Category Archives: Politics: The Party of Sleaze

The Death of Facts

Chicago Trib runs obit for facts, Facts, 360 B.C.-A.D. 2012. A snippet:

To the shock of most sentient beings, Facts died Wednesday, April 18, after a long battle for relevancy with the 24-hour news cycle, blogs and the Internet. Though few expected Facts to pull out of its years-long downward spiral, the official cause of death was from injuries suffered last week when Florida Republican Rep. Allen West steadfastly declared that as many as 81 of his fellow members of theU.S. House of Representatives are communists.

Facts held on for several days after that assault — brought on without a scrap of evidence or reason — before expiring peacefully at its home in a high school physics book. Facts was 2,372.

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 2 Comments

GOP Consigliere Anticipates Obama Impeachment in 2014

Poltical Animal may have changed hands — Ed Kilgore replaced Steve Benen — but it’s still essential reading. For example, the pointer to this amazing interview of GOP ur-lord Grover Norquist in which Norqist looks ahead happily to the impeachment — yes, impeachment — of President Obama in 2014 if he wins a second term.

Posted in Politics: Impeachments, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Newt Is Even Worse Than You Think

I missed this TPM article on Newt Gingrich’s second wife published back in 2010. He’s not just a serial abandoner of sick wives who dumps them while they hospitalized. It’s so much more.

(Via TPM, The Marianne Bomb Goes Off?)

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 2 Comments

Another Example of Why 48 States See Florida as a Joke

It appears one of the three most powerful political figures in Florida, overseeing a nearly $70 billion budget, has an attention span rivaling an oat bag.

Jeepers, you would have an easier time getting a straight answer out of the dearly departed Moammar Gadhafi than Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who has taken prevarication, misdirection and willful amnesia to heights of fantasy Lewis Carroll could only dream of.

The noted author of the publicly funded $152,000 tome on Florida politics, Lassie Goes to Tallahassee, admitted a few days ago he fibbed, obfuscated and otherwise engaged in a full Pinocchio when he denied to a reporter knowing anything about a payoff to get rid of former state Republican Party chairman Jim Greer, who had treated the job as if he were a Kardashian on steroids.

But in a sworn deposition connected to a lawsuit brought by Greer against his former employers, Haridopolos now admits he was less than truthful about the proposed, but unconsummated, $124,000 settlement. The acclaimed author of Tallahassee: Indian for ‘Where’s My Check?’ said he thought he wasn’t supposed to talk about the back-room deal.

Why not? Everyone else was.

— Daniel Ruth, St. Petersburg Times, Haridopolos' selective amnesia.

PS. Why just 48? There’s always Alabama.

Posted in Florida, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment

Why the Rubio Biography Matters

David Frum lends his megaphone to Soviet escapee Andrew Pavelyev for Rubio’s False Biography – It Matters. Pavelyev’s not happy with Marco Rubio — or the media’s response to Rubio’s counter-offensive:

First of all, we need to recognize that Rubio lied. Until more than a day after the publication of the story, his biography on the Senate website contained this sentence: ”In 1971, Marco was born in Miami to Cuban-born parents who came to America following Fidel Castro’s takeover.” It is not an embellishment or exaggeration – it’s a lie. There’s no way to spin it. At the time his parents came to America Castro was living in exile in Mexico. He had not even started his takeover yet. In his counter-attack Rubio suggests that he made an honest mistake rather than lied: “My understanding of my parents’ journey has always been based on what they told me about events that took place more than 50 years ago — more than a decade before I was born. What they described was not a timeline, or specific dates.” With all due respect, this tortured explanation is itself a lie.

I can tell you from personal experience that if you come to America as an immigrant you never forget the moment. I immigrated two decades ago. My first child was born just two weeks ago. But you can bet that when he’s old enough to understand dates he’ll know the “timeline” and “specific dates”. And Marco Rubio expects me to believe that his parents never told him anything and that he never ever was curious enough to ask them when they immigrated or how long they have lived in America?

As the child of two immigrants, I can report that the part about immigrants knowing exactly when they arrived rings very true. And we were always interested in the story.

Furthermore, the Cuban revolution was the central event for his family and families all around him when he was growing up. That event was constantly talked about, and Rubio himself admits that when he claims having a deep understanding of what it means to lose one’s country (never mind its total irrelevance to American politics). Yet he never asked his parents what it was like to live under Fidel Castro, or how long they lived under him, or what it was like to leave Cuba at that time, or any other question that might possibly give him a clue that his parents never actually lived in Communist Cuba?!

We also need to recognize that it was a substantial lie.

It’s especially substantial, Pavelyev argues, because identity politics has been at the root of Rubio’s march to power.

Rubio would not have become the Florida House speaker (especially at such a young age), let alone senator if his parents had immigrated from Ireland rather than Cuba.

He’s got a point.

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze, The Media | 2 Comments

House Republicans Demonstrate Contempt for Constitution

This headline in the LA Times is wrong: House Republicans pass Government Shutdown Prevention Act.

It should say House Republicans pass unconstitutional budget bill.

The first problem is visible right near the top of the story — although the reporter seems not aware of it.

A portion of the bill sought to ensure that lawmakers and the president have their paychecks cutoff, just like other federal employees, if the two sides failed to reach a budget deal before an April 8 deadline. The provision was similar to one that already passed the Senate.

The rest of the bill was less conventional.

WRONG. It seems our reporter — and the House GOP — has never read the US Constitution. Article I, sect 1, para. 7 states:

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

So the statute is unconstitutional right there. But it gets worse.

Another section tried to revive a House spending plan that was killed by the Senate last month. Under the resolution passed Friday, the dead bill would come back to life and become law, without the president’s signature, if the Senate does not pass a bill funding the government for the rest of the 2011. The Senate would need to act by Wednesday.

Hello? Bicameralism? Presentment? Chadha anyone?

Every Republican in the House voted for this monstrosity.

Every Republican in the House violated his or her “Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution”. As required by Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution. It goes:

“I, (name of Member), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

Voting for something that is clearly unconstitutional is a violation of this promise. I don’t see what else it can be.

But no one cares. We are now so debased as a Republic that no one bats an eye. What’s left, a Tea Party Senate candidate named Incitatus? (Look it up.)

At least some people knew enough to react with ridicule:

Democrats used the bill as an invitation to mock Republicans’ creative legislative process. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) brought to the House floor a copy of “House Mouse, Senate Mouse,” a children’s book on how a bill becomes a law that is sold in the House gift shop.

Outrage would be better.

(It doesn’t help that the President committed acts of war on Libya without Congressional permission. While the act was legal under international law as it was authorized by the Security Council, the military action’s conformity to US domestic law rests entirely on the War Powers Act, and only shakily on that. The next Gibbon will have a field day with all this.)

Posted in Law: Constitutional Law, Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 14 Comments

Bill Cronon Blogs About the Attack on Academic Freedom in Wisconsin

The author of The Changes in the Land, the path-breaking book on early American environmental history blogs about the why everyone should be concerned about McCarthyist (yes, McCarthyist) tactics being employed in Wisconsin (yes, ironically, in Wisconsin) by the the state Republican party.

See Abusing Open Records to Attack Academic Freedom | Scholar as Citizen for the details.

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | Leave a comment