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This Won’t Happen on Ashley Judd’s Watch…

[ 80 ] February 19, 2013 |

Oh dear:

On November 14, 2012, Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) wrote to Elizabeth King, the Pentagon’s congressional liaison, with an unusually credulous query. “I am writing on behalf of a constituent who has contacted me regarding Guantanamo Bay prisoners receiving Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits,” McConnell wrote in a letter acquired by Danger Room. “I would appreciate your review and response to my constituent’s concerns.”

Um, Guantanamo detainees getting GI Bill benefits? Yes, that’s from the Duffel Blog, as McConnell’s constituent clearly states, complete with the reference URL. Said constituent even notes that he or she can’t find any information about the alleged government payouts to suspected insurgents and terrorists.

 

 

Comments (80)

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  1. UserGoogol says:

    Eh, it seems fairly understandable that politicians would just automatically push constituent questions onto the appropriate executive authority without bothering to check if the questions were stupid or not. Senators get a lot of stupid questions, after all, it’s easier to just crank through regardless.

    • Uncle Kvetch says:

      Agreed. The infuriating part is that “TERRORIST PRISONERS AT GITMO ARE GETTING G.I. BENEFITS OMG OMG!” has doubtless been emailed around the world several bazillion times by now, thus attaining the status of incontrovertible fact by the 27%.

    • Stag Party Palin says:

      This is such an obviously stupid question the only reason to pass it through is to rouse the rabble. I cut TurtleMan no slack here.

      Dear Sen. McConnell;
      I hear that the Guantanamo prisoners have been asking where’s the white wimmen at? Is this twue?
      Sincerely, M. Dash

      • Stag Party Palin says:

        BTW, the over/under on this post is 7 minutes.

      • UserGoogol says:

        That seems a tad paranoid. Letters between the legislative and executive branch released to the general public via a blog on Wired.com which thoroughly mocks the idea are not really the best way to launch an idea into the conservative mind. You could just put a vaguely speculative story on WorldNetDaily or something and call it a day.

        And more generally I’m skeptical of the idea that Republicans are master manipulators of their audience. People are perfectly capable of believing foolish things without help, so I’m inclined to use Occam’s razor and leave it at that. There’s no need to paint the Republican Party as some sort of elaborate scam.

        • cpinva says:

          agreed, they’ve done that all by themselves:

          “There’s no need to paint the Republican Party as some sort of elaborate scam.”

          possibly the largest scam in US history.

          • witless chum says:

            It’s not a scam, though. Listen to the numbnuts that troll here, they’re demanding vaguely religious, patriarchal plutocracy and seem to have enough self-awareness to know they aren’t the plutocrats.

            I tend to think that it’s a love of hierarchy and a desire to fit oneself snugly into its warm, comforting embrace (I’ve got a lady and set of flannel sheets for that) which is at the heart of most people’s desire for conservatism. Even if you’re at the bottom or close to it like JenBobSpeakCarbonwhoever, I think they find knowing that they’re in the their place and so is everyone else so rewarding that they don’t care that they could have something better if it means that people get above themselves.

            The Republicans are offering a lot of people precisely what they want and trying hard to deliver it. Republicans are a lot of things, but it’s not like they’re the DeVos family or something.*

            * excepting those Republicans who are the DeVos family.

        • efgoldman says:

          There’s no need to paint the Republican Party as some sort of elaborate scam.

          But, at least since Newt took over the House, that’s exactly what it is!
          - We’re not racist, except we give no agency to black or brown people, expecially that ni[clang!] preznit.
          - We care about all you angry white people who vote for us, so much that we’re gonna’ slash your Social Security to ribbons, given half a chance.
          - Our TeaHadis rose up from the people, except for the astroturf organizations led by Richard Army that poured tens of millions into us.
          - We love the Lawd Jeebus, and condemn all kinds of sins, except when we do it. Then we repent, and all is well.
          - We want people to elect us, to got to DC and fix things, except we won’t pass anything, or even suggest things. Oh, but we voted to repeal Obamacare 30+ times. En though it would never een come before the Senate.
          And on and on.

    • Warren Terra says:

      I doubt McConnell ever touched this one. But you have a staff to make you look good, and part of that is that they’re not supposed to sign your name to evidence of paranoid delusion. This question might as well have been about the Red Cross plotting to taint our nation’s blood supply and turn people into vampires. At most, you send a note to the relevant officials explaining that you’re getting this question and you’d appreciate an authoritative statement explaining why it’s unreasonable; you don’t pass it on as being an issue that troubles the Senate Minority Leader.

      • Warren Terra says:

        (adding) I guess my point is that either McConnell’s staff are monumentally dumb or they’re inclined to believe vile nonsense from the fever swamps of the right. Given the nature of the Repblicans base, from which his staffers likely come, I’m prepared to believe either, and the failure to screen out or restrain either says a lot about McConnell.

        • William Berry says:

          Or, as dedicated haters of “Big Guv’mint”, they can’t miss an opportunity for mindless, malicious harassment. I wonder how much other meaningless crap they spew out— on the tax-payers’ expense dime, of course— to government agencies just for the sick fun of it?

        • bh says:

          Whatever they were thinking, it can’t be rationalized normal constituent service. Congressional offices famously get all sorts of crazy requests from people who are, in one way or another, not all there. They have different ways of dealing with them, but none involve passing on to the actual authorities “just in case.”

      • efgoldman says:

        This question might as well have been about the Red Cross plotting to taint our nation’s blood supply and turn people into vampires.

        You mean they’re not? Oh man, that’s a disappointment!

      • Timb says:

        You ,ought do all these things when you are suddenly more afraid of being involved in a primary, which would invoke the sort of right wing populism that you, having been a whore to corporate interests for so long, cannot pull off without warming up….you know, stretching a bit.

        No matter what the title to this piece is, assholes like McConnell don’t worry about Ashley Judd. They worry about Richard Murdoch

    • Snarki, child of Loki says:

      “Senators get a lot of stupid questions”

      I’m sure they do. The GOP ones seem to generate a fair number of them as well. Along with stupid answers.

      Just remember, folks, your Senator is *legally obligated* to answer your question if you write it on butcher paper with a purple crayon.*

      (*offer not valid in deep-blue districts)

    • Jordan says:

      I’ve written letters to my senators about, you know, real things. I really, really doubt they have been passed on to the “appropriate executive authority.”

    • NonyNony says:

      I like that among the “top stories” above your link is “Pope Bendict’s Resignation Tied to Broadwell Affair”.

      I also like that, unlike some other satire sites, in their “About Us” page you get this:

      We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Just about everything on this website is satirical in nature. The content of this site is parody.

      Nice thing to have when I eventually get this link in a chain e-mail and need to do a “Reply All” to let everyone know that the sender is an idiot.

  2. Malaclypse says:

    “The DoD has been doing everything it can to prevent torture from being used against detainees at GTMO. By allowing the detainees to use the Department of Veterans Affairs, we hope to completely crush their souls with bureaucracy, which to be noted, is completely different from torture. I mean hell, the VA does that to our veterans on a daily basis.”

    I can see why McConnell fell for it. I mean, that’s not over-the-top at all.

  3. calling all toasters says:

    If only Dick Cheney were still President– we could go to war with Cuba over this.

    • Warren Terra says:

      Cuba fulfills a couple of the Cheney Criteria (unconnected to the precipitating issue, longtime antagonist, previous attempts at regime change failed), but it lacks one important criterion (should be at least one country over from the responsible parties; halfway around the world is fine, too). Having oil helps, also, and so far as I know Cuba doesn’t (there was a rumor last year about offshore deposits).

      The target is therefore logically either Venezuela or Iran.

    • William Berry says:

      Reminds me of my most recent criminal act. I came home from Nicaragua recently and smuggled in a few el primo cohibas! Since I don’t smoke, I’ll keep them for souvenirs, or give to friends.

      • Barry Freed says:

        Friend. Bill. May I call you Bill? How are ya?

        • William Berry says:

          Doing great, considering that it is 3am and I’m working.

          Next time you’re in Cape Girardeau, MO, give me a holler. The cigars might be gone, but we have three Starbucks[es?], a Panera Bread, and the Rush Limbaugh U.S. Courthouse!

          • Timb says:

            Named after the grandfather?

          • witless chum says:

            A buddy of mine got married there and I thought I remembered a nice little bit of old timey downtown near the river where we had the rehearsal dinner? Or did I hallucinate that?

            But, yeah, uncivilized. No tabasco sauce was available for my eggs at the hotel we stayed at. Allegedly no hot sauce was even on the premises. Not to mention it’s southern enough that they give you iced tea that is fit only for hummingbirds.

          • William Berry says:

            “Named after the grandfather?”

            — Actually, yeah. But we local lefties cynically imagine they were actually naming it after their real hero. We also have the Bill Emerson Memorial bridge over the Mississippi which is named after the Republican carpetbagger congressman who represented the MO eighth from 1980 and died a few years back of alcoholism.

            ” . . . No tabasco sauce was available . . . In the hotel . . .”

            — Most of the hotels are owned by the Drury family, one of the local Republican fat-cat families. But there are more than a hundred restaurants in Cape, including a half-dozen or so good ones, and they all have tabasco, and probably much better iced tea.

            Once you get away from the Drury hotels, there is actually some civilization. SEMO State University has a beautiful campus, and a new college of performing arts on the river just south of downtown. Millions of dollars of Isle of Capri casino money spent on downtown improvements with generally excellent results.

            But, unfortunately, it is ground zero of the Missouri Republican party. Years ago, when I was more active in labor and politics, I had a website dedicated to mostly labor issues. My tagline was: “From Cape Girardeau, MO— home of Rush Limbaugh and the very heart of the heartland of reactionary politics in the United States— a Progressive Alternative.”

            “Did you buy the really cheap Cuba kind, that are worse than American ones?”

            — Probably. I bought them in a kind of touristy street market in a mountain village above Managua, and I am far from an expert on cigars. But at least they were in a lovely little hand-carved wooden box.

            • timb says:

              The reason I know about the grandfather is because I once did some research on whether the Limbaughs were Jim Crow segregationists and the grandfather came up as fairly powerful and influential local figure whose children and grandchildren were basically living off his memory and his connections. That is until the Rush III managed, like old alchemists before failed to do, to turn racism and reactionary Anti-New Dealism into gold.

      • Cody says:

        Did you buy the really cheap Cuba kind, that are worse than American ones?

        Just to destroy people’s ambitions.

  4. Western Dave says:

    Will Kentucky vote for a woman married to a Scottish guy named Dario? Scottish or Italian? It’s all so confusing!

  5. e.a.f. says:

    dua, doesn’t he know you have to have been a G.I. to qualify, not a Git internee? And they elect these people to high office. I know Canadian politicians may not be the smartest on earth but they sure beat the American politicians.

  6. James E. Powell says:

    I’ve been ambivalent on the Ashley Judd for KY senator thing, but I am now totally in favor. It would drive the old goat crazy. He would be almost certain to make several blatantly offensive to women remarks. And if she won, if she won, I’d laugh so hard I’d plotz.

    • N__B says:

      I’m no fan of Judd, but I support her for office on the basis that looking her does not make me think of angry turtle sex. McConnell gives me the willies.

      • Timb says:

        IMHO, everyone with a brain should support anything running against McConnell. He is the purest form of corporate, oligarchical whore in America today. He opposes not just “liberal” policies, but good governance itself. He is a neo-confederate nihilist.

        And, he’s very good at it. For all the focus on Boehner, McConnell is the mastermind behind the inefficient, sclerotic government we have experienced for last 2years. It’s hard to imagine a guy who could a Senate caucus voting as a block as well as this has since the ’64 CRA and ’65 VRA broke the back of the Solid South.

        I would vote for Karl Rove if he ran against McConnell (and if I lived in Ky)

        • N__B says:

          I agree with every word you say, but “No to angry turtle sex” makes a better bumper sticker.

          • timb says:

            We may be taking abstraction to a higher place than the average voter can understand, but I’m fine with that

            • N__B says:

              Hmm. I may have omitted the moron factor from my calculations.

              • timb says:

                Most people consider me “the moron factor” is any conversation.

                On a more serious note, I posted to Facebook on the day after the election my contention that Obama did not beat Romney, he actually beat McConnell. After all, McConnell was the obstructionist in chief. A friend of mine from Maine was making fun of McConnell and we mentioned the turtle thing.

                Some Republican (since unfriended) high school classmate, whose main oeuvre is — for example — to comment on how taxes can’t go up to help the uninsured, because the government runs a deficit. When I pointed out he’s telling people they would be uninsured so he could save $700 a year, he was offended and decried the “personal attack” (which was tragic, since if knew that was gonna happen, I could have really gone for broke).

                He hit a fainting couch over the turtle references and just how unfair they were.

                So….long way of me saying, “yep, morons won’t get it.”

  7. Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    Is it possible that Mitch is just testing the political winds to be the first Republican to (openly) call for an end to GI benefits? Setting the bar early for the 2016 GOP horserace?

  8. CD says:

    Duffel blog is pretty entertaining.

    • redrob64 says:

      But the comments are often so depressing. How can you read a piece on the site itself and not get the joke? Or am I actually being taken in by some brilliant parodists who do note perfect imitations of clueless wingnuts? The ironic regression begins…

  9. Sly says:

    I find that whether or not an establishment politician begins embracing shit from conspiracy theorists depends on if the conspiracy theorist in question has lots of money.

    So maybe some big donor in Kentucky called up Ol’ Mitch after reading about Obummer’s nefarious plot to give terrorists a college education and demanded answers.

  10. Matt says:

    If Mitch McConnell stopped taking calls from people who push utterly false and ridiculous stories, he’d never get booked on Fox again. :)

  11. DrDick says:

    John Stuart Mill wept and recanted his qualifications.

  12. Dear Senator McConnell,

    I have recently come across reports that MITT ROMNEY IS SURGING! but that the leftist mainstream media won’t report on this fact. Could you please look into it for me?

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