As we approach the end days of the current fiscal “crisis” [Made in the USA by Proud Republicans] we are now getting to hear from a few of the lesser lights of the GOP’s Economic Brain Trust—the Jolly Cavalier Defaulters (JCD).
These are the folks who tell us that anyone suggesting global financial fallout from a US credit default is just being melodramatic. This position might seem a tad counter-intuitive to some because why bother with all of this hostage-taking and fuss over something as inconsequential as US creditworthiness? Let’s remember these are Republicans . . .
The first JCD to chide the overwrought was Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) who has served in the US House of Representatives for four years now and is a proud member of the TEA Party Caucus and the Republican Study Committee.
Rep. Fleming’s real-life economic expertise derives from owning his own medical practice as well as thirty-three Subway sandwich shops in northern Louisiana. With that kind of background, I’m really surprised that House leadership hasn’t given Fleming committee assignments more aligned with his economic expertise. Whatever.
Well, the P.T. Barnum of the US Senate let his freak flag fly last night in a pre-season campaign talkathon and damage-control session. Cruzilla had maneuvered himself into hot water with a large majority of the sane inhabitants of the Free World and had to prove that he was not just all . . . well, talk.
So it is that the Gentleman From Texas took himself off to Harry Reid and asked for permission to stage a faux-filibuster in the US Senate during off hours. Of course, Harry’s nobody’s fool and figured if this troublemaker wants an audience while making an even greater ass of himself, well, there aren’t any Senate rules against that as long as he clears off in time for a Wednesday test-vote that should spank him good and proper.
Others have covered the details of Cruz’s overnight “program” in detail. Suffice it to say that it included little homilies about Neville Chamberlain appeasing Nazis—a conservative staple, introduced during the first 30 minutes—the ever-inspiring story of Cruz Sr’s immigrant dish-washing days, a weird riff on White Castle, a Rand Paul walk-on, and a brief—now famous—interlude in which Ted Cruz, family man, read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham for his daughters’ bed-time story.
Cruz may have graduated from Princeton and Harvard, but that doesn’t mean that he “gets” Green Eggs and Ham. Cruz, of course, tied the story into Obamacare, explaining how Americans “do not like it in a box, with a fox, on a train, etc” proving to the wonderment of the pre-school set that he completely missed the point of the story which is “try it, you might like it.”
Oh well, I guess his brain is just too crammed with Ivy League stuff [and none of that “Lesser Ivy League” stuff, either.]
In the last few days some absurdly over the top and hilarious (or disgusting depending on your point of view) comparisons have been made. Here’s a straw poll to decide which one is the most craptastic:
1. Aptly named Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) compares efforts by himself and other Republican Congresspeeps to defund Obamacare to the actions of Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa and Martin Luther King. Because fighting to deny affordable health care for people is exactly the same as fighting to secure civil rights and freedom for other people.
2. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) compares the Obamacare defunders to Revolutionary War soldiers. He admits that he’s fighting a losing battle on the defunding front but manages to massage his comparison so that a small heroic group of Revolutionaries rallied the masses who apparently were just fine with British oppression up to then. Bonus points for re-writing history!
3. And last but by no means least, Robert Benmosche, CEO of AIG goes all the way there and compares public anger at the large AIG bonuses paid out after the company crashed itself and most of the economy to lynchings of black people in the South. Yes. Actual quote: “The uproar over bonuses “was intended to stir public anger, to get everybody out there with their pitch forks and their hangman nooses, and all that–sort of like what we did in the Deep South [decades ago]. And I think it was just as bad and just as wrong.” I can’t even . . . well, ‘nuff said.
Cast your votes in comments but myself, I gotta go with door #3.
So. The Sunday talkathon was a peculiar intervention-y affair, this week, featuring numerous TV pundits trying to talk Republicans down off the ledge. The predominant message was “how about rejoining the rest of your fellow Homo sapiens inhabiting the real world?” [Perhaps not the best choice of words for that gang BECAUSE . . . homo, people!]
And we know we’re really in a pickle when FOX News has to explain what’s what to the GOP.
Evidently, Chris Wallace was chosen by the GOP to “call the shots” for their eleventh hour circular firing squad:
This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington and I say that because as soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.
Now that word has leaked out, the Wasilla Wombat is demanding a list of names of the “cannibals” “trashing” Ted Cruz purportedly to hand it over to some conservative death panel or other.
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”?