George Bush Becomes Pro-Choice

Some of the phrasing in George Bush’™s speech looks like it could have come out of a NARAL brochure. Is George now a pro-choice guy? Nah! I’™m thinking this is just one more example of the patented incompetence of the Bush team.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Mr. Bush has spent seven years doing exactly what Republicans accuse liberals of. He’™s not raised taxes, for sure, but he’™s spent our tax dollars like a drunken Yale cheerleader. He’™s not dismantled the military, but he’™s misused time and time again. And Bush has certainly not called for abortion on demand, but here he is, in the 2008 State of the Union speech, his last important speech, supporting the main tenet of the pro-choice crowd. From the White House transcript of the SOTU (my emphasis):

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. (Applause.) The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. (Applause.) So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one refor

Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Richard Blair |

Republican Flu Season: Whackjobberai Teabaggerhea is Rampant

Stay home April 15th so you don’t catch the Republican Whackjob Flu, and also so you don’t get exposed to the thousands of perverted sex acts infected GOPers will be performing in public. GOP marriages will collapse because of this disease, and after Iowa and Vermont, there are few enough GOP marriages intact. Suck it NOMTWEETS!

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Republicans are under the weather lately. GOP Governors Palin, Jindal and Sandford couldn’t find a way to screw their own constituents by refusing stimulus money, the stock market is up and offering a glimmer of hope, gay marriage is gaining a foothold in Vermont, Washington, DC and Iowa, change the landscape for that issue, and Barack Obama just got back from a successful trip to Europe which included a side trip to Iraq where US troops mobbed the President. Worse still, there’s a dire outbreaak of whackjobberai Teabaggerhea, that disease that inflicts Republicans from time to time, and this may be the worst outbreak on record. Oh, sure, the mere nomination of Sarah Palin in the Fall, followed by her characterizing Obama as palling with terrorists, represented a dangerous outbreak of the whackjob flu.

The whackjob flu can strike any Republican, but when it does it makes them do some pretty whack job things. I’m thinking Rush Limbaugh has a premanent case of the disease, which leads one to believe that at least one man is right to call him a “Brainwashed Nazi.” Heck, and that was a fan of his show who did that!

CALLER: Thanks Rush. Rush listen, I voted Republican and I really didn’t want to see Obama get in office. But you know Rush, you’re one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing. First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue was the torture issue. I’m a veteran. We’re not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, North Korea. There’s other ways of interrogating people, and you just kept harping about, it’s okay, or it’s not really torture. And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners will killed under torture.

And it was crazy for you to go on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It’s like you’re all brainwashed. And my last comment is, no matter what Obama does, you will still criticize him because I believe you are brainwashed. You’re just – and I hate to say it – but I think you’re a brainwashed Nazi. Anyone who can believe in torture has got to be – there has got to be something wrong with them.

Rush Limbaugh, of course, lashed out and called the caller a RINO, because to Rush has the GOP Whackjob Flu as part of his permanent condition. I’m betting that’s why Limbaugh was addicted to drugs a few years back. Self-medication – that’s the ticket!

Perhaps what took the Republicans over the top, what lessened their immune systems enough so all of them are catching the whackjob flu are indications that liberals are winning the culture wars. Hey, mass murders across the nation have Republicans and their friends the NRA on the run a little bit. Liberals are winning on the issue of gay marriage as well – heck, there’s a phenomenon on Twitter where everyone types “suck it, @NOMTWEETS,” to screw around with the ugly organization National Organization for Marriage. Those folks are taking a huge beating.

Manifestations of the disease? Man, the Republican whackjob flu, Whackjobberai Teabaggerhea is striking everywhere, so be careful. Republicans across the country are going to be performing sex acts with each other on April 15th. Yes, you heard it right. Led by such whackjobs as Glenn Beck and the FoxNews team, Republicans across the country are going to “teabag” with each other at the same time. OK, we might excuse this as a warped little fraternity trick, but it seems they think masses of GOP members licking each other in the privates is going to be an effective protest against taxes, or some such nonsense. The Centers for Disease Control needs to get on this fast, as there is a clear risk of sexually transmitted disease with this sort of behavior, and I don’t think they make condoms for testicles. The rest of you, please stay off the streets on the 15th of April – Republicans Gone Wild has never looked like this.

Of course there’s more evidence of this epidemic. One Republican Congressman, Spencer Bachus of Alabama, is counting the socialists in Congress, and cigar smokers are joining the tea bag brigade to protest health care for children. The Republican tea baggers won’t let RNC Chair Michael Steele speak at an event, even though he dearly wants to join in the fun. (As I understand it, he’s allowed to tea bag, just not allowed to stand on stage and exhort Republicans while they commit the sex acts in public.)

Wow! I don’t think there is a cure for the Whackjob Flu. Yes, if you are a reality-based liberal you have a certain immunity. Still, avoiding FoxNews is a good prophylactic. You can also make sure not to turn on any radio shows that feature fat blowhard Republicans. Other than that, stay indoors if you can, and if you absolutely must go out on April 15th, make sure you have a blindfold for the kids.

Saturday, April 11th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Gun Nut Poplawski Feared Zionists

The story of the Pittsburgh cop killer Richard Poplawski get more sordid today. Seems he was all worried about conspiracy theories that featured Zionist control of the known universe. Screws loose, for sure, and ripe for the revolution talk by Republicans Bachman, Turner Diaries and Beck. SPLC working overtime today, for sure.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I suppose this was inevitable, and must be driving some mass hysteria over at Stormfront. (No, I will not link to that hate group, but their immediate speculation on the crime centered on whether the guy was one of “them.”) Newspapers are reporting that Richard Poplawski was not only upset with the whackjobbery notion that Barack Obama was going to take his guns, but also at the notion that Zionist controlled the world. Alas, that mention is a mere aside in this story from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Within minutes, all three officers were fatally shot by the subject of the domestic call, later identified as Richard “Pop” Poplawski, 22. A dishonorably charged Marine, he adhered to a number of right-wing conspiracy theories and expressed fears of a “Zionist nation” revoking his right to own guns.

There’s a blogger here who has some interesting insight. And here’s a transcript from an interview with Poplawski’s best friend Eddie Perkovic, who has a MySpace page with explicit ravings about Zionist conspiracies. The transcript is linked from an OpEdNews diary, but the interview is on WPXI:

Q What can you tell us about him?

Eddie: Umm. he was a pretty straightforward guy. he was never on any drugs he never did anything out of line he wasn’t involved in any gangs, any militias, he just believed in his right to bear arms; he believed that hard economic times were, you know, gonna put forth a, you know, gun bans. That sort of thing. ..he uh, he basically believed in what our forefathers had put before us and thought that it was being distorted by the, you know, zionist control of the government, and he didn’t believe in that. Uh Also, I don’t think that the way he went about solving it was the right way to do it though.

Reporter: And did he have a lot of, I take it he had a lot of guns? He collected guns and things like that?

Eddie: he only had about 4 firearms

Q. How do you know him?

Eddie: I’ve been best friends with him since I was born.

I wouldn’t impute to Poplawski the motives Eddie Perkovic imputes to him, necessarily, but this is beginning to look particularly ugly with dashes of gunnuttery mixed with ladles of bigotry and whackjobbiness. That’s a stew worked, as I noted last night, by the Republican Pundits Gone Wild like Glenn Beck and his partner in crime, Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.

By the way, is Wayne LaPierre French? I’m thinking his name in itself should wave a red flag as to whether he should be allowed to have a gun.

Sunday, April 5th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Colbert Goes Stewart on Glenn Beck

It’s really disheartening that, between all of the cable news outlets, we can be subjected to 20 hours of politically oriented news programming every evening, yet it takes two 30 minute humor shows (44 minutes total, if the commercials aren’t considered) to really get to the nub of the right wing wankery.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

It’s very sad when the best source of debunking the right wing noise machine comes from a cable channel that’s devoted to comedy. A few weeks back, Jon Stewart spent nearly a week castigating CNBC (in general) and Jim Cramer (in particular) for their cheerleading of the financial markets, even as Wall Street was clearly in the midst of a supercritical, nuclear meltdown.

Yesterday evening, Stephen Colbert took his own shot at an easy target – Glenn Beck. Here’s a wipe-the-tears-from-your-eyes funny clip of Colbert’s rant:

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The 10/31 Project
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

It’s really disheartening that, between all of the cable news outlets, we can be subjected to 20 hours of politically oriented news programming every evening, yet it takes two 30 minute humor shows (44 minutes total, if the commercials aren’t considered) to really get to the nub of the right wing wankery.

What’s killing me is that the right wing yakkers would have been screaming for left-centrists commentators to be rendered to GITMO on charges of sedition, had any of the very few left-center voices on TV in 2005 been advocating for the level of civil disobedience that the right wing yakkers are now pushing in 2009.

Glenn Greenwald has a great breakdown on the endless right wing pity party.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 by Richard Blair |

AIG, Ed Liddy, and Me in NYC

Ed Liddy, CEO of AIG, certainly wasn’t expecting me to come calling at AIG Headquarters in New York City today. Maybe that’s why he didn’t come down and speak to me?

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Editor’s update, 3/19/08: I wrote the post below on Tuesday evening, and have since written a lengthy piece on my trip to AIG headquarters in NYC, and posted it here. Enjoy…

It was a long, but ultimately satisfying day on the streets of New York City’s financial district. On Wednesday, I’ll write at length about my trip, but for starters, here’s a quick picture taken opposite AIG’s headquarters at 70 Pine St. around 2PM this afternoon:

Richard at AIG headquarters

I stood in that place for about 4 hours, directly in front of the small entrance to the huge American International Building (which I learned was up for sale). It was impossible for anyone exiting or entering the building to miss me. Some of the stares were precious. Some of the comments I received moved me. But no one ignored me, and no one went out of their way to aggravate me.

Interestingly enough, I had a couple of experiences heading to and returning from AIG that were also worthy of mention. I’ll roll the whole thing up for ASZ readers on Wednesday morning.

While I was in NYC and incommunicado today, a bit of AIG news broke, via a report from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo:

Fresh details, meanwhile, pushed outrage over AIG ever higher: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo reported that 73 company employees received bonus checks of $1 million or more last Friday [emphasis mine]. This at a company that was failing so spectacularly that the government felt the need to prop it up with a $170 billion bailout.

So, the bottom line is that the bonus payments were fait accompli, and the money was in employee’s bank accounts well before this story broke on Saturday.

Good luck on recovering that money, Secretary Geithner.

The political kabuki theater continues – only the actors have changed in 2009. The basic script is relatively intact.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

CNBC, PRNewswire, or AP?

Ok, this is too much. Osama (remember him?) is apparently a victim of the global economic downturn, and is being forced to franchise the al-Qaida–„– brand to terrorist groups around the world, even in embattled Somalia…

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Here’s an excerpt – you decide (link below):

…[Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Michael] Maples said the Somali extremist group al-Shabaab is poised to formally merge with al-Qaida, expanding the terrorist franchise in East Africa. An analysis of the propaganda released by both groups recently highlights their ideological similarities, suggesting a merger is forthcoming, Maples said.

Al-Shabaab conducts almost daily attacks in Somalia. A merger would strengthen al-Qaida’s foothold in East Africa…

Here’s the answer.

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Rick Santorum Goes All “Crusades” Again

Rick Santorum is at it again, this time defending the anti-Islamic ideas of Geert Wilders, the extremist right wing Dutch Parlimentarian. It is becoming clear that Rick Santorum is not the token liberal on the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer, but their representative from the 15th Century. He’s a Republican Pundit Gone Wild.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Rick Santorum has been crying “Islamofascist” since well before his humiliating and much deserved defeat for Senate a couple years ago. The guy is basically a one-trick pony. He whines when Christianity is supposedly persecuted, but Rick is all about distorting the Muslim faith. Today’s Santorum column in the Philadelphia Inquirer combines both halves of Santorum’s twisted ovsession. First he defends Geert Wilders, the extremist right wing Dutch politician whose movie “Fitna” has been banned in the Netherlands. (Wilders heads his own political Party in the Netherlands, and its main focus is to make the Netherlands an explicitly Christian country – maybe that’s why Santorum is so attracted to Wilders’ ideas.)

As is usual, Santorum’s column is breathless with dire whines and predictions. The world is going soft on terror, at least as Santorum sees it. Of course Santorum’s notion of “going soft on terror” is when duly elected democracies promote policies of tolerance. But Santorum is positively over the edge in congratulating himself in this article. He’s whined and predicted for a long time now that Islamofascists are the greatest threat to humanity since, since, un, the greatest threat ever. To that end, all of Islam is a target. And in this column Santorum congratulates himself for being proven right, with more breathless dire warnings:

The gathering storm I have been warning of for years has now formed over the West. Yet instead of fighting the gradual incursion of Sharia and the demands of an intolerant, even militant Islam, Westerners are cowering and fatalistic. Last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury conceded that acceptance of some parts of Sharia in Britain seemed “unavoidable.”

Bullcrap. Santorum is waiting in the wings to be the hero, no doubt. Meanwhile thinking people of the world are helping battle for the hearts and minds of those who follow Islam, calling for the capture and destruction of Islamic terrorists, surely, but allowing that Muslims should be encouraged to follow their religion peacefully as full members of the international community.

Santorum and Wilders are examples of precisely what is wrong in this world. They wish to combat extremism with their own brand of ugly extremism. Santorum earned much infamy, well-deserved, in this country with his extremist stances on gay and lesbian citizens, showing that his stance is one of contempt rather than of the love his religion teaches him. Yup, one-trick pony that he is, his stance towards Islam is of contempt rather than the love his religion teaches him. Heck, I’m thinking Rick Santorum would only be happy if the entire West were ruled by his brand of Sharia, one that employed the Inquisition, and one that ran Crusades. The West long ago evolved from such base notions, but Santorum doesn’t believe in evolution, either.

Once again the Philadelphia Inquirer should be ashamed for publishing this man’s desperate whiney screeds. Surely Santorum’s is a call for help, not necessarily against the IslamoFascists he is fixated on, but from the extremism that grips his own heart.

Thursday, February 12th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

#1 Qualification for RNC Chair? Gun Ownership

What qualifies a Republican to lead the GOP as RNC Chair? Why the amount and type of guns he owns qualifies a guy (always a guy), doesn’t it? In a debate the candidates for RNC Chair counted their guns, and the party is even morally weaker as a result. Micheal Steele, with no guns to his name, likely bows out of the race.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It is not astuteness, wisdom or party loyalty the Republicans seek. It is not regional representation or an attempt to sway demographics. The Republicans are not looking for political power or someone with a history of success either, which would be difficult given the last two election cycles. It seems clear from a debate sponsored by Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist’s group, that the GOP values gun ownership quite highly, and that it is at least one qualification for RNC Chairmanship, if not the #1 qualification. Here’s some reporting from that debate from the Gun Guys, who themselves quoted the National Journal’s Hotline blog:

When moderator Grover Norquist asked how many firearms the candidates own, the current RNC chairman, Mike Duncan, who despite presiding over his party’s 2008 electoral trouncing is reapplying for his job, noted proudly that he claims four handguns and two rifles.

Rival Katon Dawson, chairman of the South Carolina GOP, said that he has “too many to count.”

Former OH Secretary of State Ken Blackwell was willing to count. Seven, he said, adding: “And I’m good.”

MI GOP chairman Saul Anuzis said he has two guns, but in case the RNC’s 168 committee members, who will vote this month for the next party chairman, wanted to verify his stash, Anuzis said, perhaps only half jokingly, that he is not allowed to carry them in Washington.

Chip Saltsman, who managed Mike Huckabee’s presidential campaign, offered up a list so long it was hard to track the pistol persuasion.

And GOPAC head Michael Steele, a one-term lieutenant governor of blue state MD, was the only man on the panel to say that he hasn’t a single firearm.

Hotline discusses why such gun talk is innappropriate, and I’d agree it is innappropriate, especially in a city like Washington DC where the citizens are trying mightily to control gun violence. But the real question here is why the question comes up at all, and what it has to do with a Republican’s qualifications for running his party.

As it stands, if gun ownership is a vitally important qualification for RNC Chair, then Michael Steele seems out of the running. Katon Dawson of SC and Chip Saltzman seem to be the front runners by this estimation. But the better questions might be about which of these candidates owns semi-automatic weapons. Or maybe someone should suggest they have a shootout. At a target range? Come on! A target range doesn’t show a true measure of a Republican’s devotion to guns. Maybe we could have a shootout among the candidates, or perhaps we could send them all on a hunting trip with Dick Cheney, and the survivor becomes RNC Chair. Hmm. I can just see Mike Duncan out there carrying a couple rifles and four handguns, a regular Pancho Villa or something.

This is as pitiful as. . . a Republican. –Nuff said.

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Bicycle Enthusiasts are Terrorists

The Washington Post ran a stellar report yesterday about illegal surveillance by the Maryland Police, which stooped to investigating people advocating for bicycle lanes in cities. Oh, the HORROR! Bicycle lanes. A coincidence that the Maryland government at the time was run by Robert Ehrlich and Michael Steele, both Republicans? No.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

In Maryland that was evidently the case, according to an article by Lisa Rein and Josh White in yesterday’s Washington Post. More complete details are now out about the suveillance program conducted by the Maryland State Police, and it is shocking the kinds of citizens groups that agency decided to infiltrate and report on, on the slim rationalization that the groups might be harboring terrorists. This is a mighty report, that’s for sure. Here’s the lead, from the Washington Post:

The Maryland State Police surveillance of advocacy groups was far more extensive than previously acknowledged, with records showing that troopers monitored – and labeled as terrorists – activists devoted to such wide-ranging causes as promoting human rights and establishing bike lanes.

Intelligence officers created a voluminous file on Norfolk-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling the group a “security threat” because of concerns that members would disrupt the circus. Angry consumers fighting a 72 percent electricity rate increase in 2006 were targeted. The DC Anti-War Network, which opposes the Iraq war, was designated a white supremacist group, without explanation.

One of the possible “crimes” in the file police opened on Amnesty International, a world-renowned human rights group: “civil rights.”

According to hundreds of pages of newly obtained police documents, the groups were swept into a broad surveillance operation that started in 2005 with routine preparations for the scheduled executions of two men on death row.

The operation has been called a “waste of resources” by the current police superintendent and “undemocratic” by the governor.

I’m willing to bet, based on the fearmongering inherent in these actions, and the incompetence the officers showed in choosing who to monitor, that every single one of the officers who hatched this illegal and unconstitutional surveillance program were Republicans. Though he was not implicated in any of this wrongdoing, the Governor of Maryland at the time, Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., is a Republican. Micheal Steele, current GOPAC Chair and candidate for the Chair of the RNC, was Lietenant Governor of Maryland when these ugly crimes took place. Alas, Republicans will counter that they are not crimes since no charges have been filed, but I value the constitution far more highly than they do.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a bicycle enthusist, and log ten to forty mile trips quite often throughout the spring and summer. I have even joined an advocacy group here in PA, the Friends of Schuylkill River Park. Thankfully I live in Pennsylvania, and there is no evidence, as yet, that police or others gone wild in their zeal to perform Homeland Security tasks have targeted that organization.

Monday, January 5th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

GOP Racist Wins Party Office in Florida

Down in Limbaugh and Coulter coutry, Palm Beach County, they just elected a Republican Committeeman with plenty of White Supremacist experience. Heck, his Dad is a former KKK Grand Wizard and his Mom used to be married to David Duke. Derek Black still lives at home, but may not end up as a committeeman after all.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, he’™s just going to be GOP Committeeman in Palm Beach, but there’™s no doubt Derek Black has some fine racist roots. He’™s just a teenager, but he’™s the son of Donald Black, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and publisher of the racist web site (sorry, I will not link there). His mother is David Duke’™s ex-wife. If that isn’™t enough, young Mr. Derek Black was quite the little Klansman in his impressionable youth. From the Palm Beach Post:

Young Derek Black is still living at his family’™s home on Lakeland Drive, according to records.

It is from that location that Don Black, his dad, produces a racist Web site, Several entries in blogs on the site Wednesday were stuffed with ethnic slurs directed at blacks, Jewish people and Hispanics, in addition to spelling and grammar mistakes.

But Derek has also made a name for himself in this country’™s white supremacist crowd.

In 2001, he was just 12 when USA Today highlighted his work at creating a children’™s page on That page included white supremacist songs, bulletin boards and anti-Martin Luther King bedtime stories. Don Black, the story pointed out, keeps a photo of his son in a Confederate uniform on his desk.

The teenage boy, who sports flaming red hair, is currently listed as a radio commentator on his dad’™s site.

To the Republicans credit, they are saying they require candidates to sign a loyalty oath, and Derek Black has not done so. They’™re going to disqualify him. They require loyalty oaths???

The real problem here is that the Republican Party down in the Coulter and Limbaugh part of Florida didn’™t do a good job vetting their candidates. Sure, they see their mistake now, but it is their incompetence that got them into this mess. Still, a group that requires loyalty oaths fits right in whith White Supremacist groups, doesn’™t it?

Thursday, August 28th, 2008 by Richard Blair |
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