Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Cheap shots and high-priced Schadenfreude

Hahahahahahaha Eric Cantor

The Schadenfreude is of course for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who appears to be headed earlier than expected for the Happy Hunting Ground of K Street. The high price is that the person replacing him as Republican candidate for Virginia's 7th House district, the academic economist Dr. David Brat, is a tool of the radio clown Laura Ingraham and putatively an even worse person than our "moderate" Eric, who was known for vaguely suggesting, in his looser-lipped moments, that he might be rational under his adopted skin of crazy, and might allow a vote on a comprehensive immigration reform one of these centuries.

Also, that's a problem name.
The fear is that Dr. Brat will probably win in the general election, partly because the district is known to be a pretty Republican one (it gave Romney 59% in 2012), and the Democrats under the gentlemanly leadership of Steve Israel had thought it would be vulgar and ill-bred to run a candidate there ("Messieurs les Républicains, tirez les premiers!"), though they have now changed their minds and invited one of Dr. Brat's colleagues at Randolph-Macon, the disabilities services instructor (and prolific author of everything from academic history to a forthcoming vampire novel) Jack Trammell.

Reasons for thinking the Republicans may not have a lock on this seat are not impossible to find. From PPP, via Alan Colmes:
Key findings: “Cantor has a only a 30% approval rating in his district, with 63% of voters disapproving. The Republican leadership in the House is even more unpopular, with just 26% of voters approving of it to 67% who disapprove.”
More: “72% of voters in Cantor’s district support the bipartisan immigration reform legislation on the table in Washington right now to only 23% who are opposed. And this is an issue voters want to see action on.”
Also the Tea Party operators who got out the vote may sound as if they had a pretty tight operation, but keep in mind that they turned out only 12% of the voters. Dr. Brat's margin of victory was around 7200 votes in a population of close to half a million registered voters. I don't think we have any real idea at this point what's going to happen in November.
The Philly Brat is sometimes preferred to the Virginia variety.
Give me liberty and give them death

Oklahoma libertarian Republican Scott Esk, who's such a libertarian he believes people should have the liberty to stone homosexuals to death because after all it was God's idea, and
“I believe that rights come from God – not from government – and that it should be limited, its taxes and spending should be low, its regulations few, and its protection of our liberties constant,”said Eck, who also calls for jury trials in divorce cases. Esk told other Facebook commenters that, “if it helps any,” he believed such laws should be instituted locally, and not at the federal level.
Well, duh. At the federal level. that would be tyranny.
And who could forget Bol'shoy Brat is watching you!
Republican humoristical funniness

Blurb for The Weed Agency, a "pseudo-fictional political thriller" by Jim Geraghty of the National Review:
Below is one of the book’s funniest and most representative passages, whether you love or hate Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (and we think he’d agree)....
“We are at a crossroads as a nation,” Gingrich said. “We are fundamentally reevaluating the role between the citizen and government, and shifting the power away from unelected, know-it-all, smug, out-of-touch, Washington elitist bureaucrats.” Gingrich looked around the room. “No offense.”
“None taken, Mr. Speaker,” lied Agency of Invasive Species Administrative Director Adam Humphrey.
“We’re shifting power toward the people, who indeed know what is best for themselves. It makes no sense to allocate millions upon millions to a federal agency just to keep track of what weeds and bugs are where and recommend what ways to treat it and allocate grants to farmers to ensure response. Not when every state has its own state-level agriculture department office doing the same, and many localities and agribusiness giants have their own research and efforts on these matters. It’s enormously duplicative and redundant and, frankly, stupid. So at this point, we’re preparing legislation to zero out the funding for this agency and convert it all to block grants, so that states can manage their own weed-abatement programs.” 
Well, that's a real thigh-slapper. As it were. Has Gingrich really been a fictional character all along? That would explain a lot.

Authentic Newtster, though, getting apoplectic over the enormously duplicative and redundant (both, really?) and stupid use of 51 agencies to do a job that could easily be handled by a mere 50 agencies with the assistance of the agribusiness giants d/b/a The People who know what is best for themselves (you bet they do!), over cocktails in the various state capitals, without noticing that whittling it down to one agency and no giants (and no state capitals either: invasive species come under the interstate commerce clause, being strangely unwilling to respect state borders) would make it less redundant still.

Anyway, I can't wait to find out what hilarious thing happens next. That is, I won't wait. I mean, I'll resign myself to never knowing. If I need a laugh I'll look up some of Eric Cantor's old triumphs.
Via Phawker.

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