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Monday, November 26, 2012

Fox News Blows, Are You A Viewer?

Distort, Attack, Repeat: The Fox Propaganda Machine in Action

Fox may look like a news broadcast, but it’s really the advance guard of the GOP distortion machine.    An hour-by-hour look at how Fox turns Obama into the second coming of V.I. Lenin

In a new Rolling Stone story, Tim Dickinson tells how onetime Nixon henchman Roger Ailes built Fox News into the most profitable propaganda machine in history.   A master of dirty tricks, Ailes has amassed enormous power in the Republican Party – and the country – by pioneering a new form of political campaign, one in which Fox functions as a  "giant soundstage created to mimic the look of a news operation,”  disguising GOP talking points as journalism.

On the day after the president gave his State of the Union address in January, Fox News swung into full campaign mode, hammering Obama with five GOP talking points that have come to define the budget debate.    The baldfaced distortions came not just from a parade of Republican politicians – who outnumbered Democrats by 3 to 1 – but from the network's own anchors.

Look through for an hour-by-hour rundown of the day's relentless Obama-bashing.     

Every Day these clowns build their shows around the GOP talking points.    Never a break, just the Republican line.

Shepard Smith is a talented newscaster who plays it straight up.    Shep can anchor the news for any network and is really out of place with this collection of losers.

So there you have it, just another day for angry old white republicans.     Fox News brainwashes them and people like Karl Rove and Dick Morris tell them that Mitt Romney will win the Presidency in a land slide.    They are comfortable being lied to and dim-witted enough to come back for more.     The Republican Party must change or vanish.    I hope they don't change.

GOP Doesn't Have A Mitt Romney Problem, It Has A Fox News Problem

Poor Mitt Romney has become a Republican punching bag as leaders within the party denounce his post-election comments about 
how President Obama won re-election by promising government-funded "gifts" to minority groups and young voters.    As 
Republicans jab Romney though, they're missing the larger, more pressing point:   They don't have a Mitt Romney problem.    They 
have a Fox News problem.

Romney's  "gifts"  put-down echoed the infamous claim Romney made during the campaign that 47 percent of Americans see 
themselves as  "victims"  and are overly dependent on the government.    With the campaign concluded, lots of fellow Republicans now feel free to bash Romney:

• "It's nuts," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

• "I absolutely reject what he said," announced Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

• "When you're in a hole, stop digging.    He keeps digging," complained Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Though prominent conservatives are now lashing out at the former presidential candidate, the truth is Fox News has loudly championed the divisive philosophy behind Romney's  "47 percent" and  "gifts"  comments for months and practically authored them for the Republican candidate.    Last week Fox talkers cheered Romney's "gifts" post-election critique, treating it as a universal truth.    (According to Fox Business host Stuart Varney, Obama was   "buying votes with taxpayer money.    Handouts all over the place.")

And it's not just a Fox News problem.    Republicans have an even more expansive right-wing media problem (television, radio, Internet, etc.), which now doubles as the face and voice of the GOP and which celebrates the kind of toxic "47 percent" and "gifts" rhetoric that's being condemned within the party.    The far-right press is convinced Obama won re-election by  "offering"  voters a "check"  in exchange for their support.

As Media Matters noted:

Fox host Bill O'Reilly said that voters feel economic anxiety and just  "want stuff,"  while Fox host Eric Bolling said Obama 
is a  "maker versus taker guy."     Fox contributor Monica Crowley said that the election showed that "more people now are dependent on government than not."     Rush Limbaugh compared the president to Santa Claus, saying that "small things beat big 
things" in the election and "people are not going to vote against Santa Claus."

In fact, O'Reilly and Limbaugh rushed to take credit for Romney's "gifts" comments last week, since both of them had been pushing the "maker vs. taker" narrative in the wake of Romney's election loss.

The split over Romney's "gifts" remark highlights the larger divide within the conservative movement between two distinct camps: activists and politicians who want to get more Republicans elected vs. right-wing media players who want to grow their audience.

Note that after the Republican flop on Election Day, talk radio's Laura Ingraham dismissed conservative hand-wringers who 
worried about the political future by stressing that  "talk radio continues to thrive while moderate Republicans like John 
McCain and to some extent Mitt Romney continue to lose presidential elections."    That's how hosts like Ingraham view the 
political landscape.   That's how they determine success and failure, not by tallying the wins and losses posted by Republicans candidates, but by counting up the number of radio stations that carry their syndicated show.

The same is true with Daily Caller editor Tucker Carlson.   Asked why the conservative media completely failed in their attempt to "vet" Obama, who easily won re-election despite four years of hysterical, far-right claims about him, Carlson told BuzzFeed his publication's work had been a success because traffic to the site was up.    (Carlson also blamed the  "legacy media"   for being hostile to his site's supposed  "journalism.")

I'm sure that's comforting news to RNC leadership. And I'm sure the Daily Caller chasing inane, anti-Obama conspiracy theories for the next four years will put the Republican Party on firm footing for 2016.

For now, it's easy to blame Romney.    That's what losing parties often do after an election, they pile-on the vanquished candidate. The part that would take some guts and fortitude would be calling out the right-wing media that are generating the type of hate rhetoric that Romney embraced and routinely used during the campaign.

Republicans won't because they're intimidated by the right-wing media's power.    That's why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie quickly got on the phone with Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch after Murdoch tweeted that Christie, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and his bipartisan appearances with Obama, needed to re-endorse Romney or  "take the blame"  for the president's re-election.

Murdoch:  Jump! Republicans:   How high?

That unhealthy relationship is the reason why, when it comes to the simple question of whether America is divided between  "makers and takers,"  and if the 62 million Americans who voted for Obama represent a decaying nation of moochers in search of handouts, there's a wide gulf within the conservative movement.    The right-wing media consider the claim to be a central tenet, while Republican leaders think saying it out loud is completely batty and a prescription for an electoral losing streak.

So yes, those are conspicuous handcuffs the GOP is wearing:   Fox News has hijacked the party's communications apparatus and 
is pushing the type of paranoid, blame-the-voter rhetoric that loses elections, and the type of rhetoric Romney's now being blamed for. 

But the GOP can't turn it off.    In fact, most Republicans can't even work up enough courage to ask Fox News to turn down the volume.

Unwilling to acknowledge the GOP's future poses a long-term media problem (the topic is not to be discussed), Republicans 
pretend they have a short-term Romney one.

A political party in which its main leaders are afraid to even state the obvious about science/evolution theories that have been around for a century can NOT lead the nation into the future.    The GOP has become is a parody of their conservative values. 

FOX Can't Get the Job Done Any More

Fox News understands its audience.    Viewers tend to be older, white, male and, crucially, affluent.    But this audience is no 
longer politically dominant.    The GOP must look beyond Fox to remain relevant.

5:24PM EST November 20. 2012 - Walk into the offices of almost any member of Congress and somewhere in the lobby you'll see 
at least one TV screen. If it's tuned to Fox News, you can be reasonably certain you're visiting a Republican. Former Vice 
President Dick Cheney famously required his advance teams to tune all the TVs in his hotel suites to Fox.    Even in my own 
bipartisan consulting firm you can tell the partisan leaning of who you are visiting with a quick  "Fox Check"  of their TV monitor or computer home-screen.

As a Democrat who once worked in media, I am filled with admiration for Fox.    Don't get me wrong, the ideological bent of 
the programming annoys me to no end, but it's supposed to because I'm a liberal.    Therein you find the magic.

The folks at Fox have been hugely successful in tying their brand to a single political party and tying that party to them. 

Republican voters nationwide know, in their heart of hearts, that to get the news they can use the only place to go is Fox. 

Similarly, Republican politicians know that if Fox hosts take a stand on something the only smart thing to do is agree with them or face the ire of Fox's largely white, older and quick-to-anger audience – aka, the modern Republican base.

Dear Republicans, this has to end.    For its very survival, the Republican Party must file for divorce from the Fox network.

Just as there is nothing wrong with a cable TV network, such as BET, targeting a mostly African American audience, there is 
nothing wrong with Fox programming for a mostly older white and largely male audience.    Both demographic groups have tremendous spending power which enables those networks to sell that advertising at profitable rates.    That's what cable TV is about – selling advertising to make money.

Back before 2008, when that Fox demographic was sufficient for the Republican party to win national elections, it made perfect sense for the GOP to align with Roger Ailes' programming outlet. 

We all may love our American way, but what political party wouldn't want a U.S. version of the old Soviet Izvestia, a  "news" outlet that promotes the party line while ferociously attacking the other side?    That's what the Republicans got with Fox and, while this might infuriate my fellow lefties, there was nothing wrong with that.    Politics is about winning, and at one time the Fox/GOP combo was a victorious one.

Not any more.

If election night told us anything, it told us that attempting to win a national election by focusing your energy on an older, white and mostly male voter base was a loser's gamble.    The coalition President Obama put together of younger women, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians is the coalition of the American future.    The Fox/GOP base is the coalition of the American past – its votes are important, but no longer to the exclusion of everyone else's.

This isn't a Fox News problem.    In fact, Fox should not do anything right now to broaden its base.    Older white men will 
always be a sizable portion of our population, and they'll continue to have money to spend on the products they see advertised on Fox. 

That means huge revenues for Roger Ailes, the Murdochs and the whole Fox network.

It is, however, a Republican problem.    The days of this being a mutually beneficial relationship are over.    Demography is electoral destiny, and the demographics of Republican electoral victory are no longer aligned with the demographics of Fox profitability.   I can only say to my Republican friends that it's time for Fox to go.   Pick up the clicker and change the channel and do it soon, before the American people pull the plug on your party's future.

"My view is that Fox News is a propaganda outlet of the Republican Party and that I don't comment on Fox News." 
Howard Dean

Local News
6th Congressional District 

McCain Skipped A Briefing On Benghazi To Hold A Press Conference (on Benghazi)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is demanding a special select committee to investigate the events leading up to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and has held around-the-clock television appearances pressing for a complete review of the incident. 

But all of the senator’s media interviews and press availabilities may be interfering with his ability to gather information about the event.    On Thursday morning, CNN’s Dana Bash reported that McCain chose to hold a joint press conference with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) rather than attend a closed-door briefing about the attacks: 

I have to tell you something that just happened on Capitol Hill, and that is our senate producer Ted Barrett just ran into John McCain and asked about something that we’re hearing from Democrats, which is John McCain is calling for more information to Congress, but he had a press conference yesterday instead of going to a closed briefing where administration officials were giving more information.   Well, Ted Barrett asked John McCain about that, and it was apparently an intense very angry exchange and McCain simply would not comment on it at all.

McCain would not offer comment to CNN.   When pressed by CNN’s Ted Barrett reporter to explain his absence, the Senator 
responded angrily: “Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or 

At least one Republican senator is criticizing McCain for skipping the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee briefing,  The Cable’s  Josh Rogin reports. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), “who was there at briefing, and Senator McCain, 
who was not, are members of our committee, and I know they would play very important roles,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) 

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republicans have dismissed the need for a select committee.

John McCain has reached the point where he is not even a shadow of a senator.   His staff does all the work and carries him as best they can.   McCain screams out for attention and when not talking from staff notes makes a complete fool of himself.    He is foul tempered and useless and most likely medics will tote him off the senate floor.   McCain will never recover from the thumping President Obama gave him and the worst decision of his life, Sarah Palin.  A foul tempered old man spending his last days seeking attention and promoting war with other countries.   Arizona must be very proud.

Lieberman on McCain, Graham: ‘My two amigos’ wrong on Benghazi hearings

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) is known for backing Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on hawkish national 
security policies but on Sunday said that “my two amigos” were wrong to call for a Watergate-style investigation into September attacks that killed four Americans in Benghazi.

During an interview on Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Lieberman and Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) if they agreed 
with the demand that Congress create a joint select committee like those used to investigate Watergate and the Iran-Contra affair.

“The committees within the United States Senate are very capable of investigating this in the right way, and this is one time I have a slight disagreement with my good friends,”   Chambliss explained.

“Yeah, I respectfully separate myself from my two amigos on this and agree with Saxby,”  Lieberman agreed.    “This was a tragedy but it doesn’t rise to the level of 9/11 in [2001].    Our committees can handle this and come up with answers.”

“If for some reason our colleagues think when we’re done that we haven’t done a good enough job, well let them think about a special committee then.”

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Have You Seen Mitt?????

Mitt Romney was spotted pumping gas in La Jolla, California, near one of his many homes. 

 There Is NO Excuse For Anyone To Watch Fox News 

I channel surfed over to Fox to see if the whipping their credability had taken on the last election had corrected their constant stream of bull and propganda.   It Had Not.     Rasmussen was still their pollster and his results were just as silly as his prediction of a Romney Land Slide and the talking Fox Heads were talking the same trash as before the results of the election were known to all.
Fox News is a fantasy land for old white republican men and other fools looking for a return to a 1950's lifestyle.    Billionaires have taken over the GOP and these small time republican sheep don't even know it.    The humor publication  "The Onion"  delivers more truth in a single issue than Fox News does in a full year.    If Fox is your source for news your knowledge of current events is laughably small. 

They came.   They spent!   Then, they limped home, tails between their legs.   (OK, they didn't limp; they were flown home on their private Gulf-stream jets.   But still, their tails were tucked down in the defeat mode.)

"They"  are the far-right corporate billionaire extremists who tried to become America's presidential kingmakers this year.   Unleashed by the Supreme Court's Citizens United edict allowing unlimited sums of cash in our elections, they spewed an ocean of money into efforts to enthrone Mitt Romney in the White House and turn the Senate into a GOP rubber stamp for totally corporatizing government. 

 On election night, they gathered at exclusive Romney victory parties, but the celebratory mood quickly soured, for key states were choosing Democrats.    The people were speaking, and (damn them) they seemed to be deliberately voting against the barons. 

Take casino baron Sheldon Adelson, for example.   He became the 2012 caricature of an obscene billionaire trying to buy democracy.   Adelson rolled the political dice on eight candidates, betting more than $60 million — and crapped out on all of them.   Also, the uber-arrogant Koch boys, Charles and David, amassed some $200 million from their corporate vault and from other billionaires to knock out President Obama. 

But at evening's end, there the president stood, re-elected by a majority of voters and winning with more than 56 percent of the electoral votes.   And Bob Perry, another self-serving, ultra-rightist billionaire dumped $21 million into GOP Super PACs trying to win senate races in Florida and Virginia, as well as the presidency.   All for naught.    Democrats not only gained two seats in the Senate, but new senators such as Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Mazie Hirono are expected to make the Senate more populist and much feistier.   Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Donnelly, Chris Murphy and Martin Heinrich are expected to make the Senate more progressive than it has been (admittedly a low standard) and less likely to support the kleptocracy the barons so dearly hoped to establish. 

 Of course, the billionaires aren't through.   They reckon that the roughly one billion bucks they put up this year just wasn't enough firepower.    So look for even more obscene spending in 2014 and 2016.    Meanwhile, let's check in on the premier political bag man for moneyed corporations:  Karl Rove.   You know it's been a good election night when he has a hissy fit on national television.    It came at just past 11 p.m., after he heard a TV network declare Obama the winner in Ohio.    This was not just any network; it was Fox, the Republican Party's official propaganda machine!    Rove, who is a rabidly partisan GOP politico and fundraiser, also doubles as an expert  "analyst"  for Fox.    (Proof again that this network has amputated the word  "conflict"  from the ethical concept of "conflict of interest."    But I digress.) 

Rove was sitting just off-camera on the Fox set when the on-air anchor team made the call on Ohio.   In fact, he was on his cellphone at the time with a top Romney staffer who was wailing that Fox was wrong, that Romney was winning Ohio.    With his right knee jerking furiously, Rove demanded to be put on the air to rebut the network's own professional vote counters.    He got what he wanted, publicly chiding his Fox colleagues for being "premature."    

This prompted an unusual moment of dead air, after which anchor Megan Kelly said,   "Well, that's awkward."    Since every news outlet and even Republican Party officials were by then conceding Ohio (and the presidency) to Obama, Kelly asked whether Rove was using his own math just to  "make himself feel better." 

 Bingo!    Karl the Kingmaker was having a really bad night.   In the past year, he had talked assorted corporations and fat cats into putting some $256 million into his attack ads against Democrats, assuring the donors that their money and his political genius would put the White House and the Senate in GOP hands.    He came up a bit short. 

For example, American Crossroads, one of Rove's two political funds, spent $103 million to defeat Democratic Senate candidates, but the return on that investment was a pathetic 1 percent.    Billionaires expect quite a bit better, so Rove had some explaining to do and some crow to eat.    By the way, in response to this brouhaha, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's  "The Daily Show"  said,  "'Math You Do As a Republican To Make Yourself Feel Better' is a much better slogan than the one Fox has now."    But again, I digress. 

To be fair to Rove, his 1 percent return on the money he handled is not atypical of the secretive Republican political funds in this election.    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce laid out $31 million in dark money and got a 5 percent return on their funders' investment.

 Worse, the National Rifle Association surreptitiously invested $11 million in several Republicans — and got zero return.    As a researcher for the Sunlight Foundation, an independent watchdog group, put it:   "It may mean people really don't like big money in politics." 

 What the rich buy with all the money the spend on elections is fear... Nobody bet the farm on this election... The rich spent chump change to change the minds of chumps.. and the rich will be back next election and next election until Congress passes regulations to end this obscene practice the Supreme Court hung on America.

Those on the Supreme Court who saddled the country with the Citizens United decision should rot in hell for their lack of judgement.

Karl Rove Fleeces $300 Million Dollars from the Gullible Rich

What Are His His Excuses For Wasting $300 Million Of Other People’s Money

In 2000, Karl Rove predicted George W. Bush would win 320 electoral votes. Bush won 271–if you count Florida.

In 2006, he said he had “THE math” that showed the GOP would keep the House of Representatives. They lost 30 seats and the 

In 2008, when he wasn’t closely involved in the McCain campaign, he came out with a map just before the election that pretty much predicted the president’s landslide.

In 2012, Karl Rove has been a de facto campaign manager for the Romney campaign. He’s raised $300 million to elect Romney 
and Republicans and is so closely tied to their fate that he joked might be involved in Todd Akin death after the Missouri 
congressman blew an easy Senate pickup for the GOP with his “legitimate rape” comment.

On Tuesday, Rove predicted Romney would win at least 279 electoral votes and 51 percent of the national vote.

Then as the week went on and Mitt Romney’s lies about Jeep exporting jobs blew up all over Ohio and the president was 
called  “outstanding”  by the keynote speaker of the Republican National Convention, state polls kept showing what they’d 
been showing for months–the president is ahead in Ohio. And he’s coming back in Virginia and Florida, states that would give him an electoral landslide.

There’s also the fact that cell-phone only voters who support Obama are being seriously under counted in the polls.

So what’s Karl Rove to do now that his butt is on the line to $300 million worth of donors? Start making excuses.

He spoke the the Washington Post–despite the fact that he has a Wall Street Journal column and can go on Fox News seemingly 
at will.    The man called  “Bush’s Brain”  told the paper that Hurricane Sandy changed the election.

“It’s the October surprise.    For once, the October surprise was a real surprise,”  he said.

This was after GOP insiders told Politico’s Mike Allen that Romney’s impending loss would be blamed on Hurricane Sandy, and to some degree Chris Christie.

Friday the CEO of Fox News’ parent company Rupert Murdoch tweeted this:    Thanks Bloomberg right decision.@now Christie, while thanking O, must re- declare for Romney, or take blame for next four dire years.
— Rupert Murdoch(@rupertmurdoch) November 3, 2012

 In Rove’s Post interview, he didn’t explicitly say that Romney would lose.    But you get his drift: “…There’s a subtle 
disadvantage for Romney [in the wake of the hurricane].    For a five-day period, the country stopped talking about the presidential campaign really and people were talking only of the mega-storm.”

Basically, we did everything right!    And we would have gotten away with it if were not for that pesky super storm!

How would you be acting if you knew you were about to blow $300 million that you scammed from some of the richest people in America?

Republicans Tell Unemployeed Vets to Drop Dead

As if to underscore Mitt Romney's indifference to the 47 percent, his Republican Party colleagues in the US Senate used a procedural vote to block a $1 billion bipartisan bill that would have given tens of thousands of jobless military vets the opportunity to work.   No Political Party ever deserved defeat more that the Republican Party.   Republicans have not spent one single moment representing the country, they were in full time persuit of power and their actions are sickening.

Inspired by President Obama's State of the Union Address challenge to get veterans working, the Veterans Job Corps bill would have created a program to fast-track 20,000 former service members into federal jobs as law enforcement officers, first responders, and parks workers.    The legislation "was one of the few pieces of legislation [to] make it through Congress, which has been mired in partisan gridlock for the last two years,"  reports Stars & Stripes' Leo Shane. 

A few enthusiastic Republicans even added several provisions to the bill, including measures to increase internet access for job

-seeking vets and to aid them in their transitions from military life. "Once it incorporated ideas from both sides of the aisle, I thought it would be an easy sell,"  Tom Tarantino, a war vets' lobbyist, told the Washington Post Wednesday.

But despite support from 58 senators, the bill couldn't achieve the supermajority needed to get an up-or-down vote, dashing any chance that it could pass before Election Day in November.    Forty Republicans succeeded in blocking the bill Wednesday afternoon, including self-styled budget hawks Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).    But chief among the bill's attackers was Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee.   "Americans don't trust us," he said.    "And why should Americans trust us when we keep using gimmicks and budget sleight of hand to hide more spending and drive the country further into debt?"

Coburn seemed to argue that government spending is more of a "real problem"  than the plight of US vets.

Conservatives say the bill was a budget-buster, with Sessions alleging that it  "violate[d] the Budget Control Act by adding 

to the deficit."    Coburn complained that the jobs bill made him want to quit his own vocation.    "I don't want to come [to work] anymore,"  he said,  "and the reason I don't want to come anymore is because we're not doing anything to address the real problems that are in front of our country."

In saying that, Coburn seemed to argue that government spending is more of a "real problem" than the plight of US vets. 

Young ex-service-members—many of whom were in the now-famous 47 percent of non-income-tax-paying Americans while they were deployed or held junior ranks—face unemployment levels up to 31 percent higher than their civilian counterparts.    It's a plight that Romney and other Republicans pay lip service to in their attacks on the White House.    "President Obama's policies threaten to break faith with our veterans and our military,"    Romney's campaign literature (PDF) states.  "We must do better."

Yet conservatives' plan to block a pro-veteran bill that had the support of the GOP-led Congress, all the Senate Democrats, 

and five Republicans in the upper body.    "These men and women have worn our uniform, shouldered the burden and faced 
unthinkable dangers in forward areas during a very dangerous time,"    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), one of the GOP 
supporters of the bill, told the New York Times.    For his part, Sessions says he'd vote for a budget-neutral GOP-drafted version of the bill—a version that saves money by doing away with the Veterans Job Corps, which was ostensibly the whole point of the proposal in the first place.    Sometimes you have to destroy a jobs bill in order to save it.

Republicans Squabble over Direction Party Needs to Go.

The election may yet be remembered less as the day Mitt Romney lost the presidency and more as the day the Republican party 
died, at least in the shape that has existed for decades.

The post-mortem into Tuesday's disastrous election results was already under way Wednesday.   There was near consensus that 

the party needs a drastic overhaul.   Does it move further to the right or to centre?    Does it reach out to women, the young 
and minorities, eating into the Democratic coalition?

Some conservatives, especially those from the Tea Party, argued for a shift further to the right, saying that first John McCain in 2008 and then Romney this year were too moderate, both Rinos ("Republican in name only").   

In an early taste of the blood-letting to come, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said he and figures such as Karl Rove – George W Bush's former strategist and co-founder of the Super Pac Crossroads – had been wrong in focusing on the economy. 

The party needed a rethink, to reach out to Latinos and other ethnic groups.   "Unless we do that we're going to be a minority party," Gingrich said.   The party has been and remains overwhelmingly male, old affluent and white.

It has survived as an election fighting machine for so long only because of what Republicans describe as the southern strategy.  That strategy is dependent on a guaranteed bloc of support among whites in southern states (bigots) the party has enjoyed since the 1960s civil rights era.    Throw in Christian evangelicals and others from the mid-west and the mountain states, and there was an election-winning combination.   

But, as Election night showed, that no longer works.   Not only did the Republicans fail to take the White House, they also failed for the second time in two years to take the Senate.   The latter is almost as bitter a disappointment as the failure to win the presidential race.     The tea party appeal is mostly to older, less educated and those bothered by immigrants and blacks.

The chances are the shape of a new-look Republican party will not be decided by Gingrich or Rove or others of that older generation but the younger one, figures such as Marco Rubio, the Florida senator who gave the stand-out speech at the Republican convention in Tampa this year.   He is already a front-runner for the 2016 presidential nomination.

In a statement, Rubio identified two targets.  The first was that the Republicans had to expand its reach, to be seen as the party of not just the affluent but as the party that helps people become upwardly mobile.

Like Gingrich, he called for outreach to ethnic minorities.    "The conservative movement should have particular appeal to people in minority and immigrant communities who are trying to make it, and Republicans need to work harder than ever to communicate our beliefs to them,"   Rubio said.   

He is well-placed to make the argument as a Latino himself, the son of Cuban immigrants.

The party has to not just appeal to Latinos but to begin to take at least some of the African American vote too from the Democrats.   As well as addressing its failure among ethnic groups, the other priority is to address the alienation of gay and female voters.   The only solid support the Republican Party has comes from the bigots in the South and old white men and there just aren't enough votes there to maintain a National Party.   Voter supression has already been tried and it didn't work so its either change and grow or become a minority parity.

Tea Party blames Romney for being a 'moderate candidate'.   Following the Tea Party Path is a sure fire trip to third party 


But the shift to a new-look party will not be easy.   Relations between establishment Republicans and the newer Tea Party 

activists threaten to become messy.   Within minutes of the result being announced, Jenny Beth Martin, head of the Tea Party Patriots, blamed the loss not on the changing demographics or social issues but on the candidate.

"What we got was a weak, moderate candidate, hand-picked by the Beltway elites and country-club establishment wing of the 

Republican party,"   Martin said.    "The presidential loss is unequivocally on them."

The Tea Party had a bad election again, with its more outlandish candidates having failed at the ballot box, but it is not finished yet, and it will have a say in what the new Republican party looks like.

The prime issues for the Tea Party are not so much as social as small government, a policy that has a big appeal throughout 

the country, especially in the mid-west and the mountain states, as well as cutting the deficit and lowering taxes.    Above all, like Martin, it is anti-establishment.

A Tea Party activist, Evelyn Zur, from Parker, Colorado, is fully behind the idea of reaching out to Latinos and African Americans;                       he sported a T-shirt at a recent rally saying   "Black and Conservative Are Not Mutually Exclusive".   Zur resented the way the Tea Party is demonised as racist.    She argued there is a space for conservative views among blacks in urban areas who have fared badly under the Democrats.    She also sees the move as pragmatic. "Blacks and browns are going to be majority so Republicans have got to get them aboard,"  she said and this good looking tee-shirt is the way to get it done.

One of the younger generation of Republicans who will have a say in the reshaping of the party, Henry Barbour, nephew of the former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, shares the view that the party has to reach out to Latinos, blacks, women and the young.  Some of the candidates the party put up came across as  "hostile", he said, adding that he did not have to name them.

Unlike the Tea Party activists, Barbour is mainstream, an influential figure in his native Mississippi and in the Republican party beyond its borders.   The party was and will remain a conservative one, Barbour said, and policies such as opposition to abortion would remain a given.   But the party could also learn from the Democrats about better organisation in identifying and getting out voters.   It would also help if the people we are trying to recruit didn't know that the party hates them but I'm unsure of how to handle this as of yet Barbour said.

He thinks the party should listen to figures such as his uncle Haley Barbour and former Florida governor Jeb Bush but that the people who will lead the party should be Rubio or Romney's running-mate Paul Ryan or someone else from that generation. 

 A younger person with the same old views might just get over.   Some women and blacks to pose in the photos will also be good.   We can try to get by on image until the old whites die off and real change becomes possible.

The main message of the election was the need to be more inclusive.    "What we have to do is do is take our message to people who do not historically support us - blacks, Women, Latinos, Asians, Gays, the young, hippie types, people who might agree with us but we do not sit down with and break bread with," Barbour said.  "We either do it or we continue to blow them 


When asked why not develop positions that support the concerns of these people?   Barbour said Gee, I never thought of that, If we were to represent their interest we'd be the Democratic Party.

John McCain Has Lost His Mind

Senator John McCain’s repeated attacks on President Obama over the years shows the senator for what he is, a bitter frustrated old man whose legacy as a self proclaimed  “maverick”   is a thin veneer over a partisan right wing fanatic.

If McCain had his way we would still be fighting the Vietnam War irrespective of how many young Americans were killed.  The loss of one or two million Americans means nothing to a man who would not blink an eye at dropping napalm from a jet fighter burning the skin off innocent Vietnamese children.

Today he wants to wage an eternal war in Afghanistan against 300 Taliban fighting over barren soil and rock impervious to plant growth without care to the cost to America’s fighting heroes or our national treasure.

Now McCain seeks to lynch his rival, President Obama, for actions in Libya another place where this mad white man would fight endless war as he would fight endless wars elsewhere around the world for no other reason than to satisfy his own personal rage.

McCain and his little lap dog Lindsay Graham have gone beyond reality in their attacks on President Obama.   A recent check 

on McCains brain function was his picking of Sarah Palin as a running mate.   No matter what McCain says or does he was 
soundly beaten by President Obama and he should get medical help to adjust and live with it.   Lindsay should step out of the closet and enjoy the sunshine.


For the first time this year, the richest member of the US Congress had a a net worth of more than $300 million.   The 2012 list includes Senate and House Democrats and Republicans hailing from all over the United States. In 2012, about half of the 50 wealthiest members of Congress reported a lower minimum net worth than last year, which Roll Call attributes to new mortgage disclosures.

Here is CNBC and Roll Call's countdown of the 10 wealthiest members of the 112th Congress. Can you guess which political 

party had the most members on the list – and who grabbed the top spot?

- and Roll Call

10. Rep. Jim Renacci (R) – Ohio

Minimum net worth: $36.67 million 
Renacci's minimum net worth remains relatively unchanged from the year before, rising just slightly to $36.67 million. 

9. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) – Calif.

Minimum net worth: $41.78 million 
Feinstein's minimum net worth dropped about $3.6 million to $41.78 million in 2011.

8. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D) – N.J.

Minimum net worth: $56.8 million
Lautenberg's minimum net worth rose about $2 million in 2011, to $56.8 million.

7. Rep. Jared Polis (D) – Colo.

Minimum net worth: $72.09 million
Polis added at least $6 million to his fortune last year to arrive at a minimum net worth of $72.09 million.

6. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) – Conn.

Minimum net worth: $79.11 million
Like many on Roll Call's list, much of Blumenthal's minimum net worth of $79.11 million comes from the family of his spouse. His wife, Cynthia Blumenthal, is the daughter of New York real estate magnate Peter Malkin.

5. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D) – W.Va.

Minimum net worth: $83.08 million
Even multimillionaires have mortgages.
Rockefeller took out a loan of at least $1 million on a New York condominium in 2011 and disclosed it on the liabilities section of his annual disclosure form. Though in prior years such a purchase would have likely gone unnoticed, lawmakers were required to report mortgages on personal residences for the first time this year under new disclosure provisions in the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge, or STOCK, Act.

4. Sen. Mark Warner (D) – Va.

Minimum net worth: $85.81 million
Virginia's junior senator increased his wealth by nearly $10 million from the year before, reporting a minimum net worth of at least $85.81 million in 2011.

3. Rep. Darrell Issa (R) – Calif.

Minimum net worth: $140.55 million
Issa's minimum net worth dropped by about $80 million from 2010 to 2011, dropping him one spot on the list, to third place.

2. Sen. John Kerry (D) – Mass.

Minimum net worth: $198.65 million 
Kerry has been a mainstay on Roll Call's list of the wealthiest in Congress for more than 15 years, due in large part to the assets of his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the widow of Sen. H. John Heinz III (R) of Pennsylvania of the Heinz ketchup fortune.

1. Rep. Michael McCaul (R) – Texas

Minimum net worth:  $305.46 million 
McCaul tops the list for the second year in a row with a reported minimum net worth that broke the $300 million mark.

Amherst County Virginia Democratic News


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Secession Petitions Filed in 20 States, or More


The Wing Nuts are coming apart at the seams. 

A fair election awarded President Obama a second term and the tea party goons and birth-er's and truth-er's want to secede from the Union.    Haven't we been through this silliness before?

A tiny minority of the dissatisfied whiners want to decide the direction for their whole state.     How did we arrive at this point in our country where the Republican Party is such a wasted group of pathetic fools?

ACVDN  urges You to go to  and sign this petition.

We Petition the Obama Administration to:

Strip the Citizenship from Everyone who Signed a Petition to Secede and Exile Them

Mr. President, please sign an executive order such that each American citizen who signed a petition from any state to secede from the USA shall have their citizenship stripped and be peacefully deported.

Created: Nov 12, 2012

To sign the petition you must open an account (FREE) at

Email this link to your friends and family and everyone you know:

In the wake of last week's presidential election, thousands of Americans have signed petitions seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the United States.    The petitions were filed on We the People, a government website.

States with citizens filing include Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.     Oddly, folks from Georgia have filed twice.    Even stranger, several of the petitions come from states that went for President Barack Obama.

When right wing nut jobs don't get their way they behave like spoiled brats.   Their side lost in a straight up clean election and yet they can not accept the out come of the election.    Visit   open an account for free and sign a petition to remove citizenship and deport these Secessionist to any other country that will have them.   

The petitions are short and to the point. For example, a petition from the Volunteer State reads: "Peacefully grant the State of Tennessee to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.    " Of all the petitions, Texas has the most signatures so far, with more than 23,000.

Of course, this is mostly a symbolic gesture.     The odds of the American government granting any state permission to go its own way are on par with winning the lottery while getting hit by a meteor while seeing Bigfoot while finding gluten-free pizza that tastes like the real thing.

An article from WKRC quotes a University of Louisville political science professor who explained that these petitions aren't uncommon.    Similar petitions were filed following the 2004 and 2008 elections.   Still, should the petitions garner 25,000 signatures in a month, they will require an official response from the Obama administration.

From the We the People site:

The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.    We the People provides a new way to petition the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country. 

We created We the People because we want to hear from you.    If a petition gets enough support, White House staff will review it, ensure it's sent to the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Not everybody who wants to secede is polite enough to write a petition.   Peter Morrison, treasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party, wrote a post-election newsletter in which he urges the Lone Star State to leave the Union.    

"We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity.   But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity... Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?        Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years."    said   Peter Morrisontreasurer of the Hardin County (Texas) Republican Party.

Lets set these dissatisfied citizens free.   Revoke their citizenship and peacefully deport them to the country of their choosing or what ever country will take them.     It is the way to create a more perfect union.

Rick Perry  Supports 3 Things, 
Succession isn't 1 of the 3 and he can't remember one.   That's par for the course for Rick.

Conservative's want to be free from the tremendous burden of being American?   We should help them.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry does not stand behind a secession petition filed with the White House by a Lone Star State resident in the aftermath of the presidential election.

The Dallas Morning News reports that the Republican governor's press secretary, Catherine Frazier, said in an email that Perry "believes in the greatness of our Union and nothing should be done to change it."    She added,   "But he also shares the frustrations many Americans have with our federal government. Now more than ever our country needs strong leadership from states like Texas, that are making tough decisions to live within their means, keep taxes low and provide opportunities to job creators so their citizens can provide for their families and prosper."

Several years ago, however, Perry declined to rule out the possibility that Texas could secede from the United States if 
significant changes weren't made to the nation's economic policies.

"There's a lot of different scenarios,"   he said at a Tea Party rally in 2009, CNN reported at the time.     "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it.     But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.     But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot."

The Texas governor raised eyebrows when he said,  "When we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a 
stand-alone nation,"   adding,   "And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want.     So we’re kind of thinking about that again."

Last year, Perry sought to clarify his position on the issue during an interview on Fox News.    He pointed out that he  "never used"  the term  "secession"  in discussing the matter and said that he had  "no idea"  why anyone would suggest otherwise.

Residents in more than 25 states have filed secession petitions -- like the one from Micah H. (no last name provided) of Arlington, Texas -- in recent days.     Petitions require at least 25,000 signatures in a 30 day period to qualify for review. 

The White House website explains:   "If a petition meets the signature threshold, it will be reviewed by the Administration 
and we will issue a response."

The petition filed by Micah H. had received more than 50,000 signatures as of late Monday night.    It reads:

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending.    The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc.    Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

It's too bad, however, for Micah H. and other Texans arguing for secession.     Robert Wilonsky at The Dallas Morning News 
noted on Monday that it's not going to happen.

The other 24.9 million Texans will gladly let these few go wherever they want.    It should be pointed out that this opportunity to express their opinions, is the result of the Open Government Initiative, started in 2009, by President Obama.

Florida Hasn't Learned How to Hold an Election and Assure Its Citizens the Right to Vote.    

So they are hard at work solving that problem?   NO.  They're trying to sucede from the Union.

So, in light of Barack Obama resoundingly winning reelection by virtue of both the electoral college and the popular vote and in the process winning traditional GOP strongholds Ohio and Florida, some brave American heroes have decided to stand up to the oppression of a democratically elected president as per the Constitution of the United States of America and decided to ask that president to let them secede from the United States of America because it's totally what Ben Franklin would've done because... he's got bitchin' quotes about revolution and stuff.

A bunch of states, including Florida, have jumped on the White House's website and are using the We the People page  (built by President Obama to help folks start petitions and give constructive feedback on how best to run the government)  to ask Obama to let them walk away from the Union.

These disheartened Florida patriots want Obama to let them peacefully withdraw from the U.S. so it can create its own new government.

Their reason: Because the federal government has not led us with honor and justice.

Good one, seceders!  

Also, because the Founding Fathers said a bunch of awesome stuff about seceding from the British Empire, who also were led by a black man (little-known fact!):

Peacefully grant the State of Florida to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.

We the people of the great state of Florida, do see that in today's world the Federal Government has not led our citizens justly and with honor.   We therefore as free men and women of our great state do believe that it is time to take matter upon ourselves to ensure our continued freedom, and to enact our own laws and here by govern ourselves without the federal government's involvement in our internal matters from this day forward.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin: 1775

Essentially, these brave souls are asking Obama and the federal government to take their unemployment benefits thousands count on,   their Medicaid the state's elderly count on,  their protection provided by the armed forces,  funding to help eventual hurricane and tropical storm victims,  money to help fix roads and bridges, and all the other things these free men and women use on a daily basis but apparently can do without because the president is a black man and Ben Franklin once said something about temporary safety.

The Florida petition, which needs to reach 25,000 signatures by December, so far has 6,454 signatures.     The population of Florida based on 2011 estimates is 19,057,542.

How Do Republicans Feel About Being the Stupid Party and All of the Right Wing Media Lying to Them?   Will Republicans be smarter next time?

 As television networks began declaring that President Barack Obama had won re-election, the most captivating televised drama Tuesday evening played out on Fox News, where Republican strategist Karl Rove refused to believe the race between Obama and Mitt Romney was over.

"I think this is premature,"   said Rove, a former senior adviser to George W. Bush and architect of Bush's two successful runs for the White House.

"We know that Karl has a rooting interest,"    Fox host Chris Wallace replied.

More than a rooting interest:   Rove was the most prolific fundraiser for Republican causes during the 2012 election cycle.

With the assistance of a few powerful Republican friends, Rove helped to secure an estimated $300 million for Republican candidates, hoping to help turn the White House over to Romney and control of the U.S. Senate to Republicans.

In a $6 billion campaign, Rove's ability to part wealthy Republicans from their money made the political operative - who co-founded the American Crossroads  "Super PAC"  - a force in the party's effort to take down Obama.

Democratic groups raised millions of dollars based on appeals that focused on the threat Rove and the Crossroads groups posed to Democrats.

As it turned out, Obama held the White House and in nine of the 10 Senate races where Rove's groups spent the most money, the Democratic candidate won.

On Wednesday, Republicans' discontent was evident.

Conservative activist Richard Viguerie said in a statement Wednesday that  "in any logical universe,"  Rove  "would never be 
hired to run or consult on a national campaign again and no one would give a dime to their ineffective Super PACs, such as 
American Crossroads."

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Rove's group spent more than $1 million in 10 different Senate races.

At the top of that group, Crossroads spent $11.2 million opposing Senate candidate Tim Kaine in Virginia, $7 million opposing Representative Shelley Berkley in Nevada, and $6 million in both Ohio and Wisconsin, opposing Senator Sherrod Brown and Tammy Baldwin, a member of the House of Representatives who was elected to the U.S. Senate.

Only Berkley lost on Tuesday.

For months, Rove's commercials told Montanans that their U.S. senator, Jon Tester, was  "a top recipient of campaign cash 
from lobbyists and big banks."

Missourians were instructed to tell their Democratic senator, Claire McCaskill,  "to stop spending and cut the debt."

In those races, as in Florida and Indiana, Rove's candidate lost. 

Only in Nevada, where Senator Dean Heller was challenged 
by Berkley, did Rove assist with a victory in race where he invested more than $1 million.

According to calculations made by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan group that seeks more transparency in campaign 
finance, Rove's outfits provided dismal returns to investors.

By the group's measure, 1 percent of the more than $100 million spent by American Crossroads achieved its desired results. 

Thirteen percent of the more than $70 million spent by Crossroads GPS did the same, the Sunlight Foundation said.

With Obama retaining the White House and the Democrats winning many tight Senate races, other conservative spending groups faltered, just as Rove's did.

Only 5 percent of the money spent by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce resulted in its desired effect, as measured by the 
Sunlight Foundation.


In an interview with Reuters earlier this year, Rove said he wanted Crossroads to be a "permanent presence" in U.S. politics, an organization that would work alongside the Republican Party and employ the party's top strategists while remaining an attractive home for the party's most influential donors.

In 2007, Rove resigned as Bush's deputy chief of staff amid questions about his role in the firing of a federal prosecutor. 

With Bush's legacy bruised even among his own party, the 2012 campaign provided Rove a shot at redemption.

Appearing on Fox News on Wednesday morning, Rove sifted for a few gems in the election's rubble.

He said Obama's margin of victory among young voters decreased in his second election. He said Obama is the first president to be re-elected with a smaller share of the vote than in his first election.

Saying that Romney had convinced voters he was a better leader and had a better vision than Obama, Rove offered a different 
spin on Romney's losing campaign.

"This thing,"   Rove said,  "was won."

Mr Rove, the Koch bros would like fit you for a new pair of shoes. They are made of cement.

I know.    I happened to be watching fox at the time.

I truly can't believe how bad people like Karl Rove, Dick Morris, Donald Trump, Bill Oreilly,  Hannity, Rush LIE to the 
people that watch or listen to them.

Dick Morris said mittens would win by a land slide.   He said mittens would get 323 electrol votes.   HE LIED. It wasn't even 
close to what happened. mittens didn't even get the most popular votes.

They said the young, black, hispanic wouldn't turn out for Obama. They DID turn out.    Some places more than 2008.

They said all the polls are wrong.     They were NOT.

They lied or they were  so wrong on what they predicted.   People need to stop listening to all their lies and bull.

Fox won a lawsuit saying that they can lie and make up stuff.

The attorneys for Fox, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, argued the First Amendment gives broadcasters the right to lie 
or deliberately distort news reports on the public airwaves.

In its six-page written decision, the Court of Appeals held that the Federal Communications Commission position against news distortion is only a  “policy,”  not a promulgated law, rule, or regulation.    Fox aired a report after the ruling saying it was “totally vindicated”  by the verdict.

I really do feel sad for these people that believe them.   They hang on to every world and are faithful to them.    But Fox and Rush just laugh there way to the banks.     At some given point you have to enter the alternate reality to believe the far fetched stories these right wing mouth pieces spread.     The real question is can the GOP lie to you as easily next time?     ACVDN  bets you will be just as gullible in 2016 as you were in 2012.     Lets face it No Republican is going to tell you the truth, they want your vote.

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