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Via @davidoberry

Jon Stewart's Extended Interview with Bill Clinton

Via Indecision

With the country being dismantled from the inside by a murderous, dope-smoking, Nazi, Muslim, Communist, Fascist, Socialist President, I often wonder, what does our last murderous, dope-smoking, Nazi, Muslim, Communist, Fascist, Socialist President think of all this? That question and many others are answered in this exclusive extended version of Jon Stewart's interview with President Bill Clinton.




Saturday - Tune of the Day

Marilyn Manson - Tainted Love

To make things right
You need someone to hold you tight
And you think love is to pray
But I'm sorry I don't pray that way

The GOP Cracks Me Up... Daily

Via Rachel Maddow

The Value Voters Summit

"Free Speech" "Fair" "Balanced"

Dylan Ratigan Goes One-On-One With Crazy Ass "Birther" Orly Taitz

Via Rachel Weiner

Chief 'Birther' Orly Taitz appeared on MSNBC Friday morning either to defend her increasingly derided conspiracy theories or, as she seemed to see it, to trumpet a major victory against President Obama. She and host Dylan Ratigan mostly talked past each other.

Asked about a legal complaint about President Obama's citizenship that was thrown out of court recently, Taitz ignored the question and instead began rambling about a judge in California who has agreed to hear one of her challenges. "This is a major victory!" she proclaimed.

After trying and failing to interrupt Taitz several times, Ratigan finally shouted, "Orly, Orly! This is not a monologue, Orly! Now I will let you answer, but you will let me ask you questions or you will not come on this show. OK?" Orly laughed and responded, "OK, that's a real threat." She did not seem moved and, in fact, she used the next available opportunity to begin a new speech.

Asked why she thought one judge was hearing her conspiracy theories when another had dismissed them, and why she was continuing to challenge Obama's birth certificate in the face of so much evidence, Taitz responded, "I mean, how can you lie to your viewers like this? ... Nobody in this country, not one single person, has seen a hospital birth certificate... "

Ratigan cut her off again. "The genius thing about people like you is that you like to accuse others of lying as a way to cut a boulevard so you can just blather on a bunch of lies," he said. As Taitz began to interject, he concluded, "I appreciate your attempting the conversation. I admire your passion."

David Brooks Went Running On The Mall And Saw No Racism!

Via Wonkette

Oh my god David Brooks. He too is indignant about the suggestion that a bunch of these racist slob tea partiers are racists. He saw some of them talking to black people last weekend, during the 2.9 billion person (according to conservative blog estimates) tea party march! He was running — which he is wont to do, you see! — and saw that a few of the blacks were having one of their “raps,” and some tea partiers were there with them, listening to the rap. Then he explains that populism means hating people who live in cities, none of whom have jobs or work hard.

You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I go running several times a week. My favorite route, because it’s so flat, is from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol and back. I was there last Saturday and found myself plodding through tens of thousands of anti-government “tea party” protesters.

They were carrying “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, “End the Fed” placards and signs condemning big government, Barack Obama, socialist health care and various elite institutions.

Then, as I got to where the Smithsonian museums start, I came across another rally, the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Several thousand people had gathered to celebrate African-American culture. I noticed that the mostly white tea party protesters were mingling in with the mostly black family reunion celebrants. The tea party people were buying lunch from the family reunion food stands. They had joined the audience of a rap concert.

Because sociology is more important than fitness, I stopped to watch the interaction.

And this sentence is where most of you probably stopped reading the column, correct?

But there is so much more sociology for David Brooks to babble about! Here is why there is no racism behind the more insane parts of the teabaggers:

The populist tendency has always used the same sort of rhetoric: for the ordinary people and against the fat cats and the educated class; for the small towns and against the financial centers.

And it has always had the same morality, which the historian Michael Kazin has called producerism. The idea is that free labor is the essence of Americanism. Hard-working ordinary people, who create wealth in material ways, are the moral backbone of the country. In this free, capitalist nation, people should be held responsible for their own output. Money should not be redistributed to those who do not work, and it should not be sucked off by condescending, manipulative elites.

What you must understand is that every person in every city does not work hard or produce wealth, and is an elitist, and likes to take the money of the “wealth-creators” in, uh, Mississippi, maybe, to fund 27th-trimester abortions and the spread of AIDS to puppies. This is what the “moral backbone of the country” hates; the populaces of such cities as New York, where every citizen works for AIG and takes money from the people who believe in free labor.

Now of course the following assumption has been creeping into the mainstream, and yet, how aggravating!: liberals and Democrats and anyone who does not live near a farm is happy about the multi-trillion dollar bailouts. This is the fundamental assumption of David Brooks’ column: that the “elites” who complain about teabaggers being retarded and racist somehow are delighted about government bailouts of major corporations who fucked up. Non-teabaggers don’t simply shout “STOP TAKIN MY MUNNIE YOU BLACK FAT CATS,” because many of them try to work with the various terrible choices this country has been left with, like responsible adults.

They are immoral and worse than racists, because they call people out on their racism when they see it, which makes them debate-stiflers and welfare queens, also.

Have a good weekend.

No, It’s Not About Race [NYT]

SNL Takes On Republicans In Congress Over Joe Wilson Outburst

Via Alex Leo

The sketch centered around Joe Wilson's outburst during a joint session of Congress in which he yelled "you lie" at the president. According to SNL, the outburst was planned by the Republican leadership, but Joe Wilson was left in the lurch after he went to the bathroom while the rest of the representatives reconsidered their plan.

Kristen Wiig appeared as Michele Bachmann, mocking the congresswoman for her rhetorical choices, and Fred Armisen played a Republican playing Obama, making the whole thing as meta as possible.

Smarter Missile Defense

Via Rachel Maddow

President Obama announced he would get rid of a Bush era missile defense plan and implement a new plan aimed at short and medium range missiles from Iran. Rachel Maddow talks about this more sensible plan with Joe Cirincione, President of the Ploughshares Fund.

President Bush was promoting a missile system that doesn't work against a threat that doesn't exist.

President Obama is replacing nothing, with something. He's actually going to be putting more hardware, on target quicker, in the next two years defending more countries in Europe than the Bush plan would have.

Friday - Tune of the Day

Muddy Waters - Champagne & Reefer

Yeah bring me champagne when I'm thirsty
Bring me reefer when I want to get high
Yeah bring me champagne when I'm thirsty
Bring me reefer when I want to get high
Well you know when I'm lonely
Bring my woman set her right down here by my side

Bill O'Reilly Backs Public Option

Via HuffPo

Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made a rather notable policy pronouncement on Wednesday's show: he supports the creation of a government-managed health care plan if it provides working Americans with an affordable option to other private insurance plans.

In other words, he supports the public option now being hotly debated in Congress.

As noted by DailyKos' Jed Lewison, O'Reilly had the following exchange with the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko:

O'REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it's not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they're going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don't necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O'REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don't like their health insurance, if it's too expensive, they can't afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.

Watch video:

Indeed, supporters of the public option do so for the very reasons O'Reilly notes. A study by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund found that "a public coverage program similar to Medicare would reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over 11 years, and reduce premiums by about 20% on average. Within about a decade, 105 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, and about 107 million would have private insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund."

Let's Take Out All That Nasty "Negative" Stuff, Ok?

Via TPMtv

Does anyone really think the during the centuries, periods, eras... of passing the bible from one generation to the next... that committee meetings like this never sat around and discussed "revisionism" to make history a little more "rosy" for the way their people were spoken of... or represented in the written word?

TX Board Of Education Member: How Do We Take Negatives Out Of U.S. History

Regarding Jimmy Carter: Was This Even Up For Discussion?

Via Rude Pundit

Listen: when former President Jimmy Carter, from rural Georgia in the goddamned 1920s, says something is racist, he knows what the fuck he's talking about. Can you imagine the number of toothless crackers he grew up around? No, you can't. Don't even try. Because if you didn't grow up during a time when racism was seen as the way things were, where a white person who was polite to a black person was seen as a traitor to their race, where being a dirt poor white man meant that you had to find someone to beat up on and you sure as hell weren't gonna go after the rich white people actually keeping you down, where there were more lynchings of blacks than in any other state but Mississippi, you shut the fuck up and listen to the man. Because he knows from racist.

The people attacking Carter in their usual ginned-up, politically-motivated way know that the organized fanning of the flames of extremist positions within the Republican party stinks of anti-black and anti-Hispanic rhetoric and action. These days, white people, not just from the South, but often so, are so good at using code words to hide their racism that the ones who have deluded themselves into thinking that they're not racist all of a sudden act shocked when someone trots out the Obama monkey sock puppet.

This ain't new. The Rude Pundit knew people who worked for Jesse Helms, and they all said that, in private, Helms was one of the most despicable racists they ever heard. As much of a motherfucker as he was in public, that probably means that "nigger" was a noun, verb, and adjective to him. As mentioned here before, years ago, the Rude Pundit was at a David Duke rally when he was running for Senate in Louisiana, where Duke told a group of white people that "I'm just saying in public what we've been saying in the back rooms for years." The white people agreed. And wouldn't it be nice if they could say it in public.

Some coded racist terms have been adopted into the mainstream, like "inner-city." Others are being racialized because of the presence of Barack Obama. Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammad wrote in the New York Times this past week about how "public option" has been turned into code for "giving shit to black people." Like "welfare" before it, helping the poor is so odious to conservative whites in this country because it helps non-whites, even if not helping the poor harms poor white people.

Now we've got the uproar over ACORN, another code word for "blacks." There's the strange outrage that the mainstream media (beyond Fox "news") isn't "covering" the "scandal" that a few stupid employees said something stupid on tape. This would be the same media that didn't do any actual investigation of the assertions that led the nation into a war. In what must be a harmonic convergence of viscous evil and vile circumstance, Greta Van Susteren had Karl Rove on her Fox "news" show last night to comment on the ACORN the fuck it is. This would be the same Karl Rove who, while in the White House (in an appointed position that was way more powerful than any kind of czar), ordered the firing of David Iglesias as U.S. Attorney in New Mexico because Iglesias wouldn't go after ACORN for "voter fraud." Because, see, ACORN registered poor black people to vote. And they generally don't vote for Republicans. Last night, with the kind of mad hubris one usually sees only in tyrannical dictators having giant statues to themselves constructed by serfs and slaves, Rove used New Mexico as an example of the corruption of ACORN.

But let's go further here, maybe a little too far, but what the fuck? Let's go beyond "socialism," beyond "ACORN," to one of the roots of secret racialized language in America. One reason the right has been so successful in getting large segments of white people to dismiss progressive ideas that would benefit those very white people is because "liberal" was made by the right into a word that meant, among other things, "non-white." See, blacks are liberal, don't you know? And that naturally means "anti-white." And that means that those who support liberal ideas support ideas that prop up non-white people, which means that white people would have to suffer, in the deluded minds of racist white people.

The election of a black president, who embraced the word "liberal," both confirms their suspicions and undermines them in a way that they can't deal with. Indeed, right now they can't even allow Obama to accomplish what he wants to do because, if he's right and he succeeds, their entire worldview crumbles. Conservatives in power, who watched George W. Bush get nearly everything he wanted and it turned to shit, have staked their last chance at regaining power on making Obama into that nigger who wants to hurt the white people. Fuck him and his nigger-loving accomplices.

What Carter was reacting to, among other things, was the yell of "You lie" from Representative Joe Wilson at President Obama. That yell was the barbaric scream of impotence from an exiled warrior; implicit with it was that no black man was going to tell him how the world runs, especially when it comes to Hispanics. Jimmy Carter knows what he's seeing. He listened to it for most of his life. He knows stupid fucking rednecks wearing their suit jacket collars high when he sees 'em.

(And, hey, don't spout the same old horseshit about Jesse Helms or Joe Wilson being a nice guy. Bull Connor might've been a hell of a guy to have a beer with. But that didn't make him turn off the hoses or call off the dogs.)

Update: JR at Kos is on the same wavelength.

How Wasted Could This Local Fox Anchor Have Been?

Via Wonkette

Absolutely nothing to do with politics here — “an enjoyable post,” in other words — but here is Ernie Anastos, an anchor at the local Fox station in New York, telling his weatherman to “keep fuckin’ that chicken.” ???. Then they show a clip of ladies exercising and he’s like, I want to bone all of them immediately. OH and while we are in this lovely apolitical oasis, today is the best day since whenever because PAVEMENT is getting back together for a world tour! Anyway… “Republicans suck.” [YouTube]

Thursday - Tune of the Day

Tom Jones & Cardigans - Burning Down the House

My house
Is out of the ordinary.
That's right
Don't want to hurt nobody.

Help Put Dick in the White House

You don’t have to look far to see the failures of the current administration. Unemployment is at an all time high since the Great Depression, businesses are failing at record speeds, American causalities overseas are increasing and terrorists around the world are plotting to destroy democracy and freedom. The real American way of life is under siege.

Eight years was not enough.

We came so far, just to see the liberals dismantle the social, moral and military policies that were so successful over the past decade. Prosperity reigned, wealth was created and more Americans found themselves in homes compared to any other time in history.

Manifest Destiny is the idea that eight years was not enough. There is more work to be done. More detainees to violate, more left-wing CIA agents to out, and more wealth to generate for special interests.

2012 is the year that you decide if you want your government in your living room.

Frank Schaeffer: The Fifth Column of Insanity

Via Maddow

GOP Hypocrisy over Czars - Now we know what was so important that the Republicans didn't want to talk about a reprimand for Joe Wilson. Health care reform, of course, right? Well, not really.

Orly Taitz's latest judicial smackdown (totally EPIC and awesome at the same time)
And Here:

Judicial Watch and their ridiculous claim about Hillary Clinton's qualifications to serve.

Now get this... more widespread beliefs in NJ about President Obama as... "The Anti-Christ"!!
Yeah, I know.

Then Frank Schaeffer discusses the evangelical fundamentalist subculture that fuels much of this lunacy.

"...within our culture, we have a subculture, that is literally the fifth column of insanity... that is bred to reject facts as a matter of faith..."

"Can Christianity be rescued from Christians?"

"When you see a bunch of people going around thinking that our President is the Anti-Christ... you have to draw one of two conclusions, either these are racists looking for any excuse to level the next accusation... or they're beyond crazy, and I think 'beyond crazy' is a better explanation."

"This is a dangerous group of people to have as our neighbors and they're our national neighbors"

"A village cannot reorganize village life... to suit the village idiot. and we have a village idiot in this country... it's called fundamentalist Christianity."

Dems Mock GOP, Glenn Beck Over Czar Obsession

Via Jason Linkins

Over the past few days, I've written about the wildly outsized claims of czars in the Obama administration undermining the government. Republican Senators are sending letters and GOP House members are holding up posters and attempting to pass thoroughly baffling bills to prevent the Obama White House from appointing advisers.

These elected officials seem to be unaware of some basic facts. Many of the people they insist need to be confirmed by the Senate already have been confirmed. Many of the people they consider to be holding unprecedented appointments are merely filling well-established positions. In some cases, these lawmakers seem to have forgotten that they themselves passed laws that mandated the appointments. And in a few cases, they just select some established functionary at random -- like a State Department envoy or the Deputy Secretary of the Interior -- and call that guy a "czar" just for fun!

All of these fears and complaints are indicative of either a powerful desire to mislead or an advanced mental disease that hopefully Dr. Charles Boustany will be able to treat, with some sort of Louisiana voodoo poultice.

And of course, it's always worth pointing out that "czars" (the term itself being nothing more than a media shorthand standing in for long government titles and/or complex portfolios) have been a fact of life in American politics since the Nixon administration. And it's equally worth pointing out that the Bush administration itself deployed a veritable flotilla of czars.

The latter point is being made abundantly clear in a new Democratic National Committee ad entitled "Dancing With The Czars," which employs the services of Fox News's own Glenn Beck to elucidate some of the 47 Bush czars that walked the face of the earth before the Obama administration came to the White House.

"With apologies to Tom DeLay, and despite the railing you're hearing from the Republican caucus room and Fox News, the GOP has been 'dancing with czars' for a very long time. The unmitigated hypocrisy of these attacks not only speaks to the credibility of this manufactured controversy, but to the inability of the Republican party to say no to the marching orders doled out by Glenn Beck and the far right's noise machine," said DNC National Press Secretary Hari Sevugan.


Everyone Who Doesn't Know Shit About Czars... Shut the Fuck Up already!

Via Pareene

Just for the record, and so you can point this out yourself when someone starts shouting about it, there are hardly any "Czars," and what "Czars" there are are mostly powerless and uncontroversial.

First: it is an obvious point, but there is no such thing as a "Czar," officially. The term is so vague that one could call almost any administration appointee a "Czar." In fact, it is so easy and misleading to generate controversy by just printing a catch-all list of federal government appointees with the ones you want to cause trouble about labeled "Czars" that we are not at all shocked that Politico did so.

Almost as if they had some sort of shame, they belatedly added bold and italics to those "Czars" who were confirmed or whose positions were created by Congress, thus making them not actually "Czars." (If you hold a long-established Cabinet position and have been confirmed by the US Senate only an outright propagandist determined to create controversy without any regard for honesty would call you a "Czar." Hello, Politico Staff! Nice list!)

In fact, on that Politico list there are only 15 people who weren't confirmed by the Senate and who hold positions created by the Obama administration. And they are all harmless.

But this list, this Pulitzer-worthy piece of investigative and made-up journalism, is decidedly incomplete. Why, the commenters at Free Republic came up with a dozen more "Czars" all on their own! Surely we can add more names to the list!

What about:

  • Other Countries Czar: Hillary Clinton
  • War Czar: Robert Gates
  • Press Czar: Robert Gibbs
  • Swear Czar: Rahm Emanuel
  • Death Panel Czar: Zeke Emanuel
  • Boom Boom Czar:
  • Train Czar: Joe Biden
  • Kill Whitey Czar: Michelle Obama
  • Dog Czar: Bo

It's fun and easy to both take your cues from and feed the right-wing noise machine!

The numbers are based upon the sortable list below.

President's name In office Number of
"czar" jobs
Number of
Number of
new positions
Franklin Roosevelt 1933-1945 12 19
Harry Truman 1945-1953 6 6
Dwight Eisenhower 1953-1961 1 1
Lyndon Johnson 1963-1969 3 3
Richard Nixon 1969-1974 3 5
Gerald Ford 1974-1977 1 1
Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 2 3
Ronald Reagan 1981-1989 1 1
George H. W. Bush 1989-1993 2 3
Bill Clinton 1993-2001 7 11
George W. Bush 2001-2009 35 46
Barack Obama 2009 32 35

Anti-Czar Bill Gets 100 Cosponsors In House

Via Jason Linkins

Yesterday, I posted on how a group of senators sent the White House a letter expressing concern over a multitude of presidential appointments -- which they label "czars" -- and how they "raise serious issues of accountability, transparency, and oversight." At length, I pointed out how those senators themselves need to do a better job accounting for the actual roles of those so-called czars, which are transparently obvious and easy to oversee.

Now it's the House's turn to get deeply mired in confusion over this non-issue! The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel reports today that Georgia Republican Jack Kingston has rounded up 100 co-sponsors for the Czar Accountability and Reform Act of 2009, also known as the "CZAR act" despite lacking a "Z" for the acronym. Might I recommend "zany?"

The bill would prevent taxpayer money from funding the salaries of "any task force, council, or similar office which is established by or at the direction of the President and headed by an individual who has been inappropriately appointed to such position (on other than an interim basis), without the advice and consent of the Senate." As I pointed out yesterday, many of the "czars" that are being fretted about have already been confirmed by the Senate, hold positions that were created by the Congress, or are just people who have been arbitrarily named a "czar" despite the fact that they are actually State Department envoys or Deputy Secretaries of the Interior, like "California Water Czar" David Hayes.

I also pointed out yesterday that "czars" have been a fact of life in American politics since the Nixon administration, and, to the best of my recollection, no Republican ever complained about the multitude of "czars" in the Bush White House. But don't take my word for that. Here's Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif):

At any rate, these members of Congress are either actively misleading their constituents or are royally confused about the appointees of which they speak. But this is nothing new, at all. Let's cast our mind back to July, and the tweets of super-genius Karl Rove:

Re: the czars @CopyChaser darned if I can figure out all the czars, except a giant expansion of presidential power.

Darned if he can figure all this government stuff out! One wonders what Rove was actually doing in the Bush White House, as his boss was appointing all sorts of czars. In fact, Rove himself was one of these czars. In 2007, the Washington Post's Harold Meyerson, reporting on the increasing influence of Rove in the Bush White House, and the extent to which he was set on realigning domestic priorities, said, "In the wake of Bush's 2004 reelection...Rove, newly promoted by Bush to domestic policy czar, concluded that the time for this realignment had come."

Meyerson goes on to note that Rove's portfolio, as domestic policy czar, was a self-directed set of policy priorities that were deemed intrusive by congressional Republicans and were in many cases a thing apart from actual White House priorities:

He assumed congressional and public support for policies on which Bush had not campaigned; his relations with Republican members of Congress were abysmal; his incessant campaigning against the Democrats ensured that there would be no bipartisan support for programs that entailed considerable political risk.

To be fair, I am quite certain that Rove knows a great deal about giant expansions of Presidential power.

UPDATE: The pattern of people complaining about "czars" not knowing what they are talking about continues today. David Weigel reports that at a press conference for Kingston's CZAR Act, John Shadegg "held up a chart of 34 "czars" in the administration." On that chart were a number of appointees that have been confirmed by the Senate, such as John Holdren and Cass Sunstein. You can also clearly see persons appointed to positions used by the Bush administration, such as Jeffrey Crowley, director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, and Joshua DuBois, director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Additionally, State Department envoys like Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell are on the chart. They've even included the aforementioned David Hayes, who is actually the Deputy Secretary of the Interior.

In short, every single mistake I pointed out yesterday is still being made today, because these people are pointless alarmists who do not know the first thing about what they are talking about.

It's not racism... it's the, uhh... "Czars" yeah. "Czars"!! What's with all the Czars?

Anderson Cooper Brings Back Racist TeaBagger Mark Williams

Via C&L

Following these remarks by Jimmy Carter...

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans."

...who does Anderson Cooper think deserves another spot on his show to weigh in on the subject of racism? Racist Tea Bagger Mark Williams of course! Who else could he have possibly had on besides Williams after that insightful commentary we just had from him on the previous show?

Latest Orly Taitz-Litigated ‘Birther Soldier’ Lawsuit Dismissed In Hilarious Opinion

Via Wonkette

Terrifying dentist-lawyer Orly Taitz recently filed another suit on behalf of some wingnut soldier who didn’t want to go fight in the various wars — although had no problem remaining in the military, in America! — because Barack Obama is from Kenya and cannot ergo make her do that, so there.

Well, here is a judge in Georgia making fun of Taitz, and this soldier, for 14 pages. It is brilliant.
[Court Doc]


Angry Judge Puts Birther Queen On Notice: This Is Not Alice in Wonderland

Glenn Beck: "You Shouldn't Accuse People of Racism"

Via Tana Ganeva

On his radio show today Glenn Beck expressed concern about the declining quality of our public discourse. Apparently, the national dialogue is being polluted by people who say things without basing their assertions on solid evidence. Really? Like who? According to Beck, the main culprits are those who point to race as a motivating factor in some of the crazy attacks (you lie!) against Obama.

Said Beck, without any shred of irony that I could suss out,

"I would say that the false cries of racism on Joe Wilson ... when there's absolutely nothing to back it up... Just back it up! Just back it up! You wanna say "Hey, I think this guy's a racist ... let's listen to the explanation. What is your evidence that this guy's a racist....what is your evidence."

Beck then launches into a tutorial of sorts about how to have a reasoned debate about hot-button issues like race, arguing that one party should present their evidence for review by those who may disagree, and the other party should respond in kind, leading to a rational conclusion about the issue at hand. Crying "racism" without backing it up, asserts Beck wisely, is tantamount screaming "Fire!", because "racism is dangerous." Beck twists the fire metaphor in ways I can't really follow, until he reaches this conclusion: "Why do they keep screaming Fire? [Fire is "race", but who's "they? Hmm."]

And there you go. I hope you learned something from Glenn Beck about how to engage is fruitful, reasoned debate. And about race in America.


It's not racism... it's the, uhh... "Czars" yeah. "Czars"!! What's with all the Czars?

The numbers are based upon the sortable list below.

President's name In office Number of
"czar" jobs
Number of
Number of
new positions
Franklin Roosevelt 1933-1945 12 19
Harry Truman 1945-1953 6 6
Dwight Eisenhower 1953-1961 1 1
Lyndon Johnson 1963-1969 3 3
Richard Nixon 1969-1974 3 5
Gerald Ford 1974-1977 1 1
Jimmy Carter 1977-1981 2 3
Ronald Reagan 1981-1989 1 1
George H. W. Bush 1989-1993 2 3
Bill Clinton 1993-2001 7 11
George W. Bush 2001-2009 35 46
Barack Obama 2009 32 35

Via Washington Independent

With an assist from Politico, which has completely bought into Glenn Beck’s campaign against “czars” — on Monday, the publication sketched out a “GOP czar revolt” that consisted of work by Michelle Malkin, a joke by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), and a comment from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich — conservatives are arguing that the Obama White House is abusing its power by appointing so many advisers without Senate approval. In the words of Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.):

In the wake of these recent revelations, the president should suspend any further appointments of so-called czars until Congress has an opportunity to examine the background and responsibilities of these individuals and to determine the constitutionality of such appointments.

Here’s the problem: Some of the people whom conservatives and mainstream media voices alike have labeled “czars” have been confirmed by the Senate. Some of them, and others, hold jobs that were created by previous presidents.

Take a look at Politico’s list of 31 “czars,” which shrinks to 30 without Van Jones. Republican strategists like Ed Rollins have used that “31″ number to allege that there’s a problem here. But perhaps the most controversial people labeled “czars” by Beck and by reporters have gone through Senate confirmations. Cass Sunstein, whom Politico labels the “regulatory czar,” is waiting for the end of a Republican filibuster so he can lead the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, an office created in 1980. John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, was confirmed by the Senate, unanimously, six months ago. But none of that seems to matter to their critics. Michelle Malkin, whom, again, Politico credited for making this an issue, relentlessly refers to Holdren as the “Science Czar” as if it was his actual title.


Yes, It's Because He's Black, But It Doesn't Help to Say So

Via Gawker

Jimmy Carter should know better than to just say what various columnists, politicians, and random people on the street have been saying for weeks now. You know, that race is informing the hysterical response to Obama's policy proposals.

But to answer your question, Mr. Drudge: it is in part because he's black, yes. And it's also because he represents the emergence of an urban elite/black/immigrant/gay/poor coalition that poses a threat to the rural/suburban white Christians who've been told for a century that they are Real America, making this guy who is patently not a member of that group a False American.*

This is what Carter said:

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African American," Carter told NBC in an interview. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that shared the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans"

Continued Carter: "And that racism inclination still exists. . . . It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."

And, in reference to Joe Wilson's little outburst:

"I think it's based on racism," Mr. Carter said at a town-hall-style meeting at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."
"Those kind of things are not just casual outcomes of a sincere debate on whether we should have a national program on health care," he said. "It's deeper than that."

It's funny because all of that is obviously true. But no one wants to hear it from Jimmy Carter! As Michael Tomasky explains, it is a Bad Idea in Politics to Tell the Truth, because it is called a "gaffe," and it seldom goes over well.

So this is the stupid state of our stupid discourse. To say the intensity of the opposition to Barack Obama indicates a deep vein of racial prejudice and the right is obviously purposefully stoking race-based paranoia as they have done more or less openly since Nixon is met with I can't believe you're calling everyone who opposes the President a white-hooded racist who wants to lynch him.

The best part is that even if you don't think Joe Wilson shouted "you lie" at Barack Obama because he hates black people, there's no way to spin the fact that the portion of the black man's speech that upset him so much was the imagined prospect of filthy Mexicans getting health care. Not that we'd accuse people who are completely obsessed with illegal immigration of being motivated by racism, but they sure do hate Mexicans a lot.

But, you know, no one wants Jimmy Carter to say anything, ever.

*We coastal elites do so enjoy repeating and mocking the "Real America" thing, all the time, in the sneering sort of tone that we are famous for, but for the life of us we cannot imagine liberals seriously calling anyone False Americans. Not Reagan, not Bush, not even Cheney. There was lots of "he's not MY president" and "not in our name" and "a village in Texas is missing its idiot" and even some half-hearted secession talk but everyone acknowledged that Bush was obviously, uniquely American in his own foul way. Which is both liberal inclusiveness (everyone gets to be a part of America!) and that jaded realism about America's history and make believe "innocence" that makes conservatives like Peggy Noonan gravitate to genial fools like Reagan. (We produce monsters too! They're not all born in Kenya!) Anyway this was neither here not there just something we were think about.

Judge Throws Out Birther Challenge From Army Captain Fighting Deployment, Scolds Orly Taitz

Via Rachel Weiner

U.S. District Court Judge Clay Land has thrown out a complaint questioning the president's birth from an Army captain fighting deployment to Iraq and gave a warning to her lawyer, birther maven Orly Taitz.

Land also put attorney Orly Taitz, who represents Capt. Connie Rhodes and is a leader in the national "birther" movement, on notice by stating that she could face sanctions if she ever files a similar "frivolous" lawsuit in his court.

"(Rhodes) has presented no credible evidence and has made no reliable factual allegations to support her unsubstantiated, conclusory allegations and conjecture that President Obama is ineligible to serve as president of the United States," Land states in his order. "Instead, she uses her complaint as a platform for spouting political rhetoric, such as her claims that the president is 'an illegal usurper, an unlawful pretender, [and] an unqualified imposter.'"

In his order, the judge noted that Rhodes had objected only to deployment to Iraq under President Obama, not to serving in the military generally.

Rhodes is not the first soldier to object to overseas deployment on the grounds that Obama is not a legitimate president. Stefan Frederick Cook, a reserve soldier who volunteered for an active duty tour, argued that he should not have to go to Afghanistan for similar reasons to Rhodes. The army revoked his deployment orders.

Read Land's full court order here.

Should Americans Be Paying to Set Up Brothels? Hmmmm, That's a Tough One

Via Indecision

By now, we've probably all heard that the crazy conservative conspiracy theorists who thought that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or ACORN) was a corrupt tool of the worst elements of liberalism were completely justified in their crazy conspiracy theorizing.

But have you heard this interesting thing?

[T]he Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly to prohibit Housing and Urban Development grants from going to [ACORN], which bills itself as "the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate income families."

That's not really the interesting part. Of course the Senate would "overwhelmingly" vote to stop American tax dollars from going toward the illegal trafficking of sex workers and the fostering of whorehouses. I mean, really, you'd just have to be pretty dumb and politically suicidal to not vote against a thing like that.

Here's the interesting part…

Eighty-three senators voted for an amendment from Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., to ban the funds, with seven senators voting against the amendment and nine not voting.

Seven United States senators voted against the bill! And they're all fucking Democrats (except for one who's an independent socialist, which is pretty much like a super Democrat)…

NAYs —7
Burris (D-IL)
Casey (D-PA)
Durbin (D-IL)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Leahy (D-VT)
Sanders (I-VT)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

So, you were wondering how the Democrats were planning their spectacular implosion in the 2010 midterms? Does this give you any ideas?

Healthcare Hero: Wendell Potter

Via Cesca

Sure, he was once a villain with CIGNA, but now he's really redeeming himself by fighting hard for reform and the public option. Here's Potter's opening statement:

“A public option must be created to provide true choice to consumers or reform will fail to fix the root of the severe problems that have been caused in large part by the greedy demands of Wall Street. By creating a strong public option and restricting the insurance companies’ ability to enrich executives and investors at the expense of taxpayers and consumers, HR 3200 [the House health bill] will truly benefit Americans,” Potter said in his opening statement.

“The Baucus plan, on the other hand, would create a government subsidized monopoly for the purchase of bare bones high deductible policies that would truly benefit big insurance. In other words, insurers would win, your constituents would lose.”

Here's Speaker Pelosi backing the need for the public option:

Wednesday - Tune of the Day

Chris Botti and Sting - Bourbon Street

I have stood many times outside her window at night
To struggle with my instinct in the pale moonlight

President Jimmy Carter: That Racism Inclination Still Exists

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, former Democratic President Jimmy Carter attributed much of the conservative opposition that President Obama is receiving to the issue of race.

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man," Carter said. "I live in the South, and I've seen the South come a long way, and I've seen the rest of the country that share the South's attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans."

Carter continued, "And that racism inclination still exists. And I think it's bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It's an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply."

Via CountDown
Political Analyst Lawrence O'Donnell discusses comments from President Jimmy Carter in a recent breaking interview segment with NBC's Brian Willians that racism is a significant aspect in criticism of President Barack Obama.

Via CountDown
Markos Moulitsas discusses the role of racism that has been evident in the character of the opposition to President Barack Obama.

Joe Wilson Resolution of Disapproval: House Votes To Admonish

Via AP/HuffPo

WASHINGTON (Associated Press) - The House has voted to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson over his "You lie" outburst to President Barack Obama during the president's health care speech to Congress last week.

The 240-179 vote on the resolution of disapproval reflected the sharp partisan divide over the issue. Democrats insisted that the South Carolina Republican take responsibility for what they said was a serious breach of decorum. Republicans characterized the vote as a political stunt.

Wilson himself would not back down on his position that he owed the House no apology. Surrounded by Republican supporters, Wilson said Obama had "graciously accepted my apology and the issue is over."

Here is the vote tally:

Dem: 233Y, 12N, 5Pres, 6Abs
Repub: 7Y, 167N, 0Pres, 4Abs

Total: 240Y, 179N, 5Pres, 10Abs

Moore (WI)


Frank (MA)

Tea Party Representative Mark Williams: "Real American"

Via Nicholas Graham

"Tea Party" leader Mark Williams appeared on a CNN panel on "Anderson Cooper 360" last night and promptly set to work discrediting himself and his movement. Williams denounced those carrying blatantly racist signs against President Obama during the tea parties as "no more part of the mainstream of America than the hippies who wear nipple clips and feather boas in San Francisco streets during so-called peace demonstrations."

Cooper had done his homework, however, and caught Williams blatantly misrepresenting himself: "What you're saying makes sense to me here when I'm hearing what you say but then I read on your blog, you say, you call the President an Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug and a racist in chief."

Williams shrugs and responds, "Yeah, that's the way he's behaving." An incredulous Cooper asks Williams if he really believes Obama is an Indonesian Muslim and a welfare thug. The tea party leader digs the hole a little deeper: "He's certainly acting like it. Until he embraces the whole country what else can I conclude."

The Rude Pundit from Monday's Stephanie Miller Show

Via the rude pundit

The question of the day: will the Rude Pundit show up on right-wing websites for positing that mass murder would both raise the IQ of the nation and reduce Medicare costs? That and funny teabag signs, Joe Wilson mockery, and much more long-distance lust with Stephanie Miller.

(And if you haven't, you should subscribe to the Rude Pundit podcast either at Podbean or at iTunes.)

Wingnut Goes Berserk; Beats United States Military Woman At Georgia Cracker Barrel


Morrow police say surveillance video and witnesses caught a man beating a mother who is also a soldier and calling her racial slurs. Tasha Hill, a United States Army soldier, and her 7-year-old daughter Shiyenn both have a hard time talking about what happened to them at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant on Southlake Plaza Drive in Morrow.

"I was thinking that it was my fault and that I shouldn’t have picked to go over there," said Shiyenn. Hill said they stopped at Cracker Barrel because her daughter wanted to eat there. When they were walking inside the restaurant, a big man police identified as Troy Dale West of Poulan, Ga., forced the door open and almost hit Shiyenn.

Hill said the 6'2", 215 lb. man started punching and kicking her because she said excuse me and because she is black. "[I said] 'Excuse me sir watch out you almost hit my daughter in the face.' He just came lighting fast came back at me with, 'You need to watch your f-n daughter,'" said Hill. Hill said that's what West said before his fists started pounding her. "He continued to punch and kick on me and called me vulgar names, called me a racial slur and then curse words," said Hill.

Morrow Police Commander Jimmy Callaway said the restaurant's surveillance video clearly shows West beating Hill in the restaurant's small entryway. "It’s clearly a shocking incident to where a man that’s twice the size of this female beats her down in front of the child," said Callaway.

Hill said her daughter seeing that hurts her more than the bruises and racial slurs. "That just really bothered me for her to see that. I want justice served I don’t want him to ever do this to anybody else," said Hill. Police charged West with cruelty to children, battery and disorderly conduct. He is out of jail on bond. Morrow Police would not release surveillance video of the incident because they have referred this case to the FBI to investigate it as a hate crime.

News report video here

Second report here

Third report here

Barack Obama’s Secret Terrible Insult For Kanye West Revealed By Rogue Tweet!

Via Wonkette

Apparent MTV employee Barack Obama called human simulacrum Kanye West a “jackass.” This is in response to Kanye yelling something in bad taste to Faith Hill at the Country Music Awards, which has been plaguing our President, this altercation between two Hollywood movie stars about something, a shared boyfriend, maybe.

Anyway, this latest declaration from Obama is “causing quite a stir on Twitter,” as all known events have been wont to do lately, because it was apparently given "off the record" to CNBC. But CNBC and ABC got their scoops crossed, and ABC’s Terry Moran Twittered the “jackass” comment, which was bad form because... how dare journalist Terry Moran report this exclusive information. The Tweet has since been sent back to Hell.
[Michael Calderone]

"... some university... who cares which one..."


Glenn Beck appeared this morning on Fox & Friends, where he insisted that the the Tea Party march on Washington attracted 1.7 million people. This is more than twice what even the organizers of the event say it was, with the FreedomWorks estimate yesterday being between 600,000 and 800,000.

"Stat God" Nate Silver (as per usual) has more realistic figures.

Beck cited a university study of the crowd -- though he's not sure which university: "We had a university, I think it's University of -- I don't remember which university it is -- um, look at the pictures. And you know, they can do body space and calculate -- 1.7 million, that crowd was estimated."

Gretchen Carlson noted that they'd only been saying tens of thousands, which Beck brushed off as the official report. "If you look at the pictures, university looked at it, did the body count, et cetera et cetera, 1.7 million."

Tuesday - Tune of the Day

Peter Gabriel - Digging in the Dirt

I feel it in my head, I feel it in my toes
I feel it in my sex, that's the place it goes

FreedomWorks Math

Via HardBall

ABC News citing the DC Fire Dept estimated the number of protesters at between 60,000 and 70,000 at the FreedomWorks Sponsored anti-Obama teabagger rally in Washington DC on Sept 12.

Matt Kibbi, a spokesperson for the event speaking publicly lied about ABC estimates and put out misinformation that the estimates were between 1M and 1.5M.

Many right wing blogs quickly seized on the misquote including Michelle Malkin of Pajamas Media and were summarily discredited the same evening for their crowd estimates... having to publicly recant the following day and issue corrections for the gross (15x) overstating of crowd numbers by 930,000 attendees.

Jon Stewart Owns Glenn Beck on Healthcare Hypocrisy

Via Indecision

If you're like me, you woke up this morning to find the sun rising in the west against a green sky, you got out of your bed on the ceiling, took a fresh breath of carbon dioxide, thought about how repulsive puppies are and said to yourself, Glenn Beck is not at all a hypocritical lunatic. But if you don't live in Oppositeville, you woke up and saw this.

Stephen Colbert discusses Glenn Beck's fleeing sponsors.

Billionaires Thank Teabaggers For Their Support

Via @Maddow

Via Billionaires For Wealthcare

It was a lovely day in DC as the Billionaires for Wealthcare gathered to survey our investments. After a few of our beautiful heiresses took proper tea at the Ladies Tea Party held by Americans for Prosperity, our gilded heroes headed off to greet the marchers with signs, chants and songs.

We set up our post on an elevated curb along Pennsylvania Avenue, proudly surveying the throngs we’d funded. The crowds mainly greeted us with cheers for the status quo. A few seemed confused; they were clearly in awe to be face-to-face with those who profit from their most manipulated fears.

As they passed we waved them on and serenaded them with our songs.

From our perch, your trusty billionaires thanked our hardworking teabaggers, rallying the crowd with rousing chants like “Money is freedom!”, “Freedom Works – FOR US!, “You Protest – We Profit!” and the big crowd favorite, “Bring Back Bush!!!”

From there we decamped and headed into the crowds toward the Capitol to mingle with those working so hard to ensure our right to raise rates and deny claims.

The crowd embraced us with their exuberant chants and signs. Ayn Rand was a favorite theme, of which we naturally approved, but some were a bit unique. Regardless, we’re proud of the teabaggers, and thrilled that they came out like good soldiers. After all, nothing says freedom like denying claims. And besides, OUR death panels turn a profit.

To close we popped some champagne, toasted our teabaggers and took our leave of the march.


Back in the limo, we enjoyed the last of our caviar and, as a final touch, sent a huge flower arrangement to the luxury suite of our most loyal foot soldier, Glenn Beck, and headed home.

Until the next rally, we remain yours in obscene wealth and the status quo – Billionaires For Wealthcare.

Poll: Obama Didn't Lie! Joe Wilson Did! So Say The People!


A new CNN poll finds that Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) "You lie!" outburst remains a minority viewpoint among Americans -- though it is a significant minority.

The poll finds that 32% said that Obama lied while he was speaking to Congress, compared to 60% who don't think so. In addition, only 15% say that it was appropriate behavior for Wilson to shout out that Obama was lying, compared to 85% who say it was inappropriate.

Interestingly enough, an earlier question asks: "If Obama's plan became law, do you think that the federal government would or would not provide insurance to illegal immigrants?" This is the substance of the very matter that caused Wilson to shout out. Here it's much more divided, with 47% thinking it will happen and 49% saying it won't.

A possible explanation for this could be that some people might believe Obama when he says his plan doesn't intend to help illegals, but nevertheless they just don't trust the government to get it right over the long haul.

Also, the poll shows that a substantial minority subscribe to some manner of Deatherism: " If Obama's plan became law, do you think senior citizens or seriously-ill patients would die because government panels would prevent them from getting the medical treatment they needed?" Here we have 41% saying that this would happen, to 57% saying it wouldn't.

Also, people widely expect a full government takeover of health care happening somewhere down the line: "If Obama's plan became law, do you think the federal government would or would not eventually take over all aspects of the country's health care system?" Here we have 55% that it would happen, to 42% that it would not happen.

'TeaBagger' Protest Photo Turns Out To Be A Fake

Via LA Times

How many people showed up on Capitol Hill to protest President Obama's political agenda on Saturday?

Tea_party_photo It depends on whom you ask.

As our colleague in Washington, Joe Markman, writes today, several conservative groups behind the march say that as many as 2 million people turned out to protest everything from Obama's proposed healthcare overhaul to the legitimacy of his election.

Others, however, say the crowd was much smaller. A spokesman for the District of Columbia Fire Department made an unofficial estimate of 60,000 to 70,000 people.

Arguments about crowd estimates are, as Markman writes, "as much a part of Washington as its granite monuments."

This one took a rather scandalous turn, however, when a photo circulated among conservatives as proof of a larger crowd was revealed to be a fake.

The photo, shown at right, depicts a crowd stretching from the Capitol nearly to the Washington Monument. It was posted on several conservative blogs and Facebook pages, with notations that it was taken on Saturday.

But if you take a closer look, you'll see that there is no way it could have been taken Saturday because the National Museum of the American Indian is not there. The museum opened in 2004 on the east side of the Mall -- which should be in the photo's upper right. It's not -- so the photo must have been taken before then.

Several bloggers who ran the photo have begrudgingly corrected their errors.

The blog Say Anything ran a correction. Another conservative blog, Power Line, removed the picture. But in a post explaining why, the site's author took a final dig at what he called the "liberal media."

"There is no doubt that Washington Democrats are well aware of how many people turned out, even as their media outlets try to downplay the event," John Hinderaker wrote.

PolitiFact, the ever-valuable fact-checking arm of the St. Petersburg Times, has much more on the photo controversy.

-- Kate Linthicum