Friday, October 18, 2013

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) Not News: Racist Republican candidate is racist. News: He’s running for mayor of New York.

2) Sabre-tooths are among us.

3) John Boehner, Weaker Boener, doesn’t seem to feel the knife in his back.

4) The stress of closing then re-opening the government got to a lot of people. Some more than others.

5) Our long national nightmare is over.

6) Stephen Colbert was on fire last night at the Al Smith dinner. Many of those jokes are inside Noo Yawk stuff, but you’ll enjoy them.

7) If only Chuck Todd had the balls to say this to Ted Cruz’s face. I’d have respect for him.


9) The Teabaggers may be the death of the Republican party. PARTAY!

10) If you believe this, he has a bridge to sell you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cruz-in' for a Bruisin'

So, you know who else besides Weaker Boener stepped on his dick with the shut-down? This guy:

WASHINGTON — It might be time for Ted Cruz to get a dog.

Because as the saying goes, if you want a friend in Washington, that’s what you do. And by the time Cruz’s crusade to defund Obamacare finally crashed to a halt Wednesday, the Texas senator had precious few friends left.

The government shutdown alienated colleagues in both parties. It generated fresh animosity toward the tea party and a flurry of recriminations toward Cruz. Voter support for the Republican Party plunged.

And the health care law survived unscathed.

It’s clear this entire sordid stinking episode was about his 2016 ambitions. It’s also clear that he stands zero chance of being the Republican nominee in 2016.

Either Cruz grossly miscalculated his strength here or he had something else in mind than running as the Republican candidate. After all, he managed to push Rand Paul into a centrist position here (Paul came out grudgingly against a shutdown) while firmly establishing himself as the head of the congressional Teabagger caucus. This positions himself nicely as an alternative conservative candidate for a Tea “Party” should the corporatists decide they’ve sucked enough lifeblood out of the GOP. It would present an image of Cruz as an outsider for a rabble that desperately craves a change in DC, while never truly straying from a Republican platform of hate and exploitation, something the corporatists at FreedomWorks and The Heritage Foundation would insist upon.

Cruz ain’t bright enough to have thought of this nuance on his own, but for sure, someone like a Sheldon Adelson or even Dick Armey could have persuaded this idiot to pull this stunt with this endgame in mind. Check Ted’s butthole. Someone’s hand is up there. For Cruz’s part, he made a major gaffe in challenging the authority of a former professor of Constitutional law who must have been painfully – maybe “joyfully” is the more correct word – aware of the implications of capitulation not only on his immediate prospects as President, but longer term to the office itself.

Obama stood toe-to-toe. Cruz and the Teabaggers flinched. We can see that the entire caucus flinched since just a single change to the Affordable Care Act was put into the Continuing Resolution, and even that (a means test for the income subsidy for low income Americans) makes sense as a precaution. I’m surprised it wasn’t in the original bill. Perhaps Obama out-thought us even years ago.

It will be hard for Cruz to come back from this: his 21 hour filibuster-lite stunt ensured that his name would be associated with the shutdown in perpetuity. Indeed, had he not made that speechification, the Republicans might have had a far easier time of painting President Obama as the obstructionist.

“Might”, not “would”, but certainly the pasty, flop-and-gin-sweated face of Ted Cruz on the Senate floor negated any possibility of that, Sam I Am. And engendered the mockery of a nation (really dumb stunt, reading to your kids, Senator) and the ire of his fellow Senators. When Rand Paul – who also knew he had a finite time – filibustered-lite, he at least stayed on topic and then some. This isn’t the old days when you didn’t have a C-Span camera sitting in your face. You’re going to have to provide dramatic and non-mockable sustenance to the audience.

I suspect this is why Harry Reid has been reluctant to alter the filibuster rules from the get-go because one day he, too, might have to read to his grandchildren from the pit.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The End Times. I Mean, Games

Weaker Boehner has had it.

WASHINGTON — A frantic day of legislative maneuvering ended in futility for Speaker John A. Boehner on Tuesday, as the most conservative members of the House refused to back his proposed compromise to end the standoff over the federal budget.

The failure leaves a bipartisan Senate plan negotiated by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as the sole way out of a stalemate that risks a U.S. default on its bills and huge economic disruptions.

A bill that passed the Senate would receive Democratic support in the House, guaranteeing a majority if Boehner were willing to bring it to the floor even without the backing of most Republicans. He is widely expected to do so, however, having run out of time for other options.

The blinking. It happens. I can’t see how 20 members of a minority part – as in they don’t control the Senate or the White House – stands a chance in hell of blocking the budget agreement.

While I’m glad this is happening (my 401k finally started to show a profit since 2008), part of me is evil enough to wish Reid had basically said to McConnell “This is on you. You fix this problem. I have bigger fish to fry.”

And then went off and fixed the filibuster rules to prevent Ted Cruz from making an ass out of himself, his party, and the nation.

Things have reached such an impasse that China, among our largest foreign creditors, is sounding an alarm. Not “criticizing,” panicking. That’s on Boehner, too. He created this crisis, whether it was through a drunken negligence or his own deviant planning, and he has to own its consequences.

I can’t see how he survives as Speaker at the end of the next term (if indeed he makes it that far.) He’s managed to piss off the radical reactionary racists AND the moderate centrists of a party that has over the past thirty years watched itself tear asunder, held together only by the soft glue of Ronald Reagan’s falsified resume.

In truth, the only saving grace the Republican party has for the 2014 elections is, apart from gerrymandering, the short attention span of Americans. If I’m Obama, I’m praying for a one year budget agreement that raises at least the shadow of default next October.

“Full faith and credit,” Teabaggers. That’s in the Constitution, too.