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Former GOP Sen. Bob Dole: Paul, Rubio, Cruz lack experience; Cruz "way out there."

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eating their own

Former Republican Senator Bob Dole thinks Rafael "Ted" "Green Eggs and Ham" Cruz is "an extreme right wing guy" and "way out there." That's an understatement, but okay, we can let it slide just this once. Dole is 90, by the way, so he has a vast number of comparisons to draw from. Why, in HIS day...

And he's right. Recently, Elizabeth Warren quipped that Ted Cruz would have repealed the Declaration of Independence. And even more recently, Cruz said he'd use the confirmation of President Obama's new HHS Secretary to try to overturn Obamacare.

He's all yours, GOP.

The Hill, quoting from an interview Bob Dole had with The Wichita Eagle:

"A number of the younger members, first-termers like Rand Paul, Rubio and that extreme-right-wing guy, Ted Cruz — all running for president now. I don't think they've got enough experience yet," Dole said. [...]

Dole said Cruz is "way out there" on the extremes of the party and defended his own record, calling himself one of President Reagan's top supporters.

That was after Cruz said this:

Ted Cruz:

All of us remember President Dole, and President McCain and President Romney. Now, look, those are good men, they're decent men, but when you don't stand and draw a clear distinction, when you don't stand for principle, Democrats celebrate.

As Rick Perry would say, "Oops."

For more Cruz lunacy, just scroll through our posts here. As for Rand Paul, scroll here for his own brand of WTF.

Meanwhile, as a special bonus, let's talk Paul Ryan. The Black Caucus is challenging him on poverty after he said that poverty is caused largely by a "tailspin of culture," particularly in inner cities, where "generations of men [are] not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work."

And don't even get me started on Marco Rubio.

Note: Edited to correct errors.

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Koch brothers can buy anything, including Doonesbury!

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doonesbury logoI don't know how Garry Trudeau does it, but he always does what he does well, including his latest Doonesbury strip. In this Sunday's snark fest, Trudeau concentrates on none other than the infamous Koch brothers and their big spending ways. That creative wizard can pack more into a few panels than Chris Christie can pack into his... lawyer's whitewash of Bridgegate.

Using the Kochs as his focus, Trudeau sets his sights on the Supreme Court's awful Citizens United decision. That would be the same decision that allows a very few obscenely wealthy individuals to influence our elections while the rest of us donate a few bucks here and there hoping to boost our candidates of choice. One can only imagine the handful of rich donors cackling as they haul out their checkbooks.

However, unlike the "Doonesbury" below, they're not in the least bit amusing.

Trudeau ironically points out the ease with which "nasty billionaires" like the Koch brothers can buy whomever and whatever they want, including the very comic strip that houses his creation, a now unsuspecting "supporter" of the two "respected, civic-minded job creators" (vs. those Evil Labor Unions).

Don't look now, Doonesbury, but you've been acquired:

doonesbury koch brothers

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Fridgegate: Oh, SNAP, Chris #Christie! (VIDEO)

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Fridgegate Chris Christie

Ruh roh! Chris Christie has another gate to contend with besides Bridgegate (scroll): Fridgegate. No, stop that, it's not what you think. I shy away from jokes about his weight (or anyone's for that matter). This gate is all about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), also known as food stamps.

Funny (meaning, sad) how someone who claims to care so much about his fellow New Jersyians refuses to help the hungriest among them:

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Chris Hayes:

For governors this wasn't about cheating. It was about maintaining a lifeline for poor people who desperately needed the assistance. And it wasn't just Democrats. Pennsylvania's Republican governor Tom Corbett, a tea party ally, is one of the governors who moved to preserve food stamp benefits for his state....

Most of the states that made the move to maintain food stamp benefits are concentrated in one region, the northeast. But there is one state in that region, a state where the governor often claims to put his own people above politics, that notably has not.

Chris Christie:

I've got a job to do here in New Jersey that's much bigger than presidential politics. And I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. If you think right now i give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me.

Hayes:

The same governor Chris Christie who professed to be disgusted when Congress initially did not approve billions in Sandy aid has been silent when it comes to finding a way to keep an estimated 160,000 New Jersey residents from losing out on food stamps.

Of course, unlike helping people affected by Sandy, getting food stamps is politically toxic for Republicans. The last thing Chris Christie wants to be talking about as he eyes a presidential run is how he expanded food stamps in his state.

We reached out to Governor Christie's office about this and received a fact sheet in response that did not address the issue.

snap

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Bill O'Reilly: I could have been the Marlboro Man (VIDEO)

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Bill O'Reilly 1979 via WFSB NewsImage via WFSB News, re-aired footage of O'Reilly in 1979

marlboro man

Bill O'Reilly didn't wanna be a cowboy! But he was (allegedly) approached to be one, sort of. He claims he could have been a rough, tough, rugged, cigarette-smoking, cancer-peddling Marlboro Man.

Bill O'Reilly:

"While I was covering the News in Denver, I was approached by a modeling agency to be the Marlboro guy dressed as a cowboy! I'm from Long Island...

But smoking marijuana is quite the opposite. That’s on the rise, as pot use is considered cool in many circles, and above all it is political correct."

Who's kidding whom here? O'Reilly couldn't have been a Marlboro Man even if he wanted to. No cowboy hat would have ever fit over that big ego head of his.

H/t: Talking Points Memo.

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SNL spoofs CNN: Pregnancy test sends out countless irrelevant bulletins

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cnn most trusted

Whether we watch CNN, MSNBC, Fox, or the Big Three TV networks, we are often subjected to a constant stream of non-news, redundant reporting, irrelevant stories, inane bulletins, anchors and commentators with nothing new to say, repetitive clips, video packages, you name it.

I rarely watch CNN any more, but I do keep an eye out for interesting tweets on the Twitter Machine. And guess what? The tweets from people and organizations I follow were filled with mockery and snark about CNN's incessant coverage of the horrific Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappearance.

Coverage of a major news story is one thing, red herrings and extraneous filler are quite another. It was hard to avoid the multitude of tweets noting how CNN devoted twenty-four hours a day (or so it seemed) to one story, even when there was nothing to report.

Ocean footage is not news.

CNN was clearly aware of the social media reaction. Well, Jake Tapper was, anyway. When I retweeted Jacki Schechner (@JackiSchechner), about it, he popped into our thread to inform us that CNN, as we speak, was airing a report about something else. Hey, if you have to interject that your network has taken a hiatus from their fixation on one story, then maybe the criticism is valid.

jake tapper tweet jacki schechner CNN Malaysia

That's an order! One that I didn't obey.

If only news networks would become, you know, news networks, instead of commercialized, ratings-centric infotainment feeds.

And with that, here is Saturday Night Live's "commercial" spoofing news media coverage generally and CNN specifically. They nailed it:

BREAKING: CNN more confident than ever that it will soon know if you’re pregnant,” read one alert from the test, in between updates about Oscar Pistorius removing his legs in court and Kesha. Ultimately, we learned nothing from the pregnancy test...

H/t: Mediaite

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Rick Perry lawyers up for criminal investigation of bribery, coercion, abuse of authority (VIDEO)

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oops rick perry smaller

Rick Perry lawyer statement investigation bribery

Texas Governor Rick Perry, that quick thinker who couldn't remember his third talking point during the 2012 presidential debates, is lawyering up. There is a criminal investigation underway into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County district attorney's office.

Oops.

And now he's hired high-powered lawyer David Botsford to prove that Rick Perry, who swearstogod he broke no laws, broke no laws. The real nail-biter? Watching to see if Rick Perry can come up with three reasons why he's innocent.

Via KLBJ news radio:

Governor Rick Perry has hired a high powered attorney to represent him in an upcoming trial where he will defend himself against accusations he illegally withheld money from the Public Integrity Unit, a part of the Travis County D-A's office.  Perry cut funding to the unit during the last legislative session when Rosemary Lehmberg refused to step down from office after being convicted of drunk driving.

Rick Perry vetoed a budget item after the District Attorney was arrested for a DUI and then refused to resign. So yes, he may have "illegally withheld money," $7.5 million, from the Travis County District Attorney's office.

Oops.

Via KVUE, an ABC affiliate:

The hiring comes as a special Travis County grand jury is set to be seated Monday to hear evidence into whether Perry broke state laws concerning bribery, coercion and abuse of authority.

It's grand jury time in Texas! So GOP, how's that family values, reinvention thing working out? And your insistence that Republican governors are awesome? *coughChrisChristiecough*

Oops.

Get out the popcorn.

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"Only intensive push in next 15 years can stave off climate change disaster"

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tar sands keystone xl protest climate change disaster

The New York Times has an unnerving article about a United Nations report that "only an intensive worldwide push over the next 15 years can stave off" a potential climate change disaster later this century:

The report did find some reasons for cautious optimism. The costs of renewable energy like wind and solar power are now falling so fast that their deployment on a large scale is becoming practical, the report said. In fact, extensive use of renewable energy is already starting in countries such as Denmark and Germany, and to a lesser degree in some American states, including California, Iowa and Texas. [...]

Yet the report found that the emissions problem is still outrunning the will to tackle it, with global emissions rising almost twice as fast in the first decade of this century than in the last decades of the 20th century.

That was posted today. Yesterday, MSNBC's Alex Witt interviewed  John Fiege, the director and producer of "Above All Else," a documentary about lives affected by the Keystone XL tar sands Pipeline project. Juxtaposing these two reports in one post-- one on impending climate change disaster and the other on a short-sighted, corporate disaster-in waiting-- should be a wake-up call. But will it be?

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Witt: If completed, the [Keystone XL] pipeline could stretch 2,000 miles from the oil fields of Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast. Deep in the heart of Texas, a group of rural land owners and student activists came together in an unlikely union to protest the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. The property owners claim they were manipulated into signing over their land to TransCanada. The energy company for its part is saying the pipeline is a job creator that will ensure North America's energy independence. What happened next is chronicled in a new documentary titled "Above All Else."...

Fiege: The companies building the pipeline were surprised to see such strong opposition from people who lived there. The thing in east Texas, they don't like a foreign company coming in and taking their property and they know how to fight back so it is an interesting conflict...

The folks who signed, as they learned more about what the Keystone XL pipeline is, and that its whole purpose is to transport tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, they didn't know that when they signed the agreement. They also didn't know that the company did not have the permits it needed to build the pipeline. So they felt like they were manipulated and lied to...

You know, another example of an oil project touted as being "state of the art, cutting edge" was the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf Coast that BP ran that exploded. We've heard this over and over again, where oil companies claim they're using state of the art technology-- they probably are-- but we see this over and over again that this infrastructure is not safe. ...

That's one of the main stories the film tells. If you're an individual, if you're an American and you want to fight back against this and you object to a foreign corporation taking your land and you want to do something about climate change, you are putting yourself at great peril and you're going to be crushed by these enormous corporate powers that have emerged and really taken an outsized, you know, section of power and wealth in our society. I think one thing this film chronicles is really a wake-up call for folks in the middle of the country and the reddest parts of red states who don't think this is a good system to have and feel completely disempowered.

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