“Every four years on Inauguration Day, America shows the world that our major political parties can disagree with civility and mutual respect. It is in this spirit that I congratulate President Obama on his inauguration to a second term and wish him well in the fulfillment of his duty to lead the U.S. at home and abroad over the next four years. The President’s second term represents a fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day; particularly, the transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt. Republicans are eager to work with the President on achieving this common goal, and we firmly believe that divided government provides the perfect opportunity to do so. Together, there is much we can achieve.”
Christ, what an asshole... it wasn’t too long ago that McConnell admitted that his number one priority was to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Having failed in that, he now wants to call a mulligan and have President Obama pretend that the shabby treatment he received from the Republican congresscreeps for the past four years never happened. For a party that seems to idolize the past, the GOP sure loves to shove things down the memory hole. Forget the elephant logo, the Republican emblem should be a goldfish.*
*The pedant in me has to note that the whole three-second memory stereotype is untrue, but I figured the joke is in keeping with popular perception so I ran with it… and promptly ran over it with my “explaining voice”.
The biggest takeaways that I got were a, frankly, thrilling endorsement of a progressive agenda including embracing of entitlements that we have all paid for (we are NOT a nation of takers - FU Granny Starver Ryan), action on climate change, gun control/safety (whatever you want to call it), rebuilding of our infrastructure, smackdown on the Rethugs attempts at voter suppression, embracing of immigrants, civil rights for teh gays and much, much more.
What did you guys think? Am I naive, optimistic or is B. Hussein Obamz finally going to kick some ass for progressive causes? After all, he has nothing to lose now - why not go for it?!
And it’s just a little amuse-bouche that RMoney was so butthurt over losing that he did a big no-show.
The penultimate part of my stream-of-consciousness romp through the past year on Rumproast takes us from the suspense of the eve of the first Presidential Debate to the glorious GOP recriminations and infighting of the end of November. Part 5—December—will follow tomorrow (Sunday).
If we didn’t all have way too much skin in the game, the post-election Republican melt-down might be quite entertaining. Imagine you’re a European with an unhealthy preoccupation with American politics (I know. Seriously?) But just pretend you are.
Hard-right Republicans can be as unhinged, absurd and/or Ick!-worthy as possible and you don’t have to live with the consequences—it’s a post-modern laugh-riot, amirite?
Rep. Lynn Martin (R-IL 1981-1991) is supposed to have said that “the House of Representatives is like a pre-school class that missed nap-time.” The mothers among us know just how apt that statement is. And, I’d venture a guess that the House, during her tenure, was a lot saner than today’s.
Part 3 of my roundup, after the fold, spans the “Good grief, is Mitt really relying on the Breitbartlets to win this thing for him?!” of early July to the plaintive “Are we there yet?” whimper of the end of September.
The Rethugs are acting like badasses again and threatening to shut down the government, destroy the economy and wreak whatever havoc is necessary upon our hapless nation unless President Obama yields to their will and throws social security under the bus. Sounds like the plot of an old time melodrama but in fact it’s just life in Washington DC these days.
The Prez, for his part, has said “no dice”. He will have no negotiations over raising the debt ceiling (which after all is NOT new spending, it’s just paying the bill for spending already incurred. By, you know, Congress.) Whether you believe the president or not depends pretty much on whether or not you believe his presidency has been just a series of betrayals of true progressives.
Some people just don’t even want to find out and are once again bringing up the alternative option of minting a one trillion dollar platinum coin, depositing it with the federal reserve then continuing to write the checks to keep the government going and, happily, *not* default on the public debt.
But can he even do that? Because it sounds pretty crazy. Apparently it’s the result of a law which allows platinum coins to be minted in any denomination. As has been pointed out, the purpose of the law was to make, and sell, commemorative and/or collectible coins. But still, it says what it says.
Paul Krugman, for one, thinks that we not only can mint that coin but should mint that coin. And let’s face it, he’s no light weight on matters fiscal.
Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. He will, after all, be faced with a choice between two alternatives: one that’s silly but benign, the other that’s equally silly but both vile and disastrous. The decision should be obvious.
Deficit scolds enjoy a public opinion advantage because people (egged on by politicians) draw analogies between government revenues and spending and household income and spending. “We have to tighten our belts when less comes in,” goes the reasoning.
Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that when we’re talking about government revenues and spending and how it interacts with the domestic and global economy. But simple analogies are appealing, and the scolds use this as a cudgel to whack stimulus proponents.
As we know, in the upcoming debt ceiling fight, the Republicans will position themselves as the fiscally responsible people who want to stop borrowing money for spending we can’t afford. This is a lie, of course, since the debt ceiling concerns money that has already been appropriated by Congress.
But hardly anyone knows that. Maybe it’s time to steal a page from the wingnut playbook and craft a simple analogy of our own.
The president has pointed out that the debt ceiling isn’t about new spending. But maybe he should say not raising it would be like a family that wanted to cut its overall spending refusing to make mortgage and car payments on their existing home and vehicles instead of making smarter choices about future purchases.
The Republicans are threatening to ruin our credit and throw the global economy into turmoil by refusing to make good on credit that has already been extended for money that has already been spent. Maybe if more people got that, they’d see this as the radical and irresponsible behavior it is rather than just another boring round of endless DC squabbling. Or not.
Via MaddowBlog: FL Senator Marco Rubio told a huge whopper on Twitter:
Rubio is marginally more intelligent than the average tea party loon, which is why, although he was happy to ride their Cap’n Crunch coattails to the US Senate, he is careful to keep them at arm’s length. That may come in handy for him.
Rubio’s party doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the deficit the tea party idiots are howling about; Rubio’s party wants to continue looting the US Treasury on behalf of Mitt Romney’s class. To do so, Rubio’s party needs to destroy Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and any other social program that implies by its existence that corporations and the plutocrats who run them have an obligation to the country.
Rubio doesn’t have a problem with his party’s objectives, but he does have an optics issue, in that he represents a state with a significant number of senior citizens who will be cheesed off if Rubio’s party—led by the tea party nuts—continues to champion cuts in social programs to ensure that Mitt Romney pays less than 14% a year in taxes on his investment income.
There’s no rational case Rubio can make to his constituents on why they should favor screwing themselves to shovel largess to multimillionaire dancing horse hobbyists. So Rubio will just try to bluff his way through this conundrum with big fat lies and hope it blows over before he’s up for reelection.
Will people be dumb enough to fall for that? Could be! This is Florida, after all. But there’s some evidence to suggest that there’s a limit to the stupid.
Just about every outlet runs a recap of the year at this point in the calendar, so I figured I’d join ‘em.
After the fold and in the subsequent parts you’ll find a whizz through the highlights and lowlights of the year I’ve chosen to cherrypick from the pages of Rumproast, along with some nominees for Headline of the Month. All this is obviously open to debate and I’m sure there are plenty of folks who’ll disagree with my choices in what is of necessity a very sketchy and superficial skim of 2012’s themes. If so, feel free to pipe up in the comments.
Reflecting back on the year that was, I think it’s apt the the post-election season seems to have provided the liberal blogger so many gifts. Things like this New York Magazine story about the National Review cruise, rich with detail that keeps the shaden right on freuding. It’s a stocking stuffed with images of the clueless, the bitter, the regretful, and ruminations on the unbearable whiteness of being Mitt Romney. For that matter, this tasty tidbit served up by Romney Number One son, Tagg, is fascinating as a psychological study despite its brevity for the depths it possibly reveals—
Is it possible Mitt Romney did not really want to be president? How does one run for about seven years without actually wanting to be president? He faced a contentious field in not one, but two primaries. He fund raised, he fibbed, he glad-handed, he glibbed, in short, he gave every indication to the outside world that, why yes, he might very much like to live in the White House (not that this is necessarily synonymous with being president). And yet he did not win, and his campaign was not run very well. Who knows what this explains?
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
reads just a bit like wish-fulfillment (although my post had to do with a Mitch McConnell viewpoint-correction—which may well be coming, yet).
Huh. It’s Obama’s fault that Boehner can’t get the votes to do shit. So what happened on Thursday?
Well, he tried to get his guys to vote on a “Plan B” that was stuffed with things they should have liked. And they said “No.” Santa Boehner promised them a Christmas Tree, and didn’t get any cookies and milk in return. Thankless, this being Speaker of the House business. Is there any answer to his Yuletide dilemma, besides “ho,ho,ho”? his way out of it, and try to make the deal a) sweeter to his non-coalition (tick tock) and b) totally unacceptable to the House Dems, the Senate, and the White House, completely revealing who is the problem around here? (And that’s actually probably his best choice if he likes this job?)
Or should he just toss the whole thing in the fuck-it-bucket with some ice and prosecco, say “shaft the speakership”, and let Obama deal with a new congress, (which I bet Obama already has plans to do)? (That would be an excellent “Take this job and shove it” option, and ideal in the face of what looks like a “no-confidence” vote.)
The sad thing was, Boehner’s gambit actually was a bid to get some leverage by saying he could get something done—if the White House and Senate would just work with what the House agreed to. Not getting that, his road ahead looks pretty rugged. It looks even crappier if one paid attention to his very short Wednesday presser.
No, it’s actually just a stinger scene from Trey Stone and Matt Parker’s X-rated comedy classic Orgazmo. In it, Parker’s character Elder Young is mistaken by porn film producer Maxxx Orbison for that famous hunka-hunka burning love memorialized by Elvis Presley (or was that William F. Burroughs?). In the same dangerous moment of misinterpretation Young’s junior missionary partner Ben Chepleski (Dian Bachar) is errantly ascribed the cheerful disposition and dual-purpose plumbing gear you’d expect from a fishnet-stockinged Robin.
Enjoy! If you get time and the opportunity, please treat yourself to three other South Park movies—Cannibal, The Musical; Team America: World Police; and South Park—Bigger, Longer, And Uncut.
The 2012 post-election implosion of the Republican Party is no longer news, it has now morphed into a sort of protracted anthropological study conducted by forensic squads of enquiring minds from all regions of the intellectual landscape.
We’re now at a stage that is like being forced to attend a family intervention on Superbowl Sunday. The pathetic yutz of a “guest of honor” wallowing in self-pity, anger and (worst case) withdrawal, while the rest of the family natters away frantically about self-help, tough love and family history. It’s a horror show, with no real winners or losers, that must simply be endured.
And, because we are “family” it is assumed that someday we will forgive and forget, but that’s a long way off . . .