U.S. Politics

Friday Afternoon RoundUp

NATO to turn Afghan security control over by 2014
LISBON, Portugal (AP) — NATO will start drawing down its troops in Afghanistan next ..

McConnell too busy for dinner with Obama, eats with Federalist Society..
So Obama is snubbed , and the White House covers McConnell’s ass .  McConnell wo..

Raising Social Security Retirement Age Could Cause Spike in Disability..
(image: twolf1) The purpose of raising the retirement age, we’re told, is to increas..

Dems will vote on just middle class tax cuts, Hoyer says
Steny Hoyer, the number two in the House Dem leadership, told Democrats at a caucus ..

Deficit Commission Co-Chair Erskine Bowles Falsely Claims Social Secur..
Last week, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the co-chairs of President Obama’s defic..

Some House Democrats urge GOP to reject their health benefits
Making some lemonade out of Rep.-elect Andy Harris’s ongoing embarassment , a handfu..

Get Wall Street out of the White House
Nothing in this year’s exit polling hurt more than this : Got that? Of the 35 percen..

REPORT: Fox donates at least $40 million in airtime to potential GOP p..
Between January 1 and October 31 of this year, five potential Republican presidentia..

Malkin fudges facts in crusade against the Dream Act
Conservative columnist and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin forwarded numerous f..

Sharron Angle Campaign Team Profiled Democrats & Reporters, Ex-Staffer..
Failed Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s (R) campaign had an established proto..

Hurricane Katrina · NOPD

New Orleans Police Laughed After Burning Henry Glover’s Body, Fellow Officer Testifies

Huffington Post

A New Orleans police officer was laughing after he burned the body of a man who had been gunned down by police in Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath, a fellow officer testified Thursday.

The testimony came during the trial of officer Greg McRae and Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann, who are charged with burning the body of 31-year-old Henry Glover in a car after he was shot and killed by a different officer outside a strip mall on Sept. 2, 2005. Three other current and former officers also are charged in Glover’s death.

Lt. Joseph Meisch testified Thursday that he was standing outside a police station near the Mississippi River when he saw a car followed by a pickup truck driving on a levee. McRae was driving the car and Scheuermann was driving the truck, according to prosecutors.

Moments after the car drove off the levee, Meisch saw a plume of thick, black smoke.

Meisch didn’t know who was driving the vehicles until McRae and Scheuermann ran toward him. Scheuermann had a blank look on his face, but McRae was laughing, Meisch said.

“Laughing like somebody had just played a joke?” Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracey Knight asked.

“It could have been humorous or nervous laughter,” he said.

Meisch said he asked what had happened, and McRae told him not to worry about it.

“I got it,” Scheuermann added, according to Meisch.   

Continue reading…

Michelle Obama · Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin Slams Michelle Obama in Racially Charged Passage From New Book

The Huffington Post – Geoffrey Dunn

In passages leaked from her forthcoming book America by Heart, Sarah Palin — the erstwhile quitter governor of Alaska, who now, by all indications, fancies herself as President of the United States — has taken another cheap shot at First Lady Michelle Obama.

In a passage on perceptions of racial inequality in the United States, Palin slams President Barack Obama, who, she asserts, “seems to believe” that “America — at least America as it currently exists — is a fundamentally unjust and unequal country.”

And then she goes after Michelle Obama:

Certainly his wife expressed this view when she said during the 2008 campaign that she had never felt proud of her country until her husband started winning elections. In retrospect, I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, since both of them spent almost two decades in the pews of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church listening to his rants against America and white people.

The passage — coming on page 26 in a chapter entitled “We, the People” — echoes remarks made by Palin on the eve of the midterm elections, at a rally in San Jose, California, at which point she mocked remarks made by Michelle Obama during the 2008 campaign: “You know, when I hear people say, or had said during the campaign that they’ve never been proud of America,” Palin spat out. “Haven’t they met anybody in uniform yet? I get tears in my eyes when I see that young man, that young woman, walking through the airport in uniform…you too… so proud to be American.”

In fact, Michelle Obama’s remarks were made (in Madison, Wisconsin, during the 2008 campaign) in a context of Americans being “unified around some basic common issues”:

What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something–for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction, and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I’ve seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it’s made me proud.

Afterwards, the First Lady further clarified her remarks by noting that she was referencing the “record number” of young voters participating in the political process in the 2008 campaign:

For the first time in my lifetime, I am seeing people rolling up their sleeves in way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out, and that’s the source of pride I was talking about.

The passages from Palin’s latest book first appeared at Palingates, where several other pages from American by Heart have also been posted. Palin followed up her comments about Michelle Obama by throwing an elbow at U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, also focusing on racial overtones:

It also makes sense, then, that the man President Obama made his attorney general, Eric Holder, would call us a “nation of cowards” for failing to come to grips with what he described as the persistence of racism.


Rep. Alan Grayson · Tax Policy

Alan Grayson: Five Things The Rich Can Do With Their Tax Cuts (VIDEOS)

Say what you will about this “lame duck” Representative from Florida, but Alan Grayson was never afraid to confront the GOP with their stupidity and their greed.

Part 1

Part 2

Joe Miller · Lisa Murkowski

Joe Miller Fights Alaska Senate Election Results, Insists It’s Not ‘Impossible’ For Him To Win

Joe Miller is the epitome of arrogance.

Huffington Post

Alaska Republican Joe Miller made clear on Thursday that he has no intention of conceding in Alaska’s U.S. Senate race despite rival candidate incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski being declared the winner of the drawn-out election earlier this week and calls mounting for the embattled contender to admit defeat.

The AP reports that a lawyer for Miller’s campaign is seeking an injunction from a federal judge to stop election officials in the Last Frontier from certifying Murkowski’s victory. The challenge comes as the latest in a string of legal challenges the the senator’s team has made against the validity of write-in ballots cast for Murkowski, whom he defeated earlier this year in the state’s GOP primary.

Miller’s lawsuit claims Alaska law requires voters to write in a candidate’s name as it appears on a declaration of candidacy, or the last name of the candidate, to cast valid ballots. His campaign filed the lawsuit last week as hand counting of write-in ballots began. … Anchorage U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline denied his request to immediately stop the state Division of Elections from counting write-in ballots that strayed from the exact spelling of a candidate’s name.On Monday, state officials filed a formal brief in opposition to the lawsuit. Thursday was the deadline for Miller to reply.

Attorney Tom Van Flein said in his filing Thursday that Miller was revising his injunction request because the Division of Elections has nearly finished its vote count.

He asked the court to stop elections officials from accepting as valid any write-in votes in which a candidate’s name was misspelled or was not written on the ballot as it appeared on the candidate’s write-in declaration of candidacy.

Continue reading…

Hillary Clinton · James Carvelle

Carville: If Hillary Gave Obama One Of Her Balls, ‘He’d Have Two’

OMG! Just…OMG!

Hey! In retrospect, Carville may have a point there.


Via Tribune reporter Mike Memoli on Twitter comes a colorful line from Democratic strategist James Carville:

“If Hillary gave up one of her balls and gave it to Obama, he’d have two.”

Carville presumably made the quip at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast where he was speaking this morning. But he’s actually made a similar point before.

Speaking to Newsweek back during the 2008 campaign, in an article about Obama’s relative political toughness compared to Clinton, Carville said: “If she gave him one of her cojones, they’d both have two.”

(Politico also wrote about Memoli’s tweet.)

Rep. Charles Rangel

Ethics Panel Says House Should Censure Charlie Rangel

There’s either one of two scenarios here that prevented the ethics panel from tossing Rangel out, totally:

1)  They felt sorry for the 80 year old congressman from Harlem based on his longevity in the House


2) So many Congressmen and Senators are in bed with so many “special interests” that just censuring Rangel seemed appropriate enough.  Of course that would be because they feared getting exposed for their ethical violations.

I choose the latter.

TPM Muckraker

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) should be censured by the House of Representatives and pay back taxes for financial and fundraising misconduct, the House ethics committee recommended late Thursday.

The House of Representatives will likely consider the motion to censure the 20-term congressman after Thanksgiving, the Associated Press reported.

A bipartisan panel debated how Rangel should be punished for several hours on Thursday. The vote to recommend censure for Rangel was 9-1.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would give an oral rebuke to Rangel before his colleagues if the House votes to accept the committee’s recommendations.

[TPM SLIDESHOW: Not A Care In The World? Charlie Rangel’s Birthday Celebration]

Rangel made an emotional appeal to the committee earlier in the day, and didn’t have much to say to reporters following the hearing. He later issued a statement of apology.

The ethics panel had already decided that Rangel was guilty of 11 ethics violations, a result Rangel said was unfair. He said it was the committee’s fault that he did not have a lawyer and walked out of the hearing, but the panel decided to go ahead.

Faux News · Fox News · Fox News Distortions · Fox News Violent Rhetoric · Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes Is No Longer Sane


Toadlike Fox News mastermind Roger Ailes has always been thought of as an evil genius—even his detractors admire his media-savvy PR brilliance. It’s not true. In fact, he’s an isolated old man whose anger has driven him insane.

We tend to just dismiss most of Roger Ailes’ public proclamations as so much rote (albeit viciously rote) Republican propaganda, in the same way we tend to dismiss most of what Robert Gibbs says. Ailes is only notable in that he’s ostensibly a media executive rather than an open political operative. Still, it was hard to ignore how Ailes described NPR in an interview out today:

“They are, of course, Nazis. They have a kind of Nazi attitude. They are the left wing of Nazism. These guys don’t want any other point of view.”

We fear that Roger Ailes’ own paranoia has got the best of him. This is a man who’s already acquired a permit for carrying a concealed handgun and who told the New York Times “I’ve got a bad leg, I’m a little overweight, so I can’t run fast, but I will fight” in case of terrorist attack at his place of employment, and who is shadowed by private bodyguards at all times, and who bought the newspaper in the small town where he lives in order to buffer himself from criticism. He has become so insulated from the normal human experience of life that he has become untethered from reality. It’s actually sad to see.

Paranoid Personality Disorder: a psychological condition “characterized by paranoia and a pervasive, long-standing suspiciousness and generalized mistrust of others. Those with the condition are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases…They think they are in danger and look for signs and threats of that danger, disregarding any facts.”

Far be it from us to try to help Fox News, but you have to wonder how much longer Rupert Murdoch—whose own children have already spoken out against Ailes—will let this go on. Roger Ailes has full control of News Corp‘s most powerful asset. And he’s plainly gone over the edge. It won’t end well.

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