Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Someone opened the floodgates of stupidity today. And it looks like the reservoir was full. Hope everybody has flood insurance.
We begin with intrepid faux-investigator and sometime fake pimp James O’Keefe, who’s decided that hidden camera operations aren’t half as fun as trying to tap Congresspersons’ telephones:
James O’Keefe, the young conservative filmmaker who was behind the undercover operations
that led to the ACORN scandal last year, was arrested
with three others for allegedly trying to bug the New Orleans office of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) yesterday.
The FBI announced
today the foursome have been charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony.
alleges that the botched phone bugging began with two of the four men — Joseph Basel and Robert Flanagan, both 24 — entering Landrieu’s office in downtown New Orleans in Village People-style construction worker garb, claiming they were telephone repairmen.
I hope they enjoy those federal felony charges, there. At least they’ve got Faux News coming to their defense. There truly aren’t any depths of stupidity that Faux News won’t dive in to, are there?
Speaking of Faux News and depths, there’s no limit to how low they will go:
Well, you’d think Bill O’Reilly would at least be a little embarrassed that Fox News Channel
was the only news entity on cable TV not
to broadcast last week’s “Hope for Haiti” concert.
But no. Instead of apologizing or even mentioning some kind of lame excuse why Fox didn’t air it, on his show last night O’Reilly actually went on the warpath against the benefit and its organizers, demanding “transparency” and a full accounting of where all the money’s going.
What really got his dander up? The benefit’s organizers “wouldn’t or couldn’t” provide a spokesman to come on his show and explain himself.
Awww, poor Billy. He got his widdle feelings hurt by people who had better fucking things to do than stroke his ego. Things like, y’know, concentrate on the folks who need help, and the folks who are willing to help them.
In upcoming election stupidity, McCain challenger J.D. Hayworth butters up the birthers by pretending the President never presented a certified birth certificate. I particularly like his shout-out to sports fans, there, saying that football players have to pony up, so why not the Prez? Alas for that argument, I’m relatively positive that high schools, colleges, and the NFL consider Hawaii’s official short form certificate adequate proof of birth. And Hayworth might possibly be bright enough to realize this, but he’s got to play to the frothing inane portion of the Con base, and so we get even abjecter stupidity than we usually hear from this dumbshit.
Bonus fuckwittery in the AZ election: Teabaggers are furious at their darling Sarah Palin for supporting McCain. Somebody pop us some popcorn – this is bound to be entertaining.
Turning now to Indiana, Sen. Evan Bayh’s challenger had some fascinating fanaticism on display:
Richard Behney, an Indiana Tea Party activist and candidate for the Republican nomination for Senate against Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh, made a striking pronouncement at a meeting late last year of the “Evansville 2nd Amendment Patriots”: That if new people don’t get elected to Congress in 2010, he’ll be getting out his guns to face down the American government.
“That’s the beauty of this, folks. We can do it before it gets to guns,” said Behney, in praise of the electoral process. “All right, our founders brought out the guns. When they showed up at Lexington and Concord, regular folks, farm boys, doctors, merchant men, and they said you ain’t taking our stuff. They stood up to the most powerful army in the world, and they bought our freedom, literally with their blood. And we don’t have to do that yet.
“I believe personally, we’re at a crossroads. We have one last opportunity. And I believe 2010 is it. All right? And we can do it with our vote. And we can get new faces in, whether it’s my face or not, I pray to God that I see new faces. And if we don’t see new faces, I’m cleaning my guns and getting ready for the big show. And I’m serious about that, and I bet you are, too. But I know none of us want to go that far yet, and we can do it with our vote.”
Shorter Behney: “Elect me or I’ll shoot.” There’s a bumper sticker slogan for ye. All I can say is, if this freak gets enough freaks and fucktards to the polls to elect him, I’m fetching my mother from Indiana and installing her here. She deserves better representation than this violent little fuck. And I never thought I’d say this, but: “Mom, if it comes down to a choice between Bayh and this asshat, vote for Bayh.”
I wonder if he passes the GOP’s proposed purity test? One thing’s for sure: as nuts as Scott Brown is, he isn’t quite nuts enough.
And, in health care stupidity, the House Dems are ready to make a move as soon as the Senate assures them the most fucked-up bits of the Senate bill will be fixed via reconciliation. The former kings and queens of the Senate are screaming bloody murder, but as Greg Sargent points out, “Because it only needs a majority, what those three have to say about it doesn’t really matter!” This gave me one of the warmest, fuzziest feelings I’ve had in a long time.
Of course, Cons have already declared open war:
The GOP Senate leadership has privately settled on a strategy to derail health reform if Dems try to pass the Senate bill with a fix through reconciliation, aides say: Unleash an endless stream of amendments designed to stall for time and to force Dems to take untenable votes.
The aide described the planned GOP strategy as a “free for all of amendments,” vowing Dems would face “a mountain of amendments so politically toxic they’ll make the first health debate look like a post office naming.”
To which a former Senate parliamentarian sez their strategy is “patently absurd:”
But at least one former Senate parliamentarian is calling the strategy “patently absurd
.” According to Robert Dove
, who served as Senate parliamentarian until 2001, “In the Senate, the motion to go to that [reconciliation] bill is not debatable, and the bill itself is only debatable for 20 hours. All amendments must be germane
.” “If there are differences between the two houses in their reconciliation bills, then you would either work out those differences through a conference, or through amendments as they bounce back and forth,” Dove told Lester Feder
, who has been covering health care policy for The Nation and the O’Neill institute’s health law blog.
But no vice president has tried to play that role in reconciliation. We haven’t had vice presidents that have tried to play important procedural roles for a very long time. The last one was Nelson Rockefeller, in 1975, and before him Hubert Humphrey, in the 1960’s. But no vice president has ever tried to play a role in reconciliation. Basically, since Walter Mondale was vice president, they have kind of been co-opted by the president and given an office down in the West Wing. Their interest in playing Senate politics has become attenuated. That has left the Senate parliamentarian in an extremely powerful position.
In this case, at least, as long as the Dems don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory once again, it looks like the Cons can huff and puff all they want, but only until they take a punch to the solar plexus from ye olde rules.
And Tom Udall has joined the anti-filibuster crusade. Even if it goes nowhere, it still shines a spotlight on some rather unprecedented abuse by Senate Cons, and might make a few otherwise clueless voters realize why we used to hear of legislation passing with less than 60 votes.
Looks like pollyticks is getting fun again, my darlings. Stay tuned.