The Drowning Game


“Yes, we’re only half-way through the calendar year—or, roughly one-fourth of the way through the current Congress—but federal lawmakers are already behind the last Congress’ pace, and it was the worst in modern times.”

Steve Benen

Conservative Wet DreamWhat we’re essentially dealing with is a means of rendering government weak enough to drown it in a bathtub; simply make it so incompetent that it cannot lift its head out of the water. After all, that would require House approval, and the Republican majority certainly isn’t in an approving mood.

Some Things Really Are That Obvious


Demolecularizing governmentOne of the curious things about the American political discourse is that two roads running in fairly opposite directions are somehow expected to meet up again after some mysterious number of miles have passed.

Consider it in other terms. A job interview? Why would you hire the candidate who says the job he’s applying for is useless and can do no good?

A product salesman? Would you really buy the product if the salesman insisted that it didn’t work and wasn’t worth the money?

I think of Homer Simpson: “I kicked a giant mouse in the butt! Do I have to draw you a diagram?” That is to say, it shouldn’t require a cartoon to help people figure this out. Some things really are that obvious.

Asking the obvious question


Could someone please explain to me the following?

  • How is it that a known serial adulterer being accused of asking his second wife, with whom he was cheating on his first wife, to open the relationship so that he could continue to bang the woman who eventually became his third wife, can reliably count the scandal as an asset among allegedly conservative family values voters?

John Darkow, Jan. 18,  2012What the hell is happening to American conservatives? I generally speculate something about neurotic tensions at the breaking point, but my conservative neighbors think that an unspeakably evil form of character assassination.

Just what is going on in Republican America?

Today in Talking Points


Tom Tomorrow, ca. 1997It’s almost like connect the dots. Of course, that’s why they’re called “talking points”:

  • Politico covers the latest conservative argument, that wealth and conscience don’t mix.
  • Steve Benen explains the obvious about that argument.
  • And Tom Tomorrow dusts fourteen years off an old cartoon, for obvious reasons.
  • Meanwhile, Rob Goodman hopes to intellectually validate equal criticism against all political players, the feelgood fallacy also known as “both sides do it”.
  • And why not get some election coverage from Karl Frisch, a Democratic strategist trying to explain what’s wrong with Republicans.
  • If that doesn’t do it for you, try the latest Obama-hates-Christians “war on Christmas” lament. (At least it’s not as mortifying as Rush Limbaugh’s astonishing defense of the Lord’s Resistance Army.)

Or, it’s just another day in the life. Something about decadence. Something about the fall of Rome. Something about what we do with what we are given.

    Let me say this is as clearly and as simply as I can: Republicans did not overreach. What they did is who they are. It is what they stand for. It is what they campaign on.

    To claim otherwise would be like saying fish live under water because they suffer from unquenchable thirst.

    Karl Frisch

The Secretary of Labor sez … well, okay, a former Secretary of Labor. But, yeah. A really smart guy, you know. Econ professor. That sort of thing.


Robert Reich explains the truth about the economy, or something like that. I mean, you know, whatever. But, still, you have seen it, right?

Hermanating the First Amendment


Herman Cain is playing for the bigot vote.Some years back, before the internet beat every dead horse into a mudhole, a New York professor, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, stirred controversy by asserting that black people cannot, by virtue of empowerment balance, be racist. And while one can construct the argument in a way that it makes abstract sense, it’s kind of hard to translate that abstraction into practice. When a racist, or any sort of bigot gets in your face, it really doesn’t matter what color their skin is.

However, Herman Cain is working hard to demolish Jeffries’ assertion.

One would think that’s an easy job, since maybe twelve people in the whole country ever agreed with Jeffries. But Cain is putting some serious effort into it.

In 2010, he argued that Republicans should vote for him because he’s black, in order to take the race card off the table. No, really, he did. Of course, he said it to World Net Daily, so it’s a safe bet none of the faithful readers and supporters of the site noticed the contradiction.

And while religious bigotry isn’t racism, well, I still can’t see how the first paragraph of Tim Murphy‘s article for Mother Jones, covering Cain’s latest episode of outrageous bigotry, could possibly help make Mr. Jeffries’ point. Empowerment issues aside—

GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain has an Islam problem. The former Godfather’s pizza godfather put his foot in his mouth early in his campaign when he told Think Progress he wouldn’t appoint any Muslims in his administration (which would be unconstitutional), and again when he said Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) wasn’t loyal to the Constitution because he’s Muslim, and again when he said he has never encountered an American Muslim who is loyal to the Constitution, and then again when he denied ever saying any of those things and blamed the media.

—that’s just not a paragraph anyone should ever want to read about himself. Continue reading