10 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Another day, another Con caught up in a sordid sex scandal:
California state Rep. Michael Duvall, a Republican representing Orange County, is ostensibly a pretty conservative guy. Duvall, who's married with two kids, emphasizes his commitment to "family values"; he's a staunch opponent of gay rights; and he's proud of his 100% rating from the state's leading religious right group.

It's what makes his sex scandal all the more interesting.

While waiting for the start of a legislative hearing in July, the 54-year-old married father of two began describing, for the benefit of a colleague seated next to him, his ongoing affairs with two different women. In very graphic detail. [...]

Duvall's sophomoric braggadocio, of course, was picked up by the microphone in front of him, and wound up on a tape for the legislature's in-house TV station. From there it was sent to a local news station, KCAL, which ran this full report last night.

I'm not entirely comfortable publishing some of the more salacious details, but to make a long story short, Duvall spoke explicitly and in depth about his sexual escapades with two women, neither of whom were his wife, and one of whom is a lobbyist for an energy company. He did so in front of a microphone he thought was off. It wasn't.

The impressive thing was watching how quickly the story escalated. It went from revelation to resignation with surprising efficiency.

Yes, for once, the GOP drummed out a two-faced piece of shit without delay. However, comma, that came only after the whole mess went public. Where were their moral values back in July, when he was bragging to them all, eh? Or did they not view sleeping with not one, but two, different lobbyists no problem at all until the story broke?

Video here. Enjoy the schadenfreude.

Saturday's a big day for Obama haters. It's Glenn Beck's big march on Washington! All the fashionable astroturfers will be there:
While Beck and his allies in right-wing media have provided a platform of constant publicity and coverage for the march, FreedomWorks, led by former corporate lobbyist and Republican Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX), has turned the gears to make the event possible. The official website for the protest, 912dc.org, is owned and operated by FreedomWorks and most of the logistical work for the march is being coordinated from its offices in DC. Starting in August, Beck began directing viewers to the FreedomWorks website at the end of his Fox News show. Billed as a “grassroots” rally, the event is actually sponsored by organizations run by partisan GOP operatives and corporate front groups...

See Think Progress for the list. And also note this little delight:

But for the 9/12 march, there appears to be a shift towards a more radical coalition. The official sponsorship list reveals a subterranean, extreme element of the American right in attendance. The National Association for Rural Landowners, a bronze sponsor, references the incidents at Waco and Ruby Ridge to call for attacks on “government entities” and liberals. In a YouTube video posted in July, the group makes the case for a secession, followed by a violent civil war. Similarly, another 9/12 cosponsor, FreeRepublic, is a forum for various radical right causes. As ThinkProgress reported, the shooter at the Holocaust museum found a welcome audience for his writings on the website.

Despite the inclusion of such anti-government extremists, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA), and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) plan to attend and speak.

Perhaps Blue Texan can add this to the masterful smackdown of earlier today:
Don't bring that weak shit over here, Barone.

Liberal columnists have been attacking Republicans because some of their voters are "birthers," believers in the absurd charge that President Obama was not born in Hawaii and thus is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. But they have failed to identify any "birther" who occupied a position in the Republican firmament comparable to that of "truther" Van Jones in the Obama administration.

Uh, it's not "some" Republican voters who are birthers. It's most of them.


How about the brightest star in the Republican firmament, who's married to a secessionist, palled around with Birchers, theocrats and other right-wing kooks, and claimed Obama wants to gas her Down baby?

Or the Republican member of the Senate who compared Obama to Hitler and claimed the US was becoming Iran?

Or the higher-ranking Republican member of the Senate who said climate change was "the second greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people after the separation of church and state" and compared the EPA to the Gestapo?

Or how about the Republican governor of the second-largest state, who wants to emulate Jefferson Davis and appoints creationists to his state's school board?

Or the Republican member of the House who warned that Obama wanted to create "re-education camps" for children and compared progressive taxation to slavery?

The list goes on. There is no end to the crazy in GOP ranks. What was that you were saying, Barone? Barone? Oh, the poor dear's had to go find some ice and a sling for his balls.

Well, while he's gone, allow me to express my sincerest best wishes for Glenn Beck's crowd of fucktards. I'm a liberal, so while I think they're a pathetic bunch of ratfuckers and fuckwits, I still hope they make it to their little rally uncharred:

One of the featured corporate sponsors of the Tea Party Express had to pay millions of dollars to settle lawsuits for its role in a bus fire that killed 23 elderly nursing home residents fleeing Hurricane Rita in 2005.

The BusBank, a Chicago-based charter company, a "Tour Partner" of the Tea Party Express, a rolling protest sponsored by the Our Country Deserves Better PAC under the supervision of former Republican state legislator Howard Kaloogian, now a PR exec for the GOP-linked firm Russo, Marsh & Rogers.

BusBank is also arranging to ferry Tea Baggers to their 9/12 march on Washington to voice their demands for unfettered capitalism.
That could end up being a really bad idea.

Speaking of bad ideas, Rep. McHenry has taken up Beck's czar madness and is running with it - a thread from the Freepers clutched firmly in his sweaty hand:
Earlier today, The Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel reported that Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) had written a letter to the chairman and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, requesting that “the 44 appointed ‘czars’ of the Obama Administration” appear before a congressional hearing “to testify about their roles and responsibilities.” When Weigel asked McHenry’s office where he got the number 44, McHenry spokesman Brock McCleary provided him with a list from Politico and a thread from the far-right web forum FreeRepublic.com...


Not only does McHenry’s list contain numbers officials who have been confirmed by the Senate, but it also includes a member the Cabinet, Education Secretary Arne Duncan. In essence, McHenry wants some Obama officials who were confirmed by the Senate to testify about how they were “neither vetted by the Senate nor required to testify before Congress.”
What more can we expect of a dumbshit who takes Glenn Beck and the Free Republic fanatics seriously?

The czar craze continues with Sean Hannity's selective editing:

Last night, Fox News host Sean Hannity made good on his promise to obsessively focus on taking down high-ranking Obama administration officials. He spent almost his entire show talking about President Obama’s so-called “czars,” even featuring a segment called “Land of the Czars.”

At one point, Hannity stopped to address why he and other conservatives call them czars: “mostly because the White House itself does.” To prove his point, he played a montage of four clips by Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs using the term “czars.”


So basically, all Hannity could come up with is one legitimate use by the Obama administration of the term “czars.” All the others were in response to a reporter’s question or when the President was joking at the media’s overuse of the term.
And the whole anti-czar crusade rather suffered a blow when 'twas revealed Bill O' lurved him some czars back in the day:
Fox News personalities, including O'Reilly Factor guest-host Laura Ingraham, have attacked President Obama for appointing "czars" -- a term the channel uses to refer to any White House official tasked to advise the president on a specific issue, regardless of whether the position is subject to Senate confirmation -- with Fox News host Gretchen Carlson singling out the appointment of a "border czar" for criticism. However, during the Bush administration, Fox's Bill O'Reilly called for the appointment of an "immigration czar," as well as a "charity czar" and a "disaster relief victims family czar."
That wasn't a whoopee cushion you just heard, it was the air rudely let out of Beck & Hannity's little arguments. Not that they nor their deranged followers will ever notice. When you're up to your eyeballs in hypocrisy, how can you see more?

Speaking of hypocrisy, looks like at least one Texas school district is mired deep in it:
The Arlington Independent School District in Texas decided not to show President Obama’s address to students live yesterday because it reportedly didn’t want to interrupt its regularly scheduled lesson plans. However, the district has now decided to bus its students off-campus on Sept. 21 to hear President Bush speak...
So they're rather the man responsible for Constitutional violations, torture and the collapse of the economy speak to the kiddes rather than the President who's trying to ensure they have health care when they grow up? Nice.

But perhaps they're right to fear the Obamagic:

While I have many problems with Obama's leadership on certain issues, there is one area where I won't fault him a bit: He's doing a wonderful job as a role model to kids everywhere.


Sitting in a classroom with all the dignitaries was Teasia Squire, 12, a 7th grader. She sat up straight and never took her eyes off the big screen that projected the president's image into the room.

She was wowed by the speech, Teasia said.

"It was a wake up call," she said. "It was really good."

Her take away?

"We need to be in school, and we need to be our best," Teasia said.

And where would the Cons get their voters if all the kiddies do that?


Woozle said...

I just love the way they equate the claim "the current president is not a US citizen, even though there's lots of evidence that he is and absolutely none that he is not" with the claim that "members of the Bush administration may have been at least partly responsible for the attacks on 9/11, because of all this evidence we have which they have never deigned to address honestly, and we would really like a proper investigation to clear it up one way or the other, thanks".

Oh, wait, does saying that make me a Truther? Crap, there goes my cover. *flees back to Trutherland*

MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her unconstitutional votes at :

Woozle said...

Mickey: I'm reading your blog post. You say that "The problem with the omnibus approach is that thousands of unconstitutional activities are lumped together with legitimate legislation in one massive bill." So I'm going through where you comment on each part of the bill, looking for the details of these unconstitutional activities...

...and I'm not seeing it, except for these claims:
1. "Federal aid to unemployed workers is unconstitutional." Izzatso? Which article in the Constitution forbids it?
2. "$907 million for tsunami victims, [which is] clearly unconstitutional" So, foreign disaster aid is unconstitutional? How so?
3. "U.S. membership in the WTO is unconstitutional" - yes, Congress has the power to regulate foreign trade, but they also have the authority to enter into trade agreements and treaties. That's what membership in the WTO means: we signed an agreement.
4. "Foreign aid is unconstitutional and unworkable." To quote The Great Confuser Hisself, "There you go again."

Also, just a side thought: do you also consider aid to Israel to be "unworkable"? Knowing how folks on the right tend to feel about Israel, I have to wonder.

5. "federal aid to education is unconstitutional." Where does it say that?
6. "Providing federal aid to local law enforcement programs is [...] unconstitutional..." Same...
7 "...federal involvement in education is unconstitutional." I think not...
8 "Federal aid to farmers and federal food aid to individuals are not authorized by the Constitution."
9. "foreign aid .. is unconstitutional."

You know, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

I think I might agree, however, with your positions on H.R. 5631, H.R. 4890, H.R. 6166, H.R. 2237, H.R. 1585, H.R. 6304 and H.R. 5825. I'm actually surprised to see you agreeing with the idea that presidential power must be limited, since these votes all took place under Bush. Is that what you intended? In any case, I think you would find most if not all liberals in firm agreement with you on those points and on the unconstitutionality of the causes they support (if not the actual language of the legislation being voted on).

Also, you'll need to substantiate your claims that the "Global AIDS Fund and other UN agencies and programs" are "notorious for promoting abortion, as well as encouraging promiscuity through “sex education” courses supposedly aimed at stemming AIDS"

Look, I've already had this argument with Mike: sex education works to reduce abortions and AIDS. Who cares if it "promotes promiscuity"? The whole reason "promiscuity" is bad is because of unwanted pregnancies and the spread of STDs -- and sex ed decreases those things. So unless there's some other aspect of "promiscuity" that I'm overlooking...

Also, I don't know of any agency or organization that "promotes abortion" except for certain branches of Christianity and the Republican Party in general (all in the guise of "fighting" it, of course).

Cujo359 said...

But, Woozle, sex is just bad, don't you know that by now? It makes you weak for the big game, and, ummm. Thnx, bye.

Woozle said...

Yep, that's the kind of thinking we're up against here: If X is Bad, then you must do your utmost to show others how much you hate X in order to preserve your moral validity. You must ardently support all efforts to ban and outlaw X, you must never question the Badness of X, and you must look down upon anyone who does not distance themselves from X as thoroughly as you have, lest you be tainted by their sinfulness. Anyone who suggests that maybe X isn't so terrible is, of course, utterly Lost and immoral.

This is the only explanation I have been able to work out for why the Right is against sex education even though it helps prevent AIDS and unwanted pregnancies, for why they want tougher drug laws when that just raises the profit margins of the drug lords and leads to the ruin of more innocent lives (drug use per se being a victimless crime), for why they're against universal healthcare even though it would make us all wealthier, for why they're against gay marriage even though legalizing it would strengthen all families (including heterosexual ones) and provide more stable families for unwanted children to be adopted into.

It's what they mean when they talk about "legislating morality" -- morality is those pre-determined Badnesses of various things which they dare not question for fear of being tarnished by that Badness. They "aren't afraid" to make laws on that basis because it avoids what they truly fear: uncertainty.

For them, it is better to be wrong and yet sure of your rightness than to have any dealing with the uncertainty that is often necessary for making a good decision.

It's absolutely no way to run a civilization.

Woozle said...

Just a little follow-up here -- in the absence of a response from Jerry, I tried to make a comment over on his blog post, but it seems to have been locked, although there is no message indicating this -- just no way to comment. Even registering with the site doesn't seem to have any effect.

So I tried the forum -- but it requires a separate account to be created.

At this point, my sense of "you have better things to do than argue with Republicans who will probably just ignore everything you say because they Know In Their Hearts That You Are Wrong" kicked in, but if anyone thinks I should go ahead and cross-post my response there, please poke me.