Oh God I could do better than that

I’m working on a new twitter persona, a centrist parody, but I’m starting to wonder if I’ll never keep up with No Labels on that front:

It’s Barbaric, But Hey, It’s Home

Apparently Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are terrorist masterminds, who knew?


I’m gonna go ahead and bet that factoring in Democrats that we end up with that fabulous TWENTY-SEVEN PERCENT of all American voters will agree to anything thing yet again, yadda yadda America has a dangerous military Genie deficit SO LET’S BOMB AGRABAH AND GET THAT JAFAR DUDE YEEEHAAAAAA.

On the other hand, Iago is pretty suspicious for a parrot…

EDIT: Full PPP poll results in PDF form here. Far scarier than bombing a fictional country is the very real problem that having 46% of your voters wanting a national database of Muslims presents, assholes.

EDIT 2: Yep, 19% of Democrats also want to bomb a fictional Disney sultanate.

Pussyfooting Around

The Powerthirst Party has to get its two-minute hate on, and nobody does it better than Stu Varney’s bad cop/insane cop routine on FOX.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): Let’s get right to the president’s speech last night on terrorism, and bring in Lt. Col. Ralph Peters. Alright, Ralph, I have a question for you. I know you watched last night. I want to know, what were you saying to the TV as the president was speaking? What was your commentary as the president’s speech unfolded?

RALPH PETERS: Well, first of all he keeps speaking about “we can’t give in to our fears.” You know, “don’t be afraid.” Look, Mr. President we’re not afraid we’re angry, we’re pissed off, we’re furious. We want you to react, we want you to do something. You’re afraid. I mean this guy is such a total pussy, its stunning. And, you know, we want — we the people, the American people, whom he does not know in any intimate sort of manner, we want action. We want action against Islamic State and then — then, when the president is telling us he is going to destroy ISIS. This is a president who has done more harm to American police departments than he has done to Islamic State. This is a president who restrains our military. He uses it not to defeat ISIS, but for political purposes for political cover. This is a president who doesn’t want to hurt our enemies. This is a president who cares more about thugs in Guantanamo, or thugs in Ferguson, Missouri, than he does about law-abiding American citizens and their right to live in safety and peace.

VARNEY: I can tell you are super angry, and I asked you what your reaction was, but I have got to call you — you can’t use language like that on the program, OK? I’m sorry.

PETERS: I’m sorry.

VARNEY: OK, accept that. Now, moving on…

Varney of course waits for Peters to get done with his rant before scolding him, because he’s polite, you see.  Not that he was going to correct Peters’s content that Obama “cares more about thugs” in Gitmo or Ferguson, just that unfortunate language was the only problem.

By the way, if “I can tell that you’re super angry” isn’t the motto of FOX, it needs to be.

Skip The Middle, Go Straight To The Top

The grift is on and in glorious prime-time, kids.

Trump pulled the stunt once before, demanding that CNN donate the proceeds from its September Republican presidential debate to a charity. The network didn’t publicly comment on the request and Trump ultimately participated in the debate.

Trump again floated the idea of the network donating money to charity in exchange for his participation during a campaign rally in Georgia.

“How about I tell CNN that I’m not gonna do the next debate?” Trump said to his audience, as quoted by USA Today. “I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which money goes to the Wounded Warriors or to vets.”

He may not be the game show host this city deserves, but he is the game show host that this city needs, ya see.

Gitmo Closure, Redux

I want Steve M. to be wrong here about Dems chickening out on accepting Syrian refugees, but given the repeated history of Dem cowardice on closing Gitmo, I don’t think he is.

And if this can’t be legally blocked by governors, the courts, or a Republican Congress, I’m predicting raw George Wallace-style resistance by the governments of the Southern states especially — or, perhaps, confrontations involving angry True Patriots with AR-15s. As I’ve said before, I lived through busing in Boston. I know how ugly this sort of thing can get if at least some of the people holding government power reject the rule of law.

We’ve been through this sort of thing before in the Obama years. The president wanted to close Guantanamo, send some of the detainees to stateside penal facilities, and conduct trials in New York City. The backlash was fierce, and no one had his back — and please recall that this was in 2009 and early 2010, when his party had large majorities in Congress. (The mayor of New York, Mike Bloomberg, who’d endorsed Obama in 2008, ultimately stabbed him in the back on this.)

When Obama’s opponents have an ideal opportunity to prey on voters’ fears, they’ll do it, relentlessly. So this is going to be a losing battle for the White House.

I don’t doubt President Obama will find a way to get something done on this, but it’s not going to be pretty.  Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire didn’t hesitate to crap out, presumably to help her Senate chances next year, even though the State Department has taken in refugees since 9/11 without problems.

So what happens?  Hearings?  Legislation tacked on to must-pass bills?  I’m not sure, but what I’m not seeing is Democrats in Congress backing the President’s position on this.  And that makes me think it’s possible that this turns into trying to close Gitmo all over again.

But betting on Democrats not named Obama to have moral courage in the face of rampant Islamophobia has already been a loser for the last seven years.  You’ll forgive me if I think it’s not a solid bet this time around, either.

[UPDATE] If this poll that Greg Sargent brings up is any indication, it’s that Islamophobic assholery in the US hasn’t changed too much in 14 years.

A major new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests these GOP lawmakers and candidates may be reading the mood of the overall public — and GOP voters in particular — with dispiriting accuracy.

The poll finds that Americans overall agree by 56-41 that the values of Islam are at odds with American values and the American way of life. Meanwhile, Americans are almost perfectly split on the value of immigration: 47 percent say immigrants strengthen the country with hard work and talent, while a depressingly high 46 percent say they are a burden on the U.S. because they take jobs, housing and health care. The CEO of PRRI tells religion writer Sarah Posner that the findings show an “increased xenophobic streak” among the American public overall.

So yeah, this is not going to be a good time for refugees.

Marco’d For Destruction, Or The Rubio Slippers

The Orlando Sun-Sentinel editorial board did not take kindly to this week’s story on GOP Sen. Marco Rubio hating his job and is now openly calling for Rubio’s resignation from the Senate.

Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. His seat is regularly empty for floor votes, committee meetings and intelligence briefings. He says he’s MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead.

“I’m not missing votes because I’m on vacation,” he told CNN on Sunday. “I’m running for president so that the votes they take in the Senate are actually meaningful again.”

Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We’ve got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.

If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.

Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day’s work. Don’t leave us without one of our two representatives in the Senate for the next 15 months or so.

You are paid $174,000 per year to represent us, to fight for us, to solve our problems. Plus you take a $10,000 federal subsidy — declined by some in the Senate — to participate in one of the Obamacare health plans, though you are a big critic of Obamacare.

You are ripping us off, senator.


Old enough to remember the whole Republican Savior thing too. Doesn’t get much worse for Rubio at this point, does it?

Well, except when he drops out of the race and fades into obscurity.  I’m sure he’ll be back at some point to plague the state again as Governor or something (I can hear Betty Cracker screaming from here) but man, his 2016 presidential aspirations are kinda done at this point.

It’ll be interesting to see if anyone asks him about that at the debate tonight and how he defends it.  Spoilers: it’s not going to save his presidential campaign.

Bye, Felicia.

Bluffing With A Pair Of Jokers

Greg Sargent calls out the GOP’s “Bad cop, evil cop” routine on the debt ceiling and notes that the Republicans have failed totally in the past trying to get concessions from President Obama over it.

This continues to get lost in discussions of this issue, but GOP leaders actually want to raise the debt limit, and they know beyond any doubt that they will end up doing just that in the end. In previous debt limit standoffs, GOP leaders have agreed that default will hurt the economy. And according to Politico’s reporting, Boehner knows that raising the debt limit this time would spare his successor — and his party — a major headache.

Thus, if and when Republicans do demand later on in this process that Democrats make concessions in exchange for Republican cooperation in raising the debt limit, Republicans will be asking Democrats to give them something in exchange for what they themselves want to happen to prevent massive harm to their own party and the country.

Orange Julius is planning to play ball on his way out the door, but of course Mitch the Turtle is still playing hostage games.

Now, maybe McConnell knows he’s not going to get unilateral concessions in exchange for refraining from hurting the country, and is just leaking this so conservatives think he’s “fighting.” But whatever the motive for this leak, it’s just a bunch of baloney. As Steve Benen notes, “these dangerous schemes only work if your rival believes you’re fully prepared to kill the hostage – and in this case, McConnell lacks all credibility.” This is especially true, now that we know Boehner is looking to raise it, very likely cleanly, to save his party from a huge political mess.

Conservatives will of course scream betrayal if Republican leaders do move to raise the debt limit with a minimum of damage to the country, without getting anything in return for it. But as I noted here yesterday, we have come a long way from 2011, when the political incentives were stacked in a way that really did give Republicans leverage to extract concessions in fiscal standoffs. But in repeated confrontations since Obama won reelection in 2012, the President and Democrats have revealed that this leverage is a phantom. The political incentives now all point the other way.

The point is that conservatives pushing for more such standoffs know this. They know the tactic will fail, and are only urging it on for their own cynical reasons. Whether or not Boehner actually ends up sparing us the needless drama of a protracted confrontation, the fact that he’s looking to resolve this without one itself confirms how this will ultimately end, no matter what has to happen along the way. And there’s no need for anyone to pretend otherwise.

Which brings me to the question: what happens should the poop-flingers in the cheap seats decide to go rogue?  There’s more than enough votes for Nancy Pelosi to bail out Orange Julius in the House and pass a clean debt ceiling bill, but can the Senate GOP wreck the plan?  Would Cruz or Paul blow this up in order to save their failing White House runs? Would Mitch then be willing to end that insurrection to save the country?

I mean it’s nuts enough that we’re talking yet again about debt ceiling hostage situations, and yes, the GOP has folded quickly enough in the past, but the bonkers factor has risen considerably in 2015, and I’m thinking maybe Sargent might not want to be so sure that both jokers are going to fold this time.

I’m not 100% sure they will fold this time, and that’s kinda scary considering the stakes.