Thursday, April 15, 2010


QOTD, cleek:
GOP says “Hate!” tea partiers ask “Yes sir! Hate whom, sir?”
John Cole: Ending One Myth

Great catch by Digby in the Tea Partier poll I talked about last night:

Here’s an interesting factoid that tracks with my intuition about these people: they blame George W. Bush and Wall Street far less for the economic situation than the rest of the country does. They hold Obama and congress mostly responsible. But then, if you listen to wingnut gasbags and FOX news crazies all day, that’s what you would think.

Any illusions that these people are angry at Wall Street or big business needs to be dispensed with ASAP. They don’t blame the money people at all.

88% of them think the government’s stimulus program has either had no impact on the economy or made it worse.

Of course they don’t. This is just a Republican operation, plain and simple, and you’ll watch the tea partiers go to bat for their Republican and Wall Street masters the next couple of months as we try to pass Financial reform.

For chrissakes- the tea party idea came from Rick Santelli- a broker. Anyone who thought these guys were mad at Wall Street was engaging in magical firebagger thinking, and some of us told you that from the get-go.

E.J. Dionne:

You might imagine that if a terrorist attack killed an American public servant and threatened the lives of 200 people, it would have been big news for weeks and an enduring symbol of the risks taken by those who serve their country.

Yet when an American named Joseph Stack flew a plane into an office building in Austin in February, killing Vernon Hunter, a 68-year-old Vietnam veteran, the news reports were remarkably muted, and the story quickly disappeared.

Hunter worked for the Internal Revenue Service, which was housed in the Austin building, and according to Stack's suicide note, the IRS was his target.

On or about April 15, the Web and the commentary pages overflow with assaults on the IRS that cast its employees as jackbooted thugs, to use an old phrase, and our tax system as a form of oppression comparable to the exertions of the worst Russian czars and the most fiendish modern totalitarian dictators.

We should call this propaganda what it is: a sweeping falsehood that libels the work of committed federal employees such as Hunter.

Who are the men and women of the IRS? They are the people who collect the revenue that allows the government to finance our troops who are in harm's way, help our wounded warriors, pay Grandma's Medicare bills, cover the costs of keeping our food and drugs safe, and do so many of the other things the vast majority of us want our government to accomplish.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

digby: Nuts
I thought I'd seen some insensitive, childish and ignorant behavior by Republicans but this may just take the cake:
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.

Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.

"Is it scary? It sure is," said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. "But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?"
Maybe they can pass the bill on April 19th --- the anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing. They can call it McVeigh's Law.

This is simply more Sore Loserman politics of the crudest sort. They don't like the results of the election so they want to raise an army to fight it. They simply don't think elections are meaningful if they don't win them. And they can't wait until 2012 to put Palin in the White House.

Still, don't kid yourself, if Republicans win again, we'll hear this from them, just as we heard in 2004:
"I'm ecstatic," said Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Mr. Reynolds and his Senate counterpart, George Allen of Virginia, said the returns validated the approach of Congressional Republicans and should make it easier to pursue the economic, environmental and social agenda they favor, an agenda they blamed Mr. Daschle for helping to block. Mr. Allen said he hoped Democrats would see Mr. Daschle's defeat as a warning from voters that they did not favor the use of Senate procedural tools to stall legislation and White House nominees.

"Elections have consequences," Mr. Allen said. "There are messages and lessons that I hope members of the Senate will understand."
or this:
Rock-ribbed Republican Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, proffered a solution, tell[s] us that Democrats must accept the finality of their powerlessness."Once the minority of House and Senate are comfortable in their minority status, they will have no problem socializing with the Republicans. Any farmer will tell you that certain animals run around and are unpleasant, but when they've been fixed, then they are happy and sedate. They are contented and cheerful. They don't go around peeing on the furniture and such."
We didn't like that very much and so we worked hard to boot them out of office at the first opportunity. Silly us. We should have issued death threats and raised an inner city army instead. Apparently, that's how it's done in America in this new century. Live and learn.
  • Hunter adds:

    Every damn militia in existence for the last century and a half seems to base itself around an abject terror that if they don't have really big guns, and lots of them, black people might hurt them by eating at their restaurants or marrying their lily-white daughters or providing them comprehensive health insurance or something. If there's anything else that "state sovereignty" means to these people, you'd be hard pressed to squeeze it out of them -- and it certainly hasn't been for lack of trying, over these many months. You'd have to look under a freaking microscope to find some fundamental domestic policy difference from the Bush years to the Obama years that would actually affect any of the people bitching about it and waving their guns around, but they're still damn convinced their freedom is at stake. Death panels are coming to... take your sovereignty... by... I don't know, let's say instituting a five percent tax break on solar panels or something. Apparently everything from health insurance regulation to asking questions about the financial industry to not properly supporting the right Afghani opium lords all represent six or seven concurrent American apocalypses already, so who the hell knows what this particular sect of Oklahoma City tea party zealots consider to be that nebulous bridge-too-far that makes them want to take up arms against the Feds and their fellow Oklahomans.

    And yes, if you're talking about forming an armed militia to wave guns around to protect your state's "sovereignty" against the scary gubbermint, you're officially an idiot. At best.

    In the end, this is all part and parcel of that stupid-ass "Obama is coming to take your ammo" bullshit that went around the first year of his presidency. No reason for it, no hint that the big, scary Obama was going to do as much as institute a one-penny tax per metric ton of armaments, but all these conspiracy-addled losers ate it up. It's an entire movement of gullible dumbasses.

In New York, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino has a habit of generating controversy. He recently insisted, for example, that the Affordable Care Act will be deadlier than the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

But Paladino, a right-wing favorite of the Tea Party, now has an even bigger controversy to deal with.

Carl P. Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor from Buffalo, drew fire on Monday for racist and sexually explicit e-mail messages that a left-leaning Web site claimed he had sent to friends and business associates in recent years.

The messages, which were published on, a Web site devoted to politics in western New York, included pornographic images and what appeared to be a video of Africans dancing in traditional dress that was titled "Obama Inauguration Rehearsal."

Another, a picture of a cargo plane crashing into the ground behind a group of black people, was prominently captioned with a common racial epithet for African-Americans.

That last one, sent last summer, shows an airplane landing behind a group of black men. The caption on the email reads, "Holy Sh*t. run ni**ers, run!"

Paladino's campaign manager said the candidate "regrets" some of the messages, but blamed Democrats of trying to "smear" Paladino with emails Paladino sent. (No, I don't understand the argument either.) The far-right Republican yesterday also tried to blame Democrats for drawing attention to his own disgusting messages.

The right-wing candidate is facing some GOP primary challengers, but Paladino has positioned himself to their right, and claims to be the only gubernatorial hopeful who "agrees 100 percent with conservative values." Of course, "values" is subjective -- Paladino, who is married, fathered a child with his mistress in the '90s.

Nevertheless, the emails should effectively drive Paladino off the political stage. The head of New York's Democratic Party said in a statement that the emails "disqualify him completely from public service."

Tea Parties created as a political ploy April 14: Politico's Ken Vogel talks about a report which contains information from a 2009 memo in which Republican consultants encouraged the formation of Tea parties to raise money for their PAC and to use for propaganda purposes.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Another Lieberman Betrayal
Joe Lieberman thanks God that the Republicans are doing well at the polls and seem poised to make significant gains in the midterm elections. Now, I wonder why Mr. Lieberman is willing to make remarks like that. I can see how it plays well with the kind of Connecticut voters he needs to win reelection. He probably cannot win another term unless the Republicans once again field a joke of a candidate (or no candidate at all). But, on the other hand, if the Republicans took back the Senate, Lieberman would lose his chairmanships of the Homeland Security Committee and the Armed Services Subcommittee on Airland. And why does he feel so comfortable talking shit about Democrats? This is why the party needs to enforce some discipline. Without it, you get absurdities like a member of your own caucus publicly cheering for your caucuses decimation. I suggest the Democrats find a woodshed and put an end to this depressing nonsense.
mistermix: Hopey But Not Changey

Here’s a good McClatchy story on the recent Republican Leadership Conference meeting in New Orleans:

GOP hopes to go from Party of No to Party of Choice

How’s that hopey-changey thing working out?

Those are just a few of the headlines with “GOP” in them at the same site, going back to last Wednesday.

Amato (C&L): Too funny

DrGeneScottWhiteboard - Copy_b4962.jpg

Digby makes an excellent connection between Glenn Beck and Dr. Gene Scott. If you haven't seen Scott's broadcasts before, check out her post, it's a very bizarre experience. He's no longer with us, but when he was alive he would go into these religious rants for a while that included black boards and whatnot and then your TV suddenly cuts to hot young girls riding around on horses with a telephone number scrolled across your screen to send in money.

I'm waiting for Beck to run a donation scroll on his broadcast. Yes, I know he pushes gold all the time, so it wouldn't shock me if he eventually does it.

Of all the various elements of health care reform, perhaps the most popular were protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Before the Affordable Care Act, this group faced harsh penalties from insurers, either paying exorbitant rates, or finding themselves unable to find any coverage at all.

Democratic policymakers corrected this, and even many Republicans have said they have no intention of reversing course on this. Missouri's Roy Blunt (R), however, has a unique approach to the issue. Here's what he told an ABC affiliate in Missouri last week:

"Access for kids who have pre-existing conditions, who would be against that?" the House Republican said. "But access for adults, who have done nothing to take care of themselves, who actually will have, as I've just described, every incentive not to get insurance until the day that you know that you're going to have medical expenses, that's, that's a very different kind of story."

So, as far as Roy Blunt is concerned, if you're an adult and you've overcome cancer, and you want health insurance, perhaps you should have taken better care of yourself. As for Blunt's reference to "incentives," he seems to be endorsing the individual mandate -- which he happens to oppose.

Keep in mind, Blunt isn't some random back-bencher -- he's the chair of the House Republicans' Health Care Task Force.

He's also in the midst of a very competitive Senate race in Missouri, where voters may find Blunt's callous, far-right line on health care -- he's also said Medicare never should have been created -- slightly problematic.

Think Progress: Uninformed Limbaugh Wonders ‘Where Was The Union’ At Non-Union Mine Disaster

Last Friday, Rush Limbaugh asked why a coal miner union didn’t protect the 29 miners who were killed when Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, WV, exploded under unsafe conditions:

Was there no union responsibility for improving mine safety? Where was the union here? Where was the union? The union is generally holding these companies up demanding all kinds of safety. Why were these miners continuing to work in what apparently was an unsafe atmosphere?

Listen here:

There’s a simple reason the union didn’t protect the miners: the Upper Big Branch Mine, like nearly all of the mines under Massey CEO Don Blankenship’s control, is non-union. In fact, the United Mine Workers of America (UMW) “tried three times to organize the Upper Big Branch mine, but even with getting nearly 70 percent of workers to sign cards saying they wanted to vote for a union, Blankenship personally met with workers to threaten them with closing down the mine and losing their jobs if they voted for a union.”

Blankenship rose in Massey’s ranks by breaking its union mines in the 1980s. Blankenship said then that busting unions is “invaluable” to profits, as non-union companies can “sell coal cheaper and drive union coal out of business.”

Union mines have a significantly better safety record than non-union mines especially for major disasters, as union miners can refuse unsafe work and report dangerous conditions without fear of retaliation. In addition to preventing Blankenship-style intimidation, the proposed Employee Free Choice Act would increase whistleblower protections for non-union and union workers alike. Under Blankenship’s direction, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Mining Association have spent millions to oppose passage of such legislation for worker rights, comparing it to a “firestorm bordering on Armageddon.”

Immediately following the tragedy, the UMW sent trained support personnel to the disaster site. “We are all brothers and sisters in the coalfields at times like this,” UMW President Cecil Roberts said in a statement offering the assistance, which was refused by Massey company officials.

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