The Gang That Couldn’t Govern

Republican Stumblebums from the Senate and House (Except for the Kid: He’s Innocent)

As the U.S. Government heads for another disastrous shutdown, one is led to wonder at the utter uselessness of the officials we have chosen to represent us in Congress. Senator Mitch McConnell (Ratf*ck—Kentucky) and Congressman Paul Ryan (Ratf*ck—Pennsylvania) should be made to swallow their U.S. Flag pins and commit ritual hara kiri on the steps of Congress.

I really don’t like writing about American politics. Heck, I don’t even like discussing politics with my friends. I feel soiled when I do.

Even though there will be an election this November, I have diminishing faith in the American voters who selected the present clowns in office. They will either be re-elected or replaced with other clowns who are attracted to the ways of power. When that power serves only to disgust not only the American people, but our allies (if any are left), and embolden our enemies (the list is growing).

 

The Waxman Goeth

Henry Waxman (D-CA)

Henry A. Waxman (D-CA)

He may not be much to look at, but Henry Arnold Waxman has been my congressional representative since 1975 and one of the few members of the House of Representatives whom I would NOT grind into dog food to feed to rabid dogs. Eschewing the limelight, he has been an exemplary hard worker dedicated to  passing legislation that actually helped people. Because of the demographic make-up of California’s 33rd district, I don’t expect we’ll be seeing him replaced by some tea party type who aims to collect $174,000 a year to sabotage everything near and dear to the voters who elected him, her, or it.

Probably best known for his contributions to health and environmental issues, Waxman will be sorely missed by people who care.

Over the last four years, the House of Representatives has been justly reviled for the white trash that has taken over, using the Congress as a bully pulpit to make stupid statements, such as the recent campaign by Darrell Issa (R-CA) to gut the U.S. Postal Service. I still think most Republican Congressman should be made to don orange jumpsuits and be hauled off to Guantanamo. Now that Waxman, won’t be there, the IQ of Congress has dropped by several whole percentage points.

 

Has the Khmer Rouge Taken Over Congress?

Pol Pot, Tea Party Darling

Pol Pot, Tea Party Darling

The news from Congress is so very strange these days that I am beginning to think that they have been taken over by some extreme guerrilla faction such as the Khmer Rouge or the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path). The Senate is about to host a three- or four-day pajama party—all night long!—just so they the GOP can express their snit about Harry Reid invoking the “nuclear option” on their right to filibuster Obama’s nominees. As for the House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner is now aiming daggers at special interest groups that want him to oppose the budget deal put together by Paul Ryan in the House and Senator Patty Murray … even before the details have been released.

Why does it seem that the news from Congress is always bad? The legislative branch of government seems to be permanently broken.

But how does one fix it? Get Mitch McConnell a new burnished turtle shell? Get Boehner a better grade of liquor? Or more handsome and complaisant pages for the Southern senators? What about changing the cooking oil used to make Freedom Fries? (It’s been the same old stuff since Ike was President.) Softer toilet paper for the Congressional stalls? Something’s just gotta give.

One cannot run a government in which two of the three branches of government (yes, I’m including the Supreme Court) are dysfunctional. As Lincoln said:

A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.

We don’t have slavery any more, just a lot of snarky behind-the-scenes racism. Maybe Lincoln was right: One way or the other, Congress will cease to be so divided. But before that happens, we’ll all need some industrial-strength antacids,

A Do-Nothing Congress, Circa 1890

House Speaker Thomas B. Reed (R-Me)

House Speaker Thomas B. Reed (R-Me)

Ours is not the only do-nothing Congress. Things were even worse around 1890 when Thomas B. Reed of Maine was Speaker of the House for the Republican majority. He had a lot more to contend with than semi-illiterate white senior citizens with teabags dangling from their tricorn hats: Back then, members of the House would loll around in their seats reading newspapers or filling their spittoons.

To avoid having to do anything, they had their own equivalent of the filibuster, which, as you know, is a Senate thing. They would ask for a quorum call. According to the Constitution, a predetermined minimum number of representatives had to be present for the business of the House to be conducted. But what if, when his name was called, a Representative didn’t answer. At the time, the Speaker just marked him absent, even though he was clearly visible fifty feet away doing a crossword puzzle. This practice was referred to as the “disappearing quorum.” Then, as now, a minority could stop the House cold.

What Reed did to break the quorum was very simple. According to National Public Radio, which interviewed James Grant on the publication of his biography of Reed (cover illustrated above):

Reed decided to take action. He was a master parliamentarian, Grant says, able to play the rulebook almost like an instrument. And he changed history with just 17 words: “The Chair directs the Clerk to record the following names of members present and refusing to vote.”

“That was it,” Grant says. “Those seventeen words were the invitation to perfect pandemonium,” as the minority Democrats realized their disappearing quorum tactic wouldn’t work anymore — and that the majority party would now be able to start expanding the size and scope of government. The changes meant business could be done more efficiently, so more and more business began to be done.

Back then, to be a Republican was a good thing. Why? Because the “Solid South” was 100% Democrat. After Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s, the Confederate states switched their allegiance to the Republican party and decided to apply a wrecking ball to it, which they proceeded to do.

A Final Solution for the House

They Should Try It with a Drano Chaser

They Should Try It with a Drano Chaser

I have made several suggestions for dealing with the House of Representatives in these postings. Among my past suggestions:

  • Fire them and replace them with scabs
  • Arrest them for violation of their oath of office, and—why not?—for treason

Now, as we come down to the wire on the self-imposed destruction of the country I love, I can only suggest a liberal application of rat poison. After the bodies have been removed, the House should be fumigated to get rid of that verminous Tea Party smell.

If you think that is too extreme, perhaps you haven’t been aware of what has been happening lately. It’s high time to rid this country of a baneful influence using the most draconian means possible.

And don’t try to argue with me on this! I am convinced.

Fair and Balanced? Hah!

No, This Is Not About Faux News

No, This Is Not About Faux News

The so-called liberally-biased media have created a monster. About ten or more years ago, it was thought by the news media that letting alternate points of view have their own voice would prevent accusations of bias. The right-wing jumped on that. They still accused the media of bias, but their representation in news story jumped to such an extent that the increasingly dim American public assumed their opinions were equally meritorious.

If you give the village idiot a soap box, you will find that crowds will gather; and people will sagely nod their heads as if they were receiving words of wisdom.

My opinion is probably a little more undemocratic. Instead of giving the Tea Party adherents a voice, I would have them pistol-whipped. What one former Republican consultant has called “a neo-Confederate insurgency” has now become, in effect, a coup d’état. That’s why some of my recent posts have sounded a little draconian. I don’t think that sitting down and negotiating with John Boehner is going to accomplish anything other than re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Perhaps if we arrested Boehner, Cantor, and some of their confederates and then proceeded to play hard ball with them, we might get through this.

I am not willing at this point to concede any points to the Tea Party and their Congressional stooges. Hit them hard and fast. Otherwise, welcome to the Confederate States of America II.

 

Arrest Congress!

It’s Time to Arrest These Criminals!

It’s Time to Arrest These Criminals!

Why are we coddling John “Crybaby” Boehner and his gang of oath violators. If they fail to raise the debt ceiling, they should be forced to do the perp walk—with hands cuffed—to the nearest calabozo. At that point, it becomes an act of treason against the country they have vowed to safeguard. They are no better than the guys shown in the above photo, and deserve not a whit more consideration. The mere fact that they won’t have access to their favorite booze will be sufficient to make most of them break down and start pointing fingers at one another.

What to Do With Congress

I’ve Had It With These Clowns

I’ve Had It With These Clowns

There are several ways to approach dealing with the U.S. House of Representatives. One could arrest about half of them for high treason and have them drawn and quartered the way our British cousins were accustomed to doing. But that would cost too much money. Perhaps it would be better to just waterproof the chamber and flood it to the rafters with polluted water—but only if there were a quorum present.

I think turning the room into an aquarium would be the only effective means of dealing with the Republicans, even if we lost a few cowardly Democrats in the process.

Any other ideas out there? (Please note: I am not interested in hearing from Republicans. I’ve heard far too much from them already.)

Nothing But Short-Term Solutions

Eric Cantor and John Boehner

Eric Cantor and John Boehner

It now looks as if the House GOP leadership will allow the debt ceiling to be raised—but only temporarily. In the meantime, they will hope that the Democrats will undergo some type of old-religion conversion, allowing them to see the light and cut back on spending. And the spending they want to cut back on are for the most part social programs that benefit people.

Is there any plan to cut back on military spending? Well, no! Between guns and butter, it’s butter that’s going to have to go. In the meantime, we will be facing the same discussion in a few months’ time, with hundreds of hours of the legislators’ time being wasted because no Republican is interested in yielding a millimeter on their [anti-]social agenda.

I have a suggestion. Perhaps this is the right time to cut down on our spending on Congress. Cut their stipend by 80%, rent out the Capitol Building for weddings and funerals, and make Congress meet in a hangar at Dulles Airport—a hangar that is neither heated nor air-conditioned. My prediction is that Congress would move faster, and there would even be a modicum of cooperation, especially inasmuch as the Democrats would be in the same boat.

 

Throw the Guilty Parties Off the Fiscal Cliff

Make the Guilty Parties Pay For It!

Make the Guilty Parties Pay For It!

Metaphors are dangerous things. During this month we have enough to worry about with the supposed end of the world on Friday, December 21, according to somebody’s misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar. And we also have the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” a series of Draconian cuts that automatically go into action if Congress does not act by the New Year.

Now getting Congress to act quickly—even if there is widespread agreement that failing to act would have dire consequences —is well-nigh impossible. So naturally, I have a modest proposal.

Since approximately half the members of Congress are millionaires, the obvious solution is to make them pay for the mess out of their own funds. Those Senators and Representatives who are unwilling to pony up and make good should be deprived of their civil rights and sold into slavery. Perhaps they could raise a crop of sugar cane in Guantánamo or be sent to political re-education camps in some Blue State that would be willing to take on such a liability.

I think we have been mollycoddling Conservatives for far too long. They are making everything worse for the majority of us and should be made to pay. They could talk secession all they want, but I think that, for these Traitors (and I truly believe they are such), they should be given the “Man Without a Country” treatment.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Edward Everett Hale’s 1863 short story, it tells of a man who repudiated the United States and was sentenced to be passed from ship to ship, never landing on American (or any foreign) territory as long as he lived. Also, he was deprived of access to news about his country. You can read the story at Gutenberg.Com by clicking here.