Today’s opining on the public discourse.
Well. Technically, yesterday’s, but why quibble? And yes, my darlings, Neil deGrasse Tyson is well worth the time spent. You are going to love this week’s Sunday Sensational Science. Put it like that. If he comes to your town and you have the opportunity to see him, but only if you sell your firstborn, consider it a bargain and put the kid on Ebay.
Now, on to the bashing of incredibly stupid people, who did not get any smarter in my absence.
Steve Benen has the definitive post on Republicon Gov. Mark Sanford, who apparently wants to win the Batshit Insane Sweepstakes (afraid the odds are long due to stiff competition, there, Mark):
At this point, I kind of hope South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) continues to strive for the national spotlight. The governor, who appears to be mad as a hatter, keeps saying crazy things that make for fun blog posts.
Here’s his latest new gem:
“[Y]ou know, people who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.
“The Golden Gate Bridge was a Hoover-era infrastructure project designed to get the economy going. The L.A. aqueduct system was a Hoover-era, you know, infrastructure program designed to get the economy going. The Hoover Dam was a Depression-era, you know, project designed to get the economy going.”
First, Sanford claims to oppose government spending in the midst of a crisis, so I’m not sure why he’d point to public works projects like these. Second, as my friend Alex Koppelman explained, the Golden Gate Bridge wasn’t a Hoover-era infrastructure project; it was originally proposed before Hoover was even born, and began being built six years before Hoover became president. For that matter, the Hoover Dam wasn’t a “Depression-era project,” either.
What was that the governor was saying about those who don’t learn from history?
And that, my darlings, is just his warm-up. Steve points us over to Think Progress, where we learn that the governor actually has a solution to people’s dire economic situation:
On C-SPAN’s Washington Journal this morning, Sanford received a call from a Charleston resident who said he lost his job because he has been taking care of mother and sister, both of whom have serious illnesses. The caller told Sanford he is “wrong” to decline the money. “A lot of people in South Carolina are hurting. And if this money can come and help us out we need it.” In response, Sanford could offer him only his prayers:
SANFORD: Well I’d say hello to Charleston because its home and I’d say hello to this fellow this morning and say that my prayers are going to be with him and his family because it sounds like he is in an awfully tough spot.
That’s it. Mark Sanford is turning down the money that could keep this poor gentleman and the seriously ill family members he supports, but everything’s all right, because the governor’s prayers are with him.
What a fucking loser.
Do you want to know Sanford’s – well, we can’t really call it reasoning, because there’s no reason involved, so let’s just say – crap, can’t call it a thought process, either… um… what his excuse is? Are you sitting down?
Sanford offered no other alternative solution for his constituent and instead argued that the state could not accept money to extend unemployment benefits because “increasing the tax on unemployment insurance” would negatively “impact the caller’s family” (although he didn’t say how).
If they’re not making any money, how the fuck could taxing a fucking employer’s unemployment insurance negatively impact him, you retarded fucking schmuck?
Here’s John McCain today:
“So, we will be seeking fair and transparent use of the money. I believe that Arizona can compete with any other state or locality to get the much-needed money. Already we’re seeing a good example. There was $2 billion in the Senate bill of the stimulus package for light rail; there was zero in the House. It came out of conference — only Democrats, no Republicans in the room – with $8 billion for light rail. And guess where it’s going to go? A light rail between Las Vegas and L.A. Everybody knows that.
“Could we have competed for that money? Maybe so. So it’s business as usual in Washington, and I think that Americans are generally very disappointed. Sorry for the long answer.”
He should be “sorry,” but the problem isn’t the length of the answer, it’s the blatant dishonesty of his answer.
It’s certainly possible that McCain just doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Maybe he saw someone repeat the lie on Fox News, and assumed it was true. McCain has never been especially detail-oriented, which is why he manages to make patently false claims with some regularity.
But this one is especially egregious, and not just because there is no $8 billion for light rail between L.A. and Vegas. As Matt Yglesias explained, “The thing that John McCain wants where different states can compete for the high-speed rail money is what the bill already says. Except McCain has piled ignorance onto dishonesty by confusing high-speed rail (advanced passenger trains that run between cities) with light-rail (relatively low-capacity trains used for intra-city mass transit).”
So, in this case, McCain is not only lying, he’s confused about the subject on which he’s lying. He then insists, “Everybody knows that,” as if those who accept reality are somehow ignorant.
I have just one thing I want to say to John McCain. I know he’s intellectually challenged, but surely, he’s got staffers who can read a map for him. So, John: where the fuck on this map do you see a rail corridor planned between Los Angeles and Las Vegas?
Don’t see one? That’s because it’s not there, you dumbshit. It exists only in the fevered imaginations of Cons, where the marsh mouse money also dwells.
But what else can you expect from Cons? They don’t understand the definitions of simple words. They seem stuck in a permanent Opposite Day, wherein if they’re told something doesn’t exist, it exists, and if something isn’t going to be funded – well, you can complete that thought, can’t you?
They also have a bizarre idea about who’s grabbing for power:
In a new piece in the National Review, former Justice Department official Hans von Spakovsky tries to make the case that D.C. residents don’t deserve full federal voting rights. Spakovsky, of course, has a history of vote suppression allegations while serving in the Bush administration.
In his piece, Spakovsky goes beyond the traditional constitutionality claim made by opponents, such as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). He claims that D.C. residents don’t need a full voting member in Congress because every federal lawmaker is supposedly looking out for their best interests. Toward the end, he also claims that this bill — supported by Republicans such as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — is nothing more than a “raw grab at political power” by Democrats.
Dude. Utah. If the Dems were making a “raw grab for power,” do you really think they’d be giving Utah another rep in the bargain? Well, all right, Spakovsky does, but he’s frothing insane.
It’s not just Capitol Cons and former Bush vote-suppression foot soldiers who play Opposite Day every day. RNC Chairman Michael Steele said it’s important for Cons to reach out to people who support gay rights. Here’s his idea of reaching out to include them:
Gallagher asked guest Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, if he thought the party “ought to consider” something like civil unions. Steele replied immediately, “No, no, no,” adding, “What are you, crazy?”
What a surprise it will be when that outreach effort fails.
But this one, I do believe, wins the Opposite Day prize:
In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren earlier this month, Bristol Palin, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s teenage daughter who recently gave birth to a son, said that while she believes “everyone should be abstinent,” it is “not realistic at all“:
BRISTOL: But I think abstinence is, like — like, the — I don’t know how to put it — like, the main — everyone should be abstinent or whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.
In a segment discussing the “Ups and Downs” of the past week, Fox News’ Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes said on Saturday that Bristol Palin is now “the new face of teen pregnancy.” After playing a clip of Palin’s abstinence comments, Barnes claimed that what she was really saying was that “abstinence is actually realistic”:
BARNES: I guess so. That means she’s saying that abstinence actually is realistic.
I shit you not.
It’s probably time we start looking into medical appliances. There’s got to be some device medical scientists could design that would flip things the right way round in these poor assclowns’ brains. I’m not sure remedial education could help them at this point. One thing I do know for sure, though: these backward buffoons have no business trying to govern a nation.