Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Folding Star and The Third Estate Sunday Review on Harry Reid

Yesterday, we noted Folding Star's post on the filibuster. Mark asks if it can be excerpted:

Where do I even begin with Harry Reid? I am so frustrated and disgusted by this so called Democratic Leader. Each of those words is more unlikely than the next when applied to this man.Instead of standing firm, as pledged, we've seen him rush about making hollow, pointless assurances about future Supreme Court nominees and trying to make 'deals' with the right that would in effect be the kiss of death to the filibuster in all but name.

Now, Reid offers the Republicans an 'olive branch' in the form of not filibustering one nominee in particular, Thomas Griffith.

This step makes it look as if the Democrats are weakening on their pledge. Let's not forget that the Democrats have NOT filibustered 205 out of 215 of Bush's Nominees. All 205 of those nominees were confirmed by the Senate.

That's 95% of Bush's judicial nominees. Bill Clinton would have killed to have that rate. The fact of the matter is that these very Republicans who are talking about each nominee having an 'up or down vote by the full Senate' nixed a hell of a lot more of Clinton's judicial nominees in Committee, denying them an 'up or down vote', than the Democrats have even dreamed of doing with the filibuster.

Mark wanted this excerpted with a Third Estate Sunday Review piece. Though I wasn't worried Ava, Jim, Ty, Jess and Dona would say no, I did want to ask first. With their permission, it's below in full. [Disclosure, this entry was composed by Ty, Jess, Dona, Jim, Ava, Betty -- Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man, Rebecca -- Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude, and myself.]

From April 17th:

Harry Reid: Determined to lead us to the promissory note land?

Reading the Associated Press article "Dems. Adjust on Social Security Stance" (by Glen Johnson) from The Guardian, we started thinking how all the important issues should be farmed out to focus groups. (That's sarcasm.) We also wondered how stories would play out in the New York Times. What follows is a spoof. If, when reading it, you think for instance, "They are ragging on Helen Thomas!" We love Helen Thomas. We just couldn't see a Times reporter having anything nice to say about Thomas. The same thing with Senator Barbara Boxer and Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones as well as the United Nations.

"Dems. Adjust on Environmental Stance/ U.N. Continues to Plot World Destruction"
Judith Miller (New York Times)
May 21, 2005

After a very heated focus group session, annoying Senator Harry Reid announced the Dems would back off from their support for the environment."

People find the topic so depressing," Reid explained. "Like G.E., we just want to bring good things to life. Hey, if we say we're the party that brings good things to life, is that slogan different enough from G.E.'s that we can use it without being sued? Woah, rhetorical question! Let's put it to a focus group!"

In other news, the United Nations continued their secret plan to destroy the world with a dirty bomb set to go off as soon as they can stop raping third world citizens, destroying water supplies, farming out fat contracts to their friends, and implanting chips in the skulls of all people.

Inside sources in D.C. (Cheney) say that this is an important story and all Americans should focus on it. U.N. bad. U.N. evil. U.N. full of liars. Stinky U.N. makes me sick, sick, sick!

"Dems. Adjust on the Economy."
David E. Sanger (New York Times)
June 11, 2005

After a lively focus group with big lobbyists and Wall Street brokers, Harry Reid announced today that the Democrats would back off from their support for jobs.

"Only the working class needs them," explained Harry Reid wrinkling his nose. "We don't want to be the party of the little people. How many midgets vote anyway?"

"I'm just happy that big money is still interested in talking to us at all," Reid confessed. "Every now and then we'd throw a road block out there for them. Which is why it was so important that we support the Bankruptcy bill, to prove that we were for the big people. Having done that, we feel happy to ship jobs over seas and to turn the working class into indentured servants. Sure some people may whine, but didn't Charles Dickens write a lot of cool novels about a similar period? Write down that we support the arts and we support literature and we support education."

White House lovely Karen Hughes responded, "I am aghast at the Democratic Party's announcement this morning that they support the arts. Deep Throat? And I'm not talking Watergate. Nekkid statues? 'Smack My Bitch Up?' 'Move, Bitch, Get Out The Way?' This 'support' for the arts puts the Democratic Party on the opposite side of the American people."

"Dems Adjust on Support for the Arts."
Glen Johnson (Associated Press)
June 14, 2005

After a recent focus group that Frank Luntz conducted in a Rush Room, Democrats looked at the polling results and Harry Reid rushed out to speak to the press.

"I want to be very clear here, we do not support the arts," Reid explained. "We thought we did but we don't. When people hear 'art' they tend to think of two things, Europe or Hollywood and both are polling very badly. So we do not, take this down, support the arts."

When asked if they still supported literature and education, Reid responded that he'd have to get back to us on the issue of literature but that of course the Democratic Party supported education.

"We always have and we always will."

"Dems Adjust on Literature"
Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times)
June 15, 2005

Following what some are terming a "focus group" and others are calling a very painful blood letting on Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor, stinky Senator Harry Reid warily approached the press this afternoon to announce that the Democrats were strongly against literature.

"Uh, well," Reid began wiping some fop sweat from his brow, "I don't know what to tell you. Somewhere, somebody spread a nasty rumor that we supported literature. It's not true, it never was. Have you read Nabokov? Lolita? That's just smut. What about D.H. Lawrence? Smut, smut, smut, smut."

When asked if the Democratic Party was against reading, Reid appeared to backtrack as the Democrats so often do.

"We are for children's picture books -- especially if they're retelling Bible stories -- and we are for coffee table books. We are also for cook books."

When an aide to Senator Reid reminded him of all the monies the TV dinner industry had contributed, he corrected the last remark.

"Cook books are smutty. We are officially against them and, of course, Martha Stewart as well."

Asked of education, Reid stated that as long as he was a functioning adult, the Democratic Party would continue it's "historical" support of education. (Unfounded) Rumors abound that the suit Harry Reid was wearing was picked out by infamous feminist Naomi Wolf prompting some (in the press corps) to make cheap jokes at his expense.

America's mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, long term education maven and all round round-the-way-gal, declared Reid's remarks repugnant.

"How dare he leave out Jokes for the John?" admonished the lovely Mrs. Bush. "My family is a typical family, like everyone else's, and we have long enjoyed fart jokes. When Senator Reid refuses to include them but includes coffee table books, it's obvious that this is one more example of a Democrat elitist who's less interested in the people and more interested in being . . . well, I won't say the word but it rhymes with 'bitch.'"

"Dems Adjust Stance on Education"
by Glen Johnson (Associated Press)
June 16, 2005

Emerging from the hearings of his newly formed committee Education Is Bad For Everyone, Senator Harry Reid attempted to escape reporters who ran after him.

Shouting, reporters persisted in following him, "Are the Democrats backing off from their historical support of education?"

"Historical!" Reid snapped turning around to face the throng. "What historical? The Democratic Party has never stood for education. Didn't you get that when we started triangulating in the 90s? What are teachers' unions but unions? And we stand against unions. All unions! Except the sacred union of a man and a woman in holy matrimony."

And what of the fate of America's children, America's future?

"Good Lord!" Reid exclaimed, "Who wants a nation of smarty pants! What good does reading do anyway? Reading leads to cook books and literature and yes, depraved coffee books with photos of felines! Pretty soon you're some depraved maniac wanting to cook your own meals and think for yourself! We've got a man in the White House who's most famous for reading a picture book and it sure hasn't hurt him any. We need to return to the good old fashioned values of illiteracy and ignorance and fart jokes like the great American, former First Lady, Barbara Bush said. In fact, later today, I'll be putting a whoopi cushion in Nancy Pelosi's chair because I'm a good, upstanding, average American. And that's what today's Democratic Party stands for. Today. Right now. At this minute. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm late for a focus group."

"Dems Adjust Their Stance on Two Party Rule"
by Adam Nagourney & Janet Elder (New York Times)
July 7, 2005

Following the devasting results of the latest CBS News/New York Times poll which found that an overwhelming 99% of respondents could not tell the difference between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party, Senator Harry Reid held a press conference in front of the Abe Lincoln monument today.

"If I can nutshell it for you," Reid offered, "it would be this: we're Republicans."

When asked of the need for an opposition party, Reid dismissed concerns.

"Look, we tried being the loyal opposition, believe me, no one was more loyal than we were. We damn near broke the rubber stamp from using it so often. It didn't work. The American people have spoken. Now we could be cry babies or dreamers and dig in for a fight, but what's the point? When Trump says, 'You're fired,' it's end of story, time to go home now."

Longtime D.C. reporter and all around nut case Helen Thomas stood up and hurled an unprintable remark at Senator Reid. Reid shrugged and sighed.

"What Helen doesn't get is that we want to be Republicans. Who wants to resist the easy and profitable thing? I mean maybe Helen likes being banished to the back row, but that's not going to send any of our kids to college our pay off the bank for our second home, is it? It's about being practical and doing what is doable. We're taking the off ramp to Easy Street and we'll all be better for it. The American people have spoken. And via the liberal media. If the liberal media like CBS and the New York Times is against us, what chance do we have? Haven't they always been our friends? And who can intimidate a paper or CBS? No one and we don't have the energy to waste on a battle. The Republicans wouldn't battle the press and neither shall we. So we're going to cruise on over to Easy Street where most of us own second homes, by the way, and we'll accept that the American people have spoken. They have been heard. All 900 of them polled. In a random sample. From people too dumb to check their caller i.d. and avoid the call. So with this large of a sample, it's obvious that America wants one party rule. Real one party rule that's honest about it. Not the kind of one party rule we've given them lately where we pretend we're Democrats, but open and full faith one party rule where we proclaim loudly and proudly that we are with the GOP. It's time to step out of the closet and say, 'I'm here, I'm Republican, I'm out and proud!' In a non-gay way, of course, because we do not support same-sex marriages, civil unions or really even the talk show Ellen."

Actually, Senator Reid was playing fast and loose with the facts, a Democratic trademark long noted in these pages and one some insiders (Nagourney & Elder) hope he will drop now that he's stepped over to the right side of the spectrum. In actuality, 858 Americans were polled randomly, not 900 as the Senator lied.

Responding on the poll results and on Reid's announcement, our personal pin up George W. Bush (put on your boxing gloves, Peggy Noonan, we'll fight you for him) said, "This just proves what I've always said. The American people are a hard working, decent peoples who wake up each morning wanting to see the moon shining up in the pink sky."

Again, Senator Reid lied. The polling sample was 858, not 900.

"Only His Tailor Knows for Sure LOL!"
by Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times)

On the heels of recent revelations that Republican Senator Harry Reid's spine was removed on the evening of March 14, 2001, Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones and Senator Barbara Boxer, two of the last elected officials who remain in the Democratic Party, called for an investigation.

"I think it's pretty clear what was done and I just want to know if the United States' Congress is going to have the guts to tell the American people," screeched Tubbs-Jones.

Vice President Dick Cheney announced to a crowd of people fashionably attired in white sheets, "I hear tell that Harry Reid loaned his spine out to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. In fact, we almost strong-armed Collie Powell into telling the U.N. that."

Urging the crowd to participate in voluntary bon fires on the homes of other people, our second in commanding commander-in-chief left the stage.

"What we have here is another case of the Democratic Party engaging in hyperbole and lies," explained smart and sexy GOP consultant Mary Matalin. "Obviously Senator Reid's spine was removed. We've all seen the x-rays. All over the TV! But maybe he wanted his spine removed? Maybe he thought it was the hot new look? Maybe he thought it would help him squeeze into those Dockers that had gotten too tight around the waistline? Why does everything have to be some sort of tin foil hat conspiracy plotted by Karl Rove? We have tried to work with the Democratic Party, with both of them, and they are resistant to our plans to end poverty by utilizing the death penalty. They say our plans are inhumane and we say that's pre-9-11 thinking on their part."

Senator Barbara Boxer made wild accusations supported by the public record.

"Karl Rove bragged about this to the press," Senator Boxer alleged waving a column by Robert Novak. "We have that in writing. On January 12, 2001, Bob Novak wrote it in his column 'I Want to Out a CIA Agent and Karl Rove Wants to Remove Harry Reid's Spine.' Karl Rove admits to giving some pills to Harry Reid on the evening of March 13th though he claims they were only Flinstone chewables. Harry's wife said he would never willingly part with his spine. She said he'd often commented that it was his best feature. From the records, we know that Karl Rove, who much of the press seems to forget is not a doctor, was acting as the attending in the operating room on the 14th when Harry Reid's spine was removed. From the X-rays, we know that Harry's spine was removed. From the tape of 2005 White House Press Club Dinner, we have Karl Rove bragging 'I removed Harry Reid's spine in 2001.' And laughing about it! For Mary Matalin or anyone to suggest that this is tin foil hat conspiracy talk begs the suggestion of a gigantic coverup."

For no real reason we can think of, our wonderful and fashionable Secretary of State Condi Rice released a statement responding to Senator Boxer's remarks. Since we live and die by our official sources and how well we're able to pimp for them, we'll reprint the text here in full:

Senator Barabara Boxer once again shows her liberal California roots and how out of touch she is with the American people in her statements just made to New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller minutes ago by questioning the loyalty of our troops. Baghdad Boxer would do well to hang her head in shame for those uncalled for remarks suggesting that our military is disloyal.

Not quite sure what to do since the x-rays are all over the TV news, so I phoned a tailor in France. What follows are a series of bantering remarks we exchanged on various topics such as off the rack fashion, pastries and the weather.

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