Here’s rightwing nutjob Michael Savage talking about rightwing nutjob Glenn Beck:

“What’s with the overemphasis of everything and the crying? What’s that all about? I’m afraid he’s going to have a nervous breakdown on the air…This guy’s on the edge everyday. Personally I think the guy is going to have a crack up on the air — which is going to be very good for ratings.”

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There has to be a stronger word than schadenfreude to represent how much I enjoyed listening to this self-identified Republican McCain supporter absolutely demolish Rush Limbaugh on his own show:

Here are some highlights (go here for the full transcript):

CALLER: Thanks, Rush. Rush, listen, I voted Republican, and I didn’t — really didn’t want to see Obama get in office. But, you know, Rush, you’re one reason to blame for this election, for the Republicans losing.

First of all, you kept harping about voting for Hillary. The second big issue is the — was the torture issue. I’m a veteran. We’re not supposed to be torturing these people. This is not Nazi Germany, Red China, or North Korea. There’s other ways of interrogating people, and you kept harping about it — “It’s OK,” or “It’s not really torture.” And it was just more than waterboarding. Some of these prisoners were killed under torture.

And it just — it was crazy for you to keep going on and on like Levin and Hannity and Hewitt. It’s like you’re all brainwashed.

And my last comment is, no matter what Obama does, you will still criticize him because I believe you’re brainwashed. You’re just — and I hate to say it — but I think you’re a brainwashed Nazi. Anyone who could believe in torture just has got to be – there’s got to be something wrong with them.

And, for the coup de grâce, we get a brief glimpse into what Limbaugh really feels about any Republican who disagrees with him:

RUSH: Barack Obama is president of the United States today because of stupid, ignorant people who think like you do…

You and your ignorance are the most expensive commodity this country has… You don’t know diddly-squat…

You know, you’re just plain embarrassing and ludicrous. But it doesn’t surprise me that you’re the kind of Republican that our last candidate attracted. Because you’re no Republican at all based on what the hell you’ve said here.

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I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who visited today. Due in large part to the widespread publicity of my article The Chilling Rise of Right-Wing Hate in America, we received over 4,000 unique visitors today. I write this blog as something of a labor of love and an intangible valve on the pressure cooker of my daily life and am heartened to see that some people find the commentary here interesting in some way. Thanks for reading and welcome to all the new folks who have joined up today.

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This clip from last night’s Daily Show is to die for!

Here’s a taste of the Stewart Smackdown:

Stewart: Yes, tyranny. A.K.A. our democratically elected President. You know what guys….I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing. And I feel for you because ah…I’ve been there. A few times. In fact one of them was a bit of a nail biter. But see, when the guy that you disagree with gets elected, he’s probably going to do things you disagree with. He could cut taxes on the wealthy. Remove government’s oversight capability. Invade a country that you thought should not be invaded but that’s not tyranny. That’s democracy.

See now you’re in the minority. It’s supposed to taste like a s#%t taco. And by the way, if I remember correctly when a disagreement was expressed about that President’s actions when ya’ll were in power I believe the response was “Why do you hate America?”. “Watch what you say.” “Love it or leave it.” “Suck on my truck nuts.” [snip]

For god’s sake guys. You’ve been out of power for ten f*%#ng weeks. You’ve got a mid-term election in twenty months. Pace your rage!

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I concur with Glenn Greenwald when he says that the Obama administration’s recent assertions of Bush-era state secrets claims are wrong and indefensible:

Every defining attribute of Bush’s radical secrecy powers — every one — is found [in the the Obama DOJ’s response to a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the Bush administration for its illegal wiretapping program], and in exactly the same tone and with the exact same mindset. Thus: how the U.S. government eavesdrops on its citizens is too secret to allow a court to determine its legality. We must just blindly accept the claims from the President’s DNI that we will all be endangered if we allow courts to determine the legality of the President’s actions. Even confirming or denying already publicly known facts — such as the involvement of the telecoms and the massive data-mining programs — would be too damaging to national security. Why? Because the DNI says so. It is not merely specific documents, but entire lawsuits, that must be dismissed in advance as soon as the privilege is asserted because “its very subject matter would inherently risk or require the disclosure of state secrets.”

What’s being asserted here by the Obama DOJ is the virtually absolute power of presidential secrecy, the right to break the law with no consequences, and immunity from surveillance lawsuits so sweeping that one can hardly believe that it’s being claimed with a straight face. It is simply inexcusable for those who spent the last several years screaming when the Bush administration did exactly this to remain silent now or, worse, to search for excuses to justify this behavior.

It’s quite interesting to note that Keith Olbermann laid into Obama with both barrels on this topic on his show last night:

With all that in mind, I also agree with Greenwald’s reaction to Olbermann’s commentary:

Several weeks ago, I noted that unlike the Right — which turned itself into a virtual cult of uncritical reverence for George W. Bush especially during the first several years of his administration — large numbers of Bush critics have been admirably willing to criticize Obama when he embraces the very policies that prompted so much anger and controversy during the Bush years.

Last night, Keith Olbermann — who has undoubtedly been one of the most swooning and often-uncritical admirers of Barack Obama of anyone in the country (behavior for which I rather harshly criticized him in the past) — devoted the first two segments of his show to emphatically lambasting Obama and Eric Holder’s DOJ for the story I wrote about on Monday: namely, the Obama administration’s use of the radical Bush/Cheney state secrets doctrine and — worse still — a brand new claim of “sovereign immunity” to insist that courts lack the authority to decide whether the Bush administration broke the law in illegally spying on Americans.

The fact that Keith Olbermann, an intense Obama supporter, spent the first ten minutes of his show attacking Obama for replicating (and, in this instance, actually surpassing) some of the worst Bush/Cheney abuses of executive power and secrecy claims reflects just how extreme is the conduct of the Obama DOJ here.

I watched the above Olbermann segment last night. During the show, I repeatedly kept thinking to myself, “There is no way in hell O’Reilly or Limbaugh or any other the other right-wing bloviators would be laying into Bush for any of his transgressions in the way that Olbermann is doing right now”.

This speaks volumes about the need to always keep our rational faculties about us and not just accept as gospel what our political leaders are telling us. This is just as true when the President’s name is Obama as when his name is Bush.

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Today is truly a momentous day. Vermont became the first state in the U.S. to legalize gay marriage by an affirmative act of the state legislature:

Vermont has become the fourth state to legalize gay marriage — and the first to do so with a legislature’s vote.

The Legislature voted Tuesday to override Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto of a bill allowing gays and lesbians to marry. The vote was 23-5 to override in the state Senate and 100-49 to override in the House. Under Vermont law, two-thirds of each chamber had to vote for override.

The vote came nine years after Vermont adopted its first-in-the-nation civil unions law.

It’s now the fourth state to permit same-sex marriage. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa are the others. Their approval of gay marriage came from the courts.

I’ve always believed that legislative action was the most effective way to address the marriage equality issue. I’m elated to see that our elected leaders are finally starting to courageously tackle this issue head-on. There may be some hope for us yet.

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a set of reactions here.

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This quote from the new chairman of Citigroup is just about the most tone-deaf register from the siren of the Waaaahmbulance I’ve heard in quite some time:

HONOLULU – Citigroup Inc.’s new board chairman, Richard Parsons, said financial institutions are being targeted for creating the nation’s financial crisis, but they aren’t the only ones responsible.

“Everybody participated in pumping up this balloon. Now the balloon has deflated,” he said Monday. “Everybody, in reality, has some part of the blame. But it’s much more in the culture to find a villain and vilify the villain.”

“Besides banks, there was reduced regulatory oversight, loans to unqualified borrowers were encouraged and people took out mortgages or home-equity loans they couldn’t afford.”

Atrios has the perfect smackdown of this self-pitying nonsense:

Reduced regulatory oversight…of banks and big financial institutions.

Loans to unqualified borrowers made by… banks….

People took our mortgages and home-equity loans from they couldn’t afford from…banks who abandoned underwriting requirements.

The rich assholes who run the world are babies.

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The International Committee for the Red Cross (the organization empowered by international law to investigate claims of prisoner abuse) released the second part of its report on the treatment of detainees by the United States.

As before, the results are damning, and this time directly implicate medical officers who participated in the torture:

Medical officers who oversaw interrogations of terrorism suspects in CIA secret prisons committed gross violations of medical ethics and in some cases essentially participated in torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded in a confidential report that labeled the CIA program “inhuman.”

Health personnel offered supervision and even assistance as suspected al-Qaeda operatives were beaten, deprived of food, exposed to temperature extremes and subjected to waterboarding, the relief agency said in the 2007 report, a copy of which was posted on a magazine Web site yesterday. The report quoted one medical official as telling a detainee: “I look after your body only because we need you for information.”

Read the WaPo article on the report or view the whole report here (note: it’s a PDF).

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