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A poll released this week found that, for the first time since leaving office, former president George W. Bush has attained a net positive favorability rating.

The Republican party seized on this news, and immediately abandoned its widely touted rebranding strategy.

No longer would GOP office holders and seekers need to pretend that women's brains function as effectively as men's; or that their vaginas can't automatically shut that whole rape thing down.

Plans to address the country's changing demographics through comprehensive immigration reform were adiosed in favor of a more hetero approach.

And to top it all off, Sarah Palin was given her old Fox News job back.

Unfortunately for Republicans, the reheated shit sandwich they're serving up has a very limited shelf life.

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA); Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO); Roundtable: Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Former Director of the NSA/CIA Gen. Michael Hayden, David Ignatius (Washington Post), James Risen (New York Times) and Andrea Mitchell (NBC News).

Face the Nation: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Roundtable: David Corn (Mother Jones), Barton Gellman (TIME), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal) and Rick Stengel (TIME).

This Week: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R); Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Martha Raddatz (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: Former Vice President Dick Cheney (R); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), GOP Strategist Karl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI); Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Peter Baker (New York Times); Nia-Malika Henderson (Washington Post); Ray Suarez (PBS); A.B. Stoddard (The Hill); Reliable Sources: Glenn Greenwald (The Guardian); Paul Farhi (Washington Post); Lynn Sweet (Chicago Sun-Times); Chris Cuomo (CNN); James Poniewozi (TIME).

The Chris Matthews Show: Chuck Todd (NBC News); Katty Kay (BBC); Kelly O'Donnell (NBC News); David Ignatius (Washington Post).

Evening lineup:
60 Minutes will feature: a report on Immigration and Customs Enforcement's bust of the largest drug trafficking cartel ever (preview); a report on the world's largest eye-wear company, the Italian firm Luxottica (preview); and, a report on Barcelona's soccer team, which is considered by some to be the best of all time (preview).

On Comedy Central...

"Daily Show" guest host John Oliver's plans to take it easy this summer were disrupted by revelations about the NSA's domestic surveillance activities.


Monday: Actress Linda Cardellini

Tuesday: Actor/Comedian Jim Gaffigan

Wednesday: Documentary Filmmaker Dawn Porter

Thursday: Tom Brokaw (NBC News)

And Stephen Colbert joined Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz in denouncing NYC's totalitarian/socialist bike share program.

The Colbert Report

Monday: Former Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME)

Tuesday: Author Jeremy Scahill

Wednesday: Musical Group The Postal Service

Thursday: Director Joss Whedon

Elsewhere...

Christmas came early to Texas.

During the signing of Texas' "Merry Christmas Bill" on Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a rather shocking claim.

"Religious freedom does not mean freedom from religion," Perry declared at the State Capitol building in Austin before signing HB 308, which allows public schools to display scenes and symbols of "traditional winter holidays." [...]

The U.S. Constitution specifically forbids government preference of one religion over another. A state law called the "Merry Christmas Bill," if only by its name, would seem to defy that principle.

Meanwhile...

Rick Perry's fellow theocrat, Rick Santorum, took the words right out of President Obama's mouth.

Rick Santorum said Thursday that Republicans squandered an opportunity to really exploit an out-of-context quote from President Barack Obama that took on a life of its own in last year's campaign.  [...]

"One after another, they talked about the business they had built. But not a single—not a single—factory worker went out there," Santorum said at the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, as quoted by Politico. "Not a single janitor, waitress or person who worked in that company! We didn't care about them. You know what? They built that company too! And we should have had them on that stage."

And, in tangentially-related news...

"Traditional marriage" supporter Rep. Ralph Hall accidentally indoctrinated himself into the gay lifestyle.

Maybe it's not so hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

At least, that's what some were thinking after Texas Rep. Ralph Hall showed up at an LGBT event for the Victory Fund last week, as the Rockwall Republican sipped his drink and made polite conversation.

As it turns out, Hall and his staffers were under the impression that they were attending an event for a fellow congressman, an event scheduled for that same day. After being welcomed into the event and offered refreshments, Hall inquired about the congressman whom he was there to support. After being told that he was indeed in the wrong place, the longtime conservative quickly left the premises — that is, as quickly as a 90-year-old can physically leave a premises.

Taste the rainbow.

- Trix

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