After 41 attempts to defund, repeal, or otherwise fool with Obamacare, for crying in the soup, sore loser Republicans, can we please get past the Louie Gohmert fucking line of deliberate ignorance?
Because it is no longer 2009. This question is for Republicans in the House: You somehow got enough people into the House of Representatives to make a go of expressing your sorry-ass displeasure that the private health insurance that many people get through paying lots of money in premiums for, or otherwise work for as part of their employment package, is now extended to less-funded individuals, rather in the way Heritage designed it and Romneycare first enacted it some time ago. You never did get enough senators to repeal it, though. So what gives?
I think we all—Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Indifferents—have to agree that it really sucks to be John Boehner. Ever since January, 2011 when he took that obscene oversized gavel out of Nancy Pelosi’s hands his life has been a living hell that not even golf with The Donald, a nice bottle of Chateau Ausone at the Capitol Grille and a home tanning bed can mitigate.
That has a lot to do with how Boehner got his gavel. The Speaker surfed in on the 2010 TEA Party wave and who could have known that those aging Boomers who liked to dress up and wave poorly spelled, but highly creative, signs were only the advance guard of a younger, hungrier army of outsider anarchist idealogues appalled at where the “country was heading”—code for socialist, Kenyan usurper-apologist in their White House.
Thus was the Koch Caucus born and their well-endowed velvet revolution to overthrow the government from within. And John Boehner gets to be their stooge, humiliated time and again by his ungovernable cohorts who wear their ignorance of the framework, the workings and conventions of good government like some sick badge of courage. Boehner gets to read headlines about himself like:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Tuesday he’s working on legislation that would give the president the green light to attack Iran if negotiations over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program stall.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told NBC News on Wednesday that his administration will never develop nuclear weapons and that he has full authority to make a deal with the West on the disputed atomic program.
In Rouhani’s first interview with a U.S. news outlet since his election, he also spoke to NBC News National and International correspondent/anchor Ann Curry about his initial interactions with President Obama, who sent him a letter of congratulations and raised “some issues.”
“From my point of view, the tone of the letter was positive and constructive,” Rouhani said.
All we are saying, Lindsey, is give diplomacy a chance.
Also somewhat related Harry Reid blew off a little steam:
We should be facing the reality of climate change. Look what happened in Colorado. I talked to Senator Bennet yesterday. He said the floods were “Biblical.” In one part of Colorado, it rained 12 inches in 2 hours. I cannot imagine that. Fires all over the West. Climate change is here. I met with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh. They do not know what they are going to do with the rise of the sea which is taking place. In that country there is no high ground. It is that way all over the world. The Marshall Islands–a thousand islands make up the Marshall Islands–55,000 people live there. These islands are being washed away with the new waves they have never seen before.
Climate change is here. We are doing nothing about it. They are spending all of our time, the American taxpayers’ time, trying to repeal a law that has been in effect for 4 years.
Speaking as someone who’s been witnessing these “Biblical” floods from the literal sidelines*, all I can say is “No shit, Sherlock.”
Our government is so very, very dysfunctional and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do about it.
After a brief moment of silence comemorating the dead of America’s most recent demonstration of irresponsible gun ownership, the 2nd Amendment brigade are now letting their freak flags fly. All of the usual “guns don’t kill” disclaimers, plus a few creative additions—thank you Breitbartlets!—are zipping around the net-o-sphere as we speak.
So. the first headline I read this morning reads: Senate Returns To Normal Operations Following Navy Yard Shooting. Truth be told, I can barely remember the last time the Senate was operating normally. I think it was sometime during the Clinton administration . . . ? Whatever. More power to ‘em, if it’s true.
Meanwhile, we’re cruising into waters where there be dragons and the whole damn crew is either asleep in the wheelhouse or drunk-climbing the rigging. It’s not unusual for people wrestling with mental demons to get confused, lose the thread or do a 180 in their thinking. Which seems to be exactly what we are witnessing, right now, with Republicans.
Suddenly, the little voices in their heads are shrilling a new tune. For years now Barack Obama has been a super-scary, tyrannical Kenyan autocrat super-efficiently destroying the greatest government on Earth and bent on single-handedly imposing a New World Order of Sharia-flavored Socialism on the innocent, unsuspecting American populace. Be afraid! the little voices said, be verrrrry afraid.
Now. Suddenly. The bogeyman is weak! oh so impotent that a mere poof! of patriotic resistance will send him scuttling to the Oval Office to repeal ObamaScare, his own self, with his very own presidential vorpal sword. Whereupon he will repair to the Capitol Steps and set loose all 2,000+ pages, like little birds floating away in the crisp Fall air over the District.
Then we can all go to the Shining-City-on-the-Hill Drive-in, drink root beer floats, and pretend it’s the Fifties and none of this terrible shit ever happened.
The Sunday Morning TV Political News lineup is not a spot I ordinarily cruise when I’m looking for a little comic relief. So. Imagine my amazement when I got a proper, cathartic belly laugh out of ABC’s This Week Powerhouse Roundtable.
And I wasn’t the only one. Making up this week’s roundtable were Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Cokie Roberts, Matthew Dowd, Paul Gigot and, of course, George Stephanopoulos. It was around about the 9:00 mark on the video above that Stephanopoulos asked Rep. Amash to weigh in on the prospect that President Obama appears to be standing pretty firm on his position that raising the debt ceiling is non-negotiable.
Amash argle-bargled a bit about compromise and how the president had to because . . . Republican majority! yadda yadda but then Amash delivered his “money line:”
I think we’re doing the president a favor if we delay it, the program is not ready to be implemented. If anything, the president should be asking us to delay it because because it’s better for him politically.
At that point, the entire roundtable—Stephanopoulos and the various assembled bipartisan luminaries burst into laughter.
It was a silly, naive thing for Amash to think, let alone say out loud, in such a forum, and that’s why the more experienced hands [which probably included the camera operators and best boys] just couldn’t control their mirth. Hell, even Amash chuckled a little in a bewildered sort of way.
Ted Cruz appears to have found a home base in the Heritage Foundation. On July 30th, Cruz spoke at Heritage’s Bloggers Briefing about why a complete defunding of Obamacare is crucial and why he’s putting pressure on Congress to make sure it happens. And why they should, too.
Then there was Heritage Action’s #DefundObamacare bus tour of August Town Halls which landed in Big D-little a-double-l-a-s on August 20th, starring Cruz & Son (Papa Rafael and Ted).
Then yesterday there was a Heritage foreign policy event, part of something Heritage likes to call the Jesse Helms Lecture Series. And of course, Ted Cruz was invited to speak because of his vast foreign policy expertise (just like Jesse).
Since this was, after all, the Jesse Helms Lecture Series it is sort of natural that Cruz would say something nice about the dear, departed ultraconservative Senator from North Carolina, but vowing that “we need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate” is just a touch OTT even for a dramaphiliac like Cruz.
As we all now know, George Zimmerman was questioned by police for allegedly assaulting his estranged wife’s father and threatening the father and soon-to-be-ex with a gun. But he wasn’t arrested, and the gun wasn’t confiscated:
Zimmerman [the wife] told officers who responded to her call that she never saw a weapon, police Chief Steve Bracknell said. Zimmerman and her father, David Dean, decided not to press charges, Bracknell said.
“We have no victim, no crime,” Bracknell said.
So, just a misunderstanding between responsible gun owners. Mrs. Zimmerman’s brother had an interesting comment though:
George Zimmerman has changed a great deal since he killed Trayvon, his brother-in-law said.
“Before the incident, he was probably the nicest person I ever met,” DJ Dean said. “I think the guilt and self-hatred got to him.”
I’ve been skeptical of the assumption that Zimmerman has a soul to corrode ever since his post-acquittal victory lap at the gun manufacturer’s. Still, I wouldn’t want to deal with the demons shooting an unarmed kid must raise.
Speaking of hell-spawn, Governor He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his photogenic wingnut AG delayed an execution because of a fundraising event scheduling conflict. No, really:
Attorney General Pam Bondi persuaded Gov. Rick Scott to postpone an execution scheduled for tonight because it conflicted with her re-election kick-off reception.
When questioned about it, Scott pretended not to know why Bondi’s office requested the delay, which is absurd. Bondi at least apologized for it, not that any expression of regret could possibly mitigate the breathtaking arrogance she and Scott displayed in this matter.
So an inmate who raped and strangled two women gets another 21 days on the planet. I’m opposed to the death penalty in all cases, so I’m not complaining about taxpayer dollars going toward his three hots and a cot for the next three weeks.
But here’s hoping Bondi and Scott come in for some righteous blowback from the addled tea party loons who swept them to power. They couldn’t have demonstrated more clearly that they don’t give a rat’s ass about so-called justice for victim’s families or anything else besides money and power.
In their never-ending quest for a heart, a brain and courage, America’s zaniest Congresspersons took their act on the road to school the Egyptian people in a little homespun 9/11 revisionist history. Michelle “Ma Belle” Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and Steve King clicked their heels three times and woke up in Cairo where they met with Egyptian coup-leader General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi in whom they see a latent George Washington.
Rep. Gohmert explains:
We met with (sic) for a long meeting General el-Sissi and many of the military leaders, and my friend Steve King mentioned again about our heritage in America. George Washington, doing what no one had ever done before him, led a military in revolution, won the revolution, and then resigned and went home.
And we met, in General el-Sissi, a man who is leader of the military, who might have a shot at being elected president, but is more concerned about giving his life to help his country, Egypt.
Meanwhile, Bachmann, referring to her own private 9/11 theory [that the Muslim Brotherhood, rather than Osama bin Laden, mounted the attack] explained to the General that we Americans have had our own problems with the Muslim Brotherhood, yessirree—and that she’ll personally make sure that the F-16s and Apache missiles keep coming to help el-Sissi fight the good fight [at least until her term is up and she retires to her gay conversion clinic].
These are your tax dollars at work, people . . . and also, too, the reason we’ll never, ever be able to have nice things again.
Picture this: you are the widely derided Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Filibuster T. McGridlock, himself. Your big, bold promise to God and country was to limit the current President to one-term, at which you have failed spectacularly. On policy issues, you talk big but cave easily—by proxy, when possible. You have scored one of the all time lowest approval ratings (36%) for a Senator from your own Kentucky constituency. You are being primaried by your own party of whom many consider you a flip-flopper and RINO of the first order. Your own campaign manager has admitted that he has to “hold his nose” to do his job of promoting your candidacy. Not to mention that a high-profile, Democratic woman [of all things] is running even with or slightly ahead of you in early polling.
And now you have to persuade voters that you are a swell fellow, full of integrity, dignity and decorum who has nothing but the good of the country—and, especially, it’s lovely women at heart—uniquely qualified to be a leader of national government.
You’re going to have to lie some, amirite? especially if you want to persuade the wimmenfolk to vote for you.
So it is that Team Mitch officially launched its outreach to women voters in Kentucky by claiming that Sen. Mitch McConnell co-sponsored the original Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Which is true . . . at least of the 1991 version which didn’t make much of a splash and died in committee. By 1993, when VAWA was revived, but no longer all that useful to Mitch, he pulled his sponsorship and voted against it, which didn’t prevent it from becoming law in 1994.
. . . according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, (it) could strip Americans of their constitutional rights.” According to their web site, the Congressional Research Service objection is that it gives Indian tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Indians who abuse a partner on tribal lands.
The same reporters added that:
Some members of congress have responded by modifying the VAWA in a way that would prevent that constitutional violation. I would like to know why McConnell did not join that effort instead of rejecting the bill outright.
No answer to that one . . . but, how do you spell “bipartisan”?
So, regarding the ACA, we all know the Republicans are mostly agin’ it. They whooped. They hollered. They spread disinfo. They tried to repeal it something like 40 times, now. And you know what? They’re still losing. But it doesn’t stop them trying. Just recently, FreedomWorks, one of the big mahoff Tea Party groups, decided it would be brilliant to encourage young people to just abstain from getting any health insurance, in defiance of the mandate, on the grounds that the premiums would be more onerous than any penalties (you know, except for the whole being uninsured and needing healthcare thing, which is pretty pricey). And Heritage’s very own Jim DeMint was just saying how emergency rooms were fine and dandy health care, never you mind how the whole idea of “emergency care” is that it’s the kind of care you get when something very wrong is happening to you. Oh, and it’s the most expensive kind, and if patients can’t pay, the costs are, well, socialized.
Human beings will just have to adjust to not getting health care, sometimes. Oh, they might need it. They might have been told it was noble to forgo health insurance by one set of jackasses, and then told there’s always emergency rooms by another set of jackasses. But did they ever suspect that behind hospital curtain number three was a grinning clown offering a faceful of cold seltzer asking them to “adjust”?
Well. It’s now almost a year since the GOP continued its losing streak of four out of the last six presidential elections, not including the Supreme Court intervention in 2000 that accounted for one of the two wins.
Despite the brief euphoria of the 2010 House invasion, the Republican party is bitterly staggering its way through the Five Stages of Grief only to arrive at the looming death star called Hillary. Having spent quite a lot of time in the Denial Stage and then basking in the energizing glow of the Anger Stage, punch-drunk Republicans arrived at the Bargaining Stage just in time for the long Dog Days Recess.
Unfortunately, this “stage” is not following the script, and feckless legislators are not even safe in their own Town Hall meetings which are being disrupted by hecklers from the Left and the Right. Several Republicans have been caught flat-footed by constituents who want to know “what’s so bad about Obamacare?” on one side alongside rabble-rousers who want their representatives to “shut down the government like a man!”
It’s a minefield out there . . . of their own making.
So it is that recently some creative party geniuses have revived that old crowd-pleasing favorite “Impeachment” from the GOP playbook. I guess because it’s always worked so well for them . . . ?
Since Obamacare has gotten to be pretty moldy “red meat,” impeachment serves as a tasty, home-cooked comfort food for the disgruntled base. Plus, it covers a multitude of grievances: hate Obama’s policies—foreign and domestic—impeach him! hate that Obama is an uppity foreign, socialist, gay-loving, culture war-instigating oligarch? impeach him! hate Obama for having the temerity to be a black man in the White House? impeach him! hate Obama’s wife, his kids, his vacation plans? impeach his ass!!1!!
See how that works? Don’t tamp down the anger and hate—redirect it.
Well, summer is drawing to an end and, with it, the funding to keep The Greatest Show On Earth running . . . the moment the GOP has been waiting for, lo these many months, to prove that they still have some political potency despite the fact that they don’t seem to be able to pass their own bills, let alone force demands on anyone else’s.
The hostage of choice, for the next manufactured crisis - funding the continuing operations of the US government - appears to be Obamacare, that socialist hobgoblin threatening to destroy America by making health insurance more accessible and affordable.
Since putting the law to a vote and numerous legal challenges, including a Supreme Court case, did not kill the dreaded Obamacare, the GOP game plan for Fall 2013 is to force the President and the Democratic Senate majority to admit the error of their ways and the superior policy wisdom of conservatives by scrapping the law to prevent the nuttier splinters of the Republican Caucus from threatening to shut down the government.
You know who I’ve been seeing everywhere on the liberal blogs, lately? Markwayne Mullin. Now that the congress critters have returned to their districts, it’s always National Geographic-style fun to see them operating in their own habitats, but M-Squared is really giving great value for the attention. So far, he’s done climate science denial:
(May I direct Rep. Mullin to Ken Burn’s rather good take on the Dust Bowl—entirely worth anyone’s time, not least of all that of a representative from the great state of Oklahoma, where the wind does indeed come sweeping down the plains, all right.)
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.