Democrats Call for Saving Teachers’ Jobs. Republicans Opposed

Vintage Racing Cars wallpaper

Democrats in Congress and the President are calling for a special spending package to save teaching jobs

We know that economic prosperity and educational success go hand in hand, which is why the Obama Administration is concerned by looming state and local budget cuts that threaten the jobs of hundreds of thousands of teachers across the country.  As the President has said, we live in a global economy where the greatest job qualification isn’t what you can do but what you know.  Our teachers are vital to our nation’s success and if we don’t act now and act boldly, we will not only endanger the future of tens of millions of students but threaten to undermine the recovery of our economy.

Most of us know that education equals income. It is, or should be, a bipartisan goal to get every American a good education. Low and behold House Minorty Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) states the conservative view on saving jobs and education,

“The American people recognize that Washington’s out-of-control spending is hurting our economy and stifling job creation, and they’re asking their elected leaders to make tough choices on fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, the Administration’s call for another $23 billion to pad the education bureaucracy will only make state governments more dependent on the federal government and more vulnerable when the federal funding explosion disappears. […]

“Giving states another $23 billion in federal education money simply throws more money into taxpayer-funded bailouts when we should be discussing why we aren’t seeing the results we need from the billions in federal dollars that are already being spent.”

If Boehner would spend less time in tanning booths and more time representing the best interests of the American people he would know TARP and the Recovery Act saved and created jobs – Democrats in fact have saved more jobs than Bush and Republicans created with their tax cuts for the wealthy between 2000 and 2008. One of the reason we all most of us know this is because Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Sen. Bob Bennett (R – voted for the original TARP) and John McCain(R-AZ) all hedge a bit, but grant TARP and the stimulus did keep the economy from crashing far worse than it did – Their Dirty Little Secret: GOP Senators Say Bailouts Worked — Just Please Don’t Tell Anyone! . Boehner (R-Ohio) is a perfect representative of what is wrong with conservative thinking and taxes. We had the Bush/Republican tax cuts – which made the rich richer and  not only did not create jobs they left us in a very poor position to deal with an economic collapse. Republicans such as Boehner are asking America not to believe it’s lying eyes.

Black and White Leaf Water Drops wallpaper 2010 and “BREAKING” news

Black and White Leaf Water Drops wallpaper 2010

Once again RedState’s Erick Erickson has been hitting the dishwasher detergent a little hard, BREAKING: We Have Elena Kagan’s College Thesis

This proves Elena Kagan is an open and avowed socialist.  The woman declares that socialists must stick together instead of fracture in order to advance a socialist agenda, which Kagan advocates.  1  —  You can see for yourself right here (PDF).

BREAKING? Seriously what kind of substance abuse is this guy into. That thesis has been on-line for years at Princeton’s website and the only people who think it proves she is a socialist are people with questionable cognitive skills and a broken moral compass, Right seizes on false claim that Kagan’s thesis shows she’s a socialist

Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have falsely suggested Elena Kagan’s college thesis shows she is a socialist or radical. In fact, Kagan’s thesis did not express support for socialism or radicalism, and regardless, conservatives — including Hannity — previously said that nominees’ political views are irrelevant to the confirmation process.

[  ]…Conservative activist Manny Miranda: Kagan is “a perfectly reasonably nominee for a Democratic president.”  On May 11, Dana Milbank wrote in The Washington Post: “One smart conservative activist, Manuel Miranda of the Third Branch Conference, gave Obama credit for disappointing the left: ‘The president must be commended for shunning left wing activists who demanded that he select a Supreme Court nominee who could promise results for the clients that fund their advocacy. He selected a perfectly reasonable nominee for a Democratic president.'”

Reagan Solicitor General Charles Fried endorsed Kagan’s nomination, calling her “not ideological.”

It does not speak well for claims by the Right that they are “moderate” and “mainstream” when someone as centrist to center right as Kagan is thought of a far left radical. Conservatives are so serious and obnoxious about this socialism bull they’re going to end up making socialism sound like a nice alternative.

This BREAKING  business is the right-wing conservative media’s attempt to create news. Big Government is running this headline BREAKING: Oliver North Confirms Mullah Omar Capture. That rumor has been around for over a month and to date there has been no conformation from the Defense Department or the Department of State.

Late this afternoon Lt. Colonel Oliver North confirmed that Taliban leader and Osama bin Laden ally, Mullah Mohammed Omar has been captured. The exclusive news of Omar’s capture was broken by Big Government Monday evening.

According to Colonel North, Omar was picked up in Karachi on March 27th by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) who placed him under house arrest in what they call “community care.”

Oliver North – the serial liar and Big Government – a pack of serial liars, have breaking news  that if true would actually be another victory for Obama’s national security team. What seems to be so important that such dedicated denizens of the Right would, abet inadvertently, give credit to a Democratic president and sometimes cooperative Muslim allies? To show they do real news and BREAK stories that no one else has just like the check-out counter tabloids that are always finding two-headed martian babies.

The New York Daily Wad of Tripe Daily News is running this headline, After beating up Wall Street ‘fat cats,’ President Obama ready to take their money in NY fund-raiser. With the usual lazy conservative droolers bloggers pointing to it as proof that Democrats are in the bag for Wall St. They might be half in the bag, but Republicans are already preparing for the return of the Conservative Culture of Corruption, Washington Post 2/24/10 – Wall Street shifting political contributions to Republicans, The Wall Street Journal 4/24/10 – Wall Street Rules Help GOP Fill Campaign Coffers, ProPublica April 28, 2010 – Republicans Getting More Campaign Cash From Wall Street and this seems like pay for play, Mitch McConnell(R-KY) Slams Financial Reform Bill After Meeting With Hedge Fund Managers And Other Wall Street Elites. Some Democrats are interested in saving the financial sector and protecting America from another meltdown. If they can walk a tightrope that enables them to reap their share of Wall St. donations and get reform done, that’s a trick republicans might want to learn. Republicans have certainly taught America it’s easy to just carry the bag and cash the checks. Republicans are threatening to filibuster financial reform regardless of the final Senate bill, while Democrat Byron Dorgan is threatening to filibuster if the final bill does not do enough to protect America from another Great Recession – Dorgan threatens Wall Street Reform filibuster

Cantwell predicted that she would get a vote on her amendment reinstating a Depression-era law preventing banks from owning other kinds of financial firms. Dorgan was told his amendment banning naked CDSes would get a hearing.

But when the list of coming amendments was unveiled this evening, Dorgan’s was missing–and he doesn’t know why. “I don’t know the answer to that,” Dorgan said.

Some progressive amendments have been given votes, and have passed, like the Sanders Fed audit and Franken credit rating agency reform. Kaufman-Brown’s too-big-to-fail amendment was given a hasty vote, and failed. But some of the major amendments have yet to make the schedule. Cantwell has also said that she’ll block a vote if her Glass-Steagall reinstating amendment isn’t offered. Hopefully these two will be joined by other progressive Senators to hold out for key votes. There’s some good, progressive momentum on this bill now, and with Republicans apparently mulling a filibuster of the final package, all Dem votes are going to necessary.

Sarah Palin Fan Club Predicts the Date and Place of Palin’s Presidential Announcement

We see, clearly, the Left thumbing through the Alinsky Methods playbook it employed against Hillary in 2008, desperately trying to sink Palin early, to hobble her, to take her out of contention so the media can install a losing, mayonnaise-and-cucumbers milquetoast sandwich “it’s his turn” Republican like Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty as the Republicans’ 2012 nominee — to further the media’s pursuit of handing Barack Obama a second term.

I’m a liberal, not a leftist, but for what it’s worth I dream of a Palin run for president. I’m not sure where Palin supporters get their paranoid delusions. Nothing would please me more than Palin on the Republican ticket in 2012 and I sincerely wish them the best in their endeavors to make that happen.

The Power of Republican Magic Words

The power of Republican magic words

Andrew McCarthy could single-handedly keep the adult diaper industry in business is wetting his bed over Attorney General Holder’s reluctant use of the phrase “radical Islam” – AG Eric Holder Refuses to Say ‘Radical Islam’ Is a Cause of Terrorism Committed by Muslims

Mr. Holder would obviously rather get a root-canal than utter the words “radical Islam”…

[   ]…He referred to al Qaeda recruiter Anwar al-Awlaki as beholden to “a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it.” I wonder if he will enlighten us on what exactly Awlaki has gotten wrong.

And the aptly named right-wing Republican site Hotair chimes in, Holder really, really doesn’t want to talk about radical Islam

Excruciating, not least of all because he ends up basically agreeing with the premise of the question. Yes, of course Shahzad “might have been incited” by radical Islam. He’s an Anwar al-Awlaki fan who went to Pakistan for bomb-training, didn’t he?

While there is an element of political correctness in what to call radical fundamentalists, exactly what is McBedwetter and McBedwetter Jr’s point. Say the magic word – Islamic radicalism, Muslim fundamentalist terrorism and presto chango the crazed  mindset that caused 9-11 will end. Here we are over nine years later and calling terrorists names doesn’t seem to have much effect. This should be embarrassing to Hotair, but they do have a talent for rationalizing away their hypocrisy. In this post Obama: We’re not at war with Islam, posted at 10:30 am on April 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey from Hotair just a year ago they brag about how Bush made several speeches in which he tried to assure everyone of the Muslim faith the U.S. was not at war with Islam,

“I’ve made it clear, Madam President, that the war against terrorism is not a war against Muslims, nor is it a war against Arabs. It’s a war against evil people who conduct crimes against innocent people.” — Remarks by President George W. Bush and President Megawati of Indonesia The Oval Office, Washington, D.C. September 19, 2001
* “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.”

Which is the exact opposite of what McCarthy and Hotair are arguing today – the Times Square attack was not just the work of a few violent offenders, but a crime of Islam. I’m not a big fan of fundamentalism of any stripe, but just factually that it’s a little hyperbolic to say “I wonder if he will enlighten us on what exactly Awlaki has gotten wrong” in referring to the entirety of Islam. Islam is the world’s second largest religion with around a billion practitioners – most of them in Asia, not the Middle-East. If Islam is a violent religion and is at war with the west McCarthy and Hotair couldn’t get enough diapers to see them through the day. No More Mister Nice Blog picked up on the same story – LAMAR SMITH HAS “RADICAL ISLAM” TOURETTE’S

As I remember the same radical Republicans were very upset that there should be any reporting that tied the teachings of conservatism and right-wing Christian fundamentalist to violence – Going To Extremes: The Obama Era’s Top Ten Anti-Government Flare-Ups

1. The Hutaree: Nine members of the Christian militia group, which says it’s preparing for the arrival of the Anti-Christ, were charged  this week with plotting to kill law enforcement and “oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government.” The Feds acted after one member posted online that the group was “ready for war.”

3. James Von Brunn: The 88-year old shot and killed an African-American guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC last June. Von Brunn, who recently died in prison, had long moved in neo-Nazi circles, and in 1981 he tried to hold hostage an employee of the Federal Reserve at gunpoint. In recent writings he had expressed support for Birtherism, and had praised Sarah Palin.

So if we all play by the rules laid out by The National Review and Hotair – Christianity in its entirety is to be condemned for the plots of conservative militia groups. Sarah Palin followers are all violent extremist neo-Nazis? If those be the rules as prescribed by the Conservative movement, than so be it. Who are we to argue with such powerful wizards.

Spring Green Rye wallpaper and Some Wacky Highlights From ConWorld

Spring Green Rye wallpaper

LIBERTARIAN BULLSH*T OF THE DAY

Making everything worse as usual, Megan McArdle:

I haven’t generated great interest in the Elena Kagan nomination.

Why was she trying to generate interest in the Kagan nomination? Oh, right: Words, meaning, Humpty Dumpty, etc.

But I do think that David Brooks is onto something when he notes that her relentless careerism, her pitch-perfect blandness, are a little creepy… the driven, hyperachieving spawn of the Ivy League meritocracy…

What’s disturbing is that this is what our nomination process now selects for: someone who appears to be in favor of nothing except self-advancement.

My take on Kagan is that she is yet another disappointment for liberals, but I’m glad I’m defending her from unfair attacks rather than writing about John The Gigolo McCain’s second nomination to the SCOTUS. Every Justice on the Court is from the Ivy League, most of them Conservatives. McArdle – who is not the least bit interested  – wakes from her lifelong nap to draw a line in the slobber over her keyboard at one more Ivy Leaguer. And pardon her and Brookemiester’s hypocrisy – on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays Democrats are all lazy leftists on welfare, but on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday Democrats are ruthlessly ambitious.  Erick “Bubba Bubbason” Erickson objections to Kagan are perfectly normal for someone has probably downed one too many shots of dishwasher detergent. Detergents have been shown to kill the will to do research before penning one’s factless opinions and claiming they’re the truth. Blogger/plagiarist Ben Domenech has sworn Kagan is gay and Andrew Sullivan for reasons I would rather not know more about, desperately hopes she is gay, but Kagan is not. Which answers the hottest issue of the day.

Tea Parties Rage as Taxes Hit Lowest Level Since 1950

For almost a year and a half, furious Tea Party protesters have been chanting “Taxed Enough Already.” But as it turns out, “taxed enough” actually means “at the lowest levels since 1950.” That’s the word from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which found that Americans paid the smallest overall tax bill since Harry Truman was in the White House. Of course, that inconvenient truth for Tea Baggers is tied to another: their plummeting payments are due in part to the tax relief delivered by President Obama.

The tea nuts are not about issues so we can throw all the charts, statistics and studies in the world at them and they’ll still be pissed off. These are the last 25% that thought Dubya and Cheney walked on water and dammitt they’re not going to take responsibility for voting Republican for five election cycles and enabling the financial meltdown and that trillion dollar picnic in Iraq. They got rid of far Right Republican Bob Bennett(R-UT) for an even further Right candidate, which certainly kills the wacky claim the tea partay was bipartisan. This is part of their goal not to correct course from the policies of the Bush years, but to gain enough power to turn so far Right they make Bush seem like a progressive. Hatch Explains Bennett’s Defeat: Tea Party Doesn’t ‘Have An Open Mind And They Won’t Listen’

HATCH: A lot of these Tea Party people are angry, and I’m angry too. … I mean my gosh, They’re mad. They have a right to be mad and I think these Tea Party people are doing the country a service. But when they don’t have an open mind and they won’t listen, that’s another matter and that’s something I think anybody would find fault with.

Also noted at the link is a poll showing that the rabid-Right Hatch could not win reelection if he was running in this cycle. The tea bagger conservatives would replace him with – surprise – someone even further Right. I would like to thank the tea nuts for the irony of Orrin Hatch complaining about closed minds.

In old new news, CREW SUES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OVER MISSING YOO EMAILS

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DOJ) for failing to provide CREW with records relating to the missing John Yoo emails. In February 2010, DOJ made public a July 2009 report of its investigation into the roles of former high-ranking Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) officials John Yoo and Patrick Philbin in the drafting of OLC’s torture memos, which authorized the use of torture when interrogating detainees outside of the United States. The investigation was hampered by the fact that most of Mr. Yoo’s emails and many of Mr. Philbin’s had disappeared.

Religion can bring out the best in people, sometimes not – Muhammad cartoonist ‘head-butted’ during lecture

A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was assaulted Tuesday as furious protesters interrupted his university lecture about the limits of free speech.A Swedish artist who angered Muslims by depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a dog was assaulted Tuesday as furious protesters interrupted his university lecture about the limits of free speech.

Why this faction of fundie Muslims is choosing to live in a liberal democracy is a mystery. With freedom comes the freedom to be offensive. If they want to live in an authoritarian theocracy as Sarah Palin would like, they need to find some place like Iran.

Mojave cross at center of court fight reported stolen – there are at least three schools are speculation – those darn atheists did it, someone did it purely to sell off the scrape metal and conservative pranksters ala James O’Keefe did it hoping to cast blame on liberals.

Frank Buono, a former Park Service employee, initiated the lawsuit, saying the cross represented government endorsement of the Christian faith. A federal appeals court ultimately agreed, and rejected a move by Congress in 2003 to transfer the tiny portion of land where the cross sits to the VFW as a privately held national memorial.

The transfer of the land to the VFW sounded like a good compromise.

The Gulf Spill Truther Movement – Poll: Ten percent of Americans believe environmentalists intentionally caused oil spill

Elena Kagan – The Good, Bad and the Subjective

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Flying Over Snow Capped Mountains wallpaper

For those not living in a cave Elena Kagan is President Obama’s nomination to the SCOTUS. Here’s the good, bad and variations in between.

Constitutional lawyer and civil rights litigator Glenn Greenwald has posted several times on Kagan. You can access them all via The latest on Elena Kagan

(1) University of Colorado Law Professor Paul Campos, who previously expressed shock at the paucity of Kagan’s record and compared her to Harriet Miers, has a new piece in The New Republic entitled (appropriately): “Blank Slate.

Kagan does not fair much better as the post goes on. Kagan is not a Blank slate. She has written quite a few scholarly legal papers that few are willing to wage through. That is not so much to defend her as a great choice, only to say some critics – left and right – are not doing their homework. I wish that Glenn had not taken Tweets from two moderate/liberal pundits to damn all liberals as potential mindless endorsers of any SCOTUS pick Obama makes. Liberals greatest strength and weakness is the diversity of opinion, a long way from the cult of personality the Right reserved for George W. Bush. For the sake of balance, also at salon is this piece from James Doty – The liberal case against Kagan is overstated

To begin with, Kagan’s professional biography reveals that she has spent the last several decades working closely with some of the country’s best known left and center-left figures. After graduating from Princeton, where she wrote an article hoping that a “more leftist left” would emerge in American politics, Kagan enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she served as a research assistant for the famed liberal law professor Larry Tribe. After her graduation from Harvard, she clerked first for Abner Mikva, a legendary figure of the American political and judicial left (and an Obama advisor). She next clerked for Thurgood Marshall, another liberal icon, whom Kagan has called her legal hero and the greatest lawyer of the 20th Century.

There is not much I can do about political labeling – the use of the word “left” for example. American liberals have been and continue to be Jeffersonian in their ideals. Kagan’s leftism seems like a blend of Jefferson and his nemesis  Alexander Hamilton. Not the European model the word left generally invokes. As much as Glenn and others think that Kagan is too Conservative, Conservatives have already begun labeling her a bona fide socialist. They have no evidence to support that assertion, but facts tend to jam the right-wing noise machine – Myths and falsehoods about Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination

Walter Dellinger writing at Slate addresses Greenwald’s and others concerns that Kagan is of the unitary executive theory of the presidency and thus unlikely to challenge the on going expansion of presidential power – Elena Kagan Is a Progressive on Executive Power

That is all way off the mark. Let’s take Greenwald’s second point first. As dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan sharply and publicly criticized the excessive claims of executive authority put forth by Bush administration lawyers such as John Yoo. In an address at her school’s graduation ceremony in 2007, she forthrightly condemned “the expedient and unsupported legal opinions” used by Yoo and other lawyers to justify violations of federal laws regulating wiretapping and interrogation. Kagan minced no words in her critique of Bush administration lawyers who “failed to respect the law” or who manipulated, bent, or evaded the law “to seek short-term advantage.” She also held up as a model to the graduating students and their families and friends the actions of independent counsel Archibald Cox in standing up to President Nixon. And she praised other lawyers such as Jack Goldsmith, who insisted that President Bush cease the secret wiretapping program because they believed it unlawful.

At least as far as presidential authority goes Delliger thinks Kagan is right in step with the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

What about Citizens United? Marvin Ammori writing at Balkinization in his interpretation of her writings thinks she is closer to the Conservative majority on the court than Stevens – Does Elena Kagan Disagree With Justice Stevens On Citizens United?

You can guess where this post is going.  In one of Dean Kagan’s very few law review articles, she describes the legal “rule” in agreement with Citizens United’s conservative majority, not Stevens’ dissent, and says Austin can’t be distinguished.  She does something similar for phone and cable companies (as I’ll explain), again siding with the largest corporations (and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas) over Stevens.

In the common language of law review articles, the conclusion can almost be implied: these exceptions should be overruled, as they are unjustified exceptions in the law.

What makes United a tough call is not that Kagan argued the adminstraion’s case against United ( that was her job representing her client – the Obama administarion) is that President Obama has made such strong critisms of the SCOTUS ruling on United –  He told Congress (to Alito’s displeasure) that it “reversed a century of law” and would “open the floodgates for special interests.” Would the president appoint someone who’s legal opinions on such a important and just plain boneheaed decision were the exact opposite of his own.

9750 Words on Elena Kagan – More than you ever wanted to know. From the SCOTUS Blog. The title is a bit exaggerated, you’ll have to click through and read Kagan’s published work to get a real sense of her legal point of view. Executive authority has expanded directly and by way of presidential directed agencies over the last 25 years. Kagan thought that Clinton’s expansion were justified in the sense of regulatory power to protect the nation and consumers when pressing issues were not properly handled or expedited by Congress. Not a bad thing some liberals might think on first impression, but a tack that can be abused – see Bush, John Yoo, David Addington, the DOJ under Gonzales and the abuses by the CIA as directed by the White House.
I would have rather done a post celebrating the nomination of Judge Diane Wood (7th Cir.).

And a sad farewell to Lena Horne, Singer and Actress Dies at 92. Lena Horne – Stormy Weather (1943) . A video on YouTube. Horne’s signature song.

Neocons Revive Old Lies and Distortions to Attack President Obama

Sure, if a Republican’s lips are moving, more often than not, they are lying, obfuscation, spinning, revising history or smirking to themselves as they create some fabulous tale. Sometimes it’s all too obvious they enjoy creating their own reality. A form of mental masturbation, with some self loathing mixed in with supreme arrogance. Case in point serial liar neocon Stephen F. Hayes writing at the Weakly Standard – Don’t Mention the War, May 17, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 33

The Times Square attack was the third time in the past six months that an individual terrorist with ties to high-level Islamic radicals overseas has launched an attack on the American homeland. In each instance, America’s vast, multibillion dollar intelligence and law enforcement establishment failed to detect the terrorists’ plans beforehand.

Does Hayes mean Obama did not prevent an attempted attack the way Bush and Cheney did not prevent 9-11 after receiving warnings or Bush botched preventing Osama Bin Laden from escaping at Tora Bora. Neocons should come with a warning label – May Get Whiplash from Flying Hypocrisy. Former Bush speech writer Marc Thiessen – who thinks torture is the best thing since cheese spread in a can claiming that president Obama is killing too many terrorists. Than there was Dick Cheney – who those with a clear head have long suspected of wanting to perpetuate the never-ending war – “In 2007, then Vice President Dick Cheney personally authorized the release of 11 Saudis from Guantanamo Bay, who then passed through a leaky Saudi halfway house terrorist rehabilitation program to rejoin Al Qaeda.” The Right has been trying to play the weak on national security card for months hoping to get some traction. The fact is that Obama and Democrats have had remarkable success. So much so they have also been attacked from the left for the increased use of drones among other issues. Hayes has a lot invested in the urban myths surrounding terrorism. He has been lying about the Iraq/al Qaeda connection and WMD for years – which earned him a job at the “liberal” CNN.

The Republican fascist-lite blog Ace of Spades writes about Newsweek’s current problems in a mind numbing post absolutely free of any – what’s that stuff called? evidence. Oh the Irony: “America is Back!,” Baby, But The Magazine Proclaiming This Just Might Go Out of Business

People can debate ethics.

They ( referring to liberals) prefer to view their politics as a matter of strict black and white morality in which their view is not arguably the more ethical or sound one, but in which their view is Good (capital G optional), and the opposite politics are Evil (capital E required.)

One can debate such ethical dilemmas such as whether it’s better to see your kid go hungry or steal a loaf of bread from another family.

One can’t argue, really, whether or not it’s better to do Good than it is to do Evil.

Liberals favor the latter formulation.

Ace has the same short-term memory problems that plaque most Cons, in addition to the ability to live in a bubble of denial, the standard mental tools of every political zealot. For eight years George W. Bush was not just president he was the leader of a personality cult in which he could do no wrong and the slightest criticism of him was anti-American. Not anti-Bush per se and certainly not loyal opposition which is indicative of any democracy. No Bush critics were traitors and terrorist lovers. Hate? That was served up daily by the right-wing media and the so-called liberal media like the NYT that helped sell the Iraq disaster to the public..

What day was it that conservatives became civil ?

Deleting the Bush Personality Cult from history and Do Bush followers have a political ideology? for starters.

Some books written by conservative ‘thinkers” during the Bush years included – Deliver Us from Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism by Sean Hannity, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism by Ann Coulter, and Michelle Malkin’s Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild. Remember the Jim Carey movie Liar. Liar. If such a spell was possible and put on the Conservative movement they’d knock themselves senseless in a few hours. If you took away their ability to push the egregious Pravdaesque propaganda they could not have a debate. Ace and the other right-wing bloggers gloating over Newsweek’s demise might cause a few liberals to have seizures if they just admitted they hated Newsweek because it did not feed the Right the constant vitriol filled pabulum that they can never get enough of. Newsweek was on occasion, actually balanced. And goodness forbid they mention the right-wing Moonie Washington Times is sinking despite all the money the Right poured into it to keep that revenue bleeding yellow rag afloat.

Sue Lowden now running TV ad claiming (wrongly) that chickens-for-checkups was “out of context”. Sometimes the worse thing one can do to a Republican is quote them accurately.

AG Paid $60,000 to Anti-Gay Activist Who Hired Male Prostitute. That state Attorney General was Bill McCollum(R). Another conservative more interested in finding an “expert” to tell him what he wanted to hear rather than the truth. A comrade of Stephen Hayes and Ace.

Self Described Tea Baggers.   National Review admits conservatives coined ‘Teabagger’

In the comment section where I took the screen shot of Big Government’s chief propagandist Andrew Brietbart were these,

Iam proud too Andrew! thanks for all that you do. It has been fun to watch.
Headplant – April 14th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Been saying all along that I’m proud to be a tea bagger. Put it on my blog as well. The left really didn’t think this nonsensical word through (not that they ever think anything through), but if we are the teabaggers, then THEY are the ones being teabagged. Guess who has the power? WE DO. Finally, somebody catches this and utilizes it. Good work, Breitbart and Nussbaum.
TheAudacity – April 14th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Well done! Can’t wait for tomorrow, Tea Bagger pride!
middle american – April 14th, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Create Something Technical Plans wallpaper, Deepwater BP Oil Spill is Just Like Katrina?

Create Something Technical Plans wallpaper

Jake Tapper seems to have found an angle to tease out of the Deepwater Horizon response – one offical with the Department of the Interior was on a trip in the Grand Canyon where in addition to rafting he was also discussing wildlife management, river flows, beach erosion, humpback chub, tamarisk control, overflights, safety. Exactly the kind of things we pay him to do. While Oil Slick Spread, Interior Department Chief of Staff Rafted with Wife on “Work-Focused” Trip in Grand Canyon

Other leaders of the Interior Department were focused on the Gulf, joined by other agencies and literally thousands of other employees. But Strickland’s participation in a trip that administration officials insisted was “work-focused” raised eyebrows among other Obama administration officials and even within even his own department, sources told ABC News.

So there is some murky implied guilt on the Interior Department Chief of Staff even though Tapper does acknowledge that thousands of other employees were part of and were working on the Horizon spill,

Barkoff said that Secretary Salazar deputized Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes “to be the point person on this issue and from the morning after the explosion from the time he got to New Orleans he has been working on this non-stop with the help of other people in the Interior Department as well as other agencies involved.”

As would suspect the Republican bloggers response – a gathering of dunces – wants to spin this as a Nero fiddled while Rome burned story. Which would work if it thousands of Interior employees, plus the Coast Guard and BP clean-up crews were short one clean-up guy. Jake Tapper did not stop and think. That might have stopped him from running a story that reads more like something spun by WorldNut Daily.

The other angle is this makes the Gulf spill Obama’s Katrina. If the wind blows, if the sun shines, if some crony corporate stooge doesn’t get his million dollar bonus its Obama’s Katrina. If the Katrina analogy were a carpet the rabid Right has worn it threadbare. The response to Katrina was the responsibility of FEMA and the state’s that were impacted. Who has primary responsibility for being first responder to oil spills – the company that caused the spill – in this case BP and it’s contractors TransOcean and Hailliburton. Who is next in line? The U.S. Coast Guard who was on site immediately on notification there had been an explosion, upon which they started the rescue and search part of the response,

April 20 (10 p.m.): Oil rig explosion. An April 21 ABCNews.com article reported, “An overnight explosion in the Gulf of Mexico rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil rig off the Louisiana coast, sending spectacular bursts of flame into the sky. The fires were still raging today.” The U.S. Coast Guard’s National Oil and Hazardous Substances Response System assigns primary responsibility for cleaning up oil spills to the spiller as the responsible party.

April 21: Deputy Secretary of Interior, Coast Guard dispatched to region. An April 22 White House statement noted that following a briefing with President Obama, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen, Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe, and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, “Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes was dispatched to the region yesterday to assist with coordination and response.” The Coast Guard announced that four units were responding to the fire, with additional units en route.

Once Governor Blanco asked the federal government to declare a state of emergency on August 27, 2005 and Bush declared the storm an emergency it became FEMA’s emergency. On August 28 Bush was warned by the Hurricane Center the levees would be topped – a notice that repeated previous unheeded warnings. On the 29th – two days after the state of emergency heck-of-a- job FEMA director Brown  asks that 1,000 DHS employees be dispatched to the region. A lack of good judgment and tragic logistical error, since at that point it would take two days for those employees to arrive.

Moreover, FEMA’s former Director, Michael Brown, lacked the leadership skills that were needed. Before landfall, Brown did not direct the adequate pre-positioning of critical personnel and equipment, and willfully failed to communicate with DHS Secretary, Michael Chertoff , to whom he was supposed to report. Earlier in the hurricane season, FEMA had pre-positioned an unprecedented amount of relief supplies in the region. But the supplies were not enough. Similarly, while both FEMA and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made eff orts to activate the federal emergency health capabilities of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS), only a limited number of federal medical teams were actually in position prior to landfall to deploy into the aff ected area. Only one such team was in a position to provide immediate medical care in the aft ermath of the storm.

More broadly, DHS – as the Department charged with preparing for and responding to domestic incidents, whether terrorist attacks or natural disasters – failed to eff ectively lead the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. DHS leadership failed to bring a sense of urgency to the federal government’s preparation for Hurricane Katrina, and Secretary Chertoff himself should have been more engaged in preparations over the weekend before landfall.
Secretary Chertoff made only top-level inquiries into the state of preparations, and accepted
uncritically the reassurances he received. He did not appear to reach out to the other Cabinet secretaries to make sure that they were readying their departments to provide whatever assistance DHS – and the people of the Gulf Coast – might need.

[  ]…In addition, the White House shares responsibility for the inadequate pre-landfall preparations. To be sure, President Bush, at the request of Brown, did take the initiative to personally call Governor Blanco to urge a mandatory evacuation. As noted earlier, he also took the unusual step of declaring an emergency in the Gulf Coast States prior to Katrina’s landfall. On the other hand, the President did not leave his Texas ranch to return to Washington until two days after landfall, and only then convened his Cabinet, as well as a White House task force, to oversee federal response efforts.

from Hurricane Katrina: A Nation Still Unprepared, Special Report of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs United States Senate Together with Additional Views. Susan M. Collins (R) Maine, Chairman

Then Governor Blanco(D) and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin were not exactly hailed as heroes in the Senate report. Two small urban myths still permeate the Right-wing retelling of the Gulf coast and Hurricane Katrina. One is that Mississippi  Gov. Haley Barbour was some kind of superhero that managed the state’s Katrina response with a latex costume and one hand tied behind his back. That was hardly the case. He also asked for Mississippi to receive assistance from FEMA, billions in federal aid post Katrina and was far from the wunderkind of post storm reconstruction( Mississippi received less damage from the storm but received more federal aid than Louisiana via his Republican connections.)  Ray Nagin was a registered Republican who contributed to Bush’s 2000 presidential race before he ran as a Democrat for mayor of New Orleans. While he gave to the Obama campaign he has also contributed to Rep. Wilbert Tauzin II(R) campaign and endorsed the insipid Bobby Jindal (R) for governor. Any spin that casts Nagan as a liberal and thus naturally screwed up in his Katrina response is over simplified at best.

Some linkage:

Media Ignore The Fact That Man Who Alerted Police To Failed Times Square Bombing Is A Muslim Immigrant

The Times Square bomber – despite what serial liars such as Rush Limbaugh and Gateway Pundits claim – was not a registered Democrat.

Obama’s Election Inspires Blacks to Run for Office…As Republicans – which is you know, possible because of civil rights legislation created by liberals and disdained by conservatives to this day. That’s OK, don’t say thanks. Wait for the irony……. GOP Candidate Runs Pro-Racial Profiling Ad: ‘Let’s Face It’ — The ‘Good-Looking Rich Guy’ Isn’t A Terrorist. In ConservoWorld the good guys always wear very pale skin.

The tea nuts object to being called tea baggers. Even though they call themselves tea baggers – Mr. Balloon Juice has the pictorial evidence.

Bridge View Manhattan Lights wallpaper, The New Populism Smells a Lot Like Some Moldy Old Populism

Bridge View Manhattan Lights wallpaper

U.S. citizen from Pakistan arrested in Times Square bomb case

Authorities said Faisal Shahzad, who lived in Shelton, Conn., had paid cash for a Nissan Pathfinder that was found packed with explosives Saturday night on a tourist-crowded block in midtown Manhattan. The vehicle was set ablaze but failed to detonate.

Officials located Shahzad after a sweeping two-day investigation that yielded what senior Obama administration officials described as a flood of international and domestic clues suggesting a plot involving more than one person.

Innocent until proven guilty, but having been identified as the purchaser of the SUV it is not looking like Shahzad will be making bail anytime soon. If he felt frustrated with some policy of the U.S. he should have been paying attention. Grabbed a sign and joyed the tea nuts. They stand for everything and nothing, they should know they had something or some people or some legislation which they have not bothered to read. Shahzad and his ignorant misdirected rage would have fit right in. Thus far the tea nut contingent has limited itself to shooting people, bricks through windows and cutting gas lines. So yes let’s give the tea smokers credit, by all means, for avoiding bombs.  The rightie rage embodied in the anti-gov’mint movement – that spring to life like locust just as coincidentally the most anti-freedom right-wing president in our history was leaving office. Populism sounds nice and in the history of populist movements in the U.S. one can usually find a nugget of justification, but often times they fall short on exactly how to solve the problems. Both the real ones and the ones they imagine. History’s Mad Hatters: The Strange Career of Tea Party Populism

Above all, Goldwater was the avatar of today’s politics of limited government.  In his opposition to civil rights legislation, he might be called the original “tenther” — that is, a serial quoter of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves for the states all powers not expressly granted to the Federal government, with which he justified hamstringing all efforts by Washington to rectify social or economic injustice. For Goldwater the outlawing of Jim Crow was an infringement of constitutionally protected states’ rights. Moreover, he was an inveterate enemy of all forms of collectivism, including of course unions and the welfare state.

As the Goldwater opposition sank its grassroots into the lush soil of the Sunbelt, its desire to restore an older order of things was palpable.  At a time when New Deal liberalism was the reigning orthodoxy, the senator’s reactionary impulses seemed startlingly adrift from the mainstream, and so strange indeed.

Reaganites were a clever bunch. They used a wink and nod – the politics of implication with plausible deniability, but embraced much of Goldwater’s racism – the southern strategy – and gave income assistance a black face ( the “welfare queen”). The United States paper thin social safety net – The Nanny State – was not abolished, and why do away with things like public housing assistance when crony conservatism could make so much money from it – Reagan and the HUD scandal. The tea bags want to return to those nebulous good old days of Goldwater or Reagan or some original intent, the meaning of which can only be deciphered with  special Konservative decoder rings.

Tea Party populism should also be thought of as a kind of identity politics of the right.  Almost entirely white, and disproportionately male and older, Tea Party advocates express a visceral anger at the cultural and, to some extent, political eclipse of an America in which people who looked and thought like them were dominant (an echo, in its own way, of the anguish of the Know-Nothings).  A black President, a female Speaker of the House, and a gay head of the House Financial Services Committee are evidently almost too much to bear.  Though the anti-immigration and Tea Party movements so far have remained largely distinct (even if with growing ties), they share an emotional grammar: the fear of displacement.

That feeling of displacement is generally something most of us can agree on, but once again instead of blaming the large corporations that shipped their jobs off shore or those who  lost the tea bagger’s savings running Wall St like a backroom gambling hall – they’re reverting back to the squalid populism of Goldwater and Reagan. This time its the poor, immigrants and once again the liberals who are responsible. That initial backlash against corporate America is a shadow of what it was back in early 2008.

Speaking At Trade Association Funded By BP, Gov. Perry Claims Rig Disaster Is An ‘Act Of God’ or just maybe it was because BP was negligent about adhering to safety rules and buying an emergency shut off valve. Perry is also popular with tea baggers. Tea bag populism is destined to go down in history as a movement with the uncanny ability to not be able to identify the root cause of a problem. So now its the poor, immigrants (FLASHBACK: GOP Voted Against $680M For Border Security In Recovery Act), liberals and God to blame.

Upping the ante: Limbaugh and Hannity’s falsehood about oil spill response keeps growing

Rush got the ball rolling last week, when he claimed that President Obama “waited eight days” to deal with the spill. At the time, Media Matters pointed out that this was false; the administration immediately dispatched officials and the Coast Guard to the area to work on the response.

Hannity, perhaps trying to one-up his fellow right-wing host, went on the air that night and claimed that the administration “sat back for 9 days and they did absolutely nothing.”

But that apparently wasn’t enough for Hannity, because tonight, he increased that number, asserting that “for 10 days the government did nothing” about the spill.

Limbaugh and hannity among others have formed the Gulf Oil Spill Right-Wing Truthers. All the innuendo and conspiracy laden language is exactly what loony conspiracy theorists always do. They imply an answer by “asking” a question in a way that already implies an answer. It probably doesn’t matter to the average Hannity sycophant, but to most people the inability to read a calendar and count says something about his credibility.

First it was Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and now John Boehner (R-OH) is taking credit for health care reform – even as Boehner vows to repeal it. The problem with Republicans claiming they had good ideas and no one would listen is they committed themselves to complete obstructionism. So trying to take credit now for any part of HCR is a lie – Former GOP Lawmaker Rips Boehner And Cantor For Their Crass Partisanship, Political Gimmicks

GILCHREST: For example, when Obama asked a large contigent of Democrats and Republicans to come to the White House to begin to talk about the healthcare bill, the whip — who I know well, my good friend Eric Cantor from Virginia, a Republican — brings in the bill. Now he didn’t bring in suggestions. He didn’t want dialogue about how to make this better, he brought in a bill. And when it was his time to discuss the issue, all he talked about was how big the bill, how complicated the bill is, how much they don’t have time to read the bill and all these things, which was really a waste of time. […]

It’s not too big to fail, it’s too big to read theory of public policy. Boehner was also dismissed a talk by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson about the financial break down. They could not be bothered with the meltdown because they had to think of ways to raise money for the 2008 elections.

Red Green Smoke wallpaper

smoke on black

Red Green Smoke wallpaper

Some linkage:

Unsettled Why Israel and liberal American Jews are drifting apart.

One recent study found that only 54 percent of Jews under 35 who aren’t Orthodox are “comfortable with the idea of a Jewish state” (as compared to more than 80 percent of those over 65). Among younger Jews, only 20 percent rated as “highly attached” to Israel in another poll. If you want examples of the shift in sentiment, read just about any Jewish columnist for a major newspaper. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times spent last week arguing that Biden under-reacted to Israel’s announcement about the new housing units in East Jerusalem, comparing Israel’s policies to drunken driving. Richard Cohen of the Washington Post is writing a book arguing that the founding of Israel was a well-intentioned mistake.

Like most arguments that emanate from the Right, the criticism of Israel equals antisemitism, is tiresome. It has become the standard knee jerk reaction anytime someone suggests that some new Israeli settlement is both legally wrong and counterproductive. The Right’s political correctness towards Israel is supposedly aimed at getting the support of American Jews, but it simply is not working.

Dylan Ratigan does not mention Mitch McConnell(R-KY) and John Boehner(R-OH) puppet master and lobbyist Frank Luntz by name, but clearly rips them and Judd Gregg(R-NH) and Ben Nelson(D-NE) a new one

Politicians like Judd Gregg and Ben Nelson are fighting to keep the crooked $600 trillion derivatives market unreformed. The dirty not-so-little secret about derivatives? In their current form, they are basically government insurance where the bailed-out mega-banks get to keep the premiums but the taxpayer pays the claims.

As Ratigan points out the secrecy and avoidance of open exchanges in regards derivatives is clearly unnecessary. When businesses hide transactions that they know are a house of cards capable of crippling the economy there is a reason. The same reason that Scooter Libby lied, to protect their interests and compromise those of everyone else.