Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Monday, November 21, 2011 8:58 pm

David Frum: the most oblivious man alive

He’s just now figured out that the GOP is batshit.

Sorry, Dave, but it’s a little late.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 9:42 pm

All you need to know about Saturday’s GOP presidential debate …

… is that Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, “Waterboarding is not torture … and I’ll be for it until the day I die.”

To which Charles Pierce responds, “This is precisely, and in every respect, the position taken by several Japanese military officers in 1945. They felt exactly the same way, which is why we [expletive] executed them.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 7:57 pm

Quote of the Day

Ladies and gentlemen, Charles Pierce on your liberal media:

Some day, volumes will be written about how Gingrich managed to get everyone in the Washington smart set to believe he is a public intellectual with actual ideas, and not just the guy at the club whose life gets changed for him every time he reads a new book.

My god, Caligula died centuries too soon. Today, if he’d brought his horse into the Senate, some careerist Beltway journo would find that the horse had whinnied some “interesting new approaches” to our “entitlement crisis.” The horse would be on Meet the Press the following Sunday with David Gregory, who would ignore the fact that there is a fking horse sitting across the table from him and concentrate instead on something the horse had whinnied five years ago that seems to have been contradicted by something the horse whinnied the day before. And then Tom Brokaw would come on to mumble something about how horses were more politically savvy back in his day.

 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 8:43 pm

All you need to know about the GOP’s illegal and unconstitutional voting-suppression efforts …

… is that they’re trying to change the subject to ACORN, an organization that 1) was never found to have done anything illegal and 2) has been out of business for more than six months.

They’ve been busted, and they’re hoping desperately that you’re not paying attention.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 8:18 pm

Quote of the day

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 8:18 pm
Tags: , , ,

“… the last time these people were allowed to get this absolutely dug-in/[expletive]-you-crazy it took the entire Union Army to stop them from destroying this country. I wonder what it will take this time?

— Driftglass

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:54 pm

“TONIGHT’S LOSER: Hypothetical sick 30-year-old. TONIGHT’S WINNER: Death. Good night.”

I didn’t watch the GOP presidential debate last night because I had to study. But apparently I missed something interesting.

Do you remember when then-Rep. Alan Grayson said this?

Do you remember how much grief he caught for it?

Well, last night, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, a very good question, one that, in this country, isn’t entirely hypothetical. Suppose some 30-year-old guy with no insurance lapses into a coma. Do we taxpayers let him die?

Several members of the crowd yelled, “Yeah!” and applauded.

Paul took the usual libertarian “And a pony!” tack of assuring us that in real life, no one like that would die, that volunteers and nonprofits would fill the role currently played by government. (Right.) Moreover, he claimed that government health care is the reason why U.S. health care is so expensive (although the facts quite clearly show otherwise).

But those buzzards in the crowd …

Afterward, Ryan Grim contacted Grayson to ask what he thought of what had happened. Grayson responded:

My speech was about the fact I had been listening to the Republicans for months, and they literally had no plan to help all those millions of people who can’t see a doctor when they’re sick. So I said, in sort of a wry manner, that their plan was “don’t get sick.” All I really wanted to do was just call attention to the stark absence of a Republican plan. But Fox, trying to take the heat off Joe Wilson and Sarah Palin I guess, transmogrified that into a charge that Republicans want to kill people.

What you saw tonight is something much more sinister than not having a healthcare plan. It’s sadism, pure and simple. It’s the same impulse that led people in the Coliseum to cheer when the lions ate the Christians. And that seems to be where we are heading – bread and circuses, without the bread. The world that Hobbes wrote about – “the war of all against all.”

Congratulations, folks. We’ve evolved from “We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union …” to, “I’ve got mine; f— you.”

Saturday, September 10, 2011 2:24 pm

If you don’t want to read about 9/11 this weekend …

… (and I would not blame you if you don’t), then spend time instead with this piece by Mike Lofgren, a recently retired GOP congressional staffer. His 28 years of service include 16 on the GOP staff of the House and Senate budget committees. In every important respect, what he says comports with what I observed in 25 years of professional Congress-watching, particularly since the rise of the Gingrichites in 1994. Key points (and keep in mind that this is a career GOP operative talking):

  • “To those millions of Americans who have finally begun paying attention to politics and watched with exasperation the tragicomedy of the debt ceiling extension, it may have come as a shock that the Republican Party is so full of lunatics. To be sure, the party, like any political party on earth, has always had its share of crackpots, like Robert K. Dornan or William E. Dannemeyer. But the crackpot outliers of two decades ago have become the vital center today: Steve King, Michele Bachman (now a leading presidential candidate as well), Paul Broun, Patrick McHenry, Virginia Foxx, Louie Gohmert, Allen West. The Congressional directory now reads like a casebook of lunacy.”
  • “This constant drizzle of “there the two parties go again!” stories out of the news bureaus, combined with the hazy confusion of low-information voters, means that the long-term Republican strategy of undermining confidence in our democratic institutions has reaped electoral dividends. The United States has nearly the lowest voter participation among Western democracies; this, again, is a consequence of the decline of trust in government institutions – if government is a racket and both parties are the same, why vote? And if the uninvolved middle declines to vote, it increases the electoral clout of a minority that is constantly being whipped into a lather by three hours daily of Rush Limbaugh or Fox News. There were only 44 million Republican voters in the 2010 mid-term elections, but they effectively canceled the political results of the election of President Obama by 69 million voters.”
  • “Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students. This legislative assault is moving in a diametrically opposed direction to 200 years of American history, when the arrow of progress pointed toward more political participation by more citizens. Republicans are among the most shrill in self-righteously lecturing other countries about the wonders of democracy; exporting democracy (albeit at the barrel of a gun) to the Middle East was a signature policy of the Bush administration. But domestically, they don’t want those people voting.”
  • “Above all, they do not understand language. Their initiatives are posed in impenetrable policy-speak: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The what? – can anyone even remember it? No wonder the pejorative “Obamacare” won out. Contrast that with the Republicans’ Patriot Act. You’re a patriot, aren’t you? Does anyone at the GED level have a clue what a Stimulus Bill is supposed to be? Why didn’t the White House call it the Jobs Bill and keep pounding on that theme?”
  • The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. [Emphasis in original — Lex] The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America’s plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public. Whatever else President Obama has accomplished (and many of his purported accomplishments are highly suspect), his $4-trillion deficit reduction package did perform the useful service of smoking out Republican hypocrisy. The GOP refused, because it could not abide so much as a one-tenth of one percent increase on the tax rates of the Walton family or the Koch brothers, much less a repeal of the carried interest rule that permits billionaire hedge fund managers to pay income tax at a lower effective rate than cops or nurses. Republicans finally settled on a deal that had far less deficit reduction – and even less spending reduction! – than Obama’s offer, because of their iron resolution to protect at all costs our society’s overclass.”
  • “If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren’t after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté.[5] They will move heaven and earth to force through tax cuts that will so starve the government of revenue that they will be “forced” to make “hard choices” – and that doesn’t mean repealing those very same tax cuts, it means cutting the benefits for which you worked.”

Go read the whole thing. The kicker is that this guy retired because he figures that given what the GOP plans to do to the federal retirement system, it was better for him to be a current retiree (and thus grandfathered in) than a future one.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 8:42 pm

When hypocrisy turns deadly

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:42 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t bother taking note of the fact that someone who isn’t an elected official has come out of the closet. But Ken Mehlman, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, is a special case.

Mehlman spent decades in powerful positions in the GOP as its anti-gay platform literally took lives. Choire at The Awl connects the dots:

But also let’s not forget the plans that began in 1992 to funnel public health money solely into religious institutions, so HIV prevention money could be spent almost entirely in systems that advocate “marital fidelity, abstinence, and a drug-free lifestyle,” as that year’s Republican platform put it. (This scheme had as a nice backdrop and semi-foil Pat Buchanan’s still-unbelievable convention speech.) This resonated for years around the world, undermining HIV prevention in Africa. (Ahem: “A full two-thirds of the money for the prevention of the sexual spread of HIV goes to abstinence.” And: “HIV prevention funding turned into a patronage system for the religious right.”)

Anyhow! How about that Ken Mehlman? Is it completely biased of me that I can’t take his personal struggle that seriously? Given that he was the fund-raising architect of a system that advocated and literally built anti-gay initiatives? I guess, to extend the empathy that he never once exhibited, it’s sad that he has spent 40+ years blinded by ambition, in love with power, literally unable to think properly about causes and effects. And that he’ll spend the rest of his life trying (one assumes) to compensate for his self-betrayal.

But really, I find it next to impossible to keep any empathy going, given that his self-betrayal has a bodycount.

Yup. Thousands of people are dead who might not be if Ken Mehlman had been more honest with himself, sooner, about who and what he was.

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