Ever since rookie Texas senator, Ted Cruz swaggered onto Capitol Hill, I have been asking myself why? why would an apparently intelligent, accomplished man willingly play the fool 24/7? At first, I was pretty much dumbfounded but, having watched and listened and examined the evidence for over six months now, I think I’m beginning to discern a sort of cynical method to Cruz’s madness.
At this point in time, I’m pretty well convinced that Ted Cruz truly believes that he is smarter than 99% of humankind. And, who knows, if I had graduated from Harvard Law, argued before the Supreme Court and then immersed myself in Texans, I might think the same.
Being full of oneself, especially in America, is no crime. God help us if it were. But there’s an extra, dark dimension to Cruz, something Machiavellian that lurks just below the surface.
Take his latest hobbyhorse—shutting down the government to defund Obamacare. The most solidly bipartisan effort in six years of US federal politics, it turns out, has been the effort on both sides of the aisle to tell Senators Lee, Cruz and Rubio to STFU! and sit down.
WASHINGTON DC—July 30, 2013— With millions of consumers making the move to glass houses, stone concessions—kiosks that dispense hefty rocks suitable for hurling through plate glass—were thought to be part of a dying industry, a relic like typewriter ribbon production plants and “Wite-Out” factories. But a new piece by WashingtonPost.com “On Faith” columnist Sally Quinn has unexpectedly breathed life into a waning economic sector.
In a column entitled “Blaming Huma Abedin,” Quinn outlines her objections to Anthony Wiener’s wife’s decision to stand by the pixyish peen-pix purveyor rather than doing something more dignified, such as finding a rich, married managing editor to hump and then parlaying that opportunity into a lofty nepotism perch from which to lord it over the Beltway social scene for the next 50 years.
“I’m telling you, this industry was on its last legs, what with the loss of privacy thanks to the Internet and people’s growing sense that they could attract an incoming barrage if they let stones fly at a neighbor’s glass house in a particularly hypocritical manner,” said Bash Brickbat, proprietor of Ye Olde Stone Shoppe, a colorfully painted pushcart on K Street.
“I mean, everyone is a little hypocritical, but come on. Sally’s column landed like a meteor in the side of the Hoover Dam, just sending hypocrisy gushing through the wall and flooding the valley,” Brickbat continued. “This is emboldening a whole new bunch of eye-mote removers with beams of their own. It’s like that time Bill Kristol accused someone of being wrong about Iraq.”
When read the following excerpt from Quinn’s column, several throwing-stone industry analysts responded with incredulity and terminated a reporter’s call, concluding that they were victims of a prank:
I have nothing against Abedin. I like her: She is a lovely, gracious, intelligent woman. I ache for her need to come to the rescue of this man who has betrayed her so often and will likely do it again. I ache for all women who find themselves in this position. And yet, there she stood in front of the cameras, this modern American career woman, by her man, saying she had forgiven him, loved him and believed in him. Just what exactly does she believe in? The only thing she can believe in for sure is that he will continue his infidelity.
Though her friends say she is strong and resolute and defiant, sadly she makes all women look like weak and helpless victims. She was not standing there in a position of strength. It was such a setback for women everywhere.
Other analysts urged caution at the prospect of a tossing-stone industry resurgence sparked by Quinn’s column:
“Look, the Washington Post shunted Quinn off to their online edition years ago because she’s such an embarrassment,” said one analyst, under the condition of anonymity. “You can think Wiener’s an eFlasher who would make a terrible mayor, and you can believe Abedin’s an idiot for putting up with his bullshit.
You can even imagine that Abedin’s choice somehow reflects badly on every other woman on the planet, though to make that leap, it helps if you’re psychotic. But you don’t publicly tut-tut ‘infidelity,’ not if you’re Sally Fucking Quinn.”
You know, I am not surprised that Iowa Rep. Steve King is hanging in regarding the jackass comments he made regarding drug mule immigrants with calves like cantaloupes from schlepping as much as 75 lbs of reefer (on foot!) across the desert. This is who he is. This is what he says all the time. He’s been a US Representative since 2003 with these very views. He’s been a birther. He gets on tv. John Boehner can comment on King’s actions, but you know what? He doesn’t penalize him by taking away his position on any committees. He doesn’t call for a censure.
And Steve King isn’t alone. Take Louie Gohmert. He recently went out of his way to compare the civil rights of minorities to that of “snail darters” and other assorted wildlife. This is a guy who rambled on about “terror babies” He’s been a US Representative since 2005. He says crazy shit all the time. Doesn’t hurt him any. If anything, he grows stronger in the Derp side of the Force every day.
People can talk about there being lines you can’t cross in our political discourse, and maybe to an extent, they might try and classify racism as being a certain line—but that line isn’t in the same place in every region of the country. And these guys kind of show that even if there is a line you don’t cross—as such, it can be politically profitable (to them, anyway) to come up to that line, sometimes, and just kick the bejesus out of it.
And I tend to believe that the kind of person who would return a Steve King or a Louie Gohmert to Congress for term after term? Probably is not susceptible to shame over their shenanigans either. I have wondered if these folks are like villagers who just send their idiot to Washington so that they can have a vacation from him, but no. I think they are more like people who have mistakenly become pursuaded that political contests are not about establishing who is a more competent office-holder, but a bid for who might be a more attention-getting mascot.
This is sad, and I am not sure what the corrective would be.
This has to be one of the funniest, most telling, FoxNews clips I’ve seen since Karl Rove’s election night freakout last year.
Reza Aslan is a scholar with a number of popular books on religion to his credit. His latest is a book about Jesus’ life and times titled Zealot. Zealot has created quite a hubbub amongst the books-about-Jesus-audience, who are upset, to say the least, about some of Aslan’s premises and conclusions. Amazon Reviews is burning up with some old-time religion hate. That’s predictable.
Down through the ages lots and lots of religion scholars and enthusiasts have weighed in on the sparse facts of Jesus’ life and come to varying conclusions. Those writers have come in every shape, color and religious background. It’s an interesting topic to some. Admittedly, I haven’t read the book, I’ve only listened to interviews, but none of what I’ve heard of Aslan’s ideas sound like revolutionary departures from what’s always been kicking around on the subject.
I’m also old enough to remember the fuss that surrounded the debut of Jesus Christ, Superstar on Broadway. For a short while, it was an apocalyptic event (which certainly didn’t hurt ticket sales) and eventually the show, deemed blasphemous by some, was permitted to make millions of dollars in performances and license fees forever and ever, amen. Because, as we all know, from the Dominionists, Jesus is a free market fan.
The thing that is astonishing about this Fox incident is that it takes over nine minutes of airtime for this veteran FoxNews correspondent to wrap her mind around the idea that a Muslim has written a book about Jesus. She projects, without overtly saying it—“how dare you?” That’s really the whole [only] point of the long-ish segment.
A lot of folks have already taken a swat at the following religio-comic-absurdist story and moved on but, as I’m a gay woman of the 21st century, I feel a certain sense of entitlement to get my own licks in when the anti-gay crusaders of the Religious Right make particular fools of themselves.
Twinkle Cavanaugh (real name) is the duly elected President of the Alabama Public Services Commission that oversees statewide public utilities. Twinkle called a hearing to discuss state utility rate structures and asked John Delwin Jordan to testify at that hearing. It’s unclear to me what qualifies Jordan, a Baptist minister and President of the Prattville (real name) TEA Party, to address utility rate structures but, then, lots of things bewilder me these days.
Nevertheless, testify Jordan did—he testified for JESUS! Here’s that, captured on tape.
Zimmerman trial juror B29 is muddying the waters for those who claimed the proceedings should have never happened in the first place since Zimmerman was clearly justified in shooting Trayvon Martin. B29’s comments reveal her own conflicts about the case, but more importantly, they make plain the fundamental flaw with Florida’s version of “Stand Your Ground”—that it shifts the burden of proof from the living to the dead and leaves jurors who clearly perceive an injustice no remedy under the law to address it.
Via valued commenter Rikyrah, here’s a link to a piece published this week by Joy-Ann Reid, current MSNBC analyst and former Miami Herald reporter, about why she’s avoiding Florida because of the “Stand Your Ground” law. The whole thing is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts:
But right now, I’m giving Florida a rest. I’m not joining a mass boycott, just a personal one. And it’s not because I simply don’t like the outcome of a particular second-degree murder trial… I’m quitting Florida tourism for now, because my conscience won’t let me travel to a state that I love, but where it’s not safe for my sons to walk the streets…
In Florida, and 22 other states with similar laws, but particularly in Florida because of how Stand Your Ground was written, anyone who finds you threatening has a license to shoot you, based solely on the perception in their mind that you were threatening to hurt them. You don’t even have to actually hurt them. As long as a jury of as few as six people believe it was reasonable for them to fear you, they will walk…
Since the law passed, the number of “justifiable homicides” in Florida has tripled, and the number of concealed-carry permits has ballooned to 1.5 million people. That’s one in 17 adults. Police organizations vociferously opposed the law, but their voices were nothing compared with Pistol-Packing Marion [Hammer, NRA lobbyist] and her bottomless pocket full of ideas for laws that make carrying guns less legally risky for gun owners, and more risky for anyone unfortunate enough to freak them out…
That last line demonstrates how a stupid law like SYG cheapens and degrades the quality of life in a very real way. Zimmerman has already rearmed himself, and the state is crawling with paranoid gun-toters who now have even less incentive to allow the cops to handle “suspicious” persons or avoid or deescalate confrontations.
But nothing will change. As Reid notes, the politicians down here are too cowardly to stand up to the NRA, which makes them a lot like the US Congress. The crooked greed-head who purchased the Florida governorship for $77 million in 2010 has refused to call a special session of the wingnut-majority legislature to review SYG, and even if they did, they’d reaffirm it.
It is delivering on its original objective, after all: It is generating profits for gun manufacturers.
I had to run out at lunch time because there was nothing to eat in the house (well, nothing we wanted to eat), and I had a hankering for this Middle Eastern restaurant that puts some sort of addictive agent in the tabouli that makes you crave it fortnightly. My teenage daughter is flopping around the house for another month until school starts, and having never developed a tabouli addiction, she thinks a certain crappy sandwich from a crappy chain co-located with the local fuel emporium is haute cuisine and demands it weekly.
In an effort to accommodate her while also securing my tabouli fix—all within the space of half an hour so I could return home to conduct business—I hatched a plan: I would phone in my take-out order at the Middle Eastern joint, visit the drive-through ATM at the bank to obtain cash for my daughter, drop her off at the sandwich/gas station with cash so she could place her order and pay for it, swing by and pick up my lunch, then retrieve my daughter and go home to eat.
Well, of course they would be repaving the drive-through lanes at the bank, so we couldn’t just swoop through for the cash. I parked and walked up to the wall-mounted ATM outside the bank, probably for the first time in years.
There were three people ahead of me in line. We all waited a polite distance from the elderly lady who was actually at the ATM. The poor thing was clearly flummoxed by the sorcery required to get the machine to dispense money. I’m guessing she usually deals with the tellers in the drive-through bank with their quaint pneumatic tubes but was unable to access their services due to the repaving.
She inserted her card and tried to operate the touch screen from the keypad. She retrieved her card and reinserted it. She made bewildered noises and tapped her foot and randomly pressed buttons, each time ejecting and reinserting the card. Those of us in queue were willing to help, I think, but there’s an etiquette involved in ATM interactions among strangers, so we couldn’t just walk up to the secret screen, could we? I would have totally helped if she’d asked.
Tick-tock-tick-tock. Finally, I decided, awfuckit, I’d just go into the gas station/sandwich counter with the kid, pay for her damn lunch with my debit card and then go to the Middle Eastern place and pay for my tabouli with my card. So off we went. Luckily, there were only two people ahead of us at the sandwich counter. But when the woman right before us prepared to give her order, my heart sank as I saw her consult a clutch of sticky-notes affixed to separate piles of bills.
She was apparently ordering lunch for several people in her office, inspired by a combo coupon. There was much confusion around which items were actually eligible for the discount, and as she questioned the sandwich maker about it, I stifled the urge to offer to buy lunch for her entire goddamn office if she’d just make a fucking coherent fucking order already. Fuck!
When that crisis passed and the sandwiches were being assembled, the focus turned to individual preferences for sandwich toppings – preferences that struck us as insanely precise. For example, on one sandwich, mayonnaise was to be applied only to the side of the bread that was not touching cheese. On another six-inch sandwich, mustard was to be included only on a three-inch segment since two coworkers were splitting that one.
Once these instructions were carried out in precise detail and each sandwich was bagged, each had to be rung up and paid for separately, with change from every order deposited in separate compartments of the woman’s cavernous purse. In one case, a hefty percentage of the total price was to be paid in pennies, and she came up short, so she had to put that one on her personal credit card. I bet the orderer is STILL catching hell for it.
Finally, we ordered our one puny sandwich, paid and got the hell out of there. I joked to my daughter to look for the old lady at the ATM as we passed to see if she was still trying to extract money. She wasn’t at the ATM, but she was at the cash register of the Middle Eastern place, trying to figure out what to order. While we waited behind her to get our take-out, she asked the man behind the counter to explain what “kofta” is, expound on the ingredients in falafel and enlighten her on the mysteries of the rotating gyro log. Ultimately, she decided to take a menu and leave without ordering anything.
Outwardly, I was polite and impassive, but inwardly, I was seething with rage and impatience. Then I realized how stupid that was. I recalled a funny paragraph from “Cloud Atlas” from a character who experiences a forced exile from his past life:
“We—by whom I mean anyone over sixty—commit two offenses just by existing. One is Lack of Velocity. We drive too slowly, walk too slowly, talk too slowly. The world will do business with dictators, perverts, and drug barons of all stripes, but being slowed down it cannot abide. Our second offence is being Everyman’s memento mori. The world can only get comfy in shiny-eyed denial if we are out of sight.”
I was in a hurry, but that was my problem, not anyone else’s. The sandwich lady probably drew the short straw to place that asshole order for her office, was ordered to do so by an oppressive dick of a boss or was kind enough to take on such an obnoxious and thankless task out of the goodness of her heart.
The old lady at the ATM and House of Tabouli was just trying to figure things out. There’s no law requiring her to do so on my timetable. From now on, I’m just going to chill the fuck out about it. I hope.
*Yes, I know that translates into Rage Against the Automatic Teller Machine Machine. Work with me here.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Planet Xanax), consummate Washington insider playing the role of Grassroots Greg has just come up with his most delusional idea, yet, for getting attention: close down the government if President Obama refuses to defund his own signature health reform law. Snap!
This is like a kid who gets sent to timeout for throwing a tantrum and decides to throw a bigger tantrum to protest. Smart kids don’t do it . . .
And although Sen. Lee is, by all accounts, a pretty smart kid, his base? not so much. A vast majority of them will be quite gratified to watch their TEA Party senator make trouble for Obama any way he can—the more theatrical, the better.
Politicians, unlike most of the rest of the species, don’t mind making total asses of themselves if they believe that’ll get them re-elected but I think Sen. Lee, and his party may be overestimating their banged up party’s ability to keep bouncing back from self-inflicted injuries.
Think about it . . . Lee and others in the GOP know that every minute that ticks by brings us closer to full implementation of Obamacare. And, every day that goes by brings more good news about ACA’s benefits to the economy, consumers and health care providers. If something doesn’t happen quick to derail Obamacare, well, that train is bound for glory. Leaving conservatives with a lot of #GOPFAIL on their faces.
We’ve all known a guy like Ted Cruz, at one time or another . . . he’s the “legend in his own mind” who lurks around the periphery while others do the heavy lifting, then swoops in to point out that everything the mere mortals have done is utterly stupid and wrong, wrong, wrong.
So it is that Sen. Cruz is suddenly appearing anywhere there’s a hot mic to pronounce the Senate’s immigration reform bill “profoundly unfair.” That, and his own immigration policy website, too, where you can show Sen. Cruz some cash money love while learning how he would not do things if he were king. [How he would do things? well, maybe he’ll tell us more about that later when he thinks it up]
The part that Cruz finds “profoundly unfair” is the “path to citizenship” for the 11 million souls that slipped through our border with Mexico, very often risking their lives to pursue their American Dream. Unfortunately, many did that without benefit of INS red tape, which was no problemo for thousands of American employers who welcomed the newcomers’ willingness to work around the clock for way below minimum wage and no bennies.
Because all of that was still so much better than where they came from.
I have been in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and, I am not entirely averse to admitting, reasonably certain I have broken a few of their retrograde antisex laws while I was there. Actually, I think I was probably there with the explicit intention of probably getting around to doing some of the things their legislators in times of yore believed were, ahem, “icky”.
I have to admit to complete and total mystification regarding a candidate for governor who persists in being, you know. That guy. But I have a larger point to make, other than admitting to being at least kind of sort of the exact people Cooch is interested in legally persuing for, I guess, having some kind of fun in Virginia not explicitly associated with, like, a water park or maybe Colonial Williamsburg. Did you hear about this thing regarding the current governor, Bob McDonnell, who was kind of warned against as being a total retrograde antisex theocrat who sort of kind of turned out to be also a grifter? Well, some of that grifterism allegation is looking to backwash on Cuccinelli.
Huh. Taking gifts as a government official? That blows. Probably should be, like, illegal or something, right? I guess ethics is what you make of it. Or at least, if you’re Ken Cuccinelli, you legislate bedroom morality, but in the taxpayer-funded office? Anything goes!
It took a little over 24 hours for Jennifer Rubin to catch her breath, after the conservo-gastic news broke that the Cheney Dynasty lives and plans to run for public office. It was then, that a reborn Rubin tapped out her homage: Liz Cheney How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways to grace the pages of The Washington Post.
And what a load of fluffy crap it is. Rubin settled on the lazy journalist’s friend, the listicle-format, to sketch in her Top Ten Reasons that Liz Cheney is a great Senate candidate—and it’s pretty obvious that she ran out of steam (and nice things to say about Cheney) somewhere around Item #4. If these are her top ten, we really don’t want to see the rest of the list.
Also, I should note that Rubin knows she’s somewhat out on a limb with this particular viewpoint, here’s how she opens her article list:
The clubby Senate and many in the press already are snickering at Liz Cheney’s run for the Senate.
But, of course, Rubin sometimes likes to be all maverick-y, despite her past slavish devotion to Willard Romney, the Wonder Bread of the GOP.
While the rest of us were totally absorbed, yesterday, with the prospect of Mean Girls taking up in the Senate, House Republicans were diligently doing what House Republicans do best on those rare occasions when they do anything at all: i.e., voting down a sensible amendment, proposed by Democrats, that is overwhelmingly in the best interest of the American people.
Allow me to explain . . . the House Appropriations Committee is currently considering a Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Rep. David Price (D-NC) offered an amendment to the bill that would have blocked suspected terrorists on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch list from purchasing firearms and explosives.
Seems like a good idea, eh? Well, not to the 29 Republicans on the committee who defeated the amendment on a party-line vote 19 - 29. And this isn’t the first time such legislation has been defeated before it gets out of the gate. The rationale? (and there always is one) that the FBI might make a mistake and put some innocent, law-abiding prospective gun-toter on the list because . . . Big Brother makes those kinds of “mistakes” to rob American citrizens of their God-given right to pack heat.
In 2011, the NRA issued a directive to legislators who were considering both a House (H.R. 1506, Rep. Peter King R-NY) and a Senate bill (S34 Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ) aimed at cutting off weapons sales to terror suspects. The NRA’s position was variably, it’s not needed - terrorists already can’t buy weapons; it won’t work, anyway; and, of course, the terrible potential for abuse - such a law would hand the FBI arbitrary power over who can have a gun.
Liz Cheney, 2012 poster child for Obama Derangement Syndrome, has poked her head up out of Jackson Hole to announce that, while unpacking her carpet bag, she discovered a vocation to represent the good people of her new home, Wyoming, in the US Senate.
It isn’t that La Liz thinks that three-term incumbent Republican senator Mike Enzi has done a particularly “bad” job, per se, it’s just that she knows that, as Liz Cheney, recipient of the Cheney Political Genome, she could do ever so much better in every way. Plus, she’d be able to spend most of her time in her real-life home, Virginia.
Besides, Enzi should understand, she’s not really running against him, at least “in her own private Wyoming,” Cheney is running against Obama - a losing battle if ever there was one but, here’s the proof:
This is a clip from an interview with Juror B37 from the Zimmerman trial who was given a pretty soft interview by Anderson Cooper. She has a book deal lined up to discuss a variety of things, like, I guess, how she made up her mind before the trial, and how she thinks that peaceful demonstrations that actually got a trial to come about were “riots”, how this trial was certainly not about race (Heavens!)and a whole lot of other odd foolishness compelling details.
In America, one can sometimes be assured of getting a jury of one’s peers.
I think it’s interesting that she referred to the defendant in the trial as “George” throughout the interview and that she wholly believed the testimony of a man who did not testify. I will look forward to seeing her story on the remainders table at the 99Cent Store.
Can a too-tight hatband cut off circulation to the brain, causing the wearer to babble stupid things uncontrollably? Two influential wingnut race-baiters may need to adjust the fit of their trademark fedoras. Here’s a screen shot of the current front page of The Drudge Report:
These assholes have such a boner for racially tinged violence that they’ll just flat make shit up if protests are mostly peaceful, and from what I gather on legitimate news sites, they were, aside from a handful of arrests here and there. It’s hardly “America in Flames!”—to the palpable disappointment of many.
Here is Roger L. Simon, another fedora-sporting douche-barge:
By injecting himself in a minor Florida criminal case by implying Martin could be his son, the president of the United States — a onetime law lecturer, of all things — disgraced himself and his office, made a mockery of our legal system and exacerbated racial tensions in our country, making them worse than they have been in years. This is the work of a reactionary, someone who consciously/unconsciously wants to push our nation back to the 1950s.
Yeah, I’m sure Barack Obama wants to go back to the 1950s so his parents can get arrested for miscegenation, he can use the separate bathroom facilities and not eat at the Woolworth’s lunch counter. Simon probably tries to fit the fedora on his ass and elbows every morning before remembering that it goes on his empty head.