Stormy Monday, 9/22/14

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StormyMondayThe Secret Service’s Office of Professional Responsibility will undertake a procedural review following Friday’s disquieting incident involving a knife-carrying man jumping the fence and actually gaining access to the White House.  Through a spokesman, the President has since expressed “full confidence” in his security detail, a presidential statement I sincerely hope is a bald-faced lie.

Also helping shut the barn door after the horses have bolted, Congressman Peter King told Fox News Sunday he’s “sure” that the House Homeland Security Committee, on which he sits, will launch its own investigation into the incident. Which actually makes the whole thing even scarier…

Accompanied, presumably, by the most hyper-vigilant Secret Service detail ever mustered, the President and Mrs. Obama head for New York City on Tuesday for the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. After addressing the 2014 Climate Summit at the UN, the President will speak at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative. Wednesday, he’ll address the General Assembly, then chair a Security Council summit on terrorism. The First Lady will give the keynote address at Wednesday’s meeting of the UN Global Education First Initiative. Thursday, the President will speak at a special UN meeting on the Ebola epidemic, before the Obamas return to Washington in the afternoon.

Speaking of the Ebola virus, Sierra Leone yesterday ended a three-day lockdown intended to stop the spread of the epidemic among the country’s six million citizens. The lockdown enabled collection and safe burial of over 70 highly infectious bodies of Ebola victims; Ebola has claimed 560 lives in Sierra Leone during the current outbreak. If the large-scale containment attempt proves effective, expect it to be replicated in other parts of western Africa.

Is it that time again already? Sadly, yes. The 2014 Values Voter Summit descends on Washington’s Omni Shoreham Hotel Thursday evening, with two and a half days of trash talk and trashy ideas to follow. This year’s theme is “Defending the Dream, Defining the Future,” which, translated from Hyperbolese, means “Liberals hate America.” In other words, pretty much the same theme as the previous eight annual iterations of the event. Someone named Sarah Palin will be speaking at this year’s shindig. If that’s insufficiently loathsome news, the 2014 version of the conclave also features Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Any way you look at it, that’s an impressive amount of pure suckage. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 9/22/14

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Stormy Monday, 9/23/13

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StormyMondayThe most compelling evidence yet for the non-existence of God was revealed earlier this month by Roll Call, which announced that Darrell Issa is now the richest member of Congress. Flush with his undeserved success, Issa flew to Libya yesterday, breaking an Oversight and Government Reform Committee rule he himself instituted that mandates all committee-sanctioned foreign junkets be bipartisan. While Issa frantically searches under every couch cushion in Benghazi for a smoking gun that will destroy the Obama Presidency, it sure would be a fine time to revoke his passport.

A government shutdown on October 1 remains a distinct possibility following last Friday’s passage by the House of a continuing resolution that would fund government operations through mid-December, but also defund Obamacare. Despite Ted Cruz huffing and puffing about a filibuster, the Senate will no doubt remove the provisions related to the Affordable Care Act and punt the bill back to the House, probably this week. What happens after that is anyone’s guess, but assuming the worst seems an increasingly safe bet.

The House resolution includes a “death gratuity” payable to the widow of Senator Frank Lautenberg in the sum of $174,000, a common though not automatic Congressional perk. If the gratuity makes it into a bicamerally-approved version of the resolution, I expect Mrs. Lautenberg will probably steer the money to some worthy cause or another. She certainly doesn’t need it; her late husband’s net worth has been estimated at $57 million.

Having botched the continuing resolution, the House might also hork up a debt ceiling bill this week, according to reptilian Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Cantor is on record as saying it will include a provision to “delay” the implementation of Obamacare for one year, and another to ensure completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. Plus a bunch more provisions to do other bad things. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 9/23/13

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Stormy Monday, 7/15/13

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Will Harry Reid go nuclear to stop Senate filibusters of executive branch nominees? We’ll probably find out Tuesday, when a series of votes will be held to end debate on Richard Cordray (for CFPB chief), Thomas Perez (for Secretary of Labor), and five other stalled nominees. Unsurprisingly, Reid and Mitch McConnell have been rattling their sabers about this for days now; I’d love to see Reid do it because it’s the right thing to do, but the very best part would be seeing McConnell’s apoplectic reaction. Here’s hoping.

The House, meanwhile, continues to do what it does best, which is to struggle mightily to avoid actually doing much of anything. In keeping with that theme, Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced pointless votes this week to repeal both the employer and individual mandates of Obamacare, and possible consideration of a bill that would revisit No Child Left Behind.

And the uselessness continues on the micro level as well as the macro; House committees will also spend the week spinning their wheels and flapping their gums. The Foreign Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on – wait for it – Benghazi, while Darrell Issa and his Oversight & Government Reform Committee compadres will throw a little bash they’re calling “The IRS’ Systematic Delay and Scrutiny of Tea Party Applications.” Good times.

Will the Justice Department consider a civil rights case against George Zimmerman following Saturday’s infuriating verdict? The NAACP, Harry Reid and others are urging it to do just that. Continue reading Stormy Monday, 7/15/13

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Ahmadinejad Resigns Iranian Presidency, Launches GOP Bid

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today continued his tradition of stunning the international community during his annual appearances before the United Nations General Assembly – and most observers agree that he’ll probably never top this one.

Shortly before his departure from New York this morning, the former Tehran mayor and longtime falafel vendor announced that he is stepping down from his position as President of Iran in order to focus his full attention on his bid to win the Republican Party’s 2012 U.S. Presidential nomination.

Later, addressing an enthusiastic throng of professors and students at the grand opening of his latest business venture, ‘Mahmoud’s Kebab House and Beer Garden’ located on Columbia University’s Manhattan campus, Ahmadinejad vowed to, “obliterate Kenyan anti-colonial socialism from the American political map.”  He also added that, if elected, his first priority as President would be to, “eradicate homosexuality – not just from the military and the institution of marriage, but from the entire country.”

When asked what he would do to help put Americans back to work, the instant Tea Party sensation responded, “I will rid the country of homosexuals like I did in Iran.  That will free up businesses small and large alike to hire new workers free from the fear that any of their new employees will be gay.”

The candidate, who for the next month will be touring the United States to promote his newly published memoir, ‘Any Man Who Hates Catholics, Gays, and Jews Can’t Be All Bad’, has long been considered a serious threat to win the GOP nomination if he chose to run.  According to FreedomWorks founder Dick Armey, “His core values are certainly consistent with those of the Party’s base.  And frankly, I think the United States is ready for an openly Muslim President.” Continue reading Ahmadinejad Resigns Iranian Presidency, Launches GOP Bid

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About Those Incredibly Loud and Usually Wrong Media Pundits

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If you’ve been watching cable news lately, you have been listening to a multitude of pundits pontificating to no end on all sorts of issues as shit happens in our world. Witnessing their sideshow recently, I have been amazed at just how little they know, and  how unwilling they are to concede to all of the facts, instead of just some.

For the past few days, the big story has been concerning Libya and the United Nations’ actions implementing the No-Fly Zone. I believe that pundits were caught off-guard on this one, and were somewhat surprised that the UN has acted so forcefully and so quickly. In fact, instead of calling it what it is, an intervention, pundits have declared that a legally sanctioned UN action is an act of war. No matter that the real war is between a dictator’s imported army of rented mercenaries and thousands of Libyans whose only crime was publicly and peacefully gathering to voice their justified frustrations with their government.

Most of these pundits won’t bother reminding us that it is precisely the 8,000 Libyans already dead at the hands of Colonel/Dictator Muammar/Moammar Gaddafi/Qhadaffi/Qaddafi which prompted the United Nations to act as they did in the first place. In addition, they forget to own up to their own words of a few weeks ago, telling us that the United Nations was bureaucratically ineffective and downright good for nothing, and would never, ever act, period.

Yesterday, the pundits were suggesting over and over again that perhaps the United Nations took too long to act. Many of the pundits have included the US President in their accusations of dithering. Of course, if the United Nations had acted three weeks earlier (which seems to be the pundit-approved timeline in this case) the death toll may not have been high enough to get the countries needed to ratify a resolution for a No-Fly Zone on board, but never mind that. If only, “as some say,” the United States had simply acted alone three weeks before, all would have been just perfect. Except of course, had it happened, the pundits would have simply lost their marbles then, which some are now doing anyway. Continue reading About Those Incredibly Arrogant and usually wrong Media Pundits

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