Nutballs and Mirrors, All the Way Down

There’s been discussion of Limbaugh’s demented accusation that the crafty masterminds of Team Obama somehow, retroactively to 1993, managed to brand this summer’s Batman-movie supervillain with a name to invoke dark resonances against the GOP contender. Professional media speculation seems divided as to whether Rush is demented enough to believe this tosh, or if he’s just feeding garbage to his deluded listeners. Which reminded me of Jon Chait’s recent NYMag post on “The Paul Ryan Rosetta Stone“:

I have harbored a long and controversy-provoking obsession with the two tomes that played such a formative role in Ryan’s intellectual development. Five years ago, I wrote a book about how anti-tax fanatics gained and kept control of the Republican Party…One small point that appeared in both my book and the excerpt provoked particular ire from conservatives. That was a detailed description of the lunacy of Jude Wanniski and George Gilder, who wrote the two books that defined supply-side economics (Wanniski’s The Way the World Works and Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty).

My argument was that the economic arguments offered in both books is pure nuttery, but because they used economic concepts, and many people feel unqualified to judge economics, the nuttery is hard for non-specialists to spot. But it’s easy to see that they’re nuts because they have a host of beliefs on all sorts of subjects (Saddam Hussein never gassed the Kurds, E.S.P. is real, etc.) which make their general madness apparent to non-economists.

Some conservatives insisted their wide array of insane beliefs is irrelevant to gauging their economic arguments. (American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett dismissively wrote, “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”) The more common objection was that I overstated the influence of Gilder and Wanniski. …

It’s that “epistemic closure” dilemma, again, as per eventheLibertarian Julian Sanchez:

Conservative media, Mr. Sanchez wrote at juliansanchez.com — referring to outlets like Fox News and National Review and to talk-show stars like Rush Limbaugh, Mark R. Levin and Glenn Beck — have “become worryingly untethered from reality as the impetus to satisfy the demand for red meat overtakes any motivation to report accurately.”…

As a result, he complained, many conservatives have developed a distorted sense of priorities and a tendency to engage in fantasy, like the belief that President Obama was not born in the United States or that the health care bill proposed establishing “death panels.”…

In his blog Mr. Sanchez pointed to a comment at redstate.com about the Manzi-Levin hullabaloo that epitomizes the attitude: “I DON’T CARE,” if every fact and figure is correct, the poster wrote; “more importantly, the principles were timeless and correct.”

A philosopher of the Church — or maybe one of the characters from Orwell’s 1984 — argued that when the experience of reality conflicted with sacred principles, then reality must be made to conform. If the world is supported in space by four elephants standing atop the back of a giant turtle, there’s no point in asking what supports the turtle; the believer is serene in the “fact” that it’s turtles, all the way down. President Obama is both so ignorant that he can’t speak without a teleprompter or get respectable grades at the universities to which he was given illicit affirmative-action access, and a criminal mastermind capable of a global conspiracy to forge his own birth certificate… or to arrange for a conservative comic writer to invent a supervillain in 1993 for use against an opponent in 2012. If such were not true, then why would “everybody know” these seemingly contradictory things to be true?

If you can believe the NYTimes, it’s gone viral — and global:

Updated | Tuesday, 10:03 a.m. The news that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s motorcade was pelted with shoes and tomatoes by Egyptian protesters, who also taunted her by chanting “Monica! Monica!” as she left the U.S. consulate in Alexandria on Sunday, delighted conservative bloggers in the United States.

What has attracted less attention, however, is the extent to which the Egyptians who vented their rage during Mrs. Clinton’s visit appear to have been inspired by fears that the Obama administration harbors a secret, pro-Islamist agenda which originated with American conservatives…

In an online conversation on Monday, when Matt Bradley of The Wall Street Journal asked an Egyptian blogger named Sara Ahmed for proof that the Obama administration was “financing” the Muslim Brotherhood, she directed him to a blog post about American aid to Egypt by an ultra-conservative Canadian blogger, Judi McLeod. Ms. McLeod’s post was based on a news story posted on Lucianne.com, a site run by Lucianne Goldberg, an American conservative who played a central role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

As Mr. Bradley pointed out to Ms. Ahmed, though, Ms. McLeod had badly garbled the original news report, which simply said that the U.S. had decided to release $1.3 billion in aid to Egypt’s military in April. Ms. McLeod falsely reported that the money had been given instead to a delegation of Muslim Brotherhood leaders who visited Washington around the same time…

Ms. Ahmed then directed Mr. Bradley to a transcript of a recent conversation between two American conservatives who claimed that Mrs. Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, was participating in a Muslim Brotherhood plot “to penetrate our government.”

The conversation was an episode of a Web radio program hosted by Frank Gaffney, who served in the Reagan administration and now leads the effort to block what he calls the Brotherhood’s secret plot to impose Islamic Shariah law on Americans….

[More information, including video, at the link.]

Mirrors and paranoia, all the way down! Can you imagine how Bush press flak Ari “Watch what you do, watch what you say” Fleisher would have greeted a mind-meld between DFHs and unruly, disrespectful non-Americans?

109 replies
  1. 1
    Greyjoy says:

    My district’s lovely and gracious Congressional representative, Michele Bachmann, just got spanked by John McCain for trumpeting this story as though it were remotely credible. Apparently she’s getting all her information from the Internetz too. It’s a good thing my taxes are paying good money for her to find out the secrets about government employees that, you know, a background check suitable for that level of security clearance wouldn’t find out. Who needs the FBI anymore?

  2. 2

    Some conservatives insisted their wide array of insane beliefs is irrelevant to gauging their economic arguments. (American Enterprise Institute’s Kevin Hassett dismissively wrote, “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”) The more common objection was that I overstated the influence of Gilder and Wanniski …

    That’s pretty f–king funny coming from the guy(Hassett) who co-wrote Dow 36,000 in 1999.

  3. 3
    melior says:

    “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”

    Proposition: The global economy is controlled by the voice transmissions I am receiving through the fillings in my teeth.
    Q: True or false?
    A: Teach the controversy!

  4. 4
    Alex Milstein says:

    I remember telling friends after Obama’s election that folks like Limbaugh and Beck would become even more vicious than they had been. Voters gave the black liberal guy a decisive victory over the white conservative guy, and I just knew that they all would double down to inflame the fan base that they had left. That’s why I believe they want Obama to win again. Otherwise what would they have to complain about?

  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    “I DON’T CARE,” if every fact and figure is correct, the poster wrote; “more importantly, the principles were timeless and correct.”

    Yeah, and you-know-who timelessly and correctly loved the doggies.

    All other “facts and figures” must have been mere window dressing.

    /godwin

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @NotMax:

    Say no more, say no more.

    That particular political movement was shot through with bizarre conspiracy theories that ignored fact in favor of scapegoating.

    Godwin’s Law is being tested by the American right wing on a daily basis.

  7. 7
    James E. Powell says:

    @Greyjoy:

    Despite the fact that grampa spanked her, I assume that she will be re-elected by a comfortable margin.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @Greyjoy

    If she loses re-election, maybe she can jet off to join those in agreement with her regarding being anti-vaccination in their campaign.

    Pakistan’s drive against polio was thrown into disarray Tuesday after a foreign doctor working on a vaccination campaign was shot, a day after the Taliban reiterated a ban on immunization in the country’s tribal areas, officials said.
    __
    A three-day nationwide immunization program was launched Monday, but the Pakistani Taliban prohibited its administration in parts of the tribal area, the militant-infested zone that borders Afghanistan, putting about 280,000 children at risk.…  Source

  9. 9
    karen marie says:

    “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”

    True, but only in the same way that you can get a neatly typewritten collected works of Shakespeare if you put enough monkeys in a room with typewriters.

    How their heads don’t explode more often is a wonder.

  10. 10
    Jewish Steel says:

    McCain in the Guardian:

    “When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it,”

    Okay, good for you for sticking up for this lady. But ask a staffer what “specious” means before you use it, dumb-ass.

  11. 11
    NotMax says:

    Damn, that DC comics company puts Jean Dixon and Nostradamus to shame.

    Bane first appeared in 1993.

    Glorious Godfrey first appeared in 1971.

    Bizarro World first appeared in 1960.

  12. 12
    karen marie says:

    Palii posted this in another thread. Reason #5735 why Romney doesn’t want to release more than his two most recent tax returns — 2009 would prove him and his wife guilty of vote fraud. Hahahahahaha.

  13. 13
    gene108 says:

    @melior:

    “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”

    You may very well have some respectable scientist types, who have had issues with mental illness or are just whacky in their world views outside of their area of expertise.

    I have definitely run into the latter, with PhD’s arguing various types of conspiracy theories outside their area of expertise.

    Doesn’t mean they don’t know what they are talking about, when you get them on their subject of expertise.

  14. 14
    NotMax says:

    @Jewish Steel

    He might well have chosen a harsher term (mendacious comes to mind), but I can’t begrudge his use of specious in the sense of demonstrably false yet put forward in a manner so deceptive as to sound as if it might not be false.

    Ceremonious and formalistic Congress speak (my esteemed colleague and all that) unfortunately becomes ingrained after decades of use.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Last sentence not there.

    In a Congress speak to English translation, he called her a bullying, lying sack of crap.

  16. 16
    Ryan says:

    Hey – I’m wondering if someone has an old post saved. I can’t find it.

    I don’t remember much of it, though, which makes searching for it hard. It was a long list of racism directed at the President by teabaggers and ended with a line that was something like “eventually you have to admit that racism is the face of your party.”

    Anyone? Thanks

  17. 17
    Nellie in NZ says:

    Off topic – but this item from my hometown, Wichita, shows that “they” never quit trying. The execs ran the company into ground, conducted many lay-offs, declared bankruptcy, and sold the company (Beechcraft) to the Chinese. Now they want bonuses….

  18. 18
    Nellie in NZ says:

    Hmm, why didn’t the link show up. I’ll try again…http://www.kwch.com/news/kwch-.....2501.story

  19. 19
    NotMax says:

    @Nellie in NZ

    Truffle-sniffing pigs’ olfactory abilities pale in comparison to those of dollar-sniffing boardroom leeches.

  20. 20
    geg6 says:

    I am totally discombobulated. The Pirates are in first place and are 11 games over .500.

    The apocalypse must be nigh, is all I can say to that.

  21. 21
    Schlemizel says:

    And yet, they are winning. They owned both chambers of Congress for most of the last 20 years, they got a Texas simpleton elected and re-elected despite his miserable history and lack of ability, they own a 3/2 advantage in State Governorships and the majority of State legislatures. And in the face of the full failure of their control, with every bit of evidence of their incompetence, their greed, their sociopathic lack of concern for this country and its citizens on full display they can nominate the poster child for their real values and he will do no worse than ‘really close’ but he also may win by that margin.

    From the mid 90’s till ’10 I kept thinking people would see the obvious and turn the ship around. After the ’10 debacle I thought “OK, a blip but this will get people to see what the GOP really is”. But no. The stupidity only burns if you are capable of rational thought and critical thinking. The only conclusion I am left with is a large plurality of the voting public has neither of those skills (and is wildly proud of it!) and will not see the train until they are ground under the driver wheels.

    yes, I am particularly cheery this morning

  22. 22
    Jewish Steel says:

    @NotMax:

    You, my esteemed co-commenter, your broad and generous spirit does you an unending credit.

    In my experience, “specious” is often wrongly used as an intensifier. Like it’s especially and heinous all portmanteau’d up and shit.

    But I am cranky from lack of sleep.

  23. 23
    NotMax says:

    @Schlemizel

    Ripe for revival: Booboisie

    Personally, time since his death has shown that Mencken was an anti-semitic schmuck.

    Professionally, as a political curmudgeon he was nonpareil.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:

    @Jewish Steel

    The gentleman’s remark graciously accepted.

    Your obedient servant,

  25. 25

    @Jewish Steel, @NotMax:

    OK, its early and no coffee, and I totally cop to dumbassedness. So, off to visit Merriam-Webster to look it up:

    SPECIOUS (adj.)

    1 obsolete : showy

    2: having deceptive attraction or allure

    3: having a false look of truth or genuineness : sophistic (specious reasoning)

    Which made me think of Colbert:

    TRUTHINESS (adj.)

    1: a quality characterizing a “truth” that a person claims to know intuitively “from the gut” or because it “feels right” without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts.

    I guess I would never cut it in Congress, I would totally go with the “lying sack of crap” terminology.

  26. 26
    MattF says:

    Note that Ed Rollins, former Bachmann campaign manager, no less, is unhappy:

    http://livewire.talkingpointsm.....ame-on-you

    ‘…sometimes has difficulty with her facts.’ Ha ha. That’s pretty good.

  27. 27
    Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill says:

    @NotMax: Sadly, in this case, their reaction is based in a reality — as the article you quote goes on to explain, we used exactly that sort of immunization ruse to try to find bin Laden. And when it came out, a lot of commentarors noted it would have exactly this effect.

    It’s true they had already a long-standing animosity to the projects, but, hey, we have Jenny McCarthy and a bunch of other folks on this side of the world saying things not too dissimlar, so why throw stones at people who know these projects were used to infiltrate their country?

  28. 28
    JGabriel says:

    @Phil Perspective:

    That’s pretty f—king funny coming from the guy(Hassett) who co-wrote Dow 36,000 in 1999.

    And it would have happened too if we’d had an across the board Republican-majority Congress, SCOTUS, and President for the next 4 years 6 years 8 years!

    It’s all the Democrats fault, especially that liberal, George W. Bush. The market NEVER would have crashed if we’d had a Republican House in 2008 and a president who was a REAL CONSERVATIVE! Someone like Dick Cheney or Roger Ailes!

    .

  29. 29
    Hill Dweller says:

    The wingnuts can get away with their wingnuttery, flourish even, because we have the most ignorant electorate in human history.

    Part of that ignorance is due to the media, but most is the result of apathy, lack of education/knowledge and tribalism.

    I’m not sure how, or if, that changes. But something has to give, because this country is on the verge of giving power back to the very same party that got us into this mess, which will just accelerate our decline.

  30. 30
    Mark S. says:

    Anne, that was a lot of crazy shit to read first thing in the morning!

  31. 31
    Hill Dweller says:

    Morning Joe is an abomination of a show. I foolishly watched a few minutes this morning, and the amount of stupidity displayed in such a short period was staggering.

  32. 32
    NotMax says:

    @Woodrow/asim Jarvis Hill

    Because people of any ilk or alliance who use their position to promulgate long-standing, long disproven bizarre myths such as that of the polio vaccine (specifically) being manufactured to target and sterilize Muslims have stood themselves up as proper targets of derision.

    This is something they’ve been doing for a long time. The misguided and ham-handed CIA use of a medical professional engaged in the same field provides a handy excuse to bolster and help consolidate the local Taliban’s power, but it does not and ought not serve as justification for their antediluvian ongoing anti-vaccination blarney.

  33. 33
    SFAW says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Well, this’ll cheer you up:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YI2LSK4pEQ

    Or perhaps not.

  34. 34
    NotMax says:

    @Hill Dweller

    Yup, yup, and yup again.

    Morning Joe is three hours of video of a group of people giving each other reach-arounds.

  35. 35
    SFAW says:

    @JGabriel:

    It’s all the Democrats fault, especially that liberal, George W. Bush.

    You forgot Poland Bill Clinton!

  36. 36
    Honus says:

    @geg6: Don’t worry, I can remember when it used to happen all the time. In 1974 we were dead last at the All star break and won the division.

  37. 37
    maurinsky says:

    This is reminding me of a book by Tom Sharpe, in which two separate undercover Scotland Yard/CIA agents are each convincing the other one to commit acts of terrorism.

  38. 38
    SFAW says:

    @maurinsky:

    Played by Brangelina, no doubt.

  39. 39
    Chris says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    Takes a hell of a lot for the apathy/tribalism combo to be overcome, and it’s always temporary when it does.

    Between the last fifty years of U. S. politics and the way I’m watching the far right creep its way back into “mainstream” respectability back in France, it’s got me wondering if a stable liberal democracy is even possible over the long term, or if having unhinged, identity-obsessed and power-mad lunatics in power is a permanent feature in the system. Probably the latter.

  40. 40
    Mick McDIck says:

    “Even if one assumes that a theory has been put forward by an unbalanced person, that fact does not mean that the theory is incorrect.”

    true. isaac newton was crazy enough for two lunatics.

    gilder and wanniski are weird and wrong. so naturally they are conservative heroes.

  41. 41

    Well, over at Salon.com there was a story saying “The Dark Knight Rises” mocks the Occupy movement.

    And this came out the same day Rush said his BS. Which makes me think we’re all taking this shit just a tad too seriously.

  42. 42
    moonbat says:

    @geg6: Relax. The apocalypse won’t be nigh until the Cubs are in first place and 11 games over .500.

    See: The Last Pennant Before Armageddon

  43. 43
    Hill Dweller says:

    I see some right wing former SEAL is forming a SuperPAC to attack Obama. We’ll see how it plays out, but I would think the Obama campaign welcomes having a foreign policy debate with Willard.

  44. 44
    debit says:

    Sooooooo, let me try to understand this. Our Secretary of State is attacked a mob in a Middle Eastern country and this is a good thing. Conservatives are deliberately encouraging anger and hatred towards the United States in a Middle Eastern country with lies and this is a good thing. Maybe I just don’t understand how patriotism works.

  45. 45
    NCSteve says:

    @Greyjoy:

    My district’s lovely and gracious Congressional representative, Michele Bachmann, just got spanked by John McCain . . .

    Eyych. Brain bleach. Has anybody seen my brain bleach?

  46. 46
    RSA says:

    There’s been discussion of Limbaugh’s demented accusation that the crafty masterminds of Team Obama somehow, retroactively to 1993, managed to brand this summer’s Batman-movie supervillain with a name to invoke dark resonances against the GOP contender

    The liberal machine takes the long view. I mean, is it really out of the question that Hollywood released the rat movie Willard in 1971 specifically to prevent George Romney from mounting another Presidential campaign? And of course they did it by going after one of his kids…

  47. 47
    RepubAnon says:

    @melior: It is true that just because someone thinks that their hypothesis was transmitted to their fillings via secret Illuminati radio waves does not mean the theory is false. However, it does mean that the hypothesis should be viewed with considerable scepticism rather than simple-minded acceptance.

  48. 48
    amk says:

    queen ann to the fucking plebes on tax returns – ‘we have given “all you people” need to know.’ now go eat that cake.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:

    @RSA

    And don’t leave out Walker, Texas Ranger, obviously meant to educate the public about Bush 43.

    Oops. In that case, it would have been been titled Walker, Texas Deranger

  50. 50
    Hill Dweller says:

    The twitter machine is telling me Ann Romney told Robin Roberts Willard has “given all you people need to know” in regards to tax returns.

    I remember reading people familiar with Willard’s campaigns in Massachusetts say Ann had been a liability, and I’m starting to see why. She screams ‘entitlement’ every time she opens her mouth.

  51. 51
    rea says:

    @NotMax: The reason the Pakistani Taliban is opposed to vaccination is that a doctor conducting a vaccination campaign turned out to be working for the CIA, and was the guy who spotted bin Laden for us.

  52. 52

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Godwin’s Law is being tested by the American right wing on a daily basis.

    I don’t know if Godwin’s law applies when the subject being discussed is actual Nazis.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    @rea

    Not so. They’ve latched onto that as a current meme to try to support their stance, but they have held and pushed the same tripe from long before that occurred.

  54. 54
    SFAW says:

    @debit:

    Let me try to ‘splain it for you:

    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Republican Treason is Patriotism

    OK?

  55. 55
    amk says:

    @SFAW: Good one. Tweeting that.

  56. 56
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    @debit:

    Democrats and liberals hate America. Ergo, anything that hurts, harms, irritates, or otherwise bothers them must therefore be not only good for America but encouraged to destroy those Illegals-loving, Baby-hating, Economy-Killing Green Fascists for the good of Jeezus Christ, Esq., blessed be his dollar bills. Amen.

  57. 57
    PeakVT says:

    @karen marie: Wouldn’t that be great if Romney committed voter fraud? The mere thought of it is cracking me up.

  58. 58
    geg6 says:

    @Honus:

    Oh, I remember those days, too. It’s just that it’s been twenty years or so since the last time it happened. I assume it is a result of the earth tilting on its axis or something.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Southern Beale:

    “You look like a guy who takes himself seriously. You want my opinion? You need to LIGHTEN UP!”

  60. 60
    Downpuppy says:

    Batman? Pfui. I’ll see your bat & raise you a rat – Willard.

  61. 61
    Valdivia says:

    I see from Sargent in the Plum Line morning post that the polls out this week have been changing samples numbers (the Q poll from Virginia oversampled white voters) What the hell are these guys doing, trying to keep the horse race narrative up?

  62. 62
    danielx says:

    In his blog Mr. Sanchez pointed to a comment at redstate.com about the Manzi-Levin hullabaloo that epitomizes the attitude: “I DON’T CARE,” if every fact and figure is correct, the poster wrote; “more importantly, the principles were timeless and correct.”

    That’s pretty much it in a nutshell – it doesn’t matter if a particular policy works or not according to the concrete results (you know, those pesky facts) produced by that policy, as long as the policy is consistent with conservative principles. Conversely, if a given policy is not consistent with conservative principles, it must be destroyed at all costs no matter if the policy is producing results that a reasonable person would consider desirable.

    The difficulty lies in the sea change that conservative principles seem to undergo depending upon who resides in the Oval Office. Deficits under George W. Bush? We don’t care, we love the guy! Deficits under Barack Obama? Drive him from office!

    It’s too early for this.

  63. 63
    Nemesis says:

    @Schlemizel:
    Well stated, indeed.

    Consequences for outrageous behavior is non-existent.

  64. 64
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Valdivia: Yes.

  65. 65
    NotMax says:

    @danielx

    The difficulty lies in the sea change that conservative principles seem to undergo depending upon who resides in the Oval Office. Deficits under George W. Bush? We don’t care, we love the guy! Deficits under Barack Obama? Drive him from office!

    An extrapolation:

    Deficits under Romney? The guy’s a genius! He’s bleeding the Chinese dry selling them Treasury paper that pays next to no interest! More deficits, more! Masters of the Universe once more!

  66. 66
    Ash Can says:

    @Hill Dweller: It would be best for everyone concerned if she were to just shut the hell up — stick to carefully scripted campaign appearances, defer all other questions to the campaign staff. I don’t know if the campaign staff is too stupid to throw a net over her or if Willard in all his political genius is preventing them from doing so, but she’s a noticeable drag on an already floundering campaign.

    ::throws more popcorn into mouth and crunches happily::

  67. 67
    gelfling545 says:

    @Jewish Steel: Specious seems to be a word that has changed its meaning over time. If you read older literature (up through the 1920’s) you will find that “specious arguments” mean apparently sound, plausible whereas now it means the polar opposite. Very puzzling.

  68. 68
    Chris says:

    @Ash Can:

    I suspect it’s Willard. In all his political genius.

  69. 69
    jwb says:

    According to Charlie Pierce, there is a group in Wisconsin going through the recall vote from June and has been finding systematic errors in the electronic voting machine tallies. Justin Bieber, this is all we need. On the other hand, as far as I can tell the group that is doing the recounting does not seem to be getting pushback from folks who would have something to hide if the machines were in fact rigged.

  70. 70
    NotMax says:

    @Ash Can

    but she’s a noticeable drag on an already floundering campaign

    All of which will instantly be consigned to the memory hole and her status rebooted if she’s able to walk onto the convention stage flashing an Olympic medal on her chest.

    Sad to say.

  71. 71
    Ash Can says:

    @Chris: If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one memoir/tell-all appear in print after the election.

  72. 72
    geg6 says:

    @Valdivia:

    What the hell are these guys doing, trying to keep the horse race narrative up?

    Yes.

    And this has been another episode of SATSQ.

  73. 73
    catclub says:

    @karen marie: I think the Brad blog misses the importance of the 2009 tax returns. Since he voted in Jan 2010, residency probably had to be established in 2009. The Belmont house was bought in 2010 and residency could easily be established for 2010. But 2009? Not as likely.

  74. 74
    NotMax says:

    @gelfling545

    Etymology is endlessly fascinating.

    Didja know the word “silly” originally meant deeply religious or blessed?

    The possible gibes and jokes emanating from that one write themselves.

  75. 75
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @debit: Just win, baby.

  76. 76
    Valdivia says:

    @geg6:

    hhis.
    I just keep hoping number people would just play it straight up, guess not.

  77. 77
    catclub says:

    @NotMax: “The misguided and ham-handed CIA use of a medical professional engaged in the same field provides a handy excuse to bolster and help consolidate the local Taliban’s power, but it does not and ought not serve as justification for their antediluvian ongoing anti-vaccination blarney.”

    There was some other time that I wrote that whatever happens, the stupid party wins. This seems to be another one of those.

  78. 78
    catclub says:

    @Mick McDIck: I was just reminding myself of this:https://dsquareddigest.wordpress.com/2004/05/ which refers to Projects and Morons.

    One of its lessons was that you cannot trust _anything_ that liars tell you. It is a great post to re-read regularly.

    It also refers to Audit, which is reviewing the record of predictions and comparing them to results. Those who forego Audit get the predictions they deserve.

  79. 79
    grandpa john says:

    @Alex Milstein: @Alex Milstein: reminds me of this quote

    QUOTATION: There are more fools than knaves in the world, else the knaves would not have enough to live upon.
    QATTRIBUTION:Samuel Butler (16121680), British poet.

  80. 80
    Brian R. says:

    Jennifer Rubin is on MSNBC right now. Wow, she should really stick to print. She looks batshit insane, with a spittle-fueled speaking style and what looks like a pound of lipstick.

  81. 81
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Southern Beale: Not really, even us DFH fear and dread The Revolution

  82. 82
    scav says:

    Semi-topical in an utterly bizarre way. I need to thank AL for her title because now I want to make an entirely nut-based meatball to go with pasta. I’ve had walnuts in pasta and lasagna with great joy but the nutball format had yet to occur to me. Tusand tak Y mille graçias

  83. 83
    schnooten says:

    A philosopher of the Church—or maybe one of the characters from Orwell’s 1984— argued that when the experience of reality conflicted with sacred principles, then reality must be made to conform.

    I think you’re referring to Anselm, and that’s apparently a common misreading of “faith seeking understanding.” Like these people, he believed his own bullshit; and like these people, he believed that his arguments were persuasive to nonbelievers

  84. 84
    Punchy says:

    Like it’s especially and heinous all portmanteau’d up and shit.

    Can we PLEASE make this onto the rolling scroll of whatever statements on the masthead?

  85. 85
    SFAW says:

    @moonbat:

    The apocalypse won’t be nigh until the Cubs are in first place and 11 games over .500.

    I don’t seem to recall the world ending after the 1969 season.

    Go METS!

    (I know you’ll forgive the schadenfreude.)

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    @Chris:
    The cream always rises to the top.
    To put it another way given the subject, shit never smells good.

  87. 87
    jwb says:

    Nate says everyone calm the fuck down, not much seems to have changed in the polls despite the numbers.

  88. 88
    Hill Dweller says:

    @jwb: The wingnuts’ panic tells you far more than the polls. They know the Bain and tax returns are toxic for Willard. I suspect the Obama campaign will start in on Romney’s ‘saving’ the Olympics soon.

  89. 89
    kindness says:

    ESP is real. Why use it in an argument to slam conservatives?

  90. 90
    Face says:

    ESP is real

    Heh. The snark is (hopefully) strong in this one, young padawan.

  91. 91
    Rome Again says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Do you know how to read?

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Valdivia:

    What the hell are these guys doing, trying to keep the horse race narrative up?

    Yes.

    SATSQ.

    On edit: refreshing fizzy beverage to geg6.

  93. 93
    ericblair says:

    @kindness:

    ESP is real

    Real or not, who knows. It’s certainly not reliable or predictable for anyone, otherwise every ca$ino on the planet would be bankrupt at this point.

  94. 94

    @Chris:

    Between the last fifty years of U. S. politics and the way I’m watching the far right creep its way back into “mainstream” respectability back in France, it’s got me wondering if a stable liberal democracy is even possible over the long term, or if having unhinged, identity-obsessed and power-mad lunatics in power is a permanent feature in the system.

    A Republic presumes a active Citizenry. But we don’t have “citizens” in this country, we have “consumers”.

    Given recent poll numbers, I’m about ready to declare the American public too stupid for democracy. Fuck ’em.

    If Romney wins in November? I’m done with politics, and going with ‘prepare for systemic collapse sometime in the 2030s’ as my long-term life plan.

  95. 95
    A moocher says:

    @Chris: as long as the 27% can vote would-be oligarchic dynasties will find a way to use them to destroy democracy. The problem is universal suffrage. As long we remain committed to this enlightenment mis-conception, there is no hope.

  96. 96
    Elie says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Its a trait in humans to hold on to certain “ideas” in the face of strong evidence to the contrary. They DO change, however, and you have to keep it up..

    Great article in this months Harper’s magazine which seems like a downer at first. Its about the impending collapse of midwestern farming due to a number of practices including the misuse of modern means of farming. It follows some pioneers who are trying to get the word out in the face of huge hostility from the largely farming population. What is interesting and important is that while they remain hostile, they are starting to think because they can’t refute the reality of what is happening in front of them… Still, it is taking them a lot of evidence and a lot of pain to even start to question.

    We can’t give up. We just have to keep laying it out there and confronting the illogic and fear with reality. It doesnt feel good but it is OUR duty, really.

  97. 97
    Chris says:

    @A moocher:

    I can’t disagree that there are people out there who are either so dumb or so ill-intentioned that they have NP business voting, and in an ideal world maybe we could weed them out. The problem is I can’t think of a single weeding-out procedure that couldn’t instantly be abused by the “oligarchic dynasties” in question.

    Universal suffrage is the worst electoral system, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.

  98. 98
    grandpa john says:

    @RSA:

    There’s been discussion of Limbaugh’s demented accusation that the crafty masterminds of Team Obama somehow, retroactively to 1993, managed to brand this summer’s Batman-movie supervillain with a name to invoke dark resonances against the GOP contender

    Hmmm Ruch must be running a test to see just how fucking much ignorance he can push on his moronic audience before they finally figure out that he is a grifting asshole who has been scamming them and taking them to the cleaners for years while becoming rich of of their rank stupidity.

  99. 99
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Re: the Pirates, Cubs, Armageddon…

    I don’t know — after all, the L.A. Kings are the NHL champions. Let that roll around on your tongue for a moment. Is that one of those biblical portents of the second coming?

  100. 100
    grandpa john says:

    @Valdivia: yeah Mason/Dixon oversampled 65+ voters and undersampled black and hispanic in the florida poll.The sampled 65+ at 33% which is almost twice the Fl demograhic that says 65+ in FL is about 18%
    Purple Strategies current polls showing tightening of races, doesn’t even give crosstabs of their sampling demographics

  101. 101
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    In regards to the lunacy of a big chunk of the U.S. population (such as those who keep returning Bachmann to the House), if 27% are outright half-hinged wingnuts who believe whatever Rush tells them, and a similar percentage are still somehow undecided, well, that puts those who are either informed or utterly disinterested in politics in the thin minority. I suspect we’ll continue to watch things ebb and flow. We are seemingly at the ebb tide now, what with people taking wingnut pundits so seriously, disbelieving in global warming, fearing “the gays”, and such.

    I have to say, that segment of people who simply “don’t know” or “can’t decide” is confounding to me. I think you could ask them, “Was Hitler a good person?” and some of them would say, “Well, I just don’t know… he was a dynamic public speaker, after all….”

  102. 102
    SFAW says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    “Was Hitler a good person?” and some of them would say, “Well, I just don’t know… he was a dynamic public speaker, after all….”

    It’s an outgrowth of the “Flat Earth? Views differ!” phenomenon described by Krugman and others. Of course, the root cause is the decimation of the public education system, majorly aided and abetted by the Rethugs. Which is just the way they like it – I’ve seen surveys correlating high percentages of low-information (f/k/a “stupid”) voters with red states.

  103. 103
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Yes, I’ve seen those surveys, too. It seems fairly clear that those who are truly in power of the Republican party want Americans to be just smart enough to hold down a nice service-sector job and be moved by the stirring and nuanced words of Rush, Hannity, Savage, Coulter, Malkin, et al. The rest of us? Commies, moonbats, tree huggers, perverts, freaks. Oh, if only they could turn us into Soylent Green!

  104. 104
    NotMax says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)

    Green now carries too much baggage.

    Soylent Red, White and Blue perhaps.

  105. 105
    Kyle says:

    If you watch the 60 Minutes interview with Grover Norquist, you will hear him tell of how he developed the “no taxes–ever” political strategy when he was 15 years old. I remember thinking at the time that my country had been delivered to hell in a hand basket because of the idea of a 15 year old. La sigh.

  106. 106
    Oliver's Neck says:

    As a philosophy prof I feel obligated to note that Chait’s argument (as presented here) against Gilder and Wanniski is a logical fallacy. Just because the two have demonstrably false ideas on other topics it doesn’t necessarily mean that their economic ideas are false. On this point Hassett is, in fact, correct.

    The economic ideas should be judged on their own merits, regardless of their source. Once one rigorously does so, one finds that the economic ideas of Gilder and Wanniski are, in fact, nuts.

  107. 107
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    True enough, NotMax… Actually, I think we’re due for a new CGI remake of that sci-fi classic. Who would you like to see as the Heston character (Thorn)? I wonder if Matt Damon might give it a go.

  108. 108
    SFAW says:

    @Kyle:

    my country had been delivered to hell in a hand basket because of the idea of a 15 year old.

    Well, I was going to be a smart-ass and write something about Howard Jarvis being a lot older than 15, but I guess Norquist was 15 a few years before Jarvis did his thing (may both of them burn in Hell forever).

  109. 109
    NotMax says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.)

    I’m far, far from being versed about today’s actors, either by name or by their work, so will only shakily hazard a candidate.

    Brendan Fraser.

Comments are closed.