What are we to make of the fact that two of the top priorities for the 112th Congress, convening for the first time today, involve an irrelevant charade and an irresponsible threat?
Yet even Obama, the Commander-in-Compromise, must understand the difference between bargaining for a mixed deal and meeting halfway between responsibility and total, deranged lunacy.
During a surprise visit to the press cabin aboard Air Force One on his way back from his vacation in Hawaii, Obama said he hopes to build on the progress made during last month's lame-duck session.
"My hope is that John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will realize that there will be plenty of time to campaign for 2012 in 2012. And that our job this year is to make sure that we build on recovery," Obama said.
Danielle Maurer will be the Director of Member Services for Boehner. She was a key staffer for DeLay during the heyday of K Street and the lobbyist scandals that led to DeLay's downfall and Jack Abramoff going to prison.
The transition should be seamless. She is replacing her husband, and will be rejoining Anne Thorson, another former DeLay staffer, on the Speaker's staff. She will be Boehner's Director of Floor Operations.
DeLay was there for a long time and left lots of former staffers behind. Another one who has found a home in the new Congress is Tim Berry, a ten-year veteran DeLay staffer, starting as a floor assistand and serving the last three years as DeLay's Chief of Staff. He has been hired by Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy to reprise his role as Chief of Staff to the Majority Whip.
Now, I don't mean to imply that these people should be blacklisted and never be allowed to work in government again. After all, to the best of my knowledge, none of them have even been accused of wrongdoing, let alone convicted of anything.
But still...it wasn't that long ago that the republicans were swearing that they had learned their lessons and if they were just given another chance, they would do better and be better and not return to their wanton ways. And indeed, after the election they were quick to say that they had not been given a mandate, they had been given a chance.
The optics of bringing back staffers who were at the top of the food chain in the office of the guy who brought the republicans crashing down almost singlehandedly really, truly suck.
Say you're trying to balance the household budget, because you really need to cut back.
Do you cancel water, gas and electric service to your home?
Do you tell the kids that you're not buying any more food?
Or do you cancel that new Escalade purchase and the two-week vacation in Hawaii?
If you're serious about the debt, repeal that trillion dollar bonus for the super-rich.
Geico Pitchman Apologizes For Calling On USMC To Rise Up Against Obama
"I recently appeared at a fundraising event designed to collect toys and raise awareness for underprivileged children. While that event succeeded in raising thousands of dollars and hundreds of toys for this cause, I regret that I delivered a monologue that was inappropriately critical of the President. I was trying to be entertaining and simply went too far in this instance. I am mindful that my success as an entertainer relates in part to my experience in the Marine Corps, my devotion to its members, and the deep respect I have for members of all our Armed Forces. My comments should not be seen as reflecting on them or their views. I was just very disappointed in the amount of success that we were having raising toys and money for the underprivileged children this season. The poor economy has greatly hampered our efforts. My comments were misguided, and emotionally based, and for that I am truly sorry."
Glenn Beck may be one of the hottest talk show hosts in the country, but he apparently left New York's WOR cold.
WOR (710 AM), one of the city's two biggest talk radio stations, said this morning it is dropping Beck's syndicated show as of Jan. 17 and replacing him with a familiar New York name: Mike Gallagher.
"The reason is ratings," said WOR program director Scott Lakefield. "Somewhat to our surprise, the show wasn't getting what we wanted."
It's not a shocker that New Yorkers weren't buying his bullshit. But reputation-wise, Beck losing New York is huge. It's his home base. Limbaugh, meanwhile, will always be on in New York.
My only surprise at the news that 1300 parishoners at a Catholic Church were exposed to Hepatitis A is that this kind of thing isn't reported more often. Sharing the same cup of wine among hundreds of communicants probably infects thousands every Sunday, but since it's just with colds or the flu, it escapes media attention.
This is another case where behavior that's been accepted for decades from a church wouldn't be tolerated for a moment if attempted by a private institution. Imagine, for instance, if a grocery store offered samples of grape juice from the same cup. The same people who happily eat the body and drink the blood on Sunday would be calling the health department or complaining to store management.
Bank robbers should ask Rep. Issa to outlaw cameras in banks.
The Innocence Project exonerates another wrongfully convicted man from prison ""You're free to go." ... With those words from a judge, Cornelius Dupree Jr. "was exonerated this morning in a Dallas courtroom." ... The verdict, though, comes after Dupree already spent 30 years in prison "for a rape and robbery he didn't commit," the Associated Press adds. ... "It's a joy to be free again," Dupree said after the judge's ruling (he has been out on parole since July; today's decision clears his record)."
Blue Gal - How depressing to realize that women have lost ground in my lifetime, instead of gaining.
When bald eagles close their eyes and daydream about America, images of John Boehner beating up The Deficit or maybe teaching orphans how to chain-smoke almost always appear in their little eagle noggins. This is because John Boehner was once a child with eleven siblings, and today he will be sworn in as Speaker of the House. Only in America! And as our country's awful newspapers gleefully point out, John Boehner refused to attend a LeAnn Rimes concert last evening, since taxpayers do not care for LeAnn Rimes. And instead of hosting a lavish celebration dinner at The Oliver Garden — which is what Nancy Pelosi did every weekend — John Boehner is having a very private potluck reception. Good gravy, John Boehner will probably flood half of Washington with his incessant weeping. [NYT]
Dead birds fall from sky in Sweden, millions of dead fish found in Maryland, Brazil, New Zealand:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is reportedly weighing a 2012 presidential run that could make her the second strong female contender in the GOP field, according to ABC News.