06 June, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I don't know how the hell PZ manages to blog while traveling, giving lectures, and going out to pubs with tons of people. I can barely manage the occasional post whilst juggling family, friends, and ferocious feline. And since ye olde parents don't have wi-fi, can't upload photos just yet. That situation will hopefully be taken care of tomorrow.

In the meantime, let's catch up with the burning stupid, shall we? And few things are more burning than the stupidity of global warming deniers:
Maybe it's just my sense of humor, but I don't think there's anything funnier in American politics than listening to House Republicans explain their thoughts on global warming.

Take Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), for example, who offered some thoughts on environmental policy this week on the floor of the House.

"This whole thing strikes me if it weren't so serious as being a comedy, you know. I mean, we just went from winter to spring. In Missouri when we go from winter to spring, that's a good climate change. I don't want to stop that climate change, you know. Who in the world want to put politicians in charge of the weather anyways? What a dumb idea. [...]

The House Republican caucus put Akin on the House Science Committee and the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment.

Some people in the audience may wonder why I'm so infuriated by Con stupidity, and why I spend even vacations pounding away with the Smack-o-Matic as much as possible. This is why. These fucktards put high-school science flunkees in charge of key subcommittees, and then expect us to bow down to their wisdom.

Fuck that.

And the next time these fucktards throw a hysterical fit over Dems compromising national security, I shall take pleasure in reminding them that they themselves seem to have no problem with compromising national security for political gain:

You have to hand it to those hypocritical Republicans. They are once again controlling this debate because they and their little media enablers keep changing the subject from torture to whether torture is efficient.

Is that really the debate we want to be having in the United States of America? I'm sure there are still are some immoral techniques we haven't used yet. Is it okay to start, on the off chance that they work?

Republicans ignited a firestorm of controversy on Thursday by revealing some of what they had been told at a closed-door Intelligence Committee hearing on the interrogation of terrorism suspects.

The Republicans who gave on-the-record interviews were Rep. Pete Hoekstra and Rep. John Kline.

They're trying to claim they were briefed that torture techniques worked. Two points, here. One, that's not even a debate we should be having - it's rather like me telling the police that since shooting the neighbor stopped them from endangering kids by speeding in the parking lot, it doesn't matter that murder is illegal. Two, it's just a little hard to believe their claims when they left the fucking hearing early:

[...] “I am absolutely shocked that members of the Intelligence committee who attended a closed-door hearing … then walked out that hearing — early, by the way — and characterized anything that happened in that hearing,” said Intelligence Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). [emphasis added]

Actually, that's not the only reason it's hard to believe their claims, but then again, I'd demand rigorous scientific evidence that the sky appears blue if they were the ones claiming it. They've lied too many times for me to trust their characterization of a top-secret hearing.

This shit's too depressing for a vacation. Let's move on to more garden-variety stupid, shall we? Here's CNN, failing to understand equivalence:

Many of Sonia Sotomayor's less responsible detractors have been throwing around careless (and baseless) accusations of "racism." Today, CNN ran an unbelievably forgiving piece on Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who CNN suggests was unfairly painted with the same brush.

The headline reads, "Key senator knows what it's like to be called 'racist.'" (via TPM)

When greeting Judge Sonia Sotomayor this week, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama made sure to tell her something loud enough for the assembled reporters to hear.

"You will get a fair hearing before this committee," Sessions told President Obama's Supreme Court nominee with emphatic gestures and tone.

That greeting wasn't just pleasantries. It was a promise born out of his own experience.

From there, CNN reports on Sessions' 1986 judicial nominee, which was defeated, with bipartisan opposition, due in large part to the Alabama Republican's record on race. The piece characterizes Sessions as a victim of painful attacks -- which makes it easier for him to relate to Sotomayor.

Characterizing these as relative equivalents is silly. The attacks on Sotomayor are baseless and easily debunked. The charges against Sessions 23 years ago were based on extensive facts, an outrageous pattern, and were bolstered by a lengthy record.

As a U.S. Attorney in Alabama, Sessions' most notable effort was prosecuting three civil rights workers, including a former aide to Martin Luther King Jr., on trumped up charges of voter fraud.

This is like saying someone understands the pain of your shattered skull because he once hit his little brother over the head with a hammer. CNN's been going downhill for a long time, but this would be pathetic even by Faux News standards.

Speaking of pathetic, Norm Coleman's quixotic quest to reclaim the Senate seat he lost is definitely that. So is his Ted Stevens-like understanding of the intertoobz:

Yesterday, in an interview at the Conservative Heartland Leadership Council in St. Paul, former Minnesota Republican senator Norm Coleman inadvertently highlighted the “tech gap” between conservatives and progressives when he encouraged conservatives to compete with progressives on the “ethernet“:

“In the end, we need to compete, as I’ve said before, we need to compete in each and every kind of forum,” said Coleman. “And whether it’s on the ground traditionally, or today it’s in — it’s in the ethernet. It’s in the — you know, it’s online. It’s in the blogs, it’s Twitter, it’s Facebook, and the next iteration.”

Another person, I'd grant them the benefit of the doubt. Everyone misspeaks from time to time. But this is Norm Coleman we're talking about. No quarter shall be given. You're a dumbshit, Norm.

And, finally, we end with a controversy!!1!!11! double-feature from media clowns and right-wing hysterics:
President Obama spent the night in Dresden, Germany, last night. Who cares? Well, apparently, this seems to matter to some political reporters who speculated that Obama's stop in Dresden, instead of Berlin, was intended to send some kind of signal. About something. To someone.


Sorry, Mr. President. They can't help themselves.

Neither can Obama's conservative critics.

...Obama's decision to stay in Dresden has sparked protests from some of Obama's conservative political critics, who have argued that the visit demonstrates his willingness to highlight America's lesser historical moments. "Dresden: Next Stop on Obama's Apology Tour," ran one headline on the conservative Powerline blog. Obama's aides rejected those suggestions, pointing to the same logistical issues that the president had mentioned, and a desire to find a location that was convenient for Merkel.

You know they're scraping the bottom of the barrel of pathetic when a simple itinerary in a friendly country becomes a controversy. In a way, I feel sorry for them. The fact that they're reaching this hard means they've got nothing, and I mean nothing, they can attack with. They might as well be bashing Obama over the head with a screaming rubber chicken. It wouldn't be any dumber than their current attacks, but the visuals would be more entertaining.

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