Bailout Imbroglio: Politics, Power, Pulpits, & Profit

The failure to pass bailout legislation is a symptom of a larger issue’¦one that percolates in the background. Good governance must promote a social structure that insists the nation be neutral while accepting the soul’™s autonomy. Preserving our American identity hangs in the balance.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

We’™re in uncharted waters with a leaky boat and a storm on the horizon’¦but the GOP wants us to know that Nancy Pelosi is a mean-spirited partisan.

Let me see if I can get this straight. The Republican president of the United States sends the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Chairman to Capital Hill with a message of impending economic doom’¦asking the party in power to put aside partisanship and pass necessary legislation.

The party in power (Democrats) holds its nose and puts together a bill premised upon the gravity of the situation, endures John McCain’™s grandstanding at the eleventh hour, allows him to characterize his involvement as critical to the success of the process, spends hours meeting with those in the GOP who want to amend the bill, comes to an agreement on a bill the GOP leadership can support, and then brings the bill to a vote.

In that vote, over sixty percent of Democrats support legislation that was requested by the head of the opposition party, two thirds of the presidents fellow Republicans jump ship and oppose the bill, and the GOP house leadership wants Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to shoulder the blame?! Well there you have it’¦nothing illogical about that, right?

Frankly, I’™ve personally reached the point at which I’™m opposed to any attempt to glue what remains of our failed government back together. Unless and until politicians are held accountable for the consequences of their actions, I’™m in favor of pulling the rest of the metaphorical china from the cupboard and smashing it all on the floor. I say as much because I don’™t think anything will change until the American public is forced to face reality’¦even if that means standing in line for a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup.

Look, let’™s be honest as to what all of this GOP partisanship is about. From their self-serving perspective, it’™s power and money’¦and they’™re willing to do whatever it takes to obtain both. Voters, on the other hand, have allowed themselves to be drawn into an ideological struggle to define morality. Taken together, this is the underlying formula for the disaster we’™re witnessing.

Instead of a candid discussion on the merits of rescuing our financial structure, the political combatants have spent years defining our differences in terms of good versus evil; right versus wrong. While voters blindly engage in this theoretical tug of war, the real battle for dominance is waged in the trenches’¦replete with lobbyists looking to commit larceny in tandem with their trusted troopers’¦the political elite.

The unseen metrics of today’™s maelstrom center upon the pursuit of profit. Those house Republicans who opposed today’™s legislation tell us they are concerned about main street. In truth they, in concert with their corporate benefactors who want the government to insure their success without foregoing the profits that may eventually result from the government’™s intervention, see main street as a peripheral player.

Let me explain. If the bail out takes the current form, the companies that avail themselves of it will have to forego the upside of the very assets that have made them a ton of money during the housing bubble and now leads them to the edge of financial ruin. Conversely, if the legislation is structured as an insurance mechanism, they receive the financial assist they need without foregoing the future profits that may ensue with the passage of time and an improved economy.

In other words, house Republicans are carrying the water of Wall Street while telling us they’™re looking out for the interests of taxpayers. You see, one need only look at the proposal that came from the Bush administration’¦a virtual blank check to assi

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 by Richard Blair |

How to be a Hit at the Prom This Year! Dress Made of Condoms

Well, wouldn’t a dress made of condoms come in awfully handy on Prom night? The big question is how many whack job extreemists will show up to protest the dress.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Philadelphia Daily News has a picture of a wedding dress made of condoms, though I think it would probably come in far more handy as a Prom dress. Just think, all the other attendees would be your best friend as they head to their after-Prom activities (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

This was done by a design student at Rosemont College, where I’m sure extra security is being laid down with the expected protests from extremists whack jobs due in 5. . . 4. . . . 3. . . 2. . .

Monday, April 20th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Major Garrett, Wearing Underwear, Attends White House Briefing

Major Garrett of FoxNews showed up at a White House briefing yesterday dressed so radically that one of his colleagues exclaimed, “There’s a guy in his underwear back there.” It is unclear whether this was a calculated move for publicity by FoxNews, or whether Major Garrett was caught in one of those embarrassing dreams.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Major Garrett of FoxNews wore his underwear to a White House briefing yesterday. It was reported by Politico, who failed to weigh in on the boxers or briefs controversy.

I’m thinking the guy wanted to get an angle for a story on Bo, the Obama’s Portuguese Water dog. But other speculation is rampant behind the scenes, and revolves around restrooms at Reagan National Airport, teabagging, and squash courts. I understand Major Garrett is claiming the clothing is what he wears to the gym, which evidently is SOME gym!

Bottom line? Who wears gym clothes to a White House briefing? No, this isn’t a real issue, but I’m a bit of a Miss Manners on this sort of thing. I likely wouldn’t be able to bring myself to dress in anything more casual than a button-down short and khakis, and I am notorious for writing at the computer in my pajamas. Hey, there we go. Bloggers are stereotyped as typing in pajamas. Maybe Major Garrett is trying to make the stereotype of Fox reporters a little more edgy. Now that stereotype is of Fox reporters teabagging each other off the set, though, and I’m not sure there is anything edgier. Ergo, by showing up to the White House in his underwear, Major Garrett is trying to improve the reputation of FoxNews reporters.

Sunday, April 19th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Teabagging and Fox News Douchebaggery

Do they just not understand the pseudo-sexual references (both straight and gay) to the phrase, “teabagging”?? Whoever ginned up this campaign at Fox is looking like a total smacked ass at this point.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

As many have commented here and other places over the past week or so, the upcoming Fox News-inspired “Tax Day Tea Party” this coming Wednesday raises the bar on the concept of total lunacy.

Teabaggin’. Do these morons simply not understand the cultural sexual references, both straight and gay? Perhaps this video will help them grasp the concept:

Every time that I think that Fox News (and GOP media hacks in general) has lowered the national discourse to its lowest possible level, they surprise me. But still, I suppose it “sells” to their core audience.

Friday, April 10th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

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 |

Joe the Plumber and Tucker Carlson to Wed in Vermont

Tucker Carlson and Joe the Plumber are announcing their engagement on the web site Politico, and will be travelling to Vermont to wed as soon as the Governor signs the Marriage Equality Act. They make a cute couple. No word on the size of the engagement rings, but that may be too much information, anyways.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

They are ecstatic, I hear, that the Vermont Senate has passed the Marriage Equality Act, and can’™t wait until the Vermont House does the same. I also hear they are lobbying the Republican Governor of Vermont to sign the bill once it passes.

Don’™t they look beautiful in their blue dresses? Sure, some are saying those ‘œsnuggies’ are sweeping the Republican world, but we all know that Tucker and Joe look special together and this is truly their ‘œsomething blue.’ What, they don’™t come in red? Leave it to these two crazy guys to eschew the traditional white gowns.

Well, I’™m sure they’™ll make a happy couple. I hope we can all celebrate with them soon.

Friday, March 27th, 2009 by Richard Blair |
Category: glbt,Humor

Rush Limbaugh Attacked by GOP Lemming

Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia has stepped to the plate to defend John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who are what passes for Republican leadership nowadays, from attacks by the drug-addled and bloated King of Divisiveness, Rush Limbaugh. As attacks go, Gingrey’™s is as limp as they come. Everyone in the GOP is still afraid of Limbaugh.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

OK, I am dearly sorry to put that image in your brain. Suffice it to say that Rush Limbaugh has been attacked by only one GOP Lemming, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA). A career back bencher in Congress, Mr. Lemming Gingrey has come to the defense of Republican leaders in the House and Seante in response to Rush Limbaugh’™s belittling of them the other day. (Gingrey’™s role as lemming is best seen here, where he noted that the war in Iraq may be America’™s ‘œgreatest war.’) Surely this valiant Congressional soul is what the egos of John Boehner (rhymes with ‘œloner’) and Mitch McConnell need. From Politico:

Responding to President Barack Obama’™s recommendation to Republican congressional leaders last week that they not follow Limbaugh’™s lead, the conservative talkmeister said on his show that Obama is ‘œobviously more frightened of me than he is Mitch McConnell. He’™s more frightened of me than he is of, say, John Boehner, which doesn’™t say much about our party.’

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), who heads the conservative Republican Study Committee, did not take kindly to this assessment in an interview with Politico Tuesday.

‘œI think that our leadership, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, are taking the right approach,’ Gingrey said.

‘œI mean, it’™s easy if you’™re Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or even sometimes Newt Gingrich to stand back and throw bricks. You don’™t have to try to do what’™s best for your people and your party.You know you’™re just on these talk shows and you’™re living well and plus you stir up a bit of controversy and gin the base and that sort of thing. But when it comes to true leadership, not that these people couldn’™t be or wouldn’™t be good leaders, they’™re not in that position of John Boehner or Mitch McConnell.’

Asked to respond, Limbaugh, in an e-mail to Politico, wrote: ‘œI’™m sure he is doing his best but it does not appear to begood enough.He may not have noticed thatthe number of Republican colleagues he has in the House has dwindled.And theywill dwindle more if he and his friends don’™t show more leadership and effectiveness in battling the most left-wing agenda in modern history.And they won’™t continue to losebecause of me, but because of their relationship with the grass roots, which is hurting.Conservatives want leadership from those who claim to represent them.And we’™ll know it when we see it.’

Yes, you saw it. Rush Limbaugh defended the attack by this GOP Lemming with his cigar firmly behind his back. The world still waits for a Republican repudiation of the toxic politics of division as exemplified by Mr. Limbaugh. I’™ve heard of nobody holding their breath on that one.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Wasup? Change Is Coming

There’s a number of ways to frame elections. One of the most memorable is based upon Reagan’s “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” In the following video, the 2008 election is framed similarly utilizing the famous and funny “Wasup” beer commercial from a few years back.
Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

Remember the “Wasup commercial for Budweiser? Well, there’s a new version for the 2008 election that’s certainly worth viewing. I think it may well be the most effective campaign commercial I’ve seen this election cycle. Take a look at both below and let me know what you think.

Budweiser’s “Wasup” Commercial
Wasup 2008 – Change

Saturday, October 25th, 2008 by Daniel DiRito |

Prepping For Watching the Biden/Palin Debate, Understanding Gibberish

What do you do to prep for the debate? Stock up on moose meat? Well, I’™m reading everything, including all of the potential answers Palin could make. There’™s a new site on the web that gives it all to me, and lets me practice translating that gibberish Sarah Palin is known for. You know it’™s a code only moose can understand, don’™t you?

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Oh, I’™m not sure if I’™m going to have a drinking game or anything during the Biden/Palin debate. That just might get dangerous, and it’™s a school night, after all. But I am prepping for the debate. First, I’™m reading articles like this one on the ABCNews web site, so I know everything about these two master debaters that I can get my hands on. But I’™ve got another task.

You see, I’™m thinking when Sarah Palin was answering those questions from Katie Couric and saying sentences that really didn’™t make sense, she must have been speaking another language, or in code Maybe only the Fundamentalist Christians can understand her. Heck, in that code she speaks in she could have been saying that when she’™s elected they’™d go ahead and build that Bridge to Nowhere and use it for the rapture or something, as a sort of stairway to heaven or something. But if she said it in code, how would we know? This is serious, but I’™ve got an answer. Practice. Yeah, we’™re talkin’™ ‘™bout practice!

Practice at what? Well, now we have the Sarah Palin Interview Generator. It will produce the question and then the patented gibberish to match. I’™m going to spend hours at this thing, so I’™m definitely going to be ready for the big show Thursday night in St. Louis. Here’™s a sample from the Sarah Palin Interview Generator:

Q: How will you fix the economy?

A: The economy and putting it back on the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not just let one party try to kind of that closed door, good old boy network that has been the Washington elite. I don’™t know if the task is from Alaska that we work with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’™s in their country, also. They understand the dangers of terrorists having a stronghold in regions of their country, also. They understand the dangers of terrorists having a stronghold in regions of their country, also. And I asked President Karzai, ‘œIs that what you are seeking, also? That strategy that has much to do this with you.

OK, cracking this code may be harder than it appeared at first glance. Maybe we need some help from Tina Fey or something. But, then, how does one tell Tina Fey from Sarah Palin? What if Tina does the debate instead and nobody could tell?

Enquiring minds want to . . . well, ‘œknow’ is a relative term, isn’™t it?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008 by Richard Blair |

Rep. Sam Graves: Bringing San Francisco Chic To Missouri?

Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) seems to think his Democratic opponent wants to import San Francisco values into the ‘œShow-Me’ state. Unfortunately, the images Graves uses to make his point suggest he may be living in ‘œla la land’’¦and I’™m not talking about Los Angeles.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

It looks like San Francisco has become the new France (freedom fries anyone?)’¦at least for some members of the GOP. Representative Sam Graves (R-MO) has taken to featuring those awful ‘œSan Francisco values’ to attack his Democratic opponent, Kay Barnes.

He’™s apparently doing this because he wants Missourians to believe that Barnes’™ singular goal is to take solid midwestern values and transform them into a San Francisco style Sodom & Gomorrah. Unfortunately, the music and images are a miserable melange comparable to what one might expect to find on a late night TV commercial promoting a singles hook-up phone line.

I could be wrong, but it looks to me like Rep. Graves has spent too many restless nights on the couch in front of his television. A more sinister interpretation of the image might suggest that Graves wants his constituents to ponder the slippery slope mentality one would expect to hear from Rick Santorum’¦you know, the one that thinks gay marriage is just the tip of the iceberg in the progression towards allowing ‘œman with his favorite pet marriages’.

All that’™s missing from this multi-racial, pansexual, menage a trois Solid Gold meets Queer as Folk dance club image to complete this ludicrous mindset is a dirty dancing German Shepherd and a pair of ‘œin sync’ silver-haired sister spinsters.

Rep. Graves (R-MO) First San Francisco Values TV Ad (VIDEO)

Rep. Graves (R-MO) Second San Francisco Values TV Ad (VIDEO)

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Saturday, May 31st, 2008 by Richard Blair |
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