Archive for the ‘congress’ Category
Merry Fiscal Cliff(mas)! (via Red Green & Blue)
Hooray (kind of)!!! The so-called “fiscal cliff” has been averted (for now). A deal was reached at the very last minute, and, to save us all from their own manufactured crisis, Democrats and Republicans came together in peace and harmony (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) and voted to increase taxes on the richest…
Surprised? No. But there was some part of me that held out just a little hope that someday, somewhere out there, a reasonable Republican congressman (HA!) would find him or herself in a position of power to do something about, or at least, support, some small effort to mitigate climate change. Alas…
Yes, yes…another day, another incredibly well-executed, painstakingly researched, critically-praised study published that just flies in the face of everything Republicans
blindly promote at the urge of their billionaire overlords believe in.
Ready for the big surprise?
Tax cuts for the rich don’t help the economy. They make the rich richer and promote income inequality.
Did you know that you never have to admit responsibility for any action if you are a public figure? Go ahead and lie through your teeth. Feel free to ridicule and mock minorities. Give whatever boneheaded response to questions comes to mind if you have no idea what you’re talking about.
You can EASILY get out of it later. No harm, no foul. You “misspoke” is all…happens to everyone.
“To misspeak is human”? I’m old enough to remember the infamous “I can’t recall” repetition orgy from politicians and officials testifying to Congress during the Iran-Contra Scandal (yikes…kind of dates me). The new ad nauseam refrain seems to be “I misspoke”. It’s a way of weaseling out of virtually any uncomfortable situation that showcases one or more of a) your complete and embarrassing lack of knowledge about a particular subject that you should know about, b) your knack for lying through your teeth, or c) your general insensitivity/bigotry/astounding jerkitude. It isn’t that you’re “sorry”, it’s not that you “didn’t know,” and clearly not that you were “actually saying something you believe in your heart to be true.” No…you merely “misspoke.”
Here’s some recent classics:
- Congressman Paul Ryan (r-WI)
apologized“misspoke” when he said military generals were lying to Congress (quite a charge, eh?) in claiming support for a reduced defense budget. Clearly, by saying they WERE NOT being truthful, he meant to say they WERE being truthful, but that he didn’t agree with them…I guess. Oops. Human Etch-a-Sketchrepublican presidential contender Mitt Romney “misspoke” when he said, while discussing his economic policy, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” (Because THAT would be wrong.) What he meant to say, of course, was “Let them eat cake.”
- Brian Kilmeade (general idiot – Fox and Friends)
apologized“misspoke” when he infamously said on his show “Not all Muslims are terrorists. But all terrorists are Muslims.” He meant to say, “I’m a bigoted idiot with no concept of the reality of modern terrorism.”
- Lest you think HeffBombs has some kind of liberal bias (THE HORROR!), former Democratic senatorial candidate for Vermont Richard Blumenthal
lied“misspoke” when he (repeatedly) claimed to have served in various war zones in Vietnam during the war. He, in fact, served on an island off the coast of South Carolina. Oops. Whatever, a simple mistake…made several times…in front of large crowds…
- Another bad case of the opposites: former pizza baron/GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain (wow…seriously?) apparently misspoke when he suggested he would be willing to negotiate with Al Qaeda on certain matters. Of course, everyone knows that negotiation is bad and never accomplishes anything under any circumstances. Clearly he meant to say “Terrorists Bad, Pizza Good!!”
- Not exactly misspeaking per se, but an absolute gem nonetheless…Jon Kyl (r-AZ) gave a rousing speech on the Senate Floor during the debt-ceiling crisis in which he said “If you want an abortion, you go to Planned Parenthood, and that’s well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does.” Ooooh, not quite. Its three percent. But no problem, just a classic case of misspeaking, right? Clarifying the remarks further, his office reported “His remark wasn’t intended to be a factual statement.”
I guess they were all “just saying…”
If not for the enviable intransigence of the republicans – no tax increases of any form under any circumstances – some influential Democrats would have our country more closely resembling post-austerity Greece than the America we love today.
The Debt Reduction Super-Committee (the “Sup-Com“) was mandated as part of the infamous 2011 Debt Ceiling budget compromise…from HELL! You remember, where in exchange for 100% spending cuts, Obama and the Democrats got…nothing.
So, the Sup-Com is trying to shave a minimum of $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. So noble, right? And both parties are working together in the spirit of bipartisanship and good faith to-
Republicans have drawn their line in the sand on taxes. Democrats are testing how close they can come to that line, without establishing one of their own. The latest “compromise” (again, this term has been redefined, meaning one side gets about 99% of what they want, the other side gets 1%) from the Democrats on the Sup-Com, going against the opinion of the vast majority of the entire country: make tax cuts for the wealthy PERMANENT. A classic Democratic fallback, no? Because, if the rich can’t save us, who can?
The previous “compromise” offer was nothing short of brutal either. Hearken back, if you will, to the National Committee on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, established via Executive Order by Obama in 2010 to address the budget deficit. Not surprisingly, this group couldn’t agree on a series of recommendations, with Democrats pleading a mixture of targeted spending cuts and revenue increases, and republicans pushing for America as pre-revolution France. Co-chairs (moderate Democrat) Erskine Bowles and former (conservative republican) Senator Alan Simpson (who likes to refer to recipients of social security as “lesser people“) finally decided to release their own set of proposals, generally considered as favoring the conservative viewpoint (i.e., big social safety net cuts coupled with tax cuts are our ticket to prosperity!). Fast forward, and the Democrats’ last “compromise” plan fell significantly to the right of these fantastic ideas, with a 6-1 ratio of spending cuts to revenue increases, including medicare benefit cuts to individuals with incomes of $12,000 to $15,000 per year.
So, I have to ask again, as I’ve asked many times. What is the strategy? Sacrifice all Democratic gains at the expense of accomplishing something, when that something is an acceptance that eliminating job-training programs and cutting taxes for billionaires is the key to America’s success? What is the remaining Democratic platform (“We’re not quite as far to the right as the republicans!!!”)? If I’m off-base, why isn’t there a coordinated, 24×7 media campaign calling out republican bullshit? THEY ARE WRONG!
Its painful. And in some perverse way, by continually saying no to what could only be a significant conservative victory, by only accepting our-way-or-the-highway, the republicans are actually helping the cause.
I say, let the committee fail. Let the prospect of massive cuts to the defense budget loom large. Then lets see what republicans are willing to offer when the health of the military-industrial complex is on the line.
UPDATE 1: Lets punt!!! Compromise is always easier next year.
Life sometimes gets in the way of the serious political blogging one would like to do in one’s spare time. Nonetheless, even a cursory breeze through the headlines reveals a litany of republican “whatthef*ckery”. I’m continually amazed that this group of loons and jackals somehow, time and time again, convince Americans to vote against their own self-interest and catapult them into positions of power, where they are free to do their best to destroy the lives of their constituents, and of this great country at large.
Where to even begin? When every day brings fresh incredulity, another round of “are you frickn kidding me?”, the seventh exasperated head shaking of the morning? Here’s some good ones:
- In a time of budget-cutting on the backs of the poor and disadvantaged and government spending as THE root of all that is wrong with America (finally, we know!), some thoughtful congressmen and our president pointed out that the government could save about $4 billion a year by eliminating some annual subsidies to oil companies (a rather small proportion of TOTAL subsidies to oil companies, which may be closer to $35 billion), including ExxonMobil, THE MOST PROFITABLE CORPORATION IN THE WORLD. (want to get really angry? Next time you buy a stamp at the post office, just think…thats more than Exxon Mobil paid in taxes in 2009.) Senate republicans, who once claimed they would have to invoke the “nuclear option” in response to Democratic filibustering of ultra-conservative judicial nominations of George W’s (“why, oh why can’t we just have a straight up-or-down vote, like our forefathers intended”), filibustered a bill to repeal oil subsidies, because who, oh who, will think of the oil companies?!?!?. Republicans, now apparently lovers of government spending, and handouts to those who don’t need them.
- Freshman Senator (and “OHMYGOD, THIS GUY GOT ELECTED?” showcase) Rand Paul (r-KY), never a fan of civil rights, now thinks the Bill of Rights could use a little dicing up as well (why stop with just one of our country’s founding documents, right?). Free Speech? Peaceful assembly? That’s commie talk! While Paul is no supporter of racial profiling (for shame, what kind of monster do you take him for?), he does feel that the Bill of Rights should be torn to shreds: “if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.” How about attending a rally of former Nevada republican senatorial nominee Sharon (“Second Amendment Remedies“) Angle? Or listening to a radio interview by potential republican
nutjobpresidential contender Michelle (“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous“) Bachmann? What if the entire prison population was comprised of members of Senator Paul’s very own Tea Party?
- On the lighter side, here’s the republican quote of the week: Newt Gingrich, on Democrats’ use of direct, fully-in-context quotes from a recent Meet the Press interview “Any ad that quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.” ……….. Yes, recently announced (finally, right?) presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was busy issuing his “heartfelt apology” (it was the liberal media’s fault, don’t you know?) to the GOP, following a very public flogging over daring to take a moderate position on the viability of Paul Ryan’s proposal to gut medicare. He has since retracted his words with the usual misspokes and entrapment and misleading questions, blah, blah, blah. By the way, John Lithgow does an excellent Newt Gingrich.
More to come? With the presidential campaign season just a few months away, my guess is…probably.
Just because I haven’t been posting, doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading. Its been a little more challenging to see the routine slime oozing through American politics, when we are daily confronted with the devastation and sadness of the situation going on in Japan right now. Nevertheless, here are a few recent gems from our dear friends on the other side of the aisle:
- More fun from the state of Kansas: Kansas State republican representative Virgil
PeckerPeck suggests the solution to illegal immigration is simply to get in helicopters and shoot them like pigs.
- Do we really need more reasons to hate this guy? Rush Limbaugh thinks Japan’s natural and nuclear disaster is simply hilarious.
- Oh, this will get us where we need to go: Every single republican member of House Energy Committee denies existence of climate change.
- Robin Hood he a’int: Michigan governor Rick Snyder raises taxes on families living below the poverty line, and then lowers corporate taxes by 86%….because, why not?
- Perhaps taking the abortion debate a bit too far: Nebraska ‘s republican-dominated legislature wants to legalize the murder of doctors who provide abortions.
Ahhhhhh…republicans. Thanks for being the voice of evil in our lives.