Tea culpa

Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) pleads for mercy from the Democrats:  

We won’t be the last political party to overplay our hand. It might happen one day on the Democratic side. And if it did, would Republicans, for the good of the country, kinda give a little? We really did go too far. We screwed up. But their response is making things worse, not better.

Seriously, Lindsey? Republicans--for the good of the country--would be kinder to Democrats if they screwed up this badly? You’re just lucky Republicans won’t have to face Republicans with this debacle.

Sen. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ), remarking on House Republicans inability to get their shit together in advance of Thursday’s debt ceiling deadline.

“It’s very, very serious. Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle, as I predicted weeks ago, that we would not be able to win because we were demanding something that was not achievable.”

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) provides an assessment from the moderate members of the GOP, as the prominent conservative organizations Heritage Action, Red State and FreedomWorks all came out against a last-second GOP leadership plan to avert a crisis that Democrats had warned was too far to the right: 

“This party is going nuts.”

Man of the mighty Tea-God, PAT BUCHANAN, still wants to burn it all down

“Republicans should refuse to raise the white flag and insist on an honorable avenue of retreat. And if Harry Reid’s Senate demands the GOP end the sequester on federal spending, or be blamed for a debt default, the party should, Samson-like, bring down the roof of the temple on everybody’s head.”

Who will be Pat’s holy warrior?

A Senate Republican aide placed the blame on a particular senator from Texas. TED CRUZ (R-TX) reportedly met with a group of House conservatives at Tortilla Coast, a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., to discuss strategy Monday night.

“Ted Cruz and his Tortilla Coast Republicans are leading us to a default.” 

Sen. KELLY AYOTTE (R-NH) says Sen. TED CRUZ (R-TX), could try to gum up the bipartisan effort underway to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling:

“It’s up to him. I would hope that he wouldn’t. I mean, in the Senate obviously in terms of certain time frames, senators can cause to you run out the clock. But what’s he trying to gain at this point?”

Currently being discussed:


Sorry, Pat.

Sen. Lindsey Graham’s “Final Solution”

I hope people actually pay attention to what Lindsey Graham is proposing here, especially with all the effort that’s been going into the rebranding and remarketing of the Republican Party and their “message.”  Graham is saying that because of the sequester’s automatic cuts to the military (about 7.5% out of an astronomically huge defense budget), he thinks we should cut the health coverage of about 30 million people to pay for that shortfall and protect the DoD’s budget.

JOSH ISRAEL | THINK PROGRESS: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said Sunday the government should protect the Defense Department from automatic spending cuts by slashing $1.2 trillion from the Affordable Care Act. During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Graham suggested that the sequester’s across-the-board cuts to federal spending, including about a roughly 7.5 percent reduction in military spending, would be “destroying the military.” But rather than agree to President Obama’s proposed alternatives to the sequester, the South Carolina Republican said we should save money by eliminating health care for the 30 million people covered by the Affordable Care Act:

GRAHAM: Well, all I can say is the commander-in-chief thought — came up with the idea of sequestration, destroying the military and putting a lot of good programs at risk. It is my belief — take Obamacare and put it on the table. You can make $86,000 a year in income and still get a government subsidy under Obamacare. Obamacare is destroying health care in this country and people are leaving the private sector, because their companies cannot afford to offer Obamacare and if you want to look at ways to find $1.2 trillion in savings over the next decade, look at Obamacare, don’t destroy the military and cut blindly across the board…

JOSH ISRAEL: But Graham’s “solution” also misses a key reality: Obamacare actually reduced the deficit. His proposal to put its elimination on the table would mean increasing the budget deficit by an estimated $109 billion over the same 10-year period, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

JOHN COLE: The notion that miniscule cuts to the most bloated military in the world [will destroy it] is, in and of itself, offensive to common sense. That this douchebag wants millions of Americans to die without health coverage to keep shuffling three quarters of a trillion to said military really says it all.

CHARLES JOHNSON: And if you’re tempted to believe Lindsey Graham’s risible statement that a 7.5% cut would “destroy the military,” just take a quick look at this simple chart showing the world’s top 5 military spenders in 2012.

Another thing, they can all freely blame Obama for the sequester on Fox ‘news,’ naturally, but they don’t get away with it so easily on other networks:

IGOR VOLSKY reports that “ABC News’ Jonathan Karl confronted Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) over his past support for the sequester, just as the one-time GOP vice presidential candidate sought to blame President Obama for the automatic across-the-board cuts scheduled to go into effect on March 1.”

“Ryan’s argument is fundamentally dishonest, as he is one of the Republicans responsible for creating the sequester in the first place. In the summer of 2011, Republicans demanded spending cuts to offset a debt ceiling increase and refused to consider new revenues in those negotiations. That standoff produced the Budget Control Act, which Ryan voted for and promoted. The law included spending caps and a devastating sequester as a way to motivate a bipartisan Super Committee to find $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.

After the Super Committee failed to agree on a spending reduction package, Ryan — then the GOP’s vice presidential candidate — consistently railed against the sequester mechanism he previously supported, calling it “reckless” and “devastating.” Two months later, he wants the sequester to go into effect and may incorporate its savings in his upcoming budget.”

It’s as if Graham and Ryan would have us believe the sequester was never voted on and passed as law through Congress by Republicans.

Not only is Ryan’s argument “fundamentally dishonest,” but Paul Ryan, the man, is fundamentally dishonest. And I think most of us can agree that’s a standardized requirement for the chosen ‘rock stars‘ of the GOP.

Republicans are terrible people

In a speech to the Wyoming GOP, DICK Cheney said that the recent national security choices by President Obama (i.e. Chuck Hagel, John Brennan and John Kerry) were “subpar people.”  This from the guy who was part of an administration that chose, among other things, Heckofajob Brownie for FEMA.

Charles Johnson: Sen. Lindsey Graham has appointed himself the King of Republican Bad Craziness, pandering to the far right’s bizarre fantasies about the Benghazi attack with a relentless zeal that would be impressive if it were directed at something actually useful to the country.

New wingnut conspiracy! In the wake of news that Sen. Lindsey Graham is threatening to block the nominations of Hagel and Brennan, there’s a whole new conspiracy theory bubbling up on the right. From ground zero of Obama era conspiracy theories comes the conspiracy theory to top them all: that CIA nominee John Brennan is himself a Muslim.


via quickhits

John Cole: Thinkprogress makes the mistake of taking John McCain at his word. Look, how many times will people fall for this. The McCain / Lieberman / Graham / Snowe / Collins caucus will always say they are in favor of looking at compromise and policies advanced by the President. But in the end, they always find a reason not to, usually because someone hurt their feelings or they didn’t like the seat they were sitting in at the negotiating table at the White House or because Nancy Pelosi smirked on CNN.

“Well, Tom, the problem with saying this is the president’s idea is that you voted for the Budget Control Act. I voted against it. We wouldn’t have ever been talking about the Budget Control Act but for your party refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling something that has been routinely increased as the country needed it. You used that occasion in 2011 August to basically say we are going to default on the country’s obligations or you’re going to give us dramatic spending cuts. That’s how we got to the Budget Control Act.”Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to Tom Cole (R-OK) for his claim that President Obama is responsible for the upcoming sequester.

Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul have both been tapped to rebut President Obama’s SOTU before they’ve even had a chance to hear him speak: They’re serving up both kinds of Republicans! Country and Western! The Tea Party and The Tea Party. The difference is that Tea Party hero, Sen. Marco Rubio, can say, “Pro-growth” in español. With that Steve Stifler-like smile and charm, Marco Rubio is there for outreach, and to coerce the Latino vote into bed. And just in case the Tea Party gets a little nervous if there isn’t someone there to speak the native language of “white people” to the actual base, Tea Party hero, Sen. Rand Paul, is there to reassure them that they haven’t been overrun by the demographic shift, just yet. But this is typical Republican Party behavior. They get two chances to make their case, and you get one.


via letfreedomlulz

Wednesday’s selections from the annals of ‘Republicans are terrible people’

Jezebel – After tons of outrage over her horrendous bill that would make rape victims criminals if they sought an abortion, because they’d be  “tampering with evidence,” New Mexico Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R-Dingbat) clarified: House Bill 206 isn’t meant to target victims of sexual assault but to discourage rapists. She’s revised the language so it’s clear that abortion providers would be penalized, not rape survivors. — You’re probably thinking: how does punishing 1) a woman who was raped and impregnated or 2) a doctor who performs an abortion for her actually “discourage” rapists? You’re right – it doesn’t. Brown is still a idiot (or she thinks we are).

It’s back! The Republican-mandated invasive transvaginal ultrasound has returned in Arkansas (they never stop trying), where Sen. Jason Rapert (yes! Rapert was his name-o!) is hiding the ultrasound requirement in … yet another “fetal heartbeat” anti-abortion bill: Spread ‘Em, Ladies: Rapert Toughens Anti-Abortion Bill. The new Rapert bill would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, a limitation that moves the potential prohibition in Arkansas law to the 5th week of pregnancy, far beyond the pre-viability protection period that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld…Charles Johnson

Tennessee State Sen. Stacey Campfield (R) on Tuesday defended his proposal to tie a family’s welfare benefits to their children’s academic success. [...] Under current law, parents can lose up to 20 percent of their benefits from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program if a child does not attend school. Campfield’s bill would increase the penalty to 30 percent and require children to make “satisfactory academic progress” in school. – Raw Story

Phillip Walker Sailors was charged on Sunday with the murder of Rodrigo Abad Diaz. A 69-year-old war veteran and former missionary was arrested over the weekend on the suspicion of killing a 22-year-old Cuban immigrant who mistakenly arrived in his driveway because of faulty GPS directions. [...] Diaz tried to turn the car around to leave, but Sailors fired another shot, striking the immigrant on the left side of the head. The group, which included a 15 and an 18 year old, said that Sailors held them at gunpoint until police arrived. – Raw Story

A top Hispanic Republican advocacy group co-chaired by Jeb Bush has list of “messaging dos and don’ts for immigration reform,” they say: Don’t use phrases like “send them all back” – Daily Kos

In light of Paul Ryan‘s newfound rediscovered appreciation for the spending sequester’s automatic defense and domestic cuts, let’s take a trip back in time to four months ago when Ryan was making the case during the 2012 vice presidential debate that the sequester’s potential spending cuts emboldened the terrorists who attacked the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Responding to a question about Mitt Romney’s rash response to the attack, Ryan said: “[...] And we should not be imposing these devastating defense cuts, because what that does when we equivocate on our values, when we show that we’re cutting down on defense, it makes us more weak. It projects weakness. And when we look weak, our adversaries are much more willing to test us. They’re more brazen in their attacks, and are allies are less willing to…” And with those ellipses Vice President Joe Biden could not take any more of Ryan’s nonsense. He interrupted Ryan, and said that Ryan’s statement was—you guessed it—”a bunch of malarkey.” – DailyKos

Huffington Post - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has upped his already harsh rhetoric against outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, claiming that she “got away with murder”… “I haven’t forgotten about Benghazi. Hillary Clinton got away with murder, in my view,” Graham said on Fox News Monday evening, speaking to Greta Van Susteren. “She said they had a clear-eyed view of the threats. How could you have a clear-eyed view of the threats in Benghazi when you didn’t know about the ambassador’s cable coming back from Libya?” — And I’m quite certain Ms Graham must have been equally upset about the revelation of the Bin Laden determined to strike in US” memo that George W. Bush shrugged off in August of 2001 at his ranch in Crawford. Or when, 10 years ago this week, George W. told us all in his SOTU that Saddam Hussein had WMD in the form of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent!, mobile biological weapons labs!, nuclear capability! – and worse, Hussein was seeking uranium from Africa! We invaded Iraq 51 days later and now, 10 years and counting, and after hundreds of thousands of deaths and an enormous cost to our nation’s treasury, we all know it was a manufactured lie. 

Dick Cheney may have accidentally shot a man in the face while he was vice president, but that didn’t stop Fox News from flying to Nevada to get his advice on recently-proposed gun control laws. Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins caught up with Cheney over the weekend at the Safari Club International convention for gun owners and manufacturers, where the former vice president and his daughter, Liz, participated in a discussion about gun rights and the realism of torture in the film “Zero Dark Thirty.” – Raw Story

There’s no point in pursuing universal background checks for firearms purchases, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre plans to tell the Senate today, because bad guys will get guns anway. LaPierre is among those scheduled to tesify at the Senate Judiciary Committee’s gun violence hearing Wednesday. The NRA sent out his testimony Tuesday. LaPierre once again plans to tout the NRA’s call for armed guards in every school as well as the group’s call for loosen privacy laws the group says keep mental health records from being included in the extisting background check system. But when it comes to expanding background checks to cover all firearms transactions, LaPierre will tell the Senate there’s little point. – TPM

Neil Heslin, of Shelton, holds a portrait of himself and his son, Jesse Lewis, one of the children killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, during testimony before the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford on Monday, January 28, 2012. Photo: Brian A. Pounds / Connecticut PostConnecticut Post – Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state. “There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin… “That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. “I just hope some good can come out of this.” He asked the crowd why assault weapons should not be banned. …The Connecticut Post put the number of hecklers at “as many as a dozen.” — Watch the video below where he asks his question and the pro-gun crowd is silent at first… then, like brain-wiped, well-programmed drones, they’re simply impelled to screech and howl their meaningless NRA propaganda like,”The Second Amendment!” and “The Second Amendment shall not be infringed!” These soulless bastards just can’t let it go, not even once, not even for a man whose precious 6-year-old son was mowed down in a kindergarten classroom with 19 other children in a hail of bullets. The video starts at his question / their response at 13:29:

Think Progress – When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package Monday, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who are not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states. [...] The “hypocritical” list includes:

1. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH): Requested disaster aid after Hurricane Sandy.
2. John Barrasso (R-WY), Republican Policy Committee Chair: Requested disaster aid after flooding.
3. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Republican Conference Vice Chair: Demanded the Senate be called back from recess to pass disaster aid during a drought and boasts: “When a disaster surpasses the ability of states and communities to rebuild, Senator Blunt believes the federal government should prioritize spending to help the people whose lives and livelihoods are impacted. During his time in the Senate, he has fought tirelessly to ensure that Missouri gets its fair share of those federal resources specifically dedicated to disaster recovery.”
4. John Boozman (R-AR): Requested disaster aid after snow storms in January 2013.
5. Richard Burr (R-NC): Requested disaster aid after severe storms.
6. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): Requested disaster aid after flooding.
7. – 31. Read more…

Screenshot of names of senators who voted no on Sandy relief bill.

 

Republicans calling for a government shutdown are getting louder

The GOP has apparently decided to just ignore the 2012 election completely — and the will of the majority who voted.

Adding to the recent crazy pronouncements from Lindsey Graham and Pat Toomey are the following additions from more members of the brain-trust known as the Republican Party:

Sen. Cornyn (R-TX): ‘It May Be Necessary To Partially Shut Down The Government’: “In an op-ed published Thursday in the Houston Chronicle, Sen. John Cornyn suggested that a partial shutdown of the federal government may be necessary in the coming months “in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country, rather than plod along the path of Greece, Italy and Spain.”

Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ): ‘It’s About Time’ We Had Another Government Shut Down:  “Appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation [yesterday] morning, Rep. Matt Salmon  enthusiastically called for a government shut down: SALMON: I was here during the government shutdown in 1995. It was a divided government. we had a Democrat [sic] President of the United States. We had a Republican Congress. And I believe that that government shutdown actually gave us the impetus, as we went forward, to push toward some real serious compromise. …

[Newt] Gingrich [also] claimed that the shutdown led to the misleadingly named Balanced Budget Act of 1997, but the law was so laden down with conservative pet projects that it actually increased the budget deficit. In reality, the principal policy driver of the Clinton era surpluses was something that every single Republican in Congress voted against — the Clinton tax hikes on the rich. These surpluses, of course, were wiped out almost immediately after President George W. Bush took office, thanks to Bush’s tax cuts that largely benefited the very wealthy.”

And, finally, this “very special message” from a representative of the tea party:

Tea party Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): ‘I Don’t Think What Washington Needs Is More Compromise’: “if voters sent a message to the GOP in November by reelecting President Obama and voting out Republicans in both the Senate and the House, freshman tea party Sen. Ted Cruz seems to have missed the memo. He appeared on Fox News Sunday: “I think the fiscal cliff deal was a lousy one, but moving forward with the debt ceiling and those who believe in limited spending and solving the debt…I don’t think what Washington needs is more compromise, I think what Washington needs is more common sense and more principle.”

Seems to be a growing chorus of fail. John Cole says:

“The Democrats appear to have learned and will refuse to negotiate with the terrorists, so it will be all on the GOP. When the blue hairs stop getting their SS checks and the military has former Generals on every cable channel talking about how lack of funds is impeding their ability to perform their mission, it will truly be a site to see. Can’t wait for it. Bring it on.”


image thepoliticalfreakshow

Will Lindsey Graham ever accept the 2012 election results? Does he need counseling?

“Round two’s coming. And we’re going to have one hell of a contest about the direction and the vision of this country.” — Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), discussing the upcoming debt ceiling / sequestration negotiations.

Steve Benen explains that Lindsey Graham and much of the rest of the Republican Congress seem confused and, for the good of the country, need to begin accepting the results of the election. After all, Republicans told us repeatedly that,

“Election Day 2012, in other words, was for all the marbles. It was the big one. The whole enchilada was on the line. The results would set the direction of the country for a generation, so it was time to pull out all the stops and fight like there’s no tomorrow — because for the losers, there probably wouldn’t be one And then President Obama won fairly easily, Senate Democrats defied expectations and expanded their majority, and House Democrats gained seats. [...]

Not to put too fine a point on this, Lindsey Graham seems to be missing the point of the democratic process. In this country, we have elections in which candidates present their ideas about the direction and the vision of this country, and the American people express a preference. Then, once that’s over, there’s an expectation that the fight over the direction and the vision of this country would end and governing would begin. [...]

But wait, Republicans say, didn’t the electorate also elect a right-wing House majority? To a certain extent, yes, but in raw vote totals, Americans cast 1.362 million more votes for Democratic House candidates than GOP House candidates, which hardly points to a powerful Republican mandate.”

So the contest about “the direction and vision of this country” occurred on Nov. 6th with pretty solid results:

Barack Obama is the first president in more than five decades to win at least 51 percent of the national popular vote twice, according to a revised vote count in New York eight weeks after the Nov. 6 election. [...] The president nationally won 65.9 million votes — or 51.1 percent — against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who took 60.9 million votes and 47.2 percent of the total cast, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Obama is the first president to achieve the 51 percent mark in two elections since Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, who did it in 1952 and 1956, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four consecutive White House races. Roosevelt received 53.4 percent of the vote — his lowest — in his last race in 1944.”

Lindsey’s petulance won’t reverse reality or change the election results. Maybe a good therapist is the only solution at this point. Or an intervention from the voters:

Washington, D.C.
290 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-5972
Fax: 202-224-3808
Twitter: @GrahamBlog
Facebook: USSenatorLindseyGraham

What’s John McCain bitter about today? Same thing as yesterday…

Charlie Pierce explains McCain’s whole Benghazi / Susan Rice dilemma:

“This whole long con has passed now into the realm of pure McCarthyism: “We are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn’t get,” said McCain, an Arizona Republican. “It is clear the information that [Rice] gave the American people was incorrect when she said it was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video. It was not, and there was compelling evidence at the time that that was certainly not the case.”

No details. Nothing specific. Just John McCain, being troubled, as he has been since the country declined to make him its president. What happened with Rice and the talking-points, and why it happened, has been explained at length by everyone closely involved in the episode, including David Petraeus… McCain and Graham — and the hapless Ayotte, who is clearly, and pathetically, looking past Rice all the way to the 2016 Iowa caucuses — have nothing. They want to beat up on Rice simply because they can’t beat up on the president, although McCain made a run at that over the weekend. And they came out of the meeting and ran their mouths about what went on because they knew Rice wasn’t going to go into details of that meeting in public. They are a pair of cowards, with a feckless rookie in train, and they are playing dangerous games with the country’s security. They hereafter should be ignored and, if Graham goes through with his threat of putting a hold on Rice’s nomination, Harry Reid should move his desk out onto Constitution Avenue, and no Democrat should cooperate with this clown ever again.”

GOPAWG: The Grand Old Party of Angry White Guys


via: end-the-republican-mafia

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Case in point:

Of course who would be offended by such an honest assessment of women speaking at the DNC? After his ‘apology’, the very courageous angry white man Erick Erickson ‘protected’ his account so people can’t read his tweets anymore. Thank you!

Lindsey Graham’s moment of truth

“We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), in a Washington Post interview on Wednesday

Before you take anything John McCain says seriously ever again, you must consider this:

What’s Juan McCain’s newest hysterically partisan scare tactic? Automatic military cuts will “literally” lead to an “inability to defend the nation!!”

“Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have been at the forefront in trying to scare the public into thinking the automatic military spending cuts set to take effect in January will decimate the military (they won’t).

“But the two Republican senators took their hysteria to a whole new level in an interview published today on the Newsmax website. In the 12 minute-long segment full of outright paranoia and alarmist distortions, McCain said the defense sequester would “literally” — literally — prevent the United States from defending itself…”

Or as Charles P. Pierce describes it:

“…it appears that we’re going to have a fight now over the defense cuts that were part of the deal that was cut last year in order to arrange for the Congress to do what it used to do in its sleep — namely, raise the debt ceiling. There is no more reliably slippery operator in Washington than Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina… Huckleberry’s solution? The president should call in John McCain, who, as we know, actually won the 2008 presidential election because of his superior bipartisan ideas and his essential maverickosity. Help us, Obi-Wan Grandpa. You’re our only hope. This is, of course, all bollocks…”

Related: a favorite video of McCain from the 2008 campaign

How the Republican Party always distracts the rubes: gays and abortion

Yesterday while John Boehner and the rest of the Teapublican House were busy trying to give the super rich an average of $160,000 more in tax cuts, increase taxes on the rest of us by about $1,000, and protect “small businesses” like Bain Capital, they had a couple of familiar shiny objects to distract the rubes in their voting base from paying attention:

1) Chick-Fil-A Appreciation / Hate the Gays Day! 

Chick-fil-A Wants Nothing To Do With Mike Huckabee’s Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day: “The former Arkansas governor created the event on his Facebook page, where he wrote that he was “incensed at the vitriolic assaults” made on Chick-fil-A as a result of their stance against gay marriage. To fight back, Huckabee said, Americans should swarm Chick-fil-A stores across the country on August 1 to show their support. Many customers seemed to have listened. In Indiana, a Chick-fil-A employee posted a photo of his store’s record-breaking sales. In Conway, Arkansas, a store reported record crowds. Dozens of tweets reported lines wrapped around the block. [...] Meanwhile, Wendy’s also appears to have a beef with the day. After a conservative blogger tweeted about a local Wendy’s sign recommending Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain wrote back: “An independent franchisee posted the sign, which he’s taken down. We proudly serve ALL customers.””

Miss Lindsey Graham seems to appreciate the knee-jerk hate and bigotry of his Teagealical base — he must gladly pander to pseudo-Christians to keep his job:

christopherstreet: Unctuously prissy Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) at a Chick-Fil-A yesterday.

2) Yet another, new abortion bill! (jobs, jobs, jobs): 

House Defeats Ceremonial DC Late Term Abortion Bill: “The House participated in perhaps one of the year’s most blatant displays of political kabuki theater Tuesday, shooting down a ban on late term abortions in the District of Columbia that had virtually no chance of passing. Majority Leader Eric Cantor had scheduled the abortion vote – a major priority of the National Right to Life Committee – despite the objections of moderates and even some conservatives who viewed the vote as little more than bait for the conservative base.”

Even REPUBLICANS are getting sick of the righwing extremists in Congress:

Rep. Mary Bono Mack blasts D.C. abortion vote | The Desert Sun: “A House bill this week to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Washington D.C. may have failed to gain enough of a majority to pass, but it certainly spawned a heated debate on the House floor afterward. Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack and Robert Dold questioned House Majority Leader Eric Cantor for about 10 minutes after the 220-154 vote on Tuesday, according to Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call. [...] On Wednesday, Bono Mack spokesman Ken Johnson said he wouldn’t detail the discussion with Cantor of Virginia, but explained the seven-term Palm Springs Republican’s frustration with the bill she and Dold of Illinois opposed. [...] “But, clearly, Congresswoman Bono Mack was frustrated about both the policy and process surrounding the abortion bill. There was no exception for rape or incest — absolutely none — and no amendments were allowed. “Additionally, this was on the suspension calendar, which historically is reserved for noncontroversial bills that enjoy broad support. In this case, 154 members voted against it.”” 

Roll Call News: “House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was confronted on the floor this evening by Republican Reps. Mary Bono Mack (Calif.) and Robert Dold (Ill.), who were livid he had scheduled a tough abortion vote, according to someone who witnessed the incident. Both voted against the District of Columbia Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would have criminalized abortions in Washington, D.C., past 20 weeks of pregnancy. “Are you kidding me? How many times are we going to vote on this?” Bono Mack told Cantor in the heated exchange, according to the witness.”

But it’s about the economy… right, Mitt?

For the 0.01%, tax has been halved and income has doubled since 1960, due to policy alone

You don’t think that’s fair? Get over it.

Paul Krugman points out that “tax cuts are a much bigger story in rising inequality than the right wants to hear. Piketty and Saez (pdf) have looked at tax rates including imputed corporate taxes, and here’s what they get:

“Tax rates for the super-elite, the top .01%, have fallen in half since Mitt Romney’s father ran for president; or to put it differently, after tax income for this group has doubled due to policy alone. And bear in mind that the US economy flourished just fine under those 60-70 tax rates …”

Mitt Romney is one of the super-elites, with the low tax rates and doubled take-home income — and he wants to be president.

Zack Beauchamp from Think Progress observes: “…Sen. Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) attempt to defuse the controversy surrounding Romney’s taxes may be a new low for the campaign: Mitt Romney shouldn’t be criticized for using off-shore tax havens because “it’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally.”  [...] A recent report by the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) found that tax dodging shifts $100 billion onto taxpaying Americans.”

Romney’s response? Mitt Romney said on Monday that his offshore investments were managed by a blind trust and he had no knowledge of their whereabouts. “I don’t manage them. I don’t even know where they are. That trustee follows all U.S. laws. All the taxes are paid, as appropriate. All of them have been reported to the government. There’s nothing hidden there. If, for instance, you own shares in Renault or Fiat, you still have to disclose that in the United States.””

image: con-tem-plate

Romney’s campaign is working under an ideology of “what you don’t know can’t hurt me.” And teabaggers are only too happy to work under that ideology with him. But imagine the outrageous outrage, the far-right media spin, and the impeachment charges if President Obama had any amount of money in offshore accounts or wouldn’t release but one year of his tax returns. These folks have such a hypocritical set of double-standards, it’s not even funny.

Morning Bunker Report: Wednesday 6.6.2012

WHAT ROMNEY / REPUBLICANS STAND FOR———————————————

“But if people only watch the three big networks … a lot of people will assume that Obama really is just doing a great job and he just can’t get those crazy Republicans to help him out.” Mike Huckabee, commenting on what people would think of President Obama without Fox News

Romney should probably stop talking about the auto-industry rescue altogether — The Republican has repeatedly argued that GM and Chrysler should have relied on private funding to restructure and get back on their feet. That, of course, was impossible. In early 2009, the credit markets were frozen and there was no private funding available. (When a company called Bain Capital was approached, it refused to invest.) And so it appears that Romney is shifting once again, not only taking credit for a policy he attacked, but also saying taxpayer support “was fine,” after arguing for three years it wasn’t fine. The new twist is that Romney is on board with public support after, but not before, bankruptcy, but that doesn’t make sense, either — GM and Chrysler would have never survived the bankruptcy process without federal intervention. Romney could simply try the truth — he should admit, “I was wrong” — but that seems to be the only position he hasn’t tried yet. – Steve Benen

 
images: sandandglass

How things change! Emails show how Romney pushed Massachusetts health bill: Romneycare – The emails show the Republican governor was closely engaged in negotiating details of the bill, working with top Democratic state leaders and drafting early copies of opinion articles backing it. Mr. Romney and his aides, meanwhile, strongly defended the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that everyone in Massachusetts have or buy health insurance. And they privately discussed ideas that might be anathema to today’s GOP—including publicly shaming companies that didn’t provide enough health insurance to employees. – WSJ

This can’t be re-stated enough: if Romney wins, he’ll pay himself  $5 million — One of the perks of being a Republican president: Under his plan, Romney’s tax rate would fall from its current 14.7 percent to 13.1 percent, while under Obama’s tax plan, Romney would pay a 34.3 percent rate. The difference in these rates means about $5 million for Romney’s tax bill. By the way, Romney’s $5 million personal tax cut would add to the deficit. You know, because he’s a fiscal hawk and really, really cares about the deficit and debt. – Bob Cesca

Hey, struggling homeowners! Mitt Romney hates you.

Nobel-winning economist predicts Romney recession – Economist Joseph Stiglitz is hitting the media circuit to promote his new book.. Speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, the Nobel Prize-winner and former World Bank chief claimed that if former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R) is elected president in 2012, the risk of another recession will go up “significantly.” “The Romney plan is going to slow down the economy, worsen the jobs deficit and significantly increase the likelihood of a recession,” he said. – Raw Story

Lindsey Graham wants more wars – SO YES TO TAXES! Mr. Graham is openly talking about revenue increases to offset the costs. Even South Carolina’s ardently conservative House members, Mick Mulvaney, Joe Wilson and Jeff Duncan, said last week that they were ready to talk.  [...] “The debate on the debt is an opportunity to send the world a signal that we are going to remain the strongest military force in the world,” he said. “We’re saying, ‘We’re going to keep it, and we’re going to make it the No. 1 priority of a broke nation.’ ” To that end, his arguments grow increasingly complex, involving a near-term confrontation with Syria and what he is sure will be a military strike on Iran late this summer, “an air and sea campaign from hell,” he tells an audience in Sumter. A large screen at the Third Army command center in nearby Shaw Air Force Base seemed to back him up on that. It broadcast a multicolored map of Iran with its air defenses demarcated in loud, red circles. – NYTimes

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA ) blatantly lies about Obama giving TSA waivers to Muslims – on conservative talk radio Monday… Landry [blatantly lied about the Obama administration and an imaginary] Transportation Security Administration program that lets Muslim passengers through security without even so much as a sideways glance. [...] The TSA gives no waivers, special rights or exceptions based upon religious beliefs. The only people who get special treatment are those willing to pay for it by submitting to a pre-screening process. Minorities, such as Muslims, Sikhs and people who appear to be from the Middle East, have typically reported facing even greater scrutiny by TSA agents than other passengers. Rep. Landry appears to have invented the claim as a way of illustrating another imagined controversy: that Obama is secretly punishing people of his own faith because of his spiritual preference for Muslims. — Raw Story

WHAT THE PRESIDENT / DEMOCRATS STAND FOR ————————————

“Nobody has seen a communist in over a decade.”Bill Clinton, quoted by The Hill, criticizing House Republicans for failing to reprimand Rep. Allen West (R-FL) who claimed as many as 80 Democrats in Congress are members of the Communist Party.

Michigan had sixth highest rate of growth in 2011: no wonder Romney keeps etch-a-sketching his earlier opinions on Detroit and letting it go bankrupt — New data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis revealed that Michigan, the home of the American auto-industry, had the sixth highest rate of growth in the nation in 2011. […] For comparison’s sake, the Michigan economy shrank by 9 percent in 2009. Now the state boasts the sixth highest rate of growth in the nation. An unprecedented turnaround that occurred in just two years. — Bob Cesca

Some Republicans are now willing to increase taxes, as Democrats have been pushing for all along (but only to preserve military spending) – In March, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) pointed out that a “vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would, in essence, be the vote to lock in sequestration” by cutting down on revenue to offset government debt. The Times report today pointed out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is unlikely to allow sequestration to be averted without a debt reduction package that includes increased government revenue. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) was more blunt speaking to the Times, noting that the Republicans that supported last August’s Budget Control Act — 28 in the Senate and 174 in the House — were given the choice of automatically-triggered military spending cuts or tax increases. Van Hollen said: The consistent pattern here is they have chosen to defend special interest tax breaks over defense spending. They made that choice.Think Progress

Tax cuts for the wealthy, austerity for the rest of us: pension cuts – “In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers,” the New York Times reports. Wall Street Journal: “Since the recession, dozens of state legislatures and city councils throughout the U.S. have scaled back benefits and jobs in an attempt to plug large budget holes. But unlike most efforts to rein in pension costs, the San Jose measure targets current workers and retirees rather than focusing only on workers that have yet to be hired.” – Political Wire  

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer charges GOP with Obstructionism – “It’s not ‘our way or the highway,’ it’s ‘our way or no highway.’ No jobs. No progress. No consensus. No agreement,” Hoyer said. “So what the Republican hardliners are doing, are saying, [is], ‘We won’t agree in conference, we won’t come to agreement, we won’t help create jobs in America … unless we get our way.’” — Roll Call News

[I]t seems Wisconsin Democrats have managed one significant, if largely symbolic, victory for the night by apparently reclaiming control of the Wisconsin state senate. There were four state senate recalls tonight. Dems needed one to flip control of the state’s upper house. Three of those the Republicans won handily. But they appear to have won the 21st district. […] 16 of the 33 seats are again up for election in 5 months. – TPM

Scott Walker steps right up into the pocket of those who got him there — Make no mistake. A star was born last night. You will now see Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, everywhere in the energetic precincts of the revived American right. He will be on the covers of their startlingly advertising-free little magazines. He will be the darling of every wingnut blogger in the extended monkeyhouse; poo will be flung high and far in celebration of him. He will have a high-profile speaking role in Tampa this August, and it is very likely that there are people in Iowa who already are booking house parties for the late autumn of 2015 in his honor. He will be a bigger presence on Fox News than are Brit Hume’s jowls or Shep Smith’s gradually swelling public rage. I will tell you what: Willard Romney better be damned glad that he’s already clinched the nomination, and that Walker didn’t win this recall a year ago. And, because they are a timid flock of ruminants, the rest of the elite political press corps will wander, sheeplike, in his general direction, grazing amid the unmitigated manure of his victory speech here last night. Oh, Lord, are we going to be hearing about what a “turning point” in Walker’s career that speech was. – Charles P. Pierce

Morning Bunker Report: Wednesday 5.2.2012

——————————WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY

FOX & FRIENDS has more important things to talk about than Rupert Murdoch – When the news broke [yesterday morning] that Rupert Murdoch had been declared by the UK Parliament unfit to lead an international company, Fox & Friends was in full swing. [...] After several segments critical of the Occupy movement and President Obama, trailers for a story about Karate Kid and a man falling off some scaffolding, Fox ran the big news about Murdoch. See the whole 32 seconds they dedicated to it, as well as the following story – a couple towing their grand-daughter’s toy car behind their SUV. — TPM 

MASSACHUSETTS SENATOR SCOTT BROWN (R) doesn’t see anything wrong with the fact that he has voted to overturn the Affordable Care Act four times, in spite of the fact that it enables him to keep his 23-year-old daughter on his Congressional health plan. Brown told The Boston Globe that his daughter Ayla’s use of the coverage is in no way inconsistent with his criticism of the ACA, which most Republicans call “Obamacare.” — Scott Brown opposes ‘Obamacare’ policy that covers his daughter

LINDSEY GRAHAM helps a nuclear plant get permits, is rewarded with cash — The $13-billion Cayce, SC-based energy company has long wanted a permit to build two new nuclear reactors at its Jenkinsville, SC, facilities. Graham, one of the Senate’s strongest supporters of nuclear power, actively backed their efforts. [...] In February, the U.S. Nuclear Research Commission voted to approve the country’s first nuclear reactor construction permits in more than 30 years. [...] On March 31, much to Graham’s delight, SCANA received its Jenkinsville permits. [...] Two weeks later, when Graham’s “Team Graham” Senate campaign committee filed its quarterly lobbying disclosure form, just one name appeared. SCANA Corporation, the committee revealed, had given the Graham $54,575 in bundled campaign contributions between January 1 and March 31 — raising money for him as he worked to secure their $10 billion project. — Think Progress

ISSUES PEOPLE ‘CARE ABOUT’ — Steve Benen has some followup questions for Romney with regard to his statement yesterday: “Of course, I would have taken out Osama bin Laden, but what’s the right course for the economy? What should we do with taxes? What should we do with regulation? What should we do with trade overseas? What should we do with our energy policy? How about our labor policy? These are important issues people care about.”

  • * When you say you’re focused on “important issues people care about,” why do you exclude counter-terrorism? Do you believe targeting the al Qaeda leader behind 9/11 is an unimportant issue people don’t care about?
  • * When you said four years ago that an Obama victory would be “a surrender to terror,” do you still think that was a sensible argument?
  • * When you say “of course” you would have launched the raid on bin Laden, do you realize that completely contradicts your campaign promises from four years ago? And do you understand the complexities and enormous risks of the decision itself?
  • * When you decided to visit New York firefighters today with Rudy Giuliani, are we to think this wasn’t a political move associated with the one-year anniversary of killing bin Laden?
  • * Republicans politicized the fear of terrorism in several recent election cycles. Why didn’t you complain then? And do you recognize a qualitative difference between politicizing fear and politicizing a victory?

MITT ROMNEY AND RUDY GIULIANI carried pizza a whole two feet for their firehouse photo op, then unloaded the pizza onto an aide — The presumptive GOP presidential nominee and his former critic emerged from a black SUV bearing gifts for some of New York’s bravest: six boxes of fresh pizza, which Romney and Giuliani personally lugged into the firehouse as a gaggle of photographers, cordoned off at a safe distance, snapped away. Moments later, the photo op complete and the press pool (mostly!) out of sight, Romney and Giuliani unloaded all six pizzas into the arms of an aide. — Daily Intel

FYI: MITT ROMNEY has always been a dick – Back in 2004, President Bush ran a smear campaign against challenger Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) which undermined his service in Vietnam and questioned Kerry’s ability and determination to protect the United States — just three years removed from the 9/11 attacks — from another terror strike. “If we make the wrong choice, then the danger is that we’ll get hit again,” then Vice President Dick Cheney said at the time. And while Romney complains about Obama’s alleged “politicization” now, he willfully participated in the Bush-Cheney smear campaign on Kerry in 2004. During an August 9, 2004 (accessed via Lexis/Nexis) interview on Fox News, Romney suggested that Kerry would “twiddle his thumbs” when dealing with terrorism and in September 2004, also on Fox News, Romney said Kerry is too much of a flip-flopper to protect the country. — Think Progress

WHAT DO SANTORUM AND GINGRICH want before they officially endorse Mitt?

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

MARKING TWO ANNIVERSAIRES yesterday — 2003 and 2011: 

“As we emerge from a decade of conflict abroad and economic crisis at home, it’s time to renew America,” Obama said at 4 a.m. local time, the first time a sitting U.S. president has addressed the nation from inside an active war zone. “This time of war began in Afghanistan, and this is where it will end.” [...] Shortly after arriving unannounced at the military base near Kabul, Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement that memorializes the relationship between the two nations for the 10-year period following the draw down of combat troops by the end of 2014. At that time, Obama said the U.S. will assume a “support” role and deliver aid to the struggling nation that will become responsible for its own security. “The agreement we signed today sends a clear message to the Afghan people: as you stand up, you will not stand alone,” Obama said. And in a statement after the meeting, Karzai stated, “By signing this document, we close the last 10 years and open a new season of equal relations.” — Obama in Afghanistan: This is Where the War Will End

IT ALL STARTED right after Team Obama debuted their new campaign’s slogan: “Forward—the long-awaited sequel to 2008’s “Hope and Change.” And in those seven letters, members of the conservative commentariat detected a whiff of totalitarianism. On Tuesday, ThinkProgress editor Alex Seitz-Wald threw together a primer on the bizarre, petty, and not entirely unexpected freak-out. For example, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard criticized the president for having signed off on a word so closely linked to Chairman Mao’s mass-murder-tastic Great Leap Forward. (“[P]erhaps President Obama might rethink this slightly creepy slogan,” Kristol pondered earnestly.) Breitbart.com’s Joel Pollak (this guy) wrote about how the seven-letter slogan is further proof that Obama’s political heritage belongs to a long line of Communist tyrants. Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit took Forwardgate as his cue to yet again draw the Obama-Hitler connection. — Hitler, Obama Both Fond of Slogans

  • AND PEOPLE WONDER why our public discourse is so stunted — there’s more: National Review‘s The Corner: “I knew that sounded awfully familiar. From Wikipedia: Vorwarts (“Forward”) was the central organ of the Social Democratic Party of Germany published daily in Berlin from 1891 to 1933.” Daily Mail: “Mao, Lenin and a century of Marxist radicals: The controversial origins of Obama’s new campaign slogan ‘Forward'” The Washington Times: “New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism” — Moving ‘forward,’ into a red scare
  • WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION — Was Richard M. Nixon a closet Marxist? “Forward Together” 

NOTE: THOUGH THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN voluntarily chooses to disclose all of its fundraising bundlers, the Romney campaign has decided to keep bundlers’ names secret.

Tuesday morning’s 6 questionably interesting things

1) YOUR 21ST CENTURY REPUBLICAN PARTY:

  • Lindsey Graham on Afghanistan Civilian Massacre: ‘These Things Happen’ – “No, I believe, one, this is tragic and will be investigated, and that soldier will be held accountable for his actions under the military justice system. Unfortunately, these things happen in war. You had an Israeli soldier kill worshippers by the Dome of the Rock mosque. You just have to push through these things.” Yeah, I’m sure if an Afghan national walked into a shopping mall and slaughtered 16 Americans — including 9 children — Graham’s response would be, “Well, sh*t happens. Onward.”
  • Mississippi and Alabama: is this where brain cells go to die? – In Mississippi only 12% of voters think Obama’s a Christian to 52% who think he’s a Muslim and 36% who are not sure. In Alabama just 14% think Obama’s a Christian to 45% who think he’s a Muslim and 41% who aren’t sure. [...] In Mississippi …only 54% of voters think [interracial marriage] should be legal, while 29% believe it should be illegal. [...] Finally there’s considerable skepticism about evolution among GOP voters in both Alabama and Mississippi. In Alabama only 26% of voters believe in it, while 60% do not. In Mississippi just 22% believe in it, while 66% do not.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher correspondent, Alexandra Pelosi interviews Mississippi residents.
  • Why the former half-term governor matters – In a new video released by the Obama team, viewers are reminded of comments Palin made on the air last week. If you missed the clip, Palin’s scathing criticism of the president was blisteringly stupid, even for her, with the argument that the president is “bringing us back … to days before the Civil War.” Yes, Palin seriously expected Fox News viewers to believe the nation’s first African-American president wants to roll back the clock 150 years, to the days when slavery was legal. [...] I wouldn’t be too surprised if Republican leaders and the Romney campaign ask Palin to take a much lower profile in the coming months. Whether Palin honors the request is another matter. WATCH:


2) MITT ROMNEY

  • Romney will not enroll in Medicare – According to BuzzFeed, Romney, who has advocated for the wealthiest Americans to take lower public insurance benefits, announced through his campaign that he would not be apart of the entitlement program. The former Massachusetts governor and his team have repeatedly stated inaccurate information on Medicare throughout the course of the campaign, including claiming Medicare is going “bankrupt” and accusing President Obama of cutting benefits for seniors through the Affordable Care Act. Romney wants to raise the Medicare’s eligibility age up from 65 by one month per year and eventually tie the age to life expectancy.
  • Mitt Romney May Not Need Medicare, But Seniors Do

  • Romney Rules Out Santorum as Veep – Mitt Romney told Fox News that he would not pick Rick Santorum as his running mate because he’s not conservative enough. Said Romney: “Well, that would preclude, of course, Rick Santorum. Because, I mean, look at his record. I find it interesting that he continues to describe himself as the real conservative. This is the guy who voted against right-to-work. This is the guy who voted to fund Planned Parenthood. This is the person who voted to raise the debt ceiling five times? … Rick Santorum is not a person who is an economic conservative to my right.” [image: phroyd]

3) RICK SANTORUM:

  • Santorum’s war on teleprompters – “See, I always believed that when you run for president of the United States, it should be illegal to read off a teleprompter. Because all you’re doing is reading someone else’s words to people. You’re voting for someone who is going to be the leader of our government. It’s important for you to understand who that person is in their own words, see them, look them in the eye…hear what’s (in their) heart. You’re choosing a leader. A leader isn’t just about what’s written on a piece of paper.” || [MB]: Video of Rick Santorum using a teleprompter last month. [TP]: Santorum’s campaign, like those of almost every other politician, employs speechwriters to help draft his public remarks. So he is likely often “reading someone else’s words.”
  • Santorum co-chair: Romney should ‘renounce his racist Mormon religion’ – At a press conference on Monday, Rev. O’Neal Dozier, who is an honorary chairman of Santorum’s Florida campaign, said that he was speaking out to “foster and maintain good race relations here in America.” “The Mormon religion is prejudiced against blacks, Jews and native Americans,” Dozier insisted, adding that Romney’s nomination would widen the racial divide because “the Republican Party would be viewed as a racist political party.” “Romney’s nomination would cause the erroneous view that has long existed in the minds of black people that the Republican Party is prejudiced to become a reality. Why? Because Romney will become the face and the leader of the Republican Party.”
  • Santorum: Endangered Species Act puts ‘critters above people’ – “I know that from personal experience in Pennsylvania, and look at the Central Valley of California. There are so many places that we put critters above people. It’s a radical ideology that says we are here to serve the Earth instead of man having dominion over the Earth to serve him and to be a good steward of that Earth. …I accept the fact that the president’s a Christian. I just said when you have world view that elevates the Earth above man and says that we can’t take those resources because we’re going to harm the Earth like things that are not scientifically proven like the politicization of the whole global warming debate.”
  • “The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” says Rick Santorum.

4) F&%KING RUSH LIMBAUGH

  • exodusWhat hath Rush wrought? – Limbaugh has become so toxic, major advertisers want to avoid him and other shock jocks who might be as offensive as he is. As John Avlon noted over the weekend, “Rush Limbaugh made the right-wing talk-radio industry, and he just might break it.” [T]he irony is that the same market forces that right-wing talk-radio hosts champion are helping to seal their fate. Advertisers are abandoning the shows because they no longer want to be associated with the hyperpartisan — and occasionally hateful — rhetoric. They are finally drawing a line because consumers are starting to take a stand. [...] When big money starts shifting, it is a sign of a deeper tide that is difficult to undo, even if you are an industry icon like Rush Limbaugh. It is a sign that the times are changing. The free market at work.
  • Corporate America Turns Its Back On Rush Limbaugh – Watching advertisers flee Limbaugh at an alarming rate last week, Beck must have felt a sense of déjà vu regarding the cavalcade of television sponsors who abandoned him after he insulted the president as a “racist.” (Not to mention a socialist -Marxist -Nazi.) It was an advertising exodus that eventually cost Beck his job at Fox News. Like Beck before him, Limbaugh has announced the mass migration is no big deal. Yet like Beck before him, Limbaugh last week learned the overdue lesson that there are real-world consequences for trafficking in hate speech. The talk titan learned there are free-market penalties, such as when companies like Carbonite and AOL walked away from their existing ad commitment to Limbaugh’s show. [...] Imagine how painful the sting must feel for Limbaugh who practically worships at the alter of big business, to know corporate America, via the beloved free marketplace, has spoken so loudly and so clearly about Limbaugh’s creepy, misogynistic taunts of Sandra Fluke.



  • BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh Syndicator Suspends National Ads For Two Weeks – Radio-Info.com reports that Premiere Networks, which syndicates the Rush Limbaugh show, told its affiliate radio stations that they are suspending national advertising for two weeks. Rush Limbaugh is normally provided to affiliates in exchange for running several minutes of national advertisements provided by Premiere each hour. These ads called “barter spots.” These spots are how Premiere makes its money off of Rush Limbaugh and other shows it syndicates. But without explanation, Premiere has supended these national advertisements for two weeks. Radio-Info.com calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.

5) WOMEN:

  • N.C. County Kills Family-Planning Funds – The commissioners didn’t think it was right to use taxpayer money to pay for women who want to have sex for non-procreative purposes. From the Star-News: Chairman Ted Davis said he thought it was a sad day when “taxpayers are asked to pay money for contraceptives” for women having sex without planning responsibly. “If these young women are being responsible and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t have this problem to begin with,” Davis said. The New Hanover County decision comes amid a growing debate about contraception and family planning in North Carolina and nationally. Last year, North Carolina’s Republican-led legislature became one of a handful to try and ban state funding for Planned Parenthood.
  • Democrats leading GOP by 25 points among women – A Washington Post survey released Monday found that Democrats are perceived as caring more about issues that are important to women by 25 points, 55 percent to 30 percent. The poll also showed that a large majority of all voters support the idea that businesses should be required to cover the “full cost” of contraception for female employees. Among all voters, 61 percent supported a mandate for birth control coverage, while 35 percent did not. Of those who said contraception should be included in insurance coverage at no cost, 79 percent agreed that religious institutions should not be exempted from the mandate. Overall, 3 percent more voters sided with Obama administration’s policy requiring religious institutions to include birth control in their insurance plans than those who did not. As MSNBC’s Steve Benen noted, 53 percent of voters were women in 2008.

6) MISC

  • South Korean and Russian scientists join to clone woolly mammoth – The South Korean foundation said it would transfer technology to the Russian university, which has already been involved in joint research with Japanese scientists to bring a mammoth back to life. “The first and hardest mission is to restore mammoth cells,” another Sooam researcher, Hwang In-Sung, told AFP. His colleagues would join Russian scientists in trying to find well-preserved tissue with an undamaged gene. By replacing the nuclei of egg cells from an elephant with those taken from the mammoth’s somatic cells, embryos with mammoth DNA could be produced and planted into elephant wombs for delivery, he said. Sooam will use an Indian elephant for its somatic cell nucleus transfer. The somatic cells are body cells, such as those of internal organs, skin, bones and blood. “This will be a really tough job, but we believe it is possible because our institute is good at cloning animals,” Hwang In-Sung said.
  • The Winter That Wasn’t, Part II – This year’s non-winter means an early explosion in bug infestations such as ants, termites, and Lyme disease carrying ticks. But worse than that, it may have wreaked havoc upon the honeybees.
  • CDC Seasonal Flu update – Nine states reported widespread influenza activity (an increase from six states last week). Regional influenza activity was reported by 21 states (an increase from 18 states last week). Twelve states reported local influenza activity (a decrease from 13 states last week). Eight states (a decrease from 12 states last week), the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico reported sporadic influenza activity. The U.S. Virgin Islands reported no influenza activity.