GOP Folly · GOP Radicalism

When Did Ignorance Become a Point of View?

Republican - Elephants on Balloons  :

Good question.

I also, I wonder why “the stupid” is more prevalent within the GOP than anywhere else?  Joe Barton is the same Representative who apologized to BP for being charged with a $20 Billion claims fund after the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  He called it a shakedown.  That’s the guy who is the subject of the following Piperni post…

Mario Piperni

Is it time yet to make a double-digit IQ a prerequisite to running for public office?

Via Foolocracy:

Texas Rep. Joe Barton doesn’t believe in anthropogenic climate change. That’s partially because he is firmly in the pocket of Big Oil. The oil and gas industry is the largest contributor to Barton’s warchest.

However, Barton’s fervor to deny that humans have anything to do with climate change has taken a new direction. In a bizarre reference to the Great Flood of the Bible, Barton is using that as evidence that hydrocarbons don’t change the climate. How Barton draws that comparison is going to have to be left to the imagination. Barton doesn’t elaborate on what forty days of rain in antiquity has to do with the present-day earth warming.

Perhaps he is thinking that today’s rising sea levels are the same challenge that Noah had building an ark. If only the answer to climate change was so simple. Here is the great environmental insight from Barton:

“I would point out that people like me who support hydrocarbon development don’t deny that climate is changing. I think you can have an honest difference of opinion of what’s causing that change without automatically being either all in that’s all because of mankind or it’s all just natural. I think there’s a divergence of evidence.”

“I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.

It’s probably impossible to pack more stupid into a single statement but that won’t stop Barton and his fellow Texas Republicans (Rick Perry, Louie Gohmert, Ted Cruz, Steve Stockman – to name a few) from attempting to do that very thing the next time they find themselves in front of a microphone. You can count on it.

Liberal Agenda for 112th Congress · Liberals

A Liberal New Year’s Resolution

From the website Republican Dirty Tricks.  Illustrations are from The Fifth Column photo archives.

It’s time to stop pretending that Republicans (and their DLC Corporate Dem enablers) want the American Middle Class to be strong, vibrant and economically-secure, but just hold different ideas than liberals on how to get there. THEY DON’T. Conservative ideology is quite simple, as old as recorded history and can be boiled down to 2 words: CHEAP LABOR – and they won’t stop inflicting their greed-centered policies on us until the middle class are permanently relegated to status Conservatives consider their natural “place” – compliant Serfs.

One doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to glimpse this Republican vision of our future – just turn back the clock to the “Gilded Age” – when super-rich robber barons controlled their operatives in government, lived in opulence while lording over the common people.

All we have to do is look around at the world Republicans have created to examine the fruits of their ideology – and their insistence to remain on that path despite the damage it does to the American worker, and the truth is plain.

Don’t take my word for it… take if from the Republicans themselves. In spite of Republican Pollster Frank Luntz’s directive for Republicans to stay on their fake populist message, the compulsively pro-corporate, GOP class war agenda can’t help but slip from their well-fed mouths – thankfully, many times on camera.

From Joe Barton’s apology to corporate felon BP, to Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle’s view that unemployment benefits are ‘spoiling’ the lazy citizenry, GOP staffers are kept petty busy releasing retractions every time one of these out-of-touch bastards comes out of their gated communities to spit in the face of the middle class, destroyed by 30 years of Reaganomics.

But the facts are staring us in the face. For instance, Conservatives may long for a 1950’s America for its rigid social and gender mores and racial hierarchies, but not for the top marginal tax rate of over 90% which had American industry investing in America to the benefit of all. The numbers speak for themselves. In the 1950s, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to 1. (for more stats, read the Business Insider article: 22 Statistics That Prove The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America)

Read more:

Concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of fewer people – the RIGHT people – is wonderful news for Conservatives! Alan Greenspan himself has boasted that his job as Fed chairman included the responsibility to create “worker insecurity”, so the plebs don’t get too uppity and pester their “betters” for a raise as their wages are driven into the ground for higher CEO profits. An appalling statement given the fact that real average hourly earnings (excluding fringe benefits) now stand roughly at 1974 levels. Meaning, there’s been no real wage increase in over 35 years despite an 86% increase in productivity. (Again, for more stats, read the Business Insider article: 22 Statistics That Prove The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.)

So as John Boehner takes over the “People’s House,” to go to bat for his true masters – the rich and their giant transnational corporations – and the incoming chairman of the House banking committee, Republican Spencer Bachus, says Congress and federal regulators should “serve the banks,” let’s remember that nothing spells GOP recovery like a suffering American Middle Class. Despite the fact that the rich are doing fabulously well off of the sacrifices of the rest of us, Republicans will continue to demand more sacrifice from working people (Austerity! Austerity!) while shielding their rich benefactors from the repercussions caused by their own unbridled greed.

GOP Hate-Mongering · Joe Barton · President Barack Obama · Racism

Powerful Republican suggests to colleagues he’d shoot at Obama

Has the United States taken a step back into the Jim Crow era of our history?   It’s beginning to feel more and more as though we have.  This type of rhetoric is becoming more prevalent every day.   The most shocking part is that a lot of it comes from this country’s political leaders on the right!

Raw Story

‘Put anything in my scope and I will shoot it,’ GOP Rep. says of Obama Administration

The former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee may have just destroyed his chances to lead that committee again — if close attention is paid to a slideshow he’s circulating to his Republican colleagues.

Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who’s vying for the Committee chairmanship with Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), is the most senior member of the committee. But because of self-imposed term limits, he’ll need a special dispensation from House leaders to regain his gavel.

The Washington Post‘s Al Kamen revealed late Monday that Barton was circulating a slideshow in which he promises to declare war on the Obama Administration if he’s reinstated as chair.

“If the Obama administration was hoping to see hints of bipartisanship from the Hill, it might want to skip over the House Energy and Commerce Committee,” Kamen wrote in a brief posting.

“The committee’s ranking Republican, Rep. Joe L. Barton (Tex.), has a slide presentation that he’s e-mailing to colleagues, pledging to do for the administration what Gen. George Patton and company did for Germany,” Kamen adds. “The first slides are standard campaign material, with Barton asking to be elected by the new House Republican majority to be chairman of the committee.”

Barton purportedly boasts of a bona fide conservatism in his initial slides and references his prior leadership.

“I know the ropes and can hit the ground running immediately,” he scribes.

“He especially appeals to the newly elected members, saying he would make sure they are represented on the powerful committee,” Kamen adds.

But it’s the next slide (reprinted below) that’s sure to set Washington aflame. Kamen notes that Barton promised a war with the Obama Administration, but the words of the slide itself are more revealing.  

Continue reading here…

GOP House Majority · Right Wing Election Stratergy

REPORT: Overview Of House Committee Chairmen In A GOP-Controlled 112th Congress

Members of the Committee on Financial Services...
Image via Wikipedia

Think Progress

With less than two months until the midterm elections, all eyes are on what a Speaker Boehner would look like if Republicans take back the House. Just as important, though, are those GOPers who would head the House committees. Republicans have vowed that House committee chairmen like these will see their power increase if their party returns to power. With that in mind, it’s worth asking: Who are the House Republicans who would control national legislation in the 112th Congress?

A new report from ThinkProgress takes a closer look. The potential committee and subcommittee chairmen aren’t your run-of-the-mill House Republicans. Rather, those who could be in charge of our nation’s laws are the GOP’s right-wing extremists. Of the 10 right-wing extremists we profiled, eight have voting scores of 95 percent or higher from the American Conservative Union, seven are stimulus hypocrites, four are members of the Tea Party Caucus, and one is even a birther.

Those would control the House committees and subcommittees also may include:

– A Judiciary chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who has hinted at impeaching President Obama

– Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), who opposes the existence of the global warming committee he would chair

– The subcommittee that controls monetary policy would be headed by Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has called paper money “nothing short of counterfeiting”

– Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX), who apologized to BP during the oil spill for a $20 billion “shakedown,” would control national energy policy

Click here to download a pdf of our report.

Explore the profiles of these right-wing extremists and decide for yourself: do you want these men in charge come January 2011?

Joe Barton · Uncategorized

“Joe Barton Was Right” – Joe Barton Tweets

No one is surprised at this development.  GOP Congress people are often confused.

Dave Weigel – Washington Post

Hours after getting a respite from House Republicans, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) has cheekily responded to criticism over his “apology to BP” by tweeting a link to an American Spectator article titledJoe Barton was right.”


The article by Peter Hannaford is a robust defense of what Barton said, knocking the Obama administration for “Alinsky” tactics and hatred of business.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas broke an iron law of Washington last week. He described the elephant in the room that no one was supposed to see. In this case, it was the strong-arming Obama & Co. applied to BP to get it to “voluntarily” set up a $20 billion fund to compensate Gulf citizens adversely affected by the oil spill. Barton used the inelegant term, “shakedown.” He was promptly made to eat humble pie by his party’s Congressional leaders, fearful that if they didn’t clamp down, the Democrats would use it to tie the entire party to an unpopular company.

UPDATE: Barton has removed the tweet.

UPDATE II: A statement from Barton spokesman Sean Brown:

I did it! Without thinking about it much, I added a headline from one of the daily news clips to a website that is, in turn, linked to the congressman’s Twitter account. Mr. Barton was not aware of the Tweet…

Joe Barton · Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel: Joe Barton’s BP Apology Represents Difference Between Democrats And Republicans (VIDEO)

Vodpod videos no longer available.



Huffington Post 

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s chief of staff is warning about what might happen if Republicans — who have defended BP over the Gulf oil spill — were to run Congress after the fall election. 

Rahm Emanuel says the GOP philosophy is to paint BP as the victim, pointing to Rep. Joe Barton’s apology to BP for what the congressman called a White House “shakedown.” 

“That’s not a political gaffe, those are prepared remarks. That is a philosophy. That is an approach to what they see. They see the aggrieved party here as BP, not the fishermen,” Emanuel said on ABC’s “This Week.” 

Barton and Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul, who recently called Obama’s criticism of BP “un-American,” are a reflection of the Republican party’s governing philosophy, Emanuel said. “They think that the government’s the problem.” 

It would be “dangerous” if the GOP held power in Washington, Emanuel said. 

“I think what Joe Barton did was remind the American people, in case they forgot, how the Republicans would govern.” 

Emanuel says Obama will make clear to voters the fundamental differences in how each party would govern, focusing on energy policy, Wall Street reform and economic recovery.

U.S. Politics

Barack Obama’s Very Good Week

Contrary to how the Right wing media portrayed the president’s week…by and large it was a very good one.

Salon – Joan Walsh

Getting BP to cough up a $20 billion escrow fund paid off politically in more ways than one. Plus: Apologize to BP!

Talk about snakebit: Peggy Noonan chose Friday to publish a column writing off President Obama off as an unlucky president, comparing him to Jimmy Carter, just when his presidency has a little spring back in its step. Its title is luscious: “A Snakebit President: Americans want leaders on whom the sun shines.”

The sun seemed to shine on Obama this week. It’s true his Tuesday night speech wasn’t his best, but that’s because it lacked the news he was able to reveal Wednesday: That BP had agreed to create a $20 billion escrow fund to compensate the victims of its Gulf oil disaster, to have it administered by the tough Kenneth Feinberg of the 9/11 fund, and also to put off paying shareholder dividends through the end of the year.

And on Thursday, Obama got relief from the harsh, unnatural media glare in the wake of the disaster, which had landed upon him in the absence of any other visible hero or villain in the mess, when Tony Hayward testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Hayward’s constant insistence that he either didn’t know or couldn’t recall … virtually anything he was asked, finally made clear there is one leader whose lack of preparedness can be blamed for the crisis, and his name is Tony Hayward.

BP announced Friday that Hayward would be replaced as the man in charge of the spill response, though he’ll remain as CEO.

Of course, things got even better for Obama when Rep. Joe Barton apologized to Hayward on Thursday, calling the escrow fund not only a “shakedown” but a “tragedy.” Barton was then forced by a panicky GOP leadership to apologize for his apology, but the damage was done. Besides, from Barton to Michele Bachmann to the Republican Study Group to Rush Limbaugh, most of the party was ready to try out the shakedown, “share the wealth” criticism – until Barton went too far. Even today, Kentucky GOP Senate nominee Rand Paul left his bunker to express sympathy for Barton, and for BP, too (remember, before he entered the witness-protection program, one of Paul’s last utterances was to call Obama ‘s criticism of BP “un-American.”)

Friday the GOP began trying out a new message. They’ve gone from calling Obama a Chicago thug who shakes down business to a guy who had nothing at all to do with BP’s generous concession, but is now trying to claim credit for it. That was fast, even for Republican liars. Obama could still falter in his handling of the BP disaster, because the disaster is going to be with us for a very long time. But the president has mostly quieted critics who weren’t sure he was doing enough on that front, for now.

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet, check out You Should Totally Apologize to BP, and leave your own regrets (h/t Greg Mitchell.)