Posted by: Rick | Monday, December 17, 2012

The Newtown Tipping Point?

The gun lobby exists for two reasons: To promote the financial interests of the firearms industry, and to make Wayne LaPierre and his cronies extremely rich. To these ends, the NRA leadership engages in a nonstop campaign of fearmongering designed to extract as much money as possible from responsible gun owners and others.

Viewed in this context, bloody massacres such as Newtown are not really a bad thing. Such events inevitably lead to a call for stricter gun laws, which allows LaPierre to replenish his bottomless coffers with an amped-up round of Second Amendment fearmongering. The carnage also may lead to a spike in gun sales, as citizens are deluded into thinking that more firepower will keep them safe in this dangerous world.

It’s all quite a racket, but at some point, the public at large may recoil at the senseless violence. We may now be at that point.

Posted by: Rick | Friday, December 14, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Follies

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd is suffering from a severe — possibly terminal — case of beltway-itis. This malady afflicts 80% of the nation’s political pundits and 100% of the pundits working for CNN. The chief symptom of beltway-itis is a compulsion to cast equal blame on Democrats and Republicans whenever anything bad might happen, regardless of the facts.

Chuck was on Morning Joe today sternly chastising both Barack Obama and John Boehner for “not knowing how to negotiate.” If only these two guys “knew how to negotiate,” said Chuck, this fiscal cliff thingy could be solved lickety-split.

This is nonsense. Here’s the truth: Barack Obama and John Boehner know how to negotiate just fine, but only Obama is doing it. He’s decided he’s not going to deal with Boehner until Boehner agrees to 1) allow upper income tax rates to go up, and 2) raise the debt ceiling without any conditions. Obama is taking this hard line because he’s pretty sure he can get away with it. Republicans will pay a heavy political price if they don’t knuckle under.

Barack Obama is playing hardball, and that offends Chuck Todd’s delicate bipartisan sensibilities. But Nancy Pelosi put it best: Figure it out, Speaker Boehner.

Posted by: Rick | Thursday, November 29, 2012

Party Of Jerks

From Politico:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Monday called on Republicans to “stop being the stupid party” and make a concerted effort to reach a broader swath of voters with an inclusive economic message that pre-empts efforts to caricature the GOP as the party of the rich.

Being the Stupid Party is the least of the GOP’s problems. They seem determined to remain the Asshole Party.

Three weeks after Mitt Romney got his clock cleaned by Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are still out there calling 47% of Americans moochers, slackers and freeloaders. If anything, these two are acting like even bigger assholes than they did before the election.

Now, Rush and Bill aren’t dumb. O’Reilly knows that if he doesn’t give his audience of angry white guys a daily dose of vitriol to go with their Metamucil, they’ll find some other loudmouth jerk who does. Same for Fat Boy. So the ludicrous characterizations of Barack Obama as a Kenyan socialist will continue, as will the sucking up to the rich and the trashing of the middle class. The right-wing beast must be fed — which is great for Democrats.

Even in the area of foreign policy, the Republican base demands some asshole behavior. To capitalize on this, Obama needs to nominate Susan Rice to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and watch as the right-wing media engages in yet another round of misogyny and racism. Trust me, the assholes will oblige. They won’t be able to help themselves, and by 2014 the gender gap will be the size of the Grand Canyon.

It’s a good time to be one of the good guys.

Posted by: Rick | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Rove Agonistes

There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Karl Rove explored ways to steal the presidency for Mitt Romney. But was he thwarted in the nick of time? —

Isn’t it pretty to think so? This would certainly explain Karl’s epic election night meltdown. Still, it seems unlikely.

See more here.

Posted by: Rick | Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What A Fool Believes (Poem)

GQ: How old do you think the Earth is?

MARCO RUBIO: I’m not a scientist, man. I can tell you what recorded history says, I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that’s a dispute amongst theologians and I think it has nothing to do with the gross domestic product or economic growth of the United States. I think the age of the universe has zero to do with how our economy is going to grow. I’m not a scientist. I don’t think I’m qualified to answer a question like that. At the end of the day, I think there are multiple theories out there on how the universe was created and I think this is a country where people should have the opportunity to teach them all. I think parents should be able to teach their kids what their faith says, what science says. Whether the Earth was created in 7 days, or 7 actual eras, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer that. It’s one of the great mysteries.  Think Progress

God does not use metaphor:
Moses split the Sea.
Jesus rode a dinosaur
All over Galilee.

The Earth is younger than it looks
To scientific eyes.
Fossils, rocks, and Darwin’s books
Are proof of Satan’s lies.

Global warming is a hoax,
Birth control’s a sin,
Sodomites are evil folks:
These truths I revel in.

I won’t give you my precious vote.
Until my views get stated.
Your chance to win will be remote,
But you’ll get nominated.

Posted by: Rick | Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tales From The S.S. Minnow: Episode One

At his press conference yesterday, Professor Obama called out the Skipper and Gilligan for their cheap, baseless attacks on Mary Ann. Gilligan immediately used the Professor’s computer (constructed of coconuts, passionfruit vines, and seashells) to send the following email:

Mr. Professor, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for the volcano. I think you failed before, during, and after the eruption.

Not to be outdone by his little buddy’s display of butch braggadocio, the Skipper, using the Professor’s telegraph (made of parts salvaged from the Minnow’s waterlogged transistor radio), issued this response via Morse Code:

I will do everything in my power to block Mary Ann from making any more banana cream pies. She has proven that she either doesn’t understand or she is not willing to accept evidence on its face.

The Professor is not worried.

Posted by: Rick | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More Unfunny Right-Wing Comedy

Up till now, Dennis Miller and Brad Stine were the only conservative comedians [sic] to cross my radar screen. That in 1999 Mr. Miller stopped being the least bit funny is universally acknowledged. Mr. Stine’s preternatural unfunniness is less celebrated, but you can get a taste of his high-decibel anti-comedy stylings here.

Today I discovered another right-wing comedian [sic] who is just as unfunny as Miller and Stine, if not more so. In fact, this guy makes Soupy Sales sound like George Carlin. His name is Steven Crowder, and here he is:

Thankfully, Mr. Crowder displays his talents only on his YouTube channel and on Fox News, so there’s little chance you’ll accidentally be exposed to one of his unfunny routines.

Posted by: Rick | Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mission: Impossible 5 — The Petraeus Innuendo

On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh told his listeners that the Petraeus-Broadwell-Allen-Kelley-Shirtless FBI Guy affair, far from being a kinky military sex scandal, is actually an elaborate sting operation (executed to perfection by “The Regime”) designed to intimidate General Petraeus into keeping quiet about what really happened at Benghazi. I kid you not. That’s what Limbaugh said.

Draining the Republican fever swamps won’t be easy, if it can be done at all.

Posted by: Rick | Monday, November 12, 2012

Benghazigate: The New Whitewater

The Republican Party is in a world of hurt. At some point, its corporate wing has to rein in its teabagger wing or the Party will become extinct.

But even as the wingnuttiest wingnuts are being spayed and neutered, they’ll need to be provided with something to occupy their angry little minds. If they don’t get it, they’re liable to attack the money men with torches and pitchforks.

Enter Bengazigate.

From now on, anything unusual that comes down the pike in the Obama Administration gets thrown into the Paranoia Pile as evidence of — well, who knows? Barack Obama did something wrong, and he’s so downright evil that it’s going to take monthsif not yearsto put all the pieces together. So when CIA director David Petraeus resigns over a sex romp, that becomes part of the plot. Sugar and spice.

It’s important to note that the president must never be charged with a specific act of malfeasance in these matters. To do so might make it possible for him to defend himself. Think of Kafka’s The Trial. The truth is out there, but it’s a moving target. It’s always just another subpoena away.

The template for this political strategy was formed in the nineties with the Whitewater pseudo-scandal. No one ever got to the bottom of Whitewater because there was nothing to get to the bottom of. That’s why it dragged on so long and had so many ridiculous offshoots.

But Whitewater also had the mainstream media — which, in those days, hated Bill Clinton with a passion — behind it. Today the media does not hate Barack Obama. It’s also much less powerful than it used to be. And Clinton ultimately made his enemies pay for their lunacy. All of which means that Republicans are only making things worse for themselves as they go down one Benghazi rabbit hole after another.

Please proceed, gentlemen.

Posted by: Rick | Saturday, November 10, 2012

An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Perhaps I’m simply caught up in the euphoria of knowing that I’ll never have to listen to Mitt Romney again, but I don’t see how President Obama can fail to open a giant can of whup-ass on Speaker Boehner in the upcoming “fiscal cliff” negotiations. The Republicans have no leverage. They’ve never given a damn about the deficit anyway, and they’re not about to start now. All they really care about is the Bush tax cuts for the rich. Those tax cuts will expire on January 1, and Obama would be perfectly happy to let them expire. So Boehner has no choice but to try to get the best deal he can. The trickle-down tax giveaways are history, and Boehner knows it.

Also history is the Republican strategy of intentionally trying to wreck the economy to win an election. The billionaires are in a foul mood after watching Karl Rove piss away $300 million of their money, and they’re not about to stand idly by while a bunch of Congressional teabaggers send the world back into recession. No more games. The money men are ready to make serious money again. They’re going to go Suge Knight on the Republican leadership and start hanging them out of windows until their minds get right.

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