In 2010 the Missouri republican Party paid for mail directed against Linda Witte (D) in the 10th Legislative District race.
That couldn't be the pattern caused by a Midwestern tornado picking up gravel and hurling it, could it?
And the "paid for by" disclaimers:
On the "A" side:
The full mailer:
The problem with using a dog whistle is that not only does your dog hear it, but all the mean, crazy, rabid dogs for a mile around hear it.
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Gee, and here I thought that all this talk about violent rhetoric was just a figment of our liberal imaginations:
A California man accused of threatening to kill Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott has been arrested and charged in federal court.
Charles Turner Habermann -- a 32-year-old Palm Springs, Calif., resident with a $3 million trust fund -- was arrested Wednesday morning on allegations that he made threatening phone calls to the office of the Seattle Democrat late last year.
Federal authorities contend Habermann admitted to making the calls because he was angry about taxes, but said he wouldn't risk losing his trust fund by attacking McDermott.
Federal prosecutors in Seattle described statements left by Habermann in two Dec. 9 phone calls as an "expletive-laden" effort to influence McDermott's vote on tax policy. According to charging documents, Habermann to have threatened to kill McDermott's friends and family, then, in the second call, threatened to put McDermott "in the trash."
Contacted by the investigators the day after the messages were left, Habermann allegedly admitted to threatening McDermott and an congresswoman not identified in court documents.
This guy was also quite obviously a Tea Party loving patriot, because he referred to the Founding Fathers frequently in his expletive-laden rant:
A McDermott staffer contacted the FBI on Dec. 10, reporting that the congressman's Seattle office had received the offending phone calls.
In one, the caller was heard calling McDermott "a piece of human filth," "a communist," and a "piece of (expletive) garbage."
"Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, if any of them had ever met uh, uh Jim McDermott, they would all blow his brains out," Habermann said in the first rambling message, according to charging documents. "They'd shoot him, in the head. They'd kill him, because he's a piece of, of, of disgusting garbage. ?
"Any you let that (expletive) scum bag know, that if he ever (expletive) with my money, ever the (expletive) again, I'll (expletive) kill him, okay," Habermann continued, according to charges. "I'll round them up, I'll kill them, I'll kill his friends, I'll kill his family, I will kill everybody he (expletive) knows."
Here's what's really pretty remarkable about this: Remember that bizarre Bill O'Reilly column attacking McDermott for daring to suggest (while discussing whether to extend the Bush tax cuts) that Jesus might have been more concerned about helping the poor get their unemployment checks than he would in ensuring rich guys get their tax cuts?
It was published at BillOReilly.com, by pure coincidence, on December 9:
Which just COINCIDENTALLY happens to be the day that Habermann called and unleashed this rant from California.
Far be it from me to suggest that there might be some connection there. Heavens no. That would be uncivil and unfair. O'Reilly might unleash the Flying Monkey Ambush Squad Featuring Jesse Watters on me. Lord only knows what kind of hate-filled death threats I'd get then.
As Joe said at the beginning of the year, the old time GOP extremists aren't about to cede ground to the incoming Teabaggers. It's an all out race to see who can be the looniest of the bunch. Gohmert is doing an impressive job of jumping out into the lead. His "terror baby" ideas were strange but adding guns to the House floor will set him apart from your run-of-the-mill Republican oddball. Politico:
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert says his office is drafting a measure to allow members of Congress to carry guns in the District of Columbia, including in the Capitol and on the House floor.
Gohmert says he and his colleagues need to be able to protect themselves, in light of the mass shooting in Arizona.
?It?d be a good thing for members of Congress who want to carry a weapon in the District,? he said. ?I know friends that walk home from the Capitol. There?s no security for us,? he said, adding that the measure would deter people from attacking members. ?There is some protection in having protection.?
Next week, the Republicans in Congress are expected to debate and vote on repealing the recently passed health care bill. To justify this push, these conservatives claim that Americans want the law to be repealed and that they think it goes too far in expanding the government and would prefer a free market approach to health care, despite recent polling that shows that most Americans either support the law or want it to be more progressive.
Yet at a town hall held earlier this week at Ohio’s Walsh University, GOP Rep. Jim Renacci (OH) found a crowd that was less than friendly to his proposal to repeal the new health care law. At one point during the event, constituent Dan Fonte challenged the congressman about the hasty push to repeal the bill. “There are a lot of things that took effect [as a result of the new law] that help seniors. What happens to all that?” asked Fonte. “And what are you going to replace it with? Why don’t you make a replacement plan so we can look at it before you repeal it?” The crowd reacted to Fonte’s question with great applause.
After Fonte listed off many of the benefits of the new health law, Renacci conceded that while “there are some good things” in it, “there’s also a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare.” Fonte quickly pointed out that these cuts were to the private insurance-administered Medicare Advantage, and asked, “Why should insurers get more?!” Renacci ignored the question and relayed an anecdote about businesses supposedly laying off workers thanks to the new law, and Fonte told him he’s “ready” to visit the businesses and see if the anecdote was true:
FONTE: You’ve said you want to repeal the health care law and replace it. There’s a lot of things that took effect that help seniors. Once you repeal it, what happens to all that? And what are you going to replace it? Why don’t you make a replacement plan before you repeal it so we can look at it? [crowd applauses] [...] There’s preventing screening in there that took place. There’s people between 45 and 64 that lost their jobs. Now you want to replace it, that’s fine, repeal it, but what are you going to replace it with we don’t know what’s going to happen. What do we tell the seniors out there, that there’s already stuff taking place, and it’s gone now? Let’s think about this before we jump and do whatever we wanna do.
RENACCI: Remember, it was the American people sent us down there, 87 new Representatives, and I agree there are some good things, but there’s also a half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare that are going to go in place real soon —
FONTE: And that’s through Medicare Advantage, which takes more out of traditional Medicare, than anything. That’s what you have to tell us. Why should insurance companies get more?! Now I’ll tell you something, I was involved in health care, and since 1993 health care has went up every year double digits, and it’s never come down. What’s going to make it come down? And tell me one job that’s been taken away from it, this new health care law.
RENACCI: I’ll take you around any time you want to go, to three businesses –
FONTE: I’m ready.
RENACCI: — that have lost seven or eight jobs because their health care went up 63 percent.
FONTE: It’s went up every year!
RENACCI: Yeah but now, and I’ve been a business man for 28 years, when it goes up 7, 8, 10 percent –
FONTE: That’s not acceptable either.
RENACCI: — that’s a problem.
Fonte is absolutely right to point out that the cuts in Medicare were made to Medicare Advantage, a program that costs taxpayers more than traditional Medicare because it is administered through inefficient for-profit insurance companies.
Additionally, while Renacci may be relaying anecdotes about job loss as a result of the new law, a Center for American Progress analysis finds that repealing the bill would cost between 250,000-400,000 jobs over the next decade.
And most importantly of all, repealing the bill would cost the lives of 32,000 Americans — who would die simply because they could not afford to get decent health care — every single year. Given these facts, Fonte is absolutely right to press his congressman about the dangers of repealing the bill.
MARK KARLIN, BUZZFLASH EDITOR FOR TRUTHOUT
It might be a good day, as we mourn the shooting victims of Saturday's rampage, to rededicate ourselves to exposing the public policy issues that are creating the underlying fissures in our democracy.
One of them, of course, is our financial decline as a nation.
Last week it was announced that Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies would be investing $500 million in social networking sensation Facebook. Investments by . . . → Full Story: How to Buy Shares of Facebook Before Everyone Else
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Jan Schakowsky makes an excellent point (via TPM):Schakowsky: Peculiar How Defensive People Get[...]
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The Guardian version of the cable hides the ties between British Gas Country Director for Kazakhstan, Mark Rawlings, and a U.S. citizen recently acquitted of bribery because he had offered the bribes at the behest of the CIA.[...]
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For the first time in eight months, President Obama’s job approval rating is no long in the red. Here is the overall trend from Pollster.com, from August 15th, 2009, to the present
(Zogby Internet polls are excluded in the above graph, due to their terrible track record.)
Now, here is the trend without Rasmussen polls, an exclusion which is becoming increasingly justified exclusion in poll analysis.
Without Rasmussen, President Obama’s job approval is now a net positive. That has not been the case for occurred roughly seven months.
This is a real trend, too, and not just statistical noise isolated to a couple of polls. Mark Blumenthal notes over twitter:
New AP and Reuters polls both find slight Obama approval gain, so 6 of 6 pollsters now show bump since Dec.
Mark follows up with the most likely the cause of this trend:
Don't overlook this as reason: % hearing "mostly bad" econ news drops to lowest point since 2008. http://t.co/...
Things were probably never going to get better for President Obama specifically, and the Democratic Party more generally, until people started sensing real economic improvement in their lives. It would seem that enough people are sensing that improvement now to make a real impact on President Obama’s approval ratings.
It is likely this trend will only continue unless even more Americans sense real economic improvement in their lives. As such, delivering on that improvement is, and should always have been, the primary job of Democrats as a governing party.
Update: With the new Quinnipiac poll showing President Obama at a net +4% job approval, Pollster.com now shows +1.0% net approval overall with Rasmussen polls, and +2.1% without Rasmussen polls. Zogby Internet polls are excluded from both figures.
At the University of Arizona last night, the President delivered such a beautiful and moving eulogy to the victims of Saturday's Tucson massacre that it seems almost sacrilegious to talk about the speech's political implications. But since the President raised the tone of political discourse and the climate of fear and suspicion that distorts it, I will too.
The Washington Post's in-house stable of neo-conservative bloggers is thrilled with what it calls President Obama's "non-political" remarks last night. The President is to be commended, these conservatives say, for rising above bitter partisanship - in order to issue a stinging rebuke to the President's own finger-pointing liberal base -- a base that has been challenging conservatives ever since the attempted assassination of a Democratic Congresswoman last Saturday to recognize the connection between a climate of hate the right has helped to foster and the random acts of violence such a climate inevitably provokes -- as it did in Tucson last weekend when a mentally disturbed young man killed six and wounded many others.
Conservative Post blogger Jennifer Rubin says the memorial service wasn't about "politics" at all. But moments later she complains that the Indian guy at the beginning went on far too long and cribbed his speech from what she called his copy of "Political Correctness for Dummies." Then she went on to praise the President's remarks as both "unifying" and "scolding" of his liberal base.
Likewise, Rubin's neo-conservative Post colleague, Marc Thiessen, listened to the President's moving speech and drew this narrow conclusion: Obama, he said, "delivered a clear rebuke to those on the left who were so quick to politicize this tragedy and assign blame to their political opponents."
Yet, when your read the President's actual words -- his call for "a more civil and honest public discourse" reflecting the fact that "we are all Americans" who should be able to "question each other's ideas without questioning each other's love of country" and that our task is to "constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations" -- you understand immediately that the President was speaking not merely to his own liberal base but to all Americans, maybe, even especially, right wing conservative ones.
To understand what right wing conservatives mean by "non-political," however, it is necessary to appreciate that the essence of right wing and neo-conservatism is the centrality of ideology to their worldview. As a belief system, right wing and neo-conservatism behave just like secular religions -- and within the right wing coalition these beliefs are the perfect complement to the actual conservative traditionalist religion which the Christian Right has made the foundation of its national political movement.
When neo-conservatives like Marc Thiessen and Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, or a Christian Fundamentalist leader like Tony Perkins at the Family Research Council, speak about "politics" they do not use the word as you and I might - as the give-and-take between people with different points of view. Instead, what these right wing doctrinaires mean by politics is the subversive departure from rigid conservative dogma itself.
And so, within this narrow ideological context, right wing conservatives are being entirely consistent when they view the President's imagined assault on his own liberal supporters last night as "non-political."
And that is why when you scratch the surface you begin to understand that one of the important drivers of the Conservative Movement today is an attack on politics itself.
I'm not going to call Rubin a hypocrite because I think she is being entirely sincere here. There is a certain kind of right wing mind that views its own ideology or beliefs as the One and Only Truth and so inevitably have a distorted view of what politics means. Anything which advances or affirms that right wing worldview isn't politics, they think. It's just nature taking its course, for the only thing that qualifies as "politics" is anything that challenges that worldview.
The reason so many right wing conservatives are blind to the fact that the vast majority of hateful rhetoric directed at them is merely the liberal response to right wing hatefulness is because most conservatives seek out and cohabitate only with their own kind.
Conservatives live in like-minded communities -- either geographically or in those Fox Nation-like exclusive conservative communities on the radio and cable dial. These are places where everyone not only knows your name but also thinks exactly as you do. And so when everyone they know thinks of liberals and the President as being "American-hating traitors," then such beliefs aren't hatefulness or even "politics" at all. They are common sense and conventional wisdom.
Thus, when conservatives hear discordant points of view that differ from their own, or when others identify conservative views with racism or hatefulness, conservatives are naturally shocked and offended and so can only believe such ill-tempered rants are the product of people who are deeply angry and hateful themselves. Trapped within their communities of conformity conservatives can't possibly see or understand why so much bile is being directed against them.
Conservative reaction to the Fairness Doctrine is instructive here. In order to preserve their desire to associate only with their own kind, and be spared the complexity and perplexity of differing points of view, right wing conservatives naturally react hysterically to any suggestion of the Fairness Doctrine being reinstated.
Since conservatives need to live in homogeneous communities of their own kind, they really do believe the Fairness Doctrine is a form of "censorship" and an attack on free speech -- instead of what it really is, which is an expansion of free speech that creates a real Marketplace of Ideas by requiring that all ideas get a fair hearing and no untruth or falsehood is given a free ride to mislead the public without someone having the opportunity to step in and set the record straight.
Rubin's column is a perfect expression of this mentality. The right wing view of the world isn't a creature of "politics," she seems to be saying. It's just the way things are. And anyone who disagrees is just being hateful - and "political."
Marc Thiessen, however, is in a league of his own.
The mind of Marc Thiessen is as much a prisoner of dark places like Gitmo as are the alleged terrorists he is so eager to waterboard.
Thiessen, his mind trapped behind the steel bars and high stone walls of right wing ideology, is only able to see the President's words within the context of the politically-charged controversy of the last two or three days rather than within the broader scope of the polarization of the past two or three years -- or two or three decades -- as the loyalty and patriotism of some Americans, as well as the legitimacy of their citizenship, has come into question.
As I've said before, I always feel diminished after reading Marc Thiessen. It's not that he's a conservative. There are plenty of honest conservatives out there. It's that Thiessen lacks integrity and is simply a party hack. If we wanted to taste a sample of mindless, robotic right wing propaganda there are many other places we can go. The Washington Post should be reserved for other voices.
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