Go here to see the video, for some damn reason, my version of WordPress doesn’t like MSNBC’s embedded code. (curses under his breath)
This morning on Morning
Joke Joe, Rev. Sharpton asked an excellent question, which prompted Governor Snyder to reveal how he feels about our right to elect our local leaders.
Rev. Al: …how do you deal with the fact that the “customers” as Kevin called them, feel disenfranchised. I mean, you made a unilateral decision. Their elected officials have really been, their power has been taken away and it undermines peoples right to vote because the only one who voted for Kevin was you. And this is something that is very disturbing that you have governors undermine the will of voters. There was s referendum last year that was opposed to this kind of action, you did it anyway.
Gov. Snyder: Reverend, if you look at it, the old law went away but we put in a new one that really was responsive to the issues that came up during that process. If you look at it, I’m also the elected official. I was elected by the people of Michigan, so there is an elected official responsible for this process and I think that is critically important.
Rev. Al: But what about the local elected officials, what about if I’m in Detroit, Rev. Charles Williams and others are raising this. In all due respect, and I voted for a city council and a mayor to represent me during this financial crisis. Now you bring in someone unelected, like in Pontiac, we had someone on the show who talked about an emergency manager came and sold the Silverdome for a half a million dollars that had been valued at several million dollars, over 200…I mean, Kevin has no one to answer to in the local constituency. That’s undemocratic. (emphasis mine)
Gov. Snyder: Blah, blah, blah….(my words)
If you want to know the details of what is happening in Michigan, go over to Eclectablog.com and spend some time in the archives, because Chris Savage has been all over this for many years and has the facts to back him up.
Now that I got that out of the way, Governor Snyder’s response to Reverend Al’s first question is an admission that he thinks he was elected dictator of Michigan. How else can it be interpreted? He said, “I’m also the elected official”, which translates as, I have authority over local officials and I have the power to invalidate their elections. I am a supreme elected official, I take precedent over those peons.
But let’s back up a little. He said prior to that, in regards to the referendum that we in Michigan overturned on November 6th, 2012, that the law “went away”, as if it just got lost on its way to Lansing. The people of Michigan made their voices heard, but Snyder ignored us and the Republican’s abused their control of the Michigan legislature and passed a new one. They slipped some money into this one, which they claim under Michigan’s laws makes it immune from a referendum.
It’s not just the goal of the law that’s offensive. House Republicans, stinging from a voter referendum last month that overturned the previous emergency financial manager act, have arrogantly inserted an almost $6 million appropriation into the new emergency financial manager law. By adding an appropriation, Republicans hope to make the law immune to another voter referendum.
It’s just one more example of the dirty tricks that Koch-financed Republicans across the country are pulling to privatize states and sell them off to their corporate buddies like the Koch brothers.
This has to change NOW!
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
This podcast was recorded on March 6, 2013 and we take on the Republican’s “lead me Seymour” mentality; obstruction/dirty tricks; the emergency financial manager coming to Detroit to take away representation; blogging for Malaysia on the right and we delve into some pop culture and talk about the freak show that is the paparazzi in America.
The RSS Feed for the podcast is in the right column.
This was recorded a couple of weeks ago, but still timely and relevant IMHO! We talk about the Oscar Pistorius case and the connections to gun safety; suicide and how we wish Aaron Schwartz was still around; President Obama’s misinterpreted words on fathers in a speech in Chicago; single moms and the importance of role models.
The RSS Feed for the podcast is in the right column.
Sometimes it takes a really old politician who doesn’t quite have the talking points down in order to get honesty from the Republican party. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) let the truth spill out last week in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune. (emphasis mine)
“I’m for sequestration,” Hatch said, if Congress can’t cut spending. “We’ve got to face the music now, or it will be much tougher later.”
And in the very next paragraph, the Tribune offered this…
With across-the-board spending cuts set to kick in next week, Hatch said sequestration would lead to an economic disaster in Utah as two-thirds of civilians working at Hill Air Force Base would be furloughed. He said it would be “devastating to our nation’s readiness.“
Republicans are trapped inside a bubble of their own making. They keep breathing the fetid air inside the bubble and it clearly makes them crazy.
A little history for those who have lives and don’t follow all this political back and forth.
- Republicans held the economy hostage in the summer of 2011. Remember the first “debt ceiling crisis” that made the markets jittery and caused Standard and Poors to downgrade the U.S. credit rating for the first time in our history? I envy you if you don’t remember it. The ransom was basically the sequester and John Boehner bragged about getting 98% of what he wanted when it was over.
- The sequester was supposed to force Democrats and Republicans to come together (super committee) and solve the imaginary crisis that existed only in the minds of Republican politicians who thought that if they made the economy tank, they could somehow blame it on the one guy who the American people trust, President Obama. How did that work out for them on November 6, 2012?
- The super committee came and went with Republicans continuing their childlike ways, kicking and screaming on the floor, saying no repeatedly and whining like someone took their pacifier away at bedtime.
- Which brings us to the most recent debt ceiling crisis, because you know, nothing better to do. President Obama stood firm this time, fool me once…and Republicans folded like an origami swan. Well, actually, they punted and acted like children once again by just pretending like there is no debt ceiling until May 18th, 2012.
- And now we have dunt, duh duh….SEQUESTER. I like to refer to it as “John Boehner’s 98%” or “How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Sequester”.
And why on earth would the Republicans stick to this dumb ass tactic? So they can blame it all on President Obama. And Republicans were all excited when they got an assist from Bob Woodward, who in his insider wisdom, came up with a “moving goalpost” analogy that was crushed by several real journalists.
What a great plan, Republicans. Hurt your constituents, hurt the U.S. economy some more, make up a bunch of lies to cover your sorry asses and get the compliant and equally dumb ass media to play along with it. On Sunday morning, I stopped counting the word “blame” when I reached 15. The media likes playing the blame game just as much as the Republicans, commissioning polls to see who the public will “blame” when the cuts start hurting.
This is what passes for strategy in the Republican Party of 2013.
In this episode, recorded on February 13, 2013, we talk about Joe’s encounter with a Navy Seal with irony on top of irony as the backdrop. We also spend a good deal of time talking about drones and the reality associated with the different “tools of war” as they have evolved over the years and I get a mention on the Poli-Sci-Fi Radio podcast by my hero, Steve Benen.
Want some good, liberal, pragmatic talk? Give us a listen.
The RSS feed is in the right column.
P.S. Here is a link to a great piece by Wil Saletan titled, “In Defense of Drones: They’re the worst form of war, except for all the others.” He was attacked by the usual suspects for this piece with all sorts of crazy shit being projected on him because of it. Here is an example of some Tweets that show the maturity level of his critics.
“drones aren’t as bad as carpet bombing” = “waterboarding isn’t as bad as hot pokers in the eye”
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2013
@saletan But drones are your first preference. if you were US dictator, they would continue, right? You wouldn’t stop them?
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 20, 2013
@ggreenwald Come on. You know that’s not a legit inference. Not stopping a war or weapon doesn’t mean it’s your first preference.
— Will Saletan (@saletan) February 20, 2013
I’ve decided that I’m going to try to do short takes on the news of the day and provide links when appropriate. Finding the time to write longer pieces would entail quitting one of my jobs and living in a trailer somewhere. So instead, I’ll try this. If you want to consider this an open thread, please do so. And you trolls, please read the comment policy and don’t be surprised if your vile comments never make the cut.
I got a good laugh watching the reports about Mark Sanford attempting to rehabilitate himself after his fall from politics. He was, of course, hiking the Appalachian Trail, which a lot of people didn’t know extends all the way to Argentina.
The story about Oscar Pistorius shooting his girlfriend is a perfect example of why having a gun in the home often leads to tragedy. Whether he did it on purpose or it was an “accident”, she would be alive today if there wasn’t a gun in the house.
I’ve seen quite enough of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, why don’t they get jobs or something and contribute to the economy, instead of pretending like Republicans in Washington actually give a shit about the future of our country.
Reminder of the day: Republicans held our economy hostage in the summer of 2011, our President negotiated a deal to prevent a financial meltdown and at the time, Politico called Mitch McConnell “the chief Republican architect of the compromise”. Media, please stop letting the Republican stooges keep repeating that the sequester was the President’s idea, just stop. You look like damn fools….again.
And of course, Mitch McConnell wasn’t the only Republican counting on nobody paying attention to reality for the last 4 years. Paul Ryan tried some serious revisionist history by trying to use his “baffle them with bullshit” techniques when asked about his touting the sequester back when it happened. It didn’t work. Busted!
I’ve been seeing on Twitter that the White House Press Corp is whining about access to the president or the number of press conferences or some horseshit. Considering what the WHPC has become, they should be glad he even acknowledges their existence.
We welcome a special guest who worked for CNN for many years and now teaches broadcasting. He offers great insight into the issue of media bias and how social media is becoming a big part of local news operations. We talk politics as well, so give us a listen.
In this edition, recorded on January 31, 2013, we discuss the failing attempts by the GOP to rig elections, Lindsey Graham’s latest batshit crazy appeal to the Tea Partiers in his state, Lance Armstrong and his drugging ways, immigration reform, the media sleeping on the job and a little gun control talk to top it off.
The RSS Feed is hanging out over there on the right sidebar.
This latest podcast was recorded on January 23, 2013 and we cover a lot of ground, even though it is an abbreviated podcast (48 min). We talk it up on President Obama’s second inaugural address, the Republican whinefest that followed, the debt ceiling cave by the GOP, gun safety, the GOP’s attempt to cheat their way into the White House and Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Republican clown posse. Click on that little triangle and give it a listen.
I’m enjoying watching the reaction from Republicans to President Obama’s incredible second inaugural speech. I especially like their whining about the President not reaching out to them.
They way I see it, the Republicans are speeding towards the edge of the cliff and now they want the President to grab their outreached hands and save their tea party asses before the “momentum of their ideology” flings them into the canyon. Sorry dudes, this is your runaway mess. Enjoy the ride.
It takes a special kind of crazy to spend four years walking in lockstep against our President and slapping his outreached hand at every turn, only to cry about him not reaching out to them in the second inaugural. It has become obvious to anyone who is honest with themselves that the Republican Party is bankrupt, out of ideas and has no foundation remaining. They are a reactionary party now, and they don’t seem to be doing that very well either.
Beyond that, they are also becoming a party of whiners. Recent articles by Charles Krauthammer, Michael Gerson and David Brooks give us the best examples of this. Krauthammer started the trend that is best summed up by Smartypants as “conciliatory rhetoric as ruthless strategy”. Here is a piece of Krauthammer’s whine, via Smartypants…
He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill–-and ruthless skill and success–to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition… His objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.
Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, came up with yet another great expression for us liberals to use, in bold.
The debt ceiling is a form of leverage they can’t responsibly use. A partial government shutdown or full implementation of the sequester are less toxic alternatives but of questionable utility. [...]
Given this weak Republican position, Obama must be tempted by a shiny political object: the destruction of the congressional GOP. He knows that Republicans are forced by the momentum of their ideology to take positions on spending that he can easily demagogue.
For a noted Republican to admit that the Republican Party is out of control, careening towards the cliff, is pretty astounding. I have very little sympathy for them, since we all watched as Republican leaders let the Tea Party take the wheel of their party while they stood on the curb cheering.
It’s more likely that today’s majority party is going to adopt a different strategy, which you might call Kill the Wounded. It’s more likely that today’s Democrats are going to tell themselves something like this:
“We live at a unique moment. Our opponents, the Republicans, are divided, confused and bleeding. This is not the time to allow them to rebuild their reputation with a series of modest accomplishments. This is the time to kick them when they are down, to win back the House and end the current version of the Republican Party. [...]
“Then he could invite a series of confrontations with Republicans over things like the debt ceiling — make them look like wackos willing to endanger the entire global economy. Along the way, he could highlight women’s issues, social mobility issues (student loans, community college funding) and pick fights on compassion issues, (hurricane relief) — promoting any small, popular spending programs that Republicans will oppose.
That last paragraph is just hilarious considering the reality that we all just witnessed.
I frequently ask myself who the Republicans think they are appealing to with this whining strategy. Do they think that the base of their party wants to hear them cry about those mean ole Democrats? I’m sure more than a few Republicans are calling them some choice names for that.
Do they think their whining appeals to Democrats who just worked their asses off to defeat their party? If anything, it makes us gleeful as we watch them form a circular firing squad and then argue about who gets to go first.
Maybe they think all that crying and whining will appeal to independents in the country. I suspect there are a few of those who will sympathize with them, since that swath of “independents” or “undecideds” aren’t the brightest bulbs in the bunch – see the CNN focus groups after the debates.
I probably shouldn’t get so much pleasure from seeing all this, but I do hope this Republican sideshow gets picked up for another season.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
H/T to Smartypants for the links!
As the wheels on the Republican clown car keep flying off one at a time, our President and Vice President continue to prove that the Democratic Party is the only serious, adult political party in Washington these days. Even with the obstructionist GOP pulling every dirty trick in the book, the President and Democrats keep moving forward and fighting for all Americans.
I remember back to December of 2012 when Republicans started telegraphing their intention to try to use the debt ceilings as “leverage” to destroy the safety net that took generations to weave and I thought to myself that they clearly didn’t learn any lessons from the last election.
I laugh every time a Republican, or one of the media that parrots them, tries to make the lame ass argument that because the GOP retained control of the House, even though they lost seats, that somehow they won. Here is one example of that denial from Boehner the Blubberer…
“The American people want solutions, and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority,” House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who ran unopposed in his re-election bid, declared Tuesday night.
And of course Buzzfeed, a wannabe Politico, took the idiotic concept even further.
Americans, for all their griping, apparently really do prefer their government deeply divided and dysfunctional.
I almost feel silly spelling this out for people, but in our current state of political and media dysfunction, you really do have to spell it out in precise detail for the uninformed or Fox News brainwashed masses. We each vote for our individual representatives and senators and when the dust settles on the election, we find out which party came out ahead. I’ve never seen a line on a ballot that gave me the option of voting for who controls a branch of congress or a check box for “divided government”. It’s wherever the chips fall. It’s magical thinking to believe that somehow the American people coordinated their votes to reach an outcome.
I feel similar about the folks on the left saying that more people voted for Democrats than Republicans when you add up all the votes. Well, we don’t add up all the votes or if we do, it means absolutely nothing. I certainly agree with the people pointing out the gerrymandering that took place in order for Republicans to keep so many seats, but the fact that Democrats received more votes overall, shouldn’t be used in the same way Republicans are using the overall outcome in the House. Democrats should stick to the facts, we picked up seats in the House.
The changing metric of who won or lost an election in the Republican’s minds reveals just how pathetic they are. If the roles were reversed and Democrats retained the House while Republicans picked up seats, you know damn well that they would be saying they won because they picked up seats. The grasping for some kind of straw that they can use to say they won is comical to me and reveals just how easy it is to spin without push back.
This denial from the Republicans, which may be better described as a delusion, also makes them continue with the same crap that brought the American people out to smack them down on November 6th. The prime example is the Republican’s attempt to use the debt ceiling to take our economy hostage again. There is a huge difference between the 2011 debt ceiling crisis and the current one. In 2011, the Republican’s goal, as spelled out by many in the party, was to make President Obama a one term president at all costs. That included damaging the economy, preventing job growth and saying anything to mislead their voters and rile them up. And it was easy to get their partisans to go along with it, because after all, it served their prime goal.
When the idea of another hostage situation with the debt ceiling started creeping into the discussion before Christmas, I couldn’t believe that the Republicans would go there again. Not only is it idiotic for all the same reasons it was in 2011, but with the election behind us and the goal of defeating the President a mere memory of a wet dream, it raises the level of stupidity even higher. The President has played his hand masterfully. He is smart enough to know that the election is behind us and that Wall Street and big business is not into losing money unless it is planned for their benefit.
Newt Gingrich was one of the first in the GOP to point out the stupidity of the tactic and he is being joined by many others on the right side of the fence. Steve Benen gives us the latest defections from the stupid caucus…
Just today, Charles Krauthammer, a prominent conservative pundit, told Republicans they “won’t get” their ransom, they’ll have to “give in” eventually, and they should “forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major.” Jennifer Rubin added, “The jig is nearly up…. [T]he threat of bumping up against the debt ceiling is not realistic and hence not useful.” [...]
It would probably be an overstatement to say Republicans are already surrendering, but let’s just say they’ve taken the white flag off the shelf, even if they’re not yet ready to wave it.
That said, it also appears the congressional GOP hopes to trade one hostage for another.
Even if Republicans now seem to realize they can’t follow through on their debt-ceiling threats — they really should have thought this through beforehand — GOP policymakers still appear committed to aggressive confrontations on automatic sequestration cuts and funding levels for the government itself.
Late Breaking News! While I was at lunch, apparently a new defection came to light that makes it inevitable that the GOP is going to cave on their idiotic ploy. Sen. John Cornyn made it quite clear in an interview with the Houston Chronicle…
“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board…. “I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn said Thursday.
Game, Set, Match!
Recorded on January 16, 2013, we pontificate about diversity in the President’s cabinet, Newtown & gun safety, the latest “Emo” opportunism, Lance Armstrong and the ongoing fun of watching the wheels come off the Republican party. Notice we now have an RSS Feed (upper-right column). Go on, give us a listen.
We are back with a new podcast featuring Jim and Joe. We talk about gun violence for the hour, trying to figure out how our culture has gotten to this point. Give it a listen.
Wow, that was a long break from blogging. I’m back. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the basement, hanging drywall, slopping mud, sanding and overall just playing in my workshop. I’ve also been kind of stunned by the state of our world in the wake of the horrible shooting in Newtown and needed a break to digest it all.
Jon Stewart spent two segments taking on the problem of gun violence in America. As usual, he lays it out better than anyone and gets to the heart of the matter surrounding this important issue. One of my favorite parts – I laughed out loud for a while – was a clip of Louie Gohmert. He is the poster boy for the modern Republican Party, but you would think he was a plant from The Onion.
For some damn reason, my version of WordPress won’t allow me to embed clips from Comedy Central, so go over to Angry Black Lady Chronicles to see the clips I posted there.
Look for a new Extremely Liberal Podcast, where we will discuss the latest craziness in the political world.