Flashback 1992: Rush Limbaugh Calls Chelsea Clinton, Age 12, the “White House Dog”
He's worth $400 mil today, which means Liz Lauten has a lucrative career ahead of her as a Limbaugh wannabe
Liz Lauten, left, in 2012, and Rush Limbaugh in 1992, the year he called Chelsea Clinton, "the White House dog"

Glass houses: Liz Lauten, left, in 2012 and Rush Limbaugh in 1992, the year he called Chelsea Clinton, “the White House dog”

Here is hope for the tens of people who are worried about the future of Liz Lauten, who was fired as communications director for tea party congressman Stephen Fincher of Tennessee yesterday because of a rant she posted on Facebook in which she called Pres. Obama’s daughters, Sasha, age 16, and Malia, age 13, classless sluts.

Based on Rush Limbaugh’s experience insulting daughters of Democratic presidents, Lauten, a former Republican National Committee employee and press secretary for former Rep. Joe Walsh, the infamous deadbeat dad from Illinois, is sitting pretty. Limbaugh has accumulated a net worth of $400 million, reportedly, even though (or perhaps because) he has a history of insulting the appearance of the daughters of Democratic presidents.

Obama Girls’ Cyber-Bully’s Bosses
Liz Lauten worked for Rep. Stephen Fincher, agricorp welfare millionaire who cut food aid for the poor, and Rep. Joe Walsh, the infamous deadbeat dad who used money he owed in child support to fund his campaign
Clockwise from left: Liz Lauten, Malia and Sasha Obama at White House Thanksgiving event, former Rep. Joe Walsh, Rep. Stephen Fincher

Clockwise from left: Liz Lauten, Malia and Sasha Obama at White House Thanksgiving event, former Rep. Joe Walsh, Rep. Stephen Fincher

Decent people everywhere are still absorbing the shock from the scandal that erupted when a Republican Capitol Hill staffer, Elizabeth Lauten, a former Republican National Committee apparatchik who has served in communications positions under two tea party congressmen, took to Facebook over the Thanksgiving holiday to smear Pres. Obama’s daughters, Sasha, 16, and Malia, 13, as having no class and dressing like sluts:

America is Awash in Guns — And Fear of Them

Guns aren’t making us safe, they’re just scaring us.

What if we’re missing a bigger issue in our musings about Ferguson and race and unarmed black men being shot by white guys, often police officers? Yes, systemic racism and a breakdown in our ability to trust police are serious problems. But are we overlooking something more basic?

It’s a rare day without a story like this one:

A white cop observes a black man cut through a parking lot to avoid a red light. He follows the car and when it starts to pull into an apartment complex, he turns on his cruiser’s lights to pull it over. The black man, 29-year-old Brian Dennison, drives further into the complex and parks in a parking space. When he gets out of the car, the cop shoots at him. Luckily, the shot missed. It was lucky because Dennison had his 6-year-old daughter in the car. And she was having an asthma attack. And her inhaler was inside their home, where Dennison was rushing when he drove around the red light.

So why did Officer J.C. Garcia get it so wrong?

Seventh GOP Benghazi Investigation Finds No Criminality Or Malfeasance – Eighth Inquiry Is Underway
An overview and links to findings from the previous congressional investigations
Pres. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a ceremony upon the arrival of the bodies of Benghazi victims, Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, in September 2012

Pres. Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a ceremony upon the arrival of the bodies of Benghazi victims, Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods, in September 2012

It was a classic Friday night news dump, and then some. Last Friday, which happened to be the Friday before the Thanksgiving holiday week, the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee released the findings of its investigation into the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. This was the seventh congressional investigation into the Benghazi attacks, by most counts — there have also been investigations by the FBI, the State Department and others. There is an eighth investigation underway in the House, and there will likely be more to come as Republicans take control of the Senate next year.

The Republicans’ motive for suppressing news coverage of the report is that, like the previous reports, it exonerates Pres. Obama and his administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of anything remotely criminal — which is to say actionable or, more to the point, impeachable:

Republicans Warn That Immigration Order Will Foment Anarchy and Violence among Their Base – Obama Tells Them, ‘Pass a Bill’

S. 744, a bill to reform immigration, passed with bipartisan votes in the Senate in June 2013, but House Republicans refused to put it up for a vote

Last night Pres. Obama unveiled his executive order to defer the deportations of 4.4 million undocumented residents, allow spouses of green-card holders to apply for legal status, make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to get visas and more.

Today, predictably, Republicans are in full lather trying to shift public attention away from the fact that they have no alternative plan for immigration reform — and, worse, that for a year and a half House Republicans have been sitting on the immigration bill — Senate bill S. 744, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill — that passed the Senate with bipartisan votes in June 2013.

Instead of proposing an alternative to the president’s order, the GOP strategy is to focus public attention on the process — Obama’s executive action — by claiming, falsely, that the order is illegal. In fact, presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush also signed executive orders deferring deportations, and Republican presidents Eisenhower, Ford and George W. Bush also made unilateral changes to immigration procedures through executive orders.

The Republican leadership is making a calculation that by ginning up rage at the president over the order, they can avoid having to take a substantive position on immigration, even if the derangement they foment drives their racist base to violence and anarchy, as Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and others have predicted.

Obama Unveils Executive Order on Immigration Reform
Video and transcript - below the fold

Video and transcript – below the fold

Here are highlights of Pres. Obama’s executive order on immigration reform from the Washington Post:

GOP Senator: Facts about Legality of President’s Executive Order Don’t Matter to Republicans
A new low for 'Morning Joe' - hosts and reporter ignore Sen. Coburn's warning that GOP base might launch race war over immigration, Ferguson
Watch the video below the fold

Watch the video below the fold

In an interview with Susan Page at USAToday, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., warned that the Republicans’ base might be provoked into violence, if Pres. Obama signs an executive order on immigration, as planned:

The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it’s going to be a very serious situation,” Coburn said on Capital Download. “You’re going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. … You could see violence.”

Coburn appeared on on MSNBC’s right-wing gabfest, “Morning Joe,” to clarify his remarks. In doing so, however, he committed a classic Kinsey gaffe — meaning he inadvertently told the truth:

I just… you know .. Joe, I just think, ah, the President oughta walk into this a lot more slowly, especially after an election. This idea, the rule of law, is really concerning a lot of people where I come from. And whether it’s factual or perceptual, it really doesn’t matter. And the glue that holds our country together is this common belief in the rule of law. [Emphasis added.]

A Republican senator admitted on their show that facts were irrelevant to his party’s base. What was the reaction from Scarborough, his cohost Mika Brzezinski and Jeremy Peters, the New York Times reporter whose turn it was next to ask Coburn a question?

Advocates for Canada’s Keystone Pipeline Rely on the ‘Stupidity of American Voters’
While support among Democrats has dropped 11 points in 18 months - GOP support has not budged from 83%
Route of Canada's proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the United States

Route of Canada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline through the United States

A bill to enable construction of Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline across the American Heartland failed by one vote, 59-41, in the Senate yesterday. Although the lameduck Democratic leadership put the bill up for vote in quixotic hopes of helping Sen. Mary Landrieu win her runoff election against tea partyist Bill Cassidy in Louisiana, all the “no” votes came from Democrats.

Republicans vow to bring Keystone up for a vote again when they take control of Congress next year. And while polls are on their side at the moment, support for their position appears to be slipping. A Pew poll released this week found that 59 percent of Americans support building the pipeline — but support is down from 66 percent in March 2013.

Impeachable? Here Are 18 Immigration Executive Orders Issued by Recent Republican Presidents
Presidents Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush all altered immigration law by executive action, yet none were impeached


Republicans claim that that Pres. Obama’s plan to establish temporary legal status for undocumented immigrants by executive order is illegal.

Read the full report from the American Immigration Council: Executive Grants of Temporary Immigration Relief, 1956-Present

They have issued a series of threats against the president if he signs the order to stand up the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, including blocking the nomination of attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, shutting down the government again and/or impeaching him.

According to a detailed report from the American Immigration Council, however, presidents have routinely altered immigration policies by executive order, including 18 such changes by five recent Republican presidents — Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan, Bush I and Bush II. None of these presidents was threatened with political reprisal for signing the orders, of course.

Here is an overview based on the AIC report:

Party of ‘Death Panels’ Feigns Outrage Over Insider Claim That Obamacare Passage Relied on ‘Stupidity of the American Voter’
GOP hypocrisy red alert
T4 refers to the Nazi's euthanisia program

T4 refers to the Nazi’s euthanasia program

Four years ago, the Republican Party launched a relentless propaganda campaign to convince their low-info, Fox-befuddled followers that the coming of Obamacare was a harbinger of the Apocalypse. The motive behind the propaganda campaign had nothing to do with the substance of the reform — Pres. Obama had based the Affordable Care Act on the Republicans’ own individual mandate system that Mitt Romney had successfully rolled out when he was governor of Massachusetts — and GOPers knew that, if passed, the ACA would provide health and financial security to their own working-class and self-employed constituents, many of whom would be insured for the first time in their lives.

To Republican pols, the bankruptcies, foreclosures and untreated illnesses of their constituents were just collateral damage in their campaign to destroy Pres. Obama by killing his signature law. And so was the truth. Remember these patently ridiculous lies they floated on Fox and right-wing radio and inserted into the Congressional Record?


  • 10 points

    Amount President Obama’s approval rating with Latinos has jumped since he announced a new policy of deportation relief for millions of undocumented immigrants, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll finds. The new survey of Latino adults shows that 57% now say they approve of the job that Obama is doing, compared with 47% of Latino voters who said the same in September, before the immigration announcement.

  • 26%

    Of Americans now identify themselves as Democrats, down from 32% six weeks ago. “The number of Americans identifying themselves as Democrats has dropped to a record low in nearly 34 years of ABC News/Washington Post polls, marking the party’s challenges after its poor showing in the 2014 midterm elections. The Republican Party, by contrast, has gained sharply in popularity, if not allegiance.”

  • 70%

    Of Americans want the next president to take a different approach to governing. “Even among Democrats, 47% said they wanted a successor who takes a different tack — about the same as the 46% who wanted an Obama-like approach,” according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll: “Looking ahead to 2016, seven in ten That puts Mr. Obama in George W. Bush territory: In the latter part of Mr. Bush’s second term 74% wanted the next president to take a different approach.”

  • 37

    Jeb Bush’s ideological score based on a combination of three statistical indices created by Nate Silver. Bush’s score is “similar to Romney and McCain, each of whom scored a 39. He’s much more conservative than Huntsman, who rates at a 17. Still, Bush is more like his father, George H.W. Bush, who rates as a 33, than his brother George W. Bush, who scores a 46. And the Republican Party has moved to the right since both Poppy and Dubya were elected.”

  • Not even 10%

    A new Monmouth University Poll finds that when GOP voters are asked to name who they would like to see as the party’s nominee for president, they volunteer more than a dozen names, with none exceeding 10% support. Contenders include Mitt Romney (8%), Ben Carson (7%), Chris Christie (7%), Jeb Bush (6%), Ted Cruz (5%), Rand Paul (5%), Mike Huckabee (3%), Scott Walker (3%), Bobby Jindal (2%), Rick Perry (2%), Marco Rubio (2%), and Rick Santorum (1%).

Poetic Justice

The new Cuba deal gives Marco Rubio fits.
He says Obama negotiates like a half-wit.
But truth be told,
Obama didn’t fold.
It was Pope Francis who made him do it.


  • He’s going down a checklist of thorny, longstanding problems, and he’s doing whatever he can to tackle them. These are things that have been tearing at us for decades and generations. My sense is his feeling is, I’m not going to leave office without doing everything I can to stop them.

    — David Axelrod, quoted by the New York Times, on President Obama’s recent actions.

  • If you want a government that’s gonna intrude on your life, enforce their personal views on you, then I guess Jeb Bush is your man.

    — Michael Schiavo, quoted by Think Progress, on being overruled by Bush for his decision to remove his wife Terri’s feeding tube after cardiac arrest had left her in a vegetative state.

  • On behalf of the French delegation, I want to tell you, you are very beautiful.

    — French ambassador Gérard Araud, quoted by the New Yorker, in a text message to U.N ambassador Samantha Power, adding that, “As a Frenchman, I’m not condemned to be politically correct.”

  • I’m going to end on a note of gratitude — something I never thought that I would say. George W. Bush, thank you for not dying while you were in office.

    Jon Stewart, on former Vice President Dick Cheney’s defense of torture during the Bush administration.

  • At election time, candidates seduce us with promises to bring America together, but inevitably fall short and end up leaving office with the country more polarized than when they arrived. After blaming them for their failure to unite us, we turn to the next crop of presidential aspirants and the cycle of hope and disappointment begins all over again.

    — Brendan Nyhan, writing for the New York Times’ The Upshot blog.




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