Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Proof that the GOP is Anti-Business: Their Refusal to Pass an Infrastructure Investment Bill

by Sunnyjane

When President Obama said to a group of small business owners during the 2012 election campaign season, You didn't build that, every right-wing politician, talking head, and bumper-sticker maker looked to the heavens and yelled, Hallelujah!

What they conveniently failed to mention, however, was the rest of the President's remark: If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help … Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. 

The National Interstate Highway System

By the 1950s, with the wars in Europe and the Pacific ended, it was time to turn the nation's attention inward.  After taking office in 1953, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower began a plan to link state roads within the United States in what is now referred to as the National Highway System.  No doubt it was his experience as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and the successful invasion of France and Germany during the Second World War that made him realize that America needed a more efficient system of interstate highways should the nation ever have to go to war on its own soil as a result of a foreign invasion.  In addition, Eisenhower envisioned the ease of moving military equipment and troops to airports and seaports when the need arose to send American forces into battle overseas.  [Just for edification: there is no truth to the old and popular rumor that there was a one-in-five directive that stipulated that one mile in every five miles of highway must be perfectly straight to allow for use as military landing fields and/or airports.]

Construction on the plan to build the interstate highway system, which of course incorporated many bridges and overpasses,  began in 1956 and ended thirty-five years later in 1991.  Building the  NHS provided many jobs that were desperately needed after years of war preceded by a devastating depression.  

The State of America's Highway System is Gruesome
Just cross your fingers and hope your children's school bus doesn't end up at the bottom of a ravine.

Every successful business owner understands that investments in improvements are necessary to keep his company competitive, and so it is with local, state, and federal governments.  Failing to invest in infrastructure repair, replacement, and modernization is counterproductive to a healthy national economy. 

Much of the original National Highway System is almost sixty years old, and while some improvements have been made to the highways themselves, too many bridges -- both within the NHS and outside the NHS -- have not received similar attention.  Bridge designs and materials that were perfectly safe in the fifties and sixties are woefully inadequate today and are considered functionally obsolete, just one grade up from structurally obsolete.  That is hardly a reassuring fact.

The combination of commerce and commuting (for both business and pleasure) has long taken over the original purpose for linking the nation's highways. Duly justifying their If You Bought It, A Truck Brought It slogan, the trucking industry maintains that 15.5 million trucks travel the highways every day -- and, naturally, they must traverse bridges along the way.

In 2007, it was reported that more than 140,000 bridges were deemed structurally deficient or structurally obsolete.  In 2011, Republican senators filibustered President Obama's jobs and infrastructure bill because...well, because of their hatred for the Democratic president.  They care nothing about jobs and safety concerns for Americans.  NOTHING.  

The Business of Doing Business
The travel life of a product can be examined by taking just one product's story on its journey from producer to consumer.  Let's take John Boehner's addiction to fondness for Merlot as an example, shall we?  We'll assume it's Napa Valley grown and produced, and since teleportation -- that dubious little system that allows for the transfer of matter from one point to another without traversing the physical space between them -- is hardly an option, John's wine is no doubt flown into one of the Washington Metropolitan airports in Virginia.  But he still can't fill his glass.  The drinkie-poo must be picked up by a truck (there's no truth to the rumor that one pallet is labeled JOHN BOEHNER) and driven across the Potomac River on (most likely) Francis Scott Key Bridge to one of the many Georgetown liquor stores and/or to a distribution point.  From there, the wine is transported, again by truck, to the copious hotels and bars in the Nation's Capitol. 
To date, manufacturers have not affixed wings or attached inflatable devices to their products 
For those who may not be familiar with the District of Columbia, it is impossible to get into the city from Virginia without crossing one of five bridges.  Because Reagan National on the Virginia side of the Potomac River is the main fly-into-fly-out-of airport for politicians, you can trust that those bridges are maintained, um, fairly well.  (It's too bad that little productive business is actually conducted by those politicians, but that's another topic altogether.) 

Republicans Refuse to Spend on Infrastructure

Republican response to our crumbling infrastructure crisis:  We. Don't. Care!
Two of the fifteen items on the 2012 Republican Platform are job creation and infrastructure.  And in what can only be called sick humor, the title of their platform is Restoring the American Dream: Economy & Jobs.

President Obama has asked five times for an infrastructure bill that would not only repair or replace substandard roads and bridges all across America -- his latest call being in March of this year.  When he made a plea in 2011 for Congress to invest in infrastructure improvements to stimulate the economy and address the nation’s crumbling bridges and roads, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took his turtle-like countenance in front of a microphone and called it President Obama's re-election plan.  But in a lovely twist of fate, the very next day the Sherman Minton Bridge linking Kentucky with Indiana had to be shut down by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels -- a fellow Republican, by the way -- because the already-designated as deficient span was found to have cracks in its load-bearing section.

Interestingly enough, the Sherman Minton Bridge and the bridge that recently collapsed in Washington state suffer the same older-design flaw classified as fracture critical, which simply stated, means that when one section fails, the entire bridge is at risk of collapsing.  Rachel Maddow had an excellent segment on the fracture critical construction issue.

In 2010, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has rarely-if-ever supported a liberal idea, came out with a first-ever study that harshly criticized the state of America's transportation infrastructure, saying in part: The bottom line is this: our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure is placing a major drag on our economic growth. We must focus on improving the way transportation delivers for business, removing barriers to maintaining, modernizing and expanding our nation’s transportation infrastructure, and driving increased public and private investment.

I guess Republicans didn't get that memo.

End Note

President Obama has improved the job market, the stock market, and the housing market.  He saved GM and restored manufacturing growth.  The deficit is down and the stock market may soon reach an all-time high.

And who is anti-business here?  Just asking. 

Acknowledgement:  Many thanks to our commenter Alwaysthink, who allowed me to take on this issue for a post.  This is, as Yknott said, a subject about which we are all passionate. 

And I might add: Or should be!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"Conservatives4Palin" - The land of "Palin-utopia", where you get banned for "disrespecting the Governor" and where outlandish Palin-worshipping is encouraged

By Patrick

The time has come to say a few words again about our "special friends", the people from Sarah Palin's top-fansite "Conservatives4Palin" ("C4P"), where the Palin-worshippers have created a land of Palin-utopia that allows not the slightest deviation from the "Palin party line" and encourages the most outlandish Palin-worshipping. It is a place where an alternate reality has been created and is being nurtured by a busy team of editors every day.

It is a website which claims to be independent from Sarah Palin and her official organizations, but Sarah Palin's former top-aide Frank Bailey inconveniently revealed in his book "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin" that Conservatives4Palin received their talking points from Palin-aide Meg Stapleton in 2009 in order to discredit Juneau-resident Chip Thoma (p. 323). As a result of the communications between Meg Stapleton and C4P, their writer Joey Russo published a bogus-story about the invented fact that Thoma wanted to "close down Piper Palin's lemonade stand."

Today the moderators were busy again at C4P, as in the comments of the current "Open Thread" the party line was not obeyed. The trouble started when long-time right-wing commenter "njinfl" uttered dissatisfaction about Sarah Palin being "mute" on political issues:

Oh no - it was clear that there was trouble ahead in paradise. Deviation from the daily Palin-worshipping, especially questioning the wisdom of the "Governor" is considered high-treason over at Sarah's most fanatical fan club.

Then "njinfl" doubled down and criticised Sarah Palin for being silent on the immigration policies:

Quite reasonable criticism from a right-wing point of view, don't you think? The commenter "njinfl" expresses unhappiness that Sarah Palin is silent on certain issues - and "njinfl" has a point, because Sarah Palin's main occupation these days is to pose for photos, give boring speeches for insane amounts of money and blast on Obama on facebook and twitter for everything he says or does (receiving a collective "yawn" from the general public). So there is apparently not much time left for creating policies which could save the United States of America, which would be quite difficult anyway as this would also require a certain degree of "intelligence", amongst other things.

However, as was to be expected, the story wasn't over at this point, because high-treason had been committed. The "Governor" had been criticised. Such a grave offence could not be left unpunished!

So the moderator, C4P-author and dedicated Palin-fan Steve Flesher, who interestingly and somewhat surprisingly is also the founder of the website, had to step in. He first rebuked "njinfl" for leaving the comments and quickly afterwards deleted the comments altogether and banned "njinfl."

Of particular interest is Steve Flesher's explanation of his actions, as this beautifully demonstrates the authoritarian mindset which Sarah Palin's cult followers have incorporated - a mindset which is expressed also in virtually thousands of published emails by the "Governor" herself in which she rants about bloggers, journalists and other miscreants who dared to not love her words and/or actions as they were expected to do.

Moderator Steve Flesher commented:

"Governor Palin has been at the forefront of holding GOP politicians in every rank of government accountable. What in world would you argue that she is doing? Accusing her of hypocrisy is not something one would do when they consider all the facts and comments like that are not welcome here. Disrespecting the Governor especially without facts is grounds for banning. Please don't let it happen again."

"Disrespecting the Governor is grounds for banning!" Actually, Sarah Palin couldn't have said it better herself. Well done, Steve!

So these are your "freedom-loving" Palin-fans for you. You have the freedom to love Sarah Palin, that is for sure!

But going after detractors is just one of the main attractions of the No.1 website of the Palin-cult. The other question is just how far the Palin-cultists will go with their boundless adoration of the "Governor." There is one commenter at C4P who thoroughly deserves to be mentioned, and this is of course the beloved and somewhat unfortunately named "Brianus Berkleianus." He provides us with new entertainment every day, although his activities are virtually indistinguishable from parody. However, he is the real thing indeed!

"Brianus" not only leaves the most inventive, ridiculously enthusiastic comments imaginable, he also started a website quite a while ago which is dedicated to analysing every page of Sarah Palin's autobiography "Going Rogue" - and he slowly "analyses" one page after the other. The current count at his website with his "Reflections" ends at page 125.  If you are looking for the ultimate Palin-worshipper, it has to be "Brianus Berkleianus." He might see this as a compliment, but one has to be at the absolute bottom of the rabbit hole in order not to see the insanity. As I said, absolutely indistinguishable from parody - but real.

One of his most recent comments:

Just one example - excerpt from his analysis of page 111 of "Going Rogue":


What profound matter for reflection is contained in the tiny yet vast compass of these three little words (four for "uncle" joe biden).

First, think how many more true FRIENDS Sarah has now than she did when she launched her campaign for Governor back in 2005. At that time the fields of her friendships were mostly confined to the Great Land; now, now, because she has fought and suffered so greatly for America since 2008, she has millions upon more millions of true friends who have either met her in person over the course and career of the last four-plus years, or, even though they may never have encountered her in her lovely person, feel that they have in Sarah of Alaska a TRUE FRIEND, a personal friend … almost a family member!!

Now let us consider briefly the word "volunteer." What is its etymology? It comes from the Latin word VOLUNTAS, "Free Will."

Sarah's friends chose to help her out of the depths of their free will.

I think that history has demonstrated over and over what a few FREE fighters can accomplish when they are set against SLAVE armies of the opposition.

As one example, just consider Leonidas' 300 Spartan warriors and what they accomplished against the slave hordes of the Persian King, Xerxes, at the famed and fateful Pass of Thermopylae in 480 BC.

As another example, consider what the warriors of the American Revolution wrought against the professional soldiers of the British Empire and against their Hessian mercenaries!

FREE service proceeds and wells up from all the depths of the "deep heart's core"; it comes from LOVE!!!

Yes, Sarah's friends volunteered to help her in 2005-2006.

This will be as nothing compared to what, IMV, is just around the corner.

When she raises her Alaskan and American Battle Standard;

When she sounds Freedom's Trumpet Call of Thunder;

We shall behold:


Sarah and her Free Friends will save America!!!

Therefore Brianus achieved to merge parody and reality in an absolutely unique way, which is quite an accomplishment. Maybe not the accomplishment that Brianus was hoping for, but from an entertainment point of view it is actually quite remarkable in my opinion.

"Conservatives4Palin" is a website where merciless persecution of detractors and critics and boundless, fact-free adoration of Sarah Palin go hand in hand. It is actually a fitting tribute to Sarah Palin. If Sarah Palin herself had to create a website, I am sure it would be "Conservatives4Palin." After all, "Utopia" is just a mouse-click away, if you want it! The personality-cult in action. Belieeeeeve!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The GOP's Not-So-Magnificant Obsession: The IRS 'Scandal'

by Sunnyjane

The IRS scandal  will make Obama a two-term president!  Oh, wait...
These were the three scandals that were supposed to bring down the Obama Administration and kill any chances that Hillary Clinton would ever run for president, much less become president.

Well, the Benghazi scandal has fizzled badly in the heat and humidity of Washington's warmer weather.  Even GOP staffers are making fun of it:  Some of the accusations, I mean you wouldn't believe some of this stuff.  It's just -- I mean, you've got to be on Mars to come up with some of this stuff.  [Pardon me while I engage in a major splort here.]

And the AP scandal?  Well, no one is really talking about it any more, which means there's no there there, so we're not going to waste time on it at this point.

But the IRS scandal?  An entirely different matter, because taxes are something the Tea Party can get behind.  You betcha!   

Don't Legislate: Obfuscate and Intimidate
Damn, we invited the Tea Party to the prom and now we've actually gotta dance with 'em!

In a recent epistle to House leaders Boehner and Cantor, Heritage Action for America, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation that now has as its head-honcho former Senator Jim DeMint, outlined their marching orders: Do not legislate, just focus on the Obama Administration's current scandals. Was this solely to put the thumbscrews to Democrats?  No, not really.  The true reason is that they don't want the American public to see what a fucking chaotic clown show the GOP has become: would be imprudent to do anything that shifts the focus from the Obama administration to the ideological differences within the House Republican Conference.  To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference.  Looks to me like a case of children behaving badly because mama and papa are too spineless to discipline them.  No, Boehner would rather discipline the IRS, aka the Obama Administration, by ensuring that somebody goes to jail.  This is, of course, before it's been determined that anyone has actually broken a law, and if so, which law. 

Secret Memos + Lies + Conspiracies = Idiocy

I'm proposing a bill to warn the American public about the hazards of home permanents.
Rand Paul, the same idiot who is sure the Obama administration is responsible for his toilet-flushing problems, believes there are secret memos floating around that prove the IRS was  targeting people who were opposed to the president.  No, he told Candy Crowley of  always reliable CNN, he hasn't actually seen said memo, but it's been reported orally.  As opposed to writtingly, I guess; I dunno.  But if I remember correctly, that's called gossip, which is much more interesting to Tea Partiers than actual facts.  [Memo to Candy Crowley: I know you're the one making the big bucks, but don't you think it would serve your viewers to say something here, like:  So you really have nothing but an unsubstantiated rumor; isn't that correct?]  Maybe Senator Paul has been having too many lunches with Jon Karl, eh?

Everybody in the GOP and the media hyped this little scandal in the beginning by running around saying that the investigation of conservative groups by the IRS was a news-breaking issue and yelling that Congress didn't know anything about it.  Not so.  The inconvenient truth is that the inspector general of tax administration for the Treasury Department did, indeed, notify Congress last year, and in addition sent a letter to Darrell Issa in July 2012 informing him that the IRS would be audited.  It stands to reason that, in an election year in which the Republicans were trying desperately to make Barack Obama a one-term president, that had Issa believed he had a game-changing scandal, he would have brought it forward.  In a heartbeat.  He didn't; if fact, Issa himself said recently, This is one of those things where it's been, in a sense, an open secret, but you don't accuse the IRS until you've had a nonpartisan, deep look. That's what the IG has done. That's why the IGs in fact exist within government, is to find this kind of waste and fraud and abuse of power.

In addition, in March 2012, thirty or so Democrats signed a letter that urge[d] the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to investigate whether any groups qualifying as social welfare organizations under section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code are improperly engaged in political campaign activity.  Note that the letter says any groups.  That's an important distinction because the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) blogger-in-chief, one Matt Gorman, published a post in mid-May that was headlined 32 House Dems Called For IRS To Investigate Conservative Groups In 2012.  That was, shall we say, somewhat misleading.  But then he outright lied, saying, They go on to specify the conservative SuperPAC Crossroads GPS.  He even published the Democrats' letter, and I defy any reader to find the words conservative groups, Tea Party, patriot, SuperPAC or Crossroad GPS.  That's not a lie; it's a damn lie.

The Real IRS Scandal Began Fifty-Four Years Ago

The IRS code regulating the exempt-from-tax for organizations was written in 1954 and still  states today that:  Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular … 

However, in 1959 the IRS began to interpret the word exclusively to mean primarily.  When it comes to taxes, a government organization should not arbitrarily change the meaning of a word; words matter.  As the New York Times so succinctly pointed out recently, Given the confusion, and the years of abuse, it’s time for the IRS to return to the original language of the statute and require these groups to operate exclusively for the promotion of social welfare and not engage in politics.

End Note  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The dangerous and neglected United States of America: Only about 10 percent of the homes in the City of Moore, Oklahoma have "below-ground storm shelters" - and the City's program to receive federal grants for storm shelters has been stuck for years

By Patrick

It does not take a rocket scientist to see what is going wrong these days in the United States of America.

This was the City of Moore in 1999, after a terrible tornado hit the City, with 44 people dead and about 500 people injured (click on photos to enlarge):

Find more pictures from 1999 at this website.

These are photos of the City of Moore right now:

More shocking pictures can be found at "The Atlantic."

Well, the the fact that so many buildings have been destroyed again was probably unavoidable in this case, as a category F4 or F5 tornado destroys virtually any house in its path.

But how can the citizens survive these monster tornadoes? They need a below-ground storm shelter, like these ones (from a google picture search):

So how many of these below-ground storm shelters are there in the City of Moore?

The website of the City of Moore knows the answer:

"Unfortunately, few homes in Moore have basements, and only about 10% or less have below-ground storm shelters."


This is especially unfortunate, as the City of Moore also explains on its website:

Unless you are in a mobile home or a portable building, normally the best place to take shelter is "in-place", right where you are. The best place to take shelter is in a basement or a below-ground location. (...) The City of Moore has no community (or "public") tornado shelters. This is due to two factors: Overall, people face less risk by taking shelter in a reasonably-well constructed residence! There is no public building in Moore which has a suitable location for a shelter. Yes, there is less overall risk by sheltering-in-place than by going to a community shelter. The average tornado warning time is generally only 10-15 minutes. That's just not enough time for a person to receive the warning, make a conscious decision to leave their home, gather the few things needed (family, keys, etc.), lock the house, get into the car, drive to a shelter (including possibly experiencing a traffic jam of others trying to get to the same shelter!), get out of the car, and make the way into the community shelter. In this scenario, there's a far greater likelihood of getting caught in your car when the tornado strikes!

Yes, that is understandable. The warning time is too short, and this means that people need their own shelters, if they do not want to put their life in the hands of God!

So then why do only about 10 percent of the homes in Moore have "below-ground storm shelters?" Anyone who looks at the pictures from 1999 knows that their lurks a deadly menace over the City which could return easily - as it did yesterday!

I really would like to go on a longer rant here, but you are all aware of the facts, so I can make it short:

A country which...

...spends for example an insane amount of money on the military each year (currently more than one trillion dollar in total)...

...and which for example spends - in my opinion - also a pretty insane amount of money for (at least!) 16 intelligence services (roughly 80 billion dollars in 2010, sharply rising each year)...

...but forgets that its own citizens need support, a good infrastructure and solid protection by the authorities...

...should change its course immediately!

It is not that the City of Moore has not tried to change the situation.

On the website of the City of Moore, the current status of the "Safe Room Rebate Program" is being explained. The situation looks like this: The problem is that this program apparently has been stuck for years - up until today.

Quote from the website:
Safe Room Rebate Program - Update Feb. 2013

UPDATE - February 2013

The City's safe room rebate program is still "on hold", with not a lot changed from our update of last May.

Our county-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan still has not been approved by the State and FEMA. There were changes to the Federal requirements for this plan that occurred while our contractor was writing the document; he has had to rewrite it. We've found that the FEMA requirements and their interpretations seem to be a constantly moving target, more so with the new wrinkles. We're still working out various wording changes with the State reviewers and hope to submit the final document in March.

However, the Plan is not our main obstacle. The Federal grant program which funds local initiatives such as ours is funded by monies set aside during Presidential major disaster declarations. Oklahoma has had few of these declarations in the past couple of years, so there is not a lot of grant money available.

Once our Plan is approved and grant funds become available, we will certainly proceed with our rebate program application.

Safe Room Rebate Program Status – May 1st, 2012

In October 2011, the City of Moore solicited names and addresses of Moore residents interested in receiving federal grant monies toward the installation of a Safe Room or Storm Shelter. We were required to collect the data prior to submission of the City’s application to FEMA.

For the City of Moore to be eligible for the federal funds, we are required to have a FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) on file. The City collaborated with other communities in Cleveland County on the HMP and it was approved in September 2006 and expired in September 2011. The communities of Cleveland County began the revision process of the new Hazard Mitigation Plan during the summer of 2011.


It is the desire of the City to assist persons who are in Moore to have a place to seek refuge from severe weather. To this end, the City is gathering interest forms as the first step in applying for a hazard mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. We intend to apply for 2 million dollars in FEMA funding which will assist approximately 800 Moore homeowners.

This particular rebate program is for residential homes. Rental and/or commercial properties are not eligible. If a homeowner is chosen for the program and the City is successful in securing FEMA funding, the homeowner will be eligible to receive up to $2500 in rebate upon installation and verification of final paperwork.

Come on, Americans! This situation is ridiculous, and there are probably many more "City's of Moore" within the USA! Supporting the citizens is not socialism! Giving the people a good infrastructure and good public services is not Marxism! However, spending billions and billions for overblown prestige institutions is just a waste! The citizens have to come first!

Also, making the rich pay their fair share of taxes is also not socialism. It is part of bearing shared responsibility for the well-being of the society.

If all parts of the society work together for the common good and use common sense, the battered United States of America can get back on track again. But at the moment, the American patient still appears to be suffering badly.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The GOP's Funeral Will Be Held When They Finish Digging Their Own Grave

by Sunnyjane

The GOP has been on life support since 2008 or so, but it has finally succumbed to its self-inflicted case of Wingnuttery Inclusionus Nervosa.  And it isn't just the legislators who brought on this condition; their followers, Big Money supporters, and the far-right media have aided and abetted them the whole way.

There are so many instances of the GOP's determination to thwart anything the Obama administration tries to accomplish that it's difficult to know where to begin when discussing the latest hoohahs.  However, with Benghazi, the IRS, and the AP stories a'sizzling on the grill in the last two weeks, the Republican Tea Party seems to have finally found themselves red meat on which to chew, and they're snarling and yelping like a bunch of savage wolves.

So let's just jump right in, shall we?

Louie Gohmert's Latest Nutso Rant   

Did you hear Gohmert say I was casting aspersions on his asparagus?
It all began during another House hearing; this is all they do, you see, hold hearings, and it's especially fun when the victim is Eric Holder.  Anyhow, Louie Gohmert (R-Texas Idiot) decided he had not had enough irate spew time on the TV machine lately, so he took the opportunity on May 15 to rage against the Attorney General on everything from the IRS going after Christian organizations like Billy Graham to the handling of information from Russia on Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to PETA insulting his pet rock.  (OK, I made that up about the pet rock; the truth is that Gohmert's pet rock left home some time ago after being yelled at for pooping pebbles in Louie's favorite pair of bedroom slippers.)

Whatever.  Louie accused the FBI of failing to question the now-dead-and-buried-in-Virginia Tsarnaev brother thoroughly enough, even after Russia had said the Boston bomber had been radicalized.  Then there ensued some crosstalk with the Chairman about Gohmert's having run out of questioning (questioning?) time, but he insisted that the AG respond.  So Holder said, The only observation I was going to make is that you state as a matter of fact what the FBI did and did not do. Unless somebody has done something inappropriate, you don't have access to the FBI files.  I know what the FBI did. You cannot know what I know. That's all.

Louie then entered red-faced stroke-zone territory and said, I cannot have a witness challenge my character … The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus.  Oh, yes, he really said that.  Check it out.  (No word on whether or not his Hollandaise sauce was likewise insulted.)
You Say Benghazi and I Say Bullshit

Sarah Palin demands that the lamestream media interview Mr. Ben Ghazi immediately and find out what he knows about the attack.
So anxious to bring an impeachment resolution (we can be sure it's already been drafted) against President Obama, the Hill obsesses daily on the September 11, 2012 attack on the embassy outpost in Benghazi where four staff were killed by Islamist militants.

House Speaker John Boehner is, according to insider sources, totally fixated with the issue.  See, it takes away all the pressure on him to actually be a leader, and he can earn much-needed creds with the far-right crowd.   And, of course, he doesn't have to focus on those distasteful Obama-agenda issues like gun reform, immigration, and jobs -- those icky  thingies that would actually benefit Americans. Boehner has told Darrell Issa (well known car thief and illegal possessor of guns) how to run the show, and the salivating Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has done the job with a passion, concluding that the White House has been involved in a cover-up!  Why?  Well, because the President of the United States committed the grievous offense of calling the attack an act of terror!

Here's what the Benghazi cover-up consists of, according to Issa himself: The words that are being used carefully — an ‘act of terror’ is different than a ‘terrorist attack.’   

And what, dear readers, did George W. Bush (you remember him, don't you?) call the September 11, 2001 violence against America that killed more than three thousand people?  An unbelievable act of terrorSee, it's not what's done that counts, it's who does it:  Bush = That's Cool!  Obama = Grounds for Impeachment!

Reports have been made that suggest the Republicans did a tad of, shall we call it, wordsmithing with the talking-points emails they're so adamant about seeing.  On Thursday, May 16, Major Garrett on CBS Evening News pretty much called the Republicans liarsRepublicans told us these were the quotes; that wasn’t true.  Copies of the emails the GOP leadership gave CBS appear to have been, um, altered. 

And ABC admitted that in their haste to smear the Obama administration, they didn't actually read the Benghazi emails.  These are journalists?  Perhaps they attended the Sarah Palin School of Journalism and/or Communications -- take your pick. 

Investigations?  You Really Wanna Talk Investigations?

Would you care for a little arson on the side, Mr. Issa?
In 2010, an investigation was conducted on Darrell Issa's background and it revealed that a fire that burned his Ohio manufacturing plant was, according to inspectors,  most likely the work of an arsonist.  Because the fire insurance policy had been raised from $100,000 to $462,000 just a few weeks prior to the fire, and evidence arose that Issa had removed computers and papers from the building, led inspectors to suspect Issa himself.  Neither he, nor anyone else, has ever been charged, however.

Ari Melber and Martin Bashir discussed this issue on Thursday, May 16.

Curiouser and curiouser.    

The Scourge of Sexual Assault in the Military

 Not only is it a crime, not only is it shameful and disgraceful...  President Obama, May 16, 2013
The President is pissed, and rightly so.  He hauled Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to the White House on Thursday to read them the riot act.  Attending were also the chiefs of each military service, the civilian heads of each service, and enlisted advisers.

The issue received needed attention when the Air Force official in charge of its sexual-assault prevention program was recently arrested for groping the breasts and buttocks of a female.

And just this week,  the Sexual Assault Program Manager at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, was arrested in a domestic dispute with his former wife.  

It's rather like what happens when the fox is guarding the hen house, isn't it?  Where's the GOP outrage?  When's the hearing on this issue going to be scheduled?  Oh, sorry...since it's only assaults against women, that doesn't count.

Obamacare: Let's Vote to Repeal it for the 37th Time!
And they did.  And it passed.  Yawn.
The Speaker of the House decided, once again, to spoil the children and let the seventy newbies in Congress vote to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act.  I did think it was very considerate that they waited until the lying adulterer Mark Sanford was sworn in on Wednesday, don't you?

Mr. Speaker, please let me introduce my mistress.  I found her while hiking the Appalachian Trail.
And Darrell Issa was having such a good week that he took the opportunity to start a little rumble on Obamacare, tweeting: 

Hey folks, #ObamaCareInThreeWords -- go!

The White House lost no time in responding:

It's. The. Law. ,

Curses!  Obama Ruined Our IRS Scandal!

Revelations that the IRS had been targeting conservative groups that had applied for tax exempt status hit the news on Monday, May 13, when ABC obtained the Inspector General's [IG] draft report.  Naturally, the GOP leadership began salivating at the prospect of another Obama Scandal!  YIPPEE!  Surely they had him by the short hairs this time, dontcha think?  They prepared all their talking points for when the President went on  defense.  That scenario didn't come to pass, however, because President Obama said on Wednesday that the actions that were outlined in the IG's report were unacceptable.  He further said that his administration would accept all of the recommendations in the report and would work with the Congress in their investigation.   Please proceed, Mr. Speaker.  

Naturally, there was no outrage when, under George W. Bush, the IRS targeted liberal organizations, including the NAACP, Greenpeace, and an Episcopal Church in California. 
Deaths by Idiots With Guns Continue Unabated

My Bonnie looked into the gun barrel, the contents she wanted to see. She fired the gun to assist her, oh bring back my Bonnie to me.
No post on the GOP would be complete without a mention of gun violence.  

According to Slate, which is (thankfully) keeping track of gun violence since Sandy Hook, 4,127 people have died since that awful day in NewtownAt least seventy-one victims of that horrid statistic are children, many of whom had been killed by, um, accident.  This is not only unacceptable, it's a sin. 

Logic, Republican Tea Party style:  Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor who has recently been found guilty of murder in the deaths of three babies, is representative of all abortion doctors.  But gun-wielding mass murderers, children's deaths by their own hand or by accident, and all other gun injuries and deaths are not representative of the NRA-backed House and Senate...or, by responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

End Note