Late D-Day addition . . .

It’s a presidential stinkeye competition:

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“Look, you think Obamacare’s a big enough threat to this country that you need to shut down the government over it? Fine. Own it.” ~ Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

I don’t know what’s going on with my blog. All of my fonts look weird, and the hulu edit I did for the clips below doesn’t seem to be working; i.e. the first video should be 8 minutes and 6 seconds long………

“What Do You Hate More: Poverty Or Obama?” ~ Jon Stewart to Republicans

[hulu http://www.hulu.com/watch/543958 start_time=03 end_time=486]

[hulu http://www.hulu.com/watch/543113 start_time=545 end_time=880]

“I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.” ~ Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) on not giving up his salary during shutdown

“It is very unnerving to be proven wrong, particularly when you are really right and the person who is really wrong is proving you wrong and proving himself, wrongly, right.” ~ Lemony Snicket, from The Blank Book

Congress: No business, as usual.

Government shutdown? Seriously? I am so sick of these jokers that I just can’t take it any more. You can bet they’ll be getting their paychecks and benefits.

Of course, Jon Stewart said it best . . .

Reblogged from the Huffinton Post:

Jon Stewart Blasts GOP Over Shutdown: When The Giants Lost, They Didn’t Shut Down The NFL

The Huffington Post  |  By

Jon Stewart opened Monday’s “Daily Show” by addressing the government shutdown, and placed the blame squarely on the House Republicans for going to great lengths in their one-sided fight against the Affordable Care Act, which he mockingly called “The End of America as We Know It for Reasons No One is Able to Clearly Explain.”

“You’re just throwing words together,” he exclaimed in response to a montage of Republicans rattling off their love of the Constitution to show their hatred of Obamacare, and then those lawmakers blasting Obama for failing to compromise. “It’s a f**king law!” he said, pointing out that all three branches of government had thus far upheld the law.

He then compared the Republicans to a losing football team. “Did you see the Giants game on Sunday?” he asked. “They lost 31-7. Do you know what the Giants didn’t say after that game? ‘If you don’t give us 25 more points by midnight on Monday, we will shut down the f**king NFL.'”

But he really drove the point home by invoking one small business owner with a message to the House Republicans about their current situation:

I tried to write a post today. I really did. But after I put in my opening line, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Sorry . . . So here’s some POTUS humor instead:

Obama’s one-liners during his speech at the White House Correspondents Dinner

********************

Picking the right guy to play Obama, that was the challenge, I mean, who is Obama really? We don’t know. We never got his transcripts and they say he’s kinda aloof. So I needed someone who could really dive in and really become Barack Obama and as it turns out, the answer was right in front of me all along: Daniel Day Lewis. He becomes his characters – Hawkeye from ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ and Bill the Butcher from ‘Gangs of New York’ and Abraham Lincoln in, ‘Lincoln’. And you know what? He nailed it.  ~ Steven Spielberg (x)

 

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote. Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.” ~ President Obama, State of the Union Address, 2013

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress.  If you want to vote no, that’s your choice.  But these proposals deserve a vote.  Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

One of those we lost was a young girl named Hadiya Pendleton.  She was 15 years old.  She loved Fig Newtons and lip gloss.  She was a majorette.  She was so good to her friends, they all thought they were her best friend.  Just three weeks ago, she was here, in Washington, with her classmates, performing for her country at my inauguration.  And a week later, she was shot and killed in a Chicago park after school, just a mile away from my house.

Hadiya’s parents, Nate and Cleo, are in this chamber tonight, along with more than two dozen Americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence.  They deserve a vote.

Gabby Giffords deserves a vote.

The families of Newtown deserve a vote.

The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence—they deserve a simple vote.

Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. Indeed, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can, to secure this nation, expand opportunity, and uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.”

“The Daily Show” Thursday night in which Jon Stewart reads a revised Seuss: Oh, The People Who Hate You:

 

“As it turns out, you can’t buy a different electorate, or a better candidate, no matter how much money you throw at it.” ~ Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post

                   

“From the evidence provided by the past two years of outside spending in the presidential race, you can, however, buy a bit of anarchy, a certain amount of time and a megaphone that only really works when it is joined with a compelling narrative.” ~ Paul Blumenthal, The Huffington Post

Of all the Monday morning quarter-back regurgitations of last night, this particular article in The Huffington Post by Robert L. Cavnar best sums up my own contentions regarding the GOP and why they were spanked. Overall, the Republicans need to ditch the extremist Tea Party people who live to obstruct; they need to acknowledge that the face of America has changed dramatically, and they need to understand that denying facts does not make said facts any less factual. Oh, and they need to tell Trump and Rove to shut the hell up. Last night proved that money doesn’t always win, thank god.

People, in general, regular people, are tired of the divisive nature of politics, and even if the whole Change You Can Believe In is not to your liking, and even if that change didn’t happen as quickly as you would have liked in the past four years (speaking for myself here), most of us agree that we need change. This isn’t 1950’s America in which father knows best, women have no say, and homosexuality is considered an illness.

Consider:

  • Women favored Obama by 55 percent and unmarried women preferred him by 68 percent.
  • The Hispanic voting block went 70 percent to Obama.
  • Citizens United is an oxymoron; it is not composed of citizens, but rather, million and billionaires.
  • That 47 percent that Mitt disregarded came back to bite him in the ass.

As pundit Howard Fineman said, Obama’s “victory signaled the irreversible triumph of a new, 21st-century America: multiracial, multi-ethnic, global in outlook and moving beyond centuries of racial, sexual, marital and religious tradition.”

                   

Lessons the GOP Need to Learn From the 2012 Election

by Robert L. Cavnar, founder of this-small-planet.com and DailyHurricane.com

It became apparent fairly early in the evening last night that the Republicans were going to get thumped.  As state results began to march across the map, with major battleground states turning blue, and Tea Party candidates losing, Republican hopes waned.  Their plan simply didn’t work.  The hundreds of millions of billionaires’ money didn’t work.  The politics of division didn’t work.  The Tea Party revolution of 2010 failed. Despite almost unanimous prognostication that the race was going to be close and that we were going to be up all night, Obama won handily during prime time. Even though they did win some key races and keep control of the house, the GOP lost almost every hotly contested race, sometimes in a spectacular fashion.

What were the lessons here that the GOP should learn before 2014?  Well, I have few thoughts:
  • Unlimited dark money doesn’t necessarily buy votes.  Karl Rove’s and others’ Super PACs poured hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars, much from anonymous sources, into key races to win Congressional seats, Senate seats, and the presidency.  Now working in Colorado, I became a victim of this unlimited money, where 100 percent of the ad time was bought up, and I was carpet bombed during morning news shows, evening news shows, and primetime programming.  The electorate here became numb, and I believe all those millions had little to no effect in major races.
  • Voter participation matters.  The GOP became complacent and over-confident after the 2010 mid-term “landslide,” and badly over-reached.  They won in 2010 not because the electorate suddenly became more conservative with the addition of Tea Party members; they won because regular people didn’t vote that year.  In presidential years, turnout is around 60 percent (which is deplorable), but in off years, turnout is an anemic 40 percent or less.  Candidates are often picked in the primaries by 5 percent or less of the electorate.  In 2010, turnout was 41 percent nationwide.  With only 20 to 25 percent of the electorate’s support, the Republicans claimed a landslide mandate, thumping their chests about how the country had suddenly become extremist, and introducing radical social legislation by the truckload.  Freshmen Tea Party darlings almost drove the economy into the ditch by trying to hold it hostage over simple debt limit votes.  Their problem, though, was that the mandate they claimed didn’t exist.  They had simply benefited from low voter turnout, and had hoped that no one noticed.  In 2012, however, results were vastly different.  The voter ID laws and other voter suppression efforts by Republicans in 2011 and 2012 generally failed and/or were thrown out by the courts.  Voters turned out.  I haven’t seen voter turnout numbers yet for this election, but based simply on reporting of long lines on election day and in early voting, turnout was big.  When turnout is big, Democrats do well.
  • Candidates matter.  Especially after the 2010 mid-terms, GOP leadership has been hijacked by the Tea Party, and as Steve Schmidt said this morning, ran “loons” in key races, especially for the Senate.  In the last two cycles, Republicans lost six Senate pickup opportunities by running nutjobs like Sharon Angle, Richard Mourdock, and Todd Akin.  Neanderthals don’t get elected by normal people, at least most of the time.  If the party wants to start winning again, they have to run people who are actually qualified to hold office by killing off the candidacies of crazy people in the primaries.
  • Non-white voters don’t support candidates whose issues important to them are used as weapons against them.  Some sources this morning are reporting that 75 percent of Hispanics went for Obama last night.  To get nominated during the clown show of the primaries, Romney lurched to the right of even Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, idiotically declaring that we need to make things so bad for Hispanics that they would “self deport.”  He played to the worst proclivities of his base, and it cost him big time in the general.
  • Lying doesn’t work.  The most shocking strategy of the Romney campaign was a conscious decision made by the candidate that winning was more important than truth.  He freely lied about the president, the economy, welfare reform, the auto bailout, major companies, history, and even Americans themselves.  He flipped on every single social issue that he had advocated as governor of Massachusetts and stridently concealed his own tax records.  Almost without exception, he doubled down on his lies and shifting positions when publicly called out.  In the end, he badly damaged his reputation by the freeform lying, reducing confidence in his candidacy.  Many other Republicans followed suit.
  • Pandering to an immoral base doesn’t work in a general election.  The GOP, driven to the extremist fringes of our society by screwballs who have taken over the party carries a cost when you have to appeal to normal people in a general election.  The base now consists of Bible thumping, gun-toting, war mongering weirdos who squawk about being pro-life while advocating for capital punishment, starting new wars, destroying personal rights, and country music.  They were actually successful at re-opening long settled issues like contraception and equal pay for women, scaring the hell out of millions of potential voters.  This pandering threatens to turn the Republican party into a regional body dominated by hillbillies, rednecks, bigots, religious zealots, and simpletons.
  • You have to live in the reality based world.  The GOP’s response to every single bit of bad news during the campaign was to impune either the data or the people generating the data.  During the campaign, the candidate, or his surrogates, accused the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Congressional Research Service, the Congressional Budget Office and the Office of Management and Budget of “cooking the books” whenever any of these non-partisan agencies issued reports with which they disagreed.  They engaged in free character assassination of every analyst, blogger or pundit with whom they disagreed.  Nate Silver of the New York Times 538 blog, who is a well-respected statistician, was openly attacked for his conclusions, even though he has a spotless track record in calling races (and baseball).  Their other dimension existence was put on full public display last night after Fox News statisticians called Ohio for Obama when Karl Rove, a paid flack for the GOP and Romney, demanded to be put on the air to retract the call, making a fool of himself and his network in front of millions of viewers.  I believe Rove’s attempt to alter the results caused the awkward hour and a half delay before Romney finally conceded.

In order to stay a national party, the GOP must abandon the politics of fear, division, xenophobia, and religious extremism.  They have to abandon absolutist ideology in a number of areas including social policy, religion, taxes, and spending.  They also have to acknowledge that the electorate is changing and that they can no longer win by simply cornering the market on old, white, male bigots.  States like Texas, which can easily become a Latino majority in the next decade, are prime hunting ground for the Democrats in coming years, especially if the Republicans don’t drop their xenophobic platform.  There simply aren’t enough Bible thumping rednecks in the state to maintain their stranglehold, and bright, young Latino Democrats like the Castro brothers from San Antonio could very well be politicians of national stature in the next few cycles.  In fact, Joaquin Castro was elected to Congress just last night.

I’m not naive enough to think that the Republicans are suddenly going to become more compassionate, kind, caring, less white, less racist, less strident, and more female overnight.  However, if they don’t embrace these truths, they will imperil their own future relevance or even existence.

Music by Ozzy and Kelly Osbourne, “Changes”