Saturday, November 13, 2010

Palin Negatives Hit New High

A new Gallup poll finds that 52% of Americans now view Sarah Palin unfavorably -- the highest percentage holding a negative opinion of the former Alaska governor since Sen. John McCain tapped her as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee.

Her 40% favorable rating ties her lowest favorable score, recorded just over a year ago.

We Democrats/liberals/progressives/normal people need to remember that we are the trend that is growing in America.

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Lawrence O’Donnell On "Socialism"

Lawrence O’Donnell explains “socialist” comment.

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Insight Into Why Justice Scalia Is Such A Dick

{Justice Stephen] Breyer said 200 years ago, people thought flogging at a whipping post was not cruel and unusual.

"And indeed there were whipping posts where people were flogged virtually to death up until the middle of the 19th century," he said. "If we had a case like that today I'd like to see how you'd vote."

The two bandied about other issues, including Brown vs. The Board of Education, the landmark high court decision in the 1950s that outlawed school segregation case, cable television rulings, and how they view cases that come before them.

Later, Scalia returned to the issue of flogging, saying it's "stupid" but "not unconstitutional, which is stupid. There's a lot of stuff that stupid that's not constitutional."

Scalia said he has no interest in what legislators intended when making a particular law. Breyer countered, saying judges need to go back and find out the purpose legislators had when crafting a bill.

"I don't at all look to what I think the legislature thought," Scalia said. "I frankly don't care what the legislature thought."

Breyer responded quickly, saying, "That's the problem," which brought thunderous laughter from the crowd.

The heart of a Conservative: not really caring about the original intent, as long as you get your way. As a modern Justice, he should be declared unfit to practice law.

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Eric Cantor Just Committed A Felony

If our political system made more sense, this would be an astounding scandal that would dominate the discourse.

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday during a meeting in New York that the new GOP majority in the House will "serve as a check" on the Obama administration, a statement unusual for its blunt disagreement with U.S. policy delivered directly to a foreign leader.

"Eric stressed that the new Republican majority will serve as a check on the Administration and what has been, up until this point, one party rule in Washington," read a statement from Cantor's office on the one-on-one meeting. "He made clear that the Republican majority understands the special relationship between Israel and the United States, and that the security of each nation is reliant upon the other."

This just isn't normal. Laura Rozen called the meeting itself "unusual, if not unheard of." But it's what Cantor said that's astounding.

We're talking about a powerful member of Congress engaged in foreign policy, vowing to a foreign government to oppose the administration's policies regarding that government. Ron Kampeas from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency news agency said he can't remember any U.S. official ever doing this. "[T]o have-a-face to face and say, in general, we will take your side against the White House -- that sounds to me extraordinary," Kampeas said this week.

Cantor not only met in private with a foreign leader to undercut the foreign policy of the elected American president, he proceeded to brag about it.

Google the Logan Act, "which makes it a felony for any American 'without authority of the United States' to communicate with a foreign government to influence that government's behavior on any disputes with the United States."

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What Is And What Is NOT Destroying America

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Train That Never Leaves The Station But Is Always Late

The GOP Bullshit Express. Nascent phony deficit hawks who want to add trillions to the deficit with proven failed tax cuts for the top 1%. Wake up, America.

(via technipol)

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Hitchens: Marginality And Irrelevance Of Religion

"If I cannot definitively prove that the usefulness of religion is in the past, and that its foundational books are transparent fables, and that it is a man-made imposition, and that it has been an enemy of science and inquiry, and that it has subsisted largely on lies and fears, and been the accomplice of ignorance and guilt as well as of slavery, genocide, racism, and tyranny, I can most certainly claim that religion is now fully aware of these criticisms. It is also fully aware of the ever-mounting evidence concerning the origins of the cosmos and the origin of species, which consign it to marginality if not to irrelevance."

Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great (via sixtyforty)

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Bush's Waterboarding Admission Prompts Calls For Criminal Probe

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday joined a growing chorus in the human rights community calling for a special prosecutor to investigate whether former president George W. Bush violated federal statutes prohibiting torture.

President Dumb Ass is the idiot gift that keeps giving.

Starting a fake war. Making up WMD. Torture. Take your pick.

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Lede of the Day: Businesses Irate Over Record Profits

Here's the lead story today from those noted communists at Bloomberg:
Investors around the world say President Barack Obama is bad for the bottom line, even though U.S. corporations are on track for the biggest earnings growth in 22 years and the stock market is headed for its best back-to-back annual gains since 2004.
This is the world we live in. Obama oversees massive corporate earnings and a robust stock market and business wants MORE. Greedy bastards.

Enough is never enough. The corporate world is destroying our brains.

Veterans Day Remembered

GOP Math

The GOP never has to deliver on any of their promises because they all are based on fiction.

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Fair Game

Chris Matthews segment on “Fair Game”. Movie about Valerie Plame and the Bush White House’s fact-free build-up to war. Stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

Want to understand Iraq and how we got there, the betrayal and decisions of the Neoncons to protect their bogus war and PR campaign, check out this movie.

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Republicans Don't Do Bipartisanship

While the Broders of the world continue their partisan game of calling for Democrats to be bipartisan, it’s obvious to anyone paying attention that they really only intend for a unilateral Democratic capitulation. It was obvious from the moment President Obama took office that his sincere desire to work across the aisle would only be taken advantage of, and that it would be seen as a sign of weakness. After a year of Democrats negotiating down their health insurance plan until it most resembled Romneycare or the 1993 Republican plan, for which the Republicans gave it not a single vote and now call for its repeal, nobody any longer should be buying into the myth of bipartisanship.

In our time of big ideas and mature dialog, the GOP has mastered "No".

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Childcare in America

Childcare in America

As EPI points out, we spend almost nothing on it:

There are many factors here, but this is in part a consequence of America’s sky-high health care costs. The high price of US health care means that Medicare and Medicaid benefits for the elderly tend to crowd out spending on child and family issues.

Children account for half of Medicare, but receive one-fifth the payments. The 80% goes to adults and the elderly. Given the choice between funding for "old people v young people", old voters win over kids

If children could vote, they would not vote for the GOP.

And while New Zealand has low costs per child, they also have mandated 14 weeks of paid maternity leave and a further 38 weeks of unpaid maternity leave.

US policies towards childcare and two-working-parent families -- more precisely, towards working mothers, is brutal. We just aren't investing anything substantial in what is, according to most research, the most important stage of life.

Our race to the bottom mentality needs to change.

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Austan Goolsbee Explains The National Export Initiative: History's Biggest Export Increase

"The president's in Asia because it's important. More than 95 percent of the customers of the world are not in the United States. You wanna sell things, you gotta go where the customers are. We are going to grow our way out of this, and exports is going to be an important component of that. For that all patriotic Americans can agree. Because the American economy has never taken a backseat to anybody, and we are not about to start now." - Austan Goolsbee, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers.

The goal of the National Export Initiative, Goolsbee says, as he draws a bar chart, is to increase exports from the current $1.57 trillion level to $3.14 trillion by 2014. "We would literally double exports in the United States," Goolsbee says.

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Stupid or Evil?

Via the Sullivanator 2010, this Jonah Goldberg quote:

“One of the great failures of my book is that it has popularized the use of ‘fascism’ as an epithet. And one of the things I was hoping to do, and I failed miserably, is shut down the use of the word ‘fascist’ as an epithet. Instead it’s become bipartisan. And I don’t like it. I don’t think it’s all that helpful. It might help my books sales, but that’s not what I had hoped to do,” – Jonah Goldberg on C-SPAN over the weekend.

Normally, I would say no one is that damned stupid, and he is just lying. But this is Jonah Goldberg, and there is a very distinct possibility that he is so damned stupid that he didn’t realize that wingnuts would be spending the next four decades saying “Liberals are the real fascists!” After all, he still maintains his book is scholarly work.

I’m just going to have to and go with stupid AND evil.

Assholes, Bring on the Brawndo!, hoocoodanode | 8:28 pm | Respond | Trackback |

The Right Wing loves to use "Fascist" to describe a multitude of Democratic policies, never failing to realize fascism is a right wing, pro-corporation, nationalistic ideology. Talk about denial.

So stupid and evil is spot on.

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A Moment Of Fiscal Truth

Assessing the preliminary responses to the Simpson-Bowles breakthrough has been a fascinating insight into where we all actually stand on what the Dish regards as the central domestic policy issue of our time: restraining the debt. Ross notes that the proposal - derided by many on the left - is nonetheless remarkably "progressive" if by "progressive", one means protecting the poor:

Yes, it’s tilted toward spending cuts, and away from tax increases. But look at the way it cuts spending and raises taxes. It means-tests Social Security benefits for high earners and raises the cap on taxable income, while also adding a larger benefit for the poorest seniors. Its hypothetical discretionary spending reductions don’t come from anti-poverty programs, for the most part: They come from cutting the defense budget, cutting the federal workforce, cutting farm subsidies, etc. It raises tax revenue by reducing tax credits and deductions that almost all overwhelmingly benefit the affluent. (This would be especially true in the scenario I’d prefer, in which the child tax credit and the earned-income tax credit stick around.) It would cap revenue at 21 percent of G.D.P., which would be higher than any point in recent American history, and well above the average for the last thirty years. And it does all of this, as Chait himself notes, while assuming that Obamacare — the capstone of the liberal welfare state — would remain essentially unchanged.

And it raises revenue without raising income tax rates. Chait admirably calls the proposal "supportable" because of the long-term debt crisis. But here's Krugman and Drum and Pelosi harshing on the entire mean-but-lean government philosophy behind the proposal. The NYT is admirably supportive overall.

All of which leads to an obvious and compelling political and policy win-win for the president. He needs to embrace this opportunity to end the long-term debt and pivot to the center and call the right's bluff at the same time. There is nothing that would restore Obama's cred with Independents more than tackling his own party's ideologues on the deficit and the debt. Since Obama pioneered this debt commission and wanted it to have more power than it does, this cannot be spun as opportunism (and it isn't). It can be seen as part of Obama's promise not to duck these core and tough issues, not to punt on the big policy choices for another generation. And it can be presented as part of Obama's profound willingness to work with Republicans as well as Democrats to put this country back on a long-term fiscally sustainable path.

Such a breakthrough, I believe, would also galvanize a recovery, restoring long-term confidence in the US economy, and prompting businesses to spend, invest and hire again.

This is Obama's moment. He needs to seize it with clarity, focus and drive. If he does, he will regain the coalition he won with - and then some.

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Money And Ethics In Politics

The Right Turned Pragmatism Into The Boogie Man

"It seems to me that the last year or so in America’s political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama’s presidency in its crib. Emergency measures in a near-unprecedented economic collapse - the bank bailout, the auto-bailout, the stimulus - were described by the right as ideological moves of choice, when they were, in fact, pragmatic moves of necessity. The increasingly effective isolation of Iran’s regime - and destruction of its legitimacy from within - was portrayed as a function of Obama’s weakness, rather than his strength. The health insurance reform - almost identical to Romney’s, to the right of the Clintons in 1993, costed to reduce the deficit, without a public option, and with millions more customers for the insurance and drug companies - was turned into a socialist government take-over…."

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

FOX News Racism: Denying It Is Futile

"People, THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF FOX NEWS BEING RACIST. The next time some conservative is like “you throw that word around too much, when have we ever been racist?” be like “FOX News called Michelle Obama the president’s ‘baby mama,’ a racially loaded term that implies their marriage is less valid because of the color of their skin (and a hundred other nasty things), and I can guarantee that Laura Bush never got called ‘Dubya’s Baby Mama’ because they’re white people.”

(via takethispolitically)

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"George W. Bush released a book and because of his economic policies, no one can afford to buy it."

David Letterman (via brooklynmutt)

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Do They Even Report Them Anymore?

According to, there were 50 US troop deaths in Afghanistan last month. Do these even get reported in the basic national news sites (cnn, nytimes, etc.) anymore? Or am I just guilty of tuning them out myself most of the time? Serious question.

Good question for Bush on his book tour.

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Lou Dobbs Returns, To Be Ignored

"Economic hero to immigrants Lou Dobbs, long gone from CNN, has signed on with Fox Business Network, hosting a show starting early next year. Fortunately, no one watches Fox Business Network."

Who else would hire a confused, old white guy with misplaced anger issues?

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F.D.A. Unveils Graphic Warnings for Cigarette Packs

If you think you look cool smoking, you look like a corporation fucking you in the mouth. And you smell like shit. You are vile.

You are under the control of a habit where you mindlessly light up cigarette after cigarette because you really are that boring.

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Republican Lie II: Healthcare Costs

Expensive healthcare? Under the pre-Obama status quo, healthcare costs were rocketing and premiums were soaring. Under the health insurance law, Medicare is actually cut, and a provision is in place that establishes:

"an executive commission that regularly amends reimbursement rules so that Medicare spending is held down to a specified target — and whose amendments automatically become law unless Congress overrides them and provides alternative amendments that meet the target."

That keeps healthcare spending under control, not unleashed. And that, remember, was what the GOP ran against, turning an attempt to restrain costs into the threat of "death panels". Remember those ads accusing Democrats of trying to cut Medicare?

Every major issue is a chance for Republicans to willfully misinform. From health insurance reform to climate change to tax cuts for the rich, Republicans want the little guy to be on his own, while the super rich are catered to excessively.

What kind of asshole turns Congressional approved cost cutting measures into "death panels"?

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The Republican Lie: Super Nanny State Fiction

Here's MoDoBro giving us the Full Fox Jacket:

The voters left no doubt about their feeling for his super-nanny state where the government controls all aspects of their lives and freedoms.

Not just nanny, but super-nanny! And in just eighteen months "the government controls all aspects of voters' lives and freedoms". Again: all aspects of voters' lives and freedoms. I'm not even sure totalitarian states achieve that; China doesn't achieve that. Maybe Burma and North Korea qualify under that standard. So in 18 months, one president has ended the constitution and turned American citizens into North Korean subjects?

Where is this claim substantiated? Not one single piece of evidence.

The Republicans love to spread this lie, this idea that "their" country has been taken away. That "their" country has been disrespected.

"Super Nanny State" is coded language for Wingers. Propaganda at its height.

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Ex-German leader: Bush Lying About Iraq in New Book

"Just as I did during my subsequent meetings with the American president, I made it clear that, should Iraq ... prove to have provided protection and hospitality to al Qaeda fighters, Germany would reliably stand beside the US," Schroeder said.

"This connection, however, as it became clear during 2002, was false and constructed."

- Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

Bush used a conversation in 2001, ignoring all the facts and changes in German elections that occurred in 2002, to justify Germany's support.

Now that Bush is back in the spotlight, now is the time to really expose the lying and deception used to start the Iraq War. We have clarity and perspective.

The WMDs never existed. They were not hidden or taken away. They never existed. Once you see the War from that view, you never allow yourself to be fooled by Republican/Neocon rhetoric.

If you staked your reputation on WMD, and it proved to be 100% false, would you fire the people that gave you the intel? That's how you know they were in on this, no one was let go or resigned.

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GOP Wants To Gut Health Care, Secure Asshole Reputation

If you've listened at all to congressional Republicans recently, you've no doubt heard them talk about one of their top priorities: gut the Affordable Care Act, and take away access to coverage for tens of millions of Americans.

The timing of his absurd push could be better.

Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday.

They said 4 million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008.

"Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade," Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

It's against this backdrop that the entirety of the Republican Party wants to destroy the reform laws and go back to the broken system that produced these tragic results.

Not that this is going to happen, they will never get the votes, but when the Republicans look at the sad state of the country, the first thing they think is that we need to cut health care?

Americans are hurting. The GOP wants to make them hurt even more.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Republican Mantra

The rich, the right and the white ...

Keep the fires of calamity burning bright

                          -- Akhilleus,

They claim Government does not work as they go for jobs in Government.

They claim the markets correct themselves as the global markets fail.

They willfully misinform.

The future is what scares them, so they cling to the past with all their might.

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Texas Needs To Get Messed With

Despite assertions that Texas' conservative governance is a model for the nation, the state government is facing a drastic budget mess. After more than a decade of conservatism, Texas suddenly finds itself in a $25 billion hole.

To address the shortfall, a growing number of Texas Republicans are interested in simply withdrawing from the Medicaid program altogether.

Texas would like to cut Medicaid to the most vulnerable as a way to cut State budgets? Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the country, dropping out of Medicaid would take the total from 26% of the state to 40% of the state.

Compassionate Conservatism is full effect.

If you cut Medicaid, you just get more ER visits by the uninsured which end up costing more money.

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You Can't Whitewash Torture From History

"Waterboarding is torture; torture is illegal under international law,” said Amnesty International’s Steve Ballinger. “So President Bush’s statement is an admission that a crime has been committed.” Tom Porteous, the UK Director of Human Rights Watch said, “There is no point having international justice for petty African dictators if you can’t apply it to the leaders of powerful countries like the US."

Via Think Progress (via ryking)

Waterboarding = Torture = Bush

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Change Takes A Movement

A failure of communication, which the White House has now begun to acknowledge, is not a deep enough analysis of the problem. Nor is the conservative counter that the real issue is how bad and unpopular Obama’s policies are.

The problem is not that Obama has tried to do too much, or not enough; depending on your political point of view. The deeper problem is this: Washington, D.C. is wired to block social change. And the system is ‘not on the level’ as Obama has complained in his more frustrated moments.

Those who want change have naively overestimated how much a new young progressive president could really do. And the new president was over-confident about how much he could accomplish with his powers of persuasion, convincing logic, sincere desire to transcend partisan divisions, and the knowledge that he is often the smartest person in the room.

What has still not been really understood by Obama’s White House, by most of his supporters, and by a media that mostly focuses on who’s up, and who’s down in Washington during any given week is this: it takes a movement.


We are that movement. Our convictions are true.

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Monday, November 08, 2010

Health Care Reform Challenge REJECTED By Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has turned down the first preliminary challenge to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The decision Monday to reject an appeal from a former Republican state lawmaker in California was no surprise because a federal appeals court has yet to consider the case. The high court almost never reviews cases before the issues have been aired in lower courts.

Of more significance is the sign that all the justices took part in rejecting the appeal.

This is such a boogie man for Conservatives. The GOP runs on repealing these laws, delivers on none of their promises, and their base just keeps living in denial. Reform is here to stay.

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GOP "Limited Government" Canard


“Cutting government spending is always attractive and easy in the abstract. It only gets hard when you see that a lot of what government does is stuff that lots of people rely on to facilitate their perfectly ordinary lives. And we haven’t even gotten to the big stuff, like roads and schools and prescription drug testing and food safety and the air traffic control system.

So whenever a cut-the-government-now fetishist starts insisting on huge reductions in government spending, ask for specifics. What, specifically, should be cut? And don’t listen to the “waste,” “fraud,” and “abuse” answers—even were it possible to eliminate all such problems in the budget (it isn’t, although we should certainly try), there isn’t enough money in those categories (or earmarks, either) to make much more than a dent in the US deficit.

Demand answers in specific, programmatic terms. Unless you know whose ox is going to be gored, and think about the likely effects of cuts over time, you’re playing Russian Roulette.”

(Source: politicalprof)

We all want limited government. Where in history have the Republicans ever limited spending or reduced the size of Government? STFU, GOP.

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Tea Party Fundamentally Incoherant

…the Tea Party position is fundamentally incoherent. Most of their candidates, including Palin, are free-trade Republicans, but have remained strangely silent on the issue, because the majority of their supporters strongly favour trade barriers to protect US jobs.

They claim a monopoly on patriotism, yet such is their hostility to Federal government that they scarcely seem to believe in the United States at all.

And their definition of liberty is a strangely selective one. Who is less free: the person who pays a portion of his or her income in taxes to ensure decent healthcare should they fall ill, or the one who pays a portion of their income to an insurance company and, when they get cancer, are told that their cover won’t meet the cost of the chemotherapy?


Legacy costs for medical benefits effect every business in America.

They have no effect in Japan, England, France, Germany and every other Westernized culture because they all have universal or semi-universal health care.

Wake up. 50% of Health Care is paid buy government already. The other 50% is massive profits for private companies who are raising your rates.

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Sunday, November 07, 2010

"If John Boehner is speaker of the House for the next 20 years, he’ll be lucky to match [Nancy Pelosi’s] achievements."
"Democrats didn’t lose the battle of 2010. They won it." - By William Saletan - Slate Magazine

Boehner is known on the Hill as the laziest man in the Senate. Republicans like to have muppets, a la Bush, in charge. Easier to mindlessly push their heartless, pro-corporate agenda.

Source: Robot Heart Politics