* An embittered snake charmer released a sack full of cobras and other poisonous snakes into an office full of Indian bureaucrats. The ones that weren't safely removed were given medium-wage jobs with decent benefit packages.
* Remember what a bummer it was the day you caught your mom humming, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Well, I'm sorry to break this to you but the New York Times just caught on to the "Mitt Romney is a robot" joke. So much for that one.
* Grover Norquist has good news for all! Turns out raising taxes on non-millionaire people doesn't actually count as raising taxes. That's probably because non-millionaire people don't actually count as people.
Tags: Animals, Grover Norquist, India, Mitt Romney, Music, Pork Barrel, Robots Are Dope!, Taxes
In order to become a GOP candidate, you have to agree to more terms and conditions than an iTunes user. Not only do you have to agree to Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge, but now it's become increasingly popular to sign the The Family Leader's Marriage Vow.
A few days after appearing at a Family Leader forum, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is the latest GOP presidential candidate to sign the group’s controversial marriage pledge…
Family Leader head Bob Vander Plaats has said signing the pledge will be a prerequisite for the group’s endorsement, one coveted among candidates seeking to nab the evangelical vote.
Remember when Republicans fancied themselves mavericks? Would a maverick sign a pledge just to win votes? Would John Wayne sign that pledge? Would Mel Gibson in the movie Maverick sign that pledge? More pertinently, would a man who's already broken the pledge twice sign that pledge?
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has indicated he would sign it if he could make a few modifications.
Maybe something along the lines of "Marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman, give or take a few."
Photo by Kayana Szymczak/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Grover Norquist, Marriage, Marriage Equality, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, The Family Leader
John Boehner Asked About "Some Random Person" Named Grover Norquist Who Makes All His Policy Decisions for Him
For some reason, John Boehner was asked a question by a member of the press concerning somebody named — now, lemme double-check this name — somebody named Grover Norquist. That can't be a real name, can it? Somebody's trying to trip him up, right?
I mean, why would anybody ask the Speaker of the House a question about such an obviously non-influential person with a silly name like that?
Asked about Norquist, who heads the powerful Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) group, Boehner said, "it's not often I'm asked about some random person in America and what I think."
When pressed again about Norquist's sway over the House GOP, the speaker said he was focused squarely on creating jobs, not talking "about somebody's personality." But Boehner stressed the GOP stance on taxes, saying "our conference is opposed to tax hikes because we believe that tax hikes will hurt our economy and put Americans out of work."
I wonder how often it is that Boehner signs a pledge written by "some random person" and then follows it to the letter despite all consequences within the legislative body over which he was charged with presiding?
Do you think it's more often or less often?
Photo by Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images
Tags: Grover Norquist, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Taxes
Republican legislators are in a really tight spot these days. Those shifty Democrats have somehow craftily managed to trick them into refusing sign off on a run-of-the-mill debt ceiling increase without first balancing the national budget.
Of course, an obvious solution would be to supplement budget cuts with an increase in taxes on the wealthiest Americans. But obviously Republicans can't do that because… because because. You know how it is.
They all signed Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform pledge in their own sanguine fluid, which means that they're all bound by a sacred oath to never raise taxes ever no matter what infinity. So, looks like there's no way out of this.
[A]ccording to Mr. Norquist’s interpretation of the Americans for Tax Reform pledge, lawmakers have the technical leeway to bring in as much as $4 trillion in new tax revenue — the cost of extending President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for another decade — without being accused of breaking their promise.
"Not continuing a tax cut is not technically a tax increase," Mr. Norquist told us. So it doesn’t violate the pledge? "We wouldn't hold it that way," he said.
Of course, letting the tax cuts expire is decidedly not Mr. Norquist’s preference. Indeed, as a matter of policy, he is passionately opposed to a single dime in new tax revenue. But the fact that Mr. Norquist interprets his own pledge to permit such conduct suggests that Republican lawmakers who have been browbeaten into abjuring any tax increase, at any time, for any reason, may not be as boxed in as they believe.
Clever girl, Grover Norquist. Clever girl. You really stuck it to that stuffed shirt Grover Norquist and his Americans for Tax Reform group this time.
Photo by Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: Debt, Grover Norquist, House of Representatives, Republicans, Taxes
And so, the Great Debt Ceiling Negotiations of Aught-Eleven rages on with no end in sight! Will the Obama presidency be utterly destroyed? Will Republican Party implode due to rampant infighting? Will the very fabric of the American economy be torn asunder?
Coverage continues with Wall Street Journal congressional correspondent Naftali Bendavid after the jump.
The Colbert Report airs Monday through Thursday at 11:30/10:30c.
Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Economy, Eric Cantor, Grover Norquist, House of Representatives, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Republicans, Senate, Stephen Colbert, Taxes, The Colbert Report, Video, Wall Street Journal