25 February, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I'm often at a loss as to where to start with the stupidity-bashing - there's always so much to choose from. Today's no exception.

First, I just want to ask a question: what the fuck is wrong with Colorado state senators? First we have this steaming pile of stupid:
Today, Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R) caused outrage by announcing that he would vote against a bill requiring HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he doesn’t think the government should reward “unacceptable behavior.”

And as if that bit of fuckwittery weren't enough, here we have someone who belongs on Worldnut Daily:
On the floor of the Colorado state senate on Monday, Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe equated “homosexuality as a sin with murder” during a debate on a bill that would allow same-sex partners of state employees to be covered by health care benefits. “I’m not saying this (homosexuality) is the only sin that’s out there,” said Renfroe. “We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery. And we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

You'd think Cons would be less terrified of sex and all things involved with it, considering how many sex scandals they get embroiled in. I expect to see these two caught in flagrente delicto any minute now. That's if the outraged human rights groups, gays and women don't gang up to oust them first, of course.

Time for some housecleaning, Colorado.

Moving on to the hallowed halls of Congress, it looks like John McCain is still terminally confused and making an absolute ass of himself - color me shocked:

Last night, appearing once again on CBS News, John McCain complained about something he heard in President Obama's address to Congress.

"[W]hen he says that there's no earmarks, I just picked up a bill that we're going to take up tomorrow, that has 9,247 earmarks in it, in the omnibus appropriations bill. So, what am I supposed to believe here?"

McCain is confused. When the president talked about the lack of earmarks, he was talking about the economic stimulus bill. In fact, Obama wasn't vague: "I'm proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks." The omnibus appropriations bill is a different piece of legislation -- a detail McCain is probably aware of -- and Obama didn't (and couldn't) promise that every spending bill would be earmark-free forevermore. "What am I supposed to believe here?" Reality would be a good place to start.

That said, McCain's observation is at least partially right -- there are earmarks in the appropriations bill. And why is that? Because many of McCain's Republican colleagues put them there.

In fact, the Cons seem to be on a bit of a spending spree, despite all their foot-stomping, neo-Hooverite screaming about government waste et al. They're fine with spending as long as the money's being spent on them:

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line item will likely remain safe from their ire.

The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion.


"We had a situation -- you should direct that question to Senator McConnell," he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, "because we had trouble organizing this year. He wanted to maintain a lot of their staffing even though they had lost huge numbers. And the only way we could get it done is to do what we did. So you should direct that question to Senator McConnell."

Whined the Cons, "But it's the same amount of money we got last year, so what's the problem?" Put it like this: there's fewer of you now, you fuckwits.

And with bright ideas like this, that trend should only continue:

On Monday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on Fox News, calling for a "spending freeze." It was relatively easy to dismiss, since Steele has no formal policy role, and is easily confused over policy details.

But actual Republican policymakers are apparently serious about pursuing such a freeze. David Weigel reports:

House Republicans have responded with a change of subject: they have proposed a "spending freeze," a controversial idea among economists during an economic downturn. [...]

"We're advocating that Congress freeze all federal spending immediately," said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, during a Tuesday luncheon at the conservative Heritage Foundation. [...]

Pence's argument for a spending freeze is widely accepted within the Republican conference. On Monday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked Democrats to "abandon their plans" to push through an omnibus bill "and instead pass a clean bill that freezes spending at current levels."

It's hard to overstate how incredibly foolish this is. It's a Neo-Hooverism approach in its most obvious form. Weigel noted that Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist who wrote a book critical of George W. Bush's spending, "could not name many peers who believe that smaller deficits and less spending are the way to combat economic downturns."

For Republican officials -- who spent freely, cut taxes, and produced massive debt during Bush's presidency -- the way to respond to an economic crisis is to spend less money. It's what "people out there" do, so it's what the federal government should do. (It's as if they've never even heard about the differences between micro- and macro-economics.)

They probably have, but got it confused with their dear creationist friends' micro- vs. macro- evolution talking points, and as you all know, the ridiculous right doesn't believe in macro.

Considering their situation, they're going to need a miracle to turn their political fortunes around. Alas, it looks like their Great Leader Rush believes Bobby Jindal is their last, best hope:

The response across the political spectrum to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-LA) speech last night has been overwhelmingly negative. Even the most enthusiastic conservative talkers had harsh words for Jindal’s speech, calling it “cheesy,” “insane,” and “not his greatest oratorical moment.”

But Jindal still maintains one key supporter — Rush Limbaugh. On his radio show this afternoon, Limbaugh leaped to Jindal’s defense. “I love Bobby Jindal, and that did not change after last night,” he said. Limbaugh then directed this admonition at his fellow conservatives:

LIMBAUGH: [T]he people on our side are really making a mistake if they go after Bobby Jindal on the basis of style. Because if you think — people on our side I’m talking to you — those of you who think Jindal was horrible, you think — in fact, I don’t ever want to hear from you ever again. … I’ve spoken to him numerous times, he’s brilliant. He’s the real deal.

If Jindal is their definition of "brilliant" and "the real deal," they're in worse shape than I thought.

To which I can only say: good.

1 comment:

Brian said...

"I'm often at a loss as to where to start with the stupidity-bashing - there's always so much to choose from."

There is, isn't there? Good grief, there's just so damn much of it.