Jim DeMint thought he would bring about President Obama's Waterloo. Instead he may have brought forth Dick Armey's. At least one can hope.
Dick Armey, one-time GOP House Majority Leader, is said to have written the Contract for America, which became more of a Contract on Americans. He was part of the crew that brought us the infamous government shutdown of the 1990s, when Congress refused to pass a budget, thanks to him and The Newt. It turned out that the people want their reps to work for their salaries, not shut things down. Over time, and possibly due to Newt's ego, the Contract came to be associated more with Newt Gingrich.
Following his departure from the Senate leadership, Armey was a lawyer/lobbyist for DLA Piper, whose clients include the governments of Afghanistan and Turkey. With 3,500 lawyers in 29 countries, the firm represents corporate interests around the world. Among other companies, Lorillard supported his reelection campaign. Here are some backgrounders here and here.
His break from DLA Piper notwithstanding, his current activities spawning Tea Party groups around the country through his new Freedom Works is still "astroturf," through and through. (So non-grassroots is the effort that the wife of Clarence Thomas is organizing one Tea Party group.)
Here's what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning's position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief "doesn't create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work."
So Kyl is against the social safety net unemployment compensation provides. And ignores the fact that one can be seeking work but unless there are jobs incentives and disincentives are irrelevant. Which is why wee need stimuli and jobs packages.
Oh wait, he opposes those as well?
As usual with our favorite recent Nobel economist, there is more. I urge you to read his column. I will explore a wee bit more, and offer a bit of commentary of my own.
Guess what? A Tea Party Republican is plotting to sneak onto the Fairfax County School Board next Tuesday -- and she might just make it, if we don't stop her.
The Republican, Samantha Rucker, is a hyper-partisan who has chaired the Republican Party of Fairfax County's Mason District and served as Assistant Attorney General to Bob McDonnell, who is pulling out all the stops to get her elected (to fill Kaye Kory's seat on the School Board). Her qualifications for School Board are miniscule -- in sharp contrast to her highly capable, knowledgeable and experienced Democratic opponent, Sandy Evans. (And please note that Sandy is the Democrat in the race -- don't let the Repubs in a very blue district confuse voters about who's who, as they like to do in these situations.)
Rucker is a smooth-talking pol who is the opposite of everything she claims to be -- she calls herself "bipartisan" without mentioning that she is a highly active Republican who spoke at a Tea Party rally last year; she says she is an experienced teacher based on an entire seven months as an instructional assistant; she says she'll be a full time School Board member -- but won't resign her full time job as Assistant Attorney General if elected. (Speaking of which, isn't that sort of a conflict of interest?)
Compare all this with Democratic-endorsed candidate Sandy Evans:
Governor Bob hasn't been in office very long, but I've already found something awfully intriguing about him. It's this - for a man known as a Bible-thumping disciple of the Reverend Pat Robertson, he seems remarkably interested in bringing good old-fashioned sin to our pure and sheltered Commonwealth. And it's making me wonder what type of Republican our Bob really is.
I mean, look at his first proposals out of the gate to fund his budget (in lieu of taxes):
- Sell off the state Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) stores: Not necessarily a bad idea, but one diametrically opposed to the prohibitionist principles of his Regent University buddies. If you go back to the history of why we have ABC stores, they were established after the repeal of Prohibition as a way of keeping a lid on the use of alcohol in the state. The first principle under which the Virginia ABC board was established, according to its website was this: "The first objectives of the plan should be temperance, social betterment and respect for law. The need for revenue should never be allowed to take top priority."
Yet revenue looks like Gov. Bob's first priority as he weans state government off the role of the nanny watching our booze. I can't help observing how this contrasts with the paternalistic approach of Bob's alma mater, Regent University, which states in its Substance Abuse Policy:
Remember those words. They were spoken late Thursday evening by Senator Sam Brownback before he voted to sustain an attempted filibuster of funding for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq early this morning.
And remember this: in the House, with no filibuster, 164 of 175 Republicans voted FOR the emergency bill to fund the war effort.
And remember also this: Sen Thad Cochran of MS, who had 45 earmarks for his state totaling $167 million, voted against closure, and thus against his own earmarks.
The Republicans played hardball, but lost on the vote 63-33, but the three Republican women who voted for cloture, Hutchison and the two from Maine, did not do so until all 60 Democratics had voted Aye on cloture, as you can read in this Washington Post piece.
Having Thanksgiving Dinner with your relatives? If they are not all good Democrats it is inevitable that a diehard Republican lurks among them. Even if your hostess decrees that politics and religion are no-no's I can safely predict that that Republican will not be able to contain him/herself. Having listened to Fox, Rush, et al, and still basking in the warmth of winning in Virginia and New Jersey, they will be loaded for bear with mis-information and smugness.
So here is a cheat sheet to prepare you to answer (gracefully, in dulcet tones guaranteed to drive the Repub nuts, and to soothe your hostess). This comes to us from the DCCC. To download a fancy format, go to: http://www.dccc.org/page/invit... Or, check this below, same thing in plain dress:
Rather than simply congratulating Bob McDonnell on his overwhelming victory, I'd like to suggest that, starting now and for the next four years, we accord the man presidential treatment. Specifically, I'm talking about the kind of treatment that Republicans have been giving our president over the past year.
Republicans always like to talk about upholding the honor and dignity of the White House, so the way they act toward the president must surely be the gold standard of acceptable behavior. Therefore, let's learn from them and mimic their good works at the state level. Here are a few ways in which we can do that:
1) Distort whatever he says: If proposals to help people think through planning living wills can be twisted by some of the nation's most prominent Republicans into "death panels", then the opportunities for, uh, rebranding whatever Governor Bob cooks up are endless. For example, we could say that his refusal to find a permanent funding source for transportation in the state is really a plot to drive Northern Virginians insane by leaving us stuck in endless traffic jams. If people in NOVA go crazy and blow each other's brains out, then the population of the area will go down and the more Republican areas of the state will benefit.
See, it's on the Internet now, so it must be true!
2) Question his origins: I would never be so ridiculous as to suggest that Bob McDonnell was born in another country and is faking his birth certificate to hide that fact. However, I do have strong suspicions that he is really an android. There is, I suspect, a factory hidden somewhere in the Blue Ridge that produces Republican candidates who always stick to their talking points and stay on message and have that sort of generic, Ken-doll look.
Therefore, I suggest that we incessantly hound, harass and legally challenge him to make his X-rays publicly available to prove that his innards aren't shiny and metallic. When he refuses to do so, just remember to keep repeating these words: "What is Bob McDonnell trying to hide?"
Update:Limbaugh got punked and bought this story. Or he didn't get punked and pretending the story was true. Take your pick.
Huffington Post reports that bankrupt Republicans, who don't have any real issues to run on any more, only tax cuts and pretend small government, have learned quite a lesson from the McDonnell thesis scandal. They're so ill-equipped to deal with the facts of McDonnell's that they'll grasp at anything to even the score or deflect attention. Or so they think.
A satiric site purported to have located a portion of the President's thesis here. And the GOPhers were only to happy to glom onto it. Thus was born a made-up "thesis scandal."
The satire claimed that Time columnist Joe Klein had obtained a ten-page excerpt of President Obama's thesis. In the "story," which has gone viral on the internet, Obama purportedly talked of changing the entire US Constitution. Here's a snippet from the phony website story:
Ed Shultz singled out Glenn Beck again for his nightly segment "Psycho Talk." It seems Glenn Beck now calls volunteerism "communist." If this sounds familiar, you heard it first from Looney Tunes Michelle Bachman! And it's pretty ironic coming from a mouth piece of the downsizing, anti-labor party, which never met an ordinary worker it didn't despise, or wanted to exclude from its country clubs.
Said mouthpiece had no problem when Ronnie, Poppy Bush and even W. suggested that those Americans downsized in the serial downturns that have marked our economy under Republicans could pretty much lump it over lost pay checks and then told them to offer up their work for free in their communities.
Heck, these guys even argued that essential public services should be delivered by charitable organizations. Just last week, in last week's debate, Bob McDonnell said that health care should be delivered by: 1) health savings accounts, and 2) charity. Do these public figures hear themselves?
In a desperate move to draw votes in Northern Virginia, the McDonnell campaign has latched onto what was a failed plan for the Kilgore campaign four years ago: widening Route 66 inside the Beltway. Yesterday, in a radio ad from the US Chamber of Commerce, I heard a grandfatherly voice praising Bob for his plan.
I'm no civil engineering expert, but I can think of a few reasons why this would be impossible or unworkable:
1. Whose houses in Arlington and Falls Church are you going to tear down in order to build the extra lanes?
2. How will this help traffic when there is still a bottleneck at the Rosslyn Tunnel?
3. Adding more lanes will inevitably increase traffic flow, which would turn Constitution Avenue into a parking lot.
Lastly, it's practically illegal. According to the Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation,
Widening I-66 violates the Coleman Decision and associated agreements between the USDoT, Virginia, and local residents.
The Coleman Decision, rendered by then-USDoT Secretary William Coleman on January 5, 1977, was an historic compromise that allowed I-66 to be created inside the Beltway by "guaranteeing" a four-lane limit. Further breaching this compromise would show nationally that highway agency promises to communities are worthless.
But Bob's campaign is betting on the votes of weary commuters looking for false salvation. I wonder if there are some Arlingtonians out there who would be willing to speak out against this.
There it was. The ABC Tom Delay reinvention tour, aka "Dancing With the Stars." His "dancing" was sub-par. His lip syncing trash talk was really raunchy. Did I also mention, YUK!
Tom Delay pretty much stunk, but they gave him 5s and a 6 anyway. There is something insulting to women about his claim that in his performance on Stars, he's getting in touch with his "feminine side." As if the sex-laden strutting has anything whatsoever to do with "getting in touch with anyone's 'feminine side'" It's soft porn. Period. We'll have to remind ole Tom the next time he rails on a sex-police rant that he's in a poor position to complain.
3 out of 3 right-wing think tank members agree: Let's not pass national health care reform. Pictured from left to right: Thomas Miller of the American Enterprise Institute, Grace Marie Turner of the Galen Institute, and Jim Capretta of the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
While waiting in line for the event, I listened to several opponents of reform. One lady complained, "my mother is 82 and she's bought [the Obama plan] hook, line and sinker. I wish I could just tell her, 'you're an idiot!'"
Her friend assured her, "studies have shown that most people over the age of 80 have some level of dementia."
This diary, authored by a Deeds supporter, responds to Deeds' recent attacks on McDonnell's abortion positions, as well as the comment made by Aznew (blogger for the The Virginia Democrat) below the break. The continued tolerance of the progressive Blue Commonwealth community for those who are not afraid to question the acts of our leadership, and the rare atmosphere of respectful discourse on this site, are greatly treasured and appreciated.
The debate (if you can call it that) on President Obama's health care reform has turned exceedingly ugly exceedingly fast, pumped by constant repetition on Fox channel of particularly vicious lies. These lies and misrepresentations ("misrepresentation" is a nice word that means deliberate lies, usually backed up with an anecdote to "prove" it)are the feedstock for the hysterics who are disrupting town halls.
MoveOn.org has provided us with a properly sourced answer to each of the five most egregious lies, er misrepresentations, which are reproduced below the fold. The only problem here is that the Answers are true, being based on facts, and we all know the screaming meemies at the town halls are impervious to facts. Nevertheless, if you have an opportunity to talk, as opposed to scream, with some one who expresses one of these lies, or seems to be wavering on the necessity of passing what the other side calls "Obamacare," well, here they are:
Part One: Introduction (We Hold These Truths: Reflections in the Aftermath of our Nation's Birthday and the Balance Between Independence and Interdependence and their Role in the Health Insurance Debate.)
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, - That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
The Fourth of July is always an emotional time, as it was last month once again. It's felt in the deepest part of our hearts, fed by yearly celebration and anticipation, and stirred anew each and every time the day gets close. We flew our flags in remembrance of the first Independence Day, which moved us toward freedom in 1776. We reflected upon the words which brought us here. Here they are from the National Archives. Each year as NPR reporters, anchors and other celebrities read the Declaration of Independence aloud, I get a lump in my throat. But not this year. I missed the morning news and do not know if history repeated this year. And so I re-read the document. It is a document of independence from the King. It states "unalienable' rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It focuses on consent of the governed. But what it does not do is sever the bond Americans have with each other. It is not a document of that kind of independence. Indeed it is we the governed who stand as the collective source of power. And by extension, it we ALL of us who are important, not just every man (or woman) for himself. The Constitution drafted later bears this out. This a country which celebrates its freedoms.
Americans, 72-76% of them, want health care coverage that is universal, can't be denied, can't be canceled, and has a public option. Now the Republicans have figured out how to silence them. Using their best tricks from watching too many Godfather movies, or maybe just the House staff who shut down the 2000 vote recount, they resort to mob tactics, thuggery, threats, and intimidation. Makes ya really proud.
Town hall ambushes are rolling out all over America. The health care industry has hired Astro-turf staffs in in 30 different states to disrupt and shut down town halls and all public discussion about health care reform. Watch tonight's Rachel Maddow show when the video comes out. In scenes distinctly reminiscent of the GOP shutdown of the recount in 2000, congressman after congressman gets shouted down by dial-a-mob transported from state to state, bussed in to harass, intimidate and silence.
uses video of 99th HOD wingnut candidate Catherine Crabill to go after Cooch:
Ryan Nobles of Channel 12 notes that Republicans are reluctant to go after Crabill because the Tea Partiers are among the few in the base who currently are motivated, but that Crabill was not someone they sought. They had no one else to run against Al Pollard. But she is on the Republican ticket, which makes her fair game in any statewide Republican race.
(NOTE - this is an ongoing news story. I had not posted the video earlier because the Crabill campaign had argued that the snip was out of context. It is not. I have examined the entire 30+ minutes of the video. And it is consistent with the kinds of other extreme remarks from Crabill, to which I refer in the piece. The video is now at the top of the front page at Daily Kos, and is getting wide national distribution. Because of the news-worthiness, I am putting it up to the top of the front page. - promoted by teacherken)
the following video is extracted from taping done by a Democratic tracker. There is no editing in the portion offered. The content of the message is in conformity with some of Crabill's other statements, including on her website. Any Republican who is not willing to denounce this kind of statement is admitting they do not believe in the democratic process.
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