Thursday, September 30, 2010

VIDEO: One Nation Working Together Rally

On Saturday, October 2, progressive organizations and individuals from around the nation will rally at the Lincoln Memorial in DC.

Randi Rhodes: Did God join the Tea Party?

Congress has officially wrapped up its work for this session. Well, they’ve wrapped up this session. The work is still there. Before they left, Congress voted on a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running. So they didn’t get much accomplished, but it was more than Jim DeMint wanted them to. Lawmakers were in a hurry to get back home to campaign before the elections. For people who don’t get a lot done at their jobs, they sure seem intent on keeping them.
It seems California GOP governor wannabe Meg Whitman may have knowingly employed an undocumented woman for years as a housekeeper. You’d think that someone who was willing to spend $119 million to get elected would have sprung for the extra money that legal household help costs. Really Meg, how much did you save by having an undocumented maid? You have enough money to hire Shirley Booth as a maid. Meg Whitman has enough money to hire Mr. Belvedere as a butler, Tony Danza as a housekeeper, Fran Drescher as a nanny, and still have enough left over to hire Morgan Freeman as a driver. With the kind of money Meg Whitman has, she could hire Carly Fiorina as a housekeeper. Just don’t put her in charge of anything. She’ll lay the rest of the staff off.

Christine O’Donnell says God is telling her to run for Senate. Right. People with a history of witchcraft should be careful about messages they think are coming from God. There’s no telling what dark powers you summoned up during all those satanic picnics. O’Donnell said “When all logic said it’s time to quit, we pursued, we marched on, because we knew God was not releasing us to quit.” Christine! If “all logic said it’s time to quit,” is it just possible that was a message from God? I guess in Christine’s world, God doesn’t communicate through logic. It seems like God in Christine’s world has a curious tendency to tell her to do exactly what she wants to do. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.
Finally, over 1 percent of the American population is in prison. That’s bigger than the viewership of Fox News. And it’s a nicer bunch of people.
Carl Paladino, the GOP candidate for governor/purveyor of racist & bestiality emails, is caught on camera threatening a reporter who asked for evidence to back up one of Paladino smears against his opponent:

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Tea-Stained Liars, Hypocrites & Thieves

What happens when the Tea Party universe collides with reality? Surprise, surprise—it turns out that a lot of people in Tea Party whacko and New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s inner circle have shady pasts. In fact, the only thing in New York State with a more tainted past than Carl Paladino’s inner circle is Love Canal. One Paladino adviser has been indicted on charges of stealing more than $1 million from Michael Bloomberg’s re-election bid last year. What kind of advice does this advisor give? “Hey, why don’t you let me take care of the checkbook?” Yeesh! Who is dumb enough to hire an advisor who stole from his last employer? That would be like hiring a convicted drunk driver to be your driver. Oops. Paladino did that too. Yep. Paladino’s driver is a drunk driver. Paladino’s campaign advisor stole money from another campaign. I can only assume that Paladino’s press spokesperson has Tourette Syndrome. Hey Carl, do you need a dog walker? Michael Vick is out of jail. Here’s an idea, Carl—put the drunk driver in charge of your campaign money, and let the embezzler be your driver. That way at least they’re not dealing with their field of criminal expertise.
In a separate reality check, both Sharron Angle and her husband receive healthcare from the federal government. So if Sharron Angle says she wants to get government off of your back, it’s only so it can take care of her needs. Angle gets federal health insurance through her husband, who is a retired federal employee. They also get a federal pension check. Sharron Angle didn’t respond to the revelations—maybe her mouth was full, sucking on the government teat.
Finally, Christine O’Donnell has been claiming that she studied at Oxford. You don’t have to be an Oxford grad to figure out that’s not true. O’Donnell’s LinkedIn bio page lists “University of Oxford” as one of the schools she attended. Not likely. A quick perusal of Oxford shows that they don’t even offer courses in witchcraft, creationism, or masturbation avoidance. In reality, Christine took a course from the on-line Phoenix Institute, which rented space at Oxford. What is this? A mail drop? It sounds like Christine O’Donnell was at the educational equivalent of a Cayman Islands business address. A spokesman for the Phoenix Institute called O’Donnell’s claim that she went to Oxford “misleading.” I think the proper term is “lying,” but then I never took a semantics course at Oxford.
Sure to drive the right wingers nuts, Obama talks about his Christianity yesterday in New Mexico…

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Blaming the Jobless & Booing the Palin

Conservatives like to say that the current unemployment is a “structural” problem, meaning there is work out there, but workers don’t have the skills to do it. That’s another way of saying unemployment isn’t a problem for workers, it’s a problem of workers. The real problem with the American middle class isn’t that they can’t work, it’s that they can’t spend. The economy is in trouble because the wealthy have squeezed all the money out of the middle class. Here’s a little something you think would be obvious—if you have a consumer-driven economy, you can’t take all the money away from the consumers.
Over the past few days, Joe Biden has told Democrats to “stop whining” and “buck up.” I’ll give Joe Biden this much advice—a guy that’s known for his verbal gaffes should probably avoid the word “buck” entirely. There’s no telling how the phrase “buck up” is going to come out. You could really buck it up.
Last night Sarah Palin got booed on Dancing with the Stars (video below). And she didn’t even have to dance. Actually, nobody has ever gotten booed for their dancing on Dancing with the Stars. But nothing on Dancing with the Stars has ever been as offensive and wrong as what Sarah Palin does. And I include Michael Bolton’s dancing in that. The lesson here: you can’t build a career on divisiveness and then be surprised when people take sides wherever you show up.
Finally, a new survey of the religious knowledge of Americans shows that, when it comes to knowing what we’re talking about in terms of religion, we don’t have a prayer. The people who scored the highest on the test of religious knowledge were atheists and agnostics. So I guess it’s easier to retain that sort of thing if you don’t believe it. It turns out that people who believe in the literal truth of the Bible did poorly on the religious knowledge survey. So I guess they think it’s the literal word of God, but they’re not too interested in what he has to say. Or maybe they just don’t like to read non-fiction.
Today’s Homework Discuss

Monday, September 27, 2010

Randi Rhodes: New Tapes

Bill Maher has released this week’s Christine O’Donnell Crazy Quote from the Politically Incorrect archives (video below). Bill is like the people who are combing the tape vaults of the Grateful Dead to keep on releasing new recordings… except that Christine O’Donnell probably has more hours of dumb quotes than the Grateful Dead have hours of concert recordings. On the latest release, Christine calls evolution a “myth.” I think Christine misunderstands the word “myth.” The stuff with all the research and data? That’s science. The stuff about the guy in the sky with the long beard creating the earth in six days? That’s the myth. Then she asks “Why aren’t monkeys still evolving into humans?” Christine, all species are constantly changing over time. You yourself are proof that humans may be gradually losing our higher brain functions. I shouldn’t say that. There’ doesn’t seem to be anything gradual about it. Christine, if you only believe what you can see in front of your eyes, a person would think that the earth is flat. I shouldn’t say that—I have no idea what Bill Maher’s Christine clip for next week is going to be about.
Somebody else dug up an old clip where O’Donnell says we can and should stop everyone in the country from having sex. Christine, you can’t stop people from having sex. It’s a basic desire we inherited from our primate ancestors. Oh, I guess that’s not a point you’re likely to concede. Let’s put it this way, Christine—God made us incurably horny. There, does that work better?
If any clip is going to cause Christine problems, it’s a clip in which she reacts to a question about transvestitism from Eddie Izzard. Christine is rational. She’s almost understanding. And that is simply not consistent with her views on anything else. Of course, what’s a little cross-dressing, after you’ve attended Satanic picnics? “Go ahead and wear your wigs and platform shoes. That’s nothing to me. I’ve eaten egg salad with the Devil.”
In the meantime, let’s all stay tuned for more releases from the Christine tape archives. I hope they do something from her run at the Fillmore East back in ’71. I had that on cassette in college, and it was killer.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

WANTED: Jose Garibay - Call 911 ASAP if you see him!

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AYoung Calif. Girl's Night Of Terror
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Jose Garibay, picured here relaxing at home, worked in the fields of a local vinyard in Ukiah, Calif. Jose and a friend Julio Ceja are suspected in the kidnapping and rape of a teenage girl on July 26, 2008.
On July 26, 2008, a teenage girl was with friends at a local hangout in Boonville, Calif., when she ran into an acquaintance, 18-year-old Julio Ceja.
Ceja invited her to go cruising around town.
According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the girl hopped into a pickup truck with Julio and his friend, 28-year-old Jose Garibay. Police say the men pulled out of the parking lot blasting music and drinking beer, and tossing their empty bottles out of the window as they cruised down Highway 128.
But when Garibay pulled off the highway, the girl began to feel uneasy.
“Where are we going?” she yelled. Police say Ceja lowered the volume and said, “We’re going to [expletive] rape you.” The girl sat in disbelief for several minutes, not knowing if the men were serious or joking, but her suspicions were quickly confirmed when Garibay pulled the truck to the side of the road.
Ceja allegedly reached back and grabbed the girl by the hair, pulled her out of the truck and forced her to the ground. According to Mendocino Detective Andrew Whiteaker, Ceja sat on the girl's chest and held down her arms as Garibay pulled off her shorts and raped her. It’s alleged that after that, the two men switched places, and she was raped by Ceja. But the terror had just started: Police say Ceja and Garibay threw the girl back in the truck and continued to drive. She feared for her life and knew she had to do something.
She used her legs to kick out the passenger side window and tried to crawl out while the vehicle was still moving. Angered by her attempt to get away, Detective Whiteaker says Ceja and Garibay pulled over and assaulted the girl yet again.
When they were done, the men allegedly shoved her into the front seat of the truck and continued to drive next to a creek. The girl overheard the men talking in Spanish. She understood enough to know they were talking about the creek, and she began to fear they were planning to drown her. She summoned a level of courage that she can only explain as “instinct” and grabbed the steering wheel away from Garibay.
The truck flew into a ditch. The girl immediately jumped out the side window she had broken earlier. She told police Garibay flew out of the driver’s side door and came after her. Preparing to fight a man twice her size, she picked up two broken beer bottles lying at her feet and swung, cutting him all over his body and face. She knew this was her only opportunity to get away.
Running For Her Life
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Police released this photo of the truck driven by Jose Garibay on the night of July 26, 2008. Garibay is wanted in Mendocino County for kidnapping and rape.
With no shoes on, the terrified girl ran through the woods and onto a highway for a total of five miles. She made her way to a friend’s house, and then finally into a hospital bed. Her feet were so torn up “they looked like hamburger,” according to Detective Andrew Whiteaker, who interviewed her later that morning. From underneath a pile of blankets with debris in her hair, she wept and softly spoke of the ordeal.
Many months later, Julio Rengal Ceja and Jose Garibay have still not been caught. Both men are wanted by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office on multiple counts of kidnapping and rape in concert with force.
If you know where either of these men are, call our Hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV. If you are calling from Mexico you can reach our Hotline at 001-800-CRIME-TV. Remember: You can remain anonymous.

Wanted For:
Rape ; Jul 26, 2008
Kidnapping , Boonville , CA ; Jul 26, 2008 (Information valid as of September 24, 2010)
Television Airings:
»September 25, 2010

Police released this photo of the truck driven by Jose Garibay on the night of July 26, 2008. Garibay is wanted in Mendocino County for kidnapping and rape.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Randi Rhodes: The Whole Truthness

It’s Friday, ya bastids!
Everyone’s a comedian—even some people who don’t intend to be. Among the intentionally funny, Stephen Colbert testified in front of Congress today (video below). He was playing a character, like a lot of people who testify before Congress. But this was performance, not perjury. Colbert testified about the conditions facing America’s undocumented farm laborers. He spent a day packing corn as part of a challenge from the United Farm Workers. It gave Colbert a chance to see what farm workers do, and to do a “corn-packing” joke in front of a Congressional committee. The hardest part for Stephen Colbert was to play enough of a rightwing lunatic to differentiate himself from the real rightwing lunatics. Representative Steve King of Iowa actually said to Colbert today that American workers “would prefer the aroma of fresh dirt to that of the sewage of American elitists who disparage them even as they flush.” Wow. It’s impossible to tell who the satirist is. Stephen Colbert makes a mockery of rightwingers by pretending to be one. Steve King makes a mockery of rightwingers by actually being one.
Meanwhile, The Daily Show pointed out that there wasn’t anything new in the Republicans’ “Pledge to America” yesterday (video). Nothing has been re-thought. Hell, nothing has even been rephrased. Even high school kids who lift a Wikipedia article for an assignment go through and change some of the wording. The clips show Republicans repeating the same things verbatim that they’ve been saying for decades. The only difference is that videotape back in the 90’s was a lot grainier. If Republicans were this into recycling all the time, we would be the most environmentally conscious nation on earth.
Finally, in a case of comic ineptitude, rightwing media reported yesterday that the Israeli delegation boycotted President Obama’s speech at the UN. In fact, the Israeli delegation was absent because they were observing the Jewish holiday Sukkot. Video showing the empty seats of the Israeli delegation and was posted on Real Clear Politics. Evidently the folks at Real Clear Politics aren’t real clear on the Jewish calendar. Blogger Jim Hoft posted a headline that yelled “BREAKING: ISRAELI DELEGATION SKIPS OBAMA’S UN SPEECH.” Sorry Jim, that’s not breaking news. That’s breaking the most basic rules of news reporting. But then I guess you were going for laughs, not facts.
Today’s Homework Discuss

Thom's blog
Shrink the Government by Raising Taxes
When we have unfunded tax cuts, taxpayers get government services - from parks to schools to welfare and expanded unemployment payments - at a lower cost than they did before the tax cuts. And, like with anything else, lower cost translates into more demand. Former libertarian CATO Institute chairman William A. Niskanen discovered the tipping point: whenever taxes are below 19 percent of GDP, government grows in size and spending (usually military, but others as well) like a fat man at a pie-eating contest. As Atlantic Monthly writer Jonathan Rauch noted, "the way to limit the growth of government is to force politicians, and therefore voters, to pay for all the government they use - not to give them a discount." And that means raising taxes to a point above 19 percent of GDP.
Read more in chapter two of Rebooting the American Dream, "Roll Back The Reagan Tax Cuts!".
Each day you can find more about how to reboot the American dream, one chapter per week, usually in the right hand column of the newsletter.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Agent Orange`s Lemon Pledge

Today, big parts of healthcare reform kick in… and Republicans announced their plans to kick it to death.
On the positive side, many of the provisions of President Obama’s healthcare reform begin today. After today, a lot of the pre-existing conditions in the healthcare system itself will cease to exist. Starting now, insurance companies will no longer be allowed to exclude children because of pre-existing health conditions. Using the term “pre-existing condition” about a young child is tantamount to saying they were just born wrong. After today insurers can no longer impose lifetime limits on coverage. That should extend a few lifetimes… but then I guess that’s basically what health insurers were afraid of in the first place. Also, now kids can stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26, which makes a lot of sense. With the way the economy is, most people under 30 are still living with their parents anyway. And now insurers can’t drop you after you get sick if they can find a technical mistake on your application. So if you have a problem with your colon, you can’t be dropped because of a misplaced semi-colon on your application. Speaking of which, now preventive procedures, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations must be covered without co-payments—because the only thing worse than having your breasts mashed into tortillas is being charged to have it done. Free colonoscopies are good news, too. Now you can’t be charged for having a camera put up your butt, provided of course, that it’s being done by a doctor.
Which reminds me of what Republicans want to do to you. Today the Republicans unveiled their “Pledge to America.” It’s 21 pages long. Does it really take that long to say “destroy the middle class”? This plan doesn’t move America forward, it divvies America up between the rich. “The Pledge to America!” At least they’re smart enough not to use the term “contract” any more. Too many mob jokes last time. But is “pledge” the best term to use when your plan is being introduced by John Boehner? When I think John Boehner and pledge, I think Lemon Pledge—brings out wood’s natural shine! Well, the plan was unveiled today by Boehner at a lumber company in Virginia! Honestly. John, we told you never to pose in front of wood! Your complexion makes you blend right in. A lumber company? Perfect. I can’t think of a better place to present a bunch of dead wood.
Nevada Tea Party senate candidate Sharron Angle rails against health coverage for autism and maternity leave…

Thom's blog
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The Thom Hartmann Program Moves to the Capital
New York, September 23, 2010. The internationally syndicated Thom Hartmann Program is moving its base of operations to Washington, DC, from Portland, OR. Starting in October, Hartmann will be broadcasting his show from the nation's capital, building out a brand new radio and TV studio in a space contiguous with Talk Radio News Service.

"This is a great opportunity for us, broadcasting from the belly of the beast," said Hartmann. "For a political talk show it doesn't get any better, and we're also very excited to have access to the extraordinary news resources of TRNS, which have been a part of our show for nearly eight years."

About The Thom Hartmann Program

The Thom Hartmann Program, now in its eighth year, is syndicated by the Dial-Global, Pacifica, and Free Speech TV networks. It's carried on more than 130 terrestrial radio stations and cable TV systems, as well as American Forces Radio, both Sirius and XM, and simulcast as live television on both DirectTV and Dish Network.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Disappearing Act

Time for a quick peek at Christine O’Donnell before she mutters a spell and disappears. Last night on Sean Hannity’s show she said she is “not going to do any more national media.” She claims she only appeared on Hannity because she “had some business in New York.” What’s that mean? That she figured out she could get her campaign to pay for free trip to New York for her if she went on the show? Christine claims she’s not doing any more national media so that she can “focus on the people of Delaware.” More specifically, she’s going to focus on that roughly 30 percent who are dumb enough to vote for her.
In reference to witchcraft, O’Donnell repeated her “Who didn’t do some questionable things in high school?” line. That depends, Christine. Are we talking about sneaking a cigarette behind the gym, or worshipping Satan? In my school, not a lot of kids went through the “Satanic picnic” phase. Sure, there was the black lipstick crowd, listening to Bauhaus on their Walkmans. But actual Satanic alters with actual Satanic picnic baskets… not so much. O’Donnell said that her dabbling in witchcraft was, quote, “rebellion.” What? Staying out past curfew isn’t good enough for you? You have to worship the Devil? I went through my rebellious phase. It involved spiky hair and a lot of bracelets. I wasn’t standing on a pentagram trying to summon the Anti-Christ.

But Christine isn’t the only nut in the campaign trail mix. A new poll shows Andrew Cuomo with just a 6-point lead over Carl Paladino in the race for Governor of New York. Oh. My. God. Carl Paladino should not be within 6 points in a poll for governor. Carl Paladino should not be within 6 miles of the governor’s office. They really should come up with some kind of restraining order, just to be safe. In the poll, 40 percent of New Yorkers say the most important trait in a candidate is that he’ll “bring change.” Carl Paladino will certainly bring change. But then so would a giant asteroid striking the earth. Governor Carl Paladino would be a disaster on a level with an asteroid strike or a tsunami. If he gets elected, New York State should become eligible for federal disaster relief… assuming such a thing still exists if Senator Christine O’Donnell has her way.

Jimmy Carter discusses the Tea Party and Fox News with Jon Stewart…

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Will Obamacare Cover Sick Children?
Some key parts of the new health care law are kicking in next week. Insurers will no longer be able to cap the amount of care they will provide or deny coverage to sick children. Children will be able to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26 and we will have some more rights in appealing insurer's decisions. In response, the major health insurance companies in California and many other states have decided to stop selling policies for children rather than comply with a new federal healthcare law that bars them from rejecting children with preexisting medical conditions. Meanwhile, an Associated Press poll has discovered that the nation still doesn't really know what's in the health care law, yet believe that health care reform will cause their taxes to rise. The fact that most Americans don't have a clue about the benefits to them with Obamacare, much less even realize that many of those benefits kick in next week, is a sad commentary on the messaging incompetence of Tim Kaine's DNC and Barack Obama's White House. There are even some blue dog Democrats campaigning on their vote against Obamacare. The White House and the Democratic party have a great story to tell of many legislative accomplishments, and if they don't start telling it, loudly and effectively, they can expect even worse electoral losses in November.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Randi Rhodes: The Whinning Rich

It seems that the rich really enjoy their fine whines. At yesterday’s town hall meeting, a Wall Street hedge fund manager told President Obama about the suffering his people undergo. He said “I represent the Wall Street community. We have felt like a piñata.” I know he was trying to be self-pitying, but the piñata analogy is actually illustrative in a number of ways. Wall Street types ARE like a piñata. They’re stuffed full of sweets while the rest of us are hungry. And the similarities don’t stop there. They’re suspended high above the rest of us. And now it looks like their plan is to have themselves hauled up even higher so they’re completely out of the reach of all of us blindfolded little children down below. Wall Street is also like a piñata in the sense that all of the goodies are sealed up in this artificial construction where they can’t do anybody any good. And now Wall Street wants to take all the rest of the candy and seal that up in piñatas too, so they can sit on it to ride their way through this recession.
Piñatas are made to be opened up eventually, you jerks! That’s why they’re at the party in the first place. If this hedge fund moron was putting together a child’s birthday party, he’d have the piñata out of reach for the kiddies the entire time. And what would you have then? A full piñata and a bunch of crying children. Happy Birthday! OK, at this point, the analogy breaks down, because now it’s the people who have the piñata all sealed up for themselves who are whining and crying. Half of the little kids who can’t get at the piñata don’t even know what’s going on. They’re just walking around blindfolded by entities like Fox News and FreedomWorks, swinging their sticks in whatever direction they’re told to.
The hedge fund guy had gone to law school with Barack Obama. Now he’s a hedge fund manager, and Obama is President of the United States. Thank God that President Obama told this moron that if he’s making a billion dollars a year while so many people are out of work, maybe he shouldn’t feel so put upon. This man’s secretary pays higher taxes than he does. And he probably had her write up the questions he wanted to whack Obama with at this town meeting—the questions about how poor hedge fund managers are always getting beat up on. Enjoy the whine. There’s more where that came from
Today’s Homework Discuss
The chart below compares the Dem and GOP tax cut plans – click for full size (source: Washington Post)

Thom's blog
Voodoo Economic Death Panel
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has announced that if Republicans regain control over Congress, they will destroy the sweeping Wall Street reform and shred the newly created consumer protection bureau. Shelby said, "The bill is so sweeping and such a game changer in many ways that it's incumbent upon us to revisit it." Translation to English: "if Republicans get power they're going to hand our economy and our money back to their Wall Street masters. Meanwhile, Jacob "Jack" Lew, a former top executive at Citigroup who assisted Former President Bill Clinton in the deregulation of Wall Street, was tapped by President Barack Obama for a top White House post. Sen. Bernie Sanders asked Lew if he believed that the "deregulation of Wall Street, pushed by people like Alan Greenspan [and] Robert Rubin, contributed significantly to the disaster we saw on Wall Street." Lew said, "...I don't believe that deregulation was the proximate cause." Apparently the Obama administration is joining the Bush and Clinton administrations in handing control of our economy back to a few billionaires on Wall Street. For the American middle class this in the real voodoo economic death panel.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obama makes short work of hedge fund manager at today's townhall meeting:

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Randi Rhodes: Spellbound

Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn, and caldron bubble! Video has surfaced of Christine O’Donnell claiming that she had “dabbled in witchcraft.” I believe it. It’s hard to explain her success without at least considering that she has a deal with the Devil. What’s this woman’s recipe for electoral victory? Boil up a cauldron of Tea Party anger, and throw in some eye of newt and wing of bat? I’m just waiting for O’Donnell to blame all of her problems on her meddling mother, Endora. Now there’s only one way to settle this—throw Christine O’Donnell in a lake, and see if she floats.
In 1999 on Bill Maher’s “Politically Incorrect,” Christine said “One of my first dates with a witch was on a satanic altar, and I didn’t know it.” She didn’t know it? That doesn’t speak well for her intelligence. “Nice dorm room, Jerry. What’s with all the pentagrams and black candles?” She went on to describe the date like this: “We went to a movie and then had a little midnight picnic on a satanic altar.” What? No goat sacrifice? I think this is the first time that the words “satanic” and “picnic” have been used in the same sentence. Just how evil can something that involves potato salad be? What are you going to do? Conjure up the Lord of Darkness and offer him some cold chicken? “Welcome, my Dark Master! Hey! Weren’t you supposed to bring the dessert?”
The first thing O’Donnell did after the witchcraft comments surfaced was to cancel her appearances on all the Sunday morning talk shows. I don’t know—when you’re accused of witchcraft, is it wise to pull a disappearing act? (By the way, if appearing on all of the Sunday talk shows is called “the Full Ginsburg,” then I think that canceling appearances on all of the Sunday talk shows should be called the “Full Rand Paul.”) O’Donnell is trying to deflect the witchcraft thing by joking about it. At a rally in over the weekend, Christine joked “How many of you didn’t hang out with questionable folks in high school?” If you mean the guy who put booze in the prom punchbowl, yes. If you mean the guy with the satanic altar, that would be no. I never hung out with the Satan-worshiper crowd in high school. They were too busy palling around with the future conservatives. I’m willing to wait and see how all this witchcraft stuff pans out. We’ll know something’s up if a house ends up falling on Christine O’Donnell.
Today’s Homework Discuss

Thom's blog
A Blood Oath
Roll Call is reporting that congressman Steve King (R-IA) is now demanding a "blood oath" from House Minority Leader John Boehner to to shut down the Government. King said, "We must not blink," noting that money cannot be spent without the House voting to pass it. King added, "If the House says no, it's no." and if a government shutdown happens, he wants to ensure "there wouldn't be a repeat of 1995 where the House caved." Karl Rove, the Chamber of Commerce, and other business groups have already raised over $400 million to spend on destroying Democrats this November, and if they seize control of the House, expect a repeat of the disastrous 90s with unending investigations of the president and other Democrats, and a disaster for working people in America.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Randi Rhodes: a Rally for the Rest of Us!

It’s Friday, ya bastids!
A rally for the rest of us! John Stewart and Stephen Colbert are having “competing” rallies on the National Mall on October 30th (video below). It’s not entirely clear that this is for real, but then I could say the same thing about Glenn Beck’s rally. Well, at least this will be one rally with a lot fewer misspelled signs. If it is just a joke, then neither Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert would show up. Then the mall will just be full of a bunch of confused people. And again, we’re back to a Glenn Beck rally.
As Paul Krugman points out in an excellent column, Mitch McConnell is holding the middle class hostage so he can try and force through the tax cuts for the rich. Raising taxes on the middle class in an economic slump would be disastrous. So the GOP is in effect threatening to plunge the entire US economy into a depression, unless we go along with tax policies that will… well, plunge the entire US economy into a depression.
The recession we already have has put the poverty rate at a 15-year high. 14.3 percent of Americans live in poverty. Californian, the largest state, is home to about 12 percent of the US population. If poverty were a state, it would be the biggest state in the United States. Americans have survived by sharing homes with parents and other relatives. There’s been an 11.6 percent increase in multi-family homes over the past two years. America isn’t moving forward… it’s moving back in with its folks. So not only are there unemployment lines, now there are lines for the bathroom in the morning too.
Finally, staffers from previous Christine O’Donnell campaigns are speaking out about what a disaster she was. In 2008 O’Donnell was obsessed with an idea to distribute 100,000 packets of suntan lotion with the slogan “Don’t Get Burned By Higher Taxes. Vote Christine O’Donnell 2008.” If she used the suntan packets in her last campaign, she could have used the slogan “Help Christine O’Donnell Smear Mike Castle!” She was also convinced that she could be the keynote speaker at the Republican Convention, and even booked a trip to St. Paul to try. Did she really think that an unqualified dingbat could just waltz in and address the Republican Convention? Besides Sarah Palin, I mean.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity announcement:

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Thom's blog
The United States of CEOs
Last week, in a San Bruno, California, neighborhood, a natural gas pipeline exploded in a thunderous sound heard for miles destroying homes and killed at least four people. Now, a consumer advocacy group has found that the company that operated the faulty pipeline, Pacific Gas & Energy (PG&E), had classified the pipe as a high risk and yet did not use the funds it had collected from a rate hike to repair it. Meanwhile, all over the nation states and cities are increasingly outsourcing facilities and infrastructure to private, for-profit companies like PG&E, taking in short term cash to help them through this tough economic time, but turning our infrastructure over to institutions that are set up only to make a profit and not to further the public good. From privatized parking meters to water supplies to toll roads to gas lines, America is increasingly becoming the United States of CEOs, with less and less control, oversight, and influence from We The People.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Randi Rhodes: No Adventures for Old Christine!

Yesterday was the first full day of Christine O’Donnell’s life as the Republican nominee for Senate in Delaware. It’s the closest thing she’s had to a real job in her life. O’Donnell has reported earnings of only $5,800 for most of the past two years. Not that Christine hasn’t found ways around her lack of income. She admitted that her prior campaign had paid half the rent on her townhouse because it doubled as her headquarters. At least she seems to have a plan to solve the housing crisis—her housing crisis. Nonetheless, yesterday the National Republican Senatorial Committee committed $42,000 to her campaign. That should come in handy when her next rent is due.
Responding to Karl Rove’s criticism of Christine O’Donnell, Sarah Palin said that Karl should “buck up.” Did anyone else notice that Palin mocked Karl Rove for being a “politico”… in her capacity as a political pundit for Fox News? Karl Rove and you have the exact same job description, Sarah. It’s just that his resume doesn’t have as many misspellings. Then last night on O’Reilly, Sarah Palin advised Christine O’Donnell to “speak through Fox News.” It makes it sound like Fox News is some sort of fake psychic who channels voices from the great beyond—in other words, exactly what it is.
Also last night, in a rant bizarre for even him, Glenn Beck attacked Michelle Obama’s program to combat obesity. Don’t worry, Glenn. She’s just going after body fat. You’ll be free to keep your fat head. Beck joked that morbidly obese people should be left to die. Of course, that’s conservatives’ approach to pretty much all healthcare situations if you’re not rich. Beck doesn’t want the government trying to influence what you eat. He wants corporations to be able to trick you into eating things like high fructose corn syrup by labeling it as “corn sugar.” Finally, Christine O’Donnell’s former gay aide is speaking out. The aide, Wade Richards, fell for one of those “curing homosexuality” scams and joined up with Christine O’Donnell in her SALT organization. After Richards finally came out as gay, he says he never heard from Christine O’Donnell ever again. We should all be so lucky.

Thom's blog
North to Alaska?
Scientists fear declining Arctic sea ice is causing a rare mass migration of thousands of walrus from ice floes to dry land along Alaska's coast. Researchers from the US Geological Survey (USGS) who track walrus movements say 10,000 to 20,000 of the animals, mainly mothers and calves, are now congregating in tightly packed herds on the Alaskan side of the Chukchi Sea, in the first such exodus of its kind. Welcome to the new world of global warming. Human migrations caused by climate change now involve more than 200 million people, most in the regions surrounding Pakistan and Bangladesh. A massive fish kill was reported late Friday at Bayou Chaland. Photos the parish distributed of the area shows an enormous number of dead fish floating atop the water. The fish were found in an area that has been impacted by the oil from the BP oil spill, the parish said. A recent fish kill in nearby St. Bernard Parish was attributed to low oxygen levels in the water, presumably also from the BP oil spill.
Thom's blog
The Tea Party Win - The Leading Cry of the Rich?
Continuing the "GOP nightmare," Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell (DE), who doesn't believe in evolution and says masturbation is the same as adultery, beat longtime Republican congressman Mike Castle in Delaware's Republican Senate primary. In response to his unexpected loss, Castle chose to call the Democratic candidate Chris Coons over O'Donnell last night, and confirmed that he "will not be endorsing" O'Donnell in the general election. In New York, Buffalo multimillionaire and Tea Party candidate Carl Paladino won the Republican gubernatorial nomination over former congressman Rick Lazio. Paladino had forwarded racist and pornographic e-mails to friends, and Democrats generally are regarding both of these wins as good news. Given that the Tea Party was started and funded by a small group of oil billionaires and lobbyists, they shouldn't be taken for granted - and may even be the leading edge of the final total corporatist takeover of America, much as populist uprisings in Spain, Italy, and Germany in the 1930s all turned into regimes run for the very rich - the dictionary definition of fascism. The leading cry of the rich? "No taxes on rich people to pay to help working people, no rights for workers, and no regulation of corporate activity." Ironically, these are also the main messages of the Tea Party. Even some mainstream Republicans are starting to get worried...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Tea but No A!

Curiouser and curiouser: I’m tempted to say the Republican Party is going off a cliff, but it’s more like they’re going down a rabbit hole. This Tea Party stuff really is like something from Alice in Wonderland. All we need now is the Queen of Hearts yelling “off with their heads.” Come to think of it, I guess that’s Sarah Palin. Last night, fringe Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell won a surprise victory in the Republican Senatorial primary in Delaware. I would say she pulled out a win, but Christine doesn’t approve of pulling anything. It only took some 30,000 votes—Delaware has a closed primary. From the look of the results, it was only open to nutbags. The Republican establishment is not optimistic about their new candidate’s chances of winning the general election. Karl Rove said that in the general election, O’Donnell is going to have to answer questions about “her own checkered background.” And her background is more checkered than Bear Bryant’s hat collection.
Video of Christine O’Donnell’s comments on masturbation have surfaced. Christine says “The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. So you can’t masturbate without lust.” And you know there are guys all over this country pleasuring themselves to this video of Christine saying that. Those guys are masturbating without lust, Christine. They’re masturbating with a mix of contempt and irony. Christine goes on to say “If he already knows what pleases him, and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?” Give yourself a little credit, girl. If you can’t beat a bottle of lotion and a box of Kleenex, you probably shouldn’t be in the game.
O’Donnell’s anti-masturbation group was called SALT. What does a crusade against masturbation have to do with SALT? I could see it if it was saltpeter, but that’s a long acronym to have to think up a name for. SALT actually stands for “Savior’s Alliance For Lifting the Truth.” That’s an odd name for an anti-masturbation group. Wouldn’t the name “Stop All Lascivious Touching” be better? There! I did a better acronym off the top of my head than the one Christine O’Donnell came up with. I think masturbation must clear the mind.
Today’s Homework Discuss
Bill Maher talks tea on Larry King...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Don`t Drink The Kool-aid Tea

It’s Election Day, again—this the last round of primaries before the big dance in November. It’s been interesting so far, thanks to Tea Party extremists. Seven candidates supported by the National Republican Senatorial Committee have already fallen this year. The Republicans have a bigger problem with the Tea Party than the Democrats do. The Democrats have to defeat these nutbags to survive. The Republicans have to accommodate these nutbags to survive. If Democrats face barbarians at the gates, Republicans are facing barbarians inside the gates. And it may be a Tea Party, but they’re serving Kool-Aid.
Nobody is doing more to make Tea Party Kool-Aid the drink of choice for the Republican Party than Newt Gingrch. Recently, Newt said that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” view of the world. Does that make Newt Gingrich’s view of the world colonial? Vote for Newt—he’ll put Gunga Din in his place! Newt’s “Kenyan” comment is just part of the latest rage in conservative circles—to paint President Obama as some sort of “African colonial.” In other words, to paint him as black as possible. I suppose that’s all pretty scary to people who think the biggest thing the world has to fear at this point is a Zulu uprising. It’s called “highbrow birtherism.” There’s an oxymoron. Highbrow birtherism? Is that anything like “the thinking man’s racism”?
Can it get any worse? The answer to that is “Glenn Beck.” While the rest of the rightwing is living in a 19th century colonial pipe dream, Glenn Beck has taken it a step further and moved back to the 18th century and the French Revolution. Glenn Beck is trying to convince his followers that the left is about to explode into an orgy of violence if we don’t get our way in the next elections. It’s like the bubbling pot is saying the kettle is about to boil over! The left is going to get violent? Glenn, if we were able to sit on our hands through the nightmare of the Bush years, we can put up with anything. Besides, the left doesn’t need violence. In every imaginable demographic, this country is getting more and more progressive. It’s happening slowly, but inexorably. We’re getting more progressive… well, progressively. As Jim Morrison said 40 years ago, “they got the guns, but we got the numbers.” This coming election may be a setback—or not—but it won’t be a change of course.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Pulling a Boehner

On Sunday John Boehner said he would support tax cuts for the middle class with no tax cuts for the rich if that were his only option. Obviously, John Boehner forgot to not think before he spoke. Later in the day Boehner tried to walk back his comments. That makes more sense. You know John Boehner said something wrong when John Boehner says something right. The New York Times has a great article about John Boehner’s ties to lobbyists. And John Boehner is tied into lobbyists like Harry Houdini is tied into a straightjacket. Since 2000 Boehner has flown at least 45 times on corporate jets owned by companies like RJ Reynolds. He’s flown on planes owned by the tobacco industry more times than he’s flown on planes owned by the airline industry. In the same time period, Boehner has also had at least 41 trips paid for by corporate sponsors, mostly to exclusive golf spots. He’s either peddling influence or planning on winning the Masters Tournament. I wonder how that green jacket would go with John Boehner’s orange face.
A Quran-burning in Amarillo, Texas this weekend was thwarted by a 23-year old skateboarder who swooped in and snatched away the Quran before it could be burned (video). Normally I would tell a 23-year old skateboarder to grow up. However in this crowd, he’s clearly the most mature person there. The skateboarder said he snuck up behind the would be Quran burner “and told him, ‘Dude, you have no Quran,’ and took off.” It sounds like a scene from something called “Harold and Kumar Thwart Religious Intolerance.” The skateboarder handed the kerosene-soaked Quran over to a local Muslim leader. If they decide to put it to use, I hope they have non-smoking mosque.
If you like gratuitous obscenity with your intolerance, check out this video (below) of the anti-mosque rally on 9/11 in New York. There’s one guy who stands out as really crazy. Do you know how hard that is to do in a gathering like this? I didn’t know you could string together a rant that long using only the “f-word” and “Muslims.” Substitute the c-word for “Muslims” and you’ve got a transcription of Mel Gibson’s telephone rants. It’s nothing but “F*** the Muslims!” I’ll give the man this—that’s the best summation of the arguments against the mosque that I’ve heard yet.
Today’s Homework Discuss
WARNING—this video is definitely not safe for work, unless you’re a receptionist in the offices of the American Nazi Party:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Terry Burns Himself!

It's Friday, ya bastids!
Well, if you’re planning on attending tomorrow’s big Quran burning, you better check before you load up the car with Qurans and kerosene. Nobody seems to know exactly what’s going on. The best guess now is that Pastor Jones will spend 9/11 standing over a pile of Qurans with a Zippo lighter in his hand. What happened? I think Pastor Terry Jones is a guy who is used to having followers who believe him, even if he says the sky is green. Now he’s standing in front of cameras saying the sky is green, and the real world isn’t buying it. Well Pastor, that’s what happens when you try to expand your sphere of influence beyond 40 or 50 lunatics. There were a lot of twists in the story yesterday, which is what you expect dealing with someone as twisted as Terry Jones. He said they had a deal to cancel the Quran burning if the so-called Ground Zero mosque was moved. That boils down to “we won’t attack you if you do as we say.” I think the technical term for that is “extortion.” Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Pastor Terry yesterday. I don’t know exactly what Robert Gates said to him, and I suspect that Pastor Terry doesn’t either. Pastor Terry probably thinks Robert Gates offered to move the Pentagon to another location because it has a mosque inside of it. Now Pastor Terry says he is “rethinking” the Quran burning. Re-thinking? This episode shows precious little evidence of any thinking in the first place. This is the most drawn out, agonized, absurd decision since Brett Favre’s last retirement.
By the way, what is up with Pastor Terry’s absurd facial hair? I know you live in the 19th century, Pastor, but you don’t have to look like it. At least get a monocle and a walking stick to complete the look. Pastor Terry looks like Chester A. Arthur. Not a lot of people know who that is. And if the world was rational, we could say the same thing about Pastor Terry.On a lighter note, check out this comically impassioned speech from a guy named Phil Davison trying to be selected (he wasn’t) as the GOP nominee for Treasurer of Stark County, Ohio (video below). Phil looks like he’s at wrestling smack down. I’m glad his opponent wasn’t there—Phil might have hit him with a folding chair. I would wish Phil success in his future career, but I’m afraid of how worked up he would get if he ever ran for something beyond Stark County Treasurer.

Today’s Homework Discuss

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Agent Orange

Barack Obama is trying to make John Boehner the face of the Republican opposition—the day-glo orange face of the opposition. During his speech in Ohio, President Obama repeatedly called out House Minority leader John Boehner by name. The good news for Boehner is that the President didn’t intentionally mispronounce his name—always a temptation for anyone. I’m sure John Boehner grew up constantly hearing jokes about his name. Maybe that’s why he developed his habit of never listening to anything anyone else ever says. President Obama himself has called on Pastor Terry Jones to call off his Quran burning. Obama said that “this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform.” I don’t know if would use the word “stunt.” Stunts are for Criss Angel and David Blaine. Nobody would complain if Pastor Terry Jones was freezing himself inside a block of ice. In fact, I would be encouraging him.
Conservatives keep comparing the Quran burning with the plans to build an Islamic center in downtown Manhattan. Not a valid comparison… there’s a big difference between burning somebody’s holy book and building a swimming pool. The Quran burning is an act of provocation. Building the proposed rumpus room is an act of recreation.
Glenn Beck has come out against the burning of the Qurans. I don’t care, I still think it’s a bad idea. Beck posted his objections on his blog. I don’t know if the best place to object to a book burning is on a blog called “The Blaze.”
Finally, it’s being reported that a big $30 million bio pic glorifying Ronald Reagan is in the works. Great—yet another Ronald Reagan movie with absolutely no connection to reality. If this movie is going to be true to the spirit of Ronald Reagan, the production will end up having a huge budget deficit. And who are they going to get to play Ronald Reagan? All I know is that Ronald Reagan did a pretty crappy job of it.
The man behind the NYC Islamic center defended the project last night on CNN:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Randi Rhodes: The Summer of Hate Rolls on

This Saturday is Pastor Terry Jones big International Burn a Quran Day. I like that Pastor Terry Jones calls it International Burn a Quran Day. I guess that’s because it’s intended to bring people all over the world farther apart. Pastor Jones’ church is called “Dove World Outreach Center.” Right, if by “outreach,” they mean extending the finger to the rest of the world. And isn’t the dove the symbol of peace? It hardly seems right to use “dove” in the name of this church. But then who would go to a church called the “Vulture World Outreach Center”? Probably the same people who will be there this Saturday. The city of Gainesville denied the church a permit to burn the Qurans on public safety grounds. If they mean fire safety, I’m sure most of the people burning the Qurans have extensive experience in burning crosses. The permit denial also cited environmental concerns. One thing is for sure—the atmosphere at the burning is going to be extremely toxic.
Why have no conservative leaders spoken out against the Quran burning? Because it’s hard to condemn hate and intolerance when you’re trying to ride hate and intolerance to electoral victory. Neither George Bush nor John McCain nor Mitch McConnell nor Eric Cantor have said so much as a peep against the Quran burning. Note that I didn’t include John Boehner. Today Boehner said a peep. And I do mean a peep.
This morning on Good Morning America, when George Stephanopoulos asked Boehner if he was telling Pastor Jones not to do it, Boehner paused a long time (video). I mean a long time. How long? Like Jan-Brewer-trying-to-read-her-notes-during-a-debate long, that’s how long. Boehner was silent so long that Stephanopoulos had to ask the question again. And Boehner’s silence at that point said a lot more than the answer he eventually gave. Finally he said “Well, listen, I just think it’s not wise to do this in the face of what our country represents.” Not wise? That’s not the strongest condemnation of religious intolerance I’ve ever heard. How would John Boehner describe the Spanish Inquisition? As “ill-advised”? Not wise, John? “Not wise” is not how you describe an act of bigotry and intolerance and provocation. “Not wise” is how you describe drinking milk after the expiration date. It’s “not wise” to burn aerosol cans. It’s hateful to burn someone’s holy book.
Today’s Homework Discuss

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Randi Rhodes: Barkin’ About Jobs

Well I hope everybody had a nice Labor Day off. Of course, that’s only possible if you’ve had any days on recently, and a lot of us haven’t. You don’t really celebrate Labor Day when you don’t have a job. At that point, Labor Day just basically serves to remind you that you’re not working. As Robert Reich points out in an excellent column, this is the worst Labor Day in the memory of most Americans. And I’m including that year you got sick from the potato salad. When the unemployment rate is up around 10 percent, and organized labor is down to about 7 percent of the private work force, Labor Day stops being a celebration of labor, and more like a memoriam for labor. Labor Day is quickly becoming a day that we pause to remember all the jobs we lost.
Not that the President isn’t doing his best to change that. This Labor Day, President Obama called for a long-term jobs program to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure. We need jobs, and we need this work done. It makes such perfect sense that you know Republicans will oppose it. It would help the economy, it would help the country… it would help everything except Republican electoral hopes in November. This is exactly what this country needs… a year and a half ago. Oh well, better the Democratic plan, which is late, than the Republican plan, which is never. The program would rebuild America’s roads, rail lines, and runways. Refurbishing our transportation systems—what better way to get America moving again? The plan would rebuild 150,000 miles of roads. Next to that, any Republican alternatives just look like so much bad road. And that is basically the Republican alternative—unemployment and pot-holes. The White House proposes to raise the money for the program by eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry. As though the mere prospect of job creation wasn’t enough to get Republicans to oppose it! Republicans will support a plan to create jobs by getting rid of subsidies for big oil when they support a plan to pay for gay weddings by taxing assault rifles.
During the speech, Obama said his opponents “talk about me like a dog” (video below). True enough. I half expected to see Mitch McConnell or John Boehner threatening Obama with a rolled up newspaper. Well, with this Labor Day speech, this dog is finally starting to show some bark. I hope he’s got some bite before Election Day comes around.
Today’s Homework Discuss