Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Calling Fox What It Is


Falling Off the Wagon?

Many many many years ago, there was a thirteen-year-old boy named Grover.

Grover Norquist.

Possessed of the certainty that most thirteen-year-olds have that they know everything (thereby mildly irritating those of us who do - know everything, that is) Young Grover had an idea.  A splendid idea - that no one should pay anything but the exact irreducible minimum in taxes, thereby stunting the government until, in his wonderful phrasing, it was small enough to "drown in a bathtub."

All grown up, Grover went on the hustings to hawk his revolutionary juvenile idea, and found receptive audiences.  With all the verve and burning ardor of a fin de siecle Carrie Nation, he convinced many people to take his anti-tax pledge.

What is unfortunate is that his anti-tax idea is hardly workable in what we with the merest moiety of our marbles call The Real World.  Taxes are necessary for government to meet its obligations to the people from which it derives its authority - after all, who the hell do you think cuts the checks for our fighting forces?  They sure as hell aren't doing it for free, folks.

A lot of the people signed on to Grover's pledge, and they're largely to blame for our current financial situation.

Which leads me to the Budget Control Act.

The BCA was endorsed by the GOP majority in the House of Reprehensibles as a means of controlling government spending.  If no action is taken, come January first all of the Bush-era tax cuts on all Americans will expire, and massive across-the-board spending cuts will be introduced.  Yes, even on defense spending, which has the defense-industrial complex burning phones to the Congress, screeching with one voice in accord, "What the fuck are we paying you for?  Stop this now!"

Truly a conundrum.

On the one hand, the House GOP do not want to be seen as giving up on The Great Pledge; on the other hand, they know that they'll be blamed if the BCA comes into force.

So we have started seeing a slow erosion of Congressmen and Senators away from Norquist, as though they were Temperance politicians who were slowly going back to Demon Rum.

This display of sanity means nothing, unfortunately.  The BCA will raise taxes anyway, which means that Norquist isn't really sweating the exodus of backsliders.  And the BCA can be counteracted with time to spare, so there's no hurry to start excoriating the apostates.

Monday, November 26, 2012

OMG! Really!? Who Would Have GUESSED?!

When (p)Rick Scott was elected Governor of Flori-duh a few years back, a few people here in America's Soft Dangly Bits braced themselves.  Scott had been elected by a margin of about 50,000 votes, probably all of them meth-addled gun-fellating GOP-Jesus-worshiping Tea Baggers, so you knew what was coming down the pike from the Phallus Building in Tallahassee and its Republican supermajority was bound to be bad.

Well, it was.  No real big surprise there.

In between screwing police, firefighters and EMTs out of part of the pensions (by instituting a 3% "contribution" that amounts to an extra tax) and trying to finally destroy all vestiges of public education in the state, Scott and his merry band of idiots passed a law that shortened the early voting timetable in the state.

Civil rights groups and the rump Democratic minority in the State Legislature cried foul, of course, and a Federal judicial panel agreed with them - the law unfairly targets minorities and the young.  Minorities and the young are the most likely to use early voting, and - Surprise!  Surprise!  Surprise! - are mostly likely to vote Democratic.

Now, when I say that a judicial panel agreed with the plaintiffs, they only agreed for five counties currently under the scrutiny of the Voting Rights Act.  The rest of Flori-duh would have to shift for themselves, and they did, with reports of people waiting in line up to nine hours to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

And in our Well, No Shit, Sherlock Department, we have this little article from The Huffington Post.  Former state GOP boss Jim Greer, currently on trial for various bits of financial skulduggery (a corrupt Republican Party boss?  Say it ain't so!) alleges that the intent of the law was, in fact, to target and limit the impact of minorities and the young on the elections.

Imagine my surprise at that.

And imagine my continued surprise when Governor Scott announced that he was "satisfied" with how things turned out, but said that he might institute a review of the law anyhow. 

Don't lay any wagers on the outcome, folks.  If this is anything like the 'review' of the Stand Your Ground Law, the best we can hope for is that the demographic shifts in the electorate succeed in ousting Scott in 2014 and gradually bring the Legislature back into balance.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Some Post-Election Ruminations

Quo Vadis? . . . Best Electoral Tagline . . . GOP Pundits and Assorted Hangers-On Start Asking, "What the hell just happened?" . . . John Boehner, GOP Bourbon . . . A Childhood Treasury of People Who Should SFTU . . . Stay Classy, Mitt . . .

Which way now for the new/old Obama Administration?

Well, let's start with:  PARTY!  PARTY!  PARTY!

Then, it's time to get serious, as the nation has serious problems, beginning with the economy, and the fact that the Budget Control Act is going to trigger on New Year's Day.  While the full impact of it won't be felt until late in 2013, it's a Laputa-esque bladder to the face to remind everyone that we still haven't managed a budget up in Washington.  This is, in great part, due to the intransigence of the Republican caucus who wanted to dig in and do whatever it took to make Obama a one-term President.

Which didn't happen, and they have to actually contemplate the C Word ("compromise") now.  Taxes will have to be raised, as any high school math student will be able to tell the GOP House caucus that you have to balance BOTH sides of an equation in order to get it to work.

Making sure that Social Security and Medicare remain inviolate and robust are the next priority.  Social Security will be solvent again by a simple revision of the tax code to eliminate the payroll cap.

Foreign policy, climate policy, immigration . . . it's a fat In Box waiting for action, and it's not going away.


Best summary of the election, ever:


The GOP, the Grand Old Party, God's Own Party, reeled like a man getting mugged in a meadow back on Tuesday night.  Throughout the land, there was great consternation and a public meltdown on Fox as Karl Rove went batshit insane.

And now, in the cold light of a looming second Obama Administration, the Party leadership, the membership and the pundits are all asking, "What the Hell just happened?  Why, according to OUR numbers - "

That's just it.

YOU "unskewed" the polls, making it appear that Romney had a chance of winning.  Unfortunately, your "unskewing" was like a guy cooking the books - things will not stand up to reality when crunch time comes.  Cooking the books gets you audited.  Cooking the polls will make you a loser.

The Party's Department of What the Hell Happened? is currently running about in Chicken Little mode, blaming everyone and everything from Hurricane Sandy to some kind of Harry Potter-type magic.  It won't work, folks.  Reality states that the Republicans didn't exactly endear themselves to wide swaths of the electorate - women, blacks, Hispanics, gays, non-evangelicals, even Mormons (Bush won 80% of the Mormon vote in 2004; Romney carried only 78%), and those chickens would come home to roost sometime.

So the butthurt is immense as the GOP, faced with the awful realization that their worldview and their positions have been repudiated - again - are left wandering about and saying distractedly:

Who knew Derpy Hooves was Republican?


John Boehner (R-You Lonesome Tonight?) embraced the Romney Tax Plan, smoke, mirrors and all, and pledged to cooperate with President-elect Romney in implementing . . .

Oh, yeah.

That's right.

Romney lost, didn't he?

But try telling Those Cryin' Eyes that.  Boehner said that tax hikes on the wealthiest Americans would not be happening, while the President, having gotten the endorsement of the American people for his tax plans, says otherwise.

And the looming "fiscal cliff" isn't waiting.  As I said above, Boehner apparently failed high school math, and refuses to face reality - you have to balance the equation.  If you cut  spending, you must also raise revenue in order to balance the books.  Johnny-Mop isn't understanding this, and neither is his diminished caucus.

It's up to the Democrats and the President to disabuse him of that notion, and do everything possible to drive the narrative that the Boner is a Bourbon - he forgets nothing, but learns nothing.


Complete Asshole Allan West of Florida (R, of course) is dead set on suing to retain his seat in the House.  Florida law, however, is a bar to his ambitions, as the statute says that the margin must be 0.5% to trigger an automatic recount.

Patrick Murphy, West's Democratic challenger, currently leads with 0.7% percent.  One judge has already slapped West down, saying in his ruling that the election hasn't been certified yet.  Any suits now would be premature.

But try telling West that. 

An eighteen-year-old Georgia girl tweeted that she was going to move to Australia, because - as she put it - "their President is a Christian."

Australians tweeted back at her, and laid down a few facts:  Australia has a Prime Minister, who is currently a woman and an atheist who lives with her unmarried partner.  The sarcasm grew so thick that the girl deleted her Twitter account, which proves that you really should know a bit about what you're wasting 140 characters on.

Aging Rocker and Machine Gun Fellator Ted Nugent said back in April that he would be either dead or in jail if Obama got re-elected.  Well, that happened four days ago, and the countdown to April 2013 is on, Teddy. 


Finally, in our Unkindest Cut of All Department, the Secret Service protection on the Romney and Ryan families disappeared while they slept, and Mitt shut off his staff's credit cards without warning.  Stay classy, Mitt my boy.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

A Bit of Perspective

After going hither and yon through the internet and seeing some of the various and sundry overreactions to last night's election results, pray allow me to submit the following:

Just a bit of perspective, people. 

"Back to life, back to reality . . . "

"The Wreck of the Willard Mitt Romney"

C'mon, you know the tune!

The story lives on from Abe Lincoln on down
Of the Party that’s called Grand and Old
The Party, it’s said, won’t give up a State Red
Till the votes of November are all polled.

With a fortune, we guess, a quarter-billion or less
Had Willard Mitt Romney for campaignin,’
That good family man set up a staff and had a plan
To win on the sixth of November.

The primaries were loud and did nobody proud
As the candidates sniped and bickered
As primaries go it was dirtier than most
And went on for so long we got tired.

The Convention was rare, with Clint’s empty chair
And a smackdown of Ron Paul supporters
And later that year the debates brought little cheer
With gaffes being thrown from all quarters.

The voices on Fox made a sound like bullshit
And a Wave was glimpsed on the horizon.
And ev'ry man knew, as Rush Limbaugh did too
That the down-ticket races were essential.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the Polls of November had opened
When afternoon came the outcome was in doubt
As the pundits all hedged and opined.

When suppertime came Eric Fehrnstrom showed his face
And said, “We’ll take back America!”
At 11 PM his composure caved in and he said
“Guys, it’s been good to know ya!”

Karl Rove tweeted in he had numbers comin’ in
And Dick Morris said he had ‘The’ polling,
And later that night as the Democrats won the fight
Came the wreck of the Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney!

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the voting turns minutes to hours?
The pundits all know he’d have won Ohio
If they’d had another weekend to campaign!

They might have lied or been betrayed by Ron Paul
Or the fault lay in the Party’s main platform.
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the Cains and Santorums and Bachmanns!

New Hampshire’s snows, Iowa’s corn rows
And the pastures up in Wisconsin.
Florida steams amid her suburbanites’ dreams
And the blizzard of waste-paper adverts.

And farther up north Ohio holds forth
As the state that is the swingiest of all;
And the politicians all know as the pollsters will show
That the Buckeye State is most needed.

In a fancy-ass church in Salt Lake City they prayed
As the choir sang “We’ll Meet Again.”
Fox News rang with sobs till they’d all gotten jobs
For each man on the Romney Campaign.

The story lives on from Abe Lincoln on down
Of the Party that’s called Grand and Old
The Party, it’s said, won’t give up a State Red
Till the votes of November are all polled!

Monday, November 05, 2012

November Fifth - Spare a Penny for The Guy ...

Remember, remember!
    The fifth of November,
    The Gunpowder treason and plot;
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder treason
    Should ever be forgot!
    Guy Fawkes and his companions
    Did the scheme contrive,
    To blow the King and Parliament
    All up alive.
    Threescore barrels, laid below,
    To prove old England's overthrow.
    But, by God's providence, him they catch,
    With a dark lantern, lighting a match!
    A stick and a stake
    For King James's sake!
    If you won't give me one,
    I'll take two,
    The better for me,
    And the worse for you.
    A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope,
    A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
    A pint of beer to wash it down,
    And a jolly good fire to burn him.
    Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring!
    Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King!
    Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

Sunday, November 04, 2012

So Close . . .

(image via donkeyhotey.)

He can taste it.

"A career politician finally smelling the White House is not much different from a bull elk in the rut. He will stop at nothing, trashing anything that gets in his way; and anything he can't handle personally he will hire out - or, failing that, make a deal. It is a difficult syndrome for most people to understand, because few of us ever come close to the kind of Ultimate Power and Achievement that the White House represents to a career politician."
- Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72, by Hunter S. Thompson. Copyright 1973 by Warner Books, page 380.

Of course, should Willard win, he'll be able to finally relax, and reveal his Final Form:

Saturday, November 03, 2012

No!? Really!?

The Republicans are always harping about voter fraud, and have been ever since they decided that it was time to suppress minority votes so that Old White Men could continue being the master class in this country.

So, inevitably, someone got caught actually perpetrating voter fraud.  She voted twice.


"Rubin, 56, is a registered Republican who lives in Henderson, according to the Clark County Registrar."