Scary Republican Goats or something like that…
Posted January 14, 2015on:
A great Wednesday to you Widdershin friends. Here’s hoping all is right and reasonably tolerable in your world.
This past week has been emotionally exhausting with the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market in Paris. Given it has been a short 1,400 years since the Prophet’s death, I got nothing. Not that free speech and freedom from theocracy aren’t important, but a conversation punctuated with crackling AK-47s and indiscriminate murder isn’t likely to spur new glimpses of enlightenment any time soon.
Ordinarily loath to such negativity, I’ll leave those conversations and solutions to others since so much has been crowded out of the ever-dwindling news bandwidth. In any event, there are worse things than a smile or two.
First, and I’ve been waiting ten days to throw this one out there, I was quite disappointed when Rep. Ted Yoho of California failed to upset John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Disappointed because it deprives us libruls the ability to say, “Yoho, ho, and a cabal of bums,” when describing the Republican House caucus over the next two years. That one might not have had a ten-day shelf life.
Next — when we last heard from the new Senate Majority Leader he wanted the new Republican Congress to “not be scary”. In the “wish for” file, “that one was filed between permanent Ted Cruz laryngitis and Olympic tortoise pole vaulting (I wonder if any reporter will ever have the balls to ask McTurtle if any of his own kind died in the making of his glasses).
In any event, let’s go to the scary-cam tape shall we? The first two Republican cause celebres were enacted through changes to the House rules. One change will make it easier to cut people from Social Security disability and the other, a love child bred from the philosophical coupling of Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand, creates a fictional accounting methodology called “dynamic scoring”. Dynamic scoring is making up economic assumptions as you go or better put, it requires the federal budget to be scored by a unicorn trained with an abacus and a crystal ball.
Of course there are the obligatory efforts to undo Obamacare. One of the most destructive is changing the ACA’s definition of full-time work from 30 hours to 40 hours. Even conservatives who think are against it. Yes, there are conservatives as yet untouched by the terminally “unsciencey”. Yuval Levin, a conservative policy maven who opposes the individual mandate, thinks this change is a horrible idea and explains:
[E]mployers are less likely to reduce a worker’s load by 10 hours than by just 1 or 2 hours to avoid the mandate… So by setting the definition lower, Obamacare’s architects were trying to mitigate the damaging effects of the employer mandate some, and by setting it higher Republicans would be worsening those effects.
In all, there were about 200 Republican bills proposed in the first week of the new Congress. In addition to the normal deregulation of the environment and building the Great Wall of Texas, there were some other standouts:
- Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Angry) offered three spending bills that would cut most discretionary spending by one, two, and/or five percent. She doesn’t explain why she offered a choice rather than combining them into one big eight percent cut.
- Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) sponsored H.R. 116, which “would allow a small business operating in the U.S. to elect to be exempt from any federal rule or regulation issued on or after January 20, 2009” and thus ignore any Obama cooties-laden regulations.
- Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who is running for Louisiana governor, is a virtual fount of bad ideas. One Vitter brain-trickle is that all public school employees and those employed in connection with a public school must receive FBI background checks prior to being hired. There is no word on whether teachers would be disqualified for wearing diapers while otherwise engaged with prostitutes.
Of course the Republican party wants to be seen as making jobs its priority. That’s why they are so hell-bent on the Keystone Pipeline with its 50, that’s right, a whole 50 permanent jobs.
Then there is the uplifting news provided by the Republicans about the strength of our democracy. The Republican primary is shaping up as a real contest. Nothing says democracy like choosing between a private-equity-manager-turned-governor whose dad ran for president squaring up and facing off against a governor-turned-private-equity-manager whose dad and brother were president.
You’ve heard by now that Mitt Romney is getting his political band back together. What you haven’t heard is that the first number they are going to be practicing is a cover of an old Lionel Ritchie song, Once, Twice, Three Times a Baby.
The difference between Romney and Jeb Bush is profound. Romney started out in private equity before becoming a governor and Bush was a governor before getting into private equity.
In a departure from his ancient “severe conservatism” of two years ago, Romney called a fungible Fox News blonde to his ski chalet where he declared he was really, really, really concerned about poor people. Although he couldn’t see any poor people from his chalet, really, he is very concerned.
Romney will be glad to know that the 47% he was previously so terribly worried about during the fever dreams of 2012 have now been reduced to about 40%. Mitt will also be quite annoyed that joblessness is already lower after two years, at 5.6%, than he said he’d get it in four years.
When you throw Romney and Bush in with Chris Christie (if he isn’t stamping license plates), Walker: Wisconsin Ranger, Hucklebum, Indiana’s Mike Pence’ive, Rand Paul and that critter riding around on his head, the sneer that calls itself Ted Cruz, Texas’ Rick Purdy Hair, Lady Lindsey, and any number of others — what you have is one big smorgasbord at a cannibals’ convention. As any survivor of such functions will advise, the “you” in “all you can eat” is always a metaphorical “you“.
A couple of other items. It was good to see the representative of our ally Saudi Arabia at the Paris unity march. I wonder if anyone asked about the man who received his first 50 lashes last Friday of the 1,000 to which he has been sentenced. The crime: Blogging while being too librul for the kingdom.
Classify this last one as getting your goat. Did you know we count goats? Who knew? There’s even a map that shows where the goats are. There are 21 counties in the country where goats outnumber people. Twenty of the 21 counties are in Texas — that fact alone explains a lot. Why am I telling you this? Primarily to include this video.
Have a great couple of days. I’ll be back on Saturday. Tip your waiters and waitresses. Take this conversation in any direction you might like.
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