Author Archives: Matthew McLaughlin

About Matthew McLaughlin

Dissecting and editorializing the "news" of the Grand Old Party.

If you think Elizabeth Warren’s a whore.

Just take a look at this clip courtesy of the Huffington Post [click to see the video].

Creative Commons: All rights reserved by C. Issa

So Elizabeth Warren’s a whore?  And a socialist. The socialist whore, Elizabeth Warren. I don’t know, she seems like a pretty nice lady to me and hardly a slut. And a socialist? I’m coming to the conclusion that tea partiers don’t actually understand what the term means.

This whole thing is just getting silly, mean and sad. But mostly sad. I’m tired of the GOP preying on the ignorance of people with low IQ’s to do their dirty work at town halls and rallies. It just makes everybody look stupid. People like this need help — maybe some social services would do the trick.

If you’re on something.

This is a completely baseless claim – but – doesn’t Rick Perry look like he’s either drunk or high in this gem of a clip?  Speaking in the granite state, Perry channeled his inner Charlie Sheen on subjects ranging from taxes to gold.  Sure, we all want a president with a sense of humor but I’m not sure this is what any of us had in mind.

Whether drunk or not, he certainly is beginning to seem un-electable.

If you’re too extreme for Pat Robertson.

Whoever thought evangelical fundamentalist Pat Robinson would be quoting LBJ and reprimanding the GOP candidates for being too extreme?

Now, along with Karl Rove’s much publicized criticisms, the once most extreme elements of the GOP fear the carnival of candidates that insult our collective intelligence.  But don’t worry, Robertson still holds the record as one of the most bigoted, ethnocentric Christian-conservatives in the country.  Lest we forget some of these Robertsonisms:

  • “I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it’s a political system meant on — bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world into their way of thinking.”
  • “There is no such thing as separation of church and state in the Constitution. It is a lie of the Left and we are not going to take it anymore.”
  • “Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews, so liberal America is now doing to the evangelical Christians.”
  • [on Haiti] “It may have been a blessing in disguise…the devil said, okay it’s a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.”
For the most part these candidates aren’t necessarily as crazy or evil as the establishment’s GOP figures like Rove and Robertson, they are just stupider.  The establishment is intelligent enough to understand that none of these candidates have the political brains to ever win the presidency once they are forced out of their ideological cocoon of the primary.  They may be just as radical as Rove and Robertson, but not as slimy.

If you’re really mean.

So, Republicans, you already cheered the hypothetical death of a guy in coma and booed a US soldier back from duty because he’s gay, so what’s next?

How about the unemployed?

Cue last nights debate:

Oh boy.  I’m keeping a tally.

If you are too lazy to read the damn bill.

Republicans don’t like things that are very big, too long to read or (gasp) complicated. From the healthcare bill to virtually anything that’s longer than a standard restaurant menu, the GOP has this infatuation with simple common sense.  Unfortunately, common sense is usually far from simple.  Case in point — creating jobs.

The GOP would like us to believe that the best way to add jobs to our faltering economy is to exclusively cut taxes on the rich and corporations, deregulate stuff and kill the EPA even though the economy is in the shit hole because we did that in the first place.  Regardless, the President wrote a bill that is actually pretty simple with a lot of small words.  I guess he was hoping the Republican’s would turn off reruns of Walker, Texas Ranger and actually read the damn thing.  But, I’m not too sure they read it because if they did they would see that most of the proposals are actually things that the Republicans have consistently voted on in the past.

Here is a brief run down of the bill:

  • Small business tax cuts.  Includes a payroll tax cut for 98% of businesses.
  • Tax credits for hiring returning veterans.
  • Money to prevent laying off 280,000 teachers.
  • Small business regulatory reforms.
  • Modernizing 35,000 schools.
  • Expand high speed wireless.
  • Infrastructure spending.  Includes fixing bridges and roads.
  • $4,000 tax credit for businesses hiring unemployed workers.
  • Extended unemployment insurance – with caveats.
Now read this list.  Go ahead, Republican’s, its not that long. Aside from extending unemployment, make an argument against any of these programs.  Tell me that they are something you can’t support.  Really.  Every single element in here a) helps our country b) puts money in our pockets c) helps small business d) encourages employment growth.
And to pay for it?  Additional deficit reduction and a trivial tax hike for the wealthy.  I know its so overused that its becoming a cliche but, please, pass this bill.
So, GOP, I will give you the benefit of the doubt.  I will assume that you are not a group of petulant assholes who are putting party politics and an unhealthy hatred of our president above the good of our country.  I will merely assume that you are too lazy or apathetic to have actually read the bill.  A bill that is full of tax cuts and common sense solutions to a really big problem.  So, put down the remote, read the bill and do something!
Photo Credit: Navy Visual News Service – Creative Commons

If you reap what you sow.

Democrat's Tea Party Problem? (Creative Commons)

A few years ago some old folks got together, put on a few tricorne hats and revolutionary costumes and marched on Washington.  They said some crazy stuff and got really great media coverage.  Their numbers grew and, with that, their political influence.  Liberals made jokes while the propaganda wing of the GOP (FOX) lauded them as the crusaders against big, evil government.  And a few demonstrations later, they essentially took over the Republican party, caused gridlock in Washington, blocked bills that would have saved or created countless jobs, and successfully blamed it all on President Obama.

Now that the mainstream Republicans are beginning to wake up, they see the mess the Tea Party has wrought and are trying to figure out what to do next. With a strong Tea Party caucus in the House, a Republican base loyal to the movement, and a Tea Party sympathizer in the lead for the presidential nomination, at the moment they are still caving.  But don’t think that top Republican brass are missing the problem because they understand that, ironically, the Tea Party that was essentially created to defeat President Obama may be in fact what saves him — especially if Herman Cain wins the nomination.

This may be the reason that the Democrats are so slow to support the Occupy Wall Street movement and the Republicans are so quick to link them to it.  It’s a political gamble for both parties that, because of the fickle nature of the movement, can easily play out either way.  In truth, Occupy Wall Street is certainly not the “Left’s Tea Party” in either tone or content.  While the Tea Party openly endorses Republicans, Occupy Wall Street is backing away from political affiliation and an endorsement by the Democrats is dangerous and can easily backfire causing some nasty collateral damage on the President less than a year from the election.  By the GOP labeling them as a “mob” and “hippies” they are hoping to create a bogeyman of the Left just as the Tea Party is of the Right.

Only time will tell what the smart move is for the Democrats, but the Tea Party’s effect on the GOP is still fresh in their minds. Yes they may be wary to play with fire, but if the Republican’s scare tactics fail and the Occupy Wall Street movement gains momentum and support from the middle, the movement could be a great asset to the Democrats, only if they get their act together.

If you prove the dangers of your own gun law.

Arrested Lawmaker

To be filed under big surprise, ABC news reports that Tennessee Rep. Curry Todd (R), the co-sponsor of  a law that made it legal to carry firearms into bars, has been charged with DWI and possession of a handgun while under the influence.

Todd cited personal safety as the main impetus for the bill when he explained his position last year to the New York Times:

“Folks were being robbed, assaulted — it was becoming an issue of personal safety…The police aren’t going to be able to protect you. They’re going to be checking out the crime scene after you and your family’s been shot or injured or assaulted or raped.”

While this may or may not be true, one certainty that cannot be debated is that a man like Curry Todd (see photo) who has been drinking for five hours at Houlihans in the middle of a Karaoke set* won’t be much help either.  In fact, he has a better chance of shooting himself in the foot a la Plaxico Burress than taking down a rapist or robber.

Just like most things GOP, the real motivation for this bill was selfish.  Todd wanted to bring his gun to the bar.  I can’t think of a single situation where a potentially intoxicated individual can be of any use at a bar with a fire arm.  And in the ultimate irony of all, the bill’s own author has proven how dangerous this law is. Truth be told, the only thing more scary than a drunken driver, is an armed drunken driver.  

*the evening’s events have been speculated, but just look at him — can’t you picture it? 

If your tax policy is a catchphrase.

Who needs those damn elitist economists?  Not Herman.  His “9-9-9” proposal would effectively tax all sales and income at a flat 9%.

But don’t worry, this is a fiscally and socially responsible plan.

At least Richard Lowrie Jr. thinks so.  This is the guy who, according to the HuffPost, created and thoroughly vetted Cain’s plan. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re not alone because, make no mistake, he’s not one of  them big city elitist economists.  He’s just Dick the Accountant, a financial adviser from some Wells Fargo branch in rural Ohio and the brains behind the centerpiece of Cain’s economic policy.  According to his Wells Fargo profile, Dick  “can offer you a wide range of services, from helping you select individual investments to developing a retirement plan” or, evidently, crafting a presidential tax reform scheme.

And while it may seem silly, ridiculous or even scary, ever since Joe the Plumber, this has been normal operating procedure for the GOP  — to decry anything  intelligent as elitist and anything simple as common sense.  The health care bill was too long, Obama is too professorial and textbooks are too complicated.  If Dick the Accountant is on-board, so is the Right.

The real truth is, not only would Cain’s “9-9-9”  plan devastate lower income and middle class Americans (the 9% sales tax would apply to food!) while cutting the tax rate for the rich and corporations, it would have a significant effect on the Government’s ability to collect revenue.

UPDATE:  Thanks to the Huffington Post, it has come to my attention that there may be more to this speculative story than I originally thought.  Apparently, the 999 plan has been around for years as an economic standard for the computer game Sim City 4.  Keep it up, Herman!

If the honeymoon is over and divorce is imminent.

According to a new ABC/Washington Post Poll, Obama’s numbers on the deficit and economy have markedly improved.  In both areas, voters trust the President almost ten percentage points more than the republicans.  The GOP’s numbers are down to 36% and 34%, respectively, with Obama’s reaching 47% and 45%. For the President, this is a major improvement.  Conversely, the Republicans are facing a serious problem with independent voters.  Since we have to assume that at least 30% of the voters are die-hard, unapologetic republicans, 34% is just about as low as this poll can ever realistically move.   Independent voters have distanced themselves from the GOP after having been in office for only two months.

I guess it doesn’t matter how well one can deceive the public with words. When the time comes, the actions taken will always be seen and (most importantly) felt. Americans aren’t inately stupid; if we were there would never have been civil rights, social security, union rights, Medicare, or any other significant social program.

If you lost control of the populist movement.

It may be hard to remember but, once upon a time, populism belonged to progressives.  Rallies on the steps of state houses and in D.C. were designed to give a voice to the working class in our country with the explicit purpose of moving the nation forward both economically and socially.  They were rallies for and by the middle class as a way to keep the government aware that there is a populist in the country that has a voice and will turn out to ensure that the average person’s rights are counted.

Then came 2008.  Fresh off the high of electing Barak Obama, the Progressives took a breather and inadvertently opened a brief window in time that allowed the GOP to swoop in and steal populism from the Democrats. It was quick, easy and accomplished before the Left knew what hit them. From a few Town Hall meetings to major rallies in DC, the GOP took control of the populist movement on the backs of an ignorant electorate who were susceptible to the fear mongering perpetuated by the talking heads of the Right.  And the Tea Party was born.

Now, predictably, the Tea Party has spun out of the control and turned into a giant Conservative Frankenstein. With this, Progressives are finally seizing the opportunity to take back populism for the common man.  With his union busting goals and blatant disregard for any compromise, Gov. Walker has opened a window and the Left is rushing in.  Unions are one of the few things that Liberals hold unequivocally sacred and when a governor tries to abolish collective bargaining, the Left will not sit in silence.In the coming weeks we will see rallies at state capitals across the country as Democrats begin to take back their voice and drown out the proxy voices of the Chamber of Commerce that is the Tea Party.

Regardless of what happens in Wisconsin, the real story here has already been told:  The GOP has lost control of the populist movement.