I’ve been saying this for a long time, but thanks to the GOP maneuverings yesterday, it’s clear now for everyone to see.  The Republicans in Congress live in an alternate universe.

John Boehner was sworn in as Speaker (taking a croquet mallet instead of the traditional gavel for some strange reason), and said all the right things:

“The American people have humbled us.  They have refreshed our memories as to just how temporary the privilege to serve is.  They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them.  That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker.  After all, this is the people’s House.  This is their Congress.  It’s about them, not us.  What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs.  A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.”

“Our aim will be to give government back to the people.  In seeking this goal, we will part with some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike.  We will dispense with the conventional wisdom that bigger bills are always better; that fast legislating is good legislating; that allowing additional amendments and open debate makes the legislative process ‘less efficient’ than our forefathers intended.  These misconceptions have been the basis for the rituals of modern Washington.  The American people have not been well served by them.”

Unfortunately, he didn’t mean it. Just hours after Boehner delivered that speech, the GOP-led House delivered their rules.  The thing that stands out the most deals with the budget committee.  This new House has decided that instead of going to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to figure out the cost and the  impact of legislation on the deficit, they’ll instead allow the  Chair of the Budget Committe – now Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to come up with his own estimate!

The new House rules also gut the Pay-Go rule which required that all legislation be paid for.  The new Republican-led House decided that they’ll use something they call “Cut-Go” which is all about cutting spending and, with it, programs!  And, by the way, tax cuts don’t count.  Seriously!  So, the trillions added to the deficit by the huge tax breaks to corporations and the people who make millions per year are not to be considered.

Welcome to the new reality. It is, indeed, opposite world!

On today’s show, I’ll talk about all of that and lots more with (former) Congressman Alan Grayson and comedian John Fugelsang.  And I’ll be back this afternoon filling in for Randi Rhodes again too!