The GOP: A Gang, Not A Party


(Ben Sargent via Gocomics.com)
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Further to Tim F’s post, Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly points out how “McConnell puts Medicare in the ransom note“:

The Republican debt-ceiling strategy hasn’t been subtle: GOP officials are threatening to cause a recession, on purpose, unless Democrats give them the spending cuts they want. It’s Hostage Taking 101…
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Today, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) went much further in clarifying what’s on the ransom note.

In a Capitol briefing with reporters Friday, McConnell declared affirmatively that unspecified Medicare cuts are on the table in bipartisan debt limit negotiations, led by Vice President Joe Biden, and, he expects, will be part of the solution. But in response to a question from TPM, he went further than he has in the past in laying down a marker on that issue. Medicare cuts must be part of that deal to get his support — even if negotiators manage to find trillions of dollars in savings elsewhere, even if his other priorities are met.
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“To get my vote, for me, it’s going to take short term [cuts, via spending caps]… Both medium and long-term, entitlements.,” McConnell said. “Medicare will be part of the solution.”
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To clarify, I asked “To clarify, if [the Biden group] comes up with big cuts, trillions of dollars worth of cuts, but without substantially addressing Medicare, it won’t get your vote?”
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“Correct,” McConnell said.

This is no small admission. The Senate’s leading Republican is saying, publicly and on the record, that without Medicare cuts, he’ll try to create an economic calamity on purpose.
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The obvious question, at this point, is what kind of cuts McConnell has in mind, and whether (and how much) it would affect benefits for the elderly. Maybe the Senate Minority Leader doesn’t have the policy chops to talk about his ideas for reductions in any depth, or maybe he’s just saving it for the negotiating table.
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Either way, it’s a fairly big deal. In fact, now that McConnell has admitted it, Democrats should probably let the public know. The talking point isn’t complicated: Senate Republicans will create a recession unless Democrats agree to Medicare cuts.
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Of course, the talking point will ineffective if Dems decide to go along with McConnell’s hostage strategy and pay the ransom.

The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘.

172 replies
  1. 1
    JGabriel says:

    Let’s point out the obvious here. Senate Republicans have voted to approve raising the debt limit for every white president who has asked them to. Mitch McConnell is suddenly going to have the GOP Senators withhold that approval from the country’s first black president?

    Nice optics there, Mitch. I’m just sayin’.

    .

  2. 2
    Will Reks says:

    If McConnell wants to burn it all down I say let him push it to the brink. The money boys who truly run things will decide when the show stops.

  3. 3
    JGabriel says:

    Anne Laurie:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘.

    Seconded.

    .

  4. 4
    El Cid says:

    It would be partisan not to negotiate. The Republicans are obviously very serious about the need to reduce our debt and deficit. So we definitely need to come to a good compromise.

    Surely as we get to the moment when the GOP has to fish or cut bait, there will be no pressure from the financial community or the public upon the Republicans to drop it.

    These are all brave, committed individuals, as they all were when they voted against the TARP in the morning and then voted for the same bill in the afternoon when the stock market plunged 700 points or whatever and there was pretty loud talk of financial collapse if it weren’t done.

    So hopefully the Democrats will have the strength to use this moment of GOP death threats to come to an agreement on good policy.

    Especially if it’s major policy changes which normally take years to design, debate, and legislate. Because this way we can do it all faster under a good justification and we know we’ll do it in a way which both parties agree on.

  5. 5
    Fred says:

    There is a much simpler message. Throw Grandma under the bus or the Economy gets it.

    Anyways, it’s all a big bluff. Their 2 biggest campaign contributors, Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street don’t want it. So you can take that to the bank!

    If you can’t see it for what it is from a mile away you are a fool!

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘

    I agree, but unfortunately we do not have a President who appears to understand that.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    JGabriel says:

    @Will Reks:

    The money boys who truly run things will decide when the show stops.

    Assuming they’re still in charge. I think they probably control enough GOP votes in the Senate to ensure passage there, but in the House?

    That I’m not so sure of.

    .

  9. 9
    bemused says:

    Love the cartoon.

  10. 10
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @Napoleon:

    Hee-hee — you reflexive Obama Bashers are so cute! Just wanna pinch yer cheeks…

  11. 11
    JGabriel says:

    @El Cid:

    The Republicans are obviously very serious about the need to reduce our debt and deficit.

    Yay! The Republicans will raise taxes on the rich!

    What? Why is everyone laughing at me?

    .

  12. 12
    Fred says:

    @Napoleon: STFU and eat your cheetos. What do you know about it? You probably haven’t even volunteered for your local school board bake sale you douche!

  13. 13
    Napoleon says:

    By the way, I see default and a government shut down as inevitable at this point so I think the only course of action of anyone in Obama’s position is to do is, as a last ditch effort to avoid default, to first call in the money bags on Wall Street financing the Rep and tell them that you have conclude that default is coming and that is what we are planning for. Second when it hits quit paying SS benefits and go on TV and tell them you had to quit paying them because the Rep refuse to increase the limit because they want to destroy Medicare. Since the Rep base are those people it will kill them at the ballot box the next time around (hell, they don’t even need to vote Dem, just not show up to vote would be enough).

    Alternatively Obama should just declare the debt law unconstitutional (there is a basis to do so) and keep on selling debt and dare the Rep to impeach him.

  14. 14
    drkrick says:

    Anyways, it’s all a big bluff. Their 2 biggest campaign contributors, Chamber of Commerce and Wall Street don’t want it. So you can take that to the bank!

    I’d like to think that. But nobody particularly wanted what became known as World War I, either. When we find powerful positions occupied by people in way over their heads (I’m looking at you, Mitch and John), stumbling into disaster becomes pretty likely.

  15. 15
    Calouste says:

    Somewhat related, as in further GOP stupidity:

    US lawmakers block China firms from Pentagon contracts

    Not that China gives much of a shit about this, but wouldn’t it be a laugh if they spend some of their trade surplus to buy a publicly traded US defense firm? They can get a controlling stake in Raytheon (cruise missiles) for a relatively puny $9 billion for example.

  16. 16
    Napoleon says:

    @Studly Pantload, a full-service troll:

    I hope he proves me wrong, but I doubt it. He folds-every-single-time.

  17. 17
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Fortunately, as every balloonbagger knows deep within her or his heart, President Obama has never, and will never, negotiate with these terrorist Republicans. This good man with the Morals of Steel would never betray the American People or its Constitution in any way on any issue.
    .
    .

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘.

    Ok. But there will be negotiations, we all know that. And what will be the only effective response to the outcome of those negotiations?
    There will be a “Grand Bargain”, never fear.

  19. 19
    Calouste says:

    @Napoleon:

    Yes, the long talks the President had with bin Laden, I remember all those. Those negotiations were going on for ages.

  20. 20
    BudP says:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists tortoises‘.

  21. 21
    Stooleo says:

    Offer them exactly nothing. They will look weak if they raise the debt limit and if they don’t and crash the economy they will be blamed for it for the next century.

  22. 22
    BGinCHI says:

    This is so fucking simple:

    McConnell is trying to force the Dems to “do it too” on medicare cutting.

    The second they compromise and agree to cuts that look anything at all like the Ryan Plan, they’ll pivot to “both sides are doing it” and the Village will follow right behind.

  23. 23
    MikeJ says:

    @Napoleon: You didn’t seem to notice we got ACA passed. Killed bin Laden too. Oh, and we kept the middle class tax cuts.

    Yeah, yeah, those don’t count because somebody else *also* got something, therefore it doesn’t matter that we got something we wanted. *You’re* the one people are always talking about when they say you can’t be happy having something unless somebody else is deprived of it too.

  24. 24

    Financial ruin for seniors or financial ruin for the planet. Those are the choices given to us by economic terrorist Mitch McConnell, and his bluff most certainly should be called.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Napoleon says:

    @Calouste:

    Come on, you know that the “terrorist” we are talking about are the Republicans. No one (well at least from the center or left) seriously thinks he is a sell out/wishy washy with foreign terrorist.

  27. 27
    Steve LaBonne says:

    @Napoleon:

    Alternatively Obama should just declare the debt law unconstitutional (there is a basis to do so) and keep on selling debt and dare the Rep to impeach him.

    This.

  28. 28
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    After all, the last time the GOP was itching for a government shutdown, early last April, Obama obviously caved.

  29. 29
    Steve LaBonne says:

    @BGinCHI:

    The second they compromise and agree to cuts that look anything at all like the Ryan Plan

    No, ANY CUTS AT ALL. Doesn’t matter what they are, the Thugs will use them to neutralize by far the Dems’ most lethal campaign weapon and the MSM will of course play right along. Just don’t go there at all. No negotiations with terrorists.

  30. 30
    Napoleon says:

    @MikeJ:

    I think he did a genuinely good job with ACA. As to the tax cuts he cut a terrible deal. Absolutely terrible. The very fact we are deeper in hole because of it is being used as a reason Grandma’s Medicare has to be cut.

  31. 31
    Corner Stone says:

    @Napoleon: A default will not happen. Period.
    The increasingly likely outcome will be a “Grand Bargain” where the D’s do a little of the dirty too.
    Both sides will claim the other side got rolled, the ceiling will be raised, and some poor schmucks in the poor/middle class will get fucked.

  32. 32
    BGinCHI says:

    @Steve LaBonne: Agreed. I was really just trying to point out what the GOP strategy was here, not whether the Dems should agree to cuts.

    They shouldn’t. It’s not even the right time, sadly, to push for cost savings I’m afraid. The Village can’t handle the distinctions.

    I can see the Dems moving to save money by negotiating for lower drug prices for medicare/medicaid, for example, and the GOP calling it “cuts” because the savings would mean the government would spend less.

    The Village: fucking semantics, how do they work?

  33. 33
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Except you, UCT. I have no desire to pinch your cheeks at all. Them’s just the breaks.

  34. 34
    eemom says:

    dunno. I have to admit that the tax cut deal, which I hate more than anything that’s happened since Obama took office, makes me uneasy that the obvious, so fucking obvious, eminently desirable, “not negotiating with terrorists” strategy, is the one that will end up being followed.

    Would be ecstatic to be proved wrong, of course.

  35. 35
    Arclite says:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘.

    The Dems should hammer the Repubs with this message.

  36. 36
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @BGinCHI:

    It’s a trap!

  37. 37
    eemom says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    you know, one of these days your single-minded seething hatred of Obama is gonna give you an ulcer.

  38. 38
    Cat says:

    I have a dream where VP Biden goes down to UHaul and gets a 21 footer then drives it to the mint and get a few pallets of high society and deposits it and then writes a really really big check to the Treasury. :-0

  39. 39
    AAA Bonds says:

    There’s already a consensus among plenty of Senate Democrats that Medicare is a ‘problem’ that needs ‘fixing’.

    How you gonna beat that? Huh?

    The answer, of course, is the presidential veto. I’m not holding my breath.

  40. 40
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @Napoleon:

    OK, you’re not “reflexive,” so I take that back.

    But this is, as everyone here is stating, so fucking obvious a move on McConnell’s part. And we’re talking a different level of demand than the tax cut deal. People (middle-of-the-roaders, that is – not the folks here) hear the rich are still getting their fat cut, they roll their eyes. I just can’t see Dem leadership taking *any* part in cutting benefits for the elderly, a move that would spark The Great Walker Riots of ‘011.

    I could be wrong, I’ll allow. But I just can’t see it.

  41. 41
    PTirebiter says:

    @Napoleon:

    I agree, but unfortunately we do not have a President who appears to understand that.

    I’d say the president understands our party better than you.

  42. 42

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘.

    Except that in practice that’s shitty negotiating advice that gets the hostage killed. This is one god damn valuable hostage.

    Yes, ‘refuse to negotiate’ sounds terribly manly. Machismo does not good policy make.

  43. 43
    joes527 says:

    @Will Reks:

    The money boys who truly run things will decide when the show stops.

    DO NOT BELIEVE THIS.

    The adults in the republican party (yes, I know. “adults” is a relative term) are NOT in charge. Go look back at the comic. It sums things up nicely. But the cute elephants are not the party leaders, or even their Galtian overlords. If someone channelling the spirit of 1776 shouts: “run it off the cliff!” then they will run it off the cliff. And there is nothing that the Chamber of Commerce, or even the Koch brothers will be able to do to stop it once the charge begins.

    There is no hand on the tiller of the Republican party. Hell, there isn’t even a tiller.

  44. 44
    AAA Bonds says:

    @PTirebiter:

    WOOP FUCKING WOOP, WHAT HAS TWO THUMBS AND CALLED IT

  45. 45
    Corner Stone says:

    @Studly Pantload, a full-service troll:

    a move that would spark The Great Walker Riots of ‘011.

    I can already hear those Hover Rounds abuzzin’!

  46. 46
    BGinCHI says:

    @PTirebiter: Why the fuckity fuck fuck can’t they just say “there need to be cost savings instead of cuts”?

    Why?

    Also, too, “we have a revenue problem.”

    edit: Not sure what happened, but this comment was a response to whomever posted that Wyden said on MSNBC that “of course there need to be Medicare cuts.” Where did that comment go??

  47. 47
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @BGinCHI:

    McConnell is trying to force the Dems to “do it too” on medicare cutting.
    The second they compromise and agree to cuts that look anything at all like the Ryan Plan, they’ll pivot to “both sides are doing it” and the Village will follow right behind.

    I think so as well (thanks for your comment in the earlier thread which redirected me here). The GOP’s shat their bed with the Ryan plan, now they want the Dems to lay down and sleep with them in it and get dirty too.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    The answer, of course, is the presidential veto. I’m not holding my breath.

    If for some fantastical reason the Senate D’s allow that kind of bill to reach the president’s desk then Obama will NEVER veto that.

  49. 49
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @JGabriel:

    The Babylon 5 reunion cast keeps getting thinner. :( First Richard Biggs, then Andreas Katsulas, now Jeff Conaway.

  50. 50
    Bill Arnold says:

    The partisan cynic in me figures the R plan is to do enough damage to the economy, with enough plausible deniability, to win defeat of BObama. MM said early on that priority number 1 for him was an R winning the presidential election in 2012. Not his oath of office, but winning the election. (More precisely, making BObama a one-term president.)
    So the idea is likely a grand bargain that does enough immediate and mid-term damage to the economy to force it into an official double dip, with millions more losing their jobs, and then the idea is that the Rs will be able to point at the economy and say that it happened on BObama’s watch, and elect our candidate, we’ll fix the country.

    The non-cynic in me sees no plausible alternative explanation. If any Rs reading this have an alternative explanation that makes actual sense, please share it.

  51. 51
    Corner Stone says:

    @Frankensteinbeck (The ex-Uloborus): Yikes. Senator Reid, is that you?

  52. 52
    AAA Bonds says:

    It’s 2011! What are Democrats saying now?

    “Boy, I hope the Wyden amendment passes so that when we renew the Patriot Act, it’s more our style! I mean, we obviously need the thing, but can’t it smell a little better?”

    “Medicare? Sure, cut Medicare, Reagan was brilliant. We just have to make sure the Republican cuts don’t make it in.”

    “We’re almost done with all these wars! Wrapping it on up!”

  53. 53

    @Napoleon:

    Circumventing the debt ceiling as unconstitutional:

    Interesting idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if Justice was doing the preliminary work on this even as we speak.

    The Executive Branch can ask the Supreme Court for an expedited consideration and ruling on a question, can’t it?

    Of, if not unconstitutional, some other way.

    Or, just keep selling the debt. Have the Fed dump the bonds they have been buying and then switch into overdrive to buy the new bonds while the legalities of it all are being worked out.

    Hmmm. Sehr interessant.

  54. 54
    BGinCHI says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Gross, but correct.

    Someone earlier wrote that Wyden was on MSNBC (see my edit above) and said “of course there need to be cuts in Medicare” but that they should be less drastic or something.

    If THIS is the response to the GOP ultimatum, the Dems are going to get killed by the Village, who won’t be able to split such hairs.

  55. 55
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @joes527:

    There is no hand on the tiller of the Republican party. Hell, there isn’t even a tiller.

    The pump don’t work ’cause vandals took the handle.

  56. 56
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @Corner Stone:
    .
    .

    If for some fantastical reason the Senate D’s allow that kind of bill to reach the president’s desk then Obama will NEVER veto that.

    Your seething hatred of President Obama’s moral fibrosity is noted and shall not be forgotten.
    .
    .

  57. 57
    Chris says:

    Whatever happened to the clean debt limit raise bill Boehner was supposed to allow a vote on in the house?

    He said they were just doing it “to prove that a clean bill is not acceptable”, but I want the Republicans on record against raising the debt limit.

  58. 58
    Emerald says:

    @eemom:

    the tax cut deal, which I hate more than anything that’s happened since Obama took office

    In that deal, for giving up only two years of Bush tax cuts, we got the START treaty ratified (a BIG deal), the DADT repeal (a BIG deal), saved the middle class tax cuts (BIG), and several other goodies. Plus, the voters liked it, because they want to see the parties cooperate and they gave Obama the credit (BIG).

    We also got yet more support for the truth that the only thing Republicans will go to the mat for is tax cuts for the rich.

    Also too, as Obama signaled in his SOTU address, one of the major issues he’s gonna run on is raising taxes on the rich. Helpful if they’re still low during the campaign.

    Even as I despise the Bush Tax Cuts, I would have made that deal too.

  59. 59
    AAA Bonds says:

    @joes527:

    There is no hand on the tiller of the Republican party.

    Look, if the White House opposes cuts in Medicare, there’s not a goddamn hand on the tiller of the Democratic Party either.

    However, I don’t believe the White House opposes cuts in Medicare and I don’t know why anyone else would.

    The ship of state sails on!

  60. 60
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Emerald:

    Also too, as Obama signaled in his SOTU address, one of the major issues he’s gonna run on is raising taxes on the rich. Helpful if they’re still low during the campaign.

    Is that you, Jonah Goldberg?

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    You know, Obama really should seize on this and offer cuts similar to how ACA handled them:

    Obama: “Ok, how about we cut another $500B in Medicare expenses by allowing HHS to negotiate for drug prices in the same manner that the VA can, and by moving the ACA 2014 implementation dates to 2012? Further, we’ll raise the top marginal rates but give physicians a tax rate deduction against all Medicare reimbursed income, so they’ll have an incentive to continue to participate.”

  62. 62
    JGabriel says:

    @Napoleon:

    Alternatively Obama should just declare the debt law unconstitutional (there is a basis to do so) and keep on selling debt and dare the Rep to impeach him.

    I suspect this may be the eventual outcome.

    .

  63. 63
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Much of what the GOP has done since Jan 2009 can be understood as reflecting that our contemporary Neo-Confederates learned their lessons from the failed attempt at secession which was the CSA. They would have been better off staying in the Union in 1861 and working to paralyze and destroy the Lincoln admin. from within the US government. The structure of the US govt provides plenty of tools for saboteurs to work with.

  64. 64
    Georgia Pig says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Kind of. I think the reason the Repubs went for the Ryan Plan is they wanted to keep up the rhetoric that THE PROBLEM is government deficits, but they really didn’t want something that will actually pass. These guys are pass masters at this kind of propaganda game, because they realize the framing is more important than the policy.

    They want to keep the framing roughly as follows. The basic underlying premise is “it’s your money!” In other words, the Republicans work to reinforce a notion that wealth by right belongs to the holder, irrespective of how that wealth is obtained. That has a certain psychological appeal, as it appeals to a certain view of fairness and equity, i.e., “you earned, you should be able to keep it.”

    Were it that simple. As we all know, the attainment of wealth in the modern US economy has a certain Calvinball quality to it. For example, bankers can get rich arbitraging money they get basically interest-free from the Fed. The average lucky duck working stiff can’t do that, and when he tries, for example, by buying a house on a zero-down mortgage during a property boom, he gets called “irresponsible.” Mysteriously, members of Congress as a group have better than average investment returns. Go figure. Atrios frequently refers to these kind of framing issues.
    The point of political ploys like the Ryan Plan is to obfuscate issues like this by making redistributive payments to “losers” look illegitimate. The Republicans really don’t give a shit about the deficit at all, except to the point to which talking about deficits allows them to direct money away from the powerless and to the powerful.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: Uncle Clarence Thomas, President Obama has once again demonstrated for all his non-believers the commitment he holds to the Fierce Urgency of Now when the D Party rammed the massive Patriot Act Renewal package down all our throats.
    We understand that if a deal to cut Medicare is agreed to, in order to prevent worldwide catastrophe, then President Obama will man up and sign that fucker.
    How could following the trail of the elusive terrorist bin Laden be any less important than keeping the full faith and credit intact of los estados unidos?

  66. 66
    danimal says:

    I do think it would be wise for the Obama admin to start consulting with the banksters about post-default plans. Very earnestly communicate that the GOP is going to drive this thing all the way to default and that we need to be prepared, yadda yadda. That discussion would communicate that Obama is not selling out grandma AND that the money boys had better do their best to curb the Tea Partiers before a disaster occurs.

    A default will wipe out trillions in Wall Street wealth.

  67. 67
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Emerald:

    I see! If the White House doesn’t work to implement the Democratic Party platform, it double-secretly proves the President’s convictions as a Democrat, because what he’s ACTUALLY doing is ensuring that the immense popularity of those ideas (brilliantly, purposely unrealized for four years!) propels him and the Democrats into power in 2012, so they can implement a second-term blitzkrieg of liberalism before lame duck season rolls around.

    Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

  68. 68
    trollhattan says:

    Late update: In response to this piece, Jon Summers, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued the following statement. “Republicans are holding the United States’ credit hostage to ram through their plan to end Medicare. They are now saying they won’t accept any plan to reduce the deficit unless it also cuts Medicare. Voters have resoundingly rejected this ideological agenda. Republicans should drop it and move on.”

    At least he used “ram through” and not that Republican chestnut, “rammed down our thoats” (project much, boys?) but otherwise, aggressive and to the point.

    McTurtle has placed his paw where it ought not be.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.....hp?ref=fpa

  69. 69
    Trinity says:

    @El Cid: Your snark-fu is strong.

    Well done Sir.

  70. 70
    BGinCHI says:

    @Georgia Pig: Excellent point.

    And this is why the Dems ought to be out in force (ha, ha) making it clear that this is a fight between those who insist that government can be used as a force of good in people’s lives and those who want to pit all against all.

    This is a teachable moment, if I can use that tired-assed phrase.

  71. 71
    El Cid says:

    Freedom and justice continue to advance the rights of the ignored and oppressed of the nation.

    Corporate donations ban judged unconstitutional
    __
    Ruling: Under the Citizens United decision, corporations enjoy the same rights as individuals
    __
    A judge has ruled that the campaign-finance law banning corporations from making contributions to federal candidates is unconstitutional, citing the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United decision last year in his analysis.
    __
    In a ruling issued late Thursday, U.S. District Judge James Cacheris tossed out part of an indictment against two men accused of illegally reimbursing donors to Hillary Clinton’s Senate and presidential campaigns.
    __
    Cacheris says that under the Citizens United decision, corporations enjoy the same rights as individuals to contribute to campaigns.
    __
    The ruling from the federal judge in Virginia is the first of its kind. The Citizens United case had applied only to corporate spending on campaigning by independent groups, like ads run by third parties to favor one side, not to direct contributions to the candidates themselves.

    Why do we even have to have human candidates any more?

    Where in the Constitution does it say that Exxon can’t run for Senator? It’s a person, right? It was born in the USA, right?

  72. 72
    Mnemosyne says:

    Well, if we’re going to follow the policies of the guy who originally said, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” we need to immediately start negotiating arms deals with the Republicans behind the scenes, sell those arms to the Green Party, and then deny we had anything to do with it. Oh, and bring Pat Robertson a cake and a Bible.

    IOW, that quote is, was, and always was bullshit from the moment it left Reagan’s mouth.

  73. 73
    KG says:

    Here’s what I don’t get… there has to be some institutional knowledge among Republicans on the Hill that the shut down in the 90s didn’t work out well for them in pretty much the same circumstances. What in the hell makes them think that it’ll work out for them this time?

  74. 74
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @joes527:

    Disagree. Boehner may be an utter failure, but McConnell knows exactly what he’s doing, here. He’s desperately trying to set it up so the Dems have to cave on Medicare cuts so he can get the heat off his party.

    Meanwhile, recall the way little Scotty Walker kissed the ass of who he thought was one of the Koch Daddies. This is every Republican official down to very last one of them. They know who signs those generous campaign checks and mskes life so generally agreeable.

  75. 75
    JGabriel says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Circumventing the debt ceiling as unconstitutional: Interesting idea. … The Executive Branch can ask the Supreme Court for an expedited consideration and ruling on a question, can’t it?

    IANAL, but I don’t think they would need to. One would think that: If the executive branch ignores Congress’s debt ceiling, then it’s up to Congress to ask the court for the hearing, not the President.

    Of course, the House could move for impeachment instead — but that would be a pointless waste of time, since it would never go to conviction in a Democratic majority Senate.

    .

  76. 76
    BGinCHI says:

    @trollhattan: Glad to see that.

    My reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.

  77. 77
    Martin says:

    @danimal:

    I do think it would be wise for the Obama admin to start consulting with the banksters about post-default plans.

    Well, if they’re going to cede all authority to the executive branch about who doesn’t get paid first, then Geithner should just step up and say “In the event of default, we’ll first stop all payments to John Boehner’s district. Then, Eric Cantor’s. And we’ll work our way down the list of leadership positions who can bring the debt limit to a vote.”

  78. 78
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Georgia Pig:

    For example, bankers can get rich arbitraging money they get basically interest-free from the Fed. The average lucky duck working stiff can’t do that, and when he tries, for example, by buying a house on a zero-down mortgage during a property boom, he gets called “irresponsible.”

    If you’ve ever seen It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the episode “The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis” does a good send-up of this.

    The hapless protagonists come up with a scheme to make money off high gas prices that basically amounts to illegal speculation in commodities futures, and they attempt to get a loan to carry it out. They quickly discover the problems encountered by average people trying to do exactly what Wall Street does by special dispensation.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    There’s already a consensus among plenty of Senate Democrats that Medicare is a ‘problem’ that needs ‘fixing’.

    Medicare is a problem. It’s needed fixing for years. The ACA takes some steps towards remedying some of the urgent problems, but it’s really only going to be solved by some form of single payer.

    Social Security is not a problem and doesn’t need fixing beyond some minor tweaks like raising the salary cap from $100K to $250K.

  80. 80
    Martin says:

    @Studly Pantload, a full-service troll:

    He’s desperately trying to set it up so the Dems have to cave on Medicare cuts so he can get the heat off his party.

    Wall Street will give up the GOP before Dems cave. That’s why it’s a failed strategy. The first day the Dow is down 100 points and blamed on the debt crisis, the game will be up. The bankers have zero tolerance for losses.

  81. 81
    Emerald says:

    @AAA Bonds: Ha ha. Is that what Jonah’s been saying?

  82. 82
    Emma says:

    These threads are beginning to have a certain… circular… quality to them.

    “Obama’s going to cave in.”

    “No, he’s not.”

    “He’s going to cave in and we’ll get nothing in return,”

    “Look. The last time he negotiated he gave away the Bush tax cuts but he got START, ACA, plus…plus…plus…”

    (Uncle Clarence) “but he’s been so good about civil liberties…”

    *crickets*

    “But Obama’s going to cave in!”

    Rinse. Repeat.

  83. 83
    NamelessGenXer says:

    @KG:

    the shut down in the 90s didn’t work out well for them

    This is not about a gov’t shutdown — it’s about the USA defaulting on its debt.

  84. 84
    AAA Bonds says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think we both know that the sort of ‘problem’ that needs ‘fixing’ according to the people I’m talking about is quite different, and does not include solutions like single-payer.

  85. 85
    Studly Pantload, a full-service troll says:

    @Martin:

    I should clarify that I con’t McConnell’s making a smart move as much as making the only move he can. The Republicans have placed themselves in a position of “check.” All they can do now is flail.

  86. 86
    JGabriel says:

    Martin:

    The first day the Dow is down 100 points and blamed on the debt crisis, the game will be up.

    Even one day of default is too much. The GOP risks putting a permanent and historical first black mark on US credit, and ruining the financial world’s faith that the US gov’t will always be functional enough to pay its debts.

    .

  87. 87
    Emerald says:

    @AAA Bonds: I was just saying that the Tax Cut deal was a good deal for the Democrats. A very good deal. Nothing more.

    Fire away. I can’t stay around to fight, so you get to win.

  88. 88
    D-Chance. says:

    The ‘toon is funny. Looks like a conservative front-pager ready to hit “submit” with the BJ peanut gallery just around the corner…

  89. 89

    @AAA Bonds:

    And what sort of “problem” were you thinking of?

    And what sort of “fixes” did you have in mind?

  90. 90
    Georgia Pig says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, you fall into a Republican rhetorical trap when you put it that way. The problem is health care delivery, and more particularly, the vast amount of monopoly rent seeking that goes on in the delivery of health care. If you look at the comparison between us and the rest of the developed world, we could solve the Medicare problem by going to a regulated insurance or single payer system. But nobody gets to collect monopoly rents on that, where “monopoly rent” arises from owning property for which there is very little pricing power in the hands of the consumer.

  91. 91
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Martin:

    Wall Street will give up the GOP before Dems cave.

    Problem is, I’m no longer confident that Wall St has that much control over the GOP House caucus. Frankly, I don’t know if anybody does; certainly Boehner give no indication of having any control over the Kindergarten on the Potomac he’s been chosen to lead. Too many true believers are in the House now for that. I think our contemporary money men on Wall St. may be about to learn a painful lesson about the limits of pulling strings behind the scenes which their German counterparts learned the hard way in 1933.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    @Martin:

    I agree. That would be a nice move politically, and sound policy.

    I thought the madness and absurdity of the health care reform debate would go away after it was passed. But it just continued.

    The complete idiocy of the debate is staggering. As is the demand that the Democrats present some counter offer plan. That counter offer plan was offered during the health care reform debate, and it was dismissed at the time as ‘death panels’.

    Now the GOP and their corporate media and pundit allies pretend the debate never happened. The propose that costs be reduced by competition for plans in a market rigged against patients, and the cost be reduced over time by a brutal competitive process that is essentially by death panel, where the death panel is the market, and the criterion is ability to cough up the cash for treatment, or a good insurance policy.

    It is so totally transparently ridiculous, that I think even the low information voters in the US public can see through it.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    This.

    I can’t count how many conversations I’ve had wherein SS& Medicare are lumped together as one giant earthworm tangle what needs fixin’, yesterday. A good quiz for such brilliance is to ask what FICA is, have they noticed it on their paystub and do they know the components and their employer’s share. So far, everyone wiffs.

  94. 94
    Napoleon says:

    FYI, here is something on the constitionality of the debt ceiling.

    http://www.samefacts.com/2011/.....yone-know/

  95. 95
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @AAA Bonds:

    Sheesh, you’re in a bad mood.

  96. 96
    numbskull says:

    The obvious question, at this point, is what kind of cuts McConnell has in mind,

    No, that’s not the obvious question. That’s the question to which the answer is “Who gives a fuck what McTurtle has in mind?”

    The “obvious” question is why is the American public not grokking that one of its two major political parties would rather throw the whole world into a bona fide Depression rather than do what every other Congress has done since the debt ceiling was made into law.

  97. 97
    jl says:

    @Martin: I forget which lefty blog honcho said it, but somebody argued that the recent Wall Street and corporate friendly Obama appointment and staffing decisions were precisely to prepare for debt ceiling and budget fights. So maybe Obama has already been doing the consulting, through back channels, which would be the way to do it.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    @numbskull: Any kind of cut at all that will damage the program to make it easier to kill off later, and sap the will of the voting population to continue to fight the theft of social insurance. That is a broad category of cuts, and McConnell will be fine with any of them.

  99. 99
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    The increasingly likely outcome will be a “Grand Bargain” where the D’s do a little of the dirty too.

    This will be the outcome. Gotta get everyone’s fingerprints on the murder weapon so Republicans don’t do hard time.

  100. 100
    jl says:

    I’ve already written Obama a paper letter saying that if he cooperates in any way with unwise and unjustified cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, I will not work for him in the next election.

    I said that I would work for local Democrats for state leg and Congress, and if Obama felt he could ride to victory on their coat tails, fine. But I would not give a dime or lift a finger for the Presidential campaign.

    Now might be the time to contact WH and Obama campaign and tell them what you think.

  101. 101
    KG says:

    @NamelessGenXer: which was predicated in part on Gingrich refusing to raise the debt limit unless Clinton agreed to cut Medicare. In the immortal words of Aerosmith… “same old story, same old song and dance, it’s the same old situation.”

    ETA: and defaulting on debt would likely have the same effect as not passing a new budget. Everything grinds to a halt.

  102. 102
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I gotta take issue with the people saying that the teabag wing will overwhelm the moneyed wing. The moneyed wing of the GOP controls the economy, for all practical purposes. They’re going to lose to a bunch of middle-aged farts in 18th-century cosplay talking about how Jesus wants us back on the gold standard? The same middle-aged farts whose political “movement” was created by moneyed interests in the first place? The same middle-aged farts who mostly worship the moneyed wing as heroic creators of wealth whose wisdom should be heeded?

    This is like saying that a hand puppet will turn around and bite its puppeteer on the nose. I figure all the money boys have to do is spin some yarn about how Obama’s Union Thugs, the Homosexual Agenda, and the Global Warming Conspiracy all want us to default, and all of a sudden the teabaggers are right back on the side of the moneyed interests.

  103. 103
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    This will be the outcome. Gotta get everyone’s fingerprints on the murder weapon so Republicans don’t do hard time.

    All aboard for Budget Cuts on the Orient Express!

  104. 104
    numbskull says:

    @jl: That’s my point. There is no reason at all to seek an answer to “what McTurtle has in mind.” Who cares? It’s a non-starter. Cuts are not the answer to the problems of Medicare and the problems of Medicare have nothing to do with the raising the debt limits. It’s a conflation of a red herring of a strawman of a…

    Gaaaaahhhh! I need a martini.

  105. 105

    Just checked every MSM site bookmarked on my machine.

    Crickets.

  106. 106
    Bill Arnold says:

    @El Cid:

    Where in the Constitution does it say that Exxon can’t run for Senator? It’s a person, right? It was born in the USA, right?

    You don’t want to go there. If corporations can run for office, they can vote and be counted in the census. If they can be counted in the census and vote, then the state with the most corporations can win the house. All of it. Then mathematical hilarity ensues, as Vermont spins up a thousands of trillions of virtual corporations, then other states find combinatorial ways to beat Vermont and each other.

  107. 107
    Martin says:

    @JGabriel: Doesn’t need to be a day of default. Hell, it could be Tuesday. The GOP is playing chicken with the financial markets, not the Dems. If the financial markets blink first, and funds take a loss, then the game is up and the GOP will cave quickly. And the market is chock full of cowards, so the GOP will almost certainly lose this game.

  108. 108
    shortstop says:

    @jl: A paper letter yet.

  109. 109
    Georgia Pig says:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists thieves‘.

    Fixed

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @Emerald:

    I was just saying that the Tax Cut deal was a good deal for the Democrats. A very good deal. Nothing more.

    Extending the Bush Tax Cuts was the most regressive legislation since NAFTA.
    It was not, repeat not, good for “democrats”. It may have been good for Democratic politicians, but then that’s a different story.

  111. 111
    Corner Stone says:

    @jl:

    I forget which lefty blog honcho said it, but somebody argued that the recent Wall Street and corporate friendly Obama appointment and staffing decisions were precisely to prepare for debt ceiling and budget fights.

    It was probably the ultra reliable Obama fluffer Booman Tribune.
    Because no one else could say this bullshit with a straight face.

  112. 112
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It was probably the ultra reliable Obama fluffer Booman Tribune.
    Because no one else could say this bullshit with a straight face.

    I’m looking forward to the day when some variant of “11 dimensional chess” isn’t trotted out EVERY FUCKING TIME.

  113. 113
    Brian R. says:

    I called my congresspeople. Hope the rest of you have too. Otherwise, this is all just wanking.

  114. 114
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @Corner Stone:
    .
    .

    Fierce Urgency of Now

    You’re quite right – I forgot all about the Fierce Urgency of Now magical incantation. Repetition is the key to learning; I shall redouble my efforts.

    in order to prevent worldwide catastrophe, then President Obama will man up and sign that fucker.

    So true. Only a Real Man would choose the worldwide catastrophe that requires no fighting or harsh language and its attendant bad feelings. President Obama is that man. If he can’t do it, no one can!

    Your points are well taken, and I salute your sagacity once again.
    .
    .

  115. 115
    Zifnab says:

    @JGabriel:

    The GOP risks putting a permanent and historical first black mark on US credit, and ruining the financial world’s faith that the US gov’t will always be functional enough to pay its debts.

    Treasury rates are at historic lows. We’re paying in the 2-3% range. During the peak of the mortgage crisis, there were days of negative interest return on short term bonds. I think we’ve actually got some wiggle room on our bond rates here. There’s too much money on the table for the government to default entirely. And the only reason they’re defaulting at all is because they refuse to issue more debt (which should worry the crap out of anyone that thinks about it for more than a second).

    This is going to scare a lot of people, but I’d rather scare people with a bond crisis today than with a health care crisis tomorrow. I’ll stand behind Medicare before I stand behind Treasuries.

  116. 116
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Brian R.: I ain’t no motherfucking phone banker. I am a prophet, crying out in the wilderness.

  117. 117
    Brian R. says:

    @shortstop:

    @jl: A paper letter yet.

    Yeah, a paper letter. The kind that takes a little effort to write and therefore the kind that politicians actually take seriously.

    I have friends who’ve worked on campaigns and for congressional offices, and they all agree — a paper letter has an impact, a phone call a little less, while an email might as well be a fart in the wind.

    Write your congresspeople, or at the very least, call them.

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zifnab:

    I’ll stand behind Medicare before I stand behind Treasuries.

    Um, there isn’t a choice. If T-Bills are fugazi then we got nothing else either.

  119. 119
    Jeffro says:

    @BGinCHI: Ex. Act. Ly. They know they are about to get killed (heck, they already did in NY-26) on the Medicare/Ryan plan, and want to try and get the Dems to do the same.

    I second/third/fourth all the comments that the Dems should push this to the limit and paint the GOP as the hostage takers that they are. The only way to lose would be to go along with the party that has already demonstrated it just doesn’t care what happens to seniors (or the country at large).

  120. 120
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Brian R.:

    Even if my congressman is that jackass Peter Roskam?

  121. 121
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    They’re going to lose to a bunch of middle-aged farts in 18th-century cosplay talking about how Jesus wants us back on the gold standard?

    This is like saying that a hand puppet will turn around and bite its puppeteer on the nose.

    I think it’s possible, because they put those middle-aged farts into positions of actual power and now they’re realizing that they may not be able to control them after all. That’s what happens when you have a whole group of people who grew up listening to the trickle-down bullshit that was used as cover for the elites to loot the country and think it actually works. They are true believers and they actually think that Atlas Shrugged could happen because they are all John Galt.

    I’m picturing something happening that’s kind of like this.

  122. 122
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    More Pole Dancers for those into that sorta thing.

  123. 123
    jl says:

    @shortstop: Why yes, what
    @Brian R. said. I watched a video right here on this blog that said paper letters, posted through the post office, got attention while electronically transmitted things did not.

    So, I typed PAPER letter.

    The video instructions also said to tell the recipient that if there were any questions or further info would be helpful, to contact the author. But I heard nuthin’ from them so far.

    Edit: BTW, I heard on the news, I think last week, that the guy who made that ‘how to write your politicians’ video, and who was mayor of San Carlos, CA, died of a heart attack. Sad news, he seems to have been a good mayor.

  124. 124
    joes527 says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Yes, the teahadists were launched and funded by the money boys, and yes, they love their sponsors (today). The thing is you looking at what is happening from a rational perspective. Totally wrong dynamic. It just takes one shout of “burn the witch” for a friendly room to turn ugly. And yes, this is the dynamic of the republican party today.

    No one is safe. Anyone can be denounced. If you displease the mob today, it is off to the guillotine with you. It doesn’t matter what you did for the mob yesterday. The mob has no memory, just belief in its own inerrant virtue.

  125. 125
    NamelessGenXer says:

    @KG:

    D’oh! My bad.

  126. 126
    Citizen Alan says:

    All I have to say about Chinless McConnell is this: Where the hell is Seal Team 6 when we need them?

  127. 127
    Mary G says:

    This is all just giving me a stomachache. I have been on Medicare five years. The premium for the supplement has gone up at least 10% per year. My part D prescription drug policy has gone from $33 to $91.70 a month, an almost 300% increase, and it covers less as the copays have been raised from $20 to $43 and some of my meds were taken out of the formulary. I was halfway to the donut hole at the end of March, which means that soon I will be paying that premium for nothing as I will also be paying full price for all the drugs I get.

    Meanwhile, Social Security gave me cost of living increases of 3.3 percent in 2006, 2.3 percent in 2007, 5.8 percent in 2008 and nothing at all for 2009 and 2010.

    I’ve given up cable, eating out and going to the movies. I’m starting to wonder if I can afford another pet when my kitty goes.

  128. 128
    Tonal Crow says:

    I have been assured by a reliable source that the following will occur in the Oval Office shortly before August 1st:

    Obama: “Welcome, gentlemen.”

    Boehner, McConnell: Curt nod.

    Obama: “Now, let me be perfectly clear. I am the President of the United States, and it is my most solemn duty to defend that union from all enemies, both foreign,” very slight pause, “and domestic.

    “As you know, to accomplish this defense, I have the power to designate a person as an ‘enemy combatant’, and to detain him indefinitely — at my sole discretion and without judicial review — at a place and under conditions of my choosing.

    “This is a very great power, which I do not use lightly, nor gladly even when grave circumstances make it necessary. To date I have not, myself, designated any enemy combatants. But I will not hesitate to do so should a sufficient threat arise.

    “Thank you for visiting me today.”

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Mary G: Just remember that most of the problem are due to poorly designed GOP medicare privatization reform scams, and continuing self destruction of the US health insurance and medical services industry, not due to the basic design of health care social insurance.

  130. 130
    drkrick says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    They’re going to lose to a bunch of middle-aged farts in 18th-century cosplay talking about how Jesus wants us back on the gold standard? The same middle-aged farts whose political “movement” was created by moneyed interests in the first place?

    This.

    All Armey and Rove need to do is put the word out through the right channels that it’s “God’s will” and more than enough of these morons will turn their positions on a dime to vote “yes”. We saw it happen when the word when out that GWB was “God’s man” in the 2000 GOP primaries, and all of a sudden the dry drunk draft dodging son of a former President they despised was unstoppable.

    I’m still worried about the WWI scenario if the money boys fumble it, but properly timed they can fix this if they want to.

  131. 131
    boss bitch says:

    @jl:

    if Obama felt he could ride to victory on their coat tails, fine.

    I’m sorry, what? Dems in congress and at the state level will be riding in on Obama’s coattails. Just like they did in 2008.

  132. 132
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I have been assured by a reliable source

    You know Tom Clancy?

  133. 133
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    “This is a very great power, which I do not use lightly, nor gladly even when grave circumstances make it necessary. To date I have not, myself, designated any enemy combatants…

    *But right now, the entire professional left – everyone to the left of Marshall Wittmann – is on an airplane on the way to, well, I can’t tell you where but you’ll never see them again.*

    *High fives guys!*

  134. 134
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    All I have to say about Chinless McConnell is this

    Didn’t he marry a Chin?

  135. 135

    i’m beginning to think u.s. pollitics has become a bad mashup of chicken little and a game of chicken.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    @boss bitch: Well, that was the point of my remark. It is bad news then, if there will be too many campaign workers (like me) whom may not be able to open their mouths and speak in support Obama on the topics of social insurance and the economy without LOLRF (or is it ROFLOL? I forget.)

    Edit: I mean I would like to campaign for Obama on those topics, but I am only human, and may not be able to keep a straight face often enough to be effective. Saying ‘Obama committed bad economic policy, but is not quite as bad as the GOP even though his unwise Medicare/Medicaid cuts made in early June 2011 to appease nutcases may kill you off’ doesn’t seem very promising in getting people out to vote. I figured better to campaign for other Democrats I could enthusiastically support.

  137. 137
    fuckwit says:

    @martin:
    “Ok, how about we cut another $500B in Medicare expenses by allowing HHS to negotiate for drug prices in the same manner that the VA can, and by moving the ACA 2014 implementation dates to 2012? Further, we’ll raise the top marginal rates but give physicians a tax rate deduction against all Medicare reimbursed income, so they’ll have an incentive to continue to participate.”

    THIS, THIS THIS!

  138. 138
    joes527 says:

    @drkrick: Ah, so you think 2011 is 2000. There’s your problem right there. There has been a significant power shift in the last decade that you seem to have missed.

    In 2000 the clowns were the front men for the real power. In 2011 the clowns have decided that they are humanity’s last, best hope. They aren’t taking orders from anyone. The power boys can still heard them like cattle most of the time.

    But if they stampede, ain’t no one gonna stop em.

  139. 139
    Jenny says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: you mean, didn’t he marry a beard.

  140. 140
    Fred says:

    BAhahahahah! Now this is funny. A VERY very smart fire alarm!
    http://theobamadiary.com/2011/.....ire-alarm/

  141. 141
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jenny:

    you mean, didn’t he marry a beard.

    lolz!

  142. 142
    ruemara says:

    @jl:

    ready, fire, aim.

  143. 143
    jl says:

    @ruemara: Since when is voicing one’s honest concern to the candidate ‘ready, fire, aim’?

    What do you suggest, just sit and snark around on a blog?

  144. 144
    shortstop says:

    If I were a gay man (and if I had a fin for every time I’ve said that), I’d be beyond loath to claim McConnell and all the other GOP closet cases. I’d be all, “Nuh UH! Not on my team! That man is as strah-aight as Chris Christie’s route to the buffet table!”

  145. 145
    Maude says:

    @Mary G:
    This.

  146. 146
    The Political Nihilist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    OT: O’Keefe, in all his journalistic brilliance,just had his organization declared a nonprofit.

    All the more proof that there is no justice.

  147. 147
    HyperIon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    It was probably the ultra reliable Obama fluffer Booman Tribune.

    Hey, you have the same opinion of that place as I do!

    I was surprised that JC listed it as one of his morning ritual go-to blogs. I read it occasionally but am usually uninspired by Booman’s ideas.

  148. 148
    Eli Rabett says:

    What we need to do is first sell all the gold in Fort Knox, second sell Fort Knox to the Chinese and third watch Mitch’s head explode.

  149. 149
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Fred:

    http://theobamadiary.com/2011/…..ire-alarm/

    Sorry, I can’t watch anything that flops around for three hours and won’t die.

  150. 150
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Corner Stone:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I have been assured by a reliable source

    You know Tom Clancy?

    No. Henry Ki…oh, nevermind. What’s that knocking sou NO CARRIER&*^#$*&^*@$&#@$

  151. 151
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Tonal Crow: That’s bullshit. Henry Kissinger flies in through the window.

  152. 152
    handy says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    You’re such a ornithophobe. I’m emailing JC right away someone has to stand up against this nonsense.

  153. 153
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @handy: Its funnier if you call me a birdbrain at the same time. (Because a bird is known for it’s small brain.)

  154. 154
    Corner Stone says:

    @HyperIon:

    I was surprised that JC listed it as one of his morning ritual go-to blogs.

    My dear, why would that surprise you in the least?

  155. 155
    handy says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    birdbrain!

  156. 156
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @handy: You wanna be in me and shortstop’s clique?

  157. 157
    Todd Dugdale says:

    Is there any evidence at all that McConnell can deliver any votes other than his own?

  158. 158
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Don’t make me come over there, sassy mouth. At the moment I’m busy dancing to the sublime pedal steel of Mr. Robert Randolph.

  159. 159
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Don’t make me come over there, sassy mouth.

    lmfao

    Just reconsider. We’re perfect for each other.

  160. 160
    shortstop says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Absolutely. In a Dashiell and Lillian crockery-smashing, nightly tears and recriminations kind of way.

  161. 161
    Will Reks says:

    @HyperIon:

    I kinda like Booman’s site. He just offers a different perspective on things. He’s a progressive who is more of a realist on what change is possible and how it can be achieved.

    Douglas was equally disturbed that members of the Socia-list Party sat around quoting Marx and Lenin, waiting for a revolution while refusing to help the destitute. “That experience soured me with absolutists”, Douglas said. “I’ve no patience with people who want to sit back and talk about a blueprint for society and do nothing about it.”

    – Tommy Douglas, who got the ball rolling on single-payer in Canada.

  162. 162
    TenguPhule says:

    The only effective response, of course, is ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists‘. And then an unmanned Predator Drone drops a 2000 pd bomb on the National Republican Convention.

    Corrected for modern tactical accuracy.

  163. 163
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @shortstop:

    Absolutely. In a Dashiell and Lillian crockery-smashing, nightly tears and recriminations kind of way.

    It gets better.

  164. 164
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @KG:

    Here’s what I don’t get… there has to be some institutional knowledge among Republicans on the Hill that the shut down in the 90s didn’t work out well for them in pretty much the same circumstances. What in the hell makes them think that it’ll work out for them this time?

    The President’s a Negro.

    That, and the collective IQ of the GOP has dropped 50 points since Gingrich was in charge.

  165. 165
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey: I’m also thinking that they didn’t think of it as a loss.

  166. 166
    PIGL says:

    @Georgia Pig: This is a great comment. Thank you.

    Thank you especially for that tidbit about the investment returns of federal politico’s. How did you turn up that truffle?

  167. 167
    TenguPhule says:

    The Senate’s leading Republican is saying, publicly and on the record, that without Medicare cuts, he’ll try to create an economic calamity on purpose.

    People have been deported to Gitmo for less.

    Just saying…

  168. 168
    lacp says:

    @Will Reks: Sorta makes the argument for fighting for issues, not parties or party programs, don’t it?

  169. 169
    LosGatosCA says:

    Depending on the goals of the Democrats this could be good news either way for them. Depending on the goals of the Democrats this could be good news or bad news for the American people.

    It’s good news for everyone if the Democrats look at this as a twofer. It’s a twofer because a shutdown over Medicare would be as stark a contrast between the two parties as could possibly be drawn. It excludes both sides does it, it shows the Republicans to be the fiscal frauds and general extremists they are, and it exposes the lengths they will go to in order to screw old people. Of course, holding the line is good for the middle class.

    OTOH, it’s good for the Democrats if their goal is to sell the middle class down the river and they need cover to do it.That’s bad for the middle class.

    Hope the Democratic goal is the former not the latter.

  170. 170
    PIGL says:

    @Tonal Crow: I’ve been saying all over the place for some years now that something like this is actually necessary if the US is to survive as a global power. People like the Kochs and Murdoch and presumably others more shadowy simply need to be neutralised by the counter-intelligence services. They are enemies of the people and of the state and of all established institutions, and there is no legal above the line remedy. It is probably inexpedient to simply disappear them. Therefore, their less visible relatives and kittens need to start being squished one by one by safes tragically falling from the sky, until they back off.

  171. 171
    Ed Drone says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Then mathematical hilarity ensues, as Vermont spins up a thousands of trillions of virtual corporations, then other states find combinatorial ways to beat Vermont and each other.

    Every man his own corporation. Let’s all incorporate, pay only Corporate taxes (deductions galore — every expense is a “business expense”), and vote as our own corporation.

    Nothing “virtual” about it!

    Ed

  172. 172

    […] by Abdel Irada Republished from a 28 May 2011 review of an article on pathological governance. […]

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