19 December, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Sometimes, I wonder if there's a world championship for stupid, which a gaggle of folks on the right are trying desperately hard to win. America First!

We've certainly got Lou Dobbs in the running:

This stopped being funny several years ago. Every winter, most of the country gets cold, and lots of snow falls. And every winter, conservatives point to the winter weather as evidence that global warming isn't real. And every winter, people who know what they're talking about smack their heads in frustration.

Yesterday, CNN's Lou Dobbs helped demonstrate just how inane this tedious practice has become. (thanks to reader D.K. for the heads-up)

Dobbs told viewers that the weather has been "unbelievable," because there are "unusual storms and a deep freeze across much of the country tonight." Dobbs was particularly animated about snowfall in Las Vegas, Malibu, and Payson, Arizona. "So what are those folks talking about global warming?" Dobbs asked incredulously.

The rest of Steve's piece is a rather succinct takedown, dripping with derision, but I think we'll turn to Daily Kos blogger Darksyde for the short, sharp snark:

When ice melts, the surrounding air or water cools down, basic thermodynamics. It would be ironic if that cooler air and water from excess northern melt were to work their way south a little farther and a little earlier in the season than they otherwise would have, and maybe even help fuel an occasional localized snow or ice storm, which right-wing climate change skeptics, especially those bearing a borderline pathological obsession with Al Gore, would then seize on as evidence that global warming is ... well not sure exactly. Somewhere vaguely between massive inexcusable scientific error and fraud, to an infinitely scalable global conspiracy between a tightly woven cabal of nations who can't agree on something as scientifically basic as what units of measurement to use for a common lug nut. And the wingers will do it, apparently, without a care or thought in the world of the difference between the NASA GISS 125 year global average temperature trend and related volumes of empirical data Vs. cherry picking poor comparisons or the sprinkling of snow they had on their drive way last Tuesday morning.

You know what? That deserves a standing ovation. We can provide:

(And, if you've got a moment, check out who they were originally applauding for.)

Right, then. Lou Dobbs is a global-warming denying fucktard - so what else is new?

Well, there's Dana Perino putting herself firmly among the frontrunners for World Champion Dumbshit 2008. Here she is blathering about the sale of public lands adjacent to national parks to oil and gas producers:
Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, guest host Juan Williams asked White House Press Secretary to respond to Redford’s comments. After saying she would not “attack him personally,” Perino accused Redford of “blind hatred” of the president and said, “If somebody actually got him the facts, he would know that it’s illegal to drill in national parks.”

Perino, it seems, is the one who needs to get “the facts.” No one is claiming that the Bush administration wants to extract resources from National Parks. The Bush administration is, however, attempting to extract resources from areas located just outside such parks and historic landmarks without properly considering the detrimental effects drilling would have.

Hearing her call for somebody to "get the facts" is roughly equivalent to an elementary-school dropout who's virulently anti-education telling somebody to "get educated."

But still, that's just typical Perino. Someone in the Con firmament has to be outshining her... could it be Duncan?
Last night on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) ardently defended the Bush administration’s torture policy, echoing Vice President Cheney’s claim that torture yielded life-saving results. He pointed to waterboarding Abu Zubayda and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was remarkably successful. “After this procedure,” Duncan said, “we got enormously valuable information that saved American lives.”

Despite Hunter’s claims, the torture of Abu Zubayda and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed provided next to zero useful intelligence, as a recent Vanity Fair article revealed:

But according to a former senior C.I.A. official, who read all the interrogation reports on K.S.M., “90 percent of it was total f*cking bullsh*t.” A former Pentagon analyst adds: “K.S.M. produced no actionable intelligence. He was trying to tell us how stupid we were.”

In fact, the article explained that the “intelligence” gleaned from Zubayda was false information about non-existent links between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein — information the Bush administration seized on as a major part of its argument for the Iraq war, as a former Pentagon analyst explained:

The intelligence community was lapping this up, and so was the administration, obviously. Abu Zubaydah was saying Iraq and al-Qaeda had an operational relationship. It was everything the administration hoped it would be.” […]

When a torture victim tells you exactly what you want to hear, it's probably because they know what you already believe and will tell you any damned thing you want to make you stop. How large a clue-by-four is it going to take for these torture-loving fucktards to finally understand that?

Ah. I see. One roughly the size of the galaxy... crap in a hat.

Still and all, this is just ordinary, garden variety, plain Con stupid. Egregious, yes, outstanding, no. We need someone who's gone above and beyond, someone with real chutzpah, someone like... Henry Paulson!

It was hard not to see this one coming.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Friday that Congress will need to release the last half of the $700 billion rescue fund because the first $350 billion has been committed.

Paulson said the use of the rescue fund to provide loans to the auto industry along with all the other rescue efforts for the financial system meant that the administration has now basically allocated the first half of the largest government bailout program in history.

He said he was confident that the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. had the resources to address a significant market event if one should occur before Congress approves the use of the second half of the rescue fund.

But it's important for Congress to release the second half of the rescue fund "to support financial market stability," Paulson said in a statement.

A report in Bloomberg added that Paulson's informal request is likely to "set off a debate in Congress, where some members have criticized the Treasury chief's management of TARP."

Mr. Paulson. Everyone on all sides of the aisle hates what you've done with the first $350 bil. They think you're a wretched idiot just throwing money down a deep black hole, nothing's changed, you've pissed away billions without improving one single fucking thing, you're using a good amount of that money to allow financial firms to pay outlandish bonuses to the execs who ran them off the cliff, and now you want more?

That's really fucking stupid. We may just have a winner.

Except... look who's coming up from behind:

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson issued a memo yesterday declaring that “[o]fficials weighing federal applications by utilities to build new coal-fired power plants cannot consider their greenhouse gas output.” “The current concerns over global climate change should not drive E.P.A. into adopting an unworkable policy of requiring emission controls” in these cases, Johnson said.

At this point, I declare the race officially too close to call.


Woozle said...

Perhaps we do need a National Stupid Award... with Bush and his Amazing Flock of Lemmings leaving office, we might actually have few enough entries to be reviewable by a committee of finite size within the expected lifetime of the universe.

(I already started an irregular Wacky Award, but haven't had time to keep up with it...)

joshua said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cujo359 said...

I think we'd have to present that award daily, Woozle.

Kim Stanley Robinson wrote a series of novels based on how a warming earth would act. One novel was about a huge, super-cold blizzard that hits the Northeast. There's nothing magical about the idea that a warmer earth can produce periods of extremely low temperature. Here's an example of such a change, which could leave northern Europe much colder if the Greenland glaciers melt.