RedState Whack Job Foments Revolution, Over Dish Soap

Erick Erickson runs RedState, and he went over the hill Tuesday, whining and gnashing his teeth about an environmental regulation in Washington State, so much that he talked about how the regulation, or one like it, could be the basis of armed revolt. The regulation eliminates phosphates in dish soap. It is to ensure safe drinking water.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

This isn’t just any whack job at the extremist right wing web site Red State. It’s the Managing Editor, Erick Erickson. As Yglesias points out, Erickson got his panties in a bunch over an environmental requirement in Washington State. Darn those people in Washington who want clear running streams and rivers! Evidently Erickson was having a little mental episode, because he went off. Direct from Red State:

Washington State has turned its residents into a group of drug runners – crossing state lines to buy dish washer detergent with phosphate.

At what point do the people tell the politicians to go to hell? At what point do they get off the couch, march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?

At some point soon, it will happen. It’ll be over an innocuous issue. But the rage is building. It’s not a partisan issue. There is bipartisan angst at out of control government made worse by dumb bans like this and unintended consequences like AIG’s bonus problems.

. . .

Were I in Washington State, I’d be cleaning my gun right about now waiting to protect my property from the coming riots or the government apparatchiks coming to enforce nonsensical legislation.

I’m still trying to connect the dots between banning phosphates and bonuses at AIG. Oh well! Yes, Erickson is advocating that people barricade their homes and get their guns ready rather than use a laundry detergent without phosphates. I kid you not. And this guy gets air time on MSNBC and CNN according to his bio. Hey, he sounds about as whacked out as Glenn Beck and Chuck Norris, and that’s saying something.

Hey, what is it about Republicans who claim to have the rights of states as one of their values, and then when the state decides to regulate in a way they don’t like they conveniently forget about that so-called value? Isn’t that what Norm Coleman is doing with the threat to go to the SCOTUS with his whiney self?

Thursday, April 2nd, 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 |

How Will GOP Whine About Obamas Eschewing Redecorating Funds?

Barack and Michelle Obama, like most Presidents, will do some redecorating of the White House. They’™ve hired the decorator already. Unlike other Presidents, they will not use public or nonprofit money dedicated to such work. Though most of us would find this to be proper, given the economy, the Republicans will find a way to whine.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Barack and Michelle Obama are given, as is every President, a budget with which to redecorate the White House. $100,000. There’™s also a nonprofit that helps with projects, the White House Historical Association, and Barack and Michelle Obama will not be calling on them for help either. But Barack and Michelle Obama, after hiring a bigtime designer, have eschewed public monies in redecorating a very public home. They are going to pay for it themselves. From New York magazine:

At a time when people are having trouble holding on to their houses, Barack and Michelle Obama have sensibly decided not to use taxpayers’™ money to renovate theirs. New presidents are allotted $100,000 to overhaul the White House residence and the Oval Office, and the Obamas hired Hollywood decorator Michael S. Smith (known, per his site, for mixing ‘œOld World classicism with very contemporary settings’). But the First Couple isn’™t spending that money. They ‘œare not using public funds or accepting donations of goods for redecorating their private quarters,’ says Camille Johnston, director of communications for the First Lady. Nor is the couple, who reported $4.2 million in household income in 2007 tax returns, using money from the White House Historical Association, a privately funded foundation that paid for a $74,000 set of china shortly before Laura Bush left town.

Yeah, this is admirable and it shows that the Obamas truly understand what people in the country are going through financially. And, yeah, this is what we have come to expect from the Obamas. They are not fat cats who rely on the public to do their bidding or to subsidize their lives.

The big question here is how the Republicans are going to whine about this turn of events. I’™m guessing there will be speculation on two fronts. First, the big GOP radio whiners will turn their expert designer eyes to the redecorating projects and trash them. Not a doubt they will use the word ‘œtrash,’ no matter the project. Then they will speculate that since Barack and Michelle paid for the improvements, they will try to take those improvements with them. Of course they’™ll make it up as they go along, paying no attention to facts. Par for the course.

Further, the ugliness on the Republican side will whine about the Obamas, rather than taking nonprofit money from the White House Historical Association, they are snubbing the group. Again, that will be completely made up and fictional, but most Republican whines have basis in fiction.

The most important point to make here is that redecorating the White House is not all that big a story. I’™m predicting that the Republican talking heads will make it so, or try real hard. To them a story that belongs in House Beautiful is fair game for their whining. That’™s their nature, after all, to whine whenever possible.

Monday, March 30th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

The Rich, the GOP, AIG and the Tea Bag Revolution

The rich are being blamed for the irresponsible actions on Wall Street, and they are no longer looked at with being worthy. The GOP set this stage with myths that everyone could be rich if we just let the rich escape taxes. Then the GOP pushed deregulation. And the Tea Bagging GOP line now is harming the rich far more than the Dems.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

There’s a nexus coming together in this country, and while some are using the metaphor of pitchforks and the proles storming the castle (the rich, at AIG, at least, seem very afraid of this scorn, as evidenced here and here), it is beginning to seem to me as if the rich, those metaphorically living in the castle, are guilty of tea bagging, if not pitchforking, themselves.

I suppose I come to this conclusion first from Michael Hiltzik’s column in the Los Angeles Times. His title somewhat says it all: “The belief that the wealthy are worthy is waning.” The thesis here is that many in our country rallied against progressive income taxes that hit the rich because they themselves pictures themselves as being rich someday, sort of like Joe the Plumber, you know. They had a myopia concerning the true American condition. We all know that Joe the Plumber will get nowhere unless he milks the right wing media with his image, and Joe will therefore continue in self-delusion. But the average American, Hiltzik says, is beginning to see through this Republican myth.

Let’s face facts. The Republicans are the ones, perhaps further back than Gingrich or even Reagan, who perpetuated the myth that cutting taxes on the wealthy would result in good jobs for everyone, including the possibility that everyman may one day become rich himself. Not so much nowadays. The false veneer on this theory is peeling off, like a Laffer Curve going south. They set the stage with their constant attempts to reverse the progressive system of taxes in this country, led now by Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform, a group Republicans listen to almost as well as they bow to their leader, Rush Limbaugh, as mindnumbingly stupid as that act of bowing is.

What really blew the top off, though, is their penchant for deregulation. We’re seeing an economic meltdown because of unregulated securities now, and AIG’s insuring those risky schemes, but what we’re also seeing on the side is the steadily declining respect for the rich. Sure, many rich people are philanthropists, and there are fine people among the rich. When the taxes go up on them, as the current national feeling will assuredly lead to, they will go up on me and my family as well. But let’s make sure to note that the deregulation was spurred by a system of rewards cloaked as bonuses. Sure, the former Chair of AIG claims he wouldn’t have given out the bonuses that are so controversial now, but he gave out similar retention rewards. It was the name of the game for far too many years. Risky products are dreamed up by money managers whose bonus was directly tied to short-term success. They became the rich. By exploiting the system they have tea bagged themselves.

AIG’s defense? They are now going after taxes they say they don’t owe because they derived from offshore tax shelters. Yes, banking regulations evidently enabled them to legally shelter a whole batch of their tax obligations, and AIG wants that 306 Million Dollars back, even though the funds helping them fight the IRS were provided by the federal government. These folks just don’t know how to leave well enough alone. The gall, we say, at every turn where they spend our money on bonuses or suing us! Should we be so surprised?

Now the Republicans have started this stupid Tea Bag campaign. It mimics the Boston Harbor protest from our American Revolution, but there ain’t no redcoats here. As Bob Cesca notes, the Republican Tea Bag campaign is about reducing taxes on the wealthy at a time when the entire American electorate is glued to the TV waiting for the next shoe to drop in the Wall Street mess, caused by the Republican deregulation and greed that the Tea Bagging goal would ostensibly reward. Sure, Republicans are railing against AIG bonuses, but as usual they have no plan. They’d rather protest using Tea Bags, and referring to an insulting sex act. Yeah, Republicans claim to stand for high moral values, but even their protests are coarse and ugly. What they’ve done with such absurities is tea bag themselves.

It would be enough if the Republicans had only Tea Bagged themselves, but they have done the bidding of the markets and those who pretend to stand for the rich for so long that the rich are the ones feeling the Tea Bag, full in the face. Conspicuous Consumption is coming to an end, I’m guessing, at least for a long time, and I’m betting Thorstein Veblen would be proud. But this isn’t about a 120 year old theory. This is about today, about the dangers of runaway and unregulated capitalism and how it can destroy our economy. The Republicans called for that deregulation, trusting int he blind hand of supply and demand to care for everyone. That ship has sailed, and judging by their stupid Tea Bag campaign, the GOP is far, far from recognizing that fact.

Friday, March 20th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

The Violent, Bitter GOP Fringe, Free Republic, and Arlen Specter

It is not uncommon for Free Republic whack jobs to call for Obama’s head, but it is odd that the founder of the web site warns those extremists to be cautious lest they attract the Secret Service. Isolated whack jobs on one hand, surely, but in PA the whack jobs are gunning for one of the last GOP moderates, Arlen Specter.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It is not news that there are violent whack jobs on the fringe of the Republican Party. The last Presidential campaign gave us plenty of evidence, and we don’t really need Alexandra Pelosi’s film to tell us not only that there are extremist whack jobs out there on the Republican fringe, but that those whack jobs can be pretty disturbing in their use of language. It is easy to slough it off and imaging that these whackjobby fringe types are not a factor in Republican politics, that they might lionize Ann Coulter, but the GOP does not in fact listen to the whackjobbiness in any serious way. But the violent speech gives one pause.

It isn’t just the hanging of Obama in effigy that we’re talking about here, an act evidently perpetrated a few times among the GOP fringe last fall. It isn’t just the persistence in GOP whack jobs believing Obama is a communist, that he is a Muslim, that he is not a citizen, etc. All that is whackjobby enough, but the threats of violence on perhaps the most popular place for Republicans to vent is becoming disturbing. That place is Free Republic, and this weekend the founder of Free Republic had to go online and warn his people about how they used the threatening language against Obama. According to a report on DailyKos, here’s Jim Robinson, founder of Free Republic:

Unfortunately, we are saddled with a communist sympathizer in the White House. I don’t know whether or not he’s an actual card carrying commie, but he’s definitely an America-hating, anti-capitalist Marxist leftist who thinks communism is the way to go. Now I remember when America used to fight against communism. It wasn’t that long ago. Many of us on FR are veterans of wars against communism and some of us believe that American citizens who are communists are the enemy within, ie, the domestic enemy we’ve sworn to defend against. American citizen? hmmmm… that may be a loophole for Obama.

At any rate, the oath is to defend our constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. I can imagine that this places an enormous strain on our Secret Service agents. It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that Obama is an enemy of the constitution. So should the SS defend the constitution or defend the anti-constitution commie?

So now comes the problem. If you feel it’s your duty to call Obama a traitor and use salty language in your proposed resolution, ie, suggest the commie be keelhauled, walked off the plank, run up the yardarm, tarred and feathered and run out of Dodge, etc, etc, etc, you may be facing a visit from your friendly Secret Service. And even though your visiting agent may agree politically, and may take his oath to the constitution seriously, he’s still sworn to protect the officeholder and it’s his duty to take all threats seriously. And that may include serving me with a subpoena to turn over your IP address. Now I’m duty bound to protect your privacy to the best of my ability, but I cannot defend against stupidity.

Best advice I can give is to keep it to yourself. Don’t post anything that may embarrass you later, or end you up in the slammer.

Ever vigilant.

Keep your powder dry.

For those of you not on the NRA bandwagon, “keep your powder dry” means that you should make sure those firearms work well, just in case you have to use them. Some might characterize the above as Jim Robinson warning his users not to bandy about violent threats against Barack Obama, but I’m thinking he’s warning these folks that they might be caught. That’s not all that subtle a distinction, really. It isn’t that he thinks people should believe in something other than violence, but that he doesn’t want to be in the way when the Secret Service comes.

Hey, this could be an internet thing. the folks at DailyKos just love to take off on the violent tendencies of the right wing whack jobs over at Free Republic. They do it here and here in addition to the link from above. And, no, I do not want to minimize the violent threats as just “salty talk,” as Jim Robinson does, but I’m thinking this tit for tat, back and forth about violent imagery on web sites isn’t constructive unless we show how it applies to a real election. To that end, the plight of Senator Arlen Specter, here in the land of God, guns and bitterness, might show how the extremists here represent a shift in the GOP.

Arlen Specter has been a stalwart member of the GOP in the Senate for a long time. Some would say he is a moderate, and some would say he is the last moderate Republican out there. They’d say he is an endangered species, and one that may soon become extinct. Hey, Spector was challenged in the 2004 primary by Pat Toomey, of the extremist Club for Growth, and he won by 2% in that race, and Toomey is thinking of another challenge to Specter. The notion among Republicans is that Specter’s support of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan makes Specter a traitor to the God, guns and bitterness crowd here in PA, and that puts Arlen Specter in some deep trouble. Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer goes so far as to advise Specter that he may as well just become a Democrat, if he is to succeed in being elected to another term.

It was not that ugly language of the whack jobs on Free Republic that got me thinking this weekend, not really. It wasn’t that they seemed to follow the lead of Limbaugh and Coulter rather than the saner heads purporting to lead the Republican Party (though I’ll admit it seems impossible to find Republican leaders who do not bow down to Limbaugh). I began thinking this weekend about Specter. I attended a party Saturday where there were several big Specter donors in the crowd, but even they seemed to have moved towards Obama, wondering perhaps whether Specter can weather the storm among his own Republicans here in PA. Polman of the Inquirer yesterday put the issue starkly:

Like magic, the target on your backside would disappear. Pennsylvania’s increasingly conservative Republican electorate is gunning for you – thanks to your support for the Obama-Democratic stimulus plan, your other perceived heresies, and for any heresies yet to come (including your potential support for a hot-button bill that would make it easier for workers to unionize). They want to take you down in an expensive primary next spring, and perhaps Toomey will be their instrument.

You did beat him in a primary in 2004, by a mere two points, but I doubt that would happen again, if only because so many moderate Pennsylvanians in recent years have left the GOP and signed up with the Democrats. Hundreds of thousands have switched teams. Those were your people; in 2010, they won’t be eligible to participate in the primary and help you survive another blood feud.

You spoke recently about that dilemma, saying, “I’m going to deal with it as best I can. I’m trying to get people to change back and be Republicans.” Face it, senator, they’re not changing back. Not as long as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are cracking the whip; not as long as their most visible strategic guru is Newt Gingrich, the polarizer who was forced out of power more than 10 years ago.

Senator, most of the remaining Pennsylvania primary voters lean strongly rightward. Last month, 66 percent of statewide Republicans told a pollster that they want you gone. They think of you as “Benedict Arlen,” and one top conservative group, mindful of your vote on the economic-stimulus package, dubbed it “the ultimate act of treason” and named you “Comrade of the Month” – a nickname that demonstrates that Red-baiting has survived the fall of the Soviet Union.

So perhaps you should consider whether it’s worthwhile to drain your campaign coffers and put up with this grief. The Republicans seem determined to reduce themselves to a state of powerless purity, so, fine – let them nominate a conservative Senate candidate who would get waxed statewide. And you’d do the waxing, buoyed by the fact that Democrats in Pennsylvania now outnumber Republicans by 1.23 million, more than double the margin of 2004, when you last ran.

Now I do not expect Arlen Specter to abandon the Republican Party. It is in his blood. And I’ll not mourn much if Specter loses a primary fight to Pat Toomey, for that will surely ensure that whoever the Democrats nominate here in PA for the Senate will win. I am confident that the God, guns and bitterness segment of the PA electorate, and of the American electorate as a whole, are marginalizing themsleves, led by Limbaugh and Hannity and Coulter and a whole slew of rabid extremists. No, I’ll not mourn Arlen Specter much. But I wonder, as I think we all do, when the Republican Party begins to understand that extremism is not the cup of tea from which the American electorate wishes to sip. There are few moderates left in the GOP, and they will need those moderates if they have hopes of ever righting their skewed ship. It will be all the more difficult for the Republican Party if they chase away every moderate still loyal before they get that message.

Meanwhile, the whack job element still screeches. They believe in the conspiracy theories, toss around words like “socialist” and “communist,” veil their threats against Obama with little art, and are egged on by FauxNews, Limbaugh and the rest of the “let America fail” set. It is becoming increasingly clear that the ship they are steering onto the rocks is not the American ship with Obama at the tiller, but the GOP ship, with no clear captain to take the blame for the pending disaster.

Monday, March 9th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

WSJ (and FauxNews) Spins Negative About Record Numbers for Obama

The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll yesterday shows record support for Barack Obama, and that’s how NBC writes the story. The Wall Street Journal and its blog writers are seeking vigorously to find the dark clouds within those silver linings. As the market runs on confidence, we should blame poor performance on the WSJ’s negative bent.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

This is interesting. NBC and the Wall Street Journal commissioned a poll about the Obama Presidency. The numbers appear to show that Barack Obama is enjoying unprecedented support at a time when the Republican Party is seen as inept at solving economic problems. Well, that’s how the poll is reported at MSNBC. Here’s the first few paragraphs there:

Obama’s first six weeks as president, the American public’s attitudes about the two political parties couldn’t be more different, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds.

Despite the country’s struggling economy and vocal opposition to some of his policies, President Obama’s favorability rating is at an all-time high. Two-thirds feel hopeful about his leadership and six in 10 approve of the job he’s doing in the White House.

“What is amazing here is how much political capital Obama has spent in the first six weeks,” said Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff. “And against that, he stands at the end of this six weeks with as much or more capital in the bank.”

By comparison, the Republican Party – which resisted Obama’s recently passed stimulus plan and has criticized the spending in his budget – finds its favorability at an all-time low. It also receives most of the blame for the current partisanship in Washington and trails the Democrats by nearly 30 percentage points on the question of which party could best lead the nation out of recession.

The poll was conducted by both Republican and Democratic pollsters and shows record numbers for Barack Obama. the American people show great confidence in him. That’s the lead as NBC writes it. But the Wall Street Journal sees things otherwise. They see the public manipulated by fear, perhaps, and they dig in the poll’s numbers to show the negatives, digging deeply. Here’s the WSJ lead paragraphs:

President Barack Obama enjoys widespread backing from a frightened American public for his ambitious, front-loaded agenda, a new poll indicates.

He is more popular than ever, Americans are hopeful about his leadership, and opposition Republicans are getting drubbed in public opinion, the new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll suggests.

But there are also early warning signs showing risks if his plans don’t show progress. The president’s support, while still deep, looks increasingly partisan as Republicans move away from him. Americans have more confidence in the president himself than in some of his initiatives, such as the economic stimulus package, and have some hesitation about his plans to raise taxes to expand health coverage.

The WSJ thinks the American people are scared, and that’s what motivates their love of Barack Obama. No, fear is what motivated George Bush’s big numbers justr after 9/11. Bush blew it with his disastrous policies concerning WMD and Iraq and huge deficits and an economy that crumbled at the end of his tenure. Sure, the Wall Street Journal almost always thought Bush farted roses, but when it comes to six weeks of Obama’s tenure, they think the American people are too frightened to think straight. This is partisan in the extreme, but not surprising for a very partisan paper like the WSJ.

The truth of the matter is that the Wall Street Journal is frightened. They are frightened of a plummeting stock market and they are frightened because of a tax increase on the horizon for the rich. They have forgotten the bubble the stock market rode through most of the Bush Presidency, a false sense of good feeling and high prices fueled by the greed of their real constituents, the bankers and the money managers.

The Wall Street Journal is scared, and even in a poll that is as optimistic as possible about President Obama, they project that fear. Of course, that fear is even more clearly reflected in WSJ blogs, like the WSJ blog written by Sara Murray, or the WSJ blog written by Susan Davis. Murray concedes the Obama popularity, but seeks desperately for bad news about the public’s confidence. Davis is just itching, just six weeks into the Obama Presidency, to start blaming the economic downturn on Obama. These guys are very predictable.

Let’s make sure to note that the NBC report on the poll also seeks dark clouds in the silver lining there, but they don’t lead with the dark cloouds as does the Wall Street Journal. They certainly don’t poise themselves eagerly to blame Barack Obama for bad news just six weeks into his Presidency, and I think the Wall Street Journal is forgetting a fundamental lesson about investing. The most important factor in the stock market is confidence. The Wall Street Journal’s reporting of these record numbers for Obama, their constant spin towards the negative, helps lead an investment community’s lack of confidence. Perhaps if we’re to blame anyone in the next few months for the downward spiral of the stock market and for a dismally performing economy, we should be blaming the Wall Street Journal and its partisan and negative spin.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

CPAC Idiocies and Whackjobberies

Whackjobbery is running rampant at this year’™s CPAC conference. The attendees are laughing at the possibility of Chicago being bombed, are cheering discredited whack job theories about how Obama is not a citizen and elegible for the Presidency, and are being advised by the #1 Republican this side of Sarah Palin, Joe the Plumber.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Republicans simply can’™t get enough of the whackjobbery, can they? This weekend is the annual CPAC conference at the Omni Shoreham in Washington. They’™ve got the usual suspects speaking, and last night the big stars were John Bolton and Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media. Bolton joked about Chicago getting bombed, garnering big laughs from the intensely patriotic crowd. Yes, laughter. This is what passes for patriotism among Republicans, laughter at the notion of the President’™s hometown getting hit by a nuclear weapon. It is said that Joe Scarborough warned Republicans at the conference that they should work on their tone, but they’™re evidently not listening to Morning Joe.

Cliff Kincaid, who claims to be all about safeguarding Accuracy in Media, decided to peddle the thoroughly discredited notion that Barack Obama is not a citizen. Yeah, there’™s a ton of irony there, that a man who purports to make his living identifying accuracy would be peddling this crock of horse shit. But he knows his audience. Kincaid’™s speech, where he makes the absurd remarks, evidently drew thundrous applause. Kincaid was working the faithful, whack jobs to a man, evidently. Good reaction from the whack jobs at the suggestion that Obama is a communist, too. No, still no sense of shame seen anywhere near the Omni Shoreham this weekend. (Hmm, I’™ve got a friend who works as a bartender there. Hmm!)

Perhaps the biggest act of whackjobbery at the CPAC conference is the presence of Joe the Plumber, now in his role as Joe the Political Advisor. The CPAC folks have Joe the Plumber, incompetent even at finishing his apprenticeship as a plumber, advising young conservatives as a panelist. Maybe he’™s going to advise them how they, too, can become attention whores. No, we’™re not talking about Larry Craig here.

Perhaps the cutest bit is the list of exhibitors on the CPAC web site. Most of those listed seem to be conservative organizations. I’™m thinking this is like a trade show. A whole bunch of conservatives/Republicans, like Joe the Plumber, can’™t seem to make a living without becoming professional attention whores. They are professional whack jobs, having evidently failed at being professional in any other way.

Friday, February 27th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Santorum Soon to Claim Vatican as his Residence

Rick Santorum writes stupidly. I need a tag of ‘œStupid Santorum’ on these stories, or something like that. This time Santorum implies that he’™s a resident of Philadelphia. While Santorum is the worst writer hired by the right wing Philadelphia Inquirer, even he may know he lives in Virginia. Perhaps he should move to the Vatican.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

In a truly insipid column today in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rick Santorum, the failed Republican and former carpetbagger Senator from Pennsylvania, implied that he lives in Philadelphia, though surely his driver’™s license says otherwaise. Santorum spent many a year claiming to live in western Pennsylvania while actually living int he DC suburbs in Virginia. Now he evidently wants to claim Philadelphia as his residence. It is a simple little line amidst Santorum’™s insipid railing against Nancy Pelosi, a complaint that is far more ‘œmore Catholic than thou’ than it is logical or substantive. In the line Santorum describes Philadelphia’™s Cardinal Rigali with the possessive pronoun ‘œour.’ From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The pope heads a long list of church leaders who have used the speaker’™s comments to teach the faithful. It includes our own Cardinal Justin Rigali.

I’™m not Catholic, but I could rightly claim Cardinal Rigali with the posessive pronooun ‘œour,’ since I live a mere fifteen blocks from Rigali’™s office. But Santorum lives in Virginia. For Santorum, Rigali is clearly a Cardinal in a different jurisdiction than his. But the guy has long claimed to be of a region he has long abandoned as a resident. I suppose his mostrously oversized ego is at fault here rather than Santorum’™s faults with geography.

Just another episode of Right Wing Pundits Gone Wild. Move along, nothing else happening here.

Thursday, February 26th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Upon Further Review: Excessive Whackjobbery and Whining By GOP

Sometimes you’ve got to stop and chronicle the GOP whackjobbery, which has hit a high point since the Republicans tried to vote down the largest middle class tax cut in history. From the Washington Times to the FoxNews whack jobs to Rush Limbaugh, the GOP whackjobbery is as ripe as a landfill full of diapers. Smells like Republicans.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Every once in a while you’ve got to stop and smell the manure the Republicans are spreading and just wonder if anyone on their side believes any of their crap. It’s insane. Here’s a party that has fought for every single tax cut since Reagan was in office. We’re talking just under thirty years that the Republicans have identified themselves as the party of tax cuts. Indeed, under Presidnt George W. Bush the Republicans fought for income tax cuts and captial gains tax cuts, largely benefiting the biggest wage earners in the country.

As thereisnospoon at DailyKos notes, The Republicans recently showed what they really think of tax cuts when faced with the biggest middle class tax cut in history. Get it straight. They supported tax cuts for the wealthiest in our society, but only three Republicans in all of the Congress and Senate stuck to their guns and supposed beliefs and supported the Obama tax cut. It appears the GOP has replaced tax cutting with obstruction as the core of its value system. That is clear, perfectly clear, when you see the articles all over the place about how the GOP is planning to punish those Senators, Specter, Snowe and Collins, who voted for the largest middle class tax cut in history. Their crime was supporting a Democrat. That was their only crime, but it is the only crime important to Republicans anymore.

More whackjobbery? How about from the right wing newspaper the Washington Times. Sadly No, as stylish as ever, has the scoop. Seems the Times decided to go all Godwin on its readers and compare Democratic plans for healthcare to Hitler. I know, that sounds completely whack, and it is, but here’s the editorial from the Washington Times, complete with the photo of Hitler. You be the judge.

You want more whackjobbery? Will it satisfy you if I note that the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, newly elected and making the Republicans proud, recently said that, and I quote, from RawStory:

“I’m not going to soft pedal this with you,” Steele said. “The reality of it is, you are absolutely right. You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point.”

Oh, sure, there’s more context. The guy said it on the Glenn Beck Show. Glenn Beck kept pitching batting practice, trying to entice Micheal Steele to play Home Run Derby, slam the Dems, and instead Steele slams the ball into the dugout striking the GOP and injuring it. He said his own team isn’t to be trusted. The big shock here, I suppose, is a Republican uttering the truth.

Want even more GOP whackjobbery? We’ll close this segment of GOP Whackjobbery with Glenn Beck. Evidently he was frustrated at dealing with Michael Steele, so he took out his frustrations on his audience. The video is here, where Beck predicts the end of the world as we know it, all caused by the Obama tax cuts combined with the Obama stimulus spending. It’s funny to see such desperate right wing pundits as Beck. Almost as funny as reading Ann Coulter’s desperate screeds, or hearing Rush Limbaugh whine while at the same time showing his utter stupidity. But that’s the way GOP whackjobbery goes. Whether it is from GOP office holders, GOP supporters, their media supporters, GOP pundits, it’s all good, for the Dems in 2010.

Sunday, February 15th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

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 |
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