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Great Moments in Publishing Flip-Floppery

2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush has a bit of a problem. After years of advocating for a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, he writes and publishes a book in which he takes the opposite position. And then takes the opposite-opposite position:

Mitt Romney
I forget what Jeb
looks like. I think
this is him.
Bush (R) told MSNBC’s Morning Joe [yesterday] that he would support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants “if you can craft that in law where you can have a path to citizenship where there isn’t an incentive for people to come illegally”---a position that puts him at odds with his new book, out [yesterday] from Simon & Schuster.

In Immigration Wars, co-authored with immigration lawyer Clint Bolick, Bush argues that denying a path to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrations is “absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences.”

For those of you keeping score at home, that's two flips and a flop. Or maybe two flops and a flip. So easy to lose count with Republicans these days.

Not a problem, though. All Jeb needs to do is take a page from the Mitt Romney playbook. He had the same little moment of awkward on the issue of health care reform as outlined in his book, No Apology. So he did what any red-blooded Republican would do: he pulled out a barrel of Wite-Out and re-wrote history:

Jeb Bush
[A] line about spreading health care reform throughout the country was changed in the paperback version of Romney’s book “No Apology.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said during the Florida debate that Romney took out the single line that suggested the Massachusetts health reform law could be applied to the country. The line that is removed in the paperback version reads, “We can accomplish the same thing for everyone in the country.”

See? All better! What happens next is: everybody jumps on your inability to take a coherent stand on an issue, you lose in a landslide to the Democrat, and your book ends up on a table at a yard sale for a nickel. I love happy endings.

P.S. As a bonus, the schadenfreude gods are ROFL'ing as the Romney campaign folks seethe at Bush for flip-flop-flipping only after Mitt's own immigration flip-flop blew up in his face during the 2012 campaign. Meanwhile Democrat John Kerry, inaccurately tarred as a flip-flopper by Bush's disgraced brother in the 2004 race, is capping his distinguished career as America's Secretary of State.

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Note: As of today, there are only 300 days left in the year. Time to start workin' on those 2014 New Years resolutions.


By the Numbers:
Days 'til Easter: 25
Days 'til the Portland Flower Show: 1
Percent of Californians who support same-sex marriage, up from 30% in 1977: 61%
(Source: Field poll)
Number of conservative leaders who recently signed a brief supporting the repeal of Prop. 8: 131
(Source: MSNBC)
Percent by which the firearm suicide rate is lower in states that require background checks on all handgun sales: 49%
(Source: CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control)
Number of days it took to elect Pope Pius VII in 1800: 105
Average length of the last five conclaves to elect a pope: 3 days
(Source: Time)


Mid-week Rapture Index: 187 (including 5 Ecumenisms and 1 urinal faceplant).  Soul Protection Factor 24 lotion is recommended if you’ll be walking amongst the heathen today.


Puppy Pic of the Day: Where there's a pipe, there's a puppy…


CHEERS to the next senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Not that I'm measuring any drapes before the special election to fill John Kerry's old seat, mind you.  But so far things are looking up for my man Markey:

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) early photo.
True Fact: in the 1970s Ed
Markey filled in when James
Bond went on vacation.
Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is in a solid position to claim the Democratic Party's nomination in the Massachusetts special Senate election, according to a survey released Monday. … 42 percent of likely Democratic primary voters indicating a preference for Markey.  Twenty-eight percent of primary voters said they intend to vote for Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who's presented himself as a moderate alternative to the more liberal Markey.  The League of Conservation Voters and NARAL have both endorsed Markey, who's also enjoyed the backing of the Democratic establishment both in the Bay State and nationwide.
Meanwhile the leading Republican just got caught for lying about his membership on the board of a yacht club.  Okay…maybe I'll measure one drape.  I promise it'll be one of the small ones.

CHEERS to opportunities for a fresh start.  If you had plans to send a "Get well soon" card to Hugo Chavez, cancel 'em.  The Venezuelan leader is dead at 58.  He was a charismatic and bullheaded oddball leftist (some prominent tweeters compared him to Huey Long) who, like all leaders who scramble to keep a firm grasp on power, resorted to strong-arm tactics and censorship.  And he was a button-pusher:

Map of South America with Venezuela highlighted.
Totally not where I thought
Venezuela was located. I
resign my spot on the
Geography Bee team.
In one of his most memorable insults, Chavez said of Bush in 2006 before the U.N. General Assembly:  "The devil came here yesterday. And it smells of sulfur still today." […]

Abroad, Chavez was also known for his colorful---if sometimes strange---statements.  Last year, after several Latin American leaders were diagnosed with cancer, himself included, he wondered if the United States was behind it.  "Would it be strange if (the United States) had developed a technology to induce cancer, and for no one to know it?" he asked.

At a summit in 2007, his repeated attempts to interrupt resulted in King Juan Carlos of Spain saying to him, "Why don't you shut up?"

Here in the northeast U.S., many low-income folks whose heating assistance got cut by America's government are grateful that Chavez's agreed to help take up the slack.  Among his fans: former Rep. Joe Kennedy II.  As for what happens next: the funeral is Friday and the vice president is handling things for now.  After that it's just a bunch of upside-down question marks.


This is a test of the Sistine Chapel pope-selection smokestack.  This is only a test:

Smoke rising from the Sistine Chapel
If this had been an actual pope selection, the media would have had an orgasm (within the context of marital fidelity, of course) and you would have been subjected to non-stop coverage until you puked.  This concludes this test of the Sistine Chapel pope-selection smokestack.  Now back to Cheers and Jeers



JEERS to an unsatisfactory conclusion, Part I.  On March 6, 1836, the Alamo fell to Mexican forces (who, we note, attacked despite having no stinkin' badges) after a 13-day siege.  Strange but true: singer Phil Collins fought at the Alamo and now owns more Alamo artifacts than anyone else.  And what happened to Mexican General Santa Anna?  His army was trounced a mere month later by a very pissed-off Sam Houston.  Now that's what you call fast and furious.

JEERS to an unsatisfactory conclusion, Part II.  On March 6, 1857, the Supreme Court ruled in the Dred Scott case. Their brilliant conclusion: slaves aren’t citizens, according to their strict interpretation of the Constitution:

Dred Scott's grave in St. Louis
Dred Scott's grave
in St. Louis, MO.
[I]n the opinion of the justices, black people were not considered citizens when the Constitution was drafted in 1787. According to [Chief Justice Roger] Taney, Dred Scott was the property of his owner, and property could not be taken from a person without due process of law. In fact, there were free black citizens of the United States in 1787, but Taney and the other justices were attempting to halt further debate on the issue of slavery in the territories.

The decision inflamed regional tensions, which burned for another four years before exploding into the Civil War.

Chief Justice Taney---with political pressure from none other than President Buchanan---thought the decision would settle the issue of slavery.  I think enough time has passed that I can say with reasonable confidence: what a dope.

P.S. Justice Antonin Scalia, who apparently thinks being black is a "racial entitlement," won’t be in the office today as he considers it a holiday.

SHRUG to target marketing.  Apparantly it's news that the NRA is spomsoring a race.  A car race.  A NASCAR race in Texas.  And in other news, eyebrows fly off people's faces when Purina sponsors a dog show.


Two years ago in C&J: March 6, 2011

CHEERS to the arrival of the banjo-strummin' cavalry.  Always nice to have a living legend on your side in a labor dispute, and the latest to weigh in on the strange Madison times is a man who knows a thing or two about unions---folk singer Pete Seeger:

"Maybe the Republican governor, he's done us a favor by bringing the problem to national attention," the 91-year-old Seeger said in a telephone interview from his New York home. "It shows the whole country how much we need unions. We may end up thanking him." […] Seeger, who's been singing since the Great Depression and released a record in 1942 titled "Talking Union," said he was following the issue in Wisconsin.

"Without collective bargaining rights we'd be right back to primitive times," Seeger said.

Upon hearing the news, Governor Scott Walker called Seeger's remarks outrageous and then drew a frowny face on his cave wall.


And just one more…

Cover iof the paperback edition of
Now in paperback.
CHEERS to going soft on military matters.  When conservatives want to pop a book up on a bestseller list they just buy a shitload of copies and give 'em away as freebies when people sign up for magazine subscriptions or whatever.  But liberals do it the old-fashioned way…by writing books that are so good they make it onto the list honestly.  Exhibit A: Rachel Maddow's Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, which shot up to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and launched a thousand debates about the way we let the military and its contractors run willy-nilly over everything.  (You can see this now in the way House Republicans are trying to jigger the sequester terms so that our precious war-making machine's feathers don't get ruffled.)  Well, Drift---which I didn't so much read as consume---is finally out in paperback, and is back in the top 5 in a variety of categories at  My favorite part is still Rachel's dedication:
To former vice president Dick Cheney.
Oh, please let me interview you.
Heh.  She'll probably get her Cheney interview on the first of Never.  I believe his exact words, delivered through his spokesman, were: "Bwok bwok bwok."

Have a nice Wednesday.  Floor's open...What are you cheering and jeering about today?


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