Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There's No Dissonance Like Cognitive Dissonance

The Chronicle today has a great front-page article on Modoc County:
Modoc has the highest Republican registration of any county in California, it unfailingly elects anti-tax Republicans to office, and the vote here against last month's ballot measure that would have raised a variety of taxes was one of the most lopsided in the state. And yet, per capita, Modoc County gets more state taxpayer dollars than all but one of California's 58 counties....

"I don't think voters in the conservative counties understand the connection between the service they are receiving and the votes their representatives are making," Evans said. "Maybe the layers of government are so convoluted that many people don't realize how it works."

In Modoc, the way it works is that if the cuts being proposed go through, near-catastrophe will reign, said County Administrative Officer Mark Charlton.

He said the entire road maintenance service would be closed except for snowplowing on a few main roads, the welfare-to-work CalWORKS program would be cut in half, many mental health patients would no longer be monitored and would relapse and wind up behind bars, and there would be fewer police patrols.
It's easy to laugh at Modoc, but the attitude is pervasive in California. Way too many people (and 34% is all it takes) believe in the Anti-Tax Fairy, who delivers all the essential services without anyone ever having to pay.

Taxes, of course, just go to limousines for legislators. Cut taxes 100%, and everybody's fine.

But the punchline comes from a Republican rancher quoted in the article:
And if the Capitol does indeed slash Modoc County's money for road maintenance, health services and welfare job training - which will happen, if Sacramento's Republicans get their way - McGarva and Hodge have the same plan.

"Well, we'll just get by the way we did in the Great Depression - on our own," McGarva said.
Yes, that's right: the New Deal was a triumph of individualistic anti-government self-reliance.

And there are simply too many notes, that's all. Just cut a few and it will be perfect.

BigHo contributor Bob Gale has a constitutional amendment that will fix everything:
No law, bill, resolution or any act of Congress shall exceed 2000 words, including all footnotes, amendments and signatures. Congress shall not vote on any item longer than that. Each item requiring a vote shall be read aloud in its entirety in session to a majority of members. Those not in attendance may not vote on the item.
For reference, that's 11,114 fewer words than are in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Gale's screenwriting credits include more video games than movies. Apparently he thinks Congress should be writing for the same attention span.

Update: in comments, SupraDave suggests a 140-character limit: "no votes on anything that cannot be twitted, or tweeted or whatever the Republicans and Iranians are calling it these days."

Monday, June 29, 2009

Remedial Math for Wingnuts

Lesson 1: 5 to 4 is not 7 to 2.

Lesson 2: 5 to 4 is also not 9 to 0.

Mission Accomplished

Imagine that you are working for the 2009 Aspen Ideas Festival, and that you have been tasked with assigning seats to the opening night banquet for all the festival's speakers and presenters. Your boss, a malevolent man, tells you to put together a table he refers to as Fuckwit Nation, to be comprised of the six stupidest and most useless participants in attendance.

You scan the list of presenters and speakers, and the first four denizens of Fuckwit Nation pop out all at once, as their surnames all begin with the letter P: Mark Penn. Dana Perino. Tim Pawlenty. Dennis Prager. Who would deny any of these people a seat at the table?

You continue to check the list. Aha! you say. How did I miss this guy before? And you assign David Gregory to the table.

Just one more name, you tell yourself. I just need one more dullard, one more total know-nothing, to put at this table. You pick up the list again. Your eye catches a name you'd mentally blocked out before. You smile as you assign the last name to the table. Fuckwit Nation is now complete.

Your work is done

To Turn You On

I'm pretty sure Roger has never embedded YouTube videos in his blog. But he did say that we guest posters could fiddle about, so I'm going to do it anyway, because I think this kicks a fair amount of ass, and I'm betting you might think so too.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Notes On Camp

From Rabun County, Georgia—ironically, not far from the Appalachian Trail—comes this story of yet another Republican who has trouble keeping his pants on:
A former mayor found sitting naked and holding a beer at a Rabun County campsite told police he wasn’t the same naked man seen walking around earlier.

Mark Musselwhite, 43, said he was hot and had been in the creek, according to a Georgia Department of Natural Resources incident report. He apparently didn’t think he was doing anything wrong.

Musselwhite, of Gainesville, was arrested last weekend after being confronted by state DNR authorities. He was charged with public indecency.

. . .

Musselwhite, a Republican, was elected to the City Council in 2000. He served on the council for six years, including as mayor of the town. In 2006, he lost a bid for a state Senate seat.

Musselwhite previously served as deacon of First Baptist Church in Gainesville.
While pondering the image of this pale naked person, feel free to come up with your own riff on "Musselwhite." But let's not be so quick to judge this hot and thirsty man. For all we know, the former deacon was getting ready to perform a baptismal ceremony.

One which, for some reason, involves full nudity on behalf of the baptizer, and open cans of Natty Light.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Just Curious

Wasn't there something going on in Iran a while back? Whatever it was, I guess it's over now.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

He's Out of His Life

Since Roger, our host, is currently visting his new girlfriend in Argentina—Kate, I think he said her name was, Kate Gosling or something like that—it has fallen on me to inform the readers of this blog that Michael Jackson is dead.

Despite his wealth and talent, or perhaps because of it, it can't be denied that during the last 25 years of his life, Jackson was nuttier than a Mr. Goodbar. But it also can't be denied that the man created a lot of first-rate pop music, from the classic Jackson Five hits of the early 1970s through the endless string of singles from the "Thriller" album. He was an exciting, gifted singer and dancer, and he brought a lot of pleasure to hundreds of millions of people all over the world.

May in death he find the peace that largely had eluded him in recent years.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ai, ai, ai, ai
É o canto do pregoneiro
Que com sua harmonia
Traz alegria
In South American Way
Ai, ai, ai, ai
E o que traz no seu tabuleiro
Vende pra ioiô
Vende pra iaiá
In South American Way
E vende vatapá
E vende caruru
E vende munguzá
E vende umbu
No tabuleiro tem de tudo que convém
Mas só lhe falta, ai, ai berenguendéns
Ai, ai, ai, ai
É o canto do pregoneiro
Que com sua harmonia
Traz alegria
In South American Way
Ai, ai, ai, ai
Have you ever schtupped in the tropics?
With that evasive hayseed
Like, wingnut kind of crazy
South Carolianian Way
Ai, ai, ai, ai
Have you ever dissed the stimulus
While getting Argentine trim-ulous
(In that) anti-gay notorious
South Carolinian Way?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Having A Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here

I'm taking a week's vacation beginning on Thursday and my plan was simply to let the blog lay dormant and see if anyone would notice. In light of Governor Sanford's trip on the Hillbilly Treasure Trail (which starts at the airport men's room in Plumber's Crack, Georgia, it seems), or whatever it was, I thought I should give notice, lest someone panic and call the National Guard.

I haven't solicited guest-bloggers but, if you've previously guest-blogged, you can still sign in and fiddle about. And I might be able to hook up anyone else who e-mails by noon tomorrow at the fastmail.fm e-mail address.

What's in it for you? That special feeling you get when you help someone less fortunate, or get your dope through customs without detection.

Strong evidence that the Holder Justice Department is serious about prosecuting white-collar crime.

Nixon on Obama

Speaking into William Safire's sphincter from somewhere in Hell, Richard Nixon offers his opinion of President Obama:

Nixon worried that greater access to abortions would foster "permissiveness," and said that "it breaks the family." But he also saw a need for abortion in some cases, such as interracial pregnancies.

"There are times when an abortion is necessary. I know that. When you have a black and a white," he told an aide, before adding: "Or a rape."

Tricky Dick also gives a posthumous shout-out to Ben Stein:

At another point he said, "It may be they have a death wish. You know that's been the problem with our Jewish friends for centuries."

Dick is still the true voice of the Republican Party.

We Can Be Heroes

Nicholas Kristof blogs:

And for Ling and Lee, if by some chance this blog post reaches you, courage! We are with you in spirit, and some day this will end. Then you'll be back with your loved ones, celebrating, like David Rohde. You will come home!

Unless, like Daniel Pearl, you don't.

I am certain, Nick, that if Ms. Ling and Ms. Lee get internet access in their North Korean prison, the first thing they'll do is search your blog for words of comfort and inspiration.

Nick, if by some chance you're Googling yourself and this blog post reaches you, go fuck yourself!


Governor Sanford has been located. He went to Tijuana for the weekend with Grady and Rollo, and they were detained until Aunt Esther arrived with the bail money.

Or maybe this.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Maureen Dowd (1919-2009), Plagiarist Who Brought Shame To Once-Great Newspaper

Here's an excerpt from Ms. Dowd's obituary, published in today's Times:

"It's like he's got one of those Fly Terminator targeting systems in his eyes," marveled Jon Stewart.

Maybe the president who collected Spider-Man comics as a kid couldn’t resist the age-old face-off with a fly.

The moment had echoes of parables in which the ordinary one becomes the golden one.

In "The Karate Kid," a teenager whose father has died learns lessons about the body and spirit from his surrogate father and karate teacher, Mr. Miyagi. His lessons are about not going to the dark side, the importance of discipline, and catching flies. "Man who catch fly with chopstick," Mr. Miyagi says, "accomplish anything."

In the Grimms’ fairy tale, "The Brave Little Tailor," a tailor brandishing a rag kills seven flies swarming around his jam-smeared bread. The little man admires his own bravery so much — "For joy his heart wagged like a lamb's tail" — that he wants the whole world to know of it. So he stitches up a belt for himself embroidered with the legend "Seven at one blow!" and saunters out.

Protected by his legend, using brains rather than brawn, he dispatches two giants and captures a unicorn and a wild boar before winning a princess and living happily ever after as a king.

The president didn't order up a "One at one blow!" belt. You don't need such accessories in the era of YouTube viral videos. But he did admire his own ninja moves so much that he gave himself a shout-out: "That was pretty impressive, wasn't it? I got the sucker." Then he solicited more snaps for what Harwood called his "'Make my day' moment" from his press secretary off camera: "Whaddya think, Gibbs?" After the interview was over, he continued his superfly moves by cleaning up the carcass with a napkin.

The moment may have resonated so much because some Americans fear that President Obama is too prone to negotiation, comity and splitting the difference, that he could have been tougher on avaricious banks and vicious Iranian dictators.

The "shocking murder in the White House," as Stephen Colbert dubbed it, was a small moment. "All they want is to be loved and to feed on our waste," Jeff "The Fly" Goldblum said in a dry defense of the exoskeletal creatures on the Colbert Report.

Mr. Goldblum's quip will serve equally a fitting eulogy for Ms. Dowd and her ordure oeuvre.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A long overdue addition to the blogroll: The Hunting of the Snark.

You should definitely read it while waiting for the pathetic output from the blog you're currently reading.

Friday, June 19, 2009

John and Cynthia Plus An Illiterate

Doug Hampton reveals the right-wing cabal who threatened his family's lives:

The unethical behavior and immoral choice of Senator Ensign has been confronted by me and others on a number of occasions over this past year. In fact one of the confrontations took place in February 2008 at his home in Washington DC (sic) with a group of his peers. One of the attendee’s (sic) was Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma as well as several other men who are close to the Senator. Senator Ensign's conduct and relentless pursuit of my wife led to our dismissal in April of 2008. I would like to say he stopped his heinous conduct and pursuit upon our leaving, but that was not the case and his actions did not subside until August of 2008.

The actions of Senator Ensign have ruined our lives and careers and left my family in shambles. We have lost significant income, suffered indescribable pain and emotional suffering. We find ourselves today with an overwhelming loss of relationships, career opportunities and hope for recovery. Our pursuit of justice continues to place me and my family in harm’s way as we fear for our well being (sic).

It's heartbreaking to see someone mourn the loss of the gravy train with such sincere emotion. If my math is correct, Dougie and Cyn collected from the Senator for at least two months after the Coburn confrontation, and their kid collected a check for five months, all before Ensign's actions subsided.

Given all the grammatical errors (not all of which the Sun caught), the following statement by Doug should shock no one:

I have great respect and affection for Fox News and many of your collages (sic).

Signed, "Glenn Beck's No. 1 Fan (And Shepard Smith Can Blow Me)."

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hampton Inn and Out

Are the Hamptons pushing back on John Ensign's extortion claims?
In Las Vegas on Wednesday, lawyer Daniel Albregts issued a statement that said "Doug and Cindy Hampton can confirm that they are the individuals referenced by Senator Ensign during his press conference."

"It is unfortunate the senator chose to air this very personal matter, especially after the Hamptons did everything possible to keep this matter private," the lawyer said. "It is equally unfortunate that he did so without concern for the effect such an announcement would have on the Hampton family. In time the Hamptons will be ready and willing to tell their side of the story." (Emphasis added)

Of course, Albregts' statement also contradicts Ensign's fallback fable that Doug was just threatening to go on Cheaters with some grainy night-vision footage of the Silver Fox in action. Either way, it seems Ensign's failed coverup is worse than his non-crime.

I'm just glad the story doesn't involve a Democrat. If it had, the police would be recovering Mickey Kaus's body in very David Carradinean circumstances.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ensign Pulverized

John Ensign's dirty little secret keeps getting dirtier. While he was screwing around with mom and paying dad more than $100K per annum, Ensign also found a job for Hampton Jnr.:

The 19-year-old son of a woman who reportedly had an affair with Nevada Sen. John Ensign was being paid by the National Republican Senatorial Committee during the relationship, federal election records show.

Brandon Hampton, who shares an address with former Ensign staffers Doug and Cynthia Hampton, was paid $5,400 between March 2008 and August 2008.

The payments, for "research policy consulting," ended the same month as the affair, which was said to begin in December 2007.

If there's anyone whose research and policy skills the NRSC needs, it's that of a teenager whose mom has questionable taste in congressmen.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Republican Family Values: The Moisture Seekers Edition

Really, how hard can it be to identify John Ensign's staffer/lover? Mickey Kaus would have already sussed this one out with both hands tied inside his pants, but for the fact that Ensign's a Republican.

The NYT reports:

An aide said the consensual affair took place between December 2007 and August 2008, and that the woman worked for both Mr. Ensign's campaign operation, Ensign for Senate, as well as a conservative political action committee, Battleborn PAC, from December 2006 to May 2008. Mr. Ensign is honorary chairman of the PAC. The woman's husband was a member of Mr. Ensign's official Senate staff. Neither has worked for the senator since May 2008, the aide said.

Mr. Ensign, 51, is married and has three children. During college at Colorado State University, he became a born-again Christian and he and his wife, Darlene, were active in the Promise Seekers, an evangelical group.

Mrs. Ensign stands by her man:

Mr. Ensign's wife also issued a statement, reaffirming her commitment to her husband: "Since we found out last year we have worked through the situation and we have come to a reconciliation. This has been difficult on both families. With the help of our family and close friends our marriage has become stronger. I love my husband."

I'd say John "found out" more than a year ago, but maybe he's a little slow about such things.

Hearing reports that blackmail is involved, Michael Steele hopes to blame the affair on President Obama.

Update (6/17): Ensign was allegedly summering in the Hamptons. Since Ensign has reportedly charged Mr. Hampton with the crime of extortion, this should be interesting.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


A remarkable story of an American railroaded by the British courts and his possible vindication:

The case of one of the most notorious murderers in British history, Hawley Crippen, is to be referred to the Court of Appeal, where the infamous doctor may secure a posthumous pardon 99 years after he was hanged.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission has been secretly examining the safety of Dr Crippen's conviction and officials believe that senior judges should now decide whether he is innocent of the murder of his wife in 1910. Cases are referred to the appeal court if the commission feels there is a "real possibility" that the conviction will be ruled unsafe and quashed. At the centre of the case is DNA evidence that may establish the innocence of the American-born Crippen.

Lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano and leading QC James Lewis, acting for Patrick Crippen, a relative of the doctor, said they were told last Friday that the case would be referred to the court in a development that may make Crippen the victim of the longest miscarriage of justice in British history rather than a name that is a byword for murder most foul. Crippen was hanged and buried in the grounds of Pentonville prison after a jury found him guilty.

According to prosecutors at his Old Bailey trial in 1910, the homeopathic practitioner poisoned his unfaithful wife, Cora, dissected her body and buried the remains in the cellar of their north London home. Police found a corpse with no head, bones or genitals. Preparations are already under way to begin the exhumation of Crippen's body at Pentonville. Descendants of Crippen said yesterday that they were "90%" certain that the body would be ferried back to Michigan in the US, where the Crippens have a family burial plot. Lawyers claim that such a development might also reveal the contents of a series of letters apparently buried in his coffin and which purportedly reveal the "truth" behind the body in the cellar.


The chief justice, Lord Alverstone, directed the Old Bailey jury in 1910 with concerns over the gender of the corpse by saying: "Of course, if it was a man ... the defendant is entitled to walk out of that dock."

Lewis, whose prosecution cases include ex-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, has agreed to represent Crippen in court. Crippen's place in criminal history is cemented by the fact that he booked a passage on a ship to Canada taking his mistress, Ethel Le Neve, disguised as his teenage son. The pair were recognised by the liner's captain, who famously used the new Marconi telegraph system to alert Scotland Yard.

A compelling case against the death penalty, if the evidence is accurate.

Update: But apparently not breaking news.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"Doctor" Charles Krauthammer wins the 2009 Smacky.

Don't shoot it all in one vein, Chas.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Standing Athwart History, Simpering "Spare Change?"

This time, NRO's beg-a-thon doesn't include the rectal thermometer.

It was too painful for Jonah to have to shove it up far enough to hide the palrty level of giving.

Thy Kill Be Done

Ross Douchehat says that the murder of doctors who provide abortions is God's will:

If abortion were returned to the democratic process, this landscape would change dramatically. Arguments about whether and how to restrict abortions in the second trimester — as many advanced democracies already do – would replace protests over the scope of third-trimester medical exemptions.

The result would be laws with more respect for human life, a culture less inflamed by a small number of tragic cases — and a political debate, God willing [sic - inshallah], unmarred by crimes like George Tiller’s murder.

Of course, Douchehat could just be saying that everything that happens, such as the 9/11attacks, is God's will. If abortion was "returned to the democratic process," God might stop the killing of doctors, or God might not. Hardly a reason to change anything.

As for how Douchey knows the result would be "laws with more respect for human life," or which lives Douchey is talking about, God only knows.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Lets See How Many Wingnuts Truly Support The Use of Torture

From the Washington Post:

Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he's being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.

"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. He would not elaborate.

Put up or shut up, torture-lovers. If you can't justify it here, you're full of shit.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bay Buchanan Befriends a Bigot

Here's Bay Buchanan, sticking up for her little thug employee, Marcus Epstein:

Within this story it was reported that two years ago next month Marcus assaulted a black woman in Georgetown calling her the “n” word.

Sorry, Bay. Little Marcus didn't just assault the woman. He assaulted and battered her by hitting her in the head while calling her a nigger.

With respect to the incident I have been asked not to comment by Marcus’ attorney since the case is still pending. But putting the incident aside, the stories about Marcus were for the most part inaccurate and incomplete.

And yet, Bay does comment on the incident by putting her sleazy little spin on it. And doesn't identify a single inaccuracy in any version of the event that I've seen.

I write this story not as an excuse for Marcus’ actions. There is no excuse. Marcus would be the first to admit this, and he has, many times.

Except, of course, in his plea agreement, where the little shit refuses to admit responsibility for his actions.

Marcus is half Jewish, and half Korean.

Just so you don't think he's some dirty New York Puerto Rican.

He has a pronounced speech impediment

Although he has an amazing capacity not to slur his racial slurs, even when "completely intoxicated." Nice trick, that.

an exceptional mind, and a remarkable talent for writing. But it was only after this incident that I came to fully appreciate his finest qualities.

Namely, his ability to hit African-American women.

So anyway, Marcus gets depressed his senior year in college and because he's such a good little race baiter, Bay installs him in a spare closet at the manse.

As he sat in my living room my heart broke. Never had I seen a person in so deep and dark a place.

Uh, what about your crazy brother, Hank? The one who watched Hardball and then went off to shoot some guy that Chris Matthews falsely suggested was responsible for harassing Kathleen Willey?

Where's the family loyalty, Bay?

After exhausting himself emotionally he went to one of my spare bedrooms to sleep. He stayed several months and left only when he felt he was strong enough to be on his own again. But the demons were too great.

Early one Saturday evening, several months later, I received a call from a friend of Marcus’. "Marcus is in jail," he told me. The two of them had gone to Georgetown to have a drink before joining others for dinner, he explained. When they left their drinking hole, however, Marcus was completely intoxicated, nearly incapable of walking. It was then that the incident occurred.

So the incident occurred exactly as it was reported, except they left out the part where Marcus became magically intoxicated through no fault of his own. And Marcus didn't punch a cop like Bay's butch brother, Pat. Instead, he struck an innocent woman while spouting racial slurs.

Okay, who's been drunk?

Raise your hands.

And how many of you hit a woman while spewing racist slurs because of the booze?


Anybody here been depressed?

Beat up any women?

It's amazing that the troubled Marcus didn't paste Bay during all of those months in the Buchanan compound.

Wonder how that didn't happen.

Marcus was arrested and released that same evening. Unable to face this new level of disgrace and failure, he went to his office where he drank to make the pain go away -- for good.

Disgrace and failure? No 23 year old is a failure who has his own office stocked with booze and the keys to Bay Buchanan's magic kingdom.

Marcus agreed
to have his mommy and daddy and some high-priced legal talent run interference for him

and spent six weeks in a California facility. I told him if he did so he would have a job to come back to. In the last two years I have seen a transformation. He joined AA, attends meetings several times a week, and volunteers at detox and rehab facilities to help others struggling with alcoholism.

Here's the problem. If Bay is to be believed, little Marcus hasn't done shit. No mention of apologizing to his victim. No mention of restitution to the victim or to the United States for the cost of his prosecution. No public statement of remorse. No attempt to address his bigotry, indeed, he continues to work for loathsome bigots -- and not just the Buchanans.

But the Left doesn't care about any of this.

Well, you've got me there, Bay.

They kept moving this little tidbit, watching it ricochet around their shallow world in the blogosphere, until it landed on a popular site for incoming law students. There individuals who claim they’re interested in carrying-out justice in this world saw to it that Marcus paid again for his offense. With nothing but a skeleton of a story they initiated a campaign targeted at UVA's Admission Office. And they won -- Marcus will not be attending UVA Law School in the fall.

Yeah, it couldn't have had anything to do with Marcus lying on his law school application, could it, Bay? Now that we've got UVA Law by the balls, guys and gals, let's demand full professorships and bullshit chairs like Glenn Reynolds has.

Don't slit your wrists yet, Bay. You and Pat have been compensated handsomely for your bile and have been media darlings for over two decades without wasting three years on the Uniform Commercial Code and declarations against interest. Just introduce little Markkky Markkk to Phil Griffin and Jonathan Klein and I'm sure he'll do just fine in this cruel, cruel world.

Update: Final link corrected.

Update II: The Huffington Post says that Marcus's plea deal required him to write a letter of apology to his victim and a $1,000 donation to the United Negro College Fund. I'm sure those were his idea.

Bonus Fun:"Here's some remorse and self-awareness for you:

It would be futile to even begin to catalog all the people whose careers have been destroyed for uttering 'nigger' or even words that sound like 'nigger' no matter the context."

That's our boy, wallowing prospectively in his own victimhood, nine months after his crime. (See the quote in comments here; no link to the racist website where Marcus published the statement.)