Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Yes, Michelle...this is how it starts..." The President's WH Correspondent's Dinner (VIDEO)

UPDATE: May 2, 2010: And now, Seth Meyers!

The Fireside Chat for April 30th, 2011 (VIDEO)

At a time of high gas prices and massive oil industry profits, the President renews his call to end the $4 billion-per-year subsidies for oil and gas companies and invest in clean energy.

Dave thinks its racist... (VIDEO)

Number three on the list from the Home Office in...well, wherever. "Top Ten signs Donald Trump isn't going to be on Letterman anytime soon."

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm just having too much fun with Chris Matthews just chewing up the Birthers. (VIDEO)

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Make sure you listen to Michael Smerconish's point about new voter Registrations in the Philly Suburbs (VIDEO)

Mainline Republican voters are abandoning the party.

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The argument that the Debt Limit Vote is Unconstitutional...and not in the way the Teabaggers think!

From Taegan Goddard, but first posited by Garrett Epps:

The 14th Amendment directs that "the validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

In short: "This provision makes clear that both the monies our nation owes to bondholders, and the sums promised in legislation to those receiving pensions set by law from the federal government, must be paid regardless of the political whims of the current congressional majority. All obligations that the nation has undertaken by drawing on its credit must at all times be rendered current."

I'm still a and forever... (VIDEO)

I posted the original back in January of 2010, and this past February...

...and now comes, the sequel:

"Putting to rest the crazy fringe idea that this will end the controversy..." (VIDEO)

And let's not forget the Daily Show:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
America Needs to See Obama's Report Cards
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Now that you mention it, Rachel mentioned it as well... (VIDEO)

Rachel decided to focus in on (gasp!) actual news, and talked ethics and fundraising to kick the show off. But when she decided to focus in on the Birther nonsense, she did so in a very emotional way:

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By the way, Chris Matthews had a Busy night, too (VIDEO)

First his bit with Eugene Robinson and uber-villager Howard Fineman:

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And then his dissection of the winners and losers with David Corn and Josh Marshall:

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Lawrence's Busy Night...Part 3 (Racists from Moldova Edition)

It was almost unfair, but...

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Lawrence's Busy Night...Part 2 (David Remnick Interview)

"We need to call this by it's proper name: Race Baiting."

Lawrence's Busy Night...Part 1

This was mentioned a lot over the last 24 hours, and bears repeating. Lawrence absolutely destroyed last night. I still think he's got bits of Trump and NBC/Universal Entertainment Exec in his teeth.

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But keep in mind, last I heard, Lawrence has a Pilot in development at HBO. Now, I don't think he's going anywhere, but at the same time, he's not afraid to get fired by NBC/Universal either. Thus we get brave television.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bob Schieffer calls it Racism (VIDEO)

Good for him. Never knew he had it in him.

Then again, a lot of us have been on this page since...2008.

"That these folks are truly irrational in Washington..." (VIDEO)

Lawrence with Andrew Ross Sorkin. And yes, they're talking about Teabaggers.

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A key way to look at the Birther Question going forward...

Call it a racism test (courtesy Jonathan Chait):

The interesting question to me is whether Republican leaders start responding to questions about Obama's birth as a question of settled fact rather than a murky controversy upon which the only evidence to go on is Obama's claims.

Greg Sargent agrees, and thinks that so far, the Republican Rights is failing:

Now that President Obama has released his long-form birth certificate, here’s the question: Will leading conservatives and Republicans step up, place the blame for birtherism where it belongs, and call on the birthers among them to stop the nonsense once and for all?

There are birther bills being introduced in state legislatures across the country. Will leading conservatives and Republicans unequivocally denounce these efforts?

Some Republicans are already falling short of this basic test of decency. In a statement this morning, RNC chairman Reince Priebus declared that birtherism is a ”distraction,” but he also hinted — without saying so openly — that Obama has been subtly egging on the controversy on when he should be more focused on the economy. Priebus, recall, recently had a private conversation with Donald Trump in which he conspicuously did not ask him to can the birther talk.

Newt Gingrich actually blamed Obama this morning for the delay in the release, and hinted that we should still harbor doubts about Obama’s citizenship. “Why did it take so long?” Gingrich asked. “The whole thing is strange.”

How to argue with a Birther (not that you're going to win)...courtesy the President (VIDEO)

I got to be honest, I don't think he should have done this. I don't think elevating Donald "Racist" Trump is a good idea.

Erza disagrees:

There’s only one explanation that makes sense to me in light of this morning’s events: The Obama administration wants Donald Trump to be the GOP’s nominee in 2012, and this is their effort to strengthen him in the primary. Of course, that explanation violates my axiom that almost nothing in Washington is really a complicated plan and almost everything is a rushed decision made by tired people with insufficient information.

My favorite part of the President's off-the-cuff remarks, highlighted in the video above?

Now, this issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. I think it started during the campaign. And I have to say that over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I have been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going.

We've had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii August 4th, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital. We've posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate.

And yet this thing just keeps on going.

Now, normally, I would not comment on something like this, because, obviously, there's a lot of stuff swirling in the press at any given day and I've got other things to do.

But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week, the dominant news story wasn't about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation, it was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

And so I just want to make a larger point here. We've got some enormous challenges out there. There are a lot of folks out there who are still looking for work. Everybody is still suffering under high gas prices. We're going to have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future, but also get a hold of our deficit and our debt -- how do we do that in a balanced way.

And this is going to generate huge and serious debates, important debates. And there are going to be some fierce disagreements. And that's good; that's how democracy is supposed to work.

And I'm confident that the American people and America's political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have.

But we're not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We're not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other.

We're not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.

Or put another way:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to argue with a Birther (not that you're going to win)...courtesy CNN (VIDEO)

I'm sure you remember George Stephanopoulos's interview with Donald Trump last week, where he asked Trump about the alledged investigations that Trump has going on in Hawaii about the President's Birth Certificate.

Trump did not respond well (wait till about 1:30 in).

That's probably because Jon Stewart more accurately displayed what's really going on with Trump's money right now (wait till about 50 seconds into the video):

Anyway, an actual credible news organization, CNN, decided to launch their own, definitive investigation into the matter. Not Fox, not MSNBC, supposedly neutral CNN.

Well, here it is.

Note that they dragged out a committed Republican, someone who worked for the former Republican Governor of Hawaii, to say flat-out...he was born in Hawaii.

They also have a printed story on their website by Gary Truchman. His conclusion can be found in the first sentence of the story:

A new CNN investigation reveals what most analysts have been saying since the "birther" controversy erupted during the 2008 presidential campaign: Obama was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961. Period.

A couple of salient facts to remember the next time to come into contact with one of these racists. (I was going to correct myself and call them birthers, know...what's the point? Let's just call 'em what they are, and be done with it.)

Here are the hard facts as presented in Mr. Truchman's piece:

Dr. Chiyome Fukino, a former director of the Hawaii Department of Health and a Republican, told CNN in her most extensive comments to date that she has "no doubt" Obama was born in the state.

Obama's 2008 campaign produced a certification of live birth, a document legally accepted as confirmation of a birth and routinely used for official purposes. Fukino went one step further, taking advantage of a state law that allows certain public officials to examine a person's actual birth certificate if there is a "direct and tangible interest."

The president's certificate, she said, is stored in a vault in the building that houses the Department of Health. Ironically, unlike the certificate of live birth, it is no longer accepted for official usage.

Obama's certificate is "absolutely authentic," she said. "He was absolutely born here in the state of Hawaii."


To see what happens when someone born in Hawaii requests a birth certificate, CNN asked a current resident of the state -- Stig Waidelich -- if he could get a copy of the document.

Waidelich was born hours after Obama in August 1961. Like Obama, Waidelich's birth was announced at the time in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper.

Waidelich, like Obama in 2008, was given a certification of live birth in response to his request.

Could Obama's 1961 birth announcement in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin be a fake? Some conspiracy theorists say yes. Longtime Honolulu newspaper reporter Dan Nakaso says no.

"It's not possible," Nakaso said. "Under the system that existed back then, there was no avenue for people to submit information that way. ... The information came directly from the state Department of Health."

Indeed, as CNN confirmed, all birth announcements at the time came directly from hospital birth records.


Could Obama, a self-proclaimed Christian, be preventing the distribution of copies of the original birth certificate because it identifies him as a Muslim?

Fukino says no. The original certificate includes no mention of the president's religion. And indeed, other original certificates from that time don't mention faith.

Obama could file a Freedom of Information Act request to view his original birth certificate and make copies. But at this point, the White House maintains, nothing will satisfy the doubters.


Rick Smethurst, a 2008 John McCain voter who now lives in Obama's childhood home in Hawaii, counts himself among the doubters. He said he wants to find someone who saw Obama immediately after the president was born.

Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he did. Abercrombie, a Democrat, was friendly with Ann Dunham, Obama's mother, and remembers celebrating the birth.

"Of course, we had no idea at the time that the future president of the United States was that little boy, that little baby," Abercrombie recalled. But "we are very, very happy ... that took place."

Professor Alice Dewey of the University of Hawaii was a faculty adviser to Dunham and also knew the future president when he was a child. She called the controversy "funny." She said there is "no way" Obama wasn't born in the state.

Dewey remembered a conversation in which Dunham compared the birth of Obama with that of his sister, Maya, who was born overseas.

"She said, 'When I had Maya, it was a lot of more difficult because Indonesia doesn't believe in painkillers while you're giving birth. ... Of course, in the United States, giving birth to Barry (Obama's childhood nickname) was quite different and much more comfortable,' " Dewey recalled.

Waidelich's mother, Monika, said she believes she saw Obama in Honolulu's Kapi'olani Medical Center next to her son in 1961.

"In those days, there were hardly any other black babies," she said.

The hospital wouldn't show patient records from 1961, but the state's African-American population was less than 1% at the time.

Translation: The future President stood out in a crowd, even in Hawaii.

The Senator from Massey Energy (i.e., West Virginia) an idiot.

I seem to remember saying (warning) y'all about what a bad Senator Joe Manchin (??-WV) might be. I think I called him another Ben Nelson (??-NB), that he was a complete and total whore for Massey Energy, and that he was holding 2.1 Million Americans hostage to serve his political ambitions.

Now this:

Today, Machin will formally endorse a Republican proposal for strict new spending caps, saying it would be "irresponsible" not to. He joins the Senate GOP, independent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.), and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), which suggests the measure, generally known as the CAP Act, now has the support of a Senate majority, or at least close to it. There's even some talk it will be included as part of a "compromise" on the debt ceiling.

To date, the proposal hasn't gotten much attention, but it's important to understand how dangerous this is. Ezra Klein, who's arguably even more cautious in his rhetoric than I am, recently described the spending cap idea as "completely insane."

Spending caps are bad policy, and the McCaskill-Corker spending cap -- which holds spending to 21.5 percent of GDP, or three percentage points lower than it is right now -- is a badly designed spending cap. But beyond all that, it's laughable to posit it as a compromise: It's arguably the most radically conservative reform that could be made to the federal budget. More extreme, by far, than Paul Ryan's plan.

Start with the shell game at the core of this discussion: We're worried about the debt ceiling but talking about a spending cap. This works just fine if you hew to the conservative conceit that "we have a spending problem, not a taxing problem." But that applause line is just an effort to deny the contribution tax cuts have made to the deficit and keep tax increases from being part of a solution. If you think we have a debt problem -- and that's what being upset about raising the debt ceiling implies -- then do something about the debt. The "trigger" proposal the White House included in is budget, for instance, is tied to the debt, not to spending or taxes.

Of course, to the Republicans, that's a feature, not a bug. The virtue of a spending cap is that by focusing on only one contributor to debt, it admits only one solution to it: spending cuts. Savage ones. The Corker-McCaskill proposal is so aggressive that there are years when even Paul Ryan's budget, with all its fantastical assumptions and hard caps, wouldn't qualify. "You put McCaskill-Corker into law," says Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, "and progressive policy is dead for the next quarter-century."
Not that Lieberman and McCaskill are helping.  McCaskill is about to become the former Senator from Missouri, and Lieberman is well...Lieberman.

You wait. This scumbag will be campaigning for the Republican Nominee come 2012.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Obama 2012 Strategy Briefing (VIDEO)

In case you missed Jim Messina's Campaign Email this morning:

I think David was a little smoother in his presentation, but the data's all the same.  This was a good presentation, and now I know what we need to do.

What's interesting to me is, for a guy who is constantly accused of decrying the Grassroots, he spent an awful lot of time talking up the Grassroots.

What does that mean to me? That a lot of his decrying the Grassroots was manufactured by a media hypestorm. That he probably shares a lot of fustration that I have with those of my shared ideological bent (i.e., that some Liberals understand how things work and don't work in Washington, and others -- Firedoglake anyone? -- live in perpetual fantasyland.)