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Mmm… Snarky

[ 7 ] October 19, 2008 |


Gov. Sarah Palin, campaigning, she said, in “real America,” which apparently includes part of North Carolina, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling for a media investigation to determine whether Americans are real or not, and today, McCain all-around best surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer (pronounced — Foe-Ten-How-er, like proton power), said that parts of the state of Virginia, heretofore universally assumed to be in America, were not, in fact, in the country.

Now — the Mainstream Media, typically clueless, has interpreted these remarks conventionally — classically, you might say, as if we live in an Eisteinian universe with three dimensions of space and a quasi-dimension of time: either these women were summoning their inner Nixonian cultural warriors, or they were untethered from reality.

But three utterances of this nature for me lead to an entirely more edifying possibility: that Palin, Bachmann and Pfotenhauer were making a radical new claim about the fundamental forces and constants that compose the background of our universe.

For decades, theoretical physicists have sought to unify the theory of gravity with standard particle model of physics. So far, no dice. The dominant but by no means proven theory is popularly referred to as Superstring theory, or M theory, or some variant. No need to go into the details here. Crucially, though, some of the leading variants of string theory presuppose a universe of ten spacial dimensions plus time.

We cannot rule out the possibility that Palin, Bachmann and Pftoenhauer — let’s call them PBP for short — are somehow about to perceive these extra dimensions, and that there is something fundamental about their physical constitutions that makes such perceptions unavailable to most everyone else.

The First Rule of Aircraft Carrier Club is…

[ 0 ] October 18, 2008 |

…do not buy aircraft carriers from Russia. These photographs are pretty awesome (even seen an aircraft carrier in the middle of a field of snow?), but do not fill one with optimism about Russia’s ability to deliver Admiral Gorshkov to India by 2009. In retrospect, it may have been a bad idea for India to build its naval aviation ambitions around the acquisition of an aging, poorly maintained not-even-really-an-aircraft-carrier from a country that has only minimal naval aviation experience, and no experience whatsoever at major naval reconstruction.

Via Feng at ID.


[ 8 ] October 18, 2008 |

Spackerman on Fred Barnes:

Fred Barnes might be the only reporter who’s actually stupider and less coherent than Sarah Palin. Longtime New Republic staffers would reminisce around the office about how Barnes, a former TNRer, used to rewrite GOP press releases with minimal revisions. It’s actually easy to pity Barnes, as he lacks a basic self-respect. After all, the guy wrote a fawning Bush biography after Bush nicknamed him “Barney,” which is what Bush calls his dog.

That’s all background to establish a general principle. While I see in theory the logic of sending a borderline-retarded journalist to lionize a particularly vapid politician, with Barnes, you’re just going to end up accidentally running something that reveals Palin’s basic unfitness for public life.

I always wonder — does anyone take the guy seriously? Even to preach to the choir, the preacher needs a modicum of credibility. Although I suppose the very existence (and editorship) of the magazine he answers for answers the question.

Crazy Person of the Day

[ 12 ] October 18, 2008 |

Michele Bachmann

With her boundless enthusiasm for demonizing those she views as godless, Bachmann cheerfully broke new ground in the Ayers/Jeremiah Wright culture wars by forging a series of associations between “leftists” and “liberals” and “anti-Americans,” inside and outside Congress, who in Bachmann’s view ought to be investigated.

And all this as her campaign for re-election in the Sixth District was already facing a nascent pardon request scandal and tightening polls. No wonder Bachmann seems so tetchy and fearful these days. Someone — specifically, that woman in the mirror – is out to get her.

Plumbing the depths

[ 0 ] October 18, 2008 |

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain today will deliver the following remarks as prepared for delivery at the McCain-Palin 2008 rally in Concord, NC, at 11:00 a.m. ET:

It’s great to be here in North Carolina. This is a must-win
state on November 4th, and early voting is taking place now, so make sure you get out there and make your voice heard. With your help, we’re going to win North Carolina, and bring change to Washington, DC. We had a good debate this week, and I thought I did pretty well, but let’s have some straight talk: the real winner this week was Joe the Plumber. Joe won, because he’s the only person to get a real answer out of Senator Obama about his plans for our country. Congratulations Joe. That is an impressive achievement.Now, Joe didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house, and he didn’t ask to be
famous. He certainly didn’t ask for the political attacks on him from the Obama campaign. Joe’s dream is to own a small business that will create jobs in his community, and the attacks on him are an attack on small businesses all over the country that employ 84% of Americans. We learned more about Senator Obama’s plans from Joe’s question than we’ve learned in months of speeches by Senator Obama.We learned that Senator Obama’s economic goal is, as he told Joe, is to quote “spread the wealth around.” He believes in redistributing wealth, not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. This explains some big problems with my opponent’s claim that he will cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans. You might ask: How do you cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans, when more than 40 percent pay no income taxes right now? How do you reduce the number zero?Well, that’s the key to Barack Obama’s whole plan: Since you can’t reduce taxes on those who pay zero, the government will write them all checks called a tax credit. And the Treasury will have to cover those checks by taxing other people, including a lot of folks just like Joe. In other words, Barack Obama’s plan to raise taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.

I’ve been busy with conference stuff for the last couple days, so I’m not real up on this whole story but wtf is up with this Joe the Plumber business? Do the McCain people have some internal polls that makes them think this will work better than pointing out over and over again that Bill Ayers is Barack Obama’s gay Muslim lover?

Some fact checking.

Seems like they’re just thrashing around, putting Ronald Reagan’s Greatest Working Class White Male Hits (Extended Play Version) on the turntable etc.

The Dude Abides

[ 0 ] October 18, 2008 |

I can’t take credit for writing the headline to this piece, but if you haven’t learned quite enough about the Palin Family Circus, I have an article on Todd Palin up at MnIndy.

My expose on the Palins’ pets will appear sometime next week.

Alterman vs. Hitch

[ 51 ] October 17, 2008 |

Christopher Hitchens has returned from an alternate dimension, bringing a tale of terror and woe. Actually, that would explain a lot…

If someone hacked Hitch’s gmail account and activated Mail Goggles, how long would it take the rest of the world to notice his absence?

The McCain-Cuba Connection

[ 2 ] October 17, 2008 |

There’s rather less to this article than I would have liked, or supposed. While I would prefer that John McCain and Joe Lieberman give the same kind of righteous, full-throated denunciation to Cuban terrorists that they give to, say, Democrats, the links that Bardach tries to provide between the two and the Cuban exile terrorist community are kind of weak. Moreover, the most compelling link is to Joe Lieberman, and not to John McCain.

On July 20, while campaigning for McCain in Miami and just prior to speaking at a McCain event, Sen. Joe Lieberman met with the wife of convicted serial bomber Eduardo Arocena and promised to pursue a presidential pardon on his behalf. Arocena is the founder of the notorious Cuban exile militant group Omega 7, renowned for a string of bombings from 1975 to 1983. Arocena was convicted of the 1980 murder of a Cuban diplomat in Manhattan. In 1983, Arocena was arrested and charged with 42 counts pertaining to conspiracy, explosives, firearms, and destruction of foreign government property within the United States. He is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison in Indiana.

Indeed, even that appears to be overstating the case against Lieberman, who on video promised only to convey the pardon request. The article also notes that the McCain campaign has connections with right wing Cubans who have connections with terrorists, but again this is hardly surprising; any Republican running in Florida (and, to be fair, virtually any Democrat) is going to be no more than two degrees of separation away from the genuine anti-Castro psychos.

John McCain is likely to have a terrible Cuba policy, and Barack Obama will very possibly be the first American President in forty years to pursue genuine, positive change in the US-Cuba relationship. I also think that Luis Posada Carriles and his ilk are murderers; they are more deserving (ironically enough) of detention in Guantanamo than most of the people incarcerated there, and they make Bill Ayers look like the raw amateur that he was. Finally, I do hope that somebody is working on unearthing some genuine ties between McCain and the terrorist anti-Castro right, because the American political elite (both Democrat and Republican) has been far too tolerant of people who blow up planes, as long as those planes are full of Cubans. Unfortunately, the Bardach article just doesn’t get us very far.

6CA Participation in Vote Fraud Fraud Overruled

[ 16 ] October 17, 2008 |

Excellent news:

Earlier today, the Supreme Court effectively reversed a Sixth Circuit decision which required Ohio’s Secretary of State to implement new procedures which could purge thousands of voters from Ohio’s rolls. The Sixth Circuit’s decision is a stunning piece of results-based judging, as the court not only divided entirely on ideological lines, it also flatly refused to apply a binding Supreme Court precedent to one particular plaintiff: the Ohio Republican Party. Yet, while it is completely inexcusable for the Sixth Circuit to exempt the Republican Party from following a binding precedent, that precedent has unfairly slammed the courthouse doors shut on numerous low-income Americans, so it is no surprise that the Republican Party did not want to be bound by it.

Like Millhiser, I find the rule created by the Rehnquist Court in Gonzaga problematic, but nonetheless while it remains good law federal appeals courts are bound to apply it, and the 6th Circuit conspicuously failed to do so in this case. It’s good to the the Supreme Court reject this unprincipled support for Republican vote suppression efforts.


[ 46 ] October 17, 2008 |


Michelle Malkin is excoriating “liberals” for attempting to destroy Joe the Plumber. It isn’t just the pot calling the kettle black, it’s the pot wandering into the pot store and declaring all other pots black-tinged traitors to our great nation, then offering to run the pot reeducation camp to bring them in line with acceptable and decent container values.

…to be clear, I also endorse this from John Cole:

“Granted, the right-wing whinging is particularly rich after the Beauchamp/Schiavo/Graeme Frost incidents, and the attempts to blame media conduct in regards to Joe the Plumber on the Obama campaign are stupid and predictable, but just leave the guy alone. I don’t agree with him on a lot of issues, but the guy deserves the privacy I would want for myself and for the rest of you….there is a marked difference between reacting to stupid things he tells the press and rooting through shit on the internet speculating about him. Comment all you want to any idiotic things he says.”

Deep Thought

[ 25 ] October 17, 2008 |

If, after blowing a 7-0, 7th inning lead in a potential elimination game the Devil Rays come back and win Game 6, there will still be dozens of sportswriters who will adduce the importance of “momentum” in the subsequent month.

Propper Speling is for Loozers

[ 15 ] October 17, 2008 |

I’m sure I’m not the only person to notice the hilarious error in McCain’s “Joe the Plumber” ad. And I realize that spelling “everybody” is a little more difficult than spelling “POW.” But still. What a clown show.