Friday, December 20, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

By now we've all heard the horrific remarks from one of the cast members of a show I've never seen and never will, Duck Dynasty. But he's not the Jackass of the Week.

Yes, in an interview with GQ Magazine, he made some ridiculously racist and homophobic comments. Something about comparing homosexuality to bestiality, and claiming that black people "were pretty happy" and had it pretty good in this country before Civil Rights legislation.

I guess he hadn't heard about segregation, laws prohibiting interracial marriage, separate water fountains, bathrooms, etc; not being allowed to vote, not being served in restaurants, the four schoolgirls who were killed in the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama; the "Little Rock Nine" who were blocked from entering an Arkansas high school; the "Bloody Sunday March" in Selma, Alabama; Emmett Till, the kid who was lynched for allegedly whistling at a white woman, the shooting death of Medgar Evers (the American WWII veteran turned civil rights activist) killed on his own front porch, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat, the civil rights demonstrations and race riots where countless people were killed or arrested, etc.

But it was all good in the Duck Dynasty Guy's cloistered little world.

No, he's not the Jackass of the Week. What would you expect from him? He's an old, grizzled, uneducated, ignorant, bigoted swamp rat. Not that I'm defending him; I'm just saying you wouldn't expect any kind enlightened thought to come spewing from this racist yokel.

The Jackasses of the Week are the blustery rightwing defenders of this sad little person. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and even Alaska's half-term quitter crawled out to defend him, claiming his First Amendment rights were infringed.

Nonsense.

If you work for A&E or any company, and you say such embarrassingly bigoted things as this guy did, the company has every right to fire or suspend you. A&E is a business and doesn't want its image damaged. (Really? Can you damage their brand any worse than putting Duck Dynasty on the air in the first place? Remember when A&E stood for "Arts and Entertainment"? Wow! Things have changed over there! But I digress...)

What Rush, Sean and The Quitter don't understand is that the First Amendment only applies to the government infringing on your speech. And since no government entity has done that, there's no First Amendment violation. It's as simple as that.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ethel 1996 - 2013

It's the day I've been dreading for a long time.

My Ethel Baby passed away this afternoon. She was 17 1/2 years old.

For almost 3 years she had renal failure. Her kidneys were over 70% non functioning. Since this diagnosis, I've been giving her 3 Azodyl capsules a day, which help remove the toxins her kidneys were failing to remove.

For the last year, she has been completely blind and mostly deaf. For the last couple of months she could barely walk.  A few days ago, she stopped eating. But through it all, as soon as I touched her, she'd start purring.

But I could tell she'd had enough.

Luckily, she hasn't been in any real pain. But she was uncomfortable. Her life just was not enjoyable anymore. How would I know that? I've had her for almost 18 years. I can tell.

With all these problems and her not wanting food anymore, things were about to get worse fast. I didn't want her to endure pain or one organ failing after another. It would have been a fast road downhill. This was the time to give her an easy exit.

1996 - Ethel's & Lucy's first Christmas
When I first got Ethel and Lucy back in 1996, she was small and very scared. The first two days she just hid under a chair. I told her over and over, in a sing-songy voice, "you're gonna love it heeeere!" And she did. I used to hug her and put my mouth right by her head and whisper a secret. "You're my favorite!" And she knew it. They all did. I don't know why I bothered whispering it.


She was the one with the closest connection to me. She was the most special one ever. Mr Dog (Bobby) is like that, too. Very close connection. You either get that or you don't have a clue what I'm talking about.

She knew her place right at the top of the totem pole. Every night she'd jump on the bed and curl up between the pillows right next to my face. Nobody else dared sleep in her spot. Sometimes she'd fall asleep, purring, with her head on my hand. Of course, my arm would go numb but you can't move it when Ethel is sleeping on it!
Sometimes she'd get off the bed in the middle of the night, go to my office at the other end of the house, find a little piece of paper, and carry it in her mouth back to the bedroom, screaming all the way, in that howling/calling voice.

 When she was able to see, I'd put birdseed outside, and then hold her up to the sliding glass doors so she could watch "the birdies!" Her head would dart back and forth, watching them, and she'd do that funny cat chatter at them.

She'd always vocally greet me whenever I walked into the room. She was the softest, sweetest, cuddliest one.

 There are 7 billion people on this planet. I was lucky to be the one to have her. I don't regret, in the least, this decision. The sadness is only because I will miss the thousand unique things that she did like no one else.





1997: Ethel - MaryAnn - Ginger - Lucy



Friday, December 6, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and brother of former president Dubya. It's been a long time since this irrelevant Bush relic of the past has been in the news.

"Why would our president close the embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully it's not retribution for the Catholic organizations opposing ObamaCare."

Yep. That's what he said last week.

Two things wrong with that provocative lie.

(a) The US embassy near the Vatican is indeed closing -- but only because a newer, less expensive, more secure one is being built even closer to the Vatican.

(b) The new embassy wasn't initiated by President Obama -- it's been in the works since Jeb's idiot brother was president.

This wasn't just a lie, it was listed as a "Pants on Fire!" lie according to Politifact.

Is he really this stupid? Or is he auditioning for a job enraging low-information viewers on Fox?

Or does has he simply been longing to be honored as the Republican Jackass of the Week?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hooray For Harry!

You should have done this years ago.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) finally made good on his threat.

The Senate filibuster rules have been changed!

Instead of requiring 60 votes for routine judicial appointees and cabinet members, a simple majority of 51 is now all that's required.

This was done because just this week, three perfectly competent judges were not approved by the minority of Republicans in the Senate. They are added to the list of dozens of presidential court appointees who are waiting years to be approved by the Senate Republicans who have stalling and obstruction as their only goal.

Of course, the rightwing mouthpieces are going ballistic, screaming "hypocrisy!", "both sides do it!" and "you'll be sorry when the Democrats are in the minority and this works against them!"

Nonsense.

Let's not do the false-equivalency baloney on this one. This is by no means a "both sides do it" situation. The fact is, in the entire history of the United States, the filibuster has been used to block presidential appointees 160 times -- with half that number used in the last five years alone to block and obstruct President Obama's appointees.

Half of all filibusters in American history were used to obstruct perfectly good cabinet members and judges by President Obama. Explain how that's not blatant obstruction simply for spite.

By the way, this new Senate rule only applies to the President's judicial and cabinet appointees. It does not apply to any legislation or to Supreme Court nominees.

Now you can argue the facts with your old drunk uncle who watches only Fox,
next week at Thanksgiving!

Republican Jackass of the Week

The dark haired guy who's not Steve Doocy on that Fox morning show.

Actually is as dumb as he looks.
Yes, I know the sole purpose of the Fox Noise Channel is to irrationally attack everything President Obama does -- even if Republicans formerly agreed with his policies -- in order to entertain the scared, older, white audience that's finding itself becoming an ever-shrinking minority. We all get that. But this is over-the-top ridiculous.

This week, the Fox Teleprompter Readers are pretending to be outraged because President Obama didn't go to Gettysburg to commemorate the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

The nerve of that guy in the White House, right?

Oh, wait a minute. When was the last time any  US president commemorated the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address?

Over 100 years ago. Yep, William Howard Taft was the last one to do so -- in 1909.

But that didn't stop the rampant stupidity flowing from Fox.

Why, the Dark-Haired-Guy-Who-Isn't-Steve-Doocy was outraged I tell ya -- that the President "snubbed" the anniversary claiming it's "inappropriate for our president to bypass" this commemoration.


And what if he did attend? What would the rightwing rabble rousers be screaming?

"Who does he think he is -- Lincoln?"
"How arrogant and uppity of him!"
"How much is this trip costing taxpayers?"
"He's trying to distract from the healthcare problems!"
"He's trying to distract from Benghaziiiiiiiiiiiiii!"

The-Dark-Haired-Guy-Who-Isn't-Steve Doocy, this week's Republican Jackass of the Week.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Once again, John Boehner (R), Speaker of the House.

He was approached very politely in a diner by two soft-spoken young daughters of illegal immigrants, and asked about immigration reform. (Rightwing websites scream he was
"ambushed"! Judge for yourself in the short clip below.)

"How would you feel if you had to tell your kids at the age of 10 that you were never coming home?"

The 17 year old who posed the question had a similar conversation with her father when she found herself in that situation at the age of 10.

The Boner, who could barely be bothered to look away from his scrambled eggs, muttered, "I'm trying to find some way to get this thing done. It's uh, you know, not easy, not going to be an easy path forward. But I've made it clear since the day after the election it's time to get this done."



"Time to get this done."

That's what he told them. But then yesterday he completely ruled out working with the Senate, which had already passed a comprehensive immigration bill with bipartisan support back in June.

The popular Senate bill was sponsored by Sen Charles Schumer (D-NY), and would give 11 million undocumented immigrants a legal path to citizenship. The bill includes increased border security and includes requirements to pay fines, back taxes, excludes felons, etc.

"We have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill," The Boner was quoted as saying yesterday.

John Boehner, once again, the latest Republican Jackass of the Week.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week Part 2

Sore loser
Ken Cuccinelli, Republican Attorney General of Virginia, candidate for governor of the state, and Teabagger.

Yes, this far rightwing fringe Republican lost his bid to become Virginia's next governor. (Congratulations, Terry McAuliffe! Virginia's gone blue!)

But as is customary on any given election night, when any given candidate in any given political race knows he has lost, he picks up any given phone and calls his victorious opponent to concede the race and to congratulate him.

Winner
Not this guy.

The election was last Tuesday, and he still has not made the traditional, gracious call to his opponent. And he says he has no plans to do so.

Ken Cuccinelli. Teabagger. Sore Loser. Republican Jackass of the Week.

Republican Jackass of the Week Part 3

Meet the American Family Association's Bryan Fischer.

This is a far rightwing, fundamentalist big mouth with a microphone.

Of course, he hates all the right things: gay people, ending discrimination in the workplace, Hispanics, immigration reform, anyone who's not Christian, and above all, the black man in the White House.

So this week the White House celebrated, for the fifth year in a row, the start of the Hindu holiday of Diwali.

President Obama's predecessor, George Dubya Bush, a Republican, did exactly the same thing when he was in office.

Dubya and Laura Bush, along with 100 invited guests, celebrated the holiday and made this statement:

"I send Greetings to those celebrating Deepavali (Diwali), the Festival of Lights" Bush said in a Message. "The candle's flames represent the light of hope and in the blessings of life. The light from these candles reminds observers that good always triumphs over evil and we go forward in confidence that it will continue to prevail in the future" he added.
The President said, "This joyous festival reminds all citizens of the great blessings of religious freedom and our nations strong traditions of faith."
"Laura and I send our Best Wishes for an uplifting and hopeful Diwali," Bush added. "During Diwali, millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains around the world will join together setting out 'diyas' and enjoying fireworks in celebration of the Festival of Lights," he said.
-indianexpress.com

But apparently amnesia kicked in just at the right time, allowing our little Bryan to rant and rave and scream and shout about how President Obama "is inviting demons into the White House."

"This is a counterfeit religion. It's an Eastern religion -- in essence an occult religion. It's a false alternative to Christianity. It ultimately represents a doctrine of demons. That's what you have with Hinduism and now this is being celebrated in the White House."

When you're in a hole this deep, conventional wisdom says you stop digging.

Nope. Not the Good Bryan Fischer. With shovel in hand, he continued.

He said America needs a "Christian president to spiritually cleanse the White House."

Enough said. The repulsive American Family Association's Bryan Fischer. Jackass of the Week.


Republican Jackass of the Week Part 1

I haven't had an original thought in my life.
Senator Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky.

Not just a Jackass, but a serial plagiarist.

First reported by Rachael Maddow of msnbc, this guy has been repeatedly stealing others' words, using them as his own in speeches and articles, and not crediting the people who actually wrote those words. That's where this plagiarism stuff comes in.

 So does he apologize? Something like, "Gee, I'm sorry; I should have credited those I've quoted."

No. Of course not. Does any Regressive Republican ever apologize?

Instead, he wished, out loud, in front of microphones, that he could have a duel with Rachel Maddow for having pointed this out.

A duel!

Then he blamed his staff. And finally he claimed ultimately it was his fault. But he whined, "do I have to be in detention for the rest of my career?"

And he defiantly stated that if he were a journalism teacher he'd fail Rachel and others who've reported on his plagiarism.

See? He shouldn't be punished for plagiarism; those who notice it should.

So if you ever read anything he "wrote" or hear anything he says, know full well it's just cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia or other people's articles.

Rand Paul. Plagiarist. Republican Jackass of the Week.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Meet Representative Tim Murphy (R) of Pennsylvania.

He and several other Regressive Republicans in congress were awfully understanding and unusually apologetic as they begged for patience regarding the myriad of problems that occurred for four months when Medicare Part D enrollment began back in 2006. Back then the rollout was a disaster, with sign-up problems and a website that didn't work properly for over four months.

So are they singing the same tune now that the ObamaCare website is having problems? Of course not. Just listen to the jaw-dropping hypocrisy from Regressive Timmy in the short clip below.  Lawrence O'Donnell from msnbc humorously pretends they're playing the wrong clip.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Did Obama Lie About ObamaCare?

The short answer is no.

Basic facts:
ObamaCare became law in March 2010.
Anyone who already had an insurance policy they were already satisfied with before that date was allowed to keep it. Period.
Policies as of March 2010 must adhere to new standards.
That being said, many insurance companies have CHANGED THEIR COVERAGE on those policies from before March 2010, and diminished their coverage, making them essentially new policies that, in many cases, do not adhere to minimal standards. These must, therefore, be upgraded.
Unfortunately, many people who claim to love their crappy old policies have never had to use them. Get a disease, need an operation, get cancer or have a horrific accident and suddenly you'll discover you're not covered. The reason you're being dropped in most cases is because your coverage is so poor it's worthless in these cases.
Current requirements include not kicking you to the curb if you have pre-existing conditions, no lifetime caps, free preventive screenings, etc. Old policies that have CHANGED and no longer adhere to current requirements are therefore not really the "old policies" that you had, but rather, new, changed policies. So they must be upgraded. In other words, you can keep your old policy but not if the insurance company decides to change coverage and screw you over. Unfortunately, insurance companies have a habit of changing coverage every year. Your credit card agreement changes every year, too. That's why you receive a long, multi-page, tiny print agreement every year.
If your insurance company has changed your coverage and made it into a crappy policy that doesn't meet standards any longer, of course you cannot keep it because it is no longer the original policy that you were satisfied with. Thank your insurance company for that.
The good news is there are a lot of companies now vying for your business, and many more policies available with better coverage, lower co-pays and sometimes even lower premiums.
Keep in mind some insurance companies are discontinuing certain policies of their own choice and blaming ObamaCare. As you all well know, these for-profit companies have been increasing your premiums, sometimes up to 20%, every year for decades. 

The idea of the individual mandate and more comprehensive coverage is to address the fact that many people have been gouged for years with insufficient policies, and because 30,000,000 uninsured people will now be covered.

We don't want 30 million people using the ER for regular doctor visits that TAXPAYERS have to pay for. People need to take responsibility for themselves.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

This one's actually a Republican Religious Nutjob Jackass of the Week.

Meet Kevin Swanson. He's a far rightwing fundamentalist Christian who unfortunately has access to a microphone.
Pastor Kevin Swanson

And he's begging you to boycott Girl Scout Cookies because they... wait for it... promote lesbianism and abortion.

Apparently the Girl Scouts are "antithetical to a biblical vision for womanhood."

"Say no to the Girl Scout cookies," Swanson told his internet radio station listeners. "I don't want to support lesbianism, Planned Parenthood or abortion, and if that be the case I'm not buying Girl Scout cookies."

If "that be the case." Hmm. Sounds like he be home-schooled.

Maybe this religious nutjob from Colorado can join the other one from Gainesville.  One can burn Qurans and the other, Thin Mints.

Read more here if you like. Or just say out loud, "What a Jackass!" and move on.

Kevin Swanson: putting the fun back in fundamentalist!

See you in church, everybody!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

We've endured a tsunami of Regressive Republican hypocrisy lately.

They shut down the government and then complain when government services, like maintaining war memorials, end -- and those memorials are closed.

They decry using military veterans as props while using them as props.

And now this latest gem.

A far rightwing Teabagger Republican running for Idaho's House of Representatives is running on a platform of shutting down all government programs including Medicaid.

Problem is, this Teabagger, and all 10 of his kids, are on Medicaid.

His name is Greg Collett (R), and he digs himself a few feet deeper by putting this on his website:

Let me set the record straight. Yes, I participate in government programs of which I adamantly oppose. Many of them, actually. Am I a hypocrite for participating in programs that I oppose?

Yes, Jackass, you are.
It's okay for me to be on Medicaid...

He goes on to awkwardly explain that just because he takes advantage of these programs, it doesn't necessarily mean he supports them. See? He's only trying to "stay out of jail, avoid fines and take care of his family, and these programs are the only practical choice."

Wow.

Greg Collett, Regressive Teabagger wannabe House member from Idaho: our Republican Jackass of the week.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teabaggers Exploit Veterans

This week, the Million Vet March at the WWII Memorial in Washington DC was crashed and hijacked by racist Teabaggers. Original organizers simply wanted to make the point that war memorials and parks should be allowed to stay open during the shutdown.

As you know, the fringe Teabagger Republicans in the House have been planning on shutting down the US government for months; they have stated so and have been admittedly giddy since it began two weeks ago.

The government shutdown stops vital services for veterans, the elderly, and America's poor, but also furloughs workers who keep tourist attractions and parks open. This makes for a perfect, if not ironic, backdrop for Teabaggers to make a scene.

So the very people responsible for shutting down the government, including the war memorials, were the ones stomping around screaming about them being closed. And then they complained about using vets as pawns, while using them as pawns.

And the usual racist, Obama-hating rhetoric was spewed. We heard about "being Kenyan," "bowing down to Allah," and demands that the President "come out with his hands up." In addition, several Teabaggers/racists waved confederate flags outside the White House. This, you may recall, was the banner under which the slave-owning White Supremacists fought for the right to keep slaves. This is what was waved outside the home of America's first black president.

But they insist they're not racist. See?

Remind your Fox-watching, Teabagging relatives of this little incident the next time they pretend the Teabaggers are not, in reality, 21st Century Klansmen.

And of course, you can't have a racist, blame-Obama-for-the-problem-we-ourselves-created photo op without Canada's Ted Cruz, and America's Favorite Quitter -- the Half-Term Governor of Alaska, Failed Vice Presidential Candidate and Failed Reality Show Host -- running in front of cameras, now can you? That's right: The lovely Sarah Palin flew in from wherever Fox has been hiding her for the last six months to bash Obama.

You betcha.

From Addicting Info and Think Progress:

The trite hypocrisy and shear evil of the actions of the GOP’s Tea Party faction is more dangerous than many believe. It will incite violence. This weekend it wrapped itself in the military veil. The world saw Sarah Palin and the GOP exploiting military veterans. They did so as they attempted to project blame for the shutdown on President Obama.
Suffice it to say Americans are not buying it. Americans love their veterans and understand that a shutdown hurts them both economically and emotionally. Exploiting military veterans will backfire as others take notice and it brings more scrutiny. 
Apparently, the original organizers of the veterans’ march are displeased with the Tea Party’s co-opting of their protest. On the Million Vet March homepage, the organizers suggest a local organizer invited Tea Party and birther groups against the wishes of the veterans:
The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle is about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner.
MSNBC's Martin Bashir saw right through the charade.
Martin Bashir: We bring you an act of such brazen dishonesty and speciousness that it's hard to know where to begin.
Sarah Palin at Rally: Our vets have proven that they have not been timid. So we will not be timid in calling out any who world use our military, our vets as pawns in a political game.
Martin Bashir: Now, for most people, travelling three thousand five hundred miles from Alaska to the nation’s capital in order to grandstand at the Second World War Memorial, that your own political party has caused to close, would seem like a political game. … Keep in mind that it is the Republican Party that continues to shutdown the government, thereby curtailing veterans’ benefits. And it is the Republican Party whose sequester cuts have hammered the military. … The singular proof, that Sunday’s rally was solely about using the military as pawns in a political game.
Larry Klayman at Rally: We are now ruled quote unquote by a president who bows down to Allah. … and to demand that this president leave town, to get out, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up.
Martin Bashir: This is the political game Mrs. Palin and her allies have been playing even before this president was inaugurated. For them this is what the shutdown is really about.
 A closed park is inconvenient. It however is not the most severe pain being felt by veterans at this time. If Palin and the GOP were not simply exploiting military veterans, they would know that.
This government shutdown is affecting the well-being of veteran families and ordinary families. This shutdown has affected the payments of death benefits to the families of veterans. This shutdown is affecting the backlog of veterans’ disability claims. In effect, Tea Party Right Wing Republicans applied a significant amount of pain to veterans and their families in order to satisfy an irrational hate of President Obama. That is the height of exploiting military veterans.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Congressman Randy Neugebaur (R, what else?) from Texas.

The congressman was one of the many Regressive Republicans in the House who voted for the government shutdown, and then visited the WWII memorial and actually told a park ranger she should be ashamed of herself for the closure of the memorial.

WTF?

Here's the story.

Here's what I put on the "good congressman's" Facebook page:

You and the rest of these rightwingers gleefully shut down govt, including these people whom you feel the need to berate, because you folks tried -- and failed -- 44 times to repeal a perfectly Constitutional law that you don't happen to like. Now you geniuses want to defund and delay it by tying it to something totally unrelated -- the funding of the US govt. 
So you have a temper tantrum because ObamaCare cannot and will not be repealed, shut down the government, and then have another temper tantrum in front of a government worker at a memorial YOU caused to close down.
You're an embarrassment. RESIGN NOW.
 
Here's the link to his Facebook page. Have at it.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Boehner's Latest Government Shutdown

A few facts:

About 900,000 people's jobs and paychecks are affected by this latest partial government shutdown.

There are 435 US House members. About 40 of them are the far rightwing fringe Teabaggers.

The Affordable Care Act, known as ObamaCare, was passed in 2010. It was approved by the US House, the US Senate, signed by the President of the US and deemed Constitutional by the US Supreme Court.

Sad, drunken clown
John Boehner, the least effective Speaker of the House in American history, knows he has more than enough Democratic and Republican House votes to pass the Senate's "clean" bill (one that doesn't contain add-ons to defund or repeal ObamaCare) and keep the US government funded.

Despite all this, the cowardly Speaker of the House has refused to allow the Senate bill to come to a vote in the House, where it would easily pass. Why? Because he's scared to death of the Teabaggers, who would revolt. He'd probably lose his job as ineffective Speaker and go back to just being another ineffective Congressman.

So he's putting 900,000 jobs and paychecks on the line to save his own. This guy is an embarrassment.

President Obama is right. Allowing this bunch of radicals to defund or delay ObamaCare for a year would mean that any rogue member of congress in the future would be able to pick any established law, and simply because he doesn't like it, hold the US hostage until his demands to defund, delay or repeal it are met.

Funny thing is, despite all the Regressive Republicans' worst efforts, and despite the partial government shutdown, today is the day ObamaCare opens to the public nonetheless. Today's the day you can go to healthcare.gov and begin sorting through all the affordable options available to you.



Friday, September 27, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

I'll give you three guesses who gets the honor this week.

This blog post has essentially written itself.

Fooling no one but the Teabaggers.
Meet Canada's Rafael "Ted" Cruz, Regressive Republican from Texas.

"I intend to speak in support of defunding ObamaCare until I am no longer able to stand," is what he said before he began his fake filibuster.

Fake, you see, because to be an actual filibuster you talk endlessly to stop a law from coming to a vote or stop some kind of legislative action.

Canada's Cruz did neither. Matter of fact, he actually asked Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for permission for his talkathon days ahead, and since nothing was scheduled for the senate that night, Senator Reid obliged his freshman Teabagger colleague, saying, in essence, "knock yourself out." Rafael thanked him and agreed to end his theatrical publicity stunt well before the vote, which was already scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

So he didn't -- and couldn't -- stop the vote, and didn't stop the law from going into effect, since ObamaCare has already been the law since 2010.

It was a self-indulgent waste of time that accomplished nothing.

As msnbc's Lawrence O'Donnell astutely put it, this was Rafael Cruz's 21-hour surrender. He had vowed to fight ObamaCare to the very end, and he made good on his word. And then, when he ended this performance -- at exactly the time he promised Senator Reid he would -- he voted in favor of the bill he pretended to fight against.

During his bizarre 21-hour stunt, he did a Darth Vader impression, spoke of how he loved White Castle burgers and read Dr. Seuss's classic story, Green Eggs and Ham. Of course, neither he nor his Teabagger supporters got the irony in his telling of the story. The moral of that story is "don't knock it until you try it: you just might like it." Kinda like ObamaCare. See?

Hey "Ted," guess what? ObamaCare is the law of the land, upheld by the US Supreme Court, and President Obama was elected on it twice. It's not going anywhere.

In years to come, instead of the "Big Three," we'll refer to the "Big Four" which no politician will ever dare to go against: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and ObamaCare.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fox Lies About Obama Deficit

Take a look at their graphic.

Now ignore the second line that says, "up 137% since 2008."

Why? Because as everyone knows (except Fox watchers), each year's budget is hammered out and goes into effect three months before the actual year begins.

So the jump in the 2009 deficit, which the liars at Fox want to attribute to President Obama, was actually George Dubya Bush's final budget, having gone into effect on October 1, 2008, before President Obama took office, and before he was even elected.

That's always the case. Every president's first year budget is inherited from the previous president because it goes into effect in October, three months before the new president takes office.

But as you can also see from the chart, under President Obama, the deficit actually is reduced each year.

So when you hear some rightie screaming that President Obama has made the deficit worse each year, you can prove that the deficit actually decreased every year since he took office -- and you can use a Fox graphic to prove it!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bonus Republican Jackass

"Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

That's what Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey (R) actually said in a meeting yesterday. He was lamenting that his staff may not currently make a lot of money, "but in a few years they can go to K Street [and become lobbyists] and make $500,000 a year. Meanwhile, I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

His salary puts him in the top 2% of Americans. His salary is mostly paid for by the lower 98%. And on top of that just yesterday his own party voted to slash billions of dollars from food stamp programs, affecting children, retirees and the working poor.

So millions of people living on just over $4 a day should have that money cut according to Phil and his Regressive Republican party, but we should feel sorry for poor Phil, who only sucks $172,000 out of taxpayers every year.

Phil Gingrey, our Bonus Republican Jackass this week.

Republican Jackass of the Week

The Boner blinked.

"There should be no conversation on shutting government down," Regressive Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner said. "That's not the goal. There's no interest on our part on shutting the government down."

No wonder this man drinks so much.
That was then.

Now, after a closed-door meeting with his caucus, John Boehner has caved to the crazy, extreme, far rightwing fringe of his party, the Teabaggers, and agreed to hold a House vote on a measure that would keep the government funded, but only if Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, is defunded.

"We are going to pass a resolution that will defund Obamacare."

As I've written before, Obamacare isn't going anywhere. The Teabaggers have led John around by his orange nose before, voting 41 times in a row to defund or repeal Obamacare. But that's not going to happen.

The Affordable Care Act passed the House and the Senate in 2010, was signed into law by the President of the United States, and has even gotten the rightwing Supreme Court's endorsement of its legality.

It's the law of the land and it's not going to be repealed. Funding Obamacare is mandatory.

But that won't stop these fanatical ideologues from holding a virtual gun to the head of America to get their way.

Never before in history has any congress attempted to extort an American president into succumbing to their political demands by holding the USA hostage, threatening to shut down the government -- which will stop payments to US troops, retirees, and close many government services -- as well as damage the full faith and credit of the US government by failing to pay our bills. These bills represent the money that congress itself has already spent.

It would be like you going on a wild spending spree with your own credit card and then refusing to pay when the bill arrives unless some totally unrelated demand is met.

Some have described the Republicans' demands as a Kamikaze mission, destroying themselves in the process, since everyone knows that if there's a government shutdown, they will be to blame. This is what happened in the '90s. Back then a similar Republican-led government shutdown resulted in one Newt Gingrich losing his speakership and the Republicans losing their congressional majority.

Will they go off the deep end again and destroy themselves? Or will they tell the Teabaggers enough is enough, sit down and shut up, and let the adults take over?

We'll find out by the end of the month.

Regressive Republican and Speaker of the House (for now), John Boehner. This week's Republican Jackass of the Week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Gun Massacres: Will We Do Anything?

The problem is we have lots of crazy, hostile nutjobs armed to the teeth in this country.

We have no limit on semi-automatic weapons, and no limit on high capacity clips. The last mass murderer had over a thousand rounds with him.

It's easy to get a gun in this country with no background check whatsoever.

And the cowardly NRA puppets in congress won't fix the problem. The NRA guarantees that American mass murderers are the best armed in the world.

This whole conversation is pointless. We'll wring our hands, scream and shout for three days and then forget all about it -- and do nothing -- until the next well-armed mass murderer goes on another shooting spree in about 3 or 4 weeks. (We average a mass murder every month now.)

And then we'll all say "isn't that terrible," and "somebody ought to do something," and bow our heads and pray to nobody, and say "now's not the time" and prove it by doing nothing.

And the rest of the developed world continues to look at us and shake its collective head, because it's not like this in any civilized country. Only here in Crazyland.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bonus Republican Jackass of the Week

John Boehner and the Republican-run House of Representatives.

With only two weeks left before the government shuts down, taking with it a whole host of services as well as paychecks to retirees and American troops, what do you think Boehner and his gang did yesterday?

(A) Resumed negotiations that would keep the government running and increase the debt limit so the Treasury Department can borrow enough money to pay for the bills that Congress already racked up.

-- or --

(B) Wasted everybody's time and money, voting for the 41st time, to repeal Obamacare.

I don't even need to tell you what these idiots did.

Republican Jackass of the Week

Meet Junior Senator from Texas, Rafael "Ted" Cruz (R).

Although Junior has only been in the US Senate for  6 months, he already has presidential aspirations. He's supported by the farthest, fringiest rightwing Teabaggers that his party contains. And they drool at the thought of this guy running for president, despite the fact that he was born in Canada.

Now, you may recall that for the last 5 years these same rightwing Teabaggers have insisted, in their deranged, hatred-induced frenzy, that President Barack Obama, who was born in Hawaii, and whose mother was also born in the USA, was somehow not eligible for the office. Yet Junior, who was born in Canada, is unquestionably fit to be president because all it takes is to have a USA-born mother.

Don't spend too much time trying to figure them out. You'll only end up with a headache.

Here's their "thought" process:

Barack Obama: born in USA.
Obama's mother: born in USA.
Therefore: Barack is Kenyan and not eligible.

Rafael Cruz: born in Canada.
Cruz's mother: born in USA.
Therefore: of course he's eligible to be president!

But back to the reason Rafael gets to be this week's Jackass.

He recently said at a fundraiser hosted by the conservative Heritage Foundation, "It's every bit as true now as it was then.  We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the US Senate."

Let that sink in for a moment.

Jesse Helms, the longest-serving senator from N. Carolina, was the most prominently and proudly racist member of the US Senate.

Jesse Helms was infamous for speaking out, in no uncertain terms, against civil rights, voting rights, gay rights and women's privacy rights. He once led a two-week filibuster to prevent the senate from approving Martin Luther King Day as a federal holiday. He said civil rights legislation was the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in congress. He tried to stop the regular renewal of the Voting Rights Act, which passed almost unanimously since becoming law. He referred to gay people as morally sick, weak wretches. He opposed federal financing of AIDS research.

And to show how hateful and spiteful Helms was, in 1973 when Carol Moseley Braun -- the first black woman in the senate and the only black senator at the time -- stepped into the "senators only" elevator with him, he turned to Orrin Hatch and said, "Watch this. I'm gonna make her cry.  I'm gonna sing 'Dixie' until she cries." At which time he began singing the tune recalling the "good old days" of slavery.

But despite all that, Junior thinks we need a senate full of Jesse Helmses. Matter of fact, according to Think Progress, Junior said his first political donation was to Jesse Helms' campaign, and he's been following in his footsteps ever since.

But, as Think Progress states, if Jesse was alive today, the admiration might not be mutual. You see, back in the mid 80s when Jesse visited Mexico, he was met with protests and stated, "All Latins are volatile people, hence I was not surprised at the volatile reaction."

Yeah Junior, let's have 100 more like that guy.

This is what you get when you stay home on election day and allow Regressives to elect far rightwing fringe Teabaggers like Rafael "Ted" Cruz -- our Republican Jackass of the Week.




Friday, September 6, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Meet little-known Ohio congressman Mike Turner (R).

Outraged that the "sequester" has cut into the bloated Pentagon budget, now that another conflict with Syria is looming, Unknown Mike went on Fox Noise to whine about how vulnerable we allegedly are, and to blame President Obama for the defense cuts.

Nowhere did he mention that it was his own party that overwhelmingly voted for the cuts. Of course Rupert Murdock's teleprompter-reader never dared mention this obviously pertinent fact.

(House Democrats were split in their votes for and against the sequester, but House Republicans voted, by a margin of 3 to 1, in favor of passing it.)

Whine all you want, Jackass. Your party is responsible for it.

Mike Turner, our Regressive republican Jackass of the Week.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Donald Rumsfeld Opens His Big Mouth Again

Remember George Dubya Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld?

Of course you do. He's the guy who lied us into the War Against the Wrong Country, and who got every single prediction wrong.

We'd be greeted as liberators. Wrong.

We'll be greeted with flowers and candy. Wrong.

The war will be over in about 6 weeks. Wrong!

"We know where they [WMDs] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad, and east, west, south and north somewhat." Wrong.

The oil will pay for the war. Wrong.

This is the same Rumsfeld who "paled around" with Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, after we knew he had used chemical weapons against Iraqis.

Now he's spouting his expert opinions on what President Obama should do in Syria.

Somebody needs to very politely tell him to shut the eff up.

Fox: Where Republicans Escape Journalism

From Media Matters:

CNN recently spoke to Eric Fehrnstrom, senior advisor of Willard Romney's 2012 campaign, who said, bluntly, "We'd much rather go on a Fox program where we know the question that's going to come up and Mitt can give his answer and it's not going to be a frenzy of questioning."

Translation: By avoiding actual news agencies and appearing on Fox, Willard was able to spout his talking points and lies unchallenged without any of those pesky follow up questions.

Fox is like a sanctuary to Republican candidates.

Hey Fehrn, how'd that work out for you? As I recall, President Obama beat Willard Romney in an electoral college landslide. Even when the results came in, Fox anchors, including "expert" pundit Karl Rove -- who had been ignoring all the polls -- refused to believe Romney lost, and had an on-air meltdown.

More from Media Matters here.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Republican Jackass of the Week

Fox Noise's main teleprompter reader and Rupert Murdock's obedient soldier, Bill O'Reilly.

He whined this week about why Republicans weren't invited to the 50th Anniversary celebration of the March for Jobs and Equality on Washington, which originally culminated with Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

"All the speakers were Democrats," he proclaimed. "That was a glaring error and does not indicate a desire for inclusion."

Why weren't they invited?

Turns out they were. And every single one of them said no.

Speaker of the House Orange John Boehner said no.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said no.

Pappy Bush and the Lesser Bush both declined for "health reasons."

Former governor Jeb Bush was invited to represent the family and said no.

Of course, the facts wouldn't fit the Fox agenda. And that's not what Fox's aging, angry, racist audience wants to hear anyway.

Billo, this week's Regressive Republican Jackass of the Week.

UPDATE: Bill has allegedly apologized for his incorrect assumption since this posted.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crazy Old Pat Robertson Strikes Again

In case you haven't heard the latest in the frighteningly weird world of Old Pat, this week he made the claim that gay HIV-positive people in San Francisco have special rings that, if you shake hands with them, will cut your hand and give you AIDS.

You don't know whether to laugh or laugh at this doddering old man with the sinister, wild imagination. But the people who work with him at his "700 Club" don't find his fleeting sanity amusing.

Their archived video posted on the Christian Broadcasting Network's website was scrubbed of this comment just hours after he made it. Cut. Slashed. Removed. Poof! All gone -- like it never existed.

Other gems from the mouth of Pat include:
  • Telling a caller that if your husband's cheating on you, it's probably your fault. "Make yourself as attractive as possible and don't hassle him about it."
  • He told another female caller, "Stop talking about the cheating. He cheated on you. Well? He's a man, okay?"
  • He claimed that the "feminist agenda" is not about equal rights for women. "It's about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft and become lesbians."
  • Last month he stated that, besides a "like" button, Facebook should have a "vomit button" for pictures of gays and lesbians kissing.
  • He told a man that to get his wife to respect him "as head of the household," that "you could become a Muslim and you could beat her."
Where's that nice man with the butterfly net when you need him?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Why It's Important to Vote in Midterm Elections

Voting for president is important, fun, makes you feel good, etc.

But skipping the midterm elections can have disastrous consequences. After a record-breaking turnout in 2008 resulting in the overwhelming election of Barack Obama, millions of Progressives skipped the midterm elections of 2010. The result? A Regressive republican takeover of the US House and a loss of Progressive seats previously held by Democrats in the US Senate.

In addition, sitting back and allowing Regressives to load your state House and Senate with Republicans will result in horrendous laws and redistricting -- gerrymandering of voting districts that can make it almost impossible for the opposing political party to win for decades.

Just look at what happened in North Carolina. It now has a Regressive republican House, Senate and governor -- which means they can and will do anything they want, unopposed.

A quick look at some of the regressive, repressive bills that have sprung up since their takeover in North Carolina:
  • Regressive republicans have introduced a bill to establish an official state religion. That one alone should have you terrified.
  • Stooping slightly so as to allow the irony to fly right over their heads, they then introduced a bill to ban Sharia Law
  • They've passed the country's most extreme abortion restriction bill
  • They've cut funds for public education
  • They've eliminated the estate tax, cut taxes for the rich, and shifted the tax burden onto the middle class and the poor in the state
  • They've enacted the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the state, severely limiting registration drives, cutting voting hours, cutting early voting days, and allowing any "vigilante poll observers" from any district to challenge, on the spot on Election Day, any other North Carolina voter in any other district. This means any Klan member or Fox watcher can hang around any polling place to challenge -- create problems for -- any minority voter in any district.
Midterm elections are coming up in just over a year, in November of 2014. That's sooner than you think. These Regressives have all got to go, in every state.

The NRA is the Organization They've Been Warning You About

The NRA, which has screamed bloody murder that the government wants to "compile a huge database of gun owners which can be hacked," and is against any kind of background checks or registration, turns out to actually be the organization that compiles a huge database of gun owners which can be hacked!

NRA apologists now know the NRA has millions of names -- from NRA members as well as gun owners who never gave them permission to collect their data -- including lists they bought of people who bought guns in stores, online, "prospective gun owners," own a hunting license, taken a gun safety class, and those who simply subscribe to gun magazines.

How ironic that the organization that takes your money and tries to scare you about a big boogeyman collecting data on you, actually is the big boogeyman collecting data on you without your permission.  Asked by a reporter why they "need" all this info gathered without your permission, a spokesman replied, "that's none of your business."

Got that, NRA supporters? The NRA has a huge database with your name on it that can be hacked or sold and it's none of your business how they got your name or why they want it.

Suckers.

More from Buzzfeed, which broke the story.

Republican Jackass of the Week

Former South Carolina Senator and current president of the far rightwing Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint.

In Tampa yesterday, he continued his crusade to convince other Regressive republicans to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, claiming "the law is not about getting better health care. You can get better health care just by going to the emergency room."

Pure genius. See? That's going to be the official healthcare program of the USA if Regressives have their way: just run to the emergency room and let somebody else pay for your treatment if you can't afford it. And who might that be? Taxpayers? The hospital? Everyone who pays insurance premiums?

All of the above.

Funny that the current president of the Heritage Foundation would be so against Obamacare, since Obamacare was almost entirely written by... wait for it... the Heritage Foundation back in 1989!

Yes, the Heritage Foundation was lobbying heavily to mandate coverage through regulated healthcare marketplaces, which is the essence of Obamacare. It was what Romneycare in Massachusetts was based on. Back then rightwingers claimed the individual mandate would "force people to take personal responsibility" for their healthcare and prevent people from just showing up at emergency rooms for all their medical needs.

But now, since President Obama is for it, their own plan is suddenly "socialized medicine," "government controlled health care," and whatever else they claim. Hey, just go to the emergency room!

Luckily, the Regressives are not going to have their way. Obamacare isn't going anywhere. It was legally passed in the House and Senate, it was signed by the President, it was endorsed by the current rightwing Supreme Court, and even Orange John, the Speaker of the House, put down the bourbon long enough to proclaim, "it's the law of the land."

Jim DeMint, our Republican Jackass of the Week.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Republican Jackass(es) of the Week

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R-what else?) decided to go ahead and sign a voter suppression bill that's designed to stop the rampant voter fraud going on in that state (which has hovered around 0.001% over the last 3 decades).

Yes, another attempt to fix a problem that doesn't exist.

It's Pat.
And yes, another attempt to disenfranchise minorities, the young and the elderly -- all those who traditionally vote for Democrats.

It imposes strict voter picture ID requirements, drastically cuts early voting by about a week, kills state-sponsored voter registration drives, and repeals same day registration.

I've yet to hear how cutting a week of early voting also cuts voter fraud. Do those one or two voters each year who are convicted of voter fraud always vote early? Do they spring for plastic surgery so they can match someone else's picture? Of course this is nonsense. But not to North Carolina's Regressive governor and legislature.

The state is offering "free IDs" at DMV locations -- free in this case meaning it will cost taxpayers an estimated $800,000 to furnish these IDs to the approximately 300,000 people without acceptable picture IDs. Of course, the people this bill targets -- the poor, the elderly, minorities and students -- will have to spend money and a whole day shlepping around town to obtain birth certificate copies and wait in line at the DMV for these "free" treats.

But there is some good news. Just hours after the governor signed this voter suppression bill, lawsuits were filed. The ACLU of North Carolina and the NAACP of North Carolina filed suit claiming the bill violates the Constitution's equal protection clause and what's left of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This same governor recently signed bills that would reduce jobless benefits, reject the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, cut school funding, tighten restrictions for abortion clinics in the state, and loosen restrictions on concealed-carry permits in bars and restaurants. Excellent choice there, mixing guns and alcohol. What could possibly go wrong?

How do the residents of North Carolina feel about this guy? Not so good.

A recent PPP poll shows his approval rating badly underwater: 39% approve, 51% disapprove.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, our Republican Jackass of the Week.




And Dishonorable Mention goes to Representative Paul Stam (R of course) also, coincidentally, from North Carolina.

This genius doesn't like new school testing requirements for children that June Atkinson, the superintendent of schools, has devised, so he stated she should "stick to her own knitting."

A tad misogynistic there, Paul?