Because they had no scruples in choosing whom to embrace in their quest for power, the Republican Party is now a cesspit of wing-nuts that change the conspiracy theories they embrace more often than they change their socks. This has led to interference in foreign policy in ways that make the world more dangerous for us all.
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Jabberwonk is the place to share links to articles on Politics, Social Life and Science. Started in 2004 as "Not This Time George", our site has grown and we rebranded ourselves to take on the bigger fight than just one administration. Now we are set to release the 1st major update to the site since its creation ('bout time, slackers). We are going to be adding new features and trying out some new angles. We are looking to ad a voice for the opposition to express their views also and open up an area for user generated comments. Got an idea, got some feedback, send it to us. We are looking for input.
When a former member of the Executive calls for Congress to subpoena another former member of the Executive, it is a game-changer. No longer can he rely on "Executive Privilege" to block his own testimony.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney has suggested that the GOP subpoena former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton again on Benghazi.
Fine and dandy. Let us first subpoena Mr. Cheney to testify about 9/11, Iraq, torture and the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
I haven't seen this picked up anywhere else, but Reuters is reporting that a UN official says they have no evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war:
U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria's civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday.
The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.
With the number of vacant judicial seats nearing epidemic levels, one legislator is demanding some answers: professional judge-blocker Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
During the Judiciary Committee’s recent hearing on immigration reform, Sen. Cornyn complained that his home state of Texas was suffering from a shortage of immigration judges. Thousands of illegal immigrants cross the Southern border into Texas each year, Cornyn explained, many of them even “wearing some form of turban.”
As frantic rescue missions continued Monday in Oklahoma following the catastrophic tornadoes that ripped through the state, it appeared increasingly likely that residents who lost homes and businesses would turn to the federal government for emergency disaster aid. That could put the state's two Republican senators in an awkward position.
Sens. Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn, both Republicans, are fiscal hawks who have repeatedly voted against funding disaster aid for other parts of the country. They also have opposed increased funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers federal disaster relief.
The idea of impeaching Obama is industrial-strength insane. Republicans will probably try anyway, predicts Michael Tomasky.
When the histories of this administration are written, I hope fervently that last Friday, May 10, does not figure prominently in them. But I fear that it might: the double-barrel revelations that the White House hasn’t quite been telling the whole story on Benghazi and that some mid-level IRS people targeted some Tea Party groups for scrutiny are guaranteed to ramp up the crazy. But to what extent? I fear it could be considerable, and the people in the White House damn well better fear the same, or we’re going to be contemplating an extremely ugly situation come 2015, especially if the Republicans have held the House and captured the Senate in the by-elections.
Jake Tapper is on a roll at CNN. The co-chairs of the Benghazi review are asking that Darrell Issa (R-CA) allow them to testify publicly, as is “appropriate”, on either May 28 or June 3.
While the rest of the media is reporting that the co-chairmen of the independent review on the Benghazi attacks, Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, have finally agreed to testify, in truth Pickering was not invited by Darell Issa (R-CA) to testify at the televised hearing. When called out on his lies on national TV, Issa finally tried to blame the White House for not inviting Pickering. Why wouldn’t Issa invite the co-chair of the independent review if he really wanted to get to the bottom of what happened?
As absurd as this may sound, an anchor from the Republican Ministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, had the audacity to claim that the reason Republicans are intransigent about their economic stance is that America does not have the money to do otherwise. Horse feathers!
The budget plan President Obama released this morning is squarely aimed at brokering a long-term fiscal compromise with House Republicans, who have demanded entitlement cuts and other spending reductions to reduce the nation’s deficit. Obama’s budget mirrors the compromise offer he made to House Speaker John Boehner (R) in fiscal cliff negotiations, offering less in stimulus spending and revenues than he has previously sought and including reforms to Social Security that have infuriated his liberal base.
While far too many are focused on the proposed cuts to the safety net contained in Obama’s budget, not enough are focused on how the Republican Party is trying trash the safety net. One of the best examples of how they are doing so is RepubliCare. as this excellent editorial by Paul Krugman demonstrates.
You’ll be startled to hear that John Boehner has declared that Obama’s budget offer of Chained CPI, Medicare cuts that include means testing, and other spending cuts is not good enough:
“If the president believes these modest entitlement savings are needed to help shore up these programs, there’s no reason they should be held hostage for more tax hikes,” Boehner said in a statement. “That’s no way to lead and move the country forward.”
Remember 2009, the depths of the economic crisis? That year, the country spent way more than it brought in and ran an eye-popping shortfall that topped 10% of the size of the economy.
This year the deficit is expected to be half that -- around 5.3% of GDP, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.
And by 2015, it's projected to drop to 2.4%.
Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground.
That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves.
It's easy to forget that science is not always as scientific as we might like to think it is. Like any other discipline, scientific research is a complex web of connections between scientists, universities, other research institutions, the government and the arbiters of all things worthy: the journals. Back in the ink-and-tree days, journals were few and many were prestigious with names like Science and Nature. If you read about something in one of these journals, it was damn legit. The journals also hosted academic conferences, where peer-reviewed research was presented and sometimes scientific history made. But that was then.
Here’s some bleak news for the coal industry: As much as 65 percent of the U.S. coal fleet could find itself under threat in the years ahead, thanks to cheap natural gas and stricter air-pollution regulations.
That’s according to a new peer-reviewed study by three researchers at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, who take a detailed look at the costs of operating both coal-fired power plants and natural-gas plants around the United States.
It's still freezing in much of country, but it's springtime for Republican intellectuals.
With the Romney debacle behind them, a number of analysts have gone public with accounts of the party's failures and ambitious proposals for its reform. Over the last few weeks, Ross Douthat, Michael Gerson and Pete Wehner, Yuval Levin, Ramesh Ponnuru, Jim Pethothoukis, David Frum, and Tod Lindberg have all weighed in on where the GOP should go.
Costco is proving Republicans and the Wal-Mart wrong by paying workers a living wage while also earning record profits.
While Wal-Mart experienced February sales that were considered, “total disaster,” Costco’s earnings for the second quarter of the year climbed 39%. The New York Times reported, “Costco Wholesale’s net income for its second quarter climbed 39 percent as it pulled in more money from membership fees, sales improved and it recorded a large tax benefit.”
Ann Romney insisted in an interview with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace over the weekend that the media was to blame for her husband’s loss in the presidential race last fall.
While the media is a convenient (and common) scapegoat, Ann Romney is simply wrong when she says: “I believe it was the media’s fault as well, is that he was not giv[en] — being given a fair shake, that people weren’t allowed to see him for who he was.”
As the House Budget Committee discussed marking up Chairman Paul Ryan's austerity budget on Wednesday, leaders from the Congressional Progressive Caucus revealed their fiscal plan for America.
Entitled "Back to Work," the budget lays out policies that proponents say would bridge the deficit by stimulating employment, raising taxes on the wealthy and cutting the Pentagon budget.
obs numbers and other benefits touted by supporters of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are probably exaggerated, President Barack Obama told House Republicans on Wednesday, according to lawmakers who attended the closed-door meeting.
But Obama did not rule out a decision to approve the $7 billion pipeline, according to participants.
Obama told Republicans at the Capitol that he’s still weighing a decision on the pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., offered up a serving of red meat to the audience at CPAC, reiterating his support for “traditional marriage,” calling liberals “freeloaders,” and stating his opposition to tax increases and abortion. “Science has proven that life begins at conception,” he told the cheering crowd.
“Just because I want to define marriage in a traditional way does not make me a bigot,” Rubio said, adding: “Just because I believe that life, all life, at all stages of development, deserves to be protected,” does not make him closed-minded.
By just about any measure, Congress is at its lowest point in history. Only 9 percent of the country has a favorable view of the 535 men and women who make up the bicameral body. One poll even revealed that they're less popular than cockroaches, traffic jams, and that ultimate barometer of public repulsion, Nickelback.
Once a promising young magazine writer, the bow-tied Daily Caller pundit has come to epitomize right-wing hackdom
In many ways Tucker Carlson’s a better symbol of the pathetic state of what passes for conservative journalism than even Glenn Beck or the late Andrew Breitbart, to name two of his contemporaries with a much larger following. Glenn Beck started as a no-account shock jock and is now a no-account Internet show host. Breitbart at least went from Drudge lackey to successful right-wing media mogul. Carlson, though, began his career in the most respectable fashion possible and has spent the ensuing decades gradually lowering himself into the gutter. His story illustrates why we can’t have a responsible or at least slightly less hysterical conservative media.
It is highly unusual for 91% of Americans to favor anything, but when we do, one might think that political support for such things would be nearly universal. But that does not take into account today’s Republican Party, that continues to goose-step in lock step behind Wayne LaPierre and the gun industry.
This is not the first time I have covered this story, but in light of recent developments, it is time to revisit what the Republican Party is doing to the US Postal Service. To be brief, the post office is under assault by Republicans, who are trying to destroy it for their own political ends, which as usual, conflict with the best interest of the American people.
With the sequester looming, many progressives are concerned that Obama might make a deal with Republicans that effect benefits people receive from earned entitlements, for which they have paid all their working lives. The CPC (Congressional Progressive Caucus), joined by several other Democrats, are telling Obama to hold the line.
While her former opponent, Scott ‘Bought Bagger’ Brown is fulfilling his calling as a professional liar on the Republican Ministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, Elizabeth Warren is doing exactly what we hoped she would do, using her vast knowledge of the industry expose abuse by Banksters and regulators.
Now that the American people have at long last been shocked into demanding reasonable firearms reform, Republicans have been twisting in the wind, with scheme after scheme to prevent it, each one more absurd than the last. I thought it could not get any worse, but I was wrong.
The State of the Union address was not, I’m sorry to say, very interesting. True, the president offered many good ideas. But we already know that almost none of those ideas will make it past a hostile House of Representatives.
Here in the US, ethnocentrism is rampant. That is the notion that we are better than everyone else. This applies particularly to Republicans. They use it to justify the wars they started in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the wars they want to start in Iran, Syria, and anywhere a progressive government is blocking exploitation by US companies. The truth is, we are number one in GDP, but that’s all.
State Rep. Rob Bacon believes abortion is murder and he wants the Iowa Code to reflect that.
Bacon, R-Slater, and eight other Republicans introduced such a bill in the Iowa House Wednesday. It would alter the definition of a person in murder cases to “an individual human being, without regard to age of development, from the moment of conception, when a zygote is formed, until natural death.”
“It’s to protect the life of the unborn,” Bacon told the Tribune. “There’s still some of us that believe life begins at conception.”
In his response to the State of the Union, Sen. Marco Rubio said: “This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.”
You know that feeling of pleasure you get when you see someone stand up to a bullying, incompetent boss? It’s viscerally satisfying, isn’t it?
That’s the way I felt this morning when I heard Postmaster General Patrick Donahue announce that the U.S. Postal Service intended to move forward with a plan to stop Saturday delivery of mail, effective sometime in August. In doing so, Donahue stuck his thumb in the eye of the U.S. Congress, the mail agency’s ultimate boss. Bravo, Mr. Donahue.
Democrats in Virginia are accusing state Republicans of taking advantage of a prominent civil rights leader’s trip to Washington for the presidential inauguration to pull a “dirty trick” in order to take control of the state Senate in the 2015 elections.
Today in his second inaugural address, President Obama became the progressive leader that many liberals thought they were getting when they voted him into office four years ago.
Couched in rhetoric about the need to come together as a country was a strong — and surprisingly pointed — invocation of a laundry list of progressive principles: gay rights, voting rights, climate change and the inherent value of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) and six other House Democrats have put forward legislation that would prevent state-level politicians from redrawing congressional districts. Instead, they would have be redrawn after each nationwide Census by an independent commission.
Cohen said his bill would help prevent the partisan redistricting of states, which many Democrats and Republicans have said creates districts that favor one party or another and allows hyper-partisan candidates to get elected.
In 2000, once the Supreme Court stopped the vote count, George W. Bush won the state of Florida by 537 votes.
Five hundred and thirty-seven votes.
In 2012, pundits saw an election that was just as close, if not closer, than 2000. Even The New York Times‘ Nate Silver, who ended up calling 50 out of 50 states, was unsure if the state would go to President Obama or Mitt Romney when the voting started on November 6. Even after the polls closed, after the election had been called for President Obama by everyone who wasn’t Karl Rove, the state was too close to call.
Appearing on “The Young Turks” Thursday, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) agreed with Republicans that cuts are needed to restore the nation’s fiscal outlook, but he wants to look in the last place conservatives are interested in curtailing: corporate welfare.
“If Republicans want to have a conversation about cuts, we should have a conversation about cuts,” Ellison, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told host Cenk Uygur. “Let’s start with Medicare Part D and say, ‘If you want to save money, you want to cut the deficit, let’s let there be competitive bidding for Medicare Part D prescription drugs. That would save about $150 billion.”
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1xXWe)
JENNIE LINN MCCORMACK was 14 when she had her first baby. It was 1993, and she was in junior high in southeast Idaho, where she’s always lived and where she still lives now. Blond, petite, and fine-featured, she did tap, ballet, drill team, and cheerleading. She started spending time with an 18-year-old boy in her group of friends. Because he was older and she was a virgin, she trusted him when he said nothing bad would happen if they had sex. The first time they did, she got pregnant.
From the House's new impeachment caucus to the lone-wolf "lock and load" government resisters, Mother Jones is compiling the craziest of the right-wing reactions to President Obama's gun violence initiatives. Got more suggestions? Add them in the comments.
Have you read Brad Plumer’s terrific, chart-heavy primer on America’s insane defense budget? If not, I’ll wait while you do.
Done? Good. The numbers there should shock you. In particular, this one: “Since 2001, the base defense budget has soared from $287 billion to $530 billion — and that’s before accounting for the primary costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.” Or, if you prefer to see it in graph form:
Public relations experts who have experience working with the gun industry expressed horror on Friday afternoon at the National Rifle Association's response to the Newtown, Conn., shootings.
The group's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, struck a scolding tone on Friday, blaming the video game industry and media for exposing youth to a culture of violence, and calling for armed police or security guards in schools: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," LaPierre said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) fierce resistance to reforming the filibuster isn’t fazing Harry Reid, who insists that he will weaken the minority party’s power to obstruct legislative business with Republican support or without it.
Following is the letter of resignation sent last week by former President George Bush to the National Rifle Association: May 3, 1995
Dear Mr. Washington,
I was outraged when, even in the wake of the Oklahoma City tragedy, Mr. Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of N.R.A., defended his attack on federal agents as "jack-booted thugs." To attack Secret Service agents or A.T.F. people or any government law enforcement people as "wearing Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms" wanting to "attack law abiding citizens" is a vicious slander on good people.
lorida took center stage in the 2012 elections, when voters around the state had to wait in line at the polls for up to nine hours. Gov. Rick Scott (R) initially denied that there was any problem, saying it was "very good" that people were getting out to vote.
But a new study shows that tens of thousands of people were actually discouraged from voting because of the long lines.
few weeks before the election, the invaluable Rick Perlstein published a lengthy article in The Baffler titled "The Long Con," about how successful conservative entrepreneurs have been at separating the right-wing rank and file from their money over the past few decades. If you were to sign up for updates from the likes of Human Events or World Net Daily, you'd be inundated not only with come-ons from political groups but with innumerable offers for miracle cures for every ailment under the sun. "The strategic alliance of snake-oil vendors and conservative true believers points up evidence of another successful long march," Perlstein wrote, "of tactics designed to corral fleeceable multitudes all in one place—and the formation of a cast of mind that makes it hard for either them or us to discern where the ideological con ended and the money con began."
Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is admittedly not a big fan nor a believer in some of the most central tenets of science, but that shouldn't be a reason to cost him his seat on the House Science Committee, his staff recently told U.S. News.
Earlier this year, video leaked of the congressman explaining to a group of sportsmen gathered at a Georgia church that evolution and the big bang theory were "lies straight from the pit of Hell." He proceeded to state his belief that the earth was "about 9,000 years old" and "created in six days as we know them," according to the Bible.
The Obama administration has for the first time opened up large areas off the Atlantic Coast for offshore wind farms.
The department of the interior said it was proposing to offer competitive lease sales on some 278,000 acres, or about 432 square miles, off the coasts of Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Virginia. The sale is expected to go ahead in the first half of 2013.
John Boehner (R-OH), aka Agent Orange, is showing frustration, because the dirty tricks, blackmail, and economic terrorism that worked do well for him after the 2010 elections, have failed to make headway against a far more resolute Obama. so Agent Orange doing what he does so well: trying to lie his way out of the corner.
As an outside observer, I consider it obvious that the only way for the Republican party to survive, over the long term, is to moderate their policies and to govern for all Americans, not just the 1%. It appears evident that they are not willing to do so, given the the stance of Fox, aka Faux Noise, the Republican Ministry of Propaganda.
The decades-long campaign by conservatives to build a lasting majority on the U.S. Supreme Court may come to an end over the next four years, now that President Obama has apparently been reelected to the White House.
While it is possible all five of the conservative-leaning Supreme Court justices will try to hold onto their seats until the end of the Obama presidency, death and the siren call of a well-funded pension plan may pull one or more of them off of the bench. That would give Obama the opportunity to swap in a left-leaning justice who could prevent Chief Justice John Roberts from obtaining a majority in the cases that divide conservatives and liberals — abortion, affirmative action and employee and property rights.
Rachel Maddow shows how Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's last ditch campaign lies are backfiring, particularly his repetition of a false claim about the auto industry to Ohions who follow the industry close enough to see the lie.
Politicians who lack factual data to make their point on an issue often use fallacies as a rhetorical tool, and they can be used purposefully to win arguments because they appeal to emotion and not reason. Devoid of facts to back up their arguments, Republicans have little option but appealing to emotions, but instead of fallacies, they intentionally deliver false statements and the payoff is nearly always not in the public’s best interest. For the past year, the GOP has lied to the American people about the benefits of the Keystone XL pipeline, and as the President and Congress work to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, there is little mystery that Republicans will use the pipeline’s approval as a bargaining chip to give the oil industry greater subsidies even as they attempt to cut their taxes. The President and Democrats could protect the environment and Americans’ health if they informed the people that Canadian tar sand is not coming to America, but through it on its way to China and Europe.
Social Security, the government entitlement that provides support to seniors in retirement, the disabled, and other Americans, has long been in the cross-hairs of budget reformers. The program’s trust fund currently won’t be spent out until 2033, and after that it would still pay 75 percent of scheduled benefits.
t’s great to be what you people are now calling a plutocrat. I know. I am one.
We plutocrats live incredible lives, surrounded by luxury and insulated from risk and discomfort. Things have gone very well for us over the last several years. Since George Bush left office, the has doubled, we got a (sweet!) $700 billion rescue of the financial system, and corporate profits are at a 50-year high. BOOYA!
It is alleged that Mitt and Ann Romney “personally gained at least $15.3 million from the bailout—and a few of Romney’s most important Wall Street donors made more than $4 billion. Their gains, and the Romneys’, were astronomical—more than 3,000 percent on their investment.” And the UAW and others listened. SOURCE
Bob King, President of the United Automobile Workers pointed out that Mitt Romney was busy writing op-eds opposing the Detroit auto rescue, but was even busier making money with his Delphi investor group “off the misfortunes of others.”
Most of you have heard by now that earlier this week, for some idiotic reason, Mitt Romney managed to insult women, minorities, immigrants and the young during a conference call with major campaign donors.
It seems Romney told those top donors that he lost the election because President Obama bestowed “gifts” upon potential voters “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community, and young people.”
I trust that by now you have heard that Anonymous claims that they prevented an attempt by Karl Rove to rig the vote counting in several swing states in the recent elections. That may or may not be true. The problem is that, since Anonymous is anonymous, anyone can claim to be anonymous. While I recognize Rove’s long history of attempts at election theft, I cannot accept the claims of unnamed people as absolute fact. However, it it is true, it is imperative that we find out.
The Republican Party has broken the Senate, and as usual, it’s up to the Democrats to clean up the mess they have made. Led by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Tom Udall (D-NM), joined by Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and the entire freshman class of Senate Democrats, and supported (at last) by Harry Reid (D-NV), the effort for filibuster reform reform has a good chance of succeeding in January.