Calling out the Right, Republicans and other jerks in politics

Climate Change…Real, Dangerous…Hilarious?

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Romney Mentions Climate Change in Convention Speech…For Laughs (via Red Green & Blue)

(I’ve recently started writing for a blog called Red, Green and Blue, part of Important Media Network…check it out!!)

It was a strange night at the Republican National Convention in Florida, what with Clint Eastwood talking to an empty chair… “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans — [pauses for audience laughter(!)] — and to heal the planet. MY promise is to help you and your family.” HAHAHAHAHA…

Read On…>

Written by D. Heffernan

September 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Catching up: the good, the bad, the ugly

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What a week (or two…or nine…)!!  Republicans feed the crazy, Obama accepts reality, solar goes big (in the Middle East)…a guy asks his friend to shoot him in the leg so he “can feel what its like to be shot”…Ahhh, the sweet, gorgeous insanity of politics (and whatnot) rages on.

A lot to catch up on…and its not slowing down.  Where to begin?  Here’s the good, the bad, the ugly (in no particular order):

  • Worst-kept secret:  In case you thought that republican members of congress were not putting the interests of big oil companies ahead of the country, a senior staffer to Senator Jim Inhofe (r-Jerktown), sent the following email message out to two dozen oil and gas industry lobbyists:  “Moving forward, we—your partners—would kindly ask for better coordination and communication from you to prevent the Obama administration from pulling similar stunts (collaborating with industry on regulations) in the future.”  Yes, that’s right…”your partners.”  Republican congressmen and oil and gas lobbyists are “partners” and need to coordinate their strategy to fight against government regulations protecting our health and safety.  Nice.
  • Now that’s a good sign…  Wow, who knew that the Citizens United decision would have such a horrific, yet measurable effect on politics in the United States?  If you’re like me, you were relived to hear that the highest court in the land decided that political giving should be both anonymous and without limit.  Best idea ever?  WRONG.  47% of  contributions to political groups (like SuperPACs) are now from undisclosed sources…it was 1% in 2006.  Probably just lots and lots of hard-working Americans, chipping in $50 here, $100 there…or is it a small cadre of mega-billionaires…or perhaps a hostile foreign government?  Thanks a lot, Supreme Court!

Read on…

Written by D. Heffernan

May 17, 2012 at 3:42 am

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“I Misspoke”: The End of Lying

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Did you know that you never have to admit responsibility for any action if you are a public figure?  Go ahead and lie through your teeth.  Feel free to ridicule and mock minorities.  Give whatever boneheaded response to questions comes to mind if you have no idea what you’re talking about.

You can EASILY get out of it later.  No harm, no foul.  You “misspoke” is all…happens to everyone.

“To misspeak is human”?  I’m old enough to remember the infamous “I can’t recall” repetition orgy from politicians and officials testifying to Congress during the Iran-Contra Scandal (yikes…kind of dates me).  The new ad nauseam refrain seems to be “I misspoke”.  It’s a way of weaseling out of virtually any uncomfortable situation that showcases one or more of a) your complete and embarrassing lack of knowledge about a particular subject that you should know about, b) your knack for lying through your teeth, or c) your general insensitivity/bigotry/astounding jerkitude.  It isn’t that you’re “sorry”, it’s not that you “didn’t know,” and clearly not that you were “actually saying something you believe in your heart to be true.”  No…you merely “misspoke.”

Here’s some recent classics:

  • Congressman Paul Ryan (r-WI) apologizedmisspoke” when he said military generals were lying to Congress (quite a charge, eh?) in claiming support for a reduced defense budget.  Clearly, by saying they WERE NOT being truthful, he meant to say they WERE being truthful, but that he didn’t agree with them…I guess.  Oops.
  • Human Etch-a-Sketch  republican presidential contender Mitt Romney “misspoke” when he said, while discussing his economic policy, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.”  (Because THAT would be wrong.)  What he meant to say, of course, was “Let them eat cake.”
  • Brian Kilmeade (general idiot – Fox and Friends) apologizedmisspoke” when he infamously said on his show “Not all Muslims are terrorists.  But all terrorists are Muslims.”  He meant to say, “I’m a bigoted idiot with no concept of the reality of modern terrorism.”
  • Lest you think HeffBombs has some kind of liberal bias (THE HORROR!), former Democratic senatorial candidate for Vermont Richard Blumenthal liedmisspoke” when he (repeatedly) claimed to have served in various war zones in Vietnam during the war.  He, in fact, served on an island off the coast of South Carolina.  Oops.  Whatever, a simple mistake…made several times…in front of large crowds…
  • Another bad case of the opposites:  former pizza baron/GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain (wow…seriously?) apparently misspoke when he suggested he would be willing to negotiate with Al Qaeda on certain matters.  Of course, everyone knows that negotiation is bad and never accomplishes anything under any circumstances.  Clearly he meant to say “Terrorists Bad, Pizza Good!!”
  • Not exactly misspeaking per se, but an absolute gem nonetheless…Jon Kyl (r-AZ) gave a rousing speech on the Senate Floor during the debt-ceiling crisis in which he said “If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.”  Ooooh, not quite.  Its three percent.  But no problem, just a classic case of misspeaking, right? Clarifying the remarks further, his office reported “His remark wasn’t intended to be a factual statement.”

I guess they were all “just saying…”

Written by D. Heffernan

April 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Idaho: GOP Playground

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While hiking in the foothills near Walnut Creek over the weekend, I passed a number of painfully gigantic mega-mansions with sweeping views of the Bay Area, and thought “Those poor people.  What they need is a tax break.”

Later, as I watched a man in aviator sunglasses idling his Ferrari (for 20 minutes) outside a sandwich shop while waiting for his wife, I wondered: “Why is that man’s tax burden so high?”

And when I hear a teacher complain about having to bring her own paper to school, and the mice that infest the offices, I think to myself “Why are we taxing the rich so much?”

Thankfully, the Idaho legislature agrees with me. 

Read on…

Written by D. Heffernan

March 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

GOP Sideshow Highlights

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What’s that?  You say you didn’t spend your Saturday night watching The Biggest Loser the Iowa GOP debate?  But there have only been 113 debates so far!  And only 429 to go!

Well, I’m with you.  Saturday night “primetime” scheduling aside, watching “highlights” is painful enough…but you can count on my willingness to suffer to bring you some of the choicest moments from America’s most fascinating reality show.

One could garner a general idea of the all-out-crazy to come just by reading the name of the event’s host:  the Family Leader.  This is a group run by Bob Vander Plaats, whose main mission in life seems to be using government funding (which he hates, HATES, I TELL YOU!) to oppose same sex marriage.  He is also a big fan of slavery:  “…sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Yes, he really did go there.

Anyways, lets dive right in:

  • Biggest misunderstanding of the responsibilities of the job:  Rick Perry, who apparently feels that the Military should be an independent fourth wing of government, suggested that decisions about sending troops to war should NOT be made by “some Washington politician sitting in an air conditioned office.”  Perry, for the record, has pledged to use only a ceiling fan when he moves into the White House.
  • Biggest misinterpretation of the word “Supreme”:  If Herman Cain doesn’t agree with the Supreme Court (specifically, regarding the potential overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act), he’ll just “overturn” them.  You know, because the President has the final say on the constitutionality of U.S. law.  Oh, that pesky, pesky constitution.  It REALLY gets in the way of hating gay people.
  • Biggest panderer to the host:  Rick Santorum (granted, keeping to form), suggested that “Unless we protect the institution of marriage, our country will fail.”  Protect it, of course, not against a 50% divorce rate, but against two guys exchanging rings…oh, the horror…
  • Best audition for role of Ebenezer Scrooge:  Newt Gingrich, who has enjoyed a surge in the polls of late (mostly because other front-runners have been exposed as flaming trainwrecks), had this to say to protestors who dare to suggest that Wall Street and the top 1% of American income earners are getting all the breaks:  “go get a job right after you take a bath”.   Because the problem isn’t that we need more jobs in this country, its that the unemployed are letting their hygiene go.
  • Best Use of Planned Parenthood as Boogeyman:  Michele Bachmann, Evil Queen of CrazyTown, has identified the number one threat to America as Obama’s Health Care Plan because “Planned Parenthood now will be pushing chemical abortion and billing that to the federal government under preventative care.”  Oh yes, thats EXACTLY what’s going to happen.  The truth is…no.  NO!   You know what?  This is the problem.  The debate goes like this:  One person says something totally crazy, the other person spends their time attempting to correct the falsehood, and the headline reads “Planned Parenthood:  Are they pushing chemical abortion on unsuspecting women?  The debate continues…”  Better to just pat Ms. Bachmann gently on the hand, and ease her back into the straitjacket.

Ahhh…good times.  Ready for 14 more?

Written by D. Heffernan

November 22, 2011 at 8:11 pm

American Horror Story

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If not for the enviable intransigence of the republicans – no tax increases of any form under any circumstances – some influential Democrats would have our country more closely resembling post-austerity Greece than the America we love today.

The Debt Reduction Super-Committee (the “Sup-Com“) was mandated as part of the infamous 2011 Debt Ceiling budget compromise…from HELL!  You remember, where in exchange for 100% spending cuts, Obama and the Democrats got…nothing.

So, the Sup-Com is trying to shave a minimum of $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years.  So noble, right?  And both parties are working together in the spirit of bipartisanship and good faith to-

Oh, right.

Republicans have drawn their line in the sand on taxes.  Democrats are testing how close they can come to that line, without establishing one of their own.  The latest “compromise” (again, this term has been redefined, meaning one side gets about 99% of what they want, the other side gets 1%) from the Democrats on the Sup-Com, going against the opinion of the vast majority of the entire country:  make tax cuts for the wealthy PERMANENT.  A classic Democratic fallback, no?  Because, if the rich can’t save us, who can?

The previous “compromise” offer was nothing short of brutal either.  Hearken back, if you will, to the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, established via Executive Order by Obama in 2010 to address the budget deficit.  Not surprisingly, this group couldn’t agree on a series of recommendations, with Democrats pleading a mixture of targeted spending cuts and revenue increases, and republicans pushing for America as pre-revolution France.  Co-chairs (moderate Democrat) Erskine Bowles and former (conservative republican) Senator Alan Simpson (who likes to refer to recipients of social security as “lesser people“) finally decided to release their own set of proposals, generally considered as favoring the conservative viewpoint (i.e., big social safety net cuts coupled with tax cuts are our ticket to prosperity!).   Fast forward, and the Democrats’ last “compromise” plan fell significantly to the right of these fantastic ideas, with a 6-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, including medicare benefit cuts to individuals with incomes of $12,000 to $15,000 per year.

So, I have to ask again, as I’ve asked many times.  What is the strategy?  Sacrifice all Democratic gains at the expense of accomplishing something, when that something is an acceptance that eliminating job-training programs and cutting taxes for billionaires is the key to America’s success?  What is the remaining Democratic platform (“We’re not quite as far to the right as the republicans!!!”)?  If I’m off-base, why isn’t there a coordinated, 24×7 media campaign calling out republican bullshit? THEY ARE WRONG!

Its painful.  And in some perverse way, by continually saying no to what could only be a significant conservative victory, by only accepting our-way-or-the-highway, the republicans are actually helping the cause.

I say, let the committee fail.  Let the prospect of massive cuts to the defense budget loom large.  Then lets see what republicans are willing to offer when the health of the military-industrial complex is on the line.

UPDATE 1:  Lets punt!!!  Compromise is always easier next year.

Written by D. Heffernan

November 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

GOP: Government Spending Creates Jobs!!

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Was that a pig flying overhead?

Did you hear the news?  In an abrupt about-face, republicans confess that Government Spending does, in fact, create jobs!  Wow, after all that back-and-forth, right?  After all that tooth-and-nail, no compromise, tax cuts are the only route to job growth BS.  Now we can finally get some things passed!

Oh right.

So, it turns out only government spending on defense is included in this epiphany.  Any other government spending – unemployment benefits, job training programs, education – does absolutely nothing to create jobs.

Why the sudden interest?  Have you heard of the Debt-reduction Super-Committee?  Its a bipartisan group of congressmen (and women) tasked with reducing government borrowing by $1.5 trillion or more over the next ten years.  If agreement isn’t reached by the November 23rd deadline, across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion will automatically trigger, with the lion’s share taken out of defense and medicare.  Democrats on the committee have offered a combination of (about 2/3) spending cuts and (about 1/3) revenue increases, far to the right of other bipartisan plans.  Republicans have offered a combination of spending cuts and…that’s it100% spending cuts…just not to defense.  Because THAT leads to job loss.


It reminds me of the republican screaming about Obama’s stimulus package: how it will ruin the country, how it was nothing but a failure in the end, and, according to former GOP Presidential front-runner Rick Perry, didn’t create one job.  Never mind that the stimulus actually did create lots and lots of jobs:  somewhere between 1 million and 2.9 million as of last June, according to the non-partisan (unless you’re a republican) Congressional Budget Office.  Its true, these numbers are disappointing when compared with Obama’s rosy, pre-Stimulus predictions, and they are certainly not enough to right the economy, with the unemployment rate still hanging tough at 9.0%.   Maybe it wasn’t big enough.

Oh, right…the hypocrisy.  Well, after vilifying it and the President, then voting against it, these same republican congressmen were secretly reveling in its benefits, begging Obama to divert Stimulus funds to their districts, and shooting photo ops of stimulus-funded projects in their home states…

Well, at least we can finally agree on something.  Cutting government spending will lead to job loss.

Now, any bright ideas for increasing revenues?

Written by D. Heffernan

November 7, 2011 at 2:20 am