New And Improved Mendacity

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Memo to Debt Negotiators and Brenda Barton: YOU ARE STILL DUMB.

Update time! I was happy to see yesterday's column making the rounds a bit beyond the usual audience. Thanks to everyone who passed it around. But two other things from this week need important updates and developments that need to be addressed.

First, it looks like we sort of kind of maybe have a short-term solution to the debt ceiling crisis, at least one that doesn't involve waiting for it to happen and then watching while the world markets magically stabilize. Nothing's final yet, but we may get a whole six-week delay until the next crisis in exchange for "serious talk" about the budget.

Now, we've all been around long enough to know that "serious talk about the budget" means "entitlement reform", and "entitlement reform" means "sticking it to old people and the poor so that rich people can keep their tax cuts". Additional revenue will not be on the table. At best, a revenue-neutral "tax reform" bill that lowers tax rates permanently and closes tax loopholes for about six months will be the only thing talked about. Why? Because these talks will be "serious", and "serious" talks are all about how we're broke and spend too much money and shared sacrifice that's not really shared. Everything else is "not serious".

If the deal is just to have the discussion, it's not a bad deal. Having serious discussions about the budget is, after all, Congress's fucking job, and getting to do their fucking job in exchange for more of them doing their fucking job after the Moron Party publicly shat their poll numbers down their leg for a couple of weeks is a win.

But never forget that we re-elected a moderate Republican to the White House, a man who takes the "serious" discussion I outlined above seriously, and doesn't just use it as a distracton while he does the things he actually wants. Republican obstruction stopped us from getting chained CPI, not a desire on Obama's part to make sure senior citizens didn't go hungry.

The good news is, the sane assholes who just use these constant crises to grandstand and get themselves on TV seem to be winning the day over the insane assholes who want to burn everything down and feed everyone toasted marshmallows of freedom. The bad news is what the sane assholes give us is still a pile of shit.


During the shutdown discussion, I mentioned a Facebook post by Arizona state legislator Brenda Barton in which she called Obama "De Fuhrer". Well, the attention must have gotten to her, because she issued a statement insisting that her post, and her fifteen-minute taped audio followup interview with a newspaper where she repeatedly compared Obama to Hitler, never compared Obama to Hitler. ACTUAL FAKE CLARIFICATION TIME!

"What I did suggest, rather directly, was that the National Park Service enforcement personnel (referring to them as 'thugs' for their reported behavior) were simply following orders of 'their leader' – and I used the German phrase for emphasis, Der Fuhrer. I am referencing the President's behavior as indicated by his actions. The Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary defines “Fuhrer” as “(2) a leader exercising tyrannical authority.” - Barton, being neither new nor collegiate.

I will give her this much. It's the first time I've heard "it sounded better in the original German" used as an excuse.

This is easily the funniest political lie I've heard all year. It's Sideshow Bob's "The Bart The" defense writ large in real life. I mean, the dictionary she cited even says "Der Fuhrer" is a reference to Hitler, although it is admittedly silent on "De Hitler". If only Barton would do the same.