Uh Oh: Jeb Bush Proposes Federally Mandated ‘Death Panels’

At a campaign stop in Manchester, New Hampshire, prospective GOP presidential candidate and successor to the Bush dynasty, Brother Jeb came forward to praise his own actions as Florida governor during a controversy that involved a woman in a persistent vegetative state. Terri Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain-damage and was being kept alive by machines against the wishes of her husband and, according to him, herself.

The torturous spectacle that Bush engineered included multiple court challenges and even signing a law giving him, personally, the right to decide Schiavo’s fate. Somehow that didn’t offend his Republican principles against Big Government. That law was later ruled to be unconstitutional, and after months of emotionally brutal wrangling in the courts and the media, Schiavo was mercifully allowed to die.

Today Bush still thinks he did the right thing and says that “I don’t think I would change anything.” However, he went on to express what he said was his one regret:

“In hindsight, the one thing that I would have loved to have seen was an advance directive where the family would have sorted this out […] I think if we’re going to mandate anything from government, it might be that if you’re going to take Medicare, you also sign up for an advance directive where you talk about this before you’re so disabled.”

Jeb Bush Death Panels

Yikes! What Bush is talking about are the dreaded “Death Panels” that Sarah Palin made famous in her blitheringly stupid criticism of the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Advance Directives are nothing more than voluntary statements that inform doctors and family members as to the wishes of a patient in the event that they are unable to speak for themselves. Palin turned this into a surreal debate over the wholly imaginary prospect of the government deciding who will live or die. For that she was awarded the PolitiFact “Lie of the Year” honors for 2009.

Having been subjected to devastating ridicule did nothing to temper Palin’s dumbfuckery. She continues to believe in the Death Panel myth that she was so instrumental in creating (although she has shifted her ire toward the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a group of health care professionals who insure best practices in medical care and fair pricing, which she now calls Death Panels). When Palin gets wind of Bush’s endorsement of Advanced Directives there is likely to be an earthquake in the Tea Party precincts that still admire her vacuous ramblings.

As for Bush, there is reason to be positive about his support for such a common sense initiative that gives people more control over their own lives. However, he may have taken it a step too far. The suggestion that Advanced Directives be mandatory seems like the sort of government intrusion that Republicans usually rail against. While a Living Will is advisable for most people, forcing them to prepare one when they may not be ready to make all of the profound decisions involved is way too strict a requirement.

What’s more, Bush is only proposing mandated Advance Directives for Medicare recipients. Why is he discriminating against just that sector of the population? Why not make it mandatory for anyone with a health insurance policy, whether public or private? As usual, the Republican solution to any problem is to put the burden on those who are already on society’s lower financial rungs. It’s why they advocate mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients, but not for doctors or lawyers or politicians, who hold people’s lives in their hands. It’s why states like Kansas are currently trying to dictate how food stamp recipients can spend their benefits, but there are never similar dictates on how wealthy recipients of government subsidies can spend their benefits.

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If you’re poor in America the government can tell you what to do and how to live. If your rich, anything goes, even if you still get benefits from the government, including tax breaks that contribute to your wealth. That’s the Republican philosophy. And then they will condemn anyone who proposes a policy that permits the government to control any part of a citizen’s life. Unless, of course, it has to with a woman’s control over own body, a patient’s desire for medicinal marijuana, or anyone who wishes to be free from mandated exposure to Christianity.

In short, the GOP Doctrine of Acceptable Hypocrisy requires that any regulation of the rich be condemned as an intolerable intrusion by Big Government. But similar regulations of the poor are necessary controls on irresponsible, and probably criminal, moochers.

Tea Party Yahoo Takes Steps Toward Impeachment Of President Obama

In the months prior to the 2014 mid-term election, numerous Republican politicians and pundits openly lusted for an opportunity to impeach President Obama for imagined offenses that they could never actually make stick. The absence of evidence, however, did not stop the parade of pitchfork wielding wackos demanding that the popularly elected president be ousted.

Mars Impeaches

And it wasn’t just the usual kooks from the fringe contingent who were flinging charges around. The White House gate-crashers included congressional members like representatives Steven Scalise, Jason Chaffetz, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, Darrell Issa, and senators James Inhofe, Jon Kyl, and Tom Coburn. Of course, the kook brigade would not sit on the sidelines either. Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and a flurry of Fox News figures like Sean Hannity, Andrew Napolitano, Todd Starnes, Allen West, and Dick Morris were all over this.

Despite this surge of aspiring impeachers, some on the right pretended that there was no such movement. GOP House Speaker John Boehenr said that the whole thing was a scam cooked up by Democrats and Obama, who actually wanted to impeach himself. Fox’s Megyn Kelly struggled to advance the notion that the controversy was a fake by citing a poll that showed that 61% of Americans were opposed to impeachment. Of course they were. But what she declined to reveal was that the same poll showed that 56% of Republicans favored it, along with 68% of Tea Partiers.

Today we have learned that the predictions that Republicans would seek impeachment if they were successful in winning control of the Senate last November, were true. Florida representative Ted Yoho (R-Tea Party) has drafted legislation that purports to define the meaning of “high crimes and misdemeanors” as referenced in the constitutional clause granting the power of impeachment to the House of Representatives. His definition just happens to include every political argument against Obama that the right has been making in their impeachment crusade. What a coincidence.

Aside from being an obvious attempt to shape a new law aimed directly at the President, the bill reads like the work of brain-damaged dimwit on acid-laced meth. In his enumeration of “Whereases” he even includes one that obviates the need for the bill at all:

“Whereas impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors” has an objective meaning based on the intent of the Constitution’s framers and British impeachment precedents”

If the legal standard already has an objective meaning, then what is the purpose of this bill? That question is answered in the next section of the bill that lists the “impeachable offenses.” To be sure, there are some unsavory crimes listed that ought to result in serious consequences for any executive. However, there is also a familiarity about them that seems to apply to just the complaints that wingnuts have about the current president. And then there are also a couple of political items that could never be adjudicated as impeachable.

However, the problem with this list is not whether the items on it are good or bad. It’s that they are there at all. By composing a list that purports to identify all of the actions that can result in impeachment, there is an infinite number of actions that could not be grounds for impeachment because they aren’t on the list. It’s a rookie legislative mistake.

Richard Nixon could not have been impeached if this list were in effect during his presidency. It also doesn’t provide a path to impeaching a president who embezzles a billion dollars and deposits it in a Swiss bank account. It doesn’t cover a president who breaks the legs of a governor who doesn’t support his agenda. A president could sell arms to Iran and use the proceeds to bankroll terrorists in Nicaragua without violating this law (Reagan would have signed it with glee).

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That’s the problem with explicitly enumerating the actions that would trigger the law. And since “high crimes and misdemeanors” already has an objective meaning, there is no reason to make such a list. It is the responsibility of the House of Representatives to file articles of impeachment, make a reasoned argument for them, and pass it on to the senate for trial.

If the House gives this bill serious consideration, they will only be solidifying their reputation as baldly political creatures with contempt for the law. Therefore, don’t be too surprised if they pass it. Their hunger for punishing this President is still palpable. It is a fever that they cannot suppress. And impeachment is clearly still on their diseased minds.

Freakout At Fox News: DHS Report Cites Threat Of Right-Wing Extremists

There is nothing that stirs up the rancid juices of a conservative sociopath like being fingered as a conservative sociopath. It’s very much the same furious reaction that racists have when you point out that they’re being racist. And this week the American Taliban got their feathers ruffled again by the Department of Homeland Security’s “intelligence assessment” that reportedly “focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.”

Fox News

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The release of this report predictably ignited a temper tantrum by the hypersensitive rage-meisters at Fox News. They immediately slammed the report as being offensive to the totally rational, peace-loving, icons of harmony that populate the Tea Party and other rightist models of national unity. Why ever would they be regarded as potentially dangerous just because they brag about their arsenals while holding signs that say “We came unarmed – this time.”

Never mind that the report documents a couple of dozen instances of criminal violence by wingnuts in the mold of Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. And set aside the fact that state and local law enforcement officers, when surveyed last year, cited “sovereign citizen terrorists” as the top domestic terror threat ahead of foreign Islamic jihadis. That’s an understandable and thoroughly logical conclusion coming from the first responders who are often the targets of the anti-government right-wingers. Just ask the families of the two Las Vegas police officers who were murdered by followers of Cliven Bundy, the deadbeat rancher who assembled a brigade of armed protesters to do battle with agents from the Bureau of Land Management.

The zealousness with which Fox News defends violent American jihadis who hate the government (particularly since that black guy was elected) is evidence of their support for extremists, so long as they are extreme in the proper fashion. This response to a perfectly reasonable law enforcement analysis only validates the politicization of national security that Fox engages in. At Fox News they don’t care if a heavily armed NRA “patriot” is parading around the Wal-Mart with assault weapons. But if a black kid with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles is gunned down by a self-appointed vigilante while walking home, then Fox portrays him as a thug who must have been up to no good.

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What makes this outburst of outrage even more ludicrous is that the DHS is only doing its job of protecting the American people. They are not playing favorites by drawing attention to extremists on the right. The proof of that is that the feds previously published a report that warned of the potential dangers of left-wing extremists. News Corpse wrote about this six years ago, the last time that Fox News and other wingnut media mouthpieces went bonkers over a DHS report. That article contained a link to a security analysis that said…

“Left-wing extremism is ‘alive and well’ both in the US and internationally. … There are individuals and organizations within the U.S. who maintain the same ideology that resulted in the growth of left-wing terrorism in this country in the 1970s and 1980s … and new leaders and groups are emerging.”

Good luck trying to find any reporting on Fox News about that study. While there are a few mentions of left-wing extremism on Fox, they are conspicuously thin and refer primarily to animal rights activists and environmentalists – a scary bunch of bloodthirsty hooligans if there ever were any.

The Queen Of Astroturf Doesn’t Know The Meaning Of Astroturf

When Sharyl Attkisson left CBS over her flagrant insertion of conservative political bias into the stories she covered, she might have tried to rehabilitate her decaying reputation by affiliating herself with a credible news organization. Instead, she immediately signed up with Fox News (not exactly the place to prove your aren’t shilling for the right) and took a position with the The Daily Signal, the pseudo-news Internet outlet run by the ultra-rightist Heritage Foundation.

Media Circus

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Her post-CBS work has mainly been limited to three areas of shameless whining: 1) Bashing those in her past that she felt had discriminated against her freedom to propagandize; 2) Promoting her anti-Obama diatribe “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington;” and 3) Telling paranoid (and ultimately debunked) tales of being spied on by shadowy, unnamed enemies in the government determined to destroy her professionally and personally.

Continuing her transparently prejudiced crusade against a select group of imagined adversaries, Attkisson has published her list of “The Top 10 Astroturfers.” In the process she has demonstrated that she is viscerally determined to persist in slandering her perceived foes. What’s more, she is proving that she doesn’t have any idea what Astroturfing is. For the record, here is the generally recognized definition of this neologism:

Astroturf: An apparently grassroots-based citizen group or coalition that is primarily conceived, created and/or funded by corporations, industry trade associations, political interests or public relations firms. It seeks to disguise a powerful special interest as a popular movement.

On that basis, here is Attkisson’s list:

  1. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown
  2. Media Matters for America
  3. University of California Hastings Professor Dorit Rubenstein Reiss and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Dr. Paul Offit
  4. “Science” Blogs such as: Skeptic.com, Skepchick.org, Scienceblogs.com (Respectful Insolence), Popsci.com and SkepticalRaptors.com
  5. Mother Jones
  6. Salon.com and Vox.com
  7. White House press briefings and press secretary Josh Earnest
  8. Daily Kos and The Huffington Post
  9. CNN, NBC, New York Times, Politico and Talking Points Memo (TPM)
  10. MSNBC, Slate.com, Los Angeles Times and Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times, MSNBC and Jon Stewart.

There is not a single group on the list that meets the definition of an Astroturf enterprise. The one that comes closest is Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense due to its relationship with another group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, MDA was started by an actual mom in Indiana and has a membership of more than 150,000. The rest of the list is patently absurd.

Media Matters is a watchdog group that documents conservative bias in the media. It does not lobby any government entity, organize citizens to demonstrate, or otherwise engage in social activism. However, it is one of Attkisson’s most effective critics and thus won the number two slot on the list.

The U.C. professor and Children’s Hospital have worked on educating the public about the importance of vaccinations. Apparently that has stirred Attkisson’s ire. Also in this category are a few science-related blogs. However, Attkisson doesn’t explain why they should be on the list other than because they have a point of view. She never even bothers to try to connect them to some well-heeled benefactor. In any case, universities, hospitals, and independent blogs are not Astroturfers by any stretch of the imagination.

The most well-represented group on the list are media enterprises. They range from mainstream outlets like CNN, NBC, and the New York Times, to established magazines and Internet sites like Mother Jones, Salon, and Politico, to more alternative sources like Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post. The only conceivable reason for Attkisson citing these media players on her list is that they are all regarded by conservatives like herself as left-leaning, and therefore deserving of her wrath. But they are certainly not Astroturf.

Attkisson really goes off the rails by including the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest and the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart on the list. How can anyone define either of them as faux grassroots-based citizen groups backed by wealthy special interests? More than any other people or groups on the list, these two show that Attkisson cannot be taken seriously.

Attkisson describes her list as “an informal, non-scientific survey.” Her footnote reveals that “the results represent 169 Twitter respondents who answered a public query either directly or through direct message.” What could possibly be more ludicrous as a sampling of opinion than a tiny group of respondents to her own Tweet? Is Atkisson purposely sabotaging her reputation in a public spectacle of professional suicide? The remainder of her commentary accompanying the list essentially redefines Astroturfing to fit her personal enemies list. It’s like dieters defining cupcakes as vegetables so they can eat more of them.

If she wants some examples of bona fide Astroturfers, she need look no further than her employer the Heritage Foundation, which began as a right-wing think tank, but with new leadership provided by former Republican senator Jim DeMint, it has become a full-fledged factory for fake activism. Under DeMint’s tenure it launched the Daily Signal which publishes highly biased articles including those by its new correspondent, Sharyl Attkisson.

Other Astroturfers include the Tea Party Express, which was founded by a Republican public relations firm and is notorious for funneling nearly all of the donations it receives back into its own pockets. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads. Numerous Koch brothers funded entities like Americans for Prosperity, FreedomWorks, Generation Opportunity, The LIBRE Initiative, Concerned Veterans for America, and many more. Even Sarah Palin has joined the con game with her Super PAC and the subscription Internet site she launched that often has no content for days on end. In all of these cases there is little evidence of public support, but massive bankrolling by wealthy conservative rainmakers.

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A recent study by a conservative news organization highlighted the rampant corruption in many of the right-wing Astroturf enterprises and political action committees. The Washington Post reported that…

“Right Wing News released a report on a group of conservative PACs that took in millions of dollars in contributions in 2014, ostensibly for the purpose of electing Republicans, but spent almost none of it on actual political activity. Instead, the money went into the pockets of the people who run the PACs and their associates.”

This appears to be the rule, and not the exception. And part of why it becomes so easy to rip-off the ignorant wingnut community is that fakers like Attkisson permit the scams to proceed without consequence. By shining her spotlight on an array of organizations that in no way qualify as Astroturf, Attkisson allows the grifters to operate freely while their victims are lost in a maze of false accusations.

What Does North Korea, Fox News, And The Tea Party Have In Common?

The still unfolding saga of the hacking into Sony’s network has produced a war of words between American intelligence agencies that accuse North Korea of the intrusion, and the North Koreans who applaud the act but insist they had nothing to do with it. After declining to release the film “The Interview” that was ostensibly what incited the hacking, Sony reversed themselves and put the movie out in theaters and online. This further inflamed North Korea who lashed out with an openly racist attack on President Obama saying…

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest.”

Comparing the first African-American president of the United States to a monkey was surely not an accidental slip of the tongue. It was a deliberate, if juvenile, attempt to demean and ridicule Obama. However, the repugnant and racist monkey reference is nothing new to Obama haters in America. The juvenile Tea Party has been rife with offensive images and signs at their rallies that made the very same association.

Tea Party Korea Monkey

As if to emphasize the contemptuous disdain for Obama, the folks at Fox News posted an item on their community website, Fox Nation, about North Korea’s slur. This set off a sadly predictable flurry of hate speech by their readers that brings into focus the ideological camaraderie between America’s enemies and its own extremist right-wingers.

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Fox Nation Comments

When Vladimir Putin was criticizing Obama over the Ukraine situation, many Fox News pundits and contributors (including Sarah Palin, Tucker Carlson and Ben Carson) responding by virtually nominating him as the Republican presidential candidate. All it takes to win the hearts and minds of Teabaggers is to insult America’s president. So I guess it won’t be long now until they add Kim Jong-Un to the ticket.

Bachmann’s Last Stand: Tea Party Queen Laments Imaginary Snub By Obama

In many ways I’m going to miss Michele Bachmann. She has provided an unending stream of hilarity during her brief tenure in Congress, and especially her epic run for the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Michele Bachmann Tea Party

As a parting gift to comedians everywhere, Bachmann visited her pal Bill O’Reilly on Fox News (video below) to regale him with an account of her adventures at the White House Christmas party (which O’Reilly belittled as a “holiday” party). While bragging that attendance at the event was a high honor, she also complained about the less than respectful treatment she received from President Obama. The sad tale went something like this:

“I knew that this would be the last time that I would speak to the President as a member of Congress and I thought, I want to say something substant (sic) to him about what I think is the most consequential issue of the day. […]

“‘Mr. President, with all due respect, I’m concerned about the Iranian nuclear program and I think it would be wise to bomb the program before they obtain a nuclear weapon because once they obtain a nuclear weapon the world changes.’

“The president smiled, and he was fairly condescending and patronizing and said, ‘Well, it’s not quite that easy, Michele. But that’s okay,’ like I’m just, you know, an idiot and I don’t know anything.”

Had Obama intended to imply that Bachmann is an idiot it would have been entirely appropriate. She has proven it herself innumerable times. However, the President’s response was in no way disrespectful. It was pretty much all he could say under the circumstances. Bachmann confronted him with her comment in a photo line where many guests were waiting to greet the First Family. What did she expect him to do? Was he supposed to interrupt this photo-op to engage her in a protracted debate on a complex matter of national security standing there in the foyer? Perhaps she thought his eyes would light up with surprise and he would thank her for contributing such a brilliant idea that had never occurred to him. All things considered, Obama was rather polite after having been lobbied at a Christmas party to bomb another country.

It is that sort of laughably arrogant nonsense that we will miss in the coming years. Unless of course Bachmann signs up with Fox News and joins her comrade Sarah Palin in delivering comic relief (in the form of pseudo-political analysis) whenever she can score some airtime. But we will always have her past record of lunacy to cheer us up. Here’s a short summary of some of her classic moments:

  • Bachmann believed that the government had been infiltrated by enemy Muslims and she joined a group of congressional colleagues to insist on an investigation to uncover them.
  • Bachmann proclaimed her intention to be subservient to her husband were she to be elected president: “…the Lord said, ‘Be submissive. Wives, you are to be submissive to your husbands.’”
  • Bachmann signed a pledge circulated by a radical evangelical asserting that life for African-Americans was better during the era of slavery.
  • Bachmann gushed her admiration for a serial killer: “Just like John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa, that’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” Actually, it was serial murderer and clown painter John Wayne Gacy who was from Waterloo.

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So How Nuts Are The Anti-Immigration Tea Party Republicans?

One month ago a distinct minority of the nation’s voters trudged to the polls to elect just enough Tea Party Republicans to gain control of the Senate and join their GOP colleagues in the House in a ritual of Obama bashing and avoiding doing any actual work. Since then the party of “NO” has already demonstrated their determination to hogtie this president and throw a monkey wrench into the administration of government.

GOP Disciplines Obama

To illustrate just how absurd the right-wing has become, take a look at these actual proposals, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, for responding to Obama’s executive action to reform immigration policy:

    Shut down the government. A tactic that failed miserably last year and made a laughing stock of Ted Cruz and other Republicans.
    Block ambassador nominations. Because degrading international diplomacy would secure America’s borders.
    Block executive branch nominees — just about all of them. Another attempt by the party that hates government to prove that it doesn’t work by sabotaging it.
    Ground the president. Seriously? They want to cut funding for Air Force One to keep Obama stuck in Washington.
    Start the immigration fight earlier. As opposed to starting to resolve the immigration problem.
    File a lawsuit. Which they have already done and will solve nothing. It probably won’t even get to trial before becoming moot.
    Cancel the State of the Union. This idiotic and bigoted idea was covered previously by News Corpse here: Hate of the Union.

These inane, retaliatory responses to a serious problem facing the nation reveal the deliberately injurious motives of the GOP. They obviously couldn’t care less about advancing the interests of the American people. The only thing on their agenda is beating on the current resident of the White House whom they never believed was legitimate.

And it makes it all the more ludicrous considering they have a quick and simple way to do away with the executive order they profess to oppose. As reported here before, 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 these cretins maneuver to lock Obama out of the Capital and take away his keys to Air Force One. Next thing you know they will be passing legislation to make him sit in the corner for the remainder of his term. And they want people to take them seriously?

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Laura Ingraham’s Tea Party Dementia: “We Don’t Really Protest”

Laura Ingraham is a Fox News contributor and frequent guest host for Bill O’Reilly. Her deep-seated, ultra-conservative views are embraced by right-wingers in media and politics. So it is not surprising that her commentaries are riddled with falsehoods and rife with animosity. For example, in response to the the Eric Garner tragedy, she recently made an asinine suggestion that President Obama be fitted with a body camera. Apparently she believes that the activities of all African-Americans should be monitored at all times.

However, Ingraham may have just exceeded her previous threshold for lunatic declarations when she told a listener to her radio program not to expect conservatives to hit the streets in protest of Obama’s reign of tyranny:

Ingraham: I don’t think our people go in the streets. You know why? Because our people are working and they have to support families. We don’t do that. We don’t protest. That’s just not in the DNA of conservatives. We don’t really protest.

First of all, let’s not ignore that Ingraham just insulted every American who ever participated in democracy by attending a protest. She regards everyone who marched with Martin Luther King as unemployed vagrants who abandoned their families. She believes that anyone who stood up to oppose unlawful wars, or the poisoning of our planet, or gross miscarriages of justice, or any number of other social ills, as lacking responsibility and values. She doesn’t understand that protests are an expression of American ideals and an exercise of freedom.

What’s worse is that Ingraham seems to have lost all touch with reality? Her assertion that conservatives don’t protest makes one wonder who it was hollering at all those town halls a few years ago. Who was it that showed up for the Fox News sponsored, anti-tax Tea Party rallies dressed in Revolutionary War era costumes and carrying confederate flags? Who was it hoisting those signs that demanded that government keep its hands off of Medicare during the ObamaCare protests? Oh yeah … it was conservatives. And not just random right-wingers either. It was Laura Ingraham herself.

Laura Ingraham

Yes, that is Ms. Ingraham at a rally to oppose ObamaCare in Washington, D.C. Apparently she is giving a speech to a crowd of unemployed family-haters. Ironically, Ingraham and her audience are actually attempting to harm families by preventing them from getting affordable health insurance. They are demonstrating against a reform that allows parents to keep their children on their policies longer. They are pushing to permit insurance companies to decline coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition. That is not exactly an agenda that speaks to supporting families.

Ingraham needs to apologize to everyone who has made personal sacrifices in order to petition their government for redress of grievances (look it up Laura. It’s in the Constitution). She especially needs to address those on her own side who must be wondering what the hell she’s talking about. And she may want to see a medical professional herself to inquire as to her apparent amnesia. Lucky for her, it’s covered by ObamaCare.

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.

The Racists In The Tea Party Are No Longer “Proud To Be A Teabagger” (w/Classic Video)

A couple of days ago President Obama spoke at a town hall in Los Angeles to a group of young, tech entrepreneurs. His prepared remarks enumerated some of the economic and social successes of his administration. But he also took questions from the audience, including some that led into a bit of politics.

In one particularly notable exchange, the President observed a serious flaw in the devolution of the Republican Party.The question addressed ways “to encourage more immigrants with technical skills to be able to work legally in the United States?” Obama responded at length about the numerous contributions of immigrants to America. Then he wondered aloud about the Republican Party’s hostility to people and policies that the nation needs to progress.

“it’s anybody’s guess how Republicans are thinking about this. If they were thinking long term politically, it is suicide for them not to do this. Because the demographics of the country are such where you are going to lose an entire generation of immigrants who are looking around and saying, you know what, that party does not seem to care much about me and my life. And I think the smarter Republicans understand this. Short term, though, they’ve got a problem, and the Tea Party and others who oftentimes express virulently anti-immigrant sentiment.”

Obama on Immigration/Tea Party

By facing head-on the inherent racism of the Tea Party (which is really just another faction within the GOP). Obama has embraced an observation that has been all too apparent to anyone paying attention, but often was left unsaid. Earlier this year News Corpse documented the overt racism infecting the right-wing after Fox News asked for some evidence of it.

Fox News - Tea Party Racism

But that wasn’t the only hit the Tea Party took that day. During a gubernatorial debate in Connecticut, the GOP candidate alluded to an article that criticized Democratic incumbent Dannel Malloy. This prompted Malloy to provide more information about the publisher of the article saying

“The publication you’re talking about is a right-wing tea bag organization. You know it. I let you repeat the same story twice. Why don’t you tell the whole story when you tell stories?”

That accurate characterization set off yelps of hurt feeling by right-wingers, including those at the rag in question, the National Review. Contributing editor Jim Geraghty complained in a tweet…

“Remember when ‘Tea Bag’ was considered an obnoxious thing to say? Can I call the governor of Connecticut a ‘Left-tard’ now?”

Of course, the right has been using derogatory language against the left freely for years. This may be the first time they asked for permission. The NR’s publisher, Jack Fowler, joined in the whine-fest with a column condemning Malloy’s use of the Tea Bag label. However, what all of these crybabies forget is that Teabagging was a term that was originally adopted and promoted by the Tea Party. Even an article in the National Review, dating back to December of 2009, affirmed the term’s derivation saying…

“The first big day for this movement was Tax Day, April 15. And organizers had a gimmick. They asked people to send a tea bag to the Oval Office. One of the exhortations was ‘Tea Bag the Fools in D.C.’ A protester was spotted with a sign saying, ‘Tea Bag the Liberal Dems Before They Tea Bag You.’ So, conservatives started it: started with this terminology. But others ran with it and ran with it.”

And that’s not all. The dean of rightist commentators on Fox News, Charles Krauthammer, referred to “tea bag demonstrations” during a segment of the network’s signature news hour, Special Report, back in October of 2009. Fox’s Tea Party correspondent, Griff Jenkins, who actually rode around on the Tea Party Express bus for the summer, was also known to use the term. But the most blatant embrace of the terminology came in the form of a slickly produced video that proudly declared “I’m proud to be a Teabagger.” It consisted of a variety of allegedly average Americans taking the pledge of pride in the term.

Consequently, it’s somewhat disingenuous of them to feign outrage when somebody utters the words to which they previously swore allegiance. The Tea Party owns Teabagging, but what’s worse is that they own the racism and ugliness that has been a hallmark of their movement. And as the President said, it is political suicide given the demographic changes that are taking place in the country. Without significant reforms, it is only a matter of time before those changes engulf the GOP and make it an irrelevant footnote in future elections.

Shameless self-promotion…
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