The State of the Union as Pep Rally and Stump Speech

I’ve made no secret of my complete disdain for the State of the Union address, pointing out that it’s almost entirely made up of empty rhetoric and is a boring and awkward affair for everyone involved. But if finally occurred to me the morning after the most recent one why I hate it so much: It’s a pep rally.
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RNC vs Peter King on the NSA

The Republican National Committee last week made the blatantly hypocritical move of adopting a resolution condemning what they called unconstitutional NSA surveillance programs. This from the same party that defended illegal surveillance under Bush (though to be fair, Bush isn’t black). Rep. Peter King is hopping mad about it because he may be wrong, but he’s consistently wrong.
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Empty Platitude Festival 2014

Tonight is the State of the Union speech, or as I call it, Empty Platitude Festival 2014. Watch as the meaningless buzzwords fly through the air! Gaze in awe to the thrills and chills of trite cliches performing feats of wonder for your entertainment! Then listen to pundits tell you What It All Means in the most serious of terms. Let me save them the trouble: It means nothing. Absolutely nothing. And no one should watch it or give a shit about it.

Newsmax: Obama ‘Seizes Control’ of D.C. Circuit

Here’s a great example of dishonest right-wing spin (and yes, there is dishonest left-wing spin as well) from Newsmax, which says that President Obama has “seized control” of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. OMG! Seized control? You mean like sent in armed agents to take it over? Not quite.
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Bruce Walker’s Right Wing Rose Colored Glasses

Someone named Bruce Walker (no idea who he is) writing at the badly misnamed American Thinker website has a couple of illogical positions. One is that “leftists” are responsible for keeping the Republicans from nominating a truly conservative presidential candidate; the other is that conservatives should vote in Democratic primaries to force a conservative Democrat as their nominee. But he starts with a little sexism:
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Tancredo: New IRS Regs an ‘Assault’ on Free Speech

Tom Tancredo, former congressman turned wingnut columnist and professional anti-immigration agitator, responds to new propose IRS guidelines on what can and can’t be done by 501(c)(4) groups with all the nuance and intellectual integrity one would expect. Which is to say he screams “OMG, Obama is destroying freedom of speech” at the top of his lungs while hyperventilating.
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Vitter: My Position is Dictatorship When Democrats Do It

So Harry Reid finally got up the gumption to at least partly do away with the lazy filibuster when it comes to presidential nominees (but not for legislation), so now we get to witness Republicans screaming bloody murder over a policy they backed just 8 years ago. Here’s David “Diaper Man” Vitter on Twitter (hey, that rhymes):
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Liz Cheney and Political Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan writes about the recent dustup between Liz Cheney, her sister Mary and her sister-in-law Heather Poe and points out, correctly, that this is just the latest public playing out of a longstanding conflict in Republican circles, where people who are personally fine with gay people and want equality for them nonetheless use anti-gay bigotry for political gain.
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Clinton vs Warren in 2016?

There has been a lot of speculation recently about a possible Elizabeth Warren candidacy for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016, challenging Hillary Clinton, who has been the presumptive nominee for many years now. I don’t think that’s likely to happen, but it does bring up some interesting issues. Like this:
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