Tuesday, May 31, 2011


[Paul Krugman] Unemployment is a terrible scourge across much of the Western world. Almost 14 million Americans are jobless, and millions more are stuck with part-time work or jobs that fail to use their skills. Some European countries have it even worse: 21 percent of Spanish workers are unemployed.

Yet a strange thing has happened to policy discussion: on both sides of the Atlantic, a consensus has emerged among movers and shakers that nothing can or should be done about jobs. Instead of a determination to do something about the ongoing suffering and economic waste, one sees a proliferation of excuses for inaction, garbed in the language of wisdom and responsibility.

So someone needs to say the obvious: inventing reasons not to put the unemployed back to work is neither wise nor responsible. It is, instead, a grotesque abdication of responsibility. . . .

As I see it, policy makers are sinking into a condition of learned helplessness on the jobs issue: the more they fail to do anything about the problem, the more they convince themselves that there’s nothing they could do. And those of us who know better should be doing all we can to break that vicious circle.

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/overcoming_learned_helplessnes029904.php


[Gaius Publius] I have a different thought: Let's apply Occam's Switchblade. The people who are doing nothing, are doing it because they want to. The rest is just words, words, words and a barely credible cover story.

Our broken system

Executive branch appointments remain a mess

Guaranteed to fail

House Republicans set supermajority requirement for debt limit vote

[David Dayen] [T]he House is allowing a “clean” debt limit bill to get a vote tomorrow, a day before House Republicans meet with the President in the White House, in order to allow the bill to intentionally fail and “prove” that no debt limit increase without concessions on spending can pass. They’re so dead-set on laying down this marker that they’re calling up the clean debt limit under suspension of the rules, so it requires a two-thirds vote. Is there fear that some of the more antsy Republicans might vote FOR a clean debt limit? . . .

Thanks, GOPers

Obama Approval Continues to Climb

Wow. Shows what you can do when you’re serious about it

German government votes to go nuke free by 2022

Race to the bottom

Is Paul Broun the dumbest member of Congress?

The kind of people they are

[Steve Benen] Even by GOP standards, this is cheap. There are plenty of ways to honor fallen American servicemen and women, but this shameless partisan message isn’t one of them. . . [read on]

This guy’s a nut

Roger Ailes' Bomb Proof Office (read on)

Bonus item: Do they HAVE to play along?

One of our staffers went back and watched the segment, and I guess it was about Palin's bus tour making stops at historical sites -- not that the bus tour itself is a historic milestone of any sort. . . . [read on]

More: http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/palins-continue-roll-through-washington/

On Tuesday night, Palin traveled “incognito,” as she put it on her blog, to the Lincoln and World War II memorials. . . .

She insists the trip is not political, but Palin is soliciting donations for the PAC to support the tour. Originally planned to be a week-long tour ending in New Hampshire, the trip will now take weeks and include a stop in Iowa. . . .

[NB: WEEKS?! Please, make it stop. . .]

Please! Stop! http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/30/on-the-road-more-or-less-with-palin/
Welcome to Day 2 of the “One Nation” bus tour. Unlike on Sunday, Ms. Palin actually used the bus today. And she talked — however briefly — to reporters on Monday, confirming outside Baltimore that her tour would eventually take her to Iowa.

“I’m sure at some point I will be going to Iowa,” Ms. Palin told reporters, according to Peter Hamby of CNN. . . .

Ms. Palin and her secretive advisers continued their pattern of refusing to tell reporters where she planned to go, leaving reporters scrambling to race from place to place, hoping to catch her briefly.

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, May 30, 2011


Ronald Dworkin takes on the intellectual dishonesty of the conservatives on the Supreme Court


The lack of real debate in D.C. over the growing National Security State

[Glenn Greenwald] PBS' News Hour conducted a discussion of the Obama-supported, reform-free Patriot Act extension with conservative David Brooks and "liberal" Mark Shields, and it magnificently highlights conventional establishment thought on such matters . . . [read on]

Myths and reality about the GOP 2012 presidential field



Well, DUH

As the GOP moves to the right, presidential hopefuls abandon old centrist stands

Smart analysis: a big factor in the national campaign in 2012 will be swing states with very unpopular GOP governors


The Queen (Wanna) Bee shows up at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally – and like everything else she does it’s just one big fake

Ms. Palin climbed aboard a chopper, assisted by a member of the Rolling Thunder staff, but was unable to move because there were so many members of the press snapping photos. Organizers eventually brought in police, also on motorcycles, to clear a path.

After moving just a few feet, Ms. Palin got off the bike to sign autographs and talk with the crowd. . .

Rumors flew for most of the morning that she was on her way, and that she would ride a motorcycle with the Rolling Thunder bikers.

That’s exactly what she did. Ms. Palin rode on the back as another woman drove her motorcycle . . .

[NB: Well, no, not “exactly.”

Still, embarrassing as it was, it went better than when McCain tried this stunt during his presidential campaign:

McCain Gaffes, Volunteering Wife For Topless Contest]

Participants in the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle ride Sunday expressed mixed feelings about the involvement of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R). . . . “I don’t think she has any business having anything to do with Rolling Thunder. It’s not a political statement, so to speak. It’s not a Republican or a Democrat thing,” said Denise Throckmorton, who lives outside of Pittsburgh. [read on]

Sarah Palin’s Bus Tour Off To Stormy Start After Chaotic Scene At Rolling Thunder

[Palin] “I love the smell of these emissions!” [read on]

In case you missed the Sunday talk shows


[Digby] The good news is that nobody was watching this vapid, braindead Meet The Press this morning about the immediate deficit catastrophe because I don't think I've ever had the misfortune to see a bigger load of pompous Villager pap and GOP propaganda in one place.

I don't think I've never seen one this bad, seriously . . . [read on]

David Gregory Missing The Forest For The Trees...Again

The right-wing yak machine always finds a way to represent themselves as poor, put-upon victims who can’t get their voices heard. Especially funny when it happens on Fox News!


Bonus item: “How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory”


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, May 29, 2011


The GOP thinks we are stupid

“Cut and Grow”

More: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/cantor-touting-misguided-cut-and-grow-gimm

Those GOPers are just BETTER at this

Campaign finance reformer advocates aren't only facing setbacks in federal courtrooms -- they're also getting beat on the messaging war with Republicans over a proposal to make federal contractors disclose their donations to third-party groups.

Somewhere along the way, an Obama proposal which would increase transparency in the federal contracting process by requiring companies bidding on contracts to disclose their political donations to third party groups became a sneaky plot by the Obama administration to silence political opponents. . . . [read on]

David Brooks thinks the GOP’s big mistake on Medicare is that they have been TOO HONEST. (Really!)


Have they thought this through? The Senate Repubs are saying they won’t vote to raise the debt ceiling (which is absurd). But since their votes aren’t needed, are they suggesting they would actually FILIBUSTER it?


From Paul Krugman (via Mark Kleiman)

“Think of Medicare as a footbridge that is deteriorating and will eventually become unsafe. You could propose structural repairs to fix its faults; Ryan doesn’t do that. Instead, he proposes knocking the bridge down and replacing it with trampolines, in the hope that pedestrians can bounce across the stream.”

Digby’s right: you don’t often see Repubs switching to Dems (especially in the South!)


The “Tea Party” is becoming an umbrella organization for a lot of the usual right-wing nativist groups


The war on reproductive rights


“Fixing” the Patriot Act?


Scott Walker isn’t going to stop in Wisconsin until something stops him (thanks to David P)

The Battle for Wisconsin: Court Strikes Down Gov. Scott Walker’s Anti-Union Bill

Walker: Anti-Union Bill To Go Through 'One Way Or The Other'

The birthers: Never give up, never surrender



Theocracy watch

Would-be anti-abortion terrorist hesitated to pull the trigger because he wasn’t sure he was “100% in sync with God.” [read on]


They really aren't disturbed in the least over at Fox News to be in the position of actually appearing to control the presidential primaries for one of the nation's two major political parties. . . . [read on]

Whatever you think of Newt’s campaign, it is certainly NOT “grassroots”


Sunday talk show line-ups

ABC’s This Week: Republicans: Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN).

CBS’ Face The Nation: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Chair of the DNC Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL).

CNN State of the Union: Memorial Day with Gen. Peter Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army; Paul Rieckhoff, executive director and founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Tim Tetz, legislative director for The American Legion; Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), chair of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee; and Dale Beatty, co-founder of Purple Heart Homes. Then Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will update us on the Joplin tornado.

NBC’s Meet The Press: Medicare and the 2012 election with Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Followed by Democratic Policy Committee Chair Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY). Roundtable: Harold Ford, Jr., Alex Castellanos, Ruth Marcus, David Brooks.

Mike Huckabee complains that kids don’t know U.S. history. Well, HIS ridiculously slanted and expurgated cartoon version won’t make that problem any better


Bonus item: The Kids Are All Right


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Soon political campaign materials are going to be plastered with corporate logos, just like NASCAR drivers




[NB: “Now, powered by Intel!”]

More: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/house_gop_fights_to_keep_federal_contractors_donat.php
House GOP Fights To Keep Federal Contractors' Donations Secret

The most senior member of the Federal Election Commission criticized the agency at a meeting on Thursday, saying it has become "less aggressive" in enforcing campaign finance laws . . .

Despite what they say, the GOP has had it in for Medicare for a long time



Ezra Klein nails the Ryan plan: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/responding-to-ryan/2011/05/19/AGZVStCH_blog.html

How the Repubs plan to stick their Medicare problems on the Dems

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) just made it clear in a briefing with reporters on the Hill: They're going to hold the government's debt limit as hostage in order to back their way out of this political tight spot.

How? McConnell just announced he will not support raising the debt ceiling unless big Medicare cuts are part of the deal. Translation: Unless Democrats get us off the hook by agreeing to deep Medicare cuts (meaning Democrats can no longer attack Republicans for wanting to eliminate Medicare), then we're going to force the federal government into default on its debt. [read on]

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/mcconnell_puts_medicare_in_the029870.php


The phony GOP “jobs plan”


Here’s how bad the GOP 2012 field is. Granted that polls don’t mean all that much at this stage, but the leading contender is someone who isn’t even running! (No, not Sarah Palin)


Why you should ignore most of what you’re hearing

Tim Pawlenty: I’m boring (and that’s a good thing!)



He really will say ANYTHING, won’t he?

Newt: Donate To My Campaign And Together We’ll Save Paul Ryan

More: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/27/979863/-Newt-seeks-donations-to-promote-Ryans-right-wing-social-engineering

Anybody troubled that a Supreme Court justice’s wife is being funneled money by far-right political groups?


More Krauthammer-bashing

“Poisonously disingenuous”

More: http://www.slate.com/id/2295677

Bonus item: Meet Joe Walsh (R-IL)

The freshman class in the House is pretty huge by historical standards, thanks to the 2010 wave, but some of the new members have found a way to stand out in the crowd. Take Republican Joe Walsh, for example. . . . [read on!]

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/gop-rep-walsh-obama-was-elected-because-he-is-a-black-man-who-is-articulate/2011/03/03/AGDeFjCH_blog.html

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, May 27, 2011


GOP whines: We are NOT trying to end Medicare


Paul Ryan gets the much-coveted Dick Cheney endorsement

"I worship the ground that Paul Ryan walks on," Cheney said. . . .

More: http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/dick-cheney-worships-rep-paul-ryan


The Repubs (finally) have a jobs plan – well, uh, sort of

[Eric Cantor] We've been focused as House Republicans, uh, since day one on jobs and the economy. . . .



More: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/26/979559/-Boehner-clarifies-quotes-of-media-quoting-GOPs-praise-of-new-GOPjobsplan

The GOP’s total war against abortion rights


The Repubs have given up any pretense of fulfilling their “advise and consent” duties

GOP obstruction of Obama nominees has become the norm, not the exception

Senate Republicans To Block Obama Recess Appointments

Great to have the Democrats in charge (?)

Congress gives the Patriot Act four more years

More: http://firedoglake.com/2011/05/26/late-night-pouting-baby-asks-why-mr-o-hates-our-civil-liberties/


Newt Gingrich's ties with Tiffany & Co. get even more complicated: The Washington Examiner reports Christy Evans, formerly a top staffer to then-whip Gingrich, is actually a registered lobbyist for the high-end jeweler where Gingrich and his wife enjoy an extraordinary line of credit.

We noted yesterday that Gingrich's wife, Callista, was a staffer on the Agriculture committee which held jurisdiction over mining issues that concerned Tiffany's.

The kind of people they are

A party of six-year-olds

Sure enough, the slightest hint that Sarah! might run for President has the media all a-twitter. (They’re so easy)





So what?

More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/44/post/west-wing-briefing-why-democrats-would-like-palin-to-run/2011/05/26/AGdisYCH_blog.html
Why Democrats would like Palin to run

Still keeping her Fox News gig


Bonus item: Rejected titles for Sarah!s new movie


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Damage control, or digging deeper? Republicans line up like lemmings behind the Ryan plan, convinced that people don’t like it because they just don’t understand it yet

Mainstream headline: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-republicans-stand-by-plan-to-overhaul-medicare/2011/05/25/AG4LKZBH_story.html
Senate Republicans stand by plan to overhaul Medicare

True headline: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/senate-republicans-split-on-vote-to-end-medicare.php
Senate Republicans Vote Overwhelmingly To End Medicare

Again: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/senate_gop_votes_to_end_medica029834.php
Senate GOP votes to end Medicare

The last two weeks in politics have made one thing abundantly clear: Republicans have a Medicare problem. . . .

Ryan is trying to push back in the messaging war over Medicare with a host of talk show appearances and an "explainer" on YouTube. . . .


Medicaid too: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2011/05/medicaid_a_big_deal_too.php


GOPers whine about “Mediscare tactics” (well, they should know something about that)





Paul Ryan gets a taste of his own shameless demagoguery


It was just the last election cycle when Republicans were successfully using the threat of Medicare cuts to scare seniors in the midterm elections. . . .


Newt Gingrich Defends Paul Ryan From People Saying Same Things Newt Said

The kind of people they are


Meet Patrick McHenry, the rudest, most shameless College Republican in Congress

Sarah! thinks her only problem is that we don’t know her well enough yet. Now, a feature length movie, “Undefeated” (see? they couldn’t even get through the title without lying)

[Palin asked Bannon] if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign. . . .

More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/lights-camera-positive-spin-action-sarah-palin-is-back.php


No, no, no. Haven’t people figured out this woman yet?

Sarah Palin, presidential candidate?

[NB: A serious presidential campaign requires organization, discipline, an ability to speak across a range of issues, and the willingness to debate other points of view. None of that fits Sarah!s taste for celebrity.]

Wrong analysis: the GOP 2012 field “isn’t that bad.” No, it’s not – the problem is that the GOP’s own polarized politics makes it impossible for the more decent of the candidates to get a broad base of support


For example: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/25/979118/-Tea-party-group-sets-defeating-Mitt-Romney-as-top-priority-for-2012
Tea party group sets defeating Mitt Romney as top priority for 2012

Education news

Growth in Education Spending Slowed in 2009

Tea Party Pressuring Schools To Teach Constitution Using Controversial Right-Wing Group's Materials

House passes amendment to defund medical schools that teach abortion

Infrastructure: maintaining and revamping it for the next century’s needs is, along with education and the environment, the basic test of a society’s ability to invest now for the sake of future generations. And on all scales we are failing, badly

The Declining Federal Commitment To Investing In America’s Transportation Infrastructure


Bush Policies Dominant Cause Of National Debt

More: http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/whats-really-driving-national-debt--0

Bonus item: I’m not an Ed Schultz fan – and this was a stupid thing to say. But notice that he gets suspending for saying the kind of thing that Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter say on a daily basis


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Their Medicare stance costs the GOPers an absolutely unloseable seat in NY-26. Watch them scramble now!



Heh heh: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/wires/live_wire/live_wire.html#211
DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) gave him a shout out in her statement on the NY-26 win. "Tonight's result has far-reaching consequences beyond New York," she said. "It demonstrates that Republicans and Independent voters, along with Democrats, will reject extreme policies like ending Medicare that even Newt Gingrich called radical."

But here’s why the Dems are afraid to use this hammer to bash the Republicans mercilessly until the 2012 elections: because Obama and the Dems are preparing to accept Medicare cuts themselves!







Jonathan Chait argues that there is a way out for House Republicans: "cut a grand deficit bargain with Obama."

"If Obama and the Republicans make a budget deal, that is something the House GOP can use to get past the Ryan budget. Then they can paint it as a conversation-starter -- we forced Obama to come to the table! -- rather than a blueprint for future action. If they cut a deal, then they can say the debt crisis has been addressed, and the radical measures they voted for (in order to call people's attention to the problem, of course -- they didn't want to do that stuff) are no longer needed."

However, Ezra Klein notes that "the Ryan plan will make a grand deficit bargain more difficult in a couple of ways. First, by convincing Republicans the budget can be balanced without tax increases, it's made it harder to convince them to embrace a final deal that includes tax increases... Second, Democrats smell blood in the water, and are likely to view a bailout of the Republican Party, and possible depoliticization of the Ryan budget, more skeptically now than they would've a few months ago."

Michael Tomasky also suggests there "will likely be no Medicare deal before next year's election -- the issue is handier for both sides as a political football."


Alberto Gonzales: 'I Feel Disappointment In Myself'

Tim Pawlenty is just the latest pol to vow to run a “truthful” campaign. Guess what?




He’s gonna pay for this one

Pawlenty has a problem: Man got sex-crime pardon so wife could open child-care center -- now accused of molesting daughter

"I say it's spinach, and I say the hell with it!"

As GOP 2012 Field Firms Up, So Does Discontent Over The GOP 2012 Field

Now, with more Santorum! http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/report-santorum-to-officially-declare-candidacy-in-early-june.php

Good to see that the teabaggers can be bought and sold just like every other political party

That so many Tea Party-backed lawmakers are now pushing pro-Wall Street legislation draws into question their commitment to the populist ethos that has characterized the movement. . . .[read on]

No, they never really intended to give up earmarks – what did you think?


The kind of people they are (part 1)

When a man tells women they should "plan ahead for rape", you'd like to think it was a joke. Only, it's not a joke . . . [read on]

The kind of people they are (part 2)

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else. . . .

The kind of people they are (part 3)

“Hear yourself, ma’am. Hear yourself,” Woodall told the woman. “You want the government to take care of you, because your employer decided not to take care of you. My question is, ‘When do I decide I’m going to take care of me?’”

The Palin soap opera continues

Sarah Palin’s Top Aide Attacked Bristol In Private Communications

More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/24/palin-aides-stoke-media-frenzy_n_866289.html

Bonus item: Hilarious

A "two-hour-long, sweeping epic" movie reintroducing Sarah Palin to the nation is set to premiere in Iowa next month . . . [read on]

[NB: Yes, because Sarah!s problem is that we just don’t know her well enough yet.]

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Obama says to AIPAC just what he’s saying to everyone else about Israel and Middle East peace


Watching the race in NY-26

Medicare is the specter haunting Republicans in New York's 26th congressional district. . . [read on]

More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/win-or-lose-ny-26-is-an-ominous-blow-to-gops-medicare-plan.php


Scared to DEATH

The Time Bomb Is Ticking for the Senate Republicans This Week

More: http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/paul-ryan-has-created-new-fourth-rail-p



GOP divisions run deep . . .

Scott Brown is already running away as fast as he can

Within less than a month, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has gone from thanking God that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) had proposed phasing out Medicare to penning a blistering op-ed explaining why he now opposes the idea. . . .

More: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/23/978472/-Scott-Brown-vetoes-Scott-Brown,-says-no-to-Republican-Medicareplan

Tim Pawlenty is gonna run for President – and you can just feel the excitement

Pawlenty was asked about why he’s taking on this extraordinary challenge, with the hopes of becoming the most powerful person in the world. “I don’t know,” he replied. “I wish I had a good answer for you on that.” . . . [read on]

Who? http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/good-tims-bad-tims-a-portrait-of-pawlenty.php

Maybe Tim Pawlenty is just the sort of boring, solid candidate Republicans need.

The longer Republicans wait for an "exciting" candidate, the worse off they'll be.

Tim Pawlenty's hometown newspaper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, ran the story of his presidential campaign announcement on the Obituary page . . .

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy

Newt Stands Alone: Why Gingrich’s Greatest Political Liability May Be … Himself

More: http://www.slate.com/id/2295295

Fed up?

"Right-wing talk radio may have worn out its welcome, at least for now," reports Crain's New York Business.

A new Arbitron report shows Rush Limbaugh's ratings down 33% from a year ago and Sean Hannitty down 28% over the same time period. . .

The Real Sarah Palin



Ex-partial term governor knows something about “temporary” leadership

Palin calls Obama 'our temporary leader'

Bonus item: Welcome to the club

Roger Ailes said to have concluded that Sarah Palin is an "idiot" [read on]

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/ailes_many_frustrations029764.php

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, May 23, 2011


Bring out the straight jackets!

Jacob Weisberg calls out the craziness:

Like the White Queen in her youth, the contemporary Republican politician must be capable of believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

Weisberg goes on to cite chapter and verse.

[Mark Kleiman] This is the fundamental fact of contemporary U.S. politics: one of the major national parties has been taken over by its lunatic fringe. So far – by contrast to, for example, 1964 or 1972 – “extremism” has not become the sort of “issue” discussed by mainstream “objective” reporters. But that could change. . . .

More: http://www.slate.com/?id=2295128


The fundamental dilemma of the GOP on the debt ceiling is that they admit they will HAVE to raise it, while they are trying to pretend they won’t



Calling Karl Rove a liar is an insult to liars everywhere

Karl Rove threw quite a tantrum on Fox News the other night, all worked up about President Obama and Israel.

“[L]ook, the language is there. I mean, when President Obama talks about Israel ‘occupying,’ you know, ‘you can’t have a vibrant democracy as long as you depend upon occupation’ — that’s the language of the left. That is the language of those who hate Israel and why he adopts it is beyond me.”

I guess this shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, Obama was practically asking for it when he said last week, “There should be an end to the occupation that began in 1967. The agreement must establish a Palestine as a homeland for the Palestinian people just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people.”

Wait, did I say Obama said that? Actually that was George W. Bush — Rove’s former boss — in 2008. . . . [read on]

More: http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/22/israel

One of the things you might expect when we get a Democratic President is some spine in enforcing environmental laws on the books. You would be wrong


I’m not going to spend much time on Herman Cain’s utterly irrelevant campaign for President – but he may be good for an occasional laugh or two


More: http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/herman-cain-refuses-reveal-plans-afghan

[A]ccording to Fox News "political analyst" Angela McGlowan, if Cain just picks wingnut Rep. Allen West as his running mate, he can beat Obama in 2012. . . .

In case you missed the Sunday talk shows



On almost any topic, the instant Sarah Palin opens her mouth you realize just how deeply, persistently ignorant she is. But on some issues, she just shouldn’t open her mouth at all

“It should be now that America takes a stand in defending our enemies in Israel.” [read on]

Bonus item: Yes, when I think Fox News, I think “just the facts”

[Sarah!] "[C]andidates need to get their message out via the news social media, be a fair and balanced reporters who will just allow the facts to get out there. Don't even participate in that goofy game that has been played now for too many years with the leftist lamestream media trying to twist the candidates' words and intent and content of their statements."—in an interview on Fox News' Hannity, May 18, 2011

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, May 22, 2011


In case you didn’t know it, yesterday was the Rapture. All your good Christian friends should have been called up to heaven, and the rest of us should be suffering the demons of Armageddon.

I don’t know, doesn’t feel any different to me

[Harold Camping] The former engineer has long predicted the apocalypse, most famously in 1994, but his new date — May 21, 2011 — has received unprecedented publicity. That is thanks to a worldwide $100-million campaign of caravans and billboards, financed by the sale and swap of TV and radio stations....Camping's longtime producer, Matt Tuter] thinks $100 million is a conservative figure for the money Camping has spent . . .

More: http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/its-rapture-day-get-ready-big-tribul

In the world today, we probably need clearer and more realistic discussions about “war” versus specific and limited “military interventions” (i.e., essentially international police actions), and what sorts of congressional review and approval they each need. But we’ve never really had that discussion, and so actions like Libya happen

A New Normal: The President Can Bomb Anyone Anywhere for as Long as He Wants

More: http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/05/21/obama-calls-for-resolution-of-support-for-libya/
Obama Calls for Resolution of Support for Libya

Not good

On Thursday, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders agreed to a deal to extend key provisions of the Patriot Act for four years, a significant decision that generated little press attention or sustained political debate. . . .

The GOPers seem to be moving all-in on Medicare cuts. I guess they assume the Dems will never attack them as savagely for doing it as THEY would if the positions were reversed


Another GOP savior says “no”

Last night Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) announced he will not be running for president in 2012. . .

Jon Huntsman seems a decent and reasonable enough guy, as Republican candidates go. But something happens to these folks once they start to run


More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/weekend-questions/2011/05/19/AFzx7z7G_blog.html

The whole idea of a town hall is that it is a PUBLIC event, obviously – grass-roots democracy in its purest form. Well, not if the GOPers have anything to say about it

GOP Response To Town Hall Backlash: Ban Recording Devices And Censor Citizen Journalists

(The kind of people they are) Remember that amusing little story about the high schooler who challenged Michele Bachmann to a debate over the Constitution? Well, it has turned ugly


Bachmanns Curse

“I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States … [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play.

“And my husband and I are both Christians, and we believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel.”

Sunday talk show line-ups

ABC’s This Week: The former Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell. Then, King Abdullah II of Jordan. Roundtable: George Will, Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, Jonathan Karl. Scandals Roundtable: the author of “Le Seduction” Elaine Sciolino, Michelle Cottle of “The Daily Beast” and “Newsweek,” and ABC’s Cokie Roberts and her husband, journalist Steve Roberts.

CBS’ Face The Nation: Newt Gingrich.

CNN’s State of the Union: Bipartisanship with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL).Then, improving intelligence with Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD). Plus 2012 politics with Dick Armey and former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain. Finally, Obama’s Middle East speech with Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren.

NBC’s Meet The Press: House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Roundtable: Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mike Murphy, Andrea Mitchell, Eugene Robinson, Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Bonus item: Sarah! doesn’t really want to run for President, but she desperately needs the attention that she MIGHT run for President. Now that she has fallen off people’s radar screens, she has to goose up the speculation meter again

[Steve Weinstein] “I have that fire in my belly,” Sarah Palin told Fox this week. Apparently she is locked and loaded to defeat “Obama” for the presidency. Or maybe not. Who knows? How much money is in it? How much money is in not being in it? . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Look, either you think a negotiated settlement in the Middle East is possible, or you don’t. But if you do, there’s really only one realistic basis for doing so: using Israel’s original borders as a basis for negotiations, then swapping additional territory beyond that. It’s been US policy for a long time – but, of course, when Obama says it, it becomes an occasion for massive GOP outrage

U.S. policy under both Presidents Bush and Clinton was largely identical to Obama's assertion that "the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." . . . [read on]

Netanyahu Flat-Out Rejects Return To 1967 Borders After Meeting With Obama

[Kevin Drum] Bibi Netanyahu and Fox News have now made it crystal clear — over and over and over — that Israel will never return to its 1967 borders. The dissimulation here is really pretty staggering. They're just hellbent on giving everyone listening to them the impression that this is what President Obama has proposed.

He hasn't, of course. No American president ever has. Full stop. It's really pretty loathsome listening to these guys doing their best to pretend otherwise. . .

More: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2011/05/what-is-barack-obamas-policy-on-the-us-israel-relationship/


Remember when “partisanship ended at the nation’s borders”?

Hatch To Introduce Senate Resolution Opposing Obama On Israel-Palestine

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/hatch_picks_a_cheap_fight029735.php

[Kevin Drum] Yesterday I wrote that I was puzzled about the conservative meltdown over Obama's Middle East speech. Didn't he just continue the policy of pretty much every president since Carter, namely that the eventual Israeli border on the West Bank will be based on the 1967 border with some expansions to include settlements built since the war? So what was the big deal? Well, after reading a bit more and watching some TV, I discovered that, yes, pretty much everyone who actually knows anything about the subject agrees that Obama's formulation was a nothingburger. It's the same policy as always.

So why is the right in such a lather about it? A friend emailed to suggest the obvious: normally, lathers take a day or so to build up. This one happened instantly. "The lather exploded fully formed from their foreheads," she wrote. "I think that the lather was planned as soon as the word came out that Obama was going to make a speech on the Middle East." . . . [read on]

The latest in a long line of manufactured outrages . . .

Next week the Senate GOPers are going to have to vote on the Ryan budget – and they can’t figure out WHAT to do




Totally irresponsible

How Republicans Are Convincing Themselves That A Debt Default Wouldn’t Be So Bad — And Why They’re Wrong

"We are witnessing the bipartisan normalization and legitimization of a national-surveillance state."


Newt didn’t misspeak: he really does think we should roll back the Voting Rights Act



Are we watching the complete unraveling of federal election financing laws?



Marriage equality now the majority position


More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/republicans-not-changing-their-minds-on-gay-marriage/2011/03/03/AFWqyy7G_blog.html
Republicans not changing their minds on gay marriage

Theocracy watch, part one

Kentucky Grants Creationist Theme Park $43M In Tax Incentives

Theocracy watch, part two: I’m not crazy about legislatures starting their business with a prayer, but if they’re going to do it, at least don’t invite people like this guy


Bonus item: Newt’s epic whine about the media, performed as poetry


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, May 20, 2011


The Repubs have taken to saying that a little bit of debt default isn’t such a bad thing (since they’re causing it)

Moody's, S&P Warn U.S. Risks Triple-A Credit Rating If It Defaults On Debt -- Even Briefly

Devin Nunes Says The 'Period Of Crisis' Provided By Default Might Inspire Lawmakers To Actually Do Their Jobs

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_05/if_impressing_credit_rating_ag029687.php


Gotta hand it to them: the GOPers have had a strategy for more than thirty years, and they’ve stuck to it

Lawrence O'Donnell had a good segment last night about how the Republicans have used the "Starve the Beast" strategy to build up deficits and make tax increases impossible. . . . [read on]

Never heard of them, I’ll bet (thanks to Peg K for the link)

Andrew Gillum, the national director of People For the American Way, explained the influence of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on U.S. policymaking . . . [read on]

More: http://www.pfaw.org/rww-in-focus/alec-the-voice-of-corporate-special-interests-state-legislatures

Bought and paid for (thanks to Richard C for the link)

Eric Cantor Promises Oil Speculators That Republicans Will Block Financial Regulations

More: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/05/19/977503/-Oil-subsidized-Senators-just-returning-the-favor-

Goodwin Liu, a good man, gets blocked again from a Federal judgeship – outrageous enough. But even worse is how hypocritical GOPers try to “justify” it




Hypocrisy Bonanza As Senate Republicans Mount Filibuster of Goodwin Liu They Previously Deemed Unconstitutional

More: http://www.slate.com/id/2295087

Barack Obama, then and now

"The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation" -- candidate Barack Obama, December, 2007 [read on]

Sarah! attacks Newt for caving to media pressure


More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/sarah-palin-blames-lamestream-media-and-racist-david-gregory-for-newts-political-crisis.php

Bonus item: Haw haw – Newt goes on the one show where he thinks he can lie with impunity about his criticisms of the Ryan budget. Imagine his surprise when even Mt. Rushbo calls him on his b.s.

Newt to Limbaugh: Hey, you know all that trouble I got myself in for calling the Paul Ryan's budget "right-wing engineering"? Funny thing is I wasn't even referring to Paul Ryan!

Limbaugh to Newt: "Well then what did you apologize to him about?"

More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/05/gingrich-and-by-the-way-it-was-not-a-reference-to-paul-ryan-audio.php


MR. GREGORY: But not what Paul Ryan is suggesting, which is completely changing Medicare.

REP. GINGRICH: I, I think that, I think, I think that that is too big a jump. . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***\