Friday, January 28, 2011


Rememeber the last two of years when Dick Army's Tea Party engineered massive astroturf rallies against the Obama Administration by scaring seniors into believing that the President was going to implement large funding cuts to Medicare? The nation saw scenes of seniors on electric scooters attending anti-government TEA party rallies terrified by the prospect that the Obama administration was threatening their access to a Socialist, government run health insurance program.

The juxtaposition was incongruous, to be sure. But nonetheless, there they were wit their government supplied scooters and their signs, proving that in politics it is far more effective to scare people with lies than try to convince them of the superiority of your actual policy positions by explaining the intricacies and nuances of your plan.

Well, now that they finally have control of the House, GOP leaders are not only threatening Medicare with cuts of their own (you mean the party that has derided Medicare as Socialism for 60 years didn't really mean to strengthen and protect the system?) they are floating a plan to do far worse: they want to privatize the system, effectively ending Medicare altogether.

Interestingly, it appears that the GOP is now a subsidiary of the radical, far-right TEA Party, and cannot even impose the discipline necessary to quiet the radicals until after the 2012 election when they might actually have the political power to start putting some of these ideas into effect.

I have a feeling that the Obama administration is salivating at the prospect of running in 2012 against the party that wants to not only give health insurers the right to discriminate against people with pre-existing medical conditions, cap lifetime medical benefits, and raise rates on a whim, but is also the party that wants to end the Medicare system altogether, replacing it with fixed payments that seniors must use to buy a policy from these same insurance companies that have just been given the green light to screw their customers seven ways to Sunday.

The only question that remains is whether Democrtas will take the opportunity that's been handed to them and hammer this message 24/7 over the next two years, or whether they'll shrug their shoulders and continue to "play nice," virtually assuring that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Race Baiting from Fox

Does it surprise anyone that Fox News has decided to launch a salvo against the latest call for political civility --the suggestion that Democrats and Republicans sit side by side at the State of the Union address, as opposed to gathering in separate camps-- by making a mocking, sardonic reference to the anthem of the Civil Rights Movement? (Click the image at left to expand the headline that reads "'Kumbaya Seating' at State Of the Union a Distraction?")

Two years ago, a Republican congressman from South Carolina enthralled the Tea Party faithful by shouting out the words "you lie" as our nation's first African American president delivered the traditional State of The Union message to Congress. For showing such infantile disrespect to president Obama, congressman Joe Wilson was hailed as a hero, and came to embody and give voice to the hateful bigotry of those who cannot accept that our nation, the world around them and the times, have changed.

I have little doubt that many of those who question Barack Obama's citizenship and country of birth do so because they see in their fanciful conspiracy theories a vain hope of clearing America of the "stain" of having been governed by a black president. if Obama is illegitimate, then he never was president in the first palce, and America's history governance by white males remains unbroken.

Kumbaya, people.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Seething, Idiot Rage.

If you want a good sense of the irrational, seething hatred the right has for President Obama, there's no need to look any further than the latest unhinged conspiratorial ravings of Gateway Pundit, Pajamas Media, Doug Ross and Michelle Malkin.

While President Obama's address to the nation in the wake of the murder of six people and the attempted assassination of Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords was widely praised in the media (even by Glenn Back), the rabid partisans of hate on the Right would simply have none of it. Unable to attack the president for what was an almost unanimously praised performance, right-wing bloggers spit their poisonous venom at the crowd that attended the service, frothing at what they felt were inappropriate whoops and oddly timed applause.

And it would have ended there had the geniuses at Gateway Pundit not stumbled upon a stunning photograph that proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt that, in fact the Obama Administration instigated the inappropriate applause through the nefarious technique of television broadcast. Reproduced below is the unassailable proof (click picture to enlarge).

Now, those who would counter that what the jumbotron is showing in that picture are not instructions to the crowd, but rather simple closed captioning for the deaf, clearly suffer from a surfeit of intellect and a paucity of stupidity. Or to put it in simpler terms, they must surely be liberals.

It was Gateway Pundit who first produced this stunning evidence of the White House's purposeful deceit. The post was picked up and commented favorably by Pajamas Media's Ed Driscoll, and blogger Doug Ross, and if we are to believe Ross, Michelle Malkin also linked to the story (though I can find no such link currently on her website).

I think my favorite chain of reasoning (once commenters started enlightening these right-wing geniuses on the meaning of the term "closed captioned") is Driscol's.

First the image was proof of Obama Adminsitration duplicity as it gave unassailable proof to the lie that the Administration did not explicitly elicit the crowd's reaction:

“If White House Was Surprised by Applause at Tucson Pep Rally.” Jim Hoft asks, “Why Did They Ask For It On Jumbotron?”

Click over for the damning photo.

Once commenters explained the meaning of "closed captioned" Driscol realized that OMG, that's even worse:

"Many on the left were quick to point out that the “applause” that appears on the screen are not prompts but closed-captioning. Really? ... I think it’s WORSE that it’s closed-captioning. ... Had some ass prompted the people to cheer, boo, applaud, act like morons and completely inappropriately, I would still have a scintilla of hope that maybe the left could be rehabilitated. Nope. Sadly the screen was merely reporting the goings-on. Scary, huh?."
So there you have it: damned if you do, damned if you don't. If it appears the Obama administration elicited the crowd's reaction, then they are contemptible liars. If, however, it turns that Driscol, Ross, Gateway Pundit, and Michelle Malkin are complete idiots who see Obama Administration villainy around every corner and under every rock, then it's even worse for liberals!

(Hat Tip: Wonkette)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tom DeLay Sentenced: 3 Years in the Slammer

A Texas judge has sentenced former GOP majority leader Tom DeLay to three years in prison for his role in a scheme to launder corporate money to Texas candidates in contravention to state law.

AUSTIN, Texas —Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday after convictions for money laundering and conspiracy stemming from his role in a scheme to channel corporate contributions to Texas state races in 2002.
After listening to Mr. DeLay say he felt he had done nothing wrong, Judge Pat Priest sentenced him to three years in prison for the conspiracy count and 10 years’ probation for the money laundering count. The judge rejected arguments from Mr. DeLay that the trial had been a politically motivated vendetta mounted by an overzealous Democratic District Attorney.

“Before there were Republicans and Democrats, there was America, and what America is about is the rule of law,” the judge said just before pronouncing the sentence.


Oh yeah, Fox News is running a story on this event, too. I'll give you one chance to guess what word does not appear once in the article... that's right, it's the word "Republican."

(EDIT: Since it originally ran, the Fox story has been updated, significantly lengthening it and adding mention of DeLay’s party affiliation. This is the full text of the original Fox story:


AUSTIN, Texas -- A judge has ordered U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

The sentence comes after a jury in November convicted DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. DeLay was once one of the most powerful men in U.S. politics, ascending to the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives.

The former Houston-area congressman had faced up to life in prison. His attorneys asked for probation.

Senior Judge Pat Priest issued his ruling after a brief sentencing hearing on Monday in which former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert testified on DeLay's behalf.

Priest declined to hear testimony from the state's only witness.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Red State Justice

They were imprisoned for life for a crime that, at most, should have netted them a couple of years behind bars. When they were young, Jamie and Gladys Scott facilitated a robbery that netted the robbers $11. The women had no prior criminal history. No one was killed and the boys who actually committed the robbery escaped with a few months in jail after fingering the young women in a plea-bargain. But the sisters were sentenced to life.

Now, sixteen years later, Governor Haley Barbour is releasing the Scott Sisters from prison. But it's not for the reasons you might suspect. They aren't being released to right a long-ago wrong. They're being released because the eldest sister, Jamie Scott, requires dialysis treatments which are costing the State of Mississippi about $200,0000.00 a year, and the younger of the two sisters has agreed to donate one of her kidneys to her sister in exchange for their freedom:

After mulling over the matter for several months, Gov. Barbour announced in late December that he would not pardon the sisters, but would instead indefinitely suspend their sentences.

Gov. Barbour said he had acted in part out of concern over Jamie Scott’s health, but also to relieve the state of the cost of her dialysis treatment, approximately $200,000 a year.

“The Mississippi Department of Corrections believes the sisters no longer pose a threat to society,” Mr. Barbour said in a Dec. 29 statement. “Their incarceration is no longer necessary for public safety or rehabilitation, and Jamie Scott’s medical condition creates a substantial cost to the state of Mississippi.”

That's some mighty fine Christian compassion for ya!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making the Case for the Public Option

A newly elected GOP congresswoman from Tennessee makes the best case yet for the need for a Public Option in the Health Care Reform Act... but, of course, being a Republican she's completely oblivious to that fact.

The importance of the public option for Health Care Reform is nowhere more evident than here: the Public Option wasn't intended merely as a way for the Government to get involved in the business of providing health care insurance. It was needed to prevent health insurance providers from blackmailing the government by threatening to rescind coverage to certain groups, or pull out of certain markets altogether. With a public option in place, the government could have called their bluff, inviting insurance companies to forgo the profits they might gain from servicing a particular market. As it is, health insurers now have enormous leverage over future legislation regarding coverage and pricing.

(Via: Daily Kos)

Censoring the Constitution

As you've probably heard by now, one of the first moves of the new GOP majority in congress was to call for a reading of the U.S. Constitution from the House Floor. And if you weren't paying attention, that's probably what you though happened today. The Las Vegas Sun, for instance, reported on the incident thusly:

Despite it being the government’s founding document, it’s the first time it’s been read out, every article, signature, and amendment, on the floor of the House of Representatives. But the event wasn’t just in homage to the founding fathers. It was also a sign of the new influence of the Tea Party, for whom adherence to the Constitution was -- as Nevadans will remember from Sharron Angle’s senatorial campaign -- a major rhetorical campaigning point during the 2010 midterms.

But was that what really happened? Was every article, signature, and amendment read on the floor of the House of Representatives? As a matter of fact, no, that's not what really happened. Rather, the Constitution of the United States of America was pushed aside so that members could instead read aloud the Constitution of... I don't know: La La Land, maybe? Whatever it was, it wasn't the Constitution of the United States of America that was read aloud today:

A Goodlatte aide explained that the Constitution will be read in its most modern, amended form. This will prevent lawmakers from having to recite politically uncomfortable portions, notably the provisions on the “three-fifths compromise” under which slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of taxation and representation.

So wait... what we're getting from the Party of Constitutional Originalism is a reading, not of the Constitution of the United States of America, but rather, of a literary doppleganger that whitewashes this nation's history of institutionalized racial oppression?

Why doesn't that suprise me?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Another Fox Non-Story

Fox News has found one single, solitary Democratic congressman who is "leaning" towards voting for the GOP's proposed Health Care Reform repeal resolution, and "several" who want to read the proposal before deciding how they'll vote. But still, the question must be asked: is the HRC repeal proposal "Picking Up Democratic Votes"?

Let me answer that question for you, Foxies: No, it is not.

But thanks for playing.