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sofa king

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Member since: Wed Apr 14, 2004, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 9,193

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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.

That GOP advantage, unfortunately, is sure to change.

Republican control of the House through gerrymandering will have its sociological consequences. It is going to ensure that the little guy continues to get screwed, and that in turn, sadly, is sure to work for Democrats in a very unfortunate way.

As working class jobs are eliminated in Republican-controlled rural communities, those reliably Republican people will gravitate toward higher population areas that offer menial jobs and better services, and they will convert or be canceled out by more sensible voters.

Or, sadly, the more intransigent ones will remain behind, sink into life-threatening poverty, and die sooner than they should.

Meanwhile, better educated people who are adept at technology will spot the virtues of living and working from home in beautiful, underpopulated places with a choice of cheap foreclosed-on properties to acquire. So the movement or death of every Republican may wind up resulting in not only canceling out his own vote, but also creating a likely Democratic vote in that person's place.

Make no mistake that this is a human tragedy of enormous proportions, one foreseen by people on our side since at least the Reagan Era. I think we've already seen evidence of the Great Republican Die-off in this election, where statewide and nationwide races broke Democratic 3 to 1.

What I think that means is that for the next three or four elections, Republicans will be competitive in the House, but their avarice will have literally sucked the life from Republican voters, and the GOP's dried husk will soon be pressed between the pages of the history books. Their policies will begin to homogenize their own districts even before the next census is taken, and that in turn will begin to increase Democratic influence in the state legislatures where the next redistricting will take place. Eventually, all of their rigging will be unable to resist the pressure, and they'll pop like the economic bubbles they so very much love to create.

I know this--or rather, believe this--because I am watching it happen here in the Shenandoah Valley. Rural Republicans are converging on reliably Democratic cities ("cities" in Virginia can be vanishingly small) because they can't afford to drive dozens of miles to buy groceries at the Wal-Mart, or require medical attention, or lost their homes, or have fallen victim to some other conservative policy designed to fuck them.

In the meantime, the number of younger people with disposable income and Paypal credit cards seems to be doubling every month. There is already a massive demographic shift afoot here, and I am certain it is happening everywhere else where Republicans ran rampant, crashed out, and left the people on the ground bereft.

The biggest danger to Republicans is their own un-malleable past, and the consequences of their prior behavior can no longer be averted. But we tried.

There is another possibility.

So it's the eve of the election and a new patch is frantically distributed in the most important tossup state, Ohio. Nothing new here, except for one BIG thing.

Consider the fact that in recent days the Ohio polls have moved outside of the margin of error in favor of President Obama. He's now five points ahead and his lead is growing, while the MOE of the polls is usually around 2.5 to 4 percent.

That means that the election in Ohio is now no longer close enough to steal with any degree of plausibility. A divergence in favor of Romney would be easily identified and investigated.

So... what if the voting machines in Ohio were already programmed to throw the election to Romney, and now panicked election thieves are desperately trying to undo the fix so that they don't spend years in pound-me-in-the-ass prison?

Last night, before I saw this discussion, I opined that the same thing may be about to happen in Virginia, as the President's growing support is about to pull him out of a statistical tie by the end of the week. I suggested that if that were the case we might see a rash of emergency updates precisely like these going out in Ohio as election workers in fear for their freedom suddenly attempt to reverse machines that are already programmed to steal it for Romney. The truly damning circumstantial evidence would be emergency updates across multiple makes of voting machines--Virginia uses many different kinds.

As I think about it more, I am beginning to wonder if two different and contradictory forms of election manipulation are at work, and now threaten to expose the entire operation.

Some time back I wrote here that I expected to see Romney's imaginary "surge" evaporate about a month out from the elections. I felt that the media and pollsters have a professional and financial interest in keeping the race tighter than it actually is. A closer race increases viewers and readers, attracts more money and sells more ad time and space. Those with an actual partisan interest know that fake momentum can, over time, build actual momentum as run-with-the-herd types switch allegiance to the fellow who looks like he is going to win.

But the pollsters have a second, much larger interest in calling it straight in the all-important day-before polls. If their final calls are off, the pollster stands to lose out on the next general election revenue stream--who pays attention to Zogby anymore after he famously blew the call in '04? But everyone reads Nate Silver's blog, because he nailed it in '08.

So, I concluded, the pollsters were going to "walk back" the polls to the true numbers (in favor of the President) so that they could make an accurate call just before the election--exactly as Rasmussen did from October to November in '08.

But that didn't happen this time.

So... what if the voting machine thieves were taking the pollsters at their word, and now they are seeing the polls suddenly shift and they are realizing that someone else's election manipulation threatens to expose their own work? They would frantically scramble to undo the fix, is what I think they would do, and it looks to me as if that is just what they are doing in Ohio.

But keep in mind that I was wrong about my first guess, and there is no reason to think that this second one is any more credible than the first. I'll say this for sure: Mitt Romney does not give a shit if his underlings are caught stealing the election, as long as he gets in.

Oh, look who showed up to the masque!

You know, I was just going to float that obscure Edgar Allen Poe joke without any message. But then I decided that the story would be fun to read again. Here it is:


Ever realize you're making a far darker quip than you thought you were? Here is the last paragraph:

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.

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