Weekend Read

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In 2008 it was all about hope. Four years later, the Obama team is campaigning on fear.

At least according to John Heilemann in this week's New York.

Quote of the Day

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Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., is aghast -- and rightly so -- over news that Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal were given access to Seal Team Six and information about the death of Osama bin Laden for their upcoming movie Zero Dark Thirty.

If this facility is so secret that the name cannot even be seen by the public, then why in the world would the Obama administration allow filmmakers to tour it?

The administration has shared with the filmmakers information defended from Freedom of Information Act inquiries, Congressional committees, and anyone else not involved in making movies about war zones.


Thoughtful Rant of the Day

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The great libertarian Penn Jillette derides President Obama's medical marijuana policies, his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and his drug use -- all without taking a breath.

(Not Safe For Work -- explicit spitfire.)


Amusing GOP Comment of the Day

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Normally, something akin to what Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in South Carolina would cause an uproar -- and it still has time to -- but his comments were typical Republican blame game stuff; all that people can do at this point is chuckle. What exactly did Rubio say?

For all the policy disagreements that we have with our president, it is hard to understate how much he inspired people across this country four years ago.

Rubio added:

We have not seen such a divisive figure in modern American history as we have over the last three and a half years.

Far be it to point out all the Republican policy blocks over President Obama's tenure (and there are way too many to simply link). This is a notion that Brad Woodhouse of the Democratic National Committee acknowledged with the ol' side-eyed rebuttal:

No one has tried harder to reach across the aisle on everything from jobs and trade to a plan to get our fiscal house in order than has President Obama and every step of the way Republican leaders have either buckled to the far right wing of their party or decided to put politics ahead of moving our country forward.

Can the cat claws come out any further?

Beating a Dead Horse of the Day

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In the rumor/controversy that just won't die, President Obama's campaign team has asserted that the president will, indeed, be on Arizona's general election ballot, despite Secretary of State, Ken Bennet, stating that he would disqualify Obama if he could not prove he was, in fact, born in Hawaii. Though given some of the other injustices happening in Arizona, this seems totally unsurprising.


Say What Now of the Day

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Ominous music, racist overtones, and a black family fighting over a game of Monopoly -- these 90 seconds of nonsense are the third trailer for an upcoming "documentary" about President Obama called 2016.

The film is based on New York Times bestseller The Roots of Obama's Rage, by right-wing nutjob conservative author Dinesh D'Souza, whose credibility has been debunked again and again and again. But it's whack-a-mole IRL.

Exhibit A: The conclusion to a widely denounced D'Souza piece published in Forbes in 2010:

[O]ur President is trapped in his father's time machine. Incredibly, the U.S. is being ruled according to the dreams of a Luo tribesman of the 1950s. This philandering, inebriated African socialist, who raged against the world for denying him the realization of his anticolonialambitions, is now setting the nation's agenda through the reincarnation of his dreams in his son. The son makes it happen, but he candidly admits he is only living out his father's dream. The invisible father provides the inspiration, and the son dutifully gets the job done. America today is governed by a ghost.

No need for exhibits B and C. Whatever your feelings on Obama, he's certainly not hell-bent on downsizing America as a demonstration of his father's anti-colonialist beliefs.

2016 is expected to hit theaters in June.


Say What Now of the Day [UPDATED]

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A Republican Super PAC backed by Cubs co-owner and TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts was secretly collaborating with a top political branding group to smear President Obama and destroy his chance at re-election come September -- but their 48-page playbook, called "Next," was leaked to the New York Times, which published the attack plan today.

The $10 million strategy character assassination will highlight Obama's association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who they say preached a "black liberation theology." According to the Times:

The group suggested hiring as a spokesman an "extremely literate conservative African-American" who can argue that Mr. Obama misled the nation by presenting himself as what the proposal calls a "metrosexual, black Abe Lincoln."

Obama's camp has responded accordingly:

The blueprint for a hate-filled, divisive campaign of character assassination speaks for itself. It also reflects how far the party has drifted in four short years since John McCain rejected these very tactics. Once again, Gov. Romney has fallen short of the standard that John McCain set, reacting tepidly in a moment that required moral leadership in standing up to the very extreme wing of his own party.

Romney, predictably, denounced the effort:

I repudiate the effort by that PAC to promote an ad strategy of the nature they've described. I would like to see this campaign focus on the economy, on getting people back to work, on seeing rising incomes and growing prosperity -- particularly for those in the middle class of America. And I think what we've seen so far from the Obama campaign is a campaign of character assassination. I hope that isn't the course of this campaign. So in regards to that PAC, I repudiate what they're thinking about.

Fun fact: The group hopes to snag Jon Voight for the voiceover.

UPDATE: Ricketts has released a statement disavowing the entire proposal:

Joe Ricketts is a registered independent, a fiscal conservative and an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, but he is neither the author nor the funder of the so-called Ricketts Plan to defeat Mr. Obama that the New York Times wrote about this morning. Not only was this plan merely a proposal -- one of several submitted to the Ending Spending Action Fund by third-party vendors -- but it reflects an approach to politics that Mr. Ricketts rejects and it was never a plan to be accepted but only a suggestion for a direction to take.