13 September, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Whatsa matter, cat got your tongue?:

Yesterday, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a Bipartisan Energy Summit featuring experts from MIT, Google, Shell, and others. At one point in the hearing, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-DE) tore into the energy protest House Republicans have been holding for the past several weeks. This political stunt was meant to demand a vote on oil drilling and “attack Democrats for leaving town” in August “without doing something to lower gas prices.”


WHITEHOUSE: Gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a near total mortgage system meltdown in this country. We have a health care system that burns 16 percent of our GDP, in which the Medicare liability alone has been estimated at $34 trillion. We’re burning $10 billion a month in Iraq.

This administration has run up $7.7 trillion in national debt, by our calculation. And there is worsening evidence every day of global warming, with worsening environmental and national security ramifications. In light of those conditions, do any of you seriously contend that drilling for more oil is the number one issue facing the American people today?


WHITEHOUSE: No, it doesn’t seem so.

That is the sweet sound of the Republicons being pwnd. Their grandstanding fuckery points them up as the shallow, misguided morons they are.

They have to rely on grandstanding. They have no substance, and the two people trying to carry the Republicon torch into office are relentless, corrupt serial liars. New revelations of their fuckery come out on a nearly hourly basis.

Take Sarah Palin's "energy expertise." There's just one small problem with that - she ain't even an expert on her own state:
Challenged by Gibson on her “national security credentials,” Palin cited her experience as the governor of a “state that produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy” as a credential that she “brings to the table“...


But, as the non-partisan FactCheck.org points out, Palin’s claim about Alaska producing 20 percent of America’s domestic energy supply is “not true. Not even close.” In fact, “Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent.”

She's either lying or clueless, or clueless and lying. At this point, it really makes no difference. This is the woman McCain chose to run with him. This is the woman he chose to put within spitting distance of the presidency. This is who he trusts to make the right decisions for this country. And that choice speaks volumes about what he thinks those decisions should be.

He's chosen someone who not only fought to keep polar bears from being listed as endangered because of greed, but who diverted money from global warming deniers to do it:

Most interesting, though, is the description of where Palin got the money to sue the Federal government in an attempt to delist the polar bear as an endangered species.[McClatchy]

Earlier this year, the state legislature approved $2 million for a conference inviting climate change skeptics here to hash out the causes.

"It is important to remember that climate change is occurring, but then it has occurred continuously for millions of years," wrote the legislature's Republican leaders, House Speaker John Harris and Senate President Lyda Green. "And, so far, there are too many dissenting opinions to state matter-of-factly that it is being caused by humans."

The project was derided by some as a "conference to nowhere" and now appears unlikely to take place. Much of the money was later diverted to fund a lawsuit by the Palin administration against listing the polar bear as a threatened species. [my emphasis]

The reality-haters in Alaska wanted to host a party for similar reality-haters. But instead, the listing of the polar bear as an endangered species gave them their opportunity to challenge reality on a national scale. With the added bonus for them, of course, that if they won, they could continue to trash the polar bear's habitat with abandon.

McCain and his running mate have lied relentlessly since they burst onto the national stage. They're even lying about how many people have come to see them on that national stage:

Number one: how sad are you when you fluff your crowd numbers to appear popular? Especially when it's something easily double-checked. Guess the McCain campaign thought the media wouldn't bother. Seems they thought wrong.

Until Palin, 44, joined him on the campaign trail, McCain, 72, had limited his political events to smaller town hall meetings and rallies of a few hundred people....

That changed on Aug. 30, at Palin's first big public appearance after her nomination. The McCain campaign said 10,000 people showed up at the Consol Energy Arena in Washington, Pennsylvania, home of the Washington Wild Things baseball team.

The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers.

"We didn't provide any numbers to the campaign,'' said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service.

Hmmmm...didn't they try to use the FBI as a false source recently, too, claiming they had done a background check on Palin as part of McCain's craptastic vetting-palooza? Why, yes, they did. Bad move.

They've lied about Sarah Palin's foreign trips - we already discovered Ireland was merely a stopover, and now this story about her visiting Alaska National Guard troops in the battlezone in Iraq - surprise! - turns out to be a big fat fucking lie (h/t Steve Benen):

Sarah Palin's visit to Iraq in 2007 consisted of a brief stop at a border crossing between Iraq and Kuwait, the vice presidential candidate's campaign said yesterday, in the second official revision of her only trip outside North America.

Following her selection last month as John McCain's running mate, aides said Palin had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq to meet with members of the Alaska National Guard. During that trip she was said to have visited a "military outpost" inside Iraq. The campaign has since repeated that Palin's foreign travel included an excursion into the Iraq battle zone.

But in response to queries about the details of her trip, campaign aides and National Guard officials in Alaska said by telephone yesterday that she did not venture beyond the Kuwait-Iraq border when she visited Khabari Alawazem Crossing, also known as "K-Crossing," on July 25, 2007.

Let's see how her foreign trips look now:

  1. Iraq
  2. Kuwait
  3. Ireland
  4. Germany

Fully half of the countries she originally listed as examples of her "foreign policy experience" turned out to be bull. Nice vetting, by the way, McCain team! Only four -- four! -- countries claimed, and you still couldn't get that right. (Cue the "can't count because he was a P.O.W." excuse.)

I begin to see why McCain chose her. It's not merely that she's a woman who could rally the rabid right base, steal the news cycle, and whose energy could infuse the dessicated campaign with some pizazz. She's also a perfect match for McCain and his lies:

Not content to pack the LHC [lies, half-truths and contradictions] barn in English only, the McCain dropped a Spanish-language ad Friday that accused Obama and the Dems of killing comprehensive immigration reform. One pro-immigrant comprehensive immigration reform advocate said Johnny Mac's ad "misrepresents history."

The 30-second spot states that "Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they? The press reports that their efforts were 'poison pills' that made immigration reform fail."

Not exactly. It was the lack of Republican support that killed immigration reform last time around.


Indeed, McCain said at this GOP debate in January that he wouldn't vote for his own immigration bill...
The lying has gotten so egregious that even his media fan club has started to smell something rotten, and have in many cases even been forced to use the L word. You'd think the campaign would show a little bit of caution now that a narrative of McCain as a big fat fucking liar has started to spring up. But they've flat-out stated they intend to keep right on lying with impunity:

A McCain spokesman, Brian Rogers, said the campaign had evidence for all its claims. "We stand fully by everything that’s in our ads," Mr. Rogers said, "and everything that we’ve been saying we provide detailed backup for — everything. And if you and the Obama campaign want to disagree, that’s your call."

No, facts are not a "call," that's why they are called facts. And the facts say that John McCain is a liar.

They've apparently gotten used to running with a crowd that swallows enormous fucking lies with evident enjoyment. They think they can pull the same shit Bush did. But you know what? They're wrong. The country's sick of being lied to. The polls don't show it just yet, but there's a groundswell of angry rumbling beginning. And Obama's getting ready to ride that wave right into the Oval Office. His campaign's not pulling punches anymore:

"We will take no lectures from John McCain who is cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in modern Presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the office he is seeking."

Exactly so.

1 comment:

Efrique said...

WHITEHOUSE: Gentlemen, we’re in the middle of a near total mortgage system meltdown in this country. We have a health care system that burns 16 percent of our GDP, in which the Medicare liability alone has been estimated at $34 trillion.

Ouch. Our (semi-)public healthcare system costs just over half that (in GDP terms). (8.3 percent in 2003, though presumably it would be over 9 now)

[On a per-person basis it's well below half of the cost in the US - because your GDP per person is more than 25% higher than ours.]

That sounds like a remarkably inefficient health system (it often gets touted as the "best in the world" - but that's only any help if you're very wealthy) - it's not like people in the US live longer than those other western countries with much cheaper health systems. [For example, average life span in Australia is more than two years longer than in the US, so we have relatively more of those old people that ramp up health costs.]

Why exactly would moving to a more public system (that would give better cover to the very poorest people) work out worse? I guess the richest people would pay a little more for their health care.

The vaunted love of the conservatives for the sanctity of human life is all very well, as long as it doesn't cost them a couple of bucks...