Links for 9-28-2015

  • Ben Domenech writes that John Boehner quit because he was going to be fired:

    Let’s be clear about one thing: John Boehner quit because he was going to get fired. It’s all fine and dandy to describe the Speaker as an “institutionalist” – a word we have not heard so frequently used since the Beltwaysplaining of Chief John Roberts – but if Boehner is, he was an institutionalist about to be rejected by the institution (or by the slimmest of chances, sustained as Speaker only by the good graces of the opposing party). Under Boehner’s leadership, the institutional standing of the Republican Congress has crumbled to record lows. He departs as the least popular Speaker in three decades. The idea that this approach was one designed to appeal to some higher purpose is simply laughable. One does not fall on a sword when your head is already in the guillotine.

    Mitch McConnell is worse than Boehner:

    So whose fault is it that Boehner is out? The obvious culprits are the meddlesome Tea Party or the pro-lifers or those members actually pushing the motion to vacate. There is a more subtle case to be made that it’s the weak sisters in the Republican conference who, even on an issue as core to the party’s existence as life, remained dead-set against using the Constitutional power of the purse to eliminate a few hundred million in taxpayer funding for an organization engaged in profiting from death. But the person to blame for Boehner stepping down ought to be absolutely clear – the actual target of far more conservative frustration than John Boehner: Mitch McConnell.

    Later:

    To understand the missed opportunity here, consider what could have happened if McConnell was not so dedicated to keeping the Senate “open for business” and working with the president on other priorities. Imagine instead what would have happened if McConnell saw the opportunity to break Reid and isolate the president on spending. He could have canceled all other Senate business, canceled the recesses, and forced the Democrats to block the Defense appropriations bill every 72 hours until September 30th. No weekends off, no holidays, keeping 75 year old men up all night for days, allowing no personal comforts until the filibuster is broken. In stark comparison to the media’s willingness to hide the ball on Planned Parenthood, Republicans would have been gifted with three months of messaging on “Democrats are so angry at the American people for taking away their majority, they are refusing to pay the troops.”

  • Bill Hemmer of Fox News pressed Rand Paul about his support for Mitch McConnell as majority leader:

    After host Bill Hemmer followed up on whether he supports McConnell, Rand answered, “There isn’t really a battle or an election going on, or any other choices. There aren’t. There is no other choice for leader.”

    Hemmer then asked, “So you are behind him for now unless someone else emerges?” Rand responded, “Well, there is no election. There is no battle going on. What I support is the position that we should take the power of the purse, and we should actually use it. So, I will oppose Senator McConnell when he brings forward the continuing resolution. But it isn’t about opposing a person. It’s about a position, and it’s about us using the power of the purse.”

    In 2013 Rand Paul endorsed Mitch McConnell for re-election. Who’s the moron here?

  • The U.S. Senate passed a continuing resolution that funds the federal government through December 11. Ted Cruz offered an amendment to the continuing resolution that defunded Planned Parenthood, but no Republicans in the chamber offered to second his motion to amend. The Republicans in the chamber at the time included Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn, so you know where they stand.

  • Retired U.S. Army Colonel Kurt Schlichter explains why the U.S. military looks the other way as Afghans rape children:

    The revelation that our generals expect Americans solders to allow screaming young boys to be sodomized and not stop it is simply the latest manifestation of the utter moral bankruptcy infecting the senior ranks of the U.S. military.

    The problems with America’s military—which has now failed to win three wars in a row against backward fanatics whom the nineteenth-century Brits would have handily dispatched to hell in time for tea—are not merely budgetary. You can’t buy real leaders, leaders with strategic competence and moral courage. Aging equipment, while a problem, is nothing compared to the incompetence and moral cowardice of our military’s senior leaders.

    Later:

    Without a doubt, the commander in Afghanistan could evaluate the situation, determine that we are not going to tolerate the rape of children, and instruct our troops to fire two warning shots into the sternum of anyone found doing so. In fact, in the spirit of decentralization that is the mark of a winning military, the commander could further emphasize that he is not putting a ceiling on the number of shots that could be fired—if the soldier on the ground thinks he needs to fire more rounds into the sternum of the pederast, that’s just good combat leader initiative.

    Sure, this may temporarily make some of our allies less willing to support us, but it is the morally right thing to do and, in the long run, it would send a powerful message that locals need to start appreciating the cultural norms of the people who traveled halfway around the world to save their sorry excuse for a country.

  • Shell drilled a duster in the Chukchi Sea and won’t be back for the foreseeable future. Shell will take a third quarter write-down on its Alaska operations.

  • Russia conducted another test of a ground-launched cruise missile that violates the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

  • The Taliban breached the defenses of the city of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. They appear to have gained control over most – if not all – of the city.