The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 26th, 2012: The Tortoise Turtle is Hare-Brained

Not to insult any tortoises, turtles, or hares who happen to be reading this; because, honestly, most tortoises, turtles and hares are more intelligent and have more integrity than the subject of this post, but…


Yesterday’s “Quote of the Day” in the Washington Post:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) defending his decision to drop the threat of a filibuster on a proposal to preserve tax cuts soley[sic] for the middle class:

“By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here…”

The Washington Post article states:

“McConnell acknowledged the unusual nature of his decision — Democratic aides could not recall another occasion when McConnell permitted a simple majority vote on a contentious issue. McConnell said his goal was to force vulnerable Democrats to support a plan to raise taxes less than four months before the Nov. 6 ballot.”

“By setting these votes at a 50-vote threshold, nobody on the other side can hide behind a procedural vote while leaving their views on the actual bill itself a mystery to the people who sent them here,” McConnell said.

Moreover, McConnell said, the tax bill cannot advance because it is a Senate-originated tax measure. The Constitution requires all tax measures to originate in the House.

“The only reason we won’t block it today is that we know it doesn’t pass constitutional muster and won’t become law,” McConnell said. “What today’s votes are all about,” he said, is “showing the people who sent us here where we stand.”

Yes, Mitch, it shows the people who sent you there that you stand against them, as poll after poll indicates that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of letting the Bush tax cuts for the extremely wealthy expire. Yeah, you show ’em, Mitch.

According to a ThinkProgress article posted after the 2011 debt ceiling hostage debacle, “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) confirmed this fear [of Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage] when he told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that Republicans will hold the debt ceiling hostage in the future, saying this debate “set the template for the future”:

MCCONNELL: “It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion…”

“Discussion”? That was no “discussion”, Mitch, it was a deliberate act on the Republican’s part to undermine both President Obama and the American economy.

The same ThinkProgress 2011 post continued, “The debt ceiling has been raised dozens of times in the past without controversy, including 19 times under President Bush alone. President Reagan increasing the debt ceiling by 199.5 percent during his eight years in office — more than any executive to date — while Presidents Bush, Jr. raised it 90.2 percent and Bush Sr. increased it by 48.0 percent.” Of course, as everyone knows, IOKIYAR.

According to DailyKos, the debt ceiling fight:

“…didn’t just hurt the economy or disrupt the economic recovery, halt job growth, and wreck consumer confidence. It also cost taxpayers $1.3 billion and counting, according to the Government Accountability Office [GAO].

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said Monday that the $1.3 billion in costs came as the result of increased borrowing costs for the Treasury Department.

Ezra Klein at The Washington Post provided a link to the GAO’s “Analysis of 2011-2012 Actions Taken and Effect of Delayed Increase of Borrowing Costs.”

As a reminder to us all, this October 2010 ThinkProgress article quotes McConnell:

MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” McConnell added, “Our single biggest political goal is to give our nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful. …

Apparently nothing else matters to Republicans: if trashing the U.S. economy, rising unemployment (where are the jobs, Speaker Boehner?), and undermining the rights of citizens to vote will help “to give [their] nominee for president the maximum opportunity to be successful”, well, if the Republicans spoke French (horrors!), they’d likely say, “c’est la vie” – or, more appropriately, c’est la guerre.”

This is our daily open thread — ladies and gentlemen, start your discussion!

142 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Thursday, July 26th, 2012: The Tortoise Turtle is Hare-Brained

  1. Po widdle Repubbies. They don’t remember how St. Ronnie raised taxes so many times that when Elderbush ran he had his famous…”Read my lips, NO NEW TAXES.” line that he had to walk back after the election.

    Taxes aren’t evil. Spending over half of the ones you collect on the military is.

  2. Santorum has gotten behind(cough) Huckabible’s support Chik-Fil-A day on Facebook. If Santorum is seen at a Chik-Fil-A shouldn’t the Health Dept. be notified?

  3. HAL: I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.

    Happy birthday Stanley Kubrick.

    • HAL is one of the coolest on-screen characters ever written. Not so much in the direct story line, but the implications of HAL and other computers like him.

      I can almost sense a bit of disappointment or resignation in HAL’s answer there; as if a slave talking to its master. Wanting and longing for more, but not expressing it.

    • Right… got a bridge (to nowhere) to sell us?

      Sarah Palin Tells Vulture That Her Family Does Reality Shows to ‘Live Life Vibrantly’ — Vulture

      So the Palin family has now taken part in at least four reality shows since 2008. Are reality shows the new means of communications in politics, the new way to stay close to your base? I mean, Todd’s not doing it for the money with Stars Earn Stripes I’m certainly not doing it for the money, no!

    • Sigh. I like Deadliest Catch too. I guess I may have to give it up now.

      Sarah Palin Tells Vulture That Her Family Does Reality Shows to ‘Live Life Vibrantly’ — Vulture

      Do you watch any reality shows? Are there any you’d want to be on, like Survivor?I don’t have time to watch much television. When I hear you guys batting around all these names of shows, I don’t know what … I like Deadliest Catch. We’re commercial fishermen, but we’re not that hard-core in Bristol Bay. But we like Deadliest Catch. Competition is so good, and a lot of these reality shows have a lot to do with competition. And that, of course, breeds success in all areas of life.

      • As reality shows go, Deadliest catch seems the most real… I have seen Toddlers and Tiaras a few times and think that those parents should be locked up for child abuse.
        I have seen The Housewives of New York and marvel that the women are just as catty and just as hurtful to each other as the Housewives of Trailer Park Central, only with a better vocabulary and better clothes. I do watch The Glee Project because it is about the kids’ talent and not about them backstabbing each other.

    • Cameron clearly won that exchange.

      So maybe Mitt will come back with “But I also ran a company at the same time…” (at which point there’s a collective face plant in all of his campaign offices).

      • That’s some good ol’ fashioned Anglo-Saxon stupidity, right there. And as a registered lobbyist(!), Mitt “I’m rich enough to have a horse in the Olympics” Romney brought in a record $1.3 billion in *federal* dollars for Salt Lake City’s games which were a boondoggle for pet projects. Maybe Mitt can advise Cameron how to be a lobbyist and suck from the government teat.

    • Cameron: “We are holding an Olympic Games in one of the busiest, most active, bustling cities anywhere in the world. Of course, it’s easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere.”

      The bitch slap heard ’round the world.

  4. Romney’s horse is completely hidden from public view:

    “The United States Equestrian Federation and the United States Olympic Committee have refused to make those working with Rafalca available for interviews in the days leading up to the Games and prohibited the news media from even seeing the horse. Through a spokeswoman, Ann Romney declined to be interviewed.”

    Does Rafalca also have tax returns?

  5. From the very Tory Daily Telegraph:

    “Mitt Romney is perhaps the only politician who could start a trip that was supposed to be a charm offensive by being utterly devoid of charm and mildly offensive… His comments to NBC, particularly his doubts about Britons’ ability to celebrate the games, showed how poorly he understands the land of his forefathers.

    If he possessed a smidgeon of insight into the British psyche he would have known that despite all the pre-match whingeing and the carping, on the night we will celebrate the games with all the gusto and fervour they deserve. We moan, and then we smile; that is just our way.”

    The headline of the piece? “If Mitt Romney doesn’t like us, we shouldn’t care.”

    This is a hilarious, thigh-slapping irony in Mitt Romney’s foreign tour. It’s supposed to be about reaffirming America’s traditional relationships with the traditional allies. And it’s turned into a riotously public demonstration of the complete opposite.

    And….Mitt has made ANOTHER blunder: He confirmed outside 10 Downing St. that he met the head of MI6. Aspiring US presidents are not meant to say that.

  6. Romney may forget that this isn’t like the private sector where you cut worker pay to give yourself a big bonus. The president gets paid a fixed amount either way.

    Obama team: Romney seeks major federal pay cut

    Mitt Romney’s spending plan includes a pledge to “align federal employee compensation with the private sector,” and it cites studies showing that “federal compensation exceeds private sector levels by as much as 30 to 40 percent when benefits are taken into account. This must be corrected.”As far as President Obama’s campaign is concerned, that means Romney is talking about a federal pay cut of up to 40%.”To pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires, (Romney) drastically cuts pay for the men and women who secure our borders and skies, enforce our laws, inspect our food and search for better treatments and cures,” said Obama spokesman Adam Fetcher.

    • I think he should go with that one. The President, head of the Free World (supposedly) has a salary of $400k. How many CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies work so cheap?

  7. Birthers get their very own campaign ad.

    “No one — I mean no one — has seen an actual physical copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate,” the narrator says, before directing viewers to call a number to “disqualify Obama before the Democratic National Convention.” They’ll need 10,000 signatures from every congressional district in the United States to do this.

    Ayers, Wright, birth certificate, oh my!!

  8. Aside from (far as I know, at least) the likely differences in their respective choices and styles of underwear, can anyone, really, point to or define an obvious difference between Palin and Romney? Does either have an edge in overall ineptness?

    • The difference is subtle. I think that Mittens usually knows when he’s lying while Bible Spice is just dumb as dirt and spews out whatever some freak of a preacher tells her.

      • The thing is, though, that Romney is every bit as inept at lying as Palin is in discerning reality. Not sure either one of them gains any advantage in how they’re perceived around the world (save for those millions within the American wingnut right, of course, each of whom is literally too stupid to think that anything/everything with which they agree could possibly be false as either an intentional lie or merely a consequence of teh dumb).

        • True. In fact, Mitten’s is more inept at lying. My contention is that he knows he’s lying so he tips it off. With Bible Spice I can’t tell because she has yet to master a recognizable human language.

  9. Nugent is a liar, a psychopath, and a fool. The AR-15, especially when equipped with a 100 round magazine, is designed ONLY for combat and mass murder. It’s useless as a hunting rifle and is even illegal for deer in most states due to caliber restrictions and every state due to magazine restrictions. Police and military experts have also said, in poll after poll, that it’s not ideal as a self defense weapon either. It doesn’t even make the first cut. There is simply no valid rationale for a civilian to own such a weapon. Plus; he’s simply lying about the “20 minutes” and the ability of someone to rack up a body count with a “single shot”. Time and again we find that mass shooters are stopped when they pause to reload.

      • It might be a bit on the harsh side but perfectly understandable. Personally, I would like to see him cut off his thumb with the bolt of his favorite “modern hunting rifle” while he’s playing with it.

    • “{AR-15 is} useless as a hunting rifle…”

      Yeah, but say you’re out camping in the plains, ya know, around 1870, and a massive herd of buffaloes descend upon your tent…

      • Actually, the noise would have more effect than the tiny bullets from an AR-15. They are .223 inches and designed to kill puny humans. For buffalo the preferred weapons are around .50 inches though modern hunting rounds over .30 inches are superior to the old “buffalo guns”.

          • 0.003″ larger in diameter. Not a lot, although the bullets are also longer and are fired with a much heavier load from a much wider (and necked down) cartridge. More muzzle velocity, a higher grain bullet, more damage. But still, not terribly impressive to a charging elephant, e.g., or a buffalo.

            • The selection of the .223 round had several reasons. While a small caliber, when backed by a heavy charge it makes for an impressive military type round. On any sort of hard impact, whether branch or bone, it tends to tumble and become a veritable buzzsaw. When striking flesh it acts like a knitting needle until it hits something solid. At that time it goes nuts.

              The round is not designed for stopping power, it is designed for maximal injury that requires medical support for even flesh wounds.

          • Heavier and faster but about the same diameter. The biggest reason it was adopted was so that a typical soldier can carry more ammo. Second biggest is that a small bullet has less recoil so one can fire it in ‘full auto” mode and still keep close to the point of aim. It all results in a high volume of fire. It has advantages for soldiers and mass murderers but results in poor performance for hunting or even target shooting when compared to a bigger caliber.

  10. If you want to, can you click on the link and support housekeepers?

    “Housekeepers nationwide need your help. If you’ve ever stayed at a Hyatt and had a good night’s sleep, you have a housekeeper to thank for your fresh sheets and fluffed pillows. But invisible to hotel guests is the pain and hardship that housekeepers endure to provide us with an atmosphere of comfort and luxury.

    That’s why this week Hyatt housekeepers are launching a global boycott of Hyatt. Please take two seconds to support them by voting Hyatt the Worst Hotel Employer in America.

    Why is Hyatt the worst? Hyatt has replaced career housekeepers with temp workers earning minimum wage. Hyatt housekeepers have heavy workloads that can lead to debilitating pain and injuries. Hyatt has fired women shortly after they have spoken out about abuse and indignities at work. And Hyatt even turned heat lamps on workers protesting these conditions during a brutal Chicago heat wave.

    Worldwide, we are calling on five million people to take a stand and Vote Hyatt Worst.

    By joining together, we will urge Hyatt to change its ways.

    Hyatt Hurts! They’re the Worst!”

      • I can’t remember the last time I stayed there, either… but I saw a news program that a lot of hotels are doing this sort of thing… they fire their housekeeping staff and then piecemeal out the work to a temp type agency and the workers then lose all of any benefits that they had under the hotel chain, most especially their health care. Their salaries go down as well…

        It is a nasty way to run a business.

  11. Fundies Say The Darndest Things
    The only argument against atheism you’ll ever likely read that includes the Department of Motor Vehicles and fresh produce.”

    Why do atheists think that just because they are atheists that they don’t have to go to church?! I don’t like standing in line at the DMV. I’m not a car, but I do it anyway. I don’t like standing in line at the grocery store either. I’m not produce, but I still do it anyway! I am a responsible citizen and I do the right thing, so should atheists!!!!

    • If this person was indeed a “responsible citizen” he/she would read the Constitution and realize that there’s no mandate to attend church. Personally, I handle my car registration by mail and do my shopping late at night when there are no lines at the grocery store. I guess that the OP is just an idiot.

    • In about 45 years of living in the US, with quite a bit of foreign travel, I have yet to encounter a single thing I had to do in the US that involved a deity and its active participation in my decision. Nor have I discovered a single church that bore the sign that said, “as endorsed and enforced by the US government.”

    • Cars and groceries exist. God doesn’t. Grocery stores have food in them, I need food. The DMV enables one’s vehicle to become legal to drive (to use to haul groceries home, if nothing else). Churches, meanwhile, are empty shells, void of any substance of any kind, useless. It’s so simple. Really.

    • Seriously? I wonder if he gets up each morning and sings to himself in the mirror: ” I’m so pretty, h so pretty… I’m so pretty and witty and gay!” (from West Side Story)

  12. MORE MITT. In his ‘Insult to England Tour’ interview I found this nugget:

    Mitt: “I have to tell you. This is Ann’s sport. I’m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get the chance to see it, I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse does well.”

    WTF? If your spouse’s horse were in an Olympic contest, would you not even watch? This is either a lie, designed to insulate him from whatever minimal fallout there is from owning a prancing pony; or it’s true and he’s just unlike other human beings. I mean, Obama makes sure he sees his daughters’ high school sports games. But Romney won’t even watch his wife’s horse at the Olympics?

  13. Romney made his verbal gaffes to NBC. Maybe he thought the Brits would never hear or read about them. The GOP has long had amnesia when it comes to understanding archival audio and video devices that can replay their embarrassments.

    • Rmoney quote: In his 2004 book, Turnaround, Romney acknowledges the central role of the federal government in making the Olympics possible. “No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising revenue, we couldn’t have Games without the support of the federal government,” he wrote.

  14. (Dale must have met Mittens in a previous life)

    “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures bristling with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.”
    ― Dale Carnegie

    How to Win Friends and Influence People

    • Years ago, I read Carnegie’s book. I also did EST training. And studied a few of the self help type programs. I have noticed that there is an increased tendency towards “How to be a Functioning Sociopath” as a base line for self help.

  15. QOTD

    “I hear there’s a guy called Mitt Romney who wants to know whether we’re ready. Are we ready?” — London Mayor Boris Johnson at the torch lighting ceremony, taking the piss out of Mitt in front of a live audience of thousands and a broadcast viewership of gazillions.

    Some guy. Ouch.

  16. Even fellow wingnuts are piling on. J-Pod from National Review:

    “Romney in London. Come on. We needed this. It’s a little comic relief. Kind of like Mr. Bean, only he’s an American.”

  17. The Trees Aren’t The Right Height in Anglo-Saxon Land:

    Crickets at NRO. Nothing at the Weekly Standard, except a blurb on Mitt’s determination to bring the Churchill bust back to the Oval Office. Zilch at Malkin. Drudge sees a huge story when it is in front of his nose. But it’s at times like these when you realize how so much on the online partisan wingtopia is simply propaganda. And if they have to comment, here’s Dan Riehl:

    “A Limp Wrist-ed David Cameron hits back at Mitt Romney over Olympic doubts

    Get over it, Britain. You’re a second rate, semi-degenerate nation still on the way down because you went too far to the left too long ago for anyone to care about. Don’t expect us to wring our hands over what you losers did. We’re too busy fighting to make sure it doesn’t happen here.

    I really give a flip about what David Cameron thinks. yawn … just be glad we continue to allow you to think you’re actually in the game on most things. Now, get out of our face and try to not screw up the Olympics more than you have already.

    Mostly a bunch of feckless wankers if you ask me. Put a Gold Medal on that and aim it at the Queen’s arse.”

    Note the obligatory homophobia. This is a party that seeks to run a global superpower?

  18. In case you guys don’t hear from us later, we’re about to be hit by some nasty storms. Hopefully we won’t lose power, or have any trees fall on the house. I’ll check in later if I can.

          • EXACTLY!

            As Wayne noted, we are safe and sound for the time being, and only one of our cats, Missy, has failed to reappear now that things have calmed down a bit. She usually hides under the patio out back during a storm basically as soon as she feels the raindrops. She’s the wussiest of them all in storms.

            Bmm, our trees are all of a very mature height. Our problem is that there are some reallllly old, huge trees down the property line out back (the trees ‘belong’ to the neighbors), and parts of them, the size of regular tree, have come down in past storms. There’s still several 2-3′ diameter chunks in our yard from the last big storm. Our neighbor will get to them eventually, we don’t care. She goes at them with a chainsaw herself.

    • Hi, Everybody!

      We made it through the front of the storm, where the winds were severe and the thunder and lightening more intense, and we’re fine and no damage (of which I am aware.)

      I believe they were predicting more “severe” thunderstorms possible until 11 PM, about three hours from now. I think we’ll be okay.

      Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts and well wishes. 🙂

  19. YEEEH:

    Serious dismay in Whitehall at Romney debut. ‘Worse than Sarah Palin.’ ‘Total car crash’. Two of the kinder verdicts #romneyshambles

  20. Bill Maher is right:

    “Three and a half years into the presidency of Barack Obama, 17 percent of registered voters still believe that he is a Muslim despite the fact that he is a Christian, according to a poll released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Forty-nine percent correctly identified that he is a Christian, while 31 percent of respondents said they did not know.”

  21. The most interesting thing about politics is that it relies on the concept that all the people who play the political game have enough money to feed their family. Republicans depend on the fact that their supporters, outside the well-to-do, will continue to support them even if the bottom drops out of the economy. The hard core fact is politics hit the toilet when the family can’t eat.

    We aren’t there yet but we will be in less than a year. No matter who wins.

  22. “The Nation Of Great Britain”

    That was Romney’s phrase. No such nation exists. The nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all nations under the United Kingdom (since 1800). It’s always a good idea when visiting a country to call it by its rightful name. Mitt’s total cluelessness abroad is testament to the vacuousness of his foreign policy “ideas”.

    • I believe we should teach school children how to pronounce the names of foreign countries and cities the way the local inhabitants do. I believe it would eventually, over the next generation, reduce the prevalence of xenophobia. And that, in turn, would lead to Peace.

        • I remember being taught that when we learned about the world of exports and imports, and we had to memorize the chief export of every country. That would have been the perfect time to teach about these places using the correct pronunciation of words, especially the native words used to describe that exports and imports. It’s okay to teach kids the English translation, but teach them also what the people with whom we are trading call them. My job involves Receiving inbound freight into our company. I have to check in everything, and sometimes the vendors write things in their own language on the packaging. I’d love to have been taught some of the basic words of those languages to see what they’re really saying.

          (“Pallet 6 of 12 bound for hypocritical capitalist pigs in USA.”)

  23. BELLEFONTE, Pa. — The wife of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky says she still loves him

    Sure, I bet he never sodomized you.

  24. The Brits are having some fun. Some tweets under that #americanborat:

    #AmericanBorat sounds like Herman Cain on foreign affairs, but w/o the awesome lines from Pokemon Movie song

    Mitt Romney: From #AngloSaxonHeritage to #americanborat in one day.

    You can tell @MittRomney’s doing badly when he starts getting booed by rich white people

    65 year-old w/ #AngloSaxonHeritage, no business experience since 1999, seeks position, possibly as Leader of the Free World

    “Not since WWII has London seen a bombing as thorough as Mitt Romney’s.”!/search/%23AmericanBorat

  25. I’m sure about now Mitt is fast asleep. Tomorrow he will retroactively cancel his trip to London.


  26. (To the tune of Nowhere Man – profound apologies to the Beatles)

    Mitt’s a real Reboot Man,
    Slamming Anglo-Saxon Land,
    Making Presidential plans
    For nobody.
    Has two kinds of points of view,
    Lives like real, rich people do.
    He’s not a bit like you or me.
    Reboot Man, please listen,
    You don’t know who you’re dissing,
    Reboot Man, Swiss Bank accounts are at your command.
    As big a snob as he can be,
    Just sees what he wants to see,
    Robot Man can you see me at all?
    Has an elite point of view,
    Pays his taxes but quite a bit too few,
    Do you think he’s like you and me?
    Reboot Man, don’t worry,
    Take your time, don’t hurry,
    Leave it all until Karl Rove’s PAC
    Lends you a hand.
    He’s a real Reboot Man,
    Slamming Anglo-Saxon Land,
    Making Presidential plans
    For nobody.

  27. Since you asked, I will tell you how much my life sucks. After watching for three hours the train wreck called Mitt’s Most Fabulous Vacation, I’m now watching the Comedy Show’s roasting of Bob Saget. What sucks is I’m no longer able to discern the difference as to which is a verifiable reality, or if either has any resemblance to a sane response to common experience. I think I’m on the road to a cognitive meltdown. I now know that my decision to forego a continuance of hallucinagenics was shortsited in the extreme,and now I’m paying for my stupidity. Another takeaway from this day is that Mittens is absolutely the worst candidate in my almost 50 years of political awareness. His rapaciousness will never be quenched. He is a zombie. This I’m convinced of, and nothing will change my

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