Saturday, December 07, 2013
Dreadful Policy, By Any Other Name . . .
Well, it has been an eventful week and suddenly—here we are—less than a year from the 2014 mid-term elections. How time flies . . . and suddenly Republicans appear to be getting all serious about their public image.
On that subject, I tend to agree with Charlie Pierce who says:
This party doesn’t need rebranding. It needs deprogramming.
Whatever. But it’s fun to pull back the curtain and take a peek at how the transformation is going . . .
The most timely and topical event, of course, is the conservative reaction to the news of Nelson Mandela’s death.
Republicans are politicians so their first impulse was to offer up respectful homage to a world leader and, hopefully, do it before and/or better than President Obama. Whereupon they were blinsided by their vituperative post-racism base who were eager to dance on Mandela’s grave and label their pols RINO’s for not joining in the dance.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 12/07/13 at 01:23 PM
Comments (4) •
Sunday, November 24, 2013
And Then A Hero Comes Along . . .
Senior Statesman and the
Keystone Kops Republican Party’s No. 2 man in Congress, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Loon Stare State), distinguished himself last night by being up late and one of the first US legislators to publicly react to the news that a breakthrough agreement with Iran had been reached over its nuclear enrichment program.
Upon learning that the US and other world leaders had successfully taken a first step in preventing Iran from building its own nuclear weapons, Cornyn took to the Twitter with this provocative assessment:
And, in one masterful move, Cornyn managed to diss Obama, make clear what his own priorities are and become an overnight favorite contender for Stupidest Tweet of the 21st Century.
And, apparently, I’m not the only one who thinks so . . .
And that’s only the tippy-tippy-top of the troll scroll. Well played Sen. Cornyn, sir. Well played.
Posted by Bette Noir on 11/24/13 at 08:00 AM
Friday, November 22, 2013
Fire In The Hole!
Well, it appears that the Hatfields are utterly gobsmacked that the McCoys have fired back at them.
In my opinion, the worst thing about all of this “nuclear” showdown is how widely and thoroughly misunderstood the whole business is, which might be due in some small part to the misnomer “nuclear option,” the coinage of which is usually attributed to the ever flamboyant Sen. Trent Lott (R-MISS) and implies something of epic proportion.
The Right Wingosphere is quivering with rage and awash in the tears of despondent patriots decrying “225 years of tradition blown away” and, I suspect, before too long, some ill-regulated militia will be suiting up to defend the Republic from Harry Reid.
Well, take a breath, folks. Rumors that the filibuster is dead have been greatly exaggerated—legislation, Supreme Court appointments can still be filibustered til the cows come home or until the Library of Congress runs out of Dr Seuss.
Reid’s Rule, as it has been dubbed, is a narrow rule change that addresses only judicial nominees and cabinet and administration positions. In other words, appointments that have rarely been challenged in the past. Appointments, in fact, that Republicans like Mitch McConnell have constantly reminded us should, for the most part, go unchallenged.
Is it possible that even the lowest-info Americans believe that the Senate has been operating flawlessly in some Utopian legislative realm, that has now, suddenly, been sacked by vandals and will never be the same? Bullpucky. If you believe that one, I have a compassionate conservative candidate you might be interested in voting for. It wasn’t so very long ago that the very same Senate hosted a night of performance art, unforgettably rendered by Mr Cruz, Jr., to advance him in his effort to shut down the US government.
This Senate is not your granddaddy’s Senate and hasn’t been for quite some time . . .
As John Dickerson, channeling Sen. Robert Byrd, put it:
. . . today’s change made what was de facto now de jure.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/22/13 at 11:56 AM
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Hypocrisy and Privilege: This is About Trey Radel
You know what? I’ll even spot Rep. Trey Radel (FL-R) his weak, borrowed from Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, excuse that he only did cocaine because he was such a drunk, because sure. It’s not like the sting that busted him was perpetrated because he already had a history of purchasing coke (it was), and in any event, I can’t talk about what drunk people might get up to. I am only an indifferent drunk myself. I do know I can’t afford $250 bucks worth of blow if I had that much to spend on bourbon. That is some fucking stupid drunkonomics. But maybe being wasted on microbrews made him wonder if he shouldn’t maybe be doing lines, just like I interrupt a wine binge with espressos (I do no such thing). Sure. That’s logical. (By which I mean “NOT”.)
What isn’t logical is being well aware that people acquire substances to help them through the bitter pain of their day to day existence and get dependent on them, and then thinking that it would be A-OK to penalize the poor for their propensity to self-medicate against the horror of a crappy reality by piss-testing people to qualify for their benefits.
Do I think Rep. Radel was maybe in the midst of getting high his ownself when he thought this would be a nifty exercise to spring on the poor? Yeah. I think so. Do I think he thought he was fundamentally different from some wasted SOB who couldn’t catch a job because he himself had a good one in Congress, and therefore, he was morally better than that other kind of substance-user? Yes, indeed. I think he believes he is morally and substantively different from some person who might use drugs, but does not have money.
In other words, he is a real prick. Now, there is drug and alcohol rehab, but I do not know that there is any successful “being a real prick” rehab. But he could use that kind. He surely could.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/20/13 at 11:40 PM
Friday, November 15, 2013
Blame It On Texas
It’s become close to a truism that if political events conspire to give Republicans any kind of unanticipated boon, they will immediately find a way to fk it up, usually to disastrously hilarious effect.
And, so it is that Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), who assures us he does not take his new project lightly, has rounded up eight other steely-eyed Texan reps, plus a handful of House conspiracy experts, to draw up Articles of Impeachment charging Attorney General Eric Holder with high crimes and other stuff that really ticks Republicans off.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/15/13 at 10:57 AM
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Here There Be Trolls
Congressional Republicans—they are different, you know? Going back to the Truman Administration at least (no, actually, longer than that), pols have thought it might be kind of nice for Americans to have some kind of affordable access to medical coverage so they didn’t die of easily treatable maladies. It was just this thing, you know? We thought our fellow citizens were worthwhile human beings and that maybe they shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being and not being dead.
Maybe not everyone got the message that our fellow citizens are worthwhile human beings who shouldn’t be bankrupted in the pursuit of bodily well-being. What strikes me as exceptionally tasteless, though, are the folks who have decided that the decades-long work to cover most Americans’ health care was a source of amusement. Like the goofy galoot pictured above, who himself follows in the vein of Asclepius.
Well, sort of. He was a doctor, but somewhere along the way, he decided that science was Satan, and I guess the whole “taking care of the sick and suffering” thing became hilarious. You know he doesn’t really care because this is how he talks about Obamacare during an EPA hearing (I know, right? Like is global warming even a thing? So boring!):
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Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/14/13 at 08:14 PM
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
I Am Woman. Hear Me Roar . . .
Well, it’s almost a year now since Willard Romney limped offstage and exactly nine months, almost to the day, that the Republican National Committee floated its 100-page manifesto for The Great Rebranding of 2013: The Growth and Opportunity Project (GOP—get it? how clever is that?).
The GOP was chock full of searing insights and smart advice for a titanic course adjustment and anyone unfamiliar with the actual Republican Party might have thought “by Jingo, I think they’ve got it!”
The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself. We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue.
Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need . . . a route into our Party that a non-traditional Republican will want to travel. Our standard should not be universal purity; it should be a more welcoming conservatism.
The Republican Party must focus its efforts to earn new supporters and voters in the following demographic communities: Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, Indian Americans, Native Americans, women, and youth. This priority needs to be a continual effort that affects every facet of our Party’s activities, including our messaging, strategy, outreach, and budget.
AMEN! Y’all . . . a regular Rainbow Coalition, feel me?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/13/13 at 10:08 AM
Monday, November 11, 2013
I’m a Man, Yes I Am
Here’s what happened when the Arlington, TX Low-T Support Group got wind that the Arlington chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America [which consists of four gun-grabbing “moms”] were “meeting” at the Blue Mesa Grill in a local shopping center, on Saturday . . .
Characterizing the lunch date as an “Anti-Gun Rally,” the local heroes of Open Carry Texas arrived on the scene “locked and loaded,” determined to turn their devotion to their 2nd Amendment rights into an awe-inspiring flash mob that would teach those subversive Moms a lesson.
So it is that 40 or so bored, mental midgets assembled outside the door of the Blue Mesa Grill to mug for the camera, compare magazine sizes, man-scratch, spit and scare the piss out of weekend shoppers because that’s what degenerate bullies do for entertainment.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 11/11/13 at 11:12 AM
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Innocence Bludgeoned with a Candlestick in the Conservatory
Via Whiskey Fire, I found a link to a boring old harrumph from boring old Colonel Mustard (see DijonGate) expressing outrage at the prospect of highly educated artsy-fartsy types getting free health insurance under ObamaCare instead of pursuing a soul-crushing professoriate or dying a painful, lonely death from a preventable disease in a rundown artist garret. As God intended.
The Colonel manages to work Nancy Pelosi and struggling rock musicians into his plaint about being forced to subsidize shiftless painters and textile artists—pretty standard “are there no workhouses” fare. But the real fun begins in the comments section, which starts with a complaint about “low achievers” killing the work ethic, until a self-styled member of that demographic pipes up:
Hey now! I’m a low achiever (never had much ambition), but I’m SELF-RELIANT low achiever. I ask no one to support my lifestyle but myself.
The glory of it all, is that I am civil disobedient, not enrolling, even though I would probably qualify even more than those “artists”. I draw comic characters as a hobby, and I drink Lattes. OMG, How many liberal minds just burst from the fact that I’m a tea party conservative?
Dollars to donuts the layabout cartoonist is as independent of government largesse as a fellow tea partier on a Medicare-subsized mobility scooter. And while his words seemed calculated to endear him to Colonel Mustard’s audience, the ruffian blew it by supplying a link to one of his impure doodlings to support his bona fides as an artiste. Well! That prompted a passing preacher to involuntarily become engorged, and the offended shaman dressed the cartoonist down thusly:
I’m not trying to be a jerk, but when you put down a link to something, you may want to let people know that they are about to be linked to illustrations of naked women with erect nipples, simply out of courtesy. I’m a celibate clergyman, and I try very hard not to entertain thoughts or images of naked women, especially if they look like the one that greeted me upon linking. When one tries to quiet the mind for prayer, often the day’s most memorable events, images, sounds, etc., try to pry in and disrupt one’s focus. It also helps to avoid temptation, if such images are not before my eyes and in my head. I know that many other men try to keep their virtue intact, not just clergy. The less we see of naked women, the better.
For those of you who haven’t already scurried over to Casa de Mustard to check out the titillating cartoon for yourselves, allow me to assure you that it’s a pretty harmless Catwoman knock-off. Catwoman with high-beams, mind you, but hardly a buck-nekkid siren to lure the preacher man into the pits of hell. You’ll see more salacious ads at the mall. Duh, stay off the internet, Padre!
Anyhoo, there’s no real point to this post other than pointing and laughing, so feel free to treat it as an open thread. Or take the high road and discuss whether or not destitute PhDs who pursue a career in pottery should receive subsidized medical benefits up front or just go to the hospital as uninsured ER patients and jack up medical costs for us all on the back-end.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 11/07/13 at 02:28 PM
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Let’s all not listen to Dick Cheney, m’kay?
The Prince of Darkness, Dick Cheney, has been throwing shade again, and I was kind of going to go into why what he’s saying doesn’t even make sense or go into how getting bin Laden probably couldn’t even be kept a secret and any intelligence gathered would have an expiration date and he’s just jealous anyway, but look. Let’s just get this out of the way—his relevance is as a historical figure, a member of the administration that blew off the intelligence that bin Laden was poised to strike on American soil and embraced bad intelligence about WMD’s in Iraq. He is respected by connoisseurs of a very particular art in politics because of how good he used to be. But let’s look at how he plies his particular forte these days:
He lies about whether he has fished with Senator Mike Enzi, because his darling little girl and fifth deferment wants the man’s job. Did the senator think they were any kind of friends? Huh. Well. Henry Whittington was a friend of Dick Cheney’s, too.
Now, maybe the former Vice President simply forgot whether he was part of a fly-fishing tournament with Enzi, because it’s not like angling is such a great passion of his (maybe compared to shooting little birds by the barrelful it isn’t), and besides, the man can forget a thing or two, can’t he? Like how often he might have met former Senator John Edwards when he dissembled about that during the 2004 campaign. No, it’s not quite as bad as the way he had repeated lies about, say, Saddam Hussein and yellowcake uranium, or the non-existent Mohammed Atta-Iraq connection. It’s a sign, however, of how petty he’s willing to be.
To the extent he acts trifling—he is trifling. He has managed to, in his retiring years, become the EF Hutton of bullshit, and I can’t imagine why anyone listens anymore.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/27/13 at 01:45 PM
Thursday, October 24, 2013
And things were said and tears were shed, People
The above video is of Rep. Pete Sessions of TX, who was supposedly the person who said he could not stand to look at President Obama at some point in a White House meeting. And I don’t even know if it is true. I won’t pretend I know. Let’s just call him the Schroedinger’s Racist, and posit that unless the White House meeting in question was actually recorded, we simply can not infer from the available data whether he actually expressed the opinion that he could not stand the President and will not know until that event can be observed.
Some people might allege that based upon a priori data, we can reasonably speculate that Pete Sessions is in fact just the sort of person who might have made a disrespectful remark regarding the President. Others might state that the authoritative denial of the White House spokespeople negates the likelihood that he said that thing—but reasonable people might also weigh the possibility that the remark exists as an inadmissible anecdote—not on the record, but having been heard by someone, just not in a fashion readily reproducible.
In other words, he may have said it, and have had it been officially unsaid. In fact, it may have been very necessary to do so, because in order for the aforementioned White House meeting to have been in effect, the actual authority of the holder of the office that the White House represents would have to be validated. The failure to recognize that authority would tend to corrupt the resulting exchange of the conversation.
And we have no particular reason to believe that the conversation was corrupted, do we?
I leave that logical exercise for the reader to determine on his/her/their own.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/24/13 at 10:44 PM
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Inglourious Basterds Hit the Campaign Trail
For a while there, it looked like October might just have to go into the annals of political history as an unmitigated downer what with shutdowns, defaults, Values Voters, healthcare.crash and suchlike. To be honest, I almost expected Hillary to announce “just kidding” and that she wouldn’t run in 2016 just to pay us all back for picking Obama last time around.
But then, like a tonic for my soul, the morning news brought the first bona fide political belly laugh of October, 2013 and it’s all good again, thank you very much. So what was the breath of fresh air that blew away the cobwebs down in my dumps? It was the news that my fellow-Pennsylvanian, Rick Santorum has put out an S.O.S. to rally his dozens of loyal supporters to create a “strike force” of teabaggers to carry Ken Cuccinelli to victory in the upcoming Virginia gubernatorial race. What could go wrong . . . ?
Santorum’s PAC, Patriot Voices, is recruiting supporters to go door to door Nov. 1-3 in Virginia to plug the Republican candidate for governor on its website.
In a plea from the PAC sent to supporters, Santorum, who endorsed Cuccinelli last year, also asks for those who can’t volunteer their time to donate money to pay for travel, meals, signs and literature for the strikeforce
I suppose that Santorum decided to pull out the big guns when he heard that those godless Clintons and the gun-grabbing, New York elite, Mayor Michael Bloomberg were endorsing Ken Cuccinelli’s opponent, Clintonite carpetbagger, Terry McAuliffe.
Santorum, who knows quite a lot about ideological nuances that crater elections will, no doubt, be quite a comfort to the Cooch after his inevitable loss.
And, then, perhaps Cooch can return the favor when Santorum runs again in 2016 for Moralizer-in-Chief.
Uh-oh. Looks like Santorum is already having quite an effect on the Virginia race, Rasmussen just came out with a poll showing McAuliffe doubled his lead overnight.
Posted by Bette Noir on 10/22/13 at 01:19 PM
Thursday, October 17, 2013
It’s His Party: He Can Cry if He Wants To
The final (for now) congressional vote on ending the government shutdown and raising the debt limit finally happened, and here are our totals:
The Senate voted 81 to 18 Wednesday night to reopen the federal government and raise the nation’s borrowing limit, hours before the Treasury Department faced the possibility of being unable to pay all of America’s bills for the first time in modern history.
The House followed suit, voting 285-144, to end the latest damaging battle of divided government in a polarized Congress.
I wil probably have a lot more to say about this later, but for now, keep in mind that there were 18 GOP Senators and 144 GOP House members (oh, yes, they were all GOP members), who for some reason thought not raising the debt ceiling would be fine with them. Among the “Nays” were usual suspects for the 2016 GOP presidential primaries—Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul—even Paul Ryan.
That’s kind of a disgrace, isn’t it? In a few years, will they be able to defend that? Will they maintain that this was a symbolic vote since they didn’t doubt in the least that the votes to pass were there? I guess we will see how that flies.
But speaking of whether or not the votes were there, I guess Boehner was not accurate when he previously said that the votes to pass a clean CR weren’t there. It’s possible he only thought he could get them if his members were under the debt limit gun, so to speak. But when you consider the last 16 days, and $24 billion lost in the economy, it just doesn’t seem like this was all that productive. does it?
This also takes us back to the dilemma from the beginning of the year—Boehner might really have only 80-odd reliable votes in his caucus, and Nancy Pelosi has pretty much the Democratic side. He’s a pretty weak speaker to begin with, and with yet another violation of the Hastert rule, once again, his Speakership may be in peril. But once again—who wants it? If Speaker Boehner looks like a man who drinks, he also looks to me like a man with reasons.
With an update since I posted at Strangely Blogged:
Which, when I composed all this last night, was a bit contigent upon more GOP members actually minding, but as of today, his Facebook page blowing up with dolchstoss imagery notwithstanding, it looks like the teafolk have electedto be cool. I deeply wonder if this is because Drunk Uncle John promises them Christmas, lets them stay up past their bedtimes, and will allow them to do this thing all over again. Unlike the GOP Senators, who are poopyheads.
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/17/13 at 07:55 PM
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Pandering For Dummies
Anyone who thinks that the recent implosion of the Republican party signals a new day of maturity, logic and rationality in matters governmental probably also believed that the results of the 2012 presidential election would finally “break the fever” of hyper-partisanship in Congress.
From where I stand, Shutdown 2013 is looking like a warm-up act for what promises to be a fully-pyrotechnic, Apocalypse Now midterm campaign year with freak flags flying from “sea to shining sea.” I expect that Heritage Action and the Senate Conservative Fund, and their proud sponsor Koch Industries, will be out for blood and handing out torches and pitchforks to every True Patriot.
Now that President Obama has committed the ultimate crime of executive uppityness—standing up to House Republicans and laying bare their utter incompetence and impotence—he must be removed.
At the Philadelphia Convention, Benjamin Franklin noted that, historically, the removal of “obnoxious” chief executives had been accomplished by assassination. Franklin suggested that a proceduralized mechanism for removal — impeachment — would be preferable.
As a result we have Article II, Section 4 of the US Constitution which states:
The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.
That’s pretty straightforward. “High Crimes,” though a little dated and vague, sounds like pretty serious stuff. Nothing there about being apologetic, sex acts [I’m looking at you, Bill] socialism or playing too much golf. Nevertheless, impeachment has become a standard feature of the Republican playbook when a Democrat is in office. But, if it helps them blow off steam in an institutionally acceptable and relatively harmless way, why not.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/16/13 at 09:07 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013
Values Voters Nadir
The GOP’s Little Engine That Could, hurtling toward inevitable wreckage, pulled into its final stop yesterday to pick up a few last passengers bound for glory. Turns out there was a sort of Harmonic Convergence of ultra-conservatism shaping up this weekend that brought together the illuminati of the far right. There were truckers and Sarah and veterans—oh my!
The Values Voters were in town to renew their vows to God, Guns and Glory, and to select this year’s homecoming king who turned out to be that paragon of conservative values and Christian soldiery, Ted Cruz. Now it just so happened that “our vets,” as Caribou Barbie calls them, were planning a civil protest to make the point that they should always have access to their memorials.
The veterans laid no blame on political parties involved in the government shutdown, they simply wanted to make the point that they feel that these memorials should never be inaccessible to veterans and the public who wish to honor them.
Unfortunately, the Values Voters, all pumped up on a weekend of conservative purity and American Exceptionalism decided that this was a terrific opportunity to flip Obama the bird and get their pictures in the news being patriots again, just like in the 2009 Glory Days.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 10/14/13 at 09:45 AM