Friday, July 08, 2011

Fake Prime Minister Exposes Murdoch's Evil Empire: YOU GO, HUGH!

ACTOR Hugh Grant to defunct — good riddance! — News of the World (Features Editor) HACK Paul McMullen: "You guys have no morals, no scruples at all. You didn't care who got hurt as long as you are able to sell your newspapers for a lot of money. Your only motive was profit. You're not a journalist, you have no interest in journalism, it's just money money money. You should try real journalism because you're not an idiot, Paul ... You could probably do it!"

YES! Watch Grant slam the Murdoch News of The World sleazoid with absolute class. And read more about how the actor who played a Prime Minister broke the Murdoch Evil Empire scandal on his own initiative by taping a conversation with Murdoch media hack Paul McMullen. The video juxtaposition of the two — CLASS v. SLEAZE — is so stark, it tells you everything you need to know about Rupert Murdoch and, for that matter, FOX "News." It seems on those British shows they don't apply quite so much makeup as they do over here.

Quotable: Krugman On What Concerns Progressives About Obama

"It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth."
~ Paul Krugman in the New York Times, on "What Obama Wants"
Sometimes I wonder whether there's a conspiracy in the cable networks to keep certain views off the air. Clearly it's true with respect to academics of the left like Noam Chomsky. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, even in his non-confrontational geeky way, would consistently demolish the pompous musings of idiot pundit George F. Will. Suddenly, Krugman was no longer welcome anywhere within video range of Will. Nor has he been seen with great frequency anywhere else. There are few commentators on American politics today who can articulate the anti-Establishment outside-the-Beltway position with the authority and clarity of Paul Krugman. Here's more from Krugman:
"One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend’s presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: “Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.”

That’s three of the right’s favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn’t budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn’t “put the economy on sounder footing.” They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren’t holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they’re holding back because they don’t have enough customers — a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts.

In his brief remarks after Thursday’s meeting, by the way, Mr. Obama seemed to reiterate the Herbert Hooveresque view that deficit reduction is what we need to “grow the economy.”

People have asked me why the president’s economic advisers aren’t telling him not to believe in the confidence fairy — that is, not to believe the assertion, popular on the right but overwhelmingly refuted by the evidence, that slashing spending in the face of a depressed economy will magically create jobs. My answer is, what economic advisers? Almost all the high-profile economists who joined the Obama administration early on have either left or are leaving."
Why is Paul Krugman barred from making his voice heard on the great debates of the day beyond his New York Times columns?

American History Notes: Wingnuts Perpetuate America Teh STOOPID

As we've been on an American History meme lately, Rightwingville has served up more priceless faux Americana for our mirth and merriment, or at least for the amusement of those (a minority, unfortunately) who can tell historical fact from fiction.

American History Independence Day FAIL From Moron Joe. — The lingering question regarding Moron Joe remains: WTF is Mika doing there?! Considering the sorry cast of MJ characters, from Willie The Wingnut, Mike Barnacles, and Pat The Jolly Nativist to Moron Joe himself, they ALL revolve around Mika's Sun even though she, wisely, speaks the least.

Anyway, sometime in the wee hours of July 5 once again, I suspect, in a state of intoxication, Moron Joe shot off another one of his guest column contributions to POLITICO. Oh my.

Moron Joe starts off by pompously lecturing an Australian woman "that America has followed the same working formula for 235 years — order comes from chaos and moderation comes from the balancing of extremes." This, while "juggling" a copy of the Times in his hand, presumably because the Times promo of his show (ironically, I think) called it "revolutionary."

The woman "admitted she has never been able to figure out how America’s government works." A perfectly reasonable query, since most Americans, to varying degrees, share her puzzlement and express their disinterest by not voting. As the old saying goes, you get the government you deserve.

In Moron Joe's historical fairy tale, "order comes from chaos and moderation comes from the balancing of extremes," but slavery is never considered. In fact, the word is NEVER mentioned in his rambling POLITICO pablum. NOT ONCE. History, not just historians, will note that slavery was CODIFIED into the Constitution during the Constitutional Convention of 1789. The adopted Constitution also disenfranchised wide swathes of the American people, namely non-white males, females, and anyone who was not a property owner. "Order" and "moderation" indeed.

Wow. In the whitebread wingnut world of Moron Joe we now know what defines "moderation" and "balancing of extremes." Moron Joe does make a good point, though: Is the "spectacle" we see in Washington today "really so different when Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Madison chartered America’s course from 1776 to 1789?" It's puzzling why Moron Joe stopped America's "chartered ... course" at 1789, when the Constitution was adopted. Why not from 1776 to the present?

That's what I'd say. For better or worse. But then we'd have to consider the wrongs that were done in our name, slavery chief among them, which sprang from those Constitutional beginnings. And then to assign blame — or responsibility — the toil of modern historians, shunning the hagiographies, becomes an infinitely more complex and messy process.

Then Moron Joe breezily prances over the darkest moments of our history, sooo ... mincingly that I'm reminded of this song:

Somewhere between "canings on the floor of Congress" and "the issue of racial inequality [that] would pull at the fabric of our political institutions" was a wee li'l notable "issue" of CIVIL WAR that would claim 600,000 American lives, pit brother against brother, and effectively dissolve the union for the duration of the conflict. It led to certain sequel issues such as Jim Crow, "separate but equal" apartheid in America, which lasted ... ooh, another century give or take a few years; not to mention the lynchings which were part of good ole Southern culture — Moron Joe's culture — with a thematic undercurrent that isn't only the centuries-old struggle for racial justice and equality but freedom of opportunity and equality for ALL Americans.

In MoronJoeWorld that's all wrapped up in a neat little bow under the rubric of "the issue of racial inequality [that] would pull at the fabric of our political institutions." Moron Joe has missed his calling: He should be a member of the wingnut Texas Board of Education, rewriting our children's history textbooks!

Also lost in Moron Joe's ramblings was the Gilded Age of the late 1800s and early twentieth century which, despite Teddy Roosevelt's best efforts, had its inevitable outcome in the Great Depression. Not even mentioned, for obvious reasons. It happened on the Republicans' watch as a result of their recklessness and insane policies — not dissimilar from this current incarnation of the GOP — and it was up to a GREAT DEMOCRAT, the GREATEST PRESIDENT OF THE MODERN ERA, FDR, to SAVE THE NATION from the grip of the Great Depression, AND THE WORLD from the scourge of FASCISM.

But wait! We're not done. Moron Joe skipped, or rather vaulted, the ENTIRE Progressive Era and FDR's New Deal, which laid the foundation for modern America and the world superpower we have become — both economically and militarily — right up until another Democratic President, Bill Clinton, handed George W. Bush a budget surplus and the strongest economy in generations. Bush managed to squander all of it in less than three years, with the catastrophic results we face today. Our economy is in tatters. And yes, we can still project military power, but it's bankrupting us.

America's decline began with the presidency of Moron Joe's hero, Ronald Reagan. Maybe that's why he hasn't mentioned Reagan, along with FDR — it's hard to face the historical truth, when you know what it is in your heart of hearts, but are incapable of verbalizing it. It's okay, Joe. Let it out. It's never too late to admit the error of your ways.

Moron Joe wraps it all up with a laundry list of historical events, from human tragedies to death and war to pure human greed. From the assassinations to "Katrina, Lehman Brothers and scores of other events that could have sapped our nation’s strength." Are you saying these events didn't sap our nation's strength, Joe?

Donning his prophet's hat, Moron says: "But regardless of the latest ramblings from the America-is-in-Decline crowd, I assure you that we will be just fine." His proof? An article in the Wall Street Journal by an academic named Walter Russell Mead, who claims "the United States of America is better positioned to excel in the 21st Century than any nation on earth."

Wonderful. I feel better already. First, the "America-is-in-Decline crowd" Moron Joe disdains is working from empirical evidence that is incontestable. Furthermore, our decline is not irreversible, provided we take proven measures to turn our economy and our nation around. Second, Mead's speculative thesis based on faith in boundless entrepreneurial creativity sure to keep us on the cutting edge runs up against the harsh reality of our educational system falling behind every one of our competitors in the key fields of science, technology, and engineering.

One Mead critic said, quite eloquently, "The most dangerous enemy we have ever faced remains precisely where he has always been: within. If we are distracted from our highest ideals, from that which makes us most truly human, we will die. For where there is no vision, the people perish." It's Pogo's immortal line emblazoned in this poster for the First Earth Day:

Mead was being cute by half when he made this statement, clearly meant to be disparaging of a GREAT NATION (I know) but which falls flat on its logic: "Brazil may be the country of the future, but America is its hometown." King George III and his cohorts were smugly saying something similar of Mother England, regarding the American colonies. In fact, I'm certain they did given how relatively quickly they cut America loose. To this day, America's "hometown" has come to regret its decision.

Moron Joe's optimism is a "fine" sentiment. Everybody likes a cheerleader. Some even go on to become president. But his personal assurance and a speculative article in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal are hardly substitutes for reality. Would you buy a bridge from Moron Joe? If you did, you'd have to go through China, because that's where our bridges are being built nowadays.

It's kind of a Pollyanna determinism in which Moron Joe views history through rose-tinted glasses. He either completely ignores our darkest historical trials or ticks them off his fingers, as if they had no impact whatsoever on our nation. That's just absurd.

Historians have written 'what if?' scholarly essays, speculating on how history might have changed if certain events had a different outcome. Can Joe really say that we wouldn't be a better nation today if the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK had never happened? To cite just one example, Robert Kennedy, had he beaten Nixon in 1968, a distinct possibility, would have ended the Vietnam War years earlier, saving the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. Imagine the possibilities.

Sure, two centuries later, we've "proven equal" to Ben Franklin's admonition, "A Republic madam, if you can keep it." But on at least three occasions we've come to within a hair's breadth of losing it. And that's not even counting the Civil War, when our union was rendered asunder with ripples of "rancor" that have lasted to this day.

Have you heard of  Major General Smedley Butler?

Bachmann Wingnuts Make Wikipedia Editors Work Overtime ... AGAIN! — No sooner had we swatted away those know-nothing anti-history vermin trying to rewrite the Paul Revere Wikipedia site on Sarah Palin's behalf, that they're at it AGAIN, this time trying to cover up Michele Bachmann's historical ignorance with a pack of LIES. I don't know what's most offensive: That presidential candidates are SO IGNORANT of our history, or that their acolytes so DISRESPECT  history that they would damage it for everyone else just to protect one STUPID person and her twisted ideology.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The 14th Amendment To The Constitution: Some Call It The "Nuclear Option"

What say you, Teabaggers? Being such Constitutional experts, on a par with the President himself (who was a Constitutional Law professor), presumably you know what it says, right? RIGHT? It seems you've obsessed so much over Section 1 — "All persons born and naturalized in the United States ..." — you never made it down to Section 4:
"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."
Interestingly, our strait-laced Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, has taken to producing his own pocket Constitution and reading the 14th Amendment language in public. At least one Republican concedes it is a valid option for the President to invoke. What have the Constitution-loving Teabaggers said on this point?

The GRAND CAVE-IN ... Correction: "COMPROMISE"?

Thom Hartmann, the mild-mannered, annoyingly PC progressive radio talk-show host, believes President Obama still hasn't realized he's not dealing with those business and community factions in Chicago that, in his experience, he would bring together to craft mutually beneficial arrangements. Thom notes that the President doesn't understand he's dealing with a CRIME SYNDICATE, A MAFIA, in these Republicans, who DO NOT CARE if they tank the economy unless they get their way — they're "playing for keeps."

I Agree. What do you think? Will the President "GET IT" on time? Will he ever? He's striking his best Chicago negotiating posture. Mr. President, these ratbastards aren't interested in compromise and negotiation. They're RADICAL EXTREMISTS; they're IMMORAL; they're UNAMERICAN; THEY DO NOT REPRESENT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. Let's hope for the best and prepare for the worst from our President. Then we'll have to reassess. House Progressives are reportedly "furious" with President Obama and have drawn their own line in the sand. I hope Sunday doesn't turn into "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" metaphorically speaking, for liberals, progressives, independents and the American people.

The Republicans are perfectly willing to make this dead monster a BIG WINNER. What does that make them? I don't have to say it, do I?

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Keith, You Missed One! World's Worst, That Is ...

This reminds me of my favorite regular Countdown segment, "WORST PERSONS IN THE WORLD." James Inhofe, a MAJOR LEAGUE JERK, was so upset Keith named him "World's Worst Person" that he whined about it in a network interview. Here's another opportunity for Keith to give this IDIOT his personal WPW agita treatment:

New Jersey's (World's) DUMBEST Politician: Stephen Sweeney!

Have you ever wondered why New Jersey is the butt of regional jokes and downright contempt approaching a kind of Manhattanite pedestrian road rage when they spot a NJ license plate on a pedestrian car traversing their upscale neighborhoods? Or the target of fat bully jokes when they see pictoons of their super-sized governor tipping over the state chopper, like this:

Well, there's a reason. Democratic State Senate Leader Stephen Sweeney just perpetuated the stereotype for another generation, or two, with this EXTREME example of COSMIC JERSEY STUPIDITY. This Einstein (how did he EVER rise to his top "leadership" position?) was INSTRUMENTAL in securing passage of Governor Christie's union-busting bill, by stabbing the unions in the back in exchange for program "sweeteners" the Governor "promised" him in a back room quid pro quo.

So what happens? As soon as Christie gets his signature bill signed, he uses his line item veto power to SLASH every single one of Sweeney's budget sweeteners. A fifth grader, knowing Christie's MO, could have predicted this one.


Cenk The Meek Better Watch Out ...

Yo, Cenk ... While you're slurping oysters off the half shell in some swank Manhattan restaurant with your buddy Dylan — or whatever you boutique Libs and shapeshifting Libertarians do — the Reverend Al IS ON FIRE sitting in on your show, having given it a well-needed transfusion of good old-fashioned Liberalism. If you're not careful your best pal Al will snatch that Turkish rug right out from under your feet, while Chris Hayes waits in the wings. Please don't hurry back. We can do without the wingnuts you so cherish as guests on your intervention hour.


What are the odds President Obama will stand fast against the INSANITY of the Republican Party and refuse to sell our country, our values, our American social compact, the very definition of who we are, down the river? Democrats and Independents, from Bernie Sanders to Bill Clinton, have pleaded (Bernie) and advised him (Bill) not to blink.

So where, and how, will the President go? Well, hair follicle experts may have noticed he hasn't tried to hide his gray. Is that a play for sympathy? Others immediately invoked the spirit of Harry Truman to celebrate, somewhat wistfully, the President's apparent newly discovered backbone. Chris Matthews, as good a weather vane as there is of Washington-Think for outside-the-Beltway consumption, immediately seized on the Truman metaphor to try to will best results:
"Give 'em Hell, Barry. When Truman stood there at 36% in the polls and told the Republican Congress to get back to work [he] fired up the Democrats by challenging Republicans to fulfill their own promises. Here is Obama doing the same, demanding the party of complaint, joining jobs instead of going after unions and other items on their ideological to-do list like Medicare and protecting the wealthy. I think I know why the President let loose today. There was a poll for people ready to hear just what he is saying. no matter what you hear on Fox, a strong majority blames the current economic condition on two factors. the Bush administration, and Wall Street. only one in 12 blame President Obama."

Um, Chris ... The President didn't say anything about jobs. As for Medicare (and Medicaid) he sent all sorts of signals he's ready to cut (and run?), cut (and slash?), i.e., leave his "sacred cows" at the door. Secondly, Mr. Obama keeps insisting, in a nauseating repetition of a presidential pattern of cave-ins to the Republicans, that they actually are good faith negotiating partners. That's a tired old broken record, sir, and we're sick of hearing the same defeatist tune. The American people are WAY AHEAD OF YOU. It's surprising you have such tin ears, given their prominence.

Most of us are flummoxed by the President's attitude. President Obama invited us to call him "naïve," but we know he's too smart to be constantly steamrolled by the GOP. Or is he? Even David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the Times, was disowned by the RADICAL EXTREMISTS after he wrote the TRUTH about the Republican Party.

But every so often, even a guy like Chris inadvertently stumbles upon the truth ... like a broken clock. His blind faith in "Give 'Em Hell, Barry" is buttressed by the poll he cited. Back in the day, principled leaders refused to be governed by polls. Even foreign leaders, in the occasional appearance at Meet The Press, Temple of the Idiot Punditocracy, would remark that their countries are not run by polls. But Harry Truman remains the Gold Standard. As Chris noted, he stood at 36 percent in the polls when he challenged the Republicans. And he won! FYI, Chris, here's what Truman had to say about polls:
“How far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt? What would Jesus Christ have preached if he had taken a poll in the land of Israel? What would have happened to the Reformation if Martin Luther had taken a poll? It isn't polls or public opinion of the moment that counts. It's right and wrong and leadership.”
Has President Obama absorbed Truman's lesson, anyone? Blind faith in our 'fair weather Truman' may be enough for Chris but there's still that gnawing suspicion the President hasn't kicked his cave-in rep (not rap) as his greatest challenge awaits. The fate of our country literally hangs in the balance, on President Obama's resolve to stand fast to our most cherished values, yes if you will, Mr. President, our "sacred cows." So here's some AWESOME Blind Faith messaging for Mr. Obama:

Climate-Change-Is-A-Hoax Files: Giant Dust Storm Swallows Phoenix

Does anyone still think all the weird weather we're getting is normal?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Quotable: Bubba Has Good Advice For White House

"First, the White House could blink," Clinton said. "I hope that won't happen. I don't think they should blink."
~ Former President Bill Clinton, to current President Barack Obama.

From Bubba's mouth to God's ears. Does our fair weather "Give 'Em Hell, Barry" inspire much confidence beyond Chris Matthews's unshakable faith in His Barackness, that he won't cave at the eleventh hour, and sell US ALL (not Chris and the Idiot Punditocracy) down the river? Remember, Chris and his pals, including that imbecile Jessica Yellin over at CNN, will ONLY LOSE if a deal is not struck, and their various stock market investments turn into penny stocks and junk bonds. The wealthier they are, the harder they'll fall, save for some shady speculators in doomsday scenarios. That's how it is generally predicted if the U.S. defaults on its obligations. On the other hand, if President Obama and the GOP whack us in the middle class, as expected by the Idiot Punditocracy, all will be well with Chris and his CLASSMATES, as once again we're stuck with the bill for their excesses.

Casey Anthony Jury Reaches "Not Guilty" Verdict; Idiot Punditocracy "SHOCKED!" "STUNNED!" Etc.

Let me say from the outset that I have spent exactly a MILLISECOND or two on the gruesome details of this tragic case. A child is dead, so as lead defense counsel Jose Baez said, no one is "a winner." Quite apart from the disturbing granular details of this case is the equally disturbing fascination of the public at large with it — those who followed it blow-by-blow — and the Idiot Punditocracy, the half-baked TV lawyers who kept feeding the public its daily pound of flesh.

The whole thing was demeaning and disgusting, and as the oft-repeated justifiable French suspicion-turned-cliché about America, a shallow spectacle indeed. One voyeuristic member of the public camped outside the courtroom shed her crocodile tears about the verdict to the nearest camera "because I'm a mom myself." But the fact is, a jury of her peers found differently, confounding her and all who wanted "justice" for the child, and most outrageously, the Idiot Punditocracy itself. Immediately upon the verdict's announcement, they were clamoring on CNN and MSNBC and Fox for the jurors to come out and explain themselves. Fox practically blew a gasket. Unfortunately for our contemporary Panis Et Circenses jackals, the members of the jury had other ideas. They let it be known to a flabbergasted media gathered before empty juror seats labeled "JUROR #1, #2" and on down the line, through the court spokesperson, that they "are just not interested" in talking to the media, and further that their decision is an "ABSOLUTE, UNIVERSAL, UNEQUIVOCAL NO!" They also requested that the media respect their privacy. (What are the chances of that, hmmm?)

Capping this delicious slam on those who would prejudge a criminal case, having set themselves up as judge, juror and executioner, defense attorney Cheney Mason (love those dudes with notorious first last names) delivered an EPIC SCOLDING to the palpitating network news readers and their legal eagles, struggling to get a grip:
"I hope that this is a lesson to those of you having indulged in media assassination for three years — biased, prejudiced, and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be. I’m disgusted by some of the lawyers that have done this, and I can tell you that my colleagues from coast to coast and border to border have condemned this whole process of lawyers getting on television and talking about cases that they don’t know a damn thing about. That don’t have the experience to back up their words or the law to do it. Now you’ve learned a lesson. And we appreciate the jury, those of you that have been objective and professional, we like it. Others, we’ll be talking to again."
Biased, prejudiced, and incompetent talking heads saying what would be and how to be. This is a PERFECT definition of the Idiot Punditocracy. Moreover, they'll have to swallow their bigotry toward defense counsel Jose Baez, calling him a pedestrian "Columbo" type, and other insults, the next time a Latino attorney takes on a high profile criminal case.

Happy Independence Day, Everyone!

Hope you had a peaceful and festive Fourth of July.

And in that spirit I offer you this beautiful and inspirational speech by the greatest American president of the greatest generation. If we are ever to recover our greatness, we must return to those roots and preserve the America he left to us and our grandfathers sacrificed for us.

President Franklin Roosevelt's Flag Day speech: