Saturday - Tune of the Day

Marcy Playground - Sex & Candy

Hangin' round downtown by myself
And I had too much caffeine
And I was thinkin' 'bout myself
And then there she was
In platform double suede
Yeah there she was
Like disco lemonade

Scarborough: Celebration of Failed Olympic Bid "Just Plain Stupid"

Via AlterNet

A surprising number of conservatives are doing a happy-dance over the fact that the United States will not host the Olympic summer games in 2016. As far as I can tell, their glee is driven entirely by their hatred of President Obama -- Chicago is his hometown, and therefore undeserving.

Joe Scarborough, of all people, is defending the president.

Count me as one conservative who is disappointed that President Obama's hometown will not be hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

Chicago is a beautiful city that would have made a perfect backdrop for the Olympics. The President was right to fly to Copenhagen to try to land the games, not for the sake of his city, but for the good of his country. The fact President Obama failed makes me respect him more for taking the chance, and the fact many right-wing figures opposed the President's mission shows just how narrow-minded partisanship makes us all. [...]

[W]hat we saw from some conservative corners regarding the President's failed Olympics bid was just plain stupid.

I rarely agree with Joe Scarborough this much. When the Weekly Standard's office "erupts" in "cheers" -- as editor John McCormack wrote this afternoon -- it's hard to miss the oddity of watching Americans revel in America's Olympic defeat.

There are obviously far more important international developments than an athletic competition, but I honestly can't think of the last time I've seen so many high-profile Americans root so enthusiastically against their own country. Rachel Slajda has some of the highlights from prominent right-wing voices -- or lowlights, depending on one's perspective -- and it's more than a little depressing.

Former Bush aide advised Republicans to "resist the temptation to pile on about Chicago losing the Olympic bid just because Obama made the pitch," but he was ignored.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) added, "Someone should remind [conservatives] which team they're really on."

I remember a time when conservative Republicans claimed to have the high ground on unimpeachable patriotism. My, how things have changed.

Marxist Teleprompters Attempt To Sabotage Glenn Beck Show

Via Jason Linkins

Why does Glenn Beck use these infernal devices, which were built to foment OLIGARHY! And why does Glenn Beck speak to his crew so snidely, saying in his best sarcastic dialect, "Prompter? Prompter please? Thank you! A little farther, prompter! There!" Probably because they're all in a union.

Anyway, they get it fixed, so that Beck can clearly read where he's supposed to "PAUSE, GET TEARY" and "PAUSE, ACT INCREDULOUS" and "JUST GO AHEAD AND LOSE YOUR EVERLOVING MIND, ON THE TEEVEE."

Conservatives Erupt In Applause Over Chicago's Olympic Bid Failure

Via Sam Stein

Chicago's failed bid to host the 2016 Olympics in the first round of voting caps a week of conservative attacks against President Obama for personally stumping on his home city's behalf.

How the International Olympic Committee's rejection of the Windy City's bid affects the politics surrounding Obama's trip to Copenhagen remains to be seen. But in the immediate aftermath, it has provided ample fodder for Republicans to further accuse the president of having wasted his time, skirted his responsibilities, and acted as a crony for some of his big-moneyed donors.

Upon being informed of the news, a gathering of conservatives at the Americans For Prosperity -- one of the main organizing groups behind the tea party protests -- erupted in applause. They cheered once more after they were told that Chicago had been eliminated during the first round of voting. The moment was captured on video (above) and reported by Hotline On Call.

Around the same time, RedState's Erick Erickson took glee in Chicago - and, by extension, Obama's - rejection.

"Hahahahaha," he wrote. "I thought the world would love us more now that Bush was gone. I thought if we whored ourselves out to our enemies, great things would happen. Apparently not. So Obama's pimped us to every two bit thug and dictator in the world, made promises to half the Olympic committee, and they did not even kiss him."

Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, meanwhile, wrote that the news effectively ended the Obama campaign motto of "Yes We Can" by dawning in a new slogan: "No, You Can't."

"This is a big win and a massive relief for taxpayers," she wrote. "But Chicago cronies are not going to take this well. Gird your loins."

The National Review Online called the episode an "embarrassment for Obama," before adding the predictable conservative ribbing: "If he can't work his personal magic with the Olympians, why does he expect it to work with the Iranians?"

Rush Limbaugh called it "the worst day of his presidency," adding that Obama "has failed" and the entire episode was an illustration of Obama's "Mars-sized ego."

The Drudge Report -- topping them all -- blared the headline: "THE EGO HAS LANDED


It's an aggressive posture. But also, potentially, a risky one, not just because polling data showed that a vast majority of the country wanted America to host the games (though some were skeptical of the need for Obama to make a personal pitch). But also because it continues to produce the specter of conservatives bludgeoning the reputation of America's "second city."

Hours before Chicago's bid failed, The Plum Line reported that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) was skirting questions about whether he supported Obama's decision to fly to Copenhagen. Kirk, mind you, is not just a rising star within GOP circles. He is the party's top candidate for Senate in Illinois.

And yet, it's fair to assume that Kirk's hands were somewhat tied on the issue. GOP leadership in the House had cast its lot against Chicago days before. Earlier this week, House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R-Ohio) said the president's decision to travel to Copenhagen raised questions about the White House's priorities. A few days before he spoke, RNC Chairman Michael Steele was equally pugnacious. "I think that what the president is doing is not necessarily helpful and doesn't, in my view instill the confidence in the American people that the focus is there on jobs, wealth creation and moving us beyond a recession to prosperity," he told a conference call of reporters.

The attacks were far more vicious from the media, whose conservative members used reports of gang violence in the streets of Chicago to paint the city as a cesspool of street thugs and political corruption. Fox News' Glenn Beck adopted a pained Italian accent to paint the Windy City as ruled by mob control. Beck's colleague, Sean Hannity, meanwhile, asked rhetorically if Chicago was really where "we want the Olympics taking place." On September 29, The Drudge Report ran a headline linking to an article about the death of a 16-year-old honor student in a gang fight: "OLYMPIC SPIRIT: VIDEO SHOWS BRUTAL GANG MURDER IN CHICAGO."

Taken separately, the criticism seemed like traditional, partisan-driven efforts to land a punch on the president. And in some respects, there were intellectual foundations for the charges. Even good government groups have wondered whether the big-moneyed donors who sit on Chicago's 2016 committee board played a role in Obama's decision to travel to Copenhagen.

Taken as a whole, however, the steady stream of Republican attacks raise as many questions about the GOP's strategy as they do about the president's. For starters: is it smart politics to argue that a major American city is unfit to host the Olympic games? More than one Democratic strategist has pointed out that, if Democrats had attacked George W. Bush for pushing Dallas as an Olympics host, they would immediately have been branded as unpatriotic.

Perhaps the better question is: will the voters respond positively to such charges? A poll conducted by Zogby International from Sept. 22 to 25 showed that 84 percent of Americans support having the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Chicago. And even after being attacked for several days straight, Obama had taken only a small hit for his decision to go to Copenhagen. A Rasmussen Reports poll released on Thursday, showed that 43 percent of adults thought it was "a bad idea for the President to go overseas at this time to help Chicago make its final presentation to the Olympic Committee." Thirty-six percent said it was a good idea, while 21 percent were not sure.

Judging Potential Hypocrite David Letterman's Sexxxy Extortion Scandal

Via Gawker

So, here they are: David Letterman's remarks on how he had "creepy" sex with an indeterminate amount of female staffers and was then extorted. Considering Letterman has long used affairs as punchlines, should we run him out of town?

During his tenure at the Late Show, Letterman's made mad bank on using public figures and their public disgraces as his "comedic" inspiration. There could be a book of his Clinton-inspired knee-slappers, like this one, "No move ever goes smoothly. Today Clinton's brand new desk arrived. He had to send it back, apparently not enough head room." Oh, ha! Monica Lewinsky blew Clinton while he was president. And now we learn that Letterman banged his lady underlings.

Letterman's admission makes us — and Howard Kurtz, sort of — wonder whether Letterman, who also admitted he'll do anything to protect his job, should be shamed as he's shamed others.

He's a famous, rich and, to some, charming man — the fact that he screwed staffers should raise serious ethical questions, like "Did he use his power and influence to take advantage of the women?" Even if he didn't do so intentionally, it's certainly possible that's the case and he's just as guilty as those he's lampooned. But perhaps we should give him some wiggle room here.

Although we're not in awe of how he handled this, we're surprisingly impressed by the amount of self-skewering he mustered while discussing the potential for embarrassment. That impression, however, was rapidly shattered when he revealed his "true" intentions: protect these women — oh, and his family, self and, again, his job.

The entire thing came off as more of a relatively humorous, if not laudatory, apology than a phony, manufactured plea for forgiveness. But isn't the former better than the latter, especially since he's been calling the kettle black this whole time? The audience certainly thinks so: they clapped and laughed and lapped up the entire bit.

Will the public — and, most importantly, CBS — do the same?


Via Rachel Maddow

Senator Jim Demint's plan to travel to Honduras to deliver a political message contrary to official U.S. position, a violation of the Logan Act.

If a Democrat did this in the last administration... they'd be hanged.

More at TPMCafe
In other words, Jim DeMint is acting on behalf of, in cahoots with, and against the foreign policy of the United States of America in encouraging post-coup Honduran government officials defy the United States. He is encouraging a political leadership which has no legitimacy and which not recognized by other democracies in the region -- while the ousted President makes cell phone UN General Assembly statements from a couch-bed in the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa.

A US Senator alone does not make the America's foreign policy, and working against the policies of the United States in collaboration with foreign officials. . .well. . .there are words that come to mind to describe this behavior, but I want to be civil towards the Senator.

Friday - Tune of the Day

Limp Bizkit - Take A Look Around

Do we always gotta cry? (Always gotta cry)
Do we always gotta live inside a lie? (Live inside a lie)
Life's just a blast, it's movin' really fast
Better stay on top or life'll kick you in the ass

The Latest Health Care Lie-Meme, Starring Michele Bachmann

Via Wonkette

Here is overrated piece of performance art Michele Bachmann suggesting on the House floor last night that, you know actually, if you look at the first letter of the first word on each even-numbered page of the latest iteration of the Democrats’ health care bill, it spells out the following: “CHILDREN, TEENAGE CHILDREN, COULD BE HAVING SEX WITH DRUG PEOPLE AND GETTING ABORTIONS FIVE MINUTES LATER, AND REPEATING THESE UNCOUTH SEX TRICKS AD VITAM AETERNAM, AND YOU WOULD BE NONE THE WISER.” It’s true!

So apparently Obama wants to set up health clinics in schools, which is of course deeply problematic because if there are health clinics in school—like health clinics that know about sex things!!—what’s stopping America’s children from getting hall-passes to the abortion clinic every day practically? Well, fine, yes, this:

Clinics getting federal dollars must act in accordance with federal, state and local law, according to the bills. For example, clinics in Louisiana are not even allowed to counsel students on abortion, according to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Um but still! Your child: getting casual abortions during theology class??

UH OH!! Damn Activist Judge!!

Via AP

WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled Thursday that the FBI must publicly reveal much of its notes from an interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney during the investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative.

Cheney agreed to be interviewed by Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in June 2004 during the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame's identity after her husband publicly criticized the Bush administration. Both the Bush and Obama administrations said they wanted to keep the interview confidential because future presidents, vice presidents and their senior staff may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could became public.

But U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled there was no justification to withhold the entire 67 pages of FBI records documenting Fitzgerald's interview since the Plame leak investigation has concluded. He said that limited parts could be withheld to protect national security and private communications between the president and vice president.

The Justice Department told Sullivan in a hearing this summer that if he ordered the documents released, they would appeal and seek to withhold them until the matter is resolved. The Justice Department declined to comment on the ruling Thursday.

Plame's identity was leaked to news organizations after her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, criticized the Bush administration's prewar intelligence on Iraq in 2003.

The leak touched off a lengthy inquiry that led to Cheney's former top aide, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, being convicted on charges of obstruction of justice and lying to investigators. During his trial, jurors found that Libby lied to the FBI and a grand jury about his conversations with reporters. Then-President George W. Bush commuted Libby's sentence, and Libby never served prison time.

Libby was the only person charged in the case. No one was charged with leaking Wilson's name.

Libby told the FBI in 2003 that it was possible that Cheney ordered him to reveal Plame's identity to reporters. The prosecutor in that case, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, said in his closing remarks at Libby's trial that there was a "cloud" over Cheney's role in the case.

In July 2008, the liberal watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department seeking records related to Cheney's interview in the investigation. The Justice Department said there were two sets of notes taken by FBI agents during the interview and a report summarizing it, but declined to turn over the records. CREW filed a lawsuit in August.

CREW executive Melanie Sloan said in a statement that the group hopes the Obama administration will reveal the entire record in the interest of transparency.

"The American people deserve to know the truth about the role the vice president played in exposing Mrs. Wilson's covert identity," Sloan said. "High-level government officials should not be permitted to hide their misconduct from public view."

The Justice Department said the documents were exempt since they were part of a law enforcement matter and their release could interfere with future cases. They said the White House not cooperate if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics like those on "The Daily Show," who would ridicule them.

They also said the interview contained classified material and that presidential communications were shielded to allow candor with the president and his advisers.

Stewart Destroys Dems For Not Getting Public Option Passed

Via Comedy Central

Jon Stewart went off on Senate Democrats last night for failing to get their health care reform plan past the Senate Finance Committee despite having a super majority. The Democrats had the numbers on the committee, but several members of their party voted against the amendments despite 65% national approval for the plan.

Stewart argued that the "Democrats couldn't get laid in a house [where people's] sole purpose is to have consequence and disease-free sex with legislators on finance committees."


Military vs Cheney

Via HardBall

A group of retired Army Generals have accused former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter of using fear-mongering and scare tactics in response to the closing of the prison at Guantanamo Bay... to sway the opinion of the American people.

Retired Army Lt General Harry Soyster and retired Navy Rear Admiral John Huston who both support closing of the prison also discuss recent post at (now pulled) fantasizing about a military coup against the Obama administration.

(03:30) Admiral Huston on the supermax prisons in the United States.
It's just foolishness, Chris. We can bring these people to the United States, put them in prisons in the United States, prisons from which nobody has ever, in the history of America, escaped and we will be perfectly safe.

One thing that VP Cheney is right about, this is a national security issue. What he's wrong about is the direction in which the national security interests cuts. The national security interests cuts in favor of closing Guantanamo, as General Soyster says, taking that iconic image off the table, and putting these people in prisons, prosecuting those people that we can prosecute, transferring the others, but get rid of Gitmo.

(07:05) General Soyster on Newsmax columnist John Perry's "Coup" article.
Having spent a long time in the military, I don't remember any discussions about a coup, in fact, I think it's a great strength of this country that our military completely understand the role of our civilian leadership and their superiority.

We have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States. It's worked pretty well for a long time. We think it's gonna continue to work for us very well.

Chris Matthews
Well said. Who couldn't agree with that. If anybody watching doesn't agree with that, please leave this country. This is democracy, the military serves the interests of the country. They do not dictate.

Thursday - Tune of the Day

No Doubt - Hella Good

Come here a little closer
'Cause I wanna see you, baby, real close up
(Get over here)
(Get over here)

Why Is Obama Still Smiling? Look at the Polls


A slew of recent polling data points to a conclusion that might have seemed hard to believe amidst the town hall craziness in the dog days of August and early September: President Obama's numbers have not only stabilized but actually seem to be showing a modest uptick. And by several other measures the political landscape for Democrats isn't nearly as bleak as it was being portrayed just a few weeks ago.

To be sure, the evidence is insufficient to point to any dramatic, long-run Obama resurgence -- at least for now. But there's enough data to conclude that August, rather than being a public support train-wreck for the president was actually an inflection point, when the downward trend flattened out, and
in some cases began crawling back upward.

Presidential Approval

The numbers here all show that Obama's decline from his honeymoon period has essentially stopped -- and that he has leveled out in a solid territory.

Just a month ago, the talk had been about how Obama's approval rating had fallen from its prior, unnatural honeymoon highs. He'd reached 50% in Gallup, a key measure, and seemed ready to dip below 50% at any time.

But a funny thing happened: A further dip never happened. Instead, he leveled out and even seems to be enjoying a modest rebound.

A CBS/New York Times poll put him at 56%-33%, compared to 56%-35% in August. An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has him at 51%-41%, compared to 51%-40% in August. A Fox News poll has him at 54%-39%, compared to 53%-40% in August.

The Economy

On the economy, Obama has either leveled out or even improved slightly.

Fox News puts Obama's approval at 55%-40% -- an improvement from Fox's July figure of 50%-43%. NBC/WSJ didn't show any significant improvement, but nor was there any degradation, with Obama at 50%-42% on the economy, compared to 49%-44% in July. CBS/NYT put him at 50%-40% on this, down slightly from 53%-41% in August, and essentially the same as 51%-41% in July -- and not really showing any statistically significant movement at all.

But public perceptions of the economy itself are equally telling and may serve as a leading indicator of the president's and his party's standing going into 2010. The public's perception of the overall economy is a key indicator in politics, which can have a serious impact on the incumbent party and the challengers -- just look at how there was a big swing to Obama last year, right when the market began to crash. Here, the perceptions are definitely improving. And that will be a key issue for the Democrats now that they're the ones in charge. The polls here show that the economy is certainly viewed as being bad -- but a growing number of people think it's starting to improve.

One question in the latest CBS/NYT poll suggests that the public is not only seeing improvements in the economy but may be connecting those improvements to President Obama's policies: "So far, do you think the government's stimulus package has made the economy better, made the economy worse, or has it had no impact on the economy so far?" The answer was 36% better, 13% worse, 46% no impact -- compared to a 25%-13%-57% split in August. Thus we have an 11-point swing from the no-impact column to the better column.

Health Care

As Charles Franklin has observed, the real story on health care reform in August and September was that an increase in opposition to reform that had been building up ended up stopping. Support for reform, which had been declining, ended up turning around and reaching parity with opposition.

On health care, the CBS/NYT poll gives a 47%-45% approval for Obama, up from 40%-47% in August. Fox has him at 44%-48%, compared to 43%-45% in July. NBC/WSJ is at 45%-46%, up from 41%-47% in August, and 41%-46% in July.

Congressional Ballot

The generic Congressional ballot very rarely shows truly drastic movement. But even here we some slight inflection. There certainly seemed to be a Republican surge in this number in August, catching up with the Democrats. But that effect has been wearing off, too.Here's the graph from Pollster:

Remaining Issues

It's not all good news, certainly. And the numbers do show that the opposition is much more solidly united in their views -- which could potentially feed into better voter motivation on their part. As one example, the NBC/WSJ poll finds only 20% believe the stimulus has begun improving the economy, to 38% who say it will not help the economy. Another 27% believe it has not yet improved the economy, but will do so in the future -- meaning that Obama and the Democrats still have to work hard to maintain the public's trust.

These numbers are all snapshots in time, and are always subject to future changes in both real events and the public's perception of those events. Even the phrasing of questions can have a big effect in terms of how they galvanize different sides or leave some people in the undecided column.

But all those caveats aside, while Republicans cast August as a grassroots uprising against Obama, there's been far from a revolution in public opinion. In fact, the available evidence suggests that Obama not only survived the assault, but may even have benefitted from it.

Jon Stewart Schools Sean Hannity On History and the Food Chain

Via Comedy Central

Jon Stewart spent almost a third of his show last night mocking Hannity for his ignorance of the food chain and of the historic laws that created reservoirs for these farmers in the first place.

Wednesday - Tune of the Day

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros - London Calling

The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
Engines stop running, the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning and I, I live by the river

"Some of the Louder Talkers"

Via Morning Joe

Former Bush advisor David Frum discusses building a new conservative majority that adapts to new circumstances. {02:16 to 06:40}

(02:28) I think Republicans and Conservatives have to make up their minds. Do you want to be a political movement or do you want to be a movement of cultural opposition.

A lot of what you hear on radio and TV... people are just dissenting from the modern world. The modern world is a fact, you have to accept it. Views, especially on issues of family and sexuality, have changed.... views on race, have changed and conservatives need to work with that as conservatives have so successfully done in other counties [..] because (they) have been able to make those kinds of adjustments.

(04:05) One of the things we know is that people become less Republican as they get better educated. If the experience of gaining an education (which, of course, is a good thing) causes people to move away from the Republican party... you need to learn to adapt to that.

(05:30) Just do it different... If more Republican candidates were out there being unafraid and unintimidated by some of the louder talkers, daring to break with them when they say crazy things, and be constructive, [..] then I think you can begin to demonstrate that there is a different kind of conservatism and it can be done. It can be done... because you're doing it.

Palin's Memoir Due in November; English Edition to Follow

NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report) - A memoir by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be published this November, with an English translation due shortly thereafter, her publisher confirmed today.

According to Carol Foyler, a spokesperson for the publisher, translators are working "around the clock" to translate Ms. Palin's text into English.

"We have hired the best linguists in the country, but this is still hard work," Ms. Foyler acknowledged. "It must have been easier to crack the Enigma code in World War II."

Ms. Foyler said that the publishing company was "delighted" with Ms. Palin's manuscript and "deeply relieved that she didn't quit in the middle of it."

Alert the Wingnuts!

Via Cesca

I wrote about this the other day, but here it is. A group of kids singing directly to President Nixon. At the White House.

We love you president
Oh yes we do
We love you president
And we'll be true

When you're not with us
We're blue
Our president, we love you

Tuesday - Tune of the Day

Everclear - AM Radio

I'd be in bed with the radio on
I would listen to it all night long
Just to hear my favorite song
You'd have to wait but you could hear it on the AM radio

Sunday - Tune of the Day

Supergrass - Pumping On Your Stereo

Well, the wider your eyes, the bigger the lies, yes it's true
If you make a mistake well you couldn't relate till you're blue, yes it's true

Indoctrinating The Kids

Oh... the horror!!