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Mar 29 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

For once, let’s lead off with some smart rather than some stupid. This is one of the many reasons I love my former governor:


Immigration is one issue we haven’t heard much about in the Obama Administration, for various reasons. But advocates have not stopped their push to take the undocumented out of the shadows and provide them a path to citizenship. The President has said little publicly on the issue since Inauguration Day, though he promised the Congressional Hispanic Caucus a statement of support in the spring.

However, today’s Washington Post reports on a policy shift toward punishing the businesses who hire the undocumented rather than the individual workers themselves.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has delayed a series of proposed immigration raids and other enforcement actions at U.S. workplaces in recent weeks, asking agents in her department to apply more scrutiny to the selection and investigation of targets as well as the timing of raids, federal officials said.

A senior department official said the delays signal a pending change in whom agents at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement choose to prosecute – increasing the focus on businesses and executives instead of ordinary workers.


Nice to see we may get a lot less of the families broken up at gunpoint there. I know the right loves to scream about the scary brown people crossing the border illegally and taking our jobs, but hauling mommies and daddies away while leaving the employers unscathed isn’t the way to solve the issue. Janet Napolitano used to be governor of Arizona – she knows the realities of illegal immigration, and she knows just how ridiculous those raids were. Kudos to her for nipping that shit in the bud.

Now if only the Cons would get as smart. Alas, they have not. In fact, I do believe Michael Steele needs a brain transplant:


Michael Steele is the gift that keeps on giving. Two months into President Obama’s term as president and Steele proclaims that he’s done with Obama.

You haven’t spoken to him.

Steele: No.

But you’ve reached out.

Steele: Several times and I’m done.

So there’s no bi-partisanship going on?

Steele: Not that I know of.

With all the problems President Obama has inherited from the Republicans, does Steele believe that Obama is supposed to get jiggy with him and they should run a little bebop together?


Well, considering what self-important assclowns the Cons are, I believe the answer to that last question is “yes.”

And you remember how Cons loves them some torture? How they’re claiming “enhanced interrogation techniques” are all that stand between us and certain death? Yeah, well, I know this will shock you, but they’re totally fucking wrong:

The Bush administration was fond of citing Abu Zubaida as evidence of the great success of its “interrogation” policy. Bush himself claimed that Zubaida was al Qaeda’s “chief of operations,” and that he was a fount of valuable information. Zubaida also has the dubious honor of being the first detainee waterboarded.

In 2006, Ron Suskind reported in his book that none of the administration’s claims about Zubaida were true. Based on his interviews with intelligence officials, Suskind wrote that Zubaida was not only mentally ill, but also had little knowledge of al Qaeda’s actual operations. He was apparently more like a travel agent — and his stories sent the CIA and FBI down many an unnecessary goose chase. When Bush learned all this, he kept misleading the public anyway.

Today, the Post corroborates Suskind’s account that Zubaida was essentially worthless — and that we waterboarded him for nothing:

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.

Moreover, within weeks of his capture, U.S. officials had gained evidence that made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. . . . None of [their earlier claims] was accurate, the new evidence showed.

I know this will have no impact whatsover on the Cons’ thinking on the subject. They’re as hard to turn around as a broken-down semi trailer loaded with lead. But this should end the debate among intelligent people. Torture doesn’t work, never has, never will, and is an absolutely bugfuck stupid way to try to protect a country.

This must be why the Cons love it so. Other than the fact it makes them feel all big and strong, just like Jack Bauer.

Another thing that seems to make them feel big is playing Opposite Day with anyone who wants to protect the environment. I mentioned their Earth Hour stupidity yesterday, but we didn’t quite get the full flavor. This is how ridiculous they are:


Last night at 8:30 was Earth Hour when everyone around the world was supposed to turn out their lights for one hour in order to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

But throughout the wingnut blogotubes, they decided to turn on all of their lights as a too-clever way of canceling out Earth Hour. Here’s another wingnut who’s offering a list of suggestions for how to go about doing this. Utterly brilliant suggestions like:


8. Burn tires

Smart! Your neighbors will enjoy the fumes and odor coming from your hillbilly bonfire.


24. Leave your oven open

And maybe climb in.


34. Turn on your air purifier

Yes. You’re going
to need it when your house fills with fumes, gasses and stink from your open oven and burning tires in the yard. Incidentally, if the air is so clean and unpolluted, why the air purifiers?

Why, indeed? That would be a sign of hypocrisy right there.

And, finally, Judd Greg seems to be angling for Con approval. How’s he doing it? By being the biggest dumbfuck he can be:

I’m not exactly sure why Judd Gregg has decided to lead an increasingly nasty line of attacks against Obama. On a purely personal level, you would think that Gregg would be grateful for Obama’s vote of confidence. But not so much. Yesterday, Gregg delivered the Republican weekly address and quite graciously noted the following:


He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy[.] These are staggering numbers . . . and represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.

Steve offered more examples last week. Again, what’s strange is not so much Gregg’s opposition, but his aggressive and gratuitous tone.

Looks like someone plans to run for another office once he finishes this Senate term. If he decides to run again Palin for president, he’ll be glad to know John McCain’s still available for an endorsement:

John McCain isn’t supporting Palin in 2012 just yet.


He’s waiting to see how the field unfolds.

Maybe he’s waiting to see if Joe the Plumber will be her running mate.

Or maybe he’s waiting to see if someone smarter comes around. Afraid to tell him this, but with Cons the way they are, he’ll be waiting a long damned time.