Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rachel Maddow - Hayworth: Another Look

This is a follow-up to a video posted earlier today.

Again, thanks to Crooks and Liars.

Franken: A Perversion of the Filibuster

Thanks for this to Crooks and Liars from which cometh the following:

From the Senate Democrats Sen. Franken speaks out on the GOP's continued abuse of the filibuster:

Freshmen and sophomore Democratic Senators today went to the Senate floor as a group to highlight the Republican obstructionism on nominations. As of this morning, there are 88 nominees on the Senate calendar, including posts at the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Treasury and the Army. "This is a perversion of the filibuster and a perversion of the role of the Senate," said Sen. Al Franken. "It used to be that the filibuster was reserved for matters of great principle. Today it has become a way to play out the clock."

Creationists dig new grave

[Cartoon from here]

It's so hard being a creationist these days. You must avoid all things scientific - magazines, books, people; and if you can't miss the headline claiming "40,000-Year-Old Tools Found at Construction Site", you must immediately close your eyes, pray to the Lord God Almighty that this sight will be cleansed from your mind and that He will smite mightily those pagans who dared dig up some dirty old "tools" and then claim they were 40,000 years old for the sole purpose of denying the truth of the Bible!

On Australia's island of Tasmania, archaeologists have dug up thousands of items, including stone tools which have been estimated to be about 40,000 years. While the exact age has not been confirmed, initial estimates are expected to be correct. In fact, according to an AOL News article, "Human artifacts dating 40,000 to 50,000 years have been found in Australia north of Tasmania."

Such a problem! What's a good creationist to do? The Bible clearly states that God created everything that exists 6,000 years ago: Which is "proven" by the correct reading of the biblical book of Genesis!

Damn those Tasmanian devils, those scientists!

Ed Schultz on Michele Bachman

Michele Bachmann is breathtakingly stupid! What were voters in Minnesota drinking when they elected this christianist nogoodnik to public office?

From Crooks and Liars:

Michele Bachmann makes Ed Schultz's Psycho Talk segment for her latest round of crazy on the health care bill this week.

From The Uptake: Rep. Bachmann : "Some have called President Obama the first Post-American President.":

Mar 13 2010 : MN 06 Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks at her "Kill the Bill" Rally, to stop the Health Care Bill, on the St. Paul Minnesota State Capital steps. She compares Obama to Chavez, calls the Health Care Bill illegitimate, says you don't have to follow illegitimate bills.

"In their bill they have the IRS enforciing the Health Care Bill", said Bachmann. "We're not going to pay their taxes..." "We don't have to follow a bill that isn't law."

And from Think Progress: Bachmann: Americans ‘Have Standing To Sue’ If House Uses Self-Executing Rule To Pass Health Care:

Last week, Politico reported that House Democrats had discussed the possibility of avoiding a direct vote on Senate health care bill by using a “self-executing rule,” which would call for the Senate bill to be automatically attached to reconciliation legislation if the House votes to pass a package of fixes being negotiated between the two chambers.


On Friday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked the proposal as “breathtakingly unconstitutional,” telling right-wing Minnesota radio host Chris Baker that “it would destroy Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.” “No one’s ever seen anything like this before,” said Bachmann.

When Baker suggested that someone should be “arrested” if a “self-executing rule” is used, Bachmann declared that the parliamentary procedure would give every American “standing to sue against this bill”.


Please click on cartoon to embiggen.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Rachel Maddow - J.D. Hayworth uses McCain's cover up of Abramoff scandal

The following is from Crooks and Liars:

Dennis G. at Balloon Juice wrote an excellent post explaining how John McCain covering up for J.D. Hayworth's involvement in the Abramoff scandal was coming back to bite him in the form of Hayworth as a primary challenger. Hayworth was asked about his involvement in the Jack Abramoff affair on The Rachel Maddow Show and he used the fact that McCain did not bring him up during his committee hearings as proof of his innocence in the matter.

Hayworth: I’ll be very happy to point out how this may apply to the upcoming Republican primary. Senator McCain has joined the chorus of those attempting to link me to someone by the name of Jack Abramoff. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that in any way I’m defending Mr. Abramoff. That’s not the case. I’m offering you a spirited defense of what I believe to be incorrect information that you have received.

But with reference to my immediate Republican opponent Sen. McCain, he chaired hearings you may recall of the Indian Affairs Committee and if memory serves I believe they were in the spring and summer of 2006. Never did my name come up in testimony. Never was I mentioned either during those hearings or in the committee’s final report. So the bottom line is this. I did nothing wrong and the people of Arizona will have a chance to decide that. As for John McCain, a man who says he’s a man of honor I think quite frankly he knows these charges to be incorrect and in desperation to keep his job, sadly he is now proving himself unfit for service in the United States Senate.

I highly recommend reading the whole thing since there is much, much more there, but here are some highlights of Dennis' post. The Grifter and the Coward…:

Both men are also linked to the Abramoff scandal. It will be fascinating to see if McCain will decide to release details about the Abramoff scandal that he has kept covered up for years in a desperate effort to hold onto his Senate seat. [...]

Hayworth went into debt to defend himself from possible charges related to the Abramoff scandal and he set-up the Freedom In Truth Trust to get others to help him retire this debt before he officially announced his run against McCain. Naturally, many of Jack’s other pals contributed to JD’s defense fund. I found Hayworth’s defense on the site to be laughable. Documents released so far in the Abramoff scandal prove him to be a liar. For example, JD says:

Here are the simple facts:

1. Abramoff contributed a grand total of $2,250 dollars to my political efforts. ($250 in 1996, $1,000 in 1998, and $1,000 to our leadership political action committee, TEAMPAC, in 1999.)
2. I never met with Abramoff concerning any legislation.
3. He never came to my office.
4. He never lobbied me directly on any issue.

The record proves him to be a liar on points 1 and 4. Point 2 is certainly a lie if you include a phone call as a “meeting”. There are numerous records citing direct discussions between Abramoff and Hayworth. It is unclear if these meetings/discussions took place in Hayworth’s “office”, so point 3 could technically be true, but only if you exclude meetings between Hayworth’s staff and Abramoff’s staff.

Only a small fraction of the millions of pages of emails, billing records and other evidence linking Abramoff to his co-conspirators has been released. Most of these documents are under wraps and that lets many of Jack’s old Congressional grifter buddies run for office again in 2010. In an ironic twist, a grifter like Hayworth can thank John McCain for the fact that he is out of jail and able to scam gullible voters once again. You see, John McCain had the goods on Hayworth but did not have the courage to put Country over Party or the integrity to let duty trump his ambitions.


McCain’s investigation of the Abramoff scandal collected over 750,000 pages of documents. He has sent these documents to the National Archives where they will sit under seal for the next twenty years—it is a great way to sweep the largest Congressional scandal in decades under the rug.


Too bad McCain didn’t keep his promise to “not stop until the complete truth is told” that he made back in 2004. If he had then Hayworth, Norquist, Reed and a host of other grifters would be in jail and/or discredited. Instead, McCain let his cowardice and ambition conceal crimes that he knew they had committed. McCain actively hid evidence of corruption from the American people, but it looks like he kept a copy of that evidence readily at hand just in case he ever needed it. This is most likely why Norquist is still supporting McCain—John has the goods on him. And now, McCain is suggesting that he’ll dig into these hidden documents to release selective attacks on JD Hayworth.

As I asked last month when Hayworth was on MSNBC attacking McCain for his lie about TARP, how's that cover up working out for you now McCain?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rove is a liar

From Crooks and Liars:

Another day, another round of interviews with Karl Rove pushing his latest bit of revisionist history. Tom Brokaw asks Rove about the Bush administration's claims that the oil revenue would help pay for the war and Rove denies it.

ROVE: No, no. Tom with all due respect that was not the policy of our government that we were going to go into Iraq and take their resources in order to pay for the cost of the war. … [T]he suggestion that somehow or another the administration had as its policy, “We’re going to go in to Iraq and take their resource and pay for the war” is not accurate.

Think Progress noted, Rove is lying.

Rove’s claim is simply not true. In fact, days after the U.S. invasion, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz told a congressional panel that Iraqi oil revenues would help pay for reconstructing the country, i.e. a cost of the war. “The oil revenue of that country could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon,” he said.

One month before the war, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Iraq “is a rather wealthy country. … And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”

Let us waterboard Karl Rove!

[If only this had happened! Photo from here.]

Karl Rove epitomizes the "bullies" I met in school many years ago. While full of bravado and bullshit, underneath they were cowards!

This "big" man who waged war from the sidelines, protected by presidents and flacks, and by the ignorance and stupidity of a large portion of the American population, he can pretend and preen without ever having to get his soft, lily-white hands dirty.

So, just the other day in a BBC interview, Karl the bully said he was "proud" of the fact that under his reign (Bush, you recall, more or less worked for him) the United States engaged in torturing other human beings.

"I'm proud what we used techniques that broke the will of these terrorists."

Well, he's rewriting history, of course, with that "broke the will of these terrorists" bit. And the examples he gave in the interview have all been debunked. What waterboarding did give us was a bunch of useless information because when you torture a person he/she will eventually tell you what you want to hear, true or not.

(The really sad thing about all of this is that it is very likely the 9/11 attacks could have been avoided if the Bush administration under Rove's leadership had paid the slightest attention to the intelligence it had been provided in the summer of 2001 which warned of just such a thing!)

In the interview, Rove went on to say he didn't consider waterboarding to be torture. Furthermore, he said, when we utilized such procedures, the torturees were told that they would not drown and a doctor was present. Why would the latter be necessary if it wasn't torture?

If he really believes waterboarding is not torture, then it would behoove him to bend over backward, figuratively and literally, and allow himself to undergo that non-torture - to demonstrate to the whole world that it isn't really torture - you know, just to be sure.

It is too bad that Rove and Rumsfeld and Cheney and Bush and all the criminal gang that ran our government into the ground with their lies and dreams of empire and most importantly, their grasping for oil, have not been tried in a court of law. For some reason, politically inspired it seems, they have been given a free pass (so they can write books to try to justify their unlawful behavior).

The least anyone who says waterboarding is not torture could do is undergo the process himself. Step up to the plate, Mr. Rove! We're calling your bluff.

But, like most bullies, you will run and hide when push comes to shove!

Thank God for religion

Please click on cartoon to embiggen.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Fundys on the march in Texas

You can't say we weren't warned. Back some 30 years ago, at the inception of the Christian Coalition, Pat Robertson and other right-wing religionists vowed that christianist conservatives would infiltrate every aspect of American life, from school boards, to city councils, to governor's offices, even the United States Congress and thereby transform the United States into a fundamentalist christianist state ruled by their version of biblical law and order.

Unfortunately, these christianist fundamentalists have been remarkably successful, as we have documented over and over again on this blog.

One of their latest victories was won in Texas, where the State Board of Education is comprised of a majority of christianist nogoodniks who have no educational qualifications for serving on an educational board, and who see the role of the schools in Texas, not to educate, but to indoctrinate children with fundamentalist christianist beliefs (which also happen to coincide in many cases with "conservative" Repugnican beliefs).

As an aside, these people love the word, "conservative," and use it to describe their philosophies and actions. But they are not conservative in any sense of the word. They are as radical as the Marxists they disavow, working to upset years of educational excellence with their own revisionist schemes, based not in reality, but in the Bible and their own pointy little heads.

The Texas SBOE has been ruled by these cretins for many years; cretins who have concluded Darwin's theory of evolution is all wrong because it seems, to them, to contradict their bibles - those ancient scribblings of scientific excellence! These cretins, also ignorant of American history, continue to perpetrate the nonsense that the U.S. was founded as a Christian nation, and that our founding fathers did not intend any kind of separation of church and state.

In Texas, there are 120 pages of curriculum standards written by the cretinous SBOE. Over the past several years, about 100 amendments have been made to these standards, most all of which reflect the views of the non-intellectual misfits on the board.

One should note that as the amendments have been made, real historians, economists, sociologists or other experts were rarely, if ever, consulted!

Thus, Texas students will now be taught such things as:

- the concept of separation of church and state cannot be found in our founding documents

- the American revolution was essentially a religious revolution

- the importance of the "the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schlafly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association"

- '"the unintended consequences" of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation" as well as the notion that the internment of U.S. citizens who were of Japanese descent during WWII was not racially based because some Germans and Italians were also interned

- Joe McCarthy wasn't all that bad so the study of McCarthyism will include the notion that "the later release of the Verona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government"

- Economists Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek (free-market believers) were just as important as Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes

- that capitalism is not a good word and "free-enterprise system" should be used in its place

- "'the importance of personal responsibility for life choices" in a section on teenage suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders"

But there's more:

A female attorney from Richmond, Texas, who is convinced the U.S. was a Christian nation from its inception, "managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Acquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone." Never mind that John Calvin was a murdering bastard who killed people opposed to his religious views! And just which "revolution" was based on the writings of Tommy Acquinas?

Another amendment requires students to learn "how taxes and regulations restrict private enterprise, and that students analyze the importance of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Gun rights were given the same importance as free speech rights."

In a U.S. history section, the SBOE included "references to 'laws of nature and nature's God' in a study requiring "students to explain major political ideas."

What is especially unfortunate in all of this is that when it comes to textbooks, it is often the case that "as Texas goes, so goes the nation." In other words, Texas sets the parameters for textbook publishers and schools across the country.

Isn't there some way we can help the State of Texas secede from the Union. Who needs it?