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sofa king

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Member since: Wed Apr 14, 2004, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 9,298

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Come step under my tinfoil umbrella....

I cannot help noticing that all of these IRS "scandals" appear to be a concerted offensive on the part of Republicans against the IRS.

It's almost as if it's a preemptive strike against the IRS, an attempt to delay or derail some sort of pending investigation or disclosure, and to toss some water on it by first sullying the reputation of the Service.

Who might be inclined to do such a thing? My guess back in September was that Mitt Romney might turn out to be one of the worst Presidential candidates in history, if his subsequent prosecution for tax fraud burned into the results of the 2014 elections as well.

All of this may be the defiant squawk of the chicken(hawk) just before the hatchet falls.

Ah yes, the rose-tinted good old days.

I've been paying fairly close attention to what Congress has been doing for nearly 20 years now. Never, in that entire time, did I see the Republicans in the Senate meet even the minimum standards of conduct that the Senate's playbook demands.

They have operated disgracefully and dishonorably that entire time.

They were always dishonest negotiators, always obstructionists, always the instigators of false crises like shutdowns and debt ceilings, always the first to violate the rules of comity and, on the occasions when they were in control, always first to refuse to hear out minority dissent.

Snowe has consistently tried to give herself a pass by tacking moderate in election seasons, but her voting record clearly shows that she facilitated all of the dirty pool the Republican Party played, year after year, for the entirety of the time I have watched.

What we are seeing here is the Dr. Frankenstein moment of clarity, the moment when the old guard of dishonorable Republican Senators realize that their own machinations have created this monster, and now they are seeking to shackle it down. But it is their own behavior that brought them to this moment and it is far, far too late to contain the monster. All they can do is distance themselves in a desperate attempt to protect their own tarnished legacies.

Worst. President. Ever.

Let me run down my own list of worst Presidents, and I think you'll see where I'm going:

Ulysses S. Grant. Sold out to corrupt corporate interests; widespread corruption across his administration; his Vice President was guilty of awarding his own corporate interests with lucrative government contracts...

Just like George W. Bush.

Warren G. Harding. Scandalously leased government-owned lands, particularly oil-rich lands, to his corporate cronies. Held secret policy-formulation meetings with corporate interests, then fought disclosure...

...Just like George W. Bush.

James K. Polk. Lied to the public in order to spark a war under false pretenses, for reasons far more greedy than publicly stated...

...Just like George W. Bush.

Franklin Pierce. Disinterested, alcoholic, accused drunk driver...

...Just like his many-great grand-nephew, George W. Bush

Ronald Reagan. Not intellectually capable of doing the job, nor of policing his subordinates. Presided over the systematic violations of Congressional direction and the Constitution...

...Just like George W. Bush.

Richard Nixon. Attempted (and successful) election theft. Manipulated an intelligence agency as part of a larger series of cover-ups. Fought undeclared wars in secret. Underlings included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld...

...Just like George W. Bush.

George W. Bush is the worst President ever, without question, and it should be without debate. Why? Because George W. Bush did all of the worst things that all of the worst Presidents have done, and screwed it up bigger, killed more people, ruined more lives, and stole more land and homes than any of them--and probably more than the rest of those chumps put together. You bring me any other "worst ever" candidate, name his five worst sins, and I can show you W. committing and getting away with the same sins, only worse. He was that bad.

George W. Bush was a shambling composite of every prior evil that ever shat upon the Presidency. Worst. President. Ever.

Hey, does DU still sell those T-shirts? Mine's worn out.

Yeah, that's the story, but it sure ain't the truth.

If this peg seems a little too square to fit in the hole Republicans drilled out for themselves, that is because the President deliberately designed the automatic cuts to be so damaging to the Republican donor base that Congressional Republicans would have to respond or suffer dire consequences. As we all know, they're not real good at the "doing their jobs" part of their jobs, so a response turned out to be impossible.

It doesn't really matter what they're saying or what we think. What really matters is what the defense industry thinks. They pay legislative analysts far too well to miss the fact that this is a Republican problem generated by a Republican crisis designed to make Americans worse off so that Republican interests could profit, and it failed so spectacularly that it completely reversed the election results their despicable behavior was designed to generate.

They failed entirely, and the President made sure to frame the problem so that the consequences fall thickly and disproportionately upon the wealthiest and most powerful Republican interests: tax hikes on the rich are passed and irrevocable; reduced payouts to fossil fuel industries are passed and irrevocable; a trillion dollars in Defense cuts, without the help a single Democratic vote in the House are passed and probably irrevocable.

Now all the people with the money are in a very uncomfortable position, because they have already betrayed, vilified, and damaged the one political block that is still competent enough to save them. They still have all the money, but their hired help sucks and the union won't work for them.

Right now they're contemplating which corner of the shit sandwich to bite first. Do they run off the incompetent boobs they installed in Congress by putting up new primary candidates against their own candidates and drooling Tea Party trogs, ensuring absurdly expensive three-candidate primaries sure to default to the stupidest and most hateful candidate? Do they open up some races by releasing the dirt-files on those Republican Members who failed them? Do they jump tracks and start trying to find Democratic Members dumb or corruptible enough enough to forget what they've done (Democrats have done an awfully good job of policing themselves these past ten years....)? Do they hedge and fund both parties evenly, ensuring that most of the money they spend will simply cancel itself out?

It's like King Minos bricked himself into the Labyrinth he built, and now the Minotaur is pissed off and coming to hunt him down.

I cannot believe nobody else sees...

... a certain other implication which will naturally evolve from this.

Imagine, if you will, our solar system as a cliff face, with the sun as the valley floor and the planets and smaller bodies as edifices at various heights up the cliff according to their distance from the sun.

What can the person farthest up the cliff do to everyone else the easiest, at any distance below him?

Piss on 'em, that's what.

I'm not worried about it.

This past election was weighted even more heavily in the GOP's favor, 23 to 10. The Democratic Party picked up two seats anyway, if one includes the two independents who now caucus with us.

We currently enjoy a ten-seat advantage in the Senate, 55-45, and we have the best chance in decades to capture a supermajority in 2014. If we hold or pick up all Senate elections outside of the old Confederacy, we get it.

What has already happened is this: two of the three Senate Classes are now controlled nearly 2 to 1 by Democrats. Since 2006, Republicans simply have been unable to carry statewide elections in the way they once did, as the GOP devolves ever further into sectionalism and extremism, exactly as their spiritual forebears did (as Democrats) prior to the Civil War.

By 2016, even the Republican gerrymandering in the House will begin sagging, as their own policies kill their constituents, push them into poverty, and cancel their votes by forcing them into urban areas where they have a chance of survival.

In that year, I suspect, Republicans will find themselves defending half of the Senate seats they have left in Congress, including virtually all of the Ohio River states that broke for President Obama this past election, and they are going to lose many of them.

The particular question of West Virginia is certainly a touchy one and until WV's crushing poverty, infrastructural collapse, and environmental destruction is addressed, ignorance--and the GOP--will hold sway. But the replacement of Jay with a Republican will have little functional influence on the Senate as a whole--and that's probably as much as I should say about that.

Josh Marshall's spider-sense is tingling....


It is almost as though Cantor is plotting or hatching or just purchasing his coup on layaway.

Cantor is beginning to remind me a lot of Dan Sickles, also a ruthless, plotting, remorseless, boundlessly ambitious and thoroughly corrupted person.

That suggests to me that Cantor will only be permitted to rise as high as his past indiscretions permit. Whatever they are. We have yet to learn the best of them, publicly.

Most of them seem to be introverts, too.

Making treatment available to a troubled introvert can be quite difficult, as asking for help is (sadly, obviously) a fate worse than death for some.

I personally think that the gun issue is intractable and will remain so for hundreds of years to come. We simply have to acknowledge that they are here forever and if we try to take them away, we will wind up arming the very people we seek to disarm while also disarming everyone else.

I think instead we need to be teaching, from an early age, tactics designed to teach people the importance of using cover (not concealment) and working collectively to evacuate the vulnerable from the scene while others work to overpower and disarm a potential assailant. Those tactics won't work if everyone has a gun--then it becomes a military tactical question and civilians always suck at those. I don't know what unarmed crowd tactics are or what they are called, but we all need to learn them and practice them together, in schools.

This is an awful thing to say, but I think it's true: if an aspiring mass murderer knows he's going to eventually be torn apart by the very people he seeks to harm before he can enjoy the luxury of his own suicide or death-by-cop, that person will think harder, and hopefully better, of what he wants to do. That might provide the motivation to seek treatment, when other options do not.

I suspect that problem is covered.

I have noticed that this President has become so used to rabid opposition that he reveals his plans incrementally and only when they are fully formed and largely irreversible.

So working back from that point, how would you nail down the nomination and fix it so you don't take a hit for it in Congress?

First, you would nominate someone highly qualified and in a position to overcome a filibuster. That would be John Kerry, whose interpersonal relationships on Capitol Hill, particularly in the Senate, are quite good. He could still go in as a recess appointment in mid-January even if the GOP in the Senate blocks him, so getting him in is the easy part.

Losing one Senator would be a reverse, it is true, but we did so well in the Senate this time around that we actually picked up seats when only a year ago I was pretty sure we were going to lose control of the Senate, too.

We are almost certain to pick up a few more next time--but we are within half a dozen seats of a filibuster-proof supermajority and for the last two years of President Obama's term, that is going to be more important than having his second pick at SoS.

So we have one seat to burn if we need to burn it, though we certainly don't want to do that.

The next obvious thing to do would be to pick a Mass. politician who can fill Kerry's shoes, someone with wide experience, particularly in Congress, high visibility, and strong oratorical skills, since the person is going to have to campaign like hell out of the gate. A sitting Member of the House might be a good choice, because you can pick a prominent Representative from a comparatively safe district and run that person without a high risk of losing both seats.

So, I conclude, the next move is going to be to go after Ed Markey and beg him to consider changing wings of the Capitol. I believe Markey has refused to do this in the past, or been overlooked for other reasons. But on the surface Markey seems to me to be the best and most obvious choice.

Markey necessarily would offer coattails to his chosen successor, too, because Markey's base of operations in any statewide campaign would certainly be in his old district, where he can easily campaign with his replacement.

At the very worst, this move temporarily loses one Senate seat and one House seat, with a strong chance to get both back in two years. At best, you rotate one of the Democratic Party's best war-horses into a rewarding position that he deserves, and potentially create two more in his place in Congress.

You can't take my word for it, but you can expect the President to do something better thought out and along similar lines.

Behold, I am your prophet!

Carved into stone on August 8, 2012,


So now, the oil-Republicans are back to the Katrina strategy of claiming their refineries are down....

Expect to see more "accidents" like these in the next six weeks. Gasoline has to hit $5 a gallon for Romney to dig out of the landslide in which he is already waist deep.

But that won't work either, and if we can show they colluded and deliberately caused their refineries to fail, we'll have the power to run every last one of them down this time.

And what do you know? Hunting season is open, and BP is already in the bag.
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