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Dec 31 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Happy New Year’s Eve, my darlings. If I wasn’t at work, we’d do something a little special for the last Happy Hour of 2008, but as it is, we’ll just have to content ourselves with the usual parade of idiocy.

For a change, let’s start out with a little Dem fucktardedness. And what could be more fucktarded than the replacement for Obama’s Senate seat playing the race card?

One can make a reasonable case that Roland Burris’ appointment to the Senate should go through, Rod Blagojevich’s scandal notwithstanding. But this is the wrong way to make the argument.

In an interview this morning on the CBS “Early Show,” Rep. Bobby Rush compared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s refusal to seat Roland Burris with the actions of leading segregationists from decades past, including George Wallace and Bull Connor.

Seriously, he did. Rush specifically said, “[T]he recent history of our nation has shown us that sometimes there could be individuals and there could be situations where school children — where you have officials standing in the doorway of school children. You know, I’m talking about all of us back in 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas. I’m talking about George Wallace, Bull Connors and I’m sure that the U.S. Senate don’t want to see themselves placed in the same position.”

Burris himself appeared on NBC’s “Today” this morning, and raised the same point, though in a more passive way: “Is it racism that is taking place? That’s a question that someone may raise.”

This strategy is a mistake. Blagojevich almost certainly considered Burris’ race before making his announcement, but there’s no evidence at all that Senate Democrats or Barack Obama are basing their opposition on anything but the governor’s corruption allegations. The comparison of modern-day Senate Democrats to George Wallace and Bull Connor is baseless and irresponsible. For Burris to even raise the possibility that racism is a factor here isn’t much better.

You know, when Senate Dems said they weren’t going to seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich, they didn’t say, “Unless, of course, we’re accused of being racists.” And running around screaming racism doesn’t really fly when Obama himself is backing the Senate Dems. This is just spectacularly pathetic.

Burris may be qualified. But anyone who accepted a seat from a man who was trying to sell that seat calls his own integrity and motivations into question. And it really looks bad when the appointee has created a monument to himself. Seriously. Go look at it. Can anyone say “self-absorbed”?

For fuck’s sake.

Of course, that drumbeat of inanity is rather drowned out by the thunder of Con dumbassitude. As always. Where to begin? How about with the Bush appointee who was literally asleep at the helm at OSHA:

From The Rachel Maddow Show Dec. 29, 2008. Sadly as someone who has read Molly Ivins’ book Bushwhacked and after watching the debacle during Hurricane Katrina, nothing any Bush appointee does surprises me very much.

But first, it‘s time for a few underreported “holy mackerel” stories in today‘s news. The “Washington Post” front-pages a story today on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, OSHA, the part of the federal government that deals with workplace safety. They provide information about workplace hazards. They regulate workplace conditions so that they are safer.

Of course, in the Bush administration, OSHA does a lot less of that. They do 86 percent less of that, if you want to be precise here. OSHA under President Bush issued 86 percent fewer significant workplace safety rules and regulations than OSHA under Bill Clinton. Now, that‘s not necessarily a big political surprise. Republicans are the pro-corporation, anti-regulation party even when they can‘t really agree on anything else.

But what is a surprise about OSHA under President Bush which we learned in today‘s “Washington Post” is—I‘m not actually sure that I can improve on the facts as they are presented in today‘s “Washington Post” article by the reporter, R. Jeffrey Smith.

Quote, “In 2006, Bush‘s first OSHA director, a former Monsanto employee was replaced by Edwin G. Foulke Jr., a South Carolina lawyer and former Bush fundraiser who spent years defending companies cited by OSHA for safety and health violations. Foulke quickly acquired a reputation inside the Labor Department as a man who literally fell asleep on the job.

Eyewitnesses said they saw him suddenly doze off at staff meetings, during teleconferences, in one-on-one briefings, at retreats involving senior deputies, on the dais at the conference, at an awards ceremony for a corporation, and during an interview with candidate for deputy regional administrator.

His top aides said they rustled papers, wore attention-getting garb, they pounded the table for emphasis or gently kicked his leg, all to keep him awake. But if these tactics failed, sometimes they just continued talking as if he were awake – ‘We‘ll be sitting there and things will fall out of his hands; people will go on talking like nothing ever happened,‘ said a career official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to a reporter.

In an interview, Foulke denied falling asleep at work, although he said he was often tired and sometimes listened with his eyes closed,” end quote.

Dear. Fucking. Gods. And people wonder why this country got so fucked up.

As for insight coming from these clowns, fuggedaboutit. Here’s Gonzo, feeling all sorry for hisself because people hate him and he just can’t understand why:

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales left office in disgrace 16 months ago, and has kept a low profile since. His reputation has not improved in the interim — Gonzales has struggled to find a law firm willing to hire him — but at least he hasn’t said or done anything ridiculous since his departure from public life.

Gonzales, however, is apparently interested in some kind of comeback. The former A.G. is writing a book about his tenure in the Bush administration and chatted with the Wall Street Journal about how mean everyone has been to him.

“What is it that I did that is so fundamentally wrong, that deserves this kind of response to my service?” he said during an interview Tuesday, offering his most extensive comments since leaving government.

During a lunch meeting two blocks from the White House, where he served under his longtime friend, President George W. Bush, Mr. Gonzales said that “for some reason, I am portrayed as the one who is evil in formulating policies that people disagree with. I con
sider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.”

Is Gonzales really that confused about what he did that was “so fundamentally wrong”? I suppose he proved during multiple congressional hearings that his memory is similar to that of someone who’s suffered serious head trauma, but Gonzales’ list of scandals is hard to forget.

Just off the top of my head, there was the U.S. Attorney purge scandal, Gonzales signing torture memos, his conduct in John Ashcroft’s hospital room, his oversight of a Justice Department that was engaged in widespread employment discrimination, and his gutting of the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division. Gonzales was even investigated by the department’s Inspector General on allegations of perjury and obstruction.

Ah, well. At least the blogs are having fun reminding him just why he’s so universally despised. That’s something.

And here’s the WSJ, ending their year as they began, spewing conservative talking points and doing their best to convince everyone that the world will end in mayhem and ruin if the Dems do what Americans want them to do, like ensure people have proper health care:

The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal took another shot at President elect Barack Obama’s health care proposal yesterday, warning readers that Obama’s appointed health care leaders — incoming Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes — “will ration your health care“:

People are policy. And now that President-elect Barack Obama has fielded his team of Tom Daschle as secretary of Health and Human Services and Melody Barnes as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, we can predict both the strategy and substance of the new administration’s health-care reform.

The prognosis is not good for patients, physicians or taxpayers…. Americans can expect a quick, hard push to build more federal bureaucracy, impose price controls, restrict medicines and technology, boost taxes, mandate the purchase of health insurance, and expand government health care.

The Journal’s ‘predictions’ are as predictable as they are erroneous. Conservatives have spouted the same-old tired arguments against reform since President Clinton’s failed 1994 effort, and the Wonk Room, along with some other progressive blogs, has been actively disputing their assertions.

And Norm Coleman ends the year firmly in denial:


Norm Coleman has done it again: He’s filed a lawsuit at the state Supreme Court.

This newest lawsuit is an attempt to force the inclusion of the 650 rejected absentee ballots that his campaign wants put into the count, which the local election officials from around Minnesota have not included in the lists of ballots that they say were thrown out because of clerical errors. In short, Coleman is suing to include ballots that the county officials say were thrown out properly — and which local media analyses say are from areas that Coleman swept in the election.

On a conference call with reporters just now, lead Franken lawyer Marc Elias ridiculed the Coleman campaign for having throughout this whole recount dismissed the idea that there were any significant number of wrongly-rejected ballots, only to have a very sharp change of position now that they’re behind in the latest count by 49 votes.

“This is a campaign – the Coleman campaign, that is – is a campaign that is remarkably fond of do-overs,” Elias said. “Their strategy seems to be to first object to something, then when that something happens to fight it. Then when it’s clear that they’re not going to prevail, to start over again.”

Sounds like a typical Con. And I’m sure we’ll have plenty more to look forward to in the coming year. Some things never change.

2 comments

  1. 1
    george.w

    Roland Burris has a great record, and I always respected him. Unfortunately it was because I didn’t know enough about him. His close association with Jesse Jackson is not a plus, and now he accepts this nomination from Blago.He should have said; “Gee, thanks Rod, but you’re poison right now. I put my name in and if I’m chosen by actual responsible parties, I’ll serve. Meanwhile, stay the hell away from me!”And that grave is just creepy. I don’t want to waste any real estate on my worthless remains.Happy New Year, BTW!

  2. 2
    Teacher X

    Happy new year Dana! I continue to read, love and recommend your wisdom.All the best for 2009!Glynis

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