In case you missed it, Matt Osborne has blown the remaining testicles clear off the National Blogger's Club over at Crooks & Liars.  Whatever has been raining down in Wingnutville all week, it sure ain't men:


Ali Akbar, now President of the National Bloggers Club, is one of the conservative blogosphere's most infamous characters. He began his campaign of notoriety with a crime spree in 2006, blazing a six-year trail of fraud. That's him up there, in the mug shots. Akbar's story is as improbable as the Tea Party movement itself, and a lesson on the privileges of power in the age of Citizens United. How did a petty crook rise to these heights in such a short time? Why does he enjoy such influential connections today?

We ask these questions because we see an emerging bipartisan consensus that Akbar's National Bloggers Club (NBC) is entirely notional. Akbar has never applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status — despite having claimed as much on the NBC Facebook page. While the NBC requires an unusual amount of personal information from donors, they do not offer those donors an EIN (Employer ID Number) to make their contributions tax deductible.

Read the story




This morning, I tweeted this disturbing and sometimes insightful, but ultimately maddening, guilt-ridden sanctimony dressed up as constructive criticism in  op-ed by Steve Almond in the NYTimes. Wanting to think more about it, the best I could say at the time was this tweet:

RT ‏@Shoq: I've been scolded for saying we mock rather than advance ideas. Still, this a mea culpa from a liberal Fox watcher
I shared it with my good friend, Joy-Ann Reid (@theReidReport), Managing Editor at, and a Miami Herald columnist. As usual, within hours, she'd let loose with blistering critique that captured much of what irked me when I read Almond's piece the first time. You can read her post here. 

On any given day, I agree with almost everything Joy says, and this day was no different, for the most part. But I did have some concerns about dismissing the entirety of Almond's essay too casually, feeling that as is often the case, that all elusive truth may lie somewhere between two poles.  So I wrote this to Joy in response, and felt I'd blog it. Just because I can.


Thank you joy,

You have told the other side I've been wrestling with so much better than I could.  But I am still torn because while my reaction this morning was just like yours (and I tweeted about it), after reading it again, I am still plagued by the nagging sense that he (and Karoli) are also more than partly right; that we do give them too all far much attention in a meta sense. While, as you point out, there are damn good reasons do that, it's become such a reactionary passion on the left, that it empowers all the lefty demagogues (those self-flagellating masters of the liberal universe), while generally sucking all the energy from the progressive room. There's just not too much remaining for the political process (which serves the status quo nicely). I see this progressive anger-fatigue every day, and it's really worrying me. I see it worrying others, too. Obama can lose, and lose convincingly. And the Senate may go with him.  We all know this. And I think all the anger-merchandising, so well played by the corporate media (and the liberal and conservative industrial complexes, as well), are to a large degree distracting us from really focusing on shaping messages and getting out that vital progressive congressional and presidential vote, without which, we're probably just doomed.

But what the writer doesn't get right at all (besides the ridiculous title) is that he has no real end game; he never discusses where all that surplus attention that he wants to conserve would go if recovered. He hints at it, but so minimally, that he's implying that just turning the other ear and merely showing up to vote will mitigate the damage that a highly cultivated incivility is now doing to us.  It won't. All the polite rhetorical salon parties he imagines won't make the smallest dent in the Koch/Fox audience axis, and they still vote far more reliably than we do.

No, as you point out, ignoring and negotiating just doesn't work. We have to defund, deflect, or somehow denude their omnipotence; strip it from our politics and culture with a combination of strategies that ignore the more cynical of the noisy megaphones, while pushing back effectively against the most influential of them, denying them social and financial currency where possible In the absence of bigger plans, I am going to keep on with efforts like StopRush, which may yet show that market forces can greatly impact how these influencers really operate on and against all of us.

It's all I can do… for now.






My friend Krystal Ball is getting really aggressive about taking on Republican douchebaggery. She wanted to get this out right away, so she asked me to post it here. Feel free to copy and distribute far and wide (with attribution, please).

See Krystal discuss this in the @MSNBC video below!

How the War on Women is Unlike the War on Caterpillars

By Krystal Ball

Today in my appearance on Martin Bashir’s MSNBC show, Bashir Live, I lost it a bit over Reince Priebus’ comparison of the War on Women to a War on Caterpillars. In my spluttering rant, I listed evidence of the many ways in which the War on Women is very much real and very much a product of the GOP working with shadow organizations like Americans United for Life (AUL). Below are a SMALL and not nearly comprehensive sample of the provisions being introduced nationwide which are designed to shame women and dictate to them what they can and can’t do. Please email additional examples to me at


War on Planned Parenthood

***Please note that only 97% of what Planned Parenthood does is preventative health care or providing birth control and other contraception which DECREASES the need for abortions. One in five American women have relied on Planned Parenthood for services.


  • In 2011 – 7 states passed bills defunding or limiting funding to Planned Parenthood (IN, KS, NC, NH, WI, TN, TX)

  • In 2012 – 8 states are considering legislation to defund or limit funding to Planned Parenthood (AZ, IA, MI, NE, NH, OH, OK, PA)

  • Mitt Romney has stated he would defund

  • Congressional Republicans nearly shut down the government last year trying to defund Planned Parenthood

  • Congressional Republicans launched a bogus investigation of Planned Parenthood last summer based on equally bogus Americans United for Life “research” and gave Susan G. Komen for the Cure an excuse to discontinue their partnership with the organization

  • In Texas, Governor Perry decided he would rather low-income women go without preventative health care than have them receive it from Planned Parenthood.


Transvaginal Probes

  • Legislators in 13 states have introduced 22 bills seeking to mandate that a woman obtain an ultrasound procedure before having an abortion. Of these, 7 states are pursuing the staterape vaginal probe variety.


Insurance Coverage

  • Legislators in 11 states (AL, IN, KS, MI, NE, OK, OR, SC, TX, UT and WV) have introduced 18 measures that would restrict abortion coverage under all private health insurance plans.

  • Legislators in 23 states (AL, AR, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, MI, MT, NE, NJ, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TX, UT, VA and WV) introduced 49 measures that apply to exchange coverage.





TRAP Bills

  • Mississippi legislators using arbitrary standards to attempt to close the states single remaining abortion clinic

  • 11 states already have instituted arbitrary standards for abortion clinics with the sole purpose of shutting down increasingly rare clinics

Just purely WTF bills

State legislator craziness

  • Georgia legislator Rep Terry England compares women to cows and pigs on his farm in support of bill forcing women to carry even unviable fetuses to term.

  • Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett justifies forced ultrasound bill by telling women to “just close your eyes.”