Calm Before The Storm

An editor’s note: this post was researched and drafted late Saturday morning (CT), with the tweets on which they were based sent by me around noon.  And then, after a dash to the laundry room, I turned on the TV and heard the news.

The title you see here was initially chosen because of the fact that — as the first draft put it — “a Nor’easter full of wind, snow and stupid is due next week when they bring up the (oh, dear) ‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.'”  But, of course, that vote isn’t going to happen next week, given what has happened.  And yet the title remains on this post, unchanged; to some extent, it still seems apt, in a very odd way.

The Psychometer was launched in the last week as a way to call attention to the fact that House GOP members sometimes lose their grip, in a way that allowed for audience participation, and was fun in general.  But maybe, now, it will serve as one of thousands of canaries in a coal mine.  (If it continues at all — that discussion can also happen, and perhaps should.)

Everybody is swearing-off hyperbolic, emotionally-loaded language now.  They’re saying that they’re going to be more civil, to “disagree without being disagreeable.”  But you watch how long that lasts.  And, in its way, the Psychometer will watch too, if in fact it remains a going concern.

Will, for example, Ted Poe (Tex.) take it down a notch?  If you don’t know him yet, he’s entering his fourth term, and was a judge from the Gulf Coast north and east of Houston.  He was one of those judges who handed out Scarlet Letter sentences — sandwich boards saying “I’m a thief” and such.  Also, he has this adorable habit of closing every speech he gives by saying: “…and that’s just the way it is.” Perhaps it is an homage to Jim “BEAM ME UP!” Traficant. (Or, perhaps, he’s just a fool.)

Anyway: he had several rants this week — a couple about border security, and one on the plight of a guy who flew the American flag but got hammered by a homeowner’s association. (To be fair: homeowner’s associations are a bunch of suburban busybodies who are obsessed with perfection. Screw ’em.)  But, those comments didn’t make the cut in my eyes.  What did get nominated?  This:

T Poe calls HCR “totalitarian” act of “oppression,” placing “chains on the American people.” CR 1/6, H50

Now that’s some Grade A Crazy.  Slavery and dictatorship in the same breath, almost.  So the question is this: does this sort of statement get made after what happened yesterday?  If so, how soon from now, and to what level?

That discussion continues post-jump, together with Mike Pence giving himself a stump-speech talking point at the expense of ladybits, and Steve King, twice, on health care, and a possible expansion of the criteria beyond House GOPers to cover clueless press hacks.

So, like I said: Mike Pence came with something last week on ladybits….

M Pence is coming after Plnd Parenthood federal $$ (bill: HR217). Running for POTUS, you know. CR 1/7, H124-5

As you can see, there’s an actual, honest-to-God bill attached.  But the focus on Planned Parenthood was intense. “Planned Parenthood” is like ACORN, or the ACLU — it’s a buzzword that makes the wingers foam at the mouth, and is perfect for presidential runners and riders on the GOP side.

Now, I don’t want to put too fine a point on it.  But: if this shooting in Arizona is precisely what we think it is, then this sort of rhetoric has to come under some scrutiny.

Steve King, our old friend, also came with two worthy entries.

S King: pre-x cond, after HCR repeal, to be addressed by “free market approach.” Just like before. CR 1/7 H129

S King goes Galt on 18-to-26 mandate. Kid flipping burgers can pay for his own insurance, dammit. CR 1/7 H129

A late suggestion from someone else has come in, in relation to the Tuscon shootings:

R Mansour, for Palin to T Bruce: Crosshairs were “like you’d see on maps,” “surveyor’s symbol.” Right.

The Rules, set forth earlier this week, limited nominations to House GOPers.  There were good reasons for that — the fact that the GOP is only in charge of the House, the limitation on statements for the record with a single, unimpeachable source (the Congressional Record), etc.  But Rebecca Mansour’s attempt to dance away from The Cross-Hair Target Map tells me a few things.  (1) Sarah Palin, Ltd., knows that this event is an unqualifed BAD THING for them. (2) The attempts by them to step away from culpability are, thus far, not working at all.  (3) Rebecca Mansour is nuts.

So: do we change the rules to add Becky’s statement to the pile?  Does the limit to House GOP statements for the record, for feasibility issues if nothing else, make the project nevertheless too narrow?  And the broader questions: do our five nominees merit permanent enshrinement in this particular Hall of Shame?  Talk about it in the comments, please.


Conservatives and GOP never pay a price – they concoct a lie, repeat it endlessly, and ignore facts. We are fucking doomed.

@blogenfreude: It’s not so much that the GOP continually lie and ignore facts (and they do). It’s that they are, more often than not, wrong. Take Steve King — he’s honestly believes that a free-market approach to fixing the health care system will work. The free-market system was in place for the decades before HCR, and there were parts of it that did not work at all. Like “pre-existing conditions.” There’s a damn reason why that phrase is in the public domain, and he thinks that the system which basically created that problem can, without government interference, fix it? That’s just loopy.

On a side point: all the discussion about how Bush was demonized, so it’s a pox on both their houses, in the last 24 hours makes me ill. Say what you will about Code Pinkers and Cindyists (and we have, and will). But what they wanted in their heart of bleeding hearts was a war crimes tribunal (which they could attend, complete with hands painted with ketchup). Never, not once, did they ever advocate violence against those they criticized. A protester brings a weapon to a Barack Obama rally, on the other hand, and you get a discontented shrug from the right-wingers.

And in that light, I give you that Planned Parenthood speech given by Pence. Planned Parenthood has been down the political violence road before.

We hated Bush for what he did not for who he is.

Also, Aaron Schock (of matchy-matchy pants fame) was all kinds of peeved at the suggestion that he give up his fantabulous tax-payer subsidized health-care policy and let us all know he has to PAY FOR IT. He has Blue Cross-Blue Belt coverage for $2,000 a year. Don’t know if that covers his boyfriend, too. I pay $9,000 for coverage that is nowhere near as good. These people have no clue. But his staff will be hearing from me tomorrow. Because I want me some of that Blue Belt-Gingham Shirt coverage.

Bureau, darling, is there no way you can make this awesome project of yours involve gambling and prizes? I feel we could all grow rich.

Note to Stinque Nation: I am desolated by the events out of AZ but life must go on and I am shallow.

@Benedick: life must go on and I am shallow.

Monday’s Incredibly Awkward Sport Orgy remains scheduled as planned.

@benedick: you got a source on Aaron in re coverage. Need to see/verify for self.

@nojo: I was rehearsing a new musical in NYC on 9/11. It was our second day. Finally they sent us home. But next morning we assembled for rehearsal as scheduled and the first hour was taken up by the producers, director, authors, telling us how we had to continue with our sacred work on this country-and-western take on Merry Wives of Windsor or – the terrorists have won!

Fucking liberals.

BTW. It was a totes awesome show that didn’t come in but I had the tightest pants ever seen on a human and got to do a gun duel during which at one performance I fired my gun while still in its holster and made the entire cast cry with laughter. Happy times.

Wait. What?

@benedick: it depends on whether The World At Large latches onto this idea. My twitter feed has ten followers. Needs a few hundred more.

@chicago bureau: Are you using hashtags, and have you reached out to General Jesus? #p2 and #tcot hit the liberals and the conservatives respectively. We also need to get a Follow Friday going. The best thing to do is to get a topic trending. Barrack Obama has enough followers to help you out, too.

@chicago bureau: Oh — do a #p2 search and start following interesting people. They’ll check out your profile and maybe follow you.

Last thing — need a link to Psychometer Twitter acct on this pg.

But there is. Fearless Leader has it on right-hand side.

@chicago bureau: Yes, but I tweeted this post to #p2 and #tcot, so if there’s a link in your text above the fold, people can find the acct without looking around the site. Then they come back and play around later.

@JNOV: Hey JNOV, Rep. Giffords’ surgeon was a battlefield surgeon in Iraq and Afghanistan, did 24 years in the Navy and trained at Los Angeles County Hospital, where he saw 30 gunshot, stab wounds etc per day.

@Dodgerblue: Pre-Desert Storm and our (mis)adventures in the Middle East, the U.S. Military Medical School in Bethesda used to send med students to San Antonio to do a rotation at the Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) trauma unit — the biggest trauma hospital between Austin and the Rio Grande — because students could get maximum exposure to gunshots, stabbings, and weird car and farm equipment accidents. The ex-girlfriend of a friend of ours is an ER doc, and she said that Fresno is one of the most competitive places to go for residency/post-doc work in emergency medicine and trauma medicine because of the combination of neverending gang, farming, and Highway 99 injuries.

@SanFranLefty: Makes sense. Here in LA, you want to be in County if you’ve been shot or been in a serious car accident, and then get transferred to UCLA or Cedars as soon as you’re stable.

@JNOV: Yeah, withthe funky doctor hat. Korean-American guy.

@Dodgerblue: Yeah. I saw him yesterday and immediately liked him. No bullshit. No violation of HIPAA. No doctorspeak. Decent fellow.

@SanFranLefty: This is true. A Level 1 trauma center is the best place to train.

Oh, it’s on, baby:

Shortly after November’s electoral defeat for the Democrats, pollster Mark Penn appeared on Chris Matthews’s TV show and remarked that what President Obama needed to reconnect with the American people was another Oklahoma City bombing. To judge from the reaction to Saturday’s tragic shootings in Arizona, many on the left (and in the press) agree, and for a while hoped that Jared Lee Loughner’s killing spree might fill the bill.

—Glenn Harlan Reynolds, WSJ

@nojo: Didn’t waste any time, did they?

@Dodgerblue: Well, I guess now we just wait for the Common Decency of the American People…

Still waiting…

@nojo: Several of my friends are already screaming about Russ Douchebag’s column in today’s NYT talking about how the murder of innocents and attempted assassination is a “gift for liberals” but I don’t think I’m ready for my blood pressure to go up so high so early in the morning.

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