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.