Election '14

Friday, May 23, 2014

Et tu, Bibi?

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BREAKING: Benjamin Netanyahu Precipitates Serious Spate of Neocon Exploding Heads

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has some uncharacteristically positive words for one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s most controversial foreign policy initiatives: the deal struck last year to remove chemical weapons from Syria.

Netanyahu issued what was for him a full-throated endorsement of an Obama initiative, calling it “the one ray of light in a very dark region.”

“It’s not complete yet,” he went on. “We are concerned that they may not have declared all of their capacity. But what has been removed has been removed. We’re talking about 90 percent. We appreciate the effort that has been made and the results that have been achieved.”

Loosely [emphasis on the “loose”] related:

It’s a marvelous, magical place, our United States Senate.  It’s a place that can transform a balding old white guy from the boonies, with a BS in Industrial Management and his own construction company, into a foreign policy expert in just a few short years.

The guy I’m referring to, of course, is Sen. Bob “Muddlement” Corker (R-TN) ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

And, if Republicans should take control of the Senate this year, Sen. Muddlement is in line to take the reins of said Committee, a prospect that scares the bejeebers out of me but seems to thrill Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

I have watched him over the last few years really become the most highly respected on national security and foreign policy.  He’s eminently qualified to be the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.

“Eminently qualified”? seriously??  Perhaps that statement goes a long way toward explaining our Congress’ 9% approval rating, because, in my view, Sen. Corker is a treasonous, low-info blowhard with minimal qualifications to be embarrassing the US, on national television, spouting his cracker-barrel wisdom on how our elected President is handling foreign affairs.

Unless, of course, you count Corker’s brief sojourn as Mayor of Chattanooga.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/23/14 at 10:12 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '14Nutters

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cheney Suffering From Goldilocks Syndrome

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Dick Cheney, Vice Chancellor of the ever-shrinking neo-con brand, is having a terribly hard time trying to sort out whether President Obama is weak or tyrannical or both while the rest of us puzzle over why any sane person is chasing his opinion.

It’s certainly not as if Cheney has a particularly illustrious background as a statesman and it certainly can’t be his dedication to the truth, governmental ideals or constitutional law that inform his perceptions of how everyone else is doing in office.  Certainly he can’t think that his term in the White House could ever serve as any sort of standard for future administrations?

This is a man who told us:  “I think Barack Obama is a one-term President;”  and, in regard to the invasion of Iraq, “My belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

So it can’t be his remarkable perspicacity that induces news outlets to continue to drink from this particular poisoned well.  Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that Dick Cheney is a living caricature and, in show biz, villains get as much of a rise out of audiences as heroes.  Or maybe the GOP is trying to make a sentimental appeal to the “Do You Miss Me Yet” members of the Bush Brigade.

I know that Lynne Cheney is hyping her book but, really, Mrs. Cheney if you want those books to sell, dragging Dick out of hibernation doesn’t seem like a very savvy marketing plan.

Oh well, it doesn’t really matter why we’re still seeing Cheney’s face in the news.  But, if I were, say, Reince Priebus, I wouldn’t be clicking my heels over it.  One thing that has become clearer and clearer, as the Obama presidency goes on, is that hate and fear and cultural divisiveness make for pretty confusing assessments.  And, since it is the Republican Party that is serving up this ridiculous hash they are the ones who are coming across as confused and disjointed.

The whole Goldilocks approach that Republicans have taken toward Obama—is he too weak? is he too dictatorial? does he try to do to much? or not enough? is he too aggressive? or not aggressive enough?—is a very weak political strategy.  It doesn’t create a strong lasting image that voters can get sign on to.  It’s vague and blurry and provides only negative energy but more importantly, it will mobilize only a small fraction of rabid anti-Obama base and they probably don’t require any mobilization.

Americans are results oriented and they don’t generally mistake obstruction for action.  So.  Who has accomplished anything over the last 6 years?  The Do-Nothing Congress with a 9% approval rating? or the President who, despite having to fight relentless headwinds has: eliminated Osama bin Laden, ended two wars, lowered the deficit to record levels, reduced unemployment, reinvigorated the economy, while facing down idiots who believe that government shutdowns are a viable political strategy, to say nothing of saving the American auto industry, and substantially improving health care options for all Americans.

Come on, GOP, surely you can do better than the Goldilocks Stratergy.

Posted by Bette Noir on 05/20/14 at 09:38 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersOur Stupid Media

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Slip-Sliding Away

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For better or worse Operation American Spring has come and gone without effecting a peaceful overthrow of the US government.  OAS was six months in the planning, had a website, a forum, and a retired US soldier—Col. Harry Riley—at the helm, who was apparently quite impressed with the efficacy of the Arab Spring approach to governmental reform.

Col. Riley was inspired to take up the OAS banner because:

When Barack Obama became the White House occupant we saw the Constitution being destroyed and ignored at nearly the speed of light. We believe that our liberty and our freedom and our constitutional nation started on the downhill at something that we just couldn’t believe. We looked over and we said, we’ve been fighting for our nation for over 230 years and we have children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren that are coming after us, and at the rate that Obama is taking us, we are going to be down into a socialist-fascist-communist-Marxist dictatorial, tyrannical system at the end of his administration if we don’t do something now, right now, to turn this around.

The usual racist/not racist American crackpot solution in search of a problem.  Nevertheless, Col. Harry was confident that 10 to 30 million Americans see things his way, and would drop everything to show up at the White House or the Bundy Ranch [whichever was closest] to perp-walk Obama and a laundry list of administration officials to Gitmo, then reboot America.  The Colonel felt that either Ted Cruz or Allen West would be suitable replacements for the president.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/18/14 at 12:23 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ivory Tower To Echo Chamber.  Do You Read Me, Echo Chamber?

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Ben Sasse will almost certainly be heading to the United States Senate in January, 2015.  Yesterday Sasse managed to out-TEA Party his TEA Party opponent, Shane Osborn, as well as banker-flavored conservative Sid Dinsdale.  And, since Nebraska is about as red as it gets? game over.

Now that Sasse doesn’t have to woo anyone he’s free to be “just Ben” which is pretty damn awesome by most standards.  Sasse has a large collection of academic degrees from BS through PhD. from the likes of Harvard, Oxford and Yale.  His PhD dissertation won multiple prizes for best dissertation of the year.

He’s been in and out of policy consulting and staff jobs in DC as well as academic positions at the University of Texas at Austin and Harvard.

Sasse served as counselor to the secretary at the US Department of Health and Human Services for a year, during which he advised the Secretary on a broad spectrum of health policy issues, from affordable healthcare access to food safety and security.

And in July 2007, Sasse was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as “the principal advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on policy development” as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Sasse advised private equity clients and health care investors in his spare time and became a fellow at the University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs’ Center for Politics and Governance.

He is currently the president of Midland University in Nebraska.

Oh! and did I mention that he’s 42 years old?

Too bad, eh.  Because now that he’s broken into the upper echelons of the Republican Party he’s going to be forced to check his big brain at the door.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/14/14 at 02:13 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Release The KRAKEN!!

What’s it been now? almost a week since Speaker Boehner decided to Release the Kraken! and, already, I suspect he’s black and blue from excessive #facepalm-ing.

Meanwhile, Judge Gawdy (R-SC) is powdering his wig and spreading himself thin in a pre-game talkathon about what a regular - nay, totally unremarkable and unassuming - hero he is, who just happens to be sitting on a shock-and-awe-ful pile of bullpuckey evidence that has eluded his well-meaning but bumbling colleagues who just don’t fully grasp how the criminal mind operates.

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Yep.  A week into it and this latest chapter of Benghazi!Benghazi!BENGHAZI!! is about to take a serious turn toward the absurd, as only conservatives know how to turn things.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/08/14 at 09:27 AM
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Saturday, May 03, 2014

How Special Is This?

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Well, it appears that conservatives have a new lease on life now that Mister Speaker has finally caved and decided to let the Daydream Believers Caucus play Special Committee to re-investigate Benghazi! Benghazi! BENGHAZI!! 

Playing the part of Matthew McConaughey will be Rep. Harold Watson Gowdy III . . . but you can call him Trey.

Someday, I’m sure, the various House investigations into the Benghazi attack will go down in the annals as the Congressional investigation uncovering more smoking unloaded guns than any other [excepting, perhaps, the illustrious efforts of Sen. Joseph McCarthy who may, ultimately, have the Benghazi crowd beat, but they’re not done yet, so we’ll have to wait for the final tally]. 

The White House has turned over 25,000+ pages of documents and five different House Committees (Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Intelligence, Judiciary, and Oversight and Government Reform) have burned through millions of dollars and collected hundreds of hours of testimony, to no particular avail.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has resisted pressure to convene a “Watergate-like special investigative committee” for over a year and a half but recent events have evidently changed his mind.

The smoking gun, this time around, happens to be an email that, if you’re Republican, proves that the White House is directly responsible for covering up something about the Benghazi attack because a White House media consultant was discovered consulting with the WH on media. 

Just you never mind that the smoking-hot! email evidence dovetails nicely into the timeline of Things We Already Know About Benghazi and supports the conclusions that were drawn from exhaustively poring over the same for a year and a half.

The thing that appears to excite Republicans the most about this latest “find” is that it did not turn up before this, with the other 25,000 docs, ergo it must have been “vanished” by WH spooks.  [That’s the logical equivalent of Terri Lynn Land telling us there’s no Republican War on Women because she’s a Republican woman.] 

Evidently these folks have never made FOIA requests of bureaucrats, in the past, or their expectations might have been a little lower.  Or, perhaps they are as half-assed about filling out FOIA requests as they are about other things? or GIGO, we used to say.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 05/03/14 at 11:19 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14Election '16Hillary ClintonNutters

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

There Goes The Neighborhood!

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Okay, Reince, now we’re talking!  Looks like the RNC is getting its ground game going and bringing it to a neighborhood near you.

The Republican National Committee announced its “14 in ‘14” program in Charleston on Monday, calling for GOP female volunteers in the 14 weeks before the November midterm elections. The volunteers will recruit other women who are 21 to 40 years old to vote Republican and become involved in election season.

Republicans are asking the women to spend 30 minutes a week on election season outreach.

RNC Co-Chair, Sharon Day, unveiled the program Monday targetting purple-ish counties in West Virginia, Florida, Montana, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania with large numbers of independent and female swing voters.

According to Ms. Day:

You can see time and time again, it was no surprise that we didn’t win the Hispanic vote, we didn’t win the African American, Asian, women because we didn’t engage.

Bless their hearts . . . if only they had engaged?  Who could have known?

And then what? volunteers are going to describe the GOP’s brand-new totally pro-woman policy platform?  Better let the folks at the American Legislative Executive Council know—their hopper is still full of a list of horribles designed to make women and children’s lives a living hell.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/15/14 at 12:41 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14War On Women

Friday, April 11, 2014

Mississippi Moon, Won’t You Keep On Shining On Me?

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One of the goals of the Republicans’ Growth and Opportunity Project aka The Rebranding is to win some elections.  One branch of the party, which is gradually coming to be known as Establishment Republicans believe that a veneer of sanity is the answer.  Those guys, and a handful of gals, mostly represent pre-TEA Party operatives beholden to “old money donors” and corporate sponsors.

Their opposite numbers are younger social and fiscal conservative upstarts with an anarchic streak—Libertarians and practitioners of diverse strains of extremism that appeal to new-money donors and disgruntled establishment tear-aways like the newly activist DeMint Foundation.

As everyone realizes, at this point, party disunity in a two-party system of government can result in unpredictable and sometimes disastrous results.

That was certainly the case in 2012 when Republicans only electoral wins were due to a weird alignment of the stars which cast the anamalous 2010 TEA Party wave coinciding with a US Census year.  Republicans made the most of that confluence and stacked their districts masterfully.  But we know, and they know, that their House majority is far from a mandate and the rest of the 2012 results were a train wreck for the GOP.

The Republican National Committee accurately assessed that something radical and tough-lovish had to happen quickly if Republicans were to avoid an even longer losing streak.  And one of the factors that the RNC zeroed in on was a class of insurgent, often barely qualified, fringe newcomers who loudly and proudly let their freak flags fly and managed to throw away a number of Senate seats that Republicans might have won.

Think Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Josh Mandel . . . and one of the things that all of those failed Senate candidates have in common is a Club for Growth endorsement.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/11/14 at 02:30 PM
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Categories: LGBTPoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Halting Evolution One Seat At A Time

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There’s this guy, from The Gopher State [State Bird: Common Loon], who was going about his American Dream, minding his own business, raising a family, working hard, getting his MBA on-line, and then—BOOM!

An incident happened! and suddenly, Aaron Miller knew that he must drop everything and get himself elected to Congress to save America from science-crazed, war-on-religion, constitution-shredders wrecking everything.

That “incident,” which has become a set piece of Miller’s stump speeches, occurred as follows:

. . . he shared a story about his daughter becoming very upset because she had to learn about evolution at school. He said his daughter told the teacher that she did not believe in evolution. He said the teacher expressed agreement with his daughter, but told her that they were forced to teach the lesson by the government.

When asked for further detail, Miller declined to provide the name of the teacher in his story.

So, you see, it was a father’s concern for his children that set Mr. Miller on his path to Washington, DC:

There’s a war on our values by the government,” Miller said. “We should decide what is taught in our schools, not Washington, D.C.

As a parent, of course, I can empathize.  I remember a similar incident, when my son was in high school. He came home one day fuming and obviously upset, because he told his math teacher he didn’t believe in calculus so he shouldn’t have to pass his class.  His teacher agreed that there really was no such thing as calculus but that he wouldn’t get into engineering school unless he played along.  Took him a long time to heal . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/08/14 at 10:16 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14NuttersTeabaggeryRelijun

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Kochs Branch Out Into The Whine Business

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One of the many things that I love about the Internets is the opportunity it affords to be politically active without getting my head bashed in.  I was 18 years old in 1968 when my childhood friends started disappearing into jungles, or Canadian provinces, as the case may be. 

At that time, I learned that the most expedient way to express my grief and disapproval was to band together with the rest of my generation to make a very loud, often inarticulate, noise.  That behavior often resulted in my getting spit upon, derided and, on some special occasions, getting my head bashed or my pins knocked out from under me by fire hoses, for my trouble. 

Unpleasant enough stuff, but, as a rule, such encounters did not end as badly as Kent State.

Gradually, I learned that if one stood firm, kept faith and kept up the noise, it was, indeed, possible to make change happen.  Nowadays I’m way too old to get my head banged [or put myself in a position to, God forbid,  break a hip] but I still have an abiding belief in making noise.

It has taken me a few days to fully digest Charles Koch’s most recent lamentation, nailed up on Rupert Murdoch’s wailing wall for billionaires, the op-ed page of The Wall Street Journal.  In case anyone hasn’t seen Koch’s op-ed, it was evidently far too important to put behind the pay-wall, where Koch’s target audience of Lying Libruls were unlikely to pay for the privilege, so you can find it here.  Very democratic . . .

Generally, I don’t much care for the Open Letter format but since my chances are slim for a one-on-one with Charles Koch, and my political beliefs won’t allow me to remain silent, I’m forced to rebut his opinions out here in the less populous reaches of the internet, where, nevertheless, worthy citizens of this republic still keep faith with the ideals that Mr Koch seems hell-bent to dispense with . . .

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Posted by Bette Noir on 04/05/14 at 10:05 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14Election '16Nutters

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

SCOTUS Shows Love for the Rainmakers and Buckrakers

In the home of the brave, free speech comes with a price tag, as the Supreme Court decided in a 5-4 (No! Really?) decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case, which basically gives rich folks the license to print ballots.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but here’s the deal—if putting your money where your mouth is, is a form of free speech, then some animals on this farm are obviously more equal than others, if laws that try to keep the rich from drowning out the voices of the not-so-much are seen as onerously violating the rights of the people who can afford to pay for this here microphone and mean to use it.

It kind of says, if you can’t afford to pay for the good sound system, you might as well shut up.

There was some dancing around in that decision about whether campaign financing was about quid pro quo—look, I get it. The decision for letting our politicians be bought outright was centered on not making it for each trick they turn out, but letting them perform on a retainer basis.  And that’s sweet, but let’s call it what it is. And let’s not pretend that our transactional political system isn’t about quid pro quo because the paymasters don’t give direction when our little dears can figure out what they are supposed to do to please Daddy without all that much direction.

Now, there might be an antidote to the influence of money in the form of a critical, tough, independent media who can cut through the “talk” of money and see to it that “bullshit” hits the road. A lot of our mainstream media might not necessarily recognize that cutting through the bull is their job, though. That’s kind of why I see blogging as important. Maybe this cosa nostra can strike a little bit back at the pezzanovantes that want to make peasants out of us. But otherwise, I encourage everybody to vote the fuck out of the GOP, because, let’s be honest, they are the most boughten and paidest-for. I’m all for kicking the Koch-machine—how’bout you?

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/02/14 at 10:08 PM
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Can We Just Cut the Post-Racism Crap Right Now?

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Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before the editors of The Wall Street Journal came up with a snippy, little “both sides do it” apologia for Paul Ryan’s recent “inarticulate” exploration of “inner city culture.”

Oh my, where do I begin . . . how about the first sentence?

A week later, and liberals are still lining up to assail Paul Ryan’s “racism.” The episode is worth noting not because Mr. Ryan said anything wrong, but because of what it shows about the political habits of today’s elected and media left.

Well! that obsessive “elected and media left” just won’t quit distracting the “elected right” from mounting it’s 52nd attempt to Repeal Obamacare, or its important effort to assign a special prosecutor to teach Lois Lerner a lesson about Liberty.

Seriously, WSJ eds?

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/21/14 at 03:47 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '14Election '16Paul Ryan

Pajama Boy Goes Galt

In a comment on Bette Noir’s great Rumproast post on GOP voter outreach, reader SoVeryConfused had a request:

Request commentary on the GOP outreach to Millennials, recently performed by the hipster dude in the tortoise-shell glasses and striped shirt, last seen putting 87 octane gas into a Audi A4.


Not to step on Bette’s toes, but I think I can field this one…

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 03/21/14 at 03:11 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14Polisnark

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Don’t Be Afraid . . . It’s Just GOP Outreach

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Well, it’s that time of the month, again.  Time to check the GOP corpse for post-autopsy vital signs (see RNC Growth and Opportunity Project).

Speaking of which, just this week, Prince Rebus had breakfast with the good folks of The Christian Science Monitor to celebrate the Autopsy’s one year anniversary [seriously!] and warned us to look out for a Republican Tsunami!!1! in the mid-term elections. 

Just think of this exuberant outburst as a semi-annual employee self-evaluation.  As chairman of the RNC, it is Reince’s charge to project a robust and manly confidence in his party’s prospects.

Right now, Mr Priebus must focus on 2014 but that doesn’t mean that the Chairman hasn’t spent considerable time and effort looking ahead to The Big One in 2016 and parsing the results of the 2012 presidential election.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/20/14 at 12:04 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '14Election '16

Monday, March 17, 2014

Don’t It Make Your Red State Blue?

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Four White Gals and a Recently Converted Latina have formed a Republican PAC, in Texas, called Red State Women so that Texas ladies can learn that the Republican Party is about more than good gynecological governance.

So far, it looks like Red State Women is what Brent Budowsky has dubbed a neo-confederate outfit—chartered by a new breed of old-idea Republicans.

Here’s how the RSW themselves, put it:

RSW will play a major role in the 2014 general elections, as well as other key state elections in this and future cycles. The group will highlight the personal stories and experiences of women while also communicating the important role that Republican women play in the success of the Lone Star State.

The group will focus on issues relevant to all Texas women, such as education, healthcare and a strong economy that continues to create our premier job market.

RSW is committed to engaging and empowering Texas women to be politically active in the Republican Party.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/17/14 at 01:04 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '14

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