20 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day (why doesn't anybody remind me of these things?), but it might as well have been Dumb Governor Day. We start with Gov. Rick "Secession" Perry, who apparently thinks 8% unemployment is awesome:
Speaking to the Houston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) discounted the fact that Texas is in a deep economic downturn. In an anecdote to the assembled business leaders, Perry quipped that when he was approached with a report on recovering from the recession, he replied, “We’re in one?

[snip]

Houston, where Perry was speaking, lost 95,100 jobs between August 2008 and August 2009, adding to the overall rise in unemployment for the state of Texas to 8%. Perry’s state also leads the nation for people lacking health insurance. Texas would have a much higher unemployment rate if it were not for President Obama’s stimulus program, which has provided billions in investments and over 70,000 jobs so far. Nonetheless, Perry not only considered rejecting the stimulus, but has called it a “burden.”
If Texas secedes with this assclown in charge, I predict we'll have a third-world country where once a first-world state dwelt within a few weeks at best.

Interested political observers know that Obama recently made a rather important decision on missile defense, deciding to trust the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of Defense's judgment over that of neocon armchair warriors. The neocons, of course, are in a snit. So are 2012 hopefuls, one of whom is vying for the prize of "America's Dumbest Governor:"

What's been interesting to watch, though, are the president's likely 2012 challengers, all of whom have a child-like understanding of international affairs, scramble to attack a decision they don't fully comprehend. The goal, apparently, is to not only attack the administration, but to be even more caustic than the others attacking the administration.

Mitt Romney, for example, called it a "dangerous and alarming decision," which is "wrong in every way." Rick Santorum, unimpressed by Romney's belligerence, tried to one-up the former governor, accusing the White House of trying to "appease" Russia and "turning our backs on our friends."

Not to be outdone, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who recently abandoned the pretense of sanity, decided to go even further than his likely competitors.

[Pawlenty] will raise the specter of appeasement in regards President Barack Obama's decision earlier this week to abandon a missile defense system in Europe, according to excerpts of remarks he will deliver at tonight's Value Voters Summit obtained by the Fix.

"The lessons of history are clear: Appeasement and weakness did not stop the Nazis, did not stop the Soviets, and did not stop the terrorists before 9/11," Pawlenty plans to say. "We must stand strong with allies like Israel and eastern Europe in the face of growing challenges to our national security."

Substantively, Pawlenty's argument is obvious nonsense. But note that Pawlenty clearly wins the Conservative Crazy Contest because his attack managed to incorporate Nazis, communists, and 9/11.

Mad skillz he's got there. Emphasis on the "mad."

Speaking of 2012 right-wing arse-kissing hopefuls, Mitt Romney proves he's no George Washington. No, he can tell a lie:
At the Values Voter Summit today, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney aggressively attacked President Obama, saying that his policies will “weaken America.” In his litany of complaints, Romney included the latest fabrication that has spread among the right wing — the claim that Treasury Department “secretly calculated” that Obama’s clean energy proposals “would cost the average American family $1,761 a year, the equivalent to a 15% income tax hike.”

[snip]

As Politifact wrote yesterday, the numbers that conservatives like Romney are flinging around are “false.”
Surprise, surprise. But maybe he doesn't realize he's propagating a lie. Perhaps he's just overawed by the size of Glenn Beck's postage stamp:

Fox News host Glenn Beck, the new darling of the radical right, is part of a well-coordinated machine to block progressive reform. Yesterday, Beck fanned himself with a giant $1,761 postage stamp, claiming he had uncovered “outright lies” by a “spooky” White House. According to Beck, “buried” Treasury documents reveal that President Obama’s clean energy agenda “is going to cost a lot of money.” He thanked “our friend Chris Horner at CEI” for revealing the “facts” about the “cap and trade energy bill”:

The Department of Treasury issues a report and says, “Here, Mr. President, boy, that looks like it is going to suck. It is going to cost $1,761.” Got it?

[snip]

Unreported by Beck, the Congressional Budget Office on Thursday estimated that the average household cost of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act would be 44 cents per day.
Of course, actually reporting the truth would get in the way of the paranoia and conspiracy theories, without which Beck's sunk like the Titanic. The man hasn't got a single fucking talent aside from public displays of insanity.

In keeping with the running theme of doing everything they can to ensure we do nothing to stop human-caused climate change, David "Diapers" Vitter has decided to show his worth to Beck's audience by outrageous grandstanding:

Yesterday, the National Journal reported that Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has filed an amendment to the $32.1 billion FY10 Interior-Environment appropriations bill that would block any of the bill’s funds from being used to carry out orders from Carol Browner, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, who is often referred to in the press as the White House “climate czar“:

Lawmakers have filed more than 20 amendments to the $32.1 billion FY10 Interior-Environment appropriations bill, including a proposal from Sen. David Vitter, R-La., that would prohibit any of the bill’s funds from being used to carry out directives from the White House climate change czar.

The amendment will ensure the climate czar is not directing actions of the departments and agencies funded in the bill, Vitter said.

While the right may be dedicated to portraying Browner’s position as unaccountable, unprecedented, and even “radical,” the fact is that Browner was originally brought into the executive branch as head of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1993 — a position in which she was unanimously approved by the Senate.

These people passed pathetic a long time ago. Their obstructionist ways are just disgusting now.

If you heard a shattering sound recently, that was a right-wing stone shattering a Con glass house:

Thank God for Joe Conason, who's a consistent champion of the poor and working class. He writes about the trumped-up hysteria about ACORN - and says Republicans who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones:

[snip]

Among the most popular canards on the right, repeated constantly by conservative pundits and politicians, is that ACORN has been found guilty of engaging in deliberate voter fraud, using federal funds. In reality, ACORN has registered close to 2 million low-income citizens across the country over the past five years -- a laudable record with a very low incidence of fraud of any kind.

Over the past several years, a handful of ACORN employees have admitted falsifying names and signatures on registration cards, in order to boost the pay they received. When ACORN officials discovered those cases, they informed the state authorities and turned in the miscreants. (That was why the Bush Justice Department's blatant attempt to smear ACORN with rushed, election-timed indictments became a national scandal for Republicans rather than Democrats.) The proportion of fraud is infinitesimal. For example, a half-dozen ACORN workers were charged with registration fraud or other election-related crimes in the 2004 election. They had completed fewer than two dozen false registrations -- out of more than a million new voters registered by ACORN during that cycle. The mythology that suggests that thousands or even millions of illegal registrants voted is itself a fraud.

If only the Republicans who have worked up a frenzy over ACORN's alleged crimes were so indignant about real and damaging voter fraud -- such as the amazing case of Young Political Majors, the firm that ran GOP registration efforts in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arizona and elsewhere before the authorities in Orange County, Calif., busted its president, Mark Anthony Jacoby, and sent him to jail last year. He had built a lucrative partisan career by teaching his minions to deceive thousands of voters into registering as Republicans rather than Democrats, among other scams. Of course, the only on-air mention of the Young Political Majors scandal on Fox News was made by blogger Brad Friedman -- and the national media, mainstream and conservative, generally ignored it. They were too busy generating "controversy" over ACORN.
Consider this ammunition, my darlings. You're welcome.

And, finally, the dumbfuckery you just knew would be coming out of the Values Voter Summit: "All pornography is homosexual pornography."

No wonder these people swallow lies so easily. They have to perform such mental gymnastics to justify their hatred of healthy sex lives that they probably don't have the brain power left to discern bullshit from reality.

2 comments:

lasthussar said...

Sorry. Ive tried for years now, but this stupid European STILl doesn't get this whole "Registered, and as a X" thing".

Have you ever thought of going to the nast commie European way. Your local government tier (here it is the Local Council) automatically registers all over the age of 18 every October, and no one official asks which way you intend to vote.

Its the 'as a X' I really don't get. Surely we invented ballot boxes for that sort of thing?

lasthussar said...

Correction- the Annual October thing is UK, but other EU countries have a parallel process