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Tag: "wingnuttery"

An Epic Fail For All Seasons

[ 9 ] November 21, 2010 |

Since Charli has noted the ways in which Marc Thiessen is wrong in ways that are grossly immoral and dangerous for national security, I’ll note that like so many modern Republicans he seems to take pride in being wrong about everything, even stuff that there’s no logical reason for conservatives to be wrong about.    Take the very first manifestation of his all too explicable gig with Fred Hiatt:

Something has been lost since the U.S. started sending professional athletes to the Olympics — first with the basketball “dream team” in 1992, which crushed the competition on the way to the gold, and then with hockey in 1998. Now, National Hockey League executives are reportedly debating whether to continue their Olympic commitment beyond the Vancouver Games. For the sake of hockey fans and for the sake of the NHL, the answer should be no.

According to the ratings, even many of you who aren’t otherwise hockey fans watched at the Olympics.   Would anybody have preferred watching a bunch of semi-pros rather than the greatest players in the world?  Anybody?  Didn’t think so.

And just as as he’s  apparently willing to make torture-justifying arguments in public that in a more rational universe would be confined to blog comment sections (“the fact that a few military personnel submit to torture as part of torture resistance training proves that inflicting the seem techniques on other people isn’t torture!”), note that in a mere two sentences he manages to pack in at least two glaring logical and/or empirical errors.   The comparison with hoops in transparently specious, because there’s a much, much more even distribution of talent in (men’s) hockey.   Canada (which has yet to win a medal outside of North America since the NHL blessedly started letting its players compete in the Olympics) doesn’t have anything like the dominant position that the U.S. has in basketball, and 5 or 6 teams could have won hockey gold with it being only a mild upset at most.    And the nostalgic longing for the game at which Al Michaels personally tore down the Berlin Wall is even dumber, because the Miracle on Ice was thrilling because the Soviets were allowed to play a team full of world-class professionals, many of them Hall of Fame caliber.  If you think that one country’s semi-pros and college kids playing someone else’s could generate similar excitement, I have some shares in a network that plans to broadcast the Spengler Cup in American primetime to sell you.

Being this wrong all the time about everything is an impressive achievement, in its way.


The Republican Party, 2010, Conveniently Defined

[ 5 ] November 16, 2010 |

“I Got Mine, Fuck You. If I Don’t Got Mine, Gimme Gimme Gimme!”

Harris spent months condemning the idea of Americans being entitled to taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage. Now that the election’s over, Harris suddenly feels entitled to taxpayer-subsidized health care coverage — and wants it immediately. (For the record, Harris and his family will probably rely on COBRA to stay insured until his coverage kicks in. COBRA, of course, is another government program that the right opposed.)

see also, with bonus relevant data.

At Least Yoosta-Bees Stop Claiming to be Democrats

[ 7 ] November 15, 2010 |

I’ve mentioned this before, but shouldn’t there be some statute of limitations that prevents Pat Caddell from being referred to as a “Democratic pollster?” At some point, having conducted some polls for Jimmy Carter in 1976 has to be trumped by having spent decades not merely spouting inane Republican talking points but inventing some so dumb that even Sean Hannity wouldn’t use them.   You also wonder if Caddell could win a battle of political knowledge with Mark Penn, although in fairness the rankings of great presidents are certainly dominated by one-termers…

…more here. One odd thing about Clinton is that despite his very considerable political skills, he chose to work with some of the most gruesome know-nothing reactionary hacks in political consultancy racket — Schoen, Morris, Penn, gawd.

See If You Can Spot the False Dichotomy: Rank Bigotry Edition

[ 11 ] November 9, 2010 |

Shorter Verbatim one of the Powerline stooges:  “The purpose of the Marines is to fight America’s enemies. It is no [sic] part of their purpose to facilitate the self-actualization of gays.”

For further grim amusement, consider his additional claim that “[i]n this context, any appreciable risk to the fighting capacity of the Marine Corps is too much.”  Of course, non-bigots can ask exactly the same question: in this context, it’s particularly stupid and dangerous to turn away qualified military personnel in order to accommodate the discriminatory prejudices of an increasingly small minority of Americans.

Oh Shut Up

[ 16 ] November 3, 2010 |

Shorter Evan Bayh: “The Dems need to ‘reconnect with the center’ by ignoring any progressive legislation and focusing on deficit reduction. The way to focus on deficit reduction is through upper-class tax cuts. I mean, remember how that strategy preserved the surplus under Bush? If we do that, we’ll have the same success the Blue Dogs had last night!

I guess Bayh’s idea for staying in the public eye is to try to be a bigger wanker than Joe Lieberman. This is certainly a good start!

see also.

People Who Cannot Be Parodied

[ 25 ] November 1, 2010 |

Shorter Verbatim Blogprof:  “How refreshing that we had a President that knows how to throw a baseball. Bush didn’t ‘wrist’ it like sissy girls do.”  How dreamy!   Sadly, this is followed by links to several other wingers making similar observations, perhaps while scrawling hearts all over their kiddie biographies.   Then the team that enabled George W. Bush to become a multi-multi-million dollar beneficiary of Texas’s welfare-for-useless-plutocrats program got its ass kicked by a team that actually built its own park.

I think we can see where this is heading: George Allen ’12! Suggested slogan: “He might be a white supremacist prick, but he can sure throw a football.”

Today’s Hack Puzzle

[ 14 ] October 29, 2010 |

Many right-wing bloggers were remarkably “successful” in finding ways to justify Rand Paul’s goons stomping on a defenseless woman’s head. The Christine O’Donnell case presents a similarly difficult problem: how do you blame the Democratic Party for a story put out on an apolitical gossip website that has earned nearly universal condemnation from liberals and Democrats? Col. Mustard rises to the challenge with some Grade A hackwork:

I don’t believe for a second that the criticisms of Gawker by most of the left-blogosphere are genuine.

These are crocodile tears from people who are afraid that the backlash will help O’Donnell politically, so they are pretending to unite in her defense on this limited point. Just read almost any of their posts, and they condemn Gawker while taking pains to point out that O’Donnell still is crazy and dangerous.

The left-blogosphere and media enabled Gawker, and if there is any justice, the monster they created will come back to bite them in the voting booth on November 2.

He goes on to claim that liberals “cheered on” Gawker for sexist attacks on Sarah Palin, while carefully omitting any evidence for the assertion.

The problem here, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is that there isn’t the slightest contradiction between believing that O’Donnell is “crazy and dangerous” (in the sense of having crazy political positions) and believing that the Gawker post was sexist. The fact that O’Donnell advances a lot of reactionary (including anti-feminist) ideas isn’t a license to engage in sexist attacks. Indeed, I would argue that people whose commitment to feminist principles (unlike that of Jacobson and most other right-wing bloggers) doesn’t begin and end with insulating female Republican politicians from both legitimate and illegitimate attacks have rather more credibility on the subject.

Relatedly, I have some further thoughts on why attempts to justify Gawker’s actions by invoking “hypocrisy” won’t fly. My position on this goes a lot farther than, for example, Jill’s; even if the story was less overtly sexist, it would still be irrelevant.

From Behind the Urine-Soaked Veil of Ignorance

[ 25 ] October 25, 2010 |

Michael’s nice catch about how Muslims obviously are pointing their clothing towards Mecca perversely compelled me to check in on Alec Rawls, even better evidence than Keifer Sutherland and Julian Lennon that sometimes talent sees the next generation and runs away screaming. Fortunately, for appreciators of fine wingnuttery, Mr. Rawls has (to put it kindly) thoughts to share about Juan Williams, the martyr recently sent to gulag that involves $2 million bucks to provide worthless commentary. But first, he has some shame to express about the time he was less than rigorous about applying his racism:

I am ashamed to admit that last month I let my watchfulness lapse, possibly putting my flight at risk. This time I was flying from SF to Logan. When I sat down in the boarding area there was a middle-age Arab-looking man standing across from me, his back to the wall, with a carry-on bag at his side. A minute later a college-age Arab or Indian youth came and placed his carry-on in front of the older man’s bag, then sat on the floor and leaned back against both bags.


To make up for it I spent the next 3 hours trying to keep at least a half an eye out to see if the older man, seated a few rows in front of me, got out of his seat. Once we got past Chicago I figured they couldn’t be trying to use the plane as a weapon—it was too low on fuel—so I went back to my reading.

I never was able to spot the younger man or see whether they paired up at the other end. Since nothing happened, it would at worst have been a test run, perhaps to see how complacent American passengers have become. If so, I flunked, and should be demoted from any order of merit, all of which makes NPR an order of demerit.

And he didn’t even check the luggage compartments for carry-on bags with semicircles of terror on them. For shame!

But it gets better. You thought Palinesque claims that the First Amendment exempts you from criticism or guarantees fourth-rate hacks lifetime sinecures were frivolous? Try this on for size:

[Funding NPR] violates the Article IV section 4 guarantee to the states that they shall have a republican form of government. The states are under the federal government, so this constitutional provision also constrains the federal government to abide by the fundamental principle of republicanism: that it is the people who are sovereign.

Right. Maybe Rawls is planning a presidential — or at least Senate — run? If he can come up with an argument for why the emoluments clause requires slashing capital gains taxes, he’s a got a great shot!

He Probably Drunk-Dials at 7AM, Too

[ 18 ] October 21, 2010 |

While Ginni Thomas probably has the Bob Packwood award for the “creepiest act of communication from a conservative to hit the news this week” locked up, it must be conceded that Todd Seavey gave it a strong effort:

Especially priceless: Jonah’s peals of laughter after one of Seavey’s “some of you probably dated her at the same time” crack.

As for the background on Seavey, I would have thought it was beyond effective parody, but Jill has proven me wrong.

“I Demand That You Apologize For Being Treated Inappropriately By My Huband”

[ 46 ] October 20, 2010 |

This is remarkable:

Nearly 20 years after Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Justice Thomas’s wife has called Ms. Hill, seeking an apology.

In a voice mail message left at 7:31 a.m. on Oct. 9, a Saturday, Virginia Thomas asked her husband’s former aide-turned-adversary to make amends. Ms. Hill played the recording, from her voice mail at Brandeis University, for The New York Times.

“Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas,” it said. “I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.”

Ms. Thomas went on: “So give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day you will help us understand why you did what you did. O.K., have a good day.”

Ms. Hill, in an interview, said she had kept the message for nearly a week trying to decide whether the caller really was Ms. Thomas or a prankster. Unsure, she said, she decided to turn it over to the Brandeis campus police with a request to convey it the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“I thought it was certainly inappropriate,” Ms. Hill said. “It came in at 7:30 a.m. on my office phone from somebody I didn’t know, and she is asking for an apology. It was not invited. There was no background for it.”

In a statement conveyed through a publicist, Ms. Thomas confirmed leaving the message, which she portrayed as a peacemaking gesture. She did not explain its timing.

“I did place a call to Ms. Hill at her office extending an olive branch to her after all these years, in hopes that we could ultimately get past what happened so long ago,” she said. “That offer still stands. I would be very happy to meet and talk with her if she would be willing to do the same. Certainly no offense was ever intended.”

In response to Ms. Thomas’s statement, Ms. Hill said that she had testified truthfully about her experiences with the future Justice Thomas and that she had nothing to apologize for.

“I appreciate that no offense was intended, but she can’t ask for an apology without suggesting that I did something wrong, and that is offensive,” Ms. Hill said.

What’s perhaps most remarkable is that Ginni Thomas has been pickled for so long in the winger echo chamber that she seemed to take for granted that everyone, including the woman her husband treated inappropriately, would share her conviction that her husband was a victim subject to some kind of gross injustice. When she says that she was extending an olive branch to Hill, she probably believes it. Hill, as always, deserves immense respect for her strength and dignity, and her response was perfect.

Apart From That, Mr. Douthat…

[ 3 ] October 18, 2010 |

Shorter Ross Douthat: Liberals fail to understand that, apart from their opposition to any substantial federal spending cuts, the Tea Party is solely about reductions in federal spending.

Seems About Right

[ 2 ] October 17, 2010 |

Rape apologist Colorado Senate candidate Ken Buck is also a homophobe.

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