Today’s opining on the public discourse.
It’s bloody snowing again. Is anyone else sick of winter? I’m done. Let’s have spring.
We won’t have that for a few months, and we won’t have Bill Richardson as Secretary of Commerce, either:
NBC News reports:
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, tapped in December by President-elect Barack Obama to serve as secretary of Commerce, has withdrawn his name for the position, citing a pending investigation into a company that has done business with his state.“Let me say unequivocally that I and my Administration have acted properly in all matters and that this investigation will bear out that fact,” he said Sunday in a report by NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell. “But I have concluded that the ongoing investigation also would have forced an untenable delay in the confirmation process.”
I’m sure the Cons will have a great amount of fun with this, but not nearly as much fun as they would have using the investigation to muck up the confirmation, so I think Richardson chose wisely. The Smack-o-Matic is being withheld pending the results of the investigation.
In happier news, we have another Dem in the Senate, notwithstanding whatever crazy court tricks Coleman attempts to pretend otherwise:
Chuck Schumer has put out this statement, in his capacity as the outgoing chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, declaring that Al Franken has won the Minnesota Senate race and should be seated:
“With the Minnesota recount complete, it is now clear that Al Franken won the election. The Canvassing Board will meet tomorrow to wrap up its work and certify him the winner, and while there are still possible legal issues that will run their course, there is no longer any doubt who will be the next Senator from Minnesota. Even if all the ballots Coleman claims were double counted or erroneously added were resolved in his favor, he still wouldn’t have enough votes to win. With the Senate set to begin meeting on Tuesday to address the important issues facing the nation, it is crucial that Minnesota’s seat not remain empty, and I hope this process will resolve itself as soon as possible.”
NRSC chairman John Cornyn has declared that the Republican caucus will filibuster any attempt to seat Franken while Norm Coleman challenges the election result in court.
That would be a 225 vote lead they’re wanting to pretend never happened. Tell me again, Mike, that the Cons have been graceful losers.
In the meantime, I’m hoping that for entertainment purposes, this comes to pass:
Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s campaign for Republican Nation Committee chairman got a boost yesterday when several far-right heavyweights threw their support to him.
Two dozen conservative luminaries will announce today their support for former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for Republican Nation Committee chairman.
The group, which mixes leading economic conservatives, including Steve Forbes and Pat Toomey, and leading social conservatives, including James Dobson and Tony Perkins, had agreed to endorse and campaign together for a candidate based on a questionnaire assembled by veteran GOP activist Morton Blackwell (no relation).
“The conservative endorsers noted that there were other good candidates, but all agreed that Ken Blackwell is the best choice. They intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman,” they said in a press release going out shortly.
In the broader context, I’m beginning to think Blackwell would be the best choice, at least from a Democratic perspective. Blackwell was a fairly ridiculous Ohio Secretary of State, and his most notable accomplishment — running as the state’s Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2006 — turned out to be a complete trainwreck.
“Complete trainwreck” just about describes the entire GOP. Sounds like he’d keep them right off the tracks. He has my vote.
Dick Cheney’s efforts to revise reality continue apace:
On CBS’ Face The Nation this morning, host Bob Schieffer asked Vice President Cheney whether Americans were “better off now than we were years ago.” “I think we’ve done some very good things in the course of the last eight years,” replied Cheney.
After listing off policies that he claimed were accomplishments, such as No Child Left Behind, Cheney acknowledged that the Bush administration was leaving the incoming Obama administration “with their hands full.” But Cheney was unwilling to admit any real culpability for the challenges Obama will face, saying only that they are a “new set of problems.” Cheney even claimed that the turmoil in the financial sector “developed” only “over the last six months”:
CHENEY: That there’s no question about what the new administration, President Obama, are going to have their hands full with the new set of problems, if you will. Centered especially on the economy, upon the difficulties that have developed in the financial markets over the last six months.
By saying that the financial crisis “developed” in just the past six months, Cheney is following in the footsteps of right-wingers like Rush Limbaugh, who claim that the problems only began recently. But the truth is that the financial sector’s problems developed over many years and were pushed forward by the economic policies of the Bush administration.
Poor assclowns. They keep trying and trying to pretend that the Bush Regime wasn’t the worst in American history, but that pesky reality keeps intruding on their little fantasies. It’s gotten so bad that some Bush cheerleaders have been reduced to saying, “But Bush has a lovely personality!
The AP’s Ben Feller has a lengthy “analysis” piece this weekend, noting that while George W. Bush will be “judged on what he did” as president, he’ll also be “remembered for what he’s like: a fast-moving, phrase-mangling Texan who stays upbeat even though his country is not.” (thanks to reader J.M. for the tip)
Lacking a record of accomplishment, success, or support, the Bush Legacy Project seems to have settled on presenting the president as a good guy. The failures notwithstanding, he’s the Mensch in Chief. This week, for example, CoS Josh Bolten and NSA Stephen Hadley defended Bush’s legacy by pointing to his personality. Bolten said those who’ve had “actual personal exposure to the president” just love the guy. Hadley also emphasized his “personal qualities,” insisting, “[O]ne thing he is not is arrogant.”
To that end, the AP’s 1,400 paean to Bush’s persona constitutes an odd puff piece, basically taking many of the presidential personality traits that have come to annoy millions, and characterizing them as admirable qualities.
Isn’t that just pathetic? Not only are they reduced to talking up Bush’s wonderful personality, but they’re not finding that much to get excited about there, either. Epic fucking fail all around.
The only question remaining is, will they throw in the towel after Bush has been out of office a few months, or will I still be hearing about what a great personality he had when I’m sitting in a nursing home pondering what time the jello might be served?