Meet The Benghazi Birthers

Winter Mountain Climbing wallpaper

Winter Mountain Climbing wallpaper

Conservative John Podhertz writing at the conservative rag, The New York Post can have his pick. He is either as dumb as a cabbage or an incompetent hack for the Right, Failings of Bam & Hill laid bare

After a remarkable House hearing yesterday, we can say this with almost complete certainty: The Obama administration knew perfectly well that last year’s Sept. 11 attack on Americans and American facilities in Benghazi was a terrorist act — yet chose to characterize it falsely as a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam YouTube video.

We can say this because we learned during the hearing that on Sept. 12, State Department official Beth Jones said flatly in an e-mail, “The group that conducted the attacks, Ansar al-Sharia, is affiliated with Islamic terrorists.”

Well we know that it was a terrorist attack, that a group called al-Sharia was responsible and that they used the video and protests occurring throughout the mid-east as one of the motivating factors. Obama did characterize the attacks as terrorism several times, but unlike John, the President did wait to verify the facts. Remember John’s team agrees that presidents are “deciders“, thus the president gets to make the call on when and what to call things. Thus far no one has died from Obama’s twisted ideological judgment. Allahpundit at the radical Right web site Hot Air has the same options as John. (Gregory) Hicks: Higher-ups at State told me not to talk to GOP congressman about Benghazi; Update: “Effectively demoted”

Via the Daily Caller, the five most essential, damning minutes from today’s hearing. And Jordan does an expert job framing them. The money line, when Hicks is asked whether he’d ever been told before not to meet with a congressional delegation: “Never.”

I won’t slow you down with further comment. None is needed — except this: Cheryl Mills is no run-of-the-mill State Department apparatchik, even among the top tier. She’s been one of the Clintons’ right-hand men for decades. She worked in Bill’s White House legal office, then as counsel to Hillary’s presidential campaign, then became chief of staff at State when Hillary was appointed secretary. If she’s the right-hand man, what other conclusion is there than that Hillary’s the one who wanted Hicks to keep his mouth shut when meeting with Chaffetz?

There has not been one iota of evidence that anyone at the State Department discouraged Hicks from testifying. There is no collaborating evidence for Hick’s claim, what so ever. None. So “what other conclusion” can we arrive at? That M’s Mills makes a good omelet, that she graduated from high school, that she can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can conclude – a word that Allahpundit/Hot Air, substitute for the word speculate, about lots of things. Someone who Hillary knew, works/worked with her at State. That is truly shocking. That is blog post from the appropriately named Hot Air is a lesson in conservative propaganda, and what they think passes for journalism. Should anyone over there ever be accused of a capital crime they better hope the jury has higher standards for evidence or just get measured for a nice orange jumpsuit, they’ll need one. What do the Benghazi Birthers have, nothing but insinuation, bizarre theories and conjecture. GOP Star Witnesses Debunk Right-Wing Benghazi Conspiracy Theories

The “whistleblowers” at today’s House Oversight Committee hearing on what really happened in Benghazi, Libya last September were supposed to break the dam that would lead to President Obama’s eventual downfall, in the eyes of conservatives. Instead, these witness actually served to debunk several theories that the right-wing has pushed on Benghazi, leaving the hearing a fizzle for the GOP:

1. F-16s could have been sent to Benghazi

Part of the prevailing theory surrounding the events the night of the Benghazi attacks is that the Obama administration did not do enough militarily to respond to the crisis. Gregory Hicks — a Foreign Service Officer and the former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya — claimed during his pre-hearing testimony that fighter jets could have been flown over Benghazi, preventing the second wave of the attack from occurring.

Ranking Member Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) questioned that statement, asking Hicks whether he disagreed with Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Gen Martin Dempsey’s assessment that no air assets were in range the night of the attack. Hicks didn’t disagree, saying he was “speaking from [his] perspective” and what “veteran Libyan revolutionaries” told him, rather than Pentagon assessments.

2. Hillary Clinton signed cables denying additional security to Benghazi

House Republicans came to the conclusion in their interim report on Benghazi that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to them about what she knew and when during her testimony this January. This includes her statement that at no time was she aware of requests for additional security at the diplomatic facility in Benghazi prior to the attack.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) used her time to take issue with this claim, asking all three witnesses about standard protocol for cables leaving the State Department. All three agreed with Maloney, that the Secretary of State’s name is placed at the bottom of all outgoing cables and telegrams from Foggy Bottom, whether the Secretary has viewed them or not, shooting down the GOP claim.

3. A Special Forces Team that could have saved lives was told to stand down

One of the most shocking reveals in the lead-up to today’s hearing was that a team of Special Forces in Tripoli were told not to deploy to Benghazi during the attack. That decision has led to an uproar on the right, including claims of dereliction of duty towards Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey for not taking actions that could have saved lives.

During questioning, Hicks confirmed that the team was ready to be deployed — not to join the fighting at the CIA annex — but “to secure the airport for the withdrawal of our personnel from Benghazi after the mortar attack.” Hicks also confirmed that it was the second such team to be readied for deployment, with the first having proceeded to Benghazi earlier. Despite the second team not deploying, the staff was all evacuated first to Tripoli, then to Germany, within 18 hours of the attack taking place.

4. The State Department’s Accountability Review Board isn’t legitimate

Republicans have been attacking the State Department’s official in-house review of the shortcomings seen before, during, and after the assault in Benghazi. That criticism prompted House Republicans to write their own report. When asked point blank about the recommendations of the Board, however, the witnesses didn’t cooperate with the GOP narrative. “Absolutely,” Eric Nordstrom, the Regional Security Officer for Libya prior to the assault in Benghazi, answered when asked if he believes implementing the recommendations would improve security. “I had an opportunity to review that along with other two committee reports. I think taken altogether, they’re fairly comprehensive and reasonable.” Hicks, when questioned, said that while he had some issues with the process by which the Board gathered its information, he demurred on criticizing the report itself.

There is a strong possibility judging from past “heroes” ( Joe the Plumper, Sarah Palin) of the radical Right, that Mr. Hicks will go on to make a nice living on the wing-nut welfare circuit.

Lawyers Representing The “Whistleblowers” In Hearings Are Long-Time GOP Activists With History Of Pushing Discredited Claims. The lawyers claiming to represent some of the witnesses at the Benghazi hearing, Victoria Toensing and Joseph diGenova, are long-time Republicans known for pushing false claims in the media and for having conflicts of interest in their professional work. They have both served as advisors to Republican candidates and donated thousands of dollars to GOP candidates and causes, and have been criticized for a conflict of interest for serving in a dual role in separate Justice Department investigations and for dropping “the air of impartiality, non-partisanship, and professionalism required” by their roles as leaders of a congressional investigation.

This is just another orchestrated conservative political hit like Karl Rove did to John McCain in South Carolina, Dick Cheney did on Valerie Plame and the Swiftboater attacks on John Kerry. The conservative movement, especially their hack propagandists, have no credibility.

What Is That Called When Conservative Pundits and Billionaires Intentionally Spread False Information

Black and White Harbor wallpaper

Black and White Harbor wallpaper

 

In the spirit of equal time, here is the latest opinion from the defacto head of the Republican Party and conservative movement. He is also a draft dodger( not a conscientious objector, he just did not want to possibly die fighting for his country), anal cyst sufferer, drug addict, man who had his maid doctor shop for illegal drugs and serial monogamists ( currently on wife #4) Mr. Rush Limbaugh, Limbaugh: “For The First Time In My Life I Am Ashamed Of My Country”. Limbaugh Complains Media, Politicians Are Insulting Americans’ Intelligence By Warning About Sequestration. Maybe he has some inside information that Congress, the President and every respectable economist in the country does not have. If so, why not produce some documentation. Limbaugh has made millions pontificating. He has plenty of spare time and resources. He could produce an annotated research paper that will make all the politicians and experts look silly. Though Limbaugh is not in the proof business. He is in the business of hysteria, paranoia, hubris, fetid fantasy, hype, hyperbole, unsubstantiated accusations, revisionist history, class warfare, racial discrimination, gender discrimination, homophobia… he is neck deep in bull, but most of all he is not in the business of honor, truth, facts, basic human decency or using his media influence to bring Americans together. He can be ashamed of America, he can be whatever. Though why should anyone care. 57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester…1. Air Travel Disruption, 3. Slower Extreme-Weather Forecasts, 5. Pest-Infested Crops, 6. Nationwide Meat and Poultry Shortage, 12. Neglect for Mentally Ill, Homeless, and Substance Addicted, 14. 600,000 Women and Children Thrown Off WIC, 19. No Child Care for 30,000 Kids, No Head Start for 70,000, 24. Higher Risk of Terrorism, 27. Classified Information Vulnerable to Foreign Spies, 32. 1/3 Cutback in Pacific Naval Presence, 35. 46,000 Defense Jobs Could Be Lost, 47. 1,200 Fewer OSHA Inspections, Potential for More Workplace Deaths. Limbaugh is among a few others, including one of the political “analysts” at ABC’s Note Blog that thinks the sequester is not a big deal. Congress or the president could just snap their fingers and magically make the government run as usual. That is not the case. The government operates under a legal framework defined by Congress. This plays out most directly in authorizing payments such as Navy equipment and payroll. It works in somewhat the same way a business operates. It must pay day to day operating expenses or shut down. We also know it is a big deal because conservatives are trying to come up with a plan that makes them look less like the bad guys to the public, Republicans Coalesce Around Clever Plan To Make Looming Spending Cuts Much Less Draconian.

Per the conservative National Review: “In the face of poor alternatives, it is best to accept the new spending levels for 2013, including decreased defense spending, and to focus on ensuring that the slightly smaller pool of money is managed slightly more intelligently — by, for instance, giving agency managers discretion about where the cuts come from in the near term and using the appropriations process to allocate future cuts in the out-years.”

[ ]…The GOP proposal would give the executive branch more discretion over where to make those cuts for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends in September. After that date, congressional appropriators would make decisions about where the specific cuts would come from, while still adhering to the sequester’s new lower spending baseline.

The irony is that in the near term, the GOP’s proposed fix would delegate a great deal of authority to the executive branch — and thus to President Obama. And for the GOP that would come with the risk that the administration would target the cuts at GOP constituencies, which would undermine the political rationale for their own plan.

This is so cute. Republicans are going to give the president and the heads of various government agencies and divisions the authority to use their funding in the most efficient way. A power which they already have in some ways – like cutting back personnel or seeking better prices for supplies. Though writing stuff like that makes the NR and Karl Rove look like they’re being very serious; and should the sequester cuts go into effect Republicans can say they came up with this very clever non-plan. The Beltway media will report that the Republicans said they had a plan and then report the Democratic reaction. Just as the same media is loath to call Republicans liars when they lie, they’ll be loathe to call the Republican plan what it is, public relations cosmetics.

When you have millions or billions you can afford a recession, Will Pete Peterson’s Half a Billion Bucks Buy a New Recession?

Pete Peterson’s Mighty Wurlitzer

One major contribution comes from the money and monomania of Pete Peterson, a Wall Street billionaire who has committed about half a billion bucks rousing hysteria about deficits and debt. On Thursday, The Nation magazine and the Center for Media and Democracy are releasing an expose of Peterson and his latest front, the Fix the Debt coalition, with a new resource detailing the background at the center’s SourceWatch.org.

Ironically, Peterson never raised a murmur about the housing bubble or the Wall Street wilding or the global trade imbalances that eventually blew up the economy, led to the Great Recession.

Peterson, Nixon’s former Secretary of Commerce, says that he “has been wailing about this (debt and deficits) since 1980.”

Peterson made his billions on Wall Street, taking the private equity firm Blackstone Group public, after benefiting from the obscene “carried interest tax deduction” that allows hedge fund billionaires to pay lower tax rates than their chauffeurs. (His former partner, Stephen Schwartzman, famously labeled the effort to end this obscenity as a war, the equivalent of “when Hitler invaded Poland.”)

One of, what should be the down sides of living in a castle with a mote, is that people like Peterson start to believe the sound of their own echo. Paul Krugamn has two charts today that show what Peterson’s vision for America looks like. It is surprisingly European for the political movement that loves to hate on Europe, Paul De Grauwe and the Rehn of Terror

Most normal people listen to themselves. Sometimes we say things that are silly or stupid, and we laugh at ourselves and learn from the experience. Scientists might want to look into the possibility that conservatives are psychologically or genetically incapable of hearing the crazy venal stuff that comes out of their mouths, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): Voters need ‘at least 50 rounds’ in magazines to take out drones

During Thursday interview on Freedom 107 radio, host Jeff Akin asked the Texas Republican how he felt about using unnamed aerial drones for domestic law enforcement.

“It’s pretty offensive to most of us,” Gohmert opined. “Most of us think if you’re going to use a drone and fly over our homes to analyze what’s going on in our backyard — not a lot of talk’s been given — but if you can fly over in the backyard, you can use all kinds of technology to see what’s happening inside the home as well. And I know there’s been a judge, and this former judge sure thinks you ought to have a warrant to do that kind of thing.”

“But I had somebody last week in Washington from either Georgia or Alabama that was saying, ‘Look, this goes back to we have got to have at least 50 rounds in our magazines because on average that’s about how many it takes to bring down a drone.’ I hope he was kidding, I don’t know for sure.”

So this week Gohmert and his conservative friends are on the same page as some other people we’re all familiar with, Al-Qaeda’s 22 tips on avoiding drones: hide under trees and camouflage cars . al-Qaeda has fully automatic weapons and rocket launchers, and they’re giving tips on avoidance. Gohmert voted to renew the most draconian infringement on our civil liberties, the Patriot Act. Renewed without amending the most grievous parts. So it is difficult to tell how much of what he says is just a dog whistle to his wacky supporters and how much is actual cognitive impairment.

The Smithsonian’s American History Museum has a great tribute up to Lena Horn, In tribute to Lena Horne (June 30, 1917–May 9, 2010)

Lena Horne was an American treasure, a cultural icon whose career achievements and social legacy challenged and transformed America’s notions about race and culture. A Renaissance woman, she lived and entertained during an era when women and “Negroes” were constrained by limited social roles, strict conventions, and public policies that separated genders and races.

But Ms. Horne was anything but conventional. She paid dearly for her originality.

They have more pictures and some sound recordings at the link.

Republicans See Any Opposition To Their Tyranny as Oppression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t believe me?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maple Leaves Rain Drops wallpaper

spring wallpaper green wallpaper

Maple Leaves Rain Drops wallpaper

How can America not know who John McCain is. He is on TV so often it is as though he were the media’s pet gerbil. Why shouldn’t he be the go to guy for his razor sharp foreign policy analysis. Just because he defended Czechoslovakia, A Non-Existent Country — Again or can’t remember how many houses he owns or was against the Bush tax cuts before he thought they were the best thing since Gucci loafers. Than there was the fact that McCain was a vocal part of the chorus of liars who sent the troops to Iraq to die for politics, not principle. In a meritocracy, McCain and his red stapler would have been sent packing years ago. Yet here he is again on a Sunday talk program pontificating more piles of bullshit, John McCain: Putin and Hu Should Watch Out

Arizona Sen. John McCain predicted on Sunday that the recent governmental overthrow in Egypt would likely spur similar movements throughout the world, and warned foreign leaders in countries like China and Russia that they might be “a little less secure” of their power in light of recent events.

“I don’t think this is confined to the Middle East, just as we believe that human rights are universal,” said McCain, in an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“These winds of change that are blowing, I think I would be a little less cocky in the Kremlin with my KGB cronies today if I were [Russian Prime Minister] Vladimir Putin,” he warned. “I would be a little less secure in the seaside resort that [Chinese] President Hu and a few men who govern and decide the fate of 1.3 billion people.”

This is Gucci Boy just days ago, McCain Calls Middle East Pro-Democracy Movement A ‘Virus’

McCain suggested he has serious reservations about the larger pro-democracy movement sweeping the Arab World from Tunisia to Jordon. McCain called the populist movement a “virus” that threatens Israel, and warned that we are in “probably the most dangerous period of history” of American involvement in the Middle East…

This is easy to explain. At one or more of his houses, he has a political wind-sock which he checks every morning. Depending on which way those winds are blowing, McCain takes a firm principled and honorable stand, much like Mitch McConnell(R-KY) and John Boehner(R-OH). That smell of burnt rubber in the air is Republicans trying to act like competent leaders.

Eat The Future

Pew also asked people how they would like to see states close their budget deficits. Do they favor cuts in either education or health care, the main expenses states face? No. Do they favor tax increases? No. The only deficit-reduction measure with significant support was cuts in public-employee pensions — and even there the public was evenly divided.

The moral is clear. Republicans don’t have a mandate to cut spending; they have a mandate to repeal the laws of arithmetic.

How can voters be so ill informed? In their defense, bear in mind that they have jobs, children to raise, parents to take care of. They don’t have the time or the incentive to study the federal budget, let alone state budgets (which are by and large incomprehensible). So they rely on what they hear from seemingly authoritative figures.

And what they’ve been hearing ever since Ronald Reagan is that their hard-earned dollars are going to waste, paying for vast armies of useless bureaucrats (payroll is only 5 percent of federal spending) and welfare queens driving Cadillacs. How can we expect voters to appreciate fiscal reality when politicians consistently misrepresent that reality?

Which brings me back to the Republican dilemma. The new House majority promised to deliver $100 billion in spending cuts — and its members face the prospect of Tea Party primary challenges if they fail to deliver big cuts. Yet the public opposes cuts in programs it likes — and it likes almost everything. What’s a politician to do?

The answer, once you think about it, is obvious: sacrifice the future. Focus the cuts on programs whose benefits aren’t immediate; basically, eat America’s seed corn. There will be a huge price to pay, eventually — but for now, you can keep the base happy.

I’ve made a similar observation previously about average Americans and how closely they follow the news. While it does remain as a somewhat legitimate reason, it only goes so far as an excuse. If many Americans think their lives are hurried and pressure filled now, wait for more of the draconian cuts to programs that they like and depend on to keep their heads above water. Wait until they cut even more police and teacher jobs to save money. This is the poll Krugman cites, Rethinking Budget Cutting
Fewer Want Spending to Grow, But Most Cuts Remain Unpopular

The public’s views about federal spending are beginning to change. Across a range of federal programs, Americans are no longer calling for increased spending, as they have for many years. For the most part, however, there is not a great deal of support for cutting spending, though in a few cases support for reductions has grown noticeably. The survey also shows that the public is reluctant to cut spending — or raise taxes — to balance state budgets.

[   ]…In two areas in particular — aid for the unemployed and national defense — the public’s attitudes toward federal spending have changed dramatically. Currently, as many favor decreasing spending as increasing spending for assistance to the unemployed and national defense. In 2009, far more supported funding increases than decreases for these programs.

Despite these changing views, however, majorities or pluralities favor increased spending in five of 18 areas. Fully 62% favor increased funding for education — the highest percentage for any program tested and little changed from 2009 (67%). In all, there is only one area — economic assistance to needy people around the world — for which a plurality favors cutting federal spending.

Poll of spending and cut priorities

Foreign aid of any kind is a tiny part of the budget. Supporting Egypt’s military over the years certainly had its downside in terms of human rights, but it certainly paid off this past week. America wants democracy to spread, but even exercising soft power comes with a price. In a nut shell America wants all those basic services they have depended on for decades, plus still being involved in promoting democracy, but they don’t want to pay for it. Nothing new here. The tea bagger meme is that cutting some waste here and there will bring in the half a trillion dollars we need to maintain those educational priorities, job creation and protect Medicare and dozens of other smaller programs. That is simply an urban myth which the Right has believed for decades. It is ironic that behind the plastic roots of the tea baggers movement there are also real seniors and working class Americans who voted to give themselves the shaft based on the propaganda spread by the Right. Those Main St tea baggers, along with the rest of middle-America are the ones that are going to be sacrificing and paying for the loss of the safety net. The next generation of Americans whose education opportunities are as tight as the job market may also thank them for their near sighted visions for America’s future. It did not have to be this way – the tax cuts the Right insisted on could have been used to pay for the very things they say do not want cut.

Andrew Breitbart sued by Shirley Sherrod over damaging video

Former USDA official Shirley Sherrod has filed a lawsuit against conservative firebrand and web entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart. The suit stems from the notorious video Breitbart posted online last year, showing an out-of-context excerpt from a speech Sherrod gave to the NAACP Freedom Fund in March 2010. The clip suggested she had  used her position at the Department of Agriculture to discriminate against white farmers. The media devoured the Breitbart’s version of story so voraciously that the NAACP denounced Sherrod and the Obama administration fired her. The charge was, in fact, entirely untrue.

Sherrod argues in the lawsuit that the clip “damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work.” Breitbart, meanwhile, denounced the suit, saying he “categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech.”

We do have libel and slander laws in the U.S. but the burden of proof that what someone said has damaged someone’s reputation badly enough to severely affect their income in very high. Breitbart is probably well aware of this and thus has shown no remorse over his grossly immoral behavior. On the contrary he has reacted with hubris filled outrage that someone would legally call him out on his falsehoods and smear campaign. Breitbart and his web sites hold concepts of honor and ethics in contempt. Those virtues are road blocks to achieving their ends by any means. His record thus far is one of a miserable ethical failure, a defining feature of  Brietbart’s character: Sherrod Hoax Exposed, but Breitbart’s ACORN Fraud Lives OnBreitbart’s Pigford Report: Distortions And Shady SourcingWill Breitbart, O’Keefe, and Giles come clean about the ACORN pimp hoax?.

Andrew Breitbart

World Map 1795

World Map 1795

Despite all the hysteronics the tea baggers didn’t gain much ground. They got a lot of attention from the press because of two things. The first is the old if it bleeds it leads. In this case a very modest, small c conservative attempt to reform health-care and get costs under control versus some colorful characters and their kolorful kool-aid colored signs, side arms and shouting contests. The second is much of the media is composed of tea baggers – see Fox, the Washington Post and Times, 24/7 AM radio and so on. Gee, who would have thought that a small push back by the White House would gain ground against people that would compare President Obama to Hitler. That portion of the conservative circus that never ends was getting old so n to the vast left wing ACORN conspiracy, Time to Get Real About the ACORN “Controversy”–and Republican Double Standards

The bottom line is this: if the same standard used to prevent ACORN from receiving federal contracts were applied to many large corporations — Boeing, financial institutions like AIG and CitiCorp, not to speak of private military contractors like Blackwater — they would all have been barred as federal contractors long ago. But instead of being blacklisted, many of them actually received billions of taxpayer dollars to bail them out.

One of the things catching up to the “populist” tea bagger phenomenon is that its an oxymoron. They protest against what they believe to be some great injustice directed especially at them, but take up for the corporate interests represented by groups like FreedonWorks. The ACORN workers caught on tape controversy is pretty old in the reality based world. Just as with any organization public or private, wrong doers should be fired or prosecuted. Republicans live by the moral relativity rule when it comes to scandals. Former aid to Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby was convicted of four federal counts of lying to a grand jury. Republicans started a defense fund. In today’s headlines at USA Today there is a story about a search for a murderer, a possible swindle by an ex-marine, and more on the recently arrested terrorists suspects. America is a great country, but not a day goes by where someone isn’t doing something they shouldn’t. The initial shock value wears off, so what can attention hog conservatives like Andrew Breitbart and Big Hollywood do. They can get another lung full of hot air and create another forgettable controversy. ANDREW BREITBART DESPERATELY TRIES TO SUSTAIN THE HIGH

Where was little Andrew when Republicans National Committee was using vote caging to win elections. Where were they when Bush was using the U.S. Department of Justice to engage in vote caging. I like the rule of law at all times, not just when its convenient and in a world of limited time and resources I tend to think big issues should take precedence over small time stuff. And lets not confuse some low ranking newbies at the NEA for the White House Oval Office. If the fringe Right feels that its wrong for the White House to put out what they perceive to be propaganda then I should have been able to find some article or video by a prominent conservative from the Bush years that expressed some outrage over this story – Bush ‘planted fake news stories on American TV’ – but i cant,

Federal authorities are actively investigating dozens of American television stations for broadcasting items produced by the Bush administration and major corporations, and passing them off as normal news. Some of the fake news segments talked up success in the war in Iraq, or promoted the companies’ products.

Investigators from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are seeking information about stations across the country after a report produced by a campaign group detailed the extraordinary extent of the use of such items.

The report, by the non-profit group Centre for Media and Democracy, found that over a 10-month period at least 77 television stations were making use of the faux news broadcasts, known as Video News Releases (VNRs). Not one told viewers who had produced the items.

“We know we only had partial access to these VNRs and yet we found 77 stations using them,” said Diana Farsetta, one of the group’s researchers. “I would say it’s pretty extraordinary. The picture we found was much worse than we expected going into the investigation in terms of just how widely these get played and how frequently these pre-packaged segments are put on the air.”

[  ]…The range of VNR is wide. Among items provided by the Bush administration to news stations was one in which an Iraqi-American in Kansas City was seen saying “Thank you Bush. Thank you USA” in response to the 2003 fall of Baghdad. The footage was actually produced by the State Department, one of 20 federal agencies that have produced and distributed such items.

The reason that I cannot find any columns by Bill Kristol, Coulter, Limbaugh or any other of the usual hypocrites on the Right is because they do not care whether government shoves propaganda down America’s throat as long as its a conservative doing the shoving.

Backed Into A Corner, Boehner Admits That Obama Is Not A Socialist

You Have No Idea What Health Costs – If You Did, You Might Just Want Real Reform

The average health-care coverage for the average family now costs $13,375, according to Kaiser. Over the past decade, premiums have increased by 138 percent. And if the trend continues, by 2019 the average family plan will cost $30,083.

Three years of slightly above-average health insurance will cost a solid six figures.