When Numbnuts Advise Novices

Digby has a great point here:

I just heard CNN’s week-end money team giving stock tips to their viewers to “recession proof” their lives. Now, I don’t doubt that there are great buys to be had in the market and that some people may be in a position to invest right now and make some big bucks over the long haul. But if the hosts of the show also feel it’s necessary to first explain what a stock is and tell them that the odd letters on the screen stands for the company’s ticker symbol, I think maybe stock picking may be over the heads of their audience.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the teevee “news” has become one long series of infomercials? I know there’s a sucker born every minute, but at the rate these fuckwits are going, they’re going to bankrupt their supply before the next generation of suckers come of age.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

ZOMG, Steve Benen’s taking a few days off. Publius is justifiably amazed. I’m already feeling withdrawal symptoms.

Thankfully, he has a full cast of guest bloggers keeping up with the stupid in Steve’s absence. It takes a World Wide Web to manage that task.

And the second Steve steps away, look what news breaks:

A Spanish court “has agreed to consider opening a criminal case against six former Bush administration officials…over allegations they gave legal cover for torture at Guantanamo Bay.” The officials include former attorney general Alberto Gonzales, former undersecretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith, former Cheney chief of staff David Addington, Justice Department officials John Yoo and Jay S. Bybee, and Pentagon lawyer William Haynes. The AP has more details on the case:

Spanish law allows courts to reach beyond national borders in cases of torture or war crimes under a doctrine of universal justice, though the government has recently said it hopes to limit the scope of the legal process. […]

A little lukewarm for my taste, but excellent news nonetheless. My dream of seeing Bush et al dragged in disgrace to face judgement for their actions may yet come true.

Now if only there were prosecutions for stupidity as well as prosecutions for war crimes. Then again, there’s probably no court large enough:

Today is the second annual Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to raise awareness on the issue of climate change. At 8:30pm local time, major businesses, local and national points of interest, and individual homes will dim their lights for one hour. Already today, sites ranging from the Sydney Opera House to the Egyptian Pyramids have lowered their lights in recognition, and 4,000 cities in 88 countries will participate in the event. Sponsored by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour will provide, in the words of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “a way for the citizens of the world to send a clear message: They want action on climate change.”

It will also provide a new way for conservatives to show what hardcore rebels they are.

Tomorrow is something called Earth Hour. Take the official RedState Pledge:

I do solemnly swear that I will honor Earth Hour by turning on every light in my residence at 8:30 p.m. on March 28, 2009, for one hour. God said, “Let there be light.” Who are we to argue?

Yeah, they want you to turn your lights off, but everybody knows darkness leads to crime.

It’s amusing to see Erick Erickson so terrified of possible boogeymen infiltrating his house from 8:30 to 9:30, as well as the wingnut tendency to go after all the most important targets, like symbolic light-dimming actions. But this has now become a cliche. My local wingnut radio hosts were making the same “jokes” last night: “I’ll turn on every light in the house!… I’ll keep my car running for an hour!” And of course, Glenn Beck devoted an entire show to running his car in the parking lot a couple months ago.

I know they think they’re clever, but they come across more like brain-damaged frat boys. It’s not even irritating, it’s just pathetic.

Only one person could make these dumbfucks look like intellectual giants. Ladies and gentlemen, I present you Rep. John Shimkus:

Progress Illinois notes that earlier this week at a House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) tried to argue that the United States doesn’t need a cap-and-trade system to limit CO2 emissions in the atmosphere. (In the past, he has called cap and trade “a shell game to hide the cost from the ultimate person who is going to pay.”) Here is Shimkus’s newest theory:

SHIMKUS: It’s plant food. … So if we decrease the use of carbon dioxide, are we not taking away plant food from the atmosphere? … So all our good intentions could be for naught. In fact, we could be doing just the opposite of what the people who want to save the world are saying.

Apparently, this man has never heard of overeating. It’s nice he’s so concerned for the environment, but with friends like these, the trees don’t need enemies.

The Cons seem to have misapplied the lesson of the D.A.R.E. program, and are “just saying no” to – well, everything in sight, especially nominees who may not ignore the abuses of the previous administration (h/t):

(ChattahBox)—Republican obstructionism is becoming so rampant; President Obama is temporarily handcuffed from staffing his administration, especially in Treasury and the Department of Justice. At a time when our country faces a perilous economic crisis and two wars, the Republicans obstruct and subvert Obama’s nominations at every turn. The recent threat to filibuster the nomination of Dawn Johnsen, to the White House Office of Legal Counsel is drawing ire from all sides.

The threat of “just say no” republicans to filibu
ster the nomination of Indiana University law professor, Dawn Johnsen to head the Office of Legal Counsel or OLC, is their most egregious act to date, when it comes to obstructing Obama’s nominees to his administration. Johnsen comes with impeccable credentials. She served for five years in the OLC in the Clinton administration, was a US Deputy Assistant Attorney General, graduated summa cum laude from Yale Law School and was an editor of the Law Review.

So, what is the Republican’s problem with Johnsen’s nomination? Well, two things. First, Republicans are outraged over Johnsen’s previous stint as Legal Director, for the National Abortion & Reproductive Rights Action League or NARAL. Antiabortion groups have turned up the heat in recent weeks, painting Johnsen as a radical activist.

Perhaps though, the real reason for the threatened Republican filibuster is even more insidious. Scott Horton, a law professor, posted an intriguing piece today at the Daily Beast, about the obstruction of Johnsen’s nomination, entitled, “The Woman Who Could Nail Bush.” Horton believes the Republicans are terrified that Johnsen will seek to release additional Justice Department memos, detailing the Bush administration’s illegal behavior.

Kinda like cockraoches, aren’t they? Shine a light, and they freak out. Of course, they have plenty of reasons for keeping the lights off. Too bad for them there’s so many folk with their fingers on the light switch.

One begins to see why Steve decided it was time to step away from the egregious stupidity for a few days. One’s brain starts to go numb after such relentless onslaughts of dumbfuckery.

May I Have a Moment of Silence for Sen. Specter’s Incumbancy?

Alas, poor Arlen. We knew him, America:

Well, it’s official: Arlen Specter has no chance. Unmoved by Specter’s reversal on EFCA, his right-wing opponent has unleashed The Most Ultimatest Weapon:

It turns out that his main conservative primary challenger, Club for Growth president Pat Toomey, is going to get the ultimate in blessings from the right: He’s campaigning alongside Joe the Plumber!

It is finished. Specter should’ve bewar’d the Ides of March. Now he faces the fury of a union scorned. You just know what he’s thinking now: “Et tu, Josephus?”

Once Joe the Plumber has fallen in with your sworn enemy, your defeat is imminent. Just ask John McCain.

I Have Been Called Out

STEVEinMI writes:

Dana, I love your writing, but I have to take you to task for this post. There are PLENTY of details in the Republican “budget” “plan”. And there are numbers too! Real numbers! So many that I couldn’t fit them here!

Read ‘em and weep: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/3/27/91658/3389

I’ve read Steve’s post, and I am weeping. You will, too:

Right out of the gate, 5 of those 19 alleged “pages” are actually content-free title pages. So before we even get started, that’s only 14 pages; a big difference, I would say, when setting expectations of how many actual numbers are in there. And those fourteen pages had to make room for eight (8) pictures of Tinkertoys(tm), leaving room for only about 12 pages of content. It’s just like the left to try and raise expectaions falsely on Republican proposals.

There most certainly are graphs. Three of ‘em. They reverse the traditional color scheme and use blue for Republican numbers and red for the Democrats’. That’s important, because the graph on Page 7 clearly points out the Nixon recession, the Reagan recession, and the financial impact of the Bush wars. If we’d shown those parts in red, people might be misled into thinking that Republicans had something to do with them. The graph on page 16 clearly points out that former president Bush/43 did not spend any money on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which frankly is the way we want him to be remembered. And the graph on Page 5, even though we tried to crop off the really bad bits, does point out which recent president (cough43cough) has done the most to “grow the size of government”.

And, let me be clear about this, THERE ARE NUMBERS. Twenty-eight (28) of them, by my count. And these are numbers that are easy to understand: 26 of them are actually the numbers from the Obama budget, included to show how bad they are. The other two are the number of barrels of oil we think might be in ANWR, if all those fucking lefties, polar bears, and caribou would just get out of the way and let us start drilling.

Maxima mea culpa. I should have known better than to trust all those damned reality-worshipping librul blogs. I mean, obviously, the Cons aren’t going to present a budget without numbers or graphs. In this case, they have numbers and graphs, so it’s obviously a very thorough budget indeed. Wow.

Thank you for setting me straight, Steve. I owe you one.

How I Feel Today: Moving Edition

It’s that time in the moving process when, upon being faced with yet another box to unpack, you either want to do this:


Or this:


No store seems to carry the two-shelf bookcases I wanted for the bedroom. I can’t get the phone jacks to work. And the new super-awesome shower caddy I bought doesn’t fit. Wah.

However, some of the books are unpacked. The vast majority of the walk-in closet has been turned into an office extension. My so-called wardrobe is weeping softly to itself on one rod, which is just as it should be. A few more days, and I’ll be able to return to full-time blogging, fiction writing, and tech supporting. Suzie Homemaker can enter happy retirement. Life shall be wonderful.

Or so I tell myself in order to avoid following in the footsteps of the above cats.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

For those who are eagerly watching continuing coverage of my moving adventures, we’re settling in. Or, at least, trying to. The cat has developed certain ideas about the new place, like believing it’s a good idea to meow. Continuously. From 3:00am until 5:30am, to be precise. I think she wanted me to let her go back on the balcony.

So, yeah, a little tired, but we’re doing all right. We may even have most of the shit out of boxes by the end of tomorrow.

This hasn’t left much time for perusing Con dumbfuckery. Good thing I don’t have to search long to find some:

The non-partisan Congressional Research Service reported last year that historically, when a president is of one party and both of a state’s senators are of a different party, “the primary role in recommending candidates for district court judgeships is assumed by officials in the state who are of the President’s party.”

That makes sense. For example, when Bush was president and he needed recommendations for the federal bench in a state with two Democratic senators, there was no point in asking them for a list of names — the Bush White House wouldn’t approve of the jurists the Democrats had in mind. In those cases, Bush would turn to either House Republicans from those states, or Republican officials at the state level.

With this in mind, the Obama White House stated plainly this week that it would work with the Democrats in Texas’ House delegation when selecting judges, U.S. attorneys, and U.S. marshals.

Yesterday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) denounced this and described it as wholly unacceptable. And what kind of process does Cornyn prefer?

Cornyn says he intends to send Obama candidates who have been screened by the committee he and Hutchison have always used for making nominations — a committee he admits is “heavily stacked with Republican lawyers.”

And why is that? Because he doesn’t want the selection process “to be viewed as a partisan exercise” and this is the only way he can “depoliticize the nomination process.”

That’s a spit-take moment right there.

Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if they’re really that clueless, or if they’re being intentionally outrageous. I tend to believe the former. I don’t think these folks are really capable of realizing when they’re big ginormous fucktards.

I have some evidence for my position:

Today on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Bachmann declared that the U.S. will soon be moving to “give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency.” Such action, she warned, would mean the U.S. as a country would be “no more”:

BACHMANN: As you know, Russia, China, Brazil, India, South Africa, many nations have lined up now and have called for an international global currency, a One World currency and they want to get off of the dollar as the reserve currency.

BECK: Most people don’t understand, Michele, what that means.

BACHMANN: What that means is all of the countries in the world would have a single currency. We would give up the dollar as our currency and we would just go with a One World currency. … If we give up the dollar as our standard, and co-mingle the value of the dollar with the value of coinage in Zimbabwe, that dilutes our money supply. We lose control over our economy. And economic liberty is inextricably entwined with political liberty. Once you lose your economic freedom, you lose your political freedom. And then we are no more, as an exceptional nation, as we always have been. So this is imperative.

Bachmann claimed that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said he was “open” to the One World currency. (In reality, he only said he was open to changes in the IMF special drawing rights, and reaffirmed his commitment to the dollar.) Beck warned that speaking out about the global currency gets one labeled a “kook,” but Bachmann brushed off such concerns, saying she’s been called that “throughout [her] political career”:

BACHMANN: Well, Glenn, I have experienced that throughout my political career, being labeled a kook. It just happened again in a big story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. But all we have to do is point to the treasury secretary on tape, on camera. This is not Michele Bachmann being a kook. This is our treasury secretary on tape and on camera.

Your honor, I rest my case.

In other news, the RNC’s surveys certainly are interesting:

The Republican National Committee emailed a survey to its supporters this morning. The questions are broken up into two categories: “Domestic and Social Issues” and “Homeland Security and Defense Issues.”

Of course, the wording a survey uses can have some influence on the results. Consider how the RNC worded some of their more notable questions. (thanks to readers GB and CR for the tip)

* A recent national poll reported that nearly 25% of Americans want the government to pass more socialism. Do you agree or disagree?

* Which do you believe creates more jobs for the American economy: Government Programs and Spending or The American Free Enterprise System?

* Should Republicans unite to block new federal government bureaucracy and red tape that will crush future economic growth?

* Should we do everything we can to block Democrats who are trying to shut down conservative talk radio with the so-called “fairness doctrine”?

* Should we resist Barack Obama’s proposal to spend billions of federal taxpayer dollars to pay “volunteers” who perform his chosen tasks?

* Should bureaucrats in Washington, DC be in charge of making your health care choices instead of you and your doctor?

* Do you think U.S. troops should have to serve under United Nations’ commanders?

These are actual questions from the survey, not paraphrases intended to make the RNC appear silly.

That’s the beauty of Cons. You don’t have to paraphrase them to make them look ridiculous. Their own words do the work for you.

Although, sometimes it’s fun to boil their statements down to their essence:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his conservative allies are pushing for legislation that would limit the first lady’s ability to do substantive policy work. Issa had originally proposed the bill last year, in fear of Bill Clinton moving back in to the White House. But he insists the bill is only about ensuring “transparency” for the work of first ladies, adding, “We are trying actually to protect the historic role of the first lady.” Or, as Gawker summed up Issa’s proposal in its headline, “Congressman Wants Michelle Obama To Shut Up And Look Pretty.”

Something tells me they’re still having a lot of issues with the whole women’s lib thing.

And all of that in less than 20 minutes. Cons aren’t good for much, but they’re bloody experts at sounding like absolute assclowns, multiple times a day, every day.

Comedy Gold

Or, at least, this is hella amusing if you’re exhausted from moving, and it’s probably funny even if not:

Earlier today, Sarah Palin decided to cut and run from a confrontation over her decision (a.k.a. political grandstanding) to turn down a portion of Alaska’s share of the stimulus money:

Gov. Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) backed out a scheduled meeting Thursday with state legislative leaders who have publicly criticized her plan to turn down a portion of the state’s federal stimulus funds.

“We had a meeting scheduled with the governor today and her legislative liaison told us that she wasn’t there and that we could meet with the staff,” said Gary Stevens, the state’s Republican Senate President, at an afternoon press conference.

[snip]

Stevens said the lawmakers turned down the offer because Palin’s staff “often has trouble answering questions.”

Heh heh heh, awesome.

Of course, there’s also the desperate lying to cover Palin’s ass, too. Go. Read. Be entertained.

Does Pissing Off Real Plumbers Seem Like a Good Idea to You?

It really doesn’t, does it? I mean, these are big, muscular guys with lead pipes to hand. Okay, maybe not lead – not anymore – but still, pipes. Heavy. And pipe wrenches. And attitudes. And no patience for fake plumbers:

The Plumbers Union is steaming over the news that Joe the Plumber has been enlisted by groups opposed to the Employee Free Choice Act to campaign at a number of Pennsylvania rallies against the measure.

A Plumbers Union official tells me that Joe is “selling out real plumbers.”

I checked in with Rick Terven, the political and legislative director for The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist sharing the full name.) He tore into his high-profile plumber colleague as follows:

Joe the plumber is selling out real plumbers. Right now, labor law is stacked against real plumbers. Real plumbers want and need the Employee Free Choice Act as a way to empower themselves to join a union, without fear of intimidation or losing their jobs. Joe the Plumber doesn’t speak for real plumbers.

Oh, deary me. He sounds a little upset. Could it be due to these facts?

Joe the Plumber may not represent the average worker — or at least not the average plumber. Remember that Joe never had a plumbing license, and many of the people in that profession are members of the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry (UA).

I think Joe the Fake Plumber is maybe upsetting the wrong damned people.

Random Observations on Living in a New Place

My cat has become a balcony slut.


In the old place – y’know, the one with the awesome view of all the tasty water birds in the pond – my cat would remain outside for about thirty seconds, tops, before demanding to be let back inside. Here, she’s at the door the second I start putting on my coat to head out for a smoke, and refuses to come back in for several minutes after I’m done.

I don’t understand my cat. Then again, are cats really understandable?

Below is a fair approximation of our living situation:


Of course, it’s not like that now. We have boxes absolutely everywhere. But the living room’s put together enough for the cat to enjoy her new loveseat and recliner. She lets me sit on them sometimes. I appreciate her generosity.


Tomorrow, I get to determine where the fuck I put all of the shelf pegs. Without them, shelving the bajillion boxes of books will be a non-starter. There’s a trillion and one things to do before we’re fully settled. But so far, living on our own is awesome indeed.