Open mic catches Bank of America big telling Perry, ‘We will help you out’

The Raw Story

In what looked like a covert lobbying effort, a top Bank of America official brushed past Gov. Rick Perry (R) during a New Hampshire business breakfast on Wednesday, shook his hand and uttered the words, “Bank of America, we will help you out,” before walking away as if nothing had been said.

The brief exchange was caught by a CSPAN camera, but went unnoticed until the blog ZeroHedgepointed it out. ZeroHedge also correctly placed the man’s identity as James Mahoney, Bank of America’s director of public policy.

Confirming the man’s identity to Politico’s Ben Smith, a company spokesman said the offer of help was for “non-partisan policy expertise,” noting that Mahoney is a Democrat.

It still doesn’t make the footage any less creepy.

This video is from CSPAN, broadcast Wednesday, August 17, 2011.

See video here…


Fox Viewers Overwhelming Think We Should Prepare For Alien Invasion Before Fighting Climate Change

No surprise there!  I suspect the intelligence quotient of the majority of Fox News lemmings is in the double digits…

Think Progress

A new (supposedly) NASA-funded study postulating that aliens may attack humans over climate change had all the ingredients for a perfect Fox faux controversy — it bolstered their anti-science narrative, painted their opponents as clownish radicals, and highlighted wasteful government spending on a supposedly liberal cause. Fox reported the “news from NASA” several times several times today, presenting it as official “taxpayer funded research.” A chyron on Fox and Friends read: “NASA: Global warming may provoke an [alien] attack.”

But as Business Insider pointed out, they’re “wrong” — “That report was not funded by NASA. It was written by an independent group of scientists and bloggers. One of those happens to work at NASA.” NASA distanced itself from the report as well, calling reports linking the agency to it “not true.” Kelly finally corrected the record this afternoon, saying, “I was making that up.”

But before she did, she was so bemused by the study that she directed her viewers to completea poll on her website which asked how we should respond to the study: “Immediately increase efforts to curb greenhouse gases,” “Develop weapons to kill the Aliens FIRST,” or “Gently suggest scientists research how to create job.”

Not surprisingly, most suggested they research something else. But more than six times as many respondents (19 percent to 3 percent) said we should focus building weapons to kill aliens before curbing green house gases.

Watch a compilation:

The poll is of course not scientific, but you can hardly blame the viewers who did respond, considering Fox’s constant misinformation about climate change. For instance, as she presented the poll, Kelly said of curbing climate change, “just in case right?” — as in, “just in case” the science is right. She did not make a similar quip for alien attack. Numerous studiesconsistently show that Fox viewers are among the most misinformed of news viewers, while at least one study has shown that — perversely — watching Fox actually makes people lessinformed than they were to being with.

“Trust me folks, this story is hard to understand,” Fox and Friends host Gretchen Carlson said of the “NASA study.” Indeed.

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Sarah Palin releases Iowa ad to make sure you’re still paying attention to her

Daily Kos

Oh for the love of…

No, I don’t think Sarah Palin is going to run for president. And even if she was, she’s too late to gain any traction, because all the people who would support her would likely keep supporting Bachmann, Cain, Perry, or any of the other nuts that do what Palin does, only better.

But Palin’s entire public existence relies on people thinking she might one day again be a relevant political contender. If people don’t think that, the money stops rolling in, and she may have to start looking for a real job rather than having people pay her to take extended “vacations” in a bus with her name plastered on the side.

Why are we paying attention, you ask? Because it’s just so damn fun, of course! Nothing’s better than watching Palin snipe from the sidelines as she travels around the country staging events to step on every other Republican’s big day. She’s like a photobombing prairie dog of patriotism.

Judging the commercial as a commercial: Hmm. We’ve got carnival rides, pigs, corn, butter on a stick, tractors, the Constitution printed on a t-shirt, and a fisheye lens effect to give everything a creepy, possibly-breathing-in-toxic-bus-fumes sort of vibe, while everyday people and national media figures give their opinions on JUST HOW FREAKING GREAT SARAH PALIN IS SO PAY ATTENTION TO ME DAMN IT. And then we cap the whole thing off with a roaring bear. Is the bear meant to represent Palin? Is it supposed to represent the various threats to America, like gay people or Sharia law? Is the roar simply meant to provide counterpoint to Palin’s own speeches in the commercial, to wit: “Yeah, I may say incomprehensible, angry-sounding things, but check out this bear! It’s also loud and pissed off, but it can’t even speak English! Don’t I look pretty presidential compared to that?

Please keep not-running for not-president, Sarah Palin. We’ll miss you when you’re gone… eventually… someday.

The Gaffes Of August – Bachmann’s Big Week On The Stump


It’s been a big week for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and her insurgent presidential campaign. Her victory in the Iowa straw poll forced her fellow Minnesotan and once top-tier candidate, former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, right out of the race. But along the way, as could be expected of Bachmann and her boisterous rhetoric, there have been some other memorable moments.

On Thursday, the Tea Party maven told an interesting tale to a South Carolina audience, explaining her former career as a tax litigation attorney working for the federal government. “How many of you love the IRS? No! It’s time to change it,” she told the crowd. “I went to work in that system because the first rule of war is ‘know your enemy.’ So I went to the inside to learn how they work because I wanted to beat them.”

As Greg Sargent pointed out, this contradicted many of Bachmann’s past statements, to the effect that her time working for the IRS was the cause of her anti-tax campaigning, through her experiences in just how damaging the complex tax code was to families and small businesses.

Also on Thursday, as Think Progress reported, Bachmann appeared on the talk radio show of right-wing lawyer Jay Sekulow, and gave some of her views on current national security issues. And as it turns out, some older ones as well.

“What people recognize is that there’s a fear that the United States is in an unstoppable decline,” Bachmann said. “They see the rise of China, the rise of India, the rise of the Soviet Union and our loss militarily going forward.” (Emphasis added.)

The Soviet Union of course collapsed two decades ago.

Also this week in South Carolina, Bachmann returned to her habit of celebrating great American icons by mangling crucial details of their biographies.

“Before we get started, let’s all say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Elvis Presley today,” Bachmann said, also adding: “You can’t do better than Elvis Presley, and we thought we would celebrate his birthday as we get started celebrating taking our country back to work.”

That date, August 16, was actually the anniversary of Elvis’s death in 1977 at age 42.

To which Bachmann gave a sentimental follow-up later in the day. “As far as we’re concerned, he’s still alive,” she said. “Alive in our hearts.”

But sadly, to quote Frank Zappa, Elvis has just left the building –And those are his footprints right there!

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Sarah Palin Tells President Obama To ‘Quit Picking On’ Gov. Rick Perry



Well I’ve finally figured it out.  The new normal for right-wingers is to be as bat-crap crazy as one can possibly be!

For the rest of us, we just shake our heads and think about how movie Idiocracy, predicted all of this!


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin jumped to the defense of current GOP frontrunner Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) over President Obama’s over-the-top “treason” rhetoric…wait, no, that wasn’t it. In an appearance on Fox’s America Live, Palin said of  the President’s reaction to Perry attacks that Obama should “quit picking on other people like Rick Perry, who is just going to continue to call it like he sees it.”

This is obviously the wrong place to play the victim card, but when you’re the tough-guy Texan candidate, is there ever a right one?

Just before Palin told the President to “quit picking on Perry,” of course, she told Megyn Kelly that it was “evidence of our president’s arrogance unfortunately, to tell a presidential candidate what to say, what not to say.”

This is the same Sarah Palin, by the way, who once famously accused the President of wanting to kill her baby.

A publicist for The Kettle declined to comment on Palin’s assertion.

The fact is, President Obama probably gave Perry the best advice he’s going to get this week, as Perry’s shooting from the lip has even drawn sharp criticism from some high-octane conservatives, Palin notwithstanding.  As a political reporter, and as a voter, I’m actually inclined to agree with Palin that people like Perry should not be more careful about what they say. These unvarnished declarations are far more revelatory than flack-approved boilerplate, and they make for great copy.

Where I disagree with Palin is that President Obama shouldn’t hit back (although she’s actually saying that Obama was the aggressor). I mean, what Democrat wouldn’t rather have seen President Obama respond by saying, “Well, if he doesn’t like it, can’t he always just secede?”

The conventional wisdom is that this kind of aggression turns independent voters off, but even if that’s true, who cares? That’s like saying that hockey fights turn off the knitting club that shows up to a game once a year. Get a helmet, or stay on the couch.

Here’s the clip, from Fox News’ America Live

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Rachel Maddow Dings Media, GOP For Obama Vacation Critique

Rachel Maddow points out yet another case of ODS (Obama Derangement Syndrome.)

Huffington Post

A frustrated Rachel Maddow called out Republicans for their hypocrisy surrounding President Obama’s vacation–and the media for allowing the hypocrisy to go unchecked.

Obama headed to Martha’s Vineyard on Thursday for his annual summer vacation–with Republican catcalls trailing him every step of the way. Maddow pointed to a statement from the Massachusetts Republican Party which sarcastically “welcomed” Obama to the state, and which said that Aerosmith wanted its tour bus back (a reference to his recent swing through the Midwest.)

This got Maddow riled up. She pointed out that, not only was Obama’s bus bought by the Secret Service, there will also be an identical one for the eventual GOP presidential nominee. She predicted that the jibes about the bus would end once a Republican was on one.

Moreover, Maddow noted that Obama has taken a lot less vacation at this point in his presidency than either President Bush or Reagan had in theirs. Then, she criticized one of her favorite targets–the so-called “Beltway media“–for, in her view falling down on the job.

“Hypocrisy, thy name is Thursday,” she said. “…[But] is it the job of the Beltway press to just write the criticism down and forward it to the American people without comment as if that counts as news? Or could maybe some context about the bare hypocrisy help?”

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Must-Reads: The Late, Great Molly Ivins on Rick Perry

As I wrote in a earlier post, I am a true Molly Ivins fan.  I loved her humor and frank assessments of Republicans from Texas.   I ran across this article on Mother Jones and felt compelled to share it.

Mother Jones


As Texas Gov. Rick Perry embarks on hisObama-bashingevangelical-courtingtea party-outdoing campaign for the presidency, we miss Molly Ivins more than ever.

The late and celebrated liberal columnist was known as a writer of sparkling political commentary infused with a trenchant wit and copious shots of zero-bullshit humor. She was the consummate Texan, a ferocious populist critic of the American right wing, and a sorely missed Mother Jones contributor. Here’s the C-SPAN footage of Ivins speaking at a Mother Jones fundraising event in 1992:

Ivins also had a special place in her heart for delivering blistering, bold critiques of Perry’s track record as a governor, a poor thinker, and an even worse obfuscator. She was, after all, the writer who bestowed upon Perry the nicknames “The Coiffure” and “Governor Goodhair.”

Here are a few highlights of Ivins tearing apart Perry’s stances on the death penalty, creationism, and taking dirty money from Enron.

In this Nation article from the advent of the Bush years, Molly Ivins makes one of her first observations of just how damn good Rick Perry’s hairdo is:

Bush was replaced by his exceedingly Lite Guv Rick Perry, who has really good hair. Governor Goodhair, or the Ken Doll (see, all Texans use nicknames—it’s not that odd), is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But the chair of a major House committee says, “Goodhair is much more engaged as governor than Bush was.” As the refrain of the country song goes, “O Please, Dear God, Not Another One.”

During the “grand old slugfest” between incumbent Perry and the Democratic challenger, Tony Sanchez, Ivins highlighted Perry’s misleading smear campaign against his opponent, as well as his eyebrow-raising deployment of the word “coincidental”:

This, in turn, brings up the interesting role of coincidence in the life of Gov. Goodhair. Last summer, the Guv appointed an Enron executive to the state’s Public Utilities Commission and, the next day, Perry got a check for $25,000 from Ken Lay. He explained this, to everyone’s satisfaction, as being “totally coincidental.”

When the next gubernatorial election cycle came around in Texas, Ivins had even more to say and write about Perry’s inadequacies. In her crosshairs this time: the faux-swagger that characterized his debating style:

The Coiffure was in his usual form. As one opponent after another attacked his record, Gov. Rick Perry stood there proudly behind that 35 percent voter support he has so richly earned and simply disagreed. The Coiffure seemed to consider blanket denials a fully sufficient and adequate response.

Continue reading here…

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Obama Derangement Syndrome Redux…

Everybody Hates Obama

Was anyone as shocked as I was to read that Senator Tom Coburn said about Obama, race and dependency?  What is it about the first Black president that drives people on the right as well as some on the left bat crap crazy?  Even Maxine Waters, member of the Congressional Black Caucus had some harsh words for Obama for neglecting the Black community.

Plantation mentality

Rep. Maxine Waters had a quick response to Rep. Allen West’s assessment that she and other black leaders are “overseers” on a “21st-century plantation.”   West said:

Today in the black community, we see individuals who are either wedded to a subsistence check or an employment check. Democrat physical enslavement has now become liberal economic enslavement, which is just as horrible.

“It’s a little bit outrageous,” Waters, D-Calif., told MSNBC. “It’s a little bit ridiculous” and “hard to respond to.”

Bachmann Overdrive

Michele Bachmann is on the campaign trail making some of the most outrages statements (as usual):

Another Bachmann History Flub: The American People Are Worried About ‘The Rise Of The Soviet Union – Someone forgot to tell Mrs. Bachmann that the “Soviet Union hasn’t existed for over 20 years.

Here are 10 Of The Craziest Things Michele Bachmann Has Ever Said.  Here is a video of more Bachmann flubs.

Huntsman comes out of the closet

After Perry dismisses evolution as a “theory that’s out there,” Huntsman jumps on twitter and says “I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

Rick Perry seen easier for Obama to beat

The Texas governor, a social and fiscal conservative, is seen by Obama’s top election fundraisers, supporters and senior Democrats close to the campaign as easier to beat than the more moderate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

GOP attacks Obama bus, but Bush did same

I suppose I will never get it.  George W. Bush took 180 days of vacation during the same period in office as Barack Obama.  Obama took 60 days. The GOP is complaining about Obama being on vacation when he should be in Washington, staring at the stock market reports so that he can don his superman outfit and save the world’s economy, I guess.  Who knows with the naysayers that bitch and moan about anything Obama does, even if Bush did the same thing during his term in office.

The latest thing is the Black Bus that Obama is using to go around the country and speak to people.

But no mention was made by Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus or Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady that a re-election seeking President George W. Bush used a bus from the same manufacturer, Quebec-based Prevost, for a spring 2004 “Yes, America Can” campaign tour through the Midwest.   Chicago Tribune