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On the June 20th edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show," the hostess with the mostest featured one of her best segments ever, explaining the events leading up to Darryl Issa’s unprecedented move of charging Attorney General Eric Holder with contempt of Congress for not agreeing to hand over certain documents in the “Fast and Furious” investigation.

Watch the video for yourself.  It is packed with jaw-dropping pieces of information, showing how the whole "scandal" began as a loony conspiracy-theory on the fringy right (it was all a scheme on the part of the administration to destroy the 2nd Amendment and take away everyone's guns), then moved into the halls of Congress and eventually culminated in the events that we saw today.  But the one fact that struck me the most comes at the end when she accuses the NRA of threatening the Republican members of Congress with a negative rating if they voted against charging Holder with contempt.  The result: all 23 Republican members on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to do just that.

I’m not saying all 23 wouldn’t have voted that way anyway, but it sure is scary realizing just how much power right-wing interest groups - and none more so than the NRA - have over the conservative members of Congress.

Bravo, Rachel, for this eye-opening report.  It is a must-see.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (181+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sandino, Timaeus, white blitz, statsone, mrsgoo, fixxit, BonesJones, Lefty Coaster, magnetics, Gemina13, thomask, Lujane, blueoasis, Just Bob, defluxion10, Australian2, PinHole, kestrel9000, Floande, kaliope, markthshark, OnlyWords, skohayes, Dartagnan, koNko, radarlady, Blue Bell Bookworm, blueoldlady, scooter in brooklyn, Texdude50, Sharon Wraight, grannysally, msdobie, rapala, dear occupant, parse this, Smoh, NYFM, real world chick, madmsf, Paulie200, Ice Blue, stevej, Habitat Vic, IreGyre, tobendaro, secret38b, Nebraskablue, nomandates, Terminus, Forward is D not R, DRo, blue aardvark, Nag, Vetwife, absdoggy, eXtina, nicki37, SaraBeth, gizmo59, msmacgyver, kathny, terabytes, TechBob, xanthippe2, Iberian, SeaTurtle, DefendOurConstitution, Desert Rose, MKSinSA, profewalt, highfive, MartyM, Supavash, Librarianmom, PBen, miracle11, nzanne, Polly Syllabic, CDH in Brooklyn, spunhard, doroma, psnyder, Blackacre, AllanTBG, BlueFranco, buffie, Dancun74, fiddlingnero, TrueBlueMajority, entrelac, a gilas girl, BluejayRN, AlwaysDemocrat, sydneyluv, deha, Shockwave, Pescadero Bill, Mary Mike, S F Hippie, LivesInAShoe, Egalitare, litoralis, Empower Ink, Darryl House, asilomar, Caddis Fly, kevinpdx, Mistral Wind, FindingMyVoice, Karl Rover, cybersaur, salmo, implicate order, parker parrot, Eddie L, cotterperson, Hillbilly Dem, sethtriggs, owlbear1, tgypsy, Gowrie Gal, Son of a Cat, kerflooey, nervousnellie, coolbreeze, GenXangster, Tea and Strumpets, freesia, millwood, JVolvo, tin woodswoman, wonkydonkey, Imhotepsings, fiercefilms, chimpy, mungley, Crabby Abbey, Its a New Day, GeorgeXVIII, djMikulec, Robynhood too, MKinTN, DianeNYS, cpresley, VTelder, Brooke In Seattle, Sun Tzu, liberte, ParkRanger, 2laneIA, bfitzinAR, Spiffarino, BigOkie, pamelabrown, arizonablue, Hayate Yagami, TX Unmuzzled, eeff, dewtx, jolux, sawgrass727, California06, NormAl1792, Nica24, Xkeeper, JDWolverton, eru, kharma, StateofEuphoria, Irons33, A Runner, Matt Z, samddobermann, chicagoblueohio, Arahahex, Amber6541, sfarkash, Fireshadow, rja, radical simplicity
  •  I think I just dropped a couple of IQ points. (32+ / 0-)

    "Let the Dragon sleep, for when China awakes, she will shake the world." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

    by Pluto on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 09:45:24 PM PDT

  •  That was a interesting story to say the least. (72+ / 0-)

    Makes sense really. They have been screaming PBO is going to take their guns away even before he got elected. Now that he has not, what's left? Oh yea - he hasn't taken your guns away, so it's a plot to take your guns away if he's re-elected. Makes perfect sense to the wingnut mind. And oh, Eric Holder is black. Gotta put him in his place 'coz it's not working out so well with PBO. Swear to f'n dog, I want to live long enough to see Issa perp walked. Anybody else notice how he couldn't face the camera today when he gavelled the vote? He's knows he's a slimebag.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:23:38 PM PDT

    •  Obama is a goldmine for the NRA (17+ / 0-)

      Obama has been a great target for the NRA.  He's black, he's a liberal, and he wants to take your guns away.  Donations to the NRA jumped dramatically after the 2008 election, as did gun sales.

      There are some rather confused people who claim to be supporters of both Obama and the NRA.  Which is kinda like sweeping the floor while wearing muddy boots.

      Meanwhile, every year 100,000 Americans suffer a gunshot injury.  This too is good news for the NRA, for every gun and bullet sold is a profit to the gun industry, and the NRA uses those profits to buy the law-makers and the laws they want to sell more guns and bullets.

      Truely, the NRA and the gun industry cheer gun violence in America.

      "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

      by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:54:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama is NOT liberal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Spiffarino, mrsgoo

        President Obama is not "liberal" by any stretch of the imagination. I'd classify him as right of center.

        --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

        by cybersaur on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:34:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You and I know this (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mungley, DianeNYS, Matt Z, mrsgoo

          You and I know this.  I'm willig to bet that even the people who plan ad campaigns for the NRA, and even some within the NRA, know this.

          But it is helpful for the NRA to describe Obama this way.  This gets the attention and raises the ire of NRA supporters.

          Remember, for conservatives, "liberal" is synomomous with "wants to take your guns away" and "limp-wristed faggot".  

          "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

          by Hugh Jim Bissell on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:57:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Profitable caricature (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DianeNYS, mrsgoo

            Caricaturing Obama is very profitable for the NRA.  In the fact free loonyverse they have constructed, that image ties into decades of propaganda.  At the end of the day, it is all about the money and power, so this works for them.  

            Most national Democrats appear to have concluded that countering it is not worth the trouble.  Once again, strategy seems to be a lost art for our Party.  The Democratic response to a NRA kerfuffle like this needs to be essentially a sound bite.  Sound bites, like "there you go again" only work if they have a hook on which to hang that is part of a broader understanding.  You build those over years, not overnight.  I caught the Maddow explanation too, and appreciated her talent in bringing it forward so well.  But I remember being struck at the time by the sense that most people I know, even people who agree with me on politics, would not have paid attention to that issue for the length of the segment.  We have a big picture deficit.  Attending to that is what think tanks and advocacy groups do.  The Democratic Party should see in this tempest further evidence that it needs some.

        •  He's not going to take your guns away, either. n/t (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybersaur, Matt Z, Amber6541, mrsgoo

          Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

          by chimpy on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:43:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Issa's A Complete Zero.... (87+ / 0-)

    He's held 11 congressional hearings on Solyndra.  Nothing.  He couldn't come up w/ a single charge.  In fact, he & his Republican cronies lobbied the Dept of Energy for exactly the same type of government loan for their own districts.  Issa, himself, wrote letters to Steven Chiu asking for a green loan.

    In 3 & l/2 years, Issa has proven to be a complete dud w/ his cornball investigations.  This may be his last chance.  Frogmarch Holder or go out without a single kill.   It's all he's got.  

    He certainly hasn't gotten any jobs for this country.  

  •  The NRA needs to change their name to the NEA. (19+ / 0-)

    National Extortion Association

    How's that working out for you?

    by BonesJones on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:41:34 PM PDT

  •  Issa is protecting the arms manufactures (43+ / 0-)

    from scrutiny, by making the effort to stem the arms trade to Mexican Drug Gangs notorious.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:46:19 PM PDT

  •  Next on the NRA agenda... (30+ / 0-)

    Blackmail enough reticent House Republicans to ensure the contempt charge is passed on the floor.

    Let's see:

    218 votes (needed for passage)

    23 members of the Oversight Committee. (already in their pocket)

    62 members of the tea party caucus. (likely don't need blackmailing)

    Equals 85

    Great news for the NRA!! (and their comrades the Koch brothers and a slew of other Holder/Obama/Clinton/Reno/Democrats in general -- haters)

    All they need to do now is blackmail 133 more members.

    Our tax dollars @ work

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 11:10:20 PM PDT

  •  How does demonizing guns help the NRA? (0+ / 0-)

    Do they want a gun law fight?

    Romney - 2012 - He's A Trooper!

    by kitebro on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 04:15:01 AM PDT

    •  They're demonize government... (10+ / 0-)

      ...not guns.

      A TINY fraction of the guns that have ended up in the war in Mexico were part of this intel operation.

      The NRA is otherwise silent on the massive arsenal that flows into that bloody conflict in Mexico.  A war with more casualties per year than the Vietnam war.

      The people who fund and control the NRA make a SHITLOAD of money on the gun running trade.

      The very slightly misguided attempt by US law enforcement to track guns back to the bad guys and use that information to help bring them down is being blown way out of proportion for a number of reasons, but mostly to blame the horrific decimation in Mexico that happens at the muzzle end of US purchased weapons of war on this insignificant source, and thus blame the gov, and not the gun industry, which is profiting from the 99% of the other guns that make it into the war just across our southern border.

      Blood diamonds are cleaner than gun sales to Mexico.

    •  It appears they want a fight WITH guns. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cartoon Peril

      "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

      by SaraBeth on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:54:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  NRA (7+ / 0-)

      is first of all a Right Wing outfit. Guns are just their modus operandi. Because the case was a case to try to see how many guns sold in AZ go to Mex. they want to basically forbid the FBI to investigate ANY gun sale. They already got that passed in many states where the local government, the county or the state including their law enforcement offices, tax or whatever are barred form investigating gun sales.

      The NRA thinks guns should be exempt of any control or legislation.

  •  Anyone catch Dennis Kucinich on NPR? (16+ / 0-)

    I don't get into this big a rant often. But Kucinich sat next to Fl rep John Mica, and drooled.  Watch the vid at the link to PBS News Hour to catch what I'm talking about:

    Here's my letter to Dennis Kucinich:

    Dear Congressman,

    The very first point in the transcript of your appearance on Wednesdays "PBS Newshour" where you FAILED:

    (Link to transcript of Denis Kucinich being totally clueless:

    REP. JOHN MICA, R-Fla.:
    "Well, first of all, we have tried to work with him.
    As Mr. Kucinich said, Holder wasn't hiding himself. But what he was doing was hiding the documents that we're seeking, because, again, the Department of Justice concocted a scheme to send weapons to Mexican drug dealers..."

    The DOJ "concocted a scheme to send weapons to Mexican drug dealers...." ????!!!!

    REALLY? No, seriously.... do you think that is an accurate statement?  "Concocted a scheme to send weapons..."

    And you sat there and listened to multiple instances with ONE HORRIFIC AND TOTALLY GODDAMN FALSE ACCUSATION/CHARACTERIZATION  AFTER ANOTHER...  filled with misleading half truths, and DOZENS of lies.  But the first words out of YOUR MOUTH, after the jaw dropping accusation leveled by the disgusting Republican Rep from Florida?

    REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Mr. Mica is right. ...


    Please consider getting out of my political party., I would rather have another  tea bagger in the House than a democrat as feckless as yourself.

    •  I'm gonna pop a cork (8+ / 0-)

      on DK's last day, which cannot come soon enough.
      His entire career has been a series of embarrassments and self-aggrandizement.

      "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

      by kestrel9000 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:14:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope that Cork hits you in the Eye (0+ / 0-)

        or vote that you have vehemently disagreed with.

        Embarrassment.  Does it begin when he would not sell Muni Light as the Boy Mayor of Cleveland?

        If that is the start do you realize he was actually right. In the 90's the City of Cleveland honored him for standing up to the banks (oh and a mafia hit put out against him) because of his refusal which saved the City oh only a few Hundred Million Dollars.

        Did you dislike him voting against the War in Iraq?

        Being the only one attempting to impeach Cheney or attempt to ?

        It will be a sad day when one of the few non privately owned Congressmen (did you celebrate when Grayson or Feingold were outed too?).

        Rediculous. He is not at all pretentious or self-promoting. I have met him multiple times. He is a humble guy from a tpyical Cleveland Household.

        You should already Pop the Cork. His district is gone. And so you prefer one less D who actually votes for Progressive ideals? Do you prefer Kaptur?

        Name the Congressmen who vote more similarly to your personal stances, or advocate for them.

        His only mistake was running for Pres, but he injected at least a Progressive voice into the mix. I have to think that is why, as I highly doubt he believed he would win.

        Even though he was right Cleveland Muni and letting the City go into the Red (as a result of the Cleveland Trust Co. deciding to call in Debts which in the past they continually extended ie basically to try and force him to sell Cleveland Muni) would always prevent him from higher office.

        You have no idea how beloved he is in his district. (The district that the R's you guys aren't writing to eliminated in obvious political Gerrymandering.

        I hope he moves to Seattle, runs and continues to be a thorn in the side of the Best Congress Corporations can buy.  

    •  Do you have any idea how great a Liberal (0+ / 0-)

      and idealist Kucinich is?

      So great that he was my rep, but "redistricting" turned my district into one long thin Circle around part of CLeveland and Toledo! to make him lose his seat by running against another D incumbent. Now part of Cleveland is going to be repped by a D from Toledo.

      Yeah he is terrible.

      Can you name many US congressman attempting to impeach Cheney/Bush while in office?

      Voting against the Iraq war?

      Look into him before you send him an asinine letter. I hope that he relocates to seattle like he said and runs there. He is worth that much.

      •  Yeah ... he USED to be a fighter. 10 years ago (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Matt Z, Paulie200

        Or so we all thought.

        Maybe it's the damned Lamestream Media again ... but Kucinich seems to have retired from the Ring.

        Maybe he  never was  anything but the political equivalent of a Mexican Canvasback boxer ... that's a good looking fighter  of the right weight who doesn't mind being beaten up a little so that the real contenders can have "undefeated" records -- and bookies can book some sentimental long-odds sucker bets.

        Look: He's got his health.  He's happily married.  And it's not as if "Occupy" was out-polling "Tea Party"

        Y'know ... a guy's gotta do what's right for HIM, doesn't he?

        •  I'd say his best jabs have all been in the (0+ / 0-)

          last 10 years (other than holding onto Cleveland Muni).

          If he was a guy you think would enthrall crowds he never was a Kennedy.

          If you want a guy who truly believes in Progressive Ideals he was and is and votes that way.

          At one point a Conservative friend of mine made fun of his suggestion for a Department of Piece. I laughed. I thought about it later. Why is that rediculous. We SHOULD seek war? But not peace?

          He has made a career of voting his conscience. I don't think the same could be said about many others.

      •  I hear ya... BUT... (0+ / 0-)

        I am a liberal Democrat, Kucinich gets some kudos from me for his staunch support for liberal causes.  (Even though it's occasionally as feckless as his failure on PBS News Hour.)

        As a Democrat, he's a liability, especially when he gets used as a prop to sit next to a propaganda spewing wingnut.

        For those who prefer their liberalism non-partisan, or more progressive than Democrat, keep in mind that you have ZERO chance of getting either liberal, or progressive government, with the GOP, and a pretty good one with the Dems.

    •  Dennis jumped the shark long ago. /nt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, Paulie200

      Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
      I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
      —Spike Milligan

      by polecat on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Absolutely useless waste of space (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, Paulie200

      How Kucinich ever became a progressive spokesman is beyond me.  No wonder we're getting our butts kicked.

      •  I honestly did not hear it (0+ / 0-)

        But it is an impossibility to me that Kucinich would assist.

        And at what point exactly did he jump the shark? Other than running for Pres?

        My guess would be Kucinich probably is not informed because what they are talking about is that nuts. Was he saying "that's correct" about what happened re the vote? I highly doubt that he is saying that that's correct about the entirety of the issue.

        This is a guy who is a lightning rod. We don't want the Conservative D's like Nelson, but now we don't want a guy who:

        1.) Has a 95% rating from the ADA
        2.) Was the only Congressman to vote against the Iraq war
        3.) Proposed the withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2007.
        4.) Brought a Bill to impeach Cheney. Was considerate enough to announce it until after Cheney survived a blood clot. Said in his press conference

        ""[After quoting the declaration of indpendence] I believe the Vice President's conduct of office has been destructive to the founding purposes of our nation. Today, I have introduced House Resolution 333, Articles of Impeachment Relating to Vice President Richard B. Cheney. I do so in defense of the rights of the American people to have a government that is honest and peaceful."
        5.) Was the only D at the 2008 debate to raise his hand saying Bush Co should be impeached to Brian Williams' question.
        6.) Is currently drafting legislation against handguns as he is zealously against gun violence.
        7.) Wants the Fairness Doctrine back.
        8.) Brought the Free Market Drug Act due to the rediculously high cost of Prescription drugs (alone)
        9.) Almost didn't vote for the ACA because it wasn't good enough
        10.) Was the only one standing to Impeach Bush in 2008

        Yeah we don't need guys like that. Give me Mary Kaptur. Please.

        •  Kucinich was terrible (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z, Paulie200

          He accepted every one of Mica's false premises and was completely condescending and couldn't, or wouldn't, articulate a view that supported the administration's contention that this entire episode is political theater.  If this is the best we have, Progressivism is doomed.

          •  I'll listen (0+ / 0-)

            But I'd add I expect it is difficult to argue against something completely devoid of logic (especially when the sane world has no idea how/why this came about and are biting their tongues at how insane it truly is). But I will go listen.

            Kucinich also has to worry about staying in Cogress. He lost his Primary because of a BS redistricting putting Cleveland and Toledo together and eliminating his seat.

            •  Well, there you have it ... "priorities" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Matt Z
              Kucinich also has to worry about staying in Congress.
              Eyes on the prize ... and all that.

              And maybe someday the Democratic Party will have a job for an outspoken, effective , progressive who's more than a stalking horse.

              Hopefully, Dennis won't be too out of practice if that day ever comes.

          •  I Disagree upon reading (0+ / 0-)

            Progressivism would be doomed because we cannabalize the good guys. You are calling for Kucinich's head because he said "yes technically the could do this but

            Mr. Mica is right. There's a -- you can't argue whether or not Congress has a right to look into this. We have an obligation to look into it.

            The question is, what purpose does it serve to push the contempt issue before the entire House?

            You don't need to read between the lines. And you cut-off his quote implying that he accepted that there was a conspiracy like Maddow claimed.

            I have no doubt Kucinich thinks this is rediculous. He is a guy not quick to get out of line, and started to get testy and got cut off. Otherwise it was a debate about an issue that is not the story. Blame Suarez for not following up on Kucinich saying the above. Blame the Republicans spewing this forth.

            Kucinich in no way made anyone look bad or feeble. He simply answered questions the same as his Colleague.

            Each had his core point. It was clear.

            Mica was "we should investigate . . . and so we have to hold Holder in Contempt". Not discussing the B and C to get from A and D.

            Kucinich was "this is not the way to go about it." Discussing the B and C.

            Kucinich was just honest. Could Contress do what they did yes. Should they or was it proper no.

            This was a discussion basically about the contempt process.

            Based on Mica's talking points and Suarez's questions I don't really know what you expect Kucinich to say? The lead in already did the speaking for Holder.

            He did not accept any false premise. He did not bite at "this is about someone being killed". If his response was this is all political he looks dumb. The discussion was directed at people that are aware.

            He also made clear it was not being done the right way.

            If you want to blame anyone blame Suarez. These people have limited airtime.

            Why didn't he ask follow-ups to Mica?

            When it started to get contentious they cut out.

            Save your letters for the R's that voted.

            I am sure if you call Kucinich's office he will tell you what he thinks very bluntly, but this was a very boring discussion about Congress' powers. Is Kucinich going to deny they have the power? Then he looks like an obstructionist and doesn't care about someone getting killed. So he answers tempered with this is not the right time.

            •  My point is.... (0+ / 0-)

              That Kucinich was (is) totally inarticulate when opposing the right wing talking points--and he failed again this morning when on "the Ed Schulz radio show".  What I'm really afraid of, is that he is looking to a future as a "talking head", and frankly, we cannot afford someone inarticulate serving as a spokesman for Progressive views.  He needs to stay the hell away from the media.

  •  Holder statement on Issa's contempt charge (33+ / 0-)

    Attorney General Eric Holder’s response to Darrel Assa:

    “It’s an election-year tactic intended to distract attention — and, as a result — has deflected critical resources from fulfilling what remains my top priority at the Department of Justice: Protecting the American people….

    Simply put, any claims that the Justice Department has been unresponsive to requests for information are untrue. From the beginning, Chairman Issa and certain members of the Committee have made unsubstantiated allegations first, then scrambled for facts to try to justify them later. That might make for good political theater, but it does little to uncover the truth or address the problems associated with this operation and prior ones dating back to the previous Administration.

    “I have spent most of my career in law enforcement and worked closely with brave agents who put their lives on the line every day. I know the sacrifices they make, so as soon as allegations of gunwalking came to my attention – and well before Chairman Issa expressed any interest in this issue — I ordered the practice stopped.”

    The choice of our lifetime: Mitt Romney, It Takes A Pillage or President Barack Obama, Forward Together.

    by FiredUpInCA on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 04:29:09 AM PDT

  •  If they really wanted to investigate... (16+ / 0-)

    ...they would bring in the guys who started the program.

    ..of course they don't.  And they won't.

    Aldus Shrugged : The antidote to Ayn Rand.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 04:44:30 AM PDT

  •  Will they really... (8+ / 0-)

    ......take Eric Holder out in handcuffs???

    What a photo-op!

    How will that play to the great middle?  The independents?  ...the sight of our black AG in cuffs, like a street perp..........

    Perhaps they will do it after barring cameras from the chambers.

    Boehner is a dangerous yet silly sack of garbage.

    I have no words to describe issa.

    Aldus Shrugged : The antidote to Ayn Rand.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 04:47:50 AM PDT

  •  Remember: Guns don't kill people, (6+ / 0-)

    the black attorney general of a black president kills people.

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:46:25 AM PDT

  •  Political theatre yes but at this point (5+ / 0-)

    any bunch of bozos who idolize a pediphile terrorist such as Nuggent would frog march our AG and put him in the jail in the Congress just for free media attention to deflect that republicans have done this rather than actually legislate.  I am no longer shocked at any thing this bunch has done.  Or will do.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:51:15 AM PDT

  •  These people are dangerous, (10+ / 0-)

    and we must NEVER under estimate their intent.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~ Edward Abby

    by SaraBeth on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:51:50 AM PDT

    •  GOP abuse of power. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chimpy, SaraBeth

      This is how the GOP abuses what little power it acquires. They always use their political power to go after political opponents. From trumped up charges stemming from infidelity as an excuse to impeach a president, demanding U.S. Attorneys General investigate and prosecute non-existent "voter fraud" to holding hearings 9witch hunts) based on right wing conspiracy theories in order to smear a Democratic administration.
      Republicans do not deserve to hold office. Not a single smarmy one of them! They are a dangerous cult and nothing more.

      --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

      by cybersaur on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:47:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am tired of having ignorant crazy people (11+ / 0-)

    dictate US policy.  What is not clear is whether the bifurcation that has occurred in news reporting can ever be reversed.  Now that the crazies have access to news that they like, Fox has a permanent customer base, and they aim to please.

    -5.13,-5.64; If you gave [Jerry Falwell] an enema, you could bury him in a matchbox. -- Christopher Hitchens

    by gizmo59 on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 05:56:44 AM PDT

  •  I LOVE Rachel, but last night was unfair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It was an unfair portrayal of the scandal.

    It doesn't matter that gun nuts have Republicans' ear.  And it sure doesn't matter that Alaskan idiots can't explain why they hate Holder, although it sure makes me feel good to know that people who hate Holder can be so ignorant.

    The bottom line is that it appears that Holder denied he knew about F&F, and when the documentary record showed he was lying, he both retracted his denial and refused to cave on the Republican fishing expedition intended to rub his nose in the denial.  His apparent coverup of the way he came to retract his denial if probably embarrassing, and he understandably doesn't want the Republicans publishing each embarrassing email.

    The scandal itself isn't very consequential.  But the scandal is not "gun nuts made us do it!"

    •  Absolutely Disagree (6+ / 0-)

      We have just not been in the Wingnut Sphere.

      The point is we shouldn't be asking the question of should he turn over or not, we should be asking why do they want it turned over.  And it never should have gotten there. I don't want my Congress concerned about some lunatic who concocts ideas that I won't even call conspiracies as conspiracies usually make some sense on the anniversary of a similar nut blowing up US citizens and Children dictating witch hunts. And this type is. Whether it was him or not. He started saying it enough and it stuck to Fox.

      It does matter that people cannot actually explain what is going on. "Obama hates guns" why? Because he is the most anti gun pres ever. What has he done to limit gun rights? "I don't know his policy [yet I am willing to stand in the cold and advocate for who the people telling me this say I should vote for].

      It reminds me of a friend of mine and I driving by a Tea Party protest at Kucinich's office. My friend yelled "keep the government out of my Social Security" (ironically) and they all cheered.

      They say hell is the absence of reason. I doubt that for such a long segment rachel had time to find demonstrators.

      The fact of the matter how she portrayed it as coming to the public arena is accurate. The general lack of knowledge and logic is accurate.

      I don't see the point in being hyper-technical about Holder's specific actions. You could try, then try and discuss division of powers, the extraordinary use of Contempt (Reno and Rove and Co are the only since the 80's). A punishment carrying up to one year in prison.

      You believe he deserves that after offering a deal on June 12? That it is a good idea for the executive branch to relinquish its privilege? We might debate, but I can guarantee the bumper sticker is Contempt for Holder. And not "well technically because they brought an investigation parsing the powers/duties and caselaw . . ."

    •  You live in an alternate universe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DianeNYS, A Runner

      Do you think Holder is stupid?  He would know that every correspondence (especially including email) would be subject to discovery, so if he did have anything to hide, which I DON't believe he does, he wouldn't put anything anywhere that would leave a trail.  This is a fishing expedition by Republicans looking for anything pertaining to ANYTHING that might be used to political advantage, and it has NOTHING to do with Fast and Furious.  These con bastards are masters of political theater.

  •  Copy of RW Email I Received (6+ / 0-)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States reversed policy on Wednesday and said it would back launching talks on a treaty to regulate arms sales as long as the talks operated by consensus, a stance critics said gave every nation a veto.

     The decision, announced in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, overturns the position of former President George W. Bush's administration, which had opposed such a treaty on the grounds that national controls were better.

     Wednesday Obama Took the First Major Step in a Plan to Ban All Firearms in the United States . The Obama administration intends to force gun control and a complete ban on all weapons for US citizens through the signing of international treaties with foreign nations. By  signing international treaties on gun control, the Obama administration can use the US State Department to bypass the normal legislative process in Congress. Once the US Government signs these international treaties, all US citizens will be subject to those gun laws created by foreign governments. These are laws that have been developed and promoted by organizations such as the United Nations and individuals such as George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. The laws are designed and intended to lead to the complete ban and confiscation of all firearms.

     The Obama administration is attempting to use tactics and methods of gun control that will inflict major damage to our 2nd Amendment before US citizens even understand what has happened. Obama can appear before the public and tell them that he does not intend to pursue any legislation (in the United States) that will lead to new gun control laws, while cloaked in secrecy, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is committing the US to international treaties and foreign gun control laws. Does that mean Obama is telling the truth? What it means is that there will be no publicized gun control debates in the media or votes in Congress. We will wake up one morning and find that the United States has signed a treaty that prohibits firearm and ammunition manufacturers from selling to the public. We will wake up another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that prohibits any transfer of firearm ownership. And then, we will wake up yet another morning and find that the US has signed a treaty that requires US citizens to deliver any firearm they own to the local government collection and destruction center or face imprisonment.

     This is not a  joke nor a false warning. As sure as government health care will be forced on us by the Obama administration through whatever means necessary, so will gun control.

     Please forward this message to others who may be concerned about the direction in which our country is headed.

     We are being led like a lamb to the slaughter (Socialism/Dictatorship).
     (Italics mine)
    It makes it look like the entire text is from Reuters, but only the 1st 2 paragraphs are.  The NRA is the lobbtying group for the firearms industry.  Now that the pawns bought out all the old ammo hanging around in gun shops, it's time for a gun clearance at premium rather than reduced prices.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:15:28 AM PDT

  •  I still think this is about the gop voter purge (11+ / 0-)

    and HOLDERS aggressive push back to said same.   The NRA may be a willing partner but I still have this feeling that the Republican 'Leadership" wants to keep Holder, the WH and the DOJ occupied with this contempt charge so Holder doesnt have the time to continue to stop the GOP from kicking voters off the rolls before the upcoming election.

    and I believe this because, as they say in my profession, TIMING IS EVERYTHING and this could have been done months ago but it comes on the heels of the lawsuit DOJ filed against FL to stop their purge from continuing.

    I think the NRA threat was just the stick the GOP used to make sure every single repub in congress stayed in line and on message.

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:24:45 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, me too (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KnotIookin, chimpy, NMRed, Matt Z

      It's the GOP, so there is always some crazy stuff floating around, but it seems likely that the senior people in that vast right wing apparatus who are organizing the Issa show are not crazy in any sort of usual way.  We have seen these people at work for decades.  That is long enough to know there is always a long run goal and a short term objective.  In this case, that objective seems most likely to be a reduction in DOJ efforts to counter voter suppression, on which the GOP is betting for victory this fall.  

    •  You Nailed It - My Suspicion All Along. AG Eric (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NMRed, KnotIookin, Matt Z

      Holder has been raining on the GOP'S "voter suppression" parade. The RepubliCONS talking point was that they were just trying to stop "voter fraud." But after Holder's DOJ probe identified some of the voters on Rick Scott's potential voter purge list (like the 90 year old WWII veteran), the public started questioning the "voter fraud" BS the GOP was spewing. Thus, the GOP needs to distract the public's attention from their voter suppression tactics, AND tie up Eric Holder and the DOJ. This witch hunt by Issa is a perfect way to do it.  Using the NRA to stir up fear mongering about "Obama taking away your guns"  is just icing on the cake for the right wingers.

    •  Kudos. Ima put this right here... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      "You still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you knew it with regard to Operation Fast and Furious.  You won't cooperate with a legitimate Congressional investigation, and you won't hold anyone, including yourself, accountable.  Your Department blocks states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud.  In short, you've violated the public trust, in my view, and by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office," Cornyn said.

      Its a tell alright. As usual, in DC, the dust up we are witness to isnt about this topic. Its about sumpin else. In this case, stealing the electoral votes of Florida.

      Mitt Romney deserves a lot of credit for creating Mitt Romney.

      by A Runner on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:18:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  AHHH validation... (0+ / 0-)

        when I started posting my belief that this is about Voter fraud I think others thought I was a bit nuts :)  Now I hear that Pelosi also believes as I do....   and this tape seems to validate it.

        the crazy right might believe its about guns but I would bet 'the farm' that behind the curtain the Money people and the gop leadership figured it was time to launch the "stop" on Holder and this IS the stop... tie him up with a congressional hearing ...  and make it seem that its about GUNS (not votes)

        "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

        by KnotIookin on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 04:13:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  here is the actual letter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Does anyone know if there is any kind of ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... legal process that is deisgned to prevent this kind of frivolous activity? Is there any kind of rule that would make it possible to challenge the Committee on this?

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:30:09 AM PDT

  •  and they interview the "throw bricks at democrats" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    lunatic on Fox news.  There really oughta be a law against the ignorance spewing at Faux.

    We pay these friggin congress people to propagate this nonsense!  god help us.

    I hope that Isaa's karma catches up with him soon.

  •  Video? (0+ / 0-)


    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 06:55:05 AM PDT

    •  Transcript (I assume of Rachel) (8+ / 0-)
      What happened today in American politics requires a decoder ring, and I`m here to provide you with it. What happened today in American politics is what your uncle who watches FOX News all day is all worked up about.

      This is one of those days where what happened today in politics mean something totally different to the portion of Americans who watch FOX News than it does to everybody else in the country. It`s one of those days if you`re a person who gets your information about American politics from what people say in the conservative media, today was like a five-inch tall headline, day that will live in infamy, huge deal in American politics.

      But if you`re not that, if you`re one of the more than 95 percent vast majority of the country who at any moment is not watching FOX News, today might not have made much sense. In 2012, this is a more and more important thing about our country and our politics all the time. In 2012, we have become a bifurcated country. We`re bifurcated between people who believe what is in the conservative media is the news and everybody else in the country who has a more heterogeneous diet.

      And with more of these scandals that are cooked up on the right in particular, these two groups of people cannot talk to each other. We don`t understand what each other`s purported news stories mean.

      Today was one of those days when they tried to drag something out of the conservative media world where it`s been cooking for a year and they tried to drag it into the mainstream, to see if it could survive in the mainstream, to see if it could survive outside of the right wing world in which it was incubated.

      I do not know if it survived. I do not sure if it worked. I`m not sure that anybody who doesn`t watch FOX News has any idea what`s going on in today`s news.

      But here is the story. In March 2010, which is a little over a year after President Obama took office, right, Congress passed health reform. There were months of not knowing if it was really going to happen, right down to the very last few days, it`s still not sure if it was definitely going to happen.

      But finally, it was the third week in March of 2010 when it was clear that Congress had finally figured out how to pass health reform. And on the Friday morning of that third week in March, when it became clear it was going to pass, a militia guy in Alabama freaked out about health reform on his blog and he demanded conservatives opposed to health reform should take to violence, to stop Congress from what it was doing.

      He wrote on his blog, and I quote, `If you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows. Break them now. Break them and run to break again. Break them under cover of night.

      Break them in broad daylight, break them and await arrest in willful, principled civil disobedience. Break them with rocks, with sling shots, break them with baseball bats, but break them.

      The time has come to take your life, your liberty and that of your children and grandchildren into your own two hands and act. It`s after all, more humane than shooting them in self defense.

      And if we do a proper job, if we break the windows of hundreds, thousands of Democrat party headquarters across the country, we might just wake up enough of them to make defending ourselves at the muzzle of a rifle unnecessary. Break their windows. Break them now."

      That was Friday morning, March 19th, 2010. Sometime later on in that day, indeed, a large brick was thrown through a window at Democratic Congresswoman Louise Slaughter`s district office in Niagara Falls, New York. The window had to be -- as you can see there -- had to be boarded up completely.

      That same night, Friday night or possibly early Saturday morning, another brick was thrown through a window at the Sedgwick County Democratic Party office in Wichita, Kansas. That brick was reported to have anti- Obama and anti-health care reform messages written on it.

      Then, a day later, oh, look, there`s more. On Saturday night or maybe early Sunday, another brick shattered glass doors at the Democratic Party headquarters in Rochester, New York. I think we have a picture of the brick, right?

      Shortly after the health reform vote took place on Sunday, another one, this time a fist-sized rock reportedly thrown through the front window of the Hamilton County Democratic Party in Pleasant Ridge, Ohio.

      Then at 2:40 in the morning, so late Sunday night/early Monday morning, a few hours after the health reform bill, the front door and glass panels were smashed out at Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords` office in Tucson, Arizona.

      That was all March 2010, right when health reform was passing. Of course, as an aside, Gabrielle Giffords within a year went on to barely survive an assassination attempt in her home district in Arizona. After she resigned to work on her recovery earlier this year, her former staffer Ron Barber was actually sworn in just this week in the House to replace her.

      But in terms of the timing here, today, of course, is possibly also the eve of the Supreme Court decision on health reform. Decision on whether or not the conservative majority on the Supreme Court is going to find health reform somehow unconstitutional. That ruling had been expected as early as this Monday, this past Monday this week. The next possible date on which they might issue the ruling is tomorrow morning. So, it might happen tomorrow.

      The thing about that timeframe there between health reform passing and now this expected ruling from the Supreme Court, since health reform was passed, all right, now that we`re possibly on the eve of the Supreme Court ruling on its future, whatever happened to the "break their windows" militia guy?

      Despite some noises that he might be pursued by law enforcement, since he was very proud and unapologetic about having tried to incite that violence around the country, the "break their windows" militia/blogger guy told "The Washington Post" that he had not been questioned by any law enforcement agencies after the rash of Democratic attacks -- attacks on Democratic offices he called for.

      He called for them, he claimed credit for them. After it was done actually, he continued to threaten more.


      MIKE VANDERBOEGH: There are rifles being cleaned right now. Do you folks understand that?

      HOST: Being what? Claimed from where?

      VANDERBOEGH: There are rifles being taken out of the closet and cleaned.


      MADDOW: Being the break their windows, cleaning our rifles, incitement to violence guy from the health reform fight, did bring this blogger guy some measure of fame on the fringe. He kept threatening civil war and armed sedition on right wing talk radio. He was booked as a speaker at an open carry rally -- an openly carry your firearms rally that was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. That was classy timing.

      But since then, this blogger guy, the break your windows guy, incidentally his name is Mike Vanderboegh, since then he has moved on to a new thing. He has moved on to promulgating a new conspiracy theory about President Obama taking away your guns.

      And so it has come to pass that your uncle who watches FOX News all day is worked up about something today. And so it has come to pass that in the span of 27 months since he told everyone to go break everyone`s windows in Democratic Party headquarters since health reform passed, in the stage of 27 months, the "break their windows", militia/blogger guy has now become the man who has led Republicans in the United States Congress to vote the attorney general of the United States in contempt of Congress today. It`s him.

      This armed resistance, break their windows, break them now guy, is where the whole Fast and Furious thing came from. If you don`t know anything about the Fast and Furious thing, you are forgiven. But if you have heard about it from your uncle or because you happen to be visiting tonight from FOX -- hello, I hope you will forgive me while I explain that Fast and Furious refers to a law enforcement strategy that started during the George W. Bush administration. It was a program to let some sketchy gun sales go through in the hopes that following those guns after they were sold could lead the ATF to Mexican drug kingpins that they could arrest.

      Now, whatever you think of that style of law enforcement program and that George W. Bush administration starting it and the Obama administration continuing it, to this militia blogger guy, to the "break their windows, break them now" guy, this got re-imagined as a conspiracy to eliminate the Second Amendment, to take away your guns by selling them to people on the border.

      If it doesn`t sound like it makes sense, it`s because it doesn`t make sense. To the fevered mind of a full time conspiracy theorist who sees himself oz part of an armed American resistance movement, that is what he made up. And, boy, has he gone places with it.

      This is the way he would explain it on his blog. He called it the Gun Walker Program. Obama`s gun walker was a deliberate conspiracy versus the Second Amendment.

      The gun confiscationists had danced in the blood of every mass shooting and gotten nowhere to their chagrin and frustration. What was needed was a game changer, something that fit the meme of "we`ve got to tighten up on gun owners, gun stores, and gun shows because they`re feeding the slaughter.

      Mexico was perfect. If there weren`t enough semiautomatic assault rifles in Mexico, the ATF could fix that. And the murders could flo0ow, justifying the policy change of cracking down on assault rifles, gun shows and the like."

      This is crazy, right? I mean, the theory here is the Obama administration sold too many guns in order to create gun violence, in order to cause revulsion in the American people about the horrible thing those guns are doing in order to make people feel more positive about gun control, so then they could get away with taking everyone`s guns away secretly, some day, after they stop selling the extra guns to get there. They`re being super lax in gun control as a conspiracy in order to be super tough on gun control.

      What? Yes, what? This is a theory. This is a theory cooked up by the break their windows guy. And this is the Republicans Fast and Furious thing that led to today`s political news.

      This guy, Vanderboegh, became the FOX News Channel authority on the subject of the Fast and Furious investigation. Here he is being interviewed on FOX News about Fast and Furious. Look at him identifying himself as an online journalist.

      Remember, this is the break their windows, break them now guy. Mr. Vanderboegh expounded his conspiracy theory on FOX News. He said it directly to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. He said it to Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.

      These guys apparently listened to it, and believed it, and Republicans in Congress have been running with it.


      SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: My suspicion is that they don`t like the Second Amendment the way it is, and they want to do everything they can to hurt guns and restrict guns, and so, they could have been building a case for that, but I can`t prove that.

      REP. TIM WALBERG (R), MICHIGAN: Frankly, I believe it was set up to deal with Second Amendment liberties of law-abiding citizens and pushing into a perception that it was the problem of the Second Amendment as opposed to law enforcement.

      REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Very clearly, they made a crisis and they`re using this crisis to somehow take away or limit people`s Second Amendment rights.


      MADDOW: To somehow -- somehow being the key term there, right?

      The idea is by selling guns, the Obama administration is going to block people from selling guns, right? It`s obvious.

      Take the blinders off, America. They`re being super lax on gun control for gun control.

      See, if you were a person who watched FOX News all day, it is possible you have been marinating in this conspiracy theory for long enough now that this seems feasible. And so, therefore, today`s vote to hold the attorney general under contempt over this scandal is somehow understandable to you.

      For the rest of us, however, it`s kind of like this moment I once had on a Greyhound Bus, when I finally -- I was on a very long, overnight Greyhound Bus ride. It`s a long story. But I finally allowed myself to look and confirm my suspicion that the person sitting near me who was speaking very ostentatiously loudly on the cell phone for the entire Greyhound overnight bus ride which I shared with them was actually just speaking into a brick of aluminum foil that was shaped like a phone.

      That`s what this is like. If you care to look, yes, this is exactly as crazy as it seems. This is a very strange and implausible and perhaps impossibly implausibly, cockamamie, make your cell phone out of aluminum foil thing that has animated the right for more than a year now.

      This is a conspiracy theory that was cooked up by the guy who told people to go break people`s windows after health reform passed.

      But the right is hardwired to believe stuff like this. Not just your uncle, all of them, and it can be easy to forget on the right, they`re susceptible enough to conspiracy theories like this in their closed loop fact-free universe of conservative media. It can be easy to forget that unless you listen to what the conversation sounds like in right wing media land.

      I went to Anchorage during the 2010 elections, right? Remember when we went up to Anchorage, do a reporting trip to try to cover the Joe Miller primary against Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski.

      We went to Anchorage in October 2010. And I experienced this first hand on the issue of gun politics, when I ran into a group of protesters on the street who said they were protesting against Lisa Murkowski because of something having to do with guns -- something having to do with guns that made a ton of sense to them but did not translate.


      MADDOW: Good luck, you guys.

      UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Make sure you know that Lisa confirmed Eric Holder and we disagree with that.

      MADDOW: She what?

      UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She confirmed Eric Holder.

      MADDOW: Why are you against that?

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s the most anti-gun attorney general this country has ever had.

      MADDOW: What`s he done against guns?

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What hasn`t done against guns? Let`s ask that question. Let`s look at what his voting record beforehand.

      MADDOW: Eric Holder wasn`t elected official.

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All I`m asking is look at what his record is with Obama then. Look at what his --

      MADDOW: What he`s done on guns that you`re upset about, though?

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I honestly, I don`t know enough about him to answer that truthfully.

      MADDOW: Can I ask why you`re upset about Eric Holder?

      UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because he`s antigun.

      MADDOW: What has he done that`s anti-gun?

      UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t have all the facts but I know that he is anti-gun.


      MADDOW: Agitated people protesting on the street who are not good at explaining their views can be forgiven for sounding nonspecific or even a little crazy about these things.

      But what those folks were articulating to me in Anchorage before the 2010 election when they were agitating for Joe Miller and against Lisa Murkowski, that`s -- it`s not just a random street protester view on the right. What those people were telling me on that street corner in Anchorage is how the right talks about the Obama administration even when they`re standing at podiums.


      WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: When he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012. Well, gun owners are not fools and we are not fooled.

      We see the president`s strategy crystal clear. Get re-elected and with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms freedom, erase the Second Amendment from the Bill of Rights and exercise it from the U.S. Constitution. That`s their agenda.


      MADDOW: That was the head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, speaking at the annual CPAC conference about the general concept that the reason you know President Obama is going to take away your guns is because he hasn`t done anything to take aware you guns. See? It`s a perfect plan.

      What does he say? "They concocted a scheme to lull gun owners to sleep by not taking away their guns." That`s how you know they`re coming for them.

      They believe in abstract sense, that the reason you know President Obama is coming after you guns is because he hasn`t. That`s what they believe in the abstract, it`s exactly what this Fast and Furious thing is in this specific.


      LAPIERRE: An attempt to blame the Second Amendment, blame American gun owners and give more gun legislation here in the United States. I mean, that sounds more like a South American dictatorship than it does what we expect from our Department of Justice in the United States of America.


      MADDOW: Or it sounds like something that might be cooked up in the addled, cartoonishly paranoid mind guy who`s whole living is predicated on you being afraid of stuff that`s actually happening.

      Mr. LaPierre`s organization, the National Rifle Association, announced before the vote today on whether or not Attorney General Holder should be held in contempt in the Fast and Furious thing. NRA announced that the vote would be scored as part of their ratings from the National Rifle Association.

      So your rating as a member of Congress from the NRA will be hurt if you don`t vote to hold Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for this crazy conspiracy theory.

      Naturally, the vote in the House committee on Holder today was party line. Every single Republican voted to hold the attorney general in contempt over this crazy conspiracy theory that the Obama administration allowed guns to be sold in Mexico in order to upset people so guns couldn`t be sold anymore. That the Second Amendment was going to be eliminated because they upset people by gun violence when they promulgated in order to upset you, so they can get away with gun control.

      FOX News and the echo chamber that it elevates is an important phenomenon in American politics. There`s a whole world of things that are presented as plausible over there that don`t translate at all to the rest of the world that doesn`t watch FOX News, but inside that bizarre factually suffocated bubble of opportunistic, paranoid, cockamamie, factless, "break their windows" nonsense is most of the Republican Party of the United States of America.

      Today was a strange day in American politics.


      LAPIERRE: When he got elected, they concocted a scheme to stay away from the gun issue, lull gun owners to sleep and play us for fools in 2012.

      UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your oversight of an agency of a department, of individual leaders in that department, have not been held accountable.

      ERIC HOLDER, ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, with all due respect, and I mean this with great respect, the notion this was an operation set up to do something to impinge upon Second Amendment rights of my fellow citizens is absurd.

      ISSA: The clerk will report.

      CLERK: Twenty-three ayes, 17 nos.

      ISSA: The ayes have it. And a contempt report is ordered reported to the House. Without objection so ordered, the committee stands adjourned.


      MADDOW: Party line vote in one Republican controlled House committee today to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The speaker of the House, John Boehner, a vote in the full House on that matter will be held next week.

      It`s all about a conspiracy theory marinated on the right, essentially alone in right wing media that the Fast and Furious gun-running program in the Southwest was somehow a conspiracy to take away Second Amendment rights by upsetting people about gun violence.

      Joining us now is Bob Herbert, former columnist with the "New York Times." He`s now senior distinguished fellow at the Demos Center for Public Policy and Advocacy.

      Bob, thank you for being here.

      BOB HERBERT, DEMOS: It`s great to be here, although I have to tell you, Rachel, it is not fair to have to comment on this story in public because once you immerse yourself in this issue, it`s like being on acid. It`s unbelievably crazy.

      MADDOW: Let me say that that is true of a lot of gun issues. Gun issues I have always described at the great un-Googleable. It`s not possible to get rational, unbiased, real information about what is going on with gun laws, particularly about gun politics in this country, because when you Google it, you`re so deep in conspiracy theory land that you get no real information.

      This Fast and Furious I think is a subset of that, but yes, party line 100 percent of Republicans voting on it today. Voting for it -- voting to hold attorney general in contempt over it. Is this the fringe becoming mainstream, or is there something else going on?

      HERBERT: The Republican Party is hooked up with the fringe a long time ago. The Republican Party, a mainstream party in the sense we only have two parties. But it is not mainstream if you`re thinking about the way most Americans think about most important issue.

      But what`s important to look at here is what are senators like -- what are people like Issa and Grassley doing riding the wave of this guy, Vanderboegh, for example. Vanderboegh comes up with something that is utter madness, and big shots in the Republican Party just pounce on it and then ultimately, it leads them to a contempt citation against the attorney general of the United States?

      I mean, that is just madness. We need to understand, one, this was not a Holder operation. This sting, which was a terrible sting, it ended tragically and that sort of thick. But Holder ordered an end to this. The people in charge of the sting were either fired or reassigned.

      There is an I.G. investigation in the Justice Department and Congress is investigating it. I don`t have any problem with that at all.

      But the idea this had something to do with the Obama administration wanting to underline Second Amendment rights is madness of the higher order.

      For people like me who are very much in favor of enforcing gun control laws and would like gun control laws strengthened, who would like to make it more difficult for people to access guns, Obama has been a terrible disappointment. The Brady Campaign gave him an F for his performance in terms of gun control. So it`s just madness to talk about him undermining the Second Amendment. He`s done nothing of the sort.

      MADDOW: But in terms of real policy concerns and the real responsibilities of governing, I was focused today on that, too, on the issue that, you know, if you really are interested in gun policy and not just interested in conspiracies about this, the Brady Campaign has given him an F. They have done nothing to increase gun control at all, whether or not you think that`s a good idea.

      But is the true that a rationally based administration ends up being constrained to the point where they can do zero on the policy issue because even when they do zero, that`s construed as some sort of act of aggression?

      HERBERT: I don`t think so. I think that, you know, whether it was the Obama administration or if it was another Democratic administration, I believe they could have done more on gun control in a number of other issues.

      I think that the forces who are opposed to some of the things that the Republican Party stands for should be fighting harder against the Republican Party, should be fighting back harder on some of the issues.

      And if you take gun control, for example, this is like an unbelievably important issue. The Republicans talk about being concerned about this agent who was killed and it`s your right to be concerned about that.

      But 100,000 Americans are shot every year. And 30,000, more than 30,000 die. And these are a result of homicides, suicides, and gun accidents. Your viewers ought to understand if they watch your show, during the course of this show, three Americans will die from gun shot wounds because three Americans die from gun shot wounds every hour. So, this is an incredibly important issue.

      So, if the Republicans are concerned about what happens when guns get into the wrong hands, they should pay attention to the 100,000 Americans who are affected by this.

      MADDOW: But any discussion on how to deal with that in policy is so backwards through the telescope, that doing nothing is construed as secretly plotting to do too much.

      HERBERT: Exactly, and not only that. What they really want to do is undermine the legitimacy of the people who do not agree with them, soy they want to undermine the legitimacy of Eric Holder, of Barack Obama, and ultimately the Democratic Party.

      •  They should be forcibly committed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Republicans are too mentally incompetent to hold office. They have, as a group, come completely untethered from reality. Seriously, the entire GOP should be removed from office for mental health issues. They have devolved into nothing more than a cult of Mammon worshipers.

        --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class!

        by cybersaur on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:56:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i wonder if the diarist appreciates your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        having done the work for them

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 08:49:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I Would Laugh If These People Weren't So (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ignorant, delusional, and dangerous. I can't decide which right wing idiot in the transcript is more ridiculous: the guy who was protesting in Alaska against Eric Holder, callling him "anti-gun" and ranting about his "voting record."  And Rachael tells him that Eric Holder was APPOINTED not elected, and DOES NOT vote on gun bills/legislation. Or Wayne LaPierre of the NRA telling CPAC that he knows Obama is coming after Americans' guns, because he has done NOTHING on gun control legislation! And the DOJ selling guns to Mexican drug cartels to make Americans sick of gun violence in this country? No need to do that - all President Obama has to do is point out the number of people murdered each day in America by guns. No wonder the GOP can get these people to vote against their economic self interest - they are all morons.

  •  I can't agree with the title. (0+ / 0-)

    I think "blackmail" is giving the Republicans a pass.  They can vote any way they damned well please.  That they chose to go with the psychotic partisan option is entirely on each and every one of them.

    Look at what the NRA got out of this.  Without actually spending any money, they got the insane results they wanted, just by the implied threat of spending money.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 07:04:41 AM PDT

  •  After listening to Rachel Maddow's summary (0+ / 0-)

    of this new version of crazy I called my GOP rep armed with my outrage and basically said my own version of you guys absolutely belong in tin foil land.

  •  She was on fire last night. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ClevelandAttorney, VTelder, A Runner

    I didn't move from my seat for over 20 minutes! Talk about journalism, that was it right there!

  •  I got a robocall from Wayne LaPierre (0+ / 0-)

    last Friday afternoon when I was in the middle of doing something. As soon as I heard his voice say, "This is Wayne LaPierre and I want to..." I screamed into my phone "Go F--k yourself" even though I knew I was taking to a machine-and I slammed down the phone.
    I was still walking around later swearing under my breath so I decided to check my caller ID, which said Toll free and and gave a 10 digit phone number. I dialed and got the NRA but no one was manning the phones.
    Later that evening I Googled the NRA and sent them the following, very restrained note on my part.

     Message: Late this afternoon when I was in the middle of something my phone rang. It was a robocall from Wayne LaPierre. While I am on an FCC "DO NOT CALL LIST" I realize that this is considered one of those annoying political calls that are allowed. However, for me to receive a robocall from Wayne LaPierre is equivalent to me getting an obscene phone call. I realize of course that there are many good people in the NRA but WLP sure isn't one of them with all his lies and misinformation. Therefore I am requesting that you remove my phone number from all your phone lists now and forever. (If this happens again I'll write my US Senator and send a letter to the newspaper.)

    On Monday I received this note from someone at the NRA;
      Your name has been taken off our lists.  Thank you for contacting us.
    Best Regards,

    NRA Member Communications
    11250 Waples Mill Road
    Fairfax, VA 22030
    CLICK HERE to save $10 off of a one-year membership!

    I felt a little better anyway.  ;D

  •  Me thinks Orange Foolius has a problem. (0+ / 0-)

    He and his minions love it when the crazy assed far right wingers (the entire freaking party) rile up the base.

    But this thing, this monsterous turd, has gotten out of control. The vote next week for contempt must be stopped and bonehead will do just that.

    Mitt Romney deserves a lot of credit for creating Mitt Romney.

    by A Runner on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 11:53:04 AM PDT

  •  Posted up thread but too good to let go of... (0+ / 0-)
    "You still resist coming clean about what you knew and when you knew it with regard to Operation Fast and Furious.  You won't cooperate with a legitimate Congressional investigation, and you won't hold anyone, including yourself, accountable.  Your Department blocks states from implementing attempts to combat voter fraud. In short, you've violated the public trust, in my view, and by failing and refusing to perform the duties of your office," Cornyn said.  
    Cornyn just let the cat outta the bag. An observant press would smell blood in the water and go in for the kill.

    Mitt Romney deserves a lot of credit for creating Mitt Romney.

    by A Runner on Thu Jun 21, 2012 at 12:21:35 PM PDT

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