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"Our Greatest Vulnerability is that We’re Complete Morons Willing to Spend Unlimited Amounts of Time Developing Insane Theories About Trivia" Part II

[ 5 ] October 20, 2008 |

Remember that exclusive “African Press International” story? Where Michelle Obama was supposed to have given a Hate Whitey interview to a press organization manifested in a cheap-looking wordpress site? Fortunately, it’s all been explained:

The circle was completed by Jammie Wearing Fool, who suggested that the API report may be “a clever bit of astroturfing by the Obama camp trying to dupe people into running with bogus information.” (Why would they bother?)

Yes. That must be it. Although I can’t argue with the proposition that right blogosphere is very, very easily duped.

Meanwhile, for bonus fun we can also see the Corner going back to the anonymous letter writer/apocryphal cab driver or cocktail party with sneering liberals genre. Always stick with the classics! Combining the two is even better…

Poetic justice? You betcha!

[ 11 ] October 20, 2008 |

El Tinklenberg, who is running for the Minnesota congressional seat currently occupied by professional lunatic Michele Bachmann, saw his campaign bring in nearly half a million dollars in the 24 hours after Bachmann’s unhinged performance on Hardball Friday evening.

Lunsford Remains Within Striking Distance

[ 3 ] October 20, 2008 |

Bruce Lunsford stays close to McConnell.

Safe! Safe!

[ 0 ] October 20, 2008 |

Apparently there’s some kind of game going on tonight. Consider this a Rays-Red Sox open thread.

…congrats to the Rays!!

…[from davenoon] Though a Sox fan, I’m nevertheless glad to see the Rays prevail. Spread the wealth, I say. And if I’m not mistaken, Rocco Baldelli got the game-winning RBI, which is really cool given the fact that he started the year with some sort of weird-ass metabolic disorder. One additional point should be made: this is clearly bad news for McCain.


[ 0 ] October 20, 2008 |

Hilzoy is mean. I like it.

One-Handed Blogging

[ 11 ] October 19, 2008 |

Shorter Americaneoclown:

If California voters reject Prop 8, my youngest son might never find lesbians as hot as I do.

I Would Like to Think This is Stating the Obvious, But…

[ 6 ] October 19, 2008 |

“Income taxes” are a subset of the category of “taxes,” but the former category does not in fact fully encompass the latter. Republicans like to pretend that you can’t give a tax cut to people who don’t pay federal income taxes because this conveniently ignores the regressive taxes that constitute a much higher percentage of the ordinary person’s tax burdens. This is greatly aided by hack journalists who let this ridiculous bait-and-switch pass without comment.

Amateur Night

[ 24 ] October 19, 2008 |

Fox’s MLB coverage is so abysmal that it inclines me to some charity towards TBS — fewer nose hair and E-list celebrity shots, less Tim McCarver, you have to give them that — but what a dog and pony show. Pre-empting the first inning for “Dick Clark’s Funniest Home Celebrity Bloopers” probably isn’t going to help them get the ratings they need to attract a second outside advertiser to permit them to cut the anti-smoking and mediocre impression ads show down to 80 a game or so.

Tonight’s game will be fascinating if TBS will deign to show it.

No one knows who they were, or what they were doing

[ 18 ] October 19, 2008 |

The McCain campaign has devolved into a machine that spits out the most amazing lies at a breakneck pace. Consider this “interview” (aka as an unpaid political advertisement) on Fox News this morning:

John McCain: I’m very pleased with what happened at the debate, because it helped define the issues with the American people. And Joe the Plumber is the average citizen, and Joe the Plumber is now speaking for millions of small business people all over America, and they’re becoming aware that ‘we need to spread the wealth around’ is not what small business people want. And before we go into this business of, well, they wouldn’t be taxed, etc., 50% of small business income would be taxed under Senator Obama’s plan. That’s 16 million small business jobs in America, and that’s what Joe the Plumber’s figure d out. Finally, could I just say, where are we in America where a candidate for president comes to a person’s driveway, he asks him a question, doesn’t like the answer, and all of a sudden he’s savaged by the candidate’s people?Savaged by them. Here’s a guy who’s a private citizen. What’s that all about?”

John McCain: “I think his plans are redistribution of the wealth. He said himself, we need to spread the wealth around. Now…”
Fox News’ Chris Wallace: “Is that socialism?”
John McCain: “That’s one of the tenets of socialism, but it’s more the liberal left, which he’s always been in. He’s always been in the left lane of American politics. That’s why he voted 94 times against any tax cuts or for tax increases. That’s why he voted for the Democratic budget resolution that would raise taxes on some individuals who make $42,000 a year. That’s why he has the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate.”
Wallace: “But, Senator, when we talk…”
John McCain: “So is one of the tenets of socialism redistribution of wealth? Not just socialism, a lot of other liberal and left wing philosophies. Redistribution of the wealth, I don’t believe in it. I believe in wealth-creation by Joe the Plumber.”

It is of course an unambiguous lie of the first order that the Obama campaign is attacking Joe the Plumber (I feel like I lost ten IQ points just typing that sentence). But the bigger and more important lie in all this is the claim that Obama wants to redistribute incomes and McCain doesn’t. All politics redistributes incomes. It’s a sign of the severe retardation of our political discourse — and the fantastic success of right-wing propaganda over the last generation — that it’s necessary to point this out. Here’s how 30 years of largely GOP rule have redistributed incomes.

It’s an oversimplification to say that the Republican party exists for the sole purpose of redistributing as much of the nation’s wealth as possible into the hands of the richest one-tenth of one percent of the population, and that everything else — the cultural wars over abortion and gay rights and the death penalty and drugs and crime and the terrorists — is just a dry-ice machine at a rock concert, obscuring the descent of a severely undersized Stonehenge monolith onto the stage of American political life.


Powell: John McCain Has A Running Mate of Mass Destruction

[ 10 ] October 19, 2008 |

The Powell endorsement shouldn’t mean much, and probably won’t mean much, but at least he didn’t soft pedal it.

See also Benen.

We’re Going to Talk About the White, That’s What We’re Going to Do

[ 15 ] October 19, 2008 |

I suppose it’s not news that to Republicans “real” America is white America, but it’s probably useful to have a candidate on a Republican presidential ticket be so explicit about it.

It’s very appropriate that this weekend would see yet another piece about Obama chasing white votes from Matt Bai. The print edition is headlined “Can Obama Close the Deal With Those White Guys,” thereby borrowing the both the exceptionally irritating “close the deal” buzzphrase and the arbitrary division of the electorate into groups with white people somehow being more important from the Clinton campaign. Apparently, Obama’s majority coalition won’t be quite majority enough if it doesn’t get whiter. But as both Clinton and McCain have or will soon demonstrate, white votes really don’t count more.

Of course, the problem goes beyond any one writer and editor. There’s nothing wrong, in isolation and in theory, with a lengthy article about attracting particular groups of voters per se (although I could do without such features as conflating “working class” voters with “rural whites.”) The bigger problem is the obsessive focus on white male voters in particular. The real issue is that the Times would publish an interminable article about, say, John McCain trying to appeal to single women and pointing out that the GOP is doomed among this demographic until they repudiate their extremely unpopular anti-Roe position when there’s a blizzard in hell.

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.