24 January, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

They've got to be delusional. Seriously. It's the only charitable explanation. How psychotic people get elected to national office is beyond me, but then again, America's full of conspiracy nuts, reality-show fans, and pig-ignorant goobers, so perhaps I shouldn't be all that surprised. But even an idiotic electorate should wake up and smell the insanity at some point:
In the first weekly Republican radio address under the new administration, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) touted the GOP's vision for an economic recovery.

"Our plan is rooted in the philosophy that we cannot borrow and spend our way back to prosperity," Boehner stated.

The minority leader said the package authored by congressional Democrats was "chock-full of government programs and projects," noting a Congressional Budget Office report that projected less than half of the $355 billion that House Democrats would spend to create jobs through infrastructure programs and other efforts is likely to be used before the end of fiscal 2010.

This, of course, is coming from the same fucktard whose internet plea for an economist who would tell him what he wanted to hear - tax-cuts good, spending bad - has gone unanswered. That's because his ideas on economic policy will not only flush the rest of the economy down the sewers, but set it on fire with a flamethrower as well.

But that makes Boehner uber-stupid, not delusional. Note what I highlighted in bold above - his reference to a CBO report. This is why he's delusional:

Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won't be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.

Funny thing is, there is no such report.

"We did not issue any report, any analysis or any study," a CBO aide told the Huffington Post.

That's right. He's citing a report that doesn't even exist.

This is what the Cons are so expert at doing, my darlings: making shit up. Facts don't fit the fantasy? Invent them! Can't find anyone to support you? Pretend they do anyway! Was the last president who came from your party an unmitigated disaster that three-quarters of the country absolutely despises? Praise him anyway!

George W. Bush is gone from office…but he is not forgotten, at least not by Reps. Trent Franks (R-AZ), Mike Pence (R-IN), and Steve King (R-IA). On Thursday, the three men spent almost 40 minutes delivering their final love letters to Bush. Some highlights:

– FRANKS: “President Bush often had to walk like a knowing lion — like a knowing lion, Mr. Speaker, through the chattering of hyenas. … [I]f those critics do not devour themselves in the meantime, Mr. Speaker, they may face the bared teeth of an enemy that will make us all wish the lion still walked among us.”

Psst. Hey, Arizona? Aren't you just, I dunno, maybe just an eensy bit, y'know, mortally fucking embarrassed that you have a mental midget who compares a complete assclown to lions representing you? I mean, there's stupid, there's egregiously stupid... and then there's Rep. Franks, for whom we shall have to invent a whole new adjective.

You might wanna do something about that next election if you want to retain even a tattered scrap of dignity. Just sayin'.

But maybe, you're thinking, Franks is just rank-and-file. Surely the House leadership is more intelligent? Surely, were someone like, oh, say, House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell asked about smart power, which can be quite simply defined as using more brains than brawn in foreign relations, he'd be able to answer the question coherently, right? Alas:

I was watching Minority Leader Mitch McConnell answer questions from the audience yesterday during his appearance at the National Press Club. [I'm hoping to get a transcript, but you can watch the video at CSPAN] And someone in the audience submitted a question (at minute 53:15, if you're watching the video) that asked McConnell 'what is your understanding of the foreign policy concept of Smart Power?'

McConnell took a moment to collect his thoughts, and then responded:

"I'm not sure I know what that means. [It's] probably in the eye of the beholder. Um...I'm not sure I know exactly what that means. I assume it probably means...um...be careful when you..um...decide to attack, and I think most everybody would agree with that."

That was the sum total of Mitch McConnell's response.

Someone tell me: how the fuck did this country survive at all after being run by rubes like this for eight years? How do people this spectacularly dumb end up elected?

We could, perhaps, explain the remarkable idiocy of these Cons by looking the media's way. Warning: doing so could permanently damage your eyesight. The stupidity's that blinding:
[NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd] Asking Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about President Obama' intentions with regard to a stimulus bill reaching his desk without bipartisan passage:

"Would [the President] veto a bill if it didn't have Republican support?"

Proving once again that manipulating a fancy touch-screen and adding up spring delegate counts is a completely different skill set than covering the White House.

That's right, my darlings. That was a member of our vaunted White House Press Corps asking if a Democratic president would veto a bill passed with Democratic votes because Cons don't like it.

Chuck Todd is, potentially, the only person who could make Bill O look a smidgeon less than wretchedly ignorant:

Bill O'Reilly just can't help hawking right-wing talking points on his segment devoted to same, even if they're largely false, hyperinflated propaganda:

So we can add this guy to a list of 61 former Gitmo detainees who have returned to being terrorists after they've been released, according the Defense Department. That's 11 percent of those let go returning to the terror world.

Actually, there are only 18 confirmed ex-detainees who've been identified as having returned to terrorism:

Indeed, during a January 13 press conference, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell stated: "The new numbers are, we believe, 18 confirmed and 43 suspected of returning to the fight...."

More to the point, doesn't this actually tell us that the Bush detention policies were a failure? O'Reilly assumes that closing Gitmo means letting all these people go; what it actually means is giving our legal authorities the ability to make sure we hang on to people who are real threats and to do so legally instead of relying on extralegal measures like Gitmo.

Not that O'Reilly would have the capacity to figure this out if it were explained to him. His precious talking point is much more important.

For those who might need a refresher on how the American courts handle terrorists, see here. It includes pictures and clear, simple explanations using short words for any Cons in the audience.

And, for the last time, despite what your shock jocks and your pseudo-journalists write, the Fairness Doctrine is a non-issue:

The National Review's Michael G. Franc's latest item begins with the headline: "Will Obama Revive the Fairness Doctrine?"


Apparently, during Eric Holder's confirmation hearing, both Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (remember, he's supposed to be one of the Republican caucus' more sensible members) and Jeff Sessions of Alabama peppered the Attorney General-designate on his position on the Fairness Doctrine. Holder conceded he didn't know much about the policy, saying he would need to "know more about it before I could intelligently respond to the question."

Later, Holder responded to Specter and Sessions in writing, explaining that if Congress acted on the Fairness Doctrine, he would review its legality and be "fair and impartial" about its application. In other words, Holder doesn't much care, and the issue isn't on his radar screen. Given that he'll be at the Justce Department, the issue isn't really up to him anyway.

The National Review's Franc, without noting for his readers that Obama has already said he opposes reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, believes Holder's "evasive responses" offer a "hint" that the new Obama administration may "re-open" the Fairness Doctrine issue. Franc concludes:

The bottom line is beware -- and stay tuned to your favorite talk radio host for further details!

It's like reading dispatches from a parallel universe.

For the record, TNR's Marin Cogan recently wrote a great piece, noting that she couldn't find anyone on the left who was serious about reinstating the policy.
Why the fuck would we want to impose a fairness doctrine? It's ever so much fun having a plethora of dumbfuckery to pick from when we want to enjoy some patented American ignorance.

Our economy may be in ruins, but when it comes to stupidity, we are still the most prosperous nation on earth.

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