Ya Think?

Papa Bonk called me into the dining room this morning, where he was enjoying his breakfast and his usual perusal of the Sunday New York Times.

“Let me read this lede to you,” he said. And, he did.

President Obama and his senior aides are considering whether to adopt a more combative approach on economic issues, seeking to highlight substantive differences with Republicans in Congress and on the campaign trail rather than continuing to pursue elusive compromises, advisers to the president say.

And we laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

The Singularity of the Presidency

I know, I know, all of my millions of readers are squawking at me, but Brady, why are you picking on the Preznit so much? Don’t ya know it’s the fault of the Congress? Don’t ya know there’s nothing the Preznit can do beyond the realm of political possibility? Don’t ya know that Obama’s hands are tied?


The President of the United States has a unique, powerful tool and a singular ability to lead. If he wields his office correctly, he can get 80 percent of the work done himself, just by the sheer magnitude of the office, just by flexing its pomp and its circumstance, just by creating some fashion of kingly spectacle.

Just look at the last guy who held the office.

Believe me, this blog has no use what so ever for Preznit Jorge W. Jackass. We think that asshole should have been impeached by the 2006 Congress at the very least, and that at the very most, he and Shooter Douglass and Dickhole Rumsfeld should all be pounding rocks somewhere. But somehow, the previous Preznit at least understood how to wield the power of his office in order to pick up that mountain and move it.

This President could by many various means lead on this thing and have this great country do the right thing. But all indications are that he is bizarrely myopic to only what he can get done within the confines of the United States Congress. It is utterly mind-boggling.

Remember when Obama was running for Preznit and he yelled at the sky, “ENOUGH!”? Remember? Or, remember when he yelled out: “Senator McCain? What economy are you talking about!”? Remember that guy?

Come out and play, buddy. We need ya. And how.

If This Is Accurate, Gods Help Us

Robert Reich has some interesting reporting about Obama’s position regarding talking about jobs versus talking about the deficit:

I’m told White House political operatives are against a bold jobs plan. They believe the only jobs plan that could get through Congress would be so watered down as to have almost no impact by Election Day. They also worry the public wouldn’t understand how more government spending in the near term can be consistent with long-term deficit reduction. And they fear Republicans would use any such initiative to further bash Obama as a big spender.

So rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it’s politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama — to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington’s paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public’s attention from the President’s failure to do anything about continuing high unemployment and economic anemia.

If this is accurate, we’re cooked. Remember a central theme here at KIAV: Given a choice between a true Republigoat and a Democrat what quacks like a Republigoat (yes, they quack)…well, hell, you know the rest.

Go read the rest. Robert Reich is one of the truly great Americans.

I’m Not Not Licking The Debt Ceiling

In case you were wondering, this is what section four of the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States says:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

This amendment was adopted July 9, 1868 and is clearly meant to set some rules up after the War of Northern Aggression. But some people have been saying that perhaps it could be invoked to stop all this nonsense about the damned debt ceiling.

Let’s see. The validity of the public debt of the United States…shall not be questioned.

Isn’t that exactly what a “debt ceiling” does? Like, by strict definition? It says, specifically, that hey, when the debt gets yay high, you’re SOL and you’re not payin’ no more? Doesn’t that on its face question the public debt of the United States? Isn’t that, specifically and pro forma or whatever, isn’t that like, equivalent?

So why is some asshole on my TV tonight telling Rachel O’Donnell that it’s not necessary to go the Constitutional route? Oh, no, dear heavens. Why would you want to bolster your argument with some bullshit about the Constitution? Instead, why not begin your negotiations and sparring by giving the Republigoats 76 percent of what they want so they can say no, fuck you, I want 94 percent? And then you can turn and look into camera three and shrug and say the new fabulous Democratic catch-phrase as penned first on this Web space: “I’m not not licking Republicans!”

At my day job for various reasons, the person I share my cubicle with, yes, I work in a cubicle, posted the famous Ronald Raygun quote about you know, Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall, god-damnit. And so I was thinking about that. Because if you really analyze Raygun’s career, you understand that his little speech didn’t have a damned thing to do with the winds of change. What actually happened was that Commienism didn’t work because Commienism doesn’t work (there, I said it). And also the cost of oil and the Afghanistan war and blah blah blah. But.

But that Reagan stood in that spot and said those words, that has tranfrommed him into a Great Prezident. And that is not to say that he wasn’t actually a shit-head. I’m saying that history will remember him as “Great.” And 69.9452 percent of the reason for that is because he stood in that spot and said those words.

The same, by the way, is true for another lad name of John F. Kennedy. Not in actuality a stellar Preznit. Not really. But he stood on that spot and said them words. And we remember him as one of the greatest Preznits in the whole history of Jesus. And hell, even George W. Bush had one of those moments, one real, genuine, “great” moment, with the bullhorn on the pile of rubble. Those are the moments that make Preznits, and Preznits need those moments.

And we elected Barack Obama I think at least in part because we believed if he would achieve anything, he would at least achieve several of those moments. The genius and passion of his speeches, we imagined, I think, would create many of those moments that you remember where you were when they happened. It turns out, though, that he’s more like that professor who you know is brilliant but you still fall asleep in his class anyways.

He needs to bring the fire, and he doesn’t. The way to bring the fire to this issue is to question the debt ceiling’s Constitutionality. Question its very validity and integrity as an American notion. Blow it. The F. Up.

Once again, the biggest, fattest bomb we have to utilize on an issue, and the Democrats are boxing it up for storage. Why am I not surprised?


It may surprise nobody to learn that much of my college career was spent as editorial page editor for the student newspaper. I was a prolific columnist and a ranting raving editorial writer.

During I think my third go-round at the job, the editor decided I kind of needed an anchor because, as you can see here, I’m somewhat of a lefty. I had a staff of two, one politically neutral and one a conservative Republigoat.

Thing is, the conservative Republigoat was actually a fairly reasonable guy. I know! And he and I could actually talk about stuff! I know! And in the process, we managed to put together a pretty bitchin’ editorial page.

Anyways, last evening, I reconnected with this fella via Facebook. And guess which current president he voted for in 2008?

Seems that Bush II pissed this guy off so badly that he’s voting Democratic these days.

I hope I’m not writing anything out of school here. But. I am saying. There is hope.

New Rule

Some of our four or so of our regular readers may find the following statement to be a bit abrasive. But, there you go.

New rule: Anyone who says, “there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans” doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

I know that progressive commie liberals such as myself aren’t exactly squirting themselves at this point regarding the Obama presidency. But a person who somehow reckons that a McWeirdsmile presidency would have been just as good as what we have today?

I’m sorry, that person has gefilte fish between his ears.

Reclaiming the Bully Pulpit

I have met J. Danforth Quayle twice. Both times, my fellow liberals acted in a way toward him that made me feel digusted.

This is not to say that I have a towering modicum of respect for Quayle himself. I do not—in fact, I find Quayle to have been one of the more repulsive American political actors in recent memory. However, I did not think that county Democrats should have attempted to shout the man down as he tried to speak, and I did not think that reporter in our little press pool should have asked him to spell “potato.” It’s called “respect for the office.” And most presidents—except, perhaps, the one who did not actually acquire the office via voting—deserve a bit of it.

People seem to have forgotten that the President of the United States is actually several jobs in one. It is true that he or she is the primary leader on public policy for his or her party. However, he or she is the country’s ceremonial leader as well. He or she is prime minister and queen all rolled up into one. This aspect of the job affords the luxury of the “bully pulpit,” named such by President Theodoore Roosevelt—back when the word “bully” was not archaic as an adjective meaning “sublime.” The President is supposed to lead not only on politics and policy, but to provide leadership on social and cultural mores as well. A good President will not only produce results, but he or she will inspire as well.

I say that people seem to have forgotten about this role because many “conservatives” made a lot of hay regarding President Barack Hussein Obama’s speech today to America’s school children. It is disgusting that this non-issue issue reared its ugly head. But it is not surprising. It is the continued perpetuation of the meme of Obama as “the other,” the meme of the “terrorist fist bump,” of the dashiki-donning Obama, of the “birthers.” What it is, specifically, whether conciously or unconciously, is, “You’re going to allow that Negro to speak directly to your kids? Really?”

It is pathetic, because part of what Obama’s presidency is about is the reclamation of the bully pulpit following its sheer neglect during the years of the office’s previous occupant. Go out and shop, W. Boosh told us after September Eleventh. That, friends, should have been the BP’s finest hour, but it was squandered on an idiot. And now, we’ve at last got a President who might be the most effecitive bully-pulpitter evar, and all’s you morons can do is whisper and buzz that he’s trying to turn your kids into some kind of weird socialist-fascist hybrid that doesn’t exist?

The discussion that’s taken place over the last week regarding this issue may be—no, IS—is the most stupid, most vapid, most disrespectful, and most vile thing I’ve seen Americans do since the macarena. The President of the United States, who won in November with the most electoral votes since 1996, wants to tell America’s kids to do their friggin’ homework, and people fuss and fret about it like he’s Genghis Khan?

Stay classy, America!