realthog: (Default)

As most will know, a measure called the Sequester went into effect last night -- a complex of spending cuts so severe that everyone sane thought that even the modern Republican Party would regard it as a Weapon Too Dreadful To Use.

That faith in humanity was ill placed. Rather than allow an extra cent of revenue to be raised by closing tax loopholes or increasing taxes on the corporations and the ultra-rich, the Republicans in the House of Congress chose to inflict quite unspeakable suffering on those Americans least able to fend for themselves -- the poor, the sick, the mentally ill, the elderly. Scientific research, including into lethal diseases, is to be savagely cut back. Education likewise. All predictions are that this will severely damage the US economy, perhaps even the global economy.

One of our guilty little secrets is that our local Congresscritter is Scott Garrett. Garrett isn't as flamboyantly nuts as Tea Party favorites like Todd Akin, Paul Broun and Michelle Bachmann, but he's every bit as vile. His record of voting against the environment is a staggering 100% -- he seems to be entirely in the pockets of the polluting industries, including the fossil-fuels industries. Natch, he's a climate-change denier. He was one of the few House Republicans to vote against New Jersey residents -- his own constituents! -- being given Federal money to help clear up in the wake of Storm Sandy. He's an NRA darling. He voted against the Violence Against Women Act the other day -- thus in effect voting for a rapists' charter.
The list goes on and on. The guy was one of the Congressional Tea Partiers before the term had been invented.

It obviously takes a real special breed of scumbag to vote to persecute the poor, promote the spread of lethal diseases, cost lives, starve kids and destroy their opportunities, exacerbate poverty and work actively against America and its interests -- all the while wrapping oneself in the flag in the pretense that one's a patriot. But that seems to be what the modern Republican Party, as exemplified by Garrett, is all about.

About a decade ago, someone stuck up the website I don't know who was responsible (it hasn't been updated in years), but it reads less like a partisan effort from the Democrats, more like the creation of independents and moderate Republicans horrified by what they'd elected. Here's a taste:

With considerable help from the extremist Club for Growth, Scott Garrett helped drive moderate Republican Marge Roukema out of the House seat she held for decades. Since taking her seat in 2003, his first-term voting record has been driven by an ideology that is out of place in our state. Scott Garrett is the Christian Coalition’s poster-boy in New Jersey. Garrett has voted against the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation - Republicans and Democrats - an astounding 43 times! His positions are so extreme that he doesn't publish his votes on his own website.

We publish his votes here because, as concerned citizens, we believe his constituents should know the real record of Scott Garrett. We have documented the sources and specific votes Garrett cast as a freshman congressman - votes that are so at odds with his constituents that he refuses to discuss them.

It's the faux-patriotism that's in a way almost the hardest to swallow. If patriotism is, as Johnson said, the last refuge of the scoundrel, then it's hard to find anyone more scoundrelly than Garrett and his ilk in Congress. They're a shame to their country.

As a pacifist, I find it hard to wish ill on people, no matter how despicable they are, but I have to admit a part of me hopes that Garrett will be hoist by his own petard, that the policies he himself has promoted will one day come back and bite him, that he and his kids* will have to cope with the same kind of misery and hardship that he has so gleefully inflicted on other people and their kids. Of course, it'll never happen -- except perhaps when, like all the rest of us, he has to face up to the consequences of the climate change he so assiduously denies.

Gloomy thoughts for a gloomy, gray morning. I've got lots I have to do today, so I'd best get moving . . .

* Okay: Not his kids. It's not their fault what their father does.
realthog: (Default)

BBC reports on the Colombian prostitutes scandal:

A Marine Corps spokesman said on Tuesday that among the military service members being investigated were two Marine dog handlers assigned to support the Secret Service.

And it's all Obama's fault, of course.

realthog: (Default)

Speaking on Sean Hannity's FOX News program:

"We cannot default but we cannot afford to retreat right now either. Now is not the time to retreat, it's the time to reload. And we reload with reality by giving facts and numbers to the American public so that those of us across the United States can start chiming in and letting our representatives know that we will not capitulate, we will not hand over more power, which I believe is unconstitutional, to President Obama to further manipulate our economy."

realthog: (Default)

“The planet used to be dramatically warmer when we had dinosaurs and no people. To the best of my knowledge the dinosaurs weren’t driving cars.” -- Newt Gingrich
realthog: (leavingfortusa)

One of the cheery things about my visit to BookExpo today was that, every time I passed the large-ish WND Press stand (i.e., the stand for the book wing of World Nuts Daily, full of Birther nonsense and even more venomous anti-Obama abuse), it was absolutely deserted except for a couple of depressed-looking staffers.

ill news

Dec. 2nd, 2010 06:00 pm
realthog: (Default)

Continuing their War on America, the incoming Republican House leadership have announced they're going to abolish the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, which accordingly held its last meeting yesterday. Stephanie Vallejo has the story here.

This is, obviously, both imbecilic and extraordinarily destructive to the national interest. The Republican reasoning, if such it can be called, appears to be that, since the Committee was created by Nancy Pelosi, they should abolish it to piss off both her and President Obama -- the fate of the nation, and indeed of the world, be damned.

It's like something out of South Park, isn't it?

realthog: (Default)

Here's a slice of transcript from a town hall meeting held by Representative Barney Frank the other day on the proposed healthcare reforms:

QUESTIONER (holding a picture of Obama with a Hitler moustache): Why do you continue to support a Nazi policy, as Obama expressly has supported this policy? Why are you supporting it?

FRANK: When you ask me that question I am going to revert to my ethnic heritage and answer your question with a question. On what planet do you spend most of your time?

You want me to answer your question? As you stand there, with a picture of the President defaced to look like Hitler, and compare the effort to increase health care to the Nazis, my answer to you is, as I said before, it is a tribute to the first amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated. Ma'am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it.

Apparently the response of the audience was to cheer. As was mine, on reading this passage. It is surely past time that the supposedly rational members of our political institutions and our media stopped treating the craziest accusations and lies with deference and started describing them as what they actually are.

March 2013

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