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Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Reid spanks Blagojevich:


There haven’t been any reports over the last 48 hours indicating Rod Blagojevich’s intention to go ahead and fill the Senate vacancy, but just in case he’s thinking about, the Senate’s Democratic leadership wants him to understand where they’re coming from.

Senator Harry Reid is drawing a fairly bold line in the political sand in regards to the ethical missteps surrounding Rod Blagojevich.

On Wednesday, the Majority Leader and Sen. Dick Durbin drafted a letter — which they subsequently urged their Democratic colleagues to sign — that calls on the Illinois Governor to not just remove himself from office but to “under no circumstance” make a last-minute appointment to fill Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

Should Blagojevich disregard these warnings, Reid and Durbin write, the Senate would “be forced to exercise our Constitutional authority under Article I, Section 5, to determine whether such a person should be seated.”

He’s done been told. Looks like Senate Dems won’t be putting up with any nonsense from Mr. Corrupt. Excellent.

Let’s not let Blagojevich distract from the real entertainment. Watching Cons try to handle reality is always something like watching clowns tumble from a car – just when you think no one could possibly pull any more inanity out of a small space, more comes scampering out. Take, for instance, Condi Rice’s idea that torturing people didn’t tarnish our image one little bit:


Today in an interview with NPR, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice continued her Bush Legacy tour, sticking up for the administration’s national security policies. In particular, she downplayed the fact that President Bush hasn’t lived up to his stated desire to close Guantanamo Bay, saying that it’s “not easy” to do.

When reporter Michele Kelemen then asked Rice about another issue that has “tarnished the U.S. image” — the torture of detainees — Rice objected, insisting that it wasn’t a problem because the United States has never tortured:

Q: And Guantanamo wasn’t sort of the only issue that tarnished the U.S. image. There is also the treatment of terror suspects, waterboarding, other methods of torture or –

RICE: Well, you know that I’m going to have to object, because the United States has always kept to its international obligations, which include international obligations on the Convention on Torture. The United States, the President, was determined after September 11th to do everything that was legal and within those obligations, international and domestic laws, to make sure that we prevented a follow-on attack.

Um. We didn’t just break the Geneva Conventions, we shattered them. How, exactly, did the United States keep its international obligations again? Not to mention, our international reputation was in the toilet before we elected Obama and gave the world some ray of hope that sanity was returning.

This is part of the reason why the Cons have rock-bottom approval ratings and just lost the last two elections in what can only be called a landslide. But never fear! They have a plan for a comeback:


I’ve noted several times over the last month or so that the Republican Party, while contemplating how to pull itself out of its ditch, should probably start coming up with some kind of policy agenda it can present to voters. Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), a radio talk-show host turned politician, who was recently elected the chairman of the House Republican Conference, thinks he’s up to the task.

In an op-ed for the far-right Washington Times this week, Pence, who has a tendency to be strikingly dim-witted, lays out a vision for his party. (via Yglesias)

Ideas like a balanced budget amendment, school-choice vouchers, health savings accounts and welfare reform should take center stage in the Republican agenda. And we must have a vision for defending the cherished values of life and marriage whenever they come under attack from the courts, the new administration or congressional liberals. [...]

If Democrats are true to their campaign promises, Republicans will have the opportunity to take a stand on behalf of the American people — to give Americans more access to American oil, to preserve secret-ballot elections in the workplace, to defeat Fairness Doctrine censorship on the airwaves of talk radio and to defeat any effort to overturn reasonable restrictions on abortion at the state level.

[snip]

The #3 person in the House Republican leadership, in other words, doesn’t have new ideas, or even coherent ones. Pence just wants to recycle some old talking points, and label it a “vision.”
How very… visionary. I hope they hold on to this vision. It would be nice to see them wonder why they failed yet again at the ballot box.

Today’s prize for clueless git, though, has to go to Bill O’Reilly:

In an interview with CNN founder Ted Turner last night, Bill O’Reilly claimed that those who believe that Fox News is a conservative outlet are sorely mistaken:

O’REILLY: Right and I’m a nice guy. Well, maybe that’s overstating. I’m an honest guy, who’s just trying to do the best I can. But, you know, I think that you underestimate Fox News and its appeal to traditional Americans.

TURNER: That’s true. And I also said in there that I knew that that was our most vulnerable spot before I even went on the air with CNN that a right wing network would pose a threat because not only was CNN pretty much in the middle but so were CBS, NBC, and ABC. And you’re right. The far right did not have a voice.

O’REILLY: You can’t possibly think that Fox News is a far right operation? I mean, because it’s not.

Uh-huh. Faux News isn’t far right. Riiight. You know, you could make a case for Condi’s stupid assertations – she’s probably got some kind of clever legal argument that proves torture is actually humane, gentle, and meets our obligations. You could even make a case for Pence’s warmed-over ideas being fresh and new, depending on what he wraps them in. But there is just no fucking way on earth that you can ever prove that Faux News isn’t far right.

Reality is definitely no acquaintence of these people.