We Should Have Known About the War in Pakistan
In the movie Stripes, circa 1981, actor Bill Murray is exhorting his fellow soldiers to rally to the flag, hitch up the testicles and their packs and hustle up some rifle sweat because, well, hell, the greatness of America! “We’re 10-1!” He happily exhorts to them, the wry joke being we can finally admit failure and loss in Vietnam, even if our violent, jingoistic societal elements still won’t admit it for 1812.
35 times we have spun around the sun since, and what would Bill Murray proclaim our proud score to be now? The first Gulf War, a tepid win, only to be followed by losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Why in the hell are you liberals complaining about war all the time? We’re 11-3!Continue reading "We Should Have Known About the War in Pakistan"
A Prime Example
by Deacon Blues
The Texas electorate deserves these type of idiots. Thanks to GOP gerrymandering and the collective IQ of the Republican base, this guy safely wins his seat by 25-point margins.
And he's just one of many that are given too much power in John Boehner's House GOP caucus. But then Boehner himself is about to hold the Department of Homeland Security budget hostage at a critical time unless Obama agrees to major changes in immigration policy, demanding things Boehner himself doesn't have the guts to put in a standalone GOP immigration reform bill.
So what really is the difference between the GOP fringe and their "leadership"? Nothing except title and the media's treatment of them.
Update: Representative Randy Weber apologized today for his stupid tweet yesterday, saying what he really meant was that Obama was wrong for not going to Paris to participate in the big rally yesterday. Yes congressman, you are correct that a tone-deaf president who thinks optics are beneath him except when he is campaigning made a mistake yesterday in not going or sending a high-level representative to the event. But the immaturity demonstrated by the tweet overshadowed whatever good point you were trying to make. Maybe if you spent less time playing to Fox News and the right wing echo chamber and more time focusing on expressing yourself effectively like an adult instead of a kid in his mom's basement, you might get somewhere in life. Then again, given your margin of victory, maybe you know your constituency all to well.
Friday Quick Hits
by Deacon Blues
Some items to chew on for the weekend:
Of course the House GOP rushed to approve the Keystone XL pipeline today, with almost 30 House Democratic votes along for the ride. It now goes to the Senate next week, where Mitch McConnell safely predicts it will pass there as well, again, with perhaps a half-dozen Democratic votes along for the ride. Politically, there's nothing noteworthy about this. These House and Senate Democrats are making safe votes, knowing that Boehner and McConnell lack the necessary votes at this time to override Obama's eventual veto. Once Obama vetoes the bill and survives a failed override attempt, we'll see if the president's negotiating skills have improved.
Romney Wants To Run
Despite Jeb's efforts to freeze out the Mittster, Romney today gave him the finger and indicated he may run anyway. With both Romney and Bush going after the same money class, and with Christie in a delusional state that he's still a viable candidate for the same financial base regardless of his skeletons, we'll be assured of months of entertainment watching the GOP's "adults" destroy each other.
Mitch Is A Laughingstock
The same man who obstructed all attempts to make the economy stronger these last six years now says with a straight face his ascension to Majority Leader is the real reason the economy has been doing better. Please, can we agree that anytime Mitch McConnell opens his mouth on the economy, that he's likely spewing bullshit? And while we're at it, we can also disregard anything Stephen Moore of Heritage and Diana Furchtgott-Roth of the Manhattan Institure ever say again about economics.
I have no idea why the French intelligence and law enforcement services didn't have the Charlie Hebdo killers on their radar screens, like we did here in America. But if Al Qaeda doesn't think that every one of their suspected assets in Europe won't be rounded up in the coming months, they are delusional.
What You Liberals Should Do About Keystone Pipeline
I’m always interested when a professional journalist opines about what we liberals should do with a particular political strategy, tactical study is always worthy and perhaps a precious grain of truth will be discovered in the murk.
Unfortunately in this case the thesis—that liberals could easily make significant climate change policy progress by using Keystone as a bargaining chip—is rife with misperception, obscured political realities and lousy tactics, so a rebuttal is necessary.Continue reading "What You Liberals Should Do About Keystone Pipeline"
2016 Realities for Democrats
by Deacon Blues
While I was in the midst of penning something on a winning Democratic strategy for the White House in 2016, and particularly what Hillary should be focusing on, the terrible news came out of Paris today about the purported terrorist slaughter of journalists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. It is assumed that the killers had ties to ISIL or Al Qaeda of Yemen, or were inspired by the same to mount such an atrocity, yet no suspects have been identified or caught by French law enforcement and intelligence services to know anything for certain. Of course that won’t stop either the media or the usual nuts in the GOP to spew nonsense, and we can now wait for the first stupid remark from a (now-governing) GOP member of Congress to politicize today’s attack somehow into a smear or attack against Obama or Democrats.
While we wait for that inevitable stupid remark from a Republican, it nonetheless needs to be said that in order to win the White House in 2016, a successful Democrat must be “left” on economic issues, and “right’ on security issues. You can argue with my point of view all you want, and I will respect your right to do so but I will continue to think this. Democrats have lost a good deal of the white male vote and for that matter the white vote, in my mind largely because the party and White House spend too little time focusing on the kitchen table and Main Street, and too much time on identity politics. Those on the left who think that a Hillary candidacy would somehow automatically entitle the party to the women’s vote in 2016 are wrong, if Hillary and the Democrats focus on “women’s issues” rather than security, dollars, and jobs.
In my view, Hillary’s candidacy should be anchored on the left in economics and on the right in security, placing her squarely in the company of Harry Truman and JFK. Progressives who want a robust argument from Democrats in 2016 against incursions upon civil liberties, specifically by the Democratic candidate against the NSA and data-gathering efforts by the federal government should be told by Hillary in a “Sister Souljah” moment that vigilance in support of security for all Americans, whether they be men, women, whites, blacks, red, or blue is not anti-democratic. She should tell those on the left that the reason for her candidacy can be summed in in three words: fairness, opportunity, and security. And she should tell Democrats, particularly progressives that if such sentiments aren’t liberal enough to gain their support and votes, then they should vote for someone else.
Update: French authorities have now identified the 3 suspects, one of whom has already served time in France for aiding the Iraqi insurgency against the American occupation. Thank you Dick Cheney.
Winnowing The Herd
by Deacon Blues
I typically pay little attention to anything Jennifer Rubin says, the right-wing opinion writer for the Washington Post. She's often enough wrong that giving her much respect on anything is a risky proposition. But with the realization that even a broken clock is right twice a day, Rubin's column today on the 2016 GOP presidential beauty contest deserves some reflection.
Rubin opines that Jeb Bush's almost certain entry into the race closes out the participation of Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, and even Mitt Romney. I think she is correct here, and for the reasons she gives. Ryan has no real reason to abandon his imminent chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee and leave the center of the action these next two years just to take on several 800-pound characters and their fundraising bases. Rubio for his part just lost part of any geographic base he had, and the man comes across as a boy desperately trying to play in a man’s world. Romney for his part lost the large claim he would have had on the establishment vote.
So with those people probably not on the stage in the coming contest, where does that leave things? What are the camps and candidates that will fight things out?
1. Establishment Money: Even with Romney out of the race, how big is Chris Christie's ego for him to think that he could still keep his donor base sufficiently intact if those same elite funders have a choice between Bush's relative safeness and Christie's warts?
2. Tea Party Darlings: Ted Cruz will run because delusional people boxing above their weight always do things that make no sense. Rick Santorum may want a piece of this action in this camp as well.
3. Libertarian Rising: Rand Paul; that's all you need to know.
4. Statehouse "Successes": Do Scott Walker, John Kasich, and even Susanna Martinez run regardless of Bush's entry just to claim that part of the GOP electorate that wants a current leader who gets things done outside of the Beltway? I'm thinking that at least one of these three does run, if for no other reason than to be someone's Joe Biden.
5. "Niche" Candidates: This is my Mike Huckabee/Carly Fiorina/Ben Carson catch-all category, where any assortment of nuts thinks they offer something that makes them relevant and essential. In truth, the three of them offer nothing and are this cycle's Herman Cain.
So where do things end up at the back end of the GOP beauty contest? Well, despite some of the dismissive talk on both the left and right about Bush's chances, he will be there at the end because of the money and people behind him. Rand Paul will be there at the end because of his ego and because he really wants to have a debate about the future of the party. And Ted Cruz may hang around a while because he really thinks he's "The One."
It'll be good viewing for all of us.