Maddow: "Senator Brown, you're lying"

Rachel Maddow has been in a kerfuffle with newly elected Massachusetts Senator Scoot brown , over his fear-mongering fund-raising letter claiming he's about to be challenged by MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

Rachel not only took issue with him on her show, but took out a full page ad in the Boston globe to expose Brown for the fear-monger that he is.

Unfortunately, rather than apologize, Brown dug in, as you will see in the segment from last night's show, which forced Rachel to just come right out and call him a liar:

Maddow: ‘Senator Brown, you’re lying’

March 30: Rachel Maddow fires back at Sen. Scott Brown for the fundraising lies he repeats about her alleged Senate challenge, his staff’s denial that the Rachel Maddow Show had called his office, and his delusions about being a topic that boosts the show’s ratings.

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Bill Halter's New Ad: Values

Arkansas Lt. AG Bill Halter has a new video up for his campaign against Corp. Conservadem Sen. Blanche Lincoln: Values

Contribute to Bill Halter
Bill Halter for Senate

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How Did So Many Republicans End Up Believing Falsehoods About Obama?

Responding to the not-really-shocking-at-this-point-polling from Harris that showed just how crazy the GOP has become when it comes to their beliefs about President Obama (see: "There's Crazy, and Then There's Batshit Crazy. Meet Batshit Crazy...), Media Matters explains just how "so many Republicans ended up believing falsehoods about Obama" in this video.

Hint: Fox "news"

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DCCC Celebratory Video: Health Care Reform "A Historic Victory"

The DCCC touts Obama's & the Democrats' Health Care Reform victory in this just released video. As TPM's David Kurtz rightly points out, the video is one "you might see at the 2012 Democratic convention when the party is in Obama-reelection mode."

Health Care Reform: A Historic Victory

On Sunday, March 21st 2010, the House achieved a historic victory for American families by passing comprehensive health insurance reform. Throughout the legislative process, House Democrats fought tirelessly to bring real change to America by fixing our broken health care system.
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Olbermann: Right-Wing Hate Rhetoric Inflaming Terrorists

Melissa Harris-Lacewell joined Keith Olbermann last night to discuss how the right's hate-filled rhetoric is what's instigating the visible increase in anti-government terrorist groups.

Do militias shift right?

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Gleeful Jon Stewart Reports on RNC's "Lesbian Bondage-Themed Club"

Jon Stewart was given a huge gift for last night's show: The RNC's lesbian bondage-themed club scandal. Think "kid in candy store" and you've got Stewart reporting on this sex-scandal.

2 Girls 1 GOP

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Militias More Connected to Right-Wing, Christian Terrorist Group, Hutaree, Than They Claim

On last night's show, Rachel Maddow also reported on that right-wing, Christian terrorist group, Hutaree, and how they are much more connected to other, run-of-the-mill militia group than previously reported by the media or acknowledged by those other anti-government extremists who all seem to be hellbent on, as the teabaggers would say, “taking their country back.”

Militias more connected than they claim

March 30: The common wisdom congealing around the Hutaree story is that the militia members are part of some off-shoot, unique, religious cult that has nothing to do with anything else. Rachel Maddow scratches the surface of the story with Crooks and Liar’s David Neiwert and finds that common wisdom falls apart.

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Maddow: Tax Troubles at C-Street

Rachel Maddow once again returns to the fascinating story of C-Street, The Family, and the politicians who live or lived there and how they were getting " sweetheart deals on subsidized living arrangements. "

A group of pastors have filed a complaint with the IRS and it seems they're complaint not only has merit legally, but as members of congress, these unreported special deals are "gif'ts" that violate ethics rules for these members of congress.

Did C Street Congressmen violate tax laws?

March 30: Were members of Congress getting sweetheart deals on subsidized living arrangements at C-Street. Rev. Eric Williams discusses on The Rachel Maddow Show.

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The RNC's New Logo

In light of the Lesbian, Bondage-themed night club visit, the RNC has announced a logo redesign to be rolled out for the fall mid-term elections (via Crooks & Liars' BluGal):

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Colbert: Napoleon Blown Apart

The Health Care Bill's passage is the best thing that could have happened to the GOP, well, according to Stephen Colbert:

The Word - Napoleon Blown Apart

The Republicans may have lost the health care fight, but that sets them up for real victory in November.

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Olbermann: RNC Spends Money in Bondage-Themed Night Club

Keith Olbermann also had a lot of fun with The Washington Independent’s David Weigel in discussing the RNC’s “Lesbian, bondage-themed” night club visit:

RNC spends money in risqué night club

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Olbermann's Back & He's Taking on the Right's Violence-Inspiring Rhetoric

Keith Olbermann returned to Countdown tonight as well, and he didn’t waste any time going after the Teabaggers, Sarah Palin and the violence there hate & rhetoric is inciting. He was joined by Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas.

Weighing irresponsible rhetoric

In a related story, Olbermann also reported on the arrest of eight members of a right-wing, Christian terrorist group who were plotting attacks on the police in order to start a anti-government rebellion across the country. He was joined by the Southern Poverty Law Center’ Mark Potok to discuss what this incident means going forward:
Officials: Militia group plotted for a long time

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Jon Stewart: Health Care Slime Machine

Jon Stewart is back! And the Daily Show is taking aim at the violent crazies reacting to the passage of the Health Care Reform bill.

Health Care Slime Machine

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Harry Reid: Get The Teabaggers Some Dictionaries


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has a new fundraising e-mail out, making light of the Tea Party rally that was held this past weekend in his small hometown of Searchlight, Nevada. In particular, Reid challenges the Tea Partiers basic political knowledge, insofar as they call Democrats "socialists."

"I double checked the definition of 'socialism,' and it's defined as a political philosophy that advocates for government ownership of private industry. Absolutely needless to say, not a view I agree with in the least," Reid writes.

"My first thought was that we could hold a fundraising drive to buy dictionaries for all these folks and mail them out lickity split. But my campaign manager rightly pointed out that with the first quarter coming to an end, we should raise money for the campaign in dictionary-sized increments instead."

see the full email...

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Proof! Obama No different Than Bush

See, what more proof do you need to know that President Obama is no different than George W. Bush?!!

obama feet on desk

bush feet on desk

Reason for the pics: Markos was reporting on the National Review's Kathryn Lopez's stupidity about Obama's feet being on the desk.

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I Wonder If Those Christian Terrorists Know This C-SPAN Caller?

I wonder if those white, right-wing, Christian terrorists know this C-SPAN caller (video h/t AmericaBlog)?

"You have black folks calling in on the Republican line, independents. And you have so many of 'em I can't believe this is just an accident. If you keep on with the way you've been programming, you should change your name from C-Span to black-span. I know they have an opinion but I wish that they would be honest and call in on the right line. Everyone one of 'em thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don't like when anybody criticizes him."
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Daily Show Special Report: Tea Bagging

We interrupt your programming to bring you this Daily Show Special Report:

Scandal-List - Tea Bagging

Meet the patriots fighting to stop Barack Obama from dunking his high taxes in America's mouth.

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JibJab's Easter Dinner

Via JibJab:

Why stop at chocolate bunnies?

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Rachel Maddow on Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas

Never got a chance to post this when I first saw it last week, but here's Rachel Maddow discussing health care reform at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas when the subject of Conservadem Sen. Blanche Lincoln and her real Democratic challenger, Bill Halter, comes up (h/t Crooks & Liars):

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RNC's Steele Wanted Private Jet, RNC Spends Money at S&M-Themed Nightclub (UPDATED w/ Calls for Steele's Resignation)

Republican National Committee chairman & head of the Family Values Party, Michael Steele, wanted a private jet? For what? To shuttle him to and fro a" bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex?"

Why, yes. Yes he did (h/t Think Progress):

According to two knowledgeable sources, Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel.

“I know that … regular ongoing use of planes was something that was looked at,” says one person with direct knowledge. “I can’t speak to how serious those inquiries were.” Both sources say Steele considered purchasing a plane outright, or buying fractional ownership in one, through a company such as NetJets.

Steele’s spokesman, Doug Heye, did not deny that such discussions took place, responding that the RNC never had a “plan” to buy a plane. “I don’t know what somebody might have discussed or might not have discussed.”


Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

It could have been worse.

Do as I say
... I guess.

UPDATE: While this really isn't a "sex scandal" in the usual GOP sense per say, here's a encyclopedia's worth of GOP Sex Scandals compiled by Daily Kos if you want a good laugh.

UPDATE II: TPM's Josh Marshall wonder if this is an RNC Outreach to GLBT Community? LOL.

UPDATE III: RNC denies Steele was spending money at this bondage-themed club; wil be “investigating” the spending:

“We are investigating the expenditure in question. The story willfully and erroneously suggests that the expenditure in question was one belonging to the Chairman. This was a reimbursement made to a non-committee staffer.

“The Chairman was never at the location in question, he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable.

Funny, so they reimbursed a "non-committee staffer" for his trips(s) to a lesbian, bondage-themed nightclub? Even if that's true, it's too funny...



Oh, like I wasn't gonna photoshop THAT. Original marketing image from Voyeur Nightclub, West Hollywood, found here. Attempts to reach the actual Voyeur website resulted in "server busy" errors.



Penny Nance, the CEO of the conservative group Concerned Women for America, ripped the RNC:

“Did they really agree to reimburse nearly $2,000 for a bondage-themed night club? We have several questions. For the RNC: Why would a staffer believe that this is acceptable, and has this kind of thing been approved in the past? And for the Democratic National Committee: Do you believe that it is appropriate to use tax dollars for pornographic exhibits like the ones recently funded by the stimulus bill?

“Please explain to Republican and Democratic women if and why you think it is appropriate to promote pornographic enterprises? As women we find the very idea of officials from either party approving of endeavors that objectify and demean women outrageous. This kind of behavior is not appropriate for national leaders that our children should be able to look up to as role models, and that our daughters could be working for.

“Did you really swill drinks, ogle young girls and plan party business at this kind of establishment? Please explain!”



Via TPM:
Late update: The Daily Caller pegs the person who spent the money as one Erik Brown of Orange, Calif. Brown owns a direct mailing firm and has tweeted about hanging out with Steele. (Here's the cached link. Brown's Twitter account was deleted today.)


Late late update: RNC spokesman Doug Heye, on Fox News just now, said the party has gotten a commitment that the money will be repaid. Heye wouldn't name who spent the money.

Maybe the RNC's budgeting isn't so strange after all:
Americablog posted this picture from the Club's Website:
Oh, and rethugs are now calling for Steele's resignation (via Sam Stein).
Michael Steele Called Tone Deaf By GOP Brass, Urged To Resign

In the world of politics, there was plenty of eye-rolling and mockery at reports that Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele spent lavishly on gratuitous and questionable expenditures in February.

For Republican donors and strategists, however, the revelation sparked yet another round in a lengthy debate over whether the rambunctious GOP leader really is the right fit for the party in the minority.


"For those donors who truly believe in conservative values, this latest news about Steele has to be very disturbing," said Douglas MacKinnon, former press secretary to Majority Leader Robert Dole. "No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself, if you are giving a political party your hard-earned money, you should have no doubts that it is going to be spent as advertised and not to provide a spoiled, egocentric, out-of-touch chairman with frivolous luxuries which are out of reach of the vast majority of the American people. Michael Steele needs to resign and let the RNC vote in a man or woman who understands that his or her needs do not come before the needs of the nation or the party."

"I think it certainly suggest a certain tone deafness," confirmed Mark DeMoss, a longtime GOP donor who has decided to stop giving to committees. "I think it suggests either that you are out of touch or that you are more important than your constituents and your donors and either case is bad, whichever one you are guilty of."

UPDATE VII: Young Republicans?

The Daily Caller is now reporting that the event at this bondage-themed club was for a group of young Republicans who attended the RNC-sponsored Young Eagles event earlier that evening (h/t charyl):

A $1,946.25 bar tab at a bondage-themed Hollywood nightclub financed by the RNC was part of a night of cultivating young Republican donors, The Daily Caller learned Monday after first reporting the expense that showed up on recent FEC filing.

The California blog Red County reported that the outing at Voyeur West Hollywood was an after-party for a number of young Republicans who attended a Young Eagles event that night at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Young Eagles is an RNC-sponsored program to cultivate 30- to 40-year olds seen as tomorrow’s big donors.

RNC chairman Michael Steele is not thought to have attended either event, according to Red County.

Erik Brown, who runs campaign firm DMI and has worked for prominent southern California Republicans, was reimbursed by the RNC for the Voyeur West Hollywood after party.


It was bad enough for the GOP when it was thought that Steele was the club's visitor, but to learn that it was a group of young, virile Republicans - the cream of the crop and party future hopefuls -- well, uh oh.

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I Don't Think Bill Kristol Understands Just How Good Russia Is With Poisons

Bill Kristol is actually blaming Russia for bringing the suicide bombings on themselves! I don't think Bill Kristol understands just how good Russia is with poisons (from Think Progress):

Earlier today, two “female suicide bombers set off huge explosions in two subway stations in central Moscow,” killing more than three dozen people. According to the New York Times, Russian officials suspect that the bombing near the offices of the successor to the Soviet-era K.G.B “was intended as a message to the security services, which have helped lead the crackdown on Islamic extremism in Chechnya and other parts of the Caucasus region in southern Russia.” On Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, citing Russian policy in Chechnya, said that the Russians “in some ways have brought” the terrorism “on themselves”:

BENNETT: The Russians will be tougher than most countries on this stuff, right?

KRISTOL: Yeah, they’ve been pretty brutal in Chechnya and in some ways have brought this, I’ve got to say, on themselves. But, you know, the trouble is that people use legitimate grievances and of course become — a fair number of Chechens went to Afghanistan to fight against us and the Chechnyans were treated just horribly, have been treated horribly by the Russians. But obviously that’s no excuse for being a suicide bomber.

read more/listen to it....
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FINALLY: Olbermann Returns to Countdown Tonight

Damn, I missed him (via TV Newser):

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will return to his duties anchoring "Countdown" tonight after missing nearly four weeks due to his father's illness and passing. Olbermann did appear for one night last week to deliver a special comment after the health care vote, but MSNBC tells us he'll be back for good now. (He's also returned to blogging at his MLB blog.)

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Meet The Faces of Right-Wing, Christian Terrorism

Meet the terrorists of the Michigan-based Christian militia group, Hutaree, an anti-government extremist terror organization based in Lenawee County, Michigan:

(pic via TPM)
From the NY Times:

In court filings unsealed Monday, the Justice Department accused the nine people of planning to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer, then plant improvised explosive devices of a type used by insurgents in Iraq to attack the funeral procession.

Eight of the defendants were arrested over the weekend in raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana. A ninth remained at large, the Justice Department said. The indictments against them were returned last Tuesday. The defendants were identified as members of Hutaree, described by federal prosecutors as an anti-government extremist organization based in Lenawee County, Michigan, and which advocates violence against local, state and federal law enforcement. The group saw local and state police as “foot soldiers” for the federal government, which it viewed as its enemy, along with participants in what they deemed to be a “New World Order,” according to the indictment.


A Web site for the Hutaree group talks about a coming battle against the putative forces of the Antichrist but does not appear to focus explicitly on recent political events.

The Web site, which describes the group as “preparing for the end times,” featured video clips of people running through woods in camouflage gear and firing assault rifles, along with links to gun stores and far-right media. It also features an elaborate system of military ranks for its members. The site says it coined the term Hutaree, intended to mean Christian warrior.

“Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment,” the Web site says, adding, “The Hutaree will one day see its enemy and meet him on the battlefield if so God wills it.”

The indictment charged that between August 2008 and the present, the defendants — led by David Brian Stone, 45, who also used the name “Captain Hutaree” — developed a conspiracy that they hoped would result in a war against the United States government. They allegedly decided they would kill a local law enforcement officer, and then bomb the funeral caravan. The killings “would intimidate and demoralize law enforcement diminishing their ranks and rendering them ineffective,” it said.

Afterward, the indictment said, Hutaree members would retreat to several “rally points” and wage war against the government, using prepared fighting positions as well as “trip-wired and command-detonated” bombs.

“It is believed by the Hutaree that this engagement would then serve as a catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the government,” the indictment said.

read more....

Via TPM:

Christian Militia Raided By Feds Allegedly Planned To Kill Cops

In one late 2008 post on the group's forum page, a member writes that "ATF searching local FFL for info on Hutaree gun purchases. All members are advised to be locked and loaded, things may turn hot real quick here."

The authorities say that all but one of the nine defendants are in custody. The ninth, Joshua Stone, is described as a fugitive.

Late Update: One of the men charged, nicknamed "Pale Horse," appears to be the same militia member who called for citizens to arm themselves shortly before President Obama's election in 2008.

Late Late Update: In another video, members of Hutaree burn a United Nations flag. Find continuing coverage from TPMmuckraker here.

read more....

Also from TPM:

'Our Country Is In Peril': Accused Hutaree Member Appears To Have Posted Videos Calling For Armed Marches On Washington

In October 2008 -- in the midst of the financial crisis, and as it appeared increasingly likely that Barack Obama would be elected president -- a man with a balaclava over his face, dressed in combat fatigues and holding an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, posted a video on YouTube. Using the alias Pale Horse and describing himself as a member of the Ohio Militia, the man warned: "Things are bad. Things are real bad, and it's going to be a lot worse--our country is in peril," before encouraging viewers to arm themselves. The video, billed as a "wake-up call" for America, was viewed more than 70,000 times before being removed last spring.


Accused Christian Militia Member Posted Video Last Year: 'I'm Just A Simple Militant ... What's Wrong With That?'

The video, posted last August to YouTube and still available, sheds further light on the mindset and philosophy of at least one of the nine Hutaree members accused today of conspiring to kill police officers, then bomb their funeral in a bid to kill more law enforcement personnel, as part of a plot to "oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government."

"Pale Horse" -- identifying himself as a member of the Ohio Militia, and with his face and voice disguised -- argues in the August video that the recent media coverage of the militia movement, including of his own earlier videos, suggests that the government, with the help of the mainstream media, is preparing to target his group. "It seems like they're mounting an attack," he says. "We're all over the news. They're putting us in a bad light. Who have we threatened?"

read more..

From Jed Lewison:

Alleged militia members indicted

Interestingly, the Hutaree and their plot were so absolutely batshit crazy that even other militia groups decided to aid the FBI in its case, as diarist MeMeMeMeMe pointed out yesterday. Detroit Free Press:

On its Web site, the Michigan Militia denied involvement in the raids.

"HIGANMILITIA.COM nor the SMVM (Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia) have been raided by the FBI. We do nothing illegal,” reads a statement on michiganmilitia.com.

Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, who said their property in southwest Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide,” Lackomar said. “My team leader said, ‘No thanks.’

The team leader was cooperating with the FBI on Sunday, Lackomar said. He said SMVM wasn’t affiliated with Hutaree.

As Tim F. points out at Balloon Juice, the charges sound exactly like the sort you'd expect against "religious fundamentalist extremists planning mass casualty attacks against America" -- because that's what these folks were doing. So, as Tim asks, are the rightbloggers going to stand up and beat their chests as loudly as they did with Jose Padilla or the Fort Dix Six? Will they proclaim that we should waterboard the Hutaree? Or will it just be crickets?


Here more on fellow militiamen throwing the Hutaree compatriots under the bus right quick (h/t Crooks & Liars):
FBI busts of Michigan militias' Hutaree sect once again rip the facade away from Patriots' civil pose
Mike Lackomar, of Michiganmilitia.com, said both The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and the Michiganmilitia.com were not a part of the raid.

Lackomar said he heard from other militia members that the FBI targeted the Hutaree after its members made threats of violence against Islamic organizations.

"Last night and into today the FBI conducted a raid against homes belonging to the Hutaree. They are a religious cult. They are not part of our militia community," he said.

Lackomar said he was told there were five arrests Saturday and another five early Sunday. The FBI declined to comment.

One of the Hutaree members called a Michigan militia leader for assistance Saturday after federal agents had already began their raid, Lackomar said, but the militia member -- who is of Islamic decent and had heard about the threats -- declined to offer help. That Michigan militia leader is now working with federal officials to provide information on the Hutaree member for the investigation, Lackomar said Sunday.

"They are more of survivalist group and in an emergency they withdraw and stand their ground. They are actively training to be alongside Jesus," he said.

I wonder if these Christian zealots know this C-SPAN caller (video h/t AmericaBlog)?

"You have black folks calling in on the Republican line, independents. And you have so many of 'em I can't believe this is just an accident. If you keep on with the way you've been programming, you should change your name from C-Span to black-span. I know they have an opinion but I wish that they would be honest and call in on the right line. Everyone one of 'em thinks that Obama is Jesus Christ and they don't like when anybody criticizes him."

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New Rule: You Can't Use There Will Be No Cooperation as a Threat When There Was Already No Cooperation

New Rule: You Can't Use "There Will Be No Cooperation for the Rest of the Year" as a Threat If There Was No Cooperation in the First Half of the Year:

New Rule: You can't use the statement "there will be no cooperation for the rest of the year" as a threat if there was no cooperation in the first half of the year. Here's a word the president should take out of his teleprompter: bipartisanship. People only care about that in theory, not in practice. The best thing that's happened this year is when President Obama finally realized this and said, "Kiss my black ass, we're going it alone, George W. Bush style."

Two months ago, conservative Fred Barnes wrote, "The health care bill is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection." Well, if it's dead, you just got your ass kicked by a zombie named Nancy Pelosi. Seriously, the last time a Democrat showed balls like that John Edwards' girlfriend was filming it. Make all the botox jokes and she-shops-too-much jokes you want, but this is the biggest political victory a woman has ever achieved in America. Yes, Nancy Pelosi likes nice clothes. So does Sarah Palin. The difference is Nancy Pelosi pays for hers.

But even before the Democrats got to take a single victory lap they were already being warned not to get used to the feeling, and not to get drunk with power. I disagree. All you Democrats: do a shot, and then do another. Get drunk on this feeling of not backing down and doing what you came to Washington to do. Read on...


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Frank Rich: Teabagger Rage Isn't About Health Care At All

In yesterday's NY Times, Frank Rich explained how teabagger rage was not about Health Care, but about something much more insidious: Race (President Obama) & Gender (Nancy Pelosi)

[...] The historic Obama-Pelosi health care victory is a big deal, all right, so much so it doesn’t need Joe Biden’s adjective to hype it. But the bill does not erect a huge New Deal-Great Society-style government program. In lieu of a public option, it delivers 32 million newly insured Americans to private insurers. As no less a conservative authority than The Wall Street Journal editorial page observed last week, the bill’s prototype is the health care legislation Mitt Romney signed into law in Massachusetts. It contains what used to be considered Republican ideas.

Yet it’s this bill that inspired G.O.P. congressmen on the House floor to egg on disruptive protesters even as they were being evicted from the gallery by the Capitol Police last Sunday. It’s this bill that prompted a congressman to shout “baby killer” at Bart Stupak, a staunch anti-abortion Democrat. It’s this bill that drove a demonstrator to spit on Emanuel Cleaver, a black representative from Missouri. And it’s this “middle-of-the-road” bill, as Obama accurately calls it, that has incited an unglued firestorm of homicidal rhetoric, from “Kill the bill!” to Sarah Palin’s cry for her followers to “reload.” At least four of the House members hit with death threats or vandalism are among the 20 political targets Palin marks with rifle crosshairs on a map on her Facebook page.


To find a prototype for the overheated reaction to the health care bill, you have to look a year before Medicare, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Both laws passed by similar majorities in Congress; the Civil Rights Act received even more votes in the Senate (73) than Medicare (70). But it was only the civil rights bill that made some Americans run off the rails. That’s because it was the one that signaled an inexorable and immutable change in the very identity of America, not just its governance.

The apocalyptic predictions then, like those about health care now, were all framed in constitutional pieties, of course. Barry Goldwater, running for president in ’64, drew on the counsel of two young legal allies, William Rehnquist and Robert Bork, to characterize the bill as a “threat to the very essence of our basic system” and a “usurpation” of states’ rights that “would force you to admit drunks, a known murderer or an insane person into your place of business.” Richard Russell, the segregationist Democratic senator from Georgia, said the bill “would destroy the free enterprise system.” David Lawrence, a widely syndicated conservative columnist, bemoaned the establishment of “a federal dictatorship.” Meanwhile, three civil rights workers were murdered in Philadelphia, Miss.


If Obama’s first legislative priority had been immigration or financial reform or climate change, we would have seen the same trajectory. The conjunction of a black president and a female speaker of the House — topped off by a wise Latina on the Supreme Court and a powerful gay Congressional committee chairman — would sow fears of disenfranchisement among a dwindling and threatened minority in the country no matter what policies were in play. It’s not happenstance that Frank, Lewis and Cleaver — none of them major Democratic players in the health care push — received a major share of last weekend’s abuse. When you hear demonstrators chant the slogan “Take our country back!,” these are the people they want to take the country back from.

read more....
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Krugman: GOP Will Follow Frank Luntz Plan to Derail Financial Reform

In today's NY Times, Paul Krugman explains how the financial system broke down:

[...] we used to have a workable system for avoiding financial crises, resting on a combination of government guarantees and regulation. On one side, bank deposits were insured, preventing a recurrence of the immense bank runs that were a central cause of the Great Depression. On the other side, banks were tightly regulated, so that they didn’t take advantage of government guarantees by running excessive risks.

From 1980 or so onward, however, that system gradually broke down, partly because of bank deregulation, but mainly because of the rise of “shadow banking”: institutions and practices — like financing long-term investments with overnight borrowing — that recreated the risks of old-fashioned banking but weren’t covered either by guarantees or by regulation. The result, by 2007, was a financial system as vulnerable to severe crisis as the system of 1930. And the crisis came.

Krugman then explain that the GOP has no intention of letting the President & Democrats fix the mess that they were most responsible for creating in the first place:

In the Senate, the legislation on the table was crafted by Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut. It’s significantly weaker than the Frank bill, and needs to be made stronger, a topic I’ll discuss in future columns. But no bill will become law if Senate Republicans stand in the way of reform.

But won’t opponents of reform fear being cast as allies of the bad guys (which they are)? Maybe not. Back in January, Frank Luntz, the G.O.P. strategist, circulated a memo on how to oppose financial reform. His key idea was that Republicans should claim that up is down — that reform legislation is a “big bank bailout bill,” rather than a set of restrictions on the banks.

Sure enough, a few days ago Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, in a letter attacking the Dodd bill, claimed that an essential part of reform — tougher oversight of large, systemically important financial companies — is actually a bailout, because “The market will view these firms as being ‘too big to fail’ and implicitly backed by the government.” Um, senator, the market already views those firms as having implicit government backing, because they do: whatever people like Mr. Shelby may say now, in any future crisis those firms will be rescued, whichever party is in power.


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Grayson on Republicans: They have nothing left but fear and hatred

Congressman Grayson appeared on MSNBC's Ed Show once again, this time to talk about the right-wing's attacks & threats on members of Congress, clearly laying blame for incitement on Republicans.

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"Teahadist" Makes Urban Dictionary


(h/t @shoq)

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Right Wing "Teahadists" Portray Obama as a "Rapist"

This is the type of thing that thing that CNN's newst hire, Erick Erickson, would find humorous.

Also via my friend, @Shoq:

Right Wing Teahadists Getting Uglier: Obama Portrayed as “Rapist.”

As Frank Rich rightly points out in his latest Op Ed, all their venom at Obama isn't about socialism, or health care, or anything political. It's mostly about a black man living in the White House, their White House, supported by a strong, highly successful woman Speaker of the House, being too much for them too digest:
But the explanation is plain: the health care bill is not the main source of this anger and never has been. It’s merely a handy excuse. The real source of the over-the-top rage of 2010 is the same kind of national existential reordering that roiled America in 1964.
Oh, and I love the term "Teahadists." That one's gonna stick.

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Guest Blogger Shoq: "New VIDEO: CNN Joins The Tea Party"

CNN's hiring of racist, right-wing, homophobe, and all around teabagging zealot, Erick Erickson, was just too much for Guest Blogger @Shoq (and most progressives) to bare. If you don't understand how detrimental CNN's decision was, just read this post by @Shoq. And then do something. Follow @DumpCNN ~ @shoq ~ @stopbeck ~ @Oilwellian on Twitter, or DumpCNN on Facebook. You can also let CNN Political Director @SamFeistCNN & President of CNN @JonKleinCNN know how you feel about their decision to welcome this extremist into the CNN family.

Shoq Value(Originally posted on March 27, 2010 at Shoq Value)

New VIDEO: CNN Joins The Tea Party
read more great pieces by Shoq...

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