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Mar 16 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

From the Department of Silver Linings, it looks like AIG is helping some folks find their bipartisan spirit:


Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) appeared on the “Today” show this morning and took some time to talk about AIG’s bonuses-for-failure problem. “[S]ince the federal government … now essentially owns that company, maybe it’s time to fire some people,” Frank said. “We can’t keep them from getting the bonuses, but we can keep some of them from continuing in their jobs.”

Around the same time, on “Good Morning America,” Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, who doesn’t agree with Barney Frank on almost any issue, said he’d like to see Congress intervene. “We ought to explore everything that we can through the government to make sure that this money is not wasted,” Shelby said. “These people brought this on themselves. Now you’re rewarding failure. A lot of these people should be fired, not awarded bonuses. This is horrible. It’s outrageous.”

Yes, my darlings, we are indeed becoming the United States of Outrage. A few more corporate antics like this (y’know, the kind that get constituents good and pissed no matter what side of the political spectrum they hail from), and we may even see Dems and Cons come together in a spirit of common purpose.

It doesn’t hurt that the Cons are bleeding enough support now that even the terminally reality-challenged among them may have to sit up and take notice:


One thing we’ve been chronicling here is the increasing disillusionment that Republicans are experiencing with their own party’s Congressional leadership, and a new poll today finds that approval for GOP leaders is dropping among Republicans with astonishing speed.

That’s the second poll with such a finding. The other day I flagged a Rasmussen poll finding that Republican leaders John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are viewed favorably by only a minority of GOP voters.

Today a new Pew poll confirms that this isn’t an outlier.

[snip]

The approval rating of GOP leaders among Republicans has plummeted 12 points in a month, down from 55% in February to a minority of 43% now. That’s striking.

Not only that, but approval of GOP leaders overall has dropped to 28% overall — the lowest rating for GOP leaders in 12 years of Pew polling.

In fact, approval of Republican congressional leaders has fallen from 34% in February to 28% currently, the lowest rating for GOP leaders in nearly 14 years of Pew Research surveys.


That’s a pretty pathetic showing, innit? And it’s a definite trend now. Were I them, after losing two election cycles in a row, I’d be in a panic seeing those numbers.

Good thing they have Michael Steele to steer them a better course – after he takes care of a few other pressing issues, o’ course:

RNC chairman Michael Steele is still struggling to put together a staff. He made his first big hire just last Thursday, tapping a new chief of staff. Hiring, however, doesn’t appear to be Steele’s priority. In his infamous GQ interview published last week, Steele said that he was already “redoing” his “whole” office because the dark-wood Republican furniture was “too male.” Today, Roll Call has more on his redecorating plans:


Republican sources confirm that Steele’s office has indeed been spruced up, with fresh wallpaper and a new desk. However, these GOP sources dispute accusations that Steele is spending lavishly to completely overhaul his office. […]

While Michael’s busy redecorating, Eric Cantor’s busy explaining that while Cons don’t have a single good idea in their heads just now, they will soon – really, truly:

On yesterday’s “Meet the Press,” David Gregory asked House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) about Republicans complaining about the Obama administration’s budget plan, without having anything constructive to offer. Cantor replied:
“David, David, the Republicans will have a plan. We had a stimulus plan. You know, part of the problem with being in the minority is, David, that sometimes your colleagues in the press don’t want to cover the ideas that the minority has. We had a plan on the stimulus. It was, it was tailored to small business tax relief. It was focused on what a stimulus plan should be, which is the preservation, protection and creation of jobs.”

The obvious flaw in this is the notion that Republicans had a credible alternative when it came to economic stimulus. Cantor & Co. offered up trillions of dollars in new tax cuts, which does not a recovery plan make.

They’re so precious, aren’t they? Especially when they’re whining nobody pays attention to them. For one thing, why the fuck would anyone pay attention to people who don’t have a single useful fucking idea? For the second, how do they get off whining about lack of attention when the MSM allowed them – the discredited minority party, mind – to outnumber Dems 2-1 when it came to yawping about the stimulus.

If that’s neglect, I really wish I was a poor neglected SOB right now.

And how I wish I had a major network willing to lie for me:

This afternoon, Fox News’s Martha MacCallum introduced a segment highlighting Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Christina Romer’s claim yesterday that the “fundamentals of the economy are sound.” “After weeks of economic doom and gloom, the Obama administration is now singing a slightly different tune,” MacCallum said.

She then played clips of Romer and other administration officials making seemingly positive comments about the current state of the economy. One of the clips was of Vice President Biden saying, “The fundamentals of the economy are strong!” After the segment, MacCallum said, “All right, well the mantra for the weekend is clear, looking at what was said over the course of the shows on Sunday.”

[snip]

But the clip of Biden seemingly making a recent remark about the strength of the economy is grossly inaccurate. The Biden statement was actually from last September — during the presidential campaign — when he was quoting Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Here’s what Biden really said:

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that’s why John McCain could say with a straight face as recently as this morning and this is a quote, “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.” That’s what John said. He says that “We’ve made great progress economically in the Bush years.”


Looks like the IDiots have taught Faux News a thing or three about quotemining. But they have nothing to teach Faux about outrageous dishonesty – they figured that out all by their lonesome.

With all that, I think it’s going to take a lot more than just a few greedy execs to bring everybody together under the big banner of bipartisanship.