Friday, October 23, 2009

Last Call

Now they're just making up crap wholesale about Obama.

If you listened to Rush Limbaugh today or visited Fox Nation, then you might have heard about President Obama's supposed college thesis in which the college-aged commander in chief allegedly wrote: "The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."

Now, you might be thinking: "Wait a minute, I thought conservatives didn't like Obama's elusive thesis because it was on nuclear disarmament." Well, this is a different thesis, it would seem, and blogger Michael Ledeen wrote about it two days ago:

I missed this first time around. Brian Lancaster at Jumping in Pools reported on Obama's college thesis, written when he was at Columbia. The paper was called "Aristocracy Reborn," and in the first ten pages (which were all that reporter Joe Klein -- who wrote about it for Time -- was permitted to see).

So Ledeen sources this bombshell to another, more obscure conservative blogger, who wrote -- back on August 25, mind you -- that Time's Joe Klein had seen Obama's damning thesis and was going to report on it for "an upcoming special edition about the President." No indication was given as to how this obscure blogger came to know that one of America's premiere journalists had obtained this information. There was no indication as to how this blogger was able to quote material only Klein had had access to. Oh, and let's not forget that this very same blogger was busted by for fabricating stories about President Obama.

But hey, why speculate on whether it's true or not? Let's go to the source. Mr. Klein? "A report is circulating among the wingnuts that I had a peek at Barack Obama's senior thesis. It is completely false. I've never seen Obama's thesis. I have no idea where this report comes from -- but I can assure you that it's complete nonsense."

This story is fake and falls apart under the slightest scrutiny. Corrections and apologies are due from Ledeen, Limbaugh, and Fox Nation, but if you believe you'll get an apology from pathological liars of that sort, then you're more gullible than they are.

But remember folks, the difference between the Winger bloggers and the Horribly Biased Old Print Liberal Media That Will Soon Be Out Of Business is that the Wingers fact-check.

I mean, they wouldn't lie about the President, would they?

This Week's Busted Banks, Unhappy Century Mark Edition

Banks number 100 and 101 failed in 2009.

Still nine weeks to go.

[UPDATE 6:55 PM] Make that 102 and 103...

[UPDATE 2 11:03 PM]...and 104 and 105!!!

Epic You Picked The Wrong Horse There Joey Fail

Joe Scarborough decided to pick a Twitter fight with the Double G today and ended up pwning himself as he asks the following:

Picture 92

Well, as Dave Weigel points out, the answer of who has the lower rating is in fact Dick Cheney according to Morning Joe's own employer.
There aren’t a lot of polls that ask for public opinion of both Nancy Pelosi and Dick Cheney, as the former vice president is a has-been who only makes news when launching dishonest attacks about foreign policy. But the June NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll — in other words, the poll produced by the company Scarborough works for — found that only 26 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Cheney, while 48 percent had a negative opinion of him. The same poll found that 27 percent of Americans had a favorable opinion of Pelosi, while 44 percent viewed her negatively.

So: Cheney’s net negative rating is -22, while Pelosi’s is -17. The answer to Scarborough’s question is “Cheney.”

Greenwald didn't even have to take Joe down...he did it to himself.


The Problem With The Village

The GOP is polling its worst numbers in over a decade.
Thirty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday say they have a favorable opinion of the Republican Party, with 54 percent viewing the GOP negatively.

According to the poll, 53 percent have a positive opinion of the Democratic Party, with 41 percent holding an unfavorable view. The survey indicates that favorable ratings for the Democrats have dropped 5 points since February, with the Republican number slipping 3 points.

"The Republican party may still be battling the legacy left to them by George W. Bush," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "They have also spent a lot of time in 2009 working against Democratic proposals. That hasn't left them a lot of time so far this year to present a positive, post-Bush message. Of course, there is still plenty of time for them to do so before the 2010 midterms."

And what does this mean with the Democrats having a massive popularity lead?

Good news for the Republicans, of course.

"The problem for Democrats is that the midterm elections are going to be about the Democratic Congress," says Stuart Rothenberg, editor and publisher of the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report.

While next year's contests will partially be a referendum on President Barack Obama, who remains personally popular, at the end of the day it's the Democrats who control Congress who are on the ballot.

"If Congress continues to be unpopular, it will give Republicans a message to use against those Democrats," adds Rothenberg.

Republicans can have approval ratings in the single digits. It would still mean the Democrats are the ones in trouble. If you can understand that logic, congratulations: you qualify for official Villager status.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

To recap, you're supposed to feel bad for the Masters of the Universe as they quit their jobs at companies that were bailed out where Obama's mean ol' pay czar is limiting bonuses. They are quitting in order to work for companies where the pay czar isn't cutting pay, where they expect to make mad crazy bonuses again right up until the next bubble pops.

You're then supposed to scream and whine at the horrible Obama administration for not paying these wonderful examples of humanity the hundreds of millions in bonuses at taxpayer expense they supposedly earned, earned by instituting practices and financial products that wrecked our entire economy.

You're supposed to be equally angry that the "consequences of such government interference" is to rob the financial industry's largest companies of the brilliant leadership that got America into this giant quagmire in the first place.

And then, if you're like me, you laugh at the entire notion of such stupidity and you wish these multi-million dollar assholes good luck while they scrounge enough on savings to make the payment on their third vacation home in Aspen. Such a heartbreaking situation for them. the plight of America's super-rich is so poignant. Remember that when you pay your own bills this month.

[UPDATE 3:42 PM] Digby points out the same people that bemoan the plight of the Financial Exec are the same people that told GM and Chrysler workers and dealers to go Cheney themselves.

Well, He Is A Leading GOP Official After All

FOX News president Roger Ailes may be exploring getting into the ring in 2012 for Obama's job.

Friends and associates are encouraging Fox News chief Roger Ailes to jump into the political arena for real by running for president in 2012, top sources tell POLITICO.

"Ailes knows how to frame an issue better than anybody, and that's what we need now," says one Ailes friend who is encouraging the Fox founder, chairman and CEO to seek the Republican nomination to run against President Barack Obama.

Ailes, 69, has an aggessive, winning personality that made Fox News a huge success — and a huge target for liberal critics.

Frank Luntz, the well-known Republican pollster, said Ailes could be a force if he makes the run.

"I have known Roger Ailes for 29 years," says Luntz. “No one knows how to win better than Roger."

Talk of an Ailes run, which informed sources said is based on more than mere speculation, could escalate the White House war with Fox war in wildly unpredictable – and fun – ways.

It was Ailes who recently held a private meeting with top White House adviser David Axelrod to ease tensions. The meeting was not a success.

Shortly after, the White House stepped up its attack on Fox – and Fox has proudly fired back.

Fox executives are relishing the public spat – so much so that virtually every on-air personality talks about it, and Sean Hannity has made it a central part of his show’s promo.

The biggest reason: ratings at Fox are through the roof.

That loud slamming sound you just heard is a good three-quarters of the Village and all of the Wingers vigorously shutting their bedroom doors for some quality alone time.

The way I see it, the Wingers want the entire country run like FOX News, and they are dreaming of cabinet positions while they, ahem, tend to business back there.

Ailes is just removing the middleman. By all means, let Ailes do this. Unleash the full, horrifyingly brilliant power of FOX News all over America.

Only then will Americans roll up their sleeves and get rid of these assholes. You thought Obama Derangement Syndrome was a GOP platform plank before?

You have no idea.

[UPDATE 4:43 PM] Ailes is smarter than I thought and has decided not to run, saying in part "he can't take the pay cut."

Public Flogging, Part 2

BooMan has weighed in on the fast moving public option story running today, and his advice is pretty sound as he notes the Obama White House has finally weighed in on the pubic option.
Pelosi wants the stronger bill to give her strength in her negotiations with the Senate. But, she is understandably meeting some rather fierce resistance. It's not a coincidence that the White House chose this exact moment to announce that they are fighting for a public option in the Senate bill. They are also probably pushing back against a Politico report that Obama prefers to appease Olympia Snowe and go with a trigger.

I thought that the administration might wait to go all-in on a public option until after the Senate passed their bill. But it looks like they've decided that Congress needs a little push now in order to get the cloture votes in the Senate and, perhaps, the robust option in the House.

Game on, people. Game on.

The Lonely Vigil Against President McCain

Steve Benen keeps trying to fight Captain Tire Swing, but it's no use. The Sunday shows insist that America wants to know what President McCain thinks about things nearly every week.
For crying out loud. As of this weekend, there will have been 40 Sundays since President Obama's inauguration in January. With his 15th Sunday show appearance, McCain will have been a guest on one of the programs every 2.6 weeks. No other official in the country comes close.

Since the president took office, McCain has been on "Meet the Press" twice (July 12 and March 29), "This Week" three times (September 27, August 23, and May 10), "Fox News Sunday" three times (July 2, March 8, and January 25), and CNN's "State of the Union" three times (October 11, August 2, and February 15). His appearance on "Face the Nation" this weekend will be his fourth appearance since February (October 25, August 30, April 26, and February 8).

And who, exactly, is John McCain? He's the one who lost last year's presidential race badly, and is now just another conservative senator in the minority. He's not in the party leadership; he has no role in any important negotiations on any issue; and he's offered no significant pieces of legislation. By all appearances, McCain isn't even especially influential among his own GOP colleagues.

But his colleagues are the Sunday show bobbleheads, and he owns them. They worship him, and so every second or third Sunday we get to see what President McCain would have done differently if he were in charge.

And as far as the media knows, he is.

The Moosewoman Of The Purgepocalypse

And lo, the Pale Rider on a Moose came to Upstate New York and saw that Dede Scozzafava was not conservative enough, and passed judgment upon her.
Calling it a matter of principle, Palin - the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate - bucked her party and enthusiastically endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman over Republican Dede Scozzafava. The race has attracted national attention, especially from grassroots activists who accuse Scozzafava of not being conservative enough to run under the Republican party mantle.

"Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty," the former Alaska governor wrote on her Facebook page. "Political parties must stand for something."

Palin then urged her supporters to donate to Hoffman, who she said "has not been anointed by any political machine."

Ashes, sackcloth, blood, you know the drill by now. It is rather amusing to see Sarah do the mavericky thing and throw a fellow GOP woman under the bus for not hating women enough, however.

But then again you'll go mad trying to assign logic to the way Republicans work. The Great GOP Purgepocalypse begins in a couple of weeks. GOP luminaries are lining up to take shots at the GOP candidate, saying that the third party guy is the way to go here.

What message does the NY-23 special election send to the rest of the GOP? Becuase the message I'm reading in these brown tea leaves are "The inmates are running the asylum."

Keep splitting that ticket, guys. America will thank you for it later.

Public Flogging -- UPDATED

Politico's Mike Allen is reporting that enough Blue Dogs have turned against a straight up public option bill this week to force the Dems into a trigger scenario in the House.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi counted votes Thursday night and determined she could not pass a “robust public option” — the most aggressive of the three forms of a public option House Democrats have been considering as part of a national overhaul of health care.

Pelosi's decision—coupled with a significant turn of events yesterday during a private White House meeting—points to an increasingly likely compromise for a “trigger” option for a government plan.

Administration officials have been telling POLITICO for weeks now that this the most likely compromise because it can probably satisfy liberals—albeit only reluctantly and after many vent frustration and some even threaten to walk away from the bill.

This would clear the way for backers to sneak a limited public option through the Senate by attracting moderate Democrats and then to win President Barack Obama's signature.

Obama told Democratic leadership at the White House Thursday evening that his preference is for the trigger championed by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) – a plan that would allow a public plan to kick in if private insurers don’t expand coverage fast enough, a top administration official told POLITICO. It’s also sign Obama is interested in maintaining a sense of bipartisanship around the health reform plan.

At that meeting, Obama did not sign on to a plan being floated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to include a different variation of the public option in the Senate bill – a plan that would create a national public plan but allow states to “opt-out.” Reid now believes he can get 60 votes to bring a bill with that plan to the floor by breaking an expected GOP filibuster – and then secure the 51 votes needed to pass it.

In other words, if Mike Allen is right, then the developments of the last two weeks have basically amounted to nothing. We're right back to the false choice of a trigger for a public option that will never be activated or no public option at all. Even worse, it seems Obama has decided to side with the Snowe Queen rather than Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, which bodes very ill for a real health care reform plan.

If this is true, then Obamacare is in real trouble. How true it is remains to be seen, it is Politico's Mike Allen, after all, not exactly the best friend of progressives when it comes to painting "exclusive" pictures of how Congress works.

We'll see where this goes. Again, if Allen's right, Obama and Max Baucus are so scared of losing the Snowe Queen's support that they are letting a single Republican solely determine the course of America's health care future for all of us.

The reality remains to be seen. Let's hope it's not close to this.

[UPDATE 12:20 PM] John Aravosis calls bullshit on this story.

I just spoke to my own senior Hill sources, who, let's just say, are seriously in a position to know. And they tell me that the House bill "will have the public option," period. Votes are still being counted, so don't believe Politico when they report breathlessly that the public option is dead. It looks like a public option foe is putting out disinformation.
Hey, but it's Mike Allen. As I said before, he's no friend of progressives. The "exclusive" story smells like a Politico spin job.

On the other hand, Chris Bower at Open Left says that Mike Allen is basically 100% correct as of last night.

I am receiving new information tonight that the House DOES NOT have 218 "solid' yes votes for health care reform with a Medicare +5% public option. Representative John Larson's claim earlier today that the House had the votes appear to have included at least 12, and as many as 15, Representatives who are "lean yes" votes.

Further, I am told that if the leadership does not confirm 218 "solid" yes votes by the end of the 9:30 a.m. Democratic caucus meeting tomorrow morning, they will probably include the negotiated rate public option in the bill that is sent to the floor, not the Medicare +5% public option. At the very latest, we have until 2 p.m. to get the votes.

So we'll see who is right by the end of the day.

Future Shock At Present

I don't normally give much credence to Rasmussen polls, but because this one's all about Republican primary voters surveyed, and if the results are anywhere close to reality (even if it's off by 20 points or so) your average Republican incumbent is in ridiculous amounts of trouble.
Just 15% of Republicans who plan to vote in 2012 state primaries say the party’s representatives in Congress have done a good job of representing Republican values.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 73% think Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters from throughout the nation. Twelve percent (12%) are undecided.
These numbers are basically unchanged from a survey in late April.

In other words, despite the rise of the Teabaggers on the right (or maybe because of it) the current crop of Republican incumbents are very, very vulnerable to being replaced in primaries. Those replacements will be much further to the right than their current occupants, too.

If you're a Republican strategist trying to game out gains in 2010, you have a real case of heartburn right now. You know that the key for the GOP's growth in the 21st century is attracting Latinos and women, and the Teabaggers have no intention of seeing these groups as anything other than needing complete subjugation.

Pundits keep talking about the GOP's chances of taking over the House in 2010. The answer to that is who they have running, and from this poll, the primaries will be won by hardcore Wingers like Bachmanniac and company.

Somehow I don't see them attracting a lot of voters...and I see them mobilizing the Democrats in order to stop them.


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