The Thin, Frothy Line

Let’s not kid ourselves at the kind of president that Rick Santorum would be, folks.

“The reason Bibles are no longer in the public schools is because we let them take them out,” Santorum said to amens and applause at The Awakening conference, hosted by the right-wing Liberty Counsel. “You say, ‘Well, we can’t get them back in?’ Yes we can! Yes we can!

How much are you willing to sacrifice?” the former presidential candidate continued. “One person got the Bibles out of the schools. We have more than one person here! But you’ve got to have the same passion in preserving our country as they do to transform it.”

When they say “Take our country back!” they conveniently forget the “to the Dark Ages” part.  These guys are fanatics, and as we’re reminded, there’s nothing Republicans can do that would ever get them tagged as “radicals” the way anyone to the left of Joe Manchin is today.

The rest of us just tune out the entire process and say “You have to give me a reason to vote for the Democrats.  The fact they are not the GOP isn’t good enough.”  And for tens of millions of us, that will never change.

And neither will the Santorums of the GOP.

Persians, Warriors & Philosopher-Kings

tom cotton at the waters edge danziger

(Jeff Danziger’s website)

So Politico did their weekly survey of “a bipartisan group of key activists, operatives and thought leaders in Iowa and New Hampshire”:

One-third of Republican insiders believe that Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton and his GOP colleagues — including several potential presidential candidates — crossed the line when they published an open letter to Iranian leaders warning about a possible nuclear deal…

“The GOP letter — while sound in substance — caused the debate to shift from the administration’s wrongheadedness to the GOP’s tactics,” said a New Hampshire Republican, who — like all 92 respondents this week — completed the survey anonymously in order to speak candidly. “That’s not helpful.”…

Unless, of course, you’re Tom Cotton — or one of his backers. Paul Waldman, last week, in the Washington Post:

On paper, Cotton looks like a dream politician with nowhere to go but up — Iraq veteran, Harvard Law School graduate, the youngest senator at 37. It’s only when you listen to him talk and hear what he believes that you come to realize he’s a complete crackpot. During the 2014 campaign he told voters that the Islamic State was working with Mexican drug cartels and would soon be coming to attack Arkansas. When he was still in the Army he wrote a letter to the New York Times saying that its editors should be “behind bars” because the paper published stories on the Bush administration’s program to disrupt terrorist groups’ finances (which George W. Bush himself had bragged about, but that’s another story).

While in the House in 2013, Cotton introduced an amendment to prosecute the relatives of those who violated sanctions on Iran, saying that his proposed penalties of up to 20 years in prison would “include a spouse and any relative to the third degree,” including “parents, children, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, grandparents, great grandparents, grandkids, great grandkids.” Forget about the fact that the Constitution expressly prohibits “corruption of blood” penalties — just consider that Cotton wanted to take someone who had violated sanctions and imprison their grandchildren. Needless to say, this deranged piece of legislation was too much even for Republicans to stomach, and it went nowhere…

Read more

Open Thread: IOKIYAR@BushCrimeFamily.igmfy

Jeb’s chronic familial ‘laws are for the little people’ genetic flaw seems to be acting up, again. (The URL in the post title should end .whod — We Have Ours, Dear — but that’s too subtle for a header.) Ed O’Keefe, reporting in the Washington Post:

Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records…

Bush… has sharply criticized likely Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton for her use of a private e-mail account when she served as secretary of state. He called it “baffling” that Clinton didn’t consider the potential security risks of discussing diplomatic and national security issues by using an e-mail account not tied to a government server.

As governor, Bush used his account,, to conduct official, political and personal business, ranging from plans to woo new businesses to the state, judicial appointments and military matters, the e-mail records show. His e-mail server was housed at the governor’s office in Tallahassee during his two terms; he took it with him when he left office in 2007.

He later turned over about 280,000 e-mails for state archives under the requirements of Florida records laws, or about half of the total e-mails on the server…

As noted Saturday by the New York Times, the archive process continued until last May, when attorneys for Bush delivered 25,000 additional messages. Aides have defended the pace of Bush’s compliance, saying that it took seven years because of his volume of correspondence…

Bush’s aides have strongly defended the process used to release his messages, noting that other potential GOP presidential candidates haven’t released any e-mails or are having e-mails released only as part of ongoing government investigations. The list includes former Texas govenor Rick Perry; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie…

When Bush published his e-mails in February, aides said many messages would be withheld or redacted to comply with state law barring the release of messages including Social Security numbers, confidential business issues or law enforcement and other security matters. Some of the published e-mails initially included Social Security numbers, forcing Bush’s team to quickly redact them — an early stumble for the governor’s fledgling presidential efforts…

On Friday night, after a meeting with potential supporters, Bush was asked to respond to criticism that he, like Clinton, was allowed to self-select which e-mails should be turned over for archiving.

“I was way too busy to decide,” Bush said…

Somebody explain to me, how did Jeb get his reputation as “the smart Bush brother”?

Default Mode Is Completely Broken

Our 2014 elections have assured me that our Republican leaders in Congress will learn to govern any time now. I mean, what could possibly go wr…OH WAIT.

The Hill reports this morning that another “tense standoff,” one similar to the chaos that erupted around Department of Homeland Security funding, is likely to unfold around the need to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which is set to run low on funding this spring. Business groups — and the Obama administration — are warning of disaster if funding for ongoing infrastructure projects evaporates, while conservative groups are insisting Republicans agree to devolve infrastructure back to the states. Yet John Boehner is already on record saying he wants to replenish infrastructure funding. He just hasn’t said how it should be paid for. Sound familiar?

In the case of infrastructure, it should be noted that the failure is bipartisan: Democrats have also been far too reluctant to support the obvious solution, i.e., a hike in the gas tax.

But then there’s the debt ceiling, where the culpability for any crisis will be a lot clearer: It will lie with Republicans who oppose a clean debt limit hike. The Treasury Department is warning that we are close to hitting the debt limit, and is asking Congress rather laughably to “address this mater without controversy or brinksmanship.” Mitch McConnell recently pledgedthat Republicans will not allow us to “default on the national debt, but in the very next breath, he added that he hoped a debt ceiling hike “might carry some other important legislation that we can agree on in connection with it,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.

GOP leaders may fully intend to fund infrastructure and avoid default. But the battle over Homeland Security funding is a reminder: Even when they know exactly how these standoffs will end — with the stiff-arming of conservatives and the moving of must-pass legislation with the help of Democrats — they will postpone the inevitable for as long as possible, in an always-futile effort to persuade conservatives that they fought the good fight to the bitter end. Which suggests that the best case scenario is that ultimately, further crises will be avoided, but only after more bouts of messy, protracted, and (in the case of the debt ceiling in particular) destructive drama.

We are all thralls to the 18% of America who voted to keep the GOP in charge of Congress. The default mode of our country is hopelessly, stupidly broken, because MURICA.

Cotton Ginning Up Trouble

A not-so-gentle reminder that Sen. Tom Cotton was a generally awful human being long before the #47Traitors flap, back when he was running for Senate last year:

“I don’t think that we should be using farmers as a way to pack more welfare spending into Barack Obama’s government,” Cotton said. according to the Huffington report “Nor should we have a food stamp program that isn’t reformed, that doesn’t have job training and work requirements, that doesn’t have drug testing requirements, so we can get people who are addicted the help they need. Or make sure that long-term addicts or recidivists are not abusing taxpayer dollars.”

Suggesting that food stamp recipients are “people who are addicted” while running for the Senate in a state like Alabama Arkansas is not an accident.  Cotton easily beat Mark Pryor in November by 17 points and my guess is he’ll have no problem getting re-elected for the next 30 years, where he’ll be a dog-whistling pain in the ass for as long as the GOP is a going concern in the South.

There’s a reason why Cotton is considered a “rising star” where using the Southern Strategy of fifty years ago makes you the future of the party.