23 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

We'll get to the stupidity in a moment, but first: if anyone anywhere knows what that thrice-bedamned song from The Shift commercial is, do tell. Like endless drips of water, it is starting to make my brain hurt.

So is Faux News' propensity for changing politicians' political affiliations:

This morning, Fox News' Jon Scott led off a "Happening Now!" with a report on some very worthy legislation now making its way through the halls of Congress:

Scott: Despite talk that the recession is easing, the House is taking up emergency legislation this week that would help Americans out of work. A bill offered by Republican Congressman Jim McDermott of Washington would provide 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits. The checks would go to more than 300,000 people living in states with unemployment rates at 8.5 percent or higher. ...

I imagine it's news to Jim McDermott that he is now a Republican. He's not only an ardent Democrat, he's considered one of the most liberal members of Congress. (Here's more on his legislation to help out the long-term unemployed.)


It's sort of the usual Fox principle -- if a Republican is caught in a sex scandal, ID him as a Democrat -- in reverse.

That's only one of the many reasons why Faux News Managing Editor Bill Sammon's memo is such a piss-poor joke. In order to maintain a reputation as a respectable news organization, one must first be a respectable news organization. But then, right-wingers never seem overly concerned with having steak with their sizzle.

Speaking of Faux News and its hacks, looks like Glenn Beck may have finally pissed off the wrong people. Even other Con hacks are giving him negative reviews:

In an interview with Katie Couric for her new web-only show, Fox News pundit Glenn Beck said he thinks John McCain would have been a bad president because he’s “this weird progressive like Theodore Roosevelt was.” Beck added that McCain would be worse than Obama:

I think John McCain would have been worse — [laughs] How about this? I think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama. How’s that?


Beck’s opinion elicited a fierce and angry response from right-wing radio host Mark Levin yesterday. “To say [McCain] would be worse is mindless, mindless, incoherent as a matter of fact,” Levin said on his radio show. He then suggested Beck is playing politics: “I don’t know who people are playing to. I don’t know why they’re playing to certain people.”

Um. Ratings, mebbe? Or just stark raving batshit insanity. Take your pick.

Levin isn't alone in his laments:

Commentary's Peter Wehner worries that Beck's "erratic behavior" and "interest in conspiracy theories" will make conservatives look like insane clowns rather than respectable sages, and Joe Scarborough absolutely goes off, saying that Beck's race-baiting and "wallow[ing] in conspiracy theories" is "playing with fire" and could have tragic, Waco-like consequences.

Even Rush Limbaugh, who never met a race-baiter he didn't like, seems a bit rankled by Beck's prominent role in marshaling the teabag troops for the 9/12 Racistpalooza in DC. Or could he be feeling a teensy bit threatened? How many crazies can Rush mobilize? How many Democratic scalps has he claimed lately? Is it possible that Rush is no longer bigoted and crazy enough to lead today's Republican Party?


Joe Scarborough had some especially harsh words:

Scarborough was even more damning:

Scarborough: But when you preach this kind of hatred, and say that an African American president hates all white people -- stay with me -- hates all white people, you are playing with fire. And bad things can happen. And if they do happen, not only is Glenn Beck responsible, but conservatives who don't -- call -- him -- out -- are responsible.

We shall see if there's a stampede of elephants calling Beck on his bullshit. In the interests of health and safety, I'd advise against holding your breath. Especially since Michele Bachmann still loves Glenn Beck:

In an interview with Fox News, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) kissed up to Bill O’Reilly and his audience, telling producer Jesse Watters, “The Factor is the factor. That’s what’s important.” Bachmann then showered O’Reilly and Glenn Beck with her praise:

People vote with their feet. And they love Bill O’Reilly; they love Glenn Beck. They love the shows that are on Fox. That’s what matters. Because people want to go where they can find truth. They obviously aren’t finding truth over on some of these other channels.

And that, my darlings, is all you'll ever need to know about Michele Bachmann's judgement.

Let us move on to politicians behaving badly. I have just a quick question: what, exactly, will it take before Dems realize that Joe Lieberman is a total douchebag?

This morning, Politico reported on how some Democratic senators are already preparing for their reelection efforts in 2012, “boosting their campaign coffers, raising millions for an election that is still 37 months away.” In an interview, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) joked that he could potentially run as a Republican...

Connecticut, rid yourselves of this disgrace in 2012. Trust me, you'll feel better if you do.

Speaking of disgraces, here's a Dem who needs kicking to the curb:

Rep. Mike Ross (D) of Arkansas, the Blue Dog caucus' point-man on health care policy, sold some commercial property in 2007 for a lot more money that it's worth. That, coupled with the pharmacy chain that bought it, makes this a potentially problematic story.

Ross sold Holly's Health Mart in Prescott, Ark., to USA Drug for $420,000 -- an eye-popping price for real estate in a tiny train and lumber town about 100 miles southwest of Little Rock.

"You can buy half the town for $420,000," said Adam Guthrie, chairman of the county Board of Equalization and the only licensed real estate appraiser in Prescott.

But the $420,000 that USA Drug paid for the pharmacy's building and land was just the beginning of what Ross and his wife, Holly, made from the sale of Holly's Health Mart. USA Drug owner Stephen L. LaFrance Sr. also paid the Rosses $500,000 to $1 million for the pharmacy's assets and paid Holly Ross an additional $100,000 to $250,000 for signing a noncompete agreement. Those numbers, which Mike Ross listed on the financial disclosure reports he files as a member of Congress, bring the total value of the transaction to between $1 million and $1.67 million.

And that's not counting the $2,300 campaign contribution Ross received from LaFrance two weeks after the sale closed.

Ross, who recently reversed course on the Democratic reform plan after having already voted for it in committee, is a member of the Congressional Community Pharmacy Coalition. Trade associations have recently thanked the conservative Democrat for approving measures favorable to the industry.

He might as well run as a Con next cycle. He already is one.

Of course, there's no one quite like a Con for saying (and doing) the most outrageous shit:

In a new interview with The Hill, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) reveals his proudest moment as a lawmaker:

THE HILL: What vote would you like to redo?

KING: I don’t really go back and re-live that sort of thing. Some of the big votes that I’ve thought about, some of the jury’s still out. And at this point, maybe I’d answer that question another way, probably the singular vote that stands out that went against the grain, and it turns out to be the best vote that I cast, was my “no” vote to the $51.5 billion to [Hurricane] Katrina. That probably was my best vote. But as far as doing something different again, I don’t know.

King was one of just 11 members of Congress to vote against the $52 billion aid package.

It's hard to put into words just what a nauseating piece of shit this fucktard is. Of all the things to be proud of, giving a big fat "fuck you!" to the victims of one of the worst natural disasters America's ever suffered is not first on the list for most decent human beings.

And, finally, under the heading of "be careful what you wish for" comes poetic justice the likes of which we seldom see:

It no doubt seemed like a good idea at the time. Republican lawmakers intended to stop federal funds that might go to ACORN, wrote a measure that blocked expenditures for "any organization that has filed a fraudulent form with any Federal or State regulatory agency."

Because ACORN has experienced problems with voter-registration efforts, proponents found it an easy way to block funding for the group without being explicit about the intended target. The problem, as Ryan Grim reports, is that the provision also applies to entities Republican lawmakers want to give federal funds to.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) picked up on the legislative overreach and asked the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) to sift through its database to find which contractors might be caught in the ACORN net.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who's Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.


That's just awesome. I hope it's just the first of many more such moments as Cons forget to contemplate the consequences of their actions.

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