Saturday, December 24, 2011

Must Reads

Benjamin Wittes: NDAA FAQ: A Guide for the Perplexed

Chris Chase: Braylon Edwards Gave 79 Students $10,000 for College

The Rude Pundit: Politifact and The Lie of The Lie

Justin Rosario: A Very Merry Fox Christmas: Obama’s Christmas Card Just Isn’t American Enough

Tom McMahon: Merry Christmas, Middle Class! House Republicans Just Voted To Raise Your Taxes By $1,000

Dana Milbank: Braveheart Republicans? Or false-hearted?

Eugene Robinson: Which Candidate Should Answer That 3 a.m. Phone Call?

BooMan: Wanker of the Day: Charles Krauthammer

Dino Grandoni: Perry's Latest Oops Moment: 'Kim Jong the Second'

Jonathan Chait: When Did Liberals Become So Unreasonable? - If every Democratic president disappoints, maybe there’s something wrong with our expectations. Tough love from a fellow traveler.

President Obama's Weekly Address - December 24, 2011

The President and First Lady Thank our Troops for their Service this Holiday

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dumbass Quote of the Day

“I’ve talked to enough members over the last 24 hours who believe that, ‘Hey, we don’t like this two month extension [but] if you can get this fixed, why not do the right thing for the American people, even though it’s not exactly what we want.”
~John Boehner, Speaker of the House, explaining why House Republicans decided to cave on the temporary extension of the payroll tax cut after painting themselves into a corner.
As one of my readers posited regarding the bold text above, "Let's mull that over for a minute."

"...Why not do the RIGHT THING for the American people, even though it's NOT EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT?" For someone who's fond of using the phrase, "We're here to do the people's work," he sure has a tendency to disregard what the people actually want.

Fair and Balanced (The Brent Bozell Is a Racist Edition)

Judge for yourself:

Bozell appeared on Hannity as part of the show's weekly "Media Mash" segment to talk about purported mainstream media failings. After listening to a clip of MSNBC host Chris Matthews saying that Newt Gingrich "looks like a car bomber," Bozell responded:
BOZELL: How long do you think Sean Hannity's show would last if four times in one sentence, he made a comment about, say, the President of the United States, and said that he looked like a skinny, ghetto crackhead? Which, by the way, you might want to say that Barack Obama does. Everybody on the left would come forward and demand he be fired within five minutes for being so insulting towards a leader of the United States.
Really? Well, that skinny, ghetto crackhead took out Bin Laden, something the previous dry drunk, coke head couldn't do. ...See how easy that is? And disgusting?

I Can't Believe This Is Still Going On

What a waste of time and money.

The so-called birther movement was dealt another legal blow Thursday when a federal appeals court tossed out a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship and his eligibility to serve as commander in chief...
...The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by 40 plaintiffs, including conservative activists Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake, who ran for president and vice president respectively as members of the American Independent Party against Obama in 2008.
Alan Fucking Keyes. This is just disgraceful. What was that thing about frivolous lawsuits they constantly harp about?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just Say "Oops" and Get Out (The House GOP Payroll Tax Cut Fiasco Edition)

What the hell happened? How is it that the Republican "We'll-Slit-Our-Wrists-Before-We-Raise-Taxes-All-Hail-Grover-Norquist" Party found themselves on the wrong side of a tax cut issue?
House Republicans have privately offered up the terms of their surrender on the payroll tax cut, pending sign off from their notoriously unwieldy caucus...
...After conceding for weeks, the Dems finally said this far and no further — and actually meant it. You read that right.
And there is the crux of the issue. For the last year, Republicans decided that to defeat President Obama in 2012, they were going to be the Party of No, even on issues with which they agreed. They would grind the gears of government to a halt, economy and the American people be damned, just to regain control of the White House with whatever clown du jour would rise to the top of the GOP primary elections.

And for a while it worked. The President, whether you agreed with him or not, would make compromises with the intransigent Republicans because unlike them, he wasn't prepared to throw his fellow Americans under the bus. Some called it "pragmatism," some called it "caving." Either way, President Obama never stopped trying to make it work. He never walked away from the table, unlike others.

But there's a problem when you go all-in on every hand. Eventually, your bluff is going to be called. You can't have the winning hand every single time. And the pot the House Republicans eventually lost is any possible credibility with the voting public. What they could possibly have been thinking in their push to kill the payroll tax cut is anyone's guess. Perhaps it's Obama Derangement Syndrome kicking in at such a high level, they believed their own bullshit that anything the President says or does must be a bad thing, therefore it must be opposed. Even if it means rejecting issues and policies that the GOP has historically been in favor of.

So today they thought better of it and they've finally decided to fold a hand, but wagered too much in the process. Time will tell how much this will harm their chances in 2012, but judging by Congressional Republican approval ratings, my guess is that they're in for a rude awakening come November.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Let The Feeding Frenzy Begin

When the Wall Street Journal... the Rupert Murdoch owned, conservative Wall Street Journal is shaking its head at the John Boehner "led" House of Representatives (AKA Lord of the Flies), you know you're in trouble.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play...
...At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation.
Now I don't really agree with this op-ed's point of view as to why the House GOP should cut their losses, but they certainly got it right in that Boehner and Co. have painted themselves into a corner, and should retreat and live to fight another day. Sometimes you have to know when to fold your hand. But for some reason, they think seem to think the best strategy is to go all-in every time. The problem with that strategy is that eventually, someone is going to call your bluff.

Cartoon of the Day

Just Say "Oops" and Get Out (The Romney/Osama Bin Laden Edition)

Via Political Wire:

"I do not concur in the words of Barack Obama in a plan to enter an ally of ours... I don't think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort."
-- Mitt Romney, quoted by Reuters in 2008, on the United States entering Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden.
"I think other presidents and other candidates like myself would do exactly the same thing."
-- Romney, in an interview on MSNBC earlier today, downplaying credit for Obama for ordering the raid in Pakistan that finally killed Osama bin Laden.

Another Example of Boehner Leadership (Kill C-SPAN Edition)

How cowardly can the House Republicans and House Weeper John Boehner get? Cowardly enough to prevent as vote on the Senate payroll tax holiday that passed with huge bipartisan support, adjourn for the day completely ignoring Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer at the podium... and then cutting off the C-SPAN feed.

“We regret, Mr. Speaker, that you have walked off the platform without addressing this issue of critical importance to this country,” Hoyer added.
Moments later, the mic appeared to cut out. A few seconds after that, the video feed switched away from the House floor to a still image of the Capitol Dome. It appears someone in House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) office cut the feed, as C-SPAN tweeted afterwards: “C-SPAN has no control over the U.S. House TV cameras – the Speaker of the House does.”
Transparency, indeed.

Go To

You'll like what you'll see.

Gingrich owns, but is controlled by someone with very different motives.
The website alternately redirects to a slew of websites with negative association to Newt: from the homepage of Tiffany, to the Freddie Mac homepage, to negative news articles about his campaign.

Try it:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So, hey, come up with a Plan B


Within hours of Secretary Sebelius denying an application to make a morning after pill available, over the counter, to girls under 17, women's rights groups went ape shit on their fellow woman's rights advocate. Ignoring their own previous appreciation of Secretary Sebelius' years of advocacy and ardent support of reproductive rights, she was enemy number one and she was playing "politics".

I called bullshit right away.

My take has always been that the ball was dropped by the FDA and the pharmaceutical company, NOT Secretary Sebelius. It's easy to blame her because she did the hard thing. But the anger should be directed toward the folks who rushed the data and the application.

The same people who acted as if the FDA was infallible should be SCREAMING about Yaz. We can't say the FDA is perfect on this issue and condemn them for allowing women, like my friend, Heather, to suffer a stroke because of her reproductive choices.

I also found the cries of her playing politics extremely hollow when just days prior to her being accused of playing politics, she denied a grant to Catholic Bishops because they didn't provide access to family planning centers in their human trafficking resource program. As someone who cares a great deal for programs to combat and aid victims of human trafficking, this hurt my heart. But I completely understand that women victims of trafficking need full access to full health care. How does the Secretary who was willing to make that Solomon choice, suddenly become the enemy playing politics?

The issues the Seretary faces aren't easy. They are going to piss someone off. To accuse her of playing politics because you don't like the choice she made is lame and ignorant of complexities.

I think the real politics were being played by women's rights groups who focused so much on one aspect, that may have inadvertantly caused harm to the very girls they are trying to help.

This issue can be resolved if the women's groups put the politics aside and make every decision thoroughly and with great care and foresight. I commend Secretary Sebelius for keeping the bigger picture in mind despite being accused of playing politics. No women should play any part of a political game at the sake of the girls.

And if I lose my feminist card for this, so be it. I'll go with my plan B and join a group of logical people who care that the girls are spoken up for in more ways than one.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Small Price To Pay

So once again, Weeper of the House John Boehner shows his toothless bite when it comes to bringing his side of the aisle in line for a vote not to raise taxes. Yes, you read that correctly, NOT TO RAISE TAXES.

The Senate came together to pass a two month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance by a bipartisan vote of 89-10, and while that may not be an ideal situation, it staves off an automatic increase on taxes for 160 million Americans when the current payroll tax cut expires, hardly something to sneeze at in the current economic state of affairs. But that wasn't good enough for Tea Party Republicans who rejected the bill.
“When we met last week, Speaker Boehner requested that Senator McConnell and I work out a compromise,” [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid said, referring to the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. “Neither side got everything they wanted, but we forged a middle ground that passed the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.”
Well, that was last week, Senator Reid. This week Boehner's got new marching orders from the extreme right.

This may be easy for me to say, but if having taxes raised (yes, Republicans are sitting idly by and breaking the Norquist code of raising taxes at any cost) is what needs to happen to make the general public aware of how intransigent the current Republican Party has become, and the result is a mass termination of House GOP jobs via the 2012 election, then it's a small price to pay for progress.

The House is currently in session to have another vote by 6:30pm which Boehner expects to fail. The system isn't broken. The Republican Party is broken.