The right’s new hero

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Did you notice how when the GOP’s favorite rancher and Tea Party terrorist, Cliven Bundy, got in touch with his inner racist, Benghazi all of a sudden became the urgent Fox News/Republican talking point? That and new criticism of Hillary Clinton?

Karl Rove suggested at a conference Thursday that Hillary Clinton suffered a “traumatic brain injury,” according to the New York Post’s Page Six.

“Thirty days in the hospital? And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury?” Rove told the audience, as quoted by the Post. “We need to know what’s up with that.”

The Post reported that Rove repeated the claim several times at the conference, where he was speaking alongside former Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and CBS correspondent Dan Raviv. He urged Republicans to continue pressing for answers about the Benghazi attacks and said voters deserve to know about the former secretary of state’s health issues if she decides to run for president, according to the Post.

The scumbaggery never ceases to amaze. (You know, of course, that the New York Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who, coincidence of coincidences, owns Fox News.)

Black History Month: A congressional lesson

Since today is the last day of Black History Month, let’s have a black history quiz:

What do the following people have in common? (Chart from the Washington Post)

Senate

Yes, they are black. (Why else would they be in this quiz?) But they also represent a significant minority.

Of the 1,950 people who have served in the U.S. Senate, these nine are the only African Americans to hold a seat in the upper chamber of Congress.

Hyram Revels and Blanche Bruce were both senators from Mississippi who served during the post Civil War Reconstruction of the South from 1870-71 and 1875-1881, respectively. Both were appointed by the Mississippi State Legislature, but Bruce was the first black person for serve a full Senate term.

Edward Brooke (1967-1979) of Massachusetts was the first African American to win a Senate seat in a popular vote. The Bay State also was represented by Mo Cowan, who was appointed to the seat in 2013 to fill out the vacancy created by the appointment of John F. Kerry to the post of Secretary of State. Ed Markey now holds that seat.

Illinois has had three black senators, Carol Moseley Braun (1993-1999)), Barack Obama (2005-2008) and Roland Burris (2009-2010). Moseley Braun is the only African American to serve a full term as an Illinois senator. Obama … well, you know what happened to him. Burris was appointed to finish Obama’s term.

Tim Scott of South Carolina was appointed to the Senate in 2013 when Jim DeMint decided he was going to go to the Heritage Foundation to make a lot of money. It will be interesting to see what happens this year, when Scott faces a special election to complete the term. He’s only the third black person to represent a Southern state.

And Cory Booker of New Jersey was elected last year in a special election, but he runs again this year for a full term.

So, by the numbers, There have been five black Democrats and four black Republicans in the Senate. Three have been appointed. Two are up for re-election this year. And one became president.

An interesting countdown for such a tiny group.

GOP approval rating at 24 percent

The percentage of people approving the GOP’s recent actions that led to the government shutdown is interesting:

Just 24 percent of Americans have a positive opinion of the Republican party, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday.

The survey reflects a record low in approval for the GOP for NBC/WSJ poll, which dates back to 1989.

The poll also found an increase in support for the Affordable Care Act with 38 percent of respondents approving of the law — up from 31 percent in the same poll last month.

The GOP took a big hit over the shutdown. Americans blame Republicans over Obama for the shutdown by a 53-31 margin. Seventy percent said that Republicans were placing politics ahead of the country’s best interest. Fifty-one percent said that Obama is putting his agenda above the country.

This reminds me of a discussion that occurred during the administration of George W. Bush (the Dumber) from Kung Fu Monkey:

John: Hey, Bush is now at 37% approval. I feel much less like Kevin McCarthy screaming in traffic. But I wonder what his base is —

Tyrone: 27%.

John: … you said that immmediately, and with some authority.

Tyrone: Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That’s crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% Crazification Factor in any population.

John: Objectively crazy or crazy vis-a-vis my own inertial reference frame for rational behaviour? I mean, are you creating the Theory of Special Crazification or General Crazification?

Tyrone: Hadn’t thought about it. Let’s split the difference. Half just have worldviews which lead them to disagree with what you consider rationality even though they arrive at their positions through rational means, and the other half are the core of the Crazification — either genuinely crazy; or so woefully misinformed about how the world works, the bases for their decision making is so flawed they may as well be crazy.

John: You realize this leads to there being over 30 million crazy people in the US?

Tyrone: Does that seem wrong?

John: … a bit low, actually.

So, at one time it was common knowledge that the unadulterated crazy base of the Republican Party was 27 percent. And now, the approval rating for the GOP is at 24 percent.

That means the Republicans are now starting to lose the crazy vote.

 

A Tea Party coup attempt

The Rude Pundit takes a look at the GOP shutdown of the government and says:

What the GOP has done, first through the ludicrous overuse of the filibuster and now through the shutdown and the threat of breaking the debt ceiling if they do not get a law overturned, is to use perfectly legal means to achieve their goals. It is, however, a contortion of the Constitution and the rules of Congress that’d make a circus performer say, “How the fuck did you get your head all the way up your own ass?” The ultimate goal of the effort is to undo the will of the people of the United States by forcing the President to accept the GOP agenda.

So let’s just call this what it is: it’s an attempted coup.

The Tea Party, having cowed the leadership of the Republican Party, are attempting to stage a creeping coup by using the Constitution against the nation. It’s so breathtakingly ballsy it’s almost admirable. … It’s even something the GOP laid out in a plan, the Williamsburg Accord. We just didn’t pay attention. The nation is currently being wrecked by a tyranny of the minority, and, unfortunately, it’s up to the cowards leading the Republican Party to stop it.

In the meantime, the lead coward in the Republican Party, tan-master and Speaker of the House John Boehner, says this:

“We’re not going to pass a clean debt limit increase,” he said. “I told the president, there’s no way we’re going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.”

The Tea Party doesn’t like a law that was passed by Congress, signed by the president of the United States and ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court. So it’s followers have decided to destroy America. That’s what a terrorist wants to do.

Presidents have said this before. We do not negotiate with terrorists.

 

The GOP’s idea of compromise

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This is the Republican concept of compromise.

But there’s also this Republican compromise (via the Rude Pundit):

Sane Person: We need food. Can I use your car to go to the store?

Crazy Person: We do need food. However, you can use my car only if you punch yourself in the balls until you vomit.

Sane Person: That’s ridiculous. One thing has nothing to do with the other. How would that accomplish anything?

Crazy Person: It’s what I want.

Sane Person: Well, I guess we’ll just starve.

Crazy Person: Yes, but remember that if we starve, it will be your fault because you didn’t punch yourself in the balls until you vomit.

 

If the government shuts down, who’s to blame?

It appears we’re at the verge of a government shutdown. Of course, we can blame Congress, but let’s be clear (via Crooks and Liars):

The blame for any government shutdown should factually be laid at the feet of the Republicans. Factually.

It is a fact that Republicans spent their money and effort during the break stirring up support to hold the budget and even the debt ceiling hostage to stop the implementation of the Affordable care Act.

It is a fact that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, led by Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, passed a short-term continuing resolution to fund government at current levels while stripping funding away from the Affordable Care Act.

It is a fact that Republicans, and Republicans alone have said over and over again that they are committed to destroying the Affordable Care Act and are willing to not only shut down the government, but hold the debt ceiling hostage in order to do such a thing.

These are not theoretical. They are hard, cold, provable facts. How can it possibly be that over 50 percent of those polled would hold both sides responsible?

The steps to impeachment

Since the developing theme from the right is, “We have to impeach Obama, because ….???”, here’s a handy flowchart to see how far it will get (from Talking Points Memo):

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You haven’t heard any impeachment talk?

Here’s a Republican congressman from Michigan:

Here’s a Republican congressman from Texas:

Here’s another Republican congressman from Texas:

Here’s a Republican congressman from Utah:

And the list goes on. But again, refer to the chart at the top.

 

A birther invades an Oklahoma town hall

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It’s August and Congress is in recess. That means it’s time for the Tea Party crazies to take over Town Hall meetings. What will they complain about this time? (From TPM)

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) was fielding questions at the event in Afton, Okla. when a woman asked him about “Obama’s identification.”

“Let me just stop you right there. You’re talking about the birth certificate?” Mullin said. “We lost that argument Nov. 6. We had four years to get that proven. We didn’t. We re-elected him. So that’s a dead issue.”

His answer prompted the woman to present documents produced last year by Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio that purportedly showed Obama’s birth certificate is a “fraud.”

Birthers believe in a theory that has been debunked numerous times that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States and therefore ineligible to be president.

When Mullin refused to take the papers, the woman stood before the crowd and detailed their contents….

The woman shouted over Mullin, decrying that Obama won’t “be held accountable to a crime that goes to the very root of what he’s doing to this Constitution.”

“He was a fraud, he got in,” the woman said as she stormed out. “He’s above the law.”

Why can’t a congressman just say, “Stop being an idiot,” to idiots? Sure, he’s a Republican and can’t say anything in defense of Obama at any time, but there’s no point in dealing with people who are so delusional they can only harp on fantasy. It’s not like this woman is going to vote for a Democrat. And it’s not like Mullin needs her out on the street campaigning for him, since having mouth-breathing ranters handing out your literature only turns off potential supporters.

Let’s see the “birther princess” in action:

Yeah. The birthers are still out there. But the Republicans let them thrive for the past four years and didn’t shut them up when everyone knew their argument was insane.

But there’s another thing to notice. There aren’t that many people at this congressman’s town hall. That can’t be a good sign for him if no one wants to hear what he has to say and crazy birthers don’t allow him to keep a meeting at least in this dimension.

By the way. I don’t see the argument that this incident proves Mullin is a birther. He admits it’s a non issue. The fact that he says, “I agree with you,” seems to be more of a “get out of my face” response than a “I know Obama is a Kenyan” acknowledgement.

The GOP has a senior moment

Guess what. Republicans are pissing off another segment of the voting population (from the Carville-Greenberg Memo):

There’s something going on with seniors: It is now strikingly clear that they have turned sharply against the GOP. This is apparent in seniors’ party affiliation and vote intention, in their views on the Republican Party and its leaders, and in their surprising positions on jobs, health care, retirement security, investment economics, and the other big issues that will likely define the 2014 midterm elections. …

—In 2010, seniors voted for Republicans by a 21 point margin (38 percent to 59 percent). Among seniors likely to vote in 2014, the Republican candidate leads by just 5 points (41 percent to 46 percent.)

—When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives at the beginning of 2011, 43 percent of seniors gave the Republican Party a favorable rating.  Last month, just 28 percent of seniors rated the GOP favorably. This is not an equal-opportunity rejection of parties or government — over the same period, the Democratic Party’s favorable rating among seniors has increased 3 points, from 37 percent favorable to 40 percent favorable.

—When the Republican congress took office in early 2011, 45 percent of seniors approved of their job performance. That number has dropped to just 22 percent — with 71 percent disapproving.

—Seniors are now much less likely to identify with the Republican Party. On Election Day in 2010, the Republican Party enjoyed a net 10 point party identification advantage among seniors (29 percent identified as Democrats, 39 percent as Republicans). As of last month, Democrats now had a net 6 point advantage in party identification among seniors (39 percent to 33 percent).

—More than half (55 percent) of seniors say the Republican Party is too extreme, half (52 percent) say it is out of touch, and half (52 percent) say the GOP is dividing the country. Just 10 percent of seniors believe that the Republican Party does not put special interests ahead of ordinary voters.

—On almost every issue we tested — including gay rights, aid to the poor, immigration, and gun control — more than half of seniors believe that the Republican Party is too extreme.

If the GOP has lost the elderly, I don’t see how it can continue to survive.

And we’re at the verge of a government shutdown, where the blame is going to fall squarely on Republicans. Going into the 2014 elections, we could see the total collapse of a major American political party.

A concise explanation of GOP policy on women

Two things to consider concerning the Republican Party and women’s health issues.

This is what conservatives are doing today:

And this is what they want the future to be:

The above are “fantasy.” Here’s reality (from the Associated Press):

Abortion opponents have stopped handing out toy fetuses at the North Dakota State Fair.

State Fair General Manager Renee Korslein tells the Forum newspaper that fair officials were not aware that North Dakota Right to Life and other local chapters planned to hand out the toys during the fair parade on July 20 and later at fair booths.

Korslein says parade organizers may create an application for exhibitors to list what they’ll hand out for next year’s parade. She wouldn’t say whether North Dakota Right to Life would have been allowed to pass out the dolls this year if it had asked.

A federal judge earlier this week halted a law passed by the North Dakota Legislature that would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy.