I think it’s hilarious that the guy who masterminded George W. Bush’s rise to the White House is so offended by the idea of unqualified nitwits like Sarah Palin and Christine O’Donnell running for office, especially the oval one. Maybe if he’d held that view 10-15 years ago we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.
Last week’s application letter to be Earth’s ambassador to alien civilizations was poignant but ultimately selfish, as the poor distraught woman sought to exploit this very important position to track down her alien babydaddy. But this, this is the guy I want representing my interests to the galaxy or universe at large:
I, Todd Lewis, delight in announcing my interest in becoming Earth’s Interplanetary Ambassador. It is typical of our galactic neighbors to make such a prestigious position available by means of apparently bogus advertising. However, as one that speaks Oondefoort, an alien language, I am not at all surprised at it; and furthermore, will rise to the challenge by demonstrating my ability to discern treasure in the strangest places. Without compromise, I will offer two invaluable gifts as Interplanetary Ambassador: I will seek to establish humanitarianism with hostile planetaries; I will seek to overthrow the earthly tyranny called work put on the planet by the darkest veil of alien super-intelligence.
Despite the amount of humanitarianism already lacking in the earth today, I have high hopes that it will at least be attained in the heavens, if not on earth. I have future goals of destroying counter-alliances and the new sport of planet popping practiced by baser aliens of advanced heat technology. In the event that I should encounter such opposition from Earth-hating aliens, I promise to put on a pretentious disposition and agree with all comments about earth’s stupidity so as to save innumerable souls. I feel confident in my ability to land food agreements with extraterrestrial suppliers; which will further their humanitarianism on the earth, as we will not have to work for food.
As we all know, work is a part of our very existence. Notwithstanding, it is unpleasant and utterly oppressive. Earth will be better served in the day that it can grow food in the fridge, rather than put purchased food into it. It will not be an easy task to overthrow the alien super-intelligence by myself, but I will seek to insure that each individual on earth is liberated from such tyranny as work by means of Karate, luck, and cunning. I feel positive about the current alien-earth trade operations and I will endeavor to reduce shipping costs by bargaining for closer galaxies.
In honesty, there is no question I would not fail to be the most stellar Interplanetary Ambassador the Earth has ever had/known.
Not sure I’m entirely sold on his Pretentious Disposition strategy, but I am very intrigued by his promise to use Karate, luck and cunning to free us from the tyranny of work.
1 commentOctober 27th, 2010 at 11:26amPosted by Eli
I won’t even get into what a big fat racist liar Charles Murray is, since Phoenix Woman has already covered that so capably. What aggravates me is the content of his op-ed column about how the tea party and its heroes are courageously opposing what he calls the “New Elite” as being the shadowy evil forces trying to keep Ordinary God-Fearing Americans down.
Which is all well and good in the abstract, until you keep reading and discover that – surprise, surprise – Murray is just rehashing the same old tired conservative caricature of effete out-of-touch latte-sipping Ivy League intellectual snobs, and once again completely ignoring the actual wealthy and corporate elites who are in fact taking advantage of everybody else.
The problem is not upper-middle-class liberals who went to Harvard, the problem is corporations and billionaires who successfully bribe and lobby our politicians to make government work for them instead of us. Hence we get healthcare reform that delivers millions of new customers to the insurance industry while extracting very little in return, a reckless financial sector that gets rewarded with massive bailouts and mostly cosmetic regulation, no climate reform, no EFCA, and a “deficit reduction” commission that is poised to cut Social Security to pay for preserving tax giveaways to the rich.
These are the elites who are running the country and bleeding it dry for their own enrichment, and while there surely is overlap with Murray’s facile description of the “New Elite,” his definition is so overbroad and cliched as to be utterly useless. Except, of course, for the task of deflecting blame for America’s corruption and dysfunction away from the tea party’s own wealthy and corporate sponsors.
Joe “You lie!” Wilson defends himself against his opponent’s accusations that he’s taking vacations at the taxpayers’ expense:
In one ad, Miller accuses Wilson of taking congressional junkets to locales such as France, Costa Rica, Greece, and Italy.
Wilson said Tuesday the trips “were all military trips to support our troops in combat zones and to show respect for veterans. Every trip that I’ve been on has been to support our military. It’s been with the Foreign Affairs Committee to learn of how I can back up our efforts to make sure our troops are protected around the world.”
He added, “When you arrive in country and you are presented body armor, this is not a vacation. Obviously, I consider it an insult to me, it’s an insult to our troops. If I’m on vacation (visiting the troops) the implication is the troops are on vacation. They are not. They’re defending the families here at home, by defeating the terrorists overseas.”
Ah yes, the deadly combat zones of France, Costa Rica, Greece and Italy. Rob Miller should be applauding Wilson for his courage in visiting these dangerously unstable locales!
Oh, and bonus chutzpah points for pretending Miller’s ad insults the troops more than using them as vacation props does. Well played.
Someone tell me again how the teabaggers are some kind of spontaneous populist uprising that reflects America?
Here’s one reacting to Baron Hill (not exactly a raging liberal as Democrats go) saying that man-made climate change is an indisputable scientific fact:
A rain of boos showered Mr. Hill, including a hearty growl from Norman Dennison, a 50-year-old electrician and founder of the Corydon Tea Party.
“It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”
Ah yes, Rush Limbaugh the noted climate expert. And other than the great flood, the Bible doesn’t really address climatology a whole lot.
This one is my personal favorite, though:
“This so-called climate science is just ridiculous,” said Kelly Khuri, founder of the Clark County Tea Party Patriots. “I think it’s all cyclical.”
“Carbon regulation, cap and trade, it’s all just a money-control avenue,” Ms. Khuri added. “Some people say I’m extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too.”
Umm… yeah. But hey, if you really want to use that as your defense, I am willing to stipulate that the Tea Party movement is no more extreme than the John Birch Society.
But it’s not just me. Let’s go to the polls:
Those who support the Tea Party movement are considerably more dubious about the existence and effects of global warming than the American public at large, according to a New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted this month. The survey found that only 14 percent of Tea Party supporters said that global warming is an environmental problem that is having an effect now, while 49 percent of the rest of the public believes that it is. More than half of Tea Party supporters said that global warming would have no serious effect at any time in the future, while only 15 percent of other Americans share that view, the poll found.
And 8 percent of Tea Party adherents volunteered that they did not believe global warming exists at all, while only 1 percent of other respondents agreed.
Oh yeah, they sure are mainstream all right. As the NYT story points out, they believe what the energy companies that fund their movement want them to believe. On the plus side, at least they’ve read up on what to do when the entire planet is underwater.
Yet another reason why I have nothing but contempt for Obama. At the same time they’re insisting that they simply must defend DADT against Judge Phillips’ ruling that it’s unconstitutional, here they are not appealing another ruling that, I guess, they don’t mind so much.
So when gays go to court and win, the Fierce Advocate’s administration automatically appeals. When Christian conservatives go to court and win… not so much.
And as Teddy points out, the Obama administration refuses to call DADT unconstitutional, and they won’t contemplate not enforcing it (funny how the Obama administration refuses to prosecute torture or foreclosure fraud, but they absolutely must enforce DADT because the alternative is chaos). It sure looks to me like Obama is trying to get credit for lip-service support for DADT repeal while actively working to prevent it.
The Weekly World News solicited letters from readers applying for the position of Earth’s ambassador to alien civilizations. Some of them sound like they may have ulterior motives…
This contest could be the solution to all my problems. I’m embarrassed to say an E.T. is my baby’s daddy. His name is Hmpf, and he took off. None of the government agencies can help me collect child support…. Hmpf comes from Oberon, a moon of Uranus. It’s not that far, I hope I can catch a ride if they’re going that way.
I’ll never forget my wonderful night with Hmpf. He stripped off his human disguise and revealed to me that he is a being of pure light energy, giving an aura of light and peace. What girl could resist?
And now I have his baby. It’s difficult to care for her because she glows like she has a light bulb inside her. She’s brighter than a lamp. I think Hmpf should at least provide disguises for her since he left us stranded here on Earth. I have to dress her in a cat skin because her eyes are cat-like. I can’t keep up this charade much longer. I just hope I can find Hmpf with your help.
Hmpf, indeed. Never get involved with a guy who doesn’t have a corporeal form.
3 commentsOctober 20th, 2010 at 06:25pmPosted by Eli
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.”
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.”
What a good Christian woman, offering Ms. Hill the same kind of absolution that Dick Cheney offered to Harry Whittington for getting in the way of his shotgun. And all Ms. Hill has to do is apologize for being sexually harassed by Ms. Thomas’s husband and then having her name dragged through the muck by his Republican buddies. How could anyone be churlish and ungrateful enough to spurn such a kind and generous offer?
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O’Donnell criticized Democratic nominee Chris Coons’ position that teaching creationism in public school would violate the First Amendment by promoting religious doctrine.
Coons said private and parochial schools are free to teach creationism but that “religious doctrine doesn’t belong in our public schools.”
“Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?” O’Donnell asked him.
When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars Congress from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O’Donnell asked: “You’re telling me that’s in the First Amendment?”
Wow. She’s running for United States Senate and she has absolutely no idea what the First Amendment says. And Republican voters thought she would make a better United States Senator than Mike Castle.
My favorite part:
“You actually audibly heard the crowd gasp,” Widener University political scientist Wesley Leckrone said after the debate….
Of course, if it had been a Tea Party rally, she probably would have gotten a standing ovation… from the same people who say they want to protect the Constitution from Obama and them damn librul Democrats.
1 commentOctober 19th, 2010 at 11:48amPosted by Eli
In a speech to supporters in Las Vegas on Sunday night, Reid said that when Obama replaced George W. Bush in the White House he found himself in a “hole so deep that he couldn’t see the outside world.
“It was like the Chilean miners, but he, being the man he is, rolled up his sleeves and said ‘I am going to get us out of this hole,'” Reid said at an “Early Vote GOTV” event.
In addition to the fact that the Chilean miners have now been successfully rescued, the problem with this analogy is that the Chilean miners didn’t dig themselves out, they had to depend on someone else doing it for them.
Which is unintentionally revealing, because that is precisely the alibi that Obama has been using for his ineffectiveness: That he is utterly dependent on the all-powerful Congress to get anything done. So if we’re still in a hole, it’s all Ben Nelson’s fault for not digging hard enough, not Obama’s.
Remember that congressional class of 2006 that Rahm glommed all the credit for? It’s in big trouble.
Of those 30 Emanuel Democrats who arrived in 2006, there is exactly one — Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut — who is regarded by political handicapper Charlie Cook as unambiguously safe for reelection.
Republicans already have reclaimed three of the 2006 seats in the 2008 election.
Of the remaining 26 seats, more than half are closely competitive races this year. And Democrats are waging their fights in often-hostile terrain. John McCain won the presidential vote in 11 of these districts. Twenty of the 30 seats have a natural Republican tilt, based on a partisan voting index compiled by Cook, who compares past voting patterns in a district to the national average.
If only Rahm had been in some kind of position to ensure that Obama kept his campaign promises, and that the Democratic Party wouldn’t utterly discredit itself as a counterweight to Republican bigotry, corporatism and lawlessness. How frustrating it must have been for him to watch helplessly by the sidelines as Obama and the Democrats completely destroyed their own brand in less than a year and a half. What a tough break.
If it comes out that you like to participate in WWII re-enactments wearing a Nazi uniform, your best hope of salvaging the situation is probably to point out that somebody has to play the bad guys. Not exactly the route Rich Iott chose, however…
“I don’t know that I would put that label on them. They were doing what they thought was right for their country. And they were going out and fighting what they thought was a bigger, you know, a bigger evil.”
Iott also contended that “this particular unit was one that was never charged with war crimes,” though Cooper pointed out that one member was recently charged with the murder of 58 Jews. Iott replied: “The war on the eastern front was extremely brutal on both sides. Nobody was lily-white, that’s for sure. Horrible things that happened on both sides.”
Cooper also asked about the reenators’ website, which he said describes members of the Wiking unit as “valiant men.” He asked Iott if he believed these were “valiant men.”
“I think that they thought they were fighting for their homeland,” Iott said. When pressed further, he replied: “I don’t think we can sit here and judge that today. We weren’t there the time they made those decisions.”
Epic Fail. Doubling down on defending the poor misunderstood patriotic Nazis is never a winning strategy. And dismissing the murders of 58 Jews as basically “shit happens” isn’t exactly smooth either.
[The financial] industry knowingly and deliberately creates standardized contracts that are either designed to circumvent the law or in some cases flatly illegal under current interpretations of the law, and then when a case involving the contract arises (which in many instances happens only long after the standardized contract has become an institution), the financial industry tells the court that the dubious or illegal contract is so widespread that the court would create systemic risk by enforcing the law.
Or, y’know, undertakes recklessly risky practices knowing that it’ll get bailed out because it’s too big to fail.
The free market and the rule of law are happy illusions that are quickly discarded the moment they become inconvenient for the wrong people.
The problem with TARP wasn’t the cost. The problem with TARP was that it rewarded bad (and probably criminal) behavior instead of punishing it. Which in addition to being morally wrong, will only encourage more of the same.
1 commentOctober 8th, 2010 at 07:17amPosted by Eli
O’Donnell’s comments four years ago came as she and two other GOP candidates debated U.S. policy on China during the state’s Senate primary, The Associated Press reported. O’Donnell went on to lose the election.
When one of her opponents suggested the U.S. and China could benefit economically by becoming allies, O’Donnell accused him of appeasement.
“That doesn’t work,” she said. “There’s much I want to say. I wish I wasn’t privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to.”
China had a “carefully thought-out and strategic plan to take over America,” O’Donnell claimed.
“We have to look at our history and realize that if they pretend to be our friend it’s because they’ve got something up their sleeve,” she added.
When challenged about her access to top-secret information, O’Donnell suggested she had received it through nonprofit groups she worked with that sent missionaries overseas, the AP said.
Riiiight. Because nonprofit missionary groups are well-known for their access to (and generosity with) highly-classified intel. That sounds totally plausible.
As Mark Leibovich at the New York Times reports, the O’Donnell family’s past claims that her father Daniel O’Donnell had worked as Bozo sparked an uprising of online commenters who insisted that no, Daniel O’Donnell was not listed on Wikipedia as having been one of the many regionally licensed Bozo the Clown TV hosts.
But now Leibovich has sorted things out — Daniel O’Donnell was an occasional understudy Bozo, not a full-time holder of the Bozo mantle.
Abner Schoenwetter, a Miami seafood importer, spent six years in prison, paid tens of thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees and is at risk of losing his home.
His crime? Agreeing to purchase lobster tails that federal prosecutors said violated harvest regulations — in Honduras.
Now Schoenwetter, 64, is a convicted felon with an ailing wife, no job or right to vote and three years of supervised release ahead of him. But he’s also a star witness for congressional efforts aimed at stemming what a growing number of legal experts and lawmakers consider “overcriminalization” — the federal government’s penchant for writing new laws to criminalize conduct that could be addressed with fines or other remedies.
“We must put an end to the notion that we need to prosecute every individual for every perceived offense,” said Rep. Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat who chairs a House Judiciary subcommittee that last week held its second hearing on overcriminalization. “We continue to lock up people for offenses that should not even require incarceration.”
Legal experts say there are more than 4,450 federal crimes on the books and as many as 300,000 federal regulations that can be enforced criminally. From 2000 to 2007, Congress created 452 entirely new crimes, said Brian Walsh, a senior legal research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who focuses on overcriminalization.
So you can go to prison for importing dodgy lobster tails, but not for selling bogus securities that wipe out the economy? Fascinating.
Also interesting how the same conservatives who are so gung ho about law and order for, say, drug or immigration offenses are the same people who back torture and assassination, warrantless wiretapping, lax gun laws, tort reform, deregulation, and generally coddling white-collar criminals (the free market will sort it out!).
The problem isn’t overcriminalization, it’s selective criminalization.