Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pure blame-shifting

It really shouldn't surprise anyone with two brain cells to rub together that the House teabaggers have zero sincere interest in a deal to forestall the sequester. John Boehner (R-no) is on record as having gotten 98% of what he wanted in the original deal, and even allowing for a bit of hyperbole in that number, he knows he's not going to get a better deal, especially now that President Obama has found his spine.

Instead, what Boehner wants to do is shift the blame for the cuts onto Obama and the Democrats. He and his party of mercenary bastards really do believe that perception is reality. Thus the only thing that matters to him in the sequestration fight is to win the battle of perception.

Never mind whether these cuts hurt people. Republicans don't care about anyone who's vulnerable.

Never mind whether these cuts hurt the economy. Republicans have shown for years that the size of the economic pie doesn't matter to them. They in fact support economic inequality as a desirable goal, not merely a side effect of their desire to drown the government in the bathtub. When the economy hurts the middle class (and the forgotten poor), it also hurts the wealthy, but the wealthy recover their losses and attain even greater plutocratic power over the rest of us. And that's what Republicans support.

Never mind whether these cuts hurt the military, even. Since the voters no longer trust Republicans more than Democrats on the military, blame-shifting this is the GOP's way of trying to get that trust back. Obviously, an undeserving way.

Fortunately, Boehner seems to be failing to convince Americans that his lies are true. This must come as a surprise to him, since he and the Republicans have been so often successful at that in the past.

Update (3/1): Yep:

Amid clamoring from his more conservative members, Mr. Boehner eventually reaffirmed his own conservative principles, abandoning even the pretense of reaching a bipartisan solution on the spending cuts. He argued that the president had gotten his desired tax increases in the earlier showdown. And he promised no more one-on-one negotiating sessions meetings with Mr. Obama.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Need a couple more letters

We used to call bumpkin idiots gomers. They used to be decent enough people. Now they have a new name, gohmerts, and three decades of hate radio has made many of them unrepentant assholes.

Louie Gohmert makes you look good even if you were the kid in high school algebra who said, "Whattaya mean, x is a number!" Come to think of it, al-gebra sounds like creeping sharia!

Where will the Gohmerts go when even Texas is no longer xenophobic enough for them?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Blame game

Click on image for full David Horsey/LA Times cartoon.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lessons, learned and unlearned

The New York Times hasn't learned from Whitewater to close its mouth to the puke funnel, lest shady right-wing operatives funded by wealthy wingnuts, force feed them anonymous bullshit from web sites with no integrity:

The inquiry began with an incendiary tip — unproven and vehemently disputed by Mr. Menendez — that Dr. Melgen had helped procure prostitutes, some of them underage, for Mr. Menendez, after flying the senator repeatedly on his private plane to the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Melgen has a home at a seaside resort. This information was put forward by an odd array of self-interested characters, including the right-leaning Web site The Daily Caller and someone — his identity remains a mystery — who claimed to be an American citizen who frequented the Dominican Republic.
Remember the Arkansas Project, Richard Mellon Scaife, and Drudge?

The VRWC, for its part, has learned. Spice up your libels and slanders with sex, and the media will line up on their knees for a taste. (Remember Media Whores Online? "The site that set out to bring the media to their knees, but found they were already there.")
The combination of allegations, of misuse of public office and of sexual misconduct, helped propel the story into the headlines and onto television, and set tongues to wagging at cocktail parties across Washington.
Do we really give a shit what tongues wag at Washington cocktail parties? Reporter Eric Lipton cares. It's not good enough that he reports the sourcing. The content doesn't meet any standards of responsible journalism.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-idle threats) hasn't learned that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-fuck Reid) can never be trusted to honor the spirit of a deal. I mean, seriously, after all these years. Reid and President Obama should refrain from giving each other negotiation tips.

McConnell, for his part, has learned that his continued douchebaggery has no adverse consequences for him or his pasty band of obstructionists:
In the spirit of the bipartisan, but toothless rules reforms the Senate passed last week, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell and over 40 of his members are vowing to block confirmation of a permanent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director unless Democrats agree to pass legislation dramatically weakening the agency.
Yet here's something that will never ever happen:
McConnell’s renewed filibuster threat seem to have caught him by surprise somehow. But if at some point later this year it becomes clear Republicans will continue to block Cordray past the end of his recess appointment, Reid could in theory revisit the filibuster reform fight.
Stop negotiating. Use the power you have. Impose your will.

Na ga happen.

Only a socialist would adjust for inflation

U.S. Congressman* Marsha Blackburn (R-gun moll) pines for her early days, growing up in Mississippi, when moral teenagers were damn glad to make $2.15 an hour, unlike today's lazy no-accounts. But:

Blackburn was born in 1952, so she likely took that retail job at some point between 1968 and 1970. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, the $2.15 an hour Blackburn made then is worth somewhere between $12.72 and $14.18 an hour in today’s dollars, depending on which year she started.

At that time, the minimum wage was $1.60, equivalent to $10.56 in today’s terms. Today’s minimum wage is equivalent to just $1.10 an hour in 1968 dollars, meaning the teenage Blackburn managed to enter the workforce making almost double the wage she now says is keeping teenagers out of the workforce.
Self-refuting Tea Party wingnuts like Blackburn want to return to a fantasy land that exists only in their feverish, foolish imaginations.

They don't know enough about the world to understand inflation, and they don't care to learn.

* Yes, her Congressional web site calls her a Congressman.

Maybe this is to reassure her Tea Party constituents that she's not one a them libbers. It can't be that she's reserving this one area from Southern Baptist submission to her husband.** Maybe she's just running a sloppy operation. There are two very different district maps on her site, one of which shows a district office way outside her district.

Ding, ding, ding. First theory correct:
As Blackburn worked her way around the room, the constituent motioned for her to come back: “Little lady, if you win this thing, what we gonna call you — congresslady? Congressgirl?”

“Sir, congressman will be just fine,” replied Blackburn.
Can I just say this? Barf!

** Nope, she's Presbyterian.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Senator Elizabeth Warren

Seriously, can you imagine Scott-free Brown (R-Fox) having anything like this level of expertise and polite confrontation on any subject?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Greed, dishonesty, and fear-mongering

Be sure you see the emotional last 30 seconds of this video.

Update (2/16): Added back the video clip that Blogger ate. Did it taste good?

Monday, February 11, 2013

The source of our doom

America is not in trouble because we've fallen away from god. We're in trouble because bullshit, rather than honest inquiry, is the social norm:

[A]t this point the conventions of punditry call for saying something to demonstrate my evenhandedness, something along the lines of “Democrats do it too.” But while Democrats, being human, often read evidence selectively and choose to believe things that make them comfortable, there really isn’t anything equivalent to Republicans’ active hostility to collecting evidence in the first place.

The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.

Danger to self or others

Click image for full Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoon.

The factual background from Keith Ellison (D-MN):
Well, Tom, the problem with saying this is the president’s idea is that you voted for the Budget Control Act. I voted against it. We wouldn’t have ever been talking about the Budget Control Act but for your party refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling something that has been routinely increased as the country needed it. You used that occasion in 2011 August to basically say we are going to default on the country’s obligations or you’re going to give us dramatic spending cuts. That’s how we got to the Budget Control Act.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Consistent Republican agenda

The Republican Party favors this above all else: Increasing income inequality.

This is John Kasich's proposal for Ohio - and he's supposed to be one of the reasonable Republicans!

The GOP is about making nearly everyone poorer while they make the rich richer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Who answers the phone at 2:37 am?

Background at ThinkProgress.

Update (4/7): Blogger keeps eating video embeds. Maybe that's because they use Flash and crash every couple of tries. Steve Jobs was definitely right about the suckiness of Flash.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Something to remember before a premature victory lap

Former governor William F. Weld and former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey also said they would not run, leaving few strong options for Bay State Republicans hoping for a victory in the June 25 special election.
Scott Brown (R-stop Obamacare) was a long-shot State Senator of little distinction when he ran - a campaign 40 times as large as any he had ever run. He was blessed by facing the worst campaign ever from Martha Coakley.

Coronations are dangerous in a democracy. In more ways than one.

Miserable tatter of background checks

The shooting death of Charles Albert Poland Jr. and the kidnapping of a young boy named Ethan were completely preventable. There is no way Jimmy Lee Dykes should have been permitted to possess firearms:

Mr. Dykes, who has lived in a travel trailer here for about two years, has a troubled past, including arrests on charges connected to drugs, drunken driving and, in Florida in 1995, unlawful display of a firearm. On Wednesday he was due in court in this county, accused of shooting at a neighbor in a dispute over driving on his property.
Everyone who knew Dykes knew he was bad news.
Neighbors of Mr. Dykes generally kept their distance, which he made easy. He frequently made violent threats to anyone who wandered onto his property, once even beating a neighbors’ dog to death with a lead pipe. He would sometimes sit watching and holding a rifle when young children played in a nearby yard. Late into the night he would dig in the backyard of his travel trailer or patrol his property with a flashlight and a long gun.
Now Poland is heroically dead, Dykes has been justifiably killed by the FBI, and Ethan has been rescued.

But Alabama won't rethink its gun laws, and the NRA won't rethink its crazy, extremist position against closing the gun show and private sale loopholes in the miserable tatter of current background check law.

Click image for full Garry Trudeau/Doonesbury cartoon.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Make way for wingnuts

Scott-free Brown (R-#bqatevwr) is out of this year's Senate special election, leaving the Republican Party crestfallen and abandoned at the altar.

Can you really blame Brown?

Democrats are primed and ready. A whole shit-ton of us will have to age off and die before we ever take such an important election for granted again. Don't get me wrong, we'd almost all prefer not to have to go door to door in winter. But we would do it.

Brown's favored chair of the GOP State Committee barely squeaked into office after significant arm-twisting from him. Seriously, would you go down with this ship of wingnut fools?

Brown can make gobs of money speaking to conservatives. Wingnut welfare is a gravy train he could get fat and happy on, much moreso than another sojourn in the Senate. He never wanted to accomplish anything beyond stopping Obamacare (fail!) and watering down financial regulation (lost to Elizabeth Warren, prime advocate of good regulation - epic fail). Why would he want to be in the same room with the divas of the U.S. Senate?

Brown has fundraised and glad-handed and stumped waaay more than any human ought to enjoy. I know I'd be burnt out from it if I faced it.

Hell, getting a private sector job and massaging the clients' egos for some law firm and making half a mill could be just the ticket.

Brown may find he misses his old life not at all.

The Massachusetts Republican Party, however, is likely to miss a conservative who voted for most everything Mitch McConnell needed him to vote for. They're going to have a raft of crazy right-wing wingnuts, which is arrant stupidity in a state already dominated by Democrats.

Friday, February 1, 2013

And these hypocrites are the better Republicans

The House Republicans are hopelessly extreme, but we Democrats can work with Senate Republicans. Right?

How is it that even those guys (and one woman who fits right in) qualify for the U.S. Senate when they have yet to master the fundamental moral ability to hold themselves to the same standard they wish to hold others to?

When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package Monday, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who are not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states.
It's really no wonder the Republicans can baldly fight for the winner-take-all society. If the rule that guides them is whatever they can get, they won't bother to recognize need in others, not even the exact same need they have!