Thursday, December 24, 2009

Straight Opposition

Josh Marshall:
But it's worth noting once again that the Republican opposition on this whole issue [health care reform] is a sham. It is simply a vote for the status quo. And a bet that straight opposition can lead them back to power.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Heritage Foundation provides the latest stupid wingnut example of Headlines-Where-The-Answer-Is-No:
Could the Senate Bill Eliminate Private Insurance?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Darth Vader Opens Wall Street


Do In

Yeah, that's right, Erick Erickson, this health care reform will "do in the Republic."

You're so heroic!


P122009PS-0001, originally uploaded by The White House.

This is how you show leadership for a scientific future.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I use a webcam viewer in Dashboard on OSX called Slothcam, and one of my favorite is this shot from a site called Wired New York. Not sure who owns this, but I've added it into Slothcam as a custom url.

Add it yourself at:

Screen shot 2009-12-21 at 8.44.45AM.png


Thers addresses Erick Erickson:
This is a four Leprechaun post, I believe. With a Toilet-Fishing Gnome to grow on!

Every Single Victory

Update [2009-12-21 1:23:56 by BooMan]: Senate invokes cloture on Reid's manager's amendment by a 60-40 vote. I will remind you that we needed every single victory from 2006 and 2008 to achieve this. We needed Tester and Webb and McCaskill and Whitehouse and Klobuchar and Franken and Begich and Merkley and Sanders and the two Udalls and Brown and Cardin and Hagan and Casey and Hagan and Shaheen and Warner. We needed to seat Bennet and Burris and Gillibrand. We needed to replace Kennedy with Kirk. With had to flip Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party. If we lost any single one of those battles, health care reform would be dead. Instead, it lives. And you have yourselves to thank for that. Your activism made the difference.
My emphasis.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Even CNN is parroting this inanity:
Copenhagen (CNN) – In a strange twist, a Washington snowstorm is forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, to make an early departure from a global warming summit here in Denmark.
If you know what the phrase "global warming" means, which you should if you are writing about it for a news organization, you would find nothing strange about the existence of snow on the Earth. More specifically: unusual weather.

Unsurprisingly, by including not educational details about what the phrase "global warming" means, CNN leaves the door open for insanity in its commentary. Endless ignorance that should have been headed off in the article.
How's that for irony?


Yep, must be more of that "manmade global warming" I've been hearing so much about. See, global warming doesn't actually make things warmer, it makes them colder and snowier. Err... uhhh... Okaaaaay...

Sort of like how "up" makes things go "down" and "in" actually makes things go "out."

If you give a monkey a brain, he'll swear he's the center of the universe...
and can change the weather...
by driving an SUV.

2010 simply can't get here fast enough.


Henry Miller, Libertarian
Oh, yeah, just watch those temperatures climb through the roof! Global warming sure is coming!

Thankfully, there are some smart voices on the page, too.

For the love of.... Its not a "strange twist.." This feigned confusion over how it can be cold (In December!!!!) if Global Warming exists is just absolutely ridiculous. You're talking a few degrees which has a significant impact on the global ecosystem, but no one is suggesting that Global Warming is going to make cold weather disappear.. everywhere... forever...
Also, Global Warming can even (I'm going to blow your minds here) make certain areas COLDER.. Yes... even though its called Global WARMING. Who would of thought.. you can't learn everything about a scientific theory by simply... reading the word and inferring a meaning. And before you jump on "theory" that probably doesn't mean what you think it means either..


"In a strange twist"!? When are people going to realize "Global Warming" isn't just about warming? It means more extreme winters and summers, with shorter springs and falls. So with the reality of global warming upon us, there is absolutely nothing strange about a snow storm in DC this time of year. Do some research Ed. Or go get a job with FOX. They love rubes like you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Stink Bombs

Do you get the feeling that if all else fails to kill the health care reform bill the Republicans will start pulling the fire alarms and phoning in bomb threats? Maybe Sam Brownback will throw a stink-bomb.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Firm Hand

Brad at Sadly, No:
We’ve now reached the point where Joe Scarborough is more willing to take a tough line on Lieberman than the vice president of the United States.

"Better" Part 2

Hot on the heels of FOX News asking
Lowering the Minimum Wage: Is It Better For Workers?
comes this helpful contribution for good-faith discussions of Health Care Reform:
Is it Always Better to Have Health Insurance?

The Way It Is, By Dick

Richard Cohen says that the reason there are less women in power in business is because they'd prefer to be raising children:
But it could be that the urge to get closer to cocktail waitresses and denizens of dimly lit hotel lounges is in some way linked to the drive to conquer, to prevail — to succeed. It could explain why all this time into the Age of Feminism, years after women were liberated, women make up less than 20 percent of Congress and only 3 percent of those top CEOs.

The reason the Glass Ceiling has not broken is that women have other priorities — maintaining relationships and being a mother. This is the way it is, and this is the way it has always been. As any of Tiger Woods’s cocktail waitresses could tell him, Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

N’est ce pas?

Update: More from Melissa at Shakesville.
Did I Seriously Just Read This at the Washington Post?


The unmitigated temerity of claiming women have been "liberated" from their oppression in the same column as he concludes that women have no drive to succeed because they want to be mothers is absolutely breathtaking. He literally repeats the same diminishing, marginalizing stereotypes about women against which feminists were fighting decades ago, only to conclude it must be biological destiny that women aren't more successful.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Epic chyron catch from Talking Points Memo.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Not Actively Trying to Destroy the Entire World

I honestly don’t know why a lot of folks ever really believed that Obama was the second coming of FDR when all he really ever aspired to be was the second coming of Bill Clinton. The guy always presented himself as a middle-of-the-road establishment Democrat who eschewed populism in favor of “post-partisanship” (whatever the hell that means). And c’mon, people: how much change could you really expect from a guy who chose Joe Biden to be his veep?

Now, I knew this perfectly well going into the 2008 election. And I was still incredibly enthusiastic about supporting the guy. Why? Because this country had been run for the previous eight years by sociopathic wingnuts and I didn’t want another sociopathic wingnut running the country for another four years. I didn’t want to go to war with Iran and I didn’t want to go to war with Syria. Also, I didn’t want to have a certifiable moron as vice president. These sorts of things are important to me.

And yes, I realize how sad it is that my standards have fallen so low, but that’s how things are. As long as my government is not actively trying to destroy the entire world, I feel OK about things. Others’ mileage may vary, but that’s sorta where I’m at.
Cynical, yes, but I know what he means.

(My emphasis)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shorter John Nolte, Breitbart's House of Funny Clown

Reality Check: ‘Jurassic Park’ More Convincing Than ‘Avatar’
  • The people who made Avatar totally suck at visual effects.
    This kind of review is really what the Big Hollywood site lives for - couching their ultimate "I don't like liberals" message in some unrelated criticism.
  • Do You Really Not See The Difference?

    These people are so stupid. I don't know how else to put it.

    Scott Whitlock writes a post about a joke on 30 Rock suggesting Obama is a Muslim, and says:
    Apparently it’s okay to make jokes about Barack Obama being a Muslim, so long as you’re liberal.
    Does he really not understand that putting a joke in 30 Rock about this topic is a joke on people like Scott and not a joke about Obama?

    This kind of confusion is exactly why 1/2 Hour News Hour sucked.

    Friday, December 11, 2009

    Sketch Artists

    Steven Benen tries to understand the concerns of the GOP over trying KSM in a US court room:
    We can't charge terrorist suspects and put them on trial because a sketch artist might draw a picture of a suspect in a courtroom, which in turn undermines our national security interests and "hastens the danger" of a nuclear attack?

    Thursday, December 10, 2009

    Wingnut Freakout

    These people are killing me. Here's The Heritage Foundation with a little ditty entitled Does Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Violate the Constitution?

    Can you imagine being RAISED by these people?

    "Urban Back Alleys"

    The people are fucking cartoons:
    Carbon dioxide is exhaled by every breathing human being on the planet, and is no more a "pollutant" than are the leaves that fall from trees. It has been vilified in recent years as the mechanism of "man made global warming," though the empirical evidence reveals a trend of global cooling for the past decade, and nothing more than the standard cyclical variations of earth's temperatures in the years of recorded data prior to that.

    Yet now the government seeks to monitor and ultimately manage this harmless and completely natural component of the air we breathe, as if it has suddenly metamorphosed into some sinister "controlled substance" that might be dealt illegally in urban back alleys. This flagrant effort to extend the tentacles of the state into virtually every manufacturing process, every back-yard barbeque, and every exhaled breath in the country should alarm any citizen who recognizes the need for some limit on the scope and reach of government.

    Wednesday, December 09, 2009

    It Wouldn't Cost Him A Dime!

    Charles Lane knows best:
    If Obama and Congress were really as serious as they say they are about reducing unemployment, they would at least be willing to discuss rolling back last July’s minimum wage increase. It would create some jobs for those who need them most, and it would not cost taxpayers a dime. Yes, those who get hired at a reduced minimum wage would have to work for less. But at least they'd be working.
    At least they'd be working!

    What Do They Have In Common Again?


    Little Wingnut Ben Shapiro wrote this:
    President Obama fulfills the three requirements to receive the approval of the black community: he is black; he is not currently having sex with a white woman; and he is liberal. And he receives the lifelong and unwavering loyalty of the black community for it.

    By contrast, the black community hates another prominent half-black man. This half-black man happens to be a political independent who has sex with white women. His name is Tiger Woods.
    When the Tiger story broke, folks like Instaputz were wondering who'd be the first to somehow connect Tiger with Obama in a story. Naively, I thought there was no way that could happen.

    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    Gimme a U!

    Shorter Verbatim Gary Graham: The War of Words — Why We’re Losing:
    Are we pussies – or are we Americans? 

    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    Enough already

    It is common knowledge that in August the French government pushes through unpopular laws when many citizens are on vacation. The newspapers are shorter, they contains larger word game and chess sections, and most of the articles focus on emergency airlifts of injured swimmers from various beach across the country. I am not even sure that France legislative branch is in session in the summer but the point should be well taken.

    Similarly, what subjects news organizations decide to focus on directly influences political attempts to improve quality of life, provide better services, and fulfill the values that are dear to this country's citizens. For 3 weeks in November and December, this country was force-fed Tiger Wood's extramarital activities and news organizations are entirely to blame. The New York Post, in an extreme case of bad judgment, decided to put this evolving vulgar story on its cover for more than 15 days in a row. Please. Similarly, the story of party crashers at the White House has filled a disgusting number of articles, opinion pages, and TV reports.

    While newspapers are focusing on Tiger's love life, our legislative branch has been on the brink of a historic health care reform. There has been a remarkable debate happening at the highest level of our government about the best way to serve this country's citizens. There are many subtleties of this debate and it does not translate easily into a slogan, but this story is significant. And yet some news organizations would prefer to ignore this debate or at least to relegate it to page 4.

    The cynical part of me thinks that this is an ideological decision to downplay the importance of this reform. The extreme right-wingers, through misinformation and fear-mongering, have successfully polarized the debate so much that perhaps it is a bit of a hot potato. However, it may also just be journalistic laziness. It is of course much easier not to do research on a real story and just write about what everyone else is talking about. Either way. I have had enough and wish people would stop supporting news organization whose priorities are so off base.

    Overwhelming Evidence

    Phil Plait:
    This has become so politicized it’s hard to know what’s right and what’s wrong. I personally would be thrilled to find out the Earth isn’t warming up. I’d like my daughter to grow up on a planet that isn’t on the fast track to environmental disaster. But I have no stake in the claim scientifically either way; I don’t cling to AGW because of political bent or any ideology. I think global warming is real because of the overwhelming evidence pointing that way.

    I’ll note that some people are still upset by my use of the term deniers. Again, to be clear: a skeptic is someone who uses evidence and logic to reach a conclusion. A denialist is someone who will say or do anything to deny an issue. I stand by my definition. There are actual global warming skeptics out there — and I would not only support their efforts but praise them — but what I see on the web and in the comments overwhelmingly is denial, not skepticism.
    (Emphasis in the original)

    I also like this point.
    In conclusion: I called this a non-event because it has no real impact on global warming science or our understanding of it. Of course it has a huge impact, politically. But that’s because the ideologues out there have seized on this and made as much noise as they can, so in that sense it is an issue — an issue of how political science has become, how easy it is to disrupt the process, and the effect this has had on the scientists themselves. This issue won’t go away any time soon, but we need to focus on the signal, not the noise.
    We can be irritated to hell by the misunderstandings and willful ignorance and distortions. But public perception of science is still a real issue - and an important one to work on. I work in educational science media production, ie. scientific outreach, which is the same process as will be needed to confront nonsense like this, just shifted a little bit away from the insanity end of the scale. We may roll our eyes at this silliness, but it's still part of the overall goal of informing the public about what science is, why it is done, and why its conclusions are relevant.


    Want to see what thought processes of a climate change denialist look like?

    Here's John Hinderaker:
    The debate over "climate change" is odd, in that the climate changes constantly, and always has. Like most natural processes, maybe all, the climate never stands still. The Earth is always getting either warmer or cooler. At various times in the past it has unquestionably been warmer than it is today, and also colder--as when the place where I am typing was buried beneath ice a half-mile thick. That being the case, the fact that global temperatures have risen a bit during the last couple of decades is hardly a shock.
    This is the same guy who posts photos of snow 10 times a year to disprove global warming.

    I'm sure climate scientists will appreciate the helpful advice that "the climate never stands still."


    Waka waka waka!
    As for the president, Palin joked that she was looking at a magazine cover of Obama and Chinese president Hu Jinato during an airplane flight. A nearby passenger stated, "Hu's the Communist," she related.

    And, Palin said, "I thought he was asking a question."

    Friday, December 04, 2009

    Emotional Gratification

    Earlier today, I said this over on my twitter account:
    Shorter Right: until the day Obama leaves office, we will fault everything he does and says, as well as things we imagine him to think

    Now Brad at Sadly, No takes it a bit further in addressing a Charles Krauthammer "But He Didn't Sound Like He Liked War Enough!" post:
    And this is why the neocons will never warm to Obama, no matter how many wars he eventually decides to start. It’s a personality thing, really — Obama likes to give off the air of someone who makes decisions only after careful deliberation and weighing the costs and benefits. The neocons, however, only respect fellow travelers who get funny feelings in their pants when they think about war, people who really get off on the idea of watching other people get blown up. For them, war isn’t merely an act of national defense but an emotional gratification and a validation of their personal strength.

    To be fair, I can sympathize with them in some ways. When I used to play StarCraft back in the day, I’d really enjoy sending in a platoon of siege tanks to blow up Zerg encampments. But mercifully for the rest of the world, I learned to get out my primordial thirst for blood through computer games and not through becoming a member of the American foreign policy establishment. If only I’d applied to work at the American Enterprise Institute instead, I could have made quite a name for myself. What could have been and so forth.

    Humans Are Malleable

    Can you imagine if you got your information about the world from someone who writes shit like this?
    Muslim Barack Hussein Obama was quick to tell the public not to jump to conclusions regarding Army psychiatrist Muslim Nidal Malik Hasan's killing spree.

    One Muslim must protect another Muslim. Obama must protect Hasan.

    It is the same in Afghanistan. Muslim Obama is bound to protect US Muslim militia from killing Afghan Muslim killers. What restrictions then will Obama put on troops newly sent to Afghanistan? When will the public find out about them?
    The author, Grant Swank, is just about the nuttiest of the nuts.
    It is a crazy Oval Office and Americans are reaping the mob hysteriacs who pushed a Muslim into the White House.

    Ramadan means more to him than the National Day of Prayer.

    Allah means more to him that the Christ of his hoax Trinity United Church of Christ.

    The Koran means more to him than the Bible as America's Christian heritage spiritual guide.

    Fellow Muslims mean more to him that American citizens.

    Fort Hood murderer stands out in bold relief as the evident example of Obama's split personality.

    Thursday, December 03, 2009

    French Health Care

    During 6 years from 2001 to 2007, I lived in France where I payed taxes like everyone else and benefited from certain acquis sociaux. Specifically, I paid into and participated in social security, which in France refers not only to retirement and disability benefits but also access to a public health care system. I'm not yet of the age to receive retirement benefits but I did receive plenty of health care while living in France.

    Here are a few of my experiences

    1) When I first received my Vie Privée et Familiale visa which allowed me to live and work in France, I was invited for an appointment in a governmental building on the outskirts of Paris for a medical exam. Similar to the health screening which takes place in the Unites States, it is in the best interest of the French government to ensure that new arrivals are not bring in disease. The experience was surreal. A dreary concrete building near the highway. Long lines of men, waiting to get chest x-rays and to read eye exam charts. Cold floors and less than welcoming civil servants.

    2) To oversimplify, the public health coverage handles around 75 percent of medical costs, perhaps even more. In order to cover the remaining 25 percent people buy into a private "complementary" insurance which reimburses the rest. The run-of-the-mill complementary insurance cost me 30 euros a month. 30 euros a month!! At the same time, several times a year in amounts indexed on my revenu, I paid into a caisse de securité sociale, an organization responsible for managing the input and output of social security funds.

    3) Although my health needs were not great, I did require a few surgeries to remove some cysts in my eyelids caused by an allergic reaction. Quickly and simply, I was able to make appointments with several eye specialists. Each visit was cheap, often times reimbursed entirely by my public coverage. When it became clear that I need the cysts to be lanced, the operation took place in less than 1 week at one of the best hospitals in Paris and cost me nothing.

    4) Once I fell ill with a high fever and violent vomiting. As weak as I was, my girlfriend and I thought it best not to wait until the next day. She called a 1-800 number (or the equivalent thereof). Within the hour, an experienced doctor came to our apartment on a house-call. He looked me over quickly, gave me a shot, and told me to get some sleep. After being reimbursed, I believe I paid 35 euros for this service.

    Now, I am just one person who navigated the system in one singular way. These experiences are just anecdotal, but I feel inclined to shared given all the mud slinging we hear on TV and over the airwaves as a result of the debate on capitol hill.


    David Neiwert, on Rove saying "It took [Obama] 80-some-odd days to do this, it took us 50-some-odd days to remove the Taliban from power after 9/11":
    There's a special stomach-churning quality to watching the people who created one of history's great clusterf--ks telling the people saddled with the job of cleaning it up that they're doing a crummy job.

    Wednesday, December 02, 2009


    Justine Bateman on Mister Rogers:
    He gave my childhood a tentpole.