Archive for October 30th, 2008

More reasons why Texans blow.

Oct 30, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

23% still think Obama is a Muslim. Only 45% could correctly identify him as Protestant. They know whut they know, and don’t you suggest they’re dummies fer not gettin’ facts straight!

-jb

Science bad.

Oct 30, 2008 in Racism, Science

Test your biases. Be honest with yourself, and lie to anybody who asks you how you scored.

Via Kristoff.

-jb

p.s. If you’re a rightwinger, avoid the instinct to skip the tests and pronounce yourself completely unbiased.

Science good.

Oct 30, 2008 in Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Science is a way of governing, not just something to be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence, kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of a self-critical and rigorous method. Science is a lens through which we can and should visualize and solve complex problems, organize government and multilateral bodies, establish international alliances, inspire national pride, restore positive feelings about America around the globe, embolden democracy, and ultimately, lead the world. More than anything, what this lens offers the next administration is a limitless capacity to handle all that comes its way, no matter how complex or unanticipated.

Sen. Obama’s embrace of transparency and evidence-based decision-making, his intelligence and curiosity echo this new way of looking at the world. And that is what we should be weighing in the voting booth. For his positions and, even more, for his way of coming to them, we endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Nerds for the win.

-jb

The Beltway can’t help itself.

Oct 30, 2008 in Beltway-itis, Politics

One party is always the mirror image of the other!

That’s harder to imagine, though, as each party’s moderate wing shrinks.

Really?

Next sentence:

A Democratic sweep might bring to Washington some relatively centrist freshmen who would provide a check on the most liberal wing of the party.

Guess not. They just have to say things like that to be “balanced,” even though the Republican Party is collapsing into a gang of religious nut Sarah Palin ignoramuses. The Democrats are bringing in centrists, who hold positions reflecting the majority of Americans, but somehow their moderate wing is shrinking. How do we know? Because the Republican moderate wing is shrinking!

Next sentence:

But it might claim as victims some of the few remaining Republican moderates, such as Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon and Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and some of the real workhorses who are more interested in legislating than grandstanding — the capable New Hampshire senator John E. Sununu, for example.

Never mind that these moderate Republicans generate no support or enthusiasm from the Republican base, it is sad that Democrats will replace them with centrists.

Republicans have decided their last, best argument is “Avoid one-party rule!” Because they voted Democrat in 2004 and 2006, right? Obviously they don’t believe it for a second. Most people are fine with one-party rule, as long as its their party. We can’t always have a divided government, and there’s a purpose to elections: politicians get to actually be in power for a little bit before people get a chance to toss them out. Republicans would have us reject Democratic control of the White House and Congress before such a thing dare be allowed to take place.

What are they most afraid of, however?

Democratic success.

If Barack Obama has a successful four years with a Democratic Congress, Republicans would feel lost and helpless, forced to readjust their extreme positions or die out for good. It’s the threat of a good example, the threat of Americans realizing, “Omigod, we have Democrats in office and things are going well!” Democrats will be able to point to how shitty things were when the GOP was in charge, and Republicans will be unable to keep screaming “Its teh JJimi Carter!” to keep Democrats out of office. And that’s the scariest thing they can imagine.

And with a Democrat President unlikely to do more than keep the Supreme Court in balance, this argument finally falls flat on its face. The pendulum must swing.

-jb

Random rightwinger comment of the day.

Oct 30, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

Just watching a preview of 24 season 7 (I f’ing love that show, btw), and saw the comment thread degenerate into madness, so I thought I’d take a representative sample. I’d say John McCain and Sarah Palin got their message out really well. Except you sound like this then you take it seriously:

On a serious note; Obama refuses to hand in his birth certificate. Nobody knows where he was born(I bet it wasn’t America). People, we can’t get a job without a birth certificate, let alone join the senate, and you want to vote for this scam artist? Wake up people, Nobama is fooling you.
By the way, he said that he’ll give a tax cut to 95% of americans(This if fact). Well, did you know that about only 45% of americans pay taxes? Gee, I feel jealous of those imaginary 50% of people who will live wonderfully under him. And one last thing, did he misplace his middle name or did he think we forget he has the same name as a terrorist??
Thank you.

I’m glad he was being serious with us and not spouting a pile of bullshit.

-jb

The dying confessions of a rightwing hitman.

Oct 30, 2008 in Politics

Roger Ebert reviewed Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, a documentary about Karl Rove’s spiritual daddy, the architect of modern GOP scumbag election tactics now being put down like a rabid dog via Obama’s impending victory (I SEDZ HOLD YA BRETH!) over John McCain’s hate-fest of idiocy and illogic. Atwater died at 40, having lived long enough to infect American politics, and was supposedly consumed with guilt in his last days.

Atwater’s death by brain tumor at age 40 was preceded by deathbed regrets. The film has heartbreaking footage of this boyishly handsome man turned by chemo and radiation into a feeble, bloated caricature of himself. On his deathbed, he called for a Bible, and sent telegrams of apology to those he had offended, even Willie Horton. “He said what he had done was bad and wrong,” Rollins remembers. “He was scared to death of the afterlife.”

Mary Matalin, who never trusted or approved of Atwater, says: “After he died, they found the Bible still wrapped in its cellophane.” She thinks he might have been spinning right to the end.

Not that much of anything Mary Matalin says can be believed…she needs to deny that Atwater politics, whatever she thought of the man, lacks validity since she made a career of trafficking in it since. But if it’s true, it suggests the complete corruption that consumes those who practice the dark arts. In the end, the Bible was of no use to him if he couldn’t throw it at somebody. Presumably said telegrams exist, so perhaps mortality did shock his conscience somewhat.

Can one really imagine the nightmares Karl Rove would suffer on his deathbed? Would you want to be that guy when the tidal wave of realization hit? “What did I do with my life?” would kill him where he stands right now if he honestly asked the question. My guess is, he never will. Atwater died early, while Rove has been stewing in his juices too long. He has to keep hating to breathe. He is likely to be financially independent the rest of his life, and thus the black spectre hovering above his head will be his only payment. Certainly the media has already forgiven him, and the Gangrenous Ossified Party will keep him warm with good will in trade for fealty. Indeed, the base of Limbaugh and Palin will spend the rest of their lives describing Karl Rove as a hero, and they will believe it until their consciences are shocked as well. I suspect a generation of Democrat dominance will only make them angrier, but by then their generation will be dying out. May the next one find a vision of conservatism that is pragmatic and concerned with balance for the sake of the country, not party.

-jb