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Sinking My Teeth Into The Weiner

This will be a quickie, since this isn’t a particularly complicated or nuanced issue.

Let me start by saying that I don’t really care about this beyond the amusement I get from the Weiner jokes which I imagine, will grow tiresome by Thursday. I don’t care because Anthony Weiner is neither a hypocrite nor a criminal. I’m only interested in your personal life if you’re stealing tax dollars, or are trying to suppress other people’s rights based on a “family values” platform of hypocrisy. I didn’t care about Clinton’s sex or Ahhhhnold’s sex because they weren’t hypocrites.

John Ensign, Larry Craig, David Vitter, Ted Haggard, and that “rent boy” asshole all fall into the category of asshats whose sex lives endlessly amuse me because they’re shameless liars and thieves. There’s nothing I enjoy more than watching a liar or a thief exposed for what they are.

But short of that, I just don’t give a shit. We’ve seen enough rich and/or powerful men cheat that it really shouldn’t surprise us. I’ve actually come to realize that cheaters are the norm. I am no longer disappointed by it.

I have to confess to being mildly disappointed in Anthony Weiner, but not as much as I’m comforted by his behavior over the past week. You’re thinking I’m batshit crazy at this point, but let me explain. We’ve been watching Weiner bumble and stumble in regard to this scandal all week. He’s not a good liar. In fact, he’s possibly the worst liar of any politician in the history of politics. He’s undeniably a brilliant guy and yet, he couldn’t have handled this more poorly. He did one shitty interview after another in which, he never flatly denied that the picture was of him. Even after getting hammered for not denying it was him, he couldn’t do it. There’s something admirable about someone that can’t lie with ease. I actually like that about him, a lot. It’s the pathological liars that I’m most concerned with.

His unease with lying makes me more confident that he’s a good politician, intent on doing the right thing. At the end of the day, my only concern is about a politician’s impact on me and my country. The rest is superfluous. His inability to tell a convincing lie gives me more confidence in his morality toward governance. When Anthony Weiner is on the house floor incensed about health care for 9/11 responders, or for you and I, he’s not bullshitting us.

And a politician that is bullshit-challenged is the kind of politician I want, wiener behavior notwithstanding.

On a side note, I applaud Nancy Pelosi for launching an investigation into this matter. That’s how ethics in politics should work. I can’t recall the republican party ever investigating one of their own. Political ideology aside, I don’t know how anyone can support the GOP. They’re crooks and liars, and they don’t even care enough to seem like they’re not.

Oh, and one last thought – the part of this story that I find most disgusting, is the part where Andrew Breitbart gets a modicum of legitimacy. I will be vomiting uncontrollably over that for months!

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Maxine, Maxine, Maxine

DISAPPOINTED!

Maxine Waters was supposed to be one of the good ones. Truth be told, I still think she is, but she needs to receive the appropriate sanctions for her ethics violations. And while we’re at it, Charlie Rangel must step down.

Don’t kid yourselves, democratic party loyalists, these charges are true. There hasn’t been a “misunderstanding”, and no one is going to be cleared here. I know this because Nancy Pelosi and the ethics committee would not be raising these charges months before an election if there weren’t solid cases here, which brings me to the real story in all of this.

I’m going to go out on a limb here to say that you won’t be hearing the real story from the main stream media. These charges of ethics violations are being brought against democrats, in a democratically controlled congress, months before an election. That is an enormously positive change in the way congress is being run. When republicans controlled congress, crooked republicans were the beneficiaries of cover ups, obfuscation, and delay (also DeLay) from their party leaders. Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, and many, many more didn’t go before the ethics committee until republicans’ backs were up against a wall. We had Denny Hastert covering for Mark Foley, Jon Cornyn covering for John Ensign, The list is almost endless. And they certainly didn’t allow themselves to be subjected to scrutiny during election season.

Nancy Pelosi is running a clean ship. Well, as clean a ship as a politician can run. Make no mistake, she could have delayed these charges until after the election, just like republicans did. I know this, because I don’t believe that republicans have magical powers. They didn’t pull shady maneuvers that aren’t available to Nancy.

This whole situation will be spun as evidence of an epidemic of corruption in the democratic party. Let’s be honest, politicians are dirty. They have been dirty since about ten minutes after the first politician took office. And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing dirty politicians, I’m just saying that I’m not naive enough to be shocked when a politician turns out to be corrupt.

In fact, I’m damned near flabbergasted when one turns out to be clean, not because I’m a pessimist about politics, but because our system is designed to virtually guarantee the corruption of a politician. Here are some interesting facts about American politics;

  • In 2008, 93% of all seats won in the house were won by the candidate that spent the most amount of money
  • In 2008, 94% of all senate seats went to the candidate that spent the most amount of money
  • The average cost of a winning house seat in 2008 was 1.1 million dollars
  • The average cost of a winning senate seat in 2008 was 6.5 million dollars

What this means, is that we have a system designed to attract or create amoral whores into our politics. You can’t raise the kind of money that it takes to be elected in America by being honest. It’s just not very realistic to assume that your representative is “one of the good guys”. You wanna know how to tell if he/she is one of the good guys or not? If they’re your representative, they’re not one of the good guys. They had to whore, beg, borrow, and steal the money to represent you.

But I digress, back to Nancy. She is turning out to be the change that we wanted when we voted for Obama. She is the transformative figure in our politics today. And in my opinion, she’s an unsung hero.

As with the Shirley Sherrod tale, the story that we’re about to be told is ┬áthe polar opposite of what’s actually happening here. This story is not about an “epidemic” (there are two) of dirty democrats. This story is about how much better democrats are at stomping out corruption within their ranks, than republicans are.

But you’re not going to hear that from most anybody on your TV because the people on your TV are spokesmodels and lemmings.

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Fear And Loathing In San Francisco

For three years now republicans have painted Nancy Pelosi as loathsome. Not because of anything that she did, but because she’s an easy target.

Let’s face it, she’s not viscerally likable. To be honest, between the turbo charged blinking and the overabundance of plastic surgery, she’s just not that appealing. Republicans leveraged those unappealing qualities to make her the focus of their base’s hatred because until a few months ago, President Obama was far too popular to effectively target. So poor Nancy has been loathed for a few years now, simply for being in a position of power.

Republicans don’t like their women in power. They like them cute and cheerleady. Okay, they like their men to be cheerleaders too. They just like the cheerleading in general, but I digress. I can’t think of one smart republican woman that the party has put forward as a leading voice. No, they give us Sarah Palin. When John McCain picked her, he clearly picked her as the antidote to Hillary. The problem is that his antidote sent a clear message to women, that any dumb bitch will do.

If republicans are smart (I know, I know, there I go with my optimism again), they will have figured out on Sunday that Nancy Pelosi is someone they should fear. Health reform is a victory that belongs to her more than anyone else. She’s fought republicans, democrats, the senate, the president, and his chief of staff to make it happen. There are reports that President Obama wanted to scale the bill back (even further) after Scott Brown was elected in Massachusetts. Nancy refused to have any of that, referring to the president’s proposal as “kiddie reform”. She pressed on to fight for us when everyone else was ready to retreat. She one of a very few handful of tough democrats.

But beyond just being tough, she knows how congress works in a way that very few of our representatives do. When she announced that they were going to pass the vote by using “deem and pass” it wasn’t because she didn’t have the votes (Nancy doesn’t lose votes, look at the record), it was because she rightfully doesn’t trust the senate. Using “deem and pass” (as republicans have done hundreds of times), would have allowed the house to adopt the sucky senate bill while simultaneously reconciling the improvements to the bill. She was trying to bypass a lot of the reconciliation noise that I suspect we’ll be hearing this week. She wasn’t trying to be sneaky with “deem and pass”. She was being very smart.

Despite my early doubts, Nancy Pelosi has proven that she’s a force to be reckoned with. President Obama owes the (I predict) 8 – 10 point jump in his approval rating to her. And we owe the glimmer of hope that we have that health reform is possible to her.

Take heed republicans, Speaker Pelosi isn’t just a dumb liberal with San Francisco values. She’s going to go down in history as one of the most significant speakers this country has ever had. Sorry Boehner, no one will remember you for anything when you’re gone (much like Denny Hastert).

So don’t limit your feelings toward her to loathing. You should fear AND loathe her.

Bravo, Madam Speaker!

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