A feature, not a bug

I have been growing increasingly bemused as Anno Domini MMXV continues to unfold apace. And by “bemused”, I really mean, “Goddammit, we’re heading to hell in a handbasket!”

But nothing matches the complete clusterfuck around funding the Department of Homeland Security, a department born in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and which, if you will recall, Republicans held up as a sacred institution to protect God-fearing Americans from those hordes of brown people seeking to kill them. (Union protections for DHS workers? Why do you love Al-Qaeda??)

Let’s recap. In last year’s Cromnibus (soon to appear in the next Transformers movie), Congress left out funding for DHS. Why? Well, fast forward to this year. John Boehner and his merry pranksters passed a DHS funding bill. But they wanted to show that Kenyan in the White House that treating “illegals” like children of God was not going to wash with Republicans in firm control of both chambers. So they attached several riders to a must-pass bill stripping all of President Obama’s actions for DREAMers and his executive action on the undocumented. There, that’ll show him! Done and dusted, and the first round of drinks are on Rusty Boehner!

The House bill of goods went on to the Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell found out that majority leadering isn’t as easy as he told himself it would be as he went off to sleep with a glass of warm milk in his stomach. All the chicanery and fuckery he visited upon Harry Reid when the GOP was in the minority Sen. Reid repaid him in kind. Democrats held firm, filibustering Bohner’s Folly, until Sen. McConnell cried “uncle” in that soothing southern voice, and passed a DHS funding bill stripped of, as Mark Kirk termed it, “bullshit”. Back to Rusty.

But poor Rusty kept repeating “The House has done its job”, over and over, as if repetition would make it so. He soon realized that the House had done “a” job, and that job was putting US security at risk. And if DHS ran out of funds and an attack occurred, he might very well join the ranks of Benedict Arnold as a traitor to the nation. So, he tried to pass a bill which would pass muster in the Senate.

But here’s the thing. Ever since St. Ronnie famously declared “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help,'” Republicans have been running on a platform that where government isn’t merely useless, it’s a positive evil. This has been going on for 35 years. We’ve had two generations of GOP children raised on this mantra, and every year they become more and more deranged. “Government is evil, we must smash government, invisible hand, WOLVERINES!!!!” People like this don’t go to Washington or your friendly state capitol to make government work, to provide the best for the most; when they travel to the seat of power, it’s to neuter it, to upend it, to fight the powers and principalities which they see oppressing them. They’re not there to govern competently; they’re there to destroy the very mechanisms of government, to make the whole enterprise so odious that voters—or at least the rump of the US electorate that bothers to show up on a particular Tuesday—will throw up their hands and cry out “Come save us, David Koch!” It’s not an inability to govern; it’s an unwillingness.

So when Rusty can’t corral enough GOP votes to advance a bill, and the Senate has to save him again by passing a one week continuing resolution, which Rusty nearly cocked up by getting the House to pass it two hours before DHS ran out of money, don’t laugh and say, “God, he’s awful at his job.” No, he’s not. He’s very good at it. His job is to make government seem like a pointless enterprise. His job is to stoke cynicism and discontent. His job is to shop out the function of government to the lowest bidder. And even if I want to be generous, and concede that maybe Rusty doesn’t want to destroy a 200 year experiment, he and his party have given credence to a movement not seen since the Know Nothings of the 1800s. Mr. Boehner is stuck with a caucus which is to the right of most sane Americans, because the people who come out to elect these representatives are dependable voters. The Republican base has been fed on a steady diet of paranoia and conspiracy for the past 6 years; it’s no surprise that it in turn elects people who mirror those traits. The dysfunction in Washington and state capitols across the land are not illogical, as the late Mr. Spock would say, but a perfectly reasonable outcome of a particular political program. When you run on the illegitimacy and inherent evil of the occupant of the White House, you get the result that President Obama’s opposition is unhinged and will do anything to combat him in what they see as an existential struggle.

Don’t mourn for Rusty Boehner. He’ll secure some sinecure after he’s run out on the rails. Mourn for our nation, which may not survive this apoplexy of idiocy.

Oh, and one final word:

[tweet https://twitter.com/Lib_Librarian/status/571483154776637441 align = ‘center’]

93 Responses to “A feature, not a bug”

  1. 10 Judith Fardig
    February 28, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Excellent piece, LL! Congrats to Vetivera.

      February 28, 2015 at 4:29 pm


  2. 13 amk for obama
    February 28, 2015 at 1:57 pm


    And this is the clay horse that nut n yahoo hopes to ride into potomac and win israel.

  3. February 28, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Wow LL. you get a standing ovation for this one. Thank you!

  4. 18 amk for obama
    February 28, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    “We’re contributing to your own public health care fund from the money our family has saved from enrolling in Obamacare this year. Politics aside, we’re praying for your family and hoping for a full recovery for all of you.”

    Many such great comments from the donors (majority of them also take him to the woodshed to beat some sense into his teabagging head).

    I have read over 200 comments and 99% of the donors are the effing libruls.


    • 19 amk for obama
      February 28, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Because no one in this great nation should have to hold out a tin cup and beg for money to cover healthcare. That’s what the ACA is about: keeping people from doing as you are right now: begging for the charity of strangers to save your life.

    • 20 amk for obama
      February 28, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Dear Mr. and Mrs. Mack, I had to retire early from my teaching job because of a medical condition; at the time, I was so grateful that I had employer-provided medical insurance. After that, I had a pre-existing condition which pushed our premiums up to a point that we could no longer pay for private insurance. Thank God for Obamacare, because we are now fully insured again, and I sleep much better each night in the knowledge that we won’t be bankrupted if either or both of us becomes sick. I’m very sorry that both you and your wife are battling both health crises and enormous medical bills. I hope that you will take advantage of the Affordable Care Act and buy insurance; you both can be covered, even though you have pre-existing conditions. Perhaps you may now appreciate how important it is for Americans to be able to buy and keep their insurance, regardless of their medical histories. I wish you and your wife well. I am, like others who have contributed to your GoFundMe account, a Democrat, a liberal, a human being who feels bad for other people who find themselves facing both life-altering illness and crippling medical bills. My husband and I were underinsured when we lost our home in a fire. Having to cover costs when you’re in a deep hole is a nightmare. Buy some health insurance! Obamacare is there for people just like yourself and your wife. It’s a good thing! May you and your wife have full and speedy recoveries. Godspeed!

      Teach it, Teach.

      • 21 GGail
        February 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        amk, thanks for posting these from the Mack’s GoFundMe site.

        While I am sorry for their medical situation, if Mr. Mack wasn’t so stubborned, he could have signed up for Obamacare. My money stays in my pocket, not in their Fund.

    • 22 amk for obama
      February 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      I’m giving you this donation because I find it unconscionable that citizens of the United States have to beg for money on the internet due to medical expenses. We are better than this. I hope you will reconsider your stance on the ACA for not just your family’s sake, but for all Americans that find themselves in your situation. Most are not as fortunate to receive the amount of publicity you have gotten. This progressive liberal wishes you a speedy recovery and I hope you will pay forward the kindnesses of your fellow man. No one in this country should ever go bankrupt just because they got sick.

    • 23 amk for obama
      February 28, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      I’m sorry this happened to you, and wish you and your family the best. I’m a liberal from the San Francisco area, and I sincerely hope you get yourself the affordable insurance that President Obama worked so hard to get for you, rather than having to resort to begging for money when you inevitably get sick. Like millions of others, I’m grateful to have insurance. My mother died because of the insurance companies denying her coverage in 2001, and it’s awesome that what they did is now illegal, all because of the ACA.

    • 24 susanne
      February 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      thank you for bringing the comments here. in the face of what’s happening in congress, this dose of reason, humanity, and generosity is a huge relief.

    • February 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      I would like to know from this so-called sheriff mack how was 47 million of the uninsured BEFORE ACA was supposed to get donations for their medical bills, some much higher than his, through a GoFundMe account? I noticed there were almost 700 comments of “Go ‘F’ yourself and approximately 500 donations mostly from liberal, atheist, illegals, and people who told their story how thanks to President Obama and the ACA known as “Obamacare” made it possible for them to donate to his family because they are now covered and don’t have to beg for money. I doubt sincerely that sheriff mack give a flying fig who gives as long as he does not go broke. His hate for PBO and trying to put people in his shoes is pay back enough. The cream on the cake would be if PBO and FLOTUS donated and left a comment.

      • 26 0388jojothecat
        February 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        I meant to say his heart attack and wife’s failing health brought on by his hate for PBO and trying to put people in his shoes is pay back enough. The cherry on top of the cake would be if PBO/FLOTUS donated and left a comment.

      • 27 nospin
        February 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        I think the son who set up the page has been reading the comments and has learned something. I believe he will bring about changes in the mindset of the rest of the family.

        So there is that

        • 28 0388jojothecat
          February 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

          I read on his Wiki page he’s the one who wanted to put “women in front so the world could see the Federal agents shooting and killing women”. This guy deserved that heart attack. Anyone who would hide behind women so they get killed is a coward.

        • 29 0388jojothecat
          February 28, 2015 at 5:46 pm

          They turned off the comments because they were brutal. You can still comment once you give money. I think he should not accept the money since he is against liberals, gays, and immigrants here without legal status who also gave to him. Let Rmoney and all the other rich GOP fund his hospital bills.

  5. 31 carolyn
    February 28, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    LL…..terrific analysis and clear presentation. Yes, indeed, Saint Ronnie is the genesis of so many problems, and his effect has been so deep and lasting. I remember when he said those fateful nine words, and the whooping and hollering they induced. He spoke as if they were true, and people glommed on to them, yes, as you said, they became the mantra.
    And, we see the red states following his pronouncement in deep trouble financially and socially, but they haven’t slid far enough down yet to wake up and change. The inmates really are running the asylum.

  6. February 28, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    Excellent synopsis, LL. TY!!

    For anyone interested, if you scroll toward the bottom of the previous thread you’ll find a montage of tweets and references re: Boris Nemtsov who was executed yesterday as he was walking on Moskvoretskiy bridge, Kremlin, Moscow.

    bbl ….

  7. 34 sabreen60
    February 28, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    LL, I have tried to remind people re shrink the government down small enough so it can be drowned in a bathtub” mantra. I don’t know what folks thought that meant. But you sure summed it up. These Republicans are here to destroy the government. They don’t want to compromise, they don’t want to fix infrastructure, they don’t want to make life better for the middle class or the poor. The don’t care about pollution. They want to privatize everything. I mean everything. Let the corporations deal with pollution – yeah right. Like they so willingly wanted to do about acid rain or smog. But the bottom line is as you have written. The don’t see where government is needed.

    I wish you could post your article on every “sane” blog on the internet!

  8. February 28, 2015 at 3:09 pm


    esp this:

    The Republican base has been fed on a steady diet of paranoia and conspiracy for the past 6 years; it’s no surprise that it in turn elects people who mirror those traits. The dysfunction in Washington and state capitols across the land are not illogical, as the late Mr. Spock would say, but a perfectly reasonable outcome of a particular political program. When you run on the illegitimacy and inherent evil of the occupant of the White House, you get the result that President Obama’s opposition is unhinged and will do anything to combat him in what they see as an existential struggle.


    Are we the only ones in the Universe who see this…..i think that the electorate have bought into the GOP narrative about government…

    i never hear the Democrats tout the merits of good smart government…and why it is important….only our President has spoken about the impact of good smart government

    • 36 carolyn
      February 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      VP Joe Biden has also spoken about it…repeatedly, but of course the press gives him no notice. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are also speaking up about it………almost like voices in the wilderness…….but…..those lone voices begin to double, then triple…..remember John the Baptist…..he was a voice crying in the wilderness.

  9. February 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm

  10. February 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

    you are on the money, LL.

    You tell the truth

  11. 40 japa21
    February 28, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Great post, LL. And oh so true. My only quibble is that I do think Boehner is a total incompetent. Yes, he is, for the most part anti-government, except for when it helps him and his. But he is incompetent.

  12. 42 0388jojothecat
    February 28, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    LL – This is so spot on about the rethuglicans, boner and mcturtle thinking they could out smart the smartest man in Washington, D.C. They spent the past six years not learning a damn thing about PBO, Harry Reid, nor Nancy Pelosi on how they got things done in spite of their obstruction. I know a teabagger ( who by the way is a government worker with good union benefits) who wants the government to do nothing unless if affects them or their family personally. You are spot on that these assholes where feed Ronnie raygun bullshit for 35 years on how the government is no good, should be small enough to be funded on a week to week or as needed basis. Never mind these assholes never met a war they did not want to fight until the death toll racked up too high and veterans came home killing people then they look for the Democrats to fix everything like yesterday or we’ll put the rethugs back in charge now that my 401K and jobs are good again.

  13. February 28, 2015 at 4:04 pm

    Obama library plan is a reminder of bad blood between community, U. of C.

    While many South Side residents share the hope that the library honoring the first African-American president will be built in the community where President Barack Obama rose to prominence, some are suspicious of the University of Chicago’s motives for proposing to place it in a public park.

    That suspicion may be, some residents said, due in part to an unsavory history between the university and the neighborhoods that sit in its shadow — conflict that spans more than 80 years.

    As Mayor Rahm Emanuel moved forward this week with a plan to make at least 20 acres of green space in either Washington Park or Jackson Park available for the library, university officials acknowledged that the institution was at least partly to blame for that historical mistrust.

    They concede that the Hyde Park university did not stand on the right side of justice in supporting restrictive covenants that kept African-Americans from buying homes in the Washington Park neighborhood in the 1930s. And they acknowledge the ill feelings that linger over the university’s push for urban renewal in Woodlawn in the 1960s.

    But a far more progressive institution exists today, they said.

    “There was a time when the university was more inward focused than outward focused. And people have certain reactions, and they carry that with them,” said Derek Douglas, vice president for civic engagement at the U. of C. “But the focus over the last decade under President (Robert) Zimmer has been to be more engaged with the city. Our actions, programs and initiatives demonstrate a different view than the historical view that people have.”

    Indeed, the university has formed educational, art and housing partnerships with the communities. Last year, the University of Chicago Medical Center sought to address a more current controversy — demands from youth and community activists that it open an adult trauma care center to serve South Side residents who must travel miles for level one care. Hammered with demonstrations linking the trauma center controversy to its library bid, the university agreed to accept 16- and 17-year-olds in its pediatric trauma center.

    Despite the mistrust, there is one thing on which residents in the Washington Park and Woodlawn neighborhoods seem to agree — the library belongs on the South Side, even if parkland must be given up to make it happen.


    • February 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      U of C has not been a good neighbor. I don’t blame folks for being suspicious. But, since they eliminated the other two good possible South Side Sites, we’re stuck with the U of C bid. I want it Chicago, and I want it on the South Side of Chicago. That is where the library should be.

      Mark me among those who want U of C to be forced to fork over their PRIVATE Land for the Library. The reason why this rubs the wrong way, is because these arrogant muthafuckas believe they should have their cake – the Library – and eat it too – without giving up THEIR privately held land.

      While the Daniel Burnham plan is not ‘LAW’ in Chicago, it is part of the ethos of the Chicago spirit. How we feel about our public lands. This is why Rahm’s in trouble over that George Lucas museum – you simply CANNOT TAKE PUBLIC LAKEFRONT LANDS FOR PRIVATE ENTITIES IN CHICAGO!!


      Great battles were fought in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s over this principle. It’s why we’re so unique when it comes to our lakefront, and unlike other major cities, we do NOT have ‘ private beaches’. The lake was fought over hard to be OPEN TO EVERYONE – as were the parks. It’s the Daniel Burnham ethos.

      I’ll forever believe, though, that the perfect spot for it was the old Michael Reese Hospital site.

  14. February 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm


  15. February 28, 2015 at 4:12 pm

  16. February 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      February 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm


  17. February 28, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    February 28, 2015 at 4:36 pm


  19. February 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    15) Progressives: Conservatives made the word “liberal” sound like a bad thing, so we began our slow and sorry retreat, and began calling ourselves “progressives” instead.

    The real word is “liberal,” dammit. Let’s start calling ourselves what we really are: We are Liberals. We are feminists. We are pro-civil rights. We are pro-government and pro-welfare. And if conservatives don’t like it, they can suck it.

    • 57 jackiegrumbacher
      February 28, 2015 at 5:20 pm

      Thanks, Pf. Every Liberal needs to memorize this list and every local local Democratic Party needs to put it up as a poster. We have to start revising what we say as much as ‘how’ we say. We can’t have any defensiveness in our tone, but must proudly and confidently talk about what we are and what we believe. Once again, our President has been the model for this and we need to follow his example.

  20. 60 otter 44
    February 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Dear Chips and MtMarilyn please accept my condolences on your loss. TY LL for the brilliant analysis.

    Nemtsov was a voice of reason, and sanity in an increasingly fascist landscape of Putin’s Russia. The outpouring we are seeing on the streets is an indication that the Russian people understood how important his voice was. I heard an analyst this morning saying that he did not have political power and therefore was not significant. I would argue that belies the long Russian tradition that venerated writers, philosophers and artists in both tsarist and communist time….that is why writers were so persecuted. Watch Putin blame the Chechens…. or his new enemy the Ukrainians…

  21. 61 99ts
    February 28, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    A description for the ages

    “But nothing matches the complete clusterfuck” – thanks LL

  22. February 28, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm

      “Boris Nemtsov murder: Thousands pay tribute in Moscow

      Many here believe that Boris Nemtsov was killed for his political views. They blame President Putin for fanning the flames of nationalism to dangerous heights, where political dissidents are now seen as traitors – the “enemy within.”

      Amidst the flowers and candles are flyers for the opposition rally Boris Nemtsov had been helping to organise on Sunday. Instead, the crowds will gather for a march of mourning.

      One of those attending, Alexander Badiyev, said: “This was ordered by Putin, without a shadow of a doubt. They have shown us what the fate will be of all those who are against them.” Opposition activist Mark Galperin said: “People are afraid to support our movement. Opposition activists receive threats every day and Boris was no exception. But they won’t stop us.”

      Former Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky said: “The political responsibility for this murder lies with the authorities and personally President Putin.”


      • February 28, 2015 at 5:14 pm

        Just one of many examples of folk being quite aware of Putin’s propaganda mill ….

        bbl ….

      • 69 jackiegrumbacher
        February 28, 2015 at 5:24 pm

        Whenever a leader has to use terror to silence criticism, he has lost the game. Murdering Nemtsov means that Putin is panicked about opposition and about being seen for the psychopathic tyrant he really is. I don’t know when his reign of terror will end, but he’s put himself on the road to personal destruction now. The time and place is unknown, but it will come.

      • 73 99ts
        February 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

        One of those attending, Alexander Badiyev, said: “This was ordered by Putin, without a shadow of a doubt

        And that should be the ONLY reaction to what has happened.

    February 28, 2015 at 5:27 pm


      February 28, 2015 at 5:29 pm


    • 76 Linda
      February 28, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Since 1976 only two winners ever became President.

      Reagan and Bush Jr.

      Bush only won once; in 2000 .

  24. 77 GGail
    February 28, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    I’m putting out a “Yo VC! check your email !”

    February 28, 2015 at 5:51 pm


  26. February 28, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    What a wonderful picture of our sorry Speaker of the House. I bet Eric Canter is glad he is not dealing with that crazy bunch anymore.

  27. February 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Thanks a gazillion LL, another perfect commentary.

  28. February 28, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Lots of #DAESH-crushing news in the sidebar …..

    • 87 vcprezofan2
      February 28, 2015 at 6:57 pm


      for passing on >> {{{children of colleague}}}

      /I’m lost in TODland trying to catch up/

      • February 28, 2015 at 6:58 pm

        I’m lost too VC! I only just spotted good wishes sent to you on your health news, did everything go well?

        • 89 vcprezofan2
          February 28, 2015 at 6:59 pm

          Yes, thank you!

        • 91 vcprezofan2
          February 28, 2015 at 7:04 pm

          BTW, I see you are still keeping a side eye on me! :/ I was hoping to sneak in quickly and show my support, then withdraw. I suppose I should be grateful your main spy was asleep.
          ps: Do you know the little ones well enough to give them a hug from time to time, or even visits with DannyO?

          • February 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm

            I only met his eldest boy once VC, as big a rascal as his Dad, haven’t met the others.

            • 93 vcprezofan2
              February 28, 2015 at 7:14 pm

              Well, I’m sure you’ll give the ‘little rascal’ as much love and comfort as he is open to accepting, at Tuesday’s funeral and beyond. I suspect he/they might be overwhelmed with support in the immediate future, but may welcome some contact/interaction as time goes on.

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