Friday Mashup (9/6/13)

September 7, 2013

  • I give you the following from the Bucks County Courier Times earlier in the week:

    Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick used the national Republican Weekly Address on Saturday to criticize President Barack Obama’s policies for health care and energy.

    “Nearly five years into the Obama presidency, the workers who drive our economy see nothing but roadblocks coming out of Washington,” Fitzpatrick said in the Labor Day weekend speech.

    The 8th District Republican, who recorded the talk Thursday in Philadelphia, has been critical of Obama’s Affordable Care Act in visits to several area chambers of commerce in recent months.

    No word on whether or not Mikey the Beloved has spoken to actual non-Chamber of Commerce residents of PA-08 for their feedback on the Affordable Care Act, by the way (I’ll address his comment about the ACA and the alleged increase in premiums shortly…and in the matter of the Keystone XL pipeline which Mikey also supports, I give you the following from here and here).

    I wonder if it’s supposed to be a bit of a backhanded compliment to Mikey that he was asked to give the Repug response to Obama’s weekly address on what probably is the day when people are least likely to pay attention to it because it’s the last unofficial weekend of summer (and by the way, to respond to “roadblock Mikey” properly, click here).

  • And keeping with the theme of the health care law, I give you the following from here (looks like The Weakly Standard needs a copy editor)…

    A local report from Green Bay, Wisconsin says that health care premiuns (sic) could increase up to 125 percent because of Obamacare:

    Half a million Wisconsinites will soon have to open up their pocket books for health care coverage,” says a local anchor. “And new estimates show, it may be costly. … The state’s office of the commissioner of insurance released estimates of how premium rates for individuals will be changing under the Affordable Care Act.”

    In response, I give you the following from here

    (A Rand Corporation) Analysis suggests that comparisons of average premiums with and without the Affordable Care Act may overstate the potential for premium increases. Sweeping statements about the effects of the Affordable Care Act on premiums should be interpreted very carefully because the law has complex effects that differ depending on individuals’ age and smoking status, the actuarial value of the plan chose, individuals” eligibility for federal tax credits, and state implementation decisions. Once we adjust for age, actuarial value, and tobacco use, nongroup premiums are estimated to remain unchanged at the national level and in many states. Further, after accounting for tax credits, average out-of-pocket premium spending in the nongroup market is estimated to decline or remain unchanged in all states considered and in in the nation overall. [RAND Corporation, Accessed 9/4/13]

    In addition, this may be the most definitive post I’ve seen yet on supposed rate increases under HCR (with further “food for thought” here).

  • Next, I know I’m a little late with this Labor Day-related commentary also based on this from The Philadelphia Inquirer, but here it is anyway…

    Organized labor is so powerful in Philadelphia that people in this town might not realize unions are in real trouble nationally. Labor Day is a good time to reflect on that reality.

    Just a few days ago, union picketers made the local TV news by blasting the amplified sound of a baby’s recorded cries during daily protests of nonunion work at a hotel, disturbing guests and a Center City neighborhood. Weeks earlier, a strike at the Pennsylvania Convention Center threatened a major convention.

    Meanwhile, the political clout of labor leaders such as electricians boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty can be calculated by the number of Philadelphia officials who all but genuflect in the presence of a man who controls a significant source of campaign contributions.

    Far be it for me to leap to the defense of “Johnny Doc,” but to say that the Inky is “painting with a broad brush” here is an understatement (a bit surprised that the Inky didn’t also blame the Teamsters for blowing up the inflatable rat that they often do in an effort to shame companies that hire non-union workers; as far as I’m concerned, that’s free speech and I have no problem with it).

    I would only point out once more the contributions of the union movement to workers of all sectors of our economy, some of which are noted here. And I would say that the video noted here shows pretty well that the decline in union membership and the rise of income inequality pretty much go hand in hand.

    The Inquirer points out that the downward trend in union membership began in 1983, which is two years after perhaps the most catastrophic anti-union event perpetrated by our government, and that was the firing of the air traffic controllers as part of the showdown with PATCO (their union at the time) by The Sainted Ronnie R, as noted here, the reverberations of which we are still feeling today.

  • Continuing, I give you some genuine hilarity from Erick (“Son of Erick”) Erickson of Fix Noise here, in response to Number 44 on Syria…

    George W. Bush, getting congressional approval for military operations seven days after the September 11th attack was not bending the arc of history, but John Harwood will probably spend the next week of reporting telling us all exactly how arc bending Barack Obama is.

    Sooo…is “Son of Erick” actually beating on John Harwood for supposedly carrying the water, as they say, of President Obama? And not doing the same for Former President Nutball? Really???

    As noted here, Harwood said the following about Number 43…

    …the 9/11 attacks gave (Bush) enough standing eventually to take the nation to war against Iraq.

    Oh, and as noted here, Harwood also once criticized Obama when Number 44 decided to “move…out from behind speechmaking lecterns.” And as far as Harwood supposedly sucking up to Obama goes, I also give you this.

    And is Erickson referring to the same Harwood who once claimed that Dubya was “doggedly advancing conservative goals on taxes and national security” here? Oh, but according to “Son of Erick,” Harwood should have claimed that Dubya was “bending the arc of history,” or something.

    And as we know, Erickson is always a model for prudence and discretion in his “reporting” of the news stories that touch our lives on a daily basis. Right?

    Gosh, if I didn’t know better, I’d swear Erickson is taking hallucinogenic drugs (and no, I won’t stop linking to that until Harwood apologizes, something I’m sure he’ll never do).

  • Further, I give you the following from former Repug U.S. House Rep Pete Hoekstra, also on the Syria crisis (here)…

    Why did partisanship disrupt our foreign policy unity? Was it due to political opportunism or genuine policy differences?

    We may never know.

    Actually, I think we know right now – as noted here, Hoekstra and Former PA Senator Man-On-Dog tried to circulate a discredited claim about Saddam Hussein’s WMD. Also, as noted here, Hoekstra opined in April 2009 that the reaction of the Obama Administration to the ”enhanced interrogation” methods of our prior ruling cabal “are demonstrating how little President Barack Obama and some Democratic members of Congress understand the dire threats to our nation,” which was particularly stupid on Hoekstra’s part because all Obama wanted to do basically was to “turn the page.”

    (By the way, the same prior post from yours truly notes the truly wretched “sock puppetry” of Hoekstra in the matter of feeding the bogus claim to Time’s Joe Klein that the version of the FISA bill from the Democrats required warrants for every foreign terrorist’s call and that the bill thus gave the same rights to foreign terrorists as American citizens…yes, the Dems eventually caved on FISA, to their shame, but that doesn’t make the Hoekstra/Klein episode any less galling.)

    As noted here, Rachel Maddow basically said that everyone from Bushco should just go away when it comes to opining on Syria, since they were so catastrophically wrong on Iraq (I would argue that that extends to all other foreign policy issues also). Based on this bit of wankery from Hoekstra, I think that goes for him too.

  • Finally, I should note that BP ran a full-page ad in the Murdoch Street Journal on Thursday with quotes from Tom Donahue of the “U.S.” Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers whining about how BP has already paid $10 billion in damages and blaming those dastardly trial lawyers once again – typical.

    In response, I give you the following:

  • This tells us a bit about the lawsuits currently pending against BP, including Florida joining a four-state suit.
  • This tells us that, maybe and just perhaps, the reason why those dastardly trial lawyers are involved is because BP is suing the EPA (so I guess the government isn’t entitled to represent itself?).
  • This basically tells us that accusing settlement victims of “taking money they don’t deserve” isn’t exactly going to “win hearts and minds” either (and the Journal ad cites the “U.S.” Chamber, but doesn’t note that BP is a member).
  • This tells us that the gulf oil spill’s settlement administrator has said that BP’s claims of fraud are “spurious” and “unfounded.”
  • Oh, and by the way, BP wants to “halt the Deepwater Horizon claims process” altogether, as noted here.


    That makes them the scum of the earth as far as I’m concerned.


  • Wednesday Mashup (10/24/12)

    October 24, 2012
  • Mikey The Beloved’s PR’s service notified us of the following recently (here)…

    Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick is criticizing the Veterans Administration for awarding bonuses to employees at a time when there’s a massive disability claims backlog, improper payments have made national news and a systematic pattern of mail destruction is plaguing the agency.

    Fitzpatrick, the 8th District Republican, said the Philadelphia regional office, where the problems have occurred, has received $1.4 million worth of bonuses in the past three years.

    “These are taxpayer dollars being spent to reward a system that is in chronic failure,” he said. “If employees at the Veterans Administration are getting bonuses when they’re failing, what incentive do they have to fix the problem, and who’s holding them accountable?”

    By the way, it should be noted that the bonuses were discovered by the VA’s Inspector General, not Congress, something Mikey’s loyal stenographer Gary Weckselblatt dutifully omitted (here), leaving the reader the impression that Mikey and his pals in Congress somehow discovered it themselves. It should also be noted that a bill has been introduced to curb VA bonuses, as noted here.

    All of this is nothing but typical grandstanding, though, when you find out that the party of Fitzpatrick, Boehner, Cantor, Todd Akin, etc. decided that veterans’ benefits should be on the budgetary “chopping block,” as noted here. And it’s not as if Mikey has such a shining voting record concerning our vets, as noted here.

    Besides, does Mikey really want a comparison between current VA head Eric Shinseki and Bushco’s Jim Nicholson (here)? It looks like the current benchmark is 125 days to turnaround claims, but it was 145-150 under Bushco (still too long, but better). And this tells us how Nicholson underestimated VA funding requirements by $2.6 billion, expecting to provide care originally for about 25,000 of our military in 2005, though he ended up having to more than quadruple that figure. Oh, and there was that matter of veterans’ info that fell prey to identity theft under Nicholson’s tenure also (here).

    And for good measure, this tells you about Number 44’s efforts overall on behalf of our veterans.

    If you’re as fed up with Mikey’s antics as I am (not just on veterans issues, but everything), then click here to donate to Kathy Boockvar or help with the “get out the vote” effort (less than two weeks to go).

  • Next, I give you the following from one of Mikey’s U.S. House playmates, and that would be Sam Graves of Missouri (here – I can’t find anyone running against Graves, so I assume he’s unopposed; love to be wrong because Graves needs an opponent)…

    The Obama administration’s relentless government expansion has become a disturbing pattern. Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) report today (October 23) is a devastating list of the president’s failures and misplaced policies. The common thread is the drastic expansion of government’s role, without being too picky about the means. The attitude seems to be that nothing can or should stand in the way of this big government agenda – not the law, not the people’s representatives, not the deliberative legislative process envisioned by our nation’s founders.

    As chairman of the Committee on Small Business, I follow closely the effect of these decisions on small businesses. Job creators are frozen by the Administration’s tax and regulatory policies, and the fear of more.

    Taxes are a big part of the cloud of uncertainty looming over our job creators.

    To begin, I don’t know how Graves can claim that Obama has “expanded” government when he has, in fact, shrunk it, so much so that he was actually attacked for that in a campaign ad by Willard Mitt Romney and Mr.-Puppy-Dog-Eyes-With-The-Shiv here. On top of that, this tells us that two Goldman Sachs economists pointed out that “uncertainty” is just a normal part of an economic recovery, and we’re starting to come out of that (with the caveat being that I personally don’t consider our repeated cycle over the last 30 years or so of going from bubble to bust economically as “normal”).

    Here is more on Graves, including his support for “Jesus Q. Nutbar,” otherwise known as Todd Akin, his vote in favor of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (abortion already isn’t federally funded because of the Hyde Amendment – this is a recording), his vote in favor of a government shutdown over the debt ceiling hissy fit even though he voted to raise the debt ceiling in 2004, etc.

    As I always say, there are people out there who actually vote for these characters.

  • And speaking of characters, the Old Gray Lady recently opined here on The Republican Former 43rd President Who Shall Not Be Named…

    He does not speak on the stump or appear in television ads. Campaign audiences rarely hear his name.

    But aside from President Obama and Mitt Romney, no one has shaped the 2012 election more than George W. Bush — on the economy and on the foreign policy issues in the spotlight during the final presidential debate on Monday.

    For Mr. Romney, the battered reputation of Mr. Bush represents a burden to minimize in a tight race for the White House. The two have not appeared together this year.

    When an audience member asked about Mr. Bush in the debate last week, Mr. Romney separated himself from what he characterized as Mr. Bush’s shortcomings on the budget deficit and on trade with China.

    For Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush’s economic record offers a shield against voters’ wrath over high unemployment and slow growth; majorities in polls describe the nation’s economic woes as something the incumbent inherited rather than caused.

    Continuing…

    Mr. Bush’s former aides chafe at criticism of his record from fellow Republicans, as well as from Democrats. Tony Fratto, a spokesman in the Bush White House and the Treasury Department, rebutted both of Mr. Romney’s barbs from the debate last week.

    “There are good reasons why we didn’t balance the budget,” like the fight against terrorism, Mr. Fratto said. On trade, “we were very effective with the Chinese” in paving the way for a rise in the value of its currency, to the benefit of American businesses.

    Oh, by the way, I should note that this column was written by John Harwood. That explains the cowardly tactic of paraphrasing a supposed reason from a former Bushie, basically acting as Fratto’s stenographer instead of showing the courage of whatever convictions Harwood has and making Fratto go on the record with an exact quote.

    Also, It’s funny to hear Fratto justify, on the one hand, whatever it was that Dubya supposedly did for China’s currency (color me skeptical on that one), while, on the other hand, Romany criticizes China as a currency manipulator here (actually getting something right for a change…see “Blind Squirrel” and “Nut”). Which one is it?

    The real howler from Fratto, though, is the line about how the GLOBAL WAR ON TERRA! TERRA! TERRA! was supposedly responsible for Dubya’s wretched non-management of our government’s finances under his watch; this provides the reality point of view on that subject (#3 in particular).

  • I guess that’s a bit of a transition to this idiocy from Investor’s Business Daily (here)…

    Election ’12: From Moscow to Caracas to Havana, something disturbing is happening: Dictators with long records of enmity toward the U.S. are endorsing Obama for president. What does that say about the Obama presidency?

    Fresh from abusing Venezuela’s opposition after his own rigged re-election, Chavez declared, “If I were American, I would vote for Obama. He is my candidate.” It was his second direct endorsement of Obama in a week. After that, he spooled off his plans to impose socialism on his country.

    Around the same time, Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba’s ruling communist capo Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother, told CNN: “As a citizen of the world, I would like for (Obama) to win.”

    She added: “Obama deserves a second chance and he needs greater support to move forward with his projects which I believe come from the heart.”

    One or two silly endorsements from movie stars or Honey Boo Boo are one thing.

    But with this president, there’s a sustained and disturbing pattern of America’s enemies signaling preference for Obama over the alternative as U.S. president.

    In the case of Chavez and the Castro oligarchs, it’s obvious enough that Obama governs in a way that resembles their own — increasing state employees and state dependency, ruling by decree, singling out companies for punishment, and engaging in a cult of personality where the state is replaced by the leader.

    You want to talk about presidents and dictators, IBD? Really?

    OK, then, let’s go way back to here, where Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger endorsed the murderous brutality of Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, playing a role in the coup that ousted Socialist (for real) Chilean President Salvador Allende and installed Pinochet, igniting a “reign of terror which Pinochet’s secret police extended around the South American continent and across the globe.”

    Also, let’s go here, where The Sainted Ronnie R made nice with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and our former pal in Iraq, none other than Saddam Hussein himself.

    And as far as Reagan’s “son” is concerned, the following should be noted from here, according to human rights attorney Scott Horton, as well as Glenn Greenwald (doing Tricky Dick and The Gipper each one better, you could say)…

    “We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. The constitutional rights we learned about in high school civics were suspended. That was thanks to secret memos crafted deep inside the Justice Department that effectively trashed the Constitution. What we know now is likely the least of it.”

    And as far as Obama “increasing state employees” (not totally sure what “state” IBD is talking about here)…well, once again, I give you the reality point of view here.

  • Finally, I give you the latest from the right wing umbrage factory, The Daily Tucker in particular (here)…

    If you ever wanted a glimpse into potentially just how rabidly left-of-center your average MSNBC viewer is, you had an opportunity this morning during the “What have we learned today?” segment on “Morning Joe.”

    As the Tuesday broadcast of “Morning Joe” was wrapping up, co-host Mika Brzezinski introduced viewers to 9-year-old Annabelle.

    “I have Annabelle,” Brzezinski said. “She is nine and a half. She has four brothers so she kind of feels my pain this morning. But Annabelle, who do you think should win the election, Annabelle?”

    Annabelle replied, “Mitt Romney,” which was met with a chorus of boos on the show’s live set at Racks Downtown Eatery and Tavern in Boca Raton, Fla.’s Mizner Park.

    “Booing a 9-year-old girl?” co-host Willie Geist said. “Clean it up.”

    Um, if you actually watch the video, you’ll see people laughing over it, OK? In other words, it…was…a…joke.

    (By the way, if you want to hear an audience booing someone or voicing disapproval for real over a political matter, click here.)

    Oh, and I give you this from the Daily Tucker item…

    “Booing a 9-year-old girl, a lot of these people must have come down from Philly or something,” Time magazine’s Joe Klein added.

    Oh, ha and ha, Joe (yes, we know the “short hand” by heart…Philly, the place where they booed Santa Claus, etc., etc.).

    Well, maybe I’m being a little thin-skinned myself here I’ll admit, but as long as Klein is bad-mouthing Philadelphia, let me share this item I happened to come across recently (here)…

    We can all agree that Philly gets a bad rap in the national media, especially when we witness wedding parties duking it out at the Society Hill Sheraton (“One dead, 3 held in wedding free-for-all,” Oct. 8). However, just a few blocks away, a number of Philadelphians showed their true colors.

    My 19-year-old daughter, a freshman at Drexel University, was out with one of her classmates on Church Street in Old City on the afternoon of Oct. 4. Her classmate (a Dallas native) was a few steps ahead when my daughter started to black out and have a seizure. A passerby saw what was happening and quickly caught her just before her head hit the sidewalk. Her friend turned around to see my daughter convulsing on the sidewalk. The friend then saw people pour out of nearby shops, offering assistance, bringing water and blankets, and calling 911. EMTs arrived within minutes and rushed her to the ER at Hahnemann.

    Fortunately, my daughter came out of it fairly quickly and is now OK.

    Her friend from Dallas was blown away at the random acts of kindness and how quickly everyone responded. As a parent, I thank God, the guardian angels watching over my daughter, and the good Samaritan who caught my daughter before she split her head open on the sidewalk.

    I am equally thankful for the other Philadephians who stepped up, did the right thing, and showed my daughter how kind and caring we can be as residents of this great city. This story will never make the national media, but it is a story that will be in our hearts for all eternity.

    John Pogas
    Hatfield, PA

    And if I were to venture a guess, I’m sure there were more than a few sports fans in the crowd that came to the aid of the daughter of Mr. Pogas.

    One more thing – I’m sure none of the people in Boca Raton Klein was bitching about ever acted as sock puppets for one-time U.S. House Rep Pete Hoekstra (here).


  • Thursday Mashup (9/2/10)

    September 2, 2010

  • 1) Want more information on why our discourse is stupid?
  • The Discovery Channel hostage gunman, James Jay Lee, is killed in a standoff (fortunately, no one else was killed or injured – good work by law enforcement), but is not universally condemned as a terrorist (here).
  • Holocaust Museum gunman James von Brunn, who killed a museum guard, isn’t universally condemned as a terrorist either; indeed, he is equated with Thomas Jefferson by the nutball who just had that D.C. rally claiming that we have to return to God, or something (here).
  • Joseph Andrew Stack flies a plane into an IRS government building in downtown Austin, TX, killing one person beside himself and injuring 13, but the White House (!) doesn’t consider that to be an act of terrorism either (here).
  • Do you want to know what is universally considered to be an act of terrorism in this country? The Times Square would-be bomber who (thank God) killed or injured absolutely no one (here).
  • Just food for thought, that’s all…

  • 2) Next, with the for-real, crossing-our-fingers-this-time proclamation that combat operations in Iraq have ended, we have the following from Daniel Henninger of the Murdoch Street Journal (here, on the matter of whether Saddam Hussein was the threat he was purported to be when we invaded – yes, they’re still rehashing this)…

    Mr. Obama and others believe that Saddam and his nuclear ambitions could have been contained. I think exactly the opposite was likely.

    At the time of Mr. Obama’s 2002 antiwar speech, three other significant, non-Iraqi events were occurring: Iran and North Korea were commencing toward a nuclear break-out, and A.Q. Khan was on the move.

    In March 2002, Mr. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear materials dealer, moved his production facilities from Pakistan to Malaysia.

    In August, an Iranian exile group revealed the existence of a centrifuge factory in Natanz, Iran.

    A month later, U.S. intelligence concluded that North Korea had almost completed a “production-scale” centrifuge facility.

    It was also believed in 2002 that al Qaeda was shopping for nuclear materials. In The Wall Street Journal this week, Jay Solomon described how two North Korean operatives through this period developed a network to acquire nuclear technologies.

    In short, the nuclear bad boys club was on the move in 2002. Can anyone seriously believe that amidst all this Saddam Hussein would have contented himself with administering his torture chambers? This is fanciful.

    No it isn’t. I’ll tell you what is, though.

    I book a flight to the Luxor Las Vegas. Two days before I’m due to depart, I order Chinese take out and get a fortune cookie telling me that I’ll be rich beyond my wildest dreams. The next day, I win a game of Monopoly by buying both Boardwalk and Park Place and bankrupting my opponents through exorbitant rent payments. For this reason, I believe that I’m on the proverbial “roll” and drain my savings account, then depart, looking to get rich by spending all my dough on games of roulette and craps.

    Hey, if Henninger can take all kinds of unconnected stuff and try forcing connections wherever he wants, I should be able to do that also, right?

    Continuing…

    The definitive account of Saddam’s WMD ambitions is the Duelfer Report, issued by the Iraq Survey Group in 2005. Yes, the Duelfer Report concluded that Saddam didn’t have active WMD. But at numerous points in the 1,000-page document, it asserted (with quotes from Iraqi politicians and scientists) that Saddam’s goal was to free himself of U.N. sanctions and restart his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons and other WMD.

    Which, based on the actual Duelfer report, was as likely as me winning at the Luxor (here).

    And this from a column aptly named “Wonder Land”…

  • 3) Finally, I came across this item in the New York Times…

    WASHINGTON — Christina D. Romer, chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, said in a farewell speech on Wednesday that the administration’s stimulus policies averted “a second Great Depression.”

    But she also gave her most detailed explanation yet for why her original forecast that unemployment would peak at 8 percent “was so far off.”

    Ms. Romer’s last day as one of the four principals on Mr. Obama’s economic team is Friday, which means one of her last acts will be to provide the administration’s reaction to the latest unemployment report.

    For the last year those reports have been a monthly refutation of her early projection. The report for August, expected to show the jobless rate remaining near 9.5 percent, will be no different.

    With Republicans continually reminding voters of the erroneous forecast, it undercut Ms. Romer’s effectiveness as a public spokeswoman for administration policies.

    Really? Funny, but I thought she did a good job here.

    And when it comes to the economy, let’s not forget what Romer and the economic advisors inherited (here, talking about what transpired between 2001 and 2008)…

    –The number of Americans living in poverty has jumped from 31.6 million to 36.5 million.
    –The uninsured population has grown from 38 million to 47 million.
    –The annual total premium cost has nearly doubled from $6,230 per family to $12,106 per family.
    (Bush’s heartless health care policy: Let the markets sort it out. Business first, human beings later.)
    –The trade deficit has more than doubled from $380 billion to $759 billion.
    –Our dependency on foreign oil has shot up from 52.75% of fuel consumption to 60.38%. (Sweetheart trade deals benefit mega-corporations and oil companies, but not people.)

    And now that I’ve made that point, I need to vent about something else (and I’m probably just an impudent upstart for calling out my “A” list “betters” again, but here goes).

    I watched “Countdown” last night and saw Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO, talk about how he’s doing his best to get labor motivated on behalf of the Democrats in the upcoming elections.

    And I swear to God, I wish I saw a fraction of that enthusiasm from my blogging brethren out there.

    If I read one more “Obama hasn’t done this like he said he would, and for that reason, I or people I know just don’t have any enthusiasm for the Democrats” post, I’m going to vomit (including this one, and I know the author knows better…in response, try imagining a national “papers, please” law based on the Arizona atrocity, and don’t think that can’t happen if the Repugs win Congress).

    Update: As long as I was critical earlier, I should be fair and point out that this is something that should be on every blog even remotely related to Democratic Party activism.

    Now that doesn’t mean that I’m suddenly going to support, say, Blanche Lincoln (or John Adler, or most any other “Bush Dog” who really does deserve to get retired). But there are plenty of other worthy Democratic candidates whose “tossup” electoral prospects are an utter mystery to me (Russ Feingold for one).

    Yes, by all means, call Obama and the Democrats to account for not working harder for immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for illegals who do the right thing (I always thought “pay a fine and get in line” was the sort of nice, catchy little slogan the Repugs seem to churn out like crazy but the Dems never seem to be able to master). Get Gibbs, Emanuel, Axelrod and the rest into a room and try to identify the drug they’re consuming that makes them actually believe that the “catfood commission” is doing something constructive (and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed also).

    But let’s do this after the election, OK?

    I’ll repeat myself some more from an earlier post, but I don’t care; take a guess as to what we have to look forward to under a Repug U.S. Congress, with Majority Leader Boehner and Senate Majority Leader McConnell (Paul Krugman spelled it out in this column):

    Endless investigations. A new “revelation” every day about the First Family (get ready for the return of Bill Ayres, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and hearings into the alleged “New Black Panther Party” Philadelphia polling scandal on Election Day 2008, for starters). And no legislation (none of any good to us, anyway).

    Privatizing Social Security. Defunding Health Care Reform. The return of Tax Cuts for the Rich which will “pay for themselves.” Bye Bye Cap And Trade. Endless investigations. Testimony of Cabinet members before Congress as to why they’re actually doing their jobs instead of rolling over for the institutions they’re supposed to regulate, as they did under Dubya.

    So long Lilly Ledbetter Law. New restrictions on stem cell research. Legislation to enshrine the worst excesses of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Reopening “K” Street for business. A bill to abolish Net Neutrality forever.

    Oh, and did I mention Endless investigations? And don’t think the “I” word is out of the question either, people.

    Basically, we can sit around and mope and let the corporate media narratives define themselves, or we can become involved again as we once were to build the majorities we should be working to defend with all the energy and talent we can muster (I don’t know how many of you were paying attention to the Congressional politics of the ‘90s, but I definitely was, and I never want to see those days again).

    If we choose the former path, destruction is imminent, and it will be irrevocable. And despite the ways those we’ve supported have fallen short, we really will only have ourselves to blame if they get turned out. Imagine how silly we will feel while the “Tea Party” Repugs rule the roost and we’re still licking our wounds over the fact that the stimulus was only $787 billion instead of $1.2 trillion.

    If we choose the latter path, we can stand the people working for news organizations with initials for names on their heads, as it were, as they search for their next narrative (and wouldn’t it be nice if it were “A Dem Resurgence Confounds The Republican Revival,” or something like it?).

    The Republican Party as we know it today, full of doctrinaire, “movement” conservatives, was in utter ruins after Barry Goldwater lost when he ran for president in 1964. But they rebuilt themselves, recruiting conservatives as lawyers, journalists, politicians and other professions to further their cause. And by the time 1980 came, they saw the perfect opportunity to enshrine one of their own to the highest office in the land.

    It took them 16 years to get what they wanted, but they got it (to our almost eternal ruin). And we’re complaining that we haven’t turned things around in a fraction of that amount of time?

    And by the way (speaking of the enthusiasm gap), I thought this was an interesting post on the latest Gallup findings (namely, that crowing over the 10-point Repug lead on the generic ballot – I heard nothing but crickets when the Dems were up in that poll a couple of months ago).

  • Update 9/7/10: OMG!!!! Lookie, lookie here – why, the Dems and Repugs ARE TIED! in the latest Gallup generic ballot. Hey, what does our corporate media have to say NOW??!!

    (zzzzzzzzzz………)


    “Darth” Cheney, Fave Repug Spokesman Of All Time

    June 3, 2009

    And NOW he tells us there was no Saddam Hussein/9-11 link? After he and his former boss tell us the former Iraqi leader had al Qaeda ties (which is more or less telling the same lie)?

    Paging Eric Holder…paging the Patrick Leahy Truth Commission…


    Stephen, We Hadley Knew Ye

    November 18, 2008

    hadley1aWhen I go to read online content that represents an almost total avoidance of reality, I try my luck at the Philadelphia Inquirer first, but inevitably I end up at the Murdoch Street Journal.

    And today, writer William McGurn tells us the following from here…

    I suppose it’s possible that George W. Bush would award Stephen J. Hadley the Medal of Freedom. Certainly the president’s national security adviser has earned it, for work that made possible the success we are now seeing in Iraq. And it would be within the president’s prerogative to see that work acknowledged with this honor before they both leave the White House come Jan. 20.

    But how much better it would be all around — for the country, for the recipient, and even for Barack Obama — if Mr. Hadley were to receive this honor from the hands of the 44th president of the United States.

    Of course it would be “better,” wouldn’t it? Why, it would be a tacit endorsement by Obama of the lies and deceptions that precipitated and exacerbated the Iraq fiasco which our president-elect, in his wisdom, opposed from the beginning. And it would a great big cream pie, figuratively speaking, splattered right in Obama’s “mush.”

    Yep, that’s something McGurn and his playmates at Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda factory would truly enjoy. It would provide attack fodder for weeks on end.

    Meanwhile, in the reality-based community, please allow me to point out that Hadley, along with former CIA director George Tenet, allowed references to Saddam Hussein’s supposed efforts to purchase nuclear materials into Dubya’s 2003 State Of The Union address here (a reason at the time for our war of choice in Iraq).

    Also, Hadley once endorsed the idea of naming Paul Wolfowitz as head of the Coalition Provisional Authority to replace Jay Garner here (a Jew in charge of an Arab country – how many levels of stupid). And I should also point out here that Hadley dismissed some of the ideas of departing Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld a couple of years ago, which would not be a big deal were it not for the fact that Rummy listed troop withdrawals as one such idea.

    I’m not going to waste my time belaboring the point once more that the “surge” wouldn’t have been a “success” were it not for the Sunni Awakening and the ethnic cleansing that has resulted from their civil war with the Shiites. I’ll merely conclude by saying that the only “victory” Hadley and his chums offered was a feeble political cover to buy time before the ruling Bushco cabal finally, mercifully, departs the national stage at long last in about two months.

    Update: And in true lapdog fashion, Hadley spouted the party line that his boss didn’t believe there were any security concerns regarding the botched Dubai Ports World deal (remember that one?) here (with more than a little bit of an assist from Little Tommy Friedman).


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