Steve King warns hurricane victims might just spend the money we give them on ‘Gucci bags’

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa)

Rep. Steve King (R-Sociopath)

Hey, have I mentioned lately that Iowa Rep. Steve King is a sociopath? I’m pretty sure I mentioned that. Anyway, now he’s going on about how we shouldn’t spend any federal money on helping people recover from Hurricane Sandy until after we’re sure they won’t just spend it on “Gucci bags” and “massage parlors.”

“I want to get them the resources that are necessary to lift them out of this water and the sand and the ashes and the death that’s over there in the East Coast and especially in the Northeast,” King said during a Tuesday evening debate in Mason City, Iowa.

“But not one big shot to just open up the checkbook, because they spent it on Gucci bags and massage parlors and everything you can think of in addition to what was necessary,” he said later, referring to Hurricane Katrina.

Well, he voted against helping Katrina victims too, so he’s at least a very consistent sociopath. I wonder how far off the party line King is on this one. We probably won’t know until after the election, since any politician who is not a gigantic, sociopathic moron is probably keeping their “let’s not help hurricane victims because I want more tax cuts” to their goddamn selves.

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Conservatives tested which anti-Obama conspiracy films to send to voters


I don’t know why I find this so amazing, given everything else that’s gone on the last few months, but the New York Times piece is something else. Apparently, a group of cash-rich conservatives wanted to finance some good old fashioned, fear-mongering direct mail campaign, but they didn’t have any particular message to get out, they just wanted to get people to vote against Obama. So they selected a set of anti-Obama films of, ahem, dubious quality, then hired Frank Luntz to tell them which of those films they ought to start mailing out to people:

They went to the unusual length of arranging a focus group to test anti-Obama films. Conducted by Frank Luntz, the well-known Republican research analyst, a 30-person focus group looked at three choices: Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America,” which theorizes that the president’s political beliefs were shaped by the radical “anticolonial” views of his Kenyan father; “The Hope and the Change,” a softer critique of the president that features interviews with disaffected former Obama supporters; and “Dreams From My Real Father,” which posits the implausible theory that the president’s real father is Mr. Davis, and that Mr. Davis indoctrinated him with Marxist views early on.

Left (surprisingly?) unsaid in all this: whether or not the films were flatly untrue was of no apparent concern. For that matter, whether or not the films were the most wretched, conspiratorial slanders you could imagine did not particularly concern them either:

Focus groups were revolted by “Dreams From My Real Father,” with its conspiracy theory paranoia and dubious evidence. It compares photos of the president and Mr. Davis, noting that they have similar noses and freckles. It also purports to have uncovered nude photos of Mr. Obama’s mother in a bondage magazine.

Mr. Luntz’s clients were not surprised. Their thinking was, “I want to know if it’s as bad as I think it is,” Mr. Luntz said.

Translation: They knew it was a rancid pile of conspiratorial, lying dung—but they still wanted to know if showing it to people would work. The conservative movement is now focus grouping its conspiracy theories to see which ones to promote to voters.

The conservatives in this case are, unsurprisingly, left unidentified. That is a shame, because I think if someone is going to all the trouble of focus grouping which lies they would most like to finance and distribute to the American people in order to influence an election, I really think the American people ought to be given the privilege of knowing which of America’s top odious crapsacks are behind such a thing. For one thing, they clearly need their taxes raised to the point where they no longer have money to spend on such hobbies. (Frank Luntz, for his part, continues his noble career of explaining, for money, how to most effectively lie to people; surely, there needs to be an award given someday for his own contribution to our new political landscape.)

As it turns out, of course, all three films are making the rounds. D’Souza’s nutcase film has received plenty of attention, or at least did until D’Souza botched it all up by forgetting that his fellow conservative crackpots weren’t quite as keen on adultery as he had presumed they were. The Hope and the Change, chose as the least repulsive by Frank Luntz’s guinea pigs, is being shown to voters on local cable stations. And the ultra-insane crackpot one is being mailed out to voters as well, thanks to other anonymous conservative financiers. There doesn’t seem to be any problem getting a steady stream of cash for promoting whatever conspiracy theories might need promoting.

John McCain says the Iraq War was Colin Powell’s fault

US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at H

Everyone’s favorite picture of John McCain

The circle of Republican hackery on Iraq is now complete. Responding to Colin Powell’s endorsement of Pres. Obama, official Republican maverick John McCain (R-Sunday) first dropped the F word:

“General Powell, you disappoint us and you have harmed your legacy even further by defending what is clearly the most feckless foreign policy in my lifetime,” McCain said on Brian Kilmeade’s radio program.

(Note that leaving Iraq is now considered more feckless than going to war there in the first place, which should tell you all you need to know about John McCain’s mavericky foreign policy ideas, and that’s without even going into all that Vietnam business that seems like it could have maybe been pretty darn feckless too, if we were taking the measure of America’s biggest fecklessnessess.)

… and then John McCain, Iraq War supporter, Iraq War voter-for, let it be known that it was all Colin Powell’s fault that we were in Iraq in the first place:

“Colin Powell, interestingly enough, said that Obama got us out of Iraq,” McCain told the National Review. “But it was Colin Powell, with his testimony before the U.N. Security Council, that got us into Iraq.”

Yes. Yes, clearly the whole thing was Colin Powell’s idea. He tricked John McCain, and George Bush, and Dick Cheney, and the entire army of neoconservative dunderheads that thought that we might as well go for two wars instead of one because we had a special coupon offer or whatever the precise logic was, and it’s all his fault.

It’s true that John McCain has gotten exponentially more cranky since losing his presidential bid, but this still seems like a low blow. Please don’t fight, Bush-era hawks. There is more than enough blame to go around. Oh, so very much blame. We could attach a tape here of John McCain’s various pronouncements of how Iraq was the greatest threat to America since insert-something-here, but we are all very bored of John McCain, so he will have to look those up himself.

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Romney surrogate Trump takes another swing at proving his party has gone completely off the rails

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) shakes hands with businessman and real estate developer Donald Trump at the Trump Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada February 2, 2012. Trump re-injected himself and his wealth int

Today appears to be the day the Republican Party goes out of their way to remind us all that yes, they are indeed completely nuts. Nearly lost in all the Mourdock news: Donald Trump’s latest Biggest Announcement Evah, which turns out to be very bold offer from Dr. Evil Trump to pay five million dollars if Barack Obama releases the college transcripts that Trump is absolutely convinced will show that Barack Obama is really not very bright, and therefore never really got elected president, or maybe is in reality a shady character named Buford T. ForeignGuy who travelled from college to college, during those years, collecting bad grades and becoming president of the Harvard Law Review and such. As blockbuster stories go, this one ranks somewhere in the category of “I will pay somebody $5 million to come up with a blockbuster story for me. Or an average story. Or to merely validate my worn-out existence for a while longer.”

A reminder: Mitt Romney has had to absolutely kowtow to this man. When last any non-Republican, non-reality-show watcher gave a damn about Donald Trump, Trump was deeply engaged in the publicity stunt of pretending he might possibly run for the presidency himself—a pretense that, Lord help us all, a goodly number of Republicans were actually excited about. Because Bachmann, Santorum, Gingrich, Cain and Ron Paul were not nearly crazy enough, or were crazy, but not in the right way, or merely because in the current era Republicans seem to not be able to tell the difference between a political contest and a three-ring-circus filled from bleacher to crowning flag with nothing but clowns. So here was Donald Trump, making a good Republican name for himself by (1) being rich and (2) stoking racist-premised theories about how the black president was probably not even a true American after all, and here was Mitt Romney, seeking his endorsement in front of a Trump-branded podium. Romney and Ryan then went on to happily use Trump as one of their many cash cows, holding private fundraising events with the clown, and saying nothing at all about Donald Trump’s sole political or campaign policy position, which was that the black man was unqualified for an ever-shifting set of reasons. The Republican Party did not need Donald Trump to push their little racist conspiracy theories, but Donald Trump became the self-declared king of them and, in exchange, holds the position he holds today.

Does Mitt Romney—or any Republican, for that matter—care in the slightest that Trump is a rotten boil on the political landscape? Do they give a damn that the Republican brand has so thoroughly been reduced to pandering to the lowest common denominator of their base, all the rest of reality be damned? Of course not. No matter how big a fool this dimwitted, Palinesque publicity hound makes himself, Mitt Romney will still shake his hand, and Paul Ryan will still hold private fundraisers with the man.

Just like Mourdock. Just like Akin. And Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the ridiculous Steve King, and Paul Ryan himself, the king of unicorn-based math and fleecing the poor to make the rich a bit fatter, and just like Mitt Romney himself, the poster child for the very sons of bitches that wrecked the economy by putting casinos within casinos, shoving those casinos in bigger casinos and claiming the whole thing was so goddamn patriotic and freedom-loving that you were practically un-American if you chastised them for it.

Welcome to the modern Republican Party. These are the people who are chosen not to be shunned, but to speak for the party, and guide the party, and raise money for the party, and appear on television for the party, and hold the reins of party leadership. Congratulations, Republican Party. Whatever depths of vapidity and grifting you might have been aiming for, I’d say you’ve managed to get there and then some.

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What are the crazy people thinking today?

A grateful hat tip to Right Wing Watch for tallying some of the (worst) conservative reaction to the debates. I bet you were just dying to know what the leaders of the crazy brigade were thinking, their bayonets at the ready as they watched the debacle unfold. The answer seems to be “Mitt Romney is divinely inspired!”

Oh my, DIVINELY INSPIRED.   Romney looks kind, truthful and firm.  O looks mean, and like he is a liar..
@glennbeck via Twitter for iPad

Because, as the American Family Association knows,

Ok, I’m gonna say it. Obama is demonstrating he knows how to execute the angry black man persona. My gosh, how condescending to speak as he
@busterwilson via TweetCaster for iOS

No, really, Obama’s a crazy person!

Obama’s look appears demonic #debate
@f2a via txt

Eh, screw it. Let’s let the head of the internet’s biggest conspiracy shop put it all in perspective for us:

What difference does it make who won debate? Donald Trump is going to decide the election in 2 days…
@JosephFarah via web

Classic. But nobody can top the occasionally-still-allowed-on-television Ann Coulter. Dear networks: and you seek out her political wisdom because why, exactly?

I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.
@AnnCoulter via web

I have so many questions about the universe conservatives seem to inhabit. Do they have airplanes there too? How is the shopping? Since there is no law of cause and effect, how are sports scores decided?

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Restaurant owner receives death threats after declining Romney visit


Culture of something:

The owner of a Denver restaurant who has received death threats after declining a visit by Mitt Romney said Friday that he “could feel the hate in the air” at his business recently.

“On Thursday, it was horrible,” Oscar Aguirre, the owner of Rosa Linda’s Mexican Cafe, told POLITICO. “It was dead. Yesterday during lunch, you could feel the hate in the air.”

Aguirre’s crime was that a Romney aide asked if they could hold an official Romney campaign event there, Aguirre said no thanks, and that was that. But that wasn’t that, because he then started getting emails, and phone calls, from disgruntled conservatives put out that he would do such a horrible thing.

It hasn’t gotten quite as farcical as the ridiculousness that ensued after a Florida pizzeria owner hugged Barack Obama, leading to a nationwide effort by dimwits to give him bad reviews on Yelp, but anything that includes “death threats” is pretty damn bad.

On the other side of things, there was the bakery owner who declined a visit by Joe Biden. It seems like that worked out better, yes?

Back at the bakery, a couple of guys said they’d hoped to see Biden and didn’t care that the VP had been turned away.

“I mean it really doesn’t matter to me. Everyone has their own views so I love the food here anyway. I agree. Everybody’s different so I could care less,” said Spenser Critterton of Radford.

… and then Biden’s secret service detail bought a bunch of cookies.

Really, folks, it’s fine if a small business does not want to host Giant Political Event-Type Thingy. There are many reasons why a business might not want to do such a thing. There are many reasons why they would. If you’re getting worked up over that, you may need to consider whether you are investing your political time wisely.

Obama: Allies Will Soon Take Control of Libyan Campaign

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‘I have absolutely no doubt that we will be able to transfer control of this operation to an international coalition,’ President Obama said Tuesday.


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Obama Getting Heat From Left and Right for U.S. Role in Libyan Attacks

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Republicans such as Richard Lugar and Roscoe Bartlett are questioning the U.S. intervention, but so are Democrats Jim Webb and Dennis Kucinich.


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