Saturday, April 28, 2012

Backstage With Lawrence, Our Favorite Hollywood Socialist

P.S. HERE IS THE QUOTABLE SENATOR BOB KERREY, referenced in an earlier post; in case someone doesn't believe he actually said it. OOPS ... WRONG VIDEO! Definitely a big fan of the charismatic Son of Ed Rendell, Steve Kornacki — what is it about MSNBC's ever ubiquitous vanilla milquetoast Zelig? And who is THAT stealing Steve's dim bulb spotlight?!


Okay, now here, finally, is Lawrence interviewing Senator Bob Kerrey:

Friday, April 27, 2012

THE THINKER Smokes Out The Munster; HUFF POST Nails Him!

VERY NICE HUFF POST front page header today; their graphic is ALMOST as good and creative as ours. Here's the story — a good followup on our post (you're welcome, Howard) exposing Superdope, The Skeert Objectivist. The Rand Institute may have to coin a "third-rater" classification for Paulie, the selfishly unvirtuous coward, joining Virginia "governor vaginal probe" in the going ... going ... GOP Veepstakes ... GONE.

Bill-O The Clown Smears Andrea Mitchell On Standards of Journalism?!

THAT'S RICH. FALAFEL-FACE BILL O'REILLY, paragon of anti-journalism, taking a cheap shot at Andrea Mitchell, one of the finest TV journalists in the nation?! Bill O'Reilly, carney crier supreme, you're not in Andrea's league, so don't even try, pal.

 For the record, when I criticized "no excuses-Andrea" for not asking more "pertinent and incisive questions about the safety of Gulf seafood," I felt in this instance, on the substance, that Andrea wasn't up to her usual standards of excellence, which are head-and-shoulders above her colleagues. To use a horseracing metaphor: when the class of the field loses a race that she was supposed to win in a walk, observers will say she had "no excuses." It only happens to those whose quality and pedigree tower above the competition.

That's Andrea. Not only is she in a professional class of her own, but she's a GREAT LADY and a class act in every other respect. Good on the ever gallant Galahad Martin Bashir for standing up for his colleague, and our friend, Andrea.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Devil Goes To Georgetown

The Devil's favorite Congressman, Paul Ryan, delivered a forgettable Georgetown speech, pregnant with hypocrisy and self-serving, insincere piety about his Catholic "faith" driven by the realization that the Republican base is composed of Religious Right Christian fanatics who do not tolerate atheists, even if they're crazy neurotics like Ayn Rand. And, by extension, her cult followers.

A few days before his speech, Ryan received a letter from 90 Georgetown professors who essentially read him the Riot Act Gospel. Here is an extended excerpt [emphasis mine, throughout]:
'We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”

In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.

Cuts to anti-hunger programs have devastating consequences. Last year, one in six Americans lived below the official poverty level and over 46 million Americans – almost half of them children – used food stamps for basic nutrition. We also know how cuts in Pell Grants will make it difficult for low-income students to pursue their educations at colleges across the nation, including Georgetown. At a time when charities are strained to the breaking point and local governments have a hard time paying for essential services, the federal government must not walk away from the most vulnerable.

While you often appeal to Catholic teaching on “subsidiarity” as a rationale for gutting government programs, you are profoundly misreading Church teaching. Subsidiarity is not a free pass to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices. This often misused Catholic principle cuts both ways. It calls for solutions to be enacted as close to the level of local communities as possible. But it also demands that higher levels of government provide help — “subsidium”— when communities and local governments face problems beyond their means to address such as economic crises, high unemployment, endemic poverty and hunger. According to Pope Benedict XVI: "Subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa.”'
Unfortunately for the Devil and his Soul Brother Paul Ryan, Mr. Ryan cannot feverishly backpedal now, in response to prominent Catholics calling his budget immoral and antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, much less pretend Ayn Rand was nothing but a college "read" rather than his governing philosopher-queen:
'I, like millions of young people in America, read Rand’s novels when I was young. I enjoyed them," Ryan says. "They spurred an interest in economics, in the Chicago School and Milton Friedman," a subject he eventually studied as an undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio. "But it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.'
Oh, really? Then how does Ryan explain this:
"The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand," Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand's writings when he told his audience that, "Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill ... is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict — individualism versus collectivism."

The core of the Randian worldview, as absorbed by the modern GOP, is a belief that the natural market distribution of income is inherently moral, and the central struggle of politics is to free the successful from having the fruits of their superiority redistributed by looters and moochers. 

I think at this point trying to deny Ryan's attachment to Rand is pretty hard to sustain. He's not requiring his staffers to read Rand because he thinks they need a good love story. And given that it's not just a teenage fascination but the continuing embodiment of his public philosophy, it's worth noting again that Rand is a twisted, hateful thinker.
Or, as I am wont to say, a spawn of the Devil. Right? Undeterred, Ryan continues scrubbing his record furiously in the Republican mode of pretending that core beliefs are a moving target to be expunged when found out:
"I reject her philosophy," Ryan says firmly. "It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas," who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. "Don’t give me Ayn Rand," he says.
Hmm ... Will the REAL Paul Ryan please stand up. Here's his draft introduction to the Georgetown audience: "Please allow me introduce myself: I'm a man of wealth and taste. Pleased to meet you. Hope you guessed my name. But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game" ... You get the picture:
'It doesn't surprise me that sales of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged have surged lately with the Obama administration coming in because it's that kind of thinking, that kind of writing, that is sorely needed right now. And I think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking.' [...] 

'Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism, and this to me is what matters most. It is not enough to say that President Obama's taxes are too big or the health care plan doesn't work for this or that policy reason. It is the morality of what is occurring right now and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack. And it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on, which we need that kind of comment more than ever.'
It seems Paulie is having an EXISTENTIAL conflict of a lesser degree — compared to the millions of suffering Americans he has targeted to victimize and savage, whose existential conflicts are matters of health, hunger, crisis poverty ... in short, life and death. Remember when I wrote of the nasty shit that passes for wingnut humor? A treat for you: Here's an example of what Objectivists might find "humorous," courtesy of one of Rachel's favorite Beltway scribes, David Weigel. I don't particularly object to David, considering he was screwed over by the wingnuts. I just have these conflicted schadenfreude feelings every time this dude sits in front of a camera on MSNBC. We've all been there with the stage fright thing, but David is an extreme example.

Whenever I've seen David on the other side of the red (?) light, he'll start tensing up, his facial muscles contract visibly, and, here's the schadenfreude part: invariably the interviewer, say, Rachel, begins with a really long-winded question, and I'm like, "Rachel, please put this dude out of his misery, otherwise his head might explode ... Let him talk!" (Because, once David starts talking, he relaxes. And so do we.) Not exactly your Nietzschean Superman ... Anyway, here's David's "haha" tweet about protests at the Ryan Georgetown speech. Good guy John Nichols of the Nation (has he been on with Rachel?) replied that the letter signed by 90 prominent faculty members, not to mention the Catholic hierarchy, speaks for itself. David's knee-slapping tweet:

Finally, I absolutely, positively LOVE Catholic sisters! Don't you?


IN THE MOST EXPLOSIVE 'tease' of her tenure as MSNBC's HOTTEST 'Hostess With The Mostest!' Alex Wags mercilessly tittilated her loyal viewers with the hard break announcement that notorious Dem strategist Hillary Rosen, bane of stay-at-home moms around the world, would be joining her in the next segment. It even got a rise out of the King of Sunday Morning Talk With Whitebread Republican Males, David Gregory.

And then ... NADA. But THE THINKER has obtained an exclusive visual of the scrubbed segment. It seems Ms Rosen objected to the gag order imposed on her by NOW producers, in which her answers were restricted to nods and shakes of the head:

P.S. — We sincerely hope Hillary Rosen's non-appearance, lampooned above, wasn't due to anything serious, such as a sudden illness. This is all just for fun.

Pennsylvania Rising: Early Bellwether Dem Races, RISE OF THE ANGRY WOMEN?!

This NYT story may send Chris's head spinning and/or knock him off the exercise machine if he's not hanging on — as he reads:
WASHINGTON — The defeat of two conservative House Democrats by more liberal opponents in Tuesday’s Pennsylvania primary illustrates the strong hold the new health care law still has over committed Democratic voters and foreshadows an even more polarized Congress next year in the aftermath of the latest round of redistricting.
Oops. Chris's precious "centrists" have incurred the IRE of his Pennsy paisans, despite his best Beltway efforts to swell the Party ranks with reactionary red (for red state) DINOs responsible for killing the health care law in the Supreme Court. Isn't it ironic, Chris, that all the pompous grief you gave liberals or ("as they call themselves") progressives with your "we-know-best, KILL the public option" riff (against our insistence that the public option was the best policy outcome, under the circumstances) has delivered to the extremists the opening they needed to KILL THE ENTIRE HEALTH CARE LAW IN THE SUPREME COURT?!

SIDEBAR QUESTION: What's the difference between a "centrist" and a "liberal" or the arrogant Beltway pejorative "lefty" used by the supercilious Beltway Media to demean us? (I ask again, Chris: would you call the Kennedy brothers, Truman and FDR "lefties"? If you're still pondering this question, don't bother; time to STFU, already.)

ANSWER: A "centrist" thinks that "TO CAVE" is synonymous with "reach across the aisle" and "compromise" with uncompromising Teabaggers, birthers, and neo-fascists who call us 'communists', while a so-called "lefty" understands that "TO CAVE" is an identifying characteristic of DINO politicians with day-glo yellow stripes down their backs, who refer to themselves in "quiet rooms" as "Mitt's Seamus Pack."

So Chris, In your stupid "we-know-best" Beltway hubris, you, Jon Alter and the Beltway elites, including President Obama who took your advice and didn't listen to us — all of you, are responsible for killing the health care law, as predicted by ... caveat — Chuckles, licking his chops with glee. [Cue in the slow, sarcastic applause.]
 But wait! There's still hope for crushing the right wing! Time to sidestep the Beltway/Idiot Punditocracy and appeal directly to the largest, most enlightened voting bloc in this country: women. For me, this analysis of Patrick Murphy's defeat for Attorney General is, strangely enough, the most interesting part of the Times' story, and also the most promising. Despite the backing of the PA Democratic Establishment, including MSNBC's prescription for insomniacs, former Penn Governor Ed Rendell, Patrick Murphy lost to a woman I'd never heard of. He was a great candidate with all the right positions. Hell, I liked him and so did Rachel. So what happened? Apparently, Patrick is the wrong gender:
"Angry women, still upset over measures like Pennsylvania’s efforts to mandate invasive ultrasounds before abortions. Former Representative Patrick Murphy had the backing of Mayor Michael A. Nutter of Philadelphia and former Gov. Ed Rendell in his quest to be Pennsylvania’s attorney general. He was expected to dominate Philadelphia and its suburbs, then knock off his Democratic rival, Kathleen Kane, a former Lackawanna County assistant district attorney. But Ms. Kane won with the backing of fed-up women."
OH, MY MY. Yo, Republicans, wingnuts, fascists, patriarchs all: don't lend women your ears or they'll likely be cut off. It's time to cower, quake in your bootsies, and be afraid, BE VERY AFRAID. Brace yourselves against the ATTACK OF THE ANGRY WOMEN. And this time it's no tweety little iPhone game. It's a vast testosterone tsunami — and it's comin' TO GETCHA!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Quotable: Former Nebraska (D - Stands For Good Guy) Senator Bob Kerrey

"If you don't have health care, freedom is a theory; it's not a reality."
~ Senator Bob Kerrey, the "Happy Warrior," is vying to reclaim his Nebraska U.S. Senate seat, coming out of retirement to buck scumbags like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers, and all the smears their unlimited, filthy, Supreme Court bag money can dump on him. Why? Because he's a patriot, and he wants to save our country from the fascist Republican devils and their ratbastard acolytes. My words, but it's the truth.

Senator Kerrey served as a Navy Seal in Vietnam. He lost the lower part of one leg in combat and was awarded the Medal of Honor. Senator Kerrey had this to say of "government" healthcare, the VA: "They saved my life."

If The Gong Don't Work, Massage 'EL LOCO DEE-LAN' Ego: "Dylan Ratigan For President"...

YIKES! BUT OUR BRILLIANT ALEX WAGS got Martin Bashir's reclamation project grinning from ear to ear, having achieved our objective with her gift for wit. I was going, whenever he opens his mouth: 'get this walking exemplar of sophistry to STFU, already!' (Alex, incidentally, your "and on the fifth day, he rested" rejoinder was excellent. Good intra-Catholic joke, duly noted.) Only Ratigan gets Martin to drop his jaw with that priceless dumbfounded look, rendered temporarily speechless. I totally understand, Martin.

But the "Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn" of cable broadcasting? Hardly. Please, Alex — it's more like James Bond versus Ernst Stavro Blofeld. And one more thing, Blofeld, you pompous, IGNORANT ass. Here are the brief facts, and we can go into all the detail you're too scared to indulge in: The greatest expansion of our middle class, prosperity for all citizens, educational opportunities, scientific innovations, stock market growth, lifting people out of poverty, health care and a dignified retirement for our seniors has been achieved under LIBERAL, PROGRESSIVE government! So don't give us your sophistic false equivalence riff on the "failure" of liberal government.

Ratigan, you're a fucking LIAR and a SOPHIST of the worst kind. And your promotion of Teabagger nihilism leading up to the 2010 midterms, halting the President's capacity to carry out his program, then hypocritically lambasting him for being so much talk and no action (a clever attack line because we know you loathe him), is completely unforgivable. You're a disgrace, Dylan, a fool who obviously knows little about government — except that you don't like it — and even less about history. In fact, you're a perfect example of our present anti-government Republican/Libertarian driven crisis in education. Tragically so. For us, not you. Because your anarchic ignorance on matters affecting the body politic has kept us in the Fox-wingnut-Libertarian lurch. You've never gotten your screwed-up stealth Libertarian agenda past me, pal. Unfortunately, there are too many on my side, who still don't get it, suffering from excessive grasp-at-straws niceness toward those of your ilk. Congratulations, Dylan, for actively participating in the destruction of our country.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

P.S. — Amy Goodman's Due Diligence On Gulf Oil Spill

WE STILL LOVE ALEX, but there's politics and then there's policy. Environmental policy, in particular, has been savaged by the Republicans, with President Obama's collaboration. I've never seen it this bad, with the public so apathetic about preserving our environment and ensuring that our food, air, and water supply is safe. Maybe it's easy to pretend horrific violence wasn't done to the Gulf, and  penitently eat our serving of poisoned seafood. But the public's torpid response has only emboldened the high stakes economic interests at play here. This is one working government-business partnership pact with the Devil.

Ken Feinberg, Mary Landrieu, BP and the EPA are confident they can sandbag the public with hollow and dangerous assertions of "safe" seafood. And they're right. The AP report that the Pentagon Commissary gave a boost to the Gulf seafood industry by purchasing it in bulk for distribution to East Coast military bases shows a reckless disregard for the health and safety of our troops. And it also shows that the government is neither an impartial nor independent monitor of seafood safety. Amy Goodman's Democracy Now, along with Al Jazeera and nonprofits like ProPublica, represent the dwindling sources of truly independent media taking a hard look at seafood safety claims and asking the tough questions. It's time MSNBC, and its cohorts, got on board — if they're willing or able.

Daily Double Poison: Feinberg And Landrieu LIE On Alex And Andrea

FUNNY ME, BUT I THOUGHT the production and research staffs on NOW and Andrea Mitchell Reports were there for a purpose: to research and produce. Unless they're too busy navel-gazing, wondering whether to get that body piercing, to activate their widdle index fingers and go click, click, click. It's not hard, Alex. I even posted the links for your convenience, well in advance of your interview with "Ken" Feinberg, former administrator of the BP compensation fund. (Love the first-name chumminess with a dude who is essentially representing interests — BP and our government's — directly in conflict with the public's.)

Catherine Crier to Ken Feinberg, or what happens when a lawyer queries another lawyer: You get a lot of circuitous CYA bullshit before actually getting to the heart of the matter. Crier set the premise well — "fish populations are beginning to show very disturbing mutations as well as diminution of populations, long term chemical organic activity" — but, inexplicably asked the wrong question: "is that a compensation pool as well?" The "long term chemical organic activity" [Attention Alex: clickee the thingee-linkee above] is not about a separate compensation pool (that's ancillary), rather, it should be about People FIRST, fish SECOND.

The questions most concerning to people are, FIRST, is Gulf seafood safe to consume, and only then, how will the fish populations be impacted? In short, Catherine's knee-jerk "professional courtesy" approach was to give Feinberg plenty of wiggle room. He needed it. After a rambling, lawyerly CYA reply, Feinberg finally came around to his BIG LIE: "There is absolutely no current evidence that the food is bad, that it’s not safe." A Straight-Up LIE.

But he buried this declarative LIE in a maze of qualifiers: "... there's a fine line here" [trans: don't take my word for it], "... other allegations" [trans: the FDA relaxed its allowable levels of concern (LOCs) of "polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ... (see clickee/thingee/linkee, Alex), which can accumulate in seafood, are known carcinogens and developmental toxicants"— a nice seafood chemical cocktail which "bio-accumulates" in our tissues, meaning they're there forever, resulting, at a minimum, in increased risk to pregnant women],... we’re ever vigilant, we’re watching the seafood, we’re watching gulf ecosystems" [trans: the "monitoring" agencies have colluded with BP and industry interests to cook the LOC books, deeming the risk of ingesting tainted seafood acceptably high, considering Gulf seafood represents 40% of America's total consumption, an unacceptable economic risk compared to the risk to people's health, which is always secondary], don't worry be happy, "... that's a long term monitoring initiative to keep our eyes on the Gulf going forward." [Trans: Bullshit.]

On the other side of NOW Andrea Mitchell completed the Daily Double coverup by interviewing long-time bought oil and gas industry hack, Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. Andrea's concession to the public interest was to mention in passing the AP story, which covered the same ground as Al Jazeera's report, without the same level of detail. Here's Landrieu literally selling POISON to Andrea's viewers and LYING even more blatantly than Feinberg: " All the studies show that Gulf seafood is safe to eat. I mean, we are eating it in Louisiana. We're frying it and eating it as fast as we can. Our oysters are good, our shrimp are good and safe according to every test done." [OMG! Excuse me while I puke, literally, thinking about eyeless shrimp, fish with gross lesions and growths, and chemicals that can be viewed under one's skin with UV light!] "But there's still some science that we need to know about how the dispersants worked. What are the long-term effects."

[Well, gee Senator. That's good to know. Years from now, when people start developing cancers of mysterious origin, and children are born with developmental problems, our right wing court injustice corporate protection system will make all the lawsuits go away; just as they did with the atomic veterans claims.] Oh, by the way, here's that study that Senator Landrieu LIED about, claiming it does not exist. (Clickee-thingee, Alex?) A summary of its findings, from the Abstract:
Background: The BP oil spill of 2010 resulted in contamination of one of the most productive fisheries in the United States by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs, which can accumulate in seafood, are known carcinogens and developmental toxicants. In response to the oil spill, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed risk criteria and established thresholds for allowable levels [levels of concern (LOCs)] of PAH contaminants in Gulf Coast seafood.

Objectives: We evaluated the degree to which the FDA’s risk criteria adequately protect vulnerable Gulf Coast populations from cancer risk associated with PAHs in seafood.

Discussion: The FDA LOCs significantly underestimate risk from seafood contaminants among sensitive Gulf Coast populations by failing to a) account for the increased vulnerability of the developing fetus and child; b) use appropriate seafood consumption rates; c) include all relevant health end points; and d) incorporate health-protective estimates of exposure duration and acceptable risk. For benzo[a]pyrene and naphthalene, revised LOCs are between two and four orders of magnitude below the level set by the FDA. Comparison of measured levels of PAHs in Gulf seafood with the revised LOCs revealed that up to 53% of Gulf shrimp samples were above LOCs for pregnant women who are high-end seafood consumers.

Conclusions: FDA risk assessment methods should be updated to better reflect current risk assessment practices and to protect vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children.

Too bad Alex and Andrea weren't prepared to ask more pertinent and incisive questions about the safety of Gulf seafood so that we, as consumers, could make informed decisions. I hate to break it to you, Alex and no-excuses Andrea, but it's your jobs, you know. "Mary Landrieu, on the case." Nice ass-kissing touch, Andrea.

Monday, April 23, 2012


HIS THIRD CAREER race was the charm. THE THINKER, by Tale of The Cat, out of Sire of Sires Storm Cat, and Valdivia on the Dam side, out of Pleasant Colony, is bred to the Ts! This New York bred racehorse is headed for the Stakes divisions as a high-class runner. Expect nothing less from our namesake! Watch him easily beat top-quality Maiden Special Weights company:

Quotable: Is There Such A Thing As An Adorable Wingnut?

YES! S.E. CUPP ON THE MARTIN BASHIR SHOW. Here's S.E. in one of her cute blushing moments, standing up for MORE! MUCHO MACHO MEN in the Secret Service:

“The idea that women are somehow above this (ahem, Secret Service extra-curricular activity) kind of stuff, I can prattle off a long list of women who have fallen prey to immoral behavior — we are not above it, trust me!

MARTIN: “S.E. thank you, thank you for being so honest …”

S.E.: [Blushing … she blushes easily, having walked right into the notorious BASHIR BUZZSAW, credited with having unhinged the wicked wench, Dana LASH.]

Aw, Martin … save it for the wench. S.E. is much too adorable; I really think she’s redeemable. And she’s a good sport to take the gentle teasing of a liberal panel; S.E. knows she’s got issues, and is trying hard to work through them. It’s the first step to recovery! Just ask your buddy, Dylan.

Music Break: No, It's Not The Sexy Liberal Show ...

BUT THAT SEXY raven-haired beauty sure looks like Stephanie Miller's sultry twin sister. It's smooth Bossa Nova from the great Marcos Valle; and Stephanie's look-alike is the lovely Patricia Alvi.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Republicans/Wingnuts Are MENTALLY ILL — Seriously.

THIS IS NOTHING NEW.  There are academic and scientific studies out there which confirm what most of us normal folks who have to deal with these vermin, because we're into politics, know instinctively.  For example: "A study funded by the US government has concluded that conservatism can be explained psychologically as a set of neuroses rooted in "fear and aggression, dogmatism and the intolerance of ambiguity." As if that was not enough to get Republican blood boiling, the report's four authors linked Hitler, Mussolini, Ronald Reagan and the rightwing talkshow host, Rush Limbaugh, arguing they all suffered from the same affliction. All of them "preached a return to an idealised past and condoned inequality." Another study found that "self-proclaimed right-wingers had a more pronounced amydgala — a primitive part of the brain associated with emotion"— like fear.

In short, tell me something I didn't know. Right? But there's a serious aspect to this, too. The Republican refusal to govern responsibly — i.e., in the public interest — isn't rooted solely in politics, as the Idiot Punditocracy claims; it's a mental illness. History is filled with examples of psychotic political leaders and entire nations which succumbed to their extremism. Always with the same result: severe trauma to the body-politic. And while I'm as loathe to make generalizations about Republicans and wingnuts as the corporate right Beltway Media is about liberals and progressives — the Idiot Punditocracy LOVES to pontificate about the "two extremes," as if there is anything on the left approximating these sickos on the extremist right. That is, until we called them on it and laid out the evidence of 100 years of steady state progressivism versus the increasing polarization of the extremist right.

Doesn't matter. With a few notable exceptions, the Beltway Media/Idiot Punditocracy will NEVER learn. They're part of the problem; worse, an adjunct of the right wing propaganda machine. "Pushback" in their circles, is timid Soledad O'Brien of CNN apologetically quizzing the neo-fascist sicko Allen West over his insane charge that there are "between 78 to 81" card-carrying "communists" in the "Democrat Party." Turns out this 21st century wannabe Joe McCarthy, an ignorant, history-challenged demagogue was lobbing "red scare" smear grenades at the House Progressive Caucus. Hasn't this cretin violated enough rules of decorum to be brought up before the House Ethics Committee?

Bill-O The Clown, a Chris Matthews favorite, charged respected liberal economist and former Labor Secretary under President Clinton, Bob Reich, with being "a communist" who "secretly adores Karl Marx." The repulsive xenophobic wench Dana Loesch, a protected species in Soledad's channel, pulled the "foreigner" canard from her dropped "trou" to screech as how Martin Bashir should "go back where he came from"— then, in typical wingnut whine, bitch that only the 53 seconds of her attack on Martin was lifted from her mind-numbing multiple hour rant-posing-as-radio-program.

Yo, Fräulein LASH, a minute or less of your ignorant rants is just about the tolerable limit for people lacking diseased wingnut brains. Apparently, the vulgar wench objects to Martin's British accent but has no problem with the Brit clown on Fox waging his privileged "foreigner class" warfare on poor people. This is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. "Exhibit  A" is the scumbag (I'm trying to be "civil" here) who was hired as Mitt Romney's "communications" director. Watch, as Rachel rips this pustulent scab open:

Here's the thing. If the implication is Rachel looks boyish, someone forgot to tell the imbecile Grenell that Justin Bieber kind of looks like a girl — no offense, but he's much too "pretty." Therefore, for Romney's spokesman to suggest Rachel is a Bieber "dead ringer" is not only stupid but an unsolicited glimpse into the asshole's tortured soul. Is Grenell projecting homo-erotic fantasies toward Justin Bieber? Does he fancy boys? Just saying.

To understand just how utterly inappropriate and sick these people are, imagine this: What in the world would possess anyone to consider it "humorous" and "tongue-in-cheek" to tweet the following about our First Lady: "did you notice that while Michelle Obama is working out on the BiggestLoser she is sweating on the East Room's Carpet. Just saying ..."

I ask you: what would your reaction be, in a social face to face context, to such a despicable expression of racism, sexism, and just plain meanness? Exactly. This isn't said in a vacuum. This Grenell creep exists in an environment in which bigoted, inappropriate language is acceptable discourse. I've often written here of the nasty shit that passes for "humor" among wingnuts. It is neither "humorous" nor "tongue-in-cheek" but inappropriate, cringe-inducing "hot garbage" to normal people. There is something universal about good humor, which transcends culture and context, and which unites us. The so-called "humor" of wingnuts and "conservatives" is the inverse of that — hateful, nasty bigotry meant to demean people and accentuate the "other."

One dead giveaway between regular, normal folks who may have said something inappropriate, and the constant barrage of "humorous" hate language from these right wing sickos, is the tenor of the expressed apology. A normal person's apology is genuine, heartfelt and contrite. A wingnut's apology (see Limbaugh, Grenell et al) is frequently an insincere qualifier, "to those I have offended ..." As if the problem is with the people who took offense. Therein lies the mental illness. Normal people, indeed most of us, have an internal trigger that keeps us from saying and doing highly inappropriate things. It's called a conscience.

For reasons that are self-evident in a country with such a large (though, thankfully not a majority) racist population, President Obama must internalize the vicious, incessant attacks on him and his wife. One has to respect their strength of character, to be able to take it. For the President, it's expected, it goes with the Big League political territory. But Michelle, ever so gracious, never showing her hurt, is even more admirable for taking it with such classy equanimity. No wonder she enjoys such high approval ratings among decent Americans — still a majority. Although I think, sometimes President Obama must wish he could channel Harry Truman to deal with the guttersnipes who attack his family. When a music "critic" dissed the singing of Truman's daughter, President Truman fired off this handwritten letter to the offender:


Dec. 6. 1950
Mr. Hume:-

I’ve just read your lousy review of Margaret’s concert. I’ve come to the conclusion that you are an “eight ulcer man on four ulcer pay.”

It seems to me that you are a frustrated old man who wishes he could have been successful. When you write such poppy-cock as was in the back section of the paper you work for it shows conclusively that you’re off the beam and at least four of your ulcers are at work.
Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you’ll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!

Pegler, a gutter snipe, is a gentleman alongside you. I hope you’ll accept that statement as a worse insult than a reflection on your ancestry.