Just 4 more weekends of phone banking and canvassing. And the bated-breath wait for Tuesday night. So here's a collection of snark I've found to fire you up for working for our team this weekend:
Yet another anti-choice right wing wacko gets caught: this time trying to convince his mistress to get an abortion. Yesterday, he claimed she wasn't really pregnant (yeah right) but it's irrelevant to the fact that at the time, he was a practicing physician, and the rule is no sleeping with patients. It will cost him his license. Bad boy.
A nice review of the debate is here. My favourite parse:
Republicans love to mock Joe Biden for being an idiot...Paul Ryan, though, is admired by many Republican politicians as the brains of the Republican Party.
And Joe Biden creamed Paul Ryan. He laughed in Ryan's face and left him speechless. He shook Ryan's ideas until they fell apart like the crepe paper and chicken wire that they truly are...Biden out-argued, out-spoke, and out-thought the smartest man the Republicans have to offer, and he did so armed with the courage of his convictions.
Another take on Biden's demeanor is here, including:
Biden did absolutely roll his eyes, snort, laugh derisively and throw his hands up in the air whenever Ryan trotted out his little beady-eyed BS-isms.
But he should have! He was absolutely right to be doing it. We all should be doing it. That includes all of us in the media, and not just paid obnoxious-opinion-merchants like me, but so-called "objective" news reporters as well. We should all be rolling our eyes, and scoffing and saying, "Come back when you're serious."
Plus some info on the theory that Ryan expropriated his daughter's name Bean from Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love.
Salon contends the daughter-naming thing wasn't the biggest lie, though. That was this:
If the gods punished political candidates for chutzpah, there was one moment during the vice-presidential debate when a dozen lightning bolts from the hand of Zeus should have instantly fried Paul Ryan into cinders.
In the middle of an exchange on tax policy, Ryan looked at Biden and said, “You know, I understand you guys aren’t used to doing bipartisan deals …”
And Ryan defending Mitt for being nice to a couple who were in a car accident? Not so true about the unconscionable actions he took as a Mormon leader back in Boston. Read here, while you're sitting down.
And if none of that gets you fired up to get out and work today...here's an oldie but a goodie.
Elections are won one voter at a time. Get yours today.
The day after the 2010 elections, the GOP began offering candidates. Gallup even polled it. No one from not-the-GOP was considering running, until now.
I'd say he's a Democrat, because that's the party banner he ran under this year, but he's not committed to that party. It's not clear what his other choices are, but, think Green.
He's also not actually running, just "seriously thinking about it." But you know, he's busy, what with the movie about him and the comic book and I think there might even be an action figure.
If he runs, he might even do so as a free man: although he wouldn't be the first person to run for office from a prison cell, albeit, he'd be the first presidential candidate to do so. Probably, though, he legal troubles will be over by 2012.
Who am I talking about? Yup, for sure, Alvin Greene.
It's hard to know who to like best. And when I say "best" I mean "fun to watch". I wouldn't be much of a contest for me if VITO!!! was running this year, because he's my ultimate pick fave...but these folks even trump Michael "fried chicken and midgets" Steele.
So - who has given you the biggest laugh recently? Sharron Angle - who gets government-paid health care but doesn't want anyone else to get it? Joe Miller, who doesn't understand that Alaskans get $1.82 for every $1.00 each pays in Federal taxes? That's the highest payback in the land, and he wants to make sure no one gets the money back. If Alaskans can learn to spell "Murkowski", it's bye-bye Joe. Christine O'Donnell? Who not only seems to lack any education at all, but wants to make sure none of us ever have sex again. Carl Paladino, who wants to take on the media, physically? And hey, maybe he can get a job wrestling for Linda McMahon, our next contestant, who thinks the minimum wage is just too high. And then there's Meg Whitman. She ran a multi-million dollar company (and even the founder of e-Bay won't endorse her, but I digress) and therefore should know something about government regulations regarding taxes. So she had a maid for 9 years who was undocumented, didn't do anything about it, and now wants to take a polygraph. Maybe Tom Emmer, who wants to execute gays. Who would have thought the day would come where it wasn't Rand Paul grabbing all the "I am an idiot" headlines?
You can explain your rationale for who you like best in the comments - the REAL question is who is who has gone so far that they just won't win. (YEA!!!!!) Do you think any of them has a chance?
Update from Matt: I vote for O'Donnell, who, as DocJess says, "wants to make sure none of us ever have sex again", but is quoted in the NY Times today saying about herself in college: "I by no means was a slut,”
Last night I received a distress call from a friend. Her niece is graduating from Liberty University this weekend, and she's incredibly distressed that the graduation speaker will be none other than Glenn Beck. She won't stay away because this particular graduate is remarkable: 5 years ago, while a college student, she was in a very bad car accident resulting in severe neurological damage. It was unclear at the beginning if she would ever again be able to function and live on her own, but tomorrow, she'll collect a diploma she earned through an incredible amount of hard work. Truly a triumph.
So I went looking for something to cheer her, found the clip below, and thought I'd share.
As you certainly know, yesterday there were parliamentary elections in Britain for the House of Commons. It appears that no one actually won. Gordon Brown will have first shot at forming a coalition government, and if that doesn't work, they'll figure out something. they've got experience. You can read all the details here, it's not relevant to my points.
I want to take this opportunity to point out that I often say that the United States is the only country in the history of the world with free scheduled elections and the bloodless transfer of power, ever since the inception of the nation. Just saying....
Also, you know that there are people who cannot vote in elections. That's true in every country. Great Britain has a nice twist on it. At base, all British citizens, plus Commonwealth and Irish citizens living in the UK can vote once they are 18 as of election day, so long as they are registered. Great Britain does not allow convicted prisoners to vote, which is often a standard in most of the world. If a person was found guilty in the prior five years of corrupt or illegal election practices, he/she also cannot vote, and I'm thinking we might want to consider that, albeit as a lifetime ban.
But the most interesting thing is that members of the House of Lords cannot vote in elections for the House of Commons. Imagine if here members of the Senate couldn't vote in elections for the House of Representatives. How quaint. Of course, that cannot happen here. It goes back to the regularly scheduled elections on the first Tuesday after the first Monday every November since 1791. It's all one ballot....again, just saying...
It's been a busy week for those wascally wepublicans. As an aside, since I get mail, if you're new "IIE" is my pet name for them: it stands for Idiots in Exile.
As you know, the House Republicans went to Baltimore. But did you know that the RNC went to Hawaii? Yup, the annual committee meeting. So much for financial responsibility. One of their actions there was to consider the Loyalty Oath 61% of you were so opposed to the last time we polled it. They didn't actually approve a loyalty oath, rather a "Platform Test". It's not a straight litmus test, but "recommends" that the RNC only provide funding to those candidates who align with the party platform.
It came from member Bill Crocker (no relation to Betty) who said:
No more Scozzafavas, please. No more Specters, please. No more Chafees, please.
The idea is to bar any funding to anyone considered not right enough. It was adopted over the more stringent 7 of 10 policy platforms which was opposed by Mike Steele and the others less, um, far right wacko than others.
At least half a dozen leaders of the Republican Party have joined forces to create a new political group with the goal of organizing grass-roots support and raising funds ahead of the 2010 midterm elections, according to people familiar with the effort.
The organizational details of the group, expected to be called the American Action Network, are still being worked out, but it is expected to contain both a 501(c)3 and a 501(c)4 component. In simpler terms, a 501(c)3 can advocate on policy matters while a 501(c)4 is an election arm.
Republican leaders expected to be affiliated with the group include former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Bush adviser Karl Rove, Republican strategist Ed Gillespie, and Republican donor Fred Malek.
A House leadership aide told Washington Wire today that Rob Collins, a political operative and senior aide to House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, is leaving Capitol Hill to be the executive director of the 501(c)4.
But that's not the end of the internecine warfare. Nope - remember that Tuesday election in Illinois? You've certainly heard that Mark Kirk is the front runner in the GOP Senatorial primary. Well, it appears that he lacks appeal to one sect of the GOP: that's right, Tea Party Nation is urging their members to vote against him. They're calling him a RINO with a consistently liberal voting record.
Remember, the Tea Bag Convention kicks off on Thursday. We've heard that they can't fill the seats, but the party is contending there is a waiting list. I have a sense of which is true, and if you want to check that there are still empty seats, have your pay pal account ready so your money can go into the direct account of the wife of the founder. Yummers! Wasn't this something Jim and Tammy Faye Baker did, or do I have my evangelicals confused? It's so hard between the extortion, the money laundering and the philandering.
We've written a little about the Tea Bag convention. And a little more. And still more. We can't help ourselves.
We're just a week a way, and today, that bastion of Teapartydom has dropped out. That's right, just hours after Marsha Blackburn said she just couldn't, Michele Bachmann is going to be a no-show.
That leaves Spunky, who is rumoured to be getting $115,000 for her speech. And they can't sell tickets. People who bought them want their money back. (Remember, that's $349 PER TICKET for dinner - your choice of steak or lobster - note no vegetarian option.) To wit:
[Tea Party Nation Judson] Phillips has bragged publicly that the tickets covering both the convention and the speech have sold out. Yet Tea Party insiders say that's not the whole story. Anthony Shreeve is an activist in Dandridge, Tenn. who quit the convention organizing committee over the expensive ticket prices. He says he has it on good authority that most of the approximately 500 speech-only tickets have not been sold. Shreeve adds that Phillips "isn't going to sell any more," and says other would-be attendees have been demanding—and receiving—refunds. Late on Tuesday afternoon, I tested his claim by attempting to buy 10 tickets to the dinner.If I’d been prepared to shell out $3,587.10, that would apparently have been no problem. "I really hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t come to this event because it's going to be really embarrassing for her to walk into a half-empty room," says Shreeve.
Amazingly ANTI-Choice people will be protesting against Spunky.
For the Denver-based American Right to Life, when it comes to abortion, Palin is as impure as any godless feminist. “[H]er words and actions prove that she is officially pro-choice and stands against the God-given right to life of the unborn,” they write in a new report. ARTL members plan to educate reporters about Palin’s many alleged failings as a true believer, particularly her March nomination of a former Planned Parenthood board member to the Alaska Supreme Court and her refusal to call for a ban on the morning-after pill.
Don't say we didn't warn you - just three short weeks to the first national Teabag convention and the snark keeps coming.
First, let's look back. The "tea baggers" are really a bunch of different group using variations on the theme of "tea bag" and "tea party" - they all seem to hold the same anti-choice, anti-government, anti-civil rights, anti-LGBTQA, anti-tax, pro-gun, pro-war, pro-illiteracy sentiments, but they're not as organized as the "regular" IIE.
One of the early groups was Tea Party Nation. Tag line: "quench your thirst for freedom", or as I read it: "quench your thirst for getting rid of anyone who is not an old rich white guy, or a woman who will kowtow to him." Tea Party Nation was one of the first sponsors of the February convention. The one with so very much transparency that press are banned. Um, they'll have to let Spunky in as she is both press AND the keynote speaker. Probably also Rush and Glenn. But then again, are they REALLY press? I'm thinking not so much.
Anyway, the first problem is that most political parties are non-profit. Good of the people, get people elected. Like that. Yadda yadda. Kevin Smith (no not THAT Kevin Smith) was the webmaster of the Tea Party. He quit when he found out that founder Judson Phillips decided the Tea Party should be for-profit. His disdain did not stop there....
This is the story of the tea party movement in Nashville and the duplicitous behavior, dishonesty, authoritarianism, and downright fraud that this movement is trying to ferret out of our Government. Unfortunately, this particular case comes from the inside. It’s lengthy, but important. What began as a short blog post has become a novella. I left out as many extraneous details as I possibly could and this is the boiled-down result.
“It’s become clear to me that Judson and his for-profit Tea Party Nation Corporation are at the forefront of the GOP’s process of hijacking the tea party movement. What began as cries for true liberty and a public showing of frustration with the big government policies of both Democrats and Republicans has now been co-opted by mainstream Republican demagogues determined to use this as their 2010 election platform.”
Earlier yesterday we announced our support of the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville this February. At the time, we were basing our support on limited knowledge of those involved and we trusted that all was well. [...]
However, throughout the evening we were met with a plethora of replies, emails and Facebook messages that revealed a high level of concern across the board. [...]
I will not go into too much detail about the evidence. I’m fairly confident that it will present itself during the next few days. [...]
In summary, the controversy surrounding the event involves conversations about the infrastructure of the Tea Party Nation and the way its finances are channeled through private bank accounts and paypal accounts.
To be clear, the for-profit model has its place in the movement. Many, MANY groups in the movement operate this way. But these groups should always have boards and oversight, and should never, ever process donations through personal paypal accounts.
In this particular case, it’s entirely possible that those involved are operating in a fair way. But when we look at the $500 price tag for the event and the fact that many of the original leaders in the group left over similar issues, it’s hard for us not to assume the worst. [...]
The American Liberty Alliance will pass on being involved with the Nashville event, and we’ll ask to be removed from the sponsors list.
Did you see it? I bolded it - they're taking the hundreds of dollars per head through PERSONAL PAYPAL ACCOUNTS!!!! Tea Party activists are seemingly stealing from one another.
They don't believe the government should accept money in the form of taxes, but wow-oh-wow they're following the evangelical model of taking money from the poor and churning it into mansions, boats and the like for the inner circle. I wonder if the C Street boys will get in on this....and hey, Spunky surely needs another Bergdorf's shopping trip....
DCW covered the Democratic National Convention last year. We had press credentials, and Oreo did a great on-site job. We also were delighted to have delegates reporting from there, too. We're planning on covering both the DNC and RNC 2012 conventions, although it's likely that if the RNC gives us press credentials, we'll look at each other with that look as to who goes. But there might be a third convention, and THAT would be fun to watch. Ultimate Kabuki Theatre.
It's started in Florida: the Teabaggers are a party! They're going to run candidates! Nationally!
A Florida conservative has registered an official "Tea Party" with the office of the Secretary of State, and is promising to run candidates against Republicans and Democrats in state and national races.
Obviously, their next target is Charlie Crist. It will be interesting to see how the actual Republican Party responds. Could the Teabaggers push them to be more centrist? Or drive them further to the right? We'll see how that plays out, and you can bet we'll be ALL OVER IT as it unfolds.
For today, though, I'm thinking c-o-n-v-e-n-t-i-o-n. First, the signs. We know teabaggers can't spell. Will that carry over to the banners the party itself puts up? Will the advertisers come down to their level? (Speeches at the Poopsi Center anyone?)
Who will they get as keynote speakers? Will Spunky abandon the GOP as too moderate and strut herself at Teabag Central? If so, who will pay the thousands on thousands for her clothes?
What will they hand out in their swag bags? Is there a tea company that will want to be the "proud sponsor"? Will they insist on AMERICAN tea? Do we even GROW tea? Actually, there is one tea farm in the US. However, they grow black, green, and herbal teas. Not white tea. Do you think that will be a problem?
And on that issue, is it possible that the 37 African Americans at last year's RNC convention could dwarf the number of African Americans at the teabagger convention?
Will they have mandatory evangelical Christian services every morning?
You get the idea.
If you think this sounds snarky and perhaps written by someone who would be called by Spiro Agnew a member of the "effete core of impudent snobs who characterize themselves as intellectuals"...well...I actually am waiting to see if they can come up with a leader with an advanced degree (say, a Nobel Prize winning economist).
For now, I'm just impressed that they picked as their name "tea bag" - something that collapses in water and then goes out with the trash.
The Baltimore School System decided to implement a "Meatless Monday" program. It's pretty simple: it means that Monday's entree will be vegetarian. The idea was to cut costs and introduce kids to healthier foods. Yes, honest, vegetarian lasagna is healthier than an "all-meat" hot dog.
Lou Dobbs did a segment on this, and on the day that they were filming the choices were vegetarian chili or grilled cheese with corn, green beans and fruit. He thinks its a "political storm in the making" and his reporter's background source was, wait for it, the American Meat Institute (AMI), who feel this is a denial of choice, and "indoctrination". What is AMI?
AMI is a national trade association that represents companies that process 95 percent of red meat and 70 percent of turkey in the US and their suppliers throughout America.
Here's the thing: is it choice when 21 out of 21 meals a person eats in a week each have meat in them? Sure it is. It's also a choice when 0 of 21 meals have meat in them. Eating a vegetarian diet is certainly not unhealthy, and it certainly is a choice for no meals, one meal or all meals in a week. Another great example of cognitive dissonance.
Still, I want to thank Lou. I hadn't had a grilled cheese sandwich in a long time. So last night for dinner, I panini-pressed Havarti with eggplant, red pepper and basil in Ciabatta. YUM!
We give in to the principles that you have outlined. Yes, we were really hoping to enact a program that gutted Medicare, had the government decide that all seniors had to have sex-change operations, made sure that you could only get health care if you were born in a month ending in a "Y" while deciding that those born on Tuesdays have ten days to set their affairs in order before being put before a firing squad (if you were born on a Tuesday in a month ending in Y, you would be entitled to free Viagra until your ten days were up), and traded in artificial limbs issued to veterans for good old-fashioned wooden legs.
We really thought we could get fifty votes in the Senate for that program, but unfortunately it turns out that many of the Senators have constituents that were born on Tuesdays, and the plan proved unpopular with them.
Therefore, we give in to your demands.
We will draft a bill that conforms to your Seniors' Health Care Bill of Rights. Gone will be the death panels, and the death books, and the mandatory abortions. We will just have to do without bankrupting the government or setting the tax rate on the middle class at 110%.
But how could we possibly fulfill these stringent requirements you've set out? Strengthen Medicare, give seniors control of their medical decisions, stop the rationing of health care based on age, allow seniors, their families, and their doctors to make informed end-of-life decisions, and protect our veterans--that's quite a list! Hmm...maybe we'll just have to settle for something like this? Or this?
Yes, Mr. Steele, you beat us fair and square. We'll write a bill that does what you want. Alas, it will be a truly humiliating day for the Democrats when we see all the Republican lawmakers voting for these reform bills that you did so much to create.
As you know, the McCain HQ decided to sell off their leftover equipment. This sale began on Monday, and was open to the public. Here are some of the prices:
Dell Latitude D620 laptop - $417.00
Dell Latitude D820 laptop - $570.00
Brother multifunction printer - $189.00
RIM Blackberry 8700c - $30.00
Folding chairs - $3.60 each
55-cup steel coffee urn - $77.00
Power strip - $1
Ethernet cables $1/pound
Yes, cash, check or charge.
So, one of the local Fox affiliates goes over there and buys a couple Blackberrys. (Yes, that gizmo invented by John McCain himself.) And what did they find?
When we charged them up in the newsroom, we found one of the $20 Blackberry phones contained more than 50 phone numbers for people connected with the McCain-Palin campaign, as well as hundreds of emails from early September until a few days after election night.
We called some of the numbers.
“Somebody made a mistake,” one owner told us. “People’s numbers and addresses were supposed to be erased.”
“They should have wiped that stuff out,” another said. But he added, “Given the way the campaign was run, this is not a surprise.”
I know, you're thinking I'm going to put up the Keith Olbermann video of the first half of the 25 most corrupt politicians. You're right, but that's just the appetizer.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) comes out annually with a list of the most corrupt states. Their standard is the number of convictions for public corruption cases per capita. Not the total number of cases, nor convictions, but per 100,000 people. So you'd think that Illinois would rate pretty highly. No, they're number 18.
The winner? North Dakota. I'm not making this up; you can see the map here. Louisiana came in number 2.
Here's the fun part. I found out that the list came out today while reading the Anchorage Daily News.What makes it fun is that the article I was reading noted that:
Per capita is a fancy Latin term for "there aren't nearly as many political crooks in Alaska as New York but there are a whole heckuva lot fewer people overall so it's worse."
As I said before, Alaska finished second. We are the AVIS of political hanky panky.
Third, they're THIRD. I went searching for state-by-state literacy rates, but it turns out there are no nationwide stats. So I went with High School graduation rates. Let's just say there's a reason Alaska should invest more on reading and aritmetic, and less on Spunky-family travel.
Before The Sopranos, there was this expression "I got a guy in Jersey." The expression still stands. Probably, you get the inference. This DOJ listing comes out every year, and one year, the day it came out, I was in Jersey on business. At lunch a bunch of us were discussing the fact that that year, Jersey was number six. The people around the table were, and I'm going to put this gently, somewhat miffed. They were convinced there was more corruption in Jersey. More criminals. Finally, one of the guys said "Hey, they're talking convictions, not criminals. What we really have here are better lawyers." Everyone got happy.