"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality." --Bishop Desmond Tutu

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wingnuts and Flying Monkeys

These people are gnucken' futts...

That's some powerful stupid you got there, lady...

Leave it to GOP Representative Michell Bachmann to come up with some very powerful stupid.

Ahhh, Ms. Bachmann? It's Smoot-Hawley, darlin'. Not "Hoot-Smaley." And it was a tariff act signed into law by Republican President Herbert Hoover. According to Wikipedia
In May 1930, a petition was signed by 1028 economists in the United States asking President Herbert Hoover to veto the legislation, organized by Paul Douglas, Irving Fisher, James TFG Wood, Frank Graham, Ernest Patterson, Henry Seager, Frank Taussig, and Clair Wilcox.[6][7] Automobile executive Henry Ford spent an evening at the White House trying to convince Hoover to veto the bill, calling it "an economic stupidity".[8] J. P. Morgan's chief executive Thomas W. Lamont said he "almost went down on my knees to beg Herbert Hoover to veto the asinine Hawley-Smoot tariff."[9]

Hoover opposed the bill and called it "vicious, extortionate, and obnoxious" because he felt it would undermine the commitment he had pledged to international cooperation. (Hoover was right. The international community levied their own tariffs in response after the bill had become law.) However, in the end, Hoover bowed to pressure from his own party and business leaders and signed the bill. [10]

Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke against the act while campaigning for president in 1932.
Smoot-Hawley was a Republican idea!!!! Bachmann is one stupid person.

America, Love it or Leave it... Ok, we're leaving...

Still, it’s certainly ironic that so many Republicans, who have spent most of this decade accusing Democrats of being un-American and unpatriotic, are now talking treason against this country. When it comes to “America, love it or leave it,” half of Texan Republicans want to leave it. Those bumper stickers that say “These colors don’t run”? Apparently they do. And their patriotism is apparently so skin-deep that it depends entirely on the occupant of the White House.

If nothing else, perhaps it’s time for the GOP to stop calling itself the “party of Lincoln.”

The First 100 Days -- of Opposition

Hysteria, radicalism, fear and anger... Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the GOP!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Newt Gingrich: Still a tool

Henry Waxman uses Newt as a punching bag. After blathering on with false and misleading data, Henry Waxman corrects Newt's numbers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Democratic Hypocricy Watch

We're an equal-opportunity blog. When Dems act like asses, we'll point it out. Take Jane Harmon for instance. Glenn Greenwald does a good job of pinning the hypocrite tail on her.
...when the U.S. Government eavesdropped for years on American citizens with no warrants and in violation of the law, that was "both legal and necessary" as well as "essential to U.S. national security," and it was the "despicable" whistle-blowers (such as Thomas Tamm) who disclosed that crime and the newspapers which reported it who should have been criminally investigated, but not the lawbreaking government officials. But when the U.S. Government legally and with warrants eavesdrops on Jane Harman, that is an outrageous invasion of privacy and a violent assault on her rights as an American citizen, and full-scale investigations must be commenced immediately to get to the bottom of this abuse of power. [emphasis his]
Read more here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

From the horse's mouth: TORTURE DOES NOT WORK

Neither do "enhanced interrogation techniques" or whatever other euphamistic bullshit you want to use to describe torture. In a Washington Post Op-Ed today, Ali Soufan, a supervisory special agent with the FBI describes the lies and deceptions of the torture apologists with actual evidence of the failures of torture as official state policy.

There was no actionable intelligence gained from using enhanced interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah that wasn’t, or couldn’t have been, gained from regular tactics. In addition, I saw that using these alternative methods on other terrorists backfired on more than a few occasions — all of which are still classified. The short sightedness behind the use of these techniques ignored the unreliability of the methods, the nature of the threat, the mentality and modus operandi of the terrorists, and due process.

Defenders of these techniques have claimed that they got Abu Zubaydah to give up information leading to the capture of Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a top aide to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Mr. Padilla. This is false. The information that led to Mr. Shibh’s capture came primarily from a different terrorist operative who was interviewed using traditional methods. As for Mr. Padilla, the dates just don’t add up: the harsh techniques were approved in the memo of August 2002, Mr. Padilla had been arrested that May.
Got that? THIS IS FALSE. It's a lie. But not only that, torture has other consequences...
One of the worst consequences of the use of these harsh techniques was that it reintroduced the so-called Chinese wall between the C.I.A. and F.B.I.
This was because the FBI were explicitly forbidden from using torture to get information. They could not be present when the CIA were waterboarding or using other torture techniques.
An F.B.I. colleague of mine who knew more about Khalid Shaikh Mohammed than anyone in the government was not allowed to speak to him.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) steps on his dick

Pence apparently believes that international diplomacy began in January, 2009. He seems to forget all those other actual "socialist dictators" like Brezhnev, Castro, Khrushchev, Ho Chi Minh, Mao and countless others that previous Presidents greeted warmly. The lack of understanding of how even basic diplomacy is conducted by a GOP house member is staggering. But have no fear, HRC sets him straight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bush Six to be indicted today

Over at The Daily Beast, Scott Horton is reporting that the so-called Bush Six (including Fredo) will be indicted in Spain today.
Spanish prosecutors will seek criminal charges against Alberto Gonzales and five high-ranking Bush administration officials for sanctioning torture at Guantánamo. By Scott Horton.

Spanish prosecutors have decided to press forward with a criminal investigation targeting former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and five top associates over their role in the torture of five Spanish citizens held at Guantánamo, several reliable sources close to the investigation have told The Daily Beast. Their decision is expected to be announced on Tuesday before the Spanish central criminal court, the Audencia Nacional, in Madrid. But the decision is likely to raise concerns with the human-rights community on other points: They will seek to have the case referred to a different judge.
At least someone's doing something... Who are the other five?
The six defendants—in addition to Gonzales, Federal Appeals Court Judge and former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee, University of California law professor and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo, former Defense Department general counsel and current Chevron lawyer William J. Haynes II, Vice President Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith—are accused of having given the green light to the torture and mistreatment of prisoners held in U.S. detention in “the war on terror.”
The game's over you fucking neocon assholes. Time to pay up. Bush, we're coming for you next.

Nailing it, Richard Cohen style

I don't always agree with Richard Cohen, but when he's right, he's very right.
Former president George W. Bush and some of his White House aides are gathering in Dallas this week to plan the future George W. Bush Policy Institute. There, I guess, they will ponder grand themes and marble foyers, but I propose they begin by simply renaming the place. I suggest naming it the "George W. Bush Institute of Management Failure" and dedicating it to studying how this presidency went so wrong -- a task as big as Texas itself.
I can't for the life of me imagine what one might learn at the "George W. Bush Policy Institute" other than how to be a horrible leader. How to fuck up two wars and alienate everyone? Lessons in waterboarding and other torture techniques? How to eavesdrop without a warrant? Kidnapping? Fear mongering?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Christopher Hitchens conducts public roast

Christopher Hitchens is way too smart for Todd Friel, a smarmy Radiovangelist talk show host. He manages to shred him well in a little mock game show.

Part 1

Part 2

Happy Easter!

Major Teabaggin' Wingnuttiness!

This is freakin' hilarious! Here's a group of prime, USDA Flying-Monkey Meat Wingnuts discussing what's wrong with America and preparing to teabag Obama. Let's just say it devolves into a diatribe about how digital set-top boxes are "brainwashing devices." I kid you not...

These people are nuckin' futs!

Thomas Paine: Insufferable Schmuck (in the hands of Glenn Beck)

Only Glenn Beck could make Thomas Paine look like an asshole...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It makes you think...

While countless Conservitards chant "no taxation without representation" in mimicry of the Revolutionary War era Boston Tea Party event, the place which really does represent non-representative taxation, Washington DC, is quiet. Like this bunch of teabaggers...

Hundreds of Nebraskans chanted no taxation without representation in protest of increased government spending spawned by the stimulus bill at the state capitol Saturday

The tea party style protest is intended to mimic Revolutionary War era protests where citizens believed they were being unfairly taxed.

But instead of throwing bags of tea in the water, protestors at today's rally brought cans of pork and beans to symbolize their unhappiness with pork barrell spending.

This whole meme is truly moronic. Nebraska has full representation in the government, so these 'tards should shut the hell up. Just because their worthless candidates didn't succeed in the last election, doesn't mean they aren't represented. It means that their opinions are, in large part, irrelevant. If these people who are so concerned with "representation," why do their ideological leaders oppose DC statehood? Why aren't they marching on Washington to support the rights of the 600,000 DC residents who pay taxes but have no representation? Because they're hypocritical douchebags is why.


The Mad Hatter himself... (Thanks Driftglass!)

David Broder, Village Idiot

You know the Villagers do seem to be hard-wired for Republican rule when Broder spews crap like this

David Broder today, on whether there should be an investigation of the Bush years:
“I understand the reluctance to open a wide-ranging probe of past practices. It seems to me we are better off focusing on cleaning up the policies and practices for the future than trying to settle scores for past actions.”
David Broder, famously, as Clinton’s administration wound down:
“He came in here and he trashed the place, and it’s not his place.”
The disparity in outrage is really amazing. The above Broder quote comes from an infamous 1998 piece in The Washington Post by Sally Quinn in which many D.C. establishment figures expressed raw shock about how Bill Clinton had despoiled what Quinn called their “town.” In that piece, Chris Matthews summed up the emotional reaction of the townies by saying: “I resent deeply being constantly lied to.”

Whenever you feel down about Obama...

Watch this video and marvel at his predecessor.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Wingnut paranoia goes mainstream

The whole wingnut meme about Obama "taking guns away" is really getting out of hand. Without a shred of evidence, wingnuts on TV and radio are bloviating away about this and a lot of other lunatic ideas originating from the most extreme of the wingnuts.

Deja vu all over again

Apparently the soul of "Tail Gunner" Joe McCarthy has surfaced in the body of a cranky southern Congressman by the name of Bachus. Bachus claims to have the names of 17 colleagues in the US House of Representatives who are "socialists." It's pathetic, really. This is all the conservative movement has left. Vague accusations and innuendo.
...[H]e said he is worried that he is being steered too far by the Congress: "Some of the men and women I work with in Congress are socialists." Asked to clarify his comments after the breakfast speech at the Trussville Civic Center, Bachus said 17 members of the U.S. House are socialists.
For the record, there is exactly one socialist in Congress and he's in the Senate. His name is Bernie Sanders. Bernie, the junior Senator from Vermont, is a self-described democratic socialist. He caucuses with the Democrats for the purposes of committee assignments.

This is precisely how the McCarthyite witch-hunts of the early 195os began. Vague suspicion
and lists of unnamed enemies.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fake Hate from Fake People

This hate filled video of "real people" lying about the impact of gay marriage

turns out to be a bunch of actors lying about the impact of gay marriage.

how special...

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Poor John McCain, nobody likes him...

Meet John McCain, aka Mr. Petulant. At a meeting with Hispanic business leaders, he had a literal hissy fit over his support of immigration reform and the fact that Hispanics support Obama 2-to-1
McCain's message was obvious, the source continued: After bucking his party on immigration, he had no sympathy for Hispanics who are dissatisfied with President Obama's pace on the issue. "He threw out [the words] 'You people -- you people made your choice. You made your choice during the election,' " the source said. "It was almost as if [he was saying] 'You're cut off!' We felt very uncomfortable when we walked away from the meeting because of that."
You people? Nice, Mr. Petulant. Very nice.

When a think tank lacks any actual thought...

One of the primary supports of the right wing echo chamber is the so-called "think tanks" like the American Enterprise Institute. Founded in 1943, it is often seen as a conservative counterpoint to the Brookings Institution. But in recent years, it has become a hotbed of neoconservative "thought." In a lengthy posting over at Daily Kos, Devilstower does an excellent job exposing the apparent lack of thought happening over at AEI. He concludes

The truth is, the American Enterprise Institute isn't a think tank, not in any conventional sense. The thoughts of its members were frozen a decade ago, and no amount of evidence will cause them to change one jot or tittle of their rigid ideology. AEI is a booking agency. A PR firm tasked with providing Republican "names" to fit any gap in your programming schedule.

For a media producer, AEI means you don't have to find someone who really knows a subject, or someone who has something new to say, or someone who might provide an unconventional angle. Why bother? One press of the speed dial, and AEI will deliver faster than Tony's Pizza. They'll give you someone who you already know is an experienced talking head, so you don't have to worry that a knowledgeable economist or teacher or scientist might turn out not to be a sparkling "on air personality." They'll deliver familiar talking points, so you know your host and other guests won't be challenged. They'll deliver reliably pro-corporate hard-right content which will serve to "balance" any program where the facts start to have that devious liberal slant.

In simple terms, AEI is an excuse for producers to be lazy. Calling them means that you place a higher value on filling time than providing information. It means ignoring the many connections that the unscholarly "scholars" have to other organizations and corporations. It means not minding that you're balancing progressive views with views that are simply and demonstrably wrong.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Iowa hate statute get's the big smackdown!

Looks like another stunning victory for equal rights in America. In Iowa, the state Supreme Court has struck down the so-called "Defense of Marriage" act which bans same-sex marriage. In a strong unanimous decision the court ruled
"We are firmly convinced the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective," the Supreme Court wrote in its decision. "The Legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution without a constitutionally sufficient justification."
Wow... How long until the US Supreme Court will be challenged with the same issue? Soon, I hope. The haters are not happy...
The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., pastor at the Maple Street Baptist Church in Des Moines, went to the Supreme Court building to hear of the decision.

"It's a perversion and it opens the door to more perversions," Ratliff said. "What's next?"

Can you taste the hate?

You can find a copy of the actual ruling here. (PDF) Iowa has a long history of the enforcement of equality through judicial decision. In 1839, the Iowa courts declared contracts of enslavement were null and void under the concept of equality.

My favorite passage from the ruling (and one that could be applied at the Federal level)

A statute inconsistent with the Iowa Constitution must be declared void, even though it may be supported by strong and deep-seated traditional beliefs and popular opinion.

We are a nation of laws... not a nation of empty faith.

Did Nixon suffer from "anal poisoning?"

According to Boss Limbaugh, if you act cordially you are subject to something he calls "anal poisoning" and you might die. Who, perchance, might contract this horrible disease? Well, apparently Gordon Brown (and by extension anyone at the G20 who was cordial and complementary of President Obama). So does this mean that Nixon suffered from it when he went to China and paid Mao a few complements? How about Reagan when he sat down with Gorbachev in Iceland? Limbaugh has come completely unhinged.

Of course this is from the guy who sat out Viet Nam because he had a boil on his ass... So his obsession with "anal poisoning" may stem from some sort of personal knowledge or experience.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

That darn iPod!

President and Mrs. Obama presented Queen Elizabeth II with a video iPod containing footage of her last visit to America two years ago. And there was outrage in Wingnuttia! How dare the Obama's present the Queen of England with something so pedestrian as an iPod. Didn't they know she already had one? Shocking! Outrageous! Indefensible!

Except of course that she asked for it. And according to a spokesman for the Palace, she loved the gift. But, leave it to the commentators in Wingnuttia to miss the target (again... and again... and again... and again).

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

MSNBC signs Ed Schultz

In an ongoing effort to remedy the conservative imbalance of the cable news channels, MSNBC has added Ed Schultz to it's weeknight lineup. From the press release:
Veteran talk radio host Ed Schultz joins MSNBC as host of "The Ed Show," premiering on Monday, April 6. "The Ed Show" will air weekdays, 6-7 p.m. ET. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President, MSNBC.

"I am thrilled to have Ed kicking-off our primetime lineup," said Griffin. "Ed's proven that he can connect with Americans and will be a perfect compliment to Chris, Keith, and Rachel. He's already made his mark on radio and I'm excited to see what he'll do with the 6 p.m. hour."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity with MSNBC," said Schultz. "I look forward to having a day to day discussion with fellow Americans on issues that really matter to all of us."
Awesome news!

Sticking pins in Glenn Beck

Only Steven Colbert could do it so well...
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Tool Time! (Not)Joe the (non)Plumber

Opinions without facts are (not)Joe's stock-in-trade!