Jun 212014
 

I know that many of you were disappointed when Scott Walker, Fartfuhrer of the Fascist Republican Plutocracy of Fitzwalkerstan, won a close recall election and prevented that region from becoming Wisconsin again.  In  our hearts we knew that he achieved that feat by criminal means.  At long last, it’s official.

WalkerKochProsecutors allege that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) was at the center of a criminal conspiracy to illegally coordinate the activities of independent conservative groups during recall elections in his state in 2011 and 2012, according to documents released Thursday and first reported on by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Prosecutors contend in the documents that Walker had direct knowledge that his top deputies R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl were involved in the alleged illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and 12 conservative groups.

The documents, part of a John Doe investigation, were unsealed in a lawsuit brought by the Wisconsin Club for Growth, the central player in the alleged illegal coordination, and other groups seeking to halt the investigation as a violation of their First Amendment rights. The prosecutors’ allegations are based on extensive testimony and findings from the parties involved.

In one unsealed email from Walker to Karl Rove, chief political strategist to former President George W. Bush and founder of the well-funded independent groups American Crossroads and Crossroads GPS, the governor described Johnson’s alleged role in coordinating Republican efforts in the recall elections…

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

If you remember, we wouldn’t have these documents, if Republicans had gotten their way when a Republican ideologue on the federal bench, Rudolph Randa, tried to shutter the investigation and ordered these same documents destroyed. For that I gave him a Republicans on Parade Award on May 20. Chris Hayes also covered the story at that time.

Rachel Maddow also provided coverage of this issue. In this clip, we get a bonus PIGnocchio roast, and she even picks on a Democrat, too.

As for Brian Schweitzer, no wonder he’s the former governor.  I never saw a chance that he could get the Democratic nomination, but I see a possible place for him at Comedy Central.

I am so ready for these investigations to wind down so that the Fartfuhrer and PIGnocchio can face prosecution for their crimes.

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Jun 202014
 

Who could forget the day that GW Bush was so busy trying to fathom the complexities of My Pet Goat that he left managing the nation under attack to ChickenHawk Cheney, known for his five deferment heroics.  In the months that followed, it became clear that Cheney was the power behind the throne, and the only quality that exceeded his bellicosity was his incompetence, especially at weapons handling.  That earned him the title Dead-eye Dick.  No single individual was more responsible for the thousands of deaths, untold suffering, and trillions of dollars squandered in the failed Republican War in Iraq.  Now he and his horrid daughter, The Lizard of Lies, are teaming up to try to make it happen all over again, while blaming the mess that he created on Barack Obama.

war criminal2…In an Op-Ed [Murdoch’s Faux Print delinked] published with his daughter, Liz, in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the Cheneys write:

Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.

This, from the man who helped lead us into this trumped-up war, searching for nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, a war in which some 4,500 members of the American military were killed, many thousands more injured, and that is running a tab of trillions of dollars.

During the lead-up to the war, Mr. Cheney said to Tim Russert: “I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.” Nothing could have been further from the truth.

Even if it were indeed rare to be “so wrong,” as Mr. Cheney puts it, he was vice president in an administration that was much more tragically wrong. His whole legacy is wrapped in wrong… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

You won’t see a more classic example of projection.  Had he added Vice, he would have described himself.

Chris Hayes brought us up to date on the Iraq crisis, and especially how several Republicans, especially ChickenHawk Cheney and his hate-filled daughter, are doubling down for more war.

Fallows is spot-on! The neocons who led us down the road to perdition over Iraq should shut up, not try to get us to repeat the same tragic mistake.

Rachel Maddow also nailed both Dead-eye Dick and the Lizard of Lies, focusing on the Lizard’s sordid history.

Cheney was so extreme that, toward the end of the Bush Reich, even Crawford Caligula stopped obeying him.  He deserves the inside of a cell, nothing more.

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Jun 142014
 

There was never any doubt, after the Bush Reich toppled the dictator that held Iraq together, that the nation was destined for long term, pent-up sectarian strife.  The Maliki regime concentrated all power in  the hands of the Shia faction, and it was only a matter of time before the Kurds and Sunnis rebelled.  The Republican Party is doing what Republicans always do in a case like this.  They are blaming Obama for what Bush did, and trying to get us back into the war.  Don’t do it!  Hands off Iraq!

This is what Maliki did with all the money and manpower we invested in training his army.

Mideast IraqObservers around the world are stunned by the speed and scope of this week’s assaults on every major city in the upper Tigris River Valley — including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city — by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. But they shouldn’t be. The collapse of the Iraqi government’s troops in Mosul and other northern cities in the face of Sunni militant resistance has been the predictable culmination of a long deterioration, brought on by the government’s politicization of its security forces.

The politicization of the Iraqi military

For more than five years, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his ministers have presided over the packing of the Iraqi military and police with Shiite loyalists — in both the general officer ranks and the rank and file — while sidelining many effective commanders who led Iraqi troops in the battlefield gains of 2007-2010, a period during which al Qaeda in Iraq (the forerunner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) was brought to the brink of extinction.

Al-Maliki’s "Shiafication" of the Iraqi security forces has been less about the security of Iraq than the security of Baghdad and his regime. Even before the end of the U.S.-led "surge" in 2008, al-Maliki began a concerted effort to replace effective Sunni and Kurdish commanders and intelligence officers in the key mixed-sect areas of Baghdad, Diyala and Salaheddin provinces to ensure that Iraqi units focused on fighting Sunni insurgents while leaving loyal Shiite militias alone — and to alleviate al-Maliki’s irrational fears of a military coup against his government.

In 2008, al-Maliki began replacing effective Kurdish commanders and soldiers in Mosul and Tal Afar with Shiite loyalists from Baghdad and the Prime Minister’s Dawa Party, and even Shiite militia members from the south. A number of nonloyalist commanders were forced to resign in the face of trumped up charges or reassigned to desk jobs and replaced with al-Maliki loyalists. The moves were made to marginalize Sunnis and Kurds in the north and entrench al-Maliki’s regime and the Dawa Party ahead of provincial and national elections in 2009, 2010 and 2013…

Inserted from <CNN>

30,000 Iraqi soldiers turned tail and ran from 800 fighters.

Those of you who remember Vietnam should be getting a sense of déjà vu from current events in Iraq.

Rachel Maddow covered this story in two parts. Apologies in advance for the intros.  In the first she puts the current situation in Iraq in the historical contest of the War in Vietnam.

In the second, she covers the Republican lies used to get us into the that GOP war for oil and conquest, and how Republicans are lying now want to get us back into that war, just as they tried to get is back into Vietnam.

Long before Barack Obama became President, I said that no so-called coalition government could stand in Iraq. I suggested that the country would be better off as three separate entities, with a federal structure solely to share oil revenues among them. The Maliki regime has proven to be just as corrupt as the Chalabi regime that the Bush Reich tried to impose on that nation. It will fall. The only question is when.

The best thing the US can do is stay away and let them deal with it themselves. Otherwise, we will only make a bigger mess of that nation than we already have. When they return to some semblance of order in their own way, we should recognize our national culpability and provide humanitarian (NOT military) aid.

Moreover, we need to stop the cycle economic imperialism. We need to allow nations to manage their own resources for the benefit of their own people, not install dictators to manage them for the benefit of American vulture capitalists.

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Jun 122014
 

I have said many times that the Republican Party  has sown the wind by embracing the racism, hatred and extremism so beloved by the Tea Party pseudo-patriots.  I have said many times that they shall reap the whirlwind.  But beyond those general predictions I was a surprised as everyone else that one small manifestation of that whirlwind would be the TEAbuggery that will kick Eric cantor from the House Majority leader’s chair and send him scurrying off to K street.

CantorHatThe House Republican leadership, so solid in its opposition to President Obama, was torn apart Tuesday by the defeat of its most influential conservative voice, Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader. His demise will reverberate all the way to the speaker’s chair, pull the top echelons of the House even further to the right and most likely doom any ambitious legislation, possibly through the next presidential election.

Conservatives who have helped fuel some of the most contentious showdowns over the last three years on issues such as immigration and raising the federal debt ceiling are likely to be emboldened by Mr. Cantor’s shocking loss as they seek to replace him with someone even more closely aligned with their views.

Further, House Republicans began to immediately plot a new leadership structure that before Tuesday night had hinged merely on whether Speaker John A. Boehner would seek to keep his post next year.

One measure of the extraordinary defeat could be seen in the candidate’s finances. Since the beginning of last year, Mr. Cantor’s campaign had spent about $168,637 at steakhouses compared with the $200,000 his challenger, David Brat, had spent on his entire campaign. With Mr. Cantor out, members from solidly Republican states will almost certainly be vying for one of the top jobs, if not Mr. Boehner’s gavel. The current Republican leadership slate is filled with members from swing states where the pressure to moderate views on topics such as immigration looms… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

You can be sure that virtually any House Republican who was considering the slightest compromises will be running scared because of this.  That bodes ill for America, because it guarantees a continuation of Republican sabotage, obstruction, and sedition.  Our only hope is that continuation causes a backlash that sends centrists to the polls in November to kick them out.

The best coverage of this story came from Rachel Maddow, and I have five clips from her coverage.

I do predict that one effect of Republican retrenchment even further to the right will be to alienate themselves even more from the American people, making a Democratic sweep probable in 2016.

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May 312014
 

One of the biggest reasons that Katrina devastated New Orleans so completely is that the wetlands that have served as a storm buffer from the Gulf of Mexico in the past are mostly gone.  To a great extent, the oil industry destroyed them to facilitate extraction and transport.  The voters of Louisiana have made it crystal clear that they want the companies that did the damage to repair it.  But thanks to Bobby Jindal and the Republican Party, the voters have been drilled, baby, drilled!

GOP-OilThe oil and gas industry won a significant victory Friday in the Louisiana Legislature, receiving final passage of a bill that seeks to kill a lawsuit filed by a New Orleans area levee board against nearly 100 oil and gas companies.

The lawsuit by the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East alleges the companies’ drilling activities damaged Louisiana’s coast and vulnerable wetlands.

Senators voted 25-11 for the measure by Sen. Bret Allain, R-Franklin, that is aimed at retroactively voiding the lawsuit.

The vote sent Allain’s bill to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who is expected to sign it into law. The Republican governor opposed the lawsuit and pushed for the measure’s passage…

Inserted from <NOLA.com>

Effectively, no local government entities in LA will have the right to sue corporations without going through the Republican-controlled state government and any ongoing lawsuits pending, like this one, are now moot.

Rachel Maddow explained this issue in much greater detail.

This is how corporate criminals externalize costs.  They make everyone pay part of their production costs, like the 2,000 people that died, and either the people that pay to repair the wetlands or the people who will lose life, limb and property, if the wetlands are not repaired.  When Republicans own the government, so does Big Oil.

With Republicans in charge, what the voters want does not matter, and Big Oil will continue to pocket obscene profits, because the rest of us are paying the cost of the destruction they leave in their greedy wake and even subsidizing them with our tax dollars.

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May 212014
 

Today is primary day in several states, the closest thing we have to Super Tuesday on the 2014 campaign.  By the time this is posted, most of the numbers will be in, but this should still be a good guide to what happened.  Perhaps the day should be renamed Stupor Tuesday to reflect the awareness of Republican voters and all people too stupid to get off their butts and vote.

0521Wehbe

Get excited, because voters are casting ballots in six states holding high-stakes primaries. It’s the busiest primary day of the year so far — and the most consequential.

From tea party vs. establishment infighting in the West to a Democratic sprint to the left in the Northeast, there’s a lot going on. But fear not! Here’s where we come in. Below we give you the six [sic] most important things to watch:

1. Who will make the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia?

2. What will Mitch McConnell’s margin of victory be?

3. Will Democrat Tom Wolf advance to a showdown against the nation’s most vulnerable governor?

4. It’s business versus tea party in Idaho. Business is poised for victory.

5. Will Monica Wehby hold on in Oregon after a story about "stalking" her ex-boyfriend last year?

6. Will a Clinton-backed U.S. House candidate advance in Pennsylvania?

7. There are two GOP primaries for U.S. House in Arkansas worth following.

8. Which Republican will take on the last white Democrat from the Deep South in the House?… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I’ve shared all the headers to give you a taste of what it covers.  Click through for the meat of the article.  To me. the most interesting item is the one on Monica Wehbe.

Rachel Maddow covered the day in two videos.  I’m sorry that I can’t get the clips in an Internationally viewable format, but I’m including their titles so you can search later.  In the first she covers Oregon Republicans.

Political weirdness finds a home in Oregon

In the second, she covers the other primaries.

The upside here is that we lose a couple real jerks from GA in the House.

Next we get to sort it all out.

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May 152014
 

I am pleased to report that a Federal Appeals Court has stopped the state of Texas from killing Robert James Campbell.  While the court did duck the issue that using unknown drugs from a secret source runs the rick of depth by slow torture, they did discover that Texas had hidden evidence that he is not mentally competent to face execution.

0515death-chamber

A little more than two hours before he was scheduled to be put to death here, a convicted murderer was granted a stay of execution by a federal appeals court on Tuesday so the courts could review his claim that he is mentally disabled — a disability, his lawyers argued, that state agencies had long known and concealed.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans granted the request from lawyers for Robert James Campbell, 41, who had been set to be the first inmate put to death in America since a botched execution in Oklahoma last month drew attention to the methods, drugs and secrecy surrounding lethal injections.

The court had refused to intervene in the execution based on Mr. Campbell’s lawyers’ contention that the state was withholding crucial evidence on the drug to be used. But it issued the stay on a second argument made by Mr. Campbell’s lawyers on what the law refers to as mental retardation… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Rachel Maddow covered this Republican blood lust.

Texas already had three other tests that showed the same results, but had denied that they existed. that’s how desperate these so-called Pro-Life Republicans are to kill. The same Republican executioners lied to a pharmaceutical manufacturer, claiming to be a hospital to get drugs fore execution. That’s how desperate these so-called “Pro-Life” Republicans are to kill. They are a moral stain on the face of this nation.

Republicans define life as something that begins at conception and ends at birth.

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