Right-wing Watch and The Joe Barton Chronicles

Right Wing News is currently running this defense of Joe Barton (R-TX), Dems to Run on Joe Barton Campaign Platform

Rep. Joe Barton says what everyone knows is true and his own party threatens to kick him out of his committee seat. We expected cynical political opportunism from Democrats, but not from Republican leaders.

Where are we as a society when the truth is treated as a something that can’t be uttered in public?

Barton, the Texas Republican, apologized to BP CEO Tony Hayward, now relieved of his duties, during Thursday’s House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing for what he characterized as a “shakedown” by the White House in forcing the company to create a $20 billion victims’ compensation fund.

He also declared that he was “ashamed” of the White House’s tactics, and called it “a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subjected to what I would characterize as a shakedown.”

“I do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is — again, in my words, amounts to a shakedown,” he said.

Naturally, the Democrats went hard after Barton. And the media were happy to aid the cause. And just as naturally, other comments by Barton have not received as much attention. Without having watched the hearing or read the transcript, how many people know that Barton said:

“There is no question … that BP made decisions that objective people think compromise safety. There is no question that BP is liable for the damages.”

Or that he told Hayward “we want to hold (BP) responsible, do what we can to make the liable parties pay for the damages.”

Just as every lawmaker should, Barton simply wants the government to follow our due process system …

Did anyone else get a little teary eyed at the fate of poor Barton and the holy truth about how The One (President Mighty Obama) has given BP and by some weird triangulation, the entire business community, history’s biggest bitch slap. Joe Conason addressed the absurd notion of a BP “shakedown” a few days ago, Ripping the populist mask off GOPBP

As a GOP representative from Houston, Barton should be expected to act like an oil industry rent-boy. That is his essential identity and purpose in life, and that is why he apologized to BP chairman Tony Hayward for the “shakedown” perpetrated against the company by President Obama. But there was no shakedown nor was there, as some conservatives have suggested, any violation of the corporation’s constitutional rights. The president has no power to prevent BP from defending claims in court, nor can he prevent the Justice Department from indicting BP executives on criminal charges if sufficient evidence exists to do so. The establishment of the escrow fund was entirely voluntary, and indeed many observers believe that the decision to create it was motivated as much by self-interest and public relations as by compassion or guilt.

Due process is not in issue since the fund was set up by BP. That the president’s use of the bully pulpit may have had some measure of influence on BP’s decision should be applauded unless you care more about BP than the residents of the Gulf coast. While the Department of Justice is still not as independent from political pressure as it should be ( at least it is not being used as a political hammer of the Republican party) , the DOJ is empowered and obligated to prosecute criminal negligence. To some observers like myself it does look as though BP and it’s associates acted with criminal neglect in it’s responsibilities to run a safe drilling rig. It also happens that BP’s partner in the Horizon project thinks the same thing. There is also enough evidence to let a couple hundred lawsuits against BP proceed , including ones brought by the families of those killed and the shrimping industry. Right Wing News, what a great name for a place to get stuff that reads like propaganda from Soviet era Pravda.

The right cannot seem to get it’s story straight about the escrow account. Lies are easy, the thinking goes among the kool kids, after all that whole WMD thing worked so well many people still believe it, Rep. Franks Now Says Obama Dishonestly Taking Credit for BP Escrow Fund

Earlier in the week, the Republican Study Committee (the caucus of House conservatives) issued a press release calling BP’s decision to open a $20 billion escrow account to compensate Gulf residents hurt by the BP spill a “Chicago-style political shakedown.”  Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), chairman of RSC, commented, “in an administration that appears not to respect fundamental American principles, it is important to note that there is no legal authority for the President to compel a private company to set up or contribute to an escrow account.”

Now, Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), another member of the RSC, is attacking President Obama from a different angle.  In a press release, Franks does not accuse the White House of a “shakedown,” but rather blasts the president for his supposed dishonesty in taking credit for the creation of the escrow account.

“However, the real story here is that BP had already made the decision to set aside $20 billion to compensate those harmed by this tragic disaster several days prior to the President’s speech. The true outrage is that this was never the President’s idea at all, and he should be ashamed for pretending it was for political purposes.”

Which is it?  Did the president forcefully shakedown BP or is he dishonestly taking credit for something BP had already committed to?  It can’t be both.

Chairs and Beach Summer wallpaper and a news round-up

Chairs and Beach Summer wallpaper

Washington Post Alternate Reality: Public More Concerned About Deficit Than Jobs or Economy Overall or all that noise by the budget peacocks might be making some headway. As bsom notes in a several polls budget deficits matter, but unemployment and the general state of the economy tops deficit reduction. Democrats seem to be buying the meme,

Look, I’m well aware of Democrats’ election anxieties and the fear of “big spender” attacks ads. It’s hardly a secret what Republicans are going to say in their campaign pitch: Dems have spent too much and they’ve failed to lower the deficit. The message as a substantive matter, is ridiculous — GOP policymakers got us into this mess, left a $1.3 trillion deficit for Dems to clean up, and begged Obama for stimulus money to help the economy in their districts — but that’s the shpiel.

Democrats could shock everyone and get out ahead on correcting the message. Attack. We need to create jobs that will create tax payers who will in turn help pay down the deficit and repair the economic wreck Republicans left. Let’s not repeat the mistake Roosevelt made in 1937 when pushed by the budget peacocks of the day, and roll back spending letting the economy tumble back into the real possibility of greater than 10% unemployment. Sure Republicans have suddenly discovered deficits after eight years of being AWOL. Conservatism does not now nor has it since Eisenhower stood for anything other than opportunism and greed. President Obama and Democrats are not the biggest threat to the country’s future, we had the biggest threat to the country’s future – conservative economic policy shenanigans and we’re now reaping the benefits. As disappointing as Democrats have been on a progressive agenda, Republicans have zero ideas and zero intent on changing their ways. The official Republican response to deficits has been the ridiculous YouCut – Eric Cantor’s ‘YouCut’ Gimmick which will cut spending by .001 percent. Among the proposals that Cantor suggests is doing away with is a successful jobs program. Conservatives really have no respect for working Americans in their dog eat dog economic visions for the nation’s future.

If only we had used those yellow school buses barges oil would stop spreading across the Gulf. The only reason the yellow school buses barges have not been used is because of the administration’s incompetence – Does O’Reilly think protecting barge workers is an “amazing screw-up”?

On his Fox News show tonight, Bill O’Reilly opened his Talking Points Memo by declaring that there had been an “amazing screw-up in the Gulf cleanup.” He went on to relay the details of an ABC News report about 16 oil-collecting barges in the Gulf that had been called back to shore because of questions about safety measures aboard the ships.

O’Reilly does know that he is supposed to eat falafel not see if he can push them through one ear to the other side.

Sixteen crude-sucking barges are back in the Gulf of Mexico working to clean up oil, but the Coast Guard is defending its decision to ground the vessels because it couldn’t verify whether there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board.

“The Coast Guard is not going to compromise safety … that’s our No. 1 priority,” Coast Guard spokesman Robert Brassel told The Daily Caller.

[…]

Brassel said the barges are now “back in operating order.”

On Thursday night, the Incident Commander in Houma, Roger Laferriere, decided with the captain of the port in New Orleans to inspect the barges when they realized the ships did not have a certificate of inspection to demonstrate safety equipment on board. Thursday morning, the ships were inspected and grounded because they did not have the proper fire-fighting and life-saving equipment. There were also concerns about the stability of the barges. During the day Thursday, the problems were fixed, and the barges are back out on the water today.

What seemed to matter to Bill and the right-wing blogs was trying to score some sleazy political points. It did not matter that a few more people might be added to the BP spill death toll or that the barges might not be safe to operate.

Texas Can’t Afford To Buy New Far-Right Textbooks, But Rick Perry Still Resists Federal Aid. Rick Perry was among the rumored contenders for the 2012 presidential race. Perry and his fellow conservatives decide to shove some foul revisionists history down the nation’s throat ( Texas has an inordinate amount of influence on the content of the country’s text books), but have no way to pay for it. Texas is drowning in debt. These are the people who have the answers to the nation’s economic problems? I have a great little 1971 Ford Pinto I’d like to sell.

Gulf oil spill puts industry-friendly Republicans in tight spot

For the GOP leadership, it hasn’t been easy to get their people to stick to the script: Blame Obama, but scold BP. (The problem with message discipline is, it requires discipline).

It isn’t just Barton. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) called the $20 billion escrow account a “redistribution of wealth fund.” Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga) accused the Obama administration of “Chicago-style shakedown politics.”

Sarah Palin has gone so far as to suggest that the real fault for the catastrophe in the gulf lies with the environmental movement.

Credit where it’s due the Right-wingosaurs have discovered the secret to stopping the BP spill. I’m not sure about the actual physics, but apparently if Obama and Biden stop playing golf the leak will stop. Newsbusters, the media watchdog of the Right offers this keen insight, Media Outraged BP CEO At Yacht Race Saturday, Don’t Care Obama Golfed by Noel Sheppard

Yet, from what I can tell, only The Hill has reported Obama and Biden going golfing:

President Barack Obama hit the golf course Saturday with Vice President Joe Biden.

The White House pool report noted that Obama left at about 1 p.m. for the course at Andrews Air Force base, and his golfing parters [sic] included White House Trip Director Marvin Nicholson and photographer David Katz.

So Hayward, who was officially relieved of his duties concerning the spill cleanup Friday, is a despicable, heartless cad for going to a yacht race upon his return to England.

But our President — who according to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 is INDEED considered by American law responsible for overseeing this cleanup — as oil continues to flow into the Gulf of Mexico can do whatever he wants on Saturday without a care that his adoring press might treat him similarly.

First the Oil Pollution Act says that the president or his appointed representatives are responsible for seeing that the oil company that created the catastrophe provides for repairs and monetary damages. Not that the president of the U.S. micromanage every step of the response. That absence of truthiness aside, Newsbusters didn’t say a word about Bush setting a record for vacation time while, according to the Right, the “war on terror” was underway and represented the greatest threat to the nation since WW II. You can’t have an honest debate with people who are incapable of being honest or genuine or even bother to read the references they rely on.

In the case of natural resource damages, RPs are liable to the U.S., state, tribal or foreign government for natural resources belonging to, managed by, controlled by or appertaining to that government. The President or the authorized representative of the government shall act on behalf of the public, Indian tribe, or foreign country as trustee of natural resources to present a claim for and to recover natural resources damages. Natural resource trustees shall:   assess damages for the natural resources under their trusteeship; develop and implement a plan for the restoration, rehabilitation, replacement, or acquisition of the equivalent of, the natural resources under their trusteeship. If requested and reimbursed by a state or tribe, federal trustees may assess damages for natural resources under the state’s or tribe’s trusteeship.

The measure of natural resource damages is:   the cost of restoring, rehabilitating, replacing or acquiring the equivalent of the damaged natural resources; the diminution in value of those natural resources pending restoration; plus the reasonable cost of assessing those damages. The President, acting through the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the heads of other affected agencies must promulgate regulations for the assessment of natural resource damages. § 2706.

PR is responsible party. In the case of the Gulf spill that would be BP and possibly its contractors Halliburton  and Transocean. BP’s Partner in Gulf Well Anadarko Petroleum says “BP’s behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct.”

Obama, Daddy Fever and “reckless” Conservatism

Los Angeles Water Front Skyline wallpaper

For going on almost two months most of the usual suspects on the Right have wet their pants in absolute glee over the BP Gulf spill. The spill, according to this cadre of conservative comrades is not the environmental, social and economic disaster that will haunt the United States for decades. No, according to conservatives it is a gift from the political gods to exploit to their political advantage. maybe liberals were feeling left out. It was like a party they saw from a distance and felt the sudden urge to joy in. Ezra Klein at WaPO – Where have we heard this before?

The optimistic take, at least for environmentalists, is that this is the language and approach Obama uses when he really means to legislate. The pessimistic take is that Obama shied away from clearly describing the problem, did not endorse specific legislation, did not set benchmarks, and chose poll-tested language rather than a sharper case that might persuade skeptics.

A couple more liberals, Kevin Drum at MotherJones, Obama’s Oil Spill Speech: Running On Empty

So let’s unpack this a bit. The whole point of a prime time Oval Office speech (transcript here) is that it announces something big. On that score, Obama failed right from the start. He told us that lots of people are already working the cleanup. Yawn. That Ray Mabus is going to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. A plan! Hurrah! That we’re gonna make BP pay for everything. Roger that. And then this: “I have established a National Commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place.” A commission! So much for “going big.”

I somewhat agree with the attitude toward another commission. BP screwed up. The safety guidelines were not enforced as they should have been and years ago the oil lobby convinced Congress during the Bush administration they did not need the kind of back-up shut down valve that is required by some other nations. One more, Joan Walsh writes Just words: Obama’s Oval Office speech fizzles

I’m not sure anyone walked away from the speech clearer on what Obama will do to hasten the clean up and prevent future disasters. And while I was happy he did make a short pitch for “a strong and comprehensive climate and energy bill,” if you blinked, you missed it. He noted that such a bill had been passed by the House, but he didn’t take the opportunity to describe what’s in it and make the case for its most controversial features, particularly a carbon cap. He didn’t note that the bill is stalled, and considered dead, in the Democratic controlled Senate. He didn’t create any sense of urgency to break the political stalemate that is likely to keep the bill locked up there permanently.

As a political wonk I can appreciate the complaint about not being clear about the energy bill and it’s status. And maybe that was a missed political opportunity, but it is debatable whether the public would have appreciated it or understood – a point that Joan misses – that the Senate has a simple Democratic majority, not a filibuster proof one. Joan, Ezra and Kevin all want the president to be a font of inspiration and to be President Wonk at the same time. There is no one on the political scene today in either party capable of pulling off that trick under these circumstances. I’m not mad at these liberals, it just seems they have caught some of that president as Daddy Fever that is going around. Imagine your favorite dream president and this same catastrophe – not to be confused with war – and the speech would have not made anyone happy. That’s because speeches are not magic, they do not make environmental tragedies of this magnitude go away. There is nothing that Obama or anyone else can say that is going to make me feel better and I don’t expect them to. I expect competent management and considering the magnitude of the Gulf spill that is what we’re getting. I’d give the government a A minus and BP a D-. That’s the frustrating part. You could water broad the entire executive management of BP and the spill and the steps taken to get it under control would not change. Some things around the margins like not harassing reporters, BP having a more cooperative relationship with the people of the Gulf coast and a few other things could stand improvement, but those are issues that should not be conflated with the spill itself.

John Assrocket at the award winning right-wing Powerline remains has made being totally irrelevant into an art, but he does make the liberals look razor-sharp – Obama’s Long Nose June 15, 2010  Posted by John at 8:01 PM

As I noted yesterday, BP’s market capitalization has declined by around 50 percent–$100 billion–as a result of the spill. By any rational measure, BP has been harmed more by the spill than anyone else, even Barack Obama. It serves no purpose to launch unsupported accusations of recklessness. One might say, on the contrary, that it is reckless to do so.

That’s the problem with tin foil hats and a mind like a cheese grater, a lot of stuff gets by, E-mail from BP engineer called Deepwater Horizon rig a ‘nightmare well’ six days before explosion

According to an e-mail released by that Committee yesterday, a BP drilling engineer warned that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was a “nightmare well” that had caused the company problems in the past.

A nightmare not acted on is “recklessness”. Did Assrocket get his law degree by mail. BP rig’s safety valve failed test before oil spill explosion

BP and Transocean, the contractor, blamed one another for “a cascade of failures” that led to the massive oil spill threatening America’s south-eastern coastline. BP continues its efforts to seal the leak, which is gushing 5,000 barrels per day into the ocean.

It emerged yesterday in the testimony of James Dupree, BP’s senior vice president for the Gulf, that tests before the blast showed “discrepancies” in pressure levels. These tests are meant to ensure the integrity of cement poured into the well to keep out natural gas. Another contractor, Halliburton, had just finished cement work hours before the blast.

“There was something happening in the well bore that shouldn’t be happening,” said Steven Newman, Transocean’s chief executive officer.

A Democrat member of the committee, Bart Stupak, reported that the blowout preventer “apparently had a significant leak”. The device had also been modified in “unexpected ways,” he said, and may not have been strong enough to shut the well.

All the parties involved can blame shift, but for the President to point out the obvious is “reckless” and “unsupported”. Do conservatives know there are free dictionaries on-line so they can look up the meaning of words. John and his coven of  Conservatives Concerned About BP’s Capitalization need not worry, the BP Gulf spill is no longer a catastrophe caused by a reckless greedy short-sighted corporate profiteers, its Obama’s political baggage. True to Assrocketology Powerline also includes this gem,

It’s hard to see how an Oval Office Speech could help much, even if it had not been pedestrian. In fact, the speech offered nothing new, and featured the same BP-bashing and pledges to unleash squadrons of lawyers to collect damages that already grate on most Americans. Obama doesn’t seem to understand how hollow, and sometimes petulant, his vows to make BP pay sound.

“Most Americans” is the two other neanderthals from which he got his snapshot of public opinion. The worse case scenario is that BP has no profits for a year. It currently produces profits of $66 million dollars a day. BP is also in business with Iran’s oil industry ( but conservatives are very cautious about criticizing them). And John might have read that BP killed a few people when the rig blew up. Oil Rig Worker Who Died Had Warned His Family That BP Pressured Him To Sacrifice Safety and In 2002, California officials discovered that BP had falsified inspections of fuel tanks at a Los Angeles-area refinery. BP’s thinking about profits and liability are conservative thinking. Save a few dollars in the short run, cross your fingers and hope that major catastrophe does not happen. No it is not logical. That’s the point. The BP Gulf spill, like Bush’s lies about WMD and cutting taxes for millionaires should have been learning moments for conservatives, but no, they just double down and deflect blame. Once again, so much for conservative “values”.

Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle floated possibility of armed insurrection. Because as we all know, modest, but much needed health care reform is so much worse than lying a nation into a trillion dollar war that has costs over four thousand lives.

Sunrise Sailing wallpaper

summer sunset

Sunrise Sailing wallpaper

Glenn Beck lashes out at liberals for daring to point out he promoted and is till promoting a book written by a Nazi. Refuses to apologize, of course. Beck: No apologies for promoting an anti-Semite Nazi sympathizer. The Right is still rife with antisemitism, even rewarding those that have tried to rid the government of Jews. Now along comes Helen Thomas who dared to utter these words to : You Got Played

Now that Helen Hitler Thomas has been forcibly retired, more video of the interview miraculously has become available for viewing:

Here’s the “appalling” transcript:

Q: Any advice for these young people over here for starting out in the press corps?

Thomas: Go for it. You’ll never be unhappy. You’ll always keep people informed, you’ll always keep learning. The greatest thing of the profession is you’ll never stop learning.

Q: Today they are covering the Jewish Heritage Month.

Thomas: … and meet the President.

A: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everyone today, any comments on..

Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.

Q: Oooh. Any better comments?

Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied, and it’s their land. It’s not German and it’s not Poland.

Q: So where should they go, what should they do?

Thomas: They can go home.

Q: Where is home?

Thomas: Poland. Germany.

Q: So you are saying Jews should go back to Poland?

Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out who have lived their for centuries? See?

Q: Now, are you familiar with the history of that region and what took place?

Thomas: Very much. I’m of Arab background.

{It goes on for a little while with friendly banter about languages they both speak with words I can not even begin to spell.}

Q: Thank you.

Thomas: All the best to you (directed at the Jewish students). Go for it- go for journalism, you’ll never regret it.

Compare that to Beck’s promotion of the Elizabeth Tillman pro-Nazi book. Thomas apologized and probably quit under pressure from Hearst. Beck will probably pull down another $32 million this year and keep his jobs in radio and TV. Pat Buchanan, also a Fox contributor will continue to make regular appearances on Fox,

In another memo from Buchanan to Nixon: “There is a legitimate grievance in my view of white working-class people that every time, on every issue, that the black militants loud-mouth it, we come up with more money…. If we can give 50 Phantoms [jet fighters] to the Jews, and a multi-billion dollar welfare program for the blacks…why not help the Catholics save their collapsing school system.” (Boston Globe, 1/4/92)

In a column sympathetic to ex-Klansman David Duke, Buchanan chided the Republican Party for overreacting to Duke and his Nazi “costume”: “Take a hard look at Duke’s portfolio of winning issues and expropriate those not in conflict with GOP principles, [such as] reverse discrimination against white folks.” (syndicated column, 2/25/89)

Writing of “group fantasies of martyrdom,” Buchanan challenged the historical record that thousands of Jews were gassed to death by diesel exhaust at Treblinka: “Diesel engines do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody.” (New Republic, 10/22/90) Buchanan’s columns have run in the Liberty Lobby’s Spotlight, the German-American National PAC newsletter and other publications that claim Nazi death camps are a Zionist concoction.

The Buchanan ’96 campaign’s World Wide Web site included an article blaming the death of White House aide Vincent Foster on the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad — and alleging that Foster and Hillary Clinton were Mossad spies. (The campaign removed the article after its existence was reported by a Jewish on-line news service; Jewish Telegraphic Agency, 2/21/96.)

Despite her Democratic leanings Helen Thomas went after both Democrats and Republicans.

None of these prestigious firsts or awards protected Thomas from the firestorm that followed her remarks. Time columnist Joe Klein wrote that Thomas should be stripped of her privileged seat in the White House briefing room. Her remarks were offensive, but considering her journalistic moxie and courage over many decades — in sharp contrast to the despicable deeds committed by so many littering the Washington political scene — isn’t there room for someone who made a mistake, apologized for it and wants to continue speaking truth to power and asking tough questions?

Unlike Beck, Buchanan, Limbaugh, Coulter and a virtual army of right-wing hyperbolists that seem to make more money by making even more abhorrent remarks about women, Jews, Liberals, college professors, union members, teachers, war heroes and anyone else that veers from their ideological prison camp. Thomas is hounded out by one in-artful remark for which she apologized. Except for that WaPo piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel, I have not read one of the Beltway villagers come to Thomas’s defense. Who can name one denizen of the Beltway in politics or journalism that has lived to be 86 with a record of professionalism free of goofball statements. The same journalists that played along with Bush’s selling of the Iraq invasion are still in D.C. The networks that let “military analysts” provide Bush administration spin as expert commentary have still not apologized.  A. Serwer at Tapped gets to the crux of the moral issues that were at stake,

I’m not going to defend Helen Thomas’ comments. Any American who is going to argue that Israeli Jews should “get out” is going to have to be willing to advocate for the return of all the land west of the Mississippi River to Native Americans, since the provenance of the land on which America stands is far more legally dubious than that of the Jewish state. Thomas is now retiring, but Jon Chait makes a persuasive case for why she probably should have been gone long ago.

That said, it’s worth noting that in American political discourse, as Matt Duss and Gabriel Winant have written, statements of a similar nature are completely appropriate when made about the Palestinians — it’s not, apparently, that bigotry is unacceptable, just the “wrong kind” of bigotry. This is the sort of incident that exposes the more tribal advocates on either side — you cannot argue that there’s something morally wrong about leaving Palestinians stateless and then argue that Israeli Jews should be left that way, just as you cannot argue that it is morally wrong to suggest Jews should “leave Israel” while asserting that Israel has the right to permanently displace the Palestinians. Or at least, you can’t argue either of those points while claiming to adhere to any universal moral principle. Still, it’s clear that one form of inconsistency here is infinitely more acceptable in Washington than the other.

After criticizing Obama for lacking emotion, Conservative media now attacks Obama for seeking “ass to kick” over spill. Conservative journalists have never shown any genuine concern over the spill, they as happy as pigs at the trough that have another event they can blame Obama for.

They don’t mean to, unless you’re really into conspiracy theories and think liberals have infiltrated the Nevada Republican party, but occasionally the Right does moderates a big favor like nominate Sharon Angle as the GOP candidate for Senate, Sharon Angle And Party Suicide

* Inflammatory rhetoric: In an interview last month with the Reno Gazette-Journal, Angle had this to say about gun laws: “What is a little bit disconcerting and concerning is the inability for sporting goods stores to keep ammunition in stock,” she told the newspaper. “That tells me the nation is arming. What are they arming for if it isn’t that they are so distrustful of their government? They’re afraid they’ll have to fight for their liberty in more Second Amendment kinds of ways. That’s why I look at this as almost an imperative. If we don’t win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?”

The Angle campaign signs should be interesting – Vote for me or we’ll have to break out the semi-automatics on your ass. It is not the least bit of an exaggeration to say I could go to any number of stores and come back in an hour with enough guns and ammo for a small army. I already have two and feel that any civil unrest that requires more than that, well a few more guns is not going to make much of a difference. There is a difference between self defense and paranoia. That is the reason the dictionary has a different definition for each. The Angles of the world seem to lack the cognitive skills to differentiate between the two. Reid Opponent Embraces Patriot Group That Warns Of ‘Giant Concentration Camps’

The peculiar ideology of Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee challenging Sen. Harry Reid in Nevada, is perhaps no better illustrated than by her embrace of the patriot group Oath Keepers, whose membership of uniformed soldiers and police take an oath to refuse orders they see as unconstitutional — including enforcement of gun laws, violations of states’ sovereignty, and “any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.”

[   ]…According to the SPLC, Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, a former staffer for Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) warns his followers against “a coming dictatorship” that will happen if “our brothers in arms go along and comply with unconstitutional, unlawful orders.” An extensive report on the group by Mother Jones in March suggests supporters of the movement believe they’re living through the first steps of the shift away from constitutional freedom. Members of the group — many of them in the armed forces — share the “belief that the government is already turning on its citizens, they are recruiting military buddies, stashing weapons, running drills, and outlining a plan of action [to stop it],” the magazine reported.

In the real world Senator Reid’s middle name is moderate. So much so that liberals regularly whine about him. I tend to think he has more pluses than minuses and he looks even better compared to Chuck Schumer who is the leading Democratic contender for Senate leader should Harry step aside. Though it would be a mistake to underestimate Angle.

Just for fun. Or dark humor anyway. The kool-kids at the konservative PJ Media have the answer to the oil spill, Miles of Oil Containment Boom Sit in Warehouse, Waiting for BP or U.S. to Use

He’s already had a representative from BP visit his factory and inspect his product. The governor of Maine, John Baldacci, visited the facility and made a video plea to no one in particular to close the deal. Maine Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins wrote a letter on May 21 to the secretary of the Interior, the administrator of NOAA, and the commandant of the Coast Guard to alert them to the existence of Packgen, their supply of boom, and their demonstrated capacity to make more. I have no idea if those are the correct persons and agencies to notify about the manufacturing capacity and the availability of boom. One wonders if the senators know.

To sum up. 1. He does not know if two Republicans senators know the correct persons or agencies to contact. 2. He goes on to give a second grader’s idea of what an oil spill and how it is to be handled. Why is he writing a blog post when he should be on a jet insisting on his way to sharing his cool show-and-tell with BP and the Coast Guard. This “boom” meme has become the right’s Guld spill equivalent of those half-submerged buses in New Orleans during Katrina that could have saved everyone if only they had listened to right-wing bloggers. 3. Obama knows about the boom. Knows it is the secret to stopping any more environmental damage, but is keeping it all super secret to serve his super secret agenda. You know, the one that is helped by not letting anyone know about this miracle boom. 4. The same goes for BP. The less boom they lay out the …more money they make? 5. What day was it that konservatives gave a damn about about the environment and any business but the oil and coal industry. They’re Boom Believers, but Global Warming Deniers 6. Konservative komrades always claim they are very concerned about meritocracy. Anything they write about meritocracy only makes sense if you substitute the word mediocrity. Thus in the village of Wingnuttia that post about boom is very popular. 7. Much of their complaint is the gov’mint is not doing enough. They were against the nanny state before they were for it. Why isn’t every whining know-it-all-do-it yourself- self sustaining-don’t need no govmint-konservative down in the Gulf with a bucket and a mop.

.

Color Smoke Jazz wallpaper

Color Smoke Jazz wallpaper

If president Obama can be impeached for Sestak does that mean we can retroactively impeach Reagan. Ol Raygun should have been impeached for Iran-Contra and the HUD scandal – Morris fabricates “impeachable offense” out of alleged Sestak job offer

Reagan adviser reportedly offered CA senator a job with the administration “if he decided not to seek re-election.” A November 25, 1981, Associated Press article (from the Nexis database) reported that President Reagan’s political adviser Ed Rollins planned to offer former California Sen. S.I. Hayakawa a job in the administration in exchange for not seeking re-election.

To save time we could also impeach Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Sestak “bribe”-gate: Judd Gregg did it first

If that’s the case, we should probably appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether Sen. Judd Gregg committed extortion when he demanded that the White House force a Democratic governor to appoint a Republican to his seat if they wanted him to be their commerce secretary.

As someone from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said, the Sestak offer, if it did happen is just another day inside the Beltway. That Sestak stayed in and as of today is favored to win the general election is probably the cause for the Right’s sudden infatuation with ethics.

Andrew Breitbart is a loon and a conservative quickly becoming famous for his cowardice so it is not much of a shock he lacks the humility to admit when he’s wrong. Is Breitbart ever going to get up the nerve to ask the NY Post for a correction?

In the wake of James O’Keefe’s New Orleans guilty plea, Breitbart’s site is pulling down out of storage one of its old talking points and pretending it’s a very big deal that when the O’Keefe story first broke in January some news outlets got a key fact wrong: O’Keefe was never charged with trying to wiretap, or bug, Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phone.

[   ]…But here’s the evergreen problem with the correction tact: lots of right-wing sites got the exact same fact wrong about O’Keefe and the alleged wiretapping and bugging charges [emphasis added]:

-“Filmmaker who targeted ACORN arrested for trying to bug La. senator’s office” (NY Post)

-“Feds Cuff ACORN ‘Pimp’ in Attempt to Bug Sen. Landrieu’s Phones”  (NRO’s The Corner)

-“James O’Keefe Arrested for Attempting to Bug Senator Mary Landrieu’s Offices?” (Ace of Spades)

-“ACORN Sting Man James O’Keefe Arrested for Allegedly Trying to Bug Mary Landrieu’s Office.” (The Lonely Conservative)

-“James O’Keefe arrested for attempting to bug Mary Landrieu’s office” (Another Black Conservative)

The high and mighty guardians of right-wing citizen journalism like Ace, the Lonely Conservative and the holy grail of wingnuttiness – The National Review were wrong? How could that be. Not admit they were wrong? What would we expect from sites that sold America the lies about Iraq, defended deadbeat Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and deregulating Wall St and letting oil companies like BP do whatever they wanted because all corporation are naturally fountains of virtue and goodness. That Breitbart will not hold his team of titanic liars to any ethical standards sounds about right since they never had any standards.

O’Reilly tells African-American Columbia University professor that he looks like a ‘cocaine dealer.’ This coming from someone one of America’s highest paid perverts.

Republicans have this product they really really want to sell America. It contains petty spite, bile and mindless vindictiveness that makes Les Miserable seem like a quaint fairytale. Everything that happens on Obama’s watch is his Katrina. get a speck of dust in your eye. That’s Obama’s new Katrina. Traffic light at 5th and main burn out? Obama’s Katrina. Kevin Drums replies to the latest attempt, Why BP is the Anti-Katrina

This conflates two very different things. Katrina was an example of the type of disaster that the federal government is specifically tasked with handling. And for most of the 90s, it was very good at handling them. But when George Bush became president and Joe Allbaugh became director of FEMA, everything changed. Allbaugh neither knew nor cared about disaster preparedness. For ideological reasons, FEMA was downsized and much of its work outsourced. When Allbaugh left after less than two years on the job, he was replaced by the hapless Michael Brown and the agency was downgraded and broken up yet again.

[  ]…The Deepwater Horizon explosion is almost the exact opposite. There is no federal expertise in capping oil blowouts. There is no federal agency tasked specifically with repairing broken well pipes.

Lets read between the lines of what people like Yuval Levin, Rush Limbaugh and others are saying. They want to establish a multi-billion dollar oil spill response team to be part of FEMA thus letting BP and other oil companies off the hook for their negligence.  Dear American Tax Payer the rabid right has another gift for you based on their twisted upside down inside out ideology. A policy that is not based on what is best, but rather on the tenant of spite. Even a Republican chaired Senate committee found the Bush administration response to Katrina lacking, but that does not mean, to the right-wing mind, that conservatives and their ideology we not thoroughly discredited and the Republican party highly embarrassed. It means such discredit and embarrassment will not go unpunished even if the lies and twisted logic are old reliables from the conservative dirty politics playbook. One of the liberal blogs on my blogroll even played along – they’re mad as hell that Super Obama didn’t put on his cape and spin the earth in reverse to stop that leak. Said blog was also woefully short on the details which would make that feat possible. Never let actual prescriptions get in the way of a pseudo populist rant. Does this sound like what the Obama administration did in the Gulf, White House Issues Defense Of Bush’s Handling of Storm

Three days after Hurricane Katrina wiped out most of New Orleans, President Bush appeared on television and said, “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” His staff has spent the past six months trying to take back, modify or explain away those 10 words.

[  ]…The video leaves little doubt that key people in government did anticipate that the levees might not hold. To critics, especially Democrats but even some Republicans, it reinforces the conclusion that the government at its highest levels failed to respond aggressively enough to the danger bearing down on New Orleans.

Does Peggy The Loon Noonan or the editors at the Rupert Murdoch’s Wall St Rag read her columns before they publish them, The spill is a disaster for the president and his political philosophy.

I don’t see how the president’s position and popularity can survive the oil spill. This is his third political disaster in his first 18 months in office. And they were all, as they say, unforced errors, meaning they were shaped by the president’s political judgment and instincts.

BP too cheap to buy a proper safety valve. That’s a failure of Obama’s political philosophy. President helps pass at least some of the historic health care reforms he promised and that help get him elected – that is an unforced error? I think BP’s safety engineers used the same math Peggy uses. Immigration reform? We could have had that three years ago except the xenophobes that control the Republican party killed it. Notice a pattern with Peggy. Conservative ain’t in no way never responsible for nuttin. Another way of saying looking for an adult in the Republican party is a long arduous journey.