Saturday, April 16, 2011
If you don't get the joke, you might be Republican
Well no wonder they don't think The Daily Show is funny and don't notice when Colbert rips them to pieces.
Some scientific folks at UC San Francisco have completed a study indicating that people in the early stages of dementia have lost the snark detection system most of us were born with and can't tell when you're lying or being facetious. It explains a lot of things, actually, from why people send their life savings to Nigeria to why they can support a candidate who changes his entire philosophy from hour to hour to negate whatever his opponent says.
"Divergent Neuroanatomic Correlates of Sarcasm and Lie Comprehension in Neurodegenerative Disease," a paper presented Thursday at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Hawaii, suggests that dementia can be detected earlier by noting this telltale disability. Fans of Blade Runner will smile and those of us baffled by the thought processes of Sarah Palin disciples will say "AHAH!" Perhaps we can now begin to understand why there are no really funny conservative comedians and how John McCain can flip and flop faster than a Cray supercomputer without fostering the slightest cynicism from the right.
After all, what has been eroded by disease in some people may simply not exist in others.
(Cross posted from Human Voices)
Will new Republican governors be a drag on GOP chances in 2012?
- Florida Governor Would Lose Do-over Election, Poll Says
- Can Ohio's John Kasich Win Back Voters?
- Poll: Pennsylvania Voters Regret Choosing Gov. Tom Corbett
- New Poll Finds Michiganders Wishing They Had Voted for Bernero
- Scott Walker's Approval Takes a Hit in Wake of Protest
The absurdity of the royal wedding: monarchy v. democracy
Friday, April 15, 2011
Are mainstream GOPers going to be better prepared this time?
Thursday, April 14, 2011
John Boehner's growing Tea Party headache
The budget deal passed the House by a comfortable margin, by a vote of 260 to 167. A total of 59 Republicans voted against the deal, but according to ABC's Jon Karl, only 27 of those no votes came from freshman House Republicans, who comprise the bulk of the conference's Tea Party component.
Books by failed Republican candidates
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Russia's position on Libya: Trying to have it both ways
- Create and/or wildly exaggerate an enemy of the people. (Islamists: check)
- Set up a secret extra judicial justice system. (sort of, with the military tribunals and the FISA court)
- Set up a paramilitary force, armed thugs if you will. (Blackwater/Xe, which not only "assists" the US Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also was involved in bringing "security" to New Orleans after Katrina, so: check)
- A surveillance apparatus set up to watch the people. (The Patriot Act: check)
- Harass citizens groups. (sort of, but this has been going on for a while now)
- Arbitrary detention and release. (Gitmo: check)
- Target key individuals. (sort of, again)
- Control the press. (Only five corporations own the media: check)
- Dissent = Treason. ("Why do you hate America so?" under Bush: semi-check)
- Martial law. (not yet...maybe)
Romney vs. Trump
I think the citizenship test has been passed. I believe the president was born in the United States.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Quote of the Day: Alan Simpson on homophobes and hypocrites in the GOP
Who the hell is for abortion? I don't know anybody running around with a sign that says, "Have an abortion! They're wonderful!" They're hideous, but they're a deeply intimate and personal decision, and I don't think men legislators should even vote on the issue.
Then you've got homosexuality, you've got Don't Ask, Don't Tell. We have homophobes on our party. That's disgusting to me. We're all human beings. We're all God’s children. Now if they're going to get off on that stuff -- Santorum has said some cruel things -- cruel, cruel things -- about homosexuals. Ask him about it; see if he attributes the cruelness of his remarks years ago. Foul.
Now if that's the kind of guys that are going to be on my ticket, you know, it makes you sort out hard what Reagan said, you know, "Stick with your folks." But, I'm not sticking with people who are homophobic, anti-women, moral values -- while you're diddling your secretary while you're giving a speech on moral values? Come on, get off of it.
A failure of leadership: Jonathan Chait and Paul Krugman on Obama, the budget, and the government shutdown that never was
Republicans were able to credibly threaten a shutdown of the government. That willingness to impose harm on the entire country if they didn’t get a sufficiently friendly outcome proved to be powerful bargaining leverage, moving the goalposts progressively closer to them.
What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn't seem to stand for anything in particular?
I realize that with hostile Republicans controlling the House, there's not much Mr. Obama can get done in the way of concrete policy. Arguably, all he has left is the bully pulpit. But he isn't even using that -- or, rather, he's using it to reinforce his enemies' narrative.
His remarks after last week's budget deal were a case in point.
Maybe that terrible deal, in which Republicans ended up getting more than their opening bid, was the best he could achieve -- although it looks from here as if the president's idea of how to bargain is to start by negotiating with himself, making pre-emptive concessions, then pursue a second round of negotiation with the G.O.P., leading to further concessions.
And bear in mind that this was just the first of several chances for Republicans to hold the budget hostage and threaten a government shutdown; by caving in so completely on the first round, Mr. Obama set a baseline for even bigger concessions over the next few months.
[T]hree years after the massive facility opened here, excitement has waned. Ikea is the target of racial discrimination complaints, a heated union-organizing battle and turnover from disgruntled employees.
Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace and mandatory overtime. Several said it's common to find out on Friday evening that they'll have to pull a weekend shift, with disciplinary action for those who can't or don't show up.
Massive military spending is bringing America down
A new report released today by SIPRI, a Swedish-based think tank, reveals that U.S. military spending has almost doubled since 2001. The U.S. spent an astounding $698 billion on the military last year, an 81% increase over the last decade.
U.S. spending on the military last year far exceeded any other country. We spent six times more than China -- the second largest spender. Overall, the world expended $1.6 trillion on the military, with the United States accounting for the lion's share:
As a percentage of GDP, U.S. military spending has increased from 3.1% in 2001 to 4.8% last year.
Cowards Of The Country
CBS News Congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reports that legislation that reflects the deal made between Republicans and Democrats was posted online at 1:30 this morning.
Members of Congress are going to be getting their first real look of the deal Tuesday, and Republicans in particular are sure to express frustration that so many of the cuts in the deal aren't exactly cuts at all.
In other words, rather than face the music over the weekend from the Teabaggers, Boener decided that he would slink off into this week and marshall some sort of defensible position, spinning over the 72 hours or so what the GOP got out of the deal.
Among the cuts:
- $700 million from clean and safe drinking water programs;
- $390 million from heating subsidies;
- $276 million from pandemic flu prevention programs; and
- $1.5 billion from the president's new $8 billion initiative to spur high-speed rail development.
Many of the cuts appear to have been cuts in name only, because they came from programs that had unspent funds.
Now, admittedly, it's a continuing resolution and the first place you're going to look for immediate cuts is in money that hasn't been spent. By definition, since the resolution is not binding, you can't cut money already spent (say by pushing the cuts into the following year, thus advancing that budget to this year).
On the whole, the cuts seem to hurt both sides, which is the very definition of a consensus compromise. And yet, ol' Boener has said that he is married to the Teabaggers.
He couldn't be that cynical....could he?