_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Friday, October 18, 2013

World War GOP

 

This morning, deep in the rank catacombs beneath a heavily fortified New York mansion, lolling in an oversized gold-plated hot tub taken directly from Saddam’s Palace and filled with buttery yellow fat rendered from the still warm corpses of homeless orphans, rested the bloated and wrinkled slug-like Barons Harkonnen brothers Koch.

Naked and emaciated servants scurry about the dank chamber with their chains clanking softly, trying to look invisible as the malignant siblings rage and play angry incestuous footsie with each other among the greasy fart bubbles. 

“He has defied us! Defied us!” screeches David, his withered hand rises claw-like from the oil and a long yellowed nail stabs at a control panel, across the dark vaulted space a random servant shrieks in sudden electric agony, clutches at his chest and drops dead in a twisted rictus. Bright crimson gushes from the tortured mouth and pools like an offering upon the cold stained flagstones at the booted bronze feet of a larger than life statue of John Morrison Birch.

“The arrogant whelp must pay, pay, for his impertinence, yes, yes!” hisses Charles in a hideously wet reptilian cackle that echoes back from the dark reaches of the chamber in the whispering cries of ten thousand damned souls. His slit yellow eyes glow in the dimness like twin lanterns lit from within by the fires of perdition.  “You there!” He thunders at the ranks of cowering toadies, “Bring us the head of Ted Cruz!”

The minions, ever fearful and obedient, leap to carry out their masters’ bidding…

 

What? 

Okay, fine, fine.

Maybe I did just make up that part about the hot tub’s former owner, but the rest is at least as accurate as anything put out by the Koch Brothers’ pet media pals. 

And really, have you seen what’s going on out there?

Conservatives have started eating each other. It’s like that zombie movie, World War Z.

Tea Party groups today led by former Senator Jim DeMint, founder of the Senate Conservatives Fund and head of the Koch Brothers funded Heritage Foundation, are attacking Mitch McConnell (R-KY) after McConnell signed off on the bipartisan deal to avert default and reopen the government.

The shambling undead Tea Party is angry at McConnell for what they’ve labeled “The Kentucky Kickback,” an earmark that increases funding for the Olmstead Lock, a federal Army Corps of Engineers project on the border between Kentucky and Illinois. The bill signed Tuesday by President Obama increases funding for the Lock from $775 million to nearly $3 billion.

The Koch controlled Senate Conservatives Fund was outraged:

"In exchange for funding Obamacare and raising the debt limit, Mitch McConnell has secured a $2 billion earmark. This is an insult to all the Kentucky families who don't want to pay for Obamacare and don't want to shoulder any more debt."

Tea Party sponsored ads are running across Kentucky even as I type this and the Heritage Foundation is threatening McConnell with primary challenges.

The funny part?

The really, really funny part?

McConnell is innocent. Mostly.

Yep. It wasn’t him.

As the Washington Post reported Wednesday night, the funding request for the Olmstead Locks was made by President Obama.

Yes, that’s right. Barack Obama quietly inserted a massive pork plus-up into the bill for a project in McConnell’s red state

And then one of Obama’s most fervent and intractable right-wing political enemies took the bait and voted for it. 

And now, today, McConnell finds himself unexpectedly standing in the middle of the street surrounded by ravenous flesh eaters.

If McConnell rejects the earmark he loses the support of all those angry Kentuckians who would benefit in jobs and business, but if he supports the funding increase he incurs the wrath of the shambling Tea Party undead – a monster he personally helped to unleash upon the rest of us.

At this point, Mitch McConnell is probably going to have to chew off his own foot to get away alive.

 

I’ll just pause for a moment so you can savor the sweet, sweet irony of that.

 

Meanwhile last Tuesday, while Ted Cruz’s threats of default were still in full filibluster (yes, I said “filibluster,” i.e. a fake filibuster that’s all smoke and mirrors and self aggrandizement. Remember, Kids, like “conservikaze" you heard it here first), CNN’s Anderson Cooper tracked down GOP Strategist and Zombie-Whisperer, Alex Castellanos, on the White House lawn to demand an explanation for the Texas Republican’s shenanigans.

Castellanos’ explanation?

He’s is having bunny sex.

Bunny sex. 

Bunny. Sex.

Castellanos told Cooper that Ted Cruz was having bunny sex.

No, wait, don’t start laughing yet, it gets better.

Castellanos said, “A friend explained to me today, finally, what Ted Cruz is doing. And I finally understand, he’s having bunny sex.”

“This is the late-night edition of 360,” Cooper said dryly.

“In nature, there are boom and bust cycles,” Castellanos explained. “The snowshoe hare, every ten years, multiplies sixfold.”

“Are you high?” a perplexed Cooper asked. 

“I’m high?” Castellanos replied. “I wish I was. The snowshoe hare, I thought it’s a marvelous explanation, every ten years, multiplies sixfold. Bunnies like sex apparently. But the boom produces a bust. They press their food supply, they invite predators. Right now, Ted Cruz, what he’s doing, feels good. He’s growing his supporters. It’s leading the Republican Party, I think, into a bust."

"I think you’re digging a ditch, Alex," Cooper cautioned, and then disgustedly cut to commercial.

Bunny sex.

Ted Cruz is having bunny sex.

 

I’ll pause for a moment so that you can visualize Ted Cruz engaged in bunny sex.

 

Hmmm, Ted Cruz, bunny sex. Humpa humpa!

No, no, you’re welcome. Really.

Yesterday @TheCSPANcaller, a Twitter feed that publishes some of the more interesting call to CSPAN, tweeted the message of a hysterical woman who shouted into the phone, “Once Obamacare is fully implemented they will send the sick and elderly to FEMA camps which are funded under Obamacare!”

The sick and elderly will be sent to FEMA camps … where they will be what? Forced to fill sandbags and scrub out Port-O-potties in preparation for the next big hurricane in a red state?

Hell, if we’re going to send people off to FEMA camps we should maybe send the hale and healthy, we’d get more use out of them. I mean, honestly, how many pallets of MREs do you think grandma can pack before her pacemaker gives out? Then what are we going to do with her? Eat her? You know how tough and chewy old people are? Yuck. And the sick? You can’t eat them, that’s just asking for trouble, that’s where zombies come from. True story.

Then again, look at it this way, at least in an Obamacare FEMA camp, the sick and elderly will finally be able to get some fucking healthcare.

But I digress.

Grover Norquist apparently only approves of uncompromising conservative intransigence when it’s orchestrated by him and him alone.

The Americans for Tax Reform president declared that “The Defunders” have a lot of apologies to make:

“It’d be a good idea if they stopped referring to other Republicans as Hitler appeasers because they opposed the strategy they put forward which failed. I think if you make a mistake as big as what they did, you owe your fellow senators and congressmen a big apology. And your constituents, as well, because nothing they did advanced the cause of repealing or dismantling Obamacare.”

That’s good advice, Grover, maybe you should take it.

“They hurt the conservative movement, they hurt people’s health care, they hurt the country’s economic situation and they hurt the Republican party,” he says. “And a lot of congressmen and senators are not going to win because we spent three months chasing our own tail — or at least, parts of the conservative movement spent three months chasing their own tail.”

You know, it’s ironic, damned ironic indeed, when Grover Norquist of all people starts complaining about Tea Party obstructionism. 

Seriously, get a load of the onions on this little twerp, the sheer staggering hypocrisy boggles the imagination.

Right before the House vote to reopen the Government, Erik Erickson of the Red State blog and a regular Fox News contributor, tweeted:

House Republicans should object to unanimous consent to move the Senate plan forward. FIGHT.

Now honestly, I’m not sure if Erickson was objecting to passage of the bill itself, or just to a unanimous passage of the bill.

It’s okay to restart the government and keep America from defaulting on her debts, just so long as, you know, it looks like all the Tea Party types object.  In other words, they know that they are wrong, they know that their policies are wrong, but they’ll keep advocating for them just as long as they know there are enough sane people around to outvote them and keep things tottering along.

Maybe Erickson and his shambling undead buddies should spend a little time scrubbing shitters in a FEMA camp.

Last Sunday, a bunch of Veterans rallied on the Washington D.C. Mall to talk revolution and to trample the sacred oath they once swore into the mud of hysteria fueled sedition under the twin banners of the Gadsden Flag and the Stars & Bars.

Oh, it wasn’t supposed to be that way, sure.

Right.

Wink wink.

Organizers say that The Million Veteran March was supposed to be a some kind of peaceful protest to demand a reopening of the war memorials and an end to the government shutdown and its impact on active duty troops and veterans alike.

In reality, of course, it was your standard issue lynch mob of right-wing gun-waving conspiracy nuts and born-again government haters complete with powdered wigs and Halloween costume Ben Franklin frock coats.  They stormed the World War II memorial and tore down the fences, then they marched over to the White House gleefully waving their confederate battle flag and listened while conspiracy nut extraordinaire, Larry Klayman, preached sedition and explained how America is "ruled by a president who bows down to Allah."

"I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come up with his hands out,"

Then they posed for pictures in front of the White House, next to the Confederate flag, and then when Obama disappointingly didn’t actually surrender, they just sort of wandered off, dejected at the failure of their little revolution.

I wrote about Klayman and his calls for a Second American Revolution last week, imagine my utter disgust when I realized that men and women I served with, friends of mine, people I once admired and respected, fellow veterans, were out there gaily marching alongside the likes of Larry Klayman and the traitorous scumbags of the Oath Keepers, waving a confederate flag and cheering on sedition.

Afterward, of course, certain shamefaced vets tried to distance themselves from the event, criticizing tea party activists for taking over the demonstration.

On Monday organizers posted on the Million Veteran March’s Facebook page:

"The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC yesterday was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle was and remains about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner. Our love for and our dedication to remains with Veterans, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings."

Apolitical.

Riiiiight.  Apolitical.

Just out of curiosity, I’d love to see a poll of how many of these veterans were not card carrying conservatives. But I digress.

Disheartened. They were disheartened. Oh, well, then, disheartened.

You’ll note however, none of these veterans actually stood up to Klayman and the Tea Party when it actually mattered

They took to Facebook after it was over, but not while the TV cameras were rolling.

None of them, not one, shouted down the seditious calls for revolution or the disgusting attacks on the president’s religion and integrity. None of them tore down that goddamned Confederate flag. 

Instead they cheered. And posed proudly for the cameras.

None of them, not one, stood firm between the mob and their Commander in Chief.

Apolitical my hairy white ass.

Meanwhile, over in New Jersey this ad was playing:

My name is Steve Lonegan, I'm the Republican nominee for US Senate here in New Jersey. And we're going to shock the world on Wednesday. That's why I need your help. Our latest internal polls have us within just 3 points of winning this New Jersey Senate seat!

Internal polls.

Seriously, will Republicans never learn?

I mean, come on. You’ve got to be kidding, right? After the last presidential election you’d think Republicans would be damned careful, damned careful indeed, to employ a non-partisan third party data collection outfit. But no, instead they continue to hire pollsters to blow smoke up their collective asses until their colons turn into beef jerky.

Internal polls. It’s creation science math yet again, folks. 

Lonegan shocked New Jersey on Wednesday all right, he lost to Democrat Cory Booker by a staggering 11 points.

Still in denial, Republicans attempted to spin Booker’s win into some sort of victory for conservatives.

Lonegan lost, but his principled campaign showed the strength of conservative activists in a state that hasn’t voted Republican for president in a quarter-century. Since the campaign culminated with the government shutdown in Washington, it can’t be said that voters rose up to protest Republicans as Obama and Booker urged. In defeat, Lonegan won a higher percentage of the vote for U.S. Senate than any Republican in the Garden State has gotten in a dozen years.

I, wait, what?

Why am I picturing wild-eyed Charlie Sheen jumping up and down on a couch shouting “Winning! Winning!”

Or maybe a better mental image would be Daffy Duck gleefully shouting woohoo! woohoo! and leaping about madly with Elmer Fudd chasing after blasting his shotgun randomly in all directions.

But then there’s Ultra Conservative stalwart, Pat Buchanan (Talk about the shambling undead) who actually does believe public opinion has turned against Republicans – he just doesn’t care.  Monday, in a column on World Net Daily (where else, right?) Buchanan said that if Republicans were going to be blamed for the consequences of their own actions anyway, then they should just go ahead and wreck the entire country:

“Republicans should refuse to raise the white flag and insist on an honorable avenue of retreat. And if Harry Reid’s Senate demands the GOP end the sequester on federal spending, or be blamed for a debt default, the party should, Samson-like, bring down the roof of the temple on everybody’s head.”

That’s right (or The Right, if you want to get technical about it), the guy who preaches “personal responsibility” ad nauseum tells the party of personal responsibility that if they’re actually held to personal responsibility then they should bring down the roof on the rest of the nation rather than admit personal responsibility. 

This twisted nonsense sums up Ted Cruz and the Tea Party perfectly.

They are nothing but a bunch of sore losers.

They’re exactly like badly behaved little children who when they lose the game fair and square, start screaming in uncontrolled rage and then kick over the board scattering the pieces in all directions while shouting No Fair! NO FAIR! NO FAIR!

Wednesday, as Mitch McConnell was speaking on the House floor, announcing the details of the deal he’d brokered with Harry Reid to end the shutdown and avoid a default, Ted Cruz left the Senate chambers and attempted to hold his own press conference in direct conflict with his own party’s spokesman.

CNN’s Dana Bash told him that the news networks were airing McConnell’s speech live.

“Do you want to wait until the leaders are done?” Bash asked Cruz.

Instead Cruz launched into a tirade attacking his own party:

“Unfortunately, once again, it appears the Washington establishment is refusing to listen to the American people. The United States Senate has stayed with the traditional approach of the Washington establishment of maintaining the status quo.”

No fair! No fair!

You have to wonder what alternate reality Cruz is operating in. 

If Cruz himself had been listening to the American people, what he would have heard was a resounding call to stop his childish tantrums and return to the traditional approach of an actual functioning government.

When Bash pointed out that Cruz had gotten nothing for the immeasurable damage he’d visited upon his own party, Cruz responded petulantly, “I disagree with the premise!” No fair! NO FAIR!

He then said the Shutdown was “a remarkable victory.”

A remarkable victory.

A remarkable victory?

Bunny Sex.

FEMA death camps.

Come out with your hands up.

I’ve said it before, I’ll likely have to say it again: America deserves a far better conservative party than this mewling insanity.

As we stand here in the cold light of dawn, amongst the rubble, watching the cannibal zombie horde gnaw madly at its own innards, it is apparent to me that the Grand Old Party cannot long survive.  The pervasive bunker mentality that madly declares failure after failure as some kind of victory despite all evidence to the contrary is the sound of the life-support system flat-lining.

Unless Republicans shed themselves, and soon, of the uncompromising fanatics and the raging extremists and the yellow-eyed religious zealots and the seditious confederates and the tri-corner hat wearing conspiracy nuts, they will drive both themselves and the rest of us to ruin.

Abraham Lincoln would weep with disgust over what has become of his party.

What the GOP needs now is not Abraham Lincoln, but Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. They need to start lopping off heads. And they need to do it soon, starting with Ted Cruz.

They need to do it before the infection spreads any further.

“He will not be mocked! This is not one nation under God. It never was. The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God! It never was. Had it been, it would not have been! The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons! You cannot serve two masters! You cannot serve two masters! Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ."
         -
Dianne Reidy, US House of Representatives stenographer
           10/18/2013, Shouting at the assembled legislators right
           before being tackled by security. Crazy is contagious.

143 comments:

  1. *snort, sniggle, glorp* If it weren't true, it could be funny. (And really, you think I would learn to put down my coffee BEFORE I read Stonekettle Station. Less messy that way.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You would think I'd learn to put down my LUNCH before I read it. (In all seriousness, great column, as always -- thanks, Jim.)

    ReplyDelete
  3. "I’ll just pause for a moment so you can savor the sweet, sweat irony of that. "

    Not sure if that's what you meant, but it's funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny alright. Disturbing, but funny. I fixed it. Thanks //

      Delete
    2. Maybe it smells like flop-sweat in the Republican caucus.

      Delete
  4. "Sweet sweet irony" not "sweet sweat"?

    Damn. You hit another one out of the ballpark.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you. This is an excellent post. You may well be of the Samuel Clemmons gene pool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, just to be fair to Jim, whose typos and misspellings I have pointed out in the past, that's Samuel Clemens.

      Who, by the way, was also an admirer of felines, and no doubt would have heartily approved of ShopKat.

      Delete
    2. He also had some nice things to say about typos and other printer tricks in Connecticut Yankee

      Delete
  6. Two typos, Jim, at the eginning, you ask us to savor the sweet, sweat irony, and then later, you tell us, "Seriously, get a load of the the onions on this little twerp".

    Great post, I really can't see the logic behind the Right's constant claim to victory, and you put my thoughts into words better than I could have. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The first one I'd already gotten, but I'd missed the the the second one. Thanks. It's fixed.

      I'm starting to think you guys enjoy finding the typos more than you like the actual essay :)

      Delete
    2. Naw, that is nowheres NEAR true. Trust!

      Delete
    3. I assumed it was "the The Onions". Scarily, that makes more sense.

      Dr. Phil

      Delete
  7. Once again well done. I have felt badly for moderate Republicans ever since Richard Lugar (R) Indiana was booted out by a Tea Party upstart- after serving the public faithfully for over 30 years. I used to live in Indiana and admired him greatly. He lost his seat because he was not extremist- a real problem for moderates in red states. And the extremism bothers moderates. One of the talking heads interviewed on cable news during the shutdown was a moderate Republican House member who said "We conservatives want to conserve- not destroy." Bingo. What a concept. There was no bible thumping, name calling, apocolyptic, fire snorting, hateful rhetoric in his statement. He must surely be afraid of losing his seat. As for those crazy veterans storming the WWII Memorial= shameful. I saw that horrible picture of the stars and bars flying proudly with the Marine standard with an "Impeach Obama" sign next to it in front of the White House. I am an AF/Army vet and I would have rescued the Marine standard. Let the nutcases fly their stars and bars- the Marine flag should not be desecrated in the hands of delusional, spittle throwing, nutcases- even if they are veterans. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the miltary standards represent defending and protecting the Constitution of the US against all enemies foreign and domestic. Period. I would have snatched that banner and said "Semper Fi- remember that." If I had been beat up at least it would have gotten on the news.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mentioned my objection to displaying the Confederate Flag in front of the White House, and a facebook troll came back with the most astounding answer - "At least it's an American Flag, designed by Americans, and Americans fought and died under that flag. Not like the Mexican flag carried by the illegal aliens that marched on Washington..." ****Banging head on desk****

      Delete
    2. You can't reason with unreasonable people.

      Delete
    3. I'm with you on this Kimberly. Thanks!

      Jim, excellent as usual.

      Delete
    4. The confederacy was defeated and that is a fact. When they fought under that flag they were not US citizens as they had seceded their rights to be US citizens by leaving the Union. Therefore they were a foreign nation. An enemy nation. They were no longer part of the United States and that should be remembered as well. To me the flag of the confederacy is the flag of an enemy. My great grandfather and uncle fought on the side of the south. They were wrong. And that cause is still wrong today. Take your confederate flag and shove it.

      Delete
    5. I've noted many times that the current GOP leadership isn't trying to conserve anything but the wealth and power of the wealthy and powerful. Conserve the planet? Conserve energy? Conserve human dignity? Not a chance! I greatly enjoy conversing with actual Conservatives -- they serve as a natural balance to people like me, much like gas & brakes balance each other on a car -- but I find them scarce in evidence recently. Again as I've said many times of late, we need to help the GOP finish dying & then help whatever honest Conservatives are left to build a new party that actually conserves things worth conserving.

      Great post, Jim, as usual.

      Delete
    6. My conservative former military friends are always going on about how they swore to "protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic". How convenient, and how wrong. Here is the full oath of enlistment for all branches except the National Guard, whose oath also includes obeying their Governor.

      I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

      Delete
    7. I put those people who fly the stars and bars in the same category as those who fly the swastika. I don't give a damn what sort of heritage you claim to be supporting, you are waving a symbol of an enemy of the United States - a flag flown in support of terror and bigotry

      Delete
    8. I agree. To many African Americans and maybe others the stars and bars IS the same as the swastika. It's a symbol of terrorism - lynching, burning, raping, castrating and ripping families apart.

      Delete
  8. Thanks, I won't be sleeping after the open scene you painted! Excellent essay, otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wasn't sure where you were going with the opening scene, but you had me with the Barons Harkonnen strikethrough (doesn't hurt that there's a ComiCon going on across the street from where I work). And the portrayal of the rock/hard place of dear droopy Mitch. Spot on. I come from a long line of Buckley Republicans, and their dust would be roiling if they knew the spoils of their party. I sometimes feel most citizens are just hanging on with their fingernails, trying to get through what happens next.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Dianne Reidy was carried off by security. Michele Bachman is still allowed entrance, a vote and a seat on the House Intelligence Committee despite the fact that she went on an equally unhinged rant claiming that we are now in the End Times because Obama sent arms to some of the rebels in Syria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why House Stenographer Dianne Reidy Snapped
      Daily Beast ‎- 11 hours ago
      The shutdown upset Dianne Reidy, her husband says. Something else ... She had suffered postpartum depression after the birth of the twins.

      What is crazy Michele Bachman's excuse? Her husband?

      Delete
    2. Hmmm.....Bachmann's husband? There is definitely no bunny sex going on there. ;-)

      Delete
    3. Reidy's husband explains she's been getting no sleep; she says she's inspired by the Holy Spirit.

      Delete
  11. One of the best you have written Jim. I was so disappointed to see people who had sworn the same oath I did standing under a flag that represents treason. And none having the guts to stand up against the sedition being called for by Klayman. This insanity will destroy us if we don't makes some changes

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trouble is, the right-wing swamp-fever version of conservatism has gone past politics into the realm of religion, with its own holy document (the Constitution, more honored in the breach than the observance), its high priesthood (an unholy mix of grifters and true believers) spewing talking-point dogma to a credulous flock inoculated by skillfully framed, incessantly promulgated propaganda against the intrusion of reality into the sacrosanct bubble of its carefully circumscribed politicotheology.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think I hurt myself laughing.

    I knew The Prez was a 3 dimensional chess player, but this goes into 3 dimensional Wizard chess level! I almost feel sorry for McConnell.....nah, I don't.

    "...sweet, sweat irony of that" I'm sure you meant, "sweet, sweet irony..." but your Freudian? slip works too: sweat irony - what happens to the monster's creator when the monster is pounding at the door.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Fantastic post Jim.

    Three years ago a republican friend of mine (of the sane tribe of republicans) said that his party just needed to all join hands and jump into the fray to prevent the tea bagging lunacy. A year later he said the party had decided to surgically remove their hands, run for the hills and watch the oncoming debacle and self immolation of a once sane party.

    I felt bad for him. Hell, I feel bad for all of us watching morons, vandals and arsonists pretend they aren't digging their own graves while trying to push us all into the hole first.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Is there something wrong with me that I started thinking of Ted Cruz as related to the Jesus-pusher in this previous (http://www.stonekettle.com/2009/07/making-day-just-little-more-surreal.html) post of yours? I dunno. Probably.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Interesting you should mention the 3 billion dollar earmark. The reality is that earmarks used to be one of the ways that made Congress actually function. You needed a few more votes, you threw something in for the other side's district. When it was the other side's turn they would give something to you. I understand that the earmark process had gotten a little out of control, but it meant people could actually NEGOTIATE over bills. Since Congress eliminated earmarks neither side has any reason to give in on something to the other. It seems it would have been better to put a limit of some sort on them, rather than eliminating them altogether. The right likes to say Obama doesn't know how to lead. Well he led McConnell to the trough pretty easily with that earmark.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was mentioned in the local paper today that the earmarks were also a way to keep one's party lunatics in line. You wanted something for your state, then behave yourself. There's no carrot or stick available now.

      Delete
    2. It's pleasant to think that the President came up with that earmark all on his own, to lure McConnell to a hard place, but let's be real: The President needed McConnell's cooperation, McConnell needs to keep his job. With that 2.14 billion hunk of pork in his back pocket McConell's job is safe for six more years. It was the man's price. He would have let the President know it was his price, back-channel, and it was a price the President was happy to pay. Not least because that canal is actually, at least economically, a very good thing. Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it. It will move a huge amount of freight traffic off the highways, and shift it for a categorically smaller carbon expenditure. It's not just good for Kentucky, it's good for the country. So dangling it as a carrot was only win-win. Plus it sent a message: work with me and ye shall be rewarded (so long as it's good for the rest of us as well). McConnell is laughing. He's not worried about any upstart TP rival, nor any other challenger now. The ACA is going to make far more Kentuckians happy than it is going to piss off. So he gets the good vibes from the canal project money AND the good vibes from the ACA. He will be the guy who reliably delivers what his state needs. Ain't nobody going to touch him, no matter how much money the Koch brothers throw at his rival.

      BB

      Delete
    3. Huh...good insight there friend...this is why Stonekettle is so nice a place to visit...Jim is a terrific writer, and he attracts terrific comments...and some bad ones, too...but Jim protects us from the worst of the worst...thanks Jim...

      Delete
  17. I really thought Hilary was the one in the tub.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Excellent "Dune" reference that can be carried a bit further in that the Tea Party types are administering the "gom jabbar" to all who fall under the Republican brand. A purity test designed around induced pain jibes nicely in an evolutionary way with G. Gordon's famed remark concerning the trick in holding one's hand in the flame (i.e. the trick is in not minding that it hurts...). Not unreasonable to posit that the entire modern GOP's doctrine is simply a catechism of pain in infinite variety visited upon humanity including those most devout. Really, the more I consider the premise, the more it encompasses from the essentially medieval (feudal) economic views through the denial of empirical conclusions and the wearing of hair shirts - they really are all about the pain. Of course, that leads one to a Princess Bride reference... Hmmm Ted Cruz, Prince Humperdinck - you never see them in the same room, do you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure G. Gordon got that line from T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia), but then T.E. no doubt got it from someone further back in time. In Lawrence's case I think someone asked him how he could pinch out candle flames without ever flinching, aren't you afraid of getting burned even a little bit? And then he replied...

      Delete
  19. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it ironic that the Grover Norquist quote contained the phrase "they hurt people's heathcare" in relation to this latest tea spasm? Isn't that a tacit admission that the ACA is GOOD for people's health care?

    I actually (shudder!) googled Grover's name to make sure you had gotten that quote correct.

    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is my first time here and wowzers! What a great post! The zombies are indeed eating their own, John Boehner's FB page is evidence enough. My favorite part was the little carrot that PBO dangled in front of McTurtle's face. This President is learning how to lead. Now, let's give him democratic control of Congress so that he has something to work with. I'll be back.

    ReplyDelete
  21. There were so many points full of awesomeness that I couldn't pick just one, but one giant low point for me was the bit about The Million Veteran March, and the former military who were there. It made me very sad to say the least. When I was still in the service, and we'd get into 'discussions' (which we weren't much supposed to, but we were pretty well behaved so it was ok) and one of the things I said was, "I'd defend him, and I'd take a bullet for him, but I'd never vote for him." (him being GW Bush) The thought that those vets would behave the way they are is a horrible thing to me. Not that they'd march or campaign, but the level of disrespect is both discouraging and infuriating to me.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I concur with Jim, Kimberly, Voce M, Dandelion Wine, and everyone else commenting on the Million Veteran March. As a retired Navy officer myself, with 35 years, I was appalled at the sight and the sounds, but especially at the Marine Corps flag being displayed with the Stars and Bars.

    How did we get here? No idea. It may have something to do with the disintegration of public schools and the lack of appreciation for science and logic in the institutions that have arisen to replace public schools.

    Thanks, Jim, for a great column. I did love the editorial cartoon at the beginning!

    Old Navy Comm O

    ReplyDelete
  23. In this age of reason, virtual collaborative interaction, high speed information exchange and high definition recording and archival technology, I am truly shocked to that Congress still uses stenographers.

    The rest of the last 2 weeks is just par for the course. - Tommy D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Proofreader for court reporters speaking up here:

      Stenographers these days use computerized machines that can instantly translate most keystrokes into realtime text; misstrokes and undefineds can produce errors or untranslates, but these are cleaned up in the proofreading. A skilled machine shorthand reporter, especially teamed with an experienced proofreader (waves) can turn out a 250-page finished transcript within a couple of hours of the close of trial/hearing/deposition -- a feat that, in the days of manual machines with paper feeds, would take teams of two reporters, one or two typists, and a proofreader, at minimum -- and still take longer. I sit here north of Boston; my reporter takes a trial in Washington, DC, and via email exchanges of .txt drafts and .pdf corrections we get a day's worth of testimony turned out in time to go out to dinner. So there's your "collaborative interaction" and "high speed information exchange" at work.

      Voice recognition software? What it captures still has to be turned into text, and you would not believe what awful speakers so many people are; it often takes the trained ear and intelligence of a human being to sort it out.

      Folks have been predicting the demise of stenographers since the days of the first tape recorders, but the profession has kept up with technological advances. We ain't talking Pitman shorthand on paper here; the machines and the software used in today's court reporting are highly sophisticated.

      Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll get back to proofreading the deposition of an English-as-second-language software engineer in a patent infringement case.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for explaining how stenographers use today's tools. I'm sure it creates a document much faster and more true to the words heard than in earlier times. But I do think that Tommy's comment was great so that it elicited your comment that teaches so many of us how technology has provided a better service than before. I appreciate both comments as I learned something new and relevant. Thanks!

      Delete
    3. You're most welcome. And here's another fun fact: Realtime reporting allows everyone with a hookup to the reporter's computer to see the transcript in, you guessed it, realtime! One of my clients told me about taking an arbitration hearing before a retired Superior Court judge. It was his first experience with realtime reporting, with being able, for example, to scroll back to a question's exact wording before ruling on an objection to it, rather than having to ask the reporter to read it back, and he was, my client assured me, delighted with his new tool.

      Computer-aided transcription ("CAT") also allows for providing attorneys with e-transcripts, keyword-searchable, which can be tied into video recordings of testimony to make finding desired segments in either format as easy as typing the keyword into the search box.

      But enough of this hijack; we now return you to your regularly scheduled adoration of our superb host.

      Delete
    4. Ben - Just WOW! One does not often have the opportunity to learn so much in so short a time about a topic that you previously would not even consider important. Respect, my friend. I just tossed out the 'stenographer' comment as a silly non-sequiter. You turned it into a piece of art. Cheers - Tommy D

      Delete
    5. * blush * Aw, shucks, 'twarn't nuthin....

      And I'll leave you with one more observation on the subject: Court reporters, shorthand reporters, stenographers -- call them what you will; to do the job properly they need to be a cross between a simultaneous translator and a concert pianist.

      Delete
  24. "Unless Republicans shed themselves, and soon, of the uncompromising fanatics and the raging extremists and the yellow-eyed religious zealots and the seditious confederates and the tri-corner hat wearing conspiracy nuts, they will drive both themselves and the rest of us to ruin. "

    Um, if the Republican party did that, who the hell would be left at this point? Unicorns? Republicans can't rid themselves of uncompromising fanatics because they ARE uncompromising fanatics, or at the very least entirely beholden to uncompromising fanatics for their political and financial fortunes. Anyone else has long since run screaming into the night to escape the insanity.

    Thanks calling attention to the earmark, by the way; I nearly died laughing. Count another "You are my God!" vote.

    -Pete from Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I had been fuming over the earmarked legislation being allowed in the bill to reopen the government/raise the debt ceiling - especially after all the yelling and screaming to pass a "clean CR". Now that you've clarified that issue, I can truly appreciate the craftiness involved. Tonight when I say my prayers, they will be, "God bless the President of the United States and keep him safe from zombies. Also, bless Jim Wright for his insight and humor!"

    ReplyDelete
  26. "After the last presidential election you’d think Republicans would be damned careful, damned careful indeed, to employ a non-partisan third party data collection outfit. But no, instead they continue to hire pollsters to blow smoke up their collective asses until their colons turn into beef jerky."

    Don't you think it's more likely that they know where they stand as well as you and I do, but they spin out these 'internal polls' to keep the 'contributions' coming in? Because nobody wants to 'donate' to a sure loser. Right?

    ReplyDelete
  27. The world has been missing its Gonzo Journalist. Thanks for this.

    ReplyDelete
  28. As for conservatives defunding government, I hope they are ready to empty their bank accounts when the street in front of their house needs fixing...

    ReplyDelete
  29. Bunny sex, Norquist and winning all on one missive. Well done, sir, well done

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nick formerly from the O.C.October 18, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    Now that I live in Texas, it's becoming clear to me that Cruz and Cornyn actually represent more than a few of their constituents. There is a very visible and vocal group of people who share the delusions you describe. When I drive around town on the weekends, I see Tea-heads on the corners with signs that say "Impeach Obama" and the like. Cornyn has already started his reelection campaign by "protecting his right flank" (to use a term from local news). Here's a link to his first ad:

    http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/10/first-tv-ad-for-sen-john-cornyn-campaign.html/

    As you can see, he's actually TOUTING his insanity. He voted against Obamacare 43 gazillion times and will keep doing so forever. He's received the NRA's highest rating. Anti-Tax groups love him. He's been voted "the second most conservative" lawmaker in the Senate. (I shudder to think who might be No. 1.)

    My point is, this is more than a move to get the primary nod. He knows his base and is telling them what they want to hear. They lap it up. And they are not alone. I don't think they are a majority of voters, but they may be a majority of *motivated* voters--especially if voters with other points of view get all complacent about this victory and start thinking Cruz and his ilk have been finally unmasked for all right-thinking folks to see. No, they have not. Not here in the Great State of Texas (TM) that voted them into office.

    In other words: Help! I'm trapped in the asylum and I can't vote my way out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nick, another Texan who also came from the O. C. Like minded liberals also live here.

      I live in hope for the day we will turn purple then blue. It is coming; I've read the change could be as soon as 2016; I believe that is too optimistic. I think the 2020's will see Texas make the change back to sanity. Ms. Davis running for governor is a good start. Remember Molly Ivins and Ann Richards! (Oblique paraphrase of Remember the Alamo!)

      Before I left California, Orange County was a hotbed of conservatism. The John Birch Society was headquartered there.

      ThinkingWoman





      Delete
    2. Nick formerly from the O.C.October 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      Anonymous ThinkingWoman,

      Yes. One of the key factors that moved Orange County from the proud home of "B-1 Bob" Dornan to a more liberal voting record was the demographic change--i.e., the increase in the number of non-white voters. I understand a similar demographic shift is happening in Texas ... but it has further to go.

      Delete
    3. As another Texas liberal (born here) I have to tell you, we need more liberals to move here, as fast as possible! Tell all your friends! This state has a lot of electoral votes, it is well worth swinging back to blue. Texas hasn't always been this crazy, it has historically had more Democratic governors than Repug ones. It started going downhill when Reagan was elected, and when King Bush the Moronic was elected governor here, we became the land of insanity you see before you now. We are pushing back, but it is going to take a lot of work.

      Delete
    4. I think a factor in Texas and many other states swinging into a far right mode of extremism is the relentless drum of talk radio. Many locally owned stations in small towns are the only radio available. The collective effect of these thousands of small stations carrying syndicated programs spewing complete nonsense changed a lot of people from merely conservative to fearful and irrational. There was a time when we insisted on a thoughtful dialogue on our airwaves. That is gone. The pushback also has to be in terms of message.

      Delete
  31. Loved this column (but then I appreciate all your writings). It's amazing to me that you can come up with something like this so quickly. But I'm glad you do.

    And I am with you and all the other readers who expressed dismay at the dishonoring of the USMC flag. My dad is a retired Major, USMC (he came up through the ranks & was sent to OCS as a sergeant), and would be less than happy at the company the flag was in.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I used to rowboat in that part of the world. Olmstead Lock (and dam) badly needs some work, and $3B might just get it done now, while it's still relatively cheap. Given the amount of commodities shipping on the river, it benefits us all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually agree eponodyne, what they're currently doing causes a bottleneck in barge and ship traffic. I think they need the money, and I don't think it's unreasonable to get as many infrastructure works done as possible. I do think that it's going to cause a lot of heartburn for McConnell, not that he doesn't deserve it of course... but it's going to be fun to watch.

      Delete
    2. I don't think it will cause McConell the LEAST bit of heartburn. I think it will assure his re-election. Which was why it was his price for cooperation. Don't have any illusions that he didn't ask for it, either. The President was completely happy to pay that price, a.) to get the country working again, but more importantly, for the reasons you guys state: because it's a good project. For everyone. But there is no way in Hell that McConnell will lose one hour of sleep over it. He brought home the pork AND made sure Kentuckians could still access ACA insurance, so his job is now secure for at least six more years.
      BB

      Delete
  33. This post was a work of art, especially the opening. I've visualized the Radical Right (and some in the "mainstream media") as the aliens in Men In Black disguised as "humans" before tentacles popped out of their bodies and snot like green slime baptized Will Smith. Your description plumbed a whole new level of malevolence, and I humbly bow. The remainder of the post was insightful as always, except I wasn't sure if the Cooper-Castellanos exchange was real or satire. Seriously. To me the saddest thing of all is the death of satire, because it's hard these days to differentiate between "reality" and "parody".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep having to check if something is the latest GOP talking point / Fox "news" report / Rush/Beck/Tea Bag mouthing / or official GOP platform, versus something from the Onion. It all started after I read the 2012 Texas GOP platform that opposed "critical thinking skills". I kid you not, but wish I were.

      Delete
    2. As a former Texas schoolteacher, there is lip service given to critical thinking skills as something of high importance in educating children, but in actuality there isn't much time devoted to making that happen.

      Delete
    3. I keep wondering why information like this is not broadcast and analyzed in the media. Tea Party gets away with this crap and are depicted as Americans who just feel strongly about what's best for the country. (Really. I heard a Pew Poll person say this on NPR the other day.) Jefferson Davis felt strongly about what was best for the country, too. Grr

      Delete
  34. Actually Buchanan's article made the interesting historical point that this has happened before in the Republican party. The Rockefeller Republicans were indistinguishable from Democrats. Goldwater took them on and won the party's nomination. He lost the general election but paved the way for his acolytes Nixon and Reagan to win four elections, sending Rockefeller, George Romney and others packing.

    He had this Goldwater quote: "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice." It never will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We may finally see a swing back the other way, don't you think? 2016 should tell us a lot. Will it be Ted Cruz? Or Jeb Bush? Or someone who out-Cruzes Cruz or out-Bushes Bush?

      Did Romney run too far to the right to get the nomination, causing his loss? Or did he move too far left, alienating his base, causing his loss?

      Delete
    2. Romney had multiple problems and it was a combination of things I think - the Mormon factor, his previous freshly recanted previous "Left"~wards positions on healthcare and accepting climate science, and also his wooden, uncharismatic, arrogant and boring personality in general. Strapping his dog to the car roof and taking it for a long shitty ride didn't help him much either.

      Delete
  35. Ted Cruz + Bunny Sex = EWWWW!
    Seriously though, thanks for another great post, which I am dutifully and gleefully sharing!
    So relieved to be going back to work!
    M from MD

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hallelujah, brutha! Watching the Teapublicans destroy themselves would be ever so much more schadenfreude-y, if they weren't simultaneously scuttling the ship of state.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Outstanding post, Jim. The inclusion of the earmark was pure art. Check and mate.

    I thought this debacle might chasten even the lunatic fringe of the GOP (you can't shove your bizarre worldview down everyone else's throat if you're, um, not in office any more...), but alas, such is not the case. In the best tradition of Gen. Buck Turgidson, they're gonna ride that sucker in. Yee-hawwww!!!

    Point of historical accuracy: The Confederate flag the nitwits were brandishing is not the "stars and bars"; it was the Confederate battle flag (well, actually it's the C.S. naval jack). The so-called "stars and bars" is the Confederate national flag, which you can see here: http://bit.ly/H6uXhf.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I agree with Ted Cruz when he says "All this deal does is kick the can down the road." However, that's all I agree with. It would be nice if they would start talking about the budget NOW, and hammer out these little details before January 15th or whenever the next deadline is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I third that idea, now they have to do it!

      Delete
    2. but they won't, you can't teach conservatives new tricks, it's not in their nature hence the reason for their name. They'll do the brinkmanship bit again, fail again, and then the 2014 election season will be upon us....

      Delete
    3. I'm a little late to this segment of the comments, but the GOP-led House of Representatives is only in session 23 days between now and December 31, 2013. Considering how little they've gotten done since January 2011, I don't hold out much hope that either immigration reform or a bipartisan budget gets out of committee before the 113th Congress ends, and aren't we right up against the debt ceiling deadline again in January?

      Delete
  39. Beautiful article! I am enjoying watching the Right tear itself to shreds and have been waiting 30+ years for them to sink to such a disgusting low that someone on their side would FINALLY stand up and do something. Now it's happening. In fact, I was talking with my girlfriend tonight about how I wouldn't be surprised if John McCain decided to stand up for his country and on the floor of the Senate, use a 2nd Amendment remedy upon Cruz. Imagine the turmoil this would cause on the Right! Talk about a hoisting by one's own petard-- how could all those gun-nutty Gasden flag-wavin' yahoos object to a little firearm tomfoolery?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I may never enjoy one of life's little pleasures ever again. What pleasure is that you ask? Farting in the bathtub. The mind picture that is now associated with that previously innocent pastime may never go away.

    Yet another pleasant daydream has been defiled by your writing. What is the second mind picture that I will not be able to scrub from my brain? Why 'Playboy', of course. I will never be able to imagine lusting after a playboy bunny (like Carter, only in my mind) without having the image of Ted Cruz pop out and initiate a 'shutdown'.

    And now, I may never eat beef jerky again. Hell, I may never enter another 7-11, just so I can avoid the thought of beef jerky and your description of how it is made.

    On a serious note, we haven't heard anything from our Republican budget 'expert' Ryan during this entire debacle, and now he is on the committee to come up with a fix in two months. Could it be he is angling to cast himself as the 'great compromiser' for the next presidential cycle?

    Danny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ryan managed to cast a vote against the bill that saved us from the brink, i.e., he would have rather kept the government closed and gone over the debt ceiling cliff.

      Old Navy Comm O

      Delete
  41. Personally, I think that House Ordos would be a better analogue for the Koch Brothers.

    Bunny sex? Nah, what Kruz did to the American people was pretty much doggy-style. We won't speculate on use of lube, and there was certainly no kiss.

    Fueled by (sic) righteous outrage at citizens being kept out of their beloved parks during a shutdown that they themselves had orchestrated, the Tea Partiers did exactly what they constantly accuse liberals of attempting to do every day; the tried to have their cake and eat it too. A number of states decided to pony up the money to re-open a number of our more prominent landmarks. Turns out, in the light of day following the return of our Federal Government, they're discovering that it takes a small army of people to keep these landmarks from looking like Jacksonville in the aftermath of the Georgia/Florida game and - holy crap - it costs a lot of money. And for a number of these states, Arizona, South Dakota, Utah (states that are crucial bastions for the Tea Party) it is uncertain whether they are going to be left picking up the check for this week of insanity, without hope of Federal reimbursement. I mean, with friends like these. ...

    Step right up and get your cup of conservatism; you want that straight, or extra-frothy? Ah, never mind, extra-frothy is all we got.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Can we advertise Sen. Rand Paul's latest? After giving a speech to medical students, he was asked advice about test-taking. (Dr. Paul is an opthamologist, albeit one with a "Board certification" of his own making.) His advice? Don't cheat, but misinform competing students about what will be on the test.

    Quote:"I never, ever cheated. I don't condone cheating. But I would sometimes spread misinformation. This is a great tactic. Misinformation can be very important."

    He went on to describe studying for a pathology test with friends in the library. "We spread the rumor that we knew what was on the test and it was definitely going to be all about the liver," he said. "We tried to trick all of our competing students into over-studying for the liver" and not studying much else.

    "So, that's my advice," he concluded. "Misinformation works."(End Quote)

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/10/18/1248682/-Lessons-from-Rand-Paul-Misinformation-can-be-very-important

    I marvel at how oblivious this guy sounds. Publicizing this might be pretty good... for Democrats. So how can we do so? Does anyone here know a scriptwriter on the Daily Show or Colbert Report? The Onion couldn't take it, because no one would believe it was real instead of parody.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Unless Republicans shed themselves, and soon, of the uncompromising fanatics and the raging extremists and the yellow-eyed religious zealots and the seditious confederates and the tri-corner hat wearing conspiracy nuts, they will drive both themselves and the rest of us to ruin."
    But who will will be left in the party?
    Well, there will always be the Neocons and corporate whores I guess.
    Nice post, I've never giggled and cried at the same time before.

    ReplyDelete
  44. These people are actually too stupid to realize that WE CAN SEE THEM.

    ReplyDelete
  45. I like you Mr. Wright.

    Carry on.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Well, there was this one small gem from the Million Vet march: http://youtu.be/BP9J7RhfnX0

    ReplyDelete
  47. It upset me that the Teapublicans were spitting on the Constitution, which has only one mechanism in it for repealing legislation -- the majority of the votes of both the House and the Senate, followed by the signature of the President (unless there was a supermajority for override). But what upset me even more was the fact that most Americans seemed more irate about monuments and panda-cams than about the real suffering being caused to actual human beings. WTF is wrong with us as a nation, that monuments and panda-cams are more important than the suffering of our fellow Americans? Sociopaths. We are a nation of sociopaths. And of those sociopaths, the Teapublicans are the worst, because they not only ignore the suffering of our fellow Americans, they rejoice in it, exclaiming "hunger motivates children to perform well in school" and other abominations of that sort while secretly they stroke their woodies in glee at the thought of suffering children.

    And the fact that the Teapublicans are getting a bit of a thrashing right now... well. Unfortunately, they all got elected by the majority of the voters in their districts, who will simply send another sociopath to Congress. It's a sickness affecting far more than just the parsimonious pustules of austerity elected to Congress and I don't know how, short of excising the infected limbs from the body of the nation, that we could fix it. Has anybody invented an antibiotic to cure sociopaths? If so, I've not heard of it...

    ReplyDelete
  48. I think the Koch brothers are more octopodian than reptilian.

    This, I never foresaw. That Grover Norquist wasn't far enough right? But…but…this faction just does not want to be part of the USA. They don't want to be part of a country that has a black president, where women are more and more treated as equal to men, where gays have rights,…

    Ted Cruz is in for at least another six years, unless he's convicted of a crime, and perhaps even then. See, he just doesn't care how much damage he does. He's on the national stage and intends to stay there. Does anyone believe the Senate will censure him, or that it will stick?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rafael Cruz is in for way more than another 5 years if he chooses to remain a Senator. Keep in mind our Gov. Perry won't be reelected to a 3rd (4th? 5th?) term only because he chooses not to run. Texas R's love Cruz. One thing I'll give him credit for is he's making our other Senator, Cornyn, appear relatively sane, and making Senator Kay Hutchinson look positively liberal, in retrospect.

      This is nothing new, we've had a long and storied history of nutter politicians...they just used to be conservative Democrats.

      Delete
  49. Another home run, well done. This is OT, but do you think John "GET OFF MY LAWN!" McCain will finally apologize to the American people for unleashing the tundraTart in 2008?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for Johnny Walnut's apology were I you.

      Delete
    2. More than likely you are correct. Saw a brief snippet of her interview with Megan Kelly (video on huffpost) and it was "wordsalads" for everyone! I don't think SP took a breath during her episode of diarrhea of the mouth that lasted nearly 4 minutes. Dayyyammm

      Delete
  50. Replies
    1. A gold star for you!

      Delete
  51. Thank you sir.

    I now realize that I never fully understood the line:

    "While stars sit in bars and decide what they're drinking"

    from one of Crosby Stills Nash & Young's immortal ballads.

    Immortal ? Perhaps "timeless" is a better qualifier, if the "protests" outside the White House last weekend were any indication.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Excellent, as usual. But frightening. Here in NE Ohio, I am seeing ordinary people, old friends and colleagues, turn into spittle-flecked crazies when Obama's name is mentioned. I won't discuss politics with them; what would be the point? They are so emotionally invested in hating the President that no amount of reason will change their minds.

    I am also hearing quite a few people blaming both sides for this debacle. When I point out that only one group caused this mess, they cite Obamacare as the reason for the conservative tantrum.

    Ai yi yi. I worry about these people. My dentist, who is a smart guy, said that he didn't care if we defaulted. I pointed out that a default would affect his wife's pension, and he just shook his head.

    What's wrong with these people? The hate for the President is palpable. Obama has disappointed me many times, but he is basically an intelligent, reasonable guy who is willing to work with others. And they HATE him. Racism? Sure, that's part of it, but there must be more to it than that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He represents change. No, make that CHANGE!!!!! An upheaval of the ordered existence they've known all their lives, where white men run things in every sphere of life and Others know their place and stay there. It's a set of assumptions and givens so deeply rooted as to be unconscious, but it permeates their worldview. Now they see that worldview under assault from all sides, as this country inexorably becomes more brown, more diverse, with power shared among a wider and wider cast of characters, and it terrifies them. The ground under their feet is shifting; "things fall apart; the center cannot hold"; and they react with fear-driven rage.

      Delete
  53. "What's wrong with these people?"

    For one thing, they've been lied to, over and over. I don't know why they don't question. Perhaps it is because their spiritual teachers have taught them not to.

    For another, their world has been overset. First 9/11, then the biggest financial fraud in history threw hundreds of thousands out of their homes, ate up their savings and their jobs, and now a black president. They want someone to blame in the worst way, and here is the radical right, to offer them that someone.

    It's a dynamic similar to the one which led to the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe. Ten years ago, journalist David Neiwert wrote, "Most of all, such comparisons obscure the reality of what's taking place. The genuine proto-fascists -- namely, the anti-democratic extremists of the Patriot movement, and their thuggish cohorts among the 'Freeper' crowd [the 'Tea Party' name had not yet come into use] -- are identified with mainstream conservatives instead of being distinguished from them. That in turn gives their coalescence a kind of cover instead of exposing it." People don't recognize the poison they have been fed.

    David Neiwert links: http://cursor.org/stories/fascismintroduction.php and http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2003_08_03_dneiwert_archive.html#106036545440271111. He's still around, blogging and publishing books, and is one the astute observers of the radical right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David Neiwert is still involved with Crooks and Liars (dot) com.

      Delete
    2. "It's a dynamic similar to the one which led to the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe"

      Raven, thank you for the link. I was having the exact same thought earlier today, and had attempted some research for parallels with 1920's & '30's Germany. Your links here dropped the info right into my lap(top).

      c.c.thomas

      Delete
  54. Ah, an instant classic, Jim. Glad I put down the coffee before reading. You capture the essence of the evil brothers Koch. Bunny sex indeed...but, by the Monty Python killer rabbit species. Run away......

    ReplyDelete
  55. Thank you, Mr. Wright.

    Scary what those {chortle} Bunny sex!{/chortle} people will do.

    What comes next is not original—I read lots of blogs—and maybe I saw it first on this one:

    Trying to negotiate with a teapottist is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I guess the part that worries me is that now they are trying to repeat into truth the lie that no one is signing up. In States that didn't fight the ACA every step of the way, lots of people have signed up. What are these people going to do when this lie can't be denied any more? It's funny now, but the Propaganda Machine has had these people frothing with hate since 2009. Where's all that hate going to go when they run out of ways to demonize the ACA?

    ReplyDelete
  57. It seems this infection is anti-biotic resistant...

    ReplyDelete
  58. Well, if this is any indication, my projection for the best possible outcome of the government shutdown is proving to be accurate.

    Basically, I figured that Republican party leadership would eventually give in to the shutdown. This would cause the Tea Partisans to begin purging those Republicans who cooperated from their party, essentially distilling the madness to levels toxic to a national political party. Some of these purged Republicans (especially business-flavored ones) would try to rebrand themselves as either Libertarians or Democrats, with those who want a fighting chance with the electorate joining the Democrats.

    Eventually, the Republican Party would distill itself into obscurity, while the Democratic Party would briefly wield an unprecedented supermajority in both the House and the Senate (they'd probably hold the White House, too). However, because the party will have expanded to include the pro-business and libertarian elements formerly of the Republican Party, the Democratic Party would then split into a Libertarian party and a Progressive party due to ideological differences.

    The end result would resemble the political situation of the 1960s-1980s, but at least the crazies would be held at bay for another few decades.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like your distillation analogy, especially as the specifications for conservative purity become more and more prevalently narrowed.

      Delete
  59. I have a different take on the bunny sex analogy.

    Even though the bunny sex comparison makes me want to rush out to the pasture to protect my wild bunnies and reach for the brain bleach, the point is valid. The snowshoes (Republicans) have gone too far. They will provide sustenance for others (moderates) and thus be reduced to a manageable population.

    ThinkingWoman

    ReplyDelete
  60. The ACA was engineered to be a disaster. It's a feature not a bug as the saying goes these days. If the goal was an efficient system with a smooth roll-out we would have allowed folks to buy into Medicare. That could have been phased in over a number years by expanding the eligible age groups. Instead the insurance companies played the long con by buying the Democratic Senate seat in Montana. Take a look at the population of that state. Look at how few votes you need to purchase in order to win an election or two or five.

    Thanks for this, Jim. Always gives me material to elicit a great big belly laugh from my dear husband. The beef jerky quote did the trick!

    ReplyDelete
  61. The Americans for Tax Reform president declared that “The Defunders” have a lot of apologies to make:

    Na ga hapm. The Defundamentalists not gonna apologize to nobody. They'll throw ol' Grover himself under the bus first. Norquist is nuts, but on one particular subject: taxes. The 'Baggers are just plain nuts, and they won't stop till they break the Republican party, then they'll blame the mainstream GOP for making their baby Jebus cry..

    ReplyDelete
  62. Dianne Reidy, US House of Representatives stenographer
    10/18/2013, Shouting at the assembled legislators right
    before being tackled by security. Crazy is contagious.


    The crazy that dares not speak its name. With over 75% of Americans professing some level of belief in one Great Googly Moogly or another, said beliefs will never appear in the DSM as symptoms of a particular flavor of Shizophrenia, though they should.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Someone can be schizophrenic without religion and someone can be religious without schizophrenia.

      It's a bit beyond my scope of practice, but what I would recommend for her is a CT scan to rule out a brain abscess or tumor as a cause. Should nothing be found, pharmaceuticals would be in order. Lithium does wonders, but it would be imprudent to prescribe anything without a full examination.

      Delete
    2. Maybe that will turn out to be the case, and I'll be happy for her. Problem is, though, that for extremely religious people, psychiatry is SATAN!SATAN!SATAN! because it holds that The Original Zombie in which they believe unconditionally is merely a chemical imbalance, or misfiring neurons, or whatever those heathen scientists are always babbling about when they should be groveling before His graven image ...

      Delete
  63. I have become convinced that there is a faction of people, of whom Ted Cruz is a part, that are determined to destroy the United States of America so that they might rebuild it into what they think it should be. They have been predicting Doom for so long that it will only be natural when the nation burns down (after they put a torch to it, of course).

    I have no idea what the solution might be, other than vigilance and call them what they are. Jim, you provide a great service and deserve high praise for what you do here. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Also too, it occurs to me to wonder: are they gonna have to go through all her stenography now to see if she diddled around with the Blasph---heath--- Democrats' statements and speeches?

    ReplyDelete
  65. There are several reasons for bunny sexing:
    1. Their wimmens have all run off.
    1. Benghazi!
    3. Drinking water from lead plumbing fixtures.
    2. Fluoride, whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  66. We're really, really sorry about Ted Cruze, really...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, okay then. We're sorry as hell about $arah Palin too. But I really wish the Lamestream Media (TM) would bite the bullet and quit reporting everything she says. Or Cruz or Gomert or Rush, or Beck. An educated electorate would ignore them all anyway. Why can't we have nice things? Never mind . . .

      Delete
  67. Big simile, LOL - could have done without the bunny sex visualization moment, that will give me nightmares, but fear not Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter will come to the rescue and lop off their heads. - GMP

    ReplyDelete
  68. I often drive by a small house out here in the boonies of Arkansas that has a "Don't tread on me" rattlesnake flag. I imagine the owner getting home with groceries in hand to find a rattlesnake on his porch. He quickly grabs his gun (the one that has been sitting there all day not harming a soul (you've read the meme)), and blasts the rattlesnake all to hell with much satisfaction, never reflecting even for a second how ironic the scene is.
    There is a snake on the Republican Party's porch and it is a party member. Git yer gun, and git er done boys. (I'm still being figurative, not promoting violence.)
    John from Arkansas

    ReplyDelete
  69. Ok I'm responding to the bunny sex thing. When my children were little we used to raise Netherland Dwarf Rabbits. We had a male and a female hoping to breed and put the little ones up for sale. "Buster" the male rabbit would climb on top of "MiMi" pump like hell with his eyes squinted tightly closed and fall over exhausted but pleasured none the less. "MiMi" on the other hand would have a look of "not again" wind up prego only to have all of the little bunnies die upon birth. It mattered not to "Buster" he got exactly what he wanted.....
    Jim as always delightful read.

    ReplyDelete
  70. From salon.com today. Worth passing on.....

    Now consider: Gerrymandering lumps birds-of-a-feather till each district is “owned” by one party or another. Democratic voters in a Republican-owned district – or Republicans in a Democratic-owned district – will never cast a vote of legislature in the only election that matters: the majority party’s primary.

    Unless…

    …unless you hold your nose and re-register with whatever party owns your district. This holds, whether you’re a Democrat in a Republican district, or vice versa.

    If your district is gerried to contain mostly Republicans, then it should be represented by a conservative person. But, as someone living in the district, you deserve to have some say in which conservative it will be! A Tea Party radical? Or a genteel negotiator, like Goldwater or Buckley?

    Conservative radicals will scream that Democrats who attempt this kind of judo must be aimimg to sabotage the Republican primary! But any large numbers who switch will have one goal: to recover a meaningful say in a district that had disenfranchised them. They want to vote for candidates they disagree with less; this isa reasonable criterion.

    Does a label change a voter’s principles? Remember Republicans of yore Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower — and sign the card! Then, next spring, you’ll vote when it matters, in the primary between Republican candidates.

    The same advice applies to Republicans in Democratic-owned districts! In fact, this tactic has precedence — generations of Republicans registered as Democrats in the old-time “solid South.” They can hardly complain now.

    Old Navy Comm O

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many states have adopted a primary system whereby the top two vote getters --no matter which party-- get to appear on the general election ballot. It takes just a little while to sort out, but the result has been an upset of a lot of entrenched incumbents AND-- a moderation of the kinds of people elected to office. Most polling shows the vast bulk of Americans describe themselves as moderates/centrists and would prefer a more collegial process in Congress to just get things accomplished.

      Delete
  71. Ah, but the "bunny sex" phenomena also gives rise to a population of the Arctic Fox, Wolves, and various and sundry Owls and Raptors. Heh.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Putting on the 'tinfoil hat': Its the Mercury. Coal plant emissions, fish, etc. The prolonged lifespan in 'Murica enables more to accumulate= more crazy 'Bunny Sex'. We're F'd.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I'm a bit late to the commenting game here (and I haven't commented in a while, but please don't mistake me for the other crazy MK that I believe ended up banned...?).
    I am worried. I too feel like celebrating because surely the average adult in the U.S. has now seen enough and knows just how crazy the Koch brothers' Tea Party politicians have become.
    We must not allow the Koch brothers to slide under the radar. They have been supporters of Scott Walker here in Wisconsin, the governor that has put into motion a grand plan to dismember public education in our state (oh, but we all get $14-$31 property tax relief this year!) and has stomped on our state's reputation. Walker has been campaigning for the Presidential nomination for the past year and did a fairly good job of avoiding going down with the Romney/Ryan ship. He is a typical mouth piece for the Koch brothers and those of similar ilk (shit tons of money that you too could have if only you worked harder....what is the saying? "Born on third, but convinced they hit a triple"....?)...although, he didn't finish college. That's right folks, the governor of my state couldn't even be bothered to finish his degree, and now he is in control of education policy. Yeah. Walker campaigns on being a conservative that reaches across the aisle and in doing so has saved our state and brought us all together and made WI "Open For Business". I can feel the bile in the back of my throat just typing it... My point is this, we must watch the other "less crazy" politicians that the Koch's support. They have their bases covered.
    Another mention/side track (as to how far and wide the crazy has spread and going along with the planned demise of Public Education), our Common Core Standards for History are likely to take longer to be agreed upon than the standards for Science. Why? Because apparently revisionist history has some major pull and is now deemed just as important as fighting evolutionary science.
    I am so glad we avoided falling off the cliff, but feel as though we may end up backing off the opposite side.
    Thanks all for reminding me that sanity does still exist, and for the interesting side lesson on stenographers....well and the bunny sex.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Magnificent! You have totally captured the insanity of the Tea Party. Anyone not living this would think this whole sorry affair with these conservatives is a horrid "twilight sleep" phenomenon from which one can not awake

    ReplyDelete
  75. I haven't enjoyed a diatribe so much since Hunter Thomson died. Great stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  76. It is remarkably telling about the current state of our nation's government that the stenographer for the HoR can break down into an absolutely unhinged, stark raving mad screech, and nobody so much as bats an eye. She literally just started screaming nonsense, and not a single person was phased -- and in fact most media outlets simply haven't even reported it.

    We get all the government we deserve.

    ReplyDelete
  77. It used to be that we liberals were the ones infighting and destroying our friends rather than our enemies.

    ReplyDelete
  78. The right to protest is overrated and should be denied to anyone who dare circumvent the legitimate denial by our elected government to access any memorial, private or public for whatever reason. Sedition is all over this illegal protest and those veterans who engaged in this act against should be ashamed and jailed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I find your comment offensive and obnoxious, Anonymous, and I wonder if you're not a Poe simply looking to start a fight.

      Overrated or not, freedom of speech, the right to assemble, the right to petition the government for redress of wrongs (i.e. the basic elements of protest) are fundamental to liberty, especially our version of it. The government may have a legitimate reason for closing certain public facilities, but that isn't a reason for suspending the First Amendment. Jailing people solely for voicing protest is counter to everything this country stands for and everything that veterans like myself fought for. I no more support that idea than I do the call for sedition from the likes of Larry Klayman.

      The protest in question, i.e. The Million Veteran March, was not illegal.

      Removing barriers and accessing closed public facilities may have been illegal, but it's certainly not sedition, it's a misdemeanor at the very worst. Those protesters who engaged in such activity might face civil penalties (though I suspect you'd have a hard time proving your case when members of the government were among the crowd helping to facilitate the action), but lets do try to keep it in perspective - especially since there are no reports of significant injuries or damage to public property as a result.

      Whether or not the veterans who participated should be ashamed, those who stood by while others displayed the symbols of treason and spoke of sedition, is a matter of opinion (and perhaps one that I share as described in the post). However jailing veterans or civilians for listening to such dreck is unconstitutional and unamerican and is cut from the same cloth of intolerant extremism that leads men like Larry Klayman to call President Obama a Muslim and demand that he surrender to some kind of People's Court for trial and execution.

      Extremism is extremism, no matter which side of the political aisle you stand on.

      Delete
  79. ULOL
    (Uncontrollable Laughing...)

    Excellent comparison, although the Baron may feel insulted to be compared to such heinous scoundrels.


    ReplyDelete
  80. Great post! I laughed, I cried. The GOP may by dying and if a third party emerges it will up end the "balance" we've had...I mean that if that happens then the Dems will win and win and that will become a one party rule. We need discourse and compromise to get some things done. Can they come to their senses?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Where'd he go? I know it's too early for the Iditarod.

    ReplyDelete

Comments on this blog are moderated. Each will be reviewed before being allowed to post. This may take a while. I don't allow personal attacks, trolling, or obnoxious stupidity. If you post anonymously and hide behind an IP blocker, I'm a lot more likely to consider you a troll. Be sure to read the commenting rules before you start typing. Really.