07 January, 2010

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I have to say, reading pollyticks gets a little more surreal when you've had an amount of sleep that can be counted on the fingers of one hand (no, not the one with all five fingers intact - the one that's suffered an industrial accident and, like creationists, isn't quite all there).  It gets really surreal when you've had that wee amount of sleep and have taken asthma medication because your workplace is trying to kill you.  If bits of the following don't quite make sense, you have my excuse.

Let us continue on with the Con hysteria over people who set their pants on fire.  Perhaps they have an obsession because flaming pants is something they have in common with our most recent terrorist, although one (the Crotchfire Bomber) in a rather literal sense, and the other in the metaphorical sense (as in liars, pants on fire).  And to prove that the latter is true, and that Cons are indeed liars with (metaphorically) flaming pants, allow me to present State's Exhibit A:
On Monday, ThinkProgress pointed out how conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) were complaining that President Obama and his administration are not “willing to use the word” terror — a claim that is refuted by Obama’s own statements and speeches. But the right-wing meme persists.

In response to Obama’s remarks yesterday on the Christmas Day plot, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) whined that “he still refuses to use the word ‘terrorism.’”

[references to Faux News and Michael Steele taking torches to trousers omitted]

The conservatives’ semantic attack is all the more ridiculous considering that in Obama’s statement yesterday, he made eight references to terrorism, terrorists and counterterrorism.

Apparently, eight is not enough for the Cons.  Three choices present themselves: we have a bunch of buffoons lying for political gain, we have a bunch of stupid buffoons who babble about the President's speeches without even listening to them (and if they bother to read transcripts, apparently can't read), or we have a bunch of buffoons suffering from a psychiatric disorder not yet listed in the DSM.  Take your pick.

Idiots like DeMint might want to look into a trigger lock for their mouths.  Shooting them off without thinking looks as if it might cause them some trouble, because Rep. Eric Massa isn't having any of it.  He's thrown down on DeMint:

Rep. Eric Massa has been on fire lately. First he took down Dick Cheney with a fabulous moment on MSNBC and now he's going after yet another odious one.

I asked him if he would comment on C&L about the way Jim DeMint has been disgracing the halls of Congress with his outrageous behavior over national security and he stepped up to the plate and made an exclusive video just for us.
Massa: Let me be very clear. When Senator Jim DeMint personally and individually kept the appointed director of the Transportation Security Agency from being able to not only have a fair hearing and actually received that appointment, he placed the traveling American public at increased physical risk to terrorist attacks. And now that he's showing an incredible amount of cowardice by first denying that he ever did it and by nuancing that this is all about collective bargaining. He is demonstrating the kind of partisan destruction of our homeland security policies that is simply not accessible and so I call Jim DeMint out.
I'll debate him anywhere, anytime because I know what's he's doing. For him to insult the American public by saying that somehow collective bargaining will place us at greater risk is literally, is literally to denounce the services of great organizations as the NY Fire Department and the NY City police department who, when the towers were burning didn't think about collective bargaining, but ran in when others were running out.
So shame on you Jim DeMint. You are non deserving of the title that you have been given and you are not deserving the responsibilities that you must exercise for the protection of the American people. And I'm calling you out.
I don't even know what to say, other than if all Dems were this harsh on Cons, Cons might not feel so comfortable being lying, bullying fucktards.  I do hope that between Eric Massa and Alan Grayson, Dems get an idea of the proper handling of Con bullshit.  Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go sit quietly, agape in admiration, for a moment.


Now, we have good Dems, and we have indifferent Dems, and we have naughty Dems indeed:
A group of moderate Democrats held private meetings this fall with executives from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase, while in the midst of pushing successfully to water down landmark legislation designed to beef up regulation of the financial industry.

In mid October, members of the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), a caucus of pro-business Democrats, traveled to New York City. According to an emailed itinerary for the trip drawn up by an event planner working for the group and obtained by TPMmuckraker, members met on October 12 with executives from Goldman, and the following day with execs from JP Morgan. Sandwiched between those events was a fundraiser for the New Dems, and a meeting with CEOs from Marsh and McLellan Companies, a consulting and insurance firm.


According to a Hill aide familiar with the trip, the Wall Street meetings almost certainly didn't appear on any of the members' official schedules, because they were organized through NDC as part of a campaign trip -- hence the fundraiser -- rather than through the members' offices. If that's the case, the public had no way to know they occurred.
Here's what I think.  This election cycle, we should encourage some nice, eye-opening primary challenges against a certain set of "New" Dems.  Remind them, as it were, that while the Big Money Boyz may give them pretty campaign donations, we're the ones who pull the lever.  This kind of behavior is reprehensible.

Perhaps we'll have a few more retirements.  That would be lovely.  And speaking of retirements, let's shoot down a silly Con argument that's being faithfully parroted by the media just now.  The story goes that all these retirements mean Dems are dropping like flies, and it's just a no good, very bad, terrible awful political year for them.  One problem:

Quick quiz: which party has more Senate retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans? Follow-up question: which party has more House retirements so far this campaign cycle, Democrats or Republicans?

If Dems are "dropping like flies," the answer should be obvious. But it's not -- in both chambers, Republican retirements, at least for now, outnumber Democratic retirements.

In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Does this mean Republicans are "dropping like flies"?

In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement. Is this evidence of a mass Democratic exodus?

Among governors, several incumbents in both parties are term-limited and prevented from running again, but only three Democrats who can seek re-election -- Parkinson in Kansas, Doyle in Wisconsin, and Ritter in Colorado -- have chosen not to. For Republicans, the number is four -- Douglas in Vermont, Rell in Connecticut, Crist in Florida, and Pawlenty in Minnesota. (Update: the GOP number is five if we include Palin in Alaska.)
Kinda sorta shoots the whole "dropping like flies" argument right down, that.  Not that Cons and their reality-impervious friends will necessarily notice.

There was some temporary celebration among Cons when Sen. Chris Dodd announced his retirement late yesterday, but they should probably hold off on the champagne:

Many have pointed out that Chris Dodd’s decision to retire makes it far more likely that Dems will hold his seat. But that’s actually a huge understatement, according to the latest numbers from Public Policy Polling, which just landed in the old in-box:
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal leads all three of the Republicans in the race by at least 30 points in polling we conducted Monday and Tuesday night before Dodd’s announcement.

Cons had better be hoping for a scandal of epic proportions, because otherwise, they haven't got a Teabagger's hope in NY-23.  (For those who may not recall: the Teabaggers lost a historically Republican seat, so that translates to very little hope indeed.)

Anyway, I'd like to take this opportunity to wish Chris the best, and to extend my congratulations to my own dear Senator Maria Cantwell, who'll be getting one of his chairmanships when he's left.

Finally, what day would be complete without a zombie lie parroted by a Con in Congress?  Here's today's installment:
Dave Weigel notes that Rep. Nathan Deal (R) of Georgia -- who is running for governor this year -- recently asked the White House for proof that the president of the United States is a natural-born citizen.
Todd Smith, Chief of Staff for Representative Nathan Deal of the United States House of Representatives serving Georgia's 9th district, has confirmed today that Deal has sent a letter to Barack Hussein Obama requesting him to prove his eligibility for the office of President of the United States of America. The letter was sent electronically the first of December 2009 in pdf format, and Mr. Smith said that Representative Deal has confirmation from Obama's staff that it has been received. The letter did not have additional signatories. It originated solely from Representative Deal.
If we were dealing with a sane political dynamic, the political world would immediately realize that such a person should probably not be the chief executive of a state with 10 million people and a budget of $18.6 billion.

"Party of Crazy" continues to strike me as an effective campaign theme, should a party want to pursue it.

Party of Crazy, indeed.  Next time someone asks me what's wrong with Washington, I'll at least have a succinct answer: insane and/or terminally stupid voters keep banding together to elect certifiably insane dumbshits.  That's what's wrong.

It's a wonder this country functions at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dana,

Unfortunately, such lunacy is infecting even Bay State Republicans, who are generally seen as more liberal than teh loons elsewhere:

From the Boston Globe, Jan. 5:

"State Senator Scott Brown, the Republican candidate for US Senate, endorsed yesterday the use of enhanced interrogation techniques - including the practice of simulated drowning known as waterboarding - in questioning terror suspects. The point drew a quick rebuke from the campaign of his Democratic rival, Attorney General Martha Coakley, which said she supports President Obama’s ban on waterboarding.

After a press conference in Boston in which he called for a freeze on wages for federal employees, Brown, in response to a question, told reporters that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a passenger jet en route to Detroit on Christmas Day, should be treated as an enemy combatant, taken to the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, interrogated “pursuant to our rules of engagement and laws of war,’’ and not be treated as a civilian criminal suspect. Brown asserted that waterboarding does not constitute torture, but he did not specifically say Abdulmutallab should be subjected to waterboarding.

“I don’t support torture; the United States does not support torture,’’ Brown, a military lawyer in the Massachusetts National Guard, told reporters."