23 June, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Another day, another ridiculous hissy fit from the right:
I guess it was obvious that there'd be a flap surrounding Nico Pitney's question at the White House press conference this afternoon, but that doesn't give this "story" merit. Here's the latest:

Some reporters and right wing bloggers are accusing the White House of "coordinating" a question with The Huffington Post at today's press conference, suggesting this shows the White House cozying up to a lefty news outlet.

The White House, however, says No Dice. White House officials tell me they didn't ask the Huffington Post reporter, Nico Pitney, what his question would be, and didn't know what Pitney would be asking.

Of course not. For all the speculation about "coordination," there's even less here than meets the eye.

Let's talk a little about this process. Sometimes, presidents call on specific journalists because they know, not what the question will be, but what the subject matter is likely to cover. At one of his press conferences, for example, Obama called on a reporter from Stars & Stripes. Did the president know what the question was going to be? No. Did Obama know it was likely to have something to do with U.S. troops? You bet. And why is that? Because that's what Stars & Stripes covers.

I know these poor fuckwits are having a hard time digging up real controversies to whine about, but the level of dumbassitude's getting a little high. They might want to ease off before even the craziest conservatives notice they're full of shit.

While we're on the subject of outrageously stupid manufactured controversies, let's make note of the fact that while the birther movement is rabidly stupid, Congressional reps who fall for the birther dumbfuckery are an order of magnitude more rabidly stupid:

Rep. Bill Posey’s (R-FL) bill aimed at casting doubt over the citizenship status of President Obama appears to be gaining momentum within the Republican Party. The bill would require candidates for President to supply their birth certificates to the Federal Elections Commission to be eligible to run. Placating fringe elements of the right-wing movement who refuse to believe that President Obama was born in America, Posey himself has refused to say if he believes that the President was born in Hawaii.

Though initially it appeared he had little support, Posey eventually gained Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA), and Rep. John Carter (R-TX) as cosponsors. Last week, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) also signed on as a sponsor of the bill, while Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) said that he would support the bill if it reaches the Senate.

Speaking to the Texas-based Chad Hasty radio show yesterday, Neugebauer explained his support for the “birther” movement:

Q: So you believe the President is a US citizen?

NEUGEBAUER: You know I don’t know. I’ve never seen him produce documents that would say one way or another.

Where's Neugebauer been living, under a box in his backyard along with all the other crazy conspiracy theorists? Obama's produced documents. Factcheck.org's produced documents. He's a better-documented citizen than I am, for fuck's sake.

I think it's time for Neugebauer to produce proof he's an American-born citizen, wouldn't you say? Just for s & g.

Cons are losing a remarkable amount of cred among the public recently, most likely due to the continued rabid insanity they've displayed. They're losing ground in ways none of us thought they could:
Does anyone else find this number from the internals of the new Washington Post/ABC News poll just stunning?

Who do you trust to do a better job handling the threat of terrorism — (Obama) or the (Republicans in Congress)?

Obama 55%

Republicans in Congress 34%

A year ago, when the conventional wisdom held during the campaign that terrorism was a weak point for Obama, would you have predicted that he would come to hold a 21-point lead over the GOP on the issue?

Hoped, yes - predicted, no. Good to see my fellow Americans waking up and smelling the coffee, there. That's gotta strike fear in the hearts of the Cons.

Things like this probably won't help them regain credibility in most citizens' eyes:
Today, former TP member Judd Legum reports that the Republican Women of Anne Arundel County, “one of Maryland’s most prominent Republican organizations,” has launched a vicious attack on President Obama. Featured prominently on the front page of the group’s website is a letter from RWAAC President Joyce E. Thoman, who explicitly equates Obama with Hitler:
Obama and Hitler have a great deal in common in my view. Obama and Hitler use the “blitzkrieg” method to overwhelm their enemies. FAST, CARPET BOMBING intent on destruction. Hitler’s blitzkrieg bombing destroyed many European cities – quickly and effectively. Obama is systematically destroying the American economy and with it AMERICA. First the banking/investment industry, next private enterprise (GM and Chrysler) and now HEALTH CARE. And he is working on grabbing more of the American economy with his environmental extremism!

When a "prominent Republican organization" starts sounding like the whackiest of whackaloons, you know the party's in deep shit. The majority of people usually back away when they're faced with foaming-at-the-mouth batshit insanity. Hell of a way to rebuild a political party, innit?

And then you have one of their great white hopes for a 2012 comeback acting like some lunatic in a bad midlife crisis movie:

By late last night, after news outlets picked up on the fact that no one seemed to know where South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has been since Thursday, the governor's office issued a statement hoping to "clarify" matter. Sanford, his aides said, is hiking the Appalachian Trail and is completely fine. Nothing to worry about. Mystery solved. Move along, nothing to see here.

But, when looking at the details of the story, and watching how various explanations evolved yesterday, the story of the disappearing governor appears more, not less, bizarre.

Remember, early on, the governor's wife conceded that she doesn't know where her husband is, but said Sanford needed some time away "to write something." The governor's office said he decided to "recharge" after the legislative session, and has decided to "work on a couple of projects that have fallen by the wayside." A few hours later, that version of events changed, and the governor is now "hiking."

But even now, no one -- not his wife, not his staff, not his security detail -- seems to know exactly where Mark Sanford is, and no one from his family or administration has actually spoken to him. His spokesperson's statement last night conceded that his office is clueless as to his exact whereabouts.

"I apologize for taking so long to send this update, and was waiting to see if a more definitive idea of what part of the trail he was on before we did so," said Joel Sawyer, the Republican governor's spokesman. Sawyer added that he will update the public on Sanford's specific whereabouts as soon as he knows them.

South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer (R) called Sanford's office yesterday afternoon and demanded an "immediate phone conversation with the governor." That didn't happen.

"That request was denied because the governor's chief of staff does not know where the governor is, and has not communicated with the governor since he left South Carolina last Thursday," Bauer said. "I cannot take lightly that his staff has not had communication with him for more than four days, and that no one, including his own family, knows his whereabouts."

But hey, at least he [allegedly] finally called:

Joel Sawyer, communications director for the governor's office, then said the governor had been on the Appalachian Trail. Sawyer said staffers heard from Sanford on Tuesday morning and the governor plans to return Wednesday.

Sawyer said the governor is surprised by all the attention.

Really? The chief executive of a state runs off without telling anyone where he's going, taking a vehicle full of weapons with him, and is last seen at an airport 80 miles from the trail he's supposedly hiking, turns off his phone, and goes completely missing, and he's surprised people wonder what the fuck happened to him?

If he's one of the rising stars of the GOP, the GOP is well and truly fucked.

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