21 October, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Holy shit.  What an onslaught of stupidity.  If the Cons and their teabagging friends are so unhinged a mere nine months into Obama's presidency, I shudder to think how stupid they'll be next year.

And their victim complex is just out of control:
When it comes to Pat Buchanan and racial, ethnic, and diversity issues, it's not exactly a secret that the conservative pundit has some, shall we say, issues. With this his history in mind, it wasn't exactly a shock to see him characterize "white working-class voters" as victims in his latest column.

As Buchanan sees it, "white working-class voters" just can't catch a break anymore. For example, have you heard that public schools no longer endorse and promote Christianity? I know; it's shocking. Did you realize that white working-class voters' Christian faith is "mocked in movies and on TV"? I don't know what channel Buchanan is watching, but the Baseless Victimization Channel isn't part of my cable package. Did you know that "illegal aliens" are routinely "rewarded with free educations and health care"? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal.

Wrapping up, Buchanan suggests white working-class voters no longer recognize the country around them.
America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right.
Look, you assclown.  I'm a white working-class voter.  And yes, I sense I'm losing my country - to WATB, racist fuckheads such as yourself.  Fucktards who assume that white, working-class equals frothing fundie xenophobes, and that's all America should be.  I'm glad Adam Serwer took you to the woodshed, because he's got a stronger arm than I do and you deserve to howl.  I just want to say that I'm tired of self-righteous shitheels like yourself pretending to speak for my ethnic group and my class, and I sincerely hope MSNBC figures out that having you on as a commentator is as much an enhancement to their reputation as asking Bernie Madoff to opine on the stock market.

Now.  Let's have a chat with Rep. Harper, who seems to believe he has a sense of humor, about the difference between appropriate and inappropriate "jokes":
Rep. Gregg Harper, a Mississippi Republican, had a jocular interview with Politico's Anne Schroeder Mullins and popped out this little knee-slapper:
Mullins: What in the world does the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus do?
Harper: We hunt liberal, tree-hugging Democrats, although it does seem like a waste of good ammunition.
Coming from a congressman from a state still renowned for its lynchings and murders not just of black people but white civil-rights workers -- in an era many of us can still remember clearly -- this kind of "humor" is anything but funny.

However, it is the kind of thing we've come to expect to today's Republicans, isn't it?
Alas, it is.  And you could probably recite Harper's defense in your sleep:  "Harper's spokesman said the remarks were 'supposed to be fun. ... It's having a good time.'"

Let me put this as simply as possible: joking about shooting your political opponents is not "having a good time."  It is psychopathic stupidity that is completely beyond the pale for an elected official.  Why is that so fucking hard for Cons to understand?

Also beyond the pale: calling our veterans traitors for supporting sensible energy policies:
A coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, under the name Operation Free, is on a 21-state bus tour to alert the public about the dangers of global warming and its threat to national security. Upon hearing about the group’s visit to Pennsylvania, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) blasted the veterans as “traitors” and compared them to Benedict Arnold:
As a veteran, I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took to defend the Constitution of our great nation!” Mr. Metcalfe’s email reads. “Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!”
Rep. Metcalfe, who served in the U.S. Army from 1980-84, today defended the remarks, saying that “if the type of policies that an individual promotes undermines the Constitution and the law of the land in our country, then they are not patriots.”

Well, then, every single fucking shithead who advocated torture, warrantless wiretapping, and all of the myriad illegalities of the Bush regime is, by your very definition, a traitor.  That shit was demonstrably unconstitutional and illegal.  Can we say the same of cap-and-trade?  Only if we've run our brains through a blender, as you apparently have.

And don't even get me started on the little Campus Cons, running around whining about how liberals have taken over the place and threatening all sorts of mayhem.  The apples certainly haven't fallen far from the trees, and they're just as fucking rotten.

Moving on to somewhat less violent, but no less stupid, dumbfuck Cons...  It looks like the New Jersey governor's race just got fun, considering one of the contenders has his corruption hanging out for all to see:
Now, with just two weeks left before Election Day in the Garden State, a story like this one may prove devastating.
When news broke in August that the former United States attorney, Christopher J. Christie, had lent $46,000 to a top aide in the federal prosecutor's office, he said he was merely helping a friend in need. He also said the aide, Michele Brown, had done nothing to help his gubernatorial campaign.
But interviews with federal law enforcement officials suggest that Ms. Brown used her position in two significant and possibly improper ways to try to aid Mr. Christie in his run for governor.
In March, when Gov. Jon S. Corzine's campaign requested public records about Mr. Christie's tenure as prosecutor, Ms. Brown interceded to oversee the responses to the inquiries, taking over for the staff member who normally oversaw Freedom of Information Act requests, according to federal law enforcement officials in Newark and Washington. The requested information included records about Mr. Christie's travel and expenses, along with Ms. Brown's travel records.
In mid-June, when F.B.I. agents and prosecutors gathered to set a date for the arrests of more than 40 targets of a corruption and money-laundering probe, Ms. Brown alone argued for the arrests to be made before July 1. She later told colleagues that she wanted to ensure that the arrests occurred before Mr. Christie's permanent successor took office, according to three federal law enforcement officials briefed on the conversation, presumably so that Mr. Christie would be given credit for the roundup.

It's not especially complicated. Christie extended a $46,000 loan to his friend Brown, and neglected to report it on his tax returns and ethics filings. That's bad. When the story broke, Christie said Brown hadn't helped his campaign, which was false. That's worse. And Brown not only played a role in supporting the campaign, but seems to have played fast and loose with her authority. That's much worse.

I can't help enjoying this.  It's always nice to see Cons get caught.

Time now for what's fast becoming our daily dose of stimulus stupidity.  Here's Sen. Burr, waving about cash he fought against:
Last week, Burr appeared in Bethlehem, North Carolina, to deliver ARRA funds for a fire station there:
This summer, the department applied for and won a $2,008,515 federal grant that will pay for a new 19,000-square-foot fire station.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Richard Burr was in Bethlehem to present the grant to the department.
“This is a great thing for this county,” he said. “We’re not accustomed to federal dollars in that magnitude finding their way to North Carolina.”
“This will serve a huge need for us,” said Chief Shannon Lowrance of the Bethlehem Community Volunteer Fire Department. “This is a very fast-growing community. We’re building for the next 50 years.” [...]
Having the plans ready to go helped the department win three American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Assistance to Firefighters Station Construction Grants issued this year from the Federal Emergency Management Agency / Department of Homeland Security, Lowrance said.
Last winter, Burr slammed the stimulus on Fox News, telling one of their anchors, “This isn’t a stimulus package, this is a spending package.” The senator even delivered the official Republican response to President Obama’s weekly address on the stimulus, warning ominously that “the federal government is obligating the American people to a similar fate” as that of a family choking under credit card debt. He ended up voting against the funds he is now happy to tout.

Folks might want to remember that as he's handing out the manna, there.  The manna wouldn't be there at all if he'd had his way.

And Charlie Crist, who used to show occasional signs of being somewhat sensible before he started running for the Senate, is hoping against hope all of the voters in Florida suffer amnesia:
In February, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) in a rare display of bipartisanship, endorsed the White House's recovery efforts and stood alongside President Obama at an event intended to generate support for the depression-preventing stimulus. It was the kind of gesture that positioned Crist, at the time, as a different kind of Republican, focused more on problem solving than partisan nonsense and rooting for failure.

And now Crist would really appreciate it if we all forgot about it.

The Florida governor suddenly finds himself in a competitive Senate primary against former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, who's far more right-wing, and appeals much more to the party's far-right base. Because Republican activists have convinced themselves that the stimulus fell short, Crist is pretending he didn't support the Obama initiative, even though reality shows otherwise.

No wonder the Cons have such a hostile relationship with reality.

Finally, the stupid cherry on top:
In a segment featuring Kerpen last night, Beck warned his audience that the Obama administration “just might be trying to take over the media.” “This is a big week, isn’t it, for freedom of speech?” Beck asked Kerpen, who said that it was because “the FCC on Thursday is going to decide what the future of the Internet looks like”:
KERPEN: It is a very big week because the FCC on Thursday is going to decide what the future of the Internet looks like, if it looks much like the past 10 years where you have private competition and pretty much people can do what they want on the Internet or whether we have a much, much heavier government hand. And they’re going to take the first step on that Thursday.
BECK: OK. I want to start just real quick – Net neutrality, because it happens on Thursday. This is that everybody should have free Internet, right?
KERPEN: Well, essentially. You know, they dress it up the way they dress up a lot of their things. They turn it upside-down by saying that evil corporations, phone and cable corporations are going to block what we can do block or we can say.
Beck then used net neutrality as a jumping off point to outline how he believed the Obama administration was trying to shut down freedom of speech. “You have a freedom of speech or the government. You can’t really have both,” said Beck.


Beck also appears to have no idea what net neutrality actually means. Science Progress aptly explained it last year:
At the most basic level, net neutrality is the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet; all content on the Internet is equally accessible, and once a person pays for access to the Internet, they alone get to choose how they use it. This means that providers should not be allowed to block access to certain sites or applications, or charge different customers different amounts for services.

I wonder, do they work at attaining these dizzying heights of stupidity, or does it come naturally?

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