Saturday, May 9, 2009

Must Reads

Diane Farsetta: Pentagon Rejects Its Own Pundit Program Whitewash

Margaret Flowers, M.D.: Why We Risked Arrest for Single-Payer Health Care

Jim Hightower: Populism is not a style, it's a people's rebellion against corporate power

Glenn Greenwald: If the US Does It, It's Not Torture - The NYT's Definition of Blinding American Exceptionalism

Digby: Exceptional Dissonance

Hilzoy: "I Don't Believe I've Ever Met A Homosexual"

Rude Pundit: Big Gay Friday

On This Date...

posted by Armadillo Joe

Saw on Rachel Maddow last night that today, May 9th, is National Train Day.
On May 10, 1869, in Promontory Summit, Utah, the "golden spike" was driven into the final tie that joined 1,776 miles of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railways, ceremonially creating the nation′s first transcontinental railroad. And America was transformed.

Suddenly, the country was united in a way it never had been, and train travel sparked imaginations in small towns and big cities, among folk who desired adventure and businessmen who saw fortunes to be made. The sound of a train whistle was the soundtrack of happy reunions and tearful farewells. It heralded the arrival of mail, supplies and change.

The train became more than the go-to mode of transport for people and goods. It was a proud achievement of engineering vision, technical ingenuity and sweat. It was a cultural force that sparked the creative imaginations of storytellers in songs, movies and novels. Railways provided jobs for thousands of Americans. The train station became a focal point of every community, from New York City′s Pennsylvania Station to the tiny stations that dotted rural America.

Now, 140 years after the “golden spike” connected east and west, there’s never been a better time to take the train. Huge crowds and the frustrations that go with them burden our highways and airports. And at a time when we all share the same pressing concerns about environment and energy conservation, trains are a more energy-efficient mode of travel than either autos or airplanes. Riding the rails is not only a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but also a great way to meet interesting people and see breathtaking scenery.

That′s why, in commemoration of the anniversary of the day the "golden spike" was driven, we celebrated the first-ever National Train Day on May 10, 2008. Thousands enjoyed live entertainment, train displays, raffles, prizes and surprises for big and small across the nation.

This year the event will be even better. So mark Saturday, May 9th on your calendar for a coast-to-coast celebration of the way trains connect people and places. There will be major events in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, while other events will occur in smaller markets nationwide. Join us and Discover the Rail Way during any of the National Train Day festivities that are sure to be a treat for all ages.
You guys all know what's next...

Build me some SUPERTRAINS!

President Obama's Weekly Address - May 9, 2009

Credit Card Reform

Friday, May 8, 2009

Because driftglass told me to...

posted by Armadillo Joe

Info on the Wingnut Family Photo:
First row seated (L - R): Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck
Second row standing (L - R): Joe the Quitter, Rupert Murdoch, Brit Hume

Lady Liberty Open Again

Being a child of New York City, when I was younger I had the amazing experience of walking to the top of the Statue of Liberty and peering out the windows of her crown.

Climbing inside the statue and seeing the infrastructure that holds her up is an event, the feeling that you're walking through history, the feeling of being one of the millions that have explored what's behind the flowing robes, yet feeling like you're seeing something not many others have in the grand scheme of things - like exploring a mysterious cave.

My only regret is that the arm of the statue remained closed to tourists ironically after the 1916 Black Tom explosion sabotage/terrorist attack. I've always wanted to stand on the platform of the torch.

The statue spelunking all ended with 9/11 and the continued fearmongering thereafter during the Bush administration that had kept the Statue of Liberty closed to tourists ever since*. Well not anymore.

The Statue of Liberty’s crown, which was closed after the 9/11 attacks, will reopen to the public on July 4, the White House announced on Friday morning. The decision, by the Obama administration, is a reversal of the previous policy.

Under the Bush administration, the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service, had insisted that visitors could not be permitted because the crown — reachable only by a very narrow, 12-story-high spiral staircase with a low guardrail — did not meet modern fire, building and safety codes.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is to formally announce the decision at a news conference at 9 a.m. on Ellis Island. In a phone interview on Friday morning, Darren Boch, a spokesman for the National Park Service, confirmed that the crown will reopen, but said that operational details would be forthcoming from the Interior Department.

You don't know how happy this makes me. As a New Yorker, there's always been an underlying pall of dejection in the city since 9/11 due to arguably necessary but onerous limits instilled in the name of national security. This is a first step, albeit a small one, in restoring a sense of normalcy back to our home town.

And as an added bonus, once the crown is reopened we'll all have a chance to get a closer look at future Air Force One flyovers.

* Liberty Island was reopened 100 days after 9/11, and only the pedestal was
reopened to tourists after a renovation to improve fire safety codes and security in August of 2004.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


posted by Armadillo Joe

Chris Hayes, Washington editor of The Nation magazine, is a regular on Keith Olbermann. He is also an astute observer and one helluva writer. I have to put him in the same group as Matt Taibbi, as someone on whom I also admit something of a literary man-crush.

I think these paragraphs from his column in the latest issue of The Nation sum up exactly where we are and how we got here, both in D.C. and the world at large, far more succinctly than twenty long-winded posts from yours truly. From "Notes on Change":
With all the talk of balance sheets these days, I've taken to tallying up each side of the "change" ledger: forces pushing toward reform on the left and those that maintain the status quo on the right. After 100 days, this is what I have.

On the right: three decades of accelerating inequality and oligopolistic rent-seeking that has produced a sophisticated set of entrenched interests whose sole mission is to expand the reign of the corporations and the wealthy people they represent; a constitutional system engineered to stymie change and moderate the influence of the rabble; a Senate whose rules and customs bestow maximum power on each sitting senator so that a lone reactionary like Tom Coburn can hold up funding for national parks for more than a year; a degraded (albeit slightly revived) culture of civic engagement; a class of Democratic operatives who seem to have no beliefs, principles or commitments, or who once had them but have been co-opted; a mammoth, ferocious national security bureaucracy willing and able to conduct what Bob Gates cheekily called "guerrilla warfare" to defend its turf; a president who seems to have little appetite for a fight.

On the left: control of both houses of Congress by large margins; dozens of progressive legislators; a wildly popular center-left president who ran on the most ambitious progressive domestic vision in a generation; a polity disgusted with conservative rule and conservatism, so much so that "socialism" has been staging a reputational comeback; a financial crisis that has exposed the bankruptcy of the elite economic consensus; a savvy progressive infrastructure built up during eight long, dark years; and finally, what should perhaps be definitive, healthy majorities who favor a progressive agenda--ending torture and the Iraq war, providing universal healthcare and pursuing a clean energy economy.

Amid the euphoria of election night, it seemed the left side of the ledger was all that mattered. For the past three months it's been hard to ignore the right side. Now it all feels balanced on a knife's edge.

I'm rooting for Obama, even though I have expressed misgivings in the past, I just don't know if he is up to the task. I don't know if any living human is -- or any dead one ever was -- up to this task. We are a dying nation, hovering near the precipice of a self-induced implosion on the scale of the Fall of Rome, poised to be fatally undermined locally, and on a small-scale, interpersonal and perhaps civic level by Corporate Amerika's shocktroops, those teabag-flinging, racist hillbillies (sorry, dontpanic23, I had to go there) who are so convinced of the righteousness of their Cause and the pernicious, anti-American "otherness" of their opponents, that they would choose to destroy this village in order to save it, even though they also live in the village. Dismiss their patience and resolve if you will, but we are still arguing about the Civil War 144 years later.

And Corporate Amerika is ready willing and able to help them crush the whole enterprise to ensure their continued material comfort, slurping on mai-tais in their Carribean tax-havens.

In between? The sheeple, who voted for Obama -- and big props for that, yo -- but not before giving the Keys to the Kingdom to an aging frat-rat, mean-as-a-pit-viper, half-wit rich kid who likes to play-act as a cowboy and play dress-up as a pilot and thinks he talks to God because they wanted to have a beer with him. Twice. I don't have much faith that those same people will not allow themselves to be bamboozled by the same forces who made them think someone not named Dick Cheney was running the country for the last eight years.

And as much as we like to imagine our opponents as a bunch of inbred confederates in overalls pining for the days when The Coloreds knew their place (and though a sizable chunk of our not-so-loyal opposition are exactly those people - looking at you Jeff Sessions), many of the people rooting for Obama to fail actually have the power to see that he does.

I think Chris Hayes is right that we are balanced on a knife's edge and Naomi Klein's appearance on Rachel Maddow last night reminds me that -- just like the best history teachers make history come alive by illustrating how today's world could have turned out very different, because in any struggle the outcome is not pre-determined, something is always and forever at stake -- something is deeply, truly at stake here and now: America's soul.

Obama's victory wasn't the end of the struggle. It wasn't even the beginning of the end. But it was the end of the beginning, an interruption of the upward arc tracing the rise of conservative hegemony from Nixon, through Reagan and both Bushes. The outcome is far from settled.

An epic fight lies before us. Let's get about it.

National Day of Hypocrites

Think Progress: President Obama [signed] a proclamation recognizing today as a National Day of Prayer (NDP). Notably, the President will not continue former George W. Bush’s practice of holding a “formal White House event.” In response, conservative commentators in recent days have been suggesting that Obama is in some way attempting to downplay the significance of the NDP — and faith in general.

Limbaugh went so far as to suggest that Obama was trying to “cancel” the NDP, while the National Day of Prayer Task Force issued a statement suggesting that Obama was departing from historical tradition. The task force claimed that Obama’s decision was “contrary to the administrations of President George W. Bush, President George H. W. Bush, and President Ronald Reagan.”
Besides the fact that the supposed "tradition" only became so on Dubya's watch (Reagan and Bush I had an event only once during their presidencies, not a yearly event), whatever happened to being humble before the eyes of The God?

Maybe they should do some more Bible study and stop dabbling in politics.

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." [Matthew 6:5-6]

Why I Chose Correctly On November 4th

I am so glad John McCain is still a Senator and not a President. Here's a "tweet" I just received.

Here's my response.

This is just a reminder for those of you who don't remember the old curmudgeon yelling at kids to get off his lawn.

Turdblossom's Nuggets of Wisdom

Karl Rove: Few events mobilize as many interest groups and set Washington atwitter as much as a Supreme Court vacancy. In the Bush White House, I served on a five-person committee charged with recommending nominees for Supreme Court vacancies. We had the opportunity to do so twice, though admittedly it took us three nominees.

We collected thick binders of background material on prospective nominees -- not just opinions, utterances and legal writings, but everything from college transcripts to tax-return summaries to charity dinner speeches. We had years to prepare, update and review this exhaustive research. It helped get Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed within three months.

Oh, Karl. Karl. Three words: HARRIET. FRIGGIN'. MIERS!

Rove writes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal warning the Obama administration of all the hard work they'll need to do to make the right choice on their Supreme Court Justice nominee and completely undercuts his argument in the third sentence of his piece.
"We had the opportunity to do so twice, though admittedly it took us three nominees."

That's right, Karl. With all your vetting, research and months of background work, you still put up Harriet Miers as a pick for the Supreme Court of the United States. So please do us a favor and spare us all your wisdom, your experienced hand and your sagely advice that has found your "permanent Republican majority" where it is today.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: Leader of the GOP (The Eric Cantor Edition)

Specter Stripped of Seniority... And BITCHES About It!

Let me get this straight. Arlen Specter switches parties for political expediency, tells President Obama that he is "a loyal Democrat," that he supports the President's agenda, and supposedly worked out a deal with Harry Reid to keep his seniority on the committee chairs he holds.

Apparently, Specter still thinks that the backstabbing GOP ways are the modus operandi of the Democratic Party because within the first week of having a 'D' after his name, Specter has voted against Obama's budget, voted against the rewriting of the bankruptcy bill, backtracked on his "loyal Democrat" statement on Meet The Stretch and what apparently broke the donkey's back, when questioned if he cared about the absence of any Jews in the Republican Senate, made this amazingly stupid statement:

I sure do. There's still time for the Minnesota courts to do justice and declare Norm Coleman the winner.
Arlen, just because the Democratic Party's symbol is a donkey doesn't mean you have to act like a jackass. You switched parties because your "loyal" GOP brothers gave you shit about your stimulus vote after 29 years as a Republican in the Senate and told you they weren't supporting you, and yet you want the courts to overturn the legal results in the Minnesota Senate election in which Al Franken (who is Jewish, by the way!) narrowly won the popular vote? This isn't Florida in 2000 all over again, Arlen. And then you have the temerity to say you misspoke because of all the hoopla surrounding your party switch?

“In the swirl of moving from one caucus to another, I have to get used to my new teammates,” he said. “I’m ordinarily pretty correct in what I say. I’ve made a career of being precise. I conclusively misspoke.”

New teammates? How fucking stupid do you think we are? Did you just wake up that morning and happened to forget that you were the focal point of one of the biggest political news stories of the year?; you forgot the waves you made by crossing to the other side what, like misplacing your keys when speaking of a Coleman win? You thought you were still a Republican? Let me rephrase that: You forgot to speak like a Democrat? Because we all know you are still a Republican at heart.

And it's that's last point that has caused the Senate to decide to strip you of your seniority. It only took you one week to blow it. You now have less seniority than Roland Burris for crissake! How does it feel, Arlen? Was it worth it? And still, you have the balls to bitch about it.

"It was understood that the issue of subcommittee chairmanships would not be decided until after the 2010 election. Some members of the caucus have raised concerns about my seniority, so the caucus will vote on my seniority at the same time subcommittee chairmanships are confirmed after the 2010 election. I am confident my seniority will be maintained under the arrangement I worked out with Sen. Reid."

Not so fast, many in the party said. Concerned with Specter's actions -- and possibly by his cocky insistence to David Gregory on "Meet the Press" that his seniority was an "entitlement" -- members decided to stash the 29-year veteran at the far end of the committee table.

There's still plenty of time to backtrack on you and support Joe Sestak in 2010, Arlen. If you fuck with the donkey, sometimes you get kicked in the head. Deal with it.

Favorite Bumper Stickers

I saw these on my trip to Gettysburg a few weeks ago in the parking lot of the Gettysburg National Park Museum and got a kick out of them.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn't alone.

Teabag Results

President Obama's Gallup poll approval ratings.

April 15th: Approve - 61%, Disapprove - 31%
May 5th: Approve - 66%, Disapprove - 27%

Keep it up, Teabaggers! Can't wait until July 4th.

Maine Supports Gay Marriage

Maine becomes the fifth state to support marriage equality.

Gov. John Baldacci: "In the past, I opposed gay marriage while supporting the idea of civil unions,” Governor Baldacci said. “I have come to believe that this is a question of fairness and of equal protection under the law, and that a civil union is not equal to civil marriage."

Baldacci also noted that “does not force any religion to recognize a marriage that falls outside of its beliefs,” nor does it require churches to perform gay weddings.

And really, isn't this the entire point? Civil marriage has absolutely nothing to do with a religious, ceremonial marriage and that's how it should be. Those opposed to gay marriage always seem to bring up the religious aspect in their arguments when it has nothing to do with religion. It's all about equal rights, civil rights and states rights.

(H/T Think Progress)

Code Words - Empathy & Activist

There has been nonstop cable chatter regarding President Obama's mention of searching for someone with "empathy" to replace Justice Souter on the Supreme Court. I've been hearing it everywhere, including MSNBC, that supposed "liberal," in-the-tank-for-Obama network. There are those who are opposed to what they perceive will be a choice by Obama to lean towards an "activist" judge because his preference is to choose someone who may have some street cred instead of blue blood.

Orrin Hatch: "It's a matter of great concern, if he's saying that he wants to pick people who will take sides. He's also said that a judge has to be a person of empathy -- what does that mean? Usually that's a code word for an activist judge.

...But he also said that, that, he's going to select judges on the basis of their personal politics, their personal feelings, their personal preferences," Hatch said, "Now, you know those are all code words for an activist judge who's going to be partisan on the bench."

Now, it seems to me that the Grand Opposition Party using the term "activist judge" is just code for pro-choice judge. It may also mean a non-white non-male, but that's for another post. But what did President Obama actually say? (1:56)

President Obama: "I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with peoples' hopes and struggles as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes. I will seek somebody who is dedicated to the rule of law, who honors our Constitutional traditions, who respects the integrity of the judicial process and the appropriate limit of the judicial role. I will seek somebody who shares my respect for the Constitutional values on which this nation was founded..."

It's interesting to see the GOP oppose someone who hasn't even been named yet. But they're not the Party of No.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chris Matthews Challenges Mike Pence: Do You Believe In Evolution?

I caught this live and was pretty impressed with Matthews. Mike Pence gets painted into a corner on the questions of science and evolution. Enjoy the sweating and squirming as Pence refuses to admit he believes in evolution but admits to believing in creationism on national television.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


MATTHEWS: How can your party be credible on CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases when the loudest voices in your party don't believe in it?

PENCE: Well let me tell you. I think the science is very mixed on the subject of global warming, Chris.

MATTHEWS: Then why should your party believe you’re going to get serious about it, if you say the science is mixed?



MATTHEWS: You want to educate the American people about science and its relevence today. Do you believe in evolution, sir?

PENCE: Uh, do I believe in evolution? I embrace the view that God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Seas and all that’s in them. The means that he used to do that, I can’t say, but I do believe in that fundamental truth.

MATTHEWS: Did you take biology in school? ...If your party wants to be credible on science, you gotta accept science. … See how you're hedging? This is why people don't trust Republicans... I don’t think your party is passionately committed to science, or fighting global warming, or dealing with the scientific facts we live with.


That Didn't Take Long

posted by Armadillo Joe

Arlen "Spooky" Specter hasn't even been a Democrat for a week and already he's found a way to adhere (against the better interests of his new party) to the Rules of Engagement in Washington D.C., which is to say that whatever happens is good for Republicans and bad for Democrats and bi-partisanship means kicking a Dirty Fucking Hippie and voting for what the GOP High Command wants.

Besides voting against the president's agenda twice out of two possible votes, he's also gone on national television and denied pledging to be a loyal Democrat (even though he did), has an oft-stated and well-established hostility to pro-union legislation (in a largely blue-collar state) is actually rooting for the guy from the other team to prevail in Minnesota and regrets keeping a racist thug (Jeff Sessions) off the federal bench 20 years ago just because he's now a fellow Senator.

With friends like Specter, who needs Republicans? Why exactly are we glad he's in our caucus?

Spooky's an opportunistic, scheming, vote-chasing fence-sitter who always makes noise like he's going to make the wise and moral choice on any given vote in the senate, then votes for the GOP line anyway. He made it loud and clear that he is switching parties so that he can continue to be a senator, it had nothing at all to do with principle. With him, it never does. His whole political existence is about electoral expediency. In the World's Most Exclusive Club™, it is all about protecting the membership and if Specter needs to switch parties to keep his job, the other 99 (or 98, in this case) will do whatever they can to help. Look at what the national Dems did for LIEber-douche in Connecticut when the state Democratic party rejected him.

If the Obama team had a lick of sense about how to handle this toad (or if Harry Reid had any cojones), they'll threaten him into shutting up, falling in line and being a reliable vote for the president's agenda or face a well-financed primary challenge... then finance a primary challenge anyway. He's served his purpose by embarrassing the Senate GOP caucus, now squeeze him and make him behave or dump him. We don't need Arlen Specter. That seat does not belong to him, it belongs to the good people of Pennsylvania who deserve to send whoever best looks after their interests. In his heart of hearts, that is why he wants Coleman to prevail in Minnesota, for the same reason all those other senators wanted LIEber-douche to prevail in 2006: because they are chummy-chummy in their comfy little club and any means necessary to protect each other (regardless of party) will be taken and exploited. He really thinks that seat belongs to him personally and if he has to wear a different colored tie or part his hair differently or switch political parties to keep it, fine. Arlen Specter will only look after the interests of Arlen Specter.

This all better be some kind of Obama Kung-Fu, because as much fun as it was seeing the GOP lose its collective freaking mind over the weekend, the blush has already worn off and Arlen Specter needs to become Progressive Enemy #1. Until he's gone from the Senate, I ain't giving a dime to the DNC. I'm sending money to whoever announces a primary challenge from Specter's left.

Arlen Specter is, as ever, an unfulfilled promise, a "dependable" vote, just not ever when it really matters, when all that is good and righteous and just and the very future of humanity hangs in the balance. Now, because he has a "D" next to his name, he won't change his essential nature. He's going to enjoy being feted and courted to top this made-up 60-vote threshold (what happened to 51%?) the Rethugli-goons successfully imposed on the Senate in the last eight years. He's a scorpion and we frogs should be wary.

Dom DeLuise Dies at 75 We've just learned that Dom DeLuise -- who starred in such classics as "The Cannonball Run" and "Blazing Saddles" and was the voice of Pizza the Hutt in "Spaceballs" -- died last night in a Los Angeles hospital.

We're told he passed away peacefully in his sleep at around 6 PM.

He was 75.

One of the funniest guys ever.

Salamo Arouch Dies at 86

This is a pretty amazing story. My wife turned me on to the obituary.

NY Times: Salamo Arouch, a Greek-born Jewish boxer who survived the Auschwitz death camp in World War II by winning fight after fight against fellow prisoners, to the delight of Nazi guards who had placed their bets on him, died in Israel on April 26. He was 86.

Read the rest here.

What The Fuck, Chuck?!

...Scorched by Republican opposition to the idea of a new public program like Medicare, Senate Democrats are looking for a middle ground that would address the concerns of political moderates. One way they propose to do that is by requiring the public plan to resemble private insurance as much as possible.

“The public plan,” Mr. Schumer said Monday, “must be subject to the same regulations and requirements as all other plans” in the insurance market.

...Mr. Schumer said his goal was “a level playing field for competition” between public and private insurers. But Ms. Ignagni said, “It’s almost impossible to accomplish that objective.”

The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, asked Mr. Schumer to seek a solution. In his response, Mr. Schumer set forth these principles:

- The public plan must be self-sustaining. It should pay claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments. It should not receive tax revenue or appropriations from the government.

- The public plan should pay doctors and hospitals more than what Medicare pays. Medicare rates, set by law and regulation, are often lower than what private insurers pay.

- The government should not compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan just because they participate in Medicare.

- To prevent the government from serving as both “player and umpire,” the officials who manage a public plan should be different from those who regulate the insurance market.

In addition, Mr. Schumer said, the public plan should be required to establish a reserve fund, just as private insurers must maintain reserves for the payment of anticipated claims. And he said the public plan should be required to provide the same minimum benefits as private insurers.

I'm really, really tired of my senior Senator from New York. It's bad enough he served Michael Mukasey to the Bush administration on a silver platter, now he wants to make the public plan for health insurance as bad as the current private insurers in the guise of free market competition?

Shorter Schumer: The only way we'll put forth a public health insurance plan is if we make it crappy enough that no one will want it.

¡Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Joe the Plumber: Keep The Queers Away From My Kids

Joe the Plumber on gay marriage: At a state level, it’s up to them. I don’t want it to be a federal thing. I personally still think it’s wrong. People don’t understand the dictionary—it’s called queer. Queer means strange and unusual. It’s not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that. You know, God is pretty explicit in what we’re supposed to do—what man and woman are for. Now, at the same time, we’re supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I’ve had some friends that are actually homosexual. And, I mean, they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn’t have them anywhere near my children. But at the same time, they’re people, and they’re going to do their thing.

Ah, Sam "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher: the gift that keeps on giving. Way to expand that tent, Joe!

(H/T Think Progress)

The GOP Communications Gold Standard

...Former White House press secretary Dana Perino, former Bush counselor Ed Gillespie and former White House deputy press secretary Tony Fratto are among those set to provide words of wisdom to House Republican press secretaries at their annual workshop this Friday.

GOP House Conference Communications Director Matt Lloyd said Perino, Gillespie and Fratto represented “the gold standard for Republican communications professionals” and were obvious choices to advise the party’s messengers.
So, to turn the page and recover from the Bush administration, they're looking for advice from the "gold standard" of communication officials and turning to... the Bush administration.

I just wanted to remind everyone of these stellar communicators.

Dana Perino:
...Appearing on National Public Radio's light-hearted quiz show "Wait, Wait . . . Don't Tell Me," which aired over the weekend, Perino got into the spirit of things and told a story about herself that she had previously shared only in private: During a White House briefing, a reporter referred to the Cuban Missile Crisis -- and she didn't know what it was.

"I was panicked a bit because I really don't know about . . . the Cuban Missile Crisis," said Perino, who at 35 was born about a decade after the 1962 U.S.-Soviet nuclear showdown. "It had to do with Cuba and missiles, I'm pretty sure."

So she consulted her best source. "I came home and I asked my husband," she recalled. "I said, 'Wasn't that like the Bay of Pigs thing?' And he said, 'Oh, Dana.'

She is so on top of things. How did she possibly figure out that the "Cuban Missile Crisis" had something to do with Cuba and missiles? Soooo smart, that Dana Perino.

Tony Fratto:

"That's true. No one could have anticipated [flying 767's into buildings on 9/11], or very few people."

Well, yeah... especially if you disregard a Presidential Daily Brief as far back as December of 1998 titled, "Bin Laden preparing to hijack U.S. aircraft and other attacks" for purposes of trading hostages for imprisoned terrorists that conspired in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

And of course the August 6th, 2001 PDB titled, "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US" that most likely wasn't read.

And the FAA report that "reviewed dozens of intelligence reports that warned about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, some of which specifically discussed airline hijackings and suicide operations, according to a previously undisclosed report from the 9/11 commission." But other than that, no one could have anticipated planes being used as weapons.

So go at it, GOP! Seek advice from these beacons of the Bush administration; the same administration that led you to the place you currently reside. Hint: if you use a compass and remember that the sun rises in the east, you may find your way out of the wilderness sometime.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Douchebag of the Week: Virginia Foxx

It brings a chill to my spine when I think of the caliber of some of our elected representatives and the voters that put them there.

This week, Rep. Viginia Foxx (R-NC) stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and while debating the hate crimes bill named after Matthew Shepard, who was killed because he was gay, called it a "hoax." According to Foxx, it was a robbery, not a gay hate crime.

I suppose in Foxx's world, some backwoods, racist and homophobic goons from Laramie, Wyoming plotting to drag someone out into the darkness, beat him to a pulp, string him up on a fencepost and leave him for dead is a just normal robbery gone wrong.

"(The) hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills," Foxx said.

Some of these nutballs are under the impression that passing hate crimes bills are infringing on free speech. What part of beating a person to death because you don't like their sexual orientation or skin color is considered "speech"?*

And where did Foxx get her information? Why from TV of course. A 2004 20/20 report questioned whether Shepard had actually been killed because he was gay. If it's on TV, it's gotta be true, right Rep. Foxx? Why bother reading the actual trial transcript for facts when you can watch faulty journalism on the tube? An extra doucheslap to Foxx for her non-apology apology:

"The term ‘hoax’ was a poor choice of words used in the discussion of the hate-crimes bill … Referencing these media accounts may have been a mistake, but if so, it was a mistake based on what I believed were reliable accounts."

Rep. Virginia Foxx, Douchebag of the Week.

*And for those who say that racism is over because we now have a black president, tell that to the family of Mexican immigrant Luis Ramirez, who was beaten to death by two white teenagers and were just acquitted by an all white jury in rural Pennsylvania.

Another DFH Out of The GOP

posted by Armadillo Joe

With a death-bed confession in a letter to his grandchildren, the late Jack Kemp (GOP candidate for VP in '96) reveals that was he was, in fact, a Dirty Fucking Islamofascistic/socialist, America-hating Hippie:
My first thought last week upon learning that a 47-year-old African-American Democrat had won the presidency was, "Is this a great country or not?"


Let me explain. First of all, the election was free, fair and transformational, in terms of our democracy and given the history of race relations in our nation.

What do I mean?

Just think, a little over 40 years ago, blacks in America had trouble even voting in our country, much less thinking about running for the highest office in the land.

A little over 40 years ago, in some parts of America, blacks couldn't eat, sleep or even get a drink of water using facilities available to everyone else in the public sphere.


The party of Lincoln, (i.e., the GOP), needs to rethink and revisit its historic roots as a party of emancipation, liberation, civil rights and equality of opportunity for all.


President-elect Obama talks of Abraham Lincoln's view of our nation as an "unfinished work." Well, isn't that equally true of all of us? Therefore let all of us strive to help him be a successful president, so as to help make America an even greater nation.
His death brings the Rethugli-goon Party one step closer ideological purity.

Jack Kemp Dies at 73

NY Times: Jack Kemp, the former football star turned congressman who with an evangelist’s fervor moved the Republican Party to a commitment to tax cuts as the central focus of economic policy, died Saturday evening at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 73.