Imagine if you knew you were going to have a party for the 2012 presidential elections here in the United States. If you started planning for that party today, then by the time the election actually rolled around, you would be hosting the most badass party in the history of time. You would have all sorts of booze and drugs and party favors. Every person you know would have their schedule cleared for the party, and you would have a full three years of building anticipation behind it. And no matter what the result of the election was, you could be sure of one thing – your party would be totally out of control.

Well, that’s exactly what Kenyans, who don’t have another presidential election until 2012, are doing right now, except instead of planning a party, they are planning a riot. And no matter what happens politically, we can be sure of one thing – with months of planning, resource gathering and anticipation to go, Kenya is T-minus three years away from the Most Batshit Insane Riot Ever.

Oh, shit! Mad Prophet of the House of Representatves Michelle Bachmann is ontoPresident Obama’s secret EVIL socialist plot to put every American on an EVIL COMMUNIST DIET consisting only of stale bread, poisoned water and hate. 

Now America’s favorite one woman liberal blog post machine is spreading damnable lies about how the machine like bureaucratic government will control what we eat and how many calories we consume in a day, conjuring specters of bread lines and rationing that terrify her constitents in Minnesota, which during the winter already pretty well resembles the Russian tundra. It also instills completely reasonable fear in the heart of every American who understands that being able to cram deep fried tacos down your gullet at will underpins every one of our constitutional rights

Of course, Bachmann’s fears are ridiculous. While food will be rationed under the coming Socialist Dystopia of America, these rations will be plentiful, and everyone will be able to eat their fill once all of our grandparents and down syndrome babies and Kanye West have been rounded up and processed  into a thick, nutritive paste.

Census fearing, Hawaii hating Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann doesn’t think your grandparents deserve health care.

Bachmann, who’s still waiting on God to tell her to run for president in 2012, was on ‘The Hannity’ the other night, and amid  her usual stream of bat shit crazy nonsense was the following little gem:

“[I]t is not within our power as members of Congress, it’s not within the enumerated powers of the Constitution for us to design and create a national takeover of health care. Nor is it within our ability to be able to delegate that responsibility to the executive.”

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Bachmann is completely up her ass on this statement, since the Constitution charges Congress in the Preamble to “promote the general welfare” of the nation.

Bachmann’s statement implies that any sort of government funded or mandated health care is fundamentally illegal and should be abolished. Which means, of course, that Medicare should be done away with right now, and all of those seniors who depend on it for their health care should be thrown out in the street to die.

Patriotically, of course.

An interesting poll you can check out here on TPM shows that the biggest Democratic health care proposals is not what is in them, but an ongoing campaign of disinformation against them.

So this is the point where I’m supposed to rail against the big, bad Republicans for being lying liars and and using scare tactics and political bogeymen and bullying and shouting down opposition. But here’s the thing: of course they did! This is American politics – no holds are barred, and every ludicrous lie you can make up is fair game if people will buy into it. And when you’re dealing with a system in which 39% of people in one poll think the government needs to stay out of MEDICARE, it is not, in point of fact, all that difficult to fool some of the people all of the time.

If health care reform goes down in flames because Dems and progressives were unprepared or unwilling to push back against it, then frankly, we’ve got no one to blame for that but ourselves. If your opponent is making something into a shouting match, and you keep talking softly, then yeah, you might be the more mature person and have the better points – but if no one hears what you’re saying, then you have lost that argument in a public sphere. Passing any sort of meaningful health care reform at this point – even if a bi-partisan bill is as dead as disco, which seems to be the sentiment coming from the white house today – is going to be a fight. And the left can either gear up to win it, or keep playing Mr. Nice Guy and end up swallowing their teeth.

Is that a pleasant notion? No. But it’s the reality of the situation, and progressives better get used to the idea that they can’t stay out of the muck forever if that’s the only place that anti-reform advocates are willing to fight.

Hey, everybody, remember when you were proud to be an American citizen? Kinda, a little, I mean? Yeah, those were nice times, weren’t they?

Now think back to those times. Hold on to that thought. And click this link to Think Progress to watch an anti-health care reform protester shout “Heil Hitler!” at a Jewish immigrant  who is comparing the Israeli and American health care systems. And watch all those fond memories of your former patriotism go up in smoke

This Classy Lassy then goes on to compare Obama to Hitler and tell the Jewish fellow she just screamed  anti-semitic epithets at that he should be the most scared of Obama. Because as history teaches us, the Holocaust began with health care reform. And then she finishes with the ‘Reasoned, Respectful Exchange of Ideas’ version of a 10.0 dismount – making crying baby noises as the guy complains that a 2 hour stay in an American ER cost him $8,000. Because, you know, up until that point the level of discourse was just a bit too high-falutin’.

Did I miss a fucking memo, guys? Is this really what we’ve come to? Conspicuously displaying our handguns at rallies and shouting “Heil Hitler” because it’s easier than debating a point? Is this really the best we can do as a nation?  Do we not aspire to be better than this? Do we not have more respect for each other than this?

Are we, in short, really this bad?

Maybe we are. I mean, frankly, we’re at the point where this disappoints me horribly, but it doesn’t actually surprise me much.Frankly, I kind of assume this shrill, bigoted bitch from Hell is going to have a speaking engagement opening up for Joe The fucking Plumber in six months.

Maybe this is just who we are now. And maybe we deserve whatever the hell we get.

A memo to the guy who brought one handgun to a health care reform rally in Connecticut last week:

You are a fucking sissy.

Now people in Arizona? These are people who know how to brandish a weapon in public, gawd-demmit. After all, if you don’t have your shooting iron on you at all times, how the hell are you supposed to protect yourself from the rattlesnakes and cattle rustlers who plague The Copper State? With this in mind, it’s a bit more understandable that the people of Arizona would feel uncomfortable going to see the President, who we can only assume rode into town on a coal driven steam train, unarmed. They live in a state where, without a six gun, you are not even able to safely go into town to pick up rock candy for the little ones and a bolt of gingham for the wife. And now the President is trying to kill their Grandma.

I’m saying, I get it, Arizona. You live someplace where it is too hot all the goddamn time, and you have an insane person for a sheriff, and your mail still arrives by Pony Express and men in black Stetson hats menace the populace. It is completely understandable that you would become irrational and edgy and look like a bunch of gun wielding lunatics to the rest of the nation. But it’s just because you are a bunch of gun wielding lunatics – that’s not your fault.

So rather than rail against what you are doing, I will make one simple plea; holster your weapons, Arizona. You are making the rest of us exceedingly fucking nervous with those things. It is too goddamn hot for you to be thinking straight, and somebody is going to get hurt.

Ron Paul’s son, Rand (as in Ayn) wants to be the next US senator from Kentucky. Unsurprisingly, Ron Paul supporters are already lining up around the block to shower Rand, who is just scraping by on a doctors salary, with monetary support for his campaign. And rest assured, his supporters hard earned money will go towards funding those notoriously expensive Kentucky media buys and help enact one of the pillars of Rands campaign, “putting the C back in Conservative.”

And lest you think Rand is simply hoping to ride his popular papas coattails, perish the thought. After all, the fact that his first “money bomb” online fundraiser is schedule to coincide with his Dad’s birthday later this month is a total coincidence. As is the fact that he would like a blimp, just like the one his Dad had.

But unlike his Dad, if there’s any cash left over from the blimp, Rand plans to spend it on an armored sports car from which he can battle crime and liberals.

Hey, St. Louis! Chill the fuck out!

Look, I’m glad that Democrats are starting to show up at these town halls and show Republican nut job protesters that they don’t have a patent on being loud and disruptive. It’s nice to see some backbone out of the lefty base, after all. But seriously, shit’s about to get really real in St. Louis, with anti-health care reform protesters encouraging one another to bring firearms to townhall meetings and hurt their pro-reform adversaries “badly.” By the way, Twitter asshole Scott Oskay – carrying a gun, even with a permit, to a meeting of a government body is a crime under Missouri law. Thanks for inciting!

And if that’s still too classy or subtle, give a listen to this number in which a woman from Oregon threatens the SEIU.

Extra points for ending a phone call threatening to cap motherfuckers with the phrase “stop the violence” aside,  lets’ just hope someone is keeping an eye on these whackadoos who, make no mistake, are threatening to come to public meetings to shoot people. There’s a lot of fringe right whackos out there right now who seem to feel that the best thing they can do for their country is shoot up an abortion clinic or a museum – hold a good thought that we don’t have to add townhall meeting to that sad list.

Okay, Dave Reichert officially has to go. I mean like, really, really has to go.

In this recent feature from Huffington Post, Reichert is confronted, like many other Republican members of Congress, as to whether he believes that President Barack Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States. Rather than answer the fairly simple question, Reichert plays patriot, opining that everyone in America has a right to make up facts and present them as truth! After all, isn’t misrepresenting specious accusations as fact at the very core of the First Amendment? Shouldn’t we give the wild-eyed, pistol waving opinions of say, this guy on the sidewalk with a cardboard sign the same weight and respect as newspaper records and birth certificates?

At about 1:16 into the video below, Reichert proposes that we should.

“If we’re in America and we are free, and we allow people to say – I mean, people stand on the sidewalk, and this gentleman… gets to stand for what he believes in in the way he decides to, because we’re in America.”

That’s right – when Dave Reichert thinks he might have a constitutional crisis on his hands, who does he consult? Joe Homeless Guy. Now I’m not saying this chap isn’t a nice fellow. I’m not even saying he’s not a smart guy. But I am saying that the chances are good that he’s not a constitutional law expert, because most constitutional law experts don’t look like they rolled out of the gutter this morning.

And for future reference, the First Amendment does not depend on us protecting opinion as fact. It protects our right to hold a dumbass, uninformed opinion, but it doesn’t require that other people respect it, much to my frequent chagrin.

But this is the base of the Republican party now, and there are not many Republican members of Congress who are going to be able to say “I believe Barack Obama is a natural born citizen of the United States of America,” and get re-elected. The right wing base is not interested in debating ideas anymore, as their recent performances at town halls across the country attest. This isn’t about ideas, or civil debate, or disagreements over policy or even facts. This is about who’s going to yell the loudest. It’s about making up the craziest lies you can and hoping people stay distracted by them until 2012. It’s not even about winning – it’s about making the other guy lose. And as much as liberals would like to stay above that fight, to some extent, we’re going to have to get our hands dirty and go after this stuff.

Reichert represents a wide open district – WA 8th – Darcy Burner came within a couple of percentage points of winning in the last two elections. It’s a district in a thoroughly blue state and a democratic leaning region that has sent Reichert to the hill as a centrist for the last six years. If he has to bow to his base and do things like question whether or not the president is a natural born citizen, those centrist credentials are going to go right out the door. And that’s the sort of hit to Reichert’s campaign that Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene could make good use of.

Here’s hoping someone makes him answer the question.

For those who aren’t aware, I have been a Washingtonian for long enough that, aside from a few loyalties in the sporting world that are so deeply ingrained and despair inducing that they can safely be considered genetic disorders, I have pretty much gone native. It’s a mostly laid back corner of the country, which suits me just fine, because I tend to be a fairly tense sort of chap, and the green and grey backdrop and relaxed atmosphere cut that just enough that I’m not intolerable to those around me. For the most part.

Which is why it was a touch off putting to hear material concerning my mostly sleepy state all over the news today, starting with the big business story of the day out of Redmond. Microsoft and Yahoo have finally consumated their on again romance, and like so many drawn out courtships, the moment of truth was a touch anti-climatic. Microsoft, unsurprisingly, gets the sweet end of the deal, with Yahoo bowing out of search and to handle advertising sales as Microsoft takes over search and data analysis for both companies, with the recently launched bing powering Yahoo searches from here on out. And while the deal moves Microsoft into the clear number two position in the  search industry, it’s a distant number two, in which the competition, whose name is synonymous with finding information online, has a stranglehold on 70% of the market.

In other words, Microsoft is right now in the best position it’s ever going to be in to challenge Google’s online search and advertising supremacy. But with the Chrome OS launching in just a few months on netbooks, Google is giving as good as it gets. And if this thing turns into a two front war for domination of operating system software and online technology, I’d put my money on the more nimble young ‘un from Santa Clara County.

And while Steve Ballmer and company might not be at the top of their game, they’re still faring better than the killer whales of the Puget Sound. Harassment by whale watching vessels looking to give tourists that perfect close up is hampering efforts to help the regions fragile orca population recover, so federal regulators are proposing doubling the distance that pleasure boats must stay away from the whales to 200 yards. Which is a nice thought, until you realize that the main problem seems to stem from ships that are not obeying the current guideline that aims to keep a 100 yard barrier between whales and whale watchers. With that in mind, it’s hard to see how doubling a barrier that no one is acknowledging helps preserve orca populations.

Shane Aggergaard, who heads the Pacific Whale Watch Association, a group of whale watch tour companies throughout Washington and British Columbia, may have demonstrated the attitude of tourism companies earlier today, when said in an interview with KUOW that “…we love to educate people regarding these animals so they can further protect them. It will be much more difficult to do that at 200 yards…” Again, this sounds good until you think about it – it’s more or less like arguing that we can’t outlaw shooting people in the face, because if we do, then how will people know that being shot in the face is a terrible, terrible thing?

And oh yeah, the anarchists are up in arms in the Evergreen State, as the anti-war organization Olympia Port Militarization Resistance accused a civilian employee of Washington’s Fort Lewis of COINTELPRO style shenanigans. The group, made up of members of groups like Students for a Democratic Society, Wobblies and self styled anarchists claim that a man going by the name John  Towery posed as an anarchist for two years, reporting back to military sources on the groups members and planned activities, such as staging port blockades.

And as these so called anarchists try to peacefully resist and do some good in the world, 38 year old Jeff Monson is keeping it real, doing all the things a good lone wolf anarchist should do. Like cage fighting. And spray painting anarchy symbols on the state capitol building. And then posing with the graffiti for ESPN The Magazine.

But hey, it could be weirder, I guess. I could live in Alabama, where they taser deaf people, don’t they?

And oh, yeah – Dave Reichert is an idiot and a jerk – more on that tomorrow.

The Pence Amendment trying to wrench federal funds away from the most important family planning organization in the nation has officially gone down in flames. Planned Parenthood will keep it’s federal funding. This makes John Boehner sad!

But it makes Planned Parenthood happy! And it makes Planned Parenthood supporters like yours truly happy! And since I’m kind of a mean spirited guy, John Boehner being sad also makes me happy! So happy, in fact, that I must now present a dance to express my happiness at this news!

Take it, Godzilla!

Despite referring to revelations of his years of dalliances as his funeral (a comparison that’s no end of creepy in it’s own right) Mark Sanford’s editorial in South Carolina newspaper The State ultimately reads like a document written by a guy who seems to think he still has a political career left after this.

It’s almost sad, you know?

And by sad, I of course mean really, really, funny.

You had a good run, Governor Sanford, and if things had turned out differently, you could have been a contender. Instead of a bum. Which is what you are.

It’s time to exit stage left, Mark -we have some lovely parting gifts for you, and someone will be around with your car shortly.