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“American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People.”

PAUL KRUGMAN, writing in today’s New York Times, "That Old-Time Whistle."

The absolute truth in 27 words.

Our approval in Congress is 12 percent. We’re down to paid staffers and blood relatives. (Then) I got a call from my mother. She’s 102.

We’re down to paid staff.

Sen. JOHN McCAIN (R - Arizona), to host David Letterman, on The Late Show

IN SMARM’S WAY   House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) orders ranking member U.S.Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D-MD) microphone turned off after adjourning a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Issa adjuourned after the witness, former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, pleaded the Fifth during the hearing; the Congressional Black Caucus has since called for the removal of Issa from the committee.   (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images via The Grio / NBC News)
Christ, what an asshole.

IN SMARM’S WAY   House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) orders ranking member U.S.Rep. Elijah Cummings’s (D-MD) microphone turned off after adjourning a hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building March 5, 2014 in Washington, DC. Issa adjuourned after the witness, former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner, pleaded the Fifth during the hearing; the Congressional Black Caucus has since called for the removal of Issa from the committee.   (Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images via The Grio / NBC News)

Christ, what an asshole.

“In the coming weeks I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty.”

PRESIDENT OBAMA, setting the bar on raising the minimum wage.

Again, no applause from the Republicans.

The Tea Party response to the President’s State of the Union address:

"OMG, I wasn’t expecting us to get any air time!  I don’t even have anything prepared, LOL!  Okay, then.  (Clears throat.)  People of the United States.  Patriots, one and all.  Welcome to the Tea Party response to the anti-Christ’s State of the Union.  No seriously, he’s the Devil.  (Clears throat.)  Does everyone have their gun?  Good, because President Obama is coming after them!  Um, let’s see.  I don’t have notes.  (To someone off-camera.)  Can someone please hand me a copy of our legislative agenda?  (Beat.)  Oh.  Right, we don’t have one.  How about our economic agenda?  (Beat.)  Oh yeah, we don’t have one of those either.  Um, how about the minutes from our last meeting?  Do we at least have that?  (Beat.)  Oh.  Looks like no one took minutes.  Jesus Christ, we are so disorganized, LOL!  Um, I guess we can try this again tomorrow?  (Beat.)  Oh.  We can’t.  Fuck.  Oh well.  I miss having influence.  I miss being able to rally a bunch of dunderheads and striking fear into the hearts of the GOP.  (Audible sigh.)  Um, go Broncos?  Thank you and good night."

“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing them for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it.”

Former GOP presidential candidate and conservative blowhard MIKE HUCKABEE, in a speech to the Republican National Committee in Washington on Thursday.

"Uncle Sugar" thinks Democrats think women "cannot control their libido."

Christ almighty.

(via The Washington Post)

A state judge has struck down the law requiring Pennsylvania’s voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the requirement that was the centerpiece of Pennsylvania’s embattled 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.

The decision paves the way for an expected appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Republicans approved the law over the protests of Democrats.

During a 12-day trial this summer, plaintiffs said hundreds of thousands of voters lacked acceptable IDs and the inconvenience of getting a photo ID might discourage some from voting. State officials insisted there were ample opportunities for voters to get a valid ID if they had none.

Time Magazine, "Judge Strikes Down Photo ID Requirement for PA. Voters"

BVT News Roundup 16 January 2014.

(via Stupid24.com)

A stinging report by the Senate Intelligence Committee released Wednesday concluded that the attacks 16 months ago that killed four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, could have been prevented, and blames both American diplomats and the C.I.A. for poor communication and lax security during the weeks leading up to the deadly episode.

The report is broadly consistent with the findings of previous inquiries into the September 2012 attacks, which has become the subject of a fiercely partisan debate, with Republicans charging that Obama administration officials made misleading statements about connections between the attackers and Al Qaeda.

The report, at first blush, does not break significant new ground on this issue. But it is unsparing in its criticism of the State Department for failing to provide adequate security at the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, the first American facility to be attacked that night and where J. Christopher Stevens, the American ambassador, died.

“The committee found the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya — to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets — and given the known security shortfalls at the U.S. Mission,” the Senate committee said in a press release.

The report found that, in the months before the attacks, American intelligence agencies gave ample warning about deteriorating security in Benghazi and the risks to Americans in the city. As these warnings were issued, the C.I.A. bolstered its security at the agency’s Benghazi facility — known as the Annex — but the State Department did not make similar moves to protect the diplomatic compound.

“In sum, the Mission facility had a much weaker security posture than the Annex, with a significant disparity in the quality and quantity of equipment and security upgrades,” the report concluded.

The Senate panel also criticized communication breakdowns between various security agencies. For instance, the report found that the United States Africa Command, the military headquarters responsible for Libya, did not know about the C.I.A. annex.

The New York Times, "Senate Report Finds Benghazi Attack Was Preventable."

We all knew, I think, that it was preventable.  We all knew that different agencies weren’t communicating with each other.  We all knew that more could have been done.

But shame on those who tried to politicize Benghazi.