20 November, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Oops, they did it again:
Yesterday, ThinkProgress first reported that Fox News aired old file footage of Sarah Palin rallies to claim that she’s “continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand new book.” Host Gregg Jarrett presented the video with commentary that suggested the footage was “just coming in.” (Watch it.) Media Matters noted that one of the scenes was from a Nov. 1, 2008 Palin rally in Florida. Crooks and Liars’ John Amato filed an FCC complaint for passing on “false information” to the public. By day’s end yesterday, Fox released this statement responding to the controversy:
“This was a production error in which the copy editor changed a script and didn’t alert the control room to update the video,” Michael Clemente, senior vice president of news at FOX, sad this evening. “There will be an on-air explanation during Happening Now on Thursday.”
Uh-huh.  Faux News faux paux are becoming rather a bit of a habit, aren't they

Elsewhere in media assclownery, Rush Limbaugh thinks Gallup is deliberately over-sampling blacks to push up Obama's approval rating, and Dana Perino has landed a job she's manifestly not qualified for.  What the fuck was the administration thinking when they appointed her?

This is the perfect place to insert our Quote o' the Day:
From The Ed Schultz Show, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) says President Obama is not being served well by his economic advisors and that there is a growing consensus from the Congressional Progressive Caucus that the president needs to dump Tim Geithner and Larry Summers. DeFazio added that "We may have to sacrifice just two more jobs to get millions back for Americans."
Classic.  And might we add Dana Perino's new job to the list of sacrificial victims?

For those interested in the Sanford Saga, looks like ol' Appalachian Trail will be facing a sharp slap on the wrist.

Congratulations, Virginia.  You managed to elect a fucktard who refuses to condemn Pat Robertson's reprehensible rhetoric.  I hope you're all real proud of yourselves.

Speaking of elections, I have some really amusing news for ye:
Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the NY-23 election, is going further in revoking his election-night concession to Democrat Bill Owens -- who was sworn into office a few days later -- and alleging that ACORN has attempted to steal the election!
They win by three votes, it's a triumph of democracy and a sign our elections are fair.  They lose by three thousand, and suddenly it's ZOMG ACORN BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!  How pathetic is this?  So pathetic that local Cons debunked it:

Jerry O. Eaton, Jefferson County Republican elections commissioner, called Mr. Hoffman's assertion "absolutely false."

"No one has touched those ballots or has access to those ballots except Board of Elections staff -- and in a bipartisan manner," he said.
A county Republican chairman also chimed in:
George J. Williams, Oswego County Republican chairman, said Mr. Hoffman's assertion "is not accurate." He said he roamed the county on Election Day and saw no evidence of tampering.

"We're not going to take the blame because he didn't hold his concession speech," Mr. Williams said. "If there's any doubt, I would never concede. I know things could happen. Did illegal things happen? No, I do not believe that."
Something tells me they don't like the Teabaggers' favorite candidate.

And Hoffman can kick and scream and pull a Coleman for all he's worth, but he's still a big fat loser.

Let's move on to national Cons, who've been clamoring for their turn with the Smack-o-Matic.  If your credit card bill goes up dramatically, and you weren't out shopping, here's who you can thank:
From Sen. Chris Dodd--Republicans Block Dodd’s Effort to Immediately Stop Credit Card Rate Hikes:
Senate Republicans blocked Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodds (D-CT) attempt to pass legislation to stop credit card interest rate hikes.
Dodd went to the Senate floor to ask for consent for the Senate to take up and pass his Credit Card Rate Freeze Act, which would prevent credit card companies from hiking interest rates, fees and finance charges on customers existing balances until Credit CARD Act protections take effect in February. Regrettably, Republican Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) objected to Dodds request, blocking the bill from Senate passage.
Consumers obviously have a responsibility to spend within our means and to pay what we owe. We bear that responsibility. But the credit card industry as well has a responsibility to deal with their customers honorably. There is nothing honorable about whats happened with these significant rate increases and fees. Most importantly, they dont have a right to rip off American families, especially when the Congress has already gone on record opposing the very actions they're engaging in, Dodd said on the Senate floor.
Happy Holidays from the GOP.

Aww, they gave us a middle finger.  How thoughtful!

In a blast from the past, Jay "Torture Memos R Us" Bybee's begging for cash for his legal defense fund.  This pleases me.  Hopefully, it means he'll have to defend himself soon, and isn't just a clever way of shaking down the poor-torture crowd for some ready cash.

Fred Thompson, by his own definition, is giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  Why do you love terrorists more than America, Fred?

And it's nice to see that Cons can still make Eric Holder laugh:
Attorney General Eric Holder talked to the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday, primarily about the decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged co-conspirators in federal court. It didn't go especially well -- Republicans on the panel didn't seem persuaded -- but Dahlia Lithwick highlighted the most troubling aspect of the Q&A.

Specifically, some GOP senators are concerned that some Justice Department officials, including the attorney general himself, may actually be terrorist sympathizers.
[Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) of Iowa] demanded that Holder explain the presence in the solicitor general's office of Neal Katyal, who represented Osama Bin Laden's driver at the Supreme Court. Grassley used a smear from the New York Post (penned by the writer who ridiculously claimed Yale Law School Dean Harold Koh believed "Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts") to demand that Holder account for Jennifer Daskal as counsel in its National Security Division, who allegedly wants terrorists to have more time to write poetry. Grassley demanded that Holder produce a list of DoJ appointees who have ever acted as lawyers for terror detainees.
Then Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., read from an editorial suggesting that the reason these detainee trials have been so long delayed is all the "leftist lawyers" who stalled the military commissions by challenging them in the courts. Kyl noted many of those lawyers -- including Holder -- work for the Justice Department despite the fact that Holder's firm, Covington & Burling, "volunteered its services to at least 18 of America's enemies in lawsuits they brought against the American people." Remember in 2006 when the deputy assistant secretary of defense for detainee affairs, Cully Stimson, had to resign his position at the Pentagon for urging U.S. corporations to boycott any law firm that defended terror suspects? Apparently those law firms are still un-American, and anyone associated with them should be barred from DoJ. (The subtext for much of this criticism, as Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., observed, is that all these lawyers are somehow in it for the money.)
Holder, quite literally, blurted "Hah" in response to this line of questioning, before patiently explaining to Republicans how misguided the argument is.
It's sad, but true: all you can really do with Cons these days is point and laugh.  I'm glad our Attorney General's realized that.

Finally, I want to reserve a very special smack o' the Smack-o-Matic for Sen. Evan Bayh, who has a rather breathtaking credibility problem:
Sen. Evan Bayh (D) of Indiana wrote a column for CNN, explaining why he intends to vote against raising the debt ceiling, "unless Congress adopts a credible process to balance our books and eliminate the red ink."


What Bayh wants is a congressional commission to recommend a deficit-reduction package, which lawmakers would be forced to vote on, up or down. Without the commission, Bayh is prepared to let the United States default on its loans and send the global economy into turmoil. It's an interesting little hostage situation Bayh has created for himself.

There are, however, some issues to consider. For example, it was none other than Evan Bayh who recently voted to "reform" the estate tax, cutting taxes for the extraordinarily rich, at a cost of $750 billion over the next decade. To pay for it, he recommended ... nothing. The costs would simply all be added to the deficit. Given this, I hope he'll forgive my skepticism about his credibility on the subject of fiscal responsibility. [emphasis emphatically added]
Excuse me, Sen. Bayh?  STFU about the deficit you helped create.  There's quite enough stupidity flooding the Capitol from the Con side of the aisle without you turning on your own faucet.

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