democrats, and fires up the base.” Um Luke … I realize you might be too busy seeking access and reading GOP talking points to fill out your reports, but in case you missed it: 78 percent of Americans favor repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, according to a new CNN poll. Some Democratic “base.” Nice touch, though, with the American flag lapel pin. Unfortunately, it can also signal TOOL, especially for aspiring independent journalists who have on occasion been called “unpatriotic” and “enemies” for bucking government. You do know you’re not an arm of the government? Luke?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Witchy Woman, Your MAKER Bill Maher Awaits You. Please Please Go? – A MUSICAL TRIBUTE

Christine O’Donnell cancelled her appearances on the Sunday political talk shows, with her campaign saying she was “exhausted.” Hmm … This sounds familiar; where have I heard it before? Oh right! Her fellow teabagger Rand Paul cancelled his Meet The Press booking after Rachel Maddow savaged him (in a “fair” interview, an exhausted Paul conceded later) over his views on the Civil Rights Act and other controversial issues.

From the Paul campaign:
“A spokesperson for the Tea Party-endorsed candidate informed NBC News late Friday afternoon that an exhausted Paul was canceling his interview on Sunday's Meet The Press.
From the O’Donnell campaign:
“Late Friday night, her campaign canceled saying O’Donnell was “exhausted” and had to return to Delaware. Saturday morning O’Donnell called me and said this: “I got triple-booked. I had been invited to go to church and then a picnic. I have to keep my priorities to Delaware voters.”
Is it just me, or does anyone else smell amateur hour here? For example, her campaign had the same canned excuse for running away from the national media as Rand Paul’s: His cancellation on MTP was only the 3rd guest in 62 years. Do you suppose Christine O’Donnell is the fourth? If not, was it another Tea Party/Republican extremist? Just a wild guess.

Joked O’Donnell to an audience of zombie supporters:
“How many of you didn't hang out with questionable folks in high school?” [Not dabbling in witchcraft. Hmm … I guess I was sheltered in high school.] “There's been no witchcraft since.” [Which begs the question: Exactly what witchcraft did O’Donnell partake of — are we to expect new revelations?] “If there was, Karl Rove would be a supporter now.”
Um Christine, I’ve got news for you: Karl Rove did endorse you the very next day. His conversion was so dramatic, even for a pathological liar like Rove, that we wondered in passing if he was under some kind of spell!

A Special Musical Tribute To Christine O’Donnell From THE THINKER Follows. ENJOY!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Adventures In TEA PARTY Campaigns: O'Donnell Thugs Get Up Close And Personal at Beck Rally

Here’s the setup: Christine O’Donnell and staff are on the Mall at the Glenn Beck rally, held on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s speech, reportedly shooting a campaign commercial. Two people described as “citizen journalists” start filming O’Donnell. She is seen briefly at the start of the video on the left, and heard speaking off-camera. The following video is described as: “Christine O'Donnell's supporters and staff do not approve of citizen journalists filming the “Citizen Politician”…” This is what happens next:

It’s a PUBLIC SPACE, and the O’Donnell staffer, realizing their thuggish behavior is being filmed, offers this lame excuse for it: “Hey, you guys are stalking.” The woman filming them replies: “I’m not stalking anybody. I’m here on the Mall making a video.”

Here’s what I’d like to know: Will Fox News call for an investigation of harassment and intimidation by O’Donnell campaign staffers of citizens exercising their First Amendment rights in a public place?
I seem to recall Fox went ballistic over a 30-second loop video of two black guys from the New Black Panther Party wearing berets and standing outside a polling place in a predominantly black neighborhood in Washington D.C. They were just standing there.

I wonder how those white wingnut limp noodles would react if the citizen journalists filming Christine just happened to be two strapping black guys:

Limp noodle 1: “Hey, I’m gonna check on the beverages and potato salad.”

Limp noodle 2: “Hmm ... I think I’ll join you. Uh ... carry on gentlemen.”

Can’t get enough of Christine O’Donnell’s kookiness? Here’s much more!