Opinion

Dumbassery Masquerading as Intelligent Commentary

I followed a link from Lawyers, Guns and Money to a site billing itself as trying to reignite the fires of dumbassery from long dead embers found in a burial chamber where something-something once lived, and I discovered this article and burst out laughing.

By any chance, do you remember what Roger Pielke, Sr. is famous for? Anyone? Why, he's the father of Roger Pielke Jr., the guy who lasted five minutes out there as a "climate science skeptic."

Now that they* have shut down his original blog, Roger Pielke, Jr., is desperately trying to remain relevant in the blogosphere. Pielke’s preferred strategy — as it has always been — is to utterly misrepresent what people say and then attack that misrepresentation in the hopes of garnering media attention. Baselessly smearing the professional reputation of hundreds of leading U.S. scientists means nothing whatsoever to him — if it gets him press coverage (see details here).

These days, the main “media” paying attention to Pielke, Jr. (as with Pielke, Sr.) are the global warming deniers (see “Uber-denier Inhofe gives big wet Valentine’s kiss to Pielke “” go figure!”). So it’s no surprise that Pielke Jr.’s latest distortion was immediately picked up by Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano, much as the main person pushing Pielke Sr.’s climate disinformation is anti-science blogger Anthony Watts (see “Like father, like son: Roger Pielke Sr. also doesn’t understand the science of global warming “” or just chooses to willfully misrepresent it”) What is (a little) surprising is that Pielke would utterly misrepresent something I wrote when everyone can plainly see what he is doing.

Yes, the dumbassery abounds.

The problem with trying to peddle bullshit in the Trump era is that there are so many more outlets who got there first, and there are so many more who kissed ass and received access to the White House press room. There is, literally, a plethora of whiny, fact-free conservative blogs out there who missed the boat and are now having to run pieces by the father of the guy who got laughed off of 538.com.

Oh, and who tried to help him out?

Wikileaks.

A University of Colorado professor who's been criticized for his writings about climate change has been caught up in  WikiLeaks' dump of emails involving John Podesta, campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton.

Roger Pielke Jr., who has been a faculty member on the Boulder campus since 2001, was the  subject of a July 2014 email about  an essay he wrote on climate change for the website FiveThirtyEight.

Pielke writes a  regular column about sports governance for the Daily Camera.

The email was sent by Judd Legum, the editor of  ThinkProgress, a site that's part of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, which was founded by Podesta in 2003.

In his email to billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, Legum described how he believed Climate Progress, the environmental arm of ThinkProgress, got Pielke to stop writing about climate change for FiveThirtyEight.

"I think it's fair say that, without Climate Progress, Pielke would still be writing on climate change for 538," Legum wrote.

Peak wingnut? Nah, we're miles away from peak wingnut.

 

Nobody Has a Monopoly on Truth and Morals

Paul Manafort runs the Donald Trump campaign. He is the most ethically challenged member of Trump's team, and that's saying a whole hell of a lot:

It is far from certain that Mr. Manafort’s views have directly shaped Mr. Trump’s, since Mr. Trump spoke favorably of Mr. Putin’s leadership before Mr. Manafort joined the campaign. But it is clear that the two have a shared view of Russia and neighbors like Ukraine — an affection, even — that, in Mr. Manafort’s case, has been shaped by years of business dealings as much as by any policy or ideology.

“I wouldn’t put out any moral arguments about his work,” said Yevgeny E. Kopachko, a pollster with Mr. Yanukovych’s former party who cooperated with Mr. Manafort for years and called him a pragmatic and effective strategist. “Nobody has a monopoly on truth and morals.”

Mr. Manafort did not respond to requests for an interview. In television interviews on Sunday, though, he defended Mr. Trump’s views on Russia, saying that as president, Mr. Trump would be firm with Russia but would deal with it like any other country when doing so suited American interests.

“He views Russia as a foreign power that has its own interests at stake,” Mr. Manafort said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Until he joined Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign this year, Mr. Manafort’s work in Ukraine had been his most significant political campaign in recent years. He began his career in Republican politics in the 1970s and extended it overseas to advising authoritarian leaders, including Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines and Mr. Yanukovych.

Manafort has been in bed with the Russian-aligned Ukrainians for years. He owes much of his livelihood to taking money from a foreign government. Would any government agency give him access to classified information? My guess is that they would not dream of granting him a clearance. And yet, he's running the campaign for the Republican nominee for president.

Your College Degree is Why America is Horrible Right Now

I am probably being ridiculous, but oh well:

Both geographically and demographically, the British referendum split the U.K. along lines familiar in America. An extensive election-day survey by Lord Michael Ashcroft, a British pollster, found that the leave campaign carried over three-fifths of those without four-year college degrees, a comparable number of seniors, and a narrow majority of all whites. Election results showed the leave campaign amassing big margins outside of major cities. The campaign to remain won over two-thirds of non-whites, about three-fifths of college graduates, and big majorities among younger and urban voters. In London, which recently elected one of the western world’s first Muslim mayors, 60 percent voted to stay.

All of this replicates American patterns. Democrats now rely on an urbanized coalition of Millennials, minorities, and socially liberal college-educated and single whites (especially women). Republicans thrive among older, non-college educated and religiously devout whites, especially outside of major cities. In 2012, President Obama carried less than one-fourth of America’s counties; he won fewer counties than any presidential winner since at least 1920. But because Obama so dominated the nation’s population centers, he triumphed by 5 million votes.

In a way, having a college degree means I can't join the racist, belching rabble and vote for Donald Trump. I have too much information--I'm a high information voter--and I can't just sit here and write stupid things all day long (since when has that ever stopped anyone, including me?).

What I think gets left out of the equation is that we are faced with choices that have not energized the populations of either Britain or America. President Obama was a once-in-a-lifetime bolt out of nowhere. He energized millions and he promised renewal. His legacy will be that of a largely successful president who could have done more with a reasonable opposition party. The fact that he accomplished anything at all was entirely in spite of the hate expressed towards him as the first black president. 

With Hillary being the first female president, we'll see some renewal of hope and we'll see more women participating in public life, I would imagine. What we'll also see is a mirror image of the racism expressed towards Obama in the misogyny that will be directed like a broadside at Hillary. 

Like Obama, she'll advance the movement towards a more equitable and fair United States of America. And she'll be denied any credit for doing her best to make people's lives better, just like Obama.

Free Lunch

This landed in my in-box today, and I had to kind of cringe to keep from laughing when I read it. I still don't understand why we're not just feeding kids for free in school--whatever system is currently in use where many people live is probably antiquated and based on a time when making a lunch for a kid was relatively inexpensive. Now, with rising food costs and shrinking wages, this issue becomes more and more difficult for people to solve.

I like what Hillary Clinton says here:

Contrast that with this:

When it comes to public schools providing meals for low-income children, congressional Republicans have built up a discouraging record in recent years. In 2014, for example, a GOP congressman from Georgia suggested struggling children should either pay more for school meals or tackle janitorial tasks in their schools in exchange for food.

Around the same time, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivered a speech suggesting kids who rely on school lunches aren’t cared for as much as kids who bring their own lunch to school. The far-right lawmaker, we later learned, was relying on an anecdote that turned out to be made-up.

That was the last Congress. In this Congress, Jared Bernstein and Ben Spielberg made the case in the Washington Post yesterday that Republican lawmakers are eyeing new restrictions on the federal program.

Under current law, changed by Democrats in 2010, schools don’t have to verify which individual students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Rather, if a school serves a community in which 40% of the kids are eligible for meal assistance – called the “Identified Student Percentage” – the schools can make food available to all of its students. It streamlines the bureaucracy and verification process, cuts down on paperwork, and helps ensure children receive the benefits to which they’re entitled under the law.

If you fed kids as part of the school curriculum, and normalized the idea that school means education plus food, it would definitely increase costs for the school districts. That would have to be offset by funding from elsewhere, and, given the many wingnut state legislatures out there, you can count on expressions of massive butt hurt. But, wherever that funding comes from, it would provide several benefits that would have a huge impact on families.

One, it would ensure that kids on the threshold of receiving a free lunch wouldn't be left out and could count on getting food at school. Two, it would ensure that everyone in school had a chance to eat something and not go hungry, thereby making it hard to learn in the first place. Why not eliminate the stigma and just feed all the kids the same thing and make it free (and healthier to boot)? Is the country really that broke or do we just not want to make some hard choices? The schools are already in the business of giving kids free or reduced lunches. Why not get completely into that business, negotiate for better rates and lower costs, and make it part of what makes school important in a community?

There's a lot to be said for the stability that a good school can bring to a neighborhood. It can definitely drive property values up and it can increase participation for parents and students in what happens. Yeah, I get that there will always be apathy. It's not like you have to eat what's put in front of you--kids should be allowed to bring their own food or opt out.

Todd Starnes is a Lying Turd

I mean, not that you didn't already know it, but Todd Starnes lies like a rug:

Jerry Boykin is the kind of man you’d want teaching your sons – a good and decent man, an honorable man – a Christian man.

For the past nine years the retired lieutenant general has taught leadership and ethics at Hampden-Sydney College, a highly regarded, all-male school based in Virginia. By many accounts – he is beloved and deeply respected by students.

But Gen. Boykin will not be returning to the classroom this fall. That’s because he tells me he's been fired.

The man who was one of the original members of Delta Force and once commanded all of the U.S. Army’s Green Berets – the man who served his nation with honor and distinction for more than 36 years – was ousted because of political correctness.

Nope. Not even close:

In 2003, President Bush publicly distanced himself from Boykin when it was revealed that he had made anti-Islamic statements and cast the “War on Terror” as a religious conflict while giving speeches at churches in full dress uniform, a violation of regulations. Since his retirement from the military in 2007, Boykin has involved himself fully as a Christian far-right activist and anti-Muslim propagandist. He is currently executive vice president of the Family Research Council, which is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

And, just so you know where he stands on the issues:

“One of the most disgusting things I hear is for people to call Hitler the extreme right. The absolute opposite was true. It was the National Socialist Party. He was an extraordinarily off the scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can’t identify with the Republican Party because they’re called the party of the right, and they equate that to Hitler when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.”
–April 2011 video for Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative

“The continent of Europe is dark, it is hopelessly lost and it’s going to get worse. Every expert will tell you that by the middle of this century the continent of Europe will be an Islamic continent, and they can’t reverse it, they can’t stop it. It is because they took Jesus out of their societies and it’s been replaced by darkness.”
–Address to Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference, May 2012

“So we love the Muslim people but we have to be very careful to understand that Islam — in a pure sense and an authoritative sense — Islam is evil. Islam is an evil concept because it does call for innocent blood. It calls for the subjugation of women, it calls for brutality that is alien to us as Christians. So we do love the Muslim people, but the Bible also speaks of a time when men will call good evil and evil good, and we have to be sure that we are in fact calling Islam what it is, and in reality, it’s evil.”
–Speaking with Rick Joyner and self-proclaimed ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem, Feb. 27, 2012

“We are at war. And I think that until Americans are willing to find out what Islam is and to find out the truth about what the Muslim Brotherhood is doing in our country, we’re going to continue to live in darkness.”
– 2011, speaking to James Dobson on his radio program

“There is a cabal, a group of very nefarious people, who very much want to create a global government. In order to create a global government, you essentially have to make everybody the same, so there’s not a superpower. Inside America, the foundations of that are the billions of dollars of a guy named George Soros, who has been, really for the last four or five decades, working very hard to bring us to a point where he can make us — lead us into a Marxist government. But there is an entity within the Council of Foreign Relations that is very much focused on global governments — one world government.”
—Answering questions at the Oak Initiative Summit, 2011

“[Islam] should not be protected under the First Amendment, particularly given that those following the dictates of the Quran are under an obligation to destroy our Constitution and replace it with sharia law.”
—Video for Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative, 2010

Sweet guy. The very idea that he's being denied something because of political correctness is a false narrative. The guy is being kicked to the curb because he is an unrepentant bigot.

UPDATE: Despite years and years of making bigoted statements in public, Boykin has been rehired.

Shaddup

No one ever considers this possibility--what if they were horrible singers and the cop was just trying to spare everyone else?

A group of North Carolina middle-schoolers were allegedly told by security guards at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City to stop singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during a Friday visit. According to the kids’ teacher, the New York Post reported Monday, the guards implored the students to cease singing because it would be considered a “public demonstration,” something that requires a permit at the site of the 2001 attacks. Video of the truncated anthem shows the choir of wide-eyed kids singing before security guards interrupt and begin speaking with the music teacher, identified as Martha Brown.

I mean, damn, son. Middle schoolers can't sing. And whatever happened to showing reverence? It's not about you, after all. It's about something else sometimes.

Kiester

You can't laugh at the town of Kiester anymore because, well, the joke got old a long time ago:

The small Faribault County town of Kiester, population 501, is going to soon have some national recognition.

Some residents, however, are not so sure they want the notoriety.

A New York advertising agency is coming to the town to film scenes for a new Preparation-H hemorrhoids medicine television commercial.

“Yes, we know. They are doing it here because of the name of the town,” said Kiester mayor Doug Trytten. “And some of our residents don’t like that.”

But, said Trytten, joked about the town having the same name as a euphemism for a person’s backside have been going on for years.

“They (the ad agency) approached the City Council basically asking permission to come and use the town for the commercial,” Trytten said. “We (the council) chuckled about it, then voted to allow them to go ahead.”

The ad agency crew had planned to start filming this past week, but postponed it for a couple of weeks due to the weather, according to city clerk Doris Troll.

I have been loosely familiar with a thing called Faribault County my whole life. I was born and raised in Freeborn County, which is exactly the same shape and sits slightly to the right of Faribault County. This has convinced me that I am superior somehow, but not as superior as someone from the aptly name Mower County, which is slightly to the right of Freeborn County. In Southern Minnesota, as long as you aren't from Winona County, you're just alright by me.

We have laughed our whole lives at Kiester, which is somewhat like Conger and nothing like Bricelyn, which is a hotbed of sedition and confusion. Or is that Alden? I used to know a lot about these places and then I up and left like I should have. Here's how these towns work--a lot of old people live there. A few people live there and they have small kids. There's a pop machine, a guy trying to sell something, and a couple of places that are boarded up and used to be things. Someone works on cars and someone else put in a place where you can get a handful of overprices groceries. If you can't make it to Hy-Vee, you get something in town, you know. Did you read all of that? Well, congratulations, because if we were in a car going 30 miles and hour, you and I just passed thrown Kiester in a blink of an eye.

Anyone going from a New York City ad agency to Kiester is going to have their mind blown by the culture shock that awaits them. Perhaps they should ease into it and stop off in Albert Lea so they can be beaten up at the Nasty Habit and have their credit card skimmed on South Broadway.

Too Nasty For Newt Gingrich


The man who practically ushered in the era of the politics of personal destruction says that Mitt Romney is too much for him to stomach:
Newt Gingrich on Monday blasted Mitt Romney's speech denouncing Donald Trump as "vitriolic and nasty," calling it a sure indicator that the 2012 Republican nominee would never be accepted as a consensus party choice at a hypothetical contested convention this summer in Cleveland.
“I think if Mitt had really wanted to maneuver for the nomination, he wouldn’t have given the speech he gave last week," the former speaker of the House told "Fox and Friends." "Because that speech was so harsh and so intense that it virtually guaranteed that I think both for the Trump people but also for a lot of the Cruz people, that Romney would just plain be unacceptable."
The speech "may have been courageous on his part — it’s certainly what he, I think, believes," said Gingrich, who has made a series of recent complimentary remarks (and tweets) about Trump. "But it was such a vitriolic and nasty speech that it guaranteed that they guy who currently has the most votes and most momentum would never accept Romney as sort of the draft at the convention.”
Gingrich is operating under the assumption that he would be a good Vice President under Donald Trump. That's the job Chris Christie wants, too. Gingrich, however, is too poor--too much of a loser--to get the nod. Trump's pick for Vice President will be the only Republican who hasn't savaged him so far. That Republican's name is Senator Jeff Sessions.

The Balls on These People


Dead men can vote, apparently:
Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation fellow, last week argued that the Supreme Court should count the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's votes in cases in which the justices have already cast preliminary votes.
During an interview with American Family Radio’s Sandy Rios, von Spakovsky noted that after hearing oral arguments, the justices meet and cast votes in the case before writing the decision.
"So that’s the point at which they know how a case is going to be decided and the chief justice then makes assignments of who will write the majority opinion etc.," von Spakovsky said, according to audio posted by Right Wing Watch. "I think the chief justice has an absolute obligation to give credit to Scalia’s vote in those cases that have already been decided, even if he didn’t write his opinion yet, because they know how he would have voted."
I'm sorry, but that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. And we now have a very interesting precedent--dead men can now vote. The established rules and precedents of the Supreme Court no longer apply. This is, indeed, a world turned upside down, but it does not have to be. If we would just follow the Constitution, the president could nominate a new justice and we'd be good to go.

Funny how the only people stretching reality and changing things and making shit up are the ones who are trying to replace the Constitutional originalist.

The one truth in all of this is the fact that, when a Supreme Court Justice dies, the party in power gets to name the replacement. That's why justices retire. That's why elections have consequences. And that's why, on President Obama's watch, the Republicans have lost again. They can't stand it. They're doing backflips and flipflops and engaging in flights of fancy in order to justify the fact that they just lost control of the Supreme Court.
Basically, though, a guy who made his living complaining about voter fraud wants the Supreme Court of the United States to let a dead man vote. You couldn't make this up if you tried.


There is No Path to Victory for Jim Webb


A decent man has been listening to fools:
Former presidential candidate Jim Webb may be ready to get back in the race. He’s expected to discuss the possibility right here in North Texas today.
CBS 11 News has learned Webb will discuss his intentions to make another run for the White House when he addresses the Dallas World Affairs Council at the Belo Mansion this afternoon.
On February 9, the World Affairs Council tweeted happy birthday to the former senator and said he would be sharing his “5 Most Important Principles for Foreign Policy” at the luncheon today.
You have to have a party apparatus behind you to run for President unless you're--

1. Running to elevate your name recognition so that you can increase your speaking fees
2. Hearing disjointed voices screaming through pillows made of cheese

In Webb's case, there's no clamor for his leadership and no reason to expect that there is a different group of people out there who would give you millions of dollars to run. You might find people willing to give you thousands to run, and that's a pretty good grift, but you'll never be able to sleep at night.

Shake enough hands with fish and you will look very tasty to bears. That's all I'm saying, and that's the wisest thing you'll hear all day.

UPDATE: Webb decides that it isn't his time.

Nothing Sexist About This Remark, Is There?


Oh, heavens. A woman forgot to stop and think about how offended John Podhoretz would feel if she spoke in public like she cared about this country. I'm surprised he doesn't have a quick backhand ready for such times as these.

Add this to the pile. Podhoretz is a high-ranking nutcase. Maybe he doesn't write his own headlines. But he sure looks like the kind of fellow who isn't going to put up with lady talk he doesn't agree with.

Jeopardy


I actually watched this episode:
As much as we might all enjoy a night of trivia at our local watering hole, answering questions about everything from potent potables to whatever punning-on-history category the writers come up with on Jeopardy! is a different beast altogether. Contestants are racking their brains for multiple games a day (assuming they make it that far), and eventually, everyone’s time is up on the show. But on Monday evening’s game, all three contestants were shown the door after providing three wrong answers to the final Jeopardy! question.
Claudia Corriere and Mike Drummond, the co-returning champions, were tied at $13,800 going into the Final Jeopardy! round, with Randi Kristensen bringing up the rear with $6,000. Then came the final clue: “A 1957 event led to the creation of a national historic site in this city, signed into law by a president whose library is now there too.” Everyone picked a different U.S. city (though Kristensen wasn’t able to finish writing “Springfield”), and they were all wrong. But they had also all bet everything, which created a three-way tie for last place.
Host Alex Trebek wryly carried out his Solomon-like duties following the surprising conclusion of the game, informing the contestants (and viewers) that they had all lost and that Tuesday’s game would start with three new tributes, er, contestants. This is only the sixth time that all three contestants have choked in the final round; the most recent instance was a three-way loss during 2013’s Teen Tournament. You can watch the dismay slowly spread across all three contestants’ faces below, but try to keep your schadenfreude in check (we can’t all be Turd Ferguson). And in case you were wondering, the event and president in question were the desegregation of the schools and Bill Clinton, so the correct question-answer was actually “What is Little Rock, Arkansas?”.
Even though I was stumped, I focused on a couple of things. I was prepared to answer "Austin" because that's where the Lyndon Johnson library is located. I thought, well, Johnson signed Civil Rights legislation into action after...what? That's what the problem was, because the 1957 event was clearly the desegregation of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. And from there, you go to Bill Clinton and his library is in Little Rock, so, there you go.

Expecting three white people to know the history of the Civil Rights movement is too much to ask these days. I'm not sure if there's an overtly racist aspect to this, but there certainly is a strategic problem with ending up broke on Jeopardy. If you don't know the answer, bet nothing! You could have won!

This reminded me of what's going on in Oregon. President Eisenhower took the Arkansas National Guard away from the former governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, and called out a thousand U.S. troops to forcibly desegregate the schools in Little Rock. Surely, there's a Ranger battalion that wouldn't mind restoring good order and discipline to a Federal bird sanctuary.

This is How I See the Road Ahead


I was commenting on Facebook when I realized I should be putting something on my crappy blog that no one reads:
"The argument for Clinton is that she's the Democrat most likely to make progress on progressive priorities because she's the Democrat who best understands both the issues and how unbelievably difficult it actually is to get anything done in a divided political system. Sanders can talk all he wants about political revolutions, but no one seriously doubts that the next Democratic president will face a Republican House, a 5-4 Republican majority on the Supreme Court, and a country that mistrusts government action." 
So, in other words, she's the only adult in the room? 

How is any of that a bad thing? Knowing she's the only person running who sees things as they are as opposed to what she's going to promise to people and then have to lie about later? Hillary has to lie because this is a country made up of toddlers, bullies, and people tired of lame attempts to categorize a broadly diverse electorate.

We are not going to get the House back any time soon. We are going to experience a blinding level of partisan obstructionism if she wins the election. The mere fact that she's running is proof that we don't have a choice this year. We have an obligation to put her in office and to keep hammering away at all attempts to destroy Obama's legacy.

I don't understand Ezra Klein at all. He's against Clinton. But there's nobody else. There is no one running who understands the reality of American politics, circa 2016, better than she does. I mean, full stop. This is what we face--oblivion or an annoying habit of trying to get as much as possible within the confines of a heavily divided political climate. Grow the motherfucking fuck up and just accept the fact that everyone self-identifying as a Republican is living in a batshit crazy fantasy world where they can magically make the government do things it does not do and never has done.

Hideous and Cheap


It would appear that the Chinese took down this statue of Mao because it did not do him justice. Someone working as a monolithic statue contractor fleeced these poor businessmen out of their hard-earned cash and put up a monstrosity. The thing was hollow at the base, allowing teenagers the chance to hide underneath and make fart noises. Was all of that scaffolding part of the plan? Goodness.

Very undignified. Next time, chip in for the solid foundation.

Tell the Libtards that Obama Still Sucks


Jobs? What jobs?

Look, here's how the modern American economy works. If a Republican is in office, the deficit doesn't matter.

If a Democrat is in office, the deficit is the ONLY thing that matters.

Here's proof, via Paul Krugman, that Obama has been a far better president than we're being told.



It's hard to argue with the proof at hand, but that's all they have--an argument. The fact that it doesn't hold water is a feature, not a bug.

Voter Fraud


This dingy image verifies, once and for all, that the only substantive voter fraud being practiced in the United States of America is carried out by wealthy, privileged white people.

John Ellis Bush is the son of President George Herbert Walker Bush and the brother of President George W. Bush. Somehow, in the course of his life, he became convinced of his Hispanic heritage, which does not exist.

And, just to recap--if a Democrat had done something like this, the howls of outrage would lift the roof off the joint.

America Will Never Be Rid of the Palins


When things like this happen, all you can do is wish the best for the lucky couple and imagine what the next few years are like, what with the death of irony and the elimination of self-respect from American political discourse.

The Palins are forever and you're just living in their world.

Change


The answer, my friends, is no.

People can vote for "change" but they won't actually get it and then they'll be all mad and promise not to vote again and then they'll go ten years without giving a crap and then someone will market change at them and they'll go what the hell and then they'll vote for change and what they'll get is some version of change they didn't want and then they won't vote anymore and then, the next thing you know, someone is elected a Bush or a Clinton for the eighth time.

We are well and truly fucked but we forgot how it happened and that means we'll just get fucked again.

The Secret History of Great Men


If you want to attack the ignorance of the Republican Party, try to stand clear of all the things that are going to undermine your argument:
Thomas Jefferson recognized that education is vital to a functioning Democratic Republic.
In a letter to James Madison, Jefferson wrote: “And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the people. This last is the most certain, and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them…. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”
In light of Oklahoma’s recent attack on AP History, it would be easy to argue that today’s Republicans don’t recognize the value of a good education. However, the reality is that they do, and that the spreading attack on public education is far more sinister.
When the Patriot Act was signed, Bush and his ilk claimed the power to violate citizens’ private lives because, they said, there is no “right to privacy” in the United States. In that, they – perhaps purposefully – overlooked the history of America and the Declaration of Independence, signed on July 4, 1776. And they missed a basic understanding of the evolution of language in the United States.
I always laugh when these flowery "letters" from one Founding Father to the other is cited in order to support a theory or argument. These were men who knew when they had an audience and who knew how to speak to each other in private. I don't for a second think any of them really believed in God. They did believe in America, but it was an America ruled by a moneyed elite that kept the mobs at bay with promises of a token piece of the franchise and reasonable taxation, and it did not include free slaves, women with rights, or allowing non-property owning yahoos the right to vote. These were secretive, profane men who hated foreigners and fought amongst each other over women and personal slights. 
Just once, I'd like to see them portrayed the way they lived their lives--bawdy, drunken, filthy, toothless, and envious of one another, furiously hiding debts and embarrassments from one another, secretly wishing death would visit their rivals and mistresses would appear when summoned. They rolled out of soiled beds, rubbed raw and miserable with hangovers, often scratched and clawed by furious lovers and always short of cash. You know, like we are today, except with slightly better dental care and Grindr accounts and cleaner bed pans.
Thomas Jefferson was an elite planter from Virginia who used sex to terrorize his own female slaves. He was forever spending money he did not have. He was terrified of the mob rule that descended on America when the British failed to properly collect taxes and fees, which usually left him scrambling for relief. He was not a revolutionary--he was a smart man who used words to form arguments. He was a physical coward who did not hesitate to violate the law in the service of his own interests (see Aaron Burr, et al). He was not the paragon of virtue that can be summoned by a still-outraged lefty to refute the idea that the Patriot Act destroyed America. Man, it's 2015. Bush and Cheney were awful. But that's just half the story, and everybody knows it.
Bi-partisanship delivered the Patriot Act and renewed it. This phony idea that the Congress has to get along and allow freedom to be trampled so that neither side will be held accountable by a future terrorist attack is the real culprit. Without Democratic complicity, there is no Patriot Act and there are no restrictions on freedom (and there damned sure wouldn't have been an Iraq War, either).
Allowing the Republican Party to stampede America into wars, restrictions on freedom for women, minorities, and anyone with any kind of data whatsoever in the name of bi-partisanship is your real enemy these days. They are not reasonable people and they never will be, but we damned sure can't help ourselves when the Daddy Party wants something because our lapdog media and a weak and fractured Democratic Party can't stop going out on heavy petting dates with these psychopaths.