Daily Archives: November 17, 2010

The Anti-Spending Politicians Who Rake In Farm Subsidies

This is typical of all politicians.  It’s really not a partisan issue, in my opinion…

Huffington Post

Many Republicans who swept rural Democrats from office are now confronting the reality of a promise to reduce spending: Should it cover the farm subsidies that have brought money and jobs to their districts – and directly benefited some GOP lawmakers or their families?

At least 13 Democrats on the House Agriculture Committee lost on Nov. 2, and most of then helped steer generous farm support back home. Many of their replacements avoided the issue of farm payments during the campaign as they focused on broader themes of lowering federal spending and changing Washington.

They’ll have to face it soon enough. Congress is expected to begin work on the next five-year farm bill before the 2012 election.

“They are here to represent their districts, and if their district is clearly a strong agricultural district that uses the programs in the farm bill, it may be something where they have to break with what they campaigned on,” says Chandler Goule, a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union.

For some deficit-cutting Republicans, it’s a question that’s close to home.

Consider Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, who courted tea party support and dethroned the chairman of the House Armed Service Committee, Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton.

Continue reading…

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Filed under GOP, GOP Hypocrisy, Government Spending

Lisa Murkowski Defeats Joe Miller In 2010 Alaska Senate Race

Sara Palin’s candidate did not win the Alaskan senatorial race.  Why am I so happy that a Republican won?  Well, because ANYTHING is better than another Tea Party candidate in the Senate.  Especially one hand-picked by the “grizzly momma” herself.

Huffington Post

Sen. Lisa Murkowski on Wednesday became the first Senate candidate in more than 50 years to win a write-in campaign, emerging victorious over her tea party rival following a painstaking, week-long count of hand-written votes.

The victory completes a remarkable comeback for the Republican after her humiliating loss in the GOP primary to Joe Miller.

Her victory became clear when Alaska election officials confirmed they had only about 700 votes left to count, putting Murkowski in safe territory to win re-election. Murkowski is flying back from Washington to Alaska on Wednesday to make an “exciting announcement,” proclaiming in an e-mail to supporters that the campaign “made history.”

Murkowski has a lead of 10,400 votes, a total that includes 8,153 ballots in which Miller observers challenged over things like misspellings, extra words or legibility issues.

Miller told Fox News that he is not conceding the race, and will decide at the end of the week whether the campaign will request a recount. Miller has maintained he’ll stop fighting if the math doesn’t work in his favor.   Continue reading…

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Filed under Joe Miller, Lisa Murkowski

In her new book, Sarah Palin rails on American Idol, among other things…

Sarah Palin’s new book: America By Heart seems to be a “stomach turner according to PalingatesIt’s no secret that Mrs. Palin should be getting her own house in order before slamming other Americans and iconic American television shows.

Palin dishes on American Idol contestants, praises her family and slams Levi Johnston and Hollywood.

Another excerpt:

And what a read it is. The book is, I will say, not boring, but it’s still one of the most stomach-turning reading experiences you will ever encounter in your life.
After this stressful evening with the Palinbots manipulating the DWTS competition and also Bristol’s and Willow’s horrific comments on Facebook (alternative download HERE), it’s the perfect evening for another revelation:
Sarah Palin has to be the most delusional, petty and self-righteous person in the whole wide United States of America.
So that there can be no doubt about this fact, she apparently felt compelled to present the final evidence in the form of this new book, which really should have been called: Praising myself and my family and dishing out on all the others, and presenting myself as the one and only leader of the American nation.

It’s Sarah Palin’s “Mein Kampf.”

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Filed under Sarah Palin

Dems Are Getting Their Asses Kicked On The PR Front

I have to agree with Mario Piperni.  This passive aggressive bull pucky that Obama and his administration are displaying is disheartening and downright distasteful.  In my opinion, President Obama’s solid stance on “bi-partisanship” makes him the laughing stock of the GOP, who have no intention of cooperating with anything the President wants.

It makes Obama look weak and ineffective not only to Congress, but to the American public.   Is Obama trying to be a one term president?  If he’s not, he’s sure fooling me and a few million other people who voted for him in 2008.

Mario Piperni

Quick, someone get a copy of Sun Tzu’s book over to the White House.

So there was a big meeting planned for this week between President Obama, Reid, McConnell, Pelosi and Boehner.  It was going to deal with tax cuts and explore ways for the two sides to achieve some form of bipartisan agreement. Republicans, claiming they had no time to meet the President this week, asked for a postponement.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky lawmaker, said in an email that there had never really been a firm date. “We’ll have a meeting so that we can discuss issues that Republicans have long said can be accomplished together,” his message said. “These include reducing spending, growing jobs through increased trade and increasing domestic energy. The Leader is encouraged that the President wants to discuss these areas of agreement.”

DailyKos sees this as another GOP victory.

You see what’s happening here? Republicans — probably correctly — believe Democrats have already caved on tax cuts, so they’re moving the goal posts. Now they are defining bipartisanship as agreeing with them on GOP agenda items like decreasing spending and increased energy production (translation: more deepwater drilling).

Maybe the White House thought that folding their hand before sitting down at the table would make them look reasonable and bipartisan, and maybe they were right, but to the people they need to negotiate with, it just looked weak. And this is the predictable result: Republicans are taking their win, and moving the goalposts to try to accomplish the next item on their agenda.

Here’s another view.

It may be a petty, minor thing, but this is getting to the point where Obama is looking weak in many, many separate situations, and it’s becoming a car wreck for the White House. Having him doing public post-election soul searching; having him give repeated noises in the press about preemptively caving on whatever it is the GOP might be asking for: it’s a messaging/political disaster. He took a stout midterm loss and turned it into his own midterm disaster.

[...]

Long story short, if McConnell or Boehner can’t find time to meet at the president’s convenience, Obama should just call off the meeting and be done with it. When you’re President of the United States you shouldn’t be losing pissant little power plays.

So true.  The GOP is doing a number on the President and he’s allowing them to get away with it.  I’m hoping the White House has some secret power play they’ve been waiting to unleash – a strategy which justifies their current weak and cowardly stance in standing up to Republicans.  If so, it might be time to put the new strategy into play before there’s no longer a war to be won.

Then again, perhaps we’re all wrong and President Obama has read the Art of War…

For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill. -Sun Tzu

I sure as hell hope so.

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Filed under GOP, GOP Agenda, President Obama

HuffPo Exclusive: George Soros Tells Top Progressive Donors To Give Elsewhere ‘If This President Can’t Do What We Need’

Wow! That’s pretty much a slap in the face to the POTUS.  I guess Soros is a bit pissed off at all the bashing Glenn Beck has been doling out against him.   Or, conversely, perhaps Soros has a point here. 

Actually, I see this as a master chess move on Soros’ part.  For the President, it’s either “s**t or get off the pot”!  Stay tuned…

Huffington Post

At a private meeting on Tuesday afternoon, George Soros, a longtime supporter of progressive causes, voiced blunt criticism of the Obama administration, going so far as to suggest that Democratic donors direct their support somewhere other than the president.

The Hungarian-American financier was speaking to a small side gathering of donors who had convened in Washington D.C. for the annual gathering of the Democracy Alliance — a formal community of well-funded, progressive-minded individuals and activists.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of his remarks, Soros told those in attendance that he is “used to fighting losing battles but doesn’t like to lose without fighting.”

“We have just lost this election, we need to draw a line,” he said, according to several Democratic sources. “And if this president can’t do what we need, it is time to start looking somewhere else.”

Michael Vachon, an adviser to Soros, did not dispute the comment, though he stressed that there was no transcript of a private gathering to check. Vachon also clarified that the longtime progressive giver was not referring to a primary challenge to the president.

“Mr. Soros fully supports the president as the leader of the Democratic Party,” said Vachon. “He was not suggesting that we seek another candidate for 2012. His comments were made in a private, informal conversation that was about the need for progressives to be more forceful in promoting their agenda. He was stressing the importance of being heard by elected officials.”

Dissatisfaction with the Obama administration was not limited to Soros’s private gathering with donors. On Wednesday morning, Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina received several tough questions during his address to the Democracy Alliance. According to a source in the room, he was pressed multiple times as to why the administration has declined to be more combative with Republicans, both in communication and legislative strategy. Another source in the room said the exchange was not entirely contentious as people were simply expressing frustration about the fact that “we just came out of an election where the right wing and the Republicans distorted what was going on.”   Continue reading…

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Filed under George Soros, President Obama

GOP freshman: Where’s my Government health care?

The hypocrisy of the GOP is absolutely mind blowing…

Politico

A conservative Maryland physician elected to Congress on an anti-Obamacare platform surprised fellow freshmen at a Monday orientation session by demanding to know why his government-subsidized health care plan takes a month to kick in.

Republican Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist who defeated freshman Democrat Frank Kratovil on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, reacted incredulously when informed that federal law mandated that his government-subsidized health care policy would take effect on Feb. 1 – 28 days after his Jan. 3rd swearing-in.   Continue reading…

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Filed under GOP, GOP Agenda, GOP Hubris, GOP Hypocrisy

TSA today, predicted years ago in film…

This is hilarious, but sadly, this has really happened in too many cases.

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Filed under TSA

Dittoheads, race and denial

I’ve read reports about Rush Limbaugh’s non-stop assault on minorities, particularly Blacks.  (I don’t listen to his show anymore.  Between the lies and the racist rants, it’s just unbearable.)

It seems almost common-place now, to speak and write racist comments on what used to be mainstream blogs and newspapers, these days.  Perhaps, they have Rush Limbaugh to thank for their newly found “freedom of hate speech”…

Salon - By Steve Kornacki

On Tuesday, I learned that there is a circumstance under which right-wingers are happy to align themselves with RINOs: in hindsight over the issue of civil rights.

I discovered this almost by accident, after including in a post about Rush Limbaugh’s confused racial paranoia — he can’t seem to decide whether powerful white Democrats are conspiring to stifle the ambitions of their black counterparts or if they’ve been intimidated by political correctness into excessive deference — a line in which I characterized the Republican Party as “an overwhelmingly white party that owes its strength to decades of growth in the South, a result of its 1964 decision to reject the Civil Rights Act.”

It’s not exactly a revolutionary claim, given the crucial role the South has played in the rise of modern conservatism and the degree to which the region has been remade as a Republican bastion — a reality driven home by this month’s midterms, which left the GOP, as the New York Times put it, “at a stronger position in the South than at any time since Reconstruction.” The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is not the only reason for the GOP’s evolving dominance in the South (nor is race in general), but it does mark a pivotal turning point in the relationship between the region and both political parties.

But, at least to judge from the e-mail I received on Tuesday, many conservatives aren’t comfortable acknowledging this. By Tuesday afternoon, my in box was flooded with irate responses, virtually all of them making the exact same point: A greater percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act in Congress in 1964. Many of the e-mails included the exact partisan vote breakdown in both chambers. “Care to redo that rejection of the Civil Rights Act you discuss in the article?” one correspondent asked.

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Filed under GOP, GOP Political Attacks, Racism, Racist Right Wing Talk Radio, Republicans, Rush Limbaugh

Michael Bloomberg & Joe Scarborough: The Independent Odd Couple

Leave it to Huffington Post’s newest Senior Political Editor, Howard Fineman  to break this story!  This is huge, if it plays out.

The Huffington Post – Howard Fineman

There’s no campaign yet, and there may never be, but New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MSNBC’s morning talk-show host Joe Scarborough have begun trying to figure out whether they could be an independent presidential ticket in 2012 — and who would be better to be on top if it happens.

They’re the Odd Couple of Guys Outside the System.

The two are friends and, in both public and private, mutual admirers. They spent the day after the midterm elections complimenting each other at a Harvard symposium — Vanity Fair was there to document it all for a spring issue — bemoaning the same political rift they may try to exploit to win the White House.

Well-placed sources tell The Huffington Post that the mayor and the host have talked about running together, with Bloomberg in the top spot. In an interview, Scarborough, a former GOP congressman from Florida, issued a firm yet carefully-worded denial. “We haven’t discussed it directly,” he said, adding, “Have people discussed it in his sphere and in my sphere? I think so.”

Bloomberg’s chief political lieutenant, Kevin Sheekey, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

On “Morning Joe,” Scarborough has repeatedly praised the mayor and talked up the likelihood — and the necessity — of an independent presidential bid by someone, even if it isn’t going to be Bloomberg leading it.

It can get effusive. “I don’t know anybody who has seen what Bloomberg’s done for this city,” the host said on his morning program in October, “who would not say that he is one of the best administrators we have had in American politics in quite some time.”

Continue reading…

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Filed under Joe Scarborough, Michael Bloomberg

Bush “Photoshops” Rove Out of Plame Scandal

Mother Jones - By David Corn

In an act of historical airbrushing, the ex-president leaves a key player out of his account of the CIA leak case.

In his new book, George W. Bush repeatedly challenges the charge that he misled the country into the Iraq war. He writes, “I didn’t like hearing people claim I had lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” But while defending his integrity, he presents assertions that are outright false: for instance, that Iraq had a WMD infrastructure and was pursuing such weapons at the time of the invasion (it did not and was not), and that Saddam Hussein had refused to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors (he was not fully cooperating with inspectors, but the inspectors had reported Iraq’s cooperation was increasing). His account is often selective—such as when he recounts a 2003 meeting with Tony Blair and fails to mention that at this session he (Bush) raised the possibility of kick-starting the Iraq war with a phony provocation. But Bush’s selectivity is glaringly apparent when he recounts one of the dark moments of his presidency: the outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

Bush describes this episode for one purpose: to discuss the “most emotional personnel decision” of his presidency—whether or not to pardon White House aide Scooter Libby, who had been convicted of lying to FBI agents and a grand jury during the investigation of the Plame leak. He notes that this affair began when former ambassador Joe Wilson, Plame’s husband, wrote a post-invasion op-ed challenging Bush’s pre-invasion claim that Iraq had sought to buy uranium (presumably for use in a nuclear weapons program) from Niger. Bush doesn’t fully cover the back story: Nearly a year prior to Bush publicly making the uranium-from-Niger charge, the CIA—after Vice President Dick Cheney had requested the agency provide him more information on this matter—asked Wilson to trek to Niger to check out the allegation. Wilson did so and reported back to the agency that this sort of uranium deal would have been nearly impossible to pull off.

Continue reading…

Related topics

Valerie Plame: How to Dismantle 23,000 Atom Bombs  -The ex-CIA agent on why we’re running out of time to get rid of the world’s nukes.

Corn on “Hardball”: Cheney Forgets Plamegate 

22 Things Cheney Can’t Recall About the Plame Case - In the CIA leak investigation, the former Vice President tried the Alberto Gonzales defense.

Novak, Corn, and Plamegate

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Filed under George W. Bush, Karl Rove, Valerie Plame, Valerie Plame & Joe Wilson