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Jul 08 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

To the person who gave me this sore throat and head cold: fuck you and your little dog, too. Not that I know if you have a little dog. And not that it’s really your fault. Still. Wah.

Since I can’t talk above a ragged whisper, I am home today. One cannot speak to customers when one cannot speak. And this is good news for any of you out there hankering for more than a mere run-down of what you could find on The Carpetbagger Report. I have stuff.

Let’s get to the raging stupid, shall we?

In a trend that I hope will continue, some MSM outlets have made a tentative foray into actual reporting, and discovered that facts speak louder than campaign press releases:


John McCain appeared on today’s CNN American Morning, ostensibly to talk economic policy with John Roberts. Over the course of the discussion, however, it was clear that McCain possessed more disputes than he did answers, continually dodging questions with either well-worn canards or topic-changes.


Now, in the ordinary course of things, the “journalist” would happily enable McCain’s fuckery. Not this time:


ROBERTS: I checked the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a non-partisan organization. They project that by extending the president’s tax cuts, which you want to do, and adding in the tax cuts that you’re proposing, the deficit for the year 2013 would be somewhere around $439 to $445 billion. So I think it is a fair question to ask, how would you get that number down to zero?

MCCAIN: First, I suggest you check in with other organizations. But the fact is there’s a whole lot of economists, including Nobel laureates that agree with my plan. We’re going to reach restrained spending, we’re going to have the economy grow again and increase revenues. The problem is that spending got completely out of control. We grew government by some 40% since the Great Society. The spending got out of control, we restrained spending, we keep people’s taxes low. We create jobs, 700,000 jobs by building new nuclear power plants, 20,000 new jobs by coal gasification, so that we have clean coal technologies, new automotive technologies, and we’ll balance the budget. The same outfit said that we could never balance the budget in the past. We certainly have. It’s spending that’s out of control, my friend.

ROBERTS: I also checked with the Congressional Budget Office and the Center for Budget and Policy Priority’s numbers were more conservative, they were lower than the CBO’s numbers. The CBO’s numbers are higher.


Amazing. And Roberts didn’t stop there. He rapped McCain on Social Security (which McCain’s Magic Budget would have to eviscerate), then blindsided him with earmarks. There was a shining moment there when you could all but hear Roberts saying, “Mr. McCain, you’re so full of shit.”

Continuing the trend of actual reporting, a few of the nation’s larger newspapers took a look at the new FISA legislation, and didn’t like what they saw:


With all the talk about the new wiretapping law the Senate is expected to approve this week, there are many federal surveillance programs that are going largely unmentioned — and unmonitored.

A story from the Baltimore Sun points out how limited the proposed FISA legislation is when considered against the whole alphabet soup of surveillance programs run by the federal government.


Although the latest FISA proposal includes numerous provisions for a secret court to monitor and authorize surveillance, and for inspectors general to keep tabs on who’s being monitored by various agencies, little oversight exists for surveillance programs that fall outside FISA scrutiny.


Nice one. Et tu, New York Times?


A quite good Editorial in the NYT this morning — entitled “Compromising the Constitution” — notes that the real effects of this FISA bill are to make it “much easier to spy on Americans at home, reduce the courts’ powers and grant immunity to the companies that turned over Americans’ private communications without a warrant.” And: “The real reason this bill exists is because Mr. Bush decided after 9/11 that he was above the law.”

Those who support this bill, by definition, support both warrantless eavesdropping on Americans and the right of the President and private corporations to break our laws with impunity. As the NYT Editorial puts
it:


Proponents of the FISA deal say companies should not be “punished” for cooperating with the government. That’s Washington-speak for a cover-up. The purpose of withholding immunity is not to punish but to preserve the only chance of unearthing the details of Mr. Bush’s outlaw eavesdropping.
Only a few senators, by the way, know just what those companies did.

Restoring some of the protections taken away by an earlier law while creating new loopholes in the Constitution is not a compromise. It is a failure of leadership.


Brilliant! You know you’ve done well when even Glennzilla has no choice but to admit your editorial was “quite good.”

Alas, the AP is still high on McCain. I do believe they’d snort him if they could:


Here’s the lede from the AP’s latest McCain fluffer, this time from Nedra Pickler …


Barack Obama says John McCain’s plan to balance the budget doesn’t add up. Easy for him to say: It’s not a goal he’s even trying to reach.


Well, easy for McCain too, since he doesn’t either.


Epic fail by the AP. And guess who’s budget numbers actually add up? Go on, guess. I’ll give you a hint: only one candidate has actually provided numbers, rather than voodoo magic feely-good pablum. Yeah, that’s right.

Perhaps they should peruse Carpetbagger’s ever-expanding list of McCain flips, flops, and fuckwittery. Poor
CB. The damned thing’s gotten so long he’s actually had to organize it by category. It makes for some highly entertaining reading.

Follow that up with a nice chaser of “Vietnam Vet PWNS McCain, Assisted by ThinkProgress.org.” Truly delicious, especially when mixed with a twist of “I Haven’t Voted On Any Legislation Since April, and Even Senators Who Suffered a Near-Fatal Brain Hemorrhage Do More Work Than Me, but How Dare the Senate Take the Fourth of July Off!!11!1!” Isn’t he priceless? And to think this clown has a shot at becoming President. Fair gives me nightmares, that does.

And for dessert, I serve you proof that Dick Cheney’s the one who ripped out the heart of the EPA’s global warming testimony, and the White House lied to hide his fuckery:


A new letter from former EPA administration official Jason Burnett, however, reveals that the White House was lying. In fact, Vice President Cheney called for the deletions because he feared tough testimony by Gerberding might make it harder for the Bush administration to avoid regulating greenhouse gas emissions:


The White House, at the urging of Cheney’s office, “requested that I work with CDC to remove from the testimony any discussion of the human health consequences of climate change,” wrote Burnett.

“CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality] contacted me to argue that I could best keep options open for the (EPA) administrator (on regulating carbon dioxide) if I would convince CDC to delete particular sections of their testimony,” Burnett said in the letter to Boxer.


The White House’s deletions — which were “overwhelmingly denounced” by scientists and environmental health experts — included “details on how many people might be adversely affected because of increased warming and the scientific basis for some of the CDC’s analysis on
what kinds of diseases might be spread in a warmer climate and rising sea levels.” (See the unredacted testimony
here.)


Hmm. I wonder why Cheney would go to such lengths to conceal such important testimony? Could it be… oil?

Inquiring about Vice President Dick Cheney’s motivations to go to war, host Jim Brown noted that Cheney “doesn’t strike me as someone who would be particularly motivated by idealistic visions.” McClellan agreed, adding that Iraq’s oil occupied Cheney’s mind more than anything else:


MCCLELLAN: Certainly you can’t discount the large oil reserves inside Iraq and how much that plays into our national security interests and I don’t think you can discount how much that plays into the vice president’s thinking.

BROWN: Or his portfolio for that matter.

MCCLELLAN: Or his portfolio for that matter, absolutely with that being a former chief executive officer for Halliburton and
that certainly played heavily into his thinking more so I think than the idea of transforming the Middle East into a beacon of democracy.


How’s that for fudge sauce, eh?