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Saturday: Too much news

More beach, less news

July is supposed to be a slow news month. Everyone is on vacation and nothing much is going on. But for some reason, the powers that be, who may also be the idiots in charge, have decided to misbehave and act up and basically do things that piss us off. Too much of this stuff is interesting. Such as:

* Obama has deep sixed Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Speculation is that he is going to appoint some dude named Raj Date who used to work for a bank. Becaaaaaauuuse that makes so much sense from a Consumer Protection POV? Call me skeptical. I know, I always have to be the one who just has to be different but not appointing the woman who created the agency in the first place seems like a really bad idea. I’m sure the usual excuses will be rolled out to justify this: the Republicans were being mean and wouldn’t let me appoint her, she doesn’t have any experience running an agency (variation of the Penis Years argument), and my favorite, she doesn’t have the personality for the job. People found her abrasive and “not a team player”, ie she wouldn’t kiss someone’s ass and actually took the description of the job seriously or she was determined to get the job done in spite of the guys who refused to cooperate and she did not disguise how impatient and displeased she was about their unhelpful behavior. Queue the talking points! In another display of mean spirited misbehavior, the Republican House is trying to pass a bill that would prevent recess appointments to federal agencies from getting paid. (Check out the pic of Warren on this link. Yep, they’re going with the personality excuse) So, unless you’re independently wealthy, you will have the same pay as an unpaid intern. That should encourage plenty of the altruists and experts to apply!

*Rupert Murdoch’s media empire continues to crumble. Two of his long time generals, Rebekah Brooks and Les Hinton have resigned under fire. Check out The Guardian UK for the latest fallout to this scandal (Oooo, it just allowed the use of the word *fu^&ed* in a quote on the front page. It must be serious.) The Guardian seems to think that the spread of the scandal to the US through the phone hacking of 9/11 victims phones is going to spell the end of Fox News here. It cites the creation of an investigation of the matter at the FBI. That sounds serious and very promising until you read the news article that says…

*Republicans are holding up the extension of Robert Mueller’s appointment as head of the FBI. He’s been serving a long time, 10 years long, in fact. He needs a special dispensation to serve longer and the Republicans are not going to give it to him. In particular, Rand Paul, the Libertarian nut, has filed a stay of the extension. We can only speculate why but the repercussions are clear:

There may be significantly less time to complete the steps necessary to avoid a disruption at the F.B.I. than had been generally understood.

The widespread understanding has been that Mr. Mueller’s term will expire on Sept. 3, because he started work as F.B.I. director on Sept. 4, 2001.

But the administration legal team has decided that Mr. Mueller’s last day is likely to be Aug. 2, because President George W. Bush signed his appointment on Aug. 3, 2001. Coincidentally, Aug. 2 is also the day the government will hit a debt ceiling if Congress does not raise it.

So, there ya’ go. Mueller could go out with a bang if he ramps up the investigation of News Corp in the three weeks he has left. Scratch that, I read somewhere that the debt ceiling crisis really happens on July 22 because the legislative process takes a certain amount of time to work its way out. Soooo, thanks Rand Paul for leaving this position unfilled on the 10 year anniversary of 9/11! Good job. And how conveeeenient for Fox News. How much you wanna bet the Republicans are holding out for a guarantee that the Fox News investigation goes nowhere? Hey! Maybe this is a good time to call your cable or satellite company and insist on them dropping Fox News from the lineup until the investigation gets to the bottom of the matter. We need a little righteous indignation here. And if I were Democrats who were serious about changing the narrative, I would bring this up at every opportunity.

*And while the Republicans and Obama fiddle with the debt ceiling, Rome burns. Governors of various states are very worried that they will not be able to meet some obligations, such as Medicaid and unemployment benefits. The last one is rather near and dear to my heart at the present time so I am most seriously displeased. Note to the still employed: have at least 6 months savings on hand and a Plan B in the event that your government decides to screw you over. I’ll do ok but I worry about others who have been out longer than me. And, NO, I don’t think we should be forced to fork over our future Social Security and Medicare bennies to satisfy the serious peoples’ desire for a Brave New World without a Safety Net for average American Workers, although this suspiciously looks like a pressure tactic to make the poor and desperate even more poor and desperate. I find this terror tactic completely unacceptable. I want Obama to soak the rich, stop letting them separate themselves from their patriotic tax obligations, or instruct air traffic controllers to redirect their private corporate jets to the Cayman Islands where they can spend more time with their money. Please include an air and naval blockade, landline internet with 512 kb DSL and only the base package cable featuring all the reality TV the bonus class can eat.

*Virtually Speaking last night was pivotal. Stuart Zechman went all PUMA. (I can almost see Stuart flinching as he reads that) But really, Stuart, what you suggested at the end of the program was what we recommended 3 years ago. We told voters to remain undecided. That was particularly important for Democrats in Exile because so many disenfranchised voters were mad enough to jump to the Republicans. I have always felt that Friends don’t let friends vote Republican, even though I personally logged a protest vote for McCain at the very last second in the voting booth. I cried, Stuart. I was so upset that my former party forced my hand and I wasn’t going to reward them for it. It wasn’t a racist thing. I don’t have that in me and Obama has never struck me as particularly black, to be honest. I just had to draw the line. So, I applaud your sensible suggestions to the new unterbussen to remain undecided. Now, you are partially responsible, as are we, for what comes next. We have to a.) stop people from panicking and screaming “Oh My Gawd We’re All Going To Die if a Republican is Elected!” and b.) we have to find a replacement. We need to identify a different candidate to endorse or draft. You know my preference because it’s actually possible and will put the fear of God into the Democrats but if you still have a strong objection, let’s find an alternative that all Democrats, not just the “creative class” can endorse. You need the people who left the left for the Tea Party (um, that would not be us. We were liberals before, during and after 2008). Welcome to the unaffiliated independent Democrats in Exile. I don’t recommend you actually use the term “Democrats in Exile” in any official capacity as the acronym is not terribly uplifting.

*Avedon Carol found a post about the end of Harry Potter. Let’s face it, it was all about Hermione. What she really thinks of her fellow Gryffindors is truly priceless:

In the final book, the girl has to wipe her parents’ memory of any trace of her so they’ll be protected. Essentially orphaning herself. But do people feel bad? Do they start going all Harry Potter on her? No. They are like, “Oh, hey, Hermione, all of my friends and family who still love me and still know who I am are getting together for a massive party. You can come if you want.” and she’s like, “Jolly, fucking jolly, assholes”

*Finally, this one is for katiebird. Guerilla knitting is something we bitter knitters can get behind. My favorite is the lava-esque emanations from the crack in the pavement. I also like the knitted tree, which looks like one badass Fu^&ing fractal.

Yes, that *is* yarn

* Oo, Oo! I nearly forgot. Brook made me go to an arty indie movie theater last night to see Tree of Life. It was the most incomprehensibly beautiful film I have ever seen. Still have no idea what it’s about but I recommend it anyway. I seriously want the kitchen in that movie.

One final thing: for you new unterbussen who are just tuning in, you may be wondering when we lost the New Deal. I periodically replay this video to show you when it happened. Forget Hillary Clinton for a moment. The two candidates could have been Barack Obama and John Edwards for the purposes of this exercise. Keep that in mind as you watch it and take note who the speaker is. A more potent symbol of the New Deal does not exist. Harold Ickes Jr. Is the son of Harold Ickes, FDR’s right hand man and “get it done” guy for implementing the ABC programs during the Depression. Ickes was a Chicago Republican who Roosevelt converted. He was a witty smartass who helped to execute some of the most successful programs in American history. I’d like to think his son shared that commitment to the American people. In any case, he knew exactly which principles were being violated in May 2008 and that has been our downfall ever since.

The RBC limited the number of Clinton supporters in the venue and gave most of the seats to Obama supporters. We had two front pagers attending the meeting who were lucky enough to get in and report from the inside. The whole thing was a travesty and miscarriage of justice from start to finish. And that is how we got an anti New Deal president. The party is not unified to this day. Many former Clintonistas left for the Tea Party, not from stupidity but out of anger and confusion. And we need those people back.

Here’s the clip:

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20 Responses

  1. Those are impressive photos, RD — I love them!! Those guerilla knitters are terrific.

    As to the rest — maybe they’re treating July like one long Friday News Dump?

    I’m really struggling against feeling panic about all the crap that’s been put On The Table this summer. But, my idea of running new-fresh candidates from the pool of unemployed is lifting my spirits a bit.

    We just need to figure out how to convince potential candidates (looking at you) to run.

  2. I was just thinking myself, all this shit BEFORE Labor day? doesn’t bode well. Usually they roll stuff out at that time

    Rupert Murdoch’s media empire continues to crumble

    more and more this seems like the Night of the Long Knives when Hitler got rid of his brown shirts

    They don’t need Rupert Murdoch’s brown shirt media anymore …
    it’s just called ” media” today. Mission Accomplished Rupert!

    Who’s surpized Liz is getting the pink slip as well. The surprise was she had that job for a minute

    • Obama is going to go down in history as the worst president we’ve ever had.
      No doubt in my mind.

    • I’m surprised that she had the job for a minute, too, but the new guy is someone she hired on there and has supported. I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t have a problem getting approved by the Republicans, too. He, apparently, was a real PIA at his bank trying to warn people about the coming sub-prime mortgage crisis.

      • If he’s as good as Elizabeth Warren, why not appoint Elizabeth Warren?
        It’s either the Penis Years thing, subtle sexism via “personality issues” or he isn’t as good as Elizabeth Warren.
        I’m voting for all three.

        • I won’t disagree. I just don’t think the new guy’s a complete loser.

          Warren said at the beginning that Obama gave her the choice of designing the agency or running it. She chose designing it because, even then, it was pretty clear that the GOP would kick and scream over her nomination.

          I don’t call Obama ever bending over backwards to get any of his nominees cleared. I’m glad that Warren has had the opportunity to do this much. It was pretty clear that Geithner opposed her from the beginning and Obama only appointed her for political reasons.

          • Not being a complete loser is hardly an endorsement when a solid winner is required. That’s the problem with this appointment. It’s not enough to be a nice guy and a protege of the creator of the agency. If the actual creator of the agency can’t get an appointment it’s because her vision of it’s mission conflicts with those that are charged with appointing and confirming her. Obama should have taken care of this last year before the Republicans took office but he didn’t. Geithner doesn’t like Warren and who does geithner represent?
            This is a variation of the old boys network. Date might be Warren’s choice but as a male, he understands the rules of the game and can get this appointment because he is willing to play it.

        • it,s the tie thingy. :lol:

  3. The Charles Blow column in the NY Times today explains all we have lost by not having our traditionally strong Democratic Party. “They Too Sing America” reminds us how really hard America’s working poor labor every day at often crappy jobs but who are the ” backbone of this country “. He says Washington could learn a lot about backbone by listening to them. And that the Democratic Party could do a heckuva lot more to defend them. It’s a travesty that they, led by you know who, have not. It’s shameful how the Party has betrayed what I always thought it stood for. I will never get over it.

  4. Virtually Speaking have you seen any oreo cookies around. You know the furor about whites in blackface? How about blacks in whiteface? Is that OK?

    • ??? I have no idea what you’re talking about. How can you tell what color the hosts and guests are on blogtalkradio? And what does it matter? We don’t tolerate racism here and never have.

  5. I will say here that when I did a genalogy on Jaycee Dugard and Eunice Williams I began to have some respect for the conservative philosophy concerning govt and its bureaucracies.

    I no longer am the raging liberal I once was, now that I can see the other side too about govt programs.

    We have always been non-plussed that people can’t see the benefit to their own interests (universal health care etc) when they vote. Talk to some of them.

    A smoker will tell you that then they will be forced to quit-before they are ready mind you or care will depend on their quitting.

    A fat person who doesn’t want to lose – really obese too – told me he would be forced to lose weight.

  6. Is it just me or does that person on the beach have the same orange skin tones as John Boehner?

    • Ahem, that’s my cousin. And no, by the end of the day, she looked like a red velvet cake.

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