Monday, November 9, 2009

Last Call

This annoys me.
Actually, I would expect that a Southern Baptist would get a little extra scrutiny if he or she applied to work at an abortion clinic. Likewise, since the US military is currently engaged in conflicts with Islamic extremists, is it unreasonable to pay a little more attention to Islamic members of the military? Random searches or interrogations would be wrong, but how about a little more scrutiny in background checks? A visit with a counselor if someone seems agitated?

Above all, it would be dangerously foolish to ignore warning signs out of fear of being accused of profiling. That goes for all of society, not just for areas with heightened security concerns.

Shouldn't we be doing a little more scrutiny in background checks for anyone in the military, and paying attention to the warning signs from anyone in the military?


Clash Of Civilizations

Mark Lynch's post at Foreign Policy on America's response to the Ft. Hood shootings is must read material. It reads in part (emphasis mine):
It's worth walking through the connection once again, because how America responds to Ft. Hood really is important in the wider attempt to change the nature of its engagement with Muslim publics across the world. Get the response right, as the administration thus far has done, and they show that things really have changed. Get it wrong, as its critics demand, and the world could tumble back down into the 'clash of civilizations' trap which al-Qaeda so dearly wants and which the improved American approach of the last couple of years has increasingly denied it.

The grand strategy of al-Qaeda and its affiliated ideologues is, and has always been, to generate a clash of civilizations between Islam and the West which does not currently exist. Their great challenge is that the vast majority of Muslims reject their theology, ideology, strategy and tactics. That's especially true of American Muslims. They therefore feel the need to change the environment in which Muslims live in order to change their calculations about the appropriateness of extremist identities and ideologies and actions.

Terrorism is a means towards that end. The object is to create a violent, polarized environment in which Muslims are forced to embrace a narrow, extreme version of Muslim identity. They want Muslims to accept a master narrative in which the Islamic umma is existentially threatened by Western aggression, and the only theologically and strategically appropriate individual response is to join the jihad in the path of god (as they have defined it).

And the fact of the matter is the neo-crazies play directly into Al-Qaeda's narrative by saying that all American Muslims are the enemy. That's what Al-Qaeda wants more than anything else, to see Muslims in the United States so marginalized, so hated and so demonized by their own fellow Americans that Al-Qaeda's hateful rhetoric makes sense. Their own best recruitment tool is the kind of bile spewed by the Wingnuts. They've done more for the cause of violent jihad than a hundred Bin Laden message tapes.

Do read the article, however.

What A Difference A Year Makes, not for Obama, for Louisiana GOP Rep. Joseph Cao. One year ago:
"GOP Finds an Unlikely New Hero in Louisiana," stated the page 1 headline of Tuesday's Washington Post, which described how suddenly Cao "found the weight of the entire Republican Party resting on his diminutive shoulders." It quoted Republican National Chairman Mike Duncan, trumpeting Cao's victory, as proof that Republicans "still know how to win elections."

"Republicans Put New Faith in the Tao of Cao," read the front-page headline in Politico, which quoted a memo from House Republican Leader John Boehner, of Ohio, proclaiming that, "The Cao victory is a symbol of our future."

In his memo, titled "The future is Cao," Boehner wrote, "As House Republicans look ahead to the next two years, the Cao victory is a symbol of what can be achieved when we think big, present a positive alternative, and work aggressively to earn the trust of the American people."

That of course was before he voted for Obamacare.
Representative Joseph Cao is a freshman Republican who won 49.6 percent of the vote against a corrupt incumbent in a district that’s 64% black and has a median income of $25,000. I think it should come as no surprise that someone in that situation might want to break with the GOP leadership now and then. For example, he voted for the health care reform bill last night. For his trouble, he’s being treated to some interesting tweets (link NSFW, Zandar):

There’s also a whole bunch of folks who’ve decided that it’d be hilarious to start referring to Rep. Cao as “Mao” because, you see, they’re both responsible for the deaths of millions Asians. Also this.

Now you see he's just a filthy immigrant giving his immigrant buddies free stuff. He's the enemy now.

That's how Republicans roll. If you're a minority or woman for that matter and you're a Republican, you're only useful until you try to do something that actually may benefit (or fails to punish) women and minorities.

Then you're dog food.

Gold Rush, Part 4

$1,100 and counting.
Gold rallied to a record high Monday as the dollar weakened against rival currencies.

December gold rose $5.70 to settle at a record $1,101.40 an ounce, after climbing to an all-time trading high of $1,111.70 earlier in the session.

Gold gained 5% last week on speculation that central banks around the world will begin buying more of the precious metal as an alternative to the dollar, which is the traditional global reserve currency.

Now gosh, why would central banks be diversifying away from the dollar?

Oh, yeah.

The dollar fell broadly Monday, with the euro climbing above $1.50, after a report from the International Monetary Fund suggested the U.S. currency could fall further.

The greenback was also under pressure after a weekend meeting of the G-20 failed to address the greenback's ongoing decline.

Right now the only thing keeping out economy going is that the pace of deflation in the real estate market is matching the inflation as the dollar is collapsing. That equilibrium will not last as one or the other will take hold and wreck our economy.

I'm betting on the inflation, although frankly considering we still have another 15% drop to go in housing, we'll be able to get away with it for another year or two.

Zandar's Other Thought Of The Day

If Republicans are doing so well in 2009 (and in particular, Teabaggers) in swing states where the Obama model of government has been destroyed for good and 2008 was just a freak anomaly and people hate government spending, somebody please explain to me how an African-American Democrat who ran as an environmentalist and light rail advocate won as mayor of Charlotte last week.

I'm all ears.

The Post-Stupak Battle

Looking ahead to the voting on the final, reconciled Obamacare bill, Greg Sargent finds the battle lines have already been drawn in the House:
In a move that will intensify the coming war over how to treat abortion in the health care bill, more than three dozen House Dems have signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi firmly pledging to vote against the bill if it contains an anti-abortion amendment.

A source sends over a working copy of the letter without the signatories, and the source says it currently bears the signatures of 41 House Dems. They’re all vowing to vote No on a bill if it contains the Stupak amendment — enough to sink the bill:

As Members of Congress we believe that women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care. Health care reform must not be misused as an opportunity to restrict women’s access to reproductive health services.

The Stupak-Pitts amendment to H.R. 3962, The Affordable Healthcare for America Act, represents an unprecedented and unacceptable restriction on women’s ability to access the full range of reproductive health services to which they are lawfully entitled. We will not vote for a conference report that contains language that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law.

That’s unequivocal, with no wiggle room. The Washington Post reported this morning that Rep. Diana DeGette had collected 40 signatures vowing a No vote, without noting the language of their vow or how this would be communicated.

Now we know — at least 41 House Dems are writing directly to Pelosi, telling her that they will not vote for anything “that contains language that restricts women’s right to choose any further than current law.”

In other words, if the final version of the reconciled Obamacare bill contains the anti-abortion language that the Stupak amendment had, it will fail in the House. There will be no Obamacare if that's the case.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz says that the Stupak Amendment will not be in that final bill as a result.

Things just got a whole lot more complicated. If I'm the GOP, or the ConservaDems vowing to kill this plan, you just need to put in the Stupak Amendment in the final bill and you win.

[UPDATE 3:15 PM] What mcjoan said:

This is the most expansive restriction on access to abortion Congress has passed. It goes well beyond Hyde, which has never been codified and which only governs federal, public plans. It's particularly galling that it comes under the umbrella of healthcare "reform."

Remember the promises? Reform was about expanding choices, not allowing government to come between you and your doctor, no one will lose their coverage, and if you like your current plan you get to keep it. Apparently being female is a preexisting condition that exempts us from the promises, too.

Stupak has to go. It's a dealbreaker.

[UPDATE 3:35 PM] And let's remember the Republicans in the House were united behind Stupak, because let's face it, they hate women.
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.), the head of the Republicans campaign committee, caused a stir at last night's Rules Committee meeting when he suggested that treating female-related health conditions was comparable to insurance-company imposed restrictions on smokers.

"Why should a woman pay more than a man?" asked New Jersey Democrat Frank Pallone, according to the Courthouse News Service.

"Well, we're all different," Sessions explained. "Why should a smoker pay more?" he said before interrupted.

Because a uterus is just an expensive option that costs American taxpayers money to your average Republican, and the less we have of them, the better off we are.

And Now It Gets Worse

Earlier today I said that I didn't think the Ft. Hood shooting had much to do with Islam, given the facts so far. ABC News has some new facts, apparently.
U.S. intelligence agencies were aware months ago that Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan was attempting to make contact with people associated with al Qaeda, two American officials briefed on classified material in the case told ABC News.

It is not known whether the intelligence agencies informed the Army that one of its officers was seeking to connect with suspected al Qaeda figures, the officials said.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said that he requested the CIA and other intelligence agencies brief the committee on what was known, if anything, about Hasan by the U.S. intelligence community, only to be refused.

In response, Hoekstra issued a document preservation request to four intelligence agencies. The letter, dated November 7th, was sent to directors Dennis Blair (DNI), Robert Mueller (FBI), Lt. Gen Keith Alexander (NSA) and Leon Panetta (CIA).

Hoekstra said he is "absolutely furious" that the house intel committee has been refused an intelligence briefing by the DNI or CIA on Hasan's attempt to reach out to al Qaeda, as first reported by ABC News.

If this is true, then the odds of this being treated as a terrorist attack and the odds of Hasan being charged with an act of terrorism just went through the roof.

You know that national security apparatus revenge against Obama for the torture investigation (gee, where did that go?) Say hello to the other shoe. "Well gosh, didn't you get our memo, Mr. President, that we had potential time bombs in the military? After all, we knew..."

The neocons just got their second wind.

The Count Of Charlie Crist, Oh! Part 2

Florida Governor and Senate hopeful Charlie Crist should seriously consider changing his last name for Scozzafava, because the Teabaggers just served him the black spot.
The conservative Club For Growth formally endorsed former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio Monday over the Republican Party's choice of current Gov. Charlie Crist in that state's Senate primary race, setting the stage for what again could be a bitter intra-party battle within the GOP.

"Marco Rubio is the real deal, one of the brightest young stars in American politics today, and a proven champion of economic liberty," Club President Chris Chocola said in a statement. "He is a dynamic spokesman for the principles of limited government and economic freedom, and he will make a fantastic senator."

The endorsement is not surprising, especially after The group launched a television ad last week attacking Crist for claiming recently on CNN he did not endorse President Obama's stimulus measure back in February. In fact, Crist did attend a rally with the president during which he hailed the measure as one that will "reignit[e] the economy."

"Charlie Crist has repeatedly joined with big government liberals on major economic issues facing America today, from taxes to spending to cap-and-trade," Chocola said. "He represents the wrong direction for our economy and our nation."

With the Club For Growth Teabaggers officially backing Crist, ol' Charlie's in real trouble here. How long will it be before the GOP asks Crist to drop out to save Rubio the expense of a primary battle?

I'm betting calls for him to drop out will surface before the end of the year.

Go For The Eyes, Boo

Ahh, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, arguably the biggest anti-abortion nutjobs in the country. Needless to say, they've hit a new high in Obama Derangement Syndrome: They've found a new soft underbelly to attack Obama through, and that would be going after his daughters Malia and Sasha Obama.
Westboro Baptist Church, the fringe-of-the-fringe anti-gay group famous for protesting at military funerals and claiming that God is punishing the country for its tolerance of homosexuality, was spotted this morning protesting outside Sidwell Friends, the school attended by Sasha and Malia Obama.

Protesters were carrying signs with anti-gay, anti-abortion and anti-Obama slogans, slowing down traffic all along Wisconsin Avenue this morning.

One member, Megan Phelps-Roper, posted a picture on Twitter of the protest.

Westboro Baptist Church, founded by Fred Phelps and made up mostly of Phelps family members, has garnered national attention for carrying signs such as "Thank God for 9/11" and protesting at funerals, including that of Matthew Shepard, the student who was killed in 1998 because he was gay.

They believe that the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, as well as the ensuing wars and even the mass shooting last week at Fort Hood, are punishment from God for tolerance of homosexuality. They plan to picket the Fort Hood memorial service this Tuesday.

Because after all, Obama's kids are fair game if Dad's the Antichrist (not to mention the victims of Ft. Hood.)

Lovely people, yes?

Not The Lord's Work, But The Other One...

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein just wants you to know that he's on a mission from God.
The chief executive of Goldman Sachs, which has attracted widespread media attention over the size of its staff bonuses, believes banks serve a social purpose and are doing "God's work."

In an interview with London's Sunday Times newspaper, Lloyd Blankfein also said he believed big profits and bonuses at banks were a sign that the world economy was recovering.

"We help companies to grow by helping them to raise capital. Companies that grow create wealth. This, in turn, allows people to have jobs that create more growth and more wealth. We have a social purpose," he told the paper.

The dominant Wall Street bank posted third-quarter earnings of $3 billion and plans to hand out more than $20 billion in year-end bonuses.

Blankfein told the Sunday Times that the bank's compensation practices correlated with long-term performance.

"Others made no money and still paid large bonuses. Some are not around anymore. I wonder why?"

He added that he understood, however, that people were angry with bankers' actions: "I know I could slit my wrists and people would cheer."

He's wrong about the last part. Most people would think he was getting off too easy.

And of course God wants him to hand out billions in bonus money for shuffling numbers around. Blessed are the financial investment vehicle product creators, for they are truly doing the work of the Lamb of God. That whole loaves and fishes thing? Totally the same thing, making something out of nothing like that. Jesus performs the Miracle of Securitization, and lo He said "Long after I am gone, a bank will do this only with subprime loans."

I like how he's convinced himself he's not working for the guy downstairs, instead. I tell you, if mass indignation summoned angels of wrath, this guy would be the first to get chopped into flaming bits.

Tailgunner Joe

As Digby points out, Joe F'ckin Lieberman could give a rat's ass about Americans dying because they don't have health coverage and not only won't lift a finger to fix it, he will actively stop the Senate from being able to even vote on fixing it. The victims of the shooting at Fort Hood however were killed in the Worst Terror Attack On U.S. Soil Since 9/11 and there must be a full Senate investigation into how Obama presumably is at fault.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who heads the Senate's Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, said initial evidence suggested that the alleged shooter, Army Major Nidal Hasan, was a "self-radicalized, home-grown terrorist" who had turned to Islamic extremism while under personal stress.

Mr. Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, had opened fire Thursday at a soldier processing center at Fort Hood, Tex., killing 13 and wounding 29 in the worst mass shooting on a military facility in the U.S.

Mr. Lieberman, appearing on "Fox News Sunday," cautioned that it remained too early to draw any definitive conclusions. He said his comments were based on "reports that we are receiving" about Mr. Hasan's actions and comments.

The Army's top officer, Gen. George Casey, wouldn't rule out that the shooting was an act of terrorism, but cautioned against speculation at this point. "We all want to know what happened and what motivated the suspect, but we need to … let the investigation take its course," he told ABC News's "This Week."

Mr. Lieberman said that if news reports were true that Mr. Hasan had turned to Islamic extremism, "the murder of these 13 people was a terrorist act and, in fact, it was the most-destructive terrorist act to be committed on American soil since 9/11."

Sanctimonious prick doesn't begin to scratch the surface of this man. And as Digby further notes, starting this investigation means that any effort for the Dems to do anything to Lieberman for blocking health care reform will bring out cries that Obama is trying to stop Lieberman from getting at the "truth" that Obama is really a Muslim sleeper agent.

A nice little trap if I ever saw one.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

There could be a comet headed for Earth and it too would be Good News For Republicans. Everything always is, you see.

That GOP Plan Again

Remember, the GOP Plan is that Obamacare must die or the GOP is doomed for a generation, period. They're twice as anxious to kill it because of the Teabagger future of the party, where the rich country club Republicans get excised from the party and have no choice but to join the Dirty F'ckin Hippies, and there's only room for so many corporate lickspittles in any given party. The Dems are full up on those.

So yes. It must die, like the last season of Moonlighting had to die. Tim at Balloon Juice? He gets it.
Bill Kristol had it right in 1994. If Democrats effectively fix health care then Republicans are screwed. Any health care reform that does not suck even worse would effectively be written in stone as soon as it passed. Realigning their issue set to stay relevant could be quite awkward since Democrats already claimed most of the issues that Americans don’t hate. To stay alive Republicans would need to tack somewhere less crazy, but that would motivate Michelle Bachmann’s twenty-some percent of crazy people to go third party. Those two factors would effectively doom Republicans to share a shrinking back bench with the conservative fruitcake party and their pet schmuck Joe Lieberman.

So yeah, Republicans pulled out all the stops on this one. If they can find another stop before the Senate vote they’ll pull that one too. Pretty much the only institutional incentive not pushing them towards brinksmanship at this point is that desiccated raisin occupying space where most people would have a conscience.

If Obamacare passes, they are done. They know this. They have removed all limiters from the system. That's why they are screaming that the House bill is the Worst Piece Of Legislation Mankind Has Ever Seen, Including Anything Hitler, Doctor Doom, Lex Luthor And The Cylons Ever Could Have Combined To Create.

All stops are out. All bets are off. We're now in uncharted territory where the House has passed a health care reform bill. The GOP is existentially frightened to the core here. It's this bill, or their party. It really is that simple. It has to die, or the GOP dies and is eaten by the Teabaggers. The Sensible Centrist types aren't going to stand for it.

Josh Marshall gets it too...

As Bill Kristol noted in his famous 1993 GOP strategy memo on the Clinton health care reform initiative, the key danger Republicans face from health care reform is precisely that the public will like it. And I suspect that the more forward thinking and perspicacious of his partisan colleagues today see it the same way.

If a health care reform bill passes, it's greatest point of vulnerability will be in the 2010 election. That's not only because of the on-going fall-out of the 2008 financial crisis, which sets the Democrats up for a tough midterm election. It's also because a lot of the key reforms in the legislation don't kick in for a few years. But even if you assume the worst possible outcome for the Democrats in 2010, loss of both houses of Congress, Republican majorities still wouldn't be able to overturn the law because President Obama would veto their repeal.

Greg Sargent gets it as well.
The vote puts Dems within striking distance of an achievement that could rewrite the relationship Americans have with government and deal a serious blow to the anti-government ideology that has done so much to define our politics for at least a generation.

There’s unquestionably a long way to go. And it’s still anything but assured that the bill will become law, and if so, whether the public will judge it a success in the long run. Either short or long-term failure could spark a severe political backlash. Those are the stakes.

In other words, this is the true end of Reaganism, and Reaganism has defined the GOP and this country for 30 years: "Government is not the solution, it is the problem." This bill reverses that, and would enshrine into law that the private sector has failed 99.99% of Americans in this country at the expense of that .01%. The problem is that the Senate all pretty much belongs to that .01% too.

So it comes down to this: the Dems may actually pull this off still. It's gotten further than it ever has. And the Republicans are flat-out terrified.

Everything up until now was just the prelude to the real battle.

Brilliant, Like The Guinness Commercials Brilliant

Digby tags John Aravosis about the Stupak Amendment vote and runs with it:
By their own logic, if the jackasses of both parties who voted for Stupak have ever taken one single penny from insurance companies that offer coverage for abortions --- and that's all of them --- they are complicit in baby killing. So, by the way, is anyone who invests in insurance companies or accepts money from them in advertising. Fungible means fungible.

Insurance companies want to provide coverage for birth control and abortion because it saves them money. Pregnancy is expensive and far more risky. It would seem that childbirth is the one risk these people want to require the insurance companies to take.
You mean Congress is full of misogynist hypocritical assholes who use social issues as a cover to enrich themselves whenever possible and to justify doing the bidding of their corporate masters?

Perish the thought.

It's Just Like That, Only It's Not

NY Times blogwatcher Tobin Harshaw takes a look at the Hoffman Effect and the GOP, and comes up with the hypothesis that the Teabaggers are exactly like the LGBT community (???!).
Why is it that when looking back at an election in which very little went right for Democrats, so many folks are seeing nothing but dread and doom for the G.O.P. Apparently, everyone agrees that for the party in power, unity behind a popular president is something of a security blanket. Everyone, that is, except George Soros and his minions: “ is sending out emails today seeking more contributions for its campaign to defeat any Democratic senator who does not fully support Obamacare,” reported The Washington Examiner’s Byron York on Tuesday.
Well, let's see here. Dems won both House special races, but lost in Virginia (as the last 6 governors can tell you, they are the opposite party of the President) and Jon Corzine's personal negatives cost him.

So, Jon Corzine is the Democratic Party. Got it.

Gets worse though for Tobin.

“Let’s just say that a little leaked email proves LGBTs are seen as the easy gAyTM to the DNC that can be manipulated, ignored, and pickpocketed as mob rule strips us of civil rights without a finger being lifted to help at the eleventh hour,” adds the influential gay blogger Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend. “It’s worse — stripping resources at the time of need.”

She offers a call to arms along the lines of MoveOn’s:

I don’t know about you, but at the very least, it’s a peek at the kind the two-timing that goes on in national politics with constituencies they find “troublesome” or a perceived “liability” (save the $$$, of course). The difference is that the peek inside makes you realize how easily you’ve been had …

Shut the gAyTM down; only give directly to candidates and organizations you believe are truly working in your best interest. Not a penny to the DNC; it’s the only leverage you have as an average citizen. The big donors in our community have to take a stand on this kind of nonsense, otherwise, they are enabling this kind of treatment of our community. It’s party-building at our expense each and every time …

Pam, you may not like to hear it, but that last line could just as easily have come from Glenn Beck. Just goes to show: it may be entertaining to watch your enemies rip themselves apart, but you might just want to keep an eye on the guy to your left.
The problem is Pam there doesn't take stuff like that lying down.
WTF? It’s time to lay down the crack pipe, Tobin. Let’s see, how do you equate a call for spending one’s donation dollars wisely and directly to a candidate that supports your issues to, say, riling up teabaggers to show up in DC waving racist/Nazi signs with the President’s image, calling for a revolution, stoking the fears and anxieties of the working class who are losing their jobs and homes because of the massive f*ckups of the last eight years by the man who took off in the helicopter this January as the crowds cheered ”Na na na na...hey hey hey...goodbye.” Please.
But the real problem is that the Village is equating the calls for Obama to repeal DOMA and DADT with the same level of disdain and scorn with the calls for Obama to step down because he can't prove he's a U.S. citizen.

Something's wrong with that equation.

Ben F'ckin Chandler

Both Yellow Dog over at Blue in the Bluegrass and Media Czech at Barefoot and Progressive have some very choice words for Blue Dog Rep. Ben Chandler here in KY-6 after his pro-Stupak/anti-Obamacare vote over the weekend.

Not that Republican Geoff Davis is any better up here in KY-4.

But gee, maybe that's the point. When the Democrat is voting as a Republican, he might as well be one. Sadly, raising a challenger for Chandler is going to be a tall order.

Time to look ahead into doing that, I think.

New tag: Blue Dogs.

Mom, Apple Pie, Football and Teabagging

Over at Rumproast, Betty Cracker shares her family's weekend experiences with the Teabaggers at the Bucs game.
At first I thought, well, maybe the Tampa teabaggers are going all rogue with the English language and all, but no—the numbered text is directly from Glenn Beck’s 9-12 project site. Normally I don’t think it’s fair game to make fun of poor grammar. But this is Beck we’re talking about—a multimillionaire! Hire an editor, dickhead.

Then there’s the calendar page at the Tampa teabaggers site, which included this rather wistful observation about yesterday’s membership drive: “People were not as receptive as when we do the corners.”

Oh, but it gets worse. Besides the Teabaggers propositioning her daughter, they commit acts of grammatical terror and...well...this.
The Tampa 9-12 organization has 1,320 members. The population of Tampa is 340,882. What’s that Beck says—“We surround them”? Yeah, like General Custer surrounded the Lakota at Little Bighorn.

But not to worry—in addition to coming after our children, the teabaggers are banding together to indoctrinate their own with this wonderfully named splinter group:


There’s entirely too much FAIL in the “Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots” to unpack now—not least the fact that it comprises women who are able to refer to themselves as “mommy patriots” with a straight face. But I’m considering a black-ops assignment. Stay tuned.

As much funding as these guys have, you would think they would be better at this whole army of people overthrowing the tyranny of having a non-Republican President thing. Alas, you don't need organizational skills when you can just lie about the numbers repeatedly.

Sisterhood of Mommy Patriots? Who comes up with that junk? What, the Teabaggers expect women to bake cookies, produce children, and make signs comparing Obama to Hitler?

Errm...wait a minute. Come to think of it, that's exactly what they believe women should be doing.

In Which Zandar Dons Flame Retardant Pants

So. The Fort Hood shooting.

Over the weekend, Joe F'ckin Lieberman said he believes the shooting was an act of Islamist extremism. He is wrong about that most likely. I don't think Islam had much of anything to do with it.

But he is right in as far as this was an act of terrorism.

This guy shot up a bunch of soldiers. Many are still in the ICU. This was an act that sent a message. He snapped. He disagreed with our war policy and he chose to protest it by trying to killing people and succeeding in at least one attempt. That's terrorism, folks. I have no personal sympathy for the shooter. I may say that the indictment of Islam as a whole due to Major Hasan is unfair. It is.

But this guy went rogue and shot up his fellow soldiers. His own personal guilt needs to be determined by a court of law. He's not a good person for doing this. Should he be convicted of these crimes, he needs to burn for them.

The SNL Meter

So, if SNL going after President Obama is indicative to Wingnuts that the Already Failed Obama Presidency has jumped the shark and that he's doomed, what does last weekend's SNL take on FOX News mean?

Problably that SNL is to be ignored by the Wingnuts again until it goes after Obama, but hey, selective amnesia is great stuff. It also means that conservatives have to depend on SNL for anything remotely funny, because let's face it, it's not like Wingnuts are funny in any way other than completely unintentionally and through self-parody.

The Kroog Versus Zandar's Optimism

I've said on a number of occasions that I'm not worried about the self-destructing GOP in 2010. Paul Krugman on the other hand says I should worry, although not for the reasons you might think:
Real power in the party rests, instead, with the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (who at this point is more a media figure than a conventional politician). Because these people aren’t interested in actually governing, they feed the base’s frenzy instead of trying to curb or channel it. So all the old restraints are gone.

In the short run, this may help Democrats, as it did in that New York race. But maybe not: elections aren’t necessarily won by the candidate with the most rational argument. They’re often determined, instead, by events and economic conditions.

In fact, the party of Limbaugh and Beck could well make major gains in the midterm elections. The Obama administration’s job-creation efforts have fallen short, so that unemployment is likely to stay disastrously high through next year and beyond. The banker-friendly bailout of Wall Street has angered voters, and might even let Republicans claim the mantle of economic populism. Conservatives may not have better ideas, but voters might support them out of sheer frustration.

And if Tea Party Republicans do win big next year, what has already happened in California could happen at the national level. In California, the G.O.P. has essentially shrunk down to a rump party with no interest in actually governing — but that rump remains big enough to prevent anyone else from dealing with the state’s fiscal crisis. If this happens to America as a whole, as it all too easily could, the country could become effectively ungovernable in the midst of an ongoing economic disaster.

The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here — and it’s very bad for America.
And while Krugman has a point, I'd argue that since the GOP rump that we have now exists only to say no to anything that President Obama might consider to be a good idea along with the Blue Dogs stabbing him in the back, I'd say that we have that Californication scenario now.

Even if President Obama woke up tomorrow and said "We're going to make the kinds of tough spending cuts and tax cuts that the Republican party wants" he would then be attacked for "hurting the middle-class" by the same Republicans.

Krugman is right on one count, however. The GOP has interest in governing. The plan has always been to watch the country burn and fiddle while doing so, to make sure that Obama fails worse than Bush did. It's the only way back in power and they know it. They don't care about anyone other than themselves.

Clinton triangulated. The GOP responded by impeaching him. Should the GOP get back into power in 2010, guess what's going to happen?


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