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Wow! Support for the war in Afghanistan now hits 17%. The number of “Bush dead-enders” in mid-2007 was 23% (That's the number of people who thought Bush was doing a good job in Iraq). In January 1973, 60% thought the US had made a mistake by fighting in Vietnam. The 40% left over is over twice as high as the current suppoters of the war in Afghanistan.

The blogger asks a very good question. The reporter states that seeing presidents attend Sunday and/or Christmas church services is a "ritual." Really? Since when?

NY Times produces exhaustive report on Benghazi, knocking down most conspiracy theories, Heh! Rep. Darrel Issa is convinced, CONVINCED I tell you!!!, that Benghazi was a scandal as opposed to a tragedy. "Whuuh?!?! Facts? What are these 'facts' you speak of? Why are you bothering me with mere facts?"

I have to admit that, like the author here, I'm completely immune to Paul Ryan's "charm" and "earnest wonkishness." I just don't see ANY intellectual seriousness about the guy.

The judge in the latest NSA case is saying that there was/is a necessity for the NSA to collect bulk data in order to prevent attacks. His quote: "'This blunt tool only works because it collects everything,' [Judge] Pauley said." Slight problem is that ProPublica examined whether the NSA has ever achieved any successes at all. And their answer is "No."

Digby's piece reinforces the questionable validity of Judge Pauley's ruling and also reinforces my own long-time view that for 9-11 to occur had far more to do with dereliction of duty and straight-up carelessness than with any technical limitations on the part of the surveillance people.

I thought back in 2003 that an attack on Iran was a really, really terrible idea. Still do and this piece agrees with that.

The emerging conventional wisdom is that Obama just had a really terrible year. The reality is more complicated and in fact, this year may be historic and remembered fondly in years to come.

I write a piece on using secondary sources to examine leftist communications. Doesn't work well. I recommend reading original sources for learning what lefties think. Economist Dean Baker examines the same piece I did and makes further observations.

I just have a really hard time coming up with rational reasons as to why anyone would outsource propaganda. Isn't that, like, critically vital to the war effort?

Pope Francis is criticized by conservatives, but gets landslide approval ratings from everyone else.

Heh! Senator Toomey (R-PA) is asked to comment on Pope Francis and responds with a meaningless word salad, meaning he's trying to walk a fine line between respecting the Pope's office and disavowing Francis' liberal viewpoints.

A reporter writes a 6,600-word piece about Senator John McCain. Why? Well, er, um, “The Crowded Hour,” a time like Teddy Roosevelt's charge up San Juan Hill, that defined TR for the remainder of his life. Okay, how does that moment even vaguely resemble anything in McCain's life right now? Well, er, um, ya see, ehhh, I got nothin'.

Excellent proposals for combating wage inequality. None of these require Congressional approval and all can be accomplished by presidential action right away. Democrats come up with a plan of their own.

Utah forbade marriage equality for gays and lesbians. Judge overrules that. Gays and lesbians rush the courthouses to marry, fearing (sensibly, I think) that their marriages will be overruled any moment and they clearly want to create “facts on the ground” that will make it harder to overturn their now-actual marriages.

There are two criteria to decide whether NSA spying is wrong. The first is: “Is it Constitutional?” Courts have been pretty clear on that, no it isn't. The secondary important consideration is “Is it effective?” and on that question, it completely fails.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted investigates Ohio's 5.6 million votes. He finds some fraud. How much? 17. Not 17,000 or even 1700. 17 fraudulent votes out of 5.6 million votes cast. All 17 people had legitimate IDs that they could have used to vote, so even checking for IDs would have been useless.

The Chris Christie “bridgegate” is getting really serious, in no small measure because Rachel Maddow keeps running segments on it. A pity about Somerby. I stopped reading Bob Somerby a long time ago. No particular reason, I just moved on to other blogs. I looked up his column a few years back and he had a real hate on for Maddow. This piece (Which points out that people don't lawyer up for nothingburgers) apparently confirms that he's got a REAL problem with her.

Interesting stuff on inequality. It's a broadly popular issue, but there are numerous language minefields to watch out for, several terms that are unpopular. It should be marketed, but carefully.

After five years of doing nothing but criticizing the ACA/Obamacare, can Republicans offer a competitive alternative? If they can't, will anyone take them seriously? A Congressman already says he's getting asked all the time "What's the Republican alternative?

Very sad to see the truly decayed and dishonorable state of our once-proud democracy. These people should have felt perfectly free to step up and accept their awards in person.

Wow! Pope Francis just impresses me more and more. Here he appears to be going full Gorbachev on the Vatican. He's firing people from the old, crusty Vatican bureaucracy who are in the way Yee-hah to that!

Very interesting. Like Ted Kennedy, Rep. Alan Grayson is a very decided liberal, who makes no pretense at being bipartisan or objective or neutral. Yet, he's always finding good compromises!

Our first female full (4-star) Admiral!

Politifact covers their “Lie of the Year” several years too late. Obama made his “You can keep your health insurance if you like it” statement several years ago. Piece raises serious questions about press responsibility. And it's also quite interesting to see that Politifact already rated this statement, quite accurately, and then with nothing having changed in the meantime, rated it inaccurately.

The utter, unmitigated disaster that is Bitcoin and how the problem relates to Libertarianism.

The kerfuffle of the day is Fox Newsperson Megyn Kelley declaring that both Santa and Jesus were white. Actually, if you want to look at their origins, both would be rather dusky or olive-skinned. In response to Megyn Kelly, it's not just bad history/archeology to claim Jesus was white, it's also bad theology.

Republicans try to spin away the “War on Women.” Reaction from Pelosi is priceless:

Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called the rhetoric "pathetic," as Joan McCarter explains it -- the "family friendly way of saying bullshit."

Jon Stewart occasionally looks at the question "Stupid or Evil?" I dunno, I gotta come down on the side of stupid for this one. Palin doesn't appear to understand the junior high school concept of "Checks and Balances." The concept does NOT depend on people being Christian or even moral. It depends on their recognizing their own self-interest. And actually, the idea of Palin becoming a niche entertainment figure is a good one. Yes! Give her a sports show!

My Congressperson Allyson Schwartz reacts to the Third Way vs Senator Elizabeth Warren tussle in a very intelligent and sensible manner. She promptly switched sides and backed the obvious winner, Sen. Warren.

Nelson Mandela passes away. The world has lost a giant. Rush Limbaugh is, of course, terribly upset that so many people are paying attention to Mandela's death.

The Obama Administration wants to rush through the “free” trade agreement called TPP. Congress has said words to the effect of “Cool your jets! We have the final say on this! We're in no hurry whatsoever.” Good to see serious opposition building.

Good example of what we call "false equivalence." saying that employers must cover contraception does not resemble a Jewish deli selling pork. A food choice is in no way equivalent to a medical procedure that may be critically needed to safeguard a woman's health. He also refers to his political stance as supporting "freedom of speech." Again, no. This is not merely a matter of just speech.

Markos Moulitsas engages in a Twitter war with Ron Fournier. Reminded me of someone's description of a fight once "And he be going boom! Boom! Boom!" (Jabbing his fist downwards)

So, now that Megyn Kelley has been filling in Sean Hannity's old spot at Fox News, is the coverage from her any better? No.

The Affordable Care Act is apparently doing quite well, according to the fact that the opposition party has ceased to criticize it and has gone back to Beating up the Benghazi and the IRS. Unfortunately, the media has done a miserably poor job of covering the ACA.

The organization ALEC seems to be doing pretty poorly lately. Good! We need to keep the pressure on!

Neil Cavuto of Fox News feels that we're spending quite enough on infrastructure, thank you very much. The American Society of Civil Engineers disagrees and feels that infrastructure spending is woefully underfunded. Also, it's far from clear that most insfrastructure spending is stolen or "lost." It's not for love of big government that infrastructure spending should be boosted, it's that once you build it, it's irresponsible not to maintain it.

Chuck Todd proves himself to be a true “Villager” by picking up Republican talking point about the private sector always being better and more efficient than public sector.

The corporate wing of the Democratic Party, the group “Third Way” takes on the “populist political and economic 'fantasy'” of Democrats like New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Senator Warren responds.

After three years of the most unproductive Congress EVER, Republicans are trying to re-brand failure as success.

How's the Affordable Care Act website doing? Doing pretty good, judging by the fact that Republicans have abandoned their attacks on it and have moved on to those ol' reliable standbys, Benghazi and the IRS. Further possible contributing cause to abandoning crusade is that Consume Reports has endorsed the website.

November                         back to top

Wow! Pope Francis just gets more and more impressive all the time! Conservatives, natch, are furious with him.

A piece on things progressives can be cheerful about.

*Sigh*. Hannity "Goes Godwin" on us and invokes Hitler and Chamberlain. What are his positive, workable suggestions for getting along with Iran? No word on that, of course. And speaking of Hannity, Megyn Kelly replaced him in his slot, promising to be more balanced than he was. How's she doing? Her guests are measurably more conservative than Hannity's were. Her version of "Fair & balanced" is even less so than his was.

From the piece: "Wisconsin and Minnesota offer a handy case study for competing approaches to governance – at the same time, in the same region, with roughly the same population." And Minnesota is currently WAY ahead!

Worst nightmare come true for the Republican Party EVER! This fellow is in a solidly-red Republican district and getting Obamacare/ACA coverage affects him personally in such a positive way, that he's ready to switch and to vote for a Democrat!

Good review of book by Chris Matthews on Tip 'n' Ronnie. I especially agree with:

Matthews also misreads Reagan in retailing the tired Washington canard that his success lay in his affability. Many insiders did indeed swoon over the president’s ready charm, but his election depended just as crucially on his very public meanness, his zest for the punitive — the vows to crack down on domestic spending, "welfare queens" and the Evil Empire.

I was a student in Washington DC during Reagan's first two years and was very much aware of his enormously destructive policies in Central America and towards ordinary folks.

Deal reached with Iranians! Woo hoo! Neocons VERY unhappy. Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu also quite unhappy about deal.

Right-wingers want to grab some of the halo around John F. Kennedy by pretending that he was conservative. He wasn't.

Excellent piece on the partial death of the filibuster. Yeah, it's a terrible thing, but no one seemed to have had any other sort of answer to Republican obstructionism.

Good news on the ACA/Obamacare! It's "bending the cost curve" in the right direction.

Uh! The stupid! It hurts!

Good! Very happy to see this (Democrats exercise “nuclear option” to eliminate filibuster for most nominations) finally happen. And no, the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. Thoughts on the demise of the filibuster.

Oh good grief! First the traditional media (I refuse to use their preferred term "mainstream") compares a glitch website to Hurricane Katrina, now they're using the Iraq War?!?!?! To the trad med: PLEASE stop trying to come up with comparisons!!!!!

Key Democratic Senators have finally had enough and appear ready to trigger “nuclear option.”

CNN's Candy Crowley repeats the idiotic talking point that the glitchy ACA website is just like Hurricane Katrina. Paul Begala quite properly refers to people who say such things as bed-wetting chicken littles.

Methodist Church trial of pastor who performed gay son's marriage ceremony reaches (bad) conclusion very quickly.

A significant no-news story. Republicans were CONVINCED that the personnel that were present at the Benghazi tragedy knew important, damning details. Interviews took place and nothing meaningful was uncovered.

Wow! How incredibly sad! Walmart store holds charity drive for employees as the company doesn't pay enough for them to purchase a good Thanksgiving dinner!

What really struck me about Liz Cheney's refusal to support her sister's marriage was the complete lack of an articulable reason for doing so. Methinks political expediency is the real reason. Cheney family takes right approach. The polls on Wisconsin residents shows they're as Republican red as a state can be, but being against marriage equality is NOT a sure winner! In fact, Cheney's stance could very easily be a lose-lose scenario, a stance that BOTH makes her look like she's tossing family under the bus AND like she's behind the times!

An absolutely adorable little kid plays Batman for a day and shows us the cultural strength of geeks and their superhero culture.

Sarah Palin strongly suspects the media of misquoting Pope Francis. Considering the 1991 case of Masson v. New Yorker Magazine. I don't think deliberate misquotation is that likely. Usually, when prominent people are quoted (That is, people who will read your piece and will get back to you if you've wrongly quoted them), it's a pretty good bet the quote is genuine.

Oprah definitely has a good point here, but if you look at how Clinton was treated back in the 90s, I think that a very large part of how Obama is treated is due to his just plain being a Democrat.

Republicans demonstrate their true agenda concerning the ACA by rejecting consumer protections as part of a bill that fixes other problems (And contains "poison pills" that might sink the whole Act).

Concerning criticism of the ACA website: Good advice in this post. Work the ref, politely but firmly. Comparing a glitchy website with Hurricane Katrina is an insanely inappropriate apples-to-oranges comparison. Good to see that Bob Woodward sets Fox News straight.

Good! Many Democrats have learned the lesson of NAFTA, that "fast track" is merely a way for us to get less democracy in trade agreements.

McClatchey Newspapers examines the late October 60 Minutes report on Benghazi and finds lots and LOTS of problems with it.

I agree with this. To hold trials over highly controversial issues like the status of gay and lesbian pastors does nothing to encourage unity. Further trials can only divide and embitter us. Stop all such trials!

Bill Keller strongly supports the TPP (An enhanced and strengthened NAFTA, which did the American people as a whole little to no good). Why? It's not really clear.

Iran and US talking. Very cool!

Back around the time the Iraq War was launched, we heard lots and LOTS of Hitler comparisons along with appeasement warnings. The right wing has apparently found a new comparison that they can beat into the ground.

WaPo columnist Richard Cohen makes racist comment. He, of course, doesn't think his comment was at all out of line. Biracial families very offended. Amazingly, his supervisor praises his comment. Good, thorough examination of controversy. Good angry, bitter comment on Cohen.

Incredibly destructive typhoon hits the Philippines. Where to send assistance. Video of typhoon in progress. Liveblogging from the Guardian. The storm saw 13-foot waves and winds up to 190 mph.

60 Minutes delivers its very poor, very brief correction to their deeply flawed Benghazi story, spending a mere 90 seconds on a correction that should have been more thoroughly covered. Experts weigh in and deem the correction “wholly inadequate and entirely self-serving.”

As I said, complex projects like the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare have to be done in-house. The software team has to be part of the policy team from the very beginning and they have to develop the relevant website AS the policy is developed!

Okay, in 2005, G.W. Bush successfully won reelection and then pulled the idea of privatizing Social Security out of a clear blue sky. No one liked the idea and the more Americans heard about it, the less they liked it. It was a terrible idea then and remains a terrible idea today.
In 1992, the Clinton Administration heard the American people and started re-designing our terrible, heavy-on-private-enterprise health are system. In 2008, Obama promised to pick up on that where Clinton left off.
Chuck Todd proves himself to be a “Villager” by suggesting that the two opposition movements are even remotely comparable. No Chuck, they're not. Not even slightly.

Look, I can understand the feeling that: "We can't let this kid get away with not paying for lunch! Soon EVERYONE will be pleading poverty and the school system will go broke from all those freeloaders!!!!11!!!" They threw the student's lunch away (Right in front of the student) for failure to be able to pay for it. Uh, dude, we're talking about a $0.30 lunch. Seriously guys, get a grip!

Politician holds other politician to ridiculous standard. I shot a lot at a range in summer camp and don't think we ever wore ear protection or gloves. I think I wore ear protection inside while qualifying at ranges in the Navy, but certainly not outside and certainly never wore gloves in either case.

Good! Lara Logan of CBS admits on behalf of "60 Minutes" that they majorly messed up by uncritically running an interview that was deeply flawed.

I've had a number of jobs in my career and an even greater number of bosses. The bosses I've respected the least are people like CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager, people who announce grand and glorious criteria for success and who then, at the moment when they're expected to live up to those criteria, fail and fumble the ball.

Digby fills us in on the story behind the story, specifically on Lara Logan's biases. Nothing wrong with having biases, what's wrong is hiding them and then pretending to be an objective journalist.

This is a repeated and continuous problem by the media. A customer for the ACA complains that they are not receiving satisfactory service and gets featured all over the media, then people independently research the case and voilą! Find that the customer can be covered for far less than they were paying in the first place! As the blogger points out:

Remember, this story wasn’t cherry-picked by ThinkProgress to make the Affordable Care Act look good; this story was cherry-picked by the right to make the law look bad.

In this “horror story,” we’re talking about a consumer who’ll pay less for better insurance and greater security. It’s these relevant details that didn’t seem to make the cut in many of the reports this week.

 Poor Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is now being defended by Mike Huckabee for Paul's repeated plagiarisms. This unattributed theft of words and ideas is a repeated problem by Paul and many people have found many new examples, one of which occurred as little as a week ago.
From the blogger: "On Monday, Republicans said the gubernatorial race in Virginia is 'a referendum on Obamacare.'"
D'oh! That means the public has endorsed something even worse than a Democrat for Governor!
Ooh! NOT good! Debris from Fukushima approaching West Coast.
Woo hoo! Expected, to see McAuliffe make Governor of Virginia, but VERY cool! Cartoon on his opponent Cuccinelli. Media Matters points out that Cuccinelli was a heavy favorite of Rush Limbaugh and that MANY right-wing TV and radio hosts supported him. Seems to indicate right-wing radio has lost a lot of influence.
Got my letter published in the Inky on the 22nd. Lots and LOTS of "hate and discontent" from people who disagreed with me. Lengthy, came out to 20 pages.
Someone wrote that when the Nazis made lampshades out of human skin, they were "morally bankrupt." If the Republican attack on Food Stamps/SNAP isn't also morally bankrupt, I'm not sure what else would qualify.
 Wow! When a former Speaker of the House (Jim Wright 1987-89) doesn't have the necessary paperwork to vote in Texas, you KNOW that ID requirements there are WAY too strict!
Over and over and OVER, Ann Coulter tries to convince us that birtherism is a "joke." Ha ha. No Ann, it's not. It's racism, pure and simple. Is it only a fringe phenomenon? Not when Mitt Romney and his son also say it! Sorry, but when a presidential candidate makes the same "joke," it's not just a fringe, way-out thing.
The once-good 60 Minutes put out a really crappy report on Benghazi that got lots of criticism. Now it seems that the fellow who claims to have been in the thick of the fight there actually never got near the place.

October                         back to top

David Petraeus tries hard to sell what was a temporary calming of Iraq as a permanent victory.
 If Edward Snowden had a strong case for permanent asylum in Russia before, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has now made that case iron-clad.
Good, sensible rules on appropriate, tasteful Halloween costumes. Shorter guide: Stick with fantasy, stay away from political relevance and especially stay away from portraying anyone who died violently.
Wow! Serious classy and praise-worthy reaction by the Pope. His handling of an overly-eager child was about as sensitive and intelligent as it gets.
I guess her “dumb blond act” wasn't, erm, just an act. How bad was Suzanne Somers' editorial in the Wall St. Journal? So bad, they had to state that they "could not confirm" a (completely made-up) quote from Churchill.
Hmm! Very interesting. Chechnya's tallest building caught fire and burned for 29 hours. 9-11 Truthers point out that WTC 7 burned for just seven hours and then abruptly collapsed. The Chechen building was gutted, but remained standing, WTC 7 collapsed at the speed of gravity (That is, it fell as though nothing but air separated it from the ground).
Dick Cheney insists that the Iraq War prevented al Qaeda from getting bio weapons or nukes. No, the Iraq War didn't prevent Saddam Hussein from giving al Qaeda those things because Saddam didn't have either of those things to begin with
Bwah-hah-hah!!!!! Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis vindicated!! Texas abortion law ruled unconstitutional.
Excellent piece from Dionne about the terrible effects of austerity and the need to get the economy moving again.
Excellent rant on privileged, healthy, insured journalists complaining about lack of "hold music" on the ACA website. Now, in some cases, there are problems that are indicative of larger problems. When Basra and Umm Qasr (port cities on the Persian Gulf) held out longer than anticipated in 2003, that was a foreshadowing of larger problems to come as the promise that Iraqis would greet US forces with praise and flowers was clearly false. OTOH, the complexities of the rollout for the ACA/Obamacare is largely the result of putting into place a really large and complex program.
Truly gotta love it when a reporter does her job like this CNN reporter does and insists that the Congresswoman substantiate her claims.
Yeah, I agree with this, that if a piece of software is really big and "mission critical," then the developers have to be internal to the organization. Seems to me this is Northern Italy in the Renaissance all over again. Those mercenaries looked really cool on the parade ground, but as soon as the job got really challenging, they took off for safer jobs. It's kind of the same with software, you have to be part of the organization and dedicated to the mission if you expect it to work. You can't just be in it for the money, you need to be dedicated to the mission.
Lots and lots of polling on the political effects of the shutdown. The left came out WAY ahead, the Republican and Tea Parties, eh, not so much.
Wow1 Who knew Girl Scout cookies could have such a subversive effect on the young women of America?
Senator Wyden is someone I'd trust to tell the American people the truth about what's going on with the NSA.
Your ridiculous false equivalence of the day. The Tea Party, Occupy and their respective Establishments.
Yeah, I agree with this. If it was unacceptable for Bush people to ignore Congress, it should be equally unacceptable for Obama people to do the same.
Interesting! Never would have thought that multiculturalism and patriotism were mutually exclusive concepts.
If the GOP wants to go by "gut instinct," it may want to keep in mind that G.W. Bush did just that, and he had the WORST, crappiest instincts on, well, just about everything!
Y'know, I read conservatives complaining about the ACA and how terrible it is, then I see things like this, where a conservative talk-show host desperately lies about it and I think "Gee, if the ACA was so obviously bad, why do people have to make stuff up in order to criticize it?"
Let's recall and laugh at the pundits who got the shutdown wrong.
USATodat disgraces itself by attacking Media Matters, quite obviously without having gotten a comment from them on the attack. Erm, newsflash folks! Persuading people not to buy a book and book-burning are two different things!!!!
Fox News says "Oh pish tosh! Scoff, scoff, the American economy didn't suffer any damage as as result of the shutdown!" Good to see CNN's usually terrible Erin Burnett contradicting that.
Cory Booker becomes NJ's latest Senator.
Boo! Hiss! Republican PA Senator Toomey voted to filibuster the bill that re-opened government.
 And *sigh*, once again, CNN proves they're not much better than Fox when it comes to being a real news organization. They cut away from the Senate Minority Leader who just finished cutting a deal with the Majority Leader to cover the guy who made the Speaker of the House look ineffectual.
Whew! Senate cuts deal at last minute! Update: Total cost of shutdown was $24 billion, probably shaving fourth quarter growth by 0.6%.
GOP lawmaker breaks ranks with fellows (Oct 16) and calls for end to shutdown.
ThinkProgress has a running liveblog on the countdown to impoverishment. And yes, the New York Times did its part to make the shutdown possible. Update: NY Times promises to change the way they do economic reporting!
Interesting! I've placed the "Golden Age" of today's right-wingers in the 1870s. this fellow places it almost a century earlier, in the 1780s.
Insane Congressman compares a US debt default to the American revolution.
My comment on Krauthammer's column this morning:
Problem is, Krauthamme never identifies a "simple, broadly popular set of demands to attach to the debt ceiling." That's because the GOP is not tackling any real or serious problems. There is no crisis that requires that Americans do anything about entitlement programs. We can afford them and there is no credible threat that we'll all be impoverished in the future should we fail to do so. The only problem that keeps creating long-term budget deficits is our health care system and the ACA is a good start to addressing that. The ACA is, of course, is the one element that Republicans want to eliminate.

World confidence in US budgeting is eroding.
The Fox Newsperson Megyn Kelly is replacing Sean Hannity (Hannity is being moved to a later time). Is she actually going to be "fair and balanced?" A look at Fox's coverage of the Kermit Gosnell case (He was a criminal, an outlier case who wasn't supported or cheered on by anyone) suggests that, no, we're going to get the same ol' propaganda, just propaganda presented by a more attractive spokesperson.
Interesting to see that a Congressman approves of sharp cuts in the budget, but doesn't acknowledge the very real pain caused by those cuts. Some enterprising reporter should ask him about that.
Good SNL parody on the shutdown. Almost too true to be funny.
Some straight talk about the economy and entitlements. No, there's no need whatsoever to "reform entitlements," i.e., reduce Social Security or Medicare/Medicaid.
NJ Governor Chris Christie tries blaming both sides for shutdown. No, but good political strategy on his part.
Bwah-hah-hah! It's pretty clear that the smart people in this story are Dick Armey (Sold his stake in the group for $8 million) and the people who spent the group's cash on "luxuries like craft beer bars and thousand-dollar-a-night hotel rooms in Vegas."

Yeah, Congressman King gives a really, REALLY unimpressive answer to a very good question near the end of this interview.

Niall Ferguson, a terrible person responsible for awful things happening to milions of people, but who for some odd reason, is called upon to offer his opinions to a large audience. BTW, this piece includes an excellent description of our current economic situation.

The Beltway Villagers are not on the side of the regular people of this country. Bob Woodward is very much a Villager.

This is one of the really major, serious problems with the shutdown, this whole both-sides-are-to-blame bit.

This actually, seems like a darn good question. Did Paul Ryan really win the 2012 election?

And yes,states are really starting to feel shutdown pinch.

Comments like this are why I have NO respect for this %^^$#@& Villager moron!

CNN's Erin Burnett assures us that hey, no worries, with just incoming monthly taxes, we can pay this, that and "up to two-thirds of government activity." So hey, no need to worry, we'll just have to close down a third of the government!

Will "moderate Republicans" do anything beyond sitting on their hands? Signs are not looking good.

This is the sort of item that shows us all where the rubber hits the road and where the priorities of newspeople REALLY lie!

President's speech and good summary of the shutdown situation.

And no, I wouldn't worry that "Truth Revolt" will accomplish anything beyond spending the money of millionaires and providing humorous fodder for progressives to laugh at. Neither Horowitz nor Shapiro are terribly competent.

Heh! Media Matters allows Shapiro to lecture his fellow right-wingers on how powerful ad formidable Media Matters is.

I write a piece on “Truth Revolt.”

Very sad to see American Roman Catholic Bishops taking a most un-Christian stance on a sexual issue that they really have no business ruling on in the first place.

Yeah, South Carolina's been at this strategy for awhile now.

Yeah, it's a real nice THEORY that if we just fund the military and allow the rest of the government to be deactivated, that somehow the military will continue to operate at peak efficiency. It won't.

Wow! The pro-choice Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' announcement that she's running for Governor there has the anti-choice right wing in absolute freak-out mode!

Well, uh, yeah. Because defunding the ACA is, like, TOTALLY different from repealing it!

More on the Congressperson who "needs her paycheck," but doesn't seem to care that many regular folks make a lot less and also need theirs.

PA Governor disgraces himself with remark equating gay marriage with incest.

Good piece on the raging sexist piggery on the right wing. I watched the whole exchange between the Congressman and the CNN person and yes, he's disrespecting her by clearly checkin' her out as a sexual person, but what really amazed me was the sheer, unmitigated gobbledegook he was spouting as an economic theory.

Excellent editorial on the shutdown. The constant false equivalences that the media keeps presenting us with is not just lousy journalism, it makes democracy needlessly difficult.

Y'see, this piece is PRECISELY what progressive commentators were referring to when they warned of false equivalences from the traditional media. There is absolutely no equivalence between the sides.

Media Matters documents the terrible effects of that favorite Washington press corps fall-back, the "both sides do it" dodge. No guys, the shutdown is NOT a bipartisan problem for which "Washington" or "Politicians" or "Congress" is to blame. The problem party has a name, use it!

Heh! The ACA/Obamcare website gets 3 million hits! Gee, ya think there was some consumer demand for it?

Texas Governor Rick Perry “mansplains” his wife's “misspeaking” on the abortion issue. Actually, she made very good points and took a good, progressive position.

Six headlines demonstrating that media doesn't have a clue about how to cover the shutdown. Inky column shows same blindness.

Yeah, I agree with this. Republicans would be nostalgic for the Gilded Age if only they had lived through it. As it is, they miss it terribly.

Government shuts down. Many departments still have money for a while and many are staying open.

September                         back to top

Businesspeople are less than pleased with the thought of shutdown.

CNN host asks Republican guests if they'd be willing to sacrifice their salaries in a government shutdown. They make it clear that they won't. To me, this completely removes all pretense of seriousness from the GOP side of the question.

Good grief, what a bunch of imbecilic nonsense! These people are stretching like heck to find fault with the President, even though Cruz and the Tea Party and their Congressional enablers are to blame.

Reviewing the arguments for one-year delay of the ACA.

The author asks a very good question: "Where is the Armageddon that the G.O.P. has been promising will descend every year for the last few years?" The only Armageddon threatening is that the GOP will become politically irrelevant as they don't have answers to what the ACA provides.

The right-wing view of the ACA/Obamacare. Lots of really extreme, radical views.

Oh, good grief! This is a piece on Elizabeth O'Bagy, the woman who pretended to be an expert on Syria and where, when all the actual Syrian experts (A very tight, small group) heard about her story on Syria and said "Who's she?"

At what point does even big business have to decide “Y'know guys, global warming is a problem”?

Rep Darrell Issa puts out embarrassing Benghazi report, media covers for him and shields him from having to explain himself.

Two pieces that look at right-wing comments. One in Daily Kos and the other is the comments section in an Inky piece.

America gets a ransom note, essentially to put into place Mitt Romney's agenda.

Our writer examines what happens when the media's desire for fairness and balance runs off the rails and becomes a mindless fetish.

Senator John McCain is right, It's long past time for Republicans to admit that the fight over the ACA/Obamacare is over.

First off, Stuart Varney makes lots and LOTS of vague, sweeping generalizations about how much waste, fraud and abuse (WFA) there “must” be in programs like SNAP/Food Stamps, etc. Second, finding WFA isn't a cost-free exercise. As the Miama Herald shows, putting time, money and effort into rooting out WFA can cost more than is saved by rooting out that terrible stuff. So yes, House Minority Leader Pelosi probably overstates how it's not possible to cut any more WFA, but I don't think by much.

How to assist Boulder, Colorado with its recent flood.

Ugh! Clinton is trying to use appeals lifted from the 1990s to win the future today. Sorry, but the whole "triangulation" game is a REALLY old, worn-out strategy.

Wow! Right-wingers now appear to be opposed to the very idea of good health!

Excellent piece on Chuck "factchecking is not our job" Todd. He complains that both left and right media try to tear down and delegitimize traditional media. I agree with the blogger that the Trad Med is doing a marvelous job of that all on their own.

Sam Brownback became Governor of Kansas in 2010, promising that conservative economic policies would make Kansas prosperous. Oops! Poverty went from 13.6% to 14%! Child poverty has increased and his Task Force On Reducing Childhood Poverty has essentially produced a wish list of right-wing policies where “The ideas themselves were neither innovative, testable, nor practical.“

Good news for Pennsylvania educators and unions! Two-thirds of the PA public blames the Governor, the Republican state legislature, Mayor Nutter and the City Council for our school woes. Only one third blame teachers and their unions.

The Republican Party is starting to remind me more and more of the fanatical ideologues of the last century. Their fact-free ideology that Food Stamps/the SNAP Program must be cut at all costs, regardless of how much doing so will hurt regular people. What would The Lord think of Republican policy on SNAP?

A dedicated nun reveals how dodgy and dubious the evidence was that was used to condemn Assad for the chemical attack (that clearly took place) in August. She locates things like dead children photographed more than once and in different places. Funny how our intel services, with all of their multiple hundreds of millions of dollars to spend, couldn't appear to discover this stuff that a lone, untrained, regular person without special equipment could.

As I've pointed out to anyone who will listen since 1981 (Reagan's first year in office), the idea of "shrink the government" SOUNDS great, right up until the instant that it calls upon YOU to accept less government aid for YOUR problem.

Good! Pope Francis says that the Roman Catholic Church is too obsessed with abortion, gays and contraception. Thinkprogress says: "Best. Pope. Ever." I heartily agree!

Heh! Well-known and long-time Roman Catholic spokesperson Bill Donohue makes the ridiculous claim that "It is not the bishops who have made these issues front and center—it is the Obama administration." Uh, no, Catholic focus on what the bloggers call "lady parts and sexytimes" are really, REALLY old concerns that LONG predate Obama's presidency.

Yup, looks to me as though Pope Francis is following the fine example of the "Nuns on the Bus" and I couldn't be happier about that!

Whoa! Going over the past 65 years, five of the top ten pro-business Justices are serving on the Supreme Court today.

See, Chuck Todd is confused. He's not The Watcher of Marvel Comics who simply observes without participating. Yes, it IS the job of the media to correct falsehoods! It IS the responsibility of the media to call out untruths and to correct misinformation. And yes, of course, they need to do that for both sides. And,

Tell me again how the White House isn't selling their message, please? I saw lots of reports about Republicans' vote today [Sep 21], but I really had to search to find this speech, even though I saw it live.

Very cool news! Starting in January 2015 (To give people time to prepare) home care workers will be under regular wage and fair labor laws!

Poor Speaker Boehner is between a rock and a hard place. As this piece examines, he doesn't have the conditions necessary to make a government shutdown work, but as another piece points out, House Democrats aren't going to help for free. They want Republicans to give something up in return for their assistance. Get the popcorn ready!

Some guy from USA Today blames the refusal to support Larry Summers for Federal Reserve Chairman on the fact that he's a man and thereby lost the "bake-off." No, "Summers’ main drawback is that he was wrong about everything important in the past decade economically."

Washington Monthly says the Obama Administration and the left have never seen eye-to-eye on regulation of business. Obama's always been a laissez faire kinda guy, lefties have always been in favor of tight regulations.

Nina Davuluri, an Indian-American who was born in the US, wins the Miss America crown and racists go nuts on Twitter.

Yee-hah to this!!! The President and Larry Summers have agreed to withdraw his nomination to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve. My very first reaction on hearing that Summers was being considered was "Isn't he a HUGELY overrated public servant who's already had several chances to prove himself and hasn't he miserably failed to do so?"

Well, it's very good to see Obama saying this and setting himself up as opposing these trends, but NAFTA and the agreements that's being negotiated right now, TPP, are both part of the trend to extreme inequality of wealth. So okay, he opposes that inequality, but what's he going to DO about it?

Whuuh?!?!? An unelected dictator, sorry, "City manage" was given far too much power and had no accountability and he then abused that power?!?!?! Naaaaaw!!!!

Yeah, Obama is neither a super-politician nor is he a devil. He's a human, but very smart, politician operating within real limits.

For me as a 21-year old back in 1981 (Reagan's 1st year in office), this was a pretty obvious problem, that reducing government spending is only safe up to a point. Too much "saving money" can be a very bad thing.

US, Russia and Syria agree to talks.

There's never been the slightest question that. Speaker Boehner could pass immigration reform and end the sequester between breakfast and lunchtime and still have time for a snack break, but he'd have to relegate Republican extremists to the fringe and work with Democrats to do that.

Important detail on Benghazi attack of a year ago that, unfortunately for right-wingers, does nothing to support conspiracy theories and everything to support the Obama Administration's version of events.

Too bad we can't expect the truth from Woodward. He's too busy trying to appear non-partisan. Problem is, his own reporting contradicts his apparent stance.

So Weiner got trounced in NYC's Mayoral election (4.9%). It was bad for him to be emailing off pictures of his private parts to women long after having been caught the first time, but this episode with the British reporter really, REALLY annoyed the heck out of me. Her question wasn't all that artful or original, but his response was really dickish.

Professor Juan Cole points out:

The Russian initiative is not attractive because it seems practical or likely to be swiftly implemented but because it allows everyone involved to save face. Obama can look statesmanlike. He is already taking credit for Putin’s move, saying it would not have come about without his own saber-rattling.

Quite honestly, I've always thought that anything that allows participants to save face in a situation like this is a good thing.

Yep, poor guy couldn't handle the truth, so he retreated into fantasyland and made up all KINDS of nonsense! (Completely rewriting history of Iraq War)

Hilarious! Our journalist looks VERY displeased at Putin's reaction (to what IS, after all, a ridiculous suggestion).

For Obama to take advantage of this is a win-win situation all around. I believe that there are all sorts of hidden agendas being pursued, but the commenter here is right, Obama just doesn't have any support for a strike, so he's better off being a peacemaker.

Secretary of State Kerry's reaction to the Syrian, Russian and the UN reaction to *ahem* HIS OWN suggestion suggests that the real plan all along was to whack Iran, but the Obama Administration may be having second thoughts, seeing as the American people are so completely unenthusiastic about going to war yet again. So, let's hope the idea catches fire and becomes reality.

Hilarious! Juan Williams tells the truth, that Benghazi is not just going to go away as a scandal, but that it has long since gone away and Karl Rove just absolutely loses it. Poor Rove just can't go outside of his bubble!

Bashat Assad denies that he used chemical weapons and in truth, the case presented by the US is pretty murky.

Did Bush demonstrate that the presidency had lost power in 2005 when his attempt to drastically revise Social Security crashed and burned? Or did he simply vastly overestimate his "mandate"?

And again, Politifact tries so hard to be neutral and in the middle, they completely trash thw whole concept of being, y'know, truthful.

And just how is it that the US Government has over $50 billion to spend on clandestine spying programs while at the same time, doesn't have money to fight raging forest fires that are swallowing up 5,300 square miles of forest, a burned-over area roughly the size of Connecticut?!?!?

Well, I agree. G.W. Bush certainly led from his gut. Problem was, his gut was a really, really lousy compass to use!

For persuading Democratic Senators and Congresspeople to stay out of Syria, pragmatic arguments seem to work best. Better to focus on practical effects rather than sweeping moral arguments.

Rush Limbaugh engages in serious revisionism, namely, that the Iraq War wasn't a mess and the media hyped it. Oh, and according to Monica Crowley, the media sure was hard on George W. Bush during the run-up to the Iraq War, wasn't it?

Well, it's the sequester vs the war. Which priority will prove more important to Republicans?

Gee, what a surprise, NOT! A national survey was done of private and public schools. Amazingly enough [/snark], private schools did worse or equal to public schools. No evidence that they did better.

*Sigh* And AGAIN, this is an attempt at nullification, at taking out a law that they failed to stop the first time.

So how's that other war going? Yeah, the one in Afghanistan. Uh, not good, suffering over 100 casualties a week. And how refugees are there from the war in Syria? About 10% of the population has left and about 5,000-6,000 leave every day.

How NOT to report on rape.

Good piece that says that the US is far too quick to reach for the gun when it comes to solving foreign policy problems. Personally, I've always disliked the phrase "war is a last resort," because that leaves unspecified what the FIRST resort should be. Hypocrisy on WMD is really killing the US's case for war with Syria.

Obama's determination to get Larry Summers into the job of Chairman at the Federal Reserve is ALREADY costing the US economy money! He's messing up the economy and he hasn't even taken office yet!

Wow! The list of top-paid executives, 40% of whom were obviously WAY overpaid and the rest of whom we just don't know enough to say.

How competent are all these highly-overpaid people? These Masters of the Universe (MOTUs), these super-duper executives? Many of them aren't even competent to do their own jobs.

States openly interfering with/obstructing Affordable Care Act/Obamacare

Fukushima Radiation Levels ’18 Times Higher’ Than Thought

A whole set of links on Labor Day.

See, the problem with the WaPo piece is not JUST that the writer is a complete idiot (Though clearly she is), but that the chain of command, the editors, very badly failed the readers by promoting a moronic piece that should never have seen the light of day.

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Not exactly capitalism vs communism, let's say free-market capitalism vs government-supervised capitalism, but what's clear is that the free-market paradise of Wisconsin is failing badly.

RT suggest the consequences of rushing into war with Syria would be unpleasant.

*Sigh!* And yes, there are STILL Congresspeople who believe that Iraq smuggled WMD to Syria right before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

WHY is Donald Rumsfeld sticking his nose into the issue of whether to go to war in Syria?!?!?!

SO embarrassing to have Corbett as my Governor! His analogy of marriage equality between the LGBT community and straights to marrying 12-year olds is SO juvenile!

*Sigh!* No Bill, there's no conspiracy. There were no Republicans at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration because they all, for one reason or another, declined to attend. They weren't prevented from attending by the Democrats and they weren't snubbed. Update: Whoa! Bill O'Reilly admits error!

The Fox News presenter Martha MacCallum makes an extremely poor argument against the size of the national debt, that of a teenage daughter spending wildly. Problem is, during the 2012 campaign, the best example Mitt Romney could come up with to illustrate "wasteful spending" was Big Bird of PBS. So if I was the token liberal on the show, I would have challenged her to show me where all the "waste, fraud and abuse" was. Economist comment on the "The national budget is just like a family budget" concept.

“Most people don’t talk about the fact that Martin Luther King was a Republican.”

Erm, slight problem with that statement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was neither a Republican nor a Democrat. He campaigned for LBJ and against Barry Goldwater, but liked Richard Nixon and opposed LBJ's escalation of the Vietnam War.

Another reason I don't pay much attention to the traditional media. If they were REALLY concerned about our welfare, the proposed TPP agreement would be common knowledge.

Yeesh! Austerity run amok! To save $52,000, Michigan denies news to 3100 people.

President Obama seems pretty determined to go to war against Syria's President Hafrz Assad. Good commentaries on that idea.

Senator Rand Paul comes up with truly insane notions about how we deal and should deal with our fellow humans. His prioritizing of abstractions above humans reminds me of the I.F. Stone book "The Trial of Socrate", where Socrates took a similar view. Absolutely amazing that this guy is taken seriously anywhere!

%$#%@!!! Another one 'a them damned "Fix The Debt" SOBs that wants to drive everyone into poverty to "fix" a problem that's more imaginary than it is real.

You know how occasionally the left makes an accusation and centrists go "Poo-poo! You're just being paranoid," and then someone from the right wing comes along and proves that the worst accusations are true? Yeah, that's what happened here.

Extensive NSA surveillance gives rise to dark humor on the topic.

*Sigh*, unfortunately, Jeff Bezos, the new owner of the WaPo, doesn't appear to be inclined to change their lousy budgetary reporting. They're still putting editorials on the front page disguisedd as objective news pieces.

Very interesting! Explains why the WTO became such a big deal by 1999 and why Summers was and remains such an absolutely horrible choice to run the Federal Reserve.

Critical sentence in here:

[McConnell] described the ACA as taking "a meat axe to the medical health care system, when I think we would have been better off to take out a scalpel and work on reducing the number of people without health insurance."

Problem is, there's no way to cover pre-existing conditions and still make a profit. You can make a profit OR you can take care of the several tens of millions of Americans (640,00 of them live in Kentucky) with pre-existing conditions. There is no "scalpel" or "tinkering" that's going to do the job.

CNN vs the American Al Jazeera. No contest, Al Jazeera is WAY better!

Link to Al Jazeera America.

Good grief! Liz Cheney wrote out an application for a fishing license where she claimed she had lived in Wyoming for 10 years. That was only off by, hmm, let's see (mutter, mumble), yeah, 10 years! She had actually been there for less than a single year. Wyoming residents take their fishing VERY seriously!

Pfc Bradley Manning get sa Dishonorable Discharge and 35 years for whistleslowing.

And yes, we owe quite a bit to Chelsea Manning.

A whopping 70% of Louisiana politicians can't remember who was responsible for the Katrina disaster! They either "Don't know" or they blame Obama (Who was a Senator at the time).

Jared Bernstein argues persuasively that, while the GOP may have come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare a few years ago, there's really no alternative today. Private enterprise can't possibly insure the many tens of millions that don't have insurance and the ACA has already used all of the plausible ideas based on the public sector. There's really nothing left over but to oppose the whole idea of health insurance altogether.

Yeah, it's pretty amazing that the Heritage Foundation thinks this is a good argument. Gee, wasn't it a swell idea to have a far-right wing former Congressman take over Heritage?

Rachel Maddow started off her show with this story tonight. It's pretty danged important. A law that was written to fight TERRORISM was used to fight JOURNALISM!!!!

Gee, I just can't imagine why Carly Fiorina is such an unsuccessful politician [/snark]. Never mind the fact that the extreme anti-choice law in Texas completely ignores the trimester set-up of Roe v. Wade or that no one on the anti-choice side seems to have ever considered why women might seek abortions after 20 weeks. I think the term here is "tin ear."

Right-wing columnists writes good piece on rodeo clown and Obama “parody.”

Yeah, time to dump that football team name “Redskins.”

WaPo under the new owner Jeff Bezos doesn't need permission to start using more generic term like "Washington DC's football team."

Cool! US farms moving to wind power!

Is the US going to suspend military aid to Egypt? Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

Put gardens on top of buses? Yee-hah to that!

Nah, Texas couldn't be bothered to regulate a fertilizer plant until it blew up, taking the center of a town with it, but boy, they sure can be tough on suspected pot plants (That turned out to be tomato plants)!

The Family Research Council is not just opposed to abortion, but to sex itself unless the sex is used exclusively for making babies.

How are college IDs different from or more likely to be abused for voting? Answer: College students are more likely to vote Democratic.

WaPo blogger Jennifer Rubin very clearly has powerful friends watching out for her career

Very good to see some newspeople actually doing their jobs and really pressing politicians on their statements

Former VP Dick Cheney knew full well at the time that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11

Some very disturbing talk from the anti-choice crowd.

Heh! Digby says the President is getting all irritated and L'etat cest moi (Louis XIV of France made the statement of "I am the state") over his choice for Chairman of the Federal Reserve. As a progressive, my reaction to his choice was an immediately negative one. Larry Summers is an AWFUL choice!

Peggy Noonan echoes Rush Limbaugh in advising President Obama to invite the rodeo clown who was mockingly getting run down by a bull to the White House. Thankfully, the Missouri State Fair does the right thing concerning rodeo clown and Obama.

Global Warming is looking more and more disastrous all the time. And also, the end of the lawn in the West.

Anti-LGBT activists are defeated, even though they don't explicitly admit it.

Again, the deficit, unlike a natural disaster or unemployment or anything that's real and solid and discernible, is a very vague, abstract thing that doesn't really mean anything until someone explains it. That why Moore is completely unaware of the effect it's having on communities he has no connection to in any event.

How rent-seeking distorts a productive economy into a rentier economy

'Cause yeah, gee, what could possibly have gone wrong? (A rodeo clown dresses up as President Obama and the announcer asks if the audience would like to see him get trampled (You'll never guess how the crowd reacted - yeah, they cheered for the bull to trample "Obama").

A consideration: Is Larry Summers up to the job? [Spoiler alert: No!]

Yes, the blogger shows that Senator Rand Paul is an idiot, but he also demonstrates that the deficit is a very vague, fuzzy concept that's hard to grasp. It doesn't affect anyone in the same way that unemployment or a flood does.

Oh, and Senator Paul was apparently unaware that Milton Friedman passed away several years ago.

Dodgy justifications from the NSA for its surveillance.

Someone commented that there are actually very solid reasons for Republicans and Democrats to produce Primary debates "in-house," but the piece makes the very strong argument that the GOP needs the larger media MUCH more than the media needs the GOP.

Very good to see “Let's shut down the government” losing momentum among Congressional Republicans.

Wow! Not only are “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” highly deceptive, they're really profoundly anti-sex (And will trample all over truth and science to convince women that sex is evil).

Oh, and “fetal pain” is not science.

*Sigh*! Poor Rep. Louis Gohmert! He said that "evidence abounds" and that his case is all thoroughly proven, but golly gee, he can't seem to produce a smidgen of evidence to back up his claims.

Aww! Poor, poor, misunderstood Rush Limbaugh. *Sigh*, nobody understands poor Rush! Ya see, his calling Sandra Fluke a "slut" almost 50 times over three days was just an "accident," you see!

What Kathleen Turner says!

At the absolute best, The Hill writer is guilty of "privileging the lie" by not decisively quashing the idiotic notion that "death panels" do, ever did or ever will exist.

MaddowBlog takes apart Jeb Bush's narrow understanding of school choice. I personally don't think that the classic competition model of capitalism serves education well as education is much more difficult to really assign an immediate value to.

Interesting study that says PTSD not directly related to combat stress. I'm still convinced that combat and suicides ARE related, but clearly in a more subtle way than we've thought so far. One thing that's long been clear is that the sense of purpose, a feeling of "mission," that a soldier feels is very important to their mental health.

CNN's Erin Burnett will host an hour-long special, "The Truth About Benghazi." What's the prognosis that her reporting will be fair and accurate? Based on the teasers presented, not good. It looks (As of August 7th) like it'll be a hatchet job.

Update: "CNN's special The Truth About Benghazi pushed long-debunked myths ... with host Erin Burnett and CNN correspondent John King asking questions that were answered months ago..."

Of all the fact-checkers, I've never had a problem with Snopes. Snopes has always been good. Politifact? Ugh! They've been pretty frequently wrong. If you ever get a Politifact article submitted to you as proof, read it carefully and then decide for yourself whether or not their "ruling" is accurate. Politifact just can't appear to decide who they are and what their purpose in life is.

Happy, cheerful piece about Democratic Senators expressing opposition to the nomination of Larry Summers to be Chairman of Federal Reserve.

Howard Kurtz, the Media Critic for Fox News, “strangely” silent on Reza Aslan case. "As Douthat indicates, Fox was widely criticized for the interview [By Religion reporter Lauren Green with author Reza Aslan], which was one of the major media stories of the week. It seemed like a perfect issue for Kurtz, the network's in-house media critic, to address." Did Kurtz distinguish himself by his in-house criticism of the interview? Ha ha ha! No, he did no such thing.

Middle class is doing very poorly today.

WaPo tries and fails to distinguish between Wikileaks and journalism.

Glenn Greenwald challenges “robust oversight” claim made by NSA defender. "Robust oversight" means, to me, that an oversight person can go to the press and say whatever he/she pleases without running afoul of secrecy laws that force him or her to keep quiet when they clearly know more than they're allowed to say. Some techncal details on NSA surveillance.

It's truly baffling to me, as someone who was a sailor in the 1990s, to see any authority figures take rape so lightly. Rapists should be expelled from college, PERIOD!!!! It should be on their permanent record as they should ether end their college career or switch to another college.

Pennsylvania Senator sure has a strange idea of what “constructive” means.

Excellent! President Obama is getting serious about getting judges into vacant slots!

Very cool!!! Looks like even House Republicans are starting to catch on to the fact that sequestration was always an awful idea and that they just can't cut the government that much!

Republicans are trying out "libertarian populism" as a new political strategy. Not much indication that it will appeal to anybody who's not currently already a Republican.

Is the NSA just collecting and storing metadata? “Metadata if you were doing it and putting it into the systems we built, you could do it in a 12-by-20-foot room for the world.” The facility being built in Bluffdale, Utah, is 100,000 square feet of space, enough to store 100 years worth of every phone conversation in the country. (Note: The buildings are a million square feet, but are designed to hold 100,000 square feet of computer servers.)

And speaking of large databases...

Video on NSA surveillance.

The Pennsylvania's Republican Senator certainly has a strange idea of what the term "constructive" means.

$%#^@!! hilarious! They call for "Ex-Gay Pride Month" and barely get enough people to fill up breakfast-time on Wednesday!

Speaker Boehner could end the problems over the immigration bill and the sequester with two very quick and simple bills. The problem, that he feels obliged to uphold the "Hastert Rule" and that he enjoys seeing Americans in pain and misery from vital programs being cut. These problems are entirely self-inflicted. The term is "unforced errors."

Texas Republican wants Wendy Davis to pay for the special session that passed the anti-abortion law.

Looks like the fight over Larry Summers for the position of Fed Chairman is going to be with us for awhile. Progressives prefer Janet Yeller while President Obama prefers Summers, apparently just because they get along personally.

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Very, very interesting. Thuggish lawlessness by white people doesn't arouse the same stern lectures from Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Relly as does black lawlessness. Hmm, wonder why that is? Heh! I kid of course. We all know why that is. And yes, surfers do good things, too.

Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green asked author Reza Aslan: “You are a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?" as though a Roman Catholic is unable to write about Judaism or a Lutheran is unable to understand Baptists.

Aslan has a Ph. D. in the sociology of religion, a master's degree in theological studies from Harvard University, and a bachelor's degree in religion from Santa Clara University, as well as a master's of fine arts in fiction. He previously authored books on the history of Islam.

Well, there's good news and really bad news on the Bradley Manning verdict. The "aiding the enemy" charge was dismissed, but Manning got a sentence that could stretch to 138 years. Consider that "Bradley Manning’s alleged disclosures have exposed war crimes, sparked revolutions, and induced democratic reform. He is the quintessential whistleblower."

I can fully understand why people like Chris Wallace are upset that all of the "phony scandals" are falling apart, but there's just "no there there."

Yee hah! Gotta love this! Radio stations may drop Rush Limbaugh!

Heh! The dirty hippy liberals and Wall Street are in rare agreement, Larry Summers is a LOUSY choice for the new Fed Chairman!

Uh, no. Sorry, but "Men Behaving Badly"does NOT equal "War on Women." Republican are comparing apples and oranges, confusing how individual men treat individual women with systemic, POLICY issues.

Heh! McDonalds put out a budget to help its employees with their finances. It highlighted the crappy wages they pay and demonstrated the need for a rise in the minimum wage. Their CEO responds.

Ed Schultz comes up with a very good plan for saving Detroit.

Wow! The President wants Larry Summers as Fed Chairman? What a horrible idea! I just can't imagine a more overrated choice.

After having had nearly a year to research the question, what's interesting about Goldberg's charges is how very vague they are. He doesn't name the location or strength or designation of the unit that could have been depoyed to rescue our people at Benghazi because, very simply, there were no units close enough or strong enough to have made any difference. Benghazi was a tragedy, not a scandal.

Good to see that even the conservative Politico is starting to realize that the Republican budget strategy is really, really awful for America.

Republicans plan to spend August telling the American people how much they hate the government. Slight problem with that: The government is in the shape it's in largely because of Republican actions.

The piece is so sad and examines such angry, crazy people, I just had to laugh.

Al Qaeda makes major, and it appears, quite successful, attack!

Good piece by my church.

I like the answer that Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) gave to Chris Wallace's statement about black-on-black crime, which was essentially: We can walk and chew gum at the same time. The Zimmerman trial and the African-American murders are sort of related, but two different problems.

Good, informative rant on poor budget reporting. I left comment #5 on it.

Keynesian economist Dean Baker points out that "The merger wave of the last quarter century has resulted in banks that are more than five times as large relative to the size of the economy as the biggest banks were in the 1980s. In what ways are the mega-banks of today serving us better than did the banks of the 1980s?"

Digby presents a video that makes a compelling case that we should allow immigration reform to die in the House, blame Republicans for its failure and try again some other time, that the current bill is unacceptable.

The Pope admits to sex crimes.

Problem is, when everything is terrorism, you get “mission creep.”

When you listen to Nugent's rant, remember that he thinks he is the TRUE heir of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., everybody else is a poser and fake.

The filibuster was severely weakened today (July 16th). That's excellent news for progressives as the Senate can now put more judges and Executive Branch appointees into place and can get more laws through.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) versus some CNBC people (Warren wins, hands down and without even breaking a sweat)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brushes the Minority Leader's offer, to preserve the filibuster as is, aside.

The Great Recession and child abuse.

George Zimmerman found Not Guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.

"ALEC created the Stand Your Ground Law that allowed George Zimmerman to kill an unarmed, innocent young black man and be acquitted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. Yes, this verdict is a travesty. But it's a travesty that goes much deeper than this courtroom in Sanford, Florida."

Kind of interesting that little Ricky thinks extreme anti-abortion legislation is offered out of love, but the legislation doesn't include any money to bring abortion clinics up to standards, it just shuts them down for being out of standards. I think we refer to them as "crocodile tears."

Um, sorry, but if a man finds a woman so sexually attractive that he can.t do his work, he needs to discover the joys of cold showers and masturbation. Firing her is a really crappy and unfair answer. No surprise, it was an all-male court that sympathized with the poor male employer.

Texas wants a 20-week limit on abortions. Terrible idea!

&^*$#@^!!! One of the Koch brother tries to convince us that we should be happy with only $34,000 yearly because we're so much richer than other people in the world.

GREAT rant from Texas woman over Texas' “War on Women.”

Amazing news on community radio.

I followed the controversy over Judge Robert Bork at the time. No, his rejection for a seat on the Supreme Court was entirely justified.

Never did understand the justification for secret court opinions.

Ya know, there's a reason that East German held their Stasi in contempt.

Whuuh? Star Wars/Missile Defense is a failure? Na-a-a-awwww!!!!

Americans are now “mutts” as opposed to “purebreds” because the Latinos are coming over? Erm, this was a concern back in the 1840s when the Irish came over!

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus whines about job creation.

Kinda sad but kinda cool. Egyptian women protesters were being harassed and pinched and sexually assaulted, so men form a cordon around them while they protested the regime. Awesome footage of Egyptian protest!

After having had nearly a year to research the question, what's interesting about Goldberg's charges is how very vague they are. He doesn't name the location or strength or designation of the unit that could have been depoyed to rescue our people at Benghazi because, very simply, there were no units close enough or strong enough to have made any difference. Benghazi was a tragedy, not a scandal.

Good to see that even the conservative Politico is starting to realize that the Republican budget strategy is really, really awful for America.

Republicans plan to spend August telling the American people how much they hate the government. Slight problem with that: The government is in the shape it's in largely because of Republican actions.

The piece is so sad and examines such angry, crazy people, I just had to laugh.

Al Qaeda makes major, and it appears, quite successful, attack!

Good piece by my church.

I like the answer that Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD) gave to Chris Wallace's statement about black-on-black crime, which was essentially: We can walk and chew gum at the same time. The Zimmerman trial and the African-American murders are sort of related, but two different problems.

Good, informative rant on poor budget reporting. I left comment #5 on it.

Keynesian economist Dean Baker points out that "The merger wave of the last quarter century has resulted in banks that are more than five times as large relative to the size of the economy as the biggest banks were in the 1980s. In what ways are the mega-banks of today serving us better than did the banks of the 1980s?"

Digby presents a video that makes a compelling case that we should allow immigration reform to die in the House, blame Republicans for its failure and try again some other time, that the current bill is unacceptable.

The Pope admits to sex crimes.

Problem is, when everything is terrorism, you get “mission creep.”

When you listen to Nugent's rant, remember that he thinks he is the TRUE heir of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., everybody else is a poser and fake.

The filibuster was severely weakened today (July 16th). That's excellent news for progressives as the Senate can now put more judges and Executive Branch appointees into place and can get more laws through.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) versus some CNBC people (Warren wins, hands down and without even breaking a sweat)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid brushes the Minority Leader's offer, to preserve the filibuster as is, aside.

The Great Recession and child abuse.

George Zimmerman found Not Guilty of murdering Trayvon Martin.

"ALEC created the Stand Your Ground Law that allowed George Zimmerman to kill an unarmed, innocent young black man and be acquitted in a court of law by a jury of his peers. Yes, this verdict is a travesty. But it's a travesty that goes much deeper than this courtroom in Sanford, Florida."

Kind of interesting that little Ricky thinks extreme anti-abortion legislation is offered out of love, but the legislation doesn't include any money to bring abortion clinics up to standards, it just shuts them down for being out of standards. I think we refer to them as "crocodile tears."

Um, sorry, but if a man finds a woman so sexually attractive that he can.t do his work, he needs to discover the joys of cold showers and masturbation. Firing her is a really crappy and unfair answer. No surprise, it was an all-male court that sympathized with the poor male employer.

Texas wants a 20-week limit on abortions. Terrible idea!

&^*$#@^!!! One of the Koch brother tries to convince us that we should be happy with only $34,000 yearly because we're so much richer than other people in the world.

GREAT rant from Texas woman over Texas' “War on Women.”

Amazing news on community radio.

I followed the controversy over Judge Robert Bork at the time. No, his rejection for a seat on the Supreme Court was entirely justified.

Never did understand the justification for secret court opinions.

Ya know, there's a reason that East German held their Stasi in contempt.

Whuuh? Star Wars/Missile Defense is a failure? Na-a-a-awwww!!!!

Americans are now “mutts” as opposed to “purebreds” because the Latinos are coming over? Erm, this was a concern back in the 1840s when the Irish came over!

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus whines about job creation.

Kinda sad but kinda cool. Egyptian women protesters were being harassed and pinched and sexually assaulted, so men form a cordon around them while they protested the regime. Awesome footage of Egyptian protest!

Comedy gold! Ashleigh Banfield describes the technical problems CNN is having connecting to the George Zimmerman trial, then:
She then paused, caught herself, and added:

"Oh, and you know something else? We're going to get you back to Egypt aft—"

At this point, a commercial abruptly cut her off

Very interesting contrast between the jolly ol' father, full of good ol' boy cheerfulness and his actions taken behind the scenes to protect the Roman Catholic Church's finances

Cool! Soledad O'Brien ends up at Al Jazeera.

Hmm! Very sharp contrast between how the two parties are handling the fight in Texas. Could it be that Republicans are aware that being rabidly anti-choice is a loser of a position? 1,900 pro-choice activists sign up to testify against anti-choice bill. "Aw gee, it seems we can only accomodate 140 speakers. Uh, safety and, uh, we can only hold the hearings in a really small room, because, um, ah, reasons!" ,

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Unfortunately, this was to be expected from the House Republicans and it of course completely misses the whole point of doing immigration reform in the first place. Republicans seem determined to make their party completely irrelevant.
Texas Governor Perry says he wants to try again to pass severely anti-choice legislation. Our new progressive heroine, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis says she's ready, willing and able to try and stop him from doing that.

Hmm! Very sharp contrast between how the two parties are handling the fight in Texas. Could it be that Republicans are aware that being rabidly anti-choice is a loser of a position?

Good piece on how to talk to little girls.
Heh! Yeah, the New Yorker cover showing Bert and Ernie in a tender embrace was WAY too much for some conservatives. Markos has great fun with their bitter tears of outrage and disbelief.
Hmm, hadn't thought about this:
Interestingly, the reason for the slowing traffic [at the Creation Museum] seems to be creationism itself, since the main exhibit has literally not changed in 5 years. Most museums’ exhibits change as new discoveries are made, as artifacts travel from other museums to visit, or as adjustments in scientific thinking are made.

Ah yes! That old, eternal question. "What do women want?" How about politicians who stand up for their interests?
Comprehensive immigration reform passed the Senate Thursday by a whopping 68-32. Senator John McCain says that if immigration reform doesn't pass in the House, Republicans can kiss electoral success goodbye. Now it's all up to Speaker Boehner. If he applies the "Hastert Rule" (Only push bills that the "Majority of the Majority" will vote for), then the bill dies in the House. Or he can get the bill passed with Democrats and moderate Republicans. There ain't no middle way, there aren't any compromises.

Heh! The RNC Chair Reince Priebus claims that the Republican Party is responsible for the Senate's passing immigration reform. Uh, no. When less than a third of Republican Senators voted for reform, the party can't claim anything.

Some Occupiers in Turkey decided the gest way to protest was to simply stand and observe. Many have decided to add reading deep, challenging books to their activities.
Nelson Mandela is not long for this world.
Supreme Court tosses out the Defense of Marriage Act. Right-wingers weep bitter tears. Hee! Hee! Hee!
Boston Globe says that with 99% reporting at 10:00pm, Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) has won the vote for Senator with 55% to 45%!!!!! Woo-hoo!!!
I agree with MSNBC's Chris Hayes, who described the Voting Right Act's decision as "one of the most stunning exercises in 'judicial activism' ever." What the piece here describes is just how little Constitutional rationale there is for this far-reaching decision. Reminds me a lot of Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court suddenly and without much in the way of a clear and urgent necessity, makes an abrupt and highly consequential decision.
Wow1 This is a CHILDREN'S museum, trying to educate young people and trying to present a friendly face. Some young people present a petition. The museum respond by calling the police and threatening the CHILDREN!!!!!! "Uh, pardon me, but your mask is slipping and you're inadvertently revealing your true face!"
I had already lost a lot of respect for David Gregory because he had invited Senator John McCain to Meet the Press over and over and OVER and over, but Gregory really lost it by taking an overtly pro-authoritarian, or as Tom Paine would say, an explicitly pro-monarchical or pro-aristocratic point of view on the press and the First Amendment.
This is actually very positive news and drives a further nail into the coffin of the IRS scandal of following up on groups that used terms in their names like "Tea Party." Seems they were also looking at groups with the tags of "Progressive" and "Occupy."
There's no evidence that the NSA surveillance program has been abused for political purposes, but the situation is ripe for politicians to abuse it.
NSA says they have safeguards to prevent abuse of classified information that was scooped up by agency. Senators Wyden and Udall wonder why NSA is unable to specify exactly what those safeguards are.
This is concerning. I don't favor the Reagan idea, abolish all nuclear weapons and then depend on anti-missile weapons to keep us safe. Let's keep about 100 of each type of nuke, sub-based, land-based and aircraft-carried, but we don't need anywhere near what we possess.
Hey, let's use a private contractor to manage our prisons! What could go wrong? Well, er, um, quite a bit, actually.
Quite sad. Speaker Boehner again proves himself to be the weakest, least effectual Speaker, perhaps ever. Majority Leader Cantor's statement: "The question is: are Democrats in the House willing to govern..." Erm, as the Minority party, it is hardly the place of Democrats in the House to "govern."
Just to continue to beat up on our hapless Speaker of the House for a bit, does Boeher have ANY idea what he's talking about when it comes to economics?
When racist "jokes" are no laughing matter.
Keep in mind when reading this that this is a Republican man talking about a Republican woman! This is not a Republican-Democratic disagreement!
Yeah, sorry, but in a trade agreement disagreement between Senator Warren and any other part of the US Government, I cheerfully stand with Warren! My "benefit of the doubt" goes ENTIRELY to her!
The Affordable Care Act/Obamacare has a glitch that could be fixed if only we had a functioal government.
It's not just Turkey that's taken a page from the Occupy book. It's Brazil, too.

Brazil's protest movement continues to grow. For the second night in a row, people filled the streets across the country.

Heh! Sex performer Sasha Grey does a piece "supporting" the NSA that's almost too true to be funny.
Rep. Cummings concluded that Chairman Issa was just going to continue stonewalling and released the transcripts of the Oversight Committee's investigation of the IRS accusations. Reviewing the transcripts, it seems pretty obvious why a scandal-hungry Issa felt he had to keep them under wraps.
This is pretty much an open admission of "We got nothin'" and "We shrink from disclosure as vampires shrink from sunlight. It will cause us to shrivel up and die."

The Senate Intelligence Committee quashed a former aide’s attempt to provide TPM with an unvarnished view of the oversight process.

Yup! Amazingly enough, someone really did claim this! A Texas Congressman "asserted that he witnessed male fetuses pleasuring themselves as early as 15-weeks after conception,"
The Russian Foreign Ministry is correct. If Iran ceases trying to enrich uranium so that it's weapon-ready, then the US should respond by ending sanctions.
Did James O'Keefe "save the world" or "expose fraud" or "save democracy"? Ha. Ha. Ha. No. He did none of those things.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking Democratic member on the House Oversight Committee, decided he was tired of having Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) play partisan games with the transcripts of the interviews of IRS personnel. Sure enough, the released transcripts show just what everyone thought they would show, that there is no IRS scandal.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell leaves no doubt about it. If he gets to be Majority Leader, the filibuster is going to be eliminated. It's long past time for Democrats to go ahead and toss the whole unConstitutional mess out the window.

The Senate Intelligence Committee pretty openly admits they have no substantive reason to hide their deliberations. They're just shrinking from discloure the way a vampire shrinks from the sunlight.

Why should we protect life in the womb? Because fetuses masturbate! No, really, a Congressman really said that.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is correct. If Iran ceases trying to enrich uranium so that it's weapon-ready, then the US should respond by ending sanctions.
The Supreme Court decision against Arizona's voter suppression efforts could be very good news for the Republican Party's "re-branding" effort IF the GOP understands and responds appropriately.
Did James O'Keefe "save the world" or "expose fraud" or "save democracy"? No. He did none of those things.

Fox's Jesse Watters: Bush Administration Never Had A "Credibility Crisis" Like Obama Has Now

Bwah-hah-hah!!!!! LOL!!! No, I don't think so!!!

School lunchtime workers and parents going without food to protest Governor Corbett's policies.

Seriously messed-up priorities! PA is building a $400 million prison AND shortchanging the schools of $300 million!

So let me get this straight, Eric Cantor, the Majority Leader for the Republicans in Congress, makes a common-sensical observation that the Obama Administration “has lost focus on the issue that most Americans care about, which is getting people back to work," but at the same time, Republicans are pushing an anti-choice bill “that's probably unconstitutional, has nothing to do with the nation's top priorities, and can't pass the Senate anyway...”
So dude, which is it? Which priority is more important? Pushing an anti-woman agenda or getting Americans back to work?

The two Fox News hosts never get around to examining the nature of today's "recovery" from the. recession that began in late 2007. Perhaps social insurance costs WOULD have gone down had there been a TRUE, broad-based recovery that applied to more than just the wealthiest among us!
Excellent discussion of Obama's NSA/surveillance scandal from a former lawyer.
First off, it was reasonably clear at the time that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was not the beginning of a Soviet drive to the Indian Ocean. There are about 600 miles of rough terrain between Afghanistan's Southernmost big city, Kandahar and the nearest port on the Indian Ocean, Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistan was quiet and wasn't frantically building up its army.
So Clinton is basically citing a straw man reason for intervening in Syria.

Wisconsin Gvernor Scott Walker "I don't have any problem with ultrasound," which is very nice, except for the fact that its use is medically unneccessary and is inteneded purely to dissuade women from having abortions.
A Republican "mansplains" why his brain is superior to those of people who may disagree with him.
Republicans don't like the comprehensive immigration bill that the Senate is preparing. Too bad, because that little thing called "math" makes it inevitable.
Photos of the Taksim Square crackdown in Turkey, where Occupy Gezi is conducting something that's not just an environmental protest.

In the 4th comment down after this piece (Comments are deleted after a few days), "Rowdy Roddy," disagrees with me and the author Dionne. He feels that the Gilded Age was marvelous and that the Progressive Era that followed it was terrible. Wow! How well do we teach history these days. I critically examine some libertarian notions.
Eh? The military trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning wants to disallow a crowd-funded stenographer to document the trial? Y'know, some things just presumptively indicate guilt! Manning's defense team favors such a stenographer.
Hmm. Glenn Beck supports free speech but doesn't like boycotts. It was a boycott, of course, that drove him out of Fox News and that's currently making Rush Limbaugh's job hard to hold on to. But Ellen DeGeneres made an advertising deal with JCPenney, the group One Million Moms objected, JCPenney looked at the polls and said "Neener, neener!" to OMM. The president of JCPenney has disappointing sales and is soon to be replaced, but boycotts are all about free speech.

Mass data-sweep of millions of Verizon customers appears to be motivated more by laziness than anything else. Going after specific suspects takes a lot of work.

Update: Michelle Malkin makes a number of unsubstantiated claims here about how the Bush NSA spying program was different from the Obama NSA spying program. Unfortunately, it's very much a bipartisan program, making far more an Establishment versus Hippies (Or, as Communists would say, the Ruling Class versus the Working Class) kind of conflict.

GOOD!!!!! VERY happy to hear that an Obama ally says that a Grad Bargain on the budget is dead!!!! Break out the champagne!!!!
The Heritage Foundation was never a very scholarly place, but it provided some plausible talking points. Now, with a hard-line, right-wing conservative in charge, they can't even do that.
I seem to remember serious, violent crackdown on Occupy Wall Street that were at least as bad as those on Occupy Gezi. In Turkey, citizens are conducting a vrey highly similar struggle over many of the same issues. As of a few days later, protests had spread to 67 cities.
I'm sure many people have come across the right-wing story that the former head of the IRS visited the White House a total of 157 times. Shock! Horror! Wasn't he coordinating a crackdown on Tea Party people? A reporter did something called "due diligence" and found that the true story isn't anywhere near as sinister.

Represenatative Marsha Blackburn makes the utterly ludicrous claim that women don't want equal pay laws. "You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job." Which is a nice idea in theory, but whether of not someone is qualified is often a very highly subjective question.

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El Salvador's deeply conservative governmet's position on abortion and choice led them to approve the killing of a woman (A wife and mother) to save a fetus that was going to be born minus a brain. Lila Rose didn't have a problem with that. Update: Government backs down under International pressure.
Heh! I could work with this. Attorney General Holder is in deep political doo-doo. Interfering with how states handle marijuana is deeply unpopular. All Holder has to do is to say "Fuggedaboudit, we're not gonna do nuthin' 'bout pot" and he's won himself some instant (and badly needed) popularity.
Lengthy and important piece detailing the collapse of the intellectual justifications for austerity. Has that collapse affected the debate at all? Ha, ha, ha! Of course not!
The "Prosperity Gospel" of the Virginia's Republican Lieutenant-Governor candidate is extremely bad news for the not-so-wealthy people of Virginia. Even Jerry Falwall disapproved of the Posperity Gospel.
What? The sequester is actually hurting people? But...but the traditional media isn't covering it! How can it be happending if newspapers and TV people aren't covering it? Actually, the number of people feeling the pinch has risen from 25% to 37%.
Whuuh!?!? Ya means that if we spend money on infrsatructure, bridges won't collapse? And yes, had the "Rebuild America" Act passed, that bridge might have been prevented from collapsing.
Teacher speaks out about being supervised by a bunch of private-sector bean-counters who don't care about students.
Shouldn't the United States stand for something more elevated than mere survival? Isn't it worthwhile for us to compromise our physical safety in order to support morality?
A high school senior vs her school. The school's principal comes off very poorly.

Excellent, excellent review of IRS "scandal." It's actually pretty important, but not for the reasons people say it is.

Heh! Comment on Adam Kokesh: "When Medea Benjamin calls you a publicity hound, well…"

Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. How is Moscow going to demonstrate that it's just as advanced as the West is with stuff like this happening?

ABC News severely FAILS. They claim that they reviewed actual emails concerning Benghazi. Actually, they reviewed one person's verbal summaries, which turned out to be wildly inaccurate.

Banks are able to borrow money at a MUCH lower rate than students are for their education. That's not right. Students are at least as important as banks.

Very interesting that the WaPo columnist Jennifer Rubin (Writing in the Inky on 13 May) seems to see late-term abortions as being something that only involves the baby. The women who agree to have them are seen as, I guess, plastic, unliving, life-sized dolls, with no lives of their own to consider.

Yeah, what happened to the AP was terrible and we certainly shouldn't have any sympathy for the Obama Administration, but should we pity the AP, which has been quiet and/complicit in the kicking aside of privacy protections for well over a decade?

One of the problems with some of the Obama Administration's responses, notably in the Shirley Sherrod case, to scandals is that Obama and his people sometimes fold their hand much too quickly. That appears to be the case in the IRS case with the agency looking for "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in group names. .

Pennsylvania's 180 charter schools routinely ignore the state's Right-To-Know Law even though as publicly funded institutions they are bound to comply with it, the chief of the state's Office of Open Records told a Senate committee on Monday.

See, this is a perfect example of why I get most of my news from the blogs and have so little use for traditional news sources. Newsperson Chris Jansing reads out a short letter from Senator Rubio, completely leaving out any context. The context is that Rubio is asking for the resignation of an empty office, an office not filled because the Senate filibusters everything.

Bwah-hah-hah!!! 39% of people who think Benghazi is biggest scandal ever have no idea where it is!

The IRS handles a potential scandal very poorly, obscuring some important issues.

Quick check on right-wing media. Hmm, yup, still crazy!

Very sad to see how "60 Minutes" is now the plaything of billionaires like Pete Peterson (Major pro-austerity guy). It was once a good news show

Very interesting piece on the charge that Obama is a "tyrant."

More plans for Philadelphia casionos despite the fact that the first one was not a big success.

IRS does its job and is forced to apologize for that.

General Efrain Rios Montt of Guatamala was found guilty of the genocide of 1700 Indians.

Very cool news! A school that used stimulus money and now runs on wind power.

Senator Inhofe (R-OK)is convinced that Beghazi is the worst scandal ever and will surely bring Obama down.

So, amid accusations that Syria has been using chemical weapons, it appears that the Syrian rebels have actually been doing just that! Digby has sound advice for the situation: "Do as little as possible."

Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky describes the process of forced feeding via the nostrils that the US is currently using to keep Guantanamo prisoners alive.

Right in the first sentence, Politico loses all credibility: "It's never been easy for House Republicans to raise the debt limit." No, actually, it was quite easy and routine right up until 2010. 

An examination of Fareed Zakaria and austerity. He acknowledges that it's failed, but isn't quite ready to embrace Keynesianism.

Uh. Mah. Gawd! Not ONLY was this guy an economist for G.W. Bush (As if that doesn't totally destroy your credibility all by itself) but he approvingly cites Reinhart & Rogoff!!!! Hang it up, guy! You've lost any semblance of credibility.

And yes, Larry Summers is, as usual, completely clueless.

Democrats could do far better than to make President Andrew Jackson a hero of theirs.

Mitt Romney shows us that he's a very privileged person who never had to worry about money a day in his life. Yeah, it's great that Ann Romney was "just" a housewife, that was a solid and positive choice for her to make, but she was able to make it because she and Mitt were wealthy from Day 1 of their marriage.

Absolutely amazing that charges were brought in the first place! Teenage girl gets charged after science project goes wrong.

When the budget-cutter gets confronted about the real-world effects of his budget-cutting, he does the ol' soft-shoe shuffle and says "Who, me?"

According to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, he's not part of the Establishment, he's a rebel.

"Whistleblower" in Benghazi case appears highly unlikely to be anything of the sort.

Heh! Would-be GOP presidential candidate covers up embarrassing figure in background of photo. Newsmagazine denies trying to avoid embarrassment.

Fox News defends billboard that Native Americans are rightfully upset about.

Congratulations to Ed Markey for winning the MA Democratic primary to replace John Kerry. Republicans are out for blood on this one, this is going to be a really serious fight with LOTS of money being spent!

Ugh! Obama taps a lobbyist to run the FCC when what we really need is someone who will defend fairness and equality for broadband Internet.


Lou Dobbs says the Reinhart-Rogoff spreadsheet error is just a small mistake. No Lou, 'fraid not.

I disagree with the President's statement that we can have both economic growth and deficit reduction at the same time, but I did like his statement on the sequester and Congress's short-term, blinkered view on fixing JUST flight delays.

*Sigh*, more stupidity! The CIA has been delivering bags of cash to Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai.

Will I ever take down the appeal to help the people who were caught by Hurricane Sandy? Doesn't look like it as help is, and for the foreseeable future, will continue to be needed.

The vote to separate the airlines from the rest of the sequester is very stupid politically and demonstrates why one should never cross one's own "bright line." Good cartoon that describes the FAA move well, but it's too true to be funny.

Very good news on the recent vote to establish background checks for gun purchases (The vote failed because of a filibuster, not because it didn't have majority support). Some Senators who voted against it are doing very poorly with their constituents.  PA Senator Toomey, who tried to move the legislation forwards, is doing well. Senator Ayotte gets confronted on her vote.

Hmm, well, it took a dozen years and we hear this after she's retired, but Supreme Court Justice O'Connor  now regrets her vote to put Bush into the Oval Office.

Good grief! A high school in Georgia, in 2013!!!!, finally has an integrated prom!

Hee, hee, hee!!! Bush tries to arrange to go to Europe, but faces arrest for human rights violations if he does.

And yes, people are still trying to salvage Reinhart-Rogoff from the trashcan of history and economic theory.

Unfortunately, the sequestration strategy proved to be a political error as media has largely ignored the problems that sequestration has caused. Republicans have been able to take piecemeal action, dealing with one small problem at a time.

I agree with both Putin and Obama, Tsarnaev doesn't need to be charged as an "enemy combatant" as there's no evidence that he and his brother were working with anybody. 

Good! Senator Kelly Ayotte's (R-NH) anti-people, pro-NRA vote is causing her big electoral problems.

A comparison of the Iraq War's "Curveball" and today's anti-deficit fearmongering.

Another woman's life sacrificed to anti-abortion fervor.

Another Bangladeshi factory putting out Walmart clothing collapses, killing 100.

House Republicans ignore Democratic opposition and put out highly selective and partisan report that blames Secretary of State Clinton for Benghazi. Report denounced as "Total Bullshit!"

Excellent review of George W. Bush's terms. heated, partisan language, but good examination of both sides to story.

The Boston Marathon bombers, the Tsarnaevs, apparently worked alone. they weren't part of any larger groups.  Oh, and according to Rush Limbaugh, Tsarnaev's education was the problem. Russia doesn't like Chechnya very much and unsurprisingly says "'Bout time y'all woke up to the Chechen threat!"

The Week in FAIL! The cartoonist only had room for the five top FAILs of the week. Many more could have been included.

The plant in West, TX that blew up was permitted to have 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate before it had to report it to the government. It had 27 tons! government had no idea. Media does its best to ignore this important story.

Very interesting piece. It views the IMFs conversion to Keynesianism from austerity with horror. It makes it clear that Keynesians are winning. The anti-globalization movement viewed the IMF as a villain, but it's clear that the IMF is coming around to the side of light and goodness.

Very interesting that both Peggy Noonan and Maureen Dowd have accused President Obama of botching the gun safety bill. Both ignore the 60-vote threshold that Obama had to cross. The overuse of the filibuster to the point where it's used routinely is an extremely undercovered story.

NY Times runs a front-page editorial on Denmark's labor/economic situation. In many way, Denmark is in a much better shape than the US is. That doesn't prevent the Times from taking a very snotty, superior attitude.

Heh! Smerconish takes a reasonable view of the Kermit Gosnell case and the commenters are furious, FURIOUS, I tell you!, that Smerconish has now gone over to the left.

Fascinating! In the IMF (A boogeyman to the left during the 1999-2001 anti-globalization movement), there's a pitched battle between the Keynesians and the pro-austerity folks. Natcherly, I'm on the side of the Keynesians. Osborne, the fellow who's been running Britain (Which has had absolutely miserable economic performance over the past several years) is pro-austerity.

Whoa! When a plant has in excess of 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate, they're supposed to report it. The place in West, TX that blew up had 270 TONS!!!!! And no, they didn't report it.

What amazes me about the "abstinence-only" crowd is that "Reefer Madness" didn't work back in the 60s and 70s, what makes them think a similar approach to sex will work now?

There's a piece in the WaPo about scholars "rushing to judgment" on the presidency of G.W. Bush. Problem with that is that most of the problems that the Bush Administration dealt with were very largely self-inflicted. No, there's no reason to re-examine the record to say that Bush was a better president than we thought in early 2009. He and his people have had plenty of time to correct the record and they've succeeded in doing no such thing.

Five days after Boston Marathon bombing, one suspect is dead and the other one is in custody. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a 19-year old Chechen (*Sigh*, not Czech). Motive at this point is unknown.

Simpson and Bowles of the Cat Food Commission declare that Obama's Chained CPI is insufficiently damaging to people of modest means. Yep, the Rogoff-Reinhart paper was a real mess that severely damaged the credibility of the deficit scolds. Oh, and yes, the Chained CPI is an idea that the public really, really hates.

Right-wing media seriously discredits itself. Also, a tweet from a Fox Newsperson:

"Just b/c the bombing suspects were Muslim, that doesn't make it 'terrorism' any more than a crazy abortion clinic bomber is a terrorist."

Abortion clinic bombers ARE terrorists

Gun safety bills "fail" as they get Senate majorities, but none make it up past the 60-vote margin.

Massive explosion at fertilizer factory in West, TX. Factory was in middle of neighborhood. It was inspected in 1985 and again in 2011. It was using a  hazardous, flammable material. OSHA in general is severely underfunded. 2010 saw a serious drop-off in State investigations of plants like this.

Very BFD, as our Vice-President would say. A pair of economists put out an economic theory that was used to oppose stimulus measures and they finally shared the data that the theory was based on. Turns out they left out many critical numbers and made basic math errors. Krugman comments that there never was any "red line" at the 90% of GDP level.

Explosions at the Boston Marathon. And yes, let's put this in context (Yes, the piece is from July 2002, the point is that terrible things happen everywhere and all the time). And yes, Iraq suffered another horrible blow from bombs there. As of April 17, no breaks in the case, no idea who did it. Former Congressperson Barney Frank points out the value of having a competent, well-funded government. 

Former Executive Editor of NY Times makes wild, inaccurate charges.

The new Pope opposes the "Nuns on the Bus"? Okay, so it'll be at least another decade before the Roman Catholic Church repents and makes proper amends for the pedophilia scandal, then. They'll continue to be a disgraced and fallen church.

Heh! ALEC is unhappy with its public image. Gee, that couldn't be because they're an evil group that's opposed to the citizens of this country, could it?

Larry Summers was a part of the President's effort to get the ACA (Obamacare) passed. Turns out he doesn't believe that the government should be supervising health care in the first place.

I really admire this fellows' can-do spirit and enthusiasm, I really do, but it's simply not possible to get both deficit reduction AND job creation at the same time. Europe has proven decisively and without a doubt that these are mutually exclusive and contradictory goals.

Uh, no Erin Burnett (CNN), the "liberal media" did not ignore the Gosnell story.

Why, WHY is Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) on the Intelligence Committee?!??! Aren't there ANY standards for that position?!?!?

Commenting on bipartisanship, the view from a radio commenter and from a liberal blog.

All right! Republican Senator Toomey from PA does good!

Obama's Medicare plan. NOT an improvement over his Social Security plan! The context in which I see economic issues.

Young woman in Canada gets gang-raped. Despite there being photos of the act, the attackers are not prosecuted. Girl hangs herself. The hacker group Anonymous helps out.

Very good to see Democrats distancing themselves from the Chained CPI proposal.

Do pro-choicers have anything to do with Kermit Gosnell? Absolutely not. Gosnell violated many laws and did not observe any regulations, including laws on ages of women and waiting periods. He has nothing to do with pro-choicers.

Update on various doings in Philly.

Heh! State Senator frightened by the prospect of defending his bill to an 8-year old girl.

Don't understand why we're getting better and more comprehensive news on an American oil spill via a Russian website than from American news.

Republican Senator Rand Paul (KY) comes to Howard University and promptly steps in it.

A student questioner sought clarification. “Are we discussing the Republican Party of the 19th century?” he asked, to applause. “Or are we discussing the post-1968 Republican Party?” “The argument I’m trying to make is we haven’t changed,” Paul proposed.

Erm, actually, there is a lengthy and well-documented history of the Democrats and Republicans switching places as the party of the Confederacy and the party of Civil Rights.

Obama attacked for evil, heartless budget that won't even improve anything. And yup! He deserves EVERY bit of criticism he's getting! Not that the budget as a whole is completely horrible. It's still far better than the Republican alternative.

Glenda Jackson MP, discusses former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's passing. People of Brixton celebrate. The Wizard of Oz song "Ding dong! The Wicked Witch is Dead" gets up to number 2 on British music charts.

White House spokesperson talks about Chained CPI. Uurgh! The stupid! It burns!

Russia and US see eye-to-eye on North Korea. China appears torn on how to deal with North Korea.

Re: Republican readiness to compromise. Republican Budget Director Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) can't think of a single concession he's prepared to make

So many people upset with Obama's proposal of "Chained CPI" (A way to reduce Social security payments) they got 2.3 million signatures against it.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was doing oppo research on actor Ashley Judd, who was considering running against him.

Governor Bobby Jindal's tax plan collapses politically. This is very good news for progressives as this was a major GOP plank.

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No one appears to know what North Korea is up to.

No, household finances are nothing like government debt.

Failure from the oil industry. The oil platform that was grounded and leaked over 150,000 gallons of toxic chemicals in the Gulf of Alaska crashed because the company was in a hurry to avoid some taxes. Oh, and a train derailment spills another 30,000 gallons from the Tar Sands.

More failure from traditional media. There's good reason that the newsweekly is dying out. Time Magazine puts out highly misleading cover that raises false hopes. Also, NPR puts out really rotten, horrible piece on the Social Security Disability program. The guy who put out that horrible story refuses to take responsibility for it.

Excellent, excellent piece on how deficit hysteria is robbing and cheating future generations. Paul Krugman follows up.

Really sad comparisons of marriage equality to forced friendship and to beastiality & pedophilia and hey, don't forget how eliminating the estate ("death") tax can help the situation!

Ooh! Comedian Jim Carrey burns the NRA and the deceased Charlton Heston.

Very interesting to see how little right wing Christians care about rape.

What?!?! We need an economic crisis?!?! No we don't.

This is absolutely immoral and unconscionable!!!! NO ONE in America needs to know where the President's daughters are vacationing!!!!! There is absolutely nothing that the public gains from knowing that!!! Good takedown!

Why isn't this story all over American media?!?!?! Why do we have to get this kind of news from Russia? People need to know what the sequester is costing Americans. Far too many see government spending as merely being for anonymous bureaucrats working behind walls and not as policemen, firefighters and schoolteachers working for the rest of us up close and personal.

Wow! Ten years later, "Baghdad Bob" looks a lot less hilarious and a lot more prescient than then.

How to deal with a young drunk woman who's passed out in your home. Hint: There's only one right way!

Right wing one-hit wonder from the late 1970s accuses lefties of being gun enthusiasts. FAIL!

Hilarious! The Republican Party calls for a re-branding and the very next day calls for the black vote to be suppressed. More re-branding hilarity.

And yes, in a completely unsurprising development, it turns out that Bush edited intel reports to make Iraq appear more threatening than it actually was. 

Oliver North pulls out long-debunked theory that Iraqi WMD were moved to Syria.

Oh, come on! Seriously? People want the sequester to kill off scholarships for the children of Iraq War casualties?!?!?

Republicans have a very interesting view on the meaning of free speech!

Gotta say, Michael Steele was a bit of a clown as the RNC Chairman and took a lot of much-deserved ribbing from progressives and others, but he's absolutely right here. His record was MUCH better than that of his successor!

Whaah!?!?! CNN is apologizing for rapists?

Pretty stupid accusation, that President Obama lives luxuriously. Of course, given the deficit obsession, it makes a bit of sense.

Good for Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)! He discovered his son was gay, so he's now in favor of marriage equality.  

A good blogger that I normally agree with accuses Obama of being just like Portman. Nah, I don't buy that.

I write on the tenth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War.

Is the sequester causing pain to people of regular means? Don't bother asking the WaPo. They don't care. 

Very sad to see the press corps ignoring $8 billion in wasted funds for Iraq reconstruction.

Well, that's pretty cool! Amtrak's long-haul routes are growing in profitability. My guess is that stories of people caught in screenings like this four-year old, this three-year old, new passenger watch lists, growing hassles, no-fly lists with ludicrous error, etc., probably have a lot to do with that.

Slight problem with Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) demanding that the Affordable Care Act be scuttled. The Republican Party has absolutely nothing to replace it with. Their scuttling of the Act will simply result in setting the clock back to 2008. Obama won that election in part because he advocated the ACA.

Blogger provides lengthy list of sequester cuts. Nothing silly or amusing about them.

This is pretty awesome! OWS is pursuing a win-win solution to debt. Well, the debt speculators don't win, but nobody cares about those guys.

Attorney General Eric Holder feels that banks that are “too big to fail” are also “too big to prosecute.” Agree and think that's an excellent reason to break them up!

Excellent to see Democrats being hard-nosed in negotiations!

Hmm, let's see, a right-wing site with a history of bad information probably got a story wrong. Gee, what are the odds of THAT happening? Sounds like weasel words from the site's editor. Tucker Carlson: "'s not at all clear that the woman they're talking about is the same woman we interviewed..." They aren't sure?!?!?!

Mitt Romney whines and complains that Obama “offered gifts” to get elected. Uh, yeah, that's kind of what running for office is all about! Different constituencies want different gifts, no one expects the politicians they get elected to ignore their needs in favor of abstract visions of the public good.

All right! Melissa Harris-Perry lets Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia have it with both barrels! Woo-hoo! Testify, sister, testify!

Excellent video on wealth inequality.

Uh, duh! Yeah, of course, if women lack sex education, they're going to get HIV more!

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Very sad to see Bob Woodward descend to making really obvious lies. Woodward tries desperately to “unpoop the bed.” BTW, is Woodward really a “liberal icon”? No, not really.

Sorry, but I don't think banning video games will have any effect on real-life violence. Back in the 1950s, there was a similar panic about comic books doing the same thing.

Huh! So in 2010, Senator John McCain, who refused along with the rest of his party to take any part in designing the stimulus and who's obviously still ticked off that he lost the election in 2008, criticizes the stimulus.

And yes, that set of 600,000 documents captured from Saddam Hussein's intelligence service archives was indeed reviewed and no, there was no sign of any alliance to al Qaeda.

People like spending cuts, in theory, not in reality. Rudy Giuliana talks about spending cuts, but please note that he does so entirely by referring to vague generalities.

Uh, no. The current press corps bears absolutely NO resemblance to the “lapdog” press corps of the Bush years.

No, the problem with finding skilled workers isn't that there aren't enough of them, it's that employers are cheap!

Awwwww! That bites!!! Soledad O'Brien was a bright spot in CNNs line-up. An honorary dirty effin' hippie, she was! O'Brien's future plans.

*Sigh*, I dunno. On the one hand, the TSA is protecting America, on the other hand, jeez, there's gotta be a better way than to traumatize a young child.

Jon Stewart lets Senator McCain have it over Benghazi hypocrisy.

I review a Rachel Maddow presentation on how the Iraq War started.

Yup, Mississippi finally makes it into the 20th Century by ratifying the 19th Amendment!

Huh! Daily Kos calls an end to Hate-Mail-a-Palooza series as right-wingers are just too demoralized to keep it fun.

All right! Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) lives up to her promise!

Guardian does good live-blogging of State of the Union address. Good address! Much more progressive than was expected! Unfortunately, Obama spoke of the “crowding-out effect” that simply doesn't occur in times of high unemployment. BTW, explanation as to how no, Rep. Barney Frank did not cause the housing crisis.

Heh! Former Rep. Joe Walsh was a deadbeat dad, got his child support payments up to date, lost his Congressional seat and aw shucks! Wouldn't ya just know it? Didn't save ANY money from his time in Congress and so can't make any child support payments! Dang the luck!

Truly sad to see a TV talker try to discredit an economist with shoddy, unsourced "facts" & figures. Heck, he doesn't even quote his sources properly!

More false equivalence from The Village. Comparing the two new Senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz, is a serious insult to Warren.

Yup,it was 10 years ago today (Facebook link) that we protested the upcoming Iraq War in the largest coordinated worldwide demonstration ever.

The assertion that baseball bats and knives kill as many people as guns do always struck me as highly dubious. Sure enough, it isn't true.

Wow! The astroturf (As opposed to grassroots) group FreedomWorks is displaying a really, really serious lack of judgement and a juvenile mindset.

There's plenty of daylight between President Obama and the progressive grassroots on some issues.

A 102-year old lady waited for three hours in line and made two trips to the polls in order to vote. Reporters at Fox News thought that was hilarious and refused to place the blame for that on state officials.

The right wing has long contended that the housing bubble was all the fault of Democrats, specifically of Barney Frank. The WaPo dismantles this talking point.

The UKs Guardian does an excellent live-blogging of the State of the Union speech.

Very interesting piece on how the different classes view economic issues.

As far as big banks go, "Too Big to Fail" is also "Too Big to Exist." Interestingly, the right-wing columnist George Will agrees.

And yes, Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) gets to keep er seat on the House Intelligence Committee despite having launched an anti-Muslim witch-hunt for which she had no evidence.
There's one, and only one, deficit plan worth pursuing and that's the plan put out by the Progressive Caucus.

We just might see a constitutional crisis over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Republicans are threatening to filibuster. Let's tell Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "We told you so!"

Rep. Paul  Ryan (R-WI) claims that President Obama is using a "straw man" argument against him. Is he? Are Obama's arguments actually invalid?

You too, can help the Boy Scouts stick with their announced goal of including openly gay members (The right wing, we're told, is gearing up to flood the BSA offices with criticism). Go to this site to give the BSA positive comments or call 972-580-2000 or write to:

Boy Scouts of America
National Council
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079

And yes, the NRA has an "Enemies List." Includes lots of people who were famous a long, long time ago.

The WaPo is very upset that customers are confusing on-staff bloggers with on-staff reporters. The real problem, however, is that the particular blogger is very highly dishonest.

January                         back to top

Heh!  Very interesting to see the "pro-life" priority conflicting with other right-wing priorities.

Aagh! Painful to read about loss of antiquities in Timbuktu. Reminds me of similar losses in ancient Italy. But yeah, perspective. The meaningless shooting death of this 15-year old girl is very painful, too.

Good news! Boy Scouts reconsidering gay ban!

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) says that Republicans won't shut down the government over fiscal demands. Good!

Aw gee! Phooey! Sarah Palin will no longer appear on Fox News! [/snark] Nope, won't miss her a bit.

Been saying for awhile that Benghazi is just not a serious issue. Hillary Clinton proves that. Republican Senator whines about how she treated him.

Unfortunately, Americans are not well-informed about climate change and the media bears a lot of responsibility for that.

Excellent commentary on President Obama's second inaugural speech. Hope it means he's even more liberal in this term.

Zero Dark Thirty is a troubling film because it suggests that torture was critical to getting Osama bin Laden. Not clear that torture was even useful.

Parsing the questions: Politifact & Jeep and National Review.

Good video to watch if you've seen a number of Sandy Hook conspiracy theory presentations.

How Many Dead and Wounded Soldiers Ago Did Obama Give Up on Afghanistan?

Far too many!

As I've pointed out before, the philosophies of centrism and split-the-difference politics often does more harm than good.

Hmm, not sure how they're gonna square this circle:

• Estimated cost of maintaining Afghanistan’s national security forces in the year after U.S. troops leave: $4,100,000,000

• Annual budget of the Afghan government: $3,300,000,000

Geraldo Rivera of Fox News asks a really good question of a fellow Fox Newsperson, but gets cut off by another Fox Newsperson.

President Obama appears never to have had any faith in the War in Afghanistan and now seeks to withdraw as quickly as possible.

Right-winger S.E. Cupp proves that anti-gun control arguments don't hold water as she dances all over the place when people try to ask reasonable questions. Right-winger Ted Nugent gets scolded by Civil Rights Movement people for comparing gun owners to Rosa Parks.

Speaker Boehner reveals that he hasn't the vaguest clue as to how the economy works. President Obama, OTOH, understands it quite well.

Director of the movie Zero Dark Thirty receives letter complaining of serious inaccuracy, i.e., the movie suggests that torture was responsible for finding bin Laden.

Republican Congressperson confirms that Trillion-Dollar coin is a very real and completely legal possibility by seeking to ban such an idea.

And yes, the Tea Party is an astroturf group, heavily dependent on money from really, really wealthy people to keep going.

Afghan soldier shoots American trainer. Hmm, ya think her living conditions might have had something to do with that?

... the woman lived in dire poverty, with raw sewage and stagnant water in the lanes around her damp and cold two-room concrete home.

Proof that the gun lobby is running out of sensible arguments. Good news is that White House is planning major push on gun control.

The Trillion-Dollar coin, crazy idea or chance worth taking? Yes! It's both a bit crazy AND it's a dodge we may have to take.

The 112th Congress gets a 10% approval rate. A proposal that the country goes communist gets 11%. Wonder why that could be? Gee, maybe because of things like Hurrican Sandy relief still not having passed!!!

Afghanistan in very poor shape. More than a decade after the US occupied it, 34% of Afghans are food insecure and 10% of children die before attending first grade. Very disturbingly for Afghanistan's future, one-third of the army quits each year and must be replaced with new recruits.

Wow!  Who'd a thunk it? Amazingly enough, Arizona's "Show your papers" law (SB 1070) has cost Phoenix, AZ $132 million in lost tourism dollars.

Rep. Peter King (R-NY) gets very angry at Republicans for not passing $30 billion disaster aid bill. Chris Christie agrees.

Very cool! Speaker Boehner ditches the "Hastert Rule" that insists that any law passed while Republicans are in the majority must have majority of Republican support to pass.
Ha. Ha. Ha. No, Rep. Michele Bachmann did not have "an impact on wider American, and global opinion.” Bachmann was widely ignored and uninfluential.

Auto industry fought safety devices tooth and nail, saying they'd "cost too much." Now that those devices are standard equipment, they save lives all the time.