Rick Perry arrives for a campaign stop in Iowa City, August 15
Paul Begala (Daily Beast): I first met Rick Perry in 1985. He was a Democratic freshman state rep, straight off the ranch in Haskell, Texas. He wore his jeans so tight, and, umm, adjusted himself so often that my fellow young legislative aides and I used to call him Crotch. Even among state representatives, even among Texas Aggies (graduates of this cute remedial school we have in Texas), Perry stood out for his modest intellectual gifts. Hell, he got a C in animal breeding. I have goats who got an A in that subject. But lack of brains has never been a hindrance in politics.
… Rick Perry threw his hair in the ring on Saturday. His entrance into the GOP presidential field can be a game changer. Perry can raise money as well as Mitt. He can rally the base as well as Michele Bachmann, and he will say or do anything to win. And in today’s Republican Party, if you want to be the nominee you have to be willing to do some really crazy s–t.
You’d have thought that Mitt Romney was the guy who would do whatever it takes. Like the defendant in a Stalinist show trial, Mitt has renounced everything about his prior life: his positions on gay rights, abortion rights, TARP, gun control, campaign finance, immigration, etc. Abandoning nearly everything you have stood for certainly evinces a desire to win (if not a steely spine).
… Perry told The Daily Beast’s Andrew Romano that Social Security is “a Ponzi scheme,” and that both it and Medicare are unconstitutional… he has already flirted with secession. Secession? Even Jefferson Davis opposed secession when he was a senator from Mississippi. When you’re more open to secession than Jefferson Davis was a century and a half ago, well, you’ve gone pretty far.
…. Perry will claim that Texas leads the nation in jobs created. As a joke currently circulating in the Lone Star State puts it, “Sure, Perry has created thousands of jobs. I’m working three of them.” Texas does in fact lead the nation in minimum-wage jobs and in both the number of people who are uninsured and the percentage of the population that’s uninsured. Under the supposedly antigovernment Perry, government jobs grew at twice the rate of private-sector jobs.
… he presided over the execution of one of his constituents, Cameron Todd Willingham, who was probably innocent. But I’m not sure that’s a liability in today’s Tea Party–obsessed GOP. There’s a legend in Lone Star politics that one of Perry’s Republican rivals in Texas tested the Willingham issue in a focus group. One Republican man, the story goes, squinted and said, “Well, I like that. Takes a lot of balls to execute an innocent man.” At that moment, folks say, Perry’s rival knew opposing him was fruitless.
….he has the most important quality of all: the willingness to do whatever it takes. That’s truer than ever in relation to today’s Tea Party–dominated Republican Party. You’ve gotta be willing to do anything, say anything, accept anything, propose anything, endorse anything, pledge anything. There is nothing too bats–t for these people….
Steve Benen: … This week, Mike Huckabee launched a new educational company called Learn Our History. As the Fox News personality sees it, mean liberals have destroyed history lessons, and he intends to put things right: “America’s youth aren’t excited about our past because they’re being taught history in a way that minimizes what has made America a beacon of hope around the world for over 200 years.”
….Those who buy Learn Our History’s shameless, nationalistic propaganda lessons will finally get “historically accurate and unbiased education.”
And what, pray tell, does “historically accurate and unbiased education” look like? Apparently, it looks like this.
(If you have a weak stomach, do not click play)
As one wise observer put it, “Zombie Reagan saved America from the blacks, the Disco, the terrorists, the Russians, and maybe in a future chapter the alien invasion.”
It’s true. Knife-wielding black people wearing disco t-shirts were apparently a real problem, right up until January 1981…..
ThinkProgress: In July 2008, a researcher “looking to dig up dirt on Obama” instead came across a birth announcement from 1961 in the Honolulu Advertiser documenting the birth of then presidential candidate Barack Obama in the state. For many, the announcement, together with Obama’s birth certificate, conclusively proved that Obama was born in the United States and is eligible to run for president.
Rumored presidential hopeful Donald Trump isn’t convinced. On CNN’s State of the Union he claimed that Obama’s grandparents planted the announcement to obtain welfare benefits:
TRUMP: The grandparents put that [birth announcement] in [the newspaper] because obviously they want him to be a United States citizen because in those days, people were much more proud than they are today unfortunately for being a United States citizen…. So they wanted him to be a citizen of the United States, for that purpose, and also for hospitalization, for welfare….
…the birth information printed in the Honolulu Advertiser always came directly from the state health department (via the local hospital), not Obama’s grandparents or relatives.
It’s also worth noting that since Obama’s mother was a U.S. citizen, he was automatically conferred citizenship and all of its “assets” no matter where he was born, thus making him eligible anyway for the benefits Trump claims his family committed fraud to obtain. Unless his grandparents somehow knew that baby Obama would one day want to run for president, there wouldn’t really be a reason for his family to fabricate a convoluted lie regarding his birthplace.
From last night’s post (here): ….Call it the miracle of Wisconsin … With 100 percent of precincts reporting, the liberal candidate for state Supreme Court justice, JoAnne Kloppenburg, boasts a whopping 204 vote lead over the longtime incumbent and conservative Wisconsin fixture David Prosser…
…That there will be a recount appears inevitable … but this is a fairly amazing result. In February, Kloppenburg managed to get only 25 percent of the vote in a primary contested by four parties. Prosser was considered a shoo-in … just six months later, the Tea Party tide, at least in Wisconsin, has been matched by a wave in the opposite direction.
TPM: The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s initial analysis of the House GOP budget released today by Rep. Paul Ryan is filled with nuggets of bad news for Republicans.
In addition to acknowledging that seniors, disabled and elderly people would be hit with much higher out-of-pocket health care costs, the CBO finds that by the end of the 10-year budget window, public debt will actually be higher than it would be if the GOP just did nothing.
Under the so-called “extended baseline scenario” – a.k.a. projections based on current law – debt held by the public will grow to 67 percent of GDP by 2022. Under the GOP plan, public debt would reach 70 percent of GDP in the same window.
In other words, the spending cuts Republicans would realize in the first 10 years would be outpaced by deficit increasing tax-cuts, which Ryan also proposes. After that, debt projections under the plan improve decade-by-decade relative to current law. That’s because 2022 would mark the beginning of the Medicare privatization plan. That’s when, CBO finds, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.”
If the current Medicare system were allowed to continue, CBO found that an average 65-year-old beneficiary’s costs would be only 25 percent of what it’d be in the individual private insurance market. Under the GOP plan, those costs would jump to 68 percent.
In plain English, “the gradually increasing number of Medicare beneficiaries participating in the new premium support program [the GOP’s Medicare privatization plan] would bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the current program.”
I know, you won’t like seeing a video of the bird-brain-bozo here, but this one’s worth seeing, it completely cracked me up. Watch the faces of the audience in India as she talks about how she would have handled Libya (you know, that ‘little South American country ruled by Kernull Gadaffy Duck’). It’s like the reaction of an audience to a comedian whose jokes just aren’t very funny. And keep an eye on the guy putting on his glasses, at 0:58 (top right), he can’t take any more of the twaddle, so he takes out his phone. He probably dialed 911.
Honest, she doesn’t even make me mad any more. She’s just an idiot, and even most right-wingers are beginning to realize it.
(Ha, even Politico seemed to find it all a bit embarrassing: She struggled to provide pointed answers to several of interviewer Aroon Purie’s questions on foreign affairs.. Purie, who introduced her to the gathering, poked fun at Palin’s “creative vocabulary” and her polarizing place in American politics in his introduction of the former governor.
He frequently made clear that not everyone in the United States has a positive view of the former Alaska governor. “Either you love her or hate her,” he said.
Alluding to Palin’s penchant for sometimes venturing into unique terminology, Purie said “if I may be forgiven for saying so, she has a creative vocabulary. “Governor Palin, I hope you don’t refudiate me,” he said, smirking to an amused crowd.)
Update: Thank you Sim for posting this video in the comments – hopefully, in time, I’ll be able to wash the coffee spray off my computer screen: