That’s the question of the day, in my mind. I think some heads need to roll once they find out who did it. If Assange was really all about exposing just wrongdoing, why did he have to expose all sorts of sensitive diplomatic information along with the few tidbits of controversy? Why all the sources and methods too? It appears like he (they) are trying to undermine the United State’s foreign policy entirely. I kind of see it as an attack on the United States and we better start defending ourselves. It will be interesting to see how the White House responds and of course, the Republicans too.
Sorry for the gaps in posting lately, I’m going to have to do less commenting and more pointing to other bloggers who don’t have two full-time jobs. I’m hoping to have some leisure time over the holidays where I can do more of it.
Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has several excellent posts up, if you don’t have him bookmarked, you’re crazy. Here Steve talks about the purification of the Republican Party that has been underway and continues as we head toward 2012. Steve also posts about how stubborn those pesky facts are. THE STIMULUS WORKED VERY WELL AMERICA.
And how about this for irony, Tom Delay was taken down by district attorney who just happens to be a lesbian.
If you are offended by swearing, cursing, profanity…whatever you want to call it, DO NOT WATCH THIS CLIP! But if you liked The Big Lebowski, then you need to watch it. NSFW, unless you work for me!
We live in a strange world folks. A world where cable news in particular can pick a topic and beat the hell out of it, slant it, create a narrative for it in the face of evidence to the contrary and then ride that narrative until they see a shift in public opinion that then justifies their narrative. It’s pretty fucked up to be honest. In fairness, the cable news stations have 24 fucking hours a day to fill and you can only obsess about Lindsey Lohan and Snookie so much before you have to come up with some other shit to sensationalize.
The TSA has become the boogeyman of late. There aren’t any Democrats running for any imminent elections to beat up on, so they have to pick something. Here is a good example of the blogosphere perpetuating this phenomenon. From the usually great Karoli at Crooks and Liars…
Yes, TSA procedures suck, and yes, they’re heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.
So am I wrong, but aren’t there a ton of polls out showing that the vast majority of the general public support using the scanners? I’m sure the media’s narrative is starting to have it’s intended results, to vilify the TSA….the latest target for populist outrage, but so far Karoli’s line “heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.” Really? The media has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. But they are on it, that’s for sure.
Just pay attention to how the cable news stations are just repeating, repeating, repeating….with subtle things like “groping” and “pawing” and “breasts” and “junk” or whatever the fuck. They are trying to appeal to the “knee-jerkers” who will jump into outrage mode on a dime. We’ve become a nation of fraidy cats (sp) and wimps. They will keep beating this issue relentlessly until either something drastic happens or some other natural or man-made disaster distracts them. Then, it’s off to the races on the next media obsession. What a world, what a world.
And of course there are Republicans who immediately think, how can I make some money on this or help some other rich guy make some money on it. Steve Benen (emphasis mine)
But as travelers grow more frustrated with heightened airport security, it appears Republicans are opening a new front on the privatization crusade.
A Republican lawmaker, who is faulting big government spending, is suggesting that airports dump the Transportation Security Administration altogether, and opt instead to privatize security.
And some airports, fed up with poor service in a climate where travelers are outraged about the prospect of full-body scanners, are listening.
The consideration comes after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica — a longtime critic of the TSA — wrote letters to the country’s 100 busiest airports earlier this month asking them to switch to private security.
There are a variety of angles to consider here. Note, for example, that private companies that stand to benefit from privatization also happen to be generous campaign contributors to Mica’s re-election campaign.
Even more importantly, several domestic airports already use private screeners, but it’s still the TSA that establishes mandatory security standards. If Mica or other Republicans want to have a conversation about whether those security measures are appropriate, that’s fine. But whether those doing the screening are public employees or private contractors doesn’t change the standards themselves. Selling this as some sort of cure-all for frustrated travelers is silly.
As Josh Marshall joked yesterday, “Watching cable TV this morning it seems like the new idea is that this would all be better if private sector workers rather than government employees were inspecting Americans’ crotches, boobs, etc.”
Steve Benen goes on to ponder just how wonderful it would be to have Blackwater-style companies taking over the screening, oh happy day!
I’m sure I will piss off almost everyone with this post, but I’m telling it like I see it whether you all agree or not. “Bring it on!” :)
I don’t give a shit if someone has a black and white, negative image of my naked body. If someone, somewhere gets off on it, good for them. Something has to get them off, right? Give me a break, people, you can’t even recognize faces in the images and if I really wanted to look at pictures of naked people, I would go to one of the many millions of porn websites like The Huffington Post, where I can see them in color, with real skin and everything. If there is a small group of people who get off on these negative images, who gives a shit, really? There are people that get off on fully clothed people too, should we all get naked so those people don’t get off on it. Let’s do it, everyone get naked.
When it comes to the “enhanced pat downs”, I think we should all just deal with it. If it makes some people feel uncomfortable, so what. Who ever said that everything in life should make you feel comfortable. If you’ve ever traveled to Israel or many European countries, you’ve felt this discomfort before. It passes and if it doesn’t, there are other issues that you should probably deal with before deciding to get inside a big metal object that flies thousands of feet above the ground and can be taken down with a small explosive stuffed in someones underoos. Put on your big boy underwear and suck it up. Hell, if the TSA person looks good enough, I might like a little “enhanced pat down”…embrace the pat down, my new motto.
I see this latest populist outrage as just another sign that Americans really think they should be able to have their cake and eat it too. If someone were to actually pull off an “underpants attack” like was attempted last Christmas, what do you think the populist outrage would be then. The sky would begin to fall in and President Obama and the TSA would be completely at fault. People would be asking why we can’t do it like Israel does. People would be telling stories of how lax security at airports is, what an outrage it is that we can’t even protect people who fly. You know it is true, Americans blow in the fucking wind like a damn wind chime…constantly making noise and going whichever way the wind blows. The biggest hypocrites in this regard are the Republicans, of course. Their outrage is particularly nuts, because unless you have been in a cave for the last 10 years, these are the same people who defended warrantless wiretapping, detaining un-charged prisoners indefinitely and starting a fucking war in Iraq for no good reason. And now all of a sudden, they are defending civil liberties, give me a fucking break.
When people say it is an invasion of privacy to get patted down or have a full body scan, I want to ask them how purchasing a ticket from a private company, a choice that is made by the consumer that comes with stipulations, constitutes an invasion of privacy. There are stipulations on all sorts of purchases we make, especially when it can cause harm to others…guns, automobiles, motorcycles, alcohol and many other things that people would claim an invasion of privacy on. Hell, when I went to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I had to go through a metal detector on the way in and on the way out, almost had my video camera confiscated because I tried to get a shot of the cool set when I was walking out. I was in their private space, and had to play by their rules. I see walking onto an airplane in much the same way, if I want to fly, I have to go through a bunch of hassle to do it. If I want to get to New York in 2 hours instead of 12, I’ll put up with whatever they want to do to me.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that I don’t care what other people have between their legs, but I don’t have ANY junk between mine. I have a precision instrument down there and if someone wants to grab it, they should at least kiss me when they are done.
FACTS Are Trying To Make A Comeback – Obama’s First Budget Was 8.6% Lower Than Bush’s Last Budget Deficit!
Contrary to what the media and their overlords, the Republican Party, say – President Obama’s first budget came in 8.6% lower than President Bush’s last budget. No shit, I’m serious folks. Now you certainly wouldn’t believe it if you watch television or listen to the radio or read a newspaper, you know those librul sources of information, cough, spit, roll eyes. I saw it in some liberal blogs recently, but jeez, do you think any cable outlets or broadcast networks actually told us that. Or if they did, was it sandwiched between propaganda spewed out by Republicans which overpowers reality in loudness and frequency. From Google News….
WASHINGTON — The US budget deficit shrank by nearly nine percent in the last fiscal year, according to government figures published Friday, as spending decreased and revenues rose.
The figures “underscored the administration’s commitment” to cutting the massive government deficit, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said in a statement.
For the 2010 fiscal year that ended on September 30, the government had a budget deficit of 1.294 trillion dollars, down 8.6 percent from a record-setting 1.416 trillion dollars in the previous year.
Now I realize that some of the trolls won’t quite understand it, since President Obama was elected in 2008 and all. They seem to have trouble understanding that President Bush’s last budget which covered fiscal year 2009 was passed in October of 2008, a month before President Obama was even elected. President Obama’s first budget, which was submitted in October of 2009, came in $122 billion dollars less than W’s last budget. Deal with it, Republicans. I’m sure they will blame it on the Pelosi congress, just like they will blame everything that goes wrong in the next two years on the Republican congress…..right?
Senate Republicans voted unanimously Wednesday against a bill that would work to ensure fair pay for women, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The vote was 58-41.
Despite the Senate having majority support, Democrats couldn’t muster the 60 votes they needed to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Several Republicans who voted for another women’s rights bill last year, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, opposed this iteration.
Those senators included Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Republicans from Maine. The bill would have expanded enforcement of equal pay laws.
Collins argued that the bill would place undue burden on small business, and “impose increased costs and restrictions on small businesses in an already difficult economic climate.”
Isn’t that always the cop out for Republicans “impose increased costs and restrictions on small business”…and of course they never prove how this will happen. I guess paying women what they are worth is a “restriction” on these poor small businesses. What a load of fucking crap, especially coming from a woman, now I could see it coming from a good-ole-boy Republican. And my god, you wouldn’t want to “enforce” equal pay laws now, would you?
Our great president weighed in on the whole mess with this…
I am deeply disappointed that a minority of Senators have prevented the Paycheck Fairness Act from finally being brought up for a debate and receiving a vote,” he said. “This bill passed in the House almost two years ago; today, it had 58 votes to move forward, the support of the majority of Senate, and the support of the majority of Americans. As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in history, this bill would ensure that American women and their families aren’t bringing home smaller paychecks because of discrimination.”
It is so ridiculous that this bill didn’t pass unanimously, why on earth would anyone oppose it? From the US Census numbers…
Now to be completely honest, it doesn’t surprise me at all the Republicans (almost exclusively white males) would oppose this bill. They really are stuck in a different age with their mentality. I’m sure they all long for the days of “Leave it to Beaver” where June knew her place, didn’t talk out of line, stayed in the kitchen and looked pretty all day long. But what is so maddening is that so many women vote for these good-ole-boys, against their own self interests. We live in a strange world, folks.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow tore into Politico Wednesday for reprinting Republican “spin” without reporting the actual truth.
Politico reported that Republicans had delayed a meeting with President Barack Obama because he had “ambushed” them at a previous meeting back in January. But Maddow pointed out that there is little truth to that version of events.
According to Glenn Thrush at Politico, Republicans rescheduled a meeting with Obama because they are distrustful after he “crashed” their January retreat and humiliated them on national television.
“The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama crashed a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans,” Thrush reported.
That is a blatant lie, and isn’t Politico supposedly the most in touch publication, getting all the inside info from both sides….cough, spit. Whoever wrote that crap had to have known it was completely false and Republican propaganda. So much of the media just doesn’t care about the truth anymore, it is sickening, really. Rachel tells it like it is…
“Today cable news all day was driven by a story from that same website, Politico, that was purportedly about that same real event but was completely made up,” Maddow said. “I don’t mean to say it was completely made up by Politico. Quite transparently it was made up by unnamed Republican staffers who were trying to inject a new anti-Obama story into the news today that didn’t have any basis in fact whatsoever. Those were the folks who made it up. It was Politico who printed it.”
Josh Marshall weighs in on this with a reminder to everyone about the reality that didn’t seem to make it into the Politico story…
“So was it an ambush? Well, My God, not even close. Here’s the press release from Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, thanking the president on January 13th for ‘accept[ing] our invitation to meet with the Republican Conference later this month,'” Marshall continued.
“In other words, that’s more than two weeks before these House Republicans who must have spent the month in a sensory deprivation chamber were stunned to see the president’s motorcade driving up unannounced to crash their party.”
So what in the fuck is Politico doing? Why would they print completely false information, manufactured propaganda from Republican operatives? Is there journalistic integrity anywhere these days? Once again, Rachel Maddow tells it like it is…
Maddow was particularly offended by the way Politico printed this quote from a Republican staffer: “There were [House Republicans] who only knew Obama was coming when they saw Secret Service guys scouting out the place.”
“I am sure some unnamed Republican operative said exactly those words and that’s why there are quotes in the article to justify those words being written,” Maddow said. “But just printing something somebody said is not itself — what do you call it? News, right. It’s publicity. And in this case, it’s publicizing somebody’s totally fake, untrue story about a knowable, reported on, real thing.”
Later in the day, Politico edited their story to remove that quote.
Now I’ve been against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy since President Clinton signed the damn bill, I thought it was a stupid compromise that wasn’t going to work since it gave too much discretion to the military, which is overrun with macho, homophobic men who are probably overcompensating for their inability to deal with their own sexuality. In the early 90’s, it may have been the only thing that could pass both houses and be signed by the president, but that certainly doesn’t make it a good thing. I bet some are wondering if not passing anything would have been better, in hindsight.
Since President Obama made his intentions clear to repeal the policy in the campaign, it’s been kind of surreal how he has been attacked by the LGBT community. One of the primary reasons I started this blog was because I was banned from Americablog for basically calling many of the commenters that horrible word “impatient”. This was about a year into President Obama’s term, he was dealing with huge issues…anyone remember being on the verge of the second great depression, anyone remember the battle to try to bring health care to more Americans, anyone remember how Republicans were saying no to everything the President attempted, just for political gain? The way some of the leaders in the LGBT community responded and continue to – has been way over the top. They don’t even seem to know who their friends are. It’s like a fucking twilight zone, really. A policy that was passed by the husband of Hillary Clinton, who most of these sore losers supported, and has been in place for what…18 years, all of a sudden becomes President Obama’s fault. All the anger at this misguided policy has been placed at the feet of the one person who is actually trying to repeal it. How fucking stupid is that?
I’ve heard many of these folks scream and cry that he could issue an executive order immediately and stop it….and then when Sarah Palin is elected president, she can reverse that and we’re back to where we were. Great plan, guys and girls. They usually counter with, he can put a stop to it and then repeal the law after that. Well that may make sense on the surface, but just like with many other issues, these people don’t consider the dysfunctionality of our political process. The way President Obama has been approaching the issue is exactly how it should be done. Getting the buy-in of the military leaders, getting real opinions from servicemen and women and their families and following the procedures for passing an actual law that is much more permanent than some executive order. It has allowed for the time to measure public opinion, which is strongly against the DADT policy. The executive order route during the primary season in the Republican party would have been just lovely, don’t you think? Because it wasn’t in the forefront, it didn’t become a campaign issue and thus avoided some polarization. Once you throw an issue into a partisan battle, lines are drawn and political identification begins to trump well-reasoned positions. Now I don’t expect the whiners to get this nuance, because they can’t even seem to deal with the word “patience”, but regardless of whether they get it, the President is doing what is best for all people in the LGBT community, not just the vocal, so-called leaders of the community. Some of these folks, Aravosis, Greenwald and Savage have shown how much they really care about progressive issues as they undermine the best friend they’ve ever had in the Whitehouse. How much sense does it make to weaken the one person who is trying to change things for the better, who has appointed more LGBT folks than any president by far in just 2 years as president and who may be the last chance for any kind of change for a long time to come when you consider the pendulum swing to the right that weakening this president has caused.
Hooray for the Democrats and Harry Reid for going for it, I’ve been waiting for this article since the election and here it is. From the New York Times…
In a direct challenge to Republicans who support the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gay men and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said he would push ahead with a military policy bill that includes language authorizing the Pentagon to repeal the ban.
But the White House on Wednesday repeated President Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban. In a statement later in the day, Mr. Reid said he would bring the bill to the floor, with the repeal language in place. “We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so,” Mr. Reid said.
Let’s get that bitch done. And EVERYONE needs to help to get it done, which includes the whiners and the impatient fucks (Aravosis, Greenwald and Savage). All hands on deck, people…put away your pettiness and help the people you claim to speak for. There will be other things for you to whine about, I’m sure.
Arianna with her buddy Newt Gingrich
Politico has a long piece up about a lawsuit brought by two Democratic consultants, Peter Daou and James Boyce which claims that the idea for The Huffington Post was stolen from them. A while back, I did some research into Arianna Huffington and came across some rather revealing things about Arianna and her MO. The most glaring of these was her teaming up with Newt Gingrich in the early 90’s to help bring about Gingrich’s Republican Revolution, oh and apparently she’s still hanging with him. I’m old enough to remember that bullshit and have always been skeptical of Huffington and see her as an opportunist. Her new book, no plug here, attempts to play on people’s fears about the economic crisis. I hope to find time to write about that soon, she’s been not so subtly appealing to the angry people in the country….there’s money to be made on that anger, you know? From the Politico piece…
The complaint is a direct challenge to the left’s most important media property from two stalwarts of the progressive movement. And it challenges Huffington’s own oft-told story of coming up with the idea in conversation with Lerer and other friends.
“Huffington has styled herself as a ‘new media’ maven and an expert on the effective deployment of news and celebrity on the Internet in the service of political ends,” says the complaint. “As will be shown at trial, Huffington’s and Lerer’s image with respect to the Huffington Post is founded on false impressions and inaccuracies: They presented the ‘new media’ ideas and plans of Peter Daou and James Boyce as their own in order to raise money for the website and enhance their image, and breached their promises to work with Peter and James to develop the site together.”
It certainly doesn’t surprise me to read this, that’s what Republicans are all about, making money on the backs of other people. It completely fits with her opportunistic MO. She is the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Every time I hear her introduced as a liberal, I do a spit take with my coffee or Lipton Diet Green Tea…and we all know how painful that can be. She is no liberal, she just shifted her “mark” to liberals. She saw the pendulum swinging away from conservatism with the election of George W. Bush and saw a great opportunity to capitalize on it. Recently, it seems she is jealous of all the money Glenn Beck and his sorts are making off the anger on the right. I see her book as a blatant appeal to those people, she want’s some of that money too. More from Politico…
Lerer, a former AOL executive who once worked as a spokesman for junk bond king Michael Milken, later involved other Internet gurus – the marketing expert Jonah Perretti, and Drudge collaborator Andrew Breitbart – in their launch, and Daou and Boyce aren’t the first to contest the Huffington Post’s lineage.
“I created the Huffington Post,” Breitbart told Wired in March, prompting Huffington to reply that he “wasn’t present” for the initial 2004 meeting.
Can you even fucking believe it, Breitbart was there at the start of The Huffington Post. Now that speaks volumes in my mind. Andrew Fucking Breitbart working with Arianna, and of course this is after she supposedly saw the light and became more progressive….cough, spit. I remember seeing her talk on C-SPAN in the early 2000’s and thinking, wow, a conservative who’s seen the light and grown. As I continued to watch her speak, I had a sense about her that she was slippery. She talked around a lot of issues, was very slick in her appeal to liberals, playing on their dislike for George W. Bush, using clever put downs of him to gain acceptance. I have to admit, I was digging what she was saying, I disliked ole’ W. about as much as anyone. But even then, I was cautious because of her slickness. It was only after I started getting pissed off at the misleading headlines on her site that I started doing some digging and discovered the above links.
Booman, who was the source of the Politico link above, wonders why The Huffington Post is considered left…
Is the Huffington Post the “left’s most important media property”? Really? Because I have never opened the Huffington Post unless directed there by someone else. I have almost never linked to them (probably less than a dozen times in six years). I don’t think I’ve ever been to their home-page. I think if they were really so important, I’d find I couldn’t blog effectively without knowing what was going on there. But, for the most part, the Huffington Post doesn’t even exist for me. It’s like the Drudge Report. I know it exists, and occasionally someone points out to me that they have some interesting material, but that’s it. And why is the Huffington Post considered a left-leaning site? I don’t consider Arianna Huffington to be left-leaning. She’s a critic of President Bush and the current brand of know-nothing politics of the right. But she’s certainly no liberal. Above all, she’s a business woman and a celebrity. She’s not a part of any movement I am aware of. I’m not knocking her, but I just don’t get why her site is supposed to be important to the left. For what?
I used to frequent her website until I noticed a change in course and their turning on the President. I was often sucked into the misleading headlines which many times didn’t reflect was in the actual article, a blatant bait and switch of sorts. She is very good at making money off people’s emotions, I suspect she will continue to do well in that regard. I just won’t be a part of it.
Steve Benen has a post up which is so excellent at exposing the game playing that the Republican Party has been playing on health care for 80 freaking years. Dana Perino, the oh so bright former press secretary for George W. Bush, was complaining on Fox News about how the Democrats didn’t “reach out” to the Republicans during the health care debate, which of course is an alternate reality…..was she in a cave during that period? As a liberal, I was pissed at the constant reaching out to those assholes who had no intention of voting for or helping craft the law. Dana’s people in the Republican party didn’t really keep that a secret, in fact they were quite bold in saying how obstructionist they were going to be and were in the process. Republicans have a long history of playing games, from Steve Benen…
When Truman tried to pass what was, in effect, Medicare for all, Republicans balked and said they preferred a more market-based pay-or-play system. When Clinton endorsed the market-based pay-or-play system, Republicans balked again, saying that they preferred a mandate/subsidies kind of system. When Obama endorsed the mandate/subsidies system crafted by Republicans in the ’90s and adopted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, Republicans balked again, this time saying they don’t want to address the problem at all.
As Ezra concluded:
So over the last 80 years or so, Democrats have responded to Republican opposition by moving to the right, and Republicans have responded by moving even further to the right. In other words, Democrats have been willing to adopt Republican ideas if doing so meant covering everybody (or nearly everybody), while Republicans were willing to abandon Republican ideas if sticking by them meant compromising with the Democrats.
But because Democrats were insistent on getting something that would help the uninsured, they’ve ended up looking like the partisans, as they keep pushing bills Republicans refuse to sign onto.
Pretty slick little operation they have going and their mindless followers who are so principled, cough, spit….and continue to support these people because of their principles, which seem to blow in the wind. Steve Benen brings it home with this…
It’s also, by the way, a model with broader applicability. As we’ve seen repeatedly with a wide variety of policy efforts, Democrats are interesting in solving a policy problem and are willing to negotiate to get something done. Republicans are interesting in preserving ideological purity and ignoring policy problems that can’t be solved through tax cuts for millionaires.
It really has nothing to do with Wasilla, I just liked the sound of that. Call it bait and switch if you want. :) Go to this link at Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog! Go! I’m still unable to embed MSNBC videos on this low budget blog, coming soon though. I’ve seen parts of this and hope to watch the whole thing later and I will put up a new post with my comments about it. Feel free to give me yours on this excellent interview that from what I’ve seen is a good discussion about the media.
Today is my crazy busy day, so I won’t be able to post much. Consider this an open thread if anything is on your mind. I might find a minute later to put something up but don’t count on it. :) In the meantime, enjoy another photo.
Photo of Bryce Canyon by Extreme Liberal
About a quarter mile from my house as the crow flies.
Sometimes a picture (or a graph) is worth a thousand words. Spread this graph around, share it with your friends and family, help expose the Republican’s as the “lapdogs to the wealthy” that they are.