Monthly Archives: December 2009

Romney spokesman: Obama’s a weak dirty foreigner so it’s “in vogue” to attack him

Former Mitt Romney spokesman Kevin Madden probably regrets his remarks.

Basically, his point is that, since Bush’s popularity was high after 9/11 and he’s a real American from a real American state, it was okay for him to wait six days to comment on the shoe bomber.

However, since Obama’s popularity has taken a hit due to rightwing and Republican obstructionism over hcr and he’s a calm and rational person from a foreign seeming state, it’s “in vogue” to criticize him for commenting publicly after 72 hours.

This is of course what the rightwingers and Republicans are thinking and saying among themselves but they’re not supposed to put it so explicitly in public.

The rightwingers and their increasingly subservient Republican comrades really are the party of “no.” They have no real long term strategy, only tactical opposition, obstructionism and keen jerk criticism.

TPM notes that Hoekstra’s spokesman relayed the same criticism and literally had no answer when asked about Reid.

While I think it’s not yet time to update the Republican party’s obit, this is a sign of a party in serious straits without a rudder. They are hewing hard to the base and, while I’m not going to continue the nautical metaphor, let’s just say a breakup is at least increasingly, if only still theoretically, conceivable.

It seems more and more likely that the Republicans will not do as well as they might otherwise be expected to do in 2010. The elections are a long way off and anything can happen of course. But as it stands at the moment, they’re not as strong as they might be expected to be.

If that turns out to be the case, the intra party — and intra movement — bloodletting will resume with a vengeance. Perhaps somewhat counter intuitively, it will make the post 2008 recriminations seem like a mild quarrel.

I don’t know exactly what the events in the sequence would be, but if the right sequence of events did in fact unfold, the Republican coalition just might formally split into two separate parties. I think that’s highly unlikely, because, as difficult as it may be to believe at the moment, calmer and more rational heads would almost certainly prevail in both the party and the movement. But still…

[Via Think Progress:] On CNN this morning, host John Roberts asked former Romney spokesman Kevin Madden about the hypocritical “heat for this president from the Republicans” regarding the Obama administration’s response to the attempted Christmas day terrorist attack. Madden claimed that the two reasons Republicans were launching attacks were that Obama “has very little political capital” on terrorism and that he is “on vacation in Hawaii” at the moment. Madden added that “Hawaii to many Americans seems like a foreign place“:

MADDEN: President Obama right now has suffered very greatly in the last few months because of the fight over health care, and he has very little political capital right now. So Republicans feel it is in vogue to criticize this president.

And then lastly, you have to also remember the fact that the president being on vacation in Hawaii, it’s much different than being in Texas. Hawaii to many Americans seems like a foreign place. And I think those images, the optics, hurt President Obama very badly.[emphasis in (Think Progress) original]

Update: TPM has video of another Republican casting about for an answer to the shoe bomber question:

12.30.09 — 4:06PM // RECOMMEND RECOMMEND (0)

Republican Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) gets asked why he’s complaining about President Obama’s delayed response when President Bush took says to comment on Richard Reid.

And it ain’t pretty.


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Blaming Obama for Xmas attack will backfire on rightwingers and Republicans

Recently, former George Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino claimed, incredibly, that no terrorist attacks occurred during the Bush administration. She made the astounding comment while blaming Obama for the Ft Hood shooting. More recently, Republican strategist Mary Matelin claimed that the Bush administration “inherited” 9/11 from Bill Clinton.

Now, in the wake of the attempted Christmas plane bombing, far too many Republicans and rightwingers are at it again. Only hours after the incident, Republicans and others were busily trying to gain partisan advantage on the back of the averted tragedy.

Republicans and rightwingers are so tone deaf, and now so over confident as well, that they are the only institution on the face of the planet that can make the Democrats seem reasoned and responsible. Together with their reactionary general obstructionism and their absolutist opposition to health care reform, their naked and cringe inducing partisanship in response to this attempted attack will hurt them greatly.

They will not see the gains they are expecting next November, gains any rational party would be able to put in the bank. Instead, voters will, in significant numbers, turn away from their clownish buffoonery and poison politics.

Sadly, this continuing Republican and rightwing clownishness might lessen the need for Democrats to improve their own lackluster performance.

Update: Crooks and Liars has video of Rove joining the party.


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The trap of absolutist health care reform opposition will hurt Republicans

Greg Sargent at The Plumline has a piece up about the upcoming HCR litmus test the rightwingers are going to hold Republicans to over the next eight months.

He describes how anything less than absolute rejection and opposition from the likes of the already intensely disliked Mitch McConnell will not go over well with the empowered rightwing fringe:

That’s not good enough for right wing activists. Erick Erickson of criticized McConnell for dodging the question. “Politicians should actually say ‘yes’ when they mean ‘yes’ and ‘no’ when they mean ‘no,’ instead of dancing around the issue,” he wrote.

Newt Gingrich threw down the same gauntlet on “Meet the Press” yesterday when he said, “I suspect that every Republican in 2010 and 2012 will run on an absolute pledge to repeal this bill.”

By insisting on ideological purity and making a bet that the bill will be universally unpopular, conservatives are leaving Republican candidates with no room for flexibility.

Igor Volsky at Think Progress has the Gingrich video:

Volsky writes:

While the exchanges don’t go into effect until 2014, the Senate health care bill spends approximately $10 billion between 2011 and 2014 on interim benefits. The bill immediately prohibits insurers from rescinding coverage, imposing life-time or annual limits or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. Applicants who are unable to find insurance in the individual market, can purchase catastrophic coverage and young adults can stay on their parents’ policies until their 27th birthday. Small businesses that provide health coverage will also be eligible for tax credits beginning in 2010.

The bill requires health insurers to spend 80 to 85 percent of all premium dollars on medical care and reduces the size of the coverage gap in Medicare Part D “by $500 in the first year.” The bill also guarantees “50 percent price discounts on brand-name drugs and biologics purchased by low and middle-income beneficiaries in the coverage gap.”

These benefits could also improve as the Senate bill moves into conference. Several House progressives have pledged to push the conference committee to move up the implementation date of the exchanges in the final bill and front load more benefits into the interim period of the final legislation [original links not included here].

It seems redundant to add in all the links Volsky includes in his post since anyone interested in checking his claims can follow the links from his post. Also, sorry for the long quotes but they’re necessary to drive home the point: rightwingers and Republicans are over confident in general and specifically incorrect in their assumption that a majority of voters in 2010 and 2012 will adopt their absolutist opposition to HCR.

They have succeeded — only temporarily, I believe — in making a lot of people nervous about reform. However, they appear to have overly discounted the effect of the interim benefits kicking in immediately. Almost everyone will know at least one person who’s situation will be improved, perhaps very greatly, by one or more of the early benefits.

They will then weigh those tangible improvements in the life of someone they know and interact with against the abstract charges of communism, fascism, union thuggery or whatever bircherite nonsense some rightwing Republican is spouting off.

They will know that, if the rightwingers and their Republican lackeys had got their way, those improvements in the life of someone they know and maybe even care a great deal about would never have happened. And these voters will know that the rightwingers and Republicans have explicitly promised to rescind those benefits if they vote for them.

That will be an intensely powerful incentive to not vote for any Republican, even the few who are not such rightwing extremist on other issues. It doesn’t mean everyone will vote for Democrats, just that some voters who would be otherwise inclined to vote for Republicans in 2010 will instead stay home or withhold their votes in congressional elections.

Rightwingers and Republicans shouted all the same nanny state socialism charges when social security, medicare and medicaid went into effect. Now, of course, they pledge to safeguard those very programs. Democrats are now betting that the same will happen with HCR, and to a measurable degree before 2010.

Rightwingers and Republicans are betting not enough such benefits will kick in before next November, although they are really really frightened that enough actually will do just that. By instituting this purity test, they are putting all their eggs in this basket.

But I think this tactic will not succeed. It will be a concrete reminder that elections really do have consequences and most people are not so ideologically hidebound that they will inflict clear and immediate pain on others just to remain true to the health insurance industry’s best interests.

Of course, for this to happen, the benefits must kick in before the first Tuesday of next November.


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redstaters advocate violently trashing the constitution

The mods and regulars at Trike Force HQ are well known for vociferously disagreeing with anyone who veers one iota from their fringe diktats. It takes very little for commenters to get banned and some even have their blasphemy expunged from the record, leaving only white space where their heresy once appeared.

So, when a comment stays up and does not draw any rebuke or even mild opposition, we can assume it has the blessings of both the site admins and the general community. A site that monitors and polices their comments so thoroughly assumes some of the responsibility for those comments that remain and are not opposed.

For example, consider this exchange:

We are approaching an epic confrontation…
rcov092 Tuesday, December 22nd at 9:53PM EST (link)
we fight with all our might and if…if…we cannot roll them back, I vote we embrace Cloward Pivens and collapse the whole thing in on them and start over. If that happens they will fold like cheap suits and we can build something even better. We have 90% of a new Constitution already written and now know where the weaknesses are to remake it even stronger.

and this response:

MacAoidh Tuesday, December 22nd at 10:08PM EST (link)
Or maybe we’ll just start shooting.

We’re the ones with the guns and the balls to use them, after all.

They lost an election and were unable to completely screw up health care reform so they want to ditch the constitution and they want to do so violently.

These comments came in response from another commenter claiming to be a Republican congressional staffer and who was trying to argue that moving up a vote from xmas eve to the morning of December 24 was not that big of a deal.

The trikers are up in arms over it and really, really don’t like the Republican leadership. But the real point here is that no one opposed or even mildly questioned the commenter who advocated overturning the government or the one who advocated doing so violently.

Let’s be clear: this is reactionary, authoritarian and anti democratic. And they are threatening violence.

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I admit it: global warming, or climate change, is a hoax

You have to hand it to the neo birchers, flat earthers, birthers, climate change deniers and free lance commie spotters. Fueled by Fox “News” misinformation and willful misunderstanding, they never let facts or reality get in the way of their delusions and grand conspiracy theories.

They know there is a vast left wing conspiracy to sap America of its preciousness. Every single person in the media is in on the scam, from tyour local newspaper delivery people all the way up to our leaders, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Of course, Fox “News” is free of taint, but they’re the only ones you can trust to report the exact and absolute truth, no matter what those independent fact checking organizations say about them getting things wrong so frequently.

Also, everyone in academia is in on the plot, from your children’s elementary school teachers to university researchers, professors and, the true masters of the universe, graduate students. We actually have weekly meetings to plot how best to destroy America and advance the global warming hoax.

Yes, I admit it. Global warming is a hoax. During our last meetings on taking down the country, we were told how we got all the scientists from universities and government agencies such as NASA and the EPA to lie and fake the data so we can pull off the scam.

The conspiracy is proceeding according to plan. I just hope Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin can be held off until it’s too late. Dasvidoniya, comrades.


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How many deaths will make little Joey Lieberman feel better?

Okay, we get it. Lieberman is pissed at liberals and progressives because they had the temerity to be angry with him for supporting an unlawful, unnecessary, and unwinnable war. He wants to stick it to us. And the only way he can do it is to screw us on HCR.

It makes him feel good.

It will also result in the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people.

But it makes him feel good.

TPM has a piece up arguing that the White House and Congressional Dems don’t want Little Joey to stomp his feet and take his ball home because they need him on bills coming out regarding climate change, security and marriage equity:

Sen. Joe Lieberman might be persona-non-grata in the health care negotiations, but he’s juggling several large initiatives the Obama administration wants to see move forward.

As Democrats grow increasingly infuriated with Lieberman (I-CT) as he throws a wrench into the health care bill, the White House and Senate leadership can’t afford to kick sand in his face.

An exchange in the comments section of this story is interesting:

December 15, 2009 12:09 PM in reply to Steve LaBonne
The fact remains that Joe Lieberman is one of the most reliable liberal voters in the Senate and even more so this past year than throughout his previous senatorial career. There are better metrics of voting records than blog commenter tantrums.

December 15, 2009 12:28 PM in reply to AdAbsurdum
Joe’s a heartless asshole who chooses to look away from the giant pile of 44,000 dead bodies that directly result from his and the other bought-and-paid-for corporate whores’ decisions.

Joe thinks Joe is a deeply moral man. He is not. He purposely turns a blind eye to great suffering which he alone could stop. In a just Universe, Joe would spend eternity repeatedly dying to untreated stomach cancer. He deserves his own “medicine”.

There has to be a time in this country where we call our monsters what they are, monsters. Joe is monster #1. And if you think allowing 44,000 more fellow citizens to die next year is acceptable, you’re an immoral monster too.

There are different figures for how many die each deacde, year, month, day, or hour because of our so called health care system. But the premise holds: little Joey has decided that thousands of people will die because he’s in a snit and is using these people as proxies in his quest to stick it to liberals and progressives.

But he’s a Serious Person. And moral. An ethical paragon.

Sometimes I wish I believed in hell.


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Rightwing Republican anti latino Xmas Carols

Via Think Progress

Here’s a little taste (to the tune of Feliz Navidad):

They’re going to spread bubonic plague this Christmas.
They’re going to bring me lots of bed bugs this Christmas.
They’re going to pass tuberculosis this Christmas.
Those illegals in my yard.

Think Progress reports this about Talk Radio Network’s Matt Fox and AJ Rice, the duo responsible for putting this out: “[t]heir low-brow repertoire also includes ‘Sasha Obama’s Big Mouth,’ a voiced-over conversation between President Obama and his daughter that features the tagline: ‘when procreation goes horribly wrong.'”

One obvious downside of rightwing and Republican idiocy like this is that it means the Democrats can sit around, talk sort of tough but not do anything they don’t really want to do and say, “Hey, at least we’re not the loco Republicans. Where else are you gonna go?”

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