Hot off the presses, the comic geniuses behind Bad Lip Reading take on the Fox News Republican debate. I LOL’d throughout this entire thing. They’ve really topped themselves with this one.
Just hit play. No liquids.
Hot off the presses, the comic geniuses behind Bad Lip Reading take on the Fox News Republican debate. I LOL’d throughout this entire thing. They’ve really topped themselves with this one.
Just hit play. No liquids.
For the past few weeks I have been emailing friends links to YouTube editing genius Vic Berger’s “trash compactor” cuts of Republican Presidential campaign announcement speeches. I have laughed myself senseless at these things. They get funnier with repeated viewings. He really knows how to highlight the absurdity of these events (like the Jeb Bush one with the guy beating his “Jeb! sticks”—what would you call ‘em?—behind the candidate. I found this screamingly funny in a Tim & Eric kinda way).
Hard to say which is the best. They’re all different and each one is a gem. Stay with the Donald Trump clip, I thought it took a little longer to ramp up than the others did, but once it gets going, Berger takes it someplace you probably won’t expect.
More after the jump…
The serene face of a man with absolutely NOTHING on his mind!
If you live in the Georgia district represented by Republican Rep. Tom Kirby, rest assured that your government, via Mr. Kirby’s zany style of “leadership,” is “getting out in front of” the growing problem of genetically engineered glowing human beings. That’s right, Rep. Kirby introduced a bill in the state legislature, er… preemptively banning the mixing of human and for instance, jellyfish embryos. Forget about roads, schools, good jobs, that kind of shit, this is a real problem… or is it? Even Mr. Kirby himself isn’t so sure…
He told WSB-TV:
“I’ve had people tell me it is but I have not verified that for sure,” state Rep. Tom Kirby (R) told WSB-TV. “It’s time we either get in front of it or we’re going to be chasing our tails.”
Look at him. Look at that dumb Republican face on him. He looks like he DOES have a tail.
You could file this away with all the dipsy-doodles who want to stamp out sharia law in South Carolina, but that would be missing out on the special stupid that Mr. Kirby brings to the (grand, old) party. This is even a lower IQ fear than something like the Agenda 21 “thing.”
Kirby posted this on his website regarding his “Ethical treatment of Embryos” bill:
We in Georgia are taking the lead on this issue. Human life at all stages is precious including as an embryo. We need to get out in front of the science and technology, before it becomes something no one wants. The mixing of Human Embryos with Jellyfish cells to create a glow in the dark human, we say not in Georgia. This bill is about protecting Human life while maintaining good, valid research that does not destroy life.
Researchers have been able to splice jellyfish embryos with genetic material from rabbits, mice, cats, pigs and rhesus monkeys for well over a decade, this isn’t new, but the belief that science is trying—currently—to build “a glow-in-the-dark human” as Kirby puts it, is.
Like where did this idiot hear about this “problem,” huh? AN ALL CAPS EMAIL FORWARDED BY HIS GRANDPA? Radio frequencies only he can hear? An Alex Jones-wannabe’s podcast, perhaps? An old coot in a bar outside of Atlanta? He practically comes right out and admits in the clip below that he has no idea what he’s talking about.
Roads, schools, good jobs… or this cartoon idiocy?
Buffoons like Tom Kirby get elected because… people vote for them and for no other reason.
Who the fuck didn’t see this one coming?
The general answer, of course seems pretty obvious—the perpetually clueless and tone deaf Republican Party—but the person in particular, apparently, to blame for this completely idiotic SCREAMING OUT FOR MERCILESS RIDICULE campaign is one of Mitt Romney’s former advertising guru “Mad Men” (and we all know how well that turned out), a Texan named Vinny Minchillo.
“On social media, I’ve been called every name in the book,” Minchillo said. “It’s become socially acceptable to talk about Republicans in the most evil terms possible and that doesn’t seem right. We wanted to do this to really remind people that Republicans are friends, neighbors and do things that maybe you wouldn’t expect them to do.
“People, I’m afraid, think that Republicans spend their days huddling over a boiling cauldron throwing in locks of Ronald Reagan’s hair. … We thought let’s get out there and show who Republicans really are: regular folks interested in making the world a better place.”
Minchillo is clearly operating under the delusion that there’s something sly, clever or tongue-in-cheek about what he’s doing. I wonder how he’s going to feel when he watches Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, John Oliver, every pundit, Twitter, Facebook AND THE ENTIRE INTERNET trash this nonsense like it’s the stupidest thing anyone has ever thought up?
See how that works, Vinny?
MEMO TO THE GOP: If you need an advertising and social media campaign to convince a HUGE swath of people who already think you’re a bunch of fuckin’ assholes that you’re really not fuckin’ assholes, perhaps you’ve got a larger problem on your hands? If you have to TELL other people that you’re just like them, perhaps their perception that you’re not just like them is justified because you wouldn’t really need to point that out in the first place, now, would you?
It isn’t easy being a Republican these days.
There are people who will stick up for Genghis Khan before they’ll defend a Republican. (“Genghis was just misunderstood.”)
We love political discourse. We encourage political discourse. But when did “Republican” become a dirty word?
Here’s the deal: before you post another bullying comment, think about this:
Republicans are people, too.
And you know what? Some of them don’t even have tiny shriveled penises or require motorized scooters to haul their asses around. Many Republicans aren’t racists! Some of them are under the age of 65 and are not angry white males who watch Fox News all day long and shit in Depends diapers. WHICH IS EXACTLY THE PERCEPTION THAT THIS RISIBLE CAMPAIGN IS REINFORCING! All anyone is talking about is “the problem” that this is supposed to be combating!
If this isn’t the equivalent of a gigantic Las Vegas marquee-sized “KICK ME” sign on the back of the GOP, I don’t know what would be.
It’s the most ridiculous thing in… days to come out of the fetid swamp of what passes for ideas in the Republican Party. If hapless Vinny saw this goofy campaign as a way for him to jockey for position for the 2016 Presidential race, Vinny, I hate to tell ya, brah, you done goofed. This is the worst!
Here are a few choice comments taken from what are probably the most consistently intelligent forums on any political or news blog, Talking Points Memo. Just some random recent comments, I’m not digging deep for any of this:
Why, yes, my tattoos include swastikas #ImARepublican
“Redskin” is a term of respect, honor, tradition. #ImARepublican
My father punched me when I was a kid, and I TURNED OUT FINE! Right? RIGHT?! #ImARepublican
I am stupid, evil, and utterly devoid of humanity! #IamARepublican
I prattle on endlessly about the necessity for common citizens like me to own guns in case the government infringes upon the people’s rights, and then I vote for referenda that infringe upon people’s rights. #ImARepublican
Of course I’m a hypocrite. #ImARepublican
Disenfranchising minority voters is OK by me! After all, they’re not white like I am. #ImARepublican
I don’t think everyone deserves health care. #ImARepublican
My party will soon be demographically insignificant. #ImARepublican
I pledge allegiance to the Kochs… #ImARepublican
You get the idea. Here’s my favorite because it communicates SO MUCH:
I think this guy should be making decisions that affect millions. #IAmARepublican
It’s a mite (Mitt?) early for the memes to be showing up in any real number yet, give it a few hours (or even a few more minutes), but the ridicule on Twitter for the #ImARepublican hashtag is pretty good already.
And here’s the motherload of LOL, the video. You’ll note that it’s important for them to have you know that Republicans shop at Trader Joe’s(?), use Macs(?) and “have feelings, too”(?)—and yet there are apparently no members of the LGBT or Muslim communities in the GOP whatsoever. What. there were NO pics of fabulous drag queens, buffed WeHo boys or anyone with a beard and turban in the stock photo database?
For some reason that video reminded me of this classic Tom Tomorrow cartoon:
I seldom write about political matters anymore on DM because there’s an assumption that if you hate Republicans then you must automatically be a Democrat and I got tired of offering the disclaimer that the only reason I would ever vote for a Democrat is to keep the Republican out of office. Not only that, once-reliable traffic-generators like “Glenn Beck says something OFF THE WALL (again)” or “Sarah Palin says something IDIOTIC (again)” don’t really bring in that much traffic anymore. Republicans are fucking idiots. If they weren’t, then they wouldn’t be Republicans. Most people who read this blog probably don’t need anyone, including me, explaining that to them. I prefer to ignore them.
Today, though, I’m making an exception for the #1 dumbest rightwing reaction to Stephen Colbert taking over for David Letterman. This is just too good.
Young Ben Shapiro was once the wimpy “boy wonder” to Andrew Breitbart’s blob-shaped crusader and he usually makes about as much sense as his blustery late mentor, except that no one takes him nearly as seriously. Lil’ Ben is now the editor of a silly blog called Truth Revolt that no one reads except for lefty bloggers who want to mock him. He’s written a new book called How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them and he’s proud of the fact that he was still a virgin on his wedding day.
Shapiro possesses pretty much the most punchable face I think I’ve ever seen. He fills me with visceral hatred. Which is kind of funny because in his latest Truth Revolt “think piece” Shapiro makes an inadvertently hilarious argument for the comedic genius, not to mention vital cultural importance of Stephen Colbert by complaining that:
“It is nearly impossible to watch an episode of The Colbert Report without coming away with a viscerally negative response to conservatives.”
Sharply observed, fuckwit! Give that man a Kewpie Doll…
But in the wake of all the conservative hand-wringing about Colbert replacing Letterman (Rush Limbaugh said that CBS was declaring “war” on the heartland with this pick) Babyface Ben sees something far more sinister going on: Colbert IS a racist! He’s a racist against conservatives!
Blackface, which has an ugly history dating back to at least the fifteenth century according to historian John Strausbaugh, was used to portray demeaning and horrifying stereotypes of blacks. Such stereotypical imitation has not been limited to blacks, of course; actors tasked with playing stereotypical Jew Shylock often donned a fake nose and red wig, as did actors who were supposed to play Barabas in The Jew of Malta. Such stereotypical potrayals [sic] create a false sense of blacks, or Jews, or whomever becomes the target of such nastiness.
And this is precisely what Colbert does with regard to politics: he engages in Conservativeface. He needs no makeup or bulbous appendage to play a conservative – after all, conservatives come in every shape and size. Instead, he acts as though he is a conservative – an idiotic, racist, sexist, bigoted, brutal conservative. He out-Archie Bunkers Archie Bunker. His audience laughs and scoffs at brutal religious “Colbert” who wishes to persecute gays; they chortle at evil sexist “Colbert” who thinks men are victims of sexism. This is the purpose of Colbert’s routine. His show is about pure hatred for conservatives in the same way that blackface was about pure hatred of blacks. In order to justify their racism, racists had to create a false perception of blacks; in the same way, Colbert and his audience can justify their racism only by creating a false perception of conservatives.
No, no Ben, you’re confused. Colbert gives a very, very, very accurate portrayal of conservatives. Didn’t you just write:
“It is nearly impossible to watch an episode of The Colbert Report without coming away with a viscerally negative response to conservatives.”
It’s because conservatives are assholes, Ben. Like you. Someone who doesn’t get the fucking joke..
The comments below Shapiro’s logic-addled rant are as delicious as you might expect:
The only thing this article accomplished is making me think that I might not be too sad if society as a whole started systematically disenfranchising and dehumanizing conservatives. After all, if this guy is that attached to the blackface metaphor he should at least get to experience it for real firsthand.
Is this an article or a rationalization? Sounds like more right wing sour grapes to me. Colbert’s character is successful because it is such a dead-on satire. You can listen to Rush and Fox News and conclude that Colbert is misrepresenting them as somehow worse, or more extreme than they really are? Laughable. Go re-examine your life. You’re on the wrong side.
Tee-hee. Expecting self-awareness from the likes of lil’ Ben seems a tad far-fetched, though.
Oh, brother. There’s this thing called satire and it always exagerrates its subject. That’s how it works. Minstrel shows weren’t satire. They were mockery and cultural appropriation. Is Mr Shapiro claiming that people are born conservative and Mr Colbert is stereotyping the entire conservative “race?”
BUT WHOOOOO WILL THINK OF THE BILLIONAIRE INDUSTRIALISTS AND UNEDUCATED SOUTHERN WHITE BIGOTS??
it’s almost as if you’re providing the source material for him to be successful…oh wait, you have
Here’s another good one:
You just compared the schtick of a comedian on a comedy network to the institutional and societal approved degradation of a entire race of people. Which in addition to being monumentally stupid is also precisely why folks like Colbert mock conservatives, your feigned attempts at equivocating always shines a light on the underbelly of your magnificent ignorance.
Not sure if Ben Shapiro and Truth Revolt are important enough targets for Colbert and his writers to take notice of—some attention from him is what Shapiro seems to be aiming for with this insipid drivel—but it would be amusing to hear their take on how the author of How to Debate Leftists and Destroy Them scored such a humiliating own goal.
Meanwhile, Colbert did what he does best on last night’s program, totally pwning “Papa Bear”:
This is what you get when you try to visit contribute.sinkforcongress2014.com
After the word got out earlier this week about their pathetic scheme to mimic Democratic congressional candidates’ campaign websites in a not-so-clever effort to trick would-be Democrat campaign contributors into donating to the GOP instead, the National Republican Congressional Committee has had to start offering refunds to donors who’d been misled by their scammy sites (and true to form, they are hilariously impugning the honesty, in advance, of anyone who’d dare request a refund! They simply cannot help themselves!)
Did they not think this would end poorly for them?
You have to wonder who it was that approved such a thing and WHAT they thought they would gain from doing something like this? You also have to wonder how many Democrats were fooled and gave money to the NRCC and IF IT WAS WORTH IT for the Republicans to look like total dickheads to just about everyone for perpetrating such a goofy move. No matter what your political affiliation might be, this simply makes them appear incredibly stupid, delusionally incompetent, and there very well could prove to be legal ramifications if this activity would be considered fraudulent in the states where it occurred.
To add insult to this bumbling self-inflicted injury, Google has put a “reported phishing” warning on at least one of the Republican scam websites (the one targeting Alex Sink of Florida.)
And of course this information is now being spread across the Internet. Nice work there, Republicans!
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
If you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em: Republicans pull shenanigans to confuse voters—then brag about it
H/T Daily Kos
If this is the caliber of GOP political candidate one tends to find in Alaska, it goes a long, long way to explain why and how Sarah Palin ever got elected governor of that state.
Yep, check out this video, originally posted by Kathleen Tonn, who is running as a pro-life US Senate candidate, on her own Facebook page. In the clip Tonn is seen standing in a steam room, with all of her clothes on trying to “convert” a women by speaking/singing to her “in tongues.”
It’s pretty remarkable. Mind rot at its very finest. She wanted people to see this video. It was important to her, obviously. That’s why she made it and posted it, obviously…
“I’m at the Alaska Club West and I’m spending a little time in the steam room with Suzie. Suzie doesn’t know Jesus Christ as her savior, but ironically she has a pastor/priest who is her neighbor. So, she has allowed me to sing and deliver a message in the Holy Ghost and tongues.”
She mentions that her smartphone’s battery is running out and then:
“One point of clarification: Speaking in tongues or singing in tongues is very valuable because the message cannot be understood by Satan. But the Holy Spirit can use that message to bring deliverance, to bring clarity, to give discernment and words of wisdom and knowledge, and tongues is interpreted by a person who has the gift of interpretation. So I’m going to go fast.”
Tonn, who lives in Anchorage, is apparently setting her sights on running against incumbent Democrat Mark Begich on the Republican Party ticket. One day she would even like to be President of the United States. On her Google+ page, she declares:
“I love to worship the Lord! I love the Bible! I stand for limited government, the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution! I hate socialism with a passion!!! When the country collapses, what are you going to do?”
Obviously people have been poking fun at her, er, zaniness. One memorable comment, responding to her headline of “How To Get A Nation’s Attention,” described Tonn’s video as “an impromptu American Idol audition in gibberish for a stranger in a steam room.”
Tonn addressed her critics on Tuesday via her Google+ account:
“I have not deleted the stupid and insane remarks made by others, so people can see what comes forth from the mind of evil. Fortunately there are legitimate, wise, Godly people who have viewed the content of this video clip. They contacted me too! For those individuals who are searching to learn truth about a Creator, this has helped them. So I won’t delete your dumb comments. They are very revealing of who and what you are!”
So is posting a video of yourself acting like a lunatic when you’re running for the US Senate. Just sayin’...
I am reminded of the subtitle of Lenny Bruce’s Togetherness album: “I’m not a nut, elect me!” You would think that right about now there might be thousands, even tens of thousands, of Alaskans—many of them meth-heads—thinking to themselves, “If this fuckin’ loony toons can run for the US Senate, then so can I!”
Think of that sweet Senate pension.
Why—HOW—does this clown-man have a job?
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens, a Republican, is the asshat who bragged earlier this year that his office was deliberately creating bureaucratic hurdles to slow implementation of “Obamacare” in his state. As reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Hudgens boasted to an audience of Republicans, “Let me tell you what we’re doing (about Obamacare). Everything in our power to be an obstructionist.”
People in the audience—presumably people who believe themselves to be followers of Christ—shouted “Amen!” when Hudgens made these remarks.
Hudgens apparently just doesn’t know when to quit and he should have quit the day he uttered those foul words in public, but instead he was just pissed off that he was videotaped and the public mockery it led to:
“I didn’t realize I was being videotaped and that got on the Internet,” he said during another speech. “I never received so many nasty e-mails. I’ve been told that they hope I die. I’ve been told that they hope my children had cancer, just all kinds of things.”
Well, what did you expect from the people that you—you personally, Ralphie boy—are keeping from getting affordable health care??? Frankly Hudgeons seems damned lucky that a few impolite emails are all that’s happened to him, if you ask me. Imagine you are the parent of a child with major health issues and you’d meet Ralph Hudgens on the street. What would you say to him to his face… with a tire iron or a broken bottle?
But like I was saying, Hudgens doesn’t know when to quit and now his very own words, caught on videotape again, are starting to percolate outside of Atlanta.
It’s positively mind-blowing, even for the most callous Republican clown to say something like this:
“I’ve had several companies come in and they have said just the fact—just the fact—that in the individual market pre-existing conditions have to be covered on Jan. 1, that that is going to double the cost of insurance. And if you don’t really understand what covering pre-existing conditions would be like, it would be like in Georgia we have a law that says you have to have insurance on your automobile. You have to have liability insurance. If you’re going to drive on Georgia’s roads, you have to have liability insurance. You don’t have to have collision. You don’t have to have comprehensive. You don’t have to have rental car or towing or anything else. But you have to have liability.
“But say you’re going along and you have a wreck. And it’s your fault. Well, a pre-existing condition would be you then calling up your insurance agent and saying, ‘I would like to get collision insurance coverage on my car.’ And your insurance agent says, ‘Well, you never had that before. Why would you want it now?’ And you say, ‘Well, I just had a wreck, it was my fault and I want the insurance company to pay to repair my car.’ And that’s the exact same thing on pre-existing insurance.”
That’s one nastyass politically poisonous phlegm ball to cough up, ain’t it? Even in a red state, that’s taking it a little too far.
Worth noting that when he was in the state Senate, Hudgens sponsored a bill that would end the law requiring insurance companies to cover mammograms. At one point a video clip went around with footage of Hudgens at what appears to be a candidate forum questioning why insurance companies should be forced to cover screenings that can help detect breast cancer before it spreads.
And yet he won the election for Georgia Insurance Commissioner anyway… Awfully counterintuitive vote there, Peach State. You might want to think harder next time before pulling that lever again for Ralph Hudgens?
Due to the policies of Hudgeons and Atlanta Governor Nathan Deal blocking the federal government from offering Medicaid coverage, they’ve denied health insurance to more than 600,000 lower-income Georgia citizens.
Here’s the video taken from Hudgens’ appearance last month at the CSRA Republican Women’s Club meeting. It will be interesting to see what ‘The Daily Show’ will do with this
Below, watch how proud of himself this slimy Republican weasal seems to be about keeping people from getting affordable healthcare in his state!
“Some people are shits, darling.”—William S. Burroughs
I live in Los Angeles, where I honestly don’t know ANY Republicans. I’m sure there must be at least a couple of them living here, but I’m not planning to actually go out looking for them any time soon. Let ‘em stay under those rocks. In fact, I don’t even know a single Republican who I am not related to by blood or by marriage. As in none, not one, zero.
These family members aside, I do not like Republicans. I hate them. If you are a Republican, I hate YOU. Seems like the majority of my fellow Californians might feel the same way, luckily—the GOP is a politically insignificant entity in California, where the Democrats hold a supermajority and practically every top job in the state—so Republican idiocy will probably never touch my life in any sort of meaningful way, except, of course, for reading annoying, blood-pressure raising articles about the GOP asshats we do still have here, like this at The LA Times.
Opponents of the Affordable Care Act never stop producing new tricks to undermine the reform’s effectiveness. But leave it to California Republicans to reach for the bottom. Their goal appears to be to discredit the act by highlighting its costs and penalties rather than its potential benefits.
The device chosen by the Assembly’s GOP caucus is a website at the address coveringhealthcareca.com. If that sounds suspiciously like coveredca.com, which is the real website for the California insurance exchange, it may not be a coincidence. Bogus insurance websites have sprung up all over, aiming to steer consumers away from legitimate enrollment services. Just a couple of weeks ago California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris shut down 10 bogus insurance sites, some of them with names very similar to the real thing. She must have overlooked the GOP’s entry.
A goddamn fake healthcare website! How low is that? If you click on a tab that reads “Don’t have health insurance” on the homepage, you are taken to a “penalty calculator” and not a premium calculator. Shits! They’re evil shits. Imagine that you’re an earnest person with preconditions seeking affordable health insurance and you stumble into this site by accident. It would be infuriating.
The GOP site also takes careful pains to explain to the young how THEIR money will be subsidizing health care for the old. Keep it classy GOP… Hey wait a minute: I thought old people were the GOP base?
And don’t young people eventually become old people? This may have already occurred to some of them. Bit of a mixed message there, isn’t it? Not like cognitive dissonance has ever been much of an impediment to Republicans, but this strikes me as being as incompetent as it is evil and in such a small, petty way. There’s even a section devoted to scaring people that signing up for Obamacare will result in identity theft!
Hunter at Daily Kos wrote:
If you are so nasty a person that you can’t live with the thought of insuring yourself because it means some other person might get healthcare using one one hundredth of a cent of your money, the world will certainly not be missing you much after you are gone. Godspeed!
This is yet another of the reasons the current incarnation of the Republican Party is little more than a political oozing sore. There is probably a downside to trying to kill off your own voters to score a momentary political point, but let’s just say the members of the party brain trust in my state could meet in a closet and still have enough room for the vacuum and boxes of Christmas decorations.
Yep, that’s our Republicans. How I love California.
“Bubbafication” is a term referring to the affectation of redneckishness by a refined, cosmopolitan, wealthy, or otherwise privileged person. Why would you do such a thing? Well, endearing oneself to the reactionary, white working class can pay off big.
For example, George W. Bush, born into a millionaire family (with an alleged “pork rinds” fan for a patriarch) went to Harvard and Yale. That didn’t stop him from buying a ranch and playing cowboy, an act he conveniently trotted out most frequently during election season. And here we have Morton Downey Jr., son of a famous singer, already quite rich and famous in his own right as the king of trash TV, singing a Merle Haggard song about the supposed decline of America, a subject he gleefully monetized with his every utterance.
I won’t go so far as to say I’m sympathetic with Merle Haggard, but I will say I understand his particular brand of resentment and disaffection. Those are the people I come from—not “Okies from Muskogee” per se—but a rural, southern, culturally insular, god-fearing folk. Many of them manage to be conned by wealthiest of the wealthy politicians, over and over again, so that no matter what happens in their shitty lives, they always manage to blame immigrants or black people or feminists or the decline of religion or god knows what else.
Check out some of the lyrics to Haggard’s “Are The Good Times Really Over”
I wish a buck was still silver
It was back when the country was strong
Back before Elvis
Before the Vietnam war came along
Before The Beatles and ‘Yesterday’
When a man could still work, still would
The best of the free life behind us now
And are the good times really over for good?
Are we rolling down hill
Like a snowball headed for Hell?
With no kind of chance
For the Flag or the Liberty Bell
Wish a Ford and a Chevy
Could still last ten years, like they should
Is the best of the free life behind us now?
Are the good times really over for good?
I wish Coke was still Cola
And a joint was a bad place to be
It was back before Nixon lied to us all on TV
Before microwave ovens
When a girl could still cook and still would
The best of the free life behind us now
Are the good times really over for good?
It’s all been downhill since Elvis? Ah, that bullshit nostalgia for those non-existent “good ole days!” It’s the very zeitgeist of the Republican base! What’s earnestly ignorant in Merle Haggard is ambitious and unctuously detestable in Morton Downey Jr, but man if it doesn’t work, over and over again. You know damned well there must be dozens of Republican pols kissing the asses of the Duck Dynasty and Hillbilly Handfishin’ casts, even as I type this.
If you haven’t seen the video yet of Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) on the floor of the House asking for a clarification on the rules of the shutdown, believe me, it’s well worth watching.
There’s a compelling reason it’s been garnering hundreds of thousands of YouTube plays the past few days: Very simply it shows—beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt—that the Republicans not only planned the government shutdown in advance, but that they made damned good and sure that when their neanderthal putsch started, there would be new rules in place to prevent it from being voted on.
It’s astonishing. It’s not like I expect that this clip will be discussed on Fox News anytime soon, but a Republican with even a modicum of intelligence, honesty and decency would be obliged to see exactly same thing that the rest of us see when we watch this clip.
If you’re unclear of exactly what’s happening, under normal circumstances any Congressperson can call for a vote on any bill at any time.
Not anymore! Prior to the shutdown, the Republicans very quietly passed H.R. 368, a measure that only House Majority Leader Eric Cantor can call for an end to the shutdown.
That’s right Eric Cantor and ONLY Eric Cantor—not even Speaker of the House John Boehner or any other ranking Republican—unless Cantor gives his express permission for a designee to do it. Via Talking Points Memo:
So unless House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) wanted the Senate spending bill to come to the floor, it wasn’t going to happen. And it didn’t.
“I’ve never seen this rule used. I’m not even sure they were certain we would have found it,” a House Democratic aide told TPM. “This was an overabundance of caution on their part. ‘We’ve got to find every single crack in the dam that water can get through and plug it.’”
Congressional historians agreed that it was highly unusual for the House to reserve such power solely for the leadership.
“I’ve never heard of anything like that before,” Norm Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told TPM.
“It is absolutely true that House rules tend to not have any explicit parliamentary rights guaranteed and narrowed to explicit party leaders,” Sarah Binder, a congressional expert at the Brookings Institution, told TPM. “That’s not typically how the rules are written.”
The rule change was made to prevent a majority vote from becoming even a possibility without the expressed consent of ONE MAN! Fewer than 25% of Americans support the GOP’s shutdown and yet here we are.
This is democracy? It’s thisclose to being fascism. The dummies are in charge. Minority moron rule. Joseph Stalin or Il Duce would laugh at what America has become. The whole thing is worth watching—and infuriating—but by around the 5:00 mark, the cat’s out of the bag thanks to Congressman Van Hollen.
Judging from the rapidly escalating number of YouTube views, I think it’s safe to say that it’s not going back in again. Please share with everyone, even, make that especially, your Uncle Ronnie the Teabagger. He’s never going to hear about this from Rush or see it on the Fox News, but Uncle Ronnie really needs to know about this…
And then there is this, an earlier, less dramatic, but in no way less revelatory confrontation that took place two weeks ago when Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) noticed something seemed fishy and asked some uncomfortable questions of the Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX), who flat out admits that she’s right!
“That’s what I’m saying. We took that away.”
Sessions tells her of GOP “resolve” in the debt ceiling battle. Here’s her response:
“Oh, Mercy. It just gets deeper and deeper. I want to tell you the resolve that I think you’ve got. And despite the fact that every one of you said, over and over ad nauseam, that you didn’t want to shut the government down, we spent some time down in my office watching so many of your members — right after they were elected in 2010 — saying how much they would like to shut down the House to great applause.”
“I think it is really shortsighted, I think it is an atrocity to the Rules of the House. And I think you’re putting the whole country through this angst and this aggravation that we did not need to go. This one we could have done without.”
“And I must tell you that I’m more and more angry now that I understand what you have done is take away our ability is to really make a motion for that Senate vote.”
Guess what? The Tea party-led government shutdown came THE VERY NEXT DAY!
Go right to 1:20 and start from there. If this isn’t an admission of guilt, I don’t know what would be…
For those of you either too young to remember them—or perhaps not raised in the Bible Belt—among the very top best-selling books of the 1970s were Hal Lindsey’s The Late, Great Planet Earth and its sequel Satan is Alive and Well on Planet Earth. These books are literalist readings of the Book of Revelation, presenting a fanciful, goofy paranoiac eschatology comparing vaguely worded end-time prophecies written over 2000 years ago (and reworded an unknown number of times since) with (then) current events. They’re about as intellectually serious as Chick tracts.
Nevertheless, The Late, Great Planet Earth was marketed as non-fiction Bible prophecy predicting and decoding last days milestones—the USSR invading Israel, the coming of the Anti-Christ who would rule over the European Union, famine, plagues, etc, etc, etc—before the Rapture and the subsequent return of Jesus. One of Lindsey’s main themes was that Jesus would come back “one generation” after the state of Israel was established, so by the 1970s, this was a very hot topic in what we now refer to as red states. (If you have ever wondered WHY Southern evangelical Christians are so obsessed with Israel, wonder no more, Hal Lindsey’s books were—and still would be, although I think people forget this—a huge, huge part of this strain of American Christianity. It was there already, but he brought it to prime-time, so to speak and amplified it culturally.)
Hal Lindsey’s books (co-authored by Carole C. Carlson) rivaled the sales of titles like Jaws, The Godfather and The Exorcist as the books most likely to be read by people who didn’t read very much. These books were staples of nearly every garage sale back then. Apparently over 28 million copies of The Late, Great Planet Earth were sold.
Among the known fans of Lindsey’s books in the 1970s was California Governor Ronald Reagan.
In December 6, 1983, during an Oval Office interview, Reagan informed two stunned reporters from People magazine:
“There were times in the past when we thought the end of the world was coming, but never anything like this.”
Tea party nitwit Pat Boone was one of Reagan’s closest friends. He said of the President:
“I believe that Ronald Reagan would make no decision that would run counter to his understanding of God’s direction and what God says is going to happen and what God says he wants to happen.”
(Reagan said this of Boone to a group of evangelicals at the kickoff of his reelection campaign: “And Pat Boone stood up, and in speaking to this crowd, he said, in talking of communism, that he had daughters, they were little girls then, and he said, ‘I love them more than anything on earth.’ And he said, (and I thought, ‘I know what he is going to say,’ and ‘Oh, you must not say that,’ and yet I had underestimated him). He said, “I would rather that they die now believing in God than live to grow up under communism and die one day no longer believing in God.” Big round of applause for Pat Boone, father of the (20th) century…)
Among Reagan’s cabinet members were men known to be to some degree influenced by Christian millennialist beliefs that we were living in the end times. Reagan’s notably asinine Secretary of the Interior, James G. Watt didn’t believe in ecological conservation because Jesus was coming back. It is known that General John Vesse, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Chief of Naval Operations, James Watkins, would meet regularly inside the Pentagon with Herbert Ellingwood, deputy Counsel to the President and Attorney General Edwin Meese III to discuss their common faith. I think it’s safe to assume that talk of Bible prophecy and a nuclear end of the world was on the menu at such meetings!
Reagan’s Secretary of Defense, Caspar Weinberger, an Episcopalian, told students at Harvard:
“I have read the Book of Revelation, and, yes, I believe the world is going to end - by an act of God, I hope - and every day I think that time is running out.”
Yep, these were the folks who had their mitts on the fuckin’ nukes. This was our side! (It should be noted that the Soviets were atheists! WHAT must the KGB have thought of these guys???)
When the great Texas progressive muckraker Ronnie Dugger penned the article “Does Reagan Expect Armageddon?” for the Washington Post in 1984, the frightening prospects of the crazy Americans bringing an end to the human race became a cause for alarm all across Europe. I lived in London then and there was a lot of anti-American sentiment at the time. I can vividly recall being quizzed about HOW?!?!? HOW?!?!?! could these (or did they say “you”?) idiot Americans believe in this stupid shit from three exasperated French guys and a perplexed English punk rock couple at a party once. I tried to explain it as best I could, but I don’t think my shoulder-shrugging “Look, that’s just the way it is over there, what can I tell you?” rationale for “my peeps” was in the least comforting to them!
Something I read this morning made me think back to those halcyon Cold War days of the almost quaint-seeming batshit crazy Republican Christianists of the 1980s: According to an article in the New York Times yesterday, one of the principal reichwing pressure groups architecting and advocating for the current Tea party-led GOP government shutdown was founded by none other than Tim LaHaye, the author of this current last generation’s mega, mega apocalyptic best-sellers, the “Left Behind” series. Tim LaHaye is basically today’s Hal Lindsey.
Lee Fang writes at The Nation:
The coalition is managed by Heritage and the Council for National Policy. The latter organization, dubbed once as “the most powerful conservative group you’ve never heard of,” is a thirty-year-old nonprofit dedicated to transforming the country into a more right-wing Christian society. Founded by Tim LaHaye, the Rapture-obsessed author of the “Left Behind” series, CNP is now run by Christian-right luminaries such as Phyllis Schlafly, Tony Perkins and Kenneth Blackwell.
Guess who else has his fingerprints all over this shutdown mess? Reagan’s Attorney General Edwin Meese III...
The Council for National Policy, the Conservative Action Project and Ed Meese himself know all too well that racial—not to mention religious—demographic trends in the US mean that there is a very strong likelihood there “their type” will probably never get their hands anywhere near the nukes again, but not content to merely fantasize, sidelined, about the end of the world (and their own perceived ROLES in this cosmic battle between good and evil, like the Reaganites who actually carried the nuclear football for eight fuckin’ years), this cabal of numbskull, dumbshit apocalypse-obsessed morons want to bring it on by destroying the world economy!
You have to give these Teahadist types some credit, they know how to fight dirty. These Republican economic suicide bombers are willing to shred the Constitution to bits to “save” the country from majority rule, aren’t they?
Yo’ dawg, they’ll end the world to save it. It makes perfect sense. TO THEM. Because Jeebus is on their side, of course!
This latest news introduces a whole new level of apocalyptic weirdness into the mix. I encourage you to read “Meet the Evangelical Cabal Orchestrating the Shutdown” by Lee Fang at The Nation. The implications of what he’s written there are fairly staggering if you ask me.
This is a battle between good and evil. It is if at least one side sees it that way. The Tea party jihadis want a Christian theocracy and they don’t really care if they have to force it on everyone else. In this way, how is the Christian Right in any way different from the Muslim Brotherhood they fear so much? Their brain-damaged beatific vision of a theocratic America, a country cleansed of gays, Muslims, liberals, illegal immigrants, science and where non-white people don’t get to vote will never, ever come to pass absent a massive genocide occurring in North America, which I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon. The concept of “the American Taliban” is becoming more real with every passing day and the rest of the world (especially the business community and China) is starting to notice it, too. And they are alarmed at what they see. Even the Taliban are brutally mocking us for being stupid!
Holy shit. Literally.
“I reveal my innermost self, to God.”
The current government shutdown has brought out the worst in the Republican Party and the pundits who align themselves with it. In a way I feel bad for regular, non-Tea Party Republicans—they’re faced with following some elusive notion of party loyalty even as most of them, possibly, are genuinely appalled by how radical the demands of the Tea Party have been. The Republican Party is (and has been for a while) the party of immediate gratification—they were happy enough to take over the House in 2010 on a head of Tea Party steam, but now they’re paying the rent on that move—and how. A savvier, more responsible party would have found a way to placate the batshit crazies on the fringe—instead they hoped to “use” them as a means for checking President Obama but now find themselves just as wigged out by where the Tea Party will take them as anybody.
At least that’s my read.
As the Beltway idiots argue about who caused the government shutdown and who’s being intransigent, in my mind it’s a settled issue. It’s sad to watch Bill Kristol on CNN try to argue that Obama’s unwillingness to open the World War II Memorial shows him to be the stubborn one. Obama has no true option—he must stand firm because the Tea Party/Republican Party has so often proven itself to be opportunistic negotiators who won’t hold to earlier promises. If Obama gives an inch, they’ll take a mile—that’s what Obama learned the last time we went through this. Curiously, Benjamin Wittes, the legal writer who helped convince President Bush to select John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, is having no difficulty figuring out who’s to blame—he says this is all the fault of the Republican Party. Pity that most CNN/New York Times journos can’t figure that out.
But let’s move from the current crisis to the next one. I’m referring to government default on the national debt, of course, which clearly is the next item on the agenda of the Tea Party. Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida’s 3rd district alarmed a great many people when he was quoted in The Washington Post on Friday as saying that “I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke. ... I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.” Business Insider has called this “the stupidest thing said about the debt ceiling.”
If you had any doubts about the Tea Party’s rabid insistence on the denial of reality and the recourse to potentially catastrophic solutions to … well… to problems as severe as a national deficit that’s been decreasing sharply over the last two years (at precisely the moment that the economy most needed stimulus) and the possibility of providing health care services to our nation’s uninsured in a way that too decreases the deficit—well, get a load of this.
Earlier today TPM reported that John Boehner’s press secretary, Michael Steel, sent out an email urging Democratic opinion-makers to emphasize the calamitous effects of a default, linking to this Bloomberg article.
You read that correctly: Boehner is so bewildered with what to do about the far right of his own party that he’s seeking help from Democrats in order to avert a catastrophe. He daren’t ask his own party members to do the same thing because they’ll just demand his ouster for ... well, for pointing out that a government default would be really bad for the country—and the entire world. Just yesterday Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was on Meet the Press reassuring viewers that a default would not be so bad, for which lefties Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum promptly chided him. That’s the context for Steel’s email—Democrats being insufficiently alarmist about the road to ruin Tea Party folks are hell-bent on taking this country on.
This ties into my overriding theory about John Boehner. I actually think he sees the current shutdown as part of a master plan to deal with the out-of-control GOP fringe. It’s likely that Boehner can properly disobey the Tea Party in a major way precisely one time. Once that happens, he’s out and most likely, Eric Cantor becomes the new Speaker of the House. I think Boehner is keeping that one rebuke in his pocket until the day that really counts—when the fight over defaulting on government debts happens.
Steel’s email is the icing on the cake. So take a moment and send the Great Orange One your prayers—he’s got an awfully tough lot, and, as annoying as he can be, I think he’s doing something genuinely patriotic here. And he’ll never get due credit for it.
As I was saying earlier, I wish I had a wall of video screens so as not to miss a single second of the insanity going on in Washington, DC today. It’s such an incredible spectacle to witness. The ultimate reality show and it’s on thousands of channels at once. It’s hard for me to do anything else other than just gawk at it slack-jawed and scour the Internet for new news. I’ve been called “perpetually amused” and that description more fits me to a tee, but never have I been more amused than I have been in the past few days. Today especially.
Shit is getting GOOD. The DC follies is the greatest show on Earth now that Breaking Bad is over.
I feel like we’re just about three-quarters of the way through a movie where the bad guys are about to get their asses handed to them, but then again, maybe not. The end of this one hasn’t been written yet, so there’s genuine suspense. From where I’m sitting, it does look like the Republicans have overplayed their hand, yes, and I think the outcome to all of this self-inflicted damage is all but assured, yes to that as well, but it also seems certain that we’re going to see at least a few more twists, turns and moments of high drama—and low humor—along the way.
Anyway, in my voracious appetite for vacuuming up and processing every bit of information I can about the government shutdown and the lunatics who are at present in charge of the asylum, nowhere have I seen it put better than by THE GREATEST AMERICAN WRITER OF OUR TIME, CHARLES P. PIERCE, writing at Esquire. This is required reading:
Only the truly child-like can have expected anything else.
In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress—or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress—a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party’s 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.
We have elected the people sitting on hold, waiting for their moment on an evening drive-time radio talk show.
We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government.
We have elected a national legislature in which Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann have more power than does the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been made a piteous spectacle in the eyes of the country and doesn’t seem to mind that at all. We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation’s insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson’s account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.
We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.
This is what they came to Washington to do—to break the government of the United States. It doesn’t matter any more whether they’re doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party’s mouthbreathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them. The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address in which government “was” the problem, through Bill Clinton’s ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being “over,” through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find “common ground” and a “Third Way.” Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country’s higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.
Charles P. Pierce. He’s the best of the best, right? He’s also one of the last sane men left in America. Miss his wisdom at your peril. He’s good. Mark Twain good. Hunter S. Thompson good. Joe Bageant good. Jon Stewart good. He’s damned good!
Read Charles P. Pierce daily at the Esquire Politics blog
No, it might not have quite the same humiliating panache as yesterday’s classic “House of Turds” cover, but it certainly shows just how OUT OF THEIR CONTROL the “shutdown” narrative has gotten from the hapless Republican Party, doesn’t it, when they’re losing the support of even the mainstream conservative papers like The New York Daily News?
Yesterday there were essentially two competing and contrasting visuals: On Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge Report and the like, all you saw were signs of strutting cock-of-the-walk Republican imbeciles grinning, bragging, proudly acting like they’d just beaten the hell out of the black guy in a barroom brawl. Each and every one of them seemed ridiculously oblivious to the way people outside of their bubble might regard the accuracy of what they were saying, the validity of their “true believer” arguments and also the ridiculous hubris of their behavior. Consider the non-verbal message the Republicans are sending by turning on Fox News for a little while with the sound down, and you’ll see what I mean.
I’m not gonna lie, I’m all over this stuff. I wish I had a whole wall of TVs like David Bowie in The Man Who Fell to Earth. I can’t get enough. Watching the GOP dig itself deeper in shit IN REAL TIME? Pass me the popcorn and a shot of Jim Beam each time they say it’s the Democrats who won’t negotiate. (I’m seeing this sentence in triple, and sliding off my chair, jus’ so’s you fine people know that, okay?...Hiccup!)
Back in the real world, where most people don’t get their “informations” from screaming lunatics on AM talk radio and ALL CAPS EMAILS FILLED WITH PARANOIAC IDIOCY forwarded from someone they go to church with, well, we saw some of that, too, but what of the millions who were desperate to sign up for affordable healthcare yesterday?
That was news, too and so it now sets up a battle of images that the GOP—who were all so sure that Obamacare would be a resounding flop—did not perhaps anticipate:
One side is against the interests of sick people. This party is also the one favored by the vast majority of Christians, go figure.
How many of these Republican voters truly feel in their heart of hearts that if their savior came back TODAY he’d kick the crutches right out from under a sick person or deny health insurance to someone who can’t afford it? What VERSION of Christianity is that? It’s THE AMERICAN VERSION. No wonder young people want no part of it.
We’re witnessing one of the single most absurd moments in all of American history! These people seem to want to bring on another Civil War solely to deny poor people healthcare! It’s sad, it’s pathetic, delusional, too, but in the main, it’s simply absurd.
When all’s said and done, one factor in all this is is becoming more and more obvious and yet no one will say it out loud: It’s not merely a Right vs. Left political conflict in America anymore, it’s a Smart vs. Dumb thing!
Idiocracy is NOW.