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Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Let’s lead the day off with something light, something fun, something we hope to see on Airline someday:


From time to time, we’ll hear about a member of Congress with an exaggerated sense of self-importance having a tantrum at an airport. Roll Call refers to the list, with members from both parties, as the “Mile-Low Club.”

The subscription-only publication reports today that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is apparently the latest to join the club.


[T]he Louisiana Republican arrived Thursday evening at his United Airlines gate 20 minutes before the plane was scheduled to depart, only to find the gate had already been closed. Undeterred, Vitter opened the door, setting off a security alarm and prompting an airline worker to warn him that entering the gate was forbidden.

Vitter, our spy said, gave the airline worker an earful, employing the timeworn “do-you-know-who-I-am” tirade that apparently grew quite heated.

[snip]

His bluster notwithstanding, Vitter, according to the report, “turned tail and simply fled the scene” when the gate attendant left to summon security officials.

I get the feeling this will come back to haunt him during his re-election campaign.

From the Department of Things That Will Come Back to Haunt Them, we also have this gem:

GQ has a new interview with Michael Steele, in which the embattled RNC chairman says that he is pro-choice:

GQ: Are you saying you think women have the right to choose abortion?

STEELE: Yeah. I mean, again, I think that’s an individual choice. […]

GQ: Are you saying you don’t want to overturn Roe v. Wade?

STEELE: I think Roe v. Wade—as a legal matter, Roe v. Wade was a wrongly decided matter.

GQ: Okay, but if you overturn Roe v. Wade, how do women have the choice you just said they should have?

STEELE: The states should make that choice. That’s what the choice is. The individual choice rests in the states. Let them decide.

What a way to ensure you don’t win any friends at all. Pro-choice folks like me see that “individual choice rests in the states” line of bullshit and say, “One, the stupid fuck has no idea what he’s talking about – individual choice isn’t dictated by states, but by individuals. Second, all he’s saying is that he wants the states to be able to infringe on women’s rights.” Anti-choice folks will latch on to that earlier bit about “individual choice” and immediately make the leap to “ZOMG! HE WANTS TO KILL BABIES!!1!11!” What a loser.

Speaking of losers… I wish I could say it was unusual to see Cons emit paragraphs that contain not a single fact, but it’s depressingly common. Here’s a perfect example:

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor appeared on MSNBC this morning, offering the latest in finely-tuned Republican talking points:
“Interestingly, today, Andrea, we hear the announcement that the administration is working on a second stimulus plan that could approach another $1 trillion. And in fact I think there’s an admission there that the first path that we had objected to didn’t work. And in fact the plan that I personally to President Obama was tested and our analysts told us that the predictions were we could have created twice as many jobs at half the cost.”

Those are three sentences. Each sentence is obviously false. One can debate whether Cantor was deliberately deceiving the audience or just doesn’t know what he’s talking about — the subject of an eternal debate — but either way, his comments weren’t even close to being true.

Let’s take them one at a time.

1. Did the administration announce that it’s working on a second stimulus plan? No, though I certainly hope that it is.

2. Is talk of a second stimulus an implicit concession of the first stimulus’ failure? Not in the way Cantor thinks. For one thing, the money is still headed out the door. For another, the economy is in worse shape now than when the initial debate over shaping the stimulus began. But most importantly, Cantor was certain that the stimulus was too big, when it was actually too small. Indeed, the package would have been more effective were it not for Republican demands that it shrink.

This utterly foolish lawmaker, who has literally never been right about economic policy at any point in his entire career, has the entire story backwards. And yet, Cantor, unaware of his own humiliating ignorance, believes he has the credibility necessary to criticize from a position of weakness.

3. Did Cantor offer an alternative stimulus that would have created “twice as many jobs at half the cost”? The Minority Whip claims that this was “tested,” but this isn’t even remotely true.

Pathetic. A good lie should include at least one grain of truth. These fuckwits can’t even lie well. The only thing they’re truly good at is throwing tantrums.

This could be explained by the quality of their base. Or, actually, the lack thereof:

One of the most entrenched, deep-seeded delusions among wingnuts is their childish need to believe that “the troops” — meaning the entire US military — are all partisan Republicans who hate Democrats.

So posts like this, purporting to show how much the Marines loved W. and hate President Obama are pretty typical.

Some presidents are welcome in the Semper Fi zone… others…. not so much.

Oorah! Except, as this military blog points out,

The video above is the cheapest of cheap shots. Marines in the Obama video have been clearly called to attention, and are standing at attention when he enters. Whooping it up for the Commander in Chief therefore is not an option. Period.

The military blogger adds that to imply Bush is beloved while Obama is loathed “is an insult to the integrity of the US military, and in my mind reflects both wishful thinking and ignorance on the part of anyone making the claim.” Ouch.

An explanation for the stupidity of the Cons elected to national office begins to present itself when we observe the stupidity of the people who elect them.

And then we end up with inanity like this:

Last month, all 20 Texas Republicans in the U.S. House backed a bill to rename a federal courthouse in Midland,
TX in Bush’s name. Now, their colleagues in the state legislature plan to further the cause with a resolution calling Bush a “dynamic Texan” and honoring him for his dedication to “the safety and prosperity of his fellow citizens”:

The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution this week that honors former President George W. Bush.

“The Bush administration met numerous foreign policy challenges, while also making constructive progress in relations with India and sustaining a solid relationship with China,” the resolution reads, according to the Austin Statesman. It adds that Bush “lived each day with the safety and prosperity of his fellow citizens foremost in his mind; he took a principled stance on a wide range of issues of great importance to every American, and his tireless efforts will not soon be forgotten.”

But it appears the Texas legislature hasn’t been paying much attention to the last eight years because regardless of what was “in his mind,” Bush actually failed to increase the “safety and prosperity” of Americans. Last December, a report by the congressionally-mandated Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism faulted Bush administration policies that have left America more susceptible than ever to a terror attack involving weapons of mass destruction:

Though U.S. policy and strategy have made progress, they have not kept pace with the growing risks. In the area of counterterrorism, our government has innovated and implemented new initiatives since 9/11, but its focus has been mainly limited to defense, intelligence, and homeland security programs and operations.

In addition, the U.S. was hardly prosperous under Bush, who “presided over the weakest eight-year span for the U.S. economy in decades.”

With Cons like this, does America really need enemies?

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