16 May, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

It's a glorious spring day here in Seattle. I even got to take a long walk in the sunshine, complete with singing birds and a cute little bunny. Oh, and construction equipment smack in the path along the levees (eat your heart out, New Orleans), the delightful odor of old trash from the fill they're apparently using to build up said levees, and the fish oil scent of old salmon in stagnant water. But I digress. Sunshine, green leaves, and wildlife, with nary a raincloud in sight.

Makes coming home to the political stupidity that much harder. You'd think they could stop being morons for just one short day. I'll make a deal with any one of our merry band of fucktards in D.C.: I'll quit both smoking and caffeine for 24 hours if they can refrain from outrageous idiocy for the same amount of time.

I know. I'd better keep stocked up on the Camels and the Cokes, right?

You know what I'll settle for? Not paying for the Cons' inane rebranding efforts:
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wants to help lead a "rebranding" effort for his party. Fine. He wants to hold outside-the-Beltway events inside the Beltway. No problem. He wants to argue that his National Council for a New America is and isn't launching a "listening tour." Whatever.

It's more problematic, though, when Cantor asks taxpayers to foot the bill for the whole endeavor.

As Roll Call reported on Monday, Cantor staff and GOP ethics attorney Jan Baran have walked a very fine line to comply with House rules in funding, publicizing and staffing the new organization.

But we think that the whole endeavor ought to be paid for out of political contributions.

The NCNA's original launch letter carefully -- though disingenuously -- declared "this is not a Republican-only forum."

Leading Republicans are hosting events to talk about Republican ideas in the hopes of Republican renewal. Calling this "bipartisan" and worthy of taxpayer investment is foolish, even for Cantor.

To be fair, the first NCNA event was paid for with Cantor's campaign funds. The problem is that the NCNA is staffed by Cantor's aides, who are paid by taxpayers. In this sense, we're paying Republican staffers to work on the Republican Party's rebranding efforts, as compared to those funds coming from the RNC, political action committees, or the party's campaign committees.
Their efforts are "bipartisan" in the same way torture is "legal." Only a complete fucking idiot believes that lip service.

Speaking of complete fucking idiots, the gun nuts are gathered in Arizona for a good dose of paranoia and lead. The National Rifle Association's having its annual convention down in Phoenix, which makes me glad I didn't plan my vacation for this week. Steele stirred 'em up yesterday with plenty of dumbfuck statements about how Obama's planning to take their guns with one hand while siccing terrorists on them with the other. Of course, that's a hard act to follow. McCain did his best by continuing the scary brown people theme:

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who once proposed cracking down on gun show sales, today told the National Rifle Association that he will oppose any "separate agenda" to rein in gun-owners' rights as part of an effort to stop illegal gunrunning to violent Mexican drug cartels.

"We can and should do more to crack down on the illegal transfer to Mexico of weapons acquired in the United States, which is a violation of both U.S. and Mexican law. But that doesn’t require us to restrict the rights of law-abiding American gun owners," McCain said to applause at the NRA's 138th annual meeting at U.S. Airways Center in downtown Phoenix. "Again, the United States must do all it can to assist (Mexican) President (Felipe) Calderon in his war against the drug cartels. And I know the NRA will continue to work with the Administration, Congress, and the states to prevent flow of illegal weapons into Mexico by continuing to promote legal gun ownership and sales in the United States while fighting against any limitation on Americans’ Second Amendment rights."

You know what would really help out ol' Felipe, there, John? Closing down that fucking gun show loophole that allows people to waltz off with all the weapons they want. Y'know, that one you promised to close lo these many years ago:
Unsurprisingly, McCain didn’t discuss his 2001 position on eliminating the so-called gunshow loophole:

In 2001, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., rattled the gun-rights lobby by collaborating with Sen. Joe Lieberman, then-D-Conn., on a bill to eliminate the so-called Brady law “loophole” that allows gun sales at shows without background checks.

“Criminals and gun traffickers have figured this out,” McCain said in a May 15, 2001, Senate floor speech announcing the ultimately unsuccessful measure. “Gun shows are the second leading source of illegal guns recovered in gun trafficking investigations. According to a recent report by Americans for Gun Safety, ‘the states that do not require background checks at gun shows are flooding the rest of the nation with crime guns.’ While 95 percent of buyers are cleared within two hours, the 5 percent who are not are 20 times more likely to be a prohibited purchaser. Background checks are an essential part of keeping guns from criminals and other prohibited individuals.”

McCain said he has “no plans” to revive his old legislation.

This flip-flop earned him a standing ovation from the paranoid lead-poisoned fuckwits at the show, of course. They seem to have a pathological need to believe someone's out to get them. Perhaps they're not happy in their gun ownership without the constant sense of persecution.

You can tell these assclowns have been feeding themselves on Glenn Beck's bullshit:

Now that it's embraced its inner right-wing populist by sponsoring all those 'Tea Parties,' Fox News is going straight for the moonshine by promoting "state sovereignty" advocates who, as we mentioned yesterday, are the "Patriot" movement activists who were promoting militias in the 1990s.

Glenn Beck featured an entire hour devoted to the subject yesterday, while Neil Cavuto warmed up the subject for him by featuring a segment on the subject as well. And both of them featured people who have been heavily involved in promoting "Patriot" belief systems for years.

The most striking, of course, was Beck's hourlong "The Civilest War" program, which early on featured Beck adapting Martin Niemoller's famous "First they came" poem -- about the Nazis and the Holocaust -- to our present-day circumstances:

I think this is the problem. First they came for the banks. I wasn't a banker, I didn't really care. I didn't stand up and say anything. Then they came for the AIG executives. Then they came for the car companies. Until it gets down to you. Most people don't see -- they are coming for you at some point! You're on the list! Everybody's on the list. You may not be rich -- as currently defined.

Because, of course, bailing out failing banks and insurance companies and auto manufacturers is just like rounding up minorities and hauling them away to death camps.

They air this batshit insane crap, and yet they like to pretend they're a "news" outlet. They're a news outlet in the same way my cat is a stay-at-home mom. Mind you, she's spayed, and we have no other animals in the house. Draw your conclusions accordingly.

Someday, psychiatrists are going to get around to studying why people actually listen to this shit. Then, hopefully, they'll develop a cure.

Michael Steele's got his yap flapping in overdrive again. Today, he's decided that same-sex marriage is a terrible burden on poor, innocent small business owners:

This morning, RNC chairman Michael Steele delivered a speech to the delegates of the Georgia Republican convention. Steele made opening the GOP to more voices a theme of his remarks, declaring that Republicans need to “be relevant” and “engage.” However, in that same address, Steele spoke out against same-sex marriage, saying that such spouses become a huge burden on small businesses:

In a breakfast speech to delegates of the Georgia Republican convention, Steele put himself in the shoes of a small business owner having to pay for health care and life insurance for a same-sex couple.

“Now all of a sudden I’ve got someone who wasn’t a spouse before, that I had no responsibility for, who is now getting claimed as a spouse that I now have financial responsibility for,” Steele said. “So how do I pay for that? Who pays for that? You just cost me money.”

Presumably, Steele is still in favor of “opposite marriage.” Those spouses also claim health care and life insurance and put no less a burden on businesses than same-sex spouses.

Here's a thought: what if government paid for health care, like they do in sane industrialized nations? Then the businesses would have no burden. It's like magic!

I know, I know. You can't reason with fucktards who say stupid shit like this:

Steele actually used his small-business example as a way to appeal to a broader base of the public without changing the GOP platform. “You don’t have to wear your pants cut down here or the big bling,” Steele said. “It’s a metaphor for taking this party to places and to people that we’ve either forgotten about, ignored or feel don’t want to engage with us.”

He then went on to blame conservatism's woes on liberals making them look too far right. Seriously. No wonder they have such a hard time making new friends. They have exactly 0 insight.

They won't be making any friends in the environmental movement anytime soon, that's for sure:

The Party of No is considering doing the only thing they know how to do with any legislation ... obstruct:

Republicans in the House Energy and Commerce committee are considering introducing about 450 amendments during the mark-up of climate change legislation next week, according to a working list obtained by POLITICO. Many of the potential amendments would lower the environmental standards set forth in the bill, or could make it more difficult for Democrats to vote to support it.

This, my darlings, is a perfect example of why Americans hate them so. All they know how to do is destroy. They spent eight years destroying the country, and when America finally shouted "Enough of your shit!" and kicked them out, they decided the answer was, of course, more destruction.

Remember how excited they all were when that little shit got caned in Singapore for vandalism? Remember how they thought it was the greatest idea ever and America's problem was it didn't discipline its kids, so maybe we should emulate Singapore? Maybe the Cons were right. Let's cane us some vandals and see if their behavior improves.

Which Con should we start with?


Woozle said...

"Someday, psychiatrists are going to get around to studying why people actually listen to this shit."Actually, there has been a lot of work in this area which has only come to light (i.e. translated from technical paperese into the vernacular) in the past few years.

I highly recommend, if I haven't already, Dr. Bob Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians (free downloads). The people who run Fox News, for example, are authoritarian leaders, and the people who swallow it whole are authoritarian followers.

Authoritarian followers believe (in short) that maintenance of the existing power structure is more important than anything else, and hence are not interested in unapproved facts. Authoritarian leaders, meanwhile, will do or say whatever it takes to remain in control. Sound familiar?

Perhaps this and some other not-often-discussed aspects of human psychology would make good fodder for a future Sunday Sensational Science? ^_^

Cujo359 said...

In the end, most of us are still hairless apes, I think. The big ape slaps the little ones around and they do what he tells them to.

Watch primate behavior and you'll see many uncomfortable parallels to our own.

The number of humans who rise above that level of behavior seem to be depressingly few these days.