Beach Conch Shell wallpaper – Republicans Have a History of Malice and Lies

 Beach Conch Shell wallpaper

I guess I should add that found shells should be thrown back into the ocean as other sea creatures use them as homes and protection.

Darrell Issa Shows Contemptible Disregard for the Constitution or what is Darrell Issa hiding?

The chairman’s heavy-handed style invoted the reproach that the contempt vote was “nothing more than a political witch hunt,” as People for the American Way president Michael Keegan termed it.

“To be sure, Congress has a legitimate interest in investigating Operation Fast and Furious, but Chairman Issa and Republican majority on the Committee appear to be more interested in scoring political points than in getting to the bottom of what happened,” argued Keegan, who added that, “The hoops the Committee is demanding the Attorney General jump through illustrate that these contempt hearings are as partisan as they are extreme. Over the course of this ‘investigation,’ the Committee has ordered the A.G. to produce documents whose confidentiality is protected by federal law, has refused to subpoena Bush Administration officials to testify about their knowledge of the operation during their time in office, has refused to allow public testimony from officials whose testimony counters Issa’s partisan narrative, and has repeatedly rejected the A.G.’s efforts to accommodate the committee, making compliance all but impossible.”

Issa’s actions undermined not just his own credibility but any sense that he and his allies might be acting in defense of — or with any regard for — the Constitution.

There is no reason to suggest that Holder is above criticism for his actions as Attorney General. He has been called out by Democrats as well as Republicans on a variety of issues. And he has not always managed his response to Issa’s abuses well. Nor should anyone who vaiues transparency and government oversight be pleased when a president determines that it is necessary to invoke “executive privilege” in a fight with Congress, as Barack Obama has done to thwart Issa’s demands.

But it is Issa whose actions have been contemptible. He is demanding deliberative documents that are ordinarily off-limits to Congress, a big ask, yet he has not built a credible coalition of supporters for the demand. And when the details of the documents and the issues involved are laid out—along with the offers by Holder to brief the committee—it quickly becomes evident that the committee chairman is so unwilling to compromise that he won’t take “yes” for an answer.

It is an old legal and political tactic to keep asking for documents when all the relevant documentation has either been released or  as in this case, the AG has offered to brief the committee in private. No, you must have some more documents somewhere – example Paul Mirengoff at Power Liars:
Those Fast and Furious documents must be dynamite. That is an assertion without evidence. Conservative web sites irregardless the hundreds of words they use – are using that as a large part of their argument. There must be more, we just know it in our hearts. Yet looking back over the way in which Issa has conducted his “investigation” it is obvious he is ignoring witnesses and documents that go back to the Bush administration and their “gun walking” program. There is also another aspect of the gun walking program that is laden with public relations land mines – the death of U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Terry was apparently killed with one of the guns sold in the program. I would never make the case that gun walking was the brightest idea ATF ever had. It is certainly tragic that anyone, especially a law enforcement agent was killed  in connection with the program. That said, one assumes that Terry’s family has followed things closely, yet they have been quick to publicly condemn Holder, yet have no public criticisms of Issa. because of the circumstances what the Terry family says carries some wait in terms of the public perception and political aspect, if not the purely legal one. Why haven’t they used that leverage to pressure Issa about the political witch hunt agenda. In contrast to truth finding. One thing about arrogant narcissists like Issa is they will slip up eventually. He let the public know how he viewed his war on AG Holder in an interview on Fox, Fast & Furious Inanity Reaches New Heights

Darrell Issa, one of the GOP’s star attack dogs, more or less admitted the fever swamp origins of tea party outrage over Fast & Furious when he told Sean Hannity that Obama was using the program to “somehow take away or limit people’s Second Amendment rights.”

I’ve read some circumstantial evidence in the last few months that Issa and conservatives were, at least in part, using fast and Furious to whip up some more gun control conspiracy outrage among the NRA crowd. It turns out yet another time in which reasonable people were correct and conservatives have been caught being less than truthful and their motivations purely political. Rightie libertarians join in at The Volokh Conspiracy. VC writes an occasional good post about 1st amendment rights. Who do they go to for facts about Fast and Furious one of the fast and Furious Urban Myth cultists David Kopel, who writes, Is President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege valid?

Fast & Furious was a program implemented by the Arizona office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, in Sept. 2009 through January 2011.

he could buy himself some plausible deniability by claiming that he was going with the name change, but gun walking started back in the Bush administration.

The 2007 probe operated out of the same ATF office that more recently ran the flawed Operation Fast and Furious. Both probes resulted in weapons disappearing across the border into Mexico, according to the emails. The 2007 probe was relatively small — involving over 200 weapons, just a dozen of which ended up in Mexico as a result of gun-walking. Fast and Furious involved over 2,000 weapons, some 1,400 of which have not been recovered and an unknown number of which wound up in Mexico.

Earlier this month, it was disclosed that the gun-walking tactic didn’t begin under Obama, but was also used in 2006 under his predecessor, George W. Bush. The probe, Operation Wide Receiver, was carried out by ATF’s Tucson, Ariz., office and resulted in hundreds of guns being transferred to suspected arms traffickers.

The older gun-walking cases now coming to light from the Bush administration illustrate how ATF — particularly its Phoenix field division, encompassing Tucson, Ariz., as well as Phoenix — has struggled for years to counter criticism that its normal seize-and-arrest tactics never caught any trafficking kingpins and were little more than a minor irritant that didn’t keep U.S. guns out of the hands of Mexican gangs.

Even those cases against low-level straw buyers are problematic for the ATF. There is no federal firearms trafficking law, making it difficult to prosecute cases. So law enforcement agencies resort to a wide variety of laws that do not carry stringent penalties — particularly for straw buyers.

Documents and emails relating to the 2007 case were produced or made available months ago to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, though the Republicans on the panel have said little about them. In the congressional investigation, committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has focused on the questions of what Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, knew about Fast and Furious, and when he knew it.

Following the e-mail trail from that investigation it is clear that mistakes were made. Did a list of mistakes ever make it to Holder’s desk. Did he ever have the details of what field agents were doing. Since the Phoenix field division chief of the ATF seemed a little confused about the details and legal authorization it seems doubtful that Holder knew of and approved Fast and Furious. And he obviously cannot be held responsible the program that it morphed out of, Operation Wide Receiver.

Some essential reading on the subject, What The Right Wing Media Won’t Tell You About The Subpoenaed Fast And Furious Documents – Holder has provided over 140,000 documents to Issa. Issa keeps asking for documents because he cannot find any that support his wacky agenda. And Five Things To Know About The Republican Witchhunt Against Attorney General Holder.

 

 

Back during the Bush-era many Democrats said over and over again that the Bush administration was lying about what they knew and did leading up to 9/11. Conservatives, with no proof said they were lying. They were wrong than and they continue to be wrong. Conservatives owe the USA yet another apology the country will never get.  This is from a report done in 2004: Claim vs. Fact: Condoleezza Rice’s Opening Statement

CLAIM: “We decided immediately to continue pursuing the Clinton Administration’s covert action authorities and other efforts to fight the network.”

FACT: Newsweek reported that “In the months before 9/11, the U.S. Justice Department curtailed a highly classified program called ‘Catcher’s Mitt’ to monitor al-Qaida suspects in the United States.” Additionally, AP reported “though Predator drones spotted Osama bin Laden as many as three times in late 2000, the Bush administration did not fly the unmanned planes over Afghanistan during its first eight months,” thus terminating the reconnaissance missions started during the Clinton Administration. [Sources: Newsweek, 3/21/04; AP, 6/25/03]

In a recent report, New NSA 9/11 docs – “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released,”

Perhaps most damning are the documents showing that the CIA had bin Laden in its cross hairs a full year before 9/11 — but didn’t get the funding from the Bush administration White House to take him out or even continue monitoring him. The CIA materials directly contradict the many claims of Bush officials that it was aggressively pursuing al-Qaida prior to 9/11, and that nobody could have predicted the attacks. “I don’t think the Bush administration would want to see these released, because they paint a picture of the CIA knowing something would happen before 9/11, but they didn’t get the institutional support they needed,” says Barbara Elias-Sanborn, the NSA fellow who edited the materials.

Ace national security adviser Condoleezza Rice is among those conservatives who said no one could have predicted that al-Qaida would attack.

CLAIM by Rice : “We increased funding for counterterrorism activities across several agencies.”

FACT: Upon taking office, the 2002 Bush budget proposed to slash more than half a billion dollars out of funding for counterterrorism at the Justice Department. In preparing the 2003 budget, the New York Times reported that the Bush White House “did not endorse F.B.I. requests for $58 million for 149 new counterterrorism field agents, 200 intelligence analysts and 54 additional translators” and “proposed a $65 million cut for the program that gives state and local counterterrorism grants.” Newsweek noted the Administration “vetoed a request to divert $800 million from missile defense into counterterrorism.” [Sources: 2001 vs. 2002 Budget Analysis; NY Times, 2/28/02; Newsweek, 5/27/02]

Again from the NSA papers,

And yet, simultaneously, the CIA declared that budget concerns were forcing it to move its Counterterrorism Center/Osama bin Laden Unit from an “offensive” to a “defensive” posture. For the CIA, that meant trying to get Afghan tribal leaders and the Northern Alliance to kill or capture bin Laden, Elias-Sanborn says. “It was forced to be less of a kinetic operation,” she says. “It had to be only for surveillance, which was not what they considered an offensive posture.”

“Budget concerns … CT [counterterrorism] supplemental still at NSC-OMB [National Security Council – Office of Management and Budget] level,” an April 2000 document reads. “Need forward movement on supplemental soonest due to expected early recess due to conventions, campaigning and elections.” In addition, the Air Force told the CIA that if it lost a drone, the CIA would have to pay for it, which made the agency more reluctant to use the technology.

I read at least a couple of conservative blogs or magazine sites every day. Every day they have some new black helicopter tale about Democrats. They never turn out to be true. Yet time and again from Watergate to Iran-Contra to letting Bin laden escape to failing to protect the country in the months leading up to 9/11, Republicans have been found to be malevolent and criminally negligent. And they want to cut Mitt Romney’s taxes and increase taxes on the middle-class, Middle class could face higher taxes under Republican plan, analysis finds

To wit, the budget of GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan(R-WI)—which calls for big tax cuts, small deductions, and severe spending cuts—would raise middle-class taxes, and give a huge break to the wealthiest Americans. The Washington Post reports:

The tax reform plan that House Republicans have advanced would sharply cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and could leave middle-class households facing much larger tax bills, according to a new analysis set to be released Wednesday. […]

The net result: Married couples in that income range would pay an additional $2,700 annually to the Internal Revenue Service, on top of the tax increases that are scheduled to hit every American household when the George W. Bush-era cuts expire at the end of the year. Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.

 

One more Republican conspiracy that said more about them than the truth was the health care reform will kill grand ma conspiracy theory. That was a lie of monstrous proportions repeated by mouth breathers with no sense of decency or shame. What is true is that killing health care reform might well kill grand ma, Over 26,000 annual deaths for uninsured: report

More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the United States each year because they lack health insurance, according to a study published ahead of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

On reading that news many Republicans probably cheered.

 

Today in American History. On June 21,1882: Artist Rockwell Kent is born. He illustrated sold-out 1930 edition of Moby Dick with haunting images.

In early 1841 at the age of 21, Herman Melville shipped out on a voyage to the Pacific Ocean aboard the Massachusetts whaler Acushnet, which he deserted in the Marquesa Islands after only 18 months. He then served briefly on the Australian whaler Lucy Ann; the Nantucket whaler Charles & Henry, and in the US Navy. His whaleship experience supplied the background for his sixth and most famous novel, Moby-Dick, or the Whale, published in 1851. The first American edition of Moby-Dick of 2,915 copies did not sell well at $1.50 and only netted Melville lifetime earnings of $556.37.

Although he continued to write poetry and fiction, Melville supported himself as a New York City customs inspector for 19 years before dying in 1891 at the age of 72. It was not until the 1920s that Melville achieved recognition as one of the icons of American literature. This 1930 edition of Moby Dick, published by Random House and illustrated by Rockwell Kent, introduced Melville to thousands of Americans.

Moby Dick cover, 1931 edition.

Moby Dick illustration

Every year there are a few lists of overrated classics. Moby Dick does not usually make those lists and for good reason. It is actually a good book.

Know Them By Their Contempt For Facts

Chris Christie(R-NJ) seems to be out of the presidential race this cycle. One poll has Romney back on top. While another has Mitt Romney and Herman Cain tied. Rupert Murdoch and his Fox News noise machine will still decide who the conservative presidential nominee will be. Give Fox a few days to let the dust settle and we should start to detect who they prefer. It could be something subtle like Romney is a nice guy and all, but maybe he’d be better as a VP candidate to Perry as president or refer to Cain as a possible VP to Romney.

I have to admit I like a certain amount of certainty in my life. While I get tired of my routine and like to change things around once in a while, a routine can feel comfortable. On the other hand conservatives seem obsessed with not just certainty for themselves but being very serious people, are super concerned that everyone else have some iron box-like certainty in their life. Other than pushing America toward the austerity that will mean a lost generation of workers, one of their highest priorities in the last two years has been certainty. They are good at it. They knew from 2000 to 2008 that cutting taxes and spending like crazy would be a major factor in crippling the economy. They acted with all the seriousness and certitude America has come to expect from the radical Right. Herman Cain shares that maniacal concern with uncertainty – Cain Claims That His Tax Plan Is ‘Not Regressive On The Poor’ — Economists Disagree

Of course, Cain took a few moments to promote his “999? economic plan, which calls for the corporate income tax and personal income tax to be set at a flat rate of 9 percent, as well as the creation of a 9 percent national sales tax. During the interview, Cain said his plan would not be regressive for low-income Americans:

The first thing you do is you throw out the current tax code which creates too much uncertainty, and this is why I have proposed my “999? plan. Very quickly, it imposes a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent personal income tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. It expands the base so that everybody has a lower rate. And it is not regressive on the poor.

Cain seems to believe that, because his plan has a flat rate, it is not regressive. But sales taxes are hugely regressive on the poor.

Cain was part of a large corporation for years, he used to be a corporate CEO and is now part of a business group with business and financial holdings. In each of these stations he had a CFO or head accountant who knew what they would pay in taxes every year. Corporate America is certain it is sitting on trillions in profits. I’m not sure that his experience means he has no excuse for not running his numbers or that since he was a CEO, that explains why he doesn’t care if his numbers don’t work. Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan

Praised by supporters for both its simplicity and its specificity, Cain’s plan drops the current 35 percent corporate tax rate to 9 percent, swaps the 6-bracket personal income tax system for a 9 percent flat tax and creates a 9 percent national sales tax.

“Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery,” Cain said in a campaign video publicizing his 9-9-9 plan. “We will replace oppression with prosperity.”

Cain is a millionaire. he does not work per se. He is currently traveling around the country enjoying the leisure, luxury and lifestyle the vast majority of Americans will never know, no matter how hard they work. Is that the kind of slavery he is talking about. From the time he left college until now Cain has enjoyed a nice lifestyle – while I’m sure he has run into the same kind of cultural and institutionalized racism that every African-American experiences he can hardly describe his current circumstances as oppressive. His constant comparing taxes to slavery is almost as offensive and certainly untrue as Glenn Reynolds and his circle of jerks comparing taxes to rape – Humorless morons cracking rape “jokes”. Cain suffers the same malady I’ve observed in many right-wing conservatives over the years. They will have a certain skill set or talent, outside of that they’re all loony beliefs. In Cain’s case he has been surrounded for years by people whose job it was to say yes and to humor everything he said. Now he is of an age and disposition that he believes he is always right. No need to run any numbers through a real world situation. No need to make reasonable analogies between things – taxes=slavery. Sure they’re just the same.

Ezra Klein post on OccupyWallStreet – Who are the 99 percent?

“Married mother of 3. Lost my job in 2009. My family lost our health insurance, our savings, our home, and our good credit. After 16 months, I found a job — with a 90 mile commute and a 25 percent pay cut. After gas, tolls, daycare, and the cost of health insurance, i was paying so my kids had access to health care.”

Let’s be clear. This isn’t really the 99 percent. If you’re in the 85th percentile, for instance, your household is making more than $100,000, and you’re probably doing okay. If you’re in the 95th percentile, your household is making more than $150,000. But then, these protests really aren’t about Wall Street, either. There’s not a lot of evidence that these people want a class war, or even particularly punitive measures on the rich. The only thing that’s clear from their missives is that they want the economy to start working for them, too.

“I am young. I am educated and hard working. I am not able to pay my bills. I am afraid of what the future holds.”

[ ]…But this is why I’m taking Occupy Wall Street — or, perhaps more specifically, the ‘We Are The 99 Percent’ movement — seriously. There are a lot of people who are getting an unusually raw deal right now. There is a small group of people who are getting an unusually good deal right now. That doesn’t sound to me like a stable equilibrium.

The organizers of Occupy Wall Street are fighting to upend the system. But what gives their movement the potential for power and potency is the masses who just want the system to work the way they were promised it would work. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans are really struggling. It’s not that 99 percent of Americans want a revolution. It’s that 99 percent of Americans sense that the fundamental bargain of our economy — work hard, play by the rules, get ahead — has been broken, and they want to see it restored.

The Right is starting to pay attention and they’re scared of these people – 5 Reasons Occupy Wall Street Is the Real Boston Tea Party – are the spirit of the real tea party. Right-wing backlash against Occupy Wall St. begins

Out of some combination of contempt and opportunism, Fox News along with right-wing pundits and magazine writers are calling out Occupy Wall Street as stupid, juvenile, and dangerous.

The strain of deep contempt is best expressed in this column by National Review editor Rich Lowry, titled “The Left’s Pathetic Tea Party”:

Occupy Wall Street is not a real answer. It is both more self-involved and more ambitious than the Tea Party. It represents an ill-defined, free-floating radicalism. Its fuzzy endpoint is a “revolution” no one can precisely describe, but the thrust of which is overturning our system of capitalism as we know it. If elected Democrats dare associate their sagging party with this project, they need immediately to consult their nearest psychiatrist and political consultant, in that order.

Abe Greenwald at Commentary expands on the idea that the protest movement will hurt the Dems:

These leftists are so reckless that an extended, high profile “occupation” movement of national reach would bury liberalism months before November 2012. It would, in short, function for Democrats exactly as Democrats had hoped (in vain) that the Tea Party would function for Republicans in 2010. In unhinged “Occupiers,” conservatives would find an easy and clean target to run against and destroy.

 

OK than destroy Democrats in 2012 running on a ticket and message that says decent hard-working Americans did all the things they were supposed to do, among them get an education and work hard – and portray these people as shiftless lazy Marxists. Not all of course, but much of what the Right is so livid about is gasp! returning to about the same tax rate all of us “slaves” paid during the Clinton administration. Or having the tax justice Reagan spoke about – VIDEO: Reagan Called For An End To ‘Crazy’ Tax Loopholes That Let Millionaires Pay Less Than Bus Drivers. Note that Ann Coulter and the other right-wing knuckle draggers are not calling Saint Ronnie a totalitarian.

AP sources: Bush-era probe involved guns ‘walking’. The DOJ does oversee the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. That does not mean in the real world we all know that they got permission from Eric Holder for Fast and Furious. In fact the DOJ was prosecuting people for the Bush era Operation Wide Receiver. CBS and the right are making a huge deal about when Holder knew about F&F. he actually does not get an opportunity to fully answer Darrel Issa questions during the hearing the Right and CBS swears is a smoking gun. Issa keeps talking over him to score points. How this all turns out is still up for debate – especially since you know, all the facts are not in. I really would like to know why a conservative website calls itself The American Thinker. This is what passes for thinking over there – ‘The Black US Attorney Has Common Cause with the Black Criminal’ by Selwyn Duke

According to Department of Justice whistleblower J. Christian Adams, AG Eric Holder has a certain something in his wallet.  It is a quotation — and he has carried it for decades.  It essentially says, to quote Adams, “Blackness is more important than anything, and the black US attorney has common cause with the black criminal.”  It’s not surprising that Holder would feel this way about black lawyers and criminals.

Because in his case they’re one and the same.

Holder, the man whose misfeasance led him to drop the infamous Black Panther voter-intimidation case, now may have done what all corrupt men, sooner or later, eventually do.

The rest is the flimsy case that A.G. Eric Holder personally knew and condoned F&F. Does the name J. Christian Adams ring a bell. he is a notorious right-wing operative. The one that tried to hang the New Black Panthers voter intimidation case around Holder’s neck. In other words he and Mr. Duke have all the veracity of a cockroach fart – Manufactured scandal: Right wing’s phony allegations against the Justice Department

J. Christian Adams’ accusations that President Obama’s Justice Department engaged in racially charged “corruption” in the New Black Panther Party case do not stand up to the evidence. Adams is a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department who has admitted he lacks first-hand knowledge of the events he is discussing, and his claims fall apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one defendant, while the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006.

[   ]….Adams is a long-time right-wing activist, who is known for filing an ethics complaint against Hugh Rodham that was subsequently dismissed, served as a Bush poll watcher in Florida 2004, and reportedly volunteered for a Republican group that trains lawyers to fight “racially tinged battles over voting rights”;

Adams was hired to the Justice Department in 2005 by Bradley Schlozman, who was found by the Department of Justice Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility to have improperly considered political affiliation when hiring career attorneys — the former head of the DOJ voting rights section reportedly said that Adams was “exhibit A of the type of people hired by Schlozman”;

Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;

The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;

The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;

No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;

The Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is currently investigating the Justice Department’s decision, reportedly said that the other conservatives on the Civil Rights Commission were trying to use New Black Panther case “to topple” the Obama administration. Thernston has also called the case “very small potatoes” and criticized the “overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges” surrounding it, and said that rhetoric has not “served the interests of the commission”; she further said that DOJ has given a “plausible argument” for not pursuing additional charges in the case;

 

Bush’s ATF Director Rebuffs Right Wing’s Fast And Furious Theory

For months, the right-wing media has been desperately trying to tie the ATF’s failed Fast and Furious operation to the upper reaches of the Justice Department and the White House, claiming that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder must have known the flawed techniques used by the ATF despite their denials.

The right-wing media claimed that the stimulus funded the operation; that wasn’t true. They claimed that Attorney General Holder “took credit” for Fast and Furious in a speech; that wasn’t true either. They’ve even claimed, absent any evidence whatsoever, that the Obama administration deliberately set up the operation to arm Mexican drug cartels in order to justify increased gun control.

But in an appearance today on Fox News, Michael Sullivan, acting director of the ATF under President Bush, pushed back against such claims, saying that Operation Fast and Furious was “well within the rights of the director [of ATF] to approve or reject,” and that he would be “surprised” to learn that “authorities outside the ATF” would have known the details of a specific firearms trafficking operation.