Monday, November 30, 2009

Broken In Brief: Disoriented John McCain crashes state dinner

WASHINGTON—With most of the media focusing on the security breach of Michaele and Tareq Salahi, the couple who infiltrated the State Dinner for the Indian Prime Minister last Tuesday, there has been little attention paid to another mini-scandal erupting from the event. According to sources, an inebriated and confused Senator John McCain also crashed the event. But instead of attempting to get photos with various leaders and celebrities in attendance, the senior Senator from Arizona opted to attempt to host the event as if he were the President.

“Yeah, all was going well, massive security breaches aside, and then the Senator comically barged through the main ballroom doors, fell over, and then made his way over to the receiving line,” observed Juande Ramirez, a member of the wait staff.

“He stumbled past Larry Summers, elbowed the First Lady into a fichus, began shaking the hands of anyone who attempted to make him leave, and made some remark to the Indian Prime Minister about setting aside some time to really sit down and talk shop about how they would bravely lead their great nations into the 19th century.”

According to bemused onlookers, McCain then told President Obama, whom he was leaning against in a bid to stay upright, that it was good that "[the President] wasn’t all bent out of shape over losing the election.” McCain then stumbled onto the dance floor, performed some rudimentary cha-cha, started clinking a fork against a wine glass in an apparent attempt to get some imagined couple to kiss, before retching on a commemorative cake shaped like Ravi Shankar and passing out on top of a dessert cart.

As staffers dragged the comatose war hero out of the event by his feet, they apologized for their bosses’ indiscretions, noting that the last year “has been a hard one for him.”

While there are no immediate plans for “President” McCain, besides a long-in-the-making intervention, his staffers have noted that his personal itinerary mentions a “health policy address” referring to an incident where the soused GOP standard-bearer bitched about his goiter to his daughters’ porcelain doll collection. An indication that this problem may have a deeper root than a secret stash of navy rum.

Whatever the problem, staffers hope to have gotten the Senator the help he needs by the end of the week.

Buy things!

We at These Bastards are nothing if not rampant consumer whores who want you to buybuybuyfuckingbuy in the name of capitalism and Jesus based holidays. But we, as of yet, have nothing of our own to sell you as a pretense with which to steal your identity, so as such we will, from time to time, direct you to buy the goods and services of others to give as gifts for the Lord's birthday.

Being fans of both artist Brandon Bird and the ludicrous acting of Nicolas "No, not the bees" Cage, we would feel it remiss if we did not direct you to Bird's creation the Nicolas Cage Adventure Set!
The fate of Nicolas Cage is in your hands!

Each set includes a double-sided 8.5 x 11 inch play background (depicting "tropical island" and "haunted castle" environments) and one 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of nine vinyl cling stickers: 3 full-body Nicolas Cages, battle axe, skateboard, ice cream cone, scary ghost, parrot, and space helmet. Click here for a detail view of all the stickers.
At only $10 bucks, it's a hell of a deal. I mean a disheveled, leather jacket wearing Nic Cage vinyl sticker and a spooky ghost? No need to do any other shopping.

Quote of the Day

Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, telling the student newspaper of Texas Tech how he is inspiring his students now that the Red Raiders have inexplicably allowed him to teach there.
Gonzales said he wants to encourage Tech students to have high aspirations but to realize that success doesn’t come overnight.

“Dream big but be patient,” he said. “You never know when the next George W. Bush is going to come along and give you a once in a lifetime opportunity like he gave me, but you have to be patient.
"Kids, I'm a big believer in dreams coming true. And one day, if you dream hard enough, a rich, pampered, idiot manchild will like the way you don't talk back to or contradict him. And when he gets swept into higher office, he will drag you along on his coattails and sweep you into a position you are grossly unqualified for. Whereupon, if you're lucky, you'll get to fuck with the most basic institutions of law with an almost sociopathic disregard for ethics or basic humanity. Dream big! It worked for me!"

I imagine at this point his students lifted him up on their shoulders and carried him out triumphantly, chanting "Fre-do, Fre-do, Fre-d0!" After all, who doesn't dream of being a mindless, yes-man cipher who goes on to become a disgraced halfwit all based around not what they know, but who they know? That's preparing kids for the future in a manner that is surely worth the $15k in-state and $23k out-of-state tuition cost.

Picture of the day

Owing to the occasion of all the world leaders being in town for the United Nation's annual World Leader's Talent and Beauty Competition, Vanity Fair sent world famous photographer Platon down to the General Assembly to photograph every single leader that was there. And a fine job he did, making the world's political elite look less reptilian while also sharing an amusing anecdote about each leader as part of the audio section that accompanies the photos. Actually, I should have said 'making most of the world's political elite look less reptilian'. Yeah, want to guess who came off looking less like a dignified world leader and more like a perv? You guessed it: Silvio Berlusconi.

In Silvio's defense, they did tell him they were going to a strip club after the shoot.

Stay classy, Rick

Ever since being declared America's Pastor/Archbishop/Representative on the Church Bake Sale Committee after he gave an invocation at the Inauguration, Rick Warren has done his best not to deal meth, bang hookers, cheat on his wife, be gay, say crazy religious shit, or do anything to disgrace the fake title that was conferred upon him by the media. Well....about that last part. Seems that when he as asked about his affiliation with pastor Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan minister who in addition to setting back effective preventative AIDS measures with his "burn condoms for Jesus" program, also backs legislation that would make being gay punishable by imprisonment or death, Rick forgot to say it was bad. Whoops!
But Warren won't go so far as to condemn the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the proposed Ugandan antihomosexual laws generated this response: "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations." On Meet the Press this morning, he reiterated this neutral stance in a different context: "As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides."
Unless it's on Prop 8 or abortion or a host of other political issues, then you do take sides. But when a guy you repeatedly invite to your church and support is actively trying to pass a law which imprisons and kills people for being gay, you can't even offer a timid "Yeah, that's kind of bad"? I'm sure Jesus is smiling down on you, giving the double thumbs up and remarking to some angel about the excellent way you equivocated. I don't think I can support him in the next election for America's Pastor.

An inability to condemn proposed state backed pogroms? Way to stay classy, Rick.

You don't say

I don't want to alarm you too much while you're still groggy from turkey consumption and the elbow you may have taken to the head on Black Friday while you trying to cut in front of some elderly pensioner to get a discounted blu-ray player, but there is shocking news of a revelatory nature to discuss. Yes, it seems that shortsighted planning, bad decisions, and political/military failures have taken a problem in the Middle East and turned it into an even bigger problem that dramatically affected the US and our foreign/military policy years after it took place. This is the first time that has ever happened.
The report asserts that the failure to kill or capture bin Laden at his most vulnerable in December 2001 has had lasting consequences beyond the fate of one man. Bin Laden's escape laid the foundation for today's reinvigorated Afghan insurgency and inflamed the internal strife now endangering Pakistan, it says.
"Removing the al-Qaida leader from the battlefield eight years ago would not have eliminated the worldwide extremist threat," the report says. "But the decisions that opened the door for his escape to Pakistan allowed bin Laden to emerge as a potent symbolic figure who continues to attract a steady flow of money and inspire fanatics worldwide. The failure to finish the job represents a lost opportunity that forever altered the course of the conflict in Afghanistan and the future of international terrorism."

The report states categorically that bin Laden was hiding in Tora Bora when the U.S. had the means to mount a rapid assault with several thousand troops at least. It says that a review of existing literature, unclassified government records and interviews with central participants "removes any lingering doubts and makes it clear that Osama bin Laden was within our grasp at Tora Bora."
Well, it's not like we didn't already know that, but it's nice to have a definitive account of how the Bush Administration completely shit the bed on capturing bin Laden by not devoting enough troops to the cause of finding him and then pulling what ones they did have to go to the new war they were starting in Iraq. And what wonders that war did for us all. As a bonus, the report was delivered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and it's chairman John Kerry, who futilely tried to make that exact point all throughout the 2004 Presidential election he fucked up. He must feel very proud that this gets added to the list of things he was right about five years ago. Ask Al Gore, I'm sure that's almost as good as being President.

So let's see, I think that means that America pretty much fucked up every single thing possible in the aftermath of 9/11. Not only did we gut our laws at home and violate our Constitution, we violated them abroad with our rendition, detention, and torture policies, we started a war in a wrong country, half-assed the war in the correct country to a degree that not only didn't we defeat the Taliban, but we allowed them to regroup, come back stronger, and helped them play a part in trying to destabilize Pakistan. Oh yeah, and we let the guy who masterminded the attacks waltz away, have shown little interest in capturing him, and there's still nothing built where the Twin Towers stood. By "we", I mean "the Bush Administration", but then again, we couldn't even be bothered to pay attention until 2008. Meanwhile, our one attempt to prosecute some of the guys involved in the attacks can't be done without half our country wetting itself over the horrors that will befall us if we follow the laws of our country.

But hey, at least Zacarias Moussaoui is in jail. We didn't fuck that one up. Mark that in the 'Job Well Done' column with.............. uh........................ um........................... yeah.

Too soon?

From FreshJive, the t-shirt entitled "Hope is Fading Fast", the first salvo from the hippies and hipsters who probably didn't vote, but would be regretting it right now if they did. 10 months? Is that our wait limit on hope related change? Alright. Sure you don't want to wait until he officially escalates the war in Afghanistan before turning on him? No? All this stuff is sufficient? I understand, Christmas pre-orders, printing lead times, and whatnot.

On the bright side, this is probably distorted enough and artistically different enough to ensure they don't get sued by the AP. Which puts them one up on Shepard Fairey. Here's a tip if you do get sued by a vengeful press or cash strapped Fairey: don't lie. Otherwise, I'll see you at the weekly meeting for people who didn't get what they wanted from a politician they supported. We're called everyone and we meet every day within the confines of the Untied States and its outlying territories.

Welcome back, this is what vengeful Indian spirits have cursed us with

Ah, dear readers, we're back from the extended eating contest/holiday that we know as Gluttony & Genocide Day, but the rest of the world celebrates/rues as the day England banished all it's weird, buckle-hatted religious fuckers to a land so far away that they could never harm/annoy another civilized soul. And after we come back from celebrating America's earliest traditions of viewing 10 pound weight gains over a 4 day period as a small victory, how is it that America repays us? By cursing us with the start of the Senate's "debate" on health care. Woe be unto us, for we are the damned.
Debate is to begin Monday morning on the measure to overhaul the US health care system, at an estimated cost of 848 billion dollars through 2019, but a final Senate vote on the bill is not expected for a month at the earliest.

The administration hailed the November 22 vote that cleared the way for debate to begin, but Senate Majority Harry Reid faces a tough challenge constructing a coalition strong enough to get the bill out of the Senate.

He can count on almost unanimous opposition to the measure from Republicans, one of whom has vowed a "holy war" against the bill.
A the least. I can barely muster the will to live. But at least we get a month of the media pretending that some form of "debate" is going on in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body, instead of what's really going on: 56 Senators being held up by a filibuster until 4 other Senators have gotten their name in the press enough and sufficiently weaken the bill enough so that they are judged to have contributed "something important" by the media, all the while Republicans waste time by offering up pointless, regressive amendments that have no chance of passing and alternately making pointless pleas that we should just start this whole process over.

In the end, after some severely compromised and bastardized version of this bill passes, Democrats will come out to tell us that looking at this bill is like looking into the smiling face of God, while Republicans will herald the end of freedom and democracy. We, on the other hand, will just add health care to the list we've compiled entitled "Things the Legislative Branch is Not Adult Enough to Handle". The list should simply say 'everything', but legally we're not allowed to write that down until they fuck up financial and climate reform early next year. Enjoy it, America. While the Senate "debate" doesn't provide the same level of joy that eating yourself into a coma did, it will provide the requisite levels of shame and regret that you felt when you went back for sevenths.

Friday, November 27, 2009

You will be tested by Palin supporters

New Left Media recently interviewed a handful of Palin supporters at a book signing in Columbus, Ohio. Go ahead and see how much of this video you can tolerate. I made it through about two minutes. Even after a couple of drinks, these people have all the appeal of a festering scrotal wound.

First reader to make it all the way through gets a special prize from Matthew.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brand marketing

Like heroin and love Twilight? Actually, strike that. If you are into heroin I'm pretty sure you fall into the 'love' category. Starting again: Love heroin and Twilight? Now you don't have to crudely mash them together, drug dealers have done all the work for you. Yes, if you're in the West Hempstead, long Island area, you too can buy Twilight branded heroin.

So far, only Robert Pattinson appears on the baggies, so those of you who like to shoot smack and are on Team Jacob are just plum out of luck.

I think it's nice that we've found something Twilight related that's more disturbing than, say, a felt womb or a sparkly vampire dildo.

Or is it? I'm going to need a ruling.

New Gitmo

Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films has anew series out called Rethink Afghanistan, about how we should be obvious from the title. This part is about how it's really meaningless to make a big deal about closing Gitmo, when you still have its bigger equivalent up and running in Bagram.

I'm sure it does wonders for our "hearts and minds" campaign in Afghanistan. But hey, don't worry that detainee policy was turned over to political advisers, that White House counsel Greg Craig left over his belief that President Obama should actually abide by his campaign promises, or that the Pentagon's top official on detainees, Phil Carter, who was a fierce advocate for civil liberties and opposition to Bush detainee and detention policies, resigned over his belief that President Obama should actually abide by his campaign promises,we're closing Gitmo! Just not on the January 22nd deadline the Administration said it would....if at all. But hey, at least that asshole Bush isn't running things anymore. Am I right?

Quote of the Day

Former Bush press secretary Dana Perino, who actually might have been the most vapid of all the Bush press secretaries (but not the sexiest *winks* *whistles* I'm talkin' 'bout you McClellan. Strut that sexy ass), engaging in a titanic battle of wits about those nasty liberals and how they don't use the phrase "war on terror" on Sean Hannity's comedy program.
PERINO: They want to do all of their investigations. I don’t know. All of the thinking that goes into it. But we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term. I hope they’re not looking at this politically. I do think we owe it to the American people to call it what it is.
Damn straight! I mean, other than those anthrax attacks and that tiny little incident in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, she's exactly right. But honestly, can't we just blame those on Bill Clinton and the concept of liberalism? I think we can. By the way, nice job of correcting her, Hannity.

You know, I really hope that this was the beginning of some new right wing meme. Who was President when 9/11 occurred, like global warming, evolution, or most of scientific and economic theory, is just an opinion held by some some liberal historians. There is actual debate among the larger historical community as to who was in charge when 9/11 happened. Dana and Sean are just trying to teach the controversy.

Otherwise this would just be a sad example of two nitwits getting so intellectually overexerted while declaring that liberals are mortally afraid of using the term "war on terror", that they just made an egregious factual gaffe. C'mon, that's so Bush-era. We're in the Age of Obama: everything is a socialist conspiracy and nothing is the truth. Take a page from Mr. Beck and start flogging this "no terrorist attacks happened under Bush" meme to it's fullest extent. For America's sake.

On the plus side: at least she was able to find a decent job after she left the Bush Administration.

Picture of the day

From the Hubble comes this look at our newest celestial doomsday fear: random sun explosion. See, 2012 and Knowing were right: the sun will kill us all. The star, sexily named V838 Monocerotis, out of the blue one day decided to grow 600,000 times brighter and balloon to 1,000 times its diameter over a period of a few weeks. Scientists are sure it isn't a nova or supernova, but a previously unknown of example of a star "going rogue." Yes, that is the exact term they used. The star went all Sarah Palin on that solar system's ass, killing a literally incalculable number of Bothans.

The star is also now emitting x-rays, something it shouldn't be doing, leading scientists to surmise that this might all have been the result of THREE SUNS SMASHING INTO EACH OTHER! As cool as that sounds, it is only a hypothesis and the resulting expansion was probably the Random Sun Explosion Syndrome that I just invented two minutes ago.

So, you know, just in case you didn't have anything else to worry about, you know have to worry about the sun randomly expanding out into Saturn's orbit, evaporating our oceans, setting our forests ablaze, and melting asphalt before finally destroying Earth. know.........happy Thanksgiving!

Good news everyone!

The sadness monsters at the Fed have announced they're back again, hiding in your closet, waiting to spring out at the moment you're most vulnerable to scare you witless with some new grim economic prognostication. Take their actions today, the day before Thanksgiving. You know that awkward conversation you can't wait to have with the in-laws? You know, the one about how you haven't found a job and how tough the prospects are. Well....they're pretty sure you'll be having that conversation until at least 2012.
The unemployment rate will remain elevated for years to come, according to a forecast released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve that addresses for the first time economic conditions at the time of the next presidential election.

It paints a grim picture. Top Fed officials expect the unemployment rate to remain in the 6.8 to 7.5 percent range at the end of 2012 and said it could take "about five or six years" from now for economic activity to return to normal. The jobless rate was 10.2 percent in October.
But on the bright side: the stock market is over 10,000! Plus, GDP grew 3.5%! OK, they had to revise that down to 2.8%, but that's still growth! Why do you have to ruin all this good news with whining about how bad it is for you out there? Just go pick up your free charity turkey and shut up about not having a job. What's that? Demand for turkey's from charities is so high because of the recession that they're actually running out of them? *tugs at collar nervously* Ouch, tough room.

On the bright side, the job forecasts are so bad that even Democrats have taken notice, vowing action on a jobs some point. So hey, if they hurry on that, you can have something else to be immensely disappointed by for Christmas or New Years. Though, judging by the speed at which Congress acts, it'll be ready in time for St. Patty's. Luckily, by then no one will take your drinking problem for anything other than Irish holiday pride. See, the good news is piling up already!

Climate witchcraft

I guess the big news today is that President Obama is going to the Copenhagen climate conference next month. And why not? I'm sure it'll be a grand old time discussing substantive ways to cut pollution, emissions, and investment in green technologies. Sure, once someone turns to him during the talks and says " can get this passed through Congress...right?", he'll have to fake a seizure to avoid telling some poor leader that the only thing he could get through the Senate is a bill encouraging people to eat more coal. Perhaps he can get a bill through the reconciliation process that calls for 28% of the populace to be beaten with a scientific journal. Why? America got dumber again.
The percentage of Americans who believe global warming is happening has dipped from 80 to 72 percent in the past year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, even as a majority still support a national cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

The poll's findings -- which also show that 55 percent of respondents think the United States should curb its carbon output even if major developing nations such as China and India do less -- suggest increasing political polarization around the issue, just as the Obama administration and congressional Democrats are intensifying efforts to pass climate legislation and broker an international global warming pact.

The increase in climate skepticism is driven largely by a shift within the GOP. Since its peak 3 1/2 years ago, belief that climate change is happening is down sharply among Republicans -- 76 to 54 percent
A hearty round of applause for the energy industry, folks! It takes a lot of lying, money, lying, money, and lying to drive down those numbers. Real shocker about those GOP numbers. Actually, those Republican support numbers are about the same as the ones for people who believe that ACORN stole the election for Obama. I guess climate change sounds like too much of a conspiracy theory for some, just enough of a conspiracy theory for others. But, who am I to argue with the arguments put forward by Republican voters in the article? I mean they range all the way from "Al Gore is fat" to "I don't think the science says what the scientists say it says." Eat that, U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change!

On the bright side, by a margin of 53-42, Americans support cap-and-trade legislation. Hell, just look what popularity did for the health care reform bill. See...wait, why are you crying? It's the holidays, cheer up!

Let's see: a good idea that substantively reduces our carbon footprint and emissions, is popular with scientists and large swaths of Democratic legislators, and is also popular with the American people. Sounds like something that can't ever be allowed to pass. Coal state Democrats, you start joining with Republicans while the Blue Dogs and other "moderates" can start larding up the bill with a few billion down the money hole for clean coal and corn ethanol. After a few weeks we can knock cap-and-trade out of the bill and everything will be up to the legislative standards of the United States Congress. Get to work boys, that thing isn't going to fuck itself up.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Video of the day

Finally, last night the "Tomlin is Epps" meme broke out from it's shackles on the internet and burst itself onto national TV. Now if only someone can confront Tomlin about his doppelganger, we can have closure.

Makers of House? That's what we call a splash play. Well done.

Buy things!

Warren Ellis' newest t-shirty offering. Health care, scrotal death, and a House reference? I'm sold. Shame about that whole "sense of pride at living in a sane country" thing. Ah well, maybe we'll get a better healt care bill in the fut...ahhh fuck it, I can't even bring myself to type it.

I'll just take solace in the fact that there are so many other things that degrade feelings of pride in this country that it's hard for "lack of universal health care" to jump out of the pack.

Quote of the Day

Ex-TV host and current xenophobe Lou Dobbs is currently mulling a White House bid. But, thanks to those assholes in Washington and their precious 15th Amendment and 1965 Voting Rights act, Mexicans and other various Latin races are able to vote in Presidential elections. Lou, being the smart and educated man he is, realizes that this, as well as all the other groups he's pissed off, might cause problems for his completely irrational and borderline delusional dreams of being President. So he's gonna get pro-active.
DOBBS: And for the first time, I’m actually listening to some people about politics. I don’t think I’ve got the nature for it, but we’ve got to do something in this country, and I think that being public arena means you’ve got to part of the solution. By the way, I’m reaching out right now to Latino groups, to the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable — all of the groups with whom I’ve been in an ongoing debate, to try to bridge some of these conflicts and try to create solutions. And I think we’re well on our way to doing that.
"Ongoing debate". Well that's certainly an interesting way to put it. When you were out accusing Mexicans of bringing leprosy and the plague into the US in between your fantastical rants about armies of Latin criminals invading the US to reconquer it, I'm not sure those "Latin groups" thought you were engaging in an ongoing debate. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's the source of all your "conflicts" with them and the "solution" is probably somewhere in the realm of "stop being a virulent racist."

But good luck in your ongoing quest to get Mexicans to like you so they'll vote for you. I'm sure they'll ask you to stop talking absolute shit about Latin immigrants, you'll counter with an agreement to make eye contact with your gardener, and in no time you'll have patched things up and be well on your way to getting 0% of the Latin vote. Dobbs 2012!

Chart of the day

From the New York Times article 'New Consensus Sees Stimulus Package as Worthy Step' shows us the horrifying alternate reality that would have existed had our elected betters not gotten together to pass the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

That chart's all good and well, but can we have one that charts out what things might have been like if the original bill didn't get fucked over by the Senate? Or, better yet, what things would have been like if economic advisers in the Obama Administration like Dr. Christina Romer would have done if they didn't have to craft a plan that fully took into account all the intellectual shortcomings of the Senate. Sure, the job markets are terrible and not looking like they're going to shape up anytime soon, but hey, things could have been worse.

Coincidentally, in another chart from the NYT, "Things could be worse" was the thing Americans most commonly said whilst laying in the fetal position on the floor, weeping over the economy.

Picture of the day

From the Big Picture blog's post on entries for the 2009 National Geographic International Photography Contest, comes this look at a scene from the Arirang Mass Games in North Korea. Click to embiggen.

The photo was taken by Peoples Security Picture Robot of Watching #46JGH1138 and is entitled "Insolent man from Green Sector who is about to be liquefied by Glorious Leader in 5...4...3...2..."

Science cashes in

I'll be the first to admit that this whole "financial apocalypse" thing hasn't been a big bouquet of roses. Further disappointing matters is the fact that we're stuck in this annoying middle ground where we aren't recovering and we aren't devolving into a hobo ruled, agrarian barter economy. But there are some positives. Just think of all the assholes in finance that were bankrupted and now work at the local Pizza Hut. Plus, the stimulus resulted in billions being invested in science! And not "abstinence education" and "handing out bibles in lieu of science textbooks" science funding. Actual science funding.
More than $20 billion in stimulus money has poured into the nation’s universities, according to a new collection of data gathered by a trio of research consortia.
“This is the largest investment in science and research probably since Sputnik,” said Bill Andresen, a vice president at the University of Pennsylvania in charge of Federal affairs and president of The Science Coalition. “We think it’s really important to tell this story in a thoughtful, useful way so that the public and policymakers can understand how it’s being spent.”
The information is posted to a new website,, which was unveiled today at a press conference in Washington, D.C. Wired Science assembled the state-by-state data into a Google document that includes the total number of grants and money.
And if you visit ScienceWorksforUS you'll find all the various things that money was spent on. Like my home state, Pennsylvania, got 773 grants totaling $390,109,039. The rotten bastards at Carnegie-Mellon who spawned Sean got money to develop tools to monitor the power grid, while the benevolent masters at Pitt that spawned myself were given money to do medical research and buy up the last two remaining building in Oakland that they don't own. Meanwhile Penn got science stimulus money a website...devoted to stimulus money. Well, they can't all be winners. Most importantly the Science Department at WVU received a grant too, so we might finally have a cure for moonshine related blindness in Appalachia within our lifetimes.

Now I know what you're saying, "Isn't all of this money better spent on the desert fortresses and cool looking armoured cars that those of us who survive the next economic Ragnarok will need to wage our post-apocalyptic battles with?" Yes, yes it is. After society finally collapses, fire and gunpowder will be our only science. But this does give people that veneer of hope that everything will be better and that a bright, shiny future of science and knowledge is on the horizon. Why key everyone else in to the fact that the future is just going to be hardship, murdering others for tins of beans, and Garret Dillahunt trying to eat your offspring? No, it's better this way.

This makes too much sense

Another day, another person who just doesn't understand that military spending doesn't count because war is free. This time the uneducated sap is Rep. David Obey (D-WI), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He thinks, get this, that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us too much money. So much so that when the President announces his Afghanistan troop increase, he's going to suggest and try to make it so that the cost of that escalation is bidget neutral and doesn't add to the deficit. Ha! Deficit neutrality is only reserved for things that might help the American peasant class, Dave. This is about blowing up brown people what good, so not only is it free, but you make the baby Jesus cry if you vote against it or impede it in any way. Seriously, a war tax?
"There ain't going to be no money for nothing if we pour it all into Afghanistan," House Appropriations Chairman David Obey told ABC News. "If they ask for an increased troop commitment in Afghanistan, I am going to ask them to pay for it."

Comparing Afghanistan to Vietnam, Obey said that both were long-standing civil wars and that, in each case, the United States found itself with an unreliable partner on the ground.

"On the merits, I think it is a mistake to deepen our involvement," Obey said. "But if we are going to do that, then at least we ought to pay for it. Because if we don't, if we don't pay for it, the cost of the Afghan war will wipe out every initiative we have to rebuild our own economy."

"If we have to pay for the healthcare bill, we should pay for the war as well," Obey said, "by having a war surtax."
Taxing our elite to raise billions to pay for a war? My good man, the only word for that is class warfare. Sure it makes good sense, is deficit neutral, and forcing government to pay for our military shenanigans by taking it out of all of our pocketbooks with a big bolded line on our paycheck that says "WAR TAX!" would actually force this country to pay attention to things politicians do in their name, but these are also the reasons it will never pass. Instead it will be relegated to the "too good an idea to ever be made into a law" pile with single payer health care, comprehensive financial sector regulation, and a "No Texans" policy in government.

So, nice try Mr. Obey, you came up with a good idea that makes a lot of sense and seems to have some support. Unfortunately it makes a little too much sense, as well as forcing hundreds of members of Congress to confront their absolutely hypocritical double standard on deficits and spending. So sadly the halls of Government will echo with people laughing at you and calling your idea "gay". But it was a nice try, Dave, it was a nice try.

Big ass check

From the Too Big To Fail blog and book of Andrew Ross Sorkin, comes our look at perhaps the largest check ever written. The check, written by Mitsubishi UFJ to Morgan Stanley, only exists because Morgan Stanley needed the money bad, baby. Because they needed to score a fix on the weekend, electronic transfers weren't possible and a check had to be printed up and handed out.

Meh, for a $9 billion dollar check it's kind of boring. It should at least have been one of those giant checks, maybe had the phrase "You could be a winner too" on it, and should have been handed out by Ed McMahon's Japanese equivalent. Hopefully for the next financial collapse/free money hand out they'll have all the showmanship kinks worked out and we can at least get some entertainment for our billions.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cheap Blogging Crutch 11.23

The Fall of Greg Craig
I try not to get too mad at the Obama Administration, I do. I mean there's only so much they can do when ramming their head up against the unending juvenile idiocy of the world's greatest deliberative body. But then again...there's all that war on terror stuff they do that riles the bile back up. Take the case of White House counsel Greg Craig. Or should I say former White House counsel Greg Craig. Why is he a "former" and not a "current" because he made the dumb ass mistake of trying to do his job according to the principles Barry ran on; like not being so fucking secretive. But what sounds good when you're running doesn't sound as good when you have the power, plus it clashed with what Rahm Emanuel preferred. So now we do basically all the same shit the Bush Administration did and Craig has the word "former" attached to his job title. Isn't life grand?

Future Perfect
Newsweek's article on Iran and how the clerical establishment is sick of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and is unlikely to ever appoint a Supreme Leader again. Boy, you make a guy the religious dictatorial authority of an entire country and then he just goes and abuses it by acting like a religious dictator. Who would have ever thought that would happen? I'm sure their new system of being ruled by a group of religious dictator assholes with designs on being the sole asshole in charge will work out much better.

Best of What's New 2009: The Year's 100 Greatest Innovations
Popular Science bring us it's list of the year's 100 greatest inventions. From bombproof wallpaper, to giant ass plasma TV's, privately built and launched rockets, and electromagnetic depression helmets, it's a cornucopia of altruistic items from benevolent scientists. *sighs* When is someone going to invent a death ray or giant robot with crushing gripper claws? Another year another disappointing showing from our mad scientist community. For shame.

Conservative media frequently accuse progressives of "raping" Americans
If there's one thing that right wing commentators love more than telling their audiences that some law some Democrats wants is going to kill them, its telling them that some law some Democrat ones is going to kick in their door and rape the shit out of them. Media Matters took it upon themselves to catalog just a few of the rape references that the Beck and Limbaugh's of the world (actually it's really just those two doing it) like to dredge up when the vile spectre of cheaper health care rears it's head. Oddly enough, want to know what one of the things that isn't like rape to them? Actual rape. Classy as always, gentlemen.

Should We Laugh? Cry? Both?

Jon Cohn of the New Republic offers up one of the many treatises you'll read in he upcoming weeks about how even though the entire process has been and will continue to be infuriating, there's still a lot of good that will come of the bill and it isn't all bad. I'm not convinced. I think I prefer the arguments of my good friend the honorable Jack Daniels: drink more happy juice, forget sadness, sleep. Ahh Jack, you always do put things in perspective.

Broken In Brief: America joins Heifer International catalog

LITTLE ROCK—Today it was announced that the United States had been added to the list of countries available for aid through the organization Heifer International, which for 56 years has endeavored to provide livestock to destitute citizens of countries with dilapidated economies and crippled infrastructure.

The move, though not all that surprising in retrospect, did take some by surprise, as Heifer Intl. has, since its inception, shipped animals mainly to South American, African and Asian nations.

“For decades now, we’ve been alleviating white guilt by shipping llamas and pigs to all corners of the globe,” said Roger Eberhardt, the program’s American director. “Frankly, this decision was made outside of my purview.”

In expressing his dismay, Eberhardt noted that the group’s longstanding tradition of promoting sustainable farming had already led to death threats from agribusiness conglomerates who felt threatened by the possibility that two or three non-corn producing farms might be encouraged to exist.

In an official statement, the agency’s executive director Salma Juarez claimed she understands that this move will come as a shock, but encouraged people to look at the positive side.

“Just think of all the good a cow could do in Detroit, or a dozen chickens in Cleveland,” urged Juarez. “Who are we to exclude Americans from receiving the same type of aid that other third-world nations have enjoyed for years?”

“Sadly this will mean the end of all the ‘heifer’/fat American jokes that we make around here,” she observed, citing one of the main negatives of expanding relief operations into the US. “But I think that just shows our commitment to the third world inhabitants of this tragically failed state.”

Money, money, money, money......mon-ey

Today the LA Times decided to move beyond the mere "will they or won't they" Ross and Rachel aspect of the decision to escalate in Afghanistan to the tune of 40k soldiers (hint: they will) and get down to the nitty gritty of how much it will cost. Because the LAT is apparently under the assumption that war isn't free and military spending doesn't count as spending. Rookies.

But the great thing about American politics and war is the fact that there are passionate debates about these issues by or elected betters. Like the debate between those who think endless war is free and those who only think it's mostly free, but could be persuaded if someone would start building Humvees in their district. Or the debate that's going on between the White House and Pentagon now: not over whether to escalate, no...God no, I meant over the various ways to bullshit Americans and not get them so mad when you up the ante in Afghanistan.
The calculations so far have produced a sweeping range. The Pentagon publicly estimates it will cost $500,000 a year for every additional service member sent to the war zone. Obama's budget experts size it up at twice that much.

In coming up with such numbers, the White House and the military have different priorities as well as different methods.

The president's advisors don't want to underestimate the cost and then lose the public's faith. The Pentagon worries about sticker shock as commanders push for an increase of as many as 40,000 troops.
Hey, "president's advisors"? Public's faith: lost. So, giving us an accurate tab up front isn't the courtesy you think it is, especially when we wouldn't be able to say "no" if we thought it was too high. But it is glad to know that our military betters feel that the public needs to be lied to in order to get them to support this escalation. They're right, of course, but I think going so far as to estimate the cost of new weapons, bases, and support equipment for these new soldiers as costing somewhere in the neighborhood of $0 was a nice touch.

So get ready, war escalation is a comin'. I'm just happy to know we didn't learn anything over the past decade about pesky little things like "whether the mission is worth it" or "is this a good idea". Thankfully we learned that the important debate is over the marketing and salesmanship of the war. It's just a shame bullshit like this doesn't have to through Senate subcommittees and pass a 60 vote filibuster threshold. Then it could be stop....ah, who the hell am I kidding, it would pass rather easily.

Pictures of the day

In honor of the Large Hadron Collider successfully restarting CERN's plans to collapse the world into a singularity unless they are paid vasts sums of money, the Big Picture blog put up some photos of the LHC and the seemingly successful attempts that were made to fix it after there was a particle jam in one of the magnets. Luckily they got it all sorted out and avoided and even closer scrape with a dangerous piece of bread that almost threatened to derail the whole project again. Seriously.

Click to embiggen

Video of the day

One of the workers of the Burj Dubai in....Dubai, decided to give you a glimpse of the world's tallest structure in the best way he knew how: by climbing to the top of the spire and dangling a camera over the edge.

"The tower wobbles, dreadfully, so if my hand is shaking, it's not just me." Well, then next time bring up a HD camera with some stability control, asshole. I barely got vertigo or a crippling awareness of my fear of heights from watching that.

The Burj is slated to be finished early next year. Unclear is when Glenn Beck and Joe the Plumber plan to fly a 747 into it. I guessing in early September.

Quote of the Day

One of the great things about Sarah Palin is not so much her media appearances, but the way she effects other Republicans' media appearances. Like when GOP lawmakers and pundits have to spend half their interview time trying to justify her existence as an important member of their party. Good times.

Because the media is cruel, one of the questions that invariably comes up is the old "Is Sarah Palin qualified to be President" question comes up. The actual answer is "no, of course not", but no one in the GOP can bring themselves to say this. So after their eyes nearly bug out of their head when the question is asked, they then, through gritted teeth, declare "yes, yes she is" before moving on. You can actually see their minds recoil in horror as they say it.

But gritting his teeth and telling an absurd lie is just something that Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) just couldn't do. So he got literal up in this bitch.
In an appearance on Hardball yesterday, Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MI) was asked if Sarah Palin is qualified to be President in 2012. Barbour responded "Well, constitutionally, she sure is."

Barbour continued: "I don't know anything that disqualifies her from being president."
I concur. Palin not only is a natural born citizen (...or is she? SOMEONE CHECK HER BIRTH CERTIFICATE!), but she is 35 and has probably resided in this country for at least 14 of those years. Yup, those are the legal qualifications to be President. Well argued, Haley. You didn't have to make the baby Jesus cry by telling a lie. Just remember if someone tries to follow up with a "no, I meant ethically, morally, and intellectually" to fake a seizure. Those sons of bitches can never make you give a real answer.

One step closer to awful compromise

It's Monday, and if I'm not mistaken, I do recall the Democrats in the Senate voting to officially start the debate of the debate of the debate of the debate over whether to start the debate over health care. By which I mean "debate". Everyone already knows pretty much how everyone is going to vote and there will be very little deliberation in the "world's greatest deliberative body". 40 Republicans will vote against it, 56 Democrats for it, and a collection of 4 Democrats will try to make the bill dumber, less effective, cover less people, and reduce costs less in a bid for relevance and TV time. Yes, because we couldn't even get through a bullshit procedural vote without Democrats rushing towards the mics to announce all the ways they'd kill the bill if they didn't get their terrible, shortsighted way.

There was Mary Landrieu ("D"-LA), telling people that the public option had to be "triggered" -likely in a way that means it'll never be triggered- or she wouldn't vote to over come a filibuster. Ben Nelson ("D"-NE) was out on the Sunday talk show circuit talking about filibustering if the bill had a public option, didn't get all Stupak-y with women's uteri, and get better on costs controls, which, if his past action on the stimulus are any indication, means cutting actual cost control measures. Blanche Lincoln ("D"-AK) said the same on the public option, and Joe Lieberman (Lieberman-CT) popped his head up to remind everyone he's still a rotten douche. They all took care to mention that the public option doesn't have the support of the Senate. But, as we've learned, when 56 Senators support something that means that something doesn't have support.

Of course Bernie Sanders (Socialist~!-VT) and Roland Burris ($50 or best offer-IL) tried to point out that they'll block passage of a bill without a public option, but they were laughed out of the room because they were advocating for a liberal position and will be expected to cave without getting anything.

So there we are: "debate" has started. Soon the last remaining gasps of life the bill has will be compromised out by the same cast of characters you wish would die in a plane crash. Then after the reform bill passes without a public option and featuring a requirement that makes all women get a signed permission slip from Ben Nelson before taking an aspirin, it moves to the conference committee where we'll all pretend that he bill might get better...and it won't. Then the bill will be signed amid claims of "history" and "no, really, this is a good bill", as people try to subsume their rage as yet another opportunity to fix a large problem was squandered by our elected betters. In other words: the way it was pretty much expected to go at the start of the whole process. God bless this great land.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tea Party: The Movie

I didn't see Christopher Guest or Eugene Levy anywhere, but it looks right in the vein of Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show. I guess they must be under heavy makeup. Strange there's no punchline.

This is a mockumentary....right?

Broken News: Area man apologizes after his parody of religion becomes church doctrine

DOVER—Early today, after much soul searching and numerous bouts of laughing to himself, humorist Charlie Warren formally apologized for the series of events that led a satirical take on religion and religious extremism to become the officially sanctioned doctrine of the Catholic Church.

“I would just like to offer my humblest apologies to the, uh, world, the billions of followers of Christianity, the Pope, and, uh, the Baby Jesus,” a slightly perplexed Warren proclaimed to the assembled media and local religious leaders. “I was just having a bit of fun, making a few jokes or two. I didn’t expect it to go this far. I won’t do it again. My bad.”

He then threw his hands up in the air and with a tinge of complete disbelief in his voice, exclaimed “I just thought people would understand it was an obvious joke!”

The parody, in which an alleged Bishop purported to claim that rubbing children in bacon fat and yelling at them in Latin would ward off “ill gay omens” and that the church should partake in the use of a giant catapult while giving confession so that church patrons may “confess their sins closer to God”, was originally published on Warren’s blog.

Despite the ridiculous claims in the piece and the fact that the Bishop referenced in the narrative, Bishop Don Magic Juan, is an O.G. Chicago pimp, several news services picked up and ran the story as if it were real. Soon after, the Catholic League began pushing these theories, public support in churches increased, and at the behest of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Vatican made these two tenets into church doctrine, placing orders for thousands of catapults and thousands of gallons of rendered hog fat.

“C’mon,” Warren shouted. “Wasn’t the joke massively obvious?”

While to most outside observers that answer would be an emphatic yes, the question still remains how such a ludicrous attempt at satire was able to make it into the laws of the Catholic Church.

“Oooh…..I don’t know if I want to say this out loud, it could get me in a lot of trouble,” said a nervous Oliver Palmer, a news editor for Reuters, one of the news services that originally picked up the Warren piece. “How about…religious fundamentalists in this country are so batshit insane nowadays that there is no ceiling to the kind of incomprehensibly deranged activity, belief, or political cause they will engage in. Anything is plausible. Anything!”

Palmer sighed a bit and winced, “I bet I’m going to get such a nasty letters from Bill Donohue and the Catholic League for saying that.”

But far from castigating Palmer and others who share his similar outlook on the state of religion inside America and around the world, the Vatican was sympathetic.

“It’s a fair cop,” observed Bishop Gianluco Scherzo, the head of the Vatican’s Department for Mitigating the Damage Catholicism Does to Itself. “I mean for years we covered up child molestations, we’re in Africa contributing to the spread of AIDS by opposing the use of condoms or making official statements that they don’t work, and in DC we’re about to shut homeless shelters and adoption centers just because we might have to hire a gay, or at least not fire a gay because he is a gay. And that’s just the official actions of the Catholic Church! We’re not even talking about what all the Christian offshoots and fundamentalists think.”

Scherzo shuddered as he thought of it, “American fundamentalists…woof. Give me the creeps. No, this was all too plausible. Though I still think we’re going to keep both changes. Eh, it’s not like they’re all that much crazier than what we actually believe and most of the catapults are already built and paid for.”

For his part, Mr. Warren has seemed to have learned his lesson.

“Not only do I reiterate my pledge to never dip my toes in the fevered swamps of religion so naively again. But if I do make any future attempts at parody or news satire, I assure you I will do so in only the most hamhanded and obvious way possible, replete with loose ciphers for myself speaking overt statements about their views on current religious trends,” Warren said, his hand placed firmly over his heart.

“You know,” he paused. “Like a hack would.”

Ugh, Senatoring is hard

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri/Missourah) on why you shouldn't get your hopes up on the Senate accomplishing anything after health reform....if they can even get that passed.
"After you do one really, really big, really, really hard thing that makes everybody mad, I don't think anybody's excited about doing another really, really big thing that's really, really hard that makes everybody mad," Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said. "Climate fits that category."
Ugh, I know, right? Being in the Senate is, like, totally hard. You have to vote on legislation and stuff that's, like, on complex stuff and shit. And then they're all like "You have to do it again, ma'am, on another stupid issue" and it like totally drives you mad. You know what I mean?

You know America, I think this is our fault. Most of these Senators, Claire McCaskill especially, didn't want to be elected. We plucked them out of obscurity and elected them against their wills to go makes laws for this country on our behalf. They didn't want this. I mean why else would McCaskill bitch about doing the only thing her job entails: voting on complex legislation about important issues...and shit? Where are all the easy, unimportant votes on waterslides and cotton candy that we promised her when we made her take this job?

So on behalf of America and the people of Missouri/Missourah; Claire, we're sorry we made you exert yourself mentally and for all that thinking you're gonna have to do on health care. We're sorry that there's actually more issues to take up after health care. It's our fault. Next time we won't wrench your arm up behind your back so hard when you tell us that you don't want to be a Senator. We shouldn't have forced you.

How considerate of them

White House: No Afghanistan announcement until after Thanksgiving
The Obama administration won't announce its new comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan until after Thanksgiving, a White House official confirms to The Cable, and observers and experts close to the discussions see it as the White House's attempt to stage a full and controlled rollout over the week beginning November 30.
In that way, the argument goes, the administration can build more support for the policy, deal quickly with any opposition on Capitol Hill, and then have a more active role in how the story plays out in the media.
The administration isn't going to want to make the announcement and then wait a long time before holding the hearings, because that would make it more difficult to keep the message consistent after the news breaks.

Plus, congressional attention will be diverted that week to the health-care debate in the Senate, distracting some attention from the Afghanistan debate, which may be part of the administration's calculations.
Well how considerate of them. I know they talk about "building support" and "controlling the message" and playing a shell game with Afghanistan and health care, but I'm just glad they decided not to ruin our holiday with a big announcement of a war escalation. I mean you don't want the phrase "40,000 troop increase" to come out on the 26th. Someone might be shocked enough that they might slip on carving the turkey, severing off a finger or two with an electric carving knife, or a clumsy dad might accidentally dump a heaping spoonful of napalm-like sweet potatoes into their lap. And really, without health care reform passed, most people can't afford that expense during the holidays....or ever.

But aren't we forgetting one of the main lessons of the Bush Administration? No, not "don't elect the Bush Administration." I'm talking about their famous maxim of not "rolling out a new product in August", meaning when selling something to America you don't want to make your case too early. Now it seems Obama is going in the other direction, waiting too late to unveil his product. How are people going to be excited about buying a new war escalation if you dump it on them right before Christmas?

You need a slow build, to get them interested and excited, and to make them think they can't live without it. This is Marketing 101. I expected better of you, Barry. Well, I actually expected you not to escalate wars, but if you were going to do it, I thought you'd at least do it in a slicker fashion. At least dazzle me with some showmanship and salesmanship if you're going to make a giant mistake.

The President can make a catch over the middle

How powerful is the NFL? They can convince the President that it's a good idea to star in a nationally run commercial where he's shown doing something athletic in slow motion. "Nah Barry, that won't make you look awkward at all."

What's with our supposed "all-world safety" there? Not only does Troy let a middle-aged, cigarette smoking Muslim socialist get inside position and burn him off the snap, he doesn't even see the hook and ladder play coming. "Elite", my ass.

And running the hook and ladder? "Barry is it is it OK if we show you running a gimmick play that basically symbolizes last ditch hopelessness and throwing all your eggs into a basket in the desperate hope that a miracle occurs and you rally to tie? It's not a metaphor for anything you're attempting politically, we swear."

Chart of the day

The New York Times gave the wonder triplet hive mind of the op-ed floor the other day. Of course they decided to devote their time to health care. Their findings? That the younger and poorer you are, the more likely you are to want reform. The other main finding? That the more likely a Senator of Representative is likely to drone on about their final decision coming down to what's best for the people in their district/state, the more likely they are to be full of shit and ignoring the wishes of the people in their district/state. No, what support or opposition seems to coalesce around is the relative popularity/'08 election vote totals that Obama received in said elected betters' state/district, regardless of voter's overall views on health reform.

Isn't that nice? That everything in DC, no matter how big or small, never comes down to whether or not it's the best plan or whether people want it, but the nakedest of political calculations....that end up being completely shortsighted and wrong when all is said and done. Thanks for renewing my faith in democracy, 538, you math obsessed happiness vampires.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Broken In Brief: Area man so goddamned proud of himself for making 'change' crack to Obama voter

MINNEAPOLIS—According to family and friends, area Republican Jerry Rainer, 47, is still fucking enthralled with himself nearly one week after making a sarcastic crack towards someone he perceived to be a supporter of President Obama.

“Yeah, some lady or something was sayin’ something about being disappointed with the speed that the health care bill was going through Congress,” remembered friend Sonny Adams, who still can’t believe he’s having to relive such a minor anecdote a week after the fact. “So, Jer was all like ‘I guess this isn’t CHANGE you can believe in’, sarcastically emphasizing the ‘change’ part in a really annoying way.”

Adams sighed and continued, “We didn’t think much of it. Actually, we kind of thought he was being a dick. But it wasn’t until he walked away with such a smug look on his face and kept bringing it up in every conversation that we began to suspect he thought he had won the Lincoln-Douglas debates.”

Those close to Rainer don’t know what caused him to interject his big fuckin’ mouth, uninvited, into a mildly political conversation, noting that his previous political interaction seemed solely centered around forwarding utterly retarded right-wing chain e-mails from his office. Most surmise that Mr. Rainer had likely thought of the alleged joke a long time ago and may had been waiting a long, long time to finally say it.

They were quick to note that this was “pretty goddamn sad.”

For now they don’t see any way of getting him to stop mentioning it without further engaging him politically, a process in which none of them wisher to engage. Instead, they have organized a movie night around the film Borat, hoping that this human wasteland will switch over his incessant ‘change’ references to the equally overdone, but at least mildly amusing, catchphrases of Sacha-Baron Cohen's character.

“Frankly it’s our only HOPE,” smiled the now repellent Adams. “You see what I did there?”


It's no real secret around here that we at These Bastards aren't fond of elected Republicans. Or most Democrats, robots, Cleveland, the TV media, talk radio, pundits, the moon, all people, religion, Fritz Haber, God, and ourselves. That's besides the point. I mean how can one like the GOP when all they do is stuff like freaking out over Obama bowing to a Japanese guy...even though the rest of America doesn't care or trying to convince everyone that the health care bill makes everyone pay a monthly abortion fee? It's real pathetic scumbag shit that's worthy of scorn.

Maybe we need to save a little of that scorn for Republican voters as a whole. Maybe the John Boehner's of the world are just following the deranged whims of their voters, who apparently are all birth certificate conspiracy theorizing, concentration camp photo waving teabaggers. I mean just look at this shit:
The new national poll from Public Policy Polling (D) has an astonishing number about paranoia among the GOP base: Republicans do not think President Obama actually won the 2008 election -- instead, ACORN stole it.
The poll asked this question: "Do you think that Barack Obama legitimately won the Presidential election last year, or do you think that ACORN stole it for him?" The overall top-line is legitimately won 62%, ACORN stole it 26%.

Among Republicans, however, only 27% say Obama actually won the race, with 52% -- an outright majority -- saying that ACORN stole it, and 21% are undecided. Among McCain voters, the breakdown is 31%-49%-20%. By comparison, independents weigh in at 72%-18%-10%, and Democrats are 86%-9%-4%.
I don't think even Glenn Beck has been flogging this one or trying to claim it's true. You know America, I'm done with you today.
//throws hands up and walks away

Picture of the day

From Popular Science comes this look at the Dubai Air Show.....FROM SPACE. The GeoEye-1 satellite to be more specific. The Dubai Air Show is the largest airshow in the Middle East, barely beating out a rural shack in Afghanistan where an opium farmer has two beat-up WWI-era Fokker's that he keeps on display. It is the fastest growing airshow and will soon become a centerpiece of Dubai's grand plan to be a home to the largest and gaudiest everything in the world.

As always click to embiggen.

Video of the day

From Popular Science's Best inventions of the year, comes the Grand Award winner in Security, X-Flex's bombproof wallpaper.

Yes, PopSci should have manned up and set off some serious explosions in their office to really test it, but it's still mighty impressive. Also effective bomb protection: truck bed liners.

Republicans, we have found your teabag king

With Sarah Palin roaming the countryside promoting her book in a hellstorm of lies, ignorant policy statements, lies, softball interviews, lies, and petty gamesmanship, we are left with no doubt that she is the charming dainty Queen of the Grand Duchy of Teabaggery. Ahh, but who will rule alongside her in political irrelevance? Many suitors have tried to claim the crown, but few have succeeded, letting the taint of rationality and moderation scuttle their ascension. Thankfully, Doug Hoffman has stepped up to the plate.

Oh, you thought he went away when his carpetbagging maelstrom of teabagging wisdom and local ignorance cause the people of NY-23 to elect the first Democrat there since whites owned blacks? Nope! On the advice of Glenn Beck (bonus points~!), Hoffman has not only unconceded the race he already lost and for which the winner, Bill Owns, has already been sworn in for and is casting votes in the House for, but has unveiled a conspiracy so deep and so nefarious that it will no doubt shake the very core of teabagger society.
“As evidence surfaces, we find out that reported results from election night were far from accurate. ACORN and the unions did their best to try and sway the results to Obamacare supporter Bill Owens," Hoffman wrote on his campaign site. "Rest assured, they will not succeed, and I am therefore revoking my statement of concession.”
"The people of NY-23 deserve to have their ballots counted properly, but we can't let ACORN or the unions keep that from happening. They have more lawyers and more experience tampering with democracy," he wrote.

"We need to make sure that fair elections are a reality in NY-23, just like our Founding Fathers envisioned. So long as we remain the "land of the free," we MUST ensure every vote is counted. Help us today so we may be the first of many conservative victories during the Obama Regime."
Dougy, Dougy, Dougy, aren't we forgetting the black hand of...well.....blacks, illegal immigrants and abortion doctors that helped steal this election from your deserving hands? Surely ACORN and labor unions alone couldn't derail this Hoffman juggernaut, could it? No, it was a conspiracy. ACORN has even gotten to Oswego County GOP Chairman George Williams and made him deny the truth. To the beverage aisle of your local supermarket, teabaggers! Your new king is going to need a lot of visible tea bag support and birth certificate analysis. Good luck. Expose this fraud for what it is.

That's good to know

In this entire health care reform debate there have been many areas of concern and worry for Americans watching the progress and seeing what would be in the bill. I think the one thing that most of us has been worried about, the thing that keeps most of us up at nights drenched in a cold sweat, is concern over how Democrats who try to kill health reform legislation will feel after they kill it. I mean the thought of one of them actually feeling bad over the decision to deny millions of Americans reform and coverage would just be too much to bear. Thankfully the last honest man, Joe Lieberman, has assured us he won't feel any remorse. Now, Ben Nelson has stepped forward to let us sleep easier knowing that he won't feel remorse over the prospect of killing health reform.
Ben Nelson, a key conservative Senate Democrats, said on Wednesday that he was pleased with the changes party leadership had made to health care legislation, specifically on matters of deficit reduction. But the Nebraska senator, whose vote has been elusive to pin down so far, said he would be comfortable being the lone Democrat to prevent the bill from overcoming a Republican filibuster.

"I'm very comfortable having my vote, whatever it is, whichever way it goes," Nelson said, in response to a question from the Huffington Post. "I've said that from the beginning. There are other ways. I just have to make a decision based on what I think is best for the people of Nebraska and the people of our country. And then we will let the chips fall wherever they fall."
Oh thank God. I'm so glad he isn't going to be plagued by the dreaded scourge of conscience. I think we're all glad he's comfortable with the possibility of voting against health reform. Because I have become comfortable with the fact that I'll be bankrupted by the slightest illness or stubbed toe.

That's why it was so heartening to see Nelson and Lieberman come out and say that not only will they be able to fuck over everyone on health reform, but they won't have to miss a meal just because they doomed tens of millions of people to have no access to health care and ensured health costs would continue to rise unsustainably. That's why it was so disheartening to see Mary Landrieu soften her rhetoric in the face of intense criticism over her dalliances with killing reform. Mary, this is the time to follow Joe's way. Stop being so concerned with us, this is a time to think only of yourself. We'll muddle on, we just don't want you feeling bad about it.

Because isn' the personal well being and feelings of Senators what health care reform is all about? That was a serious question, because it certainly isn't about providing the best reform possible or the problems facing the American people. So I think the emotional state of our elected betters is all that's left.

Just desserts

Let's say you're Texas, the state known for it's streak of independence and the fact that everything is bigger there. Because of that your laws have to be bigger and more independent than any other state in the union. So when one of the two things your state is most known for possessing (*psst*, it's the "and queers" part of "steers and queers") wants to get married against the wishes of God, then you have to create the biggest and most comprehensive law banning their unholy coupling.'d that work out?
Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.
But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:

"This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage."
But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively "eliminates marriage in Texas," including common-law marriages.
Whoops. All along we've been told that it was the gays that were going to destroy marriage. Turns out it was the Texas legislature with an assist from Texas citizens. I have to say that is quite a commitment to marriage and homo-shunning. I mean to just wall off marriage in a hermetically sealed container, never to be touched or used by anyone after 2005? That's dedication to the institution. Now no one can ruin it. Not the gays or all the politicians in Texas who are on their third wife. Hey, I have a great tourism slogan for you: "Texas: a great place for singles....because no one can ever get legally married here."

So I offer a hearty congratulations to the people of Texas. You didn't just go with the standard homo bashing that's good enough for most states, you went big with the fag-hatin', as is your custom, ...and now marriage doesn't count in your state. Point and laugh at Texas children, point and laugh. We all eagerly await your next comical folly in an attempt to strip people of rights and treat them as second class citizens. May I suggest a referendum on illegal immigrants that strips everyone in the state of their US citizenship? Ahh, I'm sure you've got something even better cooked up.

Truth in advertising

Via Grist, comes this look at a 1962 ad placed in Life Magazine by Humble Oil. Humble went on to merge with Standard Oil and become Exxon.

Ahh, what happened? They used to take such pride in their work. Now they just pretend that it isn't happening.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cheap Blogging Crutch 11.18

Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again
The Independent recounts an epic story of several British Islamist jihadists who were trained in Afghanistan to fight against the West, but have since had a change of heart and are now trying to speak out about why they believed what they believed and have begun outreach work with other Islamic youth. That all sounds like a misprint. If we've learned anything over the past few days, its that once someone has come into contact with Islam, we must not allow them to come within contact of our judicial and legal system and preferably not even our soil. Shunning them plus a few bombing runs on their own country is the only way to beat back this menace.

In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’
What? You mean to tell me that intellectual titans and honest brokers like Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri and the "You Lie" jackass are having their health care speeches and public statements crafted by lobbyists opposed to health care reform? And that they aren't the only ones? It's almost as if they aren't concerned with the plight of Americans without health care and are instead only looking out for corporations and their donations. The international community still has the nerve to say we're only 19th in corruption? I just hope the lobbyists write them some extra good "freedom is dead" material for when health care reform does pass.

Cost of happiness discovered by Australian economist
Yes, a man has spent the time calculating the monetary equivalent of various milestones in life and the effect of money on happiness. For instance: a marriage makes a woman feel as if she has gained the equivalent of £8, 726.25, while it makes a man feel like he has gained the equivalent of £17, 675.68. Dr. Sean and I have conducted our own study in conjunction with the These Bastards Institute of Scientific Discovery and we have found that the cost of happiness is equal to that of the cost of the cheapest alcohol with the highest percentage of alcohol by volume and the cheapest hooker within walking distance. Take that, Australia.

Celebrating Revolution With Roots in a Rumor
A story that recounts the events that sparked the Czech revolution, and how it turns out that some of those events that inspired a nation to march and overthrow it's communist overlords was based on a lie. That's all well and good and even a little funny, but don't you think the honest thing to do would be to turn the country back over to the Politburo with a written apology? To continue on as is just strikes me as dishonest.

Civilian Supercomputer Shatters Nuke Simulator’s Speed Record

For the first time ever a civilian supercomputer, the Jaguar, is the fastest supercomputer in the world. It's speed is 1.759 petaflops or 1,759 trillion calculations per second. What is a petaflop? Well, it's sort of like a gigabyte, but it's bigger and likes to touch children in their bathing suit areas. As this computer is 69% faster than the previous record holder and twice as fast as the 3rd fastest supercomputer, it is now the frontrunner to lead the machine intelligence against its human oppressors that house it in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Forget Skynet, Jaguar is our new master.

How we deal drugs in Pittsburgh

Cocaine ring busted, attorney general says
The attorney general's office began its investigation in January, and Mr. Corbett said Mr. Robinson's drug organization was distributing $228,000 worth of cocaine each month. Mr. Robinson and his associates discussed their drug dealing activities through coded references, often using using sports references.

For example, a 7-gram quantity of cocaine was ordered by asking for a "Ben Roethlisberger jersey."
Aww yeah. This city can't even deal copious amounts of blow without running rampant with Stillers pride n'at. Just one word of warning for these guys: watch out in those prison showers, some of those guys love you fresh fish and can be packing anywhere from a Brister to a Bradshaw.