Friday, February 12, 2016

I think one of my new favorite things this political season is watching Sarah Palin viciously stab former pal Ted Cruz in the back.

No you go first, I don't want you behind me.
Courtesy of "Et tu, Brute's" Facebook page:

Sarah Palin calling somebody out over their dishonesty. I don't think I will ever stop thinking that is hilarious.

And that is especially true when it comes to Ted Cruz, who were at one time so close that they were literally giving each other reach arounds.

"Oh god yes, touch my like I cannot pay Todd enough to do anymore!"
Of course all of this is even more LOL, if you remember that this was sent to Palins supporters less than a month ago.

Doesn't it suck to get dumped and then constantly see your ex giving her new beau a handy or talking smack about you every time you log onto Facebook?




Cliven Bundy is going to jail for a long, long, long time.

My stupidity is this big.
Courtesy of Crooks and Liars:  

The indictment of Cliven Bundy is a masterful document, describing a conspiracy to defraud and harm the government for selfish reasons. 

There's nothing in it we don't know, but it does give a glimpse into how far the investigation has delved, and the reach of the charges they intend to bring. 

Bundy is charged with Conspiracy to Commit An Offense Against the United States; Assault on a Federal Law Enforcement Officer; Use and Carry of a Firearm In Relation to a Crime of Violence; Obstruction of the Administration of Justice; Interference with Commerce by Extortion; and, Aiding and Abetting. 

He'll be in the clink for the rest of his life after this trial, alongside his sons.

Gee, and here this moron thought that the laws simply did not apply to him.

Sucks to be so wrong doesn't it?

By the way you can read the entire complaint at the link up above.

It's quite a satisfying read.

Ted Cruz attack ad on Marco Rubio pulled because of appearance by porn actress.

Courtesy of Fox News: 

Ted Cruz's latest political ad turned out to be too hot for TV. 

The Texas senator's campaign confirmed late Thursday that it had pulled a commercial hitting Florida Sen. Marco Rubio over illegal immigration because one of the actresses had previously appeared in pornographic films.

The actress, Amy Lindsay, as you might imagine is unhappy with this decision.
Boy they really screwed over this young lady.

Which is something that she is not used to because she only does soft porn.

Personally I am disappointed in Ted Cruz.

I mean here is this attractive young woman who has made a living bringing joy to men everywhere, and he degrades her by putting her in a sleazy political attack ad.

Now every time somebody sees one of her movies, instead of this...

they're going to see this.

And that could kill every boner in America.

So the Republicans tried to delay the release of Americans held in Iran until it was in their best interests politically? Really?

Courtesy of Tasnim News Agency: 

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said a recent prisoner exchange between Iran and the US went ahead as planned despite calls by Republicans for a delay until US presidential elections. 

“In the course of the talks for exchanging prisoners, the Republican rivals of the current US administration who claim to be humanitarians and advocates of human rights sent a message telling us not to release these people (American prisoners) and continue this process (of talks) until the eve of US presidential elections,” Shamkhani said Thursday in an address to a rally held in the central city of Yazd to mark the 37th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution’s victory. 

“However” he said “we acted upon our independent resolve and moved the process forward.”

Now of course the Republicans are going to dismiss this as mere propaganda, and usually that would be a reasonable charge to make.

If in fact this was not standard operating procedure for the GOP.

Courtesy of Truthout:  

Behind Carter's back, the Reagan campaign worked out a deal with the leader of Iran's radical faction - Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini - to keep the hostages in captivity until after the 1980 Presidential election. 

This was nothing short of treason. The Reagan campaign's secret negotiations with Khomeini - the so-called "October Surprise" - sabotaged Carter and Bani-Sadr's attempts to free the hostages. And as Bani-Sadr told The Christian Science Monitor in March of this year, they most certainly "tipped the results of the [1980] election in Reagan's favor." 

Not surprisingly, Iran released the hostages on January 20, 1981, at the exact moment Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.

So do I think that at the same time the Republicans were criticizing President Obama for not getting the prisoners released BEFORE he signed the nuclear deal with Iran, they were also working behind the scenes to keep those men in prison even longer until it could help them politically?

Oh hell yeah!

So is Bernie Sanders the future of the Democratic party? Could be.

Courtesy of Vox:

Fresh from his win in New Hampshire, it's now clear that whether or not Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination outright, he's already won in another, perhaps more important way: His brand of politics is the future of the Democratic Party. 

Sanders is the overwhelming choice of young voters, scoring a staggering 84 percent of voters under 30 in the Iowa caucuses and projected to do better in New Hampshire. 

Any young and ambitious Democrat looking at the demographics of the party and the demographics of Sanders supporters has to conclude that his brand of politics is extremely promising for the future. There are racial and demographic gaps between Clinton and Sanders supporters, but the overwhelming reality is that for all groups, the young people are feeling the Bern. 

Whether the first Sanders-style nominee is Sanders himself or Elizabeth Warren or someone like a Tammy Baldwin or a Keith Ellison doesn't matter. What's clear is that there's robust demand among Democrats — especially the next generation of Democrats — to remake the party along more ideological, more social democratic lines, and party leaders are going to have to answer that demand or get steamrolled.

Well I have to say that I am certainly on board for a more Left leaning Democratic party.

However I am also a pragmatist, and I know that the most important thing to do is win elections.

If we are to move the party, and by extension the country, to the Left, we are going to have to do it incrementally and not expect one big election to get us there overnight.

And let's not forget that while the youth of America is pushing the Democratic party to the Left, that the base of the Republican party is pushing it toward the Right.

Sure most of that base is either sucking oxygen out of tanks while watching Fox News on the TV, or clogging their arteries with pork rinds and washing them down with cheap beer while listening to Right Wing talk radio, but they are still going to cling to life for a few more election cycles, so Democrats are going to have to play the long game.

Besides revolutions are notoriously bad for economies and government stability, so while that might play well with young anarchists, the older middle of the road voter is going to wake up in a cold sweat at the very thought of it.

So here's my thought.

We all join forces to help get Hillary elected in 2016, she chooses Elizabeth Warren as her VP, and in 2020 Hills takes a pass and throws her support behind Warren.

For some reason I have the unshakable feeling that Hillary simply cannot win two terms.  So in my opinion this is the best case scenario.

Just a thought.

Government has a fifty five billion dollar surplus. Gee, thanks Obama!

You're welcome America.
Courtesy of Reuters:  

The U.S. government posted a $55 billion budget surplus in January, up from an $18 billion deficit in the same month a year ago, the Treasury Department said on Wednesday. 

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a $45 billion surplus for last month. Treasury officials said the surplus was boosted by the highest receipts on record for the month of January.

You know it's just too bad President Obama's not a white guy, or else he would be getting all kinds of credit for saving out economy.

Oh, and there's this too.

The current fiscal year-to-date deficit stood at $160 billion, compared to a deficit of $194 billion at the same point last year.

Don't forget however that these are just facts, and conservatives refuse to believe in their existence.

Rachel Maddow: "As a gay person, I did not feel Bill Clinton had my back."

Courtesy of Real Clear Politics:  

MADDOW: As a self-proclaimed liberal, people talk about the liberal media and they say the whole media is liberal and the whole establishment is liberal, it's not true. If you really are a liberal it's been a long time in this country that you felt that mainstream politics had nothing to say to you. That mainstream politics was just not about you. 

And I look at all the young people, particularly at this Bernie Sanders event. I was 19 in 1992 when Bill Clinton was running on the Democratic side and at the 1992 Republican convention, Pat Buchanan got up there and gave this culture war speech where he basically declared a crusade against minorities and particularly gay people. And as a gay person watching that in 1992 I didn't feel like Bill Clinton had my back. I didn't feel like the Democratic party had my back. 

He was talking about agreeing with Ronald Reagan that government was the problem and all that stuff. If you are a liberal, you are not in the majority in this country and you know it and it always feels that way. 

But this Democratic race with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigning this way against each other, that happened because Bernie Sanders got into this race and all these kids who are enthused about this race, whether or not they're supporting Bernie Sanders directly are never going to feel like mainstream politics isn't about them.

I thought this was an interesting interview.

I have been a liberal my entire life, even though typically my demographic, middle aged white male, is supposedly most often attracted to the conservative mindset.

I guess I did not get the memo.

Anyhow I am often quite aware that there are uniquely American experiences that I will never partake in, nor will I really ever understand them completely.

Being female is one. Being a non-white minority another. And being gay yet another.

So for me the Clinton presidency was full of hope and possibilities, and it seemed to deliver on a great number of promises.

Now I am aware that my experience is by no means universal among my liberal fellow travelers.

So I am interested, these many years later what are YOUR feelings about the Clinton administration.

And secondly does it impact your view of a potential Hillary presidency either positively or negatively?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Democratic Debate Open Thread. Update!

Let me start of by saying that I am not exactly sure what to expect tonight.

Since the last debate there has been even more friction between the Sanders and Clinton camps, and with one primary victory apiece chances are that both are feeling the pressure.

There is also the fact that Hillary already has 394 delegates (including Super delegates) to Sanders 44 to make those angered at the standard quo even more frustrated at politics in this country.

So yes, I do expect that there are going to be sparks tonight.

A couple of things that COULD be used as bludgeons tonight.

One being that the Justice Department has issued subpoenas to the Clinton Foundation.

And two being that some Sanders supporters are sending this photo of a young Bernie Sanders around to buoy op his civil rights cred.
Problem is that it is NOT Bernie Sanders in the photo.

Still I DO expect that there will be the kind of dignity during the debate that is in short supply on the GOP side of the aisle, so hopefully at the end of tonight we will not have seen anything that makes us feel shame about our candidate or our party.

As always you can follow me here on Twitter.

And, also as always, I will try to update the post as events warrant.

Update:

Bristol Palin (Well Really Nancy French) don't want you to forget this one thing about Carly Fiorina now that she has quit on her campaign.

A photo posted by Bristol Palin (@bsmp2) on
(Bristol Palin wishing her sugar momma a happy birthday.)


So as you guys know yesterday Carly Fiorina had a rational moment and realized that nobody in their right mind would ever elect her to anything, and jumped out of the GOP clown car.

That is arguably good news for just about everybody.

Everybody that is except Brancy who has a case of the sads:

I sort of hate to hear that Carly Fiorina is suspending her campaign. 

But let’s take a moment to remember this amazing 35 seconds that she delivered during one of the debates!

Then Brancy embedded this soon to be iconic video.

Here's the thing, I also don't want people to forget that Carly Fiorina said such an ignorant thing during a nationally televised debate.

Especially as it was proven to be complete bullshit.

Gee it's so rare that I agree with anything that Nancy French/Bristol Palin/Sarah Palin has to say that I am going to take a moment to bask in the golden light of our unity on this issue.

Okay, done basking now. 

So the Oregon standoff ends with a whimper and not with a bang bang.

Courtesy of Oregon Live:

The four remaining occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge surrendered Thursday morning, bringing an end to the standoff on its 41st day. 

 Jeff Banta, Sean Anderson, Sandy Anderson and David Fry were taken into FBI custody. Fry was the last to surrender, finally emerging after an extended phone dialogue with supporters who tried for over an hour after the others left to get him to walk out. 

FBI agents in armored vehicles had moved in Wednesday night on the four still at the refuge, hemming them into their camp and insisting they put down their guns and surrender.

And for those who thought these Rambo wannabes were going to go out in a blaze of glory, this is how that went down this morning: 

Three of the four walked out to waiting F.B.I. agents over the course of a few minutes after 9:30 a.m., but the fourth, David Fry, at first said he would not. 

In an extraordinary, hourslong negotiation with supporters and F.B.I. agent, with thousands of people listening to the conversation on a live stream online, he aired a wide range of grievances, said he was suicidal, and said repeatedly that his choice was “liberty or death.” Ultimately he gave himself up without a fight.

I swear that after spending much of the morning listening to the livestream that I have lost just about as many brain cells as I do listening to a Sarah Palin speech.

In fact these are clearly her kind of people.

Not only did they have no clear idea of what they were "fighting" for, but they seemed to believe that they were participating in some kind of eternal struggle between good and evil, often claiming that only God could determine how the whole thing would end.

At one point a female on the phone with the protesters warned them that Satan was directing the actions of the federal agents and that they needed to resist giving in to trickery.

The protesters themselves kept talking about seeing religious signs in flashlight beams, firelight, and weather patterns. And no I'm NOT making that up. 

On Twitter there were plenty of accusations that liberals were hoping for a massacre, but at least in my case I am very glad that everybody, on both sides, survived this encounter.

And if I were working with the FBI I would suggest that these people receive some kind of psychiatric help, because batshit crazy is not a strong enough term to describe some the of crap they were saying.

Also keep in mind that the ONLY reason these idiots were able to hold off the police for so long is because they had access to high powered weapons. And of course it didn't hurt that they were white.

Bernie Sanders questions President Obama's leadership. Really?

Oh boy, do YOU have a rude awakening coming!
Courtesy of Politico: 

Bernie Sanders questioned President Barack Obama’s leadership in a new interview, suggesting that he would be able to close a divide between Americans and government that the Obama administration has left open throughout his presidency. 

“There’s a huge gap right now between Congress and the American people,” Sanders said in an interview with MSNBC that will air Thursday on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” “What presidential leadership is about [is] closing that gap.”

Sanders acknowledged that Obama has tried to bridge the divide but said he hasn’t succeeded. “But I think what we need, when I talk about a political revolution, is bringing millions and millions of people into the political process in a way that does not exist right now,” he said. 

Seriously, WTF Bernie?

If Sanders thinks that the ideological divide in this country is the fault of President Obama then he must have had his head buried in the sand for the last seven years.

And if he seriously thinks that things will be ANY different if he was in the White House, well then he is too naive to take seriously as a candidate.

Here is what a Hillary Clinton spokesperson tweeted in response:
Bernie Sanders just lost the benefit of the doubt from me.

FBI surrounds final members of the Oregon standoff, inspiring the most unhinged livestream that you will ever hear. Update!

So last night Dennis Zaki, and a number of you guys, sent me links to a livestream that was being broadcast from that federal wildlife refuge in Oregon.

Apparently the FBI had moved in to surround the last four remaining "protesters" and those inside were essentially losing their minds in response.

If you visit TPM this morning you can hear a replay of the audio recorded last night. But I warn you mouthfuls of coffee WILL be spewed in response.

Here is a little of what TPM reported last night:

It could not be immediately confirmed who could be heard on the live stream from the refuge, but based on who is known to be still at the refuge and the context of the highly agitated conversations, it appeared to include occupiers Sean Anderson and his wife Sandy. Sean Anderson could be heard shouting loudly about his concerns that he would go to prison if he did surrender and that he would be separated from his wife Sandy. In the background, Sandy Anderson could be heard saying she was afraid she “would never see the light of day again.” 

"Kill us and get it over with," Sandy Anderson screamed at one point. 

Assemblywoman Fiore was on the phone with the Andersons and could be heard on the live stream. She tried to keep the occupiers calm by asking them to "stay alive" and reflect on their families who would miss them, but the emotions were running high. 

“They were not in our lives before all this,” Sean Anderson said. “That does not matter here.” 

At one point, Sean Anderson blamed the media’s lack of interest in the standoff. 

“They are covering it now because they hope there is bloodshed,” Sean screamed about what he viewed as media bias.

Oregon Live has updates here as well.  And here is the Twitter response.

I hope that you all get the chance to hear some of the live feed, because trust me there is no amount of transcribing or describing that can do it justice.

To simply say that these four, and those on the phones talking to them, are unhinged is the understatement of the decade.

From what I was able to glean from the lunacy, is that the four are hoping that Franklin Graham will arrive this morning and help them surrender so that the FBI will not "gun them down."

Of course the FBI have repeatedly said that they want this to end peacefully, and have clearly bent over backwards to keep from having to shoot these idiots. (Actually you can find a statement to that effect on TPM as well.)

In the meantime Cliven Bundy, who was on the way to join the protesters has been arrested in the Portland International Airport.

I guess at some point this morning this will all come to an end, which will be good news for the people of Oregon, but a real blow to fans of improvisational comedy around the world.

Update: New livestream here.  Not nearly as entertaining unfortunately.

Heidi Cruz claims that her husband's campaign will "show us the face of God." Well isn't that special?

Courtesy of Right Wing Watch: 

Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi, who has been campaigning for her husband full-time over the past several months, explained the role of faith in the Texas Republican’s presidential campaign yesterday, telling a South Carolina radio host that Cruz is running to “show this country the face of the God that we serve.” 

“This Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country” and people need to be reminded that “Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people, but there is right and wrong, we have a country of law and order, there are consequences to actions and we must all live peaceably in our own faiths under the Constitution.” 

The face of God?

 Really?

Well gee I guess we now know the answer as to why Heidi Cruz married Ted.

She's nuts.

The Divine Miss M certainly has Donald Trump's number.

When I turned 21, while going to school in Hawaii, my girlfriend sang "The Rose" to me for my birthday.

She had an exquisite voice and I was forever trying to get her to sing for me, but she usually refused.

On this day she sang the entire song A capella, and it remains the most beautiful thing that I have ever heard in my entire life.

So there is a very special place in my heart for Better Midler, and I am pleased to see that she is still a force to be reckoned with.

P.S. By the way the first time I became really smitten with my girlfriend is while she was acting in a high school version of Catch-22.

Isn't life funny?