Today’s opining on the public discourse.
I’m enjoying the novelties of sitting around stuffing my face while consuming politics and dinosaur evolution. It’s nice to be nearly completely unpacked.
I wish I’d had time to focus earlier in the week, because I apparently missed a mother lode of dumbfuckery. Rep. John Shimkus is the gift that keeps on giving:
What’s more, be sure to watch to the end of the video clip, at which point Shimkus argues that we’re not pumping enough carbon into the atmosphere: “There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon.”
I’ve heard a few conservatives over the years argue, “Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.” I didn’t expect, however, to hear an elected member of Congress apply this thinking to environmental policy.
When I get the sound on my computer back up, I’m definitely watching that video. I’ll just have to remember not to have anything in my mouth when I do it. I’d like to keep my new home spit-take free.
Cons seem ignorant regarding nearly everything, but it’s nowhere more proudly displayed than on environmental issues. Check out Glenn Beck trying to sound off on energy policy:
Beck: You can’t make wind energy work without nuclear energy as well. Wind stops –
Borelli: You know that, but Congress doesn’t know that.
Beck: Use your common sense! Hey America! Use common sense here! Let just try this out!
Wind, when it blows, makes energy. When it stops, you can’t store it, so what’s making the energy?
Suffice to say that one can easily find out that there are numerous strategies for dealing with the unreliability of wind power:
A series of detailed modelling studies which looked at the Europe wide adoption of renewable energy and interlinking power grids using HVDC cables, indicates that the entire power usage could come from renewables, with 70% total energy from wind at the same sort of costs or lower than at present. Intermittency would be dealt with, according to this model, by a combination of geographic dispersion to de-link weather system effects, and the ability of HVDC to shift power from windy areas to non-windy areas.
Pumped-storage hydroelectricity or other forms of grid energy storage can store energy developed by high-wind periods and release it when needed. Stored energy increases the economic value of wind energy since it can be shifted to displace higher cost generation during peak demand periods.
I’m afraid to ask if they can get any more stupid than this. I’m sure the answer is not yes but fuck yes.
For any of you wondering just how obstructionist Cons have become, I have your answer right here:
Yesterday, Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) slammed the idea of passing health care reform and other Obama priorities through a simple majority of the Senate, a process called reconciliation. “Now, if they do that, that, in effect is the nuclear war,” Kyl said. The Republicans have become experts at using Senate filibusters — or often just the threat of filibusters — to block the Democratic agenda while in the minority. As this chart from Norm Ornstein shows, the use of filibusters have skyrocketed under Republicans:
Steve Benen would like to remind everyone that it wasn’t always this way, which means we had a fuck of a lot of “nuclear war” going on throughout our nation’s history without anyone quibbling. These poor Cons get overheated awfully easily, don’t they?
And they’re determined to keep up the obstruction:
You won’t be terribly surprised by this, but the eight most prominent members of the House GOP leadership are confirming that they will all vote against Obama’s budget later this week.
Greg Sargent has a list of statements. It’s exactly what you would expect from the Party of No.
Jon Chait had a great piece yesterday about the “fecklessness” and “parochialism” that too often interferes with the Democratic Party’s ability to advance its agenda. U.S. News‘ Michael Barone argued in response that the Democratic Party also struggles because it’s made up of constituencies who aren’t “normal.”
[T]he Republican Party is the party of people who are considered, by themselves and by others, as normal Americans — Northern white Protestants in the 19th century, married white Christians more recently — while the Democratic Party is the party of the out groups who are in some sense seen, by themselves and by others, as not normal — white Southerners and Catholic immigrants in the 19th century, blacks and white seculars more recently. Thus it’s natural for the Democrats to be more fissiparous.
Someone is going to have to help me out with this one. Democrats experience more intra-party fissures than Republicans because African Americans and white secularists aren’t “normal”? Republicans join in lock step because it’s the party of marrie
d white Christians — who necessarily are “normal”?
How normal you can be when you’re completely batshit fucking insane is up for debate.