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Friday, February 26, 2010

Good On You Shep

He's at it again.

Seriously, when is he just going to leave Fox"News"? You know the people in the control room as cringing when he does this.

Taking Over Their Own House

But I thought that Palin said to "chose" a party, not take one over.

The Reagan worship aside, Palin and Hannity don't seem to realize that Tea Bagger candidates haven't done so well. Doug Hoffman lost and Debra Medina is a "Truther". Christie and McDonnell don't align themselves with the Tea Baggers. Scott Brown was a complete wash - given his activities since taking Ted Kennedy's old seat. So, who are these people going to run?

J.D. Hayworth is an unofficially Tea Bagger candidate, and has the support of people like Orly Taitz, since Hayworth threw his hat into the "Birther" ring with a unique take on why Obama should produce his birth certificate. And with conservatives turning their backs on McCain ( again, as they really didn't support him once he won the party nomination. They were just pissed that they voted for him so they wouldn't have to either not vote or vote for Obama ) Hayworth has a good chance of getting a seat in the Senate. That is, unless McCain can just win on legacy or Hayworth does something monumentally stupid.

And that's the point, the fringe nature of the Tea Bagger cult doesn't really lend itself to fixing or improving the aspects of the country that they claim are in such a state of disarray. So Palin's assertion that the Tea Baggers should somehow "take over" the GOP is a statement that sounds good, sound viable, but is ultimately just that - a statement that sounds good and will boost morale within your base.

The reality of this is that the Tea Baggers know they have nowhere to go unless they can create the illusion that they have the ability to rebrand the GOP or toss out everyone already there. They can't form a "third party", as they will split the GOP vote and Democrats will gain more ground and be in power longer. And there's a good chance of that already. Maybe not so much in this first mid-term election, but the Dems have at least a small chance to maintain a majority in both houses.

Out Of Touch And Unhinged

I'm guessing someone just lost their re-election bid.

In an unusual display in the normally sleepy chamber, Bunning – without the support of GOP leadership – has blocked efforts to quickly approve a series of extensions to measures that would otherwise expire Sunday, including unemployment insurance and the Cobra program that allows people who lose their health benefits to continue getting coverage.

And that has led to a furious exchange on the floor, with Democrats attacking the senator, who has refused to relent on his objection, in unusually harsh terms.

In a colloquy with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Sen. Jeff Merkley, a freshman Democrat from Oregon, was pleading for Bunning to drop his objection, when the Kentucky Republican got fed up.

“Tough s—t,” Bunning said as he was seated in the back row, overheard by the floor staff and others in attendance.

It's a pretty clear case that Bunning isn't familiar with the unemployment situation in Kentucky ( my state ) as it's pretty horrific in some counties. In Trigg County along, the unemployment rate is near 20%, one of the highest rates in the nation. So, for Bunning to essentially tell the people of Kentucky that lost their job "touugh shit", it paints a rather clear picture as to what is motivating these elected officials.

Bunning is having his moment in the sun now, and like his fellow obstructionists, he is going to ride this for as long as he can. But one has to wonder exactly what Bunning thinks he will gain from this little stunt? Even though Kentucky is a "Red" state, unemployment doesn't just affect the Democrats. I'm thinking his next townhall meeting here will be rather interesting, if he even has the sand to face his constituency now.

The Speaker

Nancy Pelosi is seen by conservatives as a joke. And sometimes I'm not surprised at that fact. However, there are moments like yesterday where this woman has more balls than most men in the room.

I'm off the mind that Democrats should have started the healthcare reform process at Single Payer and then negotiated down from that. Had that been the case, we would have likely had more support for the Public Option. However, that route would have fired up the reactionary conservative populous to an even higher degree. You think they are acting insane now, imagine if the Obama administration had done what it should have earlier on - there might well have been a "real" revolution on our hands.

Legislating The Female Reproductive System

Just when you think wingnuts couldn't get any crazier, along comes the fine people who craft legislation in Utah.

Utah is not a state known for its legislative sanity. This, after all, is a state that recently made headlines for proposing to honor gun manufacturers on Martin Luther King Day and for considering the elimination of 12th grade to cut back on education spending.

Well, it just got a whole lot worse.

Utah just became the first state in the U.S. to criminalize miscarriage and punish women for having or seeking an illegal abortion. Utah's "Criminal Miscarriage" law:

expands the definition of illegal abortion to include miscarriages removes immunity protections for women who have or seek illegal abortions treats women as presumptive criminals and leaves them open to criminal prosecution.

Utah is a state known for it's deeply religious population and government representatives, so this is somewhat of a shock - meaning that these people are criminalizing what they would often see as the "will of God".

Aside from that, I'm not surprised in the least that a state as backwards as Utah would further the reality that conservativism despises women. This new law makes that reality all the more apparent.

This leads me to ask this question again - how can a woman be a conservative? I've ask the same in reference to blacks, gays, and lesbians, and each time I can't find the answer. Never-the-less, all these people can be found within the conservative movement, some even staunchly defending everything done in the name of conservative ideology, even at their own peril.

Why Even Have The Meeting

I didn't get to see it live, but I watched lots of highlights from yesterdays Healthcare Reform Summit and have come to the following conclusion - what was the goddamned point?

Obama has done everything to try and appease the unappeasable know-nothings that make up the Republican party. Conservatives across the country care more about clinging to debunked talking points and cherry-picking seemingly negative aspects from CBO scores and being spoon-fed fear and conjecture from the likes of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh.

Obama was asked to a televised forum.


He was asked to provide a format.


He was then asked to provide his own plan.


So what did Republicans do? What they always do - find a way to complain about this that carries the narratives that Obama is going to do what he wants regardless of what Republicans want and what they claim their electorate wants. Republicans can't let this legislation pass, as it will be successful and they can't be seen as losers.

What Obama should do now is pass this through reconciliation and damn whatever Republicans have to say about it. If they aren't on board, fuck 'em.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Great Band Or Greatest Band.

I'm going to say greatest metal band since Metallica came out in the early 80s.

They destroyed at Bonnaroo 2008. Wish they were going to be there this year.

One Business To Rule Them All

John Stossel fancies himself a champion of "the common man", a super-charge consumer advocate. And while he may have started out as such, he's molded that image into a Fox"News" version of a concern troll.

His new mission, to convince people that the FDA and DEA don't need to exist.

A former burglar/fire-alarm salesman turned conservative blogger seems to think this is a "capital" idea - pun fully intended.

...businesses and residences can get insurance-premium breaks when they install alarm systems and have them monitored by UL-certified providers. UL requires providers to meet a lengthy series of requirements on manufacturing, installation, and service, and the providers pay thousands of dollars every year to retain their certification. Factory Mutual provides a parallel certification, mainly in fire systems, which competes with UL. Each monitoring facility gets an annual inspection to ensure compliance, and UL follows up on complaints from consumers to determine whether certification should be suspended. It’s a powerful compliance incentive, and it comes completely separate from any government intervention.

Could that same process be used for pharmaceuticals? It’s difficult to see why it couldn’t...

Because as we all know, drug regulation and ensuring food safety standards is just like having your ADT system on your split-level maintained by the company.

Give me a fucking break.

Both Stossel and Morrissey are expressing this "blind trust" in what Underwriters Laboratories could bring to the table. Would they have their own law-enforcement division to take the place of all DEA officers should that agency be dismantled? Likely they would be offered employment by UL, but that's a whole other story entirely.

The conservative mantra that all government agencies could be replaced by "private sector" entities shows a vast amount of ignorance on their part. The reality is that by removing a government regulatory body, you would replace it with a private corporation that would then have monopolistic control over food and drug providers. And these people are out to not just insure the safety and reliability of a product, but out to make a profit. And I think that we have all seen what happens when you have a company with control over a vast area doesn't have any competition. Just take a look at the healthcare industry.

Morrissey goes on to make the point that other regulatory bodies would magically appear out of think air to create competition. But here's the problem with that - who wants there to be a competition to see how safe that meat you bought at Wal Mart is? The competitive aspect of this would only lead to providers seeking out not just the cheapest route but the route with the fewest regulations. I don't know about you, but I'd feel a little safer using products that weren't tested against the lowest common denominator.

In the end, this sort of conservative fantasy talk serves no purpose but for people like Stossel and Morrissey to hang their hat on a theory that plays well in their heads but lacks the solid foundation of reality.

The Alleged Concern Of Republicans

I'm with the folks over at DailyKos on this, probably a strong contender for "Quote Of The Year".

Yeah, Allegedly.

People getting dropped by their providers are only in that position because of an "alleged" action by their provider.

I don't think there's any clear indicator that the GOP are, as Anthony Weiner correctly stated, a wholly owned subsidiary of every insurance company in the country.

But this won't matter one bit to conservatives. They could care less about what happens to them. As long as their message is still active, that's all that matters.

Independantly Deceptive

Granted, this is Newsmax we're talking about here, but even their loyal readership should realize that this is a steaming pile of excrement.

Just when it appeared the various tea party organizations couldn't agree on anything, it looks like many of them have found common ground in support of a "Declaration of Tea Party Independence."

They primarily are declaring their independence from the political parties.

The declaration, posted on, is another sign the tea party organizations will continue to distance themselves from the Republican Party. More than 60 tea party leaders in more than 20 states reportedly have signed on to the new document. Among its highlights.

Considering that Tea Bagger Princess Sarah Palin has already addressed the seething throng of maladjusted prattle-boxes, telling them they HAVE to chose a party, doesn't this whole story wreak with the stench of "identity crisis"?

On the one hand, the Tea Baggers aren't going to vote Democratic no matter what happens. The Obama administration could cure cancer, AIDS, resurrect Reagan and bring out the worlds largest budget surplus and they'd still find fault. The flip-side is that their narrative have to match their actions. This is something that they will never be able to accomplish. These people are Republican through and through. No "Declaration" or spin from Newsmax is going to remove this very blatant and shining truth.

In All Her Purse Lipped Rage

Michelle Malkin will always find a way to call Obama administration officials "terrorist sympathizers".

I'm reminded of a comment made by Keith Olbermann the other night, about the thousands of DOJ attorneys that haven't represented a "terrorist" from Guantanamo. Malkin, as well as others, would have us believe that EVERYONE at the DOJ has nothing but utter contempt for the safety of the American people.

But here's something that she should realize - the "terrorists" captured and housed at Guantanamo would have representation whether they were to be tired in civilian court or the tribunal system. It's part of the due process system that her and other conservatives claim to champion. Well, they champion it when it serves their own bitter interests.

Object Lessons

I've blogged about Jonathan Krohn before. He's the tween conservative fire-brand that has been coached by his parents to be a mini-Hannity. His book has been all the rage in conservative circles since his speech at CPAC09

Ads for this tome of conservative, pubescent, angst in the modern world have been popping up again around the internet and I have to revisit this, if only for this reason - what happened to childhood?

I'm not going to get all sentimental and pander to base emotions by conjuring images of kids playing in sandboxes, on swing sets in the summer, or splashing around in the public pool with their friends. I'm just wondering why kids are being forced to "grow up" so soon.

After all, what does this kid ( yes, he's a kid for fuck sake ) know about the real world or childhood for that matter? I can recall at 14 that I knew very little about what life had to offer, and was honestly from a very "sheltered" family. I learned at my own pace, made mistakes and assumptions, and took life one step at a time.

But that was before the internet, before technology had such a foothold in the process of growing up, and before the 24 cable news wars. Growing up back then was much different but there was still such a thing as indoctrination, only now kids like Krohn have people like Hannity, Limbaugh, and Fox"News" to speed the process up.

I can't say this enough, but I honestly feel sorry for this kid.

Forced "Partriotism"

This sort of story from a Fox"News" personality is to be expected.

A Maryland public school teacher was punished after she ordered a student to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.

The incident occurred at Robert Clemente Middle School in Montgomery County, MD. As students rose to recite the Pledge the teacher noticed one child still seated. She asked her to stand and the student refused. Still defiant, the teacher sent her to the office. The following morning, the girl once again refused to stand. This time, the teacher called two school police officers to escort the girl to the office.

Well – that sparked outrage from the girl, her family and the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the ACLU, the girl was “so traumatized by her teacher’s humiliating and inappropriate reaction that she has not felt comfortable returning to school until the situation is addressed.”

And right on cue, the fine, upstanding population over at Fox"Nation" are clutching their pearls and falling onto the fainting couches.

Here's the problem with this story - a teacher cannot force a student to recite the pledge. But this doesn't stop conservatives from using this as a ham-fisted descriptor that the ACLU, liberal media, and progressivism is destroying America.

The bottom line is that teachers cannot be forced to recite the pledge.

Expanded Comment

I feel that this is something I can identify with more than most anything Olbermann has discussed.

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

Last night I missed this, as I was having issues with the cable. That aside, I later saw it over at The Political Carnival and posted a response. After re-reading it, I noticed my fistful of grammatical errors and realized that I really must center myself before attempting to initiate a passionate response.

Be that as it may, I wanted to expand on what I wrote there - please read and leave comments, as Laffy and Paddy have a great forum and excellent topics to discuss.

Yesterday afternoon I was listening to NPR, as I do most afternoons while coming home from work, and I heard a Wellpoint executive attempting to excuse the companies decision to raise rates a blasphemous 39% to a Congressional panel. And this was on the heels of an equally absurd increase last year. Her rationale was the it was due to the fact that the economy had soured and many healthy people were opting out of coverage in order to save money. In essence, her argument was that they needed more money because people wanted to save money.

Now, it can be stated that this was also due to the fact that people were making claims and the company had to compensate - though it would be interesting to see exactly how much compensation was distributed as well as how many people were purged from the system - but one conservative talking point came back to me when I heard this.

The "mandate" in healthcare reform is something that conservatives have railed against, and even distorted, because it serves as a further catalyst to the narrative that "big government" is telling you what to do with your body. But let's think about this. If an insurance company has to increase their rates because people are abandoning their coverage, doesn't it stand to reason that the more people that are in the pool, the lower rates will have to be? It makes sense, but this doesn't help people like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity frighten people. They can't make a career out of telling people the truth.

This same Wellpoint executive was asked how much she was compensated through a given fiscal year and her response of millions plus stock options and bonuses would make any free thinking person flinch. I asked myself aloud - how can someone sleep comfortably at night knowing full well that they are literally and metaphorically raping the American public each and every day. But this is what "Capitalism" is all about, isn't it.

I have chosen not to have healthcare coverage, simply because it is unaffordable at this point in my life. I had employer provided insurance some years ago, but that was only because I was lucky enough to work in a place that had a fantastic plan. Or, at least I was lead to believe it did. After changing jobs, my new employer presented their plan and I did what I should have done years ago - actually read the damned thing.

After sifting through the percentages, the legal/medical jargon and making phone-calls to the intended provider, I realized that had I signed onto this new program ( which is more than likely the same as many companies ) I would have been signing a document that was designed and intended to fuck me as often as possible. The rates for a single person were just barely palatable, but it was the "family rate" and the vague nature of how the rate structure would maintain or not maintain itself that caught my attention.

For a family, the cost is more than I pay for my mortgage. How is this even reasoned out? How is this justified? What does the perspective patient get in return for have to pay is amount each week?

I am not a "rich" person, financially speaking, so the cost of virtually everything is constantly at my attention. So after listening to a representative of Wellpoint tell congress that her company's rates, and her own salary, are justifiable, even though they are predicated on a system that is gamed in their favour. It's unaffordable to many and the more people that opt out or are purged, the more the rates go up and the more her salary and compensation likely increases. It's a system that is designed to benefit one group of people only - the corporation.

One has to ask why conservatives are so willing to kowtow to these types of businesses. Certainly they have their precious ideology to uphold, but at what cost? Do they think they are above the laws of fate, that they won't get cancer or heart disease, or any other debilitating disorder that requires extensive pain management, medication, repeated visits to specialist, or even a variety of surgeries? Do they fancy themselves so indestructible that they are willing to bet against their own self-interest in the name of socio-political posturing?

Make no mistake, wealth and social status does afford one a certain among of luxury. From Rush Limbaugh getting a personal escort to the hospital while having "chest pains", to Dick Cheney surviving multiple heart issues when most men his age and in his condition would have been dead already, it numbs the mind to hear people cite these examples of how wonderful our healthcare system is.

It's not the "care" that is ultimately the issue, it's the cost of it. This is what the modern conservative doesn't understand. But it is with cost, those able to and not able to pay, where care is adjusted and sometimes denied.

Many, if not most, within the conservative realm will toss Olbermann's comment aside as mere fabrication and exaggeration - a statement made in order for his detractors to seem cold, uncaring, and wretched. They refuse to hear or even attempt to understand these words simply because of who they are coming from. This does not surprise me in the least. After all, conservatives will deny anything that shows how wrong-headed their message is until it is too late. But this is something that they can't afford to be "late" on.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tramping It Up

Had a friend tell me this story about Miley "Hannah Montana" Cyrus' sister yesterday. At first I thought she was kidding. She wasn't.

The Movie actress Emily Grace Reaves, along with Noah Cyrus, 9, are shilling a new line of kiddie lingerie, ninemsn, MSN's Australian news site reports. And while it's technically Grace's fashion line (it's called the Emily Grace Collection, after all), whoever's in charge of marketing obviously couldn't resist associating Cyrus — a nine-year-old so far most famous for dressing like a dominatrix, pole-dancing and "Smackin' That" — with their "trendy, sweet, yet edgy" brand. The two kids will be modelling looks from the collection in videos on big sis Miley Cyrus' website.

The collection is produced by something called Ooh! La, La! Couture, and is described by a company press release as including "versatile styles that can be worn with sweet ballerina slippers, funky sneakers or paired with lace stockings and boots for more of a rock and roll look."

Have you not seen enough proof that people will exploit the shit out of children so long as it makes them money or attains them even a modest measure of fame? I remember the dust-up over some provocative photos of Miley that were take by Annie Leibovitz, so you would think that Billy Ray would have learned a lesson. He has apparently not.

Far be it from me to tell a parent how to raise their children, but if you're actively promoting the white-trash couture this fucked-up family is hocking, then you have a screwed up way of parenting.

Beckian Backlash

Seems like not all the power-players in the conservative movement are pleased with what Glenn Beck is doing.

And while some will discount Levin's stature amongst conservatives, he's a frequent guest on Sean Hannity's Fox"News" program and has a substantial radio program following. He posted his displeasure with Beck on conservatives favorite social networking site, Facebook, and made it clearer that he thinks Beck is dangerous for the movement.

I have no idea what philosophy Glenn Beck is promoting. And neither does he. It's incoherent. One day it's populist, the next it's libertarian bordering on anarchy, next it's conservative but not really, etc. And to what end? I believe he has announced that he is no longer going to endorse candidates because our problems are bigger than politics. Well, of course, our problems are not easily dissected into categories, but to reject politics is to reject the manner in which we try to organize ourselves. This is as old as Plato and Aristotle. Why would conservatives choose to surrender the political battlefield to our adversaries -- who are trashing this society --when we must retake it in order to preserve our society? Philosophy, politics, culture, family, etc., are all of one. Edmund Burke, among others, wrote about it extensively, and far better that I possibly can. But all elements of the civil society require our defense. Besides, why preach such a strategy when conservatism is on the rise and the GOP is acting more responsibly?

But the big news surrounding Beck and his brand of hysterical psycho-babble is what Rush Limbaugh has to say about him.

would not have said that the only people who can stop Obama should be excoriated for being just as bad…It would never occur to me to say that. I don’t know what the objective would be.

It's gotten so bad that even World Net Daily is going after Beck. That gives you a a pretty good indicator of exactly how crazy Beck really is.

Here's a brief response from Beck:

Glenn Beck seems to have let the narrative get a little too out of control. He likely realizes this, but he has so much invested in now that it's hard to stop the crazy train. He's more attuned to the idea of running people down instead.

A New Lady For Conservatives To Fawn Over?

Probably not until they can get her to adjust her message slightly.

Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley is also speaking out in support of traditional nuptials.

"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white," Ashley told Pop Tarts.

"I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life."

Wow. Talk about raising the bar on inflammatory rhetoric.

Fox"News" and conservatives around the country embraced the slightly awkward, finger-banging, "opposite marriage" princess Carrie Prejean last year, so it's not surprising that another plasticine cutie would attempt to snatch the socio-political tiara off her bubbly head. But is this even too much for the most staunch conservative to embrace.

She's likely to have friends in Uganda now.

From Their Cold, Dead, Hands

This was to be expected.

In Virginia, the General Assembly approved a bill last week that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. The actions came less than three years after the shootings at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives and prompted a major national push for increased gun control.

Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are considering nearly a half dozen pro-gun measures, including one that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state. Similar bills have been proposed in at least three other states.

Living and working in one of most red states in the nation, I can attest that this ill-informed insanity surrounding guns and Obama is real.

From the conspiracy theory that Obama is going to tax firearms to fears that all weapons will be rounded up, the reactionary gun-owner in America is coming apart at the seams.

Nevermind the fact that these people are operating under assumptions that were debunked back when Clinton was in office, the spectre of an "angry black man" coming for your guns and your freedom is what motives these people.

One can but wonder how long it's going to be until someone in this gaggle of blathering prattle-heads takes their concealed weapon into a bar, or store, or to a townhall meeting and shoots someone in retaliation for something they think Obama is going to do.

He's Gonna Say At Some Point

I'm just waiting until Rush finally loses the plot completely and drops the N-bomb. Because you know it's coming.

Oh, this isn't racist, it's satire. Yeah, completely forgot about that. Nothing to see here, move along.

What Is A Gay Conservative?

Hot Air does a little damage control after Bryan Fischer's and Ryan Sorba's anti-gay rant at CPAC10:

Someone using the internet handle of "Doctor Zero" over at Hot Air took to the challenge of not only defending the websites new corporate masters as well as standing up for people he/she refers to in the title as "gay conservatives".

While the author's seemingly endless preamble dives headlong into the issue without really addressing who this mysterious group of people are - aside from mentioning GOPROUD a few times - he/she really didn't "defend" anyone, instead favoring ideological babbling and attacking the actions of the Obama administration that focus on what was apparently his/her intended thesis. This, at least to me, is not surprising in any way.

This has lead me to ask the following question - how can one honestly be a gay conservative?

Certainly, there are people within the gay community that hold conservative ideals ( low taxes, personal responsibility, limited government intrusion, et al ) but when you see how the modern conservative movement reacts to everything ( and has limited ideas on how to better the country ) you begin to wonder exactly why anyone within the gay community would want to be seen as a part of that movement.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Promoters Are Not Pleased

It's not been a great start of the year for conservatives or the media that coddle to them.

Remember when Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade were whining that people weren't talking about the massive success that was CPAC10? Seems like it wasn't a "complete" success.

Conservative Fail

Hey Republicans, how's that Scott Brown thing working out for you?

Newly-seated Republican Sen. Scott Brown (Mass.) on Monday joined Democrats in voting to move forward on their $15 billion jobs bill.

Brown crossed the aisle after Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) nixed an $85 billion, bipartisan plan in favor of a more narrowly-focused bill.

“I came to Washington to be an independent voice, to put politics aside, and to do everything in my power to help create jobs for Massachusetts families," Brown said in a statement. "This Senate jobs bill is not perfect. I wish the tax cuts were deeper and broader, but I voted for it because it contains measures that will help put people back to work."

It's not secret that conservatives don't like the idea of Obama doing anything and are quite displeased with the Jobs Bill - even though it's specifically designed to create jobs, you know, that problem that conservative Republicans are whining about.

And all some ardent supporters of Brown can do is sigh - literally. What happened to holding your representatives accountable? Oh, that's right. It's doesn't happen when it's one of your own.

Press Pause

Limited blogging this morning, as I have much work to do elsewhere.

Until then, here's another preview of some goodness awaiting us at Bonnaroo this year.



Monday, February 22, 2010

I Know You Are But What Am I

The Tea Baggers are playing the "Pee Wee Herman" defense here. Just take a look at the add and then we'll talk about the preposterous nature of this line of reasoning.

Yep, another episode of "Quick, Find Someone That's Not White". I've seen one of these women in at least three other response videos, and the other 8 ( as one is a duplicate ) hardly disproves that the Tea Bagger movement is at least 90% "white".

Now, should Olbermann show up at this Dallas event ( I'm of the mind that he should, just to show that he's not intimidated by this lot ) he would most certainly be shouted down or someone would likely attempt to attack him and the whole episode would be just that - an episode.

What exactly are they attempting to prove?

I'm sure that the Tea Baggers would likely ask the same of Olbermann, but one has to wonder why they are still attempting to claim that a very microscopic minority within their movement erases all traces of racism. It's the same argument used by conservatives everywhere - Obama was elected so there's no more racism, unless you're a Democrat.

It will be interesting to see how Keith responds to this tonight.

Because It's Bad To Use Special Needs Children

Unless you're Sarah Palin.

I truly feel sorry not just for poor Trig, but for all of her children. To think what it must be like to grow up living in that family setting.

Monday Afternoon Bonnaroo Blog

Here's a new Monday series I'll be doing on up through the weekend of Bonnaroo this year.

After this year, I will have officially seen most of Jack White's bands at the Manchester, TN festival. Here's THE DEAD WEATHER's fantastic track "Treat Me Like Your Mother".

I just wonder how many bands Jack will have formed and broken up from by the June 10th.

Who's Hero Though

It seems that Joseph Stack's daughter considers his suicidal run into an IRS building in Texas an act of "heroism".

The daughter of a man who crashed his small plane into an Internal Revenue Service building called her father a hero for his anti-government views but said his actions, which killed a tax service employee, were "inappropriate."

Joe Stack's adult daughter, Samantha Bell, spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" from her home in Norway. Asked during a phone interview broadcast Monday if she considered her father a hero, she said: "Yes. Because now maybe people will listen."

The question is now this - who is Stack a "hero" for? Apparently his daughter, but there is much more to this. I think we all know that.

Certainly, the anti-government fringe would consider Joseph Stack's actions heroic, but what exactly is his political alignment? I'm not asking this in order to expressly place blame on one political ideology or another, but this would give great insight into who this man was and how he viewed not just the IRS, but the world.

Again, I'm backing off from calling this guy a Tea Bagger, but there are answers out these that need to be sought.

Typical Washington Times Prattling

Talk about horse-shit dressed up at reportage with merit. Leave it to the conservative Washington Times to come up with narrative that will play well with the Fox"News" set.

President Obama, who pledged to establish the most open and transparent administration in history, on Monday surpasses his predecessor's record for avoiding a full-fledged question-and-answer session with White House reporters in a formal press conference.

President George W. Bush's longest stretch between prime-time, nationally televised press conferences was 214 days, from April 4 to Nov. 4, 2004. Mr. Obama tops that record on Monday, going 215 days - stretching back to July 22, according to records kept by CBS Radio's veteran reporter Mark Knoller.

The Times writer, Joseph Curl, furthers the storyline that Obama's last presser was a "disaster" ( remember the question regarding the arrest of Henry Louis Gates? ) and that Obama is now somehow afraid of the media.

This is nothing more than a pathetic attempt by the Washington Times to create the image of a President that is weak when it comes to fielding questions. I suppose Curl and the Times editors didn't see the Q&A session between Obama and Republicans over healthcare. Not exactly "weak" or "afraid".

Round Two is coming up on Thursday Joseph, you might want to tune in.

Elective Reasoning

Leave it to my state ( Kentucky ) to fall in line with the indoctrination stylings of Texas.

Senate Bill 142, sponsored by Sen. David Boswell, D-Owensboro, will now go to the full Senate as early as next week.

The bill calls for the Kentucky Board of Education to establish guidelines for an elective course on the Bible's literary structure and its influence on “literature, art, music, mores, oratory and public policy.”

The bill states that the course must follow all federal and state laws in “maintaining religious neutrality and accommodating the diverse religious views of students.”

While the Kentucky Senate believes that it can get away with teaching the Bible in schools because they are using the word "elective" in the language contained in the Bill, the problem is that this new curriculum is going to be used to essentially teach "life skills". How will this be taught and not preached then?

But then Radcliff Senator Elizabeth Tori made a very troubling statement that shows the her legislative stylings are likely motivated by mythical creatures from biblical text. At least that's what she thinks has happened here.

Sen. Elizabeth Tori, R-Radcliff, told co-sponsors Boswell and Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, that “an angel was sent down on your shoulders” prompting “you to put this bill together.”

“I‘ve said for many years that until we put God back into our households, things in society will not change for the better,” Tori said. “Your bill is the first step to that change.”

I don't think there is s clearer violation of Church and State that can be noted.

Another One Down

With headlines like this, one has to wonder what conservatives are thinking.

Mulvi Kabir, the former Taliban governor in Afghanistan's Nangahar Province, and a key figure in the Taliban regime was recently captured in Pakistan, two senior US officials tell Fox News. Kabir, considered to be among the top ten most wanted Taliban leaders, was apprehended in the Naw Shera district of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province by Pakistani police forces in recent days.

A senior U.S. military official in Afghanistan called Kabir a “significant detention."

The intelligence that led to Kabir's capture was gathered from Mullah Baradar, the Taliban’s second in command, who was picked up roughly two weeks ago in Karachi, Pakistan by a joint CIA and Pakistani intelligence operation.

That's right, actionable and apparently accurate intel from someone we captured two weeks ago. And I can almost guarantee that he wasn't tortured.

Hey Mark Theissen, care to explain why your boy Bush couldn't accomplish in 8 years what Obama has done in one month?

Fox"News" and conservatives around the country are being rather mute on this because they realize that the actions of the Obama administration and it's position on the "War On Terror" completely invalidate their reactionary, fear-mongering, claims.

Misplaced Rage : Michelle Malkin Edition

Just read this and tell me you don't realize now that Malkin is more concerned about what big business desires over the American public.

Earlier this month, I flagged the White House jihad against Anthem Blue Cross of California over its rate increases (see Feb. 9, 2010, Will the White House demand that every business “justify” its price increases?).

That campaign has now become the new cornerstone of the Demcare revival.

Did she just equate saving the American public money with Islamic Jihad? Yep, she sure did.

The update on the piece originally insisting that measures for cost control are secret code that means Obama/healthcare providers are going to fuck us anyway now includes the tired meme that this proposal ( linked in the previous post ) is more expensive than the proposed Senate version.

What Malkin and other mouth-breathing sycophants are realizing is that this is an opening bid, a "proposal" that is meant to jump-start the televised talks this Thursday. Nothing has passed, because of House and Senate Republicans due to the rank disinformation of people like Michelle Malkin.

Obama's Healthcare Reform Proposal

Barack Obama has his healthcare reform proposal up here. It shouldn't take long to read, as it's only 11 pages.

What happened to all the conservative complaint that this was going to be over 1000 pages?

And dont' let the brevity of this proposal fool you. There are specifics in there.

Beck Follower Threatens Twitter User

This was a developing issue over the weekend.

A Twitter user and anti-Beck activist ( @stopbeck ) was threatened with violence because of his tireless crusade to expose Glenn Beck for the hatemongerer he is and to persuade all those that advertised on his program remove their support. So far, his actions have brought a great deal of success.

Laffy at The Political Carnival has more.

The level of hostility and hatred is out of hand. It started to rev up over the summer with the gun-toting, screaming, out of control Tea Tantrumers at town hall meetings. It has crescendoed ever since.

How can there be any expectation of achieving any sort of rational communication when wingnuts such as @vatopdog persist in drowning out civil discourse with outright threats, slurs, bigotry, hate speech, racism, and extremism?

Here is a picture of the man known as @vatopdog, Larry Herrin. His MySpace page shows that he is from Virginia. There are no updates, blogs, or comments on his page, but there is a link to a web-cam that doesn't seem to be working right now.

I'm doing a little more digging on this one, but it looks like there's sparse information on his out there. Also, he has his Twitter timeline protected, so you will have to add him to your follow list to check out his inane ramblings - something I wouldn't exactly recommend.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Sarah: Pt II

Shannyn Moore has a piece up at Huffington Post highlighting another in a long line of hypocritical standpoints from none other than Caribou Barbie.

Recently released documents from the custody battle show clearly Tripp Palin Johnston has socialized health care through Indian Health Services and the Alaska Native Medical Center.

The documents show Tripp has been receiving "socialized healthcare" though the Indian Services. But why is that? Turns out ALL the Palin family gets it because "First Dude" Todd fractionally Native American.

Really, does this even surprise anyone anymore?

Check out the Palin-Hypocrisy Facebook page.

Success By Who's Criteria?

It's always puzzling when Fox"News" pulls out the "mainstream media" talking point. After all, don't they realize what "mainstream" means? If you have a larger audience share than anyone, YOU'RE the mainstream.

That aside, we get expert analysis from alleged "comedian and filmmaker" Steven Crowder. I guess the criteria for being a comedian AND a filmmaker is pretty low too.

Oh, so it's a success only from a "student" or "young-peoples" standpoint, even though most of the speakers were career politicians and Ron Paul ( who got the straw poll votes of the "young, student" demographic ) and this Crowder character claims they will lead the movement forward.

Turns out that even a prominent voice at Fox"News" didn't care so much for this event either.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee blasted the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday as outdated, nearly corrupt and unrepresentative of the conservative movement.

Huckabee, a 2008 Republican presidential contender and potential 2012 candidate who had spoken at the conference for years, said the reason he blew it off this year was that the meeting has become dominated by libertarian activists.

While some within the conservative movement will largely ignore Huckabee's statements, we shouldn't forget that he's a frequent guest on O'Reilly and Hannity's program, so it's not like his opinions aren't valued by the villagers.

But it's Crowder's statement that people like "culture warriors" Ann Coulter, Beck, and the ever blubbery Breitbart are the "leaders" of the movement. If that's really the case, I'm not to terribly worried about anyone that attended or spoke at CPAC10.

The Paul-try Movement or Bye Bye Barbie

I was rather surprised to hear the results of the CPAC "straw poll" over the weekend that gave Ron Paul a substantial victory.

In a strong reflection of just how strong his standing remains within the die-hard conservative community, Texas Republican and 2008 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire vote. The crowd, however, booed heavily when the results were announced.

Knowing that Ron Paul supporters have the ability to be more "grass-roots" than their Tea Bagger counterparts ( even though those same people ascribe of many of the ideals that Ron Paul espouses ) what was even more surprising was that Sarah Palin scored in the single digits - here's the breakdown:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul - 31 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- 22 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- 7 percent
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty - 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich - 4 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee -- 4 percent
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence - 5 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune -- 2 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels -- 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum -- 2 percent
Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour - 1 percent
Other - 5 percent
Undecided - 6 percent

Nearly a quarter of those that voted did so AGAINST Sarah Palin. What's that all about? What happened to her stature as a conservative giant. The Caribou Barbie to Ronald Reagan's Cowboy Ken? What does this say about conservatives at CPAC and those at the Tea Bagger shout-fests?

Some will chalk this up to the "Paulites" ability to infest events such as this and turn the tide in their favor. Then again, not all of the alleged 10,000 people that attended this conference voted. A reported 2400 only took part in the straw poll.

Another interesting take-away from this is the fact that one rather prominent conservative blogger claims that the fact that 48% of those voting were students shows a lack of, well, adult responsibility.

Back to the number of those that voted, what does this say about the apparent 7600 people that DIDN'T think it necessary at all to vote. I mean, Sarah Palin was on the ticket for god sakes. If conservatives are all about the gimmick of Palin, why not take part in this gimmick? Has she lost some of her mojo, or is this a reflection of the way conservatives lack the ability to pay attention to what's going on around them unless some prominent figure is on stage or on Fox"News" filling their head full of piss and vinegar?

Who knows, really. None-the-less, CPAC10 was what it was intended to be - a red-meat Bacchanalia more concerned with creating the illusion that conservatives knew "what was happening" and not really providing any substance to the socio-political discourse within America.

Listening To The Commanders

I'm reminded of the fact that this is the second high ranking member of the armed forces to say that DADT isn't necessary and John McCain still refuses to comply with his own statements regarding how he would vote should these circumstances present themselves.

As I've stated before, this is about professionalism, and the Republicans in the House and Senate are actively questioning that professionalism within our armed forces simply because they think "teh ghey is icky". Sounds like they could use a lesson in professionalism themselves.

Think Progress has more.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Exploiting A Tragedy: Fox"News" Style

Admittedly, I initially thought that Joseph Stack would have links to the Tea Baggers. But after carefully reading his manifesto, I started to realize that this man had much more complex problems.

While some conservative bloggers, pundits, and politicos have attacked this situation head-on ( in an attempt to remove any question that this man may have have right-wing, conservative views ) and loudly scolded any and all that make any form of a connection between Stark and the Tea Baggers, they haven't let that stop them from politicizing this event for their own personal gain.

Just take a look at Fox"News".

This is how conservatives create the narrative that the entire Left is out to blame conservatives for everything.

I've already addressed how Scott Brown did precisely what Megyn Kelly was chastising, but it bears repeating that the blatant and unblushing double-standard that is in play on this.

We've still got a great deal to learn about Stack, and none of it is going to be pretty. I'm just hoping that liberals and progressives don't get too caught up in the mire that Fox"News" and conservative talk-radio is highly likely to make of this. After all, they continually push the falsity and Hitler was a Leftist, so what's to stop them from creating a character sheet to reflect the same on Stack?

Is This Satire Too?

I'll talk a bit about the alleged double-standard that was brought up at the Media Matters site after you take a listen to this. Tell me whether or not you think this is racist.

Rush will likely attempt to hid behind his cloak of "I was just repeating what Harry Reid did" even though this discussion has not one thing to do with Harry Reid.

Is this racist? You're goddamn right it is. Was their a security reason why The Dali Llama was taken out an alternate entrance? More than likely, yes. Does Rush consider this? Absolutely not, as it would not fit into his agenda.

But here's something else.

In the comments section of the Media Matters site, it would proposed that Eddie Murphy does a decent impersonation of a Jewish person and he was never castigated for this. Highly unlikely that he wasn't frowned upon by some, but this comes down to Limbaugh's ( and most conservative's ) favorite word when they have to excuse something that they've done or said - Context.

Nevermind the fact that those conservatives that use that term have no inkling as to it's clearly defined meaning, but let's look at the context of Rush using "negro dialect" and Eddie Murphy impersonating a Jewish person. For the sake of continuity, here's Eddie's famous scene from the film "Coming To America".

Now, was that inherently racist? Not at all. Eddie was not portraying the Jewish people in a negative light nor stereotyping them as a people that lack the ability to do anything or speak in a manner that is odd or outside the "norm". It's comedy.

As far as Rush Limbaugh is concerned, he is looked upon as a man who provides "serious" and legitimate" commentary. He even fancies himself a man who utilizes facts and speaks "truth". He's not a comedian nor a satirist. He's a commentator who has attempted to pass of for over 20 years that he is speaking for the "values" of the conservative movement. In that context, his statements are a pure form of racism.

Some would like to argue ( like Sarah Palin ) that his commentary IS satire. I can almost see how that is a valid statement, but you have to look at how Limbaugh's show is structured and it's intended themes. While he may attempt to poke fun at one particular situation or another, his program is designed as a talking-point generator, not a joke machine.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Everyday Should Be Christina Hendricks Day

Why shouldn't they be?

She's living proof that Hollywood isn't just for stick-figure prima donnas.

The Admiral Is Getting Some Face Time

First The Daily Show and now this?

I literally saw these within hours of each other and apparently the man has his own talk show.

But I Thought They Didn't Have An Agenda

Erick is just saying what everyone already knows.

This is probably the only true statement made from that stage so far. Probably the only true statement that's going to be made all weekend.

America, Educate Thyself

I tend to agree and disagree with Bill Maher on many issues. On the notion that many Americans "aren't bright enough" to understand the issues that the Democrats and Republicans are taking on, I am in full agreement.

*click image to play clip*

Maher's portrayal of how Democrats act when the pressure is on is pretty much accurate, as we saw more than once last year. But that's not what this post is about.

The reason that so many in the country are ignorant of what is going on politically is that most of them are lazy. Not in the sense that they refuse to go to work, do household chores, or keep up with their personal hygiene, it's that they want their information spoon-fed to them. They lack the drive to verify the information that they are absorbing.

I'm reminded of how many times during the day the employees at Fox"News" keep repeating that they have this massive ratings share that no other network does. How many of those people only watch that network, never fact check anything the Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, or anything anyone else says? People that look to one news source and don't exercise their ability to ask questions, research, and dig deeper are only punishing themselves.

The willfully ignorant need to either be shown the error of their ways or they will be and should be openly mocked.

Andrew's Blubbery Rage: Pt. II

I'm with Paddy ( The Political Carnival ) on this one. The more you hear Breitbart prattle on as if he knows what he's talking about, you get the sense that he is one of the most magnificent ass-goblins on the planet.

It sounds all nice in his head, I would imagine, but are we really expected to believe that he would actually say all that to her if they met? He obviously has a very low opinion of Rachel Maddow and anyone who would rightfully point out his connection to James O'Keefe's illegal activities.

That aside, Breitbart's continued assertions that it's all the fault of the mainstream media that the Tea Baggers ( and conservativism as a whole ) are viewed negatively. Certainly, there are opinion shows ( Ed Schultz, Olbermann, and Maddow ) that express their opinions about the Tea Baggers and conservatives, but they have clear examples of racist, hypocrisy, and general ignorance. These weren't just fabricated, as Andrew would have us believe.

And this blathering nonsensical narrative that the media at large held up Obama as some religious icon is preposterous beyond measure. In point of fact, it is the conservative movement that is in the business of deification. Just look at how they treat people like Palin, Brown, and Reagan. If anything, conservatives like Andrew have set the bar so mind-bogglingly high, that there is no way that Obama ( or any Democrat ) will ever meet their alleged "standards". Odd that that bar is considerably lower when Republicans are in power.

Andrew Breitbart is a man of bluster and no substance. His colorful invective creates the illusion that he has some semblance of higher brain functions and original thought. He's really not saying anything new.

Who Are The Supporters

Today, Nate Silver highlights two questions from an ABC News/Washington Post survey regarding how people view the SCOTUS Citizens United ruling that allows unlimited spending by corporations and unions during election seasons on ads.

The results show that the American people think this is a horrible idea.

The bipartisan nature of these views is striking in these largely partisan times. The court’s ruling is opposed, respectively, by 76, 81 and 85 percent of Republicans, independents and Democrats; and by 73, 85 and 86 percent of conservatives, moderates and liberals. Majorities in all these groups, ranging from 58 to 73 percent, not only oppose the ruling but feel strongly about it.

I'm honestly concerned about how the mid-term elections are going to be affected by this ruling. Considering the fact that a plurality of Americans know this is a bad idea, are corporations really going to be able to sway elections the way they would like?

Heck Of A Rationalization Brownie

You ever notice how conservatives are always saying that liberal/progressive Democrats exploit every tragedy. Take a look at what Scott Brown just did.

Is he saying that the same thing that motivated Joseph Stark to crash a plane into an IRS building is what motivated Massachusetts voters to elect him? Is he fucking serious?

I'm not surprised that someone on the Right is using this incident as some signifier for whatever point they are trying to make, but to link this to dissatisfaction with the Obama administration ( which is precisely how I am reading Brown's statement here ) is beyond ridiculous.

Quick, Find Someone That's Not White: Pt. II

And I've addressed the accusations of racism within the Tea Bagger movement, but there is something just as valid that should be pointed out.

Exploiting the fact that you have a small fraction of "non-white" people in your alleged "grass-roots" movement is just as bad as denying there is no verifiable evidence that there is latent racism within that same movement.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air highlights a compilation video created by Randy Haddock to show that, yes, we've got black folks too.

Glenn Beck did this same thing no to many weeks ago on his Fox"News" show - bringing together a handful of black people that agree with his inane blatherings just enough to be on television with him.

It's like they're saying "racism doesn't exist because we've got a few black friends". It's exploitative and frankly disgusting. The reality is, that if the limited number of black people that are aligning themselves with the Tea Baggers didn't hold this canted ideological perspective, the predominantly white crowds at all these gatherings wouldn't care one bit about them.

Rush To Judgement

In which Limbaugh against gives Sarah Palin a metaphorical finger banging while attempting to burnish her image. The catch, distancing her from the Tea Baggers.

So again, here is one of the "leaders" of the conservative movement saying that the Tea Baggers have to join the Republicans if they want their image and message to remain valid. But wasn't the alleged idea of being a Tea Bagger that you had no party affiliation?

Sarah Palin, Have You Met Andrea Friedman Yet?

This is just too awesome to pass up.

My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.

Here's Andrea.

When I saw this episode of Family Guy, I knew there had to be a catch, and Seth Macfarlane and Adrea Friedman pulled it off brilliantly. Palin took the bait, it simmered in her belly for a few days and then the coup de gras. Good on you Andrea for not letting others dictate what you should do. I don't think anyone has burned Palin like you have.

So, will Palin respond to this or will she be too stunned? I'm thinking that, if anything, she'll likely talk about how using a person with Downs is wrong and..........oh, wait, she won't be able to use that excuse, will she.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Favorite Movie Scenes

One of the most under-appreciated films of the 21st Century.

I like The Beatles, but this film made me remember how incredible John Lennon and George Harrison were. Paul and Ringo can fuck off.

Teapot Terrorism? Probably Not.

Here's a quick addendum to my last post.

After reading through the entire "manifesto" left by Joseph Stack, I'm going to say that he's certainly not a Leftist and more than likely not a "traditional" conservative Republican.

In essence, this letter reads like a crime-scene riddled with multiple finger-prints all over the place. You can't really find a coherent narrative, just a man angry at the government and "fat-cats". His letter is a complex portrait of a troubled man with a troubled life, but the answers are in the nuance.

There's more than likely going to be more information on this completely complex storyline over the next 48 hours, but one thing is certain - this was a preplanned act of terror. So, before any reactionary conservatives start to deflect from the issue at hand ( meaning, why would this guy fly a plane into the Austin IRS ) everyone already knows who was President when this happened. But this will likely dominate talk on Fox"News" and conservative talk-radio for the remainder of Obama's tenure.

All logical signs point to the fact that this guy was certainly "off the radar" of any intelligence agency. What that tells me is that comments like Steve Doocy's "all terrorist look alike" are no more irrelevant than ever. Also, the profiling issue is moot, as this guy was a white man with one of the most plain names anyone could have conjured. A white, American, male from Texas.

So tell me this - how would conservative policies and practices on terrorism and spotting terrorists have produced any intel that would have prevented this?

Terrorism Or Something More

There's likely to be more to this story, considering the events prior to this.

Authorities are investigating an Austin plane crash that took place this morning at an office building in Northwest Austin, Texas.

Austin police say a small plane crashed into the seven-story building in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, per the Austin Statesman.

CNN reported that the man set his house on fire, stole the plane and crashed it intentionally, citing a federal official.

Here's some video of the aftermath uploaded to CNN.

Not to get overtly conspiratorial with this, but something tells me this story will be much bigger than we expect at this point. After all, the building the plane crashed into was the Austin branch of the IRS.

Could this be the moment where a Tea Bagger finally goes over the edge? The pilot's letter seems to lend an air of credibility to this theory.

In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lives and their self-serving laws. I know I'm hardly the first one to decide I've had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country and it isn't limited to the blacks and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless efforts before me and there will surely be many after, but I also know that by adding my body to the count, I will ensure nothing will change."

"I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.

The spin on this tonight from Fox"News" is likely to be mindbending. Beck is on in less than 3 hours. I'm guessing he's already going to blame this on progressives, Van Jones, and the IPCC. The chalkboard will be in flames by the end of the show.

Random Video Action

Seen this a million and a half times, but I just have one question....

Why isn't the weight-turbulence blowing everything away on the road?

Under The Bus With Thee

Somebody's enraged The Purse Lipped One.

Do you agree with Keene and Norquist’s views on national security and immigration enforcement?

Because in the name of “constitutional conservatism,” Keene and Norquist support the Obama/Democrat majority approach of civilian trials for terrorists. And in the name of “constitutional conservatism,” Norquist supports de facto open borders and dangerous pandering to Muslim grievance-mongers.

And Malkin's also pissed that these two agree with housing terrorists at the maximum security prison in Thompson, Illinois.

My, what a lovely Tea Party. Such great snack time entertainment.

Then Malkin forgets her boiling hatred for John McCain ( whom she constantly lambasts for his stance of immigration reform ) and points to her dreamboat Scott Brown as a voice of reason. Has she forgotten that Brown came right out after he was elected and stated he would not only campaign for McCain but that he was his model for what a conservative politicians should be? Uh, oh. Someone's not paying attention.

GOP MA Sen. Scott Brown opposes civilian trials for jihadists and made it a key campaign item. The Republican leadership on Capitol Hill opposes civilian trials for jihadists. A majority of Americans oppose civilian trials for jihadists. And it’s a sure bet that the vast majority of grass-roots activists at CPAC oppose civilian trials for jihadists.

Which makes them all “scaremongers” who oppose “constitutional conservatism,” I guess.

In the end, Malkin has her teeth in a twist over the predictably pathetic Mount Vernon Statement because it isn't wingnutty enough for her. The "constitutional conservative" meme will only get you so far. You've got to go full bore if you want Malkin to put on a metaphorical "ping-pong-ball" show for you. That's how you know you've won her heart.

The Irony Isn't Lost On Anyone

More teleprompter blathering.

Seriously, is this is best material they can come up with?

Let's have another face-to-face with Obama and Republican politicians and take not again of how Obama really doesn't need a prompter to kick some serious ass.

Hush Puppy

I'm thinking that maybe Beck should actually start drinking again.

Beck is a great poster boy for the Tea Baggers, even if he's only participated in in the initial Tax Day Shoutfest last year, as he is completely off the rails insane.

His "eliminationist" rhetoric and that of the Tea Baggers ( expertly analyzed by David Neiwert ) is going to end up getting someone hurt. And it's come close already.

You hear people on the far-right talking about how the Left is "unhinged" ( a favorite meme of the Purse Lipped One, Michelle Malkin ) and yet they are going to bat for people like Glenn Beck like he's the voice of reason. They are ignoring the rank hypocrisy, hate-speech, and revisionist history ( even recent history ) and packaging it like this is the ideology that will save the country, maybe even the whole planet.

But what if it's all an act? What if this is just what Beck is paid to do? It's a possibility, as he took up some very different viewpoints when he was at Headline News. The problem is that people see him as a reliable source, a man they can trust. And that is what makes Beck dangerous - his schtick is canonized as holy writ.

The Distance Between Them

Here's another clip of Tony Perkins whining.

I completely understand that one doesn't have to be a Republican to be a "conservative", but the reality of our current socio-political climate is that "conservativism" has become a fringe ideology, almost a theology to a certain degree. And those that claim to hold these ideals are primarily Republicans.

For all of Perkin's lofty rhetoric, he is largely ignoring the fact that conservative practices have been a plague on this nation, save the practices of Bill Clinton ( budget surplus, strong economy, welfare rolls shrank ) since those that espouse them rarely put them into practice. It's what these alleged conservative champion do act upon that has caused many of the troubles we face today.

It's already been pointed out to the Tea Baggers by their princess, Sarah Palin, that they will have to choose a political party in the upcoming elections. Who do you think they are going to choose, Tony?

Stimulative Sucess

Here's the new OFA video that shows how the Economic Stimulus worked.

And while multiple, independent and reliable, sources have lauded the Economic Stimulus as a success, Republicans that voted against it still have their hands out for their cut.

Interestingly, some conservatives are pointing to this video as proof that the Economic Stimulus was a failure.

If the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act were an unqualified success, would the Democrats be running ads like this?

The ad doesn’t even attempt to defend the stimulus act on its merits, or show any evidence that the $787 billion spent actually created any new jobs. Instead, it spends almost two minutes attacking Republicans on their “hypocrisy.”

Even in the face of their own defeat, conservatives will claim they hold some sort of high-minded superiority and will continue to ignore their arguments being ripped limb from limb. Kind of reminds me of this:

Metal Militia

( h/t Paddy at The Political Carnival )

I've always been a fan of music that pushes the envelope, more so to those that actually put a stamp on it and mail it off just to see what happens.

Not often to bands like Black Sabbth come along, but it sure is a beautiful thing when they do. It's hard to believe that 40 years ago this month, Ozzy, Geezer, Tony, and Bill made one of the heaviest and most groundbreaking records of all time.

Interesting to note that the three main notes that make up the musical theme of the song "Black Sabbath" were once band by the Church in Europe because they were believed to conjure the Devil himself.

GOP "Truth"

I'm beginning to wonder exactly how many Republicans are "Truthers".

Think Progress has some more on this, as well as relevant context that includes Beck "outing" a Tea Bagger "Triuther" Debra Medina.

If there's one thing that conservatives are known for, it's the ability to stay on message when you know that millions of people are watching, even when it means you're dribbling lies onto your Brooks Brothers suit. But they haven't been able to figure out that citizen journalism ( and no, I'm not talking about the Breitbart kind where you're breaking the law ) has been doing more to shine a light on conservative hypocrisy than most mainstream outlets.

Has the Tea Bagger narrative, that conspiratorial twitch, began to slither into the minds of sitting Republican Congressional members? Of course it has. It's been there since Jan. 20th of last year. All one has to do is look at people like Jim DeMint and Michelle Bachman for perfect examples. These people are so anti-government that storylines like Sept. 11th was a "false flag" operation begin to makes sense to them. Not because they are anti-Bush, but because they have erased from their memories that Bush was ever in office. That is, until someone calls him out for the complete disaster his presidency was, then they are on the defence.

The point is that these people are so disconnected from reality that they will say anything if their handlers aren't around to keep them in line.

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