Remarks And Asides

I liked President Obama much more when he wasn’t dining with Republicans.


Apparently, so did a lot of Americans:

Obama’s Approval Rating Now Underwater, Poll Shows


Mitch McConnell, fresh off the revelation that he is more of a scoundrel than we otherwise thought, nevertheless managed to expose the mainstream press, which rather than focus on McConnell’s willingness to tolerate the trashing of Ashley Judd as “emotionally unbalanced,” instead focused on his call for an FBI investigation into the alleged illegal recording that revealed his sliminess.

And that is how miscreants like Mitch McConnell stay in power.


Conservatives are attacking Obama for hurting old folks. Liberals are attacking Obama for hurting old folks. So, why is Obama hurting old folks?


Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, whom President Obama considers a “friend” and who gets much credit for not being a nutty Republican, nevertheless called the emasculated agreement on background checks for gun purchases, worked out by Sen. Joe Manchin and Sen. Pat Toomey under the watchful eye of the NRA, “a government takeover of gun shows.”

Let’s get this straight: There are Republicans who don’t want the government sticking its nose in the gun business, but insist on the government sticking its nose in vaginas all over the country.


Senator Rand Paul, Tea Party Wonder Boy at the moment, went to the historically black college, Howard University, on Wednesday and told those gathered that the Republican Party hasn’t changed a lick since, oh, Frederick Douglass was a baby, or something like that.

For his next stand-up comedy routine, Paul will team up with  Alaska congressman Don Young and tour central California and explain to the immigrant workers why “wetback” is a term of endearment and it really shows how Republicans are, and always have been, the party of immigration reform.


And speaking of keeping the GOP up to date, Congressman Joe Barton, naturally from Texas, said not to worry about climate change, since the Almighty’s got everything under control and always has:

I would point out that if you’re a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the Great Flood is an example of climate change and that certainly wasn’t because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy.


Speaking of brilliant Republicans, Dick Cheney told Republican lawmakers that “We’re in deep doo doo” with North Korea making all those threats and that because of his personal experience of misreading the mind of Saddam Hussein, “you never know what they’re thinking.”

What brilliance, what stupefying brilliance.


Speaking of Dick’s stupefying brilliance, it didn’t take a Dick to figure this out:

Penis Size Study Shows Women Find Men With Big Genitals More Attractive 


Speaking of weiners, some of them have eyes but still can’t see:

Anthony Weiner Is Eyeing A Return To Politics


Ann Coulter, a skinny version of Rush Limbaugh, “joked” about murdering Meghan McCain, John’s daughter, and all that will happen to Ann Coulter is that conservatives will buy more of her books.


The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, which hands out awards— “Jefferson Muzzles”— to deserving anti-free speech advocates, handed an award to one of Missouri’s bright-light state legislators, Mike Leara:

There are some…who believe that merely proposing a law that restricts gun rights should be a criminal act. Earlier this year, Missouri State Representative Mike Leara proposed a bill that provides “[a]ny member of the general assembly who proposes a piece of legislation that further restricts the right of an individual to bear arms, as set forth under the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, shall be guilty of a class D felony.”

Congratulations, Mike! And wear your muzzle proudly!

Ozark Billy Says “No” To Victory

All of our local Missouri representatives voted for the Boehner-Obama-Reid agreement on a short-term resolution to keep the government running until a final vote on the 2011 budget later this week. 

All except one. 

Ozark Billy Long, as the Springfield News-Leader reported, was one of only 28 Republicans who simply couldn’t say yes to a substantial victory for the GOP.  Long joined his auctioneer brother and union-hater Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, along with other Republican stars like Michele Bachmann, Joe Barton, Louis Gohmert, and Steve King. When you cast a vote with those folks, you know you have arrived in Republican Looneyville.

But Ozark Billy ran into a little trouble explaining his vote:

“They rattled off more different numbers than an auctioneer [sic] Friday night in explaining what had been agreed to,” Long wrote in an e-mail to the News-Leader.

“I voted against the one-week stop gap continuing resolution Friday night because it didn’t fund the troops for the rest of the year and didn’t cut enough spending. We need to quit using our fighting men and women as political pawns.”

Let’s forget for a moment that Ozark Billy apparently couldn’t digest all the “more different numbers” thrown his way Friday night, so he just said to heck with it, pardner.  And let’s forget the fact that the bill Long criticized because it “didn’t cut enough spending” wasn’t suppose to cut spending. It was designed to only fund the government through the end of this week, until the House and Senate can vote on the real deal. 

I’m not sure what Billy thought he was voting on, but clearly he was confused about the nature of the budget deal.

Additionally, the resolution Long didn’t vote for early Saturday morning not only didn’t fund the troops for the rest of the year, it didn’t fund anything for the rest of the year. That wasn’t its purpose. 

And Long’s statement, “We need to quit using our fighting men and women as political pawns,” is quite interesting, since that’s exactly what he and his Republican colleagues tried to do on Thursday, when they passed a stopgap measure that would have funded the government through April 15 and the Defense Department through the end of the fiscal year. 

And Long voted for that bill, which most certainly was using the troops as pawns in the budget game.  Here’s what House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers said during floor debate on the measure:

If you vote against this bill, you are voting against the troops, who are engaged in three wars.

One of Ozark Billy’s handlers tried to clean up the mess a little bit with a lame explanation that was reported this way:

Bret Funk, spokesperson for Long, said the proposed resolution that will be voted on before Thursday is supposed to fund troops for the full year; Long favored a bill the House voted on earlier in the week that guaranteed funding for troops so they wouldn’t be left as pawns in the budget negotiations.

The truth is that Long is lost in Washington.  With all those “more different numbers” and confusing resolutions and budget dealing, he’s just out of his league.  But if you ever need to sell off grandma’s old furniture or grandpa’s old farm equipment or other second-hand goods, Ozark Billy, southwest Missouri’s most famous auctioneer, may be able to help you.

Remember In November

As I watched BP honcho Tony Hayward testify before a House subcommittee today, by far the most outrageous moment so far was when a conservative Republican, Joe Barton of Texas, channeled Rush Limbaugh and apologized to Mr. Hayward and BP for being “subject to some sort of political pressure,” that “amounts to a shakedown.”*

Barton-Limbaugh was referring, of course, to the $20 billion fund established—at the behest of Obama—to give comfort to those damaged by BP’s negligence by assuring them there is money available to make them whole.

Naturally, the outrage is reverberating across the Internet.  But it certainly is no surprise that many conservative Republicans are siding with BP against our government, particularly against President Obama. That is just what they do. That is their philosophy. 

And that’s what made this mess more likely than not in the first place.

Joe Barton, before entering Congress in 1984, was a consultant for Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas, according to Wikipedia.  And that same article claims that Barton “has taken $1.4 million in campaign contributions from the oil industry since 1989.”

Surprise! Surprise!


Those people injured by BP’s malfeasance in the Gulf, many of whom vote for Republicans like Joe Barton, should remember this November that ideological conservatives make the world safe for catastrophes like the one they are enduring.

As for Barton’s claim that he is not speaking for other Republicans, as Sam Stein pointed out today, “Barton was far from alone.”

The Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative members of the House, was even less diplomatic with a statement describing the Obama administration’s actions as a “Chicago-style political shakedown.”

“These actions are emblematic of a politicization of our economy that has been borne out of this Administration’s drive for greater power and control,” wrote chairman Tom Price (R-GA).

Price was echoed later in the evening by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who said during an appearance on CNN that the president appears to be using BP as a “permanent ATM card,” with eyes on taking over “private industry.”

None of the critiques, however, matched the more philosophical pushback offered by Mississippi Governor Hailey Barbour, who objected to the idea of forcing BP to invest money for the purpose of paying out claims when the company could simply use that money to expand offshore drilling so that they could make money to pay out claims.

No doubt, after the blowback hits them, the Republican establishment will distance itself from Barton’s comments, as well as others made by extremists.  But it will not move far enough. 

Rush Limbaugh, the Grand Poobah of the Tea Party Lodge, will make sure of that.

Here are Barton’s pathetic comments, in case you missed them:

*Interestingly, under later questioning, CEO Hayward denied that the $20 billion fund’s creation was the result of a “shakedown.”

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