Saturday, April 9, 2011

This Guy Wants To Be President

For the last couple of weeks I've been watching the mainstream media give more and more time to the preposterous idea that Donald Trump is a legitimate contender for the Republican nomination for President. I couldn't turn on a cable news channel or broadcast news channel for that matter without seeing Trump's face demanding he be taken seriously while spouting debunked birther conspiracy theories whenever he opened his mouth. I would look at him and my first thought wasn't, "This guy would make a great president" so much as "I wonder what his hair looks like when he gets out of the shower." I don't think "Trump would be an awesome president." I think "A Trump presidency would be a national embarrassment."

And now we get to see how thin-skinned The Donald actually is courtesy of New York Times columnist Gail Collins. Last week, Collins decided to turn in a column deriding Trump for his headline grabbing ways, out-crazying the wingnut contenders by stealing the keys and taking a joyride in the Birther bandwagon. He insists on making his case with three year old debunked theories on the Kenyan-born, possibly Muslim, birth certificateless, Manchurian candidate President.  He's made his main talking point that this fake controversy is "the greatest scam in history." It doesn't matter that all these theories have been proven false. He's got people investigating and "they cannot believe what they’re finding." No details, of course, they just can't believe it. Maybe they can't believe their good fortune in being paid handsomely by Trump to investigate something that has been thoroughly exhausted; something that the Clinton campaign machine and the McCain campaign Edsel couldn't find. Something that can easily be Googled. Or maybe Orly Taitz is giving him legal advice while cleaning his teeth.

But the Collins opinion was just too much for Trump to bear, so he wrote a letter to the editor. A letter, that while insulting Collins for her "storytelling ability," sounds like it was written by a marginal high school student trying to sound smarter than he is. He then goes on to restate the whole birther nonsense, sticking to his guns, refusing to believe anyone or anything that proves the opposite.

Collins of course had to respond with a rebuttal today including other crazy shit Trump has said these last few weeks, like it was Bill Ayers who actually wrote "Dreams From My Father" or that people who went to school with Obama never saw him. She goes on to once again disprove the ridiculous statements, but no matter. At this point, Trump is all in and nothing anyone says can make him think any different. ...Maybe that's how he bankrupted his casinos.

But here's the thing: if a New York Times opinion columnist gets him so easily riled that he feels the need to write a letter, how is he going to react to the constant ridicule from primary challengers and media personnel during the campaign? You can see how upset he gets when someone disagrees with him, how emotional he becomes when he feels he's being interrupted (see the Meredith Vieira interview). How is he going to survive a year long campaign with that short hair trigger when Howard Dean was drummed out of the Democratic race in '04 for displaying his excitement after the Iowa primary results?

But I suppose Trump doesn't have to worry about that, because there's no way he'll run. There's no way he'll want to be viewed under a microscope with such scrutiny. This whole thing is a ratings ploy for his reality show, nothing more. And the fact that Republicans rate Trump second in a favorability poll combined with the antics of the fractured House majority being run by Tea Party freshmen reveals the sad state of the Republican party.

Must Reads

Matt Yglesias: Paul Ryan’s Tax Plan Based On Discredited Heritage Foundation Analysis That Forecast Bush Boom

Mark Karlin: The Multi-Billion Dollar Brainwash of America's Middle Class

Suzy Khimm: Is GOP Medicare Ploy a Gift, or a Trap?

Steven D: GOP Wants to Kill Me (and You)

Alex Pareene: The Right Just Doesn't Get Journalism

David Frum: A Budget That Can't Budge

Jon Ward: Bill Kristol Attempt To Promote Paul Ryan 2012 Candidacy Falls Flat, But Coming Fight Over Spending Holds Wild Cards

Mark Follman: Juan Williams, Fox News Admit to Flagrant Error About Racial Prejudice

Angry Black Lady: 67% of Americans Support Obama’s GITMO Decision; Other 23% Cry Into their Wine Purses

Michael B. Keegan: The Terrible Twos: The Tea Party Throws a Tantrum

Joan Walsh: Mike Pence Backs More Abortions

Matt Taibbi: Tax Cuts for the Rich on the Backs of the Middle Class; or, Paul Ryan Has Balls

JHW22 recommends...
Mike and Anne Wilber: What is Becoming of Our New Hampshire?

President Obama's Weekly Address - April 9, 2011

President Obama on the Budget Compromise to Avoid a Government Shutdown

Let's Abort this Shit, Shall We?


My cousin sent me a message asking for debunking back up. The crap she wanted to challenge was essentially about Planned Parenthood and the "Planned Parenthood profit" myth. Considering the amount of profit reported in the many intertube rumors shifts between $400 million and $100 million dollars, one is compelled to ask: if there is a massive discrepancy in the amount supposedly profited, don't ya think maybe the fact that there is a profit is questionable?

So anywho, I sent her a 990 form that shows exactly what Planned Parenthood brought in and what it sent out. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do. But you know what they say about reasoning... Anyway, there is no profit in a non-profit. And if anyone wants to read through this gazillion page 990, you can see that they spent a boat load of cash on preventative and health care programs. And if they had any money left over at the end of the year, it was properly re-absorbed in ways that can limit how much they get from the Feds the next year.

And of course I addressed the whole Hyde Amendment thingy-ma-bob. Which, if you are reading this, you SHOULD know what that is.

So then I addressed the millions of birth control services PP provides a year and disclaimed that with, you know, the reality that the more birth control there is the fewer abortions there are. Considering I was sending this message through my cousin to the idiot who posted the freakout, I hope my "you big dumbass" tone made it through. I also pointed out the thousands of lives saved through cancer screenings but I'm not sure why I pointed that out. The only life that is sacred is that of an unborn fetus and not a woman's who discovers she has cervical cancer after a Planned Parenthood medical professional swipes her cervix with a damn bristle brush.

And then I decided to bring up the one thing my cousin's friend left out of her original crap rant, a point I've heard raised again and again: Cecile Richards' salary. I consider this move a preemptive strike. You see, a lot of anti-Planned Parenthood (which is ironically named since APPARENTLY they only PREVENT parenthood according to some idiots) folks seems outraged over how much PP pays Ms. Richards, their president. She makes about $300k a year. That's a nice chunk of cash. Wow. I wish I made that much. And wow, she'd be the perfect candidate for that Bush tax cut... but I digress. Anyway, they don't like that she makes so much money considering PP gets federal money -- funny, the same people didn't seem bothered that heads of bailed-out banks made MILLIONS and that was all funded by the government. Well, they were mad about the bail-outs but didn't want the government to set salaries or decided how that tax-funded income should be taxed. Again, I digress...

So back to my preemptive strike of Cecile Richards' salary and how, gosh darn it, how can we use government money to subsidize an organization that pays a woman a lot of money to Plan Parenthood!?!

Enter, The Candies Foundation and ... ta da... Bristol Palin. Yep, a formerly knocked-up teen made almost as much money as the president of a national organization that serves MILLIONS of women each year to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Yep, Bristol, the poor suffering teenage single mom made almost as much as a college-educated executive.

And guess what? The Candies Foundation is a Public Charity -- meaning they collect federal dollars. And guess what? They spent only about $40k in funding to actual programs to prevent pregnancies. Obviously you can't compare the incoming and outgoing moolah between the two organizations. But when you compare apples to apples, Candies spent BUCKETS on Bristol and pits on programs. Whereas, Planned Parenthood spent a bucket on staffing and shitload of buckets on programs.

Just a little funny. Just a little ironic.

And I should probably disclose that I am still a great fan of Cecile Richards' late mother and tend to get bristly when Cecile is attacked by dumb-asses.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Don't F*ck With The Democratic Women of the Senate

I love me some Kirsten Gillibrand.

And I must say, Barbara Mikulski got me a little hot too.

My Prediction

On, Wisconsin! On, Wisconsin! Plunge right through that line!...

Yesterday I wrote about the undeniable trend that when Democrats win elections it's by some conspiratorial voter fraud but when Republicans win, it's a MANDATE... even if the margin of victory happens to be a couple of hundred votes. I gave an example of the accusation of voter fraud from the Wall Street Journal's John Fund. And this guy does me the favor of listing all the voter fraud criers because he actually agrees with them.

Well there's been a little development since yesterday's election results in the State Supreme Court race between Republican incumbent David Prosser and Democratic challenger JoAnne Kloppenberg.

...Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced at a 5:45 p.m. news conference that she had left out the 14,315 votes cast in the city of Brookfield in the totals she released Tuesday night. Prosser won 10,859 votes there to Kloppenburg's 3,456. Coupled with small increases elsewhere in the county, Prosser gained a total of 7,582 votes on his challenger, giving him a 0.5% margin — enough to avoid a state-financed recount.
Enough votes to avoid a recount.

And you may ask, who is County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus? Does she have any skin in the game?
...Rep. Peter Barca, the Assembly minority leader, in a statement noted that Nickolaus had worked for Republicans in the Legislature when Prosser was a leader there. "Her approach raises questions about the integrity of the election to the highest court in our state."

So to all the voter fraud conspiracy theorists out there who cried foul when you thought Prosser lost, is your theory due to trying to find out the truth and making sure that every vote is counted? Or are you now satisfied with the new outcome and don't think that these magically found ballots over 24 hours after the polls closed which give Prosser the win with just enough votes to avoid a recount sounds the least bit suspicious to you? Don't you think it at least warrants an investigation?

Just sayin'.

For more information on Nickolaus, click here.

Orly Trump

He's betting big on the grandmother story.

Trump promises an audio tape from Obama's paternal grandmother that will prove he's been lying all along:
His grandmother in Kenya said, 'Oh, no, he was born in Kenya and I was there and I witnessed the birth.' She's on tape. I think that tape's going to be produced fairly soon. Somebody is coming out with a book in two weeks, it will be very interesting.
Is it that translation phone call that has been debunked since it came out over two years ago? And yet, Trump is to be taken seriously.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bill Cosby to Trump: Put Up or Shut Up

This. Is. Awesome.

Bill Cosby was on The Today Show this morning promoting a school program in Connecticut and was asked about Donald Trump's foray into the presidential election. Trump was interviewed by Meredith Viera which was broadcasted earlier in the show.

Cosby said Trump was "full of it" and should either announce his run, or shut up.

Watch the full clip here to learn about Cosby's school program.

When Republicans Win, The Voters Have Spoken. When Democrats Win, It's Voter Fraud

Did anyone doubt that this was going to come up?

...John Fund, Wall Street Journal columnist and long time voter fraud fearmongerer, is already crying foul in the election that's become a proxy fight over Gov. Scott Walker's (R) assault on collective bargaining rights -- and increasingly looks like a win for progressives.
On a WSJ webcast this afternoon, Fund speculated that investigators in Dane County -- home to Madison and a big part of the state's left-leaning electorate -- or even the state attorney general will be called in to examine what Fund said were thousands of strange ballots which suggest something amiss in the election.
Of course, Fund makes absolutely no association with the hundreds of thousands of people that have been protesting for weeks in the streets surrounding the Madison Capitol building after Gov. Scott Walker's union busting measures, and the backlash it may have caused in the judicial race especially after it was made known that the Republican incumbent David Prosser supports Walker's agenda.

As for Scott Walker, it appears he's only the Governor of half the people of Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker said this afternoon that the spring election results show there are "two very different worlds in this state."
"You've got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin," Walker said at a press conference in the Capitol.
You hear that, Madison? Eh, you really don't count. Let's see how different those two worlds are once the recalls begin.

Now look, I know this thing is far from over. As of this writing, JoAnne Kloppenberg only has a 204 vote lead out of over 1.5 million votes cast, and a recount is most likely a foregone conclusion. But doesn't it feel good to be on the long side of things for a change?


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Tweet of the Day

For those who haven't heard, Glenn Beck is done on Fox. I can't wait for the bowling pin scene!

Sorry Scott Walker, Get Off The Government Teat

We all have to tighten our belt. We can't just keep doling out money we don't have. Unions are evil. Teachers and firefighters are to blame for all the deficits.

So to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who turned down $810 million in federal money to build a high speed rail system from Madison to Milwaukee, but now is asking for $150 million to add trains to the existing Millwaukee-Chicago line, I say "fuck you."

Fuck you, you don't deserve a dime of federal money after demonizing the government's reckless spending and wasting of the taxpayers' money. Fuck you, you don't get a redistribution of the wealth from other states. No welfare for you, Scott Walker. Fuck off.

Maybe you could have gotten, oh I don't know, $33 million if you asked nicely.  $33 million is a nice number, kind of rolls off the tongue. And you know where you could have gotten the rest of the money? From the $117 million in corporate tax cuts you signed into law just a couple of weeks into office. Tell your corporate pals you'll have to rescind that tax cut, you jackass. Or maybe take a call from David Koch and ask him to float you. $117 million is pocket change to the Koch brothers.

Maybe you can raid the firefighters' and police officers' pensions since you failed to do it the first time thinking it would suit you politically. Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, work it out and stop being so goddamned hypocritical.

Who Wants To Shut The Government Down?!

Over the last few days, I've posted a couple of examples of Republicans on record threatening to shut down the government if all their budget cut demands aren't met. The GOP, or rather the Tea Party faction of the GOP, wanted $100 billion in cuts to the budget already in place. The Democrats countered with $10 billion. Both bills were rejected in lieu of a more serious discussion. The GOP originally wanted about $32 billion in cuts, and the Tea Party insisted on at least $61 billion. The Democrats met Speaker John Boehner to agree on $33 billion, $1 billion more than the original GOP proposal. Boehner was immediately spanked by the Tea Party and rejected what he had initially agreed to, countering this time with $40 billion in cuts. If the Democrats agree to $40 billion, Boehner and the Tea Party Republicans would reject it and demand yet another number.

Why is this? Why does the GOP, who's collective nutsack is in a Tea Party vise, keep moving the goal posts? Why does Boehner agree to a number, then come back with his tail between his legs and renege on the agreement? It's because they really don't want to negotiate. They don't want a compromise, they want a shutdown because they think it's in their political best interests. It also shows Boehner is no leader.

Here's Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris-Perry on the shutdown and Rep. Paul Ryan's $1 trillion Medicare cut idea.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Who Wants To Shut The Government Down?!

House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown. That process includes alerting lawmakers and senior staff about which employees would not report to work if no agreement is reached.

Quote of the Day

"...we’ll have endless obfuscation, both-sides-have-a-point reporting that misses the key point, which is that the putative savings come entirely from benefit cuts somewhere in the distant future that would, in all likelihood, never actually materialize. (What do you think will happen when retirees in 2025 discover that their Medicare vouchers aren’t enough to buy insurance?)'
~Paul Krugman on the Paul Ryan budget plan

Monday, April 4, 2011

About Obama and Gitmo

For the last two years, I've constantly heard far left and far right ideologues blame President Obama for not closing the terrorist detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

And now the issue comes up yet again today when the Obama administration had to reverse course on having civilian trials for those detained at Gitmo and announce the intention of military tribunals starting with Khalid Sheik Mohammed. Remember when Obama wanted this trial in New York and was supported by Mayor Michael Bloomberg? Remember what happened next? He flip-flopped after local politicians and misinformed New Yorkers lost their collective shit at the thought of trusting their judicial system.

Let's get one fucking thing straight: The failure to close Gitmo cannot, CANNOT, be laid at the feet of Barack Obama. On the first day of elected office, President Obama signed an executive order to close Gitmo. His. First. Day. Anyone taking a step back and being honest will agree that the reason Gitmo remains open to this day, over two years later, is because there are cowards on both sides of the aisle in the Senate.

What happened after that order was signed? There was a collective gasp in the halls of Congress as politicians of all stripes got the vapors at the thought of having those evil, crazed jihadists in their back yard... in prisons... maximum security prisons that currently house the worst criminals incarcerated in the U.S. penal system. But apparently, alleged terrorists have magical powers which serial killers, sociopaths and rapists don't, that allow them to escape through steel, concrete and armed guards.

Then Congress passed a defense spending measure with an amendment prohibiting prosecution of Gitmo detainees in federal court. End of story.

Yet the "professional left" who are smart enough to know better always use this as a fallback whenever they're in the middle of a debate about how Obama is just like Bush. Google Glenn Greenwald or Jeremy Scahill on this issue and you'll inevitably find them saying the same. Obama ran on closing Gitmo and it's still open. In fact, Scahill just used it the other day on The Ed Show with no correction from Ed. And another listener called into Ed Schultz's radio show today spewing the same and how he was staying home on Election Day. Just now Rachel Maddow called going forward with the military tribunals "a kick in the teeth to the Democratic base." Even Senators Bernie Sanders and Russ Feingold, stalwarts of liberalism and one of them a self-defined Democrat Socialist, voted against the Gitmo move! Was their vote a kick in the teeth as well? Where was that coverage?

Look there are a myriad of things about which progressives and liberals can be legitimately upset at Obama, but this ain't one of them. I'm tired of spineless Democrats in Congress hiding behind Obama's leg when it comes to these types of matters. And I'm not going to let this one slide anymore.

TARP Made a Profit

Believe it or not, we're in the black on TARP. It wouldn't have if the the Obama Administration hadn't reformed the program after taking office and also demanded it be paid back.

From Andrew Sullivan:

...I sure didn't expect the government to make a profit from TARP. And I sure didn't expect the auto bailouts to become such huge successes. What's surprising to me is how pallid is the Obama administration's spin has been on this. I never hear them bragging about how they managed to pull us out of the economic nose-dive we were facing. I know why: the recession isn't over, even if TARP was a success, no one wants to hear about it, etc. But it's one of the strongest and least valued part of Obama's record - along with the cost control innovations in health insurance reform.
At some point, you have to stand up and defend your record. No doubt Obama is biding his time on this. But count me as surprised as I am impressed.

Obama Announces Run

Today, we are filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign.
We're doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you -- with people organizing block-by-block, talking to neighbors, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build.
So even though I'm focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.
We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily. It never does. But as my administration and folks across the country fight to protect the progress we've made -- and make more -- we also need to begin mobilizing for 2012, long before the time comes for me to begin campaigning in earnest.

Read more here.

GOP: $4 Trillion in Cuts

It's so simple to step on the necks of the downtrodden, isn't it?

Republicans will present this week a 2012 budget proposal that would cut more than $4 trillion from federal spending projected over the next decade and transform the Medicare health program for the elderly, a move that will dramatically reshape the budget debate in Washington.
...The plan would essentially end Medicare, which now pays most of the health-care bills for 48 million elderly and disabled Americans, as a program that directly pays those bills. Mr. Ryan and other conservatives say this is necessary because of the program's soaring costs.
Okay, can we now talk about something realistic because this is an obvious ploy, a joke. And yet, the Republican Party continues to be taken seriously somehow. I'll be waiting for the Tea Party to take the streets in droves chanting, "Keep your government hands of my Medicare!" Let's see them protest even the idea of considering Paul Ryan's "fuck you" to the poor and elderly.

And by the way, this is just a number that they put out there. There is nothing in the plan on how to get to this number without literally killing hundreds of thousands of people by denying them financial assistance with their day to day lives in terms of medical care. Remember "Repeal and Replace"? Whatever happened to that?

ADDING... Of course, they can't just say they're going to cut spending. They're going to cut taxes too!
Conservative activists who are familiar with the Ryan plan said they expect it to call for a fundamental overhaul of the tax system, with a 25% top rate for both individuals and corporations, compared to the current 35% top rate. It is expected to raise about the same amount of money as the current system, however. Lawmakers already are considering ways to accomplish that by reducing or eliminating some deductions and other tax breaks.
Cutting the top tax rate by 10% but bringing in the same amount as the current system? So you know what that last line actually means. Those of us "individuals" who actually pay 35% currently but are able to itemize some deductions and get a refund can kiss that goodbye. But corporations that currently pay LITTLE TO NO TAXES because of loopholes at a 35% rate, can continue to rape the US economy at the 25% rate. And those who are in lower tax brackets will probably wind up paying the same or maybe even a bit more. But that doesn't matter to the GOP - they know that the working class poor don't have a real voice in Washington, so who's going to know?

43 Years Ago Today