12 March, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Michael Steele got hisself in trouble with the frothing fundies yesterday by implying that women (or possibly individual states) get to control their own bodies. As you may have guessed, this did not go over well with da base:

As expected, conservatives aren't at all pleased with RNC Chairman Michael Steele's comments about gay and abortion rights to GQ.

* Mike Huckabee: "For Chairman Steele to even infer that taking a life is totally left up to the individual is not only a reversal of Republican policy and principle, but it's a violation of the most basic of human rights -- the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. His statement today helps, but doesn't explain why he would ever say what he did in the first place."


* Family Research Council: "I read the article last night so I am familiar not only with his comments about the life issue but also about the efforts to redefine marriage and 'mucking' up the constitution. I expressed my concerns to the chairman earlier this week about previous statements that were very similar in nature. He assured me as chairman his views did not matter and that he would be upholding and promoting the Party platform, which is very clear on these issues. It is very difficult to reconcile the GQ interview with the chairman's pledge."

Pissing off the far right is like saying something bad about Rush Limbaugh. Watch Steele come on bended knees to kiss serious ass:
Today, at 7:49 a.m. — less than 24 hours after the GQ story became public — Steele issued a new statement, completely backing down from his comments. Not only does he say now that abortion isn’t an individual or state choice, he says that he supports a constitutional ban on abortion:

I am pro-life, always have been, always will be. I tried to present why I am pro life while recognizing that my mother had a ‘choice’ before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life. The strength of the pro life movement lies in choosing life and sharing the wisdom of that choice with those who face difficult circumstances. They did that for my mother and I am here today because they did. In my view Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and should be repealed.

I realize that there are good people in our party who disagree with me on this issue. But the Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life. I support our platform and its call for a Human Life Amendment. It is important that we stand up for the defenseless and that we continue to work to change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen so that we can welcome all children and protect them under the law.

In the past, Steele has been more circumspect about overturning Roe v. Wade. In 2006, when asked whether it was his “desire” that the Supreme Court decision be kept “in place” at this point, Steele replied, “My desire is that we follow what stare decisis is at this point, yes.”

Steele himself said it best in February: “You have absolutely no reason, none, to trust our word or our actions at this point.”

Anyone wanna bet how long it is before his ass gets booted out?

But he has given us very good advice indeed: don't trust their word or actions. Certainly don't believe a bloody thing Cons say when they start raising a hue and cry about them evil wasteful Democrats:

Way back in February 2007, Kevin Drum wrote on this very blog, "The continuing flap over Nancy Pelosi's military jet accommodations is so knuckle-draggingly stupid that I can hardly stand to open the newspaper these days for fear of reading about it."

That was more than two years ago. Believe it or not, the far-right is still on the case.

Judicial Watch (remember them?) continues to accuse the House Speaker of misusing government resources, a claim that has generated some misleading news items and plenty of love from Drudge. The claim is the same as it was two years ago: Pelosi "treats the Air Force like her personal airline." (Malkin referenced "Queen Nancy's military air travel" this week. Murdoch's New York Post did its part, too.)

To its credit, ABC News looked into this. Take a wild guess what it found about the merit of the accusations.

[I]t appears that Pelosi uses military aircraft less often than her predecessor, former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert.

The documents cover the period from January 2007 to November 2008 and show that Pelosi made the equivalent of 20 round-trips between Washington (Andrews Air Force Base) and San Francisco. That's an average of less than one round-trip per month. In contrast, former Speaker Hastert traveled home to his Illinois district virtually every weekend and, his former aides tell ABC News, he would almost always travel on military aircraft. Like Hastert, Pelosi also occasionally leads Congressional delegations on foreign trips (the documents show six foreign trips: one to Asia, three to the Middle East and two to Europe).

ABC then goes on to systematically demolish every single squawk raised by clueless Cons. The whole episode reinforces two things here: when Cons start screaming corruption, you can bet that they're a) completely wrong and b) are the ones who are actually guilty.

In news that I'm sure will just shock the shit out of you, Cons are also still clueless about the economy:

On his radio show last night, conservative talker Hugh Hewitt asked former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) to give his “sense of where the economy is headed right now.” Santorum replied that he had “an innate sense that America is never going to revisit the Depression era again.” “I really don’t believe we’re going to go there again,” said Santorum.

After criticizing President Obama’s “doom and gloom” predictions, Santorum declared, “I really do believe that the fundamentals of American economy is still strong”:

SANTORUM: I think we’re probably, you know, reaching the bottom here in the next few months. There’s probably some more bad things that are going to happen, particularly in the credit markets. But, look, I don’t think — I think all this prediction of Obama’s doom and gloom and some others out there I think is overblown. I really do believe that the fundamentals of American economy is still strong and that we are, you know, we’ll pull ourselves out of this probably by the end of the year.

Um, Rick? McCain said the same thing, thus proving himself a total fuckwit. Voters realized this and handed him an arse-whuppin' at the polls. Are you really sure you want to travel that same road?

And how strong are those fundamentals? In the Cons' fantasy land, they must be very strong indeed. In the real world, not so much - not that little things like facts stop any of them from playing stupid economy tricks:
Solidifying his role as the nation's most radical and irresponsible governor, South Carolina's Mark Sanford (R) followed through on his grandstanding yesterday.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on Wednesday became the first governor to reject some of his state's share of President Barack Obama's economic stimulus money, spurning $700 million that he said would harm his state's residents in the long run.

Sanford, a Republican who served in Congress in the 1990s, made his announcement at three sites across South Carolina in a daylong flight tour that fed speculation that he's eyeing a 2012 presidential run.

Nice timing, gov.

South Carolina has the fastest growing unemployment rate in the country, and economists do not see an end to the cycle of job losses spreading across the state.

Between January 2008 and January 2009, the state's unemployment rate increased 4.7 percentage points, which was the largest jobless rate increase in the country, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Yes, it's the perfect time to turn down federal stimulus aid.

So remember, my darlings. When it comes to Cons, every day is Opposite Day.

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