Category Archives: President Obama

Latino Rebels: Parties Need Spanish 101

The website Latino Rebels put up a post after the President’s SOTU titled: “Subtitle Hell: Spanish Version of #SOTU Is Hilariously Sad”, in which they write:

So, another night another State of the Union speech. This year, we decided to catch the Spanish version of President Obama’s speech, which clearly stated it was going to be subtitled and official. And we were so glad we did, because it was hilarious yet typical of how major American politicians and political parties still treat Spanish speakers in the United States: like second-class citizens.


If you were a Spanish speed reader, you might have understood it, when the translation actually made sense. We guess. Just watch. And laugh. Then shake your head and realize that when it comes to communicating in Spanish, neither Democrats or Republicans have gotten it.(…)The truth hurts, but have no fear, maybe Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing: both parties need to take Spanish 101 lessons again.

immigration-300x188Let’s begin by pointing out that there are 381 different languages spoken in the U.S. It’s pretty ridiculous for the Latino Rebels to cry “second class citizenship” over incorrect translations, when there were no subtitles at all for other languages. I would be more concerned about the two different versions of the Republican SOTU response, one for the white guy base, and one for the Latinos they’re “reaching out to”. From Slate:

Most notably, missing completely from Ernst’s English-language remarks was any mention whatsoever of the GOP’s promise to block the president’s executive immigration reforms. (Meanwhile, the Spanish-language version of the GOP rebuttal, delivered by Florida Rep. Carlos Curbelo, asked Obama to work with Republicans to “create permanent solutions for our immigration system, to secure our borders, modernize legal immigration, and strengthen our economy.”)

As for the parties needing Spanish 101 – actually, they don’t. Might I suggest English 101 for those who want to fully participate in this country’s dialogue.

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Filed under Latinos, Politics, President Obama

I’m Sick Of Spineless Democrats

twitter roseI’m pretty damned sick and tired of spineless Democrats refusing to stand up for this President’s policies, most of them policies that the Democratic Party is all about. What they should have been doing is touting the President’s record and educating voters on the current state of the economy. They could have made the point that he did it in spite of six years of obstruction by Republicans. From the Boston Globe:

pt_1068_7033_oSince January 2013, the economy has improved significantly. All the dire predictions made by Republicans in 2012 have been refuted. A jobless recovery? The unemployment rate has dropped from 7.9 percent in January 2013 to 6.2 percent today. A health care disaster? The number of uninsured adults has plunged by 25 percent, thanks to Obamacare. Spiraling health-care costs? The years that Obama has been in office have seen the lowest rates of increase in a generation. Out-of-control deficits? A 2014 deficit of $514 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office — almost half what it was during the 2012 campaign. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit is about the average of where it’s been the last 40 years.


lundergan grimesKentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes uses a shotgun in her new campaign commercial to distance herself from Barack Obama.

The 35-year-old is shown skeet shooting in Mark Putnam’s newest spot for her campaign against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Here’s a report on guns and the President from Huff Po:

The president said he respects gun rights, but he lamented the fact that even a modest bill to expand background checks failed to pass in the Senate last year. That legislation, which would have required universal background checks for all gun purchases, fell victim to a GOP-led filibuster amid intense pressure from the National Rifle Association.

“Most members of Congress are terrified of the NRA,” Obama said. “The only thing that is going to change is public opinion. If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change.”

gundealers.photoblog600Lundergan-Grimes never says exactly what she disagrees with on gun policy. Does she mean expanding background checks, something 92% of voters support, including 92% of gun owners and 86% of Republicans? And the coal thing – according to Industry analysts in a Business Week report:

…let’s go to industry analysts helpfully assembled by Bloomberg News’ Mario Parker in a June 3 dispatch that deserves close attention in Washington and around the nation.

Under the Obama plan, coal still will be used to generate 30 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030, down from 39 percent in 2013, according to the EPA. “While it stifles increases in demand,” Parker notes, the Obama plan “isn’t fatal” to the coal industry or to that portion of the utility business that burns coal. In fact, he adds:

Utilities are seen by analysts as boosting consumption of the fuel at their most efficient plants to ensure power-grid reliability. “If anything, it’s a little bit better than expected,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Clarkson Capital Markets in New York, said yesterday by phone. “There’s no change to coal burn for at least the next six or seven years and that’s not talking about legislation or any litigation that will come from this.”

Lundergan-Grimes actually sounds like a Republican on her campaign site’s issues page:

Washington’s regulatory barriers and burdensome taxes threaten this critical development in Kentucky.

My God, that’s straight from the GOP playbook. In a bizarre dichotomy, she both promises to protect the coal industry, while claiming she’ll help those suffering from Black Lung:

I would also support the pending Black Lung Health Improvement Act sponsored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

Among other provisions, the bill would make it easier for coal miners to apply for and collect black lung benefits, provide more accessible legal representation for coal miners during the black-lung claims process, and create grants for research into black lung.

I can pretty much state, with no research at all, that mining coal causes Black Lung; at least she wants to help miners die easier. How about helping them not get it in the first place? As one coal miner’s grandson wrote:

Black lung disease contributed to 3,007 Kentucky miner deaths from 1972-1994. One in 10 Kentuckians has asthma, which is exacerbated by air pollution and 574,000 acres of Kentucky have been strip-mined.

We must [use] common sense, like EPA’s Clean Power Plan, as well as government incentives for renewable energy like those fossil fuels have always enjoyed. That could provide Kentucky 28,000 renewable energy jobs in 10 years – twice the number of its coal jobs.

Too bad he’s not running.

Barack Who?

Here’s Bill Maher’s take on the Democratic cowards via Politicususa:

It didn’t have to be this way. If Democratic candidates would just stop throwing their own people and achievements under the bus and distancing themselves from their own president. That is never a winning strategy. Just ask President Al Gore. Clay Aiken, who’s running in Congress in North Carolina, recently said about the president, “I have nothing to do with him, and I can find several areas where I disagree.” Okay, but come Wednesday, Obama will still have a job whereas I don’t know what Clay will be doing, but I assume it involves a cruise ship and a cover of Copacabana.

But the one I feel bad for is Obama. Sixty-three straight months of economic expansion. A depression averted. A deficit reduced by two thirds. A health care law that’s working and lowering costs. Two women on the Supreme Court. Bin Laden’s dead. The stock market at record heights. An unemployment rate that dropped from 10.2 to 5.9. If you’re a Fox News viewer trying to do the math, that’s less. Gas prices are down.

Is it really that hard of a record to get behind?… The Democrats have three Senate candidates who won’t even admit to having voted for Obama.

Kentucky’s Alison Grimes was an Obama delegate. How do you explain that? Uh, hey, that’s why they call it a convention. I was drunk. It’s like if someone asks do you have sex with your husband? And you replied, I’d rather not say. But I will say that when my husband does want to have sex, I often disagree. I mean, c’mon Democrats. You gave people healthcare, not herpes. Own it. Instead of chasing polls, move them.

Absolutely right.

Benedict Arnolds

The biggest turncoats are those campaigning in southern Red States who, if they had any brains, would have made an issue of how the conservative legislatures in those states have failed the working class voter. As I pointed out in a post for All Things Democrat, southern states are failing in practically every measurable category, except of course, tax breaks for the wealthy.

Instead we have spineless Democrats like Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, West Virginia Senate candidate Natalie Tennant, Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, and Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu. These candidates have campaigned with Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, but distanced themselves from the President. They could have made the case that his policies are actually working, that historically, Democratic policies have been far more successful than Republicans’; instead, they threw the President under the bus.

I don’t expect these candidates to agree with every Obama policy, the Democratic Party is not a mindless goose-stepping party like the Republicans. I do expect them to give him credit where it’s due. Cowardly Democrats disgust me.



Filed under Campaign 2014, Democrats, Politics, President Obama

Cue the Pre-Election Gun Paranoia

Just like clockwork you can count on Conservatives to ramp up the gun paranoia whenever an election rolls around. They’re coming for your guns! Buy more now! Hurry!  Gun sales fly off the charts, gun manufacturers make a fortune, and, well … nobody ever comes for those guns. RWNJs will connect anything and everything back to gun rights, and no matter how far fetched it sounds to a rational person, there will be believers. The latest convoluted connection between natural events and gun grabbing comes to us from WND and Morgan Brittany, host of the conservative show PolitiChicks. According to Media Matters:

A columnist for conspiracy site WND asked [her] whether the Obama administration has “orchestrated” Ebola and other crises in order to declare “martial law” and seize everyone’s guns.

Evidently, Ms. Brittany had recently attended a dinner party laced with conspiracy nuts, and a conversation about Ebola predictably snowballed into fear mongering that the government has a coffin ready and waiting for you – because they want your guns, of course. Here’s what she told WND:

tinfoilhatsOne of the men brought up the fact that Washington has known for months if not years that we were at risk for some sort of global pandemic. According to a government supplier of emergency products, the Disaster Assistance Response Team was told to be prepared to be activated in the month of October for an outbreak of Ebola.

Hmm, that’s just like the fact that they knew 60,000 illegal children were going to be coming across our southern border eight months before it happened.

Questions were then brought up about the stockpiling of ammunition and weapons by Homeland Security over the past couple of years and the $1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins supposedly stored in Georgia. Why was there preparation being made for FEMA camps to house people in isolation? These were the questions being seriously discussed.

Obviously Ms. Brittany either believes this nonsense, or is quite content to sit back and let idiocy reign as long as it’s directed at the current President, and gets the gun paranoia boiling. Let’s look at the “plot”, point by point:

1. Risk of global pandemic:

Anyone who doesn’t realize we risk some sort of global pandemic on a daily basis is a fool. The number of countries without adequate sanitation, coupled with the speed with which people can travel the world, is a recipe for the spread of disease. Consider the site Health Map: it plots diseases throughout the world on a daily/weekly basis. In addition to Ebola, there are cases of Dengue, Cholera, Hepatitis, Swine Flu, and Marburg Fever; in fact currently, it seems there as many if not more cases of Dengue as Ebola. Any developed country not prepared for disease on a grand scale would be derelict in protection of its citizens.

2. The Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART):

This was originally a Canadian unit established around 1994 as an answer to “the need for a rapid-response capability to provide effective humanitarian aid”. The U.S. does not have one centralized DART; states and cities have established their own to support police departments and municipalities. The claim about an October preparedness command has been thoroughly debunked.

3. 60,000 children crossing the border:

The government didn’t “know” 60,000 children would cross the border “8 months ahead of time”, it was a projection for 2014 based on data (you know, that critical thinking stuff Conservatives hate so much):

Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 2013: Whereas the number of children apprehended averaged 6,800 between federal fiscal years (FY) (October 1-September 30) 2004 and 2011, the total jumped to over 13,000 children in FY2012 and over 24,000 children in FY 2013. HHS/ORR, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimate that more than 60,000 unaccompanied minors could enter the United States during 2014.

4. “Government stockpiling ammunition”:

When even Breitbart admits this is a myth, you know it’s full blown ridiculous:

The concerns surrounding DHS stockpiling ammunition are nothing but more fear-mongering and largely unwarranted.

You can read their full myth vs. fact report here, and I must say, it’s the most rational thing I’ve ever seen come out of that site. Another thing important to note: Some of those government orders were placed as far back as 2003; try as they might, Conservatives, can’t place Obama in the White House at that time.

5. “$1 billion worth of disposable FEMA coffins” From Fact Check:

These containers aren’t “disposable coffins” for bodies; they’re placed in the ground to protect the coffin from water seepage and to maintain level ground above, according to

Conspiracy theories about the containers started appearing in 2007… [Oops, no Obama in the White House then either] tens of thousands of the vaults were stored on leased land in Madison, Ga., back in the 1990s by the manufacturer, the nearby Vantage Products Corp.

…the burial vaults aren’t owned by the government, or FEMA, or any one individual; they have either been sold to funeral homes for pre-need arrangements, or are being stored until sold.

Everything eventually circles back to gun control paranoia for Conservatives. Is it because Americans are in imminent danger of nra-Puppettslosing their 2nd Amendment rights? Hardly. When you have nothing to offer your voters in the way of substance, you prey on their fears; and Conservatives know the best way to do that is talking about gun rights. Anything that keeps the working class from thinking about income inequality, jobs, wages, or the lack of Conservative solutions, and deflects their anger toward President Obama (not that most of them need help in that area), keeps Republicans and the Tea Party from needing any kind of actual plan.

The more Conservatives and the NRA hype their “Coming for your guns” meme, the more money the gun makers, lobbyists, NRA, and yes – Wayne LaPierre make. That’s all it’s ever really been about. As Consortium News put it:

Image from Politicalgates

Image from Politicalgates

The bottom line is that it really is the bottom line: money. The NRA and its gun lobby pals keep the market jumping.

So firearms and ammunition manufacturers, including Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Rugar, and Olin (Winchester Ammunition), give the NRA millions. Depending on the company, this includes direct contributions, percentages of sales and sometimes even free NRA memberships with a purchase.

That’s why, as I’ve mentioned, things start going off the gun paranoia charts around election time. At the NRA’s 2014 convention in April, spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen began dutifully blowing the horn:

“This really is a do-or-die year for the NRA and for Second Amendment rights.”

Of course it is. Again. Indiana’s Fox 59 reported at the time:

“Our freedom is under attack and we simply have no other option than to take action if we are to repel this attack,” reads the narrative description of the NHR-ILA Grassroots Workshop: Stand and Fight in the 2014 Elections. “This is the time to prepare for the inevitable battles we will face in the future.”

Rep Mike Kelly (R-PA) told a conservative site in March of this year:

You have to constantly be ringing that bell, ‘They’re coming for your guns, they’re coming for your guns.’ Because as soon as we back off, we lose. And if we let them convince us that they really don’t want to take our guns away, then we lose.

They would lose more than they think; without constant stoking of the phony gun paranoia machine, red state voters might actually pay attention to how badly they’re being screwed by their own party.


Filed under Guns, Politics, President Obama, Republicans, The Tea Party

Benghazi Investigation Rapidly Deflates

What Was Benghazi Investigation Really For?

After almost two years of incessant Conservative hawking of the Benghazi tragedy for political purposes, FINALLY… just listen for a minute… can you hear it? That’s the sound of stunned “what do we do now?” silence from the Right and their political media suck-ups as one more scandal balloon deflates. In fact, Chairman Issa’s “oversight” batting average should have sent him back to the minor leagues long ago.


It seems the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has concluded its Benghazi investigation, and voted to declassify their report which, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) via the San Francisco Chronicle finds:

– Intelligence agencies were “warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened.”

— “A mixed group of individuals, including those associated with al Qaeda, (Moammar) Khadafy loyalists and other Libyan militias, participated in the attack.”

— “There was no ‘stand-down order’ given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, no illegal activity or illegal arms transfers occurring by U.S. personnel in Benghazi, and no American was left behind.”

— The administration’s process for developing “talking points” was “flawed, but the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis.”

Conservatives have done their best to keep the Benghazi balloon in the air with endless committees and investigations, as Steve Benen reports:

“… the deadly violence in Benghazi two years ago has now been investigated by the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the independent State Department Accountability Review Board, the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform, and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

What Did the Benghazi Investigation Cost Us?

So what did this political witch hunt/swamp-walk by the “fiscally responsible” party cost taxpayers? According to the Associated Press:

The Pentagon says Congress’ multiple investigations of the deadly 2012 attack… have cost the department millions of dollars and thousands of hours of personnel time.

… the Pentagon described repetitive requests for information from about 50 congressional hearings, briefings and interviews…

On top of that, if Boehner’s House Select Committee goes ahead with their scheduled hearings in September, that will chalk up another $3 million or so.

issaIn 2010, after becoming Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Darrell Issa told Politico:

“I want seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.”

… he isn’t looking to catch witnesses off guard, saying that “oversight should be done with a balance for the American people and not as a gotcha.”

And we all know how long that bit of b.s. lasted. By the way, how does one establish how many hearings he wants before he knows how many things actually require a hearing?

Mr. Issa would have been better suited as a Nun in some parochial school where he could spend all day rapping children’s  knuckles with a ruler until they bled.

What Will They Do Now?

Once the crying’s over, what will Darrell Issa and his fellow pud pounders do with their time? Well, they just left for their 5 week summer vacation, so my guess would be – begging to keep their jobs. Feel free to send me any pictures of Darrell Issa groveling before his constituency; I’ll be glad to publish them. With proper credits of course.

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Filed under Benghazi, Congress, Politics, President Obama, Republicans, The Tea Party

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