Archive for irrelevant

Video- Scarborough Blasts GOP Over Gov't Shutdown: 'They just made themselves so irrelevant.'

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VIDEO-- Grover Norquist: Pres. Obama "may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce"

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This is the second time Norquist has used the term "short leash" regarding the president: VIDEO– Grover Norquist: GOP “can have [Obama] on a rather short leash. Here’s your allowance… come back if you behave.”  Unlike his last little racist dig, this time he caught himself.

"We got lots of things Obama claims to be for, and we will make — we, the Republicans in the House and Senate — will make him actually make those spending restraints, in order to get the continuing resolution out a week, two weeks, a month. Obama will be on a very short leash, fiscally speaking, over the next four years. He’s not gonna have any fun at all. He may decide to go blow up small countries he can’t pronounce because it won’t be any fun to be here, because he won’t be able to spend the kind of cash he was hoping to."

Grovie is such a panic, isn't he? Or to put it another way:

Seriously, what a condescending, self-important ass.

Via Think Progress:

It is noteworthy that Norquist says “we” when referring to the Congressional Republicans. This would seem to conflict with his group’s frequent claim that it is a “a non-partisan coalition of taxpayers and taxpayer groups who oppose all tax increases.” And it seems to ignore the 50 Congressional Republicans who have already distanced themselves from his ironclad oath.

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BREAKING: GOP waaahmbulance alert: President Obama's bully pulpit is no fair! GOP has "fiscal cliff" counter offer.

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It really, really surprises and bugs Republicans that President Obama has a spine, has won an election and support for his tax plan, has the upper hand, and that he is a new and improved version of Bargainer in Chief who, in his second term, has learned not to give ground before negotiations even get off the ground.

And as I said in my post Republicans are somehow shocked– SHOCKED!– at White House proposals and the president's ability to reach out to Americans:

What’s he doing running around the country communicating when he should be back where he belongs, in his D.C. bubble! Who does he think he is, the leader of the entire nation? Why, if he had any sense at all, he’d put the brakes on such discussions and devote his time to endless bickering with the Republicans whose primary goal was to obstruct his every proposal and make him a one term president.

The very idea!

This is seriously getting under John Boehner's bizarrely orange skin. Roll Call:

A day after the November elections, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said Republicans are ready to be led by President Barack Obama. Much to their dismay, they feel like they are being bullied instead.

The frustration is seeping through, as, for the first time in a while, Republicans do not seem to have an upper hand in negotiations. Instead, they are a step behind, relegated to reactive politics as Obama, emboldened by a decisive re-election and more Democrats on the way in the next Congress, takes his case to the public and presents private offers the GOP is certain to reject. [...]

Rep. Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio, a Boehner ally and a key player on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee:

It’s just shocking to me that a president who gets fewer states in this election than the previous election and a smaller percentage of the vote, acts like he got a mandate,” he said. “This is unacceptable. This is not leadership. This is not leadership in any way shape or form from the president, and I’m personally very frustrated.”

Instead of scoffing and harrumphing and whining their elephantine asses off, maybe Boehner and Co. could try coming forward with specifics that don't sound like Ryan Budget Redux and start, you know, negotiating. Turning on your heel and tantruming was so Eric Cantor ago.

As Roll Call reports, the president is out on the trail talking to crowds at campaign-style rallies, while The Boehner and his conference "were left stewing in the Capitol." That didn't seem to bother Republicans when George W. Bush used the bully pulpit to push for privatizing Social Security:

Bush embarked on a 60-day national tour, campaigning vigorously for his initiative in media events, known as the "Conversations on Social Security", in an attempt to gain support from the general public.[151] Despite the energetic campaign, public support for the proposal declined[152] and the House Republican leadership decided not to put Social Security reform on the priority list for the remainder of their 2005 legislative agenda.[153]

Sucks to be them.

UPDATE: Per MSNBC and the AP just now, the GOP has a counter offer:

GOP proposes Medicare cuts, reduced Social Security inflation adjustment in fiscal cliff talks - @AP

Email alert via Politico:

POLITICO Breaking News: House Republicans have made a $2.2 trillion counter offer to the White House on the fiscal cliff negotiations that does not raise tax rates on upper income Americans but does include $800 billion in tax reform, $600 billion in health care cuts and $600 billion in other cuts in discretionary and mandatory spending.

Per Think Progress's Igor Volsky, a couple of tweets:

RT @chucktodd: ... the House GOP plan has another 1.4 T in new cuts/savings (Medicare/CPI for Soc Sec and other programs/Farm Subs).

GOP counter offer includes raising Medicare eligiblity age from 65 to 67 yo. This was part of Paul Ryan's plan and is a very bad idea.

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Republicans are shocked-- SHOCKED!-- at White House proposals

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I could barely watch the Sunday political talk shows today (why should this Sunday be any different, right?). Republicans were falling all over themselves to ridicule, mock, belittle, poo-poo, eyeroll, or any other synonym you can think of to harrumph and sputter over President Obama's/Tim Geithner's budget proposals. What could the White House be thinking?

They're apparently "flabbergasted!" by his tax plan! Who could have guessed that after a couple of years campaigning (and winning) for a plan to let the Bush tax cuts to expire for those earning over $250,000, President Obama would bring it up again now? And in front of so many people! The GOP is shocked, shocked, I tells ya! No, sorry, they're flabbergasted!

Boehner ‘flabbergasted’ at fiscal cliff proposal

Graham: 'I think we're going over the cliff'

Cole: Obama's proposal a 'Christmas wish list' 

Or maybe they're just taken aback by a new and improved Negotiator in Chief who came in with a few powerful bargaining chips right up front without giving ground before the haggling even got off the ground.

And don't get my started on Candy Crowley's comments about the president actually taking his ideas directly to the people... to the voters.. to the voters who re-elected him. Those voters.

Why, that's crazy! What's he doing running around the country communicating when he should be back where he belongs, in his D.C. bubble! Who does he think he is, the leader of the entire nation? Why, if he had any sense at all, he'd put the brakes on such discussions and devote his time to endless bickering with the Republicans whose primary goal was to obstruct his every proposal and make him a one term president.

The very idea!

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"Fiscal cliff" traffic report

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Today’s guest post by the one, the only, Will Durst:

FISCAL CLIFF TRAFFIC REPORT

“So, expect showers and gale force winds over the next couple of days and don’t forget that high surf advisory is in effect throughout the weekend. We may even see some downed power lines and scattered looting. That’s the weather here on Capitol Hill, now let’s go to Brandon with your Congressional traffic report.”

“Thanks Brandon. Well, its gotten pretty ugly out there, people. My best advice is, stay in your homes. As expected, following the holiday recess, we’re seeing a lot of bluster and bombast building up on the Beltway, and the obstructionist blather has managed to stall headway on nearly every budget deal ramp to a virtual crawl.

Three or four jack knifed 18- wheelers jam packed with Election Day rancor have overturned and as you might imagine, rubber necking has resulted in hundreds of not so tender fender benders in both directions. It’s gotten so bad that major media outlet trucks are stuck on the shoulder filming each other, filming each other.

It’s not just the Beltway that’s backed up. Main Street and Wall Street and the Path to Prosperity all report major slowdowns due to a multitude of partisan pile- ups. Some drivers seem to be purposefully ramming fellow travelers right off the road while others speed across median strips to dive into oncoming traffic seemingly with no thought to life or limb. Casualties continue to mount and officials worry about running out of tarps.

Sky Nine over the Bridge to the Future reports that progress remains hopelessly clogged with all visible movement being of the backwards variety and from their vantage all the right lanes look to be blocked as far as the eye can see. Left lanes: not much better. Center lanes: you don’t want to know.

Many reasons have been offered up for Carmageddon spreading nationwide. Pure native stubbornness, leading to refusals to merge. Infrastructure deterioration. Widespread smoke screens creating low visibility. A plethora of misread signs due to intentionally misinterpreted polls. Death wishes. Insanity. Mad Cow.

Part of the problem can be attributed to the numerous turnarounds closed by committee chairmen to restrict desertion from party line movement and reports continue to stream in that a crazy person by the name of Grover Norquist, has been single- handedly impeding traffic by standing in the ditch and flagging motorists off the road straight into various freeway abutments. Although it must be said, some cars do now seem to be aiming right for him chasing the anti- cheerleader back to the safety of various rest stop bathroom stalls.

Due to the slick situation, eternal congestion and some inexplicable glitch that has turned all the surface street stop lights to red, further delays are expected to spread across the nation as the country experiences a massive impasse on all roads leading to the cutoff meant to avert the dreaded Fiscal Cliff.

Veteran observers claim this activity is expected due to the mostly poor driving skills possessed by the residents of our nation’s capital. But the upshot is, we’re back to stalls and jams and near total gridlock far into the foreseeable future. So remember to keep that dial here, where we bring you weather and traffic together on the eights, although to be perfectly honest, not much is expected to change any time soon. Back to you Brandon."

5 time Emmy- nominee Will Durst’s new e- book “Elect to Laugh!” published by Hyperink, now available at Redroom.com, Amazon or any fine virtual book retailer near you. And don’t forget the Twentieth annual Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show December 26- January 1 at a theater near you. Go to willdurst.com for more info.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes

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My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up at HuffPo; hence, because Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has comedic insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here:

[W]e're now forced to confront a band of enormously wealthy people who've benefited from - or bestowed upon others - large financial bailouts and ill-considered tax cuts who like lecturing Americans living on earned benefits about "shared sacrifice". As in, you give up a meal each day, and I'll give up a pair of yacht shoes! Deal? 

It is this truth that often goes unreported during discussions of our so-called "fiscal cliff" (besmirching my good name, I might add), a supposed doomsday scenario where the economy will turn into some sort of a combination of the prom scene from Carrie and Fox News' "1/2 Hour News Hour", if we don't all sing kumbaya by year's end.  [...]

As cognitive linguist Anat Shenker outlines in her enormously insightful book, Don't Buy It: The Trouble With Talking Nonsense About The Economy, the economy isn't a living, breathing thing. It can't be hurt. In fact, as Shenker says, the problem is that the debate is still often about "who loves the economy more, when it should be about people". 

Because, you see, people are actually hurt by layoffs, lack of health insurance and the austerity-police, or those plutocrats who'd consider it unclean to fly coach. [...]

Thankfully, there is reason for optimism, as a number of groups with whom I've worked closely, such as Social Security Works and USAction, have led a grassroots effort to point out who's leading the charge to starve grandma - while wearing their finest Italian suits. [...]

[R]oughly nine in 10 respondents don't want their Social Security or Medicare cut in any way. [...]

It seems the President is paying close attention to all this, with his much tougher bargaining stance so far, which is heartening.

Cliff Schecter is an author, pundit and public relations strategist whose firm Libertas, LLC handles media relations for political, corporate and non-profit clients. 

Follow him on Twitter: @CliffSchecter

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Here are 36 Republicans who are waving bye-bye to Grover Norquist's tax pledge

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“An increasing number of prominent Republicans are dismissing Norquist as a pest.”

His majority in Congress is all but gone, and GOP Sen. Saxby Chambliss brushed off Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge.

Alan Simpson said this about“Grover-Babe” Norquist: “He will be irrelevant. This guy is a zealot. He knows the game is up.”

Recently, Norquist said that the GOP “can have [Obama] on a rather short leash. Here’s your allowance… come back if you behave.”

So to recap, he's becoming increasingly toxic, including his racist statements and apparent indifference to the reaction to his repellant ways.

As of now, there are 36 Republicans who are distancing themselves publicly from this despicable, self-appointed dictator who should have the allegiance of no one. To see what some of them had to say about Grovie, hop over to Think Progress:

  1. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
  2. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  3. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  4. Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
  5. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
  6. Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  7. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
  8. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
  9. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN)
  10. Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  11. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA)
  12. Rep. Peter King (R-NY)
  13. Rep. Timothy Johnson (R-IL)
  14. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)
  15. Rep. Chris Gibson (R-NY)
  16. Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
  17. Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
  18. Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)
  19. Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA)
  20. Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ)
  21. Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE)
  22. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
  23. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
  24. Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH)
  25. Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
  26. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
  27. Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
  28. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
  29. Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-MN)
  30. Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)
  31. Rep. Scott Rigell (R-VA)
  32. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)
  33. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY)
  34. Rep. Allen West (R-FL)
  35. Rep. Robert Dold (R-IL)
  36. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA)
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