Spring wallpaper – Conservatism Gets Orwellian About Words and Time

Tulip Spring wallpaper

Tulip Spring wallpaper

The Benghazi story has moved on in its own way. We’re not talking about what actually happened. We’re taking about how the Ts were crossed, why people used some words and not others and why something was not said ten minutes or two hours earlier. Another case of how the news is massaged, I write about the actual facts and it all comes out sounding like snark and satire when it is the literal truth. What ABC Left Out Of Its Report On Benghazi Talking Points

The report boiled down to two main points: that State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland — a former Dick Cheney aide — objected to including information in the talking points noting that the CIA had issued previous warnings that there was a threat to U.S. assets in Benghazi from al-Qaeda-linked groups because, Nuland said in an email, it “could be abused by members [of Congress] to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings, so why would we want to feed that either?”

The second point was that Nuland objected to naming the terror groups the U.S. believed were involved in the attack because, she said, “we don’t want to prejudice the investigation.”

And with that, the ABC report suggests the State Department “scrubbed” the talking points of terror references as some sort of nefarious cover-up of what really happened in Benghazi for political reasons. This, of course, playing into the GOP’s conspiracy theory that President Obama was trying to preserve his campaign theme that his policies had significantly crippled the terror network.

The story soon set reporters and Twitter alight. “Scrubbing the truth from Benghazi,” a National Journal headline read. Even the BBC speculated that “heads will roll.”

But absent in ABC’s report is the key point that Obama and various members of his administration referred to the Benghazi assault as a terror attack on numerous occasions shortly after the incident (thereby negating the need to “scrub” any references in the talking points) and that then-CIA Director David Petraeus said the terrorist references were taken out to, as the New York Times reported, “avoid tipping off the groups” that may have been involved.

Obviously the White House disagreed with Nuland’s suggested framing of the situation. The White House referred to the attacks as terrorism in their first public statement the day after the attacks occurred. It has become an unhinged conservative obsession about the timing. What possible difference could it make if the president called the attacks terrorism 10 hours earlier or later. Some sociopaths murdered some decent Americans. Why has the conservative movement decided that the timing of announcements and actual events matter less than their weasel-like sense of timing. Conservatives keep having their talking points knocked down, so they invent new ones or repeat old ones, only louder: Fox News Promoted Claim That Benghazi Witness Was Threatened Falls Apart.

Via here, this handy chart gives a nice snapshot of the effects of the sequester cuts:

full size


Western Hemisphere Map 17 Century – Conservatism Means Making Moral Corruption a Virtue

Western Hemisphere Map 17 Century

Western Hemisphere Map 17 Century


The Sequester: A Mental-Health Crisis

But the sword feels much sharper for families, advocates, and local officials who rely on government funding to treat and care for those with mental illness. Starting April 1, cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant program alone will deprive over 373,000 seriously mentally ill and seriously emotional disturbed children of services, according to a White House fact sheet. Experts also say that nearly 9,000 homeless people with serious mental illness won’t receive the outreach and social-work assistance offered by PATH, a vital federally funded program that helps 90,000 people a year to transition to permanent housing. The big picture for the crisis: Disoriented, suffering people may end up jailed, or resort to suicide because the wait for treatment is too long.

Conservatives are trying to have it both ways. They’re claiming that the cuts either do not matter, or there will be minimal consequences, yet just in case, they’re simultaneously busy trying to shift blame to President Obama. These cuts are going to hurt a lot of people and businesses. Though it is funny to watch conservatives conservatives peddling as fast as they can on their spin machine trying to make arguments that are the opposite of each other.

Theatrical Slut Shaming: Daily Caller Attacks Ashley Judd For Nude Scenes

It’s a sign of how anxious the right wing is about the possibility that Ashley Judd might run for Senate against Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the attacks on her have geared up before she’s even formally entered the race. There’s the American Crossroads ad trying to frame her as out of touch with a series of relatively anodyne and contextless quotations. And now, the Daily Caller, which has been trying to frame Judd’s feminist beliefs as fringe, has launched the stupidest salvo against her at all: arguing that Judd, because she has done nude scenes for her work as an actress, “has—literally—nothing left to show us.” In an exceptionally gross piece, Taylor Bigler, the Caller’s Entertainment Editor (Entertainment, in Caller parlance, apparently means surfing Mr. Skin and publishing clickbait trash gossip)

You knew this was coming. It is fine for conservatives such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, right-wing libertarian Bruce Willis and former Senator Scott Brown (R) to take take off their clothes, use profanity, be generally crude, smoke whatever they like on screen and conservatives cheer them on, without suddenly having an attack of Puritan self-righteous hypocrisy.

Mitt Romney Regrets His ‘47%’ Remarks And Then Essentially Reiterates Them

Mitt and Ann Romney were the only guests on Fox News Sunday today. During a mostly lapdog interview, Wallace asked a few tough questions, including about those infamous “47%” remarks – which Romney said he regretted. And yet he did not apologize to anyone he may have offended. Even more telling, when asked about his remarks, shortly after the campaign, that President Obama won because he gave away “free stuff” to his “base coalition,” Romney replied, “ObamaCare was very attractive, particularly to those without health insurance.” Oh, and Romney also suggested he didn’t mean it when he said he’d turn down $10 in spending cuts if they included $1 in tax hikes.

Like the rest of the elites in the conservative movement, Romney seems genuinely clueless, out of touch with economic realities. Romney ran on a platform that would take more of the capital produced by workers and put it in the pockets of the very wealthy. Reward wealth, punish work. That credo has been part of every economic initiative proposed by conservatives since Reagan.

3. Romney added he has a “five-point plan … that’ll get this economy going.”

The five-point plan — oil drilling, trade, privatizing K-12 education, vague assertions about debt reduction, and ambiguous promises about doing nice things for small businesses — is a rehash of Bush/Cheney promises. No credible analysis of the vague agenda has found it capable of boosting the economy.

4. At a campaign event in Doswell, Virginia, Romney said “Obamacare” is “crushing small businesses across America.”

There is literally no evidence to support this claim in any way. Indeed, a a significant portion of the ongoing cost of the Affordable Care Act is to give small businesses a tax break.

5. In the same speech, Romney also argued, “The president wants to raise taxes on small business.”

In reality, Obama has repeatedly cut taxes on small businesses — by some counts, 18 times — and if given a second term, his tax plan would have no effect on 97% of small businesses.

6. Romney also vowed, “I will not raise tax on … middle-class America.”

There’s ample reason to believe the exact opposite — independent budget analysts have concluded that once Romney slashes taxes on the wealthy, increases defense spending, increases entitlement spending, and cuts corporate tax rates, all while promising to balance the budget, he’ll have no choice but to ask more from the middle class. Indeed, there’s no other way for Romney to keep his other promises.

There is so much to choose from in Romney’s buffet of morally corrupt beliefs that it is difficult to pick the worse. One strong contender is that he believes – maybe because he never cheated on his wife – and good for him – that makes him a moral person. Romney and his ilk cannot see through the fog of self delusion. That living a good life, going beyond of simplistic prescription, involves doing good. Romney has never asked himself if what he does negatively affects millions of Americans. There is something sinister and darkly comic about the conservative world view and economics. If someone steals a pedestrian’s wallet they start crying about the decline of Western Civilization. If the Romneys, Kochs, Sheldon Adelsons, Karl Rove and friends steal billions from American families, they are not only fine with that, they cheer it on and call it freedom.

For a someone who allegedly believes in taking money from the producers and giving it to the alleged dirty serfs, President Obama is doing a terrible job of redistributing money, Recovery in U.S. Is Lifting Profits, but Not Adding Jobs

That gulf helps explain why stock markets are thriving even as the economy is barely growing and unemployment remains stubbornly high.

With millions still out of work, companies face little pressure to raise salaries, while productivity gains allow them to increase sales without adding workers.

“So far in this recovery, corporations have captured an unusually high share of the income gains,” said Ethan Harris, co-head of global economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “The U.S. corporate sector is in a lot better health than the overall economy. And until we get a full recovery in the labor market, this will persist.”

The result has been a golden age for corporate profits, especially among multinational giants that are also benefiting from faster growth in emerging economies like China and India.

These factors, along with the Federal Reserve’s efforts to keep interest rates ultralow and encourage investors to put more money into riskier assets, prompted traders to send the Dow past 14,000 to within 75 points of a record high last week.

How can profits be so high when Republicans claim American business is suffering from high taxes and too much regulation. Reality really does bite for conservatism.

Western Night Sky and Stars wallpaper – Will Republicans Get Some Sequester Sanity

Western Night Sky and Stars wallpaper

Western Night Sky and Stars wallpaper

Will A Government Shutdown Threat Determine The Winner Of The Sequestration Fight?

But one option, which has piqued White House interest, according to two Democratic sources, would extend funding for federal agencies at current levels, and yet preserve sequestration, such that the cuts taking effect at the end of the week carry forward, possibly through the spring and summer.

That would insulate Republicans from allowing their intransigence over replacing sequestration to escalate into responsibility for a government shutdown, and thus represent a partial victory. Congressional Democrats and the White House would have to content themselves with the hope that public and interest group opposition to sequestration would build over time, and Republicans would ultimately agree to supplant it with legislation that includes higher taxes later in the year.

While they are not completely separated, it is true that Congress could pass a spending bill that would keep the government operating at pretty much current levels as a side deal – pushing the sequester down the road. Brian Beutler seems to think that Democrats could claim a partial victory with that kind of deal. probably true and ordinarily I would say that conservatives could put enough spin on such a deal to claim that fought as hard as they could, yada yada and we’ll fight for more cuts – to programs we don’t like – not fair all around cuts, another day. Though with that little stunt the other day where House conservatives cheered Boehner (R-OH) says two things. Republicans in general do not care if the cuts go into effect. Check the comment sections at places like Hot Air, Free Republic and others. These people actually believe the cuts can be made and will be painless. It also says that conservatives in the House, and most of the Senate have lost some faith in the conservative spin machine. This is just a sound bite that Corker could claim he never said tomorrow, but if he and half a dozen conservative Senators, plus some Republicans House members who have districts that rely on gov’mint jobs, feel the same way, that compromise interim spending bill might happen,

“It’s fine with me,” Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) told reporters in response to a question from TPM on Tuesday. “I’d like to give [Obama] the flexibility — I don’t think he wants it — to manage through this a little bit better, but from my perspective it’s fine that we go through September.”

September isn’t arbitrary. It’s the end of the fiscal year. At that point, sequestration morphs from indiscriminate spending cuts into reduced overall government spending, with precise allocations for various programs and agencies falling to Congressional appropriators. The intentionally cumbersome sequestration turn into a more generalized kind of austerity.

Corker is certainly a paid kool-aid drinking member of the conservative clown posse. If he is willing to be sane for a few months, who knows, the sequester debacle might be avoided.

This is what I mean by lack of confidence in their ability to spin the sequester to conservative advantage. Sure the base eats this stuff up, but this too lame to make any converts. They’re going with the President Obama is being mean to us theme of counter-attack. If that mean president is going to hurt our feelings we’re not going to compromise,

The Hill, Republicans warn Obama has ‘poisoned’ relations with campaign-style attacks,

President Obama’s public shaming of congressional Republicans to act on a range of issues may be winning at the polls — but it risks alienating the people needed to reach bipartisan compromise.

… The public opinion push seems to be working politically — Obama leads congressional Republicans in approval ratings by a wide margin. He has kept those issues in the spotlight and polls show the public currently blames the GOP for the looming sequester and sides with Obama on gun control and immigration.

But to get anything accomplished Obama will need to convince the few remaining centrist Republicans to vote with him — and a public lobbying campaign could infuriate the many members not facing tough elections..

Oh dear! Obama risks “infuriating” Republicans!!!!!!!

Uppity Obama sure does risk “infuriating” Republicans a lot:

March 19, 2008, Outside the Beltway, Obama’s Speech: Poisoning the Well

Sept 10, 2009, National Review, Obama Poisoning the Well

April 13, 2011, Paul Ryan rips Obama’s speech: “Rather than building bridges, he’s poisoning wells”

June 15, 2011, Debt commission co-chair: Obama is ‘poisoning the well’

June 29, 2011, Happy Hour: Poisoning the Bipartisan Well

April 2, 2012, National Review, Poisoning the Well

Jun 18, 2012, National Review, Poisoning the Well

October 16, 2012, Rubio: Obama ‘poisoned the well’ for reform on ‘humanitarian’ immigration crisis

Just For Fun – More Poisoning

April 1, 2009, Limbaugh: Obama May Give Gordon Brown “Anal Poisoning”

September 18, 2012, Has Obama been little by little poisoning this county with his lies?

September 19, 2012, Rush Limbaugh: Obama Gets ‘Fawning Anal Poisoning’ From Letterman

Do you get the feeling that The Hill, Outside the Beltway, the National Review and Limbaugh, all got the same text message with the same sound bite to repeat until your ears bleed. Whatever the topic is, rainbows, ponies or baseball, for reasons I don’t want to know about, Limbaugh will include reference to the human anus.

While Corker might represent a glimmer of reasonableness, not so much with Mad Mitch,

Congressional leaders went to the White House on Friday in a last-ditch effort to avert the automatic “sequester” budget cuts that will soon go into effect. After the meeting, Republican leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Boehner (R-OH) emerged to reemphasize that the GOP will not consider any new revenues in a deal to avert the sequester.

Boehner said, “the discussion about revenue, in my view, is over.” And McConnell added, “I want to make clear that any solutions will be done through the regular order, with input from both sides of the aisle in public debate…I will not be part of any back-room deal and I will absolutely not agree to increase taxes.”

As the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent noted, this position is absurd, and akin to Democrats demanding that 100 percent of future deficit reduction be achieved through tax hikes. As this chart shows, nearly three-quarters of deficit reduction that has been achieved since 2011 has been through spending cuts

President Obama and Democrats have made historic cuts in spending.

An interim spending bill would not have to include revenue increases. Though McConnell is taking the predictable conservative line, America’s wealthiest plutocrats must be protected even if it means a lot of working class Americans are furloughed or the economy starts to ease back into a recession.

Here is some of the kinds of really cool things that cause conservatives to cheer a government shut down, The 32 Dumbest And Most Devastating Sequester Cuts

$20 million cut from the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
$10 million cut from the World Trade Center Health Program Fund
$168 million cut from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
$75 million cut from the Aging and Disability Services Programs

$928 million cut from FEMA’s disaster relief money
$6 million cut from Emergency Food and Shelter
$70 million cut from the Agricultural Disaster Relief Fund at USDA
$61 million cut from the Hazardous Substance Superfund at EPA
$125 million cut from the Wildland Fire Management
$53 million cut from Salaries and Expenses at the Food Safety and Inspection Service

$512 million cut from Customs and Border Protection
$17 million cut from Automation Modernization, Customs and Border Protection
$20 million cut from Border Security Fencing, Infrastructure, and Technology

$79 million cut from Embassy Security, Construction, and Maintenance ( did someone say Benghazi redux)

Woodward, The Sequester and Conservative Thugs

Teton Range Spring wallpaper

Teton Range Spring wallpaper


For those who have been watching episodes of House of Cards you know that what started Francis Underwood’s ( Kevin Spacy) vendetta against the president was being passed over for Secretary of State. One of the first things he did was smear the Secretary designate with an old editorial. One the designate did not even write. He had some help from a reporter with a fictional Washington newspaper. It was fictional, and maybe a little simplistic, but a good illustration of how a chorus of sound bites can drive a story. The smear itself was e relatively insignificant. Much like the full time nonstop conservative smear machine. So it goes with Bob Woodward. Bob takes something, a tiny morsel of a sound bite. Then with the help of all the conservative blogs, far Right radio and Fox News make that sound bite sound like the Chicago mob-dictator-monsters at the White House have decided to wage a war on the freedom of the press ( ironic considering conservatives consider all news just a matter of opinion via the conservative media doctrine of Rupert Murdoch). Most of the time when these fake scandals occur regarding a Democrat, wait a minute, and the other shoe, the one that contains the truth, will drop. Bob Woodward, with the shrill echo of every drooling conservative, said that White House aide Gene Sperling threatened him with this frightening re-frame in an e-mail, “I think you will regret staking out that claim. ” It sounds make for a good soundbite to use. The very kind the Francis Underwoods of the Washington Beltway and the conservative media love. Though unlike the teevee, some of us do not and will not let soundbites be used unanswered by the Underwoods. Politico got a hold of Woodward’s e-mail exchange and in the context of the exchange that soundbite, that juicy gotcha goes down the toilet with the rest of conservative bile and lunacy, Bob Woodward Has Now Picked the Most and Least Important Fights With a POTUS

At this point, you’re asking, “Why is Conor telling us about this banal give-and-take between a reporter and a nameless aide?” Well, dear reader, on the basis of that email, Woodward is now running around claiming that he was being threatened by the White House. “I mean, it makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, you’re going to regret doing something that you believe in,” he told CNN. Elsewhere he added, “Suppose there’s a young reporter who’s only had a couple of years’ — or 10 years’ — experience and the White House is sending him an email saying, ‘You’re going to regret this. You know, tremble, tremble.”

[ ]…UPDATE: Politico says it has the allegedly threatening email, and it makes Woodward’s account of events look even more dubious.

White House aide Gene Sperling:

I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand barain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start. It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start.

The rest at Politico, with what it says was Woodward’s response:

Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved.

Your move, Bob Woodward. Hint: Follow the drones. ( all emphasis mine)

So this is Woodward’s response to what he said on CNN was a serious threat against him as an upstanding member of the constitutionally protested press. We have seen confrontations between the press and people in the public eye – politicians, judges, celebrities and private citizens. The press gets a fair share of shouting matches, epitaphs, hurt feelings. It goes with the territory. Politicians get into heated exchanges with each other. Dick Cheney dropping the F-bomb with go down in infamy. Now we have Woodward, a Washington insider. Someone who has has been granted special access to presidents ever since those heady Watergate days. He has a new book to sell. He is churning up the waters as much as possible, not because his feelings were hurt, but because he is the MAN. He gets what he wants and whoever is in the White House is supposed to hand it all over with proper deference to someone who sees himself as the legendary Superman of journalism. I’m not saying Woodward and everything he has ever written is evil. I wish it were that simple. It is aggravating that he is capable of doing good work, yet, with age and living so many years in the Beltway bubble he has made the cliched mistake of beginning to see himself as the infallible legend. At that same Atlantic link Conor also gets into Woodwards very specific military tactics-foreign policy advice. Now we all know that if Woodward were being so bombastically arrogant against one specific aircraft carrier that Bob thought should be some place that Bush did not, the nutbars of the conservative media would be yelling for his head o a plate. I did find a conservative columnist at the yellow rag Daily Caller who writes, Bob Woodward trolled us (and we got played)

Make no mistake. This was no accident. As Politico reported last night,

“Woodward repeated the last sentence, making clear he saw it as a veiled threat. “ ‘You’ll regret.’ Come on,” he said. “I think if Obama himself saw the way they’re dealing with some of this, he would say, ‘Whoa, we don’t tell any reporter ‘you’re going to regret challenging us.’”

But today, things look different. P0litico has posted the exclusive email from Gene Sperling to Woodward. It begins, “I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today.”

(Frightening, I know!)

Sperling’s email eventually does say, “I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” But this is clearly not a veiled threat of retaliation, but rather a warning that the reporter was about to get the story wrong.

When Woodward tells of being warned he would “regret” challenging Obama, it sounds ominous. But if Politico’s reporting today is correct, it seems much more innocuous than that.

As that new e-mail ripples through the internets and sinks into the brain cavities of conservative bloggers like Breitbart and Drudge, the tide will likely turn to Woodward used us, we got played by the liberal media. So another day in which conservative ethics, or lack of, hangs them by their own petard. More here, Woodward’s Dubious Intimidation Claim Trumpeted By Right-Wing Echo Chamber. And this piece gets more into the lie that matters, the on going efforts by the far Right to blame President Obama for the sequester they voted for, Sequester Blame Game, Conservatives Ignore Obama’s Long-Standing Offer To Avert Sequestration With Revenue And Cuts

Fox News hosts cited a widely criticized Bob Woodward column to falsely claim President Obama’s proposal to avert looming government spending cuts — known as sequestration — “moved the goalposts” because it offsets some of the cuts with new revenue. In fact, the administration’s proposal to avert the sequestration has always included a balanced deficit reduction plan that included additional revenues.

…White House: “President Will Demand That The Committee Pursue A Balanced Deficit Reduction Package … With Revenue-Raising Tax Reform.” A 2011 fact sheet produced by the White House after an agreement to reduce deficits was first reached in mid-2011 described how the sequestration was intended as an “enforcement mechanism” to ensure deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion in the event that Congress failed to agree on a plan to reduce the deficit by at least an equivalent amount. The fact sheet makes clear that the president was committed to reducing the deficit in part by generating additional revenue. From the fact sheet’s section on the debt deal’s mechanics:
Enforcement mechanism established to force all parties – Republican and Democrat – to agree to balanced deficit reduction. If Committee fails, enforcement mechanism will trigger spending reductions beginning in 2013 – split 50/50 between domestic and defense spending. Enforcement protects Social Security, Medicare beneficiaries, and low-income programs from any cuts.


The Deal Sets the Stage for Balanced Deficit Reduction, Consistent with the President’s Values: The deal is designed to achieve balanced deficit reduction, consistent with the values the President articulated in his April Fiscal Framework. The discretionary savings are spread between both domestic and defense spending. And the President will demand that the Committee pursue a balanced deficit reduction package, where any entitlement reforms are coupled with revenue-raising tax reform that asks for the most fortunate Americans to sacrifice. [WhiteHouse.gov, via Business Insider, 7/31/11]

As others have already noted, note the key words – deficit reduction, balanced deficit reduction. There is no passage that says the sequester will consist entirely of spending cuts that will be decided by conservatives.

E.J. Dionne makes a good point. Let the voting began on the sequester. If conservatives have the votes they’ll get what they want. If not maybe Democrats can put together enough votes. But let the voting start. This is especially pointed at the Senate and Mad Turtle Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who has never been fond of democracy, Ending the permanent crisis

In the Senate, ditch the unconstitutional abuse of the filibuster and let a plan pass by simple-majority vote. Misuse of the filibuster is a central cause of Washington’s contorted policymaking. Let’s end the permanent budget crisis by governing ourselves though the majorities that every sane democracy uses.

The air of establishment Washington is filled with talk that Obama must “lead.” But Obama cannot force the House Republican majority to act if it doesn’t want to. He is (fortunately) not a dictator.

What Obama can do is expose the cause of this madness, which is the dysfunction of the Republican Party.

Journalists don’t like saying this because it sounds partisan. But the truth is the truth, whether it sounds partisan or not.

And a staunch conservative has succinctly explained why this problem really is a Republican problem. In an admirably candid interview Monday with Ezra Klein on MSNBC, Ben Domenech, a conservative blogger, said the new tea party Republicans in the House don’t want their leadership to sit down with Obama to talk because “they have their doubts about the ability of Republicans to negotiate any better situation.”

If Obama is the anti-Christ/Chicago thug/ the reincarnation of Stalin and Hitler rolled into one, why can’t he do something as simple as get Republicans to vote on legislation. One would think an all powerful dictator could stop Mitch from stopping any and all legislation and judicial appointments simply by putting his feet up on is desk and saying nah, don’t like that. That is not even one iota of an exaggeration. We just had an election, Republicans lost. The people decided what they wanted – Mitch and his posse are the ones acting like thugs.

Mountain Signs of Spring wallpaper

Mountain Signs of Spring wallpaper

Mountain Signs of Spring wallpaper

It takes maturity, courage and principles to take responsibility for one’s actions. So of course conservatives are trying to shift all the blame for the sequester on President Obama. It’s not that simple, More Republican Denial, the details are at the link, but this is all the takeaway one needs to counter the spin by the Republican noise machine. Romney tried to shift blame for the sequester back during his campaign. Mitt shares the common conservative tendency to leave out details. According to Politifact, Obama to blame for defense sequestration, says Romney ad

Other see the two parties as co-owners of sequestration, especially since Republicans in Congress voted for the law that set up its possibility. In the House, 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for the law, while 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats opposed it. (Final tally: Passed 269-161.) In the Senate, 28 Republicans and 45 Democrats voted for it, while 19 Republicans and 6 Democrats opposed it. (Final tally: Passed 74-26)

“The logic that lays the blame for sequestration at Obama’s feet, because he negotiated the BCA with GOP leaders in Congress, could just as easily apply to those other negotiators, or, indeed, any member of Congress who voted for the BCA in August 2011,” said Christopher Preble, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute. Preble favors reductions to the defense budget.

“I do not believe it accurate to refer to the cuts that will occur in both defense and non-defense discretionary spending under sequestration as ‘Obama’s cuts,’ ” he said.

Laura Peterson of Taxpayers for Common Sense also noted that sequestration results from a law passed in the usual manner. “I think the fact that Congress passed it means it is not a presidential mandate. It was a law that originated in Congress and was sent to the president’s desk,” she said.


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 .