Remember: the serious grownups are in charge

This is Adam Levitin at Credit Slips. Elizabeth Warren was a contributor there at one time.

I testified as a Minority witness today at a House Government Oversight Committee hearing on the CFPB. It was a rather extraordinary hearing, not for the substance of the hearing, which was just the latest installment in the Elizabeth Warren witchhunt, but for the exchange between Professor Warren and the Subcommittee Chairman, Patrick McHenry, regarding the scheduling of the hearing. It has strange echoes of Joe Wilson’s “You Lie!” outburst.

He continues:

Whatever happened with the scheduling of Professor Warren’s testimony, let me just say that the Majority committee staff’s handling of the scheduling in regards to me was less than exemplary. At some point this morning, the hearing was moved up by 45 minutes and moved to another hearing room. Majority committee staff, which handles the invitations and scheduling, never bothered to notify me of either of these changes. They did, however, send an email to all of the Majority witnesses. I was lucky to get word of the change from non-official channels. But otherwise, I might well have been late to the hearing.

It was probably just coincidence that only a Minority witness wasn’t told of the schedule and room changes. Irrespective, this is no way to run a Congressional committee.

Class acts and professionalism all around. No wonder the public intellectuals disapproved of that shrill she-monster Nancy Pelosi. So partisan!

Meanwhile, rational people are finding out that they were lied to by conservative lunatics, and discovering that Warren is not, actually, “the anti-Christ”:

The head of the Oklahoma Banker’s Association — a one-time Elizabeth Warren skeptic who believed she was “akin to the Antichrist” — is now asking President Obama to provide her a recess appointment to direct the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“I write to encourage you to appoint Elizabeth Warren as the first Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and to do so with a ‘recess appointment’ at the first opportunity,” wrote Roger Beverage — President and CEO of the OBA — in a May 19 letter to Obama, provided to TPM. “In light of the action taken by the forty-four senators who have stated they will oppose any nominee to serve as Director of the new Bureau unless certain changes are made to the Bureau’s structure, I encourage you to wait no longer and give Elizabeth a recess appointment before the July 21st transfer date.”

“[A]s an advocate for “banks, I’ve not always agreed with some of her statements,” Beverage wrote. “I have come to know her since her current duties began last September, and I am convinced she clearly recognizes the importance of community banks and small credit unions to the nation’s economic recovery and how they fit into her vision to protect American consumers and their families. … In my view she is far and away the best qualified person to lead it as it begins its historic mission.”

We’ll survive this. Maybe.

When I was 19 or so, I worked for a time in a completely disreputable health food store located in a dying strip mall in what is now probably suburban Atlanta but was then a small town in Georgia that had aspirations of becoming a suburb of Atlanta.

I know there are reputable health food stores, but this wasn’t one of those. The (mostly absent) proprietor wasn’t making enough money in our core business, which was selling over-priced vitamins and crack-pot cancer cures, so he branched out into survivalist gear and supplies. The store was too small to actually stock survivalist gear and supplies, so we were a distributor. That means we had samples of dehydrated food and water purification kits and such to show customers, who would then order from catalogue, and we got a cut of that sale.

Based on this experience, if some Right wing fringe group takes power and we all have to choose, Rapturist or End Times Survivalist, I’m in the Rapturist camp. Rapturists don’t have to buy or do anything. End Time Survivalism is expensive and a lot of work.

If we don’t want to be either of those things, we’re all going to have to vote, because we’re not lunatics, and we shouldn’t be governed by lunatics. Lunatics like noted conservative historian and media favorite Newt Gingrich, who recently floated his new and innovative idea: imposing a poll test on the voters who don’t vote for conservatives.

Which leads me to the point of this post. I am getting emails from people who live in states where conservatives are frantically passing voter suppression laws. I sympathize, completely. I too believe voting is a right not a privilege, the the US Constitution agrees with me, and I like reader emails. But, I’ve done three of four statute-based posts on these laws, and they’re all about the same. Perhaps they’re all the same because they were all drafted by the same national conservative group?

Anyway, looking at these laws all over the country it seems they are targeting not just minority voters, but students, specifically. There’s a reason for that.

Obviously, Democrats, liberals and other voting enthusiasts are going to need some strategy to counter the disenfranchising effects of these laws.

Here’s an excellent site for stats on youth voting which might be a good place to start.

Secretly Minnesotan

American Conservative magazine has a lengthy and interesting history of Michele Bachmann and the rise of evangelical Christians in the Midwest in the last 40 years. The main driver of change is the battle over abortion:

Go across the Midwest, state by state, and you find the “moderate” wing of the party has shrunk to insignificance. No Republican could get signatures on a ballot petition, let alone win a primary, as a supporter of abortion rights. That wasn’t true just over a decade ago. And the nearly forgotten Ford-Dole ticket of two famed Midwestern Republicans in 1976 wouldn’t elicit much support from GOP voters in the region today.

Bachmann’s strategy will be to unite the Tea Party/Paulists with the social conservatives, which will be a neat trick considering that Paul himself is running. But, after reading the piece, I’ll buy the premise that she’s the only big name candidate in the Republican race who social conservatives will take seriously. She’s got a long, solid history of anti-abortion advocacy, and a far more serious political background than her doppelganger Palin. And, for all the “Hoot-Smalley” idiocy, she’s also a lawyer, which means that she was at least able to stick around long enough to finish law school.

If she does announce, I hope Democrats put some money into her district to encourage her constituents to throw her out because she’s not paying attention to her district. MN-6 is a R+7 district, so it’s no cakewalk for a Democrat, but she had a fairly tight race in 2008 after her first set of stupid public commentary. It would be a hell of a public service to knock her out of Congress.

Elections, How Do They Work?

Speaking of speculation, as DougJ notes, Mitch Daniels is in the middle of a pundit market run-up as our elite overseers try to filter out the Republican candidates that the little people shouldn’t waste time on. He’s one of four acceptable, serious candidates:

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. That’s actually a very good test, because of the people you mentioned [Romney, Pawlenty and Daniels], who did, those are the serious candidates.

And I might throw in another. Jon Huntsman seems to be running. And I suspect he’s a serious candidate. I’m not sure what his odds are. But it’s going to be a — the good thing about this debate was, there were only five people up on the stage.


DAVID BROOKS: When the serious candidates come in, there’s going to be a lot. And they will be very inconclusive. And it will just be hard to have a good debate with so many of the people who are not going to get the nomination up there.

And, so, you know what? I — but I think we will known in 10 days. I have been talking…

JIM LEHRER: Ten days?

DAVID BROOKS: … to some of the candidates. And I think they have a feeling that, within 10 days, the people who are half-in, half-out have to say, yes, I’m in; yes, I’m out.

So, I think we will know very soon, and by the next president — the next debate next month, it will be a real debate.

I realize that many an electron will be spent extolling the seriousness of this new fantastic four, but will the energy of tens of fingers hitting hundreds of keys really matter? Is there still a Republican electorate motivated to go to the polls and vote for a Mormon (bad), a Mormon Obama likes (worse), an Arab (shudder), or a wimp? How exactly is the admittedly immense potential energy of David Brooks’ imprimatur transmitted to the average Republican primary voter? I don’t quite understand the physics or chemistry of that reaction. Because what I see is a party controlled by its rump, a bunch of angry white tea partiers who don’t give a shit about what David Brooks thinks is “real” or “serious”.

Only Real Men Torture Folks…

In wingnutnopia heads explode and reconfigure and then explode anew over and over again. It is a byproduct of dealing with a Black man as President and the stone cold fact that he is smarter than they are.

A week ago it was all Donald Trump and yada, yada, yada as the beltway prepared for the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. The right–as usual–was in full flame Obama mode. Folks were lining up to get the Donald’s back while others took a phrase out of context from an 8,000 word New Yorker piece on Obama’s foreign policy to paint The President as weak and cowardly when it comes to protecting America and being a Leader. Naturally this wingnut meme had to be expressed with an illustration from the Jim Crow art school of scared big-eyed Negroes:

Read more