Thanks for Giving it The Old College Try PolitiFacts

Hell No, We Won't Die!

LIAR, LIAR, HEALTH CARE ON FIRE - PolitiFacts makes the stunning discovery that the biggest lie of 2010 was, "a government takeover of health care." Who knew!

If there’s one year-end task that’s most difficult, it must be compiling the many Most of the Year, Best of the Year, Stupidest of the Year lists. Let’s face it, the modern world is a target-rich environment of cheese. Americans – especially those whom Fox News makes stupid – are addicted to these things. It gives everyone the chance to voice the opinion that whoever picked the list is a dead-wrong ass cake and there’s nothing Americans like more than eating their ass cake and having it too.

BTW, Mark Zuckerman as Time’s Man of the Year? Puhleeze! Either of the LoJoHos – LiLo or ScarJo –  would be better choices. Then again, Zuckerman would easily win a contest against Kim Kardashian as Biggest Ass of the Year so everything evens out.

But the hardest of the hard, (Actually, that could be a spectacular list too…may I nominate Ron Jeremy?) Not Safe For Work is bipartisan PolitiFact’s choice of Lie of the Year. Damn! These guys are brave. The balls of a Wall Street bull, or at least the balls of a Wall Street CEO! As outrageous as Tony Hayward equipped with a microphone.

So without further ado – drum roll please – PolitiFact’s 2010’s Lie of the Year is… A government takeover of health care!

(Sound of crickets…)

A Fox News Viewer

THEY PROTEST, YOU DECIDE - A woman protesting the take over of government health care displays the reason why she's one of the viewers Fox News made stupid.

A government takeover of health care? Of all the stupid, idiotic, patently false utterances of 2000-fricking-10, that was the best you could come up with? For Chrissakes, you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting a lie this year. There was an election dammit! There wasn’t an election ad during the entire race that didn’t kill a hard-on with its lies.

Still, the PolitiFact’s survey did speak a truth. It recognized that in a lying-ass bumper crop of a lying year there were clear winners and those clear winners where The Party Couldn’t Talk Straight™.

It’s not that Democrats didn’t spout their own share of truthiness and bald face lies, they just used a little more finesse – sort of putting a little English on the 8-ball to grab defeat from the jaws of victory. When Republicans smacked Dems in the face with the Putrid Mackerel of Lying Bay™, the Democrats most often just genuflected and said, “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

Ten minutes later Fox News would cut in with breaking news. “Hey Brian. Republican Minority God, Mitch McConnell, has just announced that Democrats tried to coerce him into a sexually deviant behavior called, um, I’m not sure how to pronounce the word…bipartisanship – I’ll just use gay for short so as not to confuse our viewers. He said he only escaped by fighting off the gang of socialist zombies by beating them with his new $1500 wingtip shoes. After the break, we’ll go to Fox and Friends to report more details and you’ll decide they are the God’s honest truth. Back to you Gretchen!”

PolitiFacts, thanks for giving it the old college try.

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Julian Assange: Neither Saint Nor Sinner

J'ACCUSE - As with most things, figuring out WikiLeaks is a damned hard thing to do.

The WikiLeaks controversy is unfolding in exactly the way almost everything else in this country unfolds – in a yawning divide lined with yapping dachshunds.

The lefties see WikiLeaks’ head drip, Julian Assange, as a crusader to be hailed, not jailed. The right wants to off the miserable terrorist (Note to righties: Look up the defnition of terrorist before any more name calling) on general principles. The whole sordid affair has become a thermonuclear Jerry Springer show of freaks, geeks, and an audience cheering and jeering so loudly no one can think.

The vast majority of the 250,000-plus cables are mundane. The administrivia that keeps a bureaucratic juggernaut juggering. While a good number of these are classified, the nation probably would’ve suffered little if they had been declassified.

Karzai is Incomptent? I’m Shocked!
Then, there are the embarrassing missives. Unflattering things that local ambassadors said about their hosts. Memos along the lines of “Hamid Karzai is an incompetent pootiehead who can’t be trusted to run sheep herd, much less a country riven by war. And he wears a cape too for Chrissake.”

Karzai a cloaked incompetent? Who knew?

These revelations come as no surprise to those on the receiving end.  Cables from any other country on the planet contain similar comments almost word for word.

And mixed in with the rainforest-sized pile of dubious junk are those cables that actually reveal something important.  It’s rumored that some of them may actually contain truly classified information and would probably be better left secret.

Face it, the world needs whistleblowers. They help give the general public a bit of leverage against the crushingly powerful government and corporate  citizens. But as Assange is finding out, they usually end up in ruin. Ask Daniel Elsberg and the ratter outers of Philip Morris.

In the end, America will be unlikely to suffer any lasting damage other than a bruised ego. The hurt feelings will go away. However, the truly classified parts will casue some short-term dangers. But, aside than the sheer size of the leak, this is the kind of stuff that spies steal every few years. It may turn out that the most important task is figuring out how someone got so many of the crown jewels instead of containing the current damage.

With Assange under arrest, next up comes the legal wrangling.

The charges of rape sex by surprise (WTF?) may just be a way to hold onto Assange until they can get him on the higher charges or it cold be a political charade. Remember, one of the women making the allegations may have connections with a CIA operative. In any case, investigate and if there is sufficient evidence, try him.


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Of the lesser leaks, either drop the charges because no actual damage was done or treat them lightly. You’ll have lots of other opportunities to shackle him in his cell at a country club federal pen.

Throw the Books at Him
Of the larger leaks, throw the book at him commensurate with what the evidence and law suggest. Not for treason as Moosilini wants (Note to Sarah: He’d have to be an American to charge him with treason.). Not as a terrorist, because (and I assume here that you righties aren’t still reading the definition) he isn’t one. Try him under US espionage laws. But if he drops his promised dime on the US banking system, I vote AMNESTY!

He broke those laws and he’s entitled to a fair trial under them. We can’t just become a lynch mob of Newt Gingrichi and hang him without a trial elst we cause more damage to our image than calling Putin a crook (Again, what a frickin’ surprise!).

In a way, the real issue here isn’t what he released or didn’t release, it’s who is impartial enough to decide which secrets are the ones we need to keep. Sunshine and legitimate national security secrets don’t always go well together.

If we leave the task solely to the agencies involved, you’d get a disaster similar to Gingrich’s newest great idea – letting companies decide how much tax they should play. Leave it solely to the professional politicians and every little securo-turd that flushes down the pipe will be thrown at their opponets before James Bond could get a plan together to steal them.

We need some balance, a referee. Perhaps Tony Hayward or  Joe the Plumber are available.

I hear they already have the striped shirts, whistles, and the poor (in)sight of any NFL referee.

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Why Global Climate Change Doesn’t Matter

March of the Penguins

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS - Whether you're waiting for penquins to show up on the mean streets of Gotham or not the debate over climate change is a false one.

The political winds have changed and our new leaders – and I use that term loosely – are spoiling for a fight over many things, including “proving” climate change isn’t real. For their part, the Democrats are equally committed to “proving” it is. It’s nice to see the Earth still holds its normal place in the galaxy.

But you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Each side likes to fool themselves into believing this is a fight over science. Both sides can muster colleges full of scientists who postulate one theory or another.

And you know what? It doesn’t matter.

Ideology 101
Even though they all come equipped with an impressive – and sometimes not so impressive – array of bar charts and pie graphs and climatic studies, the truth is almost every one of those studies was paid for by some lobby or interest group. BP never saw a gushing black hole it didn’t like while environmental groups often advocate that if the problem isn’t resolved by next Wednesday, we’re all doomed. Whether you believe in global warming  is more an ideological decision than a scientific one, regardless of which science is finally proven right.

And you know what? That doesn’t matter either.

The there’s the whole economic argument. One side says, “the economy is in the dumper. We can’t do anything now because we’ll lose jobs.” But then, that’s the same argument used when we’re in a depression or boom or bust or just hanging out waiting for some skeevy asscake of a banker to devise a new scheme to separate us from our money.

As my old Dad used to say, “Never do today what you can do tomorrow.”

Environmentalists would have us believe that all that new work in the green sector will almost immediately make up for any lost jobs. Unfortunately, economies don’t turn on a dime and I suspect that’s scant solace to a laid off coal miner who doesn’t know diddly about wind turbines, although he can tell you that if you point a mirror into the sun it gets hot as hell.

But does that matter? Um, no.

Lady Liberty

COUGH, COUGH, HACK - Lady Liberty already has a smoker's cough, is that really waht we want?

Dependence on foreign oil? “Bah,” says Big Dick Cheney, representatives from Texahoma, and all Exxonians, “we can  pump enough oil to power everything and it’ll last indefinately – at least accoding to my contacts at the National Petroleum Inistitute.”

“Au contraire mon fraire,” say the anti-black gold folks. The oil is running out and drilling it will pollute every drop of ocean and every square inch of land in the country, especially in ANWAR. I think it’s up around that country Sarah Palin can see from her porch.”

That doesn’t matter either.

So far as I know, NO scientist, politician, economist, or just plain Joe the Plumber – except perhaps for the truly deranged – thinks wrapping their lips around a Hummer’s exhaust pipe is a good idea. I don’t know of anyone – other than Tony Hayward – who thinks that soothing oil bath in the Gulf helped shrimpers, fishermen, hoteliers, or snowy plovers.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Jobs
Jobs? The truth is some will go away, some will be created, and no one – least of all ouiji board economists – can say for sure how many or how long it will take. Although you won’t be able to swing a poison effluent-killed cat without hitting a lobbyist who’ll tell you with dead solid certainty that it will be bad…real bad…so bad we won’t support you in the next election bad.

Insert a cartoon twinkle off the charlatan’s evil smile here.

It matters because whether climate change deniers or champions are finally proven right, our planet is already much dirtier than mere mortals can withstand. Breathing the primordial ooze that passes for air or drinking water that a zillion Brita filters couldn’t decontaminate is killing us. If you don’t believe me, go ask your own bought and paid scientist whether dirty air or water is bad. Ask them if this is already happening or is a comupter forecast of what El Nino will do in 2050. You’ll find that one of those extinct animals called non-partisanship still lives.

It sucks to be Earth under the stewardship of man.

If we don’t do something about the problems we already have, there won’t be a tomorrow to defer to. We won’t have to worry about the kids whose future we may or may not be mortgaging because they’ll be dead. Fix that and the global climate issue will take care of itself.

And THAT’S what truly matters.

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