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Let's go back to October of 2006 when it became known that Denny Hastert had inexplicably failed to act on numerous reports that GOP Rep. Mark Foley had been sexually harassing male House pages via IM and in other ways.

Foley's tawdry and despicable actions had been known to Hastert for months after repeated complaints to the Speaker from pages and even from Foley's fellow GOP House members, yet Hastert failed to act until transcripts of Foley's IMs were made public. (Foley used the IM handle, Maf54.) Why had Hastert been protecting Foley? It was a mystery.

I penned a humorous diary at the time that "exposed" lurid IM exchanges between Hastert and Foley during this time period:

My Source in the White House: Foley-Hastert IMs revealed!

It's a gross, but fun read. Here's the opening and a couple of sample "exchanges":

My source inside the White House sent me verbatim transcripts that the NSA surveillance program picked up of IMs between (now former) Congressman Mark Foley and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

According to my source, these conversations took place over the course of the past year while the NSA program was in place and before information on the program was leaked to the press.

[NOTE: These are vulgar and could make you ill.]

Read on for the transcripts...

Maf54: what are you wearing?

Coach64: Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Maf54: what's that?

Coach64: My hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh key is sticking.

Maf54: maybe you need some lubricant :)

Coach64: Whhhhhhhhhhhhat do you put on a keyboard?  WD40?

Maf54: what are you wearing? wrestling tights?

Coach64: No. I have this girdle thhhhhing.  It hhhhhelps my back.

Maf54: i'd like to slip that girdle off you

Coach64: I don't thhhhhhhhink so.

Maf54: why not?

Coach64: You'd get hhhhhit by my dunlap.

Maf54: dunlap?

Coach64: My belly that dun lap over my belt.

Maf54: oh heh heh

Coach64: I've never done thhhhhhhhhhis instant messaging thhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhing.

Maf54: its cool

Coach64: Not doing muchhhhhhhh for me.

Maf54: how big is your thing?  when its stiff?

Coach64: Shhit, thhhhhat's whhhhhy I wear thhhe back brace.

Maf54: wow! it must be huge!

Coach64: It's hhhhuge and getting hhhhhhhuger. It gets so stiff, I can hhhhhardly stand up.

Maf54: ooooo  i like that!

Maf54: a lot

Coach64: Yeahh, I look like Quasimodo. It's thhhis thhhing on my upper back and it makes me look like a hhhhhhunchback.  The doctor says it's just a cyst.  But it gets real stiff and firm even thhhhoughhhhhhh it's some sort of fatty tissue.

Maf54: ugh i'm gonna be sick

Coach64: We hhhhhave the NSA surveillance vote tomorrow, so if you're going to be out sick, let me know so I can hhhave someone vote for you.  We need every vote on thhat one.

Maf54: not literally sick

Maf54: sick because of the cyst fatty tissue thing

Coach64: Mrs. HHHHHHHHHHHHastert has to drain it once a week.

Maf54: now i am sick

Maf54: gotta run

Coach64: Okay.  Bye.

Foley and Hastert try IMing again on May 3, 2006:
Maf54: i'm in my boxers

Coach64: Huh?

Maf54: my boxers. i see you got your h key fixed

Coach64: Are you part of Don King's group?

Maf54: huh?

Coach64: Your boxers.  What weight classes?

Maf54: i'm sitting in my boxers

Coach64: I can't picture it.  Do you mean, "Sitting AMONG my boxers?"

Maf54: whatever. are you hard? i am

Coach64: Yes.

Maf54: cool.  real hard?

Coach64: Well when I was still coaching wrestling, they said I was REALLY hard.

Maf54: i'm touching it

Coach64: Some of the kids said I was sadistic.

Maf54: slap me!

Coach64: Wrestling coaches are a hard lot.

Maf54: i like wrestling and wrestling tights

Coach64: Amazing.

Maf54: agree wrestling tights are amazing

Coach64: Here's amazing for you.  I have had the same pair of glasses since 1979.  Aviator wire-rims. That's amazing.

Maf54: you're killin my buzz

Maf54: really

Coach64: Hey, someone told me today that you were sending dirty messages to some of the boy pages.

Maf54: dirty? like what?

Coach64: Stuff about their penises and such.

Maf54: would i do that?

Coach64: No.  Sorry I brought it up.

Maf54: it's cool

Maf54: how big is yours?

Coach64: About 6'2".

Maf54: get out!

Coach64: Seriously.  My page is about 6'2".  And he's only an 11th grader.

Maf54: oh

Coach64: Got to run,  Mrs. Hastert has to drain my cyst.

Maf54: blech

Coach64: Hey, send that hundred grand to the RNCC or we'll out you.

Maf54: asshole

Coach64: Want to keep your committee assignments?

Maf54: the check will be there tomorrow

Coach64: Good night!

In the comments section of that diary, gravitylove made this prescient observation:
Hastert may have his own secrets

After all, he was a wrestling coach...

Maybe someone should search his hard drive. ;-)

by gravitylove on Fri Oct 06, 2006 at 08:53:17 AM CDT

Now we know why Hastert didn't act on Foley -- until he was absolutely forced to. They shared a special, secret hobby.

kos, in your piece from The Hill declaring Clinton a "true liberal," and in your own front page post essentially making the same case, The optimist's case for Hillary Clinton, you spoke not one word about Clinton's hawkish foreign policy tendencies.

UPDATE - As Jennifer Poole points out below, kos does actually mention Clinton's foreign policy in his blog post. I missed it... And it's in the first sentence!
The reasons to be skeptical of Hillary Clinton are legion, from her husband's record in the '90s, to her corporate ties (including being on the board of Walmart), to certainly worrisome foreign policy hawkish statements.
In fact, you studiously avoided any mention of that subject. That's my biggest concern with her, and I suspect it's a concern for many other liberals and progressives, as well.

She is, was and always will be, a warhawk. Her warhawk tendencies were reigned in during her tenure as Secretary of State. It is well-documented (even in her own words) that she urged a more active U.S. military intervention in Syria and with Iran. She was overruled.

I believe, given her proclivities, that there is a high likelihood that a Clinton presidency would lead to another military misadventure in the Middle East. We don't hear much from you on this front, just as we don't hear much from a lot of Clinton supporters, even those who normally oppose U.S. military adventurism.

In The Hill piece, you toss off the statement, "No need to move Hillary left," claiming she is "already there." She most definitely is not "already there" on foreign policy and the Middle East, as she has clearly articulated.

So are we to ignore the proverbial elephant in the room, given that she supported the Iraq fiasco ("Oh, but she apologized!") that cost thousands of U.S. lives, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and more than a trillion dollars? If she gets us engaged in yet another Middle East conflict with boots on the ground (a very good possibility in my estimation), how would the possibility of flushing hundreds of billions or even another trillion dollars down a Middle East rathole impact her "true liberal" domestic policies?

In yesterday's daily frothy post by the frothiest of front page writers, Clinton aces the Iraq question, GOP still stumbling, I note several of Clinton's most ardent backers suggesting in the comments that the U.S. (under Hillary's leadership, no doubt) will have to put troops into Syria at some point.

Of course, these same ardent Hillary backers are already blaming Obama's "weakness" as a reason she'll have to do this if she wins the presidency. (They remind me of Tea Partiers, in that they seem to share the same mantra: "Thanks, Obama!")

By the way, the diary claiming that Hillary "aced the Iraq question" compared her answer to Jeb's which is a completely inane comparison. As I pointed out in that diary, Clinton is not a Republican (and not W's brother), so it's absolutely no risk to her to answer the way she did. She's not going to piss off the Republican base by undercutting a former Republican president. To compare her answer to Jeb's is meaningless, and, frankly, stupid.

(To add to my criticism of that diary and that front page author: The front page rah-rah posts from that author continue to embarrass the site. "Clinton sets the gold standard..." "Clinton aces..." I mean support is one thing. Over-the-top cheerleading with full pom-pons is another matter entirely.)

In your Hill piece and your front-pager on Hillary's liberal bona fides, you point to the people she has selected to help with her campaign. Those hires have been trumpeted on the front page here by the author I cite above and others as a reason that this time, she'll be different!

I note this small item from Politico yesterday that highlights who's really running the show:

Guy Cecil, the new head of the pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA, is moving quickly to consolidate his hold over the organization, moving to replace a key Obama-era holdover with one of his own allies.


Cecil, who will working closely with longtime Clinton adviser Harold Ickes, is expected to name several key new staffers in the coming days – and has yet to take a formal title himself apart from “chief strategist.”

Harold Fucking Ickes, kos. Follow the money. You should know better.

Back in June of 2008, you naively wrote this:

The massive Obama/Dean 50-state effort

Obama's 50-state strategy, from the latest campaign email:

People like you have been the heart of Chairman Howard Dean's 50-state strategy to rebuild our party and empower Democrats to compete everywhere. We've all seen the energy and enthusiasm at the grassroots level impact races up and down the ballot over the last three years.

I am proud to announce that our presidential campaign will be the first in a generation to deploy and maintain staff in every single state.

That's incredible. It's revolutionary.

Much was said last week about "Obama keeping Dean at the DNC". That much was never in doubt. No nominee has ever booted a sitting chairman. It would reek of civil war. Even Clinton would've kept Dean. There really was no story there.

What is a story, however, is that Dean's 50 State Strategy and Obama's 50 State Campaign are now coming together in this fashion. Campaign offices in every single state? Obama's is the only campaign that promised this type of effort, and they're delivering.

And we know how that turned out. Shortly after the election, Dean was gone.

The same breathless front-pager cited above wrote a similar piece about the Clinton camp's claim that they were resurrecting Dean's 50-State Strategy and "helping to rebuild state parties" by having a paid staffer in every state -- through the end of May.

I noted in comments in that piece, that, no, the Clinton campaign was not reimplementing Dean's plan and was not "helping to rebuild state parties." I also suggested that in red states, there would be no paid operatives on the ground when the deals ran out at the end of May. I was, of course, castigated by some of the Hillary faithful, a few of whom once again took the opportunity to say "Thanks, Obama!" for neglecting state parties, and declaring that Hillary was coming in to save the day.

Sure enough, that bubble was burst by Camp Clinton last week. No more commitment to 50 states. They'd be focusing on the purple states (just like every candidate before and probably after her), and the "paid operatives" in a lot of states would be gone come the end of May. So much for re-instituting Dean's strategy or helping to rebuild state parties.

Look, kos, Hillary will be the nominee, barring some unforeseen disaster. But ignoring her foreign policy tendencies and who's minding the store for her (the same old DLC crowd) is ignoring reality.

Perhaps you should be repeating W's garbled version of the old, "Fool me once..." adage.

My suggestion is that you listen to some classic rock, this song, in particular:


Just a question for kos and Laura Clawson. I love Laura's writing on labor issues, so I find it surprising (and disappointing) that the Daily Kos labor beat writer hasn't penned even a single piece, as far as I can determine, on the what is likely the biggest issue facing unions and U.S. workers now and for decades to come: TPP/FastTrack.

And before anyone offers up the "We-haven't-seen-it-so-we-can't-have-an-informed-opinion-on-it" claptrap, plenty of discussion of not only the agreement, itself, but of the process that will ultimately generate the agreement and its approval/failure, is already taking place in the diaries, in MB's front page discussions, and elsewhere on the web.

This is a highly relevant issue to the future of the labor movement in this country and to any agreement's possible effects on our massive income inequality chasm.

I also find it puzzling that not one front-page piece has asked where our 2016 frontrunner stands on this issue.

Is there a reason for this silence from the Daily Kos labor writer?

By the way, thanks to Meteor Blades for bringing the subject up on the front page. But shouldn't this be the purview of the labor writer since it's a prominent labor issue?


The DLC may be dead as an organization, but its zombie remnants rise again and again to ensure the Democratic Party doesn't upset its deep-pocketed sponsors who want less "economic fairness" and a lot more "trickle down."

And, yes, the centrist groups aligning against Elizabeth Warren's full-throated defense of economic fairness include the Progressive Policy Institute, founded by none other than Hillary Clinton's 2016 right-hand, John Podesta.

CORRECTION: As willyr pointed out, below, Podesta founded the Center for American Progress and not the Progressive Policy Institute. The Center for American Progress put out the report mentioned below about the 2014 mid-term results. The head of the committee that generated that report was Larry Summers, also quoted below. Sorry for error.
Gee, what a surprise...

Here's a choice quote from today's article in The Hill that'll make your blood boil:

Leaders at three centrist groups — the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), the New Democrat Network (NDN) and Third Way — arranged a series of meetings with moderates after the disastrous midterm elections to "discuss the future of the party," according to a source close to the NDC.

“Democrats ought to avoid the danger of talking about only redistribution and not enough about economic growth,” said PPI President and founder Will Marshall, who addressed House Democrats during their Philadelphia retreat in January. “Economic growth is a precondition to reducing inequality. You can't redistribute wealth that you're not generating.

“There's a lot of sympathy for that view in the pragmatic-wing of the party,” he added.

Yes, because we all know how successful the "pragmatic wing" of the party has been in building up the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate!

This was all foreshadowed back on February 7 with the release of a PPI Center for American Progress report on the 2014 mid-term results. The story in the Times included this quote from committee chair, the execrable Larry Summers:

“It’s not enough to address upward mobility without addressing inequality,” said Lawrence H. Summers, a Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration who is among those talking with Mrs. Clinton. “The challenge, though, is to address inequality without embracing a politics of envy.”
Is there any doubt where Hillary will land in this debate? Any doubt at all? As I asked in a diary back on February 8, Could Hillary Clinton get outflanked on economic populism by a GOP nominee?

It's a serious consideration, given the tone coming from these centrist Dem groups. I concluded in that diary:

Sure, it sounds farfetched to believe that a Democratic presidential candidate could be outflanked on economic/income inequality by a Republican. But given the cautious, corporate-friendly nature of Hillary Clinton, compounded by her inclination to surround herself with neoliberal retreads whose policies helped get us to the state of economic inequality we are in today, I think it is possible that she could be outflanked.

The Republican will claim that he is the hero of the middle class, and the ever-skittish Clinton campaign, terrified of being accused of "class warfare" (and terrified of ostracizing her deep pocket backers), will run a campaign designed "not to lose" rather than a campaign designed to win.

I am nowhere near as confident in her ability to pull this off as Markos is. Given what we've seen to this point, I think a Clinton run is a crapshoot, despite what current polls suggest.

Read this quote from Gabe Horwitz of Third Way, and think to yourself, "Is this coming a Democrat or free-market conservative?"
Gabe Horwitz, director of Third Way’s economic program, said moderates have been arguing the case for rebranding the Democratic Party around “the middle class and middle-class prosperity.”

“In the last election, Democrats, as a party, offered a message of fairness. Voters responded, and they responded really negatively,” Horwitz said. “Democrats offered fairness, and voters wanted prosperity and growth.”

First off, that's a steaming load. Show me where "Democrats offered fairness" as opposed to "prosperity and growth." Democrats, as usual, were timid and cowed and paid the price.

Hell, even Howard Dean is on the bandwagon:

Democracy For America founder Howard Dean, who has backed Clinton for president, said Warren is “right on policy, but the rhetoric needs to be toned down.”

“Our program cannot be soak the rich — that's a mistake and alienates middle class people. But on substance, the Warren wing is correct,” said Dean.

It's a depressing scenario for progressives in 2016. The Chosen One is just more of the same. Progressives and progressive policies are in line for more marginalizing while the income gap stretches to a gaping chasm.

"Prosperity and Growth 2016!"

I'm not sure if that will be Hillary Clinton's campaign slogan or that of her Republican opponent.

To my earlier point about Hillary Clinton getting outflanked on economic inequality, a comment by this is only a test, below, highlights a piece in the Washington Post about how the new Republican governor of Maryland, a political neophyte, outflanked the Dem candidate, Anthony Brown, on economic inequality:

Those who are financially stressed were more likely to vote for Hogan over Democrat Anthony G. Brown in November than those who say they are getting ahead, according to the poll. On the campaign trail, Brown, then the lieutenant governor, talked about how Maryland had thrived for eight years under Gov. Martin O’Malley (D). But Hogan, the prosperous owner of a real estate firm, painted a different picture, one that resonated with residents who were less fortunate.

“Too many Marylanders,” the new governor said in his first State of the State address, “have been struggling, just to get by.”

An object lesson in what could happen in the 2016 presidential race, given the tone of the "centrist Dem" plan, listed above. Note that the Dem, Brown, touted the very "prosperity and growth" mantra suggested by the faux Democrats!

The NRA is once again doing what it does best: stoking paranoia and fear in a bunch of scared white guys to sell guns and gun-related products, in this case, armor-piercing bullets.

Move to Ban a Bullet Adds to Its Appeal

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s administration has proposed banning the manufacture and sale of one of the most popular bullets used in AR-15 semiautomatic rifles, a move that has enraged gun-rights advocates and caused a run on the ammunition at gun shops across the country.


The proposal would allow people to use up the ammunition they have already bought. Gun shops and firearms organizations on Thursday said there had been a rush to snap up cases of the bullets since the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups sent out urgent alerts to their members.

Those alerts accused Mr. Obama of seeking to enact by the backdoor gun control measures that he could not pass in Congress in 2013.

Yes, the "gun grabbers" are at it again! Quick, get thine self to the gun shop and buy that ammo!

In fact, this proposal was covered in a diary here that included a classic, fear-stoking title taken straight from the NRA playbook: "The latest brilliant backdoor gun control measure."

Never mind, of course, that this proposal (now labeled "back door") has been in the works for more than three years, and has involved discussions with gun industry and gun advocacy groups:

The proposal by the A.T.F. to reclassify the rifle ammunition started more than three years ago, before the Newtown shootings, and included meetings with members of the firearms industry, advocacy groups and law enforcement officials. After the 30-day comment period expires on March 13, the attorney general will have to make a final decision, officials said.

The rule-making, submitted on a Friday before a three-day weekend, appeared to catch many in Washington off guard.

But it has been a priority for law enforcement groups that have long pushed for restrictions on armor-piercing bullets.

The NRA and its advocates have said the bullet is no more armor-piercing than many other bullets.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said this month that it planned to restrict the armor-piercing 5.56-millimeter “M855 green tip” rifle bullet because of new handguns that use the ammunition and pose a greater threat to the police. Previously, the millions of inexpensive green-tip steel and lead bullets sold each year were only for rifles typically used by target shooters and hunters.


Gun control organizations said police officers had pushed for the new rule because the bullets can easily pierce bulletproof vests and other armor that are worn almost exclusively by law enforcement personnel. Handguns are considered more dangerous to the police because they are easier to conceal and are more often used in crimes. But gun rights advocates said that the ammunition being targeted was no more lethal than traditional rifle bullets, made only of lead, which they said could also pierce bulletproof vests.

So buy, buy, buy! As usual, the NRA and other gun rights groups do the bidding of the industry and sew fear to sell product. It's an age-old tactic that Wayne LaPierre and company have used to great effect to sell handguns, AR-15-style weapons and related paraphernalia to scared white guys for years. As LaPierre put it at last year's NRA convention:
"We know, in the world that surrounds us, there are terrorists and home invaders and drug cartels and carjackers and knockout gamers and rapers, haters, campus killers, airport killers, shopping mall killers, road-rage killers, and killers who scheme to destroy our country with massive storms of violence against our power grids, or vicious waves of chemicals or disease that could collapse the society that sustains us all. I ask you. Do you trust this government to protect you? We are on our own."
Fear and paranoia sell. This bullet story is just the latest example.

Hard to believe, I know. And many here will say, "Never!" That said, let's take a look at what is happening right now in the framing department...

Today brings us this article from The New York Times about Clinton seeking the input of "more than 200 policy experts" to help her define "how to address the anger about income inequality without overly vilifying the wealthy. "

Economic Plan Is a Quandary for Hillary Clinton’s Campaign

Behind many of these proposals is a philosophy, endorsed by Mrs. Clinton’s closest economic advisers and often referred to as inclusive capitalism, that contends that a majority of Americans do not want to punish the rich; they just want to feel that they, too, have a chance to succeed.


“It’s not enough to address upward mobility without addressing inequality,” said Lawrence H. Summers, a Treasury secretary in the Clinton administration who is among those talking with Mrs. Cllinton. “The challenge, though, is to address inequality without embracing a politics of envy.”


Last month in Washington, a 17-person commission convened by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to Mrs. Clinton, presented a 166-page report on “inclusive prosperity,” which is among the numerous economic blueprints Mrs. Clinton has reviewed. For some, the solutions proposed by the committee, of which Mr. Summers was co-chairman, did not go far enough.

Regardless of who the "more than 200 policy experts" are (and what points of view they represent), is there any doubt in the minds of most politically-informed Democrats that Clinton is most likely to settle on the prescription laid out by Summers and his think tank?

These centrist/Third Way/former-DLC retreads are proposing what amounts to a faux populist strategy that lives in fear of being accused by the other side of "class warfare." (Thus, Summers' comment about "the politics of envy.")  It's a strategy designed to thread the needle between a populist campaign and the corporate-loving/stroke-the-one-percent policies of the neoliberal class that have been in place since Bill Clinton's victory in 1992.

What this strategy misses, of course, is the actual public anger at income inequality in this country.

The most recent Gallup poll on the subject found 67% of Americans are dissatisfied with income distribution. A Pew survey found that 78% of Americans think income inequality is a significant issue.

Interestingly, the Pew survey also asked this question:

What is the most important reason for the gap between the rich and poor in our country today?
Tied for the number one answer were:
Government - 24%
Some work harder than others - 24%
Seventeen percent said "our educational system," and, surprisingly, only 13% said "workers' pay."

And now let's look at what the GOP economic populist argument is likely to be. (And, yes, it will be a mountain of lies, but it will be told convincingly and with passion and with the backing of billions of dollars in marketing.)

From Jeb Bush's speech in Detroit last week:

"Far too many Americans live on the edge of economic ruin," he said. "And many more feel like they’re stuck in place: Working longer, and harder, even as they’re losing ground. Tens of millions of Americans no longer see a clear path to rise above their challenges.

“Something is holding them back," he continued. "Not a lack of ambition. Not a lack of hope. Not because they’re lazy, or see themselves as victims. Something else. Something is an artificial weight on their shoulders. ... Today, Americans across the country are frustrated. They see only a small portion of the population riding the economy’s 'up' escalator."

Sure, it's all rhetoric, but there are the inklings of a GOP economic populism platform. And who will the enemy be? The government, of course, and a Democratic president's government, in particular.

Read today's piece from conservative columnist, Jack Kelly.

For Most Of Us, There's No "Recovery"


If it weren’t for gains made by the well off, there wouldn’t be a “recovery.” Five years after it began, the top 1 percent of earners (more than $366,623 a year) had garnered 81 percent of its fruits. The incomes of the top one-tenth of 1 percent (about $8 million a year) grew 39 percent.

The incomes of the bottom 90 percent declined...

Most of us get nearly all our income from our jobs. Only 44 percent of adults work 30 hours or more a week, according to Gallup’s survey of the work force. Ten million fewer are working now than when Barack Obama became president.


About 20 percent of employers are cutting back on new hires and worker hours to avoid onerous provisions in Obamacare, surveys by Federal Reserve banks in New York and Dallas indicate.


The 7,805 regulations issued by the Obama administration through December will boost to $1.88 trillion the cost of complying with federal rules this year...

Federal regulations reduce economic growth by as much as 12 percent...

... the burst of regulatory activity during the Obama administration has cost 546,000 jobs. More than 2,000 additional rules are in the pipeline.

According to Pew, the government and one's inability to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps are the top two reasons Americans cite for our income inequality. Sound familiar?

Sure, it sounds farfetched to believe that a Democratic presidential candidate could be outflanked on economic/income inequality by a Republican. But given the cautious, corporate-friendly nature of Hillary Clinton, compounded by her inclination to surround herself with neoliberal retreads whose policies helped get us to the state of economic inequality we are in today, I think it is possible that she could be outflanked.

The Republican will claim that he is the hero of the middle class, and the ever-skittish Clinton campaign, terrified of being accused of "class warfare" (and terrified of ostracizing her deep pocket backers), will run a campaign designed "not to lose" rather than a campaign designed to win.

I am nowhere near as confident in her ability to pull this off as Markos is. Given what we've seen to this point, I think a Clinton run is a crapshoot, despite what current polls suggest.


Help yourself:

Dads can't babysit... but they can breastfeed! Originally published January 10, 2005

I have a confession to make Originally published January 14, 2005

2008 Dem Hopefuls Spar in Secret Forum Originally published March 2, 2005

updait! this iz not bob jonsen riting Originally published March 14, 2005

I've decided to go on a feeding tube Originally published March 30, 2005

I worshipped a squirrel Originally published April 18, 2005

goot bi krewl werlt Originally published June 7, 2005

What I bought at the bazaar Originally published April 14, 2006

EXCLUSIVE! Bush's Thoughts During Colbert's Correspondents' Dinner Performance Originally published May 2, 2006

Go ahead and FLAME me! Bush and Cheney have been right... about almost everything! Originally published July 12, 2006

There are tons more diaries down here that I'll be tossing. Go ahead and rummage through this stack first. If you like one of `em, take it. Otherwise, they're headed for the dumpster.




Is this for real?

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Since no one in authority here has put up an "Ask me anything" diary in a while, I have taken it upon myself to cover for their sorry asses by posting my own version of "Ask me anything" even though I don't work for Daily Kos and I have absolutely no authority to speak for kos or anyone else who actually does work for this mega-corporation.

That said, feel free to "Ask me anything" about Daily Kos and I will, to the best of my ability, deliver a completely nonsensical answer. I'll do this only for a little while because, after all, it's Christmas Eve and I have tasks I need to finish, such as figuring out how late this one store will be open so I can wait until the last possible moment to get my wife a gift.


Take my pole:

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| 261 votes | Vote | Results


Thu Dec 18, 2014 at 03:46 PM PST


by Bob Johnson



After penning my diary yesterday, "Conservative demonization of Obama allowed racists to crawl out from under their rocks," and reading through the comments, a sharp-eyed observer noted that I had left something out of that diary.

I had written:

Over the course of Obama's tenure, the "freedom" to express such thoughts has expanded greatly, and attempts to call out these comments are often met with 1) a denial of racism, and 2) shouts of "Freedom of speech!" and "First Amendment!"
As Texas Twister astutely pointed out:
#3 in your parentheticals should be: 3) Reversing the claim and calling it racist to call them racist!
TexasTwister has it exactly right. And today brings yet another tale of woe from yet another victim of racial prejudice, in this case, third grade teacher, Angela Box, of Houston:
A third-grade HISD teacher accused of making profane and anti-Muslim remarks on a public access television show will resign immediately and receive three months' pay under a deal approved by the school board Thursday.


She said "character assassination" by community activist Quanell X, who had accused Box of using a racial slur, made it impossible for her to remain in her job.

"As I have said before, opposing President Obama and sounding the alarm about radical Islam does not make me a racist," the statement said, adding that she did not utter the racial epithets Quanell X had attributed to her.

"I am considering all my legal options regarding the conduct from Mr. X and others. I expect to have an announcement as early as next Monday regarding my future steps."

So what did the victimized Ms. Box say that ended up costing her her job?
"Every normal human being in the world knows that goat-fucking Muslims and, oh, boy fucking Muslims, are the evil of the world," Box appears to have said in one of the broadcasts. She also referred to Muslims as "bacon-haters."

The teacher also joked she was hopeful President Obama would catch Ebola. "Can't Ebola just take one for the team and take out Obama?"

Needless to say, this poor woman is yet another victim of the PC police that have made it impossible for reasonable people to speak their minds about Muslims, the president (Muslim?), minority citizens who are victims of police violence and immigrants.

Nearly every day brings yet more examples of conservatives -- oftentimes official office holders, political figures and media personalities -- falling victim to painful racial prejudice of this sort.

Anyone who follows Hunter's posts knows how many victims there are on a daily basis. Just in the past few weeks, we've had any number of victims of this horrible, repressive reverse racism:

Rudy Giuliani

“But I think just as much, if not more, responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community. It’s because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society.”
Almost-Nevada Speaker of the House Ira Hansen
He wrote that African-Americans are insufficiently grateful for being given their freedom: “The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”
GOP 2016 hopeful Ben Carson
Later on in the interview Blitzer asked about his much discussed comments where he warned that the United States was going the way of Nazi Germany.

"To make the comparison to Nazi Germany Dr. Carson, the slaughter of 6 million Jews by the Nazis, the devastation that erupted in Europe and around the world to the United States of America, I want you to reflect to what that potentially means," Blitzer said.

"Again, you are just focusing on the words 'Nazi Germany' and completely missing the point of what was being said," Carson said. "And that's the problem right now. That's what PC-ism is all about. 'You may not say this word' regardless of what your point is because if you say that word I go into a tizzy. We can do better than that."

GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten
"Dear Sasha and Malia, I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class," she wrote last week. "Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar."
Joe Scarborough
"The cops have every reason to be pissed off this morning," Scarborough said.

"And by the way, if I've offended anybody by saying what I've said, trust me, 95 percent of America think just like me," he said.

"Just because there are cowards who won't say that on TV... that's their problem, not mine," said Scarborough.

Big Stone County, Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Jack Whitley
"They are muslims, they are terrorist (sic), we know where they are from, we know where their buddies are, we know where thier mosque’s (sic) are, we know millions of these parasites travel to Mecca every year and when…FRAG ‘EM!" he wrote in a Facebook post.

He refused to apologize and said that Muslims in the U.S. "either need to repent except (sic) Jesus Chist or leave the country."

RedState editor Ben Howe
"Give me a gun. Put me in Darren Wilson’s shoes. I’d have shot Mike Brown right in his face."
Duval County, Florida Republican Party leader Kim "Bull Connor" Crenier
“A suggestion for Ferugson- fire hoses. Grt big fire hoses, serious water pressure. Knock those thugs over. They probly need a shower anyway.”
And the list goes on and on...

Someone must stand up for these victims of racial oppression. I am sure we can count on Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly -- victims of such oppression themselves many times over -- to defend the right of conservatives to have their racist voices heard.

This is America! Take back our country! Take a stand for the First Amendment! Stop all of this horrible racism directed against white conservatives!

And Ben Carson.


Even before Barack Obama took the stage in celebration in Chicago's Grant Park on election night in 2008, the ugly racists in conservative leadership had already spent months stirring racial resentment and fear based on Obama's "otherness." References to the Reverend Wright sermon, the claimed Michelle Obama "whitey tape," the birth certificate, the coded racism of Sarah Palin, and the non-stop, breathless, racist fear-pandering by anyone and everyone associated with Fox News set the stage for what was to come: nearly seven years of unending racist attacks, both overt and subtle.

The United States has never been "post-racial" as some would claim while citing the election of a black president, and certainly most African-Americans would scoff at the notion of a "post-racial" America. That said, prior to the emergence of Obama, outward expressions of virulent racism had been increasingly muted and forced underground by decades of hard work. The most vicious racists had crawled under rocks, spewing their loathings in private or secret among others who shared their views.

What has happened in the intervening years of the Obama presidency has been nothing less than a great unleashing -- the legitimization of racism and racist expression. The stewards at Fox News will always deny racism, as will others in conservative leadership including a number of conservative members of Congress, but their steady demonization of the president has allowed racists to emerge from their dank holes and voice their hatred openly and without shame.

The rise of the Tea Party during the health care debate, no matter how contrived or staged, was simply the organizing by right wing power brokers of those holding racial resentments. The Tea Party provided racists with a sheepskin, euphemistically labeled "dissent," as a way to publicly espouse their virulent racial hatred. Of course, the Republican Party has long stirred the racial resentment pot as part of their electoral strategy, but never before could they stoke and organize a movement with a primary objective of coalescing the fearful, the bigoted and the blatantly racist. Conservatives exploited the election of Barack Obama to organize their hardcore base.

Reading the message boards of many major media outlets in any part of the country during the Michael Brown/Ferguson coverage shows just how far we have receded as a society. Open expressions of virulent racism are prevalent, with many such comments not even subject to removal by moderators. Virulent racists feel free to express their hatred openly without fear of sanction.

Reports of Republican Party officials making openly racist or subtly racist comments are now so common that we are nonplussed when we read the latest crazed utterances. Over the course of Obama's tenure, the "freedom" to express such thoughts has expanded greatly, and attempts to call out these comments are often met with 1) a denial of racism, and 2) shouts of "Freedom of speech!" and "First Amendment!"

Racism never went away, but thanks to the hard work of dedicated people, including many who gave their lives for the cause, racists and racism were forced into the shadows, limiting racists' ability to openly proselytize their perverse beliefs. Our world was a better place. We have gone backwards as a nation.

Conservatives have fostered this retreat to gain power. It's a cynical strategy laced with abhorrent consequences for us all. It may take a long time to put that genie back in the bottle.

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