Wingnuts will soon have to find another target for their misogyny, paranoia and homophobia:
Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, announced Friday that she was stepping down, setting off a search to fill one of the most challenging positions in government at a time when the Obama administration is struggling to get a team in place for the president’s second term.
The vacancy sets the stage for another confirmation fight as Republicans continue their efforts to nullify the last two presidential elections. There’s no word yet on whom the president will nominate, but WaPo put together a speculative list, including:
[Joe] Lieberman makes sense as DHS secretary for one pretty obvious reason: He created the department. Lieberman, as chair of the committee that is now referred to as the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, drafted the bill that created DHS shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. He also recently retired from the Senate, meaning he’s a free agent. But his tendency to give his Democratic colleagues heartburnbe a spiteful, war-mongering Republican dick may not make him an ideal fit. [Edited for accuracy]
No, no, a thousand, million, kajillion, ding-dong-dillion times, no. Jenny Durkan (profiled in that same WaPo article) sounds qualified, and since she’s an out lesbian, her candidacy would have the added benefit of triggering even more Lesbocalypse fears among the right-wing assholes who have spent the last five years absurdly imagining that the innocuous Ms. Napolitano was rifling through their underwear drawer and monitoring activities at the Moose lodge.
But perhaps the best outcome—and most fitting monument to Lieberman’s work in the Senate—would be to abolish the Department of Homeland Security altogether, break it up into its component parts. Like so much that is wrong with this country, it’s a remnant of post-9/11 hysteria.
Or we could at least change the name, which, as Peggy Noonan pointed out in a rare moment of clarity, is “vaguely Teutonic.” What shall we call it? Please feel free to discuss other topics too—open threadage.
If you’re gay, like me, or are related to/work with/care about or know someone who is gay, like most of us, this has been a particularly wonderful week. And it was just lagniappe, as they say in The Big Easy, to sip a Sunday morning cup of joe while watching Kindly Doc Maddow shoot conservative fish in a barrel.
David Gregory hosted Maddow, along with Jim DeMint and Ralph Reed on Meet the Press to discuss fine points of conservative social policy in the wake of SCOTUS’ “extremist” decisions on marriage equality as well as the abortion bill train wreck in the Texas Senate, last week.
Conservatives showed up lumbered with their grab-bag of outdated, debunked polls and “scientific studies” designed to prove that their zombie social policies still walk among us and have some sort of relevance to some sort of American people.
The fellows in the suits settled in for an hour of pedantic bloviation about the impending Fall of Western Civilization should teh gayz be permitted to destroy traditional marriage and the lives of their children. And to trot out their new abortion meme about how closing abortion clinics and mandating pre-abortion trans-vaginal ultrasounds for all are just their way of saying “we care about the safety of women and babies.”
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!)
Did you hear the one about the technical assistant for the CIA who leaked government documents to his favorite libertarian before holing up in a luxury hotel in Hong Kong, and stuffs pillows under his door because he thinks that will foil eavesdropping?
Meet Ed Snowden, a 29-year-old making 200 grand a year to work for Booz-Allen, who had a pretty cushy life in Hawaii before blowing the whistle on practices he thought needed airing, and flying to a city he deemed up to his standards for freedom, within that two-systems-one-country-that-country-being-China sort of thing.
I was at work on a post about the extreme ugliness being displayed all over the internet the past few days, which may yet appear with its attendant Blingee, but of course Mr. Snowden and Glennzilla had to step on my Blingee with their big scoop. Thanks, fellas! Really, reopening and examining the Patriot Act seems like an excellent idea to me, even if the messenger(s) come with shipping containers full of baggage, but Glenn, as an expat and a lawyer, don’t you think you should have informed your idealistic young source that Hong Kong and the U.S. have an extradition treaty? Whoops. What, weren’t the hotels in Taiwan good enough?
**Update: Of course he’s a Ron Paul supporter! What else would he be? (Title edited to reflect author’s slow realization that maybe she WANTS search engines to find this post. Doh!)
So you may have heard that the politisphere is a little angsty today. My television isn’t even on and I can hear Chris Matthews yelling, all because of GIUARDIAN GLENN GREENWALD’S BIG GIANT SCOOP, which is is not materially different from LESLIE CAULEY’S BIG GIANT SCOOP OF AUGHT SIX, except that now it’s Obama doing it! With secret FISA courts, which I have a vague memory of Obama voting for way back when, which is why I have GIANT SCOOP letdown right now. It wasn’t my favorite of Obama’s moves then, but I decided I’d take the good with the iffy and move on. And then the blogoverse trumpets GLENZILLA’S VERY HUGE NEWS and it turns out to be sort-of-not-warrantless-not-wiretapping. You know how you may have always intended to catch a hot show after catching one good episode, and when you finally tune in, it’s a rerun of that same damn episode?
(Big ole hat tip to TPM commenter Doremus Jessup20 ; perhaps GG should think about tipping his lid—currently up on the Guardian page, collecting coins, to help keep Glenn HONEST—to Ms. Cauley.)
**Update** Well! isn’t it nice to know we’re never alone? Oh Hell’s Bells. The discouraging thing is that I’m not surprised at all. I’m just surprised that the NSA didn’t buy my behavior from Google the way Hungry Girl did. Nothing I do is a secret to her!
Every now and again, it’s fun to watch somebody over at Rupert N’ Roger’s Wacked Manufactory bumping up against an uncomfortably solid reality that doesn’t melt away under the soothing fog of Reagan worship and a fat paycheck,,,particularly when it’s Megyn Kelly realizing that she’s surrounded by a couple of real Family Units, especially the living Toby Jug on the right, whose pinkly smug visage visibly irks her into melvining him with Science:
**UPDATE: Below the fold, now with even more Woolly Mammoths!
Eat our tusks, Russians.~~we’re trying to figure out how to UNclone ‘em.
Until yesterday, I have to admit, I was blissfully unaware that Andrea Tantaros lived and breathed. Nor did I know that she was part of a FoxNews gang that call themselves “The Five” - dundundun. Whatever.
This morning, however, I woke to the news that this same Andrea Tantaros was calling on my community to search me out and punch me in the face for voting for Barack Obama. Now I’ve been voting for longer than Ms. Smarty Pants has been alive so I didn’t take it all that well. Turns out that, despite her sophomoric mentality and social skills, this chick has her own talk radio show and on Thursday night she was busy holding forth on the James Rosen Affair. Shheeeeesh.
MEDEAMEDEAMEDEA! You are so vocal and full-throated, that even the guy at the podium has to admire you, even though you want him to close Gitmo and he—uh, wants to close Gitmo. And now he says it’s important to pay attention to you, so congratulations, conveniently formerly Susan B, inconveniently non-all-powerful Barry O has just endorsed you! You are now tainted, co-opted meat. I’m sure it was his diabolical plan all along.
In other news besides Medea Benjamin, the Guardian live blog, as usual, has a wonderfully succinct rundown of the President’s speech today. Perfect for Dana Perino-length attention spans!
This speech is so long. How long was it? Longer than the state of the union address.
May Robert Gibbs find solace someday, after the savaging he received at the wit of Bill Clinton’s ex-wife Maureen Dowd.
“I don’t normally read Maureen,” Gibbs, now an MSNBC contributor, said during an appearance on the network. “I don’t largely because it’s sort of largely the same column for the last, like, eight years.”
Rest assured that while there’s an unemployed photogenic psychotic willing to preen in front of bright lights and pocket Wingnut Welfare, FOX will be assiduous in helping malevolent loons fail their way to the top, if by “top” we mean the bottom of a barrel similar to the one West likes to torture Iraqi policemen in.
And by “THAT” I mean whatever it was three days ago that purported to be the annual comedy roast that mocks big government and the political press. I didn’t see it on the ‘Net, and nobody seems to be covering it…so forgive me for not believing it actually happened.
By “William Henry Pratt,” I mean the actual Christian name of Hollywood legend Boris Karloff. Early on in life, Pratt realized that no one named “Pratt” would ever be hired to zombie-walk through back-lot villages and papier-maché castles. Karloff made the most of his Potemkin name, his size 40 feet, and his ability to powerfully snarl the words “FIRE BAD!”
You know, I’m definitely beginning to pick up a trend regarding the freshman Senator from Texas—he just rubs people the wrong way. This sensation of almost visceral recoil has been remarked upon pretty much since he’s taken office. He’s been compared to Sen. Joe McCarthy on the regular (including at the estimable Rumproast if I may point that out), and that’s an unfortunate comparison, since McCarthy has become like a byword in senatorial overreach and lack of decency. (Except it seems as valid a comparison as it is unfortunate.) He’s been considered a conspiracy theorist (Agenda 21, anyone?) and possibly a bit of a sexist prick (mansplaining, anyone?) And even Our Mister Brooks has pointed out that his fellow senators roll their eyes regarding him and find him “off-putting”. And the NYT’s columnist is, whatever his faults as a pundit may be, not exactly the sort of pundit who would slam a freshman Republican Senator for no unwarranted reason.
Really. Except for the things he says and does (like his support for federal assistance for the West, TX disaster after opposition to Superstorm Sandy assistance—consistency?) what could possibly be the unifying factor? It couldn’t merely be his possession of a backpfeifengesicht, like the result of sneering one too many times, when, as anyone’s mother might have foretold, it could stick that way. (I will stick with it being mostly about the things he does and says.)
Which is why it doesn’t exactly shock the socks off of me to find that The Washington Post‘s own Jennifer Rubin has found a bone to pick with him over his description of his fellow Republicans as “squishes” over their curious lack of faith regarding a filibuster over background checks. Except, really? Jennifer Rubin? The Mitt Romney Booster Club’s Head Cheerleader? The pundit who once referred to Rand Paul as “formidable” over his Benghazi conspiracy theories (pitched way out of the strike zone of one SOS HRC?).
One pauses, truly, to take it all in. Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment is all to pieces, is it not? Or is Cruz just a law unto himself, unaware that ideological purity aside, a representative democracy is something like a popularity contest, and one really does have to serve somebody other than oneself?