April 2009

I’ve got better things to do than troll around the jingosphere trying to dredge up crazy.  That said, I was trolling around the jingosphere, and I dredged up some crazy:


Credit were credit is due: Even as the lowlife Arlen S.P.E.C.T.R.E. knifes his constituents in the back, Comrade Obama has been sticking up for his own:

“The Obama administration joined a federal judge Wednesday in urging Congress to end a racial disparity by equalizing prison sentences for dealing and using crack versus powdered cocaine.”Jails are loaded with people who look like me,” U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, an African-American, told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing.”Because blacks are more likely to smoke crack, the punishment for this activity will be lessened.

Next our new rulers will lighten sentences for other crimes disproportionately committed by sacred Negroes: rape, armed robbery, et cetera. Theft — aka “spreading the wealth around” — has already been addressed. Thieves are no longer punished even by having to get off the couch, now that the government does the stealing on their behalf.

Celebrating multiculturalism.
Republicans must rally around this winning message if they hope to regain the White House in 1962.  Jesus wept.
The Republican leadership had a good run of it there, from 1994-2006, a period notable for the invisibility of the “base”.  Times were good, so they could hide them; or times were good because they hid them; or times were good because everybody agreed not to look at them? – I don’t know.  But now times aren’t so good, and the leadership is in shambles, so out they come, holding mass tea bagging parties in public places, complaininging about minorities getting over on them, telling everyone how many guns they own and how 1000% psyched they are for the imminent apocolypse, and generally letting their freak flags fly.  If I were a Republican strategist, suicide would sound like a wise career move.

So little Wicky Pewwy was going to run away from home because Obama daddy was a poopyhead and was going to extend unemployment benefits made him brush his teeth and clean his room.  It seems little Wicky only got as far as the driveway before the big scary world persuaded him to drag his bindle back to the front door with chin to chest:

Gov. Rick Perry has asked for 37,430 courses of anti-viral medicine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because of the swine flu outbreak. [...]

“As a precautionary measure, I have requested that medication be on hand in Texas to help curb the spread of swine flu by helping those with both confirmed and suspected cases of this swine flu virus, as well as health care providers who may have come in contact with these patients,” Perry said in a prepared statement.

So much for Governor Galt.  But next time, he’s totally gonna run away.  For real this time.  Don’t push him.

[Bonus driveway themed video of the day:

Glenn Reynolds, 2005:

I’ve been against torture since Alan Dershowitz was pushing it back in the fall of 2001. (Okay, actually I was against torture even before Dershowitz was pushing it). But I think the effort to turn this into an anti-Bush political issue is a serious mistake, and the most likely outcome will be, in essence, the ratification of torture (with today’s hype becoming tomorrow’s reality) and a political defeat for the Democrats.

Tyler Cowen, today:

At many blogs (Sullivan, Yglesias, DeLong, among others) you will find ongoing arguments for prosecuting the torturers who ran our government for a while.  I am in agreement with the moral stance of these critics but I don’t agree with their practical conclusions.  I believe that a full investigation would lead the U.S. public to, ultimately, side with torture, side with the torturers, and side against the prosecutors.

A couple of things:

1. Democracy is government of the people, by the people, for the people you have; not of, by and for the people you wish you had.  If the American people want to openly ratify torture, in violation of centuries of Western tradition, then that is what we will do, openly.  We have already indirectly ratified it at least once (2004) based on fragmentary, heavily-redacted evidence, and – not to put to fine a point on it – the torture already happened.  There’s nothing we can lose which we haven’t lost already.

2. I don’t think that’s what would happen at all.  I don’t think so – and neither, apparently, did the torturers, which is why they did it in secret, and why they lied about it for so long, why they still can’t bring themselves to call it what it is, and why they still refuse to whip out the awesome secret evidence they have right here in their back pocket that will totally bust everybody.  Now, I’m not a credentialled horseshitologist or anything like that, but I have been exposed to a fair amount of horseshit in my day, and, in my experience, horseshit generally smells a lot like this horseshit right here.  Let the sunshine in.


[Words] I have decided to run for re-election in 2010 in the Democratic primary.

Convenient timing, that, as Republicans were planning on using their primary to end his career.  More:

this-is-it-this-is-the-bestMy change in party affiliation does not mean that I will be a party-line voter any more for the Democrats that I have been for the Republicans. Unlike Senator Jeffords’ switch which changed party control, I will not be an automatic 60th vote for cloture. For example, my position on Employees Free Choice (Card Check) will not change.

Translation: I’m changing my hat, but I’m still a huge fucking dick.  Meh.


The blogofascists have infiltrated FOX News:

It’s moments like this when Richard Cohen should pop out and squirt a giant selzer bottle down his polka-dot clown pants.  Anything to diffuse the tension, you know.  Yes, the US government tortured the shit out of x many foreigners, sometimes to death.  Yes, some people (who may well be riding the “write a book” train to Fame & Fortune Station – do the math) may have a problem with that.  All that may be so.  May.  But, consider: what did you have for breakfast on this day 7 years ago?  You don’t even know that for sure.  Maybe we all live in the Matrix and are really just giant batteries for virtal karate robot squids.  Unless you’ve seen a virtal karate robot squid buying a pack of Duracells, you can’t disprove it, so maybe you should spend a little less time acting so sure of yourself and a little more time taking pills from strange people at creepy industrial clubs.  The point is: it’s all speculation, all of it – nothing but he said, she said, he went on vacation and didn’t read his daily breifings, he attached electrodes to his nutsack, etc.  All we know is that there is a range of opinions, and everybody was trying their best under the circumstances.  There’s certainly no need for gutter language.

Doesn’t Al Gore have some facial hair we could talk about?

This is what I call bipartisanship:

New York Republican Rep. Peter King thinks his party needs to go nuke if Bush era officials are prosecuted on torture charges.

King, the outspoken ranking member of the House homeland security committee, said Republicans should “shut down [legislative] activity across the board” if any Bush-era officials are hauled into court.

“We would need to have a scorched-earth policy and use procedural means to bring the place to a halt — go to war,” he told POLITICO.

As a great American statesman once said: Bring. It. On.  All this tea party stuff is fine, as far as it goes, but if we as a nation are ever going to get past this ‘electing crazy people” problem of ours, we are going to have to work together.  Democrats: you need to prosecute Republicans for torturing people.  Republicans: you need to start foaming at the mouth and threatening to tear the government down and secede from the union if you aren’t allowed to torture people without consequence.  Let’s do this thing.



I really didn’t think this Tea Party business could get any better.  You can, I’m sure, see why I would feel this way.  What could be better than wingnut yahoos LARPing it up to remind the American public that these people should never, ever, ever be allowed any influence in public life ever again, except as objects of ridicule.   Somehow, I never thought that prominant Republican politicians would actually join in the cosplay.  Oh happy day!

[Texas governor Rick "GoodHair" Perry] had appeared at a tea party rally in his state at which some audience members reportedly shouted “Secede!” The subject came up again when he spoke to reporters afterwards. “Texas is a unique place. When we came into the union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that,” Perry said. “My hope is that America and Washington in particular pays attention. We’ve got a great union. There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, who knows what may come of that.”

Who knows, indeed; who dares to dream?  Palin/Perry 2012 – “We’re Taking Our Toys And Going Home”?  Even with such raptures now so tantalizingly plausible, it is, in some ways, the simple degradations that would give me the most joy.  Yes, I still want to see the giant papier-mâché puppets.  What can I say?  The heart wants what it wants.

When Bush entered office, there was a large budget surplus and Alan Greenspan was fretting that we were going to pay down the debt too quickly.  Heady days those were . 

Bush proceeded to explode the annual deficits, and balloon the very same national debt that was previously at risk of disappearing at too fast a rate, by passing a series of multi-trillion dollar tax cuts that accrued to the benefit of the wealthiest Americans while fighting two enormously expensive wars – one of which was entirely optional and based on nothing much in particular. 

Hand waves, lies, scare tactics and 9/11.

With the country properly in the shit-hole Bush dug for it, the Teabaggists are naturally incensed at Barack Obama’s fiscal policies: his middle class tax cuts, willingness to let Bush’s cuts for the fat cats expire and his spending bills enacted as a means of resuscitating Bush’s cratered economy.

It all makes perfect sense.   More. Ons.

Keep in mind on this, the day of the million bags being swallowed, that the massive populist taxpayer revolt signified by the bagadeers is in reaction to the fact that Obama passed one of the largest middle class tax cuts in US history, but has returned the upper bracket marginal rates to Clinton era levels (which were themselves lower than the rates that prevailed during much of that notorious Commie, Ronald Reagan’s tenure). 

Even then, Obama isn’t actually passing a law to raise those rates as much as letting the Bush tax cuts expire as they were supposed to do – which enabled Bush and the GOP to downplay the hit the deficit would take with their redistribution of trillions of dollars to the wealthiest that rarely deign to even rub elbows with the unwashed hoi polloi among us.

So Obama plans to cut taxes for the working stiff, leave them in place for the upper middle and let the Bush cuts expire for the wealthiest.  And implement a stimulus to breathe life into a moribund economy raped and left lifeless by a merry band of greedy bankers who now congregate with hands out and teary eyes a sense of indignant entitlement to the taxpayer largesse needed to ease their fall. 

And for this, we get the rage of the lumpen proletariat aimed at Obama and his tax policies.  Basically, what Taibbi said:

After all, the reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. Beck pointedly compared the AIG protesters to Bolsheviks: “[The Communists] basically said ‘Eat the rich, they did this to you, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” He then said the AIG and G20 protesters were identical: “It’s a different style, but the sentiments are exactly the same: Find ‘em, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” Beck has an audience that’s been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.

But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.

So go shake your fist-clutching-tea-bag at whoever it is you’ve been told to hate, you useful peasant you.  Just don’t bother to look up at who it is that’s pissing on your head while you cast about for someone to blame for the rain.

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