Earlier today Barack Obama announced his new plans for gun control legislation developed in the wake of the Newtown massacre. It’s chock full of pretty reasonable things about better tracking guns, ending the sale of assault weapons and high capacity rounds and other ideas to help ameliorate this little problem we have had lately with mass shooting sprees. Note that, unlike what Alex Jones and the Far Right might have you believe, Obama did not call for money to set up internment camps for gun owners. That’ll come later I’m sure.
The NRA for its part pre-butted (my new favorite term) the Administration’s press conference by releasing the most horrifying attack ad in recent memory. The ad accuses Obama of acting like an “elitist hypocrite” for letting his daughters have armed security in schools, but not supporting the NRA’s plans to load schools up with armed guards. I’m not convinced this will win Obama to their cause – indeed, usually it’s not a very good idea to get at someone by attacking their kids. Unless of course they have really obnoxious children – Martin Sheen might let it slide if you called Charlie Sheen a deranged coke fiend. When it comes down to it, the NRA just loves attacking children I guess.
So where will this gun control legislation be successful? No one knows for sure. At the very least though the Administration’s snappy #NowIsTheTime hashtag means that they can win the Twitter war. Beating the NRA at the Twitter ground game is about as important a victory for the President here as, say, beating the NRA at Tic-Tac-Toe or Checkers. But not Russian Roulette – you know the NRA likes that one.
President Barack Obama has announced that Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel, the 18th century philosopher, is his next choice for Secretary of Defense. Perhaps it was Hegel’s groundbreaking work on Dialetical Sublation and Epistimological Historicism that impressed the President enough to nominate him for this important post.
Oh, actually, after doing a little more research, it appears that Pres. Obama has nominated former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. My apologies. Anyway, Hagel is a Republican who has become increasingly centrist over the years (or maybe he’s held the same positions as his party has lurched farther to the right – it’s hard to tell), and is thus likely to face doggedy criticism from the Right during his confirmation process.
So what are conservatives planning to unload on this decorated Vietnam Vet (editor’s note: insert gay sex joke here)?
First of all, the GOP is convinced Hagel, like spicy food, is no friend of the Jewish people. Several years ago he inartfully referred to the power of the “Jewish Lobby” in an interview and now Sheldon Adelson and a bunch of Evangelicals are basically conspiring to have the Mossad kidnap Hagel and hold him for crimes against humanity in the Negev desert. As a Jew that pro-active search for imaginary anti-Semitism makes me proud.
Secondly, Republicans are accusing Hagel of being a homophobe. Back in 1997 (when progressive gay politics was mostly about convincing people that watching Will and Grace was not a sin), Hagel said Pres. Clinton’s openly gay nominee for ambassador to Luxembourg was unqualified for the post because of his sexuality. Hagel has since apologized for that too, both because it was insensitive and untrue – almost no country in Europe is gayer than Luxembourg. More importantly, since when have the Republicans cared about gay rights? As far as I can tell this is like wolves howling about the civil rights of sheep.
But the real reason Hagel, who as a wounded combat veteran is less than thrilled with the use of military force, terrifies the GOP is because as Secretary of Defense he might, just maybe, cut or freeze the defense budget. You see, the only spending the Right approves of is military spending, and a Secretary of Defense who doesn’t want to spend $40 billion on invisible helicopters and tank-mounted chocolate fountains and other shit like that is a threat to the GOP and their corporate masters.
Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist on this or anything. I’ll leave that up to this guy…
As we all hunker down for another colossally dumb fight over the Debt Ceiling, a group of sneaky
Jews Jewish Democrats Democrats has come up with an incredible plan to go around those stubborn House Republicans who are more or less refusing to raise the Debt Ceiling without big spending cuts and essentially threatening to have the US default on its debt and destroy the world economy if they don’t get what the want.
Paul Krugman shared this amazing solution today, sharing an idea based on a legal loophole that would allow “the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses. Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector’s items — but that’s not what the letter of the law says. And by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling — while doing no economic harm at all.”
The plan is so crazy and devious it might just work! Of course, Gawker rightly points out that this opens up the United States Treasury to a Ocean’s 11-style heist, but when it comes to sheer precious metal lust, I worry more about an attack from a super villain. And don’t say that’s not a legitimate concern – after all, House Republicans are threatening to blow up the world if they don’t get what they want, right? I don’t see how adding an actual super villain into the dialogue around the logic of minting a trillion dollar platinum coin makes the discussion any less serious.
As you know, Ronald Reagan laid the ground work for protecting the United States against moon-based death rays, a weapon that could be used to steal a trillion dollar coin. And while hiring the Avengers to protect the trillion dollar platinum coin would be expensive, minting said coin would allow the Obama to pay them, which is just the kind of discretionary-superhero-spending that House Republicans would never allow. The coin makes excellent sense then, especially since we could always put something kind of fun and wacky on it too!
I would however caution against taking that platinum and making one trillion dollar ring to rule them all, as it will summon the wrath of Sauron and given the Benghazi mess and the confirmation battle over Chuck Hagel the last thing the administration needs is another foreign policy headache.
It’s just as adult Glenn Beck and teenage Glenn Beck suspected all along: American liberals and Radical muslims are collaborating and nobody likes Glenn Beck.
I’m referring to the news today that Al Jazeera has inked a deal to purchase Current TV, a really depressing liberal cable television channel own by some guy named Al Gore. Al Jazeera, being owned by people in Qatar, is clearly a terrorist front and this deal is a fraud. More importantly though, who is this “Al Gore”? Is he like “Al Qaeda” or “Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade”? How did this mullah get a hold of television station in the first place?
This news comes as we also learn that Glenn Beck attempted to purchase Current TV earlier this year, but was rebuffed because he’s insane. I mean because Al Jazeera offered a better deal. Sure, Al Jazeera is a highly respected news organization, but unlike Glenn Beck it has its own brand of jeans. That sounds like a tough choice to me.
In the end though, it seems that given the choice between Al Jazeera’s grizzly Syrian Civil War footage and anything having to do with Glenn Beck, Al Gore went with Al Jazeera. Strange.
WORST CONGRESS EVER.
Seriously, the 112th Congress came to a close today and as we have learned it was the least productive congress in over half a century. That might be the silver lining for this Tea Party dominated Congress – its complete inability to do anything but rename post offices kept the United States from returning to the gold standard or nuking the UN’s Headquarters.
Of course, no one leaves this Congress smelling worse than America’s cat-herd in chief, John Boehner. Even Mitt Romney looks like a skilled politician compared to Boehner, who managed mostly to shepherd his caucus from one PR disaster to another. Indeed, given the mix of out-sized personalities and demented, self-destructive tendencies of the Tea Partier that dominated this Congress, the 112th would have been better run by Kardashian Momager Kris Jenner than John Boehner. At least we could have gotten a signature fragrance out of it!
The recent deal to avert the Fiscal Cliff was really the cherry on top though. Ezra Klein suggested today in Bloomberg that this Congress was like “Wile E. Coyote with his endless supply of Acme products” and when the Republican leadership “set a trap, the only sure bet was that it would explode in its collective face,” which is exactly how the fiscal cliff played out. Republicans got nothing they wanted and nearly all the blame. And, best of all, in the process Boehner managed to tell his negotiating partner Sen. Harry Reid to “go fuck himself” (Republicans have a long tradition of telling Democrats to go fuck themselves. Most recently, we saw Vice President Dick Cheney engaged Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in this time-honored tradition, which dates back to 1894 when Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) told Sen. Zebulon Vance (D-NC) to “sally forth and thus unto himself perform the dubious act of self-coitous.”)
So this is how our first ever Tea Party dominated Congress is going out: not with a bang, but with a whimper. The Fiscal Cliff deal kicked the can of spending cuts and the debt ceiling down the road (allowing for ~hooray~ another spending crisis!) and a lot of these fools like Allen West can say they spent their one term in Congress accomplishing little more than savaging small amounts of discretionary spending and, umm, letting taxes go up?
113th Congress, you couldn’t have come any sooner…
While our nation is (somewhat) divided by what new gun control measures we should take in the wake of the Newtown School Massacre, there is at least one bright spot on our fractured horizon: the deportation of loudmouth CNN Anchor Piers Morgan. Politico is reporting that over 65,000 people have signed a new user-created petition on Whitehouse.org accusing Morgan of engaging in “a hostile attack against the U.S. Constitution by targeting the Second Amendment,” on a recent episode of his show. The petition demands that “Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.” This petition of course demonstrates the widely held belief that the Second Amendment is, like, a billion times more important than the First Amendment and the legally sound principle that the United States Constitution applies to non-citizens (it is the best Constitution after all – that’s why foreigners want to destroy its awesomeness).
And while this might sound like some conservative internet bullshit and an abuse of the White House’s public petitioning system, I think a lot of liberals could get behind this! Morgan is known for his obnoxious, smug style of interviewing and low rating ratings. Indeed, watching his show is one of those myriad tortures associated with a delay at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
So I deport away! Thanks to global warming, putting the banished on an ice float and sending them to their doom is more economic than EVER.
So after a week of radio silence the NRA has finally issued a statement about the Newtown Massacre. True to form, they proved why freedom of speech is our most deeply annoying constitutional right. Wayne LaPierre, the group’s president, called for armed guards in our nation’s schools, saying “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” That statement alone seems to prove that Wayne LaPierre has suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury, reducing his reasoning capacity and therefore his political reasoning skills to those of a 7 year old (ya know, like the age that those kids who sadly weren’t armed were when they were mowed down with a semi-automatic rifle that LaPierre fought to keep legal).
But let’s piece this out: who, pray tell, would the NRA have serve as our matriculated mercenaries? Why “retired police and military” of course! And if you think using aged police officers and Vietnam vets to protect our children with guns is a bad idea, well then clearly the NRA thinks you ought to go straight to hell.
The NRA in it’s present form is closer to a terrorist group than a lobbying group. Can they lose their non-profit status as part of any gun control reform? Removing the people who ensure we have horrible gun laws has got to be at least as important as removing the guns themselves….