Russia Brags Of ‘Verbal Agreements’ With Trump, US Unsure What They Were

Russia’s ambassador to the United States told the media in Moscow on Wednesday that Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had reached several “verbal agreements” on weapons treaties and Syria. But U.S.
via Russia Brags Of ‘Verbal Agreements’ With Trump, US Unsure What They Were
This should be a bigger story. Why does Putin know more about US policy than the US public?

Against ‘Civility’

One might further note that it is simply too comical to be lectured about social decorum by a party whose members shouted “You lie” at a President during a State of the Union address and made Donald Trump their party leader.
via Against ‘Civility’
The GOP demands it’s insults be accepted as politically incorrect free speech while it demands its opposition to act in the more comically deferential way possible.

Congressman Who Choke-Slammed Reporter Brags Of Defeating ‘Leftist Media’

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT) almost blew his last election by choke-slamming a reporter for daring to ask him questions, then lying about how the assault happened. But in his mind (or at least his latest fundraising email), he’s still the victim.
via Congressman Who Choke-Slammed Reporter Brags Of Defeating ‘Leftist Media’ The same people who were very upset a Nazi was punched seem to be ignoring the GOP member of congress that assaulted a journalist.

Moore Suggests Jewish Philanthropist George Soros Is Going To Hell

“No matter how much money he’s got, he’s still going to the same place that people who don’t recognize God and morality and accept His salvation are going. And that’s not a good place,” Moore said on conservative Christian radio host Bryan Fischer’s show.
via Moore Suggests Jewish Philanthropist George Soros Is Going To Hell
I’m wondering if accept His salvation is code for Jew.

The Case for Not Being Crybabies

The Case for Not Being Crybabies:

Why are we still saying Trump isn’t doing enough to avoid conflicts of interest? He’s made clear he wants to profit off his presidency. Let’s accept that. That is what he wants to do. If you’re a journalist, start documenting the details. If you’re an activist or politician start mobilizing against his corruption.

Fake News Weaponized

Thankfully, no one was hurt. But you may have heard that a man from Salisbury, North Carolina, Edgar Maddison Welch, shot up a pizza joint in Washington, DC today in an effort to ‘investigate’ the “Pizza Gate” conspiracy theory. What on earth is Pizza Gate, you may ask? It’s a Reddit-based far right conspiracy theory alleging a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton and John Podesta out of a DC pizza shop. Here’s a tweet tonight from the son of Michael Flynn, the incoming National Security Advisor. Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many “coincidences” tied to it. — Michael G Flynn🇺🇸 (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2016

(via Fake News Weaponized)

Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story.

Wow. But what about #TacoGate? The communist insurgency being run by @mflynnJR out of taco trucks? Until that is proven false it should remain a story.

Thiel Apologists Still Having a Hard Time

Using the civil courts as an instrument of private vengeance rather than to compensate or punish injuries corrupts the legal system. Doing so in secret deprives the public and the jury of the knowledge which would create some self-correcting mechanism to limit such abuse. It’s as simple as that. Comparing this to lawsuits brought by the ACLU or a conservative public interest law firm is either silly, dishonest or stupid. (via Thiel Apologists Still Having a Hard Time)

Defending gawker reminds me of defending Too-Live-Crew in the 1990s. I’m cringing but it’s the right thing to do. Thiel seem to think his hurt feelings trump the free speech of others. I don’t see a single difference between that Thiel is doing and what the right calls “Social Justice Warriors” silencing others.

Trump Hangs Up When WaPo Reporters Ask Him About Posing As Publicist

Trump Hangs Up When WaPo Reporters Ask Him About Posing As Publicist:

they were 44 minutes into a call with Trump about his finances when they asked if he ever employed a man named John Miller as his publicist. Trump immediately went silent, and then the line went dead, they wrote.

Fisher and Hobson wrote that when they called back, Trump’s secretary told them, “I heard you got disconnected. He can’t take the call now. I don’t know what happened.”

Total embarrassment.

Paul Ryan Throws Support Behind Mental Health Reform Bill

Paul Ryan Throws Support Behind Mental Health Reform Bill:

Ryan called mental health issues the “common theme” you see in mass shootings, along with attackers who are “terrorist-inspired.”

And good for him for noticing and taking some action on it. Let’s see how the rest of his party acts.

The speaker also said he opposed using the No-Fly List as a measure for restricting gun purchases, saying many people are put on the list arbitrarily or by “mistake.”

Maybe the no-fly list can be fixed then? Do we really want people fresh from jihad training walking off the aircraft and stopping at the nearest gun shop on the way to the commit a terrorist attack?

Reporters Scoff At James O'Keefe's Big New 'Scoop' To Destroy Hillary

James O'Keefe promised a new undercover video campaign that would expose “illegal activity conducted by high-level employees within Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.” Tuesday, he released the first video, produced by his group Project Veritas Action. His group’s big scoop? That a Canadian citizen spent $75 on Hillary swag at Clinton’s June campaign kickoff event. Reporters at the press conference O'Keefe held at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., to unveil the latest “gotcha” could not contain their disdain. “Is this a joke?” one reporter asked O'Keefe.

(via Reporters Scoff At James O'Keefe’s Big New ‘Scoop’ To Destroy Hillary)

No surprise here. James O'Keefe is a con man, not a journalist.

How The Reddit Debacle Proves Libertarians Wrong

One of the most common libertarian arguments you hear is that we don’t need government regulation to prevent discrimination because bigotry is bad for business and therefore the free market will stop it. Take Rand Paul arguing that “it’s a bad business decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant.” Or Reason trying to show that bakeries refusing gay customers take an economic hit for it. It’s a pleasing idea, that businesses will realize that bigotry costs them money and will adjust their business practices accordingly, with no government intervention required.

Well, now we have a perfect experiment to see how well that theory plays out in real life, with Reddit, which is a major corporation and not some two-bit rural bakery refusing to make a cake for a lesbian couple. As Reddit has learned, bigotry is, indeed, bad for business. Maintaining a free space for bigots to organize in is costing Reddit real money, as they have to pay for server space and now can’t even collect ad revenue on the bigoted forums.

But instead of proving the liberation argument right—that bigotry will cost you money and therefore businesses will choose anti-bigotry—the opposite is happening. Reddit is choosing to lose money rather than lose the bigots.

(via How The Reddit Debacle Proves Libertarians Wrong)

Libertarian views on discrimination somehow manage to be equal parts comical and abhorrent. The Reddit debacle is demonstrating this.

The Strange Demise of the Confederate Flag

it is important to note that the incorporation of the Confederate battle flag into Southern state flags and flying it at capitol buildings isn’t some relic of the post-Civil War days. It’s quite new. In most cases it goes back a little over 50 years to the 1950s and early 1960s. In other words, the prominent public display of the flag (if not the popularity of the flag itself, though partly that too) doesn’t commemorate the Civil War or the Confederacy, it was the emblem of the ‘massive resistance’ movement of the 1950s and 1960s in which white Southern state government sought to defy the federal government’s effort to force desegration, black enfranchisement and formal legal and political equality for African-Americans on the South.

(via The Strange Demise of the Confederate Flag)

Worth a read. Confederate flag defenders are unintentionally hilarious.

What Conservatives Willfully Ignore When They Cry 'Tyranny'

What Conservatives Willfully Ignore When They Cry 'Tyranny':

One of the regular features of our contemporary political life is conservative complaints about being victims of “government oppression.” You know what I mean: having to pay taxes to help “losers” is an outrage. Having to buy health insurance is tyranny. Not being allowed to discriminate against gay people is a denial of religious liberty. …

The 50th anniversary of the violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, should have served as a graphic reminder of what real “government oppression” looks like: police dogs; fire hoses; truncheons; deputized thugs. An entire state mobilized to deny the rights of free speech and peaceful assembly, in the broader aim of denying the right to vote.

This came to mind after reading some of the polemics directed at the Ferguson protests.

Why Conservatives Suddenly Care About Rightwing Mail-Order Scams

Why Conservatives Suddenly Care About Rightwing Mail-Order Scams:

Anyone who follows the conservative movement carefully could tell you that it’s about 25 percent politics and 75 percent mail-order scam. For more than half a century now, charlatans passing themselves off as conservative leaders have exploited ordinary conservatives’ anxiety about a changing America to collect addresses and now email lists in order to sell snake oil and raise funds that followers believe are going to political causes but frequently just line the pockets of the con artists.

Selling outrage and victimhood to conservatives is incredibly profitable. You can literally make millions doing it.

The Benghazi Report Truthers: Even The GOP Cant Get To The Bottom Of It

The Benghazi Report Truthers: Even The GOP Cant Get To The Bottom Of It:

When in late November the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee released a report finding that there was no direct wrongdoing by Obama administration appointees in the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, it seemed like the case might finally be closed. After all, this was a panel controlled by a Republicans.

But that’s not quite what happened.

Some of the loudest torch-and-pitchfork wielding Benghazi investigation enthusiasts weren’t satisfied.

Expect more Benghazi on FOX. They are going to waste untold time and money until they find something. It’s whitewater all over again.

And this is a shame. There are dozens of actual things they could be investigating.

Fox Host Calls On Fox To Drop 2016 Candidates From Payroll

Fox Host Calls On Fox To Drop 2016 Candidates From Payroll:

Fox dropped Dr. Ben Carson as a contributor, which Kurtz said was a good call.

"This was a smart move by Fox because a guy who’s more or less running for president shouldn’t be on a network payroll," he said. "Which means Fox also faces a decision about former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who is openly weighing a White House bid as well."

It’s always nice to see actual journalism at FOX.

Missouri Official Meant 'No Ill Intent' When She Called For Military Coup

Missouri Official Meant 'No Ill Intent' When She Called For Military Coup:

But I cannot and do not understand why no action is being taken against our domestic enemy. I know he is supposedly the commander in chief, but the constitution gives you the authority,” she wrote in the post. “What am I missing? Thank you for your bravery and may God keep you safe.”

Can we agree that discussing a Military Coup is off limits for anyone in uniform, elected or appointed officials and anyone that is part of a militia or political party?

Denying Climate Change 'Will Cost Us Billions Of Dollars, ' U.S. Budget Director Warns

Denying Climate Change 'Will Cost Us Billions Of Dollars,' U.S. Budget Director Warns:

“From where I sit, climate action is a must do; climate inaction is a can’t do; and climate denial scores – and I don’t mean scoring points on the board,” Donovan said. “I mean that it scores in the budget. Climate denial will cost us billions of dollars.”

Red-State Cities Find Euphemisms To Prepare for Global Warming

Red-State Cities Find Euphemisms To Prepare for Global Warming:

The pattern illustrates a growing disconnect between the debate still raging in politics and the reality on the ground. In many city planning departments, it has become like Voldemort, the arch-villain of the Harry Potter stories: It’s the issue that cannot be named.

The cognitive dissonance can only hold so long. At some point the denial side will have to admit they are wrong.

The Biggest Robbers In America Are Employers

The Biggest Robbers In America Are Employers:

The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

That $50 billion figure dwarfs the $14 billion taken from victims of robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts in 2012. That’s less than a third of the cost of wage theft, according to EPI’s estimations.

The NLRB needs to be reformed for the post labour union era. It should be the advocate for those who are robbed by their employers and it isn’t.

Rand Paul: GOP Can’t 'Completely Flip' On Gay Marriage

Rand Paul: GOP Can’t 'Completely Flip' On Gay Marriage:

He went on to say that when it comes to the GOP, “the party can’t become the opposite of what it is” on social matters.

Paul is basically admitting that once the homophobes and bigots in the GOP base start dying off, the GOP will have to change its stance in the culture wars. Liberals have been saying this since the start of the southern strategy.

Koch Group Abandons Obamacare 'Horror' Stories After Fact-Check Backlash

Koch Group Abandons Obamacare 'Horror' Stories After Fact-Check Backlash:

But what’s notable about the ads is what they aren’t: A personalized story of someone who’s been negatively affected by Obamacare, the kind of verifiable set of facts that can be checked — and rebutted, as happened with a recent AFP ad that led to significant backlash from the fact-checking community.

The facts have a liberal bias….so lets base our opinions on something other than facts. Wonderful.

RINO Hunters Fire Warning Shots At Republican Senate Candidates

RINO Hunters Fire Warning Shots At Republican Senate Candidates

Tea Party Express has a history of upsetting the Republican establishment. The group backed O'Donnell's Delaware Senate run in 2010 and got behind Mourdock's primary challenge against Lugar this year. Kremer said it was "way too early to make any decisions on what races we will be involved in during the 2014 cycle,"

The Tea Party has been more successful at getting moderate Dems elected in red states than the DLC.

According to a 21-page media strategy letter, al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn didn't care for Fox News, thought CNN was better in Arabic and liked MSNBC better before Keith Olbermann was fired.

According to a 21-page media strategy letter, al Qaeda operative Adam Gadahn didn't care for Fox News, thought CNN was better in Arabic and liked MSNBC better before Keith Olbermann was fired.

Inside Al Qaeda's Media Strategy | TPMMuckraker

Also, The Beatles White Album was totally overrated.

The world's largest commodity trader, Goldman Sachs told its clients that it believed speculators like itself had artificially driven the price of oil at least $20 higher than supply and demand dictate. They even admitted that their work to drive up prices has harmed the American economic recovery

The world's largest commodity trader, Goldman Sachs told its clients that it believed speculators like itself had artificially driven the price of oil at least $20 higher than supply and demand dictate. They even admitted that their work to drive up prices has harmed the American economic recovery
Goldman Sachs Admits Record Speculation To Blame For Skyrocketing Gas Prices | ThinkProgress

Gingrich's Ex-Wife I Refused To Have An Open Marriage

Gingrich's Ex-Wife: I Refused To Have An 'Open Marriage'

Newt Gingrich asked his ex-wife to agree to an "open marriage" so he could carry on an affair, Marianne Gingrich told ABC News in an exclusive interview set to air Thursday evening.

So…he thinks same sex marriage is a threat to traditional marriage but swinging is ok? Did his ceremony declare them to be man and wife and a ‘lil something on the side?

Obama's Rope-A-Dope

Last summer during the debt ceiling hostage crisis, Obama appeared to be the loser, but yesterday Republicans woke up to the reality that they lost Big Time—that we were going to get $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, with 50% of the cuts coming from the military and none of the cuts from Social Security and Medicare. The Congressional water carriers for the Military Industrial Complex are in a panic. … President Obama immediately threatened to veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts. That means that Republicans would have to get a 2/3 rds majority to undo the first meaningful cutback in the Military budget in 60 years. In addition, if Obama also threatens to veto any attempt to restore the Bush Tax cuts in 2012 (they expire automatically on January 1, 2013), progressives will have totally changed the inequality dynamic, without having to pass a single piece of legislation.

So if this works Obama has managed to cut $600B from the defense budget and undo the Bush tax cuts while having to trim $600B from non-defense spending. It is also worth noting that while he promised to veto any attempt to undo the spending cuts, he made no such promise to block new spending that the Dems might pass.

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

Quinnipiac Poll: Obama Shows Marked Improvement

"President Barack Obama seems to be improving in voters' eyes almost across-the-board," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute in a release. "He scores big gains among the groups with whom he has had the most problems - whites and men. Women also shift from a five-point negative to a four-point positive."
Good news, I think.

Conservative Activist: Why OWS Should Protest The Super Scary George Soros

Conservative Activist: Why OWS Should Protest The Super Scary George Soros

Numerous conservatives have slammed Occupy Wall Street for protesting the "wrong" people. Rather than the bankers who ran the global economy into the ground during the Bush era, it's the current White House that deserves the people's ire, they say. However, conservative activist Cliff Kincaid has a new target for populist outrage: Democratic-leaning financier George Soros... and he's got the kooky conspiracy theory diagrams to prove it!
Translation: Protest Democrats and liberal donors, not Republicans and GOP donors.

Perhaps not since George McGovern's annihilation at the hands of Richard Nixon in 1972 has a candidate's Primary base been so alienated from the center of American political thought as the Tea Party is today." - David Drum

Perhaps not since George McGovern’s annihilation at the hands of Richard Nixon in 1972 has a candidate’s Primary base been so alienated from the center of American political thought as the Tea Party is today." - David Drum
Perry’s Social Security Conundrum | Talking Points Memo Talking-Points-Memo (Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall)

Romney Irked By Democrats' Prepared Attacks

“It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks,” Romney said in a statement.

From Romney Irked By Democrats’ Prepared Attacks

No fair, he is fighting back! Googling “romney attacks obama” returns 57k hits. “obama attacks romney” just 417 hits.

Get Back To Reality!

Both parties, in fact, are moving to anti-Keynesian policy orientations, which deny additional stimulus and make rather awkward and unsubstantiated claims that if you balance the budget, “they will come.” It is envisioned that corporations or investors will somehow overnight be attracted to the revived competitiveness of the U.S. labor market: Politicians feel that fiscal conservatism equates to job growth. It’s difficult to believe, however, that an American-based corporation, with profits as its primary focus, can somehow be wooed back to American soil with a feeble and historically unjustified assurance that Social Security will be now secure or that medical care inflation will disinflate.

From Get Back To Reality!

So is this Noam Chomsky or Bill Gross of PIMCO talking?

Jon Stewart Angrily Tells Chris Wallace: Fox News Has the Most Misinformed Viewers

Despite multiple attempts by Wallace to convince Stewart of a liberal bias in the mainstream media, Stewart argued the “bias of the mainstream media is towards sensationalism, conflict and laziness.” And as proof of a lack of partisanship, Stewart suggested the media “jumped into the Weiner pool with such delight and such relish.”

The conversation got a bit more personal as Stewart and Wallace shared thoughts on how they viewed each other. Wallace declared “I think you want to be a political player.” Stewart responded “dead wrong” and reiterated that he is a comedian first. And then he admitted himself, “the embarrassment is that I’m given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does.”

From TPM LiveWire

Jon Stewart tell is like it is

Van Jones Calls End Of Glenn Beck's Fox Show A 'Triumph Of American Capitalism'

As Beck leaves Fox under fire from his bosses at the network and upset sponsors, Jones praised the free market system for ridding the airwaves of Beck.

"Good American businesses make a decision about who they want to associate their brands with," he said. "And if you violate the principles of good discourse and fair play in America, good American businesses will not stay with you and you won’t stay in the public square very long.

"So it’s not just a triumph of American capitalism," Jones said. "It’s a triumph of American values."

From Van Jones Calls End Of Glenn Beck’s Fox Show A ‘Triumph Of American Capitalism’ | TPMDC

Is it safe to announce that this is the end of Beck’s 15 minutes?

Global Commission Of Former Officials Says War On Drugs Has Failed

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," the report reads. "Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed."

The report calls for an end to the “criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others,” and for governments to experiment with ways to regulate drugs so as to undercut organized crime and improve public health.

From Global Commission Of Former Officials Says War On Drugs Has Failed

Coming to the obvious conclusion about 30 years late.

NPR's Misleadingly Edited Version Of O'Keefe Interview

National Public Radio’s “On The Media” gave conservative provocateur James O’Keefe a taste of his own medicine by employing the “black arts of broadcast editing” to create an “utterly dishonest impression” of his views.

From NPR O’Keefes James O’Keefe With Misleadingly Edited Version Of Interview (AUDIO) | TPMMuckraker

Shout the lies, whisper the corrections. This is how the right gets away with blatant falsehoods. Worth a listen to see how many aspects of the NPR sting are fabrications created via clever editing.

Wis. Dems Claim 45 Percent Of Needed Signatures For Recalls | TPMDC

In the latest development in Wisconsin, after the passage of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s new law curtailing public employee unions, state Democrats claim that they have reached 45% of their goal for petition signatures to recall eight Republican state Senators


Walker is safe until the end of the year, assuming they don’t try some other method of removing him.

Michele Bachmann Refuses to Walk Back Gangster Government Comments

Well, I said I do believe that actions that have been taken by this White House, I don’t take back my statement on gangster government. I think that there have been— actions that have been taken by this government that I think are corrupt

From Video Cafe

Whenever I hear people compare government to organized crime, I’m reminded that when actual organized crime bosses are caught, they invariably claim to be legitimate businessmen, not political leaders. They make not claim to speak for or represet the interests of others.

Anyone want to bet that this video is as phony as the Acorn and other O'Keefe videos are?

The Tea Party Patriots, an umbrella group for state and local Tea Party groups around the country, is rallying its supporters against NPR in response to hidden camera footage of an NPR executive, Ron Schiller, describing the movement’s members as “seriously, seriously racist people.” The video was filmed by James O’Keefe’s group, Project Veritas, and featured the group’s members having lunch with Schiller while posing as a phony Muslim advocacy group interested in donating $5 million to NPR. In addition to his comments on the Tea Party, Schiller is shown in the video saying that NPR does not need federal funding, which the Patriots argue demonstrates that House Republican efforts to cut the news organization’s funds are on the mark.

From Tea Party Patriots Rally Against NPR After O’Keefe Video

Anyone want to bet that this video is as phony as the Acorn and other O’Keefe videos are?

Fox's Carlson To Muslim Cleric: Have You Committed Acts Of Terrorism?

On Fox and Friends this morning, the co-host had a contentious interview with Anjem Choudary, the head of the controversial UK-based Islamic group Al-Muhajiroun, who is planning a March 3 protest outside the White House to call for the establishment of Sharia law in America.


Fox actually finds its Sharia law straw-man.

Silvio's World

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s legendary womanizing now has Italian prosecutors preparing to try him on criminal charges.

From Silvio’s World

Berlusconi has a model diversity program in that there is a diverse set of models. Blondes, brunettes and red heads are all well represented in his patronage positions.

Campaign Season Rife With Gun Rhetoric

Gregg Harper (R-MS) told Politico that he hunts Democrats. Asked about the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, he said, “We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.”

From Campaign Season Rife With Gun Rhetoric

I’m not saying there are no nut jobs on the left. But these are candidates for office. They must be held to a higher standard for both action and rhetoric than the standard we hold for semi-anonymous chat on the net.

Juan Williams on Unemployment Insurance

Juan Williams explains how continuing unemployment insurance is hurting the unemployed by keeping them from working and thus losing their work ethic, losing their values and also not dressing well or getting up from bed in the morning and thus not able to get a job

From Talking Points Memo

Therefore recessions are caused by people becoming lazy and all booms are caused by people developing better work ethics. The Austrian Slacker Cycle if you will.

Women In Hijabs NOT exempt from pat-downs

Recent stories on Glenn Beck’s blog The Blaze, Fox News and elsewhere suggested that the TSA would only pat down the head and neck of Muslim women who objected to backscatter X-ray machines.

From Women In Hijabs NOT exempt from pat-downs

This false story started in the Glenn Beck parallel reality should be debunked in the same media that promoted the story. But it won’t be.

Outside the Bubble

A new CBS poll says virtually no one thinks the deficit or the national debt are the top problems facing the country.

From Talking Points Memo

Not surprised one bit. I’d be willing to bet that the tea-party folks most vocal about debt, deficit and taxes are no more knowledgeable on those topics then a sampling of random registered voters.

Race war wing nuts and the Tea Party

TPM has obtained some of the threatening and racist emails that that voter registration group down in Houston received after being targeted by one Texas Tea Party group for alleged “voter fraud.” It’s about as ugly as you would expect: “The WAR is coming and we are going to dispose of each and every one of you while we take OUR (White) nation back.”

From The Better Angels Of Our Nature

Wow, who could have guess that race war wing nuts would have found a home in the tea party? When you hear them talking about taking the country back, you really should be asking from whom?

Dems To Define GOP With 'Republican-Tea Party Contract With America' (VIDEO) | TPMDC

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine today will announce a new party initiative aimed at defining the Republicans who want to win control of Congress as tea partiers who want to repeal everything and abolish federal agencies.

From Dems To Define GOP With ‘Republican-Tea Party Contract With America’ (VIDEO) | TPMDC

This is brilliant politically. Running against the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement puts the GOP in the position of having to distance themselves from their base. The problem is that it isn’t accurate. I don’t think anyone is worried about the GOP actually repealing or eliminating any major federal programs. My second concern is that this is much like the GOP tactic of attaching mainstream democratic positions with outside fringe elements like MoveOn or perennial boogie-man George Soros.

Who's Running TARP? You Might Not Wanna Know

Last week, Congress’s oversight panel for the TARP funds confirmed in a report that the Treasury Department essentially has no idea what banks have done with the astronomical sums they’ve been handed.
From TPMMuckraker | Talking Points Memo | Who’s Running TARP? You Might Not Wanna Know

Nice jumping off point for discussions on what exactly is being done with all that money.

If You Can't Stand Up to the RNC ...

The original Maverick asked Karl Rove if he could pick Joe Lieberman for vice president. Karl said no. The Maverick said okay.
From Talking Points Memo | If You Can’t Stand Up to the RNC …

Still looking at this story. Not sure if I buy it. It would make sense that the shadow party picked Palin since McCain had only two five minute conversations with his soul mate before she was picked. And if there was a Shadow GOP, Rove would be in it.

U.S. to launch criminal probe of CIA tapes

The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday it will launch a criminal investigation intothe CIA’s destruction of videotapes depicting the harsh interrogation of terrorism suspects.
From Talking Points Memo | U.S. to launch criminal probe of CIA tapes

Yet another personality test from the White House. When you read this, are you happy there is a criminal investigation, or upset that there may have been a crime? Half full or half empty? Could go either way.

Spain Opens the Books on Bush?

But it seems someone in the Spanish government has leaked to El Pais transcripts of conversations between President Bush and then Spanish Prime Minister Aznar just before the outbreak of the Iraq War. The gist seems to be that Bush was rather candid about the fact that the efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis were a sham and that the war was a done deal.
From Talking Points Memo | Spain Opens the Books on Bush?

Pants on fire.


In the 1980s, the Reagan administration sold fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, sparking a considerable controversy about Israel and a regional arms build-up.
In 2007, just as we’re learning about the aid Saudi Arabia is giving to Sunni militias in Iraq, the Bush administration is planning a large arms deal with the president’s long-time allies.
From Talking Points Memo

The House o Saud is an unpopular regime surrounded by instability and growing anti-western and anti-american sentiment. So, what could possibly go wrong? Has everyone forgotten how the weapons we sold to the Afghan Mujahideen in the 80s were latter turned on us? Or how the arms we sold Iran in the 70s were turned on us? How short sighted can our foreign policy become?

Rudy on the Dems

Look, it’s real simple what happened. These people came here and killed us because of our freedom of religion, because of our freedom for women, because they hate us…If you’re confused about this, I think you put our country in much greater jeopardy.
From TPMCafe

Rudy is an idiot. Anyone who has read Bin Laden’s declaration of war can see that either Rudy thinks he knows more about bin Laden’s motivations than bin Laden himself; or hasn’t read the actual declaration or war. My money is the later.

Those 11 GOP "moderates"

Every one of the 11 GOP “moderates” who privately warned Bush that the public wants out of the war actually voted against the House bill tying war funding to progress in Iraq.
From Talking Points Memo

Maybe I’m too much of a cynic. I can’t help but think those 11 moderates may be more concerned about re-election than the situation in Iraq.

Abramoff III

Yet another shoe drops in the Jack Abramoff investigation. A former aide to Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Mark Zachares, looks set to plead guilty to corruption charges.
From TPMmuckraker

You know things are bad when scandals this big become B level stories because there are such major scandals taking up all of the media baud width. Abramoff. The gift that keeps on giving.

the meaning of good and bad

A nod to TPM for pointing out an absurd GOP talking point that has made it into the Washington Post.

Backed by a unified party and fresh from a slew of legislative victories, Democratic leaders appear to believe there is hardly any territory they cannot stray onto, a development that has Republican political operatives gleeful and some Democrats worried.
From WaPo

I’d argue that on both the left and the right, people generally support investigations into corruption, waste and fraud. Even if they don’t agree with the policy or spending; they at least want it handled in a legal, competent and honest fashion.

Colburn-Obama pork act (S 2590)

The Senate passed legislation Thursday night that would create a massive, Google-like searchable database to track federal spending.
From TPMmuckraker

The cynic in me views this as election year bipartisanship. But this is a good bill. And one of the best reform since Sarbanes-Oxley.

I happen to be against a prohibition against earmarks as it violates the spirit of Separation of Powers by putting more control on how money is spent into the hands of the executive. I’d rather make who earmarked what part of the public record so the people can decide if their representative is actually looking out for their interests.

Tax Breaks for Big Oil: Bush Was For it Before He Was Against It

Today, President Bush rolled out his brave plan to roll back billions in tax breaks for energy companies. But you wouldn’t know from the coverage so far that what he’s really talking about is rolling back some of the more disastrous measures of the energy bill he himself signed into law last year.
From TPM Muckraker

I’ll avoid the easy flip-flop jokes and concentrate on what’s been sticking in my craw for the past six-plus years. This administration doesn’t know the difference between being friendly to business and paying people to be your friend. And its clear that this is just a trade off with the oil barons. A small cut in subsidies in exchange for the right to polute.

bipartisan consensus on abramoff

Abramoff is a Republican who worked closely with two of the country’s most prominent conservative activists, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed. Top aides to the most important Republican in Congress, Tom DeLay (R., Tex.) were party to his sleazy schemes. The only people referred to directly in Abramoff’s recent plea agreement are a Republican congressmen and two former Republican congressional aides. The GOP members can make a case that the scandal reflects more the way Washington works than the unique perfidy of their party, but even this is self-defeating, since Republicans run Washington.

The problem is a network of criminal activity stretching from the House of Representatives (and, to a lesser degree, the Senate) to K Street and then into the Executive Branch — a network of bribery, money-laundering and fraud all aimed at selling public policy and official actions not in exchange for political contributions but money rewards to members of Congress, administration officials and their families.
From lowry at NRO and TPM

One from a progressive source, and one from a conservative source. Rarely do you see such bipartisan consensus. It nice to see that even GOP apologists at the National Review are able to see that this is a GOP problem that will hurt the GOP no matter how hard the hard right GOPers insist on banging the square peg of ideology into the round hole of reality.

Square peg one from Bloomberg.

Representatives Roy Blunt of Missouri and John Boehner of Ohio have been among the key intermediaries between Republican lawmakers and lobbyists since their party took control of the U.S. Congress in 1995.
Now, with both men vying to succeed Representative Tom DeLay as House majority leader, those ties may loom as an issue.

Blunt, 55, and DeLay, 58, share a network of ties as extensive as any in Congress, including links to lobbyists.

Square peg two from Think Progress

DeLay Takes Over Cunningham's Spot On Appropriations Committee
Why is there a seat available? From the San Diego Union Tribune, 12/10/05:
A vacancy on the panel occurred earlier this week when Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Rancho Santa Fe, formally resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to charges that he accepted bribes from defense contractors.

And square peg three also from Think Progress

Ney: Congress's "Ethics" Instructor
Ney has been named as Representative #1 in the plea agreeements of both Abramoff and his partner, Michael Scanlon, detailing lavish gifts, travel, and contributions from the lobbyists in return for Ney's cooperation in Congress. You can find more details of Ney's extensive ties to Abramoff here.

Why on earth would you replace someone involved with a scandal with someone connected to the same scandal? Are they really that tone deaf? More importantly, why would you do this three times in the same week. I know there are conservatives that aren’t criminals. Why don’t they reach across the aisle and work with reform minded liberals and progressives?