Prebunk'd! Media Repeat Already-Disproven Kagan Myths

Via Media Matters:

Senate Republicans Block Investigative Power for Oil Spill Commission

Democrats need to keep making these kinds of votes public -- showing just what Senate Republicans block on nearly hourly basis.

Via Senate Democrats:

Senate Democrats today asked unanimous consent to pass legislation that would give the BP Oil Spill Commission the subpoena power it needs to do its job. "Frankly, it's time we have a vote after so many Republican objections to this commonsense legislation," said Sen. Robert Menendez. "[This bill] asserts that we want to protect those families, taxpayers, not oil company profits."

More of these video releases please.

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Vote Vets Ad: Senators Are Awash in Oil...Money

VoteVets.org has released the follow ad targeting Democratic Senator Ben Nelson (NE) & Republican Senators Richard Burr (NC) & Mike Johanns (NE) :

Clean Up

Senator Nelson is awash in oil.... money. Call him and tell him to stand up for America and against Big Oil.
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Why Do Republicans Hate Our Military Vets?

Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP. The Homeless Women Veterans and Homeless Veterans with Children Act was blocked by Senate Republicans.

Via SenateDemocrats (h/t Crooks & Liars & Daily Kos):

Senator Patty Murray today called up a homeless women veterans bill on the Senate floor but it was blocked by Senate Republicans. The bill was introduced in June of 2009 and passed the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee on January 28, 2010 with strong bi-partisan support.

"I am deeply disappointed that Senate Republicans continued to put politics above people and blocked my bill that would provide support for homeless women veterans and their families," said Senator Patty Murray. "This is a bipartisan, common-sense bill that would support veterans in my home state of Washington and across the country. I am going to continue fighting for it to pass. And I urge Senate Republicans to end their obstruction and allow homeless women veterans across the country to get the support they have earned."

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Sam Seder Calls "Bullshit!" On Conservatives' "Judicial Philosophy" Meme

Check out Sam Seder's latest "That's Bullshit" segment on Conservative's "Judicial Philosophy" and how they wield it as though they're honest brokers.

This week, Sam zeroes in on Elena Kagan's Supreme Court Justice Nominee hearings and calls Bullshit! on the so-called Conservative Judicial Philosophy.

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Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is a National Embarrassment

I always wonder what the rest of the world thinks about us when they see a U.S. Senator say something like what Chuck Grassley said in Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing yesterday (via TPM)?

He's an embarrassment to us all.

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ATT SENIORS: Republican House Leader Boehner Pledges to Cut Social Security, Raise Retirement Age to 70

Some days they just hand you your fall campaign ad:

The press/blogs immediately jumped on it:
Rachel Maddow took him to task on last night's show for this and other political missteps:
Boehner fails politics 101

Rachel Maddow lists the political missteps by House Minority Leader John Boehner in a single interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Thank you, John Boehner.

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Jon Stewart Takes Issue w/ Fox's "Don't Blame Bush" but "Everything is Clinton's Fault" Hypocrisy

Everything that happened under George W. Bush, even 8 years into his presidency was somehow President Clinton's Fault. And now, even the BP oil disaster is somehow Clinton's fault as well.

But how dare anyone, blame Bush for for anything, like two wars, the collapsed economy, deficits for decades to come and the oil drilling policies of the his administration which were actually dumped in Obama's lap.

Jon Stewart calls bullshit on the GOP's and their Fox "news" allies' blaming hypocrisy:


"Fox &Friends" deems it inappropriate for the Obama administration to mention Bush when talking about the wars, economy or oil spill.

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This "Third Depression" Could and Should Have Been Avoided

Paul Krugman is out with his latest editorial, and things aren't looking good.

While reading his piece, "The Third Depression," all I kept thinking about was how Paul, and most other serious economists, were calling for a much larger stimulus back in late 2008/early 2009, that focused on stimulating the economy by creating jobs, jobs, jobs. Not cutting taxes.

The Great depression and F.D.R.'s handling of it - and the subsequent lost year in 1937 when conservatives got him to cut spending -- was referred too ad nauseum in articles such as "The "FDR Failed" Myth" (also see here), with the hope that the newly elected Obama Administration would take heed.

Paul even wrote the new President: A Letter to the new president. What Obama must do.

The last president to face a similar mess was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and you can learn a lot from his example. That doesn't mean, however, that you should do everything FDR did. On the contrary, you have to take care to emulate his successes, but avoid repeating his mistakes.

About those successes: The way FDR dealt with his own era's financial mess offers a very good model. Then, as now, the government had to deploy taxpayer money in order to rescue the financial system. In particular, the Reconstruction Finance Corporation initially played a role similar to that of the Bush administration's Troubled Assets Relief Program (the $700 billion program everyone knows about). Like the TARP, the RFC bulked up the cash position of troubled banks by using public funds to buy up stock in those banks.

There was, however, a big difference between FDR's approach to taxpayer-subsidized financial rescue and that of the Bush administration: Namely, FDR wasn't shy about demanding that the public's money be used to serve the public good. By 1935 the U.S. government owned about a third of the banking system, and the Roosevelt administration used that ownership stake to insist that banks actually help the economy, pressuring them to lend out the money they were getting from Washington. Beyond that, the New Deal went out and lent a lot of money directly to businesses, to home buyers and to people who already owned homes, helping them restructure their mortgages so they could stay in their houses.

Can you do anything like that today? Yes, you can. The Bush administration may have refused to attach any strings to the aid it has provided to financial firms, but you can change all that. If banks need federal funds to survive, provide them - but demand that the banks do their part by lending those funds out to the rest of the economy. Provide more help to homeowners. Use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the home-lending agencies, to pass the government's low borrowing costs on to qualified home buyers. (Fannie and Freddie were seized by federal regulators in September, but the Bush administration, bizarrely, has kept their borrowing costs high by refusing to declare that their bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the taxpayer.)


President Obama didn't take heed.

After two years of watching this President, it's become clear that his modus operandi -- as we saw with the Health Reform Bill when he didn't really fight for the Public Option (the only true means of stemming health insurance costs) -- is to take the path of least resistance when he should be going BIG.

Let's not forget that at the time in question, he had a 71% approval rating and could have gotten what he wanted without much more effort than he was already expending.

But, rather than go for a stimulus package in the higher end of what Krugman and economists were calling for -- $1.5 to $2 trillion -- Obama chose their minimum figure of $800 billion. He went small.

Rather than make the plan already low-balled plan be 100% job creation in nature, nearly 35% of the that minimum was wasted on tax cuts which he knew going into it would do absolutely nothing to stimulate the economy, & it didn't even win over the GOP.

Where FDR "Welcomed Their Hate," Obama gave in to it.

In 2009, after being pounded by Krugman for the size and scope of the stimulus, President Obama dismissively said that ‘If Paul Krugman has a good idea…then we’re going to do it.’

Krugman did. The Obama administration didn't. And we now know that Paul Krugman was right.

Now we are faced with the fallout of those earlier decisions. The stimulus stopped the economic free-fall the country was in, but it didn't thrust us into a strong recovery either.

Going back to the stimulus well now -- with the GOP playing obstructionists in ways never seen before in the history of this country -- is impossible, especially with the handful of Consevadems like Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln & Evan Bayh, holding the door for these Hoover-esque obstructionists.

And as you can see from Paul Krugman's latest piece, he believes we are now actually in a "Third Depression":

Neither the Long Depression of the 19th century nor the Great Depression of the 20th was an era of nonstop decline — on the contrary, both included periods when the economy grew. But these episodes of improvement were never enough to undo the damage from the initial slump, and were followed by relapses.

We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression than the much more severe Great Depression. But the cost — to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs — will nonetheless be immense.


In 2008 and 2009, it seemed as if we might have learned from history. Unlike their predecessors, who raised interest rates in the face of financial crisis, the current leaders of the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank slashed rates and moved to support credit markets. Unlike governments of the past, which tried to balance budgets in the face of a plunging economy, today’s governments allowed deficits to rise. And better policies helped the world avoid complete collapse: the recession brought on by the financial crisis arguably ended last summer.


As far as rhetoric is concerned, the revival of the old-time religion is most evident in Europe, where officials seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover, up to and including the claim that raising taxes and cutting spending will actually expand the economy, by improving business confidence. As a practical matter, however, America isn’t doing much better. The Fed seems aware of the deflationary risks — but what it proposes to do about these risks is, well, nothing. The Obama administration understands the dangers of premature fiscal austerity — but because Republicans and conservative Democrats in Congress won’t authorize additional aid to state governments, that austerity is coming anyway, in the form of budget cuts at the state and local levels.


And who will pay the price for this triumph of orthodoxy? The answer is, tens of millions of unemployed workers, many of whom will go jobless for years, and some of whom will never work again.



Rand Paul Continues to Show Extremist Colors (UPDATED)

Rand Paul might not be sitting down for interviews with the "lamestream" media, but that certainly isn't stopping him from opening his big mouth every chance he gets.

Emperor Paul would have pardoned himself if he were in corrupt Republican Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's shoes.

Via Think Progress: Flashback: Rand Paul said that if he were a governor hit with an ethics scandal, he’d just pardon himself.

In 2006, Ernie Fletcher was the Republican, scandal-plagued governor of Kentucky, fighting off charges that he concocted a “a scheme to illegally award state jobs to political supporters.” After a two-year probe by the state attorney general into his hiring practices, Flether was indicted by a “special state grand jury on three counts of criminal conspiracy, official misconduct and political discrimination.” Fletcher later signed an agreement with the attorney general conceding that there was “wrongdoing by his administration” in exchange for dropping all charges. But in August 2006, Rand Paul — now the GOP Senate candidate — penned an op-ed in the Kentucky Post offering a different solution. Paul said that if he were Fletcher, he’d simply pardon himself:
Now to give Fletcher a break, we have to acknowledge that having a bulldog attorney general who is a wannabe Democrat contender for the governorship has driven this nightmare. If you had a Republican attorney general, there would be no indictments and no case. Food for thought for Republicans: Apparently you can’t govern peacefully unless you win the governorship and the attorney general’s office.

Which gets me back to my daydream. What would I do if I were governor?

First, I’d have pardoned myself and everyone included nearly a year ago. Without a pardon the case goes on and on. Fletcher has gotten no kudos whatsoever for not pardoning himself.

Also see: FLASHBACK: Rand Paul Said In '06 He'd Pardon Himself If He Were Governor

Here's more on Rand's intent to strip American born children of the citizenship if their parents are undocumented.

Via TPM: Rand Paul Wants Amendment To Deny Citizenship To Illegals' Kids

Senate candidate Rand Paul (R-KY), in an interview this week with Right Wing News, doubled down on his assertion that the children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States should not be citizens.

In the new interview, Paul said he believes the courts should review whether the Fourteenth Amendment actually grants citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants. And if they decide it does, he said, we should amend the Constitution.

"I also think that we need to have the courts review whether or not -- if you break the law to come into the U.S. -- whether your child would be a citizen just by being born here," he said. "The Fourteenth Amendment actually says that you will be a citizen as long as you are under the jurisdiction of the United States. Many argue that these children that are born to illegal aliens are really still under the jurisdiction of the Mexican government. I think we need to fight that out in the courts."

And if the courts rule against such a challenge?

"If we lose, then I think we should amend the Constitution because I don't think the 14th amendment was meant to apply to illegal aliens," Paul said. "It was meant to apply to the children of slaves."

read more....

Rand Paul said he wouldn't accept contributions from any senator who had voted for the financial bailout.

That was during the Republican primary. This is now.

The libertarian-leaning Paul, who condemns taxpayer-backed bailouts of the private sector, will benefit from a Thursday night fundraiser at the National Republican Senatorial Committee in Washington, D.C. Nine of 12 GOP senators listed on the invitation voted for the $700 billion bank bailout in 2008. Tickets to the event went for $1,000 per person, with sponsorships up to $5,000 per group.

During the primary, Paul pledged not to accept contributions from any senator who had voted for the financial bailout. That promise was included on his campaign website at the time but has since been removed.

The first-time candidate slammed his main primary opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, for taking campaign cash last year at a Washington fundraiser hosted by a number of senators who backed the bailout.

That was then, but now the Paul campaign is welcoming support from lawmakers it once shunned.

"We considered that the primary was a fight over the direction and the soul of the Republican Party," Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton said this week. "By Rand taking that hard stance in the primary, we think that those ideas won."


Also see: Paul schedules 2nd fundraiser in Washington

Keith Olbermann reported on his financial bailout flip-flop
Stephen Colbert lampooned Paul for his phony Ophthalmological license:
USA Board of Ophthalmological Freedom

Stephen becomes a certified ophthalmologist, and Professor Buttons performs Lasik surgery on Jay.

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Rand Paul certainly has disdain for the unemployed, much like his fellow Republicans.

Via TPM: Rand Paul To Unemployed: Quit Whining And Get Back To Work

In an interview with WVLK-AM in Lexington, Kentucky on Friday, Paul told host Sue Wylie he supported the Republican filibuster last week of more than $100 billion in emergency spending that includes extended jobless benefits. Paul said the bill must be paid before the extension is voted into law -- and if that can't happen, it's time for America's unemployed to face facts and stop holding out for jobs similar to the ones they've lost.

"As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen."

Paul also suggested that regardless of whether the benefits could be paid for with cuts somewhere else, it might be time for some people to just stop asking for government aid.

"I think the issue is bigger than unemployment benefits." Paul said, referring to government spending. "It's all about priorities, what is the priority. And sometimes tough decisions will have to be made."


How about that Underground Electric Border Fence?

Via Sam Stein:

Republican Senatorial candidate Rand Paul wants to build a fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. It's a rather ho-hum proposition in the larger context of conservative ideas -- except that Paul wants that fence to be electric and he wants it built underground.

Among the variety of proposals to stem illegal immigration along the southern border, the construction of an underground electrical fence appears to stand alone on the extreme. There is little contemporary evidence of other Republican officials proposing such a project, even among the most conservative of the bunch. Indeed, when approached in the halls of Senate several weeks ago and asked about the idea (though not told who proposed it), National Republican Senate Committee Chair John Cornyn (R-Tex.) assumed it was a joke.

"I have not heard that," the Texas Republican said. "Underground? What would happen? How would that work?"

read more....

Even Sen. John Cornyn seemed confused.

UPDATE: Sam Stein has a follow-up on the "Electrified Fence" story where Rand expands a bit more on his little fence: Rand Paul On Underground Electrical Fence: Cost Effective And Humane
In a speech in downtown Paducah, Kentucky, Paul pegged the cost of his quixotic idea at somewhere between $10 and 15 million dollars (a relative pittance when compared to other border-fence proposals, and likely far too rosy a projection). The benefits of an underground fence, he argued, were that it would not have the symbolism of a Berlin Wall-like structure and it would be considered less offensive to Hispanic voters who are already fleeing the country.

"Where I disagree, maybe with some people on the immigration issue, I don't like the symbolism of a 15 foot fence going the whole border. It's extraordinarily expensive, and it reminds me of the Berlin Wall which was built to keep people in and from fleeing to the west," Paul said. "I think you could actually put an electronic fence under the whole for border for $10 or $15 million, which sounds like a lot to us but that's peanuts. And you could probably have helicopter stations in maybe five different locations, and I think you could have any breach of the border could be stopped at any point and we send them back."

Rand Paul still defending BP - can't answer simple question: Does he still not support the setting-up of the $20 billion escrow fund?

Via Dave Weigel:

RN: You've started to take heat for your approach to the BP escrow fund. Do you support the fund, the way it's set up?

PAUL: Well, I don't think there are many people who don't believe in any regulations, myself included, and even my dad -- I don't think you'll hear him say he doesn't believe in any regulation. But I'm not sure I have the answer to that, sincerely. I think everyone in the country wants BP to pay for the clean-up, myself concluded. I've never had any argument with that -- it's amazing how you say things and they get blown into things you didn't say! I'm not even sure I can talk to some people anymore because they take things out of context.

RN: But do you support the set-up of the fund? Do you oppose regulating offshore drilling?

PAUL: There should be some regulations, but I want to do it in a rational, reasonable way, and ask: Did they obey the regulations? Do we not have enough regulation, and do we need two blow-out preventers from now on? These are the things scientists and inventors should tell us. Should we be drilling at that level? There are a lot of issues, but we shouldn't react in an emotional way and say no more drilling. I see some of that emotionalism happening because the president feels trapped -- his advisers say you've got to be tough, you've got to have tough language. I'm not sure that's a rational way to handle this.

RN: To finish up, though: Do you oppose the fund? I'm not going to trap you and ask whether or not it was a "shakedown," but do you think it's legal and legitimate?

PAUL: I was listening to some people on the Hill today, and they were looking for the justification for setting it up. I don't know what the legal justification is -- I'm not an expert in whether Congress has to give you authority or the president has authority to do it. Those issues take research and time, and I'm not going to make an off-the-cuff response.

Rand Paul has said some really outrageous things, and Talking Points Memo reports on Louisville Courier-Journal's Andrew Wolfson's compilation of them in, "S**t My Rand Says: A Compendium Of Paul's Wacky Quotes."

Rand Paul's unique mix of libertarianism and conservatism has been around for years, just waiting for an intrepid reporter like the Louisville Courier-Journal's Andrew Wolfson to pore through it. After watching hours of old Paul footage -- much of it from the archives of Kentucky's public TV network -- the Courier-Journal published the best nuggets in a massive piece.

What emerges from the story, which covers interviews beginning in 1998, is a picture of a candidate very different from either political party. In one interview he's claiming he understands the reasoning behind suicide bomb attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. In another he's repeating his problems with civil rights law, claiming that "decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered." In a third he's calling for social security to be privatized.

It's so comprehensive, it probably deserves it's own blog post. In the meantime, click on over and check out the litany of mind-boggling, Rand Paul statements over the past decade or so.

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Sharron Angle: Birthers, Biblical Law Backers & Booze Edition

Let's check in on the GOP's Teabagging pick to run against Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada:

Is Sharron Angle a birther? Sounds
like it (h/t ProgressNowNevada):

How long will Angle go before letting us know? http://www.TheWrongAngle.com
Is a leading Biblical Law advocate "jubilant" over supporting Sharron Angle? Uh-huh (h/t Troutfishing):
I've been picking through PDF files on Sharon Angle's campaign website and was startled to come across the following, in an Angle for Senate press release about her campaign's endorsement by the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. Here's the second paragraph:

NFRA President Rod D. Martin was jubilant in endorsing Angle: "Sharon Angle is uniquely qualified to beat Harry Reid and to serve in the U.S. Senate, and she has proven time and time again that she will uphold true conservative values for the citizens of Nevada and the nation."

Rod D. Martin isn't merely the head of the NFRA, he's also a leading Christian Reconstructionist, as I wrote about at length in January 2008 in a piece titled Huckabee Endorses His Christian Reconstructionist Arkansas Policy Adviser.

The NFRA, in turn, bills itself as the "Republican Wing of the Republican Party" but is in fact heavily influenced by the Christian Reconstructionist movement.


Over the past several week, spadework and coverage from a small number of alternative press journalists has tied Nevada Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle to American theocratic political parties and to the Christian Reconstructionist movement - Adele Stan of Alternet.org [1, 2], Justin Elliot of Talking Points Memo [1], Julie Ingersol for Religion Dispatches [1, 2], and my own coverage [1, 2, 3]

read more about Sharron Angle's supporters...
Does Sharron Angle believe as your Senator, it's not her job to create jobs for Nevada? Sure sounds like it (h/t HarryReid2010).
Does Sharron Angle want to coming for your pot, booze, and porn (but not your guns)? If she had her way she would (via B. E. Wilson at Alternet.org):
A world without pot, booze, or pornography ? Many Nevadans might find that unimaginable. But not Sharron Angle.

Many journalists have associated Republican Party Senate candidates Sharron Angle and Rand Paul with the Tea Party movement, which is often characterized as libertarian (a few disagree with that take.) Some of Rand Paul’s views, such as his anti-war stance, do seem to fit the libertarian mold. And both candidates are strong supporters of gun rights (Angle has even hinted at armed anti-government insurrection.) But both are opposed to legalized marijuana and Sharron Angle takes things even further. During a recent interview Angle said she thinks both marijuana and alcoholic beverages should be illegal. Then there’s porn. At least up into 2005 Angle was promoting, on her own SharronAngle.com web site, a Nevada anti-tax PAC called We The People whose stated goals included outlawing pornography.


Does Sharron Angle think Social Security benefits are just like welfare? Sounds likes it (h/t HarryReid2010):

As if Sharron Angle's dangerous, extreme agenda to eliminate Social Security & Medicare weren't enough, she has the gall to insult the very Nevadans benefiting from the program. Social Security is something every American pays into for their retirement, earning their benefits, and is certainly not "welfare."
Did Sharron Angle make Worst Persons, yet again? Uh-huh:
Also see: Could Social Security Be in Jeopardy? One Local Group Says Yes

Is Sharron Angle babbling like a fool while trying to explain away her views on Scientology's
idea of replacing traditional psychiatry with “dianetics" while claiming it's not Scientology? Matt Yglesias would say, "YES!"

I think I haven’t yet done a post about how nutty Sharron Angle is, but to me this takes the cake:

The same Post story claimed that as a legislator, Angle had supported “a prison rehabilitation program promoted by the Church of Scientology and involving massage and saunas.”

Seeking to “clear the record,” Angle told us “I am not even sure that the Church of Scientology fits into it at all. You have to make some quantum leaps here.”

She noted “the program itself is a multifaceted program, and it had two protocols: one in the area of withdrawals, and it was a natural withdrawal system. As s you know, that can have some severe physical side effects and the cramping that was involved there required that other people be taught how to relieve the cramping. So that is where it said that people were being massaged.”

“The second protocol was what they called the ‘disintoxification,’ which was actually sweating the drug out of one’s system so that there were no longer any cravings for the drug. This is a very intense potassium, calcium, vitamin, mineral regimen, with a hot rock sauna that sweats the toxins out. Those two protocols were developed by [the late Church of Scientology founder] L. Ron Hubbard, and they had to give him credit. But it is not Scientology, but rather natural homeopathic medicine.”

To review, Scientology is a religion based around the idea of replacing traditional psychiatry with “dianetics” that L Ron Hubbard made up. The thing Angle is talking about is a psychiatry alternative that was also made up by Hubbard and supported by his organizations. But somehow it’s not Scientology? How? Why?

Did Sharron Angle's fringe third party once sponsor "Virulently Anti-Gay Flier In '90s?" Definitely a yeser.

The far-right third party that Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle called home in the 1990s supported abolishing "the debt money system" and ran a vitriolic anti-gay insert in state newspapers that portrays LGBT people -- or, as Angle's party called them, "sodomites" -- as child-molesting, HIV-carrying, Hell-bound freaks, according to documents obtained by TPM.


n 1994, the party attracted considerable controversy by placing a 16-page advertising insert in Nevada newspapers promoting an amendment to the state constitution that would explicitly permit discrimination against LGBT people by businesses and government.

Janine Hansen, the current executive director of the party and the editor of the '94 insert, told TPM earlier this month that "in general [Angle] agreed with our position on the issues."

The ad insert, which approvingly cites an 1814 legal treatise titled "Consequences of Sodomy: Ruin of a Nation," is a digest of articles that refer to LGBT people alternately as "homosexuals," "sodomites," and "brazen perverts." The insert includes virtually every homophobic myth ever conceived.

Sample headlines include: "Homosexual Curriculum In The First Grade" ... "Flawed Science Nurtures Genetic Origin For Homosexuality" ... "No Constitutional Right To Be A Sodomite." Here's a passage from an item headlined "True Homosexual Character Revealed":

Homosexuals argue that they are a peaceful and gay people. Yet ... Dr. Paul Cameron of the Family Research Report writes "the top six U.S. male killers were all homosexuals."
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Maddow: President Obama’s Legislative Accomplishments

Sometimes I can’t see the forest through trees. There have been so many disappointments within each of President Obama’s legislative accomplishments, that I often forget the accomplishments themselves are truly a big fucking deal (and should be celebrated despite the imperfections).

Rachel Maddow listed many of them on last night’s show, reminding us that this was done in just the first half of Obama’s first term (h/t NedSparks).

Obama getting a lot done

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The Judge, BP and Deep Water Drilling Moratorium

The judge who prevented the Obama administration from implementing a temporary moratorium of deep water drilling has ties to the very industry he was ruling in favor of.

Both Rachel Maddow & Keith Olbermann had segments on this last night:

Judge significantly invested in BP, oil stocks

Rachel Maddow reports on the results of a review of the 2009 financial disclosure report of Judge Martin Feldman who ruled against the Obama administration's moratorium on offshore drilling.

Drilling moratorium judge violation?

John Dean, FindLaw.com columnist discusses the apparent conflict of interest of Judge Martin Feldman in disallowing President Obama's oil drilling moratorium.

Also see:
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Drill Baby Drill. Spill Baby Spill.

Powerful reminder of what's at stake by letting these fuckers back into power:

Via InfectedTube (h/t Daily Kos):

Drill Baby Drill. Spill Baby Spill

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Olbermann: Right Wing Returns to "Obama is Hitler" Comparisons in BP Defense

They have a term for all this "Obama is Hilter" nonsense: Projection.

From last night's Countdown w/ Keith Olbermann:

Right returns to Hitler in BP defense

Eugene Robinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post, talks with Keith Olbermann about the latest rash of right wing comparisons of President Obama to Hitler.

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Mark Fiore on Obama's Indefinite Detention in "Back in Black"

In his latest political animation, Mark Fiore's takes aim at President Obama's continuation of, and some would say improvement upon, some of Bush's worst policies -- like "indefinite detention."

Back in Black

Knuckles is back! This time he's gainfully employed at Bagram, in Afghanistan. Let Knuckles guide you through "indefinite detention" and Obama-backed imprisonment without trials or even charges!

See more great animations at http://www.MarkFiore.com

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The GOP is "On Their Side"

The DNC also released this vide tying the GOP to those who created the very messes we are now dealing with and how they offer nothing but apologies and excuses on their corp. masters' behalf:

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GOP Trying to Distance Themselves from Joe Barton - Not. Going. To. Happen.

The DNC released this video showing how the GOP is trying to distnace themselves from BP apologist, Joe Barton as quickly as they can. I don't think Democrats are going to let that happen.

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Media Matters: On Fox, the Rules Are Different When the Boss Is Around

Is Fox "news" cleaning their anti-immigrant stance up for when their boss, Rupert Murdoch, shows up for a visit to tout the good that immigrants bring to this country? You betcha.

Via Media Matters:

On Fox, the Rules Are Different When the Boss Is Around

Steve Doocy hosted Murdoch and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Fox & Friends to talk about their about immigration reform efforts, and the tone of the discussion was pretty measured and -- dare I say -- pro-immigrant.

It was not the tone Fox News usually employs when talking about immigration. There was no typical scare-tactic b-roll of people appearing to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally by crawling over fences, no crowing about "amnesty," no outrage over immigrants stealing American jobs or getting fair wages, and no baseless suggestions that all immigrants are criminals. Get this: Doocy even used the phrase "undocumented immigrants," instead of slinging around the charged word "illegals," like he and his co-hosts do in virtually every other segment on immigration. It was like watching a completely different network.

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THE REPUBLICANS' CHOICE: Energy Policy for Joe Baton & BP, or for America?

American's United isn't letting up on Rep. Joe Barton either. Following along the lines of their first ad, they've released this second one tying his BP apology to the GOP's mentality as a whole when it comes to the energy bill making it's way through the Senate:

Here's their original ad:
JOE BARTON: Apologizes to BP, English Soccer Team & King George III
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GOP TO THE UNEMPLOYED: Trust Wall Street to Help You Out

American's United also released this video aimed at reminding Americans where the GOP's priorities really lay and who their masters really are:

MICHAEL STEELE: Defends of Wall Street and Other Nonsense

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PRIORITIES: Snowe & Collins Give Billions to Wall Street

Senator's Olympia Snowe & Susan Collins once again proved they 'moderate' labels aren't worth paper they are written on when they joined the rest of the Senate Republican caucus and voted against extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who are about to lose the only source of income they have due to their inability to find a job in this still lagging economy.

American's United for change had something to say about that:

As it turns out, Ms. Snowe thinks that people are stupid enough to forget she just voted against the bill. She released the following statement calling for the unemployment benefits to be extended (h/t Daily Kos) just after voting against a bill that would have done just that:
After joining with her fellow Republicans to block a bill that would have extended unemployment insurance, Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine urged Democrats on Friday to put forward a separate bill to help people who have exhausted their jobless benefits.

The legislation blocked by Republicans on Thursday includes both the $35.5 billion extension in unemployment insurance and a broad array of tax changes and other safety net spending. Republican leaders said they were opposed to some tax increases in the bill and also do not want the measure to add to the deficit. In response to Republican demands, Democrats have covered the cost of all of the $112 billion package except for the unemployment benefits.

In a letter to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, Ms. Snowe said that a separate bill would disentangle the unemployment benefits from the larger fight.

“Separating the unemployment insurance provisions of the extenders bill and passing it as emergency legislation acknowledges the urgency of helping those who continue to look for work,” Ms. Snowe wrote. “Unemployment checks inject money directly into the economy, invariably assisting in the economic recovery we all agree must be accelerated.”


Ms. Snowe in her letter sought to demonstrate her concern about Americans who remain out of work. “The hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans who are losing jobless benefits every week deserve our immediate attention, so I am writing today to urge you to bring a free-standing extension of unemployment insurance benefits to the Senate floor for a vote early next week,” she wrote. “As of today, more than 1.2 million people out of work for longer than six months are ineligible for the next tier of extended benefits, which were originally provided by the economic stimulus bill to fight the recession.”

Some concern. These cretins treat their constituents like utter morons.

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Weekly Presidential Address: Finishing the Job on Wall Street Reform

In this week's Presidential Youtube-radio address, President Obama touts the changes that the Financial Reform bill will bring when it is signed into law to protect us from another near-collapse of our financial system.

With Congress having finalized a strong Wall Street reform bill, the President urges Congress to finish the job and send the bill to his desk. The legislation reflects 90% of what the President originally proposed, including the strongest consumer financial protections in history with an independent agency to enforce them. It ensures that the trading of derivatives, which helped trigger this crisis, will be brought into the light of day, and enacts the “Volcker Rule,” which will make sure banks protected by safety nets like the FDIC cannot engage in risky trades. It also creates a resolution authority to wind down firms whose collapse would threaten the entire financial system. Wall Street reform will end taxpayer funded bailouts and make sure Main Street is never again held responsible for Wall Street’s mistakes.

Read the Transcript

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It's Raining... Oil

If you don't think the BP oil disaster is going to affect you since you don't live on the Gulf Coast, think again.

Where do you think rain comes from? The oceans evaporate into the atmosphere and that moisture is what eventually builds up to becomes rain, falling all over the globe. Whatever is in the oceans -- mass quantities of oil and dispersant thanks to the BP disaster -- will eventually come down on us in the form of rain.

It's already happening.

Via HistoryTours (June 22, 2010):

this looked exactly like what we saw yesterday under the Bay Saint Louis Miss Bridge On Our Way Out To Cat Island In The Gulf. Thick Brown Gooey Foam

(h/t AmericaBlog)
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Goodbye Stanley McChrystal, Hello David Petraeus

I'm glad the President didn't take Keith Olbermann's advice about Gen. Stanley McChrystal:

Via MSNBC: Obama relieves McChrystal of command

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama sacked his loose-lipped Afghanistan commander Wednesday, a seismic shift for the U.S. military order in wartime, and chose the familiar, admired — and tightly disciplined — Gen. David Petraeus to replace him. Petraeus, architect of the Iraq war turnaround, was once again to take hands-on leadership of a troubled war effort.

Obama said bluntly that Gen. Stanley McChrystal's scornful remarks about administration officials represent conduct that "undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system." He ousted the commander after a face-to-face meeting in the Oval Office and named Petraeus, the Central Command chief who was McChrystal's direct boss, to step in.

Via NY Times: Obama Relieves McChrystal of Command; Announces That Petraeus Will Take Over Role
Mr. Obama, standing with General Petraeus and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the White House Rose Garden to underline the continuity and solidity of his Afghan policy, said that he had accepted General McChrystal’s resignation “with considerable regret.”

Mr. Obama said he had done so not out of personal insult over a magazine article featuring contemptuous quotes from the general and his staff about senior administration officials, but because it showed the general had not met standards of behavior for a commander, which threatened to erode trust among administration and military officials, as well as undermine civilian control of the military.

“War is bigger than any one man or woman, whether a private, a general or president,” Mr. Obama said. “As difficult as it is to lose General McChrystal, I believe it is the right decision for our national security.”

“I welcome debate among my team,” he said, “but I won’t tolerate division.”

Via TPM: Obama Sacks McChrystal: 'The Right Thing

President Obama announced that Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been relieved from duty, a "difficult decision" reached in the aftermath of a Rolling Stone profile that ends his tenure as the top commander for the war Afghanistan.

"Today I accepted General McChrystal's resignation," Obama said in making public the decision this afternoon in the Rose Garden. MSNBC broke the news, also reporting that the president has selected Gen. David Petraeus to take over in Afghanistan. Petraeus, who led the mission in Iraq, stood at Obama's side. "It is the right decision for our national security," Obama said.

The president praised McChrystal's service to the nation and said he had no "personal insult" from the Rolling Stone piece, but said the conduct described in Michael Hastings' profile was unacceptable, "does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general," and sets a poor example for the military's rank-and-file.

Via Think Progress: Obama Replaces McChrystal With Petraeus: ‘I Welcome Debate…But I Won’t Tolerate Division’
Obama emphasized that McChrystal had served “faithfully,” that he was “grateful” for his service, and that the replacement is not a “personal insult.” In McChrystal’s place, Obama has nominated CentCom Commander David Petraeus, the general who oversaw the Iraq surge, to take charge of the upcoming Afghanistan surge. “I welcome debate among my team, but I won’t tolerate division,” Obama said. “It is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy,” he added, noting that Petraeus helped “design the policy that we have in place.”
Via ABC News:

McChrystal's comments, as detailed in the Rolling Stone article, do "not meet the standards that should be set by a commanding general," the president said today while announcing the switch. "It undermines the civilian control of the military... and it erodes the trust that is necessary for our team to work together to achieve our objectives in Afghanistan."

The president praised McChrystal for his "deep intelligence" and "love of the country," but made it clear the comments McChrystal and his aides made could jeopardize the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.

"All Americans should be grateful for Gen. McChrystal's remarkable career in uniform, but war is bigger than any one man or woman," the president said. "I believe it is the right decision for our national security."

Obama said the change was needed to maintain unity of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and to "hold ourselves accountable to standards that are at the core of our democracy." The president reaffirmed that the change in personnel didn't mean a change in U.S. policy.

Via Slate: McChrystal: Gone and Soon Forgotten
President Barack Obama has accomplished what many might have thought impossible just a few hours earlier. He has fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, his combat commander in Afghanistan, in such a way that not only will the general go unmissed but his name will likely soon be forgotten.

Obama's decision to replace McChrystal with Gen. David Petraeus is a stroke of brilliance, an unassailable move, politically and strategically.

On a political level, McChrystal has many fans inside Congress and the military, but Petraeus has orders of magnitude more. No one could accuse Obama of compromising the war effort, knowing that Petraeus is stepping in.

And just for laughs, check out this opinion piece I found just at Foxnews.com from just prior the the President's meeting with McChrystal: Obama Must Fire McChrystal or His Presidency Is Over

Fox "news" called for Obama to fire McChrystal!! Fox "news?!"

UK PM: British General Temporarily Taking Charge In Afghanistan
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