Thursday Morning Open Thread: Needs More Highchairs

needs more high chairs handelsman
(Walt Handelsman via GoComics.com)

Dana Milbank finds the Republicans revolting, or in revolt, or something:

It’s perhaps a sign of progress that the House Republicans are now focusing on suing Obama rather than impeaching him, which was discussed at an earlier meeting of the committee. But if they weren’t talking much about the “I-word,” as Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) put it Wednesday, it’s only because “it’s an impractical tool,” as long as “we have Harry Reid as a shield in the Senate.”

But suing the president isn’t any more practical because the courts have long refused to settle such disputes between the elected branches. This means the proposed bills, and Wednesday’s hearing, were really about the GOP effort to delegitimize Obama…

The Republicans and their witnesses filled three hours with accusations and wild hypotheticals: “Tyranny.” “Dangerous and scary moment.” “Imperial presidency.” “Magisterial power.” “Effectively having a monarch.” “Alarming.” “Constitutional tipping point.” “Reeks of arrogance and conceit.”

“Neither the president nor the attorney general have the constitutional right to make or change laws themselves,” declared Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.). “That is what happens in a dictatorship or a totalitarian government.”

But with one crucial difference: You can’t file a frivolous lawsuit against a dictator.

Doesn’t seem to be helping with the actual target of their marketing efforts, namely the Rabid Reichtists:

According to Larry Hart, the American Conservative Union’s director of government relations, “conservatism was on a decline in 2013 in Congress,” with fewer members moving to the right than he has seen in previous years.

“Only 16 members of the House earned a perfect ACU conservative rating of 100 percent, the lowest since 2006,” Hart wrote in a memo. “The number of senators with a perfect conservative rating of 100 percent decline from eight to three, Tom Coburn (Okla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Mike Lee (Utah).” Top scorers in the House included Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), and Trey Radel, a Florida Republican who recently resigned from Congress following an arrest and struggles with substance abuse.

Next week, the ACU will host the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering of conservative activists and Republican leaders, in Maryland. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, and Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will be among the dozens of GOP leaders and conservative power brokers who will speak at the event.

Christie, Palin, Ryan, the John Birch Society… Apparently this year’s CPAC theme is “Parade of the Has-Beens”.
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Apart from schadenfreude, what’s on the agenda for the countdown to the end of this lousy February?






62 replies
  1. 1
    MikeJ says:

    A few weeks ago a member of congress was sending anonymous threatening emails to other republicans in the House. Did they ever figure out who it was? Shouldn’t be too hard. I can’t imagine that anybody dumb enough to be elected to the house as a republican could be smart enough to hide an ip address.

  2. 2
    JGabriel says:

    WaPo:

    “Only 16 members of the House earned a perfect ACU conservative rating of 100 percent, the lowest since 2006,” Hart wrote in a memo. “The number of senators with a perfect conservative rating of 100 percent decline from eight to three, Tom Coburn (Okla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), and Mike Lee (Utah).”

    I suppose it hasn’t occurred to Mr. Hart that maybe the reason there are fewer conservatives getting 100% ratings from the ACU might be because his organization has defined Conservatism in such an extreme, radical, and uncompromising manner that only the craziest wingnuts can meet the ACU’s far-right standards.

    I mean, clearly the Republicans have become more conservative and extremist over the past few years. Any group arguing that the GOP has become less conservative is using a moving standard that outpaces all but the most bonkers and extreme Republicans.

  3. 3
    raven says:

    Google has a cool whaddayacallit forJohn Steinbeck’s birthday!

  4. 4
    Linda Featheringill says:

    February is such a long month. Don’t bother trotting out numbers and saying it is actually the shortest month of the year. It’s too damn long.

    Today, on the other hand, should be a routine day. I certainly hope so. 24 hours without drama would be very nice.

    Wishes to everyone for a good day!

  5. 5
    Linda Featheringill says:

    It looks like Jan Brewer finally vetoed that bill in Arizona. About time.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @raven:

    “doodle”

  7. 7
    Scott S. says:

    @MikeJ: Do you have a link for that? I’d never heard about that at all…

    @JGabriel: And any of them who don’t achieve the perfect score on their eternally shifting Scale of Palinesque Super-Conservatism is immediately denounced as a spineless RINO who must be primaried by a teabagging lunatic…

  8. 8

    I get to deliver a monthly post-award grant training session today. I’m so happy I could plotz.

    I try to liven it up with a bit of stand-up (“a funny thing happened on the way to a budget transfer”) and slides from my trip to Santa Fe a couple of years ago.

  9. 9
    Schlemizel says:

    @JGabriel:
    Thats exactly what I thought when I read this passage!

    Yet we still suffer with these morons controlling the agenda and being supported by far too many pea-wits. I had a discussion yesterday with what you could assume to be a rational human being about global warming. He made some snide comment about Obama better not mention warming while he is here because its so cold this winter. I explained to him why it is cold (less ice, hotter ocean, Nome having its warmest winter ever which is driving the cold air south) and he told me that there was more ice now than before so I went over the numbers of 40 years of less ice every year and then one year there is more than there was the year before its still less ice because of warming. He changed the subject to gun control.

    SIGH, I hate having to work with morons

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @raven: Thanx, he’s a favorite of mine.

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    @Scott S.: http://www.salon.com/2014/02/1.....publicans/

    That’s from the 12th. I never heard about it at the time but slacktivist linked to that salon article last night. No idea what happened with it.

  12. 12

    @Schlemizel:

    He changed the subject to gun control.

    Because you’re arguing irrelevant details. He’s not actually complaining about global warming. He’s complaining about his tribe getting so weak that a black man could be elected president. Since that’s so obviously racist he can’t admit his true motivations even to himself, he just bitches about liberal anything. Rationalization at work, ladies and gentlemen. It’s just how the human brain works.

  13. 13
    Phylllis says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Is this related to federal projects?* And, aren’t principals the most fun to work with re: grant money?

    *I ask because I handle Title I & several of the lesser Titles in my district.

  14. 14
    Scott S. says:

    @MikeJ: That’s absolutely fantastic. I love those gibbering little lunatics.

  15. 15

    @Phylllis: Yes, and I do like working with principals; they have a lot on their plate, and anything I can do to help is much appreciated.

  16. 16
    amk says:

    GOP effort to delegitimize Obama

    How? Go back in time and unelect him?

  17. 17
    jenn says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Hey, just wanted to tell you I *love* your new book. Bad Penny rocks! :)

  18. 18
    kindness says:

    Republicans are putting out every coded hint that they want someone to do something dispicable. They just want plausible deniability when that something despicable happens. The sad thing is they aren’t being very coy and some lunatic will do something if they keep it up. What do you do when you know some moron(s) is/are poking a hornets nest and won’t stop?

  19. 19
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @amk: with determined efforts, the Republicans are convinced that they’ll be able to force Obama out of office by January 2017.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MikeJ: Heh. Got a tiger by the tail…

  22. 22

    And once again we’ll be treated to non-stop press fawning over the cray-cray at CPAC. Every time a bunch of Republicans get together they trip over themselves to hand these people the microphone. Used to bother me but now I think they’re doing us a favor. Republicans are so off the rails that every time one of them opens their yap the nation recoils in horror.

  23. 23
    Scott S. says:

    @jenn: And I just purchased it now. I’ve got a thing for superhero prose fiction. :)

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lurking Canadian: From what I hear them say, he’s never leaving the Imperial Presidency ™.

  25. 25
    Thoughtful David says:

    I read the Dana Milbank column. I’m not a big fan of Milbank, but lately he has been putting out some interesting stuff, especially for a Republican and a Villager. And his column today, the one quoted, makes me really sad for the United States. We all know it, but he collected a lot of vileness, that’s coming from Republican elected leaders. To have these “people” (I’m using the term loosely) saying this stuff is horrific, and each one claims to be representing >600,000 people.
    I read other message boards, and it is common for the conservatives to complain that liberals think conservatives are evil. Yet they keep giving us so much evidence.

  26. 26
    JGabriel says:

    Thoughtful David:

    I read other message boards, and it is common for the conservatives to complain that liberals think conservatives are evil. Yet they keep giving us so much evidence.

    Conservatives hate it when people learn from experience – or, really, when they learn anything at all.

  27. 27
    JGabriel says:

    kindness:

    Republicans are putting out every coded hint that they want someone to do something dispicable.

    What code? Republicans really aren’t very cryptic. These days, they aren’t even marginally cryptic.

  28. 28
    Chyron HR says:

    “Tyranny.” “Dangerous and scary moment.” “Imperial presidency.” “Magisterial power.” “Effectively having a monarch.” “Alarming.” “Constitutional tipping point.” “Reeks of arrogance and conceit.”

    Can’t you guys get through a single post without quoting Glenn Greenwald?

  29. 29
    Cervantes says:

    @MikeJ:

    That’s from the 12th. I never heard about it at the time but slacktivist linked to that salon article last night. No idea what happened with it.

    The “threatening” e-mail messages can be read here.

  30. 30
    debbie says:

    Did Jindahl do or say something specific to earn that depiction in the cartoon, or is it just a general statement about his “youthfulness”?

  31. 31
    Suffern ACE says:

    Two more votes to raise the debt ceiling, and Thad Cochrane becomes the most liberal Republican Senator since Jacob Javitz.

  32. 32
    randomworker says:

    @debbie: I believe the reference is that he broke long-standing protocol and left the meeting to complain about President Obama from the steps of the White House.

  33. 33
    jenn says:

    @Scott S.: Yay! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

  34. 34
  35. 35
    NotMax says:

    Only 120 shopping days until the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @NotMax:

    Looks like the Russians are going to start WWIII to celebrate.

  37. 37
    Cervantes says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    February is such a long month. Don’t bother trotting out numbers and saying it is actually the shortest month of the year. It’s too damn long.

    Somewhere around 200 BC, the Romans had it down to 23 days.

    (Hope this helps.)

  38. 38
    balconesfault says:

    Given the Dems traditional problem with getting voters out when no Presidential candidate on the ballot- perhaps the looming threat of a GOP led Senate receiving an Impeachment from the GOP House could be used to GOTV?

  39. 39
    skwerlhugger says:

    I think the accusation they were searching for was “uppity”.

  40. 40
    Lurking Canadian says:

    I confess IANAL. I don’t really understand the legal implications of the “tweaks” to ACA (postponing the mandate in certain cases and so on). But isn’t a more direct comparison the Bush fils tradition of “signing statements” in which he said, effectively, “I don’t care what this law says, I ain’t doing it”?

  41. 41
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Baud: “We are all Ukranians now.” -Sen. John McCain

  42. 42
  43. 43
    raven says:

    Major General Paul D. Eaton, who served more than 30 years in the United States Army in combat and post-combat assignments in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia, joined Ari Rabin-Havt on The Agenda on SiriusXM Progress early Wednesday morning to discuss proposed cuts to the military budget.

    But his most interesting statements were in response to Dick Cheney’s divisive comments on Fox News reiterating the “Food Stamp President” cries of the far right.

    “It’s unfortunate that he has not followed the …model of his former boss, President Bush, and gone off quietly to write his memoir”, Major General Eaton said.

    He continued: “Vice President Cheney is one of the architects of the worst foreign policy disaster of the 21st century. The decision to attack Iraq, and to do so in such an incompetent manner, does not give him a platform to say ANYTHING about the foreign policy…of today.”

  44. 44
    debbie says:

    @Boudica:

    Thanks for the link. Amazing job of cramming a number of talking points into a single, mangled sentence. GWB lives!

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @raven:

    Love that last paragraph. Hope it gets spread far and wide.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Torture- IOKIYAR, Illegal detentions- IOKYAR, Wars begun under false pretenses- IOKIYAR… the list is endless but the biggest IOKIYAR of all is, Illegal spying on Americans that even your own conservative Republican attorneys can find legal justification for- IOKIYAR

  47. 47
  48. 48
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: I am sure the right will find a way to justify the savaging of a beloved vet.

  49. 49
    Cervantes says:

    @raven: Also: “Vice President Cheney is who he is.”

    FYI, Eaton is retired and has a son in the Army. He was an advisor to the Clinton campaign in 2008 and then made appearances for nominee Obama.

    Part of the interview (re Cheney) can be heard here.

  50. 50
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yeah, ask Colin Powell.

  51. 51
    Steeplejack says:

    @JGabriel, @Scott S.:

    There’s a pretty funny line in HBO’s Alpha House where John Goodman’s shrewish wife excoriates him because his ACU rating has “plummeted” from 100% to 96%.

  52. 52
    geg6 says:

    @debbie:

    Yeah, ask Colin Powell.

    Fuck him. I hope he is ashamed of himself every day for the rest of his life and nothing he can do (certainly nothing as simple to do as being an African American who supports the first African American president) will ever, ever, ever make up for his part in lying us into war in Iraq. Nothing. Ever.

  53. 53
    Tone in DC says:

    @raven:

    Eaton’s most interesting statements were in response to Dick Cheney’s divisive comments on Fox News reiterating the “Food Stamp President” cries of the far right.

    “It’s unfortunate that he has not followed the …model of his former boss, President Bush, and gone off quietly to write his memoir”, Major General Eaton said.

    He continued: “Vice President Cheney is one of the architects of the worst foreign policy disaster of the 21st century. The decision to attack Iraq, and to do so in such an incompetent manner, does not give him a platform to say ANYTHING about the foreign policy…of today.”

    Damn. That is gonna leave a mark. They’ve even lost the high ranking officers, over the last 10 years or so. Admiral Fallon probably had no use for Cheney/Bush, either.

  54. 54
    Cervantes says:

    @geg6:

    And whitewashing US policy and actions in Vietnam.

    And other things.

    I’m with you. He’s no hero of mine.

  55. 55
    danielx says:

    The Republicans and their witnesses filled three hours with accusations and wild hypotheticals: “Tyranny.” “Dangerous and scary moment.” “Imperial presidency.” “Magisterial power.” “Effectively having a monarch.” “Alarming.” “Constitutional tipping point.” “Reeks of arrogance and conceit.”

    And on to the president who issued 157 signing statements, as opposed to Obama’s 25 or thereabouts…

    “I’m the commander — see, I don’t need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president.”

    You remember when Steve King jumped all over George W. Bush’s ass for unconstitutional actions committed in association with the unitary executive theory?

    Yeah, me neither.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tone in DC: There is a group of officers within the army (perhaps the other services as well) who are reachable by Democrats. First, they are turned off by the irresponsible use of their beloved troops by Republicans. Second, and this one is rather important, the know that the military is a collective operation. They are used to looking out for the welfare of their soldiers, helping those in need, and making sure that pathways to promotion and opportunity are open to all deserving soldiers. They know that the mechanics and cooks and supply clerks are absolutely necessary to their mission. Basically, they accept the whole concept that “it takes a village…”

  57. 57
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @JGabriel:

    I suppose it hasn’t occurred to Mr. Hart that maybe the reason there are fewer conservatives getting 100% ratings from the ACU might be because his organization has defined Conservatism in such an extreme, radical, and uncompromising manner that only the craziest wingnuts can meet the ACU’s far-right standards.

    Yep. People need to understand that organizations create those ratings in support of their own agendas. The ratings generally work well to compare members of the same Congress, but you can’t really compare them across time.

  58. 58

    @jenn: and @Scott S.:
    You people are dolls. The best way you can thank me is by putting a review on Amazon. Good reviews are gold for authors. Not only are they the best advertising, we get all giggly reading them.

    I’m very proud of the book. Of course, I’m proud of all my books, but they’re all different. I set out to make a fun book this time, and I believe I thoroughly succeeded.

  59. 59
    Tone in DC says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I heard that.

  60. 60
    Ian says:

    @Linda Featheringill:
    Its such an ugly, long, evil, trollish month that it denies me my birthday 3 out of every 4 years.

  61. 61
    JustRuss says:

    The Republican memory hole is something to observe. When Bush was pulling his “unitary executive” schtick, and “serves at the pleasure of the president” was a meme on every conservative’s lips (http://crooksandliars.com/2007.....-president), where were these guys?

  62. 62
    Ian says:

    @balconesfault:
    The R party might win the senate, but they sure as shit ain’t getting 2/3 of it.

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