Monday, February 27, 2012

Repeal the Enlightenment

Andy Borowitz reports on Rick Santorum:

At the first stop of his ambitious journey, Mr. Santorum restated his reason for seeking the White House: “I am running for President today because the position of Spanish Inquisitor is no longer available.”
There is no Vatican number higher than I. Latin Mass, yea!

Four words, cartoon edition

Click image for full MStreeter/Savannah Morning News cartoon.

Four words, medical edition

What medical procedure most represents your promise to the American people as a governing principle?

  • Rick Santorum - clitoridectomy
  • Ron Paul - self-service colonoscopy
  • Mitt Romney - plastic surgery
  • Newt Gingrich - penis aggrandizement
What, you can't take a joke?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What Romney learned at Bain

To pander to his audience without meaning any of it.

He's of course applying that to politics, and even the Teapublicans can tell, despite having turned their bullshit detectors so low they can't see the arrant bullshit of the other candidates. Krugman on Rmoney:

Should those who don’t share the right’s faith be comforted by the evidence that Mr. Romney doesn’t believe anything he’s saying? Should we, in particular, assume that, once elected, he would actually follow sensible economic policies? Alas, no.

For the cynicism and lack of moral courage that have been so evident in the campaign wouldn’t suddenly vanish once Mr. Romney entered the Oval Office. If he doesn’t dare disagree with economic nonsense now, why imagine that he would become willing to challenge that nonsense later? And bear in mind that if elected, he would be watched like a hawk for signs of apostasy by the very people he’s trying so desperately to appease right now.

The truth is that Mr. Romney is so deeply committed to insincerity that neither side can trust him to do what it considers to be the right thing.
The difference between Bain's takeovers and a political campaign is that takeovers end quickly. The affected workers and executives learn by the end that you lied to them, but you don't have to convince them of anything further, since you already own their asses. Not so the Teapublican nomination.

Enthusiasm abyss

In politics, as in any genre of entertainment, you always want to size the room so that your crowd just overflows it. That shows you're popular and yet realistic and leaves your audience demanding more. Mitt Romney in Detroit? Epic fail - a whole domed stadium for a few hundred people at most.



This is what a campaign looks like when it has more money than people. This is doom. Even in that tiny audience in that huge venue, the smell of flop-sweat must have been pungent. This is an off-off-off-off-Broadway show whose financial backer is so in love with the star that he can't grasp that there's no audience beyond the one-percenters interested in seeing this flip-flop revue.

Even if Rmoney gets the Teapublican nomination, the only campaign he'll be able to run is a B-52 campaign - scorched earth from 50,000 ft. at tremendous expense. Knowing Rmoney, he'll keep running the TV and radio and Internet ads until even his handful of ardent supporters are nauseated by their noxious smarmy gee-whiz omnipresent ugliness. The rest of the Teapublicans, less enthused to begin with, will depressively resign themselves to four more years of impotent misplaced anger for President Barack Hussein Obama.

Update: A still-shot comparison that's even more graphic:

Thumbnail used under Fair Use, but if you own this image and object to my use, I'll shrink the thumbnail further.

Moral consequences

Actual moral consequences, rather than the orgasm someone might have in a way that offends Rick Santorum:

If Rick Santorum had his way, I wouldn’t have been able to get that test, and she most likely would have died. Because according to him, tests that give parents vital information about the health of their unborn children are morally wrong. Though he has no medical training, and no business commenting on the medical decisions that women and their doctors make, he argues that such tests shouldn’t be provided, or that employers at least should be allowed to opt out of paying for them on “moral grounds.”

Friday, February 24, 2012

Save the jets



Of course, Ann Coulter interrupts to bullshit that "they were all Democrats." (Maybe the rich never serve their jury duty either.)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Four words, ideological edition

The handful of you who are still tuning in to the endless purgatory of Republican (non) Presidential debates no doubt noticed when John King vacuously asked the four horse's-ass-men of democracy's apocalypse for a single word to sum themselves up. King of course gave enough forewarning that they were able to come up with self-flattering, thematically aligned, bullshit marketing.

That is not what I do, so...

  • Newt Gingrich - megalomaniac
  • Ron Paul - mammon-worshipping
  • Mitt Romney - wealthy
  • Rick Santorum - theocratic

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The revolution will be televised



Video keeps protest peaceful, as it should be, on both sides.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Where's Newto?

Republican primary voters do have a bit of discernment every now and then.

They know Mitt Romney's core principle is Mitt Romney, that he'll say whatever he thinks they want to hear.

They almost fell for Newt Gingrich (again!) because, even though Gingrich's core principle is also Newt Gingrich, he can pander to wingnuts with much greater certitude and vehemence than Milquetoast Romney. Then he started up all that moonbase bullshit, a future-oriented idea, although daft as nuthatch on moldy seeds. The fond, vicious wingnuts are oriented to the past - yes, a golden ideal theocratic past that never was. They've got no use for inspiration. The King James doesn't say anything about a moonbase!

Rmoney didn't kill off Gingrich (again!). The Republican base had a terrible shudder go up its (anti-)collective spine at the thought that maybe we libs are right about Newt, and he's grandiose, unreliable, and probably clinically manic. Not that they would want the last covered by health insurance...

So, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul? Or door number 3? If Jeb Bush rushes to the rescue, will Republicans even acknowledge that he has an older brother?

Shit Santorum says

Changey to hopey

I'm not sure I believe this - because I want so badly to believe it:

The latest national survey by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner ... shows a Republican Party in deepening trouble and emerging underlying trends that may have shifted the balance for 2012.[1] Barring sudden economic shocks, there is accumulating evidence that we have entered a new phase in the political cycle, substantially more favorable to the Democrats.
It's also not from an unbiased source, though of course pro-Democratic sources are always more reliable than pro-Republican sources.

(h/t Taegan Goddard)

Gonna leave a mark



More smack-downs please!

Liberals subsidize the economic fallacies of red state conservatives

It has been well known for some time that liberal states such as my home state of Massachusetts subsidize conservative states such as my original home of Tennessee. The idea bubbled up recently from Aaron Carroll to Paul Krugman to Matthew Yglesias. Krugman explains the graph best, but this point of Yglesias's is key (though badly written):

[H]igh-income people living in low-income states are generally very conservative in their political ideology but probably benefit more from federal income support programs more than they realize. If you own fast food franchises in the Nashville area, for example, you're going to form a self-perception as a self-reliant businessman but the existence of Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit are helping to ensure that your customers have adequate income to sometimes eat at your Taco Bell.
Hard to understand why he didn't say Godfather's Pizza instead of Taco Bell.

Conservatives imagine themselves as heroes in Ayn Rand's fantasy novels, and liberal aid to the poor is one reason they are not confronted with the sheer vanity of their imaginations.

Productive reasoning

Despite a wealth (heh) of economic statistics, American economists cannot fully and precisely characterize everything we need to know to make policy decisions about the structure of our economy. We have a number for worker productivity, but it's too uncertain to be useful:

[H]ere’s the rub: both of these corporate strategies— domestic productivity improvements and global supply chain management—show up as productivity gains in U.S. economic records. When federal statisticians calculate the nation’s economic output, what they are actually measuring is domestic “value added”—the dollar value of all sales minus the dollar value of all imports. “Productivity” is then calculated by dividing the quantity of value added by the number of American workers. American workers, however, often have little to do with the gains in productivity attributed to them. For instance, if Company A saves $250,000 simply by switching from a Japanese sprocket supplier to a much cheaper Chinese sprocket supplier, that change shows up as an increase in American productivity—just as if the company had saved $250,000 by making its warehouse operation in Chicago more efficient. 
I've previously taken productivity statistics at face value. Now I know they can't be. The essential argument I made at the link remains the same, but the magnitude of economic gains I can ascribe to labor is smaller.

Does this mean that I would now agree that corporate management deserves at least part of what they've creamed off the top of the nominal productivity gains of the past 30 years? Hell, no. The hollowing out that they have done accomplishes short run profit and big bonuses for them, but it's very very bad for the long term U.S. economy.

We need industrial policy that drives jobs back to the U.S. with competitiveness. That's the long run path to continued health, something the financial markets cannot possibly account for with a quarter-to-quarter mentality run amok. Every government policy that encourages hollowing out needs to be revisited.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

No vagina dialogues here


The inability to talk to women as people may be why Teapublicans need to reduce them back to reproductive chattel.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

How do ya like me now?

Click image for full Scott Santis/Chicago Tribune cartoon.

GOP objection, as I understand it

Click image for full Brian McFadden/New York Times cartoon.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Peristalsis

Click image for full Tim Eagan/Press Democrat cartoon.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Exception for rape

No, not the one you're expecting.

Virginia Republicans want to mandate rape in one exceptional case. They want to force penetration of thousands of women with a foreign object. Not only will the woman not consent to the procedure except under duress, the doctor who performs it won't be willing either.

These so-called small government Republicans want transvaginal ultrasounds precisely because 88% of abortions are performed so early in pregnancy that the fetus is not clearly visible on transcutaneous ultrasounds. The first attempt to use shame and sin to push women back into barefoot-and-pregnant failed, so they'll go the next step.

These same all-your-vaginas-are-belong-to-us Republicans worship Ken Cuccinelli, who claims it's unconstitutional to mandate you purchase health insurance. Heaven knows it's terrible if you can't mooch off the rest of us and evade insuring yourself. These GOP misogynists nonetheless think (term, advisedly, etc.) that they have the power to insert an ultrasound wand inside a pregnant woman (non-virgin!) who seeks an abortion.

Anti-abortion ideologues - practically all of the Republican Party willing to speak for the record - despise the reasoning about reserved and implied penumbral rights in the Constitution that Roe v. Wade extended from Griswold v. Connecticut. They are willing, despite often claiming all sorts of rights from the Tenth Amendment, to treat every stray vagina as freehold of the state. Contraception? How dare you!

Everyone should fear this expansive Republican view of state power over the bodies of the powerless. You're next, asshole.

You want to be gay? You must undergo an anesthesia-less colonoscopy. All in the name of being better informed about your choice, of course. The GOPers are so generous with information (so long as it's not science). So you can get a good look at those AIDS-spreading rectal tears - and then some. Betcha an adenoma will look pretty damn good by comparison.

You want a vasectomy? First, we'll mandate the surgeon crush your testicles between bricks. So you know what's it's like to be a poor little dying swimmer.

You want higher education for your daughter? First, you have to watch one of us - no, all of us! - fuck her, 'cause you know that's what will happen in those godless secular humanist university dorms. So you'll be well-informed and won't make the same mistake with your next daughter.

These Republicans are sociopathic cultists in the throes of power-mad mania. Salem witch trials, ha! They'll be tattooing a scarlet A on every liberal harlot until they run out of red ink on I-95 entering Massachusetts. Where it really hurts. They want culture war.

The hot breath of doom, is that what I feel on my neck? Or just embarrassment that these useless fucks are the same species as me?

Fatcat lines up for the meal ticket

Willard "Mitt" Romney brings the rodents.  Yum!
Click image for full Charlie Daniel/Knoxville News Sentinel cartoon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Why liberals think wingnuts are racist bigoted vomitous jerks

Because many of them are.

There are almost 5000 comments posted in the thread — these are from the first few pages. Notice that the racist bastards deliberately misspell their slurs or insert random spaces, so they aren’t caught by word filters. And many of the worst comments have numerous “likes” from other commenters.
Fox has sanitized the ugliness of their core demographic, but Charles Johnson at LittleGreenFootballs has a sampling of the sewage.

(h/t Balloon Juice)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Political bankruptcy

Republicans want to return to disastrous policies because they would then have to admit the emptiness of their ideas and their own uselessness in solving any national problem bigger than changing the diaper of some busted Wall Street institution:

The economy didn't just crash under a Republican president, it crashed under Republican policies. It crashed with low taxes. It crashed with deregulated markets. It crashed with huge restrictions on union activity. It crashed with massive cuts in environmental regulations. It crashed with lowered trade barriers. It crashed with big fat Pentagon spending.

They got what they wanted. They got CEOs with no limits on their wealth. They got banks with no limits on their "creativity." They got trade agreements that guaranteed manufacturing could be moved to the dirtiest, cheapest, most desperate source available. They got massive cuts in capital gains taxes and equally large boosts in the wealth they could pass along in estates. They got everything they said would make us all wealthy. They got record oil and gas drilling. They got record giveaways of public land. They got everything they said would create jobs. They got the middle class to shoulder more, more, more of the burden so that those beautiful job creators would be free to work their magic.

They can't say the economy crashed because taxes went up, because they didn't. They can't say that the economy crashed because there was a raft of new regulation, because there wasn't. They can't blame it on "union thugs" or Saul Alinsky or the guy who writes Happy Holidays cards at Hallmark. They can't blame it on a president who was elected when the world was already in free fall. Only, of course they do. They say it because they have no choice.
I've hit some of these themes for a long time, but I don't think I've ever hit them as well as Mark Sumner on DailyKos. Go read the whole thing.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Subliminal

No prosaic proles for Mitt! Only the sublime life of creaming off the best from actual productive enterprises...

I wonder why the Republican voters in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado didn't find this blast from the past appalling. Instead, Mitt Rmoney is not catastrophically extreme enough on abortion.

So, the primary clusterfuck goes on. Win!

Truth to power

In large organizations, whether governmental and corporate, the lone conscientious person who speaks up often pays a terrible price for telling the truth and especially if he then doesn't acquiesce when power wants to cover it in bullshit. Roger Boisjoly was one such man.

Boisjoly was not the only engineer who attempted to stop the launch and suffered for blowing the whistle. Allan J. McDonald was Thiokol's program manager for the solid rocket booster and became the most important critic of the accident afterward. When he was pressed by NASA the night before the liftoff to sign a written recommendation approving the launch, he refused, and later argued late into the night for a launch cancellation. When McDonald later disclosed the secret debate to accident investigators, he was isolated and his career destroyed.

The tragedy was particularly hard on Boisjoly, who would sometimes chop wood in the Utah winter to work out his anger. In a 2003 interview with The Times, he recalled that NASA tried to blackball him from the industry, leaving him to spend 17 years as a forensic engineer and a lecturer on engineering ethics.
The exact reason it's important to protect whistleblowers is so that those of us who are interested can hope to learn the truth.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Note perfect

Click image for full Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoon.

Hair to the throne

Click image for full J.D. Crowe/Mobile Register cartoon.

The proper role of envy is to make the unemployed dream of being the chauffeur, not to dream of government making a better life for them.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Workers didn't suddenly get lazy just because the banks burned down the economy

Rewards in the American economy do not come from effort or from deserving them. Money begets money, now more than it has at any time since the 1920s. Our aristocracy is just as entrenched as that of Europe in the 19th century, except that ours doesn't give itself the titles of nobility. Instead, they call themselves job creators even though most of them aren't. They call themselves entrepreneurs, even though most of them aren't. They call themselves capitalists, even though most of them are oligopolists instead.

But they have enough spare cash to buy media and politicians. The propagandist and Republican lies are incredible to anyone with a working bullshit detector - unfortunately, not nearly enough Americans to make a reliable majority.

Billionaires inevitably are bullshitters

The free market that teabaggers and wingnuts want us to have is a market so free that billionaires can execute a hostile takeover of government.

Leaky bucket

Those worries that government aid gets delivered in a leaky bucket that Mitt Romney heard about in Econ 101? Not so leaky after all.


More efficient than many private sector organizations, health insurance companies for instance.

Mitt Romney (R-job destroyer) gets away with an incredible amount of bullshit because he has a reputation for knowing something. If he does, he's lying. That's my belief.

(h/t Jared Bernstein)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Not when the facts have a liberal bias

House Republicans: "We'd rather live in a fantasy than deal with facts."

The Peters Amendment would not have altered H.R. 3582 in any functional manner, it simply would had added the following factual findings section:

(1) On January 8, 2003, White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that President Bush believed that the tax cut package enacted in 2001 and expanded in 2003 would “create additional revenues for the federal government and pay for itself.”
(2) Before the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 were enacted, the Congressional Budget Office projected gradually rising surpluses, from 2.7% of gross domestic product in 2001 to 5.3% of gross domestic product by 2011, with the federal government operating debt free by 2009.
(3) The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 have added over $2 trillion to budget deficits from 2002-2011.
(4) Despite signing the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 into law, President George W. Bush’s administration had, according to the Wall Street Journal, “the worst track record for job creation since the government began keeping records” in 1939.
(5) From 2001 to 2009, gross domestic product grew at the slowest pace for any eight-year span since 1953.
(6) Median household income declined during the Bush Administration for the first time since 1967, when this data began to be tracked.
Which is more embarrassing, denying brute incontrovertible facts or acknowledging them when your entire
platform depends on ignoring them?

Duh.

(h/t Philosoraptor)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Shoring up support from the asshole faction

Donald Trump (R-Donald Trump) endorses Mitt Romney. Ho hum. A month ago, Trump was threatening to jump back into the race, maybe as an independent.

This is pretty funny however:

A Pew survey last month found that 64% of definite and likely GOP voters said an endorsement from [Trump] would make no difference to them.

In the survey, 13% said it would make them more likely to back a candidate, while 20% said it would actually make them less likely.
I'm in the 64% - only because there's no way to get below my previous zero likelihood of voting for Mitt. But I'm proud to see that even Republicans can't stand Trump.

Idly, why would Trump go against his natural match, Newt Gingrich? Answer: Trump wants to be the biggest asshole in the world - BIG! - and Newt is standing in his way.