GOP Bubble · GOP Cluelessness

House GOP Asks Eccentric Ex-Fugitive to Vet

John McAfee – AP Photo / Graham Hughes

Rachel Maddow gave her audience a detailed look at the man in question last night.  I was completely blown away at the ineptitude and frankly, sheer ignorance of the GOP on this issue.

TPM LiveWire

The House Energy and Commerce Committee asked John McAfee, the tech security guru who went on the lam in Central America last year under suspicion of murder, to examine the troubled rollout of Obamacare’s online insurance website, according to CNBC.

The consultation never occured, but that didn’t stop McAfee from sharing his thoughts with noted right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in an interview posted Tuesday on Jones’s website.

“My advice would be: Throw it away, and start over,” McAfee said. “You cannot fix the system that’s there. It is impossible, the way it is architected, any good programmer will tell you, it’s just not going to work… It will never work the way that it is.”

The committee sought McAfee, who was deported to the United States last December after being detained in Guatemala, to “guide our oversight and review of” the website’s launch, according to an email obtained by CNBC.

McAfee was suspected last year of murdering his neighbor while living in Belize. He was never charged and vehemently denied the accusation.

According to CNBC, McAfee never actually spoke with the committee. McAfee explained to Jones that he turned the request down because the committee wanted to do the briefing over the phone.

If you want a picture of McAfee’s life in Belize, check out these Gizmodo and Reuters pieces.  He lived in a compound, armed to the teeth with firearms and outfitted with a chemistry laboratory. He also apparently kept a lot of dogs on the premises and, when detained by Belize authorities, he was accompanied by a 17-year-old girl.


Debt Ceiling · GOP Cluelessness · GOP Extremism

World prepares for U.S. debt default

The Chinese are calling us “dangerously irresponsible.” Chew on that a bit.

The Raw Story

Phillip Inman, The Observer

Without a budget in place, the US government has run out of the cash needed to pay thousands of government workers in Washington and keep national parks open. But this week an even more critical issue comes to the fore. On Thursday, the country will be forced to default on its $16.8 trillion in borrowings if it does not secure a rise in the debt ceiling.

Republican leaders, aware that their intransigence over the budget has hit the party’s popularity, last week proposed a six-week postponement of the deadline. John Boehner, leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, has dropped a previous demand that talks could only take place following a Democrat concession to review President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” – although a format for discussions has yet to be agreed.

How did we get here?

The road towards a default that would risk plunging the world economy into recession began last year in the wake of Obama’s return to the White House. The radical Tea Party wing of the Republicans decided that the only way to block Obamacare, which for them exemplifies hated “big government”, was to hold up the president’s entire budget plan.

Why has Washington suffered a shutdown?

A six-month fight over the budget between the two houses of government – the Republican lower house and the Democrat-controlled Senate – has meant no formal funding has been agreed and left government departments struggling to pay their bills. For the first time in 17 years, parts of government spending have been shut down. Some 800,000 government workers were initially sent home – equivalent to the combined workforces of Exxon Mobil, General Motors, Google and giant US retailer Target.

Even the Pentagon sent home 350,000 staff in that initial wave, though it later called them back when funds were made available. National parks remain closed and applications for most permits and licences are being badly delayed. Schools are open and hospitals are unaffected, though health research has been disrupted.

What is the debt ceiling?

This is the government borrowing limit set by Congress. The government actually bumped up against the $16.7 trillion limit five months ago as the budget dispute got under way. Ever since, the treasury department has taken a series of “extraordinary measures” to raise an extra $303 billion. But that money will not last much longer.

Why is October 17 significant?

US treasury secretary Jack Lew has warned that this is when the treasury will exhaust those extraordinary measures. Without the means to pay both multibillion-dollar interest payments and social security bills, it will default.

What are the implications?

Nobody knows what a default would mean in practice. Investors around the world have lent the US money by buying its treasury bonds. In theory, a failure to pay a single interest payment on a tranche of debt will trigger a demand from all bondholders for their money back. In practice this is unlikely.

What will happen to the US economy?

American businesses with public-sector contracts will suffer a delay in payments and could go bust – unemployment has already risen as a result of the shutdown. More broadly, the US economy has been the main driver of global growth. Should the government be forced to default, it could trigger an estimated 4.5% fall in GDP and the rest of the world would fall back into recession.

The extent of nerves in the markets was shown when the news of a possible six-week extension of the borrowing limit sent the Dow Jones index of leading shares soaring by more than 300 points.

What about the UK?

Britain would be hit hard by a US recession. Many of our exports go to America, especially manufactured goods. Without growth in the US, the UK could see its still-fragile recovery snuffed out. Already, BAE Systems, Britain’s biggest manufacturing employer, is warning of problems ahead should the two-week-old shutdown become a crisis. BAE has half its business in the US and has already frozen the wages of 1,200 staff in Washington. Fellow arms firm Chemring saw its shares plummet on Friday after it warned the shutdown would affect its profits. Meanwhile, outsourcing firms G4S and Serco have US staff unable to work.

And the rest of the world?

The Chinese are panicked. China’s Xinhua news agency labelled US domestic politicians “dangerously irresponsible” for wrangling over debt. In an editorial, the state-run media organisation said the rest of the world had been “kidnapped” by American politics, which was involved in “a game of chicken”. The Germans are also anxious. Anton Böner, president of the Federal Association for German Wholesalers and Foreign Trade, warned: “If the Americans shoot themselves in the foot right now, it is highly dangerous for the entire global economy, and of course for the German export economy.”

Why are the Republicans proposing a six-week delay to the debt ceiling?

An opinion poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal last week gave the Republican party the lowest standing in the history of the poll. It showed that more than twice as many Americans had a negative view of it than a positive one. While 31% held Obama responsible for the shutdown, 53% blamed Republicans. Boehner said he wanted six weeks to debate all aspects of the budget, but White House sources said they were convinced his aim was still to scupper Obamacare.


GOP Cluelessness · GOP Malfeasance

Kos’ Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: GOP to discuss debt limit as fallback

Do Republicans know really what they want or is this entire debacle a ruse to hide their utter failure as lawmakers?

Daily Kos

conversation with Robert Costa via twitter

More from Robert Costa on the direction the GOP is moving:

“It’s the return of the grand bargain,” says one House Republican, who requested anonymity to speak freely. “There weren’t a lot of specifics discussed, and the meetings were mostly about just checking in. But he’s looking hard at the debt limit as a place where we can do something big.” …Per sources, entitlement reforms, such as chained CPI, an elimination of the medical-device tax, and delays to parts of Obamacare are all on the table as trades for delaying aspects of sequestration and extending the debt limit.

I suspect what @robertcostaNRO’s sources call a “debt bargain” is more unilateral Dem concessions in return for debt ceiling.
— @jonathanchait

Paul Ryan played a crucial role killing the grand bargain three separate times… Skeptical he wants a Grand Bargain now
— @jonathanchait

Leadership in corner. As aide explains, anything that that raises debt limit and funds gov’t has to be couched as “big good deal” for Rs
— @robertcostaNRO

Talked to several D aides. All dismissed idea of grand bargain. Might be they’re out of the loop. But also evident of how small talks are
— @samsteinhp
Suzy Khimm:

Republicans think Obamacare is so destructive that they watched the government shut down when Democrats refused to change the law.But two days later something strange has happened: Republicans aren’t coming up with new ways to try to dismantle or delay it.

Instead, they’re pushing dead-end mini bills that would fund popular parts of the government that President Barack Obama has promised to veto.
So as the shutdown drags on and Obamacare falls off the negotiating table, it’s left Republicans struggling to answer a basic question: What’s the fight even about?

GOP Cluelessness

GOP Rep: Wall Street doesn’t commit crimes because they don’t use guns

Are these people really this ignorant?

The Examiner

During a recent town-hall meeting, a Republican congressman claimed that there was no criminal activity happening on Wall Street because they don’t use guns.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) spoke to constituents during a town-hall event in El Dorado Hills, California and was asked many questions. A member in the audience asked what the congressman thought about “Wall Street criminal practice” and where he stood on the Glass Steagall act, a piece a legislation that was repealed in the 1990s that had previously separated commercial banks and investment banks after the stock market crash of 1929. Rep. McClintock responded, but an an interesting reason for why he didn’t believe there was any criminal activity occurring on Wall Street.

“You can get somebody to do just about anything with a gun. I hear about predatory lending, for example, my first question is that is just terrible. You shouldn’t be able to force somebody to take out a loan they don’t want. With respect to Glass Steagall, that is the measure that had been in place, it was a depression era measure, that essentially forbids banks from making a wide range of investments. My attitude is someone different on that. Instead of applying additional government forces into the process, in this gets back to your critical question, lets stop bailing out peoples bad decisions.”

When the financial crisis came into full swing in the fall of 2008, the American people looked on in horror as the economy was dealt its hardest blow since the Great Depression. Decades of looking the other way while big banks where able to run wild, continuing tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations and trade practices that only hurt the middle class, the economy finally fell flat on its face. For any member of congress to use an excuse of lack of fire arms for the reason there is no criminal activity on wall street is almost as delusional as the party he is apart of.

GOP Cluelessness · Immigration Reform

Immigration Reform and the Orange Man

Republicans on Immigration Reform   :
Republicans on Immigration Reform

As I’ve said repeatedly, Mario Piperni stands out with his extraordinary political art and his political website.  John Boehner is his latest target.

Mario Piperni

It might still be possible to get a bipartisan bill on immigration through the Senate regardless of what the bill looks like and how well it addresses true reform. But it’s getting likelier that there won’t be any immigration legislation coming out of the House any time soon.

John Boehner:

“I don’t see any way of bringing an immigration bill to the floor that doesn’t have a majority support of Republicans,” Boehner said during a press briefing with reporters Tuesday.

“I frankly think the Senate bill is weak on border security, I think the internal enforcement mechanisms are weak and the triggers are almost laughable,” he said of the bill drafted by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Republican Sens. Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Jeff Flake. “So if they’re serious about getting an immigration bill finished, they should reach out to their GOP colleagues to broaden support.”

There you go. That just about kills any chance of an immigration bill getting through Congress. Boehner is essentially saying that unless he gets the support of teapublican house members, he will not bring an immigration bill to the floor. We know, of course, that there is no bill that addresses immigration reform in any serious manner that would ever satisfy the xenophobic madness running rampant in the radical right.

It’s all going to come down to how much pressure the GOP establishment can exert on the orange man between now and the elections to get an immigration bill through the House. Tea Party idiots might not get it but most Republicans do: there will not be another Republican president in the White House if Hispanics believe that the Republican party blocked immigration reform. End of story.

Frank Luntz · GOP · GOP Cluelessness

Mother Jones: Frank Luntz Calls Right-Wing Talk Radio ‘Problematic’ For GOP

I would agree that right-wing talk radio is an Achilles heel for the GOP but they have bigger problems than that.  

They have an immigration problem, a gun problem, a people of color problem and a “stupid party” problem.  Not to mention their anti-abortion legislation problems.  Also the fact that the Tea Party won’t allow the GOP any amount of compromise not only stifles our government, it stifles the party as well.

Yep, what the GOP has…is a bad image problem.

TPM Livewire

GOP strategist Frank Luntz went off the record before a group of college Republicans earlier this month at the University of Pennsylvania to discuss the negative impact he believes right-walk talk radio has had on the GOP, Mother Jones reported Thursday.

“And they get great ratings, and they drive the message, and it’s really problematic,” Luntz said of right-wing talk-radio programs, according to a recording of the event. Luntz added that talk radio has been especially damaging to Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration reform efforts.

“He’s getting destroyed,” Luntz said, “by Mark Levin, by Rush Limbaugh, and a few others. He’s trying to find a legitimate, long-term effective solution to immigration that isn’t the traditional Republican approach, and talk radio is killing him. That’s what’s causing this thing underneath. And too many politicians in Washington are playing coy.”

According to Mother Jones’ piece, written by David Corn, Luntz asked the audience to allow him to speak off the record, prompting one college newspaper reporter to switch off his device. But another student, Aakash Abbi, captured the sound bite on his iPhone.

Corn has built a reputation reporting on surreptitious recordings, starting with Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comments and continuing with a secretly recorded Mitch McConnell campaign strategy meeting.

Listen to the audio and read Corn’s full piece here.

GOP Cluelessness

GOP Congressman’s Bumper Sticker: ‘If Babies Had Guns, They Wouldn’t Be Aborted’

Disturbing tweet of the day…

Where is the logic in the above tweet. All I see is more hysterical, irrational and frankly, dumb rhetoric from an ill-informed GOP politician.


GOP Cluelessness · GOP Myopia

Poll Truthers Now In Charge Of Figuring Out What Went Wrong For Republicans

Good luck with that, GOP…

BuzzFeed Politics

According to a report in Politico the RNC has launched an official review committee to figure out what went wrong and what worked in 2012. But during the election, two of its members — former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer and Republican committeeman Henry Barbour — pushed the narrative that the polls were skewed, and Mitt Romney would ultimately prevail.

GOP Cluelessness

Jindal: End ‘dumbed-down conservatism’

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks at a Republican Party of Arkansas fund raising dinner in Hot Springs, Ark., Friday, July 27, 2012. | AP Photo

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.

In his first interview since his party’s electoral thumping last week, Jindal urged Republicans to both reject anti-intellectualism and embrace a populist-tinged reform approach that he said would mitigate what exit polls show was one of President Barack Obama’s most effective lines of attack against Mitt Romney.

“We’ve got to make sure that we are not the party of big business, big banks, big Wall Street bailouts, big corporate loopholes, big anything,” Jindal told POLITICO in a 45-minute telephone interview. “We cannot be, we must not be, the party that simply protects the rich so they get to keep their toys.”

He was just as blunt on how the GOP should speak to voters, criticizing his party for offending and speaking down to much of the electorate.

“It is no secret we had a number of Republicans damage our brand this year with offensive, bizarre comments — enough of that,” Jindal said. “It’s not going to be the last time anyone says something stupid within our party, but it can’t be tolerated within our party. We’ve also had enough of this dumbed-down conservatism. We need to stop being simplistic, we need to trust the intelligence of the American people and we need to stop insulting the intelligence of the voters.”

Continue reading here:

GOP Access for Sale · GOP Cluelessness · GOP Hubris

Supreme Court Ruling and the Right-Wing Freak-Out Begins

John Roberts   :

As usual, the Mario Piperni website never fails its readers…

Mario Piperni

What happened? I leave for a couple of days and come back to find that all hell has broken loose. My favorite website, the Daily Mauler Caller had this headline to greet me:

Congratulations, Americans: The government owns your bodies

Wow. Being forced to give up ownership of one’s body to a tyrannical government is serious stuff. Hoping to find better news at my second favorite website, I moved on to World Nut Net Daily. Not good. Right below this headline,

Muslim mob stones Christians – in U.S.!

I was shocked and dismayed to find this headline:

Ruling awakens ‘revolutionary fervor’

The World Nut Net Daily is a serious source for honest and balanced news, so when they talk of “revolutionary fervor’, watch out. Any website that gives Chuck Norris and Jerome Corsi space to blog their demented trash, err, enlightened views, knows what they’re talking about. Yes, sir, a revolution is on the way.

Twitter didn’t make me feel any better.

The end of America. Scary. And to let you know how serious he is, Shapiro states that he’s not exaggerating. Very cool of him.

Sigh. Checked in with my favorite right-wing talk radio guy, Limbaugh. I was hoping he could put a positive spin on it all. Nope.

Obamacare is nothing more than the largest tax increase in the history of the world…as of today, the American government can and will seize your private property if you don’t purchase and/or sell what’s been ordered. It’s really breathtaking, what happened today. And it is breathtaking to watch ignoramuses who don’t really understand what happened celebrate it. We have been betrayed and deceived by Congress. We have been betrayed and deceived by the Supreme Court.

There you go. Right-wing response to the Supreme Court ruling in a nutshell: betrayal, revolution and the end of America.

Poor babies. Well at least some of the brighter wingnuts now know what they’re going to do.

And they call them idiots. I wonder why that would be?


My, my, they’ve really gone off the deep end. Here’s a comment from a Washington Times piece about Republican governors planning on ignoring the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA. The comment is typical of the madness that has overtaken the right beyond what we’ve witnessed over the last 4 years.

All three Branches of the Federal government are now operating outside their Constitutionally enumerated powers.  Therefor, by the Founding Fathers own concerns, the Federal government is null-and-void.  The individual States are now in charge of our government.

Each State should enact Marshal law, withholding all Federal withholding taxes from transfer to Washington!

Marshall law…now there’s a wonderful ideal. These sad fools really don’t know any better. They’re spouting the same crap they hear on Fox and other conservative media. In my more compassionate moments, I almost feel sorry for them.