And now it?s time to take a ride on the crazy train, my fellow prisoners?
#6, Paul Ryan?and that means it?s time to turn to #5 on the list of U.S. House Republicans trying to overturn health care reform, and that would be none other than Michele (?Moon Unit?) Bachmann of Minnesota.
#7, Louie Gohmert
#8, Allen West
#9, Joe Pitts
#10, Jack Kingston
#11, Patrick McHenry
#12, Spencer Bachus
#13, Jim Gerlach
#14, Cliff Stearns
#15, Jean Schmidt
#16, Phil Gingrey
#17, David Schweikert
#18, Virginia Foxx
#19, Pete Sessions
#20, Charlie Dent
#21, Cathy McMorris Rodgers
#22, Chris Smith
#23, Todd Akin
#24, Buck McKeon
#25, Kristi Noem
#26, Hal Rogers
#27, Lou Barletta (Two bonus selections: Boren and Ross)
#28, Paul Broun
#29, Mary Bono Mack
#30, David Dreier
#31, Marsha Blackburn (including backgrounder)
Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose her to become both an IRS attorney who would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government. She kicked off her unofficial presidential campaign in New Hampshire, by mistakenly declaring it the birthplace of the American Revolution. "It's your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world!" she gushed. "You are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard."And actually, when you think of it, it?s a testimony to her political acumen that she managed to out flank Just Plain Folks Sarah Palin Donctcha Know among the ?values? voter crowd while the former half-term governor of Alaska was debating in front of everyone who cared to listen in the matter of whether or not she wanted to take a shot at becoming her party?s standard bearer; while Palin was doing her little fan dance of a fashion on Fix Noise, Bachmann was out doing the glad-handling politico stuff that, even though it constitutes epic drudgery for most other life forms (kissing babies, shaking hands, attending 4-H club dinners on the stump), is nevertheless important when you?re trying to build a legitimate grass roots campaign.
I said lunch, not launch! But don't laugh. Don't do it. And don't look her in the eyes; don't let her smile at you. Michele Bachmann, when she turns her head toward the cameras and brandishes her pearls and her ageless, unblemished neckline and her perfect suburban orthodontics in an attempt to reassure the unbeliever of her non-threateningness, is one of the scariest sights in the entire American cultural tableau. She's trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo. You will want to laugh, but don't, because the secret of Bachmann's success is that every time you laugh at her, she gets stronger.
Actually, I guess I stand corrected; maybe Bachmann represents more of the Boehner/Ryan/McConnell wing than I thought ? anyway, here?s a video of her in action from February 2009, with Keith Olbermann and Chris Hayes having a bit of fun about how today's Republican Party was supposedly approaching irrelevance or something...would that that were true, though no one was chuckling over a year and a half later, after our corporate media started paying way, waaay too much attention to the racist-sign-and-funny-hat crowd?
Here, she tells us what she plans to do about the law (how many times can you say ?repeal? in one sentence, I wonder?). Here, she started down the road of demonizing the HPV vaccine against cervical cancer, claiming it could cause mental retardation, which happens to run contrary to all medical evidence to date (to be honest, aside from the other candidates, that may have doomed her candidacy more than anything else). Here, she accused Huma Abedin, aid to Secretary of State Clinton and wife of former U.S. House Rep Anthony Weiner, of engaging in ?The Ramadan Conspiracy,? or something (yep, just like Louie Gohmert, as I noted a few days ago). Oh, and when talking about Bachmann, who can forget this truly precious moment when an eight-year-old boy told her that his mom is gay and ?doesn?t need fixing?? And who can forget this moment when she said thank you to a caller to a phone-in radio show who said he would vote for Charles Manson over President Obama (uh, no ? the correct response is ?Mister, you?re a freaking lunatic and you need professional help.?). Here, Bachmann meant to praise John Wayne, but ended up praising serial killer John Wayne Gacy instead (as Matt Taibbi says, if you laugh at her, she just gets stronger). And in kind of a litmus test of sorts for her party, Bachmann claimed here that she never personally benefitted from earmarks, even though she did (I always felt the so-called earmark controversy was nothing but a tempest in a proverbial tea bag, if you will). Last and certainly least, she (as noted here in January 2011)?
?unveiled a plan to cut $400 billion in federal spending that includes freezing the Veterans Affairs Department?s health care spending and cuts veterans? disability benefits. The Air Force Times reports her plan would slice $4.5 billion from the VA, including reducing 150,000 veterans? disability compensation and the amount they receive in Social Security Disability Income.
Another Bad Lip Reading, because Mitt Romney is too good to be true. Advisory: Weird language and not work-safe words included.
Open thread below....
Peter Van Buren is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. At TomDispatch he writes, How Not to Reconstruct Iraq, Afghanistan?or America:
Some images remain like scars on my memory. One of the last things I saw in Iraq, where I spent a year with the Department of State helping squander some of the $44 billion American taxpayers put up to ?reconstruct? that country, were horses living semi-wild among the muck and garbage of Baghdad. Those horses had once raced for Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein and seven years after their ?liberation? by the American invasion of 2003, they were still wandering that unraveling, unreconstructed urban landscape looking, like many other Iraqis, for food.
Peter Van Buren
I flew home that same day, a too-rapid change of worlds, to a country in which the schools of my hometown in Ohio could not afford to pay teachers a decent wage. Once great cities were rotting away as certainly as if they were in Iraq, where those horses were scrabbling to get by. To this day I?m left pondering these questions: Why has the United States spent so much money and time so disastrously trying to rebuild occupied nations abroad, while allowing its own infrastructure to crumble untended? Why do we even think of that as ?policy?? [...]
Now, it?s definitive. Reconstruction in Iraq has failed. Dismally. The U.S. couldn?t even restore the country?s electric system or give a majority of its people potable water. The accounts of that failure still pour out. [...]
Americans have always worn their imperialism uncomfortably, even when pursuing it robustly. The British were happy to carve out little green enclaves of home, and to tame -- brutally, if necessary -- the people they conquered. The United States is different, maybe because of the lip service politicians need to pay to our founding ideals of democracy and free choice.
We?re not content merely to tame people; we want to change them, too, and make them want it as well. Fundamentalist Muslims will send their girls to school, a society dominated by religion will embrace consumerism, and age-old tribal leaders will give way to (U.S.-friendly, media-savvy) politicians, even while we grow our archipelago of military bases and our corporations make out like bandits. It?s our way of reconciling Freedom and Empire, the American Way. Only problem: it doesn?t work. Not for a second. Not at all. Nothing. Nada.
From this point of view, of course, not spending ?reconstruction? money at home makes perfect sense. Detroit, et al., already are us. Free choice is in play, as citizens of those cities ?choose? not to get an education and choose to allow their infrastructure to fade. From an imperial point of view it makes perfectly good sense. Erecting a coed schoolhouse in Kandahar or a new sewer system in Fallujah offers so many more possibilities to enhance empire. The home front is old news, with growth limited only to reviving a status quo at huge cost.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2011:
So Rick Perry caught a big break Tuesday: He took a shellacking from his own party's establishment for accusing Ben Bernanke of treason and threatening to deliver a Texas-style beatdown should the Fed Chairman ever set foot in the state. Karl Rove and gang are leading the way in umbrage-taking, saying Perry's comments were irresponsible and unpresidential. The GOP's top funders are piling on, telling Jonathan Martin that they are very unhappy with Perry's cowboy flair and might not donate to his campaign as a result.
Of course, anyone who has been paying attention knows that the Republican primary electorate doesn't give a flying fuck about whether their candidate meets Karl Rove's definition of presidential or whether the GOP's top funders will open their wallets to his campaign. In fact, I'd bet my bottom dollar this dustup will help Perry's campaign, not hurt it. He would much rather spend his time talking about his Bernanke comment than defending his record on a number of issues where he actually isvulnerable from the right.
One of the few perks of being a liberal in a right-wing era is that bitter experience has made us veritable experts in handling rejection in a psychologically healthy (if politically disastrous) way. This is a highly adaptive trait on a personal level;[...]
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Title: (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame Artist: Elvis Presley
On this day in 1977, Elvis Presley died. Got a favorite song from The King?
It's not really clear how you get out of a water-locked country when the cops can arrest you the second you step foot out of the embassy so long as you're not inside an embassy vehicle. Assange could be forced to remain in the embassy indefinitely. Then it's an issue of whether the media and the public care, and which way they care, in terms of what kind of pressure it puts on Ecuador...
Our forecast model now gives Mitt Romney a 31.3 percent chance of winning the Electoral College, up from 26.7 percent late last week.
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I laugh when I see where someone has butt shot himself while thinking of all the "butt calls" I have received from family and friends. And I get a little sad when I see legislators in my home state embarrassing themselves with their diatribes against[...]
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Another Republican caught using music without the artist's permission. Nothing new in that, right? Well, in this case there is an ironic twist.
Mitt Romney's been engaging in illegal activity -- playing the rock tune "Panic Switch" on the campaign trail without permission from the band Silversun Pickups -- this according to the band which fired off a cease and desist letter to the candidate today.
According to the band's frontman Brian Aubert, Romney has been using their 2009 hit ... even though no one ever asked them for permission, but it's pretty clear he wouldn't have gotten it even if he asked.
Aubert says, "We don't like people going behind our backs, using our music without asking, and we don't like the Romney campaign. We're nice, approachable people. We won't bite. Unless you're Mitt Romney!"
Aubert also says Romney's a victim of irony ... because "he is inadvertently playing a song that describes his whole campaign."
Ouch. A song with a chorus like this probably wasn't the best idea for Romney's wayward campaign.
And when you see yourself in a crowded room
Do your fingers itch, are you pistol-whipped?
Will you step in line or release the glitch?
Do you think she'll sleep with the panic...
Cross posted from The Stars Hollow GazetteThe recent release of e-mails from STRATFOR, a right wing global intelligence company, and documents about the surveillance system Trapwire by Wikileaks, has become the talk of the web and Twitter. David Seaman,[...]
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