Norm Ornstein chimed in this morning on the near future of the GOP. He views Cantor’s loss less as the beginning of a populist trend and more a preview of intracine battles yet to come in the party. It’s here.
He sets it up with pitch perfect – and delightful – disdain for our fickle media narrative:
The new dominant narrative, of course, is that the Tea Party rose up, struck back, showed its muscle and has the party establishment on its heels. That replaces the previous narrative, that the establishment rose up, struck back, and has the Tea Party on its heels.
And wraps with this:
American political parties always face a tension between their establishment and ideological wings. On the Republican side, going back more than a hundred years to the Teddy Roosevelt era, that was a struggle between moderate progressives and conservatives.
Now it is different. There are no moderates or progressives in today’s GOP; the fight is between hard-line conservatives who believe in smaller government and radical nihilists who want to blow up the whole thing, who have as much disdain for Republican traditional conservatives as they do for liberals.
On another matter: here are some earlier visitors (you know who they are, don’t you!) to the couch sporting some ‘non-Muslim beards’.
This here, though, is clearly a gen-u-ine “Muslim beard” (according to Brian Kilmeade, the one who isn’t Steve Doocy).
On the couch at Fox & Friends this morning, let us hear Keith Ablow – FOX’s ‘psychiatric consultant’ – look deeply into Bergdahl’s participation in a ballet some years back:
“The fact that he was a dancer and a lifter — not a weightlifter, but I guess he would lift the ballerina — what does that mean?” Brian Kilmeade asked, with an assist from fellow host Steve Doocy.
“Supposedly he was recruited by these girls to have that role,” Ablow replied. “I think front and center on any stage is this guy’s M.O.: unless it doesn’t feed him narcissistically — you can’t give him a job unless you’re going to tell him you’re the star and we’re going to keep you at a throttle of twelve out of ten.”
And then the pinpoint turn: “I’ve been saying it before, Barack Obama does not have the will of the American people, Americanism, in his soul. This swap, somebody who may not feel very American for five people who definitely don’t, is symptomatic of that. It was bound to happen when you have a leader who doesn’t affiliate with patriotism.”
“Well, he definitely wanted out of Afghanistan and maybe it’s his way of closing GTMO regardless of the consequences,” Doocy said.
“He wants out of America, my friend,” Ablow said. “Trust me.”
Ablow prefaced the entire exchange by conceding he had not evaluated Bergdahl or his parents “formally,” which is TV-psychospeak for “at all.”
While providing Fox News television “medical analysis*” of the October 11th, 2012 Vice Presidential debate, Ablow strongly and repeatedly suggested that some of Vice President Joe Biden‘s behaviors, such as interruptions of the opposing candidate and what he believed to be excessive laughter, might mean that he should be evaluated for dementia, alcoholism, or other conditions. “I’m not diagnosing him,” he clarified. “I haven’t evaluated him. But psychological testing – It’s anyone’s guess what it would show.”
*’Medical analysis’ – who in that god-forsaken place assigns a ‘medical analyst’ to debate commentary?
This looks exactly right to me. It’s FOX after all. Plus I’m too lazy to go any deeper than reading this post at Andrew Sullivan’s (gay conservative Catholic now disowned by the right for something-or-other) blog, The Dish.
So why? Demonizing Obamacare is not working quite as well anymore as polls show more acceptance among Americans. But Benghazi? Oooooh, a shiny object that will – once again – do just fine for now to fuel the outrage machine until Monica/Hillary crowds it out.
“I think it’s a constitutional violation” and “We’ve never had a president with that level of audacity and that level of contempt for his own oath of office.”
House Speaker John Boehner:
“There’s a Constitution that we all take an oath to, including him!”
And then, of course, there’s this:
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) said Tuesday night he left President Obama’s State of the Union speech early after “hearing how the president is further abusing his Constitutional powers.”
“I could not bear to watch as he continued to cross the clearly-defined boundaries of the Constitutional separation of powers,” Stockman said in a press release shortly after Obama’s speech ended. “Needless to say, I am deeply disappointed in the tone and content of tonight’s address.”
Stockman said Obama was promising to “break his oath of office and begin enacting his own brand of law through executive decree.”
Even by the standards of a divided Congress . . . there has never been such an unproductive session of Congress.
NBC’s “First Read” recently published a chart comparing the productivity of today’s divided Congress (57 laws passed) to the work undertaken by a divided Congress during President Reagan’s terms – when Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. The 97th, 98th and 99th Congresses respectively passed 473 laws, 623 laws, and 663 laws.
The article concluded: “It’s not even a close call. That [Democratic] House got a lot more done with its GOP rivals than this GOP House has with its [Democratic] counterparts.”
The photos appear to have been taken at nearly the same moment, but from two different angles. And they tell different stories.
As I said in my headline, these two photos contain an important lesson about assumptions and jumping to conclusions.
But that said and friendly smiles notwithstanding I see intentional cruelty, nearly of the Westboro Baptist Church variety. Here, they’re gathered outside a Houston restaurant to “protest” the meeting inside of the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott, seeking to bring the court system more in line with his conservative outlook, has repeatedly rejected lists recommended to him by the Florida Bar of lawyers seeking to screen candidates for judgeships.
Scott has rejected dozens of attorneys the Bar has nominated to serve on judicial nominating commissions, created decades ago to professionalize the bench and make merit and qualifications at least as important as political connections.
“He wants people with humility,” says Scott’s chief counsel, Pete Antonacci, “and he wants judges who will follow the law and not make it up as they go along.”
The Bar said Scott’s two predecessors, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush, never rejected any of its nominees. The governor has rejected the lists 16 times and has never publicly given a reason and is not required to do so.
Scott has sent back so many Bar-recommended names that the group keeps a five-page spreadsheet to track them.
Bet you didn’t know this. Neither did I, but it’s right there on Glenn Beck’s own site, The Blaze, the place for dystopian paranoia and apocalyptic terror – plus there are many wonderful things available for purchase!
Glenn Beck on Monday began what he said is “just the beginning” of his work to reveal the background and motivations of Grover Norquist, the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform.
Beck began by playing recent clips of Norquist calling out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for his efforts to derail Obamacare, noting that while he used to joke about the left’s portrayal of Norquist as a “big power player,” he’s since revised his dismissive opinion in light of the warnings that you “don’t ever take this guy on unless you’re prepared.”
The final vote in the Senate was 81-18, with 27 Republicans voting yes. Here are the Republicans who voted no (from NRO Online):
Senators David Vitter (La.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Ron Johnson (Wis.), Pat Toomey (Pa.), John Cornyn (Texas), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Dean Heller (Ariz.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Tom Coburn (Okla.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Tim Scott (S.C.), and Pat Roberts (Kan.). Senator Jim Inhofe (R., Okla.) did not vote.
So what’s the message going to be on talk radio tomorrow?
(UPDATED TO ADD LINK)They’ve posted this on their homepage:
Official Stance of the Million Vet March on the Memorials
The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC yesterday was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle was and remains about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner. Our love for and our dedication to remains with Veterans, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings.
Mr. Cruz, Ms. Palin and some attendees, including political parties may have not been aware of the goals of the marches which took place in over 60+ rallies across the nation.
Thursday’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll hit the Republican Party like a bomb. It found, as Gallup had, the Republican Party (and, separately, the Tea Party) at “all-time lows in the history of the poll.” It found Republicans taking more blame for the shutdown than they had in 1995. It found more Americans believing the shutdown is a serious problem than in 1995.
Even worse for the GOP is what the pollsters called “the Boomerang Effect”: Both President Obama and Obamacare are more popular than they were a month ago. Obamacare in particular gained seven points.
The Boomerang Effect – yup, that’s exactly what happened after the GOP impeached Clinton (instead of doing the nation’s business). His favorability, which had been lackluster before the impeachment, soared.
Interesting that President Barry made this exact point yesterday. I guess he’s reading my Facebook feed cuz I said this on Monday in a comment thread – and in a post here. And I wish he’d said it sooner.
Obamacare is the law, as passed by the Congress, signed by the President, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the American people when they re-elected that President. That’s the way the US gov’t is designed to work. Half of those who tell pollsters they disapprove do so because it doesn’t go far enough – they wanted a single payer plan. The demand to defund or delay Obamacare comes from a single branch (and only a small minority of that branch) trying to undo – by holding hostage – a law created in the way designed by the Constitution.
Oh the ugly . . . anger spreads today across the land because the First Family spent lottsa taxpayer money staying in Ireland. And the First Lady is bad. Bad, bad, bad . . . here are the first six comments from a post at something called reagancoalition.* (The story began at the Moonie-owned, barely subscribed financial failure The Washington Times, and then went to Newsmax where this coalition-of-racists picked it up.)
So she’s a low class n—ger with a big black butt whose kids hate her. Obviously. But it’s sooo classy to make fun of the kids (later comments savage them). I remember Limbaugh going after then 12 year old Chelsea Clinton and making fun of her looks. That was classy too.
An aside: the Obamas made a State visit the UK in ’10; Bush did the same in ’03. In 2011, the BBC compared costs and other aspects of the visits. It’s here and is very interesting. Note that Bush brought 700 people with him; Obama brought 500. Pretty much this is what happens when a President of the United States goes calling.
*(Stipulated: 1) this looks like a wing site, and 2) I remember the Bush/monkey stuff but he was the president and she isn’t.)
I gave the original of this picture of my great grandfather to that cousin. It’s a precious one as he is reading the very first edition of The Saturday Evening Post, in 1887.
Anyway, the story that occasions this post popped up on my timeline on Facebook as a ‘share’ from a second cousin. When I first went onto Facebook, I was delighted to find relatives I hadn’t communicated with in decades and we began some lovely getting re-acquainted dialogue. I even joined this cousin’s sister in a genealogy project which we conducted via email. It was a great deal of fun and very rewarding. She was deeply interested in family history – unlike my own nieces and nephews – so I sent her many heirlooms from my own great-grandparents, grandparents etc; it was mostly original photos, letters, even some wedding veils . . . it was a wonderful year or two for both of us.
Until last year. That’s when I began streaming this blog onto my facebook page. The communications died, emails were only answered in the most cursory way and eventually not at all. I had all along been quite familiar with these women’s politics and knew we were very different that way. But that wasn’t the sort of thing what we talked about, so it didn’t matter. Or so I thought.
I’ve not unfriended either of them and never will, but it’s a loss.
I’m skimming Bob Woodward’s book on the Obama Administration – The Price of Politics. I’ve read his books for years. They’re dry recitations of his reporting, utterly passionless and very readable.
In the last few years though, he’s begun to sound a bit like the ‘get off my lawn’ guy (encroaching on traditional McCain territory!). Still, he writes a good book. So I sat down and I began.
By page 20, Woodward is giving credence to a complaint uttered by Eric Cantor after the vote on HR1, the first bill of that congress, Obama’s stimulus package. Cantor had whipped the congressional Republicans so effectively that not a single one of them voted for the bill. Not one.
What. . . surprised Cantor was how badly the White House had played what should have been a winning hand. Though Obama won the vote, he had unified and energized the losers (really? he was the one that did it?). . . . he had actually pushed them away . . . there had been no sincere contact, no inclusiveness, no real listening.
The vote, and Cantor’s complaint, came on January 28, 2009, eight days after Obama was inaugurated. A period during which Obama had met three times with the House leadership – including Cantor.
By the time Sandra Day O’Connor was leaving the court in July of 2005, she had already let it be known that she regretted her vote in Bush v. Gore. (A Goldwater Republican from Arizona, O’Connor – as most of us know – was often the ‘swing’ vote on the Court, and it was in that case.)
By ’05, she considered the Bush presidency to have been a disaster. On one of her last days at the Court, in conversation with Justice Souter (a Republican appointee who usually voted with the liberals), she said:
“What makes this harder is that it’s my party that is destroying the Country.
I thought Republicans were for a strong military and a balanced budget . . . Bush repudiated all of that.”
The official American delegation named by the White House was led by two more [Kissinger was there, but not as part of the official delegation] former secretaries of state, George P. Shultz and James A. Baker III. But some British Conservatives complained that President Obama did not send a senior serving member of his administration.
Asked if Cameron thinks the U.S. had snubbed the U.K., the prime minister’s spokesman, Jean-Christophe Gray, said“absolutely not.” “The seniority of the dignitaries in the U.S. delegation that includes two former secretaries of state with whom Lady Thatcher worked with very closely herself, is testament to her global stature,” he said.
I think this is odd. And I’ve no idea if this is a breach of protocol or is protocol. All the news stories make note of this, but the criticism I’ve seen so far seems to be coming entirely from the right.
What David Frum called the conservative entertainment complex continues to dismiss and even mock any expressed concern about income inequality in the United States. They honestly don’t know what they’re talking about. This is one of the very best explanatory videos I’ve ever watched. It’s pretty viral right now, so you may have seen it. If not, take the full six minutes to watch; every moment of this is clear, precise, informative and ultimately of course quite alarming.
Any country that lets this continue dooms itself to oligarchy, to instability, civic unrest . . . a nasty future awaits and denying it doesn’t make it not so.
h/t friend Brian. (Nice to see you at the theatre too!)
Republican Governor Rick Snyder of Illinois – adored by the new Right – chooses Kevyn Orr as Emergency Manager of Detroit. Very good. Smart man. Chosen why? Chosen because he did it for GM and Snyder wanted the best.
Uh-oh . . . wasn’t there a certain media narrative in the way-back machine about how the auto bailout was a disaster?
What’s a FOX pundit to do? How can Limbaugh talk his way around this one? Eh. You know he will – child’s play for he who can, and brilliantly does, justify absolutely any flip-flop as long as it’s his own or committed by any of his ideological allies (a cast which also changes over time adding yet another layer to the challenge of justification, but Rusty is up to it. No one does it better.)
Pure patriot is our Dick – these comments from a former Vice President will serve so well the interests of The United States out in the wider world. Thanks for having our back you creep.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday night that President Barack Obama has jeopardized U.S. national security by nominating substandard candidates for key cabinet posts and by degrading the U.S. military.
Right. Because you didn’t tear the military to shreds with two wars over a decade – unless soldier suicides don’t count. And it doesn’t count that the military is overwhelmed with caring for those with traumatic head injuries. Or that we became so desperate for new cannon fodder that the Army lowered standards to accept felons. Mr. “I had other priorities” went on:
“The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal,” Cheney said in comments to about 300 members of the Wyoming Republican Party.
Cheney, a Wyoming native, said it was vital to the nation’s national security that “good folks” hold the positions of secretary of state, CIA director and secretary of defense.
Like Rumsfeld, who Bush wanted to fire but was continually blocked by Cheney.
“Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people,” he said.
Step aside Michelle Bachmann, there’s a new piece of low hanging fruit in town.
It seems Obama recently said “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” when he was asked if he’d ever fired a gun.
Oh yeah? A statement like that calls for serious congressional attention because it’s an important matter and we can’t just take the word of the President of the United States. Because it’s too important.
California’s belt-tightening, tax increases, and subsequent projected budget surplus contrasts sharply with Gov. Chris Christie’s plan to cut New Jersey’s income tax, even though the state’s deficit grew again this year, as it has for almost a decade.
Christie believes that cutting taxes on the 1% will bring “job creators” into the state: according to Thinkprogress, “The tax cut plan that Christie unveiled in 2012 would have given 40 percent of its benefit to the richest 1 percent of New Jerseyans, while cutting taxes for middle-class families by just $80.”
Christie would cut state taxes even though it would dramatically lower revenue; meanwhile New Jersey desperately needs money to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy. And while Christie is smart, tough, personable, and appears to be one of the few non-crazies on the national Republicans scene, he still clings to the market fundamentalism that brought the country to its present condition.
From Crooked Timber: Eric Loomis, a blogger at Lawyers, Guns and Money is in the crosshairs – he has landed on an intertubes hit list, where Glenn Reynolds, the genuinely frightening Michelle Malkin, Town Hall, The Daily Caller and only Elvis knows who else have not only climbed aboard the tired outrage train, but are actually charging him with ‘eliminationist’ rhetoric. First, here’s what he said on Twitter:
“I was heartbroken in the first 20 mass murders. Now I want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.”
Pretty threatening, eh? But metaphors be damned, these folk know a genuine threat of violence when they see one.
Back to Crooked Timber:
[the first shot came from] right-wing blogger Glenn Reynolds [who] earlier voiced his anger over the State Department’s lax provision of security in Benghazi by demanding, “Can we see some heads roll?” . . . other conservative voices have joined in. The Daily Caller saysLoomis “. . . tweets demanding death for National Rifle Association executive Wayne LaPierre.” . . . And just this morning, Michelle Malkin wrote at National Review Online: “So, it’s come to this: Advocating beheadings, beatings . . . Blood-lusting hate speech must not get a pass . . .”
Count on George Will to build an entire column on a cheap half truth. I used to enjoy his columns but in recent years he’s turned bitter. And careless of how he used language and history. He’s got his underwear in a know again.
A few years back, according to the GOP punditocracy, Obama’s chief of staff spoke terrifying words! He said “we should never waste a crisis”. This of course, meant the sheets had to be pulled off the fainting couches yet again.
Not only was his comment not new, it has been the conventional wisdom for hundred of years; the Chinese use the same character for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’. Seen below “the use has been adopted by business leaders and motivational speakers’. Because it’s true.
Benjamin Zimmer has traced the history of weiji in English as far back as anonymous editorial in a journal for missionaries in China. The use of the term probably gained momentum when John F. Kennedy delivered a speech in Indianapolis on April 12, 1959:
When written in Chinese the word crisis is composed of two characters.
One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.
UPDATE: The GOP wants this guy out, fast. From Karl Rove to Sean Hannity . . . Ann Coulter to The Weekly Standard and National Review – all demanding Aiken withdraw from the race. He says he won’t. I give him 24 hours.
ORIGINAL POST: At least Rep. Todd Aiken isn’t alone. It seems there’s a history to the rape doesn’t cause pregnancy meme, here.
Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Freind (R) was an ardent abortion opponent. . . He also looks to be the first legislator to make the argument that rape prevents pregnancy, arguing in the late 1980s that the odds of a pregnancy resulting from rape were “one in millions and millions and millions.”
Try saying that with the Friends, Michelle. Dare ya’!
NOTE: Rape results in pregnancy 4.8% of the time, which corresponds with plain old sex.
His explanation? The trauma of rape causes women to “secrete a certain secretion which has the tendency to kill sperm.” Reproductive health experts immediately denounced those remarks. One told the Philadelphia Inquirer, ”Boy, if I could find out what that [secretion] was, I’d use it as a contraceptive.”
It’s not inconceivable that this could cost the GOP a Senate seat. Even Michelle Malkin is disgusted. She does the partisan dance around it of course – don’t we all – but closes with this:
The question for Republicans in Missouri is whether sticking by self-inflicted-wounded Akin is more important than securing a U.S. Senate majority.