Saturday, February 28, 2009

AUGUST 31, 2010

Obama keeps a campaign promise (they can do that?), setting a definite date for the end of the US combat mission in Iraq
As a candidate for President, I made clear my support for a timeline of 16 months to carry out this drawdown, while pledging to consult closely with our military commanders upon taking office to ensure that we preserve the gains we’ve made and protect our troops. Those consultations are now complete, and I have chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months.

Let me say this as plainly as I can: by August 31, 2010, our combat mission in Iraq will end. . .

Obama’s budget: perspectives from the left and right

Elections have consequences. President Obama’s new budget represents a huge break, not just with the policies of the past eight years, but with policy trends over the past 30 years. If he can get anything like the plan he announced on Thursday through Congress, he will set America on a fundamentally new course.

The budget will, among other things, come as a huge relief to Democrats who were starting to feel a bit of postpartisan depression. . . . [read on]

Obama’s budget is far more honest than the ones that preceded it. It imposes real pay-as-you-go rules on future outlays. Intellectually serious efforts are made to pay for at least half of the cost of health care reform.

But the ingrained habits are still there, and the rot is not expunged. . . . [read on]

And then there is the response from the netherworld of Broder-land
Is he naive? Does he not understand the political challenge he is inviting? . . . [read on]

Pssst! Obama’s popularity is going UP

It’s about time,0,1515759.story
Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration Friday will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows health-care workers to deny abortion counseling or other family-planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs. . .

Good thing Judd Gregg didn’t accept Obama’s offer to be Sect’y of Commerce – he’d be stepping down right about now
Gregg Steered Earmarks To Project In Which He Had Invested . . .


The Party of No? The future prospects of the GOP

Let’s hope Michael Steele is the head of the GOP for a long time – but I don’t think he will be
[Eric Kleefeld] Michael Steele's back-and-forth flirtation with possible primary challenges to the party's pro-stimulus Republicans is now causing him to catch some real flak. And it's not just from those same Republican, but also from conservatives concerned about winning elections -- perhaps indicative of internal strains in the GOP between a hard-line conservative agenda, versus the basic electoral goal of winning office. . .
[Eric Kleefeld] Michael Steele sure has an interesting idea for how to rebrand the Republican Party: Loudly announcing at CPAC that they messed up, and pledging to do better now.

"Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad," said Steele. . . .

Oh, christ
[Eric Kleefeld] [C]heck out this latest development in Steele's campaign to create a hip-hop image for the GOP. Michele Bachmann praised Steele's speech: "Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man."

And no, this is not from The Onion. . . .
[Watertiger] So the RNC is making a last-ditch (and bewilderingly tone-deaf) effort to resuscitate the party by tapping into "hip hop" America's mad bank. It must be fairly disorienting to be one of the six or seven black people in the Republican Party, with all your white peers trying to speak your "language" loudly and slowly, like tourists in a foreign land. . . .

Bobby Jindal: hope of the future?
Commentary: Jindal leads GOP on a 'march of folly' . . .

Jindal told a big fat lie during his speech last week

Bobby Jindal Revises His Katrina Story . . .
Jindal's Office Tries To Spin Katrina Story, Digs Itself In Deeper . . .
[Mark Kleiman] Politico says he "clarified" his story about Sheriff Lee and the rescue boats. I say he was caught fibbing. Should be hard to recover from.

An open mike!
[Jed Lewison] It turns that there was an open mic recording Bobby Jindal's every word before his disaster of a speech on Tuesday night.

He didn't say anything particularly screwy, but it's still funny listening to him complain about his throat, asking his advisers whether he should speak loudly or softly, and reminding himself to speak "slow."

[Times-Picayune] Louisiana's transportation department plans to request federal dollars for a New Orleans to Baton Rouge passenger rail service from the same pot of railroad money in the president's economic stimulus package that Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized as unnecessary pork on national television Tuesday night.

And here’s a lie ABOUT Jindal from Fox News

The GOP horse race for 2012

Video from CPAC

The kind of people they are
Tucker Carlson closed out the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference to a chorus of boos. His crime: informing a crowd of youngish, frustrated conservatives that if they wanted to succeed, they had to copy The New York Times.

“The New York Times is a liberal newspaper,” said Carlson. The catcalls started in. “They go out, and they get the facts.” More boos. . . .

“I hate smart Jews”
In his CPAC speech, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell insisted that conservatives are more "interesting" and "fun" than liberals. Here's his proof: "who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich when you can be with Rush Limbaugh?" . . .

Yeah, this’ll work
[Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)] Earlier this week, we heard the world’s best salesman of socialism address the nation. . . . [read on]

Remember when Mike Huckabee was a refreshing, self-deprecating voice in the GOP? Well, like all the others he’s been disciplined into reciting the same old code words
“The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics may be dead,” said Huckabee, “but a Union of American Socialist Republics is being born.” . . .

Are Joe the Plumber’s fifteen minutes of fame up yet?
[Think Progress] On Wednesday, Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher said that if he were in Congress, he would "probably be in jail" because he’d be charged with "slapping some member." He added, "And that’s not [bull] either." ThinkProgress asked Joe at CPAC yesterday which members he would most like to slap. "Pretty much anybody that’s stood there and said anything bad about our troops, pretty much anybody who sat there and talked treasonous talk about America," Joe said. He then implied that some members of Congress should be shot . . . [watch]

Jim Bunning (R-KY), continuing to undermine his own party
Bunning Threatens Revenge Against GOP, To Resign And Hand Seat To Dems . . .


A step backward for theocracy

Inside baseball: how voting patterns in Congress make forging a majority difficult – and forming bipartisan coalitions almost impossible

Oooh, ouch. Not good
Secret Coleman-Lawyer E-Mails Reveal Intentional Hiding Of Witness . . .
[David Kurtz] Just when the election court in Minnesota had given Norm Coleman's legal team a break by reversing itself on a decision to strike a witness' testimony because Norm's lawyers withheld evidence from the Franken team, it turns out there's more evidence related to Coleman's lawyers' contact with this same witness that they still hadn't divulged until Franken's lawyer brought it out this morning on cross examination of the witness. . . .
Coleman Lawyer To Court: We Don't Want To Un-Count Votes -- But You Have To . . .
Oh. My. Goodness. . . .

Special election to unseat Roland Burris (D-IL)?

Bonus item: He. Lost!
[Atrios] Wolf Blitzer is going to interview John McCain again.

This is such a surprising development that they sent out a press release about 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 (

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Friday, February 27, 2009


The next big fights over the budget and health care

Kicked off the pages of the NY Times, Bill Kristol lands a gig with the Washington Post – and continues right in stride, calling the GOP to arms in obstructing the Obama agenda

Roveanism 101: accuse your enemies of doing what you do yourself
[Karl Rove] Mr. Obama, on the other hand, routinely ascribes to others views they don't espouse and says opposition to his policies is grounded in views no one really advocates. . . . [read on]


Know your enemies: inside accounts of the CPAC conference
[Matthew Cooper] If you imagine Paul McCartney at Shea Stadium in 1965 you have some idea of the reception that the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, gave John Bolton this morning. . . . [read on]
[Matthew Cooper] Zesty and dated rock tended to accompany speakers here at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Creedence Clearwater Revival "Down on the Corner" for John Bolton, Smashmouth's cover of "I'm a Believer" for Mike Pence, early Beatles--"Love Me Do"--at the Building a Conservative Hispanic Coalition seminar and Kenny Loggins hit from the Top Gun soundtrack, "Danger Zone". . . . [read on]
[Alex Koppleman] Apparently, there is one sure way to get applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which began today and continues through Saturday: Suggest that Barack Obama was born in a foreign country and isn't really eligible to be president. . . . [read on]
[Christopher Beam] This year's Conservative Political Action Conference is impressively diverse: The groups that have set up booths include FreedomWorks, Freedom's Defense Fund, Freedom Alliance, the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Let Freedom Ring, FreedomFest, Young Americans for Freedom, the Campaign for Liberty, and my favorite, Youth for Western Civilization. As for the actual attendees, about half appear to be college students, while another one-quarter look like those guys who hang around university libraries into late adulthood. . . . [read on]
[Barbara Morrill] If you're going to be in the Washington D.C. area for the next few days, and possess a masochistic desire to delve into the mind of today's Republican Party, then CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference is the place for you.

Here are some of the fun activities they have planned . . . [read on]
[Blue Texan] Joe the Plumber, Michelle Bachmann & Palin Video Everyone’s Already Seen Kick Off CPAC . . . [read on]


Michael Steele, the gift that keeps on giving
GOP chair Steele compares Jindal to "Slumdog Millionaire"
[John Aravosis] In the movie Slumdog Millionaire, the lead character is Indian. And he's illiterate and from the ghetto, but somehow he manages to prove he's the smartest guy on the block, but no one believes him. And Bobby Jindal is Indian-American. Get it? They're both Indian. Isn't that funny? . . . [read on]

Just a coincidence I’M SURE
The son of embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) "is a federal tax deadbeat who landed a $75,000-a-year state job under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich five months ago," the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. . . .


Jim Bunning (R-KY): there’s something wrong with this guy

The Norm Coleman case seems to be coming to an end in Minnesota – what next?
[David Kurtz] In a nutshell, Norm Coleman has lost but refuses to concede and now wants to throw out the original election, the one he lost, and hold a new one. . . . [read on]
Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday that they see a light at the end of the tunnel in the protracted Minnesota Senate race and expressed confidence that Democrat Al Franken would fill the vacant seat in a matter of weeks.

“The projections — and they’re not locked in — are that this should all be finished by the very beginning of April,” said New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer . . .
[Joe Sudbay] Big shot Republicans are raising money for Coleman to keep this battle going and to keep Franken out of the Senate. . . .

So, it's no wonder that Coleman's protracted effort has resulted in yet another example of the GOP in-fighting that already popping up in so many places. Think Progress highlights an intra-state battle between the Republican Governor, Tim Pawlenty, and the former Senator . . .


Negotiations in Afghanistan?

Investigation of Bush era interrogation tactics coming?

Former CIA head . . . well, just read it. You wouldn’t believe me if I made it up
Report: Goss Knew Foggo Shared A Girlfriend With Russian Spy, But Hired Him Anyway . . .

George Will won’t back down over his factually challenged global warming column

Media bias: which way it really tilts

How talk radio hurts the GOP (thanks to AG for the link)

Republican governor calls Rush an “idiot”
[South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford] "I don't want [Obama] to fail. Anybody who wants him to fail is an idiot, because it means we're all in trouble."

Rush responds:

Bonus item: Joe the Plumber – who is he talking about?
"He doesn't care about what's best for America," Wurzelbacher said. "He only cares about what's best for [himself]."

***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 (

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, February 26, 2009


Iraq troop withdrawals coming

“Truth and Reconciliation” over Bush/Cheney war crimes. Is it possible?

Coming: health care reform

Oh, listen to them whine. The new line from the Repubs is that the Dems have it easy, you see, because they only offer simplistic, popular solutions where Republican policies are too complex and subtle (yeah, right, like “Tax cuts solve everything”)

Meanwhile, the Republicans hone their new complex and subtle policy tack
On Monday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on Fox News, calling for a "spending freeze." . . .
“We’re advocating that Congress freeze all federal spending immediately,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, during a Tuesday luncheon at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “People out there are hurting, and they understand what you do when times are tough. You make hard choices. . . .”


How many ways to say it? Michael Steele is a moron
GALLAGHER: Do you favor civil unions?

STEELE: No, no no. What would we do that for? What are you crazy? No. Why would we backslide on a core, founding value of this country. I mean this isn't something that you just kind of like, "Oh well, today I feel, you know, loosey-goosey on marriage." I mean, this is a foundational principle of this country. It is a foundational principle of organized society. It isn't something that, you know, in America we decided, "Let's make it between a man and a woman; oh well now, let's change our mind and make it between anyone and anyone." No.

GALLAGHER: So no room even for a conversation about civil unions, in your mind?

STEELE: What's the difference?

GALLAGHER: Well, you're not calling it marriage.

STEELE: Is it?

GALLAGHER: I don't know. I mean, I... I...

STEELE: I mean, like Sarah Palin said, you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. . . . [read on]
In an interview today on Morning Joe, Michael Steele seemed to be trying to back off of his prior statements about how Arlen Specter could face a primary challenge for supporting the stimulus bill -- but in the process, he only ended up saying that the RNC might not support Specter . . .

Another day of Republican Jindal-bashing
[I]t's just a disaster for the Republican Party," said Brooks.
I thought Bobby Jindal gave possibly the worst response to a Democratic speaker in the history of democracy. . . . [more]
GOP Strategist: Jindal’s Speech Was “Painful” And A “Good Night For Sarah Palin” . . .


And then there’s . . . Newt
Bobby Jindal got a good national launch out of last night. His story is compelling. His values appeal to most Americans . .

And Rush:
"I love Bobby Jindal, and that did not change after last night. Nothing that happened last night changed my mind.” . . .

"[I]f you think -- people on our side, I’m talking to you -- those of you who think Jindal was horrible... I don’t ever want to hear from you ever again."

And one good Jindal-bashing from our side
[Paul Krugman] [L]eaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Usually being in the minority unites a party – not so for the divided Republicans

Perjury by former head of the CIA?
Report: Goss Knew Of Foggo's Shady Past . . .
[Laura Rozen] Source said that Goss lied in his testimony, that he was not aware about the problems with Foggo when he hired him for executive director. He said that a major fight had broken out between Goss staffer Patrick Murray and then associate deputy director of operations Michael Sulick about the Foggo hiring. "Murray told ADDO/Counterintelligence Mary Margaret that if Dusty's background got out to the press, they would know who to come looking for. Mary Margaret tried to warn them that Dusty Foggo had a problematic counterintelligence file. Sulick defended Mary Margaret. Goss told deputy director of operations Steve] Kappes he had to fire Sulick." After that, Kappes and Sulick quit. "Goss bears major responsibility here," source says. It was finally the "White House tht demanded that Goss fire Dusty and he refused." So they both got fired.

Norm Coleman’s case falls apart
[David Kurtz] This afternoon, after the Coleman team was revealed to have withheld evidence from the Franken legal team, which rightly flipped out, the court ordered the testimony of a key witness struck from the record, dealing yet another blow to Coleman's tattered case.
Minnesota Judges Strike Key Coleman Witness, After Failure To Share Evidence . . .
Coleman Camp Gets Caught Not Sharing Evidence With Franken Side, Coaching Witness . . .

You lose the recount, you ask for a trial. You lose the trial, you ask for a whole new friggin’ election

The kind of people they are
[Taegan Goddard] A Republican legislator in Colorado opposed a bill requiring pregnant women to be tested for HIV, so that if they are infected their babies can be treated to prevent the transfer of the virus, the Rocky Mountain News reports.

But it was his reasoning that sparked outrage.

Said state Sen. Dave Schultheis (R): "This stems from sexual promiscuity for the most part, and I just can't go there. We do things continually to remove the consequences of poor behavior, unacceptable behavior, quite frankly. I'm not convinced that part of the role of government should be to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their actions."

Leave Bristol alo-o-o-one!

Matt Drudge – a standing joke
[Digby] This is really a jump the shark moment for Matt Drudge . . . [read on!]

Bonus item: Obama – Antichrist, or Hitler? It’s so hard to know

***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 (

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, February 25, 2009


This man can give a speech

Setting the scene:



Bobby Jindal’s big coming-out party is a F-L-O-P
On his big night, Jindal falls flat . . .

"Oh God"

Even Fox:

The Wilkes/Foggo CIA scandal picks up steam again with the release of new docs

Chuck Schumer: GOP governors can’t reject stimulus money

We finally have a Labor Sect’y

Senior Senator from Illinois Dick Durbin tells Burris it’s time to go (Burris says no)

Norm Coleman still pretends to be a Senator

This must end soon
Minnesota Court Denies Coleman's Attempt To Un-Count Ballots He'd Previously Agreed To . . .
Franken Team Demolishes Huge Set Of Coleman Ballots

Obama reaches out to McCain – and what does he get?
At the closing session of the "fiscal responsibility summit" at the White House yesterday, President Obama graciously introduced John McCain and invited him to go first in raising a point or asking a question.

McCain apparently thought he'd get in a little dig at his former campaign rival, and began talking about the bloated Pentagon budget. "We all know how large the defense budget is," the Arizona Republican said. "We all know that the cost overruns, your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers enormous amount of money."

The president, taking away the senator's fun, agreed . . . [read on]

Guess what? People care a lot more about good results than they do about “bipartisanship”


Annals of lousy headline writing
Clinton's mockery of Obama proves true
During the most contentious stretch of the Democratic presidential primary campaign last winter, then-candidate Hillary Clinton mocked Barack Obama for his pledge to transcend Washington's entrenched partisanship.

"The sky will open. The lights will come down. Celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect!" Clinton bellowed.

Obama dismissed Clinton's sarcasm as overly cynical and further evidence she was a creature of Washington. But as President Obama prepares to make his first major address to Congress, Clinton's comments are borne out. . . .

We don’t have Judy Miller any more, but we do have Liz Sidoti
AP’s Liz Sidoti Puts Words in Obama’s Mouth Over Social Security . .

Is the GOP pulling support from troglodyte Jim Bunning (R-KY)?


Maybe not:

RNC head Michael Steele is DUMB

I take it back!

Bonus item: Ouch!
Sometimes, even Republican governors get frustrated with their party's congressional leadership. Take Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who let loose during an interview with the Washington Times, saying the GOP's leaders in Congress are "inconsequential" and that they've failed to move beyond "gratuitous partisanship." . . .


***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 (

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, February 24, 2009


Obama’s plea for reason
"I think there are some very legitimate concerns on the part of some about the sustainability of expanding unemployment insurance. What hasn't been noted is that that is $7 billion of a $787 billion program. And it's not even the majority of the expansion of unemployment insurance," Obama said. The president added, "If we agree on 90 percent of this stuff, and we're spending all our time on television arguing about 1, 2, 3 percent of the spending in this thing, and somehow it's being characterized in broad brush as 'wasteful spending,' that starts sounding more like politics. And that's what right now we don't have time to do."

The constant bashing and demonizing of Obama from the right has had an effect . . . on the right
[David Kurtz] Gallup polling shows that the drop off in Obama's approval ratings from January highs is attributable solely to disenchantment among conservatives -- and that his standing among Democrats and independents has either held steady or actually risen. . . .
Public’s View of Obama Polarizing . . .


Entitlement reform, clearly needed, can only happen if both parties will get behind it. Apparently Obama has decided there is no way Republicans will work on it with him now – and he’s not too sure about many Democrats, either

The Republicans seem to be hardening in their opposition to Obama’s policies
[Charles Grassley, R-IA] "I'll be working in the Senate as the Ranking Member of the Finance Committee and a senior member of the Budget Committee for fiscal responsibility and an honest accounting of how Congress and the administration tax and spend. The current administration inherited a $1 trillion deficit, and in just the first few weeks it added another $1 trillion to the debt with its economic stimulus bill. The bill included new and expanded entitlement programs, and if they're made permanent, they'll add at least another $2 trillion to the deficit.

"Looking ahead, we're hearing from some people that we can't reform government entitlement programs until we reform the entire health care system. The problems with our health care system need fixing, but for a lot of people, health care reform is code for spending more, not less. American taxpayers are being asked to swallow a lot right now, and it brings to mind the old joke about Wimpy's hamburgers. Wimpy said, 'I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.' There's too much of that kind of attitude in Congress and the White House today."
[Michael Steele, GOP head] I mean, we have watched over a trillion dollars worth of cash flow into this economy, into the system. The market response to that has been obvious. It's not -- it's not pulling the triggers that need to be pulled. And now we're talking about new spending. . . .

But, you know, this new spend is just an amazing amount of cash, and the inflationary effect, the deflationary effect, all of those things are going to come to head at some point . . .

[NB: Inflationary AND deflationary? Thanks for the economics lesson, Dr. Steele]

As for their alternatives . . .
[Alex Koppelman] Months after its drubbing in the 2008 election, the GOP still remains a party without a real public face or a coherent strategy. The debate over the stimulus has made that clear . . .
[David Sirota] Say what? Republicans are preparing "to use the ballooning deficit to renew their push for additional tax cuts?" Excuse me, but last I checked, we know that Republicans' previous tax cuts were one of the biggest factors creating and expanding the federal deficit.

I mean, fine - let the Republicans push for tax cuts. That's what they do. But citing deficit concerns as the reason we need more tax cuts? Really? They are going to cite a problem as the justification for expanding the causative factor of that problem?


Watch the GOP try to reframe the decision to let Bush tax cuts lapse, as they are scheduled to do without congressional action, as an Obama TAX INCREASE. And watch the media help them
[Matt Yglesias] Recall that the purpose of writing the sunsets into law was to bring the “ten-year cost” of the cuts down. Basically, they wrote a tax cut bill that was too expensive to pass. Then instead of actually moderating the scale of their agenda, they made the cost appear smaller by arbitrarily phasing the cuts out . . .

Hit ‘em again . . .
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, headed by Chris Van Hollen, will start pumping new robocalls later today into the districts of a dozen House Republicans, attacking them for voting against the economic recovery plan and reminding voters that it was supported by business groups.

The calls also hit the Republicans for voting “against the largest tax cut in history,” a reference to the tax cuts in the bill that the GOPers opposed, and an early clue to an attack line the Dems will be using in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections. . . .


One of the most irritating events of the Bush/Cheney years was their (illegal) use of nongovernmental e-mail accounts to shield wrongdoing, their failure to properly archive emails generally, and then the discovery that emails from crucial periods (like the genesis of the Plame scandal) were suddenly “missing.” Now it gets worse: the Obama DOJ takes the Bush side of the argument

Karl Rove asks for an extension on his subpoena to testify before Congress, gets it, then fails to appear anyway. I guess this is what you might call “contempt”


The kind of people they are (redux). More nastiness from Jim Bunning (R-KY)

The know-nothings
[South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R)] "The Golden Gate Bridge was a Hoover-era infrastructure project designed to get the economy going. The L.A. aqueduct system was a Hoover-era, you know, infrastructure program designed to get the economy going. The Hoover Dam was a Depression-era, you know, project designed to get the economy going." . . . [read on]


In Minnesota, the long slog goes on . . . .
[Mark Kleiman] If I were a Minnesotan, I think I'd be pretty angry about the way that Norm Coleman and his friends in the national Republican Party have deprived the state of half its representation in the Senate. It's now clear that Coleman can't win, but the Republicans are happy to spend a few million bucks to make Obama find two Republican votes rather than only one to break filibusters and do other things for which Senate rules impose a super-majority. . . . [read on]


Bonus item: “Pit bull” Sarah Palin sure has been doing a lot of whining

***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 (

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, February 23, 2009


The kind of people they are (part one)
Alan Keyes isn't the only one keeping alive rumors that Barack Obama isn't a natural born citizen.

At an event last week in Alabama, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) answered a question from a constituent in a way that indicates he still holds doubts . . .
[Digby] Richard Shelby left the Democratic party in 1994 finally signaling the final success of the Southern Strategy and the long overdue gathering of all conservatives under the same banner. It was a good day for Democrats. We may be a lot of bad things, but at least we don't have to claim this nasty, braindead piece of work . . .
[Steve Benen] Why is it so painfully difficult to take the Republican Party seriously in the 21st century? Because they haven't quite figured out that credibility comes with a degree of political maturity. . . .
Senator Richard Shelby Undermines Our President in Wartime . . .

The truth about Obama's birth certificate. . . .

And by the way . . .
[Sen. Richard Shelby] Well his father was Kenyan and they said he was born in Hawaii, but I haven't seen any birth certificate. You have to be born in America to be president.
McCain Was Born in the Panama Canal Zone. . . .

The kind of people they are (part two)
[A] tough stance toward illegal immigrants was a given for the 1,250 delegates and guests at the convention. Carly Fiorina, a possible contender in the party's U.S. Senate primary next year to challenge Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer, made them the butt of a joke in a hotel penthouse breakfast speech. When her family first moved to California, Fiorina recalled, her little brother asked, "Mommy, do they speak English there?"

"Wasn't that prescient," she joked, sparking a burst of guffaws. . . .

The kind of people they are (part three)
[Louisville Courier-Journal] U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning predicted over the weekend that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would likely be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months.

During a wide-ranging 30-minute speech on Saturday at the Hardin County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner, Bunning said he supports conservative judges "and that's going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg ... has cancer."

"Bad cancer. The kind that you don't get better from," he told a crowd of about 100 at the old State Theater. . . . [read on]

The kind of people they are (part four)

Haley Barbour, former head of the RNC and one of the most cynical political operatives of our time, whines that Obama is too good at it
"He's going to those places for a reason," Barbour said on CNN's State of the Union. "I mean David Axelrod, who's his campaign consultant/manager/guru really is one of the brightest, most capable people in American politics. And so this is what we've become accustomed to, the perpetual campaign." . . .

Oh-oh (thanks to Digby for the link)
Renowned investor George Soros said on Friday the world financial system has effectively disintegrated, adding that there is yet no prospect of a near-term resolution to the crisis.

Soros said the turbulence is actually more severe than during the Great Depression, comparing the current situation to the demise of the Soviet Union.

He said the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in September marked a turning point in the functioning of the market system.

"We witnessed the collapse of the financial system," Soros said . . .

How Obama will do deficit reduction: add the costs of the Iraq war into the budget (which Bush and the Republicans refused to do), then cut those costs with troop reductions

Boo. Hoo.
"The jobless rate is hanging high -- for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected," the Wall Street Journal reports. . . .

Fewer asylums, more prisons: the connection

Preview of 2012? Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, and heir to the party’s right vs. Charlie Crist, governor of Florida, and pragmatic moderate – unless they decide to switch places

Where’s Sarah?
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) is uncharacteristically shunning the spotlight this week in an apparent effort to repair damage to her political stature back home. . . .

Right winger joins CBS

Bonus item: Heh. Condi gets a not-very-lucrative book deal

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Sunday, February 22, 2009


REAL fiscal discipline
After a string of costly bailout and stimulus measures, President Obama will set a goal this week to cut the annual deficit at least in half by the end of his term, administration officials said. The reduction would come in large part through Iraq troop withdrawals and higher taxes on the wealthy . . .

Trashing Obama’s housing program: the lies have already begun

Well, a GOP governor finally does reject (some) stimulus money – and wouldn’t you know it would come at the expense of unemployed workers?
Saying that it could lead to a tax increase on state businesses, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that the state plans to reject as much as $98 million in federal unemployment assistance in the economic stimulus package. . . .


California’s Republicans see a new way to invigorate themselves


The downhill slide gets steeper . . .,roland-burris-meets-with-feds-022109.article
Federal authorities questioned U.S. Senator Roland Burris today at his lawyer’s office -- a long-awaited interview involving his U.S. Senate seat appointment . . .


Wow, it’s a new world isn’t it? Google Earth reveals US predator drones at an air base in Pakistan


The problem with Bagram

Old lies die hard. Republicans are STILL trying to claim that Obama’s election was illegitimate because he is not a US citizen (even though his mother was)

George Will publishes a falsehood-riddled column on global warming. Doesn’t the Washington Post fact-check these things?
[Zachary Roth] [I]t took us about ten minutes -- longer, it appears, than the Post's editors spent -- to figure out that Will, like Barnes, was essentially making stuff up. . . . [read on]
[Zachary Roth] After days of radio silence from the Washington Post, the paper's ombudsman, Andy Alexander, has sent out the following statement . . .
[Matt Yglesias] This started as a problem for Will, his direct supervisors, and the Post’s ombudsman. But now that the Post as a paper is standing behind Will’s deceptions, I think it’s a problem for all the other people who work at the Post. . . .

Good on ya, Mark:
Dear Mr. Alexander:

Your response to queries about George Will's misrepresentations both of scientific fact and of how those facts have been reported by scientists, published on the Web, has left me, and many other long-time admirers of the Post, dumbfounded and dismayed. . . . [read on]

Sunday talk show line-ups
NBC Meet the Press: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R); Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R); Roundtable with: Al Hunt (Bloomsberg), Michele Norris (NPR), and Becky Quick (CNBC).

ABC This Week: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R); Roundtable with: Paul Krugman (The New York Times), Economics Professor Nouriel Roubini (NYU Stern School of Business), and George Will (ABC News).

CBS Face the Nation: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan; New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D); Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R); Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D).

CNN State of the Union: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Arnold Schwarzenegger; Shaun Donovan; "Good Morning America" Anchor Robin Roberts.

CNN Fareed Zakaria GPS: Retired Pakistani cricketer Imran Khan; Minxin Pei (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace); Author Kishore Mahbubani; Shekhar Gupt (Indian Express); Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Stiglitz; Nobel Laureate in Economics Edmund Phelps; Dr. Jeff Sachs (Columbia University's Earth Institute).

Bonus item: Kos on the politics of blogging: an oldie but goodie

***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 (

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, February 21, 2009


Richard Perle, compulsive liar
[Steve Perle] Neocon mastermind Richard Perle spoke in D.C. yesterday, and argued, with a straight face, that neoconservatives don't actually exist. And if they did exist, they wouldn't deserve the blame for the Bush administration's foreign policy failures.

Dana Milbank, who was on hand for Perle's remarks, said the experience of listening to all of this was like "falling down the rabbit hole." . . . [read on]
[Spencer Ackerman] Just Ignore Everything Richard Perle Says for the Rest of His Life . . . [read on]

The Santelli rant (DON’T MISS IT)
Matt Drudge and the conservative blogosphere tried to turn him into the new Joe the Plumber -- or perhaps something even bigger. . . .

The White House slaps him down:


It’s only a matter of time . . .,0,6262957.story
A former top official for then- Gov. Rod Blagojevich said Thursday he got a "courtesy call" from Roland Burris last fall noting Burris' interest in a vacant U.S. Senate seat—a contact Burris failed to mention to lawmakers in his evolving testimony about how he got the job. . . .
[Sun Times] If Sen. Roland Burris misled an Illinois House impeachment panel with a false account of his appointment, he did the same thing with the Illinois Supreme Court last month.

In a lawsuit to force Secretary of State Jesse White to certify his appointment to the Senate, Burris submitted the same Jan. 5 affidavit to the state high court that he had earlier sent to the House panel. The truthfulness of the affidavit has since been called into question. . . .
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called Friday for Sen. Roland Burris to resign. . . .
Burris' support in black community begins to waver . . .
WH press secretary Robert Gibbs sends an unmistakable message to Illinois Senator Roland Burris, saying that his appointment had been based on representations that were at "variance" with what actually happened, and urging Burris to take some time this weekend to "think of what lays in his future." . . .
[Matt Yglesais] Three weeks ago, Darrel Thompson, a senior adviser to Harry Reid, was dispatched to serve as Chief of Staff to Senator Roland Burris to help him put a team together and manage his office. Now Thompson is quitting as Democrats everywhere once again hop off the Burris bandwagon . . .
Sen. Roland W. Burris (D-Ill.) has no intention of quitting, his spokesman said Friday . . .

The GOP suddenly discovers the virtues of congressional oversight (which they trashed during the Bush years)

Coleman’s desperate case goes crazy
[Eric Kleefeld] The Coleman campaign has just filed a very interesting motion in the election trial, changing their position for the fourth or fifth time on whether to count rejected absentee ballots -- and demanding that votes they've already stipulated as legal should be thrown out. . . .
[Eric Kleefeld] Norm Coleman's legal filing from this morning, calling for the throwing-out of ballots he previously agreed were legal, really has the Franken camp angry. The new Franken filing in response doesn't just call for the Coleman lawyers' request to be denied, but goes further: "Contestants' effort to renege on the stipulation they freely entered and eviscerate the binding order of this Court warrants the imposition of sanctions." . . .
[Eric Kleefeld] The Coleman camp sent up James Langdon, the member of the team who has best come across as sympathetic and sincere. "We understand that we stipulated, and we take that very seriously," Langdon said. "However, our research told us we could not stipulate to make something legal that was in fact illegal." . . .

The Franken camp sent up David Lillehaug -- whose distinction among the Franken team is how effectively he does anger.

Lillehaug tore into Langdon's "however" clause: "There is no 'however' with stipulations of this sort."

"The parties -- at least one party -- worked in good faith to reach this stipulation," he later said. Moreover, he added, both parties had told the court that they had worked together, had agreed that these ballots were legal, and dismissed any and all claims related to them with prejudice.

Lillehaug declared that in any court, you can't scrap a settlement you entered into: "It doesn't matter whether you're in small claims court, or conciliation -- or whether you're a former United States Senator." . . .
[Dday] This endless trial in Minnesota over their US Senate election is really working out well for the Republicans. Norm Coleman's lawyers get to make any wild charge they want, contradicting themselves over what ballots should count and what shouldn't, and in the meantime, the winner of the election, Al Franken, isn't seated as the 59th Democratic Senator, making it harder to break the obstructionism and making the Senate more reliant on the Axis of Presidents Nelson and Collins. It's a great little racket they've got going. So they decided to keep funding it. . . . [read on]

Crazy man in Utah
[Steve Benen] Utah state Sen. Chris Buttars (R) generated some attention for himself this week with a breathtaking anti-gay tirade in which he called gay people "the greatest threat to America going down I know of." He went on to compare homosexuality to alcoholism, and described gay people as "the meanest buggers I ever seen. It's just like the Moslems." Buttars concluded, "It's the beginning of the end.... Sodom and Gomorrah was localized. This is worldwide." . . . [read on]

The Republican Party needs to change — at least when it comes to its use of technology, Meghan McCain says. . . .

"This has been a source of personal frustration for me for a very long time," said McCain of the party's seeming disconnect with technology. "Unless the GOP evolves as the party that can successfully utilize the Web, we'll continue to lose influence" . . .

[NB: So they need McCain’s daughter to tell them that?]

Obama says he has no intention whatsoever of reviving the Fairness Doctrine – but the Right wing yakkers see a way of whipping up false paranoia and they’re not letting it go

Bonus item: Not funny
[Alex Koppelman] A political cartoon printed in Wednesday's edition of the New York Post is already stirring controversy. The image . . . was drawn by Sean Delonas -- who has a history of work perceived as racist, homophobic and misogynistic . . .

***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 (

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.***