Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last Call

Meghan McCain has lousy political views on a number of subjects. She is, however, not deserving of the attacks on her physical self for one photo.

Having said that, what did you expect your Republican friends to say about the picture, madam? They're not exactly the forgiving type of anyone left of, say, Malkinvania.

Having said THAT, I wonder what the reaction from the Wingerverse would be if Sarah Palin struck a pose like that.

But there I go assigning logic to the illogical.

Up, Up And Away, In My Beautiful Balloon

Really not sure what to make of this story.
A 6-year-old boy was found hiding in the attic at home Thursday, several hours after the runaway flight of his family's experimental balloon riveted the nation and led to a frantic search for the child, who was feared to have fallen from the craft.

The news that the boy was safe at home came during an afternoon press conference with Larimer County Sheriff's Office officials.

"Apparently the boy’s been there the whole time. He’s been hiding in cardboard box in the attic above the garage," Sheriff Jim Alderden said.

Story continues below ↓
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"I don't want to conjecture but this is not first time we are searching for a kid and once he realizes everyone is looking for him he hides because he's afraid of getting in trouble."

One of boy's older brothers had initially told authorities he saw his brother climb into a box compartment attached to the bottom of the balloon before it became untethered and took off.

"He was very adamant. That was his consistent story," the sheriff said.

First things first: young Falcon is fine and unharmed. A missing child is no joke, ever. Not in America in 2009.

On the one hand, it's a kid in a balloon. Local law enforcement is just not equipped to handle balloon rescues of a six-year old. Where the hell is that in the manual, ya know?

On the other hand, searching the place basement to attic at the same time might have been a good idea too. Surely somebody was detailed to do that, right? Balloon was on the roof of the house, so searching the area around that, like the attic, would seem like a logical place to start.

Then again, logic dictates that most houses don't come with their own experimental weather balloon, so assigning logic in order to make sense of the story fails on a number of levels anyway.

Again, the important thing is the boy was found unharmed. The Larimer County Sheriff's Office there did their job: they recovered the balloon, found the child, and nobody was harmed in the end, so a win is a win. Kudos to them. They had to think fast and act fast and performed admirably, and even if they found the boy right off the bat, they still would of had to deal with the balloon in a safe manner, which they did.

Still, science should be used responsibly, folks.

The Black Hole

Thinking about this week's Rush Limbaugh/NFL story, I've come to the conclusion that the Wingers really, honestly believe that Rush Limbaugh is not a racist. This represents a fundamental break with reality of course...but they can't admit what Rush does is racism, because if Rush Limbaugh is a racist, and all of these guys agree with Rush on a regular basis on any number of issues, why then, that means all of them are racists, too.

They're not covering Rush's ass because they like the man. They're covering Rush's ass because if he goes down, the rest of Wingnut Industries, Inc. goes down the tubes along with him. It's self-preservation, plain and simple.

The irony is that in defending Rush's behavior, the Wingers are actually more racist than Rush (which is like being more evil than Lex Luthor or something, I know) because they tolerate this behavior and even implicitly condone it. In many ways that's actually far worse. In effect, Rush's defenders have doubled down on the dirty deeds.

They've got no choice now. They really ARE "all Rush Limbaugh now" in the Wingerverse. Not a single one of them can disown Rush, and standing up for him only makes them look worse. It's mass suicide over, well, Rush Limbaugh.

Maybe this will lead to a psychotic break back into reality for some of the Wingers. Maybe this is truly "peak wingnut". Perhaps some will escape the black hole and make it to the escape pods in time.

...Naaah. Who am I kidding? These guys are bonkers for getting themselves into this mess in the first place.

Smokin' The Grassley

Now, I've documented the silliness of Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley several times before, but this time the Chuckster has completely gone bye-bye, as Steve Benen notes.
This week, Grassley appears to have completely lost it, offering at least tacit support for radical "Tenther" theories that insist that health care reform may be unconstitutional.

"I'm not a lawyer, but let me tell you, I've listened to some lawyers speak on this. And you know, it's a relatively new issue. I don't think we've ever had this issue before of having to buy something. And a lot of constitutional lawyers, saying it is unconstitutional or at least in violation of the 10th Amendment. Now maybe states can do this, but can the federal government? So, I have my doubts."

This was specifically responding to a question about individual mandates -- a measure he's already endorsed as a good idea that he supports.

Obvious inconsistencies notwithstanding, the notion that health care reform is "in violation of the 10th Amendment" is demonstrably ridiculous. The idea that "a lot constitutional lawyers" see health care reform as unconstitutional is absurd.

But the fact that Grassley is even talking like this suggests the reform fight has really pushed him over the edge. He's up for re-election next year -- in a state Barack Obama won by about 10 points -- and there are reports Grassley may face a very credible Democratic challenger.

Embracing fringe, right-wing legal theories may excite the base a bit, but in general, Grassley's bizarre turn to the far-right is not only painful to watch, it's a risky political strategy that may cost him his job.

The overwhelming irony is that since a United States Senator is basically saying that the United States Congress has no right to actually pass laws that apply to the United States Of America and that as a member of a legislative body that Grassley's basically arguing should be null and void, I'd have to ask him when he was resigning from that most august body in protest. Somehow, I don't think he's going to resign that Senate seat.

But then again, it looks like keeping that seat isn't up to him, now is it? Chuck Grassley's basically running on the notion that the Senate is doing too much work. Try selling that hog's bona fides at the Iowa State Fair.

PS, why are we trying to make these guys happy again?

Pass Rush

Gotta say, I'm disappointed in Rick Moran for this.
No, Limbaugh is no racist. He’s a blowhard. He’s a conservative poseur. He’s a racial provocateur. He’s a rabble rousing polemicist.
That's the first paragraph. It gets worse from there as America's sport has in the space of 24 hours become the largest bastion of liberalism since Bring Your Partner And Some Soy Milk To Work Day at ACORN.

How the hell do you defend a jagoff like this, man? And "racial provocateur" means what, he's a racist only with a clever mustachio and pantaloons and a jaunty beret, perched rakishly askew? How does that particular distinction work?

Screw that. Honestly defending Rush is impossible, and yes, the NFL is full of felons, assholes and they are woefully short of minorities in positions of actual power...kind of like the Republican Party, actually, so making THAT argument against the NFL kind of only points out how even more dismal the GOP's record on racial diversity and tolerance is.

Also, Thers again, because Thers is awesome.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

John Cole asks:
This really sums it up, doesn’t it:
A key House committee on Thursday passed legislation reining in the multitrillion-dollar market for financial derivatives.

The House Financial Services Committee passed the bill on a 43-26 vote, with only one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (N.C.), siding with all Democrats.

The bill is the first in a series of measures the Obama administration and congressional allies are pushing to remake the financial system. House leaders are eyeing votes in November, while it may take more time for the Senate to consider legislation.

Exactly what would have to happen before Republicans would agree to regulation of a sector of the economy that could bring down the house? The financial crash of 2008 was not enough?

Well, for that to happen we'd have to have something totally crazy happen like a housing depression errm the doubling of unemployment ahhh the dollar collapsing ummm putting taxpayers on the hook for trillions oh screw it, I don't understand the jagoffs either.

Oiled Up, Dollar Down

With the dollar continuing to deteriorate, oil is on the rise, spelling big trouble for the economy.

Oil prices rose more than $2 to above $77 a barrel on Thursday after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced that crude supplies rose a less-than-expected 400,000 barrels, while gasoline inventories dropped 5.2 million barrels.

These gains added to an earlier rise, as the euro fell on disappointing Q3 earnings reports, traders said

U.S. light, sweet crude for November delivery hit its highest level since October 2008 at above $77.

London Brent crude was up.

"At this stage the market is dominated by nothing commodity-driven — just the weaker dollar and earnings season," said CMC Markets analyst James Hughes.

We're already seeing evidence now that the flight from the dollar into commodities like oil is underway. Triple digit oil this winter would mean brutal prices this summer. It's looking like another oil bubble is forming. Oil has been floating between $60 and $75 a barrel since May or so, but the break upwards today to $77.50 is a major indicator that the move is on.

On top of all the other financial problems your average American is facing these days, let's throw in $4 a gallon gas again, eh?

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Revisiting the Future Stupidity files, we see Jim Cramer calling a bottom to the housing market back in June. The only problem with that is that it's October, and people are still cutting housing prices, and this is Jim Cramer's own employer saying this.

You notice how Cramer's no longer talking about the housing market bottom. He had his buddies at The try to weasel Jim out of the call even.

Then again, Jimbo originally called the housing market August 2008.

How's that working out?

[UPDATE 5:39 PM] John Cole:
Jim Cramer just told Chris Matthews that we are going to have a great retail season this Christmas. Given Cramer’s track record, I’d start preparing for a complete economic collapse somewhere around Thanksgiving, complete with people jumping from buildings, mass layoffs, hyper-inflation and bread lines.
Ain't that the truth.

Epic Civ 4 Technology Victory Win

Osborne shows us the rockets.

Plasma rockets.
The intertubes have been abuzz with discussion for days. By combining a new rocket technology with a gravitational slingshot effect, NASA can get future Mars missions cut to weeks instead of months in flight time.

The new missile is called a plasma rocket. Welcome to Star Trek. The engine is called VASIMR, which sounds like a Russian code name.
Osborne has the vids. Dude. Plasma rockets and gravity slingshots.

Ladies of the world, I remind you again that there are men who find math and science to be incredibly hot.

That is all. (Also, plasma rocket.)


A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Wingers



Via Balloon Juice.

The Obama stimulus was a failure, right up until the Dow hit 10,000 again, meaning that it was Bush's TARP bailout that saved the economy. Even better, this means that since the Dow is back in five-digit territory, there was never a real recession to begin with. It'll be back to the Bush Boom any time now!

What, you thought Obama was going to get credit for the stimulus working?

No really, that's the entire argument. And Cavuto gets paid actual money for this.

Spies Like Us

Not even Robert Ludlum could write a Washington D.C. spy story like this.
Four House Republicans are charging that the Council on American Islamic Relations is infiltrating Capitol Hill with undercover interns, and they're basing the charge on a WND-published book that itself is based on the work of a man who posed as a Muslim to infiltrate CAIR as ... an intern!

In other words, it's Intern Spy vs. Intern Spy.

As Greg Sargent notes, the office of Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) does not have a list of the "Manchurian Interns" that she claims may have penetrated national security-related committees.

Myrick and three other members of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus came to a news conference today armed with Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America (WND Books, $22.95). They called on the sergeant at arms to investigate whether, as Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) put it, a group that "is connected to or supports terrorists [and] is running influence operations or planting spies in key national security-related offices."

So, basically this:

WND Plant Winger Crusaders ---><---Seekrit Invisible Mooslims.

A Ludlum novel, no. Mad magazine on the other hand...

Snark aside, is anybody else worried about the influence World Nut Daily has over the GOP in Congress? Do they really think there's a vast Islamofascist conspiracy to infiltrate Capitol Hill? Wasn't this called McCarthyism 50 years ago?

Besides, isn't OBAMA the biggest Seekrit Invisible Mooslem of them all according to these jokers? Even worse, these idiots sent their own undercover goons in to harrass CAIR and swipe "incriminating evidence" from them, and the GOP is actively backing them.

At what point do we throw our hands up and say the GOP has become one of those embarrassing little racist parties you see in Europe?

Say It Ain't So, Joe

Arianna Huffington has an interesting idea about Joe Biden: if he's as adamant about opposing the Afghanisurge as he says he is, then he should consider resigning in protest.
It's been known for a while that Biden has been on the other side of McChrystal's desire for a big escalation of our forces there -- the New York Times reported last month that he has "deep reservations" about it. So if the president does decide to escalate, Biden, for the good of the country, should escalate his willingness to act on those reservations.

What he must not do is follow the same weak and worn-out pattern of "opposition" we've become all-too-accustomed to, first with Vietnam and then with Iraq. You know the drill: after the dust settles, and the country begins to look back and not-so-charitably wonder, "what were they thinking?" the mea-culpa-laden books start to come out. On page after regret-filled page, we suddenly hear how forceful this or that official was behind closed doors, arguing against the war, taking a principled stand, expressing "strong concern" and, yes, "deep reservations" to the president, and then going home each night distraught at the unnecessary loss of life.

Well, how about making the mea culpa unnecessary? Instead of saving it for the book, how about future author Biden unfetter his conscience in real time -- when it can actually do some good? If Biden truly believes that what we're doing in Afghanistan is not in the best interests of our national security -- and what issue is more important than that? -- it's simply not enough to claim retroactive righteousness in his memoirs.

Though it would be a crowning moment in a distinguished career, such an act of courage would likely be only the beginning. Biden would then become the natural leader of the movement to wind down this disastrous war and focus on the real dangers in Pakistan.

It's an interesting premise to be sure, but I'm not sure how effective Joe Biden would be as the leader of the anti-war effort. From a practical political perspective the focus would be "Joe Biden hates Obama and the fractured Dems" and no real discussion about Afghanistan would be able to take place with all the shouting. In a very real sense, Joe Biden's resignation would only get in the way of an exit from Afghanistan, not facilitate it.

Having said that, Huffington is right when she says Biden sticking to his guns like that would garner his serious respect from a number of outlets once the noise died down. The problem is while Biden may have his reasons for doing this, the Village will take several tries before they assign him the correct narrative, it's how they work. You don't have to look any further than the Wingers to see how this will be misconstrued.

Sack Attack

This week's Winger Outrage is the NFL, suddenly the worst, most corrupt sport in America now that Rush Limbaugh can't be part of the group trying to buy the St. Louis Rams...and even worse for the Wingers they've discovered the sport has way too many black people playing it. Thers breaks it down:
I said what I had to say about the Rush Limbaugh-football thing over at the Other Place. But there is some spillage, like, oh, this:

What does have a place in the NFL? Here’s a short list of players who were active after being convicted of felonies — I added Michael Vick to a list I found here:

– Michael Vick: felony dogfighting charges
– Leonard Little: vehicular manslaughter/DUI
– Michael Irvin: felony drug possession
– Ray Lewis: obstruction of justice in a murder
– Plaxico Burress: felony weapon possession (in jail but not yet banned for life from the NFL)
– Pacman Jones: technically a felon since he pled guilty to obstruction of an officer case in GA

Dear Lord. (1) Players and owners are different. (2) Take the whining to the frickin' NFL owners -- not a notoriously PC bunch, you know?

If these guys wanted to let Limbaugh into their club, he'd be in their club. But they don't and so he isn't.

And of course the racism that has entered into this discussion is not El Rushbo's fault at all, but Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's fault for pointing it out in the first place as the Corner's Andy McCarthy blocks with his face to protect his QB with one of the most insulting comparisons I have ever read.
That's how Rush treats people — in the Martin Luther King aspiration that the content of one's character is what matters, not the color of one's skin. Yet, in the media narrative, he's somehow the one who's got a race issue — and the guys who trade on race, live and breathe it 24/7, are held up as our public conscience. The Left calls this "progress." I call it perversion.

There's only one way this nonsense ever goes away: When we say "enough!" and tell the race-baiters their time is up. It's too much of an industry, so it probably won't happen tomorrow. But the Sixties ideal is crashing and burning before our very eyes, and I think it'll take a lot of its warped obsessions down with it.

"Rush is like Dr. King, you see." The guy that first put Barack The Magic Negro on the air is like Dr. Martin Luther King? Really?

Screw you. No, really. That has got to be the most idiotic thing I've heard in months out of these fecal-flinging parasites.

But their Lord and Liege has demanded fealty, so the Wingers now hate the NFL as that sport full of (whisper) them.

Assholes. Really.

[UPDATE 11:38 AM] Matt Osborne takes this on, as does TBogg. This Saint Rushbo stuff just proves how culttastic the Wingers are.

If It's Thursday...

Jobless claims for the week down to 514,000. This is progress, actually. We'll see if it's sustainable. Continuing claims dropped just a smidge under 6 million to 5.99 million. Also progress.

But still a long way to go in this economy.

Snowe Job Part 5

This Politico article from this morning should be sounding major alarm bells about Olympia Snowe's position on Obamacare.
Mitch McConnell and his deputies in the Senate Republican leadership are responding very cautiously to Olympia Snowe’s decision to become the first GOP vote for a Democratic health care reform bill.

That’s about all they can do.

“My job as whip is not to twist her arm but to bring all the information that we can bring to bear on the issue and hope that people vote the way we would like to see them vote,” said McConnell’s No. 2, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

Kyl said a heavy-handed approach “doesn’t work.”

And indeed, it could backfire — not just with Snowe but with other Republicans who’ve indicated that they could cross over to help Democrats pass some of President Barack Obama’s top domestic policy initiatives.

On Tuesday the GOP said it would indeed exact revenge on Olympia Snowe should she vote for the Finance Committee legislation. Not more than 48 hours later, they are now "treading cautiously" around her and will not take such a "heavy-handed" approach. The article goes on to explain that there are other Republicans who are looking to pull their own Snowe Jobs on other parts of Obama's upcoming agenda: climate change legislation, education reform and immigration reform.

Why? What has prompted the change? Is the GOP firewall really crumbling this quickly?

I don't buy it for a second. Something's going on here, and what I think it is involves the realization that Olympia Snowe can do more damage to Obamacare given her queen-like status than the entire rest of the GOP. They know she's now able to direct the final bill, and her mission is to wreck it from the inside. She wants to call the Democrats' bluff: she's betting that Democrats will weaken the Baucus Bill to the point where it falls apart rather than lose Snowe's vote, the progressive Dems will revolt, and the bill will die.

If the GOP leadership honestly thought Olympia Snowe's vote was going to help Obama, they'd be warming up her replacement. This reaction here is a dead giveaway that the Snowe Job is underway. I know the Democrats have to be able to see this coming.

The question is are they willing to throw their own progressive wing under the bus for one Republican vote?

The fact I even have to ask that should tell you everything you need to know about Operation Snowe Job here.


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