A Toast For The Assholes

As you may have heard, there is this weird and awesome call on—in light of the shooting rampage of Jan. 8—for something called “civility.”

There are so many utterly bizarre aspects to this call. For starters, I find this word choice weird on its face.

“Civility” means you don’t fart in church. It means you don’t eat your co-worker’s lunch; it means you don’t stare at someone’s birthmark. Not communicating in such a way as to appear to be advocating political assassination is not “civility.”

It’s just common sense. It shouldn’t even bear mentioning. I mean, if you have to explain to your 12-year-old that it’s not nice to shit in his hand and throw it at people, it may be time to start looking into a tower to lock the kid in for the rest of his life.

So. I don’t think we’re actually talking about “civility” here. I think what we’re actually talking about is a big basket of “duh.”

The other thing that strikes me as odd about it is just the sheer absurdity of the logic at work. Somehow, “civility” wasn’t important before, not when a presidential candidate was being accused of “pal-ing around with terrorists,” or when the President is being likened to Hitler and to a voodoo witch doctor, or during the State of the Union speech or anything. No, it takes a horrific shooting rampage for our policy leaders to take up the cause of “civility?”

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something that seems somewhat…disproportionate.

But. Even if what we were actually discussing was “civility,” achieving such an aim would actually be impossible. Because in order to advance the policy positions advocated by the Republigoats, you pretty much have to be an asshole.

The over-arching philosophy that informs Republigoat politics, championed by the likes of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, is, in a nutshell, that a person is entitled to be an asshole, and there’s not a damned thing that society can do or say about it.

Consider the current debate, that over health care reform. The law as it stands provides breaks to small businesses, allows you kid to be on your policy until he’s 26, requires insurance companies to actually spend money on care, abates prescription costs for many seniors, disallows discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, bans annual and lifetime limits, bans rescsission, provides free preventive care, among a host of other reforms that benefit Americans, American businesses, and the American economy as a whole.

And one of the very first orders of business these assholes want to take up is to repeal it.

I’m sorry. But if your entire legislative aim is to take all of that good stuff away, you are an asshole. And there is no way in heck you’re going to be able to even begin to approach “civility.”

Remember, a Republigoat President VETOED HEALTH CARE FOR CHILDREN. Remember, Republigoats have repeatedly stood firm against extending unemployment while fighting like cornered rabid leopards for tax cuts for zillionaires. Remember, this guy

is a Republigoat.

He is also an asshole. That’s then Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky, a guy with an impressive baseball record but an abysmal record as a legislator. At the time, you might recall, Bunning was single-handedly blocking an extension of unemployment benefits. The reporter following him was merely seeking an explanation of such an asshole move. Bunning’s asshole position on the matter would later become business as usual for congressional Republigoats.

So long as one political party is slavishly committed to the notion that “free markets” can accomplish anything and that all Ameurka needs is to pull itself up by its own bootstraps*, do not expect there to be “civility” in American politics. The very policies pursued and advocated by the Republigoats render this hope to be impossible.

*a phrase originally coined to simply refer to an impossible task, by the way.

A Unique Breed

Ruth Marcus has an excellent column today, one that bears out the notion I often espouse, that the “conservative” movement here in America is a unique and rabid critter indeed.

Marcus takes a brief peek at the conservatives who now run Britain.

The difference between the British conservative leaders and the ones we’re stuck with in the United States is the difference between rational conservatism and magic-wand conservatism.

Again: Today’s Republigoat Party would sic a lynch mob on Barry Goldwater and would make Ronald Raygun sit in a corner wearing a funny hat. This party is no more “conservative” than I am a boston terrier. Which is why I was pleased to see Jon Stewart ask Eric Cantor last night whether or not there would be a place for Ronald Raygun in today’s Republigoat party. Cantor, of course, tap-danced around the question. But it is worth noting.

Party-loyal Republigoats are part of a leviathan effort to drag the entire country as far to the political right as is possible. The Prez that some people are calling a liberal commie muslim extremist is in many ways actually fairly conservative. For instance, “Obama-care” is actually the plan Republigoats put on the table to counter what the Clintons wanted to do for health care. What we ended up with was, literally, a Republigoat plan. And yet today, Republigoats bleat on about how radical a plan it is? Argh!

Elsewhere in the world, it seems, conservatism has not caught this strange mutation virus. Thom Hartmann regularly recounts how he sat down with some of the most conservative European leaders he could find, and they looked at him like he was crazy when he asked them if they rejected their country’s national health care system. To a person, every one of those conservative leaders said they LOVED the national health care system and wouldn’t think of doing without it. Nope, it’s just our guys who think that nickel-and-diming people to death is the way to go.

Hey. Republigoats. I’m sorry. But you’re being led by a bunch of maniacs. You haven’t noticed?

Jackass

…and yet you just hear this constant whining. Complaining. About a loss of our competetiveness, America in decline. We’ve never been more dominant. We’ve never had more natural advantages than we have today. We’ve sort of become a nation of whiners.

This was Phil Gramm, in his capacity of financial adviser to then presidential candidate John McWeirdsmile, July 10, 2008.

By August 2008, 9.2 percent of all U.S. mortgages outstanding were either delinquent or in foreclosure.

By October 2008, President Bush had signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, creating the Troubled Assets Relief Program.

This little trip back in time is by way of a reminder NOT TO LISTEN TO REPUBLIGOATS WHEN THEY ARE SPEAKING.

This has been a public announcement from Ketchup Is A Vegetable dot com. Eat Snacky Smores.

Makes Sense to Me

A few basics that make sense to me. I dunno.

  • Large businesses do not necessarily want to get larger. Often, their goal is actually to become smaller. Small businesses, however, are often eager to grow. And by “become smaller,” I mean “fire people,” and by “grow” I mean “hire people.” This is what people mean when they say that small businesses are where job growth occurs. So the legislators who blocked the small business legislation really screwed us.
  • The most efficient economic stimulus remedies are food stamps and unemployment because these burn holes in peoples’ pockets. People do not bank food stamps. They spend them. And when your local grocer’s cash flow is looking better, he might be more inclined to hire a couple of more baggers. So the legislators who blocked the unemployment extensions really screwed us.
  • If you give a CEO a choice between investing excess profit back into his business or giving his excess profit to Uncle Sam, he will prefer to invest it back into his business. But, if you give a CEO a choice between investing excess profit back into his business or shoving it into his own fat greasy pockets, he’s going to choose to do the latter every time. Once upon a time, this country incentivised the former. Today, we incentivise the latter, and the legislators who are suggesting that we extend the “Busch tax cuts” want to continue this and are therefore really screwing us.
  • If the Busch tax cuts were so magically good for our economy, then why are we in the shitter? These tax cuts are actually horrible for the economy, they leave the U.S. treasury empty, and, unlike investment in infrastructure, they do not actually create jobs, nor do they leave anything useful behind. The legislators who are suggesting that we extend the “Busch tax cuts” are really screwing us.

Would the ADA Pass Today?

Jonathan Cohn asks this question in the New Republic. I says hell no it wouldn’t.

Cohn notes that the Act passed the Senate in July 1990 with a comfortable margin, passed the House on a fully unanimous voice vote, and was gladly signed by President George H.W. Bush. Can you imagine the rhetoric that would be employed to defeat it today? It would probably be pinned as a Commie-nist plot.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: “Conservatives” are no longer conservatives. Barry Goldwater would have been tied up and body surfed out of the 2008 Republigloat Convention, and, as much as they uttered his name in reverence, Ronnie Raygun would be made to sit in a corner wearing a funny hat. These people are not conservatives. They are Bizarro-Utopian Anarchists.

The Washington Post and Shitty Corporate Mouthpiece

Why do we here at the Serious Poo-Poo Institute of Technology (S.P.I.T.) refer to the hometown newspaper by its full formal name, The Washington Post and Shitty Corporate Mouthpiece?

In part because The Washington Post and Shitty Corporate Mouthpiece has recently hired this asshole as a columnist.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Marc Thiessen Extended Interview Pt. 1
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Reform

Say what you like about Bob Novak, who used to enjoy publicly identifying covert CIA operatives in the newspaper. But at least he came from a time when, generally, news columnists had to have an actual background in journalism. I like to think there was a time when a former presidential speech writer and would be laughed the hell out the delivery entrance, resume in hand, of any decent newspaper.

The Huffington Post has embedded the rest of the interview.

Drat. Kentucky Wins, 82-61

The Huffington Post reports that Sen. Jim Bunning of Kentucky is an asshole.

Surprised?

Jim Bunning, a Republican from Kentucky, is single-handedly blocking Senate action needed to prevent an estimated 1.2 million American workers from prematurely losing their unemployment benefits next month.

As Democratic senators asked again and again for unanimous consent for a vote on a 30-day extension Thursday night, Bunning refused to go along.

And when Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) begged him to drop his objection, Politico reports, Bunning replied: “Tough shit.”

Actually, I kind of like him.

Bunning says he doesn’t oppose extending benefits—he just doesn’t want the money that’s required added to the deficit. He proposes paying for the 30-day extension with stimulus funds. The Senate’s GOP leadership did not support him in his objections.

Again, where the fuck was Jim Bunning and the rest of these defecit “hawks” (this term is especially offensive to the greatest junior welterweight boxer in the world) when Gorge Dubya Boosh was Preznit?

And at one point during the debate, which dragged on till nearly midnight, Bunning complained of missing a basketball game.

Okay, that I can totally understand dude. Totally.

“I have missed the Kentucky-South Carolina game that started at 9:00,” he said, “and it’s the only redeeming chance we had to beat South Carolina since they’re the only team that has beat Kentucky this year.

Not that it matters anyway because eventually your Wildcats may have to face the Jayhawks, so, you know. Tough shit.

The unemployment rate in Kentucky is 10.7 percent.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Kentucky sucks.

That is all.

What's the Matter with Kansas?

Here are a few basic political truths.

#1. The stated goal of the Republigoat Party is to destroy the federal government. The stated goal of the Democratic Party is to make the federal government work better for human beings.

#2. Theoretically in the United States, every adult person is guaranteed exactly one vote. However, not every adult person in the United States is guaranteed to be ridiculously wealthy.

#3. Massive power may be held generally by either of two entities, corporations and/or the government.

#4. Your vote does not hold any influence whatsoever over corporations. Stephen Helmsley doesn’t give a crap whether you vote Republican, Democrat, or Gypsy. Theoretically, though, your vote still matters to the people who run the government.

Given these simple realities, then, why in the wide wide world of sports are so many people yelling rock-chalk for the corporations? How can any American cheer the decision in the Citizens United case?