We’re All Juan Cole Now

Some impressive fail at the Politico (Editors? WTF are they?):

As bad as that is, the worst part of the article is that two regional experts (Juan Cole and American University professor Josef Olmert) are interspersed with the deep thoughts of Col. Mustard and Ed Morrisey. Because all four of them are equally informed subject matter experts with valid and helpful opinions.

I’m not complaining, because I also follow that line of inquiry. When I need a medical procedure done, I often consult two doctors, and then I check with a needle junky and a crack whore. Just so I have a wide array of opinions and can keep my options open.

Pray the Gay Away

These people are clinical:

Are you gay and wish you weren’t? In Minnesota, there’s a Bachmann who can help you out with that.

Two gay former patients of Marcus Bachmann’s Lake Elmo, MN counseling center are talking to the press about the so-called homosexual “reparative therapy” Bachmann offers at his clinic. Bachmann — husband of surging presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — has long denied he peddles the universally-rejected theory that prayer and Bible study can turn a gay person straight. But now there’s video that shows reparative therapy was on offer at the clinic just weeks ago.

Reports from the pair were first published in The Nation and on ABC News Monday.

Andrew Ramirez, who was sent to Bachmann’s clinic while a senior in high school after he came out to his parents in 2004, told The Nation that a counselor at Bachmann’s clinic “set about trying to ‘cure’ him” by reading the Bible. “particularly verses that cast homosexuality as an abomination.”

I’m not a believer, and don’t believe in the power of prayer, so maybe I just don’t get it. But right now, I can’t think of any combination of Hail Mary’s that would make me stop liking women and start liking men. And if it works for this, why not pray yourself rich, pray yourself thin, pray away your cancer, etc?

Just pure insanity. And that’s not even beginning to dive into the nuttiness in folks thinking there is something wrong with being gay in the first place.

A Sophisticated Waste Disposal Plan

Lots of info in this story about the complete deforestation of an area in WV after it was exposed to fracking fluid,but my favorite (not really) portion is the highly sophisticated, rigorously engineered, and carefully thought through method of disposing of fracking fluid:

A gas company that legally doused a patch of West Virginia forest with salty wastewater from a drilling operation killed ground vegetation within days and more than half the trees within two years, a new report from the U.S. Forest Service says.


In 2007, Berry Energy Inc. of Clarksburg began drilling a conventional, vertical gas well in a section of the Fernow Experimental Forest, a part of the Monongahela set aside for research.

Adams said what unfolded over the next two years was an unexpected opportunity for observation.

Some results were expected, from deforestation and road damage to runoff and erosion. Others, including the dramatic die-off when wastewater was land-applied, were not.

Berry Energy didn’t immediately return messages Monday, but the report says that in June 2008, under a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection, it sprayed 75,000 gallons of treated fracking fluid on the quarter-acre.

Adams said the Forest Service hoped to minimize damage and was only told afterward that the industry standard is to use a much larger area.

“We were surprised when the vegetation responded so quickly because we were told there would be no effect, ‘This is done all the time,'” Adams said. “And there was a very dramatic response.”

Within a few days, all ground vegetation was dead. Within 10 days, the leaves of the hardwoods began to turn brown and drop. Within two years, more than half of the 150 trees were dead, and sodium and chloride concentrations in the soil were 50 times higher than normal.

Those levels declined over time, but the report says high salt content in the soil had another unexpected result: It attracted foraging white-tailed deer and black bears, slowing the regrowth of vegetation.

Really? That’s the disposal plan? To just spray it all over the god damned forest? How many engineers and scientists did it take to come up with this “idea?” You have to be kidding me, right?

It’s so fucking perfect, even down to the imagery of a large corporation shooting fracking fluid out of a hose into a forest. They’re pissing on you, me, and everyone and everything else and they don’t give a shit.

Friends In Low Places

I still think winegate is a bunch of nothing, but it is kind of depressing to know the quality of wingnuts our congresscritters are hanging out with:

Asness, who ordered the wine and who, according to Feinberg was the one who said “Fuck her,” is better known as a high-profile hedge fund manager. Asness founded and runs AQR Capital, which manages an estimated $26 billion in a variety of traditional products and hedge funds, and his life story has been the subject of numerous books and articles about the rise and fall of Wall Street. He’s also grabbed headlines for being one of the most voluble opponents of President Obama’s economic policies.

ABC’s Jake Tapper ran an illuminating piece on Asness in May of 2009, describing him as having “a name and occupation straight out of Dickens” after he wrote an angry open letter to Obama — “Unafraid in Greenwich, Connecticut” — in which he blasted the President’s attacks on hedge fund owners refusing to go along with his administration’s plans for Chrysler.

“Who came up with the title for the letter?” Tapper asked parenthetically in his piece. “Axelrod? Perhaps ‘Bold and on My Yacht’ was too subtle.”

Cochrane, the other, more tempered dinner companion, is the AQR Capital Management Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago, an apparent tip of the hat to the contributions Asness’ AQR Capital Management has made to the Booth School of Business there.

Asness is the jackass who wrote this whiny letter. I’m still choosing the skunk.

How the game is played

Monkey and typewriter
Whenever the village embraces a new “serious” idea to help Liberals and Democrats you can be sure that it will end up with roots in the manure generated by the concerned trolling of some denizen of Wingnutopia.

You can see how this is done with a reality-free bit of drivel from a typing monkey on Tucker Carlson’s parasitic Daily Caller. In his “How the Tea Party can win the left”, James Poulos posits that hate of government can and should be the glue that binds liberals and the Tea Party together. He further argues that only by embracing the Glibertarian unicorn can both the left and right be saved from the horror that is Barack Obama. In his regurgitation of very tired wingnut talking points, Poulas claims that Liberals are angrier at Obama than they were at LBJ back in the day–of course, no evidence or facts are offered to support this regularly debunked claim that massive swarms of Liberals hate Obama. Poulos also explains that Liberals are hopeless and will be forced to vote for Obama because they have no place to go. Then he offers up the Tea Party as the last great progressive hope in the Nation. It is complete nonsense that only a Firebagger could love. And yet, it is nonsense that Conor Friedersdorf finds “provocative”.
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