Flashback: Rove Erases 22 Million White House Emails on Private Server at Height of U.S. Attorney Scandal – Media Yawns
Rove

Rove

Now that they’ve taken control of Congress, Republicans are wielding power much the same way they did in the Clinton era and for the six years afterward when they controlled the White House and Congress under George W. Bush: ineptly — ex. 1, 2, 3, etc.

Then as now, it’s clear that the only thing Republicans do very well is inflame the media with bogus scandals — which is a handy way to distract attention from their ineptitude. They are doing this with their usual aplomb, and considerable success, in the matter of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send emails.

Clinton has said she deleted about 50,000 emails that dealt with personal matters, citing her daughter’s wedding and her mother’s funeral as examples. All the correspondence pertaining to official business was turned over to archived by State. The deletion of the emails, though perfectly legal, has excited House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner, who has announced plans to deploy House committees to investigate what might aptly be called Servergate.

Al Jazeera Explains How Clueless 47 Senators Were About Iran’s Nuclear Negotiations

Leave it to Al Jazeera America to give a little lesson in international relations to the 47 asshats who signed the now infamous letter to Iran threatening to obviate any agreement on that country’s nuclear designs. It’s worth a read, since I haven’t seen a similar explainer in the capitol press corp’s output.

Here’s a sample:

Beyond the amusing inaccuracies about U.S. parliamentary order, it seems there are some features of the nuclear negotiations that the signatory senators don’t fully understand — not only on the terms of the deal, but also on who would be party to an agreement.

There are no negotiations on Iran’s “nuclear-weapons program” because the world’s intelligence agencies (including those of the U.S. and Israel) do not believe Iran is currently building nuclear weapons, nor has it made a strategic decision to use its civilian nuclear infrastructure to produce a bomb. An active Iranian nuclear-weapons program would render moot the current negotiations, because Iran would be in fundamental violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The Presidential Endorsement Game Has Begun

scott_baio_3
Scott Walker is not even a candidate for president yet — officially — but he’s already received his first celebrity endorsement. Scott Baio, the actor who portrayed the character Chachi on “Happy Days” and the spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi” has come out with a full-throated endorsement of the Wisconsin governor.

According to Politico, Baio’s endorsement of Walker was expressed in a tweet:

“Gov. Walker sounds a lot like President Reagan. #WalkerFor Pres,” the tweet read, with a picture of the actor posing alongside Walker.

Walker tweeted back Wednesday, writing: “Thanks! We both love Reagan, I’m flattered,” along with the hashtag #ChachiandWalkerLoveReagan.

50 Years After ‘Bloody Sunday’

sfPresident Obama spoke at a ceremony in Selma, Ala.,marking the 50th anniversary of the events of “Bloody Sunday” when more than 600 nonviolent voting-rights protesters were attacked by Alabama state troopers as they marched for voting rights. His remarks are below.

It is a rare honor in this life to follow one of your heroes. And John Lewis is one of my heroes.

Now, I have to imagine that when a younger John Lewis woke up that morning fifty years ago and made his way to Brown Chapel, heroics were not on his mind. A day like this was not on his mind. Young folks with bedrolls and backpacks were milling about.

Veterans of the movement trained newcomers in the tactics of non-violence; the right way to protect yourself when attacked. A doctor described what tear gas does to the body, while marchers scribbled down instructions for contacting their loved ones. The air was thick with doubt, anticipation, and fear. They comforted themselves with the final verse of the final hymn they sung:

No matter what may be the test, God will take care of you;

Lean, weary one, upon His breast, God will take care of you.

Then, his knapsack stocked with an apple, a toothbrush, a book on government – all you need for a night behind bars – John Lewis led them out of the church on a mission to change America.

Ignore the Right-Wing Media Hype – There’s No Chance Condoleeza Rice Will Be California’s Next Senator

Rice

Rice

Right wing media outlets were giddy last week after the Field Poll found that, in aggregate, former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, now a Stanford professor and fellow at the Hoover Institution, had more support than anyone else who might consider running for the California U.S. Senate seat now held by Democrat Barbara Boxer, who is retiring. Headlines like this in Reuters and other legit sources caused the stir: “Condoleezza Rice Leads Potential 2016 U.S. Senate Hopefuls in California.”

Reuters is, of course, technically correct. Field asked California voters to weigh in on 18 possible candidates to replace Boxer. From the 18 names on the list, 49 percent of respondents chose Rice and 46 percent chose Democrat Kamala Harris, the state Attorney General, who is the only announced candidate so far.

Wow! Rice is winning by 3 points — or at least that’s the way right-wing blogs like Breitbart.com, Tucker Carlson’s Daily Talker and Red Alert Politics spun the poll results. In reality, the suggestion that Condoleeza Rice could win the 2016 Senate race in California is nonsense.

Giuliani Proves That Patriotism Truly Is the Last Refuge of Draft-Dodging, Adulterous Scoundrels

photo-giuliani-flag

Samuel Johnson said it 240 years ago: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” Rudolph Giuliani proved it last week at a fundraiser in New York for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker when he exhumed commie-baiter Sen. Joe McCarthy by asserting that while he and Republican fatcats like himself were America-loving patriots, Pres. Obama and his family were not.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say,” Giuliani said, “but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

In the media frenzy that ensued, Giuliani — who spent $50 million campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 only to win just one (1) delegate to the Republican convention — embarked on a victory lap of right-wing media outlets during which he doubled down on his petty spitefulness.

That seemed to come to a halt yesterday when he issued a banal non-apology, which included this delicious tautology: “My bluntness overshadowed my message.” Bluntness was his message. After all, when you’re accusing the president of being anti-American, why be polite?

Obama’s Job Approval Surges in California As Optimism Rises among Democrats
Marine One lands at the Sand Hill Field landing zone in San Francisco, California, after President Barack Obama returned from the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit in Palo Alto, Feb. 13, 2015. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Marine One lands at the Sand Hill Field landing zone in San Francisco, California, after President Barack Obama returned from the Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit in Palo Alto, Feb. 13, 2015. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

A Field Poll of California voters out this week [PDF] found Pres. Obama’s job approval rating has rebounded in the state to 57 percent — up 12 percentage points from five months ago when his approval rating was 45 percent.

By party affiliation, the president’s job approval rating was 84 percent among Democrats, 54 percent among independents and 18 percent among Republicans. Overall, just 36 percent said they disapproved of the president’s job performance.

Analysis by Field pollsters suggests that approval of the president’s handling of the economy and optimism about the overall direction of the country among California Democrats is behind the surge in Obama’s polling:

Like ISIS, US Christian Extremists Advocate Killing Gays – But ISIS Is Actually Doing It
ISIS executes a gay man by pushing him off  of a rooftop

ISIS executes a gay man by pushing him off of a rooftop

While ISIS has been barraging the world media with horrific images — burning a Jordanian pilot alive and beheading journalists, aid workers and, most recently, 21 Egyptian Christians — it has also been executing gay men by hurling them to their deaths off of rooftops and other high places. Two men were also reportedly crucified for being gay.

ISIS appears to be handling these two kinds of public murders differently. It seeks international publicity for hostage executions because they seek to stoke outrage, fear and horror in order to lure the civilized world into an Armaggedon-like conflagration in the Middle East. The executions of gay men are handled with less fanfare because they have a different purpose — based on the their interpretation of the Koran, ISIS is murdering these men in order to carry out God’s judgment for the sin of homosexuality.

Most Americans view this sort of barbarism toward gays with detachment — it’s a faraway Muslim death cult acting out its extremist views. In fact, on the issue of homosexuality, ISIS is aligned with Christian extremists right here in the United States, many of whom also interpret God’s law as calling for the execution of gays.

There is a key difference, of course. While Christianists advocate killing gays, ISIS is actually doing it.

Terrible Deeds: Thousand of People Have Been Burned Alive in Christ’s Name
Templar Knights leader Jacques de Molay being led to the stake where he will be burned alive

Knights Templar leader Jacques de Molay being led to the stake where he will be burned alive

The right wing’s anti-Obama outrage-du-jour comes in reaction to the president’s comment at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday about the excesses of religious extremism:

You’re More Likely to be Killed by a Gun than a Car

The good news is cars and driving are getting safer, thanks to better construction, a trend away from younger drivers, and maybe even because of harsher penalties for things like texting while driving or not wearing a seatbelt.

The bad news is you’re more likely to take a bullet, especially if you’re under 25.

Enumerati

  • 34%

    Of Republicans called President Obama an imminent threat to the United States, versus 25% who ranked Russian President Vladimir Putin and 23% who viewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assed as that dangerous, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

  • 90%

    The likelihood that Carly Fiorina will enter the GOP presidential race, “with her announcement coming in April or May,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • 19%

    Jeb Bush’s lead in the GOP presidential field in New Hampshire, followed by Scott Walker at 14%, Rand Paul at 7%, Donald Trump at 6%, Ted Cruz at 5% and Chris Christie at 5%, according to a new Suffolk University poll in New Hampshire.

  • 739

    Number of amendments the Senate had attached to the budget bill during yesterday’s vote-a-rama marathon, reports the New York Times.

  • 29%

    Scott Walker lead in the GOP presidential race in Iowa, followed by Ben Carson at 14%, Jeb Bush at 12%, Mike Huckabee at 11%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Marco Rubio at 5%, Rand Paul at 5% and Chris Christie at 5%, according to a new InsiderAdvantage poll in Iowa.

Poetic Justice

Lindsey Graham’s a GOP-er from down in South Carolina,
But he sees a clear path forward in white-bread Iowa,
And in all fairness,
The question of his gayness,
Likely won’t come up as long as he steers clear of homophobic Indiana.

Verbatim

  • My base is really beyond just evangelicals. I think the untold secret is a lot of the support that I have, and that I anticipate I will have, is from the working-class, blue-collar people who grew up a lot like I did – not blue-blood, but blue-collar.

    — Mike Huckabee, quoted by The Hill, brushing off the challenge to his base in the GOP presidential race from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

  • Even Nixon didn’t destroy the tapes.

    — RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, quoted by The Hill, blasting Hillary Clinton for wiping her private email server and permanently deleting all emails.

  • The First Amendment says keep government out of religion, not religion out of government.

    — Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), quoted by David Brody, speaking at a private prayer breakfast in Washington, D.C.

  • Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth.

    — Arizona state State Sen. Sylvia Allen (R), raising the possibility of requiring church attendance for every American, the Arizona Republic reports. Allen added that she wished things were more like they were in the 1950s: “People prayed, people went to church. I remember on Sundays the stores were closed. The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”

  • The unfortunate reality is this is what happens when you put someone in office who’s never led before. This president, unfortunately, having been a senator, a state senator, a community organizer, never led anything, and so he’s never been in a position to make those sorts of judgments.

    — Gov. Scott Walker (R), quoted by Bloomberg.

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Celebrate Holy Week by flogging your bankers — just as Jesus did

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