I'm In Suzy Homemaker Mode. You All Get to Suffer.

No consensus has formed around my first choice in loveseat. That being so, I have quested further afield, and discovered a few interesting possibilities. Once again, your opinions are desired.

I love this one for the style and the fact that it’s made by Simmons (screams comfort, doncha know), but being a smoker, I especially love that they’re calling this color “tobacco:”

Isn’t that sweet?

There’s also the temptation of a good recliner instead, though. This one is super-cheap and looks super-comfy.

For comparison’s sake, I’ll put up yesterday’s find, and you lot can battle it out. If you were dropping by Dana’s house for a little light Con-bashing, followed by a movie, which seat would you pick?

Bear in mind there can be only one. My soon-to-be new place is slightly smaller than my budget.

Thanks for your input, my darlings.

I'm In Suzy Homemaker Mode. You All Get to Suffer.

Crazier Than Worldnut Daily?

Compare and contrast time, my darlings.

First, batshit insane:

There’s been a little mini-tempest in Michigan lately over WOOD-TV 8 in Grand Rapids refusing to show an anti-gay film put out by the American Family Association. Naturally the Worldnutdaily has picked up on it. And their most recent story is rather amusing because they’ve now discovered that – gasp! – WOOD-TV once had a gay employee.

The American Family Association of Michigan, however, has now learned that Trevor Thomas, the deputy communications director for the HRC in Washington, D.C., once worked in WOOD-TV’s newsroom.

Gary Glenn, president of AFA-Michigan, said in a statement to WOOD-TV General Manager Diane Kniowski that he originally suspected the cancellation was merely a matter of political correctness, but now wonders how deeply the connection runs between Thomas and the station.

“Now,” Glenn wrote to Kniowski, “we learn that a public spokesman for the so-called Human Rights Campaign – the national homosexual activist group that claimed credit for pressuring your station to censor and breach its agreement to air AFA’s paid documentary – is a former long-time WOOD-TV newsroom executive who while holding that position was allowed by the station to actively and publicly campaign against the Marriage Protection Amendment approved by Michigan voters in 2004.


Congratulations, Gary Glenn. You’ve discovered that a TV station once had a gay employee and solved the mystery. Scooby Doo would be so proud of you.

I love it when Ed gets sarcastic. I love it even more when he invokes one of my all-time favorite cartoons to bash the Worldnut Daily.

You remember them. They’ve entertained us with such nuggets o’ wisdom as “We know for certain Obama’s not a Christian because he admitted worshiping at Trinity United Church of Christ.” They’ve awed us with their astronomical prowess. And they’ve blinded us with their insight into the “radiant energy” that presidents shine directly on the people (explaining, o’ course, why electing a Democrat is unthinkable). Those are just some of the highlights, and they shine like a supernova in the firmament of frothing fundie fucknuggetry.

But if you know anything about astronomy, you know that a supernova, while super, is not the brightest object in the universe. Oh, it gets attention, and it can even be seen by the naked eye if it happens in the right spot, but as far as brilliance goes, quasars are it.

And Ed believes he has found the fundie equivalent of a quasar:

Every once in a while I take a peek at Covenant News, which is a news site so far out on the lunatic fringe that they make the Worldnutdaily look sane and rational by comparison. These people are the religious right’s religious right, the people who think that James Dobson is a liberal pussy. Seriously. Here they look at Utah Sen. Chris Buttars getting stripped of his committee chairmanships and provide their response, an article declaring that gays should be put to death.

Where does it say in the Bible, “If a man lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, you shall pass a Marriage Protection Amendment”?

Such legislative efforts make the commandments of God of no effect, and Christian men involved in these efforts should be ashamed of themselves for engaging in pharisaical deceit against the ordinance of God in front of His people (Matt.5:17-20, 15:7-9; Rom.13:2).

Back in 2003, when the Supreme Court issued an opinion against Texas sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas, Republicans started pushing the idea of a “Marriage Protection Amendment” as a solution to the “gay problem.” As we now know the amendment idea is not a solution but a red herring used by crafty politicians to distract Christians away from obedience to the commandments of God concerning homosexuality. It is a political trick used to lure the Church into a humiliating situation of begging the State to “defend marriage” while allowing civil officials to circumvent their God ordained duty to administer Justice upon sodomites!

They can spell, string together a grammatically correct sentence, resist the use of ALL CAPS, dramatic font and color changes, and understand that multiple exclamation points make you look crazy!!!!!!!!! But, deep down, they’re right in the same league as the cretinists who email PZ. I mean, damn.

The Worldnut Daily puts up some stiff competition, but if the above quoted post is any indication, Covenant News wipes the floor with them. What say you all?

Crazier Than Worldnut Daily?

New Partisan Issue

Below: An eloquent comment on the
dumbfuckery of Cons.

There’s this place near Flagstaff, Arizona called Deer Farm. It’s basically a wildlife petting zoo, with a few domesticated but somewhat exotic animals thrown in. If you ever go there, I do recommend walking the right way round the path – my mom and I decided to do it backwards one day, and didn’t see the “Don’t Feed Me – I Spit!” sign on the llama enclosure until it was too late for one unfortunate woman’s hairdo.

I saw my first peacocks there, but the outstanding memory (other than the sound a llama makes when it’s about to spit corn all over an unsuspecting member of the public) is the stench from the monkey house. I don’t know if they’ve still got monkeys, but I wouldn’t blame them if they’d given that up as a bad job. Monkeys are cute in their natural habitat and in pictures, but not so much in real life. It doesn’t matter how much you clean the cage – they still stink. And the little buggers, instead of enjoying themselves in the various branches arranged throughout the house for their climbing pleasure, ganged up at the barred front of the cage just waiting for the opportunity to take a chunk out of some poor goober.

Before I visited Deer Farm, I’d thought owning a monkey would be awesome good fun. Afterward, I swore off monkey ownership for life.

This anecdote leads us to Hilzoy’s post, which had me agreeing wholeheartedly:

Yesterday, the House passed the Captive Primate Safety Act, which would make it illegal to “import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire, or purchase in interstate or foreign commerce” any nonhuman primate. (Humans are covered by the 13th Amendment.) This is one of those small-bore but really, really good bills that I’ve been rooting for for years. I wrote about it back in 2005; since I rather like my original post, here’s a compressed and updated version, rather than a whole new one.

Owning primates as pets is a bad idea.

No kidding! And it’s wrong on so many levels – as Hilzoy points out, these animals haven’t been domesticated, they’re strong, they’ve got sharp teeth, and they’ve got opposable thumbs, which means they can get a lot more creative in their mischief than your basic dog or cat. Add to this the fact that they’re intelligent enough to get bored easily and figure out ways to keep themselves entertained (I think the red-faced screaming owner is part of the entertainment), and you have a recipe for disaster.

It’s bad enough for the primates when their owners are somewhat sane, but it seems some folks buy them just so they can dress them up in ridiculous outfits. IMO, stuffing an animal into gawdawful ensembles should be a felony.

Primates are wild animals. They’re our cousins. And it’s about time they got some respect. You’d think most rational people could agree with this.

We must remember that Cons are not rational:

Postscript: Does anyone have any idea why Democrats voted for this bill 247-2, while Republicans voted against it 76-93? I didn’t realize that this was a partisan issue.

Well, lessee, who sponsored it?

Rep. Earl Blumenauer [D-OR].

Ah. That obviously makes it a partisan issue. The Con philosophy seems to be ossifying around “We hate anything Dems like!” If the Dems introduced a resolution praising the cuteness of children, I’m not entirely sure the Cons would vote in favor. We’d probably hear plenty of arguments as to why children aren’t really cute and parsing the meaning of the phrase “cute child,” complete with diatribes against the out-of-control cuteness of children when what the country needs is less cute, not more.

Do not be surprised if this happens.

The blog where I filched the awesome orangutan pic, the Monkey’s Cage, has this tongue-in-cheek advice:

Opponents of the bill might want to print bumper stickers saying, “When owning a pet chimp is a crime, then only criminals will have pet chimps.”

Do not be suprised if they do. They’re getting just that unhinged.

New Partisan Issue

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

I’m often at a loss as to where to start with the stupidity-bashing – there’s always so much to choose from. Today’s no exception.

First, I just want to ask a question: what the fuck is wrong with Colorado state senators? First we have this steaming pile of stupid:

Today, Colorado State Sen. Dave Schultheis (R) caused outrage by announcing that he would vote against a bill requiring HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he doesn’t think the government should reward “unacceptable behavior.”

And as if that bit of fuckwittery weren’t enough, here we have someone who belongs on Worldnut Daily:

On the floor of the Colorado state senate on Monday, Republican Sen. Scott Renfroe equated “homosexuality as a sin with murder” during a debate on a bill that would allow same-sex partners of state employees to be covered by health care benefits. “I’m not saying this (homosexuality) is the only sin that’s out there,” said Renfroe. “We have murder. We have all sorts of sin. We have adultery. And we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

You’d think Cons would be less terrified of sex and all things involved with it, considering how many sex scandals they get embroiled in. I expect to see these two caught in flagrente delicto any minute now. That’s if the outraged human rights groups, gays and women don’t gang up to oust them first, of course.

Time for some housecleaning, Colorado.

Moving on to the hallowed halls of Congress, it looks like John McCain is still terminally confused and making an absolute ass of himself – color me shocked:

Last night, appearing once again on CBS News, John McCain complained about something he heard in President Obama’s address to Congress.

“[W]hen he says that there’s no earmarks, I just picked up a bill that we’re going to take up tomorrow, that has 9,247 earmarks in it, in the omnibus appropriations bill. So, what am I supposed to believe here?”

McCain is confused. When the president talked about the lack of earmarks, he was talking about the economic stimulus bill. In fact, Obama wasn’t vague: “I’m proud that we passed the recovery plan free of earmarks.” The omnibus appropriations bill is a different piece of legislation — a detail McCain is probably aware of — and Obama didn’t (and couldn’t) promise that every spending bill would be earmark-free forevermore. “What am I supposed to believe here?” Reality would be a good place to start.

That said, McCain’s observation is at least partially right — there are earmarks in the appropriations bill. And why is that? Because many of McCain’s Republican colleagues put them there.

In fact, the Cons seem to be on a bit of a spending spree, despite all their foot-stomping, neo-Hooverite screaming about government waste et al. They’re fine with spending as long as the money’s being spent on them:

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line item will likely remain safe from their ire.

The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion.


“We had a situation — you should direct that question to Senator McConnell,” he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, “because we had trouble organizing this year. He wanted to maintain a lot of their staffing even though they had lost huge numbers. And the only way we could get it done is to do what we did. So you should direct that question to Senator McConnell.”

Whined the Cons, “But it’s the same amount of money we got last year, so what’s the problem?” Put it like this: there’s fewer of you now, you fuckwits.

And with bright ideas like this, that trend should only continue:

On Monday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele appeared on Fox News, calling for a “spending freeze.” It was relatively easy to dismiss, since Steele has no formal policy role, and is easily confused over policy details.

But actual Republican policymakers are apparently serious about pursuing such a freeze. David Weigel reports:

House Republicans have responded with a change of subject: they have proposed a “spending freeze,” a controversial idea among economists during an economic downturn. […]

“We’re advocating that Congress freeze all federal spending immediately,” said Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, during a Tuesday luncheon at the conservative Heritage Foundation. […]

Pence’s argument for a spending freeze is widely accepted within the Republican conference. On Monday, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) asked Democrats to “abandon their plans” to push through an omnibus bill “and instead pass a clean bill that freezes spending at current levels.”

It’s hard to overstate how incredibly foolish this is. It’s a Neo-Hooverism approach in its most obvious form. Weigel noted that Bruce Bartlett, a conservative economist who wrote a book critical of George W. Bush’s spending, “could not name many peers who believe that smaller deficits and less spending are the way to combat economic downturns.”

For Republican officials — who spent freely, cut taxes, and produced massive debt during Bush’s presidency — the way to respond to an economic crisis is to spend less money. It’s what “people out there” do, so it’s what the federal government should do. (It’s as if they’ve never even heard about the differences between micro- and macro-economics.)

They probably have, but got it confused with their dear creationist friends’ micro- vs. macro- evolution talking points, and as you all know, the ridiculous right doesn’t believe in macro.

Considering their situation, they’re going to need a miracle to turn their political fortunes around. Alas, it looks like their Great Leader Rush believes Bob
by Jindal is their last, best hope

The response across the political spectrum to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-LA) speech last night has been overwhelmingly negative. Even the most enthusiastic conservative talkers had harsh words for Jindal’s speech, calling it “cheesy,” “insane,” and “not his greatest oratorical moment.”

But Jindal still maintains one key supporter — Rush Limbaugh. On his radio show this afternoon, Limbaugh leaped to Jindal’s defense. “I love Bobby Jindal, and that did not change after last night,” he said. Limbaugh then directed this admonition at his fellow conservatives:

LIMBAUGH: [T]he people on our side are really making a mistake if they go after Bobby Jindal on the basis of style. Because if you think — people on our side I’m talking to you — those of you who think Jindal was horrible, you think — in fact, I don’t ever want to hear from you ever again. … I’ve spoken to him numerous times, he’s brilliant. He’s the real deal.

If Jindal is their definition of “brilliant” and “the real deal,” they’re in worse shape than I thought.

To which I can only say: good.

Happy Hour Discurso

Jindal's Speech Measures 8.9 on the Epic Fail Scale

Haven’t watched Obama’s speech yet cuz I’m too tired to enjoy it properly, but apparently it was amazing. It must’ve been – check these numbers:

From a CBS snap poll on President Obama’s speech:

Stimulus is going to help me?





That speech was something special, all right.

So was Bobby Jindal’s rebuttal. But, whereas Obama’s speech was special in that left-everybody-glowing way (and believe me, every single political blog I frequent is beaming right now, and that’s a damned lot of blogs), Jindall’s was special in the even-the-short-bus-is-too-long sense.

When the next great Republicon hero has even Faux News and the Free Republic groaning, you know that “blew leper donkey dick” doesn’t really begin to cover the gravity of the situation.

I’m not sure who it was who muttered “Oh, my God…” over an open mic when Jindal came mincing out, but put it like this: I’m surprised that person wasn’t shrieking like a girl. I shall have nightmares tonight, and they will involve Bobby Jindal as a murderous marionette.

No wonder even the MSM talking bobbleheads are using the word “strange” almost universally in their descriptions.

I’m afraid to actually watch the thing now. Seeing him walk out and say hello was creepy enough. I shall have to content myself with Firedoglake’s liveblogging, and the Daily Kos crowd’s magnificent smackdowns here, here, here, here and especially here.

For those of you too busy to peruse all those links, the takeaway is this: Bobby Jindal is a self-serving Con freak who had the gall to use Katrina as the jumping-off point for an anti-government diatribe, not to mention lied about being there; is addicted to Con lies like the imaginary earmark for a high speed rail line between Vegas and Disneyland (precious how he calls it a “magnetic levitation line” – what, Bobby, maglev sound too European for you?), and he thinks government scientists should stop monitoring things like active volcanoes. Seriously.

Bobby Jindal sez “Stop monituring teh volcanoz – monitur guvmint spinding insted!”

It’s really getting far too easy to make fun of these people. All I can say is, I sincerely hope Jindal and Palin battle it out in the primaries in 2012 – the entertainment value would be incalculable.

Jindal's Speech Measures 8.9 on the Epic Fail Scale

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

My darlings, I have a veritable banquet of stupid laid out before me, and I’m at a loss over where to begin. All of it just looks so tasty, and there’s only so much room.

Why don’t we begin with the only smart thing Cons have done, then?

Despite what all the talking heads have been reciting ever since the House stimulus vote, Republicans aren’t helping themselves any with voters. Indeed, it seems they are shooting themselves in the foot. Charlie Cook — aka someone who actually looks at data and doesn’t recite GOP talking points — reports:

As polling very clearly shows, congressional Republicans have done nothing to help themselves by almost unanimously opposing the massive stimulus package. Indeed, they look increasingly isolated: a narrow party that is looking inward for sustenance. Selecting former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele to be national party chairman is about the only intelligent thing that Republicans have done since Election Day. At this point, a Republican rebound seems more contingent upon a Democratic collapse than anything else. Certainly, Republicans aren’t doing anything these days to help bring themselves back. [emphasis mine]

Tell me, now: how pathetic is it when the single most intelligent thing they’ve done is select this assclown in an attempt to reverse their fortunes?

Three Senate Republicans — Susan Collins (Maine), Olympia Snowe (Maine), and Arlen Specter (Pa.) — were the only members of the minority party to cross party lines and vote in favor of the stimulus package. Yesterday, RNC Chairman Michael Steele suggested they’ll be rewarded with primary challengers, and possibly a withdrawal of support from the national party.

Greg Sargent flagged this clip from Fox news yesterday, during which Neil Cavuto asked, “Will you, as RNC head, recommend no RNC funds being provided to help them?” Steele said he’d “talk to” state party officials in Maine and Pennsylvania about the possibility. When asked if he was at least open to withholding party support to three incumbent Republican senators, Steele added, “Oh, yes, I’m always open to everything, baby, absolutely.”

Steele was probably hoping to send a message to GOP lawmakers who may be thinking about working with the White House on controversial policies, but it’s an odd kind of threat. For one thing, Steele’s comments probably won’t mean much to Sens. Snowe and Collins. Snowe won 74% of the vote in her last campaign, and isn’t up for re-election until 2012. Collins was just elected to a third term with 62% of the vote, and isn’t up again until 2014. Are they going to be afraid of Michael Steele? I doubt it.


In the same interview with Cavuto, Steele added that the way to improve the economy was to signal that “the state and the federal government will spend no more money.”

Steele added, “[T]e inflationary effect, the deflationary effect, all of those things are going to come to head at some point.” I have no idea what this means. I’m fairly certain Steele doesn’t either.

I’m fairly certain he’s just as much of a fucktard as the rest of them. The only thing different is his diction.

Cons are awfully proud of themselves for being obstructionist fuckwits. They may want to take a second look at the poll numbers:

In the past few days, a number of national polls have been conducted that measure President Obama’s performance after one month in office. Beyond Obama’s continuing high job approval rating, the polls have found that the public believes Obama has made a good faith effort to work in a bipartisan manner to address America’s problems:

WaPo/ABC News: 73 percent say Obama is “trying to compromise with the Republican leaders in Congress” while just 34 percent believe Republican leaders are trying to compromise with Obama.

NYT/CBS News: 74 percent think Obama is “trying to work with Republicans in Congress” while just 31 percent think Republicans in Congress are trying to work with Obama.

Fox News/Opinion Dynamics: 68 percent believe that Obama “has sincerely tried to reach out to Republicans and be bipartisan” while only 33 percent believe Republicans have “sincerely tried to be helpful to Barack Obama and be bipartisan.”

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not really seeing much public support for Con antics, here.

Speaking of antics, it appears editors at the NYT don’t like it when their reporters employ the truth about marsh mice:

Okay, this is pretty interesting. As I noted here yesterday, the infamous GOP talking point that the stimulus package contains gobs of cash for saving marsh mice found its way into a New York Times story, without the paper mentioning that the claim is untrue.

It turns out, however, that earlier drafts of the story did describe the claim as “misleading” — but Times editors removed that description from the copy, leaving the assertion to stand on its own. An email from the author of the story to a reader confirms this.
The line in the final story read:

Mr. Gingrich sees the stimulus bill as his party’s ticket to a revival in 2010, as Republicans decry what they see as pork-barrel spending for projects like marsh-mouse preservation. “You can imagine the fun people will have with that,” he said

.The story doesn’t note that there are no such funds in the bill.

A reader tells me that he emailed the author of the story, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, to discuss the omission. Here is part of her reply to him in her email, which I obtained:

I did write in the story I submitted that the assertion was misleading, but I’m sorry to report that language was removed by editors and that I didn’t notice the deletion. My initial text read like this:

“….as Republicans decry, often misleadingly, what they see as pork-barrel spending for projects like marsh mouse preservation.”

So the words “often misleadingly” were removed by editors.

Because the Cons may throw a tantrum if the NYT points out that they’re lying, and we can’t have that. Journalism be damned.

In the department of saving the best for last, we have two absolute gems Steve Benen dug up and polished off. First, we have “Diapers” Vitter all concerned about ethics:

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) still hasn’t figured out the benefits of quiet time.

Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R), who survived a 2007 sex scandal, called on Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) to resign Tuesday for his ethical shortcomings.

Oh my.

To be sure, Burris’ problems are overwhelming, and he’d do well to step down from the Senate seat he never should have agreed to accept in the first place. No doubt, it’s time for him to go.

But hearing Vitter complain about another senator’s ethical shortcomings is pretty amusing. It’s as if he has an incredibly short memory — or he assumes we do.

We are, after all, talking about a far-right Republican, known for his “family values” platform, who got caught up in a prostitution ring just two years ago. Vitter, who’s has spent years lecturing others about morality and the “sanctity of marriage,” arranged extra-marital liaisons while on the floor of Congress. The only reason Vitter wasn’t prosecuted is that the statute of limitations had come and gone.

I do believe this man has cut off all contact with common sense.

And, for our dessert, I present you:

In light of Sen. Jim Bunning’s (R-Ky.) increasingly erratic behavior, and likelihood of defeat next year, the Republican establishment has practically been begging Bunning to retire. So far, he’s only responded angrily and refused to back down.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, worried about losing a winnable seat in a deep “red” state, is quietly making alternate arrangements. Just this past weekend, NRSC officials met with State Senate President David Williams (R) over the weekend, apparently to talk about a primary challenge to Bunning.

Today, Bunning said he’s prepared to sue his party.

Sen. Jim Bunning is vowing to fight back as his feud with Republican leadership over his 2010 re-election bid spills into the national political scene.

If Republican campaign organizations tried to recruit another candidate to run in Bunning’s stead, “I would have a suit against the (National Republican Senatorial Committee) if they did that,” Bunning told reporters on Tuesday. “In their bylaws, support of the incumbents is the only reason they exist.”

They exist, Jim, to make sure that more Cons are elected. I do not believe you are the Con they are looking for. But good luck with that lawsuit – I’m sure it’ll make everything all better.

You guys full yet? I’m stuffed.

Happy Hour Discurso

AP Reporter Fails to Comprehend English Sentences

Intrepid reporter Liz Sedoti must be auditioning for the Cons’ Opposite Day Award:

In an AP piece today, she made the following seemingly alarming assertion about Obama’s alleged stance on Social Security:

He said he would reinstitute a pay-as-you-go rule that calls for spending reductions to match increases and would shun what he said were the past few years’ “casual dishonesty of hiding irresponsible spending with clever accounting tricks.” He called the long-term solvency of Social Security “the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far” and said reforming health care, including burgeoning entitlement programs, was a huge priority.

Well, not exactly.

In fact, not at ALL, because this is what Obama ACTUALLY said today:

Now, I want to be very clear: While we are making important progress towards fiscal responsibility this year in this budget, this is just the beginning. In the coming years, we’ll be forced to make more tough choices and do much more to address our long-term challenges, from the rising cost of health care that Peter described, which is the single most pressing fiscal challenge we face by far, to the long-term solvency of Social Security.

Hey, Liz? Got a message for you and the fact-checkers at the AP:

AP Reporter Fails to Comprehend English Sentences

Spending Cut Calculator – We Needs One

The always brilliant dday comes up with another brilliant point:

One result of the budget mess being resolved here in California was a variety of tax increases (which were mostly flat or regressive and not all that good). The spending cuts were actually larger. However, in two of the weekend editions of the Los Angeles Times, right on page A1 above the fold, there was a graphic of a “tax calculator,” which projected the additional taxes an individual would pay based on certain factors like income, number of dependents and values of vehicles. They have a corresponding tax calculator on their website where users can type in the data and get the precise tax hit coming to them. The Sacramento Bee has the same thing. Talk radio was having a field day with these calculators over the past few days, getting people to call in and disclose their statistics and telling them how much money they will owe. I heard a lady making $126,000 a year ranting about an $800 tax increase, and nobody seemed to find that absurd.

In my life, I have never seen a “spending cut calculator,” where someone could plug in, say, how many school-age children they have, or how many roads they take to work, or how many police officers and firefighters serve their community, or what social services they or their families rely on, and discover how much they stand to lose in THAT equation. Tax calculators show bias toward the gated community screamers on the right who see their money being “taken away” for nothing. A spending cut calculator would actually show the impact to a much larger cross-section of society, putting far more people at risk than a below 1% hit to their bottom line.

But of course, people who are perceived to depend on state services probably don’t log on to the LA Times and the Sacramento Bee websites very often to calculate their tax burden. In reality, we all depend on the state for roads and law enforcement and libraries and schools and county hospitals and on and on. And in Los Angeles County, one in five residents – almost 2.2 million people – receive some form of public aid. So wouldn’t it make sense to portray the real cost of spending cuts in the same way that tax increases are portrayed?

Why, yes. Yes, it would. And I think it would give Americans the shock of their young lives to see just how much they depend on government spending in their daily lives.

I don’t make jack diddly shit, but you know what? I’d accept a tax increase to improve my community and my country. Those services are a damned good bargain. So why the fuck can’t people who earn – lessee – 4.34 times what I make quit their bitching and accept a measly $800 increase?

When did this country become so damned allergic for paying for what they use?

Oh. Right. When the Cons got stuck in the tax cut rut…

Spending Cut Calculator – We Needs One

Happy Hour Discurso

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?

Mark Sanford’s blinding stupidity might have seemed even brighter if it weren’t for the even more blinding of Cons on Capitol Hill:

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.

Happy Hour Discurso