September 2008


Simon of Classical Values:

And why do people hate science so much? Well it is hard to understand and requires a lot of complicated math and difficult concepts. I’m pretty good with that sort of thing. I understand Einstein but the math is beyond me.

In a related story, I had a torrid affair with Gisele Bündchen but I never met her.

While this post may be pointless, it moves certain other posts further down the page.  AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT!!!

… Because I can’t stop myself: ConFURvatives!

The name of this community really describes it. ConFURvatives are Furries who are conservative, right-winged, republican, or even just Christian.

Unlike other political communities that often have constant arguing between liberals and conservatives – ConFURvatives is strictly for conservatives and is not for liberal/conservative debate, but rather, conservative discussion. Membership is moderated to insure the group stays 100% right-wing. The reason for this is to eliminate flaming of conservatives – since being one in the furry fandom isn’t the easiest of things to be.

Makes Red State kind of redundant.

As you know, we at The ‘Tute do not shy away from posting raw, frank, and often shocking images of libertarianism. Some readers have been offended by these graphic images. They have requested that we post pictures of cute kittens in order that they might sleep soundly once more. We are happy to oblige:

Blind people may be onto something.

Barney Frank slays it. This bit discussing GOP claims that they voted against the bailout bill because Pelosi gave a mean speech is priceless.

(via)

Somehow, I doubt the Keyboard Kommandos will be pushing this story very hard:

Baboucarr Njie was preparing for his prayer session Friday night, Sept. 26, when he heard children in the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton coughing. Soon, Njie himself was overcome with fits of coughing and, like the rest of those in the building, headed for the doors.

“I would stay outside for a minute, then go back in, there were a lot of kids,” Njie said. “My throat is still itchy, I need to get some milk.”

Njie was one of several affected when a suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building at 9:48 p.m.

Someone “sprayed an irritant into the mosque,” Dayton fire District Chief Vince Wiley said, noting that fire investigators believe it was a hand-held spray can.

According to fire dispatch communications, a child reported seeing two men with a white can spraying something into a window. That child was brought to the supervising firefighter at the scene.

Wiley would not discuss that report, but said the investigation has been turned over to police. Police were not commenting.

A man matching this description was seen fleeing the scene:

None of this, however, in any way alters the fact that Rachael Ray wore a scarf. Via. More.

We’ve gone a long time without a wingnut internet manifesto.  Remedy:

I have had it up to my eyeballs with the ever-growing government, the nanny-state, the collectivism, the whole world demanding more and more from the producers.  I am done with the corrupt politicians, the slackers, the deadbeats, and all the looters and moochers.

I am sick of a government which has drifted from its early Constitutional foundation of limited central goverment and great individual freedom, and become a bloated behemoth consuming 40 percent of our economy and hungry for more.  I am finished with out-of-control political correctness and its attendant thought police outlawing truth in order to cater to those who would destroy us.

HERE I STAND.  I AM JOHN GALT.

Whether the world around me likes it or not, I will put my foot down and insist on personal responsibility and accountability.  I will tell my government to take its hands off my rights, my freedom, and my wallet.  If the people of other nations are content to allow their countries to devolve into Hell, that’s their business.  I’m sick of financing their destruction.  They can plunge into chaos on their own dime.

As for my own, I will be a call for my government to return to doing those things which are right for a legitimate government to do – to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity.  Not to regulate the price of milk, meddle with the mortgage market, bail out failing companies, or tell me how to raise my children.

HERE I STAND.  I AM JOHN GALT.

And I have a pulpit.  I may not be able to stop the motor of the world, but I will stomp on the brake, and I will fight for control of the steering wheel before the motor seizes up on its own – and believe me, that motor is on its way to seizing up.

I will give Caesar his due, but I will not bow to him.

I am John Galt.  Come and join me, or come and get me.  Here I stand.

Why is it always fiction with these guys?

God grant me strength.  Paul Notbuttrocket, Least of All Your Creations, is making sense:

It’s tempting to the think of a presidential debate as a moment of truth. Advertisements may be pure spin and conventions may be staged, but in a debate it’s mostly about which candidate has superior command of the issues, greater debating skill, and the more winning personality. Everyone recognizes, of course, that expectations factor in, and that the candidate with the lead can “win” the debate by not losing it. But this sort of analysis merely represents a fine-tuning of an underlying result that turns on the debate performance.

In reality, though, a debate performance cannot be divorced from the substantive context of the campaign. Thus, a candidate who is running into a strong headwind throughout the campaign can expect a corresponding headwind during the debate. And a debating style or personality that would meet with approval in one kind of race might be widely disparaged in another. [...]

And that’s where those headwinds enter the picture. The ones McCain confronts have to do with unhappiness over the Iraq war and over the state of the economy. Thus, McCain may have hammered Obama over his opposition to the surge, but if voters think the decision to invade Iraq was more consequential than the decisions that finally seem to have enabled us to succeed there, then Obama will still have the edge. Similarly, no matter how well McCain debates the economy (and here his performance was not that strong), the justified perception that his economic views are closer than Obama’s to those of President Bush’s represent a built-in [disadvantage].

The extent to which voters like what they hear also spills over into how they perceive the demeanor of the candidates. I’ve seen enough of these debates to know that a style that appears commanding and presidential in (say) good times may seem arrogant and condescending when times are thought to be bad.

If McCain “lost” last night’s debate, let’s hope that he lost it because he didn’t debate well. Debate performances can improve; just ask George W. Bush. But if McCain out-debated Obama (as I believe he did) but still “lost,” that would be a pretty strong sign that voters just aren’t buying what he’s selling and that, consequently, McCain is destined to be rejected in November.

The blogosphere concerns itself – not exclusively, but inordinately – with politics as perception.  Media criticism; close-reading newspaper editorials; tracking, critiquing, mocking, and assessing the fads of the news cycle – this is what we do.  This has utility for some stories.  Foreign policy, for example: this is an area of politics which – unless you are in the military, or travel a lot on business, or have family abroad – is not directly experienced by most Americans.  They are understood through news reports, and if the news is portrayed positively, people will perceive the policy in that light.  If not, than not.  Spin, framing, gaming the refs – this is critical to creating the perceptions which will determine policy’s political viability.

But politics isn’t just about perception, it’s about direct experience.  In eight years, many families and communities have had to bury their soldiers, dead in Iraq.  A major American city was washed away, to Presidential indifference.  Economic uncertainty has increased, slowly, surely, and the current urgency to bailout the Haves (and with what money, pray tell?) while homes go into forclosure, and gas in unaffordable, and jobs are lost, and health care is taken away, only highlights the truth of most Americans’ situation – we are disposable, our problems are our own, and government – Republican government – does not care.  You can’t spin a dead son, you can’t frame a drowned city, and you can’t blame a pink slip on liberal media bias.  Well, you can do these things, of course, and thousands of people make a good living doing just that, but it’s a whole lot harder to make it stick.

Watching the debate, I had 3 observations, which I graciously share with you now:

1. Boooooooooooooooooooring.

2. Barack Obama does a great John Kerry impersonation.

3. Say what you will about the man – and I have – 72-year-old John McCain is about a billion times smarter and less absurd than George W. Bush.  (So’s Sarah Palin, so’s my 26-pound cat.  Still.)

But it doesn’t matter.  This election – for a larger section of the electorate than any since at least 1992 – isn’t a referendum on perception, it’s a long-overdue referendum on the state of people’s lives, and this society.  This is why John McCain keeps doing all these bizarre “Hail Mary” stunts – he can’t win otherwise.  He’s got to try and confuse everybody with Jerry Springer shananigans and melodramatic announcements and linking Barack Obama to al Qaeda and Timothy Leary and the Screech Sex Tape and hope that, somehow, the American public is stupid enough to ask for four more years of this shit.  He’s got to do all this stuff, but he knows it probably won’t be enough.  He’s probably going to lose.  To a black guy.  A black guy with an Ay-rab name who is smarter, taller, more decent, more educated, and just all around better than you and everyone you know; who could have your job and your whole life in a heartbeat but doesn’t need or want it; and who your cracker wife imagines she’s with when she’s fucking you, or Dustin Diamond, or whoever.  He’s got Karl Rove, in a perfect storm of redneck ressentiment and panic, and it’s just not enough.  He is fucked.

Even Notbuttrocket knows it.

Flag pins

Obama: 1

McCain: 0

You can look that shit up and see if I lie.  I know whose lapel would be emboldening me, were I a terrorist with the terrorist’s characteristic fascination with patriotic-themed men’s jewelry.  Also, John McCain kept talking about how many foreign countries he went to and how many big shots he could name check.  Pretty elitist, if you ask me.

Sit down in a comfortanble chair.  Make sure your fridge is fully stocked with purple drank.  Prepare yourself for the final ~40 days of Campaign 2008: Fellating the “Swing Voter”:

A new study out today puts in stark numbers the importance of swing voters — specifically whites with at least a high school diploma, but no college degree.

The study done for the Democratic Leadership Council, the moderate group that helped put Bill Clinton in the White House, estimates those voters swing the outcome of a general election by an “astonishing average of 6.7 percentage points between elections that Democrats win and lose.”

“That is more than double the margin by which President Bush defeated John Kerry in 2004. Cutting into Republicans’ traditional margin with these voters could well mean the difference between a broad Democratic triumph and a narrow Democratic defeat,” the study says.

And those voters are precisely the ones whom Barack Obama struggled to win over during the Democratic primaries against Hillary Clinton.

Who are these “swing voters”? you ask.  What do they want?  What makes them tick?  How fucking long does it take for them to make up their fucking minds? Well, Dear Reader, since I apparently have nothing better to do than answer a series of increasingly pointless questions from a bunch of lazy, undersexed ingrates, let me show you.  Using advanced technology at the PMI Advanced Political Simulation Laboratory which theoreticians aren’t allowed to play with, we have developed an interactive computer model of the average swing voter, in order to answer those very question.  Behold, the American Swing Voter, the most desired demographic of them all!

(You can tell she’s too smart to be a Republican because she knows Spain is our ally.  Veep material, that one.)  How to appeal to them?  I suggest constant shameless lying, followed by bribing with moonshine.  Or not.  Whatever it is, it’s not gonna be pretty.

I must say, Republicans are a lot less offensive when they’re out of power.  I’d almost have to admit “they have their uses”, which, after the last 7+ years of unrestrained bed-shitting, is as fulsome a piece of praise as they are ever likely to get from me.  It takes one back to the golden days of the Clinton administration, when Republicans would reflexively oppose anything Clinton did on whatever rubbish foundation they could cobble together.  Yes, their reasoning was cynical at best; yes, they eventually moved from Devil’s Advocates to Satan’s Assholes; and, yes, there was always the suspicion – since confirmed a few billion times over – that, were they actually put in charge of things, they’d fuck it all up just for the hell of it.  But, while annoying, there can be a certain value to being the asshole who responds with a dismissive “O RLY?” to everything you say.  I generally valuate this in inverse proportion to my ability to understand the assertion being made; in the case of throwing $700 billion dollars at some kind of fancy Wall Street clusterfuck, for example, I actually value it pretty highly.

For their part, the Democrats never really got the hang of the whole “opposition party” thing.  It was always sad seeing them try to work constructively with people whose only core political value was “fuck you, you fucking Democrats”.  It was sad, and it didn’t do anybody any good, except for making David Broder moist with bipartisan joy.  Leaving motivations and fancy-shmancy policy analysis aside, how much better off we would be as a country – and how much better off the Democrats would be as a party – if every policy proposal of the Bush administration was met with a hearty “fuck you, just because” and no bill could come out of committee without $5 billion dollars for the George W. Bush Eats A Fucking Dumpster Full Of Dicks Every Day Foundation, dedicated to exploring how President George W. Bush manages to perform his duties with his mouth quite full of a motley assortment of dicks.  Childish, cynical, petty, yes; but imagine the result!  No Iraq War. No shitty appointments. Hearings every time Dick Cheney farted without explicit Congressional authorization. Every state would have 14 Democratic Senators.  Barack Obama would be ahead by 78% in every poll.  And – perhaps most importantly – we might have an answer to the question which has vexed poets and philosophers for centuries, to whit: just how much dick does George W. Bush really eat? (SPOILER: a metric fuckload.)

But now, with the Republican Congress on the wane, and the President having lost interest in playing Emperor, we see the natural order return. Democrats do what they enjoy: have serious chin-rubbing discussions about what must be done. Republicans do what they enjoy: throw wrenches at Democrats and remind everyone that they are insane, unserious, amoral, and unfit to govern. And George W. Bush does what he does best: eat dicks and fuck off. It’s not a perfect world by any means, but it’s a fair sight better than the alternative.  And perhaps we’ll get an answer to that puzzling question underlying all possible bailout proposals:

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