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Pissing match
July 18, 2003 2:00 PM   Subscribe

House Democrats Storm Out of Ways and Means Committee Chairman Calls Capitol Police to Restore Order - ARRRGGGGH! This government is so frustrating. No side is right they are all wrong. Is anything being done for the good of the nation anymore or do they all just do what they want? Poor impulse control all around.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey (66 comments total)

 
The American government is falling apart.
posted by the fire you left me at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2003


Babies! They are all just little crying babies.
posted by dirtylittlemonkey at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2003


Heh. I love reading about those crazy hijinks down in Texas.

*blinks*

uh oh....
posted by soyjoy at 2:06 PM on July 18, 2003


Excuse me, I have to go buy guns and canned food.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:11 PM on July 18, 2003


it begins! to the streets, men!
posted by quonsar at 2:12 PM on July 18, 2003


Excuse me, I have to go buy guns and canned food.

Finally, Wal-Martization pays off!
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:14 PM on July 18, 2003


Calm down, folks. We've been through worse than this -- anyone remember that little fracas called The American Civil War? Our country survived that awful conflict intact; we can surely survive some low-level bureaucrats acting like assholes.
posted by mrmanley at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2003


And they sell the Left Behind series.

Wal-Mart: Your One-Stop Armageddon Shoppe
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2003


We've been through worse than this

Heck, Congress has seen worse than this.
posted by arco at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2003


"Months of political tension in the House of Representatives erupted into open warfare today when Democrats stormed out of a Ways and Means Committee session ..." (my emphasis)

Open warfare? Come on! Don't they get all theatrical like this in England all the time? Loosen up, people.
posted by graventy at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2003


Democrats accused the GOP of running a police state; Republicans recounted how one Democratic member of the panel called a Republican colleague "you little fruitcake" in the midst of the standoff.

Good come back.

Graventy, I wouldn't say all the time exactly. Usually they manage to restrict themselves to a series of "oohs", "aahs" and sneers. Plus the occassional raucous laughter whenever anybody screws up. I seem to recall Michael Hesltine once swung a mace round his head for dramatic effect too. Thatcher inspired violence with here mere presence but I don't think anybody actually did anything. She'd have battered them.
posted by vbfg at 2:26 PM on July 18, 2003


vbfg:

Maggie Thatcher...gawd how I miss her! *sniff* And me a Yank, too!
posted by mrmanley at 2:28 PM on July 18, 2003


Maggie Thatcher...gawd how I miss her! *sniff* And me a Yank, too!

Yeah, the way she stood up for Pinochet was just heart-warming.
posted by stonerose at 2:31 PM on July 18, 2003


Maybe now is a good time to suggest that we do away with these insane barriers to third parties getting on the ballot if for no other reason than it would turn Congress into a Cage MatchTM instead of this sort of pedestrian mano a mano fighting.
posted by Fezboy! at 2:36 PM on July 18, 2003


News Flash: Democrats Grow Spine from Stem Cell
the parody headline I wish I'd written
posted by wendell at 2:38 PM on July 18, 2003


stonerose:

Ye mock Thatcher, yet ye knew her not. She was a formidable old broad. Part of why I liked her was because she could make people like you turn a lovely shade of puce.
posted by mrmanley at 2:43 PM on July 18, 2003


Ye mock Thatcher, yet ye knew her not. She was a formidable old broad. Part of why I liked her was because she could make people like you turn a lovely shade of puce.

Politics aside, this is the best example I can find that different people have very different standards of funny.
posted by COBRA! at 2:51 PM on July 18, 2003


I guess that's a key difference between you and me, mrmanley: I'm not inclined to affiliate myself with fascists simply because they happen to irritate my political opponents. But, a chacun son gout, right? Politics is all about having giggly good fun, after all, right? Prat.
posted by stonerose at 2:53 PM on July 18, 2003


we can surely survive some low-level bureaucrats acting like assholes.
Unfortunately, these aren't low-level bureaucrats, but rather actual elected representatives. But don't worry, there's some comeuppance coming around, I'm sure. After all, Bush is a Uniter, not a divider.
posted by Kovax at 2:57 PM on July 18, 2003


Well I'm a Democrat, but it seems to me pretty obvious that Thomas bringing down the gavel instantly, either disregarding Stark's objection or not giving him a chance to make one heard, is improper, any way you slice it. It would be lunacy to let it stand.
posted by zekinskia at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2003


I guess that's a key difference between you and me, mrmanley: I'm not inclined to affiliate myself with fascists simply because they happen to irritate my political opponents.

zap! pow! zing!
posted by quonsar at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2003


stonerose:

Prat? Jeez, man, if you're going to insult me, do it right! What a weak-kneed, milk-tea waste of space! C'mon, you get one more shot for free. Think up a good one!
posted by mrmanley at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2003


"mrmanley, reeling from the previous punch, dissembles."
posted by quonsar at 3:02 PM on July 18, 2003


Well I'm a Democrat, but it seems to me pretty obvious that Thomas bringing down the gavel instantly, either disregarding Stark's objection or not giving him a chance to make one heard, is improper, any way you slice it. It would be lunacy to let it stand.

A-fucking-men! I don't excuse the childish behavior of the Democrats, but if it was all procedurally kosher (as the Sargeant in Arms suggested it was) it is a hell of a lot different than intentionally ignoring the objection of Rep. The whole thing was obviously staged drama, so how the hell could Thomas not have noticed one conspicuous straggler?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:02 PM on July 18, 2003


'Prat' was the dismissive afterthought, mrmanley. 'affiliated with fascists' was the insult. Do try to keep up.

Now, I suggest that you follow your first inclination and absent yourself from political threads on MeFi, you self-identified troll.
posted by stonerose at 3:06 PM on July 18, 2003


"Committee Democrats complained that the Republican majority had not given them enough time to review a [91 page] substitute bill that they had received shortly before midnight Thursday."
Um, excuse me, but was it wrong of the Democrats to actually want to read the legislation before them? Don't you wish someone had stopped to read DMCA or PATRIOT?
posted by ilsa at 3:06 PM on July 18, 2003


God, I Love America! I'm starting to think maybe all we have to do is send in 500 conservative tons of Whipped-cream pies to Capitol Hill, and just muck the place out when they're finished with it...
posted by Perigee at 3:10 PM on July 18, 2003


Read it or not, Ilsa, "You Little Fruitcake" isn't part of Roberts rules of order. I keep waiting for a buzzer to ring on C-Span, and the zombie of Allan Funt to pop out and announce the world has been on "Candid Camera."
posted by Perigee at 3:13 PM on July 18, 2003


Heh. Interesting find, stonerose. I especially like the left sidebar:

"Ingredients: dazzlingly insightful commentary, luminescent wit, a soupcon of cynicism, and two tablespoons of guileless optimism."

Sounds like mrmanley has been getting glowing reviews from David Manning...
posted by Perigee at 3:17 PM on July 18, 2003


Maggie Thatcher...gawd how I miss her! *sniff* And me a Yank, too!

Yes, well, the two are not unconnected.

Still, she did at least render the right wing unelectable in the UK for a good, err, what year is it?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 3:18 PM on July 18, 2003



posted by riviera at 3:27 PM on July 18, 2003


way too dowdy for me, riviera. they look more like something maggie would've carried...


posted by stonerose at 3:31 PM on July 18, 2003


I aplogise for the Thatcher, Thatcher, milk snatcher love-in.
posted by vbfg at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2003


Apologise. I'll do that too.
posted by vbfg at 3:38 PM on July 18, 2003


Still, she did at least render the right wing unelectable in the UK for a good, err, what year is it?

Well,if you count John Major as a non-Thatcherite, it's 13 glorious Years now! thats if you consider Tony Blair to be non_Thatcherite...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:38 PM on July 18, 2003


I think stonerose found where the milk went.
posted by vbfg at 3:39 PM on July 18, 2003


Calm down, folks. We've been through worse than this -- anyone remember that little fracas called The American Civil War? Our country survived that awful conflict intact;

MrManly, I don't think we can really expect the same performance of our current politicians. That war was interesting in many ways, especially in that it seemed to regard certain constitutional clauses above others.

we can surely survive some low-level bureaucrats acting like assholes.

The Ways and Means Committee is one of the topmost powerful committees in congress. but yes, they're acting like asses.

The thing I find most disheartening about this whole thing is that the post article only gave the matter they were discussing a paragraph to describe it. Retirement issues are going to crucially decide our choices in policy as this baby-boomer generation enters the social security system. That conservatives think 'borrow and spend' is so superior to 'tax and spend' boggles me, and we've spent at least 3 year's projected income to gamble that something will be 'stimulated'.
posted by Busithoth at 3:41 PM on July 18, 2003


{moron}Anyone want to fill me in on how to post images in the comments?{/moron}
posted by zekinskia at 3:57 PM on July 18, 2003


But Republicans said it was the Democrats who started it.

Stark "threatened me with physical harm," said Rep. Scott McInnis of Colorado, a Republican who sits on the committee.

"I think it was entirely appropriate for the chairman of the committee to call the sergeant at arms and the Capitol Police," McInnis said. "I considered that a bodily threat and I fully intended to defend myself. To calm this down -- that is why the chairman did that."


The funny thing is that Stark is 72 years old while McInnis is in his 30's. Someone should give McInnis a trophy for being the biggest pussy in Congress.
posted by homunculus at 4:21 PM on July 18, 2003


Zekinskia -- Matt really doesn't like it when you inline images; neither to a lot of MeFiMems, but if you think it's really funny or apropo, simply use the HTML for images. [img src="http://imagelink.com/image.jpg"] -- but use brackets (><) instead of, um, brackets ([]).

Anyone have any more info on the bill in question (besides the limited info in the article). Did the Dems not like the bill because increasing 401k's helps shelter taxable income for wealthier people, or is it to protect employees from dumping their retirement funds into stocks, which can be volatile? Just some guesses.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:26 PM on July 18, 2003


Lord of the Freakin' Flies...how has it come to this?
posted by rushmc at 4:27 PM on July 18, 2003


luke! use the force!
zekinskia! view the source!
posted by quonsar at 4:28 PM on July 18, 2003


Civil_Disobedient: I take it that it wasn't the content per se, but that they had no time to scrutinise the bill.

A fair principle, given recent Acts...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:32 PM on July 18, 2003


Don't you wish someone had stopped to read DMCA or PATRIOT?

Now, now. The Dems were too busy loving freedom to read them back then! Now that they've decided to hate freedom, just a little bit, apparently they're all hot and heavy for this "reading" craze again.

And thank you, civil_disobedient, for showing that pointy brackets in parens (><) look like Cartman about ready to scream. I'm going to adopt that as my new emoticon whenever I send email about, oh, practically anything political these days.
posted by scody at 4:40 PM on July 18, 2003


yeah.. well.. I'm a republican and I still want to bang Nancy Pelosi
posted by WLW at 4:44 PM on July 18, 2003


Homunculus - the AP version says that McInnis is 50 years old, for what that's worth. It also says that the "threatening" language used by Stark was: "You little wimp. Come on. Come over here and make me. I dare you."
posted by pitchblende at 5:11 PM on July 18, 2003


It's all still a far cry from Preston Brooks beating Charles Sumner senseless on the floor of the Senate.

And more's the pity, I say.
posted by scody at 5:25 PM on July 18, 2003


(Not that I think that Sumner getting brained was a good thing... more of a comment on the braining that our current reps on both sides of the aisle seem to deserve these days.)
posted by scody at 5:28 PM on July 18, 2003


Scody: And thank you, civil_disobedient, for showing that pointy brackets in parens (><) look like Cartman about ready to scream.

Or Pat Robertson asking for new Justices.
posted by whatever at 5:42 PM on July 18, 2003


The changes in the bill, from what I read at Reuters, give large corporations that have seriously underfunded (to the tune of $300 BILLION) pension liabilities an extra three years to deal with the problem, plus they get to assume a more advantageous rate of return during those three years. Aside: Of the $300B, $60B is owed by the Big 3 automakers to their pension funds. Anyone here preparing to short GM or Ford stock?
posted by billsaysthis at 5:49 PM on July 18, 2003


Oops, thanks for the correction, pitchblende.
posted by homunculus at 6:01 PM on July 18, 2003


This government is so frustrating. No side is right they are all wrong. Is anything being done for the good of the nation anymore or do they all just do what they want?

It's a nice example of wanting self-contradictory things.

We want to have parties such that we have a real choice in every election, right? A choice between real alternatives. We want people in Congress to stand up for what they believe in and stop all that hypocritical, cheap compromising of their values on every bill -- to stop selling out their principles just to get a crappy half-assed version of what they should be sticking to their guns for.

At the same time, we want them to put aside their differences and just do what's right for America.

I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to spot the problem with wanting both of those things at the same time.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:53 PM on July 18, 2003


And thank you, civil_disobedient, for showing that pointy brackets in parens (>< ) look like cartman about ready to scream./b>

Wow. It really does. Gonna get me some of that sweet, sweet Cartman emoticon. And who said politcal threads were boring? :)

posted by kaemaril at 7:14 PM on July 18, 2003


And thank you, civil_disobedient, for showing that pointy brackets in parens (><) look like cartman about ready to scream.

Jeez, that was completely unintentional -- absolutely fantastic observation, scody. And I thought (*)(*) was clever.

On Preview: Boy, the reverse brackets sure wack out the MeFi preview filter, though. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:58 PM on July 18, 2003


Its times like this when I think politics is just another form of entropy.

We're all doomed.
posted by joquarky at 3:59 AM on July 19, 2003


([]) reminded me of goatse :D thanks!
posted by kliuless at 8:11 AM on July 19, 2003


({}) No, THAT'S goatse.
posted by faceonmars at 8:44 AM on July 19, 2003


I think you need a few more spaces in between the brackets, faceonmars. More like this:
({   })
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:43 AM on July 19, 2003


..X
..|
..|
..|
( * )

tubgirl? (ignoring the ..'s because I'm too lazy to figure out how else to get the |'s in the right place)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:11 PM on July 19, 2003


I think it's worth pointing out that the Rep. Stark 'fruitcake' bit was just a sideshow; the police were called to the library/conference room where the rest of the Democrats were reading the bill, NOT to the committee room to ostensibly protect Rep. McInnis.

In fact, Stark says that no police even spoke to him, and no Republicans have contradicted him that I've found. Kind of leaves a big hole in the R's story IMO.
posted by s.e.b. at 2:57 PM on July 19, 2003


Jesus Christ, I just Googled and found out what tubgirl's all about. That's a real talent she's got there.

I wish it were possible to un-see something.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:08 PM on July 19, 2003


Jesus Christ, I just Googled and found out what tubgirl's all about. That's a real talent she's got there.

I wish it were possible to un-see something.


How about a little warning next, C_D, huh? You just can't make a casual reference to something like that and then not warn a guy. I mean, what did I ever do to you?

So - everyone - don't go googling tubgirl unless projectile scatology is your thing.
posted by pejamo at 6:58 PM on July 19, 2003


Actually, it's projectile scatophagi.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 8:46 PM on July 19, 2003


Would that make her tub a scatophagus?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:18 AM on July 20, 2003


Would it? What's that?
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:34 AM on July 20, 2003


I just noticed how sweetly the name of this thread dovetails with the descent into tubgirl.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 1:35 AM on July 20, 2003


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