Map of George Washington’s land at Mount Vernon – Brats in Congress, Whatever Democrats Are For, Conservatives Are Against

Map of George Washington’s land at Mount Vernon, Fairfax Coy., Virginia, as it was & as it is. Laid down from old maps made by G. Washington and from actual surveys. This map was published in 1859 by  W. Gillingham.

Silver-rimmed spactacles, worn by George Washington. Washington commenced to wear eye-glasses in the year 1778. This pair is said to have been used by him on the occasion of his reading his Newburg address. Presented by Captain Henry N. Marsh.

The Uniform worn by General George Washington when he resigned his commission at Annapolis. Dec. 23, 1783. (Smithsonian Institution).

And as the U.S. Archives explains, There is no such thing as Presidents Day. Or President’s Day.

“Before 1971, Washington’s Birthday was one of nine federal holidays celebrated on specific dates, which fell on different days of the week (the exception being Labor Day—the original Monday holiday).

Then came the tinkering of the Ninetieth Congress in 1968. Determined to create a uniform system of federal Monday holidays, Congress voted to shift three existing holidays to Mondays and expanded the number further by creating one new Monday holiday.Washington’s Birthday was uprooted from its fixed February 22 date and transplanted to the third Monday in February, followed by Memorial Day being relocated from the last day in May to the last Monday in May.

When a new federal law was implemented in 1971, only two days separated Abraham Lincoln’s Friday birthday of February 12 from the Washington’s Birthday holiday that fell on February 15—the third Monday in February.

For advertisers, the Monday holiday change was the goose that laid the golden “promotional” egg. Using Labor Day marketing as a guide, three-day weekend sales were expanded to include the new Monday holidays. Once the “Uniform Monday Holiday Law” was implemented, it took just under a decade to build a head of national promotional sales steam.

 

 

Conservative bloggers will probably still call this shamnesty or some other supposedly clever name. If anything the President’s immigration proposal, besides resembling golden buy Marco Rubios’, is that the criteria to achieve citizenship are pretty high. And considering all the conservative talk of secession, one wonders if the average conservative zealot would go through this much effort to become a citizen, Marco Rubio is against administration’s Rubio-esque immigration plan

Under the proposal, any of the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants could apply for a “Lawful Protective Immigrant” visa, provided they pass a criminal background check, provide biometric information and pay a set of fees. If approved for the visa, they would be allowed to live and work in the United States for four years before reapplying. They could leave the country for short periods of time, and apply to have their spouses and children covered by the same provisional legal status. Immigrants could be disqualified from the program if they were convicted of a crime that led to a prison term of one year, or several crimes that led to at least 90 days in jail.

With this visa, immigrants could then apply for legal citizenship within eight years as long as they learn English, pay back taxes, avoid criminal offenses and learn the “history and government of the United States.” And from there, of course, legal residents can apply for full citizenship.

As for enforcement, the proposal expands the E-Verify program for employers, and requires Homeland Security to collect regular data on the effectiveness of the program and its effect on the agricultural economy. It also calls for an expanded Border Control and adds 140 new immigration judges to process the flow of people who violate immigration laws.

No plan will please everyone. I can’t think of an issue that that does make conservative foam a littl at the mouth, but ethnocentrism has always been a hallmark of the far Right. Yet the biggest hurdle is the the height of the hurdles to citizenship, it is that this plan is a Democratic plan, or worse an Obama plan. Newt Gingrich has been known to occasionally blurt out the unvarnished truth about his side, this sums up the problem, Gingrich: Republicans Will Oppose Any Immigration Plan Backed By Obama Because They Hate Obama

“An Obama plan led and driven by Obama in this atmosphere with the level of hostility towards the president and the way he goads the hostility I think is very hard to imagine that bill, that his bill is going to pass the House,” Gingrich said. “I think that negotiated with a Senate immigration bill that has to have bipartisan support could actually get to the president’s desk.”

“Goad”? All President Obama has to do is make his usual civil and civic minded statement and the Right starts have seizures. If life is like high school one can imagine Obama at home, one of the most popular and respected kids in school, wondering to himself at the mean kids; their buttons are so easy to push. I say good morning and suddenly they’re against mornings. Back to Jamelle Bouie’s column for this sound bite from Rubio,

Despite these similarities, Rubio has come out against the administration’s proposal. “If actually proposed,” the senator said in a press release, “the President’s bill would be dead on arrival in Congress, leaving us with unsecured borders and a broken legal immigration system for years to come.” Rubio accuses the White House of “failing to secure our borders,” creating a “special pathway” for those who broke the law, and doing nothing to address the “future flow” of immigrants.

Right now, without reform, illegal immigration into the U.S. is at historic lows, so how can it be that our borders are somehow more insecure now than 10 years ago.

Now this is semi-historic, the broadcast media confronting a conservative and one f their wunderkins at that, ABC confronts Paul Ryan for praising sequester before using it to slam Obama

ABC News host Jonathan Karl on Sunday suggested that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) was guilty of hypocrisy because he slammed President Barack Obama for the automatic spending cuts in the so-called sequester — even though congressman had personally praised it in the past.

“Don’t forget it was the president who proposed the sequester, it’s the president who designed the sequester,” Ryan told Karl, adding that he had concluded that Congress was not going to be able to avoid the automatic cuts because Democrats refused to accept Republicans’ proposal for “smarter cuts in other area of government.”

“Congressman, I’ve heard you say this, and this has been a talking point for Republicans for a long time,” Karl interrupted. “But let’s look at your own words, what you said right after the law putting this in place was passed in August of 2011. These are your words. You said, ‘What conservatives like me have been fighting for for years are statutory caps on spending, literally legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money and if they breach that amount across the board sequester comes in to cut that spending. You can’t turn it out without a supermajority. We got that into law.’”

“Now, it sounds to me there like if you weren’t taking credit for the idea of the sequester, you were certainly suggesting it was a good idea,” Karl pointed out.

Republicans do this all the time. They agree to something. A few months pass and they pretend that never happened and what they are taking about how is tttotalllyyy different because…time has passed. Credit to Jonathan Karl for doing better than averge, but he should have nailed Ryan and House Republicans for voting twice to approve a Ryan budget with less cuts than Obama’s plan, that never approached balancing the budget in our life times. Though the Ryan plan, Ryan always being fearful of making millionaires pay even one more penny in taxes, gave senior citizens the shaft.

Another recent example of conservatives pretending that the things conservatives did or said in the past is some kind of never-land, Lindsey Graham: In letter, Hagel disavowed alleged Israel comment

“We will have a vote when we get back, and I am confident that Senator Hagel will probably have the votes necessary to be confirmed,” McCain said.

Graham called Hagel “one of the most unqualified, radical choices for secretary of defense in a very long time.” But he nonetheless expressed openness to letting the Senate proceed to a vote on his confirmation, saying he gives Obama “great discretion.”

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said there isn’t any reason for Republicans to hold up up Hagel’s confirmation.

“It’s a grave concern,” McDonough said on ABC News’ “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “If you look at Chuck Hagel, decorated war veteran himself, war hero. Republican senator. Somebody who over the course of the last many years, either as a Republican senator or as the chairman of the president’s Intelligence Advisory Board, I’ve worked with very closely. This guy has one thing in mind, how do we protect the country.

Radical? Graham and Mccain betrayed the nation’s trust when they promulgated Iraq war lies,

In the 2003 lead-up to the Iraq War, McCain and Graham made appearances on Sunday talks shows such as Meet the Press, Fox News Sunday, and Face the Nation where they made the case that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and would not hesitate to use them.

“He is lying, Tim, when he says he doesn’t have weapons of mass destruction,” Lindsay Graham said on Meet the Press on March 2, 2003. “For 12 years now, we’ve been playing this game, trying to get this man to part with his weapons of mass destruction.”

Later, responding to a question from then-host Tim Russert about reports Saddam was destroying certain missiles to comply with the United Nations, Graham emphasized intelligence showing presence of chemical weapons.

…McCain, in a Feb. 16, 2003, appearance on Face the Nation, also made the case for the war based on intelligence showing weapons of mass destruction, even responding to a question that the CIA might not have been straightforward with weapons information as “a very reckless charge.”

“There’s not a doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein would give a weapon of mass destruction to a terrorist organization,” McCain said. He added, “They have common cause in trying to destroy the United States of America.”

McCain then said that should the United States decide to go in alone, the war would end quickly because of the weak Iraqi army, with the possibilities of Iraq firing a chemical weapon at Israel.

Both of these “radical” should be shoveling out the local animal shelter for their past treachery, not deciding who should be the nest secretary of defense. They both knew that that there was none, zero, nada evidence that Saddam had WMDs of any kind. Which is also the subject of a new documentary based on David Corn and Michael Isikoff book, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War .

Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper – Republican Opinions On Obama’s Cabinet Would Matter If Republicans Had American Values

Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper

Suspension Bridge at Night wallpaper

 

In light of the fact that the powerful lobbying group for Israel, AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation league don’t have a problem with Chuck Hagel becoming SecDef. And even Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister approves of Hagel, conservative opposition is running out of pearls to clutch.  So long to gumming up the nest Obama administration nominee Jacob Lew, as Treasury Secretary. But Lew has some heavy baggage, he is linked to that Obama dude, Treasury Nominee Jack Lew Linked to Barack Obama

President Obama has formally decided to nominate Jack Lew, his chief of staff, for Treasury secretary. Republicans are already complaining about Lew, reports Politico’s Manu Raju. Lew’s disqualification, according to numerous Republicans quoted in the story, is that he doesn’t agree with Republicans on public policy issues. The quotes are sort of amazing:

Johanns said it’s also about policy, saying a Lew choice would be “controversial.”

“I just think there are economic policies in this administration that haven’t been well received, and Jack Lew is in the middle of that,” he said.

“We’ve got to have a person who has credibility with the leaders of the American and world economy, someone who has credibility with the Congress, and I would feel like Mr. Lew’s nomination would be a mistake,” Sessions said.

Obama can’t have a Treasury secretary who agrees with Obama’s policy agenda!

The sudden gang-up on Lew is doubly amazing since, until approximately today, he was a figure of high repute within Washington. Lew’s image was that of sobriety and willingness to bargain. That was the thrust of a 2011 Washington Post profile of Lew (Republican Dave Camp quote: “You feel like you’re reaching him when you talk to him. I think he gets the art of the possible”). It was also the thrust of this 2011 Politico profile (Eric Cantor — yes, Eric Cantor! — quote: “He was always very polite and respectful in his tone and someone who I can tell is very committed to his principles”).

There is another SHOCKING reason that conservatives would oppose Lew. He is actually a numbers wonk. He knows math and economics and stuff like that, unlike Mr. PowerPoint Paul Ryan (R-WI) who passes for a knowledgeable wonk among conservatives who went eight years without paying the bills. Trusted Aide to Obama Faces Test in Budget Showdown

But Mr. Lew’s last go-round with Republicans, the debt ceiling talks in the summer of 2011, ended uncharacteristically badly. Mr. Lew, still the budget director at the time, irked Speaker John A. Boehner and his staff, who viewed him as an uncompromising know-it-all. Mr. Lew’s defenders call it an aberration.

“I think it’s because Jack knows the numbers, and they couldn’t pull a fast one,” said David Plouffe, Mr. Obama’s chief political adviser.

As long as unemployment is over 4.5% we do not have a debt problem. Let’s say that we did, well Republicans built that. As to all the hand wringing over the debt ceiling and let’s teach those..cough..cough..undisciplined mad spending liberals a lesson; well no surprise it is more about the conservative agenda than genuine concerns about America’s fiscal well being. They raised the debt ceiling seven times from 2002 to 2008.

One of the strange things about opposition to Lew and Hagel is that while Lew is fairly progressive, both he and Hagel are to the Right of Sen. John Kerry. And there is very little opposition to Kerry as SecState.

Despite the concerted efforts by conservative media to convince the public other wise, Democrats and the White House have bought into austerity-lite and done more than Congressional Republicans or the last Republican President to reduce the deficit. This is from a very long new report from American Progress, The Deficit Reduction We Have Achieved So Far

So where does all this deficit reduction leave us? Since the start of fiscal year 2011, Congress and the president have cut about $1.5 trillion in programmatic spending, raised about $630 billion in new revenue, and generated about $300 billion in interest savings, for a combined total of more than $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction. The result is a substantial cut in how much publicly held debt the country is expected to hold 10 years from now. Instead of reaching nearly 93 percent of GDP, debt is now projected to total about 83 percent of GDP—fully 10 points lower. And while that won’t be enough to finally put the budget onto sustainable footing, it is a massive improvement. In fact, it’s about two-thirds of the way toward stabilizing the debt-to-GDP ratio.

It’s been a bumpy few fiscal years. But don’t let all the twists and turns obscure the simple fact that we actually have accomplished a significant amount of deficit reduction along the way. Three-quarters of that deficit reduction has been achieved through spending cuts totaling $1.8 trillion, with only one-quarter coming from revenue increases.

If Obama is building FEMA camps to imprison conservatives who don’t agree with him, he must be using his own money.

I KNOW A WAY TO GET (CERTAIN) GUNS BANNED

It’s generally assumed that the gun lobby and its many supporters in legislatures and the general public will never, ever support any restriction on the sale or possession of any gun under any circumstances. But I know how that could change. I realized what would bring about the change while reading this Victor Davis Hanson column — which isn’t about guns at all, and barely mentions them.

(Hanson)..Take former vice president Al Gore. He has made a fortune of nearly a billion dollars warning against global warming — supposedly shrinking glaciers, declining polar-bear populations, and the like — while simultaneously offering timely remedies from his own green corporations, all reminiscent of the methodology of Roman millionaire Marcus Licinius Crassus, who profited from fires and putting them out. Now Nobel laureate Gore has sold his interest in a failing cable-television station for about $100 million — and to the anti-American Al-Jazeera, which is owned by the fossil-fuel-rich royal family of Qatar. Gore rushed to close the deal before the first of the year to avoid the very capital-gains tax hikes that he has advocated for others less well off. That’s a liberal trifecta: enhancing a fossil-fuel consortium, attempting to beat tax hikes, and empowering an anti-American and anti-Semitic media conglomerate run by an authoritarian despot — all from a former vice president of the United States who crusades for ending our reliance on fossil fuels and for raising taxes on the wealthy….

Imagine if every fedora’d Brooklyn hipster packed heat. Imagine if this were also true of Hollywood celebrities. Imagine if the hip in Hollywood and elsewhere actually changed the gun market — demanding, and paying big bucks for, beautifully crafted, appallingly lethal “artisanal” guns. Imagine if these became the accoutrements no liberal wanted to be seen without — imagine if they showed up in every paparazzi photo ,and in every Vanity Fair portrait photo by Annie Leibovitz. Imagine if cheap knockoffs of those guns became all the rage among The Kids.

I’ll have to unpack this in pieces. Few liberals are advocating the complete ban of guns and those who might be will never get any traction. Sensible limits on the types of guns, magazine size etc. the gun fetishists always portray as the straw man liberal who wants to take away their guns, all of them. NMMNB is being a little facetious, but he might be on to something. Let’s have liberal gun giveaways – to the poor, those scary people of color and especially women. Let’s raise money to buy all liberals plenty of ammo, extended magazine clips, designer personal carry holsters and  free flak vest for the kids. Let’s make it mandatory that everyone under 18 to wear a flak vest when out in public. That is certainly no more an onerous burden than putting an armed law enforcement officer on every corner and in every school, and it would be cheaper.

Unpacking the rest. I wish Gore had sold to a domestic buyer. Sometimes appearances matter, even when they’re appearances obscured by the xenophobia of two-faced weirdos like Victor Davis Hanson. No one of the Right should be lecturing anyone in foreign media when a rabid far Right conservative named Rupert Murdoch has so much influence, direct influence through media and personal contact with elected officials – on U.S. politics. The accusations of elitism and what individuals do with their money? Davis must be off his meds again. He just supported a guy who kept huge bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman islands, and directly outsourced jobs to Asia. This is the way it works in the never-ending hypocrisy the Right shovels out about anyone to the left of Eva Braun. When conservatives are wealthy, they are industrious captains of commerce. When Democrats are wealthy they are elitist. When Democrats make modest incomes they are Marxists, when conservatives have modest incomes they are the salt of the earth. That is not simply jaw dropping hypocrisy, that is the thinking of dangerous zealots who have an agenda mired in jack boots and delusions, not fidelity to small r republican principles. Conservatism is one big apparatus for the growth of plutocracy, yet they churn out shallow knee jerk column after column bemoaning America’s cultural decline. Are their low income and middle-class voters who support them. Sure there are. In the same way the plutocrats of the early 20th century convinced some Americans to use brick bats and guns against laborers who wanted to unionize. There will probably always be Americans who work against and vote against their own rational self interests and the best interests of the country in favor of voting for the wage slave plantation.

Ben Franklin and gun control

Ben Franklin and gun control

A Good Catch, 1892 by William De La Montagne Cary – Conservatives Are To Good Governance what Cheez Whez is To Good Nutrition

   A Good Catch, 1892 by William De La Montagne

A Good Catch, 1892 by William De La Montagne Cary. William de la Montagne Cary (1840-1922) was born in Tappan, New York, most of William de la Montagne Cary’s early life was spent in Greenwich Village.  As a teenager he contributed illustrations to such magazine’s as Harper’s Weekly, Leslie’s, and Appleton’s.  He worked in oil, watercolor, pen and ink, black and white wash, and in later years did some seventy wood engraving illustrations several best-selling books. He also did etchings on copper plates for Currier and Ives.

The Resounding Sea, 1886 by Thomas Moran

The Resounding Sea, 1886 by Thomas Moran. A dramatic rendering of a lifeboat in a storm rowing away from a distressed ship.  Thomas Moran (1837 – 1926) was an immigrant from Bolton, England. He became both a great American print maker and painter who belonged to the Hudson River School art movement in New York whose work often featured the Rocky Mountains. He is probably best known for his western landscapes, especially Yellowstone,  like his contemporaries Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Hill.

Just a thumbnail from this site – Below the Boat, that does incredible laser cut maps of underwater contours.
Conservative pundit Jennifer Rubin writing at WaPo does the mind of an eight year old. She has thought it over and is sure that she can wedge an elephant sized sack of turds through the dog entrance in the kitchen door, throw a table-cloth over it and the parents will never notice, Topsy-turvy Hagel politics

President Obama wants to get credit for bipartisanship, so he picks a Republican defense secretary who will garner few if any Republican votes.

So Chuck doesn’t pass the far Right litmus test of being a true Republican thus Obama’s gesture of bipartisanship doesn’t count. None of us should see Chuck, look at his record or current party affiliation, just listen to the delusional final judgement of the holier than thou Rubin. Rubin also works part-time guarding the gates of true conservatism. Which is a lot like a country club from the 1950s.

He walks away from a politically loyal African American woman for secretary of state (whose nomination would open up his political liabilities) but goes forward with a white, Republican man (whose nomination puts gobs of Senate Republicans in an untenable spot).

So Rubin drags in President Obama dropping the Susan Rice nomination for Secretary of State, the same Rice, Rubin and the conservative noise machine smeared relentlessly, even though because of the current state of the filibuster, Rice’s nomination was dead on arrival. One can envision a Rubin presidency in which she spends four years doing nothing but head banging symbolic acts for the entertainment of her political adversaries. When liberals claim that conservatives are to good governance what Cheez Whez is to good nutrition, Rubin’s thinking is a fairly good text-book example.

Rubin can also spare America the bullsh*t about Hagel being anti-Israel, and thus anti-semitic. They still have a lot of anti-Semitism on the Right. Conservative had no problem with endorsing James “F**k the Jews” Baker – who was against the Iraq surge and encouraged negotiations with Iran. Ironic or just bizarre, the purest conservative in the world, Rubin used liberal arguments against Rice from Mother Jones. Rubin is typical of conservatism at this point. They don’t like something and they’ll grasp at anything, throw anything, because they don’t like it. Good arguments can be made against Hagel. On the other hand Juan Cole of all people has ten reason he thinks Hagel would be a good SOD. Any Obama nominees faces the specter of conservative obstructionism in the Senate. To me Hagel hardly seems worth spending the political capital. He is qualified, but not exceptionally so. Obama and Senate Democrats could probably find an actual Democrat – say like retired General Wesley Clark ( former Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO) or a dozen other retired military Democrats. I’ll let Josh Marshall do the predictions, Crack Pipe

Will Republicans uniformly oppose a former member of their own caucus when the issues at stake are complaints that look comical when held up to the light of day? One who was one of the top foreign policy Republicans in the Senate? I doubt it.

Will Democratic senators deny a reelected President Obama his choice for one of the top four cabinet positions when he is quite popular and the expansion of their caucus is due in significant measure to his popularity? Please. Chuck Schumer will oppose the President? Not likely.

So I look forward to Republican crocodile tears on gay rights — seemingly in large part over something Hagel said in the 90s in support of the Senate Republican caucus’s efforts to pillory an openly gay nominee. And yes, perhaps it really will pave the way for a LGBT upsurge of support for Richard Grinnell for President in 2016. But I doubt it.

Otherwise, assuming President Obama nominates him tomorrow, get ready for a Hagel Pentagon.

If I was to take a kitchen table guess about Rubin and the far Right’s real motivations and objections it is all about the dynamics of  Chuck H-type Republicans having no problem working with the Marxist No Birth Certificate radical anti-Christ in the White House. If conservatives like Robert M. Gates and Chuck Hagel are happy to work with this president and Democrats, gee that must mean Obama is in reality, a pretty moderate guy. The last thing the Right wants is for even more Americans, including many conservatives to think Obama is a decent man with a moderate agenda.

 

Republicans still look forward to slapping the hostage around, some bruises and black-eyes, no big deal, GOP Rep: ‘It’s About Time’ We Had Another Government Shut Down

Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation this morning, Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) enthusiastically called for a government shut down:

SALMON: I was here during the government shutdown in 1995. It was a divided government. we had a Democrat [sic] President of the United States. We had a Republican Congress. And I believe that that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus, as we went forward, to push toward some real serious compromise. I think it drove Bill Clinton in a different direction, a very bipartisan direction. In fact, we passed welfare reform for the first time ever, and we cut the welfare ranks in the last decade and a half by over 50%. These are good things. We also balanced the budget for the first time in 40 years in 1997, 1998, 1999. And when I left we had an over $230 billion surplus. This was with a Democrat [sic] president, A Republican —

HOST: You think that’s a good idea?

SALMON: Yes, I do. I really do. I think it’s about time!

(The six day shut-down, just six days, during the Clinton administration cost $800 million)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) explains the basic and immediate effects, “If you’re going to fully pay Social Security, Medicare, our troops and interest on the debt, you don’t have anyone at border, anyone doing food inspections, anyone in the FAA towers. America would come to a grinding halt,”. Conservatives like Salmon and Pat Toomey(R-PA) do not care as long as they act in the best interests of the conservative movement, since to them “USA” is just a slogan.