Lightning Round: A Taste of Republican-Run Government.

  • The Republican plan for the 112th Congress -- as if it wasn't already abundantly clear -- will be to slash budgets, deny funding for legislation passed in the 111th Congress, and then point to the results to prove government "doesn't work." The risk to Republicans, I'm to understand, is that a government shutdown would be extremely unpopular, but don't think Republicans care. The idea here is to bring down Barack Obama and if they take some collateral damage it's a small price to pay.
  • I don't have anything to add to Haley Barbour's selective memory of Southern racial comity, but it's a slow news day so read David Weigel's take. Ultimately, I don't think any of this matters, and that's only because I have a hard time seeing Haley Barbour as the 2012 Republican presidential candidate. If he were, then that would be a pretty big signal that the Republican party is no longer concerned with its public image, content to let a Southern tobacco lobbyist be the face of the party.
  • So Republicans have united against legislation that would "protect girls around the world from being coerced into child marriage" strictly because the bill would fund "access to health care services" which we all know means ABORTION. I'm so used to this level of barbarism from the GOP that it barely fazes me any more. But just to put this in perspective, Republicans are saying that the life and well-being of women -- children, no less -- is less important than the concept -- the bill doesn't even mention abortion -- of health care being used for abortion.
  • Weekend Remainders: People always have and always will hate Congress; Richard Perle loves the Gipper so much that he forgot about his opposition to Reagan's arms reduction treaty; and The Los Angeles Times gets fooled into thinking that the business enterprise built to promote Newt Gingrich means he's "serious" about running for president in 2012.

--Mori Dinauer