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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 45,135

Journal Archives

The Rude Pundit: "Preemptive Eulogy for the Obama Presidency"

Then We Came to the End (A Preemptive Eulogy for the Obama Presidency):


You feel it, don't you? This week marked the end of the Obama presidency. No, he won't be forced out of office, but he will be forced to make do with whatever he can accomplish alone, which, at this point, is extraordinarily little. The Benghazi investigation was worthless to anyone not on Rand Paul's mailing list. But the IRS's questioning of Tea Party groups is mildly disconcerting, even if it doesn't rise to full-blown "scandal" proportions, and the Justice Department's subpoena of the phone records of AP reporters is genuinely scary, perhaps because chances are that it was perfectly legal. Still, what is true, what is legal, and what is real don't matter anymore at this point.

The reason why the Rude Pundit is declaring the Obama presidency done is not merely because the IRS story confirms everything that paranoid right-wingers believe about Obama, as The Daily Show discussed last night. No, it's done because the AP story confirms everything that liberals and libertarians feared about Obama's embrace and expansion of the surveillance state established under Bush and Cheney and his immensely troubling silencing of whistleblowers. The press is gleefully, grotesquely feeding on the outrage.

One of the stark differences between Republicans and Democrats is that, no matter what, Republicans, on the whole, will stand by a Republican president. They will prevent investigations (like they tried to do with 9/11). They will dismiss any allegations. They will go down with the ship. Democrats will turn on a Democratic president, especially when that president is weak. They will demand investigations. They will be outraged. They will run away like rats (like keeping Bill Clinton sidelined during the 2000 election). Neither approach is honorable, but at least the Democratic way is a bit more, you know, democratic.


the rest (sad):

"Why Would The IRS Look At US?"

Stephen F. Hayes-1st Journalist To Print Doctored E-Mail As Fact=Official Biographer For Dick Cheney

Big h/t to AnnetteK for some background info on Stephen Hayes, the first journalist to print the doctored email as fact:

Stephen F. Hayes (born 1974) is a columnist for The Weekly Standard, a prominent American conservative magazine. Hayes has been selected as the official biographer for Vice President Richard Cheney.

Here is the Weekly Standard article he wrote containing the fake email as fact:

Mister Cheney, who just yesterday (or today?), coincidentally said Benghazi was the worst thing he had ever seen in government, maybe has some 'splainin' to do.



not only on staff at the Weekly Standard, but a #Fox News contributor, also too!

Before joining The Weekly Standard, Hayes was a senior writer for National Journal's Hotline. He also served for six years as Director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University. His work has appeared in the New York Post, Washington Times, Salon.com, National Review, and Reason. He has been a commentator on CNN, The McLaughlin Group, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, CNBC, and C-SPAN.


Issa voted AGAINST legislation that would have protected the AP

Darrell Issa is outraged that the Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records through a subpoena of the AP's telecommunications provider. He's right to condemn the action, but as nycsouthpaw points out, it's worth remembering that Issa voted against legislation that would have protected the AP:

Issa was one of 21 House members who opposed the Free Flow of Information Act of 2007, a measure that would have forbidden federal investigators from compelling journalists to give evidence without first obtaining a court order. The bill included a section that specifically forbid subpoenaing journalists’ phone records from “communication service providers” to the same extent that the law protected the journalists themselves.


A Day In the Life Of A Republican Congressman

Tea Party 'Leader' Dick Armey Confuses Benghazi With Bangladesh

Fox News host Gregg Jarrett pointed out to Armey that the White House had insisted that it was surprised by news that the IRS was targeting tea party groups.

"I imagine that they probably don't know any more about that than they do about Bangladesh or any number of other things," the former House majority leader quipped.

"You mean, Benghazi," Jarrett observed.

"The White House is a beautiful example of being capable of hiding your hands," Armey continued. "First they throw the ball through your window, then they hide their hands and pretend they know nothing about it. Of course, the White House knows about it. They are the most ruthless politicians I've ever seen in America."

video & more:

The media mysteriously seems to have forgotten all this.

The year 2010 gave us Citizens United. Suddenly corporations were people who had the right of free speech. But corporations didn't want their free speech to be disclosed. Enter the Koch Bros., Dick Armey and Freedom Works. In their basement lab, they concocted the very first para-political party, the Tea Party, disguised as a social welfare agency, a 501(c)4. Tea Party Groups were mysteriously born all over the US. Not surprisingly, people and the media began howling loudly that the Tea Party was a wholly political entity that should be a 527 entity for IRS purposes. The media mysteriously seems to have forgotten all this.

Again not surprisingly the IRS began to question this rash of new applicants. That's how you make a determination. But ah, the Koch Bros were ready. In March 2012 a conservative legal foundation, the Landmark Legal Foundation filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Treasury that the Tea Party groups were being unfairly targeted.

Shortly thereafter the IRS systematically changed its procedures to avoid the appearance of targeting. Also shortly after, Congress made substantial bi-partisan inquiries into the matter, including conducting an investigation. They also concluded that unless/until the rules are changed, there can be no appearance of targeting.

So the Tea Party which is a 100% political organization can pretend it is a social welfare agency until the rules are changed by Congress. To fault IRS workers who were responding to complaints is an ex post facto re-investigation of something that has already been examined and addressed.

It must be Ground Hog Day.
The media mysteriously seems to have forgotten all this.

Biden Endorses Bullets Made Of Chocolate In Letter To 7-Year-Old

7-year-old boy gets handwritten letter from Biden


Pelosi: If Boehner Were A Woman, They’d Call Him ‘Weakest Speaker In History’

Source: Talking Points Memo

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has drawn no shortage of critics – even within his own party — but his predecessor thinks he's getting off easy.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Monday told MSNBC's Chris Hayes that Boehner would be slapped with a humbling label if he were a woman.

"Well, I will say this about John Boehner, and I have a good relationship," Pelosi said. "If he were a woman, they'd be calling him the weakest speaker in history."


“You know what, if a woman were speaker and nothing was happening in this way, they’d say, ‘Oh, my gosh. Oh, my gosh,’” Pelosi said. “I’m just getting a little, shall we say, tired of some of the ways they take a pass on some and not on others. We get criticized for accomplishing things. They don’t get criticized for not accomplishing things

Read more: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/pelosi-if-boehner-were-woman-theyd-call-him

REBRAND FAIL: FL GOP Latino Outreach Director Switches Parties

TUE MAY 14, 2013 AT 05:19 AM PDT
REBRAND FAIL: FL GOP Latino Outreach Director Switches Parties
by Brainwrap
How's that Rebranding Effort working out again???

A recent study from the Heritage foundation criticizing the cost of the congressional immigration reform bill did not get a rousing reception from Republicans from the start, and now it has cost the party a key operative. Pablo Pantoja, the RNC's head of Latino outreach in Florida, wrote in a letter Monday that, because of the study and its author's past racist writing, he felt the GOP was too steeped in intolerance for him to remain a member of it. The study's author, Jason Richwine, wrote in a dissertation: "No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against." He's left the foundation, but the damage is done.

Here's the letter he sent; since it was sent as an open letter I presume it's OK to repost it in full:

From: Pablo Pantoja
Subject: From Republican to Democrat

Date: May 13, 2013 5:57:11 PM EDT


Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party.

It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them.

Studies geared towards making – human beings – viewed as less because of their immigrant status to outright unacceptable claims, are at the center of the immigration debate. Without going too deep on everything surrounding immigration today, the more resounding example this past week was reported by several media outlets.

A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.” The researcher reinforces these views by saying “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.”

Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn’t take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten.

The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality. Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea.

When the political discourse resorts to intolerance and hate, we all lose in what makes America great and the progress made in society.

Although I was born an American citizen, I feel that my experience, and that of many from Puerto Rico, is intertwined with those who are referred to as illegal. My grandfather served in an all-Puerto Rican segregated Army unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then helped, along my grandmother, shatter glass ceilings for Puerto Rican women raising my aunt to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronomer with a PhD in astrophysics (an IQ of a genius as far as I’m concerned). Puerto Ricans, as many other Americans still today have to face issues of discrimination in voting and civil rights.

Regardless of what political affiliation people choose, my respect for some remains. I don’t expect all Hispanics to do the same (although I would hope so) but I’m taking a stand against this culture of intolerance.

I am also making a modest contribution (here: http://bit.ly/...) to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for the efforts in helping protect the rights of immigrants and civil liberties in general.

With warm regards,


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