Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Heh heh. Those Republicons, always living in a different reality from the rest of us:

Karl Rove recently made a related observation, saying McCain “is one of the most private individuals to run for president in history,” and it’s “troubling” the extent to which McCain is reluctant to talk about his
military service.

I haven’t the foggiest idea which presidential race these guys are watching. McCain “rarely discusses” his military background? Since when?

As Brendan Nyhan put it, “John McCain is a genuine war hero, but how many times can he and his political campaigns exploit that experience before the press stops claiming that he doesn’t exploit it?”

I got sick of McCain’s POW Tourette’s months ago. Nearly every ad I’ve seen highlights his military service (omitting the crashing jets part). Political opponents bring up a policy point, such as healthcare or national security, and he trots out cutesy little lines that scream, “Hey! Look at me! I was a POW!” The true meaning of Christmas? He learned it in Vietnam. Leadership? Vietnam. If someone brought up a hangnail, I wouldn’t be suprised to hear him spout out something about hanging by his nails in the Hanoi Hilton.

And yet, our nation’s press and the Republicons like to pretend he’s shy about it. Doesn’t exploit his service at all.

Riiight. Go on, pull the other one – it’s got air raid sirens on.

They’re not only reality-challenged, they’re experts at moving goal posts. Right now, they’re desperate to paint Obama as a flaming liberal who never reaches across the aisle. This conflicts with reality, which shows that Obama frequently has reached across the aisle on issues important to both parties. Their solution? Claim that those issues are “liberal” issues:

Now, both sides sometimes want to call an issue their own, but face resistance. It’s rare when a leading Republican, for example, simply gives up two of the biggest issues on the international landscape, and
labels them, prima facie, “liberal” issues.

But that’s precisely what Mitt Romney did on national television yesterday, announcing that counter-proliferation and fuel efficiency are necessarily “liberal” issues.

It’s like magic! Anything Obama touches becomes a liberal issue! Even trying to keep the planet from being blown up is a dirty liberal issue!

Now here’s our fun thought for the day: what’s going to happen if liberals embrace a pro-life stance? Heh. This could get really entertaining.

Oh, and speaking of liberal issues, apparently AIDS legislation is becoming one of them, which means Bush is flirting with liberal ideas there:

WASHINGTON — President Bush’s efforts to broaden a widely respected, bipartisan program to fight the spread of AIDS in Africa have
faced roadblocks by seven Republican senators.

Bush had hoped that Congress would pass legislation to spend $50 billion to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis primarily in Africa in time for the Group of Eight summit in Japan next month. However, the seven
socially conservative senators, led by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., refuse to support the legislation unless spending focuses more heavily on treatment than on prevention.

Let’s just savor the fuckery of that last bit, shall we? “…refuse to support the legislation unless spending focuses more heavily on treatment than prevention.”

Translation: they’d rather you get AIDS.


Wanna know why?

“The bills’ support would allow morally questionable activities, including advocating with host governments to change gender norms and policies and promoting activities that could include needle distribution to drug users,” the senators wrote.

That’s right. If you have sex they don’t approve of, or if you use drugs, you deserve to die horribly. This is considered the right thing to do in neocon circles. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” goes right out the window when it comes to their desire to impose their medieval morality on the rest of the world.

In their honor, let’s have some Jethro Tull, shall we? It’s not a fully appropriate song, but the title’s just right:

“Living in the Past.”

Happy Hour Discurso

Et Tu, Brute?

I think most of us remember when Keith Olbermann hit one out of the park for law and civil liberty. He delivered a scorching Special Comment on the FISA fuckery, and for a moment, there was hope that a truly noxious bill would get annihilated by mainstream media scorn. Olbermann was one of the heroes. He’d not only delivered one of the most impassioned diatribes against dangerous legislation – he’d come within a hair of calling Bush a fascist fuck.

Ah, the good old days before he sharpened his bestest knife and plunged it into the backs of those who are fighting a rear-guard action to keep the Constitution intact and the telecoms on the hook for breaking the law:

Last night, Olbermann invited Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter onto his show to discuss Obama’s support for the FISA and telecom amnesty bill (video of the segment is here). There wasn’t a syllable uttered about “immunizing corporate criminals” or “textbook examples of Fascism” or the Third Reich. There wasn’t a word of rational criticism of the bill either. Instead, the two media stars jointly hailed Obama’s bravery and strength — as evidenced by his “standing up to the left” in order to support this important centrist FISA compromise:

OLBERMANN: Asked by “Rolling Stone” publisher, Jann Wenner, about how Democrats have cowered in the wake of past Republican attacks, Senator Obama responding, quote, “Yeah, I don’t do cowering.” That’s evident today in at least three issues . . .

Senator Obama also refusing to cower even to the left on the subject of warrantless wiretapping. He’s planning to vote for the FISA compromise legislation, putting him at odds with members of his own party . . .

It only gets worse from there. If you want the full compliment of stab wounds, head on over to Glenn Greenwald’s blog and prepare to bleed.

Thanks a fucking lot, Keith. I can only hope the ass-reaming Glenn gave you hurts half as badly as you suddenly deciding that this “textbook example of Fascism” was just fine as long as Obama supports it.

With friends like these, our Constitution has more enemies than it can survive. I think I shall start calling it Caesar.

Beware the Ides of March, dear parchment.

Et Tu, Brute?

I Think I'm Running Out of Alcohol…

There’s an astounding number of new faces in this cantina. Hello and welcome! Whether you swung by from Pharyngula, Reddit, or Daily Kos, arrived by way of a blog that’s gotten wiped off of Sitemeter by the general stampede, or clicked in from a blogroll, pour yourself a drink and allow me to do my level best to keep you entertained. Good to see you!

Muchos gracias all for the visits, the comments, and the shout-outs. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying having you about the place.

Muchos gracias especial to those bloggers who linked here yesterday. Really unexpected, and definitely appreciated.

While you’re here, take some time to get to know my regulars. They’ve got astoundingly good blogs, and if you haven’t sampled them, you’re deprived. You can find their links in the blogroll or their names. As for knowing who they are, well – any comments on a post before today likely come from the brilliant, beautiful people who frequent this cantina.

I’ll trust my regulars to point themselves out in the comments here. I’d put together an actual list myself, but there’s this little Carnival of the Elitist Bastards coming up on Saturday, and this captain has to get her arse busy making sure the ship leaves port. Please stop back by on Saturday evening and enjoy the delicious elitist bastardry – we’ve got some truly amazing submissions for our second voyage.

Right. Let’s get on with it, and hope the alcohol doesn’t run out…


I Think I'm Running Out of Alcohol…

Help Congress Find Their Balls

Remember our vision:

The American Freedom Campaign emailed me with three wonderful ways that vision can be achieved:

On July 10, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing to investigate the firings of nine U.S. Attorneys in 2006 and the questionable prosecution and imprisonment of former Alabama governor Don Siegelman. Karl Rove, a potentially key figure in both incidents, has been issued a subpoena to testify before the committee. Rove’s lawyer has said that Rove will not appear.

Congress has a few options here. First, if Rove fails to appear, they could pass criminal contempt charges against him, as they did against White House chief of staff Josh Bolten and former White House counsel Harriet Miers. This is good, but will not result in immediate testimony.

Mmm, criminal contempt. Let us savor that for a moment. Call it our soup course. But I see the waiter is bringing us appetizers:

The second option is to have Karl Rove arrested, under the theory of inherent contempt, and brought to Congress to testify. This is better, but may still be eventually unsatisfying if Rove ends up testifying yet asserts executive privilege repeatedly in order to avoid disclosing
important information.

All right, so he probably would be a complete asshole and spout Bush’s magic “Executive Privilege!” words at every opportunity, but still, the idea of Rove getting his ass arrested and dragged before Congress is tasty. Quite. However, the main course is on its way, and it smells delightful:

Another option – and the one supported by the American Freedom Campaign Action Fund – is to tell the president immediately that he will be impeached if members of his administration do not provide full testimony before Congress by a date certain in July. This has historical precedent as one of the three articles of impeachment ultimately brought against President Richard Nixon was based on his refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Oh, ambrosia! Rove’s ass on a plate and Bush’s head on a platter – sublime! This is my kind of cuisine. Now all we have to do is persuade Congress to serve it up. So let’s all go sign the American Freedom Campaign’s petition. Tell the bloody cowards to stop quivering and start remembering they fucking govern.

Tell them to help us achieve our dreams:
Help Congress Find Their Balls

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Maybe it’s something in the water, but it seems most if not all Bush staffers have horrible memory problems. David Addington, Cheney’s former chief of staff, spent today forgetting things in front of the House Judiciary Committee:

It seems like a straightforward enough question: “Do you feel that the Unitary Theory of the Executive allows the President to do things over and above the stated law of the land?” Addington, who’s been known to rely on the unitary theory from time to time, said he didn’t know what Conyers meant, he’d “seen it in the newspapers,” and added, “I don’t know what it is.”

Perhaps Addington is forgetful. He has a lot on his plate, so maybe this might jar his memory.

Even in a White House known for its dedication to conservative philosophy, Addington is known as an ideologue, an adherent of an obscure philosophy called the unitary executive theory that favors an extraordinarily powerful president.

The unitary executive notion can be found in the torture memo. “In light of the president’s complete authority over the conduct of war, without a clear statement otherwise, criminal statutes are not read as infringing on the president’s ultimate authority in these areas,” the memo said. Prohibitions on torture “must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his commander-in-chief authority…. Congress may no more regulate the president’s ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield.”

Yes, the theory Addington doesn’t recognize today happens to be the same theory he’s relied on to rationalize all kinds of presidential powers, including signing statements that have freed Bush from having to abide by pesky laws.

I think it’s time for all of Bush’s buddies to be bundled off to a hospital for testing. One or two forgetful people could be chalked up to individual issues, but it seems like we have an epidemic of memory loss here. Not to mention they’re completely batshit insane. There’s gonna have to be a whole new category added to the DSM’s next edition covering the peculiar psychological problems of neocons.

Addington’s further confused over Cheney’s position in the government:

The video shows Addington reading a 1961 memo describing the OVP as belonging “neither to the executive nor to the legislative branch.” Addington refused to go into any additional detail, saying only that Cheney is “attached” to the legislative branch. When Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) suggested that would make the Vice President a “barnacle,” Addington, disgusted, said he didn’t “consider the Constitution a barnacle.”

Just as an aside, I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen any government official express the kind of contempt for Congress as I’ve seen from Addington today. Every response to every question is soaked in pure revulsion. I keep expecting him to spit at the members of the committee after every exchange.

But that aside, Addington’s argument about Cheney’s branch was silly when he first started pushing it, and it hasn’t improved with age.

TP’s Ali sets the record straight:

The assertion is ridiculous. President Bush and Cheney have themselves repeatedly tied the office of the President and Vice President together in the executive branch, not to mention the White House and the Senate websites. In fact, there is video showing Cheney lauding the strength of the vice presidency, asserting that “the vice president’s become an important part of the administration of the executive branch.” […]

In fact, in 2001 Cheney sought to avoid a lawsuit over his energy task force by claiming that a congressional probe “would unconstitutionally interfere with the functioning of the executive branch.”

Yes, those memory problems again: forgetting that Cheney himself desperately wanted to be part of the executive a mere seven years ago. You’d think if a man could quote a memo from 1961, he’d have a clue about things within the last decade, but the Republicon MO is to forget all facts that aren’t immediately convenient to their needs and desires.

You know who else engages in that kind of behavior? Small children.

Rep. Cohen had the wrong analogy for Cheney, methinks. I would’ve said he’s not so much barancle as deadly parasite.

At least Dems are finally starting to get some ideas on how to overcome the stalling, fuckwittery, lying, and general gleeful obstruction of other boils on the ass of our government:

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning a “Coburn Omnibus” for July that would wrap most if not all of the bills held by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) into one large measure to be voted on by the Senate, according to a Coburn aide and two Democratic leadership staffers.

Coburn is blocking roughly a hundred bills that are generally non-controversial or have broad support. By placing a hold, Coburn prevents the bills from passing quickly through the Senate under a unanimous consent request. With floor time at such a premium, Reid would have trouble bringing up each bill for an individual debate and vote.

But in a stroke of legislative creativity that may have no precedent, Reid could lump all of the bills into one package and bring up the Coburn Omnibus for a single vote. Coburn can still object, but th
e broad popularity of the bills means that there would likely be more than enough support for veto-proof passage.

That’s the first vaguely useful thing Harry’s done all week. Let’s hope for more creativity, eh?

Happy Hour Discurso

Bashing Ann Barnett

Well, same-sex marriage has been legal in California for over a week now, and aside from a few histrionic fits from the frothing right, civilization hasn’t ended and marriage seems to be flourishing. Two of my friends are still planning to get hitched this October, in fact – what a surprise that California’s decision didn’t impact theirs, eh?

The worst effect I can discern at this point has been that the “aawww, happy couples, how sweet!” factor has gone up exponentially, reaching near-diabetic levels. I keep coming across pictures of ecstatic partners kissing over wedding cakes. It’s such a normal human thing that it really shouldn’t be that heart-warming – and I’m one of those people who tends to roll the old eyes at weddings anyway – but the fact they had to fight so long and so hard for such a basic ceremony has me wanting to pop open champagne by the case.

If Ann Barnett had her way, the corks wouldn’t be popping at all. And that’s where I have to put down the bubbly and limber up the Smack-o-Matic.

I’m sure the majority of you have heard about the Kern County, California clerk’s decision to stop performing marriage ceremonies right before same-sex couples could start tying knots. If not, educate yourselves and return.

Right, then. A couple of points:

First, the whole “we’re not gonna do it cuz we can’t afford it” defense sort of collapses in light of little details like this:

On Monday, The Bakersfield Californian published e-mail messages between her office and a conservative legal group, the Alliance Defense Fund in Arizona, which had unsuccessfully argued against same-sex marriage in front of the State Supreme Court.

In one message, a member of Ms. Barnett’s staff requests legal assistance, saying Ms. Barnett “fully expects to be sued” for stopping the weddings.

You don’t have the resources to perform weddings, but you’ve got the resources to pay settlements? Go on, pull the other one – it’s got wedding bells on.

It’s even better that they’ve reached out for defense to the group of lackwits who failed miserably in front of the Supreme Court on same-sex marriage issues. Something tells me the more liberal California courts will be making mincemeat out of these meatheads.

Secondly, does anyone else find it ironic that it’s the government, which is supposed to be non-religious and non-discriminatory, that’s discriminating based on religious dogma (despite their transparent financial figleaf), while we’ve got some deeply religious folks doing things like this:

Still, ministers like Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff of the Unitarian Universal Church will be out here at the Kern Co Administration Plaza marrying gay and straight couples for free.

Rev. Byrd Tetzlaff, Unitarian Universal Church: “I think it’s important because we need to celebrate justice wherever it is and folks have been denied the right to get married for a long time.”

You know, I don’t think atheists would have much to bitch about if the vast majority of churches were like this. Oh, there’d be good-natured quibbles about rational vs. irrational thinking and all that rot, but nothing like the acrimony that’s sparked when dogmatic religious fucktards decide that their medieval views need imposing on society. I don’t know if Rev. Tetzlaff drinks, but my shot glass is tipped her way regardless.

I’d like to see a lot more of this sort of thing. A lot more same-sex couples getting to suffer enjoy the same right to marry that heteros do, and a lot more moderate and liberal religious sorts getting out into the public eye and proving that you can believe in a magic sky daddy without being a total asshole about it.

One final point: FindLaw’s Vikram David Amar has a nifty little column up showing that the neocon’s palpitations over teh gays getting married OMG!!111!1! is remarkably similar to the hysterics thrown over letting black kids go to school with white kids:

After the school desegregation ruling, some jurisdictions simply tried to close down their schools, rather than desegregate them. Prince Edward County, Virginia, shut down its public education system in 1959 rather than comply with a desegregation decree. The case ultimately made it to the Supreme Court, in Griffin v. County School Board, which ordered the schools to reopen, stating whatever “nonracial grounds might support a State’s allowing a county to abandon public schools, the object must be a constitutional one, and grounds of race and opposition to desegregation do not qualify as constitutional.”

You know, I don’t know what it is about that ruling, but I get this strange feeling it might come into play when Ann Barrett gets her bigoted arse hauled into court.

I can hardly wait. This is going to be almost as good as Expelled: the Unending Dumbassery.

Bashing Ann Barnett

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Civil liberties and the rule of law just took another one up the ass today:

The FISA Cloture vote just passed. The Senate will now consider the motion to proceed with the bill, then they’ll head to the bill itself (corrected procedural details, h/t and thanks to CBolt). Various motions will be put forward to strip immunity, odds are they will fail. Then a number of the 80 who voted to restrict debate will vote against FISA so they can say they were against the bill. However this was the real vote, and the rest is almost certainly nothing but kabuki for the rubes.

There’s still an infintesimal chance this won’t pass, but at this point, it looks like a losing battle. Apparently, telecom money trumps public outrage. Remember that when it comes time to vote for Senators. Here’s who stood by the Constitution:

Voting against Cloture

Biden (D-DE)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Wyden (D-OR)

Remember this list of names. They’re the ones who will deserve your support in reelection campaigns. The rest can go fuck themselves.

Obama’s still our best choice for President – I don’t think anyone but the terminally insane can really claim otherwise – but he’s got a lot to answer for. Consider this gem:

As for Obama, well, here’s what he had to say:

“The bill has changed. So I don’t think the security threats have changed, I think the security threats are similar. My view on FISA has always been that the issue of the phone companies per se is not one that overrides the security interests of the American people.”

One word: Bullfuckingshit. We’ll talk about this later, mister.

I’d talk to the Bush Regime about a long list of outrages, too, but apparently they won’t even open their emails anymore:

As a rule, the Bush White House has a few reliable tactics it uses to avoid information it doesn’t want to hear. For example, when government reports might offer discouraging news that undermines the president’s agenda, the White House likes to eliminate the reports. For that matter, Bush’s proclivity for “The Bubble,” in which only people who agree with the president are allowed to offer information, tends to keep ideological purity intact.

But once in a while, the White House Bubble is pierced with information the Bush gang won’t like and doesn’t want to see. What to do? In the case of the Environmental Protection Agency and evidence on global warming, the Bush gang came up with a new trick: stop opening emails suspected to include inconvenient truths.

The White House in December refused to accept the Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be controlled, telling agency officials that an e-mail message containing the document would not be opened, senior E.P.A. officials said last week.

The document, which ended up in e-mail limbo, without official status, was the E.P.A.’s answer to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that required it to determine whether greenhouse gases represent a danger to health or the environment, the officials said.

I suppose the White House deserves some credit for being clever. The president’s team didn’t want to be bothered with facts and evidence, and they also didn’t want to admit that it was ignoring the guidance of their own EPA officials. The solution — simply leaving EPA emails unread — solved the problem (the political problem, that is, not the looming environmental catastrophe).

Amazing, are they not? Just when I think they can’t get any more infantile, they do. At this point, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see the lot of them sucking their thumbs whilst clutching teddy bears and security blankets.

Want to know just how fucking pathetic this regime has become? Bush’s policies are such spectacular failures that he can’t even pay money to get states to accept them anymore:

WASHINGTON — Skeptical states are shoving aside millions of federal dollars for abstinence education, walking away from the program the Bush administration touts for slowing teen sexual activity. Barely half the states are still in, and two more say they are leaving.

Some $50 million has been budgeted for this year, and financially strapped states might be expected to want their share. But many have doubts that the program does much, if any good, and they’re frustrated by chronic uncertainty that it will even be kept in existence. They also have to chip in state money in order to receive the federal grants.


A federal tally shows that participation in the program is down 40 percent over two years, with 28 states still in. Arizona and Iowa have announced their intention to forgo their share of the federal grant at the start of the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

Maybe that’s our answer. Turn the table. Ignore the pathetic little fuck until he goes away. After all, we’d just be following his lead.

Happy Hour Discurso

What a Sick, Twisted Little Worldview They've Got

One of the greatest pleasures I take in being an atheist is not having to really dig for evidence that God’s pissed off and not slacking off in the smiting department.

Fundamentalist Christians have this desperate – actually, pathological – need to believe that humanity’s nothing but worthless pieces of shit deserving of God’s wrath. Disasters don’t just happen in their world. It’s got to be God, using natural processes to bitch-slap people for straying from the straight-and-narrow. Floods in the Midwest? Smiting the sinners! Fires in California? It’s all about teh gays! Something awful happened to you? What did you do to get up God’s nose? It’s your own damned fault!

That’s more destructive than the floods, fires and other assorted castastrophes. Folks like to claim religion’s a wonderful and positive thing in one breath and then claim God’s an indiscriminate, hateful bastard in the next. And it warps people badly.

I’ve known deeply religious people who use every little setback to flay themselves with. You couldn’t fill a pea with the self-esteem they’ve got left. They spend all of their time obsessing over every tiny detail, every infintesimal misstep, bewailing their badness. “I have a hangnail – it must be God punishing me for looking at nudie pictures!” “I slipped on a wet sidewalk in a rainstorm and twisted my ankle – it’s my fault for not going to church last Sunday!” The slightest mistake followed by the teeniest misfortune is proof positive God’s mad at them and they’ve got atoning to do.

Some of my friends were almost destroyed by that mentality. They’re paralyzed, terrified of getting the slightest detail wrong and bringing down the wrath. God’s not so much loving father as evil control freak – and yet they claim He loves them.

If it was really God punishing them all out of proportion to their supposed sins, we’d have a word for it: abuse.

The truly God-fearing are a sad bunch. But the self-righteous fuckwits who love to point to every disaster and crow about God’s vengeance against [insert fundie bugaboo here] are just downright evil.

How shrivelled a conscience do you have to have to respond to other people’s suffering not with sympathy and a desire to help, but smugness? “You brought it on yourselves,” fundie fucktards like Ray Comfort announce. “God’s getting you back for not toeing his impossible line.”

Never mind that Christians are suffering right along with the sinners. That doesn’t matter to despicable religious frothers like Comfort (a misnomer if there ever was one). No, to prove that their God’s the biggest, baddest, toughest, and smitiest god evah, they’ve got to explain every misfortune as his punishment for transgressions, and if the innocent suffer alongside the guilty, well, it just shows how powerful and angry God is, right? The energy these people expend in finding the reason God’s so pissed at places like Iowa is remarkable. Comfort actually had to go and search for some natural disasters in California to explain that no, really, God’s not letting that gay marriage thing go without pointed comment. How fucking pathological do you have to be to believe that this is a) a useful thing to do and b) that it proves God exists and is worthy of worship?

A religion based on fear and guilt isn’t moral, or just, or worth having: it’s a mental illness.

It leads to fear, and hate, and self-righteous fuckwits like Ray Comfort.

So I just have one question for these masochists: if your God is so all-knowing and all-powerful, exactly why is it that the assclown needs to resort to indiscriminate arson and flooding to get his point across? Doesn’t he have the knowledge to sort out the real sinners from the decent folk, and the power to smite selectively? Wouldn’t it make more sense, wouldn’t it be a more potent example, to single out those who’ve given him the one-finger salute and strike them down in a fashion that can be explained by nothing else than a seriously outraged deity?

The religious frothers will try to answer that. They’ll torture logic beyond recognition to try to prove just how mysterious and awesome God is, and all they can prove to an atheist like me is that they’re nuts. Every time they try to point to some natural catastrophe and twist definitions to prove Goddidit, they’re showing how weak their argument really is. They dump more proof that God doesn’t exist right in my lap, which is already overflowing with proof aplenty.

And they’re showing how fucked-up and sad their little worlds are.

That’s why I have to say, “Thank you.” Thank you, Ray Comfort, and Jerry Falwell, and Jason Lerner, and all your ilk, for reinforcing my happy atheism. People like you prove to godless sorts like me every day that we’re not missing a damned thing by dismissing the God delusion.

What a Sick, Twisted Little Worldview They've Got

"Shhh! Don't Tell Anyone We're Republicans…"

It’s a rare event when the political messages in my inbox make me laugh, but this one from the Washington State Democrats had me rolling:

On Monday on FOX News Dino Rossi was caught trying to trick Washington’s voters. You may have heard that Rossi and 27 other Republican candidates in our state will not allow the word “Republican” to appear next to their name on the ballot.

Thanks to the new Top Two primary, candidates can choose what party label they want on the ballot in November. As we reported on June 11th, Dino Rossi will have “Prefers G.O.P. party” next to his name, which is clearly a scheme to avoid having the word “Republican” next to his name.

Or as one of their candidates admits in this newscast:

“There’s 30 percent of the people in this state that would not vote for a Republican no matter what, and we want to get around that…”

Isn’t that precious? The Republicon label’s been dragged through so much sewage even life-long, die-hard Republicons are terrified of wearing it for fear the stench will give them away.

Rossi’s hoping that saying “Prefers GOP Party” will save his sorry ass from outraged voters. That’s great camoflage he’s got there – nice shades of hot pink and electric blue. Washington State voters are likely smart enough to realize that GOP stands for “Grand Old Party,” the Republicons’ fond nickname for themselves. And they’ll be getting a mighty good belly laugh over the “Prefers Grand Old Party Party” thing. This man is no more bright than the geniuses who named Table Mesa and Picacho Peak in Arizona.

What a raging dumbass. And what a delight, knowing that Republicons have allowed the neocons and theocons and downright cons contaminate them so badly they’re terrified to admit they’re Republicon at all.

Just remember, my darlings: a Republicon by any other name is a lying piece of shit.

"Shhh! Don't Tell Anyone We're Republicans…"

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

For once, Happy Hour is truly happy.

Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI) released the following statement today in response to the announcement that the Senate this week will consider the compromise legislation that would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA):

This is a deeply flawed bill, which does nothing more than offer retroactive immunity by another name. We strongly urge our colleagues to reject this so-called ‘compromise’ legislation and oppose any efforts to consider this bill in its current form. We will oppose efforts to end debate on this bill as long as it provides retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies that may have participated in the President’s warrantless wiretapping program, and as long as it fails to protect the privacy of law-abiding Americans.

Beauty. Dodd and Feingold have become two of my heroes – they’re fighters who won’t back down on these issues, and they’re not backing down now. I’m tipping a shot glass full of the purest premium tequila to them right now. We just need to drum up a firestorm of support for them: start calling.

More Democrats like these, please.

Less like Nancy Pelosi, who is now trying frantically to sound like she gives two tugs on a dead dog’s dick about our civil liberties and our outrage over this bill.

Now, let’s just point out why it might be a really good idea for wavering Senators to give the White House the finger and stop caving in to their outrageous demands.

First, we have confirmation of what we knew all along: the Bush Regime didn’t want competence in the Justice Department, they wanted yes-men:

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but it appears the Justice Department, throughout Bush’s two terms, flagrantly and repeatedly broke the law by politicizing the hiring process. Yes, I know we knew that before, but the DoJ’s Inspector General has made it official.

Justice Department officials over the last six years illegally used “political or ideological” factors to hire new lawyers into an elite recruitment program, tapping law school graduates with conservative credentials over those with liberal-sounding resumes, a new report found Tuesday.

The blistering report, prepared by the Justice Department’s inspector general, is the first in what will be a series of investigations growing out of last year’s scandal over the firings of nine United States attorneys. It appeared to confirm for the first time in an official examination many of the allegations from critics who charged that the Justice Department had become overly politicized during the Bush administration.

“Many qualified candidates” were rejected for the department’s honors program because of what was perceived as a liberal bias, the report found. Those practices, the report concluded, “constituted misconduct and also violated the department’s policies and civil service law that prohibit discrimination in hiring based on political or ideological affiliations.”

According to the investigation, the Justice Department began ignoring merit and making employment decisions based on politics in 2002, when then-Attorney General John Ashcroft restructured the honors program, taking decisions away from career officials in each section of
the department, giving power to Bush appointees. When Alberto Gonzales took the reins, the illegalities expanded and were intensified.

This is what these outrageous fuckwits did with the power they have now. Imagine what a future presidency would be like with the kind of expanded powers and the precident for breaking the law and getting away with it that this FISA bill would provide.

Then there’s the extreme myopia. Remember the surge? The one that failed? Well, now that it’s been declared a rousing success anyway and is coming to an end, you’d think there’d be plans for following up on that so-called success. You’d be so fucking wrong:

The administration lacks an updated and comprehensive Iraq strategy to move beyond the “surge” of combat troops President Bush launched in January 2007 as an 18-month effort to curtail violence and build Iraqi democracy, government investigators said yesterday.

Yup. That’s par for the course with this regime. And we should give them more power because…?

Apparently, even some Republicons are starting to feel that way:

With a couple dozen House Republicans retiring this year, GOP leaders are counting on them to cast cost-free, party-line votes this election year. It’s not working out the way the leadership hoped.

As far as Boehner & Co. are concerned, they can understand when a vulnerable incumbent in a competitive district breaks party ranks. Plenty of Republican lawmakers have to run to the middle to avoid defeat in November. But for those who are retiring, they have nothing to worry about — no matter how far to the right they go, these retiring members can’t (and won’t)
get punished by voters. Why not give the party a hand?

These lawmakers clearly don’t see things that way. In fact, now that they finally feel liberated to vote how they please, they’re breaking party ranks quite a bit.

Republican Reps. Vito J. Fossella of New York, Ray LaHood of Illinois, Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, Ralph Regula of Ohio and Jim Walsh of New York all crossed party lines recently to join with Democrats on a tight vote to extend unemployment insurance — even though they won’t be around to suffer the potential political consequences of voting no. After two contentious votes in which key retiring Republicans defected, the plan ultimately passed the following week in a lesser form as a bipartisan compromise attached to the war funding bill.

Retiring Rep
ublicans crossed over to vote with Democrats last week on federal parental leave and in previous weeks on union authority, expanded children’s health insurance, women’s rights and an expansive new GI Bill. Outgoing Republican Reps. Dave Hobson and Deborah Pryce of Ohio, Rick Renzi of Arizona, Tom Davis of Virginia and Wayne Gilchrest of Maryland have all bucked the party on key votes.

“It’s not helpful,” said a frustrated Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), “and you can
use that quote.”

No, it’s not helpful. Why should they be? It’s about bloody time Republicons woke up, smelled the destruction, and started breaking ranks.

Things could be looking up, my darlings.

Happy Hour Discurso