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The automatic triggers were the starting line. Unless Congress advanced the President's own agenda (the triggers are his plan), it didn't matter if there was bipartisan approval. The President would simply reject it.
The Republicans never even met the starting line, as it was widely assumed they would not, because they aren't very good with numbers.
Now, however, the worm has turned, for if the Republicans want all that fat corporate military-industrial campaign cash, they've got to roll over for President Obama, in an election year.
That's the eleven-dimensional chess game none of those chumps believed they were playing. And now they've been ass-raped. I mean, "mated."
That committee is designed to fail. We've got their voodoo doll, and now all we have to do is poke them with tax hikes for the rich to get 'em to dance for us.
We'll dangle tax hikes along with a wide array of sensible and reasonable choices, which they will be forced to reject because their masters don't give a shit about sensible and reasonable things.
And when they do, the Department of Defense gets slashed by half a trillion dollars, in a general election season, without a single Democratic vote. Swish.
It turns out it's really easy to predict the behavior of conservative criminals. I called this one back in August.
Did anyone else notice the sell-off preceded S&P's announcement by 2 days?
jeff47 offers a cogent response to my observation, but now it appears as if I am not the only one who detected movement before the announcement.
This is very far outside of my area of expertise, as some of you will no doubt explain to me in detail (which I welcome, because that's how I learn).
But I do consider myself to be very well acquainted with Republican crime, and basing my conclusions only on that simple premise has yielded a prediction that matched up fairly well with reality.
Never bet against the criminal ways of the Republicans and their masters, is all I'm saying.
It pleases me to see that the Republican Party is finally beginning to resemble the suckers they once merely manipulated. Now they're like a chocolate and peanut butter cup, with a thin, melting shell of evil trying desperately to contain an oozing mass of stupid inside.
For someone has already managed to get the DSM-V task force to sign nondisclosure agreements.
In particular, it appears that the DSM-V task force, working in secret, plans to redefine the personality disorders in Cluster B. Why is that important? Because within Cluster B one can virtually define the short list of Republican Presidential candidates and recent office holders.
Ask yourself if George Bush or Mitt Romney manages to hit five out of these nine bells for Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
* Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
* Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
* Believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
* Requires excessive admiration
* Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
* Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
* Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
* Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
* Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
Now ask yourself if Sarah Palin hits five out of eight of these criteria for Histrionic Personality Disorder:
* is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention
* interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
* displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
* consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to self
* has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
* shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
* is suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
* considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are.
And of course the old-school sociopath has long since been chased from the books. But see if you can find Newt Gingrich and Dick Cheney among the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder:
* failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
* deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
* impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
* irritability and aggression, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
* reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
* consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
* lack of remorse, as indicated by indifference to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
So there you go. When your political party is clogged with toxic personalities who are guaranteed to doom our country to failure, what do you do? You redefine the toxic personalities, of course, so that business as usual can continue unchanged. Just like fixing your car by putting a piece of tape over the "check engine" light, rather than taking that shitbox into the shop and getting it fixed.
(Edit) But expensive as hell, and a damned good way to predict how the GOP is going to try to steal it next year. Keep your eyes open, WI. Observe. Document. Report. And thank you!
The Republicans are cleverly trying to maneuver the timing of the shutdown so that it happens during the August recess. That way they and their staff members can go on vacation as planned.
What they have failed to notice, however, is that in between Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, someone tried to murder a few Democratic Senators with anthrax, and in return got them on board to pass sweeping emergency powers to the President in times of crisis.
Shutting down the government in the middle of two wars is definitely a crisis. If there's even the threat of terrorism at the time (and, you will recall, the terror-o-meter has never gone below "Elevated"), the President can automatically begin to assume near-dictatorial powers.
So this time, the President gets to activate FEMA, suspend habeas corpus, use the Army as police on home soil, detain an unlimited amount of people for an indefinite time, form labor battlalions and (in theory) compel people to join them, remove anyone he wants from their homes, set wage rates, and see to all distribution of essential goods and services like food, water, gasoline, and electricity. You know, innocuous stuff like that which the Republicans were happy to entrust to President Obama's predecessor.
President Obama can also unilaterally enact a de facto version of universal health care through the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, signed into law under George Bush.
If the state of emergency is deemed by the President to persist, he can retain these powers, and the Republican Congress under Bush wasn't real clear about how far some of those powers extend, or how long some of them last. He can also prevail upon states to activate their own emergency statutes. Some states, like Florida, Louisiana, and Georgia, even helpfully provide the opportunity to postpone elections, which, oh no!, might leave the electoral votes from those states uncounted in a general election.
So sleep well, my Republican friends who are reading this. Thanks to your eternal vigilance, America will do just fine with an angry black man in charge and running the government all by himself.
All this Republican attack on the middle class is doing, and is going to do, is further push the vast majority of the American people into our ranks for the 2012 election. Why? Because the way Congress is set up, none of this crap Republican legislation is going to go anywhere.
I've been watching the past several months in admiration, because it's easy for me to see that the Democratic plan for 2012 was plotted out even before the last election. But what I didn't realize is that practically nobody understands how Congress works. Not the idiot talking heads on CNN, nor the print journalists, and especially not the frothing commentary here at DU and elsewhere.
There are at least three different ways all this legislation is going to be strangled in the crib. Let's assume the moonbats run the House and every bad Republican idea passes there. Once it gets to the Senate, it can be 1) sent to a quiet death in Democratically controlled committees and subcommittees, where it will never be brought to a vote; 2) for bills where we can get some mileage out of killing them directly, they can be brought to the Senate floor for a full vote, where they will be killed with much fanfare. "Dems save women!" is going to be one recurring theme we'll see over and over.
Or, 3), the language of the bill can be subtly changed, or hung with riders changing, diluting, or reversing the original intent of the legislation. Then the bill has to go into conference between House and Senate, and the Republicans will be faced with the prospect of having to compromise their original bill out of existence, or voting down their own bill.
Since their voters are even less in touch with the actual workings of Congress, they're even more likely to be disgusted when their Cadillac of a bill comes back as a Chevy Chevette on blocks. More of them stay at home in 2012, while more of us, the fires of our outrage burning with the intensity of a thousand suns, go to vote in numbers that cannot be statistically explained away, as they were in 2004.
If there are hard decisions to make, we get to blame the Republicans for them. They take all the flak while providing the President and Dems in Congress with the chance to look moderate and sane. We also get to pick and choose among dozens of former Bush Administration criminals to prosecute, to keep us ahead should their media manipulation skills improve.
Many of us here at DU have been pointing out that the greed of the Republicans prevents them from running government effectively, and we're seeing it right now. The genius of President Obama is that, time after time, he finds a way to pivot the issue on that Republican greed, knowing that they'll sacrifice everything else--including their viability in the next election--to pay off their benefactors.
Karl Rove was always careful to steer his gangsters away from the abortion issue, because the demographics have long since drifted far away from the split issue that abortion once was.
Now, depending on how you look at it, abortion is a 75-25 issue, with only the knuckledraggers left to want it banned completely (see the first CBS poll on this page).
Of that 75 percent, though, a large proportion of Americans think that they want abortion to be legal, but with further restrictions.
Well, hey! Here's your shit sandwich, restrictionists!
All this is going to do is enrage those of us with a half a clue, while it totally dissatisfies those who want to further restrict abortion by offending them with this piece of shit bill. (The Bush Basement continues to be irrelevant, but this might even keep some of them home on election day.)
And the punch line? The Democrats get to reject it like Big Ben Wallace once it gets to the Senate. Yay! Democrats save America for the sane! We're heroes!
As I've been saying for the past two months (as you all call me a dreaming optimist), we'll be seeing dozens of 70-30 clay pigeons like these being launched. Not a damned one of them will get close to passing the Senate, much less having the honor of being vetoed by the President, and with every one of these stupid Republican bills, the Republican Party will ablate moderates like they're a meteorite being consumed in the atmosphere. By 2012, the Republicans will be hoping they can hold on to five of the ten Senate seats they have up for election, and they won't be able to pick up a single damned new one.
Just watch the circus as it unfolds. Watch the ignorant teabaggers haul weapons into Congress and introduce insane and stupid bills which will become the bread and butter of the media. Watch this annoyingly moderate President start skewering the Republicans on every single 70-30 issue there is, from health care to taxes to benefits packages.
Here's how I know it's going to happen: because it already has happened. The taxes for the rich issue? That one is already in the bag. The Republicans held our taxes hostage for a vanishingly small 3% of the population that counts for all of the money, but practically none of the votes. The Republicans cannot redeem themselves, because the Democrats in the Senate control when a saving vote for the Republican Senators will come, and that will be FUCKING NEVER.
End of story. Seven out of ten voters in every state will watch every single Republican twist on the vine on this issue--the rest are too stupid and evil to engage. Fifty million voters got the best raise they've had in years thanks to the Dems raising the minimum wage. Half of us have no health care and are watching right now as the Republicans try to keep it that way. Everyone who gets a job in the next two years will thank the Dems, while everyone who gets fired will be fired by a Republican. All of us are going to take note as disgusting candidates like Gingrich, Palin, and Santorum attract insane amounts of corporate cash while thumping nakedly divisive and racist issues.
But here's the thing: you can only lie to voters as long as the truth hasn't bit them in the ass already--and it has; you can only steal an election in America by getting close enough to steal it--and they won't; you can only frighten people who have something to lose--and millions of us don't have anything left to lose anymore. The ruse has worn thin. President Obama isn't just going to win, he's on a 500+ electoral vote trajectory, with coattails 5,000 miles long.
The hard work was drawing his opponent into the uncomfortable position of having to sacrifice its electoral viability in exchange for keeping rich assholes rich. He already did that, and the Republicans cannot make that go away, and they cannot make us forget it. We should allow ourselves to enjoy this time, because the years 2010-2012 are going to be the textbook example of how to overcome a corrupt oligarchy by generating overwhelming public support against it.
And you don't even have to believe me, 'cause I'll be right here to tell your dumb asses "I told you so" in November 2012. And when Thomas and Scalia announce their retirements just before Christmas of that year, I'll tell you again.
Edit: 2014. I'll give myself until 2014, because the Republicans in the Senate will be defending 23 seats over the next two elections. I'm betting they'll lose at least half of those, which will push Dems in the Senate into the 65-67 seat territory by January 2015, by which point every Bush v. Gore Republican on the Supreme Court will have to go or risk being kicked.
I notice that I'm prone to bragging when my crazy predictions come true, but in fairness I should note that any one of these good guesses is eclipsed by hundreds of bad ones. But hey, I'm the guy who gets to spin it, here.
To use a shooting-forward analogy, the President and Senate Democrats can hold the tax ball completely out of reach of the Republican guard until the clock runs out. And every time they foul for the next two years, we get to take a shot at them.
Every Republican is tagged with the onus of having held our tax cuts hostage to enrich the already rich. The matter is not going to come up again for the Republicans in the Senate to redeem themselves. We get to flog them over the head with that for two years.
Not to mention the fun we're going to have when House teabaggers submit batshit crazy bills, try to play di-tee with every iPhone owning madam in DC, and pose with Klansmen in the House offices.
It's gonna be a f%$^in' circus, and I can't wait to watch it unfold in all its detail, just as the President and Democrats in the Senate have scripted it.
Predicted November 22. Alleged by Donna D'Errico today, 12/17/2010.
In fact, I'm going to bet that we'll see our first "celebrity scans" loose on the Internet by New Years Eve.
I really like Senator Harkin because he's dependably on the side of the people who need his help. He has behaved as a model Senator for most of his career, unlike any Republican and a lot of other Democrats.
Some of you will be astounded to know that the Senate actually has a strong tradition of comity and respect for the minority party and the minority voice on any issue, and Senator Harkin is one of the Senators who plays by those rules. It's the Republican misuse of that tradition which is allowing them to cause as much trouble as they are causing.
I'd say we should cut the rope on that tradition, but I can't until several other things fall into place, like a commitment to investigate, expose, try and convict every single crime committed in the White House and Congress over the past eight years, a process which would take decades but which would eventually dismantle the entire Republican criminal operation. Until that happens, we have to play nice with the criminals, lest they return to power and write us off instead.
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