Last Day to Bring Me Yer Treasures


Well, I be gettin’ ahead o’ meself, since I haven’t got much o’ yer booty yet. Be gettin’ those links in to [email protected] by the end o’ the day Friday. I plan to have this ship’s hold full o’ Elitist Bastardry. Don’t make me sail over to yer blog and raid ye, now!

For those o’ ye wondering what ye should submit, here be the simple requirements:

1. Pick a blog post o’ yours that hits the stupid where it hurts.

2. Send it in.

That be it. And I don’t want to hear yer excuses – I been readin’ yer blogs, and I know each and every one o’ ye’s already posted some fine elitist bastardry.

I’ll see ye all aboard come Saturday, or I’ll be boarding ye come Saturday, whichever’s required.

Look Who Made the London Times

Yes, my darlings, that’s right: Brian Switek his own self. He’s been doing some incredible work on Ida, putting her in proper perspective and exploring her true significance, and it’s awesome to see him get a prestigious venue from which to dial back the hype and teach folks a little something about how evolution really works:

There is some irony in calling Ida the missing link. She was named Darwinius in honour of Charles Darwin, but the phrase “missing link” harkens back to a pre-evolutionary idea of nature. Called the Great Chain of Being, this interpreted all life as forming an immutable hierarchy, ordained by God, from “lower” to “higher”. Scholars believed that God favoured a full creation and each rank connected to the next, but “missing links” presented a problem. The link between humans and lower animals was the most elusive of all.

Our understanding of evolution could scarcely be more different. There is no evolutionary end point or fore-ordained hierarchy of beasts. Life is better understood from Darwin’s perspective – as a wildly branching bush constantly being pruned and sending out new shoots through evolution. Calling Ida a missing link may grab attention, but it is incongruous with what Darwin proposed.

It’s a great article, and it’s wonderful to see him get the recognition he deserves. Pop on over and give Brian some love, then stay tuned for his upcoming Ida Carnival (contributions welcome).

Congratulations, Brian!


(Tip o’ the shot glass to John Pieret, who knew Brian when.)

They’re On About Food Again

Some kind soul needs to sit the Cons down with a good psychiatrist. They clearly have serious issues. Remember when they freaked out over mustard (not to mention the arugula and, well, pretty much everything Obama ever ate)? The food fanatics are at it again, this time attacking Judge Sotomayor for – wait for it – liking Puerto Rican food:

According to Hill reporter Alexander Bolton, “This has prompted some Republicans to muse privately about whether Sotomayor is suggesting that distinctive Puerto Rican cuisine such as patitas de cerdo con garbanzo — pigs’ tongue and ears — would somehow, in some small way influence her verdicts from the bench.”

Curt Levey, the executive director of the Committee for Justice, a conservative-leaning advocacy group, said he wasn’t certain whether Sotomayor had claimed her palate would color her view of legal facts but he said that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee clearly touts her subjective approach to the law.

Slightly gobsmacked, I called Bolton earlier today and asked him whether this was for real–whether any conservatives were genuinely raising this issue. He confirmed, saying, “a source I spoke to said people were discussing that her [speech] had brought attention…she intimates that what she eats somehow helps her decide cases better.”

Bolton said the source was drawing, “a deductive link,” between Sotomayor’s thoughts on Puerto Rican food and her other statements. And I guess the chain goes something like this: 1). Sotomayor implied that her Latina identity informs her jurisprudence, 2). She also implied that Puerto Rican cuisine is a crucial part of her Latina identity, 3). Ergo, her gastronomical proclivities will be a non-negligible factor for her when she’s considering cases before the Supreme Court.

Got it? Good. This is the conservative opposition to Sotomayor.

You know, when my mother went clinically insane – and I don’t mean metaphorical insane, I mean actual talk-to-the-toaster, end-up-committed-to-a-mental-institution, genuinely psychotic insane – one of the first signs she was going whacko was a pathological fixation on food.

Now, I’m not sure we can Title 36 every Con exhibiting symptoms, considering the sheer numbers involved, but I’m starting to believe it may be necessary for their safety and ours. Maybe we can turn Gitmo into a psychiatric hospital. I hear the Cons sure do envy detainees those awesome tropical breezes.

Our Captain’s Down, but We Sail Yet!

Most o’ ye know our Captain George had a wee mishap. He be on the mend, but the doctors have yet to pronounce him fit for duty. That means yer Admiral’s taking the helm this voyage. We’ll have to be quick about it – I be headin’ to Arizona this weekend, and that be no place to sail a ship from!

Get yer Elitist Bastard links to me at [email protected] by end o’ day Friday. I know it be short notice, but I also know ye’ve got plenty o’ elitist bastardry already posted this month, so ye’ve nothing to worry about.

See ye on board, me hearties!

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

I’ve been in training all afternoon, so I haven’t had much chance to burn up my eyeballs with teh stoopid. But America’s Cons were obliging enough to make sure I had plenty of it to choose from.

The raving right’s been attacking Judge Sonia Sotomayor from every angle they can think of. But you know their case is truly pathetic when they’re reduced to this:

One of the low points in the right’s criticism of Obama during the presidential campaign came in October, when some conservatives started complaining about the Democrat’s pronunciation of “Pakistan,” with a soft “a.”

The National Review’s Mark Stein complained at the time that Obama prefers the “exotic pronunciation.” He added, “[O]ne thing I like about Sarah Palin is the way she says ‘Eye-raq’.” The National Review’s Kathryn Jean Lopez posted an email that argued, “[N]o one in flyover country says Pock-i-stahn. It’s annoying.”

Keeping this spirit alive, the National Review’s Mark Krikorian argued that the proper pronunciation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s name doesn’t work for him, and he’d like to see other join him in rejecting it. Krikorian started this yesterday


So, are we supposed to use the Spanish pronunciation, so-toe-my-OR, or the natural English pronunciation, SO-tuh-my-er, like Niedermeyer?

…and expanded on this today.


Deferring to people’s own pronunciation of their names should obviously be our first inclination, but there ought to be limits. Putting the emphasis on the final syllable of Sotomayor is unnatural in English (which is why the president stopped doing it after the first time at his press conference) … and insisting on an unnatural pronunciation is something we shouldn’t be giving in to. [...]

ZOMG, American civilization will end if we’re forced to pronounce people’s names correctly!!1!!11!

Pretty potent stuff, that. But I’m afraid it’s all for naught. You see, Judge Sotomayor saved baseball:

As you know, I’m a huge baseball fan, and even Major League Baseball is saying that Sonia Sotomayor ended the strike that almost destroyed the game under the idiot, Bud Selig.
It was Sotomayor’s ruling that forced Major League Baseball players and owners to resume the national pastime in 1995 after a 234-day player strike wiped out the final six weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason in 1994.

That’s it. It’s over. There’s no way they can get around that, no matter what arguments they invent. She could rape kittens while eating baby kabobs, and still, she’s in. She’s on the court. The woman saved baseball. That’s about equivalent to saving Mom and apple pie.

So, right, put a fucking sock in it.

Moving on.

Anti-gay marriage frothers are having a harder time than usual staying coherent. Here’s the latest example of white-hot stupidity:

Last night, C-SPAN aired the lasted segment of Students & Leaders series, with Rep. John Culberson (R-TX). Addressing a group of D.C. students, he repeatedly emphasized the need for less government interference in Americans’ lives. “I’m very focused on eliminating — shutting down as much of the federal government’s functions as I can,” Culberson said, while espousing state and local control.

However, when a student asked Culberson about state control over gay marriage, Culberson rapidly descended into incoherence. He began by declaring, “It’s up to the states.” But by the end of his rambling answer, he tried to explain why the federal government “cannot permit” a state like Vermont to make its own rules. All this while repeating that people’s “privacy is fundamental”:

CULBERSON: Well under the 10th amendment, the states have a first responsibility for providing for public safety, public health, public morality. All issues that just affect the people within that state. It’s up to the states. And you either follow the constitution or you don’t. [...]

Federal law cannot permit — if one state, Vermont, wants to do that, you can’t let that cross state lines. You’ve got to let — frankly, a lot of these issues have got to be left up to the states. But the federal government cannot permit for example — The federal government has a legitimate role in interstate commerce. And that’s where the federal government comes in. I think the federal government can’t recognize — shouldn’t recognize it, it’s just a bad idea. And uh — But fundamentally, the right of privacy’s fundamental. I’m not interested — what people do at home’s their own business.

So, federal law should stay the hell out of people’s private lives and let the states decide what’s what, but because of interstate commerce, it can tell states and couples who can and cannot get married? Am I parsing this right? Is anything that incoherent even parsable?

The idea of gays getting married really does reduce these people to the worst kind of babbling morons, doesn’t it just?

Speaking of things reducing people to the level of babbling moron

Rep. Paul Broun, R-GA, was on Fox and Friends yesterday touting his proposal to have Congress officially designate 2010 “The Year of the Bible”, and he had an interesting rationale for it:


Broun: Well, it’s all about freedom, actually. The Bible was the basis of our laws, it was the basis of the Constitution of the United States, the Declaration of Independence — the Bible was the founding source.Hmmmmm. Well, some of us have heard otherwise, but OK, whatever.

You may remember Rep. Broun. Last November he won lots of friends on both sides of the aisle and in the White House when he warned that Obama was preparing a Hitler-like dicta
torship
with his civilian-youth-corps proposal: “That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did … When he’s proposing to have a national security force that’s answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he’s showing me signs of being Marxist.”

My best friend likes to tell me that certain people have prayed and thumped their Bibles so hard they’ve melted their melons. I believe Rep. Broun is a perfect Exhibit A.

If the level of pathetic on the right keeps increasing at this exponential rate, we’ll soon run out of room for it in this finite universe of ours.

Sick, Twisted Fucktards

Since the right likes to bash liberals as freedom-hating fascists, since they love to moan about how cruel and mean and what a blight on the national discourse we are, I’d like to know how they explain this:

Here is some rightwing loon named Ralph Peters:
Pretending to be impartial, the self-segregating personalities drawn to media careers overwhelmingly take a side, and that side is rarely ours. Although it seems unthinkable now, future wars may require censorship, news blackouts and, ultimately, military attacks on the partisan media.

Sounds crazy, right? Beyond the pale, right? Deliberately killing journalists? That’s something we would never do, that’s NoKo/Saddam-level totalitarianism, plain and simple.

Well, Mr. and Ms. America, I got some news for you. It’s already happened.

No one will be surprised to learn it’s the Bush regime that killed journalists. And no one will be surprised that Ralph Peters is the kind of whackaloon, murderous fuckhead that Faux News loves to parade around as an august figure of authority:

Update: from digby

This wasn’t the only wacko thing the sick piece of work Ralph Peters said today on Fox. Get this:


“We’re dealing with people who aren’t human anymore. They’re monsters. And monsters deserve to die.”

So, advocating wholesale murder of journalists and the dehumanization and murder of Gitmo detainees isn’t beyond the pale in the right’s opinion. Something we should keep in mind come election season. If America puts the right back in charge of the country, what little moral authority we have left is dead.

They have no moral authority. None.

Hannity, the Defiant Coward


Are you fucking kidding me?

I’m getting rather ambivalent about having celebrities get waterboarded, even when it changes their opinion like Erich “Mancow” Mueller. It’s torture, now he knows it. But the more it is done the more it becomes a parlor trick in too many eyes. It’s torture, it’s a crime not a game of Cranium.

And you still have a result like this from moral degenerates:

Mancow also revealed that his friend Sean Hannity “called me and said ‘it’s still not torture.'”

So more evidence that Sean Hannity is an a-hole.

So, he’s still too much of a despicable coward to put his money where his mouth is, but he thinks he’s right and Mancow’s wrong.

I don’t even have the words for what a disgusting piece of yellow shit he is.

Prop 8: It’s Only a Setback

You’ve probably already seen the news: California’s Supreme Court upheld Prop 8. They’ve tossed the ball back to our side of the court, practically begging us to score:

The court’s majority concluded “that if there is to be a change to the state constitutional rule embodied in that measure, it must ‘find its expression at the ballot box.’”

That means those of us who support same-sex couples’ right to get married have a job o’ work ahead of us:

In response to the court’s decision, the Courage Campaign will hit the California airwaves in the next 72 hours with a 60-second TV ad version of “Fidelity”—the heartbreaking online video viewed by more than 1.2 million people, making it the most-watched video ever in the history of California politics.

We are launching this provocative new TV ad in the spirit of Harvey Milk’s call to “come out, come out wherever you are” and proudly tell the stories of the people most affected by the passage of Prop 8—in moving images set to the beat of Regina Spektor’s beautiful song.

More than 700,000 Courage Campaign members are ready to restore marriage equality to California. Will you help us get to “1 Million for Marriage Equality”? Watch our powerful new 60-second “Fidelity” TV ad and sign the pledge.

If you like TV ad, please contribute to put it on the air in Bakersfield, Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco.

Let’s get it done. We can’t have California falling too far behind Iowa, now, can we?

Kristol Ball Breaking

Note to Bill Kristol: don’t start a second career as a psychic anytime soon.

Today, President Obama picked Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his Supreme Court nominee. On Fox News Sunday this past week, right-wing pundit Bill Kristol (ie “Kristol Ball”) confidently predicted that Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) would be the next Supreme Court nominee:

KRISTOL: I think he has made up his mind, and I think it’s going to be Jennifer Granholm, the governor of Michigan, for this reason. Obama gave that interview Friday which we saw the snippet from. In that interview, he uses the term practical seven times — I want someone with a practical sense of how the world works, I want someone with practical experience. Obama knows what he’s doing, and I think he wants to say, I’m putting on someone who went to Harvard Law School, clerked at an appellate level, was attorney general of Michigan, has good quotes from Republicans and Democrats about their conduct of that legal office, but who really understands the effect on real-world decisions.

The man has the predictive power of a melted Magic 8 ball.