House of Clowns

There was a real coup brewing against Boehner but they chickened out:

“A group of disaffected conservatives had agreed to vote against the Ohio lawmaker if they could get at least 25 members to join the effort. But one member, whose identity could not be verified, rescinded his or her participation the morning of the vote, leaving the group one person short of its self-imposed 25-member threshold. Only 17 votes against Boehner were required to force a second ballot, but the group wanted to have insurance.”

Mississippi Rep Steven Palazzo begged for Katrina relief when he ws at the Biloxi Housing Authority but voted against the Sandy bill last week:

“Tell our national leaders- don’t send more inspectors- we know what’s damaged and how to fix it,” Palazzo continued. “Send us money so we can put families back together and do our part to rebuild our community.”






76 replies
  1. 1
  2. 2
    Enhanced Mooching Techniques says:

    So it begs the question what did these jerks except to do, except show the world they are jerks?

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    If the House GOP were a character in Season 2 of Downton Abbey, which character would they be?

    I’m going with the Spanish Influenza.

  4. 4
    liberal says:

    I wonder if there’s a parallel to the party’s refusing to propose detailed spending cuts. (Apart from the main point of the latter—get the Dems to take the blame for cutting popular entitlement programs.)

    In both, leadership and actually doing something is required, instead of just tearing down.

  5. 5
    maya says:

    They should be paid with creme pies.

  6. 6
    redshirt says:

    They would have gotten away with it too, if they weren’t such drooling idiots.

    And thus our hope! They’ve been soaking in their own propaganda for so long that there’s not much brainpower behind their collective movement anymore. Their own self enforced incompetence will doom them. I hope!

  7. 7
    Tone in DC says:

    Got a long quote here from TPM regarding the debt ceiling/gov’t shutdown. Cruz and these g00pers wanna party like it’s 1995…

    See if it is too lengthy.

    Tea Party-aligned Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), within days of being sworn in, is already calling for a government shutdown unless Congress agrees to massive budget cuts.

    During an appearance on Mark Levin’s radio show Friday, Cruz waxed poetic about the last time Republicans successfully shut down the government in 1995, arguing that a shutdown leads to better economic policies. “Because Republicans stood strong in 1995, we saw year after year of balanced budgets,” Cruz said. He went on to call for a repeat as Republicans hold the nation’s fiscal solvency hostage in the debt ceiling fight next month. “If we hold strong we can do that again,” the Texas Senator declared:

    CRUZ: What would happen if the debt ceiling isn’t raised is it would be a partial government shutdown. We’ve seen this before, we saw this in 1995, when Republicans in the House shut down the government. What happened was it was a partial shutdown, there was some political cost to be paid but at the end of the day, because Republicans stood strong in 1995, we saw year after year of balanced budgets and some of the most fiscally-responsible policies Congress has produced in the modern-era. If we hold strong we can do that again. It just comes down to Republicans. Are we willing to stand strong and face the wrath of the mainstream media criticizing us and the president saying nasty things about us?

    Listen to it:

    Were Cruz and his Republican allies to succeed in shutting down the government, the effects would be felt widely. Over 800,000 federal workers would likely be furloughed, Social Security processing could be delayed, newly-eligible Medicare patients wouldn’t be able to obtain benefits, police and public safety officials could be cut, and veterans’ services would be impacted.

    In addition, a debt ceiling negotiation itself is costly; last time Republicans held it hostage in 2011, the debacle cost taxpayers $19 billion.

    The larger problem, however, is that by not raising the debt ceiling, Congress risks defaulting on the United States’ credit. If Cruz and his allies block a debt ceiling increase, the Treasury won’t be able to pay all its bills. As Matthew Yglesias notes, “The result won’t be a ‘shutdown’ of government functions; it’ll be a deadbeat federal government. Some people won’t get money they’re legally entitled to.” That’s why House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) warned in 2011 that not raising the debt ceiling would cause “financial disaster” for the entire “worldwide economy.”

  8. 8
    ruemara says:

    I’m shocked, shocked, to see there is stupid in this asylum.

  9. 9
    jrg says:

    I’m starting to wonder if the biggest threat to hick GOPers might be east coast GOPers.
    The rest of us talk about getting states like Miss. off the blue state teet, but folks like King are getting some additional incentive to screw these dumb rednecks over.

  10. 10
    Ash Can says:

    I was pretty confident that there would be some kind of coup attempt, but I didn’t foresee it chickening out. Just when I think these idiots can’t possibly make themselves look worse, they find a way to do it. Hell, even Heath Fucking Shuler had the nerve to take his coup attempt against Nancy Pelosi public. These guys don’t even have the spine to do that.

  11. 11
    Face says:

    Because Republicans stood strong in 1995, we saw year after year of balanced budgets,

    That’s some serious, pathological cause-and-effect fail.

  12. 12
    dslak says:

    To be fair to Palazzo (and Paul Ryan), Obama was not president when they requested that money, which makes their situations completely different.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    The take-home lesson is that the benefit of being The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight is that your circular firing squads do a lot less damage.

  14. 14
    Todd says:

    “…the group wanted to have insurance.”

    Gutless shitweasels.

  15. 15
    Punchy says:

    OT:

    Speaking of clowns, there appears to be (GASP!) white supremacists in Alabama. Hoocuddaknode?

  16. 16
    Tone in DC says:

    @Face:

    Teh st00pid… it BURNS.

  17. 17
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    “Tell our national leaders- don’t send more inspectors- we know what’s damaged and how to fix it,” Palazzo continued. “Send us money so we can put families back together and do our part to rebuild our community.”

    Translation: “send me a blank check and I’ll spend it how I like, then rail against the evil federal gubbmit for doing the same thing in areas that vote for Democrats or contain black folks.”

  18. 18
    Chris says:

    @Punchy:

    “The important thing to remember is that this man was an isolated incident.”

    “And also that white supremacists are left-wing anyway since the Ku Klux Klan was founded by Democrats.”

    “Besides, why are we hearing about this white supremacist kid but not about the black supremacist kids running lynch mobs against white people all over the country?”

    “Because the left wing media is biased against the white people whose supremacism is nonetheless somehow a left wing value.”

    “Biased against them, and towards Obambi.”

    “In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Nobama had orchestrated this terrorist attempt so he’d have a reason to take away your God-given Second Amendment right to bear bombs, just like he’s doing to guns.”

    “Although this incident does also demonstrate how Obummer emboldens terrorists by being weak and liberal.”

    There. I just distilled the next few hours of PJMedia commentary on the subject to the key points.

  19. 19
    handsmile says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Mustard gas from the World War I trenches.

  20. 20
    Chris says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Translation: “send me a blank check and I’ll spend it how I like, then rail against the evil federal gubbmit for doing the same thing in areas that vote for Democrats or contain black folks.”

    Is it unfair to ask what purpose state and local governments even serve anymore, other than as completely unnecessary middlemen taking their cuts from the money as it circulates between the feds (e.g. the people who actually get everything done) and the public?

  21. 21
    Comrade Jake says:

    To recap the current GOP game-plan regarding the debt ceiling: they plan to hold the country hostage unless serious entitlement cuts are made, but they don’t plan to state what entitlement cuts they’ll support. They are prepared to shut down the government if they don’t get their way.

    It’s almost as though these numbnuts are completely oblivious to history. They have both recent and not-so-recent evidence as to why this strategy will likely blow up in their face, and yet they march onward.

  22. 22
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    @redshirt:

    They’ve been soaking in their own propaganda for so long that there’s not much brainpower behind their collective movement anymore.

    I’m not kidding when I compare the modern GOP to old-school Soviets. They’ve lied to themselves for so long that they believe their own bullshit now.

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    Is it unfair to ask what purpose state and local governments even serve anymore

    Yes, it is unfair. Local governments are still where a lot of the action is. They hire the government workers who most people actually interact with on a daily basis: teachers, police, firefighters, health inspectors, etc. If you put them in the hands of corrupt and incompetent officials they’ll wind up corrupt and incompetent, but the same thing is true of the Federal government (e.g. Bush II).

  24. 24
    f space that says:

    I’m already sick that ignorant d*ck Cruz.

  25. 25
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Is it unfair to ask what purpose state and local governments even serve anymore, other than as completely unnecessary middlemen taking their cuts from the money as it circulates between the feds (e.g. the people who actually get everything done) and the public?

    @Chris: Depends on your local situation. I’m a Californian, and I gotta say that in general my state government does a damn good job. Good enough that with the judiciary, most laws, and services I think we’d be taking a step backwards by letting the feds take over.

    My city and county government, on the other hand, is – and there’s no other way to say this – an abysmal failure.

    I’ve got relatives in the South, and from what I understand from them it would be best if they just let the feds run the place from top to bottom. The amount of grift, graft, and outright theft is reported to be staggering.

  26. 26
    Shrillhouse says:

    In addition, a debt ceiling negotiation itself is costly; last time Republicans held it hostage in 2011, the debacle cost taxpayers $19 billion.

    That’s a small price to pay, if it means they were able to stop Barack the Wealth Re-Distributor and his Spendocrat allies from turning us into Greece!!

  27. 27
    Chris says:

    @Grumpy Code Monkey:

    I’m not kidding when I compare the modern GOP to old-school Soviets. They’ve lied to themselves for so long that they believe their own bullshit now.

    I have thought and said the same thing for a long time as well.

    The thing is, they’ve been absorbed lie upon lie upon lie for so long that even if they one day decided to try and find their way back to the truth, plenty even know which way to go looking for it – especially with the Pavlovian reflex that’s made them shy away from “Democrat” as a word even viler than “communist” or “islamist.” For every disillusioned ex-wingnut who comes over to the light side like Cole, I wonder how many of them either sink into non-voter apathy or embrace some other form of lunacy, like Ron Paul’s.

    (Mind you, in the short term at least I don’t particularly care as long as they don’t vote Republican).

  28. 28
    SatanicPanic says:

    @dslak: Damn liberals always trying to be fair! oh wait

  29. 29
    BGinCHI says:

    @handsmile: At least mustard gas has an ethos.

  30. 30
    eric says:

    If I were Obama, I would say that I am prepared to publicly debate specific cuts with any GOP official. We can do it in prime time from a neutral location. If the GOP does not want to send someone, I would do it at as a town hall to explain how and why a “balanced” approach is necessary.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Fair enough. I’m just sort of tired of state and local governments expecting the feds to bail them out and/or provide them the funds for what they need but still demand that said feds not tread on them. Like – I forget which state it was out west (was it Texas? Colorado?) last summer whose teabaggers gutted their fire departments and then stomped their feet demanding federal help when the wildfires started.

    Is there any reason teachers, firefighters, health inspectors et al couldn’t be federal employees, anyway? (I know it’ll never happen, I’m just saying in the abstract…)

    If you put them in the hands of corrupt and incompetent officials they’ll wind up corrupt and incompetent, but the same thing is true of the Federal government (e.g. Bush II).

    Yeah, that’s fair enough and true as well. But it just seems like these days, the federal government is shouldering more and more of the burden while the state and local ones, if they so choose, can happily fuck everything up (and delight their rightie base, in the red states, in the process) in the knowledge that the feds will be there to bail them out when it’s needed. Hence my “what purpose do they even serve anymore?”

  32. 32
    Dave says:

    @Punchy: My favorite part of the TPM story:

    Taylor said the two big cans had “Fat Boy” and “Little Man” written on the side. It is a play on words. “Little Boy” was the code name given the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, and “Fat Man” was the code name for the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

    Yeah, I’m betting that was not “a play on words”, it was Alabama Stupid shining through.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    I’ve got relatives in the South, and from what I understand from them it would be best if they just let the feds run the place from top to bottom. The amount of grift, graft, and outright theft is reported to be staggering.

    That I well believe.

    Dukes of Hazzard had some basis in fact, it seems.

  34. 34
    Yutsano says:

    @Shrillhouse: 3/10. Creative on the insults but weak performance overall.

    @Chris:

    Like – I forget which state it was out west (was it Texas? Colorado?) last summer whose teabaggers gutted their fire departments and then stomped their feet demanding federal help when the wildfires started.

    It was both states actually. But Texas and Governour Goodhair was rather adamant the feds help then said fuck off when the Medicaid expansion came up.

  35. 35
    catclub says:

    @Chris: Most actual education spending is via state government and state and local taxes.
    Kind of a big deal.

  36. 36
    Redshift says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Here in NoVa, my county government is quite good, and administratively, the state government isn’t bad. State government overall somewhat sucks because of being hamstrung by wingnuts and the Norquist pledge. Deferred maintenance and expansion of transportation is ever-growing, but Republicans will only propose diverting money from the general fund (taking money away from things like education), privatizing roads, or adding tolls.

    In addition, we’re a Dillon Rule state, meaning that local governments only have the powers expressly granted to them by state governments (including kinds of taxation), so the ability of a good local government to counteract a bad state government, even if citizens are willing, is very limited.

  37. 37
    Seanly says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Yeah, I know a lot of hard-working state employees at the various DOTs I’ve worked with over the years. To a person the staff at DOTs (mostly engineers) are dedicated to being good stewards of the public’s money.

    I was in SC when the (much too small) stimulus was at work. SCDOT had to administer their share of the stimulus, portions of which were not typically handled by SCDOT. The ironic aspects was that since the stimulus money had such a short timeframe, SCDOT put their usual program on half-speed so they could be sure to spend the stimulus money. There were lots of asphalt paving contracts going out and very few of the longer term design-bid-build projects going out. In the short run, I don’t think the stimulus helped SC all that much.

  38. 38
    catclub says:

    @Comrade Jake: “It’s almost as though these numbnuts are completely oblivious to history.”

    I wish that were true. They keep demanding that Obama outline cuts (leadership by putting yourself in position to be fragged) they can object to, because the pushback against this strategy, (i.e Effectively calling them cowards for not making clear what cuts they are demanding.) has been non-existent in the MSM. Until Democrats make it clear they are cowards, they have a pretty good understanding of the history of this ruse.

  39. 39
    handsmile says:

    @BGinCHI:

    And mustard gas burns, much like GOP stoopidity.

    [o/t: sorry to raise your Liverpudian ire, but Luis Suarez reminds us why he is a swine.]

  40. 40
    Culture of Truth says:

    A collection of 200 sociopaths is no way to run a government

  41. 41
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Palazzo wants the government to send him money so that he can then complain about out-of-control government spending.

  42. 42
    Jay in Oregon says:

    After reading the linked article, I think “Game of Clowns” would make a good alternate title for this post.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FU2Z2jYmNXA

    It would also make a good category/tag. Just sayin’…

  43. 43

    Oregon congressman has put forth legislation making it illegal for the U.S. Tresury to create the trillion dollar platinum coin.

    I swear this country gets crazier and crazier.

  44. 44

    Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee also voted against Hurricane Sandy relief, although she was begging and pleading for federal money when the Nashville floods hit in 2010.

    The Teanuts seem to have this crackpot idea that private insurance can do what FEMA does gloriously. Which begs the question: why don’t they? There is no private insurance company begging to take on the market for superstorm disasters. None.

  45. 45
    liberal says:

    @catclub:
    Yes, but that doesn’t address the issue of whether state and local government is necessary.

    While it’s pretty clear that local government is necessary, there was a good post or comment section at LawyersGunsAndMoney that was pretty convincing that in this day and age, state governments are an anachronism.

  46. 46
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Tone in DC: A friend of mine went to Princeton and came back for Thankgiving telling stories of how awful and awkward and greasy and just plain odd his freshman roommate was. It was Ted Cruz. He’s been this way since at least 1988.

  47. 47
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @Tone in DC:

    Interesting; Facebook Wingnut Barometer posted this quote from Cruz with the comment “I like this guy:”

    Let me be clear, I do not support default on the debt and we should never default on the debt and the only players who are threatening to default are President Obama and Harry Reid. This is an issue, and earlier in the show you played the President threatening default. In any given month tax revenue are 200 billion and interest is 30 or 40 billion. There is it plenty of revenue to service the debt and any responsible President would’ve stood at that podium and said “whatever happens with the debt ceiling, we will always pay our debt. We’ll never default on the debt” and the reason the President isn’t doing that is he’s trying to scare people and raise the spector of financial apocalypse.

  48. 48
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: Dukes of Hazzard had some basis in fact, it seems.

    Because the South was colonized as plantation economies, where a small, interconnected, elite class ruled over a much larger, deliberately oppressed, working class. They still do that; they have not changed since 1765.

    It’s not graft and corruption! It’s just the necessary adjustments to make the “new” system work just like the old one!

  49. 49

    @catclub:

    the pushback against this strategy … has been non-existent in the MSM

    makes

    Until Democrats make it clear they are cowards

    meaningless and nearly impossible. The GOP thinks the talking heads are America. The alternative would be for Republicans to get shellacked in a national election, which just happened.

  50. 50
    Shrillhouse says:

    @Yutsano: Yeesh! I thought my use of the term “Spendocrats” would make it obvious that I was parody-trolling.

    Next time, I’ll remember the “/wingnut” at the end!

  51. 51
    scav says:

    @liberal: There’s also been a bit of an underground simmering thing going on in places about county and city covernments in places (combined city county govts -miami-Dade, et al. or Independent cities – lots in VA and I think St Louis and a few more) as a way of removing extra layers of govt. Which gets even more interesting in States with stronger township governance, which in some states effectively replace cities, oin others exist outside of cities and in still others add an exta layer of govt in addition to counties, cities and towns (in those ctates that don’t call townships towns) andossibly even villages. At least States are fairly consistent and space exhaustive across the entire nation. Below that, there are like no common definitions of what is what. And lets not forget all the places trying to become cities etc. to gain local control whike others refuse to do so so they don’t have to pay for separate functions. Utter hairball.

  52. 52
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Ash Can: On the Dem side it wasn’t a coup, it was a challenge, which was rebuffed by the majority.

    I guess Republicans are like the Klingon military–they can only advance by killing their king captain.

  53. 53
    scav says:

    @scav: fywp is acting up. Independent cities means there is no county government, we generally just treat the city as the county. Merged city-county plans are legally different. And DC is weird at most levels. ETA. oh, and I never figured out the gores and plantations. Maine is a confusing one too.

  54. 54
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: Yuppers. Free money for me and not for thee!

    I’m sure there was an unvoiced “Jebus” or two in there, as well. Because Jebus knows who deserves this money, especially commissioners and their staff.

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Plenty of counties and cities do a lot. But you have rural jurisdictions with low taxes and low services.

    Most people judge government by what the local government does. So it’s not surprising that there is a disdain for government in rural areas. Rural areas are not perceived as ‘needing’ services, so they don’t get them.

    Drive from one end of Florida to the other some time. Be advised the state government doesn’t do shit except for education and they’ve been cutting that like crazy since Rick Scott came in. County to county is like night and day.

    Also, since the GOP has been cutting Federal taxes left and right, many Fed government programs have been pushed on states, forcing them to raise taxes or cut services.

  56. 56
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: I’ve got relatives in the South, and from what I understand from them it would be best if they just let the feds run the place from top to bottom. The amount of grift, graft, and outright theft is reported to be staggering.

    It makes me laugh when Illinois is called “most corrupt”. No, hon, in Illinois they just got caught.

  57. 57
    Soup of the evening says:

    @Dave: Still, I’m a little impressed that the kid had any grasp of WW2 history at all.

  58. 58
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Chris: Is there any reason teachers, firefighters, health inspectors et al couldn’t be federal employees, anyway? (I know it’ll never happen, I’m just saying in the abstract…)

    Because the GOP has put the fucking squeeze on all of this “optional” federal spending?

    Police officers: the Feds ARE funding a lot of police officers. Mostly narcs. Thank Eric Cantor sometime, willya?

    Teachers? Well, I think Clinton tried. But Obama drank the Michelle Rhee koolaid, so be careful what you wish for, mkay?

    Firefighters? You want to leave that to the same people that mock environmental studies in other states? Just watch, Tejas thinks they have “real” fires but Cali doesn’t, so they’ll jigger the funding formula.

    Firefighters are funded locally because only the local populace is going to fucking care enough to fund it properly. If they don’t care, well, people are gunna move. As it should be. IMO, if the Feds have to come in and save people from fire, they should be allowed to assess the whole region to pay it back for 10 years. Like reverse farm subsidies. That should clear those jokers out.

    Health inspectors et al? Let me tell you a funny story. In the Old South, “job creators” were God and paid you when and how they felt like it. Then the communists passed the Fair Labor Standards Act. This piece of nigger-loving, baby-Jesus-raping legislation required that capitalists pay the unwashed ingrates what they had agreed to at the beginning of the job, not what they feel like paying when the job is finished. And it included enforcement. TYRANNY!

    Most states passed their own version of FLSA. Even Florida. Florida had a state office of Wage Theft that helped workers get paid when their employer stiffed them.

    JEB! dissolved it.

    Remember, FLSA is enforced by the Federal government. They have 7 (seven) inspectors for the entire state. 19.3 million people, 64 thousand square miles. GDP of approx $750 BILLION. (Source: Wikipedia)

    Seven inspectors.

    Yeah, let’s replace local government with the feds. I’m sure that’ll work out great.

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Redshift: Wow, that explains so much.

    VA also has fairly regressive taxes.

    I’d say go for more tolls, as long as they’re part of a regional plan and don’t make congestion worse. There are some brilliant economics who work in network theory who could model NoVa traffic and create a toll plan to help rationalize mode and route usage.

    Essentially what they did in London and it’s working great.

    As my network theory prof said, congestion pricing is not a new idea: the Romans tolled wagons on their way into Rome for the same reason! (Their amazing roads, many still in use today, were built as wagon routes, think ‘railroad’ in terms of economic significance rather than ‘road’. Of course they also had military significance, perhaps the inspiration for Autobahn.)

  60. 60
    Chris says:

    @liberal:

    You remember when the LGM post was written? I almost never read that blog but that sounds worth investigating…

    My overall outlook is – the world keeps shrinking, and as it does, so does the list of problems that can be handled at the local or state level. Actually, at this point the question should be how to go beyond even the national level in order to handle things – globalization, the environment, international terrorism, international crime – that’ve become too big for even the federal government to handle. The obsession on the right with returning power to the states is going exactly in the wrong direction.

  61. 61
    aimai says:

    @Chris:
    The federal government has tried to manage the problem of free riders among the states by demanding that states kick in a certain percentage of spending for things–Medicaid is one example–before getting matching funds from the government. In the case of Texas and a few of the other asshole states (I think Florida was one) they refused to increase their own spending 10 percent in order to get 90 percent funding for their poor and elderly. They kept moaning about how they needed to think about their future budgets and what would happen if the federal government eventually, like years later, pulled the money and they had raised the hope of their own citizens that people wouldn’t be dying in the streets. They would rather kick their sick and elderly to the curb now.

    Still: I think it would be worth rethinking FEMA and basically making it impossible for states that don’t pay into a dedicated fund in advance, and agree to have their congresspeople distribute it according to the President’s direction, to benefit from FEMA funding. No votes to spend the money on other states? No money spent in your state.

    aimai

  62. 62
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @liberal: Yeah, tell that to the GLBT activists who got laws passed on the state level to expland civil rights. Would we be having the national conversation now if states hadn’t passed same sex marriage and the sky didn’t fall on anybody’s head?

    I’m told by my European friends that they also treat their neighbors as laboratories. If Slovakia passes a law and it works out okay, the Czechs will want their own version.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    It makes me laugh when Illinois is called “most corrupt”. No, hon, in Illinois they just got caught.

    Absolutely. The places with the most prosecution for corruption are ones where the corruption is common enough to provide targets but rare enough not to be tolerated as a normal part of doing business. Or, I guess, places where it used to be a normal part of doing business, but people are trying to change the acceptable standards of behavior. The places where corruption is really rife are the ones where it’s accepted and it takes especially outrageous corruption to get any attention.

  64. 64
    aimai says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Holy shit! The party of personal responsibility speaks.

    aimai

  65. 65
    Chris says:

    @WereBear:

    I’ve been needing to read something on the history of the social structure in the South for a while, especially the elites. So far I’ve just picked up a lot of bits and pieces from Internet sites like this one. Anyone got a book they’d recommend?

  66. 66
    Tone in DC says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Eesh. Consistently foul for 25 years.

  67. 67
    Kip the Wonder Rat says:

    @Chris: Are you talking about South Chicago, South Boston, or Brooklyn?

    Oh, you mean “The South”. Got it.

    Yep, there’s corruption there, too, and it might approach what we see in those other “souths”. ;)

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    True.

    The way I understand progress in this country, it starts out at the local and state levels, with a few liberal states putting in place new reforms. Other states follow suit for a while, but eventually you bump up against the fortress of hardcore conservative states that simply WILL NOT, ever, pass the reforms. The tension builds until the federal government has to step in and kick these states in the ass.

    Abolition was that way, the New Deal was that way, civil rights was that way, and gay marriage is going to unfold that way too if I’m not much mistaken.

  69. 69
    WereBear says:

    @Chris: I’ve heard good things about The Mind of the South, W.J. Cash.

  70. 70
    catclub says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Actually, I am somewhat optimistic that Obama will make clear what the republicans are doing when they say he needs to lead.

    No matter how impolite saying that will be.

  71. 71
    Roger Moore says:

    @Chris:

    Is there any reason teachers, firefighters, health inspectors et al couldn’t be federal employees, anyway?

    Other than the division of powers defined by the Constitution, not really, but there are reasons that it might be a bad idea. Many functions of local government are the kinds of things that are really different in urban areas than they are in rural areas. Police, fire, transportation, and school priorities are going to be completely different in New York City than in Kane County, Utah. If they have such different priorities, they probably ought to be run by different people, and those people might as well be locals who know the area and will be directly affected. Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have better oversight of local government, but there are decent reasons not to federalize everything.

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    Schlemizel says:

    @Another Halocene Human: Be advised the state government doesn’t do shit except for education and they’ve been cutting that like crazy since Rick Scott came in

    Actually long before he got there. FLA is actually anti-education.

    They passed a lottery bill in the 80s to help fund their whoa-fully inadequate education system. But instead of giving the additional revenue to the schools they simply replaced other money with lotto money & left the schools worse off.

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    Suffern ACE says:

    @Roger Moore: Yep. I live in the suburbs now and it’s difficult enough to figure out what is going on in all of the different overlapping districts (village, borough, county, state) where I live and who is responsible for what. I don’t think I need to add to that trying to figure out what the people need in Buffalo or Yonkers. I think it’s that county government that I would get rid of. The state government seems to just be a bunch of small cities and rural counties trying to make certain New York City doesn’t get everything it claims it needs (and vice versa), plus a way to filter funding to non-profits run by relatives.

  74. 74

    @catclub:
    I think he’s already done it, and the polls show that – but it will not impede the GOP’s behavior in any way. If anything, it will egg them on because their main motivation is feeling they’ve lost cultural/racial/religious dominance.

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    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:
    I think the best way of organizing things is also going to vary from state to state. For example, here in California the county is considered to be the default unit of local government and is the only source of services like police, fire, and local roads for areas outside of an incorporated municipality. On top of that, many cities contract some or all of their services back to their county. It simply wouldn’t be practical to try to provide all those services at the state level.

    That’s especially true because the unincorporated areas are so diverse. They include Alpine County, which lacks any incorporated municipalities and has a population density of 1.6 people/square mile, and East LA, which is completely urbanized and has a population density more than 1000 times higher. It’s simply not sensible to have the same government organization trying to provide police and fire services in both those places; their needs are simply too different.

  76. 76
    xian says:

    @BGinCHI: the Titanic?

    oops, that was season 1

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