Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Texas-Sized Tory Pseudo-Intellectuals in America -OR- GOP Skinny Dipping in Holy Water

The Guadalupe Mountains of West Texas in a picture I found online. I think this may actually be Guadalupe Peak itself, the highest point in Texas at 8,751' above sea level.


I really should not be -- and said I would not be -- posting a new entry tonight since I haven't finished the copy editing work for my former co-worker (who should be back in Sault Ste. Marie at this point).

I'll refrain from any lengthy commentary on the whole Rep. Todd Akin "legitimate rape" circus sideshow except to note that (1) the Republican Party establishment wants him gone YESTERDAY, and (2) if this causes social issues / culture wars -- in this case, Paul Ryan's "personhood" stance -- to dominate over economic ones, then that's good news for Pres. Obama and the Dems.

The story was the subject of frenzied coverage and opinion-mongering on MSNBC including Hardball and The Ed Show.

Rather, I want to note Alex Pareene's Salon piece Niall Ferguson trolls everyone in Newsweek concerning the Niall Ferguson's completely factually fraudulent cover story in that dying publication.

Pareene links -- and I will here -- to Paul Krugman's take down of it -- as well as to a comprehensive fact-checking piece in The Atlantic.

Pareene also links to a Joe Wiesenthal piece in Business Insider noting the intellectually dishonest, if not fraudulent, way Ferguson tried to cover his tracks. The direct link for that is here. This involves how Ferguson claimed the Affordable Care Act "increases" the projected deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years when it does nothing of the sort.Yes, it "spends" that much, but the Congressional Budget Office projects that it LOWERS the projected deficit by about $84 billion over 11 years -- and this is AFTER the Supreme Court ruling. So it's a trillion dollar flim-flam Ferguson is trying to pull.

Quoting Krugman:

"We're not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here -- just a plain misrepresentation of the facts, with an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers. The Times would require an abject correction if something like that slipped through. Will Newsweek?"

Probably not.

The corporate whore-media of the sort Newsweek embodies isn't interested in fact-checking in what it considers "a policy discussion" -- and hence any claim is permissible (esp. when it comes from the Right). In other words, it's the "he said / she said"  approach -- that phoney balanced "views differ on shape of planet" formula. Now had it involved something about Photoshopping out a Coke can from an image, then it would have been a different story entirely with howls and shrieks of shock, and Howie "Mistah" Kurtz swinging into action.

As for Ferguson, I'd like to quote Pareene, too:

"Niall Ferguson is an intellectual fraud whose job, for years, has been to impress dumb rich Americans with his accent and flatter them with his writings. It's a pretty easy con, honestly, if you’re born shameless and British (or French)." 

I have a particular contempt for these imperialistic British Tory types who come to the U.S. and wave the flag of American Empire and its rightwing corporate oligarchy. A less well known example is Sebastian Mallaby, former WaHoPo editorial writer from its halcyon 1990s days and now a corporate-whore at the Council on Foreign Relations corporate whorehouse.

A truly disgusting example of this is John Derbyshire, who lost his gig at the National Review  insane asylum for one too many racist outbursts. Today, he just spends his time writing for obscure online publications and (probably) editing his Wikipedia article.

Oh, yes, I'd like to mention the story of the GOP Teabagger Rep. Kevin Yoder (R - KS) who went on a "fact-finding" trip to Israel, got drunk, and went nighttime skinny dipping in the Sea of Galilee. He went with a large group of GOP colleagues shortly after holding the country hostage in the debt ceiling debacle on a trip sponsored by some group (AIEF) affiliated with the rightwing Jewish group AIPAC.

The story is that he and five of his GOP freshmen colleagues took part in that swim, although he may have been the only naked one. For some reason, the FBI investigated and House Majority Whip Cantor was very upset by the episode. So there may be more to the story than is now known.

As for "why" they did it, several of them claimed they were moved to do so for religious reasons . I guess they wanted to see if they could walk on water like Jesus did there 2,000 years ago.

OK, I'll buy that. And any bridge in New York you feel like selling me.


Changing subjects ... 

So tonight I went to the gym after work. The annual two-week shut down is fast approaching, and while a third of it overlaps with my Jersey shore trip, I still have to go for a lengthy period with no gym visit. I think I can use another YMCA in the immediate D.C. area.

I spent 40 minutes on the treadmill (plus five minute cool down), 21 minutes on the elliptical trainer, did some weight-lifting, and went swimming ... Not too bad. 

I've lost about 7 to 8 pounds BUT I've also managed to rearrange some mass with a slimmer ass and less flabby belly contrasted with what might be the first hint of arms that aren't completely limp noodles.

I'll go again on Wed. and Thursday night. Tomorrow night, I'm supposed to go to an after work happy hour at Barcode, where it's half-price wine. Barcode is actually very close to the YMCA National Capital where I go. 


I walked back home -- up 17th Street -- and I think I saw Mr. Sirius sitting outside his bar. I guess he was thinking up new routines for his comedy act. Or his teaching lesson plan. And texting his Oooza the Unloved.

It's truly amazing how many years and decades he has been there. I figured that teaching thing wasn't going to be permanent, although I suppose it might just be summer vacation. My point is that, I just KNEW he wasn't going to give up his local gayborhood celebrity perch with its highly lucrative nightly tips taxed at the level of the service industry working classMitt Romney and his offshore and shell corporation billions. All just to be a glorified babysitter of high skool students??


Lastly, let me mention that the weather pattern seems to have shifted away from the terrible heat and humidity and instead is more seasonal (highs in the 82F - 86F range) and with a chance of showers as we had tonight. We still are well behind on rain and need a good 3 to 5 inch dousing. 

OK, that's all for now. My next *planned* update will be ahead of my upcoming Jersey shore trip to Wildwood Crest with Gary and Wendy.


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