Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Hillary Clinton

Underestimating Ted Cruz

It seems that what passes for conventional wisdom has pretty much written off the stormy, incandescent career of the junior senator from Texas, “Tailgunner” Ted Cruz. The “tactical error” of bringing the country to the brink of default earned him the disapprobation of his party and enough condemnation by our collective thought leaders that we seem to have dismissed him from further consideration as a figure of national significance and appeal. And the sigh of relief and hopeful finality attending this dismissal is notably one of the few truly bipartisan undertakings of our otherwise sharply polarised politics and conflicted media commentary.

But let’s set aside, for the moment, the convenient notion that we have survived this political asteroid. His meteoric career impacted squarely on the fault line dividing the modern Republican party at a crucial moment. Is this accidental?

Just as the leadership prepared to abandon the single, defining policy issue which had been used to demonise the administration and whip support for almost four years, Cruz weighs in and makes a perfect riot out of what the party was hoping to quietly concede.  In the process he wins a Gungam style volume of earned media, unimpeachable ‘outsider’ status in spite of having trod the corridors of power in Washington for a decade and a distant fourth in the history of filibusters.

He has also captured the unswerving loyalty of a significant cohort of disgruntled, activist Republicans who were the true believers. Sorry, folks, but this is no accident, it is the calculated, if somewhat volatile, opening gambit of a presidential nomination campaign.

Midday News Feeds – Tuesday, 5 Feb 2013

From the newswires …

On Gun Violence: Obama in Minneapolis

As the debate over guns after Newtown moves into the often bitterly partisan halls of Congress, President Obama flew Monday to the Midwest to remind the country there’s more unity on gun control than the rancorous debate in the nation’s capital might suggest

Read More: Minneapolis’ Progressive Approach to Reducing Gun Violence

Read More: PCCC Ad Targets Mitch McConnell on Gun Control


Violence Against Women Act Flying Toward Senate Passage

The Senate overwhelmingly agreed Monday to advance legislation reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, winning over strong bipartisan support to bypass a filibuster and consider the renewal of domestic abuse funding that is currently on life support. […]

“It is unthinkable that Republicans in the House would prevent us from taking action – again refuse to do anything as they did last Congress,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said before the vote Monday. “Allowing partisan delays to put women’s lives at risk is simply shameful. … I hope the Senate’s bipartisan action this week will send a strong message to House Republican leaders that further partisan delay is unacceptable.”

Read More: Eight Senators Vote To Block Violence Against Women Act

Read More: DCCC Ad Targets Eric Cantor over VAWA


Hillary Clinton Debuts New Website

Hillary Clinton appears to have a new website. So far, has a picture of the former secretary of state and a form for contacting her.

Read More: Hillary Clinton: The Most Powerful Woman in American Politics


S&P expects U.S. lawsuit over pre-crisis credit ratings

Feb 4 (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s said it expects to be the target of a U.S. Department of Justice civil lawsuit over its mortgage bond ratings, the first federal enforcement action against a credit rating agency over alleged illegal behavior tied to the recent financial crisis.

Read More: McGraw-Hill Tumbles Most Since ’87 as U.S. Prepares S&P Lawsuit


CIA rendition: more than a quarter of countries ‘offered covert support’

The full extent of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition programme has been laid bare with the publication of a report showing there is evidence that more than a quarter of the world’s governments covertly offered support.

A 213-page report compiled by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organisation, says that at least 54 countries co-operated with the global kidnap, detention and torture operation that was mounted after 9/11, many of them in Europe.


Quick Takes …

Sea Urchins Chalk Up Global Warming Win

Sunshine may ‘reduce arthritis risk’

‘Well, That Was Cool,’ Say Archaeologists Before Dumping Bones Of King Richard III Back Into Hole


Dinosaur Extinction Update: GOPasaurs Gone Wild!

It’s been eons since my last dinosaur extinction diary over at The Place That Shall Not Be Named. For those of you who’ve been following me from there, you know the drill: they’re periodic updates on GOP dinosaurs (GOPasaurs) who are long overdue for extinction, but still of interest to the Grim Reaper. I’ve long suspected that the Reaper is keeping them alive purely for entertainment purposes, so let’s join him in the fun!

Wisconsosaurus ronjohnsonii – new on the scene – at least in the scale of geologic time – this Baggasaur already displays delusions of adequacy. Attempting to sink his teeth into Clintonasaurus hillarii in a shameful display of misdirected Mesozoic self-aggrandizement, W. ronjohnsonii has caused massive tectonic upheaval in the Wisconsinan terrain, as millions of residents fall to their knees simultaneously, begging forgiveness for electing this Cretaceous miscreant.

McCainasuaurus getoffamylawnii – what? Not extinct yet? For the love of [insert name of deity here]. Proving once again that there’s no time limit on crankiness, M. getoffamylawnii continues to vocalize his deep, deep dismay at the current state of affairs in every available venue. Following the meteoric rise and stunning fall from grace of his protégé, the hapless Griftasaurus palinii, M. getoffamylawnii has found a new paleo-pal, Granitestatasaurus ayotteii to reprise the role of Etta Place to his geriatric Sundance Kid, to very creepy effect.

Nonnamedforaynrandasaurus paulii – with his octogenarian progenitor gone from the scene, it falls to young N. paulii to pick up the Mesozoic mantle. His bizarre mammalian coif is a useless disguise, for this is a cold-blooded creature with Freon in its veins.  Under his [highly] theoretical faux presidency, Things Would Be Different, and C. hillarii would have been tossed into the nearest volcano for her role in the Benghazi Extinctions. Fortunately for all concerned, N. paulii has already reached the limits of his evolutionary journey and will not be redecorating the White Cave, ever.

Behemasaurus christii – taxonomists are giving this hefty Jerseysaur a second look as researchers continue to identify mammalian tendencies such as genuine (seeming) compassion for the young, the weak, and the storm-tossed. These behaviors (and B. christii’s “palling around” with Obamasaurus Rex) have inflamed fellow GOPasaurs who rightfully fear that B. christii will loom large in more ways than one as the 2016 election nears.  

Brontosaurus romneii – after a crushing defeat, all that’s left of this Bainosaur is a pile of unpaid bills for the fireworks and catering at the over-the-top victory celebration. Acceding to the wishes of millions (including many in his own party), B. romneii has indeed disappeared from the scene, returning to the world of corporate doings, surrounded by his vast (or half-vast) dynastic clan, his domestic staff, his multiple well-appointed caves, and his untold wealth. Since his mate, Dressageasaurus annii, announced that this was B. romneii’s Final Campaign, perhaps he has truly taken his place in the fossil record. One can hope.

Prevaricasaurus ryanii – slowly realizing that he had aligned himself with a losing venture, this witless follower of the Ayn Rand Petroglyphs continues to scratch and claw his way back to some semblance of relevance, to no avail. As his fellow GOPasaurs tear each other limb from limb, they just don’t seem to care about their paleo-wunderkind any more, proving that you needn’t be old to become extinct.

Bloviasaurus limbaughii – as his sponsors run, screaming, into the hills, B. limbaughii ratchets up his caustic Cretaceous crudeness to unprecedented levels, to the delight of the six remaining listeners in Misogyny, Montana. Once a Force To Be Reckoned with, spewing his vile pronouncements across the land from his Oxycontin-filled cave, B. limbaughii is now at the top of the Reaper’s list, as soon as the Reaper can find a large enough volcano.

Boehnersaurus lachrymosii – how this weepy orange creature has eluded the Reaper is a mystery, but despite attacks from his closest allies, he remains to fight another day. With the help of his goggle-eyed sidekick, Archelon mcconnellii, B. lachrymosii has led the Great Capitulation of GOPasaurs who are too busy with their GOPasaur-on-GOPasaur violence to organize against the Greatness Of Obamasaurus Rex. Extinction, when it comes, will look an awful lot like Velociraptor cantorii, the most cold-blooded of the bunch, who is just biding his time until he sinks his fangs into his colleague. Nothing personal, he’ll say. It’s just business.  

No Match

Hillary Clinton is no stranger to Republican animosity. She has arguably endured harsher and more frequent criticism from the Right, over a lengthier period of time, than any other modern public figure. She is also no amateur when it comes to navigating her way through Congressional hearings. She has always been proficient at holding her head high in the face of controversy, whether or not any of the “fault” for such turmoil truly rested on her shoulders. After months of vilifying the Obama administration and demonizing Clinton over the Benghazi terror attacks, Republicans have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to theatrically grill her in front of plenty of cameras. When her testimony on Benghazi was briefly delayed due to illness, she was accused of faking it to avoid facing Congress.  One can’t help but wonder whether these buffoons are suffering from concussions of their own.

Growing Up Liberal in a GOP Household: Lies, Indoctrination, and Breaking Free

This is not an especially brave tale. It’s just the story of my political upbringing in the Deep South. Pretty simple, all in all – just maybe a bit unusual.

I think my first political memory is of the Willie Horton attack ad during the run-up to the 1988 presidential elections. I was born in 1985, and those ads would have been showing when I was about 3 years old. I know I have a few fuzzy memories extending that far back, and I know I saw the ad when I was very young. I know that because it provoked a very visceral reaction in me. It felt “wrong” to me, though I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t afraid of the man in the photograph, but there was something about the ad that I knew I didn’t like. I got a cold feeling when I saw it that I couldn’t quite identify.

We have a very close family friend who I’ve known since I was only two years old – a time that seems long past, for it was when he was still youthful and affectionate and often bouncing me on his knee. A gay guy (let’s call him Sean), who – oddly enough – my whole family embraced without question, including all four grandparents. My family has never had much of a “problem” with the LGBT community, despite their political leanings. But I remember my parents sitting me down one day when I was about five years old to “explain” Sean to me, as if his nature needed some sort of explanation. They told me that Sean only liked women as friends and that he didn’t want a wife – they explained that he only liked men that way. I was confused at first, and it took a bit more explanation (the specifics of which I do not recall) before I “got it.” What I do clearly remember were the expectant looks on their faces and my reaction. “So what?” And that was that. By my nature, it just didn’t matter to me (or perhaps it was merely because that sort of bigotry was never taught to me).

President Clinton Secures Release of Captive Journalists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton both played instrumental roles in the release of two captive American journalists who were stopped and detained by North Korean soldiers on March 17, 2009, after purportedly illegally crossing the nation’s borders. Journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were convicted of “committing hostilities against the Korean nation and illegal entry,” and sentenced in June to 12 years hard labor in a North Korean prison camp.

Special Relationship? Definite or Indefinite?

Out of politeness perhaps, or in search of a cure for insomnia, I’ve been asked several times to write a diary about current UK politics. That would be great if you’re fascinated by the sight of paint drying, grass growing, or traffic lights changing…

But fortunately yesterday, for her first foreign meeting with a European equivalent, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose to meet David Miliband, the fresh-faced UK Foreign Secretary and said.

“It is often said the United States and Britain have enjoyed a special relationship. It is certainly special in my mind and one that has proven very productive,”

The Lounge: Flashback-Gate Part Deux

MASSIVE UPDATE, including two blogosphere -Gates. The updated version of the previous diary was excruciatingly long, and I figure it might have been hell on some people’s computers. Much easier to just separate it out. I think this one’s more pictures than text, so it shouldn’t be as painful to read.

Jay Z-Gate, Parts I and II


The Lounge: Flashback-Gate

Anyone here occasionally miss the Primaries? The spectacular array of scandalous -Gates was enough to excite the most docile of observers. So come on, who misses the amusement just a teeeeeensy bit? A lot of you probably don’t, but someone out there does. Be honest. Raise your hand.

Okay, I’ll fess to it. By the end of it, naturally, I was ready for it to come to a conclusion with a quickness, but for a while there, it really was a blast. Remember the passion — sometimes a bit overdone (…okay, more than a bit) — on both sides? Remember when DKos and MyDD were hard-fought battlefields? Remember back when we didn’t know what a “PUMA” was? (Don’t you wish we still didn’t?) Really, some of it was pretty fun. Certainly entertaining, if nothing else. It held our attentions well, didn’t it? Hell, a lot of us became friends during the Primaries — that’s at least where most of us first became familiar with one another.

Clinton, Gates Named to Obama’s Cabinet

Well, it’s official.  According to the Washington Post, Barack Obama has named Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates to the roles of Secretary of State and Defense, respectively.

There are people on the left and right unhappy about either or both of these picks, which makes me very pleased.