Archive for February 17th, 2009

Bach Full O’ Crazy

I can’t make up my mind whether Michelle Bachmann is crazy, stupid, dishonest, or downright evil.  Most likely some combination of all four.

In the ongoing debate as to which member of Congress is the single most ridiculous, this interview is very compelling evidence that Bachmann is, at a minimum, near the front of the pack.

The whole interview is about 13 minutes long, but it’s worth listening to, if only to appreciate just how truly disturbed some far-right members of Congress have become.

Bachmann “explained” to the host and Minnesota audience:

* ACORN is “under federal indictment for voter fraud,” but the stimulus bill nevertheless gives ACORN “$5 billion.” (In reality, ACORN is not under federal indictment and isn’t mentioned in the stimulus bill at all.)

* many members of Congress have “a real aversion to capitalism.”

* the stimulus bill includes a measure to create a “rationing board” for health care, and after the bill becomes law, “your doctor will no longer be able to make your healthcare decisions with you.”

* the recovery package is part of a Democratic conspiracy to “direct” funding away from Republican districts, so Democratic districts can “suck up” all federal funds. Bachmann doesn’t think this will work because, as she put it, “We’re running out of rich people in this country.”

* the “Community-Organizer-in-Chief” is also orchestrating a conspiracy involving the Census Bureau, which the president will use to redraw congressional lines to keep Democrats in power for up to “40 years.” When the host said he was confused, noting that congressional district lines are drawn at the state level, Bachmann said Obama’s non-existent plan is an “anti-constitutional move.”

There’s no point in trying to fact-check such unhinged stupidity, but I should note that none of this is in anyway grounded in reality. I should also note that we’re not talking about some strange nut screaming on a street corner; this is all coming from an elected member of Congress.

Wow.  That is just absolutely epic.  It’s like if Pam Atlas or Michelle Malkin were in Congress.

I particularly like the bit about $5 billion going to ACORN.  Because that’s plausible.  IIRC, there was $5 billion earmarked for some community-based programs which could conceivably include ACORN, but that in no way means that the full $5 billion would go to ACORN.

The Republicans pulled the same bait-and-switch with the $30 million for a wetlands-restoration project that would include the salt marsh harvest mouse, which they’re pretending is all earmarked for the mouse (which is, by the way, extremely cute).

1 comment February 17th, 2009 at 11:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Chris Cillizza Makes A Startling Discovery!

Apparently, if you’re trying to do something that will help the country, your approval rating goes up; and if you’re trying to prevent something that will help the country (or pushing for something that actively harms it), your approval rating goes down.

Who knew?

1 comment February 17th, 2009 at 10:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Media,Politics,Polls,Republicans

Roland Burris’s Carnival Of Lies Continues

I guess his legal strategy was “admit nothing until I’m seated, and then let them just try to get rid of me”…

U.S. Sen. Roland Burris said today he is open to a Senate ethics investigation into how he got the Senate seat from ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and that he has reached out to a Sangamon County prosecutor who is reviewing Burris’ sworn testimony before Illinois lawmakers.

Burris comments came less than 24 hours after he acknowledged he sought to raise campaign funds for Blagojevich at the request of the governor’s brother at the same time he was seeking the appointment to the Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama.

It was the first time Burris has publicly admitted trying to raise money for Blagojevich. Previously Burris has left the impression that he always balked at the issue of raising money for the governor because of his interest in the Senate appointment.

In comments to reporters after appearing at a Democratic dinner Monday night the senator several times contradicted his latest under-oath affidavit that he quietly filed with the Illinois House impeachment panel earlier this month. That affidavit was itself an attempt to clean up his live, sworn testimony to the panel Jan. 8, when he omitted his contacts with several Blagojevich insiders.

So, yeah.  Before he was appointed, he said no-one asked him to raise money.  After he was appointed, Burris said BlagBro asked him to raise money for Blago but he refused.  And now he’s saying that he actually tried to raise money but was unsuccessful.  Wait another few days, he”ll probably remember that oh yeah, he did raise some money for Blago and it just slipped his mind until now.

Will the Democrats have the balls to try to expel Burris?  Will they get enough Republicans to join them for the necessary two-thirds majority?  If the Republicans refuse to help expel him, will they still complain about how corrupt he is and how the Democrats tolerate his corruptitude?

Okay, I already know the answer to that last one…

(h/t ArchPundit)

February 17th, 2009 at 08:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Wankers

The Search For Alien Life Begins At Home

Scientists are exploring the possibility that “alien” life may have evolved right here on Earth:

If life arose not just once, but multiple times on Earth, life as we don’t know it could be here on our own planet, perhaps using different chemical processes than we’ve ever seen before. And because scientists have only studied a tiny slice of the world’s microbes in depth, the microscopic remnants of a second (or third or fourth) biogenesis could be hiding right beneath our noses.

“If life did happen many times, there could be something like a shadow biosphere that either was, or is, all around us,” Arizona State Univeristy astrobiologist Paul Davies said here Sunday at the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences meeting. “It’s entirely possible that some fraction of microbial life could turn out to be alien or ‘weird’ life as we prefer to call it.”

Davies’ contention challenges the relatively accepted orthodoxy that life arose once on Earth and colonized the entire planet. This weird life would the best possible analog for extraterrestrial life. Finding it, or even creating it in a laboratory, would give researchers clues about both how life began on Earth and how common life is on other planets. If a second sample of life on Earth exists, it would raise the probability for extraterrestrial life and help provide knowledge about other plausible structures for life in the universe.

This strange life could be far more simple than the life that we know after 4 billion years of evolution, or it could use different chemical machinery to carry out the processes of life, like using arsenic in the same way that all living things we know use phosphorous.

(…)

Truly “weird” life… would function using different elements or have different basic genetic material. Stumbling upon this life could be quite difficult, as the likeliest spot for one of these life forms would appear to be one of the thousands of unexplored deep sea vents. But Davies thinks a fairly simple endeavor could determine whether arsenic-using life exists: Find a virus that incorporates arsenic and you have suggestive evidence that the cells exist.

“The idea I did have is that if there are weird cells lurking somewhere, that they’ve probably got weird viruses that prey on them. Viruses get everywhere. The oceans are like virus soup,” Davies said. “Just looking for viruses with arsenic in there seems fairly straightforward.”

I can’t see any reason why life could not have arisen multiple times on Earth, or in parallel in different isolated environments.  If anything, it seems kind of odd that it wouldn’t.  Unless the spark of life really is a truly rare occurrence and it’s a minor miracle that it happened at all.  I don’t think we know quite where that threshold is – does it just require the right conditions, or is there a large element of chance involved as well?

February 17th, 2009 at 11:14am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Science

Stimulus Perspective

Michael Bérubé offers a spot-on analogy for the difference between the Republican and Democratic approaches to dealing with the economic crisis.

Fighting fire with fire, indeed.

February 17th, 2009 at 07:04am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Coolness,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans


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