. . . for those who rail incessantly about ‘failed’ economic policies, get real (and stop pretending that stimulus was all spending . . .a big part was tax cuts).
And I mean everything. Whatever veneer of civility existed in the US Congress was very deliberately extinguished in 1994 by Newt Gingrich when he instructed his caucus that their Democratic colleagues were no longer ‘the opposition’. They were ‘the enemy’.
After that, and after being tossed out by his own party just a few years later, and after a few more wives, and after a near bankruptcy or two, and after a vanity campaign for president, and after being hired by CNN – proving their irrelevance once again – to resurrect the reviled show Crossfire (perfect casting, I must say), comes now his call for John Kerry to resign as Secretary of State. Because climate change you know.
There’s no getting rid of this guy.
Posted in broken government, Cable News, environment, Gingrich, Media
Tagged Cable News, climate change, Crossfire, Gingrich, John Kerry, Media, partisanship
From a column in The Hill today:
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.”
Same scene, same time, different angles. Partisans will choose which to embrace.
As Josh Marshall put it at Talking Points Memo:
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.
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.
Posted in Family and Friends, Obama, partisanship, Politics, racism, Right wing talk machine
Tagged BBC, Bush, diplomacy, facebook, Obama, partisanship, Presidential travel, racism, right wing outrage, State visits
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.
Like I said, keeping it classy.
Posted in Afghanistan, Cheney, George Bush, Iraq War, irony, military, partisanship, Plutocrats, Politics, war
Tagged Afghanistan war, Dick Cheney, Iraq War, National security, partisanship, Politics, US military
Miss Graham’s dream of advancing to chief scold are foiled again, as current and senior scold Sen. John McCain abandons Arizona altogether and takes up permanent residence on the floor of the US Senate.
Mitt Romney said this yesterday, apparently about Solyndra:
“an independent inspector general looked at this investment and concluded that the administration had steered money to friends and family, to campaign contributors.”
Here’s what the Deptartment of Energy’s independent inspector general, Gregory Friedman actually said:
“We currently have 64 open investigations associated with the Recovery Act, nearly 25 percent of our current case load. Schemes under investigation include the submission of false information in applications for funding, fraudulent claims for rebates, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, the directing of contracts and grants to friends and family, weatherization fraud to include mischarging, and other attempts to fraudulently obtain Recovery Act funds.”
CONCLUDE: To make a final judgment or determination
INVESTIGATE: To observe or inquire into
So there we are. Guilty until proven innocent. The American way. Any questions?
LET ME ADD: The Obama Bain ad was just as bad. But I like Obama, so there!
(h/t The Last of the Millenials)
Posted in 2012 Elections, Civics, corruption, partisanship, Politics, Romney
Tagged Dept. of Energy, elections, partisanship, Politics, Romney, Solyndra
More from that Barney Frank interview in the NY Times Magazine Orhan posted about the other day.
Q: You recently said about Newt Gingrich: “He’s just one of the worst people I know of who didn’t commit violence on somebody.” Did he kill your dog?
A: He transformed American politics from one in which people presume the good will of their opponents, even as they disagreed, into one in which people treated the people with whom they disagreed as bad and immoral. He was a kind of McCarthy-ite who succeeded.
For those who don’t remember, this article was written in 1995, after Gingrich became Speaker of the House. Here are the words that Gingrich, in a memo, urged his fellow Republicans to use when referring to Democrats:
decay… failure (fail)… collapse(ing)… deeper… crisis… urgent(cy)… destructive… destroy… sick… pathetic… lie… liberal… they/them… unionized bureaucracy… “compassion” is not enough… betray… consequences… limit(s)… shallow… traitors… sensationalists…
endanger… coercion… hypocrisy… radical… threaten… devour… waste… corruption… incompetent… permissive attitudes… destructive… impose… self-serving… greed… ideological… insecure… anti-(issue): flag, family, child, jobs… pessimistic… excuses… intolerant…
Gingrich was never interested in cooperation – without which there is no possibility of governing in a democratic process. (Remember when he shut down the government? Twice? Such good times.)
As he exhibited yet again in his absurd presidential campaign, Newt is interested first in Newt, and in his place in history which he thinks he has earned. He’s right about that at least.
Posted in broken government, Congress critters, Gingrich, Government, History, language, partisanship, Politics, Right wing talk machine, talk radio
Tagged Gingrich, GOPAC, language, Newt Gingrich, partisanship, Politics
So the Tea Party and Dick Armey and Karl Rove and all the Koch money and the poor souls who think they’re well served by being ground troops for this crowd did it, they got rid of Lugar. He just wasn’t pure enough.
A Lugar loss marks a sea change in both Indiana and Washington, where Lugar has long played the role of Republican wise man, a sober internationalist who could reach across the aisle to solve difficult problems.
In today’s political climate, however, Lugar’s bipartisan leanings were part of his undoing — and the defeat of the man Richard Nixon once called “America’s mayor” when he led Indianapolis will send chills down the spines of fellow GOP incumbents seeking reelection in states where a conservative insurrection is possible.
Posted in 2012 Elections, campaign finance, Civics, Congress critters, corporate power, History, partisanship, Politics, Right wing talk machine, talk radio, Tea Party
Tagged elections, news, partisanship, Politics, Richard Lugar, tea party
Politico has the story:
Former Veep Al Gore is now getting a bit of credit for his infamous 1999 claim that “I took the initiative in creating the Internet”: He’ll be one of the first inductees into the Internet Hall of Fame
The names were announced Monday at the Internet Society’s Global INET 2012 conference in Geneva, Switzerland, and Gore was placed in the “Global Connectors” category for having “made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet.”
The group’s description of Gore states: “Al Gore, the 45th Vice President of the United States, was a key proponent of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet. Instrumental in helping to create the ‘Information Superhighway,’ Gore was one of the first government officials to recognize that the Internet’s impact could reach beyond academia to fuel educational and economic growth as well.”
Sure sounds to me like he took him some initiative there.
(Apologies to someone – I grabbed this Daily Kos link from a blogfriend and have now lost track. So whoever put this up before me, thanks. Nice catch.)
Sen Mitch McConnell now:
“The president crossed a dangerous line this week,” read McConnell’s prepared remarks. “And anyone who cares about liberty needs to call him out on it. The independence of the court must be defended.” […]
So, some ‘reporters’ decided to visit the way back machine to see just where this ‘line’ not to be crossed falls.
Candidate Ronald Reagan then:
… campaigning in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Reagan blasted the court’s most recent abortion ruling as “an abuse of power as bad as the transgression of Watergate and the bribery on Capitol Hill.” …
Reagan administration then:
Attorney General William French Smith accused the federal courts of “constitutionally dubious and unwise intrusions upon the legislative domain,” and vowed to oppose such “subjective judicial policymaking.” […]
President George W. Bush then:
For the judiciary, resisting this temptation is particularly important, because it’s the only branch that is unelected and whose officers serve for life. Unfortunately, some judges give in to temptation and make law instead of interpreting. Such judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy—and it needs to stop.
And oh yeah, the good Senator had few words back then too (about the Schiavo case):
MCCONNELL: I don’t know. These are findings of fact that presumably the court, had it looked at it de novo from the beginning, which is what we granted the federal courts the authority to do, could have taken into account
[Between the lines – the Court overstepped ‘what we granted the federal courts the authority to do’?].
(there’s more at the link from lesser lights.)
Posted in Civics, Congress critters, Government, health care, History, insurance reform, irony, partisanship, Politics
Tagged ACA, congress, health care, news, Obama, partisanship, Politics, SCOTUS
The Wall Street Journal gave Karl Rove a bunch of pricey op-ed real estate today so he could say:
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander-in-chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.
Here’s what Clinton actually said: “He [Obama] took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’”
Little words mean a lot. But the king of spin knows that. That’s why he leaves them out.
Posted in elections, Media, Obama, partisanship, Politics
Tagged elections, Karl Rove, Media, news, Osama Bin Laden, partisanship, Politics, spin
Conservatives insist that liberals never ever criticize their own, and especially not Dear Leader. Which is nonsense of course. Glenn Greenwald, a liberal’s liberal who now blogs at Salon magazine, writes this today in a post he calls “The Authoritarian Mind”.
Hollywood producer and director Davis Guggeinheim just produced a 17-minute “documentary” hailing the greatness of Barack Obama and his many historic and profound accomplishments, and it will be released this week by the Obama campaign. Please just watch this two-minute interview of Guggenheim by CNN’s Piers Morgan in which Guggenheim explains that nothing critical can or should be said of our President other than the fact that he is so Great that his Greatness cannot be sufficiently conveyed in a single film (via VastLeft); other than noting the obvious — how creepy his Leader worship is and how perfect of a guest-host he’d be for several MSNBC shows — all I can say is that this is the pure face of the Authoritarian Mind, but it is as common as it is repellent . . .
CNN video at the link.
We’ve got trouble folks. We’ve got trouble – right here in River City. Trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “P” and that stands for . . .
Herewith some serious fine journalism from CNS News, a rather interesting ‘news’ outlet, owned by the Media Research Center, a non-profit dedicated to proving there’s a librul media. Got that?
Posted in abortion, Civics, comedy, Media, partisanship
Tagged birth control, CNS News, Media, news, partisanship, Politics, sex
From my paper this morning, this Letter to the Editor:
I stopped subscribing to the paper over a year ago except to purchase a Sunday paper for sports/movies, as the paper has moved way too far to the left to be credible anymore.
As the country is center right, your paper has continued to move further left. Hopefully a change in direction will be made to restore the paper’s credibility and for more balanced news.
The writer so disapproves of the 20 or so inches of daily editorial opinion (which he doesn’t have to read) that he chooses to shut out the news and close himself off from the area’s primary source of local information.
Face, meet the Nose – before it’s gone.
Also this, from my paper’s web edition this morning – on the editorial page:
But there does remain the matter of those ‘liberal’ editorials. So I guess it’s all or nothing, as Rush says. Anyway, it’s a small price to pay when you are striking blows for liberty. Or something.
Posted in Florida, irony, Media, partisanship, Pet peeves, Politics, The Daily Rush
Tagged liberal media, Media, news, partisanship, Politics
There’s really nothing that doesn’t outrage certain elements of the right wing noise machine. Here’s a screen grab from memorandum today. If you’re not familiar with this particular website, it provides a running aggregation of political news. Note the media sites that listed (“Discussion”) who’ve seized on this newest manufactured scandal:
Apparently the presence of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton is the reason for angst. Politico provides context:
“This was an event for local school children from the Washington DC area and for hundreds of military families. If we wanted this event to be a secret, we probably wouldn’t have invited the press corps to cover it, release photos of it to Flickr, or post a video from it on the White House website,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement. “Even Johnny Depp’s fans knew about it and posted on their website. . . .
The official White House social media releases and the reporter pool dispatches from the party do not mention either Burton or Depp, but the Depp fan site JohnnyDeppNews.com reported that the actor was in attendance with Burton. And the Nashville Tennessean also reported that both Depp and Burton were at the White House for the party. Then-White House press secretary Robert Gibbs addressed the event in his briefing, but did not go into any detail.
Expect FOX News to devote several segments to this tonight.
Posted in Cable News, Current Events, Holidays, Media, Obama, partisanship, Politics
Tagged Cable News, Media, news, partisanship, right wing noise machine
Politifact has named their Lie of the Year for 2011: “Republicans voted to end Medicare”.
Sayeth the right wing media today: Politifact heroically speaks the truth! It accuses Democats of perpetrating the biggest lie of the year. Wow! See? We told you so.
Sayeth the right wing media before today: They’re liberal leaning! Don’t trust what they say! Well known liberal bias! Tool of the librul media! Rush said so!
And so it goes.
(The 2010 and 2009 choices indicted Republicans, and on the same subject but, well, you know . . .)
Richard Nixon said ketchup was a vegetable and the only vegetable he ate. And yet the man lived to 81. Plus he got all famous and wrote books and stuff. So maybe Congress is on to something here.
In the great tradition of this country congress declared ketchup still a vegetable “following intense lobbying from the pizza and French fry industries.” (Lottsa fried potatoes still okay too.)
This agreement improves childhood nutrition by providing school nutritionists with the ability to serve healthy foods kids enjoy while avoiding burdening schools with massive new costs,” institute President and CEO Kraig Naasz said in a statement. “Of particular interest to frozen food producers, this agreement ensures that nutrient-rich vegetables such as potatoes, corn and peas will remain part of a balanced, healthy diet in federally-funded school meals.”
It’s a damn good thing they’ve managed to find time to pass this bill, as busy as they’ve been with matters so critical to the nation by addressing the tough economic issues like . . . ( 🙂 ! I’m kidding. Fooled ya’, didn’t I!)
The 112th Congress is on pace to be one of the least productive in recent memory — as measured by votes taken, bills made into laws, nominees approved. By most of those metrics, this crowd is underperforming even the “do-nothing Congress” of 1948, as President Harry Truman dubbed it.
Posted in broken government, Civics, Congress critters, elections, Government, Meet the 112th!, partisanship, Politics
Tagged congress, Current Events, news, partisanship, Politics
Terrorists and dictators, lacking the filibuster, have no effective defense against Barack Obama. Rebecca Kirzsner, Democratic strategist
Busy. Unbloggy. Later.
Tom Toles today in The Washington Post
CHRIS CHRISTIE last week at Reagan Library re American Exceptionalism:
Implicit in ‘American Exceptionalism’ is that we are different and, yes, better, in the sense that our democracy, our economy and our people have delivered.
But for [it] to truly deliver hope and a sterling example to the rest of the world, it must be demonstrated – not just asserted.
So the Governor thinks we may have slipped down the ladder a bit. Good thing he isn’t running.
AND THIS from Duane:
In response to an assertion from Dick and/or Liz Cheney that President Obama “slandered the nation,” and that he “owes an apology to the American people” for daring to criticize the Bush torture policy while subsequently following Bush-like counterterrorism strategy, John McCain said the following:
“It is very obvious that one of the great recruitment tools that our enemy has is the fact that we tortured people, which is not in keeping with the standards of the treatment of prisoners. We never got useful information as a result of torture, but we sure got a lot of angry citizens around the world, and deservedly so.”
“Deservedly so.” Imagine, if you can, what would have happened if President Obama had said “citizens around the world” were “deservedly” angry at us for torturing prisoners.
Cox Newspapers columnist Frank Cerabino (link broken) suggested what might happen.
Fox News studios would have been awash in a tsunami of mouth foam.
Posted in Cheney, Media, Obama, partisanship, Politics, war
Tagged American Exceptionalism, Chris Christie, John McCain, Obama, partisanship, Politics
I’m losing faith in the ‘Obama plays a long game’ theory. (h/t mac who brought this up today )
Gotta admit though, the Pentagon is about to deep-six DADT and that didn’t happen by executive order. Obama suffered the slings and arrows that descended on him when he didn’t just do it on January 21, 2009. He allowed the process to work until the support was broader. I suppose that’s that is playing a long game.
Anyway, Tom Tomorrow nails it – this is how Democrats see things today – click to enlarge.
Posted in broken government, Congress critters, Current Events, economy, Meet the 112th!, Obama, Politics, taxes, Tea Party
Tagged broken government, debt ceiling, Dont Ask Dont Tell, Obama, partisanship, Politics
RR with Tip O'Neill
Repeatedly documented, but rarely cited in the current kerfuffle over raising the debt ceiling are two things:
- 1. Ronald Reagan “repeatedly signed deficit-reduction legislation in the 1980’s that melded annual tax increases with spending cuts just as President Barack Obama is now asking Congress to consider.” from POLITICO via Steve Benen, here, and
- Congress raised the debt ceiling under George Bush seven times – every time he asked.
. . . it’s also worth noting that the conservative Republicans of the 1980s were absolutely certain that Reagan’s policy would destroy the economy, and as part of the right’s unyielding track record of failure, they were wrong.
The larger point, though, is that when the 40th president sat down with lawmakers to work on debt reduction, he accepted as a given that the agreement would include a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. The debate would be over the ratio. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons Reagan ended up raising taxes in seven out of the eight years he was in office. (Remember, “no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people” as Reagan.)
Republicans in Congress balked in 1983. Reagan wrote to then-Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker Jr. (R-Tenn) about their intransigence. From the letter:
The full consequences of a default — or even the serious prospect of default — by the United States are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. Denigration of the full faith and credit of the United States would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar.
Now Baker was a Senator I admired for his moderation, and many Republicans in the Congress then may have been right about the dangers of the debt. But that is not the point. Then, as now, they were ignoring the causes and resisting action on the consequences.
More from Benen:
Mike Huckabee recently said, “Ronald Reagan would have a very difficult, if not impossible, time being nominated in this atmosphere of the Republican Party.” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) had a nearly identical take last year, arguing Reagan “would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today.”
It’s also worth noting that the GOP never shut down the government when Republican presidents Reagan or Bush or Bush were in office. They did it only when the Democrat Clinton was in office. And now they threaten to do it to this Democratic president.
For the good of the country of course.
Posted in Congress critters, economy, Government, History, Politics, taxes
Tagged Barack Obama, congress, debt ceiling, Howard Baker, partisanship, Ronald Reagan, Steve Benen
Is shutting down government part of the GOP platform now? Perhaps, because it worked so well in the past.
Talks imploded Thursday between DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders in the final hours before a midnight deadline, and Minnesota began a historic government shutdown.
“This is a night of deep sorrow for me,” Dayton said in an address at 10 p.m. that was punctuated by jeers and hisses from Republicans, including some lawmakers.
The governor said his last offer would have raised income taxes only on those earning more than $1 million a year — an estimated 7,700 Minnesotans, or 0.3 percent of all taxpayers, according to the Revenue Department.
It’s the same argument we’re hearing nationally with the same rancor and obstruction..
Talks may have also broken down because an earlier GOP offer asked Dayton to accept controversial policy positions the Republicans pushed for this year, including photo ID requirements at the polls and abortion restrictions. An offer sheet provided to the Star Tribune said the policy adoptions were in exchange for “new revenue in a compromise offer.”
Oh. Of course.
Posted in 2012 Elections, abortion, Current Events, economy, Government, Politics, taxes
Tagged government debt, Government shutdown, Mark Dayton, Minnesota, Newt Gingrich, partisanship, Taxes
The Democratic Party is still trying to shake association with the student demonstrators, war protestors, flower children and the more radical leftists of the late 60’s and early 70’s. That ‘commie, hippie’ label comes from that long ago time – from events of 40 years ago.
I look at the Republican party today and wonder if they’ll pay a similar price for embracing the Tea Party, the birthers, the creationists and the rancid religious right. Could this be their 60’s? I wonder if indeed they’ll pay a price – and for how long.
In fact, I wonder if they’ll survive the 2012 elections. If the conservative electorate is splintered enough, Democrats could get to pick up the pieces at all levels.
Posted in 2012 Elections, Civics, elections, Government, History, Politics, Tea Party
Tagged Democratic Party, elections, partisanship, Politics, religious right, Republican Party, tea party
As Congress faces the vote to raise the debt ceiling – something we do every year – the blogosphere is full of posts on the subject. Posts by blogfriends Kay and BeneathTheTinFoilHat led me to Perspectives where there is lots of bloggy goodness on the subject. This chart caught my attention.
In thread comments elsewhere, I’ve been refrencing a book – maybe as important a book as I’ve read in our recent tumultuous partisan years. The book is Ill Fares the Land by the late Tony Judt. The cover blurb says “Something is profoundly wrong with the way we think about how we should live today.” He disdains the nihilistic individualism celebrated by the Far Right. He asks all the questions many of us think but lack the language to articulate. It’s a serious, thoughtful and terrific book.
This stood out for me – about language and how both the media and the left lack it. We all hear the tired anthem of how our ‘freedoms are under attack’, apparently from liberals, Democrats, those who would dare to share. Judt reminds us just what freedom actually means:
Freedom consists in retaining our right to disagree with the state’s purposes and express our own objections and goals without fear of retribution.
So simple. And the left has not even bothered to frame a response.