Friday, February 17, 2012


MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY. It's a beautiful name. But, for a political show, it sounds, um, a tad elitist, academic, kinda wonkish ... And, uh, the hyphenation thing, thinking BBC ... Ah, it's okay I guess, for a working title.

But here's MY KILLER TITLE for MELISSA's new show:

IDIOT PUNDITOCRACY "Wisdom": "Sparta"!? WTF ...

It stems from this typical Beltway Media article. Check out its imposing graphic and intro subhead: "The Romney and Obama campaigns, mirror-image juggernauts, eye each other warily. “Big, disciplined, and ruthlessly efficient.” Okay.

It's a pro-Romney, ridiculously triumphalist propaganda piece — sourced by a GOP hack and a Hillary 2008 operative who has already proclaimed Romney the nominee — posing as an inside look with silly, often hilarious pseudo-insights such as these:
The officials’ experience has eliminated most of the kinks and leaks that dog more amateur operations, and each campaign is run like a kind of soulless machine — devoid of spontaneity, and utterly allergic to anything that takes them off message. 
Hmm ... That works. Especially the dog and "message" part. Brilliant.
Team Romney’s stingy record of access to the candidate, dubbed the “Mittness Protection Program,” has led Romney to go several days without taking reporters’ questions. Obama, meanwhile, uses technology to avoid the White House press corps. 
There's more than "stingy" in the MPP; It's more like unbridled staffer panic whenever Mittens has a mic thrust in his face. The President hasn't avoided the press at all. He's the President.
"The Romney campaign is adept at rolling out endorsements at exactly the right time, trying to step on their opponents' message...and being able to dominate the news cycle or grab it back if they feel like it's time," Daou said. "Clearly, that's something they learned from the Obama campaign."
Yeah, like the Christine O'Donnell and Donald Trump endorsements. Brilliant.
Alex Castellanos: “It is incredibly difficult to build overnight huge, multi-million dollar enterprises, businesses the size of major companies, and make them run efficiently. Both have demonstrated the ability to do that... and both campaigns have built cults around their candidates, seeing them as transformational leaders.
Staffers say Romney approaches politics with the same deliberate decision-making that made him a star in the investment consulting world. He crunches the numbers, then confidently makes his best bet supported by the data. To him, running a presidential campaign—like running anything else—comes down to simply math.
Please. Pass the shovel.
“To make a good movie, my Hollywood friends tell me, you want the hero and villain to be similar as possible, not as different as imaginable, because they are ultimately fighting for the same thing: money, power, or the girl,” Castellanos said. “[Obama and Romney] just come at the same goal from different directions. We are making a very good movie in 2012.”
Repugnant Republican values on display. Pass the BARF bag.
"Romney, like Obama, has tried to and succeeded to some degree in being able to be an extremely efficient attack candidate with a smile on his face," he said. "It never seems to come back to him."
It's easy when Romney denies the attacks and there are no fingerprints or disclosures to assign responsibility to Romney's SuperPac funders. It's easy to be a millionaire coward.
With two campaigns marked by striking message discipline—and two candidates who rarely roam off-script—every rare gaffe, no matter how small, will be a cue for the opponent to pounce.
"I think it will be a real battle," said Daou, looking forward to the general election. "This period has been good for President Obama, but I think once Romney becomes the nominee, it becomes a much tighter, closer, more hard-fought race."
"... once Romney becomes the nominee." Here it is, in a nutshell. The presumptuous, arrogant Beltway Media narrative masquerading as legitimate journalism to re-inculcate Romney's "inevitability."

What this tells me is that the idiots invested in such imagery don't really want to see Rick Santorum butt in and break it up. Therefore, as far as they're concerned, the die is cast, this goose is cooked, the cake is baked. Beltway clichés, off the top of my head, the latter from Chuckles Toddy whose ridiculous and annoying promo is become a nuisance of late.

Therefore, the state of Maine and its caucus makeover has tumbled down the rabbit hole in near-Beltway blackout. The Beltway narrative is a Romney-Santorum showdown in Michigan, with a huge Romney money advantage; not Romney critically hobbled by Ron Paul in Maine, sparking panic in the GOP Establishment as it scrambles furiously for Plan B to (a) get full throttle behind Santorum, or (b) avoid a brokered convention.

As the specter of Sarah Palin looms:

That woman is, indeed, AN IDIOT.

Speaking of, the Beltway Media narrative is all in with the inexorable political killing machine of the Romney SuperPac, variously described as the "Dresden carpet bombing," the "Death Star," and now, most aburd of all: "Sparta."

Here's why. Any student of Ancient History who knows about the Sparta-Athens rivalry would recognize the faulty metaphor, as it applies to Romney. Let's be clear: Romney and his SuperPac would be Athens, not Sparta. Athens though not known for its military prowess, was the political and cultural leader of Greek civilization, able to amass the necessary resources to win its foreign wars. Though defeated by the Spartans in the Pelloponesian war, Athens rallied in league with some "big donors" including foreign "assets" like Persia. Athens ally Thebes handed Sparta its first land defeat in the battle of Leuctra. It was the beginning of the end of Spartan "hegemony."

In our Civil War, Athens and its allies would be the Union side to the more colorful and flamboyant Confederacy. The South had the best generals and fiercest fighters but the North had unlimited industrial resources to grind down and eventually overwhelm the South. It had its good generals too, and soldiers who were just as brave as the rebels. Sparta, conversely, was a lean and mean fighting machine, with limitations. Most importantly, it was landlocked, lacking the natural resources, ports, and commercial wealth to sustain an empire.

Sparta's last stand at the Battle of Thermopylae against a massive invading Persian army is where its legend began. King Leonidas leading 300 Spartans and some 1,100 allies held off thousands of Persians, inflicting heavy casualties before finally being encircled and felled. But they had bought precious time for the Greek city-states to rally behind Sparta and defeat Persia in the Battle of Plataea. In a sense, the Spartan (another word for frugal) triumph saved Western Civilization from Persian imperialism.

The love and admiration of Sparta is known as "Laconophilia." Considering Mitt Romney's weird self-description as "severely conservative," this "Sparta" meme associated with his SuperPac's political warring ways may not be entirely incidental. Unfortunately for Mittens, the "severe" moniker which also means "spartan" didn't take given how ludicrous the word-match to the goofy candidate. Instead, it was severely mocked.

Sparta and its warrior class is the very antithesis of Romney and his SuperPac. They were austere, virtuous, disciplined, focusing on superior military training to overcome their enemies' advantage in  numbers. They practiced pederasty (polygamy ... hmm ... weighing, weighing) and looked more like OWS demonstrators, long-haired and unwashed, than Mitt Romney's country club pals.

"Sparta" — Really!? Here's the processed tripe that is consumed unquestioningly by the lazy idiots of the Beltway Media. It's as swollen a rotting political carcass as anything GOP spin hack Alex Castellanos is capable of regurgitating:
“Both are big, disciplined, ruthlessly efficient enterprises,” said Republican strategist Alex Castellanos. “Obama is not very good at being president, but he is relentless at wanting to be president. Romney’s campaign is similarly like a bulldozer. It overwhelms opponents tactically, with money, TV, and power, crushing movable objects with irresistible force.”
In a word: Bullshit. Sparta!? Pick your poison, Einsteins. Read your history.

As Iowa Went, So Goes Maine

Atención, gusanos y muchachas. This is where a close observation of the Idiot Punditocracy and the charlatans of the Beltway Media really pays off. Any news of the Maine caucus do-over this Saturday in Washington County? No? What about where the vote count results came up a big fat ZERO? No? Okay, let's try this: what about the state Republican Party finally caving, partially, promising to release the complete results of its hopefully non-doctored uncropped caucuses, but only after Super Tuesday? (See Rachel's lonesome report and memo below for explanation.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Male Chauvinist Pig(s) Hold a STAG (Republican) PARTY

Lest we forget to include Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Salem, MA — 1692) and the panel of male clerics re-enacting the Salem Witch Trials: "Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?" No kidding, this was the title of Issa's hearing. TRICK QUESTION: WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?

And here's Santorum's Sugar Daddy, back from the 19th century.


MSNBC rising star Alex Wagner continued her perilous journey through the world of politics, opining on this inflammatory statement by Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters: "I saw pictures of Boehner and Cantor on our screens (at the convention). Don't ever let me see again, in life, those Republicans in our hall, on our screens, talking about anything. THESE ARE DEMONS."

Alex wondered dorkily about demonic "semiotics" as resident animatronic GOPer Michael Steele, to Alex's right, called on Waters to "apologize immediately!" Then Alex got to the heart of the matter, mentioning the magic buzzword: OPTICS.

Try those special black sunglasses, Alex, and what Maxine saw will come into sharp focus:

This is what you'll see, Alex. A word of caution, though. Brace yourself when looking to your right:

Santorum's Millionaire Sugar Daddy Goes MEDIEVAL On Andrea Mitchell

Rick Santorum's SuperPac millionaire sugar daddy, Foster Friess, literally took Andrea Mitchell's breath away with this exchange about women and contraception on her show, highlights below:

FRIESS: "I get such a chuckle when these things come up ... People seem so preoccupied with sex, I think it says something about our culture. We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are. On this contraceptive thing, my gosh, it’s such inexpensive thing; back in my days they used Bayer Aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly."

Andrea was stunned: "Excuse me, I’m trying to catch my breath from that, Mr. Friess, frankly. Let’s change the subject to …"

FRIESS : chuckes … HA-HA…

Andrea soldiered on, as the good professional she is, pressing Friess on Santorum's social policy should he become president. 

FRIESS: "Who cares! ...The media has created this extreme idea ... I walk into country clubs ... tell people this whole idea of extremism is some kind of bizarre terminology when [we] say marriage should be between a man and a woman."

Rick Santorum's Conception Of CONTRACEPTION?

PS — Democratic women members of Congress walked out on a Congressional hearing on contraception in protest of the religious panel on a women's issue being composed entirely of men.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The long goodbye? Wouldn't matter much if not for the Murdoch Brit retread who replaced him. HE-HE, HE-HE. 
We'll be missing that cackle, for sure ... HE-HE, HE-HE.

Quotable: Martin Bashir On The Lizard King's SEX LIFE

"We know you're very accomplished in that area ..."

At least there's that, or we might start thinking Dylan uses his show as a platform to get laid ...

His rabid rants proclaim the "false equivalence" Democratic Rep. John Larson, a portrait of civility, properly termed them; Dylan called him a liar; projecting his own LIE by falsely claiming to be neither liberal nor conservative, when only a few weeks ago he described himself as a "conservative" and not for the first time. So, he's a liar and a hypocrite.

Self-evident is Dylan's ill-concealed loathing of President Obama, calling the President, sarcastically, a "master of rhetoric ..."

Meanwhile, the supposed liberals and progressives sitting in only just emerge from their slumber to push back, warily, knowing what a mercurial jerk this guy is; "sarcasm noted," said Karen Finney, who could tear this dude from limb to limb if she so wished; instead, they humor him.

And Imogen gets all karate-choppy quoting Margaret Thatcher. Just what we need, Brit wingnuttery.

Best comment on Dylan in a bogus Hill story suggesting he'd turned a new leaf:
"He's a pompous ass, zen or not. His 'new persona' as populist savior; trashing and gutting all and sundry as he swoops in to rescue the day attests to the large cranium and his inflated self-image. He is still an angry and disrespectful bore who, while denigrating the President hasn't the guts to call conservatives on their lies when they speak to him live."
Not only live, although his rudeness to Democrats, notably to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Larson, is one of the few consistencies about the guy. It's amazing, the classy restraint shown by Rep. Larson, who spoke the simple truth, that Democrats are better, much better than Republicans for the 99% of us. Anyone can debunk Ratigan's sophistry and lies, point-by-point, but what's the point, he's not about the truth. In contrast, the classless Obama-loathing in its utter sophistry, is the Lizard King's coin of the realm and running narrative.

Larson's classy restraint was even more amazing considering no one has called for Ratigan to apologize. Well, I think he should. But it wouldn't be in character.

Ron Paul Postcript: We WUZ Robbed!

Liberals should not abide our democratic process being trampled by the Romney campaign and Republican Party Establishment, whether the target is Ron Paul or anyone else, as they desperately try to drag Mittens across the finish line first. Ron Paul's dedicated followers deserve better than to have their efforts thwarted by dirty tricks from the Romney campaign and the Party apparatus. We should all care, because this is a dry run for the most serious voter suppression schemes since passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today it's Ron Paul and Rick Santorum in the dirty electioneering cross hairs (Newt took the first hit); when the general election rolls around, Democratic voters will be disenfranchised next by the hundreds of thousands. Ron Paul could well have won the Maine caucus had his followers been allowed to vote in the three counties where the caucus was cancelled. Mittens should not be allowed to squirm away from his heavy-handed SuperPac/GOP Establishment dirty tricks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TARMAC TALES OF HORROR: President Visits Red States Held Hostage By Governor Freaks

FIRST, deplaning in Arizona, President Obama tried to sidestep the WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST, finger-waggin' LIAR Jan Brewer: "Me President, you Jan. Step aside, madam." Tomorrow, Mr. Obama returns to Wisconsin to visit a union Master Lock factory, where Limited Edition Union-Buster locks are being crafted to jail Governor Scott Walker and his scandal-ridden administration.

Ouch. Gray Lady Trashes Grammys ...

I make it a point of not watching award shows, except for the Oscars. When it comes to music, which has such a personal and subjective appeal, doubly so. To say award shows are arch and pretentious would be an understatement. The anointing of best whatever 'artists' with Grammys is done by something called the "Recording Academy," which sounds disturbingly Orwellian. And it should be noted that the recording and movie industries are prime movers of the SOPA bill in Congress, which would effectively censor and kill the internet as we know it. So fuck them, already.

I prefer catching the highlights and posting them — see below. It's a timesaver. I don't have to be told that the Boss is losing his touch or that the Foo Fighters are overhyped and overrated. But Adele is Adele and she's still worth a look-see, even though five of those thingys is a bit much. The Times review spares no delicate feelings or bruised egos: "for the umpteenth time, the Grammys went with familiarity over risk, bestowing album of the year honors (and several more) on an album that reinforced the values of an older generation suspicious of change ... That it was done this year under a veneer of progressivism — the anointing of a modern young star as a marquee talent — only makes it more loathsome." Ouch.

Read on. It gets better. The show "went out of its way to uphold antiquated values. The induction of Adele into a not-so-secret society will be cheered as a triumph over artifice, and what an unfortunate thing that will be." Ow! Now that really hurts. He might as well be calling the "night's theme of old school Puritanism" a middle class petty bourgeois extravaganza, or worse, CPAC entertainment. Okay, I get it. It's corporatist, preternaturally conservative, and ancient like the Republicans. Here's the kicker; it's just like the Sunday talk shows! ... Except that the instrument played by the Sunday peddlers is misinformation: "Forget women. Forget black or Latin stars or those of any other ethnic background. In a year in which the Grammys could have reasonably tried to sell progress as a narrative, it chose to end the night with a phalanx of older white men playing guitars, a battalion guarding the rickety old castle from attack, a defiant last stand of yesteryear."

Not Going Anywhere: It'll take More Than A Little Scorching To Render This Baby Obsolete.

But then Times reviewer Jon Caramanica goes a 12-chord bridge too far: "It will take decades, probably, before guitars cede their Grammy primacy, even if they’re losing it everywhere else." I don't think so. From Robert Johnson to Jack White, if there's an instrumental royal lineage in popular music, the guitar is king, the monarch whose "primacy" cannot be endangered by yet another pop music "trend" or the synthetic, overproduced garbage that passes for music these days — not as long as the Grammys are around. So lighten up, Jon. Adele's extraordinary talent is in her vocal chords and song writing; not on the externalities of how "forward-looking" she is. As long as she's not lip-syncing she's fit to print. It's an awards show ... What did you expect?

Monday, February 13, 2012


ADELE — Man, she SOARS with this SLO-BURN magnetic presence: "We Could've Had it All, Rolling in The DEEP!" Understated, but so, so powerful:

And Jennifer Hudson's emotional tribute to Whitney Houston, all the more beautiful for its heartfelt simplicity:

Both performances gave me chills. Well done, ladies.

Is Mittens The Republican Party's Welfare Queen?!

"A WIN. A WIN! My SuperPac Kingdom for A WIN!"

Uh-Oh. Mittens wasn't even halfway through his alleged CPAC (Crass, Pathetic and Asinine Conservatards) straw poll and Maine caucus "wins" victory lap when Ron Paul and Rick Santorum cried foul. LOUDLY. Rick Santorum charged Romney doctored the straw poll results. He may have a point. The past few years CPAC's straw poll has been dominated by Ron Paul, much to the consternation of 'Establishment' conservatives who would like CPAC to mainline more sensitive racist 'social conservative' wingnuttery, less paleolibertarianism. Although, in truth, the differences are superficial and skin-deep. This year, event organizers moved closer to that goal with racist panel discussions honoring the Buchanan 'multiculturalism is killing America' vision featuring several xenophobic, white supremacists to kick thing off.

Ron Paul didn't even show up this time citing the old fallback, a scheduling conflict. Maybe it's got something to do with the "strategic alliance" he's forged with Mittens — 'pleeease, pretty please Paulie, call your people off' and let Mittens win one CPAC straw poll to show the Cpeeps just how "severely conservative" he is:

Rick Santorum was not amused, however. He said acidly, "I don't try to rig straw polls ... You have to talk to the Romney campaign and how many tickets they bought ... We've heard all sorts of things." The CPAC straw poll results were 38% Mittens to 31% for Santorum, with Gingrich 15% and Paul 12%. Judging by past results, Santorum has a point: something's off when Paul drops down to fourth, behind the Newtster, and Mittens wins the heart of white supremacists and takes it by seven points over Rick Santorum on the strength of his scintillating "severely conservative" speech. Anyone listening to Mittens acolyte Mark Halperin probably thought it was on the up and up. Halperin said Mittens had "shattered" his 50 percent "ceiling" in Florida. The final vote was 50.1% for Mittens. WOW.

(Memo To MSNBC: How shamefully pro-Mittens are you? Let me count the names: Halperin, Meghan McCain, Steve Schmidt, Michael Steele, Moron Joe (where Steele has become a fixture), Susan Page, Steve Capus ...)

And in Maine, where Mittens barely eked out a win edging Ron Paul, 39% to 36%, by canceling the caucus in Washington county, Paul's strongest area! Can anyone say voter suppression, GOP-style?!

Meanwhile, late Saturday night, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) sent an email to supporters that essentially alleged collusion between the Romney campaign and the Maine Republican Party without actually mentioning Romney by name. A portion of the email is below:

"In Washington County — where Ron Paul was incredibly strong — the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn’t be reported by the national media today. Of course, their excuse for the delay was "snow." That’s right. A prediction of 3-4 inches — that turned into nothing more than a dusting — was enough for a local GOP official to postpone the caucuses just so the results wouldn’t be reported tonight. This is MAINE we’re talking about. The GIRL SCOUTS had an event today in Washington County that wasn’t cancelled! And just the votes of Washington County would have been enough to put us over the top."

OH, MY. In Maine, known for its rugged glacier-carved rocky coasts, with nary a sandy beach other than around the George H. W. Bush compound in Kennebunkport, where to take a dip in the icy Atlantic one must wear sneakers, those macho Republican state officials postponed a caucus on the basis of a weather report predicting 3-to-4 inches of snowfall. It just so happened to be in Ron Paul's strongest county. Oh, they might reschedule it, eventually, so that as in Iowa we'll learn weeks later that the results flipped and Ron Paul actually beat flopper-flapper Mittens, the "severe" conservative.

Can anyone say, 'Mittens the GOP Welfare Queen'? He's an 80-pound weakling with rubber legs sitting on a barrel of SuperPac cash that the Party Establishment — in the media, embeds Halperin, Schmidt, Steele, McCain, Capus, et al — have to figure out a way of rolling across the finish line.

If It's Sunday, It's Beltway Media Madhouse

David Gregory, the good, the bad and the ugly: He can't help being a white guy in a lineup of whitey males. He still towers above his, um, competition. And, pleasant surprise, David put in a good word for working women, against the 'feminazi' stereotype put forth by the Right and used as a 'dog whistle' by all GOP candidates, particularly pace presser Rick Santorum, closing fast on Mittens around the turn. In the Santorum interview, David stopped playing it close to the vest and mentioned the positive experience of working women in his own family:
"I want to show something that you wrote in your book "It Takes a Family." "The radical feminists," you wrote, "succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness." Now, Senator, everything I've learned about feminism from my working mother, my working sister and my working wife is that it's about respecting the choice of working or not working, not somehow the choice of working undermining the, the traditional family."
Whether or not they'd put him up to it, it was a nice touch by Gregory putting Santorum on the defensive, even though the candidate sounded more reasonable on MTP, as the presumptive front-runner, than he has on the campaign trail:
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: And, and I stand by what I said. And with respect to the, to the issue of women in the military, you know, I understand that women in the military right now do serve in very hazardous positions and are, in fact, subject to — and we've seen a lot of injury, even serving, serving in front line positions. What I was referring to is women in infantry, in combat in the front lines.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.
Really? Here's what Rick Santorum said at CPAC about women in combat, and not a word of it uttered on MTP:
Asked by CNN's John King if the move, "perhaps opening the door to a broader role for women in combat," was an idea he'd support as president, Santorum responded:

"I want to create every opportunity for women to be able to serve this country, and they do so in an amazing and wonderful way and they're a great addition — and they have been for a long time — to the armed services of our country."

Then came the big "but."

"But I do have concerns about women in front-line combat, I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission, because of other types of emotions that are involved," Santorum continued. "It already happens, of course, with the camaraderie of men in combat, but I think it would be even more unique if women were in combat, and I think that's probably not in the best interest of men, women or the mission."
Here's how Santorum spun his backward, reactionary attitude toward women in combat on MTP, with Gregory's full acquiescence:
FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: Well, there are obviously different physical requirements. I mean, you go to the — to any of the academies, there are different requirements, physical requirements for men and women. Why? Because there are physiological differences between men and women.

MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm.

FMR. SEN. SANTORUM: And that's, that's one of the things that we have to consider in, in deploying them in an infantry position out there on the front line. And I don't — you know, I don't know of any, you know, any real discussion candidly that's talking about doing that."
That's actually not true. Former Senator Santorum, as usual for members of the facts-challenged party, is misinformed. According to several reports, "The Pentagon is going to try to get the services to implement what they're calling gender-neutral qualifications. In other words, gender ideally wouldn't be a factor in whether someone gets a certain job in the military." Literally, the same day Rick Santorum was casting aspersions on women in combat roles, the military announced the relaxing of some restrictions on women serving in combat roles.

But you wouldn't know it, watching Rick Santorum on MTP. And how many times do I have to keep repeating the same refrain. David mentioned in passing, non-specifically, Rick Santorum's outrageous remark about "emotions" getting in the way of women serving in combat. The damning CPAC video was never shown. But it should have been. Rick Santorum was allowed to slide.
"MR. GREGORY: Mm-hmm."

This guy, Santorum (Google him), is so primitive in his thinking, values and attitudes, he reminds me of one of the "drudges" the British aristocracy disparages in my favorite novela, Masterpiece Classic's Downton Abbey. I mean really, Rick Santorum is at least 100 years behind the times, before the outbreak of World War I. Richie Cunningham? Please. Richie was much too avant garde for the likes of Santorum.

David Gregory's show suffers from a chronic, seemingly deliberate effort to select the most benign and least controversial sound bites to fake 'ambush' the guests, since they said it and can't pretend otherwise or that it isn't coming. It happens so often on the Republican side, that their pretending YouTube doesn't exist is a running joke. And we're left wondering whether the questions are pre-screened, because none of these people dare show their faces on Rachel, and very few on Big Eddie or Lawrence. Whether it's at the producer level, or Gregory himself, MTP's  benign vanilla soundbites, like its faces, are a perennial problem that reflects poorly on David's professional integrity.

It happened again. On contraception, the most damning video was not shown, in which Rick Santorum discusses the "dangers of contraception in America" and "the whole sexual libertine idea" that "many in the Christian faith will say, contraception, it's OK. Well, it's not OK." (See 'Contraception in America: ...' post below and TRMS video.) Millions of non-political female MTP viewers probably never saw this video or heard Rick Santorum's explanation. Don't you think they should, Mr. Gregory?

And while we're on the topic of Rachel Maddow, on a point of personal privilege for liberals and progressives, let me mention why the Beltway Media (which includes MTP) is held in such contempt by the Left. Of three instances I recall Rachel cracking the glass ceiling for truly progressive panelists, twice she was paired with arch-conservative CNN personality Alex Castellanos. This trash talking right wing Cuban-American is a GOP operative, a political hack incapable of making an objective factual argument. Also there, a boring technocratic Latino Dem to cover that segment of the 'base'. Another time, Rachel was matched against Tea Party leader Dick Armey, who is a hyper partisan wingnut of the creepy-repulsive Cal Thomas variety. And he was equally as rude to Rachel as Castellanos and Thomas.

What's going on here, David? You think liberals and progressives are so stupid that your roundtable guest list for a Rachel appearance (essentially representing the progressive POV) must include low-level wingnuts and political hacks on the other side? ('Far this' v. 'far that' — is that how you Beltway Media idiots think?) Has it ever occurred to you, Mr. Gregory, how insulting and offensive it is to liberals and progressives that we scarcely get to see Rachel in an MTP panel opposite normal people capable of making cogent arguments (no offense to the bland politico)? How about fellow conservative journalists like, for instance, a Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, or Andrew Sullivan. I realize Rachel may be too smart for regular MTP panelists, but it would seem the anchor of MSNBC's election coverage has already earned the right to be treated with respect.

Not that they're anything to call home about.

E. J. Dionne joined the Mark Shields school of clueless generational Catholic males with these statements about the contraception dustup: "I think that as long as this was a religious liberty argument, the church and its allies, the bishops and their allies, were — had a very good chance of winning the argument, and in effect I think they did. There are some conservatives in the church who seem to now want to move it to a contraception argument and the Obama administration would love that." ... And: "The president should have seen this coming a long time before he did. And I still think the administration has to look back and say, how did it lose track of that Obama who was so open on religious questions in 2006 and in the 2009 Notre Dame speech... and was very sophisticated. They got to find that guy again."

With all due respect, E. J., you, Mark, Chris and Peggy need to look beyond your conservative circle of elitist D.C. Catholics. (A) This fight is perceived as one over contraception; (B) The politics work just fine for the President; don't forget E. J., this comes on the heels of the Komen Foundation FAIL, not to speak of recent child abuse scandals, so the Bishops aren't much more popular than Congress; (C) For tactical reasons stated here before, the President did see this fight coming, and welcomed it.

Then E. J., the Old School Catholic who didn't know about Richie Cunningham, redeemed himself with this out-of-the-parker:
"MR. DIONNE: We agreed there was overreach on this contraception rule. [Let's just agree to disagree on this one, E. J.] But I know the left. The left is not to the left of where it was, number one. [Are you listening, Chris?] Number two, Barack Obama is a moderate progressive with the emphasis on moderate. Most socialists are insulted when Barack Obama is called a socialist. It's absurd that this man is a socialist. And I think most of the country...

I think right now what you have is that the left is very happy he is raising the issue of economic inequality which Occupy Wall Street pushed him toward. A lot of the country agrees with him on that. And so actually I think the pressures to move further left, and there isn't that much of a left in America to begin with, are really minimized." [How about now, Chris — can you hear E. J. or are you going to continue leading an entire generation of idiot pundits astray, e.g., Jonathan Capehart, with some pablum about 'the 40-yard line'?]
 Peggy Noonan, a longtime GOP tool and card-carrying member of the Idiot Punditocracy, proved once again her total incapacity for growth with these pearls of IP 'wisdom':
MS. NOONAN: As a conservative, as I look at the administration, here's one thing that I think is kind of new the past few years. The leftist, if you will, part of the president's base seems to me to be, A, more leftist and, B, more powerful. When you have a White House, in the past month, E.J., that says, NARAL, National Abortion Rights Action League, and Planned Parenthood are here, the Catholic Church and I would argue the First Amendment are here, Who wins? NARAL and Planned Parenthood, that, to me, is the kind of politic calculation, just politics that is kind of mad, and that suggests a certain sort of, I hate to say extremism, but something rather extreme.
UN-EFFING-BELIEVABLE how TOTALLY CLUELESS this woman is. Keep in mind, it's people like Peggy Noonan, Kathleen Parker, and Bill-O The Clown, to name but a few, that Chris Matthews and David Gregory listen to as "reasonable" voices on the Right. To make matters worse, some probably go to church together. One thing about MTP, it's an invaluable window into the elitist attitudes, prejudices, stereotypes and 'values' of the Beltway Media/Idiot Punditocracy.

Last but definitely not least, is TEH STOOPID himself, Moron Joe:
MR. SCARBOROUGH: ...Andrew Sullivan claims that Barack Obama saw this coming all along and he was just setting his enemies up into a trap ... Which — no, well, but which means that he was trying to set Joe Biden up in a trap and John Kerry up in a trap.

The larger picture — one thing that Andrew Sullivan did say, since we just knocked him around, let's defend him. He did say you can't have it both ways. Barack Obama can't be Joseph Stalin and Jimmy Carter at the same time. Pick your poison. Is he an incompetent moderate, according to the right, or is he a dangerous ideologue? The fact of the matter is, look at his last State of the Union address. He is now in Clinton territory because he understands, like Bill Clinton, he got a lot of big things done on — from the left for the first year and a half, and he's going to spend the rest of his time, whether it's the next year or the next five years, compromising with the Republicans.
I knew there was a reason I'm fond of Andrew; either he reads this blog, or maybe it's that 'here comes the old Zeitgeist again', but definitely this falls into the 'You Read it Here First' category, as it's precisely the point I had made about the President.

Just listen to Moron Joe. This dude makes no sense whatsoever. First, accepting Andrew's premise, which I have, setting "Joe Biden up in a trap and John Kerry up in a trap" was not a bad thing to do, politically. They gave the President cover for taking a position popular with women and most liberals while getting behind the final "compromise" as one they could accept. I don't know about Kerry, but Joe Biden didn't seem to mind being 'set up in a trap' if in fact that's what it was. Then Moron Joe goes bizarro:
"Barack Obama can't be Joseph Stalin and Jimmy Carter at the same time. Pick your poison. Is he an incompetent moderate, according to the right, or is he a dangerous ideologue?"
WHAT?! Let's set aside the Stalin-Carter insanity. For all intents and purposes, the Right and the Republican Party have already settled on a strategy of demonizing President Obama in an effort to portray him as a "dangerous ideologue." The "incompetent moderate" isn't part of the GOP's calculus, however much Moron Joe may wish to push his own political agenda on the fake progressive channel.