Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sad Stat

CNN anchor breaks down over vet's suicide -

CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin broke down on air Friday afternoon as the parents of an Iraq war veteran read the suicide note he left behind.

Baldwin was speaking to the parents of Daniel Somers, who killed himself last year after suffering from PTSD and receiving treatment at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs hospital, the facility where recent reports alleged that dozens of veterans may have died while waiting for care on secret waiting lists. Those reports and an audit citing a "systematic lack of integrity" at VA hospitals across the country, preceded the resignation on Friday of Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki...

On Rape Culture

Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds - The Daily Beast:

...How much longer are we going to be in denial that there’s a thing called “rape culture” and we ought to do something about it?

No, not the straw man that all men are constantly plotting rape, but that we live in an entitlement culture where guys think they need to be having sex with girls in order to be happy and fulfilled. That in a culture that constantly celebrates the narrative of guys trying hard, overcoming challenges, concocting clever ruses and automatically getting a woman thrown at them as a prize as a result, there will always be some guy who crosses the line into committing a violent crime to get what he “deserves,” or get vengeance for being denied it...

Friday, May 30, 2014

Changing Gun Laws

How the NRA Enables Massacres - The Daily Beast:

...We know how to stop these incidents, or at least greatly reduce them. We've seen other countries do it, such as Australia, which was averaging one of these massacres a year until their infamous Port Arthur Massacre in 1996. After which they completely overhauled their gun laws. Since then, a country with the same frontier history as the United States has not experienced one mass shooting. Not one. Their homicides and suicides have also precipitously dropped...

Straight Talk About Straight Talk

Christopher Michael-Martinez’s Father Gets It Right about Guns : The New Yorker:

...Martinez’s brave words put me in mind of a simple point, which I failed to make in a long essay about language this week, or didn’t make strongly enough. The war against euphemism and clich�matters not because we can guarantee that eliminating them will help us speak nothing but the truth but, rather, because eliminating them from our language is an act of courage that helps us get just a little closer to the truth. Clear speech takes courage. Every time we tell the truth about a subject that attracts a lot of lies, we advance the sanity of the nation. Plain speech matters because when we speak clearly we are more likely to speak truth than when we retreat into slogan and euphemism; avoiding euphemism takes courage because it almost always points plainly to responsibility. To say “torture” instead of “enhanced interrogation” is hard, because it means that someone we placed in power was a torturer. That’s a hard truth and a brutal responsibility to accept. But it’s so...

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Comment Of The Day:Christie Buck$ Edition

My bold. 

Chris Christie Pension Problem Charlie Baker - The Passion Of Big Chicken: The Pensioning - Esquire

Barry Friedman · 

And this is the very same issue--who got to control the state's pensions--with which Christie campaigned against Corzine ... and won. When Democrats do it, we're central planners and dampen the entrepreneurial spirit, when Republicans do it, they're free market visionaries who are willing to take risks. But just as they take risks in war with other people's children, they take risks in business with other people's money.

Father Vs. NRA

NRA finally meets its match: Why Richard Martinez should have them shaking -

...Richard Martinez’s son Christopher was among the six college students murdered this weekend in Isla Vista, California. It’s impossible to fathom the grief that Martinez must be experiencing right now, and the simple fact that he is upright and mobile is an act of tremendous courage. Which is precisely what makes everything else that he has done in the days since he lost his son all the more astounding.

From his first public statement — a blistering and emotional indictment of “craven” politicians who refuse to act on even moderate gun reform — to the tribute to Christopher he delivered Tuesday before a crowd of thousands, Martinez has been willing to show his raw and devastating grief to the world. He has made himself the gnarled and anguished face of our broken system — the lives that it takes and the lives that it ruins. His vulnerability and righteous, focused anger is unlike anything we’ve seen in response to a mass shooting.

And it should scare the shit out of the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby and the cowardly politicians who use these deadly weapons as literal and figurative political props...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Good Gun Idea

Santa Barbara shootings: Would a 'gun restraining order' have helped? ( video) -

...The Consortium also advocates that state laws should be strengthened to temporarily restrict individuals from possessing or purchasing firearms after short-term involuntarily hospitalization, and to enact prohibitions around other risk factors, such as violent misdemeanors, drug or alcohol abuse (linked to DUI convictions or misdemeanors involving a controlled substance), and being the subject of a temporary domestic violence restraining order.

Police also need to be given the power to remove guns from people they think are dangerous, says Appelbaum – something that is currently not the case in most states. He cites Connecticut and Indiana as models for such laws, in which police can act quickly to remove a gun, and the person whose gun was taken can go to court to prove he is not dangerous...
Or will Plumber Joe's head explode?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Vet Mythology

Our American mythology: What we’re all getting wrong about veterans -

...That’s something that seemed to be really key, the losses that people are not willing to look at, and that seemed to echo something in “The Spitting Image,” that the people who really did shun the veterans were not the antiwar protest posters, who were happy to have them at the head of their marches; it was the “silent majority” that was most unwelcoming — they didn’t want to hear what you guys had to say about the war...
On my way home, I walked among the hippies and war protesters in Atlanta in my Class-A uniform and no one spit on me and no one said anything nasty to me-- in fact, several people said they were glad to see I had made it back in one piece. Contrast that to the reception in my home town, where I was "greeted" by and inspected by the police, advised by a government official to leave town, asked to show my arms by various job interviewers, advised by veterans groups that "that's a pissy little war you boys got," and it goes on from there.

And before anybody brings it up, let me remind you that Jane Fonda was a helluva lot closer to the action than Dick Cheney or George Bush ever were.

Memorial Day tends to engage my Ranter.

More On VA Scandal

“Partisan politics at its worst”: Inside the conservative assault on the VA -

...So what is, in your estimation, the VA scandal actually about? 

 What you’re seeing is the larger question as to why the VA is being attacked here, and a lot of it has to do [with] that it provides public healthcare. Some of the groups attacking the VA — and there only is one veterans services organization, American Legion, that’s called for Shinseki’s resignation — there’s accusations that they could potentially have a different agenda. I think everyone’s basically waiting for the internal investigation to give us the facts …

Some groups with conservative ties have called for [Shinseki's] resignation, and a lot of Democrats are waiting for the investigation to be finished … If Gen. Shinseki knew about this, of course, he should be fired. But I served with him in the Army; he’s a rather honest man. And … he was right about Iraq. He was essentially someone who warned the public as to what Iraq would cost when he was in the Army, and it’s really ironic to attack him for being the guy who’s now trying to clean up the mess of people who started this war...

On The NRA

Memorial Day 2014 - It's Memorial Day And The Country Is At War With Itself - Esquire:

...Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the bad guys. Wayne LaPierre gets paid when his masters sell guns to the good guys because of the guns he's already arranged to sell to the bad guys. Wayne LaPierre is the strange white man in the Congo who knows where he can get you some AK's. He's the shadowy fellow in the coffee shop in Kabul who knows where RPG's can be had, cheap. He's the well-dressed, silken-voiced operator, sipping his tea on a cool and breezy veranda outside of Bogota, who smiles at you and shows you on the map where you can pick up your order, because it is time once again for you to make war and him to make money. His look is the smooth and shiny black of the vulture's feathers. He feasts on the carrion of nations...

Crazy In NC: Vets Burn Burr Edition

Veterans Groups Rip Into Sen. Richard Burr For Questioning Their Priorities:

...In their own letter, Veterans of Foreign Wars responded to Burr by calling his letter a “monumental cheap-shot” and labeling it “one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community.” If the tone wasn’t clear, the group added that Burr’s conduct and allegations were “ugly and mean-spirited in every sense of the words and profoundly wrong, both logically and morally,” in addition to breaching “the standards of the United States Senate...”
What! A GOP captive constituency kicks back? (I'm talking about the VFW, not vets in general.)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Comment Of The Day:GOPer Bill Blocking Edition

Geary Yelton - In recent years, Republicans in Washington have...: Allan Pearlman:

Here's a list of bills blocked by Republicans since President Obama took office. This is a concise extraction for easy viewing, for those who are INTERESTED IN VETERANS ISSUES and need to know which party supports veterans and which party does not.

The rejected Bills are named:

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act became H. R. 2875.

H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act

H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization

H.R. 1172 -- Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans

H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009

H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business Center Act

H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act


H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability.

H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market.

H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization – This bill would reauthorize programs in support of homeless veterans, to assist them with job training, counseling, and placement services through the Department of Veterans Affairs through 2014.

H.R. 1172 -- Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans which does nothing more than direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to include information about scholarships for veterans.

H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – Here’sanother bill in support of those who have fought for their country, passed by House Democrats and blocked from becoming law by Republicans.

This would increase the amount paid by the VA to disabled veterans for necessary home structural improvements from $4,100 to $6,800 for those who are more than 50% disabled, and from $1,200 to $2,000 who are less than 50%, disabled. This means, if a veteran lost the use of his legs in service of his country, the country will pay for the wheelchair ramp so that he can live at home.

By the way, the last time this ceiling was lifted was in 1992. There isn't even a fiscal reason for being against this bill, as the total cost of this bill, according to CBO estimates, would be a “whopping” $20 million. That's about a quarter (25 cents) per family of four.

H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business Center Act – This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. In other words, folks, it would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country.

H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act – This bill essentially combines a number of other bills that Republicans had blocked in the Senate previously, and adds a few elements. The bill would again establish a Veterans Business Center Program; .... it would establish a Military Entrepreneurs Program; ...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Daily Flashback: Democracy Lost Edition

The empire strikes back: How Brandeis foreshadowed Snowden and Greenwald -

...Brandeis’ understanding of the problems posed by a government that could spy on its own citizens without any practical limits was so far-sighted as to seem uncanny. (We’ll get to that.) But it was his conclusion that produced a flight of memorable rhetoric from one of the most eloquent stylists ever to sit on the federal bench. Government and its officers, Brandeis argued, must be held to the same rules and laws that command individual citizens. Once you start making special rules for the rulers and their police – for instance, the near-total impunity and thick scrim of secrecy behind which government espionage has operated for more than 60 years – you undermine the rule of law and the principles of democracy...

The Daily Flashback: GOPers Shaft Vets

FLASHBACK: Mainstream Media Largely Ignored GOP's Obstruction Of Veterans Health Bill | Research | Media Matters for America:

While mainstream media coverage of the serious allegations of improper practices at certain Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health clinics has been extensive in recent weeks, a bill to expand health care for veterans that was blocked by Senate Republicans in February received little attention...

Friday, May 23, 2014

Costco Employees Happy!

Costco Employees Happier With Pay Than Many In Silicon Valley:

In case you needed another reason to love Costco, here's something to consider: The bulk retailer ranks better than the world's most profitable tech companies when it comes to how satisfied workers are with benefits and pay.

A survey released Friday from the jobs site Glassdoor ranks Costco second to Google when it comes to companies with the best compensation and benefits for workers. That puts it ahead of Facebook, Monsanto, Verizon and Microsoft, other major companies that made it onto Glassdoor's list of the top 25 companies...

House Votes For Weapons

House rebuffs Pentagon on defense spending | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour:

The House on Thursday overwhelmingly backed a $601 billion defense authorization bill that spares planes, ships and military bases in an election-year nod to hometown interests.

Ignoring a White House veto threat, Republicans and Democrats united behind the popular measure that authorizes spending on weapons and personnel for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. The vote was 325-98 for the legislation which now must be reconciled with a work-in-progress Senate version.

The Pentagon had proposed retiring the Cold War-era U-2 spy plane and the A-10 Warthog close-air support aircraft as well as shuttering unnecessary bases...

Pot Making (Tax) Money

Where the War on Pot Will Go to Die |

...Ironically, whatever ends the war on pot won’t happen in Colorado or Washington, which have already legalized recreational pot and have received vague promises from Attorney General Eric Holder that the feds won’t bust people and businesses who comply with state laws. Colorado is further along in the retail process than Washington (where pot shops won’t open until mid-July), and so far the only problem of note is that the state is raking in 40% more tax revenue than originally projected...

Whining Ammosexuals

This Gun Lover is Getting Eviscerated By the Left-Leaning Internet. Does He Deserve It? |

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Defending Shinseki--- Get The Blame Right.

Rachel Maddow: Don't Blame Eric Shinseki. Blame Congress!:

Rachel Maddow’s well researched piece goes way back to pre-Iraq War. She highlights what seems to have been a continuous undermining of General Eric Shinseki for speaking truth to power. He correctly estimated the number of troops that would be necessary to occupy Iraq to the dismay of his bosses. Soon after, Eric Shinseki was no longer President Bush’s Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

President Obama picked Eric Shinseki to lead the VA because of his stature and his fearlessness to buck prevailing thought in order to do what is right for the troops. It was evident then as many pointed out that the VA was antiquated and underfunded. In other words, political resolve was necessary, not only by a president, but by a Congress willing to institute changes and increased funding...

Senators Flipping Race Card

Don't call me a racist, Republican senator tells Democrat - CBS News:

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., erupted on Wednesday after Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said that some people oppose Obamacare because President Obama is "the wrong color."

The Republican objected to Rockefeller's "very offensive" characterization, saying he opposes the health care law because it's an "assault on our freedom," not because he's a racist...
But the NSA etc. isn't? It's ok, Senator-- you're still free to be a racist.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Surprise! Surprise! Cronyism Causes Failure

Cronyism blamed for half of Univ. of Texas law school grads’ inability to pass the bar:

A mushrooming scandal at the University of Texas has exposed rampant favoritism in the admissions process of its nationally-respected School of Law.

According to, Democratic and Republican elected officials stand accused of calling in favors and using their clout to obtain admission to the law school for less-than-qualified but well-connected applicants...

Lying Liars At Fox And VA

When Fox News Shrugged Over A Military Care Scandal (Hint: Bush Was President) | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...The heated right-wing response stands in stark contrast to the muted coverage Fox News provided for the last major controversy involving failed medical care for returning soldiers. In February 2007, the Washington Post, following up on original reporting done by Salon, exposed shockingly poor conditions inside the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Those revelations also sparked resignations and Congressional hearings.

But back then, of course, George W. Bush was president and back then Fox News wasn't as interested in the story. (It took Bill O'Reilly six weeks following the publication of the first Post expose to conclude that the Bush administration had badly bungled care at Walter Reed.) And Fox worried journalists were paying too much attention to the scandal...

Leading Birther Going Down

In Obama’s America 2014, Dinesh D’Souza likely headed to prison -

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guns And Burritos

The Chipotle Anti-Gun ‘Scandal’ Has the Right Up in Arms - The Daily Beast:

...I guess it’s all good when a private individual on a ranch in Nevada resists government laws that conservatives are against, but those Occupy protesters were law-breaking scum, right? When private companies support gay rights or reproductive freedom or Obamacare, they’re somehow anti-democratic and undermining the will of the American people, but private companies that stand up for gun rights are All-American? Are conservatives only for big business when big business sides with supposedly conservative values? Is their whole free-market capitalism as neo-religion devotion simply a fa�ade for cloaking their ideological bias in economic rationalism? And if conservatives are against the private company in the case of Chipotle, are they suddenly for government? Which way is up?

I’m so confused I’m feeling dizzy. I need a burrito.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Duh--GOP Screws Workers

The Republican War on Workers' Rights -

...The University of Oregon political scientist Gordon Lafer, who wrote an eye-opening report on this topic last October for the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank in Washington, looked at dozens of bills affecting workers. The legislation involved unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, child labor, collective bargaining, sick days, even meal breaks. Despite frequent Republican claims to be defending local customs and individual liberty, Mr. Lafer found a “cookie-cutter” pattern to their legislation. Not only did it consistently favor employers over workers, it also tilted toward big government over local government. And it often abridged the economic rights of individuals...

Chipotle Vs. Ammosexuals

Chipotle: No Guns Allowed In Our Stores:

Chipotle is asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores after it says gun rights advocates brought military-style assault rifles into one of its restaurants in Texas.

The Denver-based company notes that it has traditionally complied with local laws regarding open and concealed firearms.

But in a statement Monday, the company said that "the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers..."

Tax Dodging Swiss Bankers

Feds Ever-So-Gently File Criminal Charges Against Credit Suisse:

The U.S. government has finally backed up its boast that no bank is too big to jail, if by "jail" you mean "vigorously slap on the wrist."

The Justice Department on Monday filed criminal charges accusing Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse of conspiring to help U.S. customers dodge taxes. The bank pleaded guilty to the charges, breaking from a recent tradition of letting banks defer prosecution. Credit Suisse also agreed to pay about $2.6 billion to settle the claims brought by the Justice Department, the Federal Reserve and New York State...

Tasers At The SCOTUS

Supreme Court may hear case on LA. taser death | The Rundown | PBS NewsHour:

...Since 2001, stun guns have been listed as a cause or contributing factor in more than 60 deaths in the United States, according to the human rights advocacy group Amnesty International. More than 540 people have died after police use of stun guns in that time, the group said...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Things That Should Be Obvious

How Thomas Piketty and Elizabeth Warren demolished the conventional wisdom on debt -
...According to the prevailing story, debt is caused by lavish and irresponsible spending by poor and middle-class families. But like much “conventional wisdom,” an increasing amount of evidence belies this point. In fact, the decline of saving and the rise of debt was an almost inevitable consequence of families trying to scrape by in the face of rising inequality. This is the corollary of French economist Thomas Piketty’s now-famous observation: While capital is increasingly concentrated at the top, it turns out that debt is becoming concentrated at the bottom...

Trouble In 'Nam

China evacuates thousands of citizens from Vietnam after deadly unrest -

China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its citizens from Vietnam and is sending ships to retrieve more of them after deadly anti-Chinese violence erupted last week over a territorial dispute between the two countries...
Somewhere an old Special Ops guy is smiling wryly.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Clinton On Econ Inequality

...President Clinton is keenly aware of his economic record. The economy did spectacularly well during his years in office, but he has also been accused of setting the table for the 2008 financial collapse by loosening regulations on corporations
and, in essence, feathering the nests of the “1 percent.”
So what about that?
His response: “To reduce inequality, you have to have tight labor markets and a changing job mix,” he said. “That’s really the reason that, in the eight years I served, that each quintile of the American economy increased in tandem more than at any time since the mid-‘70s. And you can say, well, inequality has still increased, because the top 1 percent
did better, but I don’t think there’s much you could do about that unless you want to start jailing people.”

Cue awkward laughter in the room...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Finally, Proof That Watching Fox News Makes You Transparent.

Must See! Operation American Spring Protester Angrily Wonders Where Fellow 'Patriots' Are (Video) | Firebrand Progressives:

It was to be a great day, a day where the “real” Americans took “their” country back. A day to celebrate liberty and freedom, the start of the Second American Revolution. President Obama was to be chased out of office by a horde of 30 million angry white people who had come from every trailer park in the country to fight for their God-given right to be poor and stupid...

GOPer VA Mysteries

No More Mister Nice Blog:

...Now: who'd be the beneficiaries if Republicans went wall-to-wall on the VA's failings and the resulting scandal actually led to improvements in how the VA does business?...
...And, ultimately, the right isn't going to go Full Metal VA because right-wingers don't really want any government social-service agency to function properly. Heaven forbid that Americans start believing in theability of government to solve problems, not just create them...

Krugman And GOPer Delusions

Krugman slams GOP delusions about climate change and the economy: “Truly crazy positions are becoming the norm” -

 In his Friday column for the New York Times, Paul Krugman takes on newly minted climate scientist Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and compares Republican delusions about climate change to the party’s paranoid — and equally dead wrong — fantasies about inflation.

Whereas the right is currently working overtime to ignore the overwhelming body of evidence that supports climate change and its devastating consequences, they are also fighting to scare up evidence to support still-unsubstantiated claims that actions taken to boost our dragging economy during the peak of the financial crisis would result in runaway inflation...

More On The Gun Bully

Gun Nuts And The Decline Of American Civilization (Video) | Firebrand Progressives:

...Open carry debate, look what you have wrought. Groups of craven, delusional, 2nd Amendment-bastardizing men-children (oddly, most with the same body type. Science, get on that one, will ya?). Bullies who live in a constant state of self-perpetuated fear. In an imaginary world of their own design where strong, brave women want to cut of their pee-pee take away their sole means of protection. These men-children, from their public actions, seem to be an unholy combination of Peter Pan and Rambo with a nasty Norman Bates complex. They certainly feel compelled to prove something. But what, exactly?...

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The VA Blame Game

Eric Shinseki VA Testimony - Eric Shinseki's Very Long, Very Bad Morning - Esquire:

...So here he is, 11 years later, and the people who lied this country into this war never have been truly called to account, and Eric Shinseki now presides over an institution in which serious criminal offenses appear to have occurred -- Blumenthal's right. This thing already screams out for real cops. -- and most of them partly as a result of misbegotten attempts to deal with the human cost of a misbegotten war the architects of which deliberately lowballed as just another element in an infrastucture of lies and contemptable deceit. Another part of it was the public destruction of Eric Shinseki for the crime of being right about what the rest of them were doing. This is one more cruel irony what already is a century too full of them.

Comment Of The Day:WPDS Edition

Achieve this | Uppity Woman: by SWPAnnA
It’s WOMAN President Derangement Syndrome. Joe & Mika think they’re super models. Fox NEWS is distinct from the Sean/Factor/Greta/Five stuff, but come ON, if you can’t see the value in getting an earful of how the opposition thinks, you’re just yearning for a “news” station that tells you what you want to hear about Hillary. Honestly: would you really WANT one of those Icon campaigns like “the One” hoisted? Here in Pittsburgh, when our Pirates win a game, we say: “Raise The Jolly Roger.” Face it: the Obats hoisted the Black Flag with intent to purge the EARth of anything that challenged their criminal designs on the glamor of the Oval Office. The “job” was Hillary’s because she was the workhorse, not the show horse, and now, after supporting countless male candidates, she’s the battle axe. When did you last hear ANY panelist pose a question of Obama’s achievements? He entered office with majorities in both houses and managed, over three elections, to totally squander it, just as Bush and his “brain” erased the surplus...

Clintons Fighting Back

The Clintons come out fighting | PBS NewsHour:

...As Bill Clinton noted Wednesday, “It’s just the beginning…it’s just part of the deal.” The ex-president’s philosophy has always been that you leave no attack unanswered. That is going to mean one heck of a down and dirty 2016 presidential campaign. Hillary Clinton will be in New York Thursday, raising money for the campaign of former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, D-Pa., who happens to be Chelsea Clinton’s mother-in-law. Bill Clinton also appears in a closing ad for Margolies, released Wednesday, ahead of Tuesday’s crowded primary in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Clenis Snark Monster Emerges

Cannonfire---"Brain damage, penis damage, Ann Coulter and Karl Rove":
Karl Rove maneuvered Bill Clinton into issuing a statement that Hillary does not have brain damage...

Another (Ho-Hum) Revolution

Operation American Spring promises to drive Obama from office this Friday:

Self-styled revolutionary patriots plan to converge on Washington, D.C., this week to drive President Barack Obama and disloyal lawmakers out of office.

“We are calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration,” said retired Army Col. Harry Riley, leader of the Operation American Spring protest group. “They have all abandoned the US Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status...”
Froth on, bubbly ones. Froth on.

Non-Partying Causes Polarization

Congress is about to get even more polarized | PBS NewsHour:

...There are plenty of reasons for the trend — from members jetting home and not socializing anymore to the more partisan bents of gerrymandered districts. But whatever the reason, the reality is the next Congress will almost certainly mean more of the same inertia and incivility...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Dr. Rovie Is In

Rove criticized for Clinton ‘brain injury’ suggestion – CNN Political Ticker - Blogs
...After the Post story posted, Democrats and others were quick to slam Rove. The Democratic National Committee put out a statement saying, "It appears Karl Rove's medical diagnoses are about as solid as his election night prognostications..."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Comment Of The Day: ACA Alf Edition

Democrats Polling Well Midterm Elections - What Is It That Arkansas? - Esquire  Charley James · 
 People ranging from Paul Krugman to Mr. Pierce to, well, me have been arguing for two years that Democrats should be running hard on ACA, not treating it like an embarrassment that they got passed by mistake when Republicans left the room for lunch.

Democrats should be using the Google machine to find quotes from Republicans in the 1930s about Social Security and put them alongside GOP statements about ACA. For instance ...

" ...we are compelled by a ... law to turn your money over to the government."

"You're sentenced to a pay reduction for all of your working life. You'll have to serve that sentence unless to help reverse it in November ..."

""This is the largest tax bill in history. And to call it ‘social security’ is a fraud on the workingman…. I am not exaggerating the folly of this legislation. The saving it forces on our workers is a cruel hoax."

These are from Alf Landon when he was running against FDR in 1936, and we know how people bought into the Republican line that year. And I found these is less than two minutes; no doubt an opposition operation could do better. In 2014, it's time for Democrats to actually stand up for what is the most important piece of social legislation since the 1960s.

Gun Bully Bonanza

“Look at my gun!” Why NRA’s scary “open carry” craze is not about freedom -

Imagine you’re sitting in a restaurant and a loud group of armed men come through the door. They are ostentatiously displaying their weapons, making sure that everyone notices them. Would you feel safe or would you feel in danger? Would you feel comfortable confronting them? If you owned the restaurant could you ask them to leave? These are questions that are facing more and more Americans in their everyday lives as “open carry” enthusiasts descend on public places ostensibly for the sole purpose of exercising their constitutional right to do it. It just makes them feel good, apparently...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Great Bill Clinton Interview

Flashback: The Day Bill Clinton Kicked The Living Crap Out Of Fox News! (Video) | Firebrand Progressives

George Will, ____

George Will jeers at #BringBackOurGirls, calls it “an exercise in self-esteem” -

George Will, conservative columnist for the Washington Post, took shots at hashtag activism — specifically the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls. The campaign, which even First Lady Michelle Obama took part in, aims to raise awareness about the over 300 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped in mid-April by the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. The hashtag, as TK points out is also attempting to put pressure on the Nigerian government, which has refused international assistance in getting the girls back.

This morning on “Fox News Sunday,” Will called the hashtag activism “an exercise in self-esteem...”

Ho-Hum Rubio

The only interesting thing about this ConClone is how the Birthers will handle an actual foreign born presidential candidate. Marco Rubio: I’m Ready to Run for President |

Mitt Goes Liberal

Romney: We Should Raise Minimum Wage -

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 Republican presidential nominee, said Friday he believes the nation should raise the minimum wage, breaking from House Republicans who have resisted an increase...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Free To Be Xians

Town of Greece v. Galloway: Roanoke, Virginia, already seeing the effects of the Supreme Court prayer decision.:

...Now it’s easy to dismiss Bedrosian as an outlier, given that his all-Christian prayer policy not only violates the Constitution but also might alarm concurring Justice Samuel Alito, who indicated in his opinion Monday that he might view a legislative prayer policy differently if it were intentionally discriminatory against minority religions as opposed to just an inadvertent clerical error as it was in Town of Greece. (As I wrote Monday, it seems convenient, if not naive, to believe that inviting only Christian chaplains for almost a decade was simply a scheduling mishap.) It’s equally easy to dismiss Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore, who said in a speech in January that freedom of religion in America applies only to the God of the Bible and that Establishment Clause protections do not extend to other religions, such as Islam and Buddhism. “Buddha didn’t create us. Muhammad didn’t create us. It’s the God of the Holy Scripture,” he explained...

Rand Paul Makes Sense!

Rand Paul Slams Voter ID: 'It's Offending People' | The Daily Caller:

Kentucky senator and insurgent Republican Rand Paul denounced Voter ID law during a Friday interview with the New York Times, instantly becoming the most prominent GOP opponent against the legislation that is popular within his party...

Roosting Chickens In UnGay AL

Alabama Ice Cream Maker's Homophobic Tweets Cause Huge Backlash (Video) | Firebrand Progressives:

In a win for the oft-touted ‘free market,’ businesses and customers in an Alabama town are ending their business associations with an Alabama ice cream maker over homophobic comments made to conservative talk-show host Dana Loesch...

WTF Is Wrong Is Wrong With Americans? This Guy Nails It.

A simple graphic series that lays out the truth: WTF Is Wrong Is Wrong With Americans? This Guy Nails It.

Hannity Defines Libertarians

Sean Hannity: Lazy Pope Francis Doesn’t Understand The Virtues Of Hard Work (Audio) | Crooks and Liars

...Hannity seems to think that having a skill set honed to providing a service is all it takes to being a millionaire or billionaire, since that’s how those millionaires and billionaires got their money. I have a few questions I’d like to direct at Hannity and every other Libertarian thinker: Are you a billionaire? If not, why? Because you’re lazy, perhaps? If it worked for them, why shouldn’t it work for you? The only excuse, then, by your own words — by Hannity’s own words — for not making billions of dollars is that you’re just flat out lazy...

Friday, May 09, 2014

Bundyites Under FBI Eye

FBI Investigating Cliven Bundy Supporters Over Death Threats, Intimidation | Crooks and Liars

Cliven Bundy has not won the ‘range war’ he started. The FBI has launched a formal nvestigation  into alleged death threats made by Cliven Bundy supporters, intimidation and possible weapons violations that culminated with a dangerous showdown on April 12, and the first people to be interviewed by FBI agents are Metro Police, starting with Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillispie...

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Not Crazy In NC: ACA Edition

The Affordable Care Act surpasses goals in NC | Editorials |

...In fact, in North Carolina, enrollments in health insurance surged to 357,000 as the eligibility deadline arrived. The state is now the fifth-highest in the nation in terms of the number of enrollments.

That’s all the more astonishing considering that Republicans in control of the General Assembly rejected the state’s participation in a cooperative health care exchange, leaving it all to the federal government, and turned down extension of Medicaid coverage to several hundred thousand more citizens, even though the federal government would have paid the costs...

Crazy In NC: No Representation Edition

Heavily Black North Carolina Congressional District Will Wait Six More Months For Representation | ThinkProgress:

Alma Adams, a long-time Democratic state representative and arts educator, is all-but-certainly going to be a Congresswoman. But due to a cost-saving move by her state’s governor, her first partial term may well be over before she gets sworn-in...

Forgetting History

Lynne Cheney: President Obama 'Doesn't Like America' Because He's Too Educated (Video) | Firebrand Progressives:

...Cheney continued to find fault with Obama’s political views and blamed it on his time as a Professor of Constitutional Law. Being an academic makes a person one of the “others” to conservatives and they love to talk about how the educated elite hold a view of society that is not as red white and blue as those held by Cheney and “the rest of the country”. Did Cheney not see the results of the last two presidential elections? The rest of the country voted overwhelmingly for President Obama. They voted for his ideas and his vision of what America can be...

Benghazi Recap

Very thorough, in case you've forgotten the truth amid GOP lies and distortions.

Why There Is No Cure for the GOP's Benghazi Fever | Mother Jones:

...For Obama's political foes, the Benghazi narrative—that is, their reality-challenged version of it—offers too much benefit to be abandoned. It serves three fundamental desires of the right. The get-Obama crusaders have long wanted to show that the president is just another weak-on-defense Democrat, to demonstrate that he is not a real American worthy of being president, and to uncover an explosive scandal that eviscerates Obama's presidency and provides cause for impeachment. Benghazi, in their feverish minds, has had the potential to do all of this. It is a candy store for many conservatives—no matter that the bins are empty. They will not—cannot—let it go. Nor can they simply focus on the real issues of what went wrong that dreadful night and what must be done to prevent another such disaster. They are love-sick for Benghazi. And for that, there is no cure.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Cowboy Mythology

How The Cliven Bundy Saga Exposes America's Most Enduring Myth:

...Students of the history of the American West have long known that the strong, rugged individualists that populate our movies, TV shows, and myths always depended on government – to give them ownership of their farms and ranches, to subsidize private corporations like railroads for access to markets, for federal troops for protection from Indians, and federally funded dams and canals for irrigating their fields and sustaining their livestock and towns.

The idea that Bundy’s pioneer ancestors somehow made their fortunes (“built that”) without any help, before the invention of government assistance, the Bureau of Land Management or federal regulations, is preposterous...

Lest We Forget: Raygun and Benghazi

Ronald Reagan's Benghazi : The New Yorker:

...If you compare the costs of the Reagan Administration’s serial security lapses in Beirut to the costs of Benghazi, it’s clear what has really deteriorated in the intervening three decades. It’s not the security of American government personnel working abroad. It’s the behavior of American congressmen at home...

Snooping To Be Curtailed?

Cannonfire: "Good News On Privacy"

...Tell 'em to GET A WARRANT. Requiring a warrant will not endanger our safety. Right now, a lot of people are more scared of the government than of the terrorists.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Crist Says Racism Forced Him From GOP

Charlie Crist Says Anti-Obama Racism Him Drove Him From GOP | Crooks and Liars 

Former and, possibly, future Florida Governor Charlie Christ says racism Republicans exhibited against President Obama was a primary factor in his leaving the Republican Party...

Another Take On CDS

Romancing the PUMAs | The Confluence:

...Slightly off topic, I find it interesting that so many people on both the right and the left are ramping up their anti-Hillary rhetoric. Those Democrats who are still on the fence about her should take a moment to think about what’s going on there. Both parties are pawns of the oligarchs right now. And someone in the Democratic party has pushing hard on the idea that if we just let Obama have his 2 terms, we could have Hillary in 2016. That push acknowledges two things: 1.)People want someone to do something already and they’ve decided that the most likely person is Hillary and 2.) if you treat voters like children and make them delay their gratification, you can make them focus on some future uncertainty while taking their minds off what they can do to help their own desperate situations in the present. Whatever the left is currently spewing about how bad the Clintons are bears a striking similarity to the right’s mindless invectives against them to me. And that suggests that there are some very powerful people who do not want Hillary to be the next president. If she were already in the pockets of these very powerful people, you would expect less vilification, wouldn’t you? Think about it...

Dobson Becomes UnXian

Congresswoman storms out of National Day of Prayer event in protest:

Rep. Janice Hahn attended the annual non-partisan National Day of Prayer gathering on Capitol Hill yesterday, expecting a unified, peaceful event. But after listening to Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family rail against President Obama, repeatedly calling him the "abortion president", she decided couldn't sit still any longer:..

Monday, May 05, 2014

Crazy In NC: Judicial Elections Edition

North Carolina Judicial Election - North Carolina Sells Justice At The Polls - Esquire:

...From an aesthetic standpoint, you really have to admire how perfect the takeover of the political system in North Carolina is, how smoothly the engine of corruption purrs along. And, as usual, we have the words of Justice Anthony Kennedy to reassure us, and to make things all better:

"Independent expenditures do not lead to, or create the appearance of, quid pro quo corruption..."

On White Privilege

“I’ll never apologize for my white privilege” guy is basically most of white America -

...But far more likely is the fact that Fortgang will continue to believe that being asked to check his privilege (which really just means recognizing, identifying and challenging the insidious operations of racism) is just whining from jealous haters. Because – like many white people – he doesn’t want to confront racism and white privilege because those things have — and will continue to — really, really help him out in life. And the reality is that he doesn’t have to confront this stuff, either. Not in his daily life, not while trying to find a job and not in any of the other ridiculous essays that he writes for his college newspaper. That’s exactly how white privilege works.
It is perhaps not obvious so I'll just point out-- not all whites enjoy privilege, though the implication in this article is that all do.

Foreign Successes

It’s Not Just About Obama -

...Anyone who thinks that the American people didn’t notice all this, please raise your hand. As someone who wanted us to partner with Iraqis to try to build a democracy there — in the heart of the Arab world after 9/11 — I sure noticed, and I learned several things: Where we have real partners, who share our basic values and are ready to fight for them themselves — like the Kurds, who have built an island of decency that is the great unsung success story of the Iraq war — limited U.S. help can go a long way. Indeed, has anyone noticed that the two biggest reform successes in the Muslim Middle East today — Tunisia and Kurdistan — are places where our  recent involvement was nil. They wanted it, and they built it...

Sunday, May 04, 2014

"Outrageous" Death Penalty Comments

GOP Lawmaker Doesn't Care If The Death Penalty Involves 'Being Fed To The Lions':

 In an interview with the Associated Press published Saturday, Christian said Clayton Lockett's case did not sway his support for the practice.

"I realize this may sound harsh," Christian told the AP, "but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions..."
To some people this was an appalling statement, but I get it. I am in favor of the death penalty under two conditions: 1) The guilt of the accused is far beyond the shadow of a reasonable doubt , and 2) The execution can be done humanely-- and by that I don't necessarily mean "going to sleep." This latest drug fiasco was not humane but then again it was accidental.

1% Getting Message?

Berkshire's Munger wants 1% to take pay cut - May. 4, 2014:

Munger said he did not think that super-wealthy types like investors Tom Perkins and Sam Zell should be complaining about feeling persecuted because they are rich.

He said that taxes on the affluent are not as onerous as they once were.

"The taxes on wealth were much higher when I was much younger. So for somebody of my age, I don't think they're ruining the world because I've lived through way more punitive taxes on the rich than we have now," he said...

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Classism And Racism

Working Classism at Work | The Smirking Chimp:

Donald Sterling, Cliven Bundy and Phil Robertson have more in common than dumb opinions about blacks. They’re examples of working classism at work.

The billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, the grazing fee refusenik Nevada rancher and the hillbilly patriarch in the TV reality show “Duck Dynasty” are bit players in a familiar drama...

Friday, May 02, 2014

GOP Endorsed Slavery

Republicans Want To Enslave My Generation | Crooks and Liars:

...When a select few in our society hold all the power, we essentially become an oligarchy. A recent study from researchers at Princeton and Northwestern concluded that increasing inequality has demolished the democracy that once built America’s vibrant middle class: “if policy making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened,” it said.

In the old days, oligarchies were built on the backs of slaves. In modern-day America, it’s now the middle class...

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Rush Flopping

Rush Limbaugh's California Ratings Debacle | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...Three months later, Limbaugh's KEIB is a ratings disaster, coming in 37th place in the second largest radio market in America with a .5 rating share in March, the most recent month available, according to Nielsen ratings. (A ratings share represents the percent of those listening to radio in the market who are dialed into a particular station.)...

On Blowhards, Racist And Otherwise

the daily howler: EYES OFF THE PRIZE: Where in the world was the so-called press?:

...For now, we can tell you this:

NBA players will not be leading the fight on voter ID. More problematically, journalists won’t be trying to force a discussion of the fact that nine percent of Wisconsin residents are too poor to use a bank or to need a driver’s license.

Your press corps won’t be talking about the children growing up in those homes. Your press corps won’t be conducting a sane or factual discussion about our nation’s low-income schools and the deserving children within them.

Your press corps doesn’t care about that! Nothing on earth could be more clear. And we include Our Own Joan Walshes when we offer that judgment...

Animals Receive Food Stamps

South Dakota GOP Senate Candidate Compares Food Stamp Recipients To Animals | Right Wing Watch:

 A Republican candidate for South Dakota’s open Senate seat on Monday likened people who receive food assistance to animals, implying that both become dependent on handouts...

Clinton Poll Pounds Bush

Why does Hillary Clinton outpoll Jeb Bush in his own state? -

How well is Hillary Rodham Clinton doing in the polls right now? She’s doing so well that she easily beats former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – in his own state...