News Stories That Will Not Surprise You in the Least

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Obama Administration

Item One: Cliven Bundy is a racist a**hole.

He said he would continue holding a daily news conference; on Saturday, it drew one reporter and one photographer, so Mr. Bundy used the time to officiate at what was in effect a town meeting with supporters, discussing, in a long, loping discourse, the prevalence of abortion, the abuses of welfare and his views on race.

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

If there were a Nobel Prize for abject and utterly un-self-aware cluelessness, I think Bundy’s remarks on “government subsidy” above would have sewed it up. And that soft shuffling sound you hear is from retreating Republican politicians who suddenly realize they may not want to be associated with Bundy, after all.

Item Two: Conservatives think Latina women lack the gravitas to be serious Supreme Court justices.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s impassioned defense of race-conscious admissions policies Tuesday hit a nerve with conservatives and inflamed an already bitter ideological chasm over race in the Obama era.

The National Review published an editorial trashing the Obama-appointed justice’s blistering dissent as “Orwellian” and “legally illiterate” after the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on affirmative action.

“Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described ‘wise Latina’ on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law,” wrote the editors of the influential magazine. “Justice Sotomayor has revealed herself as a naked and bare-knuckled political activist with barely even a pretense of attending to the law, and the years she has left to subvert the law will be a generation-long reminder of the violence the Obama administration has done to our constitutional order.”

Appearing on Fox News, Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard said the first Latina justice’s lengthy opinion was driven by “emotion.”

“This was a decision written by somebody who was writing about emotion,” he said, as quoted by the Daily Caller. “It was President Obama’s ’empathy standard’ — that’s what he was looking for when he nominated her, that’s what I think he got.”

Listen, dudes, next time just call her a silly chickita and tell her to shut up and fetch you a cold Corona and some nachos. Everybody knows it’s what you really want to say, so you might as well say it.

Item Three: Red state governors refused Medicaid funds because they’re spiteful and stupid.

By now it’s pretty clear that the states refusing to expand health coverage under Medicaid aren’t really worried about the expense. They’re motivated entirely by ideological stubbornness — “for no other reason than political spite,” as President Obama said last week.

New figures, in fact, show that the cost to the states of expanding Medicaid is less than previously thought. In February, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the expansion would cost the states $70 billion through 2024. This morning, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noticed a figure in the April update to the C.B.O. report that said the state costs have dropped by a third, to $46 billion. (The price tag is so low over a ten-year period because the federal government will pick up 95 percent of the total amount.)

The real costs to the states will be even less, though, because if they expand Medicaid, they will no longer have to pay for much of the emergency care of uninsured people that now takes place at hospitals and clinics. Estimates of this savings, according to the CBPP, range from $26 billion to $101 billion through 2019.

The 19 states that have flatly refused to expand the program are ignoring these facts. (The issue is under debate in another five reluctant states.) Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, one of the loudest in the “hell, no” chorus of anti-Medicaid Republican governors, claims the state cannot afford even the small fraction of the cost it would have to bear. But the expansion would actually save the state as much as $78 million this year in uninsured costs and $134 million next year, according to the state’s own budgetary analysis. Expanding Medicaid would also add about 15,000 new health care jobs in Louisiana.

Mary Landrieu is talking to Louisianians about the “Jindal gap.” Democrats, take note.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. joanr16  •  Apr 24, 2014 @11:03 am

    The Jindal gap is between his ears. The GOP/Tea Party reacts long before it thinks. Its base is the biggest bunch of racist a-holes since Nathan Bedford Forrest first rode out.

    You’re right, none of this surprises me in the least. Maybe I’ve grown cynical, but it does surprise me some that the public tends to reject all that ignorance and hatred. (See the previous post.) A smidgen of hope on a rainy Thursday is something to be cherished.

  2. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 24, 2014 @12:08 pm

    “I want to tell you one more thing that I know about the racist Cracker…’

    Oh, this Good Ol’ Boy’s a “patriot” fer sure – if you go back 100 years!
    A Confederate “patriot!”

    And the Hispanic SC Justice, is much, much, too emotional.
    Right Conservatives?

    How’s that outreach thing going with the non-white males, GOP?
    ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!’

    Please proceed, GOP. Please, please, proceed…”

  3. c u n d gulag  •  Apr 24, 2014 @12:10 pm

    “The Jindal Gap,” put-down is PERFECT!

    Now, to expand it – “The (Fill-in the name of your Republican Governor/State Legislator’s Name(s) here: _____________________________________) Gap.”

  4. uncledad  •  Apr 24, 2014 @4:27 pm

    “soft shuffling sound you hear is from retreating Republican politicians”

    Yeah it is really unbelievable, most republicans I know feel exactly the same as old Cliven, the republicant pols feel the same as well, they just don’t have the balls to be honest with their voters! I just saw some video of old Cliven giving a presser, he had himself a token Blackman standing right by his side, see it’s OK I have me a negra too!

  5. Swami  •  Apr 24, 2014 @5:17 pm

    they just don’t have the balls to be honest with their voters.

    That’s exactly right, uncledad. It’s funny how the GOP is tripping over their feet trying to distance themselves from old Cliven, but when Paulie Ryan denounces blacks in the most vicious and dehumanizing of terms under the cover of abstraction they can’t come to his aid fast enough to claim he’s been misunderstood.

    At least Cliven should be recognized for the honesty of his convictions and racism. It’s racist cowards like Paulie who hide in the shadows to spew their racist trash because they ain’t got the balls to stand behind their words.
    I didn’t think the soil in and around Las Vegas was good for growing cotton. Maybe it’s the rainfall, but I’ve never heard of growing cotton that far out west.

  6. anthrosciguy  •  Apr 24, 2014 @6:18 pm

    Actually, Swami, they grow a lot of cotton in Arizona. Massive irrigation. Number 10 in cotton production in the USA. There’s some grown in Nevada, but there used to be more. the latitude is the problem more than the dryness.

    Trivia point aside, Bundy (that guy gives the Married with Children family a bad name) not only doesn’t pay his fees, if he did he gets the super deal that other ranchers get, which is a tenth (or less) of what they’d pay a private party, and also several times less than what they’d pay the state or county if they were grazing animals on state or county land.

    Similar giveaway prices are available to mining and oil drilling companies. And they’re available to drug companies who use federally funded research to make proprietary drugs. We’re subsidizing all these people, most of them very wealthy people too. If we simply got a fair market rate for these things — land use, use of patents and research, etc.; as much as they’d have to pay a private party for them* — we’d actually be able to cut other taxes and up our spending at the same time. If we coupled it with taxing business at even the rate we supposedly tax them at (ie., cut out the sweetheart deals and make the offshoring tax avoidance stuff illegal) we’d be rolling in dough.

    * this is of course if the private party was wealthy, like the Walmart heirs, the Koch Bros., Warren Buffet, etc. If we’re talking about regular folks, they just use eminent domain and take it at a bargain basement rate, like George Bush did in the Texas Rangers baseball stadium deal that made him so much money (about $15 million from a less than a million investment… and the less than a million was actually just his worthless oil company that hadn’t managed to find oil in west Texas).

  7. Swami  •  Apr 24, 2014 @7:16 pm

    Sotomayor’s opinion rankled conservatives on the Supreme Court, too — and not just Roberts, who responded to her broadside. Justice Antonin Scalia, in his concurring opinion, slammed Sotomayor’s reasoning as “shameful.”

    “Shameful” is sexually harassing a female subordinate by asking her who put the pubic hair in my coke? Wow, women really respond to that!

  8. Swami  •  Apr 25, 2014 @12:42 am

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lincoln-mitchell/why-would-paul-ryan-think_b_5206090.html

    More on Paulie…Lincoln Mitchell does a good job of explaining Paulie’s racism, but one criticism of Mitchell’s post that shouldn’t go unspoken is that he entertains the possibility that Paulie is just your basic ignorant racist and somehow he just doesn’t get the depth of his racist swill.
    Of course one can never be sure if Paulie was just mimicking an accomplished racist verbatim or whether his vile racism sprang from within his own mind. But one thing is sure…when you stereotype any class of people with the accusation that they aren’t interested in learning the value of work you’re essentially stripped them of any consideration of humanity. Life is work. Everything a human does whether for profit or pleasure is work. And understanding the value of that work is intrinsic to human nature.

  9. erinyes  •  Apr 25, 2014 @8:33 am

    I kinda figured Bundy would shoot himself in the foot as soon as he was allowed to air his views on the tee vee. I know plenty of racist righties, and they’re very vocal about their racism when with the group, not so much alone in public.

  10. erinyes  •  Apr 25, 2014 @8:35 am

    “Alone in public” sounds like a yogi Berra thing.

  11. goatherd  •  Apr 25, 2014 @9:21 am

    The Cliven Bundy affair provides a sickening glimpse into our current circumstances. I agree that Cliven was simply expressing directly and plainly what some many others have been saying “in code,” for many years. But, there are a few iconic images that will stay with me for quite some time.

    One is the photo of the militia member playing sniper on the bridge, using the gap in in the concrete wall as a loophole, waiting, presumably for some unfortunate “federal” to cross into his narrow range of fire. A woman, probably his wife, sits near him, far more relaxed and under far less cover. Clearly these two people are in different worlds. He’s crossed over into the Bizarro realm, she’s at his side, but seems to have at least one foot planted in reality, a reality that would dissipate rapidly with the sound of the first shot. He is a child, playing a childish game, with very dangerous equipment. He’s gone a full bubble off plumb.

    Another is the footage of Cliven gallantly riding to the rescue, the national colors in hand and wearing his cowboy hat as the skypiece that symbolizes part of the American psyche and brands him as a charismatic leader. This footage is a Rorschach Test. People see different things in it. I see some privileged old fool who mistakes his selfishness and narcissism for virtue. He is a hollow man, but, hollow men lie thick on the ground these days.

    He has gathered the old symbols, like some many others, simply to exploit them. After so much exploitation, the symbols lose their power. The flag pin on the lapel just becomes wallpaper or another piece of “product placement.”

    Then there is the collective retreat of conservative luminaries, with their perfunctory exclamations and phony repulsion, making strings of empty words. These are words that mean absolutely nothing, except perhaps “plausible deniability.”

    The elements are assembled to display the folly of our moment in history. Some found the story line beguiling, even enchanting. It was a heroic tale in the making. The “good men with guns” came out in force to support a “cause.” But, the man they stood behind was soon revealed to be a liar and a vicious fool. So, the “good men” were all laboring under some sort of misconception, they’d been played for suckers. The usual functionaries carried out their handiwork. It was all business as usual, but, somehow it all went awry, all because Cliven didn’t get the memo. The guns, as always were merely innocent props.

    I am very glad that this didn’t go the way of the confrontation in Waco. It wouldn’t have taken much to turn black comedy into tragedy. The militia men will live their lives as if this was St. Crispin’s Day. They will learn nothing from it, but they will live. No one deserves to lose their life just for being a fool. For them it was first rate LARP, a chance to get out the gun, dress up in camo and play the hero in their own minds. The power and appeal of that is too strong to be overcome by mere reality.

  12. anthrosciguy  •  Apr 25, 2014 @10:36 am

    Which leads one to wonder why a guy who bases his refusal to pay what he owes on the statement “I don’t recognize the United States government as even existing.” is waving the US flag. The fact that right wingers didn’t even see the glaring contradiction is testament to their ability to ignore reality even when it slaps them across the face.

  13. joanr16  •  Apr 25, 2014 @10:41 am

    I see some privileged old fool who mistakes his selfishness and narcissism for virtue. He is a hollow man, but, hollow men lie thick on the ground these days.

    That is beautifully stated. A week ago, I simply couldn’t understand why Faux Noise was celebrating some guy stealing from his fellow taxpayers– and that was before he opened his mouth. I’m afraid Faux also won’t learn anything from this affair. Their ability to manufacture virtue from wickedness is all they’ve got, really.

  14. goatherd  •  Apr 25, 2014 @1:18 pm

    Following what anthrosciguy wrote–

    How many times have you seen “United we stand” bumper stickers on the same bumper with the confederate battle flag? Quite a few, I’d wager.



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