The Watering Hole, Monday, November 26th, 2012: Time to Go, Senator McCain

Wave Bye-Bye Now!


As Rachel Maddow so perfectly pointed out recently, John McCain’s regular – some might say ubiquitous – appearances on so many of the Sunday morning political talkfests only serve to show McCain’s desperation to remain relevant at any cost. Unfortunately, that ‘cost’ seems to be the remnants of McCain’s respectability along with the shards of his integrity.

McCain’s latest insanity is shown in his recent calls for a “Watergate-style” investigation of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice regarding the Benghazi, Libya, attack. McCain’s rabid and, IMHO, unfounded attacks on Ms. Rice (including calling her “not very bright”, and his vow to block her possible nomination as future Secretary of State) were supposedly tempered a trifle yesterday, if by ‘tempered’ one means asking for the same information from Ms. Rice, presumably sans the “Watergate-style” investigation. Regardless, McCain still will not say whether, even if he (undeservedly) receives the requested information from Ms. Rice, he would consider NOT blocking her possible future nomination for Secretary of State.

But in McCain’s interview on Fox Sunday, he shows his characteristic bungling of essential facts:

HOST: You say that you will do everything in your power to block Susan Rice’s nomination if the President decides to name her to be secretary of state . . . . Is there anything that Ambassador Rice can do to change your mind?
MCCAIN: Sure, she can give everyone the benefit of explaining their position and the actions that they took. And I’ll be glad to have the opportunity to discuss these issues with her. Why did she say that al Qaeda has been decimated in her statement here on this program? Al Qaeda hasn’t been decimated. They’re on the rise. They’re all over Iraq.

Yes, John, of course Al Qaeda is “all over” Iraq, sure they are…NOT.

In the same Fox News Sunday interview, on women’s issues, McCain had this to say:

McCAIN:… And as far as young women are concerned, absolutely. I don’t think anybody like me, I can state my position on abortion, but, to — other than that, leave the issue alone. When we are in the kind of economic situation and, frankly, national security situation we’re in.

CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): When you say leave the issue alone, you would allow, you say, freedom of choice?

McCAIN: I would allow people to have those opinions and respect those opinions and I’m proud of my pro-life position and record, but if someone disagrees with me, I respect your views.

So, that would be a ‘NO’ to ‘freedom of choice”?

Since the 2008 Presidential election, when Senator McCain foisted Sarah Palin on us, it seems that his tenuous ties to reality, and his sense of decency and honor, have rapidly strained to the snapping point. I think that we all agree (and I wouldn’t be surprised if many in the Republican heirarchy agree, too), that it’s way past time for McCain to, shall we say, spend a lot more of his time at one of his seven -or was it eight? – homes.

This is our Open Thread. Feel free to discuss this topic, or anything else that comes to mind.

Hole the Watering: Day of Woden: 10/10/12 Prelude to the Vice Presidential Debacle Debate

Walker digs up the dirt on the upcoming Vice Presidential Debate.

Tomorrow night is the one-and-only debacle debate between Vice President Joe Biden and his Republican Challenger Paul Ryan. Walker, The Zoo’s underground journalist, sat down with their Invisible counterparts to get an inside exclusive of what to expect.

Invisible Biden

Invisible Biden: Ok, ok. Everyone knows and expects me to say something stupid, to put my foot in my mouth, but not tomorrow night. Tomorrow night it’s game on! I was a U.S. Senator while Ryan was still in diapers. What’s he worked on…one budget? One budget? And he can’t even explain the math? I’ve voted on over 35 budgets, Republican and Democrat, and math is math. Ryan’s budget doesn’t add up, and that’s a fact.

Invisible Ryan

Invisible Ryan: Oh yeah? Well, I can explain the math, but you wouldn’t get it anyway.

IB: Try me.

IR:

IB: Sure, but do you know what it means?

IR: Not a clue.

IB:

IB: In other words, the math behind your budget is the same math that brought us the atom bomb.

IR: You may be entitled to your own Math, Biden, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

IB: Ok, let’s take your facts. Your main man, Mitt, says he’ll cut every program that he doesn’t want to borrow money from China to pay for. He’s gonna take the axe to Big Bird.

IR: So? We can’t keep going into debt just to fund some tv show for children.

IB: We have to borrow billions because of tax cuts to millionaires. What about getting rid of the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy? We borrow from China and give subsidies to big oil. is it worth borrowing from China to give money to Exxon? What do you have to say about those facts?

IR: Mitt Romney and I are going to eliminate subsidies for big oil. We’re going to raise taxes on the rich and cut taxes for the middle class. We will guarantee the Social Security lock box for generations to come.

IB: Huh?

IR: We will increase spending for food stamps, subsidized housing, welfare and unemployment.

IB: WTF? Where—when did you guys come up with all this bovine excrement?

IR: Just now. I’m entitled to my own facts, and my facts are the facts whenever I say they are. And the fact is Mitt Romney and I will do whatever it takes, say whatever it takes, to get elected.

Invisible Goin’ Rogue

“It ain’t as easy as that.”

Walker: Invisible Goin’ Rogue? How’d you get in here?

IGR: I should be up there where Joe the Vice President is sitting. I should have been queen…I mean Vice President. But noooo….that good ol’ gotcha media jus’ couldn’t wait to take this hockey mom down a notch or two. Well I ain’t goin’ down any more. Jus’ ask Todd.

Walker: Security?

As Invisible Going Rogue was escorted out of the building she screamed, “Alaska will secede from the Union if Obama is re-elected! Mark my words! I didn’t quit bein’ governor jus’ to become a nobody! I’m gonna be queen of Alaska! I’m gonna be—” Mercifully the slamming of the door squelched her squawking.

WELL, THIS IS THE OPEN THREAD. PLACE YOUR BETS…

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, June 20, 2012: Does it really Matter?

Ok, so for the next few months, if you’re in a “swing” State, you’ll be inundated with SuperPAC commercials designed to get you to vote against your own best interests. We will also be systematically bombarded with messages from the Mainstream Media designed to influence our thinking.

IT’S ALL A SHOW. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER.

If the Powers That Be really want Obama out, all they have to do is raise gas prices to about $5.00/gallon. Instead, gas prices are going down, heading into the summer vacation season. That’s not to say they won’t go up between now and the election – but they are an accurate predictor of where our economy will head. So, pay attention to the pump, not the talking heads.

Ok, that’s my $0.0199 cents. And you?

OPEN THREAD
JUST REMEMBER
EVERYTHING I SAID
DOESN’T REALLY MATTER

 

Sarah Palin – Killing by Proxy

 

Sarah Palin's Bullseye Map

So she really thought there weren’t some idiots out there who would put a bullett where she indicated it should go? So she really thought words have no consequences? Advocating political assassination was a hallmark of the German right between the World Wars. It was a hallmark of NAZISM! Sarah Palin is an accomplice to six counts of murder and 12 counts of shooting with the intent to kill. Period.

 

UPDATE: BREAKING NEWS:

Sadly we can add 5 more to the total, and one wounded Democratic member of the House of Representatives:

Arizona Rep. Giffords shot, at least 5 killed

By TERRY TANG, AMANDA LEE MYERS and DAVID ESPO, Associated Press Terry Tang, Amanda Lee Myers And David Espo, Associated Press – 47 mins ago
TUCSON, Ariz. – Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head Saturday when an assailant opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with constituents, killing at least five people and wounding several others in a rampage that rattled the nation.

Sarah’s Twitter – Todd’s Job

From Twitter:

From Wikipedia:

For eighteen years, he worked for BP in the North Slope oil fields of Alaska. In 2007, in order to avoid a conflict of interest relating to his wife’s position as governor, he took a leave[10] from his job as production supervisor when his employer became involved in natural gas pipeline negotiations with his wife’s administration.[3] Seven months later, because the family needed more income, Todd returned to BP. In order to avoid potential conflict of interest, this time he accepted a non-management position as a production operator.[1][10] He resigned from his job on September 18, 2009, with the stated reason of spending more time with his family.[11]

The family needed more income, that was before she got all those clothes?

The Scary Part Is…

… these mindless and unthinking people vote.  They proudly display their ignorance.  Their comments demonstrate what happens when people are under educated and use Fox News and News Max as their sources for information.

(h/t to Dr. Hussein Matt at TP for the link)

A permanent minority?

There is an interesting dynamic that emerged in the 2008 election, one that has apparently passed well below the general radar.

In last year’s presidential election, younger blacks voted in greater proportions than whites for the first time and black women turned out at a higher rate than any other racial, ethnic and gender group, a census analysis released Monday confirmed.

As a result, in the election that produced the nation’s first black president, the historic gap between black and white voter participation rates over all virtually evaporated.

Further:

Total turnout in 2008 was about the same as it was in 2004, about 64 percent of voting age citizens.

But with Barack Obama on the ballot, the makeup of the 131 million who voted last year was markedly different. While the number of non-Hispanic white voters remained roughly the same, 2 million more blacks, 2 million more Latinos and 600,000 more Asians turned out. Compared with 2004, the voting rate for black, Asian and Hispanic voters increased by about four percentage points. The rate for whites declined by one percentage point.

The big question, of course, is whether this was a one-time event, or a true shift in American voting behavior–and, as a consequence, a true shift in political alignment, and the permanent reduction of the Republican Party to a hard little (primarily Southern) nut with no national presence.

It’s impossible to know for sure, and the new administration’s record in the next year or two will definitely be a factor. But there are other factors at play. A friend of mine, who is well enough versed in the subject that a university pays him to teach the subject, and the BBC brings him on air to explain American politics to a British audience, recently posted a casual blog on the question. (At some point, he will probably publish a paper on the subject and I won’t be able to understand a word, or make any sense of the charts and data.)

Turnout is, in general, habitual, and it’s a habit that is either formed or not formed young — usually the first three election cycles one is eligible to participate in. The decision to or not to vote in the initial opportunity can be influenced by many conditions, such as the competitiveness and/or salience of the election, or the presence of a particularly attractive candidate.

I’m not going out on a limb when I speculate that the 2008 Presidential election in the U.S. featured the latter, especially in relation to certain racial categories. The question that many will ask is whether or not these new voters hold. This will make the 2010 Congressional elections informative for several reasons. My suspicion is, backed by what we know from past elections, that the surge in turnout the youth cohort demonstrated in 2008 will hold. It will fluctuate, of course, but it will hold in the main.

The problem that this presents for the Republicans is two-fold. First, voters tend to maintain the party loyalties that they establish in their first few elections. Again, this is on average, and there are anecdotal exceptions to the rule, but it is a general principle. Second, the surge in turnout in the young cohort was not limited to African-Americans, but also Latinos and Asians. If the Republicans continue pandering to their open-minded, inquisitive, generously tolerant Palinesque base, they’re only going to solidify these voters as Democrats.

There is certainly nothing visible in the behavior of Republican “leadership”, politicians or punditry to indicate that they’ve gotten the message. Rather than attempt to improve their image with non-White voters, they’ve seemingly increased their efforts to appease the hardest of the hardcore, constantly attacking a popular new President and couching much of their attacks in poorly-disguised xenophobia and racism. It’s a strategy that may have worked for the GOP in the past but is not only ill-suited but completely counter-productive in the coming decades, particularly if this shift in voting has solidified.

Why do we pay so much attention to Sarah Palin?

By Guest Poster misscoleopteramolly

Why do we pay so much attention to Sarah Palin? I’m guessing it’s the same reason Florence Foster Jenkins was so popular in her time.

For those of you unfamiliar with FFJ (and I only know of her historically, since she died before I was born), she was a woman who had always wanted to sing, and once she had inherited a sum of money that allowed her to pursue her dream, she went for it. God love her, she was so talentless that listening to cats fighting in an alley was probably a better musical experience than listening to her. But she never allowed anything to discourage her, and categorized herself with the other (genuine) great sopranos of her day.

Her popularity was due to people finding the way Mrs. Jenkins murdered the classics to be highly entertaining. Tickets to her recitals were highly sought after, and her single Carnegie Hall performance in 1944 was sold out weeks in advance. Her performances were delivered in serious earnest, and she seemed quite oblivious to the fact that she provided her audience with comic instead of musical entertainment.

And here we have Sarah Palin. A woman so completely unfit for national office that it’s laughable. This laughter keeps her in the public eye, of course, but her popularity appears to have given her the idea that she’s statesmanlike, politically intelligent, and a leader of her party.

She really doesn’t have a clue that her party regards her only as a token woman when they needed one, an attention-getter who could draw a crowd, someone who looks good on the teevee, and a sock puppet for the PNAC and other party power.

And the rest of us regard her as an endless source of entertainment — a guilty pleasure. Because a Sarah Palin interview (or speech, or column) makes as many people laugh today as an aria sung by Florence Foster Jenkins did over 65 years ago.

Articles about Florence Foster Jenkins

Paul Begala eviscerates Palin

Huffington Post

I wish Hunter S. Thompson had lived to see this.

As Hunter said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” Sarah Palin makes Mark Foley, the congressman who sent filthy emails to pages look almost normal. She makes David Vitter, the senator who was hanging out with hookers, look almost boring.

Heh...

Heh...

She makes Larry Craig, caught hitting on a cop in a men’s room, look almost stable. She makes John Ensign, the senator who was having an affair with a staffer, look almost humdrum (and compared to the rest of the GOP whack-jobs, he is). And she makes Mark Sanford, the governor with the Latin lover, look positively predictable.

It was an almost impossible mission, but in resigning from office with 17 months to go in her first term, Sarah Palin has made herself the bull goose loony of the GOP.

Let’s stipulate that if there is some heretofore unknown personal, medical or family crisis, this was the right move. But Gov. Palin didn’t say anything like that. Her statement was incoherent, bizarre and juvenile. The text, as posted on Gov. Palin’s official website (here), uses 2,549 words and 18 exclamation points. Lincoln freed the slaves with 719 words and nary an exclamation; Mr. Jefferson declared our independence in 1,322 words and, again, no exclamation points. Nixon resigned the presidency in 1,796 words — still no exclamation points. Gov. Palin capitalized words at random – whole words, like “TO,” “HELP,” and “AND,” and the first letter of “Troops.”

Gov. Palin’s official announcement that she is resigning as chief executive of the great state of Alaska had all the depth and gravitas of a 13-year-old’s review of the Jonas Brothers’ album on Facebook. She even quoted her parents’ refrigerator magnet. (Note to self: if one of my kids becomes governor, throw away the refrigerator magnet that says: “Murray’s Oyster Bar: We Shuck Em, You Suck Em!”) She put her son’s name in quotations marks. Why? Who knows. She writes, “I promised efficiencies and effectiveness!?” Was she exclaiming or questioning?

Wowie…ouch!

I’ve always thought of Begala as a kindly milquetoast sort of moderate guy.  I think Sarah Palin stomped on his last nerve.

Read the rest of Begala’s post here.

Minnesota Supreme Court orders Al Franken is winner of Senate race

Senator Franken (D-MN)

Senator Franken (D-MN)

MSNBC

The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that Democrat Al Franken be certified as the winner of the state’s long-running Senate race.

The state’s top court rejected a legal challenge from Republican Norm Coleman, whose options for regaining the Senate seat are dwindling.

Norm Coleman, be a man and drop your ridiculous suit.

Governor Pawlenty, the ball is in your court — sign the election certificate.  Your state is depending on you.

UPDATEThinkProgress has more on the court decision.

UPDATE:  Norm Coleman is holding a news conference at 1:00 pm (PT), 4:00 pm ET).  Al Franken will hold a news conference an hour later.

UPDATE: Coleman has surrendered.

No Equal Suffrage In Senate Until June. At Least.

The Minnesota Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments in the Norm Coleman/Al Franken Senate race until June 1. In the meantime, this leaves Minnesota’s current US Senator Amy Klobuchar as their sole representation in the Senate. At some point, we have to wonder if Minnesota can be said to be denied its equal suffrage in the Senate. Article V of the US Constitution Continue reading

Norm, take out the earplugs…

I guess he’s not listening…

Norm Coleman: ‘The law is on our side’

Norm Coleman is trying to convince Minnesotans that his appeal to the Supreme Court is warranted. “I think the law is on our side,” Coleman told StarTribune.com.

In a meeting Thursday with the Star Tribune editorial board, Coleman said that the principle of enfranchising legitimate voters is more important than leaving Minnesota without two senators for another few weeks.

But Coleman also acknowledged that many Minnesotans are tired of the seemingly interminable recount process, in which he trails by 312 votes after Monday’s ruling by a three-judge panel. He is doing a round of interviews, he said, “for the purpose of letting folks know that we’re doing this for a reason.”

“In spite of what some say, that somehow this is an effort to delay something — no,” he said. “There are very legitimate, important constitutional questions regarding whether or not people’s vote should count.”

It’s funny to see Republicans suddenly so concerned with voters’ rights, and ‘the disenfranchisement of voters’… Especially when such enormous effort has been made, in a transparent fashion, to make sure votes were counted correctly.

At this point, this is only about keeping Senator Al Franken from taking his seat, and giving the Democrats 59 seats in the US Senate. It’s playing rotten politics. This is not about the people of your state. The courts have looked at this thoroughly and given both sides the opportunity to make their case (as they should) before making their decision. They’ve made their decision.

And now that fat lady is singing – at the top of her lungs..

Coleman, take out the ear plugs, and stop denying the state of Minnesota their two seated US Senators. Every step you now take to further frustrate the process is meant to stall the inevitable. The more you drag this out, the worse you look.

Do what is right and honorable, and best for the people of Minnesota.

The Right Can Do No Wrong

Imagine this…A major news story is reported that Michelle Obama’s sister was  arrested for breaking into a house, for the second time in one week, to steal money.   Now imagine the right-wing reaction to that story.  No, wait, let’s look at right-wing reaction to a real story; a story about one of their own.

Continue reading

Monumental brass balls

ThinkProgress

Attorney General Eric Holder yesterday dropped all charges against former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, due to gross misconduct by the prosecutors.

Here’s where the big brass balls come in — the Alaska GOP has issued a press release calling for duly elected Sen Mark Begich (D-AK) to resign, so they can have a do-over special election.

The Alaska Republican Party further believes that current Senator Mark Begich should resign his position to allow for a new, special election, so Alaskans may have the chance to vote for a Senator without the improper influence of the corrupt Department of Justice.

The only reason Mark Begich won the election in November is because a few thousand Alaskans thought that Senator Ted Stevens was guilty of seven felonies. Senator Stevens has maintained his innocence and now, even the Department of Justice acknowedges it’s [sic] wrong doing.

Yeah, I’m sure the Alaska GOP will be all about calling for a special election in Alabama when Don Siegelman is cleared.

Oops! Breaking news from Alaska

Hot off the presses . . . or at least hot off the radio.

Levi is going to need some painful tattoo removal.

The engagement is off for the teenage daughter of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and the father of her baby.

Levi Johnston told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he and Bristol Palin mutually decided “a while ago” to end their relationship. The 19-year-old Johnston declined to elaborate.

Eighteen-year-old Bristol Palin said in a statement to the AP that she is “devastated.”

The two are the parents of a boy named Tripp, who was born Dec. 27.

Sarah Palin revealed her daughter’s pregnancy days after being named John McCain’s running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

In an interview that aired on Fox News last month, Bristol Palin said her fiance saw the baby every day and described him as a “hands-on” dad.

The two had said they were considering a summer wedding.

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Coleman: Set it aside?

Norm Coleman’s team rested their case yesterday.

Today, the Franken camp was supposed to start their side of the case.

Franken lawyer Marc Elias said the team will begin a case today that will include evidence “about the good job that the state of Minnesota did … that the hardworking auditors and election night officials did. How the system worked, by and large.”

But, there is more drama instead.. Today, Norm Coleman’s attorney Jim Langdon wrote the three-judge panel to suggest the problems are so serious they may not be able to declare a winner.

“Some courts have held that when the number of illegal votes exceeds the margin between the candidates — and it cannot be determined for which candidate those illegal votes were cast — the most appropriate remedy is to set aside the election,” Langdon wrote in a letter to the court.

Wasn’t Senator-elect Al Franken already certified as winner in the state of Minnesota on January 5th of this year?? How do you UNCERTIFY him? This is now beyond the absurd…

More from TalkingPointsMemo:

The Coleman legal team is now officially putting forward the idea of throwing out the election, as a serious potential legal remedy. The context so far indicates that this is part of their game of chicken with the court, to get them to undo the strict standards themselves, or perhaps go along on a proportionate deduction regime that might hurt Al Franken. But who knows where it will go from here.

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Would you like some cheese to go with that whine…?

Yahoo News

Republican Norm Coleman said Tuesday he is suing to challenge Democrat Al Franken’s apparent recount victory in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race, delaying a resolution of the contest for weeks or months.

At a Capitol news conference filled with cheering supporters, Coleman said he won’t accept a board’s determination a day earlier that Franken won 225 more votes in the November election. He had a seven-day window to file the lawsuit.

“We are filing this contest to make absolutely sure every valid vote was counted and no one’s was counted more than anyone else’s,” Coleman said.

So it’s only worth spending taxpayer dollars on endless recounts when Coleman loses.   I see….

“Something greater than expediency is at stake here,” Coleman said. He added: “Democracy is not a machine. Sometimes it’s messy and inconvenient, and reaching the best conclusion is never quick because speed is not the first objective, fairness is.”

Because lord knows, a Coleman win would be MUCH more fair than a Franken win.  :roll:   Who cares if Minnesota only has one Senator — other than the people of Minnesota…?

I wonder if Norm prefers his cheddar mild or sharp?