Double click to enlarge
James Mountain Inhofe may not be the craziest tool currently in the Repug Shed, but he’ll serve as a fitting representative bobble-head for the whole lot of them in our year-end retrospective of some of the more insane Repugs we’ve enjoyed pillorying in 2012.
The new year always bring fresh opportunities for renewal and success, but 2013 is also virtually guaranteed to bring US another year’s worth of shockingly insane shenanigans by actually elected Repuglicants, wannabe elected Reptilicans, along with the usual dung-cart load of Right Wing media pundicks and professional bloviators. The clock is ticking down, so let’s not waste another minute. Here in no particular order, of course, are some of our favorite insane Repugs, depicted in our favorite way:
“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds;
our planet is the mental institution of the universe.”
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The [politicians] of today think deeply instead of clearly.
One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.”
No, that’s not a carrot. John Boehner was, until recently, the undisputed leader of all that wreaks crazy on the Hill. But times are changing, and an eight inch proboscis doesn’t carry the weight it once did, especially with the elephantine Tea Bag trunks that are wagging today.
Jan Brewer ran unopposed for our unofficial but heart-felt finger-wagging award as the Rudest Bitch in Government. Rudest Bitch Not in Government was a three-way tie between Mr. Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Pam Geller.
While we’re talking bitches:
“The stuff that comes out of Sean Hannity’s mouth has been infuriating. The stuff that Bill O’Reilly says has been illogical. You go up and down the schedule and it’s insanity over there. The number of lies, perpetuated, promoted by Fox News is just shameful and it hurts everybody. ”
We admit to heart palpitations over the closeness of Michele Bachmann’s last race; cuz we need one totally insane person in the Congress just so we never let up on our efforts to, well, get all the insane people out of Congress.
”The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
Nobody moves the insane in the membrane goalposts farther or faster than Donald tRump, who just cancelled construction on his insane, literally underwater, 24 million dollar boondoggle “catering hall.”
“We are in the process of creating what deserves to be called the idiot culture. Not an idiot sub-culture, which every society has bubbling beneath the surface and which can provide harmless fun; but the culture itself. For the first time, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our cultural ideal.”
“In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.”
Hucka-Chickabee is off the diet and on the crazy train again with his insane comments over the Newtown massacre. His dependability as a nut job is often staggering, but now it’s also caused by his gross tonnage.
Resplendent in her make-believe Presi-Queen victory dress over First Runner-up Loser Carrie What’s-her-name and Second Runner-up Loser Willard Romney, Sarah wore an elegant strapless gown with a fitted ruched bodice accented with gorgeous lace piquewadeens¹ and hand-beaded details; the silk and taffeta fabric was spun exclusively for Mrs Palin by 100% American Evangelical silk worms. Romney’s dress, on the other hand, was valued at over $14 million dollars, and was custom made on Planet Kolob from pure unrefined evil.
“There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”
I’m already feeling a disturbance in the Force, so Ima stop here.
Best Wishes for a fabulous and progressively great new year, see you there.
Power to the People. Live in Light and Love.
¹ Yeah we make shit up.
The only thing preventing President Obama from once again becoming a pariah among progressives is the Teabagger python that squeezes the GOP harder every time it even contemplates the word “compromise.”
In the latest round of budget negotiations, Obama has broken his campaign promises to:
1. Exempt the first $250k of everyone’s income a slight rise in taxes, back tothe rates that prevailed during the go-go years of the Clinton Administration. Instead, he raised the threshold to $400k, reducing government revenues by $300 billion in the process.
2. Hold discretionary budget cuts to $1 trillion. Instead, he added another $300 billion in order to pay for the loss of revenues above.
3. Keep Social Security off the table. Agreeing to cut cost of living increases by adopting a “chained CPI” accounting formula. As Jane Hamsher at The Lake explains, no one should be surprised by Obama’s willingness to “adjust” SS benefits, despite what he said during the campaign, given his track record on the subject.
Add to that the additional $1.5 trillions of cuts Obama agreed to in 2011, and Obama has offered to cut the budget a whopping $2.8 trillion. You’d think that the Rethugs would have jumped at the chance to reduce the size of government by the largest amount in history. Then again, they and their billionaire sponsors are far more interested in individual tax cuts than reducing the debt, as the last 20 years of Republican administrations have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Which brings us to the latest riot in the asylum known as the House of Representatives. Unable to muster any support whatsoever for Obama’s latest
capitulation negotiation, Speaker of the House John Boehner instead hatched his own plan he named “Plan B.” (Plan Boner? Plan Bourbon? Plan Bust?) The Boner Plan did finally accept an increase in income taxes, but only on the uber rich, i.e. the top .2%. Blowing past the 250k and 450k thresholds, he raised it to $1 million, starving the government of revenues even more, without even mentioning off-setting budget cuts, let alone specifying which ones. [Edit/Update: ThinkProgress has a side by side comparison here.]
Boehner was under no illusion that it would ever pass the Senate, let alone survive a veto by the president. Thus it was a strictly political maneuver, probably meant to signal that he could deliver his caucus despite the caterwauling from his wingnut right. He went before the cameras, speaking confidently that he had enough votes for passage. He could thus leave town for the holidays, the ball in the president’s court.
Unfortunately for The Orange Man, he can’t count, can’t count on his own party to back his play. (Why he thought the no-tax-at-any-cost-crowd would all fall on their swords in a futile gesture is beyond me.) At the last minute, he pulled the bill from the floor, admitting that he didn’t have the votes. Hand that man an exploding ceegar…
How Washington has become so utterly paralyzed is detailed by Robert Ornstein (American Enterprise Institute) and Thomas Mann (Brookings Institute) in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” They continue their analysis in a recent WAPO op-ed “Let’s just say it: The Republicans are the problem“:
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
Something that’s been obvious to progressives for decades seems to be finally seeping into the sclerotic brains of The Beltway Village People. Here’s what Ornstein and Mann say about the enabling contributions of The Fourth Estate, who have fully internalized the fallacy of false equivalency:
“Both sides do it” or “There is plenty of blame to go around” are the traditional refuges for an American news media intent on proving its lack of bias, while political scientists prefer generality and neutrality when discussing partisan polarization. Many self-styled bipartisan groups, in their search for common ground, propose solutions that move both sides to the center, a strategy that is simply untenable when one side is so far out of reach.
Conservative ideology itself plays a substantial role in the dysfunctionality that has turned the US government into a chaotic three ring circus that has the rest of the civilized world shaking their heads in disbelief:
Thanks to a five hour delay in my flight yesterday (first plane was two hours late, and after finally boarding it and sitting in it for a half hour, we had to deplane for mechanical reasons, forced to wait again until the airline could find us another bird); and having run out of battery charge for my laptop, I resorted to reading various newspapers. I had just finished my fourth one when one of the pilots handed me his copy of The Wall Street Journal. (I will say that Southwest was very good about making amends, apologizing repeatedly and giving us a $100 voucher and a free drink.)
Anywhoozle, I read two WSJ op-eds, one from Carl Rove and the other from Phil Gramm and a former economic adviser to Mitch McConnell, Michael Solon. I was going to dig into the latter but Hunter at the Big Orange beat me to it. Here’s how he begins his piece:
Former senator Phil Gramm, who is primarily famous these days as being associated with every major economic meltdown and scandal in the last twenty years, and who said in 2008 that the whole Great Recession did not actually exist, calling it a “mental” recession and saying that we had become a “nation of whiners”, wants you to know that the real problem with America is not all that various shit he and his fellow near-crooks have done over the last dozen years but, instead, all of the damn poor people today taking advantage of food stamps and disability and whatnot instead of going out and getting some of those jobs that still do not actually exist:
In 1980 and 1992, only 3% of the American labor force drew disability benefits from the government. Today it is 6%. The number of workers qualifying for disability since the recession ended in 2009 has grown twice as fast as private employment.
How would Presidents Jimmy Carter or George H.W. Bush have fared on their Election Day if 40% of the Americans who were unemployed had instead qualified for disability benefits? How would voters have reacted in 1980 or 1992 if food-stamp benefits had grown by 65% instead of an average of less than 25% during the first four years of their administrations?
During the past four years, the Obama administration’s aggressive promotion of the food-stamp program has increased the number of recipients by 18.5 million. Do these people feel the same level of discontent about economic conditions as the rest of the voting population?
Hunter goes on to point out the essential role that then Senator Gramm played in deregulating the derivatives market; his time as an executive at UBS during which the bank was fleecing its customers, their plunge into the sub-prime mortgage disaster, and their being investigated for money laundering. And, in an All in the Family moment, the role Gramm’s wife, Wendy Gramm, played in the Enron meltdown.
(I would add that Willard had a tax sheltered account at UBS during the time that it was illegally hiding its clients’ money from Uncle Sam’s tax collectors, for which it was fined $760 million and produced the infamous IRS ordered tax amnesty program, the likely reason why Romney has so adamantly refused to release his 2009 tax return.)
Hunter addresses the moral hypocrisy of the 47% being lectured by a corporate marauder like Gramm:
See there? The reason so so many people are voting for Barack Obama in this election is that they’re not hungry enough. In the wake of the Great Recession. When the first sub-eight-percent unemployment numbers have come in in for-freaking-ever, itself a dismally modest improvement that proved so shocking to conservatives that they have all but convinced themselves that it must be a government plot. Why, if we let those 18.5 million people starve, they’d be much more pissed off—and then they’d go out and vote for Mitt Romney!
Gramm is living proof of the lack of accountability that exists among the 1% that brought on the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Not only are they still wearing tuxedos instead of orange jumpsuits, they’re given a megaphone by the likes of Rupert Murdoch‘s Wall Street Journal to erase from our collective memory the devastating consequences of their greedy machinations—by blaming their victims, of course.
That in the process they are using this same Ayn Randian narrative to justify reducing their already historically low tax rates is an expression of hubris and mendacity that is breathtaking in its scope.
Message to all you hallucinating whiners who’ve lost your jobs, homes, retirement accounts, and hopes for a better life for you and your kids:
The beatings will continue until morale improves.
[image found here.]
“Poor people haven’t lost their voice. They can’t afford a voice. And every day working people: universal laryngitis, the chronic absence of money. As for children – children who have a big stake in our elections but no vote – for them to be heard they would need piggy banks the size of Wal-Mart heirs. Or the Koch brothers for uncles.”
“Exercising their First Amendment rights, demonstrators taped a kind of wanted poster on Rove’s office door, indicating they would like to see him wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. Instead, he could be seen last weekend in casual wear, buzzing around in a golf cart at Mitt Romney’s Utah mountain gathering of high rollers. No doubt plotting how to raise more millions to pay for more “free speech.”
“Let’s see if we’ve got this right: On the one hand, conservatives declare that corporations and the super-rich can spend all they want on exercising their First Amendment rights, but on the other, they demand to keep it secret so the rest of us can’t exercise our First Amendment rights to fight back? Have you ever heard of more cowardly lions?”
Bill Moyers was a broadcast journalist for more than four decades, and has been recognized as one of the unique voices of our times, one that resonates with multiple generations. In 2012, at the age of 77, Moyers begins his latest media venture with the launch of “Moyers & Company.” With his wife and creative partner, Judith Davidson Moyers, Bill has produced such groundbreaking public affairs series as “NOW with Bill Moyers” (2002-2005) and “Bill Moyers Journal” (2007-2010).
For his work, Moyers has received more than 30 Emmys, two prestigious Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys, and three George Polk Awards. Moyers’ most recent book, “Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues,” was published in May 2011. He currently serves as president of the Schumann Media Center, a nonprofit organization that supports independent journalism.
Most of this year’s election coverage has been focused on the GOP presidential primaries. Now that The Frothy One has dropped out, making Willard Romney the presumptive nominee, the media will move its focus on the general election and the battle between him and President Obama.
But it may be control of the Senate that will determine the course the country takes beyond the next four year term of the presidency. Nothing that passes in the House has a chance of becoming law without the Senate’s approval. And the Senate’s effective veto power over judicial nominees at both the district and supreme court levels constrains any president’s choice in making the third branch of government reflective of his own judicial philosophy.
Ergo, pronouncements from the Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell, must be given due consideration. In our original post on the subject, McConnell In Wonderland, we likened his denial of the GOP’s War On Women to a hallucination worthy of Lewis Carroll’s hookah smoking caterpillar. We concluded with a preview, casting “McCatterpillar” in a new Wonderland role, that of Humpty Dumpty, or Mitch McDumpty, if you will. We quoted the Carroll character as follows:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
Just whom “is to be master” is the primary goal of the GOP and the billionaires who love and finance them, the rest of the country be damned. This was made perfectly clear in the infamous interview by author Ron Suskind of someone described as “a senior Bush official aide”, widely believed to be Karl Rove:
The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.“
– October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine
Six years later, on the eve of the 2010 election, Mitch McDumpty seconded the emotion, announcing that “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Again, the rest of the country be damned. Every rise in the unemployment number, every home foreclosure, every set-back in the economy was cheered as proof that the Obama Administration was an abject failure; that only the GOP (the very people who did so much to crash the economy) was capable of restoring it.
With the country’s largest cable network, Fux News, and the 90% of the talk radio market dominated by right wing radicals like Rush Limbaugh weaving an ant-Obama narrative 24/7, the danger to the Rethugs is that they are starting to believe their own fictions. They’ve been smelling their own toxic emissions for so long they think they’re perfume.
Take their attitude towards legislation designed to limit women’s access to preventative healthcare. Over 1100 bills have been presented or passed in various state legislatures, including the US Congress, over the last two years. The spin meisters reject the conclusion that this amounts to a War on Women. Instead, they are attempting to reframe the issue as an economic one; that women are more concerned about economic issues than they are their own health and freedom to determine just when, where, and how they exercise their reproductive options. A false dichotomy if ever there was one.
Their desperate attempt to reframe the issue in way that supports their overarching campaign narrative of superior economic leadership is risible on its face. The Rethugs opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 in droves; only three House and five Senate Republicans voted in favor, including Alan Spector, who switched parties shortly thereafter. And it was less than a week ago that Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, repealed the state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act.
Perhaps it is because we have become so accustomed to their false dichotomies and framing fictions that the Rethugs have taken the next logical step, outright lying. Consider the following article from
Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) laid in to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter delivered last week for misleading their mutual constituents about the facts and benefits of President Obama’s health care law.
And in a follow-up interview, Yarmuth again attacked McConnell, his former ally, for putting partisan politics before representing the people of his state.
“I’ve known Mitch for 40 years,” said Yarmuth. “We were political allies at one point. I was a Republican ‘til 1985. In recent years, as I’ve said publicly before, he has a considerable knack for being scrupulously accurate and rarely honest.”
In this instance Yarmuth is referring to an op-ed McConnell wrote in the Louisville Courier-Journal. In his letter, Yarmuth calls into question five claims McConnell made in the op-ed. And he wants McConnell to address his concerns.
“He’s just become such a total reflexive partisan politician, he’s playing a different role, and it’s not necessarily being a senator from Kentucky,” Yarmuth said. “He’s become totally detached from any obligation to be remotely fair and honest.”
Color me shocked. As The Urantia Book says:
It sounds well always to claim success, but the end results are appalling. Such a technique leads directly to the creation of a world of unreality and to the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment.
The Caterpillar and Alice looked at each other for some time in silence: at last the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth, and addressed her in a languid, sleepy voice.
Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.
This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Mitch McCaterpillar must be hitting his hookah a bit hard of late.
How else to explain his hallucination that the GOP’s War on Women is no more real than their War on Caterpillars, citing as proof positions taken by three prominent women senators in his own caucus? (Ugh– can I have a re-write on that last phrase, please?)
Think Progress reports:
Confused McConnell Thinks Female GOP Senators Agree With Him That There Is No ‘War On Women’
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is either confused about what’s going on in his caucus, or in denial.
On a local Kentucky radio show today, the Senate minority leader argued that the female members in his caucus agree with him that the GOP’s “war on women” is just “a manufactured issue”:
MCCONNELL: There is no issue. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe from Maine I think would be the first to say — and Lisa Murkowski from Alaska — ‘we don’t see any evidence of this.’
Except that they do. Three of the four women McConnell names have already come out against the GOP’s war on women — Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
In fact, Murkowski specifically pushed back on claims like McConnell’s, saying, “If you don’t feel this is an attack, you need to go home and talk to your wife and your daughters.” Maybe McConnell should take her advice.
Don’t bet on it. McCaterpillar and his party have fallen so far down the rabbit hole that they’re losing track of reality, of where their “manufactured issues” begin and end.
In the next episode of McConnell in Wonderland, Mitch will take on the role of Humpty Dumpty. A preview:
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – - that’s all.”