Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn will seek to offset federal aid to victims of a massive tornado that blasted through Oklahoma City suburbs on Monday with cuts elsewhere in the budget.> more ... (0 comments)
I haven’t watched the video yet but most folks opining on the intersphere about NRA President Wayne LaPierre’s drunken interpretive burlesque performance this morning are in various forms piteous, shocked, amused, bemused and all-around befuddled. Here’s the video:
And some reactions. The best of which is (naturally) from Wonkette:
In a bizarre “press conference” that permitted no questions, National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre declined to offer the sort of small but sensible concession that many idiots like your Editrix expected in the wake of the Newtown massacre — offering to compromise on the gun show loophole for background checks, for instance, or maybe something about okay fine maybe we don’t need hollow-point bullets — and instead declared #war on gun-free zones at elementary schools, celebrities, the Legend of Zelda, the lack of a national registry of the mentally ill, and probably single mothers and Easy Bake ovens, we don’t know because at some point his words smashed through our brains and splattered them all over our monitor. It is very messy.
The nation’s jaw literally fell off its face as it collectively realized that Code Pink and Medea Benjamin are a bunch of goddamn heroes and that the NRA had fallen into its own Glenn Beckian black hole of insanity as LaPierre spouted weird words about how if soldiers and Secret Service agents have guns then so must the guy standing the local pizza joint’s ground, and that “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (Or, and we’re just spitballing, a bad guy not having a gun.) Even trained police officers accidentally shoot unarmed people (especially if they’re black, Hispanic, or mentally ill) but obviously nothing could go wrong when random folks are armed like Robocop.
Entertainment Weekly’s mind was similarly blown:
In one of the most bizarre press conferences held on live television, National Rifle Association president Wayne LaPierre launched a hostile, self-pitying attack on the media, the entertainment industry, and schools themselves for the killings in Newtown, Conn. His solution: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Interrupted twice by protestors carrying signs with sentiments such as “NRA: Blood On Its Hands,” LaPierre called for “armed security” in “every single school in America.” LaPierre said “the national media machine rewards” mass killers with coverage. He condemned “vicious, violent videogames” such as Mortal Kombat and showed a clip from a videogame called “Kindergarten Killers.” He bad-mouthed “movies such as American Psycho and Natural Born Killers.” He scolded “violent music videos” and scorned anyone who “has the nerve to call it entertainment.” Overall, the entertainment industry promotes “the filthiest form of pornography,” said LaPierre.
It was a stunning news conference. A man whose organization does its best to defeat gun legislation decried “all the noise and anger directed at us.” He had the unspeakable gall to suggest that the Sandy Hook Elementary School and its Newtown school system could have done something to prevent the killings, namely: “What if Adam Lanza … had been confronted by qualified armed security.” “Will you at least admit it is possible that 26 little kids — that 26 innocent lives — might have been spared that day?” he asked. Right: It was the fault of bureaucrats in Connecticut and Washington that caused the bloodshed. Blaming the victims? That’s more obscene than a movie, a videogame, or a music video.
Sully puts it in perspective:
Between the humiliating and chaotic collapse of Speaker Boehner’s already ludicrously extreme Plan B and Wayne La Pierre’s deranged proposal to put government agents in schools with guns, the Republican slide into total epistemic closure and political marginalization has now become a free-fall. This party, not to mince words, is unfit for government. There is no conservative party in the West – except for minor anti-immigrant neo-fascist ones in Europe – anywhere close to this level of far right extremism. And now the damage these fanatics can do is not just to their own country – was the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 not enough for them? – but to the entire world.
And we got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I’ll tell you what it’s gonna take. You people, you are – you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun. And you do in fact need to carry that gun and we need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need to see the next guy that tries to carjack you shot dead right where he stands. We need more dead thugs in this city. And let their — let their mommas — let their mommas say, “He was a good boy. He just fell in with the good crowd.” And then lock her ass up.O.o Yes, let’s definitely let all these crazy fuckers keep their gun hordes.
I don't have a copy of Jim DeMint's book Saving Freedom handy — although I'm thinking about braving the hog cholera down at my recycle center's book bin over the weekend and I might get lucky — so I can't check on the context for the following Dave Weigel quote on Slate:
“There is nothing in this oath about representing my district and state or helping the poor and downtrodden,” [DeMint] would remember. “There was nothing about responding to the woes of the American people.”
That said, great galloping gourmet. I just do not understand how that kinda sentiment can be reconciled with all the godbothering that goes on in certain quarters. I mean, I went to Catholic school for 12 years, I've read the relevant tracts — one would think that Jeebus would not approve of close-reading oaths to see how much care-for-thy-fellows you could, y'know, avoid or obstruct.
H/T For the Slate article to Jonathan Bernstein at plainblogaboutpolitics.
I’m sure you’ve seen (or heard of) this already, but it feels sort of like a Mr. Show sketch to me:
What’s amazing is how this guy becoming totally unglued is how unfazed all the people talking to him are. I mean, this is a grown man yelling at a woman from literally inches away, and everyone seems closer to laughter than fear. So little authority does Walsh apparently have that everyone interprets this more as some sort of weird performance art than real menace, which amuses me. Couldn’t you just imagine Bob Odenkirk in the Walsh role, yelling at a constituent for asking him questions? He’s got the yelling chops to do it:
By the way, has there been a more embarrassing trainwreck of a politician in recent years than Joe Walsh? He’s at various points wished his current wife dead rather than accept subsidized health insurance, been exposed as a deadbeat dad, been shown to have acute anger management issues (the above clip), and wasn’t there something about a DUI in there? I don’t have time to look now. Apparently his personal finances in a state of complete shambles, which this article covers in such a way as to make me think that Walsh is hopeless when it comes to managing money, so clearly someone like that would be able to master the deficit, right? And, obviously, there’s his propensity to give outrageous quotes to the media, which I won’t even get into. Walsh bears all the marks of a one-term wonder, but the real question is how did this guy manage to hide such enormous deficiencies long enough to actually win a close election in a swing district? Koch money alone can’t explain it. Sign of the times?
DougJ reminds us of something that we always need to keep in mind when pondering why Republicans do what they do:
I know there are many moderate, pro-business conservatives who feel the same way about a government default that I do. Some have written about this quite eloquently—Howard Baker and the guys at OTB, for example. I mean no disrespect to them when I say this: for many conservatives, catastrophe is a feature, not a bug.
Polls have shown that most conservatives say they don’t think default would be a big deal. I think the embrace of default goes deeper than that, though—even if default is cataclysmic, that cataclysm could be an opportunity to put the country back on the right track. Many conservatives are truly revolutionary and would embrace a Franco-style dictatorship as long as it promoted a commodity-backed currency, low taxes, and the proper reverence for Reagan/Rand/Burke/Jeebus/Founding Fathers, while abolishing sexting, deconstructionism, welfare, and low-rise jeans.
Anyone who hasn’t heard the “drown the [government] baby in the bathtub” rhetoric coming out of the GOP over the last 30+ years just hasn’t been paying attention.
It’s not that our modern Republican leaders have different ideas about how government should operate — they fundamentally want to do away with 98% of what the government does!
Ergo: George W. Bush. What better way to dash people’s faith in government than to install a bumbling alcoholic fuckwit to run it?
Ergo: Forcing America to Default. What better way to bring the American edifice crashing down all around us; giving them the opportunity to ride out on their white horses to blame Darkie McPresident for the calamity and finally get the chance to move the capital to Alabama and deport all the gays?
Some people (me included) sometimes say the modern GOP has gone insane.
Methinks they’re actually a lot saner than we think (which is even scarier).
CARACAS – Capitalism may be to blame for the lack of life on the planet Mars, Venezuela’s socialist President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday. “I have always said, heard, that it would not be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but maybe capitalism arrived there, imperialism arrived and finished off the planet,”Ha! I thought he must have been joking, then remembered the guy suspects the moon landing and 9/11 are imperialist propaganda. So who knows? Perhaps we can explain the problem of evil by supposing God was an imperial capitalist?
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