Archive for gop talking points

Former Reagan advisor: Tea partiers are "morons, stupid, ignoramuses, bigots, dying off."

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former reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett on Ed Show Bergdahl

Republicans eating their own smaller

On "The Ed Show," Ed Schultz interviewed former Reagan advisor- slash- Bush 41 policy advisor Bruce Bartlett about the tea party as well as your favorite hypocrite and mine, Sen. John McCain. See: "Secret decoder ring decrypts behavior" of GOP v. Obama! Hint: Blatant hypocrisy #Bergdahlzi.

Let me put it this way: Bartlett didn't mince words. Or to put it another way, he showered us Dems with gifts. Bartlett blasted the hell out of "other Republicans," tea party "morons," and had a few words to say about Weather Vain (Added note: "Vain" is a pun, intended, hence the misspelling) McCain.

It was as if the heavens opened and dropped bundles of unadulterated vindication upon our aching Lefty Lib heads.

I may invite him to become a regular contributor to TPC. Oh, but I kid the rational Republican.

Ed and Former Reagan Advisor Bruce discussed how the GOP supported the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl earlier this year, yet changed their tune to adhere to conservative talking points once he was released. McCain has been the poster boy for this political exercise, as you can see by the Rachel Maddow video at the link above.

Bartlett also stood by President Obama's decisions on the prisoner of war exchange, loud and clear.

And with that, here is another episode of Republicans Eating Their Own. The good part starts at about 2:27. A-a-and, we're off!

Bruce Bartlett:

[McCain] probably has his finger up in the air, looking around to see which way the tea party is blowing.

After the Vietnam experience, we all agreed that we must do more and do everything humanly possible to get all of our soldiers home who are captured, and we didn't ask questions about whether they were deserving or not. They're prisoners of war, they're American soldiers, they deserve to be brought home...

It's all been turned around now, because of the tea party. The Republicans in Washington constantly have their finger on the pulse of the grassroots, trying to figure out what they want, and how to pander to them.

But unfortunately, these people in the tea party are morons! I mean, they really are. They're stupid, they're ignoramuses, they have no idea what they're talking about, they're extremists, they're bigots.

Senator Thad Cochran... may very well lose his primary to some crackpot moron tea party person.

[Conservative Republicans] keep moving further and further to the right...

Fox-- which is essentially the Republican Party network, simply panders to the Republican Party line-- has an age 72 average viewing age. And so those people who make up the tea party are basically dying off.

bingo2

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Only 1 of 5 Taliban swapped for Bergdahl has hardcore past, per experts #Bergdahlzi

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maddow taliban who changed talking points impeach

Here it comes... wait for it... Another talking point debunked. The GOP attempt to smear President Obama with #Bergdahlzi!!!! just took a hit. This time it pertains to the Taliban who were traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in order to save his, you know, American life. But that's not good enough for all those Republicans who cheered for Bowe and wept with joy... until they didn't.

There have been a lot of hypocritical GOP deletions bouncing around the Twitter Machine. Read about it here: "Secret decoder ring decrypts behavior" of GOP v. Obama! Hint: Blatant hypocrisy and more about the hypocrisy here: Hagel unaware of any "soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find, rescue Sgt. Bergdahl."

Suddenly Bergdahl's life wasn't worth a damn to them, because if he mattered and the president saved his valuable life, then something Obama accomplished might actually, possibly, maybe *gasp* appeal to potential voters. And the GOP could never have that, now could they?

So of course, they're Swiftboating Bergdahl and calling the president a terrorist appeaser, or a U.S.-put-er-in-danger-er, or a reckless lawbreaker or something-er. Impeachazi!!!!

According to everyone in the whole wide media world, especially the on-air Republican bleating heads, the Taliban who were freed were the worst of the worst! The awfulest of the awful! The hardcorest of the hardcore! Why, before you know it, they'll be right back to their old dirtiest of dirty tricks terrorizing every man, woman, and child in America and we'll all die!!! DIE!!!

Never mind that they'll be stuck in Qatar for at least a year, and after that, they'll be under the same over-watchful eye of the Big U.S. Spy Machine that everyone has been kvetching about.

And oh yeah... never mind this from the Los Angeles Times:

A closer look at the former prisoners, however, indicates that not all were hard-core militants. Three held political positions in the Taliban government that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and were considered relative moderates. A fourth was a mid-level police official, experts say. [...]

The backgrounds of the prisoners, who are confined to the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar for one year under the terms of the exchange, indicate that they would have little utility on the battlefield after more than a decade in prison. They range in age from 43 to 47.

The article then goes on to describe the more benign prisoners. One was a civilian official-turned-governor who never held a military post. His job "was to ensure the government operated as usual and to resolve tribal complaints."

The description of another "is sharply at odds with that of journalists and analysts who met him in the late 1990s. [He] assiduously reached out to local clerics, including minority Shiite Muslims, to address their opposition to the Taliban."

Then there was the guy who, "after the U.S.-led invasion... offered his help to U.S. forces in locating the Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, but was arrested instead."

Analysts believe that the ex-prisoners, if they rejoined the Taliban, would serve at most in advisory roles, saying they are too far removed from a movement that has lost many of its top leaders to U.S.-led coalition operations.

"They are not aware of what has been going on for the past 13 years," said Waheed Muzhda, a political analyst in Kabul who served in the Taliban's Foreign Ministry.

Not that these men were the types we'd want to hang out with at Starbucks, but most of the Taliban who we released were not the big, bad, worst of the worst boogeymen that we were led to believe. Please follow the link for more details.

And with that, here are today's L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

The rescue of our only prisoner of war should have been a source of pride for America and validation of the fact that we do not leave behind those who serve in our military.

Before this young man returns home from five years of Taliban captivity — which essentially may have been torture — the Republicans are setting him up for condemnation because it was President Obama's efforts that returned him to us.

Waiting for facts has never been a Republican goal, which is why we are in this war in the first place.

Claire Zimmer

Palm Springs

***

Charles Manson was presumed innocent until proven guilty. So were killers Jeffrey Dahmer, Sirhan Sirhan and so on.

So why not Bergdahl? Why the rush to judgment by some conservative politicians and pundits?

Of course, the reason is political; you knew that, and my question is rhetorical.

The real question is: When will voters start choosing representatives who will identify and deal with real issues of public concern, instead of ideologues and party hacks?

Fredric Dunn

San Diego

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"Secret decoder ring decrypts behavior" of GOP v. Obama! Hint: Blatant hypocrisy #Bergdahlzi

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secret decoder ring

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Last night Rachel Maddow kicked some serious GOP hypocrisy ass. Please watch the video above as she reveals her "secret decoder ring" that "decrypts the behavior" of Republicans and their Obama Derangement Syndrome. Maddow systematically documented the blatant hypocrisy of GOP public officials, starting with John McCain. She ticked off tweet after tweet and video clip after video clip of Republicans supporting the president's policies only to do a 180 once President Obama did exactly what they suggested.

Her decoder ring wasn't all that secret, but Rachel did manage to condense their two-face-itude down to chewable bites that even a Republican could digest... and then spit out, as they are wont to do.

bergdahl tweets gop hypocrisy

bergdahl tweets gop hypocrisy 2

bergdahl tweets gop hypocrisy 3

Which brings me to this morning's MSNBC broadcast of Andrea Mitchell Reports with Kristen Welker subbing as host. She forgot to wear her secret decoder ring, but the relentless GOP hypocrisy was still revealed, loud and clear.

Two examples stood out to me, examples that somebody on air should spotlight. But we all know that won't happen. So allow me:

1.  Republicans are swarming all over President Obama's recent remarks that he "makes no apologies" for the way he handled Bowe Bergdahl's release after being held prisoner for five years by the Taliban:

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Again, "pro-life" Republicans are indignant and shocked! shocked! about that. How dare the President of the United States refuse to apologize for an "illegal" act such as saving an American soldier's life?!

shocked shockingIn that case, maybe they should address this:

Via a 2013 article in the Dallas News:

Near the Iraq war’s 10th anniversary — as many stepped forward to revisit their criticism of the conflict — Bush made no mention of weapons of mass destruction, “enhanced interrogation techniques” or other controversies.

But he reflected on the “realities of the situation 10 years ago”: that the Iraq invasion had bipartisan support and that seeking regime change in Iraq had also been the policy under Clinton.

“It’s easy to forget what life was like when the decision was made,” Bush said.

Since he left office, Bush has been a punching bag for Obama, Democrats and even some Republicans. But while he said “nobody likes to be criticized all the time,” he brushed aside the constant pummeling.

“I’m comfortable with what I did,” he said. “I’m comfortable with who I am.”

He made no apology for his fraudulent war and the thousands of military and civilian deaths, the torture, the lies.

2. Kristen Welker interviewed Peter King:

On Thursday, June 5, Kristen Welker, NBC's White House Correspondent, asked Congressman Peter King (R-NY) as she filled-in for Andrea Mitchell on Andrea Mitchell Reports: "Are Republicans trying to swiftboat Bowe Bergdahl?"

Congressman King shot back: "To compare what was apparently done to John Kerry or allegedly done to John Kerry to this, every allegation that's being made by these troops are the people in the field with him. They are the ones we should listen to. These are men who served with him, who felt betrayed by him. No one has a better knowledge than they would have."

So this is not Swiftboat the Sequel because the Swiftboaters say they served with Bergdahl.

This part must have slipped what's left of King's mind:

Several members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVT) served in the same unit as Kerry and one, Stephen Gardner, served as a crewmember on Kerry's boat. A number of Kerry's SBVT critics were present on accompanying Swift Boats at one of the combat events for which Kerry was decorated with the Bronze Star Medal and a third Purple Heart. Another SBVT member, Dr. Louis Letson, was the physician who claims to have treated Kerry for his first Purple Heart wound. Larry Clayton Lee was the sole SBVT member to participate in the event for which Kerry was awarded the Silver Star. No SBVT member participated in events related to the award of Kerry's second Purple Heart.

In addition to questioning the merit of many of Kerry's service awards, SBVT decried his post-Vietnam anti-war activity and disputed the truthfulness of his subsequent testimony about the conduct of the American military as demonstrated in that war. Many political observers saw this as reflecting the "true reason behind the Swift Boat campaign." All of the allegations referencing Kerry's Vietnam service and awards were made during Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign while Kerry's post-Vietnam anti-war activity had long been a subject of controversy.

Defenders of John Kerry's service record, including nearly all of his former crewmates, have stated that SBVT's allegations are false.

The Swiftboaters claimed to have been "in the field with [Kerry], served with him, felt betrayed by him." The parallel is clear, the comparison Welker drew is valid. But all of that is irrelevant, because his previous (alleged) behavior is separate and apart from the obligation to rescue one of our own.

The only difference is that this time, the Swiftboaters are using Bergdahl as an excuse to go after a sitting president, because they couldn't defeat him during the two presidential campaigns. Both of them. The ones from which Obama emerged victorious. Both times. Twice.

Berghazi Bergdahlzi BergdahlThis just in via The New York Times:

A classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before — both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan — and then returned, according to people briefed on it.

The roughly 35-page report, completed two months after Sergeant Bergdahl left his unit, concludes that he most likely walked away of his own free will from his outpost in the darkness of night, and it criticized lax security practices and poor discipline within his unit. But it stops short of concluding that there is solid evidence that Sergeant Bergdahl intended to permanently desert.

Again, this will all be sorted out, and more facts will emerge that can and will be dealt with once Bergdahl recovers. Then we can all stop speculating and get to the truth.

Meantime, rescuing an American soldier should be seen as a good thing. More about that here: Hagel unaware of any "soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find, rescue Sgt. Bergdahl." In that post is a video from The Rachel Maddow Show that addresses the question, "Do we leave no soldier behind in captivity? Is that an American value, an American military principle? Or, do we leave some of them behind, because some of them frankly aren't worth it, according to the Fox News channel?"

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Hagel unaware of any "soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find, rescue Sgt. Bergdahl"

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Berghazi Bergdahlzi Bergdahl Hagel

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will get another earful from the GOP, because Bergdahlzi!!! Yes, #Bergdahlzi!!!! is the new #Benghazi!!!!  I, for one, am as "flummoxed" as Rachel Maddow was in the video segment above. And by "flummoxed," I mean disgusted. Sickened. Outraged. It's hard to remember the last time Rachel was this aghast, and she's aghast on a regular basis:

"As the country celebrated the return of America's only prisoner of war from the war in Afghanistan, the right decided to condemn the president for getting the soldier freed, and then to condemn the soldier himself, and now, in a special show of klass with a K, they've moved on to attacking the soldier's family.

"Should we subject... prisoners and their *worthiness* for rescue to some sort of test about how they got captured, and whether they were 'negiligent' or they left their post or they were 'incompetent' somehow, or maybe they made a dumb wrong turn [a la Jessica Lynch... see first part of video], or maybe they went down fighting but maybe their dad has too long a beard?

"Do we leave no soldier behind in captivity? Is that an American value, an American military principle? Or, do we leave some of them behind, because some of them frankly aren't worth it, according to the Fox News channel?

"[A former GW Bush/Romney political strategist/spokesman] has been organizing media strategy... to try to stoke criticism of this soldier, who has just spent five years in enemy hands and is now on his way home. It's an organized effort now, to try to organize opposition and condemnation of this man who's getting out after five years of captivity.

"Before this happened, you could not invent a hypothetical scenario in which this is the way it would play out. Before this happened, you would have laughed out of the room a would-be screenwriter who tried to sell you a plot about the freeing of an American prisoner of war being treated as bad news in the United States of America. But incredibly, that really is where we are now."

It is appalling that those on the right are suggesting that a man who was held prisoner for five agonizing years should be left in Taliban hands to die because they've already convicted him (without knowing the facts) of desertion. Or for any reason, for that matter. He's an American, a member of the armed forces, and we don't do that, GOP. Remember?

I suggest they (and you) read Brian Beutler's article, "Conservative Critics of the Bergdahl-Taliban Swap Have Some Explaining to Do." Then I suggest they (not you) STFU.

This is really about going after President Obama and about a fresh round of fundraising emails. Their irrational, sick obsession is out of control.

So of course, they'll attack Hagel for the following quote in The Hill:

I do not know of specific circumstances or details of U.S. soldiers dying as a result of efforts to find and rescue Sgt. Bergdahl," Hagel said at a press conference in Brussels, Belgium, where he met with NATO defense ministers, Reuters reported.

Damned if that doesn't totally screw with the Republican talking points.

Then that wild-eyed radical Hagel went all irrational on us. And by irrational, I mean way too reasonable for members of his own party:

Hagel urged critics not to rush to judgment, saying they should wait for the facts.

Until we get the facts, until we have ... a review of all the circumstances, it is not in the interest of anyone and certainly I think a bit unfair to Sgt. Bergdahl’s family and to him to presume anything," he said.

What a maverick.

A-a-and cue the rabid Republicans and their flying flood of pundit spittle in 5...4...3...2...1...

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Young people sign up for Obamacare, premiums drop, per report GOP will likely dismiss

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obamacare before after premiums

Ooo, another Obamacare good news story. Ruh roh! Get ready for Republicans to:

1. Dismiss the report entirely...

2. Make up their own numbers...

3. Lie about the report's content on Fox, then continue to distort the distortions until they...

4... morph into their own "news story" because the Foxers will repeat it so often that their other shows will use the hosts' commentary as headlines...

5. Wish The Affordable Care Act into the corn field while writing up more destined-to-fail bills to repeal Obamacare.

Read it and weep, GOP. Via the Los Angeles Times:

The average premium paid for Obamacare coverage on a leading insurance website has dropped by nearly $100 a month since October as more young people sign up, a new industry report shows. [...]

The average premium for 2014 health plans sold through EHealth tumbled from $370 a month to $273 over that period, which the company said reflects a higher proportion of younger applicants.

See, the whole point is to get enough younger, healthier people to sign up in order to "help offset the higher medical costs of older, sicker policyholders in the overall insurance pool." And, oops, GOP! They're doing just that!

Oh, and about some of those rising rates we've been hearing so much about?

While rates are up, annual deductibles went down on average.

Many consumers are eligible for federal premium subsidies based on their income, shielding them from the full cost.

So there's that. Bummer, huh naysayers?

Fun fact: Minnesota had the lowest average premium for individual plans, and Oklahoma had the cheapest family plans. Alaska had the highest for individuals, New Jersey had the highest for family plans.

Did I mention that four million Americans have now enrolled on healthcare.gov and through state exchanges? What a commie Marxist French gay Kenyan failure.

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Cartoons of the Day: "This ice storm surely proves there ain't no global warmin'!"

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ice storm climate change north carolina  (WTVD iWitness Photo)(WTVD iWitness Photo)

In my hard copy of today's Los Angeles Times, there was an ice storm related cartoon zinger that I couldn't pass up.

It's by the consistently astute David Horsey, and he nails it in one measly panel. He shares his version of what people are saying about the the "extreme weather phenomena," aka climate change, and pokes fun at the undeniable denial of deniers, aka a whole lot of Republicans.

To repeat, weather is not the same as climate:

weath·er
noun \ˈwe-thər\

: the state of the air and atmosphere at a particular time and place : the temperature and other outside conditions (such as rain, cloudiness, etc.) at a particular time and place

: bad or stormy weather

vs...

cli·mate
noun \ˈklī-mət\

:  a region of the earth having specified climatic conditions

a: the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation

And to repeat times two, when it comes to "global warmin'" and ice storms, money talks, and right now it's screaming.

Here's Horsey's take, and please follow that link for his accompanying article:

climate change David Horsey extreme weather

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Cartoons of the Day: What Republicans hear when people say "Obamacare"

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cartoons

One of our regular features here was a daily collection of political cartoons that Paddy used to post. We miss Paddy so much here at TPC, and we've neglected to post editorial cartoons regularly. However, in my hard copy of today's Los Angeles Times, there was a zinger that I couldn't pass up.

It's by Rob Rogers, and he nails it in two measly panels. He reveals what people are saying about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare vs the altered version that the GOP hear from the voices inside their tiny heads:

Rob Rogers cartoon Obamacare health care

For more on the realities, as opposed to the twisted fantasies that Republicans are spinning, see my previous post: New Obamacare attacks debunked. This is getting tiresome, GOP.

BlameObamacarew396h223

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