Friday, May 31, 2013

Last Call For Illinois Equality

Same-sex marriage in the states has been on a real roll as of late, but it's run into a roadblock in the Land of Lincoln, and once again it's African-Americans unfairly taking the heat as homophobes.

Stubborn resistance within the House Black Caucus, a 20-member bloc of African-American lawmakers who have faced a withering lobbying blitz against the plan from black ministers, has helped keep Harris’ legislation in check, with several House members still undecided.

“For me, there’s really no net gain for me one way or another. I’m hearing equally. Do I philosophically disagree? No, I don’t. But I would like to see absolute protections for churches and religious organizations so they’re not pushed into something they don’t want,” said Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood). “For me, [a decision] will literally be when the bill comes up and after I sit and listen.”

Several in the caucus have urged Harris to push the issue into the fall veto session — after which nominating petitions for the 2014 ballot have to be filed — to bring up same-sex marriage for a House vote.

The sense I have is blacks are tired of being lobbied or targeted. They’ve kind of turned back on some of the advocates and lobbyists and are asking, ‘Why don’t you get some Republicans?’” one high-level Democratic insider said Friday.

And yes, black ministers are certainly in the wrong here...but so are Republicans.

Two House Republicans have publicly endorsed the legislation, Rep. Ed Sullivan (R-Antioch) and Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove). A likely third GOP supporter, Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Westchester), switched to a no as he contemplated a possible run for House Republican leader.

Quinn has spent weeks pitching rank-and-file members, and Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined the effort in making calls Thursday, when at least five black House members, including Davis, reported hearing from Madigan.

Only 3 Republicans out of  47 are even considering the vote.  Why are LGBT advocates in Illinois stupidly hanging the shame solely on African-American legislators?

Oh yes, that's been the plan all along, to fracture the Democrats when the real bad guys are the Republicans.

How Much For Just One Rib?

The answer to Chris Rock's eternal question in I'm Gonna Git You Sucka is apparently "three to five years, and fifty for the rack."

All Willie Smith Ward wanted was his baby-back ribs, but it cost him 50 years in prison.
His problems started when he tucked a large rack under his shirt and tried to leave the H-E-B store at 1102 Speight Ave. without paying in September 2011.

A jury in Waco’s 19th State District Court also didn’t like the 43-year-old Ward’s previous five felony and four misdemeanor convictions and recommended that Ward be sentenced to 50 years in prison as a habitual criminal.

Jurors took two minutes Wednesday to convict Ward on robbery charges and about an hour to decide his punishment.

Ward’s theft of the $35 rack of pork ribs turned into a robbery when he threatened a grocery store employee who saw the huge bulge under Ward’s shirt and tried to stop him in the parking lot.

“This verdict shows that the citizens of this county will not tolerate a continued disrespect and disregard for other people and their property,” said Assistant District Attorney J.R. Vicha, who prosecuted Ward with Chris Bullajian. “People who choose to do so will be dealt with seriously and appropriately.”

50 years for a rack of ribs is "serious and appropriate"?

Willie Smith Ward 

Oh, NOW it is, right?

Captain Cavemaaaaaaaaaaan!

Unga-bunga, me Erick Erickson, me knuckle-dragger who think women should stay in kitchen.  Me go on FOX News to talk science:
“I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology — when you look at the natural world — the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role.”

Sure it is.  Just ask praying mantises, or lions, or seahorses, or... know what, I'm not doing this guy's biology homework again.  Let him flunk.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Last Call For Second Amendment Remedies

Tell me again how the Tea Party is a non-violent movement of "concerned citizens" again and not a bunch of heavily armed bullies making threats.

A caller on a tea party-sponsored conference call Wednesday suggested that the way to change Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)’s mind on immigration reform would be to “shoot her.” According to Think Progress, the violent suggestion was not condemned, but met with hoots of laughter by others on the call.

Far-right conservative group The Eagle Forum held the call, which featured Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’s communications director Stephen Miller and the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector. The suggestion that Collins should be shot came when the call moderator turned the discussion over to callers.

An individual identified as “Bob from Maine” said, “I’m from Maine and our tea party will be meeting up next week. What is the best way that we can get our senator to listen to us?”

Shoot her,” said another caller, who did not identify himself.

The call to violence was met with laughter by the people on the conference call. No one on the line raised any audible objection.

Hmm.  There's a term for using violence or the threat of violence to affect a political outcome, but apparently we only reserve such a term for those of a darker-skinned or non-Christian persuasion.  I'm sure joking about assassinating members of Congress is all fun and games until one of them gets shot in the head or something.

Keep it up, conservatives.

What Did News Corporation Know, Part 2

So the amnesia factory that is News Corp is still denying the Department of Justice ever told them about the James Rosen subpoenas three years ago, and the DoJ apparently has had quite enough of this nonsense and went to CNN to prove it.

Under fire for seeking records of journalists' communications, government officials pushed back Wednesday against statements from Fox News that it was not notified about government subpoenas to the organization.

On Wednesday a law enforcement official showed CNN paperwork to support Justice's claim that on August 27, 2010 three messages were sent out about the subpoenas and went to both a lawyer for Fox News' parent company, News Corporation, and reporter James Rosen.

The Justice Department subpoenas were for two days of phone records in 2009 during a national security leak investigation. The department said it notified Fox News about seeking toll records for five phone lines but did not tell them about seeking access to Rosen's personal email traffic. When news of the search warrant became public, Fox News released a statement acknowledging Rosen was the reporter described in the affidavit and expressing outrage.

The official said two notifications were sent to Lawrence Jacobs who was the senior counsel for News Corporation. The law enforcement official showed CNN a fax receipt with a time stamp to show something was faxed to Jacobs at precisely 4:09 pm on August 27. In addition, CNN was shown a U.S. Postal Service certified mail receipt indicating a registered letter was sent to Jacobs the same day. The official did not show the messages sent to Jacobs.

So yes News Corp, you were told in August 2010 about this.  Stop acting all surprised.  You knew, you said nothing then, but are screaming bloody murder now?  Have a damn seat.

Letters From A Boring Ham, Jailed

Remember the guy calling for a mass armed march on Washington DC as a gentle reminder we live in a country with millions of heavily armed assholes who equate their gun rights to manifest destiny?  He's back, and he's skipping the "civil disobedience demonstration" stage and going right to the "call for armed insurrection" stage.

About a month ago, a gun activist named Adam Kokesh called for thousands of people to join him in an armed march on Washington, D.C. to “put the government on notice that we will not be intimidated & cower in submission to tyranny.” As of this writing, nearly 5,200 people have RSVPed for Kokesh’s armed march.

Late last week, however, Kokesh decided to abandon this march in favor of a much larger effort to bring down the entire federal government. In a statement written from a jail cell in Philadelphia (Kokesh faced charges for allegedly resisting arrest during a pro-marijuana rally. He now says he’s been released), the gun activist called for his supporters to form a secessionist “army”:

Roll the manifesto music, boys.

A new American revolution is long overdue. This revolution has been brewing in the hearts and minds of the people for many years, but this Independence Day, it shall take a new form as the American Revolutionary Army will march on each state capital to demand that the governors of these 50 states immediately initiate the process of an orderly dissolution of the federal government through secession and reclamation of federally held property. Should one whole year from this July 4th pass while the crimes of this government are allowed to continue, we may have passed the point at which non-violent revolution becomes impossible.

Good luck with your single brigade spread over 50 state capitals there, ace.  That's what, a largish platoon of douchebags at each statehouse versus local cops, who can call on state police and national guard if needed?  I'm sure that's going to be totally successful, and the Governors will just fold right then and there.  Also, I'm completely sure they totally won't gas you clowns and put you in prison for a good long time, either.

You get right on your second American Revolution there, skippy.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Last Call For That Syrian No-Fly Zone

A no-fly zone over Syria is not going to happen, folks...and here's why.

Delivery of long-range anti-aircraft missiles to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces “is a stabilizing factor,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, even as Israel denounced the decision. 

“We won’t cancel this contract,” Ryabkov told reporters today in Moscow. “We understand the concerns and the signals that are being sent to us from different capitals. We see that many of our partners are worried about this, but we have no reasons to reconsider our position.”

The S-300 missiles with a range of 200-300 kilometers (186 miles) are a threat to Israel and can reach aircraft over Ben Gurion airport, Yuval Steinitz, Israeli Minister of International Relations, told reporters today. That makes them “not just defensive weapons, but offensive,” he said, calling the Russian move “terribly wrong.”

The exchanges came hours after the European Union authorized arms sales to the Syrian opposition. While Britain and France, the prime movers behind the decision, said there would be no immediate shipments to rebels, both countries said the move was intended to narrow the options for Assad, who has clung to power during two years of civil war that has cost 80,000 Syrian lives.

Ryabkov accused the EU of “pouring oil on the flames of the conflict.” The Russian minister declined to say what stage the S-300 deliveries have reached, but Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the systems have not yet been shipped. “If, by some misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do,” he told reporters today. 

What Israel will do is precisely nothing, because those S-300 SAMs will shred the Israeli Air Force, and they damn well know it.   Getting rid of them, once they're in place, is going to require a serious military effort on the part of Israel (and most likely the US too.)  Since there's no stomach for that in either country, Russia is playing this card to take Israel's air power out of the picture.

That means the Syrian Army can bring in Hezbollah and Iraqi fighters to continue the civil war.  Hell, at this point Syria is turning into Vietnam.

Enjoy the show, folks.  This one's going to be around for a while.

In The Dark Recesses Of The Mind(less)

Apparently all 45 Republican senators, even the "moderate" ones, now believe that every other President in history could make recess appointments except for, well, you know, the black one.

All 45 Republican senators co-signed an amicus brief filed Tuesday calling on the Supreme Court to curtail the President’s power to temporarily appoint nominees without the Senate’s approval.

“[R]ecess appointments have become a means to sidestep Senate confirmation,” the brief declared. “In any case, the President himself has made clear that he will resort to recess appointments, and indeed has done so, precisely to circumvent perceived Senate opposition.”

In January, a three-judge panel on the conservative-leaning D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that President Obama overstepped his constitutional authority when he recess-appointed three members of the National Labor Relations Board. The court decreed that the president may not recess-appoint nominees during pro-forma sessions, when the Senate tends to meet briefly, sometimes just for a few minutes, without holding debate or votes.

The Obama administration has appealed that decision; the Supreme Court has not yet decided whether to take the case. 

See, the wacky part is the President's power to make recess appointments is actually in the Constitution, whereas the Senate using the filibuster and secret holds to block appointments is not.  Republicans suddenly don't care about that anymore, because A) it's not part of the Second Amendment, and B) Obama is a fascist for exercising a power he has used far less than any other remotely recent President, Democratic or Republican.

We'll see what SCOTUS does.

Scouting Out The Backlash

I am completely unsurprised at the fact that the first mega-church to abandon the Boy Scouts over their decision last week to include gay youth in troops is right here in backwards, homophobic, hate-filled Kentucky, just down the road in Louisville.

Southeast Christian Church will break ties with a Boy Scout troop because it believes the youth organization has become too polarizing, its executive pastor said.

The organization’s National Council voted last week to allow openly gay youth but maintained its ban on gay leaders.

Tim Hester, executive pastor of Southeast Christian, said the youth organization’s consideration of that issue started the discussion that eventually led to the church’s board of elders deciding against renewing the church’s charter with Troop 212, but it wasn’t the deciding issue.

The charter was going to be broken regardless of the Boy Scout vote, he said.

“Truly for us it’s a logical decision,” he said. “We cannot be distracted from the mission God has called us to.”

The Scouts have until the end of the year to relocate.

Barry Oxley, CEO of the Boy Scouts’ Lincoln Heritage Council, said Southeast Christian had notified the council earlier this year that scouting would not be offered on its campus in 2014.

He said the Boy Scouts are working to identify a new organization to charter Troop 212 and Cub Scout Pack 212. He said about 300 families participate in Scouting in the two groups at Southeast Christian.

Sure.  Boy Scouts accepting gay members wasn't the "deciding issue" and I'm really the King of Versailles.   Nice message of Jesus's acceptance, tolerance, compassion and humility there, guys...and way to put Kentucky on the map again nationally.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Last Call For News Corp

Following up on last weekend's post about what News Corp knew about the James Rosen case and when it knew it (the DoJ says it informed News Corp three years ago and News Corp is damned if they can find the memo) we find Eric Wemple of the NY Times asking some pretty hard questions like "How the hell do you misplace a DoJ memo informing you of an investigation of one of your own employees?"

Astonishing. The legal world is downright freakish about the handling of documents — everything gets sent through various channels, sign-offs are required and so on. Indeed, the Times quotes a government official as saying that notification of the subpoenas in this case was made by “certified mail, facsimile and e-mail.” It being the 2010s, perhaps no one was standing by the fax machine.

Whatever the notification protocols, it’s not hard to believe that Fox News passed ignorant of the deep governmental snooping in the case. Had it known, after all, it could have gotten a jump start on all the story lines that it has been pushing since last week: That the Obama administration is overreaching, that it targeted Fox News and that Fox News does serious national-security reporting.

But that's exactly what News Corp is claiming:  it never got this information.  Worse, the proof of this is that FOX News would have immediately attacked the Obama administration the second this came to light.

So either this is a crazy long con here, waiting to be played at a moment after Barack Obama had been reelected, or News Corp has the most inept legal department in history.

Which one is it, FOX?

Say What You Really Mean, Steve Rose

I count use of the word "arrogance" or "arrogant" six times including the title of this piece on President Obama's "scandals" by Kansas City Star columnist Steve Rose this weekend.  It's no accident, Rose's pining for the Clinton presidency again, he's backed Hillary over Obama at every turn and basically his hatred of the guy has blown up into a full meltdown.

Barack Obama just had his worst week in a deeply flawed presidency.

It’s not as bad as Jimmy Carter’s presidency, but it’s still one that can make even the most right-wing conservative long for Democrat Bill Clinton.

What Barack Obama has lacked from the beginning is humility, and what he has displayed consistently is arrogance.

He could have nipped the Benghazi fiasco in the bud, but Obama apparently decided that since only Fox News was beating the drums for the truth, he could finesse the ugly matter. Instead of coming clean from the get-go, that this was an act of terrorism, Obama stone-walled. Now, he has a bonafide scandal on his hands.

This guy is supposedly a left-of-center moderate, but here he's buying into the FOX narrative 100%.  It's a dead giveaway which side he's really on when he saves his most vicious hatred for Obamacare:

It was obvious almost from day one, when Obama rammed through Obamacare — a 2,000-page law with now 20,000 pages of regulations — that he would ignore anyone who disagreed with him, whether non-partisan experts or partisan critics. Only he knew the truth, and everyone else was either on board or misguided.

Already, we are starting to see the predictably bloated effects. Take a few examples: St Luke’s Health System and Liberty Hospital have already announced they are laying off hundreds of employees as a result of Obamacare. And that is just the beginning of the bad news.

Just getting an appointment with your doctor is bound to become more challenging when Obamacare takes full effect in 2014, and, meanwhile, the cost of health care will skyrocket, not decline, as Obama predicted.

Had Bill Clinton been president (never mind his total lack of character) and succeeded in passing “Hillarycare,” we might have had broad-based health care reform but never would have ended up with the Obamacare monster. I’ll bet it even makes Bill shiver a little in private.

Yeah, no "liberal" buys the FOX narrative on Benghazi, calls Barack Obama arrogant a half a dozen times, and wishes for the Clintons back in power without a serious problem with the nation's first black President.  Replace "arrogant" with "uppity" and everything becomes crystal clear:  how dare one of them does this?

Go to hell, Steve.  That's code for "go to hell".

RECLAIMing North Carolina's Sanity

And you though Arizona's "Papers, please" law was bad?  It's got nothing on NC House Bill 786, a bill so blatantly racist it's actually called the Reasonable Enactment of Comprehensive Legislation Addressing Immigration Matters in North Carolina Act...or RECLAIM NC for short. Reclaim from whom?  Why, the Unwashed Brown Horde, of course.  Here's what the bill would do:

Undocumented immigrants who drive would be required to obtain a vertical, status-identifying driver’s licenses, which requires them to admit their unlawful status. Immigrant applicants would also be required to submit fingerprints and to pass a criminal background check. As a result of a requirement in which immigrants must prove that they have lived in North Carolina for a year, seasonal workers would likely not qualify. 

Don't believe me?

How about now?   It's pink with NO LAWFUL STATUS printed on the damn thing.  So any cop that pulls you over for any reason and asks for your license doesn't have to "inquire about your status".  It's printed on the goddamn license in pink letters

And after that happens, guess what the cops can do?

The measure also allows for law enforcement officials to have the ability to “securely transport an alien… to a federal facility” potentially without ever having seen a lawyer. It specifies, “a law enforcement agency shall obtain judicial or executive authorization from the Governor before securely transporting an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States to a point of transfer that is outside this State.” 

Straight to ICE you go, because with this license that's a tacit admission of your guilt, you get deported pretty much automatically.  Now who in their right mind is going to get one of these licenses which guarantees deportation?  Nobody.  So under the law, not having a pink license (or any license) gives the cops all the "reasonable suspicion" they need to immediately check your immigration status basically every single time.

Any way you slice it, it turns every traffic stop, license checkpoint, every roadblock into a deportation arrest, and every mile driven into a mile of fear.  That's the point:  to scare undocumented immigrants out of the state with a law that turns every cop in North Carolina into an ICE officer, and it goes much further than Arizona's law, turning it into a lose-lose situation every time you step into a car.

Keep in mind what Arizona immediately did with their law:

The RECLAIM NC Act comes in the wake of a lawsuit against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio in which his office has been accused of aggressively targeting and detaining Hispanic drivers. In numerous cases, Arpaio’s office was found to have stopped or harassed Hispanic drivers over minor speeding infractions when other drivers of a different national origin were let go. Along with Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska, North Carolina legislators had initially prohibited the issuance of driver’s licenses to immigrants who qualified under the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which granted a two-year work authorization for individuals who had graduated from high school. 

It's nothing less than turning cops into actual fascist thugs.  Funny how Republicans are always screaming about Obama's abuses of power, when given a chance to make legislation, Republicans immediately legalize rounding up tens of thousands of people to be dragged away.

Hey NC, ready to vote for Democrats yet?


Monday, May 27, 2013

Last Call For Respect For The Office

And Weekly Standard's P.J. O'Rourke goes there on President Obama, spending about 1000 words calling him stupid (both figuratively and literally using the term stupid to describe Barack Obama) in one of the outright nastiest pieces I think I've ever read about any President.  In fact, the piece goes on to complain that pundits don't call this President "stupid" often enough.

What brought on this awful tirade?  The fact that President Obama wants to end the Warren Terrah, of course.  Putting an end to perpetual, mindless killing based solely on religion is "stupid."

That's a hell of a thing to say on Memorial Day, I would think.

It's almost, know.

Diary Of A Soldier

Now here's a hell of a Memorial Day story that you won't soon forget:  90-year-old Laura Mae Davis visited the National World War II museum in New Orleans recently, searching for a possible mention of her former high school sweetheart killed in battle.  What she found was more than she could possibly hope for in his actual diary from seventy years ago, sitting on display.

“I figured I’d see pictures of him and the fellows he’d served with and articles about where he served,” Laura Mae Davis Burlingame told The Associated Press.

Instead, she ran face-to-face with Cpl. Thomas “Cotton” Jones’s handwriting, and the original telegraph informing his parents that he was killed by enemy fire.

In his last entry, Jones describes winning money gambling and suggests that he would like to wire it to Laura for Christmas. There were also numerous entries about how he wished he’d married her before leaving for the war, and a note asking that the diary be turned over to Laura if it were lost.
Nearly 70 years since Jones was killed by an enemy sniper, Laura was stunned to see the 22-year-old’s diary in the case before her.

When she told museum staff that she and Jones were both graduates of the class of 1941 and dated in high school, they opened the book up to look inside, making their astonishing discovery.

Amazing.  America suffered more than 400,000 troop casualties, 22 million troops casualties worldwide,  half of them Soviet, and a total death toll of some 70 million people...more than 3% of the earth's population at the time.

And now the last people who fought in and survived that war are dying or in their 80's and 90's.  Those numbers would be incomprehensible today and yet it was reality for four grueling, blood-soaked years.

Now, one of those casualties got to say goodbye, 70 years later.

Just amazing.

What Did News Corporation Know...

...and well, the "when did they know it?" part about James Rosen, the FOX News reporter currently neck-deep in a DoJ investigation for passing classified info to the North Koreans, turns out to be May 2010...three years ago.

The parent company of Fox News was aware years ago that the Justice Department was targeting one of its reporters in a leak investigation, sources said Saturday.

One law enforcement source said the Justice Department notified a media organization three years ago of a subpoena for detailed telephone records, and a second told CNN that organization was Fox News.

After that news broke, a Fox News executive said the Justice Department notified Fox's parent company News Corporation of the subpoena in May 2010. But Fox News itself apparently never got the word.

The subpoena came as the Justice Department was investigating Stephen Kim, a former State Department worker accused of the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information to James Rosen, a Fox News reporter.

It is standard procedure for Justice Department officials to notify news organizations when they subpoena an outlet or its reporters.

So FOX News sat on this info for three years and only told everyone when it was convenient to add on to a "scandal."  Funny how that works.

So reporter types, why don't we start asking questions about why FOX sat on this for three years, and didn't use this to hit POTUS during the election?  Could it be that FOX didn't want to draw attention to it at the time for some reason, like, say, A) it was an ongoing investigation and B) James Rosen may have actually broken the law?

Makes a guy wonder.  Of course, now FOX News is denying it was every told.

News Corporation said on Sunday that it had no record of being notified by the Justice Department nearly three years ago of a subpoena for the telephone records of a reporter at its Fox News cable channel.

The company’s chief legal counsel at the time also said that he had never seen material from the government related to the subpoena. 

The Justice Department has signaled that it notified News Corporation on Aug. 27, 2010, that it had seized the phone records of a Fox News reporter — who turned out to be the Washington correspondent James Rosen — after one of his articles had included details of a secret United States report on North Korea.

So you either believe FOX News is lying, or the DoJ is.  If you want to know why FOX sat on this for three years the answer is "they did until they could build up enough anti-Obama paranoia among viewers and the press so they could get away with it."  Now both conservatives and our "liberal media" continue to call for Holder's resignation for doing his job, and chasing down national security leaks like Republicans have been telling him to do on a number of occasions.

Pay attention to the "liberals" siding with FOX over the Obama administration here.  Here's a hint:  they're not liberals, and they never were.

StupidiNews, Memorial Day Edition!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Last Call For Bob Dole, Bob Dole, Bob Dole

Cry not for Robert J. Dole, who says (correctly) that neither he nor Reagan would make it in today's TeaGOP, talking to FOX on Sunday.

WALLACE: What do you think of your party, the Republicans today?
DOLE: I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says “closed for repairs” until New Year’s Day next year — and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas.
WALLACE: You describe the GOP of your generation as Eisenhower Republicans, moderate Republicans. Could people like you, even Ronald Reagan — could you make it in today’s Republican Party.
DOLE: I doubt it. Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly Nixon couldn’t have made it, cause he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.

As Steve M. reminds us, you can thank Bob Dole for the permanent GOP filibuster in the Senate.

It was on Election Night 1992, not very far into the evening, that the Senate minority leader, Bob Dole, hinted at the way his party planned to conduct itself in the months ahead: it would filibuster any significant legislation the new Democratic President proposed, forcing him to obtain 60 votes for Senate passage.

This was a form of scorched-earth partisan warfare unprecedented in modern political life. Congress is supposed to operate by majority vote. It is true that the filibuster has a long and disreputable Senate history and that, over the years, it has been used more by Democrats than by Republicans. But only after 1992 did it become the centerpiece of opposition conduct toward an elected President. What the Republicans did in the Senate in 1993 amounted to an unreported constitutional usurpation. It should have been denounced as such at the time, but it wasn't. The punditocracy chose not to notice.

In any case, it worked. Little that the President proposed became law in the two years that he operated with Democratic majorities. There was no health care reform, no economic stimulus package.

Sound familiar?   Bob Dole made the 60 vote threshold for Democrats permanent.  He's the reason why health care reform died 20 years ago and the reason we didn't get single-payer and the public option now.

So no, I don't feel like shedding a single tear for Bob Dole's lament.  He helped create the Tea Party beast that now slouches towards Washington.

Suffering From Moral Decay

The goalposts for President Obama got moved in a big way Sunday by Sen. Rand Paul, all but calling for Obama's resignation by claiming that POTUS is in danger of "losing the moral authority" to remain in office.

Paul, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said that the IRS and other recent controversies “really takes away from the president's moral authority to lead the nation.”

“Nobody questions his legal authority, but I think he's really losing the moral authority to lead this nation,” Paul added.

“And he really needs to put a stop to this. I don't care whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, nobody likes to see the opposite party punishing you for your political beliefs.”

And of course the arbiter of the President's moral authority is Rand Paul, as he spouts weasel words to suggest that maybe the President shouldn't be President anymore...

“I think there needs to be a speedy resolution to this,” Paul said. “And I think the president is in danger of losing his moral authority to lead the nation if we don't get to a resolution.”

Not an impeachable offense of course.  But he should resign anyway.  We'll see how many of Rand's cohorts in the Senate follow this message and hop in Rand Paul's quasi-"I'm not racist but..." clown car.

Winning The Battles, Losing The War

Liberalism and the Democrats are losing, folks.  You have to look no further than formerly "purple" state of North Carolina, my home for nearly 30 years, where I grew up, went to school and college, now that it has been completely taken over by the Republicans, the final Southern state to fall to the darkness.  Make no mistake:  the GOP plan in North Carolina is the GOP plan for America. The GOP has achieved complete victory in the Old North State:

Those victories were capped last year when Republican Pat McCrory was elected governor, giving the party control of all levers of state government for the first time since 1870.

The victories were aided by the strong financial support of Art Pope, a multimillionaire who spent heavily in support of the state’s GOP candidates. The Institute for Southern Studies, a North Carolina-based research organization, said Pope’s advocacy network spent $2.2 million on 22 legislative races, winning 18. Overall, conservative organizations largely supported by Pope accounted for three-fourths of the outside money spent in North Carolina legislative races in 2010, according to the institute.

One of McCrory’s first acts after being elected governor was to install Pope, a former legislator, as the state budget chief. (The governor’s office declined to make Pope available for an interview.) And now, GOP lawmakers are moving swiftly to enact a long list of legislation they say is largely aimed at limiting government debt and snapping the state’s economy out of a years-long malaise.

Art Pope bought my home state.  He is now in control of the budget for the 10th most populous state in the Union, and the state is growing fast, challenging Michigan for 9th and Georgia for 8th.   The goal is simple:  massive austerity and the race to the bottom.

Legislators have slashed jobless benefits. They have also repealed a tax credit that supplemented the wages of low-income people, while moving to eliminate the estate tax. They have voted against expanding Medicaid to comply with the 2010 federal health-care law. The expansion would have added 500,000 poor North Carolinians to the Medicaid rolls.

“Before considering Medicaid expansion, we must reform the current system to make sure people currently enrolled receive the services they need and more taxpayer dollars are not put at risk,” McCrory said in a written statement after signing a bill blocking the expansion.

Lawmakers are also considering proposals to reduce and flatten income tax rates while expanding the sales tax, perhaps to even include groceries and prescription drugs — which some advocates see as a first step toward eliminating the state income tax.

“North Carolina is a high-income-tax state, and we’re suffering the consequences,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berge (R). “Our unemployment rate is the fifth worst in the country, and our high tax rates are hindering economic growth and pushing jobs to our neighbors.”

And so eliminating the state's estate, corporate, and income taxes will drop the burden on the poorest, those who spend their paychecks every two weeks to buy food, clothing, and shelter.  The plan is to crush them with consumption taxes until they demand relief -- and the GOP will provide it by getting rid of state programs for the poor.

The plan of course is to drive those poor to other states, as it always is with the GOP race to the bottom.  Not our problem if they leave, not our burden to support.  So get ready, North Carolina.  You voted them into power.

You're going to get what you deserve for a while.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Podcast: Been A Long TIme Coming

Bon and I are back for a Memorial Day weekend podcast as we cover scandals, Obamacare, collapsing bridges, crap-ass media and living in Tornado Country.

Listen to internet radio with Zandar Versus The Stupid on BlogTalkRadio

Give us a listen, as hopefully we'll be getting back into the podcast for you more regularly.

StupidiNews, Memorial Day Weekend Edition!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Last Call For The Gang Of Eight

Theory:  The GOP's relentless pursuit of "scandals" give them what they believe is perfect political cover to refuse to pass any more legislation whatsoever, including immigration reform.  Democrats can see this coming a mile away, so they're wisely calling them out now.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Friday that the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill doesn’t have enough votes to pass the Senate.

The bill won approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee in a 13-5 vote, but Menendez said it lacks the 60 votes necessary to clear the Senate — despite the bill's four Republican co-sponsors.

“We don’t currently have 60 votes identified in the Senate,” Menendez said in an interview with Univision. “We need to add more votes on the floor. That means that the community in your state, in every state, should be contacting your state’s two U.S. Senators saying that they want comprehensive immigration reform, that they are going to judge their political future based on this vote.”

Supporters of the bill are pushing for a strong bipartisan vote of 70 or more to put pressure on the House to take up the legislation.

70 votes is a pipe dream.  Tea Party Republicans are going to overplay their hand and murder this bill in the Senate.  The few smarter political heads may or may not be worried about Harry Reid's nuclear option as reprisal, but they are damn worried about Latino voters in 2014, just as they found out the hard way in 2006, 2008, and 2012.

If Republicans burn this bridge now, they're done and they know it.  And the Tea Party Hate Machine will make sure that bridge goes up in flames...and along with it the GOP in 2014 and 2016.

Drones, Gitmo, And Goalposts

President Obama's speech on Guantanamo and the use of drones on Thursday was folded into a larger and much more vital larger picture:  the end of Warren Terrah.  Greg Sargent:

In the national security speech Obama delivered this afternoon, the President himself defined the challenge we face as this: How do we balance the need to do all we can to protect our citizens with the need to adhere to our values and ideals as a free society? The speech was the most ambitious and detailed effort to answer this question that he has yet attempted.

His answer to the question was that, at a time when the nature of the terror threat is changing — over a decade after the 9/11 attacks led to a massive buildup of our national security apparatus that strayed into massive overreach – we must acknowledge the cost of all of that excess, and give more priority to American values and the rule of law than we have been giving. However, in policy terms, he offered mainly incremental, though welcome, moves in that direction.

Indeed, the upshot of the speech is that Obama defined his own role — that of commander in chief — as one that requires him to ultimately compromise core values and principles if he deems it necessary to maintain security. While the speech did offer some steps that civil libertarians will welcome, it also fell short of the wholesale commitment to rule of law they had hoped for — indeed, forthrightly so.

And that bolded point is the most important.  There are times where national security issues arise, where the loud purity pundits are not going to have all the information.  President Obama admits that this will always be true.

The president is clearly aware that his current policies are falling short of the mark constitutionally,” Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, told me. “While these are important and welcome steps, they are incremental changes that pale in the face of the constitutional questions confronting the administration.”

Obama might agree to some degree with that assessment, with a qualifier. Indeed, the speech seemed quite forthright in defining the role of commander in chief as one that requires him to ultimately prioritize security over strict rule of law where he deems it necessary — even as he implicitly asked us to trust that he’s doing his best to get the balance as close to right as he can.

So now, we've moved the goalposts again, from "You need to explain yourself" to "This is unconstitutional!"  That's a pretty nice excuse, because now we've moved responsibility from the legislative and executive to the judicial.  There's literally nothing POTUS can do to satisfy the purity patrol because what's constitutional or not cannot be determined by the executive, only the judicial.

Conveniently, this goalpost shuffling extends the argument against Obama infinitely, so the cottage industry of fundraising while attacking Obama from the left can keep going in perpetuity.  How convenient...

More Of The Steep Lerner Curve

A day after her bizarre combination of opening statement and pleading the Fifth on everything else, IRS director Lois Lerner has been put on "administrative leave" after she was asked to resign and refused to do so.

Lois Lerner, the IRS staffer who is under fire for her role in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, has been placed on administrative leave, according to congressional aides.

She will still be paid while on leave, a congressional aide said, as required under civil service rules.
Lerner, who heads an IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups, first disclosed the extra scrutiny the agency gave to Tea Party groups almost two weeks ago when answering a planted question at a Washington legal conference.

Since then, lawmakers from across the political spectrum have said that they believe Lerner misled them and called for her dismissal.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), a senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a Thursday statement that the new acting IRS commissioner, Danny Werfel, had asked Lerner to resign – and that Lerner was only placed on leave after she declined that request. Aides on Capitol Hill confirmed that Lerner had refused to resign.

Now civil service rules do prevent people getting fired willy nilly.  It's to prevent, you know, a massive purge every time a new administration comes to power (not that the Bushies didn't try their hardest, especially in the DoJ).  But I predicted yesterday morning that Lerner would be canned, and I was right.

We'll see what happens from here on out, but the one guarantee I can make now is that Lerner's departure and replacement will not satisfy Republicans, who will not stop until Lerner somehow implicates every member of the Obama family, including Bo, and the IRS is shut down.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Last Call For Recess

George F. Will on President Obama's "unprecedented" recess appointments:

So the D.C. court said those three appointees were not rightfully in office. The NLRB said it “respectfully” disagreed with the court and went its merry way, without a quorum. Absent the perfunctory expression of respect, this was pretty much what George Wallace did 50 years ago this year when he stood in the door of Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama to prevent two young blacks from registering as students.

Yes, because the word "recess" is pretty similar to the word "racist" so this comparison is totally apt.  Even though every other President in the last several generations made recess appointments, suddenly for some unfathomable reason I can't put my finger on, when Barack Obama does it, it's "lawlessness".  Bonus verbatim derpage:

Courts defeated Wallace’s lawlessness. Presumably the Supreme Court will defeat Obama’s by telling the NLRB that the D.C. court was right about recess appointments. By such judicial vigilance against the excesses of elected officials, democracy is disciplined and progressivism’s agenda — unchecked executive power — is understood to be unconstitutional.

Yeah, and during the last administration you cheered on every iota of that executive power as not only necessary but vital to a functioning democracy, Georgie.  Bite me.

Tancredo Junction

Back in 2010, Tea Party nutjob and anti-immigrant racist Tom Tancredo ran for Colorado Governor as an independent, got some 35% of the vote, and handed a 20 point victory to Democrat John Hickenlooper.  Apparently for an encore, Tancredo's going to try again in 2014.

Former U.S. Rep. , known for his strong stances on , said late Wednesday night he plans to formally announce a run for on a conservative talk radio show Thursday.

“This Dunlap thing is the last straw,” said Tancredo in a message.

Tancredo, a Republican, referred to Gov. ’s decision on Wednesday to grant a temporary reprieve on the execution of death row inmate . Dunlap was convicted of killing four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese in 1993.

Several Republicans castigated Hickenlooper on Wednesday for the move that halts Dunlap’s date with death that was scheduled for August. 

Now granted, we knew Hickenlooper was going to take a lot of flak for passing gun control laws after the Aurora theater shooting.  But Tancredo is a loser of a candidate and if his plan to win is to run to the right of where he was in 2010, all of a sudden Hickenlooper's re-election seems rather assured.

We'll see if Tancredo will go for a GOP primary bid or another independent run, but either way I fully expect him to alienate the hell out of most of Colorado.  This is a guy who tested the waters for a 2008 White House run by putting up an ad in Iowa depicting a fictional terrorist attack as assured if we didn't immediately militarize the borders.

Given Colorado's growing Latino population, Tancredo's virulently anti-immigration stance (not to mention his outright anti-Latino racism) will make it even harder for him to win in 2014.   Hickenlooper must be cheering this announcement on and for good reason...

Obama's Steep Lerner Curve

Lois Lerner's Wednesday testimony (or non-testimony) as she pleaded the Fifth on a number of questions after an extensive opening statement where she denied any wrongdoing, the practical upshot being that GOP Rep. Darrel Issa believes that the statement voided her right to take the Fifth and will subpoena her again until she answers his questions, has prompted a number of normally calm pundits on the left to call for her immediate firing.

Greg Sargent:

The constant media obsession with when, exactly, the White House knew of the pending IG report is deeply silly. And as Steve Benen and Jeffrey Toobin both point out, the big picture here is that White House officials did the right thing in not informing the president about the IG’s investigation, because the last thing you want to do is expose the president to accusations of interference. That’s important, and it’s irritating as heck that normally savvy reporters keep pretending not to know this to be the case. Press coverage continues to scurry down process rabbit holes in an effort to bolster a larger “White House on defensive” narrative, rather than level with readers about how significant the new “revelations” about who knew what and when about the IG report actually are.

But this is still very much a legitimate scandal. We still don’t have a full accounting of what happened. We must have one, and we must have accountability. If Lerner won’t — or can’t — answer core questions about how exactly these groups were unfairly targeted, then her remaining in her position is inconsistent with that.

Josh Marshall:

In the current political climate, that may well be good legal advice. And she has every right to take it and may be wise to do so. But that’s a decision that simply is not consistent with her remaining in her job. Whether or not she should be fired for whatever she did in the scandal itself, deciding to take the fifth means she needs to be removed from her position.

I was chatting with people yesterday who said that civil service protections may make this extremely difficult or even impossible. That’s something for the new interim director of the IRS to figure out. One way or another, under the present circumstances, someone who is taking the fifth can’t be in charge of the division at the center of this investigation. I hope the incoming interim chief gets that. 

Sarah Jones over at Politicus USA agrees, but for a different reason:  Lerner was a Dubya appointee and President Obama needs to clean house:

What I’ve taken from all of these scandals so far is that by Republicans refusing to allow Obama his own nominees, they’ve saddled him with their appointees, who may or may not have an agenda and may or may not be utterly incompetent. That’s a nifty game. So now Bush appointee Lois Lerner, who claims to be “nonpolitical” but yet donated the maximum amount to Romney if this Open Secrets note is the right Lois Lerner, is the Obama administration’s undoing according to Republicans.

I am only sorry Lois Lerner is pleading the fifth, because I’d really like someone to ask her why she “let this slip” at a Bar Association meeting, and upon what evidence she based this “slip”. 

My opinion is that Lerner's probably going to get canned for the reasons above.  We'll see.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Last Call For Shelter

Apparently the folks in Moore, Oklahoma have basically the same problem as West, Texas does.

The Web site for the City of Moore, Okla., recommends “that every residence have a storm safe room or an underground cellar.” It says below-ground shelters are the best protection against tornadoes. 

But no local ordinance or building code requires such shelters, either in houses, schools or businesses, and only about 10 percent of homes in Moore have them

Nor does the rest of Oklahoma, one of the states in the storm belt called Tornado Alley, require them — despite the annual onslaught of deadly and destructive twisters like the one on Monday, which killed at least 24 people, injured hundreds and eliminated entire neighborhoods. 

This is a town that has seen two 200+ MPH tornadoes rip through it in 14 years, and a state that sees tornadoes every year.  But there's no building codes to include shelters because DON'T TREAD ON ME.

Construction standards in Moore have been studied extensively. In a 2002 study published in the journal of the American Meteorological Society, Timothy P. Marshal, an engineer in Dallas, suggested that “the quality of new home construction generally was no better than homes built prior to the tornado” in 1999. 

Few homes built in the town after the storm were secured to their foundations with bolted plates, which greatly increase resistance to storms; instead, most were secured with the same kinds of nails and pins that failed in 1999. Just 6 of 40 new homes had closet-size safe rooms

Mayor Glenn Lewis of Moore said that since then, the town had strengthened building codes, including a requirement that new homes incorporate hurricane braces. The city has also aggressively promoted the construction of safe rooms and other measures, with more than $12 million from state and federal emergency management funds to subsidize safe-room construction by offering a $2,000 rebate, said Albert Ashwood, the director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management. Still, he said, it has been several years since Moore has received new financing for the program

I'm trying to figure out how a shelter makes a $200,000 home suddenly unaffordable.  Does the safe room double the cost of the house somehow?  You live in Tornado Alley in the era of climate change and super storms.  Guess what?  You have to adapt, folks.  Most of all, those federal taxes you pay actually go to something when disasters happen.

Because believe me, Moore will be hit by another tornado someday.  It's most likely going to not take 14 years for it to happen, either.

Well This Really Blows

When I say President Barack Obama faces unprecedented criticism from his opponents, this is exactly what I mean.  Bob Cesca catches this:

Did you know the government has “weather weapons” capable of not only creating tornadoes but moving them around? It’s also possible that these so-called weapons were used in Oklahoma to deliberately murder dozens of citizens — you know, with a tornado. If the government wanted to annihilate a population of citizens, there are easier and more subtle ways to do it than literally creating a massive tornado. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This is what Alex Jones said on his radio show yesterday when a caller asked him whether the tornado was “artificial” and “man-made” due to “technology.” Just as this caller, who’s obviously suffering from severe paranoid delusions, ended her rant, Jones launched into a paranoid rant of his own which included, as it always does, a random string of official names of organizations potentially involved. Bill Gates Weather Modification, Geo-Engineering, AP, Reuters, Department of Energy. (Other frequently blurted names include IBM, Raytheon, Bechtel, FEMA and The Illuminati.) Then, totally unrelated to the tornado, he tossed in a bit about the U.S. Code relating to biological and chemical warfare, and the apparent ability of the government to kill us with chemicals agents under the guise of experiments and law enforcement. In fact, he named a U.S. Code title by number, chapter number, subsection number — all the way down to the paragraph letter. Because it sounds official and therefore authentic. 

I like how President Obama is supposedly naive, aloof, trapped in the Beltway bubble, incapable of getting his White House advisers under control, not that bright, lazy, arrogant, angry, leading from behind, etc. and at the very same exact time, he's a ruthless, cold, emotionless, too smart for his own good evil genius mastermind of a James Bond villain, killing people with tornado machines.

To recap, Obama can create tornadoes, but the notion that man-made global warming exists is a massive hoax.  It's all ridiculous and I still don't know how he copes with the blind hatred.

We Always Get The Government We Deserve

Gosh, hoocuddanode that Southern red states overwhelming support Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges, and subsidies to help pay for health care, all things rejected by the Republicans those states elected? 

But the five states in the poll, all led by Republican governors, have decided not to participate. Ironically, Mississippi and Louisiana rank dead last among all states in the overall health of their residents, according to America’s Health Ranking, an annual report by the United Health Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the insurer UnitedHealth Group. The other three states in the poll – South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia – rank 46th, 45th and 36th, respectively.

Not surprisingly, the law’s least popular provision is the federal tax penalty that will be levied, beginning next year, against people who don’t have coverage. Nearly two-thirds of poll respondents, or 64.5 percent, disliked the penalty, while just 31 percent viewed it favorably.

Well now.  How did you think this was going to be paid for, folks?   And the unhealthiest states in the union just might need the help.  I'm betting once the stories start coming in about how Obamacare is working, these states will be made to join in.

Count on it.

Read more here:


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last Call For Voting Irregularities

Two very different stories about the 2012 election, both from the indispensable Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.  First, a majority of Republicans don't believe the 2012 elections were fair in any way because after all, Democrats won:

Going into the 2012 election, both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about the fairness of the election. Only 15 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats were very confident that the election would be decided fairly.

After the election, fears about voter fraud abated among Democrats but skyrocketed among Republicans, with 58 percent of Republicans not confident at all about the fairness of the election.

Republicans are particularly concerned about voter fraud and intimidation in big urban areas, with 32 percent of them believing that it had a big impact on the election, 49 percent believing it had some impact, and only 19 percent believing it had no impact.

The only reason Democrats won?  OBAMA'S THUG LYFE X ARMY.  Oh, and the birther thing:

Despite releasing his long-form birth certificate in 2011, these rumors have persisted.  In particular, between 40 and 70 percent of Republicans still believe that President Obama may have been born outside of the U.S.

Furthermore, most of those who question President Obama’s place of birth are not just expressing negative views toward him without considering the implications.  When asked in a follow-up question about whether they thought being born outside of the U.S. would make Barack Obama “ineligible under the U.S. Constitution to be president,” 72 percent of those who thought the President might have been born outside of the U.S. believed that he would be ineligible to be president.

So you're looking at anywhere from 29% to 50% of Republicans who think President Obama is not even legally the President.   Split the difference and call it 40%, and that's still tens of millions of people who do not recognize Barack Obama as President.  No wonder the GOP is talking impeachment.

And speaking of actual voting unfairness...

A new Harvard study contacted over 7,000 election administrators in 28 states and found they provide different information about voter ID requirements to voters of different ethnicities.

And those differences are pretty stark and brutal.  Latino-sounding names got far fewer responses from election officials in the experiment.

The finding holds up when you drop certain regions, when you drop small towns, and when you control for whether officials are elected or appointed. What’s more, they find that there are actually statistically significant differences in the quality of response from officials, depending on what kind of name is used. Responses to Latino voters were likelier to be non-informative, less likely to be “absolutely accurate” (that is, giving complete and accurate information about the relevant topic), and even less likely to take a friendly tone.

It's depressing stuff all the way around.  Don't expect Republicans to lift a finger to try to improve either of these two situations, too.

Twistered Political Logic

While we're still waiting for the results of search and rescue and in many cases, far more sober recovery efforts in Moore, Oklahoma and the surrounding area today, it's important to note that we're all in this together when it comes to American disasters.  Some Republicans absolutely understand the need for a strong federal government during times of trial and tribulation.

Oklahoma GOP Congressman Tom Cole does.  He voted for Sandy relief, one of the 41 Republicans who did in the House, because he remembers the F5 tornado that ripped through Moore 14 years ago on May 3, 1999.  Another Democratic President came to the state's rescue then, when Cole himself was Oklahoma's Secretary of State.  He knew just how awful and real the damage to his state was and has said many times that he was grateful for the help.

Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn on the other hand is already demanding budget cut offsets to pay for the cleanup in his own state, and is one of the 36 senators who voted against Sandy aid because it didn't do that.  This means Coburn is fully prepared to vote against disaster aid for his own constituents, and most likely will.  Coburn, as a Congressman, voted against tornado relief for his own state in 1999.  It's not like it ruined his political career, either.

And so it goes in Sooner Country.

Please Proceed, Rep. Chaffetz

GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz goes there on the "i-word" as the GOP starts floating trial balloons.

House Speaker John Boehner has urged patience on the issue of Benghazi, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican says in a new report.

“Now, the speaker has more patience than I do,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) told National Review in a story posted on Monday. “He has told me to be patient, that the truth will eventually surface. But I’m not a patient person, and if this administration makes us do this the hard way, that’s what we’ll do.”

Chaffetz has long been a vocal critic of how President Barack Obama’s administration handled the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, and has said that impeachment should be on the table.

“This is an administration embroiled in a scandal that they created,” Chaffetz said in the piece. “It’s a cover-up. I’m not saying impeachment is the end game, but it’s a possibility, especially if they keep doing little to help us learn more.”

Considering there's nothing the President can do to actually satisfy Chaffetz and his crew of Tea Party maniacs, I foresee impeachment happening sooner rather than later.  The FOX News monster will demand investigations and eventually the only way to feed the beast will be to go down this ugly road.

It's only a question of how soon:  before or after the 2014 elections?


Monday, May 20, 2013

Last Call For A Mystery

Joy Reid does some detective work on which Republican leaked the bad Benghazi email to ABC's Jonathan Karl.  Her most likely suspect probably won't surprise you:

A very trusted source of mine gave me a cryptic piece of advice yesterday, which was to take a look at the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. I didn’t know quite what to make of it at the time, but tonight it occurred to me: could someone on that committee also have been on the Select Committee on Intelligence, which is the one that got the email briefing in February?

Well, it turns out there's one and only one Republican senator on both Senate committees:

Oklahoma's Tom Coburn.

Now, what makes Coburn interesting?

On May 9th — literally the day before Jonathan Karl’s “bombshell” report went live, Coburn appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, with his old pal and fellow House of Representatives class of 1994 alumnus (and my work colleague) Joe Scarborough (Coburn left the House in 2000, per a term limits pledge, and then ran successfully for the Senate in 2004. He announced this year that he would be retiring when his term ends in 2016.) Coburn talked about his failed “tote your gun on federal land” amendment to an unrelated bill, and about Benghazi, among other topics. And and what he had to say on Benghazi was interesting indeed (per the conservative Washington Times):

Hmm.  Coburn promised something new "will come out" the day before Karl's article hit the papers.  Over the weekend, Karl then stood by the "fundamentals" of his original story.  As Joy puts it:

The original story does not in fact, stand. Because the “news” in the original story was that Ben Rhodes, who works for the White House, weighed in, on behalf of said White House, to support a State Department spin on the Benghazi talking points. That was all that was newsworthy in Karl’s report. But since Ben Rhodes never mentioned the State Department in his email — that was the entirely made up part of the “email” Karl claimed in his reporting to have “obtained” and that his news organization supposedly “reviewed” — the guts of the Karl story were false. Like, totally false. And worse, they were either deliberately planted falsehoods fed to Karl by his source … or Karl totally misinterpreted what he was told, in a way that created news where there was one. If Karl is absolving his source, and saying essentially that HE put that “state department” bit into Rhodes’ emailhimself, through his own error, then he has no business covering this story. He probably has no business working in news.

Joy has much more in the story at the link above, but it makes sense that somebody in Coburn's staff did this, which means Sen. Coburn either knew or he has a rogue staffer.  Either way, it's a huge problem for the GOP right now, as well as our "liberal" media.

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