08 April, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I can tell our educational system is failing our country. How do I know this? Because Cons obviously can't do math:

Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to increase military spending from $513 billion to $534 billion has driven a variety of strange conservatives completely around the bend. The standard talking point seems to be that a $21 billion increase, with a renewed commitment to U.S. troops, is a "cut" that will endanger the country.

But some are going even further. Take Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), for example.

"While President Obama's short changing of America's Armed Forces is deeply disappointing, it is -- unfortunately -- not a surprise. Throughout his campaign and during his short tenure as President, he has made it clear that he believes his charm and eloquence are adequate substitutes for a strong military.... The cuts announced today, however, take that naivete to a dangerous new level.
Maybe Cole has suffered some kind of head trauma recently. Since when has the president "made it clear" that he sees personal attributes as "adequate substitutes for a strong military"? And since when is a $21 billion increase in military spending a "cut"?

Since the Cons stopped learning how to use calculators, apparently.

It's permanent Opposite Day with them. For instance, take Gov. Mark Sanford, who apparently believes that devastating his state's educational infrastructure is "reform:"

ThinkProgress has been tracking Gov. Mark Sanford’s (R-SC) partisan, politically-motivated war against President Obama’s recovery plan, refusing to spend $700 million of stimulus money on education and public safety, as required by law. Instead, he is insisting that the state legislature direct the funds toward paying off the state debt — largely created by the disastrous tax cuts Sanford championed.

On Morning Joe today, CNBC’s Donny Deutsch pointedly questioned Sanford, arguing that his ideological decision could increase class sizes because teachers will be fired. Sanford admitted that education was important but in effect said he wasn’t willing to allocate new funds for it. He said the legislature should find school funding elsewhere in the budget:

DEUTSCH: Ideology is all great, but let’s pretend I’m a dad and I’m living in South Carolina. A lot of that money is earmarked for education. If you don’t take that money because of your point of view and my kid — there are less teachers, the tuition for the state schools go up, and education is really affected — this is not just in theory, this is reality. What do you say to me as a dad that I’m worried about my kid in a state that has very poor education records?

SANFORD: Yeah, but here’s the bottom line. What this tug of war is really about is reform within South Carolina. … It’s only in these kind of economic times that you can make the changes that are essential, frankly, to South Carolina being more competitive. So our view is, no, we could make some changes that created the dollars that could then be allocated to education and other things.

I think he's trying to "reform" education right out of existence there. And where he thinks these dollars are magically going to be created is beyond me - especially since he's already shown that his economic schemes only plunge his state deep into debt.

Here's the punchline. Cons like him and the current gang of fucktards in Congress believe this dumbassitude will bring their party back from the political dead:

A GOP strategist offers MSNBC a candid description of the party’s long-term thinking in opposing most, if not all, of Obama’s agenda:

“My sense is we are making progress towards reclaiming mantle of fiscal responsibility, which is first step towards rebuilding,” the strategist said. “Obama is hugely popular, which makes for a tough environment. But that will/must fade with time, and we’ll get our second look from public.”

The game here has always been a long-term one: Republicans have been very open about the fact that they’re betting that Obama’s policies will fail and that their actions now will look prescient, responsible, and brave in retrospect.

The flip side of this is that if Obama’s policies are seen as even modestly successful in turning the economy around, the GOP will indeed get a “second look” from the public, and could find itself relegated to rump minority status for years, decades, perhaps even a generation or more.

Guess which scenario's most likely? I hope the GOP brought nice tents with them into the wilderness, there. Perhaps a nice Coleman stove, as well:
Things are looking very bleak for Norm Coleman and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Norm Coleman has just made his appeal more difficult.

Al Franken extended his lead in the Minnesota Senate race to 312 votes Tuesday, after about 350 improperly rejected absentee ballots were added to the ballot pool. The total is 87 more votes than Franken led by at the beginning of the day and all but assures that Coleman’s current court challenge will fail.

Coleman’s lawyers have indicated they had little chance, given the small number of absentee ballots added to the count, and have signaled they will appeal to the state Supreme Court and possibly federal court.

But further appeals were actually made more difficult by the Coleman campaign’s challenge, which sought to add thousands of rejected absentee ballots to the count but wound up with fewer than 400 ballots, which wound up breaking sharply for Franken.

And now the NRO's Ramesh Ponnuru just issued a few words that Coleman does not want to hear from his conservative brethren.

I think it's time for him to give up this fight.

This gentleman is what we used to refer to in high school as "burnt toast." I hope the flames from his campaign's disasterous crash keep the Cons nice and warm out there in their wilderness.

They can also warm their hands over Michelle Bachmann's flaming dishonesty/stupidity:
The irreplaceable Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wrote an op-ed for the Minneapolis Star Tribune today, showing off her impressive expertise on energy policy. (thanks to reader S.A. for the tip)

President Obama has repeatedly said he will not raise taxes on low- and middle-income families, yet his policies do not match his rhetoric. Take for instance, a new tax he has proposed on the use of energy. It's called cap-and-trade or, more appropriately, cap-and-tax. The tax would require energy producers and businesses to pay to emit carbon emissions in the hope of reducing greenhouse gases. [...]

Any way you look at it, it's low- and middle-income Americans who will pay dearly for this. According to an analysis by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the average American household could expect its yearly energy bill to increase by $3,128 per year. Using an analysis by Peter Orszag, President Obama's budget director, that number would be closer to $4,000.

As is often the case with Bachmann, this claim is funnier than most. We already know that there is no M.I.T. analysis pointing to the $3,128 number. The M.I.T. scholar in question has specifically told House Republicans that the number is completely wrong. (Whether Bachmann is ignorant or dishonest is unclear.)

But what I like about Bachmann's piece is that she pushes the envelope, pointing to an OMB analysis saying that the make-believe M.I.T. figure understates the case. And what OMB analysis would that be? As it turns out, that doesn't exist, either.

Bachmann, in other words, is pointing to one imaginary report to bolster the conclusion reached by a different report that doesn't say what she thinks it says. That takes real talent.

It does, indeed. When it comes to blisteringly stupid, terminally dishonest, and batshit insane dumbfucks, the Con party possesses an abundance of talent. It's actually impressive in a sad sort of way.

1 comment:

Woozle said...

Isn't there some legal means by which politicians can be held accountable for making provably false statements whose falsity they demonstrably knew about? If there isn't, there should be -- although the law would have to be carefully written so as not to have a chilling effect on free speech.

Perhaps a multi-stage process would work:
1. Politician makes obviously wrong statement.
2. Citizens send politician a clearly-noted Accuracy Of Information Act correction, citing evidence for the correction (e.g. MIT press release dated such-and-such stated "we have not released any study making the claim that ..." or "the study cited by X does not make the claim that ...") via certified mail, with signature confirmation
3. Politician's staff receives mail; staff has 48 hours to notify politician and for politician to verify accuracy of the correction
4. Politician makes same statement again 72 hours later
5. Lawsuit

As this still gives the politician way too much time in which to continue making the statement free of penalty, some form of public correction should also be required. A good solution, I think, would be that the legislative body to which the politician belongs (be that state or federal) should publish a list of all AOIA retractions made by their members, at least for the current and previous legislative sessions.