Archive for tom coburn

Dr. Tom: Needs More Gutting

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by rottenart

Tom Coburn, bag-man extraordinaire, is having a bit of a tough time. Sure, there’s all the questions about the John Ensign affair, which make Coburn out to look not only like the worst Christian ever but also a little bit like a potential perjurer. But that’s not the big issue facing our nation, people! What’s that you say? You’re pretty sure the American public is worried about jobs? Well, what the hell do you know about anything? Haven’t you heard that the most pressing issue of our times is the debt? Jobs, psh…

So, what to do? Everybody’s got a plan. Some are not popular, some are slightly more popular and some are curiously non-existent in the conversation. So, while everyone is arguing about whose budget is more serious, the Senate comes in to the rescue! The Gang of Six are here to offer a bipartisan solution that everyone hates (I wonder if it ever occurred to politicos that the word ‘gang’ is king of a turn-off) and they’ve been working very hard on that last point.

But we’re going to have to wait, boys and girls. Because while Tom Coburn understands that sometimes you have to negotiate with millions of dollars in real estate to keep untidy indiscretions quiet, there is no way he is going to accept anything less than gutting Social Security and Medicare to solve our nation’s ills. From TPM:

A source with knowledge of the negotiations says Coburn ultimately broke ranks after members of the group rejected his proposal to introduce a global cap on Medicare spending that would have cut $150 billion from current beneficiaries.

“The issue we have now is, over the last couple weeks Coburn has been slow walking this and it’s become clear that he’s not been negotiating in good faith,” the source said. “He came yesterday with demands that we make immmedate and deep cuts to current Medicare beneficiaries.”

I mean, if we’re not willing to throw old people in the street, we’re simply not serious enough to deal with the debt. And so Coburn picked up his bible (?) and went home. Reportedly, there is no more Gang of Six, I suppose because everyone besides Dick Durbin wanted to cut even more.

So remember, folks. Tom Coburn is willing to haggle with criminals to cover up an affair and lie about it, but if he doesn’t get his way when we’re talking about the country, he  sticks his fingers in his ears and screams. It’s so serious I could puke.


Perhaps Dr. Tom Wasn’t Being Exactly Honest?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2011 by rottenart

"I will never tell!"

Tommy Boy has some ‘splainin’ to do.

Jon Stewart Must Read Rottenart

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2010 by rottenart

How else would he know just how big an asshole Tom Coburn is? I mean, holding up our nation’s food safety and now denying aid to Haiti? It’s no wonder people have such a low opinion of Oklahoma in other parts of the country. All you need to do is listen to the people we choose to represent us.

Oklahoma’s inanity and apathy regarding our senators aside, this simply doesn’t make sense from a financial standpoint. Much like the food safety bill, Coburn opposes a paltry amount of money in context and, in the process, cuts off the nose to spite the face. As Stewart makes clear,  Coburn is worried about one half of one percent of the total amount being wasted. I for one would like to see a full listing of Sen. Coburn’s expenses on capitol hill. I betcha there’s more than 0.05% waste there. To top it all off,  his ludicrous stand is wrapped in a healthy dose of hypocrisy because he has no problem with a $700 billion deficit hike to protect tax cuts for the nation’s richest 2%.

What the hell is wrong with this moron? Did he accidentally eat his copy of the Hippocratic Oath because it would save on paper cost? If I believed there was a Democrat in OK that had the cajones to stand up to Dr. No, than this would make an excellent campaign issue in 2012. Alas, all I can reasonably hope for is some sort of karmic retribution involving a speculum.

I shan’t elaborate on the ways of the universe; I’ll leave it to your imagination. In the meantime, if you’re so inclined, why not send Dr. Tom a little note to ask him why he’s such a hypocritical asshole?

No Wonder Hispanics Are Demonized in OK

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by rottenart

To hear Oklahoma’s representatives tell it, illegal immigration is one of the roots of all evil. Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe have both come out swinging on the issue, offering up the standard conservative dogma about “amnesty to illegals” and lining up proudly behind HB 1804, the state’s controversial anti-immigrant measure, enacted in 2007. Coburn even goes so far as to say that Obama’s immigration reform plans are part of a political ploy to attract Hispanic votes. The OK legislature is poised to further marginalize immigrants with another planned immigration measure, based on Arizona’s infamous SB 1070, that would go even further, allowing for state seizure of property. It seems that no matter who represents OK, either at the state or federal level, they’re always ready and able to bash brown people.

Which is why this story is so interesting. It seems that in addition to all the alleged crime, drugs, rape and pillaging perpetrated by immigrants in the state, they are also a huge cash cow for state budgets. According to the article, transportation and detention brought $6 million to the Tulsa County sheriff’s department alone during an 18 month period.

Keep in mind that this is money that comes directly from the federal government. Nearly 45% of ICE’s $5.7 billion budget goes to local law enforcement for detention and transportation as well as paying for facilities. That’s around $2. 5 billion that flows from DC to the states every year. I’m not suggesting that states should bear the responsibility for a federal issue, which immigration certainly is (in fact, it’s the reason Arizona’s law was largely nullified by a judge a few weeks ago).  But remember those numbers when your local teabagger starts yammering about federal spending.

In any event, it’s clear that the passion over immigration is not solely based on ideology. Garvin County Sheriff Steve Brooks evidently knows which side his bread is buttered on:

“This contract stimulates our budget and gives jobs to the community,” Brooks said. “We don’t use county funds to do federal business, but the money brings something here.”


“We’re not going to get rich doing this, but we’re not going to go broke,” he said. “It makes things better for the citizens of Garvin County.”

Brooks said he’s often confronted by those who don’t believe the program is humane. The irony of the job also isn’t lost on him: if all the illegal immigrants were gone or no longer illegal, his budget and his roster would shrink again.

“I guess we’d have to figure something else out,” Brooks said. “Right now, we’re upholding the law.”

Upholding the law while staving off painful budget decisions on the backs of immigrants, that is. I don’t necessarily fault local law enforcement. When the budget comes down, I’m sure they’re grateful for every job they can save, even if it means destroying others (and let’s face it, immigrants do a lot of work in OK). My only wish is that when our elected officials grandstand on immigration reform, they should come right out and tell people the truth about their motives. They may be ideologically opposed to illegal immigration but their states are benefiting financially from the demagoguery.

All I’m asking for is a little honesty.

(cross-posted on

Tom Coburn’s Scattershot Wisdom

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2010 by rottenart

As the old saying goes, a stopped clock is right twice a day. Or, to put it another way, if you kill everyone in the room, you’re bound to get the one bad guy. This is the approach to government spending favored by noted lesbian hunter, Dr. Tom Coburn, Oklahoma’s slightly less wing-nutty junior senator. He spoke to a town hall in Wagoner, OK and made clear that he thinks the government should not be spending money on things like over-priced F-35 aircraft that the military doesn’t want. Which is good.

Of course, in the same town hall, he also claimed that health care reform and the Dept. of Education are also examples of bad government spending. Which is idiotic. He’s just so enamored with his image as “bulwark against DC pork” that he casts a net over every single thing the government does. There’s a reason he’s earned the nickname “Dr. No”. And it just wouldn’t be a Republican gathering if there wasn’t some requisite poor-bashing, with the good Dr. and his constituents alike bemoaning how generous welfare benefits are and how “no one ever got a job from a poor person”. This all plays quite well in conservative, rural OK, even though Oklahoma ranks high on the list of receiving federal welfare. It’s been noted before, but look at how many of the states who pay the least in taxes and get the most back from DC happen to be Republican red states. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

This is the problem with Coburn’s (and most of the rest of the Republican line, including the misguided caterwauling of the Teabaggers) logic concerning spending. While his desire to spend less on waste can be helpful when applied to actual waste (like the aforementioned F-35), his adherence to a “no spending whatsoever” mantra would result in a national calamity, including in Oklahoma. One wonders whether he sees his own senatorial salary and benefits package as unnecessary too. It’s no surprise that he offers this anti-government boilerplate to his faithful base back home. They have been conditioned since the Reagan years to think the government is the source of all their ills when the truth is that government spending is crucial to our economic survival. To just paint all spending as waste, especially in the areas of health and education, is lunacy aimed only at driving the vote in November.

You can see from the comments on the Tulsa World article that many Oklahomans buy the snake oil Coburn and others are selling. Until the brainwashing of our populace is effectively countered, then voters will continue to be blissfully unaware of how much they depend on Washington even as they gleefully bash it all day long. Tom Coburn is undeniably targeting some of the bad guys when it comes to spending. The problem is that his solution is to shoot all of us in the hunt.

(cross-posted on

A Tale of Two Scandals

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2010 by rottenart

Ol’ Steve hits it out of the park again. Rep Charlie Rangel (D) NY is the target of an ethics probe that is likely justified and might end up with Rangel’s defeat. It has been a big topic with the media since it broke and, like Steve, I agree it’s nothing to scoff at.  On the other side of the aisle, however, Sen. John Ensign (R) NV is also embroiled in a scandal. In fact, he’s the target of an FBI investigation into his kickback-for-a-mistress shenanigans that have also pointed fingers at the idiot doctor from OK, Sen. Tom Coburn. Of course it is an election year, so the usual gang of prognosticators wonders very seriously about what Rangel’s problems might mean for the Dems in the Fall. I wonder why there’s no mention of the Republican scandal in the news and why it’s going to tarnish the party for the midterms?

Honestly, ethics are a problem and Charlie Rangel certainly could bring home the bacon. But a House ethics probe is not the same as a federal investigation. John Ensign is facing charges and the bobble heads tell us how awful it is for the Democrats. The IOKIYAR rule is in full effect. Another example of that “liberal bias” in the media again, I suppose. Of course, hypocrisy is too big a word for the Tea Bushies; they love him because he invites twisted freaks like Sharron Angle to the Senate to start measuring drapes and drawing up plans for massacring brown people.

Maybe Charlie Rangel needs to go; I’ll reserve judgment for the report from the ethics committee. But John Ensign definitely needs to go and probably should be indicted for his behavior. But that’s not going to happen as long as the corporate mouthpieces that we call cable news hosts don’t adequately inform us of what’s going on. As some crazy wacko once put it: The news is just another show.

Coburn Misses April Fools By A Week

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2010 by rottenart

When I first saw this headline, I thought it must surely be a late April Fools Day prank. As it turns out, the good doctor actually made some reasonable observations to a room full of party faithful. As one of the comments in the linked article noted, Republicans have so thoroughly mangled truth and reality that for many of us, cynicism rather than optimism is the first reaction. Anxiety about a tough race can certainly induce strange behavior in Republicans ( see: Exhibit A). But is there actually a possibility that Dr. Tom is fearing November? Although his Q1 fund-raising is anemic by any standard ($17,000?), it doesn’t seem like he’ll have many obstacles to re-election. If you were a betting person, I’d advise doubling down on Brad Henry not even thinking about challenging Coburn; he may have some positive polling, but Henry’s mealy-mouthed charm would get eaten alive by Coburn’s seasoned machine. The other possibilities — Dan Boren, Brad Carson Redux — all suffer from the eternal paradox: Democrat in OK = Slightly right of Blanche Lincoln nationally. Even if the Okie Dems could mount a succesful campaign, it would just mean another Blue dog in the Senate. Barf. Additionally, as far as I know, Andrew Rice is content where he is in the statehouse, unfortunately for OK and the country.

So, Coburn’s not worried about his job. Is he gonna retire? The statements he made would certainly indicate a guy not worried about pissing off his wack-job base. Were he running in AZ, he would be hung in effigy by now. I’ll keep an eye on whether Glenn Beck calls him out for speaking against the Godhead.

I haven’t even mentioned the possibility that Coburn has actually seen the light, come to his senses and made the first steps toward a new era of debate and respect in our nation political discourse. I mostly didn’t mention it because it’s such a ridiculous idea I can’t even believe it fell out of my head. I suppose when Jim Inhofe starts touting the benefits of carbon-capture and the green economy, we’ll know something’s up. As for Coburn, well… let’s just see how quickly he walks back this unusual burst of sanity before sending him any flowers.