March 5th, 2009


The Dittohead Party: Why the GOP is Screwing Itself

The Dittohead Party: Why the GOP is Screwing Itself

The "leader of the Republican Party" question has been thoroughly analyzed and debated. And after many days and many cable news roundelays, I think we can all agree that, yes, the GOP has been inextricably grasped within the meaty, sweaty mitts of that familiar planetoid of addiction, racism and self-indulgence known as Rush Limbaugh.

And that's just fine and dandy.
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Love spat: GOP splits with big business

Love spat: GOP splits with big business

In the midst of a deepening economic recession, the Republican Party is turning a cold shoulder to one of its closest allies: business.

When the Obama administration announced last week that it would come to the rescue of Citigroup, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) denounced the move as “corporate welfare.”

House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said this weekend that “bailing out every failing business in America means [that] we’re burying generations under a mountain range of debt.”

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters last week that he “wasn’t happy” that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers supported the stimulus bill that every House Republican opposed.

And Rush Limbaugh has declared the Troubled Asset Relief Program bailout a “bastardization of the Constitution.”

Why have Republicans changed course on business?

They say they haven’t — that business has changed course on them.
(so suddenly the Republicans are economic experts...)
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Fears of a Clown

March 4, 2009, 10:00 pm

Fears of a Clown

Once upon a time, you could drive to the most remote reaches of the United States and escape Rush Limbaugh. But from the Mogollon Mountains of New Mexico to the Badlands of South Dakota, where only the delicious twang of a country tune or the high-pitched pleadings of a lone lunatic came over the AM dial, there is now the Mighty El Rushbo.

As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else — the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly — he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad.


The sweaty, swollen man in the black, half-buttoned shirt who ranted for nearly 90 minutes Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He reiterated his desire to see the president of his country fail. He misstated the Constitution’s intent while accusing President Obama of “bastardizing” the document. He made fun of one man’s service in Vietnam, to laughter.

(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) Rush Limbaugh.

David Letterman compared him to an Eastern European gangster. But he looked more like a bouncer at a strip club who spent all his tips on one bad outfit. And for the Republican Party, Limbaugh has become very much a vice.

Smarter Republicans know he is not good for them. As the conservative writer David Frum said recently, “If you’re a talk radio host and you have five million who listen and there are 50 million who hate you, you make a nice living. If you’re a Republican party, you’re marginalized.”

Polling has found Limbaugh, a self-described prescription-drug addict who sees America from a private jet, to be nearly as unpopular as Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who damned America in the way that Limbaugh has now damned the nation’s newly elected leader. But Republicans just can’t quit him. So even poor Michael Steele, the nominal head of the Republican Party who dared to criticize him, had to grovel and crawl back to the feet of Limbaugh.

Some expected more mettle from Steele. After all, this rare African-American Republican won his post after defeating a candidate who submitted the parody song from Limbaugh’s show: “Barack the Magic Negro.”

Race is an obsession with Limbaugh, one of the threads I noticed on those long drives on country roads.

When Colin Powell endorsed Obama during the campaign, Limbaugh said it was entirely because of race. After the election, Powell said the way for the party, which has been his home, to regain its footing was to say the Republican Party must stop “shouting at the world.”

In 2003, Limbaugh said quarterback Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media wanted a black to succeed. Over the next six years, McNabb threw for nearly 150 touchdowns and went to a Super Bowl.

And Limbaugh launched the current battle when he said of Obama: “We are being told that … we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever, because his father was black, because this is the first black president.”

Translation: submit sexually to a black man because “someone” is telling us all to. Who? Which leaders of the Democratic Party have made such a claim? Which opinion-makers? But therein lies the main tactic of Limbaugh, an old demagogue technique: create a straw man, then tear it down. The latest example was Saturday, when Limbaugh presented himself as the defender of capitalism, liberty and unfettered free markets. Obama, he has said since, is waging a “war on capitalism.”

There is a war, all right. We are witnessing the worst debacle of unfettered capitalism in our lifetime brought on by — you got it, capitalism at its worst. It cannibalized itself. Government, sad to say, had nothing to do with it — except for criminal neglect of oversight.

Now that government has been forced to the rescue, just who is insisting on taxpayer bailouts? Who is in line for handouts? Who is saying that only government can save capitalism? The very leaders of unregulated markets who injected this poison into the economy, the very plutocrats that Limbaugh celebrates.

And, of course, let us never forget that the bailouts of banks and insurance companies were initiated by the Republican president Limbaugh defended for eight years.

Of late, Limbaugh has wondered why he has trouble with women. His base is white, male, Republican — people the party has to stop pandering to if it hopes to govern soon.

It’s little wonder that the thrice-married Limbaugh, who uses “femi-Nazi,” “info-babe” and “PMSNBC” (Get it? The network is full of women suffering pre-menstrual cramps, ha-ha), among his monikers for women, can’t get a date with that demographic.

For Democrats, this is all going to plan. It was James Carville and associates who first cooked up associating Limbaugh with the opposition, as Politico reported. Then on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said Limbaugh was the “voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party.”

Limbaugh played his role, ever the fool. A brave Republican could have challenged him, could have had a “have you no shame” moment with him, giving the party some other identity, some spine. Instead, they caved — from Steele, to the leaders in the House, Eric Cantor and Mike Pence, to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who would be ridiculed by Limbaugh for his real first name, Piyush, were he a Democrat.

You could almost hear their teeth clattering in fear of the all-powerful talk radio wacko, the denier of global warming, the man who said Bill Clinton’s economic policies would fail just before an unprecedented run of prosperity.

But Limbaugh has a fear of his own. If people see him purely as an “entertainer,” as Steele suggested, he will be exposed for what he is: a clown with a very large audience.

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cthulhu for president, why choose a lesser evil?


RNC member calls on Steele to quit
By Reid Wilson
Posted: 03/05/09 09:44 AM [ET]

Michael Steele should resign as Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, according to a committee member from North Carolina.

In an e-mail to fellow RNC members obtained by The Hill, Dr. Ada Fisher, North Carolina's national committeewoman, said Steele is "eroding confidence" in the GOP and that members of his transition team should encourage him to step aside. Fisher added Steele's personal e-mail address to the e-mail.

"I don't want to hear anymore [sic] language trying to be cool about the bling in the stimulus package or appealing to D.L. Hughley and blacks in a way that isn't going to win us any votes and makes us frankly appear to many blacks as quite foolish," Fisher wrote.

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I don't want him to step down! He's totally insane and it's hilarious. Also, WTF is up with Dr Fisher supporting the dude who wouldn't have let her into his country club until like a year ago?
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  • bispo

Mormon Machine Cranking Up Against Illinois Civil Unions Bill

Note: When this was first published yesterday, the post title indicated that this was a BTB “exclusive.” This morning (March 4), I’m now seeing other versions of the email on the web with the sender’s name and email included. Since I had originally redacted that name and email, it’s clear that others have independently received copies of the same email. I am therefore restoring the email to its original form with the info included.

The Illinois House will begin considering another Civil Unions bill this week. Introduced by Rep. Greg Harris on February 20, HB 2234 has been assigned to the Youth and Family Committee, which will hold a hearing on Thursday. We’ve received word that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has engaged its private communications network to bombard state legislators with phone calls in opposition to the bill.

The Mormon Church maintains a private internet social-networking and website service in lieu of individual churches having their own individual Internet web sites. This allows the church to oversee the information that is made available to members and nonmembers. It also allows the church to maintain private information that is only made available to church members.

Official LDS Stake and Ward Web Site (Click to enlarge)

Official LDS Stake and Ward Web Site (Click to enlarge)

Among the many capabilities the web site has for members who are authorized to log in is the ability to send private email to other church members in the same ward. It also allows a ward bishop to send a blanket email to all members of his ward, and it allows a stake president to send a blanket email to all members of his stake.

But this is key: no individual member can send a blanket email to all members of his ward without it first going through his or her bishop. The same is true at the stake level, where the stake president would have to first authorize the message. So when a church member receives a broadcast message, he or she can be assured that it has the blessing, so to speak, of the bishop or stake president.

In a private email sent out to LDS members of at least one ward in Illinois, church members are being encouraged to call their representative to voice their opposition to the bill, which would provide same-sex couples with recognition and limited protections under Illinois law. But the official LDS-sanctioned email to members is loaded with much of the same misinformation that was present in the campaign against California’s Proposition 8.

A trusted source sent me a copy of that email, authorized by Bishop Chris Church, of the Nauvoo, Illinois 3rd Ward, which was sent out by that web site’s ward administrator:

From: Kristy Combs <>
Date: March 3, 2009 12:27:59 PM CST
Subject: Civil Union bill scheduled for a hearing Thursday - calls needed

This message has been authorized for sending by Bishop Church.
The Civil Union Bill (HB 2234) has been scheduled for a hearing in the Youth and Family Committee this week on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. in Springfield. If the bill is voted out of committee, it becomes eligible for a vote before the full Illinois House of Representatives. This bill will legalize civil unions in the state of Illinois, and will treat such civil unions with the same legal obligations, responsibilities, protections and benefits as are afforded within marriage. In other words, civil unions will be different in name only from marriage. As has already been seen in Massachusetts, this will empower the public schools to begin teaching this lifestyle to our young children regardless of parental requests otherwise. It will also create grounds for rewriting all social mores; the current push in Massachusetts is to recognize and legalize all transgender rights (An individual in Massachusetts can now change their drivers license to the gender they believe themselves to be, regardless of actual gender, which means that confused men and women are now legally entering one another’s bathrooms and locker rooms. What kind of a safety issue is this for our children?). Furthermore, while the bill legalizes civil unions, it will be used in the courts to show discrimination and will ultimately lead to court mandated same-sex marriages.

To help defeat this bill, please call your state representative and state senator and ask that they support traditional marriage and vote against the civil unions bill. If you are unsure who your legislators are, please see the link at the end of this email.

Also, please take a moment and call the following members of the Youth and Family Committee to encourage them to vote no on this bill. We need 4 votes to keep it from passing out of the committee. And - as always, please pass this on to all who believe in protecting our families and our children. If you are interested in attending the hearing, it will be held on Thursday, March 5th at 9:00 a.m. in Springfield in Room 122B of the Capitol Building (I can give you directions to the Capitol Building if needed).

Members of the Youth and Family Committee:
Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) (Greg Harris is also the sponsor of this bill, but he needs to hear your opposition to this bill)

Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago)

Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago)
Republican Spokesperson

Rep. William D. Burns (D-Chicago)

Rep. Michael P. McAuliffe (R-Chicago)

Rep. Al Riley (D-Matteson)

Rep. Dave Winters (R-Rockford)

Directions for identifying your legislators:
You can use the following link to identify your state legislators and their contact information: DistrictLocator/ SelectSearchType.aspx? NavLink=1 (and enter your 9 digit zip code). If this link doesn’t work, you can use the general link and then click on ” legislator lookup” near the bottom of the page, then click on “by zip+4″. Type in your zip code, and you’ll see a list of your legislators. You want your state senator and state representative as they will be the ones voting on the bill.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Sister Combs.

I don’t ordinarily have access to internal LDS communications like this. This is a very rare glimpse into how the LDS church is able to crank up its membership for political action. If this message is going out in one ward in Nauvoo, it’s a safe bet that similar messages are going out in other wards and stakes.

Update: Bishop Church has sent another message to his ward this afternoon:

From: Chris Church
Date: March 4, 2009 1:58:47 PM CST
Subject: Church Position on Legislation

Members of the Church may take any action they wish concerning legislation but the Church does not take any position in relation to these issues.

Bishop Church

I have more about that here.


(no subject)

Gavin Newsom's Morning Marriage Whirlwind Tour


Super sexy San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is spending the morning hitting up radio shows and morning TV programs. Here he is on CNN questioning California's stupid ballot initiative system. On MSNBC's Morning Joe , Newsom gave everyone a brief course in the difference between an amendment and a revision. All of the media fun is to make the case as to why Proposition 8 ought to be repealed by the California Supreme Court. Both Newsom and AG Jerry Brown are twittering today's hearing and just coincidentally, they're both likely candidates for Governor in 2010. Still, when was the last time you saw politicians pander to marriage equality advocates? Keep it up!

On NPR this morning, Newsom said one of the reasons Prop. 8 passed was that "we ran a lousy campaign. I'll be candid about that." Asked if he won the Governorship he'd use his authority to enact gay marriage, Newsom essentially said that he wouldn't let his "political future get in the way" and that while people might disagree with them, they'll know where he stands. He then goes on to say that "all the great leaders of the world have done jail time. They had moral authority…", which would be a great line if Newsom were running for Governor in the universe where Escape From L.A. were a reality.

Listen to the whole interview here.


(no subject)

San Diego's Mayor Announces Lesbian Daughter's Engagement At Eve Of Justice


San Diego's very gay friendly Mayor Jerry Sanders announced the engagement of his lesbian daughter from the stage of yesterday's Eve Of Justice rally.
"I want to thank each of you for your dedication, and I see you all over the city and I see you marching and I see you talking to people, I see you lobbying, I see you doing things that make all of us proud as we go down this road to make sure that everybody is treated equally in the state of California. Now, I want to say (he pauses to gain his composure) -- these are always hard ones for me -- if it didn't involve my daughter and her partner, they wouldn't be hard things, but they became engaged to get married last week (wild cheering and applause), and their families are tremendously proud of them, we're tremendously excited to see two people who are committed to each other and we know will be excellent partners into the future. So this becomes even a more important issue for our family."
Photo and reporting by Rex Wockner. Please visit Wockner's blog for more coverage of San Diego's event as well a great gallery of photos.


:( Eff my life.

Sony Pictures slashing 300 jobs

Studio to cut staff, eliminate open positions

Sony Pictures Entertainment is joining the ranks of showbiz companies doling out pinkslips.

The studio -- which, along with 20th Century Fox, had been one of the last holdouts on significant layoffs -- is slashing some 300 jobs. The reductions will be made through a combination of cutting staff and eliminating open positions.

A spokesman for the studio declined comment. There's been speculation that the cuts may be heaviest in the studio's international units.

In January, Disney-ABC TV cut 400 jobs, and Warner Bros. axed 800 employees. Viacom slashed 7% of its workforce in early December, with Paramount losing some 100 jobs. The next day, NBC Universal announced 3% cuts, or 500 staffers, worldwide.

Over the past two years, Sony has cut a number of positions from its Imageworks division but had left the studio's other divisions largely untouched.


ALERT: Some British people still harbor a massive inferiority complex

First Lady Michelle Obama shows even she has a gift for the gaffe

It was all going so well. The dresses, the brains, the Vogue cover shoot – everything so far about Michelle Obama has left us wide-mouthed in admiration. It seemed there was no end to her fabulousness. Then Mr and Mrs Brown came to stay.

Like all good guests, Sarah Brown arrived bearing gifts for the children, Malia and Sasha. And they were really nice presents. A bit of thought had clearly gone into choosing them: Top Shop dresses (with matching necklaces) and a selection of books by British authors. Lovely.

Mrs Brown may have two boys but she certainly knows the way to a little girl’s heart. These were gifts chosen in the true spirit of present-giving: to please the recipient, not the giver.

In return Mrs Obama gave the Brown children, Fraser and John, two toy models of Marine One, the Presidential helicopter. Fair enough on the helicopter part, always a popular choice with small boys; but Marine One? It’s not as though anyone needs reminding that Barack Obama is President or that he has his own helicopter. Short of giving the boys Action Man models of her own husband smiting the evil forces of neoconservatism, Mrs Obama’s gesture could not have been more solipsistic or more inherently dismissive of Mrs Brown.

Not only did she demonstrate that she spent approximately three seconds contemplating the needs of the Brown boys (having an aide pop to the White House gift shop for a piece of merchandising does not imply a great deal of thought), she appeared to show a most uncharacteristic lapse of judgment.

It might have been possible to overlook the incident were it not for the official photograph.

The White House released one picture of the two women and it does not appear to have been selected with any kind of special relationship in mind. There is a menacing bunch of pink peonies in the foreground and the angle is most unflattering to Mrs Brown, who has the air of a woman very much in need of a stiff drink.

Whether deliberate or not, the whole thing feels like a snub.

As for Fraser and John, their parents’ trip to America will always be remembered as the time that “Mum and Dad went to see the President, and all we got was this lousy plastic helicopter”.


&#39; jules

idk, I still think Dean Barkley could pull this one off.

Minnesota Voters See Franken As Winner, Closely Divided Over Senate Race Revote

Forty-seven percent (47%) of Minnesota voters now believe Democrat Al Franken has been elected to the U.S. Senate in a race so close that it’s been working its way through the state’s court system for the last four months.

Thirty-five percent (35%) believe incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman will be re-elected, and 18% are not sure in the latest Rasmussen Reports survey of Minnesota voters.

Coleman, who now trails Franken, has proposed that the state vote again because of the closeness of the race, but Minnesota voters are almost evenly divided on his proposal. Forty-six percent (46%) think they should vote again, but 44% disagree. Ten percent (10%) are not sure which is best.

Not surprisingly, 71% of Republicans support a revote, while 69% of Democrats are opposed. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, a revote is favored by 12 points.

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(kongming) bedeyes!!

Daily Show's Jon Stewart Rips Into CNBC

The Daily Show on Wednesday was supposed to feature guest Rick Santelli, a reporter on CNBC. Santelli is infamous for his rant against Obama's mortgage plan, calling homeowners who are struggling to pay their loans "losers."

Santelli backed out, or err, "bailed out," as Stewart put it, from the interview. Instead, Stewart launched into a nearly nine-minute take down of the business news channel. Here are some of the highlights:

Mad Money's Jim Cramer telling his audience that Bear Stearns is in good shape. "Bear Stearns is fine... If there is one take away, it's that Bear Stearns is not in trouble." Six days later the investment bank went under.

Another Mad Money moment: Jim Cramer touting Bank of America stock as "now the cheapest and the best." That was back in October 2007, when the stock was worth $16 a share. Its now down to around $4 a share.

Maybe the most shocking Jim Cramer gem is when he is advising that his audience buy stocks: "You should be buying these, and accept that they are overvalued, but accept that they are going to keep going higher. I know that sounds irresponsible but that's how you make the money." On that day in 2007, the Dow was at 13,930. It is now below 7,000.

"If I had only followed CNBC's advice," Stewart says at one point, "I'd have a million dollars today. Provided I started with a 100 million dollars."

There is also an interview with alleged $8 billion ponzi schemer, Allen Stanford. The reporter asks: "You managed to avoid the subprime debacle almost entirely. What told you it was not a wise move?"

Stewart jumps in: "I ran a ponzi scheme! Instead of investing the money, I stole it!"

Stewart says of Stanford and the reporter interviewing him, "F*ck you. You know, between the two of them, I can't decide which one of those guys I'd rather see in jail."

if there's one thing I'd learned from this, it'd be don't piss Jon Stewart off. lmao.

Direct link to the video if the embedding failed
Full episode.
Sherlock - on the side of the angles

Scientists rally behind museum's 'Israel Day'

More than 100 academics including some of the nation's most senior scientists have written a letter in response to "pernicious" calls for the Science Museum to cancel its Israel Science Day event today.

The strongly worded letter, signed by Professor Robert Winston and Baroness Susan Greenfield among others, accused those campaigning against the event of "preventing British schoolchildren from being inspired by scientific discovery and innovation".

More than 400 campaigners are opposing the celebration of Israeli science on the grounds that it promotes Israeli universities whose research was complicit with the military campaign in Gaza. The letter, sent to The Independent, says: "Science crosses borders, builds bridges and transcends national and political divides. It can unite people but the protesters seek only to divide and exclude. At a time of high community tensions, these boycotts are especially pernicious."

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I hate it when people use science as political tool, so I kinda agree with Winston and Greenfield. :/
&#39; jules

Yeah, yeah, yeah, looks like SOMEONE forgot to pay his taxes, am I correct here

Gupta opts out of surgeon general consideration

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN's chief medical correspondent, has withdrawn his name from consideration as surgeon general of the United States, CNN U.S. President Jon Klein said Thursday.

The neurosurgeon made that decision "in order to continue devoting time to his medical career and of course his work at CNN," Klein said.

Clearly Skip = LOVE

A heads up

I learned this from a mod in another community:

Something/someone is going around LJ and hacking accounts of users who mod large communities. After hacking the mod LJ, they go to the community, make a post with links, and then disable comments. They also delete all the community contents (as well as the contents of the mod LJs).

If you see a post in this community by any of our mods,

saying that they are closing the community with links given in the post...


I know that they are apparently attacking large communities with 500+ users, but I just wanted to give a shout out to let everyone know the situation.
I'm not panicking here, but I just want to inform you what's going on in case it happens. Hopefully it won't, however.
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One Industry Stimulated by the Stimulus: Shady Web Sites

March 5, 2009 2:28 pm EST
by Olga Pierce
My name is Olga, and I’m a reporter from New York. I just got $20,000 in free* stimulus grant money!

*If by free you mean for the low, low price of $90 per month. Oh, and there is no such grant program in the stimulus package.

Because those are the terms being offered by, one of many Web sites that have popped up to take advantage of the stimulus dream: that piles of free government money are headed your way. (No, we’re not linking to them.)

When it comes to taking advantage of that dream, “unfortunately it’s taken scam artists no time at all,” said Eileen Harrington, acting director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, at a news conference Wednesday morning.

At, testimonials promise money to help with making mortgage payments, starting a business or paying for college. The only cost, they say, is a couple dollars to process your application. But clicking on a tiny link at the bottom of the screen marked “terms” reveals a different story: When you hand over your credit card information, you become a recurring member in three different sites, and unless you go through the complicated disenrollment process, it will cost you more than $1,000 per year.

(source) more in link
by moi

Greyhound bus killer found not criminally responsible

CBC News

Tim McLean, 22, was on his way home to Winnipeg when he was slain on a Greyhound bus last July 30. Tim McLean, 22, was on his way home to Winnipeg when he was slain on a Greyhound bus last July 30. (Family photo)

Vince Li has been found not criminally responsible for the unprovoked killing and beheading of fellow passenger Timothy McLean on a Greyhound bus last summer.

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Judge John Scurfield said Thursday that Li, 40, could not be found guilty of murder and is not criminally responsible for the crime because he was mentally ill at the time of the killing.

"These grotesque acts are appalling... but are suggestive of a mental disorder," the judge said.

"He did not appreciate the act he committed was wrong."

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I know what he did was horrific, but I'm happy with the verdict. People on the CBC website are all like, "God wouldn't tell anyone to kill a person! He should/must have known!" but he's mentally ill, which by definition implies that reason didn't factor in when he made the decision to do what he did. Plus, it's not like they'll simply pump him full of pills and send him back out into public again in a year.
biggie aretha
  • bispo

Humor of the Day

Today's been a pretty good day for political LOLz. Both The Colbert Report and The Daily Show on top of their games. It's the best I've seen either show pull off since Jan. 20. In particular, Jon Stewart's dismantling of CNBC and Colbert's dismissal of Glenn Beck and fear journalism.

But I must say, listening to Mark Levin vs. David Frum clip from Levin's radio show might have taken the cake. It's a must listen for anyone like myself that's enjoying watching the conservative movement self-destruct. The anger and distrust these two men, supposedly from the same party with the same end game in mind, is just too funny. I've been following all of this infighting closely, and I'm loving it!
via: Andrew Sullivan
&#39; jules

I am Governor Jerry Brown... REEEEEEEEEMIX

CA-Gov: Brown, Whitman Lead Primary Packs

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Two polls are out in the 2010 California governor's race, the big enchilada of all the gubernatorial seats. One is from Field, the gold-standard of California pollsters; the other is from Democratic internal pollster Lake Research (which doesn't have a candidate in the race). Field polls both primaries but not the general; Lake polls the Dem primary and some general head-to-heads. Taken cumulatively, the most likely result seems to be that Governor Moonbeam may well ride again, in one of politics' most surprising second (or third or fourth) acts.

The Field Poll does two different runs on the Democratic primary, and finds that were Senator Dianne Feinstein to run, she'd mop up the rest of the field. While she has been occasionally linked to this race, she hasn't made any visible moves toward running. Without Feinstein in the mix, AG Jerry Brown has a bit of an edge over Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. One interesting tidbit from the Field Poll is that young voters have no idea who Jerry Brown is (he was governor in the 70s, long enough ago that he's grandfathered out of California's term limits laws, allowing him to come back for more). Only 8% of 18-to-39 year-old voters support Brown, and 30% have no opinion of him.

On the Republican side, Field gives a small lead to former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, who was a big McCain booster and seems to be staking out the party's right flank. Ex-Rep. Tom Campbell (who lost the 2000 Senate race to DiFi and hasn't sought office since then) does surprisingly well, considering how long he's been out of the spotlight; apparently the moderate wing of the California GOP is still alive and kicking. Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is a distant third, although he may shoot up once his free-spending ways kick in, especially given that more than half the GOP voters are undecided.

Lake puts up very similar numbers in the primary as the Feinstein-free Field poll. As for the general, they run head-to-heads involving Brown and Newsom, and find the Dems in pretty good shape, winning each matchup by double digits. Undecideds are still high (in the 30% ballpark), as would be expected at this point, but a Dem pickup is looking like a real possibility, assuming the primary doesn't get too bloody.


Actual comment from SSP:

"The guy I like least is Newsom. IMO, he used his leadership on gar rights to cover up what is a rather conservative economic platform."

The gars are everywhere D:

The Faces of Hate.

Some of today's anti-gay protesters in San Francisco were bussed in from the Sacramento area's massive Russian/Slavic community, many of whom belong to the extreme right-wing organization Watchmen On The Walls. The group was co-founded by the former California director of Focus On The Family and Latvia-born preacher Alexey Ledyaev. The Watchmen are listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.