Tag Archives: Obama

Mitch McConnell filibusters his own bill in game of Chicken with Senate

A rather remarkable thing happened on the Senate floor yesterday.  Kentucky Senator and former Tootsie Pop spokesman Mitch McConnell came to the floor to ask for a vote on raising the debt ceiling.  This type of vote isn’t new – the federal debt limit has been raised 106 times since 1940, 18 times under Ronald Regan, and 7 times under George W Bush (source: White House Office of Budget and Management).  The fact that it needed to be raised isn’t very remarkable either, as the Senate has repeatedly proven.  It was even boring to see McConnell grandstanding and playing chicken with the debt ceiling for a political power play.    What was remarkable was how badly it blew up in his face.  You see, the Senate majority leader Harry Reid called him on his little game of chicken, and McConnell was forced to either filibuster against his own bill, or back down.  Here is the link to the video, or simply watch below:

Such a proud moment for America, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now, I’m a bit of an oldie, and a political junkie, so I can remember when a filibuster meant something.  I remember when New York Senator Alfonse D’Amato filibustered for nearly a full day concerning a military bill in 1986.  And in the early 80’s, there was even a filibuster over the debt ceiling being raised, led by William Proxmire of Wisconsin.  Filibusters are a necessary part of the political process, and even when used for evil (such as Strom Thurmond filibustering against the Civil Rights Act of 1957), they still have place in the discourse of the Senate.

So why is this such a low point for Capitol Hill, and the GOP?  It all leads back, ironically, to McConnell and his now infamous quote in the National Journal on October 23, 2010 – “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” The GOP can no longer hide behind mercurial, abstract rules when they try to obstruct the President, and by extension, the nation.  McConnell’s massive mis-step yesterday proved that.  They either have to publicly embrace the fact that they attempted to play chicken with the United States of America, or change course and actually attempt to get something done.  Not only will McConnell’s blunder serve as fodder for the Left, it will also serve as the touchstone as why filibuster reform is so desperately needed.

Perhaps this is all a good thing.  There is the school of thought that states you can’t turn your life around till you’ve hit rock bottom.  Maybe this was the wake up call that the GOP desperately needed.  Somehow, though, I doubt McConnell will have a moment of clarity.  Ah well.  At least the American public will be reminded of this moment, over and over, in the run up to 2014.  Enjoy the mid-term elections, Mr. McConnell.



vote for the mormon not the muslim sheawong



Further reminding me why on a Sunday morning I’m in a house of learning over a house of worship, Church in the Valley, a small church in  Leakey, Texas, has decided to flout federal law and endorse a candidate in the least intelligible way possible.









Several points spring to mind as I read this.

  1. Well, at least everything is spelled correctly.
  2. Why exactly do churches have tax-exempt status if they are going to break the law?
  3. Texas.  Of course it’s Texas.

Putting aside that it’s in the south (because of course it is) – why the hell are my tax dollars propping up this idiocy?  Because ladies and gentlemen, your federal tax dollars do currently prop this up.  From houses of worship being exempt from income (tithing) tax, to not having to pay property tax, to discounts on purchases for their ministry, religion in America is big, big, business.  L. Ron Hubbard was a crappy sci-fi writer, but a shrewd businessman when he set up his ‘religion’ of Scientology.  And you, and I, and every other tax payer out there supports them.  The real kicker?  All they have to do to stay out of trouble is follow several small rules.  During election season, these rules include not supporting or opposing a candidate, either from the pulpit or on their grounds.  This isn’t difficult.  And while some would like to scream “free speech!”, I’d counter that when they’d like to pay their fair way, they get to say whatever they like.  But since the federal government loses an estimated $71,000,000,000 (that 71 billion) a year in lost revenue from not taxing religious institutions, they can STFU.

Of course, this is all moot unless the IRS comes after them, which occasionally happens, and then the churches cry about religious persecution, and everyone freaks out, and they are allowed to continue breaking the rules, all while thumbing their nose at those of us who don’t feel like paying for their idiocy.

So, I’ve had a brilliant idea – I am going to start my own church.  It will be great!  I’ll get a ton of tax credits, and I’ll get to say and do whatever I want and cry if people say I should follow the law, and best of all, it will be on the good Reverend Ray Miller’s dime!



#RNCPowergrab 2012

Paging Dr. Frankenstein: Your monster is on the loose.

I’ve always felt a bit bad for the Tea Party.  Sure, they’ve always struck me as the crazy racist uncle who still thinks the south will rise again, but their hearts always seemed to be so in to it.  A sadistic part of me almost appreciates that kind of myopic ignorance.  When Obama got the win in November of 2008, the GOP saw a glimmer of hope in their loss – a whole bunch of angry people were watching a black man was taking the highest office in the land.  And they saw that they could use that.  So, the Tea Party was born to stop all this wasteful spending and get us back to our Constitutional roots and whatever a bald eagle dreams about when he shits fireworks or something.  Never mind that Obama hadn’t even been sworn in, or that the country had failed under eight years of Bush Jr., they were gonna stop ‘Obummer’ from ruining their wonderful country.  And the GOP supported them – they got rallies, and placards, and lots of airtime.  They got candidates in 2010, and were praised by the establishment mouthpieces for their grassroots efforts.  The poor bastards actually thought they were in the big leagues.

Then, 2012 neared, and the Tea Party wanted more of a say in the way they were going to lead the party.  And if there is one thing you don’t tell Romney et al, it’s that the caddy wants to put down the bag and start shooting a few holes.  There was a resolution on a set of rules – 12 and 15 – attempting to change the power structure from the people to the largest donors.  Now, watch what happens when John ‘Man of the People’ Boehner decides to ignore half of the convention floor (most of whom are the die-hard grassroots ‘patriots’).


Do you see the looks on their faces?  The Monster just realized he’s not the unique, wonderful snowflake.  He’s Doctor Frankenstein’s bitch. Not fun when your voice is silenced.  Not fair when your vote doesn’t count. Now you know 1/1000 of how everyone who has been disenfranchised with your bullshit voter ID laws feel like. Now you know 1/10000000 how the marginalized of our society feel like every damn day. Not so nice when you realize you are nothing in the eyes of the people in power, is it.


So they throw a strop. They compare themselves to Holocaust survivors, and rape victims, and Jesus Christ himself. The real test now is if they’ll have the intestinal fortitude to abstain voting for the President knowing it could mean another four years of Obama, or cast their vote for Romney, knowing they were used and then tossed aside when it was convenient.   (And just as an aside to Romney et al:  I don’t know if we just do it differently, but where I’m from, we don’t kick the hooker out of the car before we get finished off – I’m not quite sure why you decided to piss the TPers off before you officially got the nod, and live on tv no less, but rookie mistake.)


The real question is, how will the unofficial queen of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, deal with all this?  If she speaks out for the establishment, she’ll be unveiled for the corporate shill she is.  However, I doubt she lacks the vertebrae to stand up to the RNC in support of the grassroots supporters.  She’s been suspiciously silent on the whole issue – I wonder if she thinks she can wait them out?  These people still carry a grudge from Robert E Lee getting smacked down by Grant, you think they won’t remind you that you haven’t weighed in yet?

Either way, should be a wonderful show in the next few weeks.  Romney will have to do some serious ass kissing to get the delegates back (we’re all looking at you, Maine), and as ass kissing is not really his forte, it will fall to his lackies.  Good luck with that, Chris Christie.