Homer Simpson

Your Quote of the Day

Eric Holder in Washington, D.C., 1 June 2014. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News)

“To borrow a Homer Simpson line, it’s funny because it’s true.”

Steve Benen

It really is something of a mystery:

Remember, Senate Democrats could have tried to rush Lynch through the confirmation process during the lame-duck session late last year – before Dems lost their majority status – but Republicans implored Democrats not to. The power should rest with the incoming majority, GOP senators said.

The outgoing Democratic majority obliged, expecting Republicans to be at least somewhat responsible. After all, there were no substantive objections to Lynch and the GOP was desperate to see Holder go. Republicans had a built-in incentive to act reasonably.

And yet, here we are. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his team have subjected Lynch to the longest delay of any A.G. nominee in history – for reasons they haven’t even tried to explain – and this week, McConnell even broke his word about bringing Lynch’s nomination to the floor for a vote this week.

The irony is under-appreciated: Republicans wanted Holder to step down, and he did. Republicans wanted Obama to nominate an uncontroversial successor, and he did. Republicans wanted Democrats not to vote on Lynch in the lame-duck session, and they obliged.

Months later, the Senate’s GOP majority can’t quite bring itself to do what Republicans say they want to do. In fact, as far as McConnell & Co. are concerned, they hope to defeat Lynch – again, for reasons they’ve struggled to articulate – raising the prospect of Republicans keeping Holder at his current post until January 2017.

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Benen, Steve. “Holder suddenly enjoys the GOP’s ‘love’ and ‘affection'”. msnbc. 18 March 2015.

Florida, on Reality

MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida.  Flordia Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Flordia residents under the federal Affordable Care Act.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The thing about the “America’s Wang” joke is that Florida seems to revel in it:

The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

(Korten)

Perhaps the only thing left to say is the obvious: When your only way to win the argument is to prohibit the other side from speaking, you’ve already lost.

But, hey, this is Florida, right? Why expect principle, decency, or reality to apply?

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Image note: MIAMI, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media during a visit to the Advanced Pharma to kick-off the grand opening of their new facility that hopes to create 60 new jobs by 2014 on February 21, 2013, in Miami, Florida. Flordia Gov. Rick Scott reversed himself on February 20, 2013 and is now calling for an expansion of Medicaid to Flordia residents under the federal Affordable Care Act. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Korten, Tristram. “In Florida, officials ban term ‘climate change'”. Miami Herald. 8 March 2015.

America’s Wang: Rep. Curt Clawson (R) and the Good People of Florida’s Nineteenth Congressional District

O! smarmy one!

“It’s extremely uncommon for foreign officials to testify before Congress under oath. Even so, it’s unclear if at any point Clawson realized his mistake, despite the existence of a witness list distributed to the various members detailing Biswal and Kumar’s positions. Clawson’s office did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“During the hearing, he repeatedly touted his deep knowledge of the Indian subcontinent and his favorite Bollywood movies. None of his fellow colleagues publicly called him out on the oversight—perhaps going easy on him because he’s the new guy.”

John Hudson

Until last week, if you had heard of Rep. Curt Clawson (R), the congressman from Florida’s Nineteenth Congressional District, it probably would have been because he was the second string, the backup, the special election favorite to replace fallen Tea Party angel Trey Radel.

That was then. John Hudson of Foreign Policy explains what boosted the Bonita Springs backbencher’s profile:

In an intensely awkward congressional hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, freshman Rep. Curt Clawson misidentified two senior U.S. government officials as representatives of the Indian government.

The two officials, Nisha Biswal and Arun Kumar, are Americans who hold senior positions at the State Department and Commerce Department, respectively. Although both Biswal and Kumar were introduced as U.S. officials by the chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee, Clawson repeatedly asked them questions about “your country” and “your government,” in reference to the state of India.

“I’m familiar with your country; I love your country,” the Florida Republican said. “Anything I can do to make the relationship with India better, I’m willing and enthusiastic about doing so.”

Apparently confused by their Indian surnames and skin color, Clawson also asked if “their” government could loosen restrictions on U.S. capital investments in India.

Yes. Really. And what really hurts is that we all know it doesn’t end there.

(more…)

Something I Never Wanted to Know

I’m with Homer Simpson: “I’ll take a crab juice.”

No, really. In truth, I haven’t consumed Mountain Dew for … er … um … years. Couldn’t tell you when I last did the Dew.

Meanwhile, ABC News’ Chris Bury makes the point of why I never will again.

Mountain Dew logoIn 2009, oil company worker Ronald Ball said he opened a Mountain Dew from his firm’s vending machine only to gag on a dead mouse inside. His attorney told ABC News that Ball stuck the mouse in a Styrofoam cup and displayed it to his co-workers. “He immediately called Pepsi,” said attorney Samantha Unsell, so the company could stop production on the assembly line that allegedly snagged a mouse. She said a Pepsi representative came to collect the dead mouse. But the evidence had apparently since been destroyed.

Later, Ball sued the soft drink company, seeking damages in excess of $50,000. Now as it seeks to dismiss the lawsuit, Pepsi argued Ball couldn’t possibly have gagged on a mouse because Mountain Dew’s powerful ingredients would have dissolved the rodent’s body before the can ever reached the vending machine. By then, Pepsi’s experts insisted, it would have become “a jelly-like substance.” In other words, mouse jam in a can. Yum! (If you bought six, would that be a “rat-pack?”)

Seriously. I mean, if the taste wasn’t bad enough …?

I recall an occasion in my more laddish years when claims emerged that people were finding syringes in their Pepsi cans. The company responded that there was no danger, as the soft drink was so acidic that it would kill any possible pathogen. To the one, that actually sounds reasonable. To the other, well, okay, I do, in fact, still drink Pepsi. (What? I can’t drink beer all the time.)

And then, of course, there is talk of polishing chrome with Coca Cola. I once heard something or another about using the stuff to clean stains out of one’s toilet. Whatever.

The bottom line, of course, is that people are already wary of these sorts of soft drinks. But dissolving a mouse to jelly is, so far as I can tell, the crown jewel of things I simply did not expect to ever hear about a food product intended for human consumption.