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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The War On Woman: Graham Says We Can’t Trust Hillary, Because Monica!

Misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton have been the norm for as long as she’s been in the public eye. From her fashion sense to her hairstyles to her public displays of emotion, endless criticism has been leveled at Clinton that few male politicians have had to endure. Sadly, the sexist shade isn’t only thrown by those on the right, nor is it limited to men. Male or female, right or left, Hillary always seems to be in the crosshairs of those who make comments about her that they’d never make about a man. Welcome to “The War on Woman.”

WarOnWoman

Presidential also-ran Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reached almost 20 years into the past to attack Hillary Clinton, by bringing up the completely irrelevant subject of her husband’s infidelity.

At a candidate forum in New Hampshire, Senator Graham tried to prove his commander-in-chief bona fides by declaring that he has experience working with both Hillary Clinton and her husband, which has shown that she is “the last person in the world you want to send into the arena with the Russians.”

His reasoning? Why, Monica Lewinsky, of course! Hillary Clinton’s husband lied about sex (as pretty much every married man engaged in an affair tends to do, regardless of profession, political leanings, or religious persuasion—in his defense, perennial swinging bachelor Graham hasn’t had much personal experience in the area), so that means Hillary Clinton herself lies about everything! “When Bill says, ‘I didn’t have sex with that woman,’ he did,” Graham insists. “When she tells us, ‘Trust me, you’ve got all the emails you need,’ we haven’t even scratched the surface.”

Putting aside all the Republicans in Congress—and even in this race—who have committed adultery in the past, one must wonder why Graham chooses to attack Mrs. Clinton, who, by all indications, never did any such thing. Would Senator Graham bring up a private, consensual indiscretion by any other opponent’s spouse back in the 1990s? Or is it only female candidates who are expected to take on the sins of their “better half,” as if committed by themselves? Even when one of Donald Trump’s ex-wives says he raped her, it is swept under the carpet, dismissed as irrelevant, and declared off limits for discussion. It’s positively distasteful to bring up private matters that went on between husband and wife!

Once again, Hillary Clinton, unlike any of the male candidates in this race, is considered to be half a person; merely an extension of her husband. Anything he’s ever done wrong is written in blood-red ink on her ledger, while his accomplishments—and indeed her own—are either diminished or discredited. Try as one may, it is nigh on impossible to find a correlation between this treatment and that of any other candidate for president. She’s not Hillary Clinton, former senator and Secretary of State… she’s the wife of Bill Clinton, who had an affair. What her husband did decades ago behind closed doors is more relevant than what she herself has done on the world stage since.

“As to the Clintons, I’ve been dealing with this crowd for 20 years. I’m fluent in Clinton-speak,” sniffed Graham, proving that to this crowd, there is no Hillary Clinton, accomplished lawyer, legislator, two-time presidential candidate, and diplomat. There’s only one-half of “the Clintons.” And as the female half, she doesn’t really count as a person in her own right.

Photo: Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), via Senate.gov

Video via Huffington Post

The War On Woman: McConnell Says of Hillary, ‘Gender Card Alone Is Not Enough’

Misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton have been the norm for as long as she’s been in the public eye. From her fashion sense to her hairstyles to her public displays of emotion, endless criticism has been leveled at Clinton that few male politicians have had to endure. Sadly, the sexist shade isn’t only thrown by those on the right, nor is it limited to men. Male or female, right or left, Hillary always seems to be in the crosshairs of those who make comments about her that they’d never make about a man. Welcome to “The War on Woman.”

WarOnWoman

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The War On Woman: What ‘Royal Family’?

Misogynistic attacks on Hillary Clinton have been the norm for as long as she’s been in the public eye. From her fashion sense to her hairstyles to her public displays of emotion, endless criticism has been leveled at the former First Lady, senator, and Secretary of State that few male politicians have had to endure. Sadly, the sexist shade isn’t only thrown by those on the right, nor is it limited to men. Male or female, right or left, Hillary always seems to be in the crosshairs of those who make comments about her that they’d never make about a man. Welcome to “The War on Woman.”

WarOnWoman

The New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, whose longstanding obsession with the Clintons borders on stalking, began her latest teen diary — er, op-ed column — with a question she would never aim at a male candidate: “Is Hollywood really ready to give a 67-year-old woman a leading role in a big-budget production?”

Wow. Ageism and sexism in one sentence! Way to go, Mo! But then she veers off into all-too-familiar territory:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has echoes of various classic movies: “Single White Female,” with Hillary creepily co-opting the identity of the more trendy Elizabeth Warren; “My Fair Lady,” with Hillary sitting meekly and being schooled on how to behave by tyrannical Pygmalions (Iowa voters); “The Usual Suspects,” with Hillary’s hoodlums, Sidney Blumenthal and David Brock, vying to be Keyser Söze; and, of course, “How to Steal a Million,” a caper about a heist plotted by a couple that doesn’t need the money.

Oh, Maureen. Half the time you’re portraying Hillary as a “chilly, scripted, entitled policy wonk,” until it suits you to pretend she’s a bumbling bumpkin who has no skills—either social or political—or experience, and would never amount to anything without men pulling her strings. But Mo takes it even further, into really catty territory, by quoting a known misogynist, speculating about something that’s none of anyone’s business:

Sipping vodka at the Chateau Marmont, Bill Maher said he was not concerned, noting: “Who could have less to do with Bill Clinton’s sex life than Hillary?”

Pure class.

That brings us neatly to our next display of idiocy, this time from former Maryland governor and recently announced Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley.

Playing right into the hands of the entire GOP field, O’Malley dragged out the tired old “dynasty” trope:

Recently, the CEO of Goldman Sachs let his employees know that he’d be just fine with either Bush or Clinton. Well, I’ve got news for the bullies of Wall Street—the presidency is not a crown to be passed back and forth by you between two royal families.

Sorry, what? A grand total of two Clintons have held public office. So are Bob and Elizabeth Dole also a “royal family,” then? And are we really to believe that Bill Clinton—15 years after leaving office—would be in a position to “pass the crown” to Hillary in 2016? He’d have to have pretty long arms to pull that one off.

But this attitude also completely discounts Hillary Clinton’s long career of public service, independent of her husband, and casts her in the role of “wife inheriting power from her husband” (again, with 15 years having passed since the husband last had any power—while the wife has been a senator, a presidential candidate and the world’s top diplomat in the intervening time period).

You could throw this accusation at Laura Bush if she were running for president. You can certainly throw it at Jeb Bush. Both are members of an actual political dynasty, and neither has done much in the political arena. But Hillary Clinton? No. She has earned her stripes in equal (if not greater) measure to her husband, and if she wins the presidency, it will not be because he was elected to the same office 24 years earlier.

Photo: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton provides remarks on “Development in the 21st Century” at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC January 6, 2010. (State Department photo / Public Domain)

Fox’s Hasselbeck Wants Voting Test; Trump Doesn’t Know His Senate From His House

Boy, it’s a good thing Fox “News” doesn’t follow its own rules re: “Hollywood types,” like telling them to shut up and sing, act, or whatever evil, liberal-heathen thing they do for a living. Because how then could we enjoy the always-entertaining spectacle of News Barbie, aka Elisabeth Hasselbeck (whose stellar Palin-esque CV consists of Survivor, Style Network’s The Look for Less, and The View), bringing us her well-informed political views and knowledge of our nation’s history?

Making her daily appearance on Fox & Friends (of course decked out in a pretty pink frock, because that’s how ladies dress), Hasselbeck was engaged in a conversation with Utah Civics Education Initiative co-chair Lorena Riffo-Jensen about the advantages of requiring civics tests for students. But that wasn’t nearly crazypants enough for Hasselbeck, who ventured forth with the suggestion that such a test should be required in order to vote.

“Should you have to answer, I mean, the majority of these questions?” she babbled. “If not by graduation of high school, but by the time you vote?… It’s a more meaningful measure when you vote perhaps too.”

Why, yes… by all means let’s return to the days of segregation and Jim Crow, where one had to pass an arbitrarily designed “literacy test” in order to vote. That certainly made for more “meaningful” election results… as, of course, did having the conservative Supreme Court appoint the president in 2000. However, these days, the idea of a civics test before voting would likely benefit Democrats far more than Republicans, who make it a point of pride to be as ignorant as possible, especially when it comes to the big, bad gubmint.

Perhaps the first person to take the test should be Republican favorite and perpetual presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose knowledge of even the most basic tenets of how our government works can be summed up in one tweet:

Yep. Not to be outdone by Sarah Palin—who thinks the Department of Justice is called “the Department of Law” and operates from the White House—The Donald is actually under the impression that a senator is next in line to be Speaker of the House of Representatives. The other chamber of Congress. Your average middle-schooler could tell you otherwise, but hey…

So Lady Elisabeth might want to be careful what she wishes for—the party could lose millions of votes if her idea is implemented, as a large chunk of the Republican base is not exactly known for its literacy—or its civics expertise.

 Video: The Raw Story; Photo: About.com

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5 Republicans Who Can’t Resist Strutting Their Stuff

 

aaron-schock-abs

 

Ah, Republican politicians. Moral arbiters. Upholders of family values. Pure, straight-laced Church Ladies and Gentlemen who go all a-flutter at the mere suggestion of anything racy. Not for them the vagaries of sexuality or half-naked frolicking. No, that’s for filthy, disgusting liberals.

Except… these selfsame Republican politicians just can’t seem to keep their clothes on. Everywhere you look, there’s a babelicious GOP pol wantonly shakin’ what his or her mama gave ’em in front of the camera. Here are five of our personal faves.

Photo of Aaron Schock: Men’s Health/Rodale

Scott Brown

 

ScottBrownCosmo

We’re not quite sure — nor is he, for that matter — which state to attribute to short-lived senator and now senatorial candidate Scott Brown: Massachusetts or New Hampshire, pick one. But one thing we are sure of is… YOWZAH! The supposedly conservative Brown took it all off for Cosmopolitan magazine, showing off both his upper and lower chambers. Lie back and think of (New) England… just watch those staples.

Photo: Cosmopolitan

Paul Ryan

 

PaulRyanWorkout

Vice-presidential candidate, self-proclaimed fiscal wonk and perennial “Great White Hope” (is there any other kind?) of the Republican Party, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, sure does love him some working out. In fact, he posed for some mighty hilarious pics for Time magazine in 2012 that left us all in no doubt as to… what a total dork this guy really is. The Mansplaining Paul Ryan Tumblr was also good for a giggle. Or three.

Photo: Gregg Segal/Time

Frank Riggs

 

RiggsCampaign

An Arizona gubernatorial candidate and Army veteran, Frank Riggs sure knows how to give the people what they want… guns and more guns! Riggs displays his marginally muscular upper arms — among other body parts — in his meathead campaign commercial, in which he also promises to “end Obamanization of Arizona.” Whatever that means.

Screenshot: Riggs for Arizona Governor YouTube

Aaron Schock

 

Aaron-Shock-Mens-Health

Oh, Aaron Schock, esteemed congressman from the great state of Illinois. We’ve so enjoyed your fabulous outfits and beach-bod candids over the years. But those, dear boy, were spontaneous, casual shots. Posing for the cover of Men’s Health, hands on hips, seductively clad in not much of anything? Well, that was no accident. You wanted us to feast our eyes, you saucy little minx. And feast we all did. On both sides of the boy-girl aisle.

Photo: Men’s Health/Rodale

Sarah Palin

SarahPalinShorts

 

Hard to believe there’s only one female on this list, isn’t it? But which female will come as a surprise to no one. The winkin’, wolf-shootin’, pageant-walkin’ Alaskan temptress was shocked, shocked!!! that Newsweek would put a “sexist” picture of her that she willingly posed for on their cover in 2009. Of course nothing says “presidential” quite like posing coquettishly in short-shorts, Spanx and shimmery support hose, but it’s always been pretty clear what Mrs. Palin’s true endgame was… maximum attention, minimum effort, megabucks. And boy, did she ever succeed.

Photo: Newsweek

Right-Wing Hypocrites Demand Obama Secure Bergdahl’s Release… Until He Does

Bowe Bergdahl

You’ve got to hand it to American conservatives. They may not be rational, but at least they’re consistent. They can kick, scream and clamor for something with relentless fervor… until President Obama does it, in which case it becomes the epitome of evil and irresponsibility.

The recent release of the last known American prisoner of war, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, is no different. Conservatives who have been howling for five years that the president should stop dragging his feet and bring Bergdahl home no matter what the cost are now insisting that having done so, Obama has committed an impeachable offense. This despite the fact that the military has a very clear policy about never leaving a POW behind.

Read on to enjoy some fine examples of right-wing hypocrisy regarding Sgt. Bergdahl’s release: what they said before, and what they’re saying now.

FreedomOutpost

Far-right website FreedomOutpost was all over the president for allowing Bergdahl to “rot” in Afghanistan — as well as aghast at Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for opposing a prisoner exchange. In October 2013, blogger John DeMayo had this to say:

Many in Congress including Senator John McCain oppose a prisoner exchange to bring Bowe Bergdahl home. Apparently, McCain feels a better deal can be struck with the Taliban. A deal that does not release dangerous terrorists out into the world community. Perhaps McCain forgets the deal he struck with his captors to secure his release.

The war in Afghanistan continues to wind down. For years, the United States has been releasing Afghan detainees from military prisons in Afganhistan. [sic] This has been going on periodically, every year, since Sgt. Bergdahl was captured. So why is Bergdahl not home today? My very real fear is — like so many others — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl may be left behind.

This is one of those occasions that I feel great shame for our country. Great shame. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is our son, America. He deserves better than a politically correct quote form [sic] the Secretary of Defense. He sure as hell deserves more attention than President Obama and his press gave to Trayvon Martin.

Ah, but when Bergdahl was finally released, did FreedomOutpost express its thanks and relief? Nope. Instead, noted Islamophobe Pamela Geller referred to the POW as an “AWOL traitor,” and spewed:

The policy of the United States government has always been we do not negotiate with terrorists. So why did the Obama administration release five of the worst GITMO jihadists – Taliban leadership – in exchange for an AWOL soldier – a traitor – who willingly walked away from his unit, raising the question of whether he could be charged with being absent without leave or desertion.

FreedomOutpost blogger Dave Garrison also chimed in, calling Bergdahl a “deserter” and accusing the president of “habitually bowing to Islam.”

Video: MOXNews.com YouTube

LibertyAlliance

 BergdahlTaliban

This website, which bills itself as “the leader in conservative media” and has Bible verses as part of its logo, was up in arms in August 2013 about the president wanting to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, but not taking action to bring Sgt. Bergdahl home. “Obama Releases Terrorists But Leaves POW Bowe Bergdahl Behind,” they screamed, and posted this battlecry from the soldier’s heartbroken father, Bob:

 “I will not leave you on the battlefield. Your country will not leave you on the battlefield. You are not forgotten.”

—Bob Bergdahl, father of POW Bowe Bergdahl

But after Bergdahl was released, the tide turned over at LibertyAlliance. Now the POW was a “jihad convert” and his father—previously used as a prop by the site — was in league with President Obama and the Taliban to take over the White House. In a post titled “Did The U.S. Just Release 5 Jihadists And Get A Jihad Convert In Trade?” Rodney Lee Conover muses:

President Obama ordered the release of five Gitmo detainees in trade for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from his Taliban captors in Afghanistan. But on second look — did we get one jihad convert for the release of five jihadists? And did Barack Obama purposely allow Robert Bergdahl, the father of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, to sanctify and claim the White House for Islam?

Screenshot via LibertyAlliance website

Sarah Palin

No story about right-wing hypocrisy would be complete without some input from the Wicked Queen herself — the pageant-walkin’ reality TV performer from Wasilla, Sarah Palin.

Here she was in 2009, praying for the release of Sgt. (then Private) Bergdahl. In true Palin style, the statement has since been mysteriously scrubbed from the original website, but like most conservatives, she hasn’t quite grasped that the intertubes have a looooong memory. Take it away, Wayback Machine!

PalinBergdahl

But of course, Sarah being Sarah, she couldn’t stand being out of the spotlight — or missing a chance to bash the president she did so much to help elect. Showing her ignorance of what actually happens to a prisoner of war, she denounced Bergdahl and screeched, “No, Mr. President, a soldier expressing horrid anti-American beliefs — even boldly putting them in writing and unabashedly firing off his messages while in uniform, just three days before he left his unit on foot — is not ‘honorable service’” (clearly referring to a claim in the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post that the soldier emailed his parents to say he was “ashamed to be an American”). Bergdahl—who was twice promoted while in captivity—is reportedly scheduled to receive a third promotion, to staff sergeant.

“You blew it again, Barack Obama,” said the woman whose political and military knowledge can be described as scant at best, “by negotiating away any leverage against the bad guys as these bad guys — Osama bin Laden’s partners in evil crime — joyfully celebrate their ‘win’ in the deal you sealed.”

Screenshot: Wayback Machine

PJ (Formerly Pajamas) Media

The conservative media outlet proudly put up a petition in January 2014, demanding that the Obama administration “take action to secure the release, or rescue, or Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, using all means available, including force.”

PJMedia-03

The article by Bridget Johnson even included—with no sign of opposition—a reference to a prisoner exchange:

White House press secretary Jay Carney hasn’t mentioned Bergdahl’s case publicly since a June briefing, after the Taliban offered to trade Bergdahl for five of its members held at Guantanamo Bay.

However, after Bergdahl was freed, the website claimed that he’d been known as a deserter since 2010 (then why the 2014 petition?), and we shouldn’t have negotiated for his release:

It’s impossible to believe that senior administration officials including the president did not know all about Bergdahl’s record and the high probability that he deserted. The Pentagon concluded as much in a 2010 investigation of his 2009 disappearance. That wasn’t in any of the briefings that Obama skips out on? It’s impossible to believe that the administration, at the top levels, was not aware that the searches for Bergdahl had cost as many as 14 American troops their lives. It’s impossible to believe that no one in the administration thought to consider that breaking at least a couple of laws in all this might turn out to be controversial. It’s impossible to believe that they did not think sending five hardcore terrorists back into the wild would be questioned. They even lied about Bergdahl’s health, knowing that the Taliban had recorded the swap and were likely to release the video. Why all the lies, one after the other?

And the same Ms. Johnson who pushed the petition trumpeted a quote from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), expressing horror at the very idea of the prisoner exchange PJ Media was so in favor of only a few short months ago:

 …It’s totally irrational to me as to what the president could have been thinking when he made the decision to release these five individuals and albeit, you know, you’re a parent, I’m a parent, I’m happy this young man is going to be reunited with his parents in Idaho, but this was a bad deal and it’s a deal that, unfortunately, impacts the national security interests of every single American and it’s truly a bad idea.

H/T and screenshot: Little Green Footballs

John McCain

And then, there’s the granddaddy of ’em all, Arizona senator John McCain.

A former prisoner of war himself, McCain was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper in February 2014 if he would be in favor of a prisoner exchange in the Bergdahl case—reminding the senator that in 2012, he had opposed the idea. McCain responded:

Well, at that time the proposal was that they would release — Taliban, some of them really hardcore, particularly five really hardcore Taliban leaders, as a confidence-building measure. Now this idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American fighting man. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a lot of the details…Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.

Yet when questioned by CNN’s Chris Cuomo after Bergdahl’s release, McCain had a very different take:

The problem that I have, and many others have, is what we paid for that release, and that is, releasing five of the most hardened, anti-American killers, brutal killers, who are, by the way, are also wanted by the international criminal court for their incredible brutality, and the fact that within a very short time, if the past proves true, they’ll be back in the battlefield putting the lives of Americans in danger in the future…we were never told there would be an exchange here of Sergeant Bergdahl for five Taliban. We told they were considering, and we steadfastly, both Republican and Democrats, rejected the notion that they were going to release some of these Taliban in exchange for, “confidence-building measures” so that negotiations could continue…

My problem is, what we did in exchange, which could put the lives of American servicemen and women in grave danger in the future, unless you believe that this conflict is over and that the Taliban and Al Qaeda have stop wanting to destroy America and repeat of 9/11, then, fine. But they’ve not, and they’re not, and they are growing, despite what the administration says.

Perhaps the senator should go back and read his account of his own time in captivity then recall what the U.S. did in exchange for his freedom.

H/T and video: Media Matters for America.

NRA: Open-Carry ‘Hijinx’ Not Just ‘Counterproductive,’ But ‘Downright Weird’

In a rare display of common sense — albeit steeped in self-interest — the Institute for Legislative Action, the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association — has issued a lengthy statement in part condemning the recent antics of gun fetishists Open Carry Texas, who have made a point to show up at restaurants and retail establishments brandishing assault weapons.

Beginning with a startlingly inappropriate lament of how being careless with a gun can result in not being able to senselessly murder an animal (“If we exercise poor judgment, our decisions will have consequences. These consequences could be simple and transitory, such as watching a trophy buck bound away into the woods after a missed shot from an improperly sighted rifle”), the statement goes on to admonish the Texas group for what the organization cites as “foolish,” “scary,” and “weird” behavior:

We applaud Texans for [the state’s robust gun culture], but a small number have recently crossed the line from enthusiasm to downright foolishness. 
Now, we love AR-15s and AKs as much as anybody…Texas, independent-minded and liberty-loving place that it is, doesn’t ban the carrying of loaded long guns in public, nor does it require a permit for this activity. Yet some so-called firearm advocates seem determined to change this.
 Recently, demonstrators have been showing up in various public places…openly toting a variety of tactical long guns. Unlicensed open carry of handguns is legal in about half the U.S. states…

Yet…it is a rare sight to see someone sidle up next to you in line for lunch with a 7.62 rifle slung across his chest, much less a whole gaggle of folks descending on the same public venue with similar arms. Let’s not mince words, not only is it rare, it’s downright weird and certainly not a practical way to go normally about your business while being prepared to defend yourself. To those who are not acquainted with the dubious practice of using public displays of firearms as a means to draw attention to oneself or one’s cause, it can be downright scary. It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.

“As a result of these hijinx,” the statement continues, some fast-food restaurants (the NRA points to Jack in the Box and Chipotle) have changed their policy to not allow firearms on the premises. “In other words, the freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior.”

The upshot is that these displays are “counterproductive for the gun-owning community…Using guns merely to draw attention to yourself in public not only defies common sense, it shows a lack of consideration and manners. That’s not the Texas way.  And that’s certainly not the NRA way.”

Gun-rights groups have also been known to bully and stalk women who demonstrate and speak against gun violence (not even wheelchair-bound victims are spared), as well as use naked female mannequins for target practice. Open Carry Texas itself makes a point of “outing” women (but not men) who call the police when confronted by hulks with assault rifles, identifying these women in public and feeding their personal information to harassers and telemarketers. This past weekend, over 100 members of Open Carry Tarrant County showed up heavily armed at a Home Depot parking lot in Texas, and approached motorists with copies of the Constitution.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to walk into a restaurant and see a bunch of people wearing rifles on their shoulder,” said a bystander. “It would just make me nervous.”

Open Carry Texas’ response came as a surprise to no one:

Photo: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense Facebook page

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Par-TAY! New Year’s Eve, Fox News-Style: <i>Duck Dynasty</i> Awkwardness (Video)

Say what you will about Fox “News,” but they sure do know how to party! While the rest of us Philistines were ringing in the New Year with music, laughter and good cheer, Fox viewers were treated to the ultimate in entertainment: Five gloriously uncomfortable, pointless and excruciatingly dull minutes of cornpone yee-haws from Duck Dynasty.

Hosts Bill Hemmer and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, looking like Igloo Ken and Barbie in the New York City cold, were ecstatic to be given the honor of speaking with their redneck guests, Will Robertson and his wife Korie, who appeared to be attending a decidedly unredneck party—not surprising, given that they’re not actually rednecks.

“We’re thankful that they actually decided to share New Year’s with us!” gushed Igloo Barbie, as if Fox had fought a duel to the death with potential suitors and emerged the unlikely victor. And the interview was as hard-hitting as you’d imagine. What’s next for the Robertson clan, Will?

“It’s a new year, so we’re ready to break in a new year and start it all over again,” came the unintelligible, meaningless response from the camo-clad pseudo-redneck. This was followed by several minutes of fixed smiles, exaggerated aw-shucks, good-ole-boy, y’all-speak and repetitive variations of “there will be a new season of Duck Dynasty on A&E,” as Ken and Barbie attempted to pretend this was an exclusive—and indeed the first time the subject had ever been discussed on national television because the librul lamestream media has muzzled the godly Robertsons and denied their freedom of speech all this time!!

But the money shot comes when the Igloo twins go for the big scoop: “Willie, what’s your father [the controversial Phil] doing tonight?” and Jethro goes rogue: “Uh, I reckon he’s asleep…” Wife Korie quickly and awkwardly steers him back on script with a classic, panicked side-eye, and you can practically feel the kick in the shin: “Er… he’s probably watching Fox News!!” Hubby dutifully remembers on which side his bread is buttered, and sheepishly backtracks.

If you only watch one thing today, make it this. No, really. Do it.

Photo of the real Willie Robertson: Daily Kos

McConnell: Shutdown ‘A Two-Week Paid Vacation For Federal Employees’

The fact that conservative politicians are insensitive to the concerns of ordinary Americans is nothing new. However, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took this tone-deafness to new depths on Sunday, when he told Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer that the government shutdown amounted to nothing more than paid time off for lucky furloughed federal workers.

“Look, shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy,” McConnell said. “I don’t think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy.”

The Kentucky senator then took the opportunity to pat himself on the back for being involved in this appalling episode in our nation’s history — one that cost us an astounding $24 billion in a little over two weeks — because hey, the markets didn’t crash! When asked by Schieffer how badly the country was hurt by the shutdown, McConnell responded:

Well, it certainly didn’t do the country any good to have, you know, both a government shutdown and a pending fiscal crisis right on top of it. But, look, we’re a big, resilient country. You just pointed out how the stock market bounced back immediately. I was pleased to play a role in keeping us from going to the brink. I think it was important to do the right thing for the country. And we did it.

Video of McConnell’s appearance is below, and is really worth watching to see just how many lies and misleading statements he manages to fit into one short segment.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

LISTEN: Nevada Republican Admits GOP Can Only Win If Fewer People Vote

Pat Hickey NevadaIt’s sad, when you think about it. A once-great political party is now so unpopular that it’s reduced to hoping people don’t turn out to vote.

Acknowledging that young people and students—two traditionally Democratic demographics coincidentally being targeted by Republican state legislators suddenly anxious to ram through new Voter ID laws—tend to stay home in off-year elections, Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey (R-Reno) is ever so psyched about the Nevada GOP’s chances in 2014.

“This is a great year in an off-presidential election,” he chirped excitedly in an interview with conservative talk show host Dan Mason. “No… seemingly no Democrat on the top of the ticket against [Nevada governor Brian] Sandoval. No Harry Reid. Probably where we had a million voters turn out in 2012 we’ll have like 700,000.”

Woo-hoo! Low voter turnout! This is what democracy looks like! “A lot of minorities, a lot of younger people will not turn out in a non-presidential year,” enthused Hickey. “It’s a great year for Republicans.”

Not that it’s the best-kept secret in politics, but hearing such desperation nakedly expressed as an encouraging sign truly brings home the sad state of affairs in today’s Republican Party. It won’t be long before they’re kidnapping anyone who looks like a Democrat and dragging them away from the polls in an effort to keep them from voting — because it’s becoming increasingly clear to everyone that when more people vote, more Democrats get elected.

Listen below, courtesy of ThinkProgress.

Photo: VotePatHickey.com

Glenn Beck: War Used To Be Awesome, But Now It’s Just <i>So</i> Progressive

Professional nutjob and perennially war-glorifying “patriot” Glenn Beck has done an abrupt about-face on the subject of “toppling dictators” and “spreading democracy.” After careful thought–and a big ol’ helping of his trademark mental and logistical gymnastics—the sniffling internet clown has decided that war is “a progressive idea.”

Beck — looking ever so dapper in a bowtie — explained on his badly lit web video show (with a straight face and not a hint of irony) that he’s against a possible war in Syria because it would be all about oil. And in a typically wacky and convoluted column on his website, he dramatically chided everyone for supposedly believing exactly what he himself wholeheartedly believed and loudly, chest-poundingly endorsed… when it came to the Iraq War. However, rather than take the “don’t make the same mistakes I and everyone else on the right side of the aisle made on Iraq” position, which would have been uncharacteristically honest, he chose instead to rewrite history:

The time for politics and party loyalty is over. Do your own homework. If you just take the administration’s word for it (or John McCain or John Boehner or Lindsey Graham’s for that matter) that it’s ‘slam dunk’ case, I believe you are part of the problem.

Smart people shouldn’t be hoodwinked into supporting a phony war (especially when the administration says it’s a “slam dunk” case)! War, you see, is something progressives like. And heaven only knows that progressives — those warmongers –are the root of all evil on the planet. Not only that, but nation building is also a favorite progressive hobby that those on the right are simply not in favor of.

Now, you might well be thinking, “Wait a second here. Have we been plopped straight into the middle of Opposite World? Or is this just yet another episode in the continuing saga of ‘If Obama’s For It, I’m Against It‘?” And you also might find yourself wondering how “it’s all about oil” squares with what we’re about to tell you (then again, this is Glenn Beck). But here goes:

THIS IS ALL A PROGRESSIVE PLOT TO HAND OVER U.S. POWER TO THE UNITED NATIONS, SO THEY CAN ESTABLISH A ONE-WORLD GOVERNMENT!!

Deep down, you already knew it was something like that. But still, prepare to laugh your nether regions off, watching The Beckster melodramatically tie himself up in knots to explain this insane conspiracy theory — one of his greatest and most enduring hits, and one that makes him such a darling of the tinfoil-hat set. Video courtesy of our friends at Right Wing Watch.

WATCH: McCain Angrily Teaches <i>Fox & Friends</i> About Islam

One of the most enduring (and offensive) myths about Islam — that Muslims worship “a different God” from people of other religions — was finally vociferously challenged on Fox & Friends.

By a conservative.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on the morning zoo to discuss the situation in Syria, when a video clip of a rebel fighter saying “Allahu Akbar!” was shown. F&F co-buffoon Brian Kilmeade started spouting his trademark ignorance, exclaiming, “I have a problem helping those people screaming that after a hit!” The swift — and stern — response from the senator clearly wasn’t what the Fox puppet expected:

You have a problem with that? Would you have a problem with an American Christian saying ‘thank God, thank God’? That’s what they’re saying. Come on. Of course they’re Muslims, but they’re moderates and I guarantee you that they are moderates. I know them and I’ve been with them. For someone to say ‘Allahu Akbar’ is about as offensive as someone saying ‘thank God.’

As any marginally educated adult knows, “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for God. If you can comprehend that concept when it comes to the word “Yahweh,” this shouldn’t be an intellectual stretch. And guess what? SAME EXACT GOD IN BOTH INSTANCES.

But the similarities don’t stop there. Islam is an Abrahamic faith — same as Christianity and Judaism. The Virgin Mary is revered in the Islamic faith. And which prophet of Islam is “the Messiah” who will return to Earth on Judgment Day to defeat the Antichrist?

That would be Jesus Christ.

Watch John McCain take Kilmeade out to the woodshed below, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:

WATCH: Paranoid Trump Accuses Obama Of Being Behind Fraud Lawsuit

Conveniently ignoring the fact that his “Trump University” fake educational institution has been the subject of numerous investigations, sanctions and lawsuits for several years now, pompous windbag Donald Trump took to — where else — Fox and Friends to publicly accuse President Obama of orchestrating the suit filed on Saturday by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Noting that Obama and Schneiderman had met two days prior to the filing, Trump speculated that this incident could be a “mini-IRS,” to which the Fox bobbleheads replied, “The president hasn’t liked you for a while.”

No word on whether or not Greg Abbott, the very Republican attorney general of Texas who is currently running for governor of that state, was also at the meeting to scheme with Obama and Schneiderman. Abbott launched a probe into Trump’s “school” as well, after getting 30 complaints from the Better Business Bureau — who gave the scam outfit a D- — in 2008 and 2009.

Video: MediaMatters.org

NYS Attorney General Sues The Donald Over Trump University ‘Scam’

 

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New York State’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, has called out Donald Trump for what he really is: a phony.

In a $40 million lawsuit filed this weekend, Schneiderman accused the pompous reality TV show star of running a fake real estate investment school that promised everything from apprenticeships to the opportunity to meet Trump — and failed to deliver either. The “students,” who paid up to $35,000, were instead enrolled in short seminars and had their picture taken with a life-size cardboard cutout of The Donald.

“Trading on his celebrity status, Mr. Trump personally appeared in advertisements making false promises to convince people to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got,” Schneiderman said. “No one, no matter how rich or famous they are, has a right to scam hardworking New Yorkers. Anyone who does should expect to be held accountable.”

Trump University, said the attorney general, “engaged in deception at every stage of consumers’ advancement through costly programs and caused real financial harm…with Donald Trump’s knowledge and participation.” The suit is the result of an investigation of possible “illegal business practices” launched by the AG’s office in 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Trump is claiming the lawsuit is nothing but a smear campaign, and took to Twitter to accuse Schneiderman — whom he refers to as a “lightweight” — of extortion.

“The attorney general has been angry because he felt that Mr. Trump and his various companies should have done much more for him in terms of fundraising,” said Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. “This entire investigation is politically motivated and it is a tremendous waste of taxpayers’ money.”

A website, 98percentapproval.com, has been set up in Trump’s defense, based on the percentage of students he said praised their experience with Trump University.

However, a look back at the past few years shows that this is not by far the first brush with the law for the for-profit institution. In 2o10, the New York State Department of Education demanded that the company — which was given a D- rating by the Better Business Bureau — change its name. “Use of the word ‘university’ by your corporation is misleading and violates New York Education Law and the Rules of the Board of Regents,” wrote Deputy Commissioner for Higher Education Joseph Frey.

Then in 2011, the “school” — now renamed “The Trump Entrepreneur Initiative — was hit with a class-action lawsuit, charging that “the primary lesson Trump University teaches its students is how to spend more money by buying more Trump Seminars.”

Considering that several state attorneys general — including Texas’ Greg Abbott — have also investigated the company for deceptive practices, it’s hard to take any of Trump’s claims against Schneiderman seriously. Then again, it’s doubtful that anyone blessed with even the most basic basic powers of reason ever would.

Obama: Some Republicans Don’t Want Shutdown, But Fear Limbaugh’s Wrath [VIDEO]

Video via Politico

President Obama gave a lengthy interview to CNN on Friday morning, in which he discussed everything from Egypt and Syria to surveillance and the bravery of Antoinette Tuff.

But the fun stuff came when the president got to talking about the do-nothing Congress, which, he feels, doesn’t have “a whole lot of core responsibilities,” but one of those is “passing a budget, which they have not done yet.”

“The other core responsibility that they’ve got is to pay the bills that they’ve already accrued,” he insisted. “And if Congress simply does those two things when they get back, then the economy can continue to recover.” Obama suggested that Congress watch old episodes of Schoolhouse Rock to be reminded of how things are supposed to get done.

When the subject turned to the impending “government shutdown” intended to block the Affordable Care Act from taking full effect, the president was pretty clear about who he thinks really wears the pants in the Republican Party:

I’ve made this argument to my Republican friends privately, and, by the way, sometimes they say to me privately, “I agree with you, but I’m worried about a primary from, you know, somebody in the Tea Party back in my district,” or, “I’m worried about what Rush Limbaugh is going to say about me on the radio. And so you got to understand, I’m — it’s really difficult.”

Well, you know what? I can’t force these folks to do what’s right for the American people, because they’re independently elected, it’s a separate branch of government, and I don’t have a vote in Congress. But what I sure as heck can do is stay focused on what I know will be good for the American people.

In a sane political landcape, the implication that the drug-addled talk-radio gasbag is the true leader of the party should come as an insult to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, but we know better, don’t we? In the Republican version of reality, Reince is more than happy to let Rushbo take the wheel, having recently suggested that the right-wing bloviator would be the perfect moderator for the next round of presidential debates.

That’s not likely to happen, though, because the ever-humble Rush thinks he would outshine the entire spectacle. “I don’t see how I can,” he sniffed. “I’m too famous.”

Tea Party 2016 Darling Ted Cruz Is Foreign-Born—What Say You Now, Birthers?

CRUZbirth certificate

 

In a development sure to amuse us all for the next three years, the Tea Party’s favorite potential 2016 nominee, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has released his birth certificate. And, unlike President Obama’s, Cruz’s document shows that he, unmistakably, was indeed born on foreign soil. Calgary, Canada, to be exact.

According to The Dallas Morning News, “The U.S. Constitution allows only a ‘natural born’ American citizen to serve as president. Most legal scholars who have studied the question agree that includes an American born overseas to an American parent, such as Cruz.” Cruz’s mother was born in Delaware, and his father in Cuba.

And, as Rick Ungar wrote in Forbes, “Were we to buy into the birtherism claim that Obama was, indeed, born in Kenya, then he too would have been foreign born as the son of an American mother and a father who was a citizen of a foreign land.”

The fun part will be watching those on the right twist and bend their belief systems to announce that Cruz’s mother was American, so he is automatically a natural-born citizen, no matter where he was born!  How could anyone think otherwise? Asserts Allahpundit on HotAir.com:

Tens of millions of Americans would be willing to vote for Ted Cruz; to strike him from the ballot on a technicality in an ambiguous case would be momentously undemocratic. Against that backdrop, the Supreme Court would almost certainly end up reading ‘natural born’ in the narrowest way, excluding anyone who was born abroad of two non-citizen parents but including everyone else. Cruz, who was born in Canada but whose mother was a U.S. citizen, would qualify…because courts don’t want to be seen as hard-ass enforcers of what’s perceived by many to be an unusually archaic bit of the Constitution.

Ah, so now it’s a “technicality.” It’s only “an unusually archaic bit of the Constitution” that can be swept aside for your own right-wing favorite candidate, but it’s an inviolable, sacred screed when it comes to anyone on the left. What’s more, we should change it for Cruz:

Given the angst and ambiguity over the ‘natural born’ clause in the last two cycles, why not pass an amendment to replace it with something like, say, a 25-year residency requirement? People who take certain draconian disqualifying actions, like committing felonies, are an exception, but what action has Cruz taken? Replace ‘natural born’ with a residency requirement.

So if you’re keeping score, here we have a Democrat born in the U.S. to one American citizen and one foreign citizen, and a Republican born abroad to one American citizen and one foreign citizen, but the foreign-born Republican is apparently the one eligible for the presidency. Yet even if that Democrat had been born abroad, birthers would still see the Republican — born in the exact same circumstances — as being “more American.” But just in case, we should amend the Constitution to make sure there’s no way our foreign-born candidate won’t be allowed to run.

Funny how things change when it’s you, eh?

Of course, this “it’s different for us” (better-known as “IOKIYAR,” or “it’s OK if you’re a Republican”) hypocrisy on this subject is nothing new — in 2004, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a Constitutional amendment calling for a similar change in the law to accommodate the then-prevailing notion on the GOP side that Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger might one day make a good commander-in-chief.

Cruz himself is quite adamant — and quite correct — that having an American mother automatically conferred U.S. citizenship on him at birth. “My mother was born in Wilmington, Delaware. She’s a US citizen, so I’m a US citizen,” he told ABC’s This Week. “I’m not going to engage in a legal debate. The facts are clear. I can tell you where I was born and who my parents were. And then as a legal matter, others can worry about that. I’m not going to engage.”

Photo: Dallas Morning News

WATCH: Sarah Palin Attacks Christie, Makes Rand Paul A Happy Man

Apparently clinging to the old adage “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has inexplicably decided that the endorsement of pageant-walkin’, not-much-else-doin’ Sarah Palin actually has political value in this day and age.

“I love an endorsement by Sarah Palin, what’s not to love?” Paul enthused on CNN. The addition of Palin to “Team Rand” comes because the failed reality star believes the Kentucky senator “gets it,” unlike his current adversary, New Jersey governor Chris “King of Bacon” Christie.

“Rand Paul understands. He gets the whole notion of ‘don’t tread on me’ government,” said Palin on — where else — Fox “News.” “Whereas Chris Christie is for big government and trying to go along to get along in so many respects.”

Christie is also a phony who likes to perform for the camera, Palin added, without a trace of irony or self-awareness. “He’s got a schtick going there where he’s got a YouTube videographer following him around, kind of these setup situations sometimes so he can be seen as perhaps a little bit avant-garde and going rogue on things.”

We all know Palin is for “small government” considering she instantly made Alaska’s government smaller by quitting the job halfway through her only term, amid multiple ethics investigations. But Team Rand… well, Team Rand is happy to be big… big enough for everyone!

“Team Rand, you know, whatever that means, can include a lot of people,” explained Paul. “What I’ve been telling people is that I want to grow the Republican Party and that means that some of the libertarian ideas of respecting people’s privacy, respecting the Fourth Amendment, not spying on Americans, I think that appeals to a lot of young people and will bring new people into our party if we become the party of privacy. It’s hurt the president significantly.”

Paul is considered to be a leading contender for his party’s nomination in 2016, but between making juvenile, mean-spirited “fat jokes” about his possible opponent and surrounding himself with political lightweights like Sarah Palin — who has spent the last five years not being politically active, but instead parading herself and her family in front of reality TV cameras and posting on social media — one would have to wonder if he’s serious about this at all.

The knee-slapping interview with Palin can be seen above.