The Bolton Hearing: Athenae and Tena, Up All … Day


1:25 p.m. Sununununununununu. “The opponents of John Bolton cannot decide what bothers them so much, behavior, policy, procedure.” Biden jumps in: “All of the above.” HEE.

12:10 – Shorter Coleman – “Please let me kiss the gorgeous ass of the Emperor Bush!”

Oh, Kerry’s kicking Allen’s BEEHIND. A lot of us were working before he was on the committee to reform the UN, Big John says, and Allen pulls a face. “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy.”

Get the full highlights, lowlights, comparisons between Norm Coleman and rodents, references to crackheads, and all the other delights behind the cut.


The Bolton Hearings? Why, of course! Tena’s in bold, I’m in plain old text. It’s too early in the day for us to be drinking.

9:15 a.m. Biden and Lugar bicker over the way they’re running the debate. They’re like a little old married couple. Biden seems like he’s already pissed.

Lugar – Public inquiry – well, yes, this is a public body, asshole. Pissy excuses. 22 hours under microscope – shit yes. It’s my $$ who pays the salary. Bolton is the best? What a dick. “some would say”

Is this the new Republican line? That he’s “aggressive?” Because if that’s the new word we’re using for asshole, okay.

It’s 9:20 a.m. and I already want to rip my own head off. Lord, Lugar’s saying it’s okay because the president and the secretary of state are above Bolton. Were we not in Bizarro World, that would indeed be comforting.

9:24: Lugar’s smacking Biden around quite a bit. Did they break up?

Please, Lugar, keep talking about how cozy and close Bush and Bolton are. They’re so close, they think the same way, they visit the same group sex venues. Sheesh.

Shorter Lugar: Bush won, Bush gets whatever he wants.

Lugar: “We challenge analysts’ conclusions on this committee.” Yeah, you do, but you don’t chase them around a hotel room threatening to fire them and scream at them. Critical distinctions are so pre-9/11, aren’t they.

9:45 a.m. Now Lugar’s talking about the Moscow hotel incident. “The woman … is a liberal Democrat who worked for Mothers Opposing Bush in the last election.” Are you KIDDING ME? Okay, I know this is the law of the land among the lesser wingnuts, but is Lugar sincerely implying it’s okay to throw things and abuse those who have the temerity not to support Our Leader? Screw if they’re actually good at their jobs, if they’re right or wrong, if they’re Democrats go right ahead and chuck the desk accessories in their general direction. Is he actually saying that her political persuasion excuses this behavior?

Truly, I used to look at people who talked about liberals being put in camps soon as kind of hysterical. Then I hear stuff like this, and I start stocking up on canned goods.

Lugar: How many of us would want any incidence of anger at our staffs to be fair game during the confirmation process? I really hate when Republicans whine like this. “It’s partisan, it’s so unfair.”

Lugar’s blithering on about how we’ll soon have no public servants if this keeps up. And this is an argument I hate a whole lot. You’re not nominating Bolton to be America’s Chief Burger Flipper. This is a fairly important and don’t let’s forget highly paid job. I don’t feel all that bad about asking him a few questions. It’s not that hard.

This party is schizo, seriously. Putting a guy on a box with electrodes attached to his testicles and a hood over his head, beating him bloody, flushing his holy book down the toilet, that’s all in good fun and merely “aggressive,” but calling a guy into a room, making him sit in a chair in a suit and talk to some hairdos about his past, that’s unconscionable torment beyond human capacity to bear. Pick it, wingnuts. You’re either the party of hardass buttkickers, who don’t mind siccing a dog on somebody to get some unreliable info, or you’re the party of screaming little girls who cry when somebody says bad words to them. You can’t be both.

Voinovich: You’ve made strong argumetns throughout this process. Inquiry has been fair and exhaustive. He says he can cast his vote. Pored over thousands of pages of documetns and met with Bolton personally this week to share his concerns and listen to his thoughts. I wonder if Bolton threw anything at him. A particular concern he has about the nomination: US public policy. America was once admired for its democracy. Now it’s criticized for arrogance.

Public diplomacy must be of the highest importance. We will be unable to reduce the burden on our own resourrces, most importantly the men and women of our own armed forces. There are not many allies standing up to bear the cost of these wars.

Voinovich: Rice told him she’d supervise Bolton closely. “Why in the world would you want to send someone to the UN that has to be supervised?” Oh, SNARK.

Voinovich: “I believe John Bolton would have been fired if he worked for a major corporation.”

“John Bolton is the poster child for what someone in the diplomatic corps should not be.”


But then …

SEND MR. BOLTON’S NOMINATION TO THE FLOOR WITHOUT RECOMMENDATION. What the hell does that mean? Why let him out of committee? Dammit, Voinovich, what are you doing?

9:57 – Voinovich – Will vote him out of committee – but he’s voicing the same the concerns as before – why doesn’t Voini change parties? All the senior staff is leaving. No one wants to work with Bolton.

Biden: “So much for partisanship.” People chuckle.

10:16 – Biden is hot. He is furious – he’s all over the president – poster child for the Anti-Diplomat. Moynihan is rolling over in his grave!! Oh my, Biden can talk a damn good game. I DO NOT WORK FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNTED STATES OF AMERICA – we are a co-equal branch of the U.S.! No president is just entitled to his nominees – the Constitution rules, baby.

10:33 a.m. “As my mother said, who died and made them boss?” Meow. Faster, kittycat.

He’s going through his own history of bucking his party on Clinton’s nomination of Zoe Baird for Attorney General. Not a historical moment I love, but it does illustrate the difference between the present Republican leadership and the previous one.

Banging on the table now. “No president has the right to tell me or this committee what’s relevant. We don’t work for the president and no president is entitled to the appointment of anyone he nominates. No president is entitled by the mere fact that he has appointed someone. That’s why they wrote the Constitution the way they did.”

10:45 a.m. Biden’s making a short list now of why Bolton sucks.

1. Politicizing the process.

2. Being an abusive jerk.

3. Manipulating others’ intelligence to fit his own views.

4. Did we already mention the jerk part?

11 a.m. Now Biden’s worked up and shouting about how even Republicans think Bolton sucks. “I don’t believe it’s in the national interest to have an idealogue who has no governor at the UN. We’ve lost a lot of credibility at home and abroad and Mr. Bolton is not the man to help us recover that.” Sarbanes: Reads the names of those who’ve served as UN ambassador to UN to set some context to this appointment. Holbrooke, Kirkpatrick, Bush, Moynihan, and my personal favorite, Adlai Stevenson. You, Mr. Bolton, are no Adlai Stevenson.

“We need a credible spokesman at the United Nations and this conduct casts credible doubt.”

Calls him unfit for a senior leadership role. Word, Paulie.

He’s warning people not to retaliate against Ford and others who came forward. “In that sense, they’re true patriots who had nothing to gain from opposing the nomination. They felt it was their duty as loyal Americans and public servants to tell the truth and to follow their consciences, and I want to place that on the record and thank them for their service.” I heart Sarbanes. Can he run for President? He’s so grandfatherly and stern.

11:25 a.m. Allen of Virginia speaks now. Has he always looked like a little Fischer Price person, or is that a recent thing?

Sen. Allen – No Korea tortures people, tortures them I say! Well whoop de fucking doo – I guess they should send their torturees out, like we do, say to Egypt. [checked a comment thread at Eschaton – Holden: Did Allen just move Bolton’s balls down the field?]

Allen’s entire argument can be summed up thusly: Yeah, yeah, Bolton, whatever, but the UN sucks more. It’s the I Know You Are But What Am I? rationale.

Allen: We are not appointing Mr. Congeniality.

Mr. Athenae: That doesn’t mean we should send Mr. Asshole.

11:35 – Not a style issue (with that hair and mustache? Why the hell isn’t it?)

It’s the intelligence, stupid.

Is Lugar really a ventriloquist’s dummy? Look at that Howdy Doody face and that perpetual little smile.

11:45 a.m. Christopher Dodd’s principal concern is intelligence manipulation. Hitting the administration on Iraq. “The reason we voted the way we did was that it was the collective wisdom of the intelligence community that weapons of mass destruction existed.” Dodd is PISSED about Bolton’s attempts to fire analysts who disagree with him.

Dodd’s brought his organizational charts back, and is yelling. “Mr. Chairman, there’s a reason why committees exist in the Senate. Our colleagues defer to each other. We are asked to draw judgments. I only know of one case where a committee has sent a candidate to the floor without recommendation. It’s been very, very rare.”

Dodd thinks they should reject the nomination so they can move on. “I can think of five or six names off the top of my head who are blunt bona fide conservative Republicans who would serve the UN well.” I can’t, but you go, Chrissie.

Shit. Chafee’s here now. “I’m apprehensive that by promoting John Bolton that we’re endorsing that behavior.” Then vote NO, you weasel. Good people of Rhode Island, what is wrong with this guy? Does Bush have photos of him performing unnatural acts on a lemur or something? What possible excuse does he have for being such a gutless lump of clay?

Shorter Chaffee: Bolton says he’ll stop being a douche, and I believe him. So let’s send him to the Senate and then the UN. And what, pray he doesn’t fuck up? GAWD.

Kerry now. C’mon, John. I’m pissed at you these days, redeem yourself.

“You can’t dismiss the people that have come forward. People from the same workplace, ideology, background, who are invested in the same goals as John Bolton but who have come forward at great risk and put their careers on the line here … There’s this assumption thrown out by people we ought to give a president who he puts forward, well, generally we do. We do have to consent, and we do consent.”

Heh. “Our saying something nice about Sen. Voinovich puts him in a difficult position.” Only with the freepi, Big John.

11:50 – Kerry sounds sick. This is bigger than party rule – well no shit. He wants the whole record – well, no shit again. Ooh – he’s serious about it!

Oh, Kerry’s kicking Allen’s BEEHIND. A lot of us were working before he was on the committee to reform the UN, Big John says, and Allen pulls a face. “Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy.”

Kerry pictures future UN meetings: “Here comes Ambassador Bolton. Is he sitting on one of the floors he wanted to eliminate?” SNAP.

Kerry’s accusing Bolton of lying under oath to the committee, saying Bolton denied trying to have an analyst fired. “This is an intelligent man, cited as having a steel trap mind … That’s not what he did. It’s not true, folks.”

Just kicked Allen’s ASS again. “Senator, you weren’t here.” OW. He just basically called Allen a little punk. There really is a division here, between statesmen like Kerry and Biden and Hagel and Lugar, and little bitchass hacks like Allen and Coleman, who know their talking points but don’t give a damn about the history of their institution and the gravity of the situation.

I may loathe Lugar and Hagel-the-conveniently-conscience-ridden with the fire of a thousand suns but it was clear, listening to Lugar speak, that he sees the importance of what he’s doing. Allen, on the other hand, sounded like he was giving a speech to the Rotary Club. He kept pausing for applause that he wasn’t going to get from serious people.

Kerry: “Does it matter if you tell the truth in your testimony before a committee of the United States Senate or doesn’t it?”

Kerry just threw down the GAUNTLET. “Let’s stop this here. If it goes forward we will have a debate in the U.S. Senate and Mr. Bolton will not stand as the ambassador to the United Nations.” Please, from your mouth to the ears of Chafee, Voinovich, Snowe, McCain, Hagel and Collins, Big John.

Coleman the Electrocuted Gopher Up now: Not confirming Bolton will scare nominees away. And now we’re back to the argument that the Senate confirmation process is bad and scary and sooooooo haaaarrrrddd and makes people hate government and the baby Jesus.

12:10 – Shorter Coleman – “Please let me kiss the gorgeous ass of the Emperor Bush!”

God, this guy is a bologna pony.

Potential nominees will look at this process and ask, “What will I be subjected to?” You’ll be subjected to the unendurable torment of being asked questions and sitting in a chair for a while. Have these people ever so much as had to make their own lunches and carry them to school? You’d think this was the downstairs party room at Abu Ghraib the way they’re carrying on. Was there something C-SPAN didn’t show us? After the hearings did they take Bolton downstairs and beat him with wet fish for a while?

I’d like them to have some conversations with soldiers just back from Iraq about the hardships of public service, thanks. I’m sure any unit in Fallujah would trade places with the hardworking Senate Republicans in a minute.

12:15 p.m. Coleman just cited the American Enterprise Institute as a supporter of John Bolton. Irony is now clinging to my ankle, begging me to pick up a hammer and put it out of its misery.

There are two more hours of this now, one hour of Democrats, one hour of the endless wait to see if Hagel’s balls have dropped. Sheesh.

Feingold. Hi there, gorgeous. He’s bringing up how he wants to give the president his nominees. We all remember Ashcroft, Russ, thanks ever so much. But he opposes Bolton, because Bolton is that much of a jerk.

12:27 – Feingold – bluntly opposes – Bolton is unsuited. Lousy leader with credibility problems. Like that straight talk.

“His personal animosity toward the United Nations is so great, he would rather see the institution weakened than reformed.” Nice one. Also he just said Bolton could ride roughshod over Condoleezza Rice, which is kind of funny. I’d pay good money to be a fly on the wall during that fight, what with her stiletto boots and his flapping hairpiece and all.

Feingold just referred to the danger of people pushing their “pet rocks.” BWAH!

12:30 p.m. Hagel now. He’s saying quit politicizing the committee, that we’re the public face of the United States, and he’s praising the UN. The shit is this? Is that a slap at Allen and Coleman?

“If you’re against John Bolton you’re against reform at the United Nations? That’s patently ridiculous.” He just smacked Allen by NAME, saying Bush and Kirkpatrick and even Negroponte are not “tea-drinkers and milquetoast.” OW OW OW. “We’re talking about something bigger than just those easy characterizations.” Damn. He just made Allen and Coleman look really, really cheap there. Whatever else he might do, that was nice.

Allen’s smiling like he’s going to key Hagel’s car later. Suck it up and take your medicine from daddy, punk.

12:36 – Hagel – {{{WE}}}Restructured the World!!!! – Oy gevalt. He thinks this is the Roman Senate.

Well, that fuzzy warm moment’s over: Hagel’s talking about taking Bolton and Rice and Bush at their words now, and believing that Bolton will be a good boy for his preznit. Is our senators learning?

12:45 p.m. BOXER! “I was sort of stunned at Sen. Coleman, who asked the rhetorical question, who makes the judgement? There was an election. Senator, you forgot something. There was an election for individual senators, too.” SMACK. She’s schooling Coleman in the Constitution, reading it to him. Heh.

“I hope that you will have more pride in this institution,” she says to Coleman, who’s sitting all slumped down like a disobedient 5th grader, glaring at her. What a brat. If I was his babysitter he’d be sent to his room.

“There is not a majority on this committee in favor of Mr. Bolton right now and it is our job to send a signal to our colleagues. And to send a signal that we’re moving this forward is the wrong signal. There is not a majority, so I will not be voting to move this forward without recommendation.”

Boxer brings up Bolton’s lies on a giant posterboard. Heh.

12:45 – Barbara Boxer – Go Baby! She’s Deeply Disappointed that the administration won’t turn over the intercepts and the Syria memos and the rest of the information. Phony intelligence leading to War – I love you Barbara – a thousand roses to you. President wants a fight, she’ll give him one!!!! Woo Hoo – She calls US out! She’ll call on the people to debate this on the floor with her. Oh Man – We’re there, Barbara.

Lamar Alexander: Bolton has a nice resume. It’s shiny. He may be rude, but I hope he’ll stop that. Have these guys ever owned a pet? Do they sit and HOPE that the dog stops crapping in the house all on its own?

1 – Lamar Alexander – what a gnome

Alexander praises his fellow Republicans but doesn’t mention Allen or Coleman. They’re decidedly not the cool kids here.

1:15 pm. OBAMA! On Bolton’s watch, we cocked up North Korea a lot, and then he lied about it, and he sucks, so let’s not appoint him, mmkay?

1:15 – Obama – come on – Oh yeah! he’s cooking on Incompetence. I love it. This is the Obama I wanted to see!

“Do we really believe there is not a tough talking Republican who has crediblity other than Mr. Bolton?”

Obama also brings the Adlai. LOVE.

1:25 p.m. Sununununununununu. “The opponents of John Bolton cannot decide what bothers them so much, behavior, policy, procedure.” Biden jumps in: “All of the above.” HEE.

Sununu is also telling Coleman he’s an ass. “John Bolton is not hostile to the United Nations.” Clearly the reality-based community does not include Sununu. More UN bashing. Yawn. He’s like a high school assistant principal.

1:30 – Sunnunu could put a crackhead to sleep. ZZzzzzzzzz

Sununu is clutching his pearls at the idea that somebody in the administration mishandled intelligence. Irony is off on my back porch, trying to hang itself with the clothesline.

1:45 p.m. Murkowski is now talking about Bolton’s management style. Being an abusive creep is now considered a “management style.” Eesh.

1:40 – Murkowski – Management styles – hardly, bitch. It’s like making Sweeney fucking Todd an ambassador. Jesus – she’s not quite halfbright, is she?

HEEE: “The president deserves to be surrounded by people that he selects.” Oh, Miss Lisa, on that you and I very much agree. But not on your vote to send the guy to the floor.

Martinez the Meatpuppet. Oh, God, the self-importance. “As an immigrant, I always dreamed of the day when I could vote for an inompetent shithead as UN ambassador.” Ick.

1:50 – Martinez – suck suck suck that presidential cock

2 p.m. They’re all repeating themselves at this point.

Bill Nelson of Florida. “We’ve got to have the best and the brightest. That’s the kind of person we ought to have. We have a saying in the south. You can tell where a fella’s going by where he’s been. Let’s look at his job. Does he deserve being promoted?”

THANK YOU. That never seems to be the question, does it? This is a promotion, to a JOB. If you’re not a doctor, I don’t care how inspiring your life story is, I’m not letting you perform open heart surgery on me, okay?

2:00 – Nelson – nuclear proliferation – but “Good Book”? Oh sweet Jeebus; I hate like everything to hear that from a Democrat in the Senate.

Biden again: I’ll still love you all even if you vote for this douchebag. That’s nice, Joe. Hallmark card, Hallmark card, all the stuff I said before, yadda.

Biden is back, trying to ameliorate shouting earlier at his colleagues and talking about himself as usual. Gawd he loves the sound of his own voice.

He wants Bush to withdraw Bolton – oh right, the posterboy for a onetrack mind is going to withdraw.

2:15 p.m. Biden to Lugar: make your motion to move this out of committee. “We may be damning with faint praise.” Certainly that’s the best case scenario now, Joe. “It’s unusual to move that way. Not questioning the majority’s right to do that. But it doesn’t appear Mr. Bolton has the confidence of this committee and it may be worth the president’s notice.”

Lugar: move to send to the floor without recommendation.

Republicans AYE

Democrats NO

Going to move it out onto the senate floor – Ok, I’ll take it. Let’s create an avalanche of public opinion.