In case ANYONE doubts that it was House Republicans who shut down the government

Doubt no more.

[Below] Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) confirming with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) that the Republicans changed the House rule 22 clause 4 on Oct 1, 2013 in order to ensure the federal government would be shut down:

  
  
DEMOCRACY’S BEEN SUSPENDED! [video]

Van Hollen: H. Res. 368 changed the standing rules of the House to take away from any member of the House the privilege of calling up the Senate bill to immediately reopen the government, is that right?

Chaffetz: It did change the operation of the standing rule.

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Remember this bit of GOP gamesmanship when you think about Cruz and Palin at their tea party rally on Sundayusing veterans as cover, pseudo-raging about closed memorials. Cruz and Palin were there to represent one thing only: the tea party and everything it stands for. Their only purpose was to try to deflect blame for the shutdown to the President and Democrats in Congress, to call for Obama’s impeachment, and to celebrate the usual racist tripe that we’ve all come to expect from the ridiculous individuals who comprise this group of losers.

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TPM: The House GOP’s Little Rule Change That Guaranteed A Shutdown

Here’s the rule in question:

When the stage of disagreement has been reached on a bill or resolution with House or Senate amendments, a motion to dispose of any amendment shall be privileged.

In other words, if the House and Senate are gridlocked as they were on the eve of the shutdown, any motion from any member to end that gridlock should be allowed to proceed. Like, for example, a motion to vote on the Senate bill. That’s how House Democrats read it.

But the House Rules Committee voted the night of Sept. 30 to change that rule for this specific bill. They added language dictating that any motion “may be offered only by the majority Leader or his designee.”

So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.

“I’ve never seen this rule used. I’m not even sure they were certain we would have found it,” a House Democratic aide told TPM. “This was an overabundance of caution on their part. ‘We’ve got to find every single crack in the dam that water can get through and plug it.’”

Congressional historians agreed that it was highly unusual for the House to reserve such power solely for the leadership.

“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM.

“It is absolutely true that House rules tend to not have any explicit parliamentary rights guaranteed and narrowed to explicit party leaders,” Sarah Binder, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told TPM. “That’s not typically how the rules are written.”

Republican staff on the House Rules Committee did not respond to multiple requests for comment. But here’s what House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) told Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) when she raised those concerns before the rule change was approved.

“What we’re attempting to do is to actually get our people together rather than trying to make a decision,” Sessions said. “We’re trying to actually have a conference and the gentlewoman knows that there are rules related to privileged motions that could take place almost effective immediately, and we’re trying to go to conference.”

“You know that there could be a privileged motion at any time…,” Sessions continued as Slaughter continued to press the issue.

“To call for the vote on the Senate resolution,” Slaughter interjected. “I think you’ve taken that away.”

“I said you were correct. We took it away,” Sessions said, “and the reason why is because we want to go to conference.”

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Tea party throws public tantrum at memorial closed by their government shutdown

Tea party royalty Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin were a part of a very classy protest (i.e. disgusting display) by tea party radicals in Washington DC yesterday.  It was called the Million Vet March although, according to the Washington Times, only about 200 showed up (including stray tourists).

There were many wonderful photo-ops staged “on behalf of” elderly WWII veterans who were (sadly) in attendance, like: pushing over barricades, quoting The Gipper (Palin: “Yes, we can tear down these barricades!”), spittle-blaring The Pledge of Allegiance, and screeching patriotic songs. The tea party always seems angriest when they’re doing things they consider to be patriotic.

Coincidentally, these self-proclaimed patriots are the very people who, through their representatives in the House, caused the federal government to shut down two weeks ago which, they knew, would cause the memorials where they staged their protests to close. And, instead of insisting their representatives in Congress reopen the government to actually help all veterans (and elderly WWII vets specifically), they’re the very same “patriots” who are currently pushing their reps to let our country default on its debt in four days—something that’s never happened before.

As a weird kind of déjà vu, not only was yesterday’s protest redundant but there were flashbacks of “early Palin” and the types of people she attracted between the tail end of the 2008 campaign and the period after she quit her job as governor to pursue Money. Like then, the protesters yesterday brought their anti-Obama signs and an honest-to-God confederate flag to wave in front of the White House—that’s right: the stars and bars for the first black president. Note that no one in the crowd said a word about the flag. Then a tea party speaker told the crowd the President bows down to Allah and that he should put down the Koran, and the people yell, “Yea! Yeaa!”

But there’s more. From Mediate, here’s video taken by one of the goons, named Paul Longenecker. When police arrived, they were roundly booed. On the video, some yell “brownshirts” at the cops, while another man says, “Looks like something out of Kenya.” Go to the link for Longenecker, which is his Facebook page, and read the comments.

How’s that for respecting law enforcement in general or park police in particular? These are federal employees who are just doing their jobs (without pay) to protect our national landmarks and the White House—and they’re harassed and mocked for just standing there.

Worst of all, it sounds like the veterans’ march / protest was actually hijacked by “Washington elites” and “political extremists.” By the end of the day, the veterans’ group had condemned Palin, Cruz and the tea party:

A few powerful Washington elites? I believe that would be Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, and the political extremists are Sarah Palin and the tea partiers. The “incite or create panic” line refers to those tea partiers who tore down the barricades at the WWII memorial and marched to the White House. The extremists waved the confederate flag in front of the White House and chanted things like impeach Obama.Politicususa

North Korea and Al Qaeda working together couldn’t have created a better anti-government insurgent group than tea party “patriots.” Sedition is a gift to all Enemies of the State, both domestic and foreign.

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Where there’s a buck to be made…

WASHINGTON (AP) — A crowd converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall, pushing through barriers Sunday morning to protest the memorial’s closing under the government shutdown.

Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were among those who gathered Sunday morning, along with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, according to WTOP radio.

And without irony or even a hint of self-awareness:

Cruz said President Obama is using veterans as pawns in the shutdown.


Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin (R) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a rally supported by military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans on October 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images) via Bob Cesca

Freedom Watch Speaker tells Obama to ‘put the Quran down’

Washington (CNN) – Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate. High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The rally, billed as the “Million Vet March on the Memorials,” drew far fewer than a million people and evolved into a protest that resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience.

One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising. “I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up,” said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.

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Charles JohnsonIf you want people to believe that the Affordable Care Act is the worst thing since slavery, maybe it’s not a good idea to wave a freaking Confederate flag at your White House protest. The symbolism is beyond appalling: the first black President of the United States protested with the Dixie flag.

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Goldie Taylor: Still fighting the “War of the Northern Aggression”

Charles Johnson: Here’s Ted Cruz speaking in front of the flag of the extreme right wing Oathkeepers militia.
View image on Twitter

Charles Johnson: Were the Oathkeepers doing security for Sarah Palin?
View image on Twitter

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Old what’s-her-face began her east coast Tour of Terror on Saturday in New Jersey, stopping by a racetrack near New Egypt to help Cory Booker win an election by campaigning for his competitor Steve Lonegan. As you can see by the photo below, she’s still as brilliant as we all remember:


The phrase, “leader not tweeter,” a reference to Newark Mayor Cory Booker, is seen on the palm of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during a rally supporting Steve Lonegan. (via Buzzfeed)

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Related: 

Rebranding a freakshow when the freaks won’t cooperate

[The GOP's] greatest political strength today is their ability to dominate heavily white areas. — Ruy Teixeira | Think Progress

The Michele Bachmann sideshow is hurting the GOP – Due to a series of gaffes, she is again on the receiving end of criticism, including from Fox News powerhouse Bill O’Reilly. The congresswoman is also, as reported by The Daily Beast’s John Avlon, “embroiled in a litany of legal proceedings related to her rolling disaster of a presidential campaign — including an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into campaign improprieties.” It’s almost as if Bachmann were a Democratic mole embedded in the Republican Party with the purpose of chasing away a wide range of voters. Her latest sound-bite-producing comment, this time on ObamaCare, begged for audio accompaniment of the Twilight Zone theme. Try to imagine it: “Let’s repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens. Let’s not do that. Let’s love people. Let’s care about people. Let’s repeal it now while we can.”

Suddenly conservative Christians have a problem with politicizing religion??!? – “It’s sad when clergy egregiously politicize worship,” Mark Tooley, president of the conservative Christian organization Institute on Religion and Democracy, wrote in one of several blogs and articles that have criticized the sermon. “Is this characterization of religious conservatives as racists, chauvinists and bigots really fair and accurate? And if political critique of religious conservatives were appropriate in an Easter sermon, couldn’t León offer a thoughtful analysis rather than snide smugness?”

NRA Still Undermining Weakened Gun Legislation – Last month the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a plan to increase penalties for straw purchases, or buying a gun for someone who can’t pass a background check. According to the Post, NRA lobbyists are pushing a revision that would make it much harder to prosecute gun traffickers: The NRA’s draft language would require law enforcement officials to prove that the straw purchaser had reason to believe the buyer was prohibited from obtaining guns or knew that the buyer intended to commit a crime, according to an analysis of the NRA proposal provided to The Washington Post by the Bloomberg-led mayors group.

Leaving the massive gun-show loophole in place, on purpose – Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said closing the gun-show loophole is “a bridge too far” for most Senate Republicans. He added that the “paperwork requirements alone would be significant.” The nation would like to reduce mass murders, but for some federal lawmakers, “paperwork requirements” have to take precedence? Similarly, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was asked whether expanded background checks can survive in the Senate. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I don’t think it makes any sense. The current system is broken. Fix the current system.” …that might be possible if Senate Republicans weren’t also blocking ATF from functioning effectively…

  
  
gifset: sandandglass

The Republicans’ Diversity Deserts | Charles Blow – Too many House Republican districts are isolated in naturally homogeneous areas or gerrymandered ghettos, so elected officials there rarely hear — or see — the great and growing diversity of this country and the infusion of energy and ideas and art with which it enriches us. These districts produce representatives unaccountable to the confluence. And this will likely be the case for the next decade. [...] With the exception of a few districts, a map of the areas in this country with the fewest minorities looks strikingly similar to a map of the areas from which Congressional Republicans hail. In fact, although this is the most diverse Congress in history, not one of the blacks or Asians in the House is a Republican. Only about a sixth of the Hispanics are Republicans, and fewer than a third of the women are.

“My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. You know, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.” — Republican Congressman Don Young from Alaska

Top Critique of GOP is Unwillingness to Compromise – A new Gallup Poll finds rank-and-file Republicans, independents, and Democrats voice the same primary criticism of the GOP: it is “too inflexible” or “unwilling to compromise.” When asked to say what they most dislike about the Republican Party, 26% of Republicans, 17% of independents, and 22% of Democrats offer this critique — leading all other mentions.

From the Department of Outreach – Representative Steve King (R-IA) and Senator Jim InHofe (R-OK) want to ban the federal government from translating documents into other languages. An attempt to codify English as our official language and violate the Voting Rights Act.

Exxon Mobil pipeline leaks ‘a few thousand’ barrels of crude oil in Arkansas – Exxon Mobil said that one of its pipelines leaked ‘a few thousand’ barrels of Canadian heavy crude oil near Mayflower, Ark., prompting the evacuation of 22 homes and reinforcing concerns many critics have raised about the Keystone XL pipeline that is awaiting State Department approval.

Alaska Lawmaker Tells Exxon Valdez Spill Not Its Fault – Alaska is set to give oil companies, including ExxonMobil, a massive tax cut. The bill, which passed the Senate 11-9 and is endorsed by Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, is being debated by the House of Representatives. The plan raises the base tax rate that companies pay no matter the price of oil, and also gives them a $5 credit for every barrel they produce. The plan would cost the state anywhere from $3 billion to $9.5 billion over the next six years. As if that weren’t enough, Republicans in the state House want to make the tax cut even larger. And as they debated doing so, Rep. Kurt Olson (R) told a company representative that Exxon shouldn’t be blamed for the second-worst oil spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989…

Loaded for Bear(shit): Consultants Cash In on Palin – Sarah Palin attempted to relaunch her political career this week with a new video which railed against “the big consultants, the big money men, and the big bad media.” …Seen through the lens of the invaluable Center for Responsive Politics, Palin’s PAC spent $5.1 million in the last election cycle (more than it raised in that time period, raising some questions about Palin’s claims of fiscal responsibility). But the real news comes when you look at how donors’ money was actually doled out: just $298,500 to candidates. The bulk of the rest of it, more than $4.8 million, went to—you guessed it—consultants.

  
The Daily Show | March 27th 2013

“If your boss suddenly decided he had a moral objection to your health insurance plan covering cholesterol medication—and had the power to act on his objection—it would be outrageous invasion of your privacy and the doctor-patient relationship. It’s the kind of thing that no politician would ever want to see happen, unless that politician were a Republican, and instead of needing cholesterol medication, you needed birth control coverage.” — Jed Lewison

Elevating the religious beliefs of some people over the civil rights of all – As in every state, residents of Kentucky already enjoy religious liberty under the First Amendment, but conservatives in the state legislature decided to craft a proposal that would empower Kentuckians with “sincerely held” religious beliefs to disregard state laws and regulations. In effect, if a law conflicted with the tenets of your faith as you interpret them, your conscience would trump your obligation to follow the law…

Tennessee Republicans pushing to cut welfare benefits if kids’ report cards don’t measure up – Tennessee has among the lowest average monthly benefits for a recipient of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in the country. But not content with that, the state legislature is pushing a plan to cut benefits for families of kids who don’t do well enough in school. [...] Now those kids are essentially asked to bear the burden of maintaining their families’ cash incomes, or putting additional burdens on their parents. The math a kid living on TANF is concerned with is likely this: How many hours ago did I have my last meal? How many days overdue is the rent or the electric bill? And, if this bill passes: What score do I need on this next test to keep my family’s income from being slashed?

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




Freedumb!

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.”

Pre-speech:

Post-speech:

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.

What Boehner can’t say: “You’re right, but I have no control over my people.”

On Friday, Meet the Press host David Gregory interviewed Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH), asking repeatedly why he continued to blame President Obama for the automatic budget cuts that went into effect on Friday. At one point Gregory responded to Boehner’s assertions with, “Mr. Speaker, that’s just not true.” Listening to Boehner repeat the exact same stupid and completely false arguments that he’s been bleating for days, the actual meaning behind his words becomes obvious: “You’re right, David, but I have no control over my people.”

[During the interview], Boehner insisted that Obama and Senate Democrats were to blame because they did not send any proposal his way. “Even today, there’s no plan, from Senate Democrats or the White House, to replace the sequester,” he said.

But Gregory was unconvinced, pointing out that Obama had in fact outlined what he required in a compromise deal. Importantly, that framework included specific mention of entitlement and spending cuts—both of which are central to Republican demands—that he’d be willing to make. “Mr. Speaker, that’s just not true,” Gregory said. “They’ve made it very clear, as the president just did, that he has a plan that he’s put forward that involves entitlement cuts, that involves spending cuts, that you’ve made a choice, as have Republicans, to leave tax loopholes in place.”

“Well David, that’s just nonsense,” Boehner interrupted. “If he had a plan why didn’t Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it?” Senate Democrats did not pass a competing bill to avert the automatic cuts because Republicans in that chamber effectively filibustered their efforts. The bills passed by the Republican-led House were also a solely a symbolic gesture, as they did not address revenue increases, making them a non-starter for Democrats.

Gregory continued to rebuff Boehner’s claims, pointing again and again to the fact that Republicans had an offer from the president that included policies they very much support. “Why not give on this?” Gregory asked. “Why not allow some revenues to come from tax reform? You protect defense spending, and you unlock the key to getting the kind of entitlement cuts the president said he’ll give you.”

Boehner demurred once more, saying that Washington had to “live within their means,” and that the president already got some tax cuts on the last debt ceiling compromise. Again, Gregory was incredulous. “You yourself said, ‘Look we got 99% of the Bush tax cuts extended,’” he said. “That’s a pretty good deal.”

The best explanation for Boehner’s repetitively ignorant positions on the sequester comes from Charles M. Blow

Boehner’s intransigence during the talks drew “cheers,” according to a report in The New York Times, from his chronically intransigent colleagues. But their position is a twist of the truth that is coming dangerously close to becoming accepted wisdom by sheer volume of repetition. It must be battled back every time it is uttered.

Let’s make this clear: it is wrong to characterize the American Taxpayer Relief Act as a “tax hike.” In reality, much of what it did was allow 18 percent of the Bush tax cuts — mostly those affecting the wealthiest Americans — to expire while permanently locking in a whopping 82 percent of them.

But of course, that misrepresentation fit with the tired trope of Democrats as tax-and-spend liberals. It also completely ignores that it was Bush-era spending that dug the ditch we’re in.

Republicans have defined their position, regardless of how reckless: austerity or bust. However, as economists have warned, austerity generally precedes — and, in fact, can cause — bust. Just look at Europe.

But Republicans are so dizzy over the deficits and delighted to lick the boots of billionaires that they cannot — or will not — see it. They are still trying to sell cut-to-grow snake oil: cut spending and cut taxes, and the economy will grow because rich people will be happy, and when rich people are happy they hire poor people, and then everyone’s happy.

[...] The president said Friday that “there is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill” that includes Congressional Republicans who “privately at least” were willing to close loopholes to prevent the sequester.

Those privately reasonable Republicans might want to be more public before their party goes over another cliff and takes the country with them.

So this congressional Republican “caucus of common sense” must either be like some secretive religious group–don’t say their names aloud!–or they must be the most cowardly, pants-wetting group of politicians that have ever disgraced the halls of our federal government.

Not only has this common sense caucus allowed their party to be defined by a group of extremists whose work ethic is to not work (and who take pride in refusing to compromise on anything, ever), but they’re allowing it to be further defined by an annual convention in which Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods* is invited to speak while a talented and popular leader like Gov. Chris Christie is completely shunned.

The Fox-Republican Party no longer has room for a rather long laundry-list of people, beliefs, attributes and ideals. We can add common sense and courage to that list.

*Charlie Pierce

John McCain’s Benghazi “cover-up” conspiracy: A cover-up of WHAT, Senator?

STEVE BENEN catches two very important things about John McCain’s appearance on MTP this past Sunday: 1) His exchange with David Gregory “wasn’t awkward; it wasn’t bizarre; it was alarming.” And 2) “this was McCain’s fourth Sunday show appearance of the new year — that’s four appearances in seven weeks.”

“Meet the Press” host David Gregory pressed the Republican senator on the unsubstantiated charge that the Obama administration has engaged in a “massive cover-up.” Gregory asked a simple question: “A cover-up of what?”

McCain, just a few days after explaining how important it is not to be “disagreeable,” became unusually belligerent, asking the host whether he cares about the deaths of four Americans. Gregory tried to get an answer anyway, responding, “You said there is a cover-up. A cover-up of what?” McCain, unable to think of anything substantive, said, “Of the information concerning the deaths of four brave Americans.”

Even for McCain, whose capacity has deteriorated sharply in recent years, this was a pathetic display. Remember, McCain has had several months to think about this. He’s sat through classified and unclassified briefings. He’s participated in a series of congressional hearings. He’s (presumably) read the results of independent investigations, and had his own questions answered, verbally and in writing. [...]

This was the point at which it might have dawned on everyone watching, including journalists who still consider the senator an credible on foreign policy and national security, “Good lord, John McCain has no idea what he’s talking about.” I hate to be a stickler for such things, but as a rule, when the ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee accuses the White House on national television of orchestrating a cover-up as part of a terrorist attack, it’s not too much to ask that the senator have some idea what he’s talking about.

But in this case, McCain is simply lost in a fog of his own partisan rage. At this point, the man doesn’t understand what he doesn’t understand, and worse, he just doesn’t care. McCain no longer thinks it matters that he can’t back up his accusations; he simply wants to keep making them. And if you press him for details he should understand, the increasingly unhinged senator will suggest you’re indifferent to the deaths of Americans at terrorists’ hands.

Pres. Obama turns John McCain and his bitterness into an angry, impotent, pinkish-grey Partisan Rage Monster: fake outrage! McCain mad! McCain SMASH!

Why on earth do all the Sunday talk shows have this irrelevant, silly man (who gave us Sarah Palin) on a permanent rotation?

1

REFERENCE: 

Bill Maher explains why Sarah Palin is about to make a lot of money

“Survival seeds. Also known as… seeds.”

Bill Maher explains why Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh do so well financially – and why it’s that conservative business model which Palin will undoubtedly cash in on as well:

“They don’t care about winning elections; they care about separating rubes from their money. They discovered that there’s a fortune to be made by keeping a small portion of America under the illusion that they are always under attack, from Mexicans or ACORN or Planned Parenthood or gays or takers, global warming hoaxers — it doesn’t matter. They don’t want a majority; they want a mailing list, a list of the kind of gullible ‘Honey Boo Boos’ out there who think that there’s a ‘War on Christmas’ and the Socialist policies of our Kenyan President have been so disastrous that the end of the world is coming.

[...] Glenn Beck has only 300,000 subscribers, so they’ll never be a majority. But it doesn’t matter. Maybe they can only vote once every two years, but they can buy the same book every three weeks… the exact same book, over and over and over again.

I don’t know why being a Republican means needing to have your faith recharged five times a day like Dick Cheney’s heart. Because there’s no comparable industry on the left devoted to separating liberals from their cash. I mean, unless you count Whole Foods.”

Hey, Fox “news” viewers: you’ve been grifted!

Don’t cry for me, Wasilla.

Think Progress: According to a news analysis by the Smart Politics project of the the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, during former Gov. Sarah Palin’s tenure as a contributor to Fox News—which ended last week with the decision not to renew her contractPalin was paid $15.85 per word she spoke on the network.

Here’s some of the “Palin by the numbers” breakdown:

-$1 million: Sarah Palin’s annual salary as a Fox News analyst.

-189,221: Words Palin spoke on Fox during her three-year contract.

-$1.25 million: Palin’s advance for her memoir Going Rogue.

-469,000: copies of Going Rogue sold in its first week on the market. The memoir would go on to sell 2,670,000 copies in 2009.

-797,955: Copies of America By Heart, Palin’s second book, sold in 2010.

-$100,000: Palin’s speakers’ fee, as negotiated by the Washington Speakers Bureau, as of 2010.

-$200,000: The reported low estimate for Palin’s per-episode fee for Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her TLC show, which ran for a single season. One of the reasons the show ultimately wasn’t renewed? Palin’s salary demands for a second year.

-$15,000-$30,000: Bristol Palin’s range of speaker’s fees, as of 2010.

What does it say about the state of the modern conservative movement that BRISTOL PALIN is paid $15,000 – $30,000 in speaking fees on issues like teen pregnancy and ABSTINENCE! Seriously, if Bristol hadn’t gotten pregnant at 17, where would she be now?

$15.85 per word, Rubes. What’d you learn?

A village in Alaska *finally* regained its Idiot

Sarah Palin and Fox “news” have agreed to part ways. Did she quit (again?) or was she fired? RealClearPolitics reported that a source close to Palin said she was offered a contract but declined it and a Fox spokesman said, “We wish her the best in her future endeavors.” In other words, Fox wasn’t going to pay her a million a year anymore — or, more likely, any money at all.

So how will this quitty, no job-y thing work out for Sarah? According to her: Great! Opportunities aplenty! For example, she’ll have so much more time to work on her Facebook posts whilst “not retreating” from her “message.”

Political Wire: Although Sarah Palin just lost her platform at Fox News, she tells Breitbart News that she’s been able to “free up opportunities” to “share more broadly” her message. Said Palin: “I was raised to never retreat and to pick battles wisely, and all in due season. When it comes to defending our republic, we haven’t begun to fight! But we delight in those who underestimate us.”

Think Progress briefly reviews the history of Sarah’s “message” which seems to coincide with the Palin family’s aspirations of wealth and fame:

The Palin family as a whole seems to hope for careers in show business, but this is only the latest in a string of failures for them. The TLC show Sarah Palin’s Alaska saw declining ratings and wasn’t renewed for a second season. Bristol Palin’s Lifetime show was yanked from the network for lower viewership, but not before landing $354,348 in tax subsidies from the state of Alaska. Todd Palin was reduced to appearing as one of many celebrities on NBC’s military reality show Stars Earned Stripes.

Maybe now that Fox News has cut ties with Palin, the rest of the television industry will follow suit. Sarah Palin long ago proved she had no real aptitude for governance when she quit her job as governor as Alaska. Her time on Fox proved she didn’t have much spark as a source of news or opinion. And the rest of her family’s efforts suggest that as entertainment, the Palins have nothing to offer us but diminishing returns.

If this isn’t one of longest, most painful ’15 minutes’ that has ever been foisted on the American people, I don’t know what is. Remember to thank John McCain. There is one thing we can know with certainty: morons everywhere will be devastated.

Sarah Palin for Speaker of the House! “Real ‘Merica’s” Hurr Durr voting block

Some examples of the type of moron who probably voted in 2010:

These are undoubtedly Fox’s most loyal viewers — and a reminder that everyone needs to vote in 2014. Don’t let another 112th Congress happen to America ever again.

‘Sarah Palin for House Speaker’ Say Conservatives Who Don’t Understand Government | BobCesca

John McCain actually compared a planned raid to a surprise attack: bin Laden vs. Benghazi


pimmyjalmer: Rachel Maddow facepalm.

Josh Marshall asks: is this the stupidest thing McCain ever said?

“Under what circumstances? Why was reference to Al Qaeda left out? There are so many things that have happened. The interesting things finally, we knew in hours of all the details when we got bin Laden, they making a movie out of it and we are ten weeks later and finally our ambassador to the United Nations, who appeared on every national Sunday show, is now saying that she gave false information concerning how this tragedy happened as far as the spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video.”

As Josh points out: “…you tend to know more about a raid you spent a year planning and executed yourself than a raid on your compound which, as kinda tends to happen in these [situations], you didn’t know about in advance and happened in dark.”

Yes, it’s a great mystery that we had “all the details” about a long-planned raid — and it’s simply dereliction of duty that we can’t foretell the future.

After his comment, perhaps it’s worth noting that John McCain graduated sixth from last place (894th out of 899th) in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. Ironically, he called Susan Rice “not very bright” (Rice graduated from Stanford University with honors, was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. at Oxford University). Of course, he’s a rich conservative white man, so… that makes him qualified to judge those who aren’t.

It’s somehow fitting that John McCain’s legacy will be Sarah Palin, who has proven herself to be one of the dullest knives rattling around in our nation’s junk drawer.

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The conspiracy therefore was not to mislead the American public but to mislead America’s enemies. If Rice had gone beyond her unclassified talking points and said that Ansar al-Sharia was suspected to be behind the Benghazi attacks, no doubt she would now be being hounded for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information,” — Peter Bergen, CNN (AS)

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.”

MSNBC Primetime is killing Fox “news” in ratings

Rachel Maddow Beating Hannity: Are People Finally Catching on to FOX News’ BS? | Alternet

“Particularly impressive were the results of the two powerhouse programs on the MSNBC lineup: Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. Maddow won seven of the eight days against her Fox competition, Sean Hannity. For the 8-day run Maddow beat Hannity by 18% and her 544k average was second to only Bill O’Reilly in all of cable news. O’Donnell won all eight days against Fox’s Greta Van Susteren. His margin of victory over Van Susteren was 17% for the eight days.

This can no longer be considered a temporary blip on the ratings scales. With two weeks having elapsed, the MSNBC programs are showing steady strength against competition that was once thought insurmountable. Only Bill O’Reilly is holding his top position for Fox in primetime. This may indicate that Sean Hannity is wearing thin with viewers who are likely disappointed with his overly confident (and harebrained) assurances that all the polls were wrong and that Mitt Romney would emerge victorious.

Hannity is perhaps the most stridently partisan host on the Fox News network and frequently augments his analysis with that of the pundit world’s most notorious nutcase, Dick Morris. As for Van Susteren, she never had the cult-like following of her Fox comrades, but she has been closely associated with her good friend (and client of her husband), Sarah Palin… “

One also has to factor in all the non-believers / anti-fans who watched Fox prior to the election because of the OMG Factor or, in other words, the rich vein of comedy material and/or outrage one could always find there. Now that the election’s over, people can just relax and watch what they really enjoy… So Fox has not only lost the anti-fan progressive audience, but perhaps it’s also losing people who are waking from their comas.

Thanksgiving memories: Sarah Palin pardons a turkey

Good times!


How many more times will the Republican Party present the American people with such complete and total idiocy?

Benghazi: Petraeus testifies, John McCain (finally) shuts up

On Friday the Republican politicians who had so angrily demanded the testimony of David Petraeus about Benghazi got what they wanted – and what they deserved – when the former CIA director set forth the facts proving that their conspiracy theories and witch-hunts are dead wrong.

Appearing behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, Gen. Petraeus, recently resigned from the spy agency over his illicit affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, answered questions from legislators concerning the tragic Sept. 11 assault that left Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other diplomatic personnel dead.

When the session concluded, Petraeus was spirited away. And Senator John McCain (R-AZ), whose criticism of the Obama administration over Benghazi has verged on hysterical, emerged from the hearing room with very little to say to the reporters waiting outside.

“General Petraeus’ briefing was comprehensive. I think it was important; it added to our ability to make judgments about what was clearly a failure of intelligence, and described his actions and that of his agency and their interactions with other agencies,” said McCain, adding, “I appreciate his service and his candor” before abruptly fleeing as reporters tried to question him.

— Joe Conason: Petraeus Testifies, McCain Shuts Up

McCain and Fox and the rest of the Benghazi Political Clown Show posse owe UN Ambassador Susan Rice a public apology. However that’s one press conference, maybe the only press conference, that John McCain will definitely not attend.