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May 18, 2021

The Tea Party’s Favorite Painter

Have you ever flipped through cable channels while impaired, lingering on some freakishly weird Lawrence Welk Show dance moves for a few seconds of guilty pleasure? Looking at the works of right-wing Utah painter Jon McNaughton is kind of like that. If you haven’t exposed yourself to the visual splendor of his überpatriotic art, you’re so missing out. Stylistically, McNaughton cranks out the kind of representational schlock a Days Inn manager circa 1975 would have been too embarrassed to hang in one of his guest rooms. He makes Thomas Kinkade look like Damien Hirst. During his studies at Brigham Young University, McNaughton…

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The GOP “Shut that whole thing down”

It’s official. The federal government has been shut down as of midnight, October 1. House Republicans decided they were so mad at voters, the law of the land, the Supreme Court, and the way the country works that they have thrown a stone in the gears. The Senate passed a clean Continuing Resolution to keep the government open, but the House responded by stomping their feet and passing a Continuing Resolution that guts women’s health care, and adds a special amendment to block contraceptive care. That’s right, it’s all because of lady parts. There are few things quite so scary…

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It’s Not Dems vs. GOP

 All politics is local.  —Tip O’Neill None of these Republicans are going to feel it in their districts. Their districts love this stuff. —Jim Vandehei, Politico Washington, DC — You know you’re in trouble when Eric Cantor looks like a moderate. The current fight over the government shutdown isn’t between Republicans and Democrats. It’s between incumbent Republicans and their fear of a Tea Party primary challenge. One does not succeed in elected office by being indifferent to one’s own survival. There is little incentive for incumbent House Republicans to be reasonable, and every political incentive for them to be obstructionist and…

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Negotiating With Healthcare Terrorists

We’re just a few days from launch for critical portions of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Republicans in Washington, D.C., are so freaked out they’ve taken the economy hostage and threatened to shoot it. Conservatives with “support the troops” on their car bumpers have no problem cutting off paychecks to soldiers in a doomed bid to “protect” Americans from affordable health care. I’ll bet the list of things they want before they’ll agree to pay the nation’s debts was made by cutting words out of magazines and pasting them on a piece of paper. In case I’m being too subtle, this…

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State Rep: Gay Families Don’t Count

“Special privileges to individuals who have in fact made a Life-Style Choice.” Thus spake Rep. Lora Reinbold (T-Alaska), demonstrating her commitment to efficiency in government by deftly working two played out falsehoods into one sentence. What she’s objecting to, according to a report by Amanda Coyne, is a new rule granting leave to state employees with a same sex partner suffering from a serious health condition. The Eagle River legislator claims LGBT couples don’t count as “family” and have “no legal standing.” The Alaska Supreme Court appears to view matters differently, ruling in 2005 that it is unconstitutional to deny gay couples…

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Don Young & the 47% Double Down

Remember that guy? The one with the hair, and the teeth, and the blonde wife, and the dog? Starts with an R… Give me a minute, I’ll get it…Don’t tell me, don’t tellll meeeee…… Romney! Remember when Mitt Romney was running for President, and then that thing happened, and he was speaking at a fancy private, closed-door fundraiser and told his fellow second and third-generation hand-me-down elites that 47% of the country were a bunch of good-for-nothing lazy freeloaders who didn’t do anything, and just mooched off the system? And then that guy videotaped it and released it to that…

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Parnell & Crew “Summit” Mt. Hypocrisy

Two weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming, state-sponsored “Federal Overreach Summit.” Well, Alaska, they dug to the bottom of the barrel and managed to make a meeting of it — trotting out all the usual tea party nonsense about how tapping Alaska resources without having to answer to the feds on environmental issues is the embodiment of democracy. But this summit wasn’t just a pathway to pillaging resources. It was a dog-whistle concert for every wing nut they could get in the door. The governor’s policy director, Randy Ruaro, said there had been a funding request for “proactive science.”…

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Mudflats Chats: Paul Begala on Pebble & Democrats

I sat down with Presidential adviser Paul Begala, and asked him his thoughts about the proposed Pebble Mine project, Senator Mark Begich, blue lawmakers in red states, and what it really means to be a Democrat. One of the lead advisers to President Clinton, Begala and James Carville shaped a moderate campaign agenda that focused on balancing the budget and creating 22 million new jobs. I’d been told that Begala is an avid hunter and fisherman, and has been fishing near Bristol Bay. So, I knew where I wanted our conversation to begin – with an issue that is of…

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Begich on a Palin Senate Run

Remember that line from Brokeback Mountain, “I wish I knew how to quit you?” Well if Sarah Palin were Jake Gyllenhaal and Alaska were Heath Ledger, she’d have been all, “I’m outta here!” And now that she’s considering a run for the Senate in the very state she quit, the Senator whose seat she’s looking to fill had a few things to say about that. “I don’t know if she’s a resident. She’s been away from Alaska a lot and has probably lost touch with what’s going on… “Most Alaskans I see on a pretty regular basis, but I haven’t…

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A Six-pack of Stupid. Happy Monday!

It’s Monday, so we thought we’d start your week off like this. Here’s a compendium of stupidity from across the nation. Full stories are linked in the titles. Oh, Florida… In an effort to ban all internet cafés (because why wouldn’t you), it seems that the hastily thrown together Florida legislation will make all cell phones, tablets, laptops, and every 40-pound PC owned by every retiree in the state illegal, because apparently they are the same as slot machines. You just know it’s only a matter of time before some red southern state is going to slip up and ban…

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