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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Allen West - Jingositic Coward

Jan31st, 2012

Everyone has been talking about Allen West's channeling of Joe McCarthy over the weekend. In case you somehow missed it, here's what he said:
"And we need to let President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and my dear friend the chairman of the Democrat National Committee (Debbie Wasserman Schultz), we need to let them know Florida ain't on the table. Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America." EMPHASIS OURS

Uh huh. America... "love it or leave it." Right? Provided you that "love it" the way the people that spout this kind of horseshit "love it." We've heard that before.

Well, Mr West, war criminal and general pussy, walked back and stumbled over his remarks today on Fox and CNN:
"The other thing is that I did not refer to any person leaving. If you go back and read the transcript of the message that I gave, it was about equality of achievement, it was about economic dependence, it was about enslaving the American entrepreneur’s will and spirit. That message needs to leave this country. And that was what I was referring to. And I think that anyone that sat back and looked at the entirety of that 12 minute, 45 second speech would understand that we’re talking about a contrast of visions of this country."

Here are the original remarks...

Here is the cut-between of the cowardly walk-backs he made today...

Mr West doesn't even have to the guts to stand by his own petty hatreds.

This is, of course, totally unsurprising in light of the shame he brought upon our nation by violating the trust of his service.

As for "duplicitous hypocrisy," as he calls it?

I can think of no more pointed example than his own;

Demanding that pundits still refer to him as a "lieutenant colonel" when his failure to lead and his crimes not only resulted in his own humiliating dismissal from the service but also very likely got more of our young men and women killed...

that's "duplicitous hypocrisy."

Quote Of The Day

Jan 31st, 2012

"Avoid popularity if you would have peace."
-- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, January 30, 2012

Attacking The Muppets... Again

Jan 30th, 2012

Well, that didn't take long. A short time after the Muppet's entertaining "rebuttal" of Eric Bolling's absurd attacks went viral today, Breitbart's "Editor-In-Chief" of his Big Hollywood blog, John Nolte, couldn't contain himself.

You may recall that Bolling went on multiple Fox outlets to declare that "it's amazing how far the left will go"1 using the Muppets in "brainwashing"2 our children and that explains "why we've got a bunch of Occupy Wall Street people walking all around the country. They've been indoctrinated, literally, for years by this kind of stuff."3

This is, of course, insane. Not so, says Nolte. In fact, he calls the bizarre public spectacle of Bolling's corporate-whore persona colliding with his dementia a "rather innocuous and perfectly valid discussion about the culture."

It's good to know that Andy Breitbart's braintrust freakshow is still hewing to such high standards.

Fine. This is crazy and was utterly predictable. But, it gets better. Here's where Nolte truly boggles:

"The video... puts the Muppets themselves into this controversy, which will only further alienate a very large segment of their audience."

Roll that one over for a minute. Think it through. This is supposed to be the expert on media working for Breitbart. Who is the average Fox viewer?

The Hollywood Reporter took note of Steve Sternberg's sweeping demographic study late last year:

"Fox News has the oldest audience among fully distributed cable networks. The network's average viewer last season was 65 years old, according to Nielsen. Heck, it's viewers are even older than viewers of Hallmark Channel, Military Channel and Golf Channel." EMPHASIS OURS

These aren't parents with young children. These aren't even parents with young adult children. Considering the fact that the Henson Workshop's biggest program, Sesame Street, has been consistently rating a 3.5 share in its core demo of 2 to 5 year olds for the last year and a half, it begs a question... 

Who exactly is going to be alienated here, Mr. Nolte? I'll tell you. Children and their parents who are wondering why Grandma and Grandpa Grumpus are screaming over the phone that Kermit is a Commie. That's who. Young families looking for an explanation as to just when and how the Grams went certifiably mad. That's who.

Oh well. Perhaps you feel bad for Nolte and Bolling. You can show your support by not sharing. Because sharing is Communist. And Communists make them cry.

Palin Backs Newt - Hilarity Ensues

Jan 30th, 2012

Yup, by golly. Governor half-term is telling everyone to cast a vote for Newt in the Florida GOP primary to, and I quote, "annoy a liberal." This leads me to believe that her insulation from liberals is absolute as they almost uniformly are salivating at the prospect of a Gingrich candidacy.

You know who really is annoyed? Her loyal followers on Facebook. You betcha.

Newt's Florida Misfortunes

Jan 30th, 2012

Jonathan Capehart is apparently enjoying every minute of it:

"Hearing Newt Gingrich’s belly-aching about his treatment at the hands of Mitt Romney’s campaign — a stellar two-pronged attack, if they may say so themselves, which they do — caused me to suffer a severe case of schadenfreude. Giggling over someone else’s misfortune is not very kind, and also bad for one’s own karma. But Gingrich is an exception to that rule."

I was thinking the same thing. For "Newt The Destroyer" to be lamenting tactics is a hoot.

Frank Gaffney's Hypocrisy

Jan 30th, 2012

Calls for West Point to uninvite Frank Gaffney's buddy and fellow spittle-dribbling, anti-Muslim hate-monger Jerry Boykin from an upcoming prayer event have prompted Mr Gaffney to wrap himself in the famous words of Martin Niemöller. We are not making this up..

Right Wing Watch reminds us just why this is serious bullshit:

"Last year, Gaffney demanded that the American Conservative Union disinvite Suhail Kahn of Muslims for America from the Conservative Political Action Conference. He also called on CPAC to give the boot to Grover Norquist, who has done advocacy work in the past with Muslim-Americans including Kahn, labeling both of them threats to the conservative movement and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Moreover, Liberty Counsel’s Awakening 2011 conference, Gaffney condemned the conference for allowing Norquist to speak there and said that he made it his “personal burden for the past twelve years” to warn conservatives against joining with Norquist, saying, “I must tell you I think this is time to bring it to a stop."

You have to admit, disconnect this wide is impressive.

It's also worth noting that Mr Gaffney, a self-declared "patriot" who was too busy to ever serve his country, is opposed by thousands who actually have on this one.

Will Newt Score An Upset?

Jan 30th, 2012

As tomorrow's Florida Primary approaches, the conventional wisdom is that Romney is going to blow his opposition, principally Newt Gingrich, out of the water. The latest polling shows a more than 10 point lead for Mitt. There is some truth to Newt's accusation that the Romney camp has been "carpet-bombing" that state with negative ads. The latest data shows Gingrich having been outspent 5 to 1 according to TPM:

"...the total ad spending through Tuesday in Florida by the Romney campaign and its allied super PAC, Restore Our Future, is $15,340,000. The total spending for Gingrich’s campaign and his super PAC, Winning Our Future, is $3,390,000."

I think the final tallies tomorrow could be surprising. Walter Shapiro makes the  case for an upset driven by Florida's elderly GOP base:

"Up until now, Gingrich has been especially successful at appealing to the I-remember-the-invasion-of-Grenada voting bloc. In IowaNew Hampshire and South Carolina, according to exit polls, there was a powerful, but little-noticed, straight-line trend—the older the voter, the higher the level of Gingrich support. Since Gingrich finished fourth in both Iowa and New Hampshire, this age skew did not fit into a convenient campaign narrative. But in South Carolina, it was key to the Newtonian bomb that leveled the political landscape and sent the GOP establishment into full panic. Gingrich support in the January 21 primary rose from 28 percent among the small slice of under-30 votes to 40 percent among middle-aged Republicans to 47 percent among South Carolina voters mature enough to collect Medicare."

The GOP base is angry and fracturing. In Florida, it is also demographically older than the previous state contests.

If the eleventh hour passes prior to the casting of ballots and Newt doesn't have some extra trick up his sleeve, I think Mitt will still take it. However, I also the margins will be substantially tighter than they look right now.

Mitt Watch - Everything But The Monocle

Jan 30th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

It's still, and for the umpteenth time, not the fact that Mitt Romney is among the richest people in the world that bothers large swaths of the American electorate.

What concerns them is how he got the money, why he fails to see that his tax rate is unfair and whether or not he actually possesses any empathy for the people who, to paraphrase Capra's George Bailey, "do most of the working and living and dying" in this country.

Buying Keystone XL

Jan 30th, 2012

As Speaker John Boehner's Keystone problem is just beginning and could end his career, it's not hard to see how he would have finally come to the conclusion that anything goes in the Beltway.
Image via Public Campaign Action Fund

Obama Got Bin Laden. Period.

Jan 30th, 2012

Sullivan hammers the naysayers in a continued defense of his Obama "long game" piece and adds this interesting reminder of GOP and Democratic critiques of the current President's campaign promise a mere 3 1/2 years ago to go after Osama Bin Laden just the way he eventually did.

The Muppets Presser Takes On Fox

Jan 30th, 2012

Kermit and Miss Piggy have some choice words in response to Eric Bolling's claim they are subverting our nation's youth.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

Jan 30th, 2012

"Like his father, Mitt Romney worries about those who would demonize wealth and success. But, whereas George sought to ease their plight, Mitt seeks to demonize the demonizers. 

It’s as though Mitt inherited all of his father’s noblesse, but none of the oblige."

-- Noam Scheiber on Romney's disconnect from the average citizen

Quote Of The Day

Jan 30th, 2012

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything."
-- Wyatt Earp

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Most Hilarious Headline Of The Year So Far...

Jan 29th, 2012

Yup. It's real. Via TPM:

Feel free to make up your own copy...

Quote Of The Day

Jan 29th, 2012

"He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed."

-- Albert Einstein

So, It's Underwater. Oh... I Get It.

Jan 29th, 2012

Look, whatever is lying at the bottom of the Baltic Sea is not the Millennium Falcon. Maybe it is some old Russian warships. Maybe it is an odd cluster of petrified wood. Maybe it's, well, nothing. However, the story that a very large and spherical object has been spotted at the bottom of those murky depths and awaits closer scrutiny has taken the internet by storm.

This got me thinking...

We are several thousand years passed the supposed weeping of Alexander for lack of "worlds to conquer."

We seem to need, as a species, undiscovered country. Newness. Strange and uplifting wonder. There has to be more in the shadows or the shadows lose there meaning.

So. Fire away, engage in fantastic conjecture and, above all else, enjoy.

Boehner's Real Interest In Keystone XL, cont...

Jan 29th, 2012

We picked up on a report last week of Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) substantial investments in companies with a direct stake in the controversial Keystone XL proposal. At the time, I suggested this might be a career-ender and wondered if an internal ethics investigation was imminent (again, paging Rep. Issa (R-CA)whose silence is deafening).

It now seems that the situation is rapidly becoming more serious. Yesterday, PoliticsUSA followed up on the latest developments:

"On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) received a complaint from an environmental group with accusations that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline’s owners (TransCanada) are in violation of SEC Rule 10b(5) – Employment of Manipulative and Deceptive Practices to bolster stock prices.

The complaint sent to the SEC said TransCanada is using “false or misleading statements about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline” and that they “consistently used public statements and information it knows are false in a concerted effort to secure permitting approval of Keystone XL from the U.S. government.” The complaint continues that the fallacious information misleads investors, U.S. and Canadian officials, the media, and the public “in order to bolster its balance sheets and share price,” and who is the point-man pushing the Keystone XL pipeline with lies and misinformation? Speaker of the House John Boehner."

This is big. This is not the typically 'legal but questionable' gaming of the system we have grown accustomed to. It is beginning to look like a blatant violation of the law.

"The complaint specifically highlights that TransCanada asserts that the pipeline will create American jobs “at a rate that is 67 times higher than job creation totals given by the company to Canadian officials for the Canadian portion of the pipeline.” The inflated job creation numbers were designed to pressure President Obama to issue an approval permit to build the pipeline and without its construction, TransCanada’s future earnings and share prices will be significantly impacted. Speaker Boehner owns shares in seven different Canadian tar sand companies and it is highly likely that he knows the job numbers are inflated as an investor and stands to profit if the pipeline is built. Boehner went so far as threatening to tie 160 million working Americans’ payroll tax cut extension to approval of the pipeline. Boehner’s extortion threats were the last straw, and inspired a national petition to force him to resign or face expulsion from Congress for ethics violations. However, ethics violations are the least of Boehner’s problems once the SEC finishes their investigation which they confirmed is actively under consideration." EMPHASIS THEIRS

Let's be clear; This isn't about TransCanada affiliated interests investing in Boehner via SuperPACs and campaign donations. This is about Boehner investing in TransCanada affiliated interests while using false statistics to push for government action on their behalf.

It is already past time for the Speaker to publicly address this.

The last thing I want to see is an Eric Cantor Speakership.

But, this man must resign.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 28th, 2012

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

What Liberal Media, Cont...

Jan 28th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

There is a liberal media. No, really. There is. It's composed of... well... guys like me.

As for the vast conspiracy of liberal conformity for which the large and commercially backed outlets are accused?


Straight up bullshit. Here is, yet again, more proof.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 26th, 2012

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved."
-- Sun Tzu

Newt Watch - The GOP Establishment Goes For The Kill

Jan 26th, 2012

We are witnessing a whole new level of enmity from the powers that be in the GOP.

Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen write:

"Newt Gingrich better hope voters who lapped up his delicious hits on the “elite media” and liberals don’t read the Drudge Report this morning.

Or the National Review. Or the American Spectator. Or Ann Coulter.

If they do, Gingrich comes off looking like a dangerous, anti-Reagan, Clintonian fraud.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 25th, 2012

"In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd."
-- Miguel de Cervantes

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

SOTU Live Blog

Jan 24th, 2012

My take away - the big themes we expected we're all there. The specifics are already being critiqued as micro management or even "paleo-liberal" proposals by Obama's detractors (and some advocates). I wanted to hear a great deal more on the banking industry.

Anyone who reads my work knows that I would prefer a return to the Eisenhower tax crates... which is why knuckle-draggers call me a Communist. Although the right's class warriors are already sharpening their knives, they have nothing here.

On defense, Obama did as much as any President could to stress that the wars are winding down and we should redirect our resources.

There were no major surprises and the President, much to the detriment of GOP interests, appeared... Presidential. We'll be back later with some reactions and will not be live-blogging the Mitch Daniels response. As I reside in Indiana, just outside Chicago, I hear him altogether too frequently as it is.

9:15pm CST And... the State of the Union is still... anyway...

An extraordinary amount of this speech was very carefully designed to deflate his most conservative national security critics.
"Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history."

There was a heavy dose of American Exceptionalism in there tonight.

The Spirit Of Legitimate Conservatism

Jan 24th, 2012

Kelley Vlahos' column from last Sunday, firing back at supposedly "conservative" apologists for the blatant war crime of body desecration recently captured on video in Afghanistan, is arguably the finest critique in months of what has gone so horribly wrong with the right in our country:

"Writers at The Weekly Standard, National Review, The Washington Times and Commentary have been ruthless non-apologists for the indiscriminate killing of non-whites as a means to their ends, from the “shock and awe” invasion of Iraq and the flattening of Fallujah to the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad, today’s drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, and all of the wars’ human repercussions (death, disease, displacement). In their world, these are always treated as time-wasting, politically motivated afterthoughts that merely muddy their own paper-white narrative."

Romney's Negatives

Jan 24th, 2012

They're skyrocketing

Santorum Watch - Will Pander For Food Edition

Jan 24th, 2012

Wow. Seriously. "Wow," is the only response to this vulgar and morbid display of kowtowing to the worst form of delusional extremist which is now, yes, the true base of the GOP.

Rick Santorum is fielding a question in this clip and here's what happens...

Off-screen woman: I never refer to Obama as President Obama because legally he is not (the crowd cheers and Santorum nods and grins) and, well, he constantly says that the Constitution is passé (when?) and he totally ignores it (when?), as you know, he does what he darn well pleases. He is an avowed Muslim. (Bullshit) My, my question is why isn't something being done to get him out of the our government? He has no legal right to be calling himself President.

Santorum's response? NO pushback whatsoever. Nothing. Santorum actually attempts to capitalize upon this nonsense which simply serves to reinforce it.

This psychopath interrupts him to rephrase her ridiculous claim that Obama "says our government is passé."

Santorum, again, does nothing to combat her. Ball-less, nut-less, soul-less tool that he is, he tries to work it for an angle.

His crowd pleasing humdinger? He tells this woman "You will be the first 'Czar' I name."

Quote Of The Day

Jan 24th, 2012

"I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.

I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. 

I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. 

I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. 

I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. 

I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. 

In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. 

Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

-- Major General Smedley Butler of the USMC and literally the savior of our Republic

Monday, January 23, 2012

GOP Debate Live Blog

Jan 23rd, 2012

10:00pm CST For all of Newt's chatter about being the "anti-establishment" candidate, his performance tonight was clearly geared to diffuse establishment concerns over his temperament. It's a big risk for him. The Newt as throat-slitter persona was what propelled him to such a huge victory in South Carolina and was girding his rising numbers in Florida. It will be interesting to see where those numbers go over the next few days.

Who knows what his SuperPACs and proxy fighters have planned. After all, tomorrow comes the tepid Romney tax return release which is bound to provide some fodder.

Santorum had a very good night. His composure was impeccable. Unfortunately, he is still insane. Particularly on issues of foreign policy, the man is simply dangerous.

Ron Paul proved, again, that it's unusual for a GOP contender not to beat the drums for perma-war.

As for Romney's performance, it was, above all else, just not very likable. He seems wildly unaware of how his own fortune, detachment from the ordinary citizen and, yes, Bain are going to be serious liabilities. He also forgets that while many Americans are opposed to Obama's policies, a huge majority basically does like the guy. His attacks were clumsy, ham-fisted and they drifted to the personal too often.

If he does get the eventual nomination, there's nearly no way he can win.

And that, as they say, is that.

Partisan Evil Beyond All Measure

Jan 23rd, 2012

Scott Keyes reports for ThinkProgress:

"The campaign manager of Arkansas Democratic congressional candidate Ken Aden arrived home last night to find his child’s pet cat murdered on the front porch with the word “LIBERAL” scrawled across its lifeless body."

You read that right. There's more over at Blue Arkansas including a picture of the poor animal we can't bring ourselves to republish:

"Last night, I got the most chilling phone call I have ever received. It was Jake Burris, Ken Aden’s campaign manager. Last night, Jake and his four kids had come back to their Russellville home. As they were getting out of the car, one of his children discovered their family cat dead on the front porch. One side of the animal's head had been bashed in and an eyeball was hanging out of its socket. But there was something even more horrifying to be found on the corpse.

Written across the animal’s fur in black marker was the word "LIBERAL".

This is terrorism. There’s no other word for it. A police report has been filed. Jake said the kids seem to be handling it okay. The one that discovered the cat was too young to be able to read and Jake had quickly gotten the others into the house before they saw it. Pope County is an insanely conservative area and the Aden campaign has been shaking things up even there and it looks like another right wing sociopath with a taste for violence has come crawling out of the woodwork in response. I asked Aden for a comment on the record:

"This is sickening. To kill a child’s pet…I'm at a loss for words…I've seen the best and the worst of humanity, but this is something else."

Both Ken and Jake though made it clear that they weren’t going to back down on the campaign trail, both agreeing that caving to this kind of behavior would only make things worse.

"I've got a gun and I know how to use it," Jake said. "If I have to protect my kids I'll do it without hesitation."

We're speechless.

About That Incandescent Light Bulb "Ban"

Jan 23rd, 2012

Not only were the hysterical Fox News reports that these bulbs would be "banned" starting on the first of the year total bullshit, they were bullshit you can prove to be bullshit by simply going shopping.

Newt Watch - The End Of The GOP "Establishment"?

Jan 23rd, 2012

Collective insanity is not hard to cultivate given enough time, resources and insulation from rational opposing forces. The GOP built the base which now has them terrified.

Timothy P. Carney writes:

"There may no longer be a Republican establishment powerful enough to move Republican voters en masse. Whatever institutional support the establishment can provide may be outweighed among the conservative base by the Scarlet E stamped on the candidate."

He's right. There has been an imposition of so many narrow and fringe litmus tests that we are seeing the party finally begin to devour itself. The hyper-radicalized base the GOP "establishment" thought they could exploit endlessly has at last arrived at a place where the concept of traditional American politics and its inherent requirement of compromise is deemed traitorous.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

Jan 23rd, 2012

"You're probably getting the impression by now that Ron Paul thinks that pretty much everything the federal government does is unconstitutional. That's because Ron Paul thinks that pretty much everything the federal government does is unconstitutional."

-- The Little Red Umbrella takes on Ron Paul

Boehner's Real Interest In Keystone XL...

Jan 23rd, 2012

It appears that Speaker Boehner's willingness to take hostages in a new fight over the Keystone XL project is quite personal and has nothing to do with "jobs."

PoliticsUSA reports:

"Revelations this past week from his financial disclosure forms that John Boehner invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands should raise red flags for the House Oversight Committee; especially in light of Boehner’s push to grant a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline ahead of the State Department and EPA studies and reports and the millions big oil spent to hasten its construction."

One wonders whether Darrel Issa is giving the Speaker a pass. After all, it is his job to investigate.

Things You Can't Make Up - Santorum & Acronyms Edition

Jan 23rd, 2012

Take a good, long look at this graphic from Rick Santorum's website...
This is Rick Santorum for crying out loud. You'd think there would've been one adviser worldly enough to make this catch before it was posted.

Justin Rosario has a field day:

"I suppose the good news is that he’s raised over $1.6 million dollars. That’s a lot of C.U.M."

Newt Watch - The Establishment Panics

Jan 23rd, 2012

Jennifer Rubin literally begs for someone, anyone, to intervene and stop Newt's rise. In an "open letter" to the GOP leadership, she whines:

"It is time to make the case for winning conservatism — a conservatism attractive to centrist voters that can be translated into a reform agenda. If conservatism becomes a movement of anti-media bashing and hyperbolic rhetoric, it will cease to be a force in American politics. And if it is led by an egomaniac whose personal advancement takes precedence over any principle, the GOP will be (correctly) mocked."

As used to Rubin's consistently obtuse pronouncements as I am, this is still quite rich. If "conservatism becomes" a hollow charade? The mantle of "conservatism" was hijacked long ago and the GOP has been wholly reduced to unprincipled and egomaniacal absurdity for some time.

On To Florida

Jan 23rd, 2012

The very big lead Romney held in Florida only days ago is gone.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 23rd, 2012

"A little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great government of the United States helpless and contemptible."
-- Woodrow Wilson

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Only Real Obama Administration Scandal

Jan 22rd, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

From day one, the GOP, the Fox News drones and the far right blogosphere have thrown a series of charges at the Obama Administration so manifestly ill-conceived that they are laughable upon strict scrutiny. Hundreds of hours have been spent on the "New Black Panther scandal," the "Fast and Furious scandal" and the "Solyndra scandal," just to name a few. In every case, the truth has been a far cry from the apoplectic insinuations hurled by the bottom-feeders.

This begs a question; why hasn't the only obvious and provable instance of high level corruption in this administration been addressed at all by the enemies of the President?

The answer is simple. It involves the Clinton State Department's handling of the Keystone XL proposal. We wrote about this last year HERE.

To sum up, one of Secretary Clinton's most trusted advisers poisoned the review process for a major foreign corporation's potentially hazardous use of American territory. This is a scandal which has everything:

Back room coaching of those the State Department is supposed to vet?

Lobbyists granted access to internal governmental operations?

Sweetheart relationships between foreign business interests and public servants who report directly to one of the most powerful people in modern government?

As the weeks have turned to months since I wrote about this last, this has begun to bother me a great deal.

Anyone who is familiar with my writing or activism knows that I support President Obama. I am not out to make him or his administration look bad. That said, this is basic stuff, the kind of stuff you dream of being able to use against your opposition.

If you are a junior-grade politician with half of a brain, you would know what to do with it.

Unless, of course, the people that are really in charge of every bloodthirsty, prevaricating and odious assault... have told you not to use it.

The GOP desperately needs to keep fighting on behalf of the Keystone XL issue.

It doesn't matter if you or I know that every pronouncement from them about the project's possible benefits is supreme bullshit. They don't care. The most powerful backers of the largest Republican sympathizing PACs have a vested interest in this one. Anything that might interfere with the GOP's slavish service to these puppet masters, even the only legitimate chance to undermine the current administration on the grounds of severe malfeasance, is off the table.

Remember this when Speaker Boehner comes out, very likely tomorrow, and tries to tie a resuscitation of the poisonous Keystone scheme to the passage of any piece of legislation that might actually benefit the United States of America.

Birthers Are Back

Jan 22nd, 2012

Beating all previous records for sitting, standing or jumping insanity comes this piece of news; Stephen D. Foster writes:

"And the birthers just refuse to go away. Ever since President Obama embarrassed the hell out of birther king Donald Trump by releasing his long form birth certificate, birthers have been desperate to keep their claims alive and have filed lawsuits across the country to have the President removed from the ballot in 2012. All of these filings have failed, that is until now.

A judge in Atlanta, Georgia has ordered President Obama to show up at a hearing concerning a complaint filed by a citizen of the state who contends that Mr. Obama is not a natural-born citizen and therefore should be removed from the ballot in the Georgia Presidential primary."

Got that? This a real judge in an actual courtroom.

"On Friday, Deputy Chief Judge Michael Malihi denied a motion for dismissal of a subpoena that requires the President to attend. The hearing is set for Thursday."

Something tells me President Obama will not be attending this bullshit freakshow.

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

Jan 22nd, 2012

A pure delight from James Thurber

Newt Wins SC - Which Is Flat Out Nuts

Jan 22nd, 2012

There's a line from Robert Towne's "Chinatown" screenplay that sums up Newt's victory in the South Carolina GOP primary perfectly:
"Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they last long enough."
Gingrich is, after all, two out of these three.

While some pundits are still treating this as a horse race, the latest Newt "surge" is more significant.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 22nd, 2012

"We don't devote enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks."
-- Bill Watterson

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 21st, 2012

"A politician thinks of the next election. A statesman, of the next generation."
-- James Freeman Clarke

Friday, January 20, 2012

What Newt Winning South Carolina Will Mean

Jan 20th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

I think it's clear that Newt is going to win the South Carolina Primary.

There you go. I am all in. I thought there was every reason to believe Santorum could take Iowa and, now, it's been reported that he actually did.

(I would love to see that kind of vote counting mix-up in an interparty contest met by so many GOP yawns. But, that is another story.)

In the first Public Policy Polling score ahead of the South Carolina primary, Newt was beating Romney by 6 points. After last night's "debate" and Romney's mind-blowingly poor performance, those numbers have pretty much held.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 20th, 2012

Image via
"Racism isn't born, folks, it's taught. I have a two-year-old son. You know what he hates? Naps! End of list."
-- Denis Leary

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Worth 1,000 Words - Obama "Tebows" Edition

Jan 19th, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 19th, 2012

"I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Who Elected The Idiots

Jan 18th, 2012
by Bill McCormick
reprinted from his terrific blog, nudehipponews

A little history for those playing along at home. In 1996 Tom Clancy wrote a book called Executive Orders. It had three very eerie story arcs that concerns us today. The first was that terrorists would use airplanes to wipe out the U.S. Government. Second was that the US Government, what there was of it, would target an individual leader in the Middle East for execution and, third, that the people would rise up and elect “common people” to public office so that real Americans could finally get represented. Before I get to those arcs I’d like to point out that while Clancy’s politics are to the right of mine he is no idiot. He is careful in his assertions and thorough in his research. He also tells one hell of a good story when he sets his mind to it. His mistake is the same as William F. Buckley’s was in the 70′s when he eviscerated Dr. Martin Luther King’s vision of civil disobedience by comparing it to rioting and looting. Both men assumed that everyone got the point, and – when required – the joke. In other words both men assumed that every conservative was similar to them.

They were wrong.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 18th, 2012

"It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Nightmare Next Door, cont...

Jan 17th, 2012

Here name was Jackie, dammit. Not, "Jacqueline."

She was a good neighbor and a warm soul. She lived on the other side of my house.

She liked football and animals and Pinot Grigio. She liked the latter quite a lot.

All that separated our lives was a few thin layers of drywall. She was gorgeous, not the frowning face the newspapers have chosen to show.

More than that, she was beautiful in a way that didn't even threaten my girlfriend, Jenni.

Jenni's first reaction, upon seeing the ID photo or mug-shot or whatever bad-shot the gutter-draggers passing themselves off as "journalists" published was to exclaim, "Where's her smile?"

Indeed. Jackie's smile could light up the whole out of doors, not just a room.

She was murdered this weekend. According to a friend of Jenni's privy to local law enforcement, it was grisly. A single shot from a large caliber weapon.

My girlfriend apparently heard it. Not knowing what guns sound like, outside of the fiction of film, she thought it might have been one of our cats engaging in the casual destruction of which they are so very adept.

She was wrong. I was asleep. It didn't even register. Then, this happened.

For the last 2 days, our world has been cops. City cops. County cops. State cops. They all descended upon us. Multiple interviews with cops. Telling them all the same thing; "No. I don't know anything. No, it doesn't make sense. No, I never thought there were any serious problems."

And Vultures. Taking pictures. Plastering my exact address and photos of my home across the internet. Which has brought the gawkers, the rubber-neckers and the sick-fucks. You want a photo? Here's a fucking photo. From inside my house.

Then, there is the obvious suspect. His name is "Doug," although the media, as of this writing, has not yet released it.

I liked him, too. He was nice to me. We often talked while his crazy, dumb dog tried to jump on me and knock me over. I liked that he was such a good neighbor. Whenever he had friends over, he would knock and say, "Hey, buddy. Wanna hang out? Just lettin' you know we might be loud and stuff."

More often than not, I would decline. But, it felt great to have people we thought we could trust.

They were also very beautiful together.

To be honest, I thought of Doug as a very, very lucky man to have so lovely a lady.

Which just serves to make this uglier and harder to deal with.

It was his mother whom I consoled outside in the earliest hours of Monday morning.

She loved Jackie. Everybody loved Jackie.

Jackie was altogether lovable.

And special.

And now, our world is the stuff of bullshit TV-movies and hangers-on and quick-buck artists hawking manipulative crap about "domestic incidents."

And blah, blah, blah.  And blah, blah, blah.

I just want her back...

Walking up the driveway in that ridiculous pancho she actually knew how to rock.

Flashing a peace-sign as if it were current. Beaming that smile and asking, "How are you?"

So that I might shoot back, "good... and you?"

As it is with all things that are too hard to fathom and, simultaneously, too ordinarily lurid...

I want a Goddamn explanation.

In spite of the fact that I know there will never, ever be one.

A Nightmare Next Door

Jan 17th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

I didn't have time to read much over the last day and a half. Unlike last year, I didn't have time to publish anything about MLK Day. I slept through the South Carolina GOP debate. Our world was turned upside down over the last 2 days.

At a little before Midnight on Sunday evening, my doorbell rang. I got out of bed, grumbling mildly, expecting to see a friend who occasionally drops by at that hour. Instead, standing in front of me, there was a policeman.

"When was the last time you saw your next door neighbor?" he asked hurriedly.

"Taser Nation"

Jan 17th, 2012

Radley Balko explores the rapid increase of Taser use by law enforcement and takes aim at the methodology of those deeming them "safe:"

"Tasers may indeed be safe when used on "healthy, normal, nonstressed, nonintoxicated persons," but it’s unlikely someone who meets all of those criteria would be a legitimate Taser target in the first place. It would only be a slight exaggeration to say the study's real conclusion is that Tasers are only safe when they're used on people who shouldn't be Tasered."

Quote Of The Day

Jan17th, 2012

"Your own safety is at stake when your neighbor's wall is ablaze."
-- Horace

Monday, January 16, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Jan 16th, 2012

"A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string."
-- George Dennison Prentice

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The First Colbert SuperPAC Ad

Jan 15th, 2012

It's only January... this could get very interesting...

Quote Of The Day

Jan 15th, 2012

"Writing is hard work and bad for the health."
-- E. B. White

Friday, January 13, 2012

Romney Watch - FBI Investigating Bain Capital?

Jan 13th, 2012

Well, yes. But, let's not all start wildly speculating.

historiographic anarchy posted last week:

"About two weeks ago, the FBI evoked FOIA exemption 7(a) and denied access to all Bain Capital records on the grounds that "there is a pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to these responsive records; and that release of the information contained in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with the enforcement proceedings."

I can find very little background on this story which has been floating around the margins for a while. That said, something is going on. It is unclear what documents were requested and for what time-frame.

It's important to again remind everyone that any number of recent Bain purchases might have triggered an automatic law enforcement review. The 2010 acquisition of $12 million in Edgar Online stock, for example, raised a number of red flags. We will keep an eye on this one.

The original document can be found HERE
Click on image for better view

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

Jan 13th, 2012

Happy Friday The 13th

Dana Loesch, Artless Fascist, Strikes Again

Jan 13th, 2012
The original title included a pejorative that drew a great deal of blowback. It was not meant to be overtly sexist. I stand by the rest of the piece.

You have likely heard by now that some of our troops were recorded on video urinating on dead bodies in Afghanistan. It is not only shocking and immoral, it is not merely a violation of the uniform military code, it is an act so cravenly stupid that it endangers the safety of their fellow servicemen and women. It invites savage retribution in an already brutal country. The ugliness doesn't end there...

Joe Coscarelli reports for NY Mag:

"Tea party favorite Dana Loesch, the editor-in-chief of Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism and a CNN political analyst, is a big fan of the Marines who were videotaped urinating on Taliban corpses, and would gladly "drop trou and do it too," she said on her radio showyesterday. "That's me though," she said, incredulous that such an event could be a scandal. "I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say? Come on people, this is a war. What do people think this is?" On Twitter today, she can't believe anyone is outraged, at her or the troops."

Indeed. She can't possibly get it. I have had the displeasure of tangling with this disgusting harpy in the past. She is, quite possibly, one of the worst human beings on the face of the Earth. The evidence of corpse desecration which she thinks deserves "a million cool points" is below.

ABC News reports:

"The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has already launched its own independent investigation into potential criminal activity shown in the video. All four Marines featured in the video have been identified and interviewed by investigators with the NCIS, the service said in a statement today. Officials are "still tracking down" whoever created and uploaded the video, the NCIS said.

The results of both the NCIS and the USMC investigations will be presented to Marine Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser who will determine further action, the USMC said in a statement.

If authentic, the video portrays potential violations of both the first Geneva Convention, which calls for the dead to be "honorably interred" and graves to be "respected," as well as the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice for allegedly bringing "discredit upon the armed forces."

Audio of this vulgar, Eva Braun-wannabe's celebration of a war crime follows.

If Only Life DID Imitate Art

Jan 13th, 2012

Spencer Tracy as a contender for President in the 1948 film "State Of The Union."

Mitt Romney's Version Of Capitalism, part 3

Jan 13th, 2012

As attacks on Mitt Romney's years at Bain Capital have picked up steam, a veritable army of apologists has taken up the mantle of "defending capitalism." Except that's not precisely what they are doing.

Ross Kaminsky has a typically defensive piece over at The American Spectator. He begins with a caveat:

"Nobody is going to put Mitt Romney in a category with any of the great inventors of American history. Nevertheless, Romney's function in terms of "creative destruction" is not fundamentally different from that of any other participant in the capitalist system." EMPHASIS OURS

He then proceeds to bloviate that the advances brought to the world by Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs led to job losses, too. So there. Kaminsky's missive is a wonder of contradictions with the usual dose of "Austrian" economic voodoo.

Mitt Romney's Version Of Capitalism, cont...

Jan 13th, 2012

Last week, Jonathan Weisman reported:

"More than three-quarters of Americans say the country’s economic structure is out of balance and "favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country," taking up the calls of Occupy Wall Street protesters to reduce the power of major banks and end tax breaks for the affluent and for corporations, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows."

People are waking up to the fact that we have an unsustainable system and the fix is in. Not so, says Mitt Romney. He says the problem with all of us little people is "envy."

Mitt Romney's Version Of Capitalism

Jan 13th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

The GOP 's internal war over Mitt Romney's years at Bain Capital has gotten very interesting during the last few weeks. It is not merely because of the vendetta against the frontrunner being waged by, as David Corn put it, "Newt The Destroyer." The discussion has now gone much deeper than whether or not Romney ran the company properly. For the first time in recent memory, an intra-Republican Party debate has broken out over the moral responsibilities of the management and ownership class within the capitalist system.

The Newt Gingrich-allied SuperPAC, Winning The Future, is basically using the common sense language at the core of both the Occupy Movement and their Tea Party opposites to attack the Romney mythology of what constitutes good business.

The complete video is available HERE

Charting The Big Fix

Jan 13th, 2012

The chart below from Reuters adds to the picture of a tax system that is more corrupt than it is broken.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 13th, 2012

"Extreme complication is contrary to art."
-- Claude Debussy

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quote Of The Day - Things Sure Have Changed Edition

Jan 12th, 2012

"I'm proud of having been one of the first to recognize that states and the federal government have a duty to protect our natural resources from the damaging effects of pollution that can accompany industrial development."

-- Ronald Reagan, July 14, 1984, atoning for his notorious Redwood tree remark from some years earlier.

Sally Kohn Takes Fox News To School

Jan 12th, 2012
by F. Grey Parker

Our home base is here in North West Indiana. As such, we have been fighting against Gov. Mitch Daniels' "right-to-work" plot since last June.

Just after the New Year, Daniels renewed this odious assault on, well, the advances of the post-Feudal economy that once defined our nation's progress. It is a bitter engagement. For more on this you can click HERE, HERE or HERE. Last night, Sally Kohn kicked some serious ass, in short order, on Fox News.

Newt Watch - Not EVERY Location Is A "Photo-Op"

Jan 12th, 2012

Beating all previous entries for a potential "Holy Shit, What The Fuck Was Newt Gingrich Thinking," award, comes this stunner via Vanity Fair. This is a professional photograph, posed and shot intentionally and provided to the magazine via Gingrich Productions. I am not trying to use this as bait on any supposed grounds of anti-Semitism.

I don't believe that is what is at play, here.

However, I am wondering if this might not be evidence of a purer sociopathology than I had previously suspected given his obvious narcissism. Think about it... would you smile for your official photographer in front of the gates of World War Two's most notorious DEATH CAMP?!

Cults Of Personality Are Just Plain Creepy

Jan 12th, 2012

What is it with repressive, closed societies and the embalming of dead tyrants for public display?

The Guardian reports:

"Not satisfied with safeguarding Kim Jong-il's ideological legacy through the anointment of his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, North Korea also wants to lend the country's former leader an air of physical immortality.

On Thursday the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Kim Jong-il's body would be embalmed and laid in state next to his father – North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung – in Pyongyang, the capital.

In addition, the regime is reportedly in the process of erecting "smiling portraits" of Kim and "towers to his immortality" across the country.

The party's central committee has named his birthday on 16 February the Day of the Shining Star, a title only slightly less reverential than the Day of the Sun that marks Kim Il-sung's birthday on 15 April."

It might be wise to consider, as part of our long term North Korean strategy, training a few thousand mental health professionals to speak Korean. When this regime finally collapses, they're going to need them.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 12th, 2012

"This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation."
-- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Recess Appointment Kerfuffle, cont...

Jan 11th, 2012

Of all the GOP pronouncements regarding President Obama's recent recess appointments, this takes the cake:

"It’s astounding to me that the president is claiming these are recess appointments and within his authority, when Congress was not in fact in recess. These appointments are an affront to the Constitution. No matter how you look at this, it doesn’t pass the smell test. I hope the House considers my resolution as soon as we return to Washington so we can send a message to President Obama." EMPHASIS OURS

-- U.S. Representative Diane Black (R-TN) expressing the GOP argument that they aren't in recess and intend to pushback against the President... as soon as they get back from recess.

Quote Of The Day

Jan 11th, 2012

"How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them."
-- Benjamin Franklin

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Worth 1,000 Words

Jan 10th, 2012

Via The New Yorker

The Truth About Effective Tax Rates, cont...

Jan 10th, 2012

As this is an election year, we can expect to hear a great deal from the GOP hopefuls regarding the 'crippling' tax rates on American businesses. Try and remember that this is straight up, one hundred percent bullshit.

HuffPo reports:

"The number of U.S. corporations structuring their businesses in such a way that they can avoid higher taxes has skyrocketed in the past quarter century,The Wall Street Journal reports.

Anti SOPA? There's An App For That

Jan 10th, 2012

Seriously. Sebastian Anthony reports for Extreme Tech:

"Armchair activists now have a tool that can transport their SOPA protestations into the real world: Boycott SOPA, an Android app that scans barcodes and tells you whether an object’s manufacturer/publisher is a supporter of the much maligned Stop Online Piracy Act.

If you’ve ever scanned a barcode on your Android phone to look up a book or CD on Amazon, Boycott SOPA works in exactly the same way: First you have to install the ZXing Barcode Scanner app, but then you simply go around pointing your phone’s camera at product barcodes. Boycott SOPA gives you a big red cross if the product is distributed by a SOPA supporter, or a green tick if it’s “clean.” Much to my chagrin, Coca-Cola supports SOPA — but Smirnoff, on the other hand, does not. If you ever needed a sign from Above that you ought to drink more, there it is.

Scanning food isn’t really where Boycott SOPA is at, though: Really, it’s all about scanning books, CDs, movies, and games — products that are protected by massively militant groups like the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA who are spending millions on buying off Representatives to shoehorn SOPA through Congress. If you scan a random selection of media in your DVD rack or bookcase, you’ll be unsurprised to see that almost every object is produced by a company that supports SOPA. It’s worth noting that the app isn’t perfect, though: It relies on a user-curated list of SOPA supporters — a list that isn’t complete nor publicly visible. The app developer claims that the list will be regularly updated."

The GOP War On Women, cont...

Jan 10th, 2012

Sarah Seltzer notes a very bad development today:

"This is bad news--one of the worst laws in the "war on women" being fought in the courts has gotten the go-ahead from an appeals court--which means doctors may now be forced to deliver ultrasounds and read out information to abortion-seeking patients, no matter what they themselves or their patients want."

Sounds like any number of other laws the GOP has passed around the country to promote job growth inflict a narrow moral code on American women, right? Nope. This is way worse.

"In May's Houston Chronicle, writer Beverly McPhail described the procedure that as of today, may have to be enforced (emphases mine):
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 88 percent of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Because the fetus is so small at this stage, traditional ultrasounds performed through the abdominal wall, "jelly on the belly," often cannot produce a clear image. Therefore, a transvaginal probe is most often necessary, especially up to 10 weeks to 12 weeks of pregnancy. The probe is inserted into the vagina, sending sound waves to reflect off body structures to produce an image of the fetus. Under this new law, a woman's vagina will be penetrated without an opportunity for her to refuse due to coercion from the so-called "public servants" who passed and signed this bill into law."
This is state-ordered rape.

What if the women seeking to terminate her pregnancy has conceived as the result of a sexual assault? This will be a second violation. The sheer amount of damage this could cause is incalculable.