Is the Tea Party one of the most successful scams in American political history? …
Just recently, Tea Party victories in the Alaska and Delaware Senate primaries shook the nation. In Delaware, Christine O’Donnell received 30,563 votes in the Republican primary, 3,542 votes more than moderate Rep. Mike Castle. In Alaska, Joe Miller won 55,878 votes for a margin of 2,006 over incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is now running as a write-in candidate.
Do the math. For weeks now, our national political conversation has been driven by 86,441 voters and a margin of 5,548 votes. A bit of perspective: When John McCain lost in the 2008 presidential race, he received 59.9 million votes. …
And where are the progressives? Sulking is not an alternative to organizing, and weary resignation is the first step toward capitulation. The Tea Party may be pulling a fast one on the country and the media. But if it has more audacity than everyone else, it will, I am sorry to say, deserve to get away with it.
The president made a proposal. That’s great. Except David Sirota says the proposal is just another example of Obama looking out for the Big Guy, and John Cole says it won’t even merit a debate. You want to know what the problem is? No one on the left is fighting for the president’s agenda. Half the progressives are spending all their time bitching and the other half are spending all their time in utter despondency.
I don’t call myself a progressive. I don’t even think of myself as part of the left anymore, which I did for nigh on fifty years, until now. Since five minutes after the President was elected, it’s been an unproductive, destructive whine fest, while the right organized itself into the 2010 elections. It’s like nobody can figure out how to have a Democratic president. The only thing I will call myself anymore is a Democrat and I will let anybody else interested figure out the rest.
Really, what a waste of time and energy this whole argument has been. You can’t support the President because you’re not getting what you want; he can’t give you what you want unless you strengthen his hand, instead of weakening it. It’s that simple and that crazy-making.
But while there is a part of the left who couldn’t care less that there is a Democratic President or Congress, don’t care that they are collaborating with the right wing to damage the Obama administration–they’re just as happy damaging Democrats as Republicans–I do understand those on the left who mostly just want to see the guy we elected now and again. The guy who gave this speech on Monday.
You see that picture there? That’s the bad ass motherfucker we elected, not the milquetoast pussy that gave the worthless Oval Office speech on Iraq last week. You see who’s behind him there? Those are mostly white workers. If you saw them at a gathering of teabaggers, you wouldn’t be surprised. It was as if President Obama let out his inner Barack, unencumbered by chimeric bipartisanship and briefly let loose by Rahm “Fucking” Emanuel. And Barack enjoyed coming out to play. We last had a play date with Barack sometime around June 30.
This was Obama’s Labor Day speech, where he genuinely brought the old time noise, going after Republicans with a surprising streak of viciousness and anger. “Even on things we usually agree on, they say no. If I said the sky was blue, they say no,” he mocked, to laughter in the large crowd “If I said fish live in the sea, they’d say no.” He said that the “special interests” in DC “talk about me like I’m a dog.” And he proposed a near-certainly dead-on-arrival $50 billion infrastructure rebuilding plan and tax cuts for business investments in new equipment. If he’s up to what the Rude Pundit think he might be, its failure could be the rallying point for Democrats (assuming Democrats understand this).
Remember (and sometimes the Rude Pundit has to remember this, too): Obama’s game has always been rope-a-dope. Lull the opposition into a sense of security. Play turtle to their hare. And then rip off the shell at the last minute to sprint to the end. …
In its report this morning, NPR interviewed some guy who didn’t like the speech. Obama promised bipartisanship, the man said. All he heard was more of the same old politics.
“And it’s about time,” the Rude Pundit wanted to tell the man.
I understand the Rude One. I feel that way sometimes, too. The Rude One is right. And BooMan’s got it exactly right: “You want to know what the problem is? No one on the left is fighting for the president’s agenda.” When we have both of these things, together at the same time, is when we get ours, and not before.
After eight years in the White House (with Snopes.com around all that time), George W. Bush has been the subject of 47 internet rumors. After less than two years in office, Barack Obama has been the subject of 87, or nearly twice as many.
Even more telling is the relative accuracy of those stories. For Bush, 20 rumors, or 43%, are true. Only 17, or 36%, are false. The remainder are of mixed veracity (4), undetermined (4), or unclassifiable (2).
In contrast, for Obama only 8 of the 87 rumors, or 9%, are true, and a whopping 59, or 68%, are whoppers. There are 17 of mixed veracity and 3 undetermined.
I delved down to the stories that the site designates as a mixture of truth and falsehood. For Obama, in many cases the truth is innocuous while the lie reflects poorly on the President, particularly photographs that are misrepresented or show behavior that produced no complaints when his predecessors did the same. In contrast, in this mixture of truth and falsehood about George W. Bush praying with an injured soldier, the lie reflected well on that President from the perspective of the religious person spreading it. …
This evidence accumulated over ten years shows a shameful but undeniable fact of American politics: Our right wing now contains a lot more liars, and a lot more folks who spread lies out of gullibility or wishfulness, than our left wing.
A nonprofit group that John Edwards set up to fight poverty paid $124,000 for Web videos and photos to the former Democratic presidential candidate’s mistress, say four lawyers familiar with the payments. The Center for Promise and Opportunity wrote the previously unreported checks to videographer Rielle Hunter in late 2006, the same year Edwards acknowledged he started a “liaison” with her. (Edwards contended originally that he cut off the relationship that year. He admitted more recently he’s the father of Hunter’s daughter, born in February 2008.) The checks have since been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in North Carolina as part of a sprawling criminal investigation into nearly $1.5 million in payments from various Edwards entities and campaign contributors that were for Hunter’s benefit, say the lawyers, who asked not to be identified talking about an ongoing probe.
Edwards established the center in 2005 to conduct a variety of public-minded programs, such as “leading a nationwide effort on college campuses to involve young people in the fight against poverty,” according to the group’s tax returns. The center collected $2.2 million in 2006—more than half, $1.2 million, from a single donor, Bunny Mellon, the 99-year-old heiress to the Mellon fortune, says Alex Forger, Mellon’s lawyer (who says his client knew nothing about any payments to Hunter). In the summer of 2006, the center signed a contract with Hunter to document Edwards’s work for the group’s causes, says Patricia Fiori, a lawyer for the nonprofit. Fiori says the contract was “completely appropriate” and “not based on a personal relationship.” Hunter provided “rough footage and photographs,” including videos of Edwards taken during a trip to Africa. When asked for examples of how the center used Hunter’s work, Fiori told NEWSWEEK, “It would be impossible to have that evidence at this point” because the center is now defunct and its Web site is no longer operational. In any case, she added, “you frequently hire people to write speeches and the speeches are never given.”
The payments to Hunter were made at the same time that Edwards’s political action committee was separately paying her a similar amount to produce Webisodes promoting Edwards as a political figure. (The Webisodes became a source of controversy within the campaign; some aides thought they were “goofy and unpresidential,” says a former top Edwards aide who also asked not to be identified due to the ongoing probe.) But the payments from the tax-exempt center could raise separate issues if federal prosecutors determine that Edwards misused the group’s assets, since the rules for such tax-exempt groups are stricter than those for political committees. Jim Cooney, an Edwards lawyer, says: “We strongly believe he didn’t violate any campaign-finance laws, and we be-lieve and the center were run in accordance with all applicable laws.”
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for regulation of the Internet on Saturday while demanding authorities crack down on a critical news Web site that he accused of spreading false information.
In a televised speech, Chavez said: “The Internet can’t be something free where anything can be done and said. No, every country has to impose its rules and regulations,” Chavez said. …
Chavez has regularly clashed with critical broadcasters and newspapers. One anti-Chavez channel, Radio Caracas Television, was forced to move to cable in 2007 after the president refused to renew its license. In January, cable and satellite TV providers also stopped transmitting that channel under government orders after it defied regulations requiring it to televise some of Chavez’s speeches.
Referring to satellite TV channels, Chavez said, “It can’t be that they transmit whatever they want poisoning the minds of many people – regulation, regulation, the laws!”
The last anti-Chavez channel on the open airwaves, Globovision, faces multiple investigations by government regulators for alleged violations of broadcast regulations.
Most importantly for Avlon, the wingnuts should be opposed because it is simply the right thing to do. While it currently takes a lot of political courage to stand indepdently from the conventional wisdom in your own party (since you risked being labeled as either a RINO or an insufficiently liberal Democrat) Avlon reminds readers that this independence is exemplary of George Washington’s farewell address. As Washington tells us, partisan demagoguery “agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another.”
It’s ironic that many of these fringe members use Revolutionary War iconography, fly “don’t tread on me” flags, and proclaim their allegiance to the Constitution. This is not lost on Avlon, “They want to wrap themselves up in the Constitution and the American flag, but they are pursuing ends that are the exact opposite of what the founding fathers fought for.”
John Edwards has proposed to his mistress Rielle Hunter, and is buying a luxury $3.5 million beachfront home where they can live happily ever after with their love child, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.
The disgraced presidential candidate popped the question at the same time he told Rielle that he’d be issuing a press statement finally confirming he fathered her daughter Frances Quinn, close sources told The ENQUIRER.
Edwards, 56, released that statement on Jan. 21, and just six days later a spokesperson for his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth confirmed the couple had legally separated after 32 years of marriage. Sources say they expect to be officially divorced within a year, paving the way for the ex-senator to make Rielle, 45, his wife.
“John dropped the proposal bomb on Rielle shortly before he issued his statement” that he was indeed Frances’ father, a close source divulged.