Tuesday, July 17, 2007

RAWK! Liveblogging a muthafuckin' filibuster

10:15 p.m.: As we join the action in media res, Sen. Joe Lieberman (Ind.-Conn.) is giving head to a racehorse.

That's not exactly accurate. For those who don't have pay subscriptions to Congressional Quarterly or Roll Call's website, this filibuster involves the Levin-Reid Amendment, which would establish a timeline for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

He's already given a long lesson on the importance of the filibuster, which involved misquoting James Madison as saying something about coffee. At some point he abruptly segued into a digression about how Iranians screaming "Death to America" don't distinguish between Republicans and Democrats.

10:27 p.m.: Lieberman spells the word "goal." "G-O-A-L, goal." It's very Go-Team!

"Who does it bite?" he then asks. "I think it bites our hope for success in Iraq. It bites our troops ... It bites our hope for keeping Al Qaida and Iran out of controlling Iraq."

You can't bite hope, smart guy. You can bite a racehorse's boner, Joe Lieberman, but hope can't be bitten. It's not actually a thing with feathers. I have a suggestion for something that Lieberman himself can bite. And I'm sure that if my longtime friend Bitey, the gentlewoman from Tennessee were there, she would take umbrage at the root of her good name being dragged through the gutter by the likes of you, sir.

10:33 p.m.: Fucking hell, man. This reminds me why I donated to Ned Lamont.

10:37 p.m.: Lieberman: "You can't fight Al Qaida if you withdraw from Iraq." I'd like to keep this light, but I find myself becoming pissed.

10:38 p.m.: "I know people laugh and jest when people say if you don't defeat them there you'll be fighting them here." Yes, fucker. Yes.

My bad-assed collection of books on Bush and Iraq. For funnier pictures, click here.

10:43 p.m.: "I know that cots have been brought in tonight to allow Senators to sleep during parts of the night when they're not required on the floor. What I hope this does is wake up the Senators." Good luck, dick, because you're putting those poor bastards to sleep.

10:44 p.m.: He actually believes that the occupation of Iraq is a proxy war against Iran.

10:49 p.m.: In more important news than Joe Lieberman's fever dreams:

Save David Vitter's Penis

10:51 p.m.: Joe Lieberman, what the fuck is up with you and teeth? Did you just utter the phrase "a reasonable hope of victory from whose jaws this amendment would snatch defeat"? Who picks your mastication metaphors?

10:52 p.m.: Hey, fuckers! It's Sherrod Brown! Lieberman's done!

For those who don't know, whenever Sherrod Brown enters the Senate chamber he's accompanied by the Lovely Elizabeth. He's adorned in a purple velvet robe, and the spotlights make the sweat shine on his pectorals.

But Sherrod's looking a little rough tonight. Ever see Mr. Smith Goes to Washington? The movie about filibusters, when Jimmy Stewart plays a scout-mad bachelor senator, obsessed with young scouts, who gives a long filibuster to preserve land for the young, succulent scouts of his district? By the end of the filibuster he is sweating and unshaved, aflame with passion for scouts -- the young, supple scouts, his life for them! -- and the Republic.

Is this film pro-NAMBLA propaganda?

Sherrod Brown looks kind of like that right now. Only he's not talking about his love of those fresh, youthful, succulent scouts, the way that Jimmy Stewart did in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. He's just a little unkempt.

11:07 p.m.: Sherrod Brown is a card-carrying bad-ass, the Paul Wellstone heir, the real deal, but his speech is disappointingly even-tempered and mature. He barely gets in any good slams. Best he can muster: "That stubbornness is not leadership. That defensiveness is not leadership." Later, he uses the phrase "partisan antics and petty political gains."

Dude. I just endured 30 minutes of Joe Lieberman, waiting for you to filibust a cap in somebody's ass.

Thanks a lot.

11:07 p.m.: Susan Collins (R-Maine), sister of Joan Collins and Jackie Collins, speaks.

I think she's talking in iambic pentameter, and that one of the first phrases she used was "hard on."

11:07 p.m.: "Vitriolic rhetoric and veto threats." Lots of alliteration from serious senators placed in powerful positions. She has her sister's flair for language.

There's a resemblance, you see.

11:12 p.m.: Susan Collins's breathy oratory reminds me of the prose of her equally talented sister, Jackie. Since Susan, the "smart" sister, isn't saying much of interest, I'd like to treat you to an excerpt of Lovers and Players, written by Jackie, the "creative" sister:
“Never forget it pays the bills, girl,” said Cindi, a buxom twenty-three-year-old originally from Atlanta, with gleaming black skin, thick ankles, an ample ass, huge breasts, and a wide, inviting smile.
Bi-racial, the product of a black mother and what she assumed was a mixed father---a man her mother refused to talk about, let alone reveal his identity---Liberty was milk chocolate skinned, with lustrous long black hair, elongated green eyes, thick brows, impossibly long lashes, cut-glass cheekbones, full lips, a pointed chin, and a straight nose. Cindi was always carrying on about how Liberty looked like Halle Berry, which kind of irritated her, because she considered herself an original and did not care to be compared to anyone---however gorgeous and successful they might be.

Liberty was nineteen. She had plenty of time.
“Rude little bitch!” Liberty heard the woman mutter to her male companion as she walked away from the table. “Who does she think she is?”

Liberty was not bothered, she’d been called worse.

She was just about to go into the back when she spotted Mr. Hip-Hop himself walking in.
Cindi, who was up on everything showbiz, soon filled her in. Cindi devoured Essence, Rolling Stone, People, Us, Star, and The National Enquirer. She watched Access, ET, Extra, and E! every single day. “That dude is famous, married, rich, an’ way outta your reach,” Cindi had informed her. “Forget it, girl,’cause this big boy ain’t lookin’.”
Full excerpt available on jackiecollins.com.

Now available in paperback.

11:23 p.m.: We're on to Bob Menendez, and what we're seeing is the future cast of a season of The Surreal Life.

Like, Menendez and Lieberman and Collins, and Jackie Collins, Linda Evans and Dustin Diamond, they're in this house, you see, and Dustin Diamond throws a half-eaten turkey sandwich at Lieberman, which hits him in he eye and screws up his contact lens, and the producers have to get involved because Lieberman is talking about assault charges, and now he's got mayonnaise from that sandwich leaving a grease stain on his tie, and how he feels unsafe living in the same house with Dustin, so immediately we all remember that earlier season of The Surreal Life when Rob "Vanilla Ice" Van Winkle was the hot-tempered difficult housemate, and Lieberman starts raving at Diamond about Iran and calls him a Jihadi, and Menendez is all, "That's racist, sir! You are a racist!" Diamond tries to make up with Lieberman -- "Hug it out, bitch," he says, because Dustin Diamond is precisely the kind of person who thinks quotes from Entourage are witty (Did you notice his cameo in that shitty Vince Vaughn/Jon Favreau vehicle Made? That was one bullshit movie; I think I saw it in the theater.) -- and the Collinses, Susan and Joan, are all, "That's misogynist, sir! You are a misogynist!" And Dustin Diamond is so pissed that the house is ganging up on him, that everyone is "against" him and no one "understands" him, that he quits the show in a rage and moves back to Milwaukee.

And then the producers of The Surreal Life replace him with Mike Lookinland.

Might as well write a long hypothetical, because Menendez is giving me nothing.

11:39 p.m.: Menendez is making a very serious speech, but it's not particularly interesting or original.

Joe Lieberman's rhetoric on teeth cannot be the high point of my evening. Where the fuck is Howell Heflin when you need him?

That's right... He's dead.

11:55 p.m.: Hey, fuckers. I have a behind-the-scenes story to share. I paused Tivo and this live blog to take a shower and shave, because shaving before bed shaves (ha!) five minutes off my morning and gives me more time to sleep in. So I've been behind, and I'm going to fast forward the shit out of Bob Menendez.

11:56 p.m.: Quorum roll call time.

12:02 a.m.: OMG the quorum roll call went wrong and the speaker pro temp just slipped and said, "Mrs. Brownback," LOL.

12:18 a.m.: We're 22 minutes into the vote all we've got is a live shot of the Senate floor. My eyes, they are ineluctably drawn toward Debbie Stabenow.

12:22 a.m.: Upon reflection, present-day Mike Lookinland resembles Bob Eubanks.

12:31 a.m.: Fucking hell, man, it's Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.). My ears briefly prick up because he uses the phrase "University of Georgia cheerleader," but he's talking about a guy who enlisted.

No good cheerleading material ... yet.

12:40 a.m.: Now it's Daniel Akaka.

And I'm tired, and I'm starting to feel like a bit of a dick for making fun of people who are talking about something I care about.

Before I go to bed, another excerpt from Lovers & Players, by Ms. Jackie Collins:
"What’s your name, dear?” the bald man with an abundance of hair sprouting from his ears inquired.

“Liberty,” the young waitress replied.

“What’s that?” he said, peering at her.

“Liberty,” she repeated. It’s written on my nametag, asshole. Can’t you see it?

“What kind of name---”

Oh, puleeze! You got any idea how many times I’ve had to go through this conversation? Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin named their baby Apple. Courteney Cox and David Arquette, Coco. What’s so unusual about Liberty?
What's so unusual about liberty, indeed.

12:41 a.m. (It's Flop; my first update got accidentally deleted, but que sera ...). I just got finished watching Sen. Isakson from Georgia with some sob-story about how we must continue to stay in Iraq so that it's not in vain for those who died. So basically, he's advocating a pyramid scheme of dead bodies. Soldier 1 dies, but we can't pull out because if we do his death is in vain. So that's why Soldier 2 dies. But we still haven't succeeded, so Soldier 3 goes into the breach. Once he's killed, we still haven't succeeded, but to save the lives of all the other still living soldiers would mean that those first three soldiers died in vain. So Soldier 4 must go off and die. And so on and so on.

This is truly frightening logic, cloaked in just enough reasonable-sounding rhetoric to carry the day at a dinner table or on TV or among people who make all their decisions on impulse. Which, I suppose, is true of almost all Republican policies.

These people are awful. OK, the nice old man Daniel Akaka is done speaking and crazy-ass Tom Coburn M.D. (!!!) is taking the floor. As Helena Bonham Carter's character said in Fight Club : "Oh, here comes an avalanche of bullshit."

12:55 a.m. The Flopster here, rocking you through the night. Coburn was talking about the Persian Empire earlier, and making scary comments about how they might be trying to take over the world! OMG! Ahmadinejad fancies himself a Darius for a New Persian Century! Man the phalanx! I'm always amazed at all the historical references the batshit right can come up with. This is just like in WWII, when Chamberlain wanted to give Saddam the Sudetenland. No, this is like when the Ottoman empire was trying to invade Vienna. No, they want a new caliphate. OMG! The Moops are coming! They're going to take over the U.S. like they did in Spain! Along with the Mexicans! Is it a coincidence that there's a city in California called Alhambra? OMFG!!!!! They're coming for us!!! NGAHHHHH!


Where was I? Oh yes, Coburn is talking. He looks like an absolute snake. I would not trust him to remove a booger from my nose, let alone my appendix. I'd let Frist operate on me first.

Coburn is now talking about how the American people need to learn about the consequences of us leaving Iraq. Yes, there's nothing Iraqi people want more than us to stay there and keep Iraq in it's current stable, peaceful state.

Also, he would like us to consider what would happen if the United States might have to eventually return to the Middle East. You know what, asshole, we'll just cross that bridge when we come to it.

Hey, if only we'd left our doughboys in northern France after Amiens, World War II would never have happened! Great idea! And we struggled so much in Vietnam because we didn't have troops stationed there starting in 1954.

OK, now he's being so stupid I can't keep up. I leave you with these words of wisdom from Oklahoma's more-crazy Senator. (And yes, out-crazying James Inhofe is a feat.)

"Darfur's going to seem like a blip on a screen compared to what's going to happen in Iraq if we leave."

So true, asshole. And just look how bogged down we've gotten there.

1:11 a.m. Tom Harkin sighs, as if to say "Man, digging out from under that mountain of manure is going to be tough work." He's reminding us about what a bloodbath Vietnam became after we left, making what happened in Cambodia look like a blip on a screen. And now he's pulled out a giant posted that reads "Let Us Vote."

If I had photoshop, I'd totally take the picture of a pretty lady and put it on a photo of the poster on the easel. Probably this one, because I really like it:

Someone's been doing crunches, I see.

Harkin seems to be delivering a wonderfully understated takedown here, but come on man. It's after 1 a.m. Let's have some passion. I'm not asking for some Preston Brooks action here, but let's see some fire.

1:28 a.m. I just did 50 crunches.

1:30 a.m. A friend who is actually staying up and watching (and possibly even reading) asks: Do you think Lieberman voted for Bush in 2004? I bet he did. In fact, I bet he voted for Bush in 2000. Too bad the election didn't come down to Connecticut, instead of Florida. It could have been like in Election, when that one dude votes for Tracy Flick instead of himself, and winds up swinging the election.

Also, I like to imagine Holy Joe praying and thanking God for "what I'm told is a large penis."

Of course, in this case, he's referring to the one on the horse he's busy fellating in the cloakroom.

1:35 a.m. I wonder if Surge is the official soda of the Republican party. I bet there's cases of that shit on ice in the Republican cloakroom to keep everyone awake.

1:53 a.m. Wow, someone's all hopped up on sugar, caffeine and a witches' brew of hate, stupidity and xenophobia. Ladies and gentlemen, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D.!

"We're taking a lot of casualties in Iraq ... because that's where they are killing our soldiers. That's the reason we're taking on casualties in Iraq because that is where our soldiers are."

"We move troops to Afghanistan they'll start killing our troops there, because that's what they are and that's what they do. They are killers, whose goal is to kill Americans. And they're going to keep coming at us. And I really don't think sometimes our colleagues on the other side see this for what it is, a titanic struggle between good and evil between radical Islam and nations that cherish freedom."

John Thune is the Tim McCarver of foreign policy. If Tim McCarver were a bigoted, fearmongering douchelord who conflates basically everyone in southwestern Asia into "they" who want to kill us. They, they they, fear, fear, fear, kill, kill kill.

Now he's bemoaning Democrat (sic) comments on the unpopularity of the war as the "politicization of the war on terror."

Nothing gives Republicans the vapors like the politicization of important policy aims. That and tender, yet ardent man-sex within the confines of marriage.

1:54 a.m. McCain sighting! Yay, war, yay Iraq. This is the second senator I can't believe I voted for. True story, I voted for him in the 2000 Michigan primary, mainly because I feared the momentum Bush had. Also, at the time, he seemed like a reasonable, respectable Republican, the kind I might have once voted for in earnest, three years earlier or so.

2:02 a.m. Webb jumps in! Asks Thune if he thinks the members of the armed forces are likely to have the same diversity of views as the American public. Thune is clearly getting uneasy at the idea of engaging Webb in debate. He's saved by the bell, however, when the president (McCaskill, I think) clarifies that the Senator with the floor can only yield for a question. Thune shows no further interest in yielding time, reclaims it and and, like a kid whose big brother has just shown up, sticks his tongue out at Webb. (Actually, he just made some comment about how maybe Webb should go talk to the troops in Iraq, rather than the ones who have returned home.)

Thune, you are a total pussy. I bet it sucks to live in fear.

2:06 a.m. Maria Cantwell has the floor. For a Senator, she's pretty foxy. Not quite Loretta Sanchez-caliber, but hey -- this is the Senate, it's a much more exclusive club.

2:09 a.m. Our Ozarks bureau chief checks in. He points out that Mark Pryor, D-Ark, won't be speaking tonight because he, like John Thune, has no balls. Also, he has no opinions and never talks at all. Now seems like the time to point out that said bureau chief once bought me a bottle of wine from Arkansas, which actually had the outline of the state on the label.

I haven't had it yet. I'm saving it.

If Pryor doesn't speak, I'll buy said chief a beer next time he's in town. Speaking of, I might take a break for a bit. I'll return if anything truly stupid happens.

2:10 a.m.-4:10 a.m. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), and an especially smug and prickish Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), take the floor, with an interlude from John McCain, who then takes the floor for good around 4 a.m. I bet if I ever met Jeff Sessions he'd so piss me off that within five minutes I'd be like "Admiral Farragut says hello" and "Man, that 2000 Orange Bowl sure was something."

4:13 a.m. While he's gesturing at a map of the middle east and probably jabbering on about some bullshit, McCain's cell phone goes off. He silences it without missing a beat. Say what you will, but the man's a pro. Question: Who's calling him at that time? Shortly thereafter, a sleepy looking Hillary Clinton takes the floor. I know it's like a law or something that all writing about Hillary Clinton must focus on her appearance or some other superficial aspect of her, but in this case it's valid. Does she just eschew caffeine? She's talking slowly and fuzzily, as if her tongue suddenly got about three times heavier than normal. Was there not a single aide waiting by her cot with a fucking Starbucks Doubleshot or a Red Bull or some shit? Crikey.

5 a.m. or so. The newest senator, John Barasso adresses the Senate for the first time. Good for him, is my first thought, but upon seeing his stupid tie (a four-in-hand pulled tight down to the size of a grape; I find this very irritating for some reason) and his support for the war, I've had enough. Huzzah for him, he'll always remember the time he first addressed the Senate at 5 in the morning. I bet he votes like a loyal, war-loving Republican.

5:20 a.m. QUORUM CALL, MOTHERFUCKERS! This quorum is going to get the FUCK called out of it. I can just tell.

5:29 a.m. I just invented a new rule to live by. And that rule is: Any time I'm watching C-SPAN2 after 5:30 in the morning and the only action is a quorum call, I'm going to bed.

5:30 a.m. Guess what? I'm going to bed. It's been real.


dmbmeg said...

Flop your senator is a gorilla.

Go Mets!

CrimeNotes said...

I gave up to watch a Full House re-run on Nick at Nite.

dmbmeg said...

Flop I admire your dedication to this. I just about spit out my water when I read:

OMG! The Moops are coming!

You're a pussy for not following this through.

CrimeNotes said...

What the fuck -- this went on until 5:30 a.m.?

This "live-blogging" was actually a prank. I wanted to get Flop to stay up until 5:30 a.m. writing about C-SPAN, and figured this would be the easiest way to trick him.

Crunk Raconteur said...

"Where was I? Oh yes, Coburn is talking. He looks like an absolute snake. I would not trust him to remove a booger from my nose, let alone my appendix."

And, dude, you're not even a woman (you know, the people that crazy son of a bitch occasionally forcibly sterilizes without their consent!)

Still, I think Inhofe is marginally crazier.

blythe said...

coburn represent! and now i've got to go make out with a girl in the bathroom.

Flop said...

Oh, see now, blythe. Sen. Coburn is so NOT going to approve of that.

Midwesterner in NYC said...

This was pretty outstanding

Crunk Raconteur said...

You know, when I stop to consider the large Oklahoma-based readership of CSB, it makes any and all Tom Coburn/James Inhofe jokes about 27% funnier...

CrimeNotes said...

MidwNYC: Thanks. It was winging. Seemed like a bad idea at the time, but when I re-read it today I was pleasantly surprised.

CR: This site is huge in Oklahoma.

blythe said...

Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe are no laughing matter if you happen to reside in the Sooner State.

And now I have to deny global warming while making out with a girl in the bathroom.

Mr. Shain said...

seriously, we're gonna get your website painted on a water tower. it's what we do to famous things in oklahoma.

CrimeNotes said...

I'd make an excellent water tower -- tall, skinny and a big head.

blythe said...


copyranter said...

I did a TV spot/web video for Lovers and Players (Jackie's one of our clients). It was saucy.

CrimeNotes said...

C-Rant: The TV spots and web video for her sister's reelection are pretty saucy as well. It's all about that wide, inviting smile and those thick ankles.

I fucking love "Lovers & Players," both in fiction and real life.