Day: 2014.11.26

Cheesy

I am here to announce what I’m sure will be the most talked-about executive action this month. Today, I’m taking an action fully within my legal authority—the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me—to spare the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese, from a terrible and delicious fate ....

.... I know some will call this amnesty—but don’t worry, there’s plenty of turkey to go around.

President Barack Obama

Cole Cooper, National Turkey Federation Chairman Gary Cooper, Sasha Obama, Malia Obama, and President Barack Obama gather to pardon Cheese the Turkey in a White House Thanksgiving tradition on 26 November 2014.  Official White House photo by Pete Souza.They call him … Cheese.

Wait, no, really?

Yes, really.

And, yes, the other one really is named Mac. Given that they are being pardoned for the crime of being turkeys, perhaps they should have been named Ted and Mitch.

Meanwhile, Max Read of Gawker notes the sideshow that is White House parenthood:

Not even the pomp and ritual of the White House can overcome the most powerful force known to man: TEEN CONTEMPT.

Today President Obama undertook the White House’s stupid traditional Thanksgiving ceremony of “pardoning” a turkey. His daughters Malia and Sasha, 16 and 13, accompanied him. Their barely contained disdain for the production was utterly appropriate and utterly magnificent ....

Er … um … ah … right. Hey, it’s Gawker. What, really, do we expect?

____________________

Obama, Barack. “Remarks by the President at Pardoning of the National Turkey”. The White House. 26 November 2014.

Read, Max. “Malia and Sasha Obama Are Over the Stupid White House Turkey Pardon”. Gawker. 26 November 2014.

A Fart Joke

There are two schools of thought about fart humor that may be reasonably encapsulated if we start with the phrase, “I forgot to post this last night”. That is to say, there are two general responses:

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 26 November 2014.How could you forget!

Why would you want to post a fart joke?

True, there is a third alternative—It’s a freakin’ fart joke. Who cares?—but such pedantry spoils the fun.

And, in any case, the answer to that beeblebrox is simply that it’s a fart joke, and it doesn’t really matter if anyone cares.

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Huber, Adam. “Stall from Grace”. Bug Martini. 26 November 2014.

Your Republican Party: Policy Outlook Edition

GOP-logo-banner-bw

Sometimes the message couldn’t be any more clear:

With negotiators nearing an accord on permanent tax breaks for businesses worth $440 billion over 10 years, President Obama rallied Democratic opposition on Tuesday and promised a veto.

“The president would veto the proposed deal because it would provide permanent tax breaks to help well-connected corporations while neglecting working families,” said Jennifer Friedman, a White House spokeswoman.

† † †

Left off were the two tax breaks valued most by liberal Democrats: a permanently expanded earned-income credit and a child tax credit for the working poor. Friday night, Republican negotiators announced they would exclude those measures as payback for the president’s executive order on immigration, saying a surge of newly legalized workers would claim the credit, tax aides from both parties said.

(Weisman)

Really, this is what it comes to.

Then again, this is what Americans wanted, right? It’s what they voted for.

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Weisman, Jonathan. “Obama Threatens to Veto $440 Billion Tax Deal”. The New York Times. 25 November 2014.

A Long Note on Political Tradition in These United States

President Barack Obama, delivers his State of the Union speech at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Charles Dharapak/AP)

By now of course we have become accustomed to the proposition that Republicans, once elected, would rather sit around. To some it actually seems a very sick idea; not only did the Speaker of the House demonstrate that Republicans conisder their job description to include going on vacation instead of actually working because, well, the most important part of the job is election and re-election, but in recent months the GOP has shown more and more willingness to simply admit that the inherent failure of government is more of a conservative goal than anything else.

Boehner and the band skipped out on gigs that might need Congressional attention, such as the Daa’ish question, the Ebola question, and the Immigration Reform question; despite their howls of rage regarding the latter, the fact of executive action occasionally arises when Congress refuses to pass a bill and the Speaker of the House calls on the President to use his executive authority. They could have skipped screeching themselves hoarse by simply sticking around and doing their jobs. Then again, the prior statement is controversial if only because it would appear that Congressional Republicans appear to believe their first, last, and only job is to win votes. Given their reluctance to undertake day-to-day Constitutional functions of Congress, such as advising and consenting to presidential appointments—or, as such, formally refusing the nomination—we ought not be surprised that the latest duty Republicans wish to shirk is sitting through an annual speech.

Nearly 16 years later, another Democratic president, also hated by his Republican attackers, is poised to deliver his penultimate State of the Union address. And like Pat Robertson, the idea of denying the president a SOTU invitation is once again on the right’s mind.

“Yes, there’s a risk to overreacting, but there’s a risk to underreacting as well,” said Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review. “And I fear that’s the way the congressional leadership is leaning.”

Mr. Lowry suggested one way Congress could react. “If I were John Boehner,” he said, referring to the House speaker, “I’d say to the president: ‘Send us your State of the Union in writing. You’re not welcome in our chamber.'”

Lowry may not dictate GOP decision making the way Limbaugh and Fox News do, but it’s important to note that he isn’t the only one publicly pushing the idea.

Politico reported yesterday that congressional Republicans are weighing a variety of tactics to “address” their disgust over Obama’s immigration policy, and “GOP aides and lawmakers” are considering the idea of “refusing to invite the president to give his State of the Union address.”

Late last week, Breitbart News also ran a piece of its own on the subject: “Congress should indicate to President Obama that his presence is not welcome on Capitol Hill as long as his ‘executive amnesty’ remains in place. The gesture would, no doubt, be perceived as rude, but it is appropriate.”

(Benen)

Wait, wait, wait—sixteen years ago?

Yes. Like impeachment chatter and stonewalling, Republicans want to make refusing to hear the State of the Union Address part of their standard response to any Democratic president.

(more…)