Saturday, April 02, 2011

Glenn Beck Describes How He And His Jewish Friends Will All Vouch For Each Other When They Stand Before Jesus

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

I was watching Glenn Beck yesterday hosting Daniel Pipes and Christopher Holton as they talked about how leftists are funding Middle Eastern terrorism and the subject turned (as it often does with Beck and the Mideast) apocalyptic:
BECK: I was made fun of by bringing up -- because I don't know. You know, I'm a Christian and I don't know when Jesus is coming back. I have a lot of Jewish friends and I say -- I've made a pact with them. Look, both die, we get up to the pearly gates and the Savior is there and he's like hey, I haven't been to Earth yet. You vouch for me. If he's like, I'm just about ready to go back, I vouch for you.

And I have no idea when -- when he's coming. But it's always kind of a good idea to just prepare. His -- how many -- how many people are Christian here? OK. How many people -- how many people think that a lot of the things -- and I know it's happened a million times. I mean, the apostles were saying, oh, Jesus is going to be right back. He just went to go get a sandwich and stuff.

So, how many people here believe that this feels like a time that you haven't experience in your lifetime? That's a little disturbing.
It left me scratching my head. Now, I'm neither Jewish nor particularly deeply versed in their theology, but I would be awfully surprised if their vision of the afterlife entails meeting Jesus at the Pearly Gates. I checked some online sources for more information, and concluded that this is probably right.

Indeed, most Jews I know, if faced with the above scenario, would be pretty upset that they had backed the wrong horse in the big Messiah sweepstakes, you know?

Not to mention having Glenn Beck vouch for you. That kind of endorsement likely would land you in Gehenom.

Huckabee Twists Southern History By Calling Health-Care Reform A "Modern-day Poll Tax"

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

What is it with Southern Republican candidates and their impulse to whitewash history?

First we had Haley Barbour trying to whitewash the history of the old White Citizens Councils.

Now we've got Mike Huckabee, trying out some new talking points yesterday on Fox News with Stuart Varney, while discussing the latest Fox fake scandal, this time involving the White House supposedly shipping unions money through the health-care reform law. First, he tried claiming that union supporters of Democrats are actually a form of "forced labor":
HUCKABEE: Stuart, they can't win if they don't have the unions' support. Unions are declining as a part of the overall American workforce, and yet the Democratic Party knows -- and it's not just the money, they get hundreds of millions of dollars from unions, but as important as the money is the manpower. Because the union workers will go out and they will work the polls and they will get people to the polls, and they will put up signs and they will staff rallies. And the Democrats know they've got to have that sort of forced labor, which is what it is.
The historical revisionism came a little later in the segment, while discussing their shared enthusiasm for repealing the health-care reform act:
HUCKABEE: I hope, if it doesn't die its death one way, it dies it the other. You know, it really doesn't matter. I think the courts will ultimately rule that it is unconstitutional -- that it is forcing people to buy a product in the private-sector marketplace in order to really be citizens. It's the equivalent of a modern-day poll tax. So I think they'll throw it out.
Just so everyone understands the analogy he's making -- as well as the absurd claim about the health-care law, here's Wikipedia on the Poll Tax:
In U.S. practice, a poll tax was used as a de facto or implicit pre-condition of the exercise of the ability to vote. This tax emerged in some states of the United States in the late 19th century as part of the Jim Crow laws. After the ability to vote was extended to all races by the enactment of the Fifteenth Amendment, many Southern states enacted poll tax laws which often included a grandfather clause that allowed any adult male whose father or grandfather had voted in a specific year prior to the abolition of slavery to vote without paying the tax. These laws, along with unfairly implemented literacy tests and extra-legal intimidation,[1] achieved the desired effect of disenfranchising African-American and Native American voters as well as poor whites who immigrated after the year specified.

Initially, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Breedlove v. Suttles, 302 U.S. 277 (1937), found the poll tax to be constitutional. The 24th Amendment, ratified in 1964, reflecting a political compromise,[citation needed] abolished the use of the poll tax (or any other tax) as a pre-condition in voting in Federal elections, but made no mention of poll taxes in state elections.

In the 1966 case of Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections the Supreme Court overruled its decision in Breedlove v. Suttles, and extended the prohibition of poll taxes to state elections, declaring that the imposition of a poll tax in state elections violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In Arkansas, it was a cornerstone of Jim Crow, and led to the disenfranchisement of 80 percent of its voting population.

Is there even the slightest whiff that failure to buy health insurance will lead to any citizen's disenfranchisement under the new health-care law? That it would even hint at enhancing a system of racial segregation?

Ah, no. No one believes that, and no one has previously claimed that. Though there has been talk about 16,000 new IRS agents descending upon an unsuspecting populace.

I guess it's a lot easier to just make stuff up when you also also believe the President was raised among Mau Maus in Kenya.

Friday, April 01, 2011

In Republican Indiana, So-Called Rape Victims Might Be Faking It Just So They Can Get Abortions

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.] 

Tanya Somander at ThinkProgress brings us, from the floor of the Indiana House, the keen insights of Republican Rep. Eric Turner of Marion:
TURNER: With all do respect to Rep. Riecken, I understand what she’s trying to do. But as you know that when the federal health care bill was going through Congress there was a lot of discussion whether this would allow for abortion coverage and of course we were all told it would not. And the bill, my house bill 1210, would prevent that for any insurance company to provide abortion coverage under federal health care bill. This [amendment] would open that window and I would ask you to oppose this amendment.

I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.
The best part of this video, though, is the rebuttal from Democratic Rep. Linda Lawson of Hammond:
LAWSON: I was a sex-crimes investigator for six years for the city of Hammond, Indiana. And I want to tell you what it looks like and what it sounds like when women are raped. Or six-year-olds are raped. Or 18-month-old babies are raped. Or 97-year-old women are raped. They don't make it up!

Then they have to go to court. They have to stand in a courtroom, and they have to face the person who did it to them. Women don't make this up! My goodness! This is the state of Indiana!
Obviously, Rep. Hammond did not get the memo that, under the current regime of our new Alien Overlords from Planet T-Par-T, all victims of crime are now considered suspicious characters at best and likely criminals. If there wasn't something wrong with them, God wouldn't let anything bad happen to them, right?

Especially when it comes to accusing men. What were they thinking?

Because, of course, the bill that Turner was defending was his own HB 1210, which among other restrictions would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks, and require abortion providers to tell patients that abortion carries risks, including the possibility of breast cancer. And they obviously listened to Turner's logic, such as it were:
The House also voted 42-54 against an amendment by Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Riecken, which would have exempted from the bill women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom a pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm.
Naturally, it passed the Indiana House shortly afterward. It's a lock to pass the Senate, too, and to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels.

[H/t scarce]

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is Trump Just Trying To Make The Rest Of The Republican Field Look Sane And Intelligent?

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

It's obvious that Donald Trump's recent bout of Birtherism is primarily about garnering Trump some free pub -- but considering how readily they're airing it at Fox News, it's starting to look like a combination of Swift Boat/Clinton-scandals type of Republican tactics, where just having the smears "out there" helps keep their targets' negatives high.

It's also obvious, after Trump's appearance last night on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show, that he really isn't a serious candidate. Instead, Trump is being a stalking horse who can make the rest of the Republican field look sane and serious by comparison.

Consider this exchange:
O'REILLY: Now, when you were on "The View" and they didn't walk out, which they should have because they walked out on me and they should have stayed. You were way, way worse than I was on "The View." You were hammering the birth certificate.

Now, we very early on did an investigation about Barack Obama's birth certificate. What "The Factor" found out was there were two announcements the week he was born in both Honolulu newspapers saying that he was born, OK. That is impossible -- that is impossible to make happen if he had not been born in the hospital. So therefore, I just put it to bed. I said he was born in Honolulu. The two newspapers documented it. His mother was a hippy. His father was a guy from Kenya who split. There couldn't have been a sophisticated -- what is he, Baby Jesus? -- there was a sophisticated conspiracy to smuggle this baby back into the country? So I just dismissed it. But you made a big deal of it.

TRUMP: Bill, I grew up with Wall Street geniuses. What they do in terms of fraud and how they change documents and I will tell you something. If you notice those dates were three days later. Here is what I ask people. Who puts announcements? Here are two poor people, a man and a woman with no money, they have a baby. There's announcements in the newspaper?

O'REILLY: The grandparents did it.

TRUMP: Excuse me. The grandparents. Nelson Rockefeller doesn't put announcements.

O'REILLY: Sure, there are birth announcements all the time.

TRUMP: I have never seen one.

O'REILLY: Really? They are common.

TRUMP: I've never seen one.

O'REILLY: But why is this important to you?

TRUMP: Because if you are going to be president of the United States you have to be born in this country. And there is a doubt as to whether or not he was born…

O'REILLY: Oh come on. Do you really feel this about him?

TRUMP: You know, I started off by saying -- and I always do and I did on the "The View." I'm a very smart guy. I went to the best college. I had good marks. I was a very smart guy, good student and all that stuff. Because what they do to the birthers, which is a term I hate because a lot of these birthers are just really quality people that just want the truth. What they do to the birthers is unbelievable to a point where people are afraid to talk about this subject. They are afraid to confront you or anybody about this subject.

O'REILLY: Do you think it's an important subject?

TRUMP: Listen, I have a birth certificate. I have my birth certificate. And in fact, they said the one I gave yesterday wasn't good enough. So I actually got the one from the Health Department, which is the perfect one. Because they were saying the one I gave yesterday wasn't good enough, so I got the other. People have birth certificates. He doesn't have a birth certificate. He may have one but there's something on that, maybe religion, maybe it says he is a Muslim. I don't know. Maybe he doesn't want that. Or he may not have one. But I will tell you this. If he wasn't born in this country, it's one of the great scams of all time.

O'REILLY: Absolutely. But I don't think that's the case.

TRUMP: You don't, but I'm starting to think.

O'REILLY: I don't think you believe that either. I think it's provocative, you get a lot of attention raising the question. But I don't think you believe it either.

TRUMP: Two weeks ago I felt like probably he was born in the country. Today it's possibly. I'm telling you it's changed. I have seen too many things.
The business with the newspaper birth announcement really reveals just how deliberately obtuse Trump is being. As we noted already:
This isn't an advertisement -- rather, this is a standard newspaper birth announcement.

You see, in the old days, before large corporations took over newspapers and forced them to gradually eviscerate their newsgathering functions, newspapers sent out their cops-and-courts reporters about once a week to collect all the previous week's birth listings from local hospitals. (This practice has long since fallen by numerous newsroom-budget-cutting waysides.) In other words, the Advertiser announcement was collected by the paper itself and stands as independent corroboration that Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital.

The fact that Trump doesn't know of anyone who has their birth listed in the paper by anything other than an ad indicates how out of touch this rich man really is.
O'Reilly knows this and pointed it out to Trump. Did this have any effect on the man whatsoever? None! He just kept rambling and ranting.

The fact that Trump is so adamant about embracing something so thoroughly proven to be false tells you plenty about the American Right -- because he has so many other right-wingers (see, e.g., Sean Hannity) playing along as though he were making Birtherism credible. These people don't really believe in it, but they see all kinds of tactical advantages in having someone out there flinging this poo on Obama's wall. Why not the helmet-hair guy who's not really running?

For Some Odd Reason, Fox Goes Silent About Report Revealing New Black Panthers Case An Utter Non-story

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Oddly enough, the only mention whatsoever of the New Black Panthers Party on Fox News in the past few days was the above snippet, one of Bill O'Reilly's "Reality Check" tidbits near the end of his show on Tuesday.

Odd, because there was this significant bit of news involving the NBPP case that has been the subject of so much coverage and discussion at Fox for the past year:
The Obama Justice Department did not improperly let politics or the race of the defendants affect the handling of a high-profile civil voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party, a probe by DOJ's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) concluded after an extensive investigation.

Justice Department attorneys "did not commit professional misconduct or exercise poor judgment, but rather acted appropriately, in the exercise of their supervisory duties in connection with the dismissal of the three defendants in the NBPP case," the head of OPR wrote in a letter to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) obtained by TPM.

OPR's investigation began in the summer of 2009. After an extensive investigation which included reviews of the New Black Panther Party file, "thousands of pages of internal Department e-mails, memoranda, and notes" and interviews with 44 current and former Department employees, OPR "found no evidence that the decision to dismiss the case against three of the four defendants was predicated on political considerations," wrote DOJ's Robin Ashton.
This is most odd indeed. Why, we can remember when our Fox morning and afternoon broadcasts were dominated by the breathless coverage of the NBPP scandal, including that nasty catfight on Megyn Kelly's show when Kirtsen Powers tried to point out that there was no there there, and of course video and audio of racially incendiary rants by NBPP leaders. It was always pathetically obvious as race-baiting goes, but then, Fox is nothing if not shameless.

Indeed, as Matt Gertz at Media Matters explains, Fox has been obsessing about the NBPP for the better part of the past couple of years, evidently certain that an Obama-dooming scandal lay therein:
For nearly two years, the right wing has been obsessed with the decision by those senior career attorneys to drop civil charges against three defendants affiliated with the New Black Panther Party who allegedly intimidated voters at a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. This fixation became stronger last year, when two DOJ attorneys on the trial team who are linked the Bush administration's politicization of the DOJ claimed in media appearances and in testimony that the DOJ's actions were part of a pattern of racially-charged corruption at the department, in which lawyers there refused to protect white voters from intimidation by minorities.

These allegations received a ready airing on Fox News, but they simply never added up: There was simply no evidence that this was anything more than a disagreement between career attorneys on how to apply a rarely-used provision of the Voting Rights Act; the Obama DOJ did get obtain an injunction against one of the defendants in the case; it also took action in another case to protect white voters from intimidation by black political leaders; and the Bush administration had failed to take action in a similar case in which Latino voters were allegedly intimidated by whites.
And yet, this week, nary a word about these findings could be found on Fox, particularly not on Megyn Kelly's show, where the coverage was high-pitched, heavy-handed and heavily promoted.
Adam Serwer at the Plum Line observes:
Republicans seized on this case for one reason, and one reason only. Despite the absence of any actual intimidated voters, and the hasty, weak nature of the original case, the GOP sought an opportunity to inflame white resentment by leveling charges that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are racist against white people. Though the staffers who filed the case have also been cleared, conservative media seized on the case to support a narrative of white racial victimhood, where virtually every single policy of the administration is attributed to a covert hatred for white people.
Indeed, this was manifest in the only mention of the NBPP at Fox this week -- the O'Reilly snippet above. It's played as a demonstration of just how beyond the pale this racist group really is, since it even attacks President Obama.

But why the NBPP? Why give them any airtime at all? As we noted when Fox was running another incendiary NBPP rant, it's certainly an easy thing to dig up racially incendiary video and audio snippets from right-wing hate groups and their leaders, because there is no shortage of them whatsoever.

One can just as readily find equally nasty things being said about Obama by David Duke in his weekly podcasts, or by Stormfront's Don Black or some other Ku Klux Klan/Aryan Nations/Hammerskins hatemonger. They're much easier to find than the comparatively tiny handful of such rants produced by anti-white racists such as the NBPP.

So why did O'Reilly give this one airtime? For the same reason the NBPP was Fox's favorite whipping boy for the past year: Because publicizing the work of an insignificant and tiny faction of black haters is a handy way of scaring white viewers into believing all kinds of nonsense.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Donald Trump's Birtherism: Beyond Stupidity And Gullibility, Now He's Just Lying

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Donald Trump was interviewed by phone by Greta Van Susteren yesterday and doubled down yet again on his Birtherism:
TRUMP: What does this have to do with race? This has absolutely nothing to do with race. The fact is that if you look at what's happened with respect to this birth certificate issue, he doesn't have it, he's spent millions of dollars on lawyers trying to get out of the issue, they give what's called a certificate of live birth, which doesn't even have a signature on it -- and anybody can get a certificate of live birth -- it's nothing to do with a birth certificate. And they are really reeling!

Now, they talk all sorts of things. You don't have a doctor or a nurse -- this is the president of the United States, and no doctor, no nurse, nobody's come forward saying, 'I delivered that beautiful baby.' There's so many things!

Even if you look at the newspaper, the so-called newspaper article in Hawaii -- that was days after he was born! So, that wasn't like when he was born! And if you really think about a couple of things -- whoever took a newspaper advertisement -- now these were poor people. These aren't rich people. Whoever took a newspaper advertisement to announce the birth of your baby? Now, I don't think you know of anybody, and I know of nobody -- and I know poor people and rich people, but I've never heard of taking a newspaper ad to advertise that you have a baby.
All Trump is really doing is proving his stupidity and gullibility -- not exactly desirable qualities in a president. At the very least, he's demonstrating how clueless and out of touch a rich guy he really is.

Here's the newspaper birth announcement in question:


This is from, which explains that a pro-Hillary/anti-Obama blogger first dug this up from the Honolulu Advertiser's archives of Sunday, Aug. 31, 1961.

This isn't an advertisement -- rather, this is a standard newspaper birth announcement. You see, in the old days, before large corporations took over newspapers and forced them to gradually eviscerate their newsgathering functions, newspapers sent out their cops-and-courts reporters about once a week to collect all the previous week's birth listings from local hospitals. (This practice has long since fallen by numerous newsroom-budget-cutting waysides.) In other words, the Advertiser announcement was collected by the paper itself and stands as independent corroboration that Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital.

The fact that Trump doesn't know of anyone who has their birth listed in the paper by anything other than an ad indicates how out of touch this rich man really is.

And while we're mentioning the young couple's poverty ... does Trump really believe that both Barack Obama Sr. and a very pregnant Stanley Ann Dunham-Obama were able to make what was in 1961 a long and difficult and expensive journey to Kenya for young Barack's birth, and then return in time for Barack Sr. to resume his fall classes in Hawaii?

As for why no doctor has turned up claiming to have overseen Obama's birth, well, that would be because he is dead. The doctor in question was Dr. Rodney T. West, a since-deceased obstetrician who told his friends about Obama's birth at the time in a memorable fashion -- memorable enough that they wrote it down, like his friend Barbara Nelson:
“I may be the only person left who specifically remembers his birth. His parents are gone, his grandmother is gone, the obstetrician who delivered him is gone,” said Nelson, referring to Dr. Rodney T. West, who died in February at the age of 98. Here’s the story: Nelson was having dinner at the Outrigger Canoe Club on Waikiki Beach with Dr. West, the father of her college friend, Jo-Anne. Making conversation, Nelson turned to Dr. West and said: “‘So, tell me something interesting that happened this week,’” she recalls.
His response: “Well, today, Stanley had a baby. Now that’s something to write home about.”

The new mother was Stanley (later referred to by her middle name of Ann) Dunham, and the baby was Barack Hussein Obama.

“I penned the name on a napkin, and I did write home about it,” said Nelson, knowing that her father, Stanley A. Czurles, director of the Art Education Department at Buffalo State College, would be interested in the “Stanley” connection.

She also remembers Dr. West mentioning that the baby’s father was the first black student at the University of Hawaii and how taken he was by the baby’s name.

“I remember Dr. West saying ‘Barack Hussein Obama, now that’s a musical name,’” said Nelson, who grew up in Kenmore and went to Hawaii in 1959 to be in Jo-Anne’s wedding party. When Nelson was offered a job as a newspaper reporter and photographer at her friend’s wedding reception, it led to her living in Hawaii for 47 years. She returned to Kenmore in 2006.
As for the "Certificate of Live Birth" Obama has presented since 2008, Trump is simply lying when he claims that "anybody can get" one; the state of Hawaii, in fact, only hands them out to people it can certify were born there. (The lack of a signature is utterly insignificant; many -- in fact, most -- states feature no signatures on their birth certificates.)

As we explained to Sean Hannity:
3. This birth certificate is the same birth certificate anyone born in Hawaii would present as proof of citizenship.
"Our Certificate of Live Birth is the standard form, which was modeled after national standards that are acceptable by federal agencies and organizations," Okubo said. "With that form, you can get your passport or your soccer registration or your driver's license."
4. The director of Hawaii’s Department of Health confirmed that Obama was born in Honolulu.
“There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law (Hawaii Revised Statutes §338-18) prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

“Therefore, I as Director of Health for the State of Hawaii, along with the Registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama’s original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

“No state official, including Governor Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the State of Hawaii.”
The continued dispute that Hannity and Trump seem to think is so significant is so important, in fact, is over the privacy-protected medical records of Obama's birth -- what the Birthers are calling his "long form birth certificate," but are in fact the private medical records of his birth kept at the hospital, containing large amounts of personal medical information about Obama's mother, including gynecological data.

And as Hawaii officials have explained numerous times, these records are protected by privacy laws, and for perfectly sound reasons:
Hawai'i's disclosure law (Hawai'i Revised Statutes 338-18) states that "it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part on any such record ... "

The law further states that the Health Department "shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record."

Those who have "direct and tangible interest" are generally limited to the person named in the record, the spouse, parent, descendant, or personal representative, or by someone who is involved in marital, parental or death litigation involving the named person's vital record or other legal reason established by a court order, and various official agency or organization representatives, including the state director of health, according to the law.
This, ultimately, is where we get into the question of race. As we already asked of Trump:
Is a birth certificate acceptable to every known authority for every other citizen of that state somehow unacceptable proof of citizenship for presidential candidates?
Or do they believe that every candidate for president should have to release for public review the private medical records, including personal medical information about their late mothers, of their own births?
Once again: If the answer to either of these is "no," then why are they demanding it only of Barack Obama -- while simultaneously talking about his five years spent in Indonesia?

Because that's when it becomes obvious that the problem isn't where Obama was born. It's his racial heritage.

And the utter mendaciousness of the attack -- not to mention the fact that Fox is blithely providing Trump a platform for this nonsense -- reeks of a Swift Boat attack to me. That may be why we're seeing this.

Monday, March 28, 2011

The 'Three Joes' Are Teaming Up To Save America. God Save Us.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Now here's some news to warm the cockles of your heart:
Three guys named Joe are teaming up to try and help defeat one guy named Barack.
The Joes, three figures popular among many conservatives, are Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, 2010 GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller of Alaska and Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known during the 2008 presidential campaign as "Joe the Plumber."

They are teaming up Thursday night at a launch party and fundraiser in Montara, California for "The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama," a group which is dedicated, as the name explains, to trying to beat President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

The organization was launched by the "Our Country Deserves Better Committee," a conservative political action committee that's also the parent organization of the Tea Party Express, one of the leading national Tea Party groups.

The new organization hopes to raise money to run ads and build a grassroots network of up to one million supporters by next year's election.

Also scheduled to attend the event are Sharron Angle, last year's Republican Senate nominee in Nevada, and conservative activist Melanie Morgan.

The newly formed group recently ran television ads in Wisconsin supporting Scott Walker, the new Republican governor whose battles with the state's public sector unions made national headlines.
Miller went on Neil Cavuto's Fox show last week to promote the alliance. (It was a pretty lame performance, actually; Miller just yammered his rehearsed talking points, as he usually does, and insisted that the Tea Party movement is alive and festering. Or something like that.)

But this really is quite a remarkable trio, considering that all three of them have been associated to one degree or other with the dark side of the conservative movement:

-- Miller actually hired militia goons to rough up journalists during the 2010 campaign, and had numerous Patriot movement connections, including a long association with Schaeffer Cox, the militiaman just arrested a couple of weeks ago for plotting to kill cops and judges. (More on that from David Holthouse at Media Matters.)

-- Arpaio also has a long record of playing footsie with neo-Nazis and other extremists, not to mention implementing their agenda and aping their tactics.

-- Wurzelbacher the Plumber hasn't gone quite so far to the right. Instead he's just tossed the guy who made him famous, John McCain, under the bus, and indulged in the same ignorant incendiarism that brought him all that attention in the first place, including vicious and violent eliminationist rhetoric:
Wurzelbacher has a reputation for being a blunt, politically incorrect speaker. Referring to Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., more than once, Wurzelbacher asked, "Why hasn't he been strung up?"

...Referring to the Constitution as "almost like the Bible," Wurzelbacher said of the Founding Fathers: "They knew socialism doesn't work. They knew communism doesn't work."
You'll notice that joining them on the bill in California are two past masters of wingnuttery and eliminationism, Sharron "Second Amendment Remedies" Angle and Melanie "Hang em!" Morgan. That's quite a cast.

My favorite aspect of all this is that these characters are being underwritten by the same people who brought you the the Tea Party Express and Mark "Colored People change minds about emancipation" Williams -- an outfit that formed explicitly to oppose anything Barack Obama did even before he was elected and has been lying about it ever since, claiming (like all Tea Partiers) that they're not a partisan organization.

But it makes you wonder what's really going on here when you have a cast like this, notable for exciting the most violent and vicious parts of the American Right -- all in the service of attacking unions.

Of course, the constant litany at Fox has been that these union rallies are full of "goons." It's looking like that was just projection/cover for their own plans.