Congress Less Trustworthy Than Dirt

How low can they go?

A recent survey rated American’s belief in the honesty and integrity of people in a number of professions…

Congress came out next to dead last.

 

Good thing they didn’t include Pimps and Drug Dealers in the survey.

 

Tired of Obama Caving…

Been saying this for a long time. Obama’s fixation with bringing Rethuglys on board is a failure.

 

Orange Jumpsuit Politician – Jesse Jackson, Jr.

This one goes under the heading of… What was he thinking?

 

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. sentenced to 30 months in prison

Jesse L. Jackson Jr., the namesake of the famed civil rights leader and once-promising Illinois congressman, was sentenced to 21 / 2 years in prison Wednesday for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign money to fund an extravagant lifestyle over many years.

In an emotional hearing in federal court in the District, Jackson said he failed to separate his personal life from his political activities and “could not have been more wrong.”

Jackson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Stevens Jackson, pleaded guilty in February to using about $750,000 in campaign funds to pay for high-end items, such as fur wraps and a gold-plated Rolex watch, in addition to private-school tuition and trips to Costco.

“I misled the American people, I misled the House of Representatives,” Jackson said as he dabbed his eyes with a pile of tissues. “I was wrong and I do not fault anyone.”

He asked to serve his term in Alabama, “far away from everybody for awhile.”

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson (no relation) said the former congressman and his wife used his campaign funds as a “personal piggy bank.”

“There may be blurred lines for Congress to follow when their lives are political, this case did not come near those areas,” she said after a more than three-hour hearing. “This was a knowing, organized joint misconduct that was repeated over many years.”

The judge also ordered Jackson to perform 500 hours of community service that is unrelated to politics. She sentenced Sandra Jackson to one year in prison.

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jesse Jackson Jr. was driven by “greed and entitlement,” and they asked the judge to sentence him to a prison term of four years, which falls on the lower end of federal guidelines.

In court Wednesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Graves called Jackson’s crimes “staggering,” in part because the couple had sufficient independent financial resources, earning nearly $350,000 in 2011.

“These were extreme abuses that strike at the integrity of the campaign finance system,” Graves said.

The defense team asked for a term of less than four years, saying that a shorter term is critical to Jackson’s mental health and that a lengthy sentence would be “devastating” to the couple’s two children – ages 13 and 9…

In the spirit of bipartisanship…

Perhaps his new room mate will be Va. Governor Bob McDonnell, or AG Ken Cuccinelli…

Harry Reid – Yellowback Donkey Award of the Year

Once again the Democrats fold and run…

Assault weapons ban dropped from gun bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid on Tuesday declared politically dead the effort to ban military-style assault weapons, a setback for President Obama and gun-control advocates who are pushing the Senate to move quickly on bills to limit gun violence.

Reid (D-Nev.) is preparing to move ahead with debate on a series of gun-control proposals when the Senate returns from a two-week Easter recess in early April. Although he has vowed to hold votes on measures introduced after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December, Reid told reporters Tuesday that the proposed assault-weapons ban isn’t holding up against Senate rules that require at least 60 votes to end debate and move to final passage.

The proposed ban, “using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes. That’s not 60,” Reid said.

Still up for consideration are three other bills approved last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee: bipartisan legislation to make gun trafficking a federal crime, a bipartisan measure to expand a Justice Department grant program that provides funding for school security, and a Democratic proposal to expand the nation’s gun background check program.

Step right on up, Harry – and get your “Yellowback Donkey Award” for legislative cowardice.

Buckdance!

For readers not familiar with the terminology - a buckdance in black American vernacular  is a dance done by slaves for money or the approval of their white masters. The African American variation of which derived from the West Indies. The term has since been absorbed into the lexicon to mean a style of dancing, wherein a male dances by himself to show his skills. Clogging, a style of dance which derived from dance styles in Scotland and Ireland, which is performed to Bluegrass or Country style music has a variant where a man dances alone, typically using a sheet of plywood as a soundboard for his steps. It is an art style, and to be well done requires considerable skill.

Buckdancing in this post is the African American version – which is a racial pejorative synonymous with Uncle Tom.

Our first buckdancer up for our entertainment is Herman (“Where the white wimmin at”) Cain -

Obviously Herman is buckdancing for white conservative ears, as he now has a new Radio show taking over for Neal Boortz. The fact that Herman is a sick, women molesting trick, who cheated on his wife for 20 years or more isn’t a problem for evangelical white conservatives ready to forgive his sins as long as he continues to put a black face on their racism.

Our second buckdancer is Al Sharpton – making excuses for the Democrat Party’s failure in the recent recall election in Wisconsin -

Buck up Al – The Republicans didn’t win by cheating – they won by the Democrats failure to invest money in the election, AND, most importantly, their failure to make the case that Walker should be removed for unpopular politics – well short of any proven (to this point) criminal malfeasance. The donors apparently figured this out early – as did the DNC – and were noticeably absent in pouring money to counter the Republicans 7-1 spending advantage in the state.

This was not the stolen Florida Presidential Election of 2000 – they beat the Dems by 5 points – not 5 votes. Dems lost…Period. Guess what Al, black folks are so thin on the ground in Wisconsin, if you got 100% turnout… They (Walker) still won.

You can blame Citizen’s United – you can blame the Koch brothers…

But what they did was legal.

As to Walker – with his former top adviser turning State’s evidence – he will be indicted in the John Doe fiasco in the next 30 days and out of office by the Presidential elections. So the Dems win anyway. Its the good citizens of the state who lost.

How Do You Make Our Schools Smarter… By Dumbing Down Our Elected Officials?

A favorite Republican whipping post is our “failing” educational system”…

The problem being that many of the Republicans who most vociferously shout about American Educational shortcomings…

Have benefited so little from their experience  in a learning environment.

I mean, if the first step to building a strong house is to dig a good foundation…

Then you best better hire a builder with more than a passing familiarity with a shovel.

Didn’t do so great on that last vocabulary test? That’s OK, there’s a place in Congress for you. The current class of congressmembers speaks at a 10.6 grade level—down almost a full grade from 2005′s 11.5 grade level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale. According to a political scientist at the Sunlight Foundation, the open government group that ran the numbers, one reason for the decline is the influx of new members who were elected in 2010, many of them with Tea Party support. “Particularly among the newest members of Congress, as you move out from the center and toward either end of the political spectrum, the grade level goes down, and that pattern is particularly pronounced on the right,” he says. In easier-to-understand terms: All of the 10 members who speak at the lowest grade levels are Republicans, and nearly all are freshmen.

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th-Graders, Analysis Shows

It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

Making The Grade

The Sunlight Foundation analyzed the Congressional Record and found that Congress’ ranking on the Flesch-Kincaid scale — which evaluates readability — has dropped a grade level in recent years.

Average grade level of Congressional speeches

Every word members of Congress say on the floor of the House or Senate is documented in the Congressional Record. The Sunlight Foundation took the entire Congressional Record dating back to the 1990s and plugged it into a searchable database.

Lee Drutman, a political scientist at Sunlight, took all those speeches and ran them through an algorithm to determine the grade level of congressional discourse.

“We just kind of did it for fun, and I was kind of shocked when I plotted that data and I saw that, oh my God, there’s been a real drop-off in the last several years,” he says.

In 2005, Congress spoke at an 11.5 grade level on the Flesch-Kincaid scale. Now, it’s 10.6. In other words, Congress dropped from talking like juniors to talking like sophomores.

Of the 10 members speaking at the lowest grade level, all but two are freshmen, and every one is a Republican. For the record, though, Drutman isn’t passing judgment about whether speaking at a lower grade level is a good thing or a bad thing.

South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney ranks the very lowest, with a grade level of 7.94. Continue reading

Corey Booker’s Walk Back

Corey Booker quickly walked back his criticism of the Obama campaign hammering Willard Romney for his role in Bain Capital destroying jobs…

President Obama – About that Dogcatcher Thing…

Uhhhh…Pres…

The primary results in West Virginia yesterday were not good. A convicted felon serving time in jail got 41% of the vote!

While it isn’t time yet to circle the wagons…

I do think it is (long) past time to start hanging some foot up Republican derriere.

You need to do 3 things to get the Moderate and Progressive Dems to turn out and vote:

  1. Get the rhetorical Louisville Slugger out of the closet and apply it liberally to Republicans every time you speak from now until the election.
  2. Turn Harry Reid loose to exercise the “Nuclear Option” on baseless filibustering by the Reprobates. Get those Judges appointed immediately.
  3. Make it very clear to the electorate that simply electing you to office isn’t enough. They need to get behind their local Democrat politicians to throw the scumbags out – else watch their states suffer as Wisconsin has.

No matter how intransigent and crooked the Republicans are – YOU are the man in charge, and one seen as having the responsibility ultimately to make the system work. The General gets the blame for losing the war – not the moron soldiers who loaded cases of liquor instead of artillery shells in their trucks.

Harry Truman faced the same issue – as did FDR.

There are some folks in this world you just can’t reason with other than at the receiving end of a baseball bat.

Ouch! Obama loses 41 percent of W.Va. primary vote to federal inmate.

Inmate Keith Judd

In an embarrassment to President Obama, Federal Inmate No. 11593-051 – otherwise known as Keith Judd – won 10 counties and 41 percent of the vote in West Virginia’s Democratic presidential primary Tuesday.

Mr. Judd is incarcerated at the Federal Correctional Institution in TexarkanaTexas, where he is serving a 210-month sentence for extortion, according to TheCharleston Gazette. Judd had paid the $2,500 filing fee and submitted a notarized “certificate of announcement” to appear on the ballot.

He is even qualified to have a delegate at theDemocratic National Convention, because he won at least 15 percent of vote. However, no one has stepped forward to fill that role.

But those are just details. The Republicans are having a field day with this slap at the president. Mr. Obama is deeply unpopular in West Virginia and was already certain to lose the small mountainous state in November. But the fact that enough people bothered to turn out in an uncontested primary to register a protest against the incumbent is telling.

“Just how unpopular does someone have to be for this to happen?” says Joe Pounder, research director and deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee, in a statement.

He notes that Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia wouldn’t say whom he voted for in the primary. “Apparently, it’s a smarter political calculation to let people believe you may have voted for the guy in federal prison over the sitting president of your own party. Just saying,” Mr. Pounder writes.

West Virginia’s Democratic governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, has also not revealed his vote. Energy is a big issue in his state – America’s second-biggest producer of coal – and the Environmental Protection Agency’s handling of mining-related permits has angered the local industry, writes theAssociated Press.

In addition to being a convicted felon, Judd is also a serial presidential candidate. In the 2008Idaho Democratic primary, he finished third behind Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton with 1.7 percent of the vote, per The Charleston Gazette.

Fidel Castro Says What Many Think

The old Cuban Dictator still has an eye for the absurd, and certainly still possesses the faculties to analyze world events. Of course figuring out the Republican Party has become a bunch of circus clowns leading a group of morons – really doesn’t take a lot of critical analysis skills.

Fidel Castro Calls Republican Race ‘Competition Of Idiocy And Ignorance’

Fidel Castro Republican

Fidel Castro lambasted the Republican presidential race as the greatest competition of “idiocy and ignorance” the world has ever seen in a column published Wednesday, and also took shots at the news media and foreign governments for seizing on the death of a Cuban prisoner to demand greater respect for human rights.

Castro’s comments came in a long opinion piece carried by official media two days after Republican presidential hopefuls at a debate in Florida presented mostly hard-line stances on what to do about the Communist-run island, and even speculated as to what would happen to the 85-year-old revolutionary leader’s soul when he dies.

Cuba has become an important issue as the candidates court Florida’s influential Cuban-American community in an effort to win the biggest electoral prize so far in the primary season.

Castro said he always assumed the candidates would try to outdo each other on the issue of Cuba, but that he was nonetheless appalled by the level of debate.

“The selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is – and I mean this seriously – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been,” said the retired Cuban leader, who has dueled with 11 U.S. administrations since his 1959 revolution…

Republican candidate Mitt Romney said during Monday’s debate that Villar died “fighting for democracy” and that his death highlighted the need to remain firm on Cuba. Washington has maintained a near-50-year trade and travel embargo on Cuba.

Another Republican candidate, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, said he would authorize increased covert operations to bring down the Cuban government. And at another moment of Monday’s debate, Romney and Gingrich sparred over whether Castro’s soul would go to heaven or hell.

When asked what he would do as president if he found out Castro had died, Romney said he would first “thank Heavens” that the bearded revolutionary had finally “returned to his maker,” to which Gingrich replied “I don’t think Fidel’s going to meet his maker. I think he’s going to go to the other place.”…

Soyalent Green…is Republicans!

For those who don’t catch the reference - Soyalent Green is People.

Seems that some of our Tea Party American brethren live in an alternate universe. Which would be fine except they insist on applying the rules and regulations of that mythical world to the rest of us. The lunatics have truly gained control of the asylum…

Ralph Shortley, Oklahoma State Senator, Introduces Bill Banning Aborted Fetuses In Food

A Republican state senator from Oklahoma City introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban the use of aborted human fetuses in food, despite conceding that he’s unaware of any company using such a practice.

Freshman Sen. Ralph Shortey said his own Internet research led him to believe such a ban is necessary and prompted him to offer the bill aimed at raising “public awareness” and giving an “ultimatum to companies” that might consider such a policy.

Shortey said he discovered suggestions online that some companies use embryonic stem cells to develop artificial flavors, but added that he is unaware of any Oklahoma companies doing such research.

In an e-mail to The Associated Press, U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Pat El-Hinnawy said: “FDA is not aware of this particular concern.”

The executive director of the anti-abortion group Oklahomans for Life, which has successfully pushed some of the strictest anti-abortion laws in the country through the state’s GOP-controlled Legislature, also said he had never heard of human fetuses being used in food research.

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Tony Lauinger.

Shortey’s bill would prohibit the manufacture or sale of any food in which aborted fetuses were used to develop any of the ingredients.

Meanwhile, the bill has caused a stir among Oklahoma lawmakers, many decrying the proposed legislation.

Self-described “pro-life” Sen. Brian Crain, the chairman of the Senate Human Services Committee to which Shortey’s bill likely would be assigned, said Tuesday other issues are more deserving of the Legislature’s attention.

“We’ve got too many challenges facing Oklahomans today. We don’t need to go looking for possible challenges that may come about sometime in the future,” said Crain, R-Tulsa. “If it can be demonstrated that this is a challenge facing our food supply, then I think we need to act quickly, but there’s been no demonstration that this is going on.

“I’d hate to think we’re going to spend our time coming up with possibilities of things we need to stop.”

First elected in 2010 to a heavily Hispanic district on the city’s south side, Shortey has grabbed headlines with other bills he’s introduced that have not become law. He sponsored a measure last year to crack down on illegal immigrants by authorizing law enforcement to seize their homes and vehicles, and to deny Oklahoma citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants. He also offered an amendment to a bill that would have allowed legislators to carry firearms anywhere in the state, including the floor of the House and Senate.

This year, Shortey has introduced a bill seeking a public vote on amending the Oklahoma Constitution to abolish the Court of Criminal Appeals.

 

 

 

 

More Republican Heartburn – Obama Announces Iraq Exit

Fresh on the heels of a resounding victory for Prescient Obama’s foreign policy approach in the overthrow of Ghadaffi by his fellow Libyans yesterday…

Obama lives up to his promise to get us out of Bush’s unnecessary war in Iraq.

Just for those keeping score -

Democrats – $1 billion, less than 6 months, no American Casualties, Ghadaffi dead

Republicans – $3 trillion, 8 years, 5000 American killed, Saddam hung, a broken American economy, and still no WMDs

Obama announces end of Iraq war, troops to return home by year end

President Obama announced Friday that the United States will withdraw nearly all troops from Iraq by the end of the year, effectively bringing the long and polarizing war in Iraq to an end.

“After nearly 9 years, America’s war in Iraq will be over,” said Mr. Obama.

He said the last American troops will depart the country by January 1 “with their heads held high, proud of their success, and knowing that the American people stand united in our support for our troops.”

“The transition in Afghanistan is moving forward, and our troops are finally coming home,” he added, saying in the White House briefing room that U.S. troops “will definitely be home for the holidays.”

A bit of meorabilia from the “Great War”. James Cagney as George M. Cohen in the Movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, and the hit song  “Over There”. Another time…

Juan Williams on Obama’s Foreign Policy

Plastic President Struts and Puffs

To hear most conservatives tell it, Obama’s foreign policy is a complete and utter failure…

The fly in the smelly, rotten conservative ointment is the fact that President Obama has managed to succeed, despite the conservatives own very best efforts – sometimes treasonous – to make him, and thus America fail.

  • Obama has cut the number of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq by half. From 180,000 when he took office to 90,000 today.
  • Obama has an exit strategy for Iraq, and the US should be out by the first of next year.
  • Obama succeeded where Bush failed for 8 years and brought the architect of the greatest terrorist attack in history on the soil of the US to Justice – Osama Bin Lauden.
  • Obama has succeeded in killing more Al Quaeda terrorists in his first 3 years of office, than Bush did in 8 years with the help of 350,000 troops on the ground.
  • Successful negotiation of a new START Treaty.
  • Staying the hell out of Egypt, and not sending troops in to protect a dictator.
  • Ghadaffi has met his end, and without a major force of American troops ever landing on Libyan Soil.
Even conservatives who aren’t blinded by their racism are beginning to figure it out. Had this been a conservative President, undoubtedly we would have been treated to the sight of an American President in tight, sock stuffed pants prancing around on the deck of a Carrier thumping his chest.

Can’t Argue With American Policy Now, Qaddafi’s Dead and the Results Speak for Themselves

Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi is dead. The news from the Middle East is vindication of the Obama administration’s policy in Libya. A man who was an enemy of the American people, someone who killed Americans aboard Pan Am 103, someone who was taking out Americans and acting against our interests in the Middle East for decades has finally been eliminated from the scene.

And all this talk about “leading from behind” needs to be put in context. First of all, President Obama never said anything about “leading from behind.” What the president said was he didn’t want to put additional American troops in the Middle East in the middle of a Muslim country.

We are already fighting not only in Iraq but in Afghanistan. We have tremendous troubles in Pakistan. President Obama allowed the multi-national force to be in a position where they could act with tremendous American support.

The American public would never have supported pouring additional troops into Libya. By building an international coalition, the president managed, nonetheless, to make Americans part of the fight and oust Qaddafi. Critics on the right have flip-flopped on this issues from the beginning on whether or not America should have played a role, any role, in supporting the anti-Qaddafi forces. Today’s events are another reminder of how pure political concerns can blind people to America’s best.

Essentially America has been at war in Libya. And tonight or today, this morning, what we’ve seen is that that policy has led to the ouster and also the death of Muammar Qaddafi.

That’s good news for America. I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat. This is good news.

For President Obama, after the death of Bin Laden, Al-Awlaki and now, indirectly, Qaddafi, he’s left with a terrific narrative in terms of making the case that Democrats aren’t weak on national security and that he has pursued a number of President Bush’s policies in terms of being aggressive. This has been in service to America’s national interest and the best outcomes for every American.If you look at the president’s use of drones, for example, he decision to keep using Guantanamo Bay to house detainees, these are things that have absolutely antagonized the left in this country.

But if you’re looking at results, you can’t argue with the results. A man who was America’s enemy, who was a destabilizing force in the Middle East and a supporter of anti-American forces has been removed from the stage.

Herman Cain – House Negro of the Decade

This one starts with Malcom X’s talk on the “House Negro” and the “Field Negro”…

Keith Ellison Exposes Another Conservative Lie

Keith Ellison exposes one of the right wing’s favorite lies – that regulations always stymie business growth.

The reason that isn’t true is that many business regulations in the US spawn R&D and new businesses. The second reason that isn’t true has to do with the economic impact of not having safety or environmental regulations is far greater than having those regulations in place. Ergo, deregulation results in taxpayer subsidy to recover from the massive damages caused by environmentally unsound business practices. That corporate welfare thing … Again.

Trying to Explain Business 101 to Conservative Idiotlogues

Spearing Sacred Cows

Earlier this week, I was on MSNBC’s Up With Chris Hayes about jobs, the Occupy Wall Street movement and other issues. During the show I said I’m a fan of health and safety — not regulations. I said that some regulations have created jobs, since the industries being watched have to comply with the rules. For example, technological requirements can spur engineering improvement, which means employing engineers.

Well, the right wing went crazy. People who aren’t even from my congressional district called my office and blasted me over email and the Twitterverse. I had gored one of their sacred cows — deregulation — and they howled loudly.

So who’s right? Have health and environmental rules cost America jobs, or not? I said no. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Environmental Protection

Environmental spending creates jobs in engineering, manufacturing, construction, materials, operations and maintenance. Vehicle emissions standards directly sparked the development and application of a wide range of automotive technologies that are now found throughout the global automobile market. The vehicle emissions control industryemploys approximately 65,000 Americans with domestic annual sales of $26 billion. The worldwide market for environmental goods and services is worth over $700 billion, a size comparable to the aerospace and pharmaceutical industries.

If you want to know more about the wrongheaded jobs versus environmental protections argument check out the report, “Regulatory Uncertainty: A Phony Explanation for our Jobs Problem” by EPI’s Larry Mishel.

You know the situation: roughly 14 million Americans are out of work and 46.2 million live in poverty. The Republicans have held the House for almost 300 days but they’ve introduced no jobs bills. In fact, they shot down President Obama’s jobs bill like skeet. What have Republicans done? They’ve pushed for even more de-regulation in the name of “creating jobs.”

One last point:

Moody’s economist Mark Zandi, an advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign, estimates the $61 billion in spending cuts proposed by the House Republicans will cost the economy 700,000 jobs by 2012. Wrongheaded policies.

Van Jones predicts October “Offensive” Against Tea Party by Progressives

If this happens – it’s about time somebody woke up in this country!

Maybe this time, progressives in Congress will discover the cajones to stand up.

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