31 October, 2009

Ye Have Until Midnight, Mateys

Captain George be keepin' the gangplank down 'till Midnight tonight.  Ye still have time to get aboard wi' yer treasures!  And there be plenty o' berths left, so finish yer drink, grab yer loot, and board ship!  Send yer best elitist bastardry to elitistbastardscarnival@gmail.com or ye'll be wishin' ye had!

The Equation

Now, this is the kind of math I can really get behind:
The New Atheists + modern biblical scholarship = infidel.
That's courtesy of a former evangelical and creationist.  Here's how he discovered that equation:
I tried to rebuild my faith in the Bible by reading all the Christian apologetics I could get my hands on, by heavyweight evangelicals like Michael Licona, William Lane Craig, J.P. Moreland, and popular writers like Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel.

While I was doing this, I was also reading the New Atheists. Some friends and I had been discussing atheism, when one of them said to me, “You’re very intelligent, and you always want evidence for everything. Why aren’t you an atheist?” So I decided for the first time to let the atheists state their case. Dawkins was rather disappointing, but Harris’s End of Faith was devastating. I tried burying myself in apologetics as an antidote, but then I came across critical biblical scholar Bart Ehrman. I started reading about the Bible instead of just reading the Bible. I read scholars’ explanations for the contradictions and discrepancies filling the Bible. Soon my faith was all but destroyed. The New Atheists + modern biblical scholarship = infidel.
Welcome to the fold, my dear anonymous atheist!  When you're ready for your coming-out party, please do consider the cantina.  Place hasn't seen a good celebration in too long!

He's got me thinking deconversion stories.  My equation was rather different, as there were no New Atheists rattling round at the time.  But the day a woman stood up in our church to testify that God healed her radio was the day I lost my faith.  I couldn't comprehend an all-knowing, all-loving God choosing to fix some nitwit's radio while war, famine, and other such horrors raged through the world.  Then I went on to study comparative religion, and realized none of them had a monopoly on the Truth, so I started calling myself agnostic.  I studied science, which showed me we don't need gods to make the world go round, and everything makes perfect sense without them.  Then I took a quiz about my God Delusion Index, and had to admit I was an atheist.

So: (Crazy Radio Lady + Comparative Religion) x Science + GDI Quiz = Total Fucking Infidel.  And how.

No wonder so many religions don't want you learning about the world, eh?

I Love My CongressCritter: PWNing Polluters Edition

No dose of health care reform stupidity today, my darlings.  I refuse to take my medicine.  I'd rather cheer on my Rep instead.

First, he delivered the spanking that Jon Stewart should have done:
During today’s forged letter investigation hearing in the House, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) rebuked the authors of SuperFreakonomics for participating in a “continuing effort to deceive the American public” on the science of climate change. Inslee condemned the coal industry’s effort to “hoodwink, defraud, and deceive the American public now to cover up the toxicity to the world environment” of global warming pollution. Inslee then pivoted to authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, criticizing them for “absolute deception” in their work on global warming:
The second thing I want to note is this is not the only continuing effort to deceive the American public. I want to note a book called Freakonomics, or SuperFreakonomics, that some authors wrote, that basically said or asserted we don’t have to control CO2, we’ll just pump sulfur dioxide up into the atmosphere and that will solve the problem. They purported to quote a scientist named Ken Caldeira from Stanford who’s one of the predominant researchers in ocean acidification to suggest that Dr. Caldeira didn’t think we should control CO2. Which is an absolute deception. Dr. Caldeira I’ve spoken to personally. He’s told me we have to solve ocean acidification. You can’t solve ocean acidification without controlling CO2 and yet people are still trying to write books to deceive the American public. And we ought to blow the whistle on them, we’re blowing the whistle on one today, we’ll continue to do it, because ultimately science is going to triumph in this discussion.
Then he delivered a sound spanking to Bonner & Ass.:

Now Inslee is pressing Steve Miller of the ACCCE to admit that his group is responsible in part for the fraud perpetrated by Congress. Inslee reads the phone script that Bonner sued, on ACCCE's behalf, to solicit support for the coal lobby's campaign. (We posted the document here.) It suggests that electricity bills will double if global warming legislation passes.

Inslee is making clear how misleading the phone script was, calling it "wholly wrong and fraudulent."
Bonner now points out that this was a training document for callers, rather than the script itself. Same difference, says Inslee.

Now Miller of the ACCCE is saying the doubling of rates issue came from Bonner, and ACCCe had no idea Bonner was sayig that. To which Inslee says that Miller reminds him of the guy who hires a hit-man and tells him, don't tell me if you use a knife or a gun.

Of course, the shysters perjured themselves in front of him:
As the Wonk Room’s Brad Johnson has reported, ACCCE President and CEO Steve Miller lied under oath when he told the committee that his organization has never opposed clean energy legislation.

Later during the hearing, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) asked Miller about the purpose of ACCCE. Miller replied that in addition to grassroots lobbying (astroturfing) and state-based lobbying, his front group has only began federal lobbying in “April of 2008″ in its “16 year history”:
INSLEE: Your entire goal of your organization is to influence Congress. Is that right?
MILLER: We do work at the state level, we do regulatory matters, we do general education to the public. So, the federal, direct federal lobbying has only been part of our portfolio since April of 2008 with a 16 year history of the organization.

Miller’s claim is another example of the coal industry’s perjury under oath. In a six month period of 2007 alone, ACCCE, under its previous name of Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, spent $2,660,000 lobbying the federal government. Senate disclosures show that the organization has spent millions more lobbying since 2001.
This may be why Jay decided a little poetic justice might be in order:
Rep. Inslee is now telling Steve Miller of ACCCE that as "penance" for the forged letter fiasco, his group should tell Sen. James Inhofe that we need to take serious efforts to limit global warming legislation.

And that they should run an ad that says at the top: "We need CO2 regulation in America and we need it fast."

Miller, unsurprisingly, is unwiling [sic] to do this.
Love that little dig at Inhofe.  Love love love.  But I love the fire he lit under Steve Miller's arse even more.

Yup.  Still proud to be represented by Rep. Inslee.  Especially when he's on the warpath.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

You know, Cons have been throwing a sustained tantrum since January 20th, 2009 (they started screaming and pounding their fists before that, but let's just simplify a bit).  Sometimes, they raise the volume, maybe start throwing things and creating more of a ruckus because the screaming and fist-pounding just isn't getting them the negative attention they crave.  They're behaving like spoiled rotten brats, which is why they get 0 respect here in the cantina.

The respect meter just dropped into the negative numbers:
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) intends to move on its climate change bill on Tuesday. The legislation, championed by Boxer and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), has drawn some support from Republicans, and would clear the committee easily -- Dems enjoy a 12-7 majority on the panel.

So, to scuttle the legislation, committee Republicans have decided not to show up on Tuesday.
Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee will boycott the mark-up of the Kerry-Boxer climate bill if Chairwoman Barbara Boxer tries to take it up next week.
The seven Republican members on the committee met on the Senate floor last night and unanimously agreed to a boycott, according to Republican aides.
Boxer doesn't need their votes, but she does need at least two of the seven to actually be in the room and establish a quorum. The boycott will make that impossible, at least for now.

The Politico report added that the boycott is "being led by the two most moderate Republican members on the committee: Sens. George Voinovich of Ohio, and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee." That seems a little hard to believe -- Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the ranking Republican on the committee, began orchestrating the boycott a week ago.
You know, there is a very simple solution to all this yelling, screaming, fist-pounding, breath-holding bullshit from these raging infants: quit.  Just quit.  If you Cons don't want to do your fucking jobs, fucking quit.  Go hike the Appalachian Trail (if you're not already doing so).  Get the fuck out of D.C.  Let the adults take care of business, because you fuckwits are obviously incapable of it.  If you're an attention whore, do what Tom Delay did and get yourselves on a reality show.  Perform stunts.  Play pretend grassroots protesters with the Teabaggers.  Whatever you want.  Just get the fuck out of government so that this country can get on with its business.

Moving on, then.  I'd say we need a jolly good laugh, and lo and behold, here comes Pat Robinson raring to provide one:

Yesterday on the Christian Broadcasting Network, televangelist Pat Robertson aired a segment slamming President Obama for signing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. Extending hate crimes protection to the gay and transgendered community, Robertson argued, was a targeted attack on homophobic Christians like himself. Robertson said the new law is the latest example of a “noose” tightening around “the necks of Christians.” Later in the segment, he implied Democrats in Congress were “opposed to many of the fundamental Christian beliefs”:
PAT ROBERTSON: The noose has tightened around the necks of Christians to keep them from speaking out on certain moral issues. And it all was embodied in something called the Hate crimes bill that President Obama said was a major victory for America. I’m not sure if America was the beneficiary. [...] We have voted into office a group of people who are opposed to many of the fundamental Christian beliefs of our nation.
Nononono, Pat.  They're opposed to the fundamentalist Christian beliefs of our nation's frothing fucktards.  There's an important difference, there, which you're a little too frothing fundie to appreciate.  And, my dear dumbshit, the only way "the noose has tightened around the necks of Christians" with this legislation is if, instead of merely speaking out about your abhorrent viewpoints, you decide to back that up with murder, assault, or some other act that's not merely speech, but violence.  You can continue spewing all the poison you want, noose-free.

And no, Pat, allowing saner people to tell you what a disgusting piece of shit you are is not a noose, either.  That's free speech, that is.  You really must see a therapist about this noose fetish of yours.

Aren't they precious when they're being all paranoid and hyperbolic over nothing?

Speaking of getting all het up over nothing, check out Liz Cheney foaming at the mouth:
President Obama paid his respects to fallen U.S. soldiers yesterday at Dover Air Force, as flag-draped coffins returned home from Afghanistan. Even some of the president's conservative detractors were willing to show some decency -- National Review's Peter Hegseth, for example, called it "a classy move." A blog called Right Wing Nut House added, "[T]he emotion that animated [Obama's] face during this solemn, heart rending ceremony showed that he understands his responsibilities."

Some right-wing voices were far less gracious.
Liz Cheney called out President Obama for his early-morning trip to honor fallen soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base yesterday, suggesting President Bush honored America's heroes with a bit more class than his successor.
Cheney, on Fox News Radio's John Gibson Show yesterday: "I think that what President Bush used to do is do it without the cameras. And I don't understand sort of showing up with the White House Press Pool with photographers and asking family members if you can take pictures. That's really hard for me to get my head around.... It was a surprising way for the president to choose to do this."
Actually, what's surprising is how pathetic Liz Cheney's sense of decency has become.

President Bush didn't used to "do it without the cameras"; President Bush didn't used to do it at all. After seven years of the war in Afghanistan, Bush didn't greet returning caskets once. He didn't even want journalists to take photographs of the events, fearing that the images may turn public opinion against the war.
What's more, President Obama didn't "show up with the White House Press Pool." The trip was not announced in advance -- the White House wasn't seeking publicity -- and only a "small contingent" of journalists were allowed to attend. In fact, "most of the event was closed to media."
I guess when you've been lying so much for so long, it just becomes a habit.

I'd take her to the woodshed further, but our own dear Thinking Brain Dog has performed that task admirably.

We began with an outrage, and we shall end with an outrage.  It is past bloody time to kick Joe Lieberman right the fuck out of the Dem caucus:
After joining with Republicans this week in a promise to filibuster health reform if a public option is included, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) tells ABC News that he plans on campaigning for some GOP candidates in the 2010 elections:
I probably will support some Republican candidates for Congress or Senate in the elections in 2010. I’m going to call them as I see them.
There’s a hard core of partisan, passionate, hardcore Republicans. There’s a hard core of partisan Democrats on the other side. And in between is the larger group, which is people who really want to see the right thing done, or want something good done for this country and them — and that means, sometimes, the better choice is somebody who’s not a Democrat.
Lieberman also said it remains an “open question” whether he will seek the Democratic nomination when he runs for re-election in 2012.

I don't care what pheromones he's spraying himself with.  I don't care how powerful his man-musk is.  I could give two shits how lovestruck Reid et al are over him.  He wants to go play with Cons, he can go play with Cons - but he can't stay in the Dem caucus while he does it.

Looks like the only one who appreciates that fact is Sen. Tom Harkin:
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) doesn't have a whole lot to gain from siding with Republicans against health care reform. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), however, offered some subtle speculation this week about something Lieberman still has to lose.
"[Lieberman] still wants to be a part of the Democratic Party although he is a registered independent," Harkin said. "He wants to caucus with us and, of course, he enjoys his chairmanship of the [Homeland Security] committee because of the indulgence of the Democratic Caucus. So, I'm sure all of those things will cross his mind before the final vote."
To be sure, this is hardly an explicit threat. But it is an instance in which a powerful Democratic senator raised the specter of connecting Lieberman's vote on reform and his role as a committee chairman and caucus member.

A little something for Lieberman to have "cross his mind."
They need to see if Harkin has some sort of Lieberman antibody, and develop a vaccine.

Happy Halloween, Baby!

No Halloween is complete without Type O Negative.  Enjoy, my darlings!

30 October, 2009

Attention Readers Who Know Greece

If you're from Greece, have been to Greece, or know someone who knows about Greece and will babble about it to an author, I need you desperately.

I'm looking for information on the geology of Chios.  Even if you're not a geology buff, you can help.  I need to know which bits have high cliffs, which bits slope more gently down to the sea, and which bits are sort of flat.  What kind of rocks are there?  What's it like?  Pictures, travel memories, knowledge of the actual geology - anything's welcome at this point.

If you've been to Santorini and can tell me about that, that would be a bonus.

Get in touch with me in the comments or email me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.  There could be a dinner for thee if we ever meet IRL.  Definitely will get your name in the credits to my magnum opus even if not.  And you will be my hero/heroine.

Thankee kindly, my darlings!

Damn Cat

As all of you know by now, I've been attempting to devote between 4-5 hours a night to fiction writing.

The cat's had other ideas:

I have a laptop.  Do you know how hard it is to fit a feline and a laptop in one small lap?  And she's an immovable force.  NP asked how something so cute could be so homicidal.  There's only one answer: "She bites.  She's a biter."

Thank you, Austin Powers.

When she's not monopolizing my lap, she's distracting me with terminal cute or bizarre activities.  This is the sight that greeted my eyes when I looked up from the computer screen the other night:

Grate.  All I have is the arse-end of a cat.  And just what the hell is she doing?  There's nothing interesting on the porch.

A few seconds later, the drapes began wriggling, and all became clear:

She thinks I put up drapes specifically for her own entertainment.  She dives into them, starts batting them, then takes off for a mad gallop down the hallway, as if all the window treatments in Hades were after her.

Right now, she's playing Peaceful Little Angel Kitty on the sofa, so I guess I'd best take advantage of the quiet to get some work done...

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Actually, some of it's not terribly stupid today.  The House, of course, unveiled its health care reform bill.  It ain't got a robust public option, but it's got a strong one, and sometimes in politics, it's necessary to settle for good enough.  Not that Rep. Grijalva's given up the good fight just yet.

So, how's the plan?  Well, Sen. Conrad's happy - so happy, in fact, he's even agreed to side with his caucus on a procedural vote on the Senate bill.  Amazing.  The CBO's happyPresident Obama's happyAHIP's totally not happy.  And it outlaws using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition, along with some other goodies.  I haven't seen a lot of analysis on it yet, but the fact that AHIP's screaming makes me feel rather good about the results.

Yes, I'm that not nice.

There's still some hangups regarding abortion.  Here's something those anti-choice fucktards who are ready to derail health care reform because they don't understand how this stuff works should consider carefully:

Time's Amy Sullivan had an item yesterday, unrelated to Stupak's specific argument, which addressed the larger issue nicely.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the fungibility argument that many pro-life groups and politicians have employed to oppose health reform. The problem, they say, is that if any insurance plan that covers abortion is allowed to participate in a public exchange, then premiums paid to that plan in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies help support that abortion coverage even if individual abortion procedures are paid for out of a separate pool of privately-paid premium dollars. You can debate about whether it makes sense to use this strict standard, but that's the argument.
But are those pro-life organizations holding themselves to the same strict standard? As it happens, Focus on the Family provides its employees health insurance through Principal, an insurance company that covers "abortion services." A Focus spokeswoman confirmed the fact that the organization pays premiums to Principal, but declined to comment on whether that amounts to an indirect funding of abortion.
Even if the specific plan Focus uses for its employees doesn't include abortion coverage -- and I'm assuming it doesn't -- the organization and its employees still pay premiums to a company that funds abortions. If health reform proposals have a fungibility problem, then Focus does as well. And if they don't think they do have a fungibility problem, then it would be interesting to hear why they think the set-up proposed in health reform legislation is so untenable.

Might I just suggest to the anti-choicers that they shut the fuck up before they make themselves look even dumber?  I know they won't take that advice, but then at least I can say "I told you so, you ginormous fucktards."

The Party of No is busy whining about how horrible, awful, no good and terrible the Dems' bill is, but when pressed, still can't tell us what their own ideas are, and what's more, probably won't have them up on the intertoobz for public consideration when they finally do come up with some, as they've so often demanded of the Dems.  Typical, innit?

Finally, the GOP Stunt o' the Day: Mitch McConnell jumps a veritable school of sharks:
In an interview on Dennis Miller’s radio show yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that the public option “may cost you your life”:
MCCONNELL: Well, it doesn’t make any difference frankly whether you opt-in or you opt-out, it’s still a government plan. You know, Medicaid, the program for the poor now, states can opt-out of that, but none of them have. I think if you have any kind of government insurance program, you’re going to be stuck with it and it will lead us in the direction of the European style, you know, sort of British-style, single payer, government run system. And those systems are known for delays, denial of care and, you know, if your particular malady doesn’t fit the government regulation, you don’t get the medication.
MILLER: Right.
MCCONNELL: And it may cost you your life. I mean, we don’t want to go down that path.

Unsurprisingly, McConnell has gotten his facts wrong when he’s described other health care systems.
Color me shocked.

We'll see how many sharks the Cons jump as reform draws closer to passage.  I hear they've been practicing for a record-breaker...

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Looks like today is Kiss a Con Commentator's Ass Day.  Nobody told me, or I'd have happily puckered up with the acid lipstick.  And Limbaugh thought his ass abscess was bad...

Sorry for the mental image, there.  Complimentary brain bleach is available in the baño.

Anyway.  Here's Forbes Magazine's high mucky-muck showing sweet smooches all over Glenn Beck's buttocks:
To commemorate Halloween, Forbes magazine announced its picks “for the scariest people of 2009” and included caricatured masks of the honorees, which included Rod Blagojevich, Bernie Madoff, Michael Moore, Kanye West, Roman Polanki and radical Fox News’ host Glenn Beck. “This cable-news demagogue commands big ratings, an army of fans and crocodile tears on demand,” Forbes magazine said of Beck.

Beck hosted the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief — and one-time GOP presidential candidate — Steve Forbes on his radio show Wednesday and complained about the award. “[You're] making me the number one scariest man in America?” Beck asked. “People always want to be at the top of our list,” Forbes replied. “Not this one,” Beck bemoaned. Forbes then started sucking up to Beck:
FORBES: It was a mis — it was a miscommunication. We were going to put you on the most admired, most beloved, most reasonable, most enlightened list.

BECK: Right, right.

FORBES: But we figured if we did that, it would yeah, we wanted to put a mask on you so you wouldn’t get killed by the liberals.
I can't bear to put the rest up there, because it became truly nauseating.  And unfortunately, I was eating when I read it.  Emphasis on the was.

And Rep. Steve King's so worshipful of Limbaugh that he interrupted a hearing to demand an apology for the Great Gasbag:
Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on head injuries suffered by professional football players. It's a subject of increasing interest in light of reports pointing to the frequency with which former players are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or similar memory-related diseases -- 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.

And while this may seem unrelated to congressional responsibilities, Congress does extend antitrust protections given to the NFL, and has a role in addressing public health issues. The formal name for the hearing was "Legal Issues Related to Football Head Injuries."

As is always the case, every member of the committee was given time to question the panel of witnesses. Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa decided to press Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, aggressively -- about Rush Limbaugh.

Apparently, the right-wing congressman is angry because his favorite talk-show host was dropped by a team of investors interested in buying the St. Louis Rams. So, during a hearing about health issues, King badgered the league commissioner for having previously said that "divisive comments are not what the NFL are all about," and that he "would not want to see those comments coming from people who are in a responsible position in the NFL."

The Iowa Republican insisted to Goodell, "I don't think anything Rush Limbaugh said was offensive."
I guess it's vaguely related to the subject of the hearing, if we feel generous and grant that both Limbaugh and King are brain damaged.  Otherwise, this looks like some of that time-wasting Boehner was whining about.  Something tells me he won't be condemning this pathetic waste of the House's time.

I wonder now which Con in Congress will demand an apology from Iowa for dissing Sarah Palin?
The conservative Iowa Family Policy Center is trying to raise $100,000 to bring former Alaska governor Sarah Palin to speak at its banquet next month. But according to GOP leaders in the state, the move would “represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state” because most White House hopefuls have “paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.” Other conservative groups in the state say they would never pay Palin to come speak:

– “If somebody tells me they want me to pay an appearance fee, it tells me they’re not very serious about running for president,” said Ed Failor, Jr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief and an influential GOP insider.

Very ouch.

Here's some ammunition for ye the next time someone starts screaming about socialism.  Seems like the economy likes socialism just fine:
From Fall 2008 through Summer 2009, the nation's gross domestic product retreated. The four consecutive negative quarters was the longest since the government began keeping track six decades ago.

It comes as something of a relief, then, to see the U.S. economy come back to life in the third quarter of 2009 -- spanning July, August, and September -- with GDP growth at 3.5%. It was the strongest quarterly economic performance in two years, and it came "without a major surge in inflation." The three-quarter swing of 9.9% was the largest in three decades.

Despite conservative opposition to economic recovery efforts, the growth in the U.S. economy was "fueled largely by government recovery programs," including the now-expired cash-for-clunkers program and the tax credit for first-time home buyers. The AP report added, "Brisk spending by the federal government played into the third-quarter turnaround."
But remember, Cons said government is never the solution, spending would drive the economy into further ruin, and the only solution to the economic woes inflicted upon us by the Con President and his zany bunch of Con fucking fools was to tighten our belts, freeze all spending, and let the paralyzed free market save us all.

Yup.  As per usual, turn what they say around 180 degrees and squint, and you can almost imagine they got it exactly right.

I've saved the best for last.  You'll never guess what yet another Family Values Con™ has been getting up to in his spare time:
This week, a deputy assistant South Carolina attorney general, who also happens to be a right-wing Republican, was caught on his lunch break with a stripper, sex toys, and Viagra in his sport utility vehicle.
Roland Corning, 66, a former state legislator, was in a secluded part of a downtown cemetery when an officer spotted him Monday, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press under the Freedom of Information Act.
As the officer approached, Corning sped off, then pulled over a few blocks away. He and the 18-year-old woman with him, an employee of the Platinum Plus Gentleman's Club, gave conflicting stories about what they were doing in the cemetery, Officer Michael Wines wrote in his report, though he did not elaborate.
Corning gave Wines a badge showing he worked for the state Attorney General's Office. Wines, whose wife also works there, called her to make sure Corning was telling the truth.
When asked about the Viagra pill and sex toys, Corning told the officer they were always in his S.U.V. "just in case."

He was promptly fired. State Attorney General Henry McMaster said such a trip to the cemetery "would not be appropriate, at any time, for an assistant attorney general."
I'll bet South Carolina officials were just glad they could get rid of this flaming embarrassment.  Alas for them, if they plan to purge all of the sexual miscreants from their ranks, they're going to have some pretty thin ranks at the end.

Moral of the story: the louder a Con screams about family values, the sanctity of marriage, and so forth, the more you should suspect them of "hiking Appalachian trails" with sex toys and erection pills in their vehicles.

Now if you'll excuse me, I really must go laugh me arse off.

29 October, 2009

Finish Yer Drink and Load the Ship!

It be that time again, me hearties.  Captain George be lookin' fer yer bounty.  Grab yer best elitist bastardry and get yerselves aboard.  We leave port on Halloween - ye don't want to be left behind!

For those o' ye who haven't sailed afore, it be this easy:

1. Pick a blog post o' yours that hits the stupid where it hurts.

2. Send us the link at elitistbastardscarnival@gmail.com.

That be it.

And if ye should stumble across any prime Elitist Bastardry that tisn't yers but ye'd still like to see aboard, send me a link to that, too. We're pirates, after all - and what good are pirates who can't find a little plunder?

See ye aboard!

(Postdated for stragglers - new content be below)

Ouch. I Just Got Bopped on the Head by Bad Science Programming

I watched a Nova episode before the evening's writing.  It's about a family who has a passel of children who walk on all fours.  The show babbled about reverse evolution.  A lot.

Shoot me now.  Here's why (h/t):
Nobody thinks that the Hobbit is “reverse evolution,” because such a thing doesn’t exist.  While some interpretations conclude that Flo has an australopithecine-like wrist, that doesn’t mean that it’s identical to an australopithecine, or even that the wrist is identical to an australopthecine’s wrist.  What it means is that, in a statistical analysis, the capitate groups more closely with australopithecines than with modern humans.  The Hobbit’s trapezoid also groups more closely with those from chimps and gorillas than it does with humans, but again, this doesn’t mean that it was identical.

Furthermore, not only are there no cases of “wholesale reversions” in primate evolution, but I’ve never heard of such a thing happening in any lineage at all!  Sure, there are atavisms, or reversions back to a “primitive” trait, but those result in a descendent with an ancestor-like trait, not a perfect duplicate of the ancestor.

“Reverse evolution” doesn’t happen.  Once an animal evolves, it can’t un-evolve.  It can loose traits, or re-evolve a basal trait, but a human isn’t going to “reverse evolve” into an australopithecine, and a bird isn’t going to “reverse evolve” into a dinosaur.  That bird may re-evolve teeth, but that wouldn’t make it a dinosaur.  The analysis of the wrist may lead us to the conclusion that the ancestor of the Hobbits left Africa before our modern wrists had evolved.  It may even lead us to the conclusion that the Hobbits left Africa with a modern wrist and then evovled a wrist that looks more primitive, but even that’s a stretch.  What it doesn’t lead us to conclude is that the ancestor of the Hobbits left Africa and then reverse evolved back into Australopithecines.
Can we please stop the reverse evolution babble now?  KTHXBAI.

Let us also stop this talk about "the gene" for bipedal walking.  It's not likely to be a gene, for fuck's sake.  We're talking a host of genes, a gaggle of genes, a veritable crowd of genes, that give us the ability to walk on two feet:
Again, unfortunately, the atavism angle is emphasized. This is good copy, but we should be skeptical of this. It is possible, but that does not imply it is probable. It seems that the 17p mutation is a loss of function which has had wide pleiotropic effects. I am skeptical that the ancestral gene shifted from null function to a new function. As Carl Zimmer pointed out bipedalism is a complex and exceptional trait which resulted in the retrofitting of a host of other aspects of our morphology and physiology. Though it might not have emerged in a classic gradualistic fashion, it seems unlikely to have been the result of a single positive mutation around which modifier genes evolved over hundreds of generations.
Oh, and there's this, too. Which kind of says exactly what I was thinking the whole time I suffered through this tripe.  Look, if even a two-bit armchair biologist like me can figure out  within five minutes that a buncha relatives walking on all fours = pathology, not reverse evolution and/or mutant bipedal gene, then you should've figured it out too, Nova.

Nova.  I like you.  You're a nice show, and you do some really great things, but you really butchered this one.  I hope we don't have to have this talk again.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Here's a rich one: Blanche Lincoln's fine with a public insurance option for Big Ag, but not for thee.  You might want to give her a ringy-ding and ask just why that is.

Joe Lieberman's still trying to play kingmaker, positioning himself to Queen Snowe's right on the public option - he's not even good with triggers, much less the public option the majority of his caucus, his constituents, and the public at large are plumping for.  He must have some super-magical power to make Senators fall in love with him, because Chris Dodds is out there singing his praises as well.  But his magical powers aren't infallible - his blatant lies about the public option have caused some key Dem senators to give him quite the spanking.  You can pile on, too, if you like.  Don't know quite what to say outside of you think he's a two-faced piece of shit who should've been dumped from the Dem caucus like so much toxic waste?  Start by asking him why he was for a public option before he was against it.  That should be fun.

If you're still raring to give Dem senators a whack after all that, give Evan Bayh a call and ask him about this "procedural vote's the same as voting for the final bill" bullshit.

Moving on to the other side of the aisle, then.  The Con inability to read polls is getting embarrassing.  Maybe they don't quite understand how it works, so I'll be happy to help explain this to them.  When a pollster asks a question such as, "Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan -- something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get -- that would compete with private health insurance plans?" and 65% say they favor this, that means that a majority of people like the idea of a public health insurance option.  I know that's hard for Cons to understand.  Numbers is hard.  But when the largest number refers to the people who support said public option, that means lots more people want a public option than don't want it.  I hope this helps.

In fact - and it's important that dumbshit Dems listen closely, now, too - the public likes the public option better than they like health care reform.  This means that health care reform with a public option will likely go over well with the public, whereas health care reform without the public option could cause people to be a wee bit pissed. 

And, Cons?  I know Joe Lieberman has some sort of magical effect on people, and his dumb is probably wearing off, but do try to wake up and smell the reality: states that opt out of the public option will not, in fact, be paying for it, because it's a fucking insurance option paid for with premiums you dumbfucks.  Clear?  No?  Well, don't say I didn't try.

And, Dems?  If you believe Jon Kyl and his bunch of batshit insane Con friends will turn around and vote with you if you just go with the opt-in idea they're now making appreciative noises over, then I'd like you to give me a call about some beachfront property I've got for sale in the Arizona desert.  Firesale prices, I'm telling you.  This offer won't last, so call now.

Finally, news that may amuse you: the GOP has decided that AARP is the new ACORN.  I can't wait to see the seniors take their asses down.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I never thought I'd see this in my lifetime, but Jon Stewart has earned himself a trip to the woodshed:

On last night’s Daily Show, host Jon Stewart heaped praise on the contrarian approach to global warming taken by SuperFreakonomics author Steve Levitt, a University of Chicago economist. Stewart was dismissive of the widespread criticism of Levitt and co-author Stephen Dubner, asking, “Have you stepped on a secular religion?” Stewart, often a tough interviewer, coddled Levitt, saying, “I’m sorry you’ve taken so much s**t for it.” He blamed the uproar over SuperFreakonomics on people who “feel you are betraying environmentalism”:
I’ve been somewhat surprised at how angry people are. The global warming chapter, you don’t deny global warming. You don’t say that CO2 isn’t a factor, but they feel you are betraying environmentalism or our world. Why are people so mad?


In reality, the critics of Levitt’s treatment of climate science and policy are not “dogmatic” believers of a “secular religion” — they are highly respected climate scientists, energy experts, and economists, including climate scientist Ken Caldeira, who has said Levitt and Dubner misrepresented his views. The widespread criticism isn’t based on the book’s personal attacks on Al Gore or its mocking of global warming as a “religion,” but on the multitude of factual errors, misrepresentations, and false conclusions that the authors use to promote their mindless contrarianism. As science journalist Eric Pooley writes, “The book claims the opposite of what Caldeira believes.”

Levitt recommends untested, planetary scale geo-engineering to block the sun as a “band-aid” that “buys us time” if “we might need to do something,” because carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere for a long time. However, scientists concerned that global warming needs to be reduced rapidly have already found a well-proven approach that’s cheaper and safer than pumping unlimited amounts of sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere: stopping black carbon emissions of soot from diesel and biomass burning.
And Jon's got stars in his eyes for this assclown.  I know that nobody's perfect, but for a man who regularly eviscerates media assclowns on teevee, this is a pretty big stumble. Let's hope he brushes up on his climate change science and sets the record straight.

Our next visitors to the woodshed are regulars.  Check out who the House Cons have chosen as their advisor:
I can appreciate the notion that congressional Republicans would bring in some outside advisors to offer policy advice to lawmakers. This, however, seems like a very bad idea.
House Republicans have a new foreign policy adviser with a controversial pedigree: Oliver North.
North, an aide on Ronald Reagan's National Security Council who is best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scheme to sell arms to Iran and divert the funds to Nicaraguan revolutionaries in the 1980s, was the special guest at a House Republican Conference meeting on Tuesday. North was convicted on three counts related to the Iran-Contra scandal and his efforts to cover it up, but the convictions were later overturned.

North was at the heart of the most serious political scandal since Watergate, misled Congress, and destroyed documents as part of a systemic cover-up.

House Republicans couldn't find someone else to talk to about U.S. policy in Afghanistan?
Seems like a perfect match to me: a crooked, totally not credible douchebag advising a bunch of crooked, totally not credible douchebags?  eHarmony.com couldn't have done better.

Speaking of douchebags, you guys are going to love this next one:
The California Assembly and Senate recently unanimously approved Assembly Bill 1176 to help the port of San Francisco with financing issues. But Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has decided to veto the legislation, sending a letter to the state Assembly chastising them for focusing on “unnecessary bills.” The San Francisco Bay Guardian also notes a second, more direct, message hidden in Schwarzenegger’s missive — contained in the first letter of each line:

Schwarzenegger's Letter

His office is trying to claim it was a coinkydink.  Maybe if Efrique stops by, he can calculate the odds.  They would appear to be astronomical at best.

At lost of people are pleased that President Obama signed hate crimes legislation into effect today.  Rep. Pence, of course, isn't:
The GOP may have lost a recent battle over President Obama on social politics, but a House Republican Leader today said he's not ready to let Democrats win the culture war.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN), the leader of the GOP conference in the House, issued a fiery statement denouncing to Obama for signing a hate crimes bill into law today.

From the statement:
"The president has used his position as commander in chief to advance a radical social agenda, when he should have used it to advance legislation that would unequivocally support our troops. We should remember why our soldiers put on the uniform, and honor their service by giving them the resources they need to get the job done, without unrelated liberal priorities attached."

Classy as ever.  And we won't talk about all of the time Bush and his happy gang of shitheels slipped poison pills into other legislation - unrelated crap shows up in bills no matter who's in power, so it's not like this should be so shocking to Pence's sensitive sensibilities.  And that's not the silliest thing about his statement anyway.  It's mostly the tired old "radical social agenda" tropes that got to me.  Can these fucktards please, please, pick a different tune? This one's been way overplayed.

Looks like Rep. Joe Wilson's behavior is having some unintended consequences for Cons:
Former Bush attorney general Alberto Gonzales recently spoke at the University of Tennessee at Martin about “Living Legal History: Working with the White House, the Department of Justice and the Supreme Court.” Gonzales received a “mixed” response from students and residents, and he had a Joe-Wilson moment when a student interrupted his speech and shouted out “You lie!”:
At one point, Gonzales referred to America’s war on terrorism.
“President Wilson and Roosevelt engaged in massive collections of electronic communications during the first and second world war,” Gonzales said. “The collection performed by President Bush was much more narrow.”
At this moment, a student in the crowd interjected with: “You lie!” After some quiet applause the speech continued.

I'm sure Cons everywhere think this is a horrible breach of decorum.  Perhaps that's something they should've thought about before they applauded Wilson's bad behavior, eh?

In other news, Scholastic thinks lesbian mommies are too icky for kiddies:
Lauren Myracle’s new book “Luv Ya Bunches” focuses on four girls and is meant to depict the “the lasting friendships” that blossom out of “the shifting alliances and rivalries that shape school days.” But Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, initially refused to carry “Luv Ya Bunches” because one of the characters had lesbian parents:
The company sent a letter to Myracle’s editor asking the author to omit certain words such as “geez,” “crap,” “sucks,” and “God” (as in, “oh my God”) and to alter its plotline to include a heterosexual couple. Myracle agreed to get rid of the offensive language “with the goal—as always—of making the book as available to as many readers as possible,” but the deal breaker was changing Milla’s two moms.
“A child having same-sex parents is not offensive, in my mind, and shouldn’t be ‘cleaned up.’” says Myracle, adding that the book fair subsequently decided not to take on Luv Ya Bunches because they wanted to avoid letters of complaint from parents.
Of course, they got letters of complaint, anyway - thousands of people who know two mommies are a-okay flooded them.  So now they've relented and are offering the book at their spring fair, where they'll no doubt get a flood of correspondence from frothing fundie homophobes.  They could've cut down on the hate mail dramatically if they hadn't been such dickheads in the first place, now, couldn't they?  Let this be a lesson.

And, finally, must tip my hat to eBay here for taking a stand against right-wing hate and violence:
The Kansas City Star is reporting that eBay has decided to prevent a planned online auction organized to support the defense fund of Scott Roeder, the accused murder of Dr. George Tiller. EBay said that the auction violated its policy against “offensive material” and would not be allowed.

Anyone tempted to equate the two above items is encouraged to think a little more deeply about trying to edit lesbian moms out of a book as compared to not allowing a service to be used to support people responsible for murder and mayhem.  If you believe those are equivalent, you really need to be reading a different blog.

Let us now end on a happy note:
While impressions of Obama’s professional performance are mixed, the same can’t be said of the Republican Party at large. Put simply, the GOP’s brand is still a mess. According to the poll, just 25% have a positive opinion of the party (compared with 42% for the Dem Party), which ties the GOP’s low-water mark in the survey and which is a worse score than it ever had during the Bush presidency.
Huzzah!  Only 1 in 4 Americans are completely brain dead.  Better results than expected....

28 October, 2009

The Necessity Defense

Look what the anti-choice zealots are up to now:
Judy Thomas in the Kansas City Star has an amazing piece (picked up by MSNBC) about the online fund-raiser being planned for Scott Roeder, the right-wing extremist who shot Dr. George Tiller in the head in his church:
An Army of God manual. A prison cookbook compiled by a woman doing time for abortion clinic bombings and arsons. An autographed bullhorn.
These are among the items that abortion foes plan to auction on eBay and other Web sites in a fundraiser for Scott Roeder, the Kansas City man charged with killing Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller.
“This is unique,” said Regina Dinwiddie, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist who will sign the bullhorn. “Nobody’s ever done this before. The goal is that everybody makes money for Scott Roeder’s defense.”
One abortion-rights leader called the auction deplorable and said it could lead to more violence.
“The network of extremists promoting and defending the murder of doctors is contributing to escalating threats against clinics and doctors across the country,” said Kathy Spillar, executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Roeder, charged with first-degree murder in the May 31 shooting of Tiller, is scheduled to go to trial in January.
Perhaps even more appalling is the line of defense they hope to pursue in the courts with this money:
Leach and others would like to help Roeder hire a lawyer to present what is known as a necessity defense. That strategy would argue that Tiller was killed to prevent a greater harm — killing babies. Other anti-abortion activists charged with violent crimes have tried to use such a defense but with little success.
Yeah, let's legalize killing abortion doctors. Sounds like a job for Antonin Scalia. One can only hope this defense has zero success, as it has in the past.
I'm sure they're heroes in their own minds.

They'd better hope they lose.  The "necessity defense" is an awfully slippery slope.  And let me just say this: if you're zealot enough to believe murder's necessary for your cause, you should be zealot enough to take the punishment afterward.  Otherwise, all you are is a violent little coward without the courage of your convictions.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

My goodness.  One day since Harry Reid revealed he'd be including the public option in the Senate bill, and the next thing you know everybody and his brother's either threatening to filibuster or is too shy to say.

You'll be shocked to learn that Queen Snowe is now prepared to filibuster.  Buh-bye, bipartisanship - not that there was ever a true chance at that anyway.  Good riddance, sez I.

It should surprise no one that Joe Lieberman's all for filibustering the final bill, although he'd vote for cloture to at least bring it to the floor for amendments.  Everything but the war, eh?  Riiight.

Harry Reid thinks he's full of shitSteve Benen's a little more cynical.  Can someone please explain to us why Dem senators have such a rosy view of Lieberman?  Is it blackmail?  Does he have compromising photos of himself sucking off various Dem leaders in a swingers' club?  What's the deal?

Lieberman's attempts to explain himself - a different flavor every month! - are less than convincing.

I just hope Gibbs is right, and that Lieberman's constituents will destroy him if he fucks health care reform over.  I don't have much hope, but at least it's Connecticut - there's a chance they'll be smart enough to kick his arse to the curb.

One group other than Cons is happy with Lieberman's bullshit: health insurance stocks.

Elsewhere in the Dem caucus, Blanche Lincoln's still playing all coy on whether she'll join the Cons for a filibuster party, and Evan Bayh can imagine health care reform failing.  I'm sure he can.  He's got a good imagination, beginning with imagining he's a Democrat.

So is that it?  Is the ball back in Conservadem hands?  Not necessarily - the Dem leadership's having some one-on-one discussions with recalcitrant Dems, which if done right may bring the caucus together.  More hopeful is the fact that Wyden and Merkley are on the warpath, determined to bring the public option to the masses.  If they gain some momentum in threatening to pull the legislation to the left, it's possible the Conservadems will settle for what they can get. 

In the House, it's looking like the robust public option doesn't yet have enough votes, but that doesn't mean House liberals are giving up.  And Steny and Nancy want everybody to know they'd better be prepared to stay the duration - no break till reform is done.  If they hold to that, the threat of spending Thanksgiving on the Hill may concentrate a few minds.  Heh.

I wonder if this will prompt Dana Milbank to write another whine about those damned libruls.  Aren't Villagers just precious?

And speaking of precious, it's awesome to watch Cons whining about how their leadership hasn't brought out a reform bill of their own.  Harder to shake the Party of No label when you have to say "no" every time folks ask if the Cons have an actual bill, innit?

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Heh.  Looks like Blue Dogs may want to reconsider their stance:
The Blue Dog Democrat PAC has seen its once mighty river of donations dry up nearly completely, according to a new report from the Center for Public Integrity. Last month, the PAC had just three donations from other PACs, for a total of $12,500. Between January and July, the group averaged more than $170,000 in PAC donations per month.

The three PAC donations in September came from consulting firm Ernst & Young, the Food Marketing Institute PAC and the NRA's political action fund.

The tiny September haul for the Blue Dog PAC continues a decline in revenue for the group that began over the summer.
They're not Con enough to make Con companies happy, and definitely not liberal enough to attract the progressive bucks.  Looks like trying to straddle their mythical middle is giving them saddle sores.

I have to say I'm delighted.

In more news that delights, Bill Kristol's handing out awful advice, and believe me when I say I hope Cons take it:
The Washington Post's Bill Kristol has some advice for his Republican allies. As he sees it, the key to electoral success in the near future is ... you'll never guess ... being more conservative.
The GOP is going to be pretty unapologetically conservative. There aren't going to be a lot of moderate Republican victories in intra-party skirmishes. And -- with the caveat that the political world can, of course, change quickly -- there will be a conservative Republican presidential nominee in 2012. [...]
The center of gravity, I suspect, will instead lie with individuals such as Palin and Huckabee and Gingrich, media personalities like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, and activists at town halls and tea parties. Some will lament this -- but over the past year, as those voices have dominated, conservatism has done pretty well in the body politic, and Republicans have narrowed the gap with Democrats in test ballots.
And to think, Time magazine and the New York Times let a brilliant political visionary like Kristol go. It's hard to imagine.


It seems more interesting to note that, as Republicans have moved further and further to the right this year, their national support has deteriorated. Last week's Washington Post/ABC News poll found that only 19% of the public has confidence that congressional Republicans can make the right decisions for the country's future, and only 20% self-identify as Republican voters -- the lowest single number in Post-ABC polls since 1983.

Also last week, a CNN poll found the Republican Party's favorable rating at lowest level in 11 years.

Kristol seems to think the key to turning this around is for the GOP to go from the far-right to the even-further-right. Given his track record for prognostications -- Kristol was confident McCain (173 electoral votes) would defeat Obama (365 electoral votes) last year -- I suspect Democrats hope Republicans take his advice.
I feel better about 2010 already.

Speaking of elections, Cons seem to think the Virginia governor's race shall be a referendum on Obama.  Recent polls would tend to suggest otherwise.  Poor fuckers still have trouble comprehending reality.  I suspect they always will.  But perhaps some kind soul can provide them a class in remedial poll reading.

In the department of piss-poor excuses, Gov. Crist says he didn't hang out with President Obama in Florida because he didn't know he was there:

Yesterday, President Obama toured Florida, greeting thousands at stops across the state. One man who wasn't there, however, was Gov. Charlie Crist (R). He's been facing increasing criticism from Florida's GOP base over Obama's February visit to Florida, when Crist joined the president on stage at a rally in support of the stimulus package.
The Palm Beach Post reports on how much things have changed between Crist and Obama since then:
"First I've known of it," Gov. Charlie Crist said this morning in response to a reporter's question about why he didn't join President Obama in Jacksonville. ... "I didn't know his itinerary. That's all," Crist said.
Does anyone else think it's a bad thing for a governor to be this fucking clueless as to what's going on in his state?  Does anyone else think it's not so much cluelessness as much as outright fucking piss-poor lying?


Speaking of oblivious, Teabag hero Doug Hoffman can't be bothered with local issues in the district he ostensibly wants to represent:
The Conservative Party candidate stopped by the Watertown Daily Times the other day for a meeting with the paper's editorial board. Not surprisingly, the editors wanted to talk about local transportation projects and the district's economy. Hoffman, who was chaperoned for some reason by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R) of Texas, was woefully unprepared for easy questions.
A flustered and ill-at-ease Mr. Hoffman objected to the heated questioning, saying he should have been provided a list of questions he might be asked. He was, if he had taken the time to read the Thursday morning Times editorial raising the very same questions.
Coming to Mr. Hoffman's defense, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, who accompanied the candidate on a campaign swing, dismissed regional concerns as "parochial" issues that would not determine the outcome of the election. On the contrary, it is just such parochial issues that we expect our representative to understand and be knowledgeable about, if he wants to be our voice in Washington.
Hoffman could have simply picked up that day's newspaper, and read about the interests of the editorial board before chatting with them. But he couldn't be bothered -- his campaign isn't about New York's 23rd; it's about the soul of the national Republican Party and the future of conservative politics.

He can't be bothered with "parochial" concerns such as what's actually important to district residents' daily lives; Hoffman has a movement to worry about.

I'm guessing Hoffman hasn't heard the expressions, "All politics is local"?
Apparently not.  His opponents must be screaming with joy about now.  It can only get more entertaining from here.

Time now for another installment of Inhofe's infinite idiocy:

At the outset of Senate hearings on clean energy and climate legislation today, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Commitee, mockingly praised chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) for mentioning “global warming” in a YouTube video about the bill. Inhofe claimed that people “have been running from that term” once “that natural warming cycle” ended “nine years ago”:
I do want to congratulate you on your Youtube, the fact you’re using the term global warming again, I appreciate that. People have been running from that term ever since we went out of that natural warming cycle about nine years ago.
That's interesting news, considering the most recent decade was the hottest on record.  Methinks the atmosphere isn't the only thing full of waste gasses.

John Boehner had stiff competition, but he's won the Hypocrite of the Day award:
Congress routinely takes up symbolic resolutions that aren't especially significant. It's generally not worth raising a fuss over.

But this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) decided to not only complain about today's resolutions, but to argue that they're evidence of Democratic negligence.

"These are your hard-earned tax dollars at work: with millions of Americans looking for jobs and the nation's unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, the U.S. House of Representatives today will take up a grand total of four non-controversial 'suspension' bills. Four," Boehner's statement read. He added, "It's unacceptable for Congress to take it easy at a time when out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet are asking 'where are the jobs?'"

You tell 'em, John. And while you're telling 'em, you may want to let your caucus know about your concerns.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) today introduced -- along with 75 other Republicans -- a resolution to officially commemorate the 9/12 taxpayer march on Washington. Other sponsors of H.R. 870 include Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa.), and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the party's whip.
The odds of passage -- which would demand that Democrats endorse bill language about "skyrocketing deficits, taxpayer-funded bailouts, pork-barrel projects, burdensome taxes, unaccountable policy czars, command-and-control energy policy, and a government takeover of health care" -- seem slim.

So, these are your hard-earned tax dollars at work. With the economy struggling, more than six dozen House Republicans want to spend time on a resolution honoring 70,000 right-wing activists who showed up for some lobbyist-sponsored, Fox News-organized protest.

John: next time you want to spout bullshit, make sure your colleagues aren't set to make you look like a total fucktard.  Well, more of a total fucktard than normal, anyway.

The award for Outrageous Homophobic Dumbfucks of the day goes to - who else? - the FRC:
Yesterday, the Family Research Council (FRC) put out a statement objecting to the Obama administration’s pledge to “establish the nation’s first national resource center” to assist communities providing services to elderly LGBT communities. The statement from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that there are now “as many as 1.5 to 4 million LGBT individuals are age 60 and older.” Nevertheless, FRC is arguing that there aren’t many LGBT senior citizens because “homosexual conduct” makes them die early:
In reality, HHS has no idea how many LGBT seniors exist. No one does! The movement is only a few decades old, and people who are 80- or 90-years-old didn’t grow up in a culture where it was acceptable to identify with this lifestyle.
Of course, the real tragedy here–apart from the unnecessary spending–is that, given the risks of homosexual conduct, few of these people are likely to live long enough to become senior citizens! Yet once again, the Obama administration is rushing to reward a lifestyle that poses one of the greatest public health risks in America. If this is how HHS prioritizes, imagine what it could do with a trillion dollar health care overhaul!

Oh, how I want to gather up a few busloads of happy, healthy LGBT seniors and take a field trip.  Seriously, how fucking willfully blind, stupid and malicious to you have to be to miss the fact that just because folks had to keep their orientation quiet means they don't exist?  And how pathetic is it that they feel it necessary to believe that the LGBT lifestyle is so deadly?  It's along the same lines as warning kids about blindness, insanity and hairy palms if they engage in a little bit of masturbation, just more offensive and patently ridiculous.

And, finally, do try to contain your shock, because I know this is just going to shatter your world view and everything, but it turns out Nancy Pelosi was right.  The CIA, hard as it is to believe, really did lie:
The CIA misled Congress about its torture program and other issues, Democrats on the House Intelligence committee are asserting as the committee continues to probe the matter.

In a hearing of the House Intelligence committee this afternoon, Reps. Anna Eshoo and Jan Schakowsky, both Democrats, pointed to at least five instances going back to at least 2001 in which the C.I.A. withheld information from or lied to Congress.

Imagine my surprise.  I think I might have to go for a lie-down.

Just don't expect any Cons to apologize for their apoplexy when Pelosi spoke the plain truth.  Fucktards never apologize for their egregious bullshit.  If they did, they wouldn't be fucktards, now, would they?

27 October, 2009

Oh, Goody - Teabag 2.0

Yup.  They're still loud, proud, and going for the gold in Epic Stupid:
Whenever I get too frustrated with my liberal brethren I spend some time over at the astroturf ersatz grassroots online organization Resistnet reminding myself of what the teabaggers are up to. It never fails to put things in perspective.

I wrote the other day about the teabaggers Next Big Thing, which is Countdown to Judgment Day. (Never say they are too subtle...) They have launched the new Teabag Express II, which is going all across the country spreading the good word, culminating in the national launch of the 2010 campaign to throw the Democrats out of office. Their stated philosophy is this:
Let’s stand up and stop the bailouts, cap and trade, out-of-control spending, government-run healthcare, and higher taxes! We’re back and determined to take our country back!
No word on what they're for, but I think it's evident, don't you?

They have a message board, which is a lot of fun to read. I particularly like this one:

HOW TO CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMAN TO SHUT DOWN CONGRESS OVER HEALTH CARE - The Way Gingrich Did In The 1990’S (over taxes) - simple, fast and effective
They are all furiously writing to Republican congressmen telling them to emulate Gingrich and shut down the government. It's kind of adorable.

But it's also kind of scary how dumb they are. Gingrich shut down the government in 1995 and it was widely considered the main impetus for Clinton winning re-election the next year.
I'm thrilled they're keeping busy.  Less work for us come next election cycle.  Heh.

Just for good measure (and because your cantinera is, once again, buggering out early for some quality time with her characters), have some LOLTeabaggers:


They're so precious, aren't they?