Daily Archives: December 23, 2010


Gail Collins is Over the Moon.

“Wow, we’re getting a new nuclear arms control treaty for Christmas. I know some of you were hoping for iPads. But still, big news.
Good work, White House! Thank heavens we got rid of our former president, Barack Obama, who couldn’t even get the trade agreement he went all the way to South Korea to sign. Our current president, Barack Obama, would never let that happen, and, in fact, came up with a really excellent trade agreement with the South Koreans just the other day.”

Sorry Gail, as William Demarest said in The Lady Eve “It’s positively the same dame!” You’re just not paying attention to the script.

“Administration officials have bent over backwards to try to solve every problem that’s come up,” said Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, one of the Republicans who reached across the aisle to get the New Start treaty with Russia ratified.
The treaty, which needed a two-thirds vote, was actually approved 71 to 26. The Democrats did not have to go scrambling madly around looking for one last vote. And even the opponents were winners since they got to spend more than a week beating up on the Russians, revisiting the golden days when life was simple and wars were cold.
“They cheat. They are serial cheaters,” said Senator James Risch of Idaho, the author of my favorite unsuccessful amendment to the treaty. It would have made the entire groundbreaking nuclear-reduction program contingent on the return of four American Humvees that the Russians picked up during their conflict with Georgia. Risch hauled out blowups of one of the enslaved military vehicles, shouting: “You can watch your property right here being towed away by the Russians! Back to Moscow!” If the former Red Menace wants to “hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya,’ ” he added, “Well, that is fine. But give us back our stolen military equipment.”


“When was it that the singing of “Kumbaya” became a shorthand for weenieness? “Kumbaya” is an excellent campfire song, especially for groups that border on tone-deafness and don’t know the words to anything. I remember singing it in Girl Scout camp with friends who emerged unscathed and became conservative Republicans. Some may be writing letters protesting the New Start treaty at this very moment. Please, give “Kumbaya” a break.”

A break? Let’s dump it altogether. Hey here’s a good one. It’s peppy and cheerful. And Eddie’s blackface will certainly put Haley Barbour and the rest of the Republicans in a ‘bipartisan” mood.

“But I digress. Nothing, not even Humvees in chains, was going to stop the progress of what has recently become known as the “hard-charging lame-duck Congress.” It is a perfect image, with its suggestion of a flock racing along in the clumsiest manner possible but still stumbling over the finish line.
“When it’s all going to be said and done, Harry Reid has eaten our lunch,” said Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who called the hard-charging lame duck “a capitulation in two weeks of dramatic proportions.” This is the rapidly evolving new hyperpartisan Lindsey Graham, who was so ticked off at the fact that the Senate was devoting a mere eight days to the treaty that he told the antitreaty obstructionist Jon Kyl of Arizona: “I want to apologize to you for the way you’ve been treated by your colleagues.” “

Lindsey’s going to have a lot more to “apologize for” once Mike Rogers puts those pictures up.

“His Start-supporting fellow Republicans appeared quietly unrepentant. Perhaps they were afraid that if they said anything in response, Graham would continue his evolution into awfulness right there on the Senate floor and start gnawing on the ankles of elderly legislators.”

How vivid.

“Good work, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry. We appreciate the way you’ve evolved from one of the world’s worst presidential candidates into an extremely useful senator. Unlike some unsuccessful presidential candidates we could name.”


“Good work, Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the lone Republican who stuck with the treaty through thick and thin and never mutated into a scary new entity.
Good work, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Unlike your hapless predecessor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, you’ve had legislation shooting off to the White House like angry birds in that video game. Unemployment compensation! Gay rights! Food safety! Judicial appointments! Arms control! Health care for 9/11 responders!
But let’s admit it. Nothing would have gotten done if Obama hadn’t swallowed that loathsome compromise on tax cuts for the wealthy.”

Ya think?

In the past Obama has been compared to Charlie Brown, and the Rethugs as Lucy — always managing to pull the football away from him just as he makes his move to kick it. But the real ground-shifting has been experienced by the Americans who don’t occupy the top 1-2% wealthiest tier that is the sole interest
of the Rethuglicans. Their most suavely executed coup was taking on the mantle of “Populism” through the creation of an entirely astro-turfted pseudo-movement they dubbed “The Tea Party.” It’s C.E.O. Dick Armey is well aware that if you’ve got the money it’s quite easy to round up a bunch of elderly white suburban racists, give them some “Homemade” signs, put them on busses and bring them to D.C. to parade before the cameras — principally those of FOX “News,” the propaganda arm of the rethugs.

This leaves sane non-top-tier Americans feeling a lot like this —

No, Bugs isn’t a Republican — just an anarchist. But I’m sure you get the picture.

Gail concludes —

“If he’d taken the high road, Congress would be in a holiday war. The long-term unemployed would be staggering into the new year without benefits. The rest of the world would look upon the United States as a country so dysfunctional that it can’t even ratify a treaty to help keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists. The people who worked at ground zero would still be uncertain about their future, and our gay and lesbian soldiers would still be living in fear.”

Many still will. Others (like the sailors I’ve known) have always been fearless. Not to mention Fabulous.


“It’s depressing to think that there was no way to win that would not have involved giving away billions of dollars to people who don’t need it. But it’s kind of cheery to think we have a president who actually does know what he’s doing.”

Actually it’s kind of depressing to think we have a president who does know what he’s doing — especially in regard to the execution of what’s laughing referred to as “foreign policy.”

I am of course speaking of Bradley Manning.


No more hugs for you dear No sheets or pillows either.

Just as much pain and suffering as our military prisons can possibly administer.

So when will actual charges be made, and a date of court martial set?

Oh, let’s see. . . . .never.

Sing us out Sam