On Immigration: Republicans Have No Clue What The American People Want

Last week President Obama defied the wild-eyed yammering of Republicans who claimed that any executive action addressing immigration reform would be be unconstitutional and mark him as a lawless tyrant who is thwarting the will of the American people. The President ignored their rancorous grumbling and announced a reasonable plan of prosecutorial discretion that has been invoked by every president for the past fifty years, and which 135 experts agree is legal. Not to mention, it is in keeping with our nation’s longstanding values of inclusion and opportunity.

Obama: We Were Once Strangers Too

Notwithstanding these facts, the GOP is so fixated on opposing anything that this president does, they took their positions to the media and brazenly lied. With characteristic lock-step unity, they insisted that they knew what Americans want and that Obama was flouting their clearly expressed wishes. Here is a sampling of their interpretation of the public mood:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz: This last election was a referendum on amnesty. And the American people overwhelmingly rose up and said, no, we don’t want lawless amnesty.
  • John Boehner: By ignoring the will of the American people, President Obama has cemented his legacy of lawlessness and squandered what little credibility he had left.
  • Mitch McConnell: If President Obama acts in defiance of the people and imposes his will on the country, Congress will act.
  • Sarah Palin: [Obama is] betraying our trust [by going] against the wishes of the American people.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions: The American people rebelled against the President’s executive amnesty.
  • Rick Santorum: This unilateral action sends a message that the President believes his opinion should supersede the will of the American people and democratic process.

These statements could not be more definitive in their estimation of what the American people think about Obama’s executive action on immigration. They could also not be more wrong. Where these wingnuts got these ideas is a complete mystery. It certainly doesn’t reflect either the exit polling following the election earlier this month. Nor does it reflect the more recent polling that spelled out the precise conditions of the policy. Hart Research found that…

“…voters overwhelmingly backed President Obama’s move: 67 percent viewed it favorably, while just 28 percent viewed it unfavorably. The support was fairly bipartisan, with 91 percent of Democrats, 67 percent of Independents, and 41 percent of Republicans viewing the executive action favorably. Among Tea Party Republicans, however, 64 percent opposed the policy while just 30 percent viewed it favorably.”

Setting aside the Tea Party (always a good idea), it is clear that Obama’s views are more aligned to those of the American people than with the bombastic and presumptive Republicans. And not only do people support the President’s action, they agree that he is acting within law by 51% to 41%.

What is most curious about this whole debate is that the GOP has such hatred for the executive action Obama took, but they refuse to do the simplest, quickest thing to nullify it. All they have to do is pass a law. They don’t even have to write one. It already exists and was passed by a bipartisan majority in the Senate. If John Boehner would allow it to be voted on in the House it would pass tomorrow, be signed by the President and – poof – no executive action.

Instead the GOP talk of blocking every bill and presidential nominee that comes before them. They threaten to file lawsuits that would take years to wind their way through the courts and would be moot by the time they were heard. And they even raise the specter of impeachment, another ultra-drastic response that would take months and accomplish nothing but making Joe Biden the next president.

In conclusion, Obama is not acting like a tyrant and Americans don’t buy the criticism of him as one. However, Americans do favor his approach to immigration reform by wide margins despite the protestations from the GOP. The only thing that Republicans have to gain from their current strategy is a generous pension after they are retired from public service in 2016. We wish them luck.

Democrats And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (For Republicans)

Let’s get this out of the way right up front: Election day 2014 sucked elephant balls. It is saddling America with a Republican senate that is notable for being unproductive and adversarial. It’s new leader is a hyper-partisan, Washington fossil whose only agenda is obstructionism. One of its new members is an Agenda 21 conspiracy nut who carries a gun to defend herself from the government she now represents. Florida and Kansas returned to office the two least popular governors in the country. And the right-wing noise machine is going to be gloating feverishly for weeks.

But the real story underlying this election is one that the media will almost certainly fail to address. Despite the election returns, America hates the Republican Party and its policies. The turnout is estimated to be about 38%. That means that the GOP victory was achieved with a majority of a little more than one-third of the electorate, or about 20%. That is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the Republican agenda.

Election Turnout 2014

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

The demographic makeup of the voters this year was decidedly older and whiter. It was also more concentrated in the South which accounted for 34% of all votes. The rest of the country came in a substantial nine to twelve points lower.

Just two years ago President Obama was resoundingly reelected along with increasing the number of Democrats in both houses of Congress. The turnout then was 58%, or 53% higher than 2014. Exit polls show that both parties are underwater in voter approval, but Democrats are still favored over Republicans 44% to 40%. Exit polling also gives Obama a 41% approval rating, compared to just 13% for Congress.

On the basis of this fractured and biased sliver of the electorate, Chris Wallace of Fox News declared this morning that “The Democratic Party brand is damaged.” But further examination of the exit polls says that isn’t true. On virtually every policy question, voters sided with the Democrats. That includes ObamaCare, immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana, abortion, and climate change. And when asked about preferences for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton is leading every GOP opponent (Clinton 42%, Jeb Bush 29%, Rand Paul 26%, Chris Christie 24%, and Rick Perry 24%).

2016 holds more bad news for Republicans and their new senate majority. The GOP will be defending 24 seats, as compared to only 10 for the Democrats. Nine of the those GOP seats are in states won by Obama in 2012. So are all of the Democratic seats. With a larger and more representative electorate it is almost a certainty that the senate will flip back to the Democrats. And with a popular and history-making candidate like Clinton that outcome is even more likely.

In the meantime, we can expect some epic battles to ensue. Although Mitch McConnell made some perfunctory remarks signalling bipartisan cooperation, his resume suggests a different course entirely. He told supporters last night that “Just because we have a two-party system doesn’t mean we have to be in perpetual conflict.” That coming from the man who presided over more filibusters than any senate in history.

But the battles will not be limited to those between the two parties. McConnell is going to experience some of the misery of John Boehner as he tries to herd the Tea Party contingent of his own party into some semblance of unity. Don’t expect Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or Mike Lee or Joni Ernst to fall obediently in line. In fact, Cruz is already announcing his intention to prosecute the President for many of the phony scandals for which the GOP-run House failed to find any wrongdoing. He told Fox News last night that…

“I hope we begin serious, systematic, sober hearings, examining executive abuse, regulatory abuse, lawlessness, abuse of power. Whether it is IRS wrongly targeting citizens or the debacle of Benghazi and four Americans who lost their lives and why more was not done to save them, or whether it’s the lawlessness that pervaded Obamacare as the president and executive branch has tried to pick and choose which laws to follow. I hope we see serious oversight on those fronts.”

That’s a path that leads to increased animosity and the “perpetual conflict” that McConnell says he hopes to avoid. But with Cruz and Paul and Rubio amongst those in his caucus who are contemplating a presidential run, can McConnell prevent them from hijacking the senate for their own purposes? And will their purposes include attempts to impeach Obama as some Republicans and conservative pundits have already advocated?

The next two years are going to be a bumpy ride for both parties and, unfortunately, the American people. There is much that we cannot anticipate at this time. What we can safely assume is that the extremist, Tea Party wing of the GOP will deliver some histrionics and hilarity. And Fox News will cover all of it as if it were sober statesmanship. So buckle up, folks. And be glad that the ride is over in only two years.

Shameless self-promotion…
Get my book Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

What’s Wrong With America? Why Is Anyone Voting Republican?

A new poll from Fox News affirms what virtually every other poll has found when people are asked to name the most important problem facing the country. And as James Carville noted long ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Economic Poll

The Fox poll had an overwhelming 43% of registered voters citing the economy as the most important issue. That was two and a half times more than the next three issues, immigration, healthcare, and foreign policy.

Nearly every economic indicator shows that the economy has been booming in recent years. The Obama administration has presided over the biggest and most enduring advance in fifty years. The Dow reached another all-time high today. Unemployment is 5.7%, nearly half of what Obama inherited from George W. Bush. GDP growth increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in the third quarter of 2014. Housing is up, interest rates are down, inflation is imperceptible, and consumer confidence rose in October to its highest level since 2007.

The only significant low points are average wages and public sector employment. In both of those matters it has been the Republican Party that has thrown obstacles into the path of progress. Democrats are universally in support of a minimum wage increase that economists agree would produce higher demand for goods and services, thus stimulating job growth. And Obama has been trying to drag the GOP along to allocate funds for infrastructure development which would not only create jobs, but improve the environment for businesses to succeed. Yet conservative naysayers continue to stifle these measures for no reason other than to hurt the President and his party.

Given the success on so many levels of the President’s economic record, and the fact that the economy is the number one issue on the minds of voters, the obvious question is: Why on Earth are Democrats struggling to hold their position in Congress? The American people ought to be rewarding success and punishing the obstacles to it. With a more cooperative legislative branch, Obama could achieve a great deal more in the last two years of his presidency.

And therein lies the answer to the question. The last thing the GOP wants is for Obama to be successful. It’s what they pledged on the eve of his first inauguration when Mitch McConnell declared that his top priority was to make Obama a one-term president. It’s what their de facto leader, Rush Limbaugh, pronounced when he said that he wants Obama to fail. It’s why they orchestrated a shutdown last year that achieved nothing but cost $24 billion. And it’s why they have a kneejerk opposition to anything that Obama proposes, even if it was originally proposed by a Republican.

Also notable is that the other issues cited as important to voters also have seen measurable improvement during the Obama years. Illegal immigration is way down, while simultaneously domestic responses to the plight of undocumented residents have become much more compassionate and rational. As for health care, more Americans are covered by insurance than ever, and at less cost. And their coverage is more comprehensive and cannot be denied due to preexisting conditions.

Nevertheless, midterm polling is inexplicably showing tight senate races in several battleground states. With all of the good news, Democrats should be running away with this. But Republicans have expertly managed a campaign of dishonest negativity that has distorted the debate and damaged the perception of Democratic candidates. They have also had the benefit of bottomless barrels of cash from billionaires like the Koch brothers with vested interests that do not align with those of ordinary Americans.

Still, in most of these states the Democrats would be leading comfortably if the poll queried the entire electorate. But when constraining the poll to “likely” voters, the numbers fall decidedly against the Democrats. That’s because many of the traditionally Democratic constituents tend to sit out midterm elections.

If Democrats can reverse that trend through voter education, and a strong ground game getting out the vote on election day, the pollsters and the Republicans and the media will be shocked by the results. But it will take money and hard work to do it. Any encouragement you can give to people you know to insure that they vote will pay off in dividends. Especially in races that are so close. And here are a couple of other ways you can help:

Contribute to or volunteer with…
MoveOn.org or Democracy for America

You’ll be glad you did. The work, calling other Democrats like yourself, is fun and rewarding. And any funds can help to expand the outreach. The alternative is to wake up Wednesday morning with the prospect of a senate run by Mitch McConnell where every committee chair is a Republican who wishes harm on this President and his agenda. Victory is not out of reach, but it will require some determination and commitment. So please consider everything that you can do to be a part of a major electoral upset that will put the Tea Party on its knees.

Lying Scumbag James O’Keefe Returns With Predictably Dishonest Hit Piece On Alison Grimes

When you’ve spent your whole career producing feverishly partisan videos that have been denounced as brazenly deceitful by everyone from Rachel Maddow to Glenn Beck, it isn’t particularly newsworthy when a new one is posted that exhibits the same pattern of deception and reeks of the pathetic amateurism that has become your trademark.

James O'Keefe

Of course we’re talking about the infantile news defiler, James O’Keefe, who seems to have no limit to the copious quantities of shame he can endure at his own hand. This week he debuted his latest ode to defamation (video below) aimed at slandering Democratic Kentucky senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. The video purports to cast Grimes as a cynical and hypocritical politician who will say anything to get elected. Setting aside the naivete of that theme when discussing politics, O’Keefe’s opus fails utterly to prove its contention. You have be pretty incompetent if you can’t successfully find some self-serving duplicity in any modern politico, but O’Keefe manages to hit that elusive mark.

As has been the case for his most recent efforts, they are ignored by reputable media, but picked up by the wingnut press like the Free Beacon, Breitbart News, and the Fox News community website, Fox Nation. In the introduction to his dubiously named Project Veritas video, O’Keefe says that…

“Kentucky U.S. Senate candidate Alison Grimes has vehemently and repeatedly claimed to oppose President Obama’s coal and environmental policies in what has become an increasingly significant campaign issue.

“Project Veritas Action went undercover in multiple Grimes campaign offices to determine if her opposition to the core principles of her own political party is genuine or an intentional deception.”

On one hand, it might seem like O’Keefe would be the perfect sleuth to uncover “intentional deception” given his personal experience as a prolific producer of it. However, the only thing that O’Keefe manages to do is surreptitiously record a parade of Grimes supporters offering their own opinions of what may or may not be on her mind. These folks are well-meaning and sincere backers of Grimes’ candidacy, but they are also gullible and unsophisticated in the unscrupulous ways of snakes like O’Keefe. Consequently, they got caught saying that they don’t believe that Grimes’s commitment to the coal industry in Kentucky is genuine.

This is the sort of raw meat that sets O’Keefe and his fellow vultures to frothing at the mouth. But to anyone who takes an open-eyed view of the material, there is really nothing of substance about which to get excited. The people that O’Keefe’s minions hoodwinked had no official responsibility for the Grimes campaign messaging. They were not speaking for her and did not represent her positions. Furthermore, they had no inside knowledge of any private thoughts she may have, and they did not profess to be clairvoyant.

The innocent subjects of O’Keefe’s hoax were merely projecting their own opinions on Grimes and expressing their own desires for what they hoped she might do after being elected. It has no more credibility than the lunacy of Ben Carson surmising that President Obama is plotting to cancel the 2016 presidential elections. And the project is further discredited by the tactics used, wherein O’Keefe’s plants pretended to be anti-coal advocates to elicit accommodating agreement from their prey. O’Keefe’s operatives are not campaign “trackers” who objectively record speeches and other public events in order to hold candidates accountable. They are con artists and hustlers who aim to entrap their victims into saying something that can be twisted out of context in the editing room.

It is also notable that O’Keefe posts videos that are heavily edited. The viewer has no idea if the subject’s remarks were premised with a phrase that altered the meaning. For instance, someone might say “…Alison Grimes is anti-coal.” But if that sentence began with the words “Critics falsely believe that…” it has an entirely different meaning. That’s what dishonest editing can do. It can also remove comments that don’t fit the premise that a biased videographer is trying to push. So O’Keefe may have interviewed dozens of people who said only positive things about Grimes, but he left them on the cutting room floor and posted only the handful whose words he could exploit.

A response to this phony video has already been issued from the campaign of Grimes’ opponent, Sen. Mitch McConnell. Seizing on the opportunity to exacerbate the dishonesty, McConnell’s spokesperson said…

“It is absolutely shocking that Alison Lundergan Grimes‘ own staff now admits that she has no intention of protecting the coal industry. The level of deception that Alison Grimes and her campaign engages in to appear pro-coal despite obvious opposition is both disturbing and dangerous.”

What’s shocking is the level of deception of McConnell’s spokesperson who knows very well that none of these remarks came from Grimes’ staff and they do not represent her position. The spokesperson is flagrantly lying. In contrast to this intentionally deceptive hogwash, there was a prior incident in the Kentucky race that has real substance and was not manufactured. A telephone call between McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, and an associate was recorded and released to the press wherein he confessed that he wasn’t especially fond of McConnell, but had an ulterior motive for heading up his campaign:

“Between you and me, I’m sort of holdin’ my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand [Paul] in ’16.”

That was an unprovoked statement from one conservative operative to another. There was no deception involved in soliciting it. The motivation for making it public is unknown. Perhaps Benton’s pal was a supporter of Matt Bevin who, at the time, was running against McConnell in the Republican primary. But there is no similarity between this disclosure and what O’Keefe does. The speaker was not some tangentially related volunteer, he was McConnell’s campaign manager. And he wasn’t tricked by a scammer into revealing his opinion. To cap off this affair, Benton later resigned in disgrace from McConnell’s campaign after it was revealed that he played a role in a political bribery scandal in the 2012 GOP Iowa primary.

You gotta check out this awesome ebook…
Get Fox Nation vs. Reality. Available now at Amazon.

For the record, here is a boilerplate background on James O’Keefe:
O’Keefe is best known for making an ass of himself on video while imagining an acclaim that is shared by no one outside of the Tea Party Home for the Chronically Delusional. Some of his other recent antics have resulted in his arrest and conviction in a Louisiana senator’s office, a legal order to pay a $100,000 settlement to a former ACORN employee he defamed, and a sleazy plot to seduce a CNN reporter aboard his “Love Boat.” More recently his “Cinema Veri-tasteless” earned him a rebuke from a team of Special Prosecutors in Texas (yes, Texas) who officially concluded that his video “was little more than a canard and political disinformation.” And he staged a remarkably juvenile stunt wherein he crossed the Rio Grande wearing an Osama Bin Laden mask.

Watch and laugh…..

BUSTED: Mitch McConnell Secretly Recorded At The Koch Brothers Donor Summit

Every year the Koch brothers hold one or more conclaves of their conservative millionaire and billionaire pals to discuss future strategies and collect donations for candidates and causes that will benefit their parochial interests. These affairs are put on under the tightest security so as to protect the elite attendees from being identified or from having to encounter the riff raff (i.e. ordinary American citizens) they hope to oppress.

Earlier this year, an event in the California beach resort at Dana Point, the Lear Jet Set gathered as usual, but they had a mole in their midst. A recording was just published by The Nation that includes some frank talk by participants including GOP senate candidates Tom Cotton (AR), Joni Ernst (IA), and Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell. McConnell kicked things off by expressing his gratitude to his wealthy benefactors, Charles and David Koch saying that…

“I want to start by thanking you, Charles and David for the important work you’re doing. I don’t know where we’d be without you.”

Mitch McConnell / Koch Brothers

McConnell’s smarmy sycophancy extended to some blatantly miscast interpretations of the onerous Citizen’s United decision by the Supreme Court. McConnell said…

“What did the case decide? Well as you all know, corporations that own a newspaper or a television station (inaudible), they’re free to say whatever they want to say about anybody at any time. But if you were a corporation that didn’t own a newspaper or didn’t own a television station, you couldn’t. So all Citizens United did was to level the playing field for corporate speech. In other words, no longer did corporations have to own a newspaper or a television station in order to say whatever they wanted. It simply leveled the playing field.”

That is a deliberate bastardization of the decision and McConnell, a lawyer by profession, knows it. Corporations have always been able to say whatever they wanted at any time. They have the money to run ads in those corporate newspapers and television networks. They can fund any number of public relations campaigns to disseminate whatever message they please. And they can hire lobbyists to promote their interests to politicians and the media. They have always had these avenues of communication.

What Citizen’s United gave them was a veil behind which they could covertly mold the political landscape to their liking. They can now contribute unlimited sums to Super PACS without disclosing where the money came from. It wasn’t speech they were angling for, it was anonymity. They needed to disguise their participation in campaigns because American’s know that these upper-crusters don’t have the people’s interests at heart.

It was that secrecy that Citizen’s United provided. It was never about “leveling the playing field.” The field was already slanted severely toward the rich, and this just made things worse. It made it more difficult than ever for the voices of average citizens to compete with the wealthy captains of industry who could shout everyone else down.

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

With the publication of this recording we are afforded a view into the luxury suites of the plutocrats who seek to dominate our society. We have always known their self-serving intentions, but it is chilling to hear it from their own lips when they think no one is listening.

Not So Breitbart: McConnell Calls Tea Party Bullies Who Need A Punch In The Nose (Allegedly)

The intrepid team of weasels at Breitbart News have published an “exclusive” scoop that threatens to sink the political career of Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell participated in a conference call with Karl Rove’s Crossroads PAC and a couple of dozen conservative donors wherein they discussed the political strategies for future electoral victories.

The article on Breitbart News was authored by Matthew Boyle, a notoriously dishonest reject from Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller. Amongst his previous work for Breitbart was an article that invented the existence of ObamaCars, free vehicles that would allegedly be given out to illegal immigrants. He should be writing for The Onion.

In Boyle’s latest piece of fiction he claims to have an anonymous source who was on the conference call with McConnell and Rove and had some juicy tidbits to expose. The opening paragraph of Boyle’s article declared that…

“Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on a conference call organized by Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization for large donors and their advisers on Oct. 30 that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is a ‘nothing but a bunch of bullies’ that he plans to ‘punch … in the nose'”

Oh my lord. Mitch McConnell is threatening to assault the noses of some Tea Party bullies. And it must be true because there isn’t any indication in that paragraph that the remarks were conveyed by an unknown third party with no proof.

McConnell has had prior run-ins with Tea Party noses. [Author’s Note: You cannot imagine the willpower it took to avoid saying that “Tea Party noses are running.”] A couple of months ago McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton, who was hired specifically to appeal to Tea Party voters in Kentucky, was recorded telling a colleague about his reluctant association with McConnell. Benton said…

“Between you and me, I’m sort of holdin’ my nose for two years because what we’re doing here is going to be a big benefit to Rand [Paul] in ’16.”

Subsequent to that gaffe, the McConnell campaign released a lighthearted attempt at damage control showing McConnell standing next to Benton who was holding his nose. But now that we know how McConnell really feels about those Tea Party guys, perhaps Benton isn’t avoiding the stench. Maybe he just got slugged in the schnoz by the scrappy minority leader.

Mitch McConnell

Get “Fox Nation vs. Reality” today at Amazon

Ordinarily, embarrassing revelations about Republican politicians would be a welcome treat. And this one fits the bill because McConnell has previously expressed concerns about fringe candidates mounting primary challenges against sitting Republican senators and then losing winnable seats to Democrats. Boyle’s source told him that McConnell explicitly attacked the Tea Party and some of it’s rising stars like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee.

Upon reading Boyle’s article, however, there were some gaping holes that a conscientious reader could not ignore. For instance, McConnell is a highly partisan, right-wing, attack machine, but he isn’t stupid. It seems highly implausible that he would make derogatory remarks amount a significant bloc of constituents during a telephone conference call on which he doesn’t know who might be listening. What’s more, by citing an anonymous source in this sort of political dust-up, Boyle prevents his readers from having any sense of who is making these charges. It might very well be a supporter of Matt Bevin, the Tea Party candidate who is challenging McConnell in his own Kentucky primary.

Boyle did include a response from a spokesman for Karl Rove who flatly denied the charge that McConnell had demeaned either the Tea Party or Cruz:

“Your source is ascribing things to the call that simply were never said […] nothing about the Tea Party or Sens. Cruz or Lee.”

That unambiguous denial didn’t stop Boyle from posting an article that maligned McConnell. As it turns out, there was good reason to be suspicious of Boyle’s exclusive. Washington Examiner reporter Charlie Spiering did what real reporters actually do. He contacted Rove’s people and arranged to hear a recording of the conference call. In his column he noted that…

“McConnell’s comments about dealing with “schoolyard bullies” by punching them in the nose, as reported by Breitbart News, were accurate but were explicitly directed at the Senate Conservatives Fund, not the Tea Party or a specific conservative senator.”

So it appears that Boyle’s source was something less than credible, which is something that wouldn’t much bother Breitbart or Boyle. It is no secret that the BreitBrats are openly hostile to establishment Republicans and that they frequently promote Tea Party challengers. It would be consistent with their agenda for a mysterious McConnell critic to surface and assign comments to him that would harm his reelection effort. And Boyle is just the guy to invent a controversy that would help a candidate running against McConnell. It wouldn’t be the first time that Boyle has come to the aid of McConnell’s opponent. He’s written at least six other articles for Breitbart that feature Bevin favorably and McConnell disparagingly.

Despite the Examiner’s debunking of Boyle’s source, there has been no retraction on the Breitbart website. That’s typical of their shoddy brand of dishonest journalism. Even so, it’s hard to know who to root for in this affair. McConnell the repugnant, Republican pugilist, or Boyle the disreputable, right-wing hack. I must admit, though, it’s a highly entertaining show.

THE FILIBUSTING: Did McConnell Trick Reid Into Limiting The Filibuster?

An historic upending of tradition took place yesterday in the United States Senate. The filibuster, a procedural rule that has stood for a couple of hundred years, was limited in a significant way. After five years of abuse, Democrats finally summoned up the grit to put the brakes on the GOP’s deliberately excessive use of the tactic.

Under ordinary circumstances, the filibuster was used by the senate minority as a last resort when they felt strongly, on well articulated principles, that a bill or an executive branch nominee must not advance. But ever since the election of Barack Obama, Republicans have inappropriately deployed it as a backdoor method of nullifying the presidency of a man they viscerally despise. To illustrate the enormity of the problem, there have been 168 presidential nominees that have been blocked by filibuster. About half of those were the total for the 230 years before Obama was elected. The other half were all during the five years since Obama came to office. Gee, what do you suppose would account for that?

Earlier this year Democrats came within a hair’s breadth of triggering the so-called “nuclear option” (a term coined by then-GOP leader Trent Lott when he was considering doing it). But on the eve of the vote, Republicans promised to quit using the filibuster, except under extraordinary circumstances, if Democrats agreed to call off the rule change. Since then, however, Republicans broke their promise by blocking, or threatening to block, virtually every executive nominee and, just in the past couple of weeks, three appointments to the D.C. Circuit Court. They seemed to be openly daring Democrats to enact filibuster reform.

Under the circumstances, Majority Leader Harry Reid had little choice but to follow through on his prior directive. On a party line vote, he passed a narrow limitation on filibusters that only included executive nominees and judges. Legislative and other business would still be subject to filibuster. Of course, even this measured response that Republicans knew would be undertaken was met with furious indignation. Or so it seemed.

The peculiar thing about their melodramatic objections was that there was an underlying hint of celebration. After all, they didn’t stomp their feet and demand that the rule change be voided. They didn’t swear to reverse this assault on senate tradition and decorum, or repeal it as they swore to do with ObamaCare. Instead they reacted to this reform, that they considered to be akin to tyranny, by declaring that they would make it even worse if given the opportunity. That’s right. This was such an awful turn of events that, should they become the majority party in the senate, they would make the Democrats regret their audacity by exploiting the new filibuster-free environment to its fullest extent. Republicans even promised to expand it to include the elimination of the filibuster for legislation.

McConnell FilibusTurtle

Be Sure To “LIKE” News Corpse On Facebook

The parallel to this behavior, were it applied to ObamaCare, would be for Republicans to be so outraged by the insurance reform bill that they would push through universal health care just to show those darned Democrats. Or imagine the GOP so incensed at a Democratic increase in taxes on the rich that they swore to raise them even further when they got the chance. And yes, that doesn’t make any sense. But that’s exactly how they are responding to the filibuster reform.

Very little of the Republican response makes sense. They are arguing that Democrats will regret having nixed the filibuster because it will lead to more Supreme Court justices like Scalia and Thomas. Aside from the concession that Scalia and Thomas are obvious extremists, Republicans seem not to have noticed that they made it to the court despite never having been filibustered. They also seem not to have noticed that the reform passed by the Democrats doesn’t include Supreme Court justices, so it won’t affect future nominees to the high court. Nevertheless, this argument appears to be an invitation to filibuster Supreme Court nominees, an act that would certainly draw the ire of the GOP were it to occur. It should also be noted that the super-patriot Republicans are appalled by what they regard as an assault on the Constitution but, as they are so fond of saying, the word “filibuster” appears nowhere in that document.

Another tack that Republicans are taking is to assert that the changes made by Reid and the Democrats will result in an even more severe partisan divide in Congress. One question: How can the GOP get more partisan than it is now, when they even vote against their own initiatives if the President says he supports them? They could not possibly be more obstructionist if they tried.

So why would Republicans be so giddily looking forward to the new senate rules that prevent them from continuing their filibuster fest? Why would they pick this time to goad Democrats into pulling the nuclear trigger by breaking their promise and throwing up blockades to everything that has come down the pike, even after Democrats warned them that this would be the result? Could it be that they have a renewed sense of confidence that they might retake control of the senate in the wake of the post-ObamaCare turbulence? After having shattered every record for legislative obstructionism, senate Republicans may now be contemplating a favorable outcome in the 2014 midterms, as well as the 2016 presidential election. And if that should come to pass, they don’t want a bitter Democratic minority doing to them what they did to Obama for the past five years (even though Democrats generally do not engage in that sort of petulant behavior). So they create a situation where Reid is compelled to implement filibuster reform, and while pretending to oppose it, they are actually plotting to take advantage of it when they assume the control that they anticipate is coming to them.

It’s a devious plot, but one that may rely too much on their over-confidence in regaining the majority. Today, the President’s polling is in the gutter due to missteps in the execution of ObamaCare. But in a couple of months, if the website is repaired, and people are discovering new and better options for insurance coverage, the polls could just as quickly turn around and Democrats will be soaring past a Republican Party that the public resents for working so hard against their interests. Democrats could even sweep into the majority in the House putting them in a position to enact a broad agenda that includes immigration, guns, the environment, taxes, and more. In short, Republican arrogance may lead to the best hope for Obama to ensure and enhance his legacy.

Bottom line: If Republicans were truly upset with filibuster reform, they would be promising to undo it, just as they have done with ObamaCare? You don’t threaten to expand something that you profess to oppose. Therefore, the only reasonable conclusion is that they secretly support the new rules and may have worked covertly to bring them about. Their outrage is as fake as professional wrestling; as John Boehner’s tan; as a Tea Party intellectual. But their fakery is as real as a heart attack – which is covered under ObamaCare, a bill the GOP also tried, unsuccessfully, to filibuster.

Fox Nation vs. Reality: Bigfoot’s Epic Battle With ObamaCare And Congress

In takes a monumental heaping of chutzpah for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell to criticize the approval rating for ObamaCare when he is the lowest ranked political leader in the nation with 22% favorability. He lands well below President Obama (49%), Nancy Pelosi (35%), House Speaker John Boehner (27%), and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid(27%). But even this act of audacity is eclipsed by Fox Nation’s brazenly deceitful presentation of it.

Fox Nation
You think this is bad? Read Fox Nation vs. Reality for 50+ more.

The Fox Nationalist’s headline reads “McConnell: More Believe In ‘Bigfoot’ Than Obamacare.” However, that is not what McConnell said. The source article from the Washington Examiner quotes McConnell commenting on ObamaCare’s implementation saying that “just 12 percent of Americans think the rollout has gone well.” So this is not a referendum on the Affordable Care Act itself, just the admittedly glitchy launch of the website. McConnell failed to note, though, that the job approval rating for Congress is only 11%, so the nation regards Congress in even lower esteem than the ObamaCare website’s botched debut.

McConnell went on to note that 14% of Americans believe in the existence of Bigfoot (which is a sorry reflection on America). However, there is no argument that the vast majority of the country believes that ObamaCare exists. So the comparison doesn’t make any sense. If, instead, they had polled on the public’s approval of Bigfoot we might have a more apt (and interesting) comparison. But I still suspect that Bigfoot would have kicked McConnell’s ass off a cliff (figuratively and literally).

The GOP Alienates Another Key Constituent Group: Seniors

The Republican Party seems to be on a frantic mission to destroy their reputation with every constituency of voters in America, other than the Taliban wing of the Tea Party Christianists.

The GOP is currently engaged in nationwide battles to give government control over women’s bodies. They are exploiting every opportunity to suppress voting rights for African-Americans and other minorities. They oppose immigration reform that would eventually offer a path to legalized status for Latinos, some of whom have lived their whole lives in the United States. They obstructed the enactment of measures that would have prevented the interest rates for student loans from doubling. And, as always, they work feverishly to protect the wealthy from paying a fair tax rate, while allowing the rates to increase for those less fortunate.

So let’s see…who did they leave out? They got women, African-Americans, Latinos, youth, the poor and middle class. Who is left for Republicans to piss off?

Well, it should come as no surprise that the masterminds running the Republican machine noticed the crack in their strategic foundation and have promptly dedicated themselves to its repair.

That’s why Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader in the senate, jumped into action to attack Hillary Clinton, a prospective candidate for president in 2016, as an old hag, thus insulting the final demographic group that may still have had some affection for the GOP. McConnell uproariously joked…

“Don’t tell me Democrats are the party of the future when their presidential ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of the ‘Golden Girls.'”

Let’s just set aside the fact that “The Golden Girls” was a successful and popular sitcom that ran for seven years, with a cast of mature women who had active lives professionally, socially, and romantically. America’s seniors, who already have some cause to reject the Republican agenda that has sought to dismantle Social Security and cut funding for Medicare, can’t be too thrilled with being portrayed as useless fossils who should be consigned to history’s dustbin. Now they have been directly assaulted as has-beens, in the words of Karl Rove, who said of Clinton and her peers that “we’re at the end of her generation and that it’s time for another to step forward.”

For the record, Hillary Clinton is 65, Karl Rove is 62, and Mitch McConnell is 71. In January of 2017, when the next president is inaugurated, Clinton will be a year younger than Ronald Reagan was when his term began.

Mitch McConnell

McConnell had better start paying more attention to what’s in his own Depends. He is approaching his thirtieth year in office and has one of the lowest favorability ratings of any sitting senator. He is up for reelection next year and his first announced opponent is the 34 year old Kentucky Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes. Not exactly what you would call a “Golden Girl,” unless you what you meant by golden was someone with a rich set of skills, experience and support.

It’s hard to understand what the Republican Party is up to by alienating so many voters. Perhaps their plan to is expand their efforts to define corporations and fetuses as persons and give them the right to vote. But if they have to depend on Teabaggers, End-Timers, and NRA-theists, they are likely to find themselves elected only in districts dug into underground bunkers with ham radio reception that only gets Glenn Beck and Pat Robertson.

Why Is Anyone Listening To The #@$%*#& Tea Party?

What is so hard about this? Congress is struggling to fashion a compromise agreement on a bill to raise the debt ceiling. The Republicans are insisting on attaching unrelated provisions to the bill to satisfy the tantrums of Tea Party-affiliated members who are demanding deficit reduction that imposes severe spending cuts but permits no revenue raising through tax reform and the elimination of loopholes.

But who is being represented by the advocates of spending cuts, which include cuts to critical programs like Medicaid? Who is being represented by the opponents of increased revenues achieved by asking corporations and the rich to share in the sacrifice required to bring our nation back to economic health?

The truth is that no one but a few extremist right-wingers are represented by the positions to which the GOP has lashed itself. Here’s the proof:

Debt Solutions

It is almost unheard of to get 72% of Americans to agree on any politically contentious issue. Yet here we have 72% of the country agreeing that the rich are not presently paying their fair share, and that Medicaid should not be cut. And isn’t just a bunch of socialist lefties. This includes majorities of both Independents and Republicans. Let the significance of that sink in. It is not just a fair number of Republicans, it is a MAJORITY of Republicans.

So for whom is House Speaker Boehner fighting? For whom is Senate Minority Leader McConnell fighting? It obviously is not their GOP constituents. In fact, they are betraying their constituents and putting the whole nation at risk in order to pacify a cabal of small-minded, short-sighted, ill-informed, intransigent malcontents known as the Tea Party.

Of course, there is really no such thing as the Tea Party. There are no Tea Party candidates; no Tea Party policies; no registered Tea Party voters. It is nothing more than a radical faction of the GOP that has canonized the Founding Fathers and debased the Constitution with simplistic misinterpretations and ritual recital.

With poll results like those above, it is unfathomable that Republicans in congress give such a wide berth to their tea-besotted cousins. And the same goes for the media. When news networks placate TeaPublicans by employing them to provide commentary and analysis for that point of view, they are, in effect, giving ultra-conservative Republicans an additional voice that they do not provide to progressive Democrats.

It is clear that the Tea Baggers are wildly out of touch with the mainstream of America and they should not be afforded the special treatment they receive. They are merely an annoyingly squeaky wheel with no popular support. They degrade the debate with their stubborn attachment to dubious dogma. Even the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page declared that “Republicans are not looking like adults to whom voters can entrust the government.” Actually, they aren’t even looking like children:

Regardless of how the debt ceiling debate shakes out, the media, as well as our congressional representatives, need to recognize that the Tea Party is unworthy of the outsized consideration they receive. They haven’t earned it and they don’t deserve. And catering to their hysterics is counterproductive and worse, destructive. With the abundance of evidence that they are a poorly attended party that is located far beyond the boundaries of common sense, the question remains…..

Why Is Anyone Listening To The #@$%*#& Tea Party?