Thursday Reads

Good Morning! It’s iced coffee weather, I love it! Now let’s see what’s happening in the news.

In one of the most childish episodes in an incredibly childish debt ceiling debate, the House Republicans yesterday used a scene from a Ben Affleck movie “The Town,” to fire themselves up to burn down the U.S. economy. Here’s the clip:


Affleck: “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me about it later. We’re gonna hurt somebody.”

Friend: “Whose car are we gonna take?”

Yeah, they’re gonna hurt somebody, for sure. BTW, I noticed the media generally is leaving out that line about hurting someone. It must be some kind of oversight, right?

The Washington Post reported that

After showing the clip, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), one of the most outspoken critics of leadership among the 87 freshmen, stood up to speak, according to GOP aides.

“I’m ready to drive the car,” West replied, surprising many Republicans by giving his full-throated support for the plan.

However, a leading conservative lawmaker, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), said enough Republicans appear to oppose Boehner’s plan that it would not be able to pass the House on GOP support alone.

At Huffpo, Sam Stein got Ben Affleck’s response to all this.

in a statement his spokesperson provided to The Huffington Post, he suggested that Republicans use a different one of his movies next time they need to whip votes.

“I don’t know if this is a compliment or the ultimate repudiation,” said the actor, who is currently in Turkey directing and starring in “Argo,” an adaptation of the Tehran hostage crisis. “But if they’re going to be watching movies, I think “The Company Men” is more appropriate.”

That latter Affleck flick focuses on the plight of middle age men who have been laid off during the recession. (One of them, depressed about being unemployed, later kills himself.) Whether that message would resonate in the GOP caucus is anyone’s guess. But the likelihood is that McCarthy knows his members a bit better than Affleck. According to the Post, Rep. Allen West (R-Fla), one of the most intransigent Tea Party members of the Freshmen class, was won over by the gambit.

Good grief. Allen West is a complete dweeb. But “Tea Party activists” are “revolting against Boehner,” says Fox News.

“Boehner must go,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips said in his blog on Wednesday, calling the speaker a “big government Republican” who “worships at the altar of massive spending.”

“We need a speaker who is a leader. We need someone with courage and vision. Boehner has none of those qualities. He is not a leader,” Phillips wrote. “John Boehner simply wishes to be the manager in chief of the welfare state. His vision of the GOP and the speakership involves golfing, drinking and not rocking the boat.”

But Tea Party-backed lawmakers on Wednesday stood up for Boehner, even though they prefer another plan – “cut cap and balance,” which would allows the nation to borrow $2.4 trillion more money in exchange for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. That measure passed in the House last week but died in the Senate.

“My Republican leadership in the House is doing a great job,” freshman Rep. Joe Walsh said at a Tea Party rally Wednesday. “Imagine having to negotiate with Barack Obama. Imagine having to negotiate with Harry Reid. Give John Boehner, give Eric Cantor all the credit in the world.”

Um…. No comment.

Read more:

Read more:

Let’s hear it for Sheila Jackson Lee.

At a hearing of the House Committee on Homeland Security today about the radicalization of young Somali American Muslims by the al-Shabaab terrorist group, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) said the committee should hold a hearing on “right-wing extremists” in the United States.

Jackson Lee used much of her allotted five minutes to question panelists with expertise on radicalization about the alleged hacking into telephones of 9-11 victims by the now-closed News of the World tabloid in England.

“I would add to that, that I would like to have a hearing on right-wing extremists, ideologues who advocate violence and advocate, in essence, the terrorizing of certain groups,” Jackson Lee said.

Yay Sheila!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a cold case that had been solved after 50 years, the abduction and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, IL. Yesterday Maria’s body was exhumed to allow for modern tests to be run.

Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, a former neighbor of the victim’s, was charged this month in her slaying.

Officials say they exhumed the body in hopes that modern technology will help their murder case.

McCullough, 71, a former police officer who was living in the Seattle area, waived his extradition rights and was released Wednesday to Illinois authorities. He arrived at the jail in DeKalb about 4:50 p.m.

Family members said they agreed to the exhumation, but it was difficult to face.

“Although the events are very difficult and very unsettling, we understand the necessity for these things and we are in complete agreement and thankful for the way that this case is being handled,” said Charles Ridulph, 65, Maria’s older brother.

Finally, there may be justice for Maria and her family.

At the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan has the “dish” on CNN’s obnoxious replacement for obnoxious Larry King, Piers Morgan. Piers denies he was ever involved in phone hacking when he worked for the News of the World, but Sullivan says Piers is l-l-l-l-lying.

The Texas ACLU is planning to organize a “family, faith, and freedom” event to compete with Governor Rick Perry’s “Christian” prayer rally.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Texas announced Wednesday they would be partnering with Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) to host an alternative to Texas Governor Rick Perry’s prayer rally in Houston.

“Gov. Perry’s decision to sponsor a ‘Christians-only’ prayer rally is bad enough. That he turned to an array of intolerant religious extremists to put it on for him is even worse,” said Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

“This event unites us in our conviction that government should have no favorite theology and that it must always strive to ensure that all citizens – Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists and others – are full and equal partners in the public square.”

The event, called “Family, Faith and Freedom” be held Friday evening August 5, one day before the start of the “The Response,” an evangelical Christian prayer rally in Houston.

Good idea. Well that’s it for me. What are you reading and blogging about today?

25 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. northwestrain says:

    Ice tea is better.

    Better check area nut/crazy houses — a whole lot of the inmates are lose and posing as Congress critters. That’s the only thing that makes sense.

    Speak of terrorist tactics being used by Christians. A Planned Parenthood clinic was bombed in Texas. No lose of life — and clinic wasn’t badly damaged. I’ll bet the bastards are never caught — could be the cops or friends of the cops — seeing that this took place in Texas.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    President on Sidelines in Debt Ceiling Battle:

    For an hour on Wednesday the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, fielded questions about what, if anything, President Obama was doing to help end the impasse in Congress over the imminent need to raise the nation’s borrowing limit.

    He spoke repeatedly but without specifics of private conversations and nonstop meetings involving administration officials “up to the highest levels” — White House shorthand for the president. Finally, exasperated, he asked whether reporters expected “a President Bartlet moment” — say, a march up Capitol Hill to whip Congress in line, à la fictional president in “The West Wing” television series.

    “Yes,” one reporter replied.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Suspect in murder of Maria Ridulph’s 1957 murder to be arraigned today.

  4. paper doll says:

    Thanks for the round up !!

    “I would add to that, that I would like to have a hearing on right-wing extremists, ideologues who advocate violence and advocate, in essence, the terrorizing of certain groups,” Jackson Lee said.

    Good for Sheila !

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    Just listening to these fools “explain” their position only increases my agita.

    Let’s be honest: most of this stuff is based on racism since before he even took office Obama was being villified by the Right which gave rise to the birthers and a platform for the Tea Party to emerge.

    The Right hates Democrats but even more a Democrat of color and these games began. Had this been a McCain Administration we would be seeing very little of this ping pong game of insanity.

    And having a “leader” like Obama who has less involvement in the running of this nation than any other president in the last 70 years only helped sweeten the pot for these nutjobs.

    He “took the high road” and essentially disappeared from view. McCain may have been a disaster in his own right but he would not have had the crazies at his doorstep demanding he be only a “one termer” from the day he was sworn in.

    This is what it all boils down to in the end. A political game of chess that serves no one other than the powers that be who have shrugged off civic responsibility in favor of party loyalty and seething hatred of racial differences.

    How else to explain the never ending argument that Obama is a foreign born Muslim even in the face of facts.

    He is a DINO with corporate leanings replete with huge limitations in how to govern.


  6. bostonboomer says:

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie has been taken to the hospital with breathing difficulties, according to Politico.


    • bostonboomer says:

      Christie has asthma, apparently. I didn’t know that. So it’s probably not life-threatening.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh owes more than $100K in child support to his former wife and children.

    This deadbeat dad is the same Joe Walsh who, at his press conference after winning election to the United States House of Representative, insisted, “The first thing we need to do is acknowledge that everybody is going to have to give on Social Security reform and Medicare reform,” and that unemployment benefits probably already have been extended for too long and attention should be paid to the cost.

    Congressman Walsh apparently considers he shouldn’t have to subsidize the cost even of raising his own children out of his $175,000 salary. Besides, those kids are not in the wealthy class that he represents.

    Walsh lives with his new wife and children in McHenry, Illinois.

    When you see his sweaty, sleazy mug doing his poor and old folks must sacrifice more blather on the tee vee machine, have a bucket of dirty socks ready to throw at him. Think about his kids. He certainly won’t be.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Chicago Sun-Times:

      Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, a tax-bashing Tea Party champion who sharply lectures President Barack Obama and other Democrats on fiscal responsibility, owes more than $100,000 in child support to his ex-wife and three children, according to documents his ex-wife filed in their divorce case in December.

      “I won’t place one more dollar of debt upon the backs of my kids and grandkids unless we structurally reform the way this town spends money!” Walsh says directly into the camera in his viral video lecturing Obama on the need to get the nation’s finances in order.

      Walsh starts the video by saying, “President Obama, quit lying. Have you no shame, sir? In three short years, you’ve bankrupted this country.”

      In court documents, after his ex-wife, Laura Walsh, asked a judge to suspend his driver’s license until he paid his child support, Joe Walsh asks his ex-wife’s lawyer: “Have you no decency?”

      Wow! What a sleazeball!

  8. dakinikat says:

    Republican Freshmen Fall In Line For Boehner’s Debt Bill

    The GOP’s large freshmen class appears to be largely supportive of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) debt bill that would raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion and cut nearly $917 billion over 10 years, signaling that what just a few days ago seemed certain to fail is looking more and more likely to pass.

    Boehner was publicly confident that his party would coalesce around his legislation, spiritedly telling TPM that it would be a “Zippity-do-da day” before a closed-door meeting with his conference at the Capitol early Thursday morning. However, moments later he reportedly told his caucus that he didn’t have the votes yet.

    and the stock market is up today.

  9. Minkoff Minx says:

    This latest from Bachmann:

    Michele Bachmann – President Obama – Effectively A Dictator | VIDEO | Mediaite

    In an interview with CNN’s Kiran Chetry on American Morning, Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann sharply dismissed the idea that President Obama could simply move to raise the debt ceiling by invoking the 14th Amendment, saying to do so would make Obama effectively “a dictator.” Bachmann described any such move by the President to unilaterally end the immediate debt crisis unconstitutional. “Congress has the power to lay and collect taxes,” Bachmann said. “It’s Congress that does the spending. The President is prohibited to do that. If he had the power to do that he would effectively be a dictator.”

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      You know what is pathetic about this, the fact that Obama will not use the 14th Amendment to save the country…makes you wonder if he thinks the same way as Bachmann.

  10. Peggy Sue says:

    Did anyone else catch Bruce Bartlett on the Chris Matthews show last night [I know Matthews is pretty hard to take]. But Bartlett, a former financial advisor under Reagan, said flatout that the GOP’s stand on “no taxes” is absolutely insane, pure ideological rubbish. In fact, he said the current crop of House members are either ignorant, crazed or hopelessly craven. I almost dropped my coffee cup! Bartlett when on to say that simply returning to Clinton’s tax rates would solve the major duty problems we’re having with debt and openly admitted that the economic downturn is primarily due to stupid policy decisions by the Bush Administration, which are only being doubled down by people like Mitch McConnell.

    The man must be a socialist!

    Of course, then we have Obama willing to cave to any insanity.

    It gives me a vague hope that there are still rational people out there. Unfortunately, they’re not in Congress right now. Boehner is on now, pretending that the GOP has a resolution to the debt ceiling brouhaha. The bill is not perfect, Boehner says.

    What an understatement!

    And now the weasal Cantor is preaching how Reid either accepts the House plan or face economic collapse. These people get gold stars for hypocrisy.

  11. The Rock says:

    The evil one in Missouri initiated this investigation, but fear not, she is still hard at defending the fraud.


    Hillary 2012