Sarah Palin and Michael Steele Snubbed Together

Hoosier anti-choicers are gathering, and inviting two prime speakers, Sarah Palin and Michael Steele. Both have had rough times lately, with Palin’s volcano trumping Michael Steele having to kiss Rush Limbaugh’s big fat ass. The big snub is at the gathering, where the POPE’S representative is staying home.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Poor, poor Sarah Palin and Michael Steele! Along with Bobby Jindal, these two are attempting to become Vice Leaders of the Republican Party to help the real leader, Rush Limbaugh. All three are sort of competing for the role of Vice. (I suppose the role is open with Larry Craig out of the Senate.) But Sarah and Michael have had some troubles lately.

Sarah, for instance, just had Redoubt, a volcano, erupt in her back yard, spreading ash to the north of Anchorage and disrupting the airport there as well as Elmendorf AFB. This is a major volcano. Now, I’m not sure she can see it like she can Russia, but it is in her state, and that sure has to be unlucky and all. Of course, she promised not to take a whole bunch of that stimulus money, and like Bobby Jindal, she mocked money for volcano monitoring. Yes, nature, in the form of Redoubt the volcano, has defied Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal. Still, if this turns into a disaster, she can depend on the kindness of strangers, just like Sarah Palin will depend on strangers to pay her legal fees.

Michael Steele, on the other hand, has also had a rough time of it. Michael Steele defied King Rush, the dictatorial leader of the GOP, and then had to go and make nice. He caught some flack for redecorating his offices, which he claimed were a bit too masculine, or something like that. (Did he hire these guys, or is that too cliche for a Republican?) Michael Steele can’t seem to get anything right, even getting suggestions he should defect to the Democratic Party, though, as I mentioned earlier, we don’t want him.

Poor Michael and Sarah are both having a bad time of it lately, but now it has gotten worse. According to an exclusive report

Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Steven Reynolds |

The Americans Are Revolting

For eight years, the right-wing of America could have protested the destruction of the Constitution. It didn’t. Now it’s protesting a tax program that not only will bring this nation out of a deficit and recession created by the Bush–Cheney Administration but which would benefit 95 percent of all Americans.

Commentary By: Walter Brasch

The Americans are revolting!

All across the country–from Boston to Atlanta to San Antonio–thousands of Americans, inspired by Fox News and radio conservative talk show hosts, took to the streets to protest.

They protested a fascist government that has restricted their freedom of speech and freedom of religion, protected by the First Amendment. They protested thousands of instances where the government infringed upon their rights of privacy, protected by the Fourth Amendment. They called out the government for violations of the rights of due process, protected by the fifth and sixth amendments. They protested the use of about $1 trillion to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq. They protested the apparently unregulated policies of the banks, money lenders, and Wall Street financiers who brought this nation into the current recession that has led to an 8.5 percent unemployment rate and several hundred thousand to lose their homes to foreclosure actions. They protested the fact that about 46 million Americans don’t have health insurance, that as many as five million Americans are homeless, about a fourth of them veterans. They protested the use of torture, of the destruction of the environment, of the awarding of no-bid sweetheart deals worth hundreds of million dollars to companies that do business with the President and Vice-President.

Actually, they didn’t do any of that. Not now and certainly not during the Bush–Cheney years.

What they protested was taxes. For these protestors, April 15, the deadline for paying taxes, was Tea Day.

They cried out against taxation without representation, conveniently forgetting that the United States, because of its revolt against the monarchy more than two centuries ago, has one of the most representative democracies in history. Without understanding either history or government, the protestors wore tea bags on their baseball caps, wore revolutionary era costumes, threw tea bags onto the ground and into the rivers, and even littered the grounds outside the White House with tea bags. Since every protest has to have signs, these protestors also carried signs–”Give me liberty, not debt,” “No more spending,” and “Taxation is Piracy.” Ironically, it was tax-provided rescue equipment that volunteers used to rescue one protestor after she fell into the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania.

Their “official” website attacked the government for “spending trillions of borrowed dollars, leaving a debt our great-grandchildren will be paying,” conveniently forgetting that it was the Bush–Cheney Administration that left the nation with the largest deficit in history. Underlying the protest was their hatred of the policies of Barack Obama, whom they called a fascist, a socialist, and a Communist, unable to understand or differentiate among terms they loosely threw out. President Obama, although in office less than three months, is riding high with a 67 percent popularity rating. But these souls, very few of whom voted for him in November, have now not only protested policies that are bringing the nation out of a financial abyss, but are often calling for his impeachment, something they never called for during the previous eight years.

So, they complained about fascist–or socialist–or communistic–policies, and failed to understand that it’s only the wealthiest 5 percent whose taxes go back to the rate it was when George Bush took office and lowered taxes for the wealthy.

But, these protesting masses aren’t the rich, and they aren’t being forced to give up more of their income. In fact, the Obama tax cuts benefit about 95 percent of all Americans.

The idea of a Tea Party was probably that of CNBC commentator Rick Santelli, who ranted against any government assistance for persons who lost their homes through foreclosure. Pushing the tea bagging of America were Fox mouths Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, and dozens of other conservative talking mouths who are among the top 5 percent, and whose seven-figure incomes would be reduced under the Obama plan to restore fiscal sanity to America.

Well, I guess it’s true. Americans really are revolting.

[Walter M. Brasch is a university professor of journalism, social issues columnist, and the author of 17 books. His current book is Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, available from,, and other stores. You may contact him through his website,]

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 by Walter Brasch |

Tax Freedom Day: 8 days Earlier Than In 2008

Here’s some pocket change you can believe in: Tax Freedom Day 2009 comes much earlier than in 2007 or 2008. Take that, Teabaggers!

Commentary By: Richard Blair

Attention Teabaggers:

Every year about this time, the Tax Foundation calculates the date that the average American will have made enough money to cover their tax obligations for the coming year (federal, state, and local). This date is known as Tax Freedom Day. Guess what?

Tax Freedom Day will arrive on April 13 this year, according to the Tax Foundation’s annual calculation using the latest government data on income and taxes.

This is eight days earlier than in 2008, and a full two weeks earlier than in 2007

That’s change I can believe in.

So, Teabaggers – where were you in 2008 and 2007? Oh, that’s right. Faux News and Rush Limpballs weren’t directing you to attend the “Obama Fail” (tea party) rally near you on Wednesday.

Yeah, I get it.

Brooks Bros Protest 2009

Monday, April 13th, 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 |

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 |

Right Wing Tea Parties – Brooks Brothers Riot, Redux

An interesting amalgam of the idle rich, religious fundamentalists, and garden variety asshats got together this past Saturday on a downtown corner in upscale Stamford, Ct. Hilarity ensued.

Commentary By: Richard Blair

I just don’t get right wingers. They can take an issue that has some degree of resonance across the political spectrum, come up with a kicky idea that has PR punch, and then turn it into a steaming pile of fetid compost. (Check that – we all know that dittoheads would never compost their waste.)

You simply must check out this photo gallery from a “protest” in Stamford, Ct. over the weekend. Here’s a taste:

Awesome Goddamn Protest in Stamford, Ct.

And here’s a link to a story on the tea party protest.

Anyone remember the post-election Brooks Brothers Riot in Miami, Florida in November, 2000 that stopped the presidential vote recounts? Yeah, these tea parties feel a lot like that.

(h/t to Bob Cesca’s Awesome Goddamn Blog)

Monday, March 30th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Next GOP Whiney Faux Controversy Due Wednesday

The Republicans either say “No” or whine about some sort of faux controversy. This time they will whine about Barack Obama going on the Tonight Show. Sure, that’s a pathetic whine, but these are Republicans, so they can be counted on for a variety of whines.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It has been announced that Barack Obama is going to go on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Here’s the New York Times article.

He will be going on the show Thursday. I predict whiney Republican attempts at a controversy starting between now and Wednesday. they will claim Obama is not being Presidential, and they’ll compare to Bush. Yeah, that’s laughable, but it is what they will do. Count on it. They have no plan except whining and saying “No,” after all.

Monday, March 16th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Next Faux Controversy, Give it 24 Hours, folks

The Obama family has a new swing set for the girls installed on the White House lawn. the right wingers are bound to complain about this, even though the Obama’s paid for it with their own money. They will whine about it being on hallowed ground, or that it does not comply to regulations right wingers founght in the 1st place.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The Obama’s got a new swing set for Sasha and Malia and installed it on the White House lawn outside the Oval Office. From the picture in the MSNBC article, it does not appear to have the regulation soft landing zone that is required for public recreation installations. I’m guessing conservative bloggers and then FauxNews will be whining about this within 24 hours. Anyone want to hold their breath?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |