Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Cons are united by many things: their paranoia, their fondness for calling their political opponents “socialists,” their economic ignorance, and their hatred of Dick Cheney:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney has refused to stay out of the political spotlight since leaving office, giving high-profile interviews to CNN and Politico. Last night, The Hill reported that congressional Republicans are telling him “to go back to his undisclosed location and leave them alone to rebuild the Republican Party without his input”:

Rep. John Duncan Jr. (R-Tenn.) said, “He became so unpopular while he was in the White House that it would probably be better for us politically if he wouldn’t be so public…But he has the right to speak out since he’s a private citizen.”

Another House Republican lawmaker who requested anonymity said he wasn’t surprised that Cheney has strongly criticized Obama early in his term, but argued that it’s not helping the GOP cause.


Cheney did “House Republicans no favors,” the lawmaker said, adding, “I could never understand him anyway.”

Yeah, well, neither could we. At last, something we can all agree on: Dick Cheney is a fucking arsehole, and it would be nice if he tripped and fell into a convenient black hole. Well, all of us except the DNC, who probably scream with joy every time he appears on teevee. The more he talks, the better 2010 looks for Democrats.

I’m wondering how the chances of a Dem takeover in Rep. Michele Bachman’s district are looking. If she keeps opening her mouth, they should increase exponentially:

Watching Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) speak has a certain car-wreck quality. It’s painful and disturbing, but it’s just so difficult to look away.

Take Bachman’s questioning today of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Federal Research Chairman Ben Bernanke. (via Karen Tumulty, who noted that Bachman seems confused about how a bill becomes a law)

It’s a five-minute clip, but it’s worth watching. Bachmann starts by asking Geithner if the United States is “jettisoning free-market capitalism.”

From there, the Minnesotan asks where the Treasury Department received the legal authority to intervene in the financial markets. When Geithner explains that Congress gave the Treasury the authority, she pressed on, asking “where in the Constitution” Geithner is given the authority to act. (Apparently, she was making some kind of constitutional argument. It didn’t make any sense.)

Congratulations, Minnesota. Your rep has no fucking idea how the federal government works, and yet you sent her to help govern. Can we please arrange for her to elope to an undisclosed location with Dick Cheney?

After all, we don’t need her for the entertainment value. We’ve got plenty more where she comes from:

Today, Politico reported that Republican senators are prepared to go “nuclear” — essentially shutting down the Senate through the use of parliamentary maneuvers — if President Obama attempts to use budget reconciliation to pass key parts of his legislative agenda, such as health care reform and and cap-and-trade. Reconciliation allows some legislation to be protected from filibusters and passed by a simple majority. On NPR this morning, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) repeated a now familiar attack on budget reconciliation:

BOND: “In this post-partisan time of Barack Obama, we’re seeing a little Chicago politics. They steamroller those who disagree with them, then, I guess in Chicago, they coat them in cement and drop them in the river.” [NPR, 3/24/09]

Bond appears to be parroting his colleague Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who said any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be “regarded as an act of violence” against Republicans, and likened it to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.” Other GOP senators have chimed in against reconciliation, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) calling it a “purely partisan exercise” and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) saying it “would be a mess.”

Despite their howls against Obama, Republicans employed the same procedure to pass major Bush agenda items (which were supported by all four aforementioned Senators):

– The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01]
– The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2, 3/23/03]
– Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297, 5/11/06]
– The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95, 12/21/05]

As ThinkProgress has noted, Gregg defended using the reconciliation procedure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for domestic drilling in 2005, arguing, “The president asked for it, and we’re trying to do what the president asked for.” Evidently, Gregg has lost the same sense of patriotic duty.

Is it just me, or is Con stupidity actually increasing at exponential rates? We’re beyond simple foaming at the mouth – they’re getting more rabid by the day.

Not to mention more xenophobic:

Leave it to Pitchfork Pat Buchanan to take a seemingly rational discussion of America’s relationship with Mexico on Andrea Mitchell’s MSNBC show this morning and turn it into a Latino-bashing bigotfest:

Buchanan: Mexico is the greatest foreign-policy crisis I think America faces in the next 20-30 years. Who is gonna care, Andrea, thirty years from now whether a Sunni or a Shi’a is in Baghdad, or who’s ruling in Kabul? We’re going to have 135 million Hispanics living in the United States by 2050, heavily concentrated in the Southwest. The question is whether we’re going to survive as a country.

Rrrrrright. I gather he’s been listening to Glenn Beck.

Wassamatter, Pat? Are you scared the icky brown people might dish out a little of what you served ’em? As for your question, yes, we’ll survive as a country (if we make it through the hell your buddies dumped us in), but in answer to your implied question, no, we won’t survive as a white country.

Myself, I can’t wait. One of the things I miss the most about the Southwest is all of the Latino culture. The only people terrified of changing demographics are those who suspect they’re fundamentally useless and only have their positions of power and authority because they happen to be in the majority for the moment. People like, y’know, Pat Buchanan.

There’s far more stupid – too much for me to relate in one small post. But I did want to let you know the media’s doing a bang-up job on their watchdog duties:

ABC News reports on the sordid past of Obama’s Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra:

When Kundra was 21 years old, records show, he was caught stealing four shirts from a J.C. Penney store.

….”Thirteen years ago, Vivek committed a youthful indiscretion. He performed community service, and we are satisfied that he fully resolved the matter.”

What’s going on here? The new administration has a lot of work to do, but it keeps being sideswiped by issues in its appointees’ pasts. Police records provided to ABC News show that those shirts from Penney’s were worth less than $140. Kundra was fined $100 plus $55 in court costs, and ordered to do 80 hours of community service. He reportedly told the White House about the incident while he was being vetted for his current job.

Seriously. And if you think that was ridiculous enough,
read to the end of the article:

But reporters, watchdog groups and information-technology specialists still ask about that perplexing 1996 shoplifting charge from Penney’s.

And you know where they picked up this information on Kundra’s nefarious criminal past? Michelle Malkin’s blog.

With a media like this, it’s no wonder dumbshits keep getting elected, good people are kept out of government, and sociopaths are allowed to pillage Wall Street at will.

Happy Hour Discurso

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