NRCC Puts Its Money Where The Insanity Is

I think this means they’re desperate:

The National Republican Congressional Committee, which runs the GOP effort to recapture the House, has now expanded its list of vulnerable Republican incumbents the NRCC is committed to protecting, and one new name jumped out at me: Rep. Bill Posey of Florida.

Rep. Posey, as it happens, is the lead sponsor and creator of the so-called “birther” bill, which would require future presidential candidates to prove their citizenship.

That means the national Republican Party is prepared to invest resources in propping up a de facto leader of the whacked out fringe movement that’s been raising crackpot questions about President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy for office.

How sane Americans are supposed to take them seriously is anybody’s guess.

Meanwhile, CNN admits Birther claims are patently ridiculous:

Adam Serwer noted yesterday that the whole Birther movement “is probably hurting CNN more than it’s hurting the GOP.” That’s a very persuasive point. The fact that the Republican base has more than its share of nuts is well established, but CNN wants to be taken seriously, and Lou Dobbs’ strange obsession with nonsense makes that difficult.

According to a Media Bistro report today, CNN President Jon Klein contacted some “Lou Dobbs Tonight” staffers yesterday to explain that the Birther story is baseless. Klein reminded the staffers that he asked CNN researchers to investigate the matter, and found that the allegations are baseless. “It seems this story is dead,” Klein said in his email, “because anyone who still is not convinced doesn’t really have a legitimate beef.”

Yet sees no problem with allowing Dobbs to continue pursuing said non-story:

Asked if CNN is concerned that Dobbs’ repeated granting of airtime to theories the network has conclusively debunked amounts to overkill and could harm CNN’s credibility, Klein brushed off the possibility. “We respect our viewers enough to present them the facts and let them make up their own minds,” he said, adding that what Dobbs does is “his editorial decision to make.”

[snip]

Asked if CNN would take any action if Dobbs continued airing the birther theories, Klein said No: “I think no good journalist would ever say that a particular story will never be covered again. Every day brings new facts, new pegs.”

Something tells me that the “most trusted name in news” doesn’t understand jack diddly shit about news.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Another day, another round of Con and Blue Dog dumbfuckery on health care reform. Sigh.

The big news, of course, is that Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman stepped hard on the Blue Dogs’ tails:

A good health care bill has already passed the House Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee. The legislation hasn’t progressed to the floor yet because it has not yet passed the Energy and Commerce Committee. And we’re still waiting on Energy and Commerce because it has seven conservative Blue Dog Dems who aren’t satisfied with the package.

Democratic leaders have spent a whole lot of time this week trying to respond to the Blue Dogs’ concerns, but the negotiations haven’t produced a resolution. This afternoon, there’s talk that the leadership may just skip the Energy and Commerce Committee altogether.

Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) says there is “no alternative” but to have healthcare legislation bypass his Energy and Commerce Committee if Blue Dog Democrats don’t accept a deal worked out Friday.

[snip]

“I won’t allow them to hand over control of our committee to Republicans,” Waxman told reporters. “I don’t see what other alternative we have, because we’re not going to let them empower Republicans on the committee.”

Paging Sen. Reid – this is what balls look like. Now please go obtain some.

Shortly afterward, Blue Dogs left a closed-door meeting with their panties in a wad after trying to yank the bill sharply right. Good.

Compromise and harmony and all that rot is fantastic – except when it compromises Americans’ best shot at meaningful health care reform. If the Blue Dogs want to play Con (didn’t we used to call them Bush Dogs?), they’re welcome to. They’d just best be prepared to have a rolled-up newspaper taken to their backsides, because they’ve earned it with their own stupidity:

The Washington Post’s Harold Mayerson rips into the Blue Dogs:

Centrist Democrats’ opposition to health reform verges on the incoherent. A caucus (the Blue Dogs) formed ostensibly to promote balanced budgets now disapproves of the proposed taxes that would cover the expenses of the new programs. The congressional centrists say, commendably, that they want to squeeze more economies out of the system, but they oppose giving more power to an agency that would set the payment scales for physicians.

[…] The Republican opposition to President Obama’s push for health-care reform, on the other hand, makes clear political sense. If they can stop Obama on health care, as South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint recently noted, it “will be his Waterloo.” Why Democrats of any ideology want to cripple their own president in his first year in office, and for seeking an objective that has been a stated goal of their party since the Truman administration, is a more mysterious matter.

Is the additional tax burden on small businesses their concern? If so, good news: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found that only the top 4 percent of those businesses would be affected by the surcharge that House Democratic leaders proposed, and that’s based on the original proposal, before Speaker Nancy Pelosi altered it to include just the wealthiest fraction of the top 1 percent of Americans. Would such a tax impede an economic recovery? In downturns this severe, it’s been broad-based consumer spending and public-sector investment that have revived the economy. Private investment doesn’t jump-start a revival of purchasing; it follows it.

They’ve chopped off the legs they were standing on. Time for them to either get with the program or get the fuck out. I know the health care companies that fund them will be disappointed after blowing all that cash for their compliance, but life’s tough. They can cry themselves to sleep in their leftover millions.

But the Blue Dogs’ dumbfuckery is but an appetizer compared to the Cons’ banquet of stupid. These inane fucktards can’t even get their stories straight – first comes Rep. Blunt saying the GOP will not release a health care reform plan of their own, then comes Boehner saying they’re putting the finishing touches on their bill, really, truly, it’ll be here aaannnyy day now! I certainly hope so – it’ll be like Christmas for the Dems.

Next you have Rep. Virginia Foxx, who must be living in a shiny happy place in her own head:

Perhaps the most attention-grabbing moment occurred when Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) announced that “there are no Americans who don’t have healthcare“:

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) disputes President Obama’s claim that 47 million Americans lack healthcare. “There are no Americans who don’t have healthcare. Everybody in this country has access to healthcare,” she says. “We do have about 7.5 million Americans who want to purchase health insurance who can not afford it,” she says, urging Congress to adopt a new plan for healthcare reform that wouldn’t “destroy what is good about healthcare in this country” and “give the government control of our lives.”

Well, isn’t that great news for the millions upon millions of Americans who don’t have health care? I suppose Virginia’s buying them all insurance and a pony.

Meanwhile, Michael Steele holds the Terry Schiavo case up as the shining example of the horror of government intervention into private medical decisions – forgetting it was the Cons who did the intervening. Peggy Noonan thinks we don’t need health care reform because doctors and hospitals sometimes kindly reduce the bill for struggling patients. And Reps Price and Camp think Americans are all as stupid as their base’s lunatic fringe:

Republican Representatives Tom Price (MD–he’s a doctor, you should listen to him!) and Dave Camp–having no constructive things to do to address Americ
ans’ health care concerns–appear on the Morning Joe show to field concern trolling, er…questions from no less than four “journalists” on health care. And Mike Barnicle gets the closest to actually digging for the truth when Rep. Price drops the name of The Lewin Group and Barnicle asks who funds The Lewin Group. Price deflects it with a mealy-mouthed answer about their foundation, but since he’s a Republican and he’s moving his lips, you gotta know he’s a big fat liar:

The political battle over health-care reform is waged largely with numbers, and few number-crunchers have shaped the debate as much as the Lewin Group, a consulting firm whose research has been widely cited by opponents of a public insurance option.

To Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican whip, it is “the nonpartisan Lewin Group.” To Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee, it is an “independent research firm.” To Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the second-ranking Republican on the pivotal Finance Committee, it is “well known as one of the most nonpartisan groups in the country.”

Generally left unsaid amid all the citations is that the Lewin Group is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest insurers.

Yup – that sure is nonpartisan. Too bad “nonpartisan” doesn’t mean the same thing as “unbiased,” huh?

Let’s have Howard Fineman wrap it all in a big bow:

Newsweek‘s Howard Fineman was on MSNBC’s “Countdown” last night, and talked a bit about how the congressional minority is approaching the debate over health care reform. He was a little more candid than usual.

He initially talked about the Republican Party now being run by a new “RNC” — “Rush, Newt, [Liz] Cheney” — that is more committed stoking “racial fears and resentments” and talking about “where Barack Obama was born.”

Fineman added, “I talked to people on the Hill all day today. Talked to Republicans as well as Democrats. Republicans claims they have a plan. They don’t. They claim they’re going to have a plan. They won’t. Their whole strategy … is to stand on the sidelines with their arms folded while the Democrats try to work this thing out. That’s their whole strategy.”

He forgot to mention their “scream ZOMG SOCIALIZM!!1!!11!” strategy, but otherwise, I’d say he’s pretty much nailed it.

Like Michael Steele said, why don’t the Dems just do it without the Cons? It makes a fuck of a lot more sense than trying to do it with them.

Last Chance to Get Yer Treasure Aboard


NP be takin’ all the Elitist Bastards she can muster aboard. Ye don’t want to miss a nice trip to the beach, now, do ye? Get yer best elitist bastardry submitted to elitistbastardscarnival@gmail.com by end o’ day Friday so ye’re assured plenty o’ sand, sun and rum.

Besides, ye don’t want to miss yer chance to sunbathe with a celebrity, do ye? That’s right – we have a new sailor this time out, and he be famous among skeptics. Ye’ll be tellin’ yer grandchildren about the time ye sailed alongside o’ the illustrious Pirate X – but only if ye get aboard the ship on time.

(Postdated for those who lingered in the tavern too long – new content be below)

Mah Excuses

If we’re very fortunate, this week’s Sunday Sensational Science will be all about botany. It was supposed to be about the geology of the Wupatki region, but, well, you see, the cat got involved…


It’s a large book with glossy pages, and she thinks I purchased it for her comfort rather than our edification.

All right, so the fact that the Colorado Plateau has a complicated history also has something to do with it. Whereas plants are dead easy. So botany it shall be – as long as the cat doesn’t get Ideas.

I wouldn’t put it past her. Every day, I come home at lunch intending to get some reading done, and every day, I end up on the floor playing hair tie instead:


I mean, really, how am I supposed to resist something so cute and homicidal?

Yet More Birther Bullshit

Credit where it’s due: Rep. Dave Reichert has to do a tapdance for the crazies in his base, but at least he admits the President is a natural-born citizen and wishes him success:

Meanwhile, G. Gordon Liddy’s on Hardball bleating insanity:

G. Gordon Liddy, the man behind the first Watergate break-in and founding father of the “whacko wing” of the Republican party is now claiming that President Obama is an “undocumented illegal alien.” This afternoon, an oddly “catatonoic” Liddy told Chris Matthews that he has a written deposition from President Obama’s step-grandmother where she says that Obama was born in a hospital in Mombasa:

MATTHEWS: He [Obama] wasn’t born here and he’s never gone through a naturalization that you know of, right?

LIDDY: Not that I know of.

MATTHEWS: Therefore he’s here illegally. You’re saying he’s an undocumented alien.

LIDDY: Illegal alien.

His “proof” is a “deposition” from Obama’s step-grandmother. Only one wee problem with that:

Alex Koppelman looks more into Liddy’s claim:
What Liddy was referring to is actually an affidavit filed by a street preacher named Ron McRae, who conducted an interview with Sarah Obama, the second wife of President Obama’s grandfather, through a translator. (Sarah Obama is not the president’s biological grandmother, but he calls her “Granny Sarah.”)

In that interview, Sarah Obama does in fact say at one point that she was there for her grandson’s birth. But that was a mistake, a confusion in translation. As soon as a jubilant McRae began to press her for further details about her grandson being born in Kenya, the family realized the mistake and corrected him. And corrected him. And corrected him. (The audio is available for download here.)

Poor Granny Sarah and family. They don’t realize that once Cons misunderstand you, they’ll go on gleefully repeating what they thought you said no matter how many times you attempt to disabuse them of their notions.

I mean, hell, even the whole of CNN can’t rein Lou Dobbs in:

CNN’s Lou Dobbs has, by all appearances, gone mad. He now questions the citizenship status of the president on a daily basis, and tells his audience that he’s a victim of a “liberal media” conspiracy.

CNN has taken to debunking its own host over and over again.

In the wake of Lou Dobbs’ repeated claims on the July 15 edition of his radio show that President Obama needs to “produce a birth certificate” and that Obama’s birth certificate posted online has “some issues,” several of Dobbs’ CNN colleagues as well as other members of the media have debunked Obama birth certificate theories, often ridiculing those who embrace such theories as “nut jobs” who advance “ludicrous” claims that are “more conspiratorial than factual.” Indeed, according to the Los Angeles Times, CNN distanced itself from Dobbs’ comments. Reporter James Rainey wrote: “[O]ne CNN employee reminded me several times that Dobbs’ most pointed assertions were made on his radio program, which is unconnected to CNN.”

Nonetheless, Dobbs has continued to repeat the “birther” claims on both CNN and his radio show, stating on the July 20 edition of his CNN program that the birth certificate questions offered by “passionate supporters” “won’t go away because they haven’t been dealt with, it seems possible to, straightforwardly and quickly,” and saying on the July 21 edition of his CNN show, “We had people, including reporters from the LA Times, calling up because I referred to this. … Instead of calling the White House to ask why they didn’t do it, they’re calling me to ask why I said I don’t know what the reality is. No one does.” Additionally, on the July 21 edition of his radio show, Dobbs criticized “certain quarters of the national liberal media that are just absolutely trying to knock down the issue of President Obama’s birth certificate,” stating that they are “focused on being subservient and servile to this presidency rather than being inquisitive and doing their jobs with, you know, the White House.”

CNN, there’s an easy solution to this embarrassing problem of yours: ship his ass off to Faux News where he belongs.

That, however, is the least of our worries (h/t):

But there’s more to this story than Dobbs. And the phenomenon in play isn’t just about a birth certificate. And it’s also not isolated or accidental.

Because, yes, viewed in a vacuum, the movement seems like the nutty fringe. But viewed in a larger historical context, birthers share obvious ties to traditional right-wing assaults on previous Democrats, and birthers have all the marks of a GOP Noise Machine creation. The movement is about a larger, more sinister attempt to paint Obama as illegitimate, foreign,
and suspect (i.e. not like you and me). To portray him as “a gratuitous interloper,” as radio host G. Gordon Liddy put it. As someone who isn’t who he says he is. As — let’s face it — the Manchurian Candidate, with all the evil connotations that come with it. (“WHO SENT YOU???” von Brunn demanded to know of Obama.)

And it’s about the disturbing role media figures like Dobbs play when they act as the bridge — as the transmitter — between the radical and the mainstream. When they legitimize the craziness, if only in the eyes of the crazies themselves. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted this week, “The home run for conspiracists of any stripe is when their ideas can leave the lunatic fringe and enter the mainstream.”

If our media and the Republican party weren’t so fucked in the head, none of this inane bullshit would’ve ever gained traction. It’s a sad indictment of both that the voices of reason within them are so few and far between, while so many enjoy playing right along with the conspiracy theorists.

Kudos to those sane enough to call bullshit when they see it.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

If any of you were in any doubts as to what the Cons think of health care reform, let Sen. James Inhofe clue you in:

Appearing on Janet Parshall’s radio show yesterday, Inhofe argued that the defeat of President Clinton’s health care reform “started the demise of Bill Clinton that led to the 1994 Republican takeover of the House and the Senate.” He then added that he is now “tracking the demise” of Obama’s health care plans and it is making him “optimistic”:

INHOFE: They ought to know, they ought to know from history. This is a losing proposition for them. And for those out there who believe, that would like to have something optimistic to look at, we are plotting the demise on a week by week basis of where Bill Clinton was in 1993 and where Obama is today and his demise ratio is greater than Clinton’s was in 1993. So, he’s trying to do the same things, except more extreme.

[snip]

Inhofe also appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday, where he was asked if Republicans had the votes “to block health care, the radical stuff in the Senate.” Inhofe said he thought they did:

INHOFE: Oh, I think so. I really do. In fact, there’ll be a lot of Democrats…. [snip] And so we have all the issues on our side on this thing, and I think, you know, I just hope the President keeps talking about it, keeps trying to rush it through. We can stall it. And that’s going to be a huge gain for those of us who want to turn this thing over in the 2010 election.

The Cons don’t give two tugs on a dead dog’s dick whether you have affordable health care or not. All they want to do is kill this reform effort so they can take back Congress. And the dumbfuck Dems in the Senate are playing right into their hands:

The writing, it seems, was on the wall. Yesterday, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) signaled that a pre-recess vote on health care reform was unlikely, with members preferring to “take a little longer to get it right.” Even President Obama started talking more about getting this done “this year,” rather than “by August.”

Today, it became official.

The top Democrat in the Senate says lawmakers won’t vote until after August on health care, a blow to President Barack Obama’s ambitious timetable.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters Thursday the Finance Committee will act on its portion of the bill before Congress’ monthlong break. Then Reid will merge that bill with separate legislation already passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The Nevada Democrat says the decision to delay a vote was made Wednesday night in the hopes of getting a final bipartisan bill.

Remember, the Republican strategy, which they’ve openly acknowledged, has been to force the delay in order to improve their chances of killing the bill. Conservatives and other opponents of reform will see this as a tactical victory, and evidence that the larger effort is in peril. It will be up to Democrats and reform advocates to prove them wrong.

The fucktard who’s become the major roadblock in the Senate has no motivation to prove them wrong. Not when his pockets are heavily lined with insurance industry cash:

Roll Call reported today that Senate Democrats are “increasingly frustrated by the secrecy and duration of Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) bipartisan talks on health care reform.” One unnamed Senator appeared irritated that Baucus ” is unlikely to run any deal by his caucus before he shakes hands on an agreement with Republicans.” OpenLeft then wondered how Baucus’s campaigns are financed and found that from 2005 to the present, the health insurance industry has significant representation among his top-ten donors:

baucus-funding
If Harry Reid weren’t such a wet reed, this wouldn’t matter so much. But ol’ Harry’s just not up to whipping his caucus into shape. His phone number is (202 224 3542). Give him an earful – let him know that our expectation is that the Dems don’t go home until that bill’s done. While you’re at it, sign the petition telling House Dems the same thing.

All of this just goes to prove we need better fucking Dems. We sure as shit don’t need more Cons. Especially not when this is their idea of “solving” the health care crisis:

When House Republicans go on the attack against health care reform, one of the more common responses is to ask, “OK, but where’s the Republican plan?” It’s easy to attack; it’s challenging to be productive.

Last night, The Hill reported that the GOP caucus has effectively given up on offering an alternative, and will instead stick to attacking.

Republicans who had promised last month to offer a healthcare reform alternative are now suggesting no such bill will be introduced.

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said, “Our bill is never going to get to the floor, so why confuse the focus? We clearly have principles; we could have language, but why start diverting attention from this really bad piece of work they’ve got to whatever we’re offering right now?”

Blunt, who is running for Senate, is chairman of the House GOP Health Care Solutions Group. Cantor made similar comments to The Hill in June, saying Republicans would eventually offer legislative language on healthcare reform.

Democrats on Wednesday called out Republicans, reminding reporters in an e-mail that Blunt had guaranteed that the GOP would introduce a bill.

[snip]

What’s more, the Republican track record on alternative solutions is truly abysmal. The GOP budget alternative was a humiliating failure (you may recall, it lacked numbers). The GOP stimulus alternative — tax cuts and a five-years spending freeze — was so ridiculous, even some conservatives labeled it “insane.” With this in mind, there’s no need for the party to humiliate itself with a health care plan.

No, they’ve humiliated themselves quite enough as it is.

And before theCons head out to dance on the Dems’ graves, they may want to have a listen to one of the lone voices of sanity in their party:

“If we don’t do something on health-care reform,” [Sen. Chuck] Grassley said, “the voters are more apt to blame Republicans than Democrats.” Grassley also expressed his disagreement with the Republican Party of Iowa, which called health care reform an “experiment Iowa cannot afford.” “I would suggest there have been some Republicans who haven’t been looking at the polls,” Grassley said in a weekly conference call with Iowa reporters, in which he announced he would continue to seek a bipartisan bill:

He referred to a poll showing voters would assign blame 30 percent to the health industry, 22 to Republicans, 11 percent to Democrats and only 4 percent to Obama.

So it seems to me that we have a responsibility to the Republican Party not to be seen as destroying or at least not talking about things that people believe are wrong with the present health-care system,” Grassley said.

They’re ready to party like it’s 1994. Only Grassley seems to realize it’s 2009. Things are a little different. Americans threw the bums out last time health care reform failed, and got con artists instead. I’m pretty damned sure the Cons will suffer more than the bums this time.

Even with the chance that they’ll get their long-demanded delay, you can tell they’re worried. You know they’re up against a wall when they’re resorting to “But health care reform is unAmerican!” attacks, and even Michael Steele’s telling the Dems just to pass this shit already. I’m tasting blood in the water. Most of it tastes like elephant, not donkey.

This could possibly be the coup d’grace:

From the “whodda thunk” files:
In a first-of-its-kind study, the non-profit Rand Corp linked the rapid growth in U.S. health care costs to job losses and lower output. The study, published online by the journal Health Services Research, gives weight to President Barack Obama’s dire warnings about the impact of rising costs if Congress does not enact health care reform.

That’s gonna leave a mark. Makes it kinda easy to answer the “what’s in it for me?” question, doesn’t it just?

The Happy Hour drink specials have been a little heavy on the health care side, so let me put some fine Con hypocrisy on tap for you. Remember Rep. Marsha “Can’t Cry Emergency Every Time There’s a Katrina” Blackburn? Well, you’ll never ever in a million trillion years guess who’s been crying emergency:

I’m sure that any time a disaster threatens her state of Tennessee, she won’t cry emergency and bother to get federal funding to help people in need. I’m sure that-

The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Tennessee and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding on April 10, 2009.

[snip]

Well, OK, fine, but that’s the President, I’m sure Marsha Blackburn HERSELF never requested emergency funding for her state of Tennessee–

Members of Tennessee Delegation Urge Disaster Declaration for Five Counties Affected by Flooding

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Representatives Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn. 4), Bart Gordon (D-Tenn. 6), and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn. 7) have joined Governor Phil Bredesen in requesting that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issue a federal disaster declaration for five counties in Tennessee “to help farmers who have suffered crop losses and damage to farm equipment and structures as a result of excessive rain and extensive flooding that occurred in May.” The five counties are Bedford, Hickman, Lewis, Moore and Perry.

According to their letter to Secretary Vilsack, a declaration would allow qualifying farmers “to apply for a variety of federal farm disaster programs – including supplemental farm revenue payments, livestock assistance and low-interest emergency loans – through their local U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency office.”

OK, one time, fine, but there’s no history of this—

Title: Letter to The Honorable Mike Johanns, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Date: 07/12/2007

Alexander, Corker Join Tenn. Delegation In Requesting Disaster Declaration For Drought
from the Office of Senator Bob Corker

U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker joined other members of the Tennessee Congressional Delegation Tuesday in asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to issue an agricultural disaster declaration for all 95 Tennessee counties due to the results of the ongoing drought.

Marsha Blackburn
Member of congress

What’s your point? That Marsha Blackburn is a rank hypocrite whose statements don’t match her actions?

Is that, or is that not, some of the finest Con hypocrisy you’ve tasted this week?

You’re welcome.

Lying for Jesus: Proclamation Edition

Doesn’t this come under the heading of “Bearing false witness“?

The circus sideshow led by Sally Kern in Oklahoma gets more ridiculous by the day. Now a Baptist publication was caught red handed printing a copy of Kern’s morality proclamation along with faked signatures from other government officials as though they were endorsing that proclamation.

Now, a new controversy has taken center stage involving The Baptist Messenger, a weekly paper with about 68,000 subscribers put out by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. The publication reprinted the proclamation in its July 16 edition, complete with state seal and a signature by Governor Brad Henry and Secretary of State Susan Savage.

“It is not anything that the state is sponsoring, so to see it on such an official document that we filed is really surprising,” Savage said.

But given the situation in Oklahoma, these elected officials are soft-peddling what happened here:


Savage’s office has to verify the governor’s signature on all proclamations and affix the seal. Savage believes the paper took another proclamation signed on July 2 and merged the bottom half with the Kern proclamation.

“I think it’s unfortunate especially when it’s something that’s potentially controversial to have there be any misrepresentation of the state’s official position on it,” Savage said.

Well, I’m sure they didn’t see anything wrong with misrepresenting the government for the Lord. Not until they got caught playing with Photoshop, anyway.

Pathetic.

McCain’s Verbal Acrobatics

McCain does his best to make two mutually exclusive claims at once, leading to hilarity:

John McCain with a bit of verbal acrobatics on CNN’s American Morning, trying to say the stimulus package was a failure while decrying the “politics” being played when Ray LaHood told his Governor they were free to follow McCain and Kyl’s advice and turn down the money for Arizona.


CHETRY: All right. Republicans are hitting the Obama administration hard, not only over the cost of overhauling health care, but also the stimulus plan. Whether it’s working effectively and whether it’s worth the billions it cost. In Arizona, it turned up to a dustup between one senator and members of the administration, and now Senator John McCain is joining that fight over whether the stimulus spending should be outright canceled.

[snip]

CHETRY: What I’m wondering, though, is so we have Jon Kyl criticizing the stimulus, and saying that it’s failing.

MCCAIN: As have I, and it is.

CHETRY: Right. And both senators from the state are saying that. So, what about perhaps putting your money…

MCCAIN: We’re saying it failed.

CHETRY: What about putting your money where your mouth is and, OK, let’s not take any money.

MCCAIN: We are saying that it failed, it has failed by any measurement. And by the way, one of the cabinet secretaries told me over the phone in these words that the letter that was sent is political b.s. That’s what he said to me. And you know what? He’s right.

[snip – during which McCain does everything he can to change the subject, and manifestly does not attempt to put his money where his mouth is]

CHETRY: Back to the stimulus money, though. For and you Jon Kyl…

MCCAIN: It’s our tax dollars, and we obviously feel very strongly that we don’t want our tax dollars wasted, especially Arizona’s tax dollars. We send more money to Washington. The bill has been passed, the money is being distributed. Unfortunately, only 10 percent of it, and that is the case. But the stimulus has been a failure and everybody knows it.

CHETRY: So your governor, Jan Brewer, did put up on the Web site, where this money is going. Saying it’s going to protect some of (INAUDIBLE), it’s going to grow Arizona’s future, it’s going to create jobs. The mayor of Phoenix, who is a Democrat, says that he needs the money to build roads and to put people to work. They’re on the frontlines of these, are they wrong?

MCCAIN: I’m sure they’re probably – of course, they are correct in that the money will be of some help. It has been a failure and it is an outright failure and that’s undeniable.

Only 10% of the stimulus has been distributed, it’s already employing people and helping cities and states avoid utter meltdown, and Arizona doesn’t want to give any of the money back, but this fucktard declares it a failure. Priceless.

Sometimes, I wonder if John McLame realizes just how very, very ridiculous he sounds. I just hope Arizonans, especially those who are currently enjoying stimulus success, laugh this assclown out of his Senate seat come next election.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Con Party Motto: “If you can’t beat ‘em, try to terrify ‘em into submission.”

Last week, ThinkProgress noted that the right-wing had escalated its fearmongering rhetoric on health care, with multiple Republican members of Congress saying that Americans would die if health reform passed. “Absolutely,” replied Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) when asked if “government-run health care” will “end up killing more people than it saves.”

On the House floor yesterday, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) became the latest conservative to claim reform would kill people. “Last week Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: drop dead,” said Waite.

Now, mind you, this is coming from the same party that regularly tries to kill off Medicare and Social Security. So, who’s telling America’s seniors to “drop dead,” again?

Michael Steele’s singing the same tune, too. Unfortunately for both him and Waite, there’s a little statistic that rather takes a woodchipper to their talking points:

Neither Steele nor his right-wing allies mention that the United States has a higher “mortality amendable to health care” than European countries, which means “deaths from certain causes before age 75 that are potentially preventable with timely and effective health care.”

Michele Bachmann, meanwhile, wails,”Won’t someone think of the poor dear insurance companies?”

Crazy right-winger Michele Bachmann from Minnesota, in her floor speech, issued a litany of talking points against the public option, and said that the public option would be far cheaper than private insurance. And that’s a bad thing? Apparently it’s a bad thing for Michele Bachmann and her legion of crazy fans.

“Approximately 114 million Americans are expected to leave private health insurance. Why? Their employers will drop the insurance because the taxpayer-subsidized plan will be 30 to 40 percent cheaper. This action will collapse the private health insurance market, and then the Federal Government will own the health provider game.”

Free market’s a bitch, innit? And that’s what none of the Con scaremongers will mention – the public plan is just that: a health insurance plan. It’s got premiums and everything. The only difference between that and the private plans, really, is that the public plan doesn’t see a need to make utterly obscene profits. It’ll be such a shame the big private companies have to give up the multi-million dollar executive salaries, won’t it?

It’ll be almost as tragic as Blue Dogs losing those enormous contributions that cause them to love the insurance industry soooooo much.

The anti-health care reform crowd’s getting pretty rabid at this point. They’re smelling blood in the water. I think it’s gotten to DeMint’s head, because he threw down on President Obama while spouting off on conservative talk radio. DeMint challenging Obama to a debate on healthcare reminds me of a song about knives and gunfights…. but I digress. The best moment was this one:

On Levin’s show, DeMint said that if health care reform passes, it could be “Waterloo” for the conservative movement. “That’s why I’m using stronger language than I would normally use,” said DeMint.

Kinda reminds me of an old commercial, actually. I can’t remember the product they were selling, but the pitch was something about megalomaniacal claims that went horribly awry, and one of them was Napoleon saying “I will win at Waterloo.” The next scene showed Wellington kicking his ass. I think DeMint may be remembering the same commercial, and he’s starting to realize who Napoleon is here.

Yup.

I think they’re all feeling the desperation. Hell, they’re so desperate that Grassley’s trying to sell 80-vote snake oil to the public. And if you think this is all about what’s best for the American people, you might want to consider what Sen. George Voinovich let slip on Faux News:

The interview wrapped up with this interesting exchange.

Host: Senator, one question, before we go, on health care. How much of this disagreement with the administration is about the policy of health care and how to fix it, and how much of it is Republicans’ obviously understandable desire to declaw the president politically. How much does that fit into the equation?

Voinovich: I think it’s probably 50-50.

Putting aside the obvious slant of the question, Voinovich’s candid response was nevertheless interesting. At least half of the Republican opposition to health care reform, according to a sitting Republican senator, is nothing more than partisan politics.

Heh. At least. Myself, I’d peg it at 78% partisan politics and 22% batshit fucking insanity, but that’s just a back-of-the-envelope estimate.

Why so much insanity, you ask? Well, because Cons display so damned much of it:

During a debate on pay-as-you-go rules today, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) urged her colleagues to “agree that we’re going to have PAYGO enforcement.” As an example of what she meant, Blackburn declared “that we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina“:

BLACKBURN: Let’s agree that we’re going to have PAYGO enforcement. That we’re not going to cry ‘emergency’ every time we have a Katrina, every time we have a Tsunami, every time we have a need for extra spending, that we don’t go call for a special appropriation that allows us to circumvent the PAYGO rules.

PAYGO’s pretty batshit fucking insane to begin with, but of course, that’s not the insanity I’m highlighting here. Now, I agree we don’t need to “cry emergency” every time we have a tsunami – after all, Seattle’s last tsunami was about an inch or so high – but how many Katrinas should we collect first? Is there a minimum number of citizens who have to be killed, injured or stranded? A certain number of city miles underwater? Incredulous minds want to know.

Incredulous minds also what to know what the fuck the media’s thinking:

This item, from TPM’s David Kurtz, was completely serious.

In what has to be among Fox News’ all-time lowlights, Neil Cavuto had a segment a short while ago on whether the new surgeon general nominee, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, is “too fat” for the post. Seriously. In support of this argument, they had on as a guest some guy wearing a “No Chubbies” T-shirt. Again, I’m serious. Watch.

While the Fox News “discussion” on this was predictably ridiculous, there’s apparently widespread discussion over Benjamin’s weight. I can’t recall ever hearing a comparable “debate” over the physical characteristics of another recent presidential nominee, but the surgeon general nominee’s weight has somehow, at least according to some, managed to become a legitimate area of interest.

This ABC News report ran yesterday about whether Benjamin, despite her obvious qualifications, “gives the wrong message” to the country.

Only in our celebrity-obsessed culture could a woman like this be called “fat:”

And only a media as fucking hopeless as ours could think that attacking this woman over her weight is news.

Of course, we’re living in a country where state senators think they have a right to control women’s bodies:

State Rep. John Adams (R-OH) has re-introduced radical legislation that would prevent a woman from having an abortion until she gets written consent from the biological father. As proposed, the bill triggers criminal penalties against women for “providing a false biological father.” Adams says the “first-degree misdemeanor” would be punishable with up to “six months” in jail and a “$1,000 fine.” Labeled by Adams as a “father’s right bill,” the lawmaker would give men the final say on abortion in the state of Ohio:

In the case where the father isn’t known, House Bill 252 would compel the woman to provide a list of names of people who may be the father in an effort to determine paternity. The bill also would make it a crime for women to lie about who the father is, and make it illegal for doctors to perform abortions without the father’s consent.

The bill would force a woman to have a child if the father does not agree to an abortion.

“That child should be born, not killed,” Adams said.

I’ll tell you what. When science makes men capable of carrying unwanted fetuses to term, risking their health, letting themselves in for a whole host of life-long complications, and forcing them to endure the pain and trauma of childbirth, then you fucktards can talk to me about “father’s rights.” But we’re not there yet. So: shut the fuck up.

Meanwhile, Blue Dogs jumping on the “we can’t publicly fund abortions!” wagon discover that it’s not about abortion – it’s about sex:

Speaking of abortions, there’s lots of talk today about Tim Ryan being kicked out of Democrats For Life for being insufficiently hostile to contraception in addition to being hostile to abortion.
“I can’t figure out for the life of me how to stop pregnancies without contraception,” he said.

Apparently, he was under the impression that “common ground” only meant shaming women out of having abortions, not shaming out of using birth control too. His bad. He hasn’t been paying attention.

Cons keep talking about how Europeanized we are. I only wish America were so enlightened.

We Need Birther Control

We’ve got a population explosion of Birthers. The stupidity’s multiplying exponentially, much like Tribbles. I think an air drop of condoms is in order.

The first person who needs one snapped right over his ejaculations is Lou Dobbs:

Today, Political Wire posted a clip of an episode of Lou Dobbs’ radio show in which he not only questions President Obama’s citizenship and promotes the bizarre right-wing “birther” theory, but also insinuates that Obama might be undocumented:

DOBBS: I’m starting to think we have a document issue. You suppose he’s un — no, I won’t even use the word undocumented, it wouldn’t be right.

In an exchange with a caller, Dobbs agrees that Obama’s entire presidency and all his actions could be deemed “illegal.”

This, mind you, after his very own guest host utterly annihilated two Birthers on his very own show:

Pilgrim quoted a number sources including FactCheck.org’s article The truth about Obama’s birth certificate which should have laid this nonsense to rest:

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as “supporting documents” to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

CNN, you exported Glenn Beck to Faux News where he belonged – isn’t it time you hauled Lou Dobbs over there, too?

The folks whose frenzy he’s feeding with his nonsense are even eating their own (h/t):

A little evidence that this conspiracy theory is showing up in uncomfortable situations for Republicans: Here’s Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), a moderate Republican who hasn’t announced whether he’s running for re-election or for the U.S. Senate next year, at a town hall meeting earlier this month.

A woman gets up, holding a baggie containing her birth certificate, and unleashes a rambling, minute-long tirade tirade about how the president is a “citizen of Kenya.” The crowd hoots and cheers when she’s done. Castle responds, diplomatically: “Well I don’t know what comment that invites. If you’re referring to the president, then he is a citizen of the United States.” That elicits roars and boos from the crowd, so Castle presses on. “You can boo, but he is a citizen of the United States.”

Poor Rep. Castle. He’s an island of (relative) sanity in a stormy sea of Birthers, baby-juicers, and only-a-theoriers. I wouldn’t blame him if he gives re-election a complete miss. With a base like this, who wants to run?

And he’s got Rep. John Campbell for a colleague, a Birther Con who’s so fucking pathetic that Tweety wiped the floor with him:

Today on MSNBC, host Chris Matthews interviewed Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), co-sponsor of a bill that would require candidates for president in the future to present a copy of his or her birth certificate “to establish that the candidate meets the qualifications” for president. “The proposal is not crazy,” Campbell said in defense of the measure. “Congressman, nice try,” Matthews replied. “What you’re doing is appeasing the nutcases…you’re verifying the paranoia out there,” he said. Matthews then held up a copy of Obama’s birth certificate and said, “That’s the way to deal with this, mail this birth certificate to the whacko wing of your party.”

Matthews asked Campbell seven times if he believes Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen, and after a series of dodges, Matthews said, “You are feeding the whacko wing of your party.” Campbell finally answered, “As far as I know, Yes.” “As far as you know? I’m showing you his birth certificate!” Matthews exclaimed:

MATTHEWS: It’s on the screen now, take a close look. It says “Barack Hussein Obama.” He was born August 4, 1961 in Honolulu, is that a state? Yes it was. His mother was caucasian, his father was African. What more do you want? He’s male. He was born, by the way at 7:20 P.M. in the island of Oahu. What more do you want? I mean, I’m serious, you say “as far as you know?” You are playing to the crazies.

Of course he is, Chris. He’s one of them. It’s just awesome that he’s such a pathetic git that you finally browbeat him into admitting that Obama was born in the United States, a fact that’s only in doubt among the terminally stupid.

Dday’s got it nailed:

It just shows you how diverged the conversations have become in this country. Democrats are debating how to tackle health care and whether a public option works best and how best to get costs under control, and the right has become fixated on the idea that Barack Obama’s family faked his birth certificate 47 years ago, knowing he would run for President eventually and need a cover story.

Yup. They’re really that stupid. And while condoms prevent a lot of unwanted births and STDs, there’s no equivalent to stop the spread of abject, batshit insane, infinitely ridiculous stupidity. All we can hope is that their population explosion eventually overruns their resourse base and breeds itself into extinction.

In the meantime, we shall continue to point, laugh, and wave the President’s birth certificate in their faces.