Friday, April 26, 2013

Too soon? Yep. Too soon.


As the push to rehabilitate the worst president in living memory proceeds apace, former Bushies are crawling out the woodwork to beg us to take another bite of the shit taco and experience anew the tasty goodness.

In a post entitled “George W. Bush is smarter than you,” someone named Keith Hennessey, the former director of the George W. Bush National Economics Council (which is like being the Emeritus Chair of the Sarah Palin Center for Teen Pregnancy Prevention—discuss!) invites citizens to “test your own assumptions and thinking about our former President” through a series of questions:

This is a hard one, for liberals only. Do you assume that he is unintelligent because he made policy choices with which you disagree?

Nope. I assume he is unintelligent (or evil, but I suspect mostly dumb because I’m charitable that way) because he made policy choices that predictably resulted in a series of world-historical clusterfucks which killed or maimed hundreds of thousands of people, looted the national treasury, subverted our moral authority, undermined our global standing and widened the wealth inequality chasm. Next?

If so, your logic may be backwards. “I disagree with choice X that President Bush made. No intelligent person could conclude X, therefore President Bush is unintelligent.”

Kind of surprising that the George W. Bush National Economics Council would appoint an eighth-grader fresh from an introduction to logic class as director. Oh wait

Might it be possible that an intelligent, thoughtful conservative with different values and priorities than your own might have reached a different conclusion than you?  Do you really think your policy views derive only from your intellect?

Uh-oh—Iooks like someone didn’t comprehend the straw man logical fallacy lesson! But let’s play along: The thing is that the aforementioned world-historical clusterfucks were predictable—and were in fact predicted in real time by many people.

It doesn’t matter if Bush’s policy views were derived from his “intellect,” Cheney’s colon or a Magic Eight Ball; they were not only wrong, they were disastrously and measurably so on virtually every important front – domestic, international, financial and social. 

So a hearty “fuck off” to you, Mr. Hennessey, for having the effrontery to peddle what is demonstrably shit as Shinola while we are still digging ourselves from the reeking pile. It’s too soon for a rehab tour.

With a bit of luck, you might be able to sell this stinking load of horseshit to my great-great-grandchildren. But I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 04/26/13 at 10:45 AM

Categories: PoliticsBushCoNuttersSarah PalinWar In Error

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Commander in Chief Does Not Get a Mulligan

Charlie Pierce has a great piece up detailing the efforts of the right to use the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library as an occasion to give Dubya a mulligan on 9/11 by repeating the mantra that “he kept us safe” afterwards.

Thus do we confront what we can call The Great Mulligan, which is granted by the dimmer lights in the chandelier to the president and to the national security team — Hi, Condi! — who presided over the most massive intelligence failure in American history, and over the greatest loss of life to an enemy attack on American soil since everybody hugged it out at Appomattox. This has popped up from time to time in the years since it became obvious what a complete and utter failure the Bush presidency really was. Sorry we lied you into a war, but we kept you safe. Sorry we demolished American values, and just about every shred of American moral credibility in the world, but we kept you safe. Sorry we let New Orleans drown, but we kept you safe. Sorry we allowed the national economy to blow up, but we kept you safe. In fact, if you sent C-Plus Augustus into his own museum, and had him take that interactive quiz, and provided he didn’t break a thumb trying to get a Diet Coke out of the exhibit, his answer to everything would be I kept you safe.

Go read the rest.  You’ll be glad you did.

Posted by marindenver on 04/24/13 at 03:30 PM

Categories: New York CityManhattanPoliticsBushCoEditorialsWar In Error

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jeb, This is Awkward

You know, I really don’t want to be back talking about 2016, but Jeb was all over the Sunday shows, and it was hard not to look at it as being possibly just as much about 2016 as about peddling his book. And yes, maybe it’s a little bit like being a “crack addict” to speculate about this—but really? Are we going to shrug off the legacy of big bro’ as “not baggage”?

Heavy sigh. The last quarter-century is all about Bushes. There is no escape here. How to explain?

That outsider artist reinventing himself as a premier puppy painter?  Is forever linked with an Administration that oversaw a war in Iraq that will always be associated with gross abuse. (I wonder if there isn’t something in W that makes him uniquely suited to capturing the soul of puppies. They, too, are scolded for making messes they don’t entirely understand and aren’t sure what they should do to fix.)

But Jeb himself isn’t quite ready to articulate a vision for the future, at odds with his book, at odds with interviews of mere days ago.  He can invoke the Reagan Administration of which his own father was a part as a time of less partisanship—but it doesn’t help him begin to explain how to arrive at a less-partisan future—anymore than his brother’s “compassionate conservatism” did. Not when the 1988 campaign of his father against Dukakis was one of the most wedge-issue-tainted smear-jobs. Not when the first Gulf War has so much to do with a very specific vision of power and patriotism. That is what W inherited—and it’s Jeb’s legacy, too, like it or not. Which is why he’s spinning like a tire in a damp rut over immigration. Does he, like his father, supposedly lack “the vision thing”? Or has he only seen too much?

No matter. Na’gonna happen. Not even if folks in the Beltway bubble want to make it happen.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 03/10/13 at 10:24 PM

Categories: Knee SlappersPoliticsBqhatevwrBushCoElection '16NuttersSkull Hampers

Friday, February 08, 2013

A Portrait of the Artist as a Man of Decent Hygiene

It appears that the Bush Family (yes, that one) got hacked recently, causing several personal emails and pictures to come floating out where people can see them. I don’t endorse this kind of thing, myself. I think everyone should be entitled to some privacy. However, I can’t resist commenting on the two works of the hand of former president George W. Bush because there’s something so solitary and bath-centered about them.

I’ve tried not to read other art criticism regarding the pieces because I like to keep my impressions fresh, and I’m sure there will be no small amount of speculation over the subliminal “coming clean” motif due to the pictures both involving Bush in the state of, well, becoming clean. It should be noted that as these are self-portraits, one might expect the painting to reveal something about the artist—I don’t know that it does. The bath portrait reveals legs mostly submerged in water.  The shower portrait is more oddly composed, giving the viewer the perspective of gazing over the subject’s shoulder, yet being able to glimpse his face at an odd angle in the reflection of a shaving mirror. It is hard to refrain from speculating about what this says regarding the psychological state of the artist, himself.  I will note that the bathroom is the one place where people can find themselves truly alone, the bath or shower where one finds oneself naked. It is a place where one performs daily rituals of hygiene, but it is also a place of vulnerability.

But the choice of the bath or shower for the settings of Bush’s self-portraits could also mean no more than that, in retirement, he’s simply taking a heck of a lot more showers and baths. He has the time to be clean now.  The inner self of the artist remains a puzzle. If it exists, at all.

I’m sure our Roasters can derive more insight into what is here than I have, however, so I’ll leave it to you.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 02/08/13 at 11:45 PM

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Separated at Birth? (Open Thread)


If this Treasury Secretary thing doesn’t work out for Jack Lew, he can always play Grandpa Harry Potter in an unauthorized sequel to the series. Or maybe Lew really IS a wizard and can take care of the debt ceiling nonsense with a clever spell. “Republicanus Embrainiamo” or something…

I’m taking the teen to see a matinee showing of “Zero Dark Thirty” today. We’ll see for ourselves how the torture issue is handled and discuss the truth (as we know it) and politics of it afterward. What are y’all up to this fine Sunday morning?

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 01/13/13 at 08:37 AM

Categories: MoviesPoliticsBushCoWar In Error

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Somebody Remind John McCain That He Lost in 2008


This morning, I thought it might be fun to start with a little guessing game:  I call it Identify the Bitter Old Senatorial Bloviator.  Let’s go!

Guess who said this, and when:

__________________ is a great American success story. This is what America is all about. A young woman who grew up in a segregated part of America where Americans were not treated equally, to rise to the position of secretary of state. We should have been celebrating, I believe, this remarkable American success story.

Also, I thought that some of the remarks — and I’m not going to mention my colleagues’ names — some of the remarks aimed at her during the hearings challenged her integrity. We can disagree on policy and we disagree on a lot of things, but I think it is very clear that _______________ is a person of integrity. And yes, I see this, some lingering bitterness over a very tough campaign. I hope it dissipates soon.

I can only conclude we’re doing this for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness at the outcome of the elections.

If you guessed Sen. John McCain, “Bingo!”  That was Senator McCain waxing all “America, Land of Opportunity” over the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice back in 2005.  McCain seemed quite impressed with the other Rice’s indisputable “integrity” despite the fact that, as National Security Advisor to George W. Bush, she lied through her teeth about Saddam Hussein’s WMDS, resulting in the deaths of thousands of American troops and countless Iraqi civilians over ten years in Iraq.

In light of those glowing accolades, as opposed to Sen. McCain’s current character assassination of Susan Rice, I can only conclude that he’s doing this for no other reason than because of lingering bitterness at the outcome of the elections.

Here’s another one—who said this and when?

We need an ambassador who has the trust of the president and the secretary of State . . . elections have consequences, and one consequence of President ________ re-election is that he has the right to appoint officials of his choice. 

A president has a right to put into place the team that he believes will serve him best.

Wow! that McCain has a silver tongue, doesn’t he?  That was 2005 again, when McCain spoke up for Dubya’s nomination of John Bolton for Ambassador to the UN.  At the time, Bolton’s opponents said he was unfit for the job because, among other things, he allegedly tried to get a State Department analyst to change an intelligence finding to support his own world view.  But John McCain said “Fiddlesticks!”

Of course, McCain has had a terrible decade: he was beaten by a landslide by a black man who refuses to kiss McCain’s ring.  The little trolls in McCain’s head keep telling him “It should be ME! in that Oval Office, and commanding SEAL teams from the SitRoom!  And I have to stomach this “uppity pretender” strutting his stuff and being Friended all over FaceBook and, and IT. SHOULD. BE. ME! (and Caribou Barbie) running things.

If you think “hell hath no fury like a Senate Minority Leader scorned,” wait’ll you see how long McCain can hold his breath.

As Charles Pierce, of Esquire, so poetically put it:

Yes, because when you’re as concerned as McCain assures us he is that the foreign policy of the United States is coming unraveled, the best patriotic solution is to work as hard as you can to keep the State Department leaderless until the fires of your personal tantrum cool. It’s hard to believe Hank Paulson didn’t listen to him back in 2008.

It is eating Republicans alive that Benghazi didn’t “Watergate” Obama.  They have lost the presidential election, some of their heft in the House (202 Democrats - 234 Republicans), the fever dream of a Senate majority and a lot of their credibility as the go-to party for national security matters.

Now that Romeo Petraeus has testified and the whole Susan Rice incident is quickly shriveling up into a nothingness, Republicans are doing their version of political strategizing to keep the story alive (despite the fact that events in the Mid-East keep stealing their news cycles). 

Now McCain is demanding a public apology from Susan Rice to the American people for misleading them (ahhh! the Irony) and 97 House Republicans have signed a letter saying, among lots of other derogatory BS, that Rice is “widely viewed” as incompetent or dishonest, not only at home but “around the world.” 

Notice that more than half of House Republicans figure they have better things to do, especially since the House has no role in confirming presidential nominees.

As Michael Crowley, of Time Magazine’s “Swampland” blog points out:

Whether Rice would fail to win a hearing at, say, the Saudi king’s palace because of this one trip around the talk show circuit is hard enough to swallow. But when you think about it, the letter also entails a certain chutzpah. If being “widely viewed” as incompetent or dishonest is such a problem, shouldn’t most of the people who signed that letter, being members of Congress and all, themselves be out of a job?

But, in politics, there’s always a hidden agenda, isn’t there?  The hidden agenda here is that Republicans are guessing that if Obama doesn’t want to go through one of their signature fili-blustery confirmation hearings, he would nominate John Kerry (D-Mass), who would most likely cruise unimpeded into the SoS position.  BUT—that would mean vacating his Senate seat, setting up a special election for a Massachussetts senate seat that Scott Brown would almost certainly run for and win thus diminishing Democratic power in the Senate at a time when each of those seats were hard-won.

There you have it, business as usual.  Obviously, the GOP would rather lumber into a tar pit than change anything about their winning ways.  Meanwhile, if you care about Susan Rice’s career, hop on over to whitehouse.gov where I’ve put up a petition calling for John McCain to issue a public apology to her for defaming her character.


Posted by Bette Noir on 11/20/12 at 09:48 AM

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBushCoNutters

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It’s starting to really shape up that the criticism of the Obama Administration regarding the attack on the consulate at Benghazi is a lot of outrage about….the Obama Administration even existing. I was astonished that then-Republican candidate for the presidency, Mitt Romney, chose to opportunistically seize on the deaths of four Americans because it was the sort of flail a losing campaign with a candidate who neither seemed to know or care to understand much about foreign policy might launch. Astonished that no one called it off—not astonished that it occured. The point being—I could remember exactly that sort of fail-flail occuring with a candidate who attempted to grandstand on an issue—the economy, which was not his known strong point, in exactly the same point in his campaign;

The candidate was Senator John McCain, and the event was the nonsensical suspension of his campaign and the further subsequent flail of calling together a group of his peers to try and hash out a plan. From then Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s version of the events:

It was brilliant political theater that was about to degenerate into farce. Skipping protocol, the president turned to McCain to offer him a chance to respond: “I think it’s fair that I give you the chance to speak next.”

But McCain demurred. “I’ll wait my turn,” he said. It was an incredible moment, in every sense. This was supposed to be McCain’s meeting—he’d called it, not the president, who had simply accommodated the Republican candidate’s wishes. Now it looked as if McCain had no plan at all—his idea had been to suspend his campaign and summon us all to this meeting. It was not a strategy, it was a political gambit, and the Democrats had matched it with one of their own.


Finally, raising his voice over the din, Obama said loudly, “I’d like to hear what Senator McCain has to say, since we haven’t heard from him yet.”

The room went silent and all eyes shifted to McCain, who sat quietly in his chair, holding a single note card. He glanced at it quickly and proceeded to make a few general points. He said that many members had legitimate concerns and that I had begun to head in the right direction on executive pay and oversight. He mentioned that Boehner was trying to move his caucus the best he could and that we ought to give him the space to do that. He added he had confidence the consensus could be reached quickly.

As he spoke, I could see Obama chuckling.

McCain had nothing, then, and got called on it, just like Mitt Romney had nothing when, during the second debate, he stepped into the trap (“Please proceed, Governor”) that invited the moderator to actually perform an act of journalism and check the factual record, acknowledging that Obama from day one did consider the Benghazi assault an act of terror.

How is it then, that right after Mitt Romney’s notable shellacking in the election, that Senator John McCain decides to jump on the Benghazi bandwagon with both feet, so eager to publically smear Obama that he calls a potential nominee for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State “none too bright” whilst he is literally blowing off a briefing to potentially get the kind of answers that he was seeking?

How does one shriveled human actually contain so much bitterness?  I don’t even know. In his wake, the wingnuts who were in mid-flock are caught spouting gibberish by journalists who smell a rat.

This leaves me with the happy thought, espoused by Booman, that just like this was a non-story, maybe this means John McCain is finally persona non grata.  I, too, have longed for the time when McCain inserted his platinum card to draw from the old Bank of American Trust, and finds it declined (hell, he should get a bill with penalties for being well and truly overdrawn). But I treat this non-story as a bloggable event in much the way a doctor is interested in symptoms—“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.”  I’d like to see the symptoms abate—and yet, I am watchful in the event that the screamers on the right will try to actually get their “Watergate-style” hearings—facts be damned!  They see the ghosts.

They need them. Or they would have to face the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Obama Administration’s greatest success is in not really being fuck-ups.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/17/12 at 12:10 AM

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Director of the CIA Probably Shouldn’t Have A Comare

I felt a little blind-sided yesterday by the news that General David Petraeus resigned in a fast hurry when it was it was going to be revealed (because his resignation was the first I heard about it, how about you?) that he had an extra-marital affair with his biographer, whose book was fascinatingly enough titled All In: The Education of General David Petraeus—and if you can’t write your own joke about that book title, I will not help you. After all, it is inappropriate to make an off-color sexual joke about another person’s personal indiscretions, and also—duh, she is pre-wrote, the joke.  No, really, the breach of two marriages, the ignominious capper to a pretty legendary military career, and a sex scandal are all a bit sad and personal—

For which reason this story is journamilism gold. I’m pretty sure the ship on this not becoming grist for a number of very high-volume mills has sailed, and the results of that voyage will be a mixed as my metaphor.  I know that if I were a more serious person, I would concentrate on how Petraeus’s sudden resignation appears with respects to the Obama Administration’s transition to the second term, or the degree to which the individual most responsible for the Bush-era story about mobile biowarfare trailers in Iraq and was a major proponent of the not-especially successful surge in Afghanistan strategy because it had apparently worked so well in Iraq, but why kick a neocon in the slats when he’s down, except to guarantee he never rises again, am I right?

Here’s the main scoop: the guy who got promoted to a highly critical and sensitive position in US intelligence was susceptible enough to flattery to let an admiring biographer get skin-close to him and possible compromised his communications. She, in turn, was caught out because she used email to threaten some other woman (or was it women?) to harass her (them) in the event that they would a) spill or b) hone in on her territory. And also, he used email to literally try and contact her thousands of times.  Oh, and did I mention she might have had access to his emails? Because that’s a possible security breach.

I don’t even want to get into the whole “and now he doesn’t have to testify about Benghazi” thing, because—seriously?  The small, nasty gossip-monger side of me is like “thousands”? He emailed her “thousands” of times? Is that twoo wuv or did she have hold of some information he was all desperate about no one finding out, like something other than her nickname for him being “Peaches”?

I just do not know.

(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 11/11/12 at 12:13 AM

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersBushCoNuttersWar In ErrorSkull Hampers

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Waiting in the Wings: Dick Ryan

I’ve been taking some time out from blogging in this last week or so before the Poll To End All Polls.

This was partly out of deference to the savage storms whose aftermath some of you folks are going to have a hard enough time living through without some anonymous smartarse from Scotland looking out his window and muttering, “60 m.p.h. winds and horizontal rain—barbie weather!”

It also took a while for Ms. YAFB to rev up on the runway at Glasgow airport through one canceled flight and eventually jet stateside to visit her own version of Republican Mom/Lefty Daughter Hell, with Thanksgiving and eventual escape a long, LONG way away when you’ve the prospect of no heating, phone, Internet, or lights. She’s now safely landed, picked her way over of the NY State relics of the storm and people’s livelihoods and dreams, and miraculously somehow managed to have power restored to her mom’s house within an hour of arriving, so some of our Brit can-do stiff upper lip has obviously rubbed off over the years. If you get a GOTV phonebank call from an excitable jetlagged woman with a faint Scottish burr, a tendency to profanity, and a pathological distaste for Mitt Romney, treat her kindly.

I’ve also been wary of reenacting the Guardian‘s infamous Clark County Project of 2004. This predictably disastrous experiment in transatlantic diplomacy rallied well-meaning lefty readers to write to undecideds in Ohio in the hopes of drumming some British common sense into them along the lines of “Quit voting for Bush, WTH are you thinking?!”, garnering reactions ranging from “Have you not noticed that Americans don’t give two shits what Europeans think of us?” through “Please be advised that I have forwarded this to the CIA and FBI,” to “KEEP YOUR FUCKIN’ LIMEY HANDS OFF OUR ELECTION. HEY, SHITHEADS, REMEMBER THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR? REMEMBER THE WAR OF 1812? WE DIDN’T WANT YOU, OR YOUR POLITICS HERE, THAT’S WHY WE KICKED YOUR ASSES OUT. FOR THE 47% OF YOU WHO DON’T WANT PRESIDENT BUSH, I SAY THIS ... TOUGH SHIT!” and beyond.

Oh, I’ve still been keeping apace with what I can glean from various online resources, and from what I can see from that limited perspective, Mitt & Co. look like they’re resignedly scaling the first steps of the Kübler-Ross model. But a lot of what’s been cooked up in the way of late gamechangers from the Mittens camp and hangers-on is just desperate replays we already covered a month or more ago, like Fox news’s Benghazigate drive, all of which have been overshadowed by meteorology and President Obama opportunistically acting all presidential and competent and hanging out with his BFF Chris Christie. Indeed, other than a few flurries of stupidity that have leaked out from some public speeches, it looks like Romney and Ryan have largely been trying to keep their heads down, presumably for fear of forgetting which of the policy positions they once proclaimed they’re now abandoning because they’re running for election, for Pete’s sake.

In among all this, I’ve been marveling at what a total damp squib Ryan’s been on the stump, given the rapturous welcome that greeted his pick as the HAWTNESS on the ticket. Last I looked, even Free Republic was back to revolting against the Yoke of Mittness. With just a few longer-form interviews as support from his running mate, Mitt’s been driven to serve as his own attack dog throughout, slinging zingers and recycled lies from his windy vantage point on the roof, and ostentatiously dispatching stocks of his own hot Groundhog Day fudge to the needy in New Jersey and points west where echoes from his denunciation of FEMA are drowning out his recent sudden change of heart. If I compared being attacked by Ryan or Romney to being savaged by a dead sheep, I’d not only risk angering flyover country, I’d be underestimating the viciousness of zombie sheep (not to mention ripping off one Denis Healey).

It’s probably been a frustrating few months for Ryan, doomed to beta male groupie status and hampered by a near total lack of charisma in trying to shake off the utter rout that was his VP debate performance. He’s been seeking succor by doodling on napkins what the future might hold if his prayers are answered and he finally escapes the deadend daily drudgery of serving as the Republican Party’s fiscal boy wonder among the grizzled congressional rabble, as the gloriously named Trip Gabriel at the NYT managed to shake out of nameless gabby “aides” yesterday:

... if the Republican ticket prevails, Mr. Ryan plans to come back roaring, establishing an activist vice presidency that he said would look like Dick Cheney’s under President George W. Bush.

Now THAT’s what I call a lede! They’re going to be hiring White House caterers, by the sound of it:

Mr. Ryan would dedicate most evenings to dinners with senators and House members of both parties, aides said, as he steps into the role Mr. Romney promised: architect of a Romney administration’s drive to enact a budget that shrinks the government and overhauls programs like Medicare.

In Lundtspeak, of course, “shrink” translates as “render totally inoperable and thus irrelevant” and the “overhaul” is likely to resemble my babyhood tendency not to consider any toy truly played with till I’d reverse-engineered it into a messy pile of component parts destined for the trash. But where did that Dick Cheney comparison come from? Are we in HuffPo headline territory here?

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 11/04/12 at 10:09 AM

Friday, November 02, 2012

GOP ROI: The Blossoming

Is Turd Blossom pre-spinning a Romney loss? Maybe:

“If you hadn’t had the storm, there would have been more of a chance for the [Mitt] Romney campaign to talk about the deficit, the debt, the economy. There was a stutter in the campaign. When you have attention drawn away to somewhere else, to something else, it is not to his [Romney’s] advantage,” Rove told The Washington Post.

If President Obama wins this election (and I think he will), what does that say about the power of Super PACs? Here’s OpenSecrets.org’s total Super PAC spending broken down by ideology:


Conservative groups have outspent liberals two to one. For nearly four years, their political operatives in Congress have worked very hard to sabotage every attempt President Obama has made to deal with the crappy economy so that they could run as the out party during a persistent economic crisis, and their 2012 standard bearer promised yesterday that unless he is elected, Republicans in the House will continue to fuck America up the ass for having the temerity to elect a Democrat as president.

And yet it looks like there’s a pretty decent chance that they’ll not only fail to unseat President Obama, the Dems will retain narrow control over the Senate and pick up some seats in the House. What does it mean? Dr. Krugman thinks it might reveal a so-called political genius as a common grifter:

Well, what if we’ve been misunderstanding Rove? We’ve been seeing him as a man dedicated to helping angry right-wing billionaires take over America. But maybe he’s best thought of instead as an entrepreneur in the business of selling his services to angry right-wing billionaires, who believe that he can help them take over America. It’s not the same thing.

And while Rove the crusader is looking — provisionally, of course, until the votes are in — like a failure, Rove the businessman has just had an amazing, banner year.

If this scenario comes to pass, the biggest losers, of course, will be the billionaires who have spent astonishing sums to purchase our democracy fair and square—with bupkis to show for it on November 7. Sheldon Adelson and family will be out $53.69 million. The Koch Bros. will be $36.66 (number of the devil!) lighter.

They’re businessmen. Maybe they’ll conclude it would have been cheaper to just pony the fuck up on their taxes? Hahahaha!

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 11/02/12 at 06:50 PM

Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaBedwettersBushCoElection '12MittensNuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Romney, Wrong on Disaster Response

Sitting in the dark on the job for two days, one has time for contemplation.  Because I was sitting in the dark as a result of a major storm, disaster response has been on my mind.  I’m going to riff off of one of the last blog posts I read before losing the electricity, Bette Noir’s “compare and contrast” post about President Obama’s approach to disaster relief and Mitt Romney’s statements about disaster relief in one of the primary debates.  Here’s an excerpt from the transcript of the debate, hosted by CNN’s John King:

“FEMA is about to run out of money, and there are some people who say do it on a case-by-case basis and some people who say, you know, maybe we’re learning a lesson here that the states should take on more of this role,” Mr. King said. “How do you deal with something like that?”

Romney’s response: “Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that’s the right direction. And if you can go even further and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.

“Instead of thinking in the federal budget, what we should cut – we should ask ourselves the opposite question,” Romney continued. “What should we keep? We should take all of what we’re doing at the federal level and say, what are the things we’re doing that we don’t have to do? And those things we’ve got to stop doing, because we’re borrowing $1.6 trillion more this year than we’re taking in. We cannot ...”

King interjected: “Including disaster relief, though?”

Romney replied: “We cannot – we cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids, knowing full well that we’ll all be dead and gone before it’s paid off. It makes no sense at all.”

A quick glance at the map of Superstorm Sandy demonstrates the stupidity of Mitt Romney’s proposal for diminishing the role of the federal government in disaster response.  Hurricane Sandy was a vast storm which ravaged the Atlantic Coast of the United States from North Carolina to Massachusetts, with lesser, though significant effects felt as far west as Ohio.  Simply put, the storm was too vast for any single state to be able to handle disaster response and relief.  Damage to the infrastructure within a state hampers the coordination of relief efforts.  Even now, days after the storm, there are communication problems (I have electricity, and I am having problems getting through on the phone for various reasons, those without power are even worse off).  In much of the New York tri-state area, gasoline is in short supply.  To put the burden of disaster relief on the overburdened states is asinine.  Just because I want to twist the knife, so to speak, Mitt Romney’s record as a governor responding to a natural is not a good one.

In times of disaster, it is important to remember the original motto of the United States, E Pluribus Unum, which is Latin for “out of many, one”.  Combined, the states form a more powerful whole.  In times of natural disaster, the federal government can coordinate the response more readily than the states which have been hit.  The United States is a vast country, the nature of disasters differs from location to location- while different states can concentrate on their areas of expertise, a central coordinating agency is better able to marshal resources that will be needed after local resources are exhausted. 

To compound Romney’s idiocy, his assertion that he’d rather have the private sector administer disaster responses is truly a howler.  Of course, Romney’s not really an idiot- he’s the sort of sociopath who would prefer that there’s an executive skimming off the top when funds are allocated for disaster aid.  If Romney gets elected president, expect well-connected wealthy insiders to get even wealthier on the misery of disaster victims.  In anticipation of such a (literal) windfall, Jeb Bush has founded a for-profit disaster response corporation.  If disaster response is privatized, there will be a two-tier approach to relief and recovery operations- the rich folks will be whisked out of the disaster area in luxurious helicopters with fully-stocked bars while Joe and Jane Schmo will die horribly… the executives have to make a profit, after all.  I imagine Jeb Bush’s privatized disaster response will be just as successful as his brother George’s privatized war.

In the ‘90’s the town of Rye Brook, New York decided to experiment with privatized firefighting services.  The private firefighting corporation cut corners with wages, ensuring that the workers were poorly-trained and had a high turnover rate, and they refused to engage in a mutual assistance agreement with neighboring municipalities, and the result was disastrous.  Imagine how poorly a private corporation, with an eye towards maximizing profits, would handle a disaster of the magnitude of a Sandy.

Hopefully, the example of Sandy will wake voters who would vote for Mitt Romney out of spite.  Romney is unfit to run the country- Chris Christie, a man I can’t stand, has praised President Obama’s disaster response and is being lambasted by his former admirers for it.  Former Republican and wishy-washy “third way” flack Mike Bloomberg has endorsed President Obama’s candidacy.  In the face of disaster, real leadership and a genuine desire for public service is needed.  Mitt Romney is a callow, hollow simulacrum of a man, and his history of failed disaster response and putting personal profits over the public need renders him unacceptable as a President.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/01/12 at 05:58 PM

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Standing on the Corpses of Giants Part II: Politician Takes Responsibility—Republicans Astonished

You can’t wander far online right now without encountering fistpumping jubilation among rightwingers that four diplomats were killed and three wounded in Benghazi last month—just in time for their October Surprise!

Mitt Romney, from the Mother Jones “secret video”:

... in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that’s—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today if you said, “We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon,” they’d go hold on. It’s really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.

YAY! Something of that nature happened! Dead Americans! Opportunity!

Form of a human—Mittbot transform!

Romney Chokes Up Recalling Fallen Navy SEAL

Mitt Romney shared a remarkable story at a campaign rally in Iowa today, his voice wavering and cracking slightly as he described the tragic death of a former Navy SEAL he’d met years earlier.  The young man was from Massachusetts; he died in Benghazi during the September 11 terrorist attack against the American consulate that claimed the life of US Ambassador Chris Stevens.  Here is Mitt’s stirring and moving tribute:

Pesky humans:

Romney was visibly emotional during the story, and the video of the speech was repeated throughout the day on network and cable news.

But one of Glen Doherty’s best friends remembered Doherty’s impression of this meeting much differently.
Ellefsen said Doherty recalled meeting Mitt Romney years ago, but the account was much different from what the Presidential candidate retold in Iowa.

According to Ellefsen, Romney introduced himself to Doherty four separate times during the gathering.

“He said it was very comical,” Ellefsen said, “Mitt Romney approached him ultimately four times, using this private gathering as a political venture to further his image. He kept introducing himself as Mitt Romney, a political figure. The same introduction, the same opening line. Glen believed it to be very insincere and stale.”

Ellefsen said Doherty remembered Romney as robotic.

“He said it was pathetic and comical to have the same person come up to you within only a half hour, have this person reintroduce himself to you, having absolutely no idea whatsoever that he just did this 20 minutes ago, and did not even recognize Glen’s face.”

The mother of Glen Doherty, a Navy SEAL who was one of four Americans killed in the Sept. 11 attack in Libya, told a Boston TV station that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shouldn’t politicize her son’s death.
“I don’t trust Romney,” she said. “He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.”

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/16/12 at 08:38 AM

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Biggest WTF? Moment in Mitt’s VMI Speech

Bette Noir has a good overview of Mitt Romney’s VMI Speech, but I feel I have to mention one weird moment that had me scratching my bald pate in puzzlement:

The size of our Navy is at levels not seen since 1916. I will restore our Navy to the size needed to fulfill our missions by building 15 ships per year, including three submarines.

The veracity of this statement can be determined with a little bit of research.  In terms of the number of ships, the current U.S. Navy has forty more ships than its 1916 counterpart.  Of course, this raw number doesn’t address the fact that the firepower packed by today’s navy is dramatically greater than that of 1916’s navy. Today’s navy includes eleven floating cities of doom that would have been inconceivable in 1916- each of these carriers forms the nucleus of a sophisticated mini-fleetModern military technology allows our current navy to project power at a much greater range than that of the early 20th century navy.

Mitt’s claim, characterized by CNN as pointless, represents another unforced error- it was a stupid claim, easily fact-checked.  The fact that Mitt included it in an allegedly “major” foreign policy speech reveals the depth of his ignorance and the breadth of his arrogance- did he not think that someone would research this issue?

Personally, I think Mitt came across his skewed view of the navy while researching pop culture in a hopeless attempt to seem hip.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 10/10/12 at 06:26 AM

Categories: PoliticsBedwettersBushCoElection '12MittensWar In ErrorSkull Hampers

Monday, October 01, 2012

One in 1,784


I spent the weekend ass deep in sheetrock, tile and half-assembled cabinets, attempting to reconstruct my kitchen. While catching up on the blog this morning, I read that TBogg, LGM, DougJ, Mistermix and Balloon Juice commenters are Manichean monsters. Not that this is anything new, mind you: liberals who vote for compromised Democrats (and there is no other type of elected or electable official) are routinely—with cicada-like regularity, one might say—accused of heartlessly casting aside the poor, the innocent victims of pointless wars, the uninsured, the homeless, the mentally ill, women, the LGBT community, people of color, etc., as so many bumps in the road to 270 electoral votes.

Perusing the threads on this topic here and elsewhere, I was struck—as others were—by the resemblance to the arguments I myself advanced in 2000—back when I was the sanctimonious twit saying that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore. I was wrong. I learned my lesson. In my own defense, all I can say is that the consequences of my casting one of the 1,784 votes in Florida that was the official margin of difference between Bush and Gore were unimaginable at the time, at least to me.

And I’ve regretted it ever since and will until the day I die. Seriously. I number that vote among the worst things I’ve ever done as a human being on this planet, even though I’ve done more stupid and mean things than I care to remember, and despite the fact that my motives in that case were fairly pure.

I don’t expect my fessing up to this and saying I learned my lesson and regret my third party vote in 2000 will change anyone’s mind who is contemplating a similar move in 2012. It’s not only that I remember well my own self-righteousness 12 years ago, though I do. It’s that anyone who can’t draw the blindingly obvious lesson from that debacle—which isn’t exactly ancient history—is probably just not persuadable.

So what should the disaffected liberal do? Well, sack up, for one thing: Ridicule from someone on a blog isn’t exactly a Hellfire missile up the poop chute. Advocate for your goddamn position with facts and figures—at the grassroots level—even if someone is mean to you on a blog! Persuade the people who don’t currently give a shit, which is, sadly, most of the American public. Get involved in politics at the local level, where your voice is potentially louder. All these are good and worthy goals.

Empowering politicians who think the US isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Likud Party in Israel isn’t a good and worthy goal. It wasn’t in 2000, and it isn’t today. Your actions have consequences. Own them. And for Christ’s sake, quit whining about it.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 10/01/12 at 08:35 AM

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Give up the 9/11 Mythology

Typically, nobody makes a big deal about an eleventh anniversary.  Last year, I put up a post on the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  My great and good friend Ned, whose “9/11 connection” was so much more intimate than mine (I was at work, about twenty miles north of Manhattan, on that morning, but the plume of smoke and debris was visible from my Yonkers home, just north of the city) always puts up a post discussing the attacks from an engineering standpoint and links to a heartrending piece written by a friend of his.

This year, I’m not going to be nice…

read the whole post »

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 09/11/12 at 06:17 PM

Categories: PoliticsBushCoWar In Error

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