Bill Maher: Ronald Reagan was the Original Teabagger

I happened to catch Bill Maher’s incredibly wonderful evisceration of Ronald Reagan on Friday night and was thrilled to have found video and transcript of it online. I’m sharing it here in case you missed it.

Transcript via BruinKid at DailyKos:

“…And finally, New Rule: when Bob Dole, a guy so Republican his adult diaper has a flagpin (audience groaning laughter), when he says his party has become a bunch of idea-free ideologues who obstruct too much, people should listen.  But they should also question his other statement that Ronald Reagan himself couldn’t have made it today as a Republican.

This has become a kind of conventional wisdom, that the Republican Party has gone so far right, Reagan himself wouldn’t fit in.  But I’m here tonight to call bullshit on that.  Ronald Reagan was an anti-government, union-busting, race-baiting, anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-intellectual, who cut rich people’s taxes in half, had an incurable case for the military-industrial complex, and said Medicare was socialism that would destroy our freedom.  Sounds to me like he would fit in just fine.  (audience applause)

Now, I know over at Fox News right now, they’re already putting out a fatwa on me, for committing the cardinal sin of taking in vain the sacred name of Ronald Reagan.  It’s a name like Jesus Christ — you can say it, but only in a good way.  Like, “Jesus Christ, bless this chili dog.”  Not like, “Jesus Christ, look at the ass on Rihanna!”  No, can’t do that.

But what they cannot contest is that even though Reagan did a few things today’s GOP would not like, he wrote the playbook for them on every issue of consequence.  Sure, he raised taxes a few times, but when you look at where he started with taxes and where he ended, this is where our income inequality problems began.  Heinvented voodoo economics.

On race, his ideas couldn’t have been more Tea Party if he shouted them from a rascal scooter.  He ran on states’ rights.  He invented the notion that black people get all the breaks, constantly telling the story of the Chicago woman — wink, wink — who has “80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards”, and her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.  And that woman today is RuPaul.  Actually, that woman never existed.  Reagan just made shit up, something else he pioneered for his party of today. (audience applause)

He described the New Deal as “fascism”, Medicaid recipients as “waiting for handouts”, unemployment insurance as “pre-paid vacation for freeloaders”, and once said, “a tree’s a tree, how many more do you need to look at?”  He was the original official pitchman for batshit.  When they hold up signs that say “no socialized medicine”, where do you think they got it from?  We got it from you, dad, we got it from you.

RONALD REAGAN: If you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it once was like in American when men were free.

Drama queen much?  (audience laughter)

Worst of all, Reagan inspired a whole generation of people who hate government to get into government.  Both sides really should stop pretending he was something other than the man most responsible for our decline.  (wild audience cheering and applause)  And I do mean both sides.

You know, I get why Republicans worship Reagan, they’re the religious party.  Worship is in their DNA.  They can’t help it.  They love him beyond logic.  Last year, they tried to elect his haircut.

(audience laughter)

They want him on a stamp so they can lick his backside.  (audience groaning laughter)

But why are Democrats conceding the argument on Reagan?  Obama talks about him like he’s a brother from another mother!  “He changed the trajectory of America.”  Yes, but not for the better!  When you mainstream Reagan, the far-right becomes the new middle.

He wasn’t a friend to all Americans.  He was Patient Zero for everything you’re fighting against now.  He was the original teabagger.  Stop agreeing he was a saint.

Especially when his two miracles were turning water into polluted water and walking on the poor.”

CPAC2013: Keep F*cking That Chicken

On Bill Maher’s New Rules segment this week, he talked about a “relatively small group of very shrill people [who are] devoted to — and succeeding at — convincing us that this is a much more conservative and religious nation than it is.”

Maher goes on to explain that CPAC is merely an extension of such devotion:

Maher discusses his term Shit Kicker Inflation “the phenomenon of all things conservative being portrayed as way bigger than they really are” with the following examples:

  • ONE MILLION MOMS: the number of followers that One Million Moms has on Twitter: 2,258. 
  • THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: just as there aren’t a million moms in One Million Moms, there is no “league” in The Catholic League. It’s one guy with a fax machine.
  • OBAMACARE: as an idea, it’s unpopular. But ask voters about the elements in it, they’re all very popular. It’s like saying “I hate pizza! I love tomato sauce and melted cheese on dough, but pizza? I hate that shit.”
  • GUNS: gun ownership is actually DOWN in this country… way down. And yet the NRA, with just 4 million members, has a stranglehold on the gun policies in a nation of 300 million.
  • CPAC2013: Among the featured speakers at CPAC this year include Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Wayne LaPierre, Donald Trump, and Sarah Palin… a virtual who’s who of what the fuck.

Here are some highlights from a few of CPAC’s featured who’s who of WTF:

Sarah Palin: “We’re not here to rebrand a party [but to] put on a fresh coat of rhetorical paint.” Then she said: “More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should’ve started with yours.” Fresh birther paint!

Next, she dazzled the audience with a boob joke followed by heroically (according to crowd reaction?) drinking from a Big Gulp. Wolverines!

“Outside the ballroom afterward, CPAC attendees raved about the stunt. “Hilarious.” “I thought that was awesome.” “I loved that.” One woman I spoke to said the moment “just really symbolized American freedom.” A man named Tomas told me that Palin holding up the Big Gulp “gave a new look to the Statue of Liberty.” Whether or not anyone, including Palin, realized that Mayor Bloomberg’s soda restrictions wouldn’t even have affected Big Gulps is not clear.” — Dan Amira


Donald Trump: “Behold, the scene at Donald Trump’s CPAC speech this morning in the main ballroom. Empty seats were everywhere, although it’s not entirely Trump’s fault. He was given an 8:45 a.m. speaking slot, the very first of the day. Many CPAC attendees aren’t even out of bed yet. Still, Trump was invited not because of his conservative bona fides (he’s donated more money over the years to Democrats than to Republicans), but because he’s supposedly a crowd-pleasing draw.”



These empty seats are Totally False.

Photos via ‘flunky’ Dan Amira

Mitt Romney: “‘It’s up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes — and my mistakes,’ Romney told the crowd Friday. [...] Romney’s re-emergence at CPAC comes after months spent almost entirely out of public view. People close to him say he consumes large volumes of news every day on his iPad and on Fox News. He stews as he reads the coverage of the various budget showdowns in Congress, frustrated that the president has pursued what he sees as an aggressively liberal agenda that won’t solve the country’s economic problems.”

So to Mitt Romney, “learning from his mistakes” includes continuing to bravely watch Fox and continuing to bravely label the President’s insistence on a balanced approach to deficit reduction (spending cuts alongside closing loopholes and subsidies for the wealthy) an “aggressively liberal agenda.” Sure. Apparently the only mistakes Mitt made with his CPAC speech were omitting some birther jokes and not drinking from a Big Gulp.

Let’s be honest: the theme “America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives” really doesn’t describe CPAC. This annual gathering of wingnuts could be more efficiently labeled “Keep F*cking That Chicken.”

Related: Keep F*cking That Chicken

God Save Us from the next generation of conservatives.

Bill Maher explains Donald Trump’s $5 million lawsuit against him (and #Apers)

Huffington Post: Donald Trump is suing Bill Maher for $5 million in charity donations after “proving” his biological father is not, as Maher joked on “The Tonight Show,” an orange-haired orangutan.

PoliticoTrump’s attorney Scott S. Balber released a letter following Maher’s comments and attached a copy of Trump’s birth certificate. “Attached hereto is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan,” Balber wrote in the letter.

Seriously! And the best part? Trump released a short-form birth certificate!

Maher explains,

“Let me catch you up on how all this got started. During the last week of the presidential campaign last year, Donald Trump – who previously had been a one-issue candidate obsessed with Obama’s birth certificate – announced that he would give $5 million to charity if Obama produced his college records. Because a black guy getting into college? Something fishy there.

So playing on the fact that the only other thing in nature with the same color hair as Trump’s is the orange-haired orangutan, I joked that Donald Trump needed to show HIS papers to prove HE wasn’t hiding a bad secret about HIS birth. This is known as parody. And it’s a form of something we in the comedy business call a joke.

Naturally I also aped, if you will, Trump’s offer of a charity of HIS choosing… which I identified as The Hair Club for Men. Really? We’re going to court about this? Well, this upset The Donald so much that they could barely get him to stop flinging his feces…

[...] You know, I’ll tell you something: the legal system in this country, it’s not a joke. It’s not a toy for rich idiots to play with. And, frankly, Mr. Balber, what you released raises more questions than it answers. At least it does to a growing chorus of patriotic Americans who call ourselves ‘Apers’ …”

Watch the whole thing. Hilarious.

The Donald flinging his feces:

Feb. 4:

Yesterday (Feb. 9):

SNL and Bill Maher on The Undecided Voter

We’re all pretty tired of it…

“There’s still a lot we don’t know. And we want answers.”


Bill Maher also tackled undecided voters on Friday night — AND the media who celebrates them:

Huffington Post: With less than two months until the election, Maher advises those who still don’t know who they’re voting for to “stay home” on Nov. 6, because they probably won’t be able to find their polling places. He doesn’t understand why undecideds such as “Octomom” Nadya Suleman are being celebrated or painted as more discerning than the rest of us when Barack Obama and Mitt Romney couldn’t be more different.

“And that, in a nutshell, is America’s celebrated, undecided voter: put on a pedestal by the media as if they were Hamlet in a think-tank, searching out every last bit of information, high-minded arbiters pouring over policy positions and matching them against their own philosophies. Please, they mostly fall into a category political scientists call ‘low information voters,’ otherwise known as ‘dipsh*ts.'”

Bill Maher: “I think this is the week Mitt Romney lost the election.”

Raw Story reports on an exchange between John Feehery and Chris Hayes that I thought was significant regarding reality and Republican talking points:

“Obama just looked cool and smart,” Maher recalled. “And, again, Obama just looks cooler and smarter, ’cause he is.”

One of Maher’s panelists, Republican strategist John Feehery, suggested that “things are just getting started” in this election cycle, since there haven’t been any debates between Romney and President Barack Obama yet, and Obama has yet to poll above 40 percent with voters in “key states,” though he did not mention which ones.

But when Feehery described this week’s outbreak of violence in the Middle East, including the killing of the U.S. envoy to Libya as “all hell breaking loose,” MSNBC host Chris Hayes interjected.

“All hell breaking loose in the Middle East are 4,800 dead Americans in Iraq, and 500,000 Iraqi civilians dead,” Hayes responded. “That is what all hell in the Middle East breaking loose is.”

Watch video

Bill Maher: the problem with racism is Matt Drudge

Raw Story: Matt Drudge is, of course, the internet-famous, race-obsessed recluse who has been called “America’s assignment editor” by Politico and the CNN’s Howard Kurtz. For a time in the late 90′s and early part of this century, Drudge’s blog, The Drudge Report was the place to get breaking news ahead of the news networks and newspapers.

Drudge’s relevance has declined steeply in recent years and Maher gave us a quick demonstration as to why. A quick tour of some recent cover photos from Drudge’s website revealed “Mike Tyson, looking like he’s going to eat your head,” said Maher, “Oh, yes, Louis Farrakhan, because he’s so relevant now. Oh and Marion Barry, he’s in the news every day also.” It was a depressing parade of glowering, angry-looking African American men, who Drudge appears to feel are the greatest threat facing our society.

The point Maher made is that ultimately, this is the only way a lot of conservatives are capable of seeing the president, and it’s at the root of the blatant disrespect some of them have shown him since he took office. From South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson (R), who shouted “You lie!” at Obama during his first State of the Union address to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) pointing her finger in his face on an airport tarmac to yesterday’s incident wherein a staff member from Tucker Carlson’s blog “The Daily Caller” heckled the president during a Rose Garden signing ceremony, conservatives apparently only respect authority when it’s being wielded by white people.

MAHER TO ROMNEY: Giving to your ‘ridiculous church’ doesn’t count as charity

Love him or hate him, Bill makes some good points about this question: what constitutes a charity and especially a tax-deductible charity:

Maher on Romney's charitable givingMAHER TO ROMNEY: Giving to your ‘ridiculous church’ doesn’t count as charity

Maher asserted that the real problem here, however, is that when Romney’s money goes into what Maher first calls his “cult,” then softens to “ridiculous church,” taxpayers have to make up the shortfall. Charitable deductions, he said, take more than 60 billion dollars a year out of the public coffer, money that has to come from other programs and services.

“So it is fair,” he said, “to ask what constitues a charity.”

Morning Bunker Report: Sunday 4.29.2012


BIPARTISANSHIP WAS NEVER AN OPTION: GOP’s Anti-Obama Campaign Started Night Of Inauguration — As President Barack Obama was celebrating his inauguration at various balls, top Republican lawmakers and strategists were conjuring up ways to submarine his presidency at a private dinner in Washington. [...] The dinner lasted nearly four hours. They parted company almost giddily… Sam Stein

THE LATEST REPUBLICAN PLAN to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor and Americans still reeling from the recession. Although spending levels for the budget were set in the Budget Control Act passed last summer in the deal to raise the nation’s debt limit, Republicans are pushing ahead with another plan that cuts more while trying to prevent the beginning of $600 billion in cuts over 10 years to the growth of the defense budget. — Food Stamps In Crosshairs Of Republicans’ Plan To Save Military

HOUSE REPUBLICANS this week said they would agree to keep student loan interest rates at their current level, but only if they’re allowed to gut spending on preventive health care to finance the costs. The White House balked, but the GOP didn’t care — today, the Republican bill passed, 215 to 195, largely along party lines. Several Democratic lawmakers noted the impact the GOP health care cuts would have on women’s health, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who’s apparently grown a little sensitive to talk about the Republican “war on women,” threw a bit of a tantrum on the House floor during the legislative debate.  I can appreciate why Boehner doesn’t want to talk about the negative impact Republican policies are having on women, but I’d remind the Speaker that the quickest way to change the conversation is for Republicans to stop pursuing policies that have a negative impact on women. In this case, rather than simply helping students because it would be good for them and the economy, Boehner’s caucus decided to play a cheap little game — they’ll keep interest rates low only if they take funding from the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which has nothing to do with student loans. — Maddow Blog

BUT RAISING TAXES ON, SAY, THE OIL AND GAS INDUSTRIES or closing loopholes or subsidies would never be a Republican option to pay for anything — According to the White HouseEliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have a devastating effect on women’s health and our work to prevent disease and illness. Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would mean:

  • Hundreds of thousands of women could lose access to vital cancer screenings. Prevention Fund resources are expected to help more than 300,000 women be screened for breast cancer in 2013 and more than 280,000 be screened for cervical cancer.
  • Programs that help to prevent congenital heart defects, prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, and promote early identification and intervention efforts for children with developmental delays and disabilities could be eliminated.
  • Tens of thousands children could lose access to immunizations.

MITT ROMNEY’S NEW “I’m rubber, you’re glue” campaign — “We will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the very taxpayers they serve,” the former Massachusetts governor said. “And we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.”  I doubt this will convince anyone other than true believers, but that’s not the point; the idea is to muddy the waters when it comes to coverage of Romney’s message. By attacking Obama on “fairness,” Romney can force the press to bring a horse race dynamic to the opposing claims—“Mr. Obama says that it’s unfair for multi-millionaires to pay a lower tax rate than middle-class families, but Mr. Romney says that what’s really unfair is the burden of debt.” The issues aren’t actually sorted out, and Romney walks away with minimal scrutiny. As an aside, I will say that there is some truth to Romney’s claim. Tax cuts for the wealthy are a major driver of short-term debt, and if we keep rates low on high-income earners—as Romney proposes—we will pass a tremendous amount of debt to future taxpayers. Rather than use federal dollars for education, infrastructure, or research, we will give it to the wealthiest Americans, and leave the next generation to deal with the consequences of high debt and a deteriorating society. That’s unfair. — American Prospect

THE M-I-DOUBLE TIZZLE is still complaining about the president “slow jamming” the news with Jimmy Fallon. — CBS News

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

REAL TIME WITH BILL MAHER New Rules: April 27, 2012  — Maher’s final ‘new rule’ starts out with discussing what the media chooses to report about such things as the Secret Service scandal (as opposed to why Obama was in Columbia), or John Edwards and why he has a favorability rating of just 3% — and it’s NOT because he’s been accused of a campaign finance violation (it’s because of the sex scandal). Maher says, “Thanks to the Supreme Court, last week Mitt Romney’s super PAC was able to get a $10 million anonymous donation. For all we know, it came from Vladmir Putin, or Mel Gibson, or Kim dot com. The Supreme Court did a lot more to corrupt campaign finance than John Edwards. Why do we punish sex so much more than everything else? Clinton lied about a blow job, got impeached. Bush lied about a war, didn’t…” Watch the rest:

YES WE CAN laugh at ourselves…   President Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner 4.28.2012:
Source: sandandglass

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA told a group of women on Friday that he has been their fiercest advocate and warned that Mitt Romney’s positions on women’s issues represent a step back in time. “The choice between going backward or moving forward has never been so clear,” Obama told several hundred women at the National Issues Conference, a big-ticket annual fundraiser that’s been hosted by the Democratic National Committee for nearly two decades. And as long as I’m president, we are going to keep moving forward. You can count on that. You don’t have to take my word on it – you’ve got my signature on it,” he said, referring to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, before adding a jab at the Romney campaign, which expressed uncertainty recently about whether the candidate supported the law. “Because something like standing up for the principle of equal pay for equal work isn’t something I’ve got to ‘get back to you on’ – it’s the first law I signed.” — POLITICO

  • AND A TYPICALLY ILLITERATE RESPONSE from the world’s dumbest wingnut blogger: The Gateway Pundit: Race war, war on the rich, war on women, now this…Barack Obama Declared War on the Catholic Church and US Christians today. In Obama’s world, free birth control is a natural human right and should be supplied by the state. But he’s not a socialist?LGF

(Video) Bill Maher: The GOP is at war with Common Sense — Real Time 4.20.2012

“Not having diabetes is a liberal plot? If you can see your shoes you hate America?”

Maher: “I think if the Democrats came out against eating yellow snow, Rick Perry would eat yellow snow.”

On the environment:

When Richard Nixon, yeah! created the EPA, both parties agreed that rivers shouldn’t catch on fire and the air shouldn’t make pigeons cough. But then Al Gore embraced it and now, when the EPA wants to reduce the level of arsenic in drinking water, you half expect to see Mitch McConnell making appearances with Archie the Arsenic Molecule.

You don’t have to make everything political. That’s like making all your decisions on what Jesus would do. Paper or plastic? Sometimes Jesus just doesn’t give a shit…

Tuesday morning’s 6 questionably interesting things


  • 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:


  • 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]


  • 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.


  • 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 – 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. calls the move “unusual.” The development suggests that Rush Limbaugh’s incessant sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke have caused severe damage to the show.


  • 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.


  • 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.

Christ-y-McSweater-vest* is full of shit

“Here’s a guy with a bachelor’s degree, an MBA, and a JD accusing Barack Obama of being a ‘snob’ because he wants people to go to college. I mean that is almost the definition of full of shit.”  — New York Magazine’s JOHN HEILEMANN, about Rick Santorum, on Real Time (via inothernews)

*Bill Maher!


Video: Bill Maher on Republicans’ offensive treatment of President Obama (2/17/12 New Rules)

Bill Maher (partial transcript via: DailyKos):

But there’s something about this President that makes conservatives think it’s OK to go apeshit in his presence.  They didn’t do this to Carter, an actual pacifist, or Clinton, who really did have a plan for universal health care, or LBJ, who actually made it easier for poor people to vote and eat.  All of them clearly evil America-haters.

But they got treated with a modicum of respect, at least to their faces.  Not Obama.  What can it be that’s different about him?  (ponders for a moment to uncomfortable audience laughter)

It’s either his race, or it’s your brain chemistry, or it’s something that happened when your dad spanked you and you liked it and you were looking at a box of Cream of Wheat.  I don’t know, I’m not a therapist.  Maybe it’s not race.  I don’t know what’s in people’s hearts.  Except Newt Gingrich, I know what’s in his heart: lust and cheese fries.

But this type of in-the-room, in-your-face, in-your-space disrespect is new.  Admit that, and I will admit that, of course, something like impeaching Clinton was far more serious.  But it was also at least in some ways more respectful.  It was done with high pomp, through official channels, and was all about the rule of law, and the Chief Justice wore a special robe he got from a musical or something.

And somehow that is a lot more respectful than this.

Sunday morning’s 10 interesting things

1)  “In the debate the other day, Mitt Romney (made) the claim that he never did business with the government, which is absolutely false,” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “In fact, Mitt Romney served on the board and personally pocketed $500,000 from the Damon Corp., a company that was fraudulently bilking Medicare out of millions of dollars.” — Gingrich, Democrats criticize Romney links to Medicare fraud

2) “Can I give you the facts?” Maher asked Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). “So far every budget Obama has had has increased military spending,” he said. “This year they’re asking a reduction from $531 billion to $525 billion, 1.6 percent. You mean our freedom is in trouble because of that 1.6 percent?” Maher later added, “How paranoid do you have to be to say that this guy is gutting our military?” — Real Time Panel Embarrasses Dana Rohrabacher After He Claims Obama Wants ‘To Gut The Military’ Watch the clip:

3) A number of trends are coinciding to make U.S. manufacturing increasingly competitive globally. Wages and benefits are growing rapidly in China—as Obama noted in his speech—at the same time that U.S. manufacturing wages are falling. The risks of operating a supply chain that stretches halfway around the world are growing: rising transportation costs, the threat of import duties, less product flexibility, slower time to market, intellectual property theft, and product safety/reputation risks are growing concerns when moving manufacturing offshore. All of these factors are translating into making U.S. manufacturing more appealing. — Picking up the $500 Billion Bill on The Ground: Driving the Next Industrial Revolution Through Efficiency

4) “If they do this for real, if they do this like a real, Enron-style investigation, you know, you could have half the luminaries on Wall Street doing prison time. I believe that they have gotten the political message that is what people want. The question is, ‘Will they really follow through? ‘Will it be a cosmetic investigation or will it be a real cleaning of the markets?’ But I think that they might. There’s a slight possibility that they’ve really gotten the message.”Matt Taibbi: Obama might have gotten the ’99 percent’ message

5) Numerous sources have reported on the rash of suicides and threatened suicides by workers protesting working conditions at the factories that supply Apple. The company contends it has to use Chinese labor because Americans don’t have the skills to get the job done. [...] Apple executives have also belittled the idea that they have any community responsibility, with an executive saying: “We [Apple] don’t have an obligation to solve America’s problems.” The reality, of course, is that the reason Apple doesn’t care about American workers and exploits Chinese workers is profit, of which the company has excelled at making in recent years. Profits on the backs of exploited Chinese workers and disappearing American jobs. — Apple CEO Defends Against Reports of Poor Work Conditions in Company’s Factories

6) “I wikipedia’ed the guy. Instantly, I discovered the problem: he liked black people. Way back in the 30s, he started organizing the civil rights movement. And as a historian like Newt Gingrich would tell you, the civil rights movement turned out to be a huge burden on white people.” — Maher: ‘Who the f–k is Saul Alinsky?’ 

7) Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you’re in Romney territory. — How rich is Mitt Romney? 

8) Both Tom Brokaw and NBC are objecting to the following ad, and asking Romney’s campaign to take it down. —  NBC, Tom Brokaw ask Romney to take down ad made with news footage Watch: 

9) Mitt Romney may be on his way to a decisive victory in the Florida GOP primary Tuesday, according to a new NBC/Marist poll. Romney leads Newt Gingrich by 15 points, 42 percent to 27 percent in the crucial state. Rick Santorum is third with 16 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 11 percent. Just 4 percent said they were undecided. — NBC/Marist poll: Romney up 15 over Gingrich in Florida

10) The Republican primary campaign has become so clownish that Newt Gingrich, the most inside-Washington candidate in the field, is the grassroots tea party favorite. And why? It’s my theory that it’s less about any sort of perceived conservatism and more about a process of elimination. They’re settling with that guy because no one else on their list worked out — oh, and he can throw red meat bombs. That’s important. The tea party is all about throwing crazy at the president with as much volume as possible. — Gingrich is the Tea Party Candidate? 

(Video) Bill Maher on the GOP: they disdain the lazy yet their solution to everything is ‘do nothing’

Bill Maher, as usual, properly nails the current attitude of the Republican Teaparty and its presidential candidates:

Partial transcript via inothernews:

“I find it ironic that Republicans have such disdain for the lazy, and yet their solution to everything is do nothing. Their answer to wealth inequality? Do nothing. Healthcare? Do nothing. Climate change? Nothing. Racism? Doesn’t exist. For a group of people so head over heels in love with self-reliance, they sure do recommend a lot of sitting on their ass.

If A Christmas Carol was performed by the Tea Party Dramatic Society, it would be a cautionary tale about how the hero, Scrooge — a blameless job creator — is turned into a socialist through the corrupting influence of Tiny Tim. And the play would end with a simple, plaintive question from Mr. Scrooge: ‘Just how much of my wealth does Mr. Tim think he’s entitled to?’

And that is the great Republican fallacy of this election: that our economic problem are due not to Wall Street’s gambling, but because too many Americans are lazy. But there are 16 million unemployed, and we only created 80,000 jobs last month. The problem isn’t laziness — it’s math.

This is where the Republican Party is now: in favor of people dying because they don’t have health insurance. In favor of letting people go unfed if they won’t work. And if they wanna work, but are Mexicans, in favor of putting up a fence that electrocutes them.”

(Video) Bill Maher’s take on the OccupyWallStreet protesters … excellent!

From Oct. 21, 2011 Real Time:


“…Rush Limbaugh, who really is too square to be a drug addict, said, “When the free drugs run out, when the free sex runs out, they’ll get bored and move on to something else.”

Oh that’s right, Grandpa.  Look at them, strumming their sitars and wearing dungarees.  Whatever happened to the good old days of segregation and date rape?  But I get it. You’re bitter because we fought a culture war in the ’60s and the Right lost.  Rick Santorum is like that Japanese soldier on the island who doesn’t know the war is over, so he’s still fighting against birth control and butt sex.

Plus, Republicans are now mostly a Southern party, and if there’s one thing Southerners don’t do well, it’s lose a war and get over it. But that war is indeed over. The ideals of the youth movement became assimilated into American society. That’s why we have gays in the military now, and pre-natal yoga classes, and tofurkey. And that’s why Rick Santorum will never be President, and a black guy who snorted cocaine is.

It’s also why there’s not going to be a repeat of what happened the last time the hippies were in the streets.  Those hard hats that you’re depending on to turn against the lousy hippies?  Heh.  Here’s what they’re doing now.  They’re cheering them on.  Because now, the hard hats are just as broke as everybody else.

These people down there, they’re not the counter-culture.  They’re the culture. They don’t want free love.  They want paid employment. They don’t hate capitalism. They hate what’s been done to it.

And they resent the Republican mantra that the market perfectly rewards the hard-working and punishes the lazy, and the poor are just jealous moochers who want a handout. Yeah, because if there’s one group of people who hate handouts, it’s Wall Street.”

Bill Maher’s take on the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Well done.

transcript via: DailyKos