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If you showed this to a Republican would they even know why it’s funny?


 
The Daily Show‘s Samantha Bee mined comedy gold yesterday at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida by asking attendees about “individual liberty” and what it means to them and to Mitt Romney.
 

 
H/T Little Green Footballs

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Dirty dancing’ at the Republican National Convention (NSFW)
08.29.2012
03:53 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Idiocracy

Tags:
Republicanism


 
“A conspiracy theory by Corey Ann Clark.”

Follow Corey Ann Clark on Twitter.
 

 
Via Joe.My.God

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The American Taliban (Get a fucking grip CNN!)


 
UPDATE: CNN did finally go on air about this, but I can’t say that I was impressed.

As you’ve probably already heard last night an attendee of the Republican National Convention in Tampa was ejected from the venue for tossing peanuts at a black CNN camerawoman and taunting her with “this is how we feed animals.”

Follow up reports this morning say that there were actually two people thrown out of the convention center for this despicable low IQ nonsense and this, as TPM’s Josh Marshall writes, puts CNN in a bit of a difficult bind:

Now, one of the more interesting things about this story is that it broke on TPM. Actually, not quite. We first saw a tweet from David Shuster. Then we got confirmation of what happened from CNN and were the first to run the story. (This morning the RNCC essentially confirmed something rotten had happened.) But you may have noticed that one of the biggest news organizations in the world — CNN — has been remarkably tight-lipped about this.

So it’s worth noting why that probably is. There’s a normal and correct tendency for a news outfit not to want to make itself into the story. But this goes way beyond that and puts CNN in an exquisitely awkward position. CNN has been bending over backwards of late trying to position itself as the last holy beacon of objectivity and fairness in cable news, as Fox and MSNBC play to more clearly partisan audiences. Yet they’re under almost constant assault from conservatives for alleged (and basically mythical) liberal bias.

Meanwhile, the Republican National Convention is the GOP’s quadrennial ‘we love us a lotta non-white people’ fest. And given what I said above the last possible thing CNN wants is to rain on that parade or become the focus of a huge messaging nightmare if attendees were harassing an African-American member of their team. Certainly, the Convention organizers want to avoid discussion as much as possible too.

As a side note, one can only imagine how Fox News would be going to town over this had something somehow analogous happened to one of their staffers at a Democratic convention.

Journalists don’t tend to like non-transparency from other news organizations. And CNN’s relative silence (they did finally put out a basic report this morning) will, I suspect, generate a backlash from viewers outraged by the incident.

If this incident isn’t the breaking point for CNN, when will that breaking point EVER occur?

Aren’t any of them—besides Soledad O’Brien, who is clearly a fan of the series—watching The Newsroom?
 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Whitest Old Farts U’ Know: 92% of the Republican Party is ______?


 
Didja guess?

There’s much to ponder in Washington Post opinion writer Harold Meyerson’s piece in yesterday’s paper, “In modern GOP, the old South returns,” but the take-away for me was his brittle characterization of the Republican philosophy as “We’re old, we’re white and we want our country back.”

The Republican ticket may hail from Massachusetts and Wisconsin, but Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan head the most Southernized major U.S. political party since Jefferson Davis’s day. In its hostility toward minorities, exploitation of racism, antipathy toward government and suspicion of science, today’s Republican Party represents the worst traditions of the South’s dankest backwaters.

No other party in U.S. history has done such a 180. Founded as the party of the anti-slavery North and committed to deep governmental involvement in spurring the economy (land-grant colleges, the Homestead Act, the transcontinental railway), today’s GOP is the negation of Abraham Lincoln’s Republicans. It is almost entirely white — 92 percent, compared with just 58 percent of Democrats. It is disproportionately Southern — 49 percent of Republicans live in the South vs. 39 percent of Democrats.

The beliefs of the white South dominate Republican thinking. As the white share of the U.S. population shrinks and the Latino share rises, Republicans have passed draconian anti-immigrant laws and opposed legislation enabling immigrants brought here as children to gain legal status. They also exploit racist resentments in a way not seen since the Willie Horton spot of 1988. Consider the Romney campaign’s ads falsely attacking President Obama for gutting welfare reform. “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job,” proclaims one such commercial. “They just send you a welfare check.” Obama’s plan, as several media fact-checking monitors have noted, does nothing of the sort. The spot clearly seeks to resurrect the kind of resentment of African Americans that the GOP exploited back in the days when welfare was a major program. The Romney campaign has evidently concluded, since virtually its entire pool of potential voters is white, that it must rouse the sometime voters among them with such expedients — which explains why it is running more of these ads than any others.

To that Meyerson is eager to add, there is a strong tradition of straight-up Southern-fried idiocy (which has nothing to do with racism) that the GOP establishment cynically embraces, religion and her superstitious handmaiden, scary, “burn the witch”-style anti-intellectualism:

In the anti-government column, the Ryan budget, which House Republicans enthusiastically adopted, would cut taxes disproportionately on the wealthy and halve the share of spending on every domestic, non-entitlement program. It would decimate education, transportation and funding for college students and scientific research. It would bring the nation down to the developmental level of the anti-tax, anti-public-investment Southern states of yore.

The ghosts of Dixie — of the Scopes Trial and the underfunding of public education — also pop up in Republicans’ willful resistance to science and, more broadly, simple empiricism. Global warming? Evolution? Homosexuality’s causation? How babies get made? Find a robust scientific conclusion and you can find a significant number of Republicans — adducing pseudo-science and faith — who oppose it.

Don’t tread on me, modern GOP.

Meanwhile, last night in Tampa: RNC Attendee Allegedly Threw Nuts At Black CNN Camerawoman, Said ‘This Is How We Feed Animals’.  (CNN has confirmed that this did happen, so the “alleged” part is past-tense at this point. Keep it classy, GOP.)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
WTF??? Paul Ryan calls RAPE just another ‘method of conception’!


via Armchair Patriots

If Todd Akin’s asinine comment about rape moved people as high up on the GOP totem poll as Karl Rove and Mitt Romney to call on him to step down from the Republican ticket in the Missouri Senate race, then why aren’t the GOP bigwigs (and the media and frankly every single woman in the entire US of A) calling for Paul Ryan’s head over his EQUALLY offensive, head-shaking, gob-smackingly stupid comment that RAPE is but a “method of conception”???

WTF???

As DM pal Paul Slansky put it in a new column Paul Ryan Said Something That Should Force Him Off the Ticket, But You Probably Didn’t Hear About It at Huffington Post, rape is “like love-making, just without the love.”

There could be no greater testament to the utter abdication of responsibility by what passes for a “news” media in America in 2012 than that, despite the grotesquerie of this cavalierly callous comment, chances are better than good that this is the first you’re hearing of it.

Here, watch it—and try to figure out why this has gotten NO MAINSTREAM MEDIA play (not even here at the Huffington Post) despite it being, to my mind, a far more offensive remark than Todd Akin’s imbecilic blurt of last weekend. What, are we tired of stupid remarks about rape now, so Ryan gets a free pass?

Given the demands for Akin’s resignation from a mere Senate race when his musings on “legitimate rape” were publicized, what do you imagine the reaction would be if people were as familiar with VP wannabe Ryan’s stunning statement? Might there be a cacophony of outrage? Might there be calls for his resignation from the ticket? Might there be a focus on how fundamentally oblivious these people who would make our laws are to not just women’s but humans’ rights and dignity? Sure, there might, but then of course people would have to have heard about it.

According to the man who would be the proverbial heartbeat away from the White House, and who in any event would—given Romney’s utter hollowness—have an inordinate influence on the judicial appointments that will determine how much freedom our children get to live under, RAPE = “METHOD OF CONCEPTION.” And yet, unless you’re a frequenter of one of a dozen or so lefty blogs—or my friend on Facebook—you probably knew nothing about it.

I truly despair for the country my 14-year-old daughter is inheriting. That a remark this intensely revealing of the danger posed by this ticket can go basically unreported is as nauseating to me as the quote itself.

Hear, hear!

Just look at this smug fuckwit:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
What if Jesus was a Republican?


 
Three wonderfully cutting satires of GOP morality appeared in the pages of Tikkun, America magazine and plenty of other places.

This “parable” of The Rich and Therefore Blessed Young Man was my favorite:

1. As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up to him and knelt before him, and asked, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  2. And Jesus said to him, “What have you done so far?” 3. And he said to Him, “Well I was born into a wealthy family, got into a good school in Galilee because my parents donated a few thousand talents for a building with a nice reed roof, and now I have a high-paying job in the Roman treasury managing risk.”

4. Looking at him, Jesus felt an admiration for him, and said to him, “Blessed are you!  For you are not far from being independently wealthy.” And the man was happy.  Then Jesus said, “But there is one thing you lack: A bigger house in a gated community in Tiberias. Buy that and you will have a treasure indeed.  And make sure you get a stone countertop for the kitchen.  Those are really nice.” 

The disciples were amazed.  5. Peter asked him, “Lord, shouldn’t he sell all his possessions and give it to the poor?” Jesus grew angry.  “Get behind me, Satan!  He has earned it!”  Peter protested: “Lord,” he said, “Did this man not have an unjust advantage?  What about those who are not born into wealthy families, or who do not have the benefit of a good education, or who, despite all their toil, live in the poorer areas of Galilee, like Nazareth, your own home town?” 

6. “Well,” said Jesus, “first of all, that’s why I left Nazareth.  There were too many poor people always asking me for charity.  They were as numerous as the stars in the sky, and they annoyed me.  Second, once people start spending again, like this rich young man, the Galilean economy will inevitably rebound, and eventually some of it will trickle down to the poor.  Blessed are the patient!  But giving the money away, especially if he can’t write it off, is a big fat waste.” 

The disciples’ amazement knew no bounds.  “But Lord,” they said, “what about the passages in both the Law and the Prophets that tell us to care for widows and orphans, for the poor, for the sick, for the refugee?  What about the many passages in the Scriptures about justice?” 7. “Those are just metaphors,” said Jesus.  “Don’t take everything so literally.”

 

 
Via AlterNet

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The Mitt hits the fan: Gawker datadumps 950 pages of Romney’s tax-dodging schemes!


 
God bless you Nick Denton! There is no schadenfreude quite like Republican schadenfreude and this is just…. a beautiful thing.

Gawker’s John Cook on what they’ve got:

Today, we are publishing more than 950 pages of internal audits, financial statements, and private investor letters for 21 cryptically named entities in which Romney had invested—at minimum—more than $10 million as of 2011 (that number is based on the low end of ranges he has disclosed—the true number is almost certainly significantly higher). Almost all of them are affiliated with Bain Capital, the secretive private equity firm Romney co-founded in 1984 and ran until his departure in 1999 (or 2002, depending on whom you ask). Many of them are offshore funds based in the Cayman Islands. Together, they reveal the mind-numbing, maze-like, and deeply opaque complexity with which Romney has handled his wealth, the exotic tax-avoidance schemes available only to the preposterously wealthy that benefit him, the unlikely (for a right-wing religious Mormon) places that his money has ended up, and the deeply hypocritical distance between his own criticisms of Obama’s fiscal approach and his money managers’ embrace of those same policies. They also show that some of the investments that Romney has always described as part of his retirement package at Bain weren’t made until years after he left the company.

Bain isn’t a company so much as an intricate suite of steadily proliferating inter-related holding companies and limited partnerships, some based in Delaware and others in the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg, and elsewhere, designed to collectively house roughly $66 billion in wealth in its many crevices and chambers. When Romney left in 1999, he and his wife retained significant investments in many of those Bain vehicles—he claims they are “passive investments” and that they are managed in a blind trust (though the trustee isn’t blind enough to meet federal standards of independence). But aside from disparate snippets of information contained in his federal and Massachusetts financial disclosure forms, his 2010 tax returns, and SEC filings, the nature of those investments has been obfuscated by design.

When he disclosed his finances to the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in 2007, Romney took care to publish the underlying holdings of many funds he invested with—after disclosing his $1 million-plus stake in “GS 2002 Exchange Place Fund LP,” for instance, he listed six pages of individual equities the fund held, from Panera Bread Co. to Tribune Co. But when it came to the Bain investments, he simply listed the value of his investments in odd-sounding entities like “Sankaty High Yield Partners II LP” with no indication of what was inside. In an accompanying note, he claimed that he had tried and failed to get the information: “The filer has requested information about the underlying holdings of these funds and values and income amounts for these underlying holdings. However, the fund managers have informed the filer in writing that this information is confidential and proprietary, and has declined to provide such information.”

That information—for Sankaty and 20 other funds—is now available here, in the form of 48 documents totaling more than 950 pages. They consist predominantly of confidential internal audited financial statements from 2008, 2009, and 2010, as well as investor letters from the same period, for Bain entities that Romney has previously disclosed owning an interest it. Owing to the timeframe—during and after the catastrophic economic meltdown of 2008—some of the investments show substantial losses. One limited partnership had even entered into liquidation as of October 2008 after failing to meet certain payments owed to partners. Others show astronomical gains.

The documents are exceedingly complicated. We don’t pretend to be qualified to decode them in full, which is why we are posting them here for readers to help evaluate—please leave your thoughts in the discussion below. We asked an attorney who specializes in complex offshore corporate transactions, including ones involving Cayman Island entities, to review them and help us understand them. (We also asked the Romney campaign. It hasn’t responded yet.)

The full set of Gawker’s “Bain File” documents can be read here.

Here’s what Gawker has found so far.

Equity Swaps, AIVs, and Mitt Romney’s Other Tax-Dodging Tricks
Mitt Romney’s Endless ‘Retirement’ Package
How Mitt Romney Puts His Money Where Obama’s Mouth Is
Derivatives, Short Sales, and Mitt Romney’s Other Exotic Financial Instruments
Mitt Romney Is the National Enquirer’s Banker

After THIS, how the hell is Mitt Romney going to be able to continue stonewalling on his MIA tax returns? Maybe he should just release them right now to, uh, I dunno, change the topic from how Paul Ryan wants old people to starve and die and for women who have been raped to give birth to the rapist’s baby ‘cos that’s what Jesus told him to do?

The idea that these documents are, currently, as I type this, being analyzed by crowd-sourcing is either a fortunate or very unfortunate fact of political life in 2012!

Depends on who you are, I guess. Mitt Romney must be going fucking insane right about now.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Old Fart Rants: ‘Why worry about the Taliban with Republicans right in our own backyard?’


“Say cheese!”

The “Old Fart Rants” videos are my new favorite thing on YouTube. Old Fart is the best! A man after my own heart and a fellow resident of Hollywood, CA.

Old Fart is my new homie. How could I resist a line like:

“To call this guy [Todd Akin] a stupid fucking piece of shit is an insult to shit.”

Sounds (exactly) like something I would say!

“Why worry about the Taliban with Republicans right in our own backyard? The once proud Republican Party has become a complete clown show - all that’s missing is the seltzer bottles! No wonder they’re trying to rig the 2012 elections - they wouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell otherwise! And anybody who can’t see it should be put into a mental institution. If anybody’s vote should be suppressed, it should be anybody stupid enough to vote for a Republican!”

Meanwhile Todd Akin claims to have pulled in over $100,000 in donations yesterday. How stupid would you have to be to give him your money?

Take the test: Taliban or Republican?

Subscribe to the Old Fart Rants YouTube channel.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dumbshit GOP Judge in Texas asks for tax increase to ‘fight back’ against Obama’s ‘U.N. army’!


“Eh, what’s up, doc?”

Judge Tom Head, a Texas Republican who chairs Lubbock County’s Commissioners Court told a local talkshow on the Fox 34 station that the county needs to increase the property tax rate by 1.7 cents in coming fiscal year so that the sheriff’s department is adequately prepared to fend off the U.N. troops who will be sent to Lubbock County if President Barack Obama is re-elected and “the people” revolt. Yes that’s what he said.

A judge! An important man who makes important decisions about other people’s lives… Via Fox 34:

Head said he and the county must be prepared for many contingencies, one that he particularly fears, is if President Obama is reelected.

“He’s going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the UN, and what is going to happen when that happens?” Head asked.

“I’m thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we’re not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we’re talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy.

“Now what’s going to happen if we do that, if the public decides to do that? He’s going to send in U.N. troops. I don’t want ‘em in Lubbock County. OK. So I’m going to stand in front of their armored personnel carrier and say ‘you’re not coming in here’.

Ooooohhh, big man! I love how the Fox newscaster on the Lubbock station looks like he’s about to bust about laughing at Head’s “heroic” bravado. What a fucking idiot, oy vey!

Do you know how people as dumb as Judge Tom Pinhead here get into elected office?

First they decide to run.

Second, more people vote for them than voted for their opponent.

Sometimes more stupid people than smart people vote in certain parts of the country and that would explain why Tom Head is a judge.

It’s that fuckin’ simple.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hey Grandpa: Mitt Romney and his lil’ buddy Paul Ryan want to cut your Medicare NOW


Image via Billionaires for Wealthcare

Although Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Congressional Republicans as a whole are trying to take the offense on Medicare by painting Obamacare as siphoning off funds from Medicare that will materially harm seniors—it worked like a charm in the 2010 midterm elections—an article that appeared this morning on Talking Points Memo about Romney and Ryan’s actual intentions re: Medicare is getting a lot of attention.

As has been noted repeatedly, that strategy requires Romney and Ryan to disavow Medicare reforms the GOP recently endorsed overwhelmingly as a part of the party’s budget, which Ryan authored.

[Good luck with that one, boys]

From “Mitt’s Medicare Strategy: Don’t Tell Seniors Truth”:

All along Romney has been claiming that he and Paul Ryan won’t change Medicare for existing beneficiaries — only for the people who will get old in the “future.”

[Like nearly all of us, yeah?]

Now Romney’s own advisers and campaign surrogates are saying that this ain’t so.

As outlined in a memo the campaign released Saturday, Romney plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act in its entirety, and thus to spend over $700 billion more on the program in the coming decade than the government would spend if the health care law stands.

That commitment would leave Medicare poised for insolvency in 2016, years before he proposes to phase in the voucher system. Which means Romney would have two options: find new Medicare cuts or taxes to extend the life of the program, or preside over its demise.

On Fox News Sunday, Romney adviser Ed Gillespie tried to address the conundrum. “There are other reforms as well. As you know Governor Romney supports increasing over time bringing the Medicare eligibility age in line with the Social Security retirement age.”

But raising the Medicare eligibility age is a benefit cut, and implementing the increase before 2016 would violate Romney’s pledge to leave the program unchanged for people between ages 55 and 65.

Avik Roy, an outside health care adviser to the Romney campaign, admits that committing to billions of dollars in higher Medicare spending in the near-term will make it difficult for Romney to achieve its separate goal of reducing overall federal spending to modern lows. But he notes that Romney could make up the difference elsewhere in the budget or, by “mak[ing] other changes to the Medicare program, such as increased means-testing, that don’t alter the program’s basic structure.”

Further means-testing of Medicare would amount to a benefit cut to current seniors.

These admissions rest on top of the fact that by repealing the Affordable Care Act, Romney would wipe out new Medicare benefits included in the law. Repeal would result in higher payments to doctors and hospitals, and the restoration of overpayments to insurers participating in Medicare advantage. But for beneficiaries, it would re-open the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and eliminate coverage for preventive services and annual checkups that the ACA created.

Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan would cost senior citizens an additional $6400 or more a year out of pocket! Did you hear that Republican retirees? Considering that Paul Ryan’s “voucher” amounts to “Here’s a coupon for your old age, go fuck yourself oldster and please hurry up and die” HOW IN THE WORLD—at a time in history where far fewer than half of the American population has anywhere NEAR the amount of savings they’ll need to retire on—-can the Republicans think running on a platform that essentially says to senior citizens: “Let them eat Advil!” is anything but a very, very bad idea?!?

A “wheelchair army” would come to Washington, DC and kill them all if Paul Ryan’s plan were put into place. Every damned one of them. You have to shake your head in amazement at people who are anywhere near retirement age who would vote Republican. It’s beyond idiocy.

I had a friend who died when he was 94 years old. How in the hell would, say, even a spry 84-year-old, just come up with another $6k a year? How the fuck would you do it at that age? Get a job as a greeter at Home Depot? Flip some burgers at McDonald’s? Slot machines? The fucking lottery? Pulling it out of your ass? INVESTING IN WALL STREET???

It’s preposterous… and it’s pretty much what the Republicans have in store for you. For YOUR old age! Nope, it’s not an abstraction, dumbshit Fox News viewers and “low information voters,” (LIV) it’s your “golden years” that Mitt is talkin’ ‘bout!

The Democrats, if they play their cards right politically (which they never, ever do, but might it happen by accident?) could inflict some major damage to the Republicans this election if they’d run a few commercials with a wheezing 90-year-old dealing with bill collectors, having to choose between food and his prescriptions and being told “We’re sorry sir, your coverage won’t pay for dialysis anymore” by a kindly-faced nurse who smiles as she shuts the door in his face.

The same actor in all of them. Maybe it’s a couple. Yes! It’s a couple, even better.

Remember those famous Taster’s Choice coffee commercials with the serialized narrative of the flirting good looking yuppie neighbors back in the 90s? Now imagine the flipside of that: That same couple is old, retired and the 83-year-old husband husband is eating Ramen noodles so they can keep the lights on in their apartment.

INT - NIGHT

An elderly man staring straight ahead has tears running down his face. CAMERA PULLS OUT, REVEALING his wife, asleep in a medical bed in their living room with IV drips and heart monitors beeping softly in the background.  He is holding his sleeping wife’s hand.

OLD MAN:

Honey, can you hear me? I don’t
know how much longer we can
keep going on like this.

The camera sees collection notices in his hands. The top one, which the camera lingers on long enough to read indicates that their gas and electricity is about to be shut off

VOICE OVER:

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s plans to end
Medicare and replace it with their
“coupon” will cost you an extra $6400
a year out of pocket. $12,800 for a
married couple. Where will YOU come up
with an extra $12,000 a year in
your old age?

The man, sobbing, lays his head on sleeping wife’s body.

OLD MAN

Honey, I don’t know what to do,
I don’t know what to do, baby.

The lights in their apartment sputter and go off.

The heart monitor stops beeping.

VOICE OVER

This could be your old age. Mitt
Romney is not the solution.
Mitt Romney is the problem.

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
How to save the Republican party from itself


 
A terrific older essay by Esquire’s Charles P. Pierce on how fucking insane Republican Party has become (it appeared in the magazine’s May 2012 issue) has been resurrected on reddit/r/politics. I must have missed this one when it went around the first time, but it has not dated in the least since then (if anything it’s more true with each passing day). A gem, courtesy of one of the very best political writers in America today:

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Republican party, root and branch, from its deepest grass roots to its highest levels, has become completely demented. This does not mean that it is incapable of winning elections; on the contrary, the 2010 midterms, as well as the statewide elections around the country, ushered in a class of politicians so thoroughly dedicated to turning nonsense into public policy that future historians are going to marvel at our ability to survive what we wrought upon ourselves. It is now impossible to become an elected Republican politician in this country if, for example, you believe in the overwhelming scientific consensus that exists behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming. Just recently, birth control, an issue most people thought pretty well had been settled in the 1960s, became yet another litmus test for Republican candidates, as did the Keystone XL pipeline, to which every Republican presidential candidate pledged unyielding fealty despite the fact that several prairie Republicans and an army of conservative farmers and ranchers are scared to death of the thing.

In Washington, there is no leadership anymore, no “Republican establishment” to which anyone can appeal. The ferocious strength of faith-based know-nothingism in the party’s base has resulted in a stubborn refusal to adopt even those ideas — like an individual mandate for health care, or cap-and-trade as an energy policy — that began as Republican ideas.

In the states, we have seen a staggering overreach on the part of Republican governors in the Midwest regarding labor rights, wildly restrictive voter-ID laws aimed at solving a problem that doesn’t exist, immigration statutes that are leaving lettuce to rot in the fields because nobody’s left to pick it, and a welter of preposterous antiabortion statutes. And behind all of that, a party base that has constructed its own private history, its own private language, its own private logic, and its own wholly rounded private universe.

That’s how Sarah Palin can tell people that Barack Obama wants to bring us “back to days before the Civil War” because Obama once hugged Derrick Bell, a law professor at Harvard. That’s how an insurance-friendly health-care bill can be declared to be socialism when it’s not being called the first step toward fascism. That’s how Mitt Romney came to tie himself in a bowline trying to run for president, even though he was the only real candidate in a field of crackpot poseurs, and even though he was running the only real campaign as opposed to tent revivals, exercises in brand maintenance, and extended book tours. Too late did Romney realize that the path to the nomination led through an alternate reality.

This was a development long in the making, and one of which we may well never see the end. It began with the vicious, truthless campaigns run by the National Conservative Political Action Committee in the late 1970s. This initiated the creation of a conservative network that was outside the formal party structure. To this was added independently financed think tanks, Christian colleges and (later) Christian academies and organized home schooling, and conservative boot camps that produced young people, and young candidates, whose primary allegiance was to conservative ideology and not to the Republican party. Eventually, as was proven by the failed candidacies of Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle, which helped lose the Republicans a golden chance at controlling the Senate as well in 2010, these people cared less about whether the party succeeded than they did that their ideology was kept pure and their private universe invulnerable. In trying to control the uncontrollable and to appease the insatiable, forcibly locked in with itself, like the Beales in Grey Gardens, the party gradually lost its mind.

That last sentence is quite simply… prose perfection. Pierce deserves a Pulitzer prize based on that line alone*.

He concludes:

The Democratic party has an obligation to beat the Republican party so badly, over and over again, that rationality once again becomes a quality to be desired. It must be done by persuading the country of this simple fact. It cannot be done by reasoning with the Republicans, because the next two generations of them are too far gone.

The whole thing is most definitely worth your time. While you are there, you should bookmark the Esquire Politics blog, it’s an essential daily read for political junkies.

His post this morning about Harry Reid and why he’s letting it rip so hard on Mitt Romney is also a must read.

Let’s Stop Being Upset with Harry Reid Already (Esquire Politics)

(*If it were up to me, I’d award a Pulitzer to Charles P. Pierce, if for no other reason, his snarling use of an all-purpose, southern-fried epithet my grandmother used to employ with great disdain: “dipshit doodlebug.”)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Witch-hunt: Hillary Clinton should swat the gnat named Michele Bachmann


 
UPDATE: Respect to Senator John McCain for denouncing Bachmann’s fact-less, pointless, unintelligent attacks on Huma Abedin on the Senate floor today.

And to Anderson Cooper, as well, for his full-throated ridicule of Bachmann (and Louie Gohmert, too). Her nonsense should not and cannot be tolerated by a good society. Bachmann and her idiotic ilk are a cancer on the Republican Party and America itself.


Should there be a minimum IQ test for members of Congress?

Think of it as a prophylactic against idiocy. The type of idiocy perhaps best exemplified by the blinkered queen of the Tea party caucus, MN’s Michele Bachmann. Bachmann’s back in the news for her latest round of pig ignorant neo-McCarthyism, and this time her confused, brain-addled conspiracy theories are directed towards the US State Department.

Bachmann’s latest affront to intelligence, expands on her initial charges against Hillary Clinton’s top aide Huma Abedin (wife of disgraced former Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner) and others of harboring terrorist sympathy. Last Friday, Bachmann publicized her new 16-page conspiracy theory, written after she was challenged by MN’s Muslim congressman, Rep. Keith Ellison, to put up or shut up with her vaguely worded accusations of alleged Muslim Brotherhood “infiltration” in the ranks of the State Department and national security agencies.

What’s on your tiny mind, Congresswoman?

Via Salon:

In the new letter, Bachmann questions why (Huma) Abedin, a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, was able to receive a security clearance despite having family members that Bachmann believes are connected to the Brotherhood. “I am particularly interested in exactly how, given what we know from the international media about Ms. Abedin’s documented family connections with the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, she was able to avoid being disqualified for a security clearance,” the congresswoman wrote.

As evidence, she pointed to Abedin’s late father, Professor Syed Z. Abedin, and a 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review article about his work. Bachmann points to a passage saying Abedin founded an organization that received the “quiet but active support” of the the former director of the Muslim World League, an international NGO that was tied to the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe in the 1970s through 1990s. So, to connect Abedin to the Muslim Brotherhood, you have to go through her dead father, to the organization he founded, to a man who allegedly supported it, to the organization that man used to lead, to Europe in the 1970s and 1990s, and finally to the Brotherhood.

The next paragraph of the law review article she cites quotes Syed Abedin concluding that the Koran calls for, “multiple ways of life … i.e. religious and cultural plurality among mankind.” Pretty scary Islamo-fascist stuff. It’s also worth nothing that Weiner, Huma Abedin’s husband, is one of the most unquestionably pro-Israeli politicians in America. But Bachmann would have us believe that the security clearance process somehow missed Abedin’s nefarious connections, and thus she knows more than, say, the CIA and FBI, who are involved in the background-check process.

As Jason Linkins quipped on Huffington Post:

“And from there, all connections lead to the obvious Islamofascist puppetmaster: Kevin Bacon, star of Footloose.”

Pretty much…

This shit is getting ridiculous. At what point will intelligent and morally responsible Washington power-players tell this racist, xenophobic, homophobic shithead to get stuffed? Maybe a censure vote? The longer it goes on, well, drats, the longer it goes on. I realize you can’t legislate against stupidity, but for fuck’s sake does this infuriatingly stupid nincompoop drag American politics down to a low, low, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging level.

To call Rep. Michele Bachmann a fucking moron is to demean fucking morons, everywhere. With this latest affront to intelligence, Bachmann needs to be put in her place.

If congressional weenies won’t do it, I sincerely hope that Hillary Clinton decides to take her dumb ass down over this.

Demonstrably stupid people like Michele Bachmann—that’s not a controversial assessment, she’s got shit for brains and everyone except for the dumbest people in the country know it and have known it for years—are ruining life in America.

Why let them get away with it? Someone should have told Senator Joseph McCarthy to stick a cork up his ass in 1950 and someone needs to tell Michele Bachmann to do the same in 2012.

Responsible people in Washington need to call this Bachmann for exactly what she is, an IDIOT. Why mince words? She’s an idiot, a fucking idiot. That is what she is, her defining characteristic is her STUPIDITY. Her district should be ashamed that an assat like Bachmann wastes their tax dollars like this. It’s shameful.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Boehner Bunch’: New video mocks Republican opposition to healthcare reform


 
The AFSCME union, representing 1.6 million public service workers, have posted a new video mocking the Republican opposition to healthcare reform.

“Even though the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (‘Obamacare’), Speaker John Boehner and Republican leaders refuse to let go,” the union’s statement read. “This week the U.S. House is set to vote — for the 31st time — on a bill to repeal the law. Enough is enough. It’s time to stop re-fighting political battles of the past and get to work on the economy.”

It’s time for these assholes to be put out to pasture for good is what time it is…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Shit Rich People Say: Actual quotes from Mitt Romney donors


 
Some of the misguided lines that have emerged in the reporting on Sunday’s Mitt Romney fundraiser held at the Hamptons estate of Revlon heir Ron Perelman have been bust-a-gut funny.

LA Times reporter Maeve Reston asked one Romney donor, who wouldn’t reveal her name, her take on the presidential race:

I don’t think the common person is getting it…my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.

The Romney event she attended had a $50,000 per couple suggested donation. As the wealthy tossers inside nibbled on prosciutto-rolled melon balls and mint chocolate cupcakes, a group of protesters, kept at bay by a line of police shouted things like “It took my father a lifetime to save $50,000” and “Mitt Romney has a Koch problem.” (That evening there was a second Romney fundraiser at the home of Julia and David Koch in Southampton, the suggested contribution at that event was $75,000 per couple.)

A truck bearing Citigroup and Wells Fargo logos with a plastic dog strapped to the roof, circled the neighborhood. Planes streaming banners with anti-Romney insults flew over the heads of the rich Republican revelers.

Overheard at the fundraiser:

“Is there a V.I.P. entrance? We are V.I.P.”

“Tell them who’s on your yacht this weekend! Tell him!”

“It’s not helping the economy to pit the people who are the engine of the economy against the people who rely on that engine.”

Oooohh snap! “Take that poor people!” says a would-be “John Galt” who probably inherited his fortune!

Romney’s tax plan would give the richest 0.1% of Americans an average tax cut of $264,000? No wonder he’s so popular with TEH BILLIONAIRZ.

As the Libor conspiracy scandal has proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, bankers around the globe have been stealing money from every American with a mortgage or a credit card without any of us ever being the wiser. But that’s changed, rather dramatically in the past week, don’t cha think?

And now an investment banker wants to be President… A banker who stashes his secrets in offshore banks.

Do we really want to entrust America to a banker with something to hide?

An essential Bill Moyers essay: “The High Price of ‘Free’ Speech” (AKA ‘Poor People Haven’t Lost Their Voice — They Can’t Afford A Voice’)
 

 
Thank you MorpheusLA!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Mitt Slip: Romney thinks Americans should get ‘as much education as they can AFFORD’!


 
Some people accuse Thurston Howell III Mitt Romney of infuriating vagueness. 

I’m not one of them.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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