Tag Archives: speaker of the house

Krauthammer correction: Republicans crazy love taxes, math

Good thing I had absolutely nothing to do today.

Charles Krauthammer cares enough about keeping the political record squeaky clean he just gave me an education. How did I get this hysterical, fed-killer view of Republicans? Guess I’d taken leave of my senses for all time. Good thing for us the wingnuts care so much for this country they’re willing to stockpile revenues and elicit compromise at every turn. How surprisingly lucky we are.

Krauthammer’s memo: The slaves to Grover Norquist are a silly bunch, breaking their no-more-taxes vow any time the president bats eyelashes at them. They raise taxes so frequently they simply forget to tell Democrats anything about it. Come to think of it, I never remind anybody when I’m done masturbating, so this makes sense. And friends, it doesn’t do a Republican’s reputation any good that liberals can’t do math:

November 24, 2011 8:00 P.M.
The Norquist Myth
Charles Krauthammer | National review

. . Apparently, Republicans are in the thrall of one Grover Norquist, the anti-tax campaigner, whom Sen. John Kerry called “the 13th member of this committee without being there.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid helpfully suggested “maybe they should impeach Grover Norquist.”

With that, Norquist officially replaces the Koch brothers as the great malevolent manipulator that controls the republic by pulling unseen strings on behalf of the plutocracy.

I have here one of those invisible garrotes, spray-painted for your viewing:

Still, do right-wingers pay much attention to oaths and pledges and such?

No, naw. Back to Krauthammer:

Nice theory. Except for the following facts:

• Sen. Tom Coburn last year signed on to the Simpson-Bowles tax reform that would have increased tax revenues by $1 trillion over a decade.

• During the debt-ceiling talks, Speaker John Boehner agreed to an $800 billion revenue increase as part of a Grand Bargain.

• Supercommittee member Pat Toomey, a Club for Growth Republican, proposed increasing tax revenues by $300 billion as part of $1.2 trillion in debt reduction.

Just look at those facts. They don’t really substitute for taxes, do they? Those would be FACTS. But they’re at least facts. Or ‘Facthammers,’ which are versions of facts resembling ‘not-facts.’

Tom Coburn did sign off on the Cat Food Commission’s recommendations, but those never had a chance of serious consideration. A whole ‘nother set of votes on the recommendations would have had to occur in the House and Senate, and the Norquist Boy Scouts killed them long before that. ‘Dr. No’ figured as much. And ‘Who Cares?’ Coburn is retiring at the end of his term, so this is, at best, a Facthammer.

Boehner did say he wanted $800 billion in revenue during the debt ceiling negotiations, but he says things he doesn’t mean.

In negotiations last summer, according to numerous officials, President Barack Obama and Boehner were considering sizeable cuts to benefit programs as well as an overhaul of the tax code that would have raised as much as $800 billion in additional revenue — money that Republicans said at the time would have come from economic growth.

No one ever took Boehner seriously. If Krauthammer says he took the speaker seriously, he needs to give up his lecture gig and proceed with treatment immediately.

In his quixotic quest for a grand bargain, Obama displayed a willingness to take on entitlement spending, sending his liberal base into a predictable tizzy.

The bargain went bust, but largely because House Speaker John Boehner could not deliver on the $800 billion in tax revenue he dangled.

Boehner had a problem: Barack could count. When John said he had the okay to raise hundreds of dollars in levy wampum and to project $799,999,999,659 in atomic tax-growth, Obama knew Boehner was around one trillion short of his compromise. Facthammer #2.

And Toomey? So facile with raising tax revenues, he can do it in reverse.

In his comments Tuesday, Boehner cited the importance of tax overhaul in the proposal that Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., made to supercommittee Democrats last week.

“It’s important for us to, in my opinion, reform the tax code. And we’ve got the highest business tax rate in the world. We’ve got a personal tax system that’s so complicated it costs Americans about $500 billion a year to comply with the current tax code,” he said.

Funny-sounding tax increase, eh?

Republican officials have said the offer made by Toomey envisions an overhaul that would drop the top tax rate on personal income to 28 percent from the current 35 and shave or eliminate some itemized deductions that are commonly used. The top corporate rate would also fall.

The result would be an estimated $250 billion in additional revenue over a decade, they estimate.

Tax cuts are increases? You’re right, Charles: I cannot do Republican math, and I am an idiot. But my empty vanity reminds you the Bush tax cuts resulted in a puzzling two trillion dollar drop in tax revenues between 2001 and 2010.

You, reader, may have noticed you hadn’t even heard of these Republican plans for generating tax revenues, and there’s a reason for that. Once Republicans committed to any of these, the Congressional Budget Office would get a shot at the numbers. Unlike politicians, the CBO does math real good, and the ‘revenue increases’ would have been robustly Facthammered, for sure. Instead of generating money, the Toomey plan would have added to the debt, probably in a significant number like hundreds of billions of dollars.

But Chuck knows this. He’s just testing to see if you know it.


I have here a letter from Newt Gingrich to you the voter

Let’s be honest: I’m not the smartest man in the GOP. Hell, I’m not the smartest guy on my block. I’m really the opposite: an idiot, a fool. Stupid to a fault. Dumb to disgrace. I don’t know how I manage to survive day to day in my position: the ‘intellectual’ in the anti-intellectual party. It should be a cakewalk, but then nothing in my life ever goes right.

My marriages: failures. My speakership: terminated from within. Though I’m 68 years old, what’s my legislative legacy? Nothing anyone can remember. I haven’t had a real job in years, and the last time anybody voted for me, “Touched By An Angel” was a hit on TV.

I’ve been working the seams of respectability ever since. Those History books? Flights of fancy, written by my partner. Those political manuals? Full of absurd ideas no credible politician would consider. Believe me, I know because no one has implemented a policy idea of mine in 30 years.

And why should anyone take me seriously? After Republicans elected me Speaker of the House, I shut down the government and quashed the GOP’s popularity, getting Bill Clinton re-elected. In 1997 I became the only Speaker in U.S. history to get disciplined for ethics violations. In 1998, while carrying on an affair of my own, I pressed the Monica Lewinsky scandal and lost seats in the second midterms. The opposition party hadn’t been beaten like that since 1822. My party had no choice, they had to fire me.

So now I’m a citizen politician. But I may be even worse at that: I never manage to appear sober or sane. I recently told Fox News that America should shoot down a North Korean missile with a ray beam. I claimed “President Eisenhower had a rule that Presidents of the United States went to the meetings after success had been assured,” but Ike never said that. I made the official motto for one of my right-wing operations “Real Change Requires Real Change.” I know, I’m stupid.

I warned of Obamacare: “They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered the Democratic Party for 40 years.” I forgot I had served under Bill Clinton. I said the current administration posed “as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.” But they hadn’t murdered anybody. Targeting the opposition, I came up with this: “We have to decide we’re going to replace the left.” Sounds good doesn’t it? Has anyone ever come up with a better plan? I don’t think so.

Though I’d been long thrown out of government, I had the balls to tell Donald Rumsfeld to create a Soviet-style propaganda unit for the Pentagon. On the wars, I advised him “Those trying to deal with Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine should simply build lists and brief reports on every impediment to effectiveness and every tool and system they wished they had.” Had anyone thought of that before? Who knows? Rummy never called back.

Turning my analytical powers upon the president, I stated “The best way to understand Obama is in the historic tradition of anti-colonialism . . only if you understand Kenyan anti-colonial behavior can you begin to piece together . . the most accurate predictive model for his behavior.” Of course, I also said “Honeymoons in space will be the vogue by 2020.”

So I’m a joke, a clown, a fraud, a hack. An apparition of towering self-regard erected despite seven decades of failure (btw — my 1.3 million Twitter followers? Fakes. I contracted a firm to generate them.).

And yet, America . . here I am. KICKING YOUR STUPID ASS:

“You’re going to see from me extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America and give people a chance to rise very rapidly . .”

Ha ha ha ha . . .

“It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid . . these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash . . they’d begin the process of rising.”

When I’m president, I will shift jobs to middle school students. I will build an America of child labor, zombie unemployment and teen illiteracy. See? I’m stupid.


Citizen Newt Gingrich, thinker of worlds, candidate for awesome

Came across this post on TPMMuckraker. It’s another revelation from Donald Rumsfeld’s online library of paperwork and correspondence from his Bush-era years as Secretary of Defense.

Gingrich To Rumsfeld: Plant Army Spies Throughout Government
Ryan J. Reilly | March 3, 2011

. . Gingrich wanted the Defense Department to have more reach in the policy making apparatus and not “yield the territory” at the National Security Counsel and elsewhere to the State Department and other interests.

“There should be a conscious systematic strategy for sending good people to every point in the federal government and to as many contacts with foreign governments as possible,” Gingrich wrote.

The fool’s fool seeks a grand stage, so he tells us what to do. Trying to “advise” the government and specifically Rumsfeld’s DoD back in 2003, citizen Newt Gingrich counsels Rummy to create a propaganda arm — or perhaps an ‘activist DoD doppelganger’ — so that the Defense Department would get better treatment throughout the government, throughout the media, and even throughout foreign governments across the world.

. . establish a system of DoD detailees throughout the federal government and where possible as overseas detached personnel for foreign governments to both maximize DoD’s influence on debates and to maximize the flow of information to DoD.

Yes, the Department of War needs to be far more sneaky, powerful, and far-reaching into the daily lives of, well, everyone. There simply aren’t enough civilian-dressed Army officers working as propagandists on planet Earth.

There should be a conscious systematic strategy for sending good people to every point in the federal government and to as many contacts with foreign governments as possible.

This requires carrying extra officers and senior ncos on the rolls but in the long run it will pay a tremendous dividend in communicating the defense system’s views, values, and practices.

Hell, why not have all the different sectors of government outfit propaganda teams? Why not have agents of the postal system whisper in the ears of atomic energy regulators? Why not have Medicare actuaries take HUD executives out for steak and lobster dinners? Why not have all of them bribing the cabinet secretaries of the Caribbean nations? Good ideas — Newt is one thinking sonuvabitch.

Recall him posturing to shoot down North Korean missiles . . with a laser? Remember him calling to remake all of America after the failed underwear bombing, neatly subtitling his effort “Real Change Requires Real Change”? (Now change is finally possible — thanks!) Recall his plan to turn Iran into a completely different, Western style country? “I would cut off gasoline, and I would fund the dissidents” Newt said. Huh? “The only thing you have to stop is gasoline.” Ta-daaaaaah! Finally, we get some answers in life.

Anyone can come up with ideas, we all do it. The difference between the wiser among us and the likes of Newt is the willingness to imagine the world becoming prey to our schemes. That’s the critical step we undertake to measure the worth of something we can think of. What will the world look like after I get my way? Will it be a better place?

Newt Gingrich absolutely refuses to do this. Children refuse to do it. Adults who won’t grow up, they won’t do it either — mamas boys, narcissists and such. The spark of giddiness can’t survive reality’s wet blanket. That’s why Newt quit the last real job he had after getting his ass kicked in the 1998 elections. He’s been able to think and counsel and scheme free of the responsibilities of being sane and productive. And just look at you, aren’t YOU terrific? Yes, you’re really something, Mr. Speaker.

More of the Gingrich fire, from his “Seven Strategic Necessities”:

II. Strategic Need 2. Creating a world with minimum terror and minimum risk of weapons of mass murder requires both the negative goal of defeating bad people and bad regimes and the positive goal of creating systems of safety, health, prosperity, and freedom(the four words which best express the world we want our neighbors to live in).

We are very good at creating a first campaign to defeat the bad guys or the bad regime. We are stunningly less effective at creating a campaign to build systems of safety, health, prosperity and freedom.

How’s that for grand thinking? . . “the four words which best express the world we want our neighbors to live in”. Couldn’t he have just said “perfect”? Think of the possibilities, a perfect Gingrich world. Obviously, the government hasn’t been focused on the goodest, bestest words.

We need a doctrine for second campaigns. This will inherently be a doctrine for integrated operations. Joint operations involve all the services. Combined operations include foreign countries. Integrated operations involves all the elements of governmental and non-governmental power being orchestrated and brought to bear to help build a country or society after we have defeated the bad forces which have been oppressing them and threatening us.

Did ya get all that? Had you forgotten the gilded truth of “joint operations involve all the services”? Shame on you, ignoring the Gingrich Hierarchies.

Those trying to deal with Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine should simply build lists and brief reports on every impediment to effectiveness and every tool and system they wished they had. We will only get better by being consciously self aware.

And a pox upon the Bush administration for its failings. Whether it was “unconsciously self-aware” or “consciously self-unaware,” shame all over them. Think of the lives we could have saved with Newtarian list-humping and full-blown conscious self-awareness. We think: Why hadn’t anyone thought of this before? It all seems so simple, now, doesn’t it?

America has a sound doctrine for total war against an entire nation. Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo and Nagasaki are among the memories of how decisive Americans can be when faced with a threat of total war.

However America does not have a doctrine for total war against an enemy who is hiding behind a civilian population. Furthermore that civilian population is likely to be terrorized by the forces of total war and so simply appealing to their better interests is useless.

Obviously I, or pretty much anybody else, could go on and on about Gingrich’s childish intellect (as immature as it all is). But it’s bits like these that just fascinate me. I pause momentarily to remind ourselves this guy has a million followers on Twitter and is considered THE highest-profile intellectual of the Republican party.

How does someone get to the point of such personal absurdity? To write something like this and dispatch it to the United States Secretary of Defense? How does one lecture the most powerful government in the history of the world?

If in total war, like Sherman’s destruction of Atlanta or the Allied fire-bombing of Dresden, you attempt to extinguish a population’s thirst for fighting, then Newt wonders if we should wipe Baghdad off the map? He says we’re of such habits — it’s a “doctrine” — and the government keeps it? But we don’t have a useful sub-doctrine when soldiers hide amongst the civilians?

And there are “forces of total war”? Those sound like quite the mystical, mythical beasts to my ears. Are those like “forces of the Black Plague”? Or “forces of a tsunami”? Just who isn’t “likely to be terrorized” by war? I figured the appreciation for such nightmares was universal, ergo a good reason to engage in Gingrich-style annihilation of ancient civilizations.

The whole thing is laughable. He’s trying to sound both commanding of subject matter and professorially detached, but he can’t get out of the way of foolishness. Who tells the world’s biggest bureaucracy to make more lists? Who contemplates wiping out a civilian population in a multi-faction insurgency? Who considers “total war” for its ability to motivate through fear, but then weighs against it because the “civilian population is likely to be terrorized”?

Citizen Newt, that’s who. Big time candidate for United States President.

Beware! The ‘President’ runs everything.


‘Heavyweight’ Missouri Republican Rod Jetton beats the crap out of his date, then kisses her and says “You should have said Green Balloons.”

Former Missouri Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, recently divorced, apparently met a woman from Sikeston, Missouri, and arranged to spend an evening with her. Among other things, he may have discussed over the phone the sort of sex he was into and the usage of something like a safe word during the date, the ‘word’ “Green Balloons.” Pre-date stuff.

Well, she ended up having a bad night. And even though she barely remembers what happened, she actually got him arrested. Even though she never once said “Green Balloons.”

Jetton went to the woman’s residence in Sikeston, Mo. with two bottles of wine, according to the report.

“(The woman) said she did not see him pour the wine because she did not follow him into the kitchen, but he returned to the living room and handed her a glass of wine. (The woman) remembers watching a football game and said once she finished the glass of wine, she began ‘fading’ in and out and remembered losing consciousness several times during the evening,” wrote Detective Bethany McDermott in her report.

McDermott reports that Jetton and the woman agreed on a safe word of “green balloons” to use as a stop word during intercourse.

“(The woman) recalls Jetton hitting her on the face very hard. She then remembers waking up, lying on the floor and Jetton was choking her. (The woman) said she did not know what happened with her memory because she had been drunk but had never had the blank spots in her memory,” McDermott reported.

“(The woman) said Jetton stayed the night with her and when he woke up he gave her a kiss and said, ‘You should have said green balloons.’ Jetton left the woman’s residence and had not returned,” McDermott added.

You gotta be kidding me. All you have to do is say “Green Balloons!” How hard could it be? “Green Balloons”, a perfectly good safe word. Coupla words. Well, phrase.

Actually, a ‘safe word’ should probably be a word. Maybe “Green.” Not a great choice, but at least it’s a word. “Balloons” too, also a word. Come to think of it, given the funky stuff that’s going on, the second and third syllables might be a tough call. With maybe your head hands upcrammed into a spiky contraption, can you even form syllables? “Gweee Bwooos.” Throw some of Rod’s Rohypnol in for good measure, and can you do better than vowels? “Aieeeeee Aaoooooooo…”

Y’know, maybe this guy knew exactly what he was doing, maybe he’s just a nasty piece of work. Me not knowing here, really, just thinking out loud, but if you’re going to get rough, blanching pain would probably be the thing. You’ve got to push your body pretty hard to get there, so the ‘word’ should probably be a short and simple one so there’s no mistake, never a risk that the damage could end up permanent. Right?

And the signal probably should dodge your ‘personal tastes’, so to speak. It matters just what your game is. If you’re into ball-gagging, the best safe word is every bit as good as a seance. If your lover, say, likes to cuff you to the headboard, he’s not going see you flip him the bird, even in stereo. Perhaps if your partner is the strangling kind, forget composing a Haiku to complain.

“Winter bark gun grey
Circl’d tin shiverrraackk…..”

And remember: some guys only like to smack you right in the mouth. I feel these people are un-date-able, but I’m not that hip any more. In the middle of an evening with someone like that, and your lips now nothing more than lopsided Dunkin’ Donuts, don’t count on freezing the action by whistling the Meow Mix song: “Hooh Hooh Hooh Hooh, Hooh Hooh Hooh Hooh…”

Come to think of it, after some Republican dirtbag you barely know tells you he wants to charmingly beat the sensible defense out of you, just forget the whole thing. And always think again when anybody tries to assign you a special ‘safe word’. Like “Sisiyphus Bleats Breep”. Or “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes!”. Better pause when you hear something like this: “It’s simple, all you have to say is ‘Coonskin Synechdoche.’” Or, “Honey, I find ‘FUCK! YES! KILL!’ works.” Yeah, but only when some off-duty cops next door hear it.

saturday night with rodUnless, of course you’re REALLY into a Sikeston bruising, hey, not judging. Then you might just want to rig up some closed circuit thingie to capture all the highlights your gray matter will be too ‘Missouried’ to recall.

Like, perhaps, when the sensuous choke-play, having gotten a little too intense for you, caused you to cry out “COCKTEASE CARDINAL RICHelllloooooerrk….” Or when the tender head-slaps left you a little raw, and you tried to yell “MAIDEN MILFING MASTODONS!”, only to get edited by an overhand right, *splagow*. In the real fight game, they’d say you were ‘telegraphing’, rookie. Too bad, now there’s nothing you can say, or see or think, for a while.

Meanwhile, knowing Rod, he’s come back with his word–“SHUTHEFUCKUPBITCH!”. And now he’s crushing your windpipe like a python and trying to bounce your head off the mattress like an angry kid with one of those comical inflatable hammers. You think “Jesus Christ, my head–it’s actually squeaking. I shouldn’t have bought the Tempur-Pedic.” Aw, but the fellas in the mattress store said it would be good for you, oops. All of the circumstances have got Romantic Rod in a very negative positive-feedback loop. Sikeston Sharon, meet Death. Death, yes, Sharon, hello, goodbye.

Ugh, don’t watch. Actually don’t die. Forget Rod Jetton and his erotic brand of naked rage Republicanism. And there, those are safe words for some of you who still think romance is about getting chocolates, and late night phone calls, and clouted.


Yeehaw, it’s time to review and revitalize Texas’ high school history books. Newt Gingrich, football and Jesus–one, or two, chapters each?

Gee, do you think the flood of right-wing radio has any effect upon the discourse in America?

History’s first draft: Newt Gingrich but no liberals
Textbooks being written for Texas students appear to lean to the right

AUSTIN — Texas high school students would learn about such significant individuals and milestones of conservative politics as Newt Gingrich and the rise of the Moral Majority — but nothing about liberals — under the first draft of new standards for public school history textbooks…

The standards, which the board will decide next spring, will influence new history, civics and geography textbooks.

The first draft for proposed standards in United States History Studies Since Reconstruction says students should be expected “to identify significant conservative advocacy organizations and individuals, such as Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly and the Moral Majority.”…

Whether students will also be exposed to liberal examples from the ebb and flow of American politics is hard to predict. Conservatives form the largest bloc on the 15-member State Board of Education, whose partisan makeup is 10 Republicans and five Democrats.

David Bradley, R-Beaumont, one of the conservative leaders, figures the current draft will pass a preliminary vote along party lines “once the napalm and smoke clear the room.”…

Another board conservative, Ken Mercer, R-San Antonio, thinks students should study both sides to “see what the differences are and be able to define those differences.”

He would add James Dobson’s Focus on the Family, conservative talk show host Sean Hannity and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to the list of conservatives. Others have proposed adding talk show host Rush Limbaugh and the National Rifle Association.

Texas turns high school prankster again.

This is definitely the victory of right-wing radio. Its fingerprints are all over the inclusion of ‘Newt Gingrich’ in the debate.

The guy is almost completely without any lasting successes in his political career, yet right-wing radio has championed him as an historic, stalwart intellectual on its scene. I don’t know of a single person that can remember anything he’s ever really done.

Conservatives will point to the Republican victories in 1994, and the Contract with America. Both of those were more an outgrowth of President Clinton’s learning on the job, I’d say. After reversals in the House in 1996, did anybody take Gingrich very seriously as a national figure again?

The momentum of the Republican Revolution stalled in late 1995 and early 1996 during a budget standoff between Congressional Republicans and Democratic President Bill Clinton. Speaker Gingrich and the new Republican majority wanted to slow the rate of government spending. Gingrich allowed previously approved appropriations to expire on schedule, thus allowing parts of the Federal government to shut down for lack of funds. However, Gingrich inflicted a blow to his public image by seeming to suggest that the Republican hard-line stance over the budget was in part due to his feeling “snubbed” by the President during a flight to and from Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral in Israel.

Clinton was easily re-elected in 1996. Gingrich continued on as Speaker of the House, but not for long.

Republicans lost 5 seats in the House in the 1998 midterm elections — the worst performance in 64 years for a party that didn’t hold the presidency. Polls showed that Gingrich and the Republican Party’s attempt to remove President Clinton from office was widely unpopular among Americans.

Gingrich suffered much of the blame for the election loss. Facing another rebellion in the Republican caucus, he announced on November 6 that he would not only stand down as Speaker, but would leave the House as well.

A total of 4 years, career over. His successor, Denny Hastert, lasted twice as long. Tip O’Neill went a decade. But Texas believes Newt deserves to be in United States History high school textbooks?

A Speaker of the House who failed almost totally in opposition to arguably the most successful Democratic President in the last 50 years? A Speaker who left no real lasting legislative or philosophical imprint on America? A guy who is such a marginal, stupid celebrity pundit that he advocates shooting North Korean missiles with magical lasers?

Yeah, let’s put that guy in the history books. Texas is sooooo smart.