Don't Know Much About . . .

well, anything.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Republican Presidential field for 2012, a bunch of regressive, know nothing ignoramuses.

The parody of Sam Cooke's Wonderful World is from Sad n Mad Productions.

How Jonathan Chait Sullies His Reputation

By writing nonsense like this:

I think (Minnesota Congresswoman and Tea Party darling Michelle) Bachmann is a legitimate dark-horse possibility to win the nomination.

In no known universe does the fact-averse, conspiracy-laden, gaffe-prone Bachmann have a shot at winning the GOP nomination. Yes, the media adores her, as they do Palin, because she says nutty things but at some point her inconsistencies will doom her. For now, Bachmann performs like some demonic seal in front of adoring crowds of the similarly insane and the utterly delusional but if she is seriously to contend for the nomination she will have to, you know, at some point speak to the reality-based community.

Much is being written about how Bachmann outraised Mitt Romney in the quarter just ended but all the analysis I've seen omits the fact that Bachmann has been actively fundraising and Romney has yet to fully engage. I have no doubt that Michelle Bachmann could do well if not win the Iowa caucuses next year but then again that's hardly a guarantor of the nomination. Just ask Mike Huckabee. The reality is also that Bachmann appeals to a narrow far-right evangelical base and she will face competition for those votes from likes of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to name just two.

Even more egregious than Chait holding out hope that Michelle Bachmann has some sort of path to the Republican nomination is this tidbit:

The best parallel I think consider is Howard Dean. No, Dean is not anywhere near as crazy as Bachmann. That's not the point. Both tap deeply into a well of activist anger against a sitting president that is not being fully satisfied by other candidates. Both inspire passionate activist volunteers, and make their rivals look phony by comparison. And both inspire terror among the party leadership -- Democrats in 2003 considered Dean just as unelectable as Republicans now consider Bachmann.

The bold is mine. How the normally erudite Jonathan Chait can compare Howard Dean to Michelle Bachmann in terms of sanity is beyond me. It is frankly reprehensible. 

Citizens United By-Product?

We need to start making things again in this country, and we can do that by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on job creators. America will have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Think about that. Look no further to see why jobs are moving overseas.Michelle Bachmann Response

I cannot remember ever having three State of the Union speeches in one year. Normally the party in the White House gives the traditional State of the Union speech followed by the out of office party giving a response. Now thanks to our political system being awash in cash any crank can go on television and get their 15 minutes of fame. My question is who funded this little Bachmann escapade? Michelle Bachmann is supposed to be a money maker and according to reports she is a fund-raising machine, but where does this money come from? No one knows. I would venture to guess that it is the same AstroTurf funders who started the teabagger movement.

I have a hard time believing that it would be difficult to raise money with a platform of tax-cuts for the wealthy, removing regulations on businesses, and repealing health-care reform. I think there are a number of wealthy folks who would contribute to those causes, so the fact that she raises money should not be falsely correlated to her popularity. Cranks like Bachmann will always appeal to 15-20% of the population and while this sells a lot of gold and dog food it doesn’t translate well in national elections. Michelle Bachmann and her ilk are the pit-bulls of the right to make sure any compromise will be their compromise which is no compromise at all. Moving forward the new hostages won’t just be the unemployed, the poor, and the middle-class it will be the full faith and credit of the United States.

The new target will be the infamous entitlements. The line will be that you can’t be serious about deficits if you don’t cut entitlements. This of course will come from the same folks who want to make the Bush tax-cuts for the wealthy permanent. What I fail to understand is that we are having this one sided conversation about cutting the deficit without the other side of the equation which is to increase revenues. The way that Bill Clinton created a surplus was not by cutting Social Security and our safety net; he did it by raising revenues. And guess what the sky didn’t fall and the wealthy and the corporations did not move to Eastern Europe where the rates are much lower. The idea that you are going to cut your way out of this debt is ludicrous.

Is it just me or is it coincidental that following the Citizens United decision we are now being provided with every extremist view on full display. My concern is that we will be bombarded by these fanatical views not because those who espouse them are credible or even electable. The strategy will be to push the center further and further to their extreme view so that views that were once unthinkable are now being debated as mainstream. How many formerly extreme views are now a part of our political discussions? Anyone remember the 14th Amendment and how now it is open for public debate and re-litigation against Latinos? It wasn’t that long ago that this would have been considered an extreme remedy for the immigration crisis. Or how about referring to the unemployed and seniors as lazy and stopping benefits in the middle of an economic downturn like we haven’t seen since the Great Depression? Even the most ardent critics would not have proposed cutting off unemployment benefits in the midst of the "Great Recession".

The upcoming Presidential election is going to be full of cranks and fanatics and their goal will be to distract and confuse the electorate. They will be able to do so with the help of the Citizens United decision and the 501(c)4 organizations flush with cash that it spawned. These unnamed donors will be able to manipulate the issues and steer the debate away from the real issues and towards the dark hordes that are storming our borders or the socialist liberals who have the audacity to ask them to pay their fair share of taxes. Thanks to 24/7 cable news and the Supreme Court the airwaves will be flooded with the likes of Palin, Bachmann, and O’Donnell. The teabagger Barbie’s will be on full display and in rare form providing not only verbal, but visual distractions for the punditry.

We now have Supreme Court Justices hiding income from their spouses and conducting behind the scenes political talks for congressional audiences. My question is what job did Ms. Thomas perform to make $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation? Whether there is criminal intent or conflict of interest is not the issue. The issue is that under this Court more controversial decisions have been made and it doesn’t appear those decisions were based in Constitutional law, but instead on a political agenda. It is odd to me that the citizen’s of this country are overwhelmingly opposed to the Citizens United decision and yet our judiciary blatantly and apologetically displays their partisanship in a way that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first. - Ronald Reagan

The Disputed Truth

Weekly Pulse: DADT, Vampire Bees, and Other Hazards to Your Health

By Lindsay Beyerstein, Media Consortium blogger

Dr. Kenneth Katz recently published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Health Hazards of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” This week, he penned an op/ed for RH Reality Check about his experiences treating U.S. military at an STD clinic in San Diego. Dr. Katz sees the Pentagon’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule for LGB members of the military as a huge roadblock to good medical care. He’s pretty confident that his military patients feel safe divulging their sexual histories to a civilian doctor like himself. But when those troops go overseas, they are cared for by military doctors. Technically, doctor-patient communication is exempt from DADT, but many patients don’t realize that they can tell their military doctors about gay sex without fear of reprisals (at least in theory). Dr. Katz’s patients have told him that they won’t go for recommended follow-up STD screening after they ship out because they’re afraid to be honest with their doctors. He worries about how many troops are suffering from treatable infections in war zones because they aren’t allowed to serve openly.

Food stamp use skyrockets, swordfish sales unaccountably flat

Monica Potts of TAPPED points to the alarming statistic that in the last month alone an additional 500,000 Americans went on food stamps. She notes that the right wing website Daily Caller is alarmed not by the fact that fellow citizens can’t afford food, but rather that there’s no gruel-only foodstamp program available:

Meanwhile, the conservative news site The Daily Caller is shocked, shocked, to learn that you can use food stamps to buy all manner of food. The government, apparently, doesn’t restrict you from purchasing an $18-per-pound swordfish steak from Whole Foods. But that kind of discovery, like almost everything else in the “debate” over food stamp use, is the sort of ridiculous one that comes from a person who’s never been hungry.

The Hyde Amendment

In Campus Progress, Jessica Arons and Madina Agénor call for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment for being an assault on the reproductive rights of poor women and women of color. The Supreme Court declared abortion to be a constitutional right in 1973, yet nearly 40 years later, the Hyde Amendment still prohibits nearly all federal funding for abortions. In practice, the women most affected by the Hyde Amendment are those who depend on government health care programs like Medicaid and the Indian Health Service:

Former U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), the law’s sponsor, admitted during debate of his proposal that he was targeting poor women because they were the only ones vulnerable enough for him to reach. “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman,” he said. “Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the … Medicaid bill.”

Meanwhile, ultra-conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is calling on Congress to de-fund the reproductive health provider Planned Parenthood, Andy Birkey reports in the Minnesota Independent. In an interview with a conservative news site, Bachmann doubled down on that idea, suggesting that all of health care reform be de-funded because it funds abortions. This is not true. The aforementioned Hyde Amendment guarantees as much. Furthermore, even though health reform never would have funded abortions, President Obama signed an eleventh-hour executive order guaranteeing that health care reform would not fund abortions.

Brooklyn bees gorge on maraschino cherry run-off

Home beekeeping is the hottest new trend for health-conscious locavores. New York City recently changed the law to accommodate beekeepers in the five boroughs. Just because you live in an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn is no reason to miss out on this sweet action, right? Well, actually, there is a catch. That nice honey at the farmers’ market tastes like lavender because that’s what those rural bees ate. What do bees in Red Hook, Brooklyn eat? Run-off from a maraschino cherry factory. The overindulgent bees “look like vampires” according to one local keeper and their honey runs bright red. Maraschino honey sounds like a delicious mash-up of high and low culture. Unfortunately, Sarah Goodyear reports in Grist that the end product doesn’t taste nearly as good as it looks. Arthur Mondella, the owner of Dell’s Maraschino Cherries, wants to do right by the beekeepers. He initially suggested putting out vats of different colored syrup to “help” the bees make rainbow honey. His proposal was not well-received by the crunchy set. Instead, he has agreed to work with the beekeepers to keep the bees out of the vats next year.

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about health care by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Pulse for a complete list of articles on health care reform, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, health care and immigration issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Diaspora. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

 

 

The Specter and the Bachmann

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) recently tangled with one of the most interruptive members of Congress, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) on a Philadelphia talk radio show.  There's a broad agreement there.

Bachmann consistently overtalked and interrupted Specter, then he told her to act lady-like and to let him have his chance to speak.  Fox News, Sean Hannity, and company have tried to use the opportunity to spin Americorps conspiracy theorist, Michelle Bachmann as a "victim" of a sexist comment. The contention is a very far reach at best, then again, when dealing with Michelle Bachmann... it's quite obvious she'll do anything for attention. 

The last time I checked, Specter is correct that its not very lady like or gentlemanly (ladies and gentlemen... get it?) for that matter to interrupt and drown out an intelligible debate, a favorite obnoxious tactic of Bachmann and others which we saw during the healthcare debate.  It comes down to being called manners, or lack there of in Michelle's case... not sexism.

However, to have a closer look at just who supports sexist acts... the Lilly Leadbetter Act of 2009 provides a no greater example.  Specter voted to make sure that women have the dignity that they deserve by voting YES on S. 181, assuring equal pay for women that do the same job as men.  Bachmann insulted women everywhere by opposing the interests and dignity of women on the job... by voting against HR. 11, the House version of the Lilly Leadbetter fair wage bill. 

Where was Fox News outrage then?  Specter is on a roll, recently confronting defeatist obstructionist Sen. Jim DeMint on Fox, and now Michelle Bachmann has found out that her bullying tactics do not work on Arlen Specter, our newest and probably toughest Democrat to tangle with. 

If you can, please go to to help us get rid of Michelle Bachmann in 2010:

http://www.actblue.com/page/defeatbachmann

If Bachmann thought her bullying would work on Arlen Specter... she thought wrong!

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