Bad news for those who were watching Al Franken's ascent to the Senate in horror. He's official:
The Minnesota state canvassing board has officially certified the election results showing that Al Franken is the winner of the Minnesota recount -- by a nose. And it is far from over.
The numbers: Franken at 1,212,431 votes, Coleman at 1,212,206 votes. Including the large number of votes for third-party candidates, plus ballots that didn't include a vote in the Senate race, this is a margin of 0.0077% out of over 2.9 million ballots cast.
Officially, next legal step is for Gov. Tim Pawlenty to sign a certificate of election, and for Sec. of State Mark Ritchie to co-sign, within the next seven days. But that probably won't happen -- the Coleman campaign has said they will file a challenge of the election in court, which under state law delays the issuing of that certificate until the proceeding is settled.
Coleman does not have much a chance in such a proceeding, as we've noted before. But it could be a while, bottling up Franken's win for weeks or maybe even months.
Coleman, you'll recall, was all for conceding a loss when he didn't think he'd lose. Apparently, he's changed his mind on the importance of "reconciliation" and "healing" now that things aren't going his way. Poor baby.
Now that we've had our appetizer, let's get to the main course. There's a veritible banquet of idiocy coming out of the right today (must be a day ending in Y).
Dana Perino sez getting the shit blown out of them is good for Gazans:
In a video statement today, President Bush seemingly condoned Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza, saying, “Israel has obviously decided to protect herself and her people.” Minutes later, in the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Dana Perino suggested that the war would help create “a more stable and secure” life for the people of Gaza:PERINO: We understand the need to try to create a more stable and secure area for themselves and also for the Palestinian people, who have been held hostage by Hamas in Gaza since the summer of 2007. And we urge them to be very cautious when it comes to civilian casualties. We want to keep them to an absolute minimum.
Seconds after claiming Hamas has held Gaza citizens hostage, however, Perino seemed to acknowledge that Hamas had in fact been elected: “They won because the Palestinians, the people of Gaza, were frustrated with the services they were getting from the Fatah party, which was a wake-up call for the Fatah party as well,” Perino said.
The idea that the current war — which has so far resulted in the deaths of over 500 Palestinians — is somehow good for the people of Gaza is being echoed around the White House and the right wing. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack explained today that the Bush administration opposed an immediate cease fire because stopping the killing now would somehow not be to the “best benefit” of the Palestinian people...
What an interesting worldview these people have. I wonder if it would somehow be different if they were stuck in a strip of land a fraction of the size of Rhode Island getting clusterbombed? I suspect so, but they're insane enough that I can only give that a 95% probability.
The marvel team-up of Bolton and Yoo can't quite make Dana Perino look any less ridiculous, but bless their hearts, they're doing their best:
John Bolton, the former ambassador to the U.N., and former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo, best known for his torture memos and creative ideas about the "unitary executive," have a fascinating op-ed in the New York Times today. Now that Bush is leaving office, Bolton and Yoo believe -- get this -- the president should have less authority and discretion when it comes to international affairs.
The Constitution's Treaty Clause has long been seen, rightly, as a bulwark against presidential inclinations to lock the United States into unwise foreign commitments. The clause will likely be tested by Barack Obama's administration, as the new president and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton, led by the legal academics in whose circles they have long traveled, contemplate binding down American power and interests in a dense web of treaties and international bureaucracies.
Like past presidents, Mr. Obama will likely be tempted to avoid the requirement that treaties must be approved by two-thirds of the Senate.... By insisting on the proper constitutional process for treaty-making, Republicans can join Mr. Obama in advancing a bipartisan foreign policy. They can also help strike the proper balance between the legislative and executive branches that so many have called for in recent years.
Reading this, I had to double check to make sure we were talking about the same Bolton and Yoo. After all, John Yoo has spent most of the last eight years arguing that the president has an unfettered power to do as he pleases on the international stage. Indeed, Yoo argued that the president can literally ignore any law he chooses -- including the Constitution -- if he decides it's in the nation's interests.
Fascinating how right-wing fucktards who believe in a unitary executive suddenly become true believers in Constitutional limits on presidential power when the President in question happens to be a Democrat, innit?
And the next time a Con gets religion on reining in government spending and starts to decry lavish outlays for personal use, you might want to ask them about bathroom remodeling:
The Washington Post’s Al Kamen reports today that outgoing Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne recently spent about $235,000 in taxpayer funds to renovate the bathroom in his fifth-floor office.
Wood paneling. A fridge. Monogrammed towels, even. My goodness. Just what every government office bathroom needs in order to function properly.
And when Bush ball-lickers try to tell you what an awesome president he was, you might want to ask them why he couldn't come up with anything more awesome than this to cite as his major domestic success:
The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes reports today that he and fellow conservative Bill Kristol met with President Bush last Friday for a lunch in the president’s “private dining room adjacent to the Oval Office.” According to Barnes, the “left-wing haters” are “going to be disappointed when they see his demeanor as he leaves his eight-year presidency” because Bush “appears comfortable with what he expects his legacy will be.”
Speaking of Bush’s legacy, Barnes reports that the president cited his push to privatize Social Security as his biggest domestic policy accomplishment:It seems odd that Bush cited an unsuccessful effort as his biggest domestic policy achievement, but understandable given that he doesn’t have much else to consider.
On domestic policy, Bush was asked if he made progress in some areas for which he hasn’t and probably won’t get credit. Topping his list was his unsuccessful drive in 2005 to reform Social Security. Bush said his effort showed it’s politically safe to campaign on changing Social Security and then actually seek to change it.
He also said it was important to have raised private investment accounts as an attractive option in reforming Social Security.
You know your presidency was an epic fail when you have to cite failures as your biggest accomplishments.
As for how the disappointment the "left-wing haters" might feel at watching Bush walk out of office all proud of himself, let me put it this way: we don't expect shame from the mentally-deficient. We'd be more disappointed if he walked out with his head hanging, because that would call into question our ability to predict the behavior of clueless fuckwits.
The entire right wing is behaving exactly as expected. There's a cold comfort in that.