Sisyphus's blog

Norm Semanko General Counsel RNC

God help us that it'll be as short lived Steele's remaining tenure and as ignominious as Blake Hall's.

Merry F___ing Christmas

Needless to say this is NSFW.

Let me know when the rich stop using their economic superiority to steal more from the poor and middle class. H/T Moscow Minidoka

And Then There is Senator Sanders

I'll see your Olbermann and call your Obama and raise you a Bernie.

The Terrorists Have Won

And its only getting worse. Thanks Boing Boing.

PAC Name Generator

American Freedom. Patriots for Truth. The Idaho Freedom Foundation. Citizens for a Brighter Future. The Alliance for Children & Families. We the People of Idaho. Champions of American Freedom. Common Sense in America. These are some of a plethora of PACs with completely innocent sounding names but which disguise an agenda and financial backers both of which remain anonymous. Sunlight is PAC that wants to change that and has come up with a name generator to spoof these camouflobbyists.

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John Foster's Requiem of a Loser

UPDATE 12/4: I changed this substantially from my original post and added links.

Walt Minnick's campaign manager, John Foster, defends a failed campaign strategy and, inter alia, blames Democrats for his campaign's loss. In so doing, John Foster declares the Idaho Democratic Party beyond redemption. And he does this through an interview in the one publication in the state guaranteed to reach a wide audience of Treasure Valley First District Democrats, the Boise Weekly, Idaho's largest counter culture weekly publication. Here's the salient points Mr. Foster intended for Democrats to read.  read more »

The Land of the Free?

The terrorists have so fucking won.  read more »

Snow Day in Idaho

Play outside. If you have to go to the mall, recognize the value of the arts. Here's a classic decorating idea for those sprucing up the house.

Idaho's Most Notorious Export

Updated 11/30 to clarify my conflation of the American Family Association and the Family Research Council, both of which made the SPLC list. They all look alike to me. ;-)

Hard to fathom that someone is giving Larry Craig a challenge as undisputed champion, but the Village National Idiot has launched himself, and the American Family Association (AFA), the social conservative organization Bryan Fischer was selected to represent, into notorious territory by its addition as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). As the watchdog organization instrumental in taking down the Aryan Nations compound in northern Idaho, the SPLC now lists the AFA, along with the Family Research Council (FRC) in the same category as the KKK and the Aryan Nations, which unfortunately is still active in Idaho. Their leader just last year described Obama's election as "the greatest recruiting tool ever."

The SPLC acknowledged their criteria in including the AFA and FRC as hate groups.  read more »

Five Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do

Don't despair, there are 45 more. Check out the other cool gifts at the Boing Boing gift guide. Speaking of gifts, how did I miss this one?  read more »

The "Disgusting" and "Obscene" Thanksgiving GOP Holiday for the Unemployed

Union head Gerald McEntee provides the run down on disgusting.

The U.S. Commerce Department reports today that corporate profits are at a record high, at a time when corporations are sitting on $1.8 trillion in cash reserves. At the same time, 15 million Americans are still looking for work.

Two years after the financial collapse caused by right-wing deregulation and corporate greed, Wall Street is handing out its biggest bonuses in history -- more than $144 billion. At the same time, millions of working Americans are struggling to feed their families, pay their bills and keep a roof over their heads.

And the situation is set to get even more painful in the months ahead. Millions of Americans -- 2 million in December alone -- will be cut off from unemployment insurance. Republicans in Congress blocked an extension of this emergency lifeline just before leaving Washington, DC, for their Thanksgiving recess.

Most laid-off workers desperately want to get back to work. But the jobs are just not there. Yet, while families are struggling, the U.S. House failed to pass a much-needed extension in unemployment benefits. The members who voted to make life more difficult for the unemployed should hang their heads in shame. Their vote, one week before Thanksgiving, was disgusting.

And Mountain Goat reports the obscene, from a self proclaimed Idaho Democrat.  read more »

Republican Motives for Economic Sabotage

There's been quite a bit of discussion in the tubes about Republicans being rewarded in the last election cycle merely for being the minority party in a time of economic woe. That gives them great incentive to continue to assure the economy tanks until the presidential election. Steve Benen has been tracking these discussion and has plenty o' links

Paul Krugman's NYT column emphasized a related point yesterday, insisting that the Republican Party "isn't interested in helping the economy as long as a Democrat is in the White House." But similar arguments keep popping up. Here's an Andrew Sullivan item from the other day:

The ghastly truth is that we have one political party that is as close to organized vandalism as one can imagine. START, the debt ceiling, civil rights, real spending cuts and tax reform: all these will be subject to the pure nihilism of the will to power. Their goal is the destruction of Obama. That is all.

And here's Adam Serwer this morning:

[Congressional Republicans] use what power they have to prevent government from performing basic duties at any level of efficiency, and then turn around and argue that this reflects a failure of leadership on the part of the president. The pursuit of political power is more important to the party than civic responsibility. It's a testament to the power of low expectations that this hasn't produced more of an outrage, especially since they aren't even pretending otherwise.

It's interesting, in and of itself, that this sentiment has become fairly common. We are, after all, talking about prominent observers wondering aloud whether a major political party is putting its partisan hatred for an elected president ahead of the public good. There was a time such a suggestion was scandalous; now it's widespread enough to appear in a Nobel Laureate's print column in the paper of record.

Go to Benen's article for the links. Here's his follow up on what the White House can do about it.  read more »

Idaho Senators Stopping the START Treaty

Fort Boise made inquiry of Idaho's senators on their position of ratification of the new START treaty pending in the senate. The constitution requires 2/3 senate approval, or 67 votes, for ratification. The vote should be a no brainer, and, boy, did they reach the right senators for those requirements.

Richard Burt, the Reagan administration’s chief U.S. negotiator for the original START treaty, noted that “there are only two governments in the world that wouldn’t like to see this treaty ratified, the government in Tehran and the government in North Korea.”

Aside from the fact that nearly 75 percent of Americans want to see it ratified, Burt also warned that, if the treaty fails, not only would “we miss the opportunity to improve relations with the Russians, who have supported us on Iran and U.N. sanctions and increasingly in Afghanistan,” but the U.S. would also “lose all credibility on the problem of stopping nuclear proliferation.”  read more »

Monday Musings

Here's a cool isarithmic video of the two party vote since 1920. (sigh) Remember the blue?

Check out the return of Mountain Goat Report. MGR hits the significance of the vote tallies in Idaho from the last election riffing off interstices similar to this post o' mine. MGR notes that Minnick still sucks even as a lame duck, we just don't have to pretend anymore. And lastly a broadside on the Village Idiot.  read more »

Incredible Freestyle Cycling

Across stunning Scottish terrain. Hope you're enjoying your weekend as much as this guy. Thanks Boing Boing.

The Inverse Wave: Crunching the Idaho Election Numbers

This post is meant to buttress the contention that Idaho Democrats should jettison, deep six, kill, eradicate, eviscerate and otherwise ignore the notion that running Democratic candidates against the Democratic party as a game winning strategy. And since Alan at IdaBlue likes it, let's refer to it as the "self loathing strategy". Its a well known Republican trap which the last cycle demonstrated as a failure. Democrats need to target independents and other non-voting demographics to make up for high Republican voting bloc in crimson Idaho.

In addition to the foregoing posts on the subject pertaining to Allred's race and Minnick's race, the self loathing strategy suppresses base participation in elections. Despite early predictions of record turnouts, this election actually had low voter participation with only 58% of registered voters sending a ballot and below 40% of eligible voters engaged in the process. That's the lowest since 1978. Now the question is who sat it out and why?

Serephin expressed his desire to see more numbers, and, lo, the blog interstices delivers. Indeed in three separate posts they seem to hear our plea, not only for numbers, but graphs to illustrate the points. First voter turnout.

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Health Care Rationing and Bureaucracy: Insurance Companies Worse Than Government

From Ezra

The Commonwealth Foundation conducted a survey to test the conventional wisdom that our system is more efficient and provides better coverage than government run health care systems, surveying residents of 11 high-income countries about their insurance-related experiences. Some of the questions asked whether respondents had "spent a lot of time on paperwork or disputes" or found their insurer denied payment or both. In all three categories, America leads the world:

And just to show the results aren't skewed, they asked general questions on their confidence in their respective health care system. The US respondents gave poor scores here as well.  read more »

The Failed History of Bush's Tax Cuts

Its gonna be graph day at 43sb. Here's an important piece from Steve Benen on the folly of extending the Bush era tax cuts on the grounds that it would improve the economy or lead to job growth. Quite simply and objectively, it never happened last time, it won't be any different this time.

As this tax policy gets ready to expire next month, it's worth noting that the Republican plan failed rather spectacularly. On job creation, Bush's record was the worst since the Great Depression. On balancing the budget, Bush racked up the biggest deficits ever, and added $5 trillion to the debt, en route to being labeled "the most fiscally irresponsible president in the history of the republic" by his comptroller general.

But what about economic growth? Did the Republican tax policy generate the robust economy Bush promised? David Leonhardt, responding to a Fox News item, sets the record straight. (with graph)

Those tax cuts passed in 2001 amid big promises about what they would do for the economy. What followed? The decade with the slowest average annual growth since World War II. Amazingly, that statement is true even if you forget about the Great Recession and simply look at 2001-7.

The competition for slowest growth is not even close, either. Growth from 2001 to 2007 averaged 2.39 percent a year (and growth from 2001 through the third quarter of 2010 averaged 1.66 percent). The decade with the second-worst showing for growth was 1971 to 1980 -- the dreaded 1970s -- but it still had 3.21 percent average growth.

The picture does not change if you instead look at five-year periods.

This isn't a subjective question open to debate; we tried a policy and we can evaluate its results. In this case, Republicans said Bush's tax policy would produce wonders for the economy, and they got exactly what they wanted. We now know, however, that the policy didn't generate robust growth, didn't create millions of new jobs, didn't spur entrepreneurship and innovation, and certainly didn't keep a balanced budget.

Idaho's delegation is all on board hypocritically claiming to wanna balance the budget and pass these tax cuts. Republicans are consistent liars on fiscal responsibility though as this graph from Alan at IdaBlue demonstrates.  read more »

Insert Larry Craig Joke Here

From John Cole who has the same game going.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) offered on Wednesday to have airport screeners come to Capitol Hill to give senators a pat-down so they could fully understand the mechanics of the newly deployed, controversial technique.

John Pistole told senators on the Senate Science, Commerce and Transportation Committee that he “insisted” on receiving the pat-down to “experience what that involves so that we would know before we rolled it out,” and added that Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has gotten a pat-down as well.

“Honestly, any member who has not experienced that pat-down [and] who would like to do that — I would not offer it — but an experienced qualified security officer would be glad to do that,” Pistole said.

And the guy's name is Pistole addressing the "members"? Talk about your target rich environment. From The Hill.  read more »

Enabling the Trashing of the Brand

This was not an election loss where Idaho Democrats went proudly down in defeat. We'd have to be in the game for that. Many didn't engage and sat it out. And the reason for that is epitomized minutes after nine on election night. Watching election night coverage, after the polls closed, but before any results start pouring in, TV interviews begin of "Democratic" gubernatorial candidate Kieth Allred parroting his persistent message that he's not a Democrat but an "Independent". Seriously, Kieth Allred ran his entire campaign with that message. The campaign's literally over and he's sitting there in "Democratic" election headquarters, eating and drinking on Democrats' dime, staffed by Democrats who volunteered their time to get him to this point, using Democratic voter rolls and fund raising lists, and he's STILL telling every Idahoan he ain't one of us. I sensed Democrats all over the state plagued with an intense desire to deliver to him this succinct response. (NSFW)

Allred apparently had the sanction to use us as doormats employ this strategy from our poobahs in the party, who from all accounts got nothing in return, like a promise to utilize the best advice available in running a campaign in order to leave our party better than he found it. Instead we get this.  read more »

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