Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Michael Brown Just Keeps Digging And Digging

Yesterday, one of the shining stars of the Bush Administration, Michael "Brownie" Brown, best known for his exemplary handling of the aftermath of Katrina as head of FEMA, thought that it would be a fantastic idea to offer his thoughts on how emergency situations should be managed:

Michael Brown, the former FEMA director infamously praised by President George W. Bush for doing a "heckuva job" during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, told a local paper that President Barack Obama acted too quickly in mobilizing relief for Superstorm Sandy.

"Here's my concern," Brown told Denver's Westword on Monday, suggesting that the official response was actually making people complacent. "It's premature [when] the brunt of the storm won't happen until later this afternoon."
Apparently, he thought he did as great a job with that interview as he did handling Katrina, that he decided to continue speaking today:

"In the context of the election, I simply said he should have waited," Brown said. "The storm was still forming, people were debating whether it was going to be as bad as expected, or not, and I noted that the president should have let the governors and mayors deal with the storm until it got closer to hitting the coastal areas along the Washington, D.C.-New York City corridor."
Two things. First, Brown seems to be essentially arguing that being over prepared is worse than being under prepared, which makes a lot of sense, let's be real. Second I have to say, I don't quite get what Brownie meant when he said "let the governors and mayors deal with the storm". I mean, one would figure that those people were ALREADY trying to deal with it, and that you wouldn't need someone having to get you to do that. In any case, the whole point of federal involvement in situations like Sandy is that some times states CAN'T DO THINGS ALL ON THEIR OWN.

Also, can I just take a minute to express my amazement at how shameless shit stains like Brown truly are? I mean, here you have a guy who is appointed to the highest ranking position in a federal agency dedicated to crisis management, who (shockingly enough) had no experience whatsoever in crisis management! The way he handled the aftermath of Katrina is the stuff of legends when it comes to incompetence, and wound up being forced to resign in disgrace. Yet despite that ignomonious track record, instead of crawling to the deepest, darkest crevice, and avoiding any instance of coming into contact with the outside world ever again, this douchebag feels that he has every right to criticize Obama for (here's the punchline) actually doing his fucking job!

I mean is there really any better example of the pure, distilled essence of the modern day Republican Party? Of course, in right wing circles, Brown didn't do anything wrong during Katrina. Every bad thing that happened at that time was self imposed by the uppity coloreds who were too stupid because of their inability to develop gills. Quite the contrary, Brown is in fact a goddamned hero to these same right wingers, and that's why he'll continue to make retarded comments like this.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Memo To The Media: In Case You Thought Tea Bagger Richard Mourdock "Misspoke" About His Rape Comments Earlier This Week

So I turned on the teevee to watch tonight's episode of Rachel Maddow, and saw something that I hadn't heard at all today (not saying it wasn't reported, but if it was, I was unaware). Tea bagger superstar, Richard Mourdock was (unfairly in his opinion) taking a beating from the pretty much every non-tea bagger in the country cause of his little rape comments earlier in the week, and decided he needed to do some damage control. Of course, he damage controlled in a way that only a tea bagger could:

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For those of you who can't watch the video cause MSNBC's players can be quite stupid occasionally, Mourdock was asked by the interviewer if he would support a bill that would force a woman who has been impregnated by rape to have that baby, and his answer was essentially "DUH". But what was even more noteworthy was what Mourdock said in the followup:

Interviewer: What if it were a thirteen year old girl who was raped and impregnated? Would you vote to make sure that those situations would make the girl have that baby?

Mourdock: You know, you can start throwing all kinds of hypotheticals out there, I've made my statement.

As Rachel said in the video: wow.

Now, there's two ways that line can be read. The first is that Mourdock simply doesn't think that thirteen year old girls would get impregnated by rape, which given the history of the current Republican Party, wouldn't be surprising.

Or you can read that as saying Mourdock does believe that thirteen year olds can get pregnant from rape, but just doesn't care. Something that is also, given the history of the current Republican Party, not surprising.

Either way, Mourdock is a fucking scumbag, as are his Republican enablers (looking at you, Mittens).

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Donald Sez Killing Bin Laden Was No Biggie

Top Romney surrogate, Donald "The Donald" Trump graced the set of Fox and Friends with the sound of his voice this morning. During a discussion of tonight's upcoming, and final presidential debate on foreign policy, The Donald decided to opinionate on Obama's record on the subject:

There's quite a few noteworthy things about this clip. First is the fact that he says that Obama has the worst foreign policy track record in HISTORY. EVER. Really, Donald? I mean, Obama's not without his criticisms but worst ever?

Second, one of the reasons he cites for Obama being so terrible is cause of Iraq. Apparently Obama spent $1.5 trillion there, and cost us countless lives. I guess that makes sense, and he should be held responsible for going in there in the first place.

Third, and this was probably the most noteworthy comment, Trump dismisses the notion that killing Osama Bin Laden was in any way a big deal whatsoever. He said Obama didn't deserve any credit because he simply gave the order to kill Bin Laden, but the actual killing was done by the military. Really now? So does that mean Truman didn't bomb Japan, or Bush Jr. caught Saddam, or dare I say, Reagan didn't win the Cold War? Furthermore, if a president doesn't get credit for good things happening, does he also not get the blame for any bad things happening? Like say, that whole Bhengazi thing?

Then he followed that by saying Brian Kilmeade had as much to do with killing Bin Laden as Obama did.
A point which, in fairness is completely inarguable.

Ralph Reed Waxes Idiotic About Reagan

On Sunday, evangelical wing nut, Ralph Reed was invited to join the panel on This Week. The subject of the upcoming foreign policy debate came up, and Reed talked about how Romney would incorporate talk about the economy in his defense:

And we know, from Ronald Reagan winning the Cold War without firing a shot with partners like Pope John Paul II, and Margaret Thatcher and Cole and others, what made that possible was a strong U.S. economy. The creation of 23 million jobs, the creation of $16 trillion in assets in the private sector is what enabled us to fund the defend build up and put the Soviets on their back heels.

 Oh, how I never tire of right wingers perpetually fellating the great Ronald Reagan. Or more accurately, the image of Reagan the righties have crafted over the decades. I don't want to get into a long detailed post about all the things wrong with what Reed said, so here are the cliff notes:

-Reagan didn't create 23 million jobs, it was more like 16 million (He was only off by roughly 50%).
-Reagan didn't fund the military buildup with the $16 trillion in assets from the private sector. At least, not all of it, since if that was the case, he wouldn't have had to run up massive deficits.
-Reagan did not "win" the Cold War by himself. There were quite a few other factors involved that led to its end.
-Already mentioned, but just cause it's so fun, REAGAN TRIPLED THE DEBT. Meanwhile the Kenyan socialist has only increased it by 50%.

Oh, and let's not forget these little tidbits too, since we'll be hearing a lot about the Middle East, and no doubt wondering WWRD?

-Since the subject of Iran is so important, it's probably worth mentioning this teeny, tiny little detail: Reagan happened to sell arms to a certain little, currently unpopular country in the Middle East.
-Despite what some may claim, Reagan didn't scare bad guys enough that they never attacked our Embassies.
-And what did the toughest president who ever lived do after such an attack against Amurka? Unlike our appeaser-in-chief, who no doubt wants to cut and run from Libya, Reagan did the exact opposite by cutting and running, of course.

Seriously guys, stop talking about Reagan before some random right winger realizes that he wasn't as awesome as how he appeared in the Bible.

Yet Another Instance of Republican Hypocrisy on the Stimulus

So for their weekly address, the Republicans will be represented by Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK). Mullin, like most Republicans, is a vocal critic of President Obama's stimulus. And also like most Republicans, he wasted no time in trying to get a slice of that sweet, sweet gubment cheese:

A review of stimulus spending by The Associated Press shows companies owned by Markwayne Mullin received the money under contracts with the Cherokee and Muscogee (Creek) nations.

The payments were for plumbing at tribal housing projects and funded through the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When questioned about the obvious hypocrisy, Mullin offered the following defense:

Mullin responded to the story by asserting that he wasn’t aware that the contracts came from the stimulus, and that “plumbing is plumbing.” Had he known the money came from the stimulus, Mullin said, he probably wouldn’t have submitted a bid to work the project.
Okay, a couple things. First, he "probably" wouldn't have submitted a bid? Why the hesitation, chief? Second, as Think Progress notes, he's full of shit when it comes to feigning ignorance on where the money came from:

Documents from the Cherokee Nation, however, revealed that Mullin’s firm was aware that the funding came from the stimulus.
And third, the whole reason that this dipshit was able to get funding for these projects was BECAUSE of the stimulus. Granted, it IS possible that he may have gotten the money from another program or whatever, but the point is, he didn't. And he didn't seem to mention anything about the stimulus funds that he took not creating any jobs, so he's just being a complete and utter douchebag (shocking, I know).

David Gregory Wins the Award For Best Sunday Talk Show Moderator For Today

No, the title is not sarcastic, though it's not something to brag about either.

Actually, I take it back. Gregory managed to ask a question that even good news pundits haven't so far, so credit where credit's due. The question dealt with the Ryan/Romney plan for medicare.

From the beginning one of the biggest and most fundamental problems with the Republicans plan was that they were trying to sell this idea that the private insurance that people could buy with specialized coupons and gift certificates would be infinitely better than the socialized atrocity that  is medicare. While at the same time trying to reassure seniors who are already using the program as is, that they (the Republicans) wouldn't dare get the government out of medicare.

Now, that doesn't really make a lot of sense, does it? If vouchers and private insurance are so awesome, then why deprive seniors of the brilliance of the free market? And it seems ole' Greggers was thinking the same thing (skip to 9:08):

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GREGORY: Let me ask you about another big issue in your state, you know it well, and that’s the issue of Medicare. What we do about the fact that Medicare is going broke and that something has to be done with-- with health care costs that affect the Medicare program. There’s a Romney ad that features you and this is a portion of it.

(Videotape; Campaign Ad)

SEN. RUBIO: My mother’s eighty-one and depends on Medicare. We can save Medicare without changing hers, but only if younger Americans accept that our Medicare will be different than our parents when we retire in thirty years. But after all they did for us, isn’t that the least we can do?

(End videotape)
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GREGORY: So what the Romney-Ryan ticket wants to do is change Medicare by offering premium support or a voucher to seniors to be able to purchase health care in the private market, choices of health care plans under Medicare including traditional Medicare. But you said, as a forty-one-year-old, thirty years from now, when we retire. But that’s not accurate, Senator, their plan would actually make these changes in ten years. So if you’re a senior, if you’re fifty-five years old, you have to think about the impact of these policies. If they have the right idea, why not do it now? Why not put these changes in place and affect your mother’s Medicare right now?

SEN. RUBIO: Well, first of all, because I think it’s doable without disrupting my mother’s Medicare and people in her generation. In the ad I was describing the impact it would have on people like me on my generation, and the truth is our Medicare is going to look different. We’re going to have more choices. Ours is probably going to be adjusted for how wealthy we are when we retire. Wealthy people will get less of a premium support. We’re going to have more options. It’s still going to be the best plan in the world. This is just going to a little different than what our parents have.

GREGORY: But if it was such a good idea, why not say to your mom, hey, look, you’ve to realize that we’re-- this system is going broke. You have to make the adjustment now, and it’s going to be great for you. You’re not going to have to pay anymore or is there fear that doing that would actually make your mom pay more?

SEN. RUBIO: Because two things, number one, if you’re eighty-one years old like my mom, you really-- you can’t afford and you can’t sustain the disruptiveness of an immediate change to her plan. Number one, they’ve paid into that plan all of these years. They retired with that promise. And at eighty-one years of age, you’re not in a position now all of a sudden accept wholesale changes to the way the health care is delivered for you. And that’s exactly-- that kind of disruptive change is what we’re trying to avoid. And the sooner we change, the sooner we go ahead and-- and put some of these measures in plus-- place, the less likely it will be that anyone that’s a current beneficiary will have to be disrupted. And that’s why it’s so troubling that the president has failed to put forward any agenda for the next four years including one that shows how you save Medicare. Where is the president’s plan to save Medicare? Is it now a pretty good time to offer it? I mean, what is he waiting for?

I don't say this very often, Dave, but good job.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tea Bagger Leader Says The Country May Have Been Better Off If Women Didn't Get the Right To Vote

Did I mention this a woman, saying this?

The President of the Central Mississippi Tea Party, a woman named Janis Lane, believes that women are too “mean, hateful” and “diabolical” to vote, and likely should not have been given the right. In an interview with the Jackson Free Press, Lane told the interviewer, “I’m really going to set you back here. Probably the biggest turn we ever made was when the women got the right to vote.” She went on: “Our country might have been better off if it was still just men voting. There is nothing worse than a bunch of mean, hateful women. They are diabolical in how than can skewer a person. I do not see that in men. The whole time I worked, I’d much rather have a male boss than a female boss. Double-minded, you never can trust them.”

Well, if women didn't ever get the right to vote, this idiot wouldn't be in any position of power, so I guess it wouldn't be too bad. Still, this story is interesting, if nothing else, for no other reason than to just observe the frightening amount of cognitive dissonance being displayed. But once again, as I always say, everyone has their priorities.

Sen. Linsey Graham: Obama's Embarrasing Thing That Happened Is Just Like Bush's Embarrassing Thing That Happened

On Face the Nation today, openly gay senator, Linsey Graham (R-SC) was invited to the show and decided to comment on the Obama Administration's handling of attacks in Libya:

“We’re going through a ‘Mission Accomplished’ moment. Eleven years after Sept. 11 [2001], Americans were attacked on Sept. 11 by terrorists who pre-planned to kill Americans. That happened, and we can’t be in denial. Particularly when there are compounds all over the Middle East that need to be legitimately protected at a level that security professionals ask for.”

I'm actually quite surprised that Graham acknowledged that the whole "Mission Accomplished" thing under Bush was actually a negative thing. I mean, I figured that bad things simply can't happen under Republican administrations by virtue of being under Republicans. So I'd figure the "Mission Accomplished" incident was not only appropriate, but also accurate even! Of course, as I've also learned, it's okay to draw attention to bad things Republicans did as long as your using it to attack Democrats.

Regardless, this is still fairly weak tea. While I would like this confusion in Libya cleared up, there is a vast difference between the Embassy attacks, and both 9/11(2001) and preemptively celebrating the end of a fricken war.

Republican Dumbassery Makes Bill Nye Sad

As it should. As well as anyone else who accepts things like chemotherapy being better for cancer patients, than say, excorcisms.

On one of MSNBC's lesser known weekend shows, the host invited the great Bill Nye (the Science Guy) to talk about two particular mouth breathers in congress that had made the news recently:

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One of these dipshits is already fairly well known, and that's Rep. Todd Akin, who you may recall is the same genius who basically claimed that women had a magical ability to produce spermacide if they were ever sexually assaulted, thus making sure it's impossible to ever get pregnant via rape.

Obviously feeling that the rest of the world was thoroughly impressed with his keen grasp of human biology, he felt the need to offer more brilliant insight. This past week he claimed that evolution wasn't even a matter of science as far as he was concerned. Clearly something like evolution has nothing to do with science, as opposed to say, oh I don't know, the Old Testament, which they use in all the best medical schools.

Apparently feeling jealous that Akin was currently the coolest kid on the short bus, another congressman, Rep. Paul Broun, decided he wanted a piece of the action as well. He one upped Akin by claiming that not only is evolution not science, but also the work of the devil himself. (Wait, I thought that's what science itself already was?)

Bill Nye felt that due to these two lawmaker's unabashed idiocy, he as an educator has failed.

No, Bill. You haven't. These aren't ordinary dimwits you're dealing with. These are PROFESSIONAL morons. To reach the level of ignorance that these folks have reached is no easy task. Idiocy like this takes skill. Don't beat yourself up. Instead, continue what you're doing (and this goes for everyone else who doesn't think that someone like Erastosthenes should be burned at the stake for blasphemous views) and go on and inform the American people of the utterly terrifying flat-earthers sitting in the highest offices in our government.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Completely Random Thought of the Day

So on Saturday, SNL did a fairly lame parody on MSNBC's extremely hysterical reaction to the results of the first presidential debate.The people included in the sketch were (parodies, of course) of Rachel Maddow, Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, and my own personal favorite conservative pund-ette, S.E. Cupp.

S.E. was played by Kate McKinnon who, like S.E. herself, is actually quite attractive:

However, as smash-worthy Ms. McKinnon may be, this is one of those cases where the original's always best. Observe:

The defense rests.

Now, it's true that I don't generally see eye to eye with my little aurora haired goddess most of the time, especially when it comes to her occasionally baffling views regarding her own supposed atheism. But unlike many people on the right, she doesn't come off as evil and vitriolic, and seems like a generally happy and pleasant person to be around.

It's one of my mission's in life to eventually land a job on MSNBC and get a chance to sweep her off her feet. Sure, it's most likely assured that neither of those things will actually occur, but a man can dream...

Also, yes I'm fully aware that this is the least politically substantive thing I've ever posted on this blog, lacks a good chunk of coherence and cohesiveness, and serves as nothing more than an excuse to gush over S.E.'s extreme gorgeousness, but you know what? Who cares? This is my blog, and I'll do what I want, dagnabbit!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Romney Adviser's Accidental Admission on Regulating Insurance Companies

One of the more noteworthy things that came out of the first debate was this line from Mitt Romney:

"I do have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. That's part of my health care plan," Romney said.
Of course, Romney was full of shit, and thankfully many people have pointed that out. One of Romney's top advisers admitted as much:

“With respect to pre-existing conditions, what Governor Romney has said is for those with continuous coverage, he would continue to make sure that they receive their coverage,” said Eric Fehrnstrom, referring to existing laws which require insurance companies to sell coverage to people who already have insurance, or within 90 days of losing their employer coverage.
Pressed by TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro, Fehrnstrom said those who currently lack coverage because they have pre-existing conditions would need their states to implement their own laws — like Romney’s own Massachusetts health care law — that ban insurance company from discriminating against sick people.
“We’d like to see states do what Massachusetts did,” Fehrnstrom said. “In Massachusetts we have a ban on pre-existing conditions.”

Now, these comments by themselves are bad enough, but there's another important aspect that I feel has been overlooked. Notice what Fehrnstrom is specifically saying. He said that they (Team Romney) hope that the States will be able to place a ban on pre-existing conditions. He didn't say they they hoped the free market will cause insurance companies to eventually willingly place a ban on pre-existing conditions. No, he said that he hopes the states, aka, the GOVERNMENT*, will somehow step in and save all those poor, unfortunate patients.

Maybe I shouldn't be looking too deeply into it, but it seems, at least to me anyway, that Fehrnstrom knows full well that, left to their own devices, the insurance companies would do everything in their power to deny people with pre-existing conditions, and just simply had a little Freudian slip.

*Yes, it's true the righties generally like to scream STATES RIGHTS, but that doesn't take away from the fact that big government is still big government.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney's Muddled Message On Medicare and Vouchers

Lots of interesting things were said during the first presidential debate tonight, such as the following from Romney, which he stated during the discussion on entitlements:

ROMNEY: And by the way, if the government can be as efficient as the private sector and offer premiums that are as low as the private sector, people will be happy to get traditional Medicare or they'll be able to get a private plan.

I know my own view is I'd rather have a private plan.
This may seem like a small thing, but it's actually a pretty critical point. For years, Romney, his running mate, Paul Ryan, and the Republican Party in general have been arguing about the superiority of the private sector, and the inferiority of virtually everything run by the government. No surprise here, except when you put this within the context of the overall debate on medicare from the Republican side.

Romney and Ryan have taken great pains to assure seniors that their medicare plan wouldn't affect those who are currently 55 and older. The people who are under 55 would have a choice between medicare as it is now, or deciding to take a voucher (or "premium support", as they like to call it) to buy private insurance.
Today, Romney said that he himself would prefer private insurance.

Now, I think it's reasonable to assume that Mitt Romney, like most people, makes decisions based on his own self interest. I would think it's reasonable to assume that Romney, like most people would choose something based on the assumption that the thing they're choosing will be better than the alternative. Therefore, I feel it's reasonable to assume that when Romney says he'd "rather have a private [insurance] plan"  that he truly does think it's better than the alternative: medicare as it already is.

Now you're probably saying, "Of course Romney thinks a private insurance plan is better. He's ALWAYS been saying that! Why the hell is this noteworthy?".

Well, the reason it's noteworthy is because Romney is not offering this supposedly awesome and amazing private insurance option to current seniors. In fact, he's doing the exact opposite, assuring them that those supposedly awesome and amazing private insurance plans will NEVER replace the horrid government run health care program those same seniors are currently using.

Would have been nice if Mr. Lehrer asked Romney why he wants to deprive current seniors of the wonderful opportunities brought by the private sector.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Where Are These High Expectations For Romney's Debating Skills Arising From?

I browse many liberal news outlets and blogs throughout the day, but there's only a select few that I make sure I check out every single day. One of those sites is the Maddowblog, run by one of my favorite political bloggers, the great Steve Benen. Steve's a ridiculously smart dude, and I tend to agree with him on 99.999% of all things related to politics. Hell, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I haven't disagreed with him on ANYTHING since I started following him in 2009. At least, until now.

See, Steve made a post on Thursday talking about the expectations being set for the Presidential debates. It was a typical post, until we get to this part:

For what it's worth, putting aside all the rhetoric and gamesmanship, I tend to think Romney's strength as a debater is wildly underappreciated. Obama's good, but don't assume he'll cruise through these events.
The definitive, must-read piece on this was James Fallows' recent Atlantic cover story, and it helps explain why the former governor is formidable in this format. But one doesn't have to buy into Democratic spin to realize Romney is easily the best Republican debater since Reagan.

Granted, that sets the bar fairly low, given that McCain, Dole, and both Bushes struggled in this area. But I get the sense most observers simply assume that President Obama will easily out-class his challenger in their three meetings.

I'm not nearly as sure. Romney benefits from having gone through a series of debates this year; he's taken a lot of time off for prep; he's quicker than most of the recent GOP candidates; and he realizes this is his last meaningful chance to change the trajectory of the race. If Democrats expect Romney to falter in the debates, they're making a big mistake.
I'm sorry, but I can't see that being the case at all. Look, I'm not saying Romney's a drooling pinhead like Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann, but using a word like "formidable" to describe the former Mass. governor isn't even close to appropriate.

Yes, once could possibly make the argument that Romney was the best debater during the primaries (an argument which I would also take issue with), but that's like saying the you're the tallest guy at a midget convention.

Obama won't need to do much to beat Mitt. The guy has proven himself to be incapable of not saying at least one memorably idiotic thing every time he opens his mouth. Romney doesn't need Obama to make him look bad. Sure it helps, but Romney himself is his own worst enemy.