Open Thread: We Had A Good Run, While It Lasted…

Because I’m in a maudlin mood, and two hours is about as long as the general commentariat should be expected to keep our language clean and our shoes on, I share. Charlie Pierce at Esquire, on the Ryan-Wyden “compromise“:

In the rush of holiday preparation, it may have escaped your notice that this is National Sellout Day, when we celebrate the arrival of baby Jesus into this world so that the Magi can show up at the stable, pay him homage, present him with gifts, and then peddle his location to Herod for 25 denarii and a bucket of oats for the camels.
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The Democratic party certainly has gone to great lengths to remind us what day it is. They have made great preparation. They have cooked the goose (their own, naturellement, and ours) and placed it on the table in the traditional manner, with a knife stuck in its back. They have rehearsed all the traditional holiday songs, including Ploys to the World, Hark the Deceitful Scumbags Sing, and Angles We Have Played on High. They have filled the wassail bowl to overflowing with the customary holiday libation, Hot Mulled Blood of Constituent. And later, we will all gather around the fire while our party elders read the famous story. I particularly like the part at the end when Scrooge realizes that reformation has its limits and sells the Cratchit children into indentured servitude so that the other men of the Exchange won’t think him weak, or mired in the past.
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Oh, they have made a day of it. First, the pillars of Jell-O in the Senate roll over on the itty-bitty surtax they wanted to lay on the plutocrats to pay for a payroll tax cut for the rest of us. Then, the president announces that he’s not going to veto after all the bill in which 400 years of Western jurisprudence is pretty much torn to ribbons and tossed to the wind, albeit slightly less deeply into the wind than the original monstrosity would have liked. And, finally, Ron Wyden of Oregon steps forward to give cover to zombie-eyed granny-starver Paul Ryan’s latest attempt to “reform” Medicare in the same way that Arthur (Bomber) Harris “reformed” the building codes in Dresden. It’s a Very Special Holiday Episode of the long-running hit comedy, Ah, Who Gives a Fk Anyway?…






49 replies
  1. 1
    gaz says:

    I read this article earlier. Made my day.

  2. 2
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    Ah, hell, it’s not that bad. Is it? Is it? All of our betters have our best interests at hearth. Don’t they? Don’t they?

  3. 3
    Nellcote says:

    Pierce needs to walk away from his computer for a week or he’ll be drooling in his oatmeal and babbeling by New Year’s

  4. 4
    burnspbesq says:

    John Cole’s favorite judicial proceeding finally and mercifully reaches its end tomorrow, when Barry Bonds gets sentenced.

  5. 5
    opie jeanne says:

    I think I’ll go curl up in the fetal position and try to get some sleep.

  6. 6
    John Weiss says:

    What was Wyden thinking? This is really out of character.

  7. 7
    opie jeanne says:

    @burnspbesq: Having lived across the bay from SF and heard about Bonds’ constant mistreatment of various fellow human beings including his fans, I hope he gets justice rather than mercy. I’m not usually vindictive like this, but the things he did in plain daylight and got away with were really bad, like running a car off the road on a freeway ramp. The thing flipped over and the couple inside it were lucky to survive. He was in a hurry.

  8. 8
    NR says:

    @John Weiss: It was his turn in the Democrats’ Villain Rotation.

  9. 9
    wilfred says:

    “Then, the president announces that he’s not going to veto after all the bill in which 400 years of Western jurisprudence is pretty much torn to ribbons and tossed to the wind”

    Well, that’s because he knows that The. Senate. Has. The. Votes. To. Override His. Veto., so what’s the point? Right? Right? Did I get the full stops right?

    Move on, I say.

  10. 10
    Nellcote says:

    Don’t tell Pierce they “caved” on this one too:

    http://www.politico.com/news/s.....70534.html

    IIEEEEE! Hide the razor!

  11. 11
    NR says:

    @wilfred:

    Well, that’s because he knows that The. Senate. Has. The. Votes. To. Override His. Veto., so what’s the point? Right? Right? Did I get the full stops right?

    Maybe because The. Senate. Isn’t. The. Only. House. Of. Congress?

    In case you didn’t know, the NDAA only passed the House with 283 votes. It takes 290 to override a veto. So the old tried-and-true sniveling of “But… But… We don’t have the votes!” doesn’t fly here.

  12. 12
    Allan says:

    That Charles Pierce is a hell of a writer, isn’t he? Thanks for copying and pasting all his stuff here at BJ.

  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
    JPL says:

    Good Morning. Besides the light bulb, how else did the dems sell us out. I haven’t had time to read all the gory details but I will later. I know someone who is a light bulb fanatic who wants her hundred year old light bulbs. It’s an odd affliction to love that bulb and there must be medicine for that.
    The Democratic Party doesn’t seem to realize that they are not giving folks a reason to stand in line and vote.

  16. 16
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Allan: was that sarc, Hall Monitor Allan?
    cuz i cant tell.
    you are so dry.

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    Found this very moving AP story on Yahoo! news.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    @Amir Khalid: Thanks, Why is water dripping down my face?

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    @wilfred:
    So you are saying that he is such a weak President that he could not flip a few Dem votes on over-ride? That is something that has always been done by Presidents in the past. If you believe that than he is a worse President than the firebaggers would have you believe – too weak and ineffectual to buy, borrow or brow-beat a couple of Senators to vote against over-ride.

    And then there is the inconvenient truth that it didn’t pass the House with enough votes to over-ride in the first place.

  20. 20
    sparky says:

    @wilfred: yes, and i am certain you will get quite the welcome to the chorus. don’t forget to splutter and list a socially forward rule, because we all know that those matter much more than well, pretty much anything else. after all, the home front is the battle arena, right?

  21. 21
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    NPR just had this story as well.

  22. 22
    boss bitch says:

    I don’t understand how Obama gets called naive for thinking he can work with Republicans in Congress yet his critics can’t seem to come to grips with the same reality.

    *what part of the tax pledge to Master Norquist does the left or Pierce not understand?

    *who really thinks that if Obama had sent back the last draft of the NDAA and said he would veto, that Congress wouldn’t get that veto-proof number in the House? Ya’ll think they can’t get 7-8 more votes?

    *Flip Dems on NDAA? when that same Senate voted to prevent the closing of GITMO how many times?

  23. 23
    boss bitch says:

    And by the way, the Dems main goal was to get the payroll tax cut and the unemployment extension NOT the surtax. I believe the left’s main protest was to not have the Keystone pipeline attached to the payroll tax cuts and Harry Reid said that bill was DOA. Dems should get credit for that.

    Oh how I wish the left had gotten on Congress’s ass – INCLUDING BERNIE SANDERS AND RUSS FEINGOLD – when they voted against closing GITMO from the start. Spare me the god damned whining.

  24. 24
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Schlemizel: This wouldn’t be simply “flipping votes” on any old thing, though. It would be asking Democrats to go out on a limb for suspected terrorists, especially once the language about American citizens was dropped. I think you can make a case that _especially_ if the vote was so overwhelming, Obama could have had a free protest veto to make a point about civil liberties… And he didn’t do it. But even under that scenario, it still ends up the law, because there’s no upside to protecting the rights of terrorist suspects, except a cleaner conscience, and consciences don’t vote or give money.

  25. 25
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Wait, seriously…they fucking overturned the lightbulb efficiency standards? They fucking won that battle somefuckinghow?! What the good goddamned fuck….

  26. 26
    El Cid says:

    I think this is a key quote from Pierce. It’s not an original point, but needs to be made over and over.

    Here’s a tip, gang: The American people are not angry at government because people yell at each other and nothing ever gets done.
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    The American people are angry because people yell at each other and nothing the American people really want ever gets done.

    I presume some people might fly into high dudgeon that it’s an insult to this or that politician to say “nothing” ever gets done, but you should get the point.

  27. 27
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @El Cid:

    Except then people end up electing or supporting the guys in charge who ensure that nothing that ever actually gets done helps anyone but themselves and their rich donors.

  28. 28
    OzoneR says:

    @NR:

    In case you didn’t know, the NDAA only passed the House with 283 votes. It takes 290 to override a veto.

    9 Republicans didn’t vote at all and 93 voted no. It’s pretty easy to count to 290 there.

  29. 29
    RalfW says:

    Not that it matters much in the fail parade, but did Wyden strike out on his own, or did the party bosses OK his bipartisan fvking-over of the general populace?

  30. 30
    OzoneR says:

    @El Cid:

    The American people are angry because people yell at each other and nothing the American people really want ever gets done.

    The American people who want tax cuts. The American people who wanted a war in Iraq and then didn’t anymore when it got too hard. The American people who wanted healthcare reform until they didn’t anymore. The American people who want to grow the economy by cutting spending.

    It’s hard to give the American people what they want when it constantly changes every week.

  31. 31
    OzoneR says:

    @Schlemizel:

    So you are saying that he is such a weak President that he could not flip a few Dem votes on over-ride?

    43 Dems voted yes, 93 Republicans voted no. Those 43 Dems did it because there is pork in the bill for their districts. Earmarks trump President, the end.

  32. 32
    El Cid says:

    @OzoneR: Look, I’d be happy to challenge you to an American-people-cynicism-off at any time.

    But the point is not about what Americans are polled for or say on command or vote — I think it’s blunter: when people encounter government doing something positive for them, and yes, unfortunately, in a simple and direct enough way for them to like the Good with the Government, they respect it.

    But if you want to play “who thinks we’re stupider” with me, that’s fine too.

  33. 33
    Gerald G says:

    Actually this is a good plan. It just needs a little tweek. Medicare for all. Make it applicable for everyone and you have ObamaCare with a public option.

    QED

  34. 34
    OzoneR says:

    @El Cid:

    when people encounter government doing something positive for them, and yes, unfortunately, in a simple and direct enough way for them to like the Good with the Government, they respect it.

    which explains why they’re oh so happy about their State Senator bringing their senior center a $1 million check and then they decry the horrors of earmarks.

  35. 35
    Judas Escargot says:

    Yes, I believe it was Psalm 27 that warned us that Satan would one day come to take away our Sacred Light Bulbs. I’m so glad the Evangelicals on on the case.

    FREEDUMB!

  36. 36
    Bill Murray says:

    @boss bitch:

    who really thinks that if Obama had sent back the last draft of the NDAA and said he would veto, that Congress wouldn’t get that veto-proof number in the House? Ya’ll think they can’t get 7-8 more votes?

    How you gonna come, with your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?

  37. 37
    Hill Dweller says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Wait, seriously…they fucking overturned the lightbulb efficiency standards? They fucking won that battle somefuckinghow?! What the good goddamned fuck….

    They got the implementation of the rule, which was supposed to happen Jan. 1st, delayed until Sept. That said, DOE said they would still force any company that gets more than a million dollars in funding from them to meet the standards anyway.

    The real issue is the insanity of the Republican party.

  38. 38
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    It’s just…guhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

    There really is no hope of anything on the environmental side of things when even lightbulb efficiency standards that the fucking lightbulb manufacturers asked for and are already trying to implement gets demagogued into a winning position for them. ‘Delayed’. And we’re probably going to get another fight over money and the budget where everything that the GOP just ‘delayed’ like this and whatever more major atrocities they have in store get extended on even further.

    I mean…fuck, the lightbulb thing is minor, I know, but it just seems like that makes the environmental ratfucking it represents even more fucking galling.

  39. 39
    Hill Dweller says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik: The Republican party is f’n crazy. The House has voted 191 times to gut environmental laws this year, only to see it die in the Senate.

    I realize the light bulb issue is ridiculous and frustrating, but it’s minor compared to the crazy shit the Republicans tried to accomplish.

  40. 40
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Again, the minor-ness of it all just seems to make it more appalling to me. They want to fuck the environment down to the last non-BP extractable molecule and they’re fucking winning.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    Apparently none of the fundie Republicans got the memo that explains that we are called by God to be responsible stewards of His Creation. Or maybe my parish has a DFH for a pastor.

  42. 42
    NR says:

    @boss bitch:

    *who really thinks that if Obama had sent back the last draft of the NDAA and said he would veto, that Congress wouldn’t get that veto-proof number in the House? Ya’ll think they can’t get 7-8 more votes?

    Okay, this is a new one. The standard Obama supporter sniveling of “We don’t have the votes!” has become “Okay, we have the votes, but we won’t have the votes if we try to fight!” The amount of mental contortions one has to do to make excuses for the president these days is truly stunning, to say the least.

  43. 43
    El Cid says:

    @OzoneR:

    which explains why they’re oh so happy about their State Senator bringing their senior center a $1 million check and then they decry the horrors of earmarks.

    Are you aiming to make an actual point? Would you like to argue that there’s some complete disconnect between people’s direct experience of government aid and the likeliness of their appreciation of the role of government?

    Do you think that anyone who thinks there’s such a connection overgeneralizes it to every individual and socio-economic group?

    Would you think this sort of thing has never been empirically researched? There’s a whole historical subsection about the ‘First Contact’ poor rural Southerners and Appalachians had with government in the New Deal for which the Government was doing something other than repressing them.

    Sure, I could make some dumb and trivial response about how some right wing venal selfish ignorant group dismisses that response, but that encounter actually changed attitudes on government (within contexts, given certain scenarios, etc) for generations.

    I’m not going to argue this, because that sort of response is just intentionally pissy and stupid. I get it.

    But, okay, HA HA, stupid old fucks voting against gubmit!

  44. 44
    liberal says:

    @JPL:

    I know someone who is a light bulb fanatic who wants her hundred year old light bulbs.

    I replaced the six BR-40 bulbs in my home office with CFLs. The first brand I tried, Feit, all the bulbs below in a period of a few months. I’m now using TCP which seems a lot better, but just had one blow a couple days ago.

    So far not too impressed.

  45. 45
    Judas Escargot says:

    @The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik:

    They want to fuck the environment down to the last non-BP extractable molecule and they’re fucking winning.

    Looks like they’re going to get their oil pipeline built, too.

    Which goes over the Ogallala aquifer, btw. And crosses at least one seismic zone.

    Brilliant.

  46. 46
    liberal says:

    @NR:

    The amount of mental contortions one has to do to make excuses for the president these days is truly stunning, to say the least.

    Maybe as a useful exercise you could compile a taxonomy of excuses.

  47. 47
    Judas Escargot says:

    @liberal:

    I’ve been switching our house slowly over to LEDs, which are now “affordable” (well, $20-25 each).

    Our 5-bulb dining room fixture used to consume 300 watts, and couldn’t use CFLs because of its antiquated dimmer switch (even the ‘dimmable’ CFLs made an annoying buzz when I tried them). Now I get equivalent lighting for 40 watts.

    Whenever the light bulb issue comes up, it’s nice to be able to point up at the ceiling and go “ahem, you’re soaking in it.”

  48. 48
    Nelse says:

    @JPL:

    The Democratic Party doesn’t seem to realize that they are not giving folks a reason to stand in line and vote.

    Yep. Pretty much.

  49. 49
    OzoneR says:

    @El Cid:

    Are you aiming to make an actual point? Would you like to argue that there’s some complete disconnect between people’s direct experience of government aid and the likeliness of their appreciation of the role of government?

    That’s exactly what I’m arguing, that the public doesn’t know what the fuck it wants, so making some argument like “Democrats need to give them a reason to vote” and “we need to give the American people what they want are stupid”

    People are going to decide whether or not to vote based on completely irrelevant reasons like “is it raining today,” it doesn’t matter how many handjobs a politician gives them.

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