Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Republican

You may have read this before...


By John Gray

Joe gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee.

His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employer's medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, and now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. Joe's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. Joe takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; his bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree-hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air. Joe begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.

Joe's employer pays these standards because Joe's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noon time. Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect Joe's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because a liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because a liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans. The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because a liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have."

If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights -- you can thank liberals.

If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable -- you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family -- you can thank liberals.

If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green -- you can thank liberals.

If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society -- you can thank liberals.

Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long, difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their opposition to every one of those advances. The country we know and love today was built by those victories for liberalism -- with the support of the American people.

--Joe Conason,

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Republican Jackass of the Week

Can it be? The same jackass two weeks in a row?

We already know Rand Paul's racist attitude would send America back 50 years, to a time before Civil Rights legislation (he doesn't support the 1964 Civil Rights provision that banned racial discrimination by restaurants and other privately-owned businesses). He called President Obama "un-American" for criticizing the BP oil company ("accidents happen," he flippantly says).

And despite the Republicans' deregulation of the financial industry which led to the Great Recession we've endured for the last 2 1/2 years, the deregulation of the oil industry which led to BP's biggest environmental disaster in US history, and the deregulation of the mining industry which led to this year's deadly explosion in West Virginia, he STILL wants to further deregulate these industries.

Now the Teabaggers' favorite crackpot takes an un-Constitutional stand: he claims that people born in the USA should not necessarily be considered American citizens. Nevermind all that pesky stuff in the US Constitution's 14th Amendment which says, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States...are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States..."

Calling this guy extreme, anti-American, anti-constitutional and racist is not opinion. It is fact based on his dangerously far rightwing views.

And yet the KKK -- oops, I meant The Teabaggers -- love and continue to support him.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Republican Jackass of the Week

It's Ron Paul's son, Rand Paul.

This extreme rightwing fringe Republican, backed by the Teabaggers, b
eat his opponent in the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday. He appeared on msnbc's Rachel Maddow Show this week, after publicly criticizing parts of the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Paul told Maddow that he agrees with most parts of the Civil Rights Act, except for one (Title II), that made it a crime for private businesses to discriminate against customers on the basis of race. Got that? He's against the part about private businesses not being allowed to discriminate! He also called President Obama "un-American" for criticizing BP, and doesn't necessarily agree with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

After tap dancing frenetically, he claimed that he is personally against discrimination, but is against making it illegal for private businesses to discriminate. Wow. It's 1964 all over again.

This is the interview everyone's talking about. It's worth the 8 minutes to watch. And for the record, Rachel Maddow was waaaaay too patient in allowing Rand Paul to blather on and on without committing himself. If this were a Democrat being interviewed on Fox, the host would have loudly interrupted after 3 seconds screaming, "Yes or no Mr Paul! Are you for or against the Civil Rights Act?"

UPDATE: Rand Paul cancelled his appearance this Sunday morning on NBC's Meet the Press. This makes him only the third guest to panic and back out in the 62 year history of the show.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jobs UP, Retail Sales UP 7 Months in a Row

Not only have we stopped hemorrhaging jobs at the rate of 700,000 a month as was the case at the end of the Bush/Cheney regime, but employment has actually increased substantially over the last several months.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 290,000 in April and it rose in March by 230,000.

Consumer confidence is up and "sales at US retailers climbed in April for a seventh straight month, signaling consumers are helping to broaden the economic recovery," according to Bloomberg Business Week.

A new Gallup Poll shows that a large majority in all income groups are better off now than they were a year ago. (Click on the graphic above for larger image.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bonus SNL Sketch

...not aired during last night's Saturday Night Live show. Features a quick appearance from Betty White, as "Debbie Downer's Grandmother." This is from dress rehearsal:

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Betty White This Weekend on SNL

Hosting NBC's Saturday Night Live for the first time ever, it's 88 year old Betty White! Better known as "Sue Ann Nivens" on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and "Rose Nylund" on the Golden Girls, she is still as funny as ever. Here's a quick clip from 2008, when she appeared on The Late Late Show on CBS.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Times Square Terrorist" Success Story

Prosecutors charged Faisal Shahzad, 30, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, with five counts, including attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and trying to kill and maim people within the United States. Before and after having his Miranda rights read to him, he talked and talked. Sang like a bird. Gave federal investigators all the information they wanted. "The FBI read Shahzad his constitutional rights after he provided information, and he continued to cooperate," FBI Deputy Director John Pistole said. Imagine that, with no illegal torture, without spying on American citizens, without destroying the Constitution. That's why the Regressives are so angry.

Regressive Senator John McCain of Arizona and Regressive NY Congressman Peter King were actually critical of the fact that he was Mirandized. Read this twice: "Did they Mirandize him? I know he's an American citizen, but still," said King.


Apparently these two Regressives have so much contempt for America, US laws and the justice system, they think they can actually decide which laws apply to whom. In addition, as Keith Olbermann notes, withholding Miranda Rights would precipitate a technicality that would allow Shahzad to go free.

Watch this 2 minute commentary, which sums it up best:

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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spill Baby Spill

All the big rightwing proponents of "drill here drill now" have kept their big mouths shut since the disastrous BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All, that is, except one. Can you think of a big mouthed rightwing nutjob who can't keep her mouth shut ever, and never met a camera she didn't like?

Very good. You got it. Simple Sarah, the Quitter (married to the treasonous secessionist) now says the oil spill was "very tragic" but added, "I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry."

See? It's simple. Trust the oil industry. What could go wrong?

So far, thanks to the Regressives, we have deregulated...
  • the financial industry
  • the mining industry
  • the oil industry
Hmm... I can't think of any disasters associated with any of those three industries, can you?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

White House Correspondents Dinner

President Barack Obama was very funny last night. Jay Leno, not so much. The President's biggest lines included:
  • I wasn't sure I should actually come tonight. Biden talked me into it. He leaned over and he said, 'Mr President, this is no ordinary dinner. This is a big (bleep)ing meal.'
  • It's been a year of ups and downs, except for my approval ratings which have just gone down. But that's politics. It doesn't bother me. Besides I happen to know my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.
  • Though I am glad to see the only person whose ratings fell more than mine is here tonight. Great to see you, Jay.
  • I'm also glad that I'm speaking first, because we've all seen what happens when somebody takes the time slot after Leno's.
  • John McCain couldn't be here tonight. Recently he claimed that he had never identified himself as a maverick. And we all know what happens in Arizona when you don't have I.D. Adios, amigos.
Enjoy the video if you missed the live coverage last night. You may want to save time and stop before Jay begins.