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Harry Reid’s No Grinch

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Like most working Americans, I’ll probably be working right up through Christmas Eve. And, like most, I’ll be expected back at work on the following Monday.

Any time I take off aside from the days designated for Christmas and New Year’s, I’ll be expected to use my designated days off like any other vacation time.

I suspect that’s also the way  it will be for most Americans working this holiday season, which is why not only do Republican complaints about working around the holidays ring hollow — they actually show a disrespect for the average Americans who put them in office.

GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint each have attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for suggesting that the Senate might keep working up until the new Congress begins in January.

Kyl went so far as to say that in doing so, Reid is disrespecting Christians.

If that’s true, then so is every other business that keeps its doors open through this season — and such a suggestion is absurd!

Republicans like to tell people government should run more like a business. It seems that’s only true when the rules don’t apply to them.

This year, rather than play the part of Scrooge or the Grinch, Republicans like Kyl and DeMint sound more like the petulant, spoiled children who throw a tantrum when some extravagant gift they hoped for didn’t make it under the tree because doing so just wasn’t realistic.

Their sense of faux indignation is so insulting that it offended even fellow Republican-turned-TV-host Joe Scarborough, who took the senators to task last week on the air.

“To be sanctimonious and to use that is just — it is offensive, and the Republican Party has the upper hand in so many ways, in these areas they need to just shut their mouths, they’re embarrassing themselves,” the former GOP congressman from Florida says.

Scarborough notes that many working-class people “work late into Christmas Eve, wake up, steal a few hours with their children and go back to work on Christmas day.”

Most working people would be happy to trade their jobs for those that Kyl and DeMint are belittling.

Scarborough’s guest, Mike Barnicle, happily chimed in, “These are not serious people. They’re not serious people. I don’t know whether Senator Kyl or Senator DeMint inject themselves with Novocain or soak their faces in cement, how can say that without bursting into laughter it’s so absurd and offensive, I don’t know how they do it.”

Scarborough also notes the hypocrisy of Republicans who complain about keeping Congress open through late December, given that he actually was there when his Republican Party did so to hold impeachment votes against President Bill Clinton back in 1999.

If Kyl, DeMint, or any other lawmaker is forced to remain in Washington over the holidays, they will be no different than millions of other Americans who have to juggle their celebrations with the demands of their jobs.

Maybe the senators have been vilifying Washington for so long that they’ve begun to actually think we’re just a town of heathens and Satan-worshippers.

If Kyl and DeMint truly can’t get out of town on Christmas, they might be pleasantly surprised to learn the opposite is true. Our capital city is filled with very nice houses of worship to suit any denomination or taste.

Any of them would be most pleased to find a spot for either senator to join them to celebrate the birth of Christ.

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About Scott Nance

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Scott, you miss the real issue behind the objections to this holiday working session.

    In the November election it was made very clear that the people wanted a substantial change in the composition of congress. It is distrspectful of the wishes of the people for the miscreants who they voted out to be allowed to continue to legislate up until the last minute, doing as much harm as they can before being dragged out of the houses of government.

    That’s the real concernhere.

    Dve

  • http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com Scott Nance

    Dave, the U.S. Constitution sets the end dates for the service of the President and members of Congress quite specifically. I would think you would want to be upholding its tenets.

    However, even if the issue of post-election legislating was a real one, why are people like Kyl dragging Christmas and religion into it? Seems like an ignorant way of making the point, no?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    The GOP plainly want Reid and the Democrats to have as little opportunity as possible of passing legislation before they take control of the Senate in the New Year, and I don’t see why they can’t just be candid about it.

    And the Dems would gripe just as loudly if the boot was on the other foot.

  • El Bicho

    So these current whiners want to disrespect the people that put the miscreants in charge and did so in larger numbers in 2008? Too f’ing bad.

  • Clavos

    So these current whiners want to disrespect the people that put the miscreants in charge and did so in larger numbers in 2008?

    I don’t see how it’s “disrespect.” The people clearly changed their minds this year — and with good reason.

  • Baronius

    Let’s be honest – the current Congress was elected, and has every right to serve out its term doing its job. Of course, if they’d been doing their job the past two years then they wouldn’t have put off nuclear disarmament, gays in the military, immigration, taxes, and the budget until the last minute.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Since Dave and Clavos agree with the DADT repeal [right?], and since the tax legislation was basically a Republican bill, what’s all the complaining about? The omnibus spending bill was trashed, as you guys no doubt wanted. What other “harm” has been done?

    If the Dream Act had been passed, it would have been a good thing. If health assistance for 9/11 responders passes, that’s a good thing. Are you really upset about the Start treaty? [The McCain and Kyl objections are patently bogus.]

    Face it, you just don’t like to see Obama and the Dems get any credit. It rubs you the wrong way. Very Grinchy of you indeed.

  • zingzing

    “The people clearly changed their minds this year — and with good reason.”

    well. “some” reason, at least. “the people” this time around included a lot of fox news zombies.

    and look! baronius gets something right. of course, if they’d been doing their job, the republicans wouldn’t have waited to stop being obstructionist jerks until they’d bullied their way back into office, but hey, it’s politics in 2010. you shit in my shoe until it’s my turn to shit in yours. sigh.

  • Clavos

    Yes, of course, handy. Next you’ll be saying my only reason for opposing Obama is my racial prejudice…

    Meh.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    That’s a meaningless cheap shot, Clav. If you object to the lame duck session, say which parts, that’s all I meant. Most of what has been done you either agree with [DADT] or was primarily GOP policy [tax bill]. Instead of responding, you just blow a raspberry. Merry Christmas to you, too.

  • zingzing

    ah, clavos. conservatives really do get off on claiming they’ll be called racists, don’t they? i think you owe yourself an apology for that one. pull up your pants first.

  • Mark

    I took the Facial IAT over at Project Implicit. Found out that I, along with 80% of The Population, have a deep seated distrust of people with big ears. Y’all might take a look at their racial preference work. (See Gladwell’s “blink for a discussion of this research.)

  • Baronius

    El B’s complaint about the number of voters, and Zing’s complaint about the quality of their thinking, are both more sour grapes. An election isn’t invalid if only a few stupid people vote in it. The crop of newcomers have as much right to their seats as the guys who won in 2008.

  • zingzing

    “Zing’s complaint about the quality of their thinking…”

    our population is fed lies by the likes of fox. they are misinformed and grossly ignorant. and for what? freedom of speech, yes, yes, but they’ve created a segment of society that believes things that just aren’t true. it’s ridiculous and harmful to our democracy and our nation.

    “An election isn’t invalid if only a few stupid people vote in it.”

    only a few? sigh.

    “The crop of newcomers have as much right to their seats as the guys who won in 2008.”

    somewhat unfortunately, that’s true. wouldn’t have it any other way, i guess.

  • El Bicho

    Sour grapes? What a dunce. The sour grapes are coming from the people complaining who lost in 2008 and apparently don’t know how Congress works. I never said the election was invalid, but the crop of newcomers don’t have any right to the seat until they are sworn in.

  • Baronius

    Well, El B, what other reason could you have for mentioning the lower turnout in 2010? We’re all being babies on this thread. The people have spoken, and the politicians are following the rules.

    BTW, Zing, my comment about a few dummies voting was meant to combine the complaint about the numbers and the complaint about the brains. I think every one of us can agree that at least 45% of the voters are stupid.

  • Clavos

    Perhaps mine was a “cheap shot,” handy, but it was in response to this one:

    Face it, you just don’t like to see Obama and the Dems get any credit. It rubs you the wrong way. Very Grinchy of you indeed.

    Merry christmas to you too, bub. As an atheist I don’t celebrate it anyway.

    “the people” this time around included a lot of fox news zombies.

    Probably. Last I heard, listening to Fox doesn’t get you disenfranchised and at least they offset all the progs.

    I think every one of us can agree that at least 45% of the voters are stupid.

    Nah. Just those who voted for the “other guys” — whoever they are…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    The very idea of lame-duck Congress is ridiculous. The rascals should be thrown out the moment they’re voted out, not a minute later. The entire concept more than amply demonstrates the farce that our political system has become. Procedural rules should give way to the will of the people, and the constitution amended.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Oddly enough, beleaguered Obama accomplished more as lame-duck than during his first two years in office. Go figure.

    Perhaps a doze of humility was what the dickhead wanted.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I just woke up from a doze of humility myself. The effects haven’t set in yet.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Last I heard, listening to Fox doesn’t get you disenfranchised…”

    true. somewhat sadly. but that’s how it should be. an idiot can vote. do you really think that misinformation is a good thing? just to get votes your way? fox news viewers ARE misinformed. it’s just how it is. do you want the misinformed deciding your future?

    roger: “Obama accomplished more as lame-duck than during his first two years in office…”

    not true. look it up. you’ll see that he’s done more in 2 years than clinton did in 8. and you’ll see that he’s done as much as any progressive/liberal/dem since johnson, and as much as fdr did in his first two years. you’ve been hoodwinked, roger.

    obama, despite his challenges, has done a good deal of good for us. you’re just too angry to see it. (although “he,” or congress, has done a lot during the last few weeks, but that’s because the election is over and memories are shorter than terms, you understand.)

  • Baronius

    Actually, the latest Pew Research study on the subject shows that Fox News viewers are about as well-informed as the average American, tied with CNN viewers.

  • Jordan Richardson

    That study is over two years old, Baronius.

  • zingzing

    the university of maryland study disagrees. (and is that “tied,” or just slightly more misinformed?)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    As is typical of ‘studies’, one is presumed to ‘know’ things based on the mere ability to spit out a few irrelevant and superficial details. That is like suggesting a person ‘knows’ history because she can spit out the dates of few battles.

    The ‘study’ has a laughable design.

  • Baronius

    The University of Maryland study itself is pretty laughable. It questioned Fox News viewers on some very debatable issues. For example, they asked about the results of the stimulus, and accepted “saved or created several million jobs” as the correct answer. Really? Wanna back that up? They asked about health care reform, and accepted the CBO report as true – by implication, labelling the Medicare Actuary’s report as false. Again, that may be someone’s position, but there’s room for debate.

    There was one question, though, that isn’t up for debate. The funny thing is that UM was the misinformed party. The stimulus package, they said, included tax cuts. It didn’t. It included tax credits, which are very different. For one thing, tax credits lower an entity’s possible taxes, not their actual taxes, and that makes valuating them guesswork.

  • zingzing

    so, clavos and baronius, is the pew study any better? it does exactly what clavos complains about. is it also “laughable?” or do you like the results (fox produces mediocrity instead of stupidity) so much that you’re willing to overlook a basic flaw in one, but complain about it in another?

  • zingzing

    well, not so much “produces” as attracts and placates, i suppose. or something like that. you understand.

  • Baronius

    Neither study is worth reading.

  • zingzing

    then why bring it up?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Again: the Pew study is two years old. It’s pre-Glenn Beck, which is a significant detail. Also, Hannity was Hannity and Colmes at the time.

    There are a couple of interesting things about the UM study worth noting as well.

    One is that Democrats who watch FOX News are also misinformed, so it’s not an issue of partisanship. It is, instead, an issue of gross journalistic negligence.

    Another point is that FOX News viewers didn’t just share different opinions than many in the general population, they held to different facts. Facts about which president initiated TARP or facts about the basic science of global warming or facts about the architecture of the GM-Chrysler bailout tended to elude FOX viewers. Facts about Obama’s birth and religion, too, evaded FOX viewers.

    The UM study is far from the only research to suggest this about FOX News, yet Republicans defend it relentlessly because they feel it’s “theirs.” The misinformation has nothing to do with being left or right and everything to do with the source. So why defend FOX when it’s clear they’re misinforming the public on a routine basis?

  • El Bicho

    “Well, El B, what other reason could you have for mentioning the lower turnout in 2010?”

    Because some incorrectly think that 2010 voters should trump 2008 voters, so I offered one example why that’s not the case.

  • Clavos

    do you want the misinformed deciding your future?

    Isn’t that pretty much what goes on anyway? Both the electorate and those they elect?

  • zingzing

    it “goes on” because of shit like fox news. if we had a responsible media dispensing information, we’d have a more informed electorate and political process. to dismiss criticism of fox without realizing that it’s bad “journalism” that creates the misinformation… well, it doesn’t help things.

  • Baronius

    Zing – You’re the one making accusations about Fox News viewers so the onus was on you to provide some evidence. I brought up the flawed Pew study because at least it was something. Whoever brought up the flawed UM study was right to do so – if there’s nothing but garbage data, use the garbage data – but let’s not pretend that either one is conclusive.

    El B – That’s silly.

    All – Merry Christmas!

  • Jordan Richardson

    It’s a well-known fact that FOX News distorts the news they broadcast. And evidence has been emerging for years that the viewers of the network are misinformed when it comes to major issues, these studies included. Baronius sidesteps the major questions and concerns about his citations, like the fact that the Pew study was over two years old and the fact that the UM study does have some merit as pure research. No single study is entirely conclusive, but there’s nothing in these studies that suggest they should be dismissed so heartily either.

    How much longer will the American public tolerate such nonsense as “news?” When this network continuously spoils the discourse for both sides, why defend it?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Especially when they’re so hilariously incompetent

  • Clavos

    How much longer will the American public tolerate such nonsense as “news?”

    Since as a group, the American electorate is not only ignorant but also self-serving, it will probably be tolerated indefinitely.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Jordan asks all the right questions but lacks cojones to search the necessary answers.

  • Dan

    Jordans example of “distortion” is also laughable. Accurately labeling the “public option” the “government run option” is an example of the sort of clarity that makes fox viewers the most informed.

    In other news, the military has released rare data of their AFTQ test and it turns out that 23% of highschool graduates can’t pass it. Those are graduates, the percentage of the general population who can’t pass it is higher.

    Of course about two thirds of those much smarter than average military personel typically vote Republican, which is why Democrats are forever trying to disenfranchise them, while simultaneously fretting over “voter intent” with the ballots of voters too stupid to navigate a simple butterfly ballot.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Jordans example of “distortion” is also laughable. Accurately labeling the “public option” the “government run option” is an example of the sort of clarity that makes fox viewers the most informed.

    Well, it’s certainly not the most blatant example of Fox News distortion, I’ll give you that. I thought this snippet from Jordan’s link was particularly noteworthy, though:

    ‘”If you call it a ‘public option,’ the American people are split,” Luntz said. “If you call it the ‘government option,’ the public is overwhelmingly against it.”‘

    Which just demonstrates the shallowness of buzz phrases, especially when they can be used in any desired context. In actuality, I don’t think either term accurately describes the proposal.

    In other news, the military has released rare data of their AFTQ test and it turns out that 23% of highschool graduates can’t pass it.

    Worrying, although out of curiosity I wonder how that stacks up against the percentage of high school grads who fail things like the ACT, for example.

    Of course about two thirds of those much smarter than average military personel typically vote Republican, which is why Democrats are forever trying to disenfranchise them

    How?

  • zingzing

    dan, you really had to be told that a public option would mean the government was behind it? why? that’s an example of the sort of herd mentality that makes fox news so despicable.

    “about two thirds of those much smarter than average military personel typically vote Republican, which is why Democrats are forever trying to disenfranchise them…”

    first of all, how does the fact that less than a quarter of high school graduates can’t pass a test that military personnel (not personel) have to pass make them smarter than average? it makes them smarter, possibly, than 23% of high school graduates, possibly, although the percentage among of those who can’t pass it in the general population “is higher,” although not by any given number. can a cadet who fails said test take it again? are they notified that they are going to be taking the test and are they allowed to study for it?

    and are you talking about the MOVE act there above? the dems don’t want to disenfranchise the military. how stupid do you take them to be? that would be moronic. are you just saying that because you heard it on fox news? keep it simple. if something sounds far-fetched, it most likely is.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Jordan asks all the right questions but lacks cojones to search the necessary answers.

    Jordan doesn’t need to take you by the hand and do it all. Jordan sometimes asks rhetorical questions.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Dan, it’s not my example. It’s one of many examples, the one I had within arm’s reach. And it is a PURPOSEFUL ATTEMPT TO SLANT THE NEWS.

    Read the evolution of how the term came into play on FOX News, Dan. That’s the real meat of the story.

    A pollster says this term works a certain way, much like a marketer says a certain colour works to elicit a certain effect in potential consumers. The news anchors start using the term, hoping to elicit an effect rather than hoping to simply report the news.

    How do you not see a problem with the way information is presented in this fashion?

    And seriously, is “laughable” the secret word in this thread?

  • Dan

    zingzing, no I don’t have to be told that the “public option” is government run healthcare. But then, I don’t have to be told that “affirmative action” is really race and gender based discrimination either.

    Calling things what they really are is more informative, not less. I suppose there are some people who don’t understand that public option means government ran. Those people are now better informed… if they watch fox.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    It’s axiomatic that the powers that be, including our press, are conditioned to keep we The People ill-informed and in the dark. And for all it’s faults and biases, the Fox News had it right this time, so Dan’s point is well-taken. Anytime the public gets enlightened, it’s a cause to celebrate regardless of the source, be it Fox News, WikiLeaks or Al Jazeera.

    Our good ol’ friend here, ringo-zingo, surely overestimates the intelligence of the American public. He should take lessons from H. L. Mencken. Consequently, the only response available to him and all such worthies is a knee-jerk reaction: conservatives are bad, liberals are good. And Fox News be damned.

    Merry X-mas to both of you.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    How often do you read al-Jazeera? I do so every now and then, and I find its news significantly less-slanted than than Fox. Of course, even saying such a thing is sure to get me drawn up on treason charges by the BC conservatives….

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    No doubt, Glenn. I was just making a general point: we should all be more discerning and trying to think for ourselves regardless of “the news” that’s being spoon-fed.

  • Clavos

    Actually, Glenn, I also read Al-Jazeera — and find its take on events far more accurate than the NYT — or any other US paper for that matter.

    It’s partisan (yet I often don’t disagree with it either), but actually pretty truthful.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Yet what would happen if an American politician were to say that he thought al-Jazeera was trustworthy in its accuracy?

  • Clavos

    Yet what would happen if an American politician were to say that he thought al-Jazeera was trustworthy in its accuracy?

    What’s that got to do with you being “drawn up on treason charges by the BC conservatives”?

  • zingzing

    “zingzing, no I don’t have to be told that the “public option” is government run healthcare.”

    congrats. you are a scholar amongst the people.

    “But then, I don’t have to be told that “affirmative action” is really race and gender based discrimination either.”

    or think about why it came about and still exists. why is it that it does? because all those white dems are racist against themselves? or some sub-catholic guilt? or because opportunity in america is not merit-based because there’s still racial inequality?

    yes, i can see how it could rankle you as a white man, but god damn, man, look at this country.

    “Calling things what they really are is more informative, not less.”

    we got a modern plato here. look at our central orbiting gas globe one day and think about all the other rock or gas objects in the sky and wonder at the power of naming things.

    “I suppose there are some people who don’t understand that public option means government ran.”

    run.

    “Those people are now better informed… if they watch fox.”

    or if they were smart enough in the first place to figure it out, they wouldn’t have to watch a “news” network that rightfully terms most of its content “opinion.” shouldn’t fox news, if it were “Calling things what they really are,” call itself “fox right wing mouthpiece?”

    you do understand what that shit is, don’t you? “public” obviously means that there’s some government involvement. public transportation. public health. public awareness. public service announcement. government, government, government, government. fox was obviously not trying to “inform” people, but trying to sway them. especially if they’re stupid.

    look at the emails. this is all about pandering to and manipulating an audience. you should spit at that rather than cheer it. shame, dan, shame. journalism is about truth, not propaganda.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “What’s that got to do with you being “drawn up on treason charges by the BC conservatives”?”

    i’m sure you can see the connection there, clavos. think about it…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Only Ruvy comes to mind, but Ruvy’s opinions can be easily dispensed with on this matter.

    Oh wait, there is still that rare bird named Coh’n.

  • Clavos

    i’m sure you can see the connection there, clavos. think about it…

    Connection? No.

    What I see is Glenn’s quantification fallacy of “proof by example” — nothing more.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Apparently you’re having a problem seeing when someone is being deliberately facetious.

    But on second thought, I think you see it quite plainly…but you chose instead to pretend my comment was not at all facetious, and decided to assume (publicly, at least) that my comment was to be taken literally. Why would you do so? Just so you could (however inappropriately) pull out another logical fallacy out of your hat.

    It’s sad that you don’t get it how obvious you are when you do that. It may play well to your fellow conservatives and your own sense of moral superiority – and perhaps that’s your only goal – but you’re not fooling anyone else.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Connection? No. What I see is Glenn’s quantification fallacy of “proof by example” — nothing more.”

    you take it too far.

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    Perhaps if you were a little more skillful at expressing your facetiousness, I might have seen it. If you were being facetious, I retract the gist of my comment with apologies.

    It may play well to your fellow conservatives and your own sense of moral superiority…

    I don’t see “morality” as a value, Glenn, and thus have no such sense of superiority in that regard.

    Like the progs, I see morality as situationally relative, especially in today’s world.

    Put another way, one man’s ceiling is another’s floor.