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Republicans are vile creeps


 

“Some people are shits, darling.”—William S. Burroughs

Like Republicans.

I live in Los Angeles, where I honestly don’t know ANY Republicans. I’m sure there must be at least a couple of them living here, but I’m not planning to actually go out looking for them any time soon. Let ‘em stay under those rocks. In fact, I don’t even know a single Republican who I am not related to by blood or by marriage. As in none, not one, zero.

These family members aside, I do not like Republicans. I hate them. If you are a Republican, I hate YOU. Seems like the majority of my fellow Californians might feel the same way, luckily—the GOP is a politically insignificant entity in California, where the Democrats hold a supermajority and practically every top job in the state—so Republican idiocy will probably never touch my life in any sort of meaningful way, except, of course, for reading annoying, blood-pressure raising articles about the GOP asshats we do still have here, like this at The LA Times.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act never stop producing new tricks to undermine the reform’s effectiveness. But leave it to California Republicans to reach for the bottom. Their goal appears to be to discredit the act by highlighting its costs and penalties rather than its potential benefits.

The device chosen by the Assembly’s GOP caucus is a website at the address coveringhealthcareca.com. If that sounds suspiciously like coveredca.com, which is the real website for the California insurance exchange, it may not be a coincidence. Bogus insurance websites have sprung up all over, aiming to steer consumers away from legitimate enrollment services. Just a couple of weeks ago California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris shut down 10 bogus insurance sites, some of them with names very similar to the real thing. She must have overlooked the GOP’s entry.

A goddamn fake healthcare website! How low is that? If you click on a tab that reads “Don’t have health insurance” on the homepage, you are taken to a “penalty calculator” and not a premium calculator. Shits! They’re evil shits. Imagine that you’re an earnest person with preconditions seeking affordable health insurance and you stumble into this site by accident. It would be infuriating.

The GOP site also takes careful pains to explain to the young how THEIR money will be subsidizing health care for the old. Keep it classy GOP… Hey wait a minute: I thought old people were the GOP base?

And don’t young people eventually become old people? This may have already occurred to some of them. Bit of a mixed message there, isn’t it? Not like cognitive dissonance has ever been much of an impediment to Republicans, but this strikes me as being as incompetent as it is evil and in such a small, petty way. There’s even a section devoted to scaring people that signing up for Obamacare will result in identity theft!

Shits.

Hunter at Daily Kos wrote:

If you are so nasty a person that you can’t live with the thought of insuring yourself because it means some other person might get healthcare using one one hundredth of a cent of your money, the world will certainly not be missing you much after you are gone. Godspeed!

This is yet another of the reasons the current incarnation of the Republican Party is little more than a political oozing sore. There is probably a downside to trying to kill off your own voters to score a momentary political point, but let’s just say the members of the party brain trust in my state could meet in a closet and still have enough room for the vacuum and boxes of Christmas decorations.

Yep, that’s our Republicans. How I love California.
 
 
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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NBC journalist says live on air: ‘Someone should sh*t in Sarah Palin’s mouth’


 
As the editor of a blog that used to generate a lot of traffic with virtually any item, however small, that mocked Sarah Palin, believe me when I tell you that five years after her debut on the world stage, no one really cares that much about the snowbilly grifter anymore.

Not like they used to. Not even close.

Nope, an item on Sarah Palin will bring in a negligible amount of traffic, so little, in fact that it’s not even worth the effort anymore. “Sarah Palin does something stupid AGAIN” has stopped being effective as “click bait,” in the same way that “Glenn Beck says something outrageous AGAIN” has. Or “The 25 greatest moments from Murphy Brown” (as actually seen on Yahoo! earlier this week, I didn’t make that one up). Or whatever idiocy Ted Nugent is into. Who gives a shit about these assholes? No one does. At least our readers don’t. You let us know loud and clear how disinterested you are in these people and we see the evidence of this on Google Analytics, ChartBeat, and in Twitter, Facebook and Google+ shares.

Which brings up the question: Does a Sarah Palin appearance on The Today Show, or even Fox News, really bring in ANY extra eyeballs? Based on my own (admittedly left-leaning, but very large as these things go) control group, I’d have to wager that the answer is a definite “NO.” Going on what I’ve seen, she’s a total bust these days. Doesn’t move the needle on the traffic dial. Flatline. Nothing. Why do we still see her all the time saying “words” in the “lamestream media”? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but given that every newsgathering or content aggregating entity has access to the very same traffic measurement tools that I have, I don’t expect that she’s got much left cultural currency after this current round of “war against Christmas” media appearances to promote her new book that someone else wrote, for people who don’t read…

Having said all that, I certainly would have thought there would have been a terrific amount of interest in an NBC correspondent suggesting that Sarah Palin should have someone shit in her mouth and piss in her eyes, and this is exactly what Martin Bashir did in an MSNBC commentary segment on Friday that is, for the most part, only being discussed on the right.

How did this escape wider notice?

If you will hit play, you will see one of the most incendiary things I have ever seen someone say on a cable news channel about another person… ever.

Incendiary, sure, but I’d have to say… he’s right. Without further ado, here’s Martin Bashir saying what a lot of people think about Sarah Palin:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Bubbafication’:  When rich Republicans get all redneck


 
“Bubbafication” is a term referring to the affectation of redneckishness by a refined, cosmopolitan, wealthy, or otherwise privileged person. Why would you do such a thing? Well, endearing oneself to the reactionary, white working class can pay off big.

For example, George W. Bush, born into a millionaire family (with an alleged “pork rinds” fan for a patriarch) went to Harvard and Yale. That didn’t stop him from buying a ranch and playing cowboy, an act he conveniently trotted out most frequently during election season. And here we have Morton Downey Jr., son of a famous singer, already quite rich and famous in his own right as the king of trash TV, singing a Merle Haggard song about the supposed decline of America, a subject he gleefully monetized with his every utterance.

I won’t go so far as to say I’m sympathetic with Merle Haggard, but I will say I understand his particular brand of resentment and disaffection. Those are the people I come from—not “Okies from Muskogee” per se—but a rural, southern, culturally insular, god-fearing folk. Many of them manage to be conned by wealthiest of the wealthy politicians, over and over again, so that no matter what happens in their shitty lives, they always manage to blame immigrants or black people or feminists or the decline of religion or god knows what else.

Check out some of the lyrics to Haggard’s “Are The Good Times Really Over”

I wish a buck was still silver
It was back when the country was strong
Back before Elvis
Before the Vietnam war came along

Before The Beatles and ‘Yesterday’
When a man could still work, still would
The best of the free life behind us now
And are the good times really over for good?

Are we rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell?
With no kind of chance
For the Flag or the Liberty Bell

Wish a Ford and a Chevy
Could still last ten years, like they should
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?

I wish Coke was still Cola
And a joint was a bad place to be
It was back before Nixon lied to us all on TV

Before microwave ovens
When a girl could still cook and still would
The best of the free life behind us now
Are the good times really over for good?

It’s all been downhill since Elvis? Ah, that bullshit nostalgia for those non-existent “good ole days!” It’s the very zeitgeist of the Republican base! What’s earnestly ignorant in Merle Haggard is ambitious and unctuously detestable in Morton Downey Jr, but man if it doesn’t work, over and over again. You know damned well there must be dozens of Republican pols kissing the asses of the Duck Dynasty and Hillbilly Handfishin’ casts, even as I type this.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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American democracy dies, murderers caught on video (or The Republicans pull a REALLY creepy move)


 
If you haven’t seen the video yet of Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on the floor of the House asking for a clarification on the rules of the shutdown, believe me, it’s well worth watching.

There’s a compelling reason it’s been garnering hundreds of thousands of YouTube plays the past few days: Very simply it shows—beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt—that the Republicans not only planned the government shutdown in advance, but that they made damned good and sure that when their neanderthal putsch started, there would be new rules in place to prevent it from being voted on.

It’s astonishing. It’s not like I expect that this clip will be discussed on Fox News anytime soon, but a Republican with even a modicum of intelligence, honesty and decency would be obliged to see exactly same thing that the rest of us see when we watch this clip.

If you’re unclear of exactly what’s happening, under normal circumstances any Congressperson can call for a vote on any bill at any time.

Not anymore! Prior to the shutdown, the Republicans very quietly passed H.R. 368, a measure that only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor can call for an end to the shutdown.

That’s right Eric Cantor and ONLY Eric Cantor—not even Speaker of the House John Boehner or any other ranking Republican—unless Cantor gives his express permission for a designee to do it. Via Talking Points Memo:

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

“I’ve never seen this rule used. I’m not even sure they were certain we would have found it,” a House Democratic aide told TPM. “This was an overabundance of caution on their part. ‘We’ve got to find every single crack in the dam that water can get through and plug it.’”

Congressional historians agreed that it was highly unusual for the House to reserve such power solely for the leadership.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM.

“It is absolutely true that House rules tend to not have any explicit parliamentary rights guaranteed and narrowed to explicit party leaders,” Sarah Binder, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told TPM. “That’s not typically how the rules are written.”

The rule change was made to prevent a majority vote from becoming even a possibility without the expressed consent of ONE MAN! Fewer than 25% of Americans support the GOP’s shutdown and yet here we are

This is democracy? It’s thisclose to being fascism. The dummies are in charge. Minority moron rule. Joseph Stalin or Il Duce would laugh at what America has become. The whole thing is worth watching—and infuriating—but by around the 5:00 mark, the cat’s out of the bag thanks to Congressman Van Hollen.

Judging from the rapidly escalating number of YouTube views, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not going back in again. Please share with everyone, even, make that especially, your Uncle Ronnie the Teabagger. He’s never going to hear about this from Rush or see it on the Fox News, but Uncle Ronnie really needs to know about this…
 

And then there is this, an earlier, less dramatic, but in no way less revelatory confrontation that took place two weeks ago when Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) noticed something seemed fishy and asked some uncomfortable questions of the Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who flat out admits that she’s right!

“That’s what I’m saying. We took that away.”

Sessions tells her of GOP “resolve” in the debt ceiling battle. Here’s her response:

“Oh, Mercy. It just gets deeper and deeper. I want to tell you the resolve that I think you’ve got. And despite the fact that every one of you said, over and over ad nauseam, that you didn’t want to shut the government down, we spent some time down in my office watching so many of your members — right after they were elected in 2010 — saying how much they would like to shut down the House to great applause.”

“I think it is really shortsighted, I think it is an atrocity to the Rules of the House. And I think you’re putting the whole country through this angst and this aggravation that we did not need to go. This one we could have done without.”

“And I must tell you that I’m more and more angry now that I understand what you have done is take away our ability is to really make a motion for that Senate vote.”

Guess what? The Tea party-led government shutdown came THE VERY NEXT DAY!

Go right to 1:20 and start from there. If this isn’t an admission of guilt, I don’t know what would be…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Slavoj Žižek: Ayn Rand’s ‘John Galts’ are the idiots who crashed the economy & they’ll do it again


 
I had to laugh at the way Slavoj Žižek so masterfully ended his Guardian op ed piece, “Who is responsible for the US shutdown? The same idiots responsible for the 2008 meltdown.”

Žižek’s subtitle is “In opposing Obamacare, the radical-populist right exposes its own twisted ideology” and in the essay, he poses a provocative question that I’ve been wondering about a lot myself recently: “Barack Obama is accused of dividing the American people instead of bringing them together. But what if this, precisely, is what is good about Obama?”

I’d like to read Žižek—or Jonathan Chait, Brian Beutler, Alex Pareene, Michael Tomasky, Charles Hugh Smith, Frank Rich or the great Charles P. Pierce—taking on this topic in further detail once the dust has cleared.

The conclusion Žižek draws at the close, though, is simply sublime:

One of the weird consequences of the 2008 financial meltdown and the measures taken to counteract it (enormous sums of money to help banks) was the revival of the work of Ayn Rand, the closest one can get to an ideologist of the “greed is good” radical capitalism. The sales of her opus Atlas Shrugged exploded. According to some reports, there are already signs that the scenario described in Atlas Shrugged – the creative capitalists themselves going on strike – is coming to pass in the form of a populist right. However, this misreads the situation: what is effectively taking place today is almost the exact opposite. Most of the bailout money is going precisely to the Randian “titans”, the bankers who failed in their “creative” schemes and thereby brought about the financial meltdown. It is not the “creative geniuses” who are now helping ordinary people, it is the ordinary people who are helping the failed “creative geniuses.”

John Galt, the central character in Atlas Shrugged, is not named until near the end of the novel. Before his identity is revealed, the question is repeatedly asked, “Who is John Galt?” Now we know precisely who he is: John Galt is the idiot responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown, and for the ongoing federal government shutdown in the US.

Standing ovation!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Christian group thinks it’s ‘better to die than to live’ in pro-gay world!


 
Last night as I was writing this post about the end of the world fantasies of the Christian Right, I came across a ridiculous quote from dim-bulb entertainer Pat Boone who once said that he’d rather his young daughters died than to be raised under godless Communism.

I’d imagine that little Debby and her siblings would have felt differently, perhaps.

Here’s a new one, though: Christian political organization,The Family Leader, headed up by the sleazy Bob Vander Plaat, says it is better to die than live in a world welcoming of gay people.  In an article posted on their website with the title “9 Reasons You Will Be Made to Care,” The Family Leader group laid out a manifesto of ignorance, as Gay Star News reports:

They referenced the Disney Channel featuring a lesbian couple on a TV show, a California bill ensuring trans people can use the right bathroom, the US evangelist who was arrested in London for spouting anti-gay hate, and the Colorado baker facing jail after refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The boycott of Barilla pasta has pissed them off too. What’s a poor Christian who is “being targeted by homosexual activists who’s [sic] agenda is clear: approve of my lifestyle or pay the consequences” to do, The Family Leader asks.

“At first, the cases were few and far between. Now the number of cases are building, and the collective threat is growing, with the goal of suffocating Christians’ vocal opposition to promoting a lifestyle which is not consistent with their faith.”

Would Jesus discriminate?

Here’s how it ends:

What will you do?  Will you give in to their agenda by saying and doing nothing? Or will you lead yourself, your family, your church, and your community?  Our nation, our children need leadership. What you choose will impact generations to come.

To paraphrase a quote from Winston Churchill:

“If you do not fight when you have a chance of winning, you will eventually fight when you have no hope of winning, because it will be better to die than to live.”

Or you could just kill yourself if you’re too sensitive to live IN REALITY. Like those nice Heaven’s Gate people.

It’s a modest proposal. A more realistic one.

The Family Leader’s loathesome leader, Bob Vander Plaat, is mulling over running for the Senate in the Republican Party primary in Iowa next year. He could win, too.

Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Oh Jesus: ‘Left Behind’ author’s group behind apocalyptic Tea party shutdown?


 
For those of you either too young to remember them—or perhaps not raised in the Bible Belt—among the very top best-selling books of the 1970s were Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and its sequel Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. These books are literalist readings of the Book of Revelation, presenting a fanciful, goofy paranoiac eschatology comparing vaguely worded end-time prophecies written over 2000 years ago (and reworded an unknown number of times since) with (then) current events. They’re about as intellectually serious as Chick tracts.

Nevertheless, The Late, Great Planet Earth was marketed as non-fiction Bible prophecy predicting and decoding last days milestones—the USSR invading Israel, the coming of the Anti-Christ who would rule over the European Union, famine, plagues, etc, etc, etc—before the Rapture and the subsequent return of Jesus. One of Lindsey’s main themes was that Jesus would come back “one generation” after the state of Israel was established, so by the 1970s, this was a very hot topic in what we now refer to as red states. (If you have ever wondered WHY Southern evangelical Christians are so obsessed with Israel, wonder no more, Hal Lindsey’s books were—and still would be, although I think people forget this—a huge, huge part of this strain of American Christianity. It was there already, but he brought it to prime-time, so to speak and amplified it culturally.)

Hal Lindsey’s books (co-authored by Carole C. Carlson) rivaled the sales of titles like Jaws, The Godfather and The Exorcist as the books most likely to be read by people who didn’t read very much. These books were staples of nearly every garage sale back then. Apparently over 28 million copies of The Late, Great Planet Earth were sold.

Among the known fans of Lindsey’s books in the 1970s was California Governor Ronald Reagan.

In December 6, 1983, during an Oval Office interview, Reagan informed two stunned reporters from People magazine:

“There were times in the past when we thought the end of the world was coming, but never anything like this.”

Tea party nitwit Pat Boone was one of Reagan’s closest friends. He said of the President:

“I believe that Ronald Reagan would make no decision that would run counter to his understanding of God’s direction and what God says is going to happen and what God says he wants to happen.”

(Reagan said this of Boone to a group of evangelicals at the kickoff of his reelection campaign: “And Pat Boone stood up, and in speaking to this crowd, he said, in talking of communism, that he had daughters, they were little girls then, and he said, ‘I love them more than anything on earth.’ And he said, (and I thought, ‘I know what he is going to say,’ and ‘Oh, you must not say that,’ and yet I had underestimated him). He said, “I would rather that they die now believing in God than live to grow up under communism and die one day no longer believing in God.” Big round of applause for Pat Boone, father of the (20th) century…)

Among Reagan’s cabinet members were men known to be to some degree influenced by Christian millennialist beliefs that we were living in the end times. Reagan’s notably asinine Secretary of the Interior, James G. Watt didn’t believe in ecological conservation because Jesus was coming back. It is known that General John Vesse, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Chief of Naval Operations, James Watkins, would meet regularly inside the Pentagon with Herbert Ellingwood, deputy Counsel to the President and Attorney General Edwin Meese III to discuss their common faith. I think it’s safe to assume that talk of Bible prophecy and a nuclear end of the world was on the menu at such meetings!

Reagan’s Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, an Episcopalian, told students at Harvard:

“I have read the Book of Revelation, and, yes, I believe the world is going to end - by an act of God, I hope - and every day I think that time is running out.”

Yep, these were the folks who had their mitts on the fuckin’ nukes. This was our side! (It should be noted that the Soviets were atheists! WHAT must the KGB have thought of these guys???)

When the great Texas progressive muckraker Ronnie Dugger penned the article “Does Reagan Expect Armageddon?” for the Washington Post in 1984, the frightening prospects of the crazy Americans bringing an end to the human race became a cause for alarm all across Europe. I lived in London then and there was a lot of anti-American sentiment at the time. I can vividly recall being quizzed about HOW?!?!? HOW?!?!?! could these (or did they say “you”?) idiot Americans believe in this stupid shit from three exasperated French guys and a perplexed English punk rock couple at a party once. I tried to explain it as best I could, but I don’t think my shoulder-shrugging “Look, that’s just the way it is over there, what can I tell you?” rationale for “my peeps” was in the least comforting to them!

Something I read this morning made me think back to those halcyon Cold War days of the almost quaint-seeming batshit crazy Republican Christianists of the 1980s: According to an article in the New York Times yesterday, one of the principal reichwing pressure groups architecting and advocating for the current Tea party-led GOP government shutdown was founded by none other than Tim LaHaye, the author of this current last generation’s mega, mega apocalyptic best-sellers, the “Left Behind” series. Tim LaHaye is basically today’s Hal Lindsey.

Lee Fang writes at The Nation:

The coalition is managed by Heritage and the Council for National Policy. The latter organization, dubbed once as “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of,” is a thirty-year-old nonprofit dedicated to transforming the country into a more right-wing Christian society. Founded by Tim LaHaye, the Rapture-obsessed author of the “Left Behind” series, CNP is now run by Christian-right luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins and Kenneth Blackwell.

Guess who else has his fingerprints all over this shutdown mess? Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III...

The Council for National Policy, the Conservative Action Project and Ed Meese himself know all too well that racial—not to mention religious—demographic trends in the US mean that there is a very strong likelihood there “their type” will probably never get their hands anywhere near the nukes again, but not content to merely fantasize, sidelined, about the end of the world (and their own perceived ROLES in this cosmic battle between good and evil, like the Reaganites who actually carried the nuclear football for eight fuckin’ years), this cabal of numbskull, dumbshit apocalypse-obsessed morons want to bring it on by destroying the world economy!

You have to give these Teahadist types some credit, they know how to fight dirty. These Republican economic suicide bombers are willing to shred the Constitution to bits to “save” the country from majority rule, aren’t they?

Yo’ dawg, they’ll end the world to save it. It makes perfect sense. TO THEM. Because Jeebus is on their side, of course!

This latest news introduces a whole new level of apocalyptic weirdness into the mix. I encourage you to read “Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown” by Lee Fang at The Nation. The implications of what he’s written there are fairly staggering if you ask me.

This is a battle between good and evil. It is if at least one side sees it that way. The Tea party jihadis want a Christian theocracy and they don’t really care if they have to force it on everyone else. In this way, how is the Christian Right in any way different from the Muslim Brotherhood they fear so much? Their brain-damaged beatific vision of a theocratic America, a country cleansed of gays, Muslims, liberals, illegal immigrants, science and where non-white people don’t get to vote will never, ever come to pass absent a massive genocide occurring in North America, which I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon. The concept of “the American Taliban” is becoming more real with every passing day and the rest of the world (especially the business community and China) is starting to notice it, too. And they are alarmed at what they see. Even the Taliban are brutally mocking us for being stupid!

Holy shit. Literally.
 

“I reveal my innermost self, to God.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Pathetica alert: Conservative media watchdog calls for Ritz Crackers boycott because… Al Sharpton


 
First off, I want to make it clear at the outset that I am firmly in the camp of people who simply cannot believe Al Sharpton, of all freaking people, has his own show on a supposedly respectable news network. As a former New Yorker, to me Al Sharpton is always going to be the asshole shooting off his mouth off about the Tawana Brawley “case” on The Morton Downey Jr. Show and who had a special knack for showing up whenever TV cameras were around. The guy pictured with curlers in his hair at the beauty parlor. The idiotic showboater in the full-length fur coat.

Even if I do tend to agree with much of what Sharpton seems to believe these days, it’s still a joke that the Tawana Brawley guy was invited to become one of the primary faces of a major cable news network. At what point did Al Sharpton stop being the Tawana Brawley guy? The dude is no human trademark for MSNBC’s credibility as a news source, that’s for certain. He’s not a journalist, he’s the goddamned Tawana Brawley guy.

It’s pathetic, basically, is what it is. But… whatever.

Leave it to Ben Shapiro, one-time Robin to Andrew Breitbart’s Batman, to trump even the already admittedly sad fact that Al Sharpton has his own show on MSNBC with something even more pathetic in the process of trying to call attention to to how sad it is that Sharpton is on MSNBC.

Apparently, boy blunder Ben has found another father figure in the form of one-time prominent New Left writer turned raging crazypants conservative David Horowitz (a man with well-documented daddy issues of his own, of course). They’re teaming up for “TruthRevolt” something that Shapiro describes as a rightwing version of Media Matters.

TruthRevolt, eh? I guess that URL was free…

Horowitz, a man who once associated with the greatest lefty publication in American history, Ramparts—a magazine that published the likes of Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Angela Davis, Noam Chomsky, Seymour Hersh, Thomas Merton, Allen Ginsberg and Robert Scheer—had this to say about his venture with the 29-year-old Shapiro, the wimpy Doogie Howser of the house that Breitbart built:

Today, the David Horowitz Freedom Center is launching TruthRevolt, a much-needed campaign to expose the hypocrisies and mendacities of the leftwing media. A brainchild of Ben Shapiro, TruthRevolt is a groundbreaking initiative to engage in investigative journalism about the leftwing media figures who produce radical ideology masquerading as “news” and feed it to the American public as objective journalism.

So says a man who went from the journalistic heights of the fabled Ramparts magazine to associating himself with off-the-scale bughouse nutcases like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.

So what’s gonna be the first “groundbreaking initiative” in TruthRevolt’s “investigative journalism,” you wonder?

They’re calling for a boycott of Ritz Crackers.

Scratching your head over that one? Gather ‘round children, Lil’ Ben’s got a history lesson for ya:

In 1994, Sharpton stood before a crowd at Kean College in New Jersey. “White folks was in the caves while we was building empires,” he said. “We built pyramids before Donald Trump even knew what architecture was … We taught philosophy and astrology [sic] and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it … Do some cracker come and tell you, ‘Well my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,’ you better hold your pocket. That ain’t nothing to be proud of, that means their forefathers was crooks.”

Oh please, Al Sharpton said shit like that ALL THE TIME back then. No one gave a shit then, no one gives a shit now. He’s also been on MSNBC—as ridiculous as that seems to me, too—for two years. At a time when the country is being threatened by a small cadre of GOP lunatics, no matter if you support those lunatics or oppose their aims, WHY did David Horowitz and his derpy “low T” pal Ben Shapiro think that they’d receive anything but brutal mockery by media types for PROPOSING A RITZ CRACKER BOYCOTT during a time of a constitutional crisis because Al Sharpton called white people “crackers” TWENTY YEARS AGO???

Although Ben Shapiro IS right about Al Sharpton, the fruit there is hanging so low it’s simply pitiful. There wasn’t even one PR “genius” in David Horowitz’s “thinktank” who could’ve said “Uh, guys, we’re going to look like a bunch of fucking idiots launching this thing right now?

Apparently not! Even the reliably stupid Daily Caller thinks Shapiro’s new hobby is idiotic: “What a proud moment in conservative history,” deadpanned Patrick Howley

It is idiotic. Shapiro is encouraging his braindead readers to tweet @RitzCrackers with hashtag #SharptonsCrackers.

Al Sharpton. Ben Shapiro. Ritz Crackers. I can’t even waste another minute of my life writing about this epically insignificant cosmic meaninglessness.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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BRUTAL Time magazine cover eloquently states the obvious about the Republican shutdown


 
If at first you don’t succeed—or the first 42 times, whatever—burn the entire country down, eh GOP?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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John Boehner is so hog-tied by Tea Party demands that he needs Dems to throw him a lifeline

John Boehner
 
The current government shutdown has brought out the worst in the Republican Party and the pundits who align themselves with it. In a way I feel bad for regular, non-Tea Party Republicans—they’re faced with following some elusive notion of party loyalty even as most of them, possibly, are genuinely appalled by how radical the demands of the Tea Party have been. The Republican Party is (and has been for a while) the party of immediate gratification—they were happy enough to take over the House in 2010 on a head of Tea Party steam, but now they’re paying the rent on that move—and how. A savvier, more responsible party would have found a way to placate the batshit crazies on the fringe—instead they hoped to “use” them as a means for checking President Obama but now find themselves just as wigged out by where the Tea Party will take them as anybody.

At least that’s my read.

As the Beltway idiots argue about who caused the government shutdown and who’s being intransigent, in my mind it’s a settled issue. It’s sad to watch Bill Kristol on CNN try to argue that Obama’s unwillingness to open the World War II Memorial shows him to be the stubborn one. Obama has no true option—he must stand firm because the Tea Party/Republican Party has so often proven itself to be opportunistic negotiators who won’t hold to earlier promises. If Obama gives an inch, they’ll take a mile—that’s what Obama learned the last time we went through this. Curiously, Benjamin Wittes, the legal writer who helped convince President Bush to select John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, is having no difficulty figuring out who’s to blame—he says this is all the fault of the Republican Party. Pity that most CNN/New York Times journos can’t figure that out.

But let’s move from the current crisis to the next one. I’m referring to government default on the national debt, of course, which clearly is the next item on the agenda of the Tea Party. Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida’s 3rd district alarmed a great many people when he was quoted in The Washington Post on Friday as saying that “I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke. ... I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.”  Business Insider has called this “the stupidest thing said about the debt ceiling.”
 
National deficit chart
 
If you had any doubts about the Tea Party’s rabid insistence on the denial of reality and the recourse to potentially catastrophic solutions to … well… to problems as severe as a national deficit that’s been decreasing sharply over the last two years (at precisely the moment that the economy most needed stimulus) and the possibility of providing health care services to our nation’s uninsured in a way that too decreases the deficit—well, get a load of this.

Earlier today TPM reported that John Boehner’s press secretary, Michael Steel, sent out an email urging Democratic opinion-makers to emphasize the calamitous effects of a default, linking to this Bloomberg article.

You read that correctly: Boehner is so bewildered with what to do about the far right of his own party that he’s seeking help from Democrats in order to avert a catastrophe. He daren’t ask his own party members to do the same thing because they’ll just demand his ouster for ... well, for pointing out that a government default would be really bad for the country—and the entire world. Just yesterday Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was on Meet the Press reassuring viewers that a default would not be so bad, for which lefties Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum promptly chided him. That’s the context for Steel’s email—Democrats being insufficiently alarmist about the road to ruin Tea Party folks are hell-bent on taking this country on.

This ties into my overriding theory about John Boehner. I actually think he sees the current shutdown as part of a master plan to deal with the out-of-control GOP fringe. It’s likely that Boehner can properly disobey the Tea Party in a major way precisely one time. Once that happens, he’s out and most likely, Eric Cantor becomes the new Speaker of the House. I think Boehner is keeping that one rebuke in his pocket until the day that really counts—when the fight over defaulting on government debts happens.

Steel’s email is the icing on the cake. So take a moment and send the Great Orange One your prayers—he’s got an awfully tough lot, and, as annoying as he can be, I think he’s doing something genuinely patriotic here. And he’ll never get due credit for it.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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