02 October, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

This is really all we need to know about the right's capacity for governing: one of their leading lights thinks dumb presidents are best:
Thomas Sowell's latest column for National Review notes that President Obama and his team are "brainy." That, Sowell argues, isn't encouraging. (thanks to reader B.A. for the heads-up)

As Sowell sees it, bright officials in positions of leadership can be dangerous. For example, he argues, FDR and his team were deemed "brilliant," but their policies were responsible for the Great Depression. Seriously.
Sowell went on to argue, "Make no mistake about it, Adolf Hitler was brilliant."

So, President Obama is not to be trusted because he's intelligent, and FDR and Hitler were, too. National Review actually published this, on purpose.


As for Sowell's larger point, his column argues that brilliant people "tend to overestimate how important individual brilliance is."

It's a problem Sowell will never have to worry about.
 Heh.  No kidding.

For further discussion of the right wing's intellectual credentials, ensure you have nothing in your mouth that could become a choking hazard and click here (h/t).

And that probably explains why they elect such fucktards and let Glenn Beck rule their world.

Let's quickly apply the Smack-o-Matic to a few elected bottoms before we move on to the media assclown bottoms lined up out my door and around the block, then.  First, we have Michele Bachmann, asking the tough questions of Ben Bernanke:
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) seems to be developing a one-track mind. At a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, Bachmann asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about...ACORN?

To be fair, Bachmann also asked about one of her other pet issues, the threat of a one-world currency replacing the dollar -- which does actually bear a relationship to the questions of monetary policy.
In a right-wing hysterical sort of way, yes.

None of you are likely to be surprised by this, but John Ensign's been a bad, bad boy - even worse than previously thought:
We knew there was another shoe waiting to drop in the story of Nevada GOP senator John Ensign's affair with a top aide's wife.

And now it's dropped. A lengthy investigation by the New York Times reveals that Ensign was far more involved than previously known in trying to get a job for Doug Hampton -- his mistress's husband -- after the affair had been discovered. And that Ensign then used his influence in government to try to do favors for Doug Hampton's new employers -- apparently in violation of lobbying rules.

Shall not be holding my breath waiting for the Cons to raise a fuss over his highly questionable "ethics."

Right, then.  The Smack-o-Matic seems duly warmed.  Let's apply it to some right-wing media bottoms, then.  It seems the right-wing noise machine's in full hue and cry, chasing scalps, and they apparently have a list full of Js:
The Conservative Attack Machine seems to have a new hobby. In the wake of Van Jones' departure, every day is a game of "which administration figure can we target this week?" The latest target is the Department of Education's Kevin Jennings.

Regular readers may recall that the right initially went after Jennings in July, in large part because he's gay. The criticism didn't go anywhere, and Jennings got to work without controversy.

But that was before conservatives started hunting for scalps.

Fox News launched something of a crusade against Jennings, apropos of nothing, about a week ago. Soon after, Lou Dobbs and the Washington Times were on board, and joined the attack.

This week, the campaign went into over-drive. Fox News is claiming Jennings "cover[ed] up statutory rape." Pat Buchanan and Rush Limbaugh followed suit. Politico's Mike Allen suggested that Jennings may have broken the law. Sean Hannity demanded on the air, "I want him fired!"

Greg Sargent wonders if Hannity's hot on Jennings because he's jealous of Beck, but I think it's just because he's a right-wing douchebag hysteric, myself.

Not satisfied with a Jennings, they're also after a Jarrett:
On his Fox News show last night, Glenn Beck launched his latest campaign to unseat a member of the Obama White House: Valerie Jarrett, one of the president's closest advisers and a close friend of Michelle Obama as well.
Beck in fact devoted over 20 minutes of his opening segment to attacking Jarrett. He not only puts Jarrett at the center of the controversies Beck has managed to stir up and force resignations, but he says Jarrett is the reason the Obamas are flying to Denmark to lobby for Chicago as the host city for the 2016 Olympics.
It's straight out of black-helicoptersville, of course. But this has never stopped Beck in the past. Indeed, it's been the key to his success so far.
Alas, yes.

Not content with the Js, the Machine's also targeting the SEIU, and any official who they can pretend worked for ACORN.  These folks really need to get a hobby.

This may be the only time this ever happens, but Lindsey Graham actually said something I agree with:
Today at the Washington Ideas Forum sponsored by the Atlantic, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sharply criticized “talk radio, MoveOn.org, the 24-hour news cycle” for the polarization in politics. He then specifically mentioned Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck:
Can you imagine writing the Constitution — you know, O’Reilly says Ben Franklin’s giving in on something. Can you imagine having to do that in this environment? [Graham said]
Without missing a beat, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg next asked for Graham’s thoughts on Glenn Beck.
“Only in America can you make that much money crying,” Graham said.

See?  Even the most divided of partisans can occasionally find points of agreement.  Sen. Graham and I could certainly have an entertaining evening bitching about the Faux News Freaks - as long as we stay away from absolutely every other subject.  Well, I could be wrong - maybe he likes cats.

So we've got that much in common, at least.  Isn't that just heart-warming?

Heck, I even have something in common with Faux News's very own Bernie Goldberg.  We both agree that Faux News is full of hacks shitting on the good profession of journalism:
Sometimes something you see on TV does come as a surprise no matter what the motivation behind it. The Factor highlights Goldberg with a Weekdays With Bernie segment so that FOX can bang the drum on librul bias. Bernie Goldberg has made a living out of trying to uncover and expose all the dirty hippie liberal bias in the media, but as BillO was playing the usual conservative victim card that FOX News lives on, Bernie stunned the loofah man. Oh Bernie, said BillO. Why oh why are we attacked so much? We're the only network that is fair and balanced and ... sniff...sniff ... we pay such a heavy price for it.

Bernie begins by sticking up for Roger Ailes and his right wing propaganda network, but then Bernie took a U-turn into reality. He praised FOX for breaking stories that the MSM won't and they are sooo jealous that they throw spitballs at the battles ship ... BUT ....
Goldberg:...this is what the so called mainstream media do. They get angry at FOX. This is wrong. This is the spitballs at the battleship argument, but sometimes Bill -- and whether you acknowledge it or not I'm going to state it -- sometimes FOX brings on the criticism itself. There are some programs on FOX that are not only NOT fair and balanced, they're commentary shows. They don't have to be, but they brag about how fair and balanced they are. They don't cover rallies and tea parties, they cheerlead rallies and tea parties, and as a journalist I am totally against that.
I can't believe someone who usually plays the valiant defender of Faux News actually attacked Faux News on, of all places, the Factor. Wow.

We need a return to normalcy here.  Let's check in on Newt Gingrinch.  What's ye olde Newtie up to these days?

Ah.  Stripping awards from strippers:
Last month, Allison Vivas of Pink Visual — a porn DVD superstore headquartered in California — was tickled to find out that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s Business Defense and Advisory Council had chosen her for a 2009 Entrepreneur of the Year award. Embarrassed, Gingrich’s group eventually said that it had “inadvertently” sent the invitation to Pink Visual. Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News reported that The Lodge, “one of the best-known gentlemen’s clubs in Dallas,” also received an Entrepreneur award from Gingrich, only to have it taken away:
That all changed, however, when Gingrich realized that The Lodge was a topless bar, not some other business in Virginia. He rescinded [Lodge owner Dawn] Rizos’ invitation to a private dinner and returned the $5,000 donation she made to his group, American Solutions for Winning the Future.
That is made of awesome.  I can hardly wait to find out what other businesses won his award.  I hope it involves professional dominatrix services.

I wonder how the right's going to feel about these little faux pax if Newtie decides to run for president...


Cujo359 said...

If Obama lets these guys torpedo one of his most important advisers, then he truly deserves to be known as an ineffectual President.

Woozle said...

The name "Thomas Sowell", along with the mind-numbing argument that people who are too smart shouldn't be in charge, seemed kind of familiar...

...so I checked, and sure enough Sowell was the author of a hit piece almost a year ago accusing Obama of being immature, insubstantial, and arrogant -- all right-wing talking points.

It seems clear that what they want is someone less smart and more manipulable by an "insider circle"-- as Bush and McCain (utterly discarding his principles during the 2008 campaign) have both proven to be.

Chris Rhetts said...

This thing about John Derbyshire is most disappointing. He wrote what in my view was far and away the most devastating critique of "Expelled" by any writer. I'm sorry but I don't know how to put links in these comments - but you can easily find the article by typing in: "Blood Libel on our Civilization". Its really worth the time.