News Roundup for 10/19/11
-Headline of the Day-
“POLL: The Third Most Common Word Used To Describe Rick Perry Is IDIOT.”
Noted Josh Brolin impersonator and Texican President Rick Perry got some bad news in a Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll — people don’t think much of him. The poll asked respondents to tell them “the one word that comes to mind” when a top GOP candidate’s name was mentioned. For Rick, the top choices were “Texas,” “No,” and “idiot/idiotic.” So things aren’t going so well there.
Mitt Romney did a little better with “Mormon,” “healthcare/Romneycare,” and “flip-flop/flip-flopper.” In my opinion, “flip-flopper” may be bad, but “idiot” is worse. It’s an unscientific analysis, I’ll admit.
Finally, Herman Cain did pretty well. He’s “9-9-9,” “businessman,” and “interesting.” Of course, there’s no way of knowing whether they associate “9-9-9” with “crazyassed,” as I do. Still, if you take the first two as neutral, “interesting” sounds kind of positive.
Of course, this poll was taken on the 13th, before last night’s debate where everyone piled on Mittens and the Hermanator looked like an idiot — so things might’ve changed by now. You never know.
But one thing’s for sure; Rick Perry’s probably out for good as the “I’m not Romney, who we all hate!” candidate. Right now, that’s Herman. So we should totally get excited about the Cain ticket, until Herman finally explodes and Mittens becomes the nominee — just like we all know will happen.
That’s what you like about this whole GOP nominating process this cycle; the nail-biting suspense. (Business Insider)
-And while we’re on that subject-
Click to embiggen
“Interesting,” indeed. (McClatchy)
“GOP debate crowd cheers idea that jobless are to blame for their plight.”
Or “Return of the Psychopathic Republican Debate Audience.” (Plum Line)
Stories to Watch: 10/2/11
Rick Perry’s getting some flack today for a Washington Post article that reports his association with a hunting camp. The problem; the camp until fairly recently a big, black rock at the entrance with the word “Niggerhead” painted on it. Here’s the thing: I have my doubts that this will bother anyone who was planning on voting for Perry. Expect the familiar “Oh, don’t be so PC!” responses from the right if this story gains any steam — although Herman Cain is already the exception to that rule.
In other Perry news: let’s invade Mexico! No, really.
Police arrested more than 700 Occupy Wall Street protesters on the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday, as the protests spread to other cities.
Dick Cheney wants an apology from Barack Obama for all the mean (and accurate) things he said about the Bush administration’s “War on terror.”
The Herman Cain campaign begins shedding staffers, which is always a sign that everyone thinks everything’s going just super-great.
Brainwash your kids to believe paranoid, rightwing BS the Glenn Beck way! It’s only “indoctrination” when lefties do it.
Finally, reason 5,329,405 explaining why I often call Fox & Friends “a show that’s such ridiculous bullshit that you wish there was a stronger word for bullshit.”
News Roundup for 9/13/11
Noted hypocritical lunatic Shelly Malkin
-Headline of the Day-
“A few more words about Koward Krugman.”
Michelle Malkin is really pissed off at Paul Krugman. You might remember that Krugman wrote a 9/11 anniversary post about how the right has snatched up 9/11 for personal and political gain. Of course, they have, but that’s beside the point — it’s poor manners to point that out and Shelly will not have it. Such things simply are not done.
So she goes off on a tirade of grievance, following the rest of the rightwing blogosphere in failing to address Krugman’s argument in any way. It’s all bluster and outrage and oh-my-god-it’s-the-worst-thing-ever, but no actual rebuttal to the claim that wingnuts have taken 9/11 as their own political totem — mostly because there is no possible rebuttal. They clearly have.
Anyhoo, you’re here for the fun, not Shelly Malkin’s failure to debate while pretending to debate. Don’t worry, it’s coming. See, Malkin calls Krugman “Koward Krugman” because, for this 9/11 rant of his, he turned off the comments to his blog.
Here’s a fun game; go to Shelly’s login page and try to register to comment. Guess what? You can’t do it. She turned off registration in 2005 and only rarely opens it up to new commenters. And, when you are able to register, your comments damned well better be along the lines of “OH MY GOD, YOU’RE SO AWESOME!!” or you’ll be banned right pronto.
So Krugman shut comments down for a day, while Shelly’s been allowing only the most fawning commenters for six freakin’ years.
I’m sorry, who’s the koward again? (Michelle Malkin)
-True patriots go splat-
Tom Toles takes on the right’s love for austerity.
Click to embiggen
Don’t worry, it’ll spur good old American innovation; i.e., you’ll figure out how to fly before you hit the ground. (Washington Post)
“Fox News Cold Freaking Out Over Obama’s Use of Crappy Paper Clip.”
No, really. (Wonkette, with video)
News Roundup for 8/30/11
Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade
Headline of the Day-
“Fox News Forces Candidate to Defend Reality.”
You might remember a tweet sent out by GOP presidential candidate John Huntsman a few weeks ago. Huntsman, who’s staked out a losing position as the “sane Republican” in the race, decided he’d had enough of the other GOP crazies. “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming,” he tweeted. “Call me crazy.”
So, of course, the good folks at Fox & Friends were up to the challenge — specifically pure white ubermensch Brian Kilmeade, who may very well be the dumbest person to ever get a gig on live TV (and that includes this guy).
Basically, Bri-bri took the Rick Perry position that scientists make shit up to score that sweet, sweet grant money. It’s all very stupid, which explains why Kilmeade goes there. This would have to be a massive scam and a hoax unlike any we’ve seen in the history of mankind. As the Washington Post reported, 97% to 98% of all scientists support the idea that global warming has a human cause. But Kilmeade, like Perry, is either unwilling or unable to do the mental heavy-lifting it takes to grasp the enormity of what he’s suggesting (I vote for the latter). Want an idea of how unlikely it is that Kilmeade and Perry are right? It would have to be on the scale of faking the moonlandings, like the nutjob flatearthers believe.
But this is Brian Kilmeade and he is very stupid and this is Fox News, after all. Dumbassery is to be expected. (American Prospect)
-Can’t tell the players without your scorecard!-
Having trouble telling your GOP presidential candidates apart? Try this handy chart!
Click to embiggen
Remember, Mittens is the “sane” one. (Reddit)
“Five Brave Souls Attend Christine O’Donnell Book Signing In Florida.”
A glimpse into Sarah Palin’s future. (Wonkette)
The Worst Possible Deal?
Let’s start with a look at the real world.
More consumers had trouble making payments on credit cards and other debts during the first three months of the year due to higher food and gas prices, an industry report said on Thursday.
The American Bankers Association said the data showed a downturn from prior quarters and described the most recent quarter as a “soft patch.”
“Consumers are feeling insecure about the economy and whether their financial resources can carry them through until conditions improve,” ABA chief economist James Chessen said in a statement.
This is the problem with the economy. For all intents and purposes, this is the only problem with the economy. People simply don’t feel safe spending money. If you save tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, it won’t do a damned thing to solve this problem and the economy won’t improve. Worse, if you you take money from consumers to fund these high-end tax breaks, you’ll make the problem worse.
Which is why the following is bad, bad news:
President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.
At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action.
The term you’re looking for is “boneheaded.”
I want to make something extremely clear here — the people receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits have paid for them. This is your tax money coming back to you. By taking this money away, the president is proposing what amounts to a demand-side tax hike at a time when consumer demand is struggling. And he’s doing it because Republicans demand that tax breaks for the wealthy be considered sacred.
This is a transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to people who not only don’t need it, but have done nothing to deserve it. We’re going to take money from you to fund continuing a tax giveaway that has not done a thing to help the economy.
Why do Republicans want this? To cover their ass. Paul Ryan’s Medicare-slashing plan put the party in a bad spot, so — to make up for a boneheaded political move — they demanded entitlement cuts. If Democrats join in with Republicans in cutting entitlements to pay for tax breaks for the rich, then the heat is off. This isn’t about job creation, it isn’t about economic recovery, it’s about getting Republicans out of a hole so that more of them will be reelected.
Hope that this is a trial balloon and contact your senators, reps, and the White House. See to it that this incredibly stupid deal falls through.
Stories to Watch: 6/11/11
As news that Republicans plan to run phony Democrats in recall primaries sinks in, Wisconsin Democrats realize that two can play that game.
Attacking beer in Wisconsin isn’t going to help Republicans here any either.
John Stossel is having a hot, torrid love affair with the straw man argument.
That Washington Post poll that put Mittens ahead of Obama is beginning to seem like an outlier. Yet another poll is out showing that the President leads all Republicans and that Romney “performs the best of a poorly performing group, trailing Obama by six points, 39% to 45%.”
A former top Gingrich aide confirms the obvious; that Newt’s campaign is “essentially over.” Cause of death: the impression among staffers that the whole thing was just a scheme to sell books and videos — or, at least, that a fire sale on all things Newt was taking precedence over actual campaigning. “We didn’t sign up to be hucksters for products for sale,” ABC quotes one senior staffer as complaining in an email.
Finally, the next time you hear the words “David Barton” and “historian” in the same sentence, go ahead and laugh until you cry.
Stories to Watch: 6/7/11
I’ve been looking for something to watch before I go to bed. There’s a dead spot when nothing’s on TV. If I start doing something else, I lose track of time and wind up hitting the sack at stupid o’clock. Same with reading. I got hold of some old episodes of Mannix, believe it or not, and that just might fit the bill. Now here’s the news…
A new Washington Post poll puts Mittens ahead of President Obama. From a historical perspective at this point in the race (such as it is), this puts Romney in such hallowed company as Walter Mondale, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush. It’s probably a bad time to start measuring the drapes.
Also from the Post: Glenn Kessler factchecks Obama, so the White House factchecks Kessler.
Tim Pawlenty joins the Paul Ryan school of economics by pulling numbers straight out of his butt. Of course, that’s because his real numbers suck.
The GOP accuses Democrats of wanting to destroy Medicare. You read that right.
Finally, 42% of Republicans say they wouldn’t vote for Sarah Palin.
Stories to Watch: 5/28/11
I’m probably heading off to a street-fair type thingy today. Bratwurst and beer are one of the things that make Wisconsin more than worthwhile. Now here’s the news…
Four months after the Tea Party freshmen were sworn in, theWashington Post looks at how things are going for them. The short take; not well.
Speaking of which, Politico takes a look at Republican efforts on the debt ceiling and finds their biggest problem; the freshmen arestupid, crazy, or stupid-crazy. “The reassuring part of it is that [GOP House Whip Kevin McCarthy] genuinely seems to be working hard to bring his members up to speed,” comments Jonathan Chait. “The alarming part is that, hoo boy, they’re starting from a pretty low point.”
After a judge struck down his union-busting law, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker insists it’ll still survive ”one way or another.” He’s hoping for the state Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, but it pays to point out — as I have been for some time now — that Republicans could simply reschedule a vote to comply with the open meetings law and they’re golden. They’re not — meaning the votes are no longer there. If this thing goes down in the legal system, it goes down for good.
Polling shows that Americans over-estimate the percentage of gays and lesbians in the US population. This strikes me as a great example of pointless polling — what possible difference could it make?
RIP Gil Scott-Heron.
Finally, this is pretty cool.
Press Largely Ignores John Boehner’s Gibberish
What if the Speaker of the House gave a speech that was just all wrong? And what if the Speaker gave that speech to a bunch of people who knew it was all wrong? Throwing out crazy statement after crazy statement, to the bewilderment of his audience, lecturing those who make their living, in part, by knowing better? Would that be a scandal?
Apparently not. John Boehner did just that, giving a speech filled with economic mumbo-jumbo to a group of Wall Street executives. Relying on GOP talking points, Boehner spoke to Economic Club of New York Monday, and received “a cool reception,” according to The Hill.
“The Speaker’s stand drew little reaction from the banquet hall of Wall Street executives,” the paper reported, “who offered polite applause at the end of Boehner’s speech but sat in silence through his demands on the debt limit.”
Bloomberg gets into the details of just how wrong Boehner was on the facts, reporting that Boehner “built his case on several assertions that are contradicted by market indicators and government reports.” For example, “that government borrowing was crowding out private investment, the 2009 economic-stimulus package hurt job creation, and a Republican plan to privatize Medicare will give future recipients the ‘same kinds of options’ lawmakers have.”
None of this stuff is true, Boehner’s audience knew it wasn’t true, and the speech flopped. For example, the idea that government borrowing “crowds out” private capital is being proven untrue before our very eyes — if could actually happen, it would be happening now. And it’s not.
Writing for the Washington Post, Ruth Marcus said Boehner’s remarks were based on an “incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy.” And then she gets to the heart of the real problem:
Reporters naturally tend to ignore this boilerplate. Journalistically, that makes sense. Boehner’s economic comments were nothing particularly new. Indeed, they reflect what has become the mainstream thinking of the Republican Party. But that’s exactly the point. We become so inured to hearing this thinking that we neglect to point out how wrong it is.
We live in a world where “House Speaker Addresses Wall Street; Statements Are Economic Gibberish” is not an allowable headline. Bloomberg’s audience is the investor class, so they can get away with it — it’s often said that the business page is generally the truest news in the paper. To find them debunking economic flateartherism should surprise no one.
But for the rest of the press, the story that the man who is third in line to the presidency babbled nonsense in an economic policy speech is a non-story. There are two sides to every story, the press believes, and if one of those sides is complete fantasy, so what? The media exists to report what people say, not what’s true. If John Boehner says that the problem with the economy is a shortage of unicorn milk, then John Boehner says the problem is unicorn milk. Let’s get a couple of talking heads to yell at each other over it. One takes the pro-side, one takes anti-, and when it’s all done you’re just as poorly informed as you were before. The only real takeaway for the news consumer is that there’s a profound disagreement on the influence unicorn milk holds over the economy. You haven’t learned a damned thing — and now a pollster calls to get your opinion on it.
Think of the seriously awful way the media handled the death panels lie. Are there going to be death panels? Aren’t there? Who even knows? We’ll just report on the controversy, get morons to shout over each other to demonstrate the controversy, and our job is done. The truth? The truth is that there’s a controversy. Reporting any truth other than that would be bias. Bias would be bad — even if that bias is in favor of truth.
So John Boehner can stand before Wall Street investors, tell them that the financial system is infested with mischievous elves, and that’s not news. That’s not a scandal. That’s one man’s opinion. It would be wrong for media outlets to make a big deal out of that, because that would be choosing sides. Objectivity means that you write down all the crazy stuff some lunatic says, then get someone else to rebut it. Who’s right? Who’s wrong?