Shameless Hypocrisy of the Day, The Supernaturally Incompetent Conservative Donald Rumsfeld Criticizes Foreign Policy

Heroes in Ebony

Heroes in Ebony–The captors of the Confederate steamer USS Planter (1862), Robert Small, W. Morrison, A. Gradine and John Small.

At 04:00 on 13 May 1862, while her captain, C. J. Relyea, was absent on shore, Robert Smalls, a slave who was Planter’s pilot, quietly took the ship from the wharf, and with a Confederate flag flying, steamed past the successive Confederate forts. He saluted the installation as usual by blowing the steam whistle. As soon as the steamer was out of range of the last Confederate gun, Smalls hauled down the Confederate flag and hoisted a white one. Then he turned Planter over to the USS Onward of the Union blockading force.

Besides Smalls, Planter carried 15 other slaves to freedom behind Union lines: seven crewmen, five women, and three children. In addition to the cargo of artillery and explosives, Smalls brought Flag officer Samuel Francis Du Pont valuable intelligence, including word that the Confederates had abandoned defensive positions on the Stono River.

While we’re delving into history, some quotes from former conservative Republican Secretary of Defense in the Bush administration, Donald Rumsfeld:

I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks, or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that. – Interview with Steve Croft, Infinity CBS Radio Connect, November 14, 2002

But no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. – Hearing Before the House Armed Services Committee, September 10, 2002 [9]. Quoted on March 14, 2004. Iraq was not a leading exporter of terrorism against the U.S. then or any other time, and they had no connections to al Qaeda or 9/11.

We know where they [Iraq’s WMD] are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat….I would also add, we saw from the air that there were dozens of trucks that went into that facility after the existence of it became public in the press and they moved things out. They dispersed them and took them away. So there may be nothing left. I don’t know that. But it’s way too soon to know. The exploitation is just starting. – Interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC News This Week, March 30, 2003. This is my favorite quote from Rummy. There was never any WMD, Bush called off the hunt for them several years after he kicked out weapons inspectors and invaded Iraq.

Rumsfeld, like the other neocons never had much humility or honor. That is why he shamelessly weighs in on the current situation in Syria,  Rumsfeld: Obama Administration Hasn’t Made Case for Intervening in Syria

Rumsfeld explained that “there really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation.” (Yesterday, White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters it is “absolutely in the national-security interests of the United States and the international community” to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.)

In an interview with Neil Cavuto that will air Wednesday night on Fox Business Network, the former Bush secretary of defense blasted the administration as “mindless” for tipping its hand and said he “[couldn’t] imagine what they’re thinking” by giving President Bashar Assad’s regime “crystal clarity, with respect to what they attempt.”

Of course the current administration should listen to the shameless venal rantings of someone who has proven to be singularly incompetent in foreign policy and management of U.S. military forces. Give the country fifty years and scholars will be writing about how the Bush administration, the invasion of Iraq and the management of that invasion was one of the most egregious betrayals of the American people in the nation’s history. The only episode that comes close is Nixon and Kissinger’s malicious prolonging of the Vietnam War for political gain.

Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein

“Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein,” Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983. This is after Iraq had used poison gas against Iran and the Kurds.


Republicans See Any Opposition To Their Tyranny as Oppression

Conservatives, intent on being dishonest and disingenuous are still flogging the President Obama built it story. Thus far it is the only spin they seem to be able to get some traction out of. Here are the relevant few sentences,

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for president — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.”

First, President Obama never said people in business do not build their businesses. He said they did not build the roads and bridges. Saying otherwise is a malicious or ignorant lie, or both. Non kool-aid drinkers are not responsible for the illiteracy of conservative partisans that cannot see past their blinding zealotry. No wonder Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Mitt Romney speak in wilted word salads. I often wish I could write like Bill Moyer or a couple of the better diarists at DKos and a few other pundits I admire, but at least I do not butcher the English language beyond recognition at the alter of venal and unsupported assertions. The Obama campaign pushed back against Mitt Romney’s ad that distorts the “you didn’t build that”

The Romney campaign took Obama’s comments about infrastructure out of context and have used it on the stump and now in a new ad to push the point that Obama doesn’t believe in small business owners.

In their new video, Cutter compares Romney and Obama’s plans to help small businesses. Cutter then brings up Romney’s history at Bain Capital, where he negotiated $10 million in debt forgiveness from the FDIC. “Ironically, Mitt Romney knows better than anyone that business can’t always do it alone,” Cutter says in the video.


Maybe conservatives read one of their infamous pundits say that hypocrisy is a virtue, Romney’s ‘We Did Build This’ Events Feature Businesses Built With Government Subsidies And Contracts

These come over the science/tech news wires just about everyday, Carbon Fiber a Government Clean Tech Innovation Success Story – Lighter cars, better crash protection. Big profits for corporations and safety for consumers via a public-private partnership. The real world.

Happy Chick-fil-A Day! – It’s here, America — our own culture war holiday

The great battle of Chick-fil-A has drawn responses both sensible and stupid from a variety of corners. On the liberal-yet-kinda-dumb side, there’s Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who, in a well-intentioned but ultimately ironic display of liberal muscle, declared, “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population.” Dear Tom: Expressing one’s beliefs is not discrimination. Also, announcing your intention to block someone from opening a business in your town because you don’t like his beliefs is discrimination.

[   ]….Meanwhile, over on the conservative side of the hen house, it’s been old home week for right-wing attention whores. Posing with a bag of chicken has, for a moment, become the new posing with an American flag. Why look, here’s Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, supporting values of both the family and meal variety. Here’s – wait for it – Sarah Palin, pausing long enough before any grease could leak through the bag to give a victorious thumbs up. And here’s windbag-at-large Rick Santorum defending the company against “intolerance and bigotry” that’s obviously a result of the way we’re “fundamentally changing the moral foundation of our country.”

But the real champion in all of this has been former governor, marathon runner and occasional overeater Mike Huckabee, who masterfully came up with the idea of declaring Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day — a day for Americans to “take a stand for the Godly values we espouse” and fight the “vicious hate speech and intolerant bigotry from the left” by patronizing their local franchises.

[    ]…Patronize establishments like Schnipper’s, which has offered to donate $1 from every chicken filet sandwich it sells this month to Marriage Equality USA. Be sane and civilized. That’s what true freedom and productive dialogue and effective change look like. So just let Chick-fil-A go. They’ll get the message — we   can’t stomach them.

It seems like some moderate minded folks cannot get jaw off the floor at the sheer audacity of the conservative noise machine, they are the ones who are victims? That is what they are claiming. A goat ate my copy, but as I remember from the Right-Wing Republican Book of Victim-hood, this is just another day and another melodramatic spectacle where conservatives – the perpetrators – flip the mirror and show the people who they are discriminating against, as horrible ogres. You see, conservatives thinks anyone who objects to their tyranny as oppressors. Stopping injustice is an injustice to conservatives. Why else do they so often defend the treason of the Confederacy. The mean Union objected to the supposed rights of states to buy and sell human beings. The Union were the oppressors and the Confederacy but poor little victims. The Union was immoral, the South the victim of liberal nanny state tinkering. Object to the twisted morality of some greasy nasty fast food joint who uses its profits to further its Jim Crow-lite crusade against gay Americans, and you’re a mean intolerant anti-marriage/anti-God/ radical. They’re hate is the new righteousness. Your intolerance of that hate is oppressive. This is the sick world of modern conservatism.

Chick-fil-A has done fair minded Americans a huge favor. When you spend your hard earned money you should know where it goes. Boycotts of one or two businesses are not going to cut it. Everyone needs to know where their money goes and what it is used for. Chick-fil-A is just the tip of a massive conservative business structure who works 24/7 to make the USA into an increasingly authoritarian plutocracy. Its time to get past the occasional boycott and serious ly our buying habits, A Guide To Consumer Brands Helping Bankroll Right-Wing Attack Ads. Some of the companies include Brawny paper towels, Waffle House, New Balance and Charles Schwab Corporation. These people are not just on a crusade to make gay Americans second class citizens, their agenda includes gutting workers’ rights, gutting environmental and wildlife protection, making women into citizens with only limited rights, gutting Medicare and Social Security ( S.Sec as ponzi scheme is another meme the far Right has fallen in love with), doing away with regulations like those concerning food ( hormone regulation, meat inspections), more preemptive wars, increasing taxes on the middle-class to finance yet more tax cuts for millionaires.

A recent column from Jennifer Granholm, Tea Party: Thank You for Your Insanity

Congratulations to him and to the Tea Party for putting another feather in their tri-corner hat.
But here’s the thing: The ascendancy of Tea Party candidates like Cruz, while impressive, comes at a cost to the Republican Party: the loss of moderate Republicans who have been knocked off or have resigned. Other Republicans have simply moved farther to the right in order to placate the absurd demands of the Tea Party extremists.

Mitt Romney is the perfect example: He seemed like a moderate governor, but now he can’t wait to board the Tea Party Express to Crazytown. As Michael Tomasky said on my show last night, he’s such a pandering, weak-willed wimp that he’s basically outsourced his brain to the Tea Party and the Koch brothers who fund it. Whatever they want, he’ll do. As the Tea Party takes the Republicans further to the right, he’s got to move along with them. He’s got to chase the base — a base which is getting smaller and crazier and Koch-brothers-ier.

Whether it’s their Sharia law and birther conspiracies or their unwillingness to buck Grover Norquist’s no-tax pledge, the Tea Partiers have hijacked their party and carried it all the way to the right.

Don’t believe me?

Think back to the Republican presidential debate when the moderator asked Republican candidates to raise their hands if they would reject a budget proposal that that offered ten dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in tax increases. Ten to one! Ten bucks of what they want for one measly dollar of what’s actually fair. And how many of them rose their hands? Every. Single. One.

That’s insanity! But that’s also the Tea Party. Because who are the puppeteers pulling the strings lifting these candidates’ hands? Why, of course, it’s the Koch brothers. And as the Tea Party moves further to the right, the Koch brothers’ strings get tighter and more controlling.

Tuesday night’s primary was a victory for Ted Cruz, but it also should be a victory for the Democratic Party. Because as the Republicans run to the crazy Tea Party right, they leave behind the huge mass of genuinely moderate and independent Americans that make up the majority of voters. The ones that used to consider themselves now-extinct moderate Republicans. They’re up for grabs. And the Democrats have to grab them! Not just with their with their lack of Tea Party insanity and Koch brothers strings, but with their solid, forward-thinking ideas. With their vision for middle-class resurgence. With their plans to invest in the people and future of America.

So congrats, again, Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, David and Charles Koch and the whole Tea Party gang. Thank you for the opportunity for the Democratic Party and progressives to reclaim the votes of the sane citizens of these United States.

The charlatans of morality who are invoking Biblical principles to defend Chick-fil-A are playing the same game with God that the vice president of the Confederacy Alexander H. Stephens did in defending slavery, Cornerstone Speech, March 21, 1861,Savannah, Georgia

“Many Governments have been founded upon the principles of certain classes; but the classes thus enslaved, were of the same race, and in violation of the laws of nature. Our system commits no such violation of nature’s laws. The negro by nature, or by the curse against Canaan, [note: A reference to Genesis, 9:20-27, which was used as a justification for slavery] is fitted for that condition which he occupies in our system. The architect, in the construction of buildings, lays the foundation with the proper material-the granite-then comes the brick or the marble. The substratum of our society is made of the material fitted by nature for it, and by experience we know that it is the best, not only for the superior but for the inferior race, that it should be so. It is, indeed, in conformity with the Creator. It is not for us to inquire into the wisdom of His ordinances or to question them. For His own purposes He has made one race to differ from another, as He has made “one star to differ from another in glory.”

The great objects of humanity are best attained, when conformed to his laws and degrees [sic], in the formation of Governments as well as in all things else. Our Confederacy is founded upon principles in strict conformity with these laws. This stone which was rejected by the first builders “is become the chief stone of the corner” in our new edifice.”

Just replace negro with gay or women or any group who dares to disagree with the conservative interpretation of what is moral or not.

Black and White Night Bridge wallpaper – A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan

Black and White Night Bridge wallpaper

Vintage Night View Bridge wallpaper


Romney’s Foreign Adventures: Off to a Smashing Start!

Mitt Romney’s trip abroad appears to be off to a smashing start. As a number of TPM Readers flagged to us last night Romney managed to insult his British hosts, knocking their management of the Summer Olympics in comparison to his run with the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.

Talking to Brian Williams last night, Romney opined …

It’s hard to know just how well it will turn out. There are a few things that were disconcerting: the stories about the private security firm not having enough people, supposed strike of the immigration and customs officials, that obviously is not something which is encouraging.

The scream headline in the Telegraph: “Mitt Romney questions whether Britain is ready for Olympic Games”

And who knew the British could be so mean, Romney in Shambles as Britain Proclaims Him Worse than Sarah Palin. Romney is trying to recover. Worse than Palin, that is pretty bad. Though what will never happen to Romney is the U.S. media asking if just maybe Romney is not that bright. Having been in Britain a few more hours, Romney decides, on second thought, they are ready for the Olympic Games. It might be tempting to just mark up Romney’s generally stumbling around was just supposed to be photo ops and smiles, as gaffes. First consider this recent news, Romney Bashes Stimulus, Then Fundraises In Home Of Stimulus Recipient. Like so many conservatives, especially wealthy conservatives, Romney suffers from an incurable case of narcissism. Pretty much his entire adult life has not just been one of privileged, but of people deferring to him because of his money and positions of authority. After living in that bubble, combined with the foil warped nature of the conservative mind – the mind that can never be wrong, admit error or accept new information – he is another Bush. An emperor with no clothes. When Willard Mitt Romney speaks it is not just words, it is writ from up high. Who are those who would criticize or disagree except the lowly peasants. This is a 65-year-old adult who when confronted with his hypocrisy or lies replies like a brat at an elite boarding school, Romney’s Top Six ‘I Know I Am But So Are You’ Moments.  

Romney and conservatives have decided that when President Obama speaks, he said what they say it said. That attitude takes a huge amount of mendacity, It’s a Weekday, So It’s Time for Another Misleading Edit of an Obama Quote. In this new misquote and highly edited speech, President Obama is saying his plan did not work. On reading that I would suggest that Obama or whoever is writing his stump speeches to keep it simple and direct. Now is not the time for rhetorical flourishes. They could have said this, New CBO Report Finds Hundreds of Thousands of People Still Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act. If the Bush tax cuts created jobs, they’re hiding some place. The conservative media has also decided that it is now offically part of the Big Conservative Book of Mythology that Obama said business ‘didn’t build that’. Still Pushing Its Discredited Take On Obama And Small Business

After More Than A Week, Fox Tried To Keep The Story Alive By Suggesting Obama Was “Doubling Down” On His “Insulting” Remarks. Fox & Friends used Obama’s comments that “we did not build this country on our own. We built it together” as a pretext to revive the “didn’t build that” smear. [Media Matters, 7/25/12]

[  ]….There’s no question Obama inartfully phrased those two sentences, but it’s clear from the context what the president was talking about. He spoke of government — including government-funded education, infrastructure and research — assisting businesses to make what he called “this unbelievable American system that we have.”

In summary, he said: “The point is … that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”

I was thinking about doing a graphic that depicted the way Romney The Magnificent and his conservative minions think about business and achievement, it might more effective than text. I work though and time is limited. Part of my work is to make someone else successful. Most Americans work to make someone else successful. What if they came to you and said, I do not need you, your education, training or experience, I can do everything on my own and be just as successful. That would seem surreal. Yet that is a large part of the bizarre debate. Romney is saying that one’s success is totally, utterly, completely disconnected from others. We live in a complex modern society that takes a lot of interconnected pieces to make it work. A recent study showed that for every $1 the federal government invested in research it returned an average of $141. Wall Street brokers have dreams of returns like that. And as Obama has said,sure if you start a business and it becomes successful, you deserve lots of credit for that, but you did it in the environment of a country that provides that infrastructure and institutions that are connected to that success.  Like his remarks in the U.K. Romney does not care whether his business lie is true. His saying it makes it true by the sheer power of his ego. Thus his campaign will hardly blink at this, Romney camp features Tampa contractors whose businesses depend on government

The Romney campaign is using a snippet of the speech to suggest that Obama is instead saying that government is solely responsible for the success of private busines owners. That’s not so. Obama isn’t anywhere close to saying that. But in TV ads, that’s the point Romney is making.

[  ]…One problem with having Ramos and Smith, both registered Republicans, as speakers on this topic: they both said they didn’t see the entire Obama speech that they find so personally insulting. Ramos said he later read the complete trancript, but couldn’t remember from where he got it. Smith acknowledged she saw only news reports of the speech, either on NBC or FoxNews.

But the other, more puzzling problem the two have for this particular Romney message is that rather than wanting to get out of the way of big government, Smith and Ramos have embraced it and benefitted from it greatly. They just won’t admit it.

The A.D. Morgan Corporation employs 50 people and has annual revenues of about $80 million, according to its website. The company lists more than 130 projects and developments. Impressive, no doubt. But the list is nearly all government projects. (One of the few not to be: the Poynter Institute for Media Studies). From the Sumter County jail expansion, Woodlawn Elementary School, the library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg, interior sign at James Haley Veterans Hospital, the Plant City Courthouse, a Florida Department of Transportation weigh station, the projects that have made A.D. Morgan the success it is have been government, big and small, state and local.
Smith didn’t see that as a contradiction to her message that government didn’t help her.

…As for Ramos, his company’s Facebook page describes Value Enterprise Solutions as “providing value added service/education to businesses, local government, federal government, Department of Defense, and industry contract organizations.”

Of course these kool-aid drinkers do not see that government contract provide the bulk of their business. or put another way, they do not see that the tax payers of the U.S. provide them with a living. They might survive as businesses without government contracts, but they would be much, much smaller. No wonder Mitt is their hero, like him, they do not have the human decency, the humility to admit that what Obama said was true. Mel Gibson probably thinks he is a nice reasonable person. Rush Limbaugh probably really thinks people believe he should have been excused from the draft for having an anal cyst. Never underestimate the power of denial, especially in a Republican.


Jonathan Bernstein writes up the cycle of conservative destruction in a few short paragraphs, Of Course Romney Would Embrace Budget Deficits

Dana Millbank wasn’t born yesterday, but I have to say that this question is remarkably naive: “[W]hich one will Romney choose: defense spending or tax cuts?”

The obvious answer is: neither. A President Romney, with a Republican Congress, would almost certainly choose very large deficits rather than cut defense spending or raise taxes. After all, that’s been the policy of incoming Republican presidents beginning with Ronald Reagan, hasn’t it been? Eat dessert now in the form of enormous tax cuts and spending on GOP priorities, and then remember the overriding importance of the deficit later on, preferably when the Democrats take over.

That’s what Reagan did. That’s what George W. Bush did. The only exception was George H.W. Bush, who was a real deficit-cutter. And he wound up repudiating it when conservatives revolted.

Until the vast majority of the American public catches on this this con-game, conservatives will continue to abuse the nation. They are never really punished for what they do. They suffer for one election cycle. Start whining about getting back to their roots while engaging in the politics of hysteria and character assassination, and presto, they’re back to start the cycle over.

This is a headline from the far Right Weekly Standard, Romney: ‘Looking Forward to the Bust of Winston Churchill Being in the Oval Office Again‘.

At an event in London, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said, “I’m looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again.”

Mitt Romney at London fundraiser: “I’m looking forward to the bust of Winston Churchill being in the Oval Office again.”

The bust belonged to the British. Why a bust of a foreign leader was or should be in the Oval Office is a mystery. One with which conservatives are obsessed. They are in denial about Churchill as well. He deserves some credit for his WW II governance, but FDR kept him from being buried in the rabble. The other thing that is perplexing is Churchill brought actual socialized medicine to England. Not the Obama-Democrats health care reform, but real socialized, Marxist style medicine,  Guess who helped launch socialized healthcare in the U.K.? The ultimate conservative icon — and he was proud of it

As a lifelong conservative with a strong dedication to enterprise and merit (and a host of less admirable right-wing prejudices), Churchill would have bristled at anyone who dared to describe him as a socialist. Why then did he promote and protect the NHS? Partly out of political expediency, no doubt, but also because he felt an ethical obligation that seems not to trouble the contemporary conservatives who profess to admire him.


“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on the installment plan.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.


Black and White London Clock Tower wallpaper – Romney Gives America a Look at His Contempt for American Workers

Black and White London Clock Tower wallpaper


One of the advantages of running a little behind the news cycle on some days is you get a chance to see things develop or to unravel. The media – that mythical librul media we hear about starting at birth – took a few words out of President Obama’s speech and offered them up as a gift to cranky conservative peanut tossers. Obama’s press conference: The public sector isn’t fine

We’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months. The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing problems is with state and local government, often with cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help they’re accustomed to from the federal government.

Were I in charge of reviewing POTUS speeches I would have suggested that he say “growing” rather than fine. Obama was also making a point about how the private sector would be doing better and the overall jobs picture would be better if Republicans at the state level had not slashed and burned public sector jobs.

Since Obama was elected, the public sector has lost about 600,000 jobs. If you put those jobs back, the unemployment rate would be 7.8 percent.

But what if we did more than that? At this point in George W. Bush’s administration, public-sector employment had grown by 3.7 percent. That would be equal to a bit over 800,000 jobs today. If you add those hypothetical jobs, the unemployment rate falls to 7.3 percent.

Both of those numbers, it should be said, are holding all else equal: If more workers had reentered the labor force, the unemployment rate could be higher. And if there were 1.4 million more Americans with jobs, they’d be spending money and creating jobs for other people. So private-sector employment could be higher, too.

In the last paragraph Ezra is referring to the multiplier effect. If we had those public sector jobs – those people would have spent their paychecks on rent, groceries, shampoo, dry cleaning and so forth. Jobs create demand, which in turn creates more jobs. Conservatives have done their best to make sure the economy did not have that multiplier effect. Why would Republicans act in a way that was so hurtful toward their country and fellow citizens? because as all conservative policy agendas do – it will ultimately benefit the conservative movement. The conservative movement has and will always take priority over what is best for the USA. As the news cycle on the speech and some more mindless noise over the meaning of the Wisconsin recall went on, Romney was good enough to make a forceful confession about the conservative agenda – Mitt Romney: We don’t need more cops, firefighters or teachers

When Republicans attack public workers, they often take care to exempt cops and firefighters, because they are culturally sympathetic figures, and muddle the message that government workers are parasites who are destroying the economic conditions of ordinary Americans.

But today Mitt Romney got a good deal more specific, claiming we do not need to hire more cops or firefighters specifically, which would, he said, cut against the interests of the American people. He also specifically named teachers.

Romney made the comments in response to Obama’s presser today, at which the president claimed the “private sector is doing fine.” Per CNN:

Romney said of Obama, “he wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

[  ]…One of the components of the American Jobs Act that Obama continues to demand that Republicans pass would invest $35 billion in federal funds to keep cops, firefighters, and teachers on the job. Republicans, Romney included, oppose this plan. Central to their argument against this type of investment is to keep the focus on public sector workers as a class, arguing that they are bilking the taxpayer and are to blame for the economic plight of struggling Americans. As Romney recently put it: “We have 145,000 more government workers under this president. Let’s send them home and put you back to work.” ( Romney just made up that 145,000 figure).

The original stimulus funds – or part of them, was supposed to be used by states for the purpose of retaining teachers, firefighters and public sanitation workers, court clerks and so forth – Republicans who publicly criticized stimulus but used those funds – here, here, here, here and here. A Republican is a by definition a shameless serial liar and hypocrite.

This is just one recent example of the kind of micro-economic being practiced by the private sector – CATERPILLAR: Record profits, CEO pay hiked by 60%, company wants wage concessions from workers

Now comes word that workers at an Illinois plant for the manufacturer Caterpillar have been on strike for a month after rejecting a “concession-heavy contract” proposed by the company, say union officials. Last Friday workers rejected a second Caterpillar offer, by a vote of 504-116.

According to a new report by Nation of Change the contract “provided no raises, eliminated the defined benefits pension program, weakened seniority rights and required machinists to pay higher contributions for health care.”

“All of this, at a time when the company is making record profits. In fact, Fortune Magazine recently said the company is “crushing it” when it comes to profitability,” yet at the same time refuses to give its workers a raise while the company did see fit to increase its CEO’s pay by 60 percent.

The annual compensation of Caterpillar Inc.’s chairman and chief executive rose 60 percent in 2011, as the company posted record revenue of $60.1 billion.

Douglas Oberhelman earned $16.9 million in 2011 in salary, bonuses, stock and option awards and retirement plan contributions.

The typical American worker would have to work 244 years in order to earn what the average CEO makes in just one year.

I wish some writers would stop using the word ‘earn’ when they should use something more neutral like make or enjoy the privilege of getting $16.9 million. No one earns that kind of money. Most corporations could have very talented executive management at a much lower costs – are we to believe that there is not a great CEO out there that would run Caterpillar for say $700k in compensation, not including retirement. This is all about the egos of the elite class determining what they’re worth – which in this case is 244 average American work years. I’ve meant a few gifted scientists and mathematicians that make low six figures, so it is not about compensating intelligence either.

Those conservative bloggers who suddenly became concerned with free speech will be all over this any minute.

Council Bluffs, Ia. — A 62-year-old Vietnam veteran who continuously disrupted Mitt Romney’s event here today by screaming “liar” over a megaphone says he was disrespected by security and guests who shouted insults and escorted him to a less convenient area to protest.

The Romney supporters who stopped to yell names at Randy ? Well, no one dragged them away. Romney is a serial liar, even his staff at admitted as much in a round about way, Romney Camp Admits That Its Bain Job Creation Number Is Bogus and Romney’s magic act. The “magic act” has become even more relevant in the last two weeks as pro Romney PACs run ads that claim Obama is ruining the country by running up all kinds of news debts. Not only is Obama not running up the debt, Romney’s very public economic plans will increase the debt the PACs claim to care about.

Deficit as percent of GDP is falling

Mitt Romney job creator



That irritating buzzing sound is the sound by a conservative mosquito named Bobby, Louisiana Gov. Jindal: Obama Is ‘Most Liberal, Most Incompetent President… Since Jimmy Carter’. Like every other conservative today Jindal thinks anyone not wearing a brown shirt is too liberal. It is not hard to believe that this blood sucker is on Romney’s VP list. Who did Jindal endorse during the primaries? Rick Perry. The same Rick Perry who said “The idea that you’ve got private equity companies that come in and take companies apart so they can make profits and have people lose their jobs, that’s not what the Republican Party’s about.” — Rick Perry [New York Times, 1/12/12]. Don’t worry about Jindal being held to account for his flip-floppery or his own economic record in Louisiana. Where he took stimulus money from that “incompetent” president, gave corporations big tax cuts which produced no jobs and gutted the state’s education budget – Louisiana’s road to global economic irrelevance.

Conservatives have always been  crooked and immoral: Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought.

I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.

A blogger or two is venturing to suggest that this may be the end of little Ricky Santorum’s surge,

Kyle Mantyla of People for the American Way’s indispensable Right Wing Watch has come up with an audiotape of a Rick Santorum address to the students of the conservative Catholic Ave Maria University in Florida, delivered in 2008. It’s an altogether remarkable speech depicting Rick as a leader in a “spiritual war” against Satan for control of America. Much of its involves the usual right-wing stuff about the conquest of academia (outside bastions like Ave Maria) by the forces of moral relativism, but then there is this Santorum assessment of mainline Protestantism:

[O]nce the colleges fell and those who were being educated in our institutions, the next was the church. Now you’d say, ‘wait, the Catholic Church’? No. We all know that this country was founded on a Judeo-Christian ethic but the Judeo-Christian ethic was a Protestant Judeo-Christian ethic, sure the Catholics had some influence, but this was a Protestant country and the Protestant ethic, mainstream, mainline Protestantism, and of course we look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.

Even though I know better I sometimes underestimate the conservative Republican ability to deflect and deny. They have political minds with a series of trap doors in which facts, spin and distortions get tossed around like an out of control pinball machine. It is not just Evangelicals, but Pentecostals, fundamentalist Baptists, regressive Mormons and assorted others who would agree with little Ricky in general, if not the specifics. Apparently the history in right-wing conservative circles is not chock full of reality – never has been. There are certainly lots of moments, events and people in U.S. history of which Americans can take pride. Yet, if we lift off that haze of nostalgia we know better. From day one we had slavery and denied women the vote. The south decided to commit treason rather than do the descent thing – citing God and the Bible as justification for slavery. As Santorum and conservative Republicans continue to invoke their twisted dogma as the road map for the U.S.A. this might be a good time to remember that one of America’s most famous traitors did the same in 1861. In his inaugural speech defending the South and its commitment to slavery Davis said,

It is joyous in the midst of perilous times to look around upon a people united in heart, where one purpose of high resolve animates and actuates the whole; where the sacrifices to be made are not weighed in the balance against honor and right and liberty and equality. Obstacles may retard, but they cannot long prevent, the progress of a movement sanctified by its justice and sustained by a virtuous people. Reverently let us invoke the God of our fathers to guide and protect us in our efforts to perpetuate the principles which by his blessing they were able to vindicate, establish, and transmit to their posterity. With the continuance of his favor ever gratefully acknowledged, we may hopefully look forward to success, to peace, and to prosperity.

Forget the Democrat and Republican labels – modern Republicans like to forget there has been a realignment of the political parties in the last 150 years – the conservative Davis sounds just like Santorum, Romney, Gingrich or any other modern conservative. They have a dystopian vision for America just as Davis did and conservatives still wrap up that dark vision in God and the flag. They should be ashamed of themselves, but one has to have a fully aware and working conscience to feel shame.

Civil rights demonstrators link hands and sing during a protest at the Dallas Country Courthouse in Selma, Alabama. Later, Sheriff Jim Clark ordered deputies to arrest the protesters.February 3, 1965. © Bettmann/CORBIS. Conservative are always echoing the deep yearning to return to some great past of America. Is this what they mean. A hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation Americans still fighting for their right to have an equal place at the table.

Wobblies Marching in Manhattan. Women of the Industrial Workers of the World march to Madison Square Garden in support of the Patterson Silk Strike of 1913. Manhattan, New York, New York, USA  © Bettmann/CORBIS. Conservatives dream of going back to a time where women knew their place – it obviously was not in 1913. Conservatives think America is in a “shambles” because women do not stay at home, barefoot and pregnant – with no access to birth control. Not even conservative women or Catholic women believe that. The vast majority use contraception. The women in this picture were marching for something we take for granted to day – an 8 hour workday and descent working conditions. The strike was eventually busted, but their ideas, their demands lived on and became the norm. This is part of what scares conservatives – real ideas and real progress. When conservatives hate these hard fight fundamental aspects of American life they show their true fidelity – it is not to the U.S.A., the country founded on ideals, it is to a country that lives only on right-wing hate radio, in Rick Santorum’s sick concept of morality, in the conservative love of torture, crony capitalism and trumped up wars that kill our children.

Whether the guy that had plans to blow something up in Washington D.C. was the real deal or just another deadender that did not have a clue is arguable. One thing you can rely on since his last name was not Smith or Jones, is for the usual bed wetters on the Right to claim this proves all non-white non-Christian fundamentalists are evil. Fine lets play that game – Kansas Man With Truck Covered In Anti-Immigrant Stickers Arrested At State Capitol With Explosives . Which – using our patented tin-foil wrapped Conservative logic means that all ethnocentric conservative kooks are out to destroy America. This guy did not have any help from the FBI.

Bill Moyers makes a few good points in this column – Freedom of and From Religion

The president did something agile and wise the other day. And something quite important to the health of our politics. He reached up and snuffed out what some folks wanted to make into a cosmic battle between good and evil. No, said the president, we’re not going to turn the argument over contraception into Armageddon, this is an honest difference between Americans, and I’ll not see it escalated into a holy war. So instead of the government requiring Catholic hospitals and other faith-based institutions to provide employees with health coverage involving contraceptives, the insurance companies will offer that coverage, and offer it free.

The Catholic bishops had cast the president’s intended policy as an infringement on their religious freedom; they hold birth control to be a mortal sin, and were incensed that the government might coerce them to treat it otherwise. The president in effect said: No quarrel there; no one’s going to force you to violate your doctrine. But Catholics are also Americans, and if an individual Catholic worker wants coverage, she should have access to it — just like any other American citizen. Under the new plan, she will. She can go directly to the insurer, and the religious institution is off the hook.

Why aren’t conservatives happy about the way this was handled. because conservatives do not, never have believed in your right to freedom to believe as you wish in the faith of your choice. Originally James Madison had written the 1st Amendment to read freedom of conscience rather than freedom of religion. Perhaps it is too bad he rewrote that passage. Freedom of conscience more accurately portrays the average American’s thought about religion and morality. In the speech from Jefferson Davis from which I quoted, it is a fact that the Bible says slavery is OK as long as the slave does not belong to a neighboring nation. Americans overwhelmingly rejected that strict interpretation of Bible given rights and followed their conscience instead. To day we have conservatives still taking the Davis view – that government is here is shove their beliefs down everyone else’s throat and failure to do so is not a compromise they can tolerarte. They have been consistent in their hatred of freedom of religion. Believing in THEIR wacky concept of freedom of religion is a throwback to the attitudes of the corrupt Holy Roman Empire. Which is what Thomas Jefferson was referring to when he wrote, “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government,” and, “In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”


I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s. — Mark Twain in Eruption

Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion–several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven….The higher animals have no religion. And we are told that they are going to be left out in the Hereafter. I wonder why? It seems questionable taste.– Mark Twain “The Lowest Animal”

Black and Blue Retro Watch wallpaper – “You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.”

retro, vintage, time, tank watch

Black and Blue Retro Watch wallpaper


I’ve mentioned previously an interesting attack and disinformation technique used by the Right. An issue or event makes the news. The Right slants it, commits sins of omission concerning all the facts, forgets to mention they did the same thing and more often, they feign outrage over mole-hills and get deeply Orwellian in new definitions for words, like torture for instance. Not necessarily just liberals and progressives, but people for whom facts matter, shoot down the right-wing spin. The Right waits a few weeks, sometimes months. They retell the same lies with a slightly different spin. They get shot down again. One of the best examples of this is the periodic retelling of Cheney’s version of how great torture is and all the useful information they got, and by the way is not illegal. There has never been any evidence that torture worked where traditional proven techniques would not, and its still immoral, against the law and endangers our troops and intelligence assets. The Right is running the same propaganda recycling scheme on Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and the reasons why she should recuse herself from ruling on the ACA( health care reform or ObamaCare) case coming before the court. From the far Right’s regular dispensary of disinformation, CNS News – Internal DOJ Email: Kagan Was Brought Into Loop on Mark Levin’s Obamacare Complaint

Internal Justice Department email communications made just days before the House of Representatives passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act show that then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan was brought into the loop as DOJ began preparing to respond to an anticipated legal complaint that Mark Levin and the Landmark Legal Foundation were planning to file against the act if the House used a procedural rule to “deem” the bill passed even if members never directly voted on it.

In another internal DOJ email communication that same week, Kagan alerted the chief of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel to the constitutional argument that a former U.S. Appeals Court judge was making against the use of this rule.

CNS posted that “breaking” news on Dec. 9, 2011. Referring everyone to e-mails that another right-wing site published on November 10, 2011. So this breathless headline making new news that is so shocking is a month old. Those notorious e-mails have been around for a while and spun so many times they’re looking like jeans that have been through the hot dry cycle about a thousand times. Gosh they must be correct because they cite law,

A federal law—28 U.S.C 455—says that a Supreme Court justice must recuse from “any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned” or if he “expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy” while he “served in governmental employment.”

There is no evidence in those e-mails that Kagan violated that law. As the extreme right-wing George W. Bush former Attorney General Michael Mukasey writes,

  The [law] that potentially relates to Justice Kagan requires disqualification “[w]here [the Justice] has served in governmental employment and in such capacity participated as counsel [or] adviser concerning the proceeding or expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case or controversy.“Proceeding” is defined to include all stages of the relevant litigation.

In order to run afoul of that provision, Justice Kagan herself would have had to participate in her official capacity as counsel or adviser in the case at any stage, or expressed an opinion in her official capacity about the merits. Asked during her confirmation proceedings whether she had done so, she said no. Absent evidence to the contrary, there is no reason not to credit that denial. Statements of opinion to friends or former colleagues do not count here.

Before Kagan was appointed to the SCOTUS she was Solicitor General( she represented the entire federal government in business before the SCOTUS). Why calls for Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the Obamacare case are ridiculous.  

The Drudge Report blared Tuesday (with a baffling green photo of Kagan and Obama apparently taken with the aid of night-vision goggles): “Kagan Cheered Obamacare Passage” and broke the news that Kagan sent an e-mail to then-Justice Department adviser Laurence Tribe on the day the House passed the bill, saying: “I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing.” Fox News tried to double down on the pretend outrage over Kagan’s astonishment that a law had passed, but even they couldn’t find an ethics expert who agreed, nor could practically anyone else. The rationale for the call for recusal seems to be that Kagan, who did everything in her power to avoid creating a conflict of interest by delegating everything possible to her deputy Neal Katyal, has somehow shown a conflict of interest.

The fallback argument is that her enthusiasm for the legislation somehow represents an “opinion regarding the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to the health care legislation.” Which is a bit like saying that my enthusiasm for wheat toast reflects a constitutional view on Wickard v. Filburn. Take that, plus a healthy dollop of “we haven’t found anything but we’re still sure it’s there,” and you have the full measure of the new crop of biting recusal claims against her.


At no time did Kagan participate in any political strategy or maneuvering in order to get ACA passed. Many of the e-mails CNS and other propagandists have cited as smoking gun evidence are e-mails to and from Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal. To whom Kagan refereed much questions about the actual constitutionality of the ACA because she wanted to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.

CNS also pulls a nice little trick in appearances themselves by twisting the constitutionality of the final vote by with Kagan. Surface it to say they are two separate issues. The House did pass the ACA through a process called reconciliation. If reconciliation is unconstitutional, yet once again, conservatives have used the process more than Democrats to pass bills. It is a parliamentary procedure that does not necessitate another roll-call vote on a bill the House has already passed. So if the geniuses at CNS, Judicial Watch, the opinion pages of the WSJ and Fox News get their way, every bill passed b y conservatives using reconciliation will be deemed unconstitutional. As is usually the case CNS and the usual suspects are being both dishonest and disingenuous.

Why isn’t CNS, Drudge and so forth as concerned about the conflicts of interests of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia,

The outcry over Thomas and Scalia and their attendance at events sponsored or supported by the Koch brothers or partisan political groups is simply not comparable to the claims that Kagan is in looooove with Obamacare. Kagan is being criticized for doing her job before she became a justice. Scalia and Thomas are being faulted for participating in extracurricular activities while they are sitting on the court.

[  ]…My friend Lincoln Caplan made this point when he tried to explain why attendance at the Federalist Society event matters, even when it doesn’t matter: “It does not matter whether the group is conservative, liberal or otherwise. Justices, just like federal judges, are public servants, and should preserve the appearance of impartiality to enhance the public’s confidence in the legal system.”

It is well known that the Federalist Society has more in common with the ideals of Leo Strauss than Thomas Jefferson.

Not everyone is savvy to every bit of technology that is available to us. I’ve read that most iPhone users only know how to use less than half the phone’s functions. Still, when someone tells you to press a button to go into the waiting queue how difficult can that be to comprehend. This one happens to be so simple that my older relatives – who are not fond of automated technology – do it all the time when calling their insurance and other companies. From a conservative called  Datechguy – If you’re a conservative Mitt Romney apparently doesn’t want you / Update Romney Camp cries false

Matt Lewis in the daily caller reports that in an attempt to make the case that Newt Gingrich as unacceptable to conservatives proceeded to insult conservatives by taking no questions from conservatives outlets. Here is the list:


Talking points memo, TALKING POINTS MEMO?

Stupid isn’t the word here. You are trying to make the case you are more conservative than Newt Gingrich and you not only exclude Conservatives from questions but you take questions from flipping Mother Jones and Talking Points Memo? This is an insult to every conservative news outlet, new media site and blogger out there.

And people complained about the way Herman Cain treated friends, but perhaps the Romney Campaign doesn’t consider conservatives friends.

(my note:   MARK HALPERIN, TIME is a far right conservative who tries to pass himself off as non-partisan)

As Romney’s reps politely explained, they answered every call in the queue. Why didn’t this conservative or other conservatives get into the queue to ask their question? Because they did not press one when directed to do so.

I have participated on these media calls with the White House, and I can ask a question and get it answered right between a question from bigfoot reporters from the New York Times and the Atlanta Journal Constitution. You know what I do? I press ‘1’ on my keypad when instructed to do so. It’s amazing!!

Having been made to look foolish for complaining about something that was their own damn fault, Romney’s critics scarcely flinched before going back on the offensive. Here’s Datechguy writing an open letter to the Romney campaign.

I do have some questions:

1. Have you requested a corrected from Matt Lewis of the daily caller. (UPDATE..apparently so)

2. Is the campaign planning on arranging for any conference calls with conservative activists and/or bloggers.

3. Given the Romney campaign’s attack on Newt Gingrich as unacceptable to conservatives to what degree outside of conference calls does the Romney Campaign plan to reach out to conservative activists and bloggers to advance that position?

4. Given that the MSM is likely to actively support the democratic nominee in this election as it has in every other what is the logic in accommodating said media in any way?


Notice how he didn’t apologize for being a dumbass and making a false allegation against the campaign. He just moves on like it never happened. And then his first question is whether or not Romney’s communications guy has asked for a correction from The Daily Caller or only from his shitty blog. How’s that for an inflated sense of self-importance? His second question is whether the Romney campaign is going to arrange a conference call with conservative activists and bloggers. Never mind that the Romney campaign just got done explaining that they had just done precisely that and no conservatives had asked any questions.


Maybe people who are that clueless shouldn’t be allowed to ask questions. Would they be able to understand the answers if they did ask them. Attacks on Newt are unacceptable? Didn’t Romney know you don’t criticize other members of  the Cult of Conservatism.

Elizabeth Warren Slams Karl Rove’s Dishonest Attack Ad As ‘Factually Wrong And Morally Wrong’

Feeling the heat of consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren’s lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS unleashed an extremely disingenuous political ad that insinuated Warren was responsible for the 2008 bank bailout — a patently absurd claim given that the bailout was a Republican measure and that Warren was later chosen as the head of a panel providing much-needed oversight to the program. In fact, she has been a consistent advocate for greater accountability regarding the bailout funds. Warren blasted Rove for the ad, saying, “I can’t find the right words to describe how wrong that is. Factually wrong and morally wrong.” “Karl rove is not telling the truth,” she added. “I think anyone who is not telling the truth shouldn’t be running ads in this race.”

Rove has no idea what the high road is. He has a sordid history of winning by smears. Since he has no ideas or solutions smears have to be his first and last resort. What kind of evil cretin tries to send an innocent man to jail.


“You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on.” –  George W. Bush

Old British Sailing Ship wallpaper – Joe Biden Speaks the Truth. Republicans Offended.

Old British Sailing Ship wallpaper

At campaign event Biden mentions rape in criticizing Republicans

The vice president, known for speaking his mind and at times putting his foot in his mouth, said that Republicans who want to cut spending while at the same time cutting taxes for the wealthy are similar to rape apologists.

The Hill is a fine example of the Village media mentality. Biden is known for “at times putting his foot in his mouth”, as compared to who? Glenn Beck, George W. Bush or Sarah Palin.  More from the same The Hill report,

In setting up his comparison, the vice president explained to the audience that before the Violence Against Women Act that he championed was passed into law, “there was this attitude in our society of blaming the victim,” according to a press pool account of the event.

“When a woman got raped, blame her because she was wearing a skirt too short, she looked the wrong way or she wasn’t home in time to make the dinner,” Biden said.

Some right-wing women in the comments duly noted their breath taking faux outrage. Do all conservatives buy the same impenetrable fact bubble from a government sub-contractor who has the bubbles imported from China. Biden is being generous towards public attitudes and conservative Republican attitudes in general when it comes to blaming the victim. From March 16, 2001 – Republican lawmaker blames 11-year-old victim of alleged gang rape

While it’s a common tactic of abusers, it’s something no one expected of Republican Florida state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo.

During debate over a bill that would legislate a dress code for Florida students, Passidomo blamed the alleged gang raping of an 11-year-old in Cleveland, Texas on the way the young girl was dressed.

“There was an article about an 11 year old girl who was gangraped in Texas by 18 young men because she was dressed like a 21-year-old prostitute,” Passidomo declared.

“And her parents let her attend school like that. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to create some areas where students can be safe in school and show up in proper attire so what happened in Texas doesn’t happen to our students,” she added.

Passidomo managed to encapsulate every Republican talking point about rape into a short rant – rape victims are to blame, the way one dresses is the cause of rape and she added a little extra malice by blaming the victim’s parents. Back to VP Biden,

“We’ve gotten by that,” he said. “But it’s amazing how these Republicans, the right wing of this party – whose philosophy threw us into this God-awful hole we’re in, gave us the tremendous deficit we’ve inherited – that they’re  now using, now attempting to use, the very economic condition they have created to blame the victim – whether it’s organized labor or ordinary middle-class working men and women. It’s bizarre. It’s bizarre.”

After Biden’s appearance at the fundraiser, his office tried to focus on the economic message.

“The vice president was obviously making the point that on any issue, we shouldn’t blame the victim,” Biden spokeswoman Elizabeth Alexander said. “Blaming workers or union members for states’ fiscal crises – an argument made by some Republican governors – isn’t the answer.”

Biden is simply speaking truth to power. Republicans are, to the core, fundamentally bourgeois corporate socialists who believe the elites should run the country and the rest of us should pay when they screw up. I covered a few of the specifics in the post before this one and Robert L. Borosage covers the same ground here – Republicans Who Crashed The Economy Want The Middle-Class to Pay.

Some of the commenters at The Hill rush to say Biden has “no class”. Never ever take lessons from a right-wing conservative on class: Kansas lawmaker compares rape to auto theft. Or here’s some conservative class, GOP candidate compares ‘tyrannical’ health care bill to slavery in commercial. Here is some more class and what passes for a reasonable analogy in Wingnuttia, The health-care-is-rape argument comes courtesy of WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian. In a piece entitled “Barack Obama and the date-rape of America” or Glenn Beck’s version, Glenn Beck Compares Healthcare Reform to Roman Polanski’s Statutory Rape. Also a candidate for the top ten rape analogies, Republican Ken Buck Compares Homosexuality to Alcoholism, Defends Rape as ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ (video).

Just recently Republicans tried to redefine rape downward. Unless the victim was severely beaten while tied up with a gun at their head, was it really rape –  Drugged, raped, and pregnant? Too bad. Republicans are pushing to limit rape and incest cases eligible for government abortion funding. Having “class” is not the issue as much as having a set of values that should be abhorrent to any person claiming to be civilized. Listening to Republicans whine and lecture about rape and blame analogies is somewhere in the ball park of listening to them claim they know where the WMD are, they’re experts at running the economy and they have singularly superior values.


“As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where – where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.”
— CBS interview with Katie Couric, September 25, 2008

“Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra(R) on comparing Republicans to Iranian dissidents.

“So I had Cheneys on both sides of the family and we don’t even live in West Virginia,” Dick Cheney’s West Virginia incest joke. Classy?

“It all goes back to one fundamental principle — and that is to make (the media and public officials) live up to their own book of rules. If you want to call out a hypocrite, the best way to do that is look at how he lives his life.” – convicted right-wing scam artist James O’Keefe

“…the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” Donald Rumsfeld – March 30, 2003

Black and White River Rocks wallpaper , I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations

Black and White River Rocks wallpaper

No surprise to find one of conservatism’s biggest hacks Jonah Goldberg writing at Rupert Murdoch’s yellow rag The New York Post. The morally and intellectually lazy tend to like the same squalor. A Supreme fetish

Imagine the Supreme Court was wiped out in an asteroid strike, or maybe ate some re ally bad clams. Whatever. With the court temporarily out of the picture, could Congress and the White House ignore the Constitution, locking up Tea Partiers or ACLU members?


“I have been fascinated by [Delaware Senate candidate] Christine O’Donnell’s constitutional worldview,” Slate magazine’s Dahlia Lithwick confessed. O’Donnell had said, “When I go to Washington, DC, the litmus test by which I cast my vote for every piece of legislation that comes across my desk will be whether or not it is constitutional.”

To which Lithwick, a widely cited expert on the Supreme Court, responded, “How weird is that, I thought. Isn’t it a court’s job to determine whether or not something is, in fact, constitutional? And isn’t that sort of provided for in, well, the Constitution?”

Goldberg acknowledges the SCOTUS being swiped out is a ridiculous scenario but still uses it as the foundation of his premise. Goldberg’s feigned claim to be perplexed as to how such an event would present some serious problems is dishonest and disingenuous. Except of course unless he is an ignorant of U.S. history and the legal precedents set by the Supreme Court. Absent the Court legislators with Christine O’Donnell’s ideological bent could be rusted to only sign legislation into law which is constitutional. You know Goldberg does not believe that. Just substitute any Democrats name where he says Christine O’Donnell. As a matter of fact she would cast a vote against Medicare and unemployment insurance because she believes them to be unconstitutional even though that point of law has been settled. Goldberg also ties his thesis to recent Republican Pledge that states Congressional representatives not sign into law any legislation which is not supported directly by language in the Constitution. In typical Goldbergian manner he cites Marbury v. Madison(1803) and the establishment of judicial review yet shows two examples of presidents not signing two laws before they faced judicial review. Why is that support for his argument. Apparently because much of the time presidents and legislators can simply spot an unconstitutional law before signing. Though from almost the very beginning there were challenges to the constitutionality of law. Since these are the cases which have had such a large effect on how precedents affect law making and succeeding laws are drafted it is reasonable to believe O’Donnell ( who does not believe in separate of church and state) would vote to remove a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body even though the Court has settled the question. While “originalists” tea nuts Sharron Angle and Joe Miller would do away with  Social Security and Medicare – the constitutionality of these programs also settled law. How would the tea bagger originalists have voted on navigation rights granted by a state. Such rights are not explicit in the Constitution. So rather than the neat examples Goldberg provides us how would O’Donnell or the adherents of the Republican pledge vote on something on which there was no explicit constitutional instructions. In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) the State of New York granted exclusive navigation rights of their waters to Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston. They in turn gave Aaron Ogden the rights to navigate between New York and the New Jersey shore ( this also brings up interesting issues pertaining to monopolies, capitalism as practiced in the early years of the nation and early influence peddling). Ogden then found he was competing with Thomas Gibbons. Gibbons was operating under a license given to him by the U.S. government. Ogden acquired an injunction against Gibbons. Gibbons appealed that injunction. The SCOTUS ruled Congress’ interstate commerce powers did not just apply to “traffic”, but unless specifically spelled out in the Constitution, the federal government’s power to regulate such commerce was unlimited. Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) established that any time federal law and state law come into conflict over this matter, federal law takes precedence. Is is possible O’Donnell, Angle and Miller would vote state’s right supersede the commerce clause since there was obviously an issue, as far as these rights go, early on in U.S. law and commerce. The full context of Dahlia Lithwick’s remarks were about the role of the judicial and legislative branches of government. To address the proper role of the courts and the constitutionality of any law. A nod to the check and balances the branches have on one another. It is obvious all legislators have to take an oath to uphold the Constitution, but if that were simple there would be no debate and one assumes no meaningless Republican pledge. How  much contradiction can Goldberg pack into three short paragraphs,

The debate over whether the courts are the final word on the Constitution is more than 200 years old. The debate over whether they’re the sole arbiter of constitutionality is extremely recent and extremely silly.

Too many politicians — in both parties — have abdicated their most solemn duty: to support and defend the US Constitution. George W. Bush signed campaign finance reform even though he thought much of it was unconstitutional. Nancy Pelosi thinks the Constitution has as much relevance as a pet rock. Asked if the health-care bill was constitutional, her eyes grew perceptibly wider as she incredulously asked, “Are you serious?” ( being Speaker Pelosi would be familiar with the commerce clause and would be shocked someone asking questions at a press conference would not also be informed on same)

The real issue is quite simple. If more politicians were faithful to the Constitution, the government would be restrained. And restraining government is “weird,” “wacky” and “dangerous” to so many liberals today. ( George W. Bush found the Constitution pretty threatening. At times seeming to declare war on it as though it too was a national security threat)

If a law passed by Congress is challenged and the Supreme Court makes a ruling then most of the time they are in fact the final arbiters. Though we know from day one the Founders had some convenient lapses of equality as to how the Constitution was applied and how freedom should be dispersed. Slavery was tolerated and states were allowed to say a human being was either not a person or only a fraction of a person. Women were not much better than slaves and were denied the vote and equal protection under the law. Goldberg makes the statement about silliness after stating that obviously Marbury v. Madison(1803) is familiar to everyone and of course no one would seek to undermine that ruling. Differences are silly but also engraved in stone? The SCOTUS is the sole arbiter. Though, and this concept is one conservatives should come out of the closet and embrace ( conservatives do believe in this now when convenient, but the concept  is contradictory to the originalist meme nonsense they’re selling like cheap retreads), is the concept of democratic constitutionalism. Whereby the Court(s) reflect changing values of society. Up until 1896 the legislature and the courts recognized separate but equal. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) the SCOTUS decided that separate but equal as it pertained to accommodations for black and white was sound law, but in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka(1954) the Court declared in favor of the dissenting opinion of Justice Harlan in Plessy(1896), “The Constitution is color-blind and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” Why do conservatives think it is so important to stack the SCOTUS and lower courts with right-wing ideologues ( which would be one of the things Goldberg  also finds silly if he were consistent)? Because they believe many of the major SCOTUS decisions with which they disagree can be reversed given changing times and enough far Right judges.

How would any of the Republicans who adhere to the “pledge’ vote on net neutrality. There is no mention of the internet in the Constitution much less how or if it should be regulated. Will they veto all legislation pertaining to net neutrality since it is not explicitly spelled out in the constitution. In the 1st Amendment one can find implicit reason not to vote for doing away with net neutrality. Corporations will be able to choke off certain web traffic and thus limit free speech, freedom of the press ( some think there will only be digital newspapers in a few years), freedom of religion and freedom to petition. How would or could the tea baggers even vote on legislation pertaining to air traffic control. Airplanes are not mentioned in the constitution. Where are the O’Donnells of Goldberg’s dream team Congress going to find the Constitutional right to regulate air traffic. They’re going to have to do some interpreting of the commerce clause. Many proponents of health care reform think the American people have the right to join together to create an insurance exchange via the private sector insurance industry to buy basic health insurance coverage. Where are the tea nuts going to find an explicit injunction against having the freedom to create such a program. How will tea baggers vote on creating new hearts for transplant patients with heart disease from cloned cells. The Constitution does not have an explicit ban on creating new hearts from cloned cells. Weird and silly is trying to put a straight jacket on the Constitution – a 232 year old framework created at a time where there was no net, no cell phones, no air traffic and not much in the way of health care.

One of the more recent and weird interpretation of the Constitution was Citizens United. That was where, once again, the conservatives on the court found not only did corporations have the same rights as individual citizens. Corporations had special rights by way of their ability to express more free speech because they could buy more of that speech than an actual individual citizen. “Citizens United: The Aftermath,” by Monica Youn

After news of the Citizens United ruling sent shockwaves through political, legal, and news media circles throughout the nation, some commentators took a somewhat jaundiced view, arguing, in essence, that since the political system is already awash in special-interest dollars, this particular decision may have little impact.11 It is undoubtedly true that in the past, corporations have engaged in large-scale spending in federal politics –primarily through political action committees (“PACs”) and through more indirect means, such as lobbying and nonprofit advocacy groups.12 However, the sums spent by corporations in previous elections are miniscule in comparison to the billions of dollars in corporate profits that the Supreme Court has now authorized corporations to spend to influence the outcome of federal elections. The difference, in short, changes the rules of federal politics.
Prior to Citizens United, a corporation that wished to support or oppose a federal candidate had to do so using PAC funds – funds amassed through voluntary contributions from individual employees and shareholders who wished to support the corporation‘s political agenda. Such funds were subject to federal contribution limits and other regulations.13 Now however, the Citizens United decision will allow corporations that wish to directly influence the outcome of federal elections to draw from their general treasury funds, rather than PAC funds, to support or oppose a particular candidate. This difference is significant enough to amount to a difference in kind rather than merely a difference in degree, as demonstrated by the following observations.
In the 2008 election cycle, the nation‘s largest corporation, Exxon-Mobil, formed a PAC that collected approximately $700,000 in individual contributions.14 Thus, Exxon-Mobil was limited to spending this amount on advertisements directly supporting or opposing a federal candidate. During the same 2008 election cycle, Exxon-Mobil‘s corporate profits totaled more than $80 billion. 15 Thus, Citizens United frees this one corporation to increase its direct spending in support or opposition to federal candidates by more than 100,000 fold.
During the 2008 election cycle, all winning congressional candidates spent a total of $861 million on their campaigns – less than one percent of Exxon-Mobil‘s corporate profits over the same period.16

It goes into the legal arguments in the full pdf. In absence of those arguments, which rely on over turning previous SCOTUS rulings, thus legal precedent, how would the tea baggers vote on a piece of legislation which would close some of the gaps in regulation corporate spending which Citizens opened. What explicit part of the Constitution would the tea baggers site to explain their votes for or against allowing more corporate influence on federal elections. They claim to be a populist movement. Would they, as Goldberg suggests, simply intuitively know what was Constitution in regards corporate influence on elections in a high tech media saturated culture.

“I hope we shall… crush in its birth the aristocracy of our
moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our
government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of
our country.” –Thomas Jefferson to George Logan, 1816.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence

The states are deciding how to spend some of the stimulus money. The money that Republicans continue to characterize as pork, Stimulus Spurs Road Projects, Big and Small

The work, however mundane much of it is, cannot come too soon for a construction industry buffeted by an unemployment rate that has risen to twice the national average as many states cut back on building. Mike Gibson, the executive director of Associated Contractors of New Mexico, a trade group, said his state had lost 4,500 highway construction jobs in the last year.

“We have lost the equivalent of a plant closure,” Mr. Gibson said. “When you lose 10 jobs here, 100 jobs here, it adds up very quickly.”

That figure for the loss of construction jobs in one state is one reason the Tea Revulters ( financed by multi-million dollar Republican astroturfers) will never gain more traction then the crowd that is already convinced that anything President Obama does is bad for the country. Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession

Unlike the last two recessions — earlier this decade and in the early 1990s — this one is causing much more job loss among the less educated than among college graduates. Those earlier recessions introduced the country to the concept of mass white-collar layoffs. The brunt of the layoffs in this recession is falling on construction workers, hotel workers, retail workers and others without a four-year degree.

The Great Recession of 2008 (and beyond) is hurting men more than women. It is hurting homeowners and investors more than renters or retirees who rely on Social Security checks. It is hurting Latinos more than any other ethnic group. A year ago, a greater share of Latinos held jobs than whites. Today, the two have switched places.

The Right wants these people to believe the loss of their job and possibly their home is their fault.

Today’s Republican Freakish Fun Fact

The stimulus and the Right’s train meme,

Met with Republican Rep. Mary Bono Mack from Riverside County’s Coachella Valley. While a social moderate, Sonny Bono’s widow is a solid conservative. Talked to her about Obama’s $780 billion stimulus legislation. She’s outraged that the plan has “$1 billion wasted on a magnetic-levitation train from L.A. to Sin City” – all at Nevada Sen. Harry Reid’s doing.

After expressing my doubt that the Las Vegas line was actually in the bill’s language, Bono Mack directs her staff to “get him the bill, it’s right there, show him.” A few minutes later, a staffer emerges with a copy and quietly says “it’s not in the bill.”

And from the ‘fair and balanced’ network,

KELLY: It’s a super railroad, of sorts — a line that will deliver customers straight from Disney, we kid you not, to the doorstep of the moonlight bunny ranch brothel in Nevada. I say, to the moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada. So should your tax dollars be paying for these kinds of projects? […]

One can understand Fox spewing forth yet another urban legend passed off as fact. Why is a Republican Congrss critter, with a reputation as being a cultural moderate no less, reguristating what she hears from the right-wing noise machine rather then actually reading the bill.

Old Red Barn

I can’t find the link at the moment, but one Democratic writer that I like suggested that its a mistake to put so much attention on Rush Limbaugh as the head of the Republican Party. That might be in the sense Limbaugh doesn’t hold elected office and despite all of his and his supporters claims to power, the 2000 election in which Al Gore won the majority of the popular vote, the Democrat’s 2006 and 2008 victories – Limbaugh’s power is pretty much confined to those that have already converted to the cause. Then it is possible to multi-task and include Republicans in power like Republican House Leader John Boehner and one of the worse hypocrites to ever collect a tax payer salary, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky or as some like to call him – Mr. Earmark. Since any Republican that criticizes Limbie have to go to Re-Education camp its interesting to take a look back at the history of the asshat that exercises so much control over the Republican party, This is “a great leader for conservatives”?

* In a January 22 interview on Fox News’ Hannity, Limbaugh said of media coverage of Obama: “We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds, that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president.” Limbaugh had previously declared in June 2008 that Obama’s “only chance of winning” the presidency “is that he’s black.” During the 2008 presidential campaign, Limbaugh also called Obama “an affirmative action candidate” and asserted during the May 14, 2008, broadcast of his show, “If Barack Obama were Caucasian, they would have taken this guy out on the basis of pure ignorance long ago.”

* Limbaugh has repeatedly invoked right-wing conspiracy theories that the Clintons were involved in the death of then-deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, whose body was found in Northern Virginia’s Fort Marcy Park on July 20, 1993, despite multiple official investigations that determined Foster committed suicide. On July 8, 2008, while discussing reports that a plane carrying then-Sen. Obama had been forced to make an emergency landing in St. Louis, Limbaugh referred to Obama’s flight “aboard Fort Marcy Airlines.” Limbaugh later commented on a “conspiracy theory” that “Mrs. [Hillary] Clinton, through Mr. [Terry] McAuliffe, is gonna massage things out in Denver so that [Obama] doesn’t get the nomination.” He added: “You couple this with Obama’s plane, Fort Marcy Airlines, having to take a detour to St. Louis for a mechanical problem.”

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. –  Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt