Just to be upfront about how much of a hole I’ve been living in the last two weeks or so–I was cocooned in this wonderful vacation haze where I lay in bed and literally ate truffles, venturing out only to break in my bowling arm and watch some high school basketball–in short, I did not expose myself one bit to political blogs and newspapers that would awaken Angry Meghan (SMASH!!!) and ruin an otherwise lovely break from brain-exercise.
But now I’m back and tentatively prodding the blogs again, hoping they don’t bite. Working in my favor is that lots of important people have been doing squat the last few weeks, some with greater justification than others–President Obama and the First Fam’s vacation in Hawaii, for example, versus our very over-taxed Congressional representatives who must have felt absolutely wiped out after “pulling a sullen college student” and leaving all their crucial work until, like, three days before winter break.
1. Obama’s Flip-Flop Fiasco
Let’s dip our toes very tentatively back in the political mire with a made-up story about how the President’s decision to wear comfortable, open-toed shoes in a tropical location constitutes some sort of betrayal to the American people.
Here’s Fox News’ take:
Next time I feel like I wrote something too mean-spirited, too insensitive, too sarcastic, or just too bitchy, I’ll refer back to this and pat myself on the back, because at least I didn’t mock the fact that Obama is our first African-American president.
Also, Exhibit B in Poorly Chosen Presidential Footwear:
Apparently wearing socks with crocs wasn’t a mock-worthy historical event for Fox. Which inspired me to pen this Seussical rhyme:
“Fox likes socks with crocs,
Like they love Goldman Sachs,
And loathe common stocks,
And will declare a pox,
On the first African-American
Prez on the block.”
2. Republicans Taste Own Medicine, Spit it Out, Declare it “Yucky”
Try to guess how happy this morning’s HuffPo Political header made me feel:
But seriously, you guys, it serves them right for vowing to trim this year’s federal budget by $100 billion.
Nice round number, that “$100 billion.” Kinda like someone (New House Speaker John Boehner, *cough*) was getting frustrated with doing actual math and decided to randomly pick something large and impressive-sounding.
Hey, Speaker Boehner? Call me when you promise to eliminate eleventy-billion dollars of waste, and I will move to Ohio and vote for you because that is ballsy as hell.
It is (and always was) impossible for the Republicans to deliver on their rose-tinted campaign promise. Due to Congress failing to pass a single appropriations bill this fall (‘member the whole “filibustering-the-defense-spending-bill-because-we-won’t-even-talk-about-DADT” thing? And then the whole “we-won’t-vote-on-anything-ever” thing?), the federal budget’s been operating on a continuing resolution (an extension of FY 2010’s budget) since October, and that resolution has been extended all the way through March.
Since the government’s fiscal year began October 1, 2010, by the time the continuing resolution expires and the Republicans are able to start instituting spending cuts, five months of FY 2011 will already have elapsed. Eliminating $100 billion in a seven-month time frame would result in massive lay-offs and probably the axe for many entitlement programs–something no saavy politician would actually see through.
Oh, and Republican aides who yesterday defended the $100 billion figure as “hypothetical” need to call a spade a spade, and admit that it was a ploy all along.
3. Broken Promises II: Health Care Repeal
As a long-time fan of "The Andy Griffith Show," this made me smile.
So you know how the Republicans were fightin’ mad when the Democratic majority introduced legislation without allowing them a chance to introduce their own amendments? And how they promised to never, ever pull such a dirty, mean trick once they gained control of the House and came roaring into January, 2011 like Sarah Palin on a motorcycle wrapped in an American flag with red-white-and-blue fireworks exploding over Mount Rushmore? (*snarf* ~ed)
That was a lie. The Republicans plan on introducing legislation to repeal the health care bill, and they don’t plan on allowing House Democrats to make any amendments whatsoever, nor to rewrite or modify the bill–they want it gone, full-stop, no compromises.
I can’t word the foolishness of the Republicans’ take-no-prisoners approach better than HuffPo:
Repealing health care reform will add $230 billion to the deficit over the next decade, leave 32 million fewer people with insurance and lead to higher costs for those who are covered, the Congressional Budget Office said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) Thursday.
If they succeed, I sure hope they figure out how to cut $330 billion from the budget, which seems only fair considering how much they’ll personally be contributing.
Also, I hope they all cry when their bill passes the House and gets soundly whupped in the Senate.
4. The Scraps
Obama’s cabinet is losing several key players, including press secretary Richard Gibbs, senior adviser David Axelrod and interim Chief of Staff Pete Rouse. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s brother, William Daley, will become the new Chief of Staff.
House Republicans spent much of today reading the Constitution aloud on the floor. Are you impressed? Me neither. I just want to know who read the 14th Amendment aloud, and if it was a Republican, did they spontaneously burst into flames?
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA.) is backtracking from a quote he gave last year, naming President Obama as “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.” This might be merely amusing, and not flat-out laughable, if Issa weren’t the incoming chair of the House Committee for Government Oversight and Reform, and had he not sent a kiss-up letter to over 150 big business lobbyists, inquiring,
Is there something that we can do to try to ease that [regulatory] burden and stimulate job creation? …Is there a consistent practice or regulation that hurts jobs?
That’s like when my Grandma says, “Oh, honey, does your lip hurt? Do you need a second dessert?” Well, DUH, sweet, gullible Grandma, of course that’s what’s gonna make my hurt lip feel better! And why don’t you hand me a big pot of cash while you’re at it?
That’s all for this week, folks–it’s been rather a slow one, but not without it’s big, sparkling moments. I predict next week will be even more fun, though I can only hope the Republicans tire of idealism as soon as the Democrats did after the 2008 election.