Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

For those of you who might be going through Michael Steele Dumbfuckery withdrawl, here’s your fix:

This past weekend, RNC Chairman Michael Steele made headlines when he delivered a speech at the Georgia Republican convention, in which he argued that same-sex marriage would be a huge burden on small businesses. But that wasn’t the only controversial claim Steele made in the speech. According to Human Events’ Martha Zoller, Steele also declared that “liberalism will kill you“:

He went on to say, “The Republican Party’s credibility as the reliably conservative choice has been damaged, and it’s up to us to fix it. Faith, freedom, personal responsibility, respect for life and prosperity” Then he added, “Like a bad diet, liberalism will kill you. It’s a drug we don’t need to be hooked on. We are what stand between an America of prosperity or dependency. Which one do you want?”

I’ll take liberalism, thank you. It’ll kill me a lot slower than Con ineptitude will.

For those of you going through Con hypocrisy withdrawl, I’ve got some hits of that, too:

The Nevada legislature has successfully passed two gay rights bills, one that outlaws job discrimination based on sexual orientation, and another that establishes domestic partnerships for gay couples.

But Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons has said he will veto the domestic partnership bill, which would give same-sex couples equal rights to married partners in areas like estate planning, medical decisions, community property and child custody.

“The governor believes that government has no business in your medicine chest or your bedroom,” spokesperson Daniel Burns said. With good reason: Gibbons who filed for divorce in 2008, allegedly had having an affair with playboy model Leslie Durant, as well as sending more than 860 text messages to another woman, Kathy Karrasch, from his state-owned cell phone. When Gibbons was running for governor, he was accused of sexually assaulting a cocktail waitress.

Yup. Just the man to defend “traditional” marriage. It’s a good thing the Cons have such upright defenders of the institution, innit?

In the Freudian Ballgown department, I’ve got this choice tidbit:

Today, conservative extremist Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) engaged in a one-man debate whether corporate America is good or evil. The Republican Party’s attempts to characterize the Waxman-Markey green economy legislation as economic catastrophe have been neutered, as the bill has gained the support of a broad coalition of corporate America, poverty advocates, labor unions, and environmentalists.

In a confused monologue, Shimkus attempts to follow new Republican talking points and portray himself as a defender of the little guy against corporate greed. But he can’t stop himself from also praising the corporations as his friends:

We’re fighting for the ratepayer. This debate is: “Who protects the ratepayer?” The corporate titans are my friends!

Now, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that if you’re blathering about protecting ratepayers (i.e., regular ol’ people), the next sentence out of your mouth should not be “The corporate titans are my friends!” It rather damages the defender-o’-regular-folk illusion.

In fact, it’s kinda like a guy making $10 million a year yawping about how middle-class he is. Does not compute.

In other talking points that don’t compute, there’s the “big bad unions” bullshit, which is rather dramatically contradicted by the fact that corporations are bigger, badder bullies:

We hear it again and again, big corporations like Walmart paying lobbyists a fortune and running campaigns about union thuggery on behalf of their fat corporate clients in an effort to defeat Employee Free Choice (EFCA). Because they care so very much about their workers.
If they’re worried about thuggery, maybe they ought to be looking in the mirror:

Compared to the 1990s, employers are more than twice as likely to use 10 or more tactics in their anti-union campaigns, with a greater focus on more coercive and punitive tactics designed to intensely monitor and punish union activity.
It has become standard practice for workers to be subjected by corporations to threats, interrogation, harassment, surveillance, and retaliation for supporting a union. An analysis of the 1999-2003 data on NLRB election campaigns finds that:

  • 63%of employers interrogate workers in mandatory one-on-one meetings with their supervisors about support for the union;
  • 54% of employers threaten workers in such meetings;
  • 57% of employers threaten to close the worksite;
  • 47% of employers threaten to cut wages and benefits; and
  • 34% of employers fire workers.

So… tell me again how awful unions are. Go on, I dare ya. I’ll believe that just about as soon as I believe Inhofe’s interesting description of terrorists held domestically as “just criminals”:

Today the Senate is expected to pass an amendment banning the transfer of Guantanamo detainees to the United States, even U.S. prisons. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) explained yesterday, “Can’t put them in prison unless you release them.”

This morning on CNN, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), author of the amendment, declared that moving detainees to maximum-security prisons or military bases would make those facilities “magnets to terrorism.” He claimed that the U.S. is “not set up to handle terrorist detainees”:

CHETRY: You don’t think that those facilities could keep some of these detainees secure, at the same time, protecting the surrounding communities?

INHOFE: No, I don’t, Kiran. […]

CHETRY: There has been, though, here in the United States a number of people who have been convicted on terrorism-related charges in U.S. courts. … They’ve been held in our U.S. prisons. Why can’t that be replicated with the Guantanamo Bay detainees?

INHOFE: Because those individuals who are actually criminals, they actually committed crimes and were not involved in the type of — in the type of terrorist activity as we’ve been experiencing in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Try telling McVeigh’s victims he was “just a criminal.” Go on. I dare you.

Finally, in the double-dog dare you department, the Dems have come up with a cunning plan to defeat Con obstructionism on climate change:

Conservative Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have threatened to do everything imaginable, and perhaps a few measures beyond imaginable, to delay progress on a Democratic climate-change bill. Most notably, Rep. Joe Barton (R) of Texas, arguably Congress’ most enthusiastic fan of pollution, has raised the specter of forcing the committee to consider several hundred proposed amendments, all of which will fail, and all of which would be introduced solely to slow down the process.

To their credit, the committee’s majority came up with a clever idea.

Democrats in the House Energy and Commerce Committee have taken a novel step to head off Republican efforts to slow action this week on a sweeping climate bill: Hiring a speed reader.

Committee Republicans, who largely oppose the measure, have said they may force the reading of the entire 946-page bill, as well as major amendments totaling several hundred pages. So far, Republicans have decided not to use the procedural maneuver, but Chairman Henry Waxman of California is prepared. […]

A committee spokeswoman said the young man, who’s doing door duty at the hearing as he awaits his possible call to the microphone, was hired to help career staff. After years of practice, the panel’s clerks can certainly read rapidly, but she says the speed reader is a lot faster.

“A lot” is key here. Those of you who know me personally know that I tend to speak pretty quickly. But I’m a rank amateur compared to this guy, who speed reads professionally.

That’s just awesome. I hope they shoot a video and post it on YouTube. At least our leadership is finally coming up with creative ways to get around Cons.

More of this, please.

Happy Hour Discurso
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