GOP’s Desperate Reboot Turns Out to Be Based on Votes He Took During Bush Administration
He later voted to de-fund one of the projects he's running on now

Raw Story:

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow pointed out on Tuesday that Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) campaign “reboot” is built on an apparent misrepresentation of his stance on a federal building that was supposed to be built in his state.

Roberts’ campaign debuted an ad on Tuesday portraying the longtime incumbent as a staunch opponent of President Barack Obama’s “failed policies.” Roberts, the ad claimed, led the push for the establishment of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility on the campus of Kansas State University.

But Maddow noted that the two headlines touting Roberts’ efforts dated back to 2007 and 2008.

“That was even before Barack Obama was elected president,” she said. “That was before this term for Kansas Senator Pat Roberts in the Senate.”

In fact, Roberts voted against a bill this past January that would have provided $404 million in funding for the project, which has now stalled.

Conservatives Who Fear an Epidemic Crossing the Border Should Stop Blocking America’s First Line of Defense: Access to Healthcare

Via: The Advisory Board Company

In July, Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia tea partyist, claimed in a letter to his constituents that amid the “crisis at our southern border,” there are “reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as … Ebola virus.” Even the widely discredited fact-checker Politifact labeled Gingrey’s dire assertion a “Pants on Fire” lie. Gingrey, who also happens to be a physician, should know better — and probably does.

The world has been one chicken sneeze away from a global pandemic for decades, even centuries.

Despite having been labeled a lie, Gingrey’s assertion set the right-wing propaganda machine in movtion. Fox News ran with a story headlined, “Ebola Outbreak Fuels Concerns over Health Risks along US-Mexico Border.”, the website started by the late racist and notorious news-faker Andrew Breitbart, warned that “experts” claim “Ebola Could Cross Unsecured Border.” The birther site World Net Daily asked, “Could Ebola Sneak Across U.S. Border?” The lawsuit-happy Clinton-haters at Judicial Watch expanded the threat level beyond Ebola, warning that, “Illegal Alien Minors Spreading TB, Dengue, Swine Flu.”

The threat of an epidemic in the United States is not unrealistic, nor is it new. The world has been one chicken sneeze away from a global pandemic for decades, even centuries. If the worst were to occur — if the GOP’s fears were realized — it would hit the United States where it is most vulnerable, in its first line of defense: Its healthcare system.

Chart: Obama Has Still Issued Fewer Executive Orders Than Most Presidents


Palin’s Drunken Brawl Finally Gives Her the Publicity She Deserves
This episode speaks volumes about Palin and her family - and the colossal bad judgment of John McCain and Republican voters
A funny, fake letter from John McCain we found on the Internet

A funny, fake letter from John McCain we found on the Internet

In the six years since 2008, when she lost the election and failed to become vice president of the United States, and the five years since she abruptly quit her job as governor of Alaska midway through her first term, Sarah Palin has devoted her life to nothing other than a relentless pursuit of the spotlight.

Palin practices ‘pull my finger politics,’ a tactic in which she makes a remark so carefully crafted to evoke outrage that the media can’t resist reporting it, which causes a big stink

Like Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter, to name just two, Palin has become a practitioner of what could be called “pull my finger” politics. The tactic is simple. Palin et al make a carefully crafted outrageous comment, essentially saying to the media, “Pull my finger — no, really, pull my finger.” The media falls for it by reporting the incendiary remark, which, of course, evokes a firestorm of criticism — which is to say, a big stink — that persists through multiple news cycles during which everyone is talking about nothing else but guess who.

A recent example occurred in May when Palin addressed a meeting of gun nuts in Texas. Speaking to a lunchtime crowd, the woman whom Sen. McCain chose to be a septuagenarian’s heartbeat away from the world’s largest nuclear arsenal compared Christian baptism to torture. Complaining that liberals coddle terrorists, she proclaimed that were she the president, “they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

As intended, this nasty bit of right-wing sacrilege evoked outrage, and not just from liberals, like the National Religious Campaign against Torture, but also from troglodytes at the American Conservative, one of whom described her speech as, “just witless, red-meat blathering, delivered in that nasal whine of hers that makes it sound like she’s chewing wads of tinfoil.”


What Are You Searching For? It Depends on How Much Money You Have

And then we’ll have the very best cupcake!

If you’re not dirt poor, with few prospects for changing your situation, it’s hard to consider how much of your thought would be devoted to grim subjects. Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir illustrated the concept and the myth of the so-called cycle of poverty in their recent book, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. Being stuck in perpetual crisis mode is less about wasting your food stamps buying lobster, the authors say, and more about what they call lack of bandwidth.

It works like this. When you’re laying in bed all night wondering how you’re going to pay your child’s daycare provider if you put tires on the car, but if you don’t get tires it’s just a matter of time before you have a flat and can’t get to work and then you’ll lose hours of pay and possibly your whole job…let’s just say you don’t have a lot of energy left for healthy meal planning, shopping, and preparation. The authors call this a “bandwidth tax” on the poor that America’s better off just don’t have to pay.

Leonhardt: The dark side of religion is of special interest: “Antichrist,” “hell” and “rapture” make the top 10 search terms

Now Google, courtesy of The New York Times’ David Leonhardt, is giving a stark glimpse into the mindsets of those on the losing end of income inequality. The search terms of poor people show that they and the well-off live in different countries, and possibly on different planets.

Gov. Ultrasound’s Guilty Verdict and the End of the Era of Republican ‘Family Values’
Once an self-appointed arbiter of moral virtue, McDonnell threw his wife - and his family values - under the bus in a failed attempt to avoid prison time

With the guilty verdicts in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, the GOP’s claim to be the party of “family values” — a political messaging tool that served it well in the 1980s and ’90s — may have finally met its end. McDonnell’s status as an icon of the theocratic virtue drove his ascendancy from the Virginia Legislature to the governor’s office and fueled speculation he might be picked as Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012.

He earned the nickname “Gov. Ultrasound” after he signed a law that forced women seeking abortions to undergo involuntary transvaginal ultrasounds with probes that opponents dubbed “shaming wands”

In his first months as governor, he restored the state’s ability to fire gay employees while earning the nickname “Gov. Ultrasound” after he signed a law that forced women seeking abortions to undergo involuntary transvaginal ultrasounds with probes that opponents dubbed “shaming wands.”

During McDonnell’s campaign for governor, a thesis came to light that he’d written at Regent University, a theocratic institution operated by televangelist Pat Robertson. In the thesis, written when McDonnell was 35, he opined that civil law should not apply to families because families are “God-ordained governments” that started with Adam and Eve and therefore predating the existence of society. Relying on this biblical premise, McDonnell suggested civil government “must restrain, punish, and deter” homosexuality, pornography and drug abuse and restrict the rights of gays and unwed mothers. He also criticized working women and no-fault divorce.

What Australia Can Teach America About Gun Safety, After a Few Years of Detox

Watch the funniest — and most sensible — arguments for gun control yet.

It will be interesting to see what kind of refutations appear in the comments.

Celebrating Labor Day? Guess You’re a Socialist, Pro-Union, Anti Job Creator Commie

strikeIf today means more to you than packing away your white shorts and shoes, you’re probably a pro-union type who supports raising the minimum wage. But if you’re like most Americans, it’s just another amorphous, somehow patriotic Monday holiday on which to cook out, drink beer, and if you’re like my neighbors last night, inexplicably shoot off fireworks.

I’m not sure how Labor Day got hijacked into being another red, white, and blue affair. Yet the Labor Day sale signs in store windows feature stars and stripes along with promises of savings.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s website tells it straight. The holiday is in recognition of the power of worker collectives, and what they accomplish when they band together and refuse to be abused by, wait for it…job creators.

GOP House Chairman Apparently Auditions for Joan Rivers’ Job Hosting ‘Fashion Police’ – Criticizes Pres. Obama’s Tan Suit
Homeland Security Chair Pete King then appears tie-less on CNN to defend himself against criticism he trivialized the debate by talking about fashion

Clockwise from top left: GOP House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King criticizing Pres. Obama’s tan suit on CNN; Pres. Reagan, in tan suit, with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher; Reagan in tan suit with Australian PM Jack Hawke; Reagan addresses the media on Air Force One in sweat pants and a tie

With Joan Rivers lying in an induced coma in a Manhattan hospital, her fellow New York Republican, House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, appeared to be angling for her job as host on E!’s “Fashion Police.” During an interview on Newsmax, a birther news website, King offered biting commentary about Pres. Obama’s decision to wear a tan suit at a hastily called news conference last week.

Described by one source as “seething,” King complained that, “For him to walk out — I’m not trying to be trivial here — in a light suit, light tan suit, saying that first he wants to talk about what most Americans care about the revision of second quarter numbers on the economy.”

What do Americans really care about? Not the economy, stupid! Terror, of course.

Washington Post: ISIS Used Bush-Approved Torture Technique on Journalist James Foley And Other American Hostages

In late 2002 and early 2003, a group of top Bush administration officials approved a set of torture techniques for use on prisoners captured during the so-called War on Terror. Known as the Principals Committee, the officials who signed off on the torture manual included Vice Pres. Cheney, former National Security Adviser (and later Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft. Ultimately, however, the decision to turn America into a torture state was made by Pres. Bush.

Pres. Reagan signed an international anti-torture treaty that enjoined member nations to invade a country where torture was known to be occurring, arrest its leaders and bring them justice before a Nuremberg-style tribunal.

Among the torture techniques approved by Bush’s Principals Committee was waterboarding, a practice that the United States had deemed a war crime for which the penalty was death by hanging during World War II.

The Bush administration’s torture manual was also prima facie violation of the international anti-torture treaty passed by Congress and signed by Ronald Reagan in 1984 — a treaty that required member nations to invade a country where torture was known to be occurring, arrest its leaders and bring them justice before an Nuremberg-style tribunal.

Bush’s decision to torture prisoners not only reduced the United States to the same base level as its worst enemies, it guaranteed that terrorists would deploy the same techniques against American hostages some day. According to the Washington Post, that day has arrived.


  • 45% to 39%

    Republicans’ edge in the generic congressional ballot among likely voters, according to a new CBS News/New York Times poll.

  • $36 million

    Amount the Senate Majority PAC, fueled by billionaires and labor unions, has has spent so far in the 2014 midterm contests, reports the Washington Post. “Together with an allied tax-exempt group, Patriot Majority, the … early, aggressive presence in pivotal Senate races spotlights how, four years after being dramatically outgunned in the outside money game, Democrats are now some of its most adept players.”

  • 3

    Times more annually that it costs a community to leave a homeless person on the streets than it would cost to provide housing.

Poetic Justice

ISIS has pledged to never stop until the U.S. yields.
It plans to turn our country into a new battlefield.
If we see that aggression,
May we make a suggestion?
Let’s use Lindsey Graham and John McCain as human shields.

“Poetic Justice, Volume I: The 2012 Presidential Campaign” is Buck Banks' wickedly funny collection of satirical political limericks that were originally published on Pensito Review. While having a decidedly progressive bent, Volume 1 is an equal-opportunity dispenser of poetic justice to both Democrats and Republicans.

»  Download the Ebook


  • “There’s one power Congress has that it doesn’t want: The power to declare war. And that’s certainly so seven weeks before congressional elections.

    Bloomberg reports. “The House will vote today on an amendment that gives the administration the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels as part of President Barack Obama’s strategy for destroying Islamic State. But it is silent on whether the president can deploy U.S. forces in the region. Some say Congress is setting a dangerous precedent by abdicating its war powers.”

  • One of the most persistent myths in politics — that women shy away from campaigns because they don’t ‘have the stomach’ for fundraising — is taking a beating this election cycle as women have emerged as top money makers, both for their own campaigns and on behalf of other candidates and national campaign committees.

    — Patricia Murphy, writing in the Daily Beast.

  • It is true. There’s no reason to be coy. I am thinking, I am praying about whether I’ll run in 2016. I said I won’t make that decision until after November.

    — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) told TPM that he’s considering a White House bid and, apparently, awaiting a sign from God.



  • Subscribe to Pensito Review on Kindle