Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Holymotherfuckingshit I am tired.  And it’s late, so I’m afraid it’s just a link dump for you, my darlings, and then I am scampering off to bed.  Pretty weak tea for the last day o’ the year, but it can’t be helped.  I’ll try to add some concentrated snark to spice things up.

It turns out the Unheroic Trio sucks at Google-fu.  You remember how they were demanding the Obama Administration not release those Yemeni detainees back to Yemen?  Well, Obama’s gonna need a time machine to grant that request – seeing as how they were returned nearly two fucking weeks ago.  And if that time machine’s available, they’ll need to go back and raise a stink about Bush et al shipping a further fourteen to Yemen.  Otherwise, they might look like total fucking hypocrites.

Oh, wait.  It’s too late for that, too, isn’t it?  Besides, the administration’s already told them to bugger off.

Newt Gingrich gets dumber and dumberer.  Now he’s wailing that the Obama administration cares more about terorrists’ rights than American lives.  You know, this shit gets shat by the right wing every time somebody commits a crime and ends up being treated with the minimum of courtesy the Constitution demands.  All I can say is, I hope Newt gets mistaken for an enemy combatant someday, and discovers just why those protections are essential.  Let’s sell him some flammable underwear and stick him on a plane, shall we?

Romney’s former spokesman thinks Hawaii “seems like a foreign place,” and that somehow justifies Con criticism of Obama’s handling of the Crotch Bomber.  Yeah, it doesn’t compute for me, either.  But what can we say?  These poor fucktards are getting desperate – I mean, look at National Review’s Marc Thiessen, who’s trying to say that the Bushies handled shoe bomber Richard Reid in federal court because they just didn’t realize they stuff him in military custody and whop him with a military tribunal – even though they’d greenlighted military tribunals a whole month before.  I’d like pathetic fucking excuses for $1000, Alex.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration points out to craptastic critics by saying this Prez don’t need to pose like Bush:

“The difference is this: President Obama doesn’t need to beat his chest to prove it, and – unlike the last Administration – we are not at war with a tactic (“terrorism”), we [are] at war with something that is tangible: al Qaeda and its violent extremist allies. And we will prosecute that war as long as the American people are endangered,” [White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer] wrote.

Too fucking right.

But this will probably sail right over the head of administration critics, who now want the head of Janet Napolitano because she wasn’t emotional enough on teevee.

And as if that’s not enough, some blithering idiot is on about “security moms.”   Please, show me this enormous herd of extremely stupid mothers who think a neutered terrorist and a measured, sane response from Democrats is reason to vote for the people who sent their sons to die in Iraq and destroyed their ability to feed their surviving kids to boot.  Once the media has explained this phenomenon to me, I’d then like to hear why, after the Richard Reid shoe bombing attempt, reporters asked Bush about his vacation plans, but somehow failed to mention that terrorist incident.  I’ve cleaned out my earwax especially for you.

Perhaps Pete King could follow my lead and remove the blockages apparently plaguing his own ear canals.  He’d like us to believe that President Obama refuses to use the word terrorism.  In fact, he sez, “Even when the president gave his speech at West Point about the troops going to Afghanistan, he didn’t use the word ‘terrorism.’ He spoke of ‘extremism.'” Funny, Steve Benen found no fewer than six uses of the exact word “terrorism” and variations thereof in Obama’s West Point speech.  Perhaps the problem is that King inhabits a completely different reality than the rest of us.  Either that, or his selective hearing is remarkable.

Here’s a paragraph on the affair that must be memorialized:

“It seems to me that if the aftermath of the Crotchfire Attack on NWA Flight 253 proved anything about Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.), it’s that his main strength as a national security expert is to have excellent intel on the location of various television cameras and the means to get in front of them very quickly. His alacrity, naturally, comes at the expense of his ability to say anything sensible to those cameras once he’s found them, but in the current media universe that doesn’t matter: the shininess of pointless political static supersedes the need to actually broadcast anything remotely intelligent.”

All too true.  Beautifully put, sir.

And, finally, in news not directly related to Crotchfire Attacks, the next time Cons bring up death panels, remind them that it’s their stupidity that shall cause many old folk to die in 2010:

Or, to be more specific, death and tax-avoidance:

Starting Jan. 1, the estate tax — which can erase nearly half of a wealthy person’s estate — goes away for a year. For families facing end-of-life decisions in the immediate future, the change is making one of life’s most trying episodes only more complex.

“I have two clients on life support, and the families are struggling with whether to continue heroic measures for a few more days,” says Joshua Rubenstein, a lawyer with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP in New York. “Do they want to live for the rest of their lives having made serious medical decisions based on estate-tax law?”

According to the article, another elderly rich guy is considering euthanasia. Another one wakes up every few days and asks, “What day is it? Is it Jan. 1 yet?”

Is it any wonder I like cockroaches better than Cons?

Science Book Bonanza

Blogging shall be thin tonight for two reasons.  One, it’s another bloody holiday week, which means I’m stuck at work with no hope of early escape.  Two, I decided to nose around Amazon for a few books to order, seeing as how the parents had sent me a hefty certificate for Christmas.

A hundred bucks, tops, I told myself.  That’ll give me a nice selection of tomes and leave enough for music afterward.

Ask me how that plan worked.  Go ahead, ask.

NOT TOO GOOOOOD.

Well, actually, not that bad.  I escaped after several hours having spent only twice what I’d planned.  And I justify the expenditure by recalling that I worked the entirety of the Christmas holiday, and I’ve been trapped at work with no unpaid time off this week, which leaves a surplus in the budget that’ll cover music.  Don’t ask me how winnowing the music list is going.  If you must, see bolded answer above.

Forget music.  Let’s talk about books.  This was a science odyssey, which meant considerable searching through Science Blogs for recommendations, warnings, and so forth.  If you’re interested, I found a few good lists: the Pop-Sci book meme, favorite volcano books, and Wayne Ranney’s Great Geology Books I Have Read (see sidebar).  I’m fairly excited to have discovered his blog in the process of seeking science books – I’ve got his Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau, and it’s delicious.  I know he knows his shit, so his recommendations have weight. 

Here’s how I shop for science books these days: I find stuff that looks interesting, then search Science Blogs and Google for the title and/or the author to make sure I’m not wasting money on bullshit.  It’s not totally foolproof, but it works to some degree.  I’ve avoided a few stinkers since I’ve started doing that.  And I’ve been tempted to buy the iPhone a few times simply because I’d have that resource at my fingertips when I’m torn in Barnes and Noble or Half-Price Books.

Anyway.

I ended up with some brilliant stuff that I’m terribly excited to get.  And here’s the list, in no particular order:

 The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City.  I need more geology that deals with areas other than America, and found this.  It’s written by actual geologists.  And it does more than just geology: there’s a bit of stuff in there that discusses the human impact on the area, which is awesome.

Devil in the Mountain: A Search for the Origin of the Andes  .  I mean, here we have a book talking about how the Andes formed.  Woot!

Proust Was a Neuroscientist.  I wasn’t sure about this one, but in my searches on Science Blogs, it came highly recommended.  And it’s bargain priced.  So what the hell, why not?

Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum (Vintage)  .  I love love love Richard Fortey.  And in the blurb for this book, it talks about it having too much information.  With Richard, too much is never enough.  Mine all mine!  I read the first few pages, and along with the science stuff, he has a description of the Natural History Museum’s architecture that had me salivating.

The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering the Geologic Events That Shaped Our Earth (St. Francis).  This is a book on Italian geology written by Walter Alvarez.  Yes, that Walter Alvarez.  It looks fascinating, and again, it’s a book with incidental extras.

The Making of the Fittest: DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution  .  Written by biologist Sean Carroll, whose Endless Forms Most Beautiful is an excellent book, so this should be utterly awesome as well.

Biostratigraphy of China.  This is going to be a tough read – it’s a professional book for professional geologists.  But I’ve been wanting some stuff on Chinese geology, and this has got some of that, along with a lot of other stuff.  And it’s super-cheap – the thing usually retails for $175, but Amazon’s got it for $33.  So, why the fuck not?  I can Google the big words.

Fossils: The History of Life.  Another Richard Fortey book.  Need I say more?  I didn’t think so.

Three Gorges of the Yangzi River: Choncqing to Wuhan (Second Edition) (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)  .  This one’s more of a travel book, but it’s got a hefty chapter on geology, and looks like it’s got a lot more interesting stuff than just “see this tourist trap, stay at this hotel.”  And it was bargain priced, so hey, go for it, right?  Especially since anything on Chinese geology is incredibly hard to find – unless you’re going for professional manuals.

Mountain Geomorphology (Arnold Publication).  I have no real idea what this is, but it’s geology and it’s about mountains and it’s written by professionals, so that’s enough for me.  We’re learning geomorphology, kiddies!

The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition–with a new Introduction by the Author  .  I’ve been meaning to read Dawkins’s first book for quite some time.  I believe now is a good time.

And that’s just the stuff I bought.  There’s a bunch more on my wish list waiting for paperback editions and so forth, because I had to stop somewhere.  Eventually, I’ll be picking up The Age of Wonder, Fire Mountains of the West, Before the Deluge (nothing to do with Noah – we’re talking about the Three Gorges Dam in China), and Why Evolution is True (yes, I’m a bad Jerry Coyne fan – haven’t picked this up yet, and now I’m waiting for the paperback).  At some point, I have to go on an astronomy spree, because there are books by Phil Plait and Neil DeGrasse Tyson I want.  Brian Switek‘s first book, Written in Stone, isn’t too long in coming, and I’ve been waiting too long for this book to wait one second longer than absolutely necessary.

In the meantime, I’m sure there’ll be about twelve billion books emerge that I didn’t know existed but desperately need to own.  That’s just how it is round here.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m starving to death.  Didn’t eat whilst shopping.  Too involved with the books.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

I almost didn’t post this today.  Work sucked, I’m suffering the after-effects of insomnia, and all I really want to do is curl up with Amazon and spend my certificate.  But the stupid, it was too burning and rich to pass up.  How can I not blog stupid of the caliber I saw today?

I’ll tell you, one terrorist sets himself on fire, and the entire right wing utterly shits itself. They’re obviously too excited to think clearly.  Otherwise, they might’ve reconsidered the wisdom of politicizing this, in light of a few inconvenient facts:

A variety of congressional Republicans seem awfully anxious to play partisan games with the terrorist threat, and exploit the Abdulmutallab plot for electoral gain. The risk, of course, is that by starting the fight, the GOP attack dogs may be confronted with issues they’re unprepared to deal with.
There is, for example, the fact that the nominated head of the TSA can’t get confirmed because of Republican obstructionism. Then there’s the fact that congressional Republicans also opposed funding for the TSA, including money for screening operations and explosives detection systems.
And then there’s this unpleasant tidbit.

Two of the four leaders allegedly behind the al Qaeda plot to blow up a Northwest Airlines passenger jet over Detroit were released by the U.S. from the Guantanamo prison in November 2007, according to American officials and Department of Defense documents. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for the Northwest bombing in a Monday statement that vowed more attacks on Americans.

American officials agreed to send the two terrorists from Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia, where they entered into an “art therapy rehabilitation program” and were set free, according to U.S. and Saudi officials.

As Ron Chusid put it, “Just imagine the Republican response if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton had released prisoners to enter an ‘art therapy rehabilitation program.’ This sounds almost as silly as an American president sitting and reading a children’s book while the country is under attack.”

Deary, deary me.  Art therapy for terrorists.  Why, that sounds like some dirty librul idea!  Do you think the Teabaggers will understand that art therapy for terrorists IOKIYAR?  I somehow think not.

Not to mention, guess who didn’t want funding for TSA for things like “screening operations and explosives detection systems”?  Yup, that would be the Cons.  Worser and worser.

Meanwhile, some Cons have finally decided it’s better to look like raving buffoons than indulge in continued blatant hypocrisy:

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) doesn’t want Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to face criminal charge in a federal court. Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge doesn’t want Abdulmutallab to have legal rights.
I had the same thought Josh Marshall had about the search for elusive consistency.

Remember, the AbdulMutallab case is virtually identical to the Richard Reid “Shoe Bomber” case from December 2001 — to an uncanny degree. Same explosive, (PETN), same MO (blowing up an airliner bound for the US), same failed attempt.

It’s really about as close to identical cases and you get. And, of course, Reid was tried in civilian courts and is now serving a life sentence. Seemed to work fine in his case. And unless I’m misremembering, I don’t remember anybody criticizing this approach at the time.

Most of the criticisms we’re hearing are pretty silly. But that’s where the buck stops. It happened. Obama’s president. It’s natural that the political opposition will try to pin it on him. But can we at least get some demagoguing that isn’t so transparently ridiculous and easily refuted by pointing out the policy the accuser followed when they were in charge?

Right. The Reid and Abdulmutallab cases offer nearly identical circumstances — same chemical, same target, same intended consequence, same month of the year, same twisted ideology. Reid was charged, convicted, sentenced, and locked up for life. Neither conservatives nor liberals whined about it. But if the Obama administration subjects Abdulmutallab to an identical process, Republicans are outraged? Either they’re idiots or they think we are.

You know, the hypocrisy was better.  I mean, at least it didn’t make them look so bloody fucking stupid.

And it really doesn’t help when Karl Rove thinks six days is shorter than seventy-two hours.  Seems someone failed the greater-than/less-than portion of math, and can’t tell time to boot.  Pretty fucking sad, innit?

Meanwhile, the unheroic trio’s terrified of the idea that icky people from Yemen might come back and kill them in their beds:

Sen. Joe Lieberman, Sen. John McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote a letter to President Obama today asking he halt any transfer of the six Yemeni detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay.
The trio of senators, who often see eye-to-eye on national security issues, said the transfer of the detainees would be “highly unwise and ill-considered.”
Lieberman (I-CT) McCain (R-AZ) and Graham (R-SC) asked that until the United States is sure the detainees “will not return to the battlefield,” all transfers to Yemen should cease.
A senior administration official tells TPMDC that Obama’s Guantanamo review specifically identifies each detainee.
The task force evaluates detainees and the threat they pose, to determine whether they should be prosecuted, detained, or transferred, the official said.
The administration has worked with the government of Yemen to make sure all appropriate security measures are taken when the detainees are transferred, and Obama “will not release any detainee who would endanger the American people,” the official said.
The official said Gitmo has been used by Al Qaeda as a rallying cry and recruiting tool, and the administration maintains that closing it is a national security imperative.

That, of course, has not stopped these three schmucks from shitting themselves in fear.  One gets the sense that maybe they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

And Pat Buchanan’s calling for torture without wanting to call it torture:

Pat Buchanan couldn’t miss out on a chance to join in the chorus of psychopathic right-wingers who have been responding with their usual grotesque visions of xenophobic hatred after the Christmas Day failed attack on Flight 253.

Buchanan: …frankly if that means you have to deny him pain medication because he’s badly burned, I think you go ahead and do that. I’m not arguing for torture, but I am…

Spencer: You just did.

Tell you what, Pat.  How about you burn your dick off, we’ll withhold the morphine, and then you can tell us that’s not torture.  Maybe we’d even take you seriously.  Really.

And speaking of being taken seriously, who the fuck thought it was a good idea to have Ben fucking Stein opining on this subject?   ZOMG.

But not all of the stupidity’s been about self-castrated terrorists.  No, there’s plenty of other dumbfuckery going on.  Do you want to know how fucked up the Cons in the Senate are?  Sen. Jim Bunning had a hold on one of Obama’s appointees because he wanted to address the critical issue of Canada’s refusal to import candy-flavored cigarettes.  And that’s not all!

That would be mind-numbing enough if it were an isolated incident, but inane Senate holds on qualified nominees have become painfully routine. The General Services Administration has been without an administrator because Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) blocked the president’s nominee — he wanted more funding for a federal office building in downtown Kansas City. The president’s nominee for the U.S. ambassador to Spain faced a hold because Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wanted more information about the dismissal of AmeriCorps’ inspector general.

Something tells me governing these United States is going to be next to impossible as long as the Senate rules allow complete fucktards to throw nonsensical tantrums.

And speaking of nonsensical, Bobby Jindal, who apparently believes New Orleans and other coastal Louisianan cities look better underwater, wants the EPA to lay off the regulations.  The man apparently can’t choose between paying a little now and paying a fuck of a lot a few months from now.  Yeesh.

Finally, what does a Con do when he wants to beat another Con?  Why, cry “homo!” of course:

Illinois Republican Andy Martin is about as slimy as they come. He gleefully accepts credit for starting a nasty smear campaign against President Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, and continues to ramp up the hate as he runs for a seat in the U.S. Senate:

Andy Martin, a noted conservative dirty trickster, put out a spot on local radio in which he pushes a “solid rumor” that fellow Senatorial aspirant, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), “is a homosexual.”

“I helped expose many of Barack Obama’s lies in 2008,” the ad goes. “Today, I am fighting for the facts about Mark Kirk. Illinois Republican leader Jack Roeser says there is a ‘solid rumor that Kirk is a homosexual.’ Roeser suggests that Kirk is part of a Republican Party homosexual club. Lake County Illinois Republican leader Ray True says Kirk has surrounded himself with homosexuals.”

[snip]
In a stunning move, the Illinois Republican Party has denounced Martin and his tactics. Maybe Republicans is learning?

I wouldn’t bet on it.  Especially not after the Teabaggers pile on the Illinois Con Party for siding with a dirty rotten rumored homo.  But at least the IL Cons tried a little decency for once.  Much more than can be said for most of the rest.

You all stay classy, there, Cons.

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Everybody knows the health care reform bill passed the Senate, right?  Yes.  Good.  Then we can move on to the stupid.  Newt Gingrich is already moving on to the stupid.  He’s moving right to committing the Cons to running on the promise to repeal the bill.  I can’t wait to see that.  I think Steve Benen’s pretty excited, too:

“Every” Republican candidate will pledge to repeal popular consumer protections? Caps on families’ medical expenses? Cost-containment measures? Deficit-reduction provisions? Subsidies for families who can’t afford coverage? I really doubt it.

Thing is, they may be forced to run on repeal.  The Teabaggers are demanding it.  And it doesn’t seem Cons will be able to pacify them with non-committal, Mitch McConnell-style prevarication.

This is going to be hysterically funny to watch.  I don’t know if the usual summer movie fare can compete.

For a really good time in the meantime, go check out some lame Con excuses as to why the Medicare prescription drug boondoggle they foisted on the country without paying for is totally legit, whereas a health care reform bill that’s fully paid for is not.  It’s priceless.  Hard to choose my favorite, but I think Olympia Snowe’s lameassery is a definite contender.  I’ll let you lot decide:

The AP’s Charles Babington reports that most GOP officials no longer want to talk about their own record.

Six years ago, “it was standard practice not to pay for things,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah. “We were concerned about it, because it certainly added to the deficit, no question.” His 2003 vote has been vindicated, Hatch said, because the prescription drug benefit “has done a lot of good.”

Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, said those who see hypocrisy “can legitimately raise that issue.” But he defended his positions in 2003 and now, saying the economy is in worse shape and Americans are more anxious.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said simply: “Dredging up history is not the way to move forward.”

Translation: we fucked up and we don’t want to talk about it because we were really hoping you’d all forget just how fucking stupid we are.

And, finally, the next time some Con starts whining about bipartisanship, remind them that their plan all along has been to play the obstructionist dickweed game for partisan political gain.  Arlen Specter knows – he was there, and he’s revealed their dirty little secrets.

Most of My Certainties Are Gone

And here I didn’t think I liked Alicia Keys much. Alas for my certainties, Stephen Colbert has shattered them.

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
www.colbertnation.com
http://media.mtvnservices.com/mgid:cms:item:comedycentral.com:258570
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

I’d be worried if I’d actually enjoyed Snoop Dog’s performance in the previous episode, but nope. Still don’t like rap. Do, however, like this Alicia Keys song.

What’s next, Stephen? Which illusions will you shatter next?

(And yes, I am just now catching up on Daily Show and Colbert Report.  I’m a bad, bad fan.)

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

It’s the Monday after a long holiday weekend.  Let the tidal wave of stupidity be unleashed.  Grab your life preservers, my darlings, and let’s get swimming.

Of course, the big news over the weekend was the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight.  On a brief side note before we get to the stoopid, al Qaeda might want to take note of the fact that Americans on airplanes tend to tackle terrorists before they can cause much mayhem.  As far as striking terror into the hearts and minds of anyone aside from timid Cons, having a terrorist neuter himself on a jet just kind of doesn’t seem like something you all should be claiming credit for.  It’s embarrassing.

But not quite as embarrassing as the Con response.  For instance, there are those Cons screaming for Janet Napolitano’s head because they can’t understand sentences of more than five words.  Yes, indeedy, she did say “the system worked.”  She said that when she was talking about the response to the attempted attack.  I know Cons love a quote mine almost as much as DIsco does, but this is ridiculous.

Then there’s the freakout over the fact that Abdulmutallab wasn’t put on a no-fly list despite the fact his father alerted U.S. officials that his son was becoming a religious extremist.  Cons seem to think the vague concerns of a dad equal solid, actionable intelligence.  Let’s dispatch that hysteria right now:

But it’s worth appreciating the larger context, and understanding why the warnings didn’t prompt immediate, wide-reaching action.

When Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s father in Nigeria reported concern over his son’s “radicalization” to the U.S. Embassy there last month, intelligence officials in the United States deemed the information insufficient to pursue. The young man’s name was added to the half-million entries in a computer database in McLean and largely forgotten.

The lack of attention was not unusual, according to U.S. intelligence officials, who said that thousands of similar bits of information flow into the National Counterterrorism Center each week from around the world. Only those that indicate a specific threat, or add to an existing body of knowledge about an individual, are passed along for further investigation and possible posting on airline and border watch lists.

“It’s got to be something that causes the information to sort of rise out of the noise level, because there is just so much out there,” one intelligence official said.

The report entered on Abdulmutallab, 23, after his father’s Nov. 19 visit to the embassy was “very, very thin, with minimal information,” said a second U.S. official familiar with its contents.

We’re dealing with a situation in which Abdulmutallab’s father, justifiably concerned, felt like his son might become dangerous. He didn’t have any information about a specific plot, but he wanted the authorities to be aware of the potential problem. U.S. officials added Abdulmutallab’s name to a list — a rather long list.
And therein lies the point. U.S. officials learn about all kinds of potentially dangerous people, all over the globe, every day. Most of these people have never committed an act of terrorism, and never will. A tiny fraction will consider violence, a tiny fraction of them will actually attempt mass murder. It’s literally impossible to launch investigations into every one of them. It’s not that officials “had real details about an Islamic maniac and did nothing about it”; it’s that officials had vague details and lacked the capacity and wherewithal to take immediate action.

Let’s say we had the resources to investigate all 500,000 names on that “mebbe” list.  I’ll bet good money that we’ll find that a good number of those folks got put there because of an angry ex-lover wanting to cause trouble.  More will be there because some paranoid assclown freaked out over the fact that their neighbor speaks Arabic and goes to the mosque.  Quite a few more will be on the list because they have a similar name to someone else who might be a terrorist.  Some folks will be on it because their name’s misspelled.  More folks will be there because they’re attention-seeking morons who like to shock friends and family with outrageous claims.  Some will be mentally ill folks incapable of tying their shoes, much less working for al Qaeda, and in another day and age would be running around claiming to be Jesus.  And a bare handful will, like Abdulmutallab, be al Qaeda patsies who really do want to commit terrorist acts but can’t figure out how to detonate a bomb without burning off their own balls.

The ones who are credible, verifiable threats, along with quite a few people who don’t belong there but end up sanctioned because everybody’s paranoid, are on the no-fly list.  That’s how these things work.  You cast a net, sweep up most of the fish, and always find you’ve got unintentional dolphins in the net and one or two tuna merrily swimming away.  And no one, not the military, not law enforcement, not Homeland Security, has the resources to investigate every vague claim that the finned creature gliding through the water is actually the tuna you missed.

Sorry for the terrible metaphor, but stupid claims deserve painful metaphors in turn.

So, now that it’s obvious the system won’t bar every man with a worried father from getting on airplanes, what do the Cons want to do?  Why, profile all the dirty A-rabs!

In the wake of the failed terrorist attempt aboard a Northwest airlines flight on Christmas Day, the right wing is renewing its pleas for more profiling of Muslims:

Radio host Mike Gallagher: “There should be a separate line to scrutinize anybody with the name Abdul or Ahmed or Mohammed.(Note: Those are some of the most common names in the world.)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY): “100 percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslim, and that is our main enemy today. So why we should not be profiling people because of their religion?

Wow, that’ll be really helpful!  That’ll catch all the terrorists!  They can never get around that security measure – unless, of course, they fly under the name John Smith and wear a cross.

On Faux News, Mike Gallagher was even more helpful, suggesting we should “scrutinize young Middle Eastern men to stop this.”  As C&L’s Dave Neiwert pointed out, there’s a problem with this idea:  “Nigeria is not in ‘the Middle East,’ and the suspect in this case was not ‘Middle Eastern’ — he was African.” 

So much for Cons’ plans to protect us all.

Joe Lieberman, of course, is jumping past increased security and contemplating war with Yemen instead.  I can’t believe this assclown caucuses with the Dems. 

Meanwhile, Steve Benen wants to know where the right-wing freakout over a terrorist being held on American soil and charged in American courts is.  Spencer Ackerman asked Crazy Pete Hoekstra that very same question, and all he got was this lousy fundraising email:

When I asked earlier today where the outrage was from Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) over the fact that his worst nightmare — the imprisonment of terrorists in civilian Michigan prisons — had come to pass with the detention of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, I had no idea that he’d send out a fundraising email for his gubernatorial campaign based on his myopia. It’s such a cartoon it might as well have come with anime drawings of dragons and robots in the margins.
[snip]

They just don’t get it. The system didn’t “work” here. Far from it! It is insulting that The Obama administration would make such a claim, but then again, these are the same weak-kneed liberals who have recently tried to bring Guantanamo Bay terrorists right here to Michigan! … I have pledged that I will do “everything possible” to prevent these terrorists from coming to Michigan.

Hey congressman! The guy who tried to blow up Northwest Flight 253? He is in prison — right there in Michigan! He has been! For days! Has Michigan exploded yet? No? Well, what might that mean for your contention? You know, the one that you’re asking supporters to fund?

If you agree that we need a Governor who will stand up the Obama/Pelosi efforts to weaken our security please make a most generous contribution of $25, $50, $100 or even $250 to my campaign.

He might even use it to purchase a clue.

Purchasing a clue does one no good if one doesn’t invest in a brain first, so I’d suggest to crazy Pete that a good set of gray matter be first on his shopping list.

In other stupid news…. Conservadems, having failed to defeat health care reform, are now setting their sights on defeating the cap-and-trade bill.  If they can’t have Americans dying from uninsured illnesses, I guess they’ll settle for a slower death by global warming.

Conservadems don’t really belong in the Democratic party at all – not with their Con tendencies – but don’t expect many of them to make the same switch Griffith did.  He’s not exactly feeling the love from his new party.

But enough about Conservadems, let’s get back to Cons – mostly because the Conservadems haven’t yet perfected weapons-grade stupidity of the Cons’ caliber.  And there’s a love story to be told – the love of Pete Sessions for crook and contributor Allen Stanford:

Now that’s loyalty.
When a top supporter gets busted by the Feds for allegedly running a massive Ponzi scheme, most big-time pols are usually pretty quick to distance themselves. (See Crist, Charlie, for the locus classicus of the genre).
Not Pete Sessions though. Hours after Allen Stanford was charged by the SEC for swindling investors out of around $7 billion, the Texas congressman, and chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, sent the following email, signed “Pete”:

I love you and believe in you…If you want my ear/voice — e-mail.

Aww, isn’t that sweet?

Pete’s attempt at excusing himself is very nearly as weak as Mark Sanford’s lousy excuses.  Wuv, twue wuv, Con style!

For those who’ve missed the Cons’ old stimulus stupidity, here’s a good roundup of the recent idiocy. They’re awfully fond of that cash that supposedly isn’t doing a damned bit of good.

And, from the department of not surprised comes this not-surprising news:

The political action committee behind the Tea Party Express (TPE) — which already has been slammed as inauthentic and corporate-controlled by rival factions in the Tea Party movement — directed around two thirds of its spending during a recent reporting period back to the Republican consulting firm that created the PAC in the first place.
Our Country Deserves Better (OCDB) spent around $1.33 million from July through November, according to FEC filings examined by TPMmuckraker. Of that sum, a total of $870,489 went to Sacramento-based GOP political consulting firm Russo, Marsh, and Associates, or people associated with it.

Grassroots GOP style.  Gotta love it.

And now, I’m going to leave the water and go sunbathe.  I’m afraid getting this soaked by stupidity has left my toes a little pruney.