Friday, October 04, 2013
Sunt Lacrimae Rerum
Call me the eternal optimist, but there’s a little part of me that thinks we might just get somewhere with this discharge petition thing, largely because I’ve lost the last bit of faith or patience I’ve had for the Squeaker of the House. Yes, there is the possibility that this kind of move will cause him to play “harder ball” over the debt ceiling—
And I find myself fresh out of fucks. He’s at this point promised Christmas to his Tea Party caucus, implied he would not permit a debt default regardless, but still wants to play games with both the normal functioning of the government and debt ceiling talks while bellowing that this is not “some damn game”.
Well, of course it’s not some damn game. So he might as well stop playing, because as Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell have helpfully and inadvertantly informed us, the White House is at least being privately as well as publically consistent in their message. Boehner can’t even keep his public face on straight. If you don’t have the cards, at some point you have to fold or show, to borrow a gaming metaphor. And then everyone will know.
And yes, there is the possibility that Boehner will lose his Speakership over dealing fairly and in a bipartisan way—and once again, I am out of fucks. He can end doing something correct, or he can end looking for “no disrespect” from the disrespectful Tea Party monster that both got him his speakership, but brought him to this ugly impasse. It can be argued that he might be replaced with someone worse—I would respond that once he became so hollow inside that the arm of freshman Senator Ted Cruz conveniently fit inside and made his mouth work, I no longer thought worse was necessarily probable. I think the ad nicely delivers the blame and points in the direction of what is truly embarassing about this situation. It’s either Boehner’s call what he does about it, or he’s about as weak in that position as we already guessed.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged. )
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/04/13 at 04:27 PM
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
House Leadership Suffering From Stockholm Syndrome
We’ve all gotten pretty used to the awkward and adolescent creative flair of Republican attempts at public relations, campaign materials, logos, banners and direct mail. We’ve seen the photo-chops, the noir-ish videos and the just plain lame mailers that just tickle some leftover gene for neanderthal art appreciation that hangs on in the ultra-conservative brain.
The photo above is pretty typical. It features the rather bizarre, recent attachment Republicans exhibit for “empty chair” imagery and the sophomoric poses struck are classic GOP. You can almost hear the “closed door” conversation that resulted in this brain fart:
Ryan: Hey guys, guys—how about I look really po’ed at having to wait.
Cantor: C’mon Libtards, whatcha waiting for? Wilkommen, bienvenu, welcome! Let’s solve some American problems!
Of course this photo should be captioned “We refused to do this 18 times since April because LEVERAGE!”
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 10/02/13 at 09:41 AM
Monday, September 30, 2013
A Piece of Unsolicited Advice from the Constituency
Meet Rep. John Abney Culberson (R-Loon Star State) who is so tickled over the prospects of his beloved TEA Party Caucus shutting down the government that he allowed the testosterone to totally go to his head and uttered these ill-chosen words as he exited Saturday’s GOP House caucus meeting:
It’s like 9/11. Let’s roll!
It’s not a thing, it’s NOTHING like 9/11, you ignorant chucklehead.
Now, in deference to my fellow bloggers here at RumpRoast, I won’t take up the space here that it would take to describe my feelings of abject disgust over the sheer dick-headed crass, crapitude that is embodied in that unfortunate false equivalence of real heroes with the whiny losers [both literal and figurative] throwing a prolonged tantrum in our nation’s capitol. The only thing they might have in common with those 9/11 heroes is that they already know they are dead so they might as well destroy the whole shebang as they go down.
Suffice it to say I think Culberson is a hare-brained cracker who could only get elected in Texas.
Which brings me to my second point: Republican sane people—WAKE UP! These asshats are about to torpedo your party once and for all. They represent 13% of the American electorate, the certifiable portion, but they are convinced that they represent a huge majority and they are going to take you down.
Meathead Culberson will survive, though, because he hails from a firmly gerry-rigged district. But that is certainly not the case for all of you, as reported so well in Down With Tyranny today:
There are at least 32 Republicans who, unlike Culberson, can’t win reelection without independent voters. And, unlike Republicans, independent voters do not back this government shut down.
You folks are on that plane with Culberson. You know who you are. You still have time to keep him away from the cockpit and put him in a straightjacket.
Oh, and Speaker Boehner? you might consider manning up at the eleventh hour and putting a clean CR to a vote. If you do, it will pass. The nut-jobs in your party will not be pleased, They might even take away your gavel. But, at least you’ll be able to look the man in the mirror in the eye, tomorrow.
Posted by Bette Noir on 09/30/13 at 09:41 AM
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Cast Your Vote for Worst Hyperbolic Comparison Right Here at RUMPROAST!
In the last few days some absurdly over the top and hilarious (or disgusting depending on your point of view) comparisons have been made. Here’s a straw poll to decide which one is the most craptastic:
1. Aptly named Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) compares efforts by himself and other Republican Congresspeeps to defund Obamacare to the actions of Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King. Because fighting to deny affordable health care for people is exactly the same as fighting to secure civil rights and freedom for other people.
2. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) compares the Obamacare defunders to Revolutionary War soldiers. He admits that he’s fighting a losing battle on the defunding front but manages to massage his comparison so that a small heroic group of Revolutionaries rallied the masses who apparently were just fine with British oppression up to then. Bonus points for re-writing history!
3. And last but by no means least, Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG goes all the way there and compares public anger at the large AIG bonuses paid out after the company crashed itself and most of the economy to lynchings of black people in the South. Yes. Actual quote: “The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.” I can’t even . . . well, ‘nuff said.
Cast your votes in comments but myself, I gotta go with door #3.
Posted by marindenver on 09/24/13 at 12:20 PM
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Do Republicans Still Really Get to Comment On What Constitutes An Embarrassment to America?
Reince Priebus might look like just another derpy little buttoned-down Republican guy, on the outside, but obviously the man has gigundo big brass ones to stand in front of a microphone and utter these words:
The administration’s handling of the U.S. response to Syria has been so haphazard it’s disappointed even the president’s most ardent supporters. This rudderless diplomacy has embarrassed America on the world stage. For a president who campaigned on building American credibility abroad, the lack of leadership coming from the Oval Office is astounding.
Since I am left speechless, I’m reduced to reacting pictorially:
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 09/11/13 at 08:08 AM
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Up On a Tightrope
A lot of folks, on both sides of the political spectrum, have expressed some amount of surprise that House Republican leaders have come out so unequivocally and forcefully in support of President Obama’s plan to carry out a military strike against the Syrian regime for its use of chemical weapons on its own population.
I, myself, would like to go on record as not the least little bit surprised by that development. Let’s face it, it sucks to be a Republican in Obama’s second term. It’s one thing to keep a straight face for four years of birthers, conspiracy theories, socialism, creeping sharia and Agenda 21 if it’ll get you the cracker factory vote. But now, given the cyclical nature of government business, it’s time to act the fool all over again for very diminished returns.
For nine long months, Republicans have been biding their time, waiting for another chance to take a whack at the economy. That doesn’t mean they had a clue or anything approaching a consensus on how they would play it, nevertheless they were ready to rumble—nine whole days in September, to threaten a government shutdown. Then, round about the holidays, the BIG EVENT - debt limit, dundundun.
On August 1st, no one would have predicted that a punitive attack on Syria would zip to the top of the agenda. When Republicans went off to their home districts and summer vacations, they were all about defunding Obamacare, shutting down the government, defaulting on their debt and trying to forget their humiliating Farm Bill debacle.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 09/04/13 at 09:19 AM
Tuesday, September 03, 2013
This weekend, President Obama partially convinced John “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb” McCain and his zany sidekick, Lindsey “More Butch than 10,000 Teabaggers” Graham, of the wisdom of his Syria intervention policy. The hotheaded duo imply they were lured onboard by assurances of extra ka-booms, covert operations and other cool war-stuff executed by not-their-kids.
Good for Obama for passing the Syria hot potato to Congress, as is right and proper. But this Obama supporter will be rooting for Congress to say no. Having McCain on the “other side” makes that a little easier.
McCain, who had previously rejected the administration’s Syria intervention proposals because he deemed them too soft, and who surely knows that the public will reject a full-blown war as too hard, requires a war footing that his Goldilocks sense gauges as “just right.” McCain and Graham’s comments after their weekend meeting with the president signaled their tentative willingness to climb into the sack: McCain said a vote against the authorization of force resolution “would be catastrophic” and “undermine the credibility of the United States.”
But as Steve Benen notes, that rationale doesn’t make much sense:
By his reasoning, any time any president prepares to use military force abroad, Congress must agree or risk undermining the credibility of the United States. But what if lawmakers have sincere policy differences with an administration and they’re right to oppose intervention abroad? To hear McCain tell it, that wouldn’t much matter—lawmakers should feel an obligation to approve a resolution anyway.
And, as Benen also noted, McCain and his South Carolina appendage appear poised to withdraw their support if they deem the strike plans insufficiently warlike after the details emerge. Sadly, this pair of Klingon wannabes is what passes for foreign policy “wise men” in the Republican Party.
With Boehner now signaling his willingness to go along, it’s clear that Obama has dialed the correct sleep number into the GOPosturepedic—so far. How far rightward is he willing to be dragged to keep their support, if at all? Launching an attack on another country invites all sorts of unpredictable outcomes, which is one reason it truly should be a last resort. Aligning an agenda with the likes of McCain, Graham, Boehner, etc., also has all kinds of potential for blow-back. Still thinking this is a mistake.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 09/03/13 at 11:04 AM
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Widespread Outbreak of Impeachment Fever Plagues Red States
Well. It’s now almost a year since the GOP continued its losing streak of four out of the last six presidential elections, not including the Supreme Court intervention in 2000 that accounted for one of the two wins.
Despite the brief euphoria of the 2010 House invasion, the Republican party is bitterly staggering its way through the Five Stages of Grief only to arrive at the looming death star called Hillary. Having spent quite a lot of time in the Denial Stage and then basking in the energizing glow of the Anger Stage, punch-drunk Republicans arrived at the Bargaining Stage just in time for the long Dog Days Recess.
Unfortunately, this “stage” is not following the script, and feckless legislators are not even safe in their own Town Hall meetings which are being disrupted by hecklers from the Left and the Right. Several Republicans have been caught flat-footed by constituents who want to know “what’s so bad about Obamacare?” on one side alongside rabble-rousers who want their representatives to “shut down the government like a man!”
It’s a minefield out there . . . of their own making.
So it is that recently some creative party geniuses have revived that old crowd-pleasing favorite “Impeachment” from the GOP playbook. I guess because it’s always worked so well for them . . . ?
Since Obamacare has gotten to be pretty moldy “red meat,” impeachment serves as a tasty, home-cooked comfort food for the disgruntled base. Plus, it covers a multitude of grievances: hate Obama’s policies—foreign and domestic—impeach him! hate that Obama is an uppity foreign, socialist, gay-loving, culture war-instigating oligarch? impeach him! hate Obama for having the temerity to be a black man in the White House? impeach him! hate Obama’s wife, his kids, his vacation plans? impeach his ass!!1!!
See how that works? Don’t tamp down the anger and hate—redirect it.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 08/24/13 at 08:10 AM
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Hope and Change: 2014 Edition
Alex Isenstadt offered up his opinion, on Politico, this morning, that the best thing that could happen to Democrats this fall would be a GOP-led government shutdown which “could revive their [Democrats] fading hopes of capturing the House next year.”
This is not a novel thought. Politicians and pundits have been theorizing, since last November, about what kinds of leverage are still available to congressional Republicans and how they might use them to best advantage. The schizoid Republican internal debate has raged, quite publicly and most of the tactics that have emerged tend toward quixotic, but ideologically pure, symbolic gestures that would, for the most part, make them look worse than they already do.
Here’s how Isenstadt sees things shaping up:
As it stands now, the midterm is shaping up as a stale, status-quo election — with Democrats calling their counterparts right-wing extremists, Republicans attacking their rivals over Obamacare and neither side making much headway. That’s good for Republicans, since the party out of power in the White House almost inevitably picks up House seats in the sixth year of the presidency. Heavily-gerrymandered districts provide the GOP an extra layer of protection.
Nothing short of a powerful jolt — a moment that grabs casual voters by the lapels and makes them take notice — is likely to alter the landscape in a dramatic way.
From a purely historical perspective it’s hard to argue with Isenstadt’s premise. Nevertheless, the paralyzed government that we are all experiencing today is ahistorical and I believe that it’s very possible that it won’t take a government shutdown or debt default to motivate Democratic voters to put Republicans out of their misery. The numbers are there to do it [just] and I believe the will is there as well. Nevertheless, it’s an all uphill battle all the way . . . but wasn’t that what they were all saying about Obama being re-elected not so long ago?
Ed Kilgore of The Democratic Strategist puts it this way:
While historical precedent has been a dependable factor to consider in predicting House election outcomes, there are exceptional elections that bust precedents. Also, the Republican party is more divided than it has been in many decades, and it could get a lot worse. Dems are more united than in a long time, and we can build our edge while Republicans work through their internecine squabbles.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 08/22/13 at 10:46 AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Senator Lee Threatens to Huff and Puff, etc etc
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.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/24/13 at 09:30 AM
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Farewell, Big Sis, Plus Open Thread
Wingnuts will soon have to find another target for their misogyny, paranoia and homophobia:
Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, announced Friday that she was stepping down, setting off a search to fill one of the most challenging positions in government at a time when the Obama administration is struggling to get a team in place for the president’s second term.
The vacancy sets the stage for another confirmation fight as Republicans continue their efforts to nullify the last two presidential elections. There’s no word yet on whom the president will nominate, but WaPo put together a speculative list, including:
[Joe] Lieberman makes sense as DHS secretary for one pretty obvious reason: He created the department. Lieberman, as chair of the committee that is now referred to as the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, drafted the bill that created DHS shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. He also recently retired from the Senate, meaning he’s a free agent. But his tendency to
give his Democratic colleagues heartburn be a spiteful, war-mongering Republican dick may not make him an ideal fit. [Edited for accuracy]
No, no, a thousand, million, kajillion, ding-dong-dillion times, no. Jenny Durkan (profiled in that same WaPo article) sounds qualified, and since she’s an out lesbian, her candidacy would have the added benefit of triggering even more Lesbocalypse fears among the right-wing assholes who have spent the last five years absurdly imagining that the innocuous Ms. Napolitano was rifling through their underwear drawer and monitoring activities at the Moose lodge.
But perhaps the best outcome—and most fitting monument to Lieberman’s work in the Senate—would be to abolish the Department of Homeland Security altogether, break it up into its component parts. Like so much that is wrong with this country, it’s a remnant of post-9/11 hysteria.
Or we could at least change the name, which, as Peggy Noonan pointed out in a rare moment of clarity, is “vaguely Teutonic.” What shall we call it? Please feel free to discuss other topics too—open threadage.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/13/13 at 08:50 AM
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I finally got around to listening to President Obama’s speech on climate change, a most appropriate activity when there’s a tornado watch in one’s neighboring state. All-in-all, it was an okay speech, but, like a lot of Obama’s proposals, my reaction to it is one big “MEH”. There is some evidence that the president’s position, like his position on same-sex marriage, has evolved- he’s no longer talking about clean coal, except in rare cases:
Today, I’m calling for an end of public financing for new coal plants overseas—unless they deploy carbon-capture technologies, or there’s no other viable way for the poorest countries to generate electricity. And I urge other countries to join this effort.
read the whole post »
Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 06/27/13 at 07:10 PM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Something Special Happened in Austin Last Night
Every once in a while, in the course of human events, a hero comes along, shrugs off insurmountable odds, speaks truth to power and prevails. Such events renew our faith in principles, truth and justice and allow our better angels to fly in the face of hypocrisy and corruption. Such an event occurred last night in Austin, Texas and the eyes of the nation were upon it.
Yesterday I wrote about Sen. Wendy Davis who planned to mount a filibuster in the Texas Senate in an effort to derail SB5, Texas Republicans’ most recent campaign in the War on Women. Sen Davis needed to speak on the senate floor for 13 hours to prevent a floor vote on the bill before the special session, called by Gov. Rick Perry to ram it through, timed out. Republicans control the Texas senate 2-to-1, so if the bill came to a vote, it would inevitably pass.
It’s not easy to mount a filibuster in the Texas senate. Senate rules require that the senator must stand by her/his seat and speak to the issue in hand only, without a break for bathroom, food, water. A strong majority can easily put an end to a filibuster by raising points of order and voting to sustain them—and it’s three strikes and you’re out. A devious majority can even put up two successful points of order and then allow the filibustering senator to struggle along, nearly to the end and then pounce.
That’s what happened last night. And with 15 minutes left for a roll call it looked like SB5 would pass but what Republicans weren’t counting on were the hundreds of Texans who packed the State House and gallery to #standwithwendy. And stand they did. Loudly.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 06/26/13 at 05:21 AM
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Postcard from Dystopia
A few days ago, in Anne Laurie’s thread about Rand Paul’s tenuous belief in democracy, the topic turned to speculation about Baby Doc’s presidential aspirations. I said:
I have a hard time believing Baby Doc could get elected to any office that required appealing to voters who are not hardcore wingnuts and Papa Doc fans. It’s not that the electorate is particularly discerning. It’s just that Baby Doc comes across as such an arrogant, smarmy prick.
I was right about Paul being an arrogant, smarmy prick, but upon further reflection, I should have known better than to think that’s a disqualifying factor in a general election. An example is right under my nose here in Florida, where Rick Scott—a Voldemort lookalike and known crook who displays all the personal warmth and charm of an anaconda—was elected governor in 2010.
True, Scott won with less than 50% of the vote, and he needed $77 million of his personal fortune, a wind at his back gusted up by the rebranded Bush dead-ender “Tea Party” plus the apathy of Democrats dispirited by a real and perceived lack of pony production on the part of President Obama and the Democratic Congress. All of this broke Scott’s way.
Some might dismiss Scott’s election as just another example of Florida insanity, like face-eating zombies, airborne fish attacks and fatal roach-eating contests. Maybe, but I think Florida is a better microcosm for America than is generally acknowledged.
Florida has left-of-center coastal enclaves, heavily armed yahoos and religious fanatics in the interior, a growing immigrant population, simmering racial tensions, a politically powerful “Screw you, Jack, I’ve got mine!” elderly population and disaffected, jobless young folks who have been robbed of their future and birthright by nature-despoiling greed-heads.
Is this not America?
As for the future, Scott’s approval ratings have consistently been among the lowest of any governor in the US, and I used to believe that all the Democrats had to do to beat him handily next year was nominate someone capable of fogging a mirror. But the Florida Democratic Party (of which I am a proud member) is a hot mess, and fault lines are emerging that could result in yet another epic fail.
Those fault lines are reflected on this blog (stupid fucking firebagger! drone-loving obot!), and you’ll see them deepen nationally as 2016 approaches. Love him or not, President Obama is a gifted politician, but he’s won his last election.
Can anyone else bring our fractured coalition together—if only for one fucking day? We better hope so. Unless the rest of you want to live in a Hiaasen novel too.
[Image credit: Buzzfeed; x-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 06/20/13 at 11:06 AM