Sen. Mike Lee, like many of his Senate colleagues, has a law degree. His is from Brigham Young and, apparently, Lee fancies himself to be something of a constitutional scholar. I say that because Mike Lee likes to pronounce things unconstitutional. Especially things like Obamacare.
Lee also appears to be quite the over-achiever. For example, whilst serving as the brand new senator from Utah, Lee has somehow managed to find the time to write two books (not one—count ‘em, two books) while also trying to learn the ropes of senator-ing.
If John McCain is any judge of the latter, Lee probably ought to stick to book-writing:
TRAITORHEROGOATWORSHIP! The contents of Amy Goodman’s vacuum bag to anyone who can’t guess the civil libertastic subject of this encomium at the charnel house formerly known as the comments section of Talking Points Memo:
It IS what it is; but clearly, most of the posters on this site are more invested in defending their team than being moved by Truth. So they shoot the messenger… it’s like crucifying The Christ, all over again.
(I admit to loving how obnoxious this woman is: to another woman who suggested not letting this scandal keep us home in November: “You’d be more amusing as a cheerleader if you wore pom poms on your breasts and bounced around.” Superciliousness, implacable belief in her own infallibility, allegiance to No Mere Human, reminds me of something..P….PU….what could it be? It’s so familiar…sounds like PURE? PURE something? PURE-MA!)
While the rest of us worry that our secret thoughts and fever dreams are being mined by the NSA, a few bold narcissists rise above all that and trot out the whole steamy enchilada for a national audience. So it is that subterranean screwball, Glenn Beck hosted Harvard’s least favorite son, Sen. Ted Cruz, on Thursday, to engage in an intellectual dissection of Mr Obama’s recent atrocities, including the appointments of Susan [Paybacks are a Bitch] Rice and Samantha Power.
While speaking to Glenn Beck earlier today, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) maintained that UN Ambassador nominee Samantha Power, best known for her human rights advocacy, “grovels” before dictators. Beck called Power, whom he referred to as “Powers,” as an “extraordinarily dangerous person” and accused her husband Cass Sunstein, who formerly led the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, of directing the IRS to target conservatives.
Cruz called Power “extreme” and “far outside of the mainstream,” and said that she and other “left-wing academics” appointed by Obama consistently “grovel before tyrants like Castro in Cuba and North Korea.”
In case you’re not up on your pop psychology, this “vision” is a classic misogynistic daydream of “dominating the dominatrix,” usually indicating some unresolved “Mommy issues.”
Happily, this sort of psychosexual BS is mostly consigned to the talking heads and icky forums of the far right. I mean, really, here we have a sociopathic nerd who believes that Congress and his alma mater are crawling with Communists, and an addled feral child talking past each other about nothing but their personal dysfunctions.
Beck is happy to have one more opportunity to dis Cass Sunstein and Cruz is trying to sound pompous and presidential before he slithers into Iowa.
Well fellas, UP YOURS! Those two women are twice the men that you’ll ever be. Oh, and, Sen Cruz? Des Moines is probably the closest you’ll ever get to the Oval Office . . .
As a special treat, take a few dramamine and watch this, if you dare:
Two meaningful things happened this week in the US House—I know. Meaningful things don’t happen there all that often these days, except for the occasional attempt at Obamacare repeal. But bear with me, because these are two things that really let you know where the GOP Congresscritters are coming from, these days:
Item the First:
A couple of bills were put up to defund ACORN. Now, you might be thinking that there isn’t any ACORN, and you’d be right, or you might be thinking that ACORN was kind of destroyed based on a hoax, and you’d be right about that, too.
I don’t know why you’d be so tasteless as to associate facts with things Republican congressfolks do, though.
Well, as we say here in Pennsylvania “there’s no hot mess like a politically motivated, conspiracy-tinged, witch-hunt-y hot mess.” And since Congress has nothing but time on their hands these days, the majority members have decided that House investigations and hearings are as good a time-killer as any, whilst they quest on after the holy grail of Obama impeachment and Rapture2014.
Today’s Republicans are already pretty entertaining, on a normal day, but when they get their dander up they’re downright hilarious. One of the things that has their dander up, recently, is the IRS’s systematic persecution of teabaggers. The reason that the IRS landed this opportunity to torture the grassroots is because the TEA Party is all about liberty and constitutional rights, especially the sacred right of every American altruist to a tax exempt status.
[It’s sort of an American Mystery to me that, with all of the thousands of outfits claiming tax exempt status for the noble work that they do to advance our social welfare, our society is still such a mess. But that’s a topic for another day . . . ]
Actually, of all the scandals they had to choose from, this one was probably the best choice for a number of reasons: a) when your approval rating hits a new low of 6%, it’s probably not a great time to be total a—holes b) everyone already hates the IRS, on principle, and anyone who goes after them looks heroic, even if no-one can prove that the WH directs their every move and c) everyone knows that the IRS is a hotbed of Democrat partisanship BECAUSE . . . federal workers union.
Remember last December? when Republicans were trying desperately to absorb the bad news that their despised nemesis, Barack Hussein Obama, trounced their Romney-bot and coasted to an unimaginable second term? or that their dream of retaking the Senate had gone up in a puff of smoke? and then, remember when they turned their guns on each other? [arguably the best part, at least the most entertaining].
One of the GOP fever dreams that surfaced, during those depressing days, was to mutiny against Republican House leadership and force Speaker Boehner to walk the plank. Boehner’s reign as Speaker has been plagued throughout by the backwash of the 2010 TEA Party wave that he surfed in on. You see, Republican leadership, in the House, come mostly from blue states making it expedient for them to be somewhat moderate and establishment-oriented. The congressional newcomers, conversely, were elected for their extreme political positions and their outside-the-beltway bona fides.
Boehner came down hard on some of the most unruly members, stripping them of their committee assignments, thereby robbing them of re-election appeal. These same members, predictably, care not a whit for congressional etiquette, tradition, seniority or parliamentary procedure. Historically, both parties are able to handle such schisms internally, and with civility, while the country continues on, blissfully unaware. Under normal circumstances the majority party’s vote for Speaker is a pro forma affair.
But this was different, and, at one point it seemed that a cabal of disgruntled freshmen might actually unseat the Speaker. Approaching the date of the vote, about 17 defectors were needed to deny Boehner an outright majority. If those 17 or so could block the speaker on the first ballot, they could convene a conference and persuade someone else — maybe Cantor, Paul Ryan or Jeb Hensarling to challenge Boehner. Even if none of the party lieutenants agreed to go up against Boehner, winning on a second ballot would be humiliating enough.
So what do conservatives do when beset with such a thorny dilemma? Well, a lot of them fall on their knees and ask God what to do; and so it was that God saved Speaker Boehner’s hash.
Rep. Steve Southerland II (R-FL), is a 47-year-old funeral home operator, elected in 2010, who hosted regular meetings for mutinous legislators at his DC townhouse. Southerland recently explained for a Washington Post piece just exactly how God intervened in the matter. The night before the vote, Southerland read the story of Saul and David, and about how the king of Israel tried to kill the future king. David wins and, with a chance to kill the king, decides to spare Saul.
Southerland reports that he woke up convinced that Boehner should be spared. Others, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they, too, prayed before siding with Boehner.
“He’s not a God of chaos, he’s a God of order,” Southerland said.
Shortly after that, Republicans convened a “retreat” where they arrived at an internal peace treaty called “the Williamsburg Accord,” which:
. . . restored enough unity to permit the House to dodge a government shutdown, badger the Senate into passing its first budget in four years and open investigations of the Obama White House.
And nothing more.
Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), who was purged from the Financial Services Committee in November, had this to say, recently:
the thing you have to analyze is: Have we had a pretty good quarter because we stuck to the formula of Williamsburg? Or is it because we avoided the tough issues?
Maybe, next, someone should ask God how to make Republicans a little more productive?
For a “post-racist” society, America certainly has a lot of overt and covert racial stuff on its mind, lately. Personally, I think that the rumors of American Racism’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. One black man taking up residence in the Oval Office may feel like an apocalyptic event to some but most evidence indicates that we’re not really any closer to a true “Kumbaya moment” than we we were in, say, 2007.
Actually, the idea of “Post-racist America” is as screwy a fairy tale as “American Exceptionalism” or “America’s Christian Founding Fathers.” And history provides plenty of examples of countries that embrace screwy fairy tales in their national mythos behaving very oddly before they go completely off the rails. In most cases, screwy national fairy tales often arise as a moral justification for bad behavior and are designed to comfort the perpetrators and assuage their guilt.
For example: of course it’s OK for Americans to kidnap people off foreign streets, ship them to other countries for imprisonment, torture them, deny them due process and keep them imprisoned for indefinite periods of time. And the reason that it’s OK is because America has been designated by God [the Christian one] to lead the world’s people and keep them honest and pure and protected from evil.
We are the Lancelot of Nations and things that are crimes if other mere mortals commit them are sanctioned and, indeed, sanctified by the God that chose us to run his planet. We Americans are Exceptional! And we know we are exceptional because we have more and better stuff than any other people. We have nothing to learn or earn from the rest of the world and, whatever they have, they got it from us, one way or another
Is it worth 8 minutes of your time to hear Michele Bachmann announce that she’s quitting her House seat? Probably not, but here it is anyway.
Nope, this is nothing to do with the multiple investigations into her and hubbie’s alleged grifting, including misusing congressional campaign funds for her spectacular 2012 run for president, nor the fact that she only squeaked back into her seat last year and the polls aren’t looking at all good for her at the moment. She’s just past her sell-by date:
The law limits anyone from serving as president of the United States for more than eight years, and in my opinion—well, eight years is also long enough for an individual to serve as a representative for a specific Congressional district.
This will no doubt lead to widespread redundancies among the media’s factcheckers. Unless ...
There is no future option or opportunity, be it directly in the political arena or otherwise, that I won’t be giving serious consideration if it can help save and protect our great nation.
How is this being greeted among the wingnutry? Well, there’s some speculation from the RW blogs that (assuming she’s not in pokey by then) Bachmann might run against Al Franken for his Senate seat, which would certainly be a battle worth breaking out the popcorn for.
Actually, it might be a stretch to call this a retirement. Rep. Michele Bachmann announced last night that she would not seek a fifth term in the House from Minnesota’s 6th Congressional district in this nearly nine-minute valediction. As The Week notes, however, Bachmann doesn’t say she’s retiring from politics or even electoral politics, which means she may have something else in mind already ...
Indeed. If not a run against Franken, there seem to be indications that she hopes to don the mantle of Palin II:
... she promises not to fade away, continuing “to work vehemently and robustly to fight back against what most in the other party want to do to transform our country into becoming, which would be a nation that our founders would hardly even recognize today.”
The announcement that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) will not run for re-election in 2014 means that the Tea Party will lose one of its most outspoken—and controversial—congressional leaders, just as the movement is gaining new momentum from public discontent with big government and the revelations in the IRS scandal. At the same time, the Tea Party will benefit from the emergence of new, and perhaps more effective, voices.
William Teach at RightWingNews, on the other hand, is in full-on denial and seeking to anoint her with the precious Oil of Victimhood:
NBC Makes Up Quote For Michele Bachmann: “I’m quitting my House seat in 2014″
Nowhere in the story is that headline verified. Nor, if one listens to the 8+ minute video from Bachmann will you hear that phrase. A bit of bias, eh?
For Max Baucus NBC had the headline Max Baucus heeds the call of Nature. And Harkin won’t seek 6th Senate term (for Tom Harkin-D). And Senate banking chair Johnson to announce retirement (Tim Johnson-D). Even most other Republicans were treated decently. Seems that NBC News has a bit of a War On Women going on in regards to Bachmann.
The reception for this news in the comments sections is pretty subdued and mostly philosophical.
Is there enough room for two Divas of Daft on Twitter and Facebook (there does seem to be a vacancy for vacancy on Fox, of course)? Will this spark an entertaining rivalry—Griftzilla versus Michegriftzilla? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned ....
As any oppressed minority will tell you, winning civil rights that put one on a more even footing with the rest of society usually comes at a pretty hefty price—and the bills keep coming in long after the celebrations and victory parties are over. It’s no surprise, at least to the gay community, that more legalized gay weddings are triggering more gay bashing backlash around the world.
We LGBT people are used to this. In my lifetime [which includes pre-Stonewall days], we have gone from literally cowering in the closet to marching in Pride parades down the streets of our home towns. That’s quite a leap, in under a century, but each step of the way has been hard-fought and exacted huge costs in terms of career options, family life and isolation. Favorable public opinion and community support are only very recent boons to my community.
Given all of that, I hope that at least some of you will forgive my cynicism regarding the recent spate of “mystery posters” (see below) appearing on the streets of at least two cities in the state of Washington which also, just happens to be a state that recently legalized gay marriage.
So far, no one has actually taken credit for anything other than the photo of the “Annies that got their gun.” That photo, by “Oleg Volk: An American”, is in the public domain, sans text, and his reaction on learning of the posters using his photo was:
The photo poster is my design, the line drawing isn’t. I encourage re-posting of my graphics, so I approve of the use in general. The specific use wasn’t coordinated with me but that’s just fine, pre-approval is not necessary.
I have no idea who posted them but they acted as my allies in the cause. I want everyone -— especially people who have been traditionally facing discrimination and danger — to be more secure and independent. Minorities of all kinds are in that exact predicament.
The QR code links to Volk’s pro-gun website a-human-right.com. The funny little flag next to the QR code is known as The Doug Flag [for Douglas Fir] and is the official flag of Cascadia, a secessionist notion whereby parts of Canada and the Pacific Northwest become an independent country—a sort of eco-topian pipe dream that’s been kicking around for over a hundred years and just adds that little soupçon of crazy to the whole thing.
The line drawing of the male guntoters is signed by a “Nale Dixon” who is off the GoogleGrid.
These posters, as amateurish and lacking in 21st century realSHOCK!!1! value as they are, have set off quite a flurry of political debate having mostly to do with the rightful “ownership” of American political ideologies.
So, Heavily Armed Disgruntled People Of America, how’s every little thing?
Our special correspondent (kitted out at his insistence in Cloak of Invisibility and Kevlar Pants) was attending that little treasonish trade-show-cum shindig of yours last week, when he happened in on the creative gun-storage seminar “Store Your Semi-Automatics In The Kids’ Closet” which sounds like a David Sedaris title but turned out to be really real. So many small children having either smoked their siblings or been smoked in general recently, he began to feel slightly peaky, and unable to appreciate your full spectrum of defiant ballistic wackadoo, detailed here by the vastly more stalwart Bette Noir.
Any old hoo, rankled 2nd-half-of-the-2nd amendment fans, sometime between the Glenn Beck philippics on Michael Bloomberg, Nazi, and fifteen minutes of mike-melting audio purporting to be the thoughts of Gammy Gunrack, yr. correspondent thought, “Line-Dancing Jeebus With A Chaw and a Blowsy Girlfriend In A’Women Hunt’ T shirt, I sure hope these people never have a legitimate grievance—they’re halfway to an armed march on Washington as it is!”
It was at this point that the old back-office telex machine started its musical chattering, and churned out a missive from our special correspondent: “My understanding file reports on people perpetually wrong,from own inviolable position of moral superiority. Currently drowning self in pink gin at expat bar on riverfront. Suggest reply only by telex until further notice or Holder bounced down Capitol steps on keister.”
While most of us were hoisting a cerveza to celebrate Cinco de Mayo [or Cinco de Mao, if you prefer], this weekend, the NRA was hosting its annual member shindig in Houston, TX. Because the NRA is all about selling guns, ammo, gun accessories, gun paraphernalia, gun books, gun art, gun everything the George R. Brown Convention Center was packed with the people who make and sell all of those things and the peaceful, law-abiding responsible citizens who buy them for peaceful, law-abiding, gun-loving fun, utility and sport.
By now, we’re all pretty familiar with the notion that there are two kinds of gun owners/users: good guys and bad guys. And, according to the NRA, there’s nothing much we can do about the bad guys except outnumber and outgun them . . . and keep our heads down and our kids inside when the firing commences.
The NRA doesn’t actually endorse shootouts in the streets of America’s towns and cities, they just expect them, and therefore they want all Americans to own the firepower necessary to stay alive in 21st century America. Children should have guns. Nuns should have guns. Hookers should definitely have guns—in fact, all God’s women should have guns. Nerdy guys, conspiracy theorists, neighbors, teachers, clergymen and pizza delivery guys should all have guns so that fewer of them die at the hands of “bad guys.” Even lying socialist Lie-bruls should have guns [and then maybe they’‘d wise up?]. Limiting access to guns won’t help because the bad guys will always be able to get them, therefore the good guys needs mo’ gunz!!
Because it seems inevitable that guns are in our future, in a big way, I’m concerned that perhaps the NRA bad guy vs. good guy profile of gun-owners is a little too simplistic and, perhaps, we need to expand it a bit to take in all possibilities. I’m proposing this breakdown: bad guys, good guys, freaking idiots.
I’d also like to propose that instead of expanded background checks, Congress should consider IQ and EQ (a test for emotional maturity) testing for gun permits. Now, I know that this will be an equally hard sell to the NRA because some percentage of gun manufacturers’ market share is clearly Freaking Idiots and, if my proposal were adopted, gun manufacturer profits could plummet. The upside would be that we wouldn’t have four-year-olds receiving rifles for their birthday, or folks firing off 8,000 rounds to get a stiffie on a Sunday, or people killing their own kids while: cleaning, sighting, pretending to be James Bond or practicing their quick draw.
So, a couple of years back Oregon had money to provide Medicaid to 10,000 people but unfortunately there were many more who needed it. So they held a lottery and then had the idea of studying the random people who got picked for Medicaid coverage against a control group of people who didn’t get picked. Some preliminary results were published several months back and now they have the rest of the results. Led by the shrieking of the CATO Institute, righties are now declaring Obamacare to be a useless failure. Mostly because blood pressure readings and cholesterol levels were not measurably different between the two groups.
McArgleBlargle takes to her keyboard to proclaim that giving people government health insurance does not make them healthier and in fact maybe health insurance (for the poors) itself is a waste of money!
And it’s actually bigger, and more important than Obamacare. We should all be revising our priors about how much health insurance—or at least Medicaid—really promotes health. What this really tells us is how little we know about health care, and making people healthy—and how often data can confound even our most powerful intuitions.
“Or at least Medicaid” she says. Which is, you know, what poor people, many of them with brown skins, use.
Now that Jim DeMint has become the Grand Poohbah of the Heritage Foundation, he seems to have gotten even closer to his inner Scrooge, finding Mitt Romney’s Moocher Stats of 47% way too low. DeMint puts his estimate of Moocher-dom at a whopping 69.5%.
In a letter to the echo chamber Heritage Foundation staff, DeMint outlined his depressing vision of America’s rapidly accelerating decline warning that:
The United States must reverse the direction of these trends or face economic and social collapse.
The problems driving this impending doom-mobile? not recession, not off-shoring jobs, not high unemployment, not Capitalism run amok, not two wars going into overtime. No. The problem, Mr DeMint tells us, is too many poors and way, way too many olds:
Today, more people than ever before—69.5 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions.
So a couple of weeks ago Reince Priebus rolls out, in their words, “the most comprehensive post-election review” evah! of of a political loss, namely the thumping they got last November, and announces that a kinder, gentler Republican Party must emerge to win voters back.
Priebus noted that the party’s policies are fundamentally sound but require a softer tone and broader outreach, include a stronger push for African-American, Latino, Asian, women and gay voters.
“To be clear, our principles our (sic) sound, our principles are not old rusty thoughts in some book,” Priebus said, but the “report notes the way we communicate our principles isn’t resonating widely enough.”
Unsurprisingly the toner was barely set on the report pages when the hard-line god-bothering contingent of the party made it clear that they thought the Rethuglicans were communicating a message of unbudging resistance to change on social issues just fine thankyew.
The last two Republican winners of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses say that the GOP will shoot itself in the foot if it softens its stance on social issues such as same-sex marriage — countering calls from others within the GOP ranks who say that is one way for the party to broaden its national appeal.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won the Iowa caucuses in the 2012 presidential race, told Politico that the Republican party will cease to exist if it softens its stance on social issues such as same-sex marriage.
“Look, the Republican Party isn’t going to change,” Mr. Santorum said. “If we do change, we’ll be the Whig Party.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, meanwhile, said that the GOP should learn a lesson from the 2008 and 2012 elections, where they lost after nominating Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
“The last two presidential elections, we had more moderate candidates, so if anything a lot of conservatives went to the polls reluctantly or just didn’t go at all,” Mr. Huckabeetold Politico. “If all of the Evangelicals had showed up, it may have made a difference.”
Ah yes. As we all know Conservatism cannot fail; it can only be failed.
Sue Everhart, the chairwoman of Georgia’s Republican party, is against gay marriage, because FRAUD!! And that earns her a 9.7 for Originality in the “Not a homophobe, but . . . . Sweepstakes” because . . .
if I had a next door neighbor who was in a gay relationship, I could be just as friendly to them as I could be to you and your wife or anybody else. I’m not saying that we ostracize them or anything like that. I’m just saying I’m against marriage because once you get the gay marriage you get everything else.
Maybe Ms. Everhart is sooo NOT a homophobe that she actually wants to save gay people from themselves. She didn’t elaborate but perhaps she believes that the “everything else” that you get with the gay marriage is the hot mess that straight people have made of the institution since forever—serial adultery, domestic violence, 50% divorce rate, deadbeat dads, etc. My goodness, even some heterosexuals marry each other for monetary gain.
Marrying for fun and profit, in Georgia (and just about everywhere else) has been the sole province of straight people for centuries. I wonder how many generations of Southern Belles never had a job outside their homes? Wonder what would have become of those ladies if they hadn’t married well? Wasn’t that the prime objective of the debutante circuit? How about the gigolo that preys on rich widows? How about the “black widows” themselves?