Election '16

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nope-Got No Sole

Okay—that title is lifted from a tweet from Jonathan Capehart, who documents the silliness of the “Shoe Truthers” with a trace of the exasperation any sane person might feel when examining the actual serious thought processes of people who might be a wee bit paranoid a lot.

I’m kind of an uptight thinker who seldom strays into the fanciful except to atomize a yet-more out-there notion—so let me boringly put a damper on this thing: there is obviously no way for any person to aim a shoe that they were wearing at a public figure and then hobble off scot-free. They are certain to be apprehended—any fancy of flight would prove, well, bootless.  Any collusion to plant a person in an audience to launch a shoe would involve some connecting factor, because once charged with a federal offense (and a savvy lawyer like Hillary Clinton would have known this much) any stooge paid off to, for some kind of reason, launch a shoe at her, would roll like the mighty Mississippi. Who would bargain away their freedom for X-untraceable amount of funds for a PR scheme? The sane folks who’d go for that are few and far between, and there are many limiting factors involved in employing someone who would not be classified as mentally fit.

And let’s consider the PR downsides, which are numerous. Getting smacked upside the old bean with a sneaker would be ungraceful, so one might study to avoid head to tennie contact. Ducking is, itself, a kind of submissive posture. The actual fact of anyone launching an athletic shoe at one implies unpopularity—there is no good reason anyone would want to portray that level of unpopularity. A “lone shoe-er” is a poor representative of anything like a “vast, right-wing conspiracy”, so activating sympathetic historical memes is out…leaving what exactly? A footwear fetish?

So fine, you are left with the spectacle of a former First Lady, US Senator, and Secretary of State ducking and covering from a podalic projectile because that’s the way she likes it. Uh huh? Uh huh. That is some serious stupid.  I do not know what to make of anyone who would stupid that hard.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 04/15/14 at 11:37 PM
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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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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Jersey Devil Doesn’t See Shadow—Springtime For Christie

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Ever have one of those weeks where everything just goes right?  Chris Christie sure did.  Almost.

First, the Gov was completely exonerated by his “very dear friend and pig-hunting buddy,” Deb Yang of Gibson Dunn, one of Christie’s go-to firms in matters legal.  New Jersey taxpayers will be happy to learn that the million bucks they paid for this “exhaustive internal investigation” of the BridgeGate and alleged abuse of federal Hurricane Sandy Relief funds proves, unequivocally, that their hands-on governor is not evil, he’s just not exactly on top of things that “don’t rise to the gubernatorial level.”

So far, the New Jersey state legislative committee and the US Attorney for New Jersey appear to be underwhelmed by Gibson Dunn’s report.  Maybe it’s because Gibson Dunn, like Gov. Christie, based their findings on zero input from those alleged principals, in the case, who have either resigned their administration posts or been fired by Christie.

Taxpayers did get at least a quarter million’s worth of hot office gossip, though, and a slut-shaming to rival a Limbaugh moment.  Gibson Dunn went with the “Woman Scorned” defense so we now know that, at some point after Bill Stepien left the Christie admin to be Christie’s eyes and ears in the Republican Governors Association, Stepien and Bridget Kelly dated a few times. 

For some esoteric legal rationale, Gibson Dunn felt compelled to spell out who broke up with whom in that relationship, thereby unleashing the unfortunate events culminating in BridgeGate.  Spoiler alert: Stepien dumped Kelly, ergo, he will be free to mastermind the Christie 2016 campaign.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/30/14 at 11:29 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16War On Women

Friday, March 28, 2014

YA Romantic Fiction

Via Roy’s place, we have an account of Libertarian Fonzie (catchphrase “Ayyyyy is Ayyyyy!”) pinning his hopes for a Rand Paul presidency on a popular Young Adult fiction series and its movie adaptation.  After typical “don’t call me a Republican hack, A POX ON BOTH HOUSES!” Libertarian boilerplate, Gillespie gushes about his dreamy Randian protagonist:

Whether or not the Kentucky Republican actually wins the Republican nomination, much less the White House, is besides the point. The question is whether the politics of the future will be the same as the politics of the present. “I don’t want to be just one thing,” explains one of the protagonists in Divergent. “I can’t be. I want to be brave, and I want to be selfless, intelligent, and honest and kind.” If anything explains Rand Paul’s rising profile, it’s precisely his ability to be more than just one thing—a social conservative, a civil libertarian, a budget cutter, a decentralizer, and more. There’s no reason to fear— and every reason to promote—such divergence in our elected representatives.

Rand Paul is a decentralizer?  I must have missed all the antitrust legislation that he introduced since attaining his senate position.  Oh, well, I’m sure that young female voters will eventually see that Rand Paul and his political supporters have plans for their demographic

Back on Planet Earth, I have to note that Mr Gillespie is headed for a heartbreak if he believes that the popularity of a Young Adult fiction series will have any bearing when it comes to wooing millennials in the 2016 election… Even though the “Twilight” books were wildly popular, young voters didn’t throw their support behind a sparkly Mormon vampire in 2012.

This post is expanded from a comment I left at Roy’s place.  In response, commenter mds wrote:

Maybe if there had been some actual sparkle.

The vampirism sure as hell was real, though.

Cross-posted at my eponymous blog.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 03/28/14 at 09:51 PM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16Polisnark

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

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Lose, Reince, Repeat

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I have to hand it to Reince Priebus, the guy is no quitter. 

Despite the fact that his party’s candidates turned the 2012 presidential campaign into an internationally acclaimed political farce and handily lost an election that they believed they had in the bag, Reince was undaunted.  The RNC chairman spent his entire post-election Christmas vacation pounding out 100 pages of extreme makeover ideas for the GOP, some of which were pretty good ones.  Ultimately, all of them were cavalierly dismissed or completely ignored by the rank and file.

So that was one year down the tubes.  Now we’re heading into mid-term elections which, if current GOP trends prevail, will surely prove to be a farcical free-for-all in search of America’s Biggest Extremist.  Karoli over at Crooks and Liars has astutely observed the usual Republican establishment’s pre-election jitters surfacing already:

It must be an election year, because there’s no other reason for wingers who never do anything about their crazies to react to the backlash over Austin Ruse’s statement that “liberal professors should just be taken out and shot.

We’re bound to see more such organizational hand-wringing before November but, let’s face it, Reince doesn’t really have a prayer of keeping that many congressional races sane, so that’ll be another year shot.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/16/14 at 12:14 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBedwettersElection '14Election '16Hillary ClintonNutters

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Man Up, Poors!  Paul Ryan Is Nobody’s Fool

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Mr Big Stuff (aka Rep. Ryan), Congress’ self-apointed Poors Troll, sent his personal drone out over a few American urban centers and determined “ya got trouble, right here in River City.” 

This is how Ryan sees it:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

In case that sounds like political argle-bargle to you, Laura Clawson, a linguist with expertise in political argle-bargle over at Markos’ Place offered up this helpful translation:

The problem is “in our inner cities” (where the black people live) where men (black men) are “not even thinking about working.” It’s a “real culture problem” (black culture).

Thank you, Laura.  That’s what I thought.  Now that we’re all post-racist it hardly seems necessary to speak in tongues about racism, anymore, but Mr Ryan is, after all, a conservative.  So, maybe he’s not ready to shed his political correctness for that bold leap into 21st century overt racism, yet.

Of course, the well-read and wonktastic, Rep Ryan (R-Planet Derp) supported his argle-bargle with citations from Charles Murray.  Evidently, Ryan’s scholarly quest has advanced from Ayn “Queen of Mean” Rand’s dystopic, but not overtly “colorful” maunderings, to Murray, a white nationalist specializing in pseudo-scientific studies that “prove” that social inequality is caused by genetic inferiority.

In Murray’s own words:

A huge number of well-meaning whites fear that they are closet racists, and this book tells them they are not. It’s going to make them feel better about things they already think but do not know how to say.

—regarding his book, Losing Ground, quoted in “Daring Research or Social Science Pornography?: Charles Murray,” The New York Times Magazine, 1994

Well, I have good news and bad news, Mr Ryan—if you are taken in by this sophomoric pseudo-sociological crap you are a lot dumber than you come across (and that’s saying something) but you’re no closet racist.  You’re an out and about, down and dirty hardcore bigot.  And no amount of P90X, deer-stalking and catfish noodling is ever going to make you a man, let alone a principled man.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/13/14 at 11:15 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '16Paul Ryan

Monday, March 10, 2014

What The Frack, Senator Paul?

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Rand Paul is doing what all earnest young job-seekers do—padding out and fluffing up his resume, an item that, let’s face it, is a little thin if Senator Paul is serious about the Oval Office.  Twenty years an ophthalmologist; head of the Baylor U chapter of the Young Conservatives of Texas; Best Boy on Dad’s presidential campaign; and half a US Senate term probably wouldn’t make it off a headhunters’ desk if we did anything as sensible as professionally vetting candidates for one of the most demanding jobs on the planet.

One of several executive experience areas in which Paul the Younger is noticeably lacking is foreign policy, so Sen. Paul has been toiling away at foreign policy op-eds, interviews and world leaderish big ideas sound bites.

Yesterday, for the benefit of Fox News’ dwindling audience, Paul closed his eyes, held his nose and took a deep dive into the shallow end of “if I were President” foreign policy wonkery and came up dazed:

I would do something differently from the president,” Paul said. “I would immediately get every obstacle out of the way for our export of oil and gas, and I would begin drilling in every possible conceivable place within our territories in order to have production we can supply Europe with if it’s interrupted from Ukraine.

What a boyishly endearing but naive and foolish idea that is.  First of all, to get the job done in our lifetime, I have to assume that President Paul would be forced to use his “pen and phone” to circumvent the hundreds of “laws of the land” that address such autocratic impulses to rape the environment to score geopolitical points.

And then, of course, there’s the “executive powers” fallacy in which President Paul learns, to his utter dismay, that presidents don’t get to direct export destinations to the Free Market and, if they did, they would probably choose the much more profitable Asian markets because . . . duh.

Solve that glitch and then you’re faced with logistics.  Moving usable gas is not like sending data packets over fiberoptic networks. 

As the killjoys on The New York Times editorial board point out:

The [Energy] department could speed up its review of export applications, and Congress could help by easing restrictions on exports to American allies. But even if the government approved more exports, setting up more facilities to liquefy and ship gas would take years and cost billions of dollars. Moreover, unlike Mr. Putin, American officials will not be able to dictate to energy companies where they sell their gas and at what price.

It’s also unlikely that Comrade Putin would pack up his gas and go home if President Paul suddenly jumped into the ring with cheap Liberty Gas to save Europe.  Putin would simply discount his prices to hold onto his market share like any other self-respecting free marketeer.

Personally?  I’m with the eminent Doktor Zoom who says:

. . . you have to admire Sen. Paul’s can-do spirit, which would literally drill every conceivable possible place to get oil and gas to Europe right away within a couple years of this crisis, after which there had better not be any more international crises involving fossil fuels, because then we’d have to start drilling in the inconceivable places.

Of course, one of Sen. Paul’s main objectives in bringing this up was to demonstrate how ineffectual the current president is for not attempting any of this unhelpful silliness, himself.  Sometime soon Sen. Paul will realize that, if nominated [a HUGE “if” BTW], he will not be running against Barack Obama.

Should he find himself running against the presumptive Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, well, see that’s a problem, too . . . because Secretary of State Clinton actually set up a Bureau of Energy Resources to do something like what Paul suggests—only in a real world way and better—so this particular issue might not be a terrific choice for future debate

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/10/14 at 12:04 PM
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Sunday, March 09, 2014

CPAC 2014 Selects Rand Paul As Candidate Least Likely To Succeed

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Well, it hardly seems possible that it’s already been a year since the last time Rand Paul won the CPAC Candidate Least Likely to Succeed pageant but, there you have it.  The straws have been counted and Sen. Aqua Buddha is the overwhelming favorite out of a packed field of conservative firebrands and luminaries and a few leftover kooks for old times’ sake . . .

See for yourself:

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Not to burst Sen. Paul’s bubble or rain on his victory parade but the results of the CPAC straw poll mean squat in real world politics.  Furthermore, I could have saved the American Conservative Union a whole lot of time and money spent pursuing this meaningless outcome by telling them last year around this time, or ditto the year before, what the result would be.

See, for better or worse, CPAC which started in the early ‘70s, has been converted, over the last few years, into a Libertarian Lovefest

Notwithstanding GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio’s enthusiastic cheerleading:

This is a sampling of people from all 50 states who are at the forefront of the conservative moment.

Well, sorry Tony but you know, and I know, the CPAC straw poll is no such thing.  It is, rather, a barometer of what’s going on in the highly exclusive club of earnest young white men, 18-25 years old, with the inflexible intransigence and uncompromising conviction of fresh converts. 

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Posted by Bette Noir on 03/09/14 at 11:42 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16NuttersTeabaggery

Friday, March 07, 2014

Listen Up, Poors!  Feed Your Souls!

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(h/t Big Bad Bald Bastard - what a swell idea!)

OK Poors, maybe you can’t afford to go to CPAC to feel the love, in person, and learn all of the great ways Conservatives can change your lives but that’s where Rump Roast can help by reporting the Good News (wouldn’t a nice hunk of rump roast taste really good right now?). 

Fahgeddaboudit! Poors.  Feed Your Souls, you silly moochers.  So what if your parents are welfare-sucking meth heads who haven’t gotten dressed since 2006 and who are too busy feeding their heads to put apples in brown bags for you?  Stay hungry!

Jesus and the GOP love you.  And Paul Ryan has spent a lot of time and taxpayer dollars flying from swing state to swing state to investigate your plight and he now has a shitload of Poor Ideas!

P.S.  Remember Poors, it’s not the policies that suck, it’s the word choice.

RYAN/POORS 2016

And for even more #RyanFail please visit yr Wonkette.

Posted by Bette Noir on 03/07/14 at 07:49 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBqhatevwrElection '16Paul Ryan

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Bad News, Poors!  Paul Ryan Wants to Take Away Free Lunch at Schools!

So you will be free to once again lurve your children.  Speaking at CPAC he opined:

He then told an anecdote he said was relayed to him by Eloise Anderson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) Department of Children and Families secretary.

“She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program,” Ryan said.

“He told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids,” he continued. “He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand.”

Yes we libs think having kids get a free hot lunch at school (not to mention breakfast) is the height of parental neglect and lack of caring.  And not, you know, maybe lack of food and neat brown bags in the house.

Why does Paul Ryan hate the Poors he’s trying to save so much?

via

Posted by marindenver on 03/06/14 at 03:03 PM
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

C’mon Truth, Get Your Damn Shoes On!

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“A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but it has never been verified as originating with Twain. This quote may have originated with Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) who attributed it to an old proverb in a sermon delivered on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855. Spurgeon was a celebrated English fundamentalist Baptist preacher. His words were: “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.”

Brace yourselves, Roasters, it’s starting early this time around.  You know what I mean, right? that goofy quadrennial American reality show called The Making of The President, in which a gang of nattering political nabobs join in a rousing cacophonous chorus of Me! ME!! Look at meeeee!

One of the talking points that seems to be developing legs, on the Right, is the Lawless Obama meme.  Rallying round that notion, I expect the pundits of the courtier press to be donning their little amateur constitutionalist thinking caps, any minute now, and letting us in on what their “gut” tells them is unconstitutional.  And we the people will commence quivering with fear because . . . ASSAULT ON LIBERTY!!!

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Posted by Bette Noir on 02/18/14 at 10:57 AM
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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sister Boogie Woman Rising

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Republicans are quite vexed, in this pre-election period, that they have been smeared with the dastardly War on Women rep.  And who could blame them?  Without getting into the nits and gnats of the history of misogyny and sexism, they certainly didn’t invent such a thing [although they did invite the Church People into their tent and, I think it’s fair to say, the Church People did have a hand in inventing it].

Be that as it may, Republicans certainly never have gone out of their way to actually help or encourage or empower women, either.  And now, before the GOP has had a couple of decades to recover from the first Black president, they are being forced to mobilize against the spectral notion of a first female president.

The Republican Party is scared to death of Hillary Clinton because Hillary Clinton has “Boogie.”

Let’s let Lily Tomlin, her own self, remind us why that’s so frightening . . .

So.  Let the hilarity ensue because it’s awfully hard to fight against something you can’t fathom.

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Posted by Bette Noir on 02/12/14 at 10:44 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '16Hillary ClintonNutters

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