28 November, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Watching Cons go after a bogus talking point is like watching a herd of lemmings trained to play fetch: throw the ball over a cliff, and they don't hesitate to go over the edge after it en masse.

You may have hoped they'd show some small sign of intelligence and restraint with the whole Climate Research Unit non-scandal, but if you did, you wasted your hope.  They couldn't help themselves.  And Inhofe's leading the charge:
The publication of more than 1,000 private e-mails that climate change skeptics say proves the threat is exaggerated has prompted one key Republican senator to call for an investigation into their research. [...]
However, it is not immediately clear what Inhofe hopes to accomplish with his proposed hearing. U.S. lawmakers and scientists routinely cite IPCC evidence when discussing climate change legislation, but Congress can hardly force the United Nations to halt spending on a program over which it has no jurisdiction.
Rather, Inhofe perhaps hopes to deal a symbolic blow to next month's climate change conference, at which IPCC is likely to play a major role.
I didn't think Inhofe could get any more ridiculous, but I was wrong.  He could, and he did.

Jon Stewart's pride and joy's jumping right after him:

This week, Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of SuperFreakonomics, embraced the fevered “Climategate” ravings of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and other global warming deniers in an interview with Fox Business Network host David Asman. Dubner purports that the hacked University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails reveal that the supposed consensus on global warming is because “everybody’s scared to be an outlier, everybody’s scared to be a skeptic.” After Asman compared climate scientists to Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler — Dubner did his own Glenn Beck impression, accusing “potent” scientists of “colluding” to “tell Al Gore what to say,” and “distorting evidence” to “make their findings be right for their position”:
You can’t read these e-mails and feel that the IPCC’s or the major climate scientists’ findings and predictions about global warming are kosher. You can’t. They may be, but if you read these you have to have a whole lot of skepticism about that. And of course, coming into Copenhagen these are going to have a big effect how the world looks at you. They’re going to say, “Wait a minute. You say these climate scientists have been telling us we have to stop burning fossil fuel tomorrow?”

The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, National Public Radio, Washington Times, and other news outlets are participating in this Swiftboat-style smear campaign, following the lead of actual Swiftboat smearer and former Limbaugh and Inhofe employee Marc Morano — instead of bothering to understand what the scientists were actually talking about in the hacked emails.
There's a wee problem with every denier's favorite tale of climate change book-cooking:
However, as climate scientist Richard Somerville explained yesterday, “The ice has no agenda.” Arctic sea ice is at historically low levels, Australia is on fire, the northern United Kingdom is underwater, the world’s glaciers are disappearing, and half of the United States has been declared an agricultural disaster area. And it’s the the hottest decade in recorded history.
So, the climate itself debunks these dumbfucks.  Not to mention, Cujo explained days ago why this story has a definite odor of dead fish:

Given that the contents were obtained illegally, there has to be some doubt as to its authenticity. That's bad news for anyone trying to make a point using the supposed contents of this e-mail. Most conventional e-mail servers don't provide any means of discerning whether the contents have been changed. E-mail consists of a header portion and a main body that contains the actual message. Sometimes, as is the case with sendmail, those two parts are kept in separate files. There is no checksum, or other means, to ensure that the files have been preserved. Administrators are usually careful to ensure that hard disk problems don't make a mess of things.

In short, if I had access to this data, I could easily alter much of it to suit my fancy, and there would be no direct evidence I had done so beyond checking other copies of that information that were beyond my control.

Any point someone is trying to make using these e-mails should be viewed skeptically. The burden of proof is on them to show that the contents are genuine.
Of course, they won't prove a damned thing.  They can't.  But it probably doesn't matter, because it seems a growing number of Americans is stupid enough to swallow any climate change lie they wish to dish up.

But not you, my dear readers.  You are wise and wonderful.  And if you need ammunition in your arguments with imbeciles and those confused by them, here's the relevant bit from ScienceBlogs' weekly recap email:
The Climate Scandal That Wasn't

Last week, hackers pulled a data heist on the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, releasing thousands of stolen documents and emails that purportedly exposed a scientific conspiracy to fabricate evidence of global warming. Climate change skeptics dug into the data with forks and knives, choosing the choicest morsels as evidence of fraud. But ScienceBloggers were unimpressed by the stunt. On A Few Things Ill Considered, Coby Beck placed tongue in cheek, rejoicing that the Greenland ice sheet is now refreezing. On Deltoid, Tim Lambert reported that NASA is being sued by the Competitive Enterprise Institute for scientist Gavin Schmidt’s activities on the RealClimate blog, where he “makes it perfectly clear that the claims of scientific malpractice are without foundation.” On Stoat, William M. Connolley debunked some of the supposed instances of hanky-panky, writing that “everyone with any sense seems to have got the right answer by now.” And James Hrynyshyn on The Island of Doubt called the stolen data “just plain banal” and “bereft of the context required to understand them in any meaningful way.” Hrynyshyn also presented some new projections from The Copenhagen Diagnosis, which show that global carbon dioxide emissions were 40% higher in 2008 than in 1990, and that by 2100, sea levels may rise by as much as two meters.

Now that we've dealt with that nonsense, let's catch up on all the political stupidity we missed over the holiday.

Remember the RNC's proposed purity test?  Looks like upwards of 40 Cons would fail it.  This could explain why various Con campaign committees aren't planning to use it to cull the ranks.

TPM put together a list of the Cons' greatest hit jobs.  I especially like the drawing of random lines on graphs, not because the line tracks any data, but because the line has to go that way to make Dems look bad.

The gun lobby's looking out for terrorists' rights to buy guns without uncomfortable FBI scrutiny.  As Steve Benen notes:
To put this in a slightly larger perspective, if the FBI is investigating someone who may have terrorist ties, that person will be put on a no-fly list. That same person, however, is free to purchase firearms, and the FBI will likely not know. In other words, those suspected of terrorist activity can't buy a plane ticket, but they can buy a semi-automatic.

Whither Con outrage? Strangely, nowhere to be found.

John McCain has decided we don't need no stinkin' exit strategy in Afghanistan.  America - breathe a deep sigh of relief that this assclown isn't our Commander in Chief.

Rep. David Obey wants to bring us back to the good old days when we used to actually raise taxes to pay for the wars we fought.  Bruce Bartlett points out the opportunity for entertainment contained within the Share the Sacrifice Act of 2010:
Republicans in particular will be forced to choose between continuing to fight a war that they started and still strongly support, or raising taxes, which every Republican in Congress would rather drink arsenic than do. If nothing else, it will be interesting to see those who rant daily about Obama's deficits explain why they oppose fiscal responsibility when it comes to supporting our troops.
I can't wait.

The concept of eminent domain has blown what's left of Glenn Beck's mind.  As Digby points out, it poses a dilemma for right-wing fucktards:
Right wingers hate Kelo and they hate the government but they love Masters of the Universe and they love property rights and they just don't know quite what to think about all this without their brains getting all muddled.

Kelo, for those who don't know their Supreme Court history, is the decision that allows governments of all stripes to strip private property from one set of owners and hand it over to other owners for economic advantage, even when the supposed economic advantage isn't one.  Digby has the whole sordid story, including Beck's inability to deal with the conflict of interests.

Speaking of Beck, go here for the greatest picture of him ever.

Note to the National Review: before you can attack the President's ability to reason, you must first learn how to reason.

Note to Dana Perino: the United States actually did suffer a terrorist attack under Bush.  Actually, several.  Including the worst act of terrorism ever perpetrated on American soil.  Strangely enough, that's how we ended up being conned into Iraq.  So it's probably best if you stop running around claiming otherwise.

Don't look now, but it looks like we've got a home-grown Rupert Murdoch carving out a right-wing media empire. As if we didn't have enough Con assclowns in charge of the media...

Karl Rove claims he wants an honest appraisal.  Steve Benen gives him one.  Something tells me that when Rove asked for an honest appraisal, he didn't mean honest, necessarily.

In political news that will make you sick, Palin likes the sound of President Palin.  I'm sure she does.

Speaking of people dreaming of electoral offices they'll never hold, Lou Dobbs is trying to reinvent himself as the champion of the Latino community by making an about-face and supporting amnesty.  I'm sure the Teabaggers will be thrilled.

And, finally, victims of predatory Catholic priests are going after Bishop "No Communion for Abortion Rights Supporters, But If You're A Death-Penalty Supporter, Feel Free To Have a Bite of Jesus" Tobin.  Gorgeous.

I think that catches us up well enough.  I've had all the stupidity I can stomach.

1 comment:

george.w said...

A Palin candidacy might be something to celebrate, on one level. That being: not having to worry about the Republicans for another term. Or perhaps ever; it might dismantle the Republican party, and conservatives would fraction into a bunch of little pieces.

Hey, I can dream, can't I?