A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

The Real #BENGHAZI Victim: Editing

by evanmcmurry

Once upon a time, Republicans made fun of Obama for his TelePrompTer usage. This played like gangbusters with the base, causing many GOP presidential candidates to go without a TelePrompTer on the campaign trail in 2012, leading to the very-plausible theory that the sheer tonnage of dumb statements made during the 2012 Republican primary was partially caused by the fact that so many of them were speaking extemporaneously, for hours and hours every day. Turns out a TelePrompTer has a use, and that use is saving you from your own fool mouth.

Substitute “editing” for “TelePrompTer,” and you now have the current Republican predicament. They’ve decided that editing is bad, because some entities (not the White House, it turns out) edited the #BENGHAZI talking points, which is worse than Watergate and Whitewater times a billion.

But what happens when you don’t edit stuff? Well, if you’re the National Republican Congressional Committee, you put up a blog post trying to zing Congressional Democrats in which you get their names wrong, list congressmen no longer in office, and accidentally use a picture of Luis Gutierrez, Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, rather than Luis Gutierrez, Democrat from Illinois.

The NRCC’s response? “This was an early draft that was not meant to be posted publicly because it had not yet been edited.”

Just eleven more drafts and they’ll have it right.

Impeach Darrell “Richard Nixon” Issa or Something!

by evanmcmurry

A muy-confusing development in the #BENGHAZI non-scandal: despite what we’ve been hearing about Ambassador Stevens requesting additional security at the US consulate and not getting it, now we have evidence that he twice turned down additional security. No one yet knows why he’d do so, but if true—a provision that should be appended to every element of the #BENGHAZI story—this deflates the last of the conspiracy angles on the issue, which was that the State Department and the White House were covering their asses for not providing additional security that might have saved Stevens himself.

Even more, it turns out someone—maybe someone named Darrell Issa?—already knew about this:

But a spokesman for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, indicated that some lawmakers may have been aware of Stevens’ exchange with Ham.

“Decisions conveyed by Ambassador Stevens were made on behalf of the U.S. State Department,” the spokesman, Frederick Hill, said in an email. “There were certainly robust debates between State and Defense officials over the mission and controlling authority of such forces. The lack of discussion by the public ARB report about the role inter-agency tension played in a lack of security resources remains a significant concern of the Oversight Committee.”

So, wait—Issa knew about previously-hidden elements of the situation in Benghazi, but didn’t release them? Isn’t that, like, a cover-up, according to the newly-lowered bar for the term? Nixonian! Impeach! Impeach!

CBO to House GOP: Go Climb A Tree

by evanmcmurry

The Congressional Budget Office has officially given up. Faced the 37th vote to repeal Obamacare the Affordable Care Act by the House Republicans, the CBO has stopped scoring the possible costs of repeal, all but telling the loons in the lower chamber to find something better to do with their time:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, meanwhile, told Congress on Wednesday that it doesn’t have time to provide them with anymore estimates for the cost of repealing the legislation.

 “You requested that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provide a cost estimate for that legislation,” Director Doug Elmendorf wrote in a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to do so. Preparing a new estimate of the budgetary impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would take considerable time–probably several weeks.”

He noted that the CBO provided the estimate for Congress the last time it voted to repeal the bill — their report concluded repealing the law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years.

You’ll recall, of course, that these very selfsame House Repubs are gearing up to hold the debt ceiling hostage—again—to get Obama to agree to balance the budget within 10 years (a plan that would obliterate vast swaths of government, and not just the parts that help the poorz, but the parts that work on roads and bridges and stuff).

So the House is demanding the balancing of the budget while simultaneously trying to blow it up over the exact same time period. No wonder the CBO is slowly backing away.

Maxim’s Hot 100 List is Part of a Liberal Conspiracy to Convince Us Old Women Are Hot Because Obama

by evanmcmurry

The headline pretty much says it all.