20 November, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I had to use my coworker's strong shoulder as a bulwark against which I could bang my head today:

As the CEOs of Detroit’s Big Three automakers pleaded for a $25 billion bailout from Congress this week, conservatives have been looking for an easy culprit to blame for the auto industry’s seeming collapse. First it was the unions. Now conservatives have turned their attention to the modest fuel economy (CAFE) standards — fleetwide average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 — imposed in last year’s Energy Independence and Security Act. Last night on Fox News, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney echoed other conservatives in pointing the finger at the fuel economy changes...


– SEAN HANNITY: They [the government] — you know, between the unions, between trade policy, safety standards, CAFE standards, you know, economy, fuel economy standards, they’re forcing these auto companies to be in a position where they’re not as competitive. [11/14/08]


Last year’s stonewalling attempts by the auto industry notwithstanding, improving fuel economy is not difficult for the Big Three. As the Sierra Club explained in 2006, “The technology exists today to make all new vehicles average 40 miles per gallon within ten years.” A 2002 report by the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems of the National Research Council found that technologies existed then that “would significantly reduce fuel consumption within 15 years” — technologies that manufacturers were “already offering or introducing” in overseas markets.

This bullshit about how American automakers can't compete because we have standards just infuriates me. For fuck's sake, my fucking Nissan lives up to all of the same fucking standards as American makes. The problem isn't standards, but lack thereof. The problem is that we let American automakers pay their CEOs outrageous salaries while they eviscerated their companies and made shitty cars nobody wanted to buy. But Cons, of course, think it's standards that cause all of Big Business's ills.

Give me a fucking break.

And then the ratfuckers are suprised when they get poll results like this:

It seemed at least possible that in a post-election environment, the parties would get a honeymoon of sorts, at least until January.

Unfortunately for Republicans, that's not the case. A new Gallup poll shows support for the GOP slipping even further now that the election has come and gone. (via Atrios)

The Republican Party's image has gone from bad to worse over the past month, as only 34% of Americans in a Nov. 13-16 Gallup Poll say they have a favorable view of the party, down from 40% in mid-October. The 61% now holding an unfavorable view of the GOP is the highest Gallup has recorded for that party since the measure was established in 1992. [...]

By contrast, the public's views of the Democratic Party remain as positive after the election as they were just prior to it. More than half of Americans, 55%, currently hold a favorable view of the Democratic Party and only 39% an unfavorable view, highly typical of views toward the Democrats all year.

I thought, at first glance, that deteriorating economic conditions would put the public in such a dour mood that approval numbers would drop pretty much across the board. But that's not the case -- Republicans' support is reaching new lows, while a clear majority continues to have a favorable impression of the Democrats.

You know why this is? It's because one party is full of insane assclowns who get stuck on inane social issues and the cut-taxes-and-standards-and-regulations rut, and they don't fucking solve a damned thing, while the other party is somewhat in touch with reality. Yet the Cons think the problem is they're not being Con enough.

At this rate, we can expect them back from their sojourn in the wilderness in, oh, say, never.

Dana Perino, alas, is their perfect mouthpiece:

The Associated Press reports today that, as part of its long-fought campaign to gut the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Bush administration is pushing a last-minute regulatory change that would significantly weaken the ESA:

The rules would eliminate the input of federal wildlife scientists in some endangered species cases, [by allowing] the federal agency in charge of building, authorizing or funding a project to determine for itself whether a project would be likely to harm endangered wildlife and plants.

At today’s White House press conference, a reporter asked if the Associated Press had accurately described the proposed regulatory change. Perino responded first by saying she didn’t have the documentation with her, but suggested that the rule change would have little effect because the ESA doesn’t help protect “any species, including ours” anyway:

PERINO: I don’t have [the documentation] with me. I know conceptually what we support. And I know that the Endangered Species Act is a tangled web that doesn’t actually help support any species, including our own. …

Republicon, party of stupid. Holy fucking shit.

And the stupid, it runs deep and strong, from the base right up through their so-called leadership:

I can appreciate the fact that the Senate operates with a certain degree of cordiality, but surely members realize that when the election season comes, party leaders on both sides want to increase the size of their caucuses.

With that in mind, I have no idea why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) feelings are hurt.

[D]espite a previously solid working and personal relationship with his Democratic counterpart, McConnell chose to ignore both the election night call and a subsequent follow-up call from Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), whose party had dumped more than $6 million into Kentucky in an ultimately futile push to knock off the Republican leader.


Republicans warned that Reid should be prepared for a full-court press during his own 2010 re-election bid, and that the sudden deterioration in relations, no matter how short-lived, is a direct result of what they view as an overly aggressive Democratic effort to unseat McConnell.

"The Majority Leader made a tactical error that could potentially cost him his job when he signed off on $6 million of attack ads the last few weeks in Kentucky. McConnell never takes political attacks personally, but he is someone who has never hesitated to repay his opposition for their courtesy," a senior Republican official said, adding that identifying a high-quality opponent to challenge Reid will be a priority for the party in the coming months.

So, let me get this straight. The relationship between the two parties' Senate leaders is in "tatters" because the Republican leader thinks the Democratic leader supported an effort to win a competitive Senate race. The Big Bad Harry Reid was mean in trying to help his party gain another seat.

That's all they know how to do. Whine, snivel, and throw tantrums when they don't get their way. Whine, snivel and throw tantrums when the Dems don't treat them with the deference due royalty. Whine, snivel and throw tantrums... well, all the fucking time. No wonder the majority of Americans are fed up. It's like watching preschoolers try to govern before they've learned the concept of sharing.

And as for reality... they'll just never get it:

Since the GOP’s dismal electoral performance on Nov. 4, many conservatives have been engaged in a massive game of cover-up, arguing that despite the results, America is still a “center-right” country. (But it’s not). During a recent interview with Time magazine, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) was the latest to take up the baton, saying there is “no question” that both the nation and Congress are “center-right”:

BOEHNER: America is a center right country.

TIME: Still?

BOEHNER: Yes, no question. When you look at all the exit polling, Americans don’t want bigger government, they don’t want higher taxes. And frankly, I think the Congress is still a center-right Congress.

Apparently, Boehner hasn't noticed the fact that Dems have swept the House, Senate and White House.

At least we're not left to wonder what went wrong over the last eight years. All we have to wonder is why we didn't kick the fuckers to the curb sooner.


stevec said...

Did you see Charlie Rose last night?


Barney Frank, Richard Shelby; Andrew Ross Sorkin, David Cole talking about the auto industry bailout. Interesting stuff.

Cujo359 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cujo359 said...

American auto makers deliberately chose to make large cars rather than small ones. They keep doing this, because there are many people who want big cars. YT, however, would really like to buy a modern version of his early 90's smallish pickup truck in a few years. Are there any comparable models today? Not really.

There are plenty of market niches, and have been for some time. Even in the glory days of $1.50 gasoline, there were plenty of people who wanted smaller, more fuel-efficient cars. Detroit just wasn't interested in making them.