TAPPER: And that’s not comparable to what Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke?
MAHER: To compare that to Rush is ridiculous – he went after a
civilian about very specific behavior, that was a lie, speaking for a
party that has systematically gone after women’s rights all year, on
the public airwaves. I used a rude word about a public figure who
gives as good as she gets, who’s called people “terrorist” and
“unAmerican.” Sarah Barracuda. The First Amendment was specifically
designed for citizens to insult politicians. Libel laws were written
to protect law students speaking out on political issues from getting
called whores by Oxycontin addicts.
TAPPER: What about all the clips of you saying rather “edgy” things –
offensive to many people, no doubt – from your show on HBO, “Real
MAHER: Of course if you take out of context over 10 years snippets
inside comedy bits you can make anyone look bad – and sometimes, I
have been! Not perfect, but not misogyny. In general, this is an
obvious right wing attempt to dredge up some old shit about me to
deflect from their self-inflicted problems. They are the kings of
And through it all, I have defended Rush’s right to stay on the air!
Not what he said, that was disgusting – but the right to not disappear
because people who don’t even listen to you don’t like what you said.
That really bothers me. I never hear Rush Limbaugh unless a guy in the
next truck at a stop light has it on; it would be arrogant for me to
say “he has to disappear” and deprive the people who do listen to him
of what they like. We all have different tastes and different
opinions, that’s America.
Why Ron Paul May Cut a Deal With Mitt Romney – For Ron Paul, victory is finally in sight. No, not a swearing-in ceremony next January 20, or even a single statewide win. Halfway through the primary season, Paul has won only a preference poll in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and he is running dead last in delegates among the four GOP candidates for President. He has spent a lot, if not always wisely: the $31.55 he has dropped per vote (more than even Mitt Romney) is a sum that might shock even a Democrat.
But winning the presidency was never Paul’s foremost goal, and as he nears the end of his last presidential crusade, he has one more chance to promote his ideas. The Republican race is a muddled mess. Even after his southern losses, only Romney has a real shot at amassing the 1,144 delegates required to wrap up the nomination, and he would then face the task of unifying the GOP’s warring factions. Which is why Paul’s campaign has sent discreet signals to Camp Romney that the keys to Paul’s shop can be had for the right price.
They include Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, media mogul Fred Eychaner, Pfizer executive Sally Susman, Stoneyfield Farms president and CEO Gary Hirschberg, and Microsoft executives Suzi Levine and John Frank. Several have each raised more than half a million dollars for 2012, according to estimates provided by Obama’s campaign.
His writings showed clearly that the latter was the path he chose. His previous writings had been those of a sensible man saying sensible things about civil rights issues that he understood from his years of experience as an attorney. But now he wrote all sorts of incoherent speculations and pronouncements, the main drift of which was that white people were the cause of black people’s problems.
Bell even said that he took it as his mission to say things to annoy white people. Perhaps he thought that was better than being insignificant in his academic setting. But it was in fact far worse, because the real damage was to impressionable young blacks who took him seriously, including one who went on to become President of the United States.
The Tea Party has drowned – The Tea Party is over. In the way of parties that end, there are still people around. Those who remain search for a return of the old energy and make unconvincing demonstrations of people having a good time. But the central focus, the excitement, the purpose of the thing is dissipating. That is because the bad stuff that its members and boosters put out — lies, slanders, paranoia, ignorance — is losing what grip it had over the minds of people with minds. What’s left, though, is something else, which will not go away: the identification of moral choices blurred and contemporary indifferences ignored.
GRAPH: The escalating cost of Obamacare – So I’ve created the updated graph below. Notice how low the numbers are in the 2010 to 2013 time period and how they quickly soar. All the spending to the right of the black line wasn’t reflected in the CBO’s estimate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) at the time of passage.
These are my links for February 14th through February 15th:
How Likely Is a Brokered Convention? – Last week, I wrote that a path to a brokered convention was beginning to emerge in the Republican electorate. I was purposely vague as to how likely such an occurrence is. I called the path “very narrow” and said it is “beginning to emerge,” outlining the various contingencies required. But the truth is, at this point, the entire endeavor is pretty speculative; we won’t really know how viable the path is until after Super Tuesday.
But with polls now showing Rick Santorum running well in Michigan — a key state if he really is going to dominate in the Midwest — the topic is worth revisiting. Because if Santorum can win Michigan and Mitt Romney can take Arizona without knocking Newt Gingrich into irrelevance, then a brokered convention becomes much more likely.
Department of Home-Lunch Security – By Mark Steyn – The home-made lunch having been ruled illegal by officials*, the preschooler was given a federally-approved lunch, for which her mother has been sent a bill. The girl didn’t care for the substitute lunch, ate only the three chicken nuggets, and left everything else on her tray untouched. It may not have worked out all that nutritious for her, but at least it’s compliant with DCDEE/DHHS/USDA paperwork, and that’s what matters.
The GOP’s emerging Bob Dole problem – A flood of new data points to one clear conclusion: At least for now, President Obama and his Republican opponents are heading in opposite directions.
A CBS News/New York Times poll released last night puts Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent — his best performance in that survey since the spring of 2010 (not counting last May’s brief bin Laden bounce). The poll also shows Obama enjoying his best score since the summer of ’10 on his handling of the economy and his best score since at least late 2009 (when the question was first asked) on job creation, and finds voters voters more optimistic than they’ve been in nearly two years on the overall direction of the economy.
Why Republicans Don’t Trust Romney – Why can’t Mitt Romney make the sale to conservatives? And why is Rick Santorum, the ultimate long shot at the start of this race, now in a position to be a viable alternative?
Mitt Romney used the word conservative and conservatism more than two dozen times, according to the Washington Post’s Dan Balz , in his speech last week at the CPAC convention. That rhetoric is quite different from ten years ago when he was running for Governor of Massachusetts.
He stated during that campaign that he was “not a partisan Republican” but rather a “moderate” with “progressive” views.”
Romney Surrogate Attacks Santorum for Voting the Same Way He Did – Mitt Romney’s campaign is now targeting GOP rival Rick Santorum as a big-spending Washington insider. On a conference call Tuesday afternoon, former Missouri senator and Romney surrogate Jim Talent criticized Santorum’s support for expanding government spending, including his vote for the Medicare Part D in 2003—a program for which Talent himself voted.
“Senator Santorum is running in Missouri as a trusted and comprehensive conservative,” Talent said. “He certainly has been outspoken on social issues, and we honor his record in that regard, but when you get outside those issues into fiscal, spending, regulatory issues, his record shows that he’s been in the liberal wing of the Republican party.”
Talent continued, pointing to a few votes that show Santorum’s “liberal” spending record. “I want to note that Senator Santorum voted for No Child Left Behind, which was a big expansion of federal power over local education,” he said. “He voted for Medicare Part D, a big expansion of a federal entitlement.”
“We firmly believe there is a strong and sustainable commercial market for Uni-Solar products,” Julian Hawkins, ECD’s CEO and president, said in a statement. “However our current capital structure and legacy costs are preventing USO from making the investments necessary for the future of the business without restructuring through the bankruptcy process.”
The maker of solar roofing materials, which will continue to operate, employs 750 workers, 60% of them in Michigan. They will remain active employees during the sales process though some have been furloughed, said company spokesman Michael Schostak.
ECD also said it has sold its Ovonic Battery Co. to BASF Corp. for $58 million in cash before transaction fees and other factors. The battery subsidiary’s 35 employees have been hired by BASF.
Pentagon and military planners were asked to develop three force levels for the U.S. arsenal of deployed strategic nuclear warheads: a force of 1,100 to 1,000 warheads; a second scenario of between 700 and 800 warheads; and the lowest level of between 300 and 400 warheads.
A congressional official said no president in the past ever told the Pentagon to conduct a review based on specific numbers of warheads.
“In the past, the way it worked was, ‘tell me what the world is like and then tell me what the force should be,’” the official said. “That is not happening in this review.”
The plan for a radical cut in warheads is contained in a review of nuclear weapons ordered by the president in an August directive. The review called the Nuclear Posture Review Implementation Study is nearing completion and could be presented to the president as early as next month.
US weighing steep nuclear arms cuts – The Obama administration is weighing options for sharp new cuts to the U.S. nuclear force, including a reduction of up to 80 percent in the number of deployed weapons, The Associated Press has learned.
Even the most modest option now under consideration would be an historic and politically bold disarmament step in a presidential election year, although the plan is in line with President Barack Obama’s 2009 pledge to pursue the elimination of nuclear weapons.
But Smith curiously withheld key parts of the 89-page document when he published his story, “Media Matters’ war against Fox,” in March 2011.
The Daily Caller became aware of this after obtaining the same document while reporting the series “Inside Media Matters,” which debuted here late Sunday night.
Smith made no mention of Media Matters targeting organizations other than Fox News, such as the libertarian Cato Institute and the conservative Heritage Foundation. Nor does he reveal that, according to the memo, Media Matters was intent on researching Republican political figures like Republican former U.S. Senate candidate Carly Fiorina and Republican Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor, and the prominent libertarian political donor Peter Thiel.
“An opposition research team will serve to hold Thiel and others like him accountable,” the memo states. Smith made no mention of such efforts in his story.
He also failed to disclose Media Matters’ interest in marginalizing political news websites including Newsmax and Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government, saying only that the organization had narrowed its focus to “Fox and a handful of conservative websites.”
These are my links for April 27th from 16:01 to 16:13:
Happy birth certificate, Mr. President – Behold the damage Donald Trump hath wrought. Every credible fact check has established that Barack Obama was born in this country. Yet on Wednesday, a reality TV show ringmaster forced the president of the United States to prove it.
By asking why President Obama had not released his long-form birth certificate on numerous so-called news shows, Trump had even sensible people theorizing as to why the White House had not released the document. Was there something damning about the president's religion? His race? His parentage?
My theory was simpler. In 2008, Obama released a certificate of live birth.
Why did he wait until Wednesday to release the long form, which birth-deniers demanded? Easy. Who doesn't like watching their political enemies look like complete dolts? Obamaland no doubt felt a warm rush of satisfaction every time some nutjob right-winger put forth a contorted theory about the president's 18-year-old mother running off to a Third World delivery room to give birth and then, "Manchurian Candidate"-like, falsifying the paperwork. The debate debased conservative opposition.
Dolts is a kind term for the birthers.
But, Obama should have waited just a little longer for more of an advantage.
Speculation Huckabee was opting out of a 2012 bid spread after Red State's Erick Erickson tweeted a link to the blog post, along with the declaration, "Mike Huckabee is out. He won't be running for president."
HuckPAC Executive Director Hogan Gidley dismissed it as "unfounded speculation" in a statement, insisting that no final decision has been made.
"National polling consistently shows Governor Huckabee is the frontrunner – so we expect a certain amount of unfounded speculation, odd rumors, and sadly, the occasional lie lobbed our way," Gidley said. "But the Governor himself has been quite clear on this matter. He has truthfully and repeatedly stated that he is seriously considering a run for President but he won’t make that decision until this summer – and that has not changed."
Huck is continuing to fund raise in California for Huck Pac, if that means anything.
These are my links for April 27th from 06:02 to 07:58:
Medicare As We’ve Known It Isn’t an Option – The Democratic Party is urging Americans to choose Medicare as we've always known it rather than a new plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would enroll seniors in private health insurance beginning in 2022. This choice is a hoax: Medicare as we've always known it is already gone. It was eviscerated by President Obama's health law. Yet if the president and the Democratic Party successfully bamboozle voters, they may win back independents and registered Democrats who voted for Republicans in 2010. The 2012 election could turn on this falsehood.
The truth is that the Obama health law reduces future funding for Medicare by $575 billion over the next 10 years and spends the money on other programs, including a vast expansion of Medicaid. In 2019, Medicare spending under the Obama health law is projected to be $14,731 per senior, instead of $16,162 if the law had not passed, according to Medicare actuaries (Health Affairs, October 2010).
Such cuts might be justifiable if the savings extended the financial life of Medicare. Mr. Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius frequently make that false claim. Indeed, even Medicare's mailings to seniors repeat the claim that reducing spending on Medicare will make it more financially secure for future years.
The fact is that Mr. Obama's law raids Medicare. Mr. Ryan's plan, on the other hand, stops the Medicare heist and puts the funds "saved" in this decade toward health care for another generation of retirees.
Read it all
Is Paul Ryan Republicans’ dream presidential candidate? – There is a seventh reason as well: Everyone else is either horridly flawed (Newt Gingrich), a joke (Donald Trump) or just not that exciting ( Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels). That’s not to say one of these candidates couldn’t be “good enough,” but if you match each of the likely contenders up against Ryan, they look decidedly unattractive to many conservatives. The author of RomneyCare or the author of the “Roadmap for America”? The “social truce”advocate or the unabashed pro-life congressman? The disastrous former speaker of the House or the current, wonky budget committee chairman? You get the idea.
With fewer candidates than expected in the race, there is plenty of campaign talent around. (And did anyone notice how professional and effective was the ‘campaign’ to roll out his budget?) And, I suspect, that should Ryan enter the race he’d have no problem raising the needed cash.
Ryan has said he doesn’t want to run, but sometimes the question of “want to run” is a luxury. There are times when the moment presents itself, the party and the country are receptive, and there is no one else quite as compelling. Think Bill Clinton in 1992. Ryan has some time, though not much, to decide whether he wants to fill the obvious gap in the GOP field. And if party activists, insiders, Tea Partyers and operatives think Ryan is the man, then they’d better start making their wishes known.
Paul Ryan and Mitch Daniels should both consider throwing their hats into the Presidency arena.
And, Mike Huckabee has to fish or cut bait very soon.
Donald Trump: Now Can We Call Him A RINO? – Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show. Many of the contributions have been concentrated in New York, Florida and other states where Trump has substantial real estate and casino interests….
….The Democratic recipients of Trump’s donations make up what looks like a Republican enemies list, including former senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and the late liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.).
The biggest recipient of all has been the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee of New York, which has taken in more than $125,000 from Trump and his companies. Overall, Trump has given nearly $600,000 to New York state campaigns, with more than two-thirds going to Democrats.
1) Since Democrats are determined to hang Ryan’s bold “Path to Prosperity” budget plan around the neck of every Republican running for office in 2012, why not have its author and best salesman advocate for it directly vs. President Obama?
2) Ryan — to borrow a favorite Simon Cowell phrase — is “current.” He’s smack in the middle of budgetary and ideological clash between Democrats and Republicans and would immediately energize conservative and Tea Party activists.
3) Ryan is a strong national defense conservative, as well as pro-life.
4) Ryan is from a battleground state, Wisconsin, and a battleground region, the upper Great Lakes.
5) Ryan’s youth, vigor, likability and Jimmy Stewart persona — well, a wonky version of George Bailey — would be an immediate shorthand signal to voters that he’s a different kind of Republican. He also has a compelling life story to tell.
6) Obama suddenly and unexpectedly to Washington insiders looks beatable — by the right candidate.
I can easily see a Mitch Daniels/Paul Ryan ticket.
Or a Mike Huckabee/Paul Ryan ticket
Or going for broke: Paul Ryan/Rudy Giuliani ticket
We Respond to NPR’s Lighthearted Coverage of Koch Death Threats | – I am writing to raise deep concerns about a Morning Edition segment that aired on April 22 and apparently made light of death threats that had been leveled at gentleman in Iowa but that had been intended for our company.
The item was read by hosts Mary Louise Kelly and Renee Montagne, billed as “our last word in business,” and was clearly framed as an amusing take on the news. Kelly and Montagne made sport of the fact that a Mr. Dutch Koch shares the same surname as that of our company, even musing that he’s also been “confused with the big soda maker” – Coca-Cola, it seems. Kelly quipped that “he does not say which cola he prefers” before cutting away to what sounds like bongo drum music.
But there is nothing even remotely funny about a person’s life being threatened and NPR ought to be ashamed that simple fact of decency has to be pointed out.
More Koch Derangement Syndrome from the LEFTY NPR.
"Where immigration is concerned, the federal government fundamentally sets the policy." She said communities will benefit from the tool.
"Let's assume we have 11 million people in the country illegally," she said. If Congress can provide enough enforcement funding to remove perhaps 400,000 of them annually, she added, "How are we going to set those priorities? One big priority is who is violating criminal laws."
The program is a good one and is a start only.
Immigration is a federal perogative and the Obama Administration needs to do more.
These are my links for April 20th from 16:31 to 16:49:
Mike Murphy on the 2012 presidential election – Campaign season is upon us. I called my favorite Republican political consultant, Mike Murphy to get his quick-hit takes on all of the possible candidates for president. Murphy has worked for everyone from John Engler to John McCain to Mitt Romney to Meg Whitman. He has a great column in Time magazine on the state of the race that I urge everybody to read. Murphy told me Republicans are doing everything they can to make 2012 a difficult election, but “the best news is, one of them could actually win.” Let’s turn to the candidates:
Mitt Romney: “Weak front-runner. But as others drop out, he becomes a stronger front-runner. His problems are all real, but he may be a little over-underrated, if you know what I mean. He may not be as vulnerable as the conventional wisdom thinks.”
Tim Pawlenty: “Understudy. Decent shot to win. He’s in the old Lamar Alexander position, but he’s got a decent path. I watch his ads and I expect a huge alien to be slayed at the end.”
Mitch Daniels: “Serious, formidable candidate — and not going to run.”
Haley Barbour: “More campaign manager than candidate. Unknown how well he’ll do. Great operative. I know Haley could run a winning presidential campaign, just don’t know if he’s the candidate. BBQ / Twang-factor could be too high for general-election voters.”
Read it all.
Mike Murphy is an interesting character and this is a funny, yet true analysis.
Conservative political activists are up in arms because the post, which Wonkette has defended, calls Palin’s son trig, who has Down syndrome, “retarded,” “somewhat alive,” and includes crass claims that Palin conceived her son as a victim of incest.
Below are images of messages each company placed on Twitter responded to people who shared their concerns with the corporations in an impromptu conservative boycott of Wonkette’s advertisers that erupted on Twtter Wednesday afternoon.
Papa Johns pizza confirmed it would not advertise with Wonkette.
Boycott all of Wonkette's advertisers
Wonkette Editor Ken Layne Comments on Reprehensible Birthday Greeting to Trig Palin – Political humor website Wonkette has long been trending toward nihilistic snark for snark’s sake, but Jack Stuef’s column “honoring” Trig Palin’s birthday is about the most irredeemably vile, unfunny thing I’ve ever seen. As if jokes about Trig’s Down Syndrome aren’t bad enough on their own, Stuef goes the extra mile to pen kneeslappers about incest, child rape, and fetal alcohol syndrome. I don’t want to reproduce too much of it here, but this quote is fairly representative:
Today is the day we come together to celebrate the snowbilly grifter’s magical journey from Texas to Alaska to deliver to the America the great gentleman scholar Trig Palin. Is Palin his true mother? Or was Bristol? (And why is it that nobody questions who the father is? Because, either way, Todd definitely did it.)
Read it all
Think I will consider a boycott of anyone who advertises on the Wonkette site.