The Party Who Cried Wolf

It seems to me that the VA scandal — which is a real scandal — would have a lot more oomph and impact if the GOP hadn’t wasted (and continues to waste) so much energy and outrage on phony scandals like Benghazi and the IRS.

They’ve squandered a lot of credibility and induced scandal fatigue because so many Americans believe that anything the Republicans get worked about stems from their visceral hatred of the Kenyan Muslim socialist.

A Smarter Sequester

The GOP’s funding bill that will keep the government from shutting down on March 27 moves about $10.4 billion to the Pentagon’s operations and maintenance account.  The money will be shifted from personnel, R & D, and equipment procurement.

The bill also provides $2 billion more than last year for diplomatic security, along with $40 million more for fighting wildfires, $363 million more for nuclear security, $129 million more for FBI salaries.   These increases are achieved by moving money around.  The bill doesn’t increase funding for Customs and Border Protection from last year, but requires them to keep current staffing and detention beds.

The GOP is doing full appropriations bill for both DoD and Veterans Affairs, rather than just a continuing resolution which works out better for them.  Indeed, defense contractors have been more upset about dealing with a continuing resolution that dealing with the sequester.

The GOP bill fixes some of the arbitrariness of the sequester and makes the cuts more rational.

For more, see “House government funding bill seeks to soften sequester’s blow,” Erik Wasson and Jeremy Herb, The Hill

McCain May Be Hagel’s “Friend,” But He’s Not a Supporter

Both former CIA Director  Michael Hayden and retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal expressed support today for Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense.

But despite a private meeting between the two, John McCain still isn’t convinced.  McCain says he and Hagel “have been friends for many years.”  With friends like these…

Given his Palin pick, McCain has forever forfeited his right to criticize anybody else’s choices for anything.

Josh Marshall Not Buying Hagel Battle Hype

“Will Republicans uniformly oppose a former member of their own caucus when the issues at stake are complaints that look comical when held up to the light of day? One who was one of the top foreign policy Republicans in the Senate? I doubt it.

“Will Democratic senators deny a reelected President Obama his choice for one of the top four cabinet positions when he is quite popular and the expansion of their caucus is due in significant measure to his popularity? Please. Chuck Schumer will oppose the President? Not likely.”

Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo

More Good News

Crazy Congressman Allen West of Florida lost to Patrick Murphy.

Ignorant Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois, who opposed a “life of the mother” exception to an abortion ban because he said women’s lives are never threatened by pregnancy, lost to Iraq War vet Tammy Duckworth, who lost both her legs while serving as a helicopter pilot there.

And Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin will become the first openly gay member of the U. S. Senate, having defeated Tommy Thompson.  I was thinking of you, Butters, when I wrote “openly.”

Is this a great country or what?

The Most Upsetting Poll of All

A Suffolk University/USA Today poll* shows that the 90 million eligible voters who aren’t likely to vote favor President Obama by two to one.  Those who are unregistered and unlikely support Obama over Mitt by 43 to 14%.  Those who are registered and unlikely support him over Mitt by 43% to 20%.  These people would guarantee the President not just a win, but a landslide.

Exactly what are you people doing on November 6?  The World Series will be over (congratulations to the New York Yankees), it’s too late to Trick or Treat and too early to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.

One and a half million of your fellow citizens will be on active military duty that day, and another million and a half will be in the reserves, all willing to give their lives to protect your ass, including your right to vote.  But you can’t be bothered to drag that sorry ass to your local polling place.

You are ninety million poor excuses for Americans.

* Cited by “Dark Road to the White House,” Charles M. Blow, NYT:

Dems Have Finally Learned Atwater/Rove Lessons

From “The ugly presidential campaign,” Dana Milbank, Washington Post:

“Forgive me, but I’m not prepared to join this walk down Great Umbrage Street just yet. Yes, it’s ugly out there. But is this worse than four years ago, when Obama was accused by the GOP vice presidential nominee of ‘palling around with terrorists’? Or eight years ago, when Democratic nominee John Kerry was accused of falsifying his Vietnam War record?

“What’s different this time is that the Democrats are employing the same harsh tactics that have been used against them for so long, with so much success. They have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked, and Obama’s campaign is giving as good as it gets — and then some.

“Eight years ago, [Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie] Cutter was a staffer on the Kerry campaign when the candidate was undone by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacks on his war record.  Cutter, like other Democrats, learned a hard truth back then:  Umbrage doesn’t win elections.  Ruthlessness does.”  Emphasis added.