Republican Party Turns to Cruel and Unusual Punishment


Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg

Furious at Representative Liz Cheney and Representative Adam Kinzinger for participating in the January 6th commission, the G.O.P. leadership in the House is punishing the two rogue Republicans by forcing them to spend an hour with Ted Cruz.

Speaking to reporters, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, said that the decision to subject the two dissidents to an hour with Cruz “should leave no doubt about how seriously we take their offense.”

“Make no mistake,” he said, “an hour with Ted Cruz is the ultimate punishment.”

Andy Borowitz and TheNewYorker nail it!

Ted Cruz: Booger on the Lip of Democracy

Trevor Noah has decided to pick on a man he calls “the booger on the lip of democracy.” That would be Senator Ted Cruz, the target of a scathing nine-minute segment on Tuesday night’s episode of The Daily Show. A faux documentary about the senator, narrated by correspondent Desi Lydic, it lampoons everything from Cruz’s adolescent aspirations of “world domination” to his ill-advised trip to Cancún amid Texas’s state of emergency in rapid succession.

Interesting article on a useless political parasite.

Will Ted Cruz take a DNA test to prove he’s not reptilian?

❝ Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was asked an unexpected question Tuesday by a woman. The video of his reply has gone viral.

❝ The video uploader, who identified herself as Tammy Talpas, first explained that she was really worried about missing out on healthcare benefits because she had seven pre-existing conditions.

“If you force me into a high-risk pool, you will either bankrupt me or kill me,” she said. “I take these threats of medical aggression personally and seriously, and I can assure you I’m not the only Texan who does. My question is: Will you pledge to submit to a DNA test to prove that you’re human?

Har!

Senators Pimps demand Feds halt inquiries into oil companies’ climate denial

Five hardline conservative senators, including former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, have demanded the US justice department stop all investigations into whether oil and gas companies lied to the public and shareholders about climate change…

The letter intends to forestall a federal investigation like those begun by states around the US. In New York last year, the state attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, began an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil lied to its investors about the dangers of climate change, and subpoenaed the oil giant for records.

Also on Wednesday, Exxon’s CEO, Rex Tillerson, defied shareholders and activists who have called on the company to acknowledge climate change and change its behaviors. He said. blah, blah blah, blah, blah.

Some investors have tried to force change within the company, and the Rockefeller family, descended from Standard Oil tycoon John D Rockefeller, divested fully from Exxon earlier this year…

Parallel investigations have either been announced or reported in more than a dozen other states, including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Virginia. The senators’ letter took note of these investigations, and called them…an assault on free speech…

Not that these lying bastards have ever worried much about free speech for ordinary citizens…Instead of the privileged corporations they represent full-time.

The oil and gas industry gave more to the Texas senator’s campaign than to any other candidate’s in the Republican primary election.

Pentagon chooses science over Know-Nothing politics on climate change


Click to enlarge — Republican conference on climate change in 2100

A bit over a year after identifying climate change as a “significant challenge” for the US military, the US Department of Defense has given its top officials orders for handling the hazards posed by a warming world.

The boring-but-important 12-page document issued in January tells the armed service chiefs and top civilian officials to identify how climate change will affect their missions, figure out how to manage any risks it poses, and factor those into their planning. It gives specific tasks to various Defense Department offices and regional commands, from determining how higher sea levels or longer droughts affect US bases to what new gear might be needed to work in a thawing Arctic.

❝”Although this looks very bureaucratic in nature, I would actually give the department full credit for it,” said David Titley, a retired rear admiral who served as the Navy’s top oceanographer. “I think this is one of the more significant steps they’ve done, because they’ve linked that high-level strategy down to a daily to-do list.”

Titley said the new order means the Pentagon “is now thinking seriously” about whether American soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines “have the right tools, the right equipment, the right training, and the right risks for a changing environment…”

The Navy is already trying to figure out how to protect its Atlantic fleet headquarters at Norfolk, Virginia — the world’s largest naval installation — from the two-pronged threat of rising seas and a sinking shore. Norfolk is already seeing periodic coastal flooding from a rising ocean, and Titley said 2012’s Hurricane Sandy showed how badly a big storm could hit vital urban systems like the New York subways that few had thought of as vulnerable…

But Holland said Pentagon officials are still struggling to figure out how other expected changes — to food, water, and energy supplies, increases in extreme weather, and an increase in refugees — will affect operations overseas…

The new directive is aimed at shifting that mindset…

Titley appeared at a Senate Commerce subcommittee hearing that attacked climate scientists. The hearing was called by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the GOP presidential candidate who insists that no global warming has occurred since 1998 — an assertion contradicted by the findings of US and international science agencies.

“Senator Cruz was asking me which is more important, climate or ISIS?” Titley said. “And what I told Senator Cruz at the hearing back in December was we don’t get to pick and choose. We’re a big country, and we have to deal with both … Mature superpowers have to deal with more than one thing at a time.”

Mature politicians should do the same. Unfortunately, Cruz, the ignoranus electorate he represents, the rightwing political clot he leads not only ignores science, history and maturity – they prefer the politics of fear and ignorance as their best bet to gain power in the United States.

Paul Krugman: the Anti-Fed two-step

Back when Ted Cruz first floated his claim that the Fed caused the Great Recession — and some neo-monetarists spoke up in support — I noted that this was a repeat of the old Milton Friedman two-step.

First, you declare that the Fed could have prevented a disaster — the Great Depression in Friedman’s case, the Great Recession this time around. This is an arguable position, although Friedman’s claims about the 30s look a lot less convincing now that we have tried again to deal with a liquidity trap. But then this morphs into the claim that the Fed caused the disaster. See, government is the problem, not the solution! And the motivation for this bait-and-switch is, indeed, political.

Now come Beckworth and Ponnuru to make the argument at greater length, and it’s quite direct: because the Fed “caused” the crisis, things like financial deregulation and runaway bankers had nothing to do with it…

I’d just add that if there were anything to this story, we should have seen a sharp increase in long-term real interest rates, as investors saw the Fed getting behind the disinflationary curve. Here’s the real 10-year rate in the months leading up to Lehman:

Do you see the kind of spike that could cause a catastrophe?

But to come back to the main point: It’s a very dubious claim that the Fed could have prevented the crisis with more aggressive policy in 2008; it’s three-card monte to transmute that into the claim that the Fed caused the crisis.

Objective analysis of the cultural costume jewelry adhering to today’s excuse for conservatism automagically includes self-delusion and outright lies. The incidence of the Great Recession following on from fraud and investment hustles brings us to a repeat of an older, long-standing conservative character flaw. They take responsibility for nothing.

Hat tip to Tom Keene