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“Think you’re in the middle of a hurricane now? It’s time for a showdown.”

These hombres are mean, vicious and quick with guns. Sure we’ve got a Sheriff; but what we need’s a gun slinger. ~Mad Dog McCree (1990 video game)

Finally, some common sense.

What exactly is wrong with this deal? The fact that there are cuts? If people don’t like that, why in God’s name didn’t they turn out to vote and bring back our Congressional majority? Once these nut jobs were in there, it was inevitable that this crap was going to happen. Whether or not it is advisable to cut spending, what exactly was going to stop this from happening? My experience is that the primary factor in all negotiations are the facts on the ground. The complaints center on a ridiculous notion that if the President had only said “no” harder, that these guys would have caved in.

The only thing that could have stopped the entire fiasco altogether is Obama’s throwing his nuclear bomb of the 14th Amendment in the air and detonating it. Myself, I would have done precisely that. However, then we would no doubt face the prospect of a year and a half of impeachment hearings, with slavering, slobbering Republicans going rabid over the prospect of finally getting rid of this uppity Negro.

Never mind that the Senate would have never voted for it. The process would have made Bill Clinton’s impeachment look tame.

Would we want to put the country through that? That’s a genuine question, not a rhetorical one.

Right now, I don’t have an answer.

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“There is no place in a fanatic’s head where reason can enter”

The fanatic is incorruptible: if he kills for an idea, he can just as well get himself killed for one; in either case, tyrant or martyr, he is a monster. ~Emil Cioran

Andrew Sullivan takes the Republicans to the woodshed. Every word he’s saying is true, but I’m afraid it’s too late.

It was too late a day after the 2010 elections.

Boehner and McConnell have one goal and it is has nothing to do with the economy. It is destroying this president and this presidency. They are clearly calculating that the economic devastation their vandalism could create will so hurt the economy that it could bring them back to power through the wreckage. And they will use every smear, every lie, every canard possible to advance this goal. The propaganda channel dreamt of by Roger Ailes in the Nixon era will continue to pump poison into the body politic, until they defeat the man whose legitimacy as president they have never truly accepted.

As they say, read the whole thing. And weep.

“Reality is always controlled by the people who are most insane”

“In America, the criminally insane rule and the rest of us, or the vast majority of the rest of us, either do not care, do not know, or are distracted and properly brainwashed into acquiescence.” ~Kurt Nimmo

So. This week I spent more than an hour on the phone and the Internet, moving my IRA and 401(k) to a place where they will hopefully survive the coming apocalypse. Since I work for the Veterans Administration, moving the 401(k) was a snap–I called the toll-free number, discussed which of the options offered would be the safest, went to the website and performed what’s called an Interfund Transfer, right from my computer. I received an e-mail the next day at work informing me the transfer was completed. All my money is now parked in what’s called the “G” fund, meaning government bonds. God knows what’ll happen with those on August 3, but at least I’ll be spared the spectre of the stock market dropping seven hundred points in 2008 when the TARP bailout failed to pass.

Maybe.

The IRA took a little more time. I had to get on the phone to the Wells Fargo investment advisors and figure out which fund to move the money to, grant permission for them to do it, have them reroute my automatic monthly deductions, blah blah blah. (Also, the person I talked to seemingly could not grasp what I wanted–she kept talking about “leaving the money in the C fund for several years.” I’m not going to DO that, you twit. I just want to stash it in the safest place possible until the debt ceiling is either raised or the catastrophe from not raising it shakes out. If it ever does. Then I’ll move it back.) I finally ended up selecting what’s called a World Bond Fund, using bonds from several different countries. Of course, bonds may go belly-up too, I suppose, but I hope the damage won’t be as bad as a plunging stock market.

In any case, that’s the best I can do, short of withdrawing the money altogether and stuffing it under my mattress. But I’m mad as hell, because I shouldn’t have had to do all this in the first place.

In this country, it’s very hard for people to comprehend the fact that one political party (and it’s sure as hell not the Democrats) is actively working for everyone’s destruction.

Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve come to. The thirty-year endgame, started by Saint Ronnie. The Republican party, along with their Teabagger overlords, are nothing more than Norquistian cultists, held in thrall by the Holy Writ of Non-Taxation. (No doubt they all believe in Young-Earth Creationism, the Roswell alien landings, and the Tooth Fairy as well.) They must deny revenue to the government, even if millions of hard-working people like me don’t get paid and lose their retirement money. They must slash Social Security and Medicare, even if elderly people like my mother eat catfood and die. They must worship at the feet of the corporations who pay no income taxes, protect them at all costs, and transform this country into an unrecognizable oligarchy. They must resist raising the debt ceiling, even if the United States and the world is destroyed as a result.

Folks, these are not the actions of a sane person. They are certainly not the actions of a political party who loves their country.

I’ve been reading John Dean’s terrific books recounting the Republicans’ evisceration of government–Conservatives Without Conscience and now Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches. These should be required reading for anyone running for office, as an abject example of how not to act. (In fact, I wish we could pass a constitutional amendment declaring that anyone who believes government is the problem and not the solution, and tax cuts generate revenue, not be allowed to run for office, period.) The descriptions Dean gives of the modern Republican party (and the Tea Party is even worse) should scare the pee-waddling out of every one of us.

Once elected, Republicans are extremely inclined towards opposing Democratic programs, not only because their philosophy is inherently antigovernment but because they are instinctively contrarian to anything and everything liberal or progressive. When campaigning or when  opposing Democrats, Republicans are unmatched in modern politics for their willingness to play dirty, to go negative and nasty, and to play hardball, a ruthlessness well matched to their uncompromising competitiveness. 

The negativity towards government in contemporary conservative thinking raises the question of why these people even enter public service at the national level, other than to dismantle the federal government by lowering taxes and abolishing programs and agencies. It should come as no surprise that Republicans have twisted and distorted government processes to their breaking point, given this mind-set. Of course, Republicans proudly proclaim that they love their country; they love their flag; they love their automatic weapons; they love their Constitution; and they love their democracy, given the alternatives. But where the federal government is concerned: It is too big, too powerful, too expensive, too lax in demanding morality, and too invasive with all its health and safety requirements to be able to run a really profitable business.

And these are the kind of people we let anywhere near Congress? Ronald Reagan would hang his head in shame. Barry Goldwater, old-style Republican that he was, would disown these sons-of-bitches.

In the meantime, I’ve done what I can to protect myself. I highly doubt the debt ceiling will get raised in time, unless Obama whips out the 14th Amendment at the last minute, impeachment be damned. I hope he does. The Senate won’t vote to impeach him anyway, and it would be extremely satisfying to see the look on Eric Cantor’s face if Obama should call a press conference and announce, “Pursuant to the requirements of the Fourteenth Amendment, I have instructed Treasury Secretary Geithner not to let the United States of America go into default, and new borrowing has already commenced. We will pay our bills, as the Founding Fathers intended that we do.”

Yeah, if I was President and dealing with these slimeballs, I would do that in a heartbeat.

We’ll have to see how it plays out. But I would encourage people to take steps to protect themselves. Remember, we’re dealing with a bunch of Looney Tunes who think it’s right and proper to bring the country down, and they’re going to have fun doing it.

“You must be mad,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

I made a snarky comment about this on Twitter, but this article is very much worth reading.

Fantasy Island: Are Republicans losing their grip on reality?

The short (and correct) answer is of course yes. I’ve never seen a so-called major political party believe so many nonsensical things, most of them before breakfast; these people have the White Queen beat by a mile. While this wouldn’t matter if we were actually trapped inside the pages of a book, the fact that we are existing in the (ostensibly) real world makes this a major problem. (And there’s no Neo to save us, darn it!)

As the article points out:

The Republicans ha[ve] moved to a mental Shangri-La, where unwanted problems (climate change, the need to pay the costs of running the government) can be wished away, prejudice trumps fact (Obama might just be Kenyan-born or a Muslim), expertise is evidence of error, and reality itself comes to be regarded as some kind of elitist plot.

This would be funny if it wasn’t so dangerous. I’ve beat this drum before, and I will pound on it until the sun turns into a red giant: if the American people give these dolts free reign, they will not only drag the country down into ruin, they will take half the world with them (re the current stupidity over the debt ceiling).

It’s fine to believe impossible things, if you so desire. (Skeptics will point to my religious faith as my own “impossible thing,” and that’s okay–I’m not trying to create a national policy around it.) It is not fine to attempt to run a country based on these fantasies.

So if you want a bankrupt Third World country run by racist, reality-denying clowns, vote Republican.

If you don’t–then kick their asses out of office.

Whom Gods Destroy…

What the hell are John Boehner and Mitch McConnell trying to pull?

The jig is up, or it should be. The Republicans don’t want to drive the car to the cliff’s edge; they want to floor it and go right over, damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. They want to send this country into default. Of course they’ll drag the rest of the world along with them, but too bad, so sad. Then, when the world financial markets are collapsing, they’ll take a page from the Michigan governor’s book and declare financial martial law, and oh-so-conveniently drop the first word from that phrase. In the midst of their self-imposed crisis, they’ll suspend the Constitution, send Barack Obama and the rest of the Democrats to Guantanamo Bay, elevate themselves to co-Presidents, and impose the Republicans’ horrific vision on the country.

I really wish there was a way to send Seal Team 6 to both their houses one night and pound some sense into their goddamned ideological stupidheads.

“Despair has its own calms”

This astute commenter at Krugman’s place points out something I think could catch on. In politics, it’s all about the framing, or so I’ve heard.

Therefore, from now on the GOP will be dubbed the Bloody Old Party (or BLOP). As in, “We are coming for what’s left of yours.”

Paul Ryan’s proposal will hereafter be referred to as “Vampire Medicare.”

Drain you dry and then you die,
Quickly, to the gates of dawn,
Insurance gangsters soldier on!

His budget as a whole shall be known as “Vampire Economics.”

Voodoo is so Reagan-esque.
Let’s propose a better test, 
The blood! The fangs! The people rest!
The CEOs will come out best!

Groups of Bloppers will also be known as “the Sparklies,” for easier identification.

John Boehner and Eric Cantor, in their newfound immortality, will write this.

Anthem for a Block-Grant Nation

Oh say can you see,
By sorrow’s stolen light,
What so sickly we hailed,
At the New Deal’s last reaming,
Whose proud bites and thick scars
With their winning old fight
O’er the care they denied
Were so lavishly gleaming.
And the Koch-ster’s white hair,
Shone their corporate flair,
Gave proof through the night,
That our thieves were still there.
Oh say does that blood-spattered money yet wave
O’er the land of the poor,
And the graves of the brave!

Where’s Abraham Van Helsing when you need him?

Instant Karma

I have to say, this idea sounds marvelous.

Dems seek leverage by forcing GOP split on Ryan budget plan

The basic idea is that Harry Reid would call a vote on Ryan’s budget travesty in the Senate, and in the process force Senate Republicans to go on the record. Needless to say, this would give even more ammunition to the constituents who are already raising holy hell about this.

And, if in some alternate universe it happened to pass, the President would get to veto it and tour the US for the next year, saying, “I saved Medicare!”

Truly, this is the best of both worlds.

As an aside, doesn’t it seem like Harry Reid’s been more effective since his free-for-all with Sharron Angle? She must have put the fear of God into him. He probably figures after tangling with her, John Boehner is an orange pansy.