Wednesday Mashup (6/6/12)

June 7, 2012

  • Yep, if there’s someone who knows about despotic leaders generating something akin to a cult following (in this case, a certain deceased head of al Qaeda killed at the order of Number 44), it’s Dana Rohrabacher.

    And by the way, I’m hardly a fan of the Chinese. And sure, go ahead and try to kill the clean energy sector of our economy, something else that actually generates revenue besides, you know, junk food, Walmart and Fox “News” (anybody besides me see a thread there?).

  • Next, as I live and breathe, it looks like Bucks County, PAs senior law enforcement official poked his head out of his proverbial hole and, not unlike a celebrated rodent in our beloved commonwealth, cast a blind eye towards at least six more weeks of malfeasance (theater of the mind here, people).

    For, as noted here

    A two-year investigation of voter fraud during Bucks County’s last congressional contest is unlikely to result in criminal charges, District Attorney Dave Heckler said Tuesday.

    Only a handful of interviews remain in the case, which centers around absentee ballots submitted during the November 2010 general election.

    County board of elections employees rejected almost 900 ballot applications during the match between then-incumbent Congressman Patrick Murphy and the successful challenger Mike Fitzpatrick.

    County investigators have determined that indeed “there were ballots with fraudulent signatures on them,” said Heckler. But there’s little evidence of a conspiracy by a political campaign, he added.

    Republicans had called into question a get-out-the-vote effort organized by state Democrats on Murphy’s behalf. They claimed Bucks residents were pressured into applying for absentee ballots they did not want or signing applications for family members.

    Democrats, including Murphy, denied any wrongdoing.

    Don’t you love it? A bunch of baseless aspersions cast at Democrats for alleged fraud, even though nothing was ever proved.

    And get a load of this in particular…

    “Certainly, there was some criminality at a low level of people, and that was mostly what the board of elections had suspected,” said Heckler. “The part that is still an open question in my mind is whether there was some instruction and design here, or whether these were just some people out there roaming the countryside…”


    I give you Night of the Living Democrats, according to Heckler (I’ll grant that the whole “PA Voter Assistance Office” bit from the Murphy campaign was a bit of a ham-handed attempt to coordinate votes, but the goal was to make sure every voted was counted, and no illegality took place).

    Also in response, as noted here (from a prior post by yours truly just before the 2010 election – second bullet)…

    In a news release, Murphy’s campaign said the board of elections remedied errors on Republican ballot applications but not those of Democrats.

    As evidence, the Democrats provided a copy of an absentee ballot application submitted by a Republican woman from Bensalem who used her married name, although she is registered under her maiden name, and failed to include her date of birth. Board of elections workers added the woman’s maiden name and approved the application.

    In contrast, the Democrats provided copies of applications submitted by Democrats from Levittown and Fairless Hills who put incorrect dates in the field for date of birth.

    The Democrats “didn’t get the same special treatment,” as the Republican voter, the news release says.

    (Board of Elections Director Deena Dean) said the campaign staff’s allegations are absolutely false.

    “No one has been tampering with any ballots and I’m offended by that,” Dean said.

    Dean explained that a ballot application with a woman’s maiden name is permissible. A voter who has married and changed his or her name but has not updated his or her voter registration may sign an affidavit at the poll. Dean did not explain why the application was approved without a date of birth.

    Of course she didn’t, because she didn’t want to admit that then-head of the Bucks County Commissioners Jim Cawley and Charley (“I Have A Semi-Open Mind”) Martin told her to do that (no, I don’t have proof of that charge, but if something wasn’t afoot, why did Bucks County Republican Committee Vice Chairwoman Pat Poprik drop her challenge to the absentee ballot applications?).

    Besides, Heckler (to no one’s surprise) utterly failed to note anything whatsoever about the so-called “Ciervo/Fitzpatrick Letter,” in which then-Repug State House candidate Rob Ciervo and now-U.S. House Rep. Mikey The Beloved told Bucks County voters (on Ciervo’s letterhead)…

    …“Mike Fitzpatrick and I need your help” and instructing voters as follows concerning their absentee ballot applications: “If the application is for a student who will be away in November, be sure to use their college address to ensure they receive the ballot in a timely manner.” This, then, introduces the possibility that the college address, as opposed to the actual voting residence address, could be entered onto the ballot application.

    So the application is filled out with the college address, sent to the Bucks County Board of Elections…and then it is tossed because it doesn’t match the address to which the absentee ballot application was originally sent.

    Welcome To Voter Caging 101, ladies and gentlemen. Your instructors are Dr. Ciervo, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Cawley and Mr. Martin.

    I suppose this is about what you would expect from Heckler, someone whose career in criminal justice has trended decidedly backward (though his career as a craven Republican Party hack is in full flower).

  • Finally, please allow me to delve into the world of sports for a moment.

    The Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils are scheduled to play Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight, with Los Angeles leading three games to none (this would have been a history making final anyway since this is the lowest that the final teams had both been seeded; the Devils were a Number 6 seed in their conference and the Kings were the Number 8 seed in theirs – I seem to recall Pittsburgh beat Minnesota about 20 years ago when the former North Stars were a low seed, but Pittsburgh and Mario Lemieux were seeded near the top).

    Basically, though I respect the Devils, I’m tired of seeing them win championships (and that’s not just sour grapes because they beat the Flyers). I think it’s great that the Kings are so close, and I sincerely hope they get it done.

    And for no small reason, I hope that happens because of this guy.

    When the Flyers traded Jeff Carter last year to basically clear salary to weight themselves down with stones to for eight years sign goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, I was a bit upset, since Carter is a great “finisher.” Still, I think they did well to get forward Jakub Voracek, and center Sean Couturier, who they ended up drafting with the pick they got for Carter, looks like a “keeper.”

    However, I think trading Mike Richards was utterly a mistake, even though I think Brayden Schenn has a big “upside” also, and as far as I’m concerned, you can make the case that, if Claude Giroux doesn’t end up as team captain, I’d give the “C” to Wayne Simmonds, the other player acquired in the Richards trade.

    But let’s just point out one example where the team missed Richards this year – do you honestly think that, with Richards in the lineup, they would have lost every single game they played against the New York Rangers? Don’t you think that, in at least one of those games, he would have managed to score a shorthanded goal or make a play that would have made the difference?

    The Flyers gambled that defenseman Chris Pronger would remain healthy for the whole year and give them the grit and leadership they would need without Richards. And that’s a gamble they lost, and who knows whether Pronger will ever be back.

    Oh, but if you listen to the sports radio loudmouths in this town, their attitude for the most part is “well, Richards didn’t have a good year last year, and he was surly, and they ended up not missing his goal scoring – the Flyers main problem last year was defense.”

    The last point is a valid one (and seriously, people, do they really need Jaromir Jagr for another year?). But as far as I’m concerned, the rest of it is just sour grapes from our local sports media because Mike Richards wouldn’t kiss their ass.

    Oh, but Richards partied too much off the ice with Carter. Here is my response – did that affect Richards’ play on the ice (Carter can fend for himself)?

    I suppose I’m in the minority a bit when it comes to defending Richards, but as far as I’m concerned, all of the partying stuff is something that a guy his age will eventually grow out of (maybe he already has). I just know that Richards played with busted shoulders and various other broken body parts, usually shadowing some of the best players on the other team such as Boston’s Zdeno Chara. And that’s what I remember, and that’s why I hope he ends up drinking from Lord Stanley’s bowl.

    Besides, if the Flyers had signed a quality goalie like Antti Niemi two years ago (who was then a free agent after being cut loose by the Chicago Blackhawks, a team for which he helped win a Cup against the Flyers), they wouldn’t have had to move both Richards and Carter to sign the “Russian Tragedy” anyway.

    (Oh well, looks like the Kings will play for another day.)

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    Friday Mashup (10/8/10)

    October 9, 2010

  • 1) Fix Noise brought us the following assault on common sense here…

    Living in NYC has truly awakened me to the New York elite and their penchant for the city’s self-described brilliant public transit system. I think it sucks… just like public transit always does.

    “Oh I just don’t think I could live without the subway system, it’s so convenient. I can get anywhere I need to go in the city in a flash.” Right. Or –and follow me on this here– I could live anywhere else in the country, take 3 steps out my front door, get into my car, and drive anywhere on the continent. How’s that for convenience? Not only is it faster, but my car generally doesn’t smell like mothballs and urine (last Tuesday notwithstanding). It would almost seem that –dare I say this– private transportation is more efficient than mass public-transit! That won’t change today’s leftists from disparaging the former and praising the latter.

    Why?

    It’s simple. Control. It’s no secret that the environmental movement is ultimately designed to create new inroads into increased government control. All of the shots taken at emissions, the dependence on fossil fuels and noise pollution are designed to paint those things as symptoms of a problem, with the government able to step in as the solution. The root of their problem is ultimately your independence.

    As frequent visitors to The Big Apple, I must say that I don’t share that opinion (and I won’t comment on the nonsense about “increased government control”). We have no issue with the city’s bus service (which we used to ride from Park Avenue across town to pick up the Circle Line and tour the Intrepid last spring, activities that we highly recommend, by the way). We also have no issue with the subway system (we frequently find ourselves taking the Lexington Avenue Express to get to the MOMA or Central Park). Basically (aside from the DC Metro, which I’ll admit I haven’t taken in years), I don’t believe that New York City transit “sucks” in any way whatsoever.

    All of this would be merely childish right-wing propaganda that I might otherwise leave alone if it weren’t for the fact that publishing something like this shows extraordinarily bad timing, even for the wingnuts. And that is because this column comes on the heels of a truly epochal blunder by “Governor Bully” in New Jersey, and I’m referring to his decision to kill the $9 billion project to add another very-much-needed commuter tunnel from The Garden State under the Hudson River (Professor Krugman thoroughly dissected it today here).

    Christie’s decision is stoo-pid on so many levels that it just about takes your breath away. And I have three words for all of those Democrats who sat on their hands last year and let him get elected instead of Jon Corzine – elections have consequences.

  • 2) Next, I found this item from The Daily Tucker (here)…

    The latest offering from conservative humorist P.J. O’Rourke, Don’t Vote — It Just Encourages the Bastards, is a real page turner. You may find yourself staying up way past your bedtime because you just can’t put it down.

    Like so many books on American political thought, O’Rourke begins Don’t Vote with a discussion of freedom, liberty, positive versus negative rights, the nature of man and how all of that relates to the Founders.

    You may be surprised to learn that, according to the Gospel of P.J., the Founders chose to follow John Locke over Jean-Jaques Burlamaqui and Samuel von Pufendorf because “Locke” was easier to spell.

    Then, O’Rourke goes on to tackle the issues of the day.

    Climate change: “There’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it.”

    Bailouts: “The advantage of a tax abatement over a stimulus plan is that, instead of idiots in Washington spending your and my money, us idiots get to spend our own.”

    Health care: “My suggestion for health care reform is that we skip lunch and quit picking on sick people.”

    Gun control: “With the economy being like it is, I call my .38 Special ‘the MasterCard of the future.’”

    I’m sure that at this moment (maybe they’re done now), Bill Maher is taking pity on his old pal and allowing O’Rourke to spout his blather (and of course, to promote the aforementioned book) on “Real Time,” despite the fact that, as far as I’m concerned, O’Rourke has had nothing whatsoever to say that could possibly be amusing ever since he started drinking the “glibertarian” Kool Aid (zip since “The Bachelor Home Companion”).

    Oh, and Media Matters tells us here of another pitiable attempt at humor on the part of O’Rourke in the name of making fun of liberals (think Ted Kennedy of course, noted in a particularly astute comment – Joe Strupp was uncharacteristically kind to this cretin, O’ Rourke I mean).

    So, for the purpose of trying to sell books, O’Rourke will pretend to be witty and thus earn plaudits from The National Review for encouraging yet another generation of readers to forego any notion of civic due diligence for the purpose of remaining sullen and utterly ignorant of this country’s proud history of political activism.

    Ha, ha, ha.

  • 3) Finally, I came across this rather interesting attack on the supposed liberalism of President Obama, and that is to have people like Orrin Hatch, Trent Lott and Sean Inanity say that, gee whiz and whaddaya know, maybe that William Jefferson Clinton fellow wasn’t such a bad president after all, and wow, doesn’t Obama look like some closet Kenyan Marxist and wealth redistributor who won’t show us his birth certificate by comparison (or something – having a hard time trying to get my mind around this new corporate media narrative)…

    Senator Orrin G. Hatch recently said that former President Bill Clinton “will go down in history as a better president” than the sitting one. Sean Hannity of Fox News, who has verbally abused Mr. Clinton for years, recently referred to him as “good old Bill.” Republicans in Congress have begun speaking of him with respect, even pining.

    “You know with Clinton the chemistry was right,” said Trent Lott, the former Senate majority leader. “He was a good old boy from Arkansas, I was a good old boy from Mississippi, and Newt, he was from Georgia. So he knew what I was about, and I knew where he was coming from.”

    Aw, heck, shoot and darn, you guys – why don’t y’all just mosey on down to the Piggly Wiggly to fetch a piece of gingham for Emmy Lou before those dern revenuers show up agin’ t’try and bust your still? Shoot ‘em full o’buckshot, I say!

    You know, I wish Lott and Hatch had shown a fraction of this camaraderie towards our 42nd president when it mattered. No such luck, though.

    As noted here (in an article telling us the reaction when Clinton went to the Repug-run Senate to ask for more terrorist surveillance authority in July 1996)…

    Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, emerged from the meeting and said, “These are very controversial provisions that the [Clinton] White House wants. Some they’re not going to get.” ….[Hatch] also said he had some problems with the president’s proposals to expand wiretapping.

    Of course, as we now know, Dubya and his pals would seek the same thing, but they just went ahead and got it without bothering to ask for congressional approval (getting it after the fact, which was bad enough, but eventually getting it legalized with Democrats in charge, which is beyond belief).

    And as for Lott, he and the Senate dragged their feet when Clinton proposed a variety of antiterrorism measures in 1995-1996, though that didn’t stop nematodes like Dana Rohrabacher from blaming Clinton for the 9/11 attacks, which is funny actually when you consider how tight Rohrabacher was with the mujahadeen and a certain member of the bin Laden family (here).

    Also (from here)…

    The House of Representatives had been scheduled to convene on Thursday, December 17 (1998), to begin considering the four articles of impeachment. However, on Wednesday, President Clinton ordered a series of military air strikes against Iraq, following the failure of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. weapons inspectors. Clinton’s timing drew an immediate chorus of criticism from Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott who stated: “I cannot support this military action in the Persian Gulf at this time. Both the timing and the policy are subject to question.”

    Again, Clinton’s Republican successor in the White House would not face such hesitation from Lott or much of anyone else in his party with the possible exception of Ron Paul when the decision was made to carry out military action against Iraq.

    It galls me to no end that our corporate media continues to treat members of the current minority party as “wise heads” on matters both foreign and domestic, when in fact they remain the primary authors of our current misery. And trying to create some corporate media mythology along the lines of “sure the Repugs hated Clinton like no other, but they really were buddies the whole time” is particularly insulting (to say nothing of being utterly untrue).

    Yes, there were missteps when Clinton occupied the White House to be sure, but comparatively few of our military were killed during his presidency. And we enjoyed prosperity the likes of which I personally had never seen and probably will never see again. Also, when we executed military actions, they were against countries and entities that posed a legitimate threat to our national security and had, in fact, attacked us.

    And trying to cozy up to Clinton after all this time doesn’t make the Repugs any less guilty for their own appalling mistakes.


  • Friday Mashup Part One (3/19/10)

    March 19, 2010

  • 1) Time to get the WHAAAmbulance for “Governor Appalachian Argentinean Trail” based on this…

    Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina agreed Thursday to pay $74,000 to settle charges that his personal travel and campaign spending violated state ethics laws, but he continued to deny wrongdoing.

    In November, the State Ethics Commission charged Mr. Sanford with 37 ethics violations, including spending taxpayer money on business-class flights, using state aircraft for personal travel and spending campaign funds for noncampaign expenses. The charges surfaced in the wake of his confession last summer to an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

    Mr. Sanford will pay $2,000 per charge and avoid a hearing. But though he chose not to contest the charges, he insisted he had been held to a stricter and less fair standard than previous governors.

    Really? As noted here…

    How can there be accountability in South Carolina when it seems that there is a direct collusion between the Republican Party, the U.S. Attorney’s office, (the SC State Law Enforcement Divison), and the media to keep these politicians that abuse their elected position in power, and, at worst, mitigate the penalty they get for even the most egregious of crimes they commit?

    The State newspaper would have SC citizen’s believe that the most important thing happening in the state is that taxes on cigarettes should be raised to help alleviate the budget shortfall. In the meantime, you have the Town of Lexington City Council believing they are above the law. You have various police departments in South Carolina abdicating their responsibility, not once, but over and over, in order to protect GOP politician’s (sic).

    The Docudharma post, in addition to Sanford, mentions Repug State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel, U.S. Attorney Kevin McDonald (a Bushco appointee), and Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer. All have benefited to one degree or another from the cozy treatment received by the state’s Republican establishment.

    Given this, Sanford shut just shut up and be grateful that he’s still governor, which is enough of a travesty by itself (and that state’s attorney general is little better based on this).

  • 2) Partly out of a sense of masochism I suppose, I’m prone to check the Fix Noise site for the latest wingnut propaganda, and Dana Perino obliged as follows here…

    One of the most humbling parts of serving as the White House press secretary is getting to meet so many of our brave military men and women. It is hard to explain how they affected me — they are professional, courageous, and enthusiastic, as well as serene and grounded. Their decision to volunteer to serve our country — despite the hardships and dangers — made my decisions seem easy by comparison. One of the great joys of having been the press secretary, however, is to have a chance to help vets I get to meet — like Dave Sharpe.

    Dave Sharpe came home from serving in Operation Enduring Freedom and realized his life would never be the same. Unfortunately, due to what he experienced while fighting for his country, he struggled to re-acclimate back into his post-deployment world. He told me he lived in a state of constant despair and could not see a way back to happiness. His official diagnosis was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition affecting millions of our nation’s veterans.

    A friend of his thought that meeting up with a rescue dog could help Dave feel better. He introduced him to a pit-bull puppy named Cheyenne. Their bond was immediate. One night, Dave says he reached a turning point when he woke up pounding on the wall and saw Cheyenne looking up at him. From there, he started to gain control of the difficult emotions he was feeling and drastically improved his condition. Dave says that he and Cheyenne are proof that there’s an incredible human-animal bond that exists and that it can help people many struggling with PTSD.

    I have to tell you that I’m having a hard time coming up with the words to describe how obscene it is that a charter member of Bushco like Perino can actually pretend to care about our veterans when you consider the following (this post by Jon Soltz of VoteVets from last year tells us of the steps to correct this the Obama Administration took in its first 100 days)…

    (Funding of veterans care was) the shame of the Bush administration. The Department of Veterans Affairs was consistently underfunded…The low-point came when then-Secretary Jim Nicholson had to come groveling to Congress for more than a billion dollars in emergency funding, admitting that the administration had not prepared for the boom in returning veterans in need of care, as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The underfunding had dramatic consequences across the board – from research and treatment into Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the shameful commonplace practice of veterans having to duct tape their prosthetic limbs, because the VA couldn’t get them decent ones.

    The gap between DOD care and VA care was more like a chasm for many veterans in need of care. Brian McGough, who is now legislative director for VoteVets.org, suffered a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. The gap in his care between active and veteran status was so big that he had to apply for unemployment insurance, because of the delay in getting the disability benefits he was due.

    And this post by Bob Geiger tells us of Jonathan Schulze, a Marine who earned two Purple Hearts but grew so despondent from PTSD upon his return to Minnesota that he eventually took his own life (when the VA under Bushco was notified that Schulze was suicidal, Schulze was told that he was 26th in line for care).

    I will acknowledge that the story of Dave Sharpe and his pit bull puppy is just the sort of “aww, isn’t that nice,” feel good bit of fluff to lull Fix Noise’s audience of dutifully compliant lemmings into complacency while the harder issue of why the hell our prior ruling cabal had no clue about how to treat our dead or wounded heroes goes unaddressed.

    Still, I’ll grant that Perino’s story is symbolic if nothing else, because, as far as a member of our military under Bushco was concerned, it truly was a dog’s life.

  • 3) Finally, I give you the following from Repug U.S. House Rep Dana Rohrabacher of California (another Bushco insult to our veterans)…

    Yesterday, the libertarian Cato Institute hosted a panel discussion on conservatism and the war in Afghanistan with Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN). When the conversation shifted to the war in Iraq, Rohrabacher said that “once President Bush decided to go into Iraq, I thought it was a mistake because we hadn’t finished the job in Afghanistan,” but that once Bush “decided to go in,” he “felt compelled” to “back him up.” He then added that “the decision to go in, in retrospect, almost all of us think that was a horrible mistake.”

    As Think Progress tells us, McClintock wasn’t in Congress when the Iraq war was authorized, and Duncan opposed the vote, some truly rare courage for a Repug. However, Dana Rohrabacher has no such excuse (and a particularly awful admission on today of all days, the seventh anniversary of the beginning of the war).

    And, as noted here (in a post written by Retired U.S. Army Reserves Colonel Ann Wright)…

    “I HOPE IT’S YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS THAT DIE” said US Representative Dana Rohrabacher to American citizens who questioned the Bush Administration’s unlawful extraordinary rendition policies.

    Congressional hearings provide a deep insight into the inner spirit of our elected representatives-and sometimes, the insight is not pretty.

    On April 17, we witnessed Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) unleash his unbridled anger onto members of the European Parliament’s committee on Human rights who were invited guests and witnesses in the House Foreign Affairs European subcommittee hearing. The European Parliamentary human rights committee had issued a report in January, 2007 sharply critical of the Bush administration’s extraordinary rendition program in which persons from all over the world were detained by either CIA or local police and then flown by CIA jet (torture taxi) to other countries where they were imprisoned (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Libya, Djibouti, Morocco, Yemen. The report was equally critical of European governments for allowing the unlawful flights to take place.

    And let’s not forget Rohrabacher’s untidy dealings with the Taliban and a certain founder of al Qaeda, as noted here.

    So basically, Rohrabacher is now admitting to a friendly audience of Cato Institute flunkies that, gee, maybe Iraq was a bad idea after all. This was after he wished death upon the family members of those who opposed the “extraordinary rendition” of Bushco (and yes, I know Clinton practiced rendition also, but nothing like his successor did).

    I’d pay good money to see Bill Maher get in Rohrabacher’s face about this next time the congressman appears on “Real Time.” However, I’m not holding my breath on that.


  • Thursday Repug Nonsense Roundup

    June 18, 2009

  • So much for Dubya owing Obama his “silence” (here)…

    “There are a lot of ways to remedy the situation without nationalizing health care,” Mr. Bush said. “I worry about encouraging the government to replace the private sector when it comes to providing insurance for health care.”

    As noted here…

  • While he was governor of Texas, that state ranked next to last “in the percentage of children with health insurance and about 1.4 million children in Texas were uninsured.”
  • He supported expansion of SCHIP when running for re-election in 2004, then opposed it after winning a second term.
  • When he finally did decide to add $5 billion to SCHIP funding, it would have resulted in about 840,000 kids losing coverage, whereas the bipartisan congressional alternative provided coverage to 10 million kids.
  • “Replace the private sector”…what a nitwit!

  • We also have the following from California Repug congressman (and former Reagan speechwriter) Dana Rohrabacher on the matter of the Iranian election (here)…

    Well I think that Mr. Obama, if he continues to have these types of attitudes, we’re going to see things get very bad, very quickly. Already the North Koreans have challenged him and realized that he’s a cream puff, if that is what he is indeed going to be as a President.… [N]ow if the Mullahs in Iran are permitted to just roll over opposition something like Tiananmen square (I fixed Rohrabacher’s misspelling), we will have missed a great opportunity.

    Gee, maybe Obama should’ve traded arms for hostages with Iran, like Dana R.’s old boss.

    And if Obama is a “creampuff,” I don’t know what that makes Rohrabacher for aiding Afghan fighters in the ‘80s who would later become the Taliban, along with that bin Laden guy (noted here).

  • And speaking of the Iranian election, it seems that the Repugs actually allege a kinship of sorts with the protestors, claiming to be an “oppressed minority,” twittering to that effect to all who will care to read (here).

    Please.

    It should be noted that, back when they were the majority party essentially from 2000-2006, one of the tools they used to ramrod their agenda through Congress was somewhat ironically titled “reconciliation,” which, as noted here…

    …is an optional procedure that can be included in the annual Congressional budget resolution process.

    Inclusion in the budget does not mean reconciliation will definitely be used; it merely leaves the option on the table.

    The main purpose of budget reconciliation is to provide Congress the ability to change current law in order to align revenue and spending levels with the policies of the budget resolution.

    I say it’s a bit ironic because, in effect, it means that the dreaded “60 votes needed for passage” in the Senate do not apply; a straight majority vote on whatever the affected piece of legislation happens to be is sufficient.

    And though, as The Gavel states, it is to be used primarily for budget matters, it was abused to pass the notorious tax cuts of the early part of this decade, which have a lot to do with our current economic mess, noted here (along with Judd Gregg’s tactic of using it to open the ANWR for drilling).

    And by the way, if you want to read some funny stuff in response to U.S. House Rep Pete Hoekstra’s “tweet” in particular, check this out (h/t Atrios).


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