Ermagerd. Sworn off Palin for more than a few years, then two consecutive posts in a couple of days. The shame, the shame. What provoked this?
Well, on Saturday we saw La Diva Loca give her all in a TMI style to a CPAC rabble desperate for distraction from its own endless misery, and inevitably we focused on her Bloomberg big guvmint-bashing Big Gulpaloser, like just about everybody else who was near a keyboard. Perhaps predictably, where some of us—perhaps, let’s be hopeful here, the vast majority of humanity and possibly any eavesdropping aliens—saw teeheehee juvenile pathos and completely unintentional self-parody (and responded with our own juvenilia, because that’s how we roll), her fans saw A HEROIC STAND AGAINST THE MAN!!!!
A few spinoff memes among those with access to Photoshop and way too much time on their hands could be expected, but a full-on IRL movement? Oh yeah. Heeeeere’s Twitchy:
Now, I should warn you of a couple of things. First, that headline is no lie, and if you click it, there are indeed pics and video, and it ain’t pretty; and second, if you’ve never visited malevolent douchesquirrel Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy before, its sole raison d’être, other than mobilizing twittering zombie hordes to relentlessly harass anybody who catches Malkin’s eye and ire, is generally to drag a bunch of rabid derp off the twittersphere and blend it with even more rabid derp in its comment stream, I guess in the hopes that a singularity of derp will be triggered that will engulf the entire universe and beyond in a tidal wave of megaderp—thus fulfilling those apocalyptic predictions of peak wingnut and the wingularity ta-DA!
The ingredients on this occasion range from the pedestrian
Cynthia Yockey @conservativelez
Palin at CPAC: He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack (of husband Todd and their Xmas gifts to one another.) Then sips Big Gulp.
to the arguably ill-advised
Michelle Malkin ✔ @michellemalkin
CPAC podiums need to be stocked with 32-oz Big Gulps, not teeny water bottles.
to the marginally more excitable!!!
Roel Marasigan @HeadsWillRoel
Classic Sarah Palin giving nanny Bloomberg a jab at #CPAC!!! pic.twitter.com/bngVu81ZUm
So far, so lame. I’ll kick you off with the first comment over there, then after that you’re on your own if you’re wingnutcurious enough to get off the boat, and don’t say you haven’t been warned, as it gets worse from here on in (though there is some evidence of sedition). Behold the yawning sinkhole in perception:
nc • 2 days ago
Her comedic timing was dead-on perfect! She tells the “rack” joke with a dead pan straight face, then immediately reaches for the Super Big Gulp to deflect any sense of impropriety. Comic genius!
This would be tragic and humorous in a relatively mundane way (“dead pan straight face” *snork*) in itself, but as Wonkette reports, we’re now headed back into the realms of full-on icon-worship again, as the old fanbase at Conservatives4Palin apparently hasn’t entirely been reduced to living under bridges and toasting pigeons on curtain rails through over-donating to The Palin Family and Friends Holiday and Meth Fund SarahPAC, or if it has, it seems to have access to Obamaphones and the Internet down there. Venture after the fold if you dare/can be arsed.
CPAC2013 reminded me of the story of the “dance band on the Titanic” who, knowing they were about to die, decided to continue to bravely play on in an attempt to buoy the spirits of the doomed souls on board. Harry Chapin memorialized the event with a song that contained the refrain:
Dance band on the Titanic
Sing “Nearer, my God, to thee”
The iceberg’s on the starboard bow
Won’t you dance with me?
And that particular mindset is about the only rational explanation for the behavior of establishment Republicans who have decided to continue to humor the directionless hurly-burly of movement conservatives.
These are obviously people who have assessed the costs and decided that they don’t give a rat’s whether they ever win another election. Indeed, losers from previous bouts were featured, like conquering heroes, throughout the CPAC agenda—people like Allen West, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan, John McCain—Sarah Palin! for the love of Mike. While conservatives who actually have a snowball’s chance, like Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, were deemed unfit.
The crazy was on at CPAC today. Some of the more bizarre doings for your reading, ah, pleasure, I guess:
Because the Tea Party is so totally not racist, the Tea Party Patriots group put on a session called “Trump The Race Card: Are You Sick And Tired Of Being Called A Racist When You Know You’re Not One?” Well, after all, who wouldn’t be? The session was led by a black conservative named Carl Smith who urged attendees accused of racism to refer to themselves as “Frederick Douglass Republicans”. Unfortunately things went downhill when the audience started shouting back with accusations of “white disenfranchisement” (because nobody is discriminalized against as much as white males!) and support for slavery because, hey, free food & shelter and stuff. So we know for sure now that Tea Partiers are totally NOT racist.
Even a little crazier was a speech given by none other than The Donald. Apparently the crazed ramblings were so epic even his audience left scratching their heads. I, for one, am certainly looking forward to seeing that great ballroom addition to the White House that Trump’s completely gonna build!
Last, but not least, Rick Santorum (and to paraphrase Charlie Pierce, have we mentioned recently what a colossal dick the guy is?) chose to politicize the tragic death of his nephew the day before from an unnamed disease.
“Yesterday he was not the one in pain,” Santorum said, describing the “surreal” scene at the hospital. “Medicines were effectively blocking all his physical pain — we were the ones in pain.”
And he considers this an effective segue into a condemnation of gummint for wanting to block the pain of ordinary citizens who are just trying to get by in this world. In fact big gummint has robbed us of so much suffering and pain that we are in greater suffering and pain because of it! Because we have been robbed of the “why” of America. And so in conclusion government must . . . give us more pain?
I sympathize fully with his family. I too lost a family member to a disease that caused him a lot of pain and I was also grateful that, thanks to Medicare, he had the pain medications that kept him from suffering. I simply can’t conceive of using this as a platform to say other people should suffer pain. And that Medicare and Medicaid should not be there for them, that they should not have the safety net that keeps people from sleeping in the gutters and begging for a living. But I guess that’s why Santorum is a colossal dick and I am not.
Stay tooned folks. The crazy can only accelerate from here. Klondike Barbie is coming up!
UPDATE: Jim Newell chronicles the crazy today. Highlights include Sarah Palin’s boobs joke and Breitbart’s panel of the uninvited - those so far out there that even CPAC doesn’t want to be associated with them, famously including Pammy Shrugs.
If, as Mitch McConnell claimed at CPAC today, the Democrats’ 2016 “presidential ticket looks like a rerun of the Golden Girls,” given that the all-star lineup at CPAC 2013 includes in its cast Jeb Bush, Eric Cantor, Steven Crowder, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Jindal, Michele Bachmann, Steve King, Ron Johnson, Wayne LaPierre, Dana Loesch, Reince Preibus, Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Wayne Allyn Root, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, Ben Shapiro, Allen West, the ghost of Andrew Breitbart, and Mitch himself, what rerun shows would best encapsulate:
(a) CPAC 2013?
(b) the Republicans’ prospective 2016 presidential ticket?
Paul Ryan, the very, very serious thinker of the Republican Party, the numbers guy who puts together oh-so-serious budgets designed to throw the Olds and the Poors off their Medicare and Medicaids becauz that’s what serious people do, went on Fox News Sunday to discuss his newest veryserious budget which will be officially unveiled next Tuesday. Unfortunately he discussed it with Chris Wallace, one of the people at Fox who actually has thinkingskillz. Here is the exchange:
On Sunday morning, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stopped by Fox News Sunday to preview his new budget, which will be released in full on Tuesday. As it had the past two years, this year’s version will call for massive cuts to social service programs, including food stamps, job training, Medicaid, and Medicare. Host Chris Wallace challenged Ryan on the viability of his plan, pointing out that he wants to repeal and replace Obamacare, and, “that’s not going to happen.”
Still, Ryan insisted that he and then-running mate Mitt Romney won the election on this issue because they “won the senior vote”:
WALLACE: Are you saying that as part of your budget you would repeal — you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
WALLACE: Well that’s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. [...]
Yes, and since we believe it should happen magical Repeal Fairies will make Obamacare go away between now and when this Budget *goes into effect*.
Hmmm. I’m just imagining this scenario in a corporate conference room with the controller presenting the budget to the CEO.
CEO: “Ryan, this budget assumes that revenues will triple when we introduce our new product line of flying pigs. Are you assuming we can create flying pigs?”
CEO: “Well that’s not going to happen!”
RYAN: “Well we believe it should happen.”
How long between the end of that conversation and the issuance of the pink slip to young Ryan?
Ryan also says, after reiterating that wishing Obamacare away can make it so, that the purpose of budgets is to make hard choices. Um, no Paul. Budgets sometimes require you to make hard choices but that is not their purpose. The purpose of a budget is to make the most realistic assessment possible, based on known facts, of what your revenues and expenses for the coming fiscal period will look like. Pretending that things will happen that are not going to happen and using the budget to further right wing ideology and destroy programs that you don’t support is *not* the purpose of a budget.
You can definitely see why this oh-so-serious thinker had to scramble his way into gummint welfare for a living - he wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the real world.
Rand Paul is a smarmy douchenozzle who doesn’t give a flying fuck about US drone policy except when it serves as a handy stick to beat the Obama administration and rile up the wingnut militia crowd. His remarks on the program of notable civil liberties guru Rush Limbaugh yesterday made this pretty clear.
But in as much as Baby Doc has inspired the Republican Party to start punching itself in the face, I applaud him [warning: PolitiHo link]:
As good a day as this was for Sen. Rand Paul on Twitter, it was at least that bad for Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Laced throughout the thousands of tweets cheering on the filbustering Kentucky Republican was a vicious, visceral anger aimed squarely at the South Carolinian up for reelection next year.
“This very well could be a defining moment in this particular campaign — the moment Lindsey Graham lost his grip on the boots on the ground in South Carolina,” Daniel Encarnacion [warning: YouTube link], state secretary for the Republican Liberty Caucus, said in an interview.
Alexander McQueen crocodile boots, one hopes. And now there’s this:
A pitched battle between the Beltway hosebags like McCain, Graham, etc. and the tea party loons is exactly what the party needs right now. The Democratic Party, I mean. Rock on, Paultroon.
One of the GOP’s post-modern cottage industries has been inventing, burnishing and broadcasting the Fiscal Conservative Fairy Tale that high corporate taxes and frivolous, onerous regulations have turned the country’s “job creators” into a sad, gibbering mob of paranoid paralytics who won’t hire anybody new until their long night of insecurity is over.
Historians trace the birth of this ideological shiny object back to the Clinton years when every single Republican in the House and Senate voted against Bill Clinton’s 1993 upper-income tax hike calling it a “job-killer” which “would not reduce the deficit.”
Fortunately, nobody paid any attention to their seriously flawed financial theories then because . . . WRONG! Fabulously, uproariously wrong . . . and the #Bush41Fail was still fresh in everyone’s mind.
WASHINGTON—A new short-term budget bill introduced on Monday by House Republicans includes a bizarre provision banning federal funding to anti-poverty group ACORN, despite the fact that the group has already been stripped of federal funding—and has been defunct for nearly three years.
ACORN leaders announced that the group was disbanding in March 2010, after Congress cut off all federal funding to the organization. The provision in the current GOP budget bill [PDF], buried on page 221 of 269, would duplicate legislation that has already passed, to target an organization that does not exist.
ACORN, also known as the Alliance of Community Organizations for Reform Now, came under heavy fire in the fall of 2009 after conservative provocateur James O’Keefe released a set of selectively edited videos that appeared to show employees of the organization offering advice on tax avoidance related to prostitution and child smuggling. Independent investigations by the California attorney general, the Massachusetts attorney general and the Brooklyn, N.Y. district attorney would later clear ACORN of criminal wrongdoing, and an investigation by the Government Accountability Office would clear ACORN of charges that it mishandled federal funds.
So, in actual “reality-reality”, ACORN was defunded and disbanded three years ago due to a pretty much now-mostly-discredited (I hope!) RW faux journalist who smeared them all over the place. In the mainstream (because these are elected officials, mind you) Republican bubble reality, ACORN is still an ever-present threat that is probably registering legions of zombies to vote in the 2014 mid-term elections even as we speak.
But I also think it’s about an almost magical need to “repeat often” in order to banish the evil spirits of liberalism. Every now and again, resolutions need to be made to ensure that abortions aren’t federally funded (though they aren’t except in cases of rape and incest) or to ban gay marriage (no matter how many times it’s been resolved, previously) to make damn sure people remember that, while your GOP elected representative might not seem to be doing anything for you in the way of making sure your government works well, or at all, they will reinforce the bejesus out of your biases until the cows come home.
I’m not sure why their base is heartened by these things, but, hell. Maybe they are.
So what has she done now that tops even telling Katrina victims to suck it because PayGO!!??
Saying that she voted against VAWA because it protects women who are not privileged, white, upper middle class Jeebus botherers such as her, that’s what! Seriously.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) on Monday openly admitted that she opposed the latest reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it included protections for LGBT, Native American, and undocumented victims of domestic violence.
In an appearance on MSNBC, Blackburn pointed out that the latest iteration of the law protects “different groups” and thus dilutes funding for straight, non-Native American women with the proper documentation:
When you start to make this about other things it becomes an “against violence act” and not a targeted focus act… I didn’t like the way it was expanded to include other different groups. What you need is something that is focused specifically to help the shelters and to help out law enforcement, who is trying to work with the crimes that have been committed against women and helping them to stand up.
I am honestly at a loss for words here. And silly me, I never knew it was really the Violence Against Straight White Women Act as opposed to the Violence Against WOMEN Act. All women who are subjected to violence because they had the nerve to be born women and not able to fight back when a physically stronger guy is hitting them and sexually assaulting them.
I would not wish on Marsha Blackburn what she deserves for taking this position because I am a better person than she is. But it is tempting to wish it. Very tempting indeed.
‘Speaker of the house’
Isn’t worth my spit!
And lifelong shit!
Cunning little brain
Thinks he’s quite a leader
But there’s not much there
What a cruel trick of nature
Landed us with such a louse.
God knows how we’ve lasted
Abiding with this bastard in the house!
My apologies to Herb Kretzmer, whose brilliant Les Miserables lyrics (English) should not be taken in vain, and to you, gentle Roasters, but since we’ve all been plunged into the misery of sequestration, I just couldn’t resist. [see the movie!]
We should though, I guess, take some comfort that, as mystified as “we the people” are by the behavior of our duly elected representatives, they are no more clear on what’s going on there.
Well, evidently, something knocked Erick Erickson off his ass on the road to DC. As a result, the author of such journalistic low-points as:
- comparing an Obama Administration official to a Nazi
- asking if President Obama was shagging hookers behind the media’s back (guess he didn’t get the memo about Obama being gay)
- referring to Michelle Obama as a “Marxist Harpy”
- calling former Supreme Court Justice David Souter a “goat-fucking child molester”
- and oh, so much more . . .
has now become an advocate for journalistic integrity, forcing the rest of us to set aside our regular business and ponder that age-old question of whether or not a mean-spirited, conservative hack can grow up to become a contributing member of society.
Freshman senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is really starting to work my nerves and not in a good way. In a slow news cycle dominated by gridlock over fiscal things that none of us are expected to understand, a loudmouthed, showboating Senate newbie is as good as a train wreck to the media. I, myself, recently posted on Cruz and didn’t expect to be following up so soon, but, as the say in MSM “this is a developing story.”
As a result of the media’s comprehensive and exhaustive coverage of “Shit My Senator Says,” my first impression of Sen. Cruz is that he is an over-achiever with a ‘tude and an adolescent boy’s dedication to shock value. And, at a time in American politics that the bar for shock value has been set almost impossibly high, Cruz’s flamboyant debut has upped the ante.
I find people like Ted Cruz pretty fascinating. The combination of quantifiable intellectual talent cohabiting with mind-numbing idealogical orthodoxy is an enigma wrapped in a paradox and shrouded in a conundrum, to my mind. And so, I set out to find out a little bit more about what makes Senator Ted Cruz tick. And, frankly, I’m scared.
By which I mean, questioning the foundation of several centuries worth of scientific inquiry by providing students with the option of a “Build Your Own Bullshit” Bar at the old studiatorium we used to consider a classroom.
In biology class, public school students can’t generally argue that dinosaurs and people ran around Earth at the same time, at least not without risking a big fat F. But that could soon change for kids in Oklahoma: On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change.
Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”
HB 1674 is the latest in an ongoing series of “academic freedom” bills aimed at watering down the teaching of science on highly charged topics. Instead of requiring that teachers and textbooks include creationism—see the bill proposed by Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin—HB 1674’scrafters say it merely encourages teachers and students to question, as the bill puts it, the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of topics that “cause controversy,” including “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
If someone wants their kid to be a nice little coddled egg or shit-fed mushroom, why is it so difficult to just homeschool the little larva without trying to impose one’s vast ignorance on everyone else’s brat? I mean, really! Making up stuff as you go along is to science as drinking cleaning fluids found under mother’s sink is to eating. In other words—that’s just wrong, son. The freeedom to write a paper claiming that the earth is held up by an infinite number of turtles is the freedom to step out in traffic—just because you can, doesn’t make it right. To understand science is to be able to ably defend your propostition because it has been tested and you understand what the tests meant and what the results meant. Parroting back the bullshit you were raised with is no more science than a dog shaking hands means that the canine in question is attempting to introduce itself into human society—except that a dog, at least, might expect a treat. Or petting. But a child who parrots nonsense and expects an A for failing to be educated isn’t introducing hirself to science. That child is rejecting it. And is no more educated than a child who rejects spelling or claims 2x2=a million.
Making bullshit a law doesn’t make it anything more than bullshit. They might as well call ice cream a vegetable.
The more things change, the more they stay the same . . . especially if you’re a Republican. Take brand new Senator Ted Cruz, for example. Ted Cruz career trajectory is a thing of beauty, the stuff American Dreams are made of. Smart-as-a-whip Cuban-Irish-Italian boy works hard, goes to Princeton where he becomes a national debating champion, then on to a magna cum laude degree from Harvard Law, followed by a Supreme Court clerkship to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Cruz was the first Hispanic ever to clerk for a Chief Justice of the United States.
From there it was a short hop to a post as Texas Solicitor General. Cruz was the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas, the youngest Solicitor General in the United States, and had the longest tenure—2003-2008—in the post thus far in Texas history.
When Kay Bailey Hutchinson retired from her Senate post, Cruz won his party’s nomination to replace her and entered the world of US politics-writ-large. Cruz won TEA Party and Republican Liberty Caucus endorsements and went on to defeat GOP establishment choice, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, in a Republican primary runoff. He then beat his Democratic opponent, Paul Sadler, handily in the November 6, 2012 general election for the Senate seat.
A flawlessly executed blueprint for achieving the American Dream, eh? But nothing that a case of seriously arrested development can’t F-up.
See, Ted Cruz has an ego the size of his home state and not a clue how to play well with others. Cruz doesn’t even seem to realize that there are “others”—he’s on the stage, in the spotlight, utterly alone. He’s the brainiac with no common sense and even less politesse, we’ve all known one. But Cruz may very well have reached his apogee and be fixing to crash and burn as a fascinated America looks on.
At a time when the Republican brand is so fragile that even the so-called Young Guns are keeping a lower profile, a loose cannon like Ted Cruz does nothing but confirm the general public’s already unflattering opinion of Republican politicians. Cruz is exactly the wrong man to help resurrect the troubled GOP and, in a rare show of bipartisan agreement, his Senate colleagues are beginning to agree that Cruz is a BIG problem.
You know, I’ve been percolating over a long-form thing about FreedomWorks, and the revelation that the whole Tea Party notion is a decade-long bit of Astroturf cooked up between the cancer-denialists of Big Tobacco and the Koch brothers, which is all of a piece with the unifying theory of modern conservatism (“Grifters gotta grift”), but you know what? Forget it. That could be a book, someday. In the meanwhile, I think this is as insightful a glimpse into the mentality of these Kochtopi as anything you could find:
Some FreedomWorks staffers worried last year about a promotional video created ahead of FreePAC, a FreedomWorks conference held on July 26, 2012, where thousands of conservative grassroots activists nearly filled the American Airlines Center in Dallas to hear from tea party favorites, including Glenn Beck and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The short film hailing FreedomWorks was intended to play on the large video screens inside the arena.
In one segment of the film, according to a former official who saw it, Brandon is seen waking from a nap at his desk. In what appears to be a dream or a nightmare, he wanders down a hallway and spots a giant panda on its knees with its head in the lap of a seated Hillary Clinton and apparently performing oral sex on the then-secretary of state. Two female interns at FreedomWorks were recruited to play the panda and Clinton. One intern wore a Hillary Clinton mask. The other wore a giant panda suit that FreedomWorks had used at protests to denounce progressives as panderers. (See here, here, and here.) Placing the panda in the video, a former FreedomWorks staffer says, was “an inside joke.”
Another FreedomWorks staffer who worked there at the time confirms that “Yes, this video was created.”
Uh. Huh. A very serious conservative advocacy group, indeed.