GOP Obstructionism

GOP Demonstrate true meaning of “Job-Killing”…

Republicans fine with increasing unemployment…and they don’t deny that it’s what they’re doing!

The Rachel Maddow Show

Rachel Maddow explains this as clearly as anyone I know:

Part 1

Part 2

The New Freshman Class of Extremist Senators

From People for the American Way.

The message here is: “Watch out for those newly elected senators and congressmen, they want to turn back the clock to the 50’s….”

Clarence Thomas’ Ethics Problems, Then and Now

Justice Clarence Thomas has been noted for having the least to say during arguments before the Supreme Court.  It seems he never asks questions of the plaintiff nor the defendant when any given case is argued before The Court.

One has to wonder…is he that stupid or does he have something to hide, knowing that if he made one mistake, he’d be held up to scrutiny by the press and by a country full of bloggers, like myself.

Let me be clear, I do not like Clarence Thomas.  I do not like how Senate Republicans did everything they could to undermine Anita Hill and make HER look like the guilt party at the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings nineteen years ago.  Having said that…

The Nation

Why now? What, after almost twenty years, prompted Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, to leave a message on Brandeis professor Anita Hill’s office voicemail asking her to apologize for accusing Justice Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 confirmation hearings?

The timing was interesting. Ginni Thomas placed her call to Hill the morning after the New York Times reported that Virginia Thomas’s new Liberty Central organization accepted “large, unidentified contributions” totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Those untraceable dollars came in the flood of right-wing funding following the Citizens United campaign finance decision, in which Justice Thomas voted with the majority. The Times reported that a wide range of legal ethicists said Liberty Central’s financing raises “knotty questions” about a conflict of interest for Justice Thomas.


It is now nearly forgotten that Thomas’s ethics record gave Hill’s accusation traction. Briefly a federal appeals judge, and before that a Reagan operative charged with undercutting civil rights enforcement, Thomas had a long habit of telling untruthful stories. As the late civil rights scholar Haywood Burns, dean of the law school at City University of New York, testified during the ’91 hearings before Hill’s accusations surfaced, Thomas’s testimony and record were marked by “a lack of candor, compassion and ethical judgment.”

Reporting to Congress as head of the EEOC, Thomas misrepresented his agency’s nonenforcement of age discrimination law. As a federal judge he sat on an appeals court review of the criminal conviction of Col. Oliver North, despite having spoken out in support of North’s actions in the Iran/Contra scandal. He failed to recuse himself from a case involving his political patron, Senator John Danforth.

To score points, Thomas even lied about his sister: falsely describing her in speeches as pathetically welfare dependent, a mocking depiction utterly at odds with the proud and hard existence of a woman who worked a series of minimum-wage jobs for most of her life to support her family.

Perhaps Ginni Thomas’s phone call was a smokescreen—an attempted distraction from the reporting on Liberty Central’s funding. Maybe it was unrelated. Either way, twenty years later it bears remembering that Hill’s accusations were not just a matter of “she said, he said.” Hill, in 1991, testified as a credible witness of unquestioned probity.

Thomas had a documented ethics problem then—and, it appears, an ongoing ethics problem now. Back then, Thomas’s truth problem obscured his shameful role in undoing the very civil rights tradition that made his nomination possible. Today, the Thomases’ evocation of that old episode obscures an ethically challenged Supreme Court justice complicit in handing American politics over to corporations and anonymous far-right donors—that is the real scandal.

Rachel Maddow- Media adopt Republican narratives for midterms

MSNBC The Rachel Maddow Show – Oct. 18, 2010: Rachel Maddow explodes the prevailing media explanations for the success of extreme right Republican candidates, proving that the election is not about such issues as the deficit or TARP.



This year’s attack ads cut deeper


Forget about ads featuring soft-on-crime accusations, cherry-picked tax votes or claims of ideological extremism.

This year, both parties are rolling out ads that take negative campaigning to another level. Candidates have been accused of wanting to gas house pets, inject young girls with dangerous drugs, let men beat their wives and assist child molesters, whether by buying them Viagra or protecting their privacy. The soft-on-rape ads that have aired this cycle seem almost tame by comparison. (See also Angle Ad: Reid Gives Viagra to Predators)

While candidates have always attacked one another, distorted one another’s records and taken one another’s statements grossly out of context, this year’s collection of napalm-flavored attack ads are a notch beyond the standard election-year criticisms.

The target politicians, according to their opponents, aren’t just untrustworthy or inexperienced. They’re flat out cruel and depraved.

How depraved? How about a monster who wants to kill innocent puppies? That guy is running for governor of Illinois.

“Bill Brady’s first priority was to sponsor a bill that would mass-euthanize sheltered dogs and cats in gas chambers,” the narrator of a Web video for incumbent Pat Quinn says, indignantly, in reference to the Democratic governor’s Republican opponent. (See also: Quinn’s Attack Ad on Dogs)

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Distort, Mislead and Lie Are Traditional Rovian Tactics – A Series of Layered Deceptions

Karl Rove has his slimy fingerprints all over the U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign finance fiasco.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that he was the master manipulator behind the Citizens United case, which was the catalyst for all the secret campaign financing we are witnessing today.

Washington Monthly

A SERIES OF LAYERED DECEPTIONS…. As the midterm election season nears its completion, one of the key debates of October is over millions of dollars in undisclosed contributions, some of which may be coming from foreign governments. Americans have been left with a wild-west-style campaign finance system, and it’s getting uglier with each passing day.

At the center of the fiasco is Karl Rove, ostensibly a “media professional,” who also helped create two of the largest partisan attack operations of the year, funded by secret donors. Indeed, while Rove is spending tens of millions of dollars to buy elections with undisclosed money for Republicans, he’s also lying rather shamelessly about the larger campaign finance dynamic that’s unfolding this cycle.

And if that was all, it’d be pretty awful. But Greg Sargent reminds us today that Rove isn’t just lying to the public and the media about campaign financing, he’s also lying to voters in the ads he’s helping finance.

Here’s something important that’s getting lost in the firefight over the money funding the ads by the U.S. Chamber and Karl Rove’s groups: Many of the ads themselves have been debunked by independent fact checkers as false, grossly misleading, or marred with distortions.

I’ve compiled a list below, and the totality is striking. Thus far the media focus has understandably been on the flap over the White House’s foreign money charges. But there’s another big part of the story that’s going undercovered: The scope of the dishonesty and distortion that’s flowing from the conservative side of this debate.

Not only are the ads themselves getting widely debunked, but the justifications the groups are offering for the ad onslaught (that liberals and labor do this too) are also demonstrably false or misleading. We’re witnessing a massive disinformation campaign flooding airwaves across the country that could change the outcome of major races and shift the balance of power in Congress, funded by money from undisclosed sources, justified with still more falsehoods and disinformation.

 Greg ran a list of Senate campaign ads — some financed by Rove’s attack operations, some by the Chamber — and literally all of them include demonstrable falsehoods.

The layers of deception are getting tough to keep up with. But the bottom line remains the same: Karl Rove and his fellow GOP hatchetmen are raking in obscene amounts of undisclosed money, using it to lie to voters, all the while lying about the campaign finance fiasco that’s allowing them to buy an election cycle.

Greg concluded, “[T]he sheer scale and dimension of dishonesty and distortion coming from the conservative side of this debate is a very big part of the story. And it’s largely going untold.”

Huckabee Opposes Insurance For People With Pre-Existing Conditions

Mike Huckabee giving a speech following the So...

Image via Wikipedia

 So much for Christian compassion and the age old Christian concept of “Faith, Hope and Charity”.  It seems the ultra Conservative Christian “Reich” feel that the above tenets are not a requisite to be a member of their version of “Christianity.  Every now and then I have to repeat Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi words:  I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.  


When Republicans attack health care reform, Democrats like to counter by accusing Republicans of wanting to repeal a law that requires insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. According to Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, that’s exactly right. People with pre-existing conditions, he explains are like houses that have already burned down.  

“It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition,” Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. “Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, “I’d like to buy some insurance for my house.” He’d say, “Tell me about your house.” “Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today.” And he’ll say “I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned.” Well, no preexisting conditions.”  

A moment of candor from the evangelical former Arkansas governor. Hard to say how that comports with voting on values, though.  

It’s worth pointing out, too, that the health care law’s individual mandate is in large part meant to make sure people don’t wait until they get ill until they buy insurance. But Republicans want to do away with that part of reform as well.  

NY Times’ Frank Rich: Time for This Big Dog to Bite Back

New York Times op-ed columnist, Frank Rich gets it.  He has always understood the intricacies of government, politics and polling.  His op-ed demonstrates this…

Frank Rich – NY Times

NO, he can’t. President Obama can’t reverse the unemployment numbers by Election Day. He can’t get even a modest new stimulus bill past the Party of No, and even if he could, there would be few jobs to show for it until (maybe) 2011. Nor can he rewrite the history of his administration. Its signal accomplishments to date are an initial stimulus package that was overrun by the calamity at hand and a marathon health care battle as yet better known for its unseemly orgy of backroom wrangling than its concrete results. While that brawl raged, the White House seemed indifferent to the mounting number of Americans being tossed onto the Great Recession scrapheap.

And so the odds that Obama’s party will survive the midterms seem less than Indiana Jones’s in the Temple of Doom — as we are reminded hourly by the Beltway herd flogging the latest polls. The Democrats are facing a “historic” rout, an earthquake, a tidal wave — well, you know the drill. End of story.

Unless it’s not. On Labor Day, the fighting Obama abruptly re-emerged, a far cry from the man whose Oval Office address on Iraq days earlier was about as persuasive as a hostage video. Speaking to workers in Milwaukee, the president finally started giving voice to the anger of America’s battered middle class. And he even let loose with a little anger of his own. The unspecified “powerful interests” aligned against him, he said, “talk about me like a dog.”

That inelegant line — “not in my prepared remarks,” Obama explained — landed because it was true and because he said it with a grin. Americans like their warriors happy, not petulant (cf, “You’re likable enough, Hillary”).

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