Lies keep going, even after the truth catches up

Almost 10 years ago, I wrote a column about malicious lies about Congress and presidents being spread on the Internet.

Tonight, I came across one of the very lies I wrote about still being spread on Facebook, albeit in a slightly different form.

That decade-old column began:

Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” And that was before the Internet.

Apparently, even after the truth has put on its shoes and caught up with the lie, the lie still wins the race.

Look, I am no defender of Congress, especially this particular Congress. But nothing is served by criticizing anyone or anything with lies. There is enough real crap to indict Congress on (especially the current one) without dragging up discredited material from more than a decade ago.

I’m running my column after the jump. Compare the middle section to the link above to see exactly what I’m talking about.

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Who’s the hypocrite?

From Steve Benen, a chart of filibusters over the years. The number went down last year simply because the Senate quit trying to accomplish much of anything since the Republican-controlled House was unlikely to pass anything that came from the Democratic-controlled Senate.

In a Wonkblog post today, Ezra Klein makes the point that both McConnell and Reid are hypocritical because they’ve switched positions on the so-called “nuclear option” – changing the rules of the Senate to reform filibusters. When Reid was in the minority, he opposed it. When McConnell was in the majority, he favored it. Now that their status has switched, so has their position.

But Klein overlooks something important: Reid came to this conclusion only after six years of unprecedented abuse of the filibuster by the minority party (McConnell). Back when McConnell was proposing what he then called the “constitutional option,” it was in response to Democratic opposition to a handful of extreme Bush judicial nominees.

Reid has resisted calls for reform, and rejected the request to institute reforms at the opening of the last Congress. Republican intransigence and unyielding opposition to everything has forced Reid to see the need for reform.

Both men have changed positions. Only one is truly being hypocritical.

Stumbling from one crisis to the next

Buckle your seat belts, America. In the increasingly unlikely eventuality that we make it through the debt-ceiling crisis in one piece, another battle royale looms. The short-term budget deal Obama and Republicans made late last year to avoid a government shut-down runs out at the end of September. Once again, Republicans will undoubtedly use the opportunity to engage in their favorite political pursuit: hostage-taking. Despite controlling only the House of Representatives, they’ll demand that Democratic senators – who my good friend Rick Horowitz recently reminded were also elected by the American people – bend completely to their will or Republicans will shut down the government.

And so it goes in the age of Republican insanity. America stumbles from one crisis to another, edging up to the brink of one disaster after another, complete chaos only one vote away.

As President Obama said in his Monday night speech, “This is no way to run the greatest country on earth.”

Until Republicans come to their collective senses or are thrown out en masse in 2012, there’s not much choice.

Surber on bin Laden’s death

I don’t often find much to agree with on Don Surber’s extreme right-wing blog, but he called this one right:

Give credit where it is due.

President Obama gave the order to just shoot the SOB in the head — and apparently the man and woman who Laden tried to use as human shields.

Good.

I am reading on some other blogs the political nonsense.

My message is to conservatives is Stop it.

There is good and evil in this world. I weigh it every night at 5 PM on my Daily Scoreboard.

But I weigh the events, not the men — or women. I am not God. There are very few evil people in history. Barack Obama is so far from that list that it is laughable to even think of him as “evil.”

Come on, do I have to post the photo of him on the tricycle again?

Osama bin Laden was evil.

Was.

Getting rid of him — dumping his body in the ocean — was a very good thing.

Let’s celebrate.

Let’s not waste this glorious, wondrous day that God has given us — deliverance from an evil and cowardly man — on petty partisanship.

It’s not a budget, it’s a cause

Truer words were never spoken. My buddy Rick Horowitz channels his inner Edward R. Murrow to great effect:

Shameless

When I read this item on Steve Benen’s Political Animal blog about House Majority Leader Eric Cantor taking credit for the recent good news on the job front, the lyrics to Billy Joel’s “Shameless” popped immediately to mind:

I’m shameless, shameless as a man can be
You can make a total fool of me
I just wanted you to know

Actually, Cantor does a pretty good job of making a total fool of himself without any assistance whatsoever, but this tweet marking the GOP’s first 100 days in charge of the House was a topper, even for him:

cantorjobs.JPG

The number is accurate. The jobs picture lately has really been picking up. But claiming that anything House Republicans have done contributed to that is patent nonsense. As Benen summed it up:

Indeed, by Cantor’s own reasoning, the boast doesn’t even make any sense. How can all of these jobs be created in the midst of Obama-induced uncertainty? And with crushing tax rates so high? And with pesky regulations stifling the engines of ingenuity? Are we to believe Republicans’ mere presence in the House of Representatives is enough to overcome these burdensome hurdles? And if so, why do we need to act on the GOP agenda at all?

For that matter, how can all of these jobs be created when Republicans haven’t actually passed any economic policies? Apparently, just knowing Republicans are working hard on abortion legislation that can’t pass and attacking NPR has inspired employers nationwide.

Please.

That “Please” was a very nice touch, by the way.

Speaking of nice touches, Rep. Crowley, D-N.Y., got his Bob Dylan on for his “speech” marking the Republicans’ 100 days and their “accomplishments.”