TGIF morning’s 6 ambiguously interesting things

1) Democrats / President Obama

  • A snip from the documentary of Bill Clinton on Obama’s decisions re: Detroit and OBL:
  • Obama Pressures Congress on Oil Subsidies - In the most spirited defense yet of his record on energy policy, President Barack Obama today dismissed his critics as playing politics by promising cheap gas without real solutions, and asked his supporters to pressure Congress to end subsidies for oil companies. At an event in Largo, Md., Obama said people “running for a certain office, who shall go unnamed” have been “talking down new sources of energy” and have dismissed his plan to double vehicle mileage standards by 2025. “I guess they like gas guzzlers,” he said. Obama said he expects Congress to vote in the next few weeks on ending subsidies for oil companies. “It is time for this oil industry giveaway to end,” he said. “I guess you can stand up for the oil companies … or you can stand up for the American people.” The president said the $4 billion a year in oil industry subsidies could be redirected to other sources of energy.

2) The Republican War on Women

  • Dems Hammer PA Governor Over Ultrasound Comments - Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) offered up some advice for women who don’t want to have a mandatory ultrasound before they terminate their pregnancy: Don’t look at it. Now Democrats are pouncing, holding up the line as evidence of the GOP’s continuing insensitivity toward women. The quote in question came after Corbett was asked at a press conference whether “making [women] watch” an ultrasound went “too far.” “I don’t know how you make anybody watch,” Corbett said. “You just have to close your eyes.”
  • Religious liberty not under attack in America, says majority – Another poll, another confirmation that the GOP’s narrative that their attack on women’s health is really all about religious liberty has sunk like a lead balloon. The Public Religion Research Institution asked a random sample of 1,007 adults 18 years of age or older whether religious liberty was under attack in the United States, and whether government-mandated birth control coverage was part of that threat. And the American public said, “are you kidding?” Washington, DC— On the heels of a months-long heated debate on religious liberty, a new national survey finds that a majority (56%) of Americans do NOT believe that the right of religious liberty is being threatened in America today. Roughly 4-in-10 (39%) believe religious liberty is under attack.
  • Bishops hold meeting, decide they still hate women’s health care – This week, the Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), led by Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York and the president of the bishops’ conference, met to decidewhether they still hate women’s health care. Guess what? They do! In a statement issued by the committee, the bishops insisted that they are “strongly unified and intensely focused” in their “opposition to the various threats to religious freedom.” Religious freedom, as we all know by now, means their right to demand that women be denied access to health care the bishops don’t like. The bishops then proceed to do some serious false-witness-bearing: This is not about access to contraception, which is ubiquitous and inexpensive, even when it is not provided by the Church’s hand and with the Church’s funds. First, yes, this is about access to contraception. Second, no, it is not inexpensive. Third, no one is requiring the Church to provide it. And fourth, no one is forcing the Church to pay for it. But the lies don’t end there…

3) Your 2012 GOP presidential candidates

  • Romney Campaign Dings Santorum: No, Puerto Ricans Don’t Have To Stop Speaking Spanish – On Wednesday, Santorum told the Puerto Rican newspaper El Vocero that islanders would have to be fully proficient in English, in order to genuine integrate into the main American culture — and he said, to comply with federal law — in order to be granted statehood if they wanted it.In fact, there is no federal law, either in the Constitution or current federal statutes, establishing English as a required official language of government business in order to qualify for statehood. (Though in the past, Congress did make such a requirement for statehood in 1811 for Louisiana, where French was widely spoken, and also in 1906 regarding the Native American languages spoken in areas of Oklahoma.) But the fact remains that Spanish is the primary language of Puerto Rico, and will continue to be so as a cultural fact for the foreseeable future.
  • The ‘Oops, Just Kidding’ Endorsement – Former Puerto Rican Sen. Oreste Ramos announced Thursday that he was rescinding his support for Santorum after the presidential candidate said Puerto Rico would have to adopt English as its primary language if the territory were to ever gain statehood. “Although such a requirement would be unconstitutional, and also would clash with our sociological and linguistic reality, as a question of principle I cannot back a person who holds that position,” Oreste said, according to the San Juan newspaper Vocero. “As a Puerto Rican and Spanish-speaking U.S. citizen, I consider the position of Mr. Santorum offensive.”
  • Stephen Colbert’s hilarious commentary on Santorum and Puerto Rico (and Santorum and everything else):
  • Rahm Emanuel to Romney: ‘If You Can’t Stand up to Rush, How Are You Going to Stand up to Russia?’ – “Now I’m not going to give advice to Republicans. They don’t take it and I don’t want to give it. They’ll make whatever decision they want to make,” Emanuel said at an event Thursday morning in Chicago. “You just take a look at the fortitude, the strength, the determination and the vision the president made on the auto industry and juxtapose it to Mitt Romney, who doesn’t have the fortitude, the strength or the character in my view to stand up to Rush Limbaugh. How can he stand up and make a decision to save 1.3 million manufacturing jobs? “That Oval Office requires vision. That Oval Office requires spine. That Oval Office requires determination and grit. Mitt Romney says, ‘Let it go.’ The president said the American workers are too important to let go, and he doubled down on the American workers. When a decision comes to the Oval Office, who’s got the fortitude, who’s got the grit, who’s got the determination and who’s got the back of the American people and middle-class families? And nothing coming into that Oval Office is easy. It’s not clear. And I think when you see the character, the fortitude and the strength measured up, and the determination to reject conventional wisdom and see around the corner what’s right for the American middle class, people who work every day, play by the rules, you’ll see the difference of the two individuals and their vision for America.”

4) The 21st Century Republican (tea)Party / New American Theocracy

  • Arizona Makes Another Attempt At Government Birtherism – Without saying as much, Arizona officials are working on yet another birther bill. This is the latest of several attempts by the state to try to prove the myth that Obama is not an American citizen. This time, an Arizona legislative committee is pushing a measure that would require presidential candidates to fill out an eligibility form before they can be put on Arizona’s ballot.
  • Arizona Birther Bill – The Birthers Are Strong in This One – I’m in sunny Arizona for a couple of days and, boy howdy, is the wingnut strong out here. The state legislature’s Government Reform Committee — yeah, that one had me on the floor, too — yesterday reported out a birther measure that was probably inspired by the comic stylings of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “investigation” of the president’s origins. [...] “Yesterday,” said Democratic state senator David Lujan, who was one of two votes on the committee against the measure, “I asked if this had anything to do with President Obama’s birth certificate, and they told me that Sheriff Joe’s investigation had given the idea added value. “It is frustrating. We have something like 250,000 people unemployed in Arizona, and we’re occupied with stuff like this. A lot of people, and not just Democrats, are just frustrated with the activities of the Tea Party folks. I don’t know what keeps them coming back like this. I really don’t. Not with everything else we should be addressing.”
  • WELL THIS IS SHOCKING: GOP frosh to back millionaires’ tax – Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.
  • BOEHNER’S DO-NOTHING HOUSE PLANS TO DO EVEN LESS: Staffers: House won’t pass highway bill this month – The House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee aides told industry officials Thursday morning. Democrats on both sides of the Capitol are ramping up their pressure on the House after the Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion bill that garnered votes from nearly half of the Republican caucus. The general game plan over the next few weeks, as laid out by aides: continue rallying and gauging support for a five-year bill when members return to town next week. An extension of the current law, slated to expire April 1, would hit the floor sometime during the March 26 week.House members get a two-week break starting March 30 and don’t return to session until the week of April 16 — the earliest any other bill could come up for a vote, the aides said. || On Wednesday, Boehner said he “will take up the Senate bill “or something like it” this month.” Nope.

5) Misc

  • Natural Born Drillers – Paul Krugman – To be a modern Republican in good standing, you have to believe — or pretend to believe — in two miracle cures for whatever ails the economy: more tax cuts for the rich and more drilling for oil. [...] Thus Mitt Romney claims that gasoline prices are high not because of saber-rattling over Iran, but because President Obama won’t allow unrestricted drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Meanwhile, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal tells readers that America as a whole could have a jobs boom, just like North Dakota, if only the environmentalists would get out of the way. The irony here is that these claims come just as events are confirming what everyone who did the math already knew, namely, that U.S. energy policy has very little effect either on oil prices or on overall U.S. employment. For the truth is that we’re already having a hydrocarbon boom, with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither.

6) Rush “Shock Blob” Limbaugh

  • Guess who’s knocking on Rush Limbaugh’s door as his advertisers flee like rats from a sinking ship? – It’s the people behind the infamous GodHatesFags website — the Westboro Baptist Church, the most notorious gay-bashing group in America — and they’re ready to step in to keep the embattled Limbaugh on the air. “As a matter of fact, I can confirm that,” Westboro spokesman Steve Drain told Hatewatch today when asked if the church was seeking to advertise on “The Rush Limbaugh Show.” “We’re preparing our first ad at this very moment, and we’ll have a 30-second radio spot ready to go by Friday.” Drain said he has been in contact with ad executives, but added that the Westboro spots will have to be produced before they are accepted or rejected. The radio ads would be posted as audio links Friday on the church’s websites, the Westboro spokesman said. [via: ABL]
  • Struggling Clear Channel And Rush Limbaugh’s $400 Million Payday – But the truth was that for days on his flagship station, WABC in New York, Limbaugh’s show had been stripped of key advertisers. Instead, the once robust revenue-generating program had turned into a feel-good forum where during commercial breaks WABC ran nonpaid public service announcements on behalf of the United Negro College Fund and New York Office of Emergency Management. That’s because WABC didn’t feel comfortable putting lots of advertisers on Limbaugh’s show, which up and down Madison Avenue had become poisonous in this wake of his misogynistic Fluke debacle.  So towards the end of his show on Tuesday, the nine-figure salary talk show host went to commercial break and a paid advertiser did pop up. And it was a new advertiser, a sponsor who apparently had signed on amidst the controversy. The sponsor’s name? The Holy Name Cemetery in New Jersey, which was advertising a “pre-planning open house weekend.” How fitting.

Thursday morning’s 6 partially interesting things

1) The GOP “presidential” candidates

  • Rick Santorum’s Southern Strategy: It’s Me, Stupid. – Well, there’s no question about it now. Rick Santorum — and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick he is? — loves Jesus, and Jesus loves him, and so do all the people who love Jesus, and whom Jesus loves, down in the deep old South, where once they thought all Catholics had cloven hooves, horns on their heads, and Notre Dame sweaters covering their black and evil Papist hearts. Eight out of every 10 Mississippians who voted in that state’s primary on Tuesday were white evangelical, or born-again, Christians. [...] For all the post-game analysis of whether or not Santorum is now clearly “the real conservative” alternative to Romney…The basic argument is not about being “the real conservative” per se; it’s about being “the real conservative” as “conservative” is defined by a shoeless, Bible-banging, anti-intellectual, woman-hating, sex-maddened Republican base. And, for the moment, that is Santorum in full.
  • What Mitt SHOULD say: The Liberation of Willard Romney: A Game Plan, by Charles P. Pierce – “Okay, so let me tell you about myself. I’m not one of you. I’m moderately pro-life. I believe that gay people are human, too, and that, maybe, there ought to be a way for them to get married. I am not what I have been pretending to be all these months. I am nowhere near as stupid and retrograde as you have to pretend to be in this primary, okay? Right now, bitches, you’ve got a gender gap that looks like the Gates of Hercules because Santorum — and have Pierce and I told you recently what a colossal dick that guy is? — is a sheet-sniffing, diaphragm-hunting male nun. You’re losing two generations of Hispanic voters because you keep lining up behind immigration laws that seem to have been drawn up in Nuremberg. How’s that going to work out for you in 2016, or 2012? You really want to be the party of angry white people in lawn chairs? I am the Massachusetts moderate, bitches, and I’ve got the money to make it work. [...] It’s not my fault that longtime Republican solutions have been recast in the fetid reaches of The Base’s hive-mind as creeping socialism. It’s not my fault you turned ignorant poo-flinging into a national strategy. …You want the entire campaign to be about either Gingrich’s grandiose daydreams, or about Rick Santorum’s pursuit of the unauthorized use of the penis? One guy wants to be Caesar Augustus and the other one wants to be Pius IX. Is that really what you want? …So, yeah, I’m not going to be what the Bible-bangers want. You know why? Because there aren’t enough of them to win the election, and I’m sick of throwing good money after bad trying to win the hearts and the not-entirely-functioning minds of a bunch of people who see Jesus in their cereal bowls every morning. They can come along if they want to, but I’m not doing this born-again shuck-and-jive for their amusement any more. Why? “Because I’m Mitt Romney, bitches, and I’m all you got left.” Sources have told the blog it is unlikely that the Romney campaign will adopt this strategy.
  • Ann Coulter doesn’t consider Sarah Palin to be some “dream candidate” for a GOP brokered convention – Coulter said that might be a weakness in the Republican Party as a whole — that certain individuals become celebrities and are allowed to profit off that status and yet still interfere in GOP politics, which Democrats have been able to avoid.“And just a more corporate problem is I think our party and particularly our movement, the conservative movement, does have more of a problem with con men and charlatans than the Democratic Party,” she said. “I mean, the incentives seem to be set up to allow people — as long as you have a band of a few million fanatical followers, you can make money. The Democrats have managed to figure out how not to do that.”

2) The 21st Century Republican (tea)Party / American Theocracy

  • Is this what the wingnuts call the DOE’s liberal indoctrination? Iowa students shocked as high school assembly descends into homophobic rant – At first students at Dunkerton High School, Iowa, seemed grateful for this musical break from the norm – albeit with Christian-themed lyrics denouncing the evils of drugs, alcohol and violence. But things took a turn for the worse when the event veered into an impassioned and unfocused rant against homosexuality, abortion and sex before marriage. After his band Junkyard Prophet left the stage, drummer and preacher Bradlee Dean took the microphone, separating the crowd into boys, girls and teachers. Mr Dean is the president of the ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International, which is listed by civil rights organisation the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active anti-gay hate group. [...] Students found themselves faced with graphic images of aborted foetuses, while girls were instructed to obey their husbands.Parent Jennifer Littlefield told the LaCrosse Tribune: ‘They told my daughter, the girls, that they were going to have mud on their wedding dresses if they weren’t virgins.’ || Just like Jesus!! 
  • Because nothing happens timely in the GOP-led House anymore: Senate passes highway bill, but rough road ahead – House Speaker John Boehner (R) of Ohio has said he will take up the Senate bill “or something like it” this month, unless Republicans can come to terms on their own version. Rifts in GOP ranks have scuttled two other bills – one a five-year plan and the other an 18-month offering. [...]Should the bill pass as something similar to the current Senate version, it will have a number of improvements that will boost business, say many policy observers. The bill consolidates federal transportation programs from roughly 100 down to a third as many. It speeds up the delivery of projects by cutting back on regulations. It offers more flexibility to states to partner with the private sector on infrastructure projects like privately funded roads.

3) President Obama / Democrats

  • Notice how many Republican primaries have required photo IDs? Pennsylvania Democrats say ‘misguided’ voter ID law wastes $11 million – The law requires voters in the state to present a photo ID when they cast ballots in federal, state and local elections. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center estimated the legislation would cost $11 million. In order to withstand legal challenges, the state must provide photo IDs for free, notify and educate voters about the new voting restrictions, hire more election staff, and purchase additional photo ID equipment. “Republicans should have spent their time working on legislation to create jobs instead of engaging in a political power grab,” Burn added. “Despite the Republicans’ attempts to silence voters, Democrats will ensure that every voter in Pennsylvania will have their voices heard in 2012 and beyond.” Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has said he would sign the bill into law.
  • Obama Wins The Crucial British Vote At State Dinner – Cameron, in town to promote the renewed “special relationship” between Britain and and the United States, expounded on Obama’s “strength,” “moral authority” and “wisdom,” and compared him to President Theodore Roosevelt. “He’s found a new voice for America with the Arab people,” Cameron said. The Prime Minister also spotlighted Obama’s leadership in the killing of Osama Bin Laden, a key component of the president’s reelection message. “The president says what he will do and he sticks to it. I’ll never forget that phone call on Libya when he told me exactly what role America would play in Libya and he delivered his side of the bargain to the letter… Let us all agree that the world is better off without bin Laden but the world is better off without Gadhafi too.”
  • Obama hails ‘indispensable’ U.S. alliance with Britain – But both men were forced to dwell on the terrible human costs of war, with sharp questions looming about the justification for more combat in Afghanistan and the possibility of new Middle East combat over Iran’s nuclear program. Obama and Cameron conspicuously used a joint press conference to try to convince weary American and British voters that recent sacrifices in Afghanistan had wrought “real progress” towards a future secure state. The US leader went on the record for the first time to back NATO’s planned transfer to a support role in 2013 before a full withdrawal the next year, though said there would be no sudden unscheduled drawdowns in coming months.

4) “Shock Blob” Rush Limbaugh

  • imageLimbaugh: Judging Miss America proves I’m not anti-woman – “I have affectionately referred to the NOW gang as the NAGs, the National Organization of Gals, for over 15 years,” Limbaugh said on Wednesday. “And the head NOW-gang babe was asked what she thinks about that yesterday on television after 15 years. Outraged! They are outraged!” “Now, how can I be anti-woman?” he asked. “I even judged the Miss America pageant.” After the pageant, former Miss America-turned-Fox News host Gretchen Carlson asked Limbaugh how he responded to critics who said that someone with his track record had no business judging women in a beauty pageant. “I’m a huge supporter of women!” the radio host declared. “What I’m not is a supporter of liberalism. Feminism is what I oppose and feminism has led women astray. I love women. I don’t know where this gets started.” “I love the women’s movement — especially when walking behind it.”
  • When Rush Limbaugh turned the tide – In this video unearthed by James Carter, the women of the 1994 Republican freshman class then met at the Heritage Foundation and made a special presentation of gratitude to another hero of theirs, Rush Limbaugh. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin of Wyoming told Limbaugh: “Talk radio, with you in the lead, is what turned the tide, Rush, and we know that. You were the voice that everyone else could follow.” The lawmakers promised there wasn’t a “feminazi amongst us.” They gave Limbaugh a placque reading “Rush was right” and a copy of Gingrich’s Contract with America. Accepting their applause, Limbaugh told them, “Thank you all very much. This my kind of ‘Year of the Woman.'”
  • Rush Limbaugh’s woes not ending any time soon – Rush Limbaugh’s problems have staying power. So says the traditional media—in this case, ABC News. Their evidence is Premiere Network’s decision to pull all of its barter ads, the ads they provide to affiliates in exchange for airing the program, for two weeks.Premiere is obviously hoping the scandal just blows over and they can get that revenue back. But with Limbaugh rolling out ever-more crackpot theories and complaints about how he was set up to spend three hours a day for three solid days calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute,” that might not happen. National advertisers maybe aren’t going to want to be associated with a vulgar misogynist who also happens to be a crackpot conspiracy theorist. There’s also the little problem of how much the non-ditto head population (i.e., the majority) hates him. The PPP poll for Daily Kos found that 58 percent of the populate has a negative view of him, and 70 percent find his remarks about Fluke inappropriate, and an earlier Harris poll found him America’s least favorite political pundit.

5) GOP’s War on Women

  • What’s wrong with the Republican Party? ONLY 3 In 10 Republicans Want Limbaugh Fired – Thirty percent of Republicans think that Rush Limbaugh should be off the air following his sexist attack on Sandra Fluke, according to a new Bloomberg poll. Just yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that only 29 percent of likely voters believe Limbaugh’s apology was sincere. According to today’s poll, “men are split over whether the radio host should be let go from his job — 49 percent say so, while 47 percent disagree. Fifty-six percent of women support the move compared with 39 percent who don’t.” Since Limbaugh’s tirade just two weeks ago, 140 companies pulled their ads from Limbaugh’s show.
  • imageDid Anyone In Conservative Media Actually Read Or Listen To Sandra Fluke’s Testimony? – Conservative media figures, led by Rush Limbaugh, have continually distorted and exaggerated the content of Sandra Fluke’s testimony before Democratic members of Congress. They have gone so far afield of Fluke’s actual testimony that it often appears as if they never actually watched or read it. Here are some of the conservative claims about Fluke’s testimony, along with what she actually said.
  • Romney vows end to Planned Parenthood funding –  As the former governor sees it, the way to improve the deficit is to cut taxes, increase military spending, and block access to contraception, family planning services, pap smears, cancer screenings, and tests for sexually-transmitted diseases. … It’s also worth noting that Republican support for Planned Parenthood was the norm for nearly a half-century. Barry Goldwater and George H.W. Bush championed the health organization; Reagan never balked at PP funding in the budget; and none of this was considered controversial in the slightest. There’s no clearer example of the GOP’s shift to the extreme than its newfound disgust for Planned Parenthood. But the point I keep coming back to is Romney himself having supported the health organization, including having attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Overnight, the DNC put together this video, going on the offensive over the issue.

6) Misc

  • How Congress Helps Republicans, But Not Democrats, Weather Bad Economies (Charts) – Republicans like to portray Democrats as big spenders. But the truth is more complicated. Democratic Congresses were pliant under Reagan and the first Bush, and thus federal spending (particularly military spending under Reagan) grew dramatically. For Bush 41, this trend didn’t hold when he needed it and he lost his re-election bid amid a weak economy. Working with a Republican Congress, George W. Bush too presided over a major increase in federal spending. This, along with the large tax cuts he passed in 2001 and 2003, exploded federal deficits, but also likely helped him through the economic hard times at the beginning of his first term. Clinton and Obama, who both lost control of the federal purse strings to an intransigent opposing party halfway through their first terms, were comparatively hamstrung. Politically, this proved to be a much bigger problem for Obama than it was for Clinton — Obama, after all, inherited a historic financial and economic crisis. But Obama’s economy is finally picking up on its own, and just in time. This Congress isn’t about to give him a hand…
  • Poll: Americans Favor Diplomacy Over Israeli Attack On Iran – But only one in four Americans favor Israel launching a military strike against Iran’s nuclear program, according to a new University of Maryland poll. Seven out of 10 respondents believe the U.S. and other world leaders should continue to pursue negotiations with Iran. President Obama called for continued diplomacy in a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday. Cameron agreed. Only one in five respondents believe a strike against Iran would delay its ability to develop a nuclear weapon for more than five years, according to the poll. And about half of Americans polled believe the conflict would go on for years.

  • George Clooney draws a crowd at the Senate – Clooney, a dedicated human rights advocate, was in Sudan last week to view the destruction caused by the Sudan military’s bombing in the border area. At the hearing, Clooney—sporting a salt-and-pepper beard— urged the committee to go after the regime’s bank accounts and his project to use satellites to track military movements and attacks and shine a spotlight on them. He’s being joined on the panel by veteran Africa expert John Prendergast of the Enough Project. A source said the line outside the hearing room could best be described as “orderly but enthusiastic.” || Note: look at the sheer happiness on the faces of the ladies behind him! haha.

Jon Stewart on comparing Limbaugh and Maher: tells Fox to Shut the F*%k Up (gifs / video)



images: drunkonstevphen

images: cognitivedissonance

This is exactly what I said yesterday. Hazzah!

Watch:

Heh. “Shock Blob” Rush Limbaugh.