Posts Tagged ‘FOPGOX’

If one were only paying attention to Faux News and Congress, one would think that Benghazi was and is a scandal of monumental proportions without precedence of any kind.  So much so that many Republicans routinely say they will use it as evidence for impeachment.  They also use it as a wonderful distraction from things that remain unresolved such as our plan to drop bombs on ISIS, Russia’s “invasion” of Ukraine, Immigration Reform, and our slow moving economy.  Not that it isn’t important–it is and the causes that lead to the breakdown in security at our Benghazi Consulate have since been corrected.

What is most important about Benghazi is how Republicans are using it as a political football by saying it is unique and something that should be laid exclusively at President Obama’s feet.  In reality there have been no less than thirteen, yes I said 13, previous attacks on U.S. Consulates, Embassies and their associated staff and troops abroad during the Bush Presidency from 2002 until 2008 before President Obama was elected.  Bob Cesca over The Daily Banner  has the complete list.  If we want to go further back, there are plenty more.  I distinctly remember the bombing of our marine barracks in Beirut back in 1983 under yet another Republican president, good ol Ronnie Raygun.

When those incidents occurred what did we hear?  Did we see Dems attacking those Presidents?  Or did we see everyone understand that those are dangerous jobs in dangerous places doing important work for our country?   There were no calls for impeachment, no endless investigations that failed to find anything, no scandals, nothing.  Because shit happens overseas in dangerous regions.  But the fact that there’s nothing there to find with Benghazi doesn’t matter to Republicans.  They keep beating that dead horse (just like they did with ACORN).

The GOP propaganda machine has realized that the squeaky wheel gets the grease.   And it doesn’t hurt that the majority of the news media in the U.S. is owned by a very small group of rich conservative white males and their monopolistic corporations. Fortunately for Americans (and my sanity) they can’t change history or hide reality so long as liberal bloggers like Bob, media watchdogs like Media Matters, and individual bloggers like myself keep up the good fight.  So here’s your daily dose of truth–Benghazi was tragic and has been appropriately addressed.  The rate of these kinds of attacks have actually been less under President Obama.  It was not unique or evidence of wrongdoing constituting impeachable offenses.  If it were, then all thirteen of the attacks Bob listed would have been as well.

Jon Stewart on The Daily Show sometimes gets on my nerves with his “both sides do it” tendencies, but in a recent segment absolutely decimates Eric Bolling and Fox News coverage of food stamp fraud.  Video here:

For those “over the pond” folks who cannot access the video, here’s a summary.

Jon shows Eric Bolling calling him out.  Tape of Bolling saying he is going to take Jon “to school”.  After making fun of Bolling for this ridiculous call out, Stewart walks through their hypocrisy step by step.  He points out that one hippy (who was used as THE example of food stamp fraud on 6 different Fox shows) does not represent the millions of poor Americans.  But okay, we don’t have to argue that point.  Let’s address how much fraud there actually is.  So he show that food stamp fraud is about $3 billion annually and is not anything to sneeze at.  Jon then compares that to the amount of money not paid by corporations due to loopholes in the U.S. taxes every year, which amounts to about $4 billion a year.  Then he shows a clip of Bolling saying that the money lost due to unpaid corporate taxes of “$4 billion is a pittance, a pittance!” in the larger scheme of things.  So $3 billion lost in our effort to feed poor Americans is too much but losing $4 billion to corporations every year is a pittance.  Hmmmmm……

Stewart then asks why do they, meaning Fox and conservatives, think this?  He shows clips of them talking about corporations being “job creators”.  He then shreds this next point like a master.  JP Morgan was instrumental in causing the recent Great Recession that affected the entire world.  They sold sub-prime mortgages and derivatives as triple A investments and the bottom fell out.  They created a whole lot of poor people. Did you know that JP Morgan Chase also administers the food stamp EBT program for 24 states making hundreds of billions a year on that contract alone?  Did you know they get paid per customer?

Jon then supposes that JP Morgan must put that money back into our economy by creating jobs…that’s what conservatives and Fox News claim.  Turns out that is not the case.   To handle the customer support calls on the food stamps program, JP Morgan hired offshore operators who get paid $3.50 an hour.  That’s right–the job creators are creating jobs alright, just not in the frigging U.S.    So no matter what happens, corporations win if the rest of lose and they always make sure we lose.  After all, it’s in their best interest, which is making a profit.

Stewart sarcastically explains this business model for us:

“But don’t think of it as JP Morgan shorting homeowners.  Think of them as going long on hunger.”

He follows that massive wallop with another as he ends the segment.  He says:

So what I’m getting from Fox is this….Exploiting government largess while reprehensible and morally corrupting for an individual is a-okay for corporations.  

Then there appears a picture behind Stewart of a little girl and carton of milk and he says:

So, maybe this will help.  Don’t think about food stamps and head start and programs like that as feeding and helping a small child.

As the milk carton disappears from the picture, Stewart finishes with:

Think about it as investing in promising start-up with a liquidity problem.  

It was an absolutely brilliant takedown.

Some quick thoughts on news items I heard today yesterday….(so sue me, I’m slow to post lately)

  1. You know how waiters approach you and say, “Hi, My name is Kelly and I’m going to be your server today. How is your day going?” Well, I hate it. Call me a curmudgeon (really, it’s okay, I can accept that label) but I don’t give a damn what their name is because I’ll never remember it anyway. And I don’t want to make chitchat with them. I don’t do small talk very well so I don’t bother with it. I only want a waiter to be quick, attentive, efficient and quiet. Well there’s a new application of current technology out there that let’s you order via your phone and text your waiter when you want him/her to come over to your table. A waiter was quoted as saying something like, they “might as well replace us with robots”. Okay!  Sounds good to me.  I’m all for it if it means I don’t have to know your name or talk about the weather with you.
  2. The city of Detroit has been officially allowed to go bankrupt, including the ability to cut pensions in spite of a state constitutional provision that forbids it. Unfortunately, no word as to what creditors will be given precedence–the banks or the thousands of city workers whose pensions have not been funded. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought a bankruptcy judge could specify ‘who gets paid first’? It’s shameful to think that banks making millions, if not billions, in profit would get money before city workers who spent years if not decades toiling away thinking that they would some day be able to retire and now cannot. If the judge does not put them first, those people will have to rely on others and/or work until the day they die. That just sucks.
  3. As I’ve written about many times before, Arizonans hate to pay taxes but they still have the nerve to be upset when public services go unprovided. Sometimes it bites us in the ass like it did when Sheriff Joe failed to investigate over 400 felony cases for the City of El Mirage some involving murder, rape and molestation of children. Now we have another scandal. Six thousand CPS (Child Protective Services) cases have been neglected–as in not touched at all. The Governor having been informed of this created a task force to review all of those cases to see “if the kids are safe”.   Ironically the acronym for the task force is CARE–hah!  Maybe she should have cared BEFORE?!?!  CPS is not at fault. They are extremely underpaid, understaffed and under-appreciated. If some of those kids have been harmed, and the odds are good that they have, I want to know. And I want it rubbed in the face of every Arizonan who refuse to pay their taxes.  Liberty in a Capitalist society is only for those that “Have”.  The “Have Nots” are just SOL.  Their liberty is the freedom to suffer without assistance and without hope.  I wonder if those abused and neglected kids can smell the liberty right now–that is, if they’re still among the living.
  4. The price of milk in the U.S. may double and worse yet, become extremely scarce. And milk won’t be the only commodity that this will happen to…ANY product made with milk and many other basic staples that come from farming. Why? Because the U.S. Congress, held hostage by crazy, foaming at the mouth Republicans who want to take yet more money away from the food stamp program, sucks balls. They’ve failed to pass a Farm Bill–a very basic thing BTW. We need to get some rational adults into office who actually want to make government work for the American people.
  5. And speaking of crazy people, there’s this guy. He is openly advocating treason on Fox Television. Maybe he’s just crazy like a fox because you know he’s making bank off this stunt.  I like to call it Entrepreneurial Hatemongering TM As Bob Cesca says:

    Indeed, this sort of harrowing armed revolt and assassination fetishization generates a not insignificant revenue stream. It’s become its own subsidiary of the conservative entertainment complex, as David Frum called it. Located just adjacent to the anti-Obama conspiracy theory section of the store, the violent-overthrow cosplay shelves are loaded with highly potent crazyswag. For a price. Read the crazy, but subscribe first. And don’t forget to bulk-purchase the hastily-assembled ghost-written book.

  6. Finally, FL is in the news yet again. They continue to set the standard for how to rig elections by limiting who gets to vote. Once again, changing the rules at the last moment, Governor “Gollum” Scott is ordering the county election officials to close down hundreds of drop-off sites used for absentee ballots. According to a Pinellas County official 42% of the county’s absentee ballots were left at drop-off sites in 2012. That’s significant. Absentee ballots help primarily those who cannot, for a number of reasons, physically make it to the polls in the increasingly tiny window of time being allowed–which means the poor, elderly, women, minorities and you know who they tend to vote for. There is some hope though…some county election officials are openly defying the governor (as they did when he tried to illegally trim thousands of Floridians off of the voting rolls in the last election).

I think that’s more than enough misanthropy for today. Cheers!

Laura Logan, the lying liar of a journalist who put a fictitious story about Benghazi on the once great 60 Minutes, has been given a “leave of absence” by CBS along with her producer.  There’s been some debate online among us liberals as to whether Logan will have learned anything by the experience.  My bet is yes but it’s not the lesson we want.

She learned that because of a pretty face, nice curves and a modicum of intelligence she can grift for almost a year on a non-story and lie to the American public thereby muddying the waters (just as she intended all along).  And if she gets hired by Fox with a fat salary and another national platform to mislead the American public (anyone care to lay bets not on whether they offer a position but how long before they give her an offer), she will have learned that shitting on the truth (and us) pays off.

To heck with the American Dream!  That’s an outdated concept best left on the editing room floor of 21st Century propaganda.  The new, quintessential American story writ large by people like Logan is about the success of grifters with pretty smiles hiding ugly agendas that hurt this country by misleading a goodly portion of voters who are already terrified of non-existent threats from the last grifter to blow through town.  They throw red meat to the crazy 27% of Americans who believe the President is a Mooslim and wear tin foil hats because they have the conch shell given to them by the likes of Rupert Murdoch and other well heeled conservative donors bent on controlling everything we hear and see in this country.

The President, like every other President, wants to be as effective as possible in his second and last term because he doesn’t have another election to win. As a result he can turn his entire focus towards the progressive agenda on which he initially campaigned in 2008/2012. And in order to make it stick, to leave a real, lasting legacy, he should have already gotten started on that agenda. Although, he did get an early start with healthcare there are many other things that need to be done 1. Unfortunately, the GOP and approximately 27% of the country 2 absolutely, positively hate and/or fear him have been actively engaging in obstructionism from the very beginning 3.

This is purposeful obstruction has manifested itself in a variety of ways. The most obvious methods have been the House Republicans blocking debate on (much less voting on) meaningful legislation and blocking the President’s nominees. FFS they blocked debate on withdrawal from Afghanistan, jobs bills during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and now Immigration Reform. They don’t even want to talk about the issues unless it’s on TV and in front of the stenographers we used to call journalists. Since there is nothing the President can do about the legislative stalemate going on right now, nothing will get through Congress for the remainder of his second term. This leaves the President with only one option–using the Constitutional powers of the Executive. This is not that unusual as every President uses those powers to various degrees to enact their agenda and reinforce their legacy.

The Republicans knew that this would be his only option so they’ve been obstructing that as well. Blocking nominees to head Executive Agencies and Judicial Appointments is a big deal because some of those positions have been vacant for years 4. And such a vacancy really hurts the effectiveness of the agency AND has a lasting effect on what policies can and will be implemented.  And if you doubt that they’ve been willfully and abusively blocking nominees, check out this chart below or this one.

From Ezra Klein article, The Washington Post

Well, after years of this bullshit Senate Dems and Moderate Republicans finally said enough is enough and they changed Senate Rules to say that a simple majority vote in the Senate is enough to stop a Filibuster on a nominee 5. Before the rule was they needed 60 votes to stop a Filibuster. Of course, the right and the DC Press Corps are weeping about the loss of comity and “the horror, the horror”.

In truth no such comity ever existed, so these “centrist” journalists need to STFUSD. They’ve been bemoaning the lack of collegiality from the President’s Inauguration up to the present without ever acknowledging that the Republicans NEVER wanted to compromise and NEVER would. The President could have put on a hair shirt, crawled on his knees from the White House to the Capital, periodically flagellating himself and they STILL wouldn’t have accepted him with any decency, much less compromise with him. In point of fact, they probably would have found fault with his method (e.g., “he didn’t wear his flag pin”) as an excuse for their refusal. Furthermore, if the recent government shutdown and flirtation with defaulting on our debt didn’t make that plain as day to the DC Press Corpse 6, then they are not only blind, but deaf and dumb as well.

These same idiots are using the term “Nuclear Option” for this change to Senate Rules. Truth of the matter is the real Nuclear Option has been the 5 year-long obstructionism and purposeful lack of governance being perpetrated by conservatives. But you won’t hear that from our supposedly centrist press corpse. Instead the right will market it as the Presidents fault, as just another abuse of his power 7 and another sign that he’s the Antichrist 8 and the stenographers posing as journalists will amplify that message.

1. IMHO healthcare will be his most important legacy akin to the introduction of Social Security by FDR. A couple of generations down the road, historians will marvel at how much it helped. Mark my words because I plan to still be here and I WILL be telling conservatives “I told you so”.

2. It’s no coincidence that this number is the same for both the hard-core conservative base AND the percentage of the U.S. population that routinely vote against their own best interests and are consistently wrong on all major issues–the “crazification factor”.  Read the 

3.   We all suspected way back in 2010 that it was a concerted group effort when Mitch McConnell became Minority Leader in the Senate but we just found out that they planned to do this even before President Obama was even elected. 

4. Some judicial nominees have been waiting since 2011 and Richard Cordray  was finally accepted after a 2 year wait to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you know that new bureau that the GOP hated and didn’t want to even exist….

5. Of course, when and if a Republican President is elected Republicans (if they have a simple majority vote will also be able to use this rule to their advantage…..I’m willing to risk it if it means we can move forward.

6. ht Doug J over at Balloon-Juice 

7. Here’s the link 

8. No link to this filth in the text of my post but if you really want to read about it, here