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Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

It’s thin on the ground today, my darlings. But I’ve managed to dig up a few gems for ye this New Year’s Day.

Let’s begin with proof that right-wing loons are equally idiotic the world over:

According to the Israeli paper Ha’aretz, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made a short visit to Paris on Thursday, after French president Sarkozy proposed a humanitarian cease-fire:

Reiterating Israel’s rejection of the 48-hour humanitarian cease-fire proposal, Livni said “there is no humanitarian crisis in the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce.”

In her remarks to reporters, Livni said Israel had been careful to protect the civilian population and had kept the humanitarian situation in Gaza “completely as it should be”.

Um. Seriously?

Meanwhile, Israel launched air strikes on such terrorist targets as government buildings across the Gaza Strip, including the parliament buildings. Hamas sources said the Education and Transportation ministries were completely destroyed in the strikes.

At least 25 Gazans were wounded in those attacks. Today the number of dead in Gaza reached 410 and the UN Humanitarian Coordinator warns that the situation is life or death for all the people of Gaza. Israeli tanks are lined up at the border and the cabinet has given approval to plans for “a major, but relatively short-term, ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.”

That’s how it should be? Over four hundred people dead, thousands wounded, and such important military targets as the fucking Education ministry destroyed, and that’s how it should be? Way to prove Israel’s leaders have completely fucking lost their humanity, there.

Speaking of heartless fucktards, seems like reality has finally bitten one right on the arse:

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) has been one of the leading members of the Neo-Hooverite caucus, insisting that his economic philosophy dictates that the best thing a government can do during the economic crisis is “cut spending.”

A funny thing happens, though, when far-right philosophy runs into the real-world economy.

Just hours before the unemployment benefits fund was to run out in South Carolina, the state with the nation’s third-highest jobless rate, Gov. Mark Sanford relented Wednesday and agreed to apply for a $146 million federal loan to shore it up, after weeks of refusing to do so.

The governor’s position had drawn rebukes even from fellow Republicans in the Legislature, one of whom denounced Mr. Sanford as “heartless,” and from newspaper editorial pages. On Wednesday, The State, the daily newspaper here in Columbia, accused the governor of playing “chicken with the lives of the 77,000″ who are unemployed in South Carolina.

For weeks, Sanford, a far-right economic libertarian who recently became the head of the Republican Governors Association, said he simply didn’t believe the state’s unemployment figures. South Carolina, which has one of the highest jobless rates in the nation, calculates its data the same way every other state does, but Sanford didn’t want to extend benefits because he didn’t accept the statistics.

State Senator Hugh Leatherman, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said last week, “It’s absolutely unheard of, it’s insane, for a governor of any state not to request those [unemployment] funds. I can’t believe anybody would be this heartless, and create such a heartless act on these people.”

Read the rest of Steve’s post. Marvel at the fact that Sanford is such a batshit insane fuckwith that the Republicons have been overriding his spending vetos. You know, the same people who usually respond to every budget question with a reflexive, “Cut taxes, control spending!” And when you finish exploring the full extent of his dumbfuckitude, remember one thing: This assclown is one of the leading contenders to run for president in 2012.

Amazing, aren’t they? I think I’m going to have to start laying in supplies of popcorn early. If the field of nitwits they’re proposing actually end up competing, the next presidential election should prove enormously entertaining.

Seeing as how last year just ended, let’s have a look back at how disastrous Bush has made 2008:

To mark the passing of Bush’s last full year in office, ThinkProgress rounded up statistics on some of the most significant effects of Bush rule in 2008:

Number Of U.S. Troops Killed in Iraq: 322.
Number Of U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan: 151.
Number Of Jobs Lost: 1.9 million.
Number Of Banks Federal Government Now Owns Stock In: 206.
Number Of Uninsured Americans: 47.5 million.

Change In Housing Prices: declined 18 percent.
Change In Health Insurance Premiums: increased 5 percent.
Change In Number Of Delinquent Mortgages: increased 75 percent.
Change In Use Of Food Stamps: increased 17 percent.
Change In Dow Jones Industrial Average: declined 35 percent.
Change In Bush Approval Rating: declined 9 percent to 29 percent.

Holy fucking shit. No wonder the poll numbers for Obama shake out like this:

It seems fair to say the president-elect is starting the new year on the right foot, at least as far as public support is concerned.

A national poll suggests that three-quarters of the public thinks President-elect Barack Obama is a strong and decisive leader, the highest marks for a president-elect on that charact
eristic in nearly three decades.

Seventy-six percent of Americans questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Wednesday said Obama is a strong and decisive leader.

“That’s the best number an incoming president has gotten on that dimension since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “The public’s rating of his leadership skills is already as high as George W. Bush’s was after 9/11 and easily beats the numbers that both Bush and Bill Clinton got at the start of their first terms in office.”

[snip]

I thought Obama would start his presidency with some strong support, but the support is surprisingly strong. CNN’s Bill Schneider recently noted that these are the kinds of numbers that occur “when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster.”

Well. The Bush regime certainly qualifies as one.

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