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Joe Biden To Sit On Thumbs For Next Four Years

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Our Vice President-elect spent a recent evening stuffing Christmas stockings for a charity, with his wife, because why not? It's not like he has anything better to do! He looks forward to a wonderful first term playing Wii in the Cheney Dungeon and cutting ribbons at state fairs. In having no defined "portfolio" of busywork to attend to, Biden differs from other recent vice presidents. Dick Cheney's portfolio, of course, included "Making war with everyone, quietly murdering deer, and colonizing Mars" whereas Al Gore had to streamline the government and Dan Quayle had to misspell common vegetables.


This is either a good or bad thing, Joe Biden's up-in-the-air-ness. On the one hand, it gives him broad authority to do whatever he wants (such as run the Senate per Sarah Palin's suggestions), and to learn about Things, and to act as a sage advice-giver to the President instead of getting distracted by various dumb little tasks like Al Gore did.

Al Gore ... didn’t want to head Clinton’s task force on health-care reform, “believing that it would consume all of his attention.” Gore did, however, make a major exception to this rule by taking on a project to streamline the federal government—a task that Kerry told me made Gore less available to lobby his old friends in the Senate. “Frankly, I don’t think Clinton used Gore for that very effectively,” Kerry said. “I think when he was given reinventing government it put him on the sidelines.”

Well that all sounds very sensible! But surely there is an "other hand," a downside, if you will. Ah here it is: in keeping Biden around for general advices and such, Obama is depriving reporters of much-needed "clarity."

[W]hile Mr. Obama has moved quickly to assemble his White House staff and the beginnings of a cabinet, he is lagging behind even the chronically late President Bill Clinton in bringing clarity to the role his vice president will play.

Obama needs to hold a press conference to inform the media of Joe Biden's specific duties: thinking, advising, breaking tie votes in the Senate, and playing Spore.

Biden's Brief [New Yorker]

For Biden, No Portfolio but the Role of a Counselor [New York Times]

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It started with them damn hats. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

A guest post by "Knitsy McPurlson," which we suspect is not a real name.

Yr Wonkette is not the only website run by brilliant peoples unafraid to poke people with sharp, pointy sticks. Ravelry.com – a website for knitters, crocheters, and other folks interested in textiles and fiber arts – is poking people with knitting needles, which are very sharp indeed.

This past weekend, Ravelry.com's founders showed the world how easy it is to de-platform white nationalists and racists when they banned all "support of Donald Trump and his administration" from their website, concluding they "cannot provide a space that is inclusive of all and also allow support for open white supremacy." Seems like people smart enough to decode a knitting pattern are also smart enough to decode Trump's not-so-hidden message of racism and white nationalism.

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One day, God willing, my grandchildren will click open their history textbooks and read about the Central American migrant internment camps. They'll learn about sick kids, locked in cages, kept hungry and dirty and cold for weeks on end, and they'll be horrified.

"Bubbie," they'll say, "how could this happen in America? How could there be toddlers sleeping on the ground without blankets, without soap or toothbrushes to clean themselves?"

"I don't know. I wish I had done more. I'm ashamed," I'll say. We will all have to answer for this atrocity. But some of us will have to answer more than others. Not just the archvillains like Stephen Miller and John Kelly, but the people who kept right on doing their jobs, even as those jobs morphed into defending concentration camps.

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