Friday Mashup (2/22/13)

February 22, 2013

  • This story about another photo-op by Mikey the Beloved, for the purposes of consumption by unwitting consumers of the Bucks County Courier Times (Mikey’s house organ, let’s not forget), contains what might be the most shocking piece of actual reporting I’ve ever read from Gary Weckselblatt…

    Tuesday’s meeting in Sellersville Borough Hall was attended by veterans, nearly all of them seniors, who received automated calls by Fitzpatrick, R-8, for the mid-afternoon event.

    Fitzpatrick has taken to these smaller gatherings, where he is rarely challenged.

    Ye Gods, man! What are you trying to do, make it as plain as day that Mikey wants face time only with his followers and absolutely no one else?

    Weckselblatt had better be careful – he’s dangerously close to going “off script” here. And that will never do for a publication that sanitizes Fitzpatrick’s doings so effectively, all for the purposes of maintaining the “moderate Mikey” façade.

  • Next, I have to admit that I was puzzled by this item from Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao (blaming Number 44 exclusively for the looming “sequester,” a stinking dead dog of a deal Obama was basically forced to accept in order for the inmates running the asylum of the U.S. House to stop holding the debt ceiling hostage two years ago)…

    “Surely the president won’t cut funds to first responders when just last year Washington handed out an estimated $115 billion in payments to individuals who weren’t even eligible to receive them, or at a time when 11 different government agencies are funding 90 different green energy programs,” McConnell said in a statement. “That would be a terrible and entirely unnecessary choice by a President who claims to want bipartisan reform.”

    I really haven’t found any other information on the Senate Minority Leader’s claim, nothing direct anyway (and Heaven forbid that our lapdog corporate media actually hold McConnell to account).

    Unless of course Sen. Mr. Chao is referring to the Social Security payroll tax break, which, as noted here, would cost $115 billion were it to be extended through this year. Also, Think Progress tells us here that the Repugs basically opposed the tax break all along (egad, free money for the “47 percent”? You mean, those “takers”? Those people who believe they’re entitled to “big gumint”? Fetch the smelling salts – I may faint!…in addition, I thought this was an interesting related story).

    If that’s the “115 billion” McConnell is talking about…well then, shouldn’t he own that talking point for good and tells us what it means, if anything?

    (And speaking of McConnell…)

    And as long as I’m talking about the “sequester” and the Teahadists, it looks like someone in Boehner’s caucus named Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma thinks the U.S. House Speaker will “cave” (herethis tells us how Bridenstine unseated incumbent Repug John Sullivan in the primary, which, for all intents and purposes, was the election…a curious case of optometrists versus ophthalmologists, apparently).

    Well, while the unemployment rate in Tulsa is about 5 percent (here), which is below the national average I know, I’m sure those 24 K or so people in Bridenstine’s district won’t be happy about a probable reduction in benefits, as noted here – you would think Bridenstine would be more concerned about that than sucking up to those zany teabaggers (kind of makes you wonder why they would even vote for Repugs to begin with given all of this, but that’s another story I know).

    Update 6/5/13: It looks like Bridenstine has endeared himself to the Teahadists again here.

    Update 6/12/13: I guess we’re looking at a weekly feature now – what stupid thing will Bridenstine say or do next (here).

  • Continuing, I really hadn’t planned to say anything about the business with Christopher Dorner in California, he being the LA cop who was let go and went on a killing spree before he was cornered and apparently took his own life, as noted here.

    That is, I hadn’t planned to say anything until a certain V.D. Hanson decided to opine on it here

    …the Dorner and (Trayvon) Martin cases suggest that the old racial binaries are fossilized and increasingly irrelevant. The United States is now a multiracial society, an intermarried society, and an integrated society, in which racial identity is each year more confusing. As we have seen with Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill, race is becoming a construct frequently used by elites for purposes other than their concern for the general welfare.

    I don’t know what the hell that sentence means (and I don’t have a clue as to what the “fossilized” old “racial binaries” are either), except to try and tie Dorner in with Trayvon Martin, Elizabeth Warren (whose ancestry was questioned here by “Wall Street Scott” Brown, bringing all of this to a head, let’s not forget) and OMIGOD Ward Churchill (who nobody cares about except conservatives).

    Hanson also references that stupid quote from Marc Lamont Hill, who, as Charles Blow pointed out, apologized for it (here – and Hanson, of course, being the hatchet man that he is, only included the word “exciting” from Hill’s quote anyway).

    Of course, this is about what you should expect from Hanson, who goofed on the issue of race before here, saying that then-presidential candidate Barack Obama did not give his views on “reparations” for people of color, when he had in fact done that very thing, with Obama saying that “the best reparations we can provide are good schools in the inner city and jobs for people who are unemployed.”

  • Further, I give you this on the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary…

    Sen. James Inhofe (R., Okla.) has warned fellow Republicans they will be held accountable if they vote to end an ongoing Senate filibuster over the nomination of embattled secretary of defense nominee (Hagel).

    “Make no mistake; a vote for cloture is a vote to confirm Sen. Hagel as Secretary of Defense,” Inhofe wrote in a strongly worded letter to his Republican colleagues, several of whom have indicated in recent days that they would vote to end debate on Hagel’s nomination, paving the way for his confirmation.

    With that in mind, I give you this from Inhofe about a week ago…

    “We’re going to require a 60-vote threshold,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Foreign Policy. But, he added, “It’s not a filibuster. I don’t want to use that word.”

    Sooo…as far as Inhofe is concerned, on the 13th he wasn’t talking about a filibuster, but now he is?

    My understanding (and I’ll admit I’m hardly an expert when it comes to the minutiae of the U.S. Senate) is that to delay a vote for cloture is to continue a filibuster (with the word cloture meaning “to end debate,” more or less).

    But please don’t call the opposition to Hagel a filibuster, OK?

  • Finally, I should point out that Mark Halperin is still an idiot (here, saying on “Morning Joe” that Obama could “reach out” to “moderate” Repug Senators. Rob Portman, Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander…really?).
  • As noted here, Portman introduced something called the “End Government Shutdowns Act,” the next effect of which would be to create automatic “continuing resolutions” that would defund all of that stuff liked by those who are supposedly dependent on government in the event that a budget deal wasn’t reached, giving the Teahadists the capability to do what they want via legislation instead of through threatening fiscal calamity on a regular basis (and more fool Jon Tester for going along with this garbage).
  • As noted here, Corker would only cave on those stinking Bush tax cuts if there was a cut in Medicare benefits (remember that the next time you hear Corker or any other Repug saying it’s the Dems who would do hard to that popular program).
  • As noted here, Alexander once accused the Obama White House of compiling an “enemies list” after hearing about it from Sean Inanity (gee, “project” much, Lamar?).
  • Meanwhile, Halperin will always get a guest shot on the morning gabfests (just lather, rinse, repeat, and cash the f*cking check…nice work if you can get it).


  • Monday Mashup (7/26/10)

    July 26, 2010

  • 1) The Bucks County Courier Times brought us more riotous comedy yesterday from Repug Mikey Fitzpatrick, running to reclaim his PA-08 House seat from Dem Patrick Murphy (here)…

    Unemployment has risen 100 percent in the four years Congressman Murphy has been in Congress; notably, his party has been in the majority in every one of those years.

    It has only occupied the White House for a year and a half, though (of course, Mikey omits that incon-vee-nient detail). And the event that triggered the skyrocketing unemployment rate was the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, which took place on the watch of A Certain 43rd President, as well as approval of TARP funding soon afterwards.

    Besides, based on the graph that appears here, the Repugs and their “leader” in the White House had nothing on the employment numbers of the full eight-year Democratic presidential administration that preceded it (and here is more on Murphy and jobs).

    And a lot of other House members, both Democratic and Republican, have held their House seats since 2006, so I guess you could say that they brought us a “100 percent” increase in unemployment also.

    Otherwise, Mikey’s screed was full of the “tax cuts, magic of the marketplace” mythology that got us into this mess to begin with, as well as “Murphy-Pelosi Murphy-Pelosi Murphy-Pelosi baad scary liberals vote for me I’m a native Bucks Countian with six kids” stuff (and to help his opponent, click here).

  • Update: Oh, and P.S…

    Fitzpatrick Spending Cuts While in Office: 0

    Former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s criticism of Murphy bill to cut spending shows complete lack of an agenda to move country forward.

    (Bristol, PA) – Former Congressman Fitzpatrick announced last week that, given the chance to return to Washington, he will not fight for legislation to cut government spending and waste. He criticized Patrick Murphy for passing a new law to cut spending but clarified that he agreed with the content, just not the act of passing a law.

    “We are all against waste, fraud and abuse,” former Congressman Fitzpatrick said, “but shouldn’t the federal government be working to eliminate fraud without new federal legislation?”

    Patrick Murphy’s campaign manager Tim Persico noted that it was unclear what, exactly, Fitzpatrick suggested we do to cut spending and eliminate fraud, since it seems unlikely that asking agencies nicely will work.“Fitzpatrick’s comments pretty much sum up his economic agenda,” Persico said. “If sent to Washington, Fitzpatrick promises not to fight for legislation to cut spending and waste.”

    This matches up neatly with his past record. When the voters of Bucks County gave him a chance in Washington, Fitzpatrick failed to introduce or pass a single bill to cut spending. However, he was happy to support massive, unpaid tax breaks for the richest people in the country. Now, in a bit of sour grapes, he’s whining that we’re finally making progress against outrageous and wasteful spending. It’s his own record in Congress – not Patrick Murphy’s – that Mike should take issue with.

    # # #

    For Immediate Release, July 23, 2010
    Contact, Tim Persico, (215) 783-3736

    —————————————————-
    BACKGROUND:

    Passing this law is the latest in a series of initiatives that Patrick Murphy has championed to cut spending. He worked with Republican Congressman Tim Rooney (FL) to pass a law closing loopholes in Medicare that were allowing billions in fraud. He also has a measure to eliminate a massive corporate welfare scheme in the Department of Agriculture that would save $500 million taxpayer dollars.

    Additionally, Murphy has fought to eliminate the F-22 savings taxpayers $3 billion, and he has crossed party lines to vote for $20 billion in spending cuts.

    And Fitzpatrick? His bipartisan bills to cut spending while in Congress? …0

    Successfully passed Fitzpatrick bills to cut spending while in Congress? …0

  • 2) And speaking of big yuks, Jonah Goldberg chastised Tom Friedman in the New York Times yesterday since Friedman quite rightly took umbrage over what could be the death knell for common sense climate change legislation this year (here)…

    But when DC — and the entire East Coast — was shellacked by an historic snow storm and deep freeze, Friedman thought it was flat-out stupid to cite abnormal weather as evidence in political squabbles:

    I realize there are a lot of different directions I can go to point out that only a life form with a single-digit IQ could contest the fact that man-made global warming has accelerated to the point where our planet is melting and sane people need to do what we must to try and stop it, but I think this will suffice for now.

    Oh, That Doughy Pantload.

  • 3) Also, I’ll “cut to the chase” concerning this Matt Bai column in The New York Times yesterday; he blames the Shirley Sherrod mess last week on Obama because he isn’t “transcendent” enough on the race question – there really is no further need to frustrate yourself by trying to make further sense of it.
  • 4) And in a related story, as they say, Mark Halperin tells us the following on the Sherrod business here (comparing her case to the O.J. Simpson mess – Memo to Halperin: lay your hand on the table, open it up so your palm faces upward, and then smack yourself in the forehead)…

    But the coverage of both sagas — Simpson literally for years and Sherrod for the better part of a week — was insanely overblown. The Sherrod story is a reminder — much like the assault in 2004 on John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth — that the Old Media is often swayed by controversies pushed by the conservative New Media. In many quarters of the Old Media there is concern about not appearing liberally biased, so stories emanating from the right are given more weight and less scrutiny. Additionally, the conservative New Media, particularly Fox News Channel and talk radio, are commercially successful, so the implicit logic followed by decision makers in the Old Media is that if something is gaining currency in those precincts, it is a phenomenon that must be given attention. Most dangerously, conservative New Media will often produce content that is so provocative and incendiary that the Old Media finds it irresistible.

    I guess this is as close as Halperin actually gets to something approximating introspection, but I still believe the following should be noted from here (in the matter of “Old Media” preoccupation with largely conservative “New Media”).

  • 5) Finally, the Washington Times continues to give column space to Ted Nugent, with predictable results (here)…

    We shouldn’t expect anything different from a president and administration who don’t have a clue about how private industry works or how Fedzilla’s policies stifle growth. At least from my research, I still can’t find anyone on the president’s closest team who has actually started a successful business.

    From here…

    In Obama’s Cabinet, at least three of the nine posts that Cembalest and Beck cite — a full one-third — are occupied by appointees who, by our reading of their bios, had significant corporate or business experience. Shaun Donovan, Obama’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development, served as managing director of Prudential Mortgage Capital Co., where he oversaw its investments in affordable housing loans.

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu headed the electronics research lab at one of America’s storied corporate research-and-development facilities, AT&T Bell Laboratories, where his work won a Nobel Prize for physics. And Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in addition to serving as Colorado attorney general and a U.S. senator, has been a partner in his family’s farm for decades and, with his wife, owned and operated a Dairy Queen and radio stations in his home state of Colorado.

    The post also tells us that the only Obama cabinet appointees who do not have had “significant private sector experience” are Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

    And funny, but as I read this, I don’t have an inclination that Nugent, were he deprived of a guitar, a weapon, or his big mouth, would have the slightest clue as to how the “private sector” works either.


  • Friday Mashup Part One (4/9/10)

    April 9, 2010

  • 1) For anyone out there who thinks that I will never chastise the Obama Administration (not sure why after reading this post, but you never know), I should point out the following (from here)…

    Changes in the way the federal government plans to allocate money to increase and improve literacy pose a severe threat to one of the country’s best-known nonprofit groups, Reading Is Fundamental.

    Known commonly as RIF, the organization, which provides free books to needy children and has been promoted in memorable public service announcements by celebrities like Carol Burnett and Shaquille O’Neal, stands to lose all of its federal financing, which accounts for roughly 75 percent of its annual revenues.

    “We are looking at having to completely reinvent ourselves,” said Carol Rasco, chief executive of RIF, which has received an annual grant from the Department of Education for 34 years.

    Under the federal budget proposed for the 2011 fiscal year, the Department of Education has proposed pooling the money it allocates to RIF, another nonprofit organization, the National Writing Project, and five of its own grant programs, and instead distributing it to state and local governments. Under that plan, RIF and the writing project would have to compete state by state for federal funds.

    “They don’t have a huge amount of cash on hand that would buy them some time to change their business model to get different types of funding,” (Clara Miller, chief executive of the Nonprofit Finance Fund) said. “Switching from a program that is almost fully funded by government to one that is privately funded, or where you would be competing on a state level, that’s a new business model, and it will need time and investment in new skills.”

    She said that putting longstanding organizations through such a complete overhaul so abruptly might not make sense from the taxpayer’s standpoint either. “The thing that’s getting lost here is that the government has already built whole programs in these organizations that it is now throwing out,” Ms. Miller said. “That’s kind of wasteful, unless they’re saying buying kids books is a bad idea.”

    God, is this stoo-pid – as Wikipedia tells us here…

    Today, through its contract with the United States Department of Education to operate the IBDP, now supplemented with private funds, RIF programs operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. RIF is also affiliated with programs in Argentina and the United Kingdom.

    In 2004, Kappa Kappa Gamma, a national women’s fraternity, selected RIF as it’s national philanthropy.[1] Together, Kappa and RIF have come up with the Reading is Key program, through which children are exposed to new books.[2]

    It would be simply beyond belief if RIF, which survived threatened budget cuts from prior Republican presidential administrations, ended up going under because of a change in funding allocation to make it compete with the states, an idiotic idea conceived, shockingly, by a Democratic president.

  • 2) Also, with the now-announced news of Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens’ retirement, Mark Halperin of The Page came up with the following (here)…

    “Stevens retirement causes Republican fundraisers to rejoice.”

    That’s an interesting bit of speculation totally unsupported by anything whatsoever in the post Halperin links to, I should note. Further, this story tells us the following…

    The Democratic National Committee has reported $13 million in donations for the month of March, outperforming the Republican Party, which only raised $11.4 million. The disparity is unusual, as the Democrats typically draw fewer donations than their Republican brethren.

    LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) – A Democrat with the committee pointed out to the Huffington Post pointed to a rejuvenated and enthusiastic Democratic base that is willing to open up their wallets after the passage of health care reform.

    Also, it looks like Our Man Snarlin’ Arlen isn’t going to get his wish after all (here).

  • 3) Finally, I give you the following from The Moonie Times…

    Eleven months ago, the Justice Department suddenly and surprisingly dropped its case against three defendants and accepted a weak injunction against a fourth, stemming from the incident in Philadelphia on Election Day 2008 in which Black Panthers disrupted a neighborhood polling place. Since then, the Justice Department has stonewalled multiple requests for information from news organizations, a number of congressmen and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

    In response, I give you this from Greg Sargent and TPM…

    Fox News and other conservatives on the Web are pushing hard on the story that two black panthers may be intimidating voters at a polling place in north Philadelphia.

    But an Obama campaign volunteer who’s been on the scene since 6:30 AM this morning tells me in a phone interview that there’s been absolutely no intimidation of voters at all today. And a Pennsylvania spokesperson for Obama said the two men aren’t in any way affiliated with the campaign.

    Fox News’ story…says one of two black panthers on the scene was “allegedly blocking the door,” says another was “holding a nightstick.” and adds that “the concern was that they were intimidating people who were trying to go inside to vote.”

    But Jacqueline Dischell, the Obama volunteer, tells me by phone that that’s false.

    And by the way, for the record, the Black Panther Party members in the photo in the Times’ story are Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton.

    Standing in front of the Party’s headquarters in Oakland, Ca.

    And I would guess that the photo was taken in, oh, say, 1967 or so.

    Stay classy, wingnuts.


  • Top Posts & Pages