A Lot Of Good Stuff For Your Reading Pleasure!

Have you ever had a day when you couldn’t decide what to write about on your blog? So far this morning, I’m having one of those days. It could change, but until it does I decided to share some of the links in my stash that I really enjoyed. I wouldn’t steer you wrong, really. Check them out. I’m sure I’ll snap out of my indecision. Now for the good stuff, enjoy.

Don’t feed the pundits, they bite. This is an interesting read from Marianna76 at Daily Kos Community Site. She delves into the shouting match between Ed Schultz and David (clueless) Sirota.

Speaking of that shouting match, here is a story from Mediate about the bout. Good for Ed for standing up to the craziness from the Moore, Hamsher, Sirota and Greenwald crowd who seem intent on bringing back Republican rule.

This is an excellent analysis by Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast that points out a major difference between Rep’s and Dem’s when it comes to tactics. Make em’ squirm.

And this is an awesome study of how wrong the Professional Left was in their carping at the President while he was saving us from the next great depression. Rootless_e at The People’s View does a masterful job of explaining this complex idea. Read it, learn it and share it.

I posted about this one on a previous day, but I liked it so much I wanted to make sure you took a look at it. It’s about the “other Obama Derangement Syndrome”, the one on the left, from F. Grey Parker at The Hand That Feeds You.

And this one I found this morning from Frank Schaeffer, a big Hat Tip to The People’s View who did a post about it too. Go read both of them, excellent stuff. It speaks to the fact that President Obama is one kick ass president, the best ever in my opinion.

The Biggest Political Blunder Of The Century – Hooking Up With Paul Ryan!

The election results from yesterday’s special election in New York are pretty astounding. A reliable Republican district, NY-26, elected a Democrat, Kathy Hochul, after a “come back campaign” that became a referendum on Paul Ryan’s draconian budget deal. The one that the Tea Party populists forced on the GOP. Here are the results from TPM. I said at the time that it was a monumentally stupid move and would be a huge benefit to Democrats. I’m just loving the start of the Presidential campaign too, Newt and his truth talk followed by “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood”. It sounds awfully similar to Jon Kyl’s “Not intended to be a factual statement” press release, after lying about Planned Parenthood on the floor of the House of Representatives. Election season is just beginning too.

The excuse that the GOP seem to be trotting out this morning is that the 3rd party candidate split the vote. You know, the Tea Party candidate. They created that monster, now they have to be devoured by it. Let’s all get the popcorn and soda-pop and watch as it happens again and again in the next 1 and 1/2 years. It’s going to be fun.

I don’t think that Democrats taking back control of the house is a done deal. There is a lot of time between now and November 6, 2012 and a whole lot of propaganda and hatred out in the public that can be stirred up. But we Democrats are sitting pretty good at this point in the process. I have confidence that President Obama will win big for many reasons, the main one being he is one badass campaigner and is by far the best communicator we’ve ever had as President, at least in my memory. I don’t have the same confidence in House and Senate candidates, however. They are so much more susceptible to right-wing propaganda and seem to fold like oregami whenever the GOP turns the propaganda machine in their direction. Basically, they have no balls. No offense to women who don’t need balls, they get shit done without them.

One More Example Of Smart Governance And How Wrong The GOP Can Be!

When President Obama took office, the sky was falling and the effects of Bush’s stupid policies were raining down upon us like razor blades, cutting everyone they came in contact with. It’s pretty astounding how soon people have forgotten what we were facing with predictions of slipping into another depression coming from everywhere. A lot of people did suffer in the downturn and we’ve been struggling to get back to where we were. And whether Republicans want to admit it or not, Bush was responsible for the mess. The GOP tried their hardest, with much success, to brainwash their followers and the media – that once Bush left office, all accountability and the residual effects of his policies went with him. The GOP and their media lapdogs almost immediately started telling us all that President Obama now owns all the disasters that were left behind. One of the big fears during late 2008 and early 2009 was the potential collapse of the auto industry. Even President Bush saw this and started the process of bailing out the auto industry. Former President Bush deserves credit for that. But the rest of the GOP apparently decided that those estimated 2 million jobs were expendable. Check out this clip that reminds us what the two leading contenders for the Republican nomination said back then. Courtesy of the DNC…

They were so sure of themselves, weren’t they. They weren’t saying it might happen, they were adamant that bailing out the auto industry was going to kill it completely. I’ve posted about the success of GM in the auto bailout before, well this week we learned that Chrysler is paying back both the US and Canadian governments 6 years ahead of schedule. From The New York Times…

Chrysler paid back on Tuesday $7.6 billion in loans from the American and Canadian governments, paving the way for its Italian partner, Fiat, to increase its control over the Detroit carmaker.

The repayment of loans and interest owed to the United States Treasury and Export Development Canada is a significant milestone in Chrysler’s methodical comeback from bankruptcy in 2009.


“While there is more work to be done, we are starting to see stronger sales, additional shifts at plants and signs of strength in the auto industry and our economy,” the president said.

I never understood as it was happening, why the Republicans would be so blatantly against trying to help save all those jobs in the auto industry and the ancillary business that supply the auto industry. On the face of it, it just came off as very cold and insensitive to all the people affected by it. Politically, it seemed like a stupid move. I suspected it was the right-wings extreme hatred for unions that drove their irrational and naive pronouncements about the bailout. At the time, I knew they were going to live to regret those comments. It’s just too bad it wasn’t in 2010 that they regretted them.

The many successes of the Obama administration has to be frustrating as hell for the Republicans, who have been saying for many years that the government can’t do anything right and then of course for the 8 years of Bush, they proved it. There is nothing like a self-fulfilling prophecy. The Obama administration has proven over and over that the federal government, with all its warts, can create change and help move our country forward.

The GOP Has No Decency – Attacking Elizabeth Warren! (Updated)

I remember a time when The Onion could exaggerate the actions of the Republican Party and get a few laughs. Now, you can’t do that anymore, reality is more crazy than even the mind of a comedian. What is happening and has been over the last few years is not funny in the least. The “Grand Ole Party” has made a very sudden purging of all who don’t pass the litmus test, ask the moderate former Republican Mike Castle about that, he’ll tell you a few things. Besides purging their party of any moderates or “compromisers”, they are also governing with no sense of precedent, not even a nod to established procedure and decorum, they’ve become the “Cheat the system however you can” party. I don’t have to remind you of the unprecedented use of the filibuster by Republicans, but I think I will anyway. Chart courtesy of TPM.

So what are the nihilistic Republicans up to now? Well, the congress is in the process of setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was established in the Dodd-Frank Act. Of course the Republican’s, being the shills for Wall Street and big business, never wanted this bureau in the first place so instead of following the provisions of the act and implementing it, they have decided to play games with it. The latest game entails hassling Elizabeth Warren, the woman who was appointed to get the agency going. Most people know her as a staunch advocate for people’s rights when it comes to dealing with banks and Wall Street. The New York Times has a story about the latest bullshit games the GOP are playing with it…(emphasis mine)

A House committee hearing into the structure of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau disintegrated into heated accusations of lying to Congress on Tuesday, with the panel’s chairman accusing Elizabeth Warren of giving misleading testimony at a March hearing and of lying about her agreement to testify this week.

Representative Patrick T. McHenry, a North Carolina Republican who is chairman of a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee, told Ms. Warren, who is directing the start-up of the consumer agency, that he believed she misled Congress with testimony in March about her role in settlement talks between federal and state authorities and mortgage servicing companies.

Ms. Warren denied Mr. McHenry’s charge, saying that she clearly stated in March that she had provided advice to officials of the Treasury and Justice Departments about their investigations of fraud among mortgage-servicing companies and about their settlement discussions with the companies.

After an hour in which Ms. Warren repeatedly parried efforts by Mr. McHenry and other Republicans to nail her down with “yes or no” answers to questions concerning her testimony in March and about the bureau’s powers and responsibilities, Mr. McHenry moved to temporarily recess the hearing to allow members to travel to the House floor for a vote on an unrelated matter.

Ms. Warren objected, saying that she had juggled her schedule as the committee repeatedly changed the time of the hearing in recent days and had agreed to be present for only an hour.

A vigorous back-and-forth ensued.

Now here is the kicker, those childish Republicans have banded together in the Senate and are throwing a temper tantrum until they get their way. In the same New York Times piece, they said this, “A group of 44 Republican Senators recently signed a letter saying they would not allow a director of the agency to be confirmed unless the Obama administration agreed to structural changes in the agency.” You got that, even though a law was passed and signed by the President, these 44 Senators have decided that unless they do as they say, it will not be so. How do you deal with a group that has gone so far over the edge of sanity and civility? A Scorched Earth SUCKS!

UPDATE: From The Raw Story…

A Democrat on the committee, however, used his time to apologize for his across-the-aisle colleagues’ behavior. Rep. Joe Yarmuth (D-KY) congratulated Warren, while backhandedly insulting other committee members, implying that they were afraid of Warren’s power and effectiveness.

“The snarky comments about a Senate race, and the questioning of your veracity when there is documented evidence that you are being totally truthful indicates to me that this hearing is all about impugning you because people are afraid of you and your ability to communicate in very clear terms the threats to our consumers and the threats to our constituents and possibly very, very effective ways to combat them,” Yarmuth said. ” I congratulate you for instilling such fear in the committee, on the majority side, and in some aspects, or segments, of the business community because they understand how effective you are in getting the message out to the American people.”

The Stupid Keeps Marching On With Cenk, Jane, David and Adam, The Firebagger Brigade!

I feel I must issue a warning about this clip, it can cause convulsions, vomiting and extreme rage. This gang of people that MSNBC has decided to give a platform to for their 3rd party challenge to President Obama and their attempt to return us to Republican rule, are absolutely disgusting. They are money-grubbing carnival barkers whose real goal seems to be to destroying the Democratic Party so they can make lots of money from the anger, once the Republicans take back over. At 2:15 in the clip, Cenk asks a question about Vice President Biden hinting that he may run in 2016, and Jane Hamsher responds first by calling him “the great compromiser”, see yesterday’s post and then Jane goes on to spew populist lies, sounding very much like a teabagger. Following Jane’s anti-democratic rant, David Sirota shows us how stupid and politically naive he is, simply astounding. I’ll get to that after the clip.

Here is my quick transcript of David Sirota’s completely naive and stupid comments regarding Joe Biden and his potential run in 2016. (Bad grammar is his, not mine)

I think it won’t be a situation like Al Gore in 2000 where he is sort of the presumptive nominee. I think there is a lot of up and coming democrats and I think that Joe Biden hasn’t really made it necessarily a name for himself outside of the Obama administration which I think will be probably pretty necessary for a democratic candidate in 2016.

When I heard that live, after having just vomited into my trash can from Jane’s comments, I laughed out loud. Joe Biden has been a leader in the Democratic Party for a long freakin time. Here is a little history lesson for David Sirota that shows how monumentally stupid that last comment was, thanks to Google and Wikipedia.

1 – When Joe Biden was elected into the Senate at age 30, he was the 6th youngest Senator ever to be elected. From Wikipedia, “In 1974, freshman Senator Biden was named one of the 200 Faces for the Future by Time magazine.” David Sirota was born a year later in 1975.

2 – Biden was a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, which he chaired from 1987 until 1995 and on which he served as ranking minority member from 1981 until 1987. While chairman, Biden presided over the two most contentious U.S. Supreme Court confirmation hearings in history, those for Robert Bork in 1987 and Clarence Thomas in 1991. Ah, yea, David Sirota, no name recognition other than with Obama? I remember watching those hearings, David Sirota was 6 years old and 12 years at those times.

3 – He later spearheaded the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the Biden Crime Law, and the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), which contains a broad array of measures to combat domestic violence and provides billions of dollars in federal funds to address gender-based crimes.

4 – Biden was also a long-time member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. In 1997, he became the ranking minority member and chaired the committee from June 2001 through 2003. When Democrats re-took control of the Senate following the 2006 elections, Biden again assumed the top spot on the committee in 2007. So yea, chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations committee and ranking member, nothing to see here, right Sirota?

5 –  He’s also run for president twice, in 1988 and again in 2008. And he had made enough of a name for himself to be chosen as the Vice Presidential nominee who went on to help Barack Obama win the presidency with more votes than any team in history.

Are you really that fucking stupid, David Sirota? And why on earth would anyone bring you on their news show as a pundit, when you say such stupid things and obviously are making it up as you go along. The stupid just keeps marching on.

A Collection of Cornel Criticism (West, That Is)

Here, Jonathon Capehart takes issue with Cornel West’s recent rantings and the Chris Hedge’s piece at Truthdig.

Even Stanley Crouch has some words for brother Cornel in the NY Daily News.

Here a white brother weighs in on the Cornel mess.

And I love the title of this one, “Reflections on the Rejected Lover Syndrome”.

When Did “Compromise” Transform Into A Negative Idea?

“Compromise” is one of the foundations of democrazy (that was originally a typo, but I like it). Somehow, since the election of President Obama, the word is being redefined by some on both sides of the isle, with the help of the media who just follow along like lemmings. It’s a word that is often said with disdain, as if the mere act of compromising is somehow wrong. This is a very disturbing trend because it basically increases polarization, hatred and gives people a reason to throw up their hands in disgust. It is part of the scorched earth strategy being employed by like I said, both the right and some on the left.

I can almost understand the right’s obsession with not compromising, it’s politics man. But for those on the left who claim to be progressive and care about changing things for the better, it flies in the face of reason to oppose it on principle. The Republican’s don’t want to compromise because they perceive any bills passed and signed by President Obama as a win. And we can’t have that now. And we all know that from day one of President Obama’s first term, they have tried to thwart any success for the White House, even if it means screwing citizens or exposing their hypocrisy. And because of the very successful brainwashing of their base by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the right-wing noise machine, it really won’t have much impact on those voters. We can only hope that it does have an impact on moderates, who are the folks that swing elections one way or the other.

The people on the left wing who have spit on the word compromise and staked out unrealistic positions, their reasons are a bit more complicated and in my opinion, just plain stupid. I expect stupid from Republicans, but in the last 2.5 years, many on the left have shown how stupid they are too. They may have been that way all along, but were hiding it well.

In the 8 years of President Bush’s term, a cottage industry sprung up that was fueled by anger, hatred and indignation towards the Bush Administration and the many rights and liberties that were taken from us or trampled on. Blogs became all the rage during this time and the idea of the internet as a way to organize and mobilize people around a cause became very real. But a lot of it was rooted in and fueled by anger towards Bush. I joined in the craze and loved seeing the Bush Administration challenged and attacked. Good times!  But the transition from the anger based foundation to where we are now, after President Obama took office, didn’t go very well for these people. A lot of that anger just shifted towards the new administration, the path of least resistance, I suppose.

Many of the “progressive”  bloggers that came to prominence during the Bush years, who clearly played to the anger towards Bush and gang, were actually Republicans turned angry. In their disgust towards Bush, they built a following of people who didn’t necessarily agree with them very much, besides hating Bush. Here is a brief list of some of those folks.

Arianna Huffington, worked for Newt Gingrich and is the former wife to Republican candidate Michael Huffington. We all know how she has cashed in and is turning back towards her true party, the GOP.

John Aravosis, former staffer to Sen. Ted (bridge to nowhere) Stevens.

Cenk Uygur, who has apparently admitted that he “used to be” a Republican on his show, he sure keeps attempting to play to the left but his roots help explain his attacks on the President.

Dylan Ratigan has landed a couple of different time slots on MSNBC and is trying to play to the left, although he clearly has a hard time of it. He built his brand on the back of populist rhetoric.

And I would add Glenn Greenwald to the mix too, although he claims to be an independent. He supports Gary Johnson, a Republican, as a third party candidate. He still gets trotted out as a left-leaning blogger or as a representative of the left blogosphere, when he clearly is not. Many volumes have been written about that man and his tactics.

The other group of bloggers and pundits that are fighting against the President and don’t seem to understand the nature of compromise are rooted on the liberal end of the spectrum. It is sad to see this group let their entrenched principles and ideals influence their perceptions of the progress that has been made with President Obama at the helm. They can’t even give the President credit when it is due. My short list of these folks include Michael Moore, Adam Green, Bill Maher, David Sirota, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Markos Moulitsas, Jane Hamsher and Keith Olbermann. We expect the right to have crazy notions about our President and suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome, but it isn’t just a right-wing disease. From The Hand That Feeds You…

 The thing is, these folks aren’t the real threat. That’s what unnerves me, lately. What really bothers me, and I mean really gets my goat, are the basically forward thinking, well educated and Progressive Americans who also wallow in self-indulgent and conspiratorial whining. It is smug. It serves no purpose but to excuse inaction and it is more dangerous.

This is about the other “Obama Derangement Syndrome.” It is high time we address it.

Barack Obama’s Presidency had barely begun when some on the Left started selling us the “betrayal meme.” In March of 2009, Dave Lindorff famously excoriated the new President in a piece called “The Obama Betrayal.” He was apoplectic over capitulation to Republicans regarding the ‘Employee Free Choice Act.’ He makes no mention of the fact that Progressives did not flood the congress and the White House with calls supporting the President’s fight. He omits the huge and organized campaign enlisting our citizen-opponents which went a long way towards torpedoing the legislation. Why should we on the Left have been expected to do anything? Wasn’t Obama supposed to single-handedly crush our foes?

After all, we elected him.

To me, these people are extremely deluded. They’ve built a false narrative within their own minds and in the process have abandoned any pretense that people matter in the equation. Their ideals, reinforced with denial, lies, exaggerations and populist outrage, have overcome their common sense, if they had any to begin with. Whenever I get into a Twitter fight with any of them, I usually shut them up pretty quickly when I ask questions like “how does that help real people” or I start giving them real examples of how it affects people, like those with pre-existing conditions who can now get health insurance, like my niece. They seem to live in a world of generalities, ideals and have created their own echo chamber to reinforce it.

I also think that many of these so-called progressive bloggers, who seem to be fighting progress, have fallen victim to the “right wing paid troll program” where the GOP and their supporters pay people to comment on progressive blogs, either posing as liberals dissatisfied with the President or simply attacking liberal ideas with right-wing talking points. It’s a copy and paste operation that I think has overtaken many of the comment sections of these blogs. I think a lot of these bloggers are naive and think that there is a lot more dissatisfaction with the President and the Democratic Party than there actually is. And they drive out people who disagree with the anti-Obama memes. I know very well about that, having been banned by Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Crooks and Liars, Firedoglake and Americablog. And it wasn’t for being abusive at all, unless calling them “whiners” is somehow abusive or giving a different opinion than the consensus (group think) in the room.

The most often heard refrain from these folks is that President Obama gives up too much in the beginning of negotiations. They claim he gives in before the negotiations even begin. But these pundits who say this have no idea what the behind the scenes vote counting is or what preconditions may have been talked about in advance. But a lot of their criticism is because they think the President should start where they would, way to the left, whether it pollutes negotiations or gives the right-wing the fuel they need to either walk away, or try to paint the left as extreme. And of course, most of these people did absolutely nothing to help the president. More from The Hand That Feeds You…(emphasis mine)

Throughout Obama’s first two years, we the people who did elect him largely sat on our hands expecting to be saved. Perhaps we had become so inured to the imperial nature of the Presidency within the Bush years that we forgot that there are other requirements of citizenship between ballots. As we continued to do nothing and the opposition used slick, manipulative marketing to energize hundreds of thousand of idiots, the Washington Post asked “Is Obama Betraying The Left?” The New Statesman published “Obama: The Betrayal?” It goes on and on and on.

The “betrayal meme” is picking up steam again. This is frankly getting out of hand. Most recently, Cornel West, a great man whom I adore, has had a full blown freak-out. Chris Hedges is loving every minute of it. It’s nifty copy. It’s also representative of a dangerous and elitist abdication of citizen responsibility. It’s becoming the bread and butter of the establishment Left to accuse President Obama of essentially not rescuing us while we wait like little children.

The President has had to attempt to stand his ground in a position of weakness the base helped create. When the rabble on the right was out-calling our Representatives at a ratio of four or five to one to oppose the AFA, where were we? When Tea Partiers were being duped by their masters into showing up by the busload, where were our counter-protests? By the way, much as I do love Colbert and Stewart, they can suck it on that count. Like Bill Maher said at the time, rallies should really “be about something.”

This liberal group of pundits often make grandiose claims that President Obama is abandoning his base and losing support from them, yet every single poll that breaks it down, shows solid support for the President. The small amount who are unsatisfied are more than likely people who have not fared well in the economy and have only heard the media’s filtered version of who is to blame for it. Some are extreme pacifists who expected a Democratic president to just pull our troops out of every conflict that Bush handed to President Obama, immediately. People like Glenn Greenwald, David Sirota, Jane Hamsher and others try hard to further that perception as some sort of betrayal, even though candidate Obama made clear what he was going to do when he took office. I read recently, I wish I could find it, one of those folks basically say that nothing has changed in Iraq, the President isn’t getting us out of there. Except the facts are much different. Unfortunately, the following is from the Huffington Post on August 10, 2010…

In Massachusetts, where the president was on vacation, White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan called the drawdown in U.S. troops a “truly remarkable achievement.” He noted that the milestone had been reached a week ahead of schedule and represented a drop of 94,000 troops on Obama’s watch.

You can imagine my disbelief upon reading the characterization that nothing has changed in Iraq. Combat operations were declared over on August 31, 2010 and the last combat troops drove out of Iraq and into Kuwait. Now a lot of people just denied that it was true, poo pooed it and said we will never leave Iraq. And you can’t play with my ball, either. I’m taking it home. So nah! The reality is that President Obama is doing exactly what he said he would do and ahead of schedule. That has to piss of the people most intent on making sure our president doesn’t get credit for a damn thing.

As a Democrat and supporter of President Obama, it pisses me off that so many people who claim to be progressive or liberal have decided that attacking and weakening our Democratic President is somehow going to help their cause. It is the stupidest fucking reasoning I’ve ever seen in politics. On what fucking planet does weakening your party’s leader somehow help the party? Considering the lock-step discipline of the Senate Republicans and their unprecedented use of the filibuster, it was clear that the President was going to have to compromise. The other alternative was to let the Republicans win and basically defund the entire government. I’m often reminded of what Jane Hamsher’s friend Grover Norquist said which spells out the GOP philosophy of government, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”