Sunday, March 30, 2014

Ted Cruz publishes facebook poll, then unwillingly creates one of the most powerful "pro-Obamacare" messages ever, as Americans tell Ted Cruz what they really think!

By Patrick

Notable political rascal Senator Ted Cruz, who himself receives luxury health insurance through Goldman Sachs, recently had a great idea for using the power of Facebook for political gain. Ted Cruz, who is famous not only for causing the $ 23 billion dollar shutdown, but also for his extremist father Rafael Cruz, on March 24 posted on facebook a simple question to his audience, writing:

"Quick poll: Obamacare was signed into law four years ago yesterday. Are you better off now than you were then? Comment with YES or NO!"

The Senator from Texas, who just recently declared that "Obamacare", the Affordable Care Act, is the "the most unpopular law in the country" and that Republicans still have a chance to repeal “every single word” of Obamacare, apparently believes his own propaganda and also seriously thinks that Americans believe what he believes.

But Ted Cruz was proven wrong.

In one of the most memorable political facebook moments ever, Ted Cruz received a clear overwhelming response from many American people, who said:


He received more than 40.000 responses to his question, and I don't think that this number includes all the numerous, individual replies to these responses.

A look at the "top comments" reveals a general picture that Ted Cruz surely didn't expect. Yes, "Obamacare" is actually very, very popular, and many people are very thankful for this first step in helping to solve healthcare issues in the USA.

At least Cruz does not censor his facebook page like his close friend Sarah Palin has already done for years, but she might now fell compelled to give him some advice, you never know! :-)

Here are the first 49 "top comments", the screenshots were only taken a few minutes ago, for your viewing pleasure. The people have spoken, loud and clear, and Democrats should stop being insecure about the ACA. Yes, citizens want decent healthcare, and they also want Ted Cruz to shove off:

Trying to please his teabagging fans, Ted Cruz instead inspired a powerful response PRO Obamacare.

See also the earlier, very good report at "Addicting Info."

Thank you, Ted, for being so foolish, and thank you, Americans, for being so outspoken!



In a new advert, Ted Cruz also says that he wants to "abolish the IRS."

Demagoguery at its finest.

Hail Anarchy!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Female Republicans Wage Paycheck Fairness War on Their Own Gender

by Sunnyjane

Three-fourths of a penny for your thoughts.

On January 29, 2009, newly inaugurated President Barack Obama signed into law the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  Fast forward to 2012: When Mitt Romney was supposed to ensure that Obama became a one-term president, his campaign staff was asked if their candidate supported the Lily Ledbetter Act.  Now it's not as if these fools had been asked to find the length of the hypotenuse in a right triangle using the Pythagorean theorem.  It was a simple Yes or No question.  But, living up to very low expectations, a rather lengthy silence ensued before they finally responded, Um...we'll get back to you on that.  (Note: Romney refused throughout the campaign to answer that question, even after Ann assured the ladies at the Clint-Eastwood-infested convention that We love you women!)

It should come as no astounding revelation that Republican men in the House and Senate have historically voted against any legislation that would ensure income equality for women, regardless of how badly they need that particular demographic at election time.  But in the time-honored conservative manner of allowing the males to run the show, the female lawmakers (and I use that term loosely) have also refused to allow their own gender adequate protections to ensure that they receive equal pay for equal work.  'Tis a head-scratcher, but I assure you that the ladies have some excellent reasons.  Susan Collins believes that the Paycheck Fairness Act could impose a real burden on small businesses due to excessive litigation that might occur.  (Memo to Sen. Collins: There would be no litigation if small businesses were paying equal salaries for equal work.)  Never one to hide her ignorance by keeping her mouth tightly shut, good old North Carolina Rep. Virginia Jared-Loughner-was-a-liberal-communist Foxx thought the Act was a liberal plot to strengthen Democrats' accusations that Republicans are anti-women.  Well if the shoe fits, honey, just go on and hit yourself upside the head with it. (Memo to Rep. Foxx:  You're as stupid as the Wingnut from Wasilla.)  There are some folks who are hoping that Ms. Foxx will run against Kay Hagen for the Senate.  I hope so, too; it's the last we would see of Foxxy. 

Last June, Tennessee Congressman (yes, she insists on being addressed as congressman) Marsha Blackburn appeared on Meet the Press.   When asked about her vote against the Paycheck Fairness Act, she responded in word-salady language that women don't want equal pay laws, they just want to be recognized as having gotten the job because they were the most qualified.  Or something like that.  Of course, it never occurred to David Gregory -- or any of the other men on the roundtable -- to ask the Congressman a rather relevant question:  So, Congressman Blackburn, are you saying you would be perfectly satisfied if you were being paid $40,000 less than your male counterparts in the House of Representatives? This same question should be asked of every female who votes against paycheck equality.  The sound of silence would be deafening.

That was 2013.  What are Republican women doing now to advance the cause of equal pay for women?

Oh, Stop Your Silly Whinging, Ladies

Making twenty-three cents on a dollar less than a man might not seem like a big deal to Republican women, until they start realizing that over a forty-year career, they could be cheated out of almost half-a-million dollars.  That not only hurts their current quality of life, but it dramatically affects their Social Security and any pension fund plans they may have.  This sort of ignorant defiance is akin to purposely shooting yourself in the foot and claiming Stand Your Ground defense when asked why you did such a stupid thing.  (Think about it.)

According to one state representative, Minnesota women are whiners for wanting laws to protect them against income equality.  This whining absolutely disgusts Rep. Andrea Kieffer because -- wait for it -- ...these bills are putting us backwards in time. We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women.  

Uh huh.  Well, who would have ever guessed that a law requiring that women be paid the same salary as men for the same work would be putting them backwards in time and causing them to lose respect?  Whose respect might that be, Rep. Kieffer?  Yeah, that's what I thought -- the respect of the same men who advocate paying a woman less because, after all, she's just a woman.  Makes perfect sense.  New hash tag:  #Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican.

Dysfunction Junction Deep in the Heart of Texas

Q: How many Republican women in Texas does it take to change a light bulb?  A: None; they're too busy still making candles for the men folk.

Or so we've been led to understand.  The executive editor of Red State Women -- which has just started a PAC for Greg Abbott, by the way -- said recently that while Texas women certainly want and deserve equal pay, the Lily Ledbetter Act was not the answer to the situation.  But when asked by the interviewer what would resolve paycheck inequality, she was at a loss.  Thus, Ms. Cari Christman decided it was because women are too busy to worry about equal pay laws: If you look at it, women are… extremely busy, we lead busy lives.  And times are extremely busy. It’s just — it’s a busy cycle for women, and we’ve got a lot to juggle.  #Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican. 

Then cometh the executive director of the Texas Republican Party to chide women for trying to seek their silly little paycheck justice through the courts and simply become better negotiators#Makes Perfect Sense if You're a Republican.

Fortunately, Wendy Davis was having none of it, and snapped back at this lunacy, and pretty much told Greg Abbott to come out from behind the skirts of his staff and surrogates and speak for himself on the issue of paycheck equality.  It hasn't happened yet! 

End Note


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Meet Sarah Palin's new boss - Major Democratic donor and business tycoon Leo Hindery Jr. - The surprising connections in America's media industry - UPDATES: The announcement of Sarah Palin's show causes havoc on facebook at "Guns & Ammo"

This man, Leo Hindery Jr., seems nice and supports Barack Obama and the Democrats - 
and he is now ultimately Sarah Palin's new boss

By Patrick

We have great news for Sarah Palin: If her upcoming, already widely ridiculed new show on the "Sportsman Channel" fails ("Jackass for Conservatives"), she could blame it on the Democrats. How fantastic is that! We are sure Sarah will be thrilled. After all, the right-wing nutjobs love nothing more a good conspiracy explaining how "Obama-evil-muslim-Kenyan-socialist" and his minions want to take over the universe and destroy Sarah Palin.

Kathleen and I today wondered who really is "in charge" of Sarah Palin's new employer, Sportsman Channel, who really is running the show, so to speak. Coming from an European perspective, we are used to the fact that the media world is broadly divided into "liberal" and "conservative" organizations. On the "liberal" side, there is for example the German media giant Bertelsmann who is also active on the US-market via the publisher Random House.

In the USA however, the situation is much more complicated. Despite the myth that there is a "liberal" media existing in the USA, also widely supported by Sarah Palin herself through her "lamestream media" claims, the truth is far more complex. Just yesterday, "Buzzfeed" published an article about the fact the mainstream ("liberal") media years ago discovered right-wing authors as a good source for profit. Apparently, there is not much money to earn these days through the sale of books - however, in the recent past, "liberal" media organizations in the USA had no hesitation to sign up right-wingers, putting profits over politics, as Buzzfeed explains:

The conservative book business has seen better days. Ten years ago, the genre was a major source of intellectual energy on the right, and the site of a publishing boom, with conservative imprints popping up at industry giants like Random House and Penguin. But after a decade of disruption, uneven sales, and fierce competition, many leading figures in the conservative literati fear the market has devolved into an echo of cable news, where an overcrowded field of preachers feverishly contends for the attention of the same choir.


The challenges afflicting the market are varied, but in interviews with BuzzFeed, several editors, agents, and executives faulted the same trend they were celebrating in 2003, when mainstream publishers began elevating conservative editors, like Adam Bellow and Adrian Zackheim, and luring high-profile Republican figures like consultant Mary Matalin into the book business. At the time, many on the right welcomed this development as the sort of victory that had eluded them in Hollywood, academia, and the mainstream press — a mass influx of conservatives that would wrest the industry from the hands of liberal elites, and work to reverse the tide of the culture wars.

The gutting of the conservative book market could mark the end of a cycle that began in the summer of 1987, when a roomful of bemused Manhattan publishing types gathered at the offices of Simon & Schuster to toast Bloom, a University of Chicago philosopher whose new book, The Closing of the American Mind, condemned the American higher education system for having “impoverished the souls” of its students. The volume had become a surprise mega-hit, eventually selling more than a million copies by channeling a popular sentiment on the American right that few in the literary class could relate to.

Roger Kimball, a conservative critic present at the party, recalled meeting Simon & Schuster publisher Joni Evans. Kimball said Evans was “pleased as punch” to have a runaway bestseller on her hands, but seemed perplexed by the book’s success. “It was clear she had never opened the book,” he said. “She had no idea what was in it.”

Books might be dead, as Buzzfeed believes, but cable TV, internet and social media are flourishing, and the same hard core right-wing audience still promises to deliver big profits. They love God and Guns and they ardently hate liberals - and they have lots of dollars to spend.

So who really runs the show at "Sportsman Channel", Sarah Palin's new employer? We searched, and the final results were rather surprising. The owner of Sportsman Channel is the "InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc.", which also owns no less than 17 hunting, fishing and shooting magazines ("Guns & Ammo", "Gun Dog", "Handguns", "Petersen's Hunting", "Rifle Shooter" etc.). This company therefore has the right-wing audience squarely in its sights, and it comes as no big surprise that they signed up Sarah Palin, the infamous right-wing starlet.

However, the connections in the background are still incredibly interesting, and also shine more light on the structures of the American media industry.

Let's take a look first at the people who are in charge of the operations at Sportsman Channel, and who are the producers of Sarah Palin's show. These people are not difficult to find, as they recently proudly posed with Sarah Palin:

Gavin Harvey, CEO:

He presents himself as a big hunter and clearly knows his audience ("community of opt-in true believers"), and he can look back at a long career of executive media positions. He also appears to have excellent connections to cable giant "Comcast."

Craig Piligian, executive producer of Sarah Palin's show:

Craig Piligian is the President and CEO of "Pilgrims Film & Television", a company which describes itself as "A National Treasure", and they now proudly present Sarah Palin's show as part of their portfolio:

What is really interesting is the fact that in 2012, Craig Piligian was voted by "The Hollywood Reporter" to be the "18th most powerful person" in reality TV. Never say that Sarah Palin doesn't have influential friends any more, because that's clearly not the case.

Funnily, Craig Piligian also has no hesitation to "hang out" with Sarah Palin's archnemesis Kathy Griffin. It's Hollywood, after all! I guess somebody should explain to him that Sarah Palin neatly divides everything which is alive on this planet in friend and foe, and that she is very serious about it (h/t HopeforAmerica):

However, the real surprise is the business connection behind the owner of Sportsman Channel, the already mentioned "InterMedia Outdoor Holdings, Inc." Who is in charge there? The company is owned by the "InterMedia Advisors, LLC", also known as "InterMedia Partners", a private equity investment firm.

Wikipedia explains:

The firm, which was founded in 2005 by notable private equity investor Leo Hindery, is based on the 48th floor of the Chrysler Building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Among the firm's most notable investments are Thomas Nelson, Universal Sports, Control Room, Aspire, BlackBook Media, @Home Network, InterMedia Outdoors, Sportsman Channel, Cinelatino, Soul Train Holdings,Vibe Lifestyle Network, Up, and Puerto Rican station WAPA-TV.

But that's not everything. The real surprise is the fact that the Managing Partner of the company, business tycoon Leo Hindery Jr. is a major Democratic supporter, and he also is a close friend to Tom Daschle, who is an advisor for the company. Wikipedia notes about his political views:

In 2004, his name was floated as a possible successor to Terry McAuliffe as head of the Democratic National Committee.

Hindery served as Senior Economic Policy Advisor for presidential candidate John Edwards from December 2006 until February 2008. He is currently acting as an economic advisor to Barack Obama. On the withdrawal of Bill Richardson as nominee for Secretary of Commerce on January 4, 2009 it was suggested that he might be a suitable replacement.

On January 30, 2009, it was reported that Hindery's friendship and business partnership with former senator Tom Daschle might cause problems for the latter's Senate confirmation for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration. Daschle has been a consultant and advisor to Hindery's InterMedia Partners since 2005, during which time he received from Hindery access to a car and chauffeur. Daschle did not declare this service on his annual tax forms as required by law. (He reportedly paid the three years of owed taxes and interest in January 2009.) According to a Daschle spokeswoman, the former Senator "simply and probably naively considered its use a generous offer" from Hindery, "a longtime friend. On February 3, 2009 Daschle withdrew his nomination.

Interestingly, the right-wingers also quite recently discovered Leo Hindery's deep involvement in  "pro-gun" magazines and TV-channels, and the Daily Caller in an article from February 2013 seriously claimed that Hindery is "in the process of consolidating all of America’s leading gun-culture media outlets and stripping them down to virtual destruction." Did I already mention that right-wingers love nothing more than outlandish conspiracy theories...?


Employees of Obama donor Leo Hindery Jr.’s media conglomerate Intermedia Partners, which now owns most of the top gun-culture media outlets in the country, believe that Hindery plans to gut and destroy all of them as part of a business plan that has already led to numerous layoffs and the virtual shuttering of prominent television production facilities in Minnesota and Montana.

Hindery, who was in consideration to be President Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce, is managing partner of Intermedia Partners. The New York-based media private equity fund owns Intermedia Outdoor Holdings, which publishes 17 hunting, fishing, and shooting magazines, including Guns & Ammo, Handguns, Gun Dog, Rifle Shooter and Shooting Times.

InterMedia Outdoor Holdings purchased the pro-gun hunting and fishing network the Sportsman Channel in 2007, and is now in the process of acquiring the Outdoor Channel, pending the federal government’s approval of last month’s merger between InterMedia Outdoors and Outdoor Channel Holdings.

InterMedia employees believe that Hindery, a Huffington Post blogger who has contributed to numerous Democratic politicians including Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren, is in the process of consolidating all of America’s leading gun-culture media outlets and stripping them down to virtual destruction.

Leo Hindery Jr. is very outspoken about his political views, he is not hiding in the background. He is a blogger at Huffington Post, and he is actively involved in political discussions. His portfolio of posts at Huffington Post shows his profoundly Democratic views - excerpt:

Just a month ago, he was also named as one of five "business tycoons who want to close the wealth gap", next to other prolific multi-millionaires like Warren Buffet and Nick Hanauer.

Deseret News reported:


Leo Hindery Jr., the New York City media and investing mogul, is one of hundreds of wealthy people directly asking Congress to raise their taxes as a member of Patriotic Millionaires. The group was formed in 2010 to advocate for the end of Bush-era tax cuts for people making more than $1 million a year. Hindery is also a member of Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity, and he was among a group of entrepreneurs who went door-to-door in the halls of Congress in early February asking for a higher minimum wage.

A managing partner of the media industry private equity fund InterMedia Partners, Hindery was previously chief executive of AT&T Broadband and of the YES Network, the cable channel of the Yankees. He says he's turned down raises to ensure that he never makes more than 20 times the salary of his employees. He is also one of the biggest Democratic fundraisers in the nation.

The 66-year-old argues that giving rich people tax breaks makes no economic sense because people like him don't put their extra dollars back into the economy.

"Do you think I don't own every piece of clothing, every automobile? I already have it. You spend money. Rich people just get richer," he told the AP.

Hindery credits his Jesuit upbringing with giving him the tools to look beyond his own economic advantages.

"How can we believe in the American dream when 10 percent of the people have half the nation's income? It's immoral, I think it's unethical, but I also think that it's bad economics," Hindery said. "The only people who can take exception to this argument are people who want to get super rich and don't care what happens to the nation as a whole."

The USA could surely need more people like Leo Hindery Jr., and one can safely conclude: He seems nice.

At the same time, we also have to note that he manages the investment company which controls Sarah Palin's new employer, Sportsman Channel - and that his investment company purposely, with a broad range of magazines and TV-shows, targets a clearly defined right-wing audience.

What should we make of all that? As described above, it already seems to be an established mainstream media strategy to target the right-wingers, in order to generate profits from them. In the end, this is money before politics. This strategy once popularized right-wing demagogues like Ann Coulter, and now a highly controversial figure like Sarah Palin seems to be good enough to create revenues. But what about the moral side? Should there be moral considerations as well, or is it all just "business"?

There is another thought: Now that a lot of powerful people (not even counting Fox News!) have a real interest in Sarah Palin's "success", does this mean that critical mainstream articles about Sarah Palin are a thing of the past? I believe that this is a valid question, and yes, Sarah Palin already was treated with kid-gloves by large parts of the mainstream in the past. It was brave people like Joe McGinniss, Geoffrey Dunn, Andrew Sullivan and a few others who showed the world the "real" Sarah Palin, and they have been harshly criticized for their efforts. The mainstream largely kept quiet after the 2008 election, with just a few exceptions like the article by Michael J. Gross in Vanity Fair from October 2010.

But isn't it just wonderful for Sarah Palin: If her endeavour fails, she can always blame her political enemy, LOL! And judging the hilarious "over-the-top" marketing by the Sportsman Channel, failure is virtually guaranteed.

Yesterday it was reported that Sarah Palin will have a co-host, Mark Christopher Lawrence, and a pro-Palin blog reported that there will even be a second co-host, Jerry Carroll.

Interestingly both co-hosts are comedians. That is rather telling, is it not.

Mark Christopher Lawrence

Also, the pro-Palin people posted more over-the-top marketing which comes actually close to parody, and they love it, needless to say:

So good luck, everyone! Hopefully the profits of the series will go directly to Democratic candidates. Wouldn't that be sweet? Still, I wish that intelligent people would stop trying to earn money with dangerous right-wing nonsense, in a country in which gun-culture is on the rise and is responsible for thousands of tragic deaths every year.



There are even three-co hosts!

Benny Spies announced at his facebook that he will also appear in the show. His fans are not exactly pleased! The comments are stinging (h/t mealewis):



More fun! Sarah Palin also caused havoc on the facebook page of "Guns & Ammo." Note: Not every gun enthusiast loves Sarah Palin. Many don't like her at all. Her poisonous influence always works wonders (h/t Myrtille2).

Some screenshots:

NOTE: "Shelly Dankert", the pro-Palin commenter in the above screenshots became a little internet celebrity after she posted an epic, unhinged rant in 2012 on youtube, slamming her right-wing friends for not "sharing" her videos, and therefore causing Barack Obama to get re-elected. Gawker had a field day with this back then. This clip really has to be seen to be believed. Shelly Dankert was one of the founders of the "Sarah Palin earthquake movement" in 2011, urging Sarah Palin to run for president.

Custody trial Levi Johnston vs Bristol Palin, the next round - Levi's lawyer tears Bristol's legal arguments apart and shows that Alaska case law is not in Bristol's favour - "A child is not a chattel to be bargained away for consideration"

Levi with his son Tripp (2009)

By Patrick
UPDATE MAY 2014: Mentioned below are all our posts in which we reported the details of the new custody proceedings between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin concerning their son Tripp. We published the complete legal exchanges between the parties, including the new affidavits and court orders. Almost all of these documents have never been published elsewhere.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

BREAKING - The heat is on: Levi Johnston files for joint custody and asks court to hold Bristol Palin in contempt and return Tripp to Alaska - UPDATE: Read Levi's new court filings! Levi asserts that Bristol took Tripp out of state against a court order, seeks a court ruling about the custody, provides detailed affidavit


Thursday, March 13, 2014

New filings in the custody case between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin - Exchanging legal arguments and new affidavits, and Bristol is on the defensive: No sign of necessary "written consent" by Levi to remove Tripp from Alaska, just the opposite


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Custody trial Levi Johnston vs Bristol Palin, the next round - Levi's lawyer tears Bristol's legal arguments apart and shows that Alaska case law is not in Bristol's favour - "A child is not a chattel to be bargained away for consideration"


Thursday, April 3, 2014

First court order in new custody case between Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin: None of Levi's motions have been dismissed, trial setting conference scheduled, evidentiary hearing required, court notes that "a best interest finding" in regard to their son Tripp has never been made in the past


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Levi's and Bristol's custody trial is now scheduled not just for one, but two days!

It's the next round in the newly opened custody trial between Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, a case that the media chooses to ignore - for reasons we can only speculate about.  However, here at Politicalgates we are still more than happy to inform the public about the details of the legal proceedings, and the contents of the exchanged documents. After all, the trial could become far more exciting than some people might expect.

Being challenged with facts and hard-hitting legal arguments in court is obviously not the favourite activity of the Palin-camp, and that's probably why, in a rather bizarre move and apparent "pre-emptive strike", the Palin-camp in January this year leaked the false fact to the media that Levi lost the custody case - at a time when the newly opened case hadn't even begun.

However, now the new case is truly underway, and in two previous posts (here and here), we published the complete legal documents and the affidavits which have been submitted by Levi and Bristol so far. It has become more and more obvious that Bristol is now in a rather unfavourable situation, as Levi finally has excellent representation, a lawyer who really cares for Levi's interests, and who has discovered the weak points of Bristol Palin's legal argumentation.

The latest filing by Levi's lawyer Darryl L. Thompson is the most hard-hitting yet, and he really tears Bristol Palin's legal argumentation apart. The Palin-camp will not like that, as they don't really believe that laws apply to them. So far, Bristol's actions have made it abundantly clear that she regards Tripp as her private property.

But that's not what the law says. Only the "best interests of the child" are what matters.

As Mr. Thompson explains in the last paragraph:

"Equal access to both of his parents in the interim would be practical and not detrimental to his best interests. Both parents are willing and capable of meeting all of Tripp's needs, there is mutual love between the child and both his parents, and he is too young to express a preference. Levi is now married and Tripp has a half sibling, and the case law requires the court to consider the desirability of fostering his relationship with Breeze, and the court by entering an order can cure the problems of lack of stable and consistent contact with his father and opens the door fully to fostering that loving relationship with his father and child."

In the real world, anyone would understand that. In the world of the Palins, such words are treacherous, as there is a world out there which is divided into friends and enemies, and Levi doesn't belong to the first category. But that's what courts are for, after all - bringing the parties back to the realities of the situation.

Here is the latest filing by Levi's lawyer:

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Annual Conservative Cattle Call: CPAC 2014

by Sunnyjane

What, you can't choose ONE amongst that large group of racist, homophobic, misogynistic, gun-worshiping, pro-life, far-right Christianistas who is suitable?
Like cattle they are, but All Things Bright and Beautiful they are not.  Eleven thousand politicos and their wanna-rub-elbows-with followers gathered together a week or so ago to play Let's Bash Obama! and see if they could increase their popularity with a bunch of mindless supporters by so doing.  (Note to the Republican Tea Party: You don't have to try so hard to make Barack Obama a two-term president;  he's decided not to run for a third term in 2016.)

Absent an actual unified message of their own, the speakers trotted out every old and ineffectual catchphrase in their far-right arsenal of grief with the current administration.  It was, for all intents and purposes, a typical GOP get-together -- only more obnoxious.

While most of the regular podium-pounders were in attendance, who was not there may be as significant.  Not one of the GOP's current women in the House or Senate was invited to speak, including State-of-the-Union responder Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  Of course, considering the horrific reaction to her little homily, that may be for the best.  OK, there was Michele Bachmann (see below), but she was not invited by CPAC itself; she was the special guest speaker of Jenny Beth Martin, founder and president of the Tea Party Patriots.

Also missing from the speakers' dais was Reince Priebus; they relegated him to a panel titled On Wisconsin!  Turning Blue States Red.  This is particularly interesting in light of the fact that  Governor Scott Walker decided to skip the whole CPAC thingy this year.

And semi-professional liver-abuser John Boehner wasn't asked to speak.  I guess his calling out the Tea Partiers for their craziness last December didn't go over very well.         

International Women's Day 2014: The Call for Gender Equality 
Only CPAC would have the two dumbest women in politics speak on IWD 2014.
On being married to a President of the United States, Barbara Bush once said, Somewhere out in this audience may even be someone who will one day follow in my footsteps, and preside over the White House as the President's spouse. I wish him well! 

Michele Bachmann, otherwise known to Minnesota's Native American tribes as Bug-Eyed Loon Hooting at Empty Space, probably made one of the stupidest, most dishonest statements at CPAC 2014: that at its core, she said, the Tea Party is an intellectual movement.  That core must be rotten, because while I'm sure you and I could come up with a number of appropriate adjectives to describe the Tea Party, I doubt that intellectual would be one of them.  Correct me if I'm mistaken.

Of course she also said -- again -- that the United States would some day elect a female president, but it would be the right one. Now she may have been using a double entendre -- right meaning best and right meaning conservative -- but I sincerely doubt that Bachmann is that smart.  In all her brilliance, the almost-ex Representative proudly and smugly declared that the GOP was the only party that has put a woman on the ticket in this century -- Sarah Palin.  Woo hoo!  Might I remind her that this century is only fourteen years old; there are still eighty-six years to go.  Sigh...

Of Green Eggs and Ham and a Wig that Goes Limp in the Night

OH M'GOD!  They just announced that Sarah Palin will speak next. 

Ted Cruz's official jock-strap sniffer, Sarah Palin, continued to make an ass of herself, much to the delight of the frenzied group of C-Packers.  It was rumored that many of the men were disappointed in her choice of attire because they lost a golden opportunity to do a little cell-phone upskirting.  Such is life, guys, but I doubt you missed much.

I have to say, Sarah has the mind of a computer: garbage in, garbage out is all you're going to get.  Not that anyone at CPAC cared, of course, because she put as many check marks next to her self-prescribed dose of hate and rage as possible: Obama is weak, Obama is a liar, Obamacare is bad, bad guy with a nuke, good guy with a nuke, yammer, yammer, yammer.  She even spoke right to the ladies at one point, telling them not to vote for Democrats because Republican women were fighters and were tough and powerful like her -- or something similar.  She read someone else's bastardization of the aforementioned Dr. Seuss book, giving a casual Hat Tip to the Internet because she stole it from a specific right-wing blog.  I guess she doesn't understand that The Internet is merely a repository, not an entity that writes its own stuff.  Palin failed to tell her fans that she's never actually read Green Eggs and Ham; she quit halfway through because it was too hard.

Charles Pierce at Esquire wrote an excellent synopsis of Palin's CPAC speech, and summed her up nicely with She respects no standards but her own.  To this I would respectfully add, She's only willing to change her standards if it boosts her ego or her bank account.

And a special message for you, Sarah, from your very own tough conservative idol, Margaret Thatcher:  Being powerful is like being a lady.  If you have to tell people you are -- you aren't.    

Rand Paul Manages to Wear Out the Word Liberty 

Meet me at the intersection of Moran Avenue and Refudiate Boulevard.  I'm driving a white car.
I'm not going to get into a pissing contest with Rand Paul over the meaning of his favorite subject, Civil Liberties.  However, just to put any confusion to rest, the term civil liberties in the United States of America is interpreted by the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution as those rights, privileges and immunities held by all people And even if Rush Limbaugh gave the incident a pass by calling her a professional agitator who provoked the incident, it does not mean your campaign volunteers have the right to give a concussion-causing head stomp to a member protesting at one of your rallies.  See, little things like that are not a civil liberty.  Just sayin'.  (I have a rather fertile imagination, but for the life of me, I cannot conceive of Rush Limbaugh having such a thoroughly dismissive attitude if one of Barack Obama's supporters had head-stomped a Tea Party protester.)

So at CPAC, Senator Libertarian forgot about that rights, privileges and immunities thingy and launched into his usual diatribe over President Obama's timid defense of liberty and his shredding of the Constitution.  The nine thousand (OK, a possible exaggeration on my part) Libs he had bussed in screeched and applauded and generally appeared to have imbibed a six-pack each of Red Bull.  Whoa!      

Perhaps Paul's finest opinion on how to be an effective president came in an op-ed he wrote for Time in which he pretty much laid out his concept of how a president should conduct himself in these icky international situations like the one currently on everyone's radar, Ukraine.  While declaring in no uncertain terms that President Obama should start demonstrating tough leadership, he added that the President should do absolutely nothing.  (No, seriously.)  Well, he did say that we should withhold military or financial aid to Ukraine, the country we support against Russia.  And to further show his toughness against Russia, we should boycott the G-8 Summit in Sochi this summer.  (Spoiler:  The U.S. and six other G-8 members have already done that.)  Oh, and we should start shipping natural gas to western Europe; that will show those godless Russkies a thing or two!

Doing nothing about an international crisis might work out really swell in isolationist Rand Paul's fevered nocturnal emissions dreams, but it's high time for him to wake up to the real world and learn how to govern in a democracy.  World Leader countries do not remain world leaders very long; doing nothing may mean your grandchildren will be learning to speak Russian in the not-so-far distant future.

Because a Brown-Bag Lunch Means Love, Y'all

And there are no finer examples of hypocrites than Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand

In her book The Virtues of Selfishness, Ayn Rand wrote that accepting any government controls is delivering oneself into gradual enslavement.  And yet, when she needed them, she grabbed both Social Security and Medicare; she was ill and needed those controls.  Her acolyte, Paul Ryan, so worshiped Rand that he himself gladly accepted Social Security benefits after his father died, and subsequently went to college on the money.

In a trip to Once-Upon-a-Time Land, Paul Ryan (R-Wingnutville) heard about a little (insert black here) child who told a campaign staffer that he didn't want a free government school lunch, he wanted a brown-bag lunch because it showed that someone cared about him.  Naturally, budget-wonk Ryan had to repeat the story at CPAC.  And just as naturally, it became urban-legend material to be told throughout Tea Partyland.  Only problem is, Ryan's version ain't true.  It's from a freaking book written about the relationship between a woman and a homeless boy.  The author and the young boy appeared on Mike Huckabee's Fraud News program in 2013 and talked about their support for the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry campaign.  So, there's that bit of awkwardness.

Let's review some history here to get a bead on Mr. Ryan and his, um, little problem.  After the 2012 election, he stated that the Republican ticket lost because too many (insert black here) urban voters turned out for President Obama.  (No explanation on why he lost his own hometown, which is 88.6% white and 2.8% black; nor did he explain why he couldn't carry the state of Wisconsin for the Republicans, with 88.2% whites and only 6.5% blacks.)

Oh, it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Mitt Romney went to the NAACP convention and told the (insert black here) folks there that if they wanted Obamacare and free stuff, vote for the other guy.  Nah.

Shortly after CPAC, Mr. Ryan bewailed the fact that inner-city (insert black here) men have a culture of not working.  Mind you, this was during an interview with Bill Bennett, who once said that crime in the U.S. would go down if all black babies were aborted.  Makes you wonder how Paul Ryan squares that with his anti-abortion stand, doesn't it?  Can you say hypocrite?

In the same interview, the Congressman referenced a study by white supremacist Charles Murray, who believes that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women, and the poor.  And he's got the racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to prove it!  (Just in case you're not getting the message, Mr. Murray believes that the only worthy people on the planet are white... men.)

Bottom line here, if there's any culture of not working, it's in the U.S. House of Representatives, where each of these so-called lawmakers is making more than $1,500 an hour for doing absolutely nothing to help Americans.  (Insert Asshole! here.)

Mitch McConnell Goes Hunting for Tea Party Votes

See this?  This is a gun.  I'm holding a gun.  I've never held a gun in my life.

Mitch promised the Tea Party crowd that if they'd return him to the Senate as Leader, he'd lead with integrity, fight tooth and nail (how original) for conservative reforms, wouldn't let them down, blah, blah, blah.  You know the routine.  Yawn.

No one has the remotest idea why McConnell thought he needed a prop to speak to Tea Partiers, much less a gun prop.  He looked about as comfortable with a gun as Sarah Palin would holding a dictionary.  In fact, he doesn't own a gun and it's doubtful he has ever hunted.

The hilarious thing about Mitch begging for Tea Party votes is the interview he did that appeared in the New York Times on the Saturday that CPAC ended its big gig.  In it he was asked if Republican incumbents were concerned about being challenged by Tea Partiers and he indicated they were not worried because I think we are going to crush them everywhere.  I don't think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.  Talk about awkward!   But Mitch is probably safe; it's doubtful that Tea Party folks have ever heard of the that particular publication, much less actually read it.

Cruzin' for a Bruisin'

Why yes, yes it is.  Please inform the Canadians, Big Guy; they'll be thrilled to hear it.
It's extremely difficult for normal people to figure out what Ted Cruz's game is.  It's obvious to anyone with a pulse that Teddy intends to be the Republican nominee for president in 2016, and yet he goes out of his way to piss off the very people he needs to get there, namely, the GOP itself.  Most of his fellow senators cannot stand him.  At a party luncheon a week after the President's State of the Union Address, John McCain -- referring to weirdo Steve Stockman -- complained that some crazy guy from Texas had stormed out in the middle of the speech.  Cruz quickly replied, Hey, I didn’t walk out of the State of the Union!

It's been reported that Cruz is trying to curb his wacko-birdiness this year.  Well, it seems he's fallen off the wagon on that venture because in his speech at CPAC he disdainfully reminded the Tea Partiers in attendance that they wouldn't remember a President Dole...a President McCain...a President Romney.  That infuriated John McCain, who demanded that Cruz publicly apologize to Dole.

And, of course, Cruz swore that he would continue his fight to repeal every word of Obamacare.  That received the expected wild explosion of cheers and applause from the Tea Partiers.  Unfortunately for Sen. Cruz, a minor problem has arisen:   House Republicans are moving to improve the law, not repeal it.  Bwahahaha! 

There will be more on this senator in the near future.

End Note

If you are ever fortunate enough to receive a call from a Republican campaign asking for a donation, be sure to tell them, I'd really like to help, but I'm afraid you'd become dependent on it so I'll try to make you more self-reliant.  That ought to do it.