16 December, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Slim pickings today - everybody seems to be concentrating the stupid on health care reform.  In fact, our first items are also about health care reform, but more about the stupidity of Teabaggers, so it'll do for this space.

Teabaggers once again descended upon Washington to protest - well, things that only exist in their fevered imaginations, really:

Earlier in the day, a small group of tea party activists went to the Senate office buildings to plead their case. ThinkProgress went with the delegation from Kentucky to visit Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-KY) office. Despite the fact that Bunning’s staff told them that the senator would speak directly with them, the tea partiers were met by legislative staffers who listened to their impassioned grievances.

In the conference room, the very first protester to speak said that if the country dissolved, he would move to the first state that seceded. After his speech, fellow protesters began giving their views about fascism, the President’s birth certificate, and ways to avoid paying taxes. Some highlights of the concerns they raised while waiting for the senator and then in the conference room:
– “But the bottom line is Obama needs to resign and go join a liars club.”
– “We’re going to take from you and we’re going to give to those who don’t work. And on the other side of the coin, Adolf Hitler said the same thing.”
– “We have a lot of people who are ‘birthers,’ but if the President was a legal resident and he has documentation, if he were an honorable person and aboveboard, I think the first thing he would do is say, ‘Here it is.’
– “Yeah, but then he went to the Middle East and all the Muslim countries and when he spoke he admitted he was a Muslim. He said the most beautiful sound he ever heard was the call to prayer, and he was speaking Arabic also.
– “How can we withhold our taxes?
You notice that, along with the Birther nonsense and the obsession with the myth of Obama being a Muslim, they just couldn't avoid the Hitler rhetoric.  In fact, it seems you can only have their Hitler signs when you pry them from their cold, dead hands:

At the same link you will find the reason why you should merely burst out laughing if they tell you that Christ is the reason for Christmas:
One activist we spoke with confirmed that the original die-in strategy wasn’t going on, but didn’t seem to know what had happened. However, the events of the day did take up the mantle of co-opting Christmas as the season to “kill the bill.” At a small gathering this morning in Upper Senate Park, Tea Party activists sang The 12 Days of Christmas, refashioned with lyrics about the problems under President Obama. Later on at a larger gathering organized by AFP, both Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and conservative radio host Laura Ingraham invoked Christmas as a reason to defeat reform.

The reason for the season, eh?  Guess it ain't Jesus anymore.  Good to know.

Michele Bachmann apparently a) wants them to fail or b) doesn't understand poetry.  I'll let you choose the most likely explanation for her choice in motivational poems:

At today's conservative "Code Red" rally against the health care bill, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) rallied the faithful with a fun historical and literacy reference: "It's the charge of the light brigade!"

The fun part here is that the Light Brigade lost that famous battle of the Crimean War -- they lost it badly, sustaining heavy numbers of deaths and injuries. They are celebrated not for victory, but for their bravery in taking on truly insurmountable odds in a military disaster. It's hardly the sort of positive example that could truly rally the political faithful to success, is it?
Alas, when it comes to rallying Teabaggers, you can indeed use a poem that's all about losing.  They're too stupid to realize that's what it's about.  All they know is that it sounds all martial and glorious and stuff.

Faux News steps up to show it's just as intelligent as its viewers and its Con overlords.  Are you ready for their blinding economic genius?  Here you go, then:
Now, with its Republican-inspired “Where are the jobs?” campaign in full swing, Fox has gone “on the job hunt” with a “new” idea for increasing employment: cutting the minimum wage. Jumping off from an op-ed by Washington Post editorial board member Charles Lane, Fox yesterday ran a handful of segments on the same basic premise — cutting the minimum wage may be the answer to the jobs dilemma.


Fox’s anchors seemed very pleased to have stumbled onto this line of thought. Of course, none of the anchors mention that almost all of the economic research on the subject shows that the minimum wage has little to no effect on employment. The most well-known researchers on the subject — David Card and Alan Krueger — examined a minimum wage increase in New Jersey, and found that “employment actually expanded in New Jersey relative to Pennsylvania, where the minimum wage was constant.”

Fox’s “brand new information,” meanwhile, is a study published last year by David Neumark of the University of California and William Wascher of the Federal Reserve that found that increasing the minimum wage may affect, by Neumark’s own admission, a “small number” of workers.
My, my, my.  There's dumb, there's dumber, and then there's Faux News brand dumbfuck fucking dumb.  That kind of extra-strength dumbfuckery shouldn't be available without a prescription.

And, finally, we discover that global warming deniers are (do try to contain your shock) overwhelmingly Cons:
In spite of Sarah Palin's recent high profile on the subject, studies show that vast majorities of climate science skeptics are men, which I did not know. This article ponders why that might be and references a pretty amazing poll that delves deeper into people's attitudes on the subject and their demographic makeup:
The genders were roughly equally represented in the middle groupings, but at the margins the divide was absolutely stark: "Almost two-thirds of the Dismissive are men (63%), the largest gender split among the six segments," the report concluded.
What else did the survey reveal about the "dismissive" group?
"More likely than average to be high income, well-educated, white men... much more likely to be very conservative Republicans... strongly endorse individualistic values, opposing any form of government intervention, anti-egalitarian, and almost universally prefer economic growth over environmental protection... have a specialized media diet, with a higher than average preference for media sources that reflect their own political point of view."
Digby's a bit surprised that the deniers are "well-educated" and make good money.  I'm not.  It's all right there in the "economic growth over environmental protection."  They're stupid selfish gits.  And well-educated doesn't necessarily mean well-educated in science.  You don't need a strong background in science to walk out with an MBA.  They have just enough education to know that they have to deny the science in order to continue being stupid selfish gits, and so they do.

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