Thursday, August 08, 2013
Obamacare Threatens to Defund Mitch McConnell’s Senate Campaign
An unforeseen, unheralded benefit of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act might be the undoing of Mitch McConnell in the 2014 mid-term elections. Interested? here’s how that could work . . .
No one in the US Congress has been more outspoken, or more blunt about his desire to derail the Obama presidency than Mitch McConnell (R-Kentuckah). At times, McConnell’s obsession with ousting Obama has bordered on maniacal—that is, except when he was doing back-room deals with the administration, sometimes by proxy, to save his conservative cred while trying to forestall the GOP’s lumbering progress toward the tar pits of political history.
Furthermore, McConnell is that rare political enigma—the hugely unpopular wielder of immense party power. Kentucky has been sending Mr McConnell to Washington for decades, now, but if job approval polls are worth anything, the love affair may be over at the same time that opposing forces are mounting credible threats.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/08/13 at 03:00 PM
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
The GOP 2012 Primary is Still With Us, Weirdly Enough
When Michele Bachmann’s 2012 presidential campaign started to take a massive dump, I was kind of sympathetic but concerned. To my jaded eye, Michele Bachmann’s campaign always looked like a form of trolling rather than a serious effort, and deep in my guts, I always thought Ron Paul, as a kind of rear-guard Goldwater winger, was also doing his part to run a presidential campaign to score points and #profit. Which is why the problems with the Bachmann campaign starting with Sorenson struck me as weird. I was interested with the allegations that Kent Sorenson was “bought” by the Bachmann campaign. But the evidence and the Bachmann campaign’s own allegations suggested the obvious reason he didn’t “stay bought”. Iowa did not know they had a pimp.
He got a better offer. My immediate response was that the Paul campaign looked more viable, at the time—but the current story is that maybe there were reasons.
This whole affair is making me somewhat re-evaluate my estimation of both the Bachmann and Paul campaigns’ seriousness. Were these really a “straight shoot” and not “work” to make shit interesting for “Inevitable Mitt”? Did either of these candidates really think it was worth it to score points so much that they were violating campaign law in Iowa—up in the corn, feeling their oats? This makes me pre-emptively re-evaluate my estimation of Rand Paul’s obvious 2016 trolling. He could be for reals.
I don’t know if that scares me enough. I guess I won’t know until 2016. If anyone ever wonders where I go when I am not posting, I am recalibrating my cynicism, because sometimes I believe it must be broken.
(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 08/07/13 at 10:56 PM
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Gohmert Speaks: Real Men Don’t Close Embassies . . . HOO-rah!
Well, as I mentioned yesterday, it’s Silly Season which means lots of open-mic time for politicians aiming to make an impression on the American electorate. So it is that Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Planet Xanax) subbed for Sean Hannity on his newly-divorced-from-Cumulus radio program, yesterday.
Gohmert opened with a shout out to the blogging community:
All of you on the left coast, the left bloggers that … you couldn’t find your rear-end with both hands, well listen: I know you monitor every word I say,” he said. “Well, grab some popcorn, we’re going to have a fun three hours.
And things deteriorated from there . . .
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/06/13 at 09:06 AM
Thursday, August 01, 2013
THUD! Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Well, the wheels came off the Ryan Budget bus yesterday, but, mostly, the traffic just whizzed on by. Most congressional deliberations over budgets and appropriations don’t capture the public’s fleeting attention. This is dry, esoteric, wonky stuff. Did I mention it’s boring?
Yesterday’s #GOPfail came when debate on the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations, affectionately known as THUD, devolved into Republican opposition to their own godawful budget.
THUD was the first House appropriations bill to come up that contained some real-world extreme hacking and slashing and moderate Republicans, Republican governors and mayors are suddenly realizing how frightening the Ryan budget is.
Now if Republicans cross their fingers, close their eyes and hold their breath they might postpone, at least for a month, the American electorate discovering what a colossal failure of conservative ideology just occurred in the House. But, in order to solve that problem permanently, they’ll have to throw out that Republican budget, or throw out the sequester, or both . . . or let the Senate do the heavy lifting. But I’m sure most of them realize that something has to give. Chances are that realization won’t be voiced during the hometown events scheduled for the recess, though.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 08/01/13 at 10:39 AM
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
This Is Your Brain On Cruz Control
Ever since rookie Texas senator, Ted Cruz swaggered onto Capitol Hill, I have been asking myself why? why would an apparently intelligent, accomplished man willingly play the fool 24/7? At first, I was pretty much dumbfounded but, having watched and listened and examined the evidence for over six months now, I think I’m beginning to discern a sort of cynical method to Cruz’s madness.
At this point in time, I’m pretty well convinced that Ted Cruz truly believes that he is smarter than 99% of humankind. And, who knows, if I had graduated from Harvard Law, argued before the Supreme Court and then immersed myself in Texans, I might think the same.
Being full of oneself, especially in America, is no crime. God help us if it were. But there’s an extra, dark dimension to Cruz, something Machiavellian that lurks just below the surface.
Take his latest hobbyhorse—shutting down the government to defund Obamacare. The most solidly bipartisan effort in six years of US federal politics, it turns out, has been the effort on both sides of the aisle to tell Senators Lee, Cruz and Rubio to STFU! and sit down.
read the whole post »
Posted by Bette Noir on 07/31/13 at 12:02 PM
Monday, July 29, 2013
There Isn’t a Penalty for Guys Like Steve King
You know, I am not surprised that Iowa Rep. Steve King is hanging in regarding the jackass comments he made regarding drug mule immigrants with calves like cantaloupes from schlepping as much as 75 lbs of reefer (on foot!) across the desert. This is who he is. This is what he says all the time. He’s been a US Representative since 2003 with these very views. He’s been a birther. He gets on tv. John Boehner can comment on King’s actions, but you know what? He doesn’t penalize him by taking away his position on any committees. He doesn’t call for a censure.
And Steve King isn’t alone. Take Louie Gohmert. He recently went out of his way to compare the civil rights of minorities to that of “snail darters” and other assorted wildlife. This is a guy who rambled on about “terror babies” He’s been a US Representative since 2005. He says crazy shit all the time. Doesn’t hurt him any. If anything, he grows stronger in the Derp side of the Force every day.
People can talk about there being lines you can’t cross in our political discourse, and maybe to an extent, they might try and classify racism as being a certain line—but that line isn’t in the same place in every region of the country. And these guys kind of show that even if there is a line you don’t cross—as such, it can be politically profitable (to them, anyway) to come up to that line, sometimes, and just kick the bejesus out of it.
And I tend to believe that the kind of person who would return a Steve King or a Louie Gohmert to Congress for term after term? Probably is not susceptible to shame over their shenanigans either. I have wondered if these folks are like villagers who just send their idiot to Washington so that they can have a vacation from him, but no. I think they are more like people who have mistakenly become pursuaded that political contests are not about establishing who is a more competent office-holder, but a bid for who might be a more attention-getting mascot.
This is sad, and I am not sure what the corrective would be.
(X-Posted at Strangely Blogged.)
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/29/13 at 11:27 PM
Friday, July 26, 2013
Walking on Gunshine
Zimmerman trial juror B29 is muddying the waters for those who claimed the proceedings should have never happened in the first place since Zimmerman was clearly justified in shooting Trayvon Martin. B29’s comments reveal her own conflicts about the case, but more importantly, they make plain the fundamental flaw with Florida’s version of “Stand Your Ground”—that it shifts the burden of proof from the living to the dead and leaves jurors who clearly perceive an injustice no remedy under the law to address it.
Via valued commenter Rikyrah, here’s a link to a piece published this week by Joy-Ann Reid, current MSNBC analyst and former Miami Herald reporter, about why she’s avoiding Florida because of the “Stand Your Ground” law. The whole thing is worth reading, but here are a few excerpts:
But right now, I’m giving Florida a rest. I’m not joining a mass boycott, just a personal one. And it’s not because I simply don’t like the outcome of a particular second-degree murder trial… I’m quitting Florida tourism for now, because my conscience won’t let me travel to a state that I love, but where it’s not safe for my sons to walk the streets…
In Florida, and 22 other states with similar laws, but particularly in Florida because of how Stand Your Ground was written, anyone who finds you threatening has a license to shoot you, based solely on the perception in their mind that you were threatening to hurt them. You don’t even have to actually hurt them. As long as a jury of as few as six people believe it was reasonable for them to fear you, they will walk…
Since the law passed, the number of “justifiable homicides” in Florida has tripled, and the number of concealed-carry permits has ballooned to 1.5 million people. That’s one in 17 adults. Police organizations vociferously opposed the law, but their voices were nothing compared with Pistol-Packing Marion [Hammer, NRA lobbyist] and her bottomless pocket full of ideas for laws that make carrying guns less legally risky for gun owners, and more risky for anyone unfortunate enough to freak them out…
That last line demonstrates how a stupid law like SYG cheapens and degrades the quality of life in a very real way. Zimmerman has already rearmed himself, and the state is crawling with paranoid gun-toters who now have even less incentive to allow the cops to handle “suspicious” persons or avoid or deescalate confrontations.
But nothing will change. As Reid notes, the politicians down here are too cowardly to stand up to the NRA, which makes them a lot like the US Congress. The crooked greed-head who purchased the Florida governorship for $77 million in 2010 has refused to call a special session of the wingnut-majority legislature to review SYG, and even if they did, they’d reaffirm it.
It is delivering on its original objective, after all: It is generating profits for gun manufacturers.
[X-posted at Balloon Juice]
Posted by Betty Cracker on 07/26/13 at 10:17 AM
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Senator Lee Threatens to Huff and Puff, etc etc
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Planet Xanax), consummate Washington insider playing the role of Grassroots Greg has just come up with his most delusional idea, yet, for getting attention: close down the government if President Obama refuses to defund his own signature health reform law. Snap!
This is like a kid who gets sent to timeout for throwing a tantrum and decides to throw a bigger tantrum to protest. Smart kids don’t do it . . .
And although Sen. Lee is, by all accounts, a pretty smart kid, his base? not so much. A vast majority of them will be quite gratified to watch their TEA Party senator make trouble for Obama any way he can—the more theatrical, the better.
Politicians, unlike most of the rest of the species, don’t mind making total asses of themselves if they believe that’ll get them re-elected but I think Sen. Lee, and his party may be overestimating their banged up party’s ability to keep bouncing back from self-inflicted injuries.
Think about it . . . Lee and others in the GOP know that every minute that ticks by brings us closer to full implementation of Obamacare. And, every day that goes by brings more good news about ACA’s benefits to the economy, consumers and health care providers. If something doesn’t happen quick to derail Obamacare, well, that train is bound for glory. Leaving conservatives with a lot of #GOPFAIL on their faces.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/24/13 at 09:30 AM
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Sen. Cruz Goes Nativist
(h/t for illustration mariopiperni.com)
We’ve all known a guy like Ted Cruz, at one time or another . . . he’s the “legend in his own mind” who lurks around the periphery while others do the heavy lifting, then swoops in to point out that everything the mere mortals have done is utterly stupid and wrong, wrong, wrong.
So it is that Sen. Cruz is suddenly appearing anywhere there’s a hot mic to pronounce the Senate’s immigration reform bill “profoundly unfair.” That, and his own immigration policy website, too, where you can show Sen. Cruz some cash money love while learning how he would not do things if he were king. [How he would do things? well, maybe he’ll tell us more about that later when he thinks it up]
The part that Cruz finds “profoundly unfair” is the “path to citizenship” for the 11 million souls that slipped through our border with Mexico, very often risking their lives to pursue their American Dream. Unfortunately, many did that without benefit of INS red tape, which was no problemo for thousands of American employers who welcomed the newcomers’ willingness to work around the clock for way below minimum wage and no bennies.
Because all of that was still so much better than where they came from.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/23/13 at 02:38 PM
Monday, July 22, 2013
I Am Posting A Clip From “The View” Because Ken Cuccinelli
I have been in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and, I am not entirely averse to admitting, reasonably certain I have broken a few of their retrograde antisex laws while I was there. Actually, I think I was probably there with the explicit intention of probably getting around to doing some of the things their legislators in times of yore believed were, ahem, “icky”.
I have to admit to complete and total mystification regarding a candidate for governor who persists in being, you know. That guy. But I have a larger point to make, other than admitting to being at least kind of sort of the exact people Cooch is interested in legally persuing for, I guess, having some kind of fun in Virginia not explicitly associated with, like, a water park or maybe Colonial Williamsburg. Did you hear about this thing regarding the current governor, Bob McDonnell, who was kind of warned against as being a total retrograde antisex theocrat who sort of kind of turned out to be also a grifter? Well, some of that grifterism allegation is looking to backwash on Cuccinelli.
Huh. Taking gifts as a government official? That blows. Probably should be, like, illegal or something, right? I guess ethics is what you make of it. Or at least, if you’re Ken Cuccinelli, you legislate bedroom morality, but in the taxpayer-funded office? Anything goes!
Posted by Vixen Strangely on 07/22/13 at 11:12 PM
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Republicans Defund SNAP. Next Up: Work Houses
Wow, the Republicans really went there. In a 216-208 vote the House approved the Farm Bill. With no food stamps support. Yes, the Rethugs stripped out the funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Dems didn’t make it easy for them - by all accounts it was an acrimonious fight. And there’s hope that the conference committee will restore the funding. But at the end of this day the Republicans had more votes. But there’s really no difference between the two parties, amirite?
Posted by marindenver on 07/11/13 at 06:05 PM
Friday, July 05, 2013
Senator Cruz’s Stunning Intellectual Failure
As they say in the District, it’s never too soon to start a campaign. And that goes double when you’re a white-hot political comet like Senator Ted Cruz (R-Loon Star State) fancies himself to be.
Cruz strikes me as a methodical type so I’m guessing that he’s spending some time, right now, ticking off the foreign policy cred boxes on his presidential qualifications to-do list. Lately, Cruz has had a good bit of criticism for the administration’s approach to foreign policy issues large and small, accompanied by Senator Cruz’s own much better ideas, in case we’re interested.
Granted, Sen. Cruz’s foreign policy experience is, so far, limited to sniffing out Commies on the Harvard faculty but, hey . . . HARVARD!! you guys. That must make Cruz at least as smart as the Harvard guy whose actual foreign policy is such a hot mess in Cruz’s estimation.
To celebrate the military coup in Egypt, Sen. Cruz took to the pages of Foreign Policy‘s blog to pronounce President Obama’s policy a “stunning diplomatic failure:”
One would expect to find the United States standing firmly with these people. Surely, after our long and lonely search for secular and democratic partners in the Arab world, we could find some common ground with them. Surely, we could see the value of an administration in Egypt that could act as both a southern bulwark for Israel and a much-needed partner in countering the terrorist outposts in the Sinai and Horn of Africa. And surely, we could help support a government that could stand as an example for struggling states like Libya and Iran — one that proves Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East are not predestined to live in oppressive theocracies.
Tragically, America has been relegated to the sidelines.
Tragically?? Seriously, Ted?
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Posted by Bette Noir on 07/05/13 at 02:48 PM
Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Senator McCain - You Seriously Think That Letter’s a Good Idea??
Wow, Uncle Grumps McCain seems to be morphing into yr creepy step-uncle who ya don’t really want to hug if you can avoid it.
For background, the DOJ, after investigating charges that colleges and universities were pretty much ignoring or down playing charges of sexual assault and harassment on campuses has put out new guidelines for reporting instances of unwanted sexual conduct.
The OCR has responded by ratcheting up enforcement of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits gender-based discrimination in colleges, to introduce new regulations on sexual assault policies. And out of that effort comes an agreement so mild that it has elicited only hopeful skepticism from campus activists. But the mere assertion that it is possible for speech to be harassing under certain conditions, and that colleges ought to investigate harassing behavior on their campuses, has conservatives in uproar.
Surprise, surprise. I mean since college co-eds are basically just sexy sluts anyway, shouldn’t the menz be able to *wink wink* give them what they know they want anyway!!
One, totally not creepy, pundit has even suggested that we are de-eroticizing our universities! Yes, because consent is not a thing, you know, so without the ability to disregard the word “no” sex and eroticity will totally disappear from the college environment.
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Posted by marindenver on 07/03/13 at 07:49 PM
Friday, June 21, 2013
Give Us This Day Our Daily King Crab
I have a little guilty pleasure that I’m about to admit to . . . whenever I’m feeling especially blue, down in the dumps as it were, I just google me up some fresh, hot Gohmert and a few belly laughs later? good to go!
Louie rarely disappoints because he’s one of those guys who was born totally without inhibition or a functioning bullshit filter, so whatever spontaneous surreal images or associations occur in Louie’s head, they come tumbling out, real time.
Today’s offering had to do with the most recent House of Representatives fiasco—non-passage of a Farm Bill that has been kicking around for three years now. US Farm bills are what is known in the trade as an omnibus bill—Congress-speak for a Pork Lovers Dream and, historically, Congress has little problem with larding ‘em up and letting ‘em rip.
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Posted by Bette Noir on 06/21/13 at 07:55 AM
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Immigration Reform and The Great Fence
Immigration reform has languished over the demands of the likes of Sen. John Cornyn-R YouGuessedItTexas that the border be 90% absolutetalamentaly seeecured before any meaningful reform could take place. But now! A couple of, yes, Republican senators, Bob Corker, R-TN & John Hoeven, R-ND have come up with a great new plan that will so totally erase the poison pill provision that Cornyn wants to slam in there to insure that immigration reform will never occur.
Let’s just double-down on the number of border patrol agents from about 20,000 to 40,000 and pretend that now we have 90% border security or whatever they want. PLUS we’ll build that fence another 350 miles to total 700 miles of a fence that absolutely cannot be climbed or gotten over, no. (Ahem, unless someone comes up with a great deal on, like, ladders and stuff.)
Have the Rethuggies really thought this through? They’re creating f’n jobs with this bill! Apparently they haven’t heard that gummint doesn’t create jobs. Oh, unless it’s for keepin’ brown people out there yonder where they belong, amirite?
Too bad, though, that this is really just a big nothingball. The House isn’t going to pass any kind of immigration reform bill no way no how. And Rethug outreach to minorities continues apace.
Posted by marindenver on 06/20/13 at 08:44 PM